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Author Topic: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.  (Read 35539 times)

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Offline Kythia

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Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #175 on: December 13, 2014, 07:51:40 PM »
Check it out, I'm necroing this thread again.

A conversation I had today got me thinking -

To what extent is it possible to be a Muslim in isolation?  Lets say Bob from some insular community which contains no Muslims finds a copy of the Qur'an and it speaks to him.  He self identifies as a Muslim, follows the pillars as best he can (lets leave aside the Muslims he'd meet in Hajj for the moment - perhaps he's too poor to go) but never attends Mosque because there isn't one nearby, never interacts with other Muslims because there aren't any nearby and he doesn't have the internet, is not familiar with Islamic scholarship, etc etc etc.

Can Bob be a "real" - whatever that means - Muslim? 

I get that the question is broad - taking the equivalent in Christianity is almost meaningless for example; there are some denominations where he could be a "real" Christian, some he couldn't.  But I'd be interested to hear general thoughts.

Offline Wajin

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #176 on: December 13, 2014, 08:03:11 PM »
Check it out, I'm necroing this thread again.

A conversation I had today got me thinking -

To what extent is it possible to be a Muslim in isolation?  Lets say Bob from some insular community which contains no Muslims finds a copy of the Qur'an and it speaks to him.  He self identifies as a Muslim, follows the pillars as best he can (lets leave aside the Muslims he'd meet in Hajj for the moment - perhaps he's too poor to go) but never attends Mosque because there isn't one nearby, never interacts with other Muslims because there aren't any nearby and he doesn't have the internet, is not familiar with Islamic scholarship, etc etc etc.

Can Bob be a "real" - whatever that means - Muslim? 

I get that the question is broad - taking the equivalent in Christianity is almost meaningless for example; there are some denominations where he could be a "real" Christian, some he couldn't.  But I'd be interested to hear general thoughts.

I once heard a similar question asked as a young child. The answer the asker got was this "If a mans belief in Allah is supreme, if his belief in the Qur'an is unquestionable, if his adherence to the pillars is as his circumstance permits, then what right has anyone not to call him a Muslim?" But I do also know it's a somewhat touchy subject among some.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2014, 08:04:29 PM by A Japanese Dane »

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #177 on: December 13, 2014, 08:15:02 PM »
Necromancy! >:)

Well , Dane answered in the best logical way.

But to give a more broad answer. There's a few things that people confuse when it comes to the situation you mentioned Kythia.

Many will tell you that if one is a Muslim all by himself in the land of non-muslims , he should find his way to Muslim land and leave everything behind. That all sounds righteous and virtuous , but its not true.

So , yes , he can be a Muslim and no one is allowed to judge him , because the faith and how he practice it is between him and Allah. That does not mean he shouldn't take a chance to learn more about it. But given his circumstances and the lack of resources ( even when the internet can provide anything now ... though the good and the bad ) as long as he follows it the best he can , he's doing well.

An example is how in every prayer , a Muslim need to face the Kaaba. If someone went for a vacation in a new city in a country he'd never been to. He can try to guess where the Kaaba is , ask if anyone can help him , and if he couldn't find out a solid answer , he can just make a guess and start the prayer. Even if he was wrong , it's alright.

Islam is governed by circumstances , hence why the Hajj is a pillar of Islam yet those who cannot do it are relieved from it.

I hope that answered your question?

Offline Kythia

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Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #178 on: December 13, 2014, 08:21:09 PM »
Just realised that the way I phrased it he wouldn't even know about the pillars would he.  Doesn't change anything, just correcting myself.

Would you consider he had a "duty" to seek out more knowledge to the best of his ability?  So, a Muslim family moves in to his insular community - would he still be able to be a "real" Muslim if he didn't at least attempt to find out all the things he had been doing "wrong"?

Lot of scare quotes there, I know - it's because I'm not terribly interested in a discussion of what a real Muslim is, how you can follow Islam wrong, etc.  I'm hoping we can all agree that we know what those words mean in this context and pre-empt any argument about that.


Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #179 on: December 13, 2014, 08:30:57 PM »
The Qur'an alone is enough to guide a person to Allah.

As long as he does what's in the Qur'an in regards to the pillars , he's done all that he needs to do to be a Muslim.

It is his duty to better himself in a religious way. But if that means throwing away what he has , be it a good life and a good job and a stable life , then he should be safe with what he learned from the Qur'an.

This is the most bare bones answer I can offer. As in a black and white explanation.

Keep in mind that what we were taught in Islam is how our every-day doings contribute to us being ' good Muslims '. A smile is rewarded in Islam. ( Hasana* ) Initiating a greeting with a friend is rewarded. So with what he learned from the Qur'an , along with what he normally does , he's already doing good.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #180 on: December 13, 2014, 08:34:38 PM »
That makes sense.

Thanks Formless and Dane (Or do you prefer "Japanese"?  Or, I guess, "A"?)

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #181 on: December 13, 2014, 08:50:58 PM »
You're welcome Kythia. :-)



*Hasana (singular) , Hasanat (Plural)

This is the measurement of virtue in Islam. Consider it a ... currency of some sort. In Islam , when Judgment day comes , a Muslim's fate to go to Heaven or Hell is determined by how many Hasanat he has. But of course what is weighed against them is his ' Say'at '. And those are the wrong deeds a Muslim does that contradicts theteaching of Islam.

However , the way they're measured is different.

When it comes to the good deeds , they're rewarded generously.

1 good deed = 1 Hasana X 10 = 70 Hasanat X 700,000 = 42,000,000 Hasanat.

Of course some say that not every deed is rewarded in this manner , but every scripture found would say that it is up to God to determine how much it is worth. Also even the ' thought ' of doing a good deed is rewarded.

And almost anything is considered a good deed , like mentioned previously , smiling at anyone is considered as a good deed.

Now as for the wrong deeds they are rewarded singularly.

1 wrong deed = 1 Say'ah.

That's it. And even if one thought about doing a wrong deed , it is not counted unless he does it. So the thought isn't considered at all.

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #182 on: December 14, 2014, 04:07:37 PM »
A Video I found and hope it contains a good bit of information for teh curious.

The only point I'll argue in this video was the Mention of Ali's controversy. My initial and first post in this thread is what I myself believe is the truth.

But the rest of the video handled a lot of points smoothly and in a simplified fashion.

Offline Derwaysh

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #183 on: December 14, 2014, 07:51:51 PM »
That is very a nice share, Formless. : )

I would however respectfully disagree about Ali. I would also admit historical depictions of these conflicts are addressed via a purely partisan perspective with few rare exceptions. So from what I have read and researched, here's my take;

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide
When scholars like Ali Dashti conducted their research, wrote their books, had them banned and were subject to torture by their own governments (which potentially removes the shi'ite leaning considering how he was persecuted by the Iranian government for a book considered not very friendly to the masses) I quote; “The study of the history of Islam shows it to be a sequence of struggles for power in which the contestants treated the religion as the means, not as an end. . . . The further the Prophet’s death receded into the past, the greater became the tendency to treat the religion as a means, rather than as an end in itself—to use it as an instrument of seizure of the leadership and the rulership.”

Unfortunately no clear successor was announced and each phrase/words he uttered in his final moments were taken for an indication towards his next successor. I would recommend reading Maxine Rodinson's book called 'Muhammed'. Quoting an excerpt;

After a time he [Muhammad] became delirious. He apparently asked materials to write a document, which should keep the faithful from error. Those present were much perplexed at this, wondering whether they ought to trust the abstractedness of a sick man. Supposing that the new
text happened to contradict the Quran; surely it would sow the seeds of dissension and dismay? Ought they to obey him when he was not in his right mind? They argued so noisily that he gave up the idea and signed to them to go away.


This account has also been confirmed by Husayn Haykal. Followed by momentary panic the Medinians (Ansar) and the Meccans gathered in their own respective tents to plan for the future from which Abu-Bakr emerged successful. What followed is Tabari's account as chronicled in 'Chasing the Mirage';

Abu-Bakr was clearly pointing out to the supposedly divinely ordained superiority of the Meccan Quraysh Arab tribe over all other Muslims, including the Medinans. Abu-Bakr extolled the virtues of the Arabs of Medina, but emphasized to his hosts that despite their high status, they should recognize the Meccan Arabs as the “leaders” and consider themselves as no more than the “helpers.” He then warned them that “only a wrongdoer would dispute” what he had said.

The divisions were unanimous, especially those brought up by Abu-Bakr during his speech betwixt the two tribes of Medinians which had only reconciled its differences when Muhammed came into the fray. Despite Muhammed's many messages. As Muhammed himself proclaimed in his final speech; “O people, your Lord is one, and your ancestor is [also] one. You are all descendants from Adam and Eve who was born of earth. The noblest of you all, in the sight of God, is the most devout. God is knowing and all wise [Quran sura 49:13]. An Arab is superior to a non-Arab in nothing, but devotion.”

This except from Chasing the Mirage sums up my point; "Whilst many present day Muslims would like to believe that the ascension of Abu-Bakr was the result of an election that came about after vigorous debate and consultations, the fact is that not a single member of the Prophet’s family, the Banu Hashim clan, was consulted. Nor was there any input from the tens of thousand of Muslims who lived in Mecca, or the Bedouin tribes in the desert hinterland. Needless to say, not a single woman, not even the wives or the daughter of the Prophet, had any say in the question of who was now to lead the Muslims. By declaring that only Arabs belonging to the Meccan Quraysh tribe could fi ll the seat of the caliph, Abu-Bakr set the seal of authority on the theory of tribal and racial supremacy of the Arab over the non-Arab for many centuries to come."

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #184 on: December 14, 2014, 08:38:43 PM »
@Derwaysh: First and foremost , the Islamic history specifically is told by tongue and there's hardly any physical evidence of any occurrence prior to the Othmani Empire. Of course we can exclude from that the Scientific findings by Muslims during their rule in Spain. There's also the raid of the Mongolians who , as history tells , erased and burned all texts that the Abbasy rule had collected and created.

With that out of the way , let me address your post.

When scholars like Ali Dashti conducted their research, wrote their books, had them banned and were subject to torture by their own governments (which potentially removes the shi'ite leaning considering how he was persecuted by the Iranian government for a book considered not very friendly to the masses) I quote; “The study of the history of Islam shows it to be a sequence of struggles for power in which the contestants treated the religion as the means, not as an end. . . . The further the Prophet’s death receded into the past, the greater became the tendency to treat the religion as a means, rather than as an end in itself—to use it as an instrument of seizure of the leadership and the rulership.

The way I see it , this is how any rule associated with religion happens. When a religious figure dies , his ideals slowly fades and only labels of what he used to say remains. Take Christianity for example. It was first the source of rule and conquest but now it is a choice and nothing else. Islam will reach that stage. Mohammad himself predicted when he said in one of his Hadiths " The most virtuous and righteous of my people are those who lived in my century , then the century that follows , then the century that follows. And God have mercy on those that follows for wrong and dissonance will be their faith. "

So by saying that Islam became a tool rather than the goal is a correct statement. However , that only happened later on and not during the 4 Caliphats rule. Or rather the first 3.

Quote
This account has also been confirmed by Husayn Haykal. Followed by momentary panic the Medinians (Ansar) and the Meccans gathered in their own respective tents to plan for the future from which Abu-Bakr emerged successful. What followed is Tabari's account as chronicled in 'Chasing the Mirage';

This one just irked me and I had to correct it. During those days Makka and Medina were small towns ... People did not live in tents in those two towns. Only the Nomads did.

Quote
Abu-Bakr was clearly pointing out to the supposedly divinely ordained superiority of the Meccan Quraysh Arab tribe over all other Muslims, including the Medinians. Abu-Bakr extolled the virtues of the Arabs of Medina, but emphasized to his hosts that despite their high status, they should recognize the Meccan Arabs as the “leaders” and consider themselves as no more than the “helpers.” He then warned them that “only a wrongdoer would dispute” what he had said.

The divisions were unanimous, especially those brought up by Abu-Bakr during his speech betwixt the two tribes of Medinians which had only reconciled its differences when Muhammed came into the fray. Despite Muhammed's many messages. As Muhammed himself proclaimed in his final speech; “O people, your Lord is one, and your ancestor is [also] one. You are all descendants from Adam and Eve who was born of earth. The noblest of you all, in the sight of God, is the most devout. God is knowing and all wise [Quran sura 49:13]. An Arab is superior to a non-Arab in nothing, but devotion.”

This except from Chasing the Mirage sums up my point; "Whilst many present day Muslims would like to believe that the ascension of Abu-Bakr was the result of an election that came about after vigorous debate and consultations, the fact is that not a single member of the Prophet’s family, the Banu Hashim clan, was consulted. Nor was there any input from the tens of thousand of Muslims who lived in Mecca, or the Bedouin tribes in the desert hinterland. Needless to say, not a single woman, not even the wives or the daughter of the Prophet, had any say in the question of who was now to lead the Muslims. By declaring that only Arabs belonging to the Meccan Quraysh tribe could fi ll the seat of the caliph, Abu-Bakr set the seal of authority on the theory of tribal and racial supremacy of the Arab over the non-Arab for many centuries to come."

I noticed how your source forgot ( Or perhaps you forgot to quote it ) that Abu Bakr was Mohammad's best friend. As in what they say on the internet 'BFF'. He was the first to believe in Mohammad's prophecy , and he was his companion during the Hijrah*. He was always by his side , and he was always the first to learn about any new teachings for this new religion. Also it is said that Abu Bakr gave whatever wealth he had in Makka to be by Mohammad's side.

And when Mohammad died , Muslims did panic. What he did was say a speech. And this was his most famous line.

"Who worships Mohammad , know that he died. And who worships Allah , Then god lives forever."

It was then during this speech that everyone chose him to be a leader. It wasn't an election. The term is far too sophisticated to imply to this situation. But he was chosen because he was ' Khalil Mohammad' And Khalil means the best and faithful friend back in the day. Now it just means companion.

Now that I explained how Abu Bakr came to be the first Caliphat and he only ruled for two years. Allow to give my take on such articles.

It is easy to propose an underlying political agenda to any historical event. Its up to the beholder to make sense of it or not. The thought of Abu Bakr choosing his lineage over others seems appealing. But that would mean that he was hoping for Mohammad's death in order to rule in his place as well. ( See now I am taking these research a bit further in order to show you how easy it is to alter a non recorded history to your own appeal. )

I hope this clarifies a few things and adds up to the knowledge this thread provides.



Hijrah = It is the historical mark in which the Lunar Calender for Muslim is based upon. The day Mohammad chose to immigrate to Medina to escape Quraysh's terrorizing treatment , he did it in silence and Abu Bakr was his companion. That event marked the begginning of the Islamic Calender. However it was Omar , the second Caliphat who ordered the Muslims to uphold this event as the mark of their Calender.

Offline Derwaysh

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #185 on: December 14, 2014, 09:36:13 PM »
Thanks for taking the time to address some of the points I raised Formless.

@Derwaysh: First and foremost , the Islamic history specifically is told by tongue and there's hardly any physical evidence of any occurrence prior to the Othmani Empire. Of course we can exclude from that the Scientific findings by Muslims during their rule in Spain. There's also the raid of the Mongolians who , as history tells , erased and burned all texts that the Abbasy rule had collected and created.

So were the many verses in Quran and otherwise.

There is so much in history where a primary source is unavailable. In such cases everything therefore is maintained via the political juxaposition of the events that either existed prior to the occurences or during their lifetime (i.e. secondary, tertiary sources, etc). I am sure you understand even if you disregard some of this research it is a common fallacy to cherry pick certain facts over the others. Such as some of your statements how 'Islam became a tool during the life of fourth caliph but not the first three.' According to whom? Unfortunately that is looking at it from a purely one sided perspective.

I am also very much aware Abu-Bakr was Muhammed's closest confidante and friend. Part of his speech - which you just quoted - also includes the words; “The Muhajirun (Meccan Arabs) are the first people on earth to worship God truly, and the first to accept faith in God and His Messenger. . . .No man would dispute their right except a wrongdoer. We are therefore the chiefs (Umara) and you (the people of Medina) are the subordinates (Wuzura). . . .The Arabs do not and will not recognize any sovereignty unless it belongs to the tribe of Quraysh. The princes shall be from among us, whereas your group (people of Medina) will furnish the viziers." This directly goes against Muhammed's final message about equality between both Arabs and non-Arabs.

And I was not addressing his 'BFF' status but rather the way in which he came to power. This was simply to bring light to the fact that yes, there was controversy involved at his succession. 

This one just irked me and I had to correct it. During those days Makka and Medina were small towns ... People did not live in tents in those two towns. Only the Nomads did.

Whilst it is true most Arabs lived in houses made of mud/wood, I'm sure you're aware many congregations took place under tents. It does not discount the fact these particular gatherings could have easily taken place under such a dwelling considering how both the treaty of Hudaybiyya and various other events were held in such a manner.

It is easy to propose an underlying political agenda to any historical event. Its up to the beholder to make sense of it or not. The thought of Abu Bakr choosing his lineage over others seems appealing. But that would mean that he was hoping for Mohammad's death in order to rule in his place as well. ( See now I am taking these research a bit further in order to show you how easy it is to alter a non recorded history to your own appeal. )

Many non-partisan historians actually retierate what John Green said in his video; there was controversy and not a lot of muslims were happy that the prophet's family were not included in this process. To claim that this is all a 'political agenda' made out of limited information is again fallacious. These are chronicled events researched by those who sought them out. Just in the way much of the Quran was assembled following Muhammed's death, similarly many of these events did take place and exacerbated into the civil wars that followed. If there was no controversy or if a sizable group of muslims did not desire Ali as their caliph this would not have happened.

Offline Skynet

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #186 on: December 15, 2014, 12:29:21 AM »
Question I have: before the advent of advanced technology (and in regions today where said technology is not readily available), how did Muslims make sure that they were facing the Kaaba during prayer?  Compasses?  Were mosques built to be oriented a certain way so that people inside could quickly ascertain direction?  By tracking the position of the Sun and stars in the sky?

How precise or free of error is the direction supposed to be?

Offline Caehlim

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #187 on: December 15, 2014, 03:04:07 AM »
Were mosques built to be oriented a certain way so that people inside could quickly ascertain direction?

Most mosques would contain a Mihrab, a semi-circular niche which indicates the direction of Qibla so that they can face the Kaaba.

Quote
Question I have: before the advent of advanced technology (and in regions today where said technology is not readily available), how did Muslims make sure that they were facing the Kaaba during prayer?

Unless you're on a moving boat in the ocean, this wasn't a particularly difficult challenge for the technology of the time. Particularly within the Islamic world which was relatively scientifically advanced during the time period in comparison with Western Europe. The Astrolabe had already been invented by the time of the founding of Islam as a religion, and Islamic scholars were responsible for many of the later developments of this technology and the mathematics required to use them for precise calculations. If you lived anywhere in the Islamic world, there was a good chance that you knew the direction to the Kaaba with quite a high degree of precision.

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #188 on: December 15, 2014, 07:38:00 AM »
Derwaysh
Thanks for taking the time to address some of the points I raised Formless.

So were the many verses in Quran and otherwise.

There is so much in history where a primary source is unavailable. In such cases everything therefore is maintained via the political juxaposition of the events that either existed prior to the occurences or during their lifetime (i.e. secondary, tertiary sources, etc). I am sure you understand even if you disregard some of this research it is a common fallacy to cherry pick certain facts over the others. Such as some of your statements how 'Islam became a tool during the life of fourth caliph but not the first three.' According to whom? Unfortunately that is looking at it from a purely one sided perspective.

I am also very much aware Abu-Bakr was Muhammed's closest confidante and friend. Part of his speech - which you just quoted - also includes the words; “The Muhajirun (Meccan Arabs) are the first people on earth to worship God truly, and the first to accept faith in God and His Messenger. . . .No man would dispute their right except a wrongdoer. We are therefore the chiefs (Umara) and you (the people of Medina) are the subordinates (Wuzura). . . .The Arabs do not and will not recognize any sovereignty unless it belongs to the tribe of Quraysh. The princes shall be from among us, whereas your group (people of Medina) will furnish the viziers." This directly goes against Muhammed's final message about equality between both Arabs and non-Arabs.

And I was not addressing his 'BFF' status but rather the way in which he came to power. This was simply to bring light to the fact that yes, there was controversy involved at his succession. 

Whilst it is true most Arabs lived in houses made of mud/wood, I'm sure you're aware many congregations took place under tents. It does not discount the fact these particular gatherings could have easily taken place under such a dwelling considering how both the treaty of Hudaybiyya and various other events were held in such a manner.

Many non-partisan historians actually retierate what John Green said in his video; there was controversy and not a lot of muslims were happy that the prophet's family were not included in this process. To claim that this is all a 'political agenda' made out of limited information is again fallacious. These are chronicled events researched by those who sought them out. Just in the way much of the Quran was assembled following Muhammed's death, similarly many of these events did take place and exacerbated into the civil wars that followed. If there was no controversy or if a sizable group of muslims did not desire Ali as their caliph this would not have happened.

There maybe a controversy in how Abu Bakr came to succession. However , none of the events that followed his succession supported the controversy. He only ruled for two years , andi n that time he prepared for the conquest of the land north of the arabian peninsula. ( Iraq , Shaam which is what they call Syria and the lands around it. ) The purpose behind Abu Bakr's conquest was to quill the rise of the defectors.

When Mohammad died , many of those who became Muslims under his influence defected. Believing that if Mohammad wasn't immortal yet spoke of an immortal religion was a false prophecy. Hence they returned to worshipping their idols , however when they knew that they will be killed for their choice they fled to the north. I am mentioning this to clarify the purpose of Abu Bakr's intentions for assembling the army. Yet he never saw fruition to anything he'd done since he died shortly.

When Omar came , he continued the conquests of Islam and remained a ruler for ten years. Now during his rule , no one opposed him within the Arabian peninsula. Which also signifies how the rift between the Ali followers and the rest did not come to existence until the end of Uthman's rule.

If it was true that Ali's followers were displeased with ABu Bakr's succession they would've risen much earlier than that. But they didn't.

As for consulting with the Mohammad's wives as to whom should lead the Muslims. Well it did not happen because at that time , women were not consulted in such manners. They were a source of many Hadiths , but nothing of a political nature was ever discussed with them.

The claim to Ali's being more fitted to rule as he was of Mohammad's lineage wasn't an issue until Muawiya ( The First Omawy Caliphat ) declared himself as a fitting ruler of the Muslims while Ali was still alive.

But in the end , its just about how one wants to see the history. It isn't relevant to the teachings. That's how I see it anyway. But what I typed in this post is my own observation of the controversy.

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #189 on: December 15, 2014, 07:39:27 AM »
@Skynet: Caehlim did answer the question correctly.

Thank you Caehlim.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #190 on: December 15, 2014, 08:33:48 AM »
Derwaysh

There maybe a controversy in how Abu Bakr came to succession. However , none of the events that followed his succession supported the controversy. He only ruled for two years , andi n that time he prepared for the conquest of the land north of the arabian peninsula. ( Iraq , Shaam which is what they call Syria and the lands around it. ) The purpose behind Abu Bakr's conquest was to quill the rise of the defectors.

When Mohammad died , many of those who became Muslims under his influence defected. Believing that if Mohammad wasn't immortal yet spoke of an immortal religion was a false prophecy. Hence they returned to worshipping their idols , however when they knew that they will be killed for their choice they fled to the north.
I am mentioning this to clarify the purpose of Abu Bakr's intentions for assembling the army. Yet he never saw fruition to anything he'd done since he died shortly.

When Omar came , he continued the conquests of Islam and remained a ruler for ten years. Now during his rule , no one opposed him within the Arabian peninsula. Which also signifies how the rift between the Ali followers and the rest did not come to existence until the end of Uthman's rule.

If it was true that Ali's followers were displeased with ABu Bakr's succession they would've risen much earlier than that. But they didn't.

As for consulting with the Mohammad's wives as to whom should lead the Muslims. Well it did not happen because at that time , women were not consulted in such manners. They were a source of many Hadiths , but nothing of a political nature was ever discussed with them.

The claim to Ali's being more fitted to rule as he was of Mohammad's lineage wasn't an issue until Muawiya ( The First Omawy Caliphat ) declared himself as a fitting ruler of the Muslims while Ali was still alive.

But in the end , its just about how one wants to see the history. It isn't relevant to the teachings. That's how I see it anyway. But what I typed in this post is my own observation of the controversy.

 i have a question about the bolded parts. They continued advancing out of Arabia because they wanted to put down defectors/non-believers of their religion who had fled the lands of Islam because they knew they'd be killed? That doesn't seem very hospitable or very much like a religion of peace when they early followers of Islam went after former muslims who had left their lands with the intention of killing them.  I don't intend to be mean, I am just curious to how those actions were considered justified when the areas north of Arabia weren't Islamic, and in the following century, they did cut a rather bloody swath from India, Asia Minor to across north Africa and into Europe. Areas that weren't Islamic to begin with.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2014, 08:41:52 AM by Zakharra »

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #191 on: December 15, 2014, 09:31:55 AM »
i have a question about the bolded parts. They continued advancing out of Arabia because they wanted to put down defectors/non-believers of their religion who had fled the lands of Islam because they knew they'd be killed? That doesn't seem very hospitable or very much like a religion of peace when they early followers of Islam went after former Muslims who had left their lands with the intention of killing them.  I don't intend to be mean, I am just curious to how those actions were considered justified when the areas north of Arabia weren't Islamic, and in the following century, they did cut a rather bloody swath from India, Asia Minor to across north Africa and into Europe. Areas that weren't Islamic to begin with.

Actually your observation isn't wrong at all.

Islam did expand and spread by war and trade. The killing of the defectors were justified in Arabian texts by one reason. "If the defectors lived , the influence of the religion will weakens."

However , the conquest of eastern Asia and Northern Africa was a purely militaristic and political.

The Persians and the Byzantium empires were at odds , and a third empire slowly gaining influence wasn't something they wanted. And as the video pointed out , The Islamic rule was right in the middle of these two empires. So the fight on the both sides was a necessity.

Actually there is a verse in Qur'an that condone meaningless war ( or harm if you want to be literal. )

Surat Al Baqara , Verse 190. ( Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors. )

Which clearly states that a war or bloodshed should only happen if it is initiated by someone else.

I hope that helps?

Offline Zakharra

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #192 on: December 15, 2014, 11:18:57 AM »
  I can understand fighting to defend your homeland, but not wars of conquest. Conquering an enemy that attacked you first is ok if done in one war. If there is a peace treaty though and you attack afterwards then its not fine.  The fighting with the Byzantines and Persians was kind of understandable. Kind of if defensive only. But east into north Africa and Spain? Not so understandable or justified unless it was specifically for conquest. But in that I will not really blame Islam itself since people can and will use anything to justify what they do. Religion has been used as one of the greatest justifications for murder and conquest in world history. 'God wills it!' 'For Allah! or whatever is the rallying cry, its mostly bad men using the religion as a cover. But I can lay some of the blame on the religion when a large portion of the believers use it as a reason to advance/conquer into other nations/areas, or to keep/claim land they held hundreds of years ago.

 It's some of the issues I have with some of the more vocal Islamists (whatever they are called): The reclaiming of lands that were under Muslim control centuries ago, like Spain. Just because they conquered it, and lost it later, doesn't mean it is specifically their land. Their claim is no more valid than any others, certainly religious reasons aren't valid as a claim. To me it just seems like a very flimsy excuse to commit murder and violence on unbelievers and steal their land.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2014, 11:23:46 AM by Zakharra »

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #193 on: December 15, 2014, 01:12:57 PM »
The expansion of Islam towards Africa and Spain was led by ambitious leaders. Of course the same rules apply if one country wished to surrender and join the religion , pay the tax or battle. Islam did say that Muslims should spread the religion , but never specified to do so by the sword. And I think this is the source of conflict we have in our modern days. No one want to disown or belittle the wars fought under the banner of Islam. And yet they still do not want to admit that religion should be spread by peace. Some think they would turn their backs on their own religion.

As for those who says ' Those land belong to us'. Its quite laughable. The lands belonged to someone long before the Muslims marched unto the shores of Spain ... So that answers that.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #194 on: December 15, 2014, 02:29:00 PM »
  A good answer and very reasonable.

Offline Derwaysh

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #195 on: December 15, 2014, 06:30:33 PM »
@Formless;

I would reiterate considering tribal mentality any such revolts or rebellions take time to garner support (we are talking about the Dark Ages chapter in history). Abu-Bakr being an exception, the rest of the caliphs were assassinated after all.

You mentioned the Ridda wars, perhaps you're also aware some of these were conducted against muslim tribes that refused to pay tax to Abu-Bakr since they didn't recognize him as their caliph? Not controversial in the least, indeed.

But where Muhammed didn't signify the next leader, Abu-Bakr happily chose Omer and encouraged everybody else to offer allegiance. For political reasons I am sure he meant well and considered Omer to be a worthy successor. But that only served in ignoring Ali's role once more. Omer instead appoints a 'shura (successive) council' of sorts, to pick the next leader amongst the six people he chose (Ali was one of them indeed) but that caused rifts and eventually ended up selecting who he always wanted; Othman.

Within a dozen years of Muhammed's death, the rules of succession would be altered three times, some say to suit predetermined outcomes. Even on his death bed Omer said; “I commend to the caliph after my death the Arabs—for they are the very substance of Islam—for what is their due for alms be taken and assigned to their poor.”

Had it not been controversial, the caliphate would not have disintegrated - at such a scale - so soon. In that breath I can also understand the need for an 'arab' leader by Abu-Bakr and Omer given the times and the tribal mentality, but it doesn't negate the fact how it was all against Muhammed's teachings and in direct conflict with what is said in the Quran.

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #196 on: December 15, 2014, 07:03:28 PM »
The Qur'an was discontinued after the death of Mohammad. And the Qur'an had everything a Muslim needs to be true to his faith.

Whatever happened after Mohammad's death is really nothing I'd engage in. Because it'd boil down to ' That source said , and this source said. ' And it would be as easy to reject any of them.

I mean some of the Hadiths were infact delivered from a weak source and recently been rejected by every Islamic council. So if a Hadith , what Mohammad supposedly said , cannot be verified , then anything else might as well be altered or changed.

So I wouldn't engage in the personal history of the Caliphats. The major events in history that involved Islam I can discuss. But if that person or this person said or did what they did because of motives or anything , then that's something I won't trouble myself with.

You're free to open a thread about it and let others discuss it with you. However I won't be joining there unless I notice something that I need to clarify.

This thread is to explain , discuss and answer any issue in regards to the teachings.

Offline Derwaysh

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #197 on: December 15, 2014, 07:12:04 PM »
That is absolutely fine. : )

I am not a history major, I have however extensively studied certain aspects pertaining to Abrahamic religions. Considering I was born in a predominantly muslim country, you can imagine Islam is one I have always been very curious about. Therefore I present the research and what have you via the geopolitical juxtaposition that has been debated and brought to light by others who have had the pleasure of researching, looking into it and writing about it.

Thank you very kindly however for indulging me and making this thread.

Offline Skynet

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #198 on: January 01, 2015, 01:22:53 PM »
More questions!

What are common Islamic interpretations of angels and demons?

I read via Wikipedia that the Islamic interpretation of angels is that they are created by God for a specific purpose.  They are self-aware but have no free will, and thus cannot act against God's wishes.

In Christianity, Satan and his followers are fallen angels.  Another Wikipedia source said that the popular view of Satan was of him as a djinn resentful of humanity's status, and sought to prove to God that they were unworthy.  As such, he and his minions plant whispers into humans to urge them to sin.  So who exactly are Satan's minions?  Are they considered to be fellow djinn and spirits, or anyone who serves him mortal or no?


I understand that Wikipedia isn't always accurate or just scratches the surface, so I'd like to hear from others on how they differ from contemporary Christian understanding.

Arab culture's relation to Islam

Islam's earliest adherents were Arabs, and the rise of the Caliphate did much to spread Arab culture to many lands.  However, the rise of the Ottoman Empire served as the next international empire in the Middle Ages and beyond.  To my knowledge the Ottomans were primarily Turkish and not Arab.  As of today an estimated 20% of Muslims are Arab.  The 2 largest Muslim countries are Indonesia and Pakistan, neither of which are in the Middle East.  Conversely, Indonesia and Turkey are rarely if ever touched in US news.

In today's media in the US, Arab and Muslim are often treated synonymous.  News coverage related to Islam focuses a lot on the Middle East and Afghanistan.

To me it seems that Arab culture is very strongly associated with Islam, and this is understandable given its earliest history.  But Turkish and Indonesian culture seems a lot less pronounced; I figured that Indonesia's distance from Europe and the Middle East plays a role, but Turkey seems especially odd considering its close proximity to both.

Why is this?  How much of it is due to Western misunderstanding and bias?  How much of it is due to Arabic prominence in history and politics?  I could be wrong, and happened to miss a lot of non-Arab influence.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2015, 01:39:08 PM by Skynet »

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #199 on: January 01, 2015, 01:58:34 PM »
From a strictly religious perspective , Whoever follows Satan is a demon. So even humans can be considered demons.

However , the Jinns aren't strictly demons. They can be both ... demons and , ummm , regular Jinns I guess? ( What's the opposite of demon from a mortal perspective? ). What we call in Islam Jinn , is what everyone else in the world calls Ghosts or Spirits. Just not in the recent sense of the word. They're not spirits of those who died. Rather they're souls created for their own purpose. Why? It was never mentioned in the holy book except for them to worship god just like humans. But a Muslim does not deny their existence.

In Islam , there's no creatures that follows Satan. Being branded a demon is just a stigma for following the evil one.