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Author Topic: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.  (Read 35321 times)

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Offline Wajin

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #225 on: January 14, 2015, 02:49:24 PM »
This whole mosque discussion is quite interesting as there's actually talk of closing a mosque here in denmark due to it's preaching of extremist views and negative attitude toward democracy

Offline Vekseid

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #226 on: January 14, 2015, 04:55:59 PM »
As I understand it, back before the Crusades (and even during it for a while), the people of the region acknowledged that the land was holy to all three religions, and that all three had a right to it.  This, of course, flies in the face of the 'no sharing' policy of the modern era. :P

The crusades began because of the Seljuk Turks disregarding this. Turko-Mongol influence on Islam is a big part of why we're even having discussions like this.

Offline Skynet

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #227 on: January 14, 2015, 07:48:03 PM »
It is. And its not ... I guess.

There is no distinct description for it in Islam. However it is said that its like nothing a man ever laid eyes on And it can also speak in a way humans understand. And its purpose is to roam the earth , marking humans with their true faith. And  ( In a weak Hadith , it is said that it engrave one of two words upon a human's forehead. " Muslim " or " Kafir ".)

Some say it will aid Muslims in their final battle against the infidels.

But the important thing about it is that the rise of this Creature marks the begginning of the final days of humans before Judgment day.

And it is one of ten signs that accompanies it.

1- The sun rises from the west.
2- Rise of the Antichrist.
3- Descent of Christ from heaven.
4- Rise of the ' Creature '.
5- The Sky covered in smoke.
6- Rise of Gog & Magog. ( Ya'jooj & Majooj in Arabic )
7- A landslide in the east.
8- A landslide in the west.
9- A landslide in the Arabian Peninsula.
10- The gathering fire that surrounds humans and guides them to the gathering place.

They aren't supposed to happen in this order. No one really knows which one will be the first. But they say once the first sign happens , the rest will follow rapidly.

I admit that I enjoy talking about such things. But there's always conflicted sources about the truth in how these signs would happen. But everyone agrees about the names.


Regarding this, it sounds very close to the Christian idea of the Rapture.  The wikipedia article on mosques led me to this page about Islamic eschatology, or Yawm ad-Dīn.

Although the page mentions that the hadiths themselves say that the day is unknowable by all save God, in your experience how much of a worry or concern is the coming of Judgment Day among fellow Muslims?

For comparison, Christians who believe in the Rapture have it pressing on their minds frequently, looking in the news for signs of it to come and in some extreme cases stockpiling food for disaster.  Even those who view it as an ultimately good thing speak frequently of the chaos which will precede Jesus' return.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2015, 07:49:12 PM by Skynet »

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #228 on: January 15, 2015, 05:57:09 AM »
For comparison, Christians who believe in the Rapture have it pressing on their minds frequently, looking in the news for signs of it to come and in some extreme cases stockpiling food for disaster.  Even those who view it as an ultimately good thing speak frequently of the chaos which will precede Jesus' return.

Actually people do often talk about it when something unusual happens. But it never makes it to official media venues. Rather remains a gossip to throw around in social media and normal gatherings.

More than once , when an earthquake occurs in an Arabic country , they quickly jump to the conclusion that the end is near and they wait for ' Al-Mahdi '. A man mentioned in a Hadith that will lead the Muslims before the end of time.

So , yeah. People here do panic every once in a while thinking that Judgment day is upon us.

Offline Skynet

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #229 on: January 17, 2015, 09:52:00 PM »
In regards to recent events in the news, visual representations of the Prophet and God has a complicated history in Islam on account of early Muslims distancing themselves from the idol worshipers.  I read that in addition to a ban on pictures of Muhammad and Allah, that both historical and modern societies extended this ban to non-religious figures as well, in effect helping usher the rise of calligraphy as an art form in the Muslim world.

Aside from Muhammad and Allah, does the picture ban extend to other holy Islamic figures, such as Jesus and angels?  How common is the ban on all visual mediums, religious or not, in the Muslim world?  I have the feeling that this extreme is a minority viewpoint, considering that a lot of Middle Eastern nations and Indonesia have television and drawings in their media.

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #230 on: January 18, 2015, 06:40:32 AM »
To put it simply , any form of depiction to any living creature is prohibited. Aside from plants that is.

An image , a picture or a sculpture of a human , an angel , a devil , a spirit , a mythic or religious figure or an animal is forbidden. Islam does not only ban depictions of the prophet or god , but rather on everything.

The reasons behind it are two. One of absolute extreme and the other is somehow ... of a cautious nature.

The first , was the idea that creating an image of a living creature was a way to challenge god's creation. Some way of rivaling the Creator I suppose.

The second , was fear that such imagery while built for their artistic or spiritual meaning , to preserve a memory of a great person , or to keep a reminder of a grand event , that such images will oneday becomes idols or icons to a newer generation who would end up worshipping these images instead of god. So ban and prohibit the initial act to prevent the greater sin.

The punishment as told in many Hadiths was that anyone who created an image will spend his days in hell trying to ' breath life ' into those lifeless depictions they created. Which is impossible to do.

As for television , when it first happened , Sheiks and religious scientists considered it a forbidden tool of the devil , as funny as that sounds , it was too serious. But they ended up saying it was alright since it isn't a still image.

Of course in modern times , everyone needed an identification , so the pictures on IDs and such were important , so they were allowed as ' an undeniable need to prevent a greater problem'.

But Muslims in general strayed from the original teachings regarding depictions and well ... they kept them exclusive to God , The Prophet , The Angels and the devil. Thinking if they keep the ban on these specific figures , it'll lessen the chances of having their images worshipped instead of god. And also to prevent mockery to such images.

Again , to put it simply. Any depiction is forbidden in Islam , not just the holy figures.

Hope this helps.

Offline Sheoldred

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #231 on: January 18, 2015, 04:39:31 PM »
Does that mean a Muslim cannot be a sculptor or a painter?

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #232 on: January 18, 2015, 04:54:31 PM »
Does that mean a Muslim cannot be a sculptor or a painter?

Not even a photographer. Except for making Identifications.

Offline Sabre

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #233 on: January 18, 2015, 05:13:10 PM »
There have been a great many Muslim painters in history, and a great many photographers exist today. It is interpretation of dogma and tradition that allowed their flourishing, because legal opinion had moved away from complete proscription long ago and not simply out of negligence in the modern era. The extreme is in fact a minority viewpoint, and for similar reasons a flourishing musical tradition also exists and has long existed in Muslim communities across the world.

The particularity of recent extremists is much more political than it is dogmatic. You will notice their overwhelming fixation on lampooning imagery of Muhammad, but what you will not ever notice is any attack on classical, even reverent imagery of Muhammad that exists in museums or architecture, nor will you see attacks on other blasphemies like cartoon insults on other prophets of Islamic tradition or even God himself.

Offline Derwaysh

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #234 on: January 18, 2015, 05:27:30 PM »
Also bear in mind there are various schools of thought, Sheoldred. Nowhere in the Quran has it been proclaimed one cannot or should not be an artist. There is plenty of guidance against idolatory. But idolatory is not limited to sculpting and drawing and painting and photography lest its done for the purpose of considering a deity except for Allah. I'd be very careful to include that all in the fold as it is a fallacious argument.

Fallacy in point; all artists are idolators therefore all idolators are artists.

This explains it a lot more eloquently. To quote just a bit;

Quote
The basis for banning these activities, according to most scholars, is 'blocking the means' (sadd al-dharai'), which entails forbidding, or blocking, an action (that is lawful in its own right) because it could be means that lead to unlawful actions as a result or consequence. (Al-Shawkani, Irshad Al-Fuhul, p 246, Abu Zahra, Usul Al-Fiqh, p 268)
 
Jurists from various schools of Islamic law agreed that in such case 'leading to unlawful actions' should be 'more probable than not,' but they differed over how to systemize the comparison of probabilities. Jurists divided 'probability' of unlawful actions into four different levels.

***

Thus, if the sculpture is made for a certain religious group that will literally worship it, if the picture or the movie is using pornography or calling for immorality or corruption, if the fiction is mocking religions and the divine, etc., then they are clearly forbidden. Otherwise, which is the general and default case, they could be forbidden or encouraged based on the content itself, and there is no single rule that covers everything.

I'd also like to build on what Sabre said; some of the most vehemently successful and established dynasties in Islam were those in Cordoba and Granada where art was not only encouraged but it was also not uncommon to find non-muslim elements at the court such as philosophers and what have you.

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #235 on: January 18, 2015, 05:31:34 PM »
There have been a great many Muslim painters in history, and a great many photographers exist today. It is interpretation of dogma and tradition that allowed their flourishing, because legal opinion had moved away from complete proscription long ago and not simply out of negligence in the modern era. The extreme is in fact a minority viewpoint, and for similar reasons a flourishing musical tradition also exists and has long existed in Muslim communities across the world.

The particularity of recent extremists is much more political than it is dogmatic. You will notice their overwhelming fixation on lampooning imagery of Muhammad, but what you will not ever notice is any attack on classical, even reverent imagery of Muhammad that exists in museums or architecture, nor will you see attacks on other blasphemies like cartoon insults on other prophets of Islamic tradition or even God himself.

It is political. It has always been.

But I'm here to just offer answers in regards to the practice of the religion.

Not everyone follow the religion to the letter. So even when I provide an answer , its only because it was mentioned in the holy book or the Prophet's words. Following it at this day and age is a whole different matter altogether. Maybe that's why the Prophet said that we're not one of the best generations of Islam. But that's a matter that got me in trouble with the local Sheiks. But that's not fitting for this inquiry.

Offline AndyZ

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #236 on: February 22, 2015, 01:27:28 PM »
A couple years ago, I had the chance to speak with some Hindu ladies at work and ask all sorts of questions.  I never really felt like I truly understood, but the connection that formed made the world feel a little smaller and more welcoming.

Reading through this has been something like that.  I don't know how to explain it any better other than to say thank you for teaching me.

There has been a few points from a few users in this thread that I'd like to address.

@Kythia : In regards to the Fatwa system , it is very similar to how you described it. The fatwa ( Which means religious elaboration ) was invented so any issues from the new world that conflicted with the dated teachings of Islam can be resolved. Be it allowed or forbidden. And surprisingly nothing new has ever been forbidden so far.



@Valthazar : You asked me why I do not wish to be called a ' Moderate Muslim '. Here's the reason.

Muslims like me , Are practicing Islam how it is supposed to. The extremists aren't Muslims , they never will be. The world shouldn't even acknowledge their identity as Muslims. By doing so , ' Moderate ' Muslims would have much more trouble trying to clarify how they aren't affiliated with those heathens.

When the world acknowledge my peaceful take of the religion as the true essence of Islam , then that is one step towards correcting Islam itself. When a terrorist is denied their Islamist identity by both Muslims and the world , then slowly these terrorists will be nothing more than terrorists. Flags without a name and harbored by themselves only.

This is why I think I should be called a Muslim plain and simple. And not them. And i can provide as many facts from Islam itself that those  extremists are not Muslims.

Islam doesn't allow bloodshed for any reason. It does encourage self defense , it praise those who serves justice. But first we have to establish Justice to begin with. What the ISIS are doing for example is nothing more than abusing what ... which verse in Quran or Hadith commands what they did? None.

In battle , Islam praise the ' Shuhada ' ( Those who die in battle ) But what nation across the folds of history did not make such a praise. But Islam , The Quran , or the Hadith ever stated to start war. And ISIS did start war. Why? To expand Islam's influence? What for?

A Muslim believes in God's rule over the whole world. And a Muslim believes that god bestowed the right to live over all his subjects. So whose to say to kill another being , be it Muslim or not? None. Verses taken from Quran that praised the fellowship of Mohammad during his Makka conquest shouldn't be cited in this day and age , because there's nothing to gain. Markka held the Holy Mosque , and that is why Mohammad had to fight for it.

However , the fellowship ( Caliphates ) started their own conquests after Mohammad's death. That is their own political mistake which no Muslim should shoulder. But it happened. And it happened during an age where war and battles waged much more frequently now. However , now there's a political system that governs the world. There's the UN and other systems that influence and ensures the political justice across the globe. So a Muslim abides by that , because its the way of peace. Raising an arm for a failed conquest is one thing Islam Condemn. This is why most' moderate Muslims ' are more accepting to the political situation of the world. Because we choose to live in peace.

So again I have to say it. Don't call an extremist a Muslim , because they're not.

Another point I'd like to address would be the schooling system. A country should do what they find is best for their schooling. My Country , Saudi Arabia , has done a complete overhaul to the religious classes taught in schools.

During my days , Jihad was a constant element associated with history and religion classes. Now its merely a single part of history classes. The Religion council in my country realized the danger of extremists. It should be fair to mention that Al qaeda launched several terrorist attacks inside Saudia. And that set the alarm for the government to take action. So even we condemn any acts against the sanctity of life.

We shouldn't forget as many have mentioned that Islam encourages virtues that any religion or non religion culture encourages too. Truth , Honesty , Kindness and compassion.

Heck Islam even punishes those who mistreat an animal by sending them to hell. Let alone a human being.

That is all I had to say about these issues. And i hope it clarified my view.

My question is: would Caliphates be the right word to define these terrorists who pervert the teachings of Islam?  Or, is there another word that tends to be used?  I've heard the word "Jyhadist" but I have no idea whether that's offensive or not.  (Sorry if it is.)

It seems only proper that actual Muslims should be given the opportunity to place an appellation upon people misusing their religion.

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #237 on: February 22, 2015, 06:23:01 PM »
You're always welcome , AndyZ.

As for your question. People like me call the terrorists ... terrorists. From a religious perspective , we call them apostates. Because they broke a cardinal rule of killing other Muslims. A Muslim isn't a Muslim anymore the moment he kills another Muslim. ( Best example would be ISIS. )

As for terrorists who commit crimes in western countries. They're also apostates , as suicide bombing revokes one's right to be a Muslim. Contrary to what the terrorists been saying , taking your own life is forbidden since life itself belongs to god. But they are spouting misguided controversies ( intentionally ) by saying that their suicide bombings are part of the battle against the enemy.

Which simply leads to another important point that I recently learned. When someone declares a " battle " it should only be through a recognized leader. Case in point here a religious figure or a governing figure which equals a Grand Sheik , or a King or a president. However those who represent these figures are bound by a greater contract formed under the UN. So let's say someone said they are going to take down X country that isn't a Islam-abiding country. If it isn't the ruler who made such a declaration , then its false. And that equals going against the ' Ruler '.

It may not be cited a lot , but God did say that his Rules is absolute , followed by the word of his prophet , and lastly by the ruler. So unless the ruler order some sort of atrocities , then he should be followed.

I noticed how I made a short answer , rather long.

In short ... These terrorists will never be called Caliphats. They can call themselves that. But its just another self proclamation without any true merit.

Hope this answers your question.

Offline AndyZ

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #238 on: February 23, 2015, 12:35:25 AM »
Long answers are good ^_^

The way I figure it, it's important to have a word or phrase for particular principles, especially when we want to say that those particular people are different from the rest.  It's not something we're good at doing in America, and usually let that group define themselves, like how we call one group Westborough Baptist even though they're not representative of actual Baptists.

So would terrorist apostates be the best phrase for that?  Or apostate terrorists?

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #239 on: February 23, 2015, 04:51:07 AM »
So would terrorist apostates be the best phrase for that?  Or apostate terrorists?

To a Muslim , they are apostates. Calling them terrorists is the more appropriate way. But that's how I see it.

Offline Sabre

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #240 on: February 23, 2015, 10:26:53 PM »
Long answers are good ^_^

The way I figure it, it's important to have a word or phrase for particular principles, especially when we want to say that those particular people are different from the rest.  It's not something we're good at doing in America, and usually let that group define themselves, like how we call one group Westborough Baptist even though they're not representative of actual Baptists.

So would terrorist apostates be the best phrase for that?  Or apostate terrorists?

If you're looking for terminology, groups like ISIS, Boko Haram, Al Shabab, and Al Qaeda are Jihadists, who are a modern permutation of radical Islamism. Theologically these groups are a sect of Salafi Muslims, which is a religious movement that theologically are something like Protestants in Christian tradition: literalists who reject traditional scholarship, legal discourse, or mysticism. What sets them apart from other Salafis who may be peaceful is their political Islamism, which is an ideology of imposing Islam as a functioning constitutional state by violent means. Their weapon of choice, theologically speaking, is takfir, or excommunication: all those who don't accept their theological views are apostates and, as part of their jihadist ideology, can be killed.

Offline AndyZ

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #241 on: February 23, 2015, 10:28:25 PM »
Okay, so Jihadist is an acceptable term and not offensive to Muslims?

Thank you in advance.

Offline Sabre

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #242 on: February 23, 2015, 10:41:28 PM »
There's billions of Muslims, so there'll never be a not-offensive term for anything. I think that's just the reality we as individuals have to live with in these turbulent times.

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #243 on: February 24, 2015, 02:14:36 AM »
If you're looking for terminology, groups like ISIS, Boko Haram, Al Shabab, and Al Qaeda are Jihadists, who are a modern permutation of radical Islamism. Theologically these groups are a sect of Salafi Muslims, which is a religious movement that theologically are something like Protestants in Christian tradition: literalists who reject traditional scholarship, legal discourse, or mysticism. What sets them apart from other Salafis who may be peaceful is their political Islamism, which is an ideology of imposing Islam as a functioning constitutional state by violent means. Their weapon of choice, theologically speaking, is takfir, or excommunication: all those who don't accept their theological views are apostates and, as part of their jihadist ideology, can be killed.

I would agree , but then as mentioned earlier , They're not Muslims. Calling them Jihadists may separate them from the peace-embracing Muslims , but it still brands them as Muslims , which isn't true.

Offline AndyZ

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #244 on: February 24, 2015, 08:55:15 AM »
In American parliance, it's very common to use phrases in a manner which isn't entirely consistent with the meaning of each word, or if something is unacceptable outside of the phrase.  It can cause all kinds of issues.

We speak of "lone wolves," but the wolf is not a solitary creature.

Various groups like the Westborough Baptist church, Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists, Christian Scientists, and so many others contain words which can be easily argued to not properly define groups.

ISIS provides a wonderful example in that it means Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.  ISIL means Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

By the same token, I could start a restaurant called Joe's Restaurant even though my name is not Joe, and Joe doesn't own it.

I'm very interested to see whether our culture is going to move away from this concept at large or if this becomes a historical exception.

..although, I should ask if Islam is different from Muslim.  I may be very wrong in my thought that they're synonyms.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #245 on: February 24, 2015, 09:30:09 AM »
..although, I should ask if Islam is different from Muslim.

Islam is the word for the religion, Muslim is the word for a person who follows the religion of Islam. Much like Christianity and Christian respectively.

For example "John is a Muslim, John practices Islam." vs. "Billy is a Christian, Billy practices Christianity."

Offline Skynet

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #246 on: February 24, 2015, 12:31:36 PM »
Another historical question, in that I don't know if its used in the modern Muslim world anymore but was used during the time of the Caliphate.

Christians and Jews were called "People of the Book" by Muslim communities.  What exactly is meant by 'book' in this case?  I figured it was referring to the Torah or Bible, but in that case it would be "People of the Books."  I figured it was a distinction made for people who weren't Muslim, but weren't pagans and whose religions were the spiritual precursors to Islam.

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #247 on: February 24, 2015, 12:37:11 PM »
Another historical question, in that I don't know if its used in the modern Muslim world anymore but was used during the time of the Caliphate.

Christians and Jews were called "People of the Book" by Muslim communities.  What exactly is meant by 'book' in this case?  I figured it was referring to the Torah or Bible, but in that case it would be "People of the Books."  I figured it was a distinction made for people who weren't Muslim, but weren't pagans and whose religions were the spiritual precursors to Islam.

Its exactly how you described it Skynet. People of the book refers to those who follows a religion which has a holy book as its law. Now as to why it is used as a singular rather than plural. I believe its related to the Arabic language. There are instances where a singular can be used to refer to the plural. I'll have to ask about it and get back to you on that one.

Online Dashenka

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #248 on: February 24, 2015, 12:56:49 PM »
There's billions of Muslims, so there'll never be a not-offensive term for anything. I think that's just the reality we as individuals have to live with in these turbulent times.

How about we seperate the word terrorist from Islam?

People who kill in the name of Allah or Islam or Quran have nothing to do with their religion and should therefore not be called Muslims. If I kill somebody in the name of Jesus Christ, I'm a murderer. My religion or nationality should be completely irrelevant.

If everybody would do this, no Muslim would ever feel offended again and the those people who kill in the name of Islam would stop killing, because they are not linked to Islam anymore. I know it's Utopia but this is really how it should be I guess.

Formless, I have so much respect for you at how calm you can react to this topic. I know I couldn't.


Offline Oniya

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Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #249 on: February 24, 2015, 01:05:37 PM »
How about we seperate the word terrorist from Islam?

People who kill in the name of Allah or Islam or Quran have nothing to do with their religion and should therefore not be called Muslims. If I kill somebody in the name of Jesus Christ, I'm a murderer. My religion or nationality should be completely irrelevant.

Yup.  Sometimes you just have to call a spade a spade.  Whether that spade is plastic or aluminum or iron doesn't make it any more or less a spade.