You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 09, 2016, 05:50:50 AM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.  (Read 35484 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #400 on: June 18, 2015, 10:12:11 AM »
"Now look guys, I'm giving you free will so you can live your lives however you wish to. I'm giving you freedom. But if you choose to not obey my will your ass is going to burn. Just saying."

That's basically what I get from that.

That is pretty much what I get from it too, but I don't think that contradicts the point about having free will during your lifetime. As an anology, imagine a doctor telling a patient that if they don't give up smoking and drinking they'll die of a heart attack before turning 50. It's still up to the patient to follow that advice or not, to do what is recommended and have a better outcome, or disregard that advice, maybe hope for the best, and continue as before.

I believe Cassandra made a good anology.

Offline Mikem

  • *Cancer Survivor*
  • Permabanned
  • Seducer
  • *
  • Join Date: Nov 2012
  • Location: In the damp and dreary Pacific Northwest
  • Gender: Male
  • No labels. I'm a Man and that's all that I am.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #401 on: June 18, 2015, 07:11:06 PM »
I believe Cassandra made a good anology.

A decent analogy yes. A neutral one? Not really, considering it's biased.

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #402 on: June 18, 2015, 09:43:16 PM »
A decent analogy yes. A neutral one? Not really, considering it's biased.

This is what muslims believe.

Offline Skynet

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #403 on: June 23, 2015, 11:37:58 PM »
I wanted to point out in Formless' last question about seven sins in particular being regarded as the worst.  Although it's one example, between this and the Seven Deadly Sins in Christianity I noticed a comparative link, although in Christianity these sins are more the result of general emotional states than specific actions.

The Kaaba: So this is a very old sacred site.  There are many old structures and buildings which maintain their foundations, but over time it's possible for them to get worn down.

I take it that the Kaaba has sturdy foundations, but considering it's importance in Islam, I was wondering viewpoints regarding long-term stability.  Pertaining to renovations to prevent decay and such, and if such things have been done during its history.  It seems to have undergone some renovations according to Wikipedia during a flood in 1629, but is there any concern that renovations over time might effectively change it to something else?  And if renovations aren't done, are there contingency plans to maintain its durability for the next couple of centuries?

Sorcery: In regards to the earlier question on unforgivable sins.  In Christian Europe, it was commonly believed that witches achieved this via a pact with Satan and were disproportionately women (at least the people accused of witchcraft).  I believe that this was partly due to the view of Eve as the original tempter along with tales of Lilith, resulting in cultural norms of women being viewed as the less moral gender in European society.  I was wondering if Islam and its resident cultures had similar viewpoints.  Looking up Islamic views on witchcraft usually described that could result from pacts with evil spirits in general as well as Satan, but didn't indicate preference for a particular gender.

Is a gendered view on magic present in Islamic societies and/or the Qu'ran and hadiths, whether geared to men or women being particularly susceptible to falling to it?  Or is it mostly something everyone can be tempted by relatively evenly?

Description of Heaven: I've heard that many Muslims describe Heaven as a lush garden world.  A common view of Heaven in Christianity is being in the sky among the clouds; I don't know how much of this is pop culture vs. actual Bible verses.

Is Heaven as a garden accurate in common Islamic writings?  What about Heaven as a cloudy realm?  Are the Qu'ran or any Hadiths explicit on what the place is like?

Centralization and Hierarchies: This is more an assumption that I'm carrying based on what I've seen, and may not exactly match up to reality.  Which is why I'm positing it here in case I'm wrong.  This is primarily a comparative example: I'm sure there are formal Sunni clergies and mostly-autonomous Shi'ite congregations, this is more a generalization.

Many religions have varying forms of organization.  The Roman Catholic Church is very much so, with a central human* authority as the Pope and dioceses representing various regions.  Baptist Christians by contrast are very decentralized, with many of their congregations more or less standing on their own.  Although the Southern Baptist Convention is a large organization in the US, they're not the only Baptists around and not all Baptists belong to them.

In regards to Islam, Shia Islam seems quite centralized, what with the Twelver faction and Ayatollahs.  Sunni Islam by contrast seems more decentralized, widely spread among many countries who more or less don't have a central organization or group of human* figures linking them all.  I figured that part of this might be due to population distribution: Shi'a Muslims are approximately 20% of the world's Muslim population and concentrated in only a few nations (according to Wikipedia), whereas Sunnis can be found in large numbers all the way from Africa to Indonesia.  Not being part of the dominant power structures of the Caliphate and Ottoman Empire might mean that Shi'ites had more incentive to stick together as a disenfranchised group.

Is this viewpoint more or less accurate?  If not, where am I wrong?

*I say 'human' for both examples due to a primary loyalty to God, which is common in both centralized and decentralized Abrahamic faiths.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2015, 12:05:27 AM by Skynet »

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #404 on: June 25, 2015, 02:40:55 PM »
I wanted to point out in Formless' last question about seven sins in particular being regarded as the worst.  Although it's one example, between this and the Seven Deadly Sins in Christianity I noticed a comparative link, although in Christianity these sins are more the result of general emotional states than specific actions.

I suppose that's one of the differences between the two faiths? Islam seems to be more about discipline towards the end result , while Christianity forewarns about the gravity of these sins?

Just my own view on the two differences.

Quote
The Kaaba: So this is a very old sacred site.  There are many old structures and buildings which maintain their foundations, but over time it's possible for them to get worn down.

I take it that the Kaaba has sturdy foundations, but considering it's importance in Islam, I was wondering viewpoints regarding long-term stability.  Pertaining to renovations to prevent decay and such, and if such things have been done during its history.  It seems to have undergone some renovations according to Wikipedia during a flood in 1629, but is there any concern that renovations over time might effectively change it to something else?  And if renovations aren't done, are there contingency plans to maintain its durability for the next couple of centuries?

The Kaaba is a building just like any other. Its prone to all form of deconstructing elements. This is why there's a five years renovating ( Or maybe restorative? ) process. The building itself did suffer a grand flood at the time you mentioned , and during King Faisal's rule , the ceiling collapse because of rain. This is why this ' 5 years plan ' was maintained ever since.

But most importantly is the cover of the Kaaba. Or what we call in Arabic ' Kiswah '. This one is changed every year. The cloth is made of silk , embroidered with golden streaks. ( They say its gold , but I really do not believe it. Just a color is what it looks to me. ) The Kiswah itself has its own history. Since Ismael Son of Abraham has covered it during his time , many rulers took care to renew this cover. From Yemen , Makkah , Jordan & Syria , Egypt , Iraq and finally Saudi Arabia. Conflict and desire was the reason the creation of each year's Kiswah was made in a different country. Though the Egyptians maintained their role to create it for the longest time.

So , I'd say the cover gains more importance in the long run.

Quote
Sorcery: In regards to the earlier question on unforgivable sins.  In Christian Europe, it was commonly believed that witches achieved this via a pact with Satan and were disproportionately women (at least the people accused of witchcraft).  I believe that this was partly due to the view of Eve as the original tempter along with tales of Lilith, resulting in cultural norms of women being viewed as the less moral gender in European society.  I was wondering if Islam and its resident cultures had similar viewpoints.  Looking up Islamic views on witchcraft usually described that could result from pacts with evil spirits in general as well as Satan, but didn't indicate preference for a particular gender.

Is a gendered view on magic present in Islamic societies and/or the Qu'ran and hadiths, whether geared to men or women being particularly susceptible to falling to it?  Or is it mostly something everyone can be tempted by relatively evenly?

Magic in how the Qur'an interprets it , isn't gender biased. A man or a woman can use it. But as you said , it requires some form of pact with a demon. Or a Jinn in our case. Though if only it is used for harm.

This actually led to a controversy in my country ten years ago. Usually they say you can cure a person who bound by magic , with holy recitals from the Qur'an. But there are times when nothing of that sort worked. So Imams conflicted over the use of another Magician to lift the binds the previous magician has cast unto said person. And since the only verdict in Qur'an was to punish sorcerers who harms , people were reluctant to go through with it since that would give excuse for people to learn magic in the first place.

The greatest taboo about magic was how some Jinn required you to violate your faith. In many forms , some would go as far as to urinate on the Qur'an to prove yourself.

Funny to mention that some Magicians came out to claim that the whole ' violate your faith ' was just a lie spread by Imams to keep Magic as a taboo.

Now I apologize for straying too deep into the subject. Simply put , anyone can be a sorcerer/ess.

Quote
Description of Heaven: I've heard that many Muslims describe Heaven as a lush garden world.  A common view of Heaven in Christianity is being in the sky among the clouds; I don't know how much of this is pop culture vs. actual Bible verses.

Is Heaven as a garden accurate in common Islamic writings?  What about Heaven as a cloudy realm?  Are the Qu'ran or any Hadiths explicit on what the place is like?

There's no description about Heaven other than being ' everything a a person desires '.

And one Hadith said ' Its like nothing an eye ever seen , Nothing like an ear ever heard , And nothing a mind could ever imagine .'

Quote
Centralization and Hierarchies: This is more an assumption that I'm carrying based on what I've seen, and may not exactly match up to reality.  Which is why I'm positing it here in case I'm wrong.  This is primarily a comparative example: I'm sure there are formal Sunni clergies and mostly-autonomous Shi'ite congregations, this is more a generalization.

Many religions have varying forms of organization.  The Roman Catholic Church is very much so, with a central human* authority as the Pope and dioceses representing various regions.  Baptist Christians by contrast are very decentralized, with many of their congregations more or less standing on their own.  Although the Southern Baptist Convention is a large organization in the US, they're not the only Baptists around and not all Baptists belong to them.

In regards to Islam, Shia Islam seems quite centralized, what with the Twelver faction and Ayatollahs.  Sunni Islam by contrast seems more decentralized, widely spread among many countries who more or less don't have a central organization or group of human* figures linking them all.  I figured that part of this might be due to population distribution: Shi'a Muslims are approximately 20% of the world's Muslim population and concentrated in only a few nations (according to Wikipedia), whereas Sunnis can be found in large numbers all the way from Africa to Indonesia.  Not being part of the dominant power structures of the Caliphate and Ottoman Empire might mean that Shi'ites had more incentive to stick together as a disenfranchised group.

Is this viewpoint more or less accurate?  If not, where am I wrong?

*I say 'human' for both examples due to a primary loyalty to God, which is common in both centralized and decentralized Abrahamic faiths.

I see a lot of logic in your assumption. I don't see anything wrong to be honest. History and the events that occurred for over 1400 years also had its reasons , but it all pours down to how you phrased it. They are a minority compared to Sunni so they had to preserve themselves. Probably why they're more ' Religiously hardcore ' than Sunnis. ::) ( I apologize , I just couldn't resist. )

Online AmberStarfire

  • Rogue Starlight ~ Fantasy Novelist ~ This Is Who We Are ~ Scully to his Mulder
  • Dame
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Aug 2008
  • Location: Somewhere that makes me smile
  • Gender: Female
  • ❤ Snuggler of the Wyld and Hairy ❤
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #405 on: June 25, 2015, 08:41:59 PM »
I have a question. What are commonly held Muslim opinions on topics such as divination, pagan spiritualities, occultism, and magical practice? Would Muslims hold differing perspectives on these subjects towards their own people vs westerners who possess an interest or involvement in these subjects or would all be frowned upon?

I remember reading a news article years ago about a television personality who was a diviner or medium of some sort, and who had been imprisoned, and ever since then I have wondered.
 

Offline Vekseid

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #406 on: June 25, 2015, 09:28:30 PM »
I suppose that's one of the differences between the two faiths? Islam seems to be more about discipline towards the end result , while Christianity forewarns about the gravity of these sins?

"Seven deadly sins" is largely a Catholic concept - the idea that some sins are worse than others is generally rejected by protestant and Calvinist traditions, although most evangelicals don't understand that the difference is not solely based on the sin itself but rather intent, awareness and willfulness - being forced or tricked into sin, or walking into it unintentionally, is less grievous than knowingly performing the act of your own free volition.

In RC the idea is that these concepts - pride, lust, greed, etc. actively poison the soul, and may lead one down a path of willful, active sinning.

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #407 on: June 25, 2015, 09:46:54 PM »
I have a question. What are commonly held Muslim opinions on topics such as divination, pagan spiritualities, occultism, and magical practice? Would Muslims hold differing perspectives on these subjects towards their own people vs westerners who possess an interest or involvement in these subjects or would all be frowned upon?

I remember reading a news article years ago about a television personality who was a diviner or medium of some sort, and who had been imprisoned, and ever since then I have wondered.

Divination is forbidden in Islam. The reason is due to how knowing the future in any form is one of God's powers alone. So trying to match that power is often interpreted as challenging god. If someone within an Islamic community does it , chances are they will be punished. But when westerners does it? I'll just say that many Muslims ' want to have their fortune told ' when they travel abroad , so I guess the Muslims as a community do not mind it if its someone other than them who does it.

As for Pagan spiritualities , following cults. Well ... Islam as a religion sees pagans as false gods. But here's the thing , a lot of Buddhists work in Saudi Arabia of all places , even though Buddhism is a false religion based on Islamic teaches. By that comparison , I guess all other forms of faiths are treated the same.

Magical practice as mentioned earlier is forbidden and punishable even if a non-muslim is practicing it if it intended to harm. But you can see in Dubai a lot of ' Magic shows ' take place there and nobody pats an eye because its meant for entertainment.

I guess its always about the community and one singular person. I myself do not mind any kind of practice. Some might be alright with some and reluctant to accept others. And some who flat out reject anything and mistreat others for the faiths they've chosen.

I hope that answered your question? :-)

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #408 on: June 25, 2015, 09:49:02 PM »
"Seven deadly sins" is largely a Catholic concept - the idea that some sins are worse than others is generally rejected by protestant and Calvinist traditions, although most evangelicals don't understand that the difference is not solely based on the sin itself but rather intent, awareness and willfulness - being forced or tricked into sin, or walking into it unintentionally, is less grievous than knowingly performing the act of your own free volition.

In RC the idea is that these concepts - pride, lust, greed, etc. actively poison the soul, and may lead one down a path of willful, active sinning.

I see.

In Islam its kind of similar but different then. Intent itself is the ' essence of all virtues '. So if you had some intent to do a sin , but then thought otherwise , it counts as a virtue and not a sin. Well if this makes any sense.

Online AmberStarfire

  • Rogue Starlight ~ Fantasy Novelist ~ This Is Who We Are ~ Scully to his Mulder
  • Dame
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Aug 2008
  • Location: Somewhere that makes me smile
  • Gender: Female
  • ❤ Snuggler of the Wyld and Hairy ❤
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #409 on: June 26, 2015, 05:24:21 AM »
Thanks Formless, it does and is quite an interesting answer. :)


Offline Vekseid

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #410 on: June 26, 2015, 08:24:05 PM »
Divination is forbidden in Islam. The reason is due to how knowing the future in any form is one of God's powers alone. So trying to match that power is often interpreted as challenging god. If someone within an Islamic community does it , chances are they will be punished. But when westerners does it? I'll just say that many Muslims ' want to have their fortune told ' when they travel abroad , so I guess the Muslims as a community do not mind it if its someone other than them who does it.

In any form? Does this include details that come from reason (such as predicting eclipses and knowing the rough size and shape of the world as was well understood by Persians and Greeks - and as their frequent trading partners and employers, Arabs also - in Muhammad's time)?

I mean, I know there's an occasionalist school of Islamic thought, but even if you take God to making each moment, not 'learning the mind of God' seems not only laughable but dangerous (insert critics that say Ash'ari thought is the reason for the end of the Islamic Golden Age here). 

Quote
As for Pagan spiritualities , following cults. Well ... Islam as a religion sees pagans as false gods. But here's the thing , a lot of Buddhists work in Saudi Arabia of all places , even though Buddhism is a false religion based on Islamic teaches. By that comparison , I guess all other forms of faiths are treated the same.

Do Muslims actually see faiths with loose or no concepts of divinity - Buddhism, Jainism, Taoism, Confucianism - as pagan?

Offline Vekseid

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #411 on: June 26, 2015, 08:30:38 PM »
I see.

In Islam its kind of similar but different then. Intent itself is the ' essence of all virtues '. So if you had some intent to do a sin , but then thought otherwise , it counts as a virtue and not a sin. Well if this makes any sense.

Resisting temptation has a weird place in Christian thought due to Jesus' admonition: "If you lust after a woman you have already sinned with her in your mind."

Though it is impossible, you are to strive to keep yourself pure in thought and intent, as well.

Offline Skynet

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #412 on: June 26, 2015, 11:52:03 PM »
The word 'Islam:' So I looked up the definition of the word 'Islam,' and it means to submit or surrender, taken in the context of giving oneself to God wholly.

I was wondering how the term became popularized for the religion.  Typically many religious titles have a specific reference to its foundation: Christianity for Jesus Christ, Buddhism for the teachings of Buddha, etc.  Islam seems to be an outlier in the sense that the title came from a more generic meaning.

State Religion: What was the first nation which formally declared its state religion as Islam?  Normally I'd assume it was the Caliphate, although I don't know if it was a nation per se or more a conglomeration of nations paying homage to a central imperial government.

The Caliphate: On a related note, was the Caliphate and its incorporated lands considered to be one nation, or a bunch of nations?  I understand that there is some discussion that the "nation-state" concept might be more modern, and that territorial borders were less defined in the old days, but there was a general sense of distinct lands and populations back then (Al-Andalus, Arabia, Persia, etc).

Prophets and Saints: Islam says that Muhammad was the last of God's prophets sent to Earth.  I can't remember where, but it's been said that Muslims have a concept of saints, or holy men and women, after the Prophet's lifetime.

Which brings me ask, if the above is true, is there a distinction between Prophets and other holy figures inspired by God?

The term 'infidel:' Looking up this word on Wikipedia mentions that it has a Christian origin, which then got adopted by Judaism and Islam.  But in more contemporary times, I often see it used by or associated with Muslims condemning foreign religions than Christians or Jews doing the same, at least in the English-speaking media and world.  What's the reason for this?

Offline Vekseid

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #413 on: June 27, 2015, 05:03:08 PM »
The modern concept of 'nation' as singular, ultra-centralized states as you think of them is an extremely recent development in history. As in, 18th century 'recent'.

Muhammad's first Caliphate would certainly be considered the first 'state religion is Islam', but rather unlike the Byzantines who they would be fighting for much of the next thousand years, they actively avoided forcing their religion on their subjects. This played a rather critical role when it came to the Islamic conquest of Egypt - Heraclius treated the Copts rather harshly, and the Muslim conquerors probably remembered the Copts sheltering Muslims while the religion was in its infancy.

Formless can  probably speak in more detail regarding Muhammad's letters to the various local tribal rulers, demanding their submission to Islam, but the Caliphate was never very centralized, even by the standards of the time. The Umayyads and Abbassids nominally ruled over absolutely massive territories, presumably larger and more powerful than Rome at its height, but they never made any serious progress anywhere (period) until the Turks began converting. Seljuk invaded Anatolia, which led to the Crusades, and the Ghazvanids invaded India.

Later on, this lack of centralization became de facto, though Sultans were supposed to at least nod their heads to the Caliph a bit like Latin kings and emperors were supposed to kiss the Pope's ring. The last Sultan of Khwarezm picked a really bad time to piss off the Caliph.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2015, 05:05:25 PM by Vekseid »

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #414 on: June 27, 2015, 07:39:30 PM »
The modern concept of 'nation' as singular, ultra-centralized states as you think of them is an extremely recent development in history. As in, 18th century 'recent'.

Muhammad's first Caliphate would certainly be considered the first 'state religion is Islam', but rather unlike the Byzantines who they would be fighting for much of the next thousand years, they actively avoided forcing their religion on their subjects. This played a rather critical role when it came to the Islamic conquest of Egypt - Heraclius treated the Copts rather harshly, and the Muslim conquerors probably remembered the Copts sheltering Muslims while the religion was in its infancy.

Formless can  probably speak in more detail regarding Muhammad's letters to the various local tribal rulers, demanding their submission to Islam, but the Caliphate was never very centralized, even by the standards of the time. The Umayyads and Abbassids nominally ruled over absolutely massive territories, presumably larger and more powerful than Rome at its height, but they never made any serious progress anywhere (period) until the Turks began converting. Seljuk invaded Anatolia, which led to the Crusades, and the Ghazvanids invaded India.

Later on, this lack of centralization became de facto, though Sultans were supposed to at least nod their heads to the Caliph a bit like Latin kings and emperors were supposed to kiss the Pope's ring. The last Sultan of Khwarezm picked a really bad time to piss off the Caliph.

Maybe I'm missing something, or not understanding who is who, but that looks like his big mistake was pissing off Genghis Khan. (which triggers a gigantic 'duh' reaction).

Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #415 on: June 27, 2015, 07:54:09 PM »
Maybe I'm missing something, or not understanding who is who, but that looks like his big mistake was pissing off Genghis Khan. (which triggers a gigantic 'duh' reaction).

It's a little more clear in this article, which suggests that because the Sultan was engaged in a dispute with the Caliph, he was exceptionally suspicious of Genghis Khan's attempt to set up a trade agreement, and therefore shot himself in the proverbial foot by killing the ambassadors.

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #416 on: June 27, 2015, 08:03:27 PM »
In any form? Does this include details that come from reason (such as predicting eclipses and knowing the rough size and shape of the world as was well understood by Persians and Greeks - and as their frequent trading partners and employers, Arabs also - in Muhammad's time)?

I mean, I know there's an occasionalist school of Islamic thought, but even if you take God to making each moment, not 'learning the mind of God' seems not only laughable but dangerous (insert critics that say Ash'ari thought is the reason for the end of the Islamic Golden Age here).

Islam doesn't deny reason. I mean in regards to the example you provided , we have scientists dedicated to all form of Astrology for scientific purposes. I don't think predicting eclipses , earthquakes , weather and the such as Divination.

I guess I should rephrase my previous post into saying ' Islam condemns any form of spiritual divination '.

Do Muslims actually see faiths with loose or no concepts of divinity - Buddhism, Jainism, Taoism, Confucianism - as pagan?

To put it loosely , Islam ( The religion not the people ) considers Christianity , Judaism and Islam as the ' only ' religion. Any other form of faith isn't a religion to begin with.

As for Muslims themselves and how they view them? I can't really say. I can only speak for myself.

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #417 on: June 27, 2015, 08:24:57 PM »
The word 'Islam:' So I looked up the definition of the word 'Islam,' and it means to submit or surrender, taken in the context of giving oneself to God wholly.

I was wondering how the term became popularized for the religion.  Typically many religious titles have a specific reference to its foundation: Christianity for Jesus Christ, Buddhism for the teachings of Buddha, etc.  Islam seems to be an outlier in the sense that the title came from a more generic meaning.

Mohammad himself called it so. In one of his hadiths he said ' Religion to god now is Islam. Those who follows shall be in Heaven.'

Basically when you convert to Islam , you ' submit and obey God '.

Quote
State Religion: What was the first nation which formally declared its state religion as Islam?  Normally I'd assume it was the Caliphate, although I don't know if it was a nation per se or more a conglomeration of nations paying homage to a central imperial government.

Muhammad's first Caliphate would certainly be considered the first 'state religion is Islam', but rather unlike the Byzantines who they would be fighting for much of the next thousand years, they actively avoided forcing their religion on their subjects. This played a rather critical role when it came to the Islamic conquest of Egypt - Heraclius treated the Copts rather harshly, and the Muslim conquerors probably remembered the Copts sheltering Muslims while the religion was in its infancy.

Considering what Vekseid said... Mohammad himself did force several parts of the Arabian Peninsula to join Islam , but only after he made a peaceful attempt of inviting them into it. At the time of Mohammad's death almost all the of the Arabian peninsula was following the religion of Islam. That can be considered a state of religion , since a militaristic factor was involved to a certain degree. But unlike the time of the Caliphates where they planned to expand the reaches of Islam to as far as they could to form a ' Islamic nation '.

To put it simply. In our history , the nation of Islam has always started with Mohammad.

Quote
The Caliphate: On a related note, was the Caliphate and its incorporated lands considered to be one nation, or a bunch of nations?  I understand that there is some discussion that the "nation-state" concept might be more modern, and that territorial borders were less defined in the old days, but there was a general sense of distinct lands and populations back then (Al-Andalus, Arabia, Persia, etc).

As a whole it was considered a nation. But there were lands that maintained their names and distinctive borders , like Iraq , Persia , Alshaam , Egypt , Arabia. These were regions known by border and name , yet they were all included under the Caliphate who ruled them. They still ruled them by peer.

Quote
Prophets and Saints: Islam says that Muhammad was the last of God's prophets sent to Earth.  I can't remember where, but it's been said that Muslims have a concept of saints, or holy men and women, after the Prophet's lifetime.

Which brings me ask, if the above is true, is there a distinction between Prophets and other holy figures inspired by God?

It isn't true. The only person people are waiting for is the Mahdi. And it is said that he is a virtuous man , but not a saint. I mean you could consider him one since it is told that he will lead Muslims to a great victory. But not in the same sense as in other religions.

Quote
The term 'infidel:' Looking up this word on Wikipedia mentions that it has a Christian origin, which then got adopted by Judaism and Islam.  But in more contemporary times, I often see it used by or associated with Muslims condemning foreign religions than Christians or Jews doing the same, at least in the English-speaking media and world.  What's the reason for this?

I have no idea how this term stuck instead of apostates. ::) I mean it serves it purpose , but i think its because of translation. Anyone who isn't a Muslim is supposed to be an ' infidel '.

Offline alextaylor

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #418 on: June 27, 2015, 08:42:36 PM »
There's no description about Heaven other than being ' everything a a person desires '.

And one Hadith said ' Its like nothing an eye ever seen , Nothing like an ear ever heard , And nothing a mind could ever imagine .'

Not quite accurate :P

"The description of Paradise, which the righteous have been promised, is [that] beneath it rivers flow. Its fruit is lasting, and its shade." (Quran 13:36)
"Allah will say, "This is the Day when the truthful will benefit from their truthfulness." For them are gardens [in Paradise] beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever, Allah being pleased with them, and they with Him. That is the great attainment." (Quran 5:119)
"Those will have gardens of perpetual residence; beneath them rivers will flow. They will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold and will wear green garments of fine silk and brocade, reclining therein on adorned couches. Excellent is the reward, and good is the resting place." (Quran 18:31)
"Indeed, Allah will admit those who have believed and done righteous deeds to gardens beneath which rivers flow" (Quran 47:12)
"But those who believe and do righteous deeds - We will admit them to gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide forever" (Quran 4:57)

Formless can  probably speak in more detail regarding Muhammad's letters to the various local tribal rulers, demanding their submission to Islam, but the Caliphate was never very centralized, even by the standards of the time. The Umayyads and Abbassids nominally ruled over absolutely massive territories, presumably larger and more powerful than Rome at its height, but they never made any serious progress anywhere (period) until the Turks began converting. Seljuk invaded Anatolia, which led to the Crusades, and the Ghazvanids invaded India.

Yup, it was pretty loosely defined and highly decentralized.

There were probably a few major laws:
1. The Muslims had to pay Zakat (2.5% of their wealth yearly) and had to serve in the military.
2. The non-Muslims had to pay Jizya - a loosely defined tax depending on the current Caliphate
3. The nation was a theocracy. Leaders and military generals were expected to lead prayers. Non-Muslims could not serve in the military.
4. Non-Muslims had military and legal protection. This made Jizya tax a pretty good deal for that time. They didn't even have to fight.
5. Exiting Islam is punishable by death. This seems harsh by today's standards, but considering the benefits Muslims had during this time, it made sense.

The Rashidun Caliphate asserted little control otherwise, aside from military and distributing Zakat wealth. The early Caliphs (Abu Bakr and Umar) took the bare minimum salary, enough to eat and get two sets of clothing per year. Later Caliphs became increasingly corrupt and every transition from one Caliphate into another (Rashidun to Umayyad to Abassid) resulted from revolutions.

The region was tribal and very decentralized. If the Caliph can command a tribal leader to exert military control over a region, that region was "within your borders".

The word 'Islam:' So I looked up the definition of the word 'Islam,' and it means to submit or surrender, taken in the context of giving oneself to God wholly.

I was wondering how the term became popularized for the religion.  Typically many religious titles have a specific reference to its foundation: Christianity for Jesus Christ, Buddhism for the teachings of Buddha, etc.  Islam seems to be an outlier in the sense that the title came from a more generic meaning.

Islam is centralized around Allah, and not around Muhammad. It's not the teachings of Muhammad - Prophet Muhammad was a channel through which Allah's word went through. The Prophet Muhammad is more like the highest religious authority. Higher status than any Pope, but not absolute like Jesus.

It's a lifestyle that is all encompassing; there is no concept of secularism.


Quote
Prophets and Saints: Islam says that Muhammad was the last of God's prophets sent to Earth.  I can't remember where, but it's been said that Muslims have a concept of saints, or holy men and women, after the Prophet's lifetime.

Which brings me ask, if the above is true, is there a distinction between Prophets and other holy figures inspired by God?

Two terms, "Rasul" (Messenger) and "Nabi" (Prophet). Another term for Prophet Muhammad is Rasulullah (Messenger of Allah).

A Rasul is given a message, and told to give the message. Examples are Muhammad, Moses, David, Jesus, Abraham. They're given divine responsibility to spread this message.

A Nabi is someone who is given divine revelation, but they don't have to spread it to people. It's rather vague on who is a Nabi. Anyone can claim to be one, but there's no proof after Prophet Muhammad.

There are also the martyrs, the ones who die in jihad and are given some of the highest status. They seem to share a bit in common with Christian saints, but aren't individually recognized and there are probably millions of them.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #419 on: June 27, 2015, 10:39:41 PM »
There were probably a few major laws:
1. The Muslims had to pay Zakat (2.5% of their wealth yearly) and had to serve in the military.
2. The non-Muslims had to pay Jizya - a loosely defined tax depending on the current Caliphate
3. The nation was a theocracy. Leaders and military generals were expected to lead prayers. Non-Muslims could not serve in the military.
4. Non-Muslims had military and legal protection. This made Jizya tax a pretty good deal for that time. They didn't even have to fight.

It's important to note that when the Caliphate took Syria, Byzantium and Persia had just gotten over a generation-long, brutal war, and Byzantium a massive civil war on top of that. Muhammad and Abu Bakr were both very aware of how weak Persia and Byzantium were, and that weakness was going to be gone in short order if not acted on.

Their policies are clearly tailored to maximize the local population's acceptance. "Just pay your taxes as you always do. You don't need to fight."

Offline Vekseid

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #420 on: June 27, 2015, 11:36:46 PM »
Maybe I'm missing something, or not understanding who is who, but that looks like his big mistake was pissing off Genghis Khan. (which triggers a gigantic 'duh' reaction).

It didn't help. It removed a potential ally and escape route, and added another hostile adversary he had to account for.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #421 on: June 28, 2015, 12:34:28 AM »
It didn't help. It removed a potential ally and escape route, and added another hostile adversary he had to account for.

Okay, that makes sense. But still, ticking off Genghis Khan is hardly a life or career-extending choice no matter who else you've annoyed at the time.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #422 on: June 28, 2015, 12:05:24 PM »
It was still a fight that Persia was physically capable of winning, if its leader was more competent.

Anyway, something that's been bothering me:

5. Exiting Islam is punishable by death. This seems harsh by today's standards, but considering the benefits Muslims had during this time, it made sense.

I originally wanted to avoid highlighting this, because it risks leading this thread down a dark path to do so, but ultimately, if the casual murder of innocents 'makes sense' to you, a member here, than I think it merits discussion. Whether they are Muhammad's own words or simply a plurality of believers, it is disturbing that any defense is given for this.

Centuries before Muhammad's time, the idea that human life meant something was already taking root in Rome.  Of course, Christianity itself did not rise in a vacuum. It was competing with many other godmen, many of which were preaching similar messages. All right next door.

So no, it didn't make sense, not even for the time. It may have been 'less barbaric' then, 'understandable' in the sense of the goal to spread one's dominion at the point of a blade. Christian dynasties tended to get away with this sort of brutality only once. Per dynasty.

But to claim it was anything less than barbaric, is now anything less than barbaric, deserves to be treated with scorn and derision.

This particular law of Muhammad's led to the sort of confined thinking that would eventually cost Islam its preeminent place in the world.

And it still confines thinking today. What endeavors and struggles today do you and other Muslims think are going to have the most dramatic impact on the world's future?

Does it bother you at all that Muslims - by their own choices, individually and collectively - are dramatically underrepresented in these efforts?

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #423 on: June 28, 2015, 01:49:48 PM »
While I stand corrected in regards to the description of heaven.

I also would like to address the same point in Vekseid's last post.

This is one of the issues where I am more comfortable drawing from the Qur'an rather than any other source.

Here's a few verses that contradicts the ' death sentence for apostasy '.

[There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong. So whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.] Verse 256 , Sura 2.

[And say, "The truth is from your Lord, so whoever wills - let him believe; and whoever wills - let him disbelieve." Indeed, We have prepared for the wrongdoers a fire whose walls will surround them. And if they call for relief, they will be relieved with water like murky oil, which scalds [their] faces. Wretched is the drink, and evil is the resting place.] Verse 29 , Sura 18

[Say, "O mankind, the truth has come to you from your Lord, so whoever is guided is only guided for [the benefit of] his soul, and whoever goes astray only goes astray [in violation] against it. And I am not over you a manager."] Verse 108 , Sura 10

[And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed - all of them entirely. Then, [O Muhammad], would you compel the people in order that they become believers?] Verse 99 , Sura 10

[So remind, [O Muhammad]; you are only a reminder. You are not over them a controller.] Verses 21 & 22 , Sura 88

[We are most knowing of what they say, and you are not over them a tyrant. But remind by the Qur'an whoever fears My threat.] Verse 45 , Sura 50

[There has come to you enlightenment from your Lord. So whoever will see does so for [the benefit of] his soul, and whoever is blind [does harm] against it. And [say], "I am not a guardian over you." And thus do We diversify the verses so the disbelievers will say, "You have studied," and so We may make the Qur'an clear for a people who know. Follow, [O Muhammad], what has been revealed to you from your Lord - there is no deity except Him - and turn away from those who associate others with Allah. But if Allah had willed, they would not have associated. And We have not appointed you over them as a guardian, nor are you a manager over them.] Verses 104 to 107 , Sura 6

[But your people have denied it while it is the truth. Say, "I am not over you a manager."] Verse 66 , Sura 6

[Your Lord is most knowing of you. If He wills, He will have mercy upon you; or if He wills, He will punish you. And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], over them as a manager.] Verse 54 , Sura 17


These are many examples where the Qur'an acknowledged humans to be both believers and nonbelievers , yet never demanded a mortal punishment on them. In some of these verses , it was mentioned that God has the right to that punishment , and Mohammad was simply a messenger.

So quite honestly , People had committed acts in the name of the religion , but that doesn't make it any more right. The religion itself did not call for it , and clearly did not ask anyone to exact any punishment on its behalf.

The Caliphates did start a military conquest under the name of Islam , and they did slaughter countless apostates. That doesn't make what they did any more right or wrong than anything else that happened during their time.

That is all I have to say about it. And I do hope the thread does not fall into a dark path.

Offline Lustful Bride

  • "Logic is for Squares."
  • Lady
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2014
  • Gender: Female
  • This is some personal text. There are many like it, but this one is mine!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #424 on: June 28, 2015, 02:03:45 PM »
*Throws in a random question to help everyone cheer up and get off the dark path* :-)

Do mosques need to be built with a side facing towards Mecca? If so then how were people able to do it accurately before the age of computers, where you can just have an app on your phone tell you where to start building?

Was it just one person with a compass doing math for hours on end to get it right?