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Author Topic: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.  (Read 35292 times)

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Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #425 on: June 28, 2015, 02:28:02 PM »
;D

The part of the mosque that faces Makkah is called 'mihrab '. Its where the Imam stands and everyone lines up behind him.

My guess is that the people from old times were better with directions. Knowing their locations based on the stars. Now I'm not sure how accurate it was , but usually facing the general direction of where Makkah is would suffice. For example , Mosques in Iraq would face the southwest. In Egypt it would be East or Southeast.

That's what i think anyway.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #426 on: June 28, 2015, 02:32:09 PM »
The astrolabe was used to calculate the times of prayer, and it has been historically proven that Arab mathematicians were able to compensate for the Earth's curvature to determine the distance and direction to Mecca.

http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/pub/a-sine-on-the-road-to-mecca

Offline alextaylor

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #427 on: June 29, 2015, 06:38:30 PM »
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.

Sorry, I was really brief about that. I have about over 3 thousand pages of Islamic history in my library so a lot of context gets glossed over :P

I'm actually a strong proponent against the death penalty for apostasy in modern Islamic countries. But to do that, people had to understand why it was instated in the first place.

To simplify things a bit, at that time, a lot of identity in the region was hooked to tribes. Islam was meant to be a unifying factor that had higher level than all those tribes. It helped that the Prophet Muhammad, along with many of the Caliphs, like Abu Bakr and Umar, were high ranking members of the most respected tribe in the region.

Islam was a higher level of identity. It was closer to 'citizenship' as we view it today, rather than a religious belief. Islam recognizes Christianity and Judaism as other valid monotheist religions. So someone who believed in One God could just stay Jewish but pay Jizya.

And at the time the death penalty was instated, people were not born into Islam. They chose to enter Islam, the same way that one chooses to become a citizen in a country. They were almost tax-free, given financial benefits from the central government, full access to confidential military information, training and job opportunities. Along the lines of what Formless said, there was no compulsion to enter Islam. But there was a strong compulsion to never leave.

An analogy would be that today, if you join a large company, you'd not be given access to C-level documents. If you joined the military or even the CIA, you would not be told about future military campaigns, at the same level as the Commander in Chief.

But if you were to join Islam back then, you get a lot of gifts. You also get full military info. Some hadiths brought up how the common Muslim grunt provoked Roman/Persian commanders with the confidence of a military leader. This was partly because the early military campaigns in Islam relied on the goodwill of strangers who recently converted to Islam.

It was not death for their religious beliefs, but death for betrayal of trust!

I maintain my stance on this, but I hope you can at least see why. If we want to discuss it, maybe we could branch it out to another thread :)

But as said, it doesn't make sense for death penalty for apostasy to be instated today because the major conditions are not there.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #428 on: June 29, 2015, 09:15:14 PM »
You make it sound so centralized. Yet tribal politics are still a thing, fourteen centuries later, and the Byzantines, Indians, and Spanish managed to slowly drive them back - despite the vastly superior numbers, technology and resources Muslims supposedly commanded - for two centuries, until the Turks converted. That's not a sign of a strong, centralized state.

The early military campaigns of Muhammad and the Rashidun Caliphate also relied on the goodwill of Copts, Jews, and other Eastern churches. But despite the opportunities they provided Muslims - effectively handing half the Empire to Islam - there is no exception in the apostasy clause for them.

This is even ignoring that not every convert is going to be involved in the military. It's not like 'Muslims only in the military' was something that lasted very long, as Christians and Hindus began to mount increasingly sophisticated responses.

And then there is trying to justify Islam's military campaigns in the first place. It's not like Muslims weren't aware of this either, given the cajoling Saladin had to do to gather forces enough to reclaim Jerusalem.

Ultimately, however you make peace with making peace is fine by me. I just find it rather galling to try to whitewash the darker points of Islamic history.

Offline Skynet

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #429 on: July 04, 2015, 09:58:20 PM »
I don't think that alextaylor's trying to whitewash things, more like explaining why things happened as they occurred and the rationale behind it at the time.  Explaining doesn't necessarily mean agreeing.

Angels: If it's alright, one thing I was wondering was about if the presentation of angels as winged humans like in Christianity had a significant presence in Islam.  Or if angels were described as having more 'inhuman' forms, for lack of a better word.

I recall some portrayals of angels in some Abrahamic religions as being quite strange at times, like the manifestation of one in the mortal world as an endless expanse of feathery wings blanketing the sky across the horizon, or another covered head-to-toe in eyes, etc.

One Christian priest I recall said that the reason many angels said "do not be afraid" as their first thing to human witnesses was because they looked so scary.

To that end, do Islamic descriptions of angels share similarities to Christian interpretations as alien-like entities or winged humans, or do they have an alternate view?
« Last Edit: July 04, 2015, 10:03:15 PM by Skynet »

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #430 on: July 05, 2015, 09:09:46 AM »
Angels: If it's alright, one thing I was wondering was about if the presentation of angels as winged humans like in Christianity had a significant presence in Islam.  Or if angels were described as having more 'inhuman' forms, for lack of a better word.

I recall some portrayals of angels in some Abrahamic religions as being quite strange at times, like the manifestation of one in the mortal world as an endless expanse of feathery wings blanketing the sky across the horizon, or another covered head-to-toe in eyes, etc.

One Christian priest I recall said that the reason many angels said "do not be afraid" as their first thing to human witnesses was because they looked so scary.

To that end, do Islamic descriptions of angels share similarities to Christian interpretations as alien-like entities or winged humans, or do they have an alternate view?

In the Qur'an itself , the only detail about Angels was that they were created from light. But it was mentioned in several verses that Angels approached several prophets in mortal vessels. When they came upon Abraham , and when they came upon Lot. Even one came upon the Virgin Mary.

But in Hadiths , there was several mentions of their descriptions. Mohammad once said that Gabriel had 600 wings. Another hadith speaks of ' Monkar & Nakeer ' the two angels who descend into one's grave after they die to ask him the ' ultimate ' questions. They say they were darker than night , and their eyes a radiant blue.

But a full descriptions of angels was never mentioned in the Qur'an ... so I don't know what to make of it.

Offline Sabre

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #431 on: July 08, 2015, 02:20:34 PM »
You make it sound so centralized. Yet tribal politics are still a thing, fourteen centuries later, and the Byzantines, Indians, and Spanish managed to slowly drive them back - despite the vastly superior numbers, technology and resources Muslims supposedly commanded - for two centuries, until the Turks converted. That's not a sign of a strong, centralized state.

The early military campaigns of Muhammad and the Rashidun Caliphate also relied on the goodwill of Copts, Jews, and other Eastern churches. But despite the opportunities they provided Muslims - effectively handing half the Empire to Islam - there is no exception in the apostasy clause for them.

This is even ignoring that not every convert is going to be involved in the military. It's not like 'Muslims only in the military' was something that lasted very long, as Christians and Hindus began to mount increasingly sophisticated responses.

And then there is trying to justify Islam's military campaigns in the first place. It's not like Muslims weren't aware of this either, given the cajoling Saladin had to do to gather forces enough to reclaim Jerusalem.

Ultimately, however you make peace with making peace is fine by me. I just find it rather galling to try to whitewash the darker points of Islamic history.

Much of the confusion and apparent inconsistances trying to reconcile apostasy in Islam comes from a jumbled timeline. Traditionally it's believed the Arabs had much of what is now recognized as Islam handed to them by the Prophet Muhammad, then with a gradual degeneration of this pristine religion and society over the course of generations. What was more likely was that apostasy was not originally a major belief, or else it only ever applied to Arabs like much of early Islam seemed to be. We have several accounts in both hadith and administrative documents of apostasy that was not punished with death, if at all, such as when some thousands of non-Arab converts were turned away from the gates of Kufa and told to return to their communities, and when there was direct intervention in Syria and Egypt to prevent conversion and to accept reversions wherever it could. What likely happened to bring such a drastic view of apostasy into Islam was the Arab tribal focus of the Umayyad and Rashidun period, where Islam was seen as an ethnic perogative of the Arabs much like Judaism for the Jews, and with the rise of the Iraqi jurists who probably adopted cultural attitudes about converting away from the dominant faith from Late Antiquity Zoroastrianism in its battles with Mazdakite heresies on the eve of the Arab Conquest.

Offline Skynet

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #432 on: July 08, 2015, 11:26:56 PM »
The flags of more than a few modern Muslim nations display Quranic verses on them, such as Saudi Arabia.

As a lot of Middle Eastern nations to my knowledge are quite young (in the sense of the break-up of the Ottoman Empire last century creating most of the nations in the region), I was wondering if the tradition of using religious verses on a flag has a common origin, and whether said origin is relatively ancient or modern.

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #433 on: July 09, 2015, 10:46:48 AM »
I can only answer in regards to my country's flag. (Saudi Arabia)

To be precise , what you see on the flag is the ' Shahada ' which isn't precisely a Qur'anic verse. Well it is mentioned there but the point of using it is to claim Islam as the religion and the constitution and policy of this country as a whole. Since a flag can be an identity , the founder thought this would be a perfect representation of what this country will be.

Offline Skynet

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #434 on: July 15, 2015, 04:59:55 PM »
Iram of the Pillars: So I read that the Qu'ran mentions that there was this old city or tribe, but little information beyond that.  Apparently it was also mentioned to be destroyed by God's wrath due to the inhabitant's wickedness.

Wikipedia's entry on its leader, King Shaddad, mentions that the people were occultists and once ruled over all of Arabia and Iraq.  It also mentions that Shaddad was also the grandson of Noah.

Is there more specific information on Iram and Shaddad?  Wikipedia's source on the latter only had one link, and the mention of Shaddad being responsible annexation of Canaanite lands and other stuff was attributed to "several Muslim scholars" without naming specifics.

Garden of Eden, Noah's Ark, Cain and Abel: These events are well-known Biblical stories among Christians used as explanation for he way the world is today.  Adam and Eve once lived in paradise before eating forbidden fruit which exiled them.  A world-wide flood made Noah gather as many animals as he can, and once it passed they repopulated the new land.  Cain was the first murderer.

I was wondering how these stories might differ from the Christian context, and if Muslims largely take their lessons in similar ways Christians did or interpret the morals differently.  Wikipedia says that Cain and Abel were not named specifically in the Qu'ran, instead being known as the sons of Adam.  Apparently Noah's Ark is much the same in the Qu'ran.

As for the Garden of Eden, it is Iblis (Satan) who deceives Adam and Eve into eating the fruit.  This is interesting as in Christian communities, it was a talking snake, who some Christians believed to be Satan in disguise but others do not as the Bible doesn't specifically state the origin of the snake or his motivations.

The Islamic narrative of Adam's children mentioned that the murder was intended to be a sacrifice to God, but it was rejected and thus that son was punished.

Are the Wikipedia entries accurate?  Also, why are Adam's children not named in the Qu'ran, whereas in the Bible they bear the names Cain and Abel?

Generally speaking, Adam and Eve is a warning to not disobey God.  Noah's Ark is an attempt to save as many animals as possible so that they new world will not be lifeless.  Cain and Abel is the warning of how murder is a sin in the eyes of God as you are destroying one of His children.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2015, 05:01:40 PM by Skynet »

Offline Oniya

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Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #435 on: July 15, 2015, 05:25:23 PM »
Just as a note, stories of the world being destroyed by a flood and repopulated by a man in a boat are virtually ubiquitous, occurring not only in Greek, Celtic, and Sumerian myths, but also in various Native American legends.

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Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #436 on: July 15, 2015, 05:31:34 PM »
It's also served as excellent inspiration for the Within Temptation song, 'Stand My Ground'.

Offline Sabre

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #437 on: July 15, 2015, 10:40:06 PM »
Iram of the Pillars: So I read that the Qu'ran mentions that there was this old city or tribe, but little information beyond that.  Apparently it was also mentioned to be destroyed by God's wrath due to the inhabitant's wickedness.

According to the Encyclopedia of Islam, the classical idea was that Iram was a reference to the biblical Aram region in Syria. Modern archaeologists suggest the 'Ad tribe is the same as the Iyad, or that the 'Ad are a reference to Ptolomy's Oadites and the city of Aramaua around the Jordan-SA border.

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #438 on: July 16, 2015, 08:23:30 AM »
Iram of the Pillars: So I read that the Qu'ran mentions that there was this old city or tribe, but little information beyond that.  Apparently it was also mentioned to be destroyed by God's wrath due to the inhabitant's wickedness.

Wikipedia's entry on its leader, King Shaddad, mentions that the people were occultists and once ruled over all of Arabia and Iraq.  It also mentions that Shaddad was also the grandson of Noah.

Is there more specific information on Iram and Shaddad?  Wikipedia's source on the latter only had one link, and the mention of Shaddad being responsible annexation of Canaanite lands and other stuff was attributed to "several Muslim scholars" without naming specifics.

According to the Encyclopedia of Islam, the classical idea was that Iram was a reference to the biblical Aram region in Syria. Modern archaeologists suggest the 'Ad tribe is the same as the Iyad, or that the 'Ad are a reference to Ptolomy's Oadites and the city of Aramaua around the Jordan-SA border.

Just as Sabre said , Iram ( Or Erum in Arabic ) was a city inhabited by the Aad tribe.

First I should mention this : The tribe and their city were mentioned in the Qur'an as a reminder of god that he punished them. Their punishment was to erase their existence from the world. A giant sandstorm covered their city , and the living along with them. It is said the sandstorm was so huge and long , that it buried the city to a greater depth than any man could dig through.

The exact location of this city is unknown. Though many suggested its either in the location Sabre suggested , or in Yemen. No one really knows. And most importantly , no one really know why they were punished. I mean the exact reason. There's many humans who rebelled against god , but what was their sin exactly.

Its just one of the mysteries of our history I'm afraid.

Quote
Garden of Eden, Noah's Ark, Cain and Abel: These events are well-known Biblical stories among Christians used as explanation for he way the world is today.  Adam and Eve once lived in paradise before eating forbidden fruit which exiled them.  A world-wide flood made Noah gather as many animals as he can, and once it passed they repopulated the new land.  Cain was the first murderer.

Just as a note, stories of the world being destroyed by a flood and repopulated by a man in a boat are virtually ubiquitous, occurring not only in Greek, Celtic, and Sumerian myths, but also in various Native American legends.

Exactly. Since Noah is considered the first man to become a prophet for god , its not surprising to see the story of the great flood in almost all forms of cultures.

As for the Gardens of Eden , it is just another name for Heaven. Which were Adam and Eve lived. Satan was there to sway them against the orders of God. But in what form , I don't know. I don't recall if Satan was described in Islamic scriptures. ( The reliable ones anyway. )

As for Cain and Able , I really do not know why their names were never mentioned. Their story was told in the Qur'an , and yet no names were added without any reason specified as to why they were kept anonymous.

As for the Wikipedia entries , I'm not quite sure about the narrative there. The murder happened , and that's the important part. But as to how the events followed , its all about the one who choose to narrates it.

Offline Skynet

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #439 on: July 22, 2015, 09:34:32 PM »
Thank you Sabre, Oniya, and Formless for the explanation.

Anyway, I found another potentially useful link for information purposes.  This is a comprehensive database of hadiths "with an interactive chain."  I don't know exactly what the last part means.

It's an ongoing project, so I cannot state how complete it is.

There's also The Hadith Library.



Caliphate/Ottoman and Identity: Now for some questions.  As it was mentioned earlier via Alex Taylor about a strong link to the Islamic faith and the Caliphate in the early years, I was wondering if the dissolution of the Caliphate, and later the Ottoman Empire, had any dramatic shifts on Muslim identity in the sense of having a large nation/community to be part of not exist anymore on a geo-political level.

During the Caliphate's times, how common was it for Muslims for move/grow up in lands outside the empire?  In such cases, would non-Caliphate Muslims be considered part of the nation?  Did they view themselves as having a relationship/citizenship to the country in spite of being under another government power?

Marriage: So one of the more well-known rules in Islam is the permission of polygamy, although the limitation for any one man is no more than four wives.  Why this number, as opposed to three, five, or another value?

Muslims in Spaaace! This is mostly a speculative question, but it's certainly within the future realm of possibility considering that the United Arab Emirates has a space center.

There was a science fiction book whose name is nebulous to me right now which had a group of Muslims living on a space station.  As Earth was oriented above the "ceiling" of the colony, they "prayed to the roof" during the salat.

Has there been debate and discussion of the possibility of Muslims having to perform a special prayer when Mecca might be literally above or below them due to being in a non-Earthly environment?

What about living in a different solar system?  Would they still adhere to Earth time for five daily prayers, or would it be more common to use the position of the local solar system's sun for the salat?  What of environments with no sunlight or where the sun never sets?
« Last Edit: July 22, 2015, 10:46:38 PM by Skynet »

Offline Oniya

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Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #440 on: July 22, 2015, 11:08:27 PM »
This has nothing to do with Skynet's questions, but I found it interesting and thought that this would be the best place to share it.

http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/news/latest/2015/07/quran-manuscript-22-07-15.aspx

The University of Birmingham (in the UK, not Alabama) has had tests done on a portion of a manuscript of the Qu'ran that date the document back to between 568 and 645 C.E.  This places the timeframe within a very close neighborhood of the Prophet's lifetime, making it the oldest known copy of the text.

Offline Cassandra LeMay

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #441 on: July 23, 2015, 02:34:47 AM »
... What of environments with no sunlight or where the sun never sets?
This question has (to some extend) actually been answered in the real world, concening the observation of Ramadan in locations far north, close to the arctic circle (e.g. the North of Finland or Iceland), where day and night can last pretty much 24 hours. But there seems to be no easy - or uniform - answer. Some schools from Saudi Arabia say that it doesn't matter and that daylight is daylight, no matter how long it lasts. Egyptian scholars, on the other hand, have decided that in those cases it's fine to observe Ramadan based on the sunrise and sunset in Mecca. Others feel it's appropriate to fast for 12 hours a day in cases like this, because that is the average length of the day in those locations.

There are a few articles about it on the internet (try searching for "Ramadan Finland"), for example this one from The Economist: http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/06/economist-explains-6 which briefly touches on observing Ramadan in low earth orbit.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #442 on: July 23, 2015, 03:20:57 AM »
Caliphate/Ottoman and Identity: Now for some questions.  As it was mentioned earlier via Alex Taylor about a strong link to the Islamic faith and the Caliphate in the early years, I was wondering if the dissolution of the Caliphate, and later the Ottoman Empire, had any dramatic shifts on Muslim identity in the sense of having a large nation/community to be part of not exist anymore on a geo-political level.

During the Caliphate's times, how common was it for Muslims for move/grow up in lands outside the empire?  In such cases, would non-Caliphate Muslims be considered part of the nation?  Did they view themselves as having a relationship/citizenship to the country in spite of being under another government power?

Nationalism was not a thing that existed during the possibly sayyid (pre-Ottoman) caliphates. You either were a part of the land you worked, a part of your clan/tribe, or nobility. There are a lot of proto-nationalist events during this period (and uniting the Arab tribes is one of these), but the concept of the nation-state as you think of it didn't start until the 18th century, and only really took hold in the 19th and 20th centuries.

During the rise of the Rashidun and Umayyad caliphates, nearly every Muslim would be subject to the Caliph simply because the religion was largely spread by conquest (with some notable exceptions - it was spread by trade across the Sahara), and people converted to become first-class citizens.

After the battle of Tours, struggles with the Zunbils, Byzantines, and India, the Islamic empire began contracting. Some may have settled in the areas they temporarily held during this period and kept their faith, but this would have been a vanishingly small proportion.

The next major event was the rise of the Abbasid and Fatamid (Shia) Caliphates, with the Umayyad Caliphate remaining in control of much of the Iberian peninsula. Presumably, if you were a Muslim during this period, your ultimate overlord would still be one of the caliphs, although this was often little more than the true ruler keeping in contact with the Caliph and maintaining good relations with them.

This didn't always work out well. The Caliph would play powers against each other - e.g. backing the Samanids against the Saffarids. These Persian dynasties worked heavily to proselytize the Turks, however, and this led to the rise of Seljuq and Alp Tigin. The Seljuqs and Ghaznavids carved out huge territories at the expense of everyone around them, and though they nominally nodded to the Abbasid Caliph, this didn't always work out in the Caliph's favor. The Caliph could not defend Baghdad without help, and the Seljuqs took it.

Shortly after the Seljuqs took Baghdad, they conquered Anatolia. This led to the Byzantine Emperor making a plea to the Pope, and this resulted in a minor event you may have heard of called the Crusades. Parts of Anatolia was restored to the Byzantines, but because the Byzantines never bothered actually helping the Crusaders, the Crusaders took everything from Edessa on south and tried to administer them on their own.

Likewise, in Hispania, the Umayyads were slowly losing to the Christian reconquest of Iberia.

This would have been the first time Muslims would have been in territory ruled notably by not-Muslims, or a major Islamic power that didn't think much anything of anyone claiming to be the head of the religion (the Seljuqs). Given the fact that the Crusaders were able to maintain their state until active attempts to reclaim them were made, and given that these active attempts sometimes backfired, I'd be skeptical of any claim that the Muslims of the period would have considered the Caliph to be anyone special. I mean, both the Abbasid and Umayyad caliphs were losing war after war, battle after battle.

The Abassids had a brief moment of recovery.

Then Ghengis Khan came and wrecked things. Muslims believed this was the end of the world until the Il-Khan converted.

After this... the sayyid caliphs were never again a serious power.

As the Byzantine empire collapsed, a Turk going by the name of Osman proclaimed independence from the Seljuks, and some decades later, after the conquest of Edirne, they claimed the title of Caliph. You need to look at their lineage rather funny to make this work, but okay.

I'm not sure how seriously it was taken in 1362, but by the 16th century, every other Islamic power was losing ground to the technological, industrial, and organizational supremacy of the West. Even a century earlier, though, the writing was on the wall - England was able to project ten thousand men wherever they pleased and there was nothing any Muslim navy could do about it, except hide.

Or get Dutch help, but that's another story.

So the Ottoman Caliph was accepted as Caliph mostly because he was the only one actually making meaningful gains against Christendom. A few Mamluk victories against Crusader rump states aside.

After the 19th century, the Ottomans were the only Islamic power which was not in one form or another paying tribute to Christian powers, though they did give many concessions to western powers (outlawing Caucasian slavery, etc.).

In 1914, the Sheikh-al-Islam attempted to proclaim Jihad, calling all Muslims - even in allied countries - to take up arms and fight against the allied powers.

This fell on its face, in part because the Emir of Mecca wisely called bullshit on this. I'm not sure it would have worked even if he did support the Ottomans - hyper-conservatism in Islam is really quite new.

I mean, consider that in the tenth century scholars inside the Caliphate were deriding Islam as a Christian heresy, and the Caliph was fine with this. Try doing that now, even in predominantly Christian nations.













Offline Skynet

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #443 on: July 23, 2015, 12:23:06 PM »
Yeah, I realized that I asked a different question earlier which dealt with nationhood.  It's sort of hard to wrap my head around initially. :-\

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #444 on: July 23, 2015, 02:22:05 PM »
Marriage: So one of the more well-known rules in Islam is the permission of polygamy, although the limitation for any one man is no more than four wives.  Why this number, as opposed to three, five, or another value?

Since there is no direct answer to this question in Qur'an , everyone thought up their own reasoning as to why four and no more. I honestly , have no real answer to this.

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #445 on: July 23, 2015, 02:27:58 PM »
This has nothing to do with Skynet's questions, but I found it interesting and thought that this would be the best place to share it.

http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/news/latest/2015/07/quran-manuscript-22-07-15.aspx

The University of Birmingham (in the UK, not Alabama) has had tests done on a portion of a manuscript of the Qu'ran that date the document back to between 568 and 645 C.E.  This places the timeframe within a very close neighborhood of the Prophet's lifetime, making it the oldest known copy of the text.

That's really interesting. The estimates would relate to the Caliphate Othman , since he was the first to address the necessity to put the Qur'an in writing instead of depending on people to memorize it. Especially since many of those who memorized the Qur'an died during sieges and battles before his time.

And you can notice the writing itself relating to the time of Othman himself. Back then Arabic was written as singular drawings without any form of refinement to indicate the difference in pronunciations to certain letters. Later on , they started to add dots above or below letters to identify the correct pronunciations.

Still , its impressive to see such a copy of the Qur'an in a readable condition after so many centuries. ;D

Offline Caehlim

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #446 on: July 23, 2015, 05:57:55 PM »
That's really interesting. The estimates would relate to the Caliphate Othman , since he was the first to address the necessity to put the Qur'an in writing instead of depending on people to memorize it.

It also provides direct supporting evidence for these events. Hopefully not to sound too cynical here but quite frequently folk myths spring up about the origins of any large important movements.

Offline Skynet

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #447 on: July 25, 2015, 11:11:53 PM »
The name Muhammad and its popularity: At what point did it become common for Muslims to name their sons after the Prophet Muhammad?  Was it relatively soon after the beginning of Islam, or did it take time to become a more widespread tradition?

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #448 on: July 26, 2015, 05:18:13 PM »
The name Muhammad and its popularity: At what point did it become common for Muslims to name their sons after the Prophet Muhammad?  Was it relatively soon after the beginning of Islam, or did it take time to become a more widespread tradition?

Tracing back to historical figures and their lineage , you do not see the name Mohammad as often till the beginnings of the Ottoman Empire. I didn't find any solid information using google ( even when I tried searching Arabian websites ) But I suppose its during that time that people started picking the name. Right now in my country for example ( Saudi Arabia ) The name been used heavily as long as my ancestors can trace back to.

Offline Skynet

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #449 on: July 29, 2015, 04:37:15 PM »
More marriage questions.

So in regards to marriage, out-of-faith marriages are acknowledged, but tend to have specific rules.

From my understanding, Muslim men can marry Muslims, Christians, and Jews (People of the Book), but Muslim women can only marry Muslim men.

This Qu'ranic verse says that marriage to a polytheist is forbidden under any circumstance.

Inter-faith: Has there been any discussion, whether Quranic or more modern, regarding Muslim marriages to non-Abrahamic faiths which are not polytheist, such as Buddhism and Zoroastrianism?*

Inter-sect: For Sunni-Shi'ite marriages, how socially acceptable/common have they been?  Did most inter-sect marriages happen with the expectation that one would join the other denomination, or did one of them keep their original beliefs but outwardly hide it when in contact with non-family?

*I'd like to note that I chose these two as examples because the Caliphate was in close contact with Persia since its beginning years, and the Ottomans traded with India and East Asia at certain points in its history.  I assume that debates and concerns regarding relationships inevitably came up at some point in time due to heavy contact with the two civilizations and their religions.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2015, 04:47:24 PM by Skynet »