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Author Topic: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.  (Read 35561 times)

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Offline Skynet

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #550 on: December 10, 2015, 11:21:47 PM »
Thank you for the answers, Formless.

Fasting, Prayer, and Age: So the salat is a rather involved procedure, and tends to be one of the biggest things for new converts to adjust to from what I heard.

For children raised in a Muslim household, what age is it common for them to start learning the salat?  At what age is it expected of them to perform it without assistance?

Also, during the month of Ramadan, there are fasting exemptions for some folk, such as the young, the old, and people with health problems.  What age is it common for a Muslim to fully participate in Ramadan traditions?



Views on the Torah and Bible: I heard that many Muslims regard the older holy books  of the Abrahamic religions as once having truth, but over time became corrupted from poor translations, human bias, and similar factors to the point that they're not entirely reliable, thus the use of the Qu'ran as the final authoritative word.

A Wikipedia entry in regards to this mentions that certain parts are viewed by Muslims as being genuine: the Torah, the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament and the Gospel of Jesus (which I believe is the entire New Testament, but I'm not sure...I wasn't the most observant of Christians in my youth).  Combined with the Qu'ran and the lost scrolls of Abraham, these texts are considered to be scripture, but that Muslims should take guidance from the Qu'ran alone as being the only uncorrupted one.

Why is the Books of Psalms considered to be more trustworthy parts of the Bible than the others?  Also, to what degree are the other, less trustworthy parts considered reliable?  If it helps, you can rank them in degrees from 'mostly true,' 'half-true,' 'unreliable,' or 'false.'
« Last Edit: December 10, 2015, 11:32:56 PM by Skynet »

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #551 on: December 11, 2015, 09:21:40 PM »
Thank you for the answers, Formless.

Fasting, Prayer, and Age: So the salat is a rather involved procedure, and tends to be one of the biggest things for new converts to adjust to from what I heard.

For children raised in a Muslim household, what age is it common for them to start learning the salat?  At what age is it expected of them to perform it without assistance?

Also, during the month of Ramadan, there are fasting exemptions for some folk, such as the young, the old, and people with health problems.  What age is it common for a Muslim to fully participate in Ramadan traditions?

In regards to prayer , it is usually encouraged to start teaching 7 yearsolds about the prayer and giving them a chance to try it. And it is encouraged to ' strike ' them for missing a prayer from the age of 10 yearsold. Of course this practice has long been dead. But there is no official age as to when someone should start prayer , because it is tied to how a youngster "Understands the concept of right & wrong". ( I'm not sure if there's an English term that could encompass that concept. ) But usually families start to get worked up about their kids missing prayers around the age of 15.

As for Fasting , its the same as the prayer. If a child can fast a whole day , viola , but it becomes essential when they reach that same age , so its usually 15.

Views on the Torah and Bible: I heard that many Muslims regard the older holy books  of the Abrahamic religions as once having truth, but over time became corrupted from poor translations, human bias, and similar factors to the point that they're not entirely reliable, thus the use of the Qu'ran as the final authoritative word.

A Wikipedia entry in regards to this mentions that certain parts are viewed by Muslims as being genuine: the Torah, the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament and the Gospel of Jesus (which I believe is the entire New Testament, but I'm not sure...I wasn't the most observant of Christians in my youth).  Combined with the Qu'ran and the lost scrolls of Abraham, these texts are considered to be scripture, but that Muslims should take guidance from the Qu'ran alone as being the only uncorrupted one.

Why is the Books of Psalms considered to be more trustworthy parts of the Bible than the others?  Also, to what degree are the other, less trustworthy parts considered reliable?  If it helps, you can rank them in degrees from 'mostly true,' 'half-true,' 'unreliable,' or 'false.'

I'm afraid I have no answer to that. I'm not familiar with the bible or the Torah , so I cannot say what if its corrupted , altered or whatever some people claim. But it is no surprise that someone from Islam ( or any religion for that matter ) would think another holy book is corrupted. ) As for the Book of Psalms , I think I once heard it wasn't as much of a ' religious guide book ' as it was a ' book of divine wisdom '. From what I've heard , the book of Psalms did not have any concept of ' right or wrong ' , hence why it wasn't a cause for religious debate. But that's what I've heard.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #552 on: December 11, 2015, 11:04:51 PM »
how a youngster "Understands the concept of right & wrong". ( I'm not sure if there's an English term that could encompass that concept. )

Back when I was Catholic, the term was 'age of reason', and referred to somewhere around 7-ish, when First Confession and First Communion were both given.

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #553 on: December 12, 2015, 09:01:01 AM »
Back when I was Catholic, the term was 'age of reason', and referred to somewhere around 7-ish, when First Confession and First Communion were both given.

I see. Thank you , Lady Oniya.

Offline Skynet

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #554 on: December 13, 2015, 01:30:34 PM »
Polygamy: Although up to four wives was allowed, I heard that monogamy was still a more common practice in the times of the Caliphates due to the economics of bridal prices being out of the range of most people.

How accurate is this?  How common was it for the "common man" to have two or more wives as opposed to just one?

Also, how did men in such relationships handle the possibility of jealousy arising and how big of a problem was it considered if a man had a "favorite wife?"
« Last Edit: December 13, 2015, 01:32:24 PM by Skynet »

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #555 on: December 13, 2015, 08:27:59 PM »
I'll start by explaining how the people during the older days ( Rashidun , Abbasyds ... etc ) dealt with this issue.

In Islam , A man can have up to four wives , but a limitless number of Female Slaves , or mostly known as Concubines. In Arabic , the correct term is ' Mulk Al-Yameen ' , which literally translates to ' Owned by right '. Typically , Islam forbids mistreating any one's slaves , either those who do their owner's bidding , or cater to his pleasure. But it doesn't condone selling and buying slaves back in the day. However , If a slave demands to be released for a price , the owner must accept and set his slave free. Though usually the ruler 'Ameer Al-mo'meneen ' settles these feuds or who rules in his place. It is also encouraged to set slaves free instead of owning them. The first Mo'athen ( The one who calls for prayer ) for the Holy Mosque in Medinah was a slave set free whose name was Bilal Bin Rabah.

Anyway , due to the nature of society back then . marriage wasn't an easy feat due to how much it costs , and for the extreme tribalism back then. So a man could own a slave and it would be cheaper than a wife.

Now Polygamy while allowed , a man must be fair , since the punishment for a man who doesn't treat hiswives fair is the denial of Heaven. Just as how Islam punishes a woman for not giving in to her husband's carnal needs , the same punishment befalls the man. ( But you don't see that advocated , beats me why. )

Nowadays , there's no slaves to buy , and marriage in some countries can cost a lot. So , you'll mostly see an olderman whose capable of marrying more than one lady.

Does that answer your question? :-)



I'd also like to take this chance to talk about the alleged "72 virgins". That's not true.

In Qur'an , everyone is promised beautiful women ( In Arabic they're called Hoor Al-een ) , but there's nothing about the number or whatever you hear people saying these days. Qur'an even promises ' pretty boys ' to be seen in Heaven ... So , yeah.

Offline Skynet

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #556 on: December 13, 2015, 10:01:08 PM »

Does that answer your question? :-)

Yup, and then some.  :-)

Martyrdom: So in recent events, the term in an Islamic context is often applied in a military or violent way, both by Westerners, soldiers in Muslim countries, as well as terrorist groups who view their activities as a prerequisite to martyrdom.

Wikipedia suggests that it has a more generic meaning of "Shahid" or "to witness," of a Muslim who dies as a result of their faith or a religious commandment.  There are three Quranic verses quoted:

Quote
The Quran, chapter 3 (Al Imran), verse 169–170:
“   Think not of those who are slain in Allah's way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord; They rejoice in the bounty provided by Allah. And with regard to those left behind, who have not yet joined them (in their bliss), the (Martyrs) glory in the fact that on them is no fear, nor have they (cause to) grieve. 

Quote
The Quran, chapter 9 (At-Tawba), verse 111:
“   Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Qur´an: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme. 

Quote
The Quran, chapter 22 (Al-Hajj), verse 58:
“   Those who leave their homes in the cause of Allah, and are then slain or die,- On them will Allah bestow verily a goodly Provision: Truly Allah is He Who bestows the best provision. 

I can see how the second verse of fighting for one's cause being interpreted as meaning a violent context, is that necessarily considered the standard?  Are most historical examples of Muslim martyrs soldiers fighting for their countries and homelands and such?

The first and third listed verses are more open in that regard.  Said Wiki also says that women who died in childbirth are considered martyrs.

Let's take this situation: a Muslim doctor visits a plague-ridden town for the purposes of curing people.  He's able to heal many people of their afflictions, but as the result of his work he becomes infected and dies from the sickness.

Would this be an example of martyrdom?  Would many Muslims today would view his actions as worthy of such?  Would such stories have been just as common of examples of martyrdom in the Islamic world as the soldiers?
« Last Edit: December 13, 2015, 10:03:31 PM by Skynet »

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #557 on: December 13, 2015, 10:12:34 PM »
Well , the example you provided fits perfectly. Dying for the cause is the key to heaven. If a fireman dies while trying to rescue someone from a fire , he'd go to heaven.

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Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #558 on: December 13, 2015, 10:19:06 PM »
Well , the example you provided fits perfectly. Dying for the cause is the key to heaven. If a fireman dies while trying to rescue someone from a fire , he'd go to heaven.

Regardless of anything else he might have done and how he lived his life up until that point? Related : can I,  as a non Muslim, go to heaven?

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #559 on: December 13, 2015, 10:31:34 PM »
Regardless of anything else he might have done and how he lived his life up until that point? Related : can I,  as a non Muslim, go to heaven?

This is where imams , sheiks and muftis disagree. Some say yes , some say no.

But the way I see it , Its up to God. If someone lived their life to the fullest and caused good in their life , whose to say they do not deserve a greater afterlife? But that's just me.

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Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #560 on: January 01, 2016, 05:13:17 PM »
Huh...I never noticed, but for the first time in about 500 years Christmas and Mohameds birthday were on the same day.

Calendars...how do they work? :P But jokes aside yay this should be a thing of rejoicing and peace.

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #561 on: January 02, 2016, 10:44:09 AM »
You know I just noticed it myself ! ;D

A nice coincidence. :D

Offline Skynet

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #562 on: January 31, 2016, 01:57:05 AM »
Weddings: In many Christian societies it's common for fiancees to host weddings at the local church.  It's traditional for the bridge and groom to go down the pews and meet at an altar, where they exchange vows in front of a priest, who then asks each person if they take the other as a lawfully wedded spouse, then kiss.

I was wondering if in many Muslim countries if mosques play a similar role in the hosting of weddings, and if imams and sheikhs have any special positions to perform for the wedding of couples.

Types of mosques: Another comparative example.  The names of Christian churches tend to vary a bit, and in some cases have distinctive architectural styles.  Catholics have cathedrals, which tend to have stained glass windows.  Mormons call their religious centers temples, and they don't use the cross as iconography due to viewing it as the weapon which killed Jesus and thus not holy.

I was wondering if Sunni and Shia mosques have any differentiating words of designation (cathedral/temple/etc), and if they have any noticeably different architectural styles.  Also, do subgroups such as Wahhabi and Sufi Muslims have their own flair as well?

Shi'ite/Shi'a: Some time ago I decided to input in some related words into English-Arabic Google Translate to see how different they come out.  This was partially in account of how several words tend to have multiple grammatically correct spellings in English due to not setting off a spellchecker (Muhammad/Mohammed, Qu'ran/Koran, genie/djinni, etc).  This is an anomaly in that words in English tend to have only one proper spelling.

When I did it for Shi'ite, I noticed that the verbal translation in Arabic sounds similar to "Shi'a," or 'shayei."



Also, 'Shi'a' got me this, which doesn't sound like either "Shi'ite" or "Shi'a."



For completionist's sake, I did the same for "Sunni," which didn't differ.  However, the button for a verbal translation put an emphasis on an "n" sound at the end, sounding like something akin to "Sunneen."



 So, do the words "Shi'a" and "Shi'ite" exist in Arabic at all, or are they more likely English translations which ended up getting a different sound, as words going across languages tend to do.

On a side note, this may be more pertinent to linguistics than religion, but might the multiple correct spellings be an inherited quality from the Arabic language?  Is the spellings of words in Arabic more open to variation than in English?
« Last Edit: January 31, 2016, 02:19:00 AM by Skynet »

Offline Oniya

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Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #563 on: January 31, 2016, 03:50:28 AM »
Just speaking as someone who enjoys languages - the multiple spellings are more than likely an artifact of Arabic using a completely different alphabet from English.  You'll see similar things in Japanese, where the {o} sound can be Romanized as 'o' or 'ou', depending on your source.

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #564 on: January 31, 2016, 12:13:21 PM »
Weddings: In many Christian societies it's common for fiancees to host weddings at the local church.  It's traditional for the bridge and groom to go down the pews and meet at an altar, where they exchange vows in front of a priest, who then asks each person if they take the other as a lawfully wedded spouse, then kiss.

I was wondering if in many Muslim countries if mosques play a similar role in the hosting of weddings, and if imams and sheikhs have any special positions to perform for the wedding of couples.

Not quite sure if anyone would do it to be honest. In the Gulf countries and north African countries , Weddings takes place in wedding halls. Halls designed for such an event. Or sometimes on a modest scale , they do so in either he groom's or the bride's household. Imams and Sheikhs do not have anything to do with weddings.

After the engagement , when both sides agree to get married. The official marriage contract is signed before a Marriage official , with four witnesses two from each side. When that happens , the marriage has become official , but most countries in the gulf prefer to hold a celebration for the occasion so the groom and the bride do not get together immediately but only after the celebration is concluded.

The Marriage official can be an Imam , or a Sheikh , but most of the time , its just an official hired by the government.

Quote
Types of mosques: Another comparative example.  The names of Christian churches tend to vary a bit, and in some cases have distinctive architectural styles.  Catholics have cathedrals, which tend to have stained glass windows.  Mormons call their religious centers temples, and they don't use the cross as iconography due to viewing it as the weapon which killed Jesus and thus not holy.

I was wondering if Sunni and Shia mosques have any differentiating words of designation (cathedral/temple/etc), and if they have any noticeably different architectural styles.  Also, do subgroups such as Wahhabi and Sufi Muslims have their own flair as well?

Between Sunni and Shia's mosques , there is a bit of a difference , in name for example. Sunnis calls it a ' Masjid ' while Shias calls it ' Husaini '. From an architectural side , Husainis usually do not have A dome or a Manara ( beacon based on Mr. Google. ) Now I understand the reason behind the name difference since the Shia relate to Hussein Bin Ali. But the architectural difference is beyond me.

Shi'ite/Shi'a: Some time ago I decided to input in some related words into English-Arabic Google Translate to see how different they come out.  This was partially in account of how several words tend to have multiple grammatically correct spellings in English due to not setting off a spellchecker (Muhammad/Mohammed, Qu'ran/Koran, genie/djinni, etc).  This is an anomaly in that words in English tend to have only one proper spelling.

When I did it for Shi'ite, I noticed that the verbal translation in Arabic sounds similar to "Shi'a," or 'shayei."


I cannot comment from a linguistic angle. But here in the first example you provided , The Arabian translation to Shi'ite meant 'A person of the Shia sect'.

Quote

In the second example , the word Shi'a was translated to 'The sect's name itself.'

Now as for the last example. A Sunni is a man of the Sunnah sect'.

Sunni & Shi'ite , Sunnah & Shia. That's how it goes.

Hope this helps. :-)

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #565 on: January 31, 2016, 12:14:45 PM »
Just speaking as someone who enjoys languages - the multiple spellings are more than likely an artifact of Arabic using a completely different alphabet from English.  You'll see similar things in Japanese, where the {o} sound can be Romanized as 'o' or 'ou', depending on your source.

The real trouble about Arabic is how it have different sounds that aren't easy to produce with the English alphabets. ;D

Offline Oniya

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Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #566 on: January 31, 2016, 12:47:10 PM »
The real trouble about Arabic is how it have different sounds that aren't easy to produce with the English alphabets. ;D

Another fair point.  And while the Arabic alphabet conveys those sounds well, we're stuck with trying to approximate it with Q's, K's, and apostrophes.  ;D

completely off topic
I'm reminded of a story (possibly a mere urban legend) about when Marc Okrand was developing the 'official' Klingon language.  He decided it would be 'fun' to create a language that didn't use the hard /k/ sound.  Finally someone took him aside and said 'But Marc - they're Klingons!'  It is fact, however, that the language is called 'tlhIngan Hol'

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #567 on: January 31, 2016, 04:08:35 PM »
Another fair point.  And while the Arabic alphabet conveys those sounds well, we're stuck with trying to approximate it with Q's, K's, and apostrophes.  ;D

completely off topic
I'm reminded of a story (possibly a mere urban legend) about when Marc Okrand was developing the 'official' Klingon language.  He decided it would be 'fun' to create a language that didn't use the hard /k/ sound.  Finally someone took him aside and said 'But Marc - they're Klingons!'  It is fact, however, that the language is called 'tlhIngan Hol'

I think creating a new language is a remarkable feat. ;D

Offline Cassandra LeMay

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #568 on: February 01, 2016, 04:41:41 AM »
Another problem might arise from the differences in spelling between western languages. As not all letters of the Latin alphabet are pronounced the same way in all languages that use that alphabet, a French, German, and English translator might come up with pretty different spellings for the same Arab word. Those may all sound very similar to the original in the language they were intended for, but can look very different from one another. Once those different spellings find their way into another language area things can get complicated.

Offline FormlessTopic starter

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #569 on: February 01, 2016, 04:02:47 PM »
I always thought that was part of the language the words are translated into. I'm not an expert on languages , but there's subtle differences in how vowels are used in each languages in Europe , right?

Offline Skynet

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #570 on: February 01, 2016, 06:16:48 PM »

Sunni & Shi'ite , Sunnah & Shia. That's how it goes.

Hope this helps. :-)

Yup, what you said sounds right to me.

Offline Skynet

Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #571 on: February 04, 2016, 04:40:21 PM »
So my next questions are going to be rather specific to Shia things.

Theological Differences: So initially the divide between the two major sects were who would be the ideal leader for the Muslim community, Abu Bakr or Ali.  Although it seemed to start out as a difference in leadership of politics both present and future (caliphs, ayatollahs, etc), over time it seems that there were more differences in religious interpretation which evolved beyond just this.  If possible, I'd like to know the circumstances and origins for the more minor differences and how they came to be, if possible.



1. Pictures of Prophet Muhammad: To my surprise I heard that Shi'ite Muslims are more lax in regards to portrayal of the Prophet in images.  Whereas Sunnis maintain that visual descriptors for any reason are bad, there are Shi'ites who have no problem if the images are respectful.  In Tehran there are pictures of Prophet Muhammad, although Wikipedia says that historically Shi'ites were in agreement with the Sunnis on this issue concerning depictions.  I'd like to note ahead of time that near the bottom of the page this article does indeed show images of the Prophet, for those who wish to avoid it.  I'll quote the relevant examples:

Quote
Most Sunni Muslims believe that visual depictions of all the prophets of Islam should be prohibited[17] and are particularly averse to visual representations of Muhammad.[18] The key concern is that the use of images can encourage idolatry.[19] In Shia Islam, however, images of Muhammad are quite common nowadays, even though Shia scholars historically were against such depictions.[18][20] Still, many Muslims who take a stricter view of the supplemental traditions will sometimes challenge any depiction of Muhammad, including those created and published by non-Muslims.[21]

Quote
Thomas Walker Arnold says "It was not merely Sunni schools of law but Shia jurists also who fulminated against this figured art. Because the Persians are Shiites, many Europeans writers have assumed that the Shia sect had not the same objection to representing living being as the rival set of the Sunni; but such an opinion ignores the fact that Shiisum did not become the state church in Persia until the rise of the Safivid dynasty at the beginning of the 16th century."



2. Temporary Marriages: In Twelver Shi'a Islam, there is a tradition known as Nika mut'ah.  In short it's a verbal or written contract between two Muslims to undergo marriage, except that it ends at a specified date and time.  As far as I know Sunni Muslims don't have an equivalent thing.  Wikipedia on the article says that a potential rationale for it was on a hadith about Ali:

Quote
Why do you [ask], when you [Ali], with the blessing of Allah, have a wife at your side? He [Ali] replied, 'No, I just want to know.' Imam Kadhim replied, "The permissibility is present within the Book of Allah".[34]

The article then goes on to mention that the practice of temporary marriage was later explicitly banned by the Sunni Caliph, which caused Shi'ites at the time to say that this ruling was challenging Islamic tradition.

The Wiki later mentioned that the practice within Twelver subsect has actually changed over time being halal in some eras, haram in others, and that some hadiths were against it:

Quote
Other Twelver Shia hadiths are not so in favor of Mutah marriage because Imam Baqir and Imam Jafar were not in favor of it.

Imam Baqir, recorded in 'Tahdeeb al Ahkam' and 'Furu al Kafi':P p476.V2 / Pp34.V5

Abdullah Bin Umair asked Abi Ja'far [as]: Is it acceptable to you that your women, daughters, sisters, daughters of your aunties do it (Mut'ah)? Abu Ja'far rebuked him when he mentioned his women and daughters of his aunties.

In another Twelver Shia hadith narrated from Imam Jafar Ul Sadaq Narrated by A'maar: Abu Abdullah, Imam Jafar Sadaq said to me and to Suliman Bin Khaled: "I made Mut'ah Haram on you". AL Kafi Pp 467.V5.Wiasal Shia Pp22.V21."[39]

In other books Ja'far Al-Sadiq said in a narration by Abdallah bin Sinan: "I asked Abu Abdullah about Mutah. He said: "Don't defile yourself with it"[40]

The classical Twelver Shia books like AL Kafi, AL Istabsar, Tahzeeb Ul Ahkam, Min La Yadrhu Fiqa say "The Holy Prophet and the Imams of Ahlubayt never practised Mut'a".[41]



3. Tattoos: Another bit of difference is that the art of tattooing is more relaxed in Shi'a Islam than the Sunnah.  For once, Wikipedia was not reliable, giving but a single line claiming that it was permissible and that scholars of the sect believe that there are no hadiths forbidding it.  A Google search brought up various message boards and a subreddit by general folks, which may not necessarily be an authoritative source.  There was a link to a website called Ask the Sheikh, which has Shia scholars give a viewpoint on the issue:

Quote
I would like to know if tattoos are haram or halal. If they are can i have a tattoo the name of Karbala because of what happened to Imam Hussain (as) and can I also have any of the shrines of the Imams? If it is halal can I have one anywhere on my body?

Quote
Jurisprudentially, tattoos are halal.

However, one needs to think very carefully about getting a tattoo, as removing this tattoo can be very difficult and its not a decision one can easily reverse. In addition to this, ethically it may not be appropriate for a believer to get a tattoo.

One should not tattoo the names of Allah, the Exalted, on their body, nor the names of the Infallible Prophets and Imams (as). If one is tattooing other holy things (e.g. pictures of shrines), they should not put the tattoo in a place which may disrespect those holy shrines.



4. Ashoura and self-mutilation: This is not something universally common to Shi'ites (it's banned in Iran and Lebanon but permitted in India and Bangladesh), there's a belief that infliction of self-harm can aid in the washing away of sins.  Traditionally it's done on the Day of Ashura according to Wikipedia.  The holiday is practiced by Sunni Muslims as well, but the key difference is that the holiday's a happy event for the Sunni, but a time of mourning for Shi'ites.  The exact origins for its practice are not really mentioned except by a saying that its a way of remembering Imam al-Husayn's legacy.

Is voluntary self-mutilation a thing in broader Islam beyond some Shi'ites, and beyond just this holiday?



Alternate History/What If? I get the feeling that Shi'ites think about this all the time, but has there been any in-depth consideration or thought experiments (on a professional or amateur level) done on how differently things would've turned out if Ali became the leader of the Muslim community as opposed to Abu Bakr?
« Last Edit: February 04, 2016, 05:19:39 PM by Skynet »

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Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #572 on: February 04, 2016, 09:18:54 PM »
So my next questions are going to be rather specific to Shia things.

Theological Differences: So initially the divide between the two major sects were who would be the ideal leader for the Muslim community, Abu Bakr or Ali.  Although it seemed to start out as a difference in leadership of politics both present and future (caliphs, ayatollahs, etc), over time it seems that there were more differences in religious interpretation which evolved beyond just this.  If possible, I'd like to know the circumstances and origins for the more minor differences and how they came to be, if possible.

The argument about them siding with Ali instead of Abu Bakr and thus creating the rift is just one possible theory.

Some relate the problem to the time when Ali himself became the leader , and the Umayyads contested his leadership.

Another relate to how the Shi'ite declared the Qur'an partially false after the death of Mohammad.

The one I myself believe is the second instance. Because its the one incident all historians agrees upon. A battle did occur between Ali's followers and the Umayyads. And hence it all started.

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1. Pictures of Prophet Muhammad: To my surprise I heard that Shi'ite Muslims are more lax in regards to portrayal of the Prophet in images.  Whereas Sunnis maintain that visual descriptors for any reason are bad, there are Shi'ites who have no problem if the images are respectful.  In Tehran there are pictures of Prophet Muhammad, although Wikipedia says that historically Shi'ites were in agreement with the Sunnis on this issue concerning depictions.  I'd like to note ahead of time that near the bottom of the page this article does indeed show images of the Prophet, for those who wish to avoid it.

The prevention of any depiction of God and The Prophets (not just Mohammad), is for two reasons:

The first one is the one you've mentioned. Fear of idolatry.

The second reason is to prevent any ' physical ' mockery of God and his prophets. An image , be it a statue , a portrait ... etc , is prone to vandalism. God is feared , but once one dare to make mockery of him , that would weaken the faith of the followers. As to why the Shia do not care about it. Well they think Ali was the fitted prophet. I suppose from that view point came their leniency towards the depiction of Mohammad.

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2. Temporary Marriages: In Twelver Shi'a Islam, there is a tradition known as Nika mut'ah.  In short it's a verbal or written contract between two Muslims to undergo marriage, except that it ends at a specified date and time.  As far as I know Sunni Muslims don't have an equivalent thing.

Well , to this day , there's supporters and deniers of this type of marriage even among Sunnis.

Some compares it to prostitution , which is prohibited by Islamic teachings , and twisting the basics of marriage to fit into their own visions does not make it any more different. A marriage requires witnesses and a man to formalize the marriage contract as mentioned in an earlier post. Pleasure marriage does not require any of these.

Others considers it normal because its already happening even in my country. Its just that no one need to write a formal date to end the marriage within the contract.

It all boils down to semantics. Do this and do that. Everyone knows the rules , and everyone knows the loop holes.

But it is important to say that Marriage isn't to be taken lightly. Its a religious and social commitment. Treating it like a free pass for a quick roll in the hay just doesn't sound right.

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3. Tattoos: Another bit of difference is that the art of tattooing is more relaxed in Shi'a Islam than the Sunnah.  For once, Wikipedia was not reliable, giving but a single line claiming that it was permissible and that scholars of the sect believe that there are no hadiths forbidding it.  A Google search brought up various message boards and a subreddit by general folks, which may not necessarily be an authoritative source.

Sunnis consider tattoos forbidden , because there's been Hadiths that forbids it. However , no Qur'anic verses backs it up. I guess this is why the SHia are lenient about this one as well.

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4. Ashoura and self-mutilation: This is not something universally common to Shi'ites (it's banned in Iran and Lebanon but permitted in India and Bangladesh), there's a belief that infliction of self-harm can aid in the washing away of sins.  Traditionally it's done on the Day of Ashura according to Wikipedia.  The holiday is practiced by Sunni Muslims as well, but the key difference is that the holiday's a happy event for the Sunni, but a time of mourning for Shi'ites.  The exact origins for its practice are not really mentioned except by a saying that its a way of remembering Imam al-Husayn's legacy.

Is voluntary self-mutilation a thing in broader Islam beyond some Shi'ites, and beyond just this holiday?

Self-harm is not allowed in any form for any Muslim. There's countless verses and Hadiths about it. And that whole tradition is just bizarre. Some Shi'ites would tell you its not even true. And harming yourself wouldn't wash away sins. It would get you more sins.

The day of Ashoura is just a day where Muslims fast is following of Mohammad's wish. Basically before Ramadan's fasting became part of the Islamic faith , Muslims were obligated to fast in that day.

Now the day of Ashoura relates to the ' Tenth day of the first month in the Islamic Calender.' Ashoura is a different pronunciation to Asher which translates to ' tenth '.

When Mohammad first arrived to Madinah , he noticed the Jews fasting this day. When he asked why , he was told that the Jews fast in honor of that day when god saved Moses and his people. So Mohammad declared that even Muslims have a right to that honor.

Some say that Mohammad also said that a Muslim need to fast a day before or after Ashoura , just to be different from the Jews. But just like some Hadiths , its weak.

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Alternate History/What If? I get the feeling that Shi'ites think about this all the time, but has there been any in-depth consideration or thought experiments (on a professional or amateur level) done on how differently things would've turned out if Ali became the leader of the Muslim community as opposed to Abu Bakr?

History is an interesting thing. You learn about the past and you ponder the endless possibilities that could have happened if one thing or another differs.

I myself do not know if anyone tried to write something of this sort.

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Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #573 on: February 05, 2016, 12:26:18 PM »
I remember once in highschool I read a book story of a young boy in Afghanistan who helped the coalition forces and reporters as a guide. When one of the soldiers who always gave the kid candy was killed the boy wished the bomber would spend eternity in Hell.

I cant remember the name of the book but it mentioned after that that some who go to hell would eventually be allowed to Heaven after a certain amount of punishment. Is this accurate or am I remembering it wrong/the book is incorrect?

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Re: Islam , A variety of discussions from a non extreme perspective.
« Reply #574 on: February 05, 2016, 09:02:53 PM »
I remember once in highschool I read a book story of a young boy in Afghanistan who helped the coalition forces and reporters as a guide. When one of the soldiers who always gave the kid candy was killed the boy wished the bomber would spend eternity in Hell.

I cant remember the name of the book but it mentioned after that that some who go to hell would eventually be allowed to Heaven after a certain amount of punishment. Is this accurate or am I remembering it wrong/the book is incorrect?

I believe this post will help elaborate on this matter. :-)

https://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=184441.msg11066126#msg11066126