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Author Topic: Feel free to ask me anything about Islam...  (Read 28553 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #90 on: September 30, 2012, 12:28:46 AM »

Do Shi'a have the same belief regarding the eternality and uncreated nature of the Qur'an that the Sunnis apparently have? An acquaintance of mine who converted to Sunni Islam (apparently from some kind of Christianity, though I don't know exactly what) explained it to me once that the Qur'an is preserved since time immemorial in heaven on some kind of tablet, as are "uncorrupted"/original versions of the Torah and the Christian NT (in keeping with the mainstream Islamic view that these have been corrupted). I thought that was pretty interesting, but I don't really understand how it's supposed to work.  

Shia's do agree that the Qur'an is not corrupted... and there are many reasons why.  For one, it's in a poetic format, so it's easier to memorize.  So when these verses were revealed to the prophet, he would enunciate it out stanza by stanza (ie. verse by verse), so everyone was able to memorize it-- some would later go and write down the verse .  Later, when all the surahs (poems) were revealed, the early muslims compiled all these poems into one book--- which was the first quran.  This first quran is still around and that's why we believe it's not corrupted.

Can you tell us the location of this document please?  Also, in No God But God by Reza Aslan (p.125-126 in my paperback edition) writes that when when the Quran was written down as the various persons who had memorized it traveled to other areas small "mostly insignificant differences reflecting the local and cultural affinities of Muslim communities in Iraq or Syria or Basra..." began to appear.  Then around 650 A.D. Uthman ordered a definitive copy be produced and bound while other documents, with the inconsequential varients were to be burnt.    Have you read this book? It is a good historical overview, I think.

May I ask please what you know of the history of the compilation of the New Testament?

Ebor


I'm certain the book is located in Uzbekistan.   I've tried to see some of the text of the book, but all I could find on the internet are pictures of certain verses.  I think you'll have to physically go to that location to the read the book.

About the NT, I'm not an expert on it.  But  I do know, that today there are many different versions/translation of the original text.  The original text however, is not any museum atm, but Muslims believe that in the future they will be revealed again, so there is no doubt about the truth.
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fibonacci
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« Reply #91 on: September 30, 2012, 01:09:39 AM »

Did Islam mess up the entire Middle East? Be honest about it. I mean, I'll be the first one to admit that the Roman Catholic Church messed up western Europe during the Dark Ages and screwed up Latin America.

If you're referring to the secular individuals today, who claim to be Muslims, and carrying out not-so-islamic acts.... then yes.

But in the early years of the religion, when Europe was struggling with wars, Islam was at the forefront of human endeavors (science, math, philosophy, ...etc.).  A lot of inventions and discoveries were revealed in the Islamic region during the golden age:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_Golden_Age

Could you please give a better idea of the timeframe that you are thinking of here?  Avicenna was flourishing around the early 11th century and Averroes, who was in Al-Andaluz lived in the 12th century. There were others but I mention these two as having a great deal of influence for quite some time.   So I'm not clear as to how this fits with the "early years of the religion" (around the 7th-9th centuries?)  There were things happening in various parts of Europe that were more than just struggling with war.  And there were certainly wars from the Moslem side in those years such as the conquest of the Iberian Penisula and the incursions into what is now France such as the Battle of Poitiers/Tours in 732. 

Quote
All this creativity came to an end, when people lost their spiritual ways, and didn't pay attention to their faith.... especially in regards to economic and political decisions. 

Can you explain this a bit more please?  Some of my readings say that the creativity was rather suppressed by some who came to power and did not want such things that they did not like or agree with to be allowed to continue.

Ebor

Ebor, please forgive me, but I only know of historical facts from a macro perspective.  I try not to spend too much time on minor facts.... like dates and places
but from what I've read a long time ago, there was a golden era from 700 - 1200 ad in regions like Iraq and Persia (Iran), where a lot of muslims were pushing the barriers of science and math.  Many topics that we study in modern science has it's origins from that era-- but not properly credited unfortunately... like Al- gebra, Al- gorithm, Al- chemy...etc.

Here are some prominent scientists--

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jabir_ibn_Hayyan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alhazen

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Jazari

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_al-Qasim_al-Zahrawi

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_ibn_Mūsā_al-Khwārizmī

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avicenna

There are many more, and I encourage you check it out....

The creativity stopped, when the economic/political systems changed that hindered their progress.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2012, 01:10:12 AM by fibonacci » Logged
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« Reply #92 on: September 30, 2012, 01:36:23 AM »

About the NT, I'm not an expert on it.  But  I do know, that today there are many different versions/translation of the original text.  The original text however, is not any museum atm, but Muslims believe that in the future they will be revealed again, so there is no doubt about the truth.

This is a projection of flawed Islamic epistemology onto Christian revelation that absolutely does not work. To talk about the "original text" of the Bible, we must ask you first which book you are claiming to be corrupted, and in what way. The Bible did not fall out of the sky one day, whole and complete with table of contents and authenticating watermarks or papers. It is a collection of books, and which ones make it into the canon and which ones do not can vary depending on the church in question. It is perhaps a bit more useful to compare it (albeit imperfectly) to the status of the Qur'an before Uthman's canonization of that text, where regional variant readings were commonplace (e.g., Kufa had its own reading that differed from other places). Even churches which are in communion with each other (such as the Egyptian church and the Armenian church) may not have exactly the same canon, but neither says of the other that they do not have the "true" or "original" Bible, because the faith that they hold to is the same,  brought to them by the apostles who predate the canonization of the Bible in any one particular church.

This is the problem in Islam's form of self-knowledge and acceptance of revelation, from a Christian perspective: In Christianity, the revelation to and salvation of man is through the Word made flesh in the person of Jesus Christ, with the Bible flowing out of that experience of God among us. In Islam, by contrast, there is no incarnation and hence the revelation is through the written text of a book. This would be much less strange to us if Islam didn't then turn around and call us "People of the Book" (we were people of God for centuries upon centuries before "the Book" was ever canonized), while also chastising us for our supposed but unproven failure to preserve our Book, all because we did not do as Uthman did and create a redacted version which we would then be seen as "the original" (when in fact that is not a problem, because for the Old Testament we have had the LXX since before the incarnation of Christ, and the New Testament is at least the 27 books first declared canonical by St. Athanasius the Apostolic several hundred years before Muhammad or Islam existed, which is still what you'll find in the Bible today).

Please do more study into the NT and its canonization before deciding that the common Islamic viewpoint on it is the correct one by default. We are dealing with two completely different systems of revelation and preservation, and for all the supposed uniformity (~ authenticity?) guaranteed through yours, ours has proven no less reliable in the face of higher textual criticism (the type of which Islamic orthodoxy has not allowed up until this day; cf. the Sana'a manuscript), and with far less destruction of period texts than Uthman's method (i.e., non-canonical gospels and other writings such as those of the early Church Fathers were preserved as sources of tradition in a way that might be familiar to you if you keep to sahih hadith -- they're not considered on the same level as the Bible itself, but they provide us with glimpses into the lives of the early Christians, so that we know, for instance, that the Bible that we have today is the same as that of the early Christians, and our services have preserved their practices, etc).
« Last Edit: September 30, 2012, 01:38:05 AM by dzheremi » Logged

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« Reply #93 on: September 30, 2012, 02:35:53 AM »

Is there an official position in Islam on evolution?  I know I used to visit a Muslim webpage which had a lot of information refuting evolution.  How does Islam reconcile its position on the matter?  Thanks!
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« Reply #94 on: September 30, 2012, 09:32:15 AM »

Did Islam mess up the entire Middle East? Be honest about it. I mean, I'll be the first one to admit that the Roman Catholic Church messed up western Europe during the Dark Ages and screwed up Latin America.

If you're referring to the secular individuals today, who claim to be Muslims, and carrying out not-so-islamic acts.... then yes.

But in the early years of the religion, when Europe was struggling with wars, Islam was at the forefront of human endeavors (science, math, philosophy, ...etc.).  A lot of inventions and discoveries were revealed in the Islamic region during the golden age:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_Golden_Age

Could you please give a better idea of the timeframe that you are thinking of here?  Avicenna was flourishing around the early 11th century and Averroes, who was in Al-Andaluz lived in the 12th century. There were others but I mention these two as having a great deal of influence for quite some time.   So I'm not clear as to how this fits with the "early years of the religion" (around the 7th-9th centuries?)  There were things happening in various parts of Europe that were more than just struggling with war.  And there were certainly wars from the Moslem side in those years such as the conquest of the Iberian Penisula and the incursions into what is now France such as the Battle of Poitiers/Tours in 732. 

Quote
All this creativity came to an end, when people lost their spiritual ways, and didn't pay attention to their faith.... especially in regards to economic and political decisions. 

Can you explain this a bit more please?  Some of my readings say that the creativity was rather suppressed by some who came to power and did not want such things that they did not like or agree with to be allowed to continue.

Ebor

Ebor, please forgive me, but I only know of historical facts from a macro perspective.  I try not to spend too much time on minor facts.... like dates and places

I'm sorry, but when making claims about history the times and places are not "minor" facts. They matter.  Good verifiable information can support a person's ideas while errors will not. Dates and places are some of the important facts that are needed to establish what truely happened when and where.   They are part of the context that is necessary to understand the larger picture. 
Meaning no offense to you, but having a "macro perspective" of history sounds vague. If I were to make some claim about history of an event I would have to give some checkable information for other people to use to find out (if they wanted) that such a situation was True.  Just because there was some idea that I liked doesn't mean that it is the truth.

Quote
but from what I've read a long time ago, there was a golden era from 700 - 1200 ad in regions like Iraq and Persia (Iran), where a lot of muslims were pushing the barriers of science and math.  Many topics that we study in modern science has it's origins from that era-- but not properly credited unfortunately... like Al- gebra, Al- gorithm, Al- chemy...etc.

Not properly credited?  The constellations book that I had as a child stated (and it certainly is common knowledge in astronomy) that many star names are from Arabic.  Algebra comes from then and mathematicians haven't tried to cover up the roots.  However, Alchemy is not a purely Arabic word as it comes from the Greek "chemia" with an "al" added and the word then goes through Latin to Old French and then to English.  http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/alchemy
Working with materials and elements was not a new development from Persia.

May I ask if you recall materials you read that did not give the historical information or, since you say "a long time ago" how long ago that was and where? 

Thank you for the list of people.  I know of them and mentioned Avicenna, for example, in my earlier post.  I have read various works on the period and culture including in the last year the book I mentioned No god But God by Reza Aslan who is originally from Iran. The book's sub-title is The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam and it can be found in hardback, paperback and in libraries.

Quote
There are many more, and I encourage you check it out....

The creativity stopped, when the economic/political systems changed that hindered their progress.


I apologize for any unintended offense, but I know more of the subject than you seem to think that I do.  And I disagree with your idea as to what brought the Golden Age to an end.  In Spain/Al-Andaluz for example there was suppression of the thought and philosophy of other Muslims under the Almohad rulers.  I suppose that one might say that that was a change in the "political system" but it wasn't along the lines that you described above.  Here is the wiki link on the Almohad reforms though I can find other material on this if desired.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almohad_reforms
Wikipedia can be a good starting place but deeper understanding comes from the sources and cited materials.

Ebor
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« Reply #95 on: September 30, 2012, 09:39:39 AM »

Why is it written in the Qur'an that Jesus' mother Mary was the daughter of Amram (Surah 3:35, Surah 66:12) and sister of Aaron (Surah 19:28)? Isn't it obvious that the author of the Qur'an accidentally assimilated the Miriam of the Old Testament (Daughter of Amram in 1 Chronicles 6:3; Sister of Aaron in Exodus 15:20) to Jesus' mother Miriam?

This is a very interesting point, and I'm going to do some more studying on it....

but remember, these surahs are poetic, and typically, these poems reveal many different stories, all of which are valid
you just have to read them from different perspectives... to get the point

Thanks for taking time and answering. Smiley

now if you're reading these verses, thinking about Mary the mother of Jesus, Amram is mentioned because she's from that linage..... most likely her father's last name was Amram

Mary actually descended from the tribe of Judah though. Thus, she was not a Levite and Amram was not her ancestor. More to the point, Surah 3:35 claims that Amram was Mary's immediate father (It's said that Amram's wife gave birth to Mary).

in the second case, Surah 19:28, it's clearly a play-on-word, if you read it carefully...... a man from her community was criticizing her for having Jesus, and telling her how surprised he was, that someone who comes from a very religious family, who's name is the same as Mariam, the sister of Aaron, why she would have such "a baby out of wedlock".

Again, Mary was not a Levite. She did not descend from a priestly family. The problem with this argument is that it disregards that Moses and Aaron's actual sister is mentioned in the Qur'an, but never named. Thus, the Qur'an talks of no other Miriam for a comparison. According to the author of the Qur'an, there was one Miriam in history and this Miriam, who was the daughter of Amram and sister of Aaron, was Jesus' mother. Finally, this kind of a usage is alien to Semitic culture. Nowhere were females called sisters of Aaron for a comparison. The actual term used is daughter of Aaron rather than sister of Aaron.

Does it really seem coincidental to you that Jesus' mother Miriam is designated in the Qur'an as BOTH the sister of Aaron and Amram's daughter? It looks like Miriam's father was accidentally named Amram in Surah 3:35 since in the earliest chapter (Surah 19) Mary was accidentally identified as the sister of Aaron. In other words, the confusion and blunder continued and developed.
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« Reply #96 on: September 30, 2012, 10:07:12 AM »

Do Shi'a have the same belief regarding the eternality and uncreated nature of the Qur'an that the Sunnis apparently have? An acquaintance of mine who converted to Sunni Islam (apparently from some kind of Christianity, though I don't know exactly what) explained it to me once that the Qur'an is preserved since time immemorial in heaven on some kind of tablet, as are "uncorrupted"/original versions of the Torah and the Christian NT (in keeping with the mainstream Islamic view that these have been corrupted). I thought that was pretty interesting, but I don't really understand how it's supposed to work.  

Shia's do agree that the Qur'an is not corrupted... and there are many reasons why.  For one, it's in a poetic format, so it's easier to memorize.  So when these verses were revealed to the prophet, he would enunciate it out stanza by stanza (ie. verse by verse), so everyone was able to memorize it-- some would later go and write down the verse .  Later, when all the surahs (poems) were revealed, the early muslims compiled all these poems into one book--- which was the first quran.  This first quran is still around and that's why we believe it's not corrupted.

Can you tell us the location of this document please?  Also, in No God But God by Reza Aslan (p.125-126 in my paperback edition) writes that when when the Quran was written down as the various persons who had memorized it traveled to other areas small "mostly insignificant differences reflecting the local and cultural affinities of Muslim communities in Iraq or Syria or Basra..." began to appear.  Then around 650 A.D. Uthman ordered a definitive copy be produced and bound while other documents, with the inconsequential varients were to be burnt.    Have you read this book? It is a good historical overview, I think.

May I ask please what you know of the history of the compilation of the New Testament?

Ebor


I'm certain the book is located in Uzbekistan.   I've tried to see some of the text of the book, but all I could find on the internet are pictures of certain verses.  I think you'll have to physically go to that location to the read the book.

Here is an article from the BBC in 06 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4581684.stm
 on a manuscript that is said to be the Quran of Uthman/Othman and that is located in Tashkent. It is so fragile that it is kept in a special case and people are not able to just read it.  The report also says that due to the deterioration over the centuries of the deer skin on which it was written only about 1/3 of it, about 250 pages, still exists.  There is a reference to another partial copy (five were said to have been made at the time, not just one) that is in the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul.

This counters the claim that the "original" Quran is preserved in totality.

« Last Edit: September 30, 2012, 10:09:39 AM by Ebor » Logged

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« Reply #97 on: September 30, 2012, 03:09:33 PM »


Yes, will first of all, in Islamic thought

Men and Women are equal (spiritually) to God...  however, they're unequal physically and mentally to one another.  

Would you please explain a bit more on your idea of males and females being "unequal" mentally?   Thank you in advance

As to the physical, while in general the average adult male is taller and stronger than the average adult female, it is not applicable to all human beings across the board.  It is not a "Law of the Universe" as it were.
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« Reply #98 on: September 30, 2012, 04:26:39 PM »

A question related to Ebor's question about women above

We read in the Qur'an that Satan's tricks are weak (Surah 4:76).

Yet we also read in the same Qur'an that the Egyptian officer that bought Joseph said that the tricks of women are mighty (Surah 12:28).

This means when compared to Satan, women are stronger and worse in terms of deceit.

Why does the Qur'an make such a statement? How can women be mightier than Satan in terms of deceit?

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« Reply #99 on: September 30, 2012, 05:29:53 PM »

I have a question. I am not entirely certain of the official Muslim position, so I am only asking based off of personal experience and what I have heard. Anyway, according to many Muslims I have met, they claim that particular passages in the New Testament gospels are prophecies predicting the arrival of Muhammed, yet, these very same people also claim that the documents themselves were corrupted. Seems contradictory to me. How can you do that?
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« Reply #100 on: October 01, 2012, 04:29:09 PM »

Yes, will first of all, in Islamic thought

Men and Women are equal (spiritually) to God...  however, they're unequal physically and mentally to one another.  They're suppose to be compliments to one another (like ying yang, or the sun and the moon - as mentioned in the quran).

So believe me, a pious Muslim really loves the women in his family..... they're very important to him, it brings balance to his life.  Love is the ultimate positive energy.

That doesn't complement Q4:34 very well:
Quote
Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance - [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them.
From: here.

Do you view the above as obsolete and archaic, or current?

Hi, the problem is, you're reading this from a negative viewpoint.... or a feminist viewpoint (remember in Islam, men are considered the leaders of the family--in terms of financial stability)

Now, do you honestly believe that a religious husband who loves his wife, would beat her violently?

It's common sense he wouldn't do such a thing.... the problem is the English language and some Arab translators who didn't take the effort to find the right terms.

When you have a wife who lusts after another man, does something immoral and rebellious, like for example something as extreme as seeing her dance with another man...

and you've tried everything with her, from talking frank with her, to separating sleeping area, to separating physically for a few days......as the last ditch effort, to keep the marriage/family together, it is permissible, to shake her (gently) to bring sense into her, or make a symbolic gesture like a slap on the wrist with a toothbrush/miswak (as mentioned in the hadiths).  It's a last-ditch emotional/psychological-focused effort to keep the marriage together.  Family is everything to the Muslim community..... if a family is broken up, that's when evils come into the community.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2012, 04:35:33 PM by fibonacci » Logged
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« Reply #101 on: October 01, 2012, 04:50:26 PM »

Is there any distinction made in Islam between martyrdom (willingly being killed for the sake of your faith) and suicide (willingly killing yourself)? I ask because I know that some Muslims like to refer to suicide bombings as "martyrdom operations" or by similar terms, but that's quite different than how Christianity views martyrdom, so I'm curious if it is just a misuse of the word "martyr" or if anytime a Muslim dies in an action perceived to be done for his faith he is actually considered a martyr.

The best example of martyrdom in Islamic history, is the story of the prophet's grandson, Hussein in the battle of Karbala...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Karbala

He had to take care of a community that was dying, thirsty for water..... and had no choice butto  sacrifice himself to save the religion and the lives of his family and friends.  That's what martydom is.



Now in the current era, unfortunately though, there are some who are just angry..... and their mind is occupied with suicidal thoughts.  So rather than trying to get out of a hard situation in a peacful manner, they want to approach it in a violent way.... even though there are smater options.  This would be considered a sin.  Harming yourself in any way is a sin.

There are also hadiths talking about that on judgement day, people who thought they died as martyr, go straight to hell..... because they carried out those acts with anger from the beginning, not out of love for family and friends.
So, what happens to these angry nut cases who kill others in ther suicide mission?  According to your understanding of Islam.

Can you tell me who you're referring to, and what 'mission' where they trying to do?

Again, I can only explain things from my perspective..... not the wahabbi perspective.

The wahabbies believe that they should ignore all non-violent options, and go with the most violent option to settle a dispute.

Unfortunately, it's the shia community that is suffering the most with these ideas.

Such act is not what majority Muslims (especially the shias), believe in.  In fact, I challenge you to find a shia or non-wahabbi 'suicide bomber' doing such an action in a region during peace time (not in a war).

 
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« Reply #102 on: October 01, 2012, 05:59:11 PM »

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« Reply #103 on: October 01, 2012, 06:32:45 PM »

I disagree.  Each person is responsible for his or her own actions.  This blame game doesn't work anywhere else either and I always run the flag up when I see it.  Many Christians believe we are living in the end times, but you don't see them waging religious war against the world, not violently anyway.  Nope, the people who do evil acts are evil people and they WANT to do these thing.  They have found an "out" to use which they feel allows them to kill indiscriminately.  When my kids blame other people for doing something wrong, my kids still get punished.  It's not an acceptable excuse.

Kerdy.....

as I said in my last post, I can't speak for the wahabbi sect, who everyone knows....are today the ones that kill indiscriminately.   You do know that this small sect, was started and heavily financed by the Saudi monarchy, US and other Nato nations for political purposes?  They do the dirty work to give reasons for other nations to come conquer lands for natural resources- and/or restrict resources to keep having a monopoly on a certain industry.

Iran (shia sect) has been fighting these violent groups throughout the 90s, at a time when no one in the world was paying attention.  So I don't know what more a country like Iran can do.... especially now, when other nations won't accept help from Iran in fighting these groups, and would instead sanction the nation, and label them as an 'axis of evil'.
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« Reply #104 on: October 01, 2012, 06:39:46 PM »

While I have tried to read all of the responses & questions, I have not quite been able to do so COMPLETELY. 

So if this was already covered in a different way, I apologize & please link me to your response. 

I would love to know how in the world we can have different "traditions" of exegesis to what is perhaps the most important chapter of the Quran & the only one that is NAMED after Muhammad.  See link to chapter below:

http://quran.com/47

How in the world could anyone "mistake" this one?  or exegete it as "oh he meant that spiritually".  Sorry..I just don't buy it.  Seems VERY clear to me.  Thoughts? 
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« Reply #105 on: October 01, 2012, 06:46:30 PM »

Yeah, I really just wanted to know if there's a difference between the suicide bombers and actual martyrs. I think that many suicide bombers would say, perhaps not entirely without reason, that they are carrying out an extreme act for the defense of their community (to repel invaders or occupiers) This does not square with the Christian understanding of martyrdom (even our military saints like St. George or Abu Seifain are not considered martyrs for having taken up the sword in battles, but for having died at the hands of the authorities for the sake of their faith). So I don't understand the position taken by some Muslims that if someone dies while spilling another's blood, they're a martyr so long as they're doing it for the sake of their faith.

dzheremi, as I said.... the best example in islamic history, is the prophet's grandson Hussein.  I encourage you to read more about him.... in fact prominent celebrities, have spoken very positively about him...

people like Charles Dickens, Ghandi, ...etc. : http://smma59.wordpress.com/2008/02/03/quotations-about-imam-hussain-as-by-non-muslims/

Hussein and some members of his group were abused and killed for their faith and not pledging allegiance of loyalty to a violent monarchy.  True muslims do not believe in a heretical ruling structure.  They were fighting on behalf of the community, to prevent that ideology to take over.


Martyrs become martyrs when the family doesn't bother anyone, try to live in a peaceful way, and be true to their religion..... but they finding themselves in a difficult position, where someone is imposing a law or regulation that is against the religion and there is nowhere to escape to keep the family safe... so the only choice they have is to enter a conflict... and fight for religious freedom.

An example I can give, is like those farmers who fought Stalin's troops, when Stalin wanted to take their farms for the state.  Those poor farmers had no choice but to fight for their freedom, and those that died in this fight.... are considered martyrs.

This is the best way I can explain it.
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« Reply #106 on: October 01, 2012, 07:34:59 PM »

How do you explain A'isha?  I have seen the arguments for the truth and the weaker ones.  But the Hadiths seem to affirm this story. 
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« Reply #107 on: October 01, 2012, 08:11:35 PM »

While I have tried to read all of the responses & questions, I have not quite been able to do so COMPLETELY. 

So if this was already covered in a different way, I apologize & please link me to your response. 

I would love to know how in the world we can have different "traditions" of exegesis to what is perhaps the most important chapter of the Quran & the only one that is NAMED after Muhammad.  See link to chapter below:

http://quran.com/47

How in the world could anyone "mistake" this one?  or exegete it as "oh he meant that spiritually".  Sorry..I just don't buy it.  Seems VERY clear to me.  Thoughts? 

From my study, the first surah (Al-Fatiha) is among the most important.

Feel free to ask me about any specific parts of Surah 47, whatever you disagree with.

Also, when it comes to these surahs, it's important to study the context and setting they were revealed.  Some were revealed at times of war-- as I mentioned in one of my earlier posts:

The prophet made a peace treaty with a violent group, and that group broke that treaty and started attacking the early Muslim community.  These verses were revealed, to educate the early Muslims that it's permissible to defend yourself and fight against those who are trying to kill you-- but also it said to have mercy on those who have a change of heart.

Also I encourage you watch this movie about the prophet.... it sheds light on what kind of struggle he was going through in the early years of Islam:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlQ4Wxw5ky4
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« Reply #108 on: October 01, 2012, 08:21:44 PM »

How do you explain A'isha?  I have seen the arguments for the truth and the weaker ones.  But the Hadiths seem to affirm this story. 

Shia's don't believe majority of text regarding her in Sunni hadiths.

In fact, shias' view her in a negative light.
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« Reply #109 on: October 01, 2012, 08:25:39 PM »

in fact prominent celebrities, have spoken very positively about him...

people like Charles Dickens, Ghandi, ...etc. : http://smma59.wordpress.com/2008/02/03/quotations-about-imam-hussain-as-by-non-muslims/


I am not a Dickens scholar, but I have read some of his works. That purported "quote" from him along with the others on the linked site are found in many sites supporting Islam.  But there is no citation for it or for some of the others.  I could be wrong but I can't think of how this "quote" would fit into any of his novels or shorter works.  So it is possible that it is a mis-attribution or someone did not understand who really did write it or it could be completely made up and Dickens' name applied to it.

The campaign against and slaughter of Hussain and his followers was violent and tragic.  It is an historic fact with a  date and a place.  Why would it need support from undocumented attributed quotes.

I am not trying to be difficult but claims need to be supported.

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« Reply #110 on: October 01, 2012, 08:29:04 PM »

While I have tried to read all of the responses & questions, I have not quite been able to do so COMPLETELY. 

So if this was already covered in a different way, I apologize & please link me to your response. 

I would love to know how in the world we can have different "traditions" of exegesis to what is perhaps the most important chapter of the Quran & the only one that is NAMED after Muhammad.  See link to chapter below:

http://quran.com/47

How in the world could anyone "mistake" this one?  or exegete it as "oh he meant that spiritually".  Sorry..I just don't buy it.  Seems VERY clear to me.  Thoughts? 

From my study, the first surah (Al-Fatiha) is among the most important.

Feel free to ask me about any specific parts of Surah 47, whatever you disagree with.

Also, when it comes to these surahs, it's important to study the context and setting they were revealed.  Some were revealed at times of war-- as I mentioned in one of my earlier posts:

The prophet made a peace treaty with a violent group, and that group broke that treaty and started attacking the early Muslim community.  These verses were revealed, to educate the early Muslims that it's permissible to defend yourself and fight against those who are trying to kill you-- but also it said to have mercy on those who have a change of heart.

Also I encourage you watch this movie about the prophet.... it sheds light on what kind of struggle he was going through in the early years of Islam:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlQ4Wxw5ky4

Yes, you mentioned this movie before & I watched, it.  to be honest, it was not very helpful to me, because it did not help me understand the particular history behind this Surah.  If you have any good sources that would help me uncover the history at the time of the writing of this particular Surah, I would be very grateful & would love to read them.

I do understand that historical context is important and that Muhamad waged many wars & battles between different peoples.  

However:  1.  I was under the impression that this particular surah was written during a time of peace (could be wrong about that).

2.  for me one of the hardest verses to deal with is:  (source 2 posts below)

Quote
So when you meet those who disbelieve [in battle], strike [their] necks until, when you have inflicted slaughter upon them, then secure their bonds, and either [confer] favor afterwards or ransom [them] until the war lays down its burdens. That [is the command]. And if Allah had willed, He could have taken vengeance upon them [Himself], but [He ordered armed struggle] to test some of you by means of others. And those who are killed in the cause of Allah - never will He waste their deeds.
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« Reply #111 on: October 01, 2012, 08:30:45 PM »

How do you explain A'isha?  I have seen the arguments for the truth and the weaker ones.  But the Hadiths seem to affirm this story. 

Shia's don't believe majority of text regarding her in Sunni hadiths.

In fact, shias' view her in a negative light.


Thanks!
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« Reply #112 on: October 01, 2012, 08:42:59 PM »

I also have questions regarding Islamic women and rape.  I understand that, in order for the woman to prove rape, the rapist must confess to the crime, or the rape must be witnessed by four males.  Please explain.  Thank you.

Rape, as you know is completely against the religion.  It's a crime.

Today there is forensic technology to prove cases of rape.

But there are regions, where the community is majority Muslims, and they don't have the funding to use such technologies. 

What will happen, is that they'll go through a court trial.... both the accused and victim will have to give their side of the story.  All the evidence is considered-- any witness is welcomed and to the benefit of the women.  If she doesn't have 1 witness (male or female... doesn't matter), then the accused will be asked several times if he did the act or not, and the court will make a decision to see who's lying.

Typically, in a very religious community, there are many people who have strong spiritual discernment (baseerat vision).  So figuring out who's lying is very easy for such a community.
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« Reply #113 on: October 01, 2012, 08:50:18 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Why does Islam prohibit its followers to consume alcohol?

Apart from harming your body....

you become more susceptible to giving off negative energies such as lust, envy, anger, ....etc.  The jinns (demons) feed off of these negative energies...  and they'll enter you life, and will later harm you.

I like this, it agrees with a Mayan-MesoAmerican philosophy called "spiritual metabolism" which I generally translated into hood-speak as "You get what you give."  To these folks, our purpose in the Divine economy is to translate physical energy into spiritual energy, thoughts and feelings.  We eat apples, and we give thanks to God, and so the positive feeds off our feelings.  The spirits then cultivate us like a garden, if we have a diet on negativity, the negative forces cultivate us towards increasingly negative consumption patterns until we destroy ourselves and the world in the process!  When we seek good feelings, positive energies, and beneficial things, we attract angels, saints, and yes God to come into our lives.  When we prefer to dine and feast on negative emotions, thoughts, and feelings, we cultivate negative forces like devils and demons.  So we should learn to focus on finding Grace and not avarice Smiley

As a dreadlock, I didn't consume alcohol for eight years following the Nazirite vow, and I can say, it is a very good lifestyle not to drink.  My mom never had drink in her life, my paternal grandfather neither, and they are some of the most joyful people I know all the same.  Me, sometimes lately I need a drink Wink

Thanks for taking on this task by the way, we could really use some different perspective and dialogue about these matters.

Let me ask a question related to this idea, do Muslims then find Holy Communion offensive or sacrilegious even?

stay blessed,
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« Reply #114 on: October 01, 2012, 09:04:43 PM »

Are you Sufi?
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« Reply #115 on: October 01, 2012, 10:01:44 PM »

Thanks so much for making this thread! I've learned a lot about Islam that I never knew before.

I've heard that some sects of Islam, like Druze, see Krishna, the Hindu God, as a prophet of God. Is this universal, or just confined to Druze?
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« Reply #116 on: October 01, 2012, 10:42:29 PM »

Could you go into more detail about the "chaotic times of the antichrist"? Are there any references/sources that could help me understand all of this better?  I would like to understand better about why their is currently so much violence in this religion.

It's called 'fitna of dajjal',

here's a short pdf of the topic I just found...

http://hubeali.com/articles/The-Fitna-of-Dajjal.pdf


Note that most of these prophecies are metaphorical... when it's talking about the donkey, it's refering to airplane, the one-eye is referring to the symbol of Annuit cœptis that dajjal will be pledging to.

Do you know what the date and source of this document is please?  The historical setting of a document is important in undertanding things, as you yourself have written.

Also, saying that a donkey is really an airplane is an interpretation from a modern perspective, since such craft have only been around for a bit over a century.  How do you *know* that those interpretations are correct?

These prophecies are directly from the prophet... from 700  AD.  The written text in hadiths were made a couple years after his death.  If you allow me, I'll try to find the hadiths for those prophesies.

Note that in general, a lot of the prophesies the prophet was sharing, were typically analogous...because the tech wasn't available at the time.  For example, there was a hadith that said that in the future, there will be Muslims that "on there heads will be instruments of music and singing"--- so people now recognize it and say this is referring to the headphone.

Now at the time, there was no boeing 747 obv, so the only way the prophet can share his vision is through analogies.  So a flying donkey traveling long distances, is what he said, and it's only in recent times that people finally realize what he was talking about it.

What really convinces people that its the airplane, is that it's invented in US, and one of the most popular symbol Americans use, is the Annuit cœptis -- which has the one-eye symbol-- which is similar to the one-eyed characteristic of dajjal, that prophet was warning about.


Now for my opinion on these visions:

I think they were the result of prayers, intense spiritual meditation in quite caves, constant fasting....etc.   When you are thinking deeply under such conditions, you'll start getting incredible dreams/hallucination--- it's from these dreams that the prophet got glimpses of future and/or other worlds.

It's something that Muslims are encouraged to strive for.  To live simply, constantly thinking deeply, and focus as much as possible on meditation/prayer so one can have these incredible dreams and insights.
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« Reply #117 on: October 02, 2012, 01:24:54 AM »

Is there an official position in Islam on evolution?  I know I used to visit a Muslim webpage which had a lot of information refuting evolution.  How does Islam reconcile its position on the matter?  Thanks!

"Officially", muslims say Islam doesn't specifically support nor deny evolution.


But IMO, I think Islam does support some kind of evolution, but it's not in the way that western scientists think--- it's controlled evolution by God-- NOT random evolution:

First here are the hints from the Quran:

- all living things were created from water -- http://quran.com/21/30 , http://quran.com/24/45

- humans created from water -- http://quran.com/25/54

- surah 59 verse 24... says "He is Allah, the Creator, the Evolver, the Bestower of Forms (or Colours). "


So a lot of evolutionists talk about all living creatures on earth evolving from a single cell in water..... which as you can see above, the quran gives hint to it.


Now in terms of humans....  I think Adam's physical body evolved at the micro level from a cell residing in water/clay (not at the macro level- from a completely different specie--like an adult ape that some evolutionists propose)....
so a cell evolved at the micro level..... it grew and grew, through chemical interactions with carbon (clay/mud), and so in the end a body of dry clay was formed, that's shaped into a human body.

Then God 'blew' into him the spirit/soul, to make Adam a complete human.  The whole process took quite a while  -- wasn't instant.

This opinion of mine, is based on various hadiths and also the quran ( http://quran.com/38/72 )


I should also note one thing.....

IMO, the debates between evolutionists and creationists is really a waste of time--- it's the devil that's making a big deal out of it, and unfortunately it discourages a lot of people (athiest) to study any religion in further details.

Now if atheist believe that we all came from ONE cell, and they say they believe in only science-- so they accept that our universe came from ONE big bang..... then why can't they accept we all came from ONE entity (God)?

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« Reply #118 on: October 02, 2012, 12:19:20 PM »

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19776747



almost daily!-------------WHY?


Sooo very hard to find compassion in my heart any more.
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« Reply #119 on: October 02, 2012, 12:47:43 PM »

1. Do Muslims believe in abrogation of the Qur'an?
2. Why is chess forbidden in Islam?
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« Reply #120 on: October 03, 2012, 03:23:15 AM »

How do you deal with the fact that the author of the Koran evidently did not understand what the Trinity is? To my mind this has always been the most obvious flaw in the belief that this text was effectively the dictated word of God. I read the Koran, in translation of course, as a teenager and even though I wasn't particularly religious, and certainly not Orthodox, at the time it practically jumped off the page at me. Even if the Trinity was false I would expect that God would understand what it is and describe it correctly. The fact that the Koran errs so egregiously in describing the Trinity as God, Jesus and Mary would seem to me to suggest that its author was human.

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« Reply #121 on: October 03, 2012, 04:02:39 AM »

Is it really credible to suggest drinking urine for health?
http://islamqa.info/en/ref/83423

Do you consider drinking Muhammad's urine was "a great blessing?"
http://today.almasryalyoum.com/article2.aspx?ArticleID=62653

Would you drink someone's urine, or camel's urine?





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« Reply #122 on: October 03, 2012, 05:38:15 AM »

I also have questions regarding Islamic women and rape.  I understand that, in order for the woman to prove rape, the rapist must confess to the crime, or the rape must be witnessed by four males.  Please explain.  Thank you.

Rape, as you know is completely against the religion.  It's a crime.

Today there is forensic technology to prove cases of rape.

But there are regions, where the community is majority Muslims, and they don't have the funding to use such technologies.
But, they have medical evidence such as bruising and tearing of tissues.  Do they consider that forensic evidence?

Quote
What will happen, is that they'll go through a court trial.... both the accused and victim will have to give their side of the story.  All the evidence is considered-- any witness is welcomed and to the benefit of the women.  If she doesn't have 1 witness (male or female... doesn't matter), then the accused will be asked several times if he did the act or not, and the court will make a decision to see who's lying.
What happens to the victim if she does not prove her case?

Quote
Typically, in a very religious community, there are many people who have strong spiritual discernment (baseerat vision).  So figuring out who's lying is very easy for such a community.

Please explain "baseerat vision".  Who has this spiritual discernment?

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« Reply #123 on: October 03, 2012, 07:01:28 AM »

Fibonacci,

While there will always be obvious tension to some degree between any two religious faiths and those two faiths will never reconcile all differences, I wanted to say I appreciate you coming here and sharing with us.  I know it may not be easy.  I wish more followers of Islam would voice themselves in the manner you have here.  I think it would help us, but more importantly it would help other Muslims.
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« Reply #124 on: October 03, 2012, 07:04:37 AM »

Before our questions get too far out in left field, lets try to remember Constantinople and the Orthodox Christians there survived under Islam more peacefully than expected, especially considering the circumstances at the time.
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« Reply #125 on: October 03, 2012, 08:12:58 AM »

From your Koran:

    Blasphemies

[9:30] The Jews said, "Ezra is the son of GOD," while the Christians said, "Jesus is the son of GOD!" These are blasphemies uttered by their mouths. They thus match the blasphemies of those who have disbelieved in the past. GOD condemns them. They have surely deviated.

    Upholding the Teachings of Religious Leaders, Instead of God's Teachings



Where in the world did the jews say Ezra is the son God? Is this how you reject the law of Moses as being allegedly corrupted? This is not true.
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« Reply #126 on: October 03, 2012, 08:26:35 AM »

Where in the world did the jews say Ezra is the son God? Is this how you reject the law of Moses as being allegedly corrupted? This is not true.

Koran could be refering to some eccentric form of Judaism. Or Christianity for that matter when it's talking about Trinity. Who knows what might have been out there during that time considering that even today World is filled with crazy religions.
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« Reply #127 on: October 03, 2012, 08:39:59 AM »

Where in the world did the jews say Ezra is the son God? Is this how you reject the law of Moses as being allegedly corrupted? This is not true.

Koran could be refering to some eccentric form of Judaism. Or Christianity for that matter when it's talking about Trinity. Who knows what might have been out there during that time considering that even today World is filled with crazy religions.

Except that if it does refer to some strange way out sect then using the tiny minority and heretical practice as a pretext to criticise a faith as a whole doesn't really stack up. It would be like trying to discredit all orthodox (deliberate lower case o) Christians because of the Mormon belief in a heavenly mother. That would certainly change the issue, but not in a good way. Instead of assuming ignorance on the part of the author I'd end up having to assume willful misrepresentation.

James
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« Reply #128 on: October 03, 2012, 09:29:50 AM »


Koran could be refering to some eccentric form of Judaism. Or Christianity for that matter when it's talking about Trinity. Who knows what might have been out there during that time considering that even today World is filled with crazy religions.

Not possible because the verse talks about the Jews in general rather than about some unknown group of the Jews. More, it tries to set up a parallelism between Jews and Christians.  Believing Jesus to be the Son of God was not a doctrine endorsed by some "eccentric form" of Christianity.
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« Reply #129 on: October 03, 2012, 10:21:06 AM »

Two quick questions about the possibility of Muslim/non-Muslim friendship.

1. Can faithful Muslims genuinely befriend Christians?

Qur'an 5.51: "O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people."
(please also compare many similar verses from Qur'an and Hadith here: http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Quran/009-friends-with-christians-jews.htm )

2. This second question I hate to even ask as it makes me sad. If a Muslim even seemed to be a genuine friend to a non-Muslim, or perhaps even if they considered themselves friends to a non-Muslim despite the apparent wording of the passages above, considering the following do you think it would be fully rational for a non-Muslim to regard a Muslim as trustworthy as a friend?

"If you can't cut your enemy's hand, kiss it" -Al-Mansowry, Al-taib Wal kabith/The Pure and the Unpure, p. 199.

"Know this, that lying is not sin by itself, but if it brings harm to you it could be ugly. However you can lie if that will keep you from evil or if it will result in prosperity" -Gazoli Saibin, Ehia Al-owlom Al-Den/A Revival of the Religious Books (Cairo: Maktabet al-Turas, 1971), pp. 3, 137.

Of course such does not prevent a Christian from being a friend to a Muslim even if their friendship is reciprocated by duplicity or even persecution/hatred/subjugation etc. as such is our duty before God:

Matthew 5:43-48:  “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

1 Jn 4:7-8: "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love."

Matthew 7:12: "So in everything do unto others as you would have them do unto you, for this sums up the law and the prophets."

3. Finally, since the teaching of the above three verses from the Bible seems to contradict what the Qur'an teaches about how believers should treat other people whether friend or enemy at the most basic level, would you say that these teachings are corruptions of the original teaching of Christ? Would you say this even though there is not a single early manuscript of the New Testament, or early lectionary, or teaching from the earliest fathers, or early version of the New Testament (translations of the New Testament into other languages) that has the slightest hint of any contrary teaching by Jesus Christ?
« Last Edit: October 03, 2012, 10:51:07 AM by xariskai » Logged

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« Reply #130 on: October 03, 2012, 10:39:23 AM »

My question:  Why is Islam so hell-bent on making life difficult for Christians in some countries which have a majority of Muslims?  (Lets also lay aside the complaint of the conversion of Muslims to Christianity because there is sufficient evidence to the contrary as well.)
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« Reply #131 on: October 03, 2012, 10:52:06 AM »

Before our questions get too far out in left field, lets try to remember Constantinople and the Orthodox Christians there survived under Islam more peacefully than expected, especially considering the circumstances at the time.

Having grown up among Turks, the reason may be because (a) Ottomans were much more practical than the Arabs and (b) Turks are not quite Hyperdox of the Islamic world. Don't take me wrong, they were bad enough to the Christian populations,particularly after the 16th Century.
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« Reply #132 on: October 03, 2012, 10:58:39 AM »

Two quick questions about the possibility of Muslim/non-Muslim friendship.

1. Can faithful Muslims genuinely befriend Christians?

Qur'an 5.51: "O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people."
(please also compare many similar verses from Qur'an and Hadith here: http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Quran/009-friends-with-christians-jews.htm )

2. This second question I hate to even ask as it makes me sad. If a Muslim even seemed to be a genuine friend to a non-Muslim, or perhaps even if they considered themselves friends to a non-Muslim despite the apparent wording of the passages above, considering the following do you think it would be fully rational for a non-Muslim to regard a Muslim as trustworthy as a friend?

"If you can't cut your enemy's hand, kiss it" -Al-Mansowry, Al-taib Wal kabith/The Pure and the Unpure, p. 199.

"Know this, that lying is not sin by itself, but if it brings harm to you it could be ugly. However you can lie if that will keep you from evil or if it will result in prosperity" -Gazoli Saibin, Ehia Al-owlom Al-Den/A Revival of the Religious Books (Cairo: Maktabet al-Turas, 1971), pp. 3, 137.

Of course such does not prevent a Christian from being a friend to a Muslim even if their friendship is reciprocated by duplicity or even persecution/hatred/subjugation etc. as such is our duty before God:

Matthew 5:43-48:  “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

1 Jn 4:7-8: "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love."

Matthew 7:12: "So in everything do unto others as you would have them do unto you, for this sums up the law and the prophets."

3. Finally, since the teaching of the above three verses from the Bible seems to contradict what the Qur'an teaches about how believers should treat other people whether friend or enemy at the most basic level, would you say that these teachings are corruptions of the original teaching of Christ? Would you say this even though there is not a single early manuscript of the New Testament, or early lectionary, or teaching from the earliest fathers, or early version of the New Testament (translations of the New Testament into other languages) that has the slightest hint of any contrary teaching by Jesus Christ?

I do not think that the Biblical teachings are corruptions of the original teachings of Christ. That said, an argument can certainly be made (and it has been made in the non-PC past) that the Quran contains many  corruptions of the Old and New Testament.

Regarding being friends with a Muslim, I think we can certainly be friendly and co-exist peacefully outside a majority-Muslim country. However, it would be dangerous to be "buddies" for you will never know when the personal jihad kicks in.
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« Reply #133 on: October 03, 2012, 12:39:58 PM »

^Thanks for your answer CK, but I am actually much more interested in our informative Muslim friend's thoughts from the Muslim side and Muslim p.o.v. (vs. through Christian or non-Muslim lens) on all of these points.

But sure, the notion that such central teachings of Jesus as specifically mentioned are even credibly regarded as "corruptions" would require something on the order of complete intellectual suicide for most thoughtful and reasonably well-educated observers. After all, they run through multiple independent trajectories in pretty much every NT document and extant teaching of the so-called apostolic fathers (i.e. fathers who were immediate disciples of an apostle, or a disciple of such a disciple) not to mention early lectionaries, early versions, the early "rule of faith," early mss., etc. without a single shred of ancient evidence to the contrary.
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« Reply #134 on: October 03, 2012, 12:50:34 PM »

Before our questions get too far out in left field, lets try to remember Constantinople and the Orthodox Christians there survived under Islam more peacefully than expected, especially considering the circumstances at the time.

That's debatable.
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