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Author Topic: What Attracts Westerners to Islam?  (Read 10579 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: April 25, 2013, 03:26:18 AM »

Knowing something and not knowing something can make sense. This is a paradox, but I think it remains 'logical.

I can know you; from your writing, etc. However you, in your totality are beyond my knowing. I will never be able to smell coffee quite like you do, for example.

God, as Christians understand him is, in his fullness beyond our knowing. But he has made himself known; by becoming Man (Jesus) and as Man we can know him because we can experience another person (as I can experience you without fully understanding you).

In Islam, as I understand it, their paradox remains beyond logic. As I understand it Islam says that their god is so far beyond imagining that one can new know him, but they know him.

Islam would need to have where their god comes down to our level in order for him to be known. I am not aware that they believe this.
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« Reply #46 on: April 25, 2013, 03:31:29 AM »

That's circular reasoning again. There's some mysterious reason behind it, because there is.

Maybe I didn't type the reason correctly.

The torah has many words with crownlets on them.

The crownlets are like a zip file, that if you unlock them you get vast information about the Creator and our universe.

The key to opening this zip file is in the arabic Quran for the reasons I mentioned above.

The key couldn't be revealed in hebrew, because they don't have a crown like symbol in their language-- unlike the arabic symbol shadda.


It's not circular reasoning.  It might be something you've not read about.  Orthodox jews know about the significance of crown from the talmud.
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« Reply #47 on: April 25, 2013, 03:59:23 AM »


What does it have to do with islam?

The only hadith that I know of (and it's one accepted by Sunni, not Shi'a) has Muhammed saying if you're going to cut, don't do so severely

However animists also practice this rite

Can you give me the source?

I will personally sue the publisher of the hadith, if what you say is true.

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In the meantime, I encourage you not to judge a whole religion based on the actions of a few extremists living in poverty and distitution.

Furthermore, the prophet's only daughter was never circumcised.
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« Reply #48 on: April 25, 2013, 04:58:14 AM »


That definitely explains why 97% of women in Egypt have had a circumcision.




What does it have to do with islam?

If you want to get really technical

go compare the number of child sacri.. sorry I mean "abortion in the 3rd trimester" in a western nation (predominantly christian)

to the number in an Islamic nation


here's an article where a scholar is encouraging the idea of carry it out after birth as well as an alternative to adoption

http://jme.bmj.com/content/early/2012/03/01/medethics-2011-100411.full.pdf#page=1&view=FitH
Great response, from what I understand, most of the women's "circumcision" going on in primitive sectors of Africa is purely a cultural practice or through some form of distortion or disordered concept of Islam.

Westerners love making these accusations but don't want to talk about the demonic practice of legalized, state-supported infanticide which going on rampant in their own lands, but is almost non-existent in Islamic nation.

This I do find commendable.
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« Reply #49 on: April 25, 2013, 05:03:36 AM »

That's circular reasoning again. There's some mysterious reason behind it, because there is.

Maybe I didn't type the reason correctly.

The torah has many words with crownlets on them.

The crownlets are like a zip file, that if you unlock them you get vast information about the Creator and our universe.

The key to opening this zip file is in the arabic Quran for the reasons I mentioned above.

The key couldn't be revealed in hebrew, because they don't have a crown like symbol in their language-- unlike the arabic symbol shadda.


It's not circular reasoning.  It might be something you've not read about.  Orthodox jews know about the significance of crown from the talmud.

Its circular to reason something is important because it is
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« Reply #50 on: April 25, 2013, 05:11:56 AM »


What does it have to do with islam?

The only hadith that I know of (and it's one accepted by Sunni, not Shi'a) has Muhammed saying if you're going to cut, don't do so severely

However animists also practice this rite

Can you give me the source?

I will personally sue the publisher of the hadith, if what you say is true.
Dawud :: Book 41 : Hadith 5251,  Narrated Umm Atiyyah al-Ansariyyah:
 A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said to her: Do not cut severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband.

You'll have a hard time suing given that it dates back quite some centuries.

This hadith is on a Moslem web-site
http://www.justislam.co.uk/product.php?products_id=223

They cite the hadith, but note that one should not do it

This Islamic site argues in favour, though they also note it's not an obligation:
"Circumcision is prescribed for both males and females. The correct view is that circumcision is obligatory for males and that it is one of the symbols of Islam, and that circumcision of women is mustahabb but not obligatory."

http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/45528

In the meantime, I encourage you not to judge a whole religion based on the actions of a few extremists living in poverty and distitution.
I don't do that. I look at Jihad as understood by all four major Islamic schools, across the history of Islam;

See "Legacy of Jihad" - a great sourcebook


Furthermore, the prophet's only daughter was never circumcised.


Exceptions, as you say, don't make rules

« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 05:12:32 AM by montalban » Logged

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« Reply #51 on: April 25, 2013, 05:14:35 AM »

Great response, from what I understand, most of the women's "circumcision" going on in primitive sectors of Africa is purely a cultural practice or through some form of distortion or disordered concept of Islam.
The jury is out on this; see my post above with Islamic sites both arguing for and against.
Westerners love making these accusations but don't want to talk about the demonic practice of legalized, state-supported infanticide which going on rampant in their own lands, but is almost non-existent in Islamic nation.

Logical fallacy; tu quoque
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« Reply #52 on: April 25, 2013, 08:56:09 AM »

The west is physically, morally, & spiritually decayed. I do not mean this in a judgemental sense towards indivduals but as a civilization, it is done. It has rejected Christ (individuals notwithstanding) & the Holy Spirit will still work for individuals but not on a mass level. It seems doubtful that materialists comprehend a spiritual vacuum, but there is & jihad & sharia will fill it.
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« Reply #53 on: April 25, 2013, 09:01:06 AM »

go compare the number of child sacri.. sorry I mean "abortion in the 3rd trimester" in a western nation (predominantly christian)

I've got some news for you...
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« Reply #54 on: April 25, 2013, 09:13:43 AM »

I have always been confused on how Muslims can believe Jesus came as a prophet, but seemingly everyone around Him completely misunderstood His purpose and identity.  If he was just another prophet to the Jews, why did all His closest followers believe He was God incarnate?  Wouldn't that make Him a pretty bad prophet if no one could understand who He was claiming to be?  The Jews seemed to have hated all their prophets, but at least they weren't confused about what the rest of them were teaching, they just didn't like what they were hearing.  Somehow, Jesus comes along and tries to proclaim Allah and everyone somehow misunderstands and thinks He is calling Himself God?  It doesn't doesn't add up in my mind.
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« Reply #55 on: April 25, 2013, 09:14:49 AM »

The west is physically, morally, & spiritually decayed. I do not mean this in a judgemental sense towards indivduals but as a civilization, it is done. It has rejected Christ (individuals notwithstanding) & the Holy Spirit will still work for individuals but not on a mass level. It seems doubtful that materialists comprehend a spiritual vacuum, but there is & jihad & sharia will fill it.

I very much doubt all this, particularly the last sentence.
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« Reply #56 on: April 25, 2013, 09:19:07 AM »

The west is physically, morally, & spiritually decayed. I do not mean this in a judgemental sense towards indivduals but as a civilization, it is done. It has rejected Christ (individuals notwithstanding) & the Holy Spirit will still work for individuals but not on a mass level. It seems doubtful that materialists comprehend a spiritual vacuum, but there is & jihad & sharia will fill it.

I very much doubt all this, particularly the last sentence.

Good, if everyone tells me to shove my cynical assessment then maybe there is hope.
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« Reply #57 on: April 25, 2013, 09:39:14 AM »

In response to the OP... some may be attracted, intellectually, to the relative theological conservatism of Islam in comparison to the radical and challenging Christian concept of transcendent God becoming man. That would be my own, biased guess.

Bull. From a Scholastic standpoint, I find the notion of an impersonal God who never became man to be harder to believe in. The reason being that due to God allegedly becoming man, we at least have a starting point--something to go from. We can try to look at the historical evidence and examine Jesus' acts for ourselves to see if He is really God or not. On the other hand, in a religion with a distant God like Islam, you can't do that. God is distant. Unless God becomes a part of the created world, then He is irrelevant to us as our minds are only capable of understanding that which can be empirically observed.

Transcendent and unknowable does not mean distant or irrelevant; that's an extremely simplistic and misguided understanding of Islamic theology and if you tried to argue that with an actual Muslim I guarantee they would roll their eyes.

Also, something doesn't have to be empirically observed in order to be intellectually attractive. There is an undeniable commitment to theological consistency and continuity in Islam and Muslims never had to grapple with defining doctrines like the Trinity.
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« Reply #58 on: April 25, 2013, 09:45:47 AM »

That's circular reasoning again. There's some mysterious reason behind it, because there is.

Maybe I didn't type the reason correctly.

The torah has many words with crownlets on them.

The crownlets are like a zip file, that if you unlock them you get vast information about the Creator and our universe.

The key to opening this zip file is in the arabic Quran for the reasons I mentioned above.

The key couldn't be revealed in hebrew, because they don't have a crown like symbol in their language-- unlike the arabic symbol shadda.


It's not circular reasoning.  It might be something you've not read about.  Orthodox jews know about the significance of crown from the talmud.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cantillation
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« Reply #59 on: April 25, 2013, 09:58:34 AM »

I have always been confused on how Muslims can believe Jesus came as a prophet, but seemingly everyone around Him completely misunderstood His purpose and identity.  If he was just another prophet to the Jews, why did all His closest followers believe He was God incarnate?  Wouldn't that make Him a pretty bad prophet if no one could understand who He was claiming to be?  The Jews seemed to have hated all their prophets, but at least they weren't confused about what the rest of them were teaching, they just didn't like what they were hearing.  Somehow, Jesus comes along and tries to proclaim Allah and everyone somehow misunderstands and thinks He is calling Himself God?  It doesn't doesn't add up in my mind.

That's a good question. Generally Muslims believe that the original message of Jesus and the Disciples was perverted by Paul and mistranslations (intentional or unintentional) of the original texts.
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« Reply #60 on: April 25, 2013, 10:35:39 AM »

There is an undeniable commitment to theological consistency and continuity in Islam and Muslims never had to grapple with defining doctrines like the Trinity.

There is much to say here about JamesR's use of scholastic to describe himself and also to the theological consistency you speak about as both are intertwined.

Don't have much time here but there was an enormous crisis of sorts within Islamic theology and it went directly to source of much of Islamic thoughts which the RCC simply appropriated and added little to IMHO and why much of "traditional" RC theology (read scholasticism) smacks heavily of modalism. How else do you take Islamic thought and its incredible resolute fidelity to a monadic monotheism and develop anything resembling Trinitarianism around it?

In any case, while Thomas Aquinas added jots and tittles Islamic thought, the Islamic world broiled over whether in light of their understanding of the radical oneness of God and God's absolute omnipotence allowed for anything other than a first cause. Secondary causation smacked of idolatry and it seems this school of thinking became the most widespread and influential. In short, Averroes lost his argument to Al-Ghazali.

Frankly, it is the productive and seeming radically different ontology which Al-Ghazali and his followers developed which is most interesting to me in Islam.

But I am not expert in this line of thought and haven't had the opportunity to critically look at it and most likely never will. Once I learned of Al-Ghazali, I wondered why on earth I had never encountered any of his work in school, especially given that I spent more than an insignificant part of my life reading Leibniz, especially his Monadology. Another failure of high education and the weakness of autodidactism.

When I get a chance, I want to laugh with and at JamesR's contributions here in a precise manner.

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« Reply #61 on: April 25, 2013, 10:38:30 AM »

I'm starting to really appreciate orthonorm's presence on this forum...

After 10k posts, I am glad someone is. Although appreciate is a rather ambiguous word . . .
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« Reply #62 on: April 25, 2013, 10:39:24 AM »

What attracts Westerners to Islam?  I don't see the attraction.  Shariah law and hadith of strict punishments.  Religion spread by the sword.  Belief in Christ as just a prophet, who didn't die on the cross.  I have read an English translation of the Koran and of the hadith.  I don't see what's so great about it all.  Maybe if I knew Arabic I would see more, but I have appreciated the Bhagavad Gita, the Analects, and other world religion clasics without knowing the original languages. Islam baffles me.   I am just curious what the draw is for Westerners.

You would do well to learn a bit more about Islam. I have my theories before I cared about such things and after.

While I doubt you meant for your post to be very expansive, it does bely more than a bit of a misunderstanding of some basics facts about Islam, its theology, especially its methods of hermeneutics.

What English translation do you have of the Koran? As to the hadith. There are hadith, then there are hadith, then there are hadith, and there are no hadith.



I don't have the English translation with me any more.  It was published in Fairfax, VA.

What basic facts about Islam do I misunderstand, in your eyes?    
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« Reply #63 on: April 25, 2013, 10:42:33 AM »

If I can recommend a surah for you, check out this one

http://quran.com/36

Why did you recommend this?

Really I would just Muhammad Asad's translation of the Koran with its excellent notes, if anyone wanted to look at an translation of the Koran in English. You can find it in PDF format on the internet and "preview" it before buying at what might seem like a great cost in paper format or for ~$10 for the Kindle or the better "app" version for the iPad.

I would suggest reading the introduction and the second chapter, surah, whatever.
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« Reply #64 on: April 25, 2013, 10:46:54 AM »

What attracts Westerners to Islam?  I don't see the attraction.  Shariah law and hadith of strict punishments.  Religion spread by the sword.  Belief in Christ as just a prophet, who didn't die on the cross.  I have read an English translation of the Koran and of the hadith.  I don't see what's so great about it all.  Maybe if I knew Arabic I would see more, but I have appreciated the Bhagavad Gita, the Analects, and other world religion clasics without knowing the original languages. Islam baffles me.   I am just curious what the draw is for Westerners.

Some converts grew up in families (most often single-parent families) and saw the consequences of over indulgence in alcohol, gambling, drug-use, adultery/lust...etc.

The religion's strict stance on these issues and others is what drew them to the religion.


Secondly, you mentioned you read an English translation of the Koran?
Be honest, did you really read the text, or just skim through it?  Did you visualize the words as you were reading each verse?

If I can recommend a surah for you, check out this one

http://quran.com/36

I read all of it.  I have it somewhere in storage.  I can't remember the name of the translator.  It wasn't under a major publisher (e.g. Oxford, Penguin) but rather was published by a small outfit in Fairfax, VA.  I bought it when I was down at a Barnes & Noble or Borders in Northern Virginia.  I do not recall visualizing all the words.  

I've read a few terciary books about Islam.  I've been reading and posting on ummah.com, too. 
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 10:47:49 AM by StGeorge » Logged
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« Reply #65 on: April 25, 2013, 10:47:40 AM »

I remember learning about Al-Ghazali in a medieval history class, unfortunately even history classes are not very demanding when it comes to assigning primary source readings.
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« Reply #66 on: April 25, 2013, 10:49:17 AM »

What attracts Westerners to Islam?  I don't see the attraction.  Shariah law and hadith of strict punishments.  Religion spread by the sword.  Belief in Christ as just a prophet, who didn't die on the cross.  I have read an English translation of the Koran and of the hadith.  I don't see what's so great about it all.  Maybe if I knew Arabic I would see more, but I have appreciated the Bhagavad Gita, the Analects, and other world religion clasics without knowing the original languages. Islam baffles me.   I am just curious what the draw is for Westerners.

You would do well to learn a bit more about Islam. I have my theories before I cared about such things and after.

While I doubt you meant for your post to be very expansive, it does bely more than a bit of a misunderstanding of some basics facts about Islam, its theology, especially its methods of hermeneutics.

What English translation do you have of the Koran? As to the hadith. There are hadith, then there are hadith, then there are hadith, and there are no hadith.



I don't have the English translation with me any more.  It was published in Fairfax, VA.

What basic facts about Islam do I misunderstand, in your eyes?    

See the bolded to start.

Frankly, I can understand folks have problems with the Koran. It was rather underwhelming and seemingly odd to my Western eyes when I read it the first time, second time, third time. It was like the Big Lebowski of religious texts for me, although I always thought the Tao Te Ching was incredibly shallow and got way more press than it ought, guess that would make it Fargo of religious texts.

It is definitely a time when I think Eastern and Western are rather relevant on this forum.

The Koran begs knowledge of a certain context which most here ought to have, some general understanding of Judaism and Christianity of that time period and some helpful notes for the non trained Koranic scholar about its contents and form and history.
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« Reply #67 on: April 25, 2013, 11:24:38 AM »

What attracts Westerners to Islam?  I don't see the attraction.  Shariah law and hadith of strict punishments.  Religion spread by the sword.  Belief in Christ as just a prophet, who didn't die on the cross.  I have read an English translation of the Koran and of the hadith.  I don't see what's so great about it all.  Maybe if I knew Arabic I would see more, but I have appreciated the Bhagavad Gita, the Analects, and other world religion clasics without knowing the original languages. Islam baffles me.   I am just curious what the draw is for Westerners.

You would do well to learn a bit more about Islam. I have my theories before I cared about such things and after.

While I doubt you meant for your post to be very expansive, it does bely more than a bit of a misunderstanding of some basics facts about Islam, its theology, especially its methods of hermeneutics.

What English translation do you have of the Koran? As to the hadith. There are hadith, then there are hadith, then there are hadith, and there are no hadith.



I don't have the English translation with me any more.  It was published in Fairfax, VA.

What basic facts about Islam do I misunderstand, in your eyes?    

See the bolded to start.

Frankly, I can understand folks have problems with the Koran. It was rather underwhelming and seemingly odd to my Western eyes when I read it the first time, second time, third time. It was like the Big Lebowski of religious texts for me, although I always thought the Tao Te Ching was incredibly shallow and got way more press than it ought, guess that would make it Fargo of religious texts.

It is definitely a time when I think Eastern and Western are rather relevant on this forum.

The Koran begs knowledge of a certain context which most here ought to have, some general understanding of Judaism and Christianity of that time period and some helpful notes for the non trained Koranic scholar about its contents and form and history.

I first read the Koran several years ago in order to read in context quotes I had heard, about Jesus, the crucifixion, the Trinity, violence against unbelievers, etc.  I was surprised by the repeated emphasis on justice, and only a few passages in the whole directly pertaining to these topics.  I did find several passages objectionable, however.  I more recently have read sections from this copy of Islamic Hadith: http://www.amazon.com/Islamic-Hadith-ebook/dp/B005LPTV3G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366902462&sr=8-1&keywords=Islamic+Hadith  The stories of Mohammed's judgements in this book are more shocking than the Koran, IMHO.  

One of the things that really irked me was the denial of the crucifixion--or denial at least that Jesus died on the Cross.  In subsequent conversations with Muslims online, I have found that this denial is widely held.  I find it difficult to reconcile, not only with the central thrust of the Gospel accounts, but also with the non-Christian writers in ancient times who also confirm Jesus' crucifixion under Pontius Pilate.  

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« Reply #68 on: April 25, 2013, 11:42:09 AM »

I have always been confused on how Muslims can believe Jesus came as a prophet, but seemingly everyone around Him completely misunderstood His purpose and identity.  If he was just another prophet to the Jews, why did all His closest followers believe He was God incarnate?  Wouldn't that make Him a pretty bad prophet if no one could understand who He was claiming to be?  The Jews seemed to have hated all their prophets, but at least they weren't confused about what the rest of them were teaching, they just didn't like what they were hearing.  Somehow, Jesus comes along and tries to proclaim Allah and everyone somehow misunderstands and thinks He is calling Himself God?  It doesn't doesn't add up in my mind.

It doesn't add up in mine either.  As my priest says of Orthodoxy, "We're not good enough to make all this stuff up."  Even had the Apostles misunderstood his message, it does not make sense that they would invent the Last Supper, the crucifixion, and everything in Jesus' life that pointed to that kairos.     
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« Reply #69 on: April 25, 2013, 12:57:58 PM »


One of the things that really irked me was the denial of the crucifixion--or denial at least that Jesus died on the Cross.  In subsequent conversations with Muslims online, I have found that this denial is widely held.  I find it difficult to reconcile, not only with the central thrust of the Gospel accounts, but also with the non-Christian writers in ancient times who also confirm Jesus' crucifixion under Pontius Pilate.  

The reason why the writer of the Qur'an denied Jesus' crucifixion was purely Gnostic in nature. The traditional illusion theory illustrates strong ties between Gnostic theology and Islam. The incorporation of Gnostic tenets into Islam went hand in hand with Muhammad's anti-Jewish sentiments. Gnostics believed that Jesus did not die, but ascended and was thus saved from the evil and dirty human body whilst Muhammad contended that Jesus' assumption to Allah meant His "purification" from the disbelieving Jews that allegedly contaminated Him (Surah 3:55)
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« Reply #70 on: April 25, 2013, 01:04:02 PM »

I more recently have read sections from this copy of Islamic Hadith: http://www.amazon.com/Islamic-Hadith-ebook/dp/B005LPTV3G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366902462&sr=8-1&keywords=Islamic+Hadith  The stories of Mohammed's judgements in this book are more shocking than the Koran, IMHO.  

The science governing what hadith are the most reliable (many are held as spurious by nearly every school of Muslim thought on the planet and yet they are preserved for didactic reasons and often quoted by Islamaphobes and those Muslims who prey upon the desperate and uneducated muslims throughout the world to instill greater hostility toward the countries [redacted for possible breach of rules regarding politics]) is complex and varied. Hence the drive for the Koran onlyists to get back to the "real" Islam.

There are no the hadith in other words.

This is not to say that there are no hadith which are held to be relatively reliable which would bother the moral sensibilities of most contemporary people living in wealthy nations.

The funny thing about the hadith or the proliferation of shariah in complexity is that some of the most widely held to be authentic hadith have Mohamed warning about making laws too specific, numerous, or burdensome, lest they become ultimately too difficult to maintain and thus damning nearly everyone. Again, the thrust of the early Muslim critique of Judaism (And its ethnocentrism which the Muslims soon after Mohamed's death basically took up and made being an Arabic a requirement for conversion, they more often than not didn't convert by the sword and even opposed the conversion of those they conquered. There were bigotries at play and the non-Muslim paid more tax, so really the religion was hardly promoted by the sword as whoever would have you believe.) and Christianity went to the over complexity of rules and laws or what they saw as the nearly bordering on idolatrous notion of piety.

Sorry for the run-on blah blah. In short, picking and choosing hadith is a complicated affair especially if you do so in order to understand how Islam has been understood over the course of history in the variety of ways it has been. This doesn't even go to how one is to understand the hadith or the forms of hermeneutics developed to be applied to hadith based on its degree of held reliability.

Wish I could offer you a buncha stuff off the top of my head, but I can't. Some googling might help you see the problems I am alluding to.
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« Reply #71 on: April 25, 2013, 01:09:48 PM »


One of the things that really irked me was the denial of the crucifixion--or denial at least that Jesus died on the Cross.  In subsequent conversations with Muslims online, I have found that this denial is widely held.  I find it difficult to reconcile, not only with the central thrust of the Gospel accounts, but also with the non-Christian writers in ancient times who also confirm Jesus' crucifixion under Pontius Pilate.  

The reason why the writer of the Qur'an denied Jesus' crucifixion was purely Gnostic in nature. The traditional illusion theory illustrates strong ties between Gnostic theology and Islam. The incorporation of Gnostic tenets into Islam went hand in hand with Muhammad's anti-Jewish sentiments. Gnostics believed that Jesus did not die, but ascended and was thus saved from the evil and dirty human body whilst Muhammad contended that Jesus' assumption to Allah meant His "purification" from the disbelieving Jews that allegedly contaminated Him (Surah 3:55)

This is a idiosyncratic if not just plain misrepresentation. I do always find it humorous when folks' think they are capable of telepathy over many centuries, when they often can't understand their own motives for much of anything.

And using the word gnostic is one of those that immediately puts you into the: I don't think you know what you are talking about camp.

If you are saying what people often to refer to as gnostic Christian writing is some of the context for understanding the Koran, I would agree. But to extrapolate the reasons why to intent is beyond your ability and frankly your reckoning doesn't make much sense within the course of the body of the text itself.

I would suggest looking at how the Koran recasts as it were all the prophets it shares with Judaism and Christianity, starting from Adam, and see if you can't see some underlying themes within its differing accounts of all the prophets: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, etc.
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« Reply #72 on: April 25, 2013, 01:13:04 PM »


In the same manner, the Creator sent them another prophet from linage of prophet Ismail, who wasn't wealthy like them, but uttered truthful information.  Some accepted his message, but quite a few didn't for the very same reason you've suggest.  This was all a test, to see if the Jews (the shallow ones) would stop focusing on the exterior (ie. raving about the claim of being the chosen people) and instead focus on the interior (ie. that all people of good morals/faith are equally blessed by the Creator-- no race is superior to any other race).

Sorry, but this reason is devoid of logic! If Elohim really wanted to show that prophetic lineage and consistency were not significant, He could have sent a prophet from a nation that was NOT affiliated with Abraham at all! Saying first that "no race is superior to another race", but then claiming that Muhammad is a prophet who descended from Father Abraham makes no sense.

Another reason as to why the Quran was sent through an Arabic prophet, is because their is a very mystical/mysterious feature behind the Arabic language, just like there is with the Hebrew language.

In the Torah, you will see that some of the letters have crowns on them, and there is a quite a mystery about it.  Some Jews believe that these crown-let words will reveal secrets about the Creator's way.

In Arabic, the word Allah has an isolated crown-like symbol on top of it (known as shadda).   This was not a coincidence, there is a very important reason for it.   Whatever the reason it may be, there is a high probability that someday it will answer the mystery about the crown let words in the Torah.  It's like a key and it is addressed in the arabic quran. 

It seems you Arabs take after Jews because you "keep focusing on the exterior (ie. raving about the claim of linguistic superiority) instead of focusing on the interior". Hubal-lah may soon send a new prophet with a book written in a different language to test you!  Grin
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« Reply #73 on: April 25, 2013, 01:13:18 PM »


I think that is it.  A strict regimen.  Praying 5 times a day, fasting, etc.  .....wait....doesn't Orthodoxy offer even better?

Why is it that people discount Christianity and pull for Islam when looking for a tight ship?

Is it that they are jaded by all the TV Evangelists, Mormons, scandals, etc....and therefore, simply discount Christianity?

Might it be that they don't crave the "peace" prescribed by Christ....but, prefer the radicial, angry, get even "peace" of Islam.

I think it's a fad.  They are looking for something new and different.

It is because they think they already know Christianity and stuff like that idiotic Zeitgeist series. Also, Christ is hard to understand... something that is not appreciated or spoken of any more, but is the truth. The Bible is not just like any other book that you can just read and understand, so when people read it like that they become repulsed often at things they find in there. They don't understand there is something deeper to some of the hard demands Christ makes, that they are not arbitrary capriciousness but necessary to heal our hearts and minds.
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« Reply #74 on: April 25, 2013, 01:18:56 PM »


This is a idiosyncratic if not just plain misrepresentation. I do always find it humorous when folks' think they are capable of telepathy over many centuries, when they often can't understand their own motives for much of anything.

I do always find it humorous when folks who know nothing about Islam and the Qur'an make irrelevant comments to defend Islam. 

I would suggest looking at how the Koran recasts as it were all the prophets it shares with Judaism and Christianity, starting from Adam, and see if you can't see some underlying themes within its differing accounts of all the prophets: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, etc.

This is a straw-man argument... I only stated that Islam denied the crucifixion because it was influenced by Gnostic ideas concerning the Jews.
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« Reply #75 on: April 25, 2013, 01:25:14 PM »


In the same manner, the Creator sent them another prophet from linage of prophet Ismail, who wasn't wealthy like them, but uttered truthful information.  Some accepted his message, but quite a few didn't for the very same reason you've suggest.  This was all a test, to see if the Jews (the shallow ones) would stop focusing on the exterior (ie. raving about the claim of being the chosen people) and instead focus on the interior (ie. that all people of good morals/faith are equally blessed by the Creator-- no race is superior to any other race).

Sorry, but this reason is devoid of logic! If Elohim really wanted to show that prophetic lineage and consistency were not significant, He could have sent a prophet from a nation that was NOT affiliated with Abraham at all! Saying first that "no race is superior to another race", but then claiming that Muhammad is a prophet who descended from Father Abraham makes no sense.

Another reason as to why the Quran was sent through an Arabic prophet, is because their is a very mystical/mysterious feature behind the Arabic language, just like there is with the Hebrew language.

In the Torah, you will see that some of the letters have crowns on them, and there is a quite a mystery about it.  Some Jews believe that these crown-let words will reveal secrets about the Creator's way.

In Arabic, the word Allah has an isolated crown-like symbol on top of it (known as shadda).   This was not a coincidence, there is a very important reason for it.   Whatever the reason it may be, there is a high probability that someday it will answer the mystery about the crown let words in the Torah.  It's like a key and it is addressed in the arabic quran. 

It seems you Arabs take after Jews because you "keep focusing on the exterior (ie. raving about the claim of linguistic superiority) and instead focus on the interior". Hubal-lah may soon send a new prophet with a book written in a different language to test you!  Grin

The above two responses of yours shows you know little about Islam by the standards of the main wikipedia article. And the second post in particular shows you know almost nothing about the most basic notions of Islamic piety. Exteriority indeed . . . Heck one of the typical critiques about Muslim pietistic practices that I've heard is that they are merely copying what they saw Christian monks engaging in.

Is fibonacci an Arab? I didn't think he was. But I am not sure. I thought he was Persian for some reason.

And your post also suggest a certain misunderstanding of Judaism as well.
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« Reply #76 on: April 25, 2013, 01:28:22 PM »


This is a idiosyncratic if not just plain misrepresentation. I do always find it humorous when folks' think they are capable of telepathy over many centuries, when they often can't understand their own motives for much of anything.

I do always find it humorous when folks who know nothing about Islam and the Qur'an make irrelevant comments to defend Islam.  

I would suggest looking at how the Koran recasts as it were all the prophets it shares with Judaism and Christianity, starting from Adam, and see if you can't see some underlying themes within its differing accounts of all the prophets: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, etc.

This is a straw-man argument... I only stated that Islam denied the crucifixion because it was influenced by Gnostic ideas concerning the Jews.

I am not defending Islam. And I know nothing about it? Nothing?*

Oh, and that wasn't a strawman argument. It was a suggestion on to use one technique to better understand the significant different between Islam and Christianity. Of course, you are engaging in crypto-fundamentalist apologetics and using buzzwords. Wouldn't you rather have a more significant understanding of the Koran so that you could actually have a meaningful discussion with a Muslim. Or do you think telling them that their varied understanding of the life of Jesus comes from a gnostic Christian text is going be of much import?

*I admit I am no expert and wish someone more well versed and sensible were here to deflect these gross misrepresentations. I am no physician, but that doesn't mean I can't use a thermometer. It is doesn't take much to show the simplistic buzz word criticisms of Islam rest on very little.
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« Reply #77 on: April 25, 2013, 02:28:27 PM »

If people really want a strict regimen and submissive wives, why not convert to Judaism?

Mandatory circumcision. Even if you're already circumcised, you still have to get ritually poked in the pee-pee by a mohel.

I thought it was the same in Islam, only difference is that women also have to do it.

No and no.

Some Islamic scholars consider circumcision mandatory (and some don't), but even then it is not ritualized the way the Jewish version is.
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« Reply #78 on: April 25, 2013, 03:29:58 PM »

If people really want a strict regimen and submissive wives, why not convert to Judaism?

Mandatory circumcision. Even if you're already circumcised, you still have to get ritually poked in the pee-pee by a mohel.

I thought it was the same in Islam, only difference is that women also have to do it.

No and no.

Some Islamic scholars consider circumcision mandatory (and some don't), but even then it is not ritualized the way the Jewish version is.

All the Muslims I knew were cut. I don't know much about any of stuff regarding male circumcision other than some of the hygienic arguments given in passing by the Muslim teacher I lived with.

If you know of any arguments for, against, or why Muslims circumcise, I would interested. Really I wish we had a former Muslim you or Jetavan(sp?) around here.

All I know about Western Buddhism is enough to know it is nonsense and arguably dangerous, more so than the danger Islam presents.
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« Reply #79 on: April 25, 2013, 07:15:17 PM »


The above two responses of yours shows you know little about Islam by the standards of the main wikipedia article. And the second post in particular shows you know almost nothing about the most basic notions of Islamic piety. Exteriority indeed . . . Heck one of the typical critiques about Muslim pietistic practices that I've heard is that they are merely copying what they saw Christian monks engaging in.

Is fibonacci an Arab? I didn't think he was. But I am not sure. I thought he was Persian for some reason.

And your post also suggest a certain misunderstanding of Judaism as well.

Your post suggests that you failed to understand my posts.  Grin
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« Reply #80 on: April 25, 2013, 07:20:41 PM »

I more recently have read sections from this copy of Islamic Hadith: http://www.amazon.com/Islamic-Hadith-ebook/dp/B005LPTV3G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366902462&sr=8-1&keywords=Islamic+Hadith  The stories of Mohammed's judgements in this book are more shocking than the Koran, IMHO.  

The science governing what hadith are the most reliable (many are held as spurious by nearly every school of Muslim thought on the planet and yet they are preserved for didactic reasons and often quoted by Islamaphobes and those Muslims who prey upon the desperate and uneducated muslims throughout the world to instill greater hostility toward the countries [redacted for possible breach of rules regarding politics]) is complex and varied. Hence the drive for the Koran onlyists to get back to the "real" Islam.

There are no the hadith in other words.

This is not to say that there are no hadith which are held to be relatively reliable which would bother the moral sensibilities of most contemporary people living in wealthy nations.

The funny thing about the hadith or the proliferation of shariah in complexity is that some of the most widely held to be authentic hadith have Mohamed warning about making laws too specific, numerous, or burdensome, lest they become ultimately too difficult to maintain and thus damning nearly everyone. Again, the thrust of the early Muslim critique of Judaism (And its ethnocentrism which the Muslims soon after Mohamed's death basically took up and made being an Arabic a requirement for conversion, they more often than not didn't convert by the sword and even opposed the conversion of those they conquered. There were bigotries at play and the non-Muslim paid more tax, so really the religion was hardly promoted by the sword as whoever would have you believe.) and Christianity went to the over complexity of rules and laws or what they saw as the nearly bordering on idolatrous notion of piety.

Sorry for the run-on blah blah. In short, picking and choosing hadith is a complicated affair especially if you do so in order to understand how Islam has been understood over the course of history in the variety of ways it has been. This doesn't even go to how one is to understand the hadith or the forms of hermeneutics developed to be applied to hadith based on its degree of held reliability.

Wish I could offer you a buncha stuff off the top of my head, but I can't. Some googling might help you see the problems I am alluding to.

Thank you for your explanations.  Do you have any book recommendations on Islamic hermeneutics?  What are your thoughts on Karen Armstrong?  I've read several of her works that cover the history of Islam.  Her presentation is somewhat different in tone from another book I have been reading, Sergei Trivkovic's Sword of Islam
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« Reply #81 on: April 25, 2013, 07:25:37 PM »


I am not defending Islam. And I know nothing about it? Nothing?*

Oh! That IS interesting.  Grin

Oh, and that wasn't a strawman argument. It was a suggestion on to use one technique to better understand the significant different between Islam and Christianity. Of course, you are engaging in crypto-fundamentalist apologetics and using buzzwords. Wouldn't you rather have a more significant understanding of the Koran so that you could actually have a meaningful discussion with a Muslim. Or do you think telling them that their varied understanding of the life of Jesus comes from a gnostic Christian text is going be of much import?

What you consider a meaningful discussion means a meaningless discussion in my view.

I did not even talk of a Gnostic "text". Your post proves that you respond without even reading what I write.

*I admit I am no expert and wish someone more well versed and sensible were here to deflect these gross misrepresentations.

Be careful with what you wish! In that case your responses would be discarded as they misrepresent what Islam is.

I am no physician, but that doesn't mean I can't use a thermometer. It is doesn't take much to show the simplistic buzz word criticisms of Islam rest on very little.

Another misrepresentation.

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« Reply #82 on: April 25, 2013, 07:33:16 PM »

I did not even talk of a Gnostic "text". Your post proves that you respond without even reading what I write.

Go to search. Type Theophilos78 in the user field and gnostic in the search field.

Or you can just search for it here with your browser this page.

There are no gnostic ideas without a gnostic text. And I know very well what you are about as again that search will show you as will listening to just about anti-Islamist go on about why Islam is "wrong".

We are finished, unless you do offer something edifying.
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« Reply #83 on: April 25, 2013, 08:22:17 PM »

If people really want a strict regimen and submissive wives, why not convert to Judaism?

Mandatory circumcision. Even if you're already circumcised, you still have to get ritually poked in the pee-pee by a mohel.

I thought it was the same in Islam, only difference is that women also have to do it.

No and no.

Some Islamic scholars consider circumcision mandatory (and some don't), but even then it is not ritualized the way the Jewish version is.

All the Muslims I knew were cut. I don't know much about any of stuff regarding male circumcision other than some of the hygienic arguments given in passing by the Muslim teacher I lived with.

If you know of any arguments for, against, or why Muslims circumcise, I would interested. Really I wish we had a former Muslim you or Jetavan(sp?) around here. 
We have at least two: Theophilos for one.

They have no reasoning why they circumcize.  It is in imitation of Ishmael, but they have no idea of covenant as found in Genesis.  Technically, it is not mandatory, but just.
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« Reply #84 on: April 25, 2013, 08:45:20 PM »

I have always been confused on how Muslims can believe Jesus came as a prophet, but seemingly everyone around Him completely misunderstood His purpose and identity.  If he was just another prophet to the Jews, why did all His closest followers believe He was God incarnate?  Wouldn't that make Him a pretty bad prophet if no one could understand who He was claiming to be?  The Jews seemed to have hated all their prophets, but at least they weren't confused about what the rest of them were teaching, they just didn't like what they were hearing.  Somehow, Jesus comes along and tries to proclaim Allah and everyone somehow misunderstands and thinks He is calling Himself God?  It doesn't doesn't add up in my mind.

This is one of the origins of hate in Islam for Jews especially, but also for Christians.

There is a ‘need’ for Muhammed, because Moslems believe that a myriad of earlier messengers message was not held to

Moslems must account for why their god’s message was constantly confused, or ignored.

Therefore they say that the Jews are a vile people to continually mess with al-Lah’s message.
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« Reply #85 on: April 25, 2013, 08:49:10 PM »

I have always been confused on how Muslims can believe Jesus came as a prophet, but seemingly everyone around Him completely misunderstood His purpose and identity.  If he was just another prophet to the Jews, why did all His closest followers believe He was God incarnate?  Wouldn't that make Him a pretty bad prophet if no one could understand who He was claiming to be?  The Jews seemed to have hated all their prophets, but at least they weren't confused about what the rest of them were teaching, they just didn't like what they were hearing.  Somehow, Jesus comes along and tries to proclaim Allah and everyone somehow misunderstands and thinks He is calling Himself God?  It doesn't doesn't add up in my mind.

That's a good question. Generally Muslims believe that the original message of Jesus and the Disciples was perverted by Paul and mistranslations (intentional or unintentional) of the original texts.

Many Moslems I have spoken to follow vague Protestant claims too.

Protestants claim that the Reformation had to happen because 'the Church' messed up Jesus' message.

This then leads to the question of when/how this happened.

Protestants make a vague claim about the church being captured during the time of Constantine. That he changed the church. (I have always asked Protestants when he changed it, and what he changed and none can tell me).

Anyway, several Moslems I have spoken to have told me that Muhammed was ‘necessary’ because the message had been corrupted in the time of Constantine.


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« Reply #86 on: April 25, 2013, 08:57:43 PM »

See the bolded to start.

Frankly, I can understand folks have problems with the Koran. It was rather underwhelming and seemingly odd to my Western eyes when I read it the first time, second time, third time. It was like the Big Lebowski of religious texts for me, although I always thought the Tao Te Ching was incredibly shallow and got way more press than it ought, guess that would make it Fargo of religious texts.

It is definitely a time when I think Eastern and Western are rather relevant on this forum.

The Koran begs knowledge of a certain context which most here ought to have, some general understanding of Judaism and Christianity of that time period and some helpful notes for the non trained Koranic scholar about its contents and form and history.

If you want to know about the interpretation of the Koran, look to how Moslems do this – through Hadith.

Although there are different traditions (Sunni/Shi’a) and collections most Moslems are not Koran-only Moslems.

They are guided by the Koran-in-action, as it were; the Hadith

Following that they look to the Islamic schools of jurisprudence; of which I understand there to be at least four.

As to spreading Islam by the sword, which you seem to object to, there’s an amazingly thorough compilation on Islamic thought on Jihad in “The Legacy of Jihad” which is a survey of Islamic thought both across the schools of jurisprudence, and across the history of Islam.

There you will find a very consistent and predominant trend to view spreading Islam by violence as a legitimate and even desirable method.
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« Reply #87 on: April 25, 2013, 09:09:52 PM »

The science governing what hadith are the most reliable (many are held as spurious by nearly every school of Muslim thought on the planet and yet they are preserved for didactic reasons and often quoted by Islamaphobes and those Muslims who prey upon the desperate and uneducated muslims throughout the world to instill greater hostility toward the countries [redacted for possible breach of rules regarding politics]) is complex and varied. Hence the drive for the Koran onlyists to get back to the "real" Islam.

There are no the hadith in other words.
I think that’s not quite the state.

Over the course of Islam there have arisen Hadith that are relied upon. Bukhari is accepted by more Moslems than other collections.

They themselves offer this up as an authentic look into Islam THROUGH the ‘science of hadith’ – it makes logic for them to back up by such claims the books that they rely upon.

You seem to think that they are confused (in not knowing what Hadith to rely upon) and are moving back to a Koran-only interpretation.

I am not aware of any great trend in Islam to do this.

This is not to say that there are no hadith which are held to be relatively reliable which would bother the moral sensibilities of most contemporary people living in wealthy nations.
This is a misrepresentation too. It’s a very moral relativist stance; things that Muhammed did are wrong; and were wrong back then as now
The funny thing about the hadith or the proliferation of shariah in complexity is that some of the most widely held to be authentic hadith have Mohamed warning about making laws too specific, numerous, or burdensome, lest they become ultimately too difficult to maintain and thus damning nearly everyone.
Islam’s attraction for some is its very legalism. Every aspect of one’s life can be guided by it. It is very comprehensive; even to the point of arguing whether one should pee standing up, or squatting.

Is it haraam to urinate standing up?
http://islamqa.info/en/ref/9790

Again, the thrust of the early Muslim critique of Judaism (And its ethnocentrism which the Muslims soon after Mohamed's death basically took up and made being an Arabic a requirement for conversion, they more often than not didn't convert by the sword and even opposed the conversion of those they conquered. There were bigotries at play and the non-Muslim paid more tax, so really the religion was hardly promoted by the sword as whoever would have you believe.) and Christianity went to the over complexity of rules and laws or what they saw as the nearly bordering on idolatrous notion of piety.
I agree that they didn’t have to literally make people Moslem at sword-point. Once they conquered a land they imposed Islamic law with its myriad of laws in place to make being a non-Moslem very much more difficult.

However they also forcibly made converts. They used terror against opposition too.

Even when Muhammad was alive they practiced genocide, such as the destruction of one tribe; the Banu Qurayza

Sorry for the run-on blah blah. In short, picking and choosing hadith is a complicated affair especially if you do so in order to understand how Islam has been understood over the course of history in the variety of ways it has been.
That then would be a major problem in Islam, that they don’t seem to be suffering from.
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« Reply #88 on: April 25, 2013, 09:12:00 PM »


I am not defending Islam.

Actually you are.

When someone has raised problems they have with the Hadith you've invented an argument to cover this; that Moslems don't really know which Hadith they can rely upon therefore there is not 'the Hadith'. As well, you've offered moral relativism; about some things Muhammed did that might upset a modern western mind.
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Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek
Posts: 1,813



« Reply #89 on: April 25, 2013, 09:14:32 PM »

If you know of any arguments for, against, or why Muslims circumcise, I would interested. Really I wish we had a former Muslim you or Jetavan(sp?) around here.

I cited argument for and against in an earlier post (not to you, admittedly) – reply #50
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Fàilte dhut a Mhoire,
tha thu lan de na gràsan;
Tha an Tighearna maille riut.
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