Introduction to Islam

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Iwojima

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In your opinion is the Islamic faith due for a reformation?

You speak of many highly regarded Muslim clerics/scholars who preach a far less violent interpretation of the Quran, but I do not see their voices being taken as the authorities you claim they should be.
 

wayfarer

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In your opinion is the Islamic faith due for a reformation?
Thank you, Iwojima, for a most relevant question, especially given the situation in the world today!

The answer is no, the worst thing that could happen to the Islamic faith (and the world) is a reformation of the Islam. Look at ISIS and the likes, and you can see what "Islamic reform" does. Deviation from the safety of classical, traditional interpretations of Islam's canonical texts has proven to be catastrophic in every sense (see my post about the role of Islam's canonical texts in preventing disaster). There are other moments in Islam's history where this dangerous phenomenon threatened the integrity of Islam, but it was quickly challenged and neutralised. But the potential harm of those instances pales in significance when compared to the havoc that today's misguided, angry reformers can wreak in the era of modern technology. What the Islamic faith is direly in need of is a counter-reformation, so that the Islamic body may keep its course (see 10-minute YouTube clip). We need to resist the violent "Islamic Protestantism" of extremists and terrorists. See my earlier post on the counter-reformation needed.

You speak of many highly regarded Muslim clerics/scholars who preach a far less violent interpretation of the Quran, but I do not see their voices being taken as the authorities you claim they should be.
There are over 1,6 billion Muslims in the world today. Possibly 99,999% (not a literal statistic!) of Muslims do revere and follow our veteran, mainstream scholars. Be wary of filtering the reality on the ground via Islamophobic media and other elements in the West that create an atmosphere that is increasingly hostile toward Islam. I assume you are a SA citizen. Look around you, observe the Muslims you know, look at the situation for yourself. Certainly, no Muslim individual, community or country is perfect. Far from it; we are all flawed, and the world is rife with corruption across ethnicity, religion and geographic region. But the truth is that most Muslims in the world are typical, family oriented, peace-loving people. Again, we have to redouble our efforts at countering this radical reformation trend, lest it spins out of control.

We need to:
1. Educate Muslims about the beauty and wholesomeness of the classical tradition, and why it has been trusted by Muslims through the centuries, to the present day. Education.
2. Psychological health and personal development. We should all be challenged to rise above ourselves, and deal with others in the best of ways. We must understand that "love thy neighbour" is a central core of every major religion or social ideology.
3. Take cognizance of Western foreign policies and "adventures" into Muslim lands, and understand how that impacts on political extremism (with a religious reference for justification).
4. Educate non-Muslims about classical, traditional Islam followed by the overwhelming majority of Muslims for more than a millennium. The problem is that anti-Muslim haters of Islam, and the Islamic terrorists, are actually complementary, and have much in common. Both groups eschew the beautiful classical Islamic scholarly legacy (followed by most Muslims) in favour of angry, hate-filled extreme interpretations.
 
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S.Harris

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Deviation from the safety of classical, traditional interpretations of Islam's canonical texts has proven to be catastrophic in every sense
Sounds like a set up for fake Scotsmen. It seems to be that Bagdadhi and his guys are behaving exactly as the Prophet and his followers behaved back in the day, except they now have modern technology to carry out their view of Islam. I think that the Muslim world has left ISIS alone to long and now they can not do anything about it. The only way to reform Islam is to declare it all invalid and create a completely new religion based on modern world morals. That way everyone can have say in what is morally accepted and be able provide reasons for their position.

Unless of course, the god of Islam would care to make an appearance and re-issue the Qur'an in a format that everyone would be able to understand without doubt.
 

wayfarer

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Sounds like a set up for fake Scotsmen.
Thank you for your comment.

No one is making any claims of TrueIslam[SUP]TM[/SUP]. Note, though, that there is an academic concept of normative religion, which in Islam's case is the religion espoused by the traditional Islamic scholarship collective and followed by the vast majority of Muslims over the centuries since its founding.

It seems to be that Bagdadhi and his guys are behaving exactly as the Prophet and his followers behaved back in the day, except they now have modern technology to carry out their view of Islam.
In other words, ISIS members are the true Scotsmen???

Your personal expert understanding of the Prophetic character is in stark contrast to the historical understanding of thousands of Islamic scholarly specialists in Quranic exegesis, history, Arabic, Hadith science, jurisprudence, etc., as well as the interpretation of over 99% of the Muslims of the world (Wahhabis/Salafis make up less than 1% of the world's Muslims, and an even smaller percentage are violent extremists). However, your understanding is fully in sync with that of the most hate-filled, murderous, inhuman terrorists on the planet, with their less-than-a-handful of "scholars"; and it is in sync with hate-filled, anti-Muslim, war-mongering bigots. Take heed of who shares your views, lest you be unfairly lumped with them.

The multicultural societies and the numerous churches and synagogues protected under the Ottoman Islamic empire until the early 1900s bear testimony to this, whereafter secular nationalism and European colonialism took over and exacerbated processes of moral decay and social and cultural unrest.

I think that the Muslim world has left ISIS alone to long and now they can not do anything about it.
Every major Muslim organisation has spoken out against ISIS, and proven from Islam's primary sources that their actions are not justifiable or consistent with Islamic jurisprudence. But they take no heed, for their basis is political, and they merely use religion to further their agenda. Islamic Universities and institutions (in South Africa too) have been issuing statements and spreading awareness of this dangerous ideology since the time of ISIS's predecessors. Muslim nations and militias have been bombing and attacking ISIS positions since its inception, before any Western country became directly involved in combating ISIS, and Muslims remain the biggest military and ideological opponents of ISIS to this day (although Western action was highly instrumental in the creation of these groups in the first place). Muslims are also their biggest victim group.

You must agree that it is untrue that "the Muslim world has left ISIS alone".

The only way to reform Islam is to declare it all invalid and create a completely new religion
Lucky for Islam and the world, that "reform" process is being opposed in full might, lest the ISIS types start recruiting millions, instead of thousands. (According to a Russian source, ISIS numbers are 80 000, but the Russians are keen to present a large number, to justify their escapade into Syria. No reliable figures exist.)

...based on modern world morals. That way everyone can have say in what is morally accepted and be able provide reasons for their position.
Much is good about modern world morals and the Western system of morality, but there is also much that is disgusting and destructive, such as the fall of the family, extreme capitalism, neo-colonialism and imperialism, etc. To me, there is no better value system than the one espoused by mainstream Islam. There is much that I disagree with in many Muslim societies, but they will benefit tremendously from more closely following classical and traditional Islamic scholarship. Education is the key.

Unless of course, the god of Islam would care to make an appearance and re-issue the Qur'an in a format that everyone would be able to understand without doubt.
No intensive acclaimed literary work (or even complex scientific theory/law) is ever understood by everyone "without doubt". That is why humanity, including the Islamic civilisation, produces and respects specialised scholarship, and prizes endeavours such as peer review and consensus. However, your preferred Scotsmen, ISIS, shun the classical and traditional Islamic scholarship legacy in favour of a few lone, merciless "scholars", who do not tolerate peer review, and are diametrically opposed to centuries of Islamic scholarly consensus.
 
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OrbitalDawn

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I thought this would fit well here.

a groundbreaking report on British Muslims is released.

you can read the actual the report here.
A very good point, which I've noted before, as well:

“The truth is that Muslims can be socially conservative on some issues and this may be difficult for some secular liberals to accept. However, social conservatism should not be conflated with radicalisation, extremism or terrorism. Muslims are more than capable of being loyal and productive citizens of this country while at the same time not compromising their religious beliefs.”
 

cyghost

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Well we have that exemplified in South Africa don't we? A large Muslim population and very few nutters :p (none that I am aware of personally)
 

wise_guy

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Anyone here listening to Nomaan Ally Khan?

He has many lectures on youtube.

From all the lecturers I find
his material to be the most accessible and informative.

He seems to adopt the teacher/student approach which is a really effective way Islam can be taught.

Would appreciate any feedback and I hope I'm not derailing this amazing thread.
 

Hamish McPanji

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Yeah, he's very good. Has cleared up a lot of stuff for me which was lingering since madrasah days
 

Grant

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I have a question from another thread:


why do muslims have to enter the toilet using the left foot then leave using the right foot ?
 

Fury05

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Anyone here listening to Nomaan Ally Khan?

He has many lectures on youtube.

From all the lecturers I find
his material to be the most accessible and informative.

He seems to adopt the teacher/student approach which is a really effective way Islam can be taught.

Would appreciate any feedback and I hope I'm not derailing this amazing thread.
Listen to his podcasts on Muslim Central. He addresses issues very well with clear and easy to understand language. He mentioned once that he loves listening to Mufti Menk, very similar in their approach to explaining Islamic topics. Nouman is younger so identifies very well with his younger audiences.
 

falcon786

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Well we have that exemplified in South Africa don't we? A large Muslim population and very few nutters :p (none that I am aware of personally)
Maybe we can start exporting this trend,bring some cash flow into the country while we're at it.:D

I have a question from another thread:


why do muslims have to enter the toilet using the left foot then leave using the right foot ?
There is no "have to",it's a tradition and it's exact reasons will probably be better explained by wayfarer but as far as I know there is no sin for not doing this.
 

Fury05

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Maybe we can start exporting this trend,bring some cash flow into the country while we're at it.:D



There is no "have to",it's a tradition and it's exact reasons will probably be better explained by wayfarer but as far as I know there is no sin for not doing this.
+1 and I should have mentioned it in my reply as well in that thread. As was explained to me it is not compulsory, but strongly recommended.
 

Grant

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Maybe we can start exporting this trend,bring some cash flow into the country while we're at it.:D



There is no "have to",it's a tradition and it's exact reasons will probably be better explained by wayfarer but as far as I know there is no sin for not doing this.
thanx
 

wayfarer

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Implementing the sunnah (prophetic practice)

I have a question from another thread:


why do muslims have to enter the toilet using the left foot then leave using the right foot ?
Thank you for the question, dear grantza!

As was mentioned, the practice is not a "have to" obligation upon Muslims, but it is a strong recommendation.

Prophet Muhammad would always enter the toilet, and any generally unclean or foul place, with his left foot, and exit with his right foot. Also, he would enter a noble place with his right foot, and exit with his left. Prophet Muhammad, to Muslims, is the greatest man that ever lived - the very cream of creation. His level of surrender and servitude to God, and his service to all of creation, is unparalleled. Therefore, Muslims strive to emulate his every practice, out of love for him, and in the hopes attaining similar states of surrender and devotion to God.

Therefore, a primary reason for Muslims entering the toilet with the left foot (as with doing many other of his actions) is to emulate prophetic practice.

Additionally, the conscious effort that goes into choosing a particular foot each time one steps into a specific space serves to intensify one's state of vigilance over one's own actions, and to enhance one's state of mindfulness of God.
 
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Grant

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As was mentioned, the practice is not a "have to" obligation upon Muslims, but it is a strong recommendation.

Prophet Muhammad would always enter the toilet, and any generally unclean or foul place, with his left foot, and exit with his right foot.
thanks for that.


i am compelled to ask, was there any particular reason he chose one foot over the other for this practice ?
for example, why was the left foot favoured for entering a foul place instead of the right - this extends to eating.

i'm curious as to the initial logic in favouring one side over the other.
 

wayfarer

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thanks for that.


i am compelled to ask, was there any particular reason he chose one foot over the other for this practice ?
for example, why was the left foot favoured for entering a foul place instead of the right - this extends to eating.

i'm curious as to the initial logic in favouring one side over the other.
I am personally not aware of any particular logical backing for this to be found directly in the Sacred Texts.

It may be that:

  • There is a certain spiritual significance that the right side of the body has over the left side, known to God (for instance, the angelic being that records good deeds resides at the right shoulder, whereas the one recording bad deeds resides at the left, and the one on the right "supervises" the one on the left. There are many other similar examples.)

  • It may be that the foot practice is an extension of the hand practice. The hand practice may be a convention, so as to avoid cross-contamination between the profound and the profane, and the right hand specifically chosen for most actions (and noble actions) because most people are right-handed, and it would therefore make sense to choose this convention for transacting inter-personally within society.

The 2-minute video linked below, by the English-speaking Muslim world's most prestigious scholar and leader, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, may give you a better idea of the emotional/spiritual significance of this "dichotomy". (Note that I merely linked it, and did not embed. I have kindly requested that no images and vids be embedded in this thread, to maintain smooth flow.)

"...BUT I ALWAYS USE MY LEFT HAND." (YouTube)
 
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Grant

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thanks for the above.
i'm familiar with Hamza Yusuf, if i recall correctly, fury05 has posted some of his videos on the forum previously
 

Fury05

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Interestingly, ISIS has called for him to be assassinated. He must be doing something right.
 
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