You should join our great online community now - you can win great prizes
Register now
You should subscribe to our free MyBroadband newsletter


+ Reply to Thread
Page 57 of 66 FirstFirst ... 7 47535455565758596061 ... LastLast
Results 841 to 855 of 988

Thread: Introduction to Islam

  1. #841
    Ulysses Everett McGill OrbitalDawn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Aboard the Nostalgia For Infinity
    Posts
    35,725

    Default

    As per this post, here are the questions again regarding the main schools' view on blasphemy and the punishment for it.

    So you're saying those punishments referred to aren't part of the main schools?

    Can you provide me with a better version?

    Why did he promise to keep only the greater group on the path, as opposed to everyone?
    "Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese."

  2. #842

    Default Apostasy and Blasphemy in Islam: 2 of 3

    Main > Q&A > Apostasy and Blasphemy in Islam: 1 | 2 | 3

    Quote Originally Posted by OrbitalDawn View Post
    As per this post, here are the questions again regarding the main schools' view on blasphemy and the punishment for it.
    Thank you for your question.

    The Quran does not assign any worldly punishment for blasphemy. It is a matter between the blasphemer and God, and God Will be the final Judge in the matter.

    ". . . But they uttered blasphemy . . . if they repent, it will be best for them, but if they turn back, God will punish them." (Quran 9:47)

    "Have patience with what they say, and leave them with noble [dignity]." (Quran 73:10)

    However, various Hadiths and juristic approaches deal with the matter of blasphemy and/or apostasy in a specific historical political (or even war) context, and action is especially taken when these are accompanied by:

    1. Treason (specifically in the case of ex-Muslims)

    2. Hate speech to incite violence.

    Thus, scholars of the 4 schools of mainstream Islam apply takhsis, allowing hadiths against blasphemy to be soundly interpreted and limited in meaning by other hadiths on the same topic with greater specificity. This does not mean that "Muslim" groups/leaders haven't abused these hadiths to further their own political agenda and quell dissent or opposition.

    Islam has a rich legacy of welcoming intellectual criticism, since the time of Prophet Muhammad until the present.

    "The truth [has now come] from your Sustainer: let, then, him who wills, believe in it, and let him who wills, reject it." (Quran 18:29)

    In earlier times: notable rigidity for Muslims who blaspheme

    In pre-modern times, the rules were very rigidly applied to Muslims, and a "blaspheming" apostate Muslim would be prosecuted even in the absence of treason and hate speech. This approach has seen some widespread changes over the past two centuries, especially since the Ottoman Empire, on the basis of Quran and Hadith, scrapped those types of blaphemy/apostasy laws. There have been a number of scholarly articles published in recent years by prominent scholars across the Islamic jurisprudence schools, demonstrating that blasphemy and apostasy should not be prosecuted if not accompanied by hate speech to incite violence.

    To place the matter in context, senior Muslim scholar, Abdal Hakim Murad (2007), explains:

    "Traditional human communities believe that truth leads to salvation, and error to damnation. It is probable that very many religious people in a variety of denominations still believe this. Historically, religiously-faithful princes have therefore seen it as necessary to use the coercive power of the state to forbid apostasy. One of the most powerful and persistent manifestations of this understanding in history was the Inquisition, which was definitively abolished in 1834. Protestant countries also respected this drastic principle; in fact, the first converts to Islam in Britain were impaled on stakes. In a Hindu context, ‘apostasy’ was often classified as violation of caste rules and boundaries, and similarly drastic consequences could follow. After the Mongol sack of Baghdad in 1253, Buddhists who converted to Islam were routinely put to death.

    The four canonical schools of Sunni Islamic law, and also most pre-modern Shi’a jurists, recommend similarly drastic penalties, although the judge is enjoined to ‘look for ambiguities’ in order to avert the death penalty wherever possible.

    The Ottoman Caliphate, the supreme representative of Sunni Islam, formally abolished this penalty in the aftermath of the so-called Tanzimat reforms launched in 1839. The Shaykh al-Islam, the supreme head of the religious courts and colleges, ratified this major shift in traditional legal doctrine. It was pointed out that there is no verse in the Qur’an that lays down a punishment for apostasy (although chapter 5 verse 54 and chapter 2 verse 217 predict a punishment in the next world). It was also pointed out that the ambiguities in the hadith (the sayings of the Prophet) suggest that apostasy is only an offense when combined with the crime of treason. These ambiguities led some medieval Muslims, long before the advent of modernisation, to reject the majority view. Prominent among them one may name al-Nakha’i (d.713), al-Thawri (d.772), al-Sarakhsi (d. 1090), al-Baji (d. 1081), and al-Sha’rani (d.1565). The debate triggered by the Ottoman reform was continued when al-Azhar University in Cairo, the supreme religious authority in the Arab world, delivered a formal fatwa (religious edict) in 1958, which confirmed the abolition of the classical law in this area.

    Among radical Salafis and Wahhabis who do not accept the verdicts of the Ottoman or the Azhar scholars, it is generally believed that the majority medieval view should still be enforced.

    The best discussion of the controversy is the book by Mohammed Hashim Kamali, “Freedom of Expression in Islam” (Cambridge, 1997)."


    See also: To the angry young Muslims...
    Last edited by wayfarer; 17-02-2016 at 06:47 PM.

  3. #843
    Ulysses Everett McGill OrbitalDawn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Aboard the Nostalgia For Infinity
    Posts
    35,725

    Default

    So, in summary, whenever blasphemy is invoked to kill people it's because the people doing it are misunderstanding the historical context?

    Did Al-Azhar not get the memo?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farag_Foda

    Before his death, Farag Foda had been accused of blasphemy by Al-Azhar.[4] The Al-Azhar ulama had thereby adopted a previous fatwā by Sheikh al-Azhar, Jadd al-Haqq, accusing Foda and other secularist writers of being "enemies of Islam".[8] In a statement claimed responsibility for the killing, Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya accused Foda of being an apostate from Islam, advocating the separation of religion from the state, and favouring the existing legal system in Egypt rather than the application of Shari’a (Islamic law).[1] The group explicitly referred to the Al-Azhar fatwā when claiming responsibility.[7] An Al-Azhar scholar, Mohammed al-Ghazali, later asserted as a witness before the court that it was not wrong to kill an apostate. Al-Ghazali said: "The killing of Farag Foda was in fact the implementation of the punishment against an apostate which the imam (the Islamic leader in Egypt) has failed to implement."[9] Eight of the thirteen Islamists brought to trial for the murder were subsequently acquitted.
    Going down this list:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blasphemy_law_in_Egypt

    ...Seems they're quite busy in banning things they deem blasphemous. Did they also not get the memo about Islam's "rich legacy of welcoming intellectual criticism"?

    http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsCont...roversial.aspx

    Some of their scholars also apparently don't mind killing, only so long as it happens after a trial. As in Salman Rushdie's case.

    Muhammad Hussan ad-Din, a theologian at Al-Azhar University, argued "Blood must not be shed except after a trial [when the accused has been] given a chance to defend himself and repent".
    There was one who criticised the fatwa...

    https://www.nytimes.com/books/99/04/...ie-cleric.html

    ''In Islam there is no tradition of killing people without trying them,'' said a senior scholar at Al Azhar, who declined to be identified.

    Islamic law, he said, insists that people accused of capital offenses like murder and heresy be tried and confess their guilt before execution.

    ''I do not approve the principle of murdering someone for writing something we did not like,'' said Sheik Abu el-Wafa, a leading Islamic scholar at Cairo University.

    Like others, he suggested that Mr. Rushdie be tried, either in India or in Britain, where he lives, to establish whether he is a true Muslim and whether he had committed heresy.

    ''Killing someone is not that easy,'' said a third Islamic scholar. ''There are laws to be implemented.''
    Funny how none of them have an issue that he be prosecuted, and most of them are quite okay with him being killed - just so long as it happens after a trial.
    "Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese."

  4. #844

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by OrbitalDawn View Post
    So, in summary, whenever blasphemy is invoked to kill people it's because the people doing it are misunderstanding the historical context?

    Did Al-Azhar not get the memo?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farag_Foda
    The memo did in fact reach Al-Azhar. That is why, despite issuing countless rulings and edicts on a wide variety of legal and social matters, Al-Azhar has never issued any declaration of apostasy against anyone, or called for their prosecution on those grounds. There is not a single Azhari grand mufti or member of its Council of Senior scholars who has done this (some refer to a 1978 edict by al-Azhar on a question about a specific case of apostasy, but the authenticity of this is doubted because of a number of obvious mistakes in the edict - even so, this would be a fringe incident). It is true though, that of the thousands of scholars produced by Al-Azhar, there are indeed some individuals, whose number can more-or-less be counted on one hand, who breached this policy.

    You see, the memo is irrelevant when it comes to lackeys (Azhari or not) of brutal dictators of corrupt regimes, such as the much critiqued late scholar mentioned here. In addition to declaring apostasy on Foda, he even deemed much of Egyptian society to be apostate or wayward and deserving of punishment, particularly when they opposed formal state legislation (some of which has an Islamic basis, most of which is Napoleonic).

    Going down this list:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blasphemy_law_in_Egypt

    ...Seems they're quite busy in banning things they deem blasphemous. Did they also not get the memo about Islam's "rich legacy of welcoming intellectual criticism"?

    http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsCont...roversial.aspx
    That situation is not unique in the middle-east. Many other corrupt regimes followed a similar path, contrary to the views of the respective countries' scholarship.

    Funny how none of them have an issue that he be prosecuted, and most of them are quite okay with him being killed - just so long as it happens after a trial.
    Your "most of them" statement is highly misleading. Consider what the current grand shaykh of Al-Azhar says, that apostates should be left alone, unless they proceeded to engage in hate-speech or incitement to violence. And this would not necessarily end up in a death sentence (note that in some Muslim countries, as with some Western countries, libel, crimen jury, and deliberately slandering with the sole intent of belittling is regarded as a criminal offense, and is sanctionable). This view that apostasy is not punishable is echoed by countless numbers of senior Muslim scholars/academics across the globe, and great many of their statements/excerpts are available online.

    Indeed, there are still places where the memo did not arrive, or where the memo had not been given proper consideration. But serious widespread efforts have been under way in the last decades to expedite this. Often, the challenge is the political climate of region.

  5. #845
    Ulysses Everett McGill OrbitalDawn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Aboard the Nostalgia For Infinity
    Posts
    35,725

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wayfarer View Post
    The memo did in fact reach Al-Azhar. That is why, despite issuing countless rulings and edicts on a wide variety of legal and social matters, Al-Azhar has never issued any declaration of apostasy against anyone, or called for their prosecution on those grounds. There is not a single Azhari grand mufti or member of its Council of Senior scholars who has done this (some refer to a 1978 edict by al-Azhar on a question about a specific case of apostasy, but the authenticity of this is doubted because of a number of obvious mistakes in the edict - even so, this would be a fringe incident). It is true though, that of the thousands of scholars produced by Al-Azhar, there are indeed some individuals, whose number can more-or-less be counted on one hand, who breached this policy.
    What? It's right there in the link...

    From 1985, Al-Azhar University's Islamic Research Council (IRC) has been an active advisor to the government on religious matters. Publishing a religious book without the IRC's approval is prohibited.[15] The IRC has accused many writers of being blasphemous. The IRC has succeeded in having banned or censored many writings and other forms of expression.[17][18] On 1 June 2004, Minister of Justice Faruq Seif al-Nasr gave clerics from Al-Azhar University authority to confiscate books and audio and videotapes that they believe violate Islamic precepts.
    and more...

    http://www.copticsolidarity.org/medi...es-its-muscles

    Al-Azhar filed official charges on Monday with the Prosecutor General against its presenter, Islam al-Beheiri, claiming that he insulted Islam, ridiculed revered religious figures, and undermined Al-Azhar’s constitutional role protecting and promoting Islamic teachings.

    Al-Azhar announced that it had filed charges against the talk show presenter to the Prosecutor General. Al-Azhar said his show “intentionally questioned the basic tenants of the Islamic religion
    http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2014/0...-get-personal/

    After her article “God resigns” was published, Al-Saadawi was accused by Muslim scholars of “defaming God and the prophets” in an action of “clear blasphemy”, according to a statement issued by Al-Azhar.
    Quote Originally Posted by wayfarer
    You see, the memo is irrelevant when it comes to lackeys (Azhari or not) of brutal dictators of corrupt regimes, such as the much critiqued late scholar mentioned here. In addition to declaring apostasy on Foda, he even deemed much of Egyptian society to be apostate or wayward and deserving of punishment, particularly when they opposed formal state legislation (some of which has an Islamic basis, most of which is Napoleonic).
    While I have no doubt that nefarious political goals might be pursued using religious machinery at times, this strikes me as a cop out and convenient excuse for whenever something distasteful happens in "moderate" Islam.

    It wasn't a 'rogue' scholar that made pronouncements again Foda, it was an Al-Azhar Ulama that adopted a fatwa by its then Grand Sheikh.

    Quote Originally Posted by wayfarer
    That situation is not unique in the middle-east. Many other corrupt regimes followed a similar path, contrary to the views of the respective countries' scholarship.
    So Al-Azhar is part and parcel of the corrupt regime of Egypt? It's not a totalitarian regime banning political dissent, it's a religious (the world's "most prestigious Islamic university", not some backwater Jihadi organisation) institution banning things they consider blasphemous.

    If they consider the way the authoritarian regimes do things to be incorrect in terms of Islamic law then why aren't they issuing fatwas by the truckload saying so?

    Quote Originally Posted by wayfarer
    Your "most of them" statement is highly misleading. Consider what the current grand shaykh of Al-Azhar says, that apostates should be left alone, unless they proceeded to engage in hate-speech or incitement to violence. And this would not necessarily end up in a death sentence (note that in some Muslim countries, as with some Western countries, libel, crimen jury, and deliberately slandering with the sole intent of belittling is regarded as a criminal offense, and is sanctionable). This view that apostasy is not punishable is echoed by countless numbers of senior Muslim scholars/academics across the globe, and great many of their statements/excerpts are available online.
    My "most of them" was relating to the article I posted.

    Libel, crimen injuria and slandering aren't punishable by death in Western countries. And the difference is those laws are about actual individuals, not religious figures.

    Where did he say that? And this is the same guy that called for blasphemy (specifically against Islam) to be outlawed internationally? lol...

    Quote Originally Posted by wayfarer
    Indeed, there are still places where the memo did not arrive, or where the memo had not been given proper consideration. But serious widespread efforts have been under way in the last decades to expedite this. Often, the challenge is the political climate of region.
    Or maybe it's because many, many of the scholars and leading Islamic figures disagree with it. There's evidence aplenty, and you can't just always blame 'rogue' individuals or political problems.
    "Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese."

  6. #846

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by OrbitalDawn View Post
    What? It's right there in the link...
    No, it's not there in the link. I was refering to the charge of apostasy, not blasphemy. Farag Foda was accused of undermining the tenets of Islam and its sacred foundations, the tenets being invalidated by the infusion of Western philosophy and secularism, and then misleadingly passing it off as "enlightened Islam". He was thus accused of blaspheming, but certainly no fatwa was issued for his head. The "memo" referred to earlier was about not prosecuting apostasy in the absence of hatespeech or treason. And even when accompanied by incitements to violence, the punishment does not necessarily have to mean the death penalty. Those who "mis-acted" on the fatwa by committing murder were from a group not regarded as mainstream.

    You see, blasphemy and apostasy still exist as constructs, and the memo didn't call for the abolition of these concepts.

    There are laws in Islam against mocking for the sake of defamation, or insulting with the aim of belittling. For example, the Quran prohibits Muslims from mocking religious views or deities of other religions. Even satire is viewed very differently in many Muslim countries when compared with the West. The first article is about Azhar, the second is about Egypt. The Azhar acts as an advisory body to the state, and rarely overrules it, and it is questionable exactly how free it is to do so, despite having some level of independence.

    The challenge is to separate blasphemy out from apostasy. Then one has to separate out current blasphemy law (that includes slander, crimen injuria, hatespeech and incitement to violence, and deliberate misinformation), from intellectual criticism. Note that libel is not limited to an individual person, and that in Islam, Prophet Muhammad is not merely viewed as a historical person. Also, note that to say that Shiva is God and not Allah, or that God is trinitarian and not unitarian, is blasphemy according to Islam, yet Hindus and Christians are not prosecuted for this. These assertions are not accompanied by hatespeech, or an attempt to have them misleadingly passed off as Islamic views.

    While I have no doubt that nefarious political goals might be pursued using religious machinery at times, this strikes me as a cop out and convenient excuse for whenever something distasteful happens in "moderate" Islam.
    Distasteful occurrences are certainly possible and do exist! No Muslim body is perfect, regardless of moderateness. Al-Azhar is regarded by many as having the most prestigious Islamic scholarship, but in no way is it by itself representative of the Islamic consensus. It is not a type of "Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State" for Muslims, nor is its head a type of "Supreme leader of Iran" in Egypt.

    However, the Islamic mainstream is generally characterised by a having level-headed, balanced approaches; and often extremes, deviations and exceptions (from the mainstream and within the mainstream, however rare) have significant geo-political contributing factors.

    Or maybe it's because many, many of the scholars and leading Islamic figures disagree with it. There's evidence aplenty, and you can't just always blame 'rogue' individuals or political problems.
    I am a student of mainstream Islamic scholars from across the Middle East, Africa and the West, and I teach various Islamic subjects locally. The views I learn and present are what are considered the mu'tamad views (universally recognised as the relied upon position within the schools) by contemporary jurists within Islam. The views of the traditional mainstream, and especially the present day state of the schools of jurisprudence are certainly not what Wikipedia and the hate-sites make them out to be.

    In summary:

    1. Punishment for apostasy is opposed by the great majority of mainstream Islamic scholars/academics/intellectuals globally.

    2. The hallmark of Islam, compared to other ideologies, is its modesty. While most Western nations place some restrictions on free speech (many in a very biased fashion), Muslim nations are generally more strict with these types of restrictions, and it stems from this virtue of modesty. Mainstream scholars permit intellectual criticism, but many are less lenient than the West when it comes to defamation and the likes, whether of contemporary persons or historical personalities. Blasphemy is the catch-all term in this area, and while this is problematic, the conflation serves the purposes of corrupt regimes who are the real legislators in their countries (and not the Azhar type institutions).
    Last edited by wayfarer; 18-08-2015 at 03:03 PM.

  7. #847
    Ulysses Everett McGill OrbitalDawn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Aboard the Nostalgia For Infinity
    Posts
    35,725

    Default

    Why did you start talking about apostasy? I'm talking about blasphemy...

    And yeah, the disingenuous apologetics is pretty obvious at this point. Whenever someone (no matter how prestigious the person's rank or institution he represents) states in no uncertain terms something that's quite unseemly (to put it lightly) you offer a vague dissociation and offer up the "nobody's perfect" excuse, or you blame political problems.

    As I said, these aren't backwards Jihadi organisations - they're mainstream institutions and scholars.

    As for the modesty of Islam... lol. A religion that claims to be the one true answer for everything is anything but modest.

    How am I supposed to verify these claims about what you think the majority of mainstream Islamic scholars/academics/intellectuals globally believe? You don't provide anything to support it but your opinion. Why should I take what you say more seriously than what Al-Azhar Grand Sheikhs and very senior scholars say? Are they all clueless and you know Islam better than them?

    You're very obviously greatly knowledgeable on Islam and I've learnt a lot from you, but you seem blind (perhaps subconsciously) to the reality of the darker side of your religion. I don't mean that in the sense that you are ignorant of the evils, but that you refuse to take them seriously from a religious perspective - which is where they legitimately operate.

    It's always something else to blame, not actual interpretations that exist by scholars and make use of the same texts as you do, that have studied for decades and come to different (and sometimes vile) conclusions. That's why the retort is always "but it's not the mainstream..."

    And I ask again, if these regimes are so corrupt and doing things that are un-Islamic, why aren't there fatwas by the truckload pointing that out? All the large Islamic institutions and scholars don't seem to mind going along with the corrupt regimes as long as they're protected it seems. Much like the Vatican during World War 2.
    "Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese."

  8. #848

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by OrbitalDawn View Post
    Why did you start talking about apostasy? I'm talking about blasphemy...
    Because they're generally conflated. And it was claimed that Farag Foda was murdered for apostasy and not blasphemy (The Plain Truths of Religion, Gareth Wilson, 2010, p154). The Hanafi school, for example, never traditionally separated out blasphemy from apostasy when the blaspheming person was a Muslim, because apostates necessarily commit blasphemy against their previous religion, but not the type that requires censure or prosecution. But we need to be clear what we mean by blasphemy. Consider for, example:

    1. Blasphemy in terms of non-Muslims rejecting and opposing Islam ("traditional blasphemy")

    Non-Muslims are by default "blasphemous" (as any religion would be to the other), but are not prosecuted for rejecting or opposing Islamic views, as this is what the very meaning of following a different religion is. It is not inaccurate for religions to refer to other religions as blasphemous. This does not mean that punishment is in order. When Muslims express "blasphemous" core beliefs that are established to be inconsistent with Islam, it is regarded as apostasy.

    2. Blasphemy where "Muslims" undermine/insult or twist established tenets of Islam and pass it off as Islam

    This is a more serious type of blasphemy, that may involve insult for insult's sake, misinformation regarding tenets of religion, and serious misguidance. This one is opposed by the jurists and often declared as blasphemy, and may involve calls for censure (but not necessarily prosecution or punishment).

    3. Blasphemy that is actually defamation, slander, hatespeech, incitement to violence, treason, misinformation to mislead

    Here prosecution may be called for, and it may even lead to capital punishment. This category should actually be separated out from "traditional blasphemy", but often it is not.

    This is by no means an exhaustive list, but one can see that different forms of blasphemy exist. However, the issue is with blasphemy laws. None of the Azhari senior council members, nor any Grand Shaykh of al-Azhar ever issued fatwas on the heads of blasphemous individuals, but they saw it as their duty to warn their "parishes" of the blasphemy, whichever form it took. Mainstream scholars, including Azhar grand shaykhs and senior council members, do point blasphemy out (and sometimes call for censure, particularly when the "blasphemy" has a likelihood of seriously misinforming and misguiding). Furthermore, these scholars do not issue declarations of apostasy upon individuals, or invoke punishments for apostasy. But only a lone few call for death-sentence type punishments for blasphemy and apostasy.

    And yeah, the disingenuous apologetics is pretty obvious at this point. Whenever someone (no matter how prestigious the person's rank or institution he represents) states in no uncertain terms something that's quite unseemly (to put it lightly) you offer a vague dissociation and offer up the "nobody's perfect" excuse, or you blame political problems.
    True, or other regional, social or historical contexts. When one formally studies Islamic jurisprudence, particularly the history of jurisprudence and the application of juristic methodology, a vital factor that must always be considered is context.

    The truth is, once again, that the vast majority of contemporary Islamic scholars do not institute punishments for apostasy, nor for the "benign" forms of blasphemy that by default stem from apostasy. Ex-muslims and non-muslims differing with Islam, or criticising it's tenets or sacred figures may technically be appear as "blasphemous" to Muslims, but this does not automatically imply an intent to disrespect or disparage, and prosecution is certainly not expected.

    As for the modesty of Islam... lol. A religion that claims to be the one true answer for everything is anything but modest.
    Islam does not have one true answer for everything. But when every attempt is made to use God-given logic and God's guidance to glean the answers, the answers are valid, even if not true. God is the only Truth.

    How am I supposed to verify these claims about what you think the majority of mainstream Islamic scholars/academics/intellectuals globally believe? You don't provide anything to support it but your opinion. Why should I take what you say more seriously than what Al-Azhar Grand Sheikhs and very senior scholars say? Are they all clueless and you know Islam better than them?

    ]It's always something else to blame, not actual interpretations that exist by scholars and make use of the same texts as you do, that have studied for decades and come to different (and sometimes vile) conclusions. That's why the retort is always "but it's not the mainstream..."
    The Azhar Grand Shaykhs point out blasphemous expression, to protect Muslims. They do not declare apostates or appeal for executions.

    But you are correct: some more junior Azhar scholars have called for punishments for apostasy or blasphemy (when it was probably the more "benign" type, and their call was therefore, by the standards of thousands of their more senior peers, misplaced). And they are responsible for their (mis)interpretations. The context is offered as a way of explanation, and to enhance understanding. Mainstream scholars have been wrong, and will always have the potential to be wrong. This fact is not something that mainstream scholarship shies away from. In my next post, I'll copy some views by prominent Muslim figures on the rights to freedom of expression, apostasy and opposing Islam.

    And I ask again, if these regimes are so corrupt and doing things that are un-Islamic, why aren't there fatwas by the truckload pointing that out? All the large Islamic institutions and scholars don't seem to mind going along with the corrupt regimes as long as they're protected it seems. Much like the Vatican during World War 2.
    You hit the nail on the head. Even when they're out of their home country, they look over their shoulders before whispering even the most trivial of criticisms of the regimes in their home countries. Even journalists: indeed, while small numbers of brave journalists have recently been released from Egyptian jails, there are still some from Al-Jazeera being held without trial. I also know, for example, of numerous scholars who are banned from performing pilgrimage because they dared to openly criticise the Saudi regime. My very own late spiritual master, a bastion of love and moderation, was arrested and jailed numerous times in his home country for speaking the truth. Prophet Muhammad said that the best Jihad (noble strife) is to speak the truth before a corrupt tyrant.
    Last edited by wayfarer; 18-08-2015 at 06:10 PM.

  9. #849
    Ulysses Everett McGill OrbitalDawn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Aboard the Nostalgia For Infinity
    Posts
    35,725

    Default

    Okay, thanks. I can't say I really agree, but I appreciate your answers.

    Quote Originally Posted by wayfarer View Post
    Prophet Muhammad said that the best Jihad (noble strife) is to speak the truth before a corrupt tyrant.
    Can +1 this, at least.
    "Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese."

  10. #850

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by OrbitalDawn View Post
    Okay, thanks. I can't say I really agree, but I appreciate your answers.
    Your cordial responses are very welcome!

    I will post some views on blasphemy and apostasy by contemporary Muslim scholars from across the 4 schools and across the globe. I expect the 10 000 character limit will determine the number of scholars/academics I include, as I intend to keep it to a single post...

    Also see: Panel debate on free speech between Muslims, atheist, right and left wing journalists (Youtube)
    Last edited by wayfarer; 19-08-2015 at 08:09 PM.

  11. #851

    Default Apostasy and Blasphemy in Islam: 3 of 3 (views of Muslim scholars/intellectuals)

    Main > Q&A > Apostasy and Blasphemy in Islam: 1 | 2 | 3



    Below are views of prominent Muslim scholars/intellectuals who have spoken out against punishment for blasphemy and apostasy. This is a partial list, and there are many more online:

    Kyai Haji Abdurrahman Wahid, Indonesia’s 1st democratically elected president, chairman of the world’s largest organization of Muslim scholars, Nahdlatul Ulama (1984-1999)

    "Rather than serve to protect God, Islam or Muhammad, such deliberately vague and repressive (blasphemy) laws merely empower those with a worldly (i.e., political) agenda, and act as a “sword of Damocles” threatening not only religious minorities, but the right of mainstream Muslims to speak freely about their own religion without being threatened by the wrath of fundamentalists – exercised through the power of government or mobs – whose claims of “defending religion” are little more than a pretext for self-aggrandizement."
    God needs no defense


    Dr. Aslam Abdullah, editor in chief of the weekly Muslim Observer, director of the Islamic Society of Nevada.

    "The Quran and authentic teachings of the Prophet describe the practice of showing irreverence to God and his messenger as acts of ignorance, deliberate provocation or hatred. Yet the two sources of Islamic guidance never proposed punitive action on the basis of theological dissent or religious differences or irreverence. Some Muslim jurists have often misused the institution of ijtihad to serve the emotive interests of the people.
    Is Blasphemy Punishable by Death in Islam?


    Usama Hasan, Senior Researcher in Islamic Studies

    Islam historically had a strong tradition of tolerance, freedom of thought and debate, even regarding fundamental aspects of faith. Discussions of faith, even religious belief itself, necessarily entail statements that may be offensive to others and interpreted as blasphemy. The Islamic response to provocation is based on spirituality, dignity and forgiveness."
    ISLAMIC CASE AGAINST BLASPHEMY LAWS


    Some more from: "apostasyandislam" blog

    Ruqaiyyah Waris Maqsood [British Muslim author & educator; authors of many books on Islam]

    "Regarding common misconception about issuing the death penalty for leaving the faith, or vilifying Allah (blasphemy), or speaking abusively about Allah or his Messenger, this was never the case. The Prophet (pbuh) himself was frequently abused and hurt and jeered at, but exhorted his followers going through equal or greater suffering than himself to stand firm and accept the unpleasantness with patience, hating the evil, but never hating the people who had been overtaken by evil.
    [On the Hijacking of Islam]


    Shaykh Subhi Mahmassani, Islamic scholar, Lebanon; author of Philosophy of Jurisprudence in Islam (1961)

    ...death penalty was meant to apply, not to simple acts of apostasy from Islam, but when apostasy was linked to an act of political betrayal of the community .The Prophet never killed anyone solely for apostasy. This being the case, the death penalty was not meant to apply to a simple change of faith but to punish acts such as treason, joining forces with the enemy and sedition. [Arkan Huquq al-Insan fi l-Islam (Bases of Human Rights in Islam), Beirut: Dar al-‘Ilm li-l-Malayin, 1979, cited in Kamali, as above]


    Islamic Research Department, Al-Azhar University

    "The Islamic Research Dpt of Al-Azhar University has called the penalty for apostasy as null and void and has said that the ways of repentance are open for the whole life. ... So an apostate can repent over his mistake anytime during his life and there would be no fixed period for it." [Al-Alamul Islami, the weekly organ of Rabita Alam al-Islami, 23rd August 2002, quoted in Dr. M. E. Subhani, Global Media Publications, 2005, p. 25]


    Dr. Jamal Badawi, Professor Emeritus, St. Mary's University, Canada

    "The preponderance of evidence from both the Qur'an and Sunnah indicates that there is no firm ground for the claim that apostasy is in itself a mandatory fixed punishment (hadd), namely capital punishment."
    Is Apostasy a Capital Crime in Islam?


    Dr. Mohammad Hashim Kamali
    [Prof. of law,International Islamic University of Malaysia; author of Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence, 2003 and Freedom of Expression in Islam, 1994]

    "The Qur'an is consistent in its affirmation of the freedom of belief and it fully supports the conclusion that the objectives of the Shari ah cannot be properly fulfilled without granting people the freedom of belief, and the liberty to express it." [Freedom of Expression in Islam Islamic Text Society, 1997]


    Shaykh Dr. Muhammad Ma'ruf al-Dawalibi
    [member, Supreme International Council for Mosques, Makkah]

    "... it has never been proved that the Messenger of God exacted punishment on apostates by killing them. This was also what the caliph Omar Ibn Abd al-Aziz did. ... Shaikh Mahmud Shaltut ... says that many scholars are of the opinions that hudud punishment cannot be proved by hadiths reported by single individuals. He also says that disbelief in itself is not justification for shedding blood. The real justification would be aggression against Muslims, fighting them ..." [quoted in Prof. Dr. Ala'Eddin Kharofa, Nationalism, Secularism, Apostasy and Usury in Islam, A.S. Noordeen, 1994, p. 13]


    Dr. M.E. Asad Subhani [Head, faculty of Islamic Studies, College of Education in Zanzibar, Tanzania]

    ..the (historically) dominant Muslim position on apostasy as deserving death is, in fact, not sanctioned in the primary sources of Islam, the Qur'an and the Hadith, the traditions attributed to the Prophet Muhammad ...
    Book review: Apostasy in Islam


    Zainah Anwar [Director, Sisters in Islam, Malaysia]

    ..even though apostasy is a great sin it is not a capital offence in Islam. Therefore a personal change of faith merits no punishment.
    [Islamisation and Democractic Governance & Women's Rights in Islam]


    Shah Abdul Halim [Chairman, Islamic Information Bureau, Bangladesh]

    “In fact there is not a single instance that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did treat apostasy as a prescribed offence under hudud (capital punishment) only for leaving Islam. The Prophet (pbuh) never put anyone to death for apostasy alone rather he let such person go unharmed. No one was sentenced to death solely for renunciation of faith unless accompanied by hostility and treason or was linked to an act of political betrayal of the community.... Apostasy does not qualify for temporal punishment.”
    [Islam & Pluralism: A Contemporary Approach]


    Imam Ahmad Sa'd [Imam in Ar-Rahma Mosque, Egypt.]

    "A close study of the life of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), which serves as an example for all Muslims to learn how to practice Islam and carry out its injunctions, will show us that he never killed people who changed their religion or left Islam, for the reason of their leaving Islam...

    In fact, many Islamic scholars support the view that there is no prescribed punishment (hadd) for apostasy. In doing this, they use both reason and strong evidence from Qur'an and Sunnah."
    [Should an Apostate Be Killed?]


    Dr. Muqtedar Khan [Assist. Prof in the Dpt of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Delaware]

    "... religious minorities in some Islamic states, such as Afghanistan under the Taliban, suffer institutionalized discrimination because of these states’ legalist orientation and their obsession with the Islamic jurisprudence. Some of the legalist positions in Islamic states are so strict that non-Muslim minorities find it a challenge to live normal lives. Blasphemy laws and apostasy laws are well known for the problems they cause minorities."
    [Islamic State and Religious Minorities]


    Shaykh Shahul Hameed [Consultant of the Discover Islam Section, Islamonline.net; former Head of the Department of English, Farook College, Calicut University, India; President of Kerala Islamic Mission, Jama'at-e- Islami, Hind, Kerala Zone) Calicut, Indi]

    "the Noble Qur'an does not prescribe death penalty for deserters of Islam, but rather states that they would be in Hell in the hereafter (2:217) ... the killing of apostates would undermine the freedom of will Allah has bestowed on each human, as is made clear in the verses ..."
    [Apostasy, Polygamy, and Adultery]

    See also: To the angry young Muslims...
    Last edited by wayfarer; 17-02-2016 at 06:47 PM. Reason: fixed links

  12. #852
    Super Grandmaster
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    nwoT epaC
    Posts
    37,333

    Default Islam and art

    I recently bought a property that had millions in value in art on every wall.
    I became a little more interested in the world of art and this family's significant art collection.

    Then, the other night, there was a program on the National Art Gallery, and it's transformation by director Raison Naidoo
    There was commentary about the lack of Muslim artists, and that 2 Muslim bothers have been "discovered", who's art is currently being showcased.

    More to the point, what is the islamic position on art, such as the nude statue of David and other classical works of that may feature nudity ?

  13. #853

    Default Islamic art VS 20th-century Western art

    Quote Originally Posted by grantza View Post
    I recently bought a property that had millions in value in art on every wall.
    I became a little more interested in the world of art and this family's significant art collection.

    Then, the other night, there was a program on the National Art Gallery, and it's transformation by director Raison Naidoo
    There was commentary about the lack of Muslim artists, and that 2 Muslim bothers have been "discovered", who's art is currently being showcased.

    More to the point, what is the islamic position on art,...
    Thanks grantza, for always asking such interesting questions! Note that there is a clear difference between the concept of art per se, and 20th-century Western art. It seems that the latter is the focus of your question.

    According to many a scholar, the crystallisation of a civilisation is reflected within the works of art that it produces. The same is true for the Islamic civilisation, which takes pride in its elaborate architecture, calligraphy (including zoomorphic designs), aesthetic geometric design, and even figure art (though this form is less prevalent, and is influenced by Islamic ideas on modesty), etc.

    ...such as the nude statue of David and other classical works of that may feature nudity ?
    Prophet Muhammad said, “God is beautiful and He loves beauty.” Prophet Muhammad also said, "Every religion (or social ideology) has its defining characteristic, and Islam's is modesty." Islam is the middle way between the medieval Catholic denial/rejection of the body and, as some religionists would say, the secular humanist deification of the body since the Renaissance.

    In Islam, the human body is a prized creation of God, to be cared for and cherished. It's celebration and appreciation is permitted, albeit regulated by sacred law. Close family members are allowed a platonic admiration and appreciation of a relative's beauty, according to what may be permissibly displayed. A spouse may behold the entirety of a partner's body, and is certainly permitted to enjoy a sensual or sexual attraction to a legal partner.

    What this means is that the nudity depicted in Western art (which is for public display) is outside of what is acceptable in Islam.

    As mentioned above, artistic expression is a universal phenomenon that is part of the human condition. Islam prides itself as being the natural way, and as such, it embraces art. Sometimes the aims are for the sake of aesthetics itself, but more often than not, art in the Islamic world invites to that which is transcendent (making what is transcendent more accessible), seeking to orient towards the fostering of spirituality, or to facilitate a greater awareness of God. Art is a medium for expressing what is in the innermost recesses of the heart. For the believer, art is a way to express and experience one's devotion and love for God (and by extension, for His creation).

    Timothy Winter, one of the most senior Muslim theologians in the world today, says the following (The Sunnah as Primordiality, 1999):

    "Twentieth-century Western art is not a subject for which we Muslims have much time. The alert among us are conscious that it neatly represents the decline of the Western Christian worldview and its replacement first with the titanic fantasies of the Renaissance, those absurd nude figures urging us to consider the human creature as sufficient unto himself; and then, when two world wars convinced the Western elite that the human creature left to his own devices was unlikely to create his own paradise on earth, the grotesqueries of the modern period. Today, one of the best-known of British artists is Damien Hurst, famous for exhibiting a sheep floating in formaldehyde. Hardly less famous are Gilbert and George, two middle-aged homosexuals in grey Marks and Spencers suits, who paint vast canvases using their own body fluids. The winner of the 1998 Turner Prize, the most prestigious gong in the British art world, was painted with the excrement of an elephant.

    Perhaps this is why we Muslims find modern Western art particularly disagreeable and resistant to our contemplation: if art is the crystallisation of a civilisation, then to amble along the corridors of the Tate Gallery is to be confronted with a disturbing realisation. Christianity, when it was taken seriously by the cultural elite, produced significant works, which Muslims can recognise as beautiful, despite the inherent dangers of its love of the graven image. Christianity was sapped by the so-called enlightenment; and now that the enlightenment itself has run its course, the Western soul, as articulated by its most intelligent and most respected artistic representatives, has shifted its concerns to the human entrails. From the spirit, to the mind, to the body - and now to its waste products: a depressing trajectory, and one from which we avert our gaze. But it is immensely instructive, nonetheless, to visit art galleries just to observe the consistency of the decline. It serves as a reminder not only that we dislike the modern world, but also that we don’t like disliking it. We would rather feel that there existed some authentic connection between our worldview and that of the Western elite: but such a link appears no longer to exist. It is not that we are extreme. It is not we who destroyed the bridge. We are simply holding to the norms generally recognised by our species for 99% of its history. It is the West that is extreme, that has grown strange, that seems to have gone mad...

    ...Islam commands wisdom, and balance. It is the middle way. And for us, whatever our situation, it is always available, and can always be put into practice. We are the fortunate umma (nation) in today’s world. Fortunate, because unlike Westerners, we are still centred on beauty. In other words, we still know what we are, and what we are called to be."
    For the full article, see The Sunnah as Primordiality.
    Last edited by wayfarer; 04-02-2016 at 04:06 PM.

  14. #854
    Super Grandmaster
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Durbanville, Cape Town
    Posts
    29,722

    Default

    "Twentieth-century Western art is not a subject for which we Muslims have much time. The alert among us are conscious that it neatly represents the decline of the Western Christian worldview and its replacement first with the titanic fantasies of the Renaissance, those absurd nude figures urging us to consider the human creature as sufficient unto himself;
    I'm confused - the statue of David referred to in the original question is not 20th century ?

    What about the paintings by Rubens for example ?

    Edit: Rubens is perhaps too risque, but what about Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Monet ?
    Last edited by daveza; 04-02-2016 at 07:23 PM.
    -
    Quote Originally Posted by lafrica View Post
    they (criminals ) are just trying to make a living .

  15. #855

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by daveza View Post
    I'm confused - the statue of David referred to in the original question is not 20th century ?

    What about the paintings by Rubens for example ?

    Edit: Rubens is perhaps too risque, but what about Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Monet ?
    Hi daveza (figure emoticon, lol!)

    The quoted piece deals with more than just nude figures. It refers to medieval and Renaissance art, up until the 20th century (the article was written in 1999). I think that if you read my full post, you would notice the part referencing the Renaissance period, which applies to Michelangelo, and PP Rubens as well:

    Quote Originally Posted by wayfarer View Post
    ...Islam is the middle way between the medieval Catholic denial/rejection of the body and, as some religionists would say, the secular humanist deification of the body since the Renaissance.
    Oftentimes, discussions on art (or any issue, for that matter) are framed within a Western paradigm, and that is partly what the quoted piece addresses. It basically refers to Western art up until the 20th century.

    Regarding the artists you mention: their works would have to be considered on a case by case basis. While it is a grey area, Muslims are generally less comfortable with figure art than with other types. While figure art was a hallmark of medieval Western art, it was always a niche area in the Muslim art world, tolerated by most, but embraced by a only a few. However, landscapes and botanical art are prevalent in the Muslim world, with some mosques built in classical times adorned with botanical calligraphic morphs.

    The works of Monet (19th century impressionist pioneer), particularly his nature paintings, have tremendous aesthetic value. Again, among Muslims, his figure art is likely to draw a much smaller fan-base than his landscapes. For devout Muslims since classical times, avoiding the overt representation of animalian forms was a form of deference to God, who has "sole copyright" to the title musawwir (Ar. for "maker of forms", in particular, the human form). For Muslims, a highly objectionable depiction in figure art would be to show the Prophet in a picture, him being the very person who, in a certain context, referred to figure art as a disrespect/undermining of God (although Muslim artists in the Muslim world have occasionally depicted him in pictures). Most Muslims would not mind other figure art or photographs when it appears in books, on the TV (video), etc. or when it serves some practical purpose (education or election poster!), but would avoid having it displayed on walls in the home, and especially in and around religious spaces. For this reason, Muslims art lovers who indulge particularly in the human form are rare.
    Last edited by wayfarer; 05-02-2016 at 02:38 PM.

+ Reply to Thread
Page 57 of 66 FirstFirst ... 7 47535455565758596061 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. My introduction
    By AnetteW in forum First Posts, Intros, Forum Questions
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: 30-06-2012, 08:49 AM
  2. Introduction
    By ISman in forum First Posts, Intros, Forum Questions
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 26-05-2012, 02:47 PM
  3. New introduction here
    By Monermajetomi in forum First Posts, Intros, Forum Questions
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 01-04-2011, 10:27 AM
  4. Introduction...
    By Cybermoo in forum Apple Mac, iPad and iPhone
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 15-05-2008, 12:18 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •