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Islamic INTRAfaith Dialogue
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Barazi M G
 
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Quote Barazi M G Replybullet Topic: Islamic Practice & Logic
    Posted: 25 May 2006 at 2:57pm

Hello everyone,

I hope I don't upset many people here.  On second thought, I hope I do but before you get fired up (as I know most of you who claim to be reasonable do) please, allow me to explain that I believe in Allah, the Quraan, the prophet Muhammad and all preceding prophets.  So here goes...

Have you (Muslim) ever came across a thought or situation and didn't know how to react because your logic didn't agree with your religion?  I say "your logic" because what most people think to be logical is not. 

I question the practice of praying at certain times and a certain number of times.  I pray daily but not five times a day and not when I am told to pray.  The manner in which I pray is the same as everyone else.  I sometimes wonder why I had to wake up and pray at 5am, go back to sleep and wake up again at 8:30 and get to work, which back then started at 9:30.  These days I pray between 5am and 6am but only because thatís when I wake up.  I think by waking up at five, splashing water on my face and moving up and down I have woken myself up and I canít sleep again.  The way most Muslims pray would work well if we started work at sunrise and finished by dzuher or aser but thatís not how the business world works.

Another thought I have is a teenage girl that wants to join her high school volleyball team.  Should she refuse to wear shorts?  Dress in baggy pants and cover her hair and play volley ball or is that haram because when sheís in a game there may be male eyes focusing on her?

Am I seriously damned because I chose to tattoo my body?  I read a post here about tattoos and the Imam described them as repulsive.  Iíve seen some repulsive tattoos but Iíve also seen some amazing ones as well.  How is he suddenly an expert on tattoo art to say itís repulsive?   Seriously!  Am I damned because I am tattooed?  All the years of praying, zakat and fasting wonít get me into heaven?

When a woman in public reaches out to shake my hand am I supposed to look away and decline her hand shake?  I had a friend who would do that and frankly he embarrassed me a few times by embarrassing my friends.  He also didnít like that fact that I was using my left hand to hold the fork and eat my steak.  My right hand was used for cutting it.  Why does it matter?

This could very well be a book if I keep typing but Iíll end it here.  Please, if you feel inspired, share your thoughts and if you feel enraged, share your thoughts as well.  If you feel like damning me to hell then do so.  I donít mind.  Iíd rather be damned by you than by God.  You may think Iím an arrogant man who likes to shorten peoples fuse but Iím not.  Iím very serious about Islam.

 

If they can make penicillin out of mouldy bread, they can sure make something out of you. (Muhammad Ali)
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Mishmish
 
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Quote Mishmish Replybullet Posted: 25 May 2006 at 6:07pm
Originally posted by Barazi M G

Hello everyone,

I hope I don't upset many people here.  On second thought, I hope I do but before you get fired up (as I know most of you who claim to be reasonable do) please, allow me to explain that I believe in Allah, the Quraan, the prophet Muhammad and all preceding prophets.  So here goes...

Have you (Muslim) ever came across a thought or situation and didn't know how to react because your logic didn't agree with your religion?  I say "your logic" because what most people think to be logical is not. 

Brother, I don't see where any of these things would be considered illogical. Inconvenient perhaps, but not illogical.

I question the practice of praying at certain times and a certain number of times.  I pray daily but not five times a day and not when I am told to pray.  The manner in which I pray is the same as everyone else.  I sometimes wonder why I had to wake up and pray at 5am, go back to sleep and wake up again at 8:30 and get to work, which back then started at 9:30.  These days I pray between 5am and 6am but only because thatís when I wake up.  I think by waking up at five, splashing water on my face and moving up and down I have woken myself up and I canít sleep again.  The way most Muslims pray would work well if we started work at sunrise and finished by dzuher or aser but thatís not how the business world works.

There is a reason that we pray 5 times a day. It is to keep our minds and hearts always with Allah(SWT). By worshipping Allah(SWT) first thing at dawn and last thing in the evening, we are always remembering Him, praising Him, and seeking forgiveness from Him. We are reminded that Allah(SWT) is with us at all times, even when we are at our busiest. This rememberance is a blessing from Allah(SWT), to help keep us on the straight path.

Another thought I have is a teenage girl that wants to join her high school volleyball team.  Should she refuse to wear shorts?  Dress in baggy pants and cover her hair and play volley ball or is that haram because when sheís in a game there may be male eyes focusing on her?

I am sure there are scholars who would go either way on this matter. If she is completely covered in hijab, why should it be haram? It would be no different than walking or eating lunch at school. There are males there who will probably look, that is why we wear hijab.

Am I seriously damned because I chose to tattoo my body?  I read a post here about tattoos and the Imam described them as repulsive.  Iíve seen some repulsive tattoos but Iíve also seen some amazing ones as well.  How is he suddenly an expert on tattoo art to say itís repulsive?   Seriously!  Am I damned because I am tattooed?  All the years of praying, zakat and fasting wonít get me into heaven?

Only Allah(SWT) knows who will go to paradise and who will not. But, Allah(SWT) has told us not to altar what He has made. Tattooing is altering what Allah(SWT) made. Why would you want to risk the sin for something so unimportant?

When a woman in public reaches out to shake my hand am I supposed to look away and decline her hand shake?  I had a friend who would do that and frankly he embarrassed me a few times by embarrassing my friends.  He also didnít like that fact that I was using my left hand to hold the fork and eat my steak.  My right hand was used for cutting it.  Why does it matter?

Brother, I used to work for a large financial corporation and I did not shake the hands of men. I merely explained very politely that it was against my religious beliefs. If they became offended, that was their problem, not mine. Why should you be embarassed because your friend is following the Word of Allah(SWT)? What is more important, not feeling embarassed or following Allah(SWT)? I guess that's the question you have to ask yourself.

This could very well be a book if I keep typing but Iíll end it here.  Please, if you feel inspired, share your thoughts and if you feel enraged, share your thoughts as well.  If you feel like damning me to hell then do so.  I donít mind.  Iíd rather be damned by you than by God.  You may think Iím an arrogant man who likes to shorten peoples fuse but Iím not.  Iím very serious about Islam.

If you are very serious about Islam, then you should try to seek the reason why we are told by Allah(SWT) to do things. Islam is not just a set of beliefs, it is a way of life. Once you have this knowledge perhaps it will all make more sense to you.

Salaams

It is only with the heart that one can see clearly, what is essential is invisible to the eye. (The Little Prince)
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amah
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Quote amah Replybullet Posted: 26 May 2006 at 2:19am
Alhamdulillah, Sister Mishmish has answered your questions....

We as Muslims strive to obey Allah and His Messenger(saw) as much as possible. We have to answer Allah on the Day of Judgement for our deeds. We are in this world for a purpose and this is nothing but a test for us.

So, if you believe that, you will submit your will to Allah and earn Insha Allah in return a life of eternity ie. Paradise. Allah has kept a scope for forgiveness because He knows we are weak and may fall into sin. It is upto Him who He forgives and who He punishes.

I suggest you read the Quran in detail, also read the sayings of the Prophet(saw). Believe me it will help answer your questions. And of course, we will help you too. Insha Allah.

Wassalaam.


Allah is Sufficient as a Walee (Protector) and Allah is Sufficient as a Naseer (Helper).
(Surah An-Nisa, Chapter #4, Verse #45)
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BlueSun
 
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Quote BlueSun Replybullet Posted: 26 May 2006 at 3:30am

Salaam,

Firstly I would like to congratulate sister MishMash on the excellant answer to issues faced by Barazi, congratulations.

Brother Barazi, I myself was in a similar situation 3 or so years ago, my mind was corrupt with all the impure thoughts of todayís world. I struggled to understand the basic concepts and pillars of Islam. My advice is it is good to start with a little amount, it is stated in the hadith a person who commits sin and feels remorse has the lowest level of Imaan, a person who commits sin and feels no remorse has no Imaan (Not sure from which Hadith, but think it is Sahih-al-Bukhari, may Allah (swt) forgive me if I am wrong). The question you should ask yourself is, do you feel and amount of guilt or remorse when or after committing a sin ?

Wasalaam

Khalid ibn Waleed - The Sword of Allah - Greatest General of all time !!!
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fatima
 
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Quote fatima Replybullet Posted: 26 May 2006 at 5:25am

Bismillah irrahman irrahim

Assalamu alaikum

Allah swt says in Holy Quran that He created man to worship Him and on another place He created life and death to see who is better in conduct.  Allah swt has put in each and every individual a sense of what is right and what is wrong but His mercy does not end there, He send His Prophets(as) to give code of life, now with timings of prayer if it was in the times that we were absolutely free the how do you think that be a test for us? Allah swt put it in a time that we have to break our sleep and remember Him, it is some what hard on soul so Allah swt sees that what is dearer to us, Him or our precious sleep, now day time we are working, busy making money but the purpose of life is totaly different so through His complete mercy He puts salah in the time so we don't forget Him, again going away from what u rather be doing, making money that is, you break the net of your nafs and shaytan and say labaik to ur Lord,  last thing you are ever so tired at 11 at night but there is one last prayer so again a test of your will, so you see Allah swt ask us to remember Him and then He makes means for it.

All these rules which u mentioned they are there bcos Allah swt wants to see whether we comply to them or not, just sit down and think what is logic, it is which makes sense to a human, now be honest to urself does ur own self makes sense to u every time, sometimes ur heart or ur head says to u which is total alien to ur own logic, do u have complete knowledge of ur soul, just know that ur ability of understanding has a limit no matter how bigger genius you are, that is our test to give up what is dear to us for sake of Allah swt even though sometimes u dont understand it completely,

I think sister amah gave you an excellent advice, contemplate on Holy Quran and if you don't understand something, dont start questioning it straight away, ask Allah swt that you don't understand it and ask Him to make it easy for you, one thing i want2 say, is there some thing in ur life which is very dear to you and u know that its haram? give it up for sake of Allah swt, i know its going to be extremely hard but just try, even though it don't make sense at start believe me Allah swt will grant u understanding when u submit to His will with most difficult thing of your life, Allah swt says in Holy Quran 'is there any reward for good other than good' and you will find Him the ONE who keeps His promises and who is most rewarding

wassalam

Say: (O Muhammad) If you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your faults, and Allah is Forgiving, MercifuL
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Angel
 
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Quote Angel Replybullet Posted: 26 May 2006 at 5:45am
Originally posted by Barazi M G

Another thought I have is a teenage girl that wants to join her high school volleyball team.  Should she refuse to wear shorts?  Dress in baggy pants and cover her hair and play volley ball or is that haram because when sheís in a game there may be male eyes focusing on her?

I'm not muslim but you do not need to wear shorts to play volley ball, at school in winter and if it wasn't raining then we played volley ball in P.E, winter time we wore tracksuit pants in sports, some girls would just put the skirt (netball skirt and they wear short but had bloomers on) over it  

There are few muslim girls here that play soccer and they are covered up  

~ Our feet are earthbound, but our hearts and our minds have wings ~
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Barazi M G
 
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Quote Barazi M G Replybullet Posted: 26 May 2006 at 10:50am

Before continuing in this discussion I would like to say that Iím pleased to see everyone being calm and supportive.  I really admire that.

 

Answering and replying to your questions and comments:

 

Mishmish: 

First Comment;

Yesterday I read a post.  Someone was having trouble praying and they were blaming the devil.  We could argue about whether or not that is a logical blame.  I would blame myself before I blame the devil.  The most illogical response was a man who said, ďDry spit three times to the left.Ē  What does that mean?  Is that supposed to scar away demons or the devil?  Why canít this person just stand up, do it over again and focus.  Iíll admit that I lost focus sometimes in prayer.  It doesnít happen often but sometimes it does.  When that happens I stop, close my eyes, breath and relax to clear my mind and then start over with prayer.

 

Second Comment;

You said that we must remember Allah always and by praying five times a day we would remember him.  This way we will not steer away from the path.  I think we should give human beings more respect than that.  Are we so ignorant and blind that we canít stay on a straight path for more than a few hours?  Sure some people are like that.  It reminds me of a clinical ill person who needs drugs every few hours to stay sane.  I pray three times a day.  I used to pray five but I didnít find it helpful for me.  I pray first thing in the morning then after my day is finished and then before I sleep.

 

Third Comment:

I think so called ďScholarsĒ disagree too much.  I donít believe in the hijab all together.  I donít see it mentioned in Quraan and I donít see why itís necessary when even women who wear hijab can be rapped.  So what if men look?  You canít stop that.  Itís the mans fault for having a dirty mind, not yours.  If you reveal too much of your body then you have contributed to the sick mind of a man who will undress you in his head but believe me when I say that nothing can interrupt a mans thoughts when they are dirty.  Itís the character of the man and his respect that should be questioned here.  Not a woman hair.  I also donít believe in being offensive.  If Iím in a place where most women wear hijab I will ask my wife to do the same.  Even if all the men are dressed a certain way I would want to imitate them out of respect.  Iím not saying, ďWhen in Rome do what the Romans do,Ē because the Romans were sick people as are many people in the USA and all over the world.  Iím just saying that itís harmless to show your hair when you are a confident, conservatively dressed person in the USA.  Even in Syria.  I only mention the tow countries I have lived in.

 

Fourth Comment:

Iím not risking a sin because I donít see the sin.  If you say a tattoo is altering my body then is changing the color of your car altering the car?  No.  Itís changing the appearance.  A tattoo on my should is not as drastic as an entire cars paint job but itís a similar situation.  I believe if I remove my hand intentionally or modify my bodies basic function then Iím altering my body.  Altering, not decorating.

 

Fifth Comment:

I am not embarrassed by my beliefs.  Where and when did Allah say I canít shake your hand?  If you politely decline my hand shake I would smile at your and respect your belief.  Even if in the back of my mind I think youíre wrong I would respect your decision.  Personally I donít see whatís wrong with a hand shake.  Itís confusing.  I walk into a room with women wearing hijab and I have no idea whose hand to shake and whose hand I shouldnít.  Some women want a hand shake and some donít.  It doesnít bother me but itís just something I think about.  Like this whole right hand right foot issue.  Itís silly.

 

Last Comment:

A few years ago I was what I call a, ďBlind Muslim.Ē  I went to the Masjed every Friday and at least two times a week I was there for Fajr prayer.  I was always among the first 10 people in the Masjed on Friday and among the last to leave.  I prayed AT LEAST five times a day with all the sunnah prayers after and before.  It got old!  I felt like it was too much and it didnít mean anything so I cut down to the basic five prayers and brief visit to the Masjed only on Fridays.  Then I started to learn more about Hadeeth.  This is when my outlook on Islam COMPLETELY changed.  I ONLY follow the Quraan.  There is nothing to prove Hadeeth.  If the prophet said to do something that is good then itís safe to do it.  If he said to do something that doesnít make sense and itís not in the Quraan then I donít think itís something he ever said at all.  I study Islam regularly alone and with scholars and groups.

 

Amah:  I read the Quraan in detail.  Iím not an expert because I recently started.  If there is anything to learn here I will do so and I will always ask questions.  I appreciate your willingness to help.  I believe that the Quraan should be read with explicit attention to detail and with a solid foundation of Arabic.  The misinterpretation of the Quraan comes from the lack of understanding Arabic.  Even the best scholars in this world donít always understand Arabic.  There is a very simple formula to use for those who donít understand certain words.  Itís all WITHIN the Quraan and not just in our Arabic classes.  Hadeeth, however has not way to be proven true.  If itís backed by the Quraan then I will believe it.

 

BlueSun:  No.  I donít feel remorse.  I canít feel remorse when I donít believe Iím sinning.  I hope that makes sense.

 

Fatima:  There was once something in my life that I thought was dear.  GIRLFRIENDS and lots of them.  I was ignorant and I was more interested in my pleasure.  I will admit that it was then where I was remorseful and knew I was committing sins.  I gave it up because I knew it was wrong.  Now Iím happily married to woman who shares my religious beliefs.  Currently I donít feel like Iím committing any sins.  Do you suspect anything?  LOL

 

Angel:  Iím glad to hear that.  I wasnít only thinking about volleyball and shorts.  I hope you understood my point.

If they can make penicillin out of mouldy bread, they can sure make something out of you. (Muhammad Ali)
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Quote Israfil Replybullet Posted: 26 May 2006 at 9:47pm

Barazai M G

As' Salaamu Alaikum,

Brother I understand your position and somewhat feel the same way you do, and as a Islamic Philosophy Student I too sometimes struggle with the particulars of religion. Like most mainstream monotheistic faiths, there is no unision in the sense of what is correct to follow and not correct to follow except the belief in God and the obligatory aspects of belief following that. I understand what you mean when you say how can we discern from faith and superstition brother as we all are traverlers in god's universe its up to us to find our own answers.

Unfortunately in reality our beliefs aren't in unison to each other that is why we must strive to better ourselves in our endeavours whatever they are. Brother I extend an ofer to you if you wish to discuss more issues privately I will be more than happy to help you.

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