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More Rules from Islam

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Monk2400
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Posted 10/16/09 - 12:21 PM:
Subject: More Rules from Islam
For every bit of something encouraging I find in Islam, I come across something equally ridiculous.

Case in point:


http://www.quran.com/8

Surat Al-'Anfāl (The Spoils of War) - سو
8:35

Their Salat (prayer) at the House (of Allah, i.e. the Ka'bah at Makkah) was nothing but whistling and clapping of hands. Therefore taste the punishment because you used to disbelieve.




http://www.islam4uk.com/islamic-systems/ritual-system/61-ritual-system/107-the-islamic-verdict-on-clapping

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) forbade us from imitating the Kuffaar (disbelievers) in their worship, traditions, customs, rituals, ceremonies, events and practices. Muhammad (SAW) said, 'whosoever imitates a people he is one of them' [Musnad al-Imaam Ahmad].

Today the reality of clapping hands has become a norm. We witness children applauding audiences at schools all the way to "bravoing" speeches conducted in temples and houses of parliament. However, in the Days of Jaahiliyyah (ignorant pre-Islamic times) clapping was regarded as a ritual action performed as a gesture to please the gods. This change from a religiously based act to a customary habit has not altered the general Islamic verdict on clapping – it is forbidden to clap.


First of all, the ruling seems to go well beyond the apparent intent of the verse. Namely, that the worship of the people identified was empty, and only consisted of making noise, ie, was hollow. It doesn't state that Allah decrees that all clapping (or whistling) is evil. But the rulings that follow make this assertion based on the idea that anyone in the entire history of the universe who claps their hands is 'imitating' a small group of people who, at one particular point in history, used clapping and whistling in the context of their prayers.

I mean, REALLY?

Don't forget, the following things are haraam (forbidden, evil) in Islam:


    Music
    Art
    Photography
    Growing a moustache
    Pets
    Shorts
    Intersex friendship


Good thing Allah is most merciful and forgiving, since he will forgive any and all sins, even these heinous crimes, so long as you repent. And don't associate partners with him either. He has his limits (paradoxically).

rolling eyes
Monk2400
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Posted 10/16/09 - 12:24 PM:

hahah...when you post a post in the couch, it says "Thank you for your submission." Rather appropriate, I'd say.

I think Islam needs a Protestant revolution. To bring the Qur'an back into the hands of the individual rational thinker, and allow individual interpretation and inspiration, rather than leaning on the ruling of 'scholars'. If Allah's word is for everyone, then everyone should be able to read and understand and interpret it.

8)
smokinpristiformis
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Posted 10/17/09 - 2:23 AM:

There is a lot of variety among muslims. The Qur'an, like most other religious books actually covers the habits and beliefs of many centuries. I'm certain the Torah and the Bible all contain similar things. And contradictions.

No muslim who is sane will dig through the Qur'an to find every little rule written in there. They'd have no life left. Same for christians, jews, and I suppose buddhists and hindus as well. There are a lot of gradations in the strict obedience of all these religious proscriptions. And whether the tendency is towards more fundamentalism or more free-thinking is a matter of circumstance more than religion.

My two cents. smiling face
Thinker13
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Posted 10/17/09 - 6:30 AM:

smokinpristiformis wrote:
There is a lot of variety among muslims. The Qur'an, like most other religious books actually covers the habits and beliefs of many centuries. I'm certain the Torah and the Bible all contain similar things. And contradictions.



Well,Willem I may be wrong. But,I came to learn,from a very close acquaintance that they(Muslims) take immense pride in the fact that Qur'an has been preserved strictly as Mohammad uttered it(revealed it). This,they say,was owing to the fact that Mohammad took a lot of time to reveal it ,a very big span(about 20 years!), secondly,adulteration has strictly been prohibited,because of the belief that Mohammad had said fully and completely what he had to say. This,was told to me,by a person who has got his early education in Islamic way. So,contrary to Biblical versions or commentaries on Vedas,or Torah,they feel Qur'an to be message,strictly from one and only person,Muhammad,without any change.


No muslim who is sane will dig through the Qur'an to find every little rule written in there. They'd have no life left. Same for christians, jews, and I suppose buddhists and hindus as well.



LOL. If sanity is to be defined firstlaughing. Monk2400,may more accurately tell you about a few primary rules,like 'Jakaat' of Islam. In fact,Islam is all about digging into Qur'an and any adulteration,owing to any zeitgeists or progressive mindset,is likely to make you a 'Kaafir' at best!







Thank you.
Thinker13
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Posted 10/17/09 - 6:38 AM:

Monk2400 wrote:
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) forbade us from imitating the Kuffaar (disbelievers) in their worship, traditions, customs, rituals, ceremonies, events and practices. Muhammad (SAW) said, 'whosoever imitates a people he is one of them' [Musnad al-Imaam Ahmad].

Today the reality of clapping hands has become a norm. We witness children applauding audiences at schools all the way to "bravoing" speeches conducted in temples and houses of parliament. However, in the Days of Jaahiliyyah (ignorant pre-Islamic times) clapping was regarded as a ritual action performed as a gesture to please the gods. This change from a religiously based act to a customary habit has not altered the general Islamic verdict on clapping – it is forbidden to clap.


I used to know this term as 'Kaafir',a variant of Kuffar. Yes,it is still,forbidden to clap. Taliban too claps. Where are strict Muslims ? Or say where are Muslims? I do not think that there are even 0.00001% guys,who do Salat,Jakat,and everything else. Who do not attend any kind of dance,singing or cinema. Who do not indulge in any form of entertainment or practices prohibited by Islam. Even following Salat and traveling Maqqua are very rare.


Clapping,more often than not,is a good habit.laughing. It works well to make you more healthy,by pressing those acupressure points so critical in flow of chi!




Thank you.
Thinker13
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Posted 10/17/09 - 6:43 AM:

First of all, the ruling seems to go well beyond the apparent intent of the verse. Namely, that the worship of the people identified was empty, and only consisted of making noise, ie, was hollow. It doesn't state that Allah decrees that all clapping (or whistling) is evil. But the rulings that follow make this assertion based on the idea that anyone in the entire history of the universe who claps their hands is 'imitating' a small group of people who, at one particular point in history, used clapping and whistling in the context of their prayers.


I dunnokooky





Don't forget, the following things are haraam (forbidden, evil) in Islam:


Music
Art
Photography
Growing a moustache
Pets
Shorts
Intersex friendship



Good thing Allah is most merciful and forgiving, since he will forgive any and all sins, even these heinous crimes, so long as you repent. And don't associate partners with him either. He has his limits (paradoxically).



None,I say,none of the Muslims I have met in my life adhered to the rules above. Are the Kaafirs/Kuffars? As you can go clean,if you accept Jesus,in end of a life time playing "Jack-the ripper",so with Islam?




Thank you.
Monk2400
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Posted 10/21/09 - 5:16 PM:

More insights into the issue of 'imitation'.



http://www.ahmadjibril.com/students/alwalaa.html

Al-walaa means loyalty and al-bara means disownment. In the context of Islam al-walaa is loyalty to Allah and whatever He is pleased with as well as friendship and closeness to the believers, whereas al-baraa is freeing oneself from that which is displeasing to Allah and disowning the disbelievers.

After loving Allah and His Messenger (s.a.w.), Allah obligates us to love those who love Allah and His Messenger (s.a.w.) and hate those who oppose Allah and His Messenger (s.a.w.). The Islamic Belief System('Aqeedah) obligates every Muslim to love the people of 'Tawheed and hate the people of Shirk.

This obligation is from the religion of Muhammad(s.a.w.) Allah the Exalted said:

"O you who believe! Do not take the Jews and Christians for friends. They are Awliyaa(friends) to each other."
[Monk: However, marrying from among them is permitted, paradoxically.]

"And the one among you that turns to them is one of them. Indeed, Allah guides not an unjust people." (5:51)

The above verse forbids Muslims from taking any of the People of the Book, specifically, and any of the disbelievers as a Mawlaat (friend).

...

Indications Of Taking The Kuffaar As Friends (Mawlaat).

#1 Imitating them in dress and lingo......

#2 Residence in their lands and not moving from their lands to the lands of the Muslims to save one's Deen. (This is a concise meaning of Hijrah)....

#3 Helping them, giving them victory over the Muslims, speaking well of them and defending their honour.....

These are some of the actions that negate a person's Islam. Seek refuge in Allah from that!

#4 Seeking their aid....


#5 Observing their holidays or helping them to make that celebration or congratulating them for their holidays or just being present at their celebrations.....


#6 Supplicating for them and being compassionate to them....

Supplicating and having compassion for them causes us to love them and their(disgusting) practices.

The Outward Manifestations Of Taking The Believers as Mawlaat.

#1 Hijrah from the lands of the Kuffaar to the lands of the Muslims.....

#2 Helping the Muslims with money, body, and tongue in what they need in their Deen and material life...

#3 Feeling sympathy for the Muslims whenever harm comes to them and feeling happy when good comes to them....

#4 Advising and counseling the Muslims. Always loving good things to happen to them, not cheating them, tricking them or going behind their back..

#5 Making supplication for them and asking forgiveness for them...



So if you are a kuffar and claim to have Muslims as friends, you had better think twice. Because if they are REALLY Muslims, they are obliged to hate and despise you, avoid you, and only act civil as required.

This is the world that Islam suggests--a world where hate is encouraged for the sake of God. But really, it's for the good of your own soul (to avoid the disgusting ways of the kuffar).

8)
Monk2400
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Posted 10/21/09 - 5:17 PM:

Thinker13 wrote:

None,I say,none of the Muslims I have met in my life adhered to the rules above. Are the Kaafirs/Kuffars?


Absolutely.

Those that imitate the kuffars love them, and he who loves the kuffar loves not Allah, who hates them.

8)
smokinpristiformis
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Posted 10/22/09 - 1:51 AM:

Well,Willem I may be wrong. But,I came to learn,from a very close acquaintance that they(Muslims) take immense pride in the fact that Qur'an has been preserved strictly as Mohammad uttered it(revealed it). This,they say,was owing to the fact that Mohammad took a lot of time to reveal it ,a very big span(about 20 years!), secondly,adulteration has strictly been prohibited,because of the belief that Mohammad had said fully and completely what he had to say. This,was told to me,by a person who has got his early education in Islamic way. So,contrary to Biblical versions or commentaries on Vedas,or Torah,they feel Qur'an to be message,strictly from one and only person,Muhammad,without any change.



Thinker,

I didn't know that... I'm certainly not an expert and I might of course be wrong. I find it rather hard to believe, though, that the book was copied perfectly through the ages.

Anyway, I reckon Islam has experienced a great variety, throughout history, geography and social situations, of different interpretations of the Qur'an and the religion in general. It's all rather relative, is what I'm trying to point out.

Cheers,

Willem
Monk2400
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Posted 10/22/09 - 12:20 PM:

smokinpristiformis wrote:

I didn't know that... I'm certainly not an expert and I might of course be wrong. I find it rather hard to believe, though, that the book was copied perfectly through the ages.


This was a monumental effort by Muslim scholars to preserve the Qur'an intact.

There is a brief window in the period 200+ years post-Mohammed that variation could have and did arise. But this was eliminated when the now official version was created--all variations were destroyed. But, as Muslim scholars put it, this wasn't like the case of Christianity where, for instance, there was significant difference between the authorised NT and the gnostic 'gospels', but rather, there was differences in the inclusion or exclusion of a number of suras, with some minor variant readings.

However, the original Qur'an itself, like ancient Hebrew, is open to interpretation, since it lacks any vowel marks and contains only consanants. So, right off the bat the book is ambiguous, in this respect. God may have created the world in 7 days, but it took a lot longer for his followers to create the idea of writing vowels into their scripts.

The strength of the conformity of interpretation lies in the followers themselves, and their consistent efforts to prevent any innovation from taking root in their tradition.

But again, like Christianity, the oldest known text doesn't reach the time of the prophet's life, but centuries after him. So there is room for doubt, but there are also reasons why doubt could be mitigated.



smokinpristiformis wrote:

Anyway, I reckon Islam has experienced a great variety, throughout history, geography and social situations, of different interpretations of the Qur'an and the religion in general. It's all rather relative, is what I'm trying to point out.



The main division of Islam is Sunni vs. Shia. And their difference lies in more the politics of Islam than its central message. However, on account of that, they also have differences in which texts they accept as authoritative. The majority of Muslims worldwide are Sunni.

8)
Monk2400
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Posted 10/22/09 - 12:26 PM:

Thinker13 wrote:

I used to know this term as 'Kaafir',a variant of Kuffar.


Kafir, kaafir, kufir, kuffar...whatever...all variations of English spellings, according to the popular translation.

We should note that 'kuffar' does not only refer to the leigions of 'unbelievers' (a classification similar to 'gentiles' or, if you're Greek, 'barbarians'), but to any action that reflects unbelief. So a person can do something that is kuffar, and thus be acting as a kuffar, which is basically anything that deviates from the straight path of submission.


Thinker13 wrote:

I do not think that there are even 0.00001% guys,who do Salat,Jakat,and everything else. Who do not attend any kind of dance,singing or cinema. Who do not indulge in any form of entertainment or practices prohibited by Islam. Even following Salat and traveling Maqqua are very rare.


Which is why hell is so jam-packed.

But Allah is forgiving, merciful, if one repents of evil. Apparently Mohammed was quoted as saying something to the effect that he repents hundreds of times a day. So there is some lattitude, but, like Christianity, it is incumbent on the believer to recognize and acknowledge their sins and seek Allah's grace.


Thinker13 wrote:

Clapping,more often than not,is a good habit.laughing. It works well to make you more healthy,by pressing those acupressure points so critical in flow of chi!


Woe to him that relies on acupressure rather than Allah! Surely this is shirk. Unless Allah ordains it. But I don't recall Mohammed revealing any suras on acupressure.

eek
Monk2400
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Posted 10/22/09 - 5:31 PM:

smokinpristiformis wrote:

I didn't know that... I'm certainly not an expert and I might of course be wrong. I find it rather hard to believe, though, that the book was copied perfectly through the ages.


Here's the story from an Islamic site:


http://www.readingislam.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1123996016020&pagename=IslamOnline-English-AAbout_Islam/AskAboutIslamE/AskAboutIslamE

In fact, there are different ways to prove that the Qur'an is the word of God, which has always been true and has never been subjected to change or distortion. These proofs can be classified into three types: the way the Qur'an was transmitted throughout the centuries, some challenging verses within the Qur'an itself, and the periodic, modern-day discoveries in the universe that were first mentioned in the Qur'an more than fourteen centuries ago.




And here's where it falls apart for the philosopher, the rationalist:


The Qur'an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) via the angel Gabriel, and the Prophet subsequently memorized the whole scripture.


IOW, God didn't reveal anything. Some 'angel' did. The Qur'an is third-hand recitation, at best, not from a unique, original source.

It's a bit of a leap to put faith in some being that isn't even God and then hope that Mohammed understood this being and memorized it correctly. The possibility of Mohammed being deceived (or being a deceiver) is far too great to overlook.

But at this point Muslims will start pointing to the supposed 'miracles' of the Qur'an--its unrivaled poetic excellence, its apparent revelation of unknown scientific facts, etc. Many of these can, apparently, be debunked. At least, the skeptic will not be satisfied.

Again, like any religion, it starts and ends with faith in a highly unbelievable circumstance.

8)
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Posted 10/23/09 - 2:26 AM:

Monk2400 wrote:
More insights into the issue of 'imitation'.




So if you are a kuffar and claim to have Muslims as friends, you had better think twice. Because if they are REALLY Muslims, they are obliged to hate and despise you, avoid you, and only act civil as required.

This is the world that Islam suggests--a world where hate is encouraged for the sake of God. But really, it's for the good of your own soul (to avoid the disgusting ways of the kuffar).

8)




I have not met a single REAL Muslim yet,lollaughing
Thinker13
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Posted 10/23/09 - 2:28 AM:

Monk2400 wrote:


Absolutely.

Those that imitate the kuffars love them, and he who loves the kuffar loves not Allah, who hates them.

8)



Where have all REAL Muslims gone then?
Thinker13
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Posted 10/23/09 - 2:37 AM:

Monk2400 wrote:


Kafir, kaafir, kufir, kuffar...whatever...all variations of English spellings, according to the popular translation.

We should note that 'kuffar' does not only refer to the leigions of 'unbelievers' (a classification similar to 'gentiles' or, if you're Greek, 'barbarians'), but to any action that reflects unbelief. So a person can do something that is kuffar, and thus be acting as a kuffar, which is basically anything that deviates from the straight path of submission.


alright,Monk2400.




Which is why hell is so jam-packed.

But Allah is forgiving, merciful, if one repents of evil. Apparently Mohammed was quoted as saying something to the effect that he repents hundreds of times a day. So there is some lattitude, but, like Christianity, it is incumbent on the believer to recognize and acknowledge their sins and seek Allah's grace.



You seem to have visited hell,I have yet to do that,lollaughing. FIRST,create a fiction called GOD(ALLAH) and enjoy doing sins! THEN repent a livelong day,funny,funny funny.




Woe to him that relies on acupressure rather than Allah! Surely this is shirk. Unless Allah ordains it. But I don't recall Mohammed revealing any suras on acupressure.

eek



*shirks* Mohammad used to walk many miles everyday! Therefore,no suras on acupressure. That is why followers have to walk barefoot to Mecca. They fulfill their life time quota of acupressure by a long walk... some stones,and whatnot...






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Thinker13
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Posted 10/23/09 - 2:39 AM:

The main division of Islam is Sunni vs. Shia. And their difference lies in more the politics of Islam than its central message. However, on account of that, they also have differences in which texts they accept as authoritative. The majority of Muslims worldwide are Sunni.

8)



Perfectly so.
Monk2400
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Posted 10/23/09 - 11:46 AM:

Thinker13 wrote:

Where have all REAL Muslims gone then?


heh, I don't know where they are, but I can guess where they're going...and it aint to be tended upon by wide-eyed houris...lest they repent...


Thinker13 wrote:

*shirks* Mohammad used to walk many miles everyday! Therefore,no suras on acupressure. That is why followers have to walk barefoot to Mecca. They fulfill their life time quota of acupressure by a long walk... some stones,and whatnot...


And whatever stones weren't massaging the feet were thrown over the shoulder, to scare the jinn.

It's an interesting concept though. We might wonder why guys like Jesus didn't teach yoga or qigong. Folk will say 'because those things are of the devil, a product of Shaitan'. Some suggest that the chakra system itself is part of a prison structure that keeps the soul bound to the body. OTOH, we might suggest that those guys simply didn't know anything about these sorts of teachings or whether they were beneficial or not.

Then again, the Buddha didn't teach yoga either, even though he no doubt practiced its early forms during his search. In the end, he found it wasn't the most effective path.

Its really quite a challenge to religion, because yoga etc allow individuals to really and concretely experience changes and transformations, whereas prayer, its 50/50--you might experience something, you might not, and even if you do, there's rarely if ever any indication that the cause is what you hope it is, namely, God.

8)
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Posted 10/24/09 - 3:18 AM:

Monk2400 wrote:


heh, I don't know where they are, but I can guess where they're going...and it aint to be tended upon by wide-eyed houris...lest they repent...



raspberry




And whatever stones weren't massaging the feet were thrown over the shoulder, to scare the jinn.


Indeed.wink




It's an interesting concept though. We might wonder why guys like Jesus didn't teach yoga or qigong.



Am not authority on the matter,still,it has been suggested,in some sources, that before becoming a full fledged messiah and healer,jesus did practice something akin to Buddhism. Moreover, a great part of his boyhood and adulthood remains mysterious and hence any claims that he himself did not go under such practices,before teaching the ultimate truth, are bound to be airy speculation,not fact.



Folk will say 'because those things are of the devil, a product of Shaitan'. Some suggest that the chakra system itself is part of a prison structure that keeps the soul bound to the body. OTOH, we might suggest that those guys simply didn't know anything about these sorts of teachings or whether they were beneficial or not.


IMHO chakra system is not a different system at all. No matter whether you practice Tai-chi or Yoga or sacrifice,your body is bound to exhibit some changes. These changes are owing to the activation of different vibration frequencies in body. For example,if someone lives,in an ecstatic state of Jesus,Krishna or Buddha,crown center is bound to be fully activated.



Then again, the Buddha didn't teach yoga either, even though he no doubt practiced its early forms during his search. In the end, he found it wasn't the most effective path.


Buddha has taught meditation,which is a Yoga methinks. I gather that you suggest that Buddha did not give much emphasis on body postures.




Its really quite a challenge to religion, because yoga etc allow individuals to really and concretely experience changes and transformations, whereas prayer, its 50/50--you might experience something, you might not, and even if you do, there's rarely if ever any indication that the cause is what you hope it is, namely, God.

8)



Everything is cause of everything else. You are right methinks.




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Posted 10/24/09 - 10:14 AM:

Monk2400:

Don't forget, the following things are haraam (forbidden, evil) in Islam:


Music
Art
Photography
Growing a moustache
Pets
Shorts
Intersex friendship

You forgot to add 'homosexuality' to the list Monk. Muslims are somewhat reticent about the subject because they have some rather swingeing penalties for Gays.

Growing a moustache is haram? WTF is THAT all about then? whee

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Posted 10/24/09 - 6:16 PM:

skydog wrote:

You forgot to add 'homosexuality' to the list Monk. Muslims are somewhat reticent about the subject because they have some rather swingeing penalties for Gays.


Homosexuality is pretty much forbidden by any and all religions, along with any and all forms of fornication.

The gods, it seems, don't want their pets to get to too rambunctious. Although recently I read an opinion that suggested that lesbianism is not specifically forbidden in the Qur'an, but I think that's one of those fringe interpretations.

And, to put a fine point on it, its not forbidden to be homosexual in Islam, just to perform and homosexual acts. An important difference.

skydog wrote:

Growing a moustache is haram? WTF is THAT all about then? whee


I think this one has more to do with imitating the prophet than a strict rule of law, although the style of beard growth is compulsary for men, not optional. Its also part of not imitating kuffar, who apparently (in other lands) enjoyed growing long moustaches (fu-manchu?).

Islam has rules to cover every aspect of human life. And penalties for not following them. You're supposed to shave your armpit hair too, but just leave that beard alone!

8)
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Posted 10/25/09 - 2:41 AM:

Monk:''Homosexuality is pretty much forbidden by any and all religions, along with any and all forms of fornication.''

I'm quite happy with some aspects of religion. 'Be fruitful and multiply' springs to mind. wink Oddly enough, my son, who is a rabid Catholic type, is appalled that at my advanced stage of decrepitude I am still very much interested in fornication. I only wish mein Fuehrer shared my 'enthusiasm' for hochmagandy on a more regular basis. hmm

''Islam has rules to cover every aspect of human life. And penalties for not following them. You're supposed to shave your armpit hair too, but just leave that beard alone!''

I am NOT shaving my armpits for anyone! disapproval

Homosexuality and homosexuals I have no problem with. It's their bodies let them get on with it as long as they don't do it in the road and frighten the horses. One small observation though... I do have a problem with those gays who choose to introduce themselves as 'Hello, I'm so and so and I'm gay' ... that is as ridiculous a statement as if I should introduce myself as 'Hello, my name's skydog and I'm hetero' Either statement would sound equally ludicrous IMHO. cool
Monk2400
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Posted 11/12/09 - 5:50 PM:

Here's one for you. Another indication of the extreme level of control the religion exerts on its followers.

It is haraam for a woman to refuse her husband sex (except for legitimate sickness (or menstruation) as a reason). And in some cases a husband is allowed to force her to have sex. It is one of his 'marriage rights' to demand sex whenever he desires.

I think the same might be said for wives too, except the ability to force husbands to perform.

The main point here is the moral value attached to the issue of sexuality and the addition of the idea of a 'right'.

I would never agree that anyone, husband or wife, has the 'right' to force a person into sexuality. I would argue that each individual's sovereignty must be respected fully, and only through mutual consent--unhindered by coersion--can we freely enjoy the pleasures of the body.

This is what makes us rational human beings and adults in the moral sense.

The other way, the way of Islam, makes us slaves and removes our liberty and sovereignty.

8)
smokinpristiformis
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#23 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 11/13/09 - 3:13 AM:

The other way, the way of Islam, makes us slaves and removes our liberty and sovereignty.


The way of rigidity and closed-mindedness that is often found, among others, within religion. But also in extreme politic beliefs and whatnot. Just to somewhat relativate the stress on 'Islam'. People will be people.


Again, like any religion, it starts and ends with faith in a highly unbelievable circumstance.


Incidentely, the same can be said about many stories/tales of all kinds. Ever read tintin? Unbelievable luck follows unbelievable bad luck. Just another childishly human attempt to make things more interesting.
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#24 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 11/13/09 - 12:34 PM:

smokinpristiformis wrote:

The way of rigidity and closed-mindedness that is often found, among others, within religion. But also in extreme politic beliefs and whatnot. Just to somewhat relativate the stress on 'Islam'. People will be people.


Indeed. My beefy rant, however, is on rules from Islam in particular.


smokinpristiformis wrote:

Incidentely, the same can be said about many stories/tales of all kinds. Ever read tintin? Unbelievable luck follows unbelievable bad luck. Just another childishly human attempt to make things more interesting.


Tintin is not, nor was ever, meant to represent 'reality'. It's a comic book featuring comic characters, entirely fictional, living in an imaginary world. This is fiction from its inception and clearly presented as such. No one will read Tintin and think, boy what a crazy life THAT guy has!

Religion is not presented as fiction. It speaks to us as historical, as philosophical, and even as scientific. It is not meant to deceive and beguile us with falsehoods (which is the essence of fiction), but is always--where it is honest and authentic--aimed at presenting ultimate truth and some fact about the world. The experiences of the founders of religion are given as factual reportings, presumably witnessed by various people.

Now, we can question the validity of that, but not its intention.

A work like the Qur'an cannot be more different from a purely fictional work. Dante's Divine Comedy is an allegory, not a factual description of realms of the real world. The Qur'an is a message, reportedly from a source close to God, and supposedly revealing of the true history of the world, where it makes assertions about the past. Mostly, however, it is assertions about the power of God and what will happen to disbelievers for doubting it.

Exhortations against hellfire are not thrown in to 'make things more interesting'. They are presented as dire consequences of evil actions perpetrated in this life here and now.

That's their aim, anyway. But it's tough to use those God-given powers of reason and come to the conclusion that they really do present truths and not just useful fictions--useful for beings that seek to control the growth and development of humanity.

And if one is really skeptical, then one must question not only the content but also the intent, and thus break open the fundamental assumption of the religion (that it is presenting facts). Islam is obviously a political tool used to leverage fear in human beings to compell them to act in certain ways, to willingly self-limit their behaviour. When I look at it, I see the breeder's mark and mindset and nothing more than classical conditioning, with the ultra-powerful reward being placed in a purely abstract idea, not the proverbial carrot. Much more forceful to appeal to the imagination than to reality, and more difficult to overcome and counter. Quite devious, really. So the question is, are religions really purposefully devious this way, are they fronts for powers in high places to control the masses? Or is that just an unfortunate interpretation of extrodinary experiences of human beings?

8)
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Posted 11/14/09 - 8:51 AM:

Indeed. My beefy rant, however, is on rules from Islam in particular.


fair enough. smiling face

No one will read Tintin and think, boy what a crazy life THAT guy has!


Well, tintin is not really my taste, like I mentioned. It's hard to identify with him.. the tales are a bit distant, I reckon, probably just me. The exact same thing goes for those Jesus and Mohammed guys.

But Robin Hobb, now, she can really get you to feel the characters of her books. When I read the Farseer trilogy, I really do think about what a tragic life Fitz has.


A work like the Qur'an cannot be more different from a purely fictional work.


Surely it is fiction as most fictional works are? It might not be presented as such, but if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck,.. I mean to say: Religious books usually contain epic tales that for the most part are fictions of one or more people's imagination. There is always some grain of truth in it, but that grain is mostly all about humans - how they behave, their flaws and heroism, the way the writer sees the world, what he wants the world to be or what he fears it might be. All those everyday human worries masked as astounding epic heroic world-shaking sagas or myths.
Just like all old-age tales and modern novels, really.


The Bible is not too shabby but only available in unreadable versions,
the Celtic myths have been well rewritten by Bridget Wood,
havn't read the Qu'ran but I suppose it's much like the Bible,
used to be a fan of Egyptian mythology but in the end there's too much dead people,
Tolkien did a pretty good job although his pace is a tad too slow for this day and age.

All these works of fiction have their merit, but my favorite is still Terry Pratchett.

Cheers

Edited by smokinpristiformis on 11/14/09 - 9:06 AM
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