My view of a fundamentalist Muslim

Firedragon

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Respecting some questions, here's what it is.

I consider myself a fundamentalist Muslim. I even sometimes consider myself an extremist Muslim. But these terms might scare some people off because the media has created some special meanings around these words. It's not relevant to me.

I have my Islam and I believe in the fundamentals, not the peripheral's. Fundamentals are that you could go to war only upon other peoples aggression, I must spend money to free slaves, I must give what I could to the wayfarer, and the needy, and I must be a family man doing my best to provide to my family, with absolute loyalty, no cheating or sleeping around, and this could keep going on for a long time.

This is my understanding of fundamentalism, and I am extremist. There is no exception. My loyalty to my wife is absolute and there is no way out of it. I do not cheat people or/and steal. Well. That could keep going too.

I understand that a lot of people will have a lot of views so these English terms can be used as arbitrarily as anyone wants. I just don't agree with them. Yet, I would like to hear forum members thoughts on this. This is the first time in my life I think I have ever spoken about this particular but simple topic. But when writing this I feel it's a very interesting topic. Thus, if you are in a position to, please do spell out your thoughts.

Thank you and peace.
 

Cino

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Interesting!

What comes across is an uncompromising attitude regarding your own adherence to principles, but not necessarily what I personally associate with the word "fundamentalism": literalist reading of scripture, or a "we vs. them" type thinking.

How did you come to call yourself "fundamentalist"?
 

Firedragon

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Interesting!

What comes across is an uncompromising attitude regarding your own adherence to principles, but not necessarily what I personally associate with the word "fundamentalism": literalist reading of scripture, or a "we vs. them" type thinking.

How did you come to call yourself "fundamentalist"?

I am highly literalist reader of scripture. Literal reading does not mean "we vs them". It is the post hoc reader who has the we vs them attitude. These kind of associations as I said in the OP has been founded by the media which has developed umbrella terms which i think is irrelevant to some. I do not like generalisations like that.

BTW, I do not "call myself" a fundamentalist. I am just a fundamentalist in adherence. I very rarely follow any kind superficial hyperbole developed centuries and centuries later. I try to go back to the fundamentals every single time. It's not really my theory but a jurisprudence approach of the oldest school of thought within the most traditional Islamic scholarship. I am not creating my own sect or something and it's nothing new. ;)

But using this word fundamentalist carries a lot of baggage people have inherited due to repeated usage of it in the media. We have been hearing these words used in a particular manner for such a long time we have developed an implicit memory and studies have recently emerged on that topic. It's all over the place and we are living it today. Haha. Think about this one. Some time ago, the word awful meant "full of awe". So if I say my dad is awful, it used to mean he is worthy of awe. He is a fantastic person. But today if I say "my dad's awful", it means the exact opposite. ;) It's not a great analogy but I am just presenting our association to words.

Now you were talking about Buddhism right? You mentioned the word Bodhisatva. Do you know what that means? Satva or Satta in Pali means "animal". But in English, it does not sound right. Imagine calling someone revered "an animal". Sounds weird. Well, not in another language.

A fundamentalist by definition is a person adhering to fundamentals. That's how I see it, but this not a big deal. It's not necessary I call myself a fundamentalist and get shot in the streets. ;)

Cheers.
 

Cino

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I am highly literalist reader of scripture. Literal reading does not mean "we vs them". It is the post hoc reader who has the we vs them attitude. These kind of associations as I said in the OP has been founded by the media which has developed umbrella terms which i think is irrelevant to some. I do not like generalisations like that.
Literalism and "we vs them" are two separate aspects of what I picture when someone uses the word "fundamentalism". Christian protestant fundamentalists toting a literal reading of Genesis, and having a very polarized, non-nuanced view of political realities, for example. Buddhist fundamentalists waving some sutra about "icchantikas" or being hard-line (to use an understatement) towards Hindus or Muslims living in the same country. Jewish, Hindu fundamentalists... you name it.

It's not just the media who use that word as an umbrella term. I have familiarity with fundamentalists of other faiths, and they tend to use that term deliberately, as a badge of honor, almost. That's why I got curious as to your motivation to use it.

But using this word fundamentalist carries a lot of baggage people have inherited due to repeated usage of it in the media. We have been hearing these words used in a particular manner for such a long time we have developed an implicit memory and studies have recently emerged on that topic. It's all over the place and we are living it today. Haha. Think about this one. Some time ago, the word awful meant "full of awe". So if I say my dad is awful, it used to mean he is worthy of awe. He is a fantastic person. But today if I say "my dad's awful", it means the exact opposite. ;) It's not a great analogy but I am just presenting our association to words.

Right! And "to protest" used to mean to uphold something, rather than to oppose it. Times change. We want to be understood today by our contemporaries.

Now you were talking about Buddhism right? You mentioned the word Bodhisatva. Do you know what that means? Satva or Satta in Pali means "animal". But in English, it does not sound right. Imagine calling someone revered "an animal". Sounds weird. Well, not in another language.

Are you a Pali geek as well!? Awesome! ;)

"Satta" / "Satva" is best translated into modern English as "a sentient being", in my opinion, at least when translating Buddhist texts. After all, the word is also used to refer to sentient beings in other planes of existence where there are neither animals nor human beings.

A fundamentalist by definition is a person adhering to fundamentals. That's how I see it, but this not a big deal. It's not necessary I call myself a fundamentalist and get shot in the streets. ;)

Got it. Still, it makes people perk up when they hear someone declare that they are of fundamentalist observance. I'm sure I'm not the first one to do so, nor the last. It makes for a conversation-starter, and it is, when held just right, an accurate description of your adherence, but you yourself mentioned the massive potential for misunderstanding - do you feel it evens out for you?
 
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Firedragon

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Literalism and "we vs them" are two separate aspects of what I picture when someone uses the word "fundamentalism". Christian protestant fundamentalists toting a literal reading of Genesis, and having a very polarized, non-nuanced view of political realities, for example. Buddhist fundamentalists waving some sutra about "icchantikas" or being hard-line (to use an understatement) towards Hindus or Muslims living in the same country. Jewish, Hindu fundamentalists... you name it.

It's not just the media who use that word as an umbrella term. I have familiarity with fundamentalists of other faiths, and they tend to use that term deliberately, as a badge of honor, almost. That's why I got curious as to your motivation to use it.

I am referring to my faith Cino. Not other faiths.

Right! And "to protest" used to mean to uphold something, rather than to oppose it. Times change. We want to be understood today by our contemporaries.

Yes. That's true.

Are you a Pali geek as well!? Awesome! ;)

"Satta" / "Satva" is best translated into modern English as "a sentient being", in my opinion, at least when translating Buddhist texts. After all, the word is also used to refer to sentient beings in other planes of existence where there are neither animals nor human beings.

Yeah. Its a nice term sentient being. But the pali word simply means animal.

Got it. Still, it makes people perk up when they hear someone declare that they are of fundamentalist observance. I'm sure I'm not the first one to do so, nor the last. It makes for a conversation-starter, and it is, when held just right, an accurate description of your adherence, but you yourself mentioned the massive potential for misunderstanding - do you feel it evens out for you?

I agree with you fully. I don't understand what you mean by "evens out". But what I could say is, I cant think of another word.
 

Firedragon

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@Cino

By the way, Sathva is not Pali brother. That's sanskrit. Satta is Pali. Or Satto. It should be pronounced Saththo as in addressing an animal.

Ah this is irrelevant.
 

Cino

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@Cino

By the way, Sathva is not Pali brother. That's sanskrit. Satta is Pali. Or Satto. It should be pronounced Saththo as in addressing an animal.

Ah this is irrelevant.
But it's interesting, and tangentially relevant.

Words almost never have exactly one meaning, and even if they do, there is no guarantee that a target language for translation will have a word with exactly that same meaning.

Example: the German loan word "Schadenfreude" in English.

And fwiw, the term "non-human animal" is in use in animal rights activist circles. Kind of the opposite of the Pali term "satta".

The term "fundamentalist" certainly covers an entire set of meanings.

I love geeking out on language, can you tell?
 

Firedragon

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But it's interesting, and tangentially relevant.

Words almost never have exactly one meaning, and even if they do, there is no guarantee that a target language for translation will have a word with exactly that same meaning.

Example: the German loan word "Schadenfreude" in English.

And fwiw, the term "non-human animal" is in use in animal rights activist circles. Kind of the opposite of the Pali term "satta".

The term "fundamentalist" certainly covers an entire set of meanings.

I love geeking out on language, can you tell?

I remember vividly someone brought that word up in some kind of ted talk or something. I can't remember. Fascinating. Or did I read it in a book? My memory fails but it was a very important matter. Nevertheless thanks for bringing it up, I must find out where I read it if I did.

Oh yes. Language is something to geek out on, and yes yes I can tell.

You are right. When translating many of the languages I am sure one word cannot be translated into one word. BUT, words can be explained. The problem is these explanations will fill up the whole room. Imagine someone translated the Tipitaka into English and goes to explain. It will be a disaster. That is why most people I have come across all over the world make huge blunders. Maybe I should not say blunders.

Pali is the perfect example. I have never come across another language that is as concise as Pali. It's so concise, if you translate a paragraph into English, the direct translation will be the size of two paragraphs. For example. What does Buddha mean? If you translate it how would you translate it? It's actual meaning is "one whose Buddhi is settled in the highest place". So the difference between Buddhi and Buddha is just a syllable. That is called "Kombu". One vowel. That's it. Buddhi meaning intellect or intelligence.

The word "Vera" in Pali means "hatred". To negate the word Hatred or say something like "lack of hatred" all you have to do is put an "A" before the word. Avera. That means "lack of hatred". Now you might remember the saying in Buddhism from the Sutta Pitaka "hatred does not help negate hatred. Only love can help negate hatred". Now that is an English translation, and is very very famous. Maybe I have worded it wrong but the gist is the same everywhere. Do you note the blunder? Love is not the translation of Avera. It's such a big blunder. Huge. Translators have twisted it sideways.

Well. That's a tangent for a language geek I suppose.
 

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@Firedragon
Are you in the USA? There's no need to reply if you do not wish to.

I am in England where the Muslim community in the big cities seems to be quite radicalized. What does @muhammad_isa think?
 
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muhammad_isa

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I am in England where the Muslim community in the big cities seems to be quite radicalized. What does @muhammad_isa think?
I'm not sure what you mean by "radicalised" but..

The majority of mosque managers are of Pakistanii and Bangladeshi origin, with many Gujarati, and fewer Arab, Turkish and Somali managed entities.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in_the_United_Kingdom

That's about right, I would say.
The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq upset a lot of British Muslims.

It's hard to get away from Politics. It's quite complex, with some Muslims denouncing Saudi,
while others embracing them.
 
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RJM

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Most of the conversation in the mosques is directed against the west, Jews. Christians, gays, 'degenerate' modern values, and so on ...?
 

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I am not lumping all these values together. I'm saying that the conversation in the mosques centres around condemning and attacking the 'non-Muslim' world'?

Angry rhetoric predominates? It's all about how 'they' are wrong?
 
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muhammad_isa

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I'm saying that the conversation in the mosques centres around condemning and attacking the 'non-Muslim' world'?

Angry rhetoric predominates? It's all about how 'they' are wrong?
Not really in the mosque..
On the street, yes, to some extent.

It very much depends on how educated people are.
 
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Firedragon

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@Firedragon
Are you in the USA? There's no need to reply if you do not wish to.

I am in England where the Muslim community in the big cities seems to be quite radicalized. What does @muhammad_isa think?

I know that in some countries there are some fanatical muslims, but I am not going to generalise anything to anyone like that. The USA has 1% Muslims. ;)

I don't know what's meant by radicalised though. People use terms arbitrarily and people have their own versions and perceptions.
 

Firedragon

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Most of the conversation in the mosques is directed against the west, Jews. Christians, gays, 'degenerate' modern values, and so on ...?

How many mosques have you visited and participated in these "conversations"?
 

Firedragon

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Would you say that fundamentalists practice the fundamentals? Do Wahabi, Salifi (leaders as a whole) promote fundamentals?

Wahabi and Salafi?

When you use these kind of terms it's so highly popularised but weirdly no one seems to understand any of this.

Let me ask you a question. If you found a group of people who wanted to reform the whole of Islam and not adhere to traditions and traditional scholars? A group that calls themselves reformers. What do you think?

Yes yes yes. That's the Salafi movement. Just that people don't know this because the media does not broadcast education but memes. We should not be learning from memes.

And lo and behold, the Wahabi's were born with the same attitude although they repeatedly said that they are propagating Ibn Thaimeeya's theological discourse.

These terms are used arbitrarily.

Nevertheless, I understand your question. Your question is not specifically about these "memes" you mentioned but an ideology that you are trying to refer to.

The answer is "no". The people you are talking about, (Not the memes) do not follow the fundamentals.
 
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muhammad_isa

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Let me ask you a question. If you found a group of people who wanted to reform the whole of Islam and not adhere to traditions and traditional scholars? A group that calls themselves reformers. What do you think?
I don't know what you mean by "wanted to reform the whole of Islam"..
As far as I'm aware, salafis do not believe it is necessary to follow one of the 4 traditional scholars.
The "reform" is more about weeding out innovations from religious practice.
They do not consider a person who follows the traditional scholar as "wrong"..
..rather, they want to promote education about Islam in general, rather than cultural beliefs/practice.
 

Firedragon

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I don't know what you mean by "wanted to reform the whole of Islam"..

I exactly mean that English sentence. I don't know if I should say it in another language. I thought you said that you only know English. So what do you expect me to do? Say this in another language to an English speaker?

As far as I'm aware, salafis do not believe it is necessary to follow one of the 4 traditional scholars.

You are not aware.

The "reform" is more about weeding out innovations from religious practice.

You are not aware mate.

They do not consider a person who follows the traditional scholar as "wrong"..
..rather, they want to promote education about Islam in general, rather than cultural beliefs/practice.

You are not aware. You are making conjecture. I am sure you understand the word conjecture or am I just presuming being an English speaker you don't understand that word?

).
 
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