My recent visit to a Muslim Center

Discussion in 'Islam' started by subculture_of_one, May 1, 2006.

  1. subculture_of_one

    subculture_of_one Active Member

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    Hello all, I posted a topic about greeting an Imam earlier and was asked to give a brief account of what I experienced on my upcoming trip to a Muslim Center.

    First- I am a professor of Comparative Religion and take my classes to a variety of religious centers (at the invitation of the communities of course!)
    Second- A quick glance tells me that about 120 of my students attended (out of about 210 total)
    Third- We were able to attend an open-house (this particular center was expanded 2 years ago and they've had an open house each year), we were lucky enough to schedule our trip on the same day.
    Fourth- I will post more as I ask specific classes what they thought and any followup questions they may have.

    I will try to qualify what information I glean from what type of student (age, gender, etc.)

    One quick note- I tell my students very seriously that any cell phones that go off in religious centers will result in them not getting credit for any of the 3 required field trips. About half way through a short lecture the Imam was giving us, his cell phone went off! We all shared a chuckle on that...

    Unless nobody is interested, then I'll just shuffle off into the background :D

    Sub
     
  2. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    It sounds like an interesting experience, certainly for the non-Muslims and perhaps Muslims here too. Post away. :)
     
  3. pharma4ever

    pharma4ever Muslim sunni salafi

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    yes,that is nice
     
  4. subculture_of_one

    subculture_of_one Active Member

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    *oof!*

    Wow, loosen your focus for a second and the months disappear on you!

    Sorry for the delay in posting.... Here goes,

    Approximately 80 students of mine (out of a total of about 200) attended a fieldtrip to a local Muslim center in May. I will first give my personal impressions and then share some of the input my students shared with me.

    First, everyone at the center was absolutely wonderful. It was an open-house weekend, so everyone from the surrounding community was invited (Muslim and non-Muslim), there were 'tour guides' posted regularly to take guests on a tour of the center. These 'tour guides' were very clear in giving visitors general info about the Muslim lifestyle and approach to things, if a question was asked that they weren't sure of, a more knowledgeable member of the community was located to help out. At the end of the small tours, visitors were encouraged to wander about freely and ask questions whenever they arose, even if they weren't too sure about how the question would be received. It was made very clear to all that this was their opportunity to ask, observe, and enjoy.

    Food was served: from basics like hot dogs and chips, to more regional cuisine. Most supplied by local restaurants. There were pieces of artwork on display from artists in the Muslim community. Several movies were screened (like the life of the prohpet, history of Islam, Islamic art and architecture). A number of informational presentations were arrayed in the center's gymnasium, and free DVDs on the life of the prophet were given to all who wanted a copy. Also, copies of the Quran were available to any interested parties.

    I had a wonderful time chatting with various members of the community and hearing their views on a variety of things. The Imam was a jovial and charismatic fellow with a perpetual smile who gave my students a 30 minute (or so) talk on what Islam means (literally, religiously, socially, etc.). He encouraged questions at the end of the talk, especially the 'touchy' questions. In a joking tone he commented that some of the students may have been pleased to have not seen any AK-47s on display or wild-eyed men scowling in the shadows. His laughter punctuated the comment as a joke of course, though I think some of my students were made somewhat uneasy by the comment.

    The students in general were thrilled by the whole experience. When I asked them the following week, 'what they thought' most responded that it 'wasn't what they expected'. Many didn't want to let on that their impression of Islam had been so influenced by the media. A few of my more aggressive students engaged in discussions on things like apostasy, politics, militancy, and democracy in Islam with community members. Nobody (as far as I heard or was told) was rude or obnoxious in the pursuing of these topics. Students were encouraged to return whenever they wished or had questions.

    As a final note, one of my students: Albanian, from a mixed Christian-Muslim family asked me if I had grabbed an extra copy of the Quran while I was there and if she could have it. Apparently she wanted to read some before she went home over summer break. She was non religious and the trip to the center made her somewhat homesick. I kind of think it was a way for her to rediscover part of her heritage.

    I can't wait for the trip next semester,

    Sub
     
  5. inhumility

    inhumility Active Member

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    Interesting indeed!
    I am an Ahmadi a faith in Islam,a very peace loving community,I would request that next time you visit,please visit some Ahmadia Mosque in your vicinity.Thanks
     
  6. subculture_of_one

    subculture_of_one Active Member

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    Sounds good to me, I just have to see if there is one close enough to the campus that would make the travel easy for all of the students interested in going.

    Sub
     
  7. Yaqinud Din

    Yaqinud Din Well-Known Member

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    Ahmadiyya has nothing to do with Islam so don't be fooled :mad:
     
  8. thipps

    thipps God Alone is Great

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    If you go to visit the Ahmadiyya community, dont forget to point out to your students that the Ahmadiyya community is equivalent to the JWs in Christianity. Im sure they would appreciate that insight.
     
  9. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    that's an interesting way of putting it, thipps - but what would you call the christian equivalent of salafi, or wahhabi (although i know you're not keen on the latter distinction)

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  10. subculture_of_one

    subculture_of_one Active Member

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    *hmmmm*

    Well, as a professor of comparative religions, it is my job to know about.... religions.... Yaqinud Din and Thipps, I appreciate your input, but it is not my job to 'point out' the status of one sect within a religious community. Unless I misunderstand your statement (which I took to mean, tell my students that Ahmadi is not 'real' Islam). I do try to give my students a well-rounded understanding of the history, system, and practice of all the religions we study.

    If I have misunderstood, I apologize. I appreciate the feedback nonetheless. :D

    Sub
     
  11. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Appreciate the discussion however do not know the distinctions and nuances.

    In Iraq the Shiites and the Sunnis are at battle, and from what I understand this is an ongoing feud. Can someone explain what this is over?

    As I understand it the Ahmadi, Shiite, Sunni, Salafi, or Wahhabi are all various denominations in Islam...

    Much the same as Catholic, Methodist, AME...is that correct?

    Someone once told me that saying the most ferverent violent groups are a Muslim sect is like saying the KKK is Christian....they use the scripture to advance their cause, not to advance spirituality. Is that considered accurate?
     
  12. Yaqinud Din

    Yaqinud Din Well-Known Member

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    Their are alot of groups who say they are Muslims but the fact is they are not Muslims at all.

    the Prophet (peace ben upon him) said their would be 73 groups all would be in the hell fire but one now you may ask who this group is well thats simple the saved group are the Salafis.

    Taken From SLF010004 @ SalafiPublications.Com (A Reply to the Doubts of the Qutubiyyah On Ascription to Sunnah and Salafiyyah). If you find this beneficial then please make reference to the above article, when quoting.



    Shaikh Salih al-Fawzaan was asked, "Is Salafiyyah a hizb (party) from amongst the parties. And is ascribing to them (i.e. the Salafis) a blameworthy thing?"

    To which he replied, "As-Salafiyyah (i.e. the Salafis) is the Saved Sect, and they are Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah. It is not a hizb (party) from amongst the various parties, those which are called "parties" today. Rather they are the Jamaa’ah, the Jamaa’ah upon the Sunnah and upon the Deen (religion). They are Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah. The Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said, "There will not cease to be a group from my Ummah manifest and upon the truth not being harmed by those who forsake them neither by those who oppose them" and he (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) also said, "And this Ummah will split into seventy-three sects, all of them in the Hellfire but one". They said, which one is this O Messenger of Allaah? He replied, "They are those who are upon what I and my companions are upon today". Hence Salafiyyah is a group of people (i.e. the Salafis) upon the madhhab of the Salaf, upon what the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) and his companions were upon and it is not a hizb from amongst the contemporary groups present today. Rather it is the very old Jamaa’ah, from the time of the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) which inherits (this way) and continues, and which never ceases to be upon the manifest truth until the establishment of the Hour, as he (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) has informed (us)." (Cassette: "at-Tahdheer min al-Bid’ah" second cassette, delivered as a lecture in Hawtah Sadeer, 1416H).

    Shaikh Saalih Aal ash-Shaikh, Minister of Islamic Affairs of Saudi Arabia, stated, "Muslims are of two groups: Salafis and Khalafis. As for the Salafis, then they are the followers of Salaf us-Saalih (first three generations of Muslims). And as for the Khalafis, then they are the followers of the understanding of the Khalaf and they are also called Innovators - since everyone who is not pleased and satisfied with the path of the Salaf us-Saalih, in knowledge and action, understanding and fiqh, then he is a khalafi, an innovator." (Haadhihi Mafaaheemunaa, Chapter on Ascription Salaf and Salafiyyah).

    In the verdict of the Permanent Committee, No. 1361 (1/165) there occurs, "Salafiyyah is an ascription to the Salaf, and the Salaf are the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) and the Imaams of Guidance from the the first three generations (may Allaah be pleased with them), those whose goodness has been testified for by Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam), "The best of people are my generation, then those who follow after them, then those who follow after them, then there will come a people whose testimony will precede their oath and their oath will precede their testimony." Reported by Imaam Ahmad in his Musnad and also by al-Bukhaari and Muslim. And "the Salafis" (Salafiyyoon) is the plural of "Salafi", which is an ascription to the Salaf, and its meaning has already preceded. And they are the ones who traverse upon the minhaaj of the Salaf, from amongst the followers of the Book and the Sunnah, those who call to them both, and to acting upon them, as a result of which they are from Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah."
    Stated ‘Abdul-Azeez bin Abdur-Rahmaan Aal as-Sa’ood, "Indeed I am Salafi, my aqidah is Salafiyyah, by whose requirements I traverse upon the Book and the Sunnah". (Stated during the pilgrimage of 1965, ‘Al-Mushaf was-Sayf’ p.135).

    Here are two great books about Islam that you could get and have your class read both are about 8 dollars.

    1. Sharh Al-Aqeedat-il-Wasitiyah (Fundamental beliefs of Islam & rejection of False Concepts) by Sheikh ul-Islam Ibn Taimiyah.

    2. Kitab At-Tauhid (the book of Monotheism) by Sheikh-ul-Islam Muhammad bin Abdul-Wahhab.

    You can get both books here http://www.islamicbookstore.com

    If you would like to know more about Islam then feel free to take a look at the links.

    http://www.spubs.com/sps/

    http://www.troid.org/

    http://www.therighteouspath.com/home/

    The Wahhabi myth is a must read.

    http://www.thewahhabimyth.com/osama_wahhabi.htm

    http://www.albani.co.uk/

    http://www.fawzan.co.uk/

    http://www.binuthaymin.co.uk/

    http://www.binbaz.co.uk/

    Hope this helps.
     
  13. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Well that helps, a very similar thing is quoted by various Christian denominations. 'We are the only one and true followers of Christ", or "You guys got it wrong", or "We are the only ones translating the bible correctly"...

    I know that for years the Protestants and Catholics fought in the 'United' Kingdom...frankly it makes no sense to me. If one believes in G-d or as in Arabic Allah, how do you make sense of fighting over it?

    And moreover, if Wahabists, and those that incite what is today called terrorism are not accepted in Islam as a whole, then why aren't Clerics and Imans around the world shouting from the rooftops this is not our belief?

    Lastly can someone explain what the term infidel refers to, and the laws regarding eliminating the infidels is translated/interpretted to not meaning what westerners think it means?

    Thank you for your patience.
     
  14. Yaqinud Din

    Yaqinud Din Well-Known Member

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    First off nobody calls themselfs Wahhabi. Muslims all over the world has said they reject Terrorism the truth is that Good Muslims make bad news in the west thats a fact. See the link for the Salafi position and what the Scholars have said about Terrorism

    http://www.spubs.com/sps/



    It should help alot the Prophet (peace be upon him) said their would be sects and all them would be in the hell fire but one.

    The Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said, "There will not cease to be a group from my Ummah manifest and upon the truth not being harmed by those who forsake them neither by those who oppose them" and he (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) also said, "And this Ummah will split into seventy-three sects, all of them in the Hellfire but one". They said, which one is this O Messenger of Allaah? He replied, "They are those who are upon what I and my companions are upon today.

    If you don't believe what I have said then thats on you I don't have the time to go around and around with you on why the Salafi are the saved group.

    Any way I hope this helps.





     
  15. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    so, yaqinud din - just to make it absolutely clear and without quoting other people, if i understand you right you, as (presumably) a salafi, say that you are the only true muslims and that other people who call themselves muslims (like the shia and all other sunni, but non-salafis) are not real muslims. is that right?

    if so, what gives you the right to define that? your authority is presumably either drawn from interpretations of the Qur'an and hadiths which are (also presumably) disputed by non-salafis, or from texts written by salafi scholars. in essence ,your argument appears to be "we're right because we say that our interpretation is right", or the shorter version of that, "we're right because we say so". now, i may miss my guess, but isn't that a teensy bit flimsy? i can't really see how that differs from a catholic (or a JW for that matter) saying the same thing - "we're the only true X and everyone else is wrong - sez us!".... and if so, why can't the ahmadis say the same thing?

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  16. Yaqinud Din

    Yaqinud Din Well-Known Member

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    if
    So Bananabrain why is your sect of Judaism right is it because your interpretation of the Torah or your orthodox Scholars interpretation maybe Jews for Jesus is the true Judaism maybe Jesus (pbuh) is your Messiah funny how that works don't ya think. Hey Maybe the Karaite are right the Tulmud is bunk. :)
     
  17. Yaqinud Din

    Yaqinud Din Well-Known Member

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    As I said to Will believe what you want I'm not going to go around and around with you guys because you will not believe me anyways
     
  18. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Helps bunches...speaking of western news...I would think there are a ton of people that would be playing up the angle if the majority of the Islam world condemned Al Queda and those that act not in accordance to the conventional beliefs.

    And speaking of western news...it is regularly reported that Wahabism is the belief system of the Saudi Royals..and prevelent in Saudi Arabia...tis this also made up?

    I see your Salafi Scholars...however as you have said, you are but one in a sea of Islam, are you standing alone in regard to the terrorsist element?

    Something needs to be done, or the violence will continue to escalate, I don't believe this is a holy war (Christian v. Muslim) but it appears the Suni v. Shiite battle is raging and Al Queda is trying to indicate this is Christians attacking Islam...as long as they can convince Muslims of that, then the Christians that are prone to nationalism and racism will gravitate toward agreeing.

    I'm not trying to go 'round and round on anything....would just love to understand, and see more peace in our world.
     
  19. Yaqinud Din

    Yaqinud Din Well-Known Member

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    As I said Islam rejects Terrorism and I have gave you a link with the Scholars. I know that the news in the west has it out for Islam I know this because when was the last time you seen the news talk about the N.L.F.T a Baptist Christian Terrorist group in India who have shot school kids and women for not coverting to Christianty.

    The N.L.F.T gets its funds from christian in the west I ask you Will look this group up.

    Read the Wahabbi Myth

    http://www.thewahhabimyth.com

    Everyone here knows my views about the sick Raafidah so I will not go into this feel free to look up old threads to see my view if you don't know. Well some Muslims see it as Christian vs Muslim because the usa are 90% Christian so I can understand this.

    Hope this helps.

    And Allah knows best.
     
  20. Yaqinud Din

    Yaqinud Din Well-Known Member

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    Well I'm more then happy to try and help you the best I can but when it comes to going around and around about why the Salafis are the saved group it gets us no where read what Shaikh Salih al-Fawzaan says.

    Shaikh Salih al-Fawzaan was asked, "Is Salafiyyah a hizb (party) from amongst the parties. And is ascribing to them (i.e. the Salafis) a blameworthy thing?"

    To which he replied, "As-Salafiyyah (i.e. the Salafis) is the Saved Sect, and they are Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah. It is not a hizb (party) from amongst the various parties, those which are called "parties" today. Rather they are the Jamaa’ah, the Jamaa’ah upon the Sunnah and upon the Deen (religion). They are Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah. The Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said, "There will not cease to be a group from my Ummah manifest and upon the truth not being harmed by those who forsake them neither by those who oppose them" and he (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) also said, "And this Ummah will split into seventy-three sects, all of them in the Hellfire but one". They said, which one is this O Messenger of Allaah? He replied, "They are those who are upon what I and my companions are upon today". Hence Salafiyyah is a group of people (i.e. the Salafis) upon the madhhab of the Salaf, upon what the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) and his companions were upon and it is not a hizb from amongst the contemporary groups present today. Rather it is the very old Jamaa’ah, from the time of the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) which inherits (this way) and continues, and which never ceases to be upon the manifest truth until the establishment of the Hour, as he (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) has informed (us)." (Cassette: "at-Tahdheer min al-Bid’ah" second cassette, delivered as a lecture in Hawtah Sadeer, 1416H).

    This is why the Salafi are the saved group because we follow what the companions followed not because we just say so as Banana was trying to say but I'm sure you will not understand me.

    Hope this helps.
     

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