Misconceptions and quries about Islam

Banjo,

Hear me out. Some of what you say has some validity behind it..... from your perspective. However, your perspective is not entirely correct, and its not really your fault. You see, administering an Islamic state is not easy... one needs to be qualified with proper understanding. When you look at certain concepts and topics in Islam, you view them individually without context and taking into account the entirety of the Quran and Islamic teachings.

Islamic ideology means Islamic scripture, and Islamic law, implemented in an Islamic state, from the perspective of Islam.

You look at Islamic rules and laws, and more importantly, their implementation from the British court house standpoint. You also speak of it as a non-Muslim, whereas I talk on the subject, complementing the information with the spirit or essence of Islam. Let me put it another way.... we have 2 copies of the Quran, one for you and the other for me. We both go to seperate lands and become the rulers. Our duty includes implementing Islamic teachings and laws.... now I don't think I need to explain what would happen, or the difference it would make between us.

Islamic law and British law are very different in certain aspects. For example, in some cases, the British police have to prosecute once they have been notified even if the one who brought it up wants to drop the charges.

If someone murdered you, and even if your family did not want to have the perpetrator sent to the slammer, chances are he would still get sent down. Contrast this with what would happen in an Islamic state; the attitude would be thus: "He's [dead &] gone now, what is done is done... we can't change that, his affair with the murderer is between them and God now. The only thing we can deal with, or give justice to in this world, is the family of the victim". According to Islam (and even Judaism), the slaying of an innocent is like murdering the whole of mankind. So when Judgement Day comes, that soul is in for some serious recompense and will suffer terribly (unless his victim shows forgiveness). Now the family has a choice while the perpetrator is still on earth; to either punish with anything up to execution, or to forgive. Sometimes the grieving family need justice to put their hearts at rest, and capital punishment may be employed. However, God commands according to Quran, that you should show mercy and forgive, as it's a noble and pious thing to do. Provided that the perpetrator is not a serial killer, shows remorse and is genuinely repentant, vowing to amend his conduct. When Muslim's show mercy and forgive in such a case, it is in the ultimate sense, the mercy and forgiveness of Allah. The wise soul which is most nearest to God, understands this reality and will forgive solely because it is a good soul. However, those who don't possess this understanding, are given an incentive.... God says that those who show mercy and forgive others because of their faults, so too will God show mercy and forgiveness, overlooking your faults on Judgement Day.

You are probably wondering why I am going on about murder and such, but the point I am demonstrating here, is that; the essence and implementation of British and Islamic law is different in certain aspects, where forgiveness & mercy is emphasized greatly in Islamic law. Allah says; "My mercy prevaileth over My wrath".

Before I comment on the issue of Zinaa, lets first look at the misconception you brought up about divorce... Saying "I divorce you" 3 times in succession and walking away is a crock of horse manure. The Islamic model for life, for society, has its foundations deeply built on the family unit. Without a strong, stable and secure family structure, the society is doomed and destined for failure. This has been emphasized many times throughout Islamic teachings. God says that divorce is the only hateful act in His sight which He permits... due to the nature and psyche of humans, in practical and realistic terms. There have to be some legitimate reasons for a divorce to be justified. The Sharia has prescribed the pronouncement of divorce three times, for some specific reasons, and they are to be observed over an 'Iddah' (waiting period of 3 months). One may say it out of spite and anger, but what matters here is the intention. This waiting period is prescribed so that the situation can be reviewed, and if possible; resolved. Divorce should ultimately be the last resort when all else has failed. There can be some exceptions to this, depending on the circumstances, but the court would have to handle it.

Regarding polygamy; as explained before... there is an allowance, it is neither prohibited nor advocated, because the ideal is a union betwen one man & woman. However, there are certain cases where the ideal can be modified slightly for the betterment of society. Originally, the polygamy provision was made so that orphans and widows would benefit from it. I know that some will try to abuse the system, sure, but they would do it regardless of any religion or rules. The good outweighs the potential bad, so it is worth it.

That doesn't mean women will be at the whims of their husband's sexual desires.

004.024 ....seek (them in marriage) with gifts from your property, - desiring chastity, not lust,
Al-Qur'an, 004.024 (An-Nisa [Women])

The above verse shows what the intention should be. In another verse, God commands believers to; "fulfill your obligations". i.e. stand true to your oaths, contracts, etc.. meaning live up to the deal when you married your wife. So if a man desires a second, and it does not fall in the category of special circumstances, then he must have his first wife's go ahead and well being at heart. If he upsets his wife in trying to acquire a second, then he is not dealing justly with her, thus he is forbidden to do so. He must prove that his reasons are socially and morally justified.

Besides why should it be a big deal? if one happens to disagree with the reasons behind it, then don't become a Muslim nor marry one, and you will be fine. lol

Anyway, lets get on the topic of Zinaa. As I have explained above, with the example of murder, and how forgiveness is preferred. How does sex between two consenting adults compare to the murder of an innocent? and do you think forgiveness & mercy comes before punishment in such a case, in light of the former supposition?

The evidential bar is purposely set high, for 3rd party accusers. It protects the women from false slander. However if you get teen pregnancies, then you know something is up. They risk punishment, and as such it becomes a deterrant. Even then, in such a case, they should be forgiven. So the 4 witnesses rule only applies to third parties. It does not, however, and let me repeat, it does not apply to the husband or wife. In that case, only their single testimony is enough. I said this before, and I am saying it again, I hope it doesn't fly over your head. The husband or wife does not need 4 witnesses, but only their own single one and only testimony!!

So what has happened here is this; no one can accuse a woman of Zinaa unless he/she is a spouse, because really it is none of their damn business, and it will only matter if the woman becomes pregnant and a burden on the state, in that case... such a person should fear the consequences. In the case of adultery, the husband or wife can divorce if one of them is guilty of lewdness. No need for witnesses, only your own testimony, and if you lie... you risk severe punishment from God, but the state will leave you alone... and you have a reason to dissolve the marriage.

Again, even with all this in place, forgiveness and mercy is always preferred. For example, a woman came to the Prophet, asking to be punished for her act of Zinaa, but the Prophet replied; "Woe to you! Go back to where you came from, and repent to Allah. He will forgive you." There are many other such similar cases, and the Prophet would either turn his face away in disapproval and send them away.

As for the death penalty for Apostasy; there is nothing in the Quran to that effect. I realize that comes from a hadith whose authenticity is disputed and suspect. I can prove with verses of Quran that there is no compulsion in religion, and commands to say "To you be yours, and to me.. mine". i.e. religion. I don't think it is necessary though.

Ok I think I have answered all your points. I have a flu/cold developping so my mind is a little blocked, and I may have missed something out. Theres not much more to add right now, I've typed enough for one post today. I don't feel like dragging the argument senselessly, as I have explained, all these Islamic teachings are interwined and deeply connected. It is not easy to write everything out, one would have to write a big thesis to even come close to explaining things properly. I'm not interested in doing that.

I know some Arab countries have some questionable practices, but they are not really educated or qualified to govern a proper Islamic State. Silly Arab's would be lucky if they could operate a gas/petrol station on their own. lol
 
bananabrain said:

nor does judaism, christianity, secular humanism or vegetarianism. it's a problem with humans, not religion particularly.

Islam is unlike those other things though because it has a wider scope. It seeks to implement a universal legal system that applies to all who live under it's jurisdiction (both muslims and non-muslims).

Therefore if it's gonna propose a legal system, it had better be a damn good one. At the very least, better than the one we've got now.

Far as I can see, it fails this test because of the stuff I've talked about in this thread. It's got redundant/potentially dangerous stuff in it such as the 4 witnesses rule. If you interpret it how Schizo does then it's pointles coz you will never get four witnesses to adulturous sex - so it's surplus to requirements, unnecessary. Don't need it on the statute books.

If you interpret it how Pakistan does then it's dangerous - four witnesses to a rape will never happen.

Either way, it doesn't work but whatever definition you agree on you can never change it because it's "what God wants".

Under our current legal system if we come across an outdated or just plain crap law we just get rid of it and bring in a better one.

I think you're purposely ignoring the "separate lives"/"marriage of convenience" issue by claiming it's a "rare exception" - in which case you're now falling back onto statistical generalisations which you can't back up without data that you couldn't possibly have access to.

The idea of marriage is that it is a long term commitment.

This is true under islam - when you get married in islam you are expected to stay married (even if you do subsequently marry someone else)..

It's true under christianity - marriage is a promise to remain married for life

It's true under judaism.

It's true under hinduism.

It's true under the secularist ceremony of marriage.

Under what system of marriage is it not expected that you will stay together for the foreseeable future?

Which system of marriage (apart from the temporary marriages in shia islam I mentioned earlier) specifically envisages that particular marriage being a temporary thing whilst the actual wedding is taking place?

All weddings are long term commitments. At least officially, under whatever system they happen to take place under.

Why do you think the shia "temporary marriage" thing raises eyebrows? Because it is the only system in the world that envisages the idea of a marriage that isn't forever.

This has nothing whatsoever to do with my "cultural prejudices". All systems of marriage - christian, judaic, islamic, hindu, secular - all think that on your wedding day, you are committing for life.

Divorce is allowed as a mechanism for when it doesn't work out that way. But the original idea under all belief systems is that marriage is forever, not just a temporary arrangement.

Stop accusing me of cultural biases and whatnot. My argument has nothing to do with that. I'm arguing facts - all systems of marriage under all religious and secular systems envisage a permanent arrangement. The shia temporary marriage is the ONLY exception in the world.

That is an exception because it specifically envisages that the marriage will only last for a short time and it does this on the wedding day itself. Everything is up front when you get married.

Maybe two people get married but privately they intend to get divorced soon after - this is irrelevant. As far as the church or synagogue or registry office or whatever are concerned, you are going through a normal marriage according to their principles. Normal marriages involve getting married without the intention of getting divorced soon after.

This is the case with all religious systems and even the case with secular systems - you are not allowed to get married just to get a green card or just to get nationality. That is illegal.

The fact that people do this anyway does not affect it's legality one iota.

I don't know how many different ways I can to explain this to you. It's nothing to do with my cultural biases, such as they are, it's the law. Or, if it's not the law, it's the religious system you live under. Doesn't matter - the law and religious systems are as one on this point. When you get married, it is supposed to be forever.

And marriage is only recognised by the law and by religious systems so they are all that matter.
 
bananabrain said:

leaving aside my "incapabability" of thinking outside judaism and the implication that such a thing is necessarily better (individual-centred reason again, there), i don't see why it's relevant.

The first human who ever picked up a rock and fashioned it into an axe was using individual-centred reasoning. It's not a new thing. The world is made up of lots of individuals.

Crowd mentality isn't any better than individual mentality. 2 billion people believe christianity, 1 billion people believe islam. One of those crowds must be wrong.

The number of people that believe something is not an indicator of it's correctness. God made us with individual brains so that must be for a reason. The more we neglect our individuality, the more we are fighting against what God gave us.

Even when it comes to religion we still need to use our individuality. All religious systems argue that we have free will - we can choose whether to accept the prevailing religion or to reject it. Even islam (which gives some dire consequences of rejection) still accepts that people have free will and may choose to reject it.

Free will is an integral part of all religious systems. Free will basically equals individuality.

Denying individuality is denying God.

if you are proposing an imposed solution to this problem, though, i would have to ask you one question:

I'm not proposing an imposed solution. Even if God wrote his message in fire across the sky there would still be smartarses (like me) who would think it was aliens trying to mess with our minds. We would still have free will, whether to accept or reject.

We'd just have a bit more evidence to work on is all. The evidence we've got now is, quite plainly, not very good (considering we're dealing with an all-powerful God an' all)

When you think what he could do if he really wanted to, and it would save so much bloodshed as well if he at least gave us a few clues, stronger than immensely disputable 2000 year old appearances.

Maybe he actually wants us to fight each other to "toughen us up"? Well, he'd better turn up again soon because we're all going to be dead in a nuclear holocaust soon (probably), providing we manage to avoid the asteroids.
 
Did the Koran foresee PlayStation? No? Then shut up. LOL Sorry, I've been watching Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Now to try to validate this post with observations on the painfully obvious:

The error in Sharia law and all religious law, is that it claims the authority of God even while containing human flaw. In secular legality, there's constant reform and debate, and - in theory - potential for inclusive society. The scholarly apologetics for Sharia law is that it united the various Arabian tribes under a single set of rules creating unity and peace. Well, if that contention hasn't been shot to hell, I don't know what is.
 
incidentally, banjo, i'm rather enjoying this thread. don't let my possibly rather acid tone put you off.

banjo said:
Islam is unlike those other things though because it has a wider scope. It seeks to implement a universal legal system that applies to all who live under it's jurisdiction (both muslims and non-muslims)
you're surely not suggesting that, say UK law does not apply to people in the UK who are not UK citizens? it's hardly much different.

Therefore if it's gonna propose a legal system, it had better be a damn good one. At the very least, better than the one we've got now
*grin* if you're american or even british, sharia and certainly halacha predate the legal systems of both these countries, isn't the onus on the later systems?

If you interpret it how Schizo does then it's pointless coz you will never get four witnesses to adulterous sex - so it's surplus to requirements, unnecessary. Don't need it on the statute books.
OK, i am not an expert on adultery within sharia, so it's not for me to argue that, but in reference to surplus laws still on the statute books, firstly, there are quite a few of those on the US, UK and european books, such as the 1290 law that says jews aren't allowed to live in england, which has never been repealed, for example. secondly, a religious law which appears surplus or unnecessary always belongs at least in jewish law (i don't know about sharia) to the category of a) laws which applied to groups who no longer exist, such as the amalekites b) laws which only apply under certain circumstances, such as the laws of the shemitta year which only apply in the land of israel and c) laws which are apparently arbitrary and will not be explained until the messiah comes. either way, what we do with them is use them for educational purposes and to learn new things.

If you interpret it how Pakistan does then it's dangerous - four witnesses to a rape will never happen.
which is one of the reasons why (and i quote an islamic theologian) that there is "no islamic state currently existing in the world". pakistan can't be truly islamic due to a) tribal law and b) corruption.

Either way, it doesn't work but whatever definition you agree on you can never change it because it's "what God wants".
on the contrary, there are loads of laws in judaism that are interpreted apparently in complete contradiction of the Written Text, such as the law of "an eye for an eye", which is interpreted into financial damages. there is a principle of religious law in judaism which is called "it is not in Heaven", which means that human interpretation is valid and can, under certain circumstances, interpret "out" or "in" the plain meaning of the text, while still retaining the "what G!D wants" element.

Under what system of marriage is it not expected that you will stay together for the foreseeable future?

Which system of marriage (apart from the temporary marriages in shia islam I mentioned earlier) specifically envisages that particular marriage being a temporary thing whilst the actual wedding is taking place?
i think we've already established that *unless it is a marriage of convenience or other exception*, then the expectation would be as you suggest. i was simply trying to get you to realise that you were making generalisations about things which are actually quite complex and then making value judgements based on them, which is what i took issue with. and, yes, the *system* expects a commitment but, as i said, this commitment may not be as straightforward as you think it is, particularly in respect of what marriage is actually considered to be at least in judaism. you are now saying that you're only talking about what is in people's mind at the moment they say "i do" or whatever, which is a much more specific point and specifying the perspective of the couple and the minister concerned. and when you restrict it to what you say you're actually referring to, i don't see a terribly big insight, other than "people ought to mean it when they get married" - with which i agree wholeheartedly.

The first human who ever picked up a rock and fashioned it into an axe was using individual-centred reasoning.
er... how do you know? were you there? have you heard of the "privacy of thought" problem in philosophy? i think this is another general assertion.

It's not a new thing. The world is made up of lots of individuals.
now you sound like mrs thatcher. actually, i think you'll find that groups and social structures play a certain role too. and yes, individuals exercise free will when choosing which social and group rules to abide by, but that doesn't change the issue.

2 billion people believe christianity, 1 billion people believe islam. One of those crowds must be wrong.
sheesh, this is what i keep running up agin. from my perspective, me being right doesn't necessarily make you wrong. about some things, differing perspectives may be mutually exclusive but the point i am trying to get across here is that imposing One Right Answer has been the strategy of totalitarian philosophies and power structures across the centuries - and one that continually runs up against the human need for DIVERSITY, DIFFERING OPINIONS and RELATIONAL CONTEXT. if you can't see that this operates within religion i don't see how on earth you expect to engage in dialogue with people who have differing opinions from your own.

We'd just have a bit more evidence to work on is all. The evidence we've got now is, quite plainly, not very good (considering we're dealing with an all-powerful God an' all)
i think it's more a question that you demand a different type of proof than i do. i think the evidence is perfectly satisfactory. and as for your "saving the bloodshed" argument, it is absolute bollocks. to paraphrase terry pratchett, if the Creator was about to say "let there be light" nowadays, the phrase would have been drowned out by all the people demanding to know what colour it was going to be. see also my comment above about "sometimes you have to let your kid stick his finger in the socket, because pain is the only way he's really going to learn this particular lesson." i think your problem is theodicy, not religious law, mate.

mus zibii said:
The error in Sharia law and all religious law, is that it claims the authority of God even while containing human flaw. In secular legality, there's constant reform and debate, and - in theory - potential for inclusive society.
well, we also debate in religious law, don't we? it's hardly as monolithic as it is sometimes presented. anyway, fair enough, we can at least agree that the secular law can be just as big an ass as religious law can be. the essential difference is whether you consider reform to be the ability to discard - whereas i suppose in religious law the things is that you never throw anything away, but rather recycle it, if you see what i mean. either way secular law doesn't seem to me as particularly more valuable for its ability to discard bits, which is what i have been saying from the beginning - those who argue that secular law is intrinsically more valuable, equitable and so on than religious law are just as biased as those they seek to condemn.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
Well, in religious law, questioning religious law is in fact an infraction of religious law. LOL Thus the virtue of the godless rule of the land.
 
banjo said:
If you interpret it how Schizo does then it's pointles coz you will never get four witnesses to adulturous sex.
Hahahaha I see you intentionally ignored everything I wrote in my post.

I knew from the very beginning that you weren't interested in discussing the topic with a genuine desire to learn or understand. I have repeated the explanation for it many times, but its either flying over your head, or you don't have it in you to acknowledge that you assumed incorrectly about Islamic doctrine.

You will still try to argue it senselessly, but thats fine, I understand perfectly.

Only ego at play. :)
 
bananabrain said:
<mod>
much as i agree with your approach to islam and appreciate your knowledgeable contributions, schizo, i don't think general derogatory remarks about arabs are appropriate here.
</end of mod>

b'shalom
Ok I understand. It could have done without. I didn't mean that in a bigotted or racist way. I once heard it from an acquantaince, it raised an eyebrow, but then the more I thought about it, the more I realized it wasn't totally unfounded in reality. For example, if you look at Saudi Arabia, there is about 1 foreign worker for every 2 Saudi nationals. The employment, and the general state of it there is pretty bad. lol
 
Mus Zibii said:
Did the Koran foresee PlayStation? No? Then shut up. LOL Sorry, I've been watching Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Now to try to validate this post with observations on the painfully obvious:
That is a rather weak logic. What is that supposed to mean?

Good values are universal, they apply throughout all times. Why would time affect the goodness of morality?

The error in Sharia law and all religious law, is that it claims the authority of God even while containing human flaw. In secular legality, there's constant reform and debate, and - in theory - potential for inclusive society. The scholarly apologetics for Sharia law is that it united the various Arabian tribes under a single set of rules creating unity and peace. Well, if that contention hasn't been shot to hell, I don't know what is.
The only absolute Sharia is based on the Quran. For example, a crime of murder can be punished with anything up to execution, or forgiven. Then there are other rules and laws, which may not be derived solely from the Quran, but rather by example of some of the early muslim jurists. They employed whatever means worked for them [in their time and setting], and they would consult the Quran as a guideline. It does not mean their words and rulings are eternal or infallible.
 
Well, in religious law, questioning religious law is in fact an infraction of religious law.
absolutely not - in fact, argument is what halacha is based on. to decide on opinion, you must have discussion. on the other hand, one cannot question whether G!D has the authority to make laws - that just doesn't make sense, because if the Divine cannot command, then what on earth is the point?

schizo - you are entitled to express opinions about saudi arabia if you wish (and i may even agree with you) but referring to arabs in general is not really on, as you seem to realise. either way, saudi isn't really an islamic state, as we seem to agree - more a wahhabi one, which is where the problem comes.

Good values are universal, they apply throughout all times. Why would time affect the goodness of morality?
there are still contextual considerations, as you are well aware. for example, the halachic command to eliminate amalek cannot be observed nowadays as it previously could, because there are no longer identifiable amalekites. therefore, the universal value is evidently affected by time through the mechanism of interpretation.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
bananabrain said:
there are still contextual considerations, as you are well aware. for example, the halachic command to eliminate amalek cannot be observed nowadays as it previously could, because there are no longer identifiable amalekites. therefore, the universal value is evidently affected by time through the mechanism of interpretation.
Yes, I understand what you are saying. My original contention was that bringing up something like the playstation is irrelevant as it serves nothing significant in the way of religion or morality. What good would it do, for a religious text to mention the games console? lol

Anyway, the command to eliminate Amalekites is an instruction of action, and may not be applicable today. However, the basis of it may be construed as "To fight/eliminate all tyranny and oppression".

Things like, "thou shalt not murder/steal", treat others as you would like to be treated, help the needy/poor etc etc.. should be universal and applicable throughout all times. There may be some exceptions to the rule, sure, but the basic commands are for the betterment of mankind, and I can't see a time period where it may not apply. That's all I meant. :)
 
bananabrain said:
absolutely not - in fact, argument is what halacha is based on.
Well, I was thinking sharia, though even in the context you spoke of there's the potential of whoever has the most influence can shout down the dissenter as against god. A handful of squabbling clerics aren't the most trustworthy lot I can think of. Far too many bodies on the pyre of heresy in every religion for religious law to work.
 
samabudhi said:
Really, I don't see why you bother.
As soon as there's something you can't explain...'It is Allah's will.'
At least refrain from advertising that the Qu'ran is flawless if you're not going to be able to back up your case.
Samabudhi,

Personally I don't see how the omittance of this verse from the Qu'ran proves that the Book is not flawless (or that it is, for that matter). I think that to prove that the Qu'ran is flawless you would have to investigate it carefully for yourself and consider whether the moral and spiritual teachings of the Qu'ran confirm the moral and spiritual teachings from the Messengers of God that came before the Prophet Muhammed (e.g. the Bible).

I think they do, but you have to take into account that the Bible, while divinely inspired, is not faultless. The translation from the original scrolls might be correct, but these scrolls themselves have been written many years (sometimes even centuries) after the events and their authenticity or historical correctness can not be confirmed. Moses and Jesus were not around to certify them. In contrast, Muhammed has approved his Book.

Also, take into account the time that the Qu'ran was revealed and don't pay too much attention to the various interpretations. Let's face it, the Crusaders interpreted the Bible to justify their war against Islam, and modern terrorists use the Qu'ran to justify their murderous acts.

Also take into account the life of the Prophet Himself. The lives of all God's Messengers are characterised by love, devotion, kindness, firmness, integrity, honesty and all other virtues that They tell us to uphold. Muhammed's life definitely was.

Finally, bear in mind that some of the commandments of the Prophet were applicable to the times in which the Qu'ran was revealed and might not apply in the same way today. An example is the Jihad (the Holy War). In today's age this (in my opinion, of course) is not to be a literal war in which the infidels should be killed.

My two cents worth... :)

Lucien.
 
The lives of all God's Messengers are characterised by love, devotion, kindness, firmness, integrity, honesty and all other virtues that They tell us to uphold. Muhammed's life definitely was.
This is interesting, because I disagree that any let alone all of the recognized messengers of the middle-eastern God were any of those things. But the catch-22 is that neither was Mohomet, so I guess two wrongs make a right in this case. His nuance as recorded in the various hadith don't make him any less than Abraham himself--in my opinion.
 
Mus Zibii said:
This is interesting, because I disagree that any let alone all of the recognized messengers of the middle-eastern God were any of those things. But the catch-22 is that neither was Mohomet, so I guess two wrongs make a right in this case. His nuance as recorded in the various hadith don't make him any less than Abraham himself--in my opinion.
Mus Zibii,

Well, perhaps you could explain why you think this is the case? If we, for instance, look at Jesus then I can't see how you can say that He was not full of love, devotion, honesty, integrity and so on...

Admittedly, we do have the problem that the hadith are not necessarily "authorized", authentic or true. Nevertheless, we do get a general picture of the Prophet. The same applies to the Gospels, which contradict each other in some places, but still give us a good idea of Who Jesus was.

By the way, there is no such thing as a "Middle-Eastern" God - there is only one God and He is loved from East to West and from North to South by everybody who know and seek Him.

Lucien.
 
Well, perhaps you could explain why you think this is the case? If we, for instance, look at Jesus then I can't see how you can say that He was not full of love, devotion, honesty, integrity and so on...
Well, off the top of my head, Jesus ushered in the doctrine of hell, regulated by innumerable variation on what to believe, making it virtually impossible among the various sects of Christianity and Islam to know exactly what to accept in order to be spared an eternity of burning alive. While that's unheard of in Judaism, the punishments suffered by heretics on earth at the hands of Jewish courts was an abbreviated version of hell, AKA Gehenna.

Admittedly, we do have the problem that the hadith are not necessarily "authorized", authentic or true. Nevertheless, we do get a general picture of the Prophet. The same applies to the Gospels, which contradict each other in some places, but still give us a good idea of Who Jesus was.
Its general, all right. Sweeping from one extreme to the next. But again, like you said, its not that different from Christianity or Judaism in what could politely be rendered as 'nuance'.

By the way, there is no such thing as a "Middle-Eastern" God - there is only one God and He is loved from East to West and from North to South by everybody who know and seek Him.
True. But no prophet ever spoke a Germanic tongue, and the provincial flavors of the three Abrahamic religions was always a problem for the clerics. Yahweh spoke (was revealed in, etc) Hebrew, Allah spoke Arabic, and Jesus spoke Greek. Didn't none of 'em speak Norwegian, and in every case, apostasy always followed translation.
 
Schizo said:

I see you intentionally ignored everything I wrote in my post.

I knew from the very beginning that you weren't interested in discussing the topic with a genuine desire to learn or understand. I have repeated the explanation for it many times, but its either flying over your head, or you don't have it in you to acknowledge that you assumed incorrectly about Islamic doctrine.

You will still try to argue it senselessly, but thats fine, I understand perfectly.

Only ego at play.

Not at all. It's just that you didn't address my point. You said:

So what has happened here is this; no one can accuse a woman of Zinaa unless he/she is a spouse, because really it is none of their damn business

So no one can accuse someone else of adultery because there will never be four witnesses. So what's the point of mentioning it in the quran then? Why does the quran bother to define a crime and then stipulate impossible standards of evidence?

If you are to be believed, the reason the quran does this is to say that no third party can ever accuse someone else of adultery. It would seem to be a very roundabout way of going about it. Why doesn't the quran just say that adultery is wrong but third parties can't bring any action? Why stipulate an impossible amount of witnesses?

Imagine if I started my own religion and I said that eating fish is (legally) wrong and punishable by the state but only if the accuser is able to produce 15 witnesses, the bones of the fish plus all that fish's brothers and sisters.

There's no point in making something into a crime and then stipulating ridiculous standards of evidence. In practical terms it's not really a crime if it is completely unenforceable.

One thing you will notice about all secular legal systems is that NONE of them do this. All crimes have certain standards of evidence. Different crimes have different standards of evidence but, in no case, is a particular crime defined and then an impossible standard of evidence set. There would be no point. It would just be verbal waffle. It wouldn't mean anything.

This is probably the reason why countries like Pakistan define zina to include rape - because if you don't then it means nothing. Why would God tell us something that means nothing? What would be the point? The quran is only a very short book so every sentence is important, there's no room for excess waffle.

This is thus a flaw in the quran. If you define it as you do then it's a flaw because it has no meaning, if you define it how Pakistan defines it then it is a flaw because it is extremely dangerous and illogical (4 witnesses to a rape). So however you look at it, it's a flaw. The very fact that more than one interpretation is possible is in itself a flaw, whatever the correct meaning may be.

And quite a large flaw at that since it covers the whole spectrum from meaning nothing right up to dealing with rape.

bananabrain said:

you're surely not suggesting that, say UK law does not apply to people in the UK who are not UK citizens? it's hardly much different.

What I meant was that islam differs from things like christianity and secular humanism in that it has a legal system at all. A religion with a legal system attached.

*grin* if you're american or even british, sharia and certainly halacha predate the legal systems of both these countries, isn't the onus on the later systems?

Sharia doesn't predate English Common law, ECL is older by many centuries. Scroll back in this thread to near where I first joined in, we dealt with this then.

And anyway, the age of a legal system is only relevant if that legal system has been changing and adapting over all that time. If the legal system has always been the same then it shows that it hasn't learnt anything.

which is one of the reasons why (and i quote an islamic theologian) that there is "no islamic state currently existing in the world". pakistan can't be truly islamic due to a) tribal law and b) corruption.

This is something that muslims often say - that no true islamic state exists in the world but that it is something that should be aspired to. The point I've been trying to make in this thread is not whether any of the states that currently exist in the world are truly islamic. My point is that the true islamic state is not something that is even worth aspiring to - because it's flawed.

yes, the *system* expects a commitment but, as i said, this commitment may not be as straightforward as you think it is, particularly in respect of what marriage is actually considered to be at least in judaism. you are now saying that you're only talking about what is in people's mind at the moment they say "i do" or whatever, which is a much more specific point and specifying the perspective of the couple and the minister concerned. and when you restrict it to what you say you're actually referring to, i don't see a terribly big insight, other than "people ought to mean it when they get married" - with which i agree wholeheartedly.

I'm not talking about what people "ought to think when they get married". It's a legal thing, a contractual thing. Intention is a very important concept. You can commit a crime without even doing anything - just having the intention to commit that crime. You can nullify a contract just because you lacked the correct intention.

Intention is important, legally important. And when I say legally I mean it in a broad way to include religions as well. Under christianity, you need to have the requisite intention in order to have a valid marriage. Likewise under other religious systems too.

Lucien said:

Personally I don't see how the omittance of this verse from the Qu'ran proves that the Book is not flawless (or that it is, for that matter). I think that to prove that the Qu'ran is flawless you would have to investigate it carefully for yourself and consider whether the moral and spiritual teachings of the Qu'ran confirm the moral and spiritual teachings from the Messengers of God that came before the Prophet Muhammed (e.g. the Bible).

I think they do

I don't understand how you can say they do when islam teaches completely different things from christianity which itself teaches completely different things from judaism. If they were all the same then we wouldn't have different religions, there would be no point since they would all agree with each other.

Also take into account the life of the Prophet Himself. The lives of all God's Messengers are characterised by love, devotion, kindness, firmness, integrity, honesty and all other virtues that They tell us to uphold. Muhammed's life definitely was.

Hmm...slightly surprised about this paragraph but then this isn't a thread about Mohammed so no need to get sidetracked. Is it not true to say that Mohammed was no Jesus? Far as I recall, he was involved in about 60 wars in his lifetime (most of which he started), ambushed Jewish trading caravans, made treaties which he subsequently broke (and had intended to break when he made them), married a 6 year old girl and had sex with her when she was 9, killed various opponents of his who merely told him they didn't agree with him (they had no intention of being violent to him, they just didn't agree with him) etc etc.

Whether you think the above is arguable or not, you can't dispute that Mohammed was something of a warrior. But no need to get sidetracked.

Mus Zibii said:

Well, in religious law, questioning religious law is in fact an infraction of religious law. LOL Thus the virtue of the godless rule of the land.

Preach it, brother.
 
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