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Carter -- It doesn't make any sense to me, either

Reader comment on item: Muslim Taxi Drivers vs. Seeing-Eye Dogs
in response to reader comment: Actually, it's not so simple ...

Submitted by GWK (United States), Jan 7, 2008 at 21:42

Carter -- I am a westerner and attended very liberal parochial schools where the Christian Brothers who taught us encouraged free-questioning during our raucus theology discussions 6th grade through 12th. Your question would have been allowed about Christianity, Judaism or Catholicism. And the New England trained brothers or the Jesuit guests they brought to class would have tried their best to resolve theological questions. As a semi-liberal Christian, I try to figure out how I would respond if I had been brought up under the Hadiths and Quran. But I cannot pretend to be more than a novice. Even pretending to be that is an overstatement of my understanding of Quranic theology.

One of my greatest frustrations is that some Suras and some Hadith are an odd combination of apples and oranges. This one about finding a puppy under a child's bed and then saying "Angels do not come to homes with dogs or paintings, is pretty odd. I suspect that it follows an earlier set of Hadiths in which the Prophet chastised one of his wives -- usually the infant, Ayesha -- for something like buying embroidered pillows with animals depicted on them or something.

If this Hadith followed such a warning, then it would make about as much sense as some of the pairings in the OT Book of Proverbs do. But for a scholarly opinion, I'd keep on researching. If I thought that becoming a Islamic scholar would make me a better person, then I would drop everything and follow that path.

But I do think it is important to appreciate that much of Muslim custom has a root in Quran or Hadith, and somebody better than us will have to reconcile Quran and Hadith with a free, secular, and pluralistic world, or the multitudes of undereducated, overly zealous youths being born in the Muslim world will take the word of the Madrassah imams as "gospel" truth.

Submitting....

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