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My Name

Reader comment on item: A Democratic Islam?
in response to reader comment: Our dear Khawla and democracy

Submitted by Khawla (United Arab Emirates), May 27, 2008 at 04:43

Hello!

I would like to tell you that my name in Arabic means: "gazelle". A beautiful name :)

I am, thus, proud to mention my name when commenting on this Website or on others. What is your name?

It seems you are an Arab. I am sure you read a Mu'jam (Arabic dictionary). You can check for Arabic dictionaries online and here is the meaning of my name (it is in Arabic).

Khawla is a famous Arabic name. The Prophet Muhammad did not order women whose name was Khawla to change it. If it is a slang Egyptian word, it does not mean I have to change my name ;)

And Nayk in Arabic means: many, more, or to fall asleep. If it is a bad slang word and not Arabic in meaning, non-Arabs should not care. People do not have to change their name if it happens that in another language it means something bad. Should we do a research before naming our child?

Now I come to the question: What is the difference between Tqwa and Taqia? They are related and have similar meanings. Taqwa is piety which is to fear the God:

"Fear of Allah, being careful, knowing your place in the cosmos. Its proof is the experience of awe, of Allah, which inspires a person to be on guard against wrong action and eager for actions pleasing to Allah. Fearing Allah as He should be feared is one of the signs of being faithful Muslims. Piety and restarint (through Taqwa) in times of hardship are signs of having achieved the essence and spirit of Islam, and thus Allah's blessing. See Holy Qur'an, Aali ‘Imran (3):102-103, Al-Hashr (59):18-19. Source"

And the verse you mentioned did not include taqia. It mentioned tattaqu: a verb (speaking to a group) meaning "to fear, to avoid, or to protect". And tuqatan (tuqat) is the noun of the verb tattaqi (speaking to an individual) and it means "fear, avoidance, or protecting". And in this context it emphasizes that condition of fear for your own life. We say "ittaqi al matar - protect yourself from the rain" and we say "ittaqi ghadab walidik! - fear the anger of your father!" I looked in the dictionary and found that taqia and tuqat have the same meaning. So the verse means:

"Let not the believers take the disbelievers as patrons, rather than, that is, instead of, the believers — for whoever does that, that is, [whoever] takes them as patrons, does not belong to, the religion of, God in anyway — unless you protect yourselves against them, as a safeguard (tuqātan, ‘as a safeguard', is the verbal noun from taqiyyatan), that is to say, [unless] you fear something, in which case you may show patronage to them through words, but not in your hearts: this was before the hegemony of Islam and [the dispensation] applies to any individual residing in a land with no say in it. God warns you, He instills fear in you, of His Self, [warning] that He may be wrathful with you if you take them as patrons; and to God is the journey's end, the return, and He will requite you."

I do not remember in which comment someone mentioned taqia. According to his comment replying to my comment I understood he meant taqwa. These two words have no bad meaning. I am not ashamed that I do not know this word. We use the word taqwa and tuqat a lot. The Arabic language is very broad. Thousands of words are not used in our common speech and writing. And I did not study in an Islamic school. And I did not study the Arabic language as a specialty.

Now, to the topic of democracy. In my previous comments I was arguing about two essential things in life: justice and rights. These two principles must go and stay together. Democracy according to the West is rights and freedom. But, rights and freedom according to democracy are absolute. It views that people are free to do what they like and what they want without concerning about the outcome and consequences on themselves and on others. To me, this is negative. We have to be positive and fair. And Sharia, a broad system, ensures justice as wells as rights:

"The purpose of the shari`a is not to protect Allah or His rights, but to protect the lives, honor and property of all people who live under this shari`a."

And Shura, counseling with the knowledgeable, is positive. It is a part of Sharia. Shura is not organized to decide on a negative thing. Knowledgeable people and experts are counseled to see if a decision would be made would have good or bad consequences or both. The experts will compare this decision to others and outweigh their consequences. The best decision that will benefit all will be chosen. This is how justice and rights are ensured. The quality of the votes made by ordinary people should be questioned. Pleasing the most of people is not always good if it harms others. We have to please all. This is justice, is not it?

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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