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RE: Mark & Abdul Rahman comments

Reader comment on item: Something Rotten in Denmark?
in response to reader comment: Abdul Rahman - Christian ? Muslim ? Execution ?

Submitted by Hind Samy (Egypt), Mar 28, 2006 at 07:20

Hello again Mark,

The example you give of the case of the controversy arising when a man uttered the words talaq while asleep -

"This is a totally unnecessary controversy and the local 'community leaders' or whosoever has said it are totally ignorant of Islamic law," said Zafarul Islam Khan, an Islamic scholar and editor of The Milli Gazette, a popular Muslim newspaper.
"The law clearly says any action under compulsion or in a state of intoxication has no effect. The case of someone uttering something while asleep falls under this category and will have no impact whatsoever," Khan told Reuters.

Khan is totally right - divorce isn't correct when someone is asleep?! That is ridiculous. Of course it was an unnecessary controversy, I can't believe it was even discussed.

Unfortunately people take concepts out of the Koran and use them out of proper context to suit themselves - this usually happens out of ignorance or as an attempt to justify their corrupt goals. The fault lies with the people doing this, not Islam. All scriptures can be used out of context to justify wrong doings. This is human nature - trying to justify ones actions. It is not the fault of Islam or any religion. Using text (from any scripture) out of context can be very dangerous (please read earlier posts on this issue as I have attempted to show - something that was removed from my post is that the New Testament is full of talk about how the Jews are backstabbing people who betrayed Jesus - Hitler could have certainly found inspiration in this).

The Koran is not that confusing - I have to admit it is a bit complex (as is the Bible and the Torah I would assume), but God gaves us all brains (hopefully), and if people were to go to the true source (ie. the Koran itself) and practice common sense and keep the sense of what is right and wrong in place, they would see what God really wants from us. Which is basically this (these are 3 different interpretations ie. "translations" of the same verse):

004.036
YUSUFALI: Serve Allah, and join not any partners with Him; and do good- to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbours who are near, neighbours who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (ye meet), and what your right hands possess: For Allah loveth not the arrogant, the vainglorious;-
PICKTHAL: And serve Allah. Ascribe no thing as partner unto Him. (Show) kindness unto parents, and unto near kindred, and orphans, and the needy, and unto the neighbour who is of kin (unto you) and the neighbour who is not of kin, and the fellow-traveller and the wayfarer and (the slaves) whom your right hands possess. Lo! Allah loveth not such as are proud and boastful,
SHAKIR: And serve Allah and do not associate any thing with Him and be good to the parents and to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the neighbor of (your) kin and the alien neighbor, and the companion in a journey and the wayfarer and those whom your right hands possess; surely Allah does not love him who is proud, boastful;

There are many suras in the Koran about doing good to fellow man.

A poster on another forum explained the nature of the Koran in a better way than I can:

"What everyone needs to understand is that the Quran is very complex. The Quran is a little like Shakespeare. Yes, Shakespeare is written in the English language, but that doesn't mean you can read a line and immediately know what it means. The reason is that modern English is different from the English in Shakespeare's time. Language, English and Arabic, is always evolving. Although the Quran is written in Arabic, its not in the same everyday Arabic that people speak today. Furthermore, it is written in poetic verses rather than straightforward paragraphs. You can't take a few lines from one of Shakespeare's plays out of context and know what the entire play is about. Similarly, you can't extract a few words out of context from a translation of the Quran and tell people that's what the entire book is about. The Quran is such a complex book that people who translate it study it for years, and each person who translates it gives it their interpretation of it."
Imran.

You then go on to talk about cases of rape in the UAE - again, please seperate the actions of man with what we are specifically told in the Koran. You seem like a very rational and intelligent man so please don't fall in the common fallacy of mixing the actions of man, the man made interpretations of law and the religion. Islam in NO WAY condones rape - in fact it clearly states in the Koran that rape is actually worse than murder because it involves sex, violence and oppression (3 major sins in the Koran) - so you can imagine that committing these 3 acts against a person amounts to a terrible sin (worse than even murder). I am not familliar with Emarati law but I can assure you what seem to be happening in this case this is not the law of the Koran. Here is a nice article and explanation of what rape is in the Koran:

http://www.submission.org/women/rape.html

"There is no where in the Quran any indication to blame the rape victim instead of blaming the rapist. When and if this happens, it does not represent Islam but represents cultural understanding and man made laws, not God's commands in the Quran."

Again, this is human nature.
I try to answer your questions as best as I can as I am not a theologian and I am far from knowing everything in my religion. I am in a state of Jihad (an effort to better myself in my knowledge of my religion, to better myself as a human being, and an effort to become closer to God).

Finally you say:
"Islam needs to clean up its act. It is no point replying with something that some redneck did as an example of moral equivalence. Remember I am not a Christian. I prefer there was no religion. But where is God in Islam? It seems he has not been very active in influencing local leadership and especially the law..."

I disagree - it is not Islam that needs to "clean up its act" it is people who do. People are and always will be fallible - unfortunately the actions of a few so called "Muslims" and power hungry people acting under the false pretext that this is what Islam is are giving Islam a bad reputation, please note they are a minority - Western media is also contributing to magnify these problems (there are so many terrible crimes happening all over the world by people of all religions but we don't keep hearing about it in such an exaggerated way, the Western media seems to be obsessed with finding fault in the Muslim world I am sure you will agree). You will find that true Muslims are nothing like what the media is trying to portray.

What works for me in my personal Jihad is to return to the source (the Koran) and try to figure out things for myself - I take what people say with a pinch of salt and try to use my brains, that's what they're there for - afterall all God wants from us is to be better people - that is religion in a nutshell. It's not all that complicated afterall.

As for your comment about where God is in Islam - I believe God created us with free will - we are not driven - we make our choices be they right or wrong and have to live with the consequences. You could also question why God allows tragedies like the tsunami to claim the lives of thousands but then we'd be in a whole different ball game and discussions of this philosophical nature are best left to people who like to delve into them, I for one don't. We are creatures of free will in my opinion and we will all be judged according to what we do.
Submitting....

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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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