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Confused about your answer to first question

Reader comment on item: Is Allah God?
in response to reader comment: Questions to Nuray

Submitted by John Bastile (Malaysia), Jan 16, 2006 at 20:08

Dear Nuray,

Thank you for your elaborate answers to the first question. Your knowledge and zeal in Islam is commendable.

From your answers, as summarised, it is concluded that

Allah doesn't treat women and men differently to give permission in order to enter heaven.
You mentioned consistency in the treatment of women and men in Quran.
You quoted some verses of Quran that offered rewards in Paradise.

Bracelets of gold and pearls, and their garments there will be of silk. Very special gift (Houri) for men. Women will not be treated as Houris in the Paradise. Male Houris are never promised for women. Most probably women will live as wives of Muslim men as they do on earth.

You ended your paragraphs by noting that there are problems in which muslims women must fight on preserve their rights in a muslim society.

I'm confused over several issues now. I hope not to take too much of your time.

1. When your prophet visited hell and heaven, he claimed that most women will end up in hell.

Bukhari:V1B22N28 "The Prophet said: ‘I was shown the Hell Fire and the majority of its dwellers were women who are disbelievers or ungrateful.' When asked what they were ungrateful for, the Prophet answered, ‘All the favors done for them by their husbands.'"

There is also another verse that points out why.

Tabari I:280 "Allah said, ‘It is My obligation to make Eve bleed once every month as she made this tree bleed. I must also make Eve stupid, although I created her intelligent.' Because Allah afflicted Eve, all of the women of this world menstruate and are stupid."

It is notable that muslim women have fewer rights in Islam. They represent half a person in Sharia laws as witnesses. They are not entitled to houris unlike their male counterparts.


2. Your Paradise speaks of carnal pleasures.

The rewards in heaven for muslims are about food, wine, clothes and sex. Is there no mention of a comune with God like Christian faiths or spiritual enlightenment and conciousness like Buddhist faiths? Why does Islamic paradise appeals only to the basic animal instints of mankind and nothing about the soul?

I seek a theological flaw here.

Here on earth, the basic need for food is for survival. The basic need for sex is to propagate and ensure the continuity of mankind. Humans also have other 'needs and wants' such as nice clothes and jewelry for their 'egos', wine for pleasure, and sex for pleasure.

Why should muslims have these as rewards if life in Paradise is for eternity?

Do they need to eat? Will they feel hunger? Do they have sexual urges? Since, muslim men in paradise have more than one houris, they have to make a decision which one they would like to have sex with at a particular time. They may want to eat later. Therefore, TIME continues to exist in this eternity. That's a theological flaw. Muslims in paradise need to continue making decisions all the time. When to eat, when to drink, and when to have sex. What happens if one muslim man decides to only have sex with houris. Will his wife, who is destined to be with him, feel outcast? She has no male houris to satisy her sexual needs. She can possibly spent eternity being denied of sexual pleasures while her husband meets his sexual needs with the houris he has.

All these rewards to meet the desires of men. All the choices that have to be made. Muslims in paradise will continue to have feelings. If you don't, you will not be moved to eat or drink or wear beautiful clothes. I'm sure you don't mean that these things are metamorpohical since Mohammed himself had visited heaven and seen them.

Wait a minute. Don't these desires of men cause sin here on earth? Isn't sin a choice?

3. What's the purpose of life?

Can you please help me in understanding the meaning of life as a muslim. You believe that Allah created all humans. Some are muslims, the majority (about 80% today) are non-muslims. For the majority, they are to learn the truth. If not, they are to be condemed and tortured in hell. For someone born in remote China over these past years, he will most likely never have heard of Islam. Yet, his fate is to be tortured in eternity in hellfire for being a non-muslim. For the minority (20% today), they shall be tested and have to comply with strict sharia laws. They shall then work towards achieving points. Points are earned when performing prayers and many other things. When they die and are admitted to paradise, they are given these rewards in which they spent till eternity.
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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