Cyon Corell

Ask a Muslim/Questions About Islam

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Hey All,

As per Mirage's request and despite my hesitancy (my knowledge as human is inherently limited), I've decided to start a thread wherein people can ask questions about Islam and the Muslim(s) here on this forum can attempt to answer said questions. I'm not trying to convert any of y'all, since faith is a gift from God and as such a person will only believe if He wills. I'm just trying to answer some questions people might have about Islam and hopefully clear any and all misconceptions about said subject. If I or others can't answer the questions, we'll endeavour to find those who can. I'll probably also end up posting some links to YouTube videos on said subject(s) related to Islam, just to elucidate things further. Anywho, look forward to hearing from y'all and God bless, in whatever way and time He wills...

See ya on the flipside,

Altan

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Here's a video that gives an introduction to Islamic teachings:



I've watched it in the past and of there is anything confusing about it, just let me know and I'll try and clear things up. Also, I'll probably be posting a short glossary of some Islamic terms, just to elucidate some of the discussion in this and other videos on Islam. Finally here's another video on a topic that is of great importance in Muslim-Non-Muslim relations:



Thanks for granting us Muslims this chance to clear up any misconceptions concerning our faith as well as the chance to spread some knowledge concerning it.

EDIT: Just noticed that in the first video I linked, the audio goes out from 1:58:53/54-2:08:19/20 and is replaced by a repetitive clicking sound for that segment of it. Other than that, the video should prove quite informative (hopefully).

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Hi. I've heard that Muslim men are allowed to have up to 4 wives.

 

Is this really true...? :( Do most of them exercise this right?

 

 Do you think there are any Muslim men out there who would be perfectly content with having just one wife....?

 

Thank you so much in advance! and I apologize deeply for my ignorance. My own brief research on this subject didn't really turn up anything reassuring... :(

 

(>_<)

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Hi. I've heard that Muslim men are allowed to have up to 4 wives.

 

Is this really true...? :( Do most of them exercise this right?

 

 Do you think there are any Muslim men out there who would be perfectly content with having just one wife....?

 

Thank you so much in advance! and I apologize deeply for my ignorance. My own brief research on this subject didn't really turn up anything reassuring... :(

 

(>_<)

hey! im muslim!

 

it is true that a muslim man can have multiple wives, but there are "rules" when that happens. each wife is to be given a house, and basically treated equally financially, and emotionally. Muslim men aren't forced to marry more than one wife, if thats what youre getting at, and not many do.

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Thanks Neen for clarifying that. It's always a good thing to see/hear a Muslimah answering questions about the faith...after all, it's Islam not Hislam :P.

@Lexia322: As far as statistics are concerned, I've seen it shown that 90%+ of all marriages in the Muslim world and worldwide community are monogomous. So, while polygny (one man, multiple wives) is allowed for those extreme situations that have arisen at various times in various human societies where events, for instance wars, killed off a lot of the men...or there were, due to some other reason or another, not enough available men for marriage, is not a common phenomenon.

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Why are Christians and Jews called "People of the Book?"

Also, is it forbidden for the Quran to be written in any other language except Arabic?

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The term 'People of the Book' refers to the fact that the Jews and Christians have a Scripture that was sent to them by God (for example the Torah of Moses, the Psalms of David, and the Gospel of Jesus (peace be upon them all).

As for writing the Q'uran in a language other than Arabic, you can't really call it the Q'uran if it's not in Arabic. You'd, properly speaking, refer to it as an interpretation of the Q'uran, because that's what it really is in that case, since the translator had to interpret its meaning, in order to translate it.

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Love this thread! I have started a trend!

 

I have a question. In Christianity, there's four general types of prayer:

 

Adoration: acknowledging God's goodness and worshipping Him (e.g. the Gloria "Glory to God in the Highest..." (although, I think the Gloria is a specifically Catholic prayer, but it's a good example))

 

Petition: asking for God to help you, or to help others (e.g. to help a sick relative)

 

Thanksgiving: thanking God for His blessings and for answered petitions (e.g. "Thank You for helping me through all my exams")

 

Contrition: asking God's forgiveness for sins committed (e.g. the Confiteor "I confess to Almighty God...that I have greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do..." (Again, that's a Catholic prayer, I think))

 

(Personally, I'd add in a fifth type, which is babbling to God all about random stuff, like how your day went, or what you think the message of a book you read was, and so on. I do a lot of that.)

 

Anyway, I was wondering, is it the same in Islam? Do you pray to God for things like curing relatives, or help with exams, and that kind of thing? It's just something I wondered recently, so I figured I'd ask. (Sorry if one of the videos you've posted has already answered it.)

 

xxx

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Hmn...interesting. We do have a similar general scheme. The first (adoration) consists of the formal prayer (the five obligatory ones and the recommended ones that people perform on top of those). These formal prayers have certain rules attached to them concerning such things as ritual cleanliness, what is recited, they're timing, and the direction they're prayed in, etc. The next is called 'dua' which essentially consists of petitioning God for help and such (i.e. you can just talk to God, via dua, but typically it's used to ask for help). Contrition in Islam is referred to as 'tawba' or repentance/turning back to God. Typically we reciting the phrase/litany 'astaghfirullah' which means 'I seek forgiveness with/in God' while we contemplate our sins and bring ourselves to feeling remorse for them. In fact, you're supposed to also try and bring tears to your eyes, as tears represent the softening of one's spiritual heart and thus help make the repentance real and effective. And yes, there are specific prayers for such things as curing relatives, help with exams, and such.

 

Here's another couple of videos on the subject of prayer:

 

 

 

This is a site I've used in the past:

 

http://www.duas.org/

 

It looks like they're Shiite (I'm technically speaking Sunni...though I'm not really a fan (to put it lightly) of any form of sectarianism and thus I have nothing against Shiites as a whole...just might not agree with some of their beliefs (I can get into that in a later post)). Most of the stuff on this site is of a nature that even a Sunni could use it, so to speak. Here's another (this one looks to be Sunni):

 

http://www.islamawareness.net/Dua/

 

I'll put some stuff up on the Shia/Sunni divide in a bit. If you've got some more questions about the prayers, I'd be more than happy to answer your questions.

 

See ya on the flipside,

 

Altan

 

P.S.: Sorry if these videos seem overwhelming, but there's a lot of information, for those who are interested.

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Hi Altan!  :)

 

You've mentioned Shia and Sunni here, but I was wondering if you knew more about Sufism? From what I've heard, it sounds like a beautiful subset of Islam (Islam in general sounds like a beautiful, loving faith to me), and I was hoping you could tell me more. From what I understand, it's very much about embracing the love of God in this life and to love God as wholly as one can, but I'd love to learn more!

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Sufism is one of the eighteen sciences of the faith and not a sect or denomination. One can be a Sunni Sufi or a Shia Sufi, iow. The Sunni and Shia divide is, in reality something political that later gained religious connotations. As far as Sufism is concerned, the closest thing to divisions are the turuq or orders of Sufis, some of which are Sunni and others Shia. Essentially practicing Sufism means to internalize one's Islam, by living the faith to its fullest. Sufism iow, is the core or root of Islam, as the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the first Sufi Master...all Sufi Orders trace their spiritual lineage back to him, either through Ali ibn Abi Talib or through Abu Bakr (may God be well pleased with them). Funny that you posted this question, since I was about to post a link to a film about one the greatest Sufi masters, Imam Al Ghazali. Guess I really need to do that now :P.

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Pardon the double post, but I'm going to elaborate a bit further. Basically, in our faith, there are three main stages or stations that one passes through as a believer. The first is known as Shariat and has to do with the outward form of the faith. In other words, in this first stage one works to establish one's outward adherence to the principles of the faith (establishing the practice of the five pillars, etc.). This is usually what people talk about when they speak of Islam (whether referring to the actual outward practice or the theology, which, in a sense also does fall under this category, to some extent). The second stage is known Tariqat and is where one first starts to internalize the faith by purifying one's spiritual heart of various bad qualities (anger for the sake of one's ego, wrongful lust, arrogance, etc.). This stage leads into Haqiqat, the summit of which is Marifat. Essentially Haqiqat refers to various levels of enlightenment/spiritual liberation, the greatest of which is Marifat. This is basically the theoretical layout of things, as a lot of this has to be lived and experienced. Sufism deals with the second two stages/stations, but it rests upon the various religious sciences that are concerned with the first. So, in a sense, this is a case of religion and spirituality working hand in hand. Anywho, hope I haven't confused anyone too much.

 

See ya on the flipside,

 

Altan

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I don't know a lot about Islam just the basic stuff. A friend did mention that they have something similar in Quran,since I'm very interested in this subject of  Blessed Virgin Mary who is referred as Miriam mother of Isa (as Christians say Jesus) so I found this wonderful piece of article on Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_in_Islam

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Here are a few videos on the subject, StayingPure:







I did post the third in the list somewhere else once, but given that we're talking about Islam and Christianity (similarities vs. dissimilarities, etc.) I thought to repost it here. Hope these help...

See ya on the flipside,

Cyon Corell

P.S.: The third clip is from a film known in English as 'The Message', made back in the 1970's by Moustapha Akkad. If I can find it again, I might post the link here, as it basically covers the whole of the story of the arrival and rise of Islam.

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I have no question, but I want to thank you Atlan for this informative thread and for your great efforts to answer the requested questions :D

 

Good Luck 

Abdel

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Thanks for the encouragement Abdel. Also, here's the full version of the movie that contains the third clip I linked to in my last post:

 

http://vimeo.com/30605460

 

This is 'The Message' by Moustapha Akkad. It was made back in the 1970's and covers the early history of Islam in much the same style as many of the great Biblical movies/films. Hope y'all enjoy it.

 

See ya on the flipside,

 

Cyon Corell

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What is your take on Jihad or what many call "Holy War"? I know there is an inner struggle but there is also that physical outer struggle aspect of it. It's that aspect that we see far too often in media. I come from a country where war ensued after much fighting over religion. I was too young but according to my parents Muslims over there came after the Christians and had many, many kids in order to become the majority. Eventually this led to bickering and eventually a full scale civil war. Kosovo which was a region of my country for example was part of Yugoslavia and after the war it was part of Serbia. Kosovo was simply a territory of Serbia that was predominantly Muslim. So they used their religion as some sort of justification that they should receive independence. Today many countries recognize Kosovo as a nation but I don't. It's no different if the majority of Hispanics decided to have California become a country of it's own. This kind of stuff is going on in Southern Russia and other European countries. Seems like to me behind religious wars, religious fighting, religious territorial issues Islam always has some sort of major role. Christianity has no "Holy War". We can try to convert unbelievers  but we do not have permission from God be violent about it. God is love. I don't believe Islam's God is loving from what I know. If I'm wrong please explain. I've always been accepting of others and respectful, but it's hard not to notice Islam is behind many of today's atrocities. America is too but lol that's another conversation.  Also, why is it that the U.S and many other European countries for example allow for Mosques to be built due to freedom of religion, but if you try to build a Church in Saudi Arabia the Muslims would cry foul. It's just another thing that is very questionable regarding Islam and it's followers.

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What is your take on Jihad or what many call "Holy War"? I know there is an inner struggle but there is also that physical outer struggle aspect of it. It's that aspect that we see far too often in media. I come from a country where war ensued after much fighting over religion. I was too young but according to my parents Muslims over there came after the Christians and had many, many kids in order to become the majority. Eventually this led to bickering and eventually a full scale civil war. Kosovo which was a region of my country for example was part of Yugoslavia and after the war it was part of Serbia. Kosovo was simply a territory of Serbia that was predominantly Muslim. So they used their religion as some sort of justification that they should receive independence. Today many countries recognize Kosovo as a nation but I don't. It's no different if the majority of Hispanics decided to have California become a country of it's own. This kind of stuff is going on in Southern Russia and other European countries. Seems like to me behind religious wars, religious fighting, religious territorial issues Islam always has some sort of major role. Christianity has no "Holy War". We can try to convert unbelievers  but we do not have permission from God be violent about it. God is love. I don't believe Islam's God is loving from what I know. If I'm wrong please explain. I've always been accepting of others and respectful, but it's hard not to notice Islam is behind many of today's atrocities. America is too but lol that's another conversation.  Also, why is it that the U.S and many other European countries for example allow for Mosques to be built due to freedom of religion, but if you try to build a Church in Saudi Arabia the Muslims would cry foul. It's just another thing that is very questionable regarding Islam and it's followers.

 

Thanks for your question! I refer you to this article for an explanation on what Jihad really is: http://www.onislam.net/english/ask-the-scholar/international-relations-and-jihad/jihad-rulings-and-regulations/174988.html?Regulations=

 

I just want to reiterate that Islam condemns terrorism! Islam condemns suicide and Islam condemns attacking and killing innocents and civilians! If we look at any war that happened during the time of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), it was all done as self-defense. Either they were declared war on or attacked first or they were thrown out of their houses and had to fight to reclaim what was rightfully theirs. So Jihad in the end is just self-defense, protecting one's life, liberty, property, standing up against injustice and oppression, etc.

 

And even in those wars, there were rules: No attacking civilians or innocents, No attacking children or the elders, No attacking churches or synagogues or other places of worship, No burning trees, Only fighting whoever was fighting you, etc.

 

Also there is a verse in the Qur'an that starts, "La Ikraha fid deen..." or in its translation, "There is no compulsion in religion...(2:256)". This tells us that one can't force anyone to change their faith or to change their religion or to convert to something else. And we also lose things in translations. You see that "a" at the end of "ikraha"? From a grammatical point of view in Arabic, that "a" implies total negation, i.e. a better translation would be "There is NO compulsion AT ALL, WHATSOEVER in religion..." thereby showing that God is emphasizing this fact even strongly. So anybody who starts a war to force anyone to become a different religion is going BLATANTLY against what God has been telling us in the Qur'an.

 

So again, any form of terrorism, anybody blowing up themselves in the name of God or a religion, anybody attacking innocents and civilians; anybody doing anything that is labeled as a "holy war" is BLATANTLY violating the laws and rules that God Almighty has stated in the Qur'an! And God Almighty will deal with them, be it in this life or in the next!

 

I hope that I've explained myself ok.

 

And regarding the church building in Saudi Arabia, that's not really an Islamic-related issue, that's more of the government of Saudi Arabia issue. In early Islamic history, non-Muslims were living side by side with Muslims in Muslim countries and were allowed to practice their religion, build their religious buildings, celebrate their holidays, etc. And these are the examples that we follow. So again, this is something that's not an Islamic-related issue, but it's something that you'd probably have to talk with the Saudi government themselves about, lol!

 

I hope that I've made myself clear too.

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 What are pleasure/temporary marriages about and what are the reasons behind the practice?  A friend of mine was trying to explain it to me and I have to admit I have never heard of such a thing before. It sounded like a casual affair kind of thing ...

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That's something you typically find among the Shiites, tbh (nikah mutah). The closest thing among Sunnis is nikah misyar, though even this is heavily frowned upon by most scholars, as it leaves the woman involved more at the mercy of the man, which is something that Islam forbids. Nikah mutah is a 'marriage' that is set for a cerain period of time and with certain stipulations agreed upon by the participating individuals, signed by a judge. That's basically what it is (with various rights forfeited by the woman, which is why it's forbidden among Sunnis). Nikah misyar is considered more binding, but again gives less rights to the woman involved, which is why, again, it is generally forbidden. Ultimately though, any forfeiting of rights has to be done only with the wife-to-be's free consent. The only widely accept marriage is the usual one, in other words, one where the wife has full rights, as does the husband. This is, of course, according to a textual, by-the-book approach. Just my two cents. Hope that clears some things up.

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