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Old 04-08-2018, 03:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
I work for a Muslim family. They are great people, great employers, well-respected, and run their business with integrity. And funny as all get-out, too.
Yes, we do get out too. And we are humans like any other human.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Two weeks ago I went with them to a dinner given by the alumni of the engineering school in Karachi. They gave out scholarships to young engineering students.

Everyone who got up to speak started out with the Arabic phrase (I am not sure how it is said and spelled exactly) that more or less means "Peace be with you". That's what we Episcopalians say, too. We're not that different.
It is said in Arabic, "assalamu alaikum". It is wishing peace for everyone being addressed. It is also said to another Muslim passing by, just as it was said to each other during the days of Jesus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
I was one of about 8 people out of 100 who was not Pakistani or American of Pakistani origin, which was obvious to everyone else. They were all so nice, pointing out what the different foods were while we were on the buffet line. My coworker and I, who ran out of the WTC together on 9/11, were giggling over the whole scenario that some people we know would think that these people are who we ran away from that day.

But, they're not. We ran from terrorism, and that wasn't what was going on here.
People in the West (particularly the politicians and the media pundits) need to learn that most Muslims are very ordinary and peaceful people. Even they are against terrorism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
It was a bunch of people who are building things in the US and taking their place in American society. One of the women engineers, in traditional Paki dress and wearing a hijab centered her speech around the fact although some of the scholarship recipients were young women, we need to emphasize math and physics more to our daughters and steer them toward the engineering disciplines. I wished more people could have seen this and understood that what they fear is cultural, not Islam.
Yes, a lot of handicap is often due to culture rather than Islam. Islam doesn't forbid them either education, work or anything that helps or may help other humans. My own daughters are graduates and professionals in the field of education, well respected by the other professionals in the same field and the parents. Just as they were once helped (in the West) by their teachers in schools, colleges and universities, they are now helping others to progress and make a difference to their lives and the lives of others in the society.

Together, so much can be done not only for today's society but for the generations to come too.
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Old 04-08-2018, 07:23 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Khalif View Post
Yes, we do get out too. And we are humans like any other human.

It is said in Arabic, "assalamu alaikum". It is wishing peace for everyone being addressed. It is also said to another Muslim passing by, just as it was said to each other during the days of Jesus.
It is a lovely expression and intent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khalif View Post
People in the West (particularly the politicians and the media pundits) need to learn that most Muslims are very ordinary and peaceful people. Even they are against terrorism.
LOL, That's an understatement if I ever heard one. Of course. If you know anything at all about me, it's that I am probably one of the loudest non-Muslims on this forum saying just that. My Muslim coworkers ran out of that building right alongside me. Find our commonalities rather than our differences. I think by and large, most of us survivors feel that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khalif View Post
Yes, a lot of handicap is often due to culture rather than Islam. Islam doesn't forbid them either education, work or anything that helps or may help other humans. My own daughters are graduates and professionals in the field of education, well respected by the other professionals in the same field and the parents. Just as they were once helped (in the West) by their teachers in schools, colleges and universities, they are now helping others to progress and make a difference to their lives and the lives of others in the society.

Together, so much can be done not only for today's society but for the generations to come too.
Amen
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Old 04-09-2018, 10:30 AM
NDL NDL started this thread
 
Location: Gaston County
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoCardinals View Post
There are two parts to my answer.

First, Muslims are a group of humans. There are good and bad in every group with various shades of gray. So, I hope you do understand the obvious that just because someone is Muslim, does not automatically make him a good and kind person.

Yes, being kind to all creation is part of Islamic faith but no person of any faith can attain 100% coverage of his faith.

I have seen many bad Muslims to a point where it was shameful to even identify them as humans, and I have seen many good and kind people who were non-Muslims - absolute gem of humans.
Yours was a wise reply. Of course I agree; nice people can be found in all shades and creeds, though the hospitality I have been shown by Moslems is notable

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoCardinals View Post
Second, interfaith meetings.
There could be a few reasons but perhaps one of the most important one is to rise up against the main stream media that pushes a certain agenda against the Islamic faith and Muslims in general.

Interfaith meetings allow Muslims to display the actual and true picture of Islamic life rather than what we see and hear on TV.
Take your own experience for example - would you have had the same approach towards Islam and Muslims if you had learned everything about Islam from TV, Internet, and main stream news media, rather than, actually encountering with general Muslim population in your day to day life?

The other reason of interfaith meetings is to prove that Muslims are not an alienated group. The idea is that we are a positive contributing members of the society where we live in peace and harmony with all groups.
An excellent explanation...thank you
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Old 04-09-2018, 10:42 AM
NDL NDL started this thread
 
Location: Gaston County
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Khalif View Post
Muslims are human beings first and Muslims second because of what they are supposed to do on earth living among other humans. We can have interfaith meetings with other humans as long as it is all peaceful. This is the right approach and teaching through the Qur'an.

[60.8] God does not forbid you respecting those who have not made war against you on account of (your) religion, and have not driven you forth from your homes, that you show them kindness and deal with them justly; surely God loves the doers of justice.

[60.9] God only forbids you respecting those who made war upon you on account of (your) religion, and drove you forth from your homes and backed up (others) in your expulsion, that you make friends with them, and whoever makes friends with them, these are the unjust.
This is a most excellent reply...thank you .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khalif View Post
We can be friendly with all humans who have not waged war on us because of our religion.

"...You will understand it once you look at Muslims as "humans". Humans should get on with other humans in the best interests of humanity.

I was born in an entirely Muslim people area. I had never come across any non-Muslim until I migrated to the UK. Now if I as Muslim wasn't supposed to interact with non-Muslims then I shouldn't have moved to the UK. Moving here and interacting with non-Muslims didn't make me lose my faith but instead made me a better human. It also helped me see a side of my faith that I could not have seen if I had stayed with only Muslims.

No Muslim can be a good Muslim unless he is a good human being. A good human will do good deeds and so should a good Muslim. Our salvation rests on what we do in this life as good humans and good Muslims. I have no problem with any non-Muslim human as long as he is peaceful.

Purpose of human creation included being good human.
What I am about to write is not meant to be incendiary, but I ask for edification:

Qu'ran 5:51 O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not take the Jews and the Christians for your allies: they are but allies of one another and whoever of you allies himself with them becomes, verily, one of them; behold, God does not guide such evildoers.

***

I do realize that I ask the above as an ignorant person, whose question is devoid of context. You can understand that my ignorance would leave me confused. I do understand that context is *key* to interpreting any verse.

I thank you for your time and consideration.
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Old 04-10-2018, 03:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NDL View Post
What I am about to write is not meant to be incendiary, but I ask for edification:

Qu'ran 5:51 O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not take the Jews and the Christians for your allies: they are but allies of one another and whoever of you allies himself with them becomes, verily, one of them; behold, God does not guide such evildoers.

***

I do realize that I ask the above as an ignorant person, whose question is devoid of context. You can understand that my ignorance would leave me confused. I do understand that context is *key* to interpreting any verse.

I thank you for your time and consideration.
Your question here is a valid question.

Of course context is "key"! The Qur'an was revealed over a period of about 22 years. Verses were often revealed as guidance for the people present at the time and the guidance was related mainly to the situation at the time.

The verse 5:51 relates to a specific situation at the time in Madina, where Jews were economically quite powerful. Many of the Jews did not believe in the revelation of the Qur'an and opposed it. They were also trying to persuade believers in the revelation of the Qur'an (believers) to change their mind. It is in this context that these verses, including 5:51, were revealed.

[5.41] O messenger! Let not those grieve you who strive together in hastening to unbelief from among those who say with their mouths: We believe, and their hearts do not believe, and from among those who are Jews; they are listeners for the sake of a lie, listeners for another people who have not come to you; they alter the words from their places, saying: If you are given this, take it, and if you are not given this, be cautious; and as for him whose temptation Allah desires, you cannot control anything for him with Allah. Those are they for whom God does not desire that He should purify their hearts; they shall have disgrace in this world, and they shall have a grievous chastisement in the hereafter.

[5.69] Surely those who believe and those who are Jews and the Sabians and the Christians whoever believes in Allah and the last day and does good-- they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve.

If you read 5:41-69 (all the verses), the context becomes clearer that it is for a specific situation at the time and it is not about rejection of religion of Jews and Christians. The verse at the end of this verse sequence (5:69) brings everything into perspective.

Now to the actual verse:

Qu'ran 5:51 O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not take the Jews and the Christians for your allies: they are but allies of one another and whoever of you allies himself with them becomes, verily, one of them; behold, God does not guide such evildoers.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَىٰ أَوْلِيَاءَ ۘ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ ۚ وَمَنْ يَتَوَلَّهُمْ مِنْكُمْ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْهُمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ

Keep in mind that the whole Qur'an has not been revealed at this moment and situation of that time yet. I have the benefit of the whole Qur'an to refer to but those people in Madina didn't have that benefit and could easily be persuaded not to believe the partly revealed Qur'an up to that time. These verse warn the believers not to make that mistake by worrying about not listening to the Jews in Madina at the time.

The word used in the Arabic Qur'an is "auliya" and it can have more than one meaning in Arabic. In this verse it means those who are taken as "protectors", "allies", "intimate friends" (those you can trust 100%), "helpers" and "guardians". In this case, it is those people who can be trusted more than your own people to protect and help you. The verse was proved spot on when the Jews had sided with the polytheists of Mecca and some Christians when Muslims were attacked at Uhad and the Trench.

Yes, the context definitely helps to understand these verses. It is vital that we do not disregard any verse of the Qur'an on the same issue/subject if we are to understand the Qur'an properly.

Understanding everything that God has revealed is key to understanding Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Take, for example, verse 5:45 in the above sequence of verses:

[5.45] And We prescribed to them in it that life is for life, and eye for eye, and nose for nose, and ear for ear, and tooth for tooth, and (that there is) reprisal in wounds; but he who foregoes it, it shall be an expiation for him; and whoever did not judge by what Allah revealed, those are they that are the unjust.

So what do we learn from this verse?

Tooth for a tooth and one slap for a slap is justice. It is to prevent the next slap. This was the view in the Torah. In the Qur'an, one slap for one slap is fine but two slaps for just one slap is not justice. It is transgression. After the Torah came Jesus telling to us turn the other cheek. It is fine as long as you do not encourage the guy to keep slapping you.

As the Qur'an is extension of the previous revelations of the Torah and the preaching of Jesus, it doesn't reject the previous revelations but explains further what was revealed before it. It tells us that reprisal and retribution can be just but the initial reaction should be to forgive and forget. Reprisal and retribution should be only if it carries on. So forging someone is a good deed. It is the weight of our good deeds against the bad deeds that will be the deciding factor on the Day of Judgment. In other words, a good deed will cancel out a bad deed on the scale on the Day of Judgment.
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Old 04-10-2018, 08:48 AM
NDL NDL started this thread
 
Location: Gaston County
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Khalif: I thank you for your time, thoughtfulness, and edifying explanation, for ignorance is a terrible master.

You explain things in a way that's most simple to understand. Again, I thank you for your time; your explanation makes plenty of sense.

Because you're an excellent writer, none of what you wrote requires further explanation to be understood, but I did wonder about two things that you wrote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khalif View Post
[5.41]....Those are they for whom God does not desire that He should purify their hearts; they shall have disgrace in this world, and they shall have a grievous chastisement in the hereafter.
This is most interesting.

In what ways does Allah purify the hearts of those who believe, and by what agency does He accomplish this task?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khalif View Post
It is the weight of our good deeds against the bad deeds that will be the deciding factor on the Day of Judgment. In other words, a good deed will cancel out a bad deed on the scale on the Day of Judgment.
I hope the simplicity of my question does not prove frustrating to answer:

How does one have assurance on the Day of Judgment? In other words, how does one know that they have a sufficient number of good deeds, worthy of striking out bad deeds?
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Old 04-11-2018, 01:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NDL View Post
Khalif: I thank you for your time, thoughtfulness, and edifying explanation, for ignorance is a terrible master.

You explain things in a way that's most simple to understand. Again, I thank you for your time; your explanation makes plenty of sense.
I can explain only what I understand. Whatever I explain is how I understand the Qur'an and Islam. And in understanding Islam, I always use the Qur'an first (rather than hadith books) or sometime the Torah and the Gospels. I usually get to understand the heart of the matter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NDL View Post
Because you're an excellent writer, none of what you wrote requires further explanation to be understood, but I did wonder about two things that you wrote:

In what ways does Allah purify the hearts of those who believe, and by what agency does He accomplish this task?
The agency with which Allah/God purifies the hearts of those who believe is through the guidance given in revelations from Him. There is light and spirit in these revelations that come from God. With light we can see things clearly and with spirit our souls are strengthened and purified. We believe in the guidance and commands from God and our actions are reformed to do good as we become more and more conscious of God and His guidance for us. That's how a believer's heart is purified.

In Islam, as stated in the Qur'an (17:85), spirit is only a command of God. It is not a separate person of godhood but what proceeds (originates, is issued) from God. It is this guidance from God that strengthens a believer and purifies him. A non-believer will not be purified because he simply won't take the guidance from God and thus is not strengthened with spirit from God. The same happens to some Jews, Christians and even Muslims who profess to be Jews, Christians or Muslims but do not take the guidance given in revelations from God. They will not be purified and will keep doing bad deeds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NDL View Post
How does one have assurance on the Day of Judgment? In other words, how does one know that they have a sufficient number of good deeds, worthy of striking out bad deeds?
A good deed striking out a bad deed is used just to explain how things on the scales work. 1 KG on one side will equalize 1 KG on the other side. The same way, weight of your good deeds will cancel out the weight of your bad deeds.

And it is not a number of deeds cancelling out a number of bad deeds but weight of our good deeds cancelling out similar weight of bad deeds. Each deed has a weight in the sight of God. He knows which deed of man is heavier in weight and which is lighter. We won't really know the exact weight but God knows it perfectly. For example, saving a life might be heavier in weight than feeding a rough sleeper or smiling at someone.

All we can do is keep doing good deeds as guided by God and leave the judgment to God. There is no point in keeping a count of our good and bad deeds. The final Judgment won't be on the count but on the weight of deeds. Different deeds have different weight.

[Qur'an 7:8]And the weighing on that Day will be the true (weighing). So, as for those whose weighing (of good deeds) will be heavy, they will those who have salvation.
وَالْوَزْنُ يَوْمَئِذٍ الْحَقُّ ۚ فَمَنْ ثَقُلَتْ مَوَازِينُهُ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ


[101.6-7] Then as for him whose weighing of good deeds is heavy, he shall live a pleasant life.
فَأَمَّا مَن ثَقُلَتْ مَوَزِينُهُ
فَهُوَ فِى عِيشَةٍ رَّاضِيَةٍ


In other words, salvation is earned rather than given free just for believing. Believing and doing good deeds together lead us to our salvation.

Last edited by Khalif; 04-11-2018 at 02:30 AM..
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Old 04-12-2018, 10:34 PM
NDL NDL started this thread
 
Location: Gaston County
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Khalif: thank you for your time. I find your responses to be fascinating and most complete...thank you.

So...no recommendation upon where I can start reading in the Qur'an? Last time I had picked up the Qur'an, I don't remember where I started reading, but I recall that the passages spoke to judgment and warfare. I would imagine for someone first reading the Qur'an, it might be more helpful to start with the more historical books and passages?
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Old 04-13-2018, 02:18 AM
 
3,169 posts, read 1,047,626 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NDL View Post
Khalif: thank you for your time. I find your responses to be fascinating and most complete...thank you.
No problem! You are most welcome to ask any question. I answer the way I understand the Qur'an and, therefore, Islam.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NDL View Post
So...no recommendation upon where I can start reading in the Qur'an?
We all start reading the Qur'an from the beginning. I can't recommend that you start from the middle or near the end. We begin with Chapter 1:

[Qur'an 1:1-7]
In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
All praise is due to God, the Lord of the Worlds.
The Beneficent, the Merciful.
Master of the Day of Judgment.
Thee do we serve and Thee do we beseech for help.
Keep us on the straight path.
The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favors. Not
(the path) of those upon whom Thy wrath is brought down, nor of those who go astray.

For a learned person, the whole Qur'an, therefore, Islam is condensed/compressed in this first chapter of the Qur'an. If you can understand this one chapter and then go on to read and understand just 4 verses (2-5) of the next chapter, you can understand what the Qur'an and Islam is about. There is so much condensed in these mentioned 11 verses that we can discuss them here over many posts.

The Qur'an is not a book that spoon-feeds you like the Bible books do. It is for the adult believers who are responsible and accountable for their actions. It is for those who read the verses and then ponder over them and then understand them.

[12.111] In their histories there is certainly a lesson for people of understanding. It is not a narrative which could be devised (by people), but a verification of what is before it and a distinct explanation of all things and a guide and a mercy to a people who believe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NDL View Post
Last time I had picked up the Qur'an, I don't remember where I started reading, but I recall that the passages spoke to judgment and warfare. I would imagine for someone first reading the Qur'an, it might be more helpful to start with the more historical books and passages?
That's how the Bible starts. You are looking for the same thing in the Qur'an. It is not a history book but quite a few verses are set in historical context just as many verses of the Bible are set in historical context. I too can pick up the Bible and begin to read about killing of 3000 Jews in one day by tho order of Moses. Then can go reading about killing of all men, women, children and even the livestock after they reached Jerusalem.

The same can apply by reading the death of Jesus and glorification of his death as if God was unable to forgive sins without having an innocent man killed on the cross even though Jesus had already proved to people that sins can be forgiven without killing any innocent man first.

Last edited by Khalif; 04-13-2018 at 02:28 AM.. Reason: addition of a verse from the Qur'an
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