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Old 10-06-2014, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_a49 View Post
From my Christian upbringing, I think it is mostly to show off their new clothes.


Morning Woodrow, hope all is well in your world. I just got out of city data jail, served 3 days for saying stuff I guess I am not supposed to say, I thought I was being fairly polite.

I ran into this before, where all the muslims ganged up on me with complaints, naturally none they could discuss with me, but use an outside source.
Morning Jim.

Kind of hard for us to Gang up. I am the only Muslim Moderator and I do not moderate this forum.

As for us that post it seems there are only about 5 Muslims including myself that post regular. But we are diverse. I believe between us there is one each:

Sunni
Shi'ite
Ahmadiyyah
Sufi
NOI
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Old 10-09-2014, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamsiam View Post
Taqwa or God-awareness often seems to be a component of some of the most beautiful art in all cultures of the world but there is also another component in Islamic art......."to ban", is too strong a word, but there are restrictions in Islamic art. Restrictions amplify beauty.

Consider, The most pleasing human behavior is one that is restricted by etiquette/manners and respect/consideration for others. Behavior without restrictions is considered "uncivilized". Likewise, in other human endeavors, restrictions prevent abuse and guide towards beauty. The decorative arts have restrictions in theme to that of geometry, nature, and calligraphy. It is within these restrictions that beautiful, brilliantly creative works of (Islamic)art have been produced.

In Islam, the highest form of worship is when our convictions in faith(Iman) lead us to beautiful conduct/actions---"Ihsan".
Ihsan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It is within this context---of striving for excellence, that Muslims look towards the rules of what is permissible and what is not.

Eastern cultures such as China and Japan have also understood that restrictions amplify beauty---The ink wash paintings of the East (Sumi-e in Japanese) are fantastic examples of how restrictions amplify beauty......

Haiku poetry is another example....these are from Hakyo Ishida....


"A grapefruit split open
bursts forth like joy
its color and smell"

and......


"For but an instant
setting sun transfigures
with gold a burnt land"
Thank you for that explanation--there is certainly some art I've seen that I WISH had been restricted, hehehe.

However, squashing all instrumental music is very much an actual ban, not a restriction. Music can bring such comfort and joy and peace and spiritual elevation. It just makes me wonder what kind of a sourpuss came up with such a rule! It reminds me of the old-time Christians who banned all church music that wasn't played on pipe organs.
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Old 10-09-2014, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Thank you for that explanation--there is certainly some art I've seen that I WISH had been restricted, hehehe.

However, squashing all instrumental music is very much an actual ban, not a restriction. Music can bring such comfort and joy and peace and spiritual elevation. It just makes me wonder what kind of a sourpuss came up with such a rule! It reminds me of the old-time Christians who banned all church music that wasn't played on pipe organs.
You have to remember we don't have a church service that is like a Christian service. Our Salat is striclty prayer. Very short Typically from 7 to 20 minutes. No sermon, Just prayer and only prayer,

Here is the typical Fajr Salat: the first prayer of the day. essentially this is what takes place for each of the 5 obligatory prayers (Salat)

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Old 10-10-2014, 07:44 AM
 
116 posts, read 67,423 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Thank you for that explanation--there is certainly some art I've seen that I WISH had been restricted, hehehe.

However, squashing all instrumental music is very much an actual ban, not a restriction. Music can bring such comfort and joy and peace and spiritual elevation. It just makes me wonder what kind of a sourpuss came up with such a rule! It reminds me of the old-time Christians who banned all church music that wasn't played on pipe organs.
It is amusing that what happened in "Christianity" is assumed to be the default norm that all other religions are measured by. I think this is incorrect and perhaps prejudicial. In the East it is not music but silence that is considered the highest spiritual path to the Divine. That is why meditation is highly valued and in some places like Japan, gardens are specially created in Temples in order to facilitate silent meditation. This is because the "spirit/spiritual" is not just "out there" but inside of us, and silence is the way to open the door to our inner spirituality.

There is a Hadith Qudsi that makes this point by giving this explanation of the Divine ----"Neither the vastness of the heavens nor the earth can contain me, but the heart of the believer can hold me".

The Quran says that God is as close to us as our jugular vein. (The symbolism is interesting as it is a connection between our hearts and our brains.....) This indicates that a path to the Divine is through our inner spirituality. The connection to the Divine is direct and personal.

If Christians have reasons to advocate for or to ban music---it is specific to that religion and its circumstances and we need not assume that all other religions therefore must have the same reason for doing xyz as the Christians.....?.....
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Old 10-11-2014, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodrow LI View Post
You have to remember we don't have a church service that is like a Christian service. Our Salat is striclty prayer. Very short Typically from 7 to 20 minutes. No sermon, Just prayer and only prayer,

Here is the typical Fajr Salat: the first prayer of the day. essentially this is what takes place for each of the 5 obligatory prayers (Salat)

No, I am very much aware that you don't have the equivalent of church services, but I'm assuming that the ban on music extends to all aspects of your life as a Muslim--no music in your home, or in schools, kids can't learn to play an instrument.

That seems to me to be terribly, terribly barren and sad and cruel and I cannot reconcile such a ban to a loving God. Or maybe it's that the idea of God/Allah as a caring being is "too Christian" in the first place and so I cannot see the Muslim view?
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Old 10-11-2014, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamsiam View Post
It is amusing that what happened in "Christianity" is assumed to be the default norm that all other religions are measured by. I think this is incorrect and perhaps prejudicial. In the East it is not music but silence that is considered the highest spiritual path to the Divine. That is why meditation is highly valued and in some places like Japan, gardens are specially created in Temples in order to facilitate silent meditation. This is because the "spirit/spiritual" is not just "out there" but inside of us, and silence is the way to open the door to our inner spirituality.

There is a Hadith Qudsi that makes this point by giving this explanation of the Divine ----"Neither the vastness of the heavens nor the earth can contain me, but the heart of the believer can hold me".

The Quran says that God is as close to us as our jugular vein. (The symbolism is interesting as it is a connection between our hearts and our brains.....) This indicates that a path to the Divine is through our inner spirituality. The connection to the Divine is direct and personal.

If Christians have reasons to advocate for or to ban music---it is specific to that religion and its circumstances and we need not assume that all other religions therefore must have the same reason for doing xyz as the Christians.....?.....
It is perhaps prejudicial, as I pointed out in the post I just submitted (read yours after that) because Christianity IS my experience. However, music is very much a part of my life and the life of most human beings in all cultures, whether related to religious practice or not. Music is not specific to religion. It is a human art form, as old as humanity itself. Forget about it being banned in Islam--if it were banned by a secular political entity, for example, I would find that sad, too.

But I see you also have misconceptions: There is a saying, "The first language of God is silence". Some Christians, and I am one, practice something we call "Centering Prayer" (other Christian traditions might have other names for it), which is very similar to what you might call meditation. It is silence, and the "letting go" of thoughts that might pass through as we invite God to manifest Himself within us. I would encourage any one of any faith, whatever we might call ourselves, to practice something like this. We do have teachings at our church services, and I can't tell you how many times our priest has admonished us to be quiet and listen to God, and to allow time for silence, and to remind us that Jesus took time to go off and be alone to commune with God in the desert.

That has nothing to do with music, though. One does not preclude the other in life.

I do like the quote you provided that I bolded above. We believe the same.
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Old 10-11-2014, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
No, I am very much aware that you don't have the equivalent of church services, but I'm assuming that the ban on music extends to all aspects of your life as a Muslim--no music in your home, or in schools, kids can't learn to play an instrument.

That seems to me to be terribly, terribly barren and sad and cruel and I cannot reconcile such a ban to a loving God. Or maybe it's that the idea of God/Allah as a caring being is "too Christian" in the first place and so I cannot see the Muslim view?
Very few things in Islam are absolutely, irrevocably forbidden (Haram) or Absolutely required (Fiqh)
We see things as being one of 5 different levels of responsibility.

1. Required to do, there will be punishment for refusing to do
2. Not required to do, but there will be rewards and blessing for doing
3, Neutral no sin or rewards for doing or not doing
4. Not forbidden but a person will receive rewards and blessings for not doing them
5. Forbidden, there will be punishments for doing.

Music is permitted, but the only Music instruments allowed are the Drum and duff.

You are going to find a lot of different opinions about this as Music has long been and still is a very strong part of Arab Culture. There is a wide range of opinion running from it is absolutely forbidden to it is only forbidden during prayer,

The concept of sin is a bit different than that of most Christians. It is not absolute do or don't do. more like a slidding scale with 5 different levels of responsibility. For many Muslims the view on instruments is there is no punishment for using it, but there are rewards for not using it.
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Old 10-11-2014, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,064 posts, read 54,565,498 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodrow LI View Post
Very few things in Islam are absolutely, irrevocably forbidden (Haram) or Absolutely required (Fiqh)
We see things as being one of 5 different levels of responsibility.

1. Required to do, there will be punishment for refusing to do
2. Not required to do, but there will be rewards and blessing for doing
3, Neutral no sin or rewards for doing or not doing
4. Not forbidden but a person will receive rewards and blessings for not doing them
5. Forbidden, there will be punishments for doing.

Music is permitted, but the only Music instruments allowed are the Drum and duff.

You are going to find a lot of different opinions about this as Music has long been and still is a very strong part of Arab Culture. There is a wide range of opinion running from it is absolutely forbidden to it is only forbidden during prayer,

The concept of sin is a bit different than that of most Christians. It is not absolute do or don't do. more like a slidding scale with 5 different levels of responsibility. For many Muslims the view on instruments is there is no punishment for using it, but there are rewards for not using it.
Thanks for that explanation, Woodrow. I think I probably lean toward the Muslim line of thought as far as Christianity goes--a quick visit to the Christianity forum will give you a view of the differences amongst us as to what "sin" is or isn't, hehehe.

Re Arab music--I heard a beautiful Arab song once, sung by a man with a very strong, melodious voice, in Arabic. I'd taken my daughter to The Equine Affair, a horse show held in Massachusetts every year, and they played the song when riders brought out a group of Arabian horses to show. The key and melody patterns were different from typical Western music. It was lovely.
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Old 10-11-2014, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
15,511 posts, read 13,284,120 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Thanks for that explanation, Woodrow. I think I probably lean toward the Muslim line of thought as far as Christianity goes--a quick visit to the Christianity forum will give you a view of the differences amongst us as to what "sin" is or isn't, hehehe.

Re Arab music--I heard a beautiful Arab song once, sung by a man with a very strong, melodious voice, in Arabic. I'd taken my daughter to The Equine Affair, a horse show held in Massachusetts every year, and they played the song when riders brought out a group of Arabian horses to show. The key and melody patterns were different from typical Western music. It was lovely.
Arabic because of it's wide range of tones can be either very gruff or very melodious. Even a Qur'an recitation sounds like a song.

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Old 10-11-2014, 10:32 PM
 
116 posts, read 67,423 times
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@Mightyqueen801

Thankyou for sharing your experience of Christianity. I am from the East, my exposure to Christianity is minimal, but as a Muslim, the teachings of Jesus Christ (pbuh) are important---so I have made some effort previously to improve my knowledge of the religion. It has been a somewhat futile effort as it seems I am intellectually incapable of understanding the intricacies of the Christian creed. A previous discourse with a pastor?/Church person? gave me the impression that meditation (as I understood the term) was "Unchristian". However, it is also my understanding that there is a lot of diversity among Christianity and I am happy to know that your Christianity understands the breadth of spiritual experiences.

As Woodrow explained, Islam is not a monolithic static religion---it is a dynamic lived experience and each generation has to strive (Jihad) to live the best Islam they can. There is within Islam the flexibility and adaptability that provides opportunities for each generation to negotiate the best possible means to live Islam and yet at the same time, there are also enduring universal ethico-moral principles and framework that provide unchanging Guidance to all humanity throughout time.

You may be correct that Islamic concept of (Divine) Love is different from Christianity---at least, according to a conversation I had with a Christian person on the topic. (Perhaps your Christianity might be different?)
Christians emphasize concepts such as "sacrificial love" and "unconditional love" when they speak of Divine Love. In Islam "Love" (Compassion and Mercy) is balanced by Justice and Justice is tempered by Compassion and Mercy (Love). Also, the concept of (just)"Love" is founded on the principle of reciprocity.

All Islamic principles begin with the Concept of Tawheed(Unity)......in a sort of "Trinity". At the top of the triangle is Tawheed and the two bottom angles balance two principles. The Quran says that God created with balance and harmony and when ethico-moral principles are paired it creates balance and harmony. For example.....Justice on its own is good but in excess it can become harsh and oppressive.(biased Zero-Tolerance policy in U.S. law creates unjust incarceration of people of color) When paired by the principles of Compassion and Mercy...the concept of Justice is balanced and in harmony. Likewise, with love, which can become derailed and turn unfair/unjust unless it is balanced by the principles of Justice.

It is my understanding, Christianity focuses on the idea "what God did for humanity" in terms of sacrifice/crucifixion.
For Muslims, the Question of what God does for humanity is too obvious and self-evident to warrant thinking of. We breathe, we have food, clothing, knowledge, health, wealth...etc...etc all because of God---so the important question is---"What can WE (humanity) do for God?" and the answer to that is---God's will=Right belief that promotes right intentions that lead to right actions for the benefit of all of God's creations....or to put it in one word---Islam.
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