Islam students at LUC

Archive for September 2008

In the introduction of the text on the Qur’an we are currently reading it mentions that someone who memorizes all the parts of the Qur’an is considered a Hafiz. It goes on to say that this has been an occurance since the days of the Prophet Muhammad. I am confused by this because I don’t understand if this means they memorized all of the chapters of the Qur’an. Or if they loosely know all the lessons that are taught in the Qur’an. Or if this means that they literally memorized the Qu’ran word for word. In that case are these individuals equivalent to monks? I just don’t see how someone could memorize all of these words. This book is over 400 pages.

In Islam, one can NOT force a non-Muslim to convert and become a Muslim. We can only invite non-Muslims to Islam and inform them about the religion. It is very important to accept religion from your heart or else you won’t practice it routinely. It is like being forced into a marriage. If you do not like your wife and just married her for your parents sake or something, then you won’t accept her from the bottom of your heart. You won’t be able to love her. But the day you end up accepting her as your beloved wife, you will notice and cherish every little thing she says or does. You will want to be with her for the rest of yourlife. Same thing applies to religion. Till you don’t truly and deeply accept that “There is no god, but God,” you won’t be able to find peace even if you pray five times a day. However, it is permissible to fight or argue for the sake of religion when the opponent does something which is preventing Muslims from practicing Islam. Allah has taken all responsibilities towards protecting His religion, and He has been successful until now and He will do as He pleases. Therefore, fighting in Islam is the last way out and that too when Muslims are not allowed to follow their religion and in Islam one has to accept the religion from the heart before he/she starts practicing it.

I still think there is a gap here in the different ways we are understanding the events.  Where are you reading that he amassed some huge army?  Where does it say that Muhammad went in and forced people to convert?  Where are you getting this from?  It seems like every paragraph you list you are siding with the bad interpretation of events.  Muhammad was in Mecca preaching to his people all those years, and just like Jesus, they tried to kill him.  But, Jesus was more violent in those three years than Muhammad was.

Your expecting that Muhammad should just let people choose their beliefs, while everyone is getting persecuted and killed?  It seems to me that one of Muhammad’s missions was to end the persecution and killing so people could then choose whether or not to follow him.

No, I am reading the same book as everyone else. I also have been to each lecture and class thus far. I am asking whether or not it was necessary for Muhammad to spread his message by force, meaning amassing an army and marching into territories that were not Muslim with the intent of having them convert. I agree that he didn’t want to use excessive violence, but it seems just contradictory to God’s message since it seemed that people converted more out of fear of the consequences of not converting.

This leads me to my next point: did people really have a choice in converting to Islam or not? If they didn’t, their trade would be disrupted and they would be seen as “hostile” to Islam. Also, even if they were able to maintain their own religious beliefs, they had to pay a tax to Islam in order to continue about their traditions. Wouldn’t that push people to convert in order to not bare these types of consequences?

I am saying that, perhaps ideally, Muhammad should have spread his message by telling people and letting them decide for themselves, instead of worrying about being taxed or seen as enemies to a growing military-religious state.

I am also confused about naming in Islam.  Is re-naming yourself when you convert to Islam the same as taking a new name when you become a priest or nun?  Also, who would someone name their child something in refrence in either a dog or being a slave.  This does not make a whole lot of sense to me.  If my name were Isabelle, and I converted to Islam would not God still see me as Isabelle.  Would God really care if I took another name or not, would he not love me just as much with the name Isabelle as much as with the name Fatima?

 

If your reading the wrong book than so am I. Muhammad’s raiding tactic was brillant and he did instruct his followers not to use life-ending violence.  Come on everyone, we leaned that in class.  Also, when Muhammad marched to Mecca and had the power to wipe out all of the Quarysh he proved that he is a non-violent man who can restrain himself and his followers from killing the people who persecuted them so severely.  He also did not force people to convert, he gave them an option.  Muhammad did not want to be a conquer, he wanted to spread his message from God.

One thing that is so important when examining other cultures or religions is the idea of relativism. It is hard to read some of the postings because they are so eurocentric it does not even make sense. First of all, we are talking about a marriage that happened over a thousand years ago. People got married earlier back then, and even now a days we can see this happening. Now of course its not as widely accepted but you have to keep in mind that its a different culture with different rules and customs. Also, Prof. said that the age is really up for debate so no ones sure exactly how old she was. I think that if you try and use this to discredit Islam in any way you’re just trying to find something bad to say.