Friday, December 18, 2009

I believe

I was thinking about how I would phrase my situation. I am a Muslim. That is the biggest and most important part, but that would give them an impression of me that is not the full reality. If a person looked up Muslim, they wouldn't find a description of me anywhere. Not even if they fell on this blog (even though this blog is the truth of what I believe, it's not the full picture; there are things I don't write here).

Here is a short, but more true and complete picture of my beliefs, for anyone who is interested:

I consider myself a Muslim. I believe in God and I believe the best way to worship him is to follow Him through the guidance given to us in the Qur'an (delivered to humanity through prophet Muhammad).

I believe that the Qur'an can be interpreted a vast number of ways and that a lot of them can be right (although NEVER fully right). I believe that the Qur'an can only be interpreted correctly when a person is able to get to their state of fitrah, which is of course impossible to fully do. All we can do is try.

I believe that Muhammad was the best example of a Muslim and that we should keep his Islamic spirit alive for our own goods, but I also believe that the hadiths are not religious law and religious law is not to be made from hadiths. I believe in the sunnah of the prophet Muhammad as the best way to do things, but that it is not the only way to do things.

I believe that a Muslim is anyone submitting to God, whether they use the Qur'an as a guide or not because I believe everyone has the truth inside them. I would go so far as saying that I believe someone considering himself an atheist could possibly be a "Muslim" because of how important the inner truth we all have is. I don't think that the man-made definition of God really is God because of how much more he is than we could every imagine. A person rejecting "God" could really be embracing this unimaginable thing most of us call God. Labels are something we use but only God knows what our truth is - even when we don't know it ourselves.

14 Comentários:

Amira said...

"Labels are something we use but only God knows what our truth is - even when we don't know it ourselves."
Mashallah thats awesome. I totally agree with you.

Cornelius said...

"I believe that Muhammad was the best example of a Muslim and that we should keep his Islamic spirit alive for our own goods..."

Among the many, many things about Islam which I can't agree with, is on the treatment of women in general. Women are not seen as equal to men. They are sex objects. Even the Prophet himself had several wives. And not only that, at the age of 53, he married a girl, i.e. Aisha, who was then about 6 -7 yrs old, and that marriage was consummated when Aisha was only about 9 yrs old.

In Malaysia, sex with a minor, even with the minor's consent, amounts to statutory rape, and punishable by a 20-year jail term.

Somehow, I don't see the Prophet as "the best example". There must be something I am missing, I don't know.

Aynur said...

@Cornelius - I believe that there is not a consensus of the age of Aisha, some narrations put her at much older than the age of 6-7 + 9, like in her teens.
I'm not sure if that makes it more palatable, but, early marriage was seen differently then than it is seen now.
I can see how you might think women are presented as sex objects, but the women Prophet Muhammad (saw) married were divorced, widowed, etc., showing the permissibility of marriage to those women. There were not hot young sexy women. Actually after he died years later there was still a stigma on marrying divorced/widowed women when Islam spread ... but that's from the culture not Islam itself.

"I believe that Muhammad was the best example of a Muslim and that we should keep his Islamic spirit alive for our own goods..."

I thought that Prophet Abraham (peace be on him) was also a good example for us?

Here is something interesting I read a while back:
http://www.thewhitepath.com/archives/2006/07/a_feminist_islamic_reform_in_turkey.php

Cornelius said...

Aynur,

Yes, I would expect that some people would say that Aisha was older when the prophet married her. Just that there are quite overwhelming sources which gave her age as 6-7 yrs.

"... but the women Prophet Muhammad (saw) married were divorced, widowed, etc."

Are you saying that Aisha was a widow when the prophet married her?

I'm not trying to start up a whole debate on wanting to make the prophet look bad. After all, I have very, very limited knowledge on Islamic history. But from what I have seen so far, women were treated like sex objects.

In the Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, for example, the prophet had sex with a Christian slave woman named Mariyah, because she was considered his property which he had acquired from Banu al-Nadir. And apparently, this story was also supported by Tabari's History.

Since I am not a Muslim, I'm not overly concerned with all these historical information. I'm just trying to say that I can't see this man as "the best example" according to my own standard. I see women as deserving more than how they're treated in Islam. However, I also accept that perhaps not everyone may agree with my standard.

ellen557 said...

Cornelius - No, Aynur means that the Prophet had a number of wives and many of them were indeed older or divorced or widowed, etc :)
I would recommend reading up on women related to the Prophet, such as his daughter Fatima Zahra (a.s.), his first wife Khadijah (a.s.) or grand daughter Zainab (a.s.). These women were essentially brought up with the message (with the exception of Khadijah) and were taught Islam by the Prophet (pbuh). I find that when I am having difficulties re womens status, then I look at their lives and what they achieved which casts away my doubts.

Candice - It was really nice to hear some of your beliefs. "Labels are something we use but only God knows what our truth is - even when we don't know it ourselves. " Couldn't have said it better <3

LK said...

Candice I can totally agree with you. Especially about labels.

Also, I believe the prophet, although marrying Aisha at a young age, did not have sex with her till she was old enough to do so. That is what the information I gathered on on the subject said. He was married to Aisha more for a peace contract of sorts, very common in that day and age.

Cornelius said...

ellen557,

I'll see if I have it in me to actually read about the lives of those people you mentioned. But I would expect that the women within the immediate family circle of the prophet were treated differently than the rest. But of course I may be wrong. Thanks for the recommendation, my friend.

Cornelius said...

LK,

"I believe the prophet, although marrying Aisha at a young age, did not have sex with her till she was old enough to do so."

How old would you reckon is "old enough to do so"?

"He was married to Aisha more for a peace contract of sorts, very common in that day and age."

And you are OK with that? I'm not trying to say you are right or wrong. I'm just trying to understand women, especially Muslim women, so I am asking these questions. Quite frankly, I shouldn't be complaining, because I am of the opposite gender, and I can get used to the rules I guess. But I can just imagine that if I were a woman, I would resent the notion that I'm treated as an object - something in the order of a contractual consideration for a peace treaty?

Melissa said...

Cornelius, Aisha was already engaged to another man, but because of Islam and her parents being Muslim and her too, he broke off the engagement hoping it would cause them grief and problems.
At that time, there was nothing wrong with a girl her age to be married, it was a whole different world then. In the US, it wasn't until recent history that legal age for marriage and comsumation of marriage was moved to 18, would you say these things to the founding fathers of the US? Probably not. But if you look into it, it was legal for girls of 7 to be married off.
Do I think it's ok for a young girl to marry in this day and age? No, not at all.
But at that time it was common place, there was nothing wrong with it, you can't hold them to the same standards that we have today, that's not fair. It was 1500 years ago, that's a looong time ago.

Islam is the only religion to give women rights, the right to own land, women in the US didn't have that right 100 years ago, they could vote until mid 1900's. That's a shame.
Please don't look to what people do in a 'muslim' country, there is no muslim country. Many Muslims don't practice the religion properly, and practice what can be called 'cultural Islam' which is not Islam, it's a distorted version.

I understand where you're coming from about the age, but, it was really so long ago, and it wasn't until recently that it was considered wrong to marry such young children.

Also, yes, most sources say she was about 9-12, but, they didn't count how old people were the way we do now, so it is possible she was older than that. Often they wouldn't start counting until the child reached a certain age. I think it had to do with the fact that many children died at a young age. (I know in some parts of S.America they don't name the baby until it reaches a certain age because of the fact that many die) But, it's really hard to say.

Melissa said...

Oh, I also wanted to add that many men took many many wives at that time, didn't provide for them properly. Islam put a limit on how many wives a man can have, and put restrictions on it. So, I don't think it's fair to say that the Prophet had many wives...
Again, that was something common in those times.

Cornelius said...

Melissa,

Thanks for the explanation.

Please don't get me wrong. My objection against ill-treatment of women is universal, that is to say, I don't care which religion. If Christianity allows polygamy, I shall not agree with it too.

If indeed it was common for girls of 6-7yrs old to marry in the old days, then so be it. I'm not trying to dispute that. I'm just trying to understand the psychology of an old man marrying a child, who probably was young enough to be his grand daughter. What does that tell us about this man? All I am saying, the way I - I say I - he doesn't seem to be "the best example", that is all. I can readily accept that not everyone can agree with me.

Nazia said...

Cornelius: Before judging Muhammad (BPUH); you should read his biography. He is the best example for Muslims & he will always be. It doesn't matter if you agree or not. Before pointing finger toward someone else; you should judge your own character.

Cornelius said...

Nazia,

Thank you for your comment.

If you think the prophet is the best example for Muslims, and will always be, then so be it. I respect your opinion. I do not force you to agree with mine. I am sorry if you are unhappy because I can't agree with you.

"Before pointing finger toward someone else; you should judge your own character."

Yes, Nazia, I already did judge my own character. And I found that I am not the "best example". So I have never claimed that I am. I am far from perfect. I am only human.

Zuhura said...

Amin! Great post!

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