08
Sep
07

Sunnah – The Misconceived Dogma That poisoned Islam

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Published in Daily News Monitoring Service on December 12, 2004

Too frequently, the Muslim scholars quote Sir George Bernard Shaw and refer his book -‘The Genuine Islam”. The paragraph that most often appears in their works reads: “I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make itself appeal to every age. I have studied him – the wonderful man and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Savor of Humanity.” [Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936.]

Bernard Shaw, with an exuberant mood after studying Prophet Muhammad and Islam, perhaps tracked his memory back to the history of medieval Christianity and compared its malignant immoralities and debauchery with the nobility and brotherhood of early Islam. He must have read that a year before Prophet Muhammad’s death, the Prophet made his last pilgrimage from Medina to Mecca. There He gave a great sermon to his people that breathed a spirit of generosity amongst all the people of Arabia and beyond. The Muslims created a society more free from the widespread cruelty and social oppression than any society had ever been in the world before.

In contrast, the ‘Bull’ of Pope Innocent III causing the massacre of 20,000 men, women and children (Albigenses) in France and the nailing of Martin Luther’s 95 questions on the Church door in Germany, it stretches a long period in between. The European society passed through a massive reform during this time. The reform movement of Peter Waldo of France, John Wycliffe of England, Jan Hus of Bohemia (Czech), Girolamo Savonarola of Italy, Michael Servetus of Spain, Ulrich Zwingli of Switzerland, William Tyndale of England and hundred others must have influenced Bernard Shaw to lean heavily towards the fairness of early Islam – the Islam that Prophet Muhammad once preached. Obviously, Bernard Shaw could visualize the life of those pioneering reformers of Christianity who were murdered, robbed, tortured, raped and burned to death for their believing Christianity differently from the religious conviction concocted by the church.

But little did Bernard Shaw know that the falsehood and tyranny of religious dogmas that once poisoned Christianity in Europe, stealthily crept into Islam after the death of the Prophet. Stoning to death, apostasy (execution for renunciation of religious faith), and the “Bull” were the earth-shaking tool for the Christendom prior to the formation of Martin Luther’s Protestant denomination of Christianity. Those venomous dogmas are strikingly forceful today in some Islamic countries and are still being contended by the Mullahs for their incorporation in these days. In fact, the “Bull” was a system of expressing Papal ordinance to anyone in the Christendom to explain before a religious court. The carbon copy of the “Bull” of Christianity is the “Fatwa” in Islam today.

The word “Sunnah”, up to the time of Prophet Muhammad, meant the practices of antiquity especially in Yathrib – the city that had been ruled by the early Jews since 66 AD who took shelter there to escape the massacre in Jerusalem by the Romans. Ironically, Prophet Muhammad too took shelter there to save himself and his followers from the tyranny of the Meccans. The name Yathrib eventually got changed to Madinatun-Nabi (The City of the Prophet) and in short Medina.

At the beginning, Islam’s uncompromising monotheism was believed to be pivoted on the words of God, revealed to Prophet Muhammad – as opposed to any personal words of teachings similar to Buddha or Jesus. But the dogmas of Sunnah soon acquired a different significance after the time of the Prophet. Particularly from the ninth century it came to denote the practices of Prophet Muhammad including whatever he said, did, or approved during his time. Being elevated to the holiness with the same divinity as the Koran, the doctrine of Sunnah has substantially turned Islam into a figure worshipper. Consequently, this personality cult ensued war among its people and effectively derailed Islam from its initial dedication to preventing widespread cruelty and social oppression.

The Hadith literature – the source of the Sunnah, is imposingly believed to be the words of Prophet Muhammad, passed through his companions. While purportedly made in the name of the Prophet, a number of these sayings can actually be traced to Zoroastrian culture, the Christian Bible and even the laws and rituals of the Byzantine. In a manner of speaking, the limited legislation in the Koran, basically the rules in regard to marriage, divorce, inheritances, orphans, food and a few others occupy very little room in the whole canon of Sharia Laws. A vast bulk of it comes from the Sunnah and significantly from Bukhari, concocted and recorded about 200 years after the death of the Prophet. Evidently, deeply merged in it, are the arbitrary laws, induced by the Muslim emperors and kings of their own as they could not successfully invoke to settle questions arising in such diverse categories as systematic and moral theology, ritual, civil and military laws, etc.

Right from the inception, the Hadith literature presents the rational readers with contradictory statements. Whether it was permissible to write down traditions of the prophet in the early days of Islam is a serious question. Abu Huraira, a late convert to Islam and a companion of the Prophet, narrated nearly 3,500 Hadith. This prolific narrator of Hadith stated in one Hadith that the Prophet, once observing his followers writing down his sayings, gave them a resolute warning to refrain from such a venture. He then cited the evils of making religious books out of the personal sayings of previous Prophets. Finally he told them: “Do you not know that nothing but the writing of books beside the book of God led astray the peoples that were before you?” Even in one Hadith of Abu Huraira, evidently the sayings of the prophet, compiled before this warning, were heaped together and burned.

While the Koran dictates the companions of the prophet to “Obey God and obey His Messenger”: (Koran: 04.059), the rediscovering of the Hadith, despite being prohibited by the Prophet himself, is extremely mind boggling. Most importantly, its incorporation in the Islamic laws and rituals, tantamount to defiance of the Koranic decree “Obey His messenger”. But ironically, such a defiance, though otherwise is a sin, seems to have turned into a “holy act” in the resolution of those early Imams who reshaped Islam with their love and inclination to human worshipping. During the ninth and tenth century, however, the reshaping of Islam was more for administrative connivance. Evidently, the wrinkles of Islam are too many today to iron out.

Quite often, the Ulemas and the Islamists quote the Koran and point out the verses where “Obey God, and obey the Messenger” appear. They then try to rationalize the incorporation of the Sunnah in the Islamic paradigm as consistent with the Koranic message – i.e. “obey the Messenger”. Surely, the presence of such verses in the Koran is quite relevant and justified because Prophet Muhammad wasn’t just a prophet, he was a commander, a judge, a leader, a ruler, a teacher and a preacher. Obviously, obeying his order and direction was of paramount importance for all of his companions, soldiers and people in his time. Besides, none could “Obey God” unless they “obey the Messenger” in believing what God had dictated to him. Plainly put, this phrase, “obey the Prophet” does not construe that every word he ever said is sacred and indicates perpetuity for all time.

There is a verse that offers a definitive clarity as to the misinterpretations of the phrase “obey the Messenger” as decreed in the Koran. No doubt, this misinterpretation has derailed Islam from its initial orbit for more than a millennium. The full text of the verse reads:

“O you who believe! Obey God, and obey the Messenger, and those in charged with authority among you. If you differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to God and His Messenger” [004.059].

Keeping historical events in mind, one must not interpret that “refer it to God and His Messenger” means the Koran and the Hadith. The Koran was not even compiled when the prophet was alive and most Hadith literature was not collected until two hundred years after his death. Besides, papers and printing press were not present at that time to offer easy access of the Koran and the Hadith to every hand of the Muslims.

Obviously, the phrase – “refer it to God and His Messenger” clearly indicates those relatives, companions, and friend of the Prophet that were around him. Clearly, it was only them who could approach and “refer” to the Messenger for clarification. Another verse reads:

“O you who believe! obey God and His Messenger and do not turn back from him while you hear.” [008.020].

Here the expression “do not turn back from him while you hear”, undoubtedly addresses those who could hear him because of their proximity to the Prophet.

A vast number of the Islamic doctrines are strangely absent in the Koran. They are, however, profusely enshrined in the Hadith and their prominence is supported in Islamic laws with parallel holiness with the Koran. Historian Will Durant tells us that the Christian Church took over some religious customs and forms prevailing among the pagans in pre-Christian Rome. The vestments of pagan priests, use of incense and holy water in purification, burning of candles, light before the altar and more importantly the law of Rome as a basis for Christian Canon Law. The Jews once found the Mosaic laws, despite its wealth of details, insufficient itself without the assistance of case laws and traditions. Eventually, the Talmud (oral law) arose to supply this need.

Similarly, the crawling of Sunnah into Islamic laws spans over several centuries. In short, it started after the death of Harun ar-Rashid, the Caliph of Baghdad in 809 AD. About seven years before his death he had made a Will and his eldest son al-Amin, was given the caliphate comprising of the Arab lands while al-Ma’mun got the Persian territories and not the Caliphate. As al-Ma’mun could not compromise with his father’s Will he, with the help of Iranian army from Khorasan, marched into Baghdad and had his brother killed. This brutal murder caused severe antagonism between the Arabs and the Iranians.

Consequently, al-Ma’mun had to shift his strategy that severely downgraded the Arabs in his army. After realizing that it would not be safe either to depend solely on the army from Khorasan, al- Ma’mun decided to have mercenaries from Turkey. The Turks were then easily approachable and sufficiently numerous. The rapid growth of Turkish influence in the administration, court, and army eventually made the Caliph merely a puppet in the hands of the Turkish generals. He remained banished in Samara – far away from Baghdad. With his absence from the power-point, Islamic laws started brewing in the cauldron of the Turks – basically, Nestorian Christians having extended ties with Rome. The Popes in Rome always viewed Islam as a threat to their Hellenic Christianity and papal power.

The Turkish judges and high-ranking officers had very little knowledge about the new religion of Islam. Now the religious hypocrisy, borrowed from Rome, was more powerful in quelling down any decedent than the power of army. Any innocent people could have been charged and punished with treason or heresy just the way it was carried out in the Christendom. The entry of Turkish soldiers in the Abbasid service began a process that gave a distinctive shape to the administrative, political and cultural life of the world of Islam. Concurrently, this atmosphere generated a class of professionals and was called the “Ulema” towards the dying days of the Abbasid dynasty.

During the period from 933 to 937, a number of small but influential mercenary leaders erupted around Caspian and Persian-sea. They were knows as the Buyids, Ghaznavids and Seljuqs. The Buyids had taken over the power in Iraq at the invitation of the Caliph. Systematically, they had formulated their theological and juridical ideas in the name of Islam. And more than ever the ‘Ulemas’ functioned as the brokers to authenticate the Caliphs’ rule being in agreement with the Prophet’s precedents – the Sunnahs including the way the Prophet rode his camels, cleaned his teeth and kept his beard.

Muhammad Shahrur, a Syrian civil engineer, authored a book in 1992, entitled al-Kitab wa-l-Qur’an (The Book and the Quran). A review indicates that millions of copies of this book have been sold throughout the Arab world despite the fact that its circulation has been banned in many Islamic countries. Its success could not have been materialized unless there are a huge number of people who are in favor of its advocacy. The need for reinterpretation of Islamic laws, tradition and precepts to contemporary society has been thunderously echoed in this book and it covers such issues ranging from the role of women in the society to the acceptance of the virtues of the non-Muslim world

While we take comfort in the strength of Islam as the torchbearer during the ‘Dark Ages’, the inclusion of the misinterpreted Sunnah in the formation of Islamic epitome and the compilation of the Sharia Laws is merged with conspiracy and administrative connivance. Though demeaning, the ecclesiastical and temporal polity of the Islamic world was, unfortunately, built on these flimsy and corrupted sources that have been in existence for about a thousand years.

The reverences in which the Prophet was held by his contemporaries can be rationalized as their nostalgic passion that might have led them to preserve and repeat his sayings. This is normal and understandable. But to incorporate those sayings as Islamic edicts and to invoke them to prove that a certain act was performed by the Prophet, and therefore to be imitated by all believers, puts Islam in the same footings of personality cult that centered on Muhammad’s sayings, doings, habits and choices. Though idol worshipping is a forbidden dictum in the Koran but it has stealthily mounted on all Islamic edicts behind the shield of a boasting Sunnah.

No doubt, millions of educated Muslims today are highly critical of the adherence to ancient and corrupted dogmas. In reality, the ill-conceived Sunnahs have poisoned Islam with such a severity that the cure, short of an Islamic Martin Luther, cannot be achieved.

[Sources: Classical Islam, Von Grunebaum; Traditions of Islam, Alfred Guillaume; The Muslim Creed, A.J. Wensinck; Muslim Theology, Duncan B. Macdonald; A History of the Arab Peoples, Albert Hourani; The Outline of History, H.G. Wells; Mankind’s Search for God, various.]

mesbah_uddin@hotmail.com

Mesbah Uddin A researcher and a freelance writer has contributed this article from the United Kingdom.

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

See Sharia Laws–Heavy Deception With Abusive Divinity By : Mesbah Uddin

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21 Responses to “Sunnah – The Misconceived Dogma That poisoned Islam”


  1. 2 treesandstones
    November 11, 2007 at 11:43 am

    Hi Stefan

    Just some information i would like. Could you be kind enough and forward me information concerning on how to preform wudu according to Quran. As some site i have come across claim that the feet should be washed others claim the feet should be wiped. Its probably the translation and as i am at all not learner ed in the Arabic language i would be grateful if you could help me out with my inquiry.

    Thanks

  2. November 11, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    Treesandstones,

    Thank you for you conern and Im at your service, your highness.

    يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلاَةِ فَاغْسِلُواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ وَامْسَحُواْ بِرُؤُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَينِ وَإِن كُنْتُمْ جُنُبًا فَاطَّهَّرُواْ وَإِن كُنتُم مَّرْضَى أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَاءَ أَحَدٌ مِّنكُم مِّنَ الْغَائِطِ أَوْ لاَمَسْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَلَمْ تَجِدُواْ مَاءً فَتَيَمَّمُواْ صَعِيدًا طَيِّبًا فَامْسَحُواْ بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُم مِّنْهُ مَا يُرِيدُ اللّهُ لِيَجْعَلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنْ حَرَجٍ وَلَـكِن يُرِيدُ لِيُطَهِّرَكُمْ وَلِيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

    Literal Translation

    You, you those who believed, if you started/got up to the prayers, so wash with water your faces, and your hands to the elbows, and rub/wipe with your heads and your feet to the two joints/ankle bones, and if you wereimpure/unclean , so be purified/cleaned , and if you were sick/diseased or on (a) journey/trip/voyage or one of you came from the safe hidden depression in the ground (toilet), or you touched and felt repeatedly the women, so you did not find water, so wipe your hands and face with dust good/pure dust, so rub/wipe with your faces and your hands from it, God does not want to make/put on you strain/hardship, and but He wants to purify you mentally and physically and to complete (E) His blessing on you, maybe/perhaps you thank/be grateful. (5:6)

    Free Minds Translation

    O you who believe, if you rise to attend the contact-method, then wash your faces and your hands up to the elbows, and wipe your heads and your feet to the ankles; and if you have had intercourse, then you shall bathe. And if you are ill, or traveling, or you have excreted feces, or you have had sexual contact with the women, and you could not find water, then you shall do ablution from clean soil; you shall wipe your faces and your hands. God does not want to make any hardship over you, but He wants to cleanse you and to complete His blessings upon you that you may be appreciative. (5:6)

    http://www.openburhan.net/ob.php?sid=5&vid=6

    to be continued…

  3. 4 treesandstones
    November 11, 2007 at 5:19 pm

    Salam Stefan

    Wow how honored i feel at your kind gesture. So i have read the above information and it really seems like a two way situation. It seems there really should be a clear definition of the word wipe. Surely the Arabic word wash would mean wash and wipe would mean wipe.Then why is there this silly confusion.

    I am not nit picking but its important matter for me.Like many who work in the western world washing our feet in the sink is not the ‘done thing’ – i have had women look at me in a weird way.

    In any case you have made it clear so God willing it will now be easy to preform wudu.

    May Allah be kind to you and your family.

    Salam

    Life would be easy if things were simple.

  4. November 13, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    Treesandstones,

    I am very flattered that you have come to me to ask for this clarification, and I hope, in all humbleness, that I will be able to be of any help.

    Now to answer your question, we must look closely at the verse and I will go through it with you so that you see how it is that I came to certain conclusions.

    يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلاَةِ فَاغْسِلُواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ وَامْسَحُواْ بِرُؤُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَينِ وَإِن كُنْتُمْ جُنُبًا فَاطَّهَّرُواْ وَإِن كُنتُم مَّرْضَى أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَاءَ أَحَدٌ مِّنكُم مِّنَ الْغَائِطِ أَوْ لاَمَسْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَلَمْ تَجِدُواْ مَاءً فَتَيَمَّمُواْ صَعِيدًا طَيِّبًا فَامْسَحُواْ بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُم مِّنْهُ مَا يُرِيدُ اللّهُ لِيَجْعَلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنْ حَرَجٍ وَلَـكِن يُرِيدُ لِيُطَهِّرَكُمْ وَلِيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

    Literal Translation

    You, you those who believed, if you started/got up to the prayers, so wash with water your faces, and your hands to the elbows, and rub/wipe with your heads and your feet to the two joints/ankle bones, and if you were impure/unclean , so be purified/cleaned , and if you were sick/diseased or on (a) journey/trip/voyage or one of you came from the safe hidden depression in the ground (toilet), or you touched and felt repeatedly the women, so you did not find water, so wipe your hands and face with dust good/pure dust, so rub/wipe with your faces and your hands from it, God does not want to make/put on you strain/hardship, and but He wants to purify you mentally and physically and to complete (E) His blessing on you, maybe/perhaps you thank/be grateful. (5:6)

    Free Minds Translation

    O you who believe, if you rise to attend the contact-method, then wash your faces and your hands up to the elbows, and wipe your heads and your feet to the ankles; and if you have had intercourse, then you shall bathe. And if you are ill, or traveling, or you have excreted feces, or you have had sexual contact with the women, and you could not find water, then you shall do ablution from clean soil; you shall wipe your faces and your hands. God does not want to make any hardship over you, but He wants to cleanse you and to complete His blessings upon you that you may be appreciative. (5:6)

    http://www.openburhan.net/ob.php?sid=5&vid=6

    In this verse, wudu is described differently under two different circumstances: first, if there is water and two, if there is no water.

    Lets focus first on the former case in which there is water.

    There are four areas/parts of the body that are identified in this verse (face, hands, head, and feet):

    1-Wash your faces and your hands up to the elbows, ( اغْسِلُواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ ) ,and

    2-And wipe with your heads and your feet to the two joints/ankle bones ( وَامْسَحُواْ بِرُؤُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَينِ ),

    The face and hand one should wash, the heads and feet should be wiped. The word (اغْسِلُواْ ) is from the root ( غسل )= to wash. The word (امْسَحُواْ ) is from the root ( مْسَحُ ) = to wipe ( امْسَحُوا بُوجُوهكم و أيديكم : أَمِرُّوا أيديَكم عليها ) move your hands over it.

    When there is no water, there are only two body parts that must be wiped.

    ( فَامْسَحُواْ بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُم ) you shall wipe your faces and your hands.

    It sounds like the faces and the hands are somewhat more important than the lower body and feet. It is not logical to wash your hair several times a day everyday, and it is also clear that the ( غسل )= to wash, requires more effort and water than the ( مْسَحُ ) = to wipe.

    Therefore we can conclude that when water is available:

    1-Wash your (Faces and Hands) with water ( we know that the skin of the face is more sensitive than the skin of the feet and you use your hands to eat and rub your hair etc. and it is important to keep them clean all the time.

    2-Wipe your heads and your feet to the ankles ( we know that the feet are exposed to dirt all the time specially in older times when there were not very efficient insulating shoes. But still it is not necessary to wash your feet like you wash your face. In the case of no water, it is excluded altogether while the face and hands are not).

    We know that the environment in which the Quran was sent down was desert and there was not always an abundance of water “God does not want to make any hardship over you, but He wants to cleanse you and to complete His blessings upon you that you may be appreciative”.

    Sand is used as an alternative to water, but the areas to be washed with water are to be wiped with sand, and the areas to wiped with water are excluded when there is no water

    ( إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلاَةِ فَاغْسِلُواْ ) “if you started/got up to the prayers, so wash ” 5:6

    Each time you preform salat/prayers, you have to be cleansed.

    I think that a shower is enough and you do not have to follow the order of areas to be washed/wiped ( hands then face then hands again to the elbows etc. ) as long as the 4 areas given are washed, since washing is a higher level of cleanliness than wiping.

    When there is water available, washing the face and hands is a minimum requirement.And since wiping the head/hair and feet is a minimum requirement, washing them would be sufficient.

    I hope my above explanation has clarified the point for you. I think the orders are clear but unfortunately, like so many other clear orders dictated to us by God, there are still always some misinterpretations and confusion.

    I remain at your disposal if you need any additional information.

  5. November 13, 2007 at 1:41 pm

    if you started/got up to the prayers ( إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلاَة )

    so

    1-Wash with water your faces, and your hands to the elbows, (ِ فَاغْسِلُواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِق ) and
    2-rub/wipe with your heads and your feet to the two joints/ankle bones.(ِوَامْسَحُواْ بِرُؤُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَين )

    – and if you were impure/unclean so be purified/cleaned.(وَإِن كُنْتُمْ جُنُبًا فَاطَّهَّرُوا).

    and (ْ وَإِن كُنتُم ) if you were

    1-Sick/diseased ( مَّرْضَى أَو )or
    2-On (a) journey/trip/voyage ( عَلَى سَفَرٍ أَوْ ) or
    3-One of you came from the safe hidden depression in the ground (toilet),( جَاءَ أَحَدٌ مِّنكُم مِّنَ الْغَائِطِ أَوْ ) or
    4-You touched and felt repeatedly the women, ( لاَمَسْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ ف ) so

    you did not find water, then you shall seek clean soil; ( َلَمْ تَجِدُواْ مَاءً فَتَيَمَّمُواْ صَعِيدًا طَيِّبًا ف ) so

    1-rub/wipe with your faces and your hands from it,(َامْسَحُواْ بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُم مِّنْهُ)

    God does not want to make/put on you strain/hardship, and but He wants to purify you mentally and physically and to complete (E) His blessing on you, maybe/perhaps you thank/be grateful.
    ( ُ مَا يُرِيدُ اللّهُ لِيَجْعَلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنْ حَرَجٍ وَلَـكِن يُرِيدُ لِيُطَهِّرَكُمْ وَلِيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ )

  6. 7 treesandstones
    November 15, 2007 at 6:53 pm

    Salam Stefan

    Thank you kindly for the detailed information. Could you explained to me what is the difference between the freeminds translation to that of the literal translation. l do understand that the formal arabic language is quiet difficult to understand. And as a result many words are thus translated as understood by the person translating it. However, when one comes across many differing translations it really becomes an issue as to which one to believe, its not really a matter of pick and chose to suit the purpose!!!

    And as a Muslim i must confess this task is quiet daunting to say the least. Please please shed some light on this. i am really really confused, l swear by Allah this is killing me.

    Salam

    May Allah have mercy.

  7. November 19, 2007 at 12:30 am

    treesandstones,

    I completely understand what you are saying as that even though I am fluent in Arabic, I find myself re-learning Arabic as the Arabic used in the Quran is very different from the Arabic used today. The Quran is a very rich text and demands a close understanding of its every word to really grasp its meaning. I find myself reading the different translations and many times I find them very far from the literal meaning of the Arabic text. What I would suggest you do is that first of all, you always read the literal translation and then survey other translations and try to see how the literal translation differs from the other interpretative translations. If you survey several translations and benchmark them with the literal translation, you will be able to get a neutral understanding of each of the verses, I think.

    This link might be useful as it provides a word for word translation in a certain table-like organization that allows you to better understand the use of each word within the verse.

    http://www.studyquran.co.uk/Quran_ArabicEnglish_WordforWord_Translation.htm

    I think that whether you are competent in Arabic or not, studying the Quran still demands that you learn its specific Arabic and terminology so ultimately, I think we all have to learn the Arabic of the Quran simultaneously as we try to study the Quran to really optimize our understanding of the Holy Text.
    And of course, you can always ask me if you have specific questions and maybe I can be of some help.

    😀

  8. 9 Eagle
    November 19, 2007 at 5:10 pm

    @treesandstones,

    Off topic here, I know what trees and stones mean, my question to you is, do you subscribe to that kind of thinking??

  9. 10 Eagle
    November 19, 2007 at 8:09 pm

    Clarification: The trees and stones in Islam, not Christianity.

  10. 11 treesandstones
    November 20, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    Sorry Eagle

    I dont understand what you mean when you said ‘do you subscribe to that kind of thinking’?

    By the way ‘treesandstones’ is my user name as yours is Eagle – i chose this because i love nature, particularly trees and stones.

    I am currently a very confused muslim, my research began last year with someone saying about hadith or rather comparing hadith to ‘Chinese wisphers’.

    OK the hadith business is dust settled, finally.

    Now lets tackle the Quran dilemma…..the forever undecided differing views ie translations.

  11. 12 Eagle
    November 20, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    When I see a Muslim with the name tree’s and stone’s my first thought is those who say…

    “The tree’s and stone’s will call out here is a Jew, come kill him.”

  12. 13 Eagle
    November 20, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    You might want to change your name 😀

  13. 14 treesandstones
    November 21, 2007 at 7:52 pm

    Well to a degree you are rite about the hadith which talks about the trees and stones (thats not to say that the hadith has any precedence or like i mentioned earlier the dust has settle).

    The name was derived partly by both elements, but since knowing about the problem with hadith i still decided to keep the name, because nature was also one of the influences. So Eagle dearest l am afraid l intend to keep the name.

    PS dont let it bother you.

    life’s to short to stuff a mushroom!!!!!

  14. 15 Eagle
    November 21, 2007 at 8:34 pm

    I was merely pointing out how the name could unfairly cause others to view you. Too many people jump right to a conclusion instead of asking questions like I did. Your answer suits me fine, I mean I believe you. Some people are jerks though and like nothing better than to go.. “see, see, I told you they were evil”. It is a on going mission of mine to prove those kind of people wrong. 😀

  15. 16 Reflection (formally known as treesandstones)
    November 25, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    OK

    Salam Eagle

    Sorry for the delayed response. I have decided to change my ID from treesandstones to Reflection.

    Hope this new ID will not conflict or arouse any suspicion from those so called jerks.

    I do understand your point its valid enough.

    Salam

  16. 17 Eagle
    November 27, 2007 at 4:23 am

    Bigots abound Reflection, it is important not to give them any room to spew, or give them a foothold. I have seen how vicious those bigots can be on my own blog.

    In the Christian Bible it teaches that we should do nothing to offend a little one, most agree that this not only means children, but those who are young in the faith. That it would be better that a mill stone were put around are necks.

    I don’t know if Islam has such a teaching, but I keep the Christian teaching in the front of my mind in what I do and say.

    You say you are a confused Muslim, if that is the case, I think you are on the right blog for that. There is much knowledge here for all.

    Peace and God bless you and yours
    😀

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