Just curious - how many muslims are on mumsnet?

(998 Posts)
Galvanise Sat 01-Dec-12 00:21:53

Hello/Salaam,

I know mumsnet has a wide and diverse population and I tend to recognise some MN usernames as regulars. Just intrigued to know how big/small a community it may be.

Of course, I respect that there may be those who do not wish to even identify themselves for various reasons - which is fine too.

I am not asking for 'religiousness' levels or any vital stats! Nor is this a muslim-only thread or an 'no non-muslims' thread.
If you really wish to tell me that you are not a muslim, that is fine too smile

<Waves enthusiastically to all muslims and non-muslims> smile

firefly11 Thu 20-Dec-12 14:55:42

nailak yes, I believe God is omnipresent. In fact that's the first realisation that made me think God exists. I had one of those "transcendental" experiences where I just felt God was with me. But yeah it's strange because I've had it twice in my life. Once when I was about 19. And recently about 2 months ago. So I've wavered between agnostic, atheist and deist all my life. I think this time it'd be more easily sustained as I've had it twice now and am more or less convinced... I'm sure atheists will tell me there are lots of rational explanations for these experiences but I'm inclined to think there is a God now.

crescentmoon Thu 20-Dec-12 15:01:16

as for firefly...

"I don't also believe wholeheartedly that religious books are words of God. they are fables to me, written by man inspired by their feelings towards God."

people thought they were fables in the 7th century too! When muhammad (pbuh) began preaching to the pagan arabs about abrahamic monotheism and reciting the verses of the Qur'an as they were revealed to him they were extremely skeptical. the pagan arabs of mecca, on hearing the stories told of the various Jewish prophets: Jesus, Moses, Abraham, Job, David, declared that these were mere folk tales and stories of old men. all of these verses are in the Quran, i think, to make us as muslims acquainted with doubt. and also a sign of the confidence of the message of Islam.

"When Our verses are recited to them, they say, “We have heard; if we wish, we can compose a discourse like this. It is nothing but the tales of the ancient people."
(chapter 8, verse 31)

"This is what has been promised to us and to our fathers before. It is nothing but the tales of the ancients.”
(chapter 23, verse 83)

"The disbelievers said, “This is nothing but a lie he (the messenger) has fabricated and some other people have helped him in it.” Thus they came up with sheer injustice and falsehood. And they said, “(These are) the tales of the ancients he (the messenger) has caused to be written, and they are read out to him at morn and eve.”
(Chapter 25, verse 4-5)

Muhammad had to preach to a hedonistic polytheistic people and they didnt believe in monotheism anyway. they considered it all folk tales and stories of old men - that was their starting point, so not even acknowledging that they could be the intepretation of what people thought about the One God.

they also derided the prophet (pbuh) for his simple living and humbleness. they said to him 'where are your special powers? where are your miracles? if you preach to us about God and these other great prophets, why isnt a grand sign sent to you?

the Quran does not ascribe divinity, independent powers, will to perform miracles or knowledge of the unseen to Muhammad (pbuh). instead it repeatedly says that muhammad is a plain warner and his duty is to convey the message. what made Muhammad (pbuh) extraordinary and his message was not any special powers.

"The disbelievers say, “Why is it that no sign has been sent down to him from his Lord?” You are but a warner; and for every people there is a guide."
(Chapter 13, verse 7)

"And they say, “Why is it that no signs (miracles) have been sent down to him from his Lord?” Say, “Signs are only with God, and I am only a plain warner.” Is it not sufficient for them that We have sent down to you the Book that is being recited to them? Surely in it there is mercy and advice for a people who believe."
(Chapter 29, verse 50-51)

"Say: "I am but a man like yourselves, (but) the inspiration has come to me, that your God is one God: whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteousness, and, in the worship of his Lord, admit no one as partner."
(Chapter 18, verse 110)

"Say, “I have no power to bring a benefit or a harm to myself, except that which God wills. If I had the knowledge of the Unseen, I would have accumulated a lot of good things, and no evil would have ever touched me. I am but a warner, and a herald of good news for a people who believe.”
(Chapter 7, verse 188)

"They said, “We shall never believe in you unless you cause a spring to gush forth for us from the earth. Or you have a garden of date palms and grapes, then you bring forth rivers from their midst in abundance. Or you cause the sky to fall upon us in pieces, as you claimed, or you bring Allah and angels before us face to face. Or you have a house made of gold. Or you ascend to the sky, and we will not believe in your ascension unless you send down to us a book we may read.” Say, “I proclaim the Purity of my Lord. I am nothing but human, a messenger.” Nothing prevented people from believing, when guidance came to them, except that they said, “Has Allah sent a man as a messenger?”
(Chapter 17, verse 90-94)

"Say, “I do not say to you that I have the treasures of God, nor do I have the knowledge of the Unseen, nor do I say to you that I am an angel. I only follow what is revealed to me.”
(Chapter 6, verse 50)

"Say: I am not the first of the messengers, and I do not know what will be done with me or with you: I do not follow anything but that which is revealed to me, and I am nothing but a plain warner."
(Chapter 46, verse 9)

"And Muhammad is no more than a messenger like the messengers that have already passed away before him; if then he dies or is killed will you turn back upon your heels? And whoever turns back upon his heels, he will by no means do harm to God in the least, and God will reward the grateful."
(Chapter 3, verse 144)

firefly11 Thu 20-Dec-12 15:51:05

crescentmoon I guess I have difficulty deciding on which prophet is right. They all say different things although the belief in one God is shared by all the Abrahamic faiths. I am sort of stuck between them. And yet also cannot reconcile my lack of belief in Heaven and Hell with any of them. Well, in Judaism they don't believe in Hell so it's a bit more congruent with my beliefs. But they do believe in Heaven though it seems. I think I incline more to Judaism in terms of belief. But I won't bother with conversion to Judaism because halachically I am not Jewish. And they don't require conversion to go to Heaven anyway but I don't care much about Heaven because I don't really believe there's heaven.

firefly11 Thu 20-Dec-12 16:00:33

I'm sorry for hijacking the thread by the way. I realise its gone quite off topic now for me to be talking about what I believe... It's really about how many Muslims there are on MN, not my beliefs. blush

firefly11 Thu 20-Dec-12 16:08:28

I'm at this stage now where I'm still a non religious Deist but very interested in learning about different religions. But I have an interest in Islam because I know many Muslims. But not sure yet about conversion because I also have an interest in Christianity and Judaism, Bahai and Zoroastrianism...

nailak Thu 20-Dec-12 16:35:59

firefly and what do you think about worship? do you think we can worship anything if God is in everything?

jzk crescent

nailak Thu 20-Dec-12 16:38:41

dont apologise! threads evolve.

first figure out what you believe and read up on everything that interests you, which it sounds like you are doing, dont worry about conversion right now!

Even when the Quran was revealed, first the verses about beliefs and God were revealed, then later the commandments came.

and Islam believes all the Prophets peace be upon them were right.

crescentmoon Thu 20-Dec-12 17:17:34

dear firefly i probably changed the thread first by mentioning being an aspiring sufi! i think the part im attracted to is different to the part you are attracted to.

if islam is about inhibiting and taming the nafs - the ego, then the sufi tradition is about breaking the nafs. God does not ask us to go that far but the Sufi tradition i follow says go for excellence. so i am attracted to its rigourousness - the part that says if you wish God to accept you you must approach God with both obligatory and superogatory acts of worship free of the taint of hypocrisy and showing off. but there are also muslims who follow the sufi tradition who just want to love God and love the prophet (pbuh). sufi muslims like this...

Coke Studio Alif Allah

its a traditional indopak qawwali made 21st century. if the english translation doesnt show you can click on the captions icon to read it. i like it especially this verse...

''like a doves call, with every breath, my heart echoes God's name''

but i prefer the simple nasheeds.

'the shimmering light' with translation

its great you want to learn about other religions, i am a practising muslim but i lurk alot on the threads about other religions to learn about them also as i find anyone practising a faith interesting and want to know more. not to convert but to understand other faiths.

as for Judaism, i have always perceived it as more prescriptive than Islam in many ways if you do not like the 'do what God says' part of religion. but there are many Jewish women on mumsnet. i think iv read of even one or two that have converted to judaism which i was curious about also. maybe you could start a thread asking about it so we could learn about their tradition too?

i will say to you firefly that if we are not sisters in faith we are sisters in humanity. and thats how i like to go to everybody. but your posts put up interesting questions.

even on the subject of heaven and hell, the pagan arabs also did not believe in any afterlife. they were polytheists with many Gods but did not believe in the afterlife, they believed that when they died that was it.

"They say: "Shall we indeed be returned to (our) former state of life? Even after we are crumbled bones?"
(Chapter 79, verse 10-11)

"Is it when we have died and become dust and bones, that we shall be raised again, And even our fathers of aforetime?"
(chapter 37, verse 16-17)

i made a mistake with the book of job thread not going back to show how the Quran dealt with those questions but inshaallah on this thread i will. because truly this is the core of the confidence of islamic monotheism - and the reason why Islam can ask so much of its adherents.

firefly11 Thu 20-Dec-12 20:04:19

nailak Interesting question there. Hmm I have been wondering what the difference is, or if there is a difference between worship and prayer. It does appear to mean slightly different things to different people. I pray when I feel the need to, but not necessarily when I'm in trouble or in need of help. Sometimes I see something in nature that's so beautiful and I immediately want to say a prayer/commuicate with God, and in my prayer I thank God for that. I think of God as a loving presence. God created everything but everything has God's essence in it. I don't particularly judge things in life as fair or unfair because I think only God knows why things are here/happen and that I may probably never know those reasons only God knows.

crescentmoon I think that my idea of God as an ever present, ever knowing, powerful, loving entity is somewhat related to my non-acceptance of the concept of Hell. I just cannot get how a God like this would want to subject people to torture for eternity. I don't entirely subscribe to the Free Will argument totally. I believe we all have Free Will but only up to an extent. The rest is up to God. Its kind of like the saying, "God only helps those who help themselves" but then I also accept that sometimes, God does not appear to help us in ways we expect because we don't really know the reasons why things are the way they are. And if "help" doesn't seem forthcoming from God it could be that its for reasons we cannot fathom, but there is a reason why. Just we mere mortals can't fathom.

Most of my friends who are Muslim are Malays of Indonesian or Javanese descent, as I spent many years growing up in Singapore. They do seem to be less strict Muslims - I mean the ones I'm friends with! They aspire to be one day donning the hijab everyday, but are not yet readyfor it, so to speak. I have met in England, Muslim women who are either very strict or Tunisians who, outwardly, I couldn't tell were Muslims at all in the way they looked or dressed but they were the ones who sort of sparked my fascination for Islam in a way as they broke my stereotypes of what being Muslim meant. I have been on many internet Islam forums just reading the comments and also have seen some Muslims calling those who aren't keeping to the religion strictly as kaffirs or "sufis" and wanting to establish a Caliphate in the West or something! But I think some are very extreme... and that gives Islam a bad name to those who don't know any better. Even my Muslim friends from Singapore (well the ones who are kind of "Muslim lite") told me to stay away from "Wahabbis/Salafis" if I want to learn more about Islam. They also mentioned sometime about the "arabisation" of Islam which they don't agree with and well, honestly I don't know that much about all these divisions and sects within the Muslim world... I wouldn't know how to tell who is a "Wahabbi"?? but I am just sticking to reading the Quran, Hadiths and Seerah for now. Though I am also reading the Bible at the same time , so lots of reading going on !

I did some sort of a religion quiz on Beliefnet and it says the religion for me is Unitarian Universalist. Maybe for now that is quite correct... given I have not yet found myself believing in Heaven and Hell. Which you are correct in saying that is an important aspect of Islam which is quite central to why it can ask so much from its adherents... which I realised as I read the Quran. Which is why I feel I'm not quite ready to convert or anything... I cannot do anything just because God says so in a holy book, because I don't quite believe literally in what is being mentioned in the book. When I see Hell mentioned in the Quran or the Bible I think it just means its really bad to do what it says not to do, but I cannot believe in it literally.

Cuddledup Thu 20-Dec-12 21:02:04

Firefly thanks for asking all the questions you've posted, I've really enjoyed reading your posts and the replies. Like you I'm also on a spiritual journey but haven't reached my destination yet, but I do find Islam v interesting and attractive. I have real problems with Christianity - I just don't get the claim that Jesus is the "son of God" - but I do see him as a prophet / inspiring teacher. At the moment I occasionally go to Quaker meetings as I like the peace and sense of community.

Crescent can you recommend an online Quaran- that's easy to read. grin
thank you

nailak Thu 20-Dec-12 21:20:16

www.quranexplorer.com/Quran/Default.aspx you can listen to different recitations and read different translations

worship can be anything it depends on intention, like charity, fasting greeting someone, keeping family ties, even sex is worship.

when we see something like that we say subhanAllah (glory be to Allah).
I meant that some religions who believe god is everywhere, worship as in pray to stones, statues, animals or whatever, what do you feel about that? seeing the glory and might of the Creator in the Creation is different from believing that god is actually INSIDE everything, therefore you can pray to anything and that will be praying to God.

As for free will, I believe we have free will to the extent that we perceive choice, however I believe in the qadr of Allah, and that is pre determination.

nailak Thu 20-Dec-12 21:23:00

Also on ebay you can get free Quran and also IDCI has free book packs they can send you

IDCI free pack idci.co.uk/Pack-of-10-Publications-3100-d

ebay 1p Quran free postage www.ebay.co.uk/itm/THE-MEANING-OF-THE-HOLY-QURAN-IN-MODERN-ENGLISH-/170961973565?pt=Non_Fiction&hash=item27ce20b13d

firefly11 Thu 20-Dec-12 23:57:44

nailak Thing you said about idol worship - I have a lot of experience with that! I grew up with a Thai Buddhist father (hence I was brought up for many years as a child in Singapore, because that was his birthplace) who was very religious and the thing about Thai Buddhism which seems different from the kind of Buddhism I have seen in the West is that they really do that whole idolatry thing to the max! I mean, growing up, I saw my father spend lots of money collecting all manner of statues and statuettes around the home. Eventually he had 2 shrines at home each dedicated to different gods and apart from that, hundreds more in display cases! It does seem mad.. well as a child, I always thought it was bizarre. Never subscribed to it. He bought amulet necklaces that I "must" wear in order to protect me from bad things. Well I did go along with it, just to please him. My mother had a Bible lying around in the house and I took it out to browse for interest's sake one day and accidentally left it lying around, which my Dad saw and he got real upset with me like saying he was gonna disown me if I ever became a Christian. etc. But then when I was about 15 I had decided there was no point believing in God (or Gods) because I just never felt it, and never believed in it.

I kept it secret from my Dad though because I knew he would be upset. When I was about 16 I didn't care any more and one day when he told me to pray to Buddha for some special day, maybe Vesak Day or some other religious thing, and I said I'm not doing it, because I don't believe in it. His face just went black and he said something like if you don't believe in God you will have nothing, etc.
But that was that and after that he was okay with me (did take a while though) but he never asked me to join him in prayer again.

Hmm... anyway, so fast forward to now - do I believe that you can pray to the tree or to statues? Hmm... no. I would say no. I still don't believe in that. I think God made us and in a sense, a bit of God is in everything in this world. However, I somehow believe that God is also a separate entity from all his creation and that is the God I pray to. I don't pray to trees or idols, etc.. That's just me.

Cuddledup I'm glad you found what I said of use. I was concerned I was hijacking the thread and I still do so I will perhaps refrain from commenting as much now. Islam is very interesting. I am a bit of a gadget geek so I use the Quran for Android app on my tablet to read the Quran - its a really good app, has the audio to accompany the Arabic text. And the Daily Hadiths app to read Hadiths daily. I am finding the Seerah very interesting and inspiring, and helps me understand a bit more about Islam than just reading the Quran and Hadiths. The Seerah is the life story of the prophet Muhammed. I read that online here so you may want to check it out if you're interested www.musalla.org/Articles/Seerah/index.htm I think I go through about 2 pages a night. Slowly and surely. I love hearing the Islamic prayers (you can search them on Youtube) being chanted... it truly is very soothing.

My husband's family are full on hardcore Christians. My husband himself isn't practising and hates going to churches, though he isn't atheist, he believes in God but doesn't believe in Heaven or Hell One thing I have found hard to understand about Christianity is the Trinity. I think if I can "get" that, then I may find it easier to accept Christianity. I have been reading some stuff about the Quakers and ordered the introductory pack from the Quaker Society of Friends. The book is quite a good read.

nailak Fri 21-Dec-12 10:08:48

Yes firefly, I believe it is like a painter, the painter paints the painting so his thoughts and feelings are apparent in the painting, but he himself cannot be inside it. Allah is like this. Allah cannot be inside his creation.

Therefore we cannot believe in the trinity. We believe the holy ghost refers to the Angel Gabriel. We believe that there is a measure of what is God given in the Quran in a surah called Ikhlas.

"
Say: He is Allah, the One and Only!
Allah, the Eternal, Absolute;
He begetteth not nor is He begotten.
And there is none like unto Him."

So we cannot believe God has a begotten son.

Here is an interesting former CHristian pastors story about understanding the trinity. youtu.be/_MA02yXK6cw just watch the bit from 23.30 where he is talking about the trinity for a few mins. The background is he is a preacher and he had a Muslim house guest, he wanted to convert the guest to Christianity.

I was brought up Hindu, so we are not that different!

crescentmoon Fri 21-Dec-12 16:41:01

Salams everyone!

im just going to write a stream of consciousness as i dont have time to find all the references but anyone who wants me to go back and give them please ask!

i think the confidence of islamic monotheism is because our belief in God isnt based on miracles or supernatural phenomena. in the times of the ancients especially amongst pagan people they wanted to SEE something or have a MAGICAL thing happen. and Allah had granted that to the other prophets peace be upon them when they were sent as messengers to their people but not for Muhammad (pbuh). instead the Holy Prophet (pbuh) was given the Quran alone. and that was to be the proof for the religion of Islam.

and the Quran made the central argument for God based not on a small still voice inside, nor on a grand big miracle, but instead tells the listener/reader to use their reason and intelligence to look around them and observe the natural world to see the signs of God. The Quran says to the reader look out at the world attentively, and with curiosity. so as a muslim it is to see the world as an epiphany and have simple wonder at the everyday miracles of life. if you read the book the Life of Pi - its out in the cinema now - and you consider the Muslim Mr Kumar - the other Mr Kumar is an atheist! - he shows that attitude.reflection on the creation of the earth, the diversity of life, in space and the universe is one of the central themes of the Quran often repeated. many verses say
'this is for those who think',
'have you not considered',
'to those who reflect'

what appeals to me about the Quran's message is that it doesnt just say 'look to the heavens and the earth', to find one's proof, the Qur'an actually specifies 'it is in the creation of the heavens and the earth...' that one will find the proof. that is a strong encouragement of science and is the reason for Islamic civilisations very early tradition of natural science....

"Verily! in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding. Those who remember God (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): 'Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You! Exalted be You above all that they associate with You as partners". (Chapter 3, verse 190-191)

"In the succession of the night and day, and in what God created in the heavens and the earth, there truly are signs for those who are aware of Him". (Chapter 10, verse 6)

"the creation of the heavens and the earth is indeed greater than the creation of mankind, but most of mankind know not". (Chapter 40, verse 57)

(emphasis on greater. i always took this verse to mean the physical sciences were better than the life sciences!)

"Do they not look at the camels, how they are made? and at the sky, how it is raised high? And at the mountains, how they are fixed firm? And at the earth, how it is spread out?" (Chapter 88, verse 17-20)

"And amongst his signs (of being God) is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and colors. Verily, in that are signs for those who know" (Quran 30:21).

to someone acquainted with the God of the Old testament/ new testament the God of the Quran is more impersonal. very far and distant. in that respect the Quran's argument is similar to the Deist position which puts forward belief in God as an intellectual position not a passionate relationship with ' The Father' or knowing the One whose image we were supposed to have been made. in islam we believe we are not made in God's image nor that we are His Children, both statements are beneath His Majesty. instead we are urged to use our reason and observation of nature.

the Quran says 'Do they not look at the camels, how they are made? and at the sky, how it is raised high? And at the mountains, how they are fixed firm? And at the earth, how it is spread out?" (Chapter 88, verse 17-20)

In the 7th century AD a desert Arab would have heard that verse from the Qur'an and looked at a camel and seen the hump on its back and thought thats what made it more resilient in the desert over horses.
and they would have said 'praise God'.
now in the 21st century, i know by science just how suited the camel is to its environment, that they are incredible animals with unique physiology to other mammals. that a camel's red blood cells are oval shaped not circular like in other mammals so when the camel drinks alot of water those cells are much less likely to rupture due to the high osmotic variation. that they can drink up to 100litres at a time. that they are adapted to withstand high body temperature or water deprivation that would kill other mammals. that they do not sweat unless their body temperature reaches 41 degrees celsius. they can chew thorny desert plants and have long eyelashes, ear hairs, and sealable nostrils, to form a barrier against sand. They have wide feet to have a larger surface area so they don't sink into sand. camel antibodies are smaller than other mammals which makes them more durable and some cancer researchers want to model them for drug delivery research.

and i still say 'praise God'.

why? because the sophistication of this animal is evidence to me of the sheer wonder and the creative genius of God.

crescentmoon Sat 22-Dec-12 08:37:56

The trinity is the mystery of the Christian religion. It requires a lot of theological speculation to explain it and sustain it and so the Christian does not mind to say faith is not logical.

To a Muslim it's the opposite- we believe in God as One, Unity, so we do not have to get our heads round the trinity. Therefore we say we arrive at God as the conclusion of deductive reasoning. Muhammad (pbuh) brought down his own importance and reduced the probability of any priest class forming in Islam by making belief in God simple and something arrived at by an individual exercising their own intellect. in islam our intellect is the only thing that ennobles the children of Adam (as) and raised us up from animal. so although it starts out that the God of Islam is too unattainable, actually God becomes to us very close because we believed by ourselves, taking away the complication of verifying a miracle that occurred 2000/3000/4000 plus years ago.

The Quran was also to be accessible to anyone so that also-along with a simple theology- took away the need for a priesthood. Knowledge was supposed to be attained by an individual.

Jesus (as) was preaching to a monotheistic legalistic people and so his message was about addressing their social issues. the message of Muhammad (pbuh) was to a polytheistic hedonistic people and it was addressing a much wider swathe and audience of humanity. my ancestors turned away from paganism because Muhammad (pbuh) argued based on God the OMNIPOTENT, not God the Loving.

i play a variation of 'Rock, paper, Scissors' game with my children to explain the Omnipotence of God. i ask them 'what about if Allah was a.... mountain?' and my children will say 'but you can walk on a mountain, you can stand at the top of it' God is too Majestic for that. it was this argument of Omnipotence that turned my ancestors away from polytheism.

the pure monotheism of the Quran focuses alot on Prophet Ibrahim - Abraham - because his story of his search for God is what made the pagan arabs realise the gods they created with their hands made of dates, that they would carry into the desert with them but then used to nibble on when they were hungry, could not be anywhere near an adequate thing worthy of worship. (story of Umar ibn al Khattab )

after Ibrahim (as) turned away from idolatry the Quran says:

"When the night covered him over, He saw a star: He said: "This is my
Lord." But when it set, He said: "I love not those that set."
When he saw the moon rising in splendour, he said: "This is my Lord." But
when the moon set, He said: "unless my Lord guide me, I shall surely be among those who go astray."
When he saw the sun rising in splendour, he said: "This is my Lord; this is
the greatest (of all)." But when the sun set, he said: "O my people! I am indeed free from your (guilt) of giving partners to God.
For me, I have set my face, firmly and truly, towards Him Who created the
heavens and the earth, and never shall I give partners to God."
(Chapter 6, Verse 76-79)

so this story is about Ibrahim (as) reflecting quietly to himself to give an example of how the human intelligence can come to its own reasoning about God the Creator.

so why did God create humanity? the Quran says:

“Did you think that We had created you in play (without any purpose), and that you would not be brought back to Us?”
(Chapter 3, Verse 115)

(the royal 'We' like queen victoria 'We are not amused'.)

what is mankind's purpose then?

"[He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed - and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving"
(Chapter 67, Verse 2)

in islam we believe that this life of ours is a test and our purpose in life is to do good deeds. the reason we have been given intelligence and free will, when none of the other creation of God has it, is so we show ourselves: would we incline to piety and goodness without a worldly or material benefit or reward?

"And I (Allah) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone)."
(Chapter 51, verse 56)

so like in Judaism, in Islam faith is experienced not as theological speculation but as a moral imperative, and the Quran says believe in One God and do good deeds, over and over and over and over again. this is another of the central themes in the Quran and it is simple, many individuals from many cultures understood it.

the quran was revealed verse by verse over a period of 23 years to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). by contrast the Torah was revealed to the prophet Moses (as) in one sitting on Mount Sinai.
but Muhammad (pbuh) was able to turn the arab tribes from paganism to pure monotheism within 23 years, something which took the ancient prophets over 700 years to do with the Hebrew tribes. with only the Quran and his (pbuh) own presence. in the face of very deep persecution and oppression. il post more later but would love to hear what other sisters think.

crescentmoon Sat 22-Dec-12 08:42:33

the speech of jafar ibn abi talib to King Najashi, king of the Christian kingdom of Abbysinnia...

"O King, we were a people in a state of ignorance and immorality, worshipping idols and eating the flesh of dead animals, committing all sorts of abomination and shameful deeds, breaking the ties of kinship, treating guests badly, and the strong among us exploited the weak. We remained in this state until Allah sent us a Prophet, one of our own people, whose lineage, truthfulness, trustworthiness, and integrity were well-known to us.

He called us to worship Allah alone, and to renounce the stones and the idols which we and our ancestors used to worship besides Allah.

He commanded us to speak the truth, to honor our promises, to be kind to our relations, to be helpful to our neighbors, to cease all forbidden acts, to abstain from bloodshed, to avoid obscenities and false witness, and not to appropriate an orphan’s property nor slander chaste women.

He ordered us to worship Allah alone and not to associate anything with him, to uphold Salat, to give Zakaah, and fast in the month of Ramadan.

We believed in him and what he brought to us from Allah, and we follow him in what he has asked us to do and we keep away from what he forbade us from.

Thereupon, O King, our people attacked us, visited the severest punishment on us, to make us renounce our religion and take us back to the old immorality and the worship of idols.

They oppressed us, made life intolerable for us, and obstructed us from observing our religion. So we left for your country, choosing you before anyone else, desiring your protection and hoping to live in Justice and in peace in your midst."

(source is al raheeq al makhtum)

Cuddledup Sat 22-Dec-12 08:47:42

Crescent thank you for all this food for thought, I shall read it and ponder.

nailak Sun 23-Dec-12 23:52:05

subhanAllah, I got a poem published in sisters mag!!! just had to share the good news! and I also got accepted to mumsnet bloggers network whoop alhamdulillah
2 birds one stone, blog and poem is here!! I am so excited! I turned the page and got a shock to see my name in print!!

muslimahdirections.wordpress.com/2012/08/04/100/

mariammama Mon 24-Dec-12 00:32:50

Hi crescentmoon. Just waving as a passing Christian to agree I'm not offended when you say the theology of the Trinity is a mystery of faith, which, whilst it can be taught to children, is not easily grasped by human logic alone.

mariammama Mon 24-Dec-12 00:39:50

If it isn't cheeky, would appreciate some advice / thoughts from the ladies here about traditional RC and veil advice

nailak Mon 24-Dec-12 00:48:32

" 2. Do you believe that the Church was wrong for two thousand years,
concerning the veil, and the feminists corrected the error by getting women to abandon it? 3. If you are a
woman who has chosen not to wear the veil, could you give a reason which would illustrate that your choice
comes from a deep and profound love of God?
Answering these questions will give you a pretty good idea as to whom you are giving your allegiance.
The veil, when it is worn for the right reasons (respect and submission), along with a beautiful dress,
compliments a woman’s femininity. So it could be said that the veil is a beautiful expression of a woman’s
femininity"

I would agree with these implications. Mary wore a veil. She is one of the 4 most importnat women in Islam.

mariammama Mon 24-Dec-12 15:22:19

thank you

firefly11 Mon 24-Dec-12 16:45:35

Thank you crescent , nailak and mariam for adding to this thread. I have found lots of food for thought from all this. Oh and I had a look at your blog nailak. Congrats on the published poem smile

crescentmoon Mon 24-Dec-12 17:54:41

Salam alaikum all, I've had guests this afternoon and haven't Been able to post. naila well done mashaallah tabarakallah about being in sisters magazine and getting on the mn blog roll. I love reading blogs so il add yours to my reading list!
mariammama I was so glad to read your post. I was trying to be oh so careful and I'm thankful it didn't offend! I read the first link through about catholic doctrine. The points under the existence, the nature and the attributes of God I think are in common with 80per cent of Islamic belief. But the doctrine of the triune God is the feature of Christianity- it doesn't follow linearly from the other attributes of God and to me either reduces God to His Creation or raises up His Creation to the same status as God. The shamrock example iv heard before but it lets all 3 as co equals- I cannot reconcile that with the belief as God as omnipotent.

this is Imam Al ghazzali's argument for monotheism:

Al-Ghazali argues that there can't be two gods, for “were there two gods and one of them resolved on a course of action, the second would be either obliged to aid him and [sic] thereby demonstrating that he was a subordinate being and not an all-powerful god, or would be able to oppose and resist thereby demonstrating that he was the all-powerful and the first weak and deficient, not an all-powerful god” (Ghazali, 40).

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