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Just curious - how many muslims are on mumsnet?

(1000 Posts)
Galvanise Sat 01-Dec-12 00:21:53


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

nailak Sun 30-Dec-12 17:44:00

Do you think that we are all qualified to do ijtihad from reading translations of QUran?

I mean I dont actually know your opinion on this, but take the issue of hijab, many women read transaltion of Quran and say that it says pull your outer garment over your bossom etc, and I have pointed out Quran orders the believing women to put jilbaabs on, and the words transalted as outer garment and cloak are jilbaab and khimaar, so by reading it in translation without understanding of Arabic terminology we can come to misunderstandings and we can come to a situation where we are denying the laws of Allah, which may be a kufr. (I am not salafi, I dont make takfir, I know the dangers of it)

Are salafi and wahabi the same thing?

what is the explanantion of 73 sects and only one will reach jannah?

who is Ahl sunnah wa jammah?

Where do you draw the line between differences of opinion and bidah bidah shirk shirk?
I mean many people say bralvis and deobandis commit bidah and shirk. Are they part of the jamaah?

what is your opinion on shrines as a sufi? what is a wali of Allah? can they intercede? can we ask them to intercede?

Where is Allah?

and what do you think of HT?

nailak Sun 30-Dec-12 17:44:16

ok ignore the last question, this is not the right place

crescentmoon Mon 31-Dec-12 12:19:12

salam alaikum naila!

"I have a question though, there is a quote that says something aout when you loose all sense of self the bonds will vanish and you will return the root of your soul,

there is almost exact thing in bhagvad gita where it says when you loose all sense of ego like "I, me and mine" then you will achieve enlightenment"

How do you reconcile this? do you say parts of Hinduism are true but it has been corrupted? Dis Rumi get his ideas from Hindu spirituality?

ok off to read the thread now."

alot of those works of Rumi in English are translated by a Hindu scholar M G Gupta, who was an urdu poet and professor of persian literature.

he has also written extensively on hindu mysticism, heres a booklist:

and so when translating and commenting on the works of Rumi he has given them a slant towards Hindu vedantic mysticism. it is the translator not Rumi who uses the words of the Bhagavad Vita. on top of that, there is some doubt about the copy of the Mathnawi he translated:

"For example, the earliest manuscript of Book I contains 4,007, and Nicholson's edition has 4,003. But Gupta's Volume One of his translation consists of 4,563 verses"

taken from this page about the masnavi:

i said earlier that it was better to read translations of Rumi's works by Muslims because the non muslim translators did not have the depth of training in islamic spirituality to know how to relate his works and the context. if you know the hadith of Jibreel (as), about the servant draws near with obligatory works, then superogatory works, then ends 'i become the eyes with which he sees...'. that is the context of losing all sense of the ego.

"Rumi is saying that the servant of God knows that he is only a
container for God's gifts, and not the possessor or source of those
gifts. In Nicholson's commentary, he quotes the famous 17th
century Turkish commentator on the Mathnawi, Anqaravî, as
saying that Rumi interprets the saying, "He who knows himself
knows his Lord" as meaning, "He who knows himself to be
helpless and contemptible knows his Lord to be Mighty and
Glorious" (Volume 8, 1940, p. 269). "

In an authentic quatrain composed by Rumi, he tells us:

I am the servant of the Qur'an as long as I have life.
I am the dust on the path of Muhammad, the Chosen one.
If anyone quotes anything except this from my sayings,
I am quit of him and outraged by these words.


[--Rumi's Quatrain No. 1173, translated by Ibrahim Gamard and
Ravan Farhadi in 'The Quatrains of Rumi,' an unpublished

please have a read of the two links from dar al masnavi, it explains why Rumi amongst english speaking muslims is so much harder to understand than amongst arabic, farsi and urdu speakers etc.

as for self realisation: hinduism, buddhism, judaism, christianity, etc are alot older than Islam - the prophet muhammad (pbuh) said he was the final, not the first of the messengers. the prophets mentioned in the Quran are only a tiny fraction of those that Allah sent to mankind- thats orthodox islamic belief. consider if the trinity came about within 300 years of the death of prophet Jesus (as), and he only died 2000 years ago then how about the teachings of earlier prophets from ancient times and to other ancient peoples? consider though the pagan arabs were the sons of Ismael (as) whose father was Ibrahim (as), how little they remembered and practised? that the house of God contained idols from all over Makkah by the time of the birth of Muhammad (pbuh). so my teacher told me never to say anything against their founders because really, 'who knows?'.

so that hindu aim for self realisation is not exclusive to hinduism, rising above/breaking down the ego is the main aim in nearly all religions, they teach that attaining permanent happiness is to have complete independence and freedom from all worldly bondage. thats the peak of self improvement in religion.

Maslow described it in secular terms in his 'hierarchy of needs','s_hierarchy_of_needs

the peak of self improvement and self realisation in monotheism? Jesus taught to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” The Torah says, “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow.” the prophet (peace be upon him) said “None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.”

crescentmoon Mon 31-Dec-12 12:44:31

salams naila, i dont use salafi and wahhabi interchangeably, i was talking about wahhabis. though sometimes really the difference between them is like the difference between the BNP and UKIP! the troid type and dawah salafiyyah are where the lines are really really really really blurred ha.

i have salafi friends who express doubt about certain aspects of tasawuff i follow but they dont make takfir on me. they just say 'i dont follow that'.

i dont think we are all qualified to do ijtihad, thats why i follow a madhab. the wahhabis would do away with 1400 years of islamic scholarship - consigning the whole period after the 3rd generation as jahilliya.
when they say 'we are on quran and sunnah' that raises my hackles because who isnt? if you a sunni you are ahlus sunnah. between us we do alot of things that we are unsure of but when the wahhabi say it they never mean it as a religious statement but a political statement.

"Allah will always have mercy on you as long as you have mercy for your brother"

the sufis have the most for the ummah of Muhammad (pbuh), the wahhabis have the least.

crescentmoon Mon 31-Dec-12 13:05:43

Sorry to end it so abruptly dear naila will post later about your other questions.

nailak Mon 31-Dec-12 13:36:06

ok, i get the bit about hinduism being older, the way i see it is if it Christianity became so corrupted in a few hundred years then in 5000 years Hinduism became more corrupted, although there is still truth in it's teachings.

The Hadith of jibreel, are you talking about ihsan? "The man said, “You have spoken the truth. Now, tell me about spiritual excellence (ihsan).”
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, “It is to serve Allah as though you behold Him; and if you don’t behold him, (know that) He surely sees you."

I see what you are saying, you are saying that those who dont care about the ummah, or even our neighbours and immediate community, are lacking, which is what the Prophet sas says. Now days a lot of people talk about first work on yourself and that will effect your family etc, personally I don't believe in this, I feel if you wait until you are perfect to help the community, then you will be waiting for ever!

I guess you are saying that a lot of the point of religion is some sort of social conscience and harmony, which is self actualisation?

There is a hadith about a pious man in a corrupt city and Allah ordered the city burned, the angels came back to him and said are you sure? there is a good man there, and Allah swt ordered the fire started at his house as the man didnt try to change his community and do dawah.

I think individualisation is a product of the times we live in where people are only bothered about themselves.

On a separate note, I am doing an essay about reformation, and I can see many similaraties between the xtian reformatian ideals in 16thc and the modern "Islamic revival" theologically many of the same issues are being discussed. I thought it was quite interesting!

jazakallahkhayr for answering my questions sis.

nailak Mon 31-Dec-12 13:43:02

Also I agree about not being abke to ignore scholars that came after teh tayibeen, like Al Ghazzalli etc who dedicated their lives to understanding Islam, we have had 1400 years of scholarship and insight, to just chuck that all away seems strange.

what do you mean it is a political statement? to say we are on the way of the salaf? I mean obviously like you say it is a bit insulting because we all are! lol, but my husband says he is just Muslim even though we follow madhab etc he doesnt see the need to say it and differentiate himself from other muslims. He even has some shia friends and doesnt make takfir on them, when I talk to him he just asks me how many shia i know and if i have ever talked to them about their beliefs.

Another question, may sound strange but who./what is Muhamad sallalahu allayhi asalaam? I mean I have read some books talking about him being made from noor, the whole of creation being created for his sake, him sas being the first thing created and so on. I guess this question goes alongside who is Allah, as in it is an aqeedah question not a fiqh one.

To what extent can we accept differences in aqeedah?

crescentmoon Mon 31-Dec-12 21:36:29

salams Naila! so sorry about calling it the Jibreel hadith, as you said that one is the one about imaan and ihsaan. the one i meant to say was from imam nawawi's 40 hadith. it is the one "My servant does not draw near to me..." - (hadith no 38).
id love to know more about the essay you are writing. i feel iv been on autopilot for the last few years and iv come out of dc3's baby years really thirsty to learn. im finding that topic of revival/reform really interesting as well - i generally follow 'traditional' fiqh but i know theres a movement of 'minority' fiqh and another of 'modern' fiqh.

"I guess you are saying that a lot of the point of religion is some sort of social conscience and harmony, which is self actualisation?"

i think the main message of all the mursaleen was that attaining permanent happiness is to have complete independence and freedom from all worldly bondage. rising above our desires, our base selves, is the first step and then serving others is the next - all religions try and teach altruism not egoism. now different religions have different paths to freeing oneself from dunya concerns, and have different reasons why. the enlightenment of the hindus and buddhists is their goal. when we say permanent happiness we mean the Garden and seeing the face of Allah.

i dont believe you have to be perfect before you can start effecting change in the community - even if i isolated myself into a cave until the end of my days id still not reach that stage. but we always need to be wary of being 'street angels, house devils'. what i want to be is someone who is hard on herself but easy on others. Imam Al Ghazzali says 'the hypocrite looks for faults, the believer looks for excuses'. (make 72 excuses for your brother and all that).

i enjoy reading about tasawwuf(spirituality) but not aqidah (theology) - DH loves the latter but once he gets past 3 sentences i usually stop him with a 'habibi, please, you are talking too much'. wink no one was more surprised than him when i started an aqidah course this year - i used to think once you say Allah is One what more is there to say? but iv learnt theres alot more! i have noticed around other threads on religion naila that you speak about it in a clear simple way.

as for barailvis or deobandis, my local mosque growing up used to have arguments between the barailvis and the salafis - is it a testament or a detriment that they share same mosque lol? iv always had the attitude, if you have 95% in common why argue about the 5%?

nailak Mon 31-Dec-12 22:37:25

but thats just it, how different can aqeedah be before we say we are different religions and we are not the same? I mean we can say we sahre 90% of aqeedah with some other monotheistic religions, and churches which are not trinitarian etc.

crescentmoon Tue 01-Jan-13 18:32:45

Gahh! I just wrote a really long reply and I lost it. Will try to post later. Happy new year anyway dear naila,hardly, mariammama,cuddleup, galvanise,amirah,firefly, etc and anyone else iv missed out!

crescentmoon Wed 02-Jan-13 18:41:05

Salams dear naila. i think aqidah is an ivory tower subject in Islam - our deen is mainly about orthopraxy and the problems in our cpmmuities are to do with practise not belief.

this is a subject that preoccupies the wahhabi though- they are extremely sectarian both on belief and on practise. when imam abdul wahhab began preaching he made his movement take on a polical dimension-called the Shias heretics and forming fighting groups began destroying shia shrines in arabia, then to the mosque of al hussein in kerbala iraq. then the sauds said in the early 1800s what about the Sufis- they are also heretics - their target werent the small fry pilgrims but the ruling arabian family who were closely allied with the Turkish sultan. the wahhabites became this weapon of ultra zealous fighters and couldnt tolerate any interpretations not their own. like the earlier khwarij sect the wahhabis believed you could kill murder slaughter anyone of a different methodology.The Sauds made lots of gains with them in arabia,then lost power, then rose again in the early 1920s with the help of the wahhabite fighters called the ikhwan. The british through lawrence of arabia gave them weapons to Harrass the ottomans and help them make their land grabs in Iraq and the levant. But the problem was even when the Sauds gained power and fighting had ceased the Wahhabi ikhwan (no relation to the muslim brotherhood of hasan al bana) couldn't stop fighting - they started killing an slaughtering ANY Muslims who they considered as not practising their form of Islam. Not just on aqidah, then onto bidah, onto practise and then onto political allegiance. And when they turned on the saud royals calling them innovators just for using telephones and cars the saudi emir and the British actually led a battle against that same ikhwan group and slaughtered them in huge numbers in 1930.

In wanting to 'purify' Islam they didn't care if there were no Muslims left! and I wish they were a historical footnote like the khwarij but the scholars who stayed on the saud/British side still wanted to be able to preach their sectarianism until today. In their non violent form they break up communities and cause disharmony but at the extreme end - were talking extreme minority of an extreme minority- you find the modern sect 'khwarij' / 'ikhwan' manifesting itself in violent extremism.

The ordinary lay person doesn't know what the Ashari/ maturidi/ Athari/ mutazili/ anthropomorphism theological schools are. You cant say that those are suspicious cultural notions masqurading as religious.There are mostly very fine differences between them.iv found it fascinating recently learning but im not planning to be an imam it's just for my own knowledge.

When I married DH I knew he was more heavily into Sufism than me and I said I didn't mind anything except tawassul- intercession. I believed it was haram as do the majority- the wahhabis didnt teach anything new-i believe it IS part of the 'suspicious cultural practises'. And my DH agreed- he prays sometimes 'my Lord God BY your love for the Prophet' not THROUGH your love of the prophet (pbuh). and iv worked my way through that. When i personally make dua i always mention the prophet pbuh at the end-a prayer FOR him not TO him. and that was as muhammad pbuh ordered us to do. but i would still not make a division with people who do make tawassul. i know a salafi saudi sister married to a sufi man who does make tawassul and they live together happily and peacefully.the sectarian Wahhabis would say that marriage was illegitimate as the man had a different aqidah. Iv read with my own eyes fatwas on Wahhabi sites telling men to divorce their wives if they celebrate the birthday of the prophet (pbuh). the wahhabis celebrate the birthdays of the saudi kings but will call someone who celebrates the prophet's (pbuh) birthday a heretic!

will post later...

crescentmoon Wed 02-Jan-13 19:06:25

I speak about mercy for others but actually, I benefit far more from the 'ummah' concept than contribute to it. I'm coming to the end of a nomadic period of my life- I would have been all kinds of depressed if it wasn't for the simple Salams from strangers on the street, the extension of generous hospitality, the welcome to our city. I cannot complain to Allah that the Muslims let me down personally because I have benefitted from those who believe in the brotherhood of Islam.

Surah ikhlas is the template for the basic theology of our deen- that all Muslims agree. Surah Ikhlas: the chapter of Sincerity
Say He is One, the Eternal, the Absolute, He begets not, nor is He begotten, and there is nothing like Him'. That's the first surah i learnt as a child and the first one i taught my children.That's what we learn as children as the basic code and the prophet pbuh said that is equal to one third of the Quran.and it suffices for alot of muslims even as adults. The six pillars of iman, we all agree on that too shia or sunni. To believe in 1.God, 2.God's angels, 3.God's books (plural: the Torah, the psalms, the gospel and the Quran), 4.God's Messengers (plural), 5.divine fate and 6.belief in the day of judgement. That is the underpinning of our theology I believe. I take them as articles
What we differ on is definition. What do those things mean exactly. But the thing is we believe in those 'headings' whatever we make of them afterwards. 'What does Allah mean by this?'.

nailak Thu 03-Jan-13 14:56:39

I have read this, and I think I am still digesting and pondering it.

for me aqeedah is not an ivory tower subject, it is the essence of what it means to be Muslim, it is who/what is Allah and who/what is the messenger, without truly understanding what is the creator then we cannot understand other stuff, like the importance of his laws, how we may disagree with them but Allah knows best etc, how we should love Muhammad sas better then our own family, I mean we can say these things, but we cannot have true realisation and acceptance of it without aqeedah.

I studied aqidah al tahawiyya and that is my aqeedah. tbh i dont know much in a academic sense of the differences between aqidah, i just know what i observe and my husband observes,

like the whole concept of saints interceeding and praying at shrines changes the way we view Allah, and changes everything, stuff like taweez changes the whole concept of Islam imo.

HardlyEverHoovers Thu 03-Jan-13 15:11:37

Really enjoying 'listening in' on your conversation Nailak and Crescentmoon. Have learnt a lot from your discussion.
For my part, I try not to make distinctions between Muslims in my interactions with them, although personally I identify strongly with the traditional scholars. It does make me very sad in my work with new Muslims that the Salafi perspective is now 'default Islam', and once they have come accross that it is very difficult to convince them of the validity of anything else. Many people do not even realise their beliefs come Salafism, so effective are they in spreading their message.
It also makes me sad that some 'Sufis' I know would not even sit with a Salafi, have them in their house, or go to a mosque which is supposedly Salafi, I really think this is wrong, we are all Muslims and need to be united, as you said Crescentmoon, the majority of our beleifs are identical.

firefly11 Thu 03-Jan-13 16:41:46

Happy New Year to everyone here toosmile By the way, am really glad you addressed the Wahhabi issue crescent as I have heard nothing but negative from my Muslim friends from Singapore. One of the things mentioned to me before was how the Saudis are selfish and won't help other Muslims in trouble. Recent example told to me was the Rohingyas in Burma. Or the issue in Palestine. My friend is more inclined to the Sufi side although she feels its out of her reach and she's not yet disciplined enough to even do the five prayers a day...she was also turned off Islam for a while because of the Wahhabis she's encountered... she is however a big fan of Turkey... whom she said stepped in to help the Rohingyas... and she feels they are an Islamic nation which holds promise..

firefly11 Thu 03-Jan-13 16:50:24

In addition, she (she lives in Oz now) says that this crazy fighting in the Middle East between Sunnis, Shias, Sufis, etc... does not occur elsewhere. In her local Turkish mosque in Oz, there are Shias, Sunnis, Ahmadiyyas, etc. all peacefully coexisting and friendly with each other.

nailak Thu 03-Jan-13 18:35:22

I have a friend who grew up in Bahrain, she had shia friends and stuff there was never an issue, then all of a sudden issues started.

Maybe new muslims gravitiate towards salafis since they are the ones organising events and who are visible? if it wasnt for my husband i am sure i would have gone down that path.

firefly11 Thu 03-Jan-13 18:56:32

I think it is to do with politics and greed and power hunger sometimes. I was asking my friend about this organisation IERA which has been distributing free Qurans on the streets and I saw some Youtube vids of Hamza Tzortzis .. she said they are Wahhabi funded and are like "evangelists going around villages preaching Christianity"... lol... I think they have a lot of funding because they are Saudi linked? And they actively proselytise... it seems. So yeah maybe that's why they may be responsible for drawing more converts... and more importantly, converts who only believe in that ideology.

nailak Thu 03-Jan-13 20:32:32

i like iera, i think abdur raheem green is fantastic, i like hamza tzortis as well, when i first came to islam these are the things i was watching, and i still sometimes watch abdur raheem, green in hyde park vids and stuff out of enjoyment, and if he is coming to a local masjid i make sure i go. I also rate his videos when he is admitting stuff i not a lot of muslims wouldnt admit, like how when he first reverted he would be in a party with a drink in his hand talking about how great islam was.

I think as muslims we are supposed to do dawah and actively proselytise, but for me this is more about my actions then preaching, it is about some of the stuff i say on threads on mumsnet, for me that is my dawah, and i am not going to stand on street corners.

nailak Thu 03-Jan-13 20:33:12

i think sometimes we can take the good and leave the bad

crescentmoon Thu 03-Jan-13 20:57:25

Salams naila firefly hardly.

Glad that your ok with my addressing the Wahhabi issue firefly- it is much more to do with saudi imperialism (i cannot even say arab imperialism as their islam is also alien to the arab nations surrounding saudi arabia) than religion. Will write more but just to say I quite like iera too naila. As far as I know they give a basic groundwork for new Muslims to explore Islam- i know they are mostly made up of converts. my main angst with the wahhabi is that they make takfir on anyone not part of their small sect. they turn on salafis as well sometimes for not following their teachers. there are also Saudis who are not Wahhabi. Else hardly anyone would get to go to hajj or umrah to Mecca as the Wahhabis would bar all to sacrifice unity for 'purity'!
I hate what is happening to Mecca and Madinah. They would wish to strip out as much of the history of Mecca and Madinah in order to replace it with capitalism. Our generation is seeing many historical sites being demolished and rebuilt over ostensibly to take away the risk of grave/ saint worship but really, because its prime land for saudi real estate developers to build 5star hotels and shopping malls close to the Kaaba.

the independent: wanton destruction of Mecca's holy sites

Mecca for the rich

CoteDAzur Thu 03-Jan-13 22:11:31

crescent - It's interesting (for me) that you are interested in Rumi & the Mevlevi Order. I've never read his verses in English and have to say that they are unrecognizeable!

Did you know that Rumi is not his name?

On another note: I don't mean to pick a fight but this made me sad:

"she is however a big fan of Turkey... and she feels they are an Islamic nation which holds promise.."

Islamic government sad which has destroyed the secular army imprisoning hundreds of highest-ranked leaders, bullied and buried independent journalists in jail for years without a charge, annihilated the justice system such that anyone who raises their voice against them is prosecuted and often jailed with ridiculous allegations. If you are interested in how wonderful a path Turkey has been travelling on in the last 15 years or so, I can tell you all about it sad

Yes, another of this Islamic government's "achievements" is that Turkey is inching closer and closer to a full-blown Islamic republic. I suppose that is the "promise" your friend feels that Turkey holds sad

firefly11 Fri 04-Jan-13 00:59:01

cote Wow really? Well I don't know how much she knows about Turkey.. but she is really thinking they are a great country. She is definitely not a hard core Muslim. She does not wear hijab, does not cover everything other than hands. She does stay away from pork, that sort of thing, but is very lax otherwise. As a born Muslim. I get the feeling she likes Turkey because of the secularity of it, definitely not the aspect of shutting down secular voices. Maybe she doesn't know... hmm ...

I don't know very much either. I have only been in Turkey once having stopped over on a Turkish Airways flight. If Turkey is going that way... hmm is it because the government is getting more fundamentalist or something?? I think also she's probably influenced in her opinion by the people she meets - she's probably met Turks who are like her and so... .. I'd be very interested if you have any links or stuff I may forward to her for reading. Although she may have already known?? hmm... who knows!

nailak and crescent I actually knew about Hamza whilst watching a video where he confronted Aron Ra and PZ Myers outside an atheist convention and tried to engage them in a debate. I felt he wasn't a bad person, quite likeable actually, friendly, humble... ? But I felt his arguments were a lost cause. PZ Myers was not interested in what ifs. What if there is something controlling all you see, what if God is behind it... and he tried to argue about how the Quran is God's work because some things said in there turned out to be similar to recent scientific research. And then PZ was saying, no its not similar. Its not accurate. etc.. it was a very entertaining video though to me smile I saw another vid of him handing out leaflets on the street and EDL members approached him and he was very good at his social skills... got them all to shake hands with him and leave peacefully.

firefly11 Fri 04-Jan-13 01:02:34

crescent btw my friend does say the same thing as you regarding the Saudis destroying ancient religious sites for commercial purposes.

firefly11 Fri 04-Jan-13 01:18:51

Me personally though, I think I'm with her in the sense that we believe in secularity in public life. And religion is a private matter. We don't like going around telling people in real life our beliefs as we feel its our business. I remember asking on a Muslim forum once if its possible to be Muslim and secular, and the overwhelming response was no. But she would tell me don't listen to what others say. People don't have to start wearing cotton jubah, grow beards and stop listening to music because they are Muslim. I can see why some other stricter Muslims would say she's not a true Muslim, etc. I'm really not interested in all that fighting and that's one reason why I am remaining non religious.

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