Welcome to 2016. As it would happen, I have made new year resolution to reply to as many people as possible. So, I was going through my facebook messenger list and I found out that I had not replied a very beautiful and intelligent muslim friend of mine – Zein. She raised some very importat points and I thought that it would be fun to populate my blog with replies to her since she raised some very good and wonderful suggestions. So… here we go.
Figure 1: Zein’s Facebook Profile Picture
Zein and I were having a wonderful discussion full of mutual respect, kindness, in the spirit of friendship and it was all civilised. I want to use this time to honour Zein and not leave her hanging as I have done for 2 years plus. I do apologise Zein. And if you do not have anything to say due to the bad timing of this blog… feel free to take your time and reply anytime that you want to.
Here is a Copy and Paste of the comment raised by Zein that I want to rpley to in this blog post:
Hello Ernest smile emoticon
I promised I would reply after my exams were over I didnt forget wink emoticon I really find our conversations thrilling, as you might have noticed I’m very interested to learn more and more about this field “religion” because its the essence of our life, our purpose to be here although in the shadow of our mundane activities, deams, jobs etc. wink emoticon I hope your exams have been going well btw!
So let me start by saying I understand your point of view as a Faithful Christian raised individual wink emoticon I am not trying to convince you but on the contrary you might have noticed that I am not very “religious” as you picture other conventional muslims to be tongue emoticon In fact, I am still on my way to understanding, I am reading and studying whats out there. I have studied in Paris about all 3 monotheist religions and compared and still doing so smile emoticon During my quest you might find it hard to believe considering all the bad media coverage on the news tongue emoticon But whatever question I have on my mind, be it: why do we fast? why not eat pork? why women are advised to wear a veil? and all others…All those questions have a very logical answer in the Islamic religion, all aimed at healthy and peaceful living. Not to mention Science & knowledge thrill me and we often think that religion “catholics” in particular if you study history .. was completely against scientific developments. However you will be shocked to know… Islam has encouraged science … and it has actually lead to many of the scientific discoveries of today. No wonder they are called “arab numerals” tongue emoticon Also in one of my lectures inTissue Engineering this year, the lecturer was covering the matter of ethical issues regarding Embryonic Stem Cells… you might be shocked to hear: Islam allows Embryonic testing whereas Christians dont… I would have thought that they got over scientific curiosity/developments but thats just the scientist in me talking wink emoticon I believe science and religion should help alleviate one another. Religion provides the purpose and science provides the mechanism/the reasoning behind different concepts to help us live in a more efficient and hence peaceful way as religion wants it to be wink emoticon I can refer you to several interesting books regarding science and Islam if you are interested wink emoticon
Now regarding the matter you raise, I regard Jesus as a messenger of god, a prophet. In Islam, Jesus has not died yet. In fact if you are familiar with the stories, I am sure you are.. Juda wanted revenge.. God did not allow Jesus to die but he actually changed the face of Juda to look like Jesus. So it is not Jesus on the cross but Juda. Which seems like a more logical story. Jesus shall be back on judgement day to instruct us all and to deliver the final message. This is what Islam believe and this is what I believe. The Quran has never been changed whereas the bible has been rewritten countless times. I find it hard to believe a religion that has several big interpretations/sects/divisions in it .. soo much misconception. I believe Christianity was very logical and I respect it like any other religion however it has diverged on several paths.
Now if I were to agree with you regarding Jesus, and I dont say I do, It is simply not logical. We all agree God wants us to be good. Perfect is not a possibility because we are human, that is how he created us. He created us as beings have his soul, free spirited individuals with imagination, emotions etc. We are unlike any other creatures God created. I am also sure you are aware of the other creatures. We are all different. If God wanted us to be perfect, he would have created one person or just the same people many times. But we are all unique, we have different personalities, different colors, different sex, different origins. Life is a test for us, he wants us to have the free will to follow good. He has given us the choice and this is the best way to submit anyone to good by giving them free will, imagination “a brain”. If we do wrong he promises that he is most forgiving and gives us the chance to apologize and try again, in other words this is called “HOPE”. I love Jesus as much as you do Ernest but we dont believe the same. But please read more regarding Islam and also regarding the history of religions wink emoticon I will continue to do the same smile emoticon I look forward to your reply! My message turned out very long too!!! smile emoticon tc
Juda did not want revenge sorry but betrayal
*Judah did not want revenge sorry but he betrayed Jesus
I would like to get straight into this blog because if Zein is reading this; I want her to kow that I am going straight to the points rather than wasting her time reading through all this 🙂
Not Very Religious?
As you noticed, I am curious as to why Zein is not so very religious as I do not know what this means. Is it that she undermines the activity of God with regards to all the fatwas (1) (especially the Obligatory Fatwas) as depicted in the Quran? Mind to say that there are many Fatwas I do no tagree with. Such as:
- In 2012, Sheikh Murgan Salem al-Gohary of Egypt, a former Taliban, issued a fatwa calling for “the destruction of the Sphinx and the Giza Pyramids in Egypt,” because “God ordered Prophet Mohammed to destroy idols.” (2)
- In 2011-2012, Abdel-Bari Zamzami of Morocco issued a series of religious edicts that a man has the right to engage in sexual intercourse with his wife up to six hours after her death despite recognizing that such an action is despicable in mainstream society, Zamzami persisted in backing his original fatwa, claiming marriage does not end in death. (3)
- Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989 pronounced a death sentence on Salman Rushdie, the author of The Satanic Verses.
- Yusuf al-Qaradawi released a fatwā on April 14, 2004, stating that the boycott of American and Israeli products was an obligation for all who are able. (4)
- Sheik Sadeq Abdallah bin Al-Majed, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Sudan, issued a fatwā that prohibits vaccination of children claiming it is a conspiracy of the Jews and Freemasons. (5) (6)
- In 2013, the grand mufti in Kashmir issued a fatwa terming singing as un-Islamic. forcing Kashmir’s only all-girls rock band to abandon it. (7)
What shall we say about these few examples? Zein will probably know that Fatwas can span ranging from Obligatory to Permissible. Fatwas are always issued on the reasoning and logic. What could be the reasoning and logic of these muftis? I do not know. But many muslims such as Zein will disagree with them on many things. This has made islam to be more of a personal matter on one hand and then a communal matter on the other. It seems to me that Islam works as a cooperate unit. Hence, this is why I believe that Zein can distingush herself from the communal-norms by pointing to the communual-norms and say, “Hey, look. This is how islams is supposed to be practiced; I am not up the par with them even though I am part of them.”
I believe that if you have a religion, then you should take your God very seriously in what HE demands from you. But this is just me talking, I do not know much about Zein; of where she’s coming from cultural wise or her specified aspirations in life. Being in a religion is all about self-signifying. And yes, I agree that there are many Christians who as for example, practicing homosexuality, and they do no follow the teachings of Christ to the letter.