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In the Name of God بسم الله

thepeacemaker

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Everything posted by thepeacemaker

  1. "And He it is Who takes your souls at night (in sleep), and He knows what you acquire in the day, then He raises you up therein that certain conditions may be fulfilled...." (Qur'an 6:60) What does "soul" mean in the above context?
  2. Iran is a better option ...if you're getting a degree in Iranian history or the Farsi language. For everything else...
  3. The main question is how on earth did they figure out that this came from a boat or that the boat was Prophet Nuh's (as)?
  4. Interesting take on this topic by a Sunni scholar: http://www.scholarofthehouse.org/dinistrandna.html “Dogs in the Islamic Tradition and Nature” Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature, s.v. “Dogs in the Islamic Tradition and Nature.” New York: Continuum International, forthcoming 2004. By: Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl Islamic discourses on the nature, and function of dogs are representative of a range of tensions regarding the roles of history, mythology, rationality, and modernity in Islam. In fact, the debates surrounding the avowed impurity of dogs, and the lawfulness of possessing or living with
  5. Many years ago, I heard Maulana Jan Ali Kazmi narrate in a majlis that when Hazrat Isa (as) was being crucified, the Bible says he screamed in his language "Eli Eli lama sabachthani?" ("Eli Eli why have you forsaken me?"). Then he concluded that saying "Ya Ali madad" is not just our practice it is the sunnat of the Prophets! The crowd roared in salawats and narays. Only later after the majlis did it occur to me that Hazrat Isa was never crucified. Oh well, whatever keeps the masses entertained.
  6. I doubt you would find many students of theology who would agree with you on that one. However, after many years of having pets including two cats, I've realized that animals have so many of the characteristics, although to a less pronounced degree, that we humans have - guilt, fear, gratefulness, compassion, love, jealousy, anger, etc. One well-read, devout person tried to convince me that humans have a soul while animals do not. It just didn't sound right to me.
  7. With a few exceptions, I actually find most of these recipients deserving of it. * 2009 - Barack Obama * 2008 - Martti Ahtisaari * 2007 - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Al Gore * 2006 - Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Bank * 2005 - International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei * 2004 - Wangari Maathai * 2003 - Shirin Ebadi * 2002 - Jimmy Carter * 2001 - United Nations, Kofi Annan * 2000 - Kim Dae-jung * 1999 - Médecins Sans Frontières * 1998 - John Hume, David Trimble * 1997 - International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Jody Williams
  8. Not having watched Dave Chappelle much I can't comment on the halalability of his skits but I really enjoyed the one where he plays a blind white supremacist leader (he's african american for those who don't know him). Because he grew up blind (and everyone around him told him he's white) he doesn't realize that he's a colored person and goes on a racist tirade in his speeches. Most of the racist folks in his group don't know he's not white because he always has his kkk hood on in public but his close aides who know he's colored don't stop him because he is such a good recruiter and brilliant
  9. How about Moin Akhtar and Omar Sharif? One gotta be imprisoned in a dungeon in Pakistan to not have heard of those two individuals. Strictly speaking what they used to do was not exactly standup comedy rather more of a stage drama but that's the general idea. Some standup comedy may be a bit offensive but it can still be hilarious none-the-less. For example, Jeff Dunham the comic ventriloquist is a riot with his "Achmed the dead terrorist" skit. "God damn it ...I mean Allah damn it" lol. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uwOL4rB-go
  10. You mean the tens of thousands of Muslim doctors out there administering vaccinations are in on this human-extermination scam with malicious intent?!? I don't just blame the average Muslim joe for these bizarre ideas. This is unfortunately a part of a growing trend by speakers at Shia centers, especially those visiting from the South Asian countries, of making up outlandish conspiracy allegations to incite the Muslim masses in Western countries, capitalizing on their fears, frustrations, and nostalgia. For example, recently I heard a claim by a well-known Alim from India on his visit to Hous
  11. If a husband force feeds his wife broccoli, we don't go about banning broccoli. There are already institutions in place to handle threats, coercions, etc. A possible solution to forced burqa wearing, or for that matter forced anything, is to have public service advertisements that encourage people to contact the local social service offices, law enforcement, etc if they feel threatened. Of course, in many cases, women decide to put up with abuse or coercion to some degree due to other considerations (loss of financial support, custody issues, etc).
  12. I found the title of this thread ("...of the US Population") interesting. One key point is that in advanced countries, many of the health diseases, conditions, syndromes, etc are diagnosed and named. In developing countries however, people simply just "get sick" and die. Children with behavioral conditions are simply beaten or ostracized. I remember an old female relative who lived with us in India many years ago obsessively performed wudhu (for hours at a time), turned knobs and switches using a paper, avoided touching anyone, and at one stage gave up regular food surviving only on nuts and f
  13. This logic is precisely the reason we have so many problems in the Muslim world. We are simply incapable of seeing things from the other side. It is even more ironic coming from a Shia person. In most of the Muslim world, Shias are banned from holding street juloos/rallies of self-flagellation/matam because Sunnis believe it is a sin/innovation/blasphemy/promotion-of-evil/etc. Of all the ironies, US cities allow it. And now you turn around and propose we ban people from holding peaceful rallies that promote views you disagree with. Tolerance goes both ways. As has been mentioned earlier, the
  14. I suppose we're on the same page then. Live and let live. If what they're doing is sinful (as we believe) then they'll answer for their actions. A major part of the reason why Muslim countries are hell holes to live in (ask Shias, Ahmadis, Bahais, non-Muslims, etc) is that most people there cannot grasp this simple concept. In the U.S. people are simply following what you just said in your first statement above - don't DO anything to gays including when they exercise their right to rally. It's their business if they are proud of it.
  15. My previous boss was a homosexual and a perfectly decent gentleman (in Texas, US). I treated him with respect and accepted him as a fellow human being. What do you expect people in other countries, especially Muslim countries, to do differently? Ostracize gays? Beat up gays? What? I would hope homosexual individuals all over the world are treated the same as they are treated in the US.
  16. The idea apparently is that even if one intends to commit the act then at least they should do so in private. Committing sexual acts in public, regardless of gender of those involved, is a crime in all countries that I know of. The punishment varies though.
  17. And to imagine Shiachat doesn't even charge me for this entertainment! (In the voice of Gabbar) Bahut na insaafi hai (what a travesty)... This reminded me of the classic Saturday Night Live George Bush Sr parody by Dana Carvey back in the early 90s. Jane Pauley: Honestly now, don't you feel some kind of tax hike will be needed to reduce the deficit? George Bush: Jane, the answer is no! I will never raise taxes again! Never, ever, ever, ever.. never, ever again! And I mean never, ever, ever, ever, never ever..!! Jane Pauley: Thank you, Mr. Presi.. George Bush: Never, ever, ever! Jane Pauley:
  18. Man, this reminds me of a hilarious joke by Pakistani funny man Omar Sharif in his stage show. Omar Sharif: When we get to heaven we'll get to be with beautiful women! Sidekick: Beautiful women like those in the West?? Omar Sharif: Yes! We'll get those Western women in heaven. Sidekick: But what about their (Western women's) husbands? Omar Sharif: They'll get our wives as punishment! :lol: ...it sounds way better in Urdu ...in Omar Sharif's style.
  19. Sometime ago while on a sea cruise, my wife and I were sitting in the ship's auditorium for a live performance. The host on stage asked all married people to raise their hands and we did. Then he narrowed the group down to the longest married couple. It turned out that the couple right behind us were the longest married - 56 years. He hopped down to them and asked the old gentleman as to what was the secret of his long marriage. He replied in a thick Texan accent, "Sonnn, pick 'em rayyyght the first tayyyme". I can't emphasize how important that simple advice is. So many marriages fail becaus
  20. What is the purpose of a demonstration, especially to a neutral audience? It is to inform about your cause and hopefully get them to see your point of view. In the past I had attended a number of Palestinian rallies in Houston but came to realize that the way these rallies are conducted do way more harm than good to the Palestinian cause. The local Islamic center that conducts the rally, I am sure, has the right intentions but that is about all they get right. Here's a list of problems with their rallies. 1. Loud chants of Takbir and lengthy recitations of Surahs in Arabic in an English speaki
  21. 'Hate' may be an overstatement but 'unequal' treatment of non-Muslims is definitely an integral idea of an Islamic system of governance as understood by most Muslims. For example, in an Islamic government, a non-Muslim citizen, no matter how honest, capable, hardworking, or sincere (s)he may be cannot get elected to the highest office (e.g. prime minister, president, etc), even if his/her ancestors were living on that land since the beginning of time.
  22. I came across a hadith once by Imam Ali when someone asked him what if there was no God and he replied he would still live his life the exact same way and not change a thing. If someone has a reference to the exact quote please share it.
  23. One has to take into account what a tradition means as it exists today. No one in their sane mind practices halloween as a satanic ritual, so the context matters. The insurance industry, for example, originated from gambling where the owners of ships placed bets on their ships' safe return but today it has evolved into a perfectly legitimate transaction. Halloween is primarily celebrated in Western countries and so I would wonder if a Marja in the Middle East can offer anything more than a very general ruling without having observed the tradition in practice and without having a feel for what
  24. It does make for fascinating movie scripts - Matrix, Truman Show, etc.
  25. You seem to be quite familiar with the US Muslim civil rights groups and their "symbolic victories". Please share with us what US Muslim civil rights organizations you have been following or are a member of and what civil rights conferences have you attended where progress of Muslim efforts are discussed? You do live in the US don't you?
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