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In the Name of God بسم الله


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Everything posted by Renaissance_Man

  1. So you prefer an ultra-right wing wacko instead who is ready to rubber stamp all of Trump's dangerous ideas? Because that's who Neil Gorsuch is.
  2. Good point. We need to find allies wherever we can, anyone regardless of background who will stand up for basic civil rights.
  3. Good summary but it's basically the argument from contingency that Ibn Sina and other scholars have already articulated. They've just used different terminology. Unconditioned reality = necessary existence, conditional reality = contingent. You could boil this whole analysis down to what is composite and/or change is contingent and depends on another for its existence. This characterizes the material world we live in. It therefore cannot exist of its own accord and its existence is due to another being whose existence is necessary.
  4. The point is Q contained a portion of the oral tradition which actually came from Jesus (as). This comprises a fairly small portion of the New Testament overall and is likely the only surviving authentic material in it. If you strip away all of the fabrication and corruption in the New Testament, you'll probably get something like the Jefferson Bible. This was Thomas Jefferson's personal version of the Bible, pared down to just the moral teachings of Jesus minus the man-made stuff.
  5. http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/09/homosexuality-lgbt-iraq-iran-muqtada-sadr.html BAGHDAD – Human Rights Watch (HRW) has praised Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr for publicly advocating a humanitarian stance toward the LGBT community, saying they should not be subjected to violence. Last month, Joe Stork, HRW's deputy Middle East director, said, “His statement represents an important change in the right direction and should be followed by concrete actions to protect LGBT people from violence.” In a rare, unexpected statement on July 7 about the LGBT community, the leader of the Sadrist movement declared, “[You] must disassociate from them and provide them advice [but] not attack them.” His comment was in response to a letter by a Sadrist supporter who complained about men “acting like women” and “suspicious relations between people of the same gender,” referring to homosexual relationships. HRW has documented “serious abuses” by various Iraqi groups, including Sadrists, against LGBT people, who have become a social community in the country. The human rights organization said, “We hope this [new stance by Sadr] will change behavior in successors to the Mahdi Army and other ranks and spur the government to hold accountable those who commit these crimes.” The issue has grabbed the attention of Iraqi and Arab media. Sadr’s statement has generated controversy because it contrasts with the positions of other clerics and religious institutions, namely, other Shiite scholars in Iraq as well as in Iran. While clerics in both states preach that Islam forbids homosexuality, the difference lies in the way to address it. Sheikh Hussein al-Hashan, a Lebanese Islamic scholar, said in a paper published in the electronic magazine Bayynat, “Forbidding homosexuality in Islamic law is unquestionable as stipulated in many Quranic verses.” Instead of dealing with homosexual behavior as a punishable offense, however, Hashan believes it should be approached as a treatable mental and physical issue. “Treating” people for homosexuality is a common perspective in Islam, but one challenged by the medical community, which considers sexuality an innate characteristic, not a condition in need of being “cured.” In Iraq and Lebanon punishment for homosexuality is not stipulated by the law. The situation in Iran, however, is different. Iran's Sharia-based constitution holds homosexuality to be a crime punishable by death. Lesbians, however, can be punished with 100 lashes under Iranian law. Commenting on the reasons behind the differing attitudes toward punishment between Iraq and Iran although both countries follow Twelver Shiism, Najaf Hussein al-Khoshaimi, a cleric and Islamic scholar, told Al-Monitor, “The judicial system in Iran is based on the velayet-e faqih [guardianship of jurists], by which Sharia is incorporated into the state. In [Iraq], however, the rules of Islam are separate from the democratic system.” In short, he explained, the two approach Shiite principles on the implementation of Islamic punishments from different perspectives. In Iraqi Shiite thought, Islamic punishments cannot be meted out until the 12th imam returns to create an Islamic state. Although homosexuals in Iran face harsh conditions and punishment, the first supreme leader of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, left a door open for transsexuals by issuing a fatwa in 1986 allowing sex reassignment surgeries. In fact, such procedures are subsidized by the state. Ali Murad, a political analyst, told Al-Monitor, “Clerics in Iraq are the most prominent and influential players in opinion making, influencing and orienting opinions. They have the moral right to interfere in all of the state's affairs and the smallest details of the people’s social life.” The political author and analyst Hamza Genahee agreed, telling Al-Monitor, “Clerics have a role in Iraqi political and social life.” He added, however, “The religious authority in Najaf only interferes to regulate social affairs, and many of its fatwas are mere responses and answers to the people’s questions.” Religiosity is widespread in Iraq, which has contributed to a social culture that requires people to essentially abide by the teachings of Islam. Thus wearing the hijab, for example, has become widespread, and other signs of religious commitment are visible everywhere. This in part stems from the efforts of Islamic preachers. Such influence is perhaps why in June the Najaf police reportedly arrested two gay men celebrating their informal marriage. The men defended themselves by pointing to an unidentified fatwa to claim that their marriage did not contradict Sharia. Mithal al-Alusi of the Civil Democratic Alliance told Al-Monitor, “Muqtada al-Sadr's position is in line with the stance of most Iraqis rejecting all forms of violence, be it against homosexuals or others,” calling Sadr's position a “message of tolerance.” Hassan Kallabi, a social researcher and health worker at the Hamza al-Gharbi Hospital, in part views the situation similarly. According to him, “The majority in Iraq renounces homosexuality but does not support violence against homosexuals.”
  6. Exactly. The Injeel was not a book per se but the oral teachings of Jesus (as). Critical scholarship refers to this collection of Jesus's sayings as the Q gospel or document. Elements of it are present in the New Testament which was written several decades after Jesus and were based not on eyewitness accounts, but stories circulating at the time and the theology of the Gospel writers.
  7. The rulings on sculpture need to be considered with respect to time and place. Perhaps the reason for its prohibition is because during the early days of Islam, people made statues for idol worship. I don't see why sculpting would be haraam on its own if it's not intended for idoltary.
  8. Sheer nonsense. The media portrayed the genocide of over innocent 300,000 civilians as a military victory, and most people have been programmed to believe that lie. Just like the Iraq war and other military campaigns today. Japan attacked a US military base. Rather than hit back at their military, we instead chose to wipe out hundreds of thousands of unarmed civilians using one of the most horrific weapons in the history of mankind.
  9. Thank you for sharing this translation brother. We repeatedly reciting this during Eid prayer today and I was wondering what the meaning of the dua was.
  10. 17 hour fasts can admittedly be pretty brutal sometimes. But let's put it into perspective. A 12 hour fast in the scorching Arabian desert a millennia ago was no walk in the park either. We only have to do it for a month. For many impoverished people around the world, that's a way of life. The point of fasting in Ramadan is to feel the pain of our brethren and develop some empathy.
  11. Not going to happen 90% of Saudis are employed by the government. They are accustomed to government handouts in exchange for giving up their rights. If the tax breaks, cheap gas, and other perks disappear you'll see Saudi citizens finally begin to oppose the monarchy.
  12. Good observation. I think the percentage of Muslims would be be closer to 33% if you consider the entire Indian subcontinent prior to partition.
  13. Hell (or heaven) is earned by one's actions, it's not predetermined. Yes no one would sin if they knew what the consequences of their actions would be, but that's the point of our trial in this world. To see who faithfully follows the commandments of Islam without seeing the unseen.
  14. Sorry but to compare the hadith to the Christian New Testament is absurd. The gospels were written by unknown authors with a theological bent not eyewitnesses, contradict themselves at every step, and the authenticity is dubious at best. Compared to the Bible, the body of hadith is vast and we have a complex system for tracing the chain of narration and verifying the authenticity of the hadith. Moreover the Islamic tradition is far richer and full of wisdom. While I respect the Bible, its moral teachings are rather simple and uninspiring. There's nothing really revolutionary in the gospels.
  15. The number of executions has been skewed by drug offenders. I'd like to see the breakdown of executions for drug crimes vs others. Unlike Saudi Arabia, Iran isn't going around chopping people's heads off for voicing disagreement with the government.
  16. Considering autism has only become understood in the past few decades, you wouldn't expect to find anything about it in narrations. And I don't know where you got the idea of jinn possession...
  17. I doubt Buddha was a prophet. That's because there is no concept of god in Buddhism, a core tenant of Islam, and in fact Buddha himself believed in many gods. Other Buddhist beliefs like reincarnation are foreign to Islam.
  18. Trump's foreign policy is blanket xenophobia and he changes his positions so frequently you can't be sure what's going to do. Yes he's criticized Saudi Arabia and wants to limit US involvement in the Middle East so in that sense he's better than Hillary who's BFFs with Israel and Arab dictators, but again there's no assurance there because he's so unpredictable.
  19. Ws, First off welcome to Shiachat. Doubts about religion are normal and everyone at some point will have them. It's not always a bad thing though because it usually leads of selfexamination our preconceived beliefs and leads to critical examination and hopefully, a more informed faith. In the Quran, it describes God's majesty, the beauty of his creation, my religion classes explained to me the being who created the seed for the tree, must've created the tree, the land for it and all that sustains it, therefore the one God must have created the Earth and skies, though who says this God is Allah? God is god no matter what you call him. Allah is simply the arabic word for God. Another thing is the issue of predestination. Now I won't go into detail as I know there is a thread about it, but for God to not be limited by time means he can, and this is me excluding his omniscience, know what happens and in 'our future' and return to 'our present'. This makes time linear, which means unchangeable and that God has simply 'programmed' us to live the way we do. Predestination is misunderstood by many Muslims. Some have unfortunately adopted the belief that everything we do or happens to us is predestined by Allah. This runs contrary to the Quran and logic. If God has simply programmed us to live a certain way then the concept of reward and punishment is pointless since nothing was earned nor is sin attributable to us. Black magic also is something I feel highly unlikely to exist, that and envy; despite the fact they were mentioned in the Quran. Now, I am unsure what black magic is capable of, but I am sure that Satan has no power, as is mentioned in the Quran, rather only influences those around him, so how can black magic and envy both be possible if, given that God doesn't allow it himself? Black magic doesn't exist per se but it's dangerous because of the psychological effect it can have on those who believe in it. As for the rest of the citations about the Quran, these have been answered before in the Quran and Hadith forum. There is also the problem of Prophethood and Imamate being basically the same thing under a different name. Not sure what this means. Prophethood and Imamate are two separate functions. Some Prophets were also Imams - such as Prophet Ibrahim (a) and others remained prophets. The story of Adam and Eve is unclear and raises a lot of questions; if in heaven there are no lies, how did Satan trick them? And wasn't Satan kicked out of heaven? And prior to that, how did the angles know the 'evil' nature of man? First off, Adam and Eve story is not meant to be taken literally. Secondly the garden may not have been heaven, but another garden on Earth or another realm. And regarding how angels knew, Adam may not have been the first of his kind. There are hadith which state there were many "Adams" that came before and perhaps the angels witnessed the destruction they caused.
  20. andres, I think you need to re-read that verse. It has nothing to do with the year 30AD. It's a quesiton Allah (SWT) will ask Jesus on the day of judgement. And regarding this verse, it's a fact that Mary is worshipped as "the mother of god" by Catholics. They build states of her and pray to her. That is akin to idolatry
  21. The problem with the death penalty is miscarriage of justice is common. There are documented cases in the US and elsewhere of people who were wrongfully convicted and punished. Iran isn't immune to this problem either. You can always release an innocent person from jail, but you can't bring back someone unfairly executed. Then consider the personal circumstances of people convicted of crimes such as drug trafficking. The drug lords at top who orchestrate everything deserve tough punishment, but what about the underlings? Many drug mules are poor, uneducated people who are often compelled to crime out of desperate circumstances. Now I don't know what kinds of drug traffickers Iran is executing, but they ought to consider if rehabilitation rather than capital punishment would be more useful for the low man on the totem pole. There are many instances in Islamic history where corporeal punishment wasn't applied out due to their motives such as people being excused for stealing under duress. Unless there is incontrovertible evidence, I don't think the capital punishment should be applied.
  22. @-justbrowsing, there is more evidence for evolution than there is against it. Paleontology, microbiology, and many other scientific disciplines all affirm it. It's the basis for advances in modern medicine and science. Evolution does not preclude Allah (SWT) nor our beliefs as Muslims. It only means Allah created man gradually. He remains the source of creation.
  23. I highly doubt that. Bernie is more determined now than ever given his surging popularity. If anything, it's Trump who is running to win not to become President. Hillary is a bought and paid for Wall Street and AIPAC puppet while the other Republican candidates are itching to start WW3. Bernie is the only sane option.
  24. I saw that article too. Not sure what the author was smoking, but Israel is an opportunistic state that allies itself with whomever shares its political interests. Israel's chief concern is existential security and thus they partner with whoever can protect it. They don't care about morality or culture. Saudi Arabia and Israel both have the common goal of opposing Iran so they are naturally partners.
  25. Considering that Shias aren't hunted for sport in India as they are in Pakistan, I'd say India is probably safer. Yes there is discrimination towards Muslims in general in India, that's true of minorities everywhere, but at least Shias don't have the constant threat of terror looming. Personally, I'd rather give up eating beef than run into a suicide bomber on my way to the imambargah. The biggest problem in Sunni majority countries like Pakistan where the masses are ignorant, is Wahabbism can quickly gain a foothold and spread like cancer. Just look at how terrorism has mushroomed throughout the country with Taliban, SSP, and other militant groups sprouting everywhere. Now in India, there's no room for terrorism to take hold thanks to the Hindu majority. Shias and Sunnis are both forced to band together to protect the common interest of Muslims. It's sad, but it seems that without a non-Muslim majority to keep Sunnis in check, they will waste no time in turning to extremism. And for the record, I am a Pakistani who prefers neither country.
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