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In the Name of God بسم الله


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    Islam (Shia)

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  1. I just ran across an excellent site for learning to read the Quran in Arabic. www.quranmadeeasy.com There are a lot of online courses for free, but most are of the "pencil, chair, mother" school of instruction. You know: approaches that insist on teaching you everyday modern language when what you WANT is to read the Quran. queanmadeeasy has you reading Surah Al-Ikhlas within three hours or less, provided you know the Arabic alphabet. Check it out.
  2. Thanks for the warning. I'm still in the early portions of the book. I'll probably raise questions as I go along.
  3. I've been reading Al-Ghazali's "Ihya &c"---"Revitalization of the Religious Sciences"---in translation. What do Shiites think of that work? On the one hand, Al-Ghazali was no friend of the Shiites. On the other, the work seems to contain a great deal of useful insights. Plus, its intent is not polemical. And its scope equals that of the Summa Theologica in the West. So, anyone? Do you think Al-Ghazali worth a close reading?
  4. Three minutes a rakat is my average. I do not see how anyone could do a rakat a minute without hurrying to get it over with. In this connection, I recall the Quran 107:4, "Woe to those who pray, heedless of their prayers."
  5. It's also a sad commentary on the state of "free speech" in the U.S. Anytime, anyone criticizes Israel for anything, they are dismissed as "Anti-Semitic." To take one extreme case of the kind of thing I am talking about, in another forum a poster was reviled as an anti-Semite all because he said the film, "A Serious Man" isn't worth watching. The only person who can criticize Israel has to have Holocaust-victim credentials.
  6. America, in recent history, has a history of getting involved in immoral wars (remember Vietnam?) There is a name for people who consent totaking part in immoral actions for money: prostitutes. Which is exactly what America's volunteer military is. I was stupid enough and co-opted enough to join the U.S. Army in my youth. Stop making excuses for aggressors.
  7. Thank you for your careful reply. My remark about Taoism and Marxism was not meant as punditry. The ideological side of Marxism simply did not penetrate that deeply here. Taoist and Confucist habits of thinking exist cheek by jowl with Marxism (and now---Allah save us---Milton Friedmann.) In my wife's case, the problem is not helped by the fact that the only Chinese translations of the Quran available are those dating back to the Song Dynasty. The language is very archaic and the meaning often opaque. (This lets the regime have its cake and eat it too. Religion is "free." But the available te
  8. Thanks for a direct answer. I appreciate frankness. I think in my wife's case, the work for me is to try to get her to see that some beliefs are necessary. China, in these decades post-Deng Xiao Ping, is drunk on material "progress." Rather like America in the 50's and 60's. It is difficult to bring people to see through that lie. But I will set to work with renewed vigor. No children. We married in our mid-forties. Her religion is lukewarm Marxism (yes, that creed counts as a religion, albeit an abased one.) That and Chinese Taoist notions, sort of a cultural hangover the same way as unchu
  9. That is highly unlikely. The problem is not that the Quran orders us to live in the Seventh century. It is that the Quran leaves a good many questions about practice unanswered. Which is why we have hadeeth etc. I am curious to know, however, what this "progress" is. We have invented a great many dangerous toys that destroy the planet's environment, distract us, and some of which bid fair to kill us all (nuclear weapons, for but one.) If this is progress, give me the seventh century.
  10. AlQadr


    Sounds preachy enough to be classified as bad. I tend to be pretty anti-American myself, but try to avoid being simplistic. I'll make a point of not seeing this one.
  11. Excellent reply! One of the things that hurts Islam's appeal to the rest of the world is the constant bickering---and killing---all in the name of who is or is not really Muslim. One would think we did not believe there was Allah to judge that question.
  12. I reverted to Islam four years ago. My wife has not. She comes from a culture not much reached by the religions of the Book. And she grew up under a regime that practiced a very harsh form of Communism. She insists Islam is "right for" me, not her. (It does not seem to help to point out that "right for" is a contradiction. An idea is either right or it is not.) Yet she fears death to an unhealthy degree---the sort of fear only the secularist knows. Any suggestions? This bothers me more and more.
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