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In the Name of God بسم الله


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  1. so if someone is born to Muslim parents doesn't Islam automatically consider them a Muslim and considers me a murtad if they choose to leave Islam? Isn't this compulsion?
  2. if someone is born in a Muslim family they are by default Muslim, and if they try to leave Islam the penalty is death for a murtad-e-fitri. So, at what point did they choose Islam and how do they have any free will in all of this? If so how does the Quranic verse "There is no compulsion in the religion." (2:256) fit this narrative?
  3. I have tried to understand the ruling of Apostasy in Islamic jurisprudence and have gotten varying answers from many scholars. So far I have gleaned the following points, I have a modicum of clarity on some but I'm still not fulling grasping all of it : There are two kinds of Murtads (apostates), one who is born Muslim and rejects Islam is known as "Murtad-e-Fitri". The second who is a convert and later renounces Islam is known as "Murtad-e-Milli". One Sheikh I asked said Murtad (apostate) specifically refers to leaving Islam and joining another religion, whereas becoming an atheist (La-Deen) is something that does not fall within this purview. (Not sure about this, what is the exact definition of apostasy) It is established in both Shia and Sunni fiqh that punishment for Murtad-e-Fitri (born Muslim who later renounces Islam) is death. The punishment for Murtad-e-Milli (convert who renounces faith) is not an immediate death sentence, instead he is given a chance to repent, if he does not, he is to be met with a similar fate. Jurists say that apostasy warrants a strict punishment as a death penalty because it is like treason and they draw parallels between the modern nation states and their treason laws and the punishment for apostasy in Islamic jurisprudence, citing that both are similar (and, necessary). Some of the jurists/scholars I sought out for answers said that it was a rule that was implemented in the earlier days of Islam when Islam was in a nascent stage and needed protection from potential converts who could damage the cause of Islam by joining the ranks of the enemies and revealing the secrets of the small and fledgling Islamic community. By saying this, I think they try to tone down the ruling and implicitly try to say that it is not to be enforced strictly or taken so seriously in today's age. In their answers I have also frequently heard them adding as an aside that this ruling is to be enforced when someone converts and goes on a hostile campaign against Islam, attacking Islam and trying to convert others (causing fitna) and if the person does not do so they are not to be pursued and killed. Another frequent remark added to the answers on this question is this : "They are only to be killed if they stay within dar'ul'Islam I.e. a Muslim country, but if they flee to another country they are not to be pursued" From one source, I heard that this was a ruling only meant to be enforced during times of war, and was never meant to be enforced in times of peace, meaning that during times of peace this ruling does not hold at all. It made sense to me, sure during times of war special and severe punishments can apply, but I have not read this in any authentic source. In Shia jurisprudence punishment is only applicable in case of apostasy by men; in case of women, the punishment is not death but life imprisonment. And if such a woman repents, then her repentance is accepted and the punishment is lifted. Sunni jurists do not differentiate between men and women in this ruling. What I cannot understand still is, that if someone is born in a Muslim family they are by default Muslim, and if they try to leave Islam the penalty is death. So, at what point did they choose Islam and how do they have any free will in all of this? If so how does the Quranic verse "There is no compulsion in the religion." (2:256) fit this narrative? Any insights and help from anyone who has knowledge will be appreciated. I am just trying to learn more as this question is a bit troubling for me and a lot of atheists and western world attackers of Islam have brought this up in debates to make Islam look bad.
  4. That's exactly what I'm trying to do. Fair enough, this and the part where you said that God wanted us to figure out things at our own pace makes logical sense. However, I have one question. It is said that during his time Imam Jaffar Al Sadiq (a.s) taught a school where at a time 5000 pupils listened to his lectures. Is there an account in any book that you've come across regarding the subjects that the Imam(a.s) taught? Did they involve any scientific or philosophy based subjects or was it only religious education?
  5. The point of AI is to create artificially intelligent machines that can learn on their own and have some semblance of self-awareness. With that being said, the goal is a long way from fruition. We call humans "intelligent" because they come up with their own questions, have their own motivations and decide their own course of actions. Machines have yet to do that. To demonstrate with a simple example : no AI machine that has been created to play Chess has yet become bored of Chess and decided to take up another leisure activity or asked to learn a new skill. If one day what you're saying happens, if one day an AI machine starts to operate entirely on its own and takes its own decisions and asks its own questions and begins to have meaningful conversations instead of doing the mundane task that it was programmed for, we would be able to say that the entire project of creating machines that are "intelligent" like humans is now successful, that would be a landmark achievement. I do not think scientists would be disappointed and would decide to pull the plug on such a machine, instead it will become a subject of much study and research on how human intelligence could be replicated. I do not understand why God could be disappointed in me if I go on looking for answers and ask questions that would be considered heretical by most conservative believers because I have no clear signs at least in my time, I do not have the Prophet (saw), I do not have my Imam (a.s) and I have no one who can clearly answer my questions through divine knowledge, all I can do is ask questions and have a few intelligent people like yourself answer my questions so that I have some closure and more understanding of my existence, my role, my purpose. I really appreciate you helping out because you have replied to every single one of my questions so far and even though I couldn't get definitive answers, you helped move my train of thought further from where it was stuck.
  6. I never really thought about it that way. Beautifully put. Thank you.
  7. I'm assuming you have read the Quran? God gets really offended with the Kafirs and throughout the Quran he threatens them saying he will burn them in hell for not believing in Him with great detail on the horrors and tortures of jahannam and how they will live there. He does all this because the infidels of Makkah used to mock Him and His Prophet and did not believe he existed. He doesn't say anywhere "if you did good i will do good to you even if you did not believe I existed, never mind that because that is not an important subject anyway"
  8. On the contrary i believe knowledge itself is the goal. It is neither trivia nor did Islam want us to seek only "religious" knowledge, if it were so then we would have a hadith or the Quran saying that we should limit ourselves to religious knowledge, however on the contrary, we have several hadith hinting at the "ghaur-o-fikr" and its significance. If we have been urged to think then it means Islam does want us to uncover the truth behind everything. So are you saying that their observations and theories were useless? A philosopher named Democritus of Abdera gave the idea of matter being formed of indivisible particles in 5 B.C. It would be absurd to say the efforts of these philosophers in discovering the truth and the true nature behind things was all pointless. And as far as the confusion part goes, they were looking for answers to very crucial, very confusing things after all. My point is that this whole part that we are fed from our young age that Arabs were really stupid and had no real questions to ask and there was no one intelligent or knowledgeable during that period, hence no real knowledge could be conveyed is all a farce, Islam contributed nothing to worldly knowledge in any significant way and did not truly enlighten people about the world they exist in, yet it expects us to whole heartedly believe in life after death and in an absurd world that comes after this one when we are too confused with this world?
  9. Hello, I have another question for the thinkers and would appreciate a healthy debate on the subject because I cannot figure out the answer all by myself. My assumptions are: 1. The infallibles (the 14 infallibles of Islam) had near-infinite knowledge. 2. They were capable of maujizas i.e. of miracles. 3. Islam wishes for people to learn and gain knowledge as much as they can (as per the hadith to seek knowledge from cradle to the grave) My questions are: 1. Why did the infallibles (starting from Prophet Muhammad saw) not impart their complete knowledge to us? 2. Even if they felt that the Arabs of that time were not capable enough to handle such knowledge, why did they not write something down, why did they not leave something for us? Like for a book or some other form of record for human beings to learn from in later years? If they had such infinite and immense knowledge, did they choose to just come to this world and leave without conveying it? That sounds like a waste. 3. Why did they not travel far and wide to debate and shed light on science and scientific subjects from people of different areas if Europe had such towering Philosophers and Mathematicians in periods 700-800 years before Islam. (Contrary to popular belief, knowledge existed and people had questions even during that time period if not in Arab then in other areas, most of the prominent philosophers who asked questions about our existence, our purpose and about the true nature of life, death and other things were from the period before Christ (Socrates, his pupil Plato and then later Aristotle and many others). Even Pythagoras (whose theorems are still found in mathematics books) was from BC. Then if Islam is a religion that promotes enlightenment and knowledge, why were the infallibles only focused on the peoples around them? Should they not have been more focused in finding out people that were close to unraveling the truth? the ones that had real questions? The ones that could have been enlightened?)
  10. My question is. Why does it make a difference to God whether we believe in him or don't? Why was it not possible or better for God to say in one of the holy books or through his Prophets that doing good or evil what will matter in the end, and believing in Me (God) or not believing in Me will not matter in the end, because it does not make any difference to me anyway, I am God nevertheless. If it makes a huge difference to God whether or not I believe in him and if it takes precedence over the way i live my life i.e. if i do good and help others but am still sent to hell only because of not "believing" in him (say I'm agnostic), then this means God, like humans, has ego. If God can be antagonized and offended just because I chose not to believe in His existence and because of this he can disregard all my good deeds, what kind of God am I believing in to start with? Riley Reid
  11. Azan or Aqama is not wajib in any case whatsoever.
  12. A woman going through her menstrual period is not obliged to pray namaz-e-ayat. Nor does she have to make qaza for it. That is Sistani's fatwa.
  13. Nope. She doesn't have to.. Nor does she have to offer the qaza.
  14. Wait a second. I'm confused.. That is right.. Whats wrong there? That's what the fatwa says.. Its wajib to place your two big toes on the ground when in sajdah.. the rest doesn't matter.
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