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In the Name of God بسم الله
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Self professed free thinkers tell us no belief system, religious doctrine, scientific doctrine, or philosophy is immune from criticism. Underlying this notion is that everything has inherit flaws and limitations, and that astute, dissecting human minds can decode it seriatum. Everything is a bubble that will eventually pop, burdened by the weight of its own contradictions -- or simply morphed and altered by human intervention and reform (who know better). Of course, Islam is a favorite subject. If we want to play their game, and use their principle, how about we criticize the criticism? 1. Criticisms constantly shift the goal posts of perspective. Is the criticism based on original source material or contemporary interpretation? Which material? In which language? From what source? Is it criticism of modern Muslim cultural practices? Political events? Historical details? You get the idea. Criticisms ping pong between these vantage points to better satisfy a rhetorical argument. The weight and relevance of each vantage point can be adjusted accordingly. For the sloppy, all these are one and the same -- and fair game. 2. Do criticisms readily acknowledge the degree of knowledge (or lack thereof) they have? Or is it overstated? Do they readily accept the fact their critique is inherently incomplete, and far from the conclusive word on the subject? Even if they do acknowledge this, and state their criticism is just a "piece of a larger puzzle", what is the end destination of it all? Are they open or honest about that? At the end of the day, what is one supposed to do with all the writing and chatter they've produced? 3. Do criticisms, as a pre-condition, yield legitimacy to authority or not? In this case God and the Prophets? I'm not talking about respect, I'm talking about legitimacy. Whether full (absolute) legitimacy or just partial (relativist) legitimacy? Is something recognized as true solely because an authority stated it, or is this insufficient and other means are necessary (logic, science, reason, etc). If the criticism cannot play by the terms of the subject being criticized, what's the net value? 4. The chicken or the egg. Is the statement "Islam is flawed" a hypothesis or a conclusion? A criticism can either say "Here is XYZ. Therefore, Islam is flawed" VS "Islam is flawed. Here's XYZ". This order may seem trivial, but I think the position of the horse and the buggy can be of subtle importance. What do you think? I think many of these "criticizers" need to get off their high horses, and realize they speak with more vulnerability than they realize.
Salam everyone, I made a blog with the intention to "answer" the common criticisms of Islam by Islamophobes using evidence, rationality, and references. It has answers to the following questions so far: Does Islam promote violence towards peaceful non-Muslims?Are there verses in the Quran that allow violence towards peaceful non-Muslims?Was Islam spread by the sword?What's the Jizya?Does Islam say all non-Muslims will go to hell?What's the penalty for apostasy in Islam?Is Islam misogynistic?Does Islam promote domestic violence?Does Islam allow pedophilia? I provided evidence for my answers using evidence from Quran and hadiths. If you have any further evidences (hadiths/Quran/statistics/science) that may be helpful in answering such questions, or other common questions that should be addressed, please tell me! Any feedback would be much appreciated! I hope this blog is helpful to anyone defending Islam against common criticisms and accusations. Please feel free to use any content in it.
Salaam Are there any modern books etc – by shias - that authentic or weaken shia narrations objectively? I know of the various blogs online which attempt to cast a critical eye over popular Imami narrations (eg Nader’s blog) or just authenticate narrations to further the Imami beliefs, whether popularly known or not (RT, IS) or “remove political correctness” but are there any mainstream works that deal with this objectively? I have found that sunni scholars are more likely to be critical of narrations, and by that I mean that at least internally there is ongoing process that reviews authenticity of hadiths regardless of who said it (ie the sahabi) or what it relates to. This also includes narrations which are popular amongst sunnis but haven’t necessarily been authenticated. For example, a oft quoted hadith is “My companions are like the stars in the sky,whichever one you follow you shall be guided.” It has been related by Ibn Hazm in Ihkaam who said a liar was found in the Isnaad called Salam Ibn Sulayman. According to http://en.islamtoday.net/node/1774 Al-Albani also considered it to be fabricated. Now, obviously some sunnis use it in praise of the Sahaba and shias use it to point out that it doesn’t make sense when one considers the differing views amongst the Sahaba. But the point is that sunni scholars and sunnis don’t blindly accept narrations. G.F. Haddad has also written an article looking at other chains and why they are also weak [we can get to the sahihain later]. Point being that no matter how well known or used, or whether it supports the official sunni position, sunni scholars will not necessarily shy away from analysing it and weakening it if needed. On the other hand, at least in this day and age, there seems to be quite a liberal attitude to accepting narrations by shias. A general rule of thumb (noting that ilm e rijal is frowned upon by some…) appears to that if it promotes Imami beliefs is in praise of the Imams or describes a miracle by them etc criticizes the Sahaba then it’s accepted as authentic, even if there’s a liar, exaggerator or whatever in the chain or even if the matn doesn’t necessarily make sense. But this doesn’t actually make a narration authentic, no matter how much a person wishes it to be. Some scholars (or scholar) have rejected a narration which states that “Umar is the light of Islam in this world…” even though it’s in praise of him, but can you imagine the furore on Shiachat lol if a hadith in praise of Ali (as) was rejected? I can hear the cries of outraged shias shouting “Wahhabi” and “salafi“. I still remember the challenge that Nader met when weaking some commonly known and used narrations. Anyway, aside from the blogs, what other things are out there that have this kind of information? I’m taking the view that there’s actually stuff out there but I’m ignorant of their existence hence me asking here.
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