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In the Name of God بسم الله

Is Islam too strict, or am I misinterpreting it?

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Let me start with some examples:

The guidelines for wudhu are extremely precise, including where to begin, specific body parts needing to be dry, must start with the right arm, washing three times being forbidden, and so on.
Now, my question is, why so many formal rules? Isn't the aim of wudhu to be clean or purified before performing worship? why is me not following the formal guidelines making my wudhu void.
Is there no other way to be in that state without following those formal rules? What's the point of all this formality?

Another example:

One major issue in our community, based on the many threads I've read, is the lack of a male and female relationship. In my perspective, it is difficult to genuinely engage in a relationship while adhering to Islamic principles. There are numerous formal requirements, such as those relating to the timeframe, dowry, the formula, among others.
Most ladies (westerners) would be perplexed and possibly even terrified hearing about mutah, resulting in many brothers living in the west being unable to engage in such relationships, leaving them open to far more serious haram acts.

My question now is why dowry and timeframe is necessary. In the modern world, accepting dowry payment is almost synonymous to prostitution from the female perspective. Why is there a need for a formal phrase that must be recited? My point is that many brothers find it difficult to indulge in such a relationship because of all these formal rules. Isn't the aim of a male-female relationship to have mutual consent? Why is that insufficient? Why is intention not enough.

Both of these examples can be a major problem if they are not followed formally. Some say hellfire is waiting for them.
Imagine being a wonderful person your entire life, but not performing wudhu correctly, not praying, or not entering relationship according to the formal ruling. Even though everything else about you is admirable, you are still destined for hellfire because of your major sins, according to the guidelines. Why do muslims believe this while yet believing that their Creator is the most Merciful?

If someone were to ask their fallible parents what they would do if their child disobeyed the aforementioned formal rules, nobody would respond, "Throw them in hellfire." Even if the child were the most horrible person on earth, some parents would spare their life out of a small amount of love they harboured for the child. How come our Creator is described as the most Merciful but yet feels vengeful and not so merciful?

I am aiming for a philosophical discussion, therefore please do not spam this post with links and other information that are unrelated to the issue.

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8 hours ago, EiE said:

Let me start with some examples:

The guidelines for wudhu are extremely precise, including where to begin, specific body parts needing to be dry, must start with the right arm, washing three times being forbidden, and so on.
Now, my question is, why so many formal rules? Isn't the aim of wudhu to be clean or purified before performing worship? why is me not following the formal guidelines making my wudhu void.
Is there no other way to be in that state without following those formal rules? What's the point of all this formality?

Creator is described as the most Merciful but yet feels vengeful and not so merciful?

 

If we want the astronauts to go to space successfully, can they skip detail procedures.  Or can a surgeon skip procedures when performing surgery?

Those little little actions that an astronaut or a surgeon or a cook has to do, determines the outcomes.

Just follow the procedures for wudhu for 40 days.  Then come back to give feedback.  Once, it becomes a routine, it will no longer a burden.

Good Astronauts, surgeons and cooks already have routine steps (to the minor details) in their actions.  That will determine their success!

Prayer is serve Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) which is higher than what astronauts, surgeons or cooks have to achieve. So wudhu is prerequisite for prayer, and if we know the significance of all detail actions in wudhu, we will not take it lightly.

Wallahualam.

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13 hours ago, layman said:

If we want the astronauts to go to space successfully, can they skip detail procedures.  Or can a surgeon skip procedures when performing surgery?

Those little little actions that an astronaut or a surgeon or a cook has to do, determines the outcomes.

Just follow the procedures for wudhu for 40 days.  Then come back to give feedback.  Once, it becomes a routine, it will no longer a burden.

Good Astronauts, surgeons and cooks already have routine steps (to the minor details) in their actions.  That will determine their success!

Prayer is serve Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) which is higher than what astronauts, surgeons or cooks have to achieve. So wudhu is prerequisite for prayer, and if we know the significance of all detail actions in wudhu, we will not take it lightly.

Wallahualam.

Your comparison is completely invalid.

Years of work have shown that if surgeons or astronauts don't follow the procedures, it can result in fatalities or some serious damages, which is why they have the procedures to follow to limit those damages. Where is the research in relation to the two examples I provided above? Will washing my face three times cause any significant harm or death? What about the other formal rules in the two examples, if those are not followed, will it cause significant harm or death? Is it possible, yes, but it's also possible regardless if you follow the formal rules or not.

Unfortunately, this is the issue when trying to discuss some subjects with hardcore believers. It's difficult to have an open dialogue with them due to their views, which most of the time lack evidence, which is why it's called belief/faith.

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15 minutes ago, EiE said:

 

Your comparison is completely invalid.


Years of work have shown that if surgeons or astronauts don't follow the procedures, it can result in fatalities or some serious damages, which is why they have the procedures to follow to limit those damages. Where is the research in relation to the two examples I provided above? Will washing my face three times cause any significant harm or death? What about the other formal rules in the two examples, if those are not followed, will it cause significant harm or death? Is it possible, yes, but it's also possible regardless if you follow the formal rules or not.

Unfortunately, this is the issue when trying to discuss some subjects with hardcore believers. It's difficult to have an open dialogue with them due to their views, which most of the time lack evidence, which is why it's called belief/faith.

 

So, what is the fuss about wudhu!!! Missing here or there will not cause death or significant harm!! That is your logics.

Looks at the past Prophets, Imams or very successful believers, do they follow procedures or take it lightly (e.g. making wudhu)?  Why would the Prophet and Imams showed how we should take wudhu based on correct procedure if it not important and likely people will skip or ignore.

Success of Prophets, Imams and Believers were all NOT considered evidence?  Their methods were not evidence?

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4 hours ago, layman said:

So, what is the fuss about wudhu!!! Missing here or there will not cause death or significant harm!! That is your logics.

I didn't say that.
You compared the procedures of the professions of surgeons and astronauts to those of wudhu and mutah, which were my two examples.
I replied that if doctors or astronauts don't follow the procedures, it can result in serious harm, which you can probably figure out on your own.
Then I asked how you could apply that comparison to the two examples I presented, as they wouldn't create the same level of damage.

I'm seeking for intellectual discussion, not a back-and-forth argument.

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19 hours ago, EiE said:

The guidelines for wudhu are extremely precise, including where to begin, specific body parts needing to be dry, must start with the right arm, washing three times being forbidden, and so on.
Now, my question is, why so many formal rules? Isn't the aim of wudhu to be clean or purified before performing worship? why is me not following the formal guidelines making my wudhu void.

Strange...I've never thought the rules of wudu were too strict. They seem pretty reasonable to me. Especially once you get the hang of it, it just becomes natural. I've been doing wudu for a while. It took me some time to initially learn how to perform it, but after that, I haven't had any trouble. I'm curious why you find that these rules are strict. 

20 hours ago, EiE said:

Even though everything else about you is admirable, you are still destined for hellfire because of your major sins, according to the guidelines. Why do muslims believe this while yet believing that their Creator is the most Merciful?

Perhaps the traditions about Hell waiting for those who perform certain sins is not including tawbah and tawassul. Perhaps they're saying, "If you do such-and-such act, Hellfire awaits you if you don't repent/if you aren't helped." Because we know that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) will pardon so many sins on the Day of Judgement that even Shaytan (LA) will have hope in His Mercy. And the ahlulbayt (a) will intercede for us, in addition to Allah's great Mercy. 

So maybe such people won't go to Hell ,because maybe Allah will forgive them or someone will intercede for them. However, they won't be in a level as high as those who did observe proper Islamic law. 

Imagine there are two people whom you give the same job to. One person goes out and does the job exactly how you told him to, and the other person does the job, but not properly. Who's more deserving of getting paid? Obviously the first person.

So when Allah sees people who were properly observant of their salah, hajj, sawm, etc, He will give them a greater reward than those who didn't perform these acts properly.

I'm no scholar, so perhaps some of what I said may be wrong. 

Hope this helped. May Allah bless you and your family and grant you all Jannat al-Firdaus. 

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19 hours ago, EiE said:

Let me start with some examples:

The guidelines for wudhu are extremely precise, including where to begin, specific body parts needing to be dry, must start with the right arm, washing three times being forbidden, and so on.
Now, my question is, why so many formal rules? Isn't the aim of wudhu to be clean or purified before performing worship? why is me not following the formal guidelines making my wudhu void.
Is there no other way to be in that state without following those formal rules? What's the point of all this formality?

السلام عليكم brother

Wudhu is part of the prayer and is a ritual because without wudhu the prayer is void. These rules are prescribed to us by Allah in the Quran, 2 washes, 2 wipes. Now you and I may say we can get the same purity result by doing any wash our minds can think of, but the human mind is very limited and there are many things that we do not understand so in the meantime follow what has been prescribed to you so there is no huja against you on the day of Judgment.

In terms of your other example, it sounds like you are frustrated at what Allah عز وجل  and the prophet صل الله عليه و آله for setting such guidelines for us to follow. You want a more modern approach. The halal will stay halal until judgement day and the haram will stay haram until judgement day, this cannot be changed.

20 hours ago, EiE said:

Both of these examples can be a major problem if they are not followed formally. Some say hellfire is waiting for them.
Imagine being a wonderful person your entire life, but not performing wudhu correctly, not praying, or not entering relationship according to the formal ruling. Even though everything else about you is admirable, you are still destined for hellfire because of your major sins, according to the guidelines. Why do muslims believe this while yet believing that their Creator is the most Merciful?

A person that doesn't pray isn't wonderful or admirable. Allah is the most Merciful after you have done your part by doing your absolute best to obey him, by praying, following the rules and guidelines as best as you can and doing istegfar after you have fallen into a sin. It seems to me you have a misunderstanding of Allah's mercy. 

I think the best solution for you is to educate yourself on the basic rules and guidelines like wudhu, gusul, how to pray correctly and the things that interest you like muta so you can practice them correctly. Allah's mercy encompasses everything but at the same time we cannot be negligent about the rules and guidelines that he has set out. Using your first example, your wudhu may be perfect for 5 days but then one day it's wrong because you missed a minor detail, and this does happen we are not perfect, Allah is not going to question you because you have educated yourself and are doing the wudhu as best as you can with the circumstances that you have.

May Allah سبحانه وتعالى guide you. 

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31 minutes ago, -Rejector- said:

Strange...I've never thought the rules of wudu were too strict. They seem pretty reasonable to me. Especially once you get the hang of it, it just becomes natural. I've been doing wudu for a while. It took me some time to initially learn how to perform it, but after that, I haven't had any trouble. I'm curious why you find that these rules are strict. 

If you think they make sense, then explain how washing your face three times can invalidate your wudhu. And why not including mahr invalidates your marriage.

They are strict in the notion that your wudhu is invalid if you don't adhere to the exact procedures. Similarly, your mutah is invalid if you don't adhere to the exact procedures, ei not including mahr. Both of these 2 examples leads to accumulation of sins. There are several other rulings that I consider as strict, but I've chosen to only mention these two since wudhu and marriage rules are more widely known.

 

Please read my first post so you may possibly comprehend the question's intent.

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Guest Sai

I suffered from waswaas (aka ocd) for many years my wudu used to take hours to complete. Sometimes it would take me up to 5 hrs to be completely satisfied with my afternoon Salah. I was tired ,I was weak , I couldn't do anything else ..alot of tears were shed , it was indeed a terrible illness. But I stood there I would repeat my wudoo again and again . My whole family was in pain because of me . But it was out of my control . It was wrong cause I was following the shaytan . But once I got it right all my tiredness would be gone I would enjoy my prayers . I never blamed wudoo but myself . I would say to people around me not to say anything about Salah it is all my fault I'm the one to blame" . Of course I hated myself for not being able to help others ... One day when I was alone in my room I started speaking out the things I wanted to do but I couldn't . I wanted to please ALLAH I counted everything I wish I could do... that same night My sister saw in her dream that The Holy Prophet Peace be upon Him and His pure Progeny was speaking to me saying that He (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) &HP is satisfied with me cause despite all my hardship (wudu) I would always ask my mother if she needs anything .  They are so merciful... when I thought I was such a sinner they saw the goodness in me... Because I didn't give up I didn't find fault in the Deen . The point of this story is to make you understand that They look at our niyyat our intention . When our intention is pure when we work hard to please ALLAH even if we hate ourselves ALLAH loves us. But do not give up on following the rules of The Deen . 

Shaytan makes you think it is hard .  Look around you you will find people investing their childhood and youth in schools all inorder to reach their ambitions which usually ends once a person retires . I saw nurses being disrespectful towards retired doctors . Muslim doctors paid their life studying and memorising thousands of books yet how many of them knows the names of all the chapters of  The Holy Quran? I'm not even talking about memorising the Qur'an just the names of the Chapters. Shaytan always makes Deen to seem hardest and heaviest on us even though it is easiest and most satisfying thing to accomplish. Do one thing tell yourself it is easy ! fasting is easy prayers wudoo is easy . What I see from your post is like the rant of a child . More like laziness, seeing everything as complicated. You rather go the haram way . You want ALLAH to accept you but you don't want to do anything for the sake of ALLAH . You want to follow your own rules which is the yazeed (la) way.  Deen is easy really very easy and satisfying. If you are a servant act like one . HE ordered we obeyed. When questions arises when that waswaas start kicking in say Oh ALLAH I find it complicated but I'm doing it in order to please you, please make it easy for me. Recited 1 tasbhi of Lahawla wala Kuwaatta illah billah hil Aliyil Azeem everyday. 

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3 hours ago, Guest Abdul said:

Wudhu is part of the prayer and is a ritual because without wudhu the prayer is void. These rules are prescribed to us by Allah in the Quran, 2 washes, 2 wipes. Now you and I may say we can get the same purity result by doing any wash our minds can think of, but the human mind is very limited and there are many things that we do not understand so in the meantime follow what has been prescribed to you so there is no huja against you on the day of Judgment.

Salam,

Finally, a somewhat valid point.

Your reply, however, just serves to highlight how little we actually know and how willing we are to believe what the Quran, hadith, and ayatullahs have instructed us to do in the absence of any proof that what they have said is true. It is called belief or faith for this reason. Even though I must admit that I know very little about the Quran, I was not aware that the Quran mentions 2 wipes and 2 washes, do you have the surah and verse for it?

3 hours ago, Guest Abdul said:

In terms of your other example, it sounds like you are frustrated at what Allah عز وجل  and the prophet صل الله عليه و آله for setting such guidelines for us to follow. You want a more modern approach. The halal will stay halal until judgement day and the haram will stay haram until judgement day, this cannot be changed.

Please explain to me how not including Mahr in a marriage will render it invalid, even if both parties gave their consent. Thus, all physical contact would be zina
What would be the damage in leaving out Mahr?  Your response may be the same as the one given before, i.e., that because the human mind is finite and there are many things we don't understand, we must do as instructed even though we are unsure of its truthfulness.

Again, though, this only serves to emphasise how little we truly know and how eager we are to believe what the Quran, hadith, and ayatullahs have commanded us to do in the absence of any evidence that what they have said is truthful. What makes you so certain that you are obeying the word of God, the prophets, and imams, rather than some fallible man-made laws?

3 hours ago, Guest Abdul said:

Allah's mercy encompasses everything

Yes, I agree with you, but how can you also think that God will punish those who have not made tawbah or who doubts the reality of the prophets, imams, or God, even though they were in other ways admirable individuals? What harm does it do to God if someone disobeys His commands if they are really His commands?
The loss is unquestionably nothing! So where is the mercy in that, that people will be sent to hellfire because of their faith/belief or doubt about the commandments?

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45 minutes ago, EiE said:

Salam,

Finally, a somewhat valid point.

Your reply, however, just serves to highlight how little we actually know and how willing we are to believe what the Quran, hadith, and ayatullahs have instructed us to do in the absence of any proof that what they have said is true. It is called belief or faith for this reason. Even though I must admit that I know very little about the Quran, I was not aware that the Quran mentions 2 wipes and 2 washes, do you have the surah and verse for it?

 يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلَاةِ فَاغْسِلُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ وَامْسَحُوا بِرُءُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَيْنِ ۚ وَإِنْ كُنْتُمْ جُنُبًا فَاطَّهَّرُوا ۚ وَإِنْ كُنْتُمْ مَرْضَىٰ أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَاءَ أَحَدٌ مِنْكُمْ مِنَ الْغَائِطِ أَوْ لَامَسْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَلَمْ تَجِدُوا مَاءً فَتَيَمَّمُوا صَعِيدًا طَيِّبًا فَامْسَحُوا بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُمْ مِنْهُ ۚ مَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيَجْعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِنْ حَرَجٍ وَلَٰكِنْ يُرِيدُ لِيُطَهِّرَكُمْ وَلِيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ 

Sorat Al-Ma'idah  سورة المائدة verse 6. The verse says when you rise to prayer wash your face and hands and wipe your head and feet, thus making the 2 washes, 2 wipes. 

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4 hours ago, EiE said:

If you think they make sense, then explain how washing your face three times can invalidate your wudhu. And why not including mahr invalidates your marriage.

They are strict in the notion that your wudhu is invalid if you don't adhere to the exact procedures. Similarly, your mutah is invalid if you don't adhere to the exact procedures, ei not including mahr. Both of these 2 examples leads to accumulation of sins. There are several other rulings that I consider as strict, but I've chosen to only mention these two since wudhu and marriage rules are more widely known.

 

Please read my first post so you may possibly comprehend the question's intent.

Certain rulings or procedures for Islamic ritual are not easy to justify by mind reasoning.  It may sound strange, meaning "it doesn't make sense" to certain people.  Example, how washing your face 3 times can invalid wudhu.

This is because we don't see the reality or fully understand the real nature of wudhu. 

Washing the face is recommended only one time.  If the person is not confident, just add one more time as part of the first one.  If still need upto the third time, the person has problem because his confident level is in question. 

In Islam, we must have full confident in Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) when performing prescribed ritual. Doubts create problem.  To remove the doubts, we refer to Aalims.

Also, there are differences between sins and substandard acts.  Sinning is intentionally going again Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى).  Substandard acts are not sins, just our grade is not A++, just a passing mark.  This is good because it will make to strive more.  Majority of sincere people fall into Substandard acts.

Wallahualam 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, EiE said:

If you think they make sense, then explain how washing your face three times can invalidate your wudhu.

These are ritual acts that God will test, purify trough them and guide us if we follow them as exactly how Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) choose to be. What shaitan exactly try to do is to make us exceed the limits of ritual acts, thus causing as to do haram. 

If you are Muslim then you need to do five ritual prayers exactly how they are taught, but if you say I don't want to do these five rituals, rather I'll pray by my own way and rules, then your prayer will be not accepted, because it is not valid in God eyes, because God taught us how to do them. 

As why these kind of rituals Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) choosed to us and not other way, well that is very deep question that perhaps only few have seen their true spiritual dimension. 

We can easily feel their effectiveness in our heart but to understand their reality is hard to grasp. 

Edited by Abu Nur
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5 hours ago, EiE said:

They are strict in the notion that your wudhu is invalid if you don't adhere to the exact procedures.

Brother that is really not strick, why making it sound it is hard when it is easier than most of the acts we do daily. It is not to mean to do exactly by 1cm or 1mm of accuracy. 

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9 hours ago, Abu Nur said:

Brother that is really not strick, why making it sound it is hard when it is easier than most of the acts we do daily. It is not to mean to do exactly by 1cm or 1mm of accuracy. 

Not that wudhu is difficult to perform, but it is strict in the sense that it is invalid if I begin with my left arm or wash three times. Why is having a shower, for instance, insufficient?
Given that taking a shower makes you more clean than simply washing and wiping certain body areas, a wudhu can't possibly be about cleanliness alone.
Similarly, in marriage, if there is no mahr involved, the marriage is null and void, I don't understand the reasoning behind this.

9 hours ago, Abu Nur said:

As why these kind of rituals Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) choosed to us and not other way, well that is very deep question that perhaps only few have seen their true spiritual dimension. 

I am also a Muslim who cares about not displeasing my Creator, yet many rules don't make sense to me, and yet I have limited my life to the rulings despite the fact that they don't make sense to me.

Why should I put my faith in these rulings if they don't make sense to me? Just because some ayatullahs announce something as true doesn't necessarily mean it is true. They may have a number of opinions that are universally agreed upon and others that are not, but neither of these stances needs to be the truth.
Is what they say supported by evidence? You would need more evidence than just the existence of ancient scriptures or writings to conclude something is true.

 

 

Therefore, how can we be judged by God to determine whether we will go to hell or paradise based on our beliefs and faith when those beliefs and faith don't make sense to us and we can't completely understand them. I don't get that, it seems more like a psychological experiment than a commitment to the truth.

 

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1 hour ago, EiE said:

yet many rules don't make sense to me

Even if they make no sense to you, if they are found in Qur'an and Sunnah as obligation then you just need to do them. As for Scholar rulings you can yourself verify if they are truth, if not then you need to have clear proof of disagreement. 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/28/2022 at 6:17 AM, EiE said:

The guidelines for wudhu are extremely precise, including where to begin, specific body parts needing to be dry, must start with the right arm, washing three times being forbidden, and so on.
Now, my question is, why so many formal rules? Isn't the aim of wudhu to be clean or purified before performing worship? why is me not following the formal guidelines making my wudhu void.

Salam, 

Let me tell you what Imam Ali (عليه السلام) used to say while doing the wudhu. When washing his right hand first he used to say "O Allah!! Include me in ashaab al-yameen (companions of the right)" and when he wash his left hand he used to say "O Allah!! I seek your refuge to be counted among ashaab al-shimaal (companions of the left). 

I think there is a lesson for us in it. We are following and viewing the sunnah of a person who himself is among the muqarraboon. So right hand first then the left has something to do with the day of judgement when people will be divided into three groups:

a) Muqarraboon

b) Ashaab al-Yameen

c) Ashaab al-Shimaal

One can also ask why there are two sajdah in every rak'ah? Why not only one sajdah enough? 

I remember that once Imam (عليه السلام) explained it through a verse which says "out of this [earth] have We created you, and into it shall We return you". 

مِنْهَا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ وَفِيهَا نُعِيدُكُمْ وَمِنْهَا نُخْرِجُكُمْ تَارَةً أُخْرَى

20:55 

And here is its explanation:

وقد جمع أمير المؤمنين عليه‌السلام أطراف هذا المشهد في جوابه العجيب عن سؤال سائل سأله ، قائلاً : يا بن عم خير خلق الله ، ما معنىٰ السجدة الاُولىٰ ؟ فقال عليه‌السلام : « تأويله اللهم إنّك منها خلقتنا ـ يعني من الأرض ـ ورفع رأسك : ومنها أخرجتنا ، والسجدة الثانية : وإليها تُعيدنا ، ورفع رأسك من الثانية : ومنها تخرجنا تارة اُخرىٰ

Lastly, I want to emphasize that Islam is not strict. Islam direct us to enter into the perfect way of life completely, with our own will. We are not forced to submit rather we have been invited to submit to the One who deserve our submission in true letter & spirit.

Wassalam!

Edited by Cool
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Here is the dua of Ameer ul Mo'mineen (عليه السلام) while washing his hands in wudhu:

غَسَلَ يَدَهُ الْيُمْنَى فَقَالَ :
اللَّهُمَّ أَعْطِنِي كِتَابِي بِيَمِينِي وَ الْخُلْدَ فِي الْجِنَانِ بِيَسَارِي وَ حَاسِبْنِي حِسَاباً يَسِيراً .
ثُمَّ غَسَلَ يَدَهُ الْيُسْرَى فَقَالَ :
اللَّهُمَّ لَا تُعْطِنِي كِتَابِي بِيَسَارِي وَ لَا تَجْعَلْهَا مَغْلُولَةً إِلَى عُنُقِي وَ أَعُوذُ بِكَ رَبِّي مِنْ مُقَطَّعَاتِ النِّيرَانِ

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3 hours ago, EiE said:

Not that wudhu is difficult to perform, but it is strict in the sense that it is invalid if I begin with my left arm or wash three times. Why is having a shower, for instance, insufficient?
Given that taking a shower makes you more clean than simply washing and wiping certain body areas, a wudhu can't possibly be about cleanliness alone.
Similarly, in marriage, if there is no mahr involved, the marriage is null and void, I don't understand the reasoning behind this.

I am also a Muslim who cares about not displeasing my Creator, yet many rules don't make sense to me, and yet I have limited my life to the rulings despite the fact that they don't make sense to me.

Why should I put my faith in these rulings if they don't make sense to me? Just because some ayatullahs announce something as true doesn't necessarily mean it is true. They may have a number of opinions that are universally agreed upon and others that are not, but neither of these stances needs to be the truth.
Is what they say supported by evidence? You would need more evidence than just the existence of ancient scriptures or writings to conclude something is true.

 

 

Therefore, how can we be judged by God to determine whether we will go to hell or paradise based on our beliefs and faith when those beliefs and faith don't make sense to us and we can't completely understand them. I don't get that, it seems more like a psychological experiment than a commitment to the truth.

 

Salam,

Based on your statement, if the ruling don't make sense to you, how come you will be judged by God.  And therefore,  you concluded it is likely a psychological experiment. Don't you think that you have a life time to make a struggle in order to understand it.   I think that you should "hold your horses first".

My personal experiences have made me to conclude trusting Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and following procedures laid by Ahlulbayt (عليه السلام) are not "psychological experiment".:

Trust in an important element in Islam.  Then test the trust and validate the result.  Doubt in Islamic teachings is something Muslim must avoid.  Islam is based on firm belief and certainty.

During my study years (while in the US), I was offered a job and my heart told me that I should continue my study and forget the job offer.  But, I don't have graduate assistantship and I could not afford the tuition and fees as a foreign student. I asked Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and make tawassul through Ahlulbayt (عليه السلام).  I trust Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and Ahlulbait (as my Wali) to help me.  Of cause, there are certain procedures to ask Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and making tawassul through Ahlulbayt (عليه السلام).  Guess what, after expressing my trust and follow the procedures, I had a dream.  In that dream, I am sitting in front of a Professor and I saw a Korean guy beside me.  We both were offered graduate assistantships.  The next, it happened exactly as in my dream.  

Was my trust and following the procedures are "psychological experiment" or "commitment to the truth".  Now, these type of experiences occurred many times in my life. 

Even, I have experienced death once, and seeing another world.  While I entered another world, I turned my face toward my right side and in split second I saw all of my good actions.  When I turned my face toward the left, I saw all the sins I did.  I was scare and asked Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) to return back.  Fortunately, I was able to return back.  If I did not experience looking of all my good actions / sins, I might reject my death experience can categorize it as psychological.  But, I cannot because I knew my past actions were.  Was is psychological experiment??  No for me because I am not able to recollect and conclude my actions are considered good or sins in split seconds.

The most recent one (on a saturday and late afternoon, about 4 months ago), I felt from the roof (14 feet high), and my head and shoulders hit the cement floor.  Guess what, nothing happened to my head and shoulders. I would have die from that fall.  During the fall, I said very loudly toward Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) "Ya Ali",  It came automatically because it is not my habit to say Ya Ali.  Meaning, during the fall, I was expressing to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) that I believe in "Wilayat of Ali" and "Ali is Your Chosen Imam",...in short Ya Ali.  Something happened that saved me.  I also knew that before I climb the roof, I did read short dua (prayer) asking Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) for safety by the right of Ahlulbayt.  Was this event a psychological experiment????  NOT FOR ME.

My personal experiences are hujjat for me that Trusting Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and following Ahlulbayt are the truth.  I cannot use it as evidence for others.  But, the sharing part might encourage others to think.

I believe (whether it make sense or not), all rulings from Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and given to us from Ahlulbayt (عليه السلام) are truth and can be tested at individual level to increase our understanding in trusting Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), Quran and all His Chosen Walis. 

Washing the face and hand during wudhu with proper procedure will result in wonderful consequences.  Even reading Bismillahi rahmani raheem before every action with proper procedure, will change our life for the good (not in sense of we will become a millionaire), but we will understand why Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) created us and why we worship Him.  Therefore, we say Bismillahi rahmani raheem.

 

Wallahualam.

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Guest Abdul
20 hours ago, EiE said:

Again, though, this only serves to emphasise how little we truly know and how eager we are to believe what the Quran, hadith, and ayatullahs have commanded us to do in the absence of any evidence that what they have said is truthful. What makes you so certain that you are obeying the word of God, the prophets, and imams, rather than some fallible man-made laws?

Yes, I agree with you, but how can you also think that God will punish those who have not made tawbah or who doubts the reality of the prophets, imams, or God, even though they were in other ways admirable individuals? What harm does it do to God if someone disobeys His commands if they are really His commands?
The loss is unquestionably nothing! So where is the mercy in that, that people will be sent to hellfire because of their faith/belief or doubt about the commandments?

You don't have a spiritual connection with Allah yet so you don't believe in anything and you are even questioning the authenticity of the Quran. Many people don't have the connection, even I didn't initially. When you are praying you are speaking to Allah and when you read Quran Allah is speaking to you. If 100 ayatollah's came together they wouldn't be able to write 1 sora سورة from the holy Quran. If you start reading sorat Al-Baqarah the first few verses could answer your question of why people believe in something that is unseen and why will others be punished for not believing.


2:2
ذَٰلِكَ ٱلْكِتَـٰبُ لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ هُدًۭى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ ٢

This is the Book! There is no doubt about it[1]—a guide for those mindful ˹of Allah˺,[2]

[1] The word muttaqi (plural muttaqûn) can be translated as one who is mindful ˹of Allah˺, devout, pious, God-fearing, righteous, or God-conscious.
[2] i.e., there is no doubt regarding its authenticity or consistency.


2:3
ٱلَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِٱلْغَيْبِ وَيُقِيمُونَ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَـٰهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ ٣

who believe in the unseen,[1] establish prayer, and donate from what We have provided for them,

[1] i.e., the belief in Allah, the angels, and the Day of Judgment.


2:4
وَٱلَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ مِن قَبْلِكَ وَبِٱلْـَٔاخِرَةِ هُمْ يُوقِنُونَ ٤

and who believe in what has been revealed to you ˹O Prophet˺[1] and what was revealed before you, and have sure faith in the Hereafter.


2:5
أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ عَلَىٰ هُدًۭى مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ ۖ وَأُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلْمُفْلِحُونَ ٥

It is they who are ˹truly˺ guided by their Lord, and it is they who will be successful.

2:6
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ سَوَآءٌ عَلَيْهِمْ ءَأَنذَرْتَهُمْ أَمْ لَمْ تُنذِرْهُمْ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ ٦

As for those who persist in disbelief, it is the same whether you warn them or not—they will never believe.

2:7
خَتَمَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَعَلَىٰ سَمْعِهِمْ ۖ وَعَلَىٰٓ أَبْصَـٰرِهِمْ غِشَـٰوَةٌۭ ۖ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌۭ ٧

Allah has sealed their hearts and their hearing, and their sight is covered. They will suffer a tremendous punishment.

The word غيب which is believing in the unseen, or believing in something that others don't believe in is repeated many times in the Quran. The problem is you have doubts about the authenticity but  I would advise you to open it and start reading with an open mind, and if you don't understand something read the translation/tafsir, many people who read it over and over again say they always read a verse and it's as if they haven't read it before, theres always something new like a revelation. Perhaps you could read something that will convince you.

May Allah guide you.

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The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and [so have] the believers. All of them have believed in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers, [saying], "We make no distinction between any of His messengers." And they say, "We hear and we obey. [We seek] Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the [final] destination." Qur'an 2:285

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Posted (edited)
On 6/29/2022 at 5:22 AM, Guest Abdul said:

 يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلَاةِ فَاغْسِلُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ وَامْسَحُوا بِرُءُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَيْنِ ۚ وَإِنْ كُنْتُمْ جُنُبًا فَاطَّهَّرُوا ۚ وَإِنْ كُنْتُمْ مَرْضَىٰ أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَاءَ أَحَدٌ مِنْكُمْ مِنَ الْغَائِطِ أَوْ لَامَسْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَلَمْ تَجِدُوا مَاءً فَتَيَمَّمُوا صَعِيدًا طَيِّبًا فَامْسَحُوا بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُمْ مِنْهُ ۚ مَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيَجْعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِنْ حَرَجٍ وَلَٰكِنْ يُرِيدُ لِيُطَهِّرَكُمْ وَلِيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ 

Sorat Al-Ma'idah  سورة المائدة verse 6. The verse says when you rise to prayer wash your face and hands and wipe your head and feet, thus making the 2 washes, 2 wipes. 

It should also be noted that the rest of the same verse says: "It is not Allah’s Will to burden you, but to purify you and complete His favour upon you, so perhaps you will be grateful."

This Quranic verse clearly says wipe your feet but some people prefer to wash them and three times (which also is against the narrations that mention how with just a little water the Holy Prophet did his ablutions). Thus the people who add more rules overburden themselves and get OCD problems and all else. So, the Quranic and Jafari wudhu is easy but other people make it hard/strict and burden themselves.

Edited by islamicmusic
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On 6/29/2022 at 8:14 AM, EiE said:

If you think they make sense, then explain how washing your face three times can invalidate your wudhu. And why not including mahr invalidates your marriage.

They are strict in the notion that your wudhu is invalid if you don't adhere to the exact procedures. Similarly, your mutah is invalid if you don't adhere to the exact procedures, ei not including mahr. Both of these 2 examples leads to accumulation of sins. There are several other rulings that I consider as strict, but I've chosen to only mention these two since wudhu and marriage rules are more widely known.

 

Please read my first post so you may possibly comprehend the question's intent.

Alright I get it...

I remember a hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (عليه السلام), in which he explains these kind of Islamic laws. 

He was asked what happened if a man cut one finger of a woman, and he answered that 10 camels should be paid.

He was asked what happened if a man cut two fingers of a woman, and he answered that 20 camels should be paid. 

He was asked what happened if a man cut three fingers of a woman, and he answered that 30 camels should be paid. 

He was asked what happened if a man cut four fingers of a woman, and he answered that 20 camels should be paid. 

Imam al-Sadiq (عليه السلام) wanted to show that we human beings think we're so good, we think we can understand the logic of Allah. Imagine how infinitely small our logic and rationale is compared to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). 

I'm not trying to say that we just blindly follow like how the Christians believe in 'blind faith'. I'm saying that once we establish the fundamentals of Islam, (Tawheed, Adl,  Nubuwwah, Imamah, Qiyamah), Allah's laws don't need to make sense to us. Why? Because Allah knows more. I would recommend watching this lecture by Sayed Mahdi Modaressi, he explains it much better than I do:

 

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