On Mosques

August 25, 2010 at 10:38 pm (Arabic, Islam, Islamism, The West)

So, a lot is being said about a mosque that someone wants to build on Ground Zero. Although we, this blogosphere community, do not believe in moral authoritah – truth is truth (“And truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come” (D&C 93:24)) – I suppose I have some things to say from my studies and experience.

1. Comparing building a mosque on Ground Zero is not equivalent to building a synagogue in Makkah. The reason is that Makkah (indeed, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) has laws in place banning such places of worship. No such laws exist in New York City. Furthermore, Ground Zero is not a qiblah (direction of prayer, perhaps more metaphysically understood as an axis mundi).

The closest comparison is building a Serbian Orthodox church in Srebrenica.

2. However, the plans to build the mosque at Ground Zero is absolutely reprehensible and, frankly, can be construed as un-Islamic. (I should disclose that I am, technically, a mureed or follower of Mowlana Shaykh Muhammad Nizam ‘Adil al-Haqqani (qaddasa-llaahi sirrahu), the leader of the Naqshbandi-Haqqani Sufi Order. He teaches a form of Islam that is very different from what we usually encounter – I will weave some of his perspectives below.

Let me explain. What is this proposal doing? It is causing immense negative publicity for Muslims. What strides certain Muslims groups have made in building relationships of trust, bridges of understanding, have been made futile with these acts. It is causing unrest and, verily, chaos, in other words, it is causing fitnah. And what does the Qur’an say? “Al-fitnatu akbaru mina-l-qatl” (2:217), “Fitnah is worse than killing.” So what these Muslims are doing is worse than killing because it’s causing unrest and chaos. From the perspective of Muslims, these Muslims are defaming and desecrating Islam, and are besmirching the honor of Islam. Such acts are utterly un-Islamic. (By the way – if the sentence according to sharee’ah for murderers (who do qatl) is execution, what should the punishment be for those who spread fitnah? The logical conclusion comes to only one decision.)

Now, make no mistake. It is more likely than not that the people behind this mosque believe Muslims have nothing to do with the acts of September 11, 2001. This is their attempt to assert their innocence – to prevent Ground Zero from commemorating Islamist terrorism.

3. Furthermore, Muslims cannot ram “freedom of religion” down our throats without accepting its full consequences that impact Muslims. Thus, they loose all right to demand the banning of blasphemy against Muhammad b. ‘Abdillaah, the prophet-founder of Islam. If they want to use the freedom of religion to build a mosque, others may use their freedom of religion to mock Muhammad b. ‘Abdillaah.

Mowlana Shaykh Hisham al-Kabbani, Mowlana Shaykh Nazim’s khaleefah or representative in the United States, has stated that most Islamic institutions in the United States are run by the Salafiyoon (fundamentalist radicals). I think this issue demonstrates this. Do not accept any innocence feigned by these causers of fitnah. Every self-respecting Muslim would denounce them. Every wise non-Muslim would tell them to drop their plans.

What grounds do we have?

1. Security. I guarantee – guarantee – that this mosque will be attacked or vandalized. This desecration of Ground Zero – sanctified by the blood of thousands of martyrs – will not go unnoticed. Of course, the Muslims will point that out as another sign of Western intolerance and will undoubtedly pin it as a conspiracy by Fox News and its ilk.

2. Decency. If the Muslims expect to make any progress in the United States, they must play by the rules that will win them friends. Their tactics in Europe – asserting their cultural and religious rights – won’t work here. It wins no friends. And thus the Muslims’ relations with the non-Muslims will worsen. Even if we are intolerant, the way to overcome our intolerance is to befriend us, not offend or attack us (figuratively or literally).

3. Need. There is no need for a mosque. Really, mosques are conveniences, not necessities. Catholics usually need certain accouterments in order to celebrate the Mystery of the Mass (altar (for which there are specific regulations, including the implantation of a first-class relic), crucifix). Jews, same thing (Torah, bimah, aron hakodesh). All Muslims need is a clean area and maybe a rug. A group of Muslims can (and do) gather in a room to pray. When they wanted to make a prayer room for Muslims at my alma mater, they didn’t erect a separate building. They just had a room where there were some books (Qur’an, etc.) and a chair or two. That’s it. There is nothing that makes a mosque a necessity, let alone necessary on Ground Zero.

As Muslims as fond of saying – just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should. Oh, how the tables have turned.

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A problem with metonymy

February 2, 2008 at 12:30 am (Arabic, Christianity, English, Hebrew, History, Islam, Judaism, Languages, Religion, Religions, Urdu/Hindi)

In the English language (and, in this specific regard, many other languages), “church” is a versatile word. It can refer to a particular building (or building style); it can refer to a particular congregation; it can refer to a particular denomination. So when someone says “the Catholic Church” (and here “says” is more important than “writes” because capitalization provides more clarity than the spoken word in this case), one can be referring to a particular building (St. Mary of the Angels Parish Church, perhaps), to a congregation (those that meet in St. John Cantius Parish Church), or to Roman Catholicism as a whole. The same applies to other denominations, almost all of which can be described as the “X Church” (the Lutheran Church; the Mormon Church; the Episcopalian or Anglican Church; the United Methodist Church; the Presbyterian Church; the Church of Christ, Scientist; the Orthodox Church; the Reformed Church; perhaps even the United Church of Christ). (Obviously this does not apply for everyone: exceptions I can think of are Jehovah’s Witnesses, Quakers, Pentacostals, Evangelicals, Christadelphians, Disciples of Christ. With Baptists, often “the Baptist church” refers to a specific building and/or congregation as there is no united Church of Baptists, each congregation being autonomous even in conventions or groups.)

But this is something only in Christianity. Read the rest of this entry »

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The extended name of the Shiite imams

January 25, 2008 at 11:50 pm (Arabic, History, Islam, Shiite Islam)

While I should have been working on a post on jihad, I was toying around with the extended names of the Shiite imams. Most Arab names include the name of the father (the formula “bin” or “ibn” followed by the father’s name) but some include the names of more ancestors. For no reason whatsoever, here are the extended names of the Twelver and Ismaili imams.

The current Twelver Imam is Abu-l-Qāsim Muhammad al-Mahdī bin al-Hassan al-’Askarī, twelfth in the line (hence “Twelver Shiites”). He is the so-called “Hidden Imam”. The current Nizari Qasim-Shahi Ismaili Imam is His Highness Shāh Karīm al-Hussaynī Āgā (or Āghā) Khān IV, forty-ninth in the line. (In actuality, Arab naming conventions are not used among the Ismailis.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Taqiyyah

September 27, 2007 at 3:37 am (Arabic, Books, Islam, Islamism, World War III)

Taqiyya: “To fear.” Based primarily on Koran 3:28 and 16:106, taqiyya is an Islamic doctrine allowing Muslims to dissemble their true beliefs when fearing persecution. Based on certain hadiths, some ulema expand the meaning of taqiyya to also permit general lying in order to advance any cause beneficial to Islam.

Raymond Ibrahim. The Al Qaeda Reader. New York: Broadway Books, 2007, p. xxi.

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Abdul – the imposter

July 6, 2007 at 5:10 am (Arabic, Islam, Languages)

Contrary to popular perception, “Abdul” is not a word or name in Arabic. In Arabic, “Abdul” is completely nonsensical.

Now, there is a word (عبد; ‛abd; “servant” or, more precisely, “slave”). This is a very common element in Muslim names, where one would use “‛abd” paired with one of the Islamic names of God, if not “God” itself. The most common of such names is (عبدالله; ‛abdullāh; slave of Allāh/God).

Now, a little explanation on how such names are formed so as to explain where “Abdul” comes from and why it is wrong (in the opposite order). Read the rest of this entry »

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The fundamentals of Islam: I – the testification of faith

June 25, 2007 at 4:00 am (Arabic, Islam, Religion, Theology)

The first in a series of posts about the fundamentals of Islam, both as they exist ideally and theoretically and as they exist in reality, including variations among sects of Islam, and including consequences of the beliefs therefrom and of differences with other Muslims.

The first fundamental of Islam is the testification or proclamation or witnessing or confessing of the Islamic faith. This is known as (شهادة, shahādah).

The shahādah consists of two units; the shahādah exists in two forms: one form that is explicitly a testification (“I testify that…”) and another form that is more of a proclamation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Of mujahidun and Crusaders

February 1, 2007 at 2:33 am (Arabic, Languages, World War III)

Eric says:

Wouldn’t the English word Crusader have the same meaning as mujāhid?

Excellent comment.

The word “Crusader” comes to us from Latin, and is derived ultimately from the Latin word “crux”, meaning “cross” as in the symbol of Christianity. This is because the “Crusades” were called the “wars of the Cross”, fought in behalf of and for Christ’s endangered people in the East.

The Arabic equivalent, which is used quite commonly, is (singular: صليبي, Salībī; nominative plural: صليبيون, Salībiyyūn; oblique plural: صليبيين, Salībiyyīn) — derived from (صليب, Salīb, “cross”) — and meaning “of or pertaining to the (Christian) cross”. In other words, Cross-ites or Cross-ians, as it were. Which is quite close to “Crusader” on a variety of levels.

Both words refer, originally, to one or to those who fight(s) for Christianity.

Now, the root for (مجاهد, mujāhid) is (جهد, jahada), meaning (to) “struggle”. Now, the common active form would be (مجهد, mujahid), but (جهد, jahad) is different from the IIIrd form thereof, (جهاد, jihād), and the IIIrd form’s corresponding active form is (مجاهد, mujāhid). Thus, (مجاهد, mujāhid) does not mean “one who struggles” but rather “one who wages religious war”.

(Sidenote: So, note this: the fact that (جهاد, jihād, “to wage religious war”) is derived from (جهد, jahad, “to struggle”) means nothing. In fact, so central is this concept that the root has a special form that means specifically “religious war”. And so if someone is taking about (جهاد, jihād) and not (جهد, jahad), one is talking solely about religious war. None of this spiritual stuff that is taken for the normative interpretation.)

As such, “Crusader” and “mujāhid” mean different things semantically and etymologically. In a sense, it is possible to call Crusaders mujāhidun but, because of the word’s origin in “cross” one cannot call a Muslim of any sort a Crusader. It is, properly, an exclusively Christian term. (Similarly, one cannot or ought not to apply the word “Crusader” to any non-Christian.) It’s a logical issue: why would a non-Christian fight for the Cross?

Now, their connotation in the native languages is similar: both refer to holy warriors; both words have a positive and, indeed, even reverential connotation. However, when Christians use “mujāhid“, it is in a derogatory sense, just as when Muslims use “Crusader”. And so, as far as words are concerned, it’s still a mess.

In other words: “mujāhid” (“one who wages religious war”) does not mean the same thing as “Crusader” (“one who fights for the cross”) — at least explicitly. And while Crusaders can be said to be mujāhidūn of sorts, not all mujāhidūn are Crusaders or can be called such. However, there is something to be said about connotation.

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The fallacy of the “greater” and “lesser” jihads

January 31, 2007 at 2:47 am (Arabic, Idiots, Islam, Islamism, Military, Religion, War, World War III)

Whenever someone reads about jihad, one will invariably come across an explanation that includes a differentiation between the greater and lesser jihads.

Basically, this interpretation is based on some saying of some prominent person (and who exactly said it varies according to account) who, upon returning from a war or campaign, remarked that he was returning from the lesser jihad (that is, armed jihad; in Arabic: الجهاد الأصغر, al-jihād al-aSghar) to the greater jihad (that is, spiritual refinement; in Arabic: الجهاد الأكبر, al-jihād al-akbar). Another way to characterize this is to refer to “jihad with the sword” (جهاد بالسيف, jihād bi-s-sayf) and “jihad with the self” (جهاد بالنفس, jihād bi-n-nafs). However, we are presented with a linguistic dilemma. The particle prefix (ب, bi-) can here function as a possessive qualifier, that is: a jihad belonging to the sword or a jihad belonging to the self, or to indicate instrumentality, that is: a jihad fought by using a sword or a jihad fought by using one’s self. Considering both involve the offering of one’s self for the sake of Islam, they are practically synonymous in referring to jihad that is warfare.

In a similar manner, practically every phrase, term, title, or permutation using the word “jihad” can be and is taken to refer to jihad that is warfare. In other words, as far as Islam’s centuries-old literature is concerned, “jihad” refers to offensive warfare for Islam’s sake, even though it may take a number of forms. All of this “lesser jihad” and “greater jihad” and “non-violent jihad” is all nonsense.

Two major points:

  1. There is no authentic or reliable source for the quote that is used to create this concept of jihad being external and internal. Its authenticity is disputed. Plus, there are far more sayings and quotes that state the exact opposite of the quote in question. One simple example, by Muhammad himself, is that “the gates of Heaven are under the shadow of swords.”
  2. The literature of Islam pertaining to jihad focuses on jihad as warfare. Sufi manuals and books, and those influenced by the same, may talk about jihad as internal warfare, but this is an innovation and unattested to in the normative or orthodox literature of Islam, including and especially those dealing with Islamic law and practice.

Q.E.D.

Therefore, let anyone who claims that jihad can be non-offensive (that is, taking a form that does not affect those other than oneself) be aware that one is wrong. Although the jihad to establish Islamism can take non-violent forms (such as propaganda, supplying the fighters, et cetera), no form of jihad (or, at least, no legitimate form of jihad) exists that concerns solely the self. All forms of jihad have the aim to reform and change and conquer those around one.

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What to call these fighters of jihad

January 31, 2007 at 2:17 am (Arabic, Islam, Islamism, Languages, World War III)

There does not exist a word in English that can serve as an equivalent to the Arabic word (مجاهد, mujāhid; nominative plural: مجاهدون, mujāhidūn; oblique plural: مجاهدين, mujāhidīn).

Who or what is a mujāhid? I’m glad you asked. It means, literally, one who performs (جهاد, jihād), especially what is termed (جهاد بالسيف, jihād bi-s-sayf, jihad with/by the sword) or (جهاد في سبيل الله, jihād fi sabīlillāh, or jihad in the path of God). This means, in other words, one who fights for God/Islam. And this fighting is not of the spiritual sort but, rather, of the military and armed sort.

Some have taken to calling these people “jihadis”. This is not incorrect or inaccurate: in Arabic (as well as other languages, such as Persian and Urdu), (جهادي, jihādī) means not only “of or pertaining to jihad” but also “supportive of or belonging to jihad”, which can be used to describe the many sorts of people who conduct jihad or support it. But how much of this do the normal people know? To how many would it be a strange word or one devoid of meaning or connotation?

Despite the many parallels drawn between the two, mujāhidūn or jihad-fighters or jihadis are not Crusaders or even like them. Jihad-fighters wage war unprovoked. Or, rather, one’s infidel-hood is sufficient provocation to cause them to wage war. (A completely different issue, of course, is why we in the West continue to condemn the Crusades while failing to condemn or, even worse, overlooking the Islamic/Islamist wars of conquest.)

The round-about descriptive way is to refer to such people as “militant Islamist terrorists” (while their supporters are “militant Islamists” or somesuch). But this becomes a mouthful. But it does preserve an element I believe is key: putting this terrorism issue in the context of Islamism. Terrorism is but a manifestation of Islamism, not the other way around. And yet I fear that using such terms can only open the door for endless symantic debates as well as seeming to be fearful of offending someone. (“Islamo-fascists” is quite more assertive and strident than “militant Islamist terrorist networks et cetera“.)

Of course Arabic would have the perfect word, what with its hundreds of permutations for a single root. Applying its own rules in the same manner, so would Hebrew. But then none of us speak Hebrew, so that would not help us.

Suggestions?

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Sufis

December 14, 2006 at 10:52 pm (Arabic, History, Islam, Islamism, Theology, World War III)

Inspired by this comment to “If You Had to Pick: Sunni or Shiite?” by Frank J. of IMAO:

We towelheads were Christian long before Mo came and buggered up the Middle East. For a good time, go visit the Sufis. They always put a unique spin on Islam.

In the popular image of Islam, the Sufis1 are considered to be gentle, moderate, tolerant, spiritual Muslims in contrast to legalistic, rigid, intolerant Muslims who follow Islamic law very closely, paying no attention to spirituality. And to a degree, this may be correct. Read the rest of this entry »

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Defeating as-Sadr, defeating Iran

November 25, 2006 at 3:00 am (Arabic, Blogs, Cold War II, Culture, History, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Islamism, Lebanon, Middle East, Military, Persian, The United States, US Government, War)

(Inspired by “Disenfranchising Moqtada al-Sadr the easy way” by geoff of Uncommon Misconceptions.)

We should have taken out Muqtada as-Sadr (سيد مقتدى الصدر, sayyid muqtadā aS-Sadr; titled: حجة الإسلام, Hujjat al-islām, meaning “proof or expert on Islam,” meaning he’s a middle-ranking Shiite cleric).

Within Iraq, one may say that there are two prominent factions: the activists, under as-Sadr, and the quietists, under Grand Ayatollah as-Sistani (السيد علي الحسيني السيستاني, as-sayyid ‛alī al-Hussaynī as-sīstānī; titled: آية الله العظمى, āyatullāh al-‛uZmā, meaning “Great Āyatullāh,” referring to the senior-most level of Shiite clerics).

After a period of time, the activist Shiites, who are organized in political parties and militias, gained control of and prominence in Iraqi politics. As-Sadr is certainly a person to consider. He’s no small fry. But one needs to also see why he seeks this attention. Read the rest of this entry »

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How Islamist terrorists threaten Muslims

November 15, 2006 at 3:42 am (Afghanistan, Arabic, Blogs, History, Idiots, International community, Islam, Islamism, Middle East, Religion, War)

Vital Perspective has another short post: “Yemen Vows to Strike al-Qaeda with ‘Iron Fist’ After Statement by Terrorists”. This is also worth reading.

This should demonstrate how militant Islamist terrorist networks (or however/whatever one wants to call such entities) threaten not only The West and its states and allies but also Muslim states. We don’t really imagine a God-forsaken country like Yemen to be one of our allies such that it would attract the attention of militant Islamist terrorist networks, but such it is. Remember that USS Cole was off the coast of Yemen when it was attacked by terrorists: this shows that Yemen plays a role in The United States’ Armed Forces infrastructure.

But this should also demonstrate why more Muslim states’ governments and, indeed, their people ought to be more active in opposing, destroying, and eliminating militant Islamist terrorist networks. Such networks threaten them as well. Read the rest of this entry »

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Isaac Schrödinger: please help an ally of The West

November 6, 2006 at 5:42 am (Arabic, Blogs, Islam, Islamism, Middle East, Pakistan, Persian, Personal, South Asia, The West, War)

I composed a post, then had a realization, and am now rewriting it. To be upfront: I am asking my readers – those who are willing and who can – to kindly consider making a donation to Isaac Schrödinger‘s defense fund.

(To make a donation, go to Isaac Schrödinger‘s blog, Isaac Schrödinger, and click on thew PayPal link on to upper right.) http://isaacschrodinger.typepad.com/isaacschrodinger/

(To learn more about Isaac Schrödinger and his case, read his detailed post “Fear and Loathing in The Land of the Pure”. As a point of reference, “The Land of the Pure” refers to the translation of “Pakistan” (پاکستان, pākistān): (پاک, pāk, Persian for “pure”) and (اِستان, istān, Persian suffix meaning “land” or “region”).)

Before I launch into a long lecture as to why I think his cause is so important, I wanted to say that I realized that it would have been ridiculous to ask my kind readers to do something if I were not prepared to step up to the same challenge. I have done my part, and now I ask that if you can, please consider making a donation to Isaac Schrödinger‘s defense fund. Read the rest of this entry »

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Elder of Ziyon: Revealing the propaganda in Arab media

November 3, 2006 at 8:42 am (Arab society, Arabic, Arabs, Blogs, English, International community, Israel, Languages, Middle East, News, Palestinian Territories, The Media)

If you would like to see how deceptive the Arab media is with news and events regarding Arabs (including and especially Palestinians) and Israel, I suggest checking out Elder of Ziyon. The Elder of Ziyon does an excellent job of revealing discrepancies between reports in English and Arabic, as well as highlighting how much of Arab suffering is because of Arabs, although one would not know this if one is reading Arab media in English (or even in Arabic, in some instances).

Sidenote: “Ziyon” comes from a closer transliteration of the word usually rendered as “Zion”. This word is (ציון, tziyon) and occurs quite frequently in Jewish/Hebrew prayers.

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Justice: Judaism versus Islam

October 29, 2006 at 4:01 am (Arabic, Books, Christianity, Hebrew, History, Islam, Islamism, Judaism, Personal, Religion, Religions, The West, Theology)

Here is a post, inspired by what Robert Spencer wrote in The Truth about Muhammad, comparing justice, historically and currently, in Judaism to that in Islam.

In page 120 of his book, Spencer mentions a Hadīth. (From this point on, everything is my extrapolation.) Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Awrah, aurat: of women in Arabic in Urdu

October 24, 2006 at 5:36 pm (Amusement, Arabic, Blogs, India, Islam, Languages, Pakistan, Religion, South Asia)

In Arabic, the word (عورة, ‛awrah) refers to, among other things, one’s private area. This is defined according to Islamic law as the area between the navel and knees for men and the entire body, except the face and hands, of women. Not only does this word refer to the private area, per se, but also to what “private area” is used euphemistically for, namely genitalia.

This is explained in a somewhat cheeky comment on a page called “neqabi”. (A (نقاب, niqāb) refers to a veil that covers the face but (usually) exposes the eyes. (نقابي, niqābī) would be an adjective form, meaning “of or pertaining to wearing a niqāb.“) I found this page via Isaac Schrödinger‘s post “100% Vagina” (which, coincidently, is a useful phrase for the paragraph below).

What also intrigues me is that when the Arabic word (عورة, ‛awrah) is rendered, according to the normal rules, into Urdu, it becomes (عورت, aurat) which, in Urdu, means “woman.” What does it mean when Urdu uses a word that in Arabic means “private area” (and, I should add, “weakness, weak spot, defectiveness, faultiness, deficiency, imperfection” and refers to female genitalia) to refer to women individually and categorically?

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Badgering imams with trivialities

October 19, 2006 at 10:49 pm (Amusement, Arabic, Blogs, Islam, Islamism, Theology)

Please go on over to “GEL RULING IN” by Tim Blair of Tim Blair and read on over the thread for a while. At least until you get an idea of what sorts of questions are asked for imams to answer.

Back? Thanks. Had a fun time? I hope so.

No, that was not a joke. People actually have asked those questions. That website, Ask-Imam.com, is for real.

Muslims have traditionally asked their imams (from the Arabic إمام, imām, plural: أئمة, a’immah, “leader/leaders or guide/guides”; another word used in this regard is عالم, ‛ālim, plural: علماء, ‛ulamā’, “scholar/scholars”) questions related to Islamic law. And Islamic law has something to say about everything. Often, imams or groups will make a big deal about issues that we see as completely irrelevant or preposterous. As an example, Tablighi Jamat (Urdu: تبلیغی جماعت, tablīghī jamāt, “congregation or group for propagating” Islam) believes that it is mandatory for Muslims to wear pants that end above one’s ankle. Muslims who do not do this are in serious transgression. There’s a whole theory and reasoning behind why this ruling would be so, but I offer this example to show how seemingly trivial issues take on great importance.

From the very beginning of Islam, Muslims have been asking experts on Islamic law questions on how to implement it in certain cases. Indeed, a large number of aHādīth (أحاديث, sayings of Muhammad and other senior members of the early Muslim community) came about when someone approached another (usually Muhammad) with a certain situation and asked what one should do. The response is remembered and used as a template for further rulings on similar issues.

A World of Fatwas by Arun Shourie demonstrates how, frankly, ridiculous this situation can become. People ask all sorts of questions, some of which are outright weird and even perverted. The author gives examples of questions related to bestiality (no, I’m not kidding), minutiae of sexual activity, dead animals in water tanks, child abuse, spousal abuse – and these are not questions related to whether it is right or wrong but rather when it happens, what is to be done.

If you want some more entertainment, go to the Ask-Imam website (which Tim Blair links to) and see what sort of questions are asked.

Some day, I’ll expand on this issue.

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What Islamists say and see and want

October 16, 2006 at 3:58 pm (Arabic, Islam, Islamism, Israel, Pakistan, The United States, The West, War)

When reading through Islamist propoganda for their internal use, one thing becomes clear: the Islamists are not anti-Zionists or anti-Israel, they are anti-Jews. In all of the Islamist books I have been reading in Urdu, not once has Zionism been mentioned. Israel has been mentioned a few times, but the bulk of remarks against Jews have been explicitly against Jews (Urdu: singular: یہودی, yahūdī; plural: یہودیاں, yahūdiyāN).

While in Pakistan last time, I went to A Mosque and happened to be able to pray the ‘Asr prayer (صلاة العصر, Salāt al-‛aSr in Arabic; نماز عصر, namāz-e asar in Urdu) there, which is late in the afternoon. I kid you not: as soon as the prayers were over, the imām launched into a harangue against (نصرانیاں, nasrāniyāN, “Christians”) and (یہودیاں, yahūdiyāN, “Jews”). Not America or Israel or Zionism. Specifically against Jews and Christians. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jihad and Islamism

October 14, 2006 at 12:47 am (Arabic, Islam, Islamism, Military, Persian, Personal, The United States, The West, War)

When I came back from Pakistan, I brought with me a number of books regarding jihad, most of them in Urdu. Almost all of these books discuss jihad in terms of (قتال في سبيل الله, qitāl fi sabīlillāh, “fighting/battling in the path of God”). So, obviously, my focus for some time will be on this aspect of jihad.

The reason I do this is to inform myself and others about what is being written and taught concerning jihad. We hear so much propaganda from both sides – some saying jihad is not violent and we will excommunicate you if you disagree, others saying jihad is always violent and we will kill you if you disagree – so I think it’s important to be aware of what they’re saying to each other in each other’s language. You will notice that what they write in Urdu, for example, does not correspond with what will commonly be found in English. I’d like to bridge that gap – provide in English some of what is being written in other languages.

Having said that, I do not want to ignore nor would I want others to ignore the jihad that goes by the name of “Islamism.” It’s not always violent, true, but it is just as insidious and disastrous as jihad with the sword (جهاد بالسيف, jihād bi-s-sayf, “jihad with the sword”). Considering what I have said about jihad, some might think it a bit harsh to claim that Islamism is jihad, but this is the fact of how things are. Rather than fighting the infidels and wayward Muslims with swords or bullets, these (مجاهدين, mujāhidīn, “jihad-fighters”) fight with persuasive arguments, lies, misrepresentations, propaganda, psychological manipulation, and so forth. Their goal is the same as those with swords and guns: the supremacy of Islam, The West’s surrender to Islam (even if by granting it special privileges and desisting from criticism), tne uniformity of Islam, and the ackowledgement of Islam’s superiority. Note that their jihad will harm nominal Muslims as much as non-Muslims. Islamism is behind such vigilante forces as Saudi Arabia’s (مطوعين, muTawwa‛īn) and Iran’s (بسيجي, basījī): they seek the obedience of all Muslims, by choice or by compulsion.

When the mujāhidīn with swords swept through Christian Asia, they did not convert the masses. The mujāhidīn with soft tongues and promises of advancement, the eloquent preachers and teachers of this new religion of conquerors and warriors – they converted the masses, turning the people away from The West to face Mecca.

I feel no shame in saying that I stand as firmly against jihad with the sword as jihad through Islamism. Both are a threat to The West and must be resisted. And the beginning of resistance is understanding. Knowledge is power, which is why they keep us in the dark.

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Upon whom is jihad mandatory?

October 14, 2006 at 12:17 am (Arabic, Islam, Islamism, War)

In Islam, a (فرض, farD; plural: فروض, furūD) is a mandatory duty, an obligation, for Muslims. As an example, the five pillars of Islam (testifying the faith, fasting, praying, paying religious taxes, and Hajj) are mandatory obligations on all Muslims.

There are two types of farD:
1. (فرض العين, farD al-‛ayn), meaning a farD that is mandatory on all Muslims. An example is praying: praying the five canonical prayers is a farD al-‛ayn on all Muslims.
2. (فرض الكفاية, farD al-kifāyah), meaning a farD that is mandatory on all Muslims of an area but whose requirements are fulfilled if enough people perform it; if enough people do not perform it, everyone will be guilty of a grave sin because of its non-fulfillment. An example is funeral prayers: whereas attending a Muslim’s funeral prayers (and other funeral needs) is mandatory on the Muslims of an area, if enough Muslims attend to the need then the requirement will be considered to be fulfilled for all. If not enough people attend to this obligation, everyone will be considered to be under sin for its non-fulfillment.

No one denies that jihad is a farD. (As there are three types of (جهاد في سبيل الله, jihād fi sabīlillāh, “struggling in the path of God”), for purposes of this post all references to “jihad” refers to (قتال في سبيل الله, qitāl fi sabīlillāh, “fighting or battling in the path of God”).) What is disputed among some jurisprudents is upon whom jihad is a farD al-‛ayn (and why) and upon whom jihad is a farD al-kifāyah (and why). This is important because it has important consequences on the choices and livlihood of Muslims. Read the rest of this entry »

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