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iceHorse

Comparing Islamic Values To Western Secular Values

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Hi Guys,

 

Glad to be back, hope you're all well.

 

While I was gone I read an English version of the Quran. Then I did spot checking comparisons with a different translation to verify that I had read a reasonable translation. In the spot checking I did, I found the two translations to be very similar, so I hope I have a decent exposure to this scripture.

 

If I was to use *only* the Quran as my guide to understanding Islam, I would have to conclude that I disagree with many of the basic values of Islam. Again, this is if I use *only* the Quran as my guide.

 

So how would you recommend that I achieve a better understanding of Islamic values? What else can I study? Or would you say instead, that reading the Quran *is* the best way to understand Islamic values?

 

 

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Hi Guys,

 

Glad to be back, hope you're all well.

 

While I was gone I read an English version of the Quran. Then I did spot checking comparisons with a different translation to verify that I had read a reasonable translation. In the spot checking I did, I found the two translations to be very similar, so I hope I have a decent exposure to this scripture.

 

If I was to use *only* the Quran as my guide to understanding Islam, I would have to conclude that I disagree with many of the basic values of Islam. Again, this is if I use *only* the Quran as my guide.

 

So how would you recommend that I achieve a better understanding of Islamic values? What else can I study? Or would you say instead, that reading the Quran *is* the best way to understand Islamic values?

 

you cant study only quran to understand it you have to study Muhammed's hadith wich explains verses from the quran.

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The Hadith are HUGE! I would say that very few people have the time to study them. Is there some small section of the Hadith that would explain the basics? Is there some other (English) book that summarizes the Hadith? 

 

Is there some other book that explains the most universally held Islamic values?

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 I would have to conclude that I disagree with many of the basic values of Islam.

 

what do you disagree with? give me an example

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One example would be the Quran's values concerning women. Of course you might say that I'm reading it wrong or interpreting it wrong, that would be a different conversation :)

 

As *I* read the Quran it seems to me that in this life, when it comes to legal affairs (in the domain of Sharia like divorces, inheritances, providing legal testimony), women are considered to be worth 1/2 of a man or 1/3 of a man or 1/4 of a man, depending on the situation. And then in paradise it seems that women are clearly 2nd class citizens. According to the Quran, in paradise each man gets "many, lovely, wide-eyed virgins" who will only have eyes for their man. What do the women get?

 

In my value system, women are equal to men in every way. They are different of course, but they are equal.

 

So in this case, my question is about *actual* Islamic values. In modern Islam are women valued like in the Quran, or like I mentioned? 

 

This is a sincere question on my part, I really don't know what's true about Islam in this regard. I'd like to understand.

 

There are other values that I'd like to understand as well, but maybe you get the gist?

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HI

 

 

If I was to use *only* the Quran as my guide to understanding Islam, I would have to conclude that I disagree with many of the basic values of Islam.

 

Of course you will disagree with the basic values of the Qur'an ... that is the whole point ... we are far from Allah ... that is our state.  What the Qur'an says guides us back, kicking and screaming in some instances, to God where we belong.

 

First problem ... do not compare the Qur'an to what is going on around you.  What you see is the shadow ... the dream world promoted as reality TV ... we 'think' it is real.

 

Second point ... do not be fooled into thinking it was any the easier for those who lived with the Prophet, peace and blessing upon him ... their reality was something different to what Muhammad, peace and blessing abide with him, was saying ... it was just as difficult back then as it is now.

 

What the Qur'an says ... clearly ... your system, my system ... is wrong ... this is the way to Reality ... not your way.  

 

What we have to change is our thinking.  We carry the baggage of what has been instilled in us from day one which is generally at odds with God ... so, Yes, you are going to find it tough going ... get use to to it ... this is no walk in the park ... Islam is no easy fix.

 

Could I suggest a couple of names that might assist.

 

Noumen Ali Khan ... google him and check out his videos on youtube.  He has the ability to 'speak' to Westeners.

 

Said Nursi died in 1960 and hails from Turkey.  He has written extensively to a generation or two who grew up during the secularization of Turkey ... so he knows the problems we face with 'rationalism' and 'atheism' and 'Westernism' (new word).  Again you can check him out on the web.      

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Hi johnford,

 

I appreciate your good intentions. But as it says on the top of this forum, I'm here to "understand" Islam better than I do. I don't hold to any religion, but I'm interested in doing my part to promote peace.

 

I will check out Noumen Ali Khan, thanks.

 

Do you think I have misunderstood the Quran's values towards women that I mentioned?

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One example would be the Quran's values concerning women. Of course you might say that I'm reading it wrong or interpreting it wrong, that would be a different conversation :)

 

As *I* read the Quran it seems to me that in this life, when it comes to legal affairs (in the domain of Sharia like divorces, inheritances, providing legal testimony), women are considered to be worth 1/2 of a man or 1/3 of a man or 1/4 of a man, depending on the situation. And then in paradise it seems that women are clearly 2nd class citizens. According to the Quran, in paradise each man gets "many, lovely, wide-eyed virgins" who will only have eyes for their man. What do the women get?

 

In my value system, women are equal to men in every way. They are different of course, but they are equal.

 

So in this case, my question is about *actual* Islamic values. In modern Islam are women valued like in the Quran, or like I mentioned? 

 

This is a sincere question on my part, I really don't know what's true about Islam in this regard. I'd like to understand.

 

There are other values that I'd like to understand as well, but maybe you get the gist?

 

 

 

women are considered to be worth 1/2 of a man

 

no, you dont understand

 

let take  inheritance for example

 

of course son shall get more than his sister beacuse man has more duties towards his wife than his sister towards her husband.

 

Man need to provide for his wife and children that is why he need to get more, while his sister dont need to provide for her husband, that is her husband job to do. that is why men get more than woman when it comes to inheritence.

 

if thet get equal in inheritence it would not be fair, beacuse man would need to provide for his family while his sister would not do that according to Islam, beacuse her husband job is to provide for their family. she can use those money for herself. do you understand me now???

 

 

 

And then in paradise it seems that women are clearly 2nd class citizens. According to the Quran, in paradise each man gets "many, lovely, wide-eyed virgins" who will only have eyes for their man. What do the women get?

 

not true at all.

 

even women shall get very beautiful men also if they want that in paradise. God clearly say in the quran that every person shall get what he want in the paradise. so yes women shall get very handsome men, very good looking and with beautiful beheavior. 

 

God says in the quran:

 

4:124 And whoever works good be he male or female, and he is a believer, then these will be admitted to Paradise, and not the least injustice will be done to them.

 

Every person who enters paradise will get his youth back,  every person at 33 years of age, not only that they will get their youth back they will also become more beautiful than they were here on earth.

 

and not only that, they will become more beautiful in paradise as time pass by. so women believers when they died as old women they will become young again, and beautiful and they will be married to to young and beautiful men in paradise. that is what they will get.

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Do you think I have misunderstood the Quran's values towards women that I mentioned?

 

No ... as I have addressed elsewhere ... you misunderstand you own intellectualizing capability against which you compare the Qur'an ... and then expect to find confirmation of your own logic.

 

You can rationalize as much as you wish but such will not change the Qur'an.    

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Hi 

 

Do you think I have misunderstood the Quran's values towards women that I mentioned?

 

yes you have and i explained to you above why you missunderstod it.

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Hi andalusi,

 

Thank you for your explanation. I do not recall the verse in the Quran in which a woman will get many men? I recall MANY verses in which a man will get many women.

 

andalusi, if I understand you correctly, I think that what you're saying is that one value of Islam is for the husband to provide for his wife. Can that ever be the other way around? Can a husband ever stay home to raise the children while the wife goes to work? Is raising the children considered to be less important than having an outside job?

 

also andalusi, how about the situation of giving testimony in a trial? In that case why would a woman's testimony be worth less than a man's? 

 

johnford,  Are you saying that a non-Muslim cannot understand Islam by using his intellect? I thought Islam instructed people to learn and gain knowledge, which is what I'm trying to do. (And, BTW, why would you say that I'm trying to change the Quran? I'm only trying to understand!)

 

And for both of you... please remember, I'm just trying to understand *if* there are any differences in our values. So far, it seems that there are differences. That is simply useful knowledge to have.

Edited by iceHorse

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Hello IceHorse

 

Well done on taking the time to read the quran. Not many non Muslims do this and it is a great way to start in understanding what Islam is whether you agree or disagree with the values. I think it would be also a good idea to read it with a tafsir like ibn kathir. You can also find such tafsirs online where you can search for the specific verse you don't understand and see what it says about it. See this one: http://www.qtafsir.com/ I also agree with johnford, Nouman Ali Khan is very good at helping us to understand the quran in the type of world we live in today. 

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Hi andalusi,

 

Thank you for your explanation. I do not recall the verse in the Quran in which a woman will get many men? I recall MANY verses in which a man will get many women.

 

andalusi, if I understand you correctly, I think that what you're saying is that one value of Islam is for the husband to provide for his wife. Can that ever be the other way around? Can a husband ever stay home to raise the children while the wife goes to work? Is raising the children considered to be less important than having an outside job?

 

also andalusi, how about the situation of giving testimony in a trial? In that case why would a woman's testimony be worth less than a man's? 

 

johnford,  Are you saying that a non-Muslim cannot understand Islam by using his intellect? I thought Islam instructed people to learn and gain knowledge, which is what I'm trying to do. (And, BTW, why would you say that I'm trying to change the Quran? I'm only trying to understand!)

 

And for both of you... please remember, I'm just trying to understand *if* there are any differences in our values. So far, it seems that there are differences. That is simply useful knowledge to have.

 

 

 

I do not recall the verse in the Quran in which a woman will get many men? I recall MANY verses in which a man will get many women.

 

God is smarter than that to say,  there will be 5 men on 1 women, how would a woman think it would be , can you imagine that, it would be maybe insult on her, some women would not think it would be insult but some would think like that, while when more women on 1 men is not an insult. beacuse we are different. so if a woman want more men in her life she will get that no doubt about it. beacuse God clearly say every person will get what he wants in paradise, so if women desire is to have more men she will get it.

 

evidence:

God says in the Quran:

 

16:31 The gardens of Eden, which they will enter, with rivers flowing beneath, in it they will have what they wish. It is such that God rewards the righteous.

 

 

I think that what you're saying is that one value of Islam is for the husband to provide for his wife. Can that ever be the other way around?

 

yes it can, if a man cant work, have no job. let say he is sick or he has other obstacles then woman can work, but generally it is man job to provide for the family.

 

 

 

 Can a husband ever stay home to raise the children while the wife goes to work?

 

yes but who is better to raise the children men or women?

 

you cant expect from a muslim man to stay home and raise children and his wife drill on the road, drive big truck, or she work in forest sawing trees, or that she do hard work, men are more sutiable for that, beacuse they are stronger physically, if a woman want to punish herself then she can go and do hardwork while her children is far away from her

 

and a man stay home to play with children

 

this is not ok, simple as that.

 

 

 

also andalusi, how about the situation of giving testimony in a trial? In that case why would a woman's testimony be worth less than a man's? 

 

 

do you know why 2 women need to testify beacuse women are in different emotional states in life , they are not stable like men beacuse of menstruation and hormones, so they have their own problems, beacuse of that, maybe woman dont remember something that is why other woman is there to correct her if there is need for that

 

look what God says about that:

 

2:282... then call one man and two women out of those you approve as witnesses, so that if one of the two women should forget the other can remind her.

 

 

 

 I'm just trying to understand *if* there are any differences in our values. So far, it seems that there are differences. That is simply useful knowledge to have.

 

 

yes there are differences between Islamic values and western values but Islamic values are superior to western values beacuse Islamic values are inspired by God and there is allways wisdom behind those values while in western culture, there is both good values and bad.

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do you know why 2 women need to testify beacuse women are in different emotional states in life , they are not stable like men beacuse of menstruation and hormones, so they have their own problems, beacuse of that, maybe woman dont remember something that is why other woman is there to correct her if there is need for that

http://sunnahonline.com/library/fiqh-and-sunnah/419-why-two-women-witnesses

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Why Two Women Witnesses?

 

A question that repeatedly arises is that concerning the position of women in Islam. Muslim scholars have been able with great success - despite the onslaught of distortion and misrepresentation - to demonstrate the true position of Muslim women; especially of women's liberation in the advent of Islam. The Islamic ruling on issues such as inheritance, the right to earn, the right to own property etc. have reinforced this position and have been prescribed by Allah - the One True God - long before western nations even thought of such concepts!

The issue of two women witnesses in place of one man is the concern of the present treatise. As will become clear to the sincere and objective reader, the intellectual status of a Muslim woman is neither marred nor degraded by the commandment that if two Muslim male witnesses are not available then one Muslim male and two Muslim females should be invited to witness. Rather, this injunction is in perfect harmony with the nature and psychology of the woman as will become evident through quotations from psychologists, psychiatrists and medical research.

The passage of the Qur'an (Baqarah 2:282) in which the above-mentioned requirement is made has usury, capital and debtor difficulties as its theme. Allah grants guidelines in matters relating to monetary obligations. Then business transactions are dealt with. In this section, the requirement to commit all transactions into writing is stated most emphatically ("Reduce them to writing ... "). The section after this describes the responsibility of the scribe, or in modern parlance, the person responsible for drawing up the agreement. The following section describes the responsibility and the obligation of the person incurring the liability. The section after this explains how if the party that is liable cannot effectively draw up the contract - out of being deficient or weak mentally, or being unable to dictate - then his or her guardian should help draw out the contract and choose two suitable witnesses to observe. It must be understood that this situation arises if it is not possible for the liable party to draw out the contract by him/herself. The condition to put things into writing is still supreme. The next section then explains that two men should be called to witness and if two men are not available ("And if there are not two men ... ") then a man and two women. The legislation then continues and reminds most emphatically that one should not be complacent about putting ALL agreements into writing - no matter whether these agreements are major or minor as this is more JUST in the sight of Allah and more reliable as evidence. The passage of the Qur'an further explains that for practical reasons it may not always be possible to commit on-the-spot agreements into writing. In this case, it is also recommended that it be witnessed. The section which follows then lays down the guidelines which should be followed in the event that no witnesses are present.

The purpose in giving the above outline is to draw attention to the fact the question of women witnesses relates, in this instance, to commercial agreements and is not a statement on their status.

Let's look at the section under investigation in more detail. Allah said:

"And get two witnesses of your own men, and if there are not two men then a man and two women such as you choose for witnesses - so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her ... " [Al-Qur'an 2:182]

A number of questions (as well as eyebrows!) are raised when this section of the passage is read. The questions often posed include:

  • Do women have weaker memories than men?
  • Why should two women be needed in the place of one man?
  • Are women inferior to men?

One must remember that Prophet Muhammad sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam was neither a physiologist, a psychiatrist and nor a surgeon. He was an illiterate and could neither read nor write. He passed on the revelation exactly as he received it. Allah, the Creator, with His infinite wisdom gave the directives best suited to humankind. He is the Creator, therefore, He knows man better than a man himself.

In this scientific age we can explore the significance of this legislation. A great deal has been discovered since the early days of Islam. And each day of advancement brings about a better understanding of the the last and final revelation from the Creator, Allah to the creation, humankind. As women, we are aware of the cyclical psychological strains that a woman has to encounter every month. The symptoms during early pregnancy, ante-natal and post-natal depressions, the phenomenon of menopause, the physiological and psychological problems due to infertility and last but not least the psychological problems faced after miscarriage.

It is under these situations that women can experience extraordinary psychological strains giving rise to depression, lack of concentration, slow-mindedness and short term memory loss. Let us examine these episodes in a bit more detail and with medical references from the scientific world. PMT is an umbrella term for more than 140 different symptoms and there is a lot of evidence that it causes a lot of unhappiness in many women, and consequently, to their families.

Psychiatry in Practice, April 1983 issue states:

"Forty percent of women suffer from pre-menstrual syndrome in some form and one in if our women have their lives severely disrupted by it. Dr Jill Williams, general practitioner from Bury, gives guidelines on how to recognise patients at risk and suggests a suitable treatment." [Psychiatry in Practice, April 1993, p.14]

In the same issue, George Beaumont reporting on the workshop held at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in London on pre-menstrual syndrome, says:

"Some authorities would argue that 80 percent of women have some degree of breast and abdominal discomfort which is pre-menstrual but that only about 10 percent complain to their doctors - and then only because of severe tenderness of the breasts and mental depression... Other authorities have suggested that pre-menstrual syndrome is a new problem, regular ovulation for 20 years or more being a phenomenon caused by 'civilisation', 'medical progress', and an altered concept of the role of women." [Psychiatry in Practice, April 1993, p.18]

In its examination of the occurrence of physical and psychological change during the period just prior to the onset of menstruation we read in Psychological Medicine:

"Many studies have reported an increased likelihood of various negative affects during the pre-menstrual period. In this affective category are many emotional designations including irritability, depression, tension, anxiety, sadness, insecurity, lethargy, loneliness, tearfulness, fatigue, restlessness and changes of mood. In the majority of studies, investigators have found it difficult to distinguish between various negative affects, and only a few have allowed themselves to be excessively concerned with the differences which might or might not exist between affective symptoms." [Psychological Medicine, Monograph Supplement 4, 1983, Cambridge University Press, p.6]

In the same article dealing with pre-menstrual behavioural changes we read:

"A significant relationship between the pre-menstrual phase of the cycle and a variety of specific and defined forms of behaviour has been reported in a number of studies. For the purpose of their review, these forms of behaviour have been grouped under the headings of aggressive behaviour, illness behaviour and accidents, performance on examination and other tests and sporting performance." [Psychological Medicine, Monograph Supplement 4, 1983, Cambridge University Press, p.7]

The lengthy review portrays how female behaviour is affected in these situations. In 'The Pre-menstrual Syndrome', C. Shreeves writes:

"Reduced powers of concentration and memory are familiar aspects of the pre-menstrual syndrome and can only be remedied by treating the underlying complaint."

This does not mean, of course, that women are mentally deficient absolutely. It just means that their mental faculties can become affected at certain times in the biological cycle. Shreeves also writes:

"As many as 80 percent of women are aware of some degree of pre-menstrual changes, 40 percent are substantially disturbed by them, and between 10 and 20 percent are seriously disabled as a result of the syndrome."

Furthermore, women face the problem of ante-natal and post-natal depression, both of which cause extreme cycles of depression in some cases. Again, these recurring symptoms naturally affect the mind, giving rise to drowsiness and dopey memory.

On the subject of pregnancy in Psychiatry in Practice, October-November 1986, we learn that:

"In an experiment 'Cox' found that 16 percent of a sample of 263 pregnant women were suffering from clinically significant psychiatric problems. Eight percent had a depressive neurosis and 1.9 percent had phobic neurosis. This study showed that the proportion of pregnant women with psychiatric problems was greater than that found in the control group but the difference only tended towards significance." [Psychiatry in Practice, October-November, 1986, p.6]

Regarding the symptoms during the post-natal cycle Dr. Ruth Sagovsky writes:

"The third category of puerperal psychiatric problems is post-natal depression. It is generally agreed that between10 to 15 percent of women become clinically depressed after childbirth. These mothers experience a variety of symptoms but anxiety, especially over the baby, irritability, and excessive fatigue are common. Appetite is usually decreased and often there are considerable sleep difficulties. The mothers lose interest in the things they enjoyed prior to the baby's birth, and find that their concentration is impaired. They often feel irrational guilt, and blame themselves for being 'bad' wives and mothers. Fifty percent of these women are not identified as having a depressive illness. Unfortunately, many of them do not understand what ails them and blame their husbands, their babies or themselves until the relationships are strained to an alarming degree." [Psychiatry in Practice, May, 1987, p.18]

" ... Making the diagnosis of post-natal depression is not always easy. Quite often the depression is beginning to become a serious problem around three months postpartum when frequent contact with the health visitor is diminishing. The mother may not present with depressed mood. If she comes to the health centre presenting the baby as the patient, the true nature of the problem can be missed. When the mother is continually anxious about the baby in spite of reassurance, then the primary health care worker needs to be aware of the possibility of depression. Sometimes these mothers present with marital difficulties, and it is easy to muddle cause and effect, viewing the accompanying low mood as part of the marital problem. Sometimes, only when the husband is seen as well does it become obvious that it is a post-natal depressive illness which has led to the deterioration in the marriage." [May, 1987, p.18]1

Again there is a need to study the effects of the menopause about which very little is known even to this day. This phase in a woman's life can start at any time from the mid-thirties to the mid-fifties and can last for as long as 15 years.

Writing about the pre-menopausal years, C.B. Ballinger states:

"Several of the community surveys indicate a small but significant increase in psychiatric symptoms in women during the five years prior to the cessation of menstrual periods... The most obvious clinical feature of this transitional phase of menstrual function is the alteration in menstrual pattern, the menstrual cycle becoming shorter with age, and variability in cycle length become very prominent just prior to the cessation of menstruation. Menorrhagia is a common complaint at this time, and is associated with higher than normal levels of psychiatric disturbance." [Psychiatry in Practice, November, 1987, p.26]

On the phenomenon of menopause in an article in Newsweek International, May 25th 1992, Dr. Jennifer al-Knopf, Director of the Sex and Marital Therapy Programme of North-western University writes:

" ... Women never know what their body is doing to them ... some reporting debilitating symptoms from hot flashes to night sweat, sleeplessness, irritability, mood swings, short term memory loss, migraine, headaches, urinary inconsistence and weight gain. Most such problems can be traced to the drop-off in the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone, both of which govern the ovarian cycle. But every woman starts with a different level of hormones and loses them at different rates. The unpredictability is one of the most upsetting aspects. Women never know what their body is going to do to them ... "

Then there are the psychiatric aspects of infertility and miscarriage. On the subject of infertility, Dr. Ruth Sagovsky writes:

"Depression, anger and guilt are common reactions to bereavement. In infertility there is the added pain of there being nobody to grieve for. Families and friends may contribute to the feeling of isolation by passing insensitive comments. The gynaecologist and GPs have to try to help these couples against a backdrop of considerable distress." [Psychiatry in Practice, Winter, 1989, p.16]

On the subject of miscarriage the above article continues:

"Miscarriage is rarely mentioned when considering abortion. However, miscarriage can at times have profound psychological sequelae and it is important that those women affected receive the support they need. Approximately one-fifth of all pregnancies end in spontaneous abortion and the effects are poorly recognised. If however, the miscarriage occurs in the context of infertility, the emotional reaction may be severe. The level of grief will depend on the meaning of pregnancy to the couple." [Psychiatry in Practice, Winter, 1989, p.17]

Also, the fact that women are known to be more sensitive and emotional than men must not be overlooked. It is well known, for example, that under identical circumstances women suffer much greater anxiety than men. Numerous medical references on this aspect of female behaviour can be given but to quote as a specimen, we read in 'Sex Differences in Mental Health' that:

"Surveys have found different correlates of anxiety and neuroticism in the two sexes. Women and men do not become equally upset by the same things, and being upset does not have the same effect in men as in women. Ekehammer (1974; Ekehammer, Magnusson and Ricklander, 1974) using data from 116 sixteen-year-olds, did a factor analysis on self-reported anxiety. Of the eighteen different responses indicating anxiety (sweating palms, faster heart rate, and so on) females reported experiencing twelve of them significantly more often than males. Of the anxiety-producing situations studied, females reported experiencing significantly more anxiety than males reported in fourteen of them." [Katherine Blick Hoyenga and Kermit T. Hoyenga in Sex Differences in Mental Health, p.336]

It is in light of the above findings of psychologist, psychiatrists and researchers that the saying of Allah, the Exalted:

"And get two witnesses of your own men, and if there are not two men then a man and two women such as you choose for witnesses - SO THAT IF ONE OF THEM ERRS, THE OTHER CAN REMIND HER ... " [Al-Qur'an 2:182]

can be understood. One must also bear in mind that forgetfulness can be an asset. A woman has to be put up with children presenting all kinds of emotional problems and a woman is certainly known to be more resilient than man. The aim of presenting these research findings on a number of aspects related with the theme is to indicate that a woman by her biological constitution faces such problems. It does not however make her inferior to man but it does illustrate that she is different. Viewed in this way, it can only lead one to the conclusion that Allah knows His creation the best and has prescribed precise laws in keeping with the nature of humankind.

Allah, the Creator, is - as always - All-Knowing and man (or the disbeliever in Allah and the final, perfected, revealed way of life, Islam) is - as usual - either ignorant and arrogant.

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Thanks for all of your responses, it definitely helps promote understanding!

 

Switching gears, how about the idea of blasphemy? This might be a value that Muslims share with other religious people, but not shared by those (like me), who are spiritual, but not religious.

 

So, blasphemy as a value? In other words should free speech allow the criticism of religion? Or should religion be sacred, and above criticism?

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Thanks for all of your responses, it definitely helps promote understanding!

 

Switching gears, how about the idea of blasphemy? This might be a value that Muslims share with other religious people, but not shared by those (like me), who are spiritual, but not religious.

 

So, blasphemy as a value? In other words should free speech allow the criticism of religion? Or should religion be sacred, and above criticism?

 

 

 

This might be a value that Muslims share with other religious people, but not shared by those (like me), who are spiritual, but not religious.

 

 

So, blasphemy as a value?

 

Islam is a gift from God to humankind, a guidence towards paradise, and if some do blasphemy, tell me something is it ok that you are ungrateful towards a person who helped you and saved your life.

What if you are in car accident with your children, so you are start to burn and this person run to your car and save your life and your children also. and what do you do, you dont even say thanks to him, you say, "who the hell are you , go away from me, i dont need your help"

 

is this behavior ok? of course not

 

so how can your ungratefulness be ok towards God after He gave you life, He feed you in your mothers womb via her blood, he gave you sight, hearing, you can speak, you have intelect, you have wealth and health, car, house and much much more. 

 

 

 

 In other words should free speech allow the criticism of religion? Or should religion be sacred, and above criticism?

 

you can critisize muslims but not prophets of God, and God's relgion, why?

 

beacuse God's relgion is perfect and there is nothing to critisize, you can only critisize muslims who do bad stuff wich even their relgion Islam forbidds them to do.

 

Islam-The True Religion Of God [HD] 

Edited by andalusi

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Hi andalusi,

 

I don't want to put words in your mouth, but based on what you've shared so far, I have a feeling I can predict what you'd say about the idea of "separation of church and state". My guess is that you would say that Sharia is part of God's gift so it should be part of the government. Is that a mostly correct guess?

 

So here's another question: How about when scientific evidence differs from what the scripture says? I don't recall the Quran mentioning how old the Earth is, but I know that many Christians believe that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old - based on the Bible. So in this case, scientists will say that they have lots of evidence that indicates that Earth is 4 billion years old, and some Christians say that what the Bible says is the truth, not what the scientists say.

 

How do Muslims value scientific evidence when it conflicts with scripture? The one example I can recall is that the Quran mentions fresh water and sea water several times. If I recall correctly, the Quran says that they can't mix? I might be wrong about this...

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Hi andalusi,

 

I don't want to put words in your mouth, but based on what you've shared so far, I have a feeling I can predict what you'd say about the idea of "separation of church and state". My guess is that you would say that Sharia is part of God's gift so it should be part of the government. Is that a mostly correct guess?

 

So here's another question: How about when scientific evidence differs from what the scripture says? I don't recall the Quran mentioning how old the Earth is, but I know that many Christians believe that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old - based on the Bible. So in this case, scientists will say that they have lots of evidence that indicates that Earth is 4 billion years old, and some Christians say that what the Bible says is the truth, not what the scientists say.

 

How do Muslims value scientific evidence when it conflicts with scripture? The one example I can recall is that the Quran mentions fresh water and sea water several times. If I recall correctly, the Quran says that they can't mix? I might be wrong about this...

 

 

 

My guess is that you would say that Sharia is part of God's gift so it should be part of the government. Is that a mostly correct guess?

 

God gives us shaira beacuse it is best for us, God does not need sharia or us, those laws are for our benefits.

 

 

 

How about when scientific evidence differs from what the scripture says?

 

there is nothing in science that differ from quran.

 

 

 

but I know that many Christians believe that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old - based on the Bible. 

 

we all know that bible is corupted book, even bible itself say it is corruped by people. so we can see a lot of nonsence and contradictions and sicentific errors in the bible.

 

 

 

and some Christians say that what the Bible says is the truth, not what the scientists say.

 

some parts of the bible is true, but other are not.

 

 

How do Muslims value scientific evidence when it conflicts with scripture?

 

i have studied so many year about quranic scientific verses with modern science and there is nothing wich differ

 

do you know that Quran mentiones a lot of scientific information wich modern science has confirmed last 100 years.

 

 

 

The one example I can recall is that the Quran mentions fresh water and sea water several times. If I recall correctly, the Quran says that they can't mix? I might be wrong about this...

 

quran says that there is separation of fresh and salt water

 

you can see clearly in this video when divers find such separation in the cave

Edited by andalusi

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Islamic values are the biggest gift of Allah (SWT), which He bestowed to humanity in the form of Sharia. I think west is getting sensible and due to sensibility, it can now decide a better way following.

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Personally I think this depends on how it is addressed.  For instance,  if you approach most of the Christians I knew growing up and started bad mouthing Jesus (pbuh) they may punch you in the face.  Is that a blasphemy law? No but when you are talking about something as dear to the heart as a person's religion you can't go around insulting it and expect there not to be circumstances.  Islam does not condone compulsion ie forcing someone into Islam BUT I personally believe that Allah (swt) knows his people and those who are devote to Islam are not likely to take the prophet Muhammad (sws) being insulted lightly.  This would incite arguments and violent behavior.  Allah (swt) is ar rahmanir rahim he does not want such behavior.  The idea of a blasphemy law was likely to protect the Muslims from being enticed into violence and to protect the non-Muslims from that situation.

 

With that said I know of not one Muslim who would not gladly answer questions about Islam as long as they are asked correctly.  There is no logic in critiquing that which you do not agree with.  It is vastly more logical to try and understand the position.  Now as far as sharia any Muslim who says they do not agree with sharia is simply illustrating their personal ignorance.  Just because some government is claiming itself as Islamic and thus its laws sharia does not make it so. 

 

Do Muslims agree with the idea of secularism? Not the ones I know and I know I don't.  However, with that said I can honestly say that I did not agree with it before I became Muslim.  I am now going to say something that many around here know to be true.  The Christians of this country hate secularism, atheists, and the seperation of church and state vastly more than any Muslim I have ever met.  Would I like to see a country that is run on Muslim ideals? Yes.  Christians want the same thing.  Atheists are the same way, they want a non-religiously run country because they are not religious.  See the correlation?

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Switching gears, how about the idea of blasphemy? This might be a value that Muslims share with other religious people, but not shared by those (like me), who are spiritual, but not religious.

 

So, blasphemy as a value? In other words should free speech allow the criticism of religion? Or should religion be sacred, and above criticism?

I don't think it is as easy as saying oh no non Muslim can criticise Islam. Let's be honest in a complex society where Muslims and non Muslims live that is just a stupid ideal and it would turn governance into a dictatorship where everyone has to watch their words in relation to Islam. 

 

The problem is that there are people trying to protect Islam from any type of criticism so even saying you don't agree with womens rights in Islam and you have some muslims on your back telling you that you are wrong. Ok we may all agree you are wrong but there are different ways to react. Islam to me and other Muslims is a perfect religion and in my opinion some muslims need to stop being so defensive of Islam. We do not need to feel defensive about the laws of Allah. They are right in our view. I don't mean that we should not protect our Islamic values but that we should not feel everytime some non muslim wants to say he/she does not agree with something in the quran that we get all agitated. In an Islamic society discussion about Islam should be allowed. Non muslims should be allowed to criticise Islam and we should respond to their criticisms without getting out of control. 

 

However I do believe there needs to be a limit on freedom of speech to some extent. I would not feel comfortable living in a society which allows people to disrespect each other. People who just criticise Islam out of hate need to be dealt with in proper ways. Hate speech is not allowed in most societies. The problem is defining the boundaries of hate speech. And just like non Muslims, Muslims do not have a consensus on these boundaries. In my opinion though comments that set out to humiliate the prophet Muhammad pbuh or intentionally offend Muslims are wrong. I welcome all intellectual criticisms though and enjoy discussing Islam with non Muslims who do not agree with Islam. I have no problem with people who say things like as a female you have no rights in Islam. I am perfectly happy with my position in Islam and do not feel the need to defend it. I will explain why I think they are wrong though. 

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I got to thinking about this and I now would like to flip this on its side and go the other way.

 

What are secular values?  Allow me to list based on what I have seen and you can correct me if I am wrong here:

 

1. worry about self which is in conjunction with individualism

2. a car thief and a rapist are likely to serve the same amount of time

3. if someone breaks into your home its your fault if they get hurt

4. create contracts designed to deceive

5. create laws that are beneficial to the wealthy while detrimental to the poor

6. encourage coveting the property of others  (ie the metaphorical jones')

7. regulate hunting and fishing and then tell the population they must work for some corporation in order to obtain the food they should have been able to get for free but can't simply because a group of men in suits says they need to regulate that which is not theirs

8. create a means of the working poor obtaining that which they covet even though they can't afford it (ie credit cards)

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Anisafatima - Could you say more about the Islamic values that are outlined in Sharia? Is there a book or a well known, well regarded list for this?

 

ParadiseLost - I'd like to point out that disrespecting a person is different than disrespecting an idea. But it does seem that often people of faith identify very strongly with the ideas of their faith, to the point that - in their minds - they start to think that they ARE the ideas of the faith. Scientists disagree with each other's ideas all the time. But that doesn't mean they disrespect each other. As you said, I might disagree with the position of women in Islam, and I might disagree with your opinions about that, but that doesn't mean I disrespect you. correct?

 

abdullafath - Hmmmm... We could start a separate thread listing all the problems with societies in the West that are more secular. My list might be longer than yours :)  You see, I'm not at all suggesting the Western secularism is perfect - in fact it has lots of problems.

 

What I am trying to learn however is where Islamic values are *different* than secular values. I suspect that we share many values. I suspect we all love our children and want good futures for them. I suspect we value honesty and loyalty and so on. That's why I bring up the list I bring up - it's the tricky ones that are interesting!

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If you want to know Islamic values its not complicated.

 

Read the Qur'an ... preferably not a translation that was made hundreds of years ago like Pickthall.  I prefer "The Sublime Qur'an" It is a translation done by an American woman who spent years studying both Arabic and Qur'anic Arabic via a school in Iran.  She explains why she translated things the way she did at the very beginning of her book.

 

Some Islamic values:

 

1. men and women are not the same but are equal in the eyes of God

2.  be honest above all

3.  think of God and the last day always

4. If you cannot say in the name of God at the beginning of doing something you probably shouldn't be doing it

5. Instead of gawking at women, lower your gaze so as not to tempt yourself

6. crimes against society hurt everyone and should be punished so as to deter others who might do the same

7. suicide is a sin

8.  refrain from anger

9. forgiveness is not mandatory but he who does is closer in righteousness to God

10. there is one God (without partners)

11. Muhammad (saw) is the last and final prophet sent by God

12. even in war there is no killing of women, children, unarmed civilians, or religious individuals not in combat

13. dress modestly so as not to tempt others

14. sex outside of marriage is wrong

15. homosexuality is wrong as it goes against the natural order

16. charging money to give money (interest aka riba) is wrong for the giver and the receiver

17. the rich should help the poor as the community should take care of each other (no need for government or welfare)

18. drinking alcohol or consuming intoxicants is wrong as it inhibits the ability for the individual to think

19. eating pork is wrong (as our science gets more advanced more doctors and scientists are starting to agree with this)

20. it is better for one to be clean and to smell nice so as not to offend others

21. the Qur'an tells us we should say nice things to people and refrain from saying negative things about others

 

now as to the treatment of women, what is practiced by some and what is taught are not always the same.  Are women supposed to cover their head and their modesty? yes.  This is out of respect not oppression.  It is so they are not viewed as sex objects as they are here in the U.S. 

 

The above list is not absolute but it gives you some ideals

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