Black Spirituality Religion : An Introduction To Islam...

Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by Aqil, Sep 17, 2001.

  1. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    AN INTRODUCTION TO THE RELIGION OF ISLAM...

    When we speak of Islam we are concerned not only with a religion akin to the other monotheistic religions, Christianity and Judaism, but with A WAY OF LIFE...a system that encompasses the relationships of the adherents to each other and to their society from birth until death.

    The religion of Islam provides a strong bond that brings together Muslims - regardless of race or nationality - in a fellowship constructed upon faith in the one God. When considered in this context, Islam has much in common with both Christianity and Judaism. To the extent, however, that Islam stresses communal solidarity, as measured in terms of successes encountered in this area, it has more in common with Christianity and Judaism.

    In the fourteen centuries of its existence, Islam the religion fostered the growth of a political commonwealth and of a distinct culture. At one time it commanded the allegiance and following of diverse peoples incorporated into a vast fraternity which stretched from the Pyrenees in Western Europe to the Phillipines in the Western Pacific.

    Within such wide territorial reaches, Muslims, formerly of varying creeds and cultural backgrounds, forged a common culture, drawing on the precepts of their religion and expressing itself through the medium of the Arabic language. Muslims evolved basic philosophical and religious concepts that shaped the fundamentals of Islam and added luster and richness to their way of life.

    Unrestrained by dogmatism, Muslims readily engaged themselves in the pursuits of philosophy, literature, science, mathematics and astronomy, converting their chief cities from Spain to Central Asia into the foci of a brilliant civilization when Europe for the most part was experiencing a period of arrestation.

    Hence in projecting a study of Islam one cannot achieve a meaningful understanding of the religion without giving some consideration to its institutional and cultural facets. All three aspects of Islam shaped what may be termed "the system of Islam," and assured the triumph and efflorescence of the faith.

    The study also requires relating the forces that for many centuries had a molding effect on the religion as it evolved from a simple set of elementary beliefs to an all-encompassing complex framework of theological reference. It is equally necessary for us to draw attention to powerful forces of attraction that enabled Islamic society to cohere and withstand disruption under strong pressure. Pride in belonging to a unifying faith, coupled with the spirit engendered, thereby contributed to the social solidarity and cultural development of the believers in Islam.

    But this commonly shared pride did not always succeed in safeguarding the socio-religious solidarity of the Muslims. Such breaches as disrupted the cohesiveness of Islam will be given the consideration as we follow the fluctuations in its historical career through alternating phases of accomplishment and decline.

    For a number of centuries the Muslim East and the Christian West confronted each other across the length and breadth of the Mediterranean basin. Sometimes their relations were characterized by peaceful and fruitful exchanges; quite often both sides viewed each other with antipathy and indifference, punctured by frequent conflicts.

    Generally, neither the Muslim nor the Christian world appeared to be aware of the fundamental religious precepts they shared in common, derived as they were from the common fount of Judaic and Hellenic beliefs. Not many Christians today, for instance, are aware of the fact that Prophet Muhammad (saw), the Messenger of Islam, believed Jesus and Moses to be the most important bearers of God's one hallowed message to His people, as enshrined in the Testaments and the Torah.

    Indeed, to millions of Christians for hundreds of years Prophet Muhammad (saw) was an object of contempt; certainly in no way did he command the respect that his followers accorded Jesus, whose position of deference in the Qur'an (Muslim holy book) is permanently assured.

    The term "Islam" in the Arabic lexicon means, "submission to God." The religion of Islam is the religion of submission to the Will of the Omnipotent and Omniscient Creator, the only God, who admits of no associates in the worship of Him. In the eyes if the believers, Muhammad, like Abraham, Moses and Jesus, is a prophet of God.

    But unlike the Christian conception of Jesus, Muhammad is not regarded as divine; to the believers in him he is a mortal who was called upon by God to deliver His eternal message to the unbelieving Arabs, as Moses had delivered it to the unbelieving Jews, and Jesus to the rest of the unbelieving world.

    Until recent scholarship began to strip Islam of the prejudicial views surrounding it, the Western world, at the very best, had contented itself witha distorted understanding of one of mankind's significant living religions. Geographical proximity and frequent exchanges notwithstanding, the Christian accused the Muslim of worshiping a "false prophet." To the follower of Christ the follower of Muhammad was a blasphemer who would not figure in God's great design, or in the salvation reserved for the faithful believers in Jesus.

    Indeed, in the eyes of Christians Islam was synonymous with "Mohammedanism," with its false implication of being a system of belief founded upon the worship of the person "Mohammed" (a corrupt Western version of the name "Muhammad"). Yet nothing is more repugnant to the Muslim than to be called a "Mohammedan"; from the point of view of his religion, to accord devotional respect to any being other than Allah, God of the Worlds, of Christians and Jews, is to commit the major unpardonable sin.

    Distortions prejudicing the Western conceptions of Islam may be dated to the earliest centuries, but particularly from the period of the Crusades, when Christian Europe's hostility for the people and their religion crystallized. The church fathers treated Islam as a heresy; Muslims were infidels; Muhammad a "renegade bishop," an "impostor" who rebelled against the central mission of Christ...

    Dante ranked the prophet of Islam low among the ill-fated occupants of his "Inferno." Christian authors in subsequent times held him in no better regard. In his Vie de Mahomet (Life of Muhammad), published at the end of the 17th century, the French writer Prideaux held Muhammad up as a mirror to "unbelievers, atheists, deists and libertines." To the irreligiously inclined Voltaire, the prophet of Deism, Muhammad was the fount of fanaticism.

    The more generous Abbe Marraci regarded Islam as a distorted extension of Christianity, while he begrudgingly conceded in his Latin translation of the Qur'an, the sacred book of Islam, that "this religion contains many elements of natural truth evidently borrowed from the Christian religion, which seems to be in accordance with the law and light of nature."

    Early attempts to place Islam and its Messenger in a more objective framework of reference were few and far between. Late in the 18th century, a Dutch professor of theology at the University of Utrecht came to the conclusion that "no religion has been more calumniated than Islam."

    The noted English scholar George Sale spent long arduous hours translating the Qur'an into English, seeking to obtain a deeper insight into the real meaning of the message of Islam. In the preliminary discourse he brought out the point that "there is no false doctrine that does not contain some truth."

    With such scholars paving the way, systematic attempts aimed at casting light upon the falsities surrounding the Christian view of Islam were in full evidence by the late 1830s. Henceforth scholars, mostly German Orientalists, began to examine Islam from a detached point of view - shorn of preconceived notions and assumptions.

    The inclination by these 19th-century scholars to view Islam in a more favorable light is evident in the testimony of Professor Weil: "Insofar as he brought the most beautiful teachings of the Old and New Testament to a people whom were not illuminated by one ray of faith, he may be regarded - even by those who are not Muslim - as a messenger of God."

    Other reputable Orientalists - de Perceval, Lammens, Caetani, Muir, Nodelke - pioneered works on Prophet Muhammad and Islam that have, since their time, become classical for their authoritativeness. It was largely through their efforts that we witness the gradual lifting of the veil of tendentious fiction and emotional bias that had blurred the European's vision of Islam. This trend towards an objective understanding of the religion in its multiple facets has persisted - both in Europe and the U.S. - up to the present time.
     
  2. motherearth31

    motherearth31 Member MEMBER

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  3. ladybug

    ladybug Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    thank you for informing the people out there who are ignorant to the facts. I have had to deal withsome issues with my being a muslim. I am bi-racial, my father is african american and my mother is turkish, she is from istambul. turkey. So i have been practicing the islamic faith, since birth. Actually my first language was turkish, I wasin turkey for the first few years of my life.

    However i don't speak it as well as if used to unfortuantely, but i still have a good understanding of the language. I understand every word but can not speack a bit of it. I told my mother that if after coming back to the states if we would of kept up communication amongst each other we both would be able to speak it aswell as we used to.

    well anyway, I just want to thank you so much for providing that site islamicity.com. It would be helpful to those totaly unware of the islamic culture and religion. My being muslim myself i foud it to be very informative. After I had left turkey and me being youg i never really follwed the religion or tried to get a full comprehensionof it but now i amd in college and am 20years ol and i am getting back into the faith of it all. As far as really understanding the background of it, because i experiienced first hand the practices of the religion

    I found it easier to follow in turkey, because it is an islamic country and the majority of the people are muslims, me and my grandmother always went to the mosque andoh my god aretheysomething beautiful. I had all kinds of scarves to cover up with for when we went.

    And there was no way that you could overlook the fact that is was time for prayer, it would be on the tv, radio and even over a loud intercom that you could hear all over the city, from the mosques near by.

    But to get to the point of my replyi would just like to thank you for enlighting those of us who seek it and those of us who need it.

    thank you
     
  4. motherearth31

    motherearth31 Member MEMBER

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    Glad

    Glad that I could help. I know that sometimes there is so much information that it is hard to tell what is the truth and what is a lie. I say follow your first inclination for that is from GOD and never follow that inner whisper because that my friends is the whisper of the Shaytaan...


    Mother
     
  5. motherearth31

    motherearth31 Member MEMBER

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    Things

    All Praise is Due to the Creator of Mankind....Creator of Believers and Disbelievers.

    While I applaud you on finding the ayat that would give proof to the point you wanted to prove. I would like to point out that when you are out to prove a point you can always find proof. I mean no one has this locked to a complete science and if you take a bunch of misunderstood words and then add your understanding of those words and feed them to the people they sound like common sense.

    My grandmother use to say " In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king"

    You made a very interesting argument and it is and can be justified..However, I also point out to you that in every religion you have deviants...those who go too far to the left (slackers) and those who go too far to the right (extremist, terrorist..etc)

    Islam is no a religion and those who believe that it is have taken the first step to misguidance. I understand that some people can not accept a uniform type of faith and that is fine. However, I refuse to let people believe that Muslims/Christians rule with some divine hand.

    Every faith started out believing that there was one GOD and when they tired of waiting for his relief/answer to their prayer/revelation/miracle...etc....They set up partners, so called equals ....in other words quick fixes.

    You stated you are a proud apostate, so I don't have to explain to you the shaytaan and his whispers and propositions. You understand fully what I mean. I refer you to the Hadith that coincides with 32 ayat of Surah Ma'idah

    Narrated Anas bin Malik (RA) The Prophet (SAW) said " The biggest of Al-Kaba'ir (greatest sins) are (1) To join others as partners in worship with Allah (Al=The..Lah=GOD) (2) TO MURDER A HUMAN BEING (3) to be undutiful to ones parents (4) to make a false statement or said to give false witness <SAHIH AL-BUKHARI VOL.9...HADITH #10>

    Now no where in that statement did it say, but it's okay to kill the disbelievers.

    I am not here to argue with you. Because I know that you a FORMER believer can go on and on with me back and forth and I have no intention to harm you or anyone else. As a matter of fact you don't know what faith I have or if I have any faith at all. What I can say is that I am just as well read as the next man and that I have several documents that clearly state to "be kind to those who believe not."

    I try to live by those words. ....It's really nice to...Even though you do get a beat down now and then...Hope I helped a little

    Take care~
    Mother
     
  6. motherearth31

    motherearth31 Member MEMBER

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    No Matter

    It is clear that you are determined to stand by your statements and I will stand by mine so all I must say at this point is

    To you be your way; and to me be mine... There is nothing wrong with not seeing things the same way. That is the beautiful thing about free will you do and believe as you please and no one can harm you for believeing in what you believe in.

    You see it would be easy to be angry and want to argue back and forth for I am quite sure you have a statement for every statement that I have and visa versa. But that would not move us any closer to the same belief system. you see I am not trying to convince you to believe any particular school of thought. So it's not like my personal job is to make you or anyone else understand. I helped those who asked and they got what they needed. So you are free to continue on your path.

    Best Regards,
    Motherearth31
     
  7. motherearth31

    motherearth31 Member MEMBER

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    True faces

    You have not surprised me by that statement if that was your intent. I have listend to this type of talk for many of years. I think it is sad that so many people are standing by the sidelines waiting for a mass of mess to happen.

    And for the record that was really mature of you. I think we all can appreciate your humor......no matter how dark

    Live long my friend and you may get what you are so anxiously awaiting. But as always be careful what you ask for you may actually get it.

    You see some of us are actually awaiting peace

    Mother~;)
     
  8. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Liviti ... I read your original post, visited the links you shared and stayed on those sites quite a bit of time. I found the information interesting, as it did just what you had hoped (provided a different perspective to the story). I also enjoyed the link that had information regarding African Religion. That is something I've often wondered about, why we (I) don't hear much about it, especially considering we are of African descent. It seems that we'd (I'd) know more, have more information readily available (perhaps even handed down thru generations), but such is not the case.

    Anyway, I enjoyed the links you shared ... then ... all of a sudden, I look up and you are wishing a mass suicide on all Muslims, Christians and Jews! :eeek:

    Talk about ruining a moment ... Gosh!

    Destee
     
  9. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Until recent scholarship began to strip Islam of the prejudicial views surrounding it, the Western world had contented itself with a distorted understanding of one of mankind's significant living religions. Geographical proximity and frequent exchanges notwithstanding, Christians accused Muslims of worshiping a "false prophet." To the follower of Christ the follower of Muhammad was a blasphemer who would not figure in God's great design, or in the salvation reserved for the faithful believers in Jesus.

    Indeed, in the eyes of Christians Islam was synonymous with "Mohammedanism," with its false implication of being a system of belief founded upon the worship of the person "Mohammed" (a corrupt Western version of the name "Muhammad"). Yet nothing is more repugnant to the Muslim than to be called a "Mohammedan"; from the point of view of his religion, to accord devotional respect to any being other than Allah, God of the Worlds, of Christians and Jews, is to commit the major unpardonable sin.

    Distortions prejudicing the Western conceptions of Islam may be dated to the earliest centuries, but particularly from the period of the Crusades, when Christian Europe's hostility for the people and their religion crystallized. The church fathers treated Islam as a heresy; Muslims were infidels; Muhammad a "renegade bishop," an "impostor" who rebelled against the central mission of Christ...

    Early attempts to place Islam and its Messenger in a more objective framework of reference were few and far between. Late in the 18th century, a Dutch professor of theology at the University of Utrecht came to the conclusion that "no religion has been more calumniated than Islam."
     
  10. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    When we speak of Islam we are concerned not only with a religion akin to the other monotheistic religions, Christianity and Judaism, but with A WAY OF LIFE...a system that encompasses the relationships of the adherents to each other and to their society from birth until death...
     
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