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Topics - Student of Allah

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Shalom Aleikhem,

This issue has always been a difficult one for me. In fact, it transcends the Qur'an and can be seen in the study of other ancient scriptures too. Let me state my case:

I believed that the closer to the real meaning of the Qur'an that we can get, the better we will be able to understand and thereby follow the ACTUAL message. That put me in the position where I had to rely on classical Arabic dictionaries, sites like PRL, etc. to try and interpret the Qur'an. Obviously, it wasn't an easy thing to do. To begin with, a lot of the words had MANY different meanings. On top of that, I had to go find similar topics being addressed in the Qur'an to get a sense of the scope of available meanings which I can justify in my translation. After being a member of a community like this one for years, I've realized that not even this method is close to "objective". The two biggest problem I faced were:

- If I was trying to understand the most accurate meaning of , say a verse/word, I was going back to the study of the context along with other similar issues which were described throughout the Qur'an.  The trouble is, those contexts and excerpts were themselves reliant on me translating them/interpreting them using dictionaries/other parts of the Qur'an. This made me feel like there was no way to claim accuracy of the interpretation.

- As though to prove my point, I discovered that the discrepancy in the translations/interpretations of the Qur'an among the people who followed similar methods as I did was huge! I mean, if you have been on this forum for a while, you'd understand what I'm talking about. The diversity of mutually exclusive interpretations of the text which came out of virtually the same methodology of studying the book is striking!

On top of that, please consider that a statement can be literal or metaphorical. That just adds to the problem of ascertaining the most accurate interpretation. This brings me to my main question. Can we do an objective study of the Qur'an to yield accurate interpretation of the text? At the absence of the author, it seems impossible of a task to do. As I've discussed above, it seems like even the most objective rules don't result in the same result when it comes to 2 different people doing the study.

If we now say that the book was not meant to be objective and can only be interpreted on a subjective level, we enter a whole new domain with it's own big problems. For example, I could conclude that the Qur'an teaches us to beat wives without anyone having the right to challenge my interpretation. After all, that is what subjectivity is all about.

Do you think that I've missed out on any method which guarantees that the study will remain objective? I'd like to know if that's the case. This problem always comes back to mess with me irrespective of which scripture I attempt at reading.

--------------- Student of Allah

Prophets and Messengers / Please help me find messengers and prophets
« on: November 03, 2015, 01:59:43 AM »
Shalom Aleikhem,

I'd like to compile a list of messengers/prophets of Allah from relatively modern times. I am looking for this messenger of Allah I saw on youtube MANY years ago. He used to wear sunglasses on most of his videos. I'd really appreciate it if you guys can help me compile a list of such people.

1. Rashad Khalifa
2. Ahmed Nishitoba
3. Youseff ( Used to be a member here and if I remember correctly, he did start claiming to be a messenger or something at one point)

Please help me expand this list.

May peace be with you

---------------------------------- Student of Allah

Submitters / Code 19 / Code 19 people: Have some questions for you
« on: February 26, 2015, 06:22:35 AM »
Shalom Aleikhem,

Often times I think about Islamic reformation and how the Islamic world may go about doing that. Qur'anist ideology or "Qur'an only" based interpretation of Islam seems like the most humanity friendly reformation we can aim for. I was watching videos made by Faruk(The Quranist Network) and got the vibe that he is interested in this kind of reformation. I managed to find a video from 2012 where Faruk and Edip talked about their differences and then talked about a reformation.

The reason I am bringing in code 19 into all these is because of Edip's attitude. He is a very strange guy. I simultaneously love and hate him. I don't appreciate his persistence on using the word "ingrate" to talk about ANYONE else who doesn't see the code 19 thing as a code. Or did I just read and see only the materials where he addresses such people as "ingrates"?

1. Do you think that you can be wrong about this code?
2. Do you think of all other non-code 19 Muslims as ingrates?
3. Are you willing to set aside the differences for the sake of a reformation? Or is the code so vital to your deen that you can't do that?

----------------- Student of Allah

Off-Topic / Student of Allah is an Atheist!!
« on: February 24, 2015, 06:33:57 AM »
Shalom Aleikhem Free-Minders,

I promised some of you that I will have a thread where I will talk about my journey from a theist to atheist. This is that thread. I realize that there are some people on here who might not know me. I used to be an active member on here. You can actually track a lot of my theistic life and it's evolution due to all the posts from me still being preserved on here.

Like a lost of Muslims,  I started out as a traditional Sunni Muslim who couldn't make sense of the weird and incoherent ideas of the Sunni traditions. That was my parent's religion though. At some point, I realized that it is my duty to learn more about my religion. Therefore I began studying. It didn't take me long to see through the lies and deception of the Mullahs. I still believed in a God and that that God was Allah and Qur'an was his message for all of humanity. I started with those basic premises as the foundation of my faith. Therefore I began learning more about the Qur'an and trying to apply it to my life. LUCKILY, due to me being a member here, you will be able to go through all my posts from the past and verify the truth of that. In my journey, I learnt a lot from a lot of members on here. I don't know how much I have managed to help others out but I tried my best to do so.

All was going well until my need to be intellectually honest with myself had the biggest clash with my philosophical dispositions. I realized that I have never put the basic tenants of my beliefs under critical scrutiny. To put it in a Qur'anic manner, I was upholding that of which I have no knowledge of(17:36).I figured out that at some level I am being hypocritical when I ask for evidence and reasoning for the beliefs of the traditionalist mullahs. It is important for me to make it clear at this point that "knowledge" and "belief" are not to be confused to be the same thing. The fact that I exist is in your "knowledge" and if I am a good person or a bad person, that depends on your "beliefs" about me. In general, "knowledge" is demonstrable and "beliefs" are subjective. So, what are the things that I was upholding for which I had no knowledge of? Well, they are as follows:

1. There is a God
2. That God is Allah
3. The Qur'an is Allah's words

I believed in these 3 things but after a lot of introspection and attempts at external verification, I just couldn't find any good reason/logic/evidence based on which I can comfortably believe these things. Trust me, I tried incredibly hard to defend my beliefs. If you don't believe me, please go through my posts from the past and you will see the kind of person I am. I am not someone who surrenders easy and will defend my beliefs really strongly. So I wasn't being lazy about it. So, upon failing to validate my beliefs, I had no option but to stop believing in them. Therefore, I became an atheist.

I apologize to everyone that I have hurt in the heated exchanges we have had in the past. You guys are one of the nicest people I have ever known. Especially for the internet, you guys are too kind of a people! Feel free to ask me any questions you guys might have and I will try my best to answer them.

May peace be with you

------------------------------ Student of Allah

Shalom Aleikhem,

I don't know if you have seen it already. A Jordanian MP gets too heated up in an exchange with a political activist on a TV show. He throws his shoe on his opponent, and just when I thought I have seen it all, he actually pulls a gun on him. Here is the link to the video:

If you prefer general news media:

I didnt know that one is actually allowed to carry fire arms in person when they are in TV shows.

------------ Student of Allah

General Issues / Questions / Unusual inspiration or motivation ?
« on: June 29, 2012, 07:08:22 AM »
Shalom Aleikhem everyone,

I would like to know if there is anything special or unusual that motivates you ? I am talking about Qur'an alone. Many people prefer to keep it to themselves, while there are others who actively discuss/write and share with others. For the ones that are active and will not give up, did you ever or do you ever find any unusual sources of motivation ?

This is for me :

Believe it or not, I often see this video to charge up my batteries. God is my witness that I used to have this video saved in my desktop. I used to double click on the video and see it and soon my blood becomes like the boiling clouds in thunder. Soon my vision is blurred and my reality gets replaced with the narrative of the Pharoah and Moses. Its almost as if I am having a flash back where I am standing infront of Pharoah and hearing a heavenly voice commanding me " Cast your staff and destroy the oppressive lying mullah "

hehe, I know its strange, but I can't help it.

I would like to know about you guys, it helps if you share the unusual

------------ Student of Allah

Pilgrimage (Hajj) / All Muslims shaving their head for hajj ?
« on: June 26, 2012, 07:13:03 PM »
Shalom aleikhem,

Long time back, in Free-minds, i asked about shaving head for hajj. It did not make sense to me to picture all muslims shaving their head like that. Anyways, these are 2 ayaats of consideration:

48:27 God has affirmed, that the vision of His messenger will come true: "You will enter the Restricted Temple, God willing, secure, with your heads shaven, and having shortened - no longer in fear." Thus, He knew what you did not know, and He has appointed before this a conquest near at hand.

Shortening head ? and why would i even fear ? What would I fear ? What has security got to do with head shave and head shortening ?

2:196 And complete the Pilgrimage and the visit for God. If you are prevented, then simply provide what offering is affordable; and do not shave your heads until the offering reaches its destination. Whoever among you is ill or has an affliction to his head, then he may redeem by fasting or giving a charity or a rite. If you are secure, then whoever goes to visit, but decides to continue until the Pilgrimage, he shall provide what offering is affordable; but for he who cannot find anything, then he must fast for three days during the Pilgrimage and seven when he returns; this will make a complete ten; this is for those whose family is not resident at the Restricted Temple. And be aware of God, and know that God is severe in retribution.

This time, the head shave is mentioned, without any reference to head shortening. And it is linked to "offering reaching destination".

Reflections from observation:

- Head shave and shortening are the same thing and is linked to "offering reaching destination" in one way or the other. (2:196)

- Head shave and shortening are also linked with sense of security after fear. (48:27)

Something happens when we receive security after sense of fear (2:196), and that very thing should not happen until our duty is done (offering reaching destination 48:27)

My rationality does not warrant for me to understand that "something" as a "head shave and shorten".

What do you guys think ?

----------------- Student of Allah

General Issues / Questions / Check out this poem about WOMEN
« on: June 26, 2012, 01:26:55 PM »
Shalom Aleikhem,

I came across this poem, apart from 2 lines I guess, I object to almost every single line. I found it in the facebook page titled "Young Muslims".
The beauty of a woman lies IN HER SILENCE rather than her speech
The beauty of a woman lies IN HER HIJAB rather than displaying her open hair
The beauty of a woman lies IN HER SUBMISSION rather that her leadership
The beauty of a woman lies IN HER SMILE rather than her laughter
The beauty of a woman lies IN HER PATIENCE rather than her inquisitiveness
The beauty of a woman lies IN HER ABODE rather than her adventure
The beauty of a woman lies IN UPBRINGING HER OFFSPRING rather than herself
The beauty of a woman lies IN HER EXPERIENCE rather than her age
The beauty of a woman lies IN HER HEART DEPTH rather than in skin deep
The beauty of a woman lies in her PERSPIRATION rather than her perfumes
The beauty of a woman lies in PLEASING her LORD because He is the creator of such a beautiful thing called ?Woman?...!!!

To share with you guys my problem, I devised a distortion. I have this idea that oppressing the women is beautiful in their eyes. I am removing the sentences I thought was ok. Then, let us replace the words "a women" with "the oppressed". Here it is:

The beauty of the oppressed lies IN HER SILENCE rather than her speech
The beauty of the oppressed lies IN HER HIJAB rather than displaying her open hair
The beauty of the oppressed lies IN HER SUBMISSION rather that her leadership
The beauty of the oppressed lies IN HER SMILE rather than her laughter
The beauty of the oppressed lies IN HER PATIENCE rather than her inquisitiveness
The beauty of the oppressed lies IN HER ABODE rather than her adventure
The beauty of the oppressed lies IN UPBRINGING HER OFFSPRING rather than herself
The beauty of the oppressed lies IN HER HEART DEPTH rather than in skin deep
The beauty of the oppressed lies in her PERSPIRATION rather than her perfumes

I don't know, may be I have taken it toooooo far. But I would like to know your views (on the original one). Would you agree if I say that the poetry mostly glorifies oppression ? Would you agree that for a women the poem is mostly suggesting that there is virtue in giving up all rights including the God given ones ?

----------- Student of Allah

Shalom Aleikhem,

This is for the translators of the Qur'an we find in this site (A monotheist translation). I was wondering if there is a way I can question their choice of words in translations ? I mean ofcourse I could, but , would I be getting any explanation for the choice of words in certain verses ?

Incase you are wondering, I would be questioning verses that are commonly associated with scientific claims. I would like to know how much of the translations are the translator making things up and how much of it is factual. Don't get me wrong, I do not doubt anyone's sincerity. It is just that I must verify as much as I possibly and potentially can. I am getting lost in the PRL :P So thought about posting it here. If the translators can find time, I would be so happy :D

-------------- Student of Allah

Marriage & Divorce / Marriage VS Privacy
« on: June 22, 2012, 08:33:19 PM »
Shalom Aleikhem,

I had this little stupid question that I would like the married people here to answer. The non-married ones can contribute by sharing their views on the topic too.

Ok, so I was thinking to myself, what happens to your privacy after marriage ? How do you manage to think from a much wider perspective than just your own and sacrifice ? What I meant by that was, when you want to do something or buy something, how do you actually take into consideration, the opinion of your partner ? Does not that feel odd ?

My thought experiments with marriage tells me that it is like a rebirth of yourself. You have to change things and adapt.

Would you guys mind sharing your views ?

------------- Student of Allah

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