Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Why am I writing my blog?

First, to research Koran and write about it is my hobby. I can't sleep more than four hours at night. The prophet Mohammad stayed late at night and did extra prayers. I stay up at night and read Koran. I am following the prophet's example.

Second, I am working on writing a book tentatively titled " Update Islam". I have no publisher for the book. Chances are the book will not be published. It was easier to publish a book about sex.Writing the free blog gives me the satisfaction that I am sharing my ideas.

I want to challenge the heavily guarded body of Islamic practices. Some of the Islamic long held beliefs are doctrinally incompatible with Koran.There is a need to sort out ideas which were socially constructed and ideas which are inherently consistent with the message of Koran. A slight modification of these claims will eliminate the logical inconsistency. It will ultimately enhance the understanding of the message of Koran. That is my dream/ quest.

I know what you are thinking my dear reader:" I should invest in cable television and find myself a less dangerous hobby". That is what my family members told me as they are visiting me now during Christmas break. Maybe I will. The blog brought nothing but nasty comments that I have to erase once a day.

Monday, December 27, 2010

How interpretation affects the position of Jesus in Islam?

I explained yesterday how the translation and interpretation is inaccurate/ misleading regarding Jesus whenever it mentions (From his Soul/ Translation and interpretation adds Soul created at his command).
Since everything in life is created at God's command. The interpretation/Translation is not inaccurate but rather misleading.

Here is another example. Surah 66, Verse 12: " And the example of Mary, the daughter of Imran, who guarded her  sexual part ( The translation/interpretation adds chastity), so we blew into it ( The translation / interpretation adds the word garnment) through our soul ( The translation/ interpretation adds Our angel Gabriel) and she believed in the words of her Lord and his scriptures and was devoutly obedient."

If we remove the translation/ interpretation and read the verse again:
" And the example of Mary, daughter of Imran, who guarded her sexual part, so we blew into it from our Soul and she believed in the words of her Lord and his scriptures and was devoutly obedient."

The ability to eliminate a word and use the pronoun comes from the repetition of the word so adding the word garnment instead of sexual part is not accurate. The interpretation of our soul into Gabriel while based on Koran is also inaccurate which will be the subject of another blog.

I am not drawing conclusions in here. I am rather presenting what is there and asking readers to read it for themselves.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Jesus in Koran

To talk about Jesus in Islam is to start difficult conversations. I do not shy away from difficult conversations. At least now I can anger all my readers equally. Some more than others, I am sure. This post is to say to my Christian friends and readers Merry Christmas.We all believe in Jesus maybe differently but we still believe in Jesus.

To share how Jesus is mentioned in Koran, I would need several days in my blog devoted to this topic in order to present it fairly. Some of the miracles of Jesus in the Bible are repeated in Koran. (To my knowledge/ Pleas correct me if I am wrong). Other Miracles of Jesus were mentioned in Koran only. For instance, Jesus talked as a baby to defend Mary Surah 19, verse 30: “Jesus said: “Indeed I am the servant of Allah. He has given me the scripture and made me a prophet.”

Few of the contention points:

·         We believe that Jesus is not the son of God. However Surah 19, verse 35: “It is not befitting for Allah to take a son; exalted is he! When he decrees an affair, he only says to it “Be” and it is. In other words Jesus is not his son, yet Jesus was created by God’s command

·         We believe that Jesus was not crucified. I realize that this presents a challenge to Christian’s belief. However I need to point out that Koran explains that God raised Jesus to him to honor him. Then God made it appear to them that he was crucified.

Few of agreement points:
·         As Muslims we believe in the Immaculate Conception.
·         Jesus is referred to as the Messiah, the son of Mary, messenger of Allah.
·         Jesus is the word of God. I believe this statement echoes one in the bible.

There are verses where translation is not entirely accurate:
Whenever a verse in Arabic says:   منه
Which means from God’s soul, translation says: (A Soul created at his command.)
I believe that the key to find a middle ground is where translation was not accurate. Researching the Holy Spirit needs an entire chapter.

I do not like the Happy Holidays wish. Merry Christmas ! 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Why is stoning adulteress lawful?

I starting by quoting Surah 4 verse 15: “Those who commit immorality ( unlawful sexual intercourse) of your women bring against them four witnesses from among you. And if they testify confine them to houses until death takes them or God ordains for them another way.”

First, this verse clearly explains that the punishment is house arrest for the adulteress until death or until the person finds their way to God and repents. Second, it stipulates having four witness. I find it hard to believe that you can find four witnesses to adultery. I did not meet many people who commit adultery and post it on their Face Book. You know to let their friends and family know what’s on their mind on Face Book.

 The following verse: “And the two who commit it (Unlawful sexual intercourse) among you punish them both. But if they repent and correct themselves leave them alone. Indeed Allah is ever accepting of repentance and Merciful.”

I love that God used the dual form which confirms that punishment is for both partners. The verb used for punishment is normally better translated as harm. It could be that meaning is to dishonor or punish lightly.

Once you stone adulterers, you exclude giving them a chance to repent. Therefore the punishment could not be stoning. The verse clearly ordains that if they repent, then people should leave them alone. The fact that God added that clause means that stoning should not be how to punish adulterers.
رجم النساء حرام أو يجب أن يكون يحرم
أقرأ سورة النساء اية خمسة عشر وستة عشر
العقاب الأول هو الحبس في البيت عند ثبات اربعة شهود
الكلمة المستخدمة ايذاء ممكن ان تعني ايذاء نفسي باعلان جرمهم
الأية تقول فإن تابا اذن كيف يكون العقاب رجم ؟
لن تعطي لهم الفرصة للتوبة لو كان العقاب المقصود هو الرجم

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Why is it hard for Muslims to be true allies to westerners?

If a Muslim believes Christians and Jews to be non-believers then he can never be a true ally to them. Koran forbids such alliances. Read Surah 4 verse 144:  “O you have believed; do not take the disbelievers as allies instead of the believers. Do you wish to give Allah against yourselves a clear case?”

In fact a Muslim has a license to pretend as long as he fears the enemy and keeps his heart unaffected. As explains Surah 3 verse 28:  “ Let not believers as allies rather than believers. And whoever does that has nothing with Allah, except when taking precaution against them in prudence.”

The only solution is  for moderate Muslims to keep reminding young Muslims that Christians and Jews should not be considered non-believers.

Interesting fact about Jews in Koran

What I find most interesting is that the Koran mentions the children of Israel repeatedly yet Islamists deny the existence of the right for a Jewish state. Aren’t they contradicting the holy Koran? If they are playing pick and choose verses while isolating from context game, let me point out some verses using their own game.

Just for an example is Surah 2 verse 47: “O children of Israel, remember my favor that I have bestowed upon you and that I preferred you over the worlds."

In fact the Torah is the book of God used by a number of his prophets as evidenced by  Surah 5, verse 44: “Indeed, we sent down the Torah, in which was guidance and light. The prophets who submitted to Allah judged by it for the Jews as did the rabbis and scholars by that with which they were entrusted of the scripture of Allah, and they were witnesses thereto.”

Denying the right to a Jewish state is not justifiable within Koran.

Every Muslim woman should be her ( Walee) own decision maker

"The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property - either as a child, a wife, or a concubine - might delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power." Winston Churchill ,Story of the Malakand Field Force,1898.

Fighting an idea can only happen by suggesting a better idea. " until the faith of Islam has been updated".

Koran teaches us that no soul is carrying the guilt of another soul. Surah 4 , verse 124: " And whoever does righteous deeds, whether male or female while being a believer those will enter in paradise and will not be wronged even as much as the speck on a date seed."
If women are responsible for their own sins then they should be the one making their own decisions.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Is it too early for Muslim gays to come out?

Hiding a sin does not erase it. To keep a wife as a cover while having male lovers is not an option allowed by Koran either. To lie and say that there is no gay Muslim is a ludicrous claim. In fact segregation between sexes might lead people who are not born gays to become gays or bisexual. My personal preference would be for a Muslim scholar to condone it since we are overpopulated and there is no danger of perishing as species.

Surah 29, verse 29 : “Indeed you approach men and obstruct the road ( committing highway robbery) and commit in your meetings every evil and the answer of his people was not but that they said: “ Bring us the punishment of Allah, if you should be of truthful.”

This translation and explanation is not accurate   الرجالتأتون
means F..k men and   السبيلتقطعون
means to cut the way of reproduction. The people of Lot were not highway robbers. They were men lovers as evidenced by surah 26, verse 164: “And leave what your Lord has created for you as mates? But you are a people transgressing.” Gays in Arabic are referred to as people of Lot, and the word in Arabic is Lootee.

It is time for Muslim gays to come out of their deep, way deep closets and for Islam to accept them. We keep saying that Islam is the most tolerant religion .Why do not we show it by embracing Muslims of all sexual orientations?

In Koran, God punished the people of Lot (gays) by heavy rain. My hope is for the remaining gays to see the rainbow at the end of the rain.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Punishment of women in Koran

One of the most repeated verses of Koran is surah 4 an Nisa ( Women), verse 34: " Men are in charge of women by right of what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient guarding in the husband's absence But those from whom you fear arrogance advise them ; then forsake them in bed and finally strike them. But if they obey you seek no means against them. Indeed Allah is ever exalted and grand."

It is true that Muslim men are allowed to hit women who are disobedient. However hitting was offered as a last resort. First men have to advise these women, second forsake them in bed (That does not punish a man who has other wives) and lastly hitting.  The first part of the verse explains that men are in charge of women as long as they spend on them. In a modern couple's life where the woman shares the expenses, the man loses his right to punish the woman.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tired of hearing about Islamic religious rights to the holy land

In our Sunna (Story of the life of our prophet's ) we have plenty of stories about how he had Jewish neighbors, jewish wife ( or just a jewish lover if that is what some believe) and how he lived among Jewish tribes. Does this mean that Jews have a religious right to Saudi? and if yes why not we have not heard anyone claiming Saudi lands?
This Islamic " religious" right to the land is a political lie to justify violence. It has been repeated for years so no one is challenging it. Well, I am.
When I talk to some of my Muslim friends they remind me that Koran named Jews as the enemy of God. My answer is there is another verse in Koran naming Jews as God's chosen people. We should not pick and choose. We should strive to find the peaceful message of Koran after all our prophet lived among Jews.

Note: There was no marriage contract and the prophet lived with a jewish woman then she was his wife as much as any other wife was.

Monday, December 6, 2010

My definition of moderate Muslim

A blogger on annarbor.com asked if a Moderate Muslim is a Muslim who does not practice Islam.
Here is my answer as I attempted to give a definition of Moderate Muslim. First to be considered a Muslim, the person has to practice the five pillars of Islam and believes in God, all the prophets with the sub-text of Mohammad ( May peace be upon him) being the last messenger, the three holy books and the day of recompense. You can't be considered a Muslim if you do not practice.
Second what constitutes a moderate Muslim is his views about Jihad. On one side a Mulsim believes that it is an obligation on all Muslims to fight and convert non- Muslims and on the other side a Mulsim believes in a peaceful message of Islam.
Within these two sides there is a myriad of shades:
  • A Muslim, who believes in Jihad, feels the need to support it financially or by bearing arms and join the rank of Jihadists. Let's call that Muslim a shade of red.
  • A Muslim who believes in Jihad and feels the need to support it emotionally because his lifestyle will not allow him to join the cause physically. Let's call that Muslim a shade of amber.
  • A Muslim who believes in Jihad but also believes that Islam will not triumph over all religions in his life-time therefore he does not actively condemn Jihad, and he secretly holds those who do it in high esteem. Let's call that Muslim a shade of yellow.
  • A Muslim who believes that each person is allowed to believe in his or her religion because peace is the real message of Koran. Let's call that Muslim a shade of Green. 

The only problem is that Muslims who represent the shade of green are not activists by nature. They are peaceful people. I am one of the moderate Muslims of that shade of green but I believe that we get busy actively showing that we denounces Jihadist’s definition of Jihad because this issue is red hot.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

When the veil drops, my sexual memoir

I received these questions in a comment by a Muslim reader using less than kind words. I removed the comment because of the use of obscene words.

My book "When the veil drops" tells the story about how I reconciled my exterior and interior worlds. I suffered injustices as a little girl. My parents had no qualms showing obvious favoritism for my brother.  I suffered disappointment in my adult life. I leaned on Koran in my childhood as much as I leaned on sex in my adulthood. Both  Koran and sex were  my ways to search for my identity. In my childhood, I entered Koran memorizing competitions. My winnings were not celebrated because "I was only the girl".  One day I will write about my childhood because growing up in a world dominated by male power deserves its own book.

After becoming a Thayeb divorced woman,I dated and I felt trapped by restraints and guilt. Writing an autobiography about my sex life freed me from guilt. I sinned. I repented and my transformation into a strong woman is complete.The introspection was a spiritual experience. I am not a hypocrite Muslim. I do not have skeletons in my closet. Every skeleton has a chapter's title as a headstone. I am free to challenge existing stereotypes and focus on my quest to update the interpretation of Koran.

My book symbolizes to me the acceptance of my own identity. It is a light-hearted short vignettes and I am not ashamed of it. It was picked by Conversations magazine as one of the top 100 books for the year 2010. I was aware of how I was going to be judged by Muslims. I decided that publishing the book is another identity-shaping challenge which I had to face. My dear angry Muslim reader, you will get no apology from me.