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Messages - Naeem Xapha

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Discussions / Are we overdue for a period of Islamic renaissance?
« on: July 30, 2023, 09:05:25 PM »
Peace be upon you, brothers and sisters.

I was in a conversation this week with a close friend; a casual chat triggered by this year's Muharram events around the world. I suggested to him that what we are seeing here - such zealous demonstrations of lament- are the result of a political offshoot of Islam based on hearsay and questionable written/oral transmissions; that these highly emotive public marches seem to have no obvious support from the Quran. I further suggested that by not observing these particular annual practices, it would not detract one from being a Muslim; they were unnecessary. My friend disagreed with me wholeheartedly. He may even be wondering whether I have become an infidel.

My post here is not really about the events associated with the traditions surrounding the first Islamic month, but more about how we seem to be moving further and further away from what Allah requires of us. I am troubled by the evolutionary dilution of our faith over time; I am frustrated by having to keep silent when listening to stories being told by our mass-produced clergy during mosque sermons; and by the ranks of self-appointed scholars who plague YouTube... and who appear to enjoy a substantial following. Their talks seem to be based almost entirely on non- Quranic sources, although told with great conviction and evangelical passion. Their ever-popular version of Islam is further propagated elsewhere online and on religious TV shows.

Closer to home, my two young sons have started to accompany their friends to local mosques, where "enlightened speakers" come to give talks on various matters. The boys sometimes come away doubting whether they are committing haram. For example, by listening to music- even instrumental music. Not being learned enough to deal with such controversies, I simply say to them: If the Quran is silent on a matter, use your own judgement and discretion.

Once, one of their (generally polite and respectable) friends asked me: "Uncle, do you believe in the moon being split by the Prophet?".

My reply to him was something along the lines of: If it did happen then it would be entirely through Allah's power, but as there seems to be no independently recorded event of this being observed elsewhere in the world, I would have to say that it may not have occurred in the way most Muslims believe. He was quite upset upon hearing this and asked me if I knew more than the scholars did? Flippantly, I said "Yes. Because I prefer Allah's evidence over that compiled by men". I may have dented what little credibility I may have had with the young man.

(If you are confused about this post and wondering what on earth is he going on about, please try to question almost anyone whether it is necessary to follow our hadith, in order to be a believer... in my experience, even questioning this labels you as a non-Muslim!)

I think that here I am simply sharing my thoughts with a wider audience in the hope that others may have experienced similar occasions of frustration, and to determine whether they also feel that so many of us have become little more than what the Orientalists used to call us: "Mohamedans".

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Discussions / Re: Is god a fraud?
« on: April 11, 2018, 12:44:04 AM »
In response to Joseph's post " Lambasting the Bible", I thought it necessary to correct myself on my post, above.

We should accord all due respect to others' beliefs, no matter how far removed they might be from our own. My post on the Bible's contradiction does not illicit any apology from me as I feel it is a valid observation. However, it should be made clear that pointing out inconsistencies/contradictions in a scripture does not detract from the respect we should afford to the followers of those scriptures. I am also critical of the Ahadith literature which so many live and die by, but I am mindful of the honoured place they occupy for so many. I respect their historical value, as with the Bible.

I stand corrected on my unnecessary post, after being further enlightened by Br. Joseph.

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Prophets and Messengers / Re: new messengers
« on: April 04, 2018, 02:03:30 AM »
W/Salaam Br. Hamzeh

Thank you for elaborating your reply to my post. It alleviates some of my difficulties with the new messenger conundrum.

In all honesty I am troubled to a far greater extent by how Islam is subjected to people's own interpretation, around the world and the problems this is causing.

[My apologies in advance to the forum moderators if I am going off topic in this particular section]

I am deeply troubled and saddened by such things as:

The near deification of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) to that approaching the Christian view of Jesus (may Allah be pleased with him)

The non-regulatory framework in which Muslim scholars (comprising of countless individuals and groups) imposing their own agenda on followers

The otherworldly mosque clergy who insist that parents send children to daily mosque classes, at the expense of evening school study time ...and who place little or no importance to achieving any knowledge outside of religion

The lack of educated imams in mosques- many are from madrasah type establishments, some seeking to replicate a similar environment in mosques

Comparatively low attainment levels amongst Muslims generally, resulting in under-representation in important positions in society

Cultural values and traditions dominating our daily lives, in contradiction to Quranic teachings

Hadith-driven Islam (a big one for me)

...I could go on

I am a professional person with a career and a family, home etc. But inwardly I regard myself a total failure with no significant accomplishments, that can address even one of the above.

Salaam

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Prophets and Messengers / Need for new messengers- I'm not so sure
« on: April 01, 2018, 12:59:42 AM »
I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed this whole website since discovering it some years ago- so many of my own misconceptions have been cleared up by the wisdom, knowledge and clear thinking of brother Joseph. I mean it.

One thing which puzzles me still is this understanding that messengers may continue to come, after the last prophet. I must admit that this is difficult for me accept and the evidence offered in the discussions is very subjective- even when the Quran is used to support such thinking.

In one such discussion here I read:

"There is arguably no direct evidence in the Quran that a messenger 'must' declare himself as a messenger of God".

Really?

Surely that clears the path for anyone to stand up and declare himself to be divinely inspired. One such personality from recent history who achieved a degree of success is Mirza Ghulam Ahmed, who as you know, claimed to be a messiah, the Mehdi (Hadith reference) and a reformer- but not a prophet, exactly. The fact that he referred to the hadith prophesies of the second coming of Jesus and Imam Mehdi immediately rings bells for me, since that particular body of text is not from the Almighty himself.

Even so, he has a large minority devoted to his teachings and the Ahmeddiya followers do behave with more dignity than many others who are Muslims from other sects.

Aside from my obvious ramblings here, does anyone have any evidence of people who could have been legitimate messengers, following on from the Prophet?

Brother Joseph, if you read this, Allah bless you for the way you have improved my conviction and understanding. My unlimited prayers and blessings for you, from one human to just another human.

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Discussions / Is god a fraud?
« on: January 21, 2018, 08:42:08 AM »
Salams

I sometimes ask Christians what does the word "sacrifice" mean? Without resorting to a dictionary or Wikipedia, I would offer that it means to give up something of value and worth, in order to derive a greater good or benefit...perhaps to lose something, to give up and surrender, to go without.

So, we read in the Wholly Libel "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life"  John 3:16

But!!!

The God of the bible knew that he would raise Jesus up from the dead so it was NOT a sacrifice- there was no intention to permanently lose "his son" to the crucifiction- god did not sacrifice Jesus and did not suffer a permanent loss, so the passage from the bible above is invalidated, isn't it?

It seems to me that the whole of Christianity falls down here, if my logic is ok.

Your thoughts please.

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