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Discussions / Gender Equality in the Quran I
« on: December 20, 2014, 07:47:14 AM »
Salaam all,

Like to share with you a great article by Dr. Rehman

Gender Equality in the Holy Qur’an – In the Beginning Man and Woman Were Equal

“But whoso does good works, whether male or female, and is a believer, such shall enter Heaven, and shall not be wronged even as much as the little hollow in the back of a date-stone.” (Al Qur’an 4:125)

Written by Dr. Lutf ur Rehman. Nashville, USA

With the advent of modern education and inclusion of women in the workforce over the last two centuries, the patriarchal nature of societies is also in a state of flux. Over the course of human history, men have dominated the role of leadership in these societies. Even today a great majority of human population lives in this arrangement. It worked well when physical strength was an asset. Most of the work was done manually and fighting in the army required physical strength. Men had a great advantage over women in this area. Therefore the societies were aligned to suit their interests. Women were assigned to a subservient role and were mostly confined to home and domestic work. Over the course of human history this role of women – rearing children and caring for the home and her husband – became their normal function in the society. They were not included in the affairs of men and were considered inferior in many ways. Men literally owned their women like livestock and property. Women had no rights – their fate was decided by the word and wishes of their men. They were not given education, had no say in their marriage, could not own property, and required permission of their men folk to do anything in their lives. Any woman who would not follow such norms in the society was punished and sometimes even killed by her own father, brother or husband, and it was considered honorable for men to do so. Political and religious systems were often used to perpetuate such oppression of women.

Christian Arab writer, Norma Khouri noted, honor killings originate from the belief that a woman’s chastity is the property of her family, a cultural norm that comes “from our ancient tribal days, from the Hammurabi and Assyrian tribes of 1200 B.C.”  Matthew A. Goldstein, J.D. (Arizona), has also noted that honor killings were encouraged in ancient Rome, where male family members who did not take actions against the female adulterers in their family were “actively persecuted.”[ii] The Roman law of ‘pater familias’ gave complete control to the men of the family for both their children and wives. Under these laws, the lives of children and wives were at the sole discretion of the men in their family.

In the sixth century Arabia, men were ashamed if a daughter was born in their household. Many who considered themselves courageous and brave would bury their daughters after their birth to get rid of the shame. The practice was considered honorable. Qays bin Asim, ancient leader of Banu Tamim is credited by some historians as the first to kill children on the basis of honor. It is recorded that he murdered all of his daughters to prevent them from ever causing him any kind of dishonor. This is the time which was called the time of ignorance or “Jahiliyyah” by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him). He brought a message which was forward looking, open minded and based upon principals of justice for all – men and women. Holy Qur’an is the Word of God and a lasting source of guidance for all Muslims for all times.

Let us examine if Qur’an accepts or prescribes an inferior role for women?

Qur’an uses the word khalaqa to describe creation. Khalaqa means to create, to bring something into existence from a state of non-existence. The account of creation in the Qur’an also makes it clear that the creation happened in several steps and not all at once:

Just recall the time when your Lord said to the angels, ‘I am going to create a human of clay: (primordial soup) when I perfect it in every way (evolution), and blow into it of my ruh (spiritual awareness), all of you should bow down before it.’ (Al Qur’an 38: 72-73)

Qur’an addresses many aspects of creation in different verses. If we look at the creation of human beings, Qur’an does not tell us if man was created before the woman or if woman was created from man thus implying an inferior status as part is not equal to the whole. Qur’an does not say that Adam was the first man. It also does not say that Eve was created from Adam’s rib. These concepts have come to us from the Bible:

And God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. (Genesis 2:21-22)

There are some Ahadith which tell us that Eve was created from man’s rib but all of them are considered weak as their sources are weak and all originated from one person, Ibn Abbas. The content (matn) of these Ahadith is also in contradiction to Qur’anic version of creation. Therefore these Ahadith are best disregarded.

Then there are some other Ahadith where women are compared with the shape of a rib or derived from a rib. Some are mentioned in Bokhari and Muslim, the two most influential Hadith collections in Sunni Islam. One such hadith is quoted here:
‘Abd al-’Aziz related to us that he was reporting on the authority of ‘Abd Allah who said: Malik had told us that he was reporting on the authority of Abu Zinad who was reporting on the authority of al-A’raj who was reporting on the authority of Abu Hurairah (with whom may Allah be pleased) who said: Allah’s Rasul (may peace be on him) said:The woman is like a rib, if you try to straighten her, she will break. So if you want to get benefit from her, do so while she still has some crookedness. (Bokhari)

With regards to the isnad (list of transmitters) the following may be noted: All these ahadith are cited on the authority of Abu Hurairah, a Companion who was regarded as controversial by many early Muslim scholars, including Imam Abu Hanifah (A.D. 700-767),founder of the largest Sunni school of law (fiqh). All six of such ahadith in Bokhari and Muslim are gharib (the lowest grade of hadith classification) because they contain a number of transmitters who were single reporters. All of these six ahadith are da’if (weak) because they have a number of unreliable transmitters. Matn (content) of these Ahadith is also contrary to Qur’anic version of creation of human beings, which we shall examine now:

O people be aware of your Lord, Who created you (humans) from a single soul (nafs) and created therefrom mates for you. (4:2)
He it is who has created you from a single soul (nafs). (7:190)
(God) created you (humans) from a single soul (nafs). (39:7)

Qur’an describes creation of human beings from a single soul – nafs – which is a gender neutral term. From this nafs, God created both man and woman.
Allah also tells us in the Qur’an that He perfected the creation of humans:
Surely We created the humankind in the best stature. (95:5)
Allah it is Who …. fashioned you , and perfected your shapes. (40:65)
Who (God) gave everything He created the best form. (32:7)
Here perfection means that God created humans exactly as He wanted to. Also a look at these verses and many others in the Qur’an make it clear that the creation did not happen all at once. The creation of humans was perfected over time, pointing towards evolution. One of the names of God is “Musawwir,” meaning an artist:
He is God, The Creator, The Maker, The Fashioner (Musawwir). His are the most beautiful attributes. (Al Qur’an 59:25)

Just like an artist, God started with the basics and over time brought His creation to perfection, the process of evolution.

In the account of creation God has not assigned any superiority to one gender over the other for any reason. Qur’an describes the final step of creation as follows:

Just recall the time when your Lord said to the angels, “I am going to create a human of clay: (primordial soup) when I perfect it in every way (evolution), and blow into it of my ruh (spiritual awareness), all of you should bow down before it. (Al Qur’an 38: 72-73)

Once again God put His spirit equally in man and woman.
Adam and Eve in the Garden
It is clear from Qur’anic descriptions that the Garden was never intended as the dwelling place for the humans. Allah’s plan for humans was to function in the earth as His trustee.

And when your Lord said to the angels, I am about to place a vicegerent in the earth. (Al Qur’an 2:31)

In the Garden humans had no need to struggle for the basic necessities of life such as food, clothing and shelter:
It is given unto you that you hunger not therein, neither are you naked, And you thirst not therein nor are you exposed to the sun’s heat. (Al Qur’an 20:119-120)

However in the Garden, and on earth, humans share the same test: the choice between obedience and disobedience. Allah warns Adam and Eve against approaching one of the trees in the Garden. The Qur’an does not give special attributes to the tree itself. It is merely a symbol of the test.

It is noteworthy that, with one exception, the Quran always uses the Arabic dual form to tell how Satan tempted both Adam and Eve and how they both disobeyed:
But Satan caused them both to slip and be expelled from where they resided. (Al Qur’an 2:37)

In maintaining the dual form, the Qur’an overcomes the negative Biblical and Judaic implications that the woman was the cause of evil and damnation.

For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. (1Timothy 2:11-12)

Moreover Qur’an clearly states that individuals – men and women – are responsible for their own actions:
Upon recognition of the error that they had made, both of them (Adam and Eve) repented and asked for forgiveness. They said, ‘Our Lord we have wronged ourselves; and if You forgive us not and have not mercy on us, we shall surely be of the lost.’ (Al Qur’an 7:24)

The one exception to the Qur’anic use of the dual form to refer to the temptation and disobedience of Adam and Eve in the Garden, singles out Adam:
And the devil whispered to him saying: ‘O Adam! Shall I show you the tree of immortality and power that does not waste away?’ Then the two of them (Adam and his wife) ate of the fruit (of the forbidden tree), so their shame became manifest to them and they started covering themselves with leaves. And Adam disobeyed his Lord, so went astray. (Al Qur’an 20:122)

Their Lord not only accepted their repentance and forgave them; He demonstrated a very special feature of Himself: mercy and grace. He extended to them, and to all the humans, the explicit guidance – revelation.

We can draw following guidance from this story of Adam and Eve in the Holy Qur’an.
Any human might disobey through forgetfulness, the general nature of human weakness, and the temptations of Satan, but one who recognizes his error, repents and asks for forgiveness, will be forgiven. Moreover, guidance is always available to humankind to remind them of their commitment to Allah and the guile of Satan, the enemy. This is a special mercy from their Lord. However, whoever disobeys through arrogance and intentional rebellion has been promised due punishment and eternal damnation. He is like Satan, who disobeyed and persisted in his arrogant, disobedient ways.

Islamic Duties / Re: treatment of animals
« on: December 12, 2014, 02:52:46 AM »

Thank you Joseph for your explanation and patience.

Islamic Duties / Re: treatment of animals
« on: December 12, 2014, 01:34:15 AM »
Salutes and respect,

My position is closer to the second view than the first.  By favoring this view, I do not want to give the impression that 
 God prescribes "cruel practices"

Progressiveness in my opinion is a very misunderstood concept in that it is often interpreted as making compromises in the rules and regulations of the deen as practiced.  As the Quran points out what if the ‘awwalun” were not guided and we follow blindly in their footsteps?

This article also points out that 31.6% thought the animal sacrifice was a meaningful practice, whereas 68.4% perceived it as an inhuman practice.

I’d like to think progressiveness as part of the evolution.  Evolution has physical, mental and spiritual aspects just like the composition of a human being.  Survival of the fittest concept or adapting to the changing conditions of the environment is physical.  I’m hoping that we are also evolving on the mental and spiritual levels as well. 

"Momentous" sacrifice interpretation resonates with me.  I'd like to read br. Joseph's analysis of the word, if I may.

Thanks for the interest,


Discussions / the role of imams in the community
« on: December 07, 2014, 01:48:55 AM »
Greetings and salam to all,

I find this article very interesting since I have never thought on the subject before.  I'd like to get your input  about the role of the imams in the West in 2015 should be.   Thanks,


Islamic Duties / treatment of animals
« on: October 03, 2014, 03:25:17 AM »
Peace to you all,

I want to share with you two opposing views on the subject of animal sacrifice to please God. 




Discussions / Re: Father Abraham
« on: September 14, 2014, 08:09:26 AM »
Dear sister Seraphina,

Enjoyed reading your response; you are making valid points.  I will let brother Joseph respond.

Discussions / Re: hijab
« on: September 07, 2014, 12:41:53 PM »
Hello Seraphina,

Thank you for directing me to the Quranicpath site.  I enjoyed reading the hijab misconception as well as all the other misconceptions.  As its name suggests, QuranicPath aims to portray the path of Allah  as shown in the Qur'an.


Discussions / Re: pristine versus mangled up Islam?
« on: September 07, 2014, 12:26:08 PM »
Salam Seraphina and Good Logic,

As the saying goes, if you characterize people by their actions, then you will never be fooled by their words.  Yet the discrepancy helps us to identify the hypocrites whose words/thoughts do not reflect their actions/beliefs.


Discussions / Re: hijab
« on: September 07, 2014, 02:57:04 AM »
Peace to you all,

I'm responding with another article:  The depiction of the headscarf as a unifying element within the Muslim community is not well founded, Kaddor argues

Why I as a Muslim Woman Don't Wear a Headscarf

Does the Koran really demand that women wear headscarves? Or is it mainly older men who claim they can decide how women should dress – with no theological foundation whatsoever? For the Islam scholar Lamya Kaddor, there is no question about it: the headscarf is obsolete

​If I as a Muslim woman living in Germany ask myself whether I should wear a headscarf or not, that gives rise to the question of whether the additional head-covering called for in the Koran (33:59) still fulfils its original purpose of protecting women from male desire. My answer is: no. In contemporary Germany such covering-up no longer serves that purpose. It is even more likely to bring about the opposite of what God intended by exposing wearers of headscarves to discrimination.

Today the intended protection against 'annoyances' is provided by a well-functioning legal system rather than by adherence to social rules from the past. A free state based on the rule of law protects a woman, for example by punishing attacks on her person. This protection may be primarily concerned with bodily integrity, but people in a modern state are more than ever responsible for themselves with regard to the freedoms accorded – including in the realm of moral integrity. Covering my head cannot relieve me of that responsibility. I cannot hide myself behind a little piece of cloth. A free and democratic state grants rights and also imposes responsibilities. In such circumstances I can behave honourably with and without a veil or head-scarf – or not, as the case may be.
A 'fashion accessory' from Koranic times?

If this argument is accepted, one can also abandon the Koranic demand for additional covering, directed towards women in Early Arabic tribal society. What would still initially remain is the khimâr, the head covering that was part of women's clothing at that time. The Koran neither speaks against nor in any way emphasises that form of covering. God uses the word only once in the Koran (24:31). That occurs in passing in connection with a call for moral behaviour. So there is no Koranic emphasis on such head covering. However, if God had required a special head covering, would He not have said so explicitly? The khimâr thus merely constitutes a 'fashion accessory' according to the spirit of that age. Viewed rationally, functions consciously or unconsciously associated with head coverings across the course of history – such as protection against sand or evil influences – are all superannuated today and have lost their validity. People's powers of imagination have changed.

"Sura 24:30-31 calls on both men and women to behave chastely, but exegesis of the Koran up to the present day only puts the emphasis on chaste behaviour for women," Kaddor writes
In the Germany of the twenty-first century – at the very latest – women's hairstyles are no longer per se an erotic stimulus. The sight of head-hair no longer provokes sexual fantasies and thus immoral behaviour – except perhaps among fetishists. When you walk along a city's pedestrian precincts no one turns to look at you because of your hair. Only if you dress provocatively or in a particularly original way, and behave accordingly, do you attract some attention. In addition, this isn't a male world that still thinks as it did a thousand or more years ago. Thanks to the achievements of a free and democratic state, and thanks to the prevalent understanding of relations between the sexes, you no longer necessarily need a head covering in order to live morally. The headscarf has become obsolete.

Misogyny by Islamic scholars
Today's orthodox comprehension of the obligation to wear a head covering is primarily based on the interpretations of scholars who lived several generations after the Prophet Mohammed. One can follow their judgements but they are not sacrosanct. As human beings all scholars are fallible. Conservative and fundamentalist circles constantly emphasise that our behaviour should follow the Koran and the Prophet. Their spokesmen maintain that this directly accords with what was laid down during the Prophet's lifetime and the initial period of Islam.

However in reality this view is mainly based on the ideas of scholars who lived some 600 (!) years later – such people as Ibn Qudâma (d. 1223), Ibn Taymîya (d. 1328), or the latter's pupil Ibn Qayyim al-Jawzîya (d. 1350). Bearing in mind the patriarchal social structures of that time, it is unsurprising that interpretations of sources concerning relations between the sexes were usually unfavourable for women – even though that contradicts a striving (to be found throughout the Koran) towards improving women's situation. That tendency is even less surprising if one recalls the misogyny demonstrated by many scholars throughout the history of Islam. Linking shame and a head covering is by no means as self-evident as it seems. Sura 24:30-31 calls on both men and women to behave chastely, but exegesis of the Koran up to the present day only puts the emphasis on chaste behaviour for women.

No political symbol
Nevertheless, the Koranic injunction to dress in a way that is generally demure remains a religious demand, to be fulfilled by wearing 'appropriate' clothing. A woman believer sees this as signifying that all those parts of the female body which nowadays excite the idea of possible sexual contact should continue to be 'properly' concealed beneath the kind of clothing usual today. What is entailed in 'proper', 'appropriate', or 'decent' is left to the reasonableness of every mature woman citizen, since at present there are no specific directives based on Islamic sources. In prevalent practice, it is mostly older men – learned or unlearned – who assume the right to determine how a woman should appear, but there is no theological or sociological foundation for this.

A similar situation prevails regarding evaluation of the headscarf as a token of Islamic faith. Such a function cannot be demonstrated in the history of Islam. The depiction of the headscarf as a unifying element within the Muslim community is not well founded either. In addition, its function as a political symbol, so frequently evoked in public discussions today, also constitutes a historically unfounded inflation of the significance of this item of clothing. This has occurred only in recent decades, as an element in the opposition to Western influences within the Islamic world.
Lamya Kaddor © Goethe-Institut 2011

Lamya Kaddor was born in 1978 in Ahlen, Westphalia, as the daughter of Syrian immigrants. As a student she specialised in Islamic Studies, and went on to train Islamic teachers of religion at Münster University. Since the 2003-04 school year she has been involved as a teacher in the 'Islamic Studies in the German Language' project. Her most recent book is "Muslimisch – weiblich – deutsch! Mein Leben für einen zeitgemäßen Islam" (Muslim – Female – German! My Life for an Islam in Keeping with the Times), C.H. Beck Verlag, Munich 2010. This text is an abbreviated version of a study published in Thorsten Gerald Schneider's Islamverherrlichung [Glorification of Islam], VS Verlag, Wiesbaden 2010, pp. 131–158.

Discussions / pristine versus mangled up Islam?
« on: September 05, 2014, 12:13:12 PM »

Peace to you all,

I enjoyed reading Mike Ghouse's blog and wanted to share it with you.

The Islam that I have studied is based on the belief that God has created the entire universe in balance and harmony (Quran 55:4-13), and that each one of us has the responsibility to manage that balance between life and environment, and the balance within (physical and spiritual) through moderation, and balance with others (religious guidance and or civil laws). Anytime that balance is off, we will witness difficulties with our body, family, society and the environment.

The Islam that I continue to learn is about respecting God and his creation, indeed, the diversity is purposeful. God has made everything to be unique with its own sustainable equilibrium. He says he has created all of us from the same couple, and has made us into many tribes, nations, faiths, races and other distinctions. He tells us that the best ones among us are those who help rather than hinder others in all that is good. He expects us to respect the otherness of others and accept the given uniqueness to each one of us; Pluralism is the word.
He wisely guides us not to compel others to think and act likes us, then says, had he wanted, he would have created all of us alike.

The Islam I have come to adore is about building cohesive societies where no human has to live in fear of the other, and if there are individuals who oppress others, we have to speak up for the sake of restoring that elusive balance, Islam is about harmony with the self, others and what surrounds us.
This is another expression of Islam from Muhammad Yunus, and Islamic scholar, "The essence of Islamic message lies in deeds, righteousness, moral awareness, community service, attaining excellence in lawful pursuit, dealing justly with all, forgiving the past enemies, and so forth."

The Islam that I have come to admire is the humility and sense of parity it imparts through its rituals. I salute God when he says, and Muhammad (pbuh) reiterates, that no prophet is above the other and no human is above the other. That alone is good for me to be a Muslim, remember arrogance kills the relationships and humility builds it. Arrogance is the root cause of all conflicts, and hence God gives a Zero to the arrogant ones until they become humble.
This concept may be difficult for Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus and others alike, but we have start somewhere, and as a Muslim, I humbly submit that my religion is not superior to any religion, and all the pathways to God are beautiful and help each believer earn his grace, balance and equilibrium through it.

Mangled up Islam.

We may deny it, but the mangled up Islam exists in tandem with the pristine one, and is carried out by a tiny minority of self-proclaimed ideologues who are reckless, powerful and vocal to create a false impression that all Muslims are like them. I am sure the Christians, Hindus, Jews, Buddhists and others experience similar misrepresentations of their religions.
Where did we go wrong?

When Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) initiated the inclusive Madinah Treaty, he showed us the way -- a spiritual leader can also be a civic leader and work with the people of other faiths with respect and dignity. He would not have invited Jews, Christians and others to sign the treaty, had he believed that Islam was the only way. We need to study how much of that separation between belief and state was carried forward by the rightly guided Caliphs. After them, most certainly someone mangled up the pristine Islam of inclusiveness.
The only thing our faith requires from us is to believe in the word of God and to emulate the lofty principles and conduct of the Prophet (uswatun hasana 33:21). God repeatedly asks us to use reason and gives us the freedom to question everything. Thus, we should be sane enough to question the interpretations of every one including the major Sunni and Shia Imams, scholars, jurists and their traditions (madhabs). We have never questioned them due to fears of persecution and the punitive fatwas. It is time to question all that has been dished out to us.
The authoritarian circumstances created a need to interpret the faith to suit them - a phenomenon that is intrinsic to all faiths. Scholars like Ibn Tamiyah, Ibn Kathir at the time of great violence like the Crusades and Mongol attacks and other social and political upheavals gave their personal views on civil, political and military aspects of the era. The mistake we have made is to give their word a near equivalence of Quran and the Prophet; we can judge them against historical relativism but should not regard their work as integral component of Islamic teachings. All said, we must admit that whatever their intentions might have been, the medieval scholars messed up the interpretation of Quran. Instead of building cohesive societies, they were inclined to forge exclusive authoritarian societies. A lot of their work is good, but it takes only a single drop of poison to endanger a pot full of water.

The sad interpretations
'Islam is the only way acceptable to God', while negating God's repeated guarantees that no matter what faith you follow, if you are good to your fellow beings, you'll earn his grace. 'Don't make friends with Jews and Christians' was such a blunderous interpretation, and goes against prophet's practices when he married a Jewish and a Christian woman without converting them. 'Death to anyone (apostate) who abandons Islam' goes against the very essence of Islam; that there is no compulsion in faith. There is a lot more that is not in Quran and Prophets Practices, but has crept in through a few wrong Sharia laws crippling the inclusive nature and giving birth to political Islam.

We addressed 10 out o 60 such verses in a conference that have been misinterpreted by Christian and Muslims scholars, sadly a few Muslims believe in the exclusive interpretations.
The Neocons feast on those verses, and most certainly they have not pulled the 'hateful citations' out of thin air, they are quoting the interpretations of men like ibn Wahhab, Maududi, Banna and others. Each one of them was a product of history, in some cases they were control freaks, and ignored the Quranic teachings of no compulsion, but advocated authoritarianism, they did not believe in individual's God-given rights, and suggested the state to kill those who differed. This is another instance we have gone wrong by not denouncing their misinterpretations.
It is time to clearly understand the pristine message of the Quran rather than reading it with the eye of its medieval era jurists, scholars and ideologues. There is an urgent need to understand the core message of Islam that remains buried under layers of medieval interpretation.

Muhammad Yunus, is a dedicated researcher of Quran, and his work is published in a German Web portal;
"There is a dichotomy of Islamic faith between its primary scripture, the Quran and its theological corpus (traditions and Sharia laws): one appearing at a point in time in history as an epicenter of faith, and the other evolving in its second century onwards -- as the ripples of the initial surge of faith. The former is constant, eternal and independent of history. The latter inevitably shaped by historical factors: pre-Islamic faith of the incoming converts, state of civilization, theological orientation and scholastic methods of the era. If Islam is equated with the 'religion' (or worldview) espoused by the Quran -- regardless of whether it came from God or Muhammad made it up, it is universal, tolerant, balanced, gender-neutral, inclusive, non-political, pluralistic, flexible and open ended -- albeit within broad boundaries, and emblematic of justice, liberty, equality, and other universal secular values.”
In an article "You Can't Understand ISIS If You Don't Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia," Alastair Crooke rightly points out that the political greed of the founder of Saudi Arabia took Ibn Wahab's ideology to suit his personal ambition to own the land and control its resources, in contrast to Islam that teaches that we are trustees of public properties and not usurpers.
It is easy for us to blame Bush, had he not invaded Iraq, would all of this have happened? The Shia-Sunni strife, the civil war, Syria, and the birth of ISIS have all stemmed from that one singular misadventure.

Well, what Bush did is not the issue, but what are Muslims going to do about it -- fix it, or keep blaming? Let's fix it. I invite research articles for publications at Insha Allah, we plan to hold a conference based on the theme that "Muslims should be inclusive universal beings (Mukhlooqul Aalameen) to honor God's word in Q49:13. This is based on Quran that God is God of all humanity (Rabbul Aalameen), Prophet is a mercy to mankind (Rahmatul Aalameen) and it follows that we have to embrace full humanity with its God given diversity. We have to build cohesive well functioning societies that are good for Muslims and good for the world.

To be a Muslim is to be a peace-maker who seeks to mitigate conflicts and nurtures goodwill for peaceful co-existence of humanity. World Muslim congress is a think tank and a forum with the express goal of nurturing pluralistic values embedded in Islam to build cohesive societies. If we can learn to respect the otherness of others and accept each other's uniqueness, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.

Mike Ghouse is a Muslim Speaker thinker, writer, organizer and an activist.

Discussions / hijab
« on: August 21, 2014, 05:42:56 AM »
Salam all,

Here is the first part of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf's article on the issue that I enjoyed reading

Discussions / what is to come or not to come
« on: August 18, 2014, 09:27:43 AM »
Peace to all,

A Small Green Island

There is a small green island where one white cow lives alone,
a meadow of an island.

The cow grazes until nightfall, full and fat,
but during the night she panics and grows thin as a single hair.
"What will I eat tomorrow?
There's nothing left!"

By dawn the grass has grown up again,
waist-high.  The cow starts eating and by dark the meadow is clipped short.

She is full of strength and energy,
but she panics in the dark as before and grows abnormally thin overnight.

The cow does this over and over and this is all she does.

She never thinks,
"This meadow has never failed to grow back. 

What should I be afraid every night that it won't?"

The cow is the bodily soul.
The island field is this world where that grows lean with fear
and fat with blessing,

lean and fat.  White cow,
don't make yourself miserable with what is to come or not to come.

Masnavi Rumi vol, V: 2855-2869

 Version by Coleman Barks

General Discussions / Re: Why test us
« on: July 10, 2014, 02:22:05 AM »
salam Zafreen,

you said there was good without any bad once.  yes there was in the Garden.  they were in a state of bliss; but it was a controlled environment.  all their needs were met by God.  man's choice was between this blissful state, or a guilded cage existence and an existence that comes with knowledge, freedom and potential.  You cannot pick and choose from these two sets of existence. 

People reject to put goodness and evil or torture and mercy on the same continuum but good only exists with its duality evil just like other dualities of light and dark, positive and negative charge in the created universe by the wisdom of the Creator.   

Discussions / exploring the female voice in religion
« on: July 09, 2014, 08:57:06 AM »
Salam all,

Here is a brief article by Amina Wadud that I would like to share with you

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