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Towards a liberation of Islam

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    (Original post by Brutal Honesty)
    The rule is "if it intoxicates in a large amount it is forbidden in a small amount". Bread contains a tiny amount of alcohol but you're never going to get drunk no matter how much bread you eat so it's not forbidden. There's also an exception made for medicinal reasons.
    Thanks for that. Can I just ask which passage(s) you're getting that from? (Direct quote if possible - I'd like to know how explicitly it's stated)

    What would the stance be on coming into contact with potential intoxicants for purposes other than consumption, but where there is still a risk of unintentional intoxication under the right circumstances?
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    (Original post by The Mr Z)
    Thanks for that. Can I just ask which passage(s) you're getting that from? (Direct quote if possible - I'd like to know how explicitly it's stated)

    What would the stance be on coming into contact with potential intoxicants for purposes other than consumption, but where there is still a risk of unintentional intoxication under the right circumstances?
    It's from a hadith and it's quoting the prophet. I remember reading it a while back but I don't remember the exact source. You'll probably be able to find it on google. Muslims are generally supposed to avoid places where intoxicants are being consumed this is why Muslims won't eat in pubs even if they're not drinking. If alcohol is being served or drugs being smoked somewhere they should avoid that place.
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    (Original post by Brutal Honesty)
    It's from a hadith and it's quoting the prophet. I remember reading it a while back but I don't remember the exact source. You'll probably be able to find it on google. Muslims are generally supposed to avoid places where intoxicants are being consumed this is why Muslims won't eat in pubs even if they're not drinking. If alcohol is being served or drugs being smoked somewhere they should avoid that place.
    I'm quite intentionally going for grey areas here, I wasn't talking about alcohol.

    To point you more in the direction I'm thinking - many paints, both sprays and brush-ons, use a number of chemical solvents (its how paints work). Solvents are intended to evaporate and hence will be present in the air whenever using paints. If working indoors or an area with insufficient ventilation, it is possible to accidentally, and gradually over time, inhale large amounts of these solvents, and become quite literally high as a kite.

    This means then that paints fall into the category of "intoxicates in a large amount".

    Does this mean Muslims should never use solvent paints? That passage, if as specific as you claim, certainly explicitly says they are forbidden. However it is possible to use them and, with reasonable measures, avoid intoxication.

    (Almost all paints other than water-soluble and oil paints fall into this category, so pretty much anything used for purposes other than canvas. Further things that could have similar effects include all perfumes and forms of make-up, most scented items, all ranges of household and industrial chemicals)
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    I don't even think any Muslim will even contemplate this. I for one would not. Why would I, if I believed the Quran was the truth? Becoming a modernist Muslim is I-M-P-O-S-S-I-B-L-E.
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    (Original post by The Mr Z)
    I'm quite intentionally going for grey areas here, I wasn't talking about alcohol.

    To point you more in the direction I'm thinking - many paints, both sprays and brush-ons, use a number of chemical solvents (its how paints work). Solvents are intended to evaporate and hence will be present in the air whenever using paints. If working indoors or an area with insufficient ventilation, it is possible to accidentally, and gradually over time, inhale large amounts of these solvents, and become quite literally high as a kite.

    This means then that paints fall into the category of "intoxicates in a large amount".

    Does this mean Muslims should never use solvent paints? That passage, if as specific as you claim, certainly explicitly says they are forbidden. However it is possible to use them and, with reasonable measures, avoid intoxication.

    (Almost all paints other than water-soluble and oil paints fall into this category, so pretty much anything used for purposes other than canvas. Further things that could have similar effects include all perfumes and forms of make-up, most scented items, all ranges of household and industrial chemicals)
    It is only the deliberate consumption of alcohol that is forbidden. Someone working with solvent paints, etc, is unlikely to get intoxicated in that manner unless they deliberately attempt to breath in the vapour, which is quite odd. If there is a lot of vapour in the air, then that Muslim should try to avoid it, either by wearing a face mask (healthy anyway when working things like that) or using a non/less-alcoholic solvent. Whether it was alcohol or some other vapour, if in excess for health & safety reasons I would avoid breathing it in by the above, anyway.
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    Thanks for your answer
    (Original post by Qaz25)
    But then you fall into a simple trap. If you believe that the 'lashing of fornicators is wrong' yet someone else believes that it is right, then which persons conscience is correct?
    Good point.
    However, my objective was not to find out if fornicators should be lashed or not. It was to find out in which direction Islam could be "liberalized" and what such a liberalized, or modernized Islam would look like. To this effect, I posted some suggestions
    Your view that this is wrong is shaped by the society you live in and who has shaped the society you live in? Answer: non-Muslims (who also came up with the human rights declaration without any non-Atheist, non-Christian perspective being taken into account - meaning it is not 'universal' but rather limited to the Christian and Atheist context).
    no person lives in a void, and we are all shaped by society. Perfect objectivity does not exist. Perfectly true.
    As to the "human rights" principles, as enshrined e.g. in UNDHR, it is quite true that historically they were shaped by the victors of WW II. However, these values have been accepted by a wide array of States (including many majority-Muslim States), so these instruments are still our main reference at international level : they are as universal as you can get.
    The attempt by some "Islamic" States to shape a separate international legal basis ( the OIC 1990 Cairo declaration on human rights http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cairo_D...ights_in_Islam) enjoys in fact a much lower degree of universality.
    Also, as a Muslim, to believe that my own conscience is better than what God says is right (especially for those rules that do not depend on context such as the lashing of fornicators etc.) would be silly.
    It would be not at all silly.

    Two issues:

    -the context issue : why should some Shariah rules be contextualized, and not some other ? it is obvious that a 7th century fornicator, living in tribal Arabia, and a 21s century fornicator evolve in a widely different context (too long to detail). Also, physical punishments were a necessity when other systems of punishment (e.g. prison institutions) were not available or even feasible, but not anymore.

    -the conscience/word of God issue. In my view, ultimately we (whatever our religion) , and even if we deny it, will always end up following our conscience. If our religion goes against our conscience, and this conflict cannot somehow be accommodated, we will ultimately follow our conscience and leave our previous religion. This happens every day, for thousands of people . It's only a matter of how severe and permanent the conflict is.

    If humans put their conscience ahead of the Qur'an (and believed that the Qur'an was only written for certain context) then I think we'd begin to see more Muslims using their conscience to believe that things like alcohol and sexual relations outside of marriage are okay as everyone around them is doing the same (as we already are seeing in second and third generation Muslims in Europe).
    I cannot speak for what Muslims would believe or not believe, if they will follow their conscience. In any case, I don't think they would have much of a choice : you cannot force yourself to believe, and you cannot silence your conscience, either
    Therefore, from a truly Muslim perspective (i.e. believing in the fundamentals of the religion) your argument is flawed.
    You are assuming that your perspective is the true Muslim perspective. Other Muslims might disagree. Why should your perspective be preferred to that of other Muslims (let's call them, for simplicity's sake, "modernists") ? you will say that they are not true Muslims, of course... but, again this will be just your opinion

    As for your recent "brainwashing" conclusion. Is it not the case that secularism has also attempted to brainwash people into believing that humans are the ultimate being and God is no longer necessary? And at least religions have books and things as proof of God. Secularism has no concrete proof that there is no God yet it still brainwashes in secular societies from an early age. Discuss that one and I'm sure you'll see the true side of secularism.
    I don't understand why on Earth secularism should produce proof that there is no God. Three points

    -secularism does not claim that there is no God. Secularism maintains that religion and State should be kept rigorously separate. No need of a holy book for that

    -atheists have nothing to prove or disprove. People who claim that their religion is the true religion, or that their 'Holy Book" comes from God, may however attempt to produce some proof (without any success, in my personal opinion)

    -as to "brainwashing", any ideology/religion tries to convince people, to influence society and to install its values as core values. "Brainwashing" is just a colloquial expression indicating a particularly aggressive approach. Secularists/atheists can be just as aggressive as true believers of course

    In conclusion : while some of your arguments are interesting, they do not really address the real issue.

    I will repeat here what the issue was : how would a "liberated" Islam look like ? where should this "liberalization" begin ? what are the prospects it might actually happen ?

    In this sense i made my suggestions, in the form of my "modest proposal"

    Best
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    (Original post by Ayshizzle)
    Yeah, this is probably due to my family originating from Malaysia lol, in comparison to how I see Pakistani Muslims living here it seems an awful lot more lenient. I think there's a state in Malaysia that officially grants conversions from Islam but it's all still a bit of a grey area.
    Very much so.

    With regard to Shariah/secular justice: the Supreme "secular" jurisdiction has ruled that for a Muslim to abandon his/her religion, a decision by a Shariah court is necessary, but no Shariah court will authorize a Muslim to leave Islam, and until you leave Islam you are of course a Muslim, so it is really a Catch-22 situation. As indicated, this is linked also to ethnic issues, since Malays are considered "par force" as Muslims, and the delicate balance between Malays/Chinese/Indians is at the basis of Malaysia's prosperity.

    Yes, I think "multiculturalism" has hindered integration rather than promoted it, but I'm not sure how you would solve that particular problem. You can't stop people from practising their own beliefs/culture etc, but their are definitely "bubbles" forming. I live near Bradford, you can see them all there!
    multiculturalism is in itself a huge subject. We would need to define it precisely : probably, this is not possible just now

    The problem with this "brainwashing" is that it doesn't allow people to think for themselves, as we're taught to just "do it, don't question it" from an early age (I'm an ex- Muslim btw). That's how my parents are, they're what I like to call "zombie Muslims"- they have no idea what they believe in or why they do anything, they're just following what others have told them. So if no-one questions what they're doing how will the bad bits be changed!

    It really gets on my nerves.
    I can understand this, since I come from a solidly Catholic background. I went to a Catholic school, and I never questioned my religion until, at around 12, I had a sort of "Emperor's new clothes" revelation : why on Earth should I believe all these outlandish rituals and dogmas ? is there anything solid, beyond the authority and power of the Church, supporting them ? it lasted for a about one year, and puberty also influenced the process, but I felt a deep sense of liberation in abandoning Christianity.

    I think that most people have this kind of adolescent crisis, many abandon religion, and some simply manage to suffocate their doubts. Some evolve towards a more mature, personal outlook on their religion but, in my experience, these persons are not very numerous.
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    (Original post by The Mr Z)
    I'd say that the biggest issue is the failing of parts of Islam to draw a distinction between what God says and what God said. It's perfectly possible to believe, as the group referenced in the original post do, that the Koran is a perfect and unaltered transcription of the word of God as given to Muhammed at the time he was alive in the Middle East

    However, it is an indefensible position to believe that it is also the word that he would give to Muhammed now, in the modern day in other countries. There is no evidence or justification for that viewpoint.
    That is to believe that God cannot change his mind, or speak in different contexts, or use language appropriate to the time and place to convey a deeper message.
    Agree. However, Muslims believe that, if this kind of reinterpretation will happen, believers will simply go off in all directions, following their particular outlooks and their "personal desires"

    However, why would this be such a disaster ? only if we consider the Ummah as a political body would this split be a disaster, since it would spell a political weakening. As far of the sincerity and vitality of beliefs are concerned, it would probably constitute a blessing.
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    Long story short, I can't speak for all, but it would have been helluva a lot easier to assess, understand and incorporate parts of West into the Muslim world had the Middle East not been left pear shaped.


    Just like our orientalists did to study the Muslim world ages ago back when it had some balls to hold onto.
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    (Original post by prog2djent)
    mariachi, care to include equality for homosexuals and gay marriage to be legalised (but not forced up religious institutions), what about apostasy, and criticism of islam?
    good point

    I had considered including a point on sexual freedom, however:

    -this would have increased my list, up to 10 prescriptions. Not a very good precedent

    -I hesitated on the formulation : something like "Allah is much too busy to care about what two consenting adults do in a bedroom" but this would have been perhaps too wide (e.g. what about incest ?)

    -on gay marriage, again, a vexed question : marriage, partnership ? what about inheritance, alimony, adoption etc ?

    So, I simply ignored the subject (just like I ignored polygamy) : also, I was sure it would be raised by someone. Any ideas ?
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    (Original post by The Mr Z)
    I'm quite intentionally going for grey areas here, I wasn't talking about alcohol.

    To point you more in the direction I'm thinking - many paints, both sprays and brush-ons, use a number of chemical solvents (its how paints work). Solvents are intended to evaporate and hence will be present in the air whenever using paints. If working indoors or an area with insufficient ventilation, it is possible to accidentally, and gradually over time, inhale large amounts of these solvents, and become quite literally high as a kite.

    This means then that paints fall into the category of "intoxicates in a large amount".

    Does this mean Muslims should never use solvent paints? That passage, if as specific as you claim, certainly explicitly says they are forbidden. However it is possible to use them and, with reasonable measures, avoid intoxication.

    (Almost all paints other than water-soluble and oil paints fall into this category, so pretty much anything used for purposes other than canvas. Further things that could have similar effects include all perfumes and forms of make-up, most scented items, all ranges of household and industrial chemicals)
    You're missing the point I think. Islam is meant to be practical. Mainly, Islam is concerned with the intention to do something, certainly in this situation it is. Now, intending to drink alcohol or use drugs recreationally to get intoxicated is completely different from accidentally inhaling solvents when painting, or consuming miniscule amounts of alcohol in bread. If you intend not to drink because you know it's forbidden, but accidentally consume alcohol or any other intoxicant, it's hardly just to be held accountable. So, no it's not counted as a sin. At least, that's how I understand it.
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    (Original post by sabre2th1)
    HOW can you pick and choose though?

    If you KNOW (for instance) that alcohol is forbidden in the Quran, how can you just ignore this by ''picking and choosing'' ? I mean doesn't that mean your directly opposing God?

    The term secular muslim is an oxymoron.
    Since alcohol is being dealt with, I will make another example.

    Let us assume that you watch an execution of an adulterer by stoning , and you are totally disgusted. Your conscience is revolted, and you say ; "I cannot possibly accept this".

    You have these options:

    -you re-examine Islam, consider that stoning is not prescribed by the Quran, but only in hadith, and you decide you will go against 1400 years of majority opinion in Shariah, and disregard the Sahih ahadith which prescribe stoning. At the extreme, you may become a Quran-only Muslim

    -you may become a "modernist". You may say : "then was then, now is now". We must contextualize Islam, and stoning is not the appropriate punishment anymore. Various brands of "modernists" go down this way

    -you may try to wiggle out of the contradiction : "there cannot possibly be 4 witnesses to the sexual act, in any case a person confessing to adultery must be insane, there is no Caliph, there is no true Shariah etc etc...." - pretty pathetic

    -you may say : nothing doing.This is barbaric. Shariah prescribes this. Shariah is essential to Islam. I am leaving Islam

    So, any other solutions in your view ?
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    (Original post by Brutal Honesty)
    With regards to apostasy, some Muslims argue death penalty for apostasy based on hadith. However, the Qur'an unlike the Bible or Torah explicitly guarantees freedom of religion (on earth anyway) by stating there is no compulsion in religion. Qur'an generally trumps hadith as it is the direct word of God so why do so many people think apostasy is punishable by death? In fact, in the hadith people who were sentenced to death after committing apostasy did not only renounce Islam but actively worked against the Muslim community to either harm/destroy it. This means they commited an act of high treason which is punishable by death and referred to as apostasy. .
    There is a long discussion on apostasy/blasphemy/treason/"spreading mischief in the land"/"waging war against Allah" here http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...8#post36847958 . The least one can say is that the whole issue, legally speaking, is an absolute mess.

    As to Quran/ahadith : of course no hadith can go against the Quran, but Muslims usually consider that ahadith will specify the Quran, which could not possibly deal with too many particular cases. So: general rule in the Quran, and exceptions and particular cases in the ahadith.
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    (Original post by NuckingFut)
    As a self professed Islamophobe, who are you to try to alter our beliefs?
    Islamophobe? why, I would very much like to love Islam

    This is why I am suggesting some purposeful modifications.
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    (Original post by Reform)
    I don't even think any Muslim will even contemplate this. I for one would not. Why would I, if I believed the Quran was the truth? Becoming a modernist Muslim is I-M-P-O-S-S-I-B-L-E.
    W-H-Y ?

    there are quite a few "modernist" muslims
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    (Original post by mariachi)
    There is a long discussion on apostasy/blasphemy/treason/"spreading mischief in the land"/"waging war against Allah" here http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...8#post36847958 . The least one can say is that the whole issue, legally speaking, is an absolute mess.

    As to Quran/ahadith : of course no hadith can go against the Quran, but Muslims usually consider that ahadith will specify the Quran, which could not possibly deal with too many particular cases. So: general rule in the Quran, and exceptions and particular cases in the ahadith.
    There were cases of Muslims who left the religion who weren't punished and others in which they were punished but in such cases they had also committed offences.
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    (Original post by mariachi)
    Islamophobe? why, I would very much like to love Islam

    This is why I am suggesting some purposeful modifications.
    Well I dont think you are in any position to suggest any 'purposeful modifications' since you dont even follow Islam.
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    (Original post by Brutal Honesty)
    There were cases of Muslims who left the religion who weren't punished and others in which they were punished but in such cases they had also committed offences.
    agree

    there seems to be no consistent pattern at all

    however, apostasy almost never comes alone (as a charge)

    almost always , it is accompanied by blasphemy, then quite easily by "spreading mischief in the land" (fasad fi al-ardh) or even by "waging war against Allah" (moharebeh)

    there is no clear concept of "treason" in Shariah, just like there is no precise Islamic concept of "blasphemy"

    E.g., this is a summary list of actions which have been considered, in the past, as being acts of blasphemy (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_and_blasphemy

    speaking ill of Allah.[9]
    finding fault with Muhammad.[10][11][12][13][14]
    slighting a prophet who is mentioned in the Qur'an,[15] or slighting a member of Muhammad's family.[16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25]
    claiming to be a prophet or a messenger.[26][27]
    speculating about how Muhammad would behave if he were alive (Nigeria).[28][29]
    drawing a picture to represent Muhammad[12][30][31][32][33] or any other prophet,[12] or making a film which features a prophet (Egypt).[34][35]
    writing Muhammad's name on the walls of a toilet (Pakistan).[36]
    naming a teddy bear Muhammad (Sudan). See Sudanese teddy bear blasphemy case.[37][38][39]
    invoking God while committing a forbidden act.[8]
    speaking againist Islamic leaders.[40
    finding fault with Islam.[41][42][43][44]
    saying Islam is an Arab religion; prayers five times a day are unnecessary; and the Qur'an is full of lies (Indonesia).[45]
    believing in transmigration of the soul or reincarnation or disbelieving in the afterlife (Indonesia).[46][47]
    finding fault with a belief or a practice which the Muslim community (Ummah) has adopted.[46]
    finding fault with or cursing apostles (Rasul or Messenger), prophets, or angels.[46]
    expressing an atheist or a secular point of view[6][20][48][49][50][51] or publishing or distributing such a point of view.[5][20][52][53][54][55][56][57][58][59][60][61]
    using words that Muslims use because the individuals were not Muslims (Malaysia).[25][62][63]
    praying that Muslims become something else (Indonesia).[64]
    whistling during prayers (Indonesia).[65]
    flouting the rules prescribed for Ramadan.[65]
    reciting Muslim prayers in a language other than Arabic (Indonesia).[65]
    consuming alcohol.[65][66]
    gambling.[65]
    being alone with persons of the opposite sex who are not blood relatives.[65]
    finding amusement in Islamic customs (Bangladesh).[67][68][69][70]
    publishing an unofficial translation of the Qur'an (Afghanistan).[71]
    practicing yoga (Malaysia).[72]
    watching a film or listening to music (Somalia).[73]
    wearing make-up on television (Iran).[74]
    insulting religious scholarship.[8]
    wearing the clothing of Jews or of Zoroastrians.[8]
    claiming that forbidden acts are not forbidden.[8]
    uttering "words of infidelity" (sayings that are forbidden).[8]
    participating in non-Islamic religious festivals.[8]
    touching a Qur'an or touching something that has touched a Qur'an because the individuals were not Muslim (Nigeria).[75][76][77][78]
    damaging a Qur'an[79][80][81][82] or other books of importance to Islam, for example, hadith (Pakistan).[46]
    spitting at the wall of a mosque (Pakistan).[83][84]
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    (Original post by NuckingFut)
    Well I dont think you are in any position to suggest any 'purposeful modifications' since you dont even follow Islam.
    since you are a non-nonMuslim, you wouldn't know which modifications could be purposeful in order to induce better relations with non-Muslims
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    (Original post by mariachi)
    since you are a non-nonMuslim, you wouldn't know which modifications could be purposeful in order to induce better relations with non-Muslims
    What a foolish thing to say. Since you are a non muslim:

    1.Firstly, you have no business telling us how to follow our religion

    2.What do you even care?

    3.You cant just 'pick and choose' aspects of a religion. Doesnt it kind of undermine religion in itself? Thats like saying to God: "You told me how to live my life but I think this is better. But I still follow some of your rules because I like them!"

    Anyways, Islam does not need any sort of liberation. Theres nothing wrong with it unless you deliberately shut your eyes and try to interpret it that way.

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