The Hypocrisy and Intellectual Dishonesty of Muslim Polygyny

The right to beat your wife, to have plural wives, to keep slaves and fuck them...

The right to beat your wife, to have plural wives, to keep slaves and fuck them…

I have spent years now reading muslim books and online fora concerning polygyny. One thing is blatantly obvious, and that is the hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty.

Approximately 90% of all texts I’ve read by muslim sources on the subject claim that polygyny is permissible. 70% claim that it is permissible without consent from the wife and without any constraints.

Almost all of these texts quote An Nisa. And almost all of these texts take away the clearly stated condition from the quote. They only say: “you may marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if you fear that you might not be able to treat them with equal fairness, then only one or those your right hand possesses. That is more suitable that you may not incline [to injustice]”, and leave out the condition that this is only permissible if you are caring for orphans and fearing to transgress against them. They obviously think they have a right to decide when things Allah says aren’t important. Maybe they think Allah was rambling, so they can just leave that part out….

This text is a typical example of this. This man (a man of course – who refuses to answer how he would feel if his wife was marrying, loving and fucking other men) says women should not even be allowed to practise the options given to them even by islam to divorce or stipulate in the marriage contract that her husband can not marry plural wives without her consent, but he himself has a right to call Allah a rambler by willfully and continuously leaving half of the quran quote out. This Abdul-Salam Abdul-Hameed obviously believes he has a right to censor Allah, in order to give himself a right to fuck as many women as he wants while destroying his family and the life of his (legal) wife.

The misogyny is disgusting, but the sanctimonious hypocrisy is worse, and I find it strange that people from a muslim perspective don’t find the blasphemy of censoring Allah by always leaving half the quote out, or saying he must have been drunk or mad or something when he stated the condition about the orphans so we needn’t bother about that part, worse than everything else.

But it’s very difficult to find muslims protesting openly. Obviously, they’ve given the right to interpret the words of Allah to the hypocrites.

44 thoughts on “The Hypocrisy and Intellectual Dishonesty of Muslim Polygyny

  1. I can understand why you Fiona and other non muslims protest when only half the quote is out into practice. But I can’t understand why muslims don’t protest too. Especially women. I mean, in every other aspect the Quran is always interpreted literally, but in this one instance the Ummah has chosen to only respect half the text. I have browsed through the site you gave a link to – it’s pathetic. This man is obviously not only a misogynist, he’s uneducated too. He uses the Quran and islam the way a monkey eats dates in a tree….

  2. Are there other examples in islam where the sharia or tradition is based on only half a quote? It would be interesting to know. E.g. why don’t muslims perpetually rub their faces with sand? “But if ye are ill, or on a journey, or one of you cometh from offices of nature, or ye have been in contact with women, and ye find no water, then take for yourselves clean sand or earth, and rub therewith your faces and hands” Why care about the “if” in this quote, but not in the polygamy quote?

  3. Hello Fiona, thanks for this post. Dale Arthur had previously warned me not to take advice about these women-related topics from men. I had talked to a couple of religious men sometime earlier who have a good character, but as soon as I brought these topics up on plural wives (cause of psychological distress and spread of STD on the legal wife, and the conditions to take plural wives), divorce rights, right to maintenance (which I found in the Quran 2:241 verse divorced women are entitled to a reasonable maintenance), child custody, etc, they shut down, or start giving out retorts and call me a feminist.

    They also asked how could I speak against learned scholars, hundreds of them, who spend ten to fifteen years studying the religion. I told them for polygyny in particular the conditions are clearly laid out, one does not need to be a scholar to understand it. And I don’t need to be a scholar, my instincts and the evident suffering of women and children due to one set of rights given over the other is evident as proof. Well, lets just say they shut down here.

    Another man I talked to, asked me what is written in the Quran on it. On that I told him I have plans to study Classical Arabic to further know what is actually in the Quran without having to rely on scholarly translations as well. Anyway, thanks Fiona for your contributions to us.

  4. I find it amazing too. Don’t these scholars know according to Islam they will have to answer before Allah in the Court for this twisting and canceling out of part of verse of the Quran itself and hence creating the suffering and destruction of thousands of homes? No idea. I imagine they also have submissive wives who have to ‘follow’ the husband’s teachings and authority. Or they will be labelled as feminists.

  5. By the way when I spoke on these topics to some women, I surprisingly got a more positive response than I expected. One even got outraged at the evident misogyny. But overall I guess I plan to talk about it with women only to make them more aware of their rights.

  6. My experience exactly. Muslim men certainly don’t want to discuss this issue, and seem to believe “I am right because I am right” to be a strong argument. But I am surprised that the issue isn’t more widely and publicly debated. Why are the “half-a-quotists” allowed to hold the floor?

  7. Apparently because they have spent ten to fifteen years studying Arabic, Fiqh, Tafseer, and all the topics related to the religion with complicated Arabic names. On other topics they answer quite knowledgeably though. Sometimes they seem to ignore their natural instincts and give misguided advice on society-related issues because they want to adhere strictly to text book stuff they have studied. Scholars like Nouman Ali Khan are less of a text adhering scholar. Although I don’t know how this half-a-quote ayah seemed to have slipped.

    I also have trouble trusting Hadith, since they started getting compiled 200 years after the death of the Prophet. Some even have a gap of one generation. Even the ones that don’t have a gap, I don’t know which mindset and interpretation it was noted down with. We are human beings after all. So I am careful even on following Hadith.

    I am sorry to you Fiona, that you are having to spend so much time studying Islam and correcting the parts of Islam that the Muslims have been misguided on, which you may not have bothered with if you didn’t have to face the blows and suffering as a result. Some interpretations you came across though, which are mistaken, is due to the actions of Muslims themselves who covered it up in the name of Islam, which you would have to believe since you are not a Muslim yourself and they can use the opportunity, but we born Muslims can see through. I doubt some of those hypocritical Muslim men and Imams could have fooled us born Muslim women with their statements the way they would do with non-Muslims. An example such as a Muslim man is allowed to lie to his wife to keep the peace, something we born Muslims never heard of.

  8. Exactly!!! Thanks!! This is the great mystery. AND I have never heard an answer to this question from a muslim scholar, or islamic Q&A for that matter.

  9. OMG you guys, so I got up early and was channel surfing around. Ordinarily I wouldn’t watch something like this but I landed on Dr. Phil. The topic was poly-fidelity, which basically is polygamy with a different name I guess. I am watching it now and it’s like me and my ex sitting up there…..the Islamic aspect of it is missing, but of course the Islamic aspect in my own marriage was nothing but bullshit anyway, so there you go.

    http://www.drphil.com/shows/show/665

    I’m sitting here watching this going HOLY SHIT. HO.LY.SHIT. Anyway, thought you guys might find it interesting.

  10. After maybe some debating, the scholars may reply that only divorced women and widows are allowed in plural marriage. Well, I still don’t see the first condition being fulfilled, on having a real and acute fear of not being able to deal justly with the orphans (in plural form). All me and other women are seeing is the men have a real and acute fear of having wandering eyes and hence going for an affair.

    Anyway, to all those who become second or third or so wife in Muslim polygyny, remember at the very least you are being considered as an orphan. Who is pretty much helpless. So you are given food and shelter and protection. Half the time, but half is better than none, which you are most likely in, out of sympathy and compassion. Sorry. But even then the first condition does not seem to be fulfilled.

  11. Fiona, you’re back! I’m so glad 🙂 I have missed you so much. It’s strange how somebody you know only through a blog can become an important friend.
    And you’re pregnant! I will make duaa that all is well with you and your child 🙂 So Mark is handling it ok? It must be an awfully difficult situation for him. I am impressed by your strength Fiona. I am still trying to finish my Master, but my husband’s illness has made things a bit difficult. I don’t know if I told you before your break, but my husband was taken ill in October and it turns out he has lupus. He’s a lot better now, but still has bouts of pain, hairloss and rashes. He’s still planning on going through with the wedding though, he just had to put if off for a bit. So I’m hanging on. Lots of Love, Jenn

  12. But I don’t understand why people accept polygamy as permissible when it is not? Why isn’t shariah challenged on this?? And can anybody please help me find any moderate muslim websites where I can get advice from others than Saudis? Is there a good Q&A somewhere where I can get sound advice from modern, liberal muslims who want to live islam but not conservative or salafi?

  13. Olivia, I thought about why Muslims don’t strongly protest against misinterpretation of Quran. Maybe because of nature of the religion most practicing Muslims especially women come from a certain personality type or are conditioned to be someone who wouldn’t question status quo. The people who realize or understand the misogyny, they just distance themselves from Islam. Islam also preaches that being a good Muslim is all about submitting to Allah and not reading Quran with any doubt in their mind or with an intention to find faults in religion. So maybe most practicing Muslims are automatically the people especially women who feel strong need to submit to everything including polygamy and consider that an obligation to become a good Muslim. Many of these people might seriously be trying to please Allah by accepting pain that polygamy brings. Most importantly, saying anything against polygamy will mean criticizing Prophet Muhammad’s lifestyle. Any practicing Muslim will not believe that their Prophet did something that is unfair to women.

  14. Self deception is sometimes a way to handle a situation you can’t control. My “co-wife” Ana is a disturbed personality. My husband Alex tells me she almost never leaves the house, this is also why she couldn’t hold down a job. She doesn’t get dressed, she just eats tv-dinners and watches videos. She won’t let anybody in the house so they can never have guests. We have a lot of friends and an open house, with our friends and my children’s friends often spending time here. With her, it’s all videos and prayers. Alex says he feels a bit like Mr Rochester, with the mad wife upstairs. As for me, I’m happy the way things are. I have my me-time and I have a husband. I can understand why Ana chooses to believe it’s all about sex. I mean, she can’t even use the word 😉 That we are best friends, happy and out and about with friends and family, no I can see why she doesn’t want to know. It’s up to her. I pity the woman. And so does Alex. They’ve just been on a vacation and when Alex came home he said “Never again”. Obviously she refuses to go out and talk to people, swim, go for walks. She is agoraphobic according to Alex. He feels so sorry for her. It’s OK.

  15. Hello All,
    There follows a link to a blog that I used to read quite a bit. http://musfem.wordpress.com/

    The blog owner is Muslim, goes by the name Metis, and has gotten together a large group of intelligent women who do not live in fear. I’m not able to read her blog much these days, but I’m glad to know that she is there, and doing the work she is doing.

    Mariam. I’ve been thinking about the exchange we had about who to share one’s ideas with. I hope we can talk about it again, I’m a little overwhelmed at the moment with obligations, but as soon as I’ve freed up some mental space, I hope we can talk about it again. Your courage is an inspiration to me.

    And thanks Unchained for that link to the Dr. Phil spot. It’s amazing how despite male perogative, some men can still manage to portray themselves as the victim, because they are not getting more than their fair share enough.

  16. Welcome back Carolinah! I agree that Ana seem like a disturbed personality and we discussed elsewhere on this blog where I too said that I pity her. However, anything your polygamous husband tells you should be taken with grain of salt. Who knows he is happy to have two women competing for his attention and company. He might have enjoyed the vacation and might be saying never again to please you. If Ana is acting abnormally then your husband is responsible for some of that behavior. If you are freely expressing your thoughts about personality flaws of Ana you shouldn’t hide your husband Alex’s role. I think he I fully responsible for destructive online behavior of Ana.

  17. While I agree with your assessment of Ana, I need a teensy bit more convincing that you are THE Carolinah (though I really hope you are!)

    Obviously, Ana’s version is different, but I suppose that’s to be expected.

  18. Carolinah,
    I get that most of us are using a screen name, and none of us knows who we really are. But using the screen names for myself and my husband that have been assigned to us in a melodrama by a co-wife that hates me? That seems weird to me.

    In any case, like the others, I’m curious too. Can you fill us in a little on a few facts about Ana. Is she really a retired police detective? (i.e., how does a detective develop agoraphobia…) And do you know anything about the Wali that she is always talking about? And if “Alex” as you also call him, feels like Mr. Rochester, how do you respect a man that sustains a sick painful relationship with a spouse?

  19. I guess you are right on this. People especially women being conditioned to not question status quo. And most importantly, questioning polygamy means questioning the Prophet’s lifestyle. Truthfully I don’t know my own journey. By the way when people accept or reject faith, it is more based on their own spiritual and emotional connection to God than any logical reasons. I myself am a religious Muslim woman, who feels a living connection with God. Pushes and urges from within to go about a certain way at times, which could be from no one except the one Almighty, the Creator of living beings and nature, not my instincts, which I naturally feel so. This is what is mainly keeping me going. Also in Islam, there are many science-related verses whose validity have been proven, regarding the universe creation (lke big bang theory), on stars, plants, and many more, which I verified as well.

    To tell about me, I personally respect people of a variety of backgrounds and beliefs, although I adhere well to my own religion and practise regularly the parts of religion required from me. Nobody has forced me to be a certain way. I am living by myself in a foreign country far away from family and relatives. I consider myself as a good person in general, who can also be quite outspoken at times.

    So yeah, with everything else that I find peace and contentment with, the factor about women being belittled has indeed bothered me alot. Like I said, I handpick Hadith more nowadays, particularly the ones related to women and marriage. As for the Quran, I intend to find out more by myself. Which I am doing already and will take time. Something that has given me a lot of peace and joy inside I am not willing to give away so easily, rather investigate further to know the truth. This is for me and people who may feel the same way, others don’t need to feel in any other way, such as the non-Muslims.

    One thing I know, is that we are no longer living in the times of rooted inequality all over the world and human rights. It is time to address the laws further and to change them to be more befitting of human rights and equality. For muslim polygyny following the two conditions strictly and being more aware of emotional justice to women for the second condition. Or eliminating polygamy all together in Muslim society as it is something that can easily be abused in spouses and children even with the slightest injustice in any way, so to protect society and their feelings of trust, emotions and security and to prevent loopholed criminal behaviour.

    To ask why Islam didn’t straightforward prohibit some actions, as an example, I would say Islam didn’t prevent slavery as it was deep rooted in the past, but started steps towards it, such as increasing slaves rights, giving them the same food and clothing as the masters, and being rewarded by Allah in the world and Hereafter for freeing slaves, more the better. With the change of mindset, with time, slavery was totally abolished eventually. I feel with our evolved and progressing society, old laws which are inhuman now need to be changed or cancelled all together, replaced by new laws. This is more suited so we don’t stay stuck in the past civilisation and mindset.

  20. Interesting questions Dale. And yeah, if ‘Carolinah’ can fill up further, it would be good.

    By the way thanks for the compliment in your earlier comment. I needed it. It gets exhausting though. Being human tied with regular obligations, and facing truth mixed with lies, which I am trying to sift through. At the end though I feel more empowered, and the people surrounding me are also empowered, and able to make better choices. And I am closer to the truth, as in for me. This is what leads me forward.

    Thanks for the link on muslim feminist blog, I will check it more. I feel if the world have more feminists, particularly knowledgeable feminists, the world would be a better place.

    By the way Dale, if you don’t mind me asking, how come you are interested in spending so much time reading on Islam and position of women in Islam? Sorry for being curious. I just want to know. I appreciate your insights and wisdom in this blog a lot.

  21. So do you believe all the teachings came from Allah including special exemption for Prophet Muhammad on who he can marry and how many wives he can have. In Sikh religious book there are referenced to creation of universe and Big Bang theory. There is nothing that contradicts science and Sikh scriptures specially talk about equality and question why a woman should be considered lesser than man. Many practicing Sikhs are still caught up in culture and patriarchy but I find that religion is so at the best in terms of being just and equal for all mankind. Their prayers end with wishing well for all mankind. It’s still a relatively new religion but I see a lot of controversies about what is part of the scripture what truly came from the founder and what was introduced later on. I am mentioning this to make the point that if a newer religious texts can get corrupted and older region has more probability of getting influenced by people who passed it from generation to generation. I know that Muslims believe no body can alter the Quran because it’s protected by Allah. I wonder where that Ida came from. I like that you use religion to feel connection with God. I understand the context if slavery, wife beating or permitting 4 wives all these were a step to limit the larger extent of human right abuses so that these can eventually disappear. I however have lots of doubts and have a hard time believing Muhammad given the life he lived. To me personally it seems like a patriarchal man making things up. Why would God want to give messages related to prophets wives. God the creator of nature and humans are just a small part of creation why God wouldn’t give detailed messages about species other than humans. Why wouldn’t God mention important things like how human beings should respect and protect nature he plants, wildlife, water, soil and all. I think anything that revolves too much around humans came from human a mind. No offense to anyone. Buddhism and Sukhism are two religions I know that go beyond humans. Please let me know of the verses from Quran that talk about universe and anything other than how humans should live who they should marry and have sex with. How many times they should prey and how they should submit to Allah.

  22. Again, please excuse my typos typing in hurry from my phone. I hope you all get the message.

  23. Hello Mariam,
    Your question gave me a big smile, and then I had to really think about it. I’ve been interested in religion for a long time, and cults, and why people join cults, and what the difference is between a cult and a religion. But then I had to think about what drives that interest.

    I’m at mid-life now. Lots of things haven’t worked out well, and I’ve had some big disappointments. Some of my expectations have been completely wrecked on a beach. So I’ve had to think about my ideas as an outsider would, not as someone who is driven by them; trying to get an image of what I’ve been driving at, what I expected etc… I’ve experienced bitterness thinking about ways that I feel I was treated in my family. And this has caused me to ask myself such questions as ‘what did you want,’ ‘how did you expect to be treated’ ‘why do you believe you were owed certain things’ etc…

    I feel that I was treated by my parents as if I existed to be a utilitarian cog in some machine somewhere, and that whatever I was, either it didn’t count, and or it wasn’t good enough, and that I should instead manufacture some way of being that was the correct way. Whatever that manufactured way was, I was never going to be able to do it, because it wasn’t me. I’ve done lots of things in pursuit of fantasy goals. When those goals don’t materialize, and you are left with half burned sticks, you start wondering what exactly you were in pursuit of.

    I am trying to end an unmarried relationship with a man, who is apparently sharing his time with someone else, and I haven’t arrived at ending it. I know Fiona won’t laugh, since I told her privately I was going to end it, and if I’m still talking about it, then I obviously haven’t ended it. But the problem is, I say one thing, I commit myself to one thing, and then when I see him, it is almost as if a wholly different personality steps out of me and takes over.

    I really can relate to some of the monotonous things these polygynous wives say. “A part of a good husband is better than a whole bad husband.” I think what they are really saying is “the misery of sharing your husband is less than the misery of being alone.” Well, whatever arduous path it takes, I’m going to find out.

    In response to these issues, and in the matter of religion, I got interested in Mormonism, and other fringe attachments. I had been reading about Mormonism for a long time when the FLDS was raided in Texas a few years back, not for polygamy, but for the marrying off of underage girls, and for questions about how children were being treated. That got me very absorbed in the issue of polygamy mainly from the standpoint of loss, and how you live with it, and why women go along it. A former FLDS polygamous husband wrote “Polygamy is the biggest hoax ever foisted on women.”

    But the thing that drives me the most, is the sense I have that we create our own misery, and then expect someone else to alleviate it for us. The abuses that have taken place in the FLDS, the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints, the self-appointed original and polygamous Mormons, have landed numerous high status men in jail. But in my opinion, it is the women who made this abuse possible. How? By this monotonous repeating of religious mantras, by believing that the afterlife will reward them for miseries in this life, and by believing that their role in life is to be a jewel in the man’s crown. (That is the FLDS equivalent of being a pure pearl for the husband.) It is women who keep the hoax going.

    I hope this isn’t too vague, because I honestly don’t know the exact answer to your question. Take care Mariam.

  24. “the misery of sharing your husband is less than the misery of being alone.” – how I can relate to that! Dear Dale, you are not alone in your plight. I do believe fear of being alone was part of my decision to stay. But it was also fear of letting go of a huge part of my life. Mark has been part of me since I was little more than a child. He knows what I have known, lost what I have lost. Letting go of him would have been letting go of my parents all over again, being able to share memories of them with somebody who knew and loved them. Letting go of half my life.
    I couldn’t do it.
    I am not the least surprised that you’re still in this relationship. Honestly Dale, do you want it to be over? What do you see happening in your future? You are an extremely strong, intelligent, empathic woman. You will eventually know what you must do.
    Women are the abusers. Yes. We are the enablers. Yes.

  25. It will take time to for me to absorb and understand what you have shared but thank you for your profound reply to Mariam. I do not have any similar or close experience so i don’t have much to say 😦
    Hope you will get all the answers that you are trying to find.

  26. Hello Laila, for us Muslims the Quran by itself has not changed at all, throughout the ages, no matter which manuscript is brought forward, unlike the Hadith and other texts. Allah has promised to be the Quran’s guardian, and that no falsehood shall come to the Quran itself [15:9, 41:42]. This is why I have plans to study it in the original Arabic form, without the misguided translations occuring occasionally.

    The scientific verses are just the tip of the iceberg. There are a lot more, which were verified centuries later. Also Prophet Muhammad was an illiterate man himself, known so by everyone. He used to meditate, but that is all. Yet he was able to give a complete manuscript like the Quran whose literary text is the excelled version of the entire Arabic, and it’s poetic verses. There is even a challenge in the Quran to write a chapter like it [2:23] but no living being can write even a few lines of its text. Us Muslims grew up with a lot of benefits of Islam beyond that of ordinary worship, so us being attached to Islam has more to do with than being forced to behave in a certain way or fed empty words overall. Islam I know is likened with a cult. Yeah some teachings from modern preachers does make it sound that way, but in reality a lot of us are simply attached to the religion on our own free will rather than being threatened on it. Most of us are not living under patriarchal Shariah laws like in Saudi Arabia etc, so whether we choose to follow this religion or not nobody can actually do anything about it, except families being upset or so.

    With all that being said, some teachings did manage to give a whole lot more emphasis on patriarchy than expected. I can’t answer on that, since I am learning Islam on my own now with less influence from preachers except some trusted ones. I am figuring out whether it is a two-way street or people translated in that one-end way. Or the meaning behind the authority on the man, if he is given so in situations.

    I probably can’t answer any further. But this blog did open my eyes to what is going on in the world. Whether I face polygamy or not for myself (which I am hoping not to and want a truly soulful partnership with my future husband), there is a lot others who are suffering as a result. If I was more learned I could have answered further your questions, which I can’t for now.

  27. What you said made a lot of sense to me except that Quran is guarded by Allah. Your description of Muhammad sound very familiar as I have heard similar descriptions of founders of other religions. They did not have formal education and were able to write, recite and some also sang or played musical instruments better than any professionals. Many were best warriors, born leaders and knew all about the mysteries of universe. I want to believe those descriptions and yours too. Many of the religious people also tell that their religion or prophet is the only true one and the only way to reach God. More I learn about religions more I see many similarities in all religions and religious people. I do not feel any connection to any of the religions or religious people.

  28. Hi Mariam,

    Can you expound on what this means:

    ” There is even a challenge in the Quran to write a chapter like it [2:23] but no living being can write even a few lines of its text.”

    I honestly don’t get this. I mean, I can sit down with Surah Al-Fatiha and re-write it without difficulty. Maybe not in Arabic, it’s true, but only because I don’t have a good grasp of the language nor the written alphabet (though I can read Arabic if it’s not all fancy calligraphy). In English I can re-write it any way I choose.

    I’ve heard it said many times that the Qur’an is unchanged through the centuries, but really, how do we really know this? People have said it about the Christian Bible too but it definitely has been altered to suit whatever sect of Christianity. An example of this is found with Jehovah’s Witnesses. Calling them a sect of Christianity is up for debate, again depending on who you ask. Many call them a cult. Anyway, the verse is about Jesus dying on the cross and speaking to the two thieves he was being crucified alongside. One of them asked Jesus to remember him when he, Jesus, goes to heaven. Presumably this thief thought he was bound for hell or something. Jesus turned to him and said “truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (paraphrased, probably).

    Jehovah’s Witnesses have their own bible. In it, this phrase reads, “truly I tell you today, you will be with me in Paradise” (again, probably paraphrased).

    The difference is subtle yet profound. The comma placement changes the entire meaning of the response Jesus gave the thief. Jehovah’s witnesses believe in a waiting period before souls ascend to Heaven (like purgatory in Catholicism I guess?) and the words of Jesus to the thief give credence to their beliefs; it could be that their beliefs about the afterlife are founded as a whole or in part on this very verse.

    I don’t know what role if any that punctuation plays in Arabic and the Qur’an, but if there is any, you can see how punctuation placement can alter the meaning of a verse even if the words given are verbatim. And anyone with a typewriter, a pen, a pencil, a crayon, a stick in the sand, a pair of hands or a mouth can give messages. Whether they are word for word exact as they were given to the messenger is a matter of debate, and ultimately of faith.

    I believe the Qur’an is just as vulnerable to “the game of Telephone” as Hadith, or any other message passed from person to person.

  29. I need to make some corrections with regard to JW’s. They don’t believe in Heaven, at least not in the celestial sense. They believe Heaven is right here on earth and that no one goes to heaven until the promise of the New Heaven and New Earth comes to fruition as given in the book of Revelation. Which is why there is that waiting period, as indicated by Jesus when he spoke to the thief with the strategically placed comma. Ok carry on…lol

  30. Maryam!
    //Yet he was able to give a complete manuscript like the Quran whose literary text is the excelled version of the entire Arabic, and it’s poetic verses. There is even a challenge in the Quran to write a chapter like it [2:23] but no living being can write even a few lines of its text.//
    muslims + non muslims don’t understand what this challenge means (producing a chapter like it)? what is there in quran that is so extra ordinary? if it is its literary marvel than isn’t it subjective?
    i think Nouman Ali khan has done a great job. Even though i am skeptic i have enjoyed his lectures on nature of Quran, i hope you have heard him. personally i find these lectures interesting and if you have time i will suggest you to go through these lectures.


    Laila!
    as far as the adulteration of Quran is concerned, muslims have enough reasons to believe it is preserved.
    number 1 reason is it’s oral tradition. there are millions of people who have memorized whole quran cover to cover. (even i remember a major portion of it). Should anyone alter a syllable of the original text of the Quran, these Huffaz would at once expose the mistake. i can do it too, for the portion i have memorized.
    and more over two of the original manuscripts of the Quran prepared 1400 years ago still exist today; one is in the Topkapi Saray Museum in Istanbul, Turkey, and the other in Tashkent, Russia. Both of these are identical in content with the Quran available all over the world today. So, we can argue if the Quran is revealed to Prophet(SAW) or he himself has written it, but it’s preservation is not debatable on our end.

    though i am struggling with my religion, i don’t have any issue with it’s corollories. it is the most fundamental concept of religion i am confused about (Does the God Exist? and what is the scientific evidence for its existence?) i have argued with my atheist friends on second part and have realized that i am not asking the right question because science has not answered all the cosmological questions. and they are yet to understand the nature of dark matter and dark energy. when science will discover every thing than this question may be valid.

    // Why would God want to give messages related to prophets wives. God the creator of nature and humans are just a small part of creation why God wouldn’t give detailed messages about species other than humans.//
    i think it is an open ended question. only God can answer this question since you have sikh background you will judge islam through that and this is what muslims do.
    anyways only God (if exists) can tell why he has created us and what he wants us to do here. and if rest of the species matters to him or not. sikhism gives one answer and Islam gives another. And Objectively neither one of those can be termed right.
    (for me, there are many philosophical questions that need to be adrressed. number 1 is when we minus God from the equation do we still have an objective moral standard that transcends our socio-biological constraints?)

  31. //And Objectively neither one of those can be termed right.//
    sorry i wanted to say, neither one of those answers is better than other one objectively. it is just the matter of what resonates with you philosophically and spiritually.
    Maryam. i find this one interesting check this out when you have time.

  32. first part of linguistic miracle.

    listen it if you are interested and want to understand what muslims mean when they say quran is the ultimate literary work in Arabic.

  33. Hey guys,

    Sorry for the late response, I was busy with work related stuff before. Still am though. You guys raised some interesting questions. Thanks to you all I am trying to learn more of my own religion as well.

    @Unchained, when the challenge of the Quran is talked about, it is presenting a challenge to people to produce a unique chapter other than the Quran which has the same high level of perfection of the literary style, poetic style, and at the same time conveying information and future prophesies. Many attempts have been made by people, but they still don’t compare to the Quran in any way, just to confuse people who are not as well versed in the Quran. The Quran is written in the Quraish dialect, which is the tribe of Prophet Muhammad in Mecca. About the Quran being lost, there are still a couple of ancient copies of the Quran in the world which is the same as today’s Quran. People used to memorize verses of the Quran back in the Prophet’s day and later as well, so the verses were all compiled together after they were revealed. People also used to write down the verses revealed. So there is very little chance of the Quran being distorted, if any.

    @Laila, the question on Islam and it’s message. The thing is, the fundamental message of Islam never really changed, since the time of Adam Allah has been sending the same message on Monotheism; to worship one God, who is Eternal. The Prophet Muhammad is the last of the line of Messengers. He came mainly to erase the misconceptions formed by people in the earlier centuries on God, and in Surah Ikhlas it is also revealed God has no son or daughter nor is He born from anyone, and there is none like Him. Also Islam formed laws in society to implement the moral views of people. On charity, every person above a minimum monetary possession has to give a small percentage of their assets in the form of zakah to the poor and the needy. On chastity, people are asked to lower or protect their gaze and to guard their modesty, men and women both, Good deeds include righteous and moral deeds, whose value is 10 to 700 times than of a bad deed, so people are encouraged to do more of good deeds to erase their bad. So yeah, the views of Islam are practically implemented in the society.

    I agree beyond these normal laws in Islam, the Shariah system in tyhe Muslim countries have got several wrong views mixed up and then forcibly implemented, which is unfair and does the reverse action on the society.

    @Saad, thanks for the video clips, I will watch it soon when I can.

    Hope you guys are doing well. By the way just to let you know, my opinions that I present on my behalf, people are free to take what they want, and leave what they don’t. Just saying. So people won’t feel I am trying to pressure anyone into anything. Unless a fundamental concept of my religion is talked about, or other factors, which I may speak up on.

  34. Hey Dale, thank you so much on your response, and sorry for the delay. Like Laila said, it indeed is profound. I myself haven’t faced the experiences you did. I am younger than you though, much younger in a way (although I think we put too much emphasis on age, except that it brings new experiences).

    Thanks for filling on your side of story, I am definitely honored to hear it. I respect your views very much. I really hope things work out the way you want to. Also the fact that you are able to see outside of yourself and ask questions is respectable by itself.

    I wish you peace and happiness in your own journey, Dale. Through your own journey, you are educating others as well, me included.

  35. Saad, I just spent more than 2 hours watching these videos. He is a good speaker. The last one video i kept waiting a waiting for the miracle part. Then in the end came the part where he explained that measure of a literature is through its influence on people and he described how Quran in a short time period influenced the way people lived. Their everyday routine, dress … so on. I then started reading the English translation of Quran and thinking if people all told Allah is all powerful and everything is in Allah’s control. The believers who submit to him will go to heaven and disbeliever will burn in Hellfire. If people are told they will burn in hellfire and to avoid hellfire they are changing their life their routine praying 5 times a day. Is that a literary miracle’s influence or is it fear tactic thats working. I know they very fact that i am questioning these makes me someone who will be labelled as disbeliever hence unable to understand Quran. So there is no point discussing all this. Just to let you know that i don’t mean any offense to anyone’s religious views i want to share that I personally don’t believe any stories of Sikh religion that involve miracles. (I am not religious but my parents are Sikh).
    Saad, A couple of years ago, I used to be in similar position like you described that you are skeptic but… I am a skeptic but I liked listening to charismatic speakers talking about how great Sikhism is…. I have now reached at a state of mind where i don’t feel overly proud of all the great values of my parents’ religion or my culture. I am proud of where i come from and the values i learned from my religious parents but i also understand that people of other religions and cultures feel equally proud of theirs and can have as good reasons as mine for feeling that way.

  36. I come from a mixed background, my father was CofE, my mother RC although none of them very active. I myself am an agnostic, admittedly influenced by an upbringing where religion was a presence but not a way of life. I grew up in our library, encouraged to read whatever I managed to encompass, as far as religion was concerned my parents applauded skepticism, our family priest’s was a religion of acquiescence. So the religion I grew up with was the religion of renaissance humanism mixed with Feuerbach, Mill and Kierkegaard. Am I proud of that? I must admit, I am proud to belong to a creed that declares the equality and equal rights of all mankind. No man has ever brought a larger idea into this world. I am proud too that this creed of mine does not twist or warp the concept of wanting for my brother what I want for myself or doing to my neighbour what I would have done unto myself, but believes these truths valid as they stand, without the sick twists and turns religion in general and islam in particular adds to them. Yes, of this I am proud.

  37. Laila! my bad. last video was actually the first part of lecture. i shared the second part earlier i think you have watched second part first.
    // If people are told they will burn in hellfire and to avoid hellfire they are changing their life their routine praying 5 times a day. Is that a literary miracle’s influence or is it fear tactic thats working.//
    i think you have missed the point. only a believer will fear hell fire(and their is difference between muslim and believer). so i am wondering what made them believe in the first place?
    NO questioning Quran does not make any body Kaafir. their is difference between non muslim and kaafir. kaafir is a rebel who has learnt the truth and it became clear to him and then he rejects it. skeptic muslims + non muslims are not kaafirs.
    Anyhow it is a point less discussion.

  38. “@Unchained, when the challenge of the Quran is talked about, it is presenting a challenge to people to produce a unique chapter other than the Quran which has the same high level of perfection of the literary style, poetic style, and at the same time conveying information and future prophesies”

    Mariam,

    Okay, I understand that better now. But “perfection of the literary style, poetic style” is somewhat subjective, isn’t it? I feel the Hindu scriptures, the Vedas, is the pearl of spiritual texts. Unfortunately, much like the Qur’an with the follow-up Hadiths, the Vedas did not survive without attributing “expansions” of sorts – in the case of Hinduism you have Upanishads and Sutra for example. However, the Vedas are in and of themselves intact, with very ancient texts still in existence, just like the Qur’ans you and Saad speak of. I’ve read some of them and heard them recited in Sanskrit (which is an astoundingly beautiful language).

    To me, what is closely related to the Vedas is the Akashic Records, which is not a text at all, but is a volume of knowledge on a higher plane. I believe it exists; many do not. There isn’t much information on these, as one would have to be on the level of an Edgar Cayce to begin to comprehend it.

    I’m no scholar of religious literature; I only know what resonates with me personally. My own path does not require a book 🙂

  39. Saad, you said only the believer will fear the hell fire. This means all believers in Quran i.e. all Muslims must fear Hellfire. How sad that such a large number of people live their life based on this fear. Its really bad parenting on part of the creator/Allah/God. Do this otherwise you will get spanked. If there is a super natural, all powerful being who created this universe and have control on everything then that being is much bigger than these small ideas and have much higher level of thinking than using fear tactic to make people behave a certain way. A thinking like this cannot come from a merciful, all powerful God. When I read about concept of heaven in Quran, its clearly what a person living in a desert will imagine as heaven i.e. a garden under which rivers flow! I see many similar signs of all the messages coming from a man not from creator of the universe.

    Most polygamous men do not act like they fear Hellfire. I think its because deep down they know/believe that its all BS. Its the brainwashed women who buy these ideas and men want them to continue believing this because it helps them keep the women submissive and loyal to them while they can legally cheat. Also, its convenient to blame everything on Shaitan whispering than deal with the jealousy, conflict resulting from polygyny.

  40. Hi Fiona, You
    I liked reading about your family. You were lucky to get such a great environment growing up. At the same time i also thought how traumatic it would have been for you to see your husband change and force polygamy on you 😦
    You said “I must admit, I am proud to belong to a creed that declares the equality and equal rights of all mankind.”
    I too grew up learning and believing in equality and justice. Thanks to my parents religion which teaches “Recognize all mankind as one race”. My husbands parents are from a different religion. Its my parents religion that helped them happily accept my inter-faith marriage.
    The complete verse is
    “Some are Hindus and others are Muslims; someone is raafjee (follower of Ali);
    others are Imam-Shafi (adherents of the Prophet); Recognize the whole of human race as one.”
    Its in a poetic form but the translation doesn’t rhyme so the same meaning or effect cannot be felt as it is in the original verse. This is why i understand what Muslims mean when they say you should read the Quran in Arabic if you really want to understand the literary value of Quran. I may not agree with everything said in Quran but i don’t reject people’s claim about Quran being a great piece of literature. From what little i have heard in Arabic especially music, it sounds beautiful.
    When my grandmother learned that my husband is someone from a different faith (she being older and very religious, i had doubts about how she would feel about it). She just recited a verse from Sikh scripture which meant all human beings are equal and added “So what if he is from a different religion and speaks a different language, everyone is made of same flesh and blood. Don’t worry about relatives being critical of your decision. Just do what brings happiness in your life.” I love my grandma 🙂

  41. Fiona,
    What is the main difference between CofE and RC. I see that religion wasn’t a way of life for your parents but it might be for your grandparents. How was it like growing up with parents and grandparents from different churches. I am asking these questions because my husband and i are not religious but our parents are. I sometimes wonder how our kids will feel growing up in non-religious home with their parents coming from two different religions. We dont have any kids yet but this is something that i wonder about. My husband and i believe in gender equality so we didn’t find it necessary for me to change my name to add his last name to mine like the tradition is but we will have to make a decision about whose name our children will carry. Taking father’s last name is also a part of patriarchal system that i don’t believe in so i wouldn’t want to do same. I am sure there will be many people in similar situation. i wonder how they name their children. Did your father and mothers churches use different naming system. How did you parents name you and how did they keep a balance between keeping your grandparents in your lives but not letting either side to try influence you or try to force their church’s values on you.
    ps: Earlier i used to think that all Christians are same. I now understand that marrying into a different church is as big a deal as my inter-religion marriage was for my rural, religious community.

  42. Ha ha, bet you had NO idea how difficult this question is to answer!! (Since I believe you’re not British) Well, here goes. My mother was the daughter of a peer of the realm. So she had a family name that was not the same name as the name her father went by, which was his title. When she married my father, she retained the title of a daughter of a peer, but assumed my fathers family name. My father was Mr X when they married, however when my paternal grandfather died, my father became Sir X X, but my mother, being the daughter of a peer, still kept the title as such but with the baronetcy of my father added. Had she only been his wife, she would still have been a lady, but not Lady Name Name, but Name, lady Name. 🙂 I don’t expect you to understand that, I believe nobody does 😀 I’m named after my maternal grandmother, with the honorary (estate) name of an eldest son in my mother’s family as my middle name, and I chose to take my husband’s family name added to my own when we married. He would have loved to take my name too, and in England it’s common nowadays that a couple upon marriage simply choose the family name they like best. That however is not possible among the gentry, since names/titles are protected. Both my parents viewed religion as tradition more than a way of life. My mother’s family were cavaliers and if you know anything about English history you can tell by my name here that it has to do with my family history 🙂 It was important to keep up family traditions and obligations, religion to them wasn’t really a question of faith.

  43. Your grandma sounds like a wonderful person! I have always found Sikh to be one of the humanist religions. I often find religious writings compelling, and of course they were written to spellbind. The Bible is beautiful too, Song of Songs being my favourite part.

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