More on 34 of 52 Trip Around The Sun The followers of Islam - Muslims
Some things left out (forgotten) for last week’s visit with the Muslims. There was no music – none at all. After the talk, there was about five minutes of special prayer. The men did this – and moved from mild gestures of bowing the head – to full bended bowing to the floor over and over. We’ve all seen this kind of bowing – but it was interesting to see the organization of it – with a leader at the front.
Thoughts and findings during the week:
“The Kabbalists mention the transformation of Niobe (mentioned in the Old Testament) into a marble statue, and of Prophet Lot’s wife into a pillar of salt. Others have referred to a literal transformation of Jews into monkeys and pigs.”
“No, the real reason is that God is punishing
“The president (Clinton) tacitly endorsed action against the good Shiekh of the north, and airpower was used to bomb a bit in the sheikh's region.”
“Islam is Arabic for surrender or submission. Muslim means one who submits. For many non-Muslims, the word Muslim is synonymous with angry mobs and suicidal bombers. Such stereotyping of Muslims is patently wrong. Most Muslims are ordinary, peace-loving people with their own set of dreams and problems and should be treated with the same respect we give to any other fellow human being.”
(But essentially all of these Muslims carry the dangerous belief that their religion is the only correct one, as do essentially all of the Mormons.)
“Let me also say that I can identify with Muslims around the world who are angry and upset because of the USA’s glaring acceptance of moral evil (Bill Clinton) — which multitudes of Americans not only cultivate within their own borders, but also export internationally. No wonder Muslims are upset!”
don’t understand, of course, that adultery is legal in all fifty of our states
– for very good reasons. This decision has been universal among our states –
(What Americans actually export is the idea of personal freedom – not moral evil – but the agency to do moral evil. There is a big difference. God also believes in this agency. There should never be any official punishment for adultery – only that punishment meted out by one’s mate – or by voters when they vote. There should be no public money spent on trials or investigations of legal activities. We Americans are probably the most free people on Earth – it would be of great value to keep it that way.)
Read the following for an example of attitudes toward idolatry, for example:
WHAT THE QUR’AN SAYS. The familiar term jihad, often translated holy war, literally means struggle. Many Muslims emphasize that jihad is about struggling against evil desires and, if necessary, defending one’s homeland and religious heritage. "Fight for the sake of God those that fight against you, but do not attack them first. God does not love the aggressors. Slay them wherever you find them. Drive them out of the places from which they drove you.
Idolatry is more grievous than bloodshed....
(In our country of
Fight against them until idolatry is no more and God’s religion reigns supreme.
(Qur’an 2:190-192) [Note: Qur’anic quotes from N.J.Dawood’s English translation (The Koran, Penguin Books, UK, 1993)]. A favorite verse of moderate Muslims is 2:256 which says: "Let there be no compulsion in religion. True guidance is now distinct from error." Militant Muslims, however, will point you to numerous Qur’anic texts where Muhammad (as Allah’s spokesman) commands his followers to fight and subdue all who resist Islam. What leads young men to volunteer to die for the privilege of killing others "for the cause of Allah"? Could it have something to do with the fact that Islam offers no certain hope of heaven to any of its adherents, with one exception? Consider these few Qur’anic verses...
for those who are slain in the cause of God, He will not allow their works to
perish. ... He will admit them to the
· "Let those who would exchange the life of this world for the hereafter, fight for the cause of God; whether he dies or triumphs, We shall richly reward him. ... The true believers fight for the cause of God, but the infidels fight for the devil. Fight then against the friends of Satan ..." (4:74,76)
· "The believers who stay at home––apart from those that suffer a grave impediment––are not the equals of those who fight for the cause of God with their goods and their persons. God has given those that fight with their goods and their persons a higher rank than those who stay at home ..." (4:95,96)
· "Slay the idolaters wherever you find them. ... lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way ..." (9:5)
· "Those that make war against God and His apostle and spread disorder in the land shall be put to death or crucified or have their hands and feet cut off on alternate sides, or be banished from the land. They shall be held up to shame in this world and sternly punished in the hereafter: except those that repent before you reduce them ..." (,35)
· "Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God’s religion shall reign supreme" ()
· "Prophet, rouse the faithful to arms. If there are twenty steadfast men among you, they shall vanquish two hundred; and if there are a hundred, they shall rout a thousand unbelievers, for they are devoid of understanding." (8:65)
· "Fight against such of those to whom the Scriptures were given ... and do not embrace the true Faith, until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued." ()
(It’s fortunate that such personal things as idolatry and adultery are legal in our country. That doesn’t make idolatry or adultery good – but freedom is sooo good. It’s also, of course, completely legal to be an un-believer. Many things which are crimes in more conservative countries are perfectly legal here in our quite liberal country.)
The Qur’an contains scores of similar verses.
Most Muslim Scholars see the world divided into two "houses"—the House of Peace (Dar Al-Salaam) and the House of War (Dar Al-Harb). The general idea is that Muslims belong to the House of Peace, while those who have not yet submitted to Islam belong to the House of War until they are "utterly subdued."
However, even this distinction is often blurred since militant Muslims (who take the above verses at face value) also include moderate Muslims in the House of War.
(I did not find support for the notion that millions of Jews had been changed into monkeys by Allah. What I found was the belief that Jews came from monkeys. This is more like the southern belief about the black race in our own country.)
Two ways constitutions are written – and the same two ways religions are operated. There are also combinations of the two – sometimes making it unclear what one may do with permission.
1) Everything is permitted
except that which is forbidden. (This is the way our American
Constitution works. I think it’s interesting that this is referred to as a
“conservative” constitution. It “conserves” rights that are not specifically
2) Everything is forbidden except that which is permitted. (This is the way many other constitutions are used. This may appear more “conservative,” but that’s because the term has been corrupted – just as the term “liberal” also has been corrupted.)
3) Combinations of the
first two. (Sometimes, confused folks like to use the constitution or
arguments about it to have it their way in both directions. “I can do whatever
is not forbidden – you can do only what is specifically allowed. Someone will
ask, “Where in the constitution does it allow adultery?” The answer is that it
does not allow adultery. It just does not mention adultery at all. The same was
true for polygamy – and changes were made to make it specifically illegal.
Without a law against it, our constitution required that it be considered a
legal activity – not that the people necessarily follow that constitutional
requirement. We know they did not follow it. Should we also not follow it with
regard to an important person’s legal adultery?)
These Muslims truly do hate the adultery going on among us (I suspect they are no less free of it themselves), and they would like to have official punishments for it. There are Christians, of course, who feel the same way. Jesus himself felt to advise on the subject and leave it to punish itself. “Go thy way and sin no more.” He gave us the commandment not to do it, and the agency to break the commandment. Both came from His plan. Halleluiah!
(If we had only the Old Testament (Or the Koran), we would be missing all this – and would punish officially for adultery and other similar personal transgressions of moral law. It took Jesus to straighten us out on all this – and then only for those who care about what He taught.)
More on 34 of 52 Trip Around The Sun The followers of Islam – Muslims