Saturday, July 04, 2009

Islamic openings..

Reading a good primer on Islam and learning lots. Didn't know that the Kaaba was constructed by Ibrahim/Abraham and that the meteorite only came much later (the placement of the rock being a matter of intense dispute, solved by Mohammed getting all the groups to share in the task with a carpet); didn't know "Allah" is an ungendered concept, and that the masculine reference is simply a linguistic convention not found in the pristine Arabic of the Book. I was only semi-aware of the explicit equality between men and women within Islam, in contrast to the marked patriarchy found within the Bible.

Various theological pathways and questions open up the more I read. I'm not sure how "Allah" can be omnipotent/omniscient and yet humans be granted free will, except through a form of deist withdrawal which plays against the purported omnipotence. I like the way that Islam is portrayed as a set of cultural/aesthetic forms and a worldview, as much as a religion (I guess that plays to liberal sensibilities). There is a strange tension, at least to an interested and sympathetic outsider, between the non-linear nature of the Koran (it doesn't begin with a Creation myth) and the emphasis on linear causation that posits Allah as the prime mover or fundamental cause. I also wonder whether Islam is at all compatible with evolution. I look forward to the sections on Sufism. The idea that the force that truly binds us, that we can only name by approximation, is nonetheless best thought of as Love - celebrated through dancing to a trance - cannot fail to appeal..


Mike,  12:23 am

Two useful links which may also 'enlighten' you.

The latter link also deals with the Bible and Book of Mormon should the relevant worshippers feel left out...

Anonymous,  2:13 pm  

oh Mike, no better place to find the 'truth' about Islam than some very anti-islamic websites.

Jeremy, you stop reading the Quran and read the commentary by those who have 'read' it, that truly is the best way to educate yourself. right Mike?

plastiQQ 10:25 am  

Jeremy, just sit back and watch the hate and intolerance unfold on your blog. Questions too, like why are you reading the Qur'an and mis-informed opinions about the middle east vs the united states.

Thank you for this post. As someone that has been constantly asking himself big questions about organized religion...this post goes a long way. Thank you

Apostate,  11:20 am  


Islam in itself is a 'lie' so the 'truth' by its very nature is 'anti-islamic'.

Anonymous,  11:52 pm  

Happy for you! It seems you're able to appreciate subtlety so if you're truly trying to learn about Islam, I'd suggest you just go ahead and read the Qur'an. If you're going to swim in the Light, might as well jump in at a deep end eh?


Mike,  10:13 am  

anonymous, you assume a lot. I have read the Quran (quickly) and it is rather a tedious book which completely failed to enlighten me. I wanted to swim in the light but the water was too shallow - it barely covered my ankles.

Anonymous,  5:02 pm  


I wouldn't say my assumptions are a lot - merely that one truly wants to learn about Islam, and one is open minded yet focused enough to be able to appreciate subtlety. These are my assumptions.

If you truly want to swim in the light, then I'd suggest u study it slowly, maybe even with a number of different translations.

If you can do that, I dare make the assumption that you'll find a truly sublime Book with several levels of meaning and wisdom which has captivated millions of hearts and minds for over a thousand years.


Abdul 6:29 am  

Anonymous....u dont learn by reading commentaries, but you can learn by reading scholarly peer-review journals. but nothing is better than reading the original text. is ignorant, and an illiterate point of view to call another religion a lie. i dont know what religion you practice, but which ever it is, it teaches you respect, tolerance, and courtesy for others. besides even good morals teach that.

I have had my share of education in the world's most popular religions. Name the religion and i have something to tell you. but i am not an expert, but i have the basics covered.

No matter what religion you practice if any, keep 1 thing in mind, respect, tolerance, courtesy, and have no bias against any religion. If you have morals doing this will be easy, and vice versa.

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