Posts Tagged ‘Shia’

A DUAL SEX RATHER THAN UNISEX SOCIETY

Now let us consider the second basic characteristic of the Quranic society which affects the position of women. This is found in the directives for a dual sex rather than a unisex society. While maintaining the validity of the equal worth of men and women, the Qur’an does not judge this equality to mean equivalence or identity of the sexes.

Probably all of you are familiar with the contemporary move toward unisex clothes and shoes, unisex jewellery and hair styles, unisex actions and entertainments. In fact, it is often difficult in America to decide whether one is looking at a boy or a girl.

This results from the current notion in Western society that there is little if any difference between the two sexes in physical, intellectual and emotional endowment; and that, therefore, there should be no difference in their functions and roles in society. The dress and the actions are but superficial evidence of this deeper conviction. Accompanied by a downgrading of the qualities and roles traditionally associated with the female sex, this current idea has generated a unisex society in which only the male role is respected and pursued. Although meant to bring a larger measure of equality for women, the idea that men and women are not only equal, but equivalent and identical, has actually pushed women into imitating men and even despising their womanhood. Thus it is generating a new type of male chauvinism. Tremendous social pressures have resulted in stripping women of their role-responsibilities formerly performed by them, and they are forced to live a life devoid of personality and individuality.

The society based on the Qur’an is, in contrast, a dual-sex society in which both sexes are assigned their special responsibilities. This assures the healthy functioning of the society for the benefit of all its members. This division of labour imposes on men more economic responsibilities (2:233, 240-241; 4:34), while women are expected to play their role in childbearing and rearing (2:233; 7:189). The Qur’an, recognising the importance of this complementary sexual assignment of roles and responsibilities, alleviates the greater economic demands made on male members of the population by allotting them a larger share than women in inheritance. At the same time it grants women the right to maintenance in exchange for her contribution to the physical and emotional well being of the family and to the care she provides in the rearing of children. The unisex ideology generates a competitive relationship between the sexes which we find in America and which is disastrous for all members of society: the young; the old; the children; the parents; the single and the married; the male and the female. The dual-sex society, by contrast, is a more natural answer to the question of sexual relationships, a plan encouraging co-operation rather than competition between the sexes. It is a plan which has been found suitable in countless societies through history. Only in very recent times did the idea of sexual non-differentiation or identity achieve prominence, and then primarily in the Western society. Even the medical evidence for mental or emotional difference between the sexes is suppressed in Western research, for it threatens the prevailing trends of thought. How long this socially disastrous movement will continue before it is rejected as bankrupt is not known. But certainly we as Muslims should be aware of its deficiencies and dangerous consequences, and make our societies and young people aware of the disaster caused by it.

Protagonists of the unisex society have condemned the dual-sex human organization as dangerous for the well-being of women. If dual sex means that one sex is superior to the other, such a situation could have arisen. But in the true Quranic society, toward which we all aspire to move, this is not possible. As we have seen above, the Qur’an advocates eloquently the equal status of women and men at the same time as it recognizes their generally relevant differences of nature and function. Thus while acknowledging the religious, ethical, intellectual and legal equality of males and females; the Qur’an never regards the two sexes as identical or equivalent. It justifies this stand in its assignment of variant responsibilities and its provisions regarding inheritance and maintenance which match those responsibilities.

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Those who listen to the word and follow the best of it; those are the ones whom God has guided, and those are the ones endowed with understanding (Qur’an 39:18)

THE FASTEST GROWING RELIGION IN THE WORLD

This is a collection of short quotations from a wide variety of Non-Muslim notables, including academics, writers, philosophers, poets, politicians, and activists belonging to the East and the West.  To our knowledge none of them ever became Muslim.  These words, therefore, reflect their personal views on various aspects of the religion of Islam.

Sarojini Naidu

(1879-1949) A writer, poetess and one of the most visible leaders of pre-Independent India. President of the Indian National Congress and the first woman governor of free India.

“Sense of justice is one of the most wonderful ideals of Islam, because as I read in the Qur’an I find those dynamic principles of life, not mystic but practical ethics for the daily conduct of life suited to the whole world.”

“It was the first religion that preached and practiced democracy for, in the mosque when the call for prayer is sounded and worshippers are gathered together, the democracy of Islam is embodied five times a day when the peasant and king kneel side by side and proclaim: “God Alone is Great.” I have been struck over and over again by this indivisible unity of Islam that makes man instinctively a brother.”

[Lectures on  “The  Ideals  of  Islam;”  see Speeches And Writings Of Sarojini Naidu, Madras, 1918, pp. 167-9]

Arnold J. Toynbee

(1889-1975) British historian, Lecturer at Oxford University.

“The extinction of race consciousness as between Muslims is one of the outstanding achievements of Islam, and in the contemporary world there is, as it happens, a crying need for the propagation of this Islamic virtue.”

[Civilization On Trial, New York, 1948, p. 205]

William Montgomery Watt

(1909) Professor (Emeritus) of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Edinburgh.

“I am not a Muslim in the usual sense, though I hope I am a “Muslim” as “one surrendered to God,” but I believe that embedded in the Qur’an and other expressions of the Islamic vision are vast stores of divine truth from which I and other occidentals have still much to learn, and Islam is certainly a strong contender for the supplying of the basic framework of the one religion of the  future.'”


[Islam And Christianity Today, London, 1983, p. ix]

Bertrand Russell

(1872-1970) British philosopher, mathematician, and Nobel laureate, whose emphasis on logical analysis greatly influenced the course of 20th-century philosophy.

“Our use of the phrase ‘the Dark Ages’ to cover the period from 699 to 1,000 marks our undue concentration on Western Europe… From India to Spain, the brilliant civilization of Islam flourished. What was lost to Christendom at this time was not lost to civilization, but quite the contrary… To us it seems that West-European civilization is civilization; but this is a narrow view.”

[History of Western Philosophy, London, 1948, p. 419]

Hamilton Alexander Roskeen Gibb

(1895-1971) A leading orientalist scholar of his time

“But Islam has a still further service to render to the cause of humanity. It stands after all nearer to the real East than Europe does, and it possesses a magnificent tradition of inter-racial understanding and cooperation. No other society has such a record of success uniting in an equality of status, of opportunity, and of endeavours so many and so various races of mankind … Islam has still the power to reconcile apparently irreconcilable elements of race and tradition. If ever the opposition of the great societies of East and West is to be replaced by cooperation, the mediation of Islam is an indispensable condition. In its hands lies very largely the solution of the problem with which Europe is faced in its relation with East.”

[Whither Islam, London, 1932, p. 379.]

“That his (Muhammad’s) reforms enhanced the status of women in general is universally admitted.”

[Mohammedanism, London, 1953, p. 33]

James A. Michener

(1907-1997) Leading American writer; recipient of honorary doctorates in five fields from thirty leading universities and decorated with the Presidential Medal of freedom, America’s highest civilian award.

“No other religion in history spread so rapidly as Islam . . . The West has widely  believed that this surge of religion was made possible by the sword. But no modern scholar accepts that idea, and the Qur’an is explicit in support of the freedom of conscience.”

[Islam – The Misunderstood Religion, Readers’ Digest (American Edition) May 1955]

Edward Gibbon

(1737-1794) Considered the greatest British historian of his time.

“‘I believe in One God and Mohammed the Apostle of God,’ is the simple and invariable profession of Islam. The intellectual image of the Deity has never been degraded by any visible idol; the honours of the prophet have never transgressed the measure of human virtue, and his living precepts have restrained the gratitude of his disciples within the bounds of reason and religion.”

[History Of The Saracen Empire, London, 1870, p. 54]

“More pure than the system of Zoroaster, more liberal than the law of Moses, the religion of Mohammad might seem less inconsistent with reason than the creed of mystery and superstition which, in the seventh century, disgraced the simplicity of the gospels.”

[The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 5. p. 487]

Jared Diamond

Professor of Physiology at the UCLA School of Medicine; recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1998.

“Medieval Islam was technologically advanced and open to innovation. It achieved far higher literacy rates than in contemporary Europe; it assimilated the legacy of classical Greek civilization to such a degree that many classical books are now known to us only through Arabic copies.  It invented windmills, trigonometry, lateen sails and made major advances in metallurgy, mechanical and chemical engineering and irrigation methods. In the middle-ages the flow of technology was overwhelmingly from Islam to Europe rather from Europe to Islam. Only after the 1500’s did the net direction of flow begin to reverse.”

[Guns, Germs, and Steel – The Fates of Human Societies, 1997, p. 253]

Annie Besant

(1847-1933) British theosophist and nationalist leader in India. President of the Indian National Congress in 1917.

“I often think that woman is more free in Islam than in Christianity. Woman is more protected by Islam than by the faith which preaches Monogamy. In Al-Quran the law about woman is more just and liberal. It is only in the last twenty years that Christian England, has recognized the right of woman to property, while Islam has allowed this right from all times.”

[The Life and Teachings of Muhammad, Madras, 1932, pp. 25, 26]

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Every person who reads the Qur’an and thinks over it sincerely will realise some secrets that might not have caught his attention until then. When a person reads these verses, what he must do is to seek the divine purposes hidden in daily events and evaluate everything in the light of the Qur’an. Then, people will realize with excitement that the secrets of the Qur’an control both their own lives and those of others alike.

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In the ISLAMIC beginning…

In the Name of God the Most Compassionate the Most Merciful

Islamic Greetings

Salamun Alaykum: Peace be upon you

What is Islam and who is a Muslim?

Islam literally means: Submission or surrendering to God

Muslim is a person who believes in ‘Islam’.

The Emergence of Islam

Literally Islam began with the first prophet; Adam.

In its complete sense, Islam began with the first revelation to Prophet Muhammad in 25 June 610 AD at the age of 40 ( Muhammad was born in 28 April 570 AD).

The Main Sources of Knowledge in Islam:

The Holy Quran .

The Hadith (sayings and practical life of the Prophet Muhammad).

The bedrock of Islam:

In Theory: Faith in One God, Hereafter and Prophets.

In Practice: Righteous Deeds.

Main Beliefs

Monotheism: believing in Unique God who does not beget nor is He begotten.

Justice of God: believing that God is neither cruel nor unfair.

Prophecy: believing in all God’s Messengers from Adam to Muhammad.

Successors of the Prophet: Imam Ali and his 11 offspring.

Resurrection: believing in the day of Judgment: Eternity in Hell or Heaven.

Islam in Practice

Jurisprudence: Worshipping (Daily Prayers, Fasting, Charity (Zakat and Khoms), Pilgrimage to Hajj, Jihad, enjoining good and forbidding evil, befriending friends of God and dissociation from the enemies of God), only Halal meat is permissible to eat. All types of intoxicants are forbidden. Gambling is forbidden. Marriage is very recommended act and divorce is permissible but detested.

The noble social rule in Islam:
“Repel evil with what is best.” (i.e. don’t repel evil with evil)

Two Main Muslim Denominations:

Shi’a: Those who believe Prophet Muhammad (P)- by the divine command- appointed Ali; his son-in-law and cousin, and his 11 offspring ending with Imam Mahdi, as his caliphs.

Sunni: Those who the Prophet (P) did not appoint anyone after himself to lead the Muslim community.

Islamic Calendar and Main Festivals:

Muslim Calendar is lunar.

Holidays in Islam are holy days.

Eidul-Fitr (celebrating successfully ending the Month of Fasting).

Eidul-Adha (celebrating successfully ending the Hajj pilgrimage).

Eidul-Ghadir (celebration of divine appointment of Imam Ali, by the Prophet as the authority after him: 70 days prior to Prophet’s demise.).

Ashura ( Commemoration of martyrdom of the grandson of the Prophet; Imam Husain and his loyal companions).

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The best of the learned people are those who add the knowledge of all people to their own.

 

The best of the courageous people are those who fight their desires.

 

The best of the precious people are the most knowledgeable.

Imama Husain (as)

Posted: December 29, 2008 in Islam, Love, religion
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For the followers of the Ahlul Bayt (as), the first two months of the Islamic year are a time for grief and mourning. It was on the 10th of Muharram, 61 A.H/680 C.E that Imam Husayn (as) the grandson of the Holy Prophet (saw) was martyred in Karbala, “Ashura”, meaning the tenth day. The Holy Imam went through great difficulties even after Ashura, and their grief and pain is remembered by their followers for two months. During these two months Shia”s try to avoid all forms of merry making. They are as one bereaved family, giving vent to their grief and sorrow through mourning rituals such as Majalis and Matam. This does not mean however that they make their lives miserable. What they try to do is not indulge in activities that make them oblivious of the great sacrifice of Imam Husayn (as) and his family for Islam.

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