Islam, as I see it

I should start this post by apologizing to my fellow Muslim friends, but I can’t tell lies based on my experience and what I’ve been told.

In all summary, the impression I got of the religion Islam, is that it’s a pretty conservative and outdated religion.  What brings upon its survival in the world, is the fact that most people think of some of the thing that happen in current world is sinful but unexplanable.  For example,  being gay is seen wrongful in Islam.  Historically, homosexuality has been practised all over the world, but somehow, there’s a guilty feeling for the gay ones.  And also, homosexuality is something view uncomfortable by majority socially.  This is where Islam comes it, where it provides comfort for the hetero and the guilt feeling for gays.  Let’s look at gambling.  Gambling is generally preceived as a ‘get-rich-FAST’ scheme.  It seems wrong, for both gamblers and non-gamblers.  Islam provide the easy answer: Yes! It’s sinful.  I can go on with cohibition, alcoholism, and so on.

But you see, the current world, all that is happening, including abortion, pre-marital sex and so on.  Islam, as I see it, prohibits all that is considered sin.  And that, I consider that as conservative.  Conservative view, as far I see it, is enforcing what’s not right, and not offering solutions.  For example, I view as condom as somewhat a solution, to matters pertaining to abortion and STD & illness.  But Islam, as I see it, view condom as something that encourages pre-marital sex.  As far as I can see it, all those Islamic teaching is not preventing pre-marital sex; some if not most if not all Muslim friends of mine who had preached me on what’s haram had engaged in pre-marital sex.  (My question here is, does Islam consider french kissing, or heavy-petting, or anything like that, but at the end of the day did not lead to penetration, haram?)

So… from what I see, it’s a religion that’s being preached, but not being practised well.  Now, I’ve Muslim friends who really follow the Islamic teaching fully.  Some, sadly become pretty fanatic… whereas some have become ppl that I respect.  These friends, are who I consider modern Islam.

And what I consider as modern Islam?  From the way I see it,  I consider someone as a modern Islam as someone who recognise what’s happening in the world.  This modern Islam does not impose the rules of Islam on others, except himself or herself.  He/ She will not discriminate others who are non-Islam, or Islam who are not practising the Islamic ways of life.  However, this modern Islam will provide the choice to others to follow the Islamic ways, without forcing and pushing.  If others decided to follow, this modern Islam will provide more, but if the others decided to shut Islam out, this modern Islam will back off gracefully.

Now, I have some questions which I certainly like to see respond from fellow Islams, be it what I considered modern Muslim or not.

1) I’ve seen Muslim friends who drink alcohol.  Most if not all, cited the temptation of alcohol.  Some live lives terribly, while some live pretty noble lives by my standard with good principles ( other than resisting the temptation to drinking alcohol lar….)  Let’s focus on those who are living lives good.  My question: What’s the Islamic perception of ppl who drink alcohol but still lead a very good and true Islamic lives whereby they have never engaged in premarital sex or anything similar.  They basically drink for the high effect and that’s all. 

2)  What’s Islamic perception of rape cases?  Or girls who are forced to have sex by their dominating boyfriend?

3)  LEt’s talk about food.  What if the kangkung injected with animal DNA (which is possible now) especially with pig DNA or any other haram animal DNA, which in the eyes of science can be beneficial to human kind, being allowed to the market?  Is that gonna be haram or halal?  I’ve not encountered any article on this, so I certainly appreciate someone enlightening me on this…

4) I’ve many many other questions, but I can’t think of them right now :p

Again, sorry for being frank.

(p.s. this is the very very very very first post, that i would consider not allowing/ deleting comments accordingly though i have a pretty high tolerance.  Like I’ve said before, I view Islam as pretty conservative as compared to other religions, and thus, and comments that I deem not suitable, i might just delete… so please give your open-mind comments….)

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12 Responses to “Islam, as I see it”

  1. Silencers Says:

    Well, for one thing, I’ll first acknowledge your right to opinions. It is, after all, what you see through your eyes. Of course, there’s many things you have yet to understand, and with what you currently know, it’s seem you still have a lot to learn before you can label Islam as such. Kindly allow me to explain some things for you;

    “being gay is seen wrongful in Islam”
    There is a good reason for it to be sinful. Islam is a religion that exists protects the sanctity of nature. When gays get married, their sex fails to produce offspring, thus rendering gay sex as mere acts of pleasure; not as a method to reproduce as carry on the human race. If allowed, this will not bode well for the human race. Basic common sense there.

    Don’t talk about liberty issues on this one; if you can tell me that gay sex can produce babies, and then I will rethink my argument.

    Dare for me to ask, is pleasure prohibited in Islam? 

    “Gambling is sinful in Islam”
    Again, there’s good reason for it to be sinful. When you gamble, your faith lies in probability and luck, instead of God. Islam teaches its followers to WORK for your living. You have to earn what you eat. When you really work, you put in effort and you reap what you sow. How many families have been ruined by the gambling industry? Islam doesn’t want its followers to live in misery as a result of gambling.

    OK. I understand where you getting at.

    My question here is, does Islam consider french kissing, or heavy-petting, or anything like that, but at the end of the day did not lead to penetration, haram?
    It is stated clearly in the Quran, “Thou shalt not approach adultery.” They keyword here is APPROACH. It didn’t say, Thou shalt not CONDUCT adultery. It teaches you to stay away from it. Acts that are NOT adultery, but still stimulate you and MAY lead you to adultery is considered haram. Humans are weak beings, more often than not they easily succumb to their raging desires. Do you know how many rape cases have happened over the past months? The numbers are shocking. Yes, humans truly are weak, and Islam recognises this. That’s why Islam provided those guidelines to protect its followers against those weakness.

    OK, thanks for that.

    What’s the Islamic perception of ppl who drink alcohol but still lead a very good and true Islamic lives whereby they have never engaged in premarital sex or anything similar. They basically drink for the high effect and that’s all.
    They have sinned for consuming alcohol and injuring themselves and nothing more. Islam forbids its followers from hurting themselves. Alcohol is well-known to have negative health effects, and Islam has recognised this before people even discovered electricity. In order to avoid the faithful for hurting themselves unnecesarily. Besides when one is drunk one loses judgement and may conduct some other sins which, if he was sober, he might not have commited.

    What about other activities that has negative impacts on human health, for example smoking?  What’s the Islamic view on that?

    What’s Islamic perception of rape cases? Or girls who are forced to have sex by their dominating boyfriend?
    Islam teaches men to protect women from harm. Those who defile this have commited a serious sin and should be severely punished.

    I’m sorry I lack the knowledge to answers question 3. I hope this lengthy explanation could enlighten you a fair bit. You asked for your readers to be open-minded, I therefore ask of you to be open-minded as well.

    Yup, thanks for your comment.  Do know this, I’ve been brought up exposed to Islam.  Also, do know this, I’m not questioning whether Islam is good or not, but rather, if Islam can be considered modern.  I’ve always considered Islamic teaching as pretty noble, but just wondering the current world, but it that the question raised now, for back in the past, or in the future.  I wondered too, if Islamic teaching is too idealistic at some point, such that it’s not practical at some level, yet, it survived because it’s something that’s worth looking up to, and it’s something that gives hope.

  2. prototype.x0 Says:

    thats your point of view and i have to respect it…and after making all those provocative statements u ask for “open-mind” comments? ok my comment is you sucks…sorry for being frank and honest

    as for question no. 3 whether that kangkung is halal or haram, it is haram..dogs and pigs is haram in islam and anything related to it (skins,flesh and anything as small as DNAs ) is considered haram..read the Koran…

    be it muslim,jews,christian,buddist and so on..they are all human,its up to one person to respect and accept others people’s differences…sorry for being frank

    ic… okay.  Me just wondering because, such kangkung will still taste like kangkung, still look like kangkung, still feel like kangkung…

  3. prototype.x0 Says:

    yeah, that kangkung will definitely the same as normal,unaltered kangkung,but it is still haram..however is a muslim eat that altered kangkung without knowing it has been altered,i don’t think it is a sin as he/she buy it without knowing it…it is considered sin if he/she already know that kangkung has been altered with pig DNA and yet still eat it..

    many thanx to you for accepting my comments..

  4. Jon Says:

    All of the ‘sins’ mentioned above are reflected in Christian laws. The vatican is heavily against the use of condoms even if it prevents sexually transmittable disease such as AIDS.

    Probably the only thing I disagree with Islam is the right to practice other religions. When one is born into a Muslim family, you must stay a muslim for the rest of your life. Apparently, you are not allowed to believe in anything else.

  5. Silencers Says:

    Islam does not prohibit pleasure. Pleasure is a basic human necessity and Islam recognises this. However, humans are also very weak taht they easily succumb to the calls of pleasure. If they live to strive for pleasure, instead of progress or the sake of thir own living, they becomes a slaves to their own desires, and that’s not a good way of life.

    Pleasure is not prohibited. However, there’s a limit as to how much pleasure one is entitled to. Pleasure is a privilege entrusted to mankind, and we entrusted to not abuse it.

    Smoking is a highly debated issue at the moment. Many ulama’s have decided to that since smoking brings harm to the smoker it is therefore haram. The big irony here, is that many ulama’s also happen to be smokers, lol. The thing is, if you’re a muslim and you love yourself enough to not cause yourself injury, you would know better not to smoke.

    In the end, Islam teaches that a person’s virtues or sins are his own resposibility. You have been gifted life, a body and a mind. You are entrusted to live a good life with it. If you ruin this opportunity, it’s your loss.

  6. menj Says:

    I like honest and sincere people who ask questions about Islam, not to demean it but to seek the Truth. And for that, I will give you my thumb’s up.

    But to your questions:

    1) Islam hs set guidelines for this life as per God’s command to seek His Mercy in the Hereafter. It is human nature to succumb to this life’s temptations. Life in this world, as per the Islamic belief, is but a test. The permanent life is in the Hereafter. So if these Muslims, as you say, drink alcohol or live life in an unIslamic lifestyle, they have failed in their “test”. As for what will happen to them in the Hereafter, that is between them and God and only He will decide.

    2) Rape is a sin in Islam and is considered as “hirabah” (terrorism). It is a punishable offence.

    3) The status of the “kangkung injected with animal DNA” of which the animal is forbidden to be eaten, is stil haraam.

    4) No problem. Ask them when you are ready.

    Best regards.

    – MENJ

  7. Interesting questions. And some answers at Pensées Critiques Says:

    […] Interesting questions. And some answers Published July 8th, 2006 in Comparative Religion, Reflections on Islam, Polemical Rebuttals, Islamic Thought & Civilisation. Interesting questions were asked and I have answered them somewhat, as will be seen in the comments (apparently it has not yet to be approved yet at this time of posting). I have nothing further to add from what I have written there. But “injecting kangkung with (insert pig or dog here) with animal DNA”? Who the hell in their right mind would do that? […]

  8. Dabido (Teflon) Says:

    I dont’ see any problems in you asking the questions. I think Silencer has soem good knowledge. But, on the issue of Homosexuality, the Dalai Lama has also spoken on the issue in one of his book ‘Ethics for a New Millennium’ and condemned it. [They actually quoted the book on TV in Australia, and in the US I believe they removed the ‘anti-homosexuality’ parts of the book for fear it would cause an uproar in the gay community].

    I know the Dalai Lama doesn’t speak for all Buddhists everywhere, he’s more the leader of Tibet than a spokes person for all Buddhists, but he is seen as a very influential person in he Buddhist community and the non-Buddhists around the world normally look to him as though he is the leader.
    [Yeah, I’m probably more educated than the average person in the street, so I don’t equate the Dalai Lama’s opinion with what is and isn’t Buddhism.]

    I’m just bringing up the point, that there are factions in Buddhism which take the same stand as Islam and most Christians.

    On the other hand, there have been gay Christians, Muslims, Jews etc [and I’ll let the members of each of those faiths argue as to whether these people were genuine in their faiths], who have reinterpreted their particular Holy Books to include themselves into their religions.
    So, there is not always a 100% condemnation within each of these religious circles.
    [Though, I won’t pretend these people are anywhere in the majority, or even a significant minority in some cases].

    But, your post was nice food for thought, and I think Silencers answers were good to read as well.

    Hope to see more questions like these. After all, if you don’t ask, you won’t know. I’m pretty sure most intelligent people can see you are not trying to be insulting by your religious questions.

    As for the Idealistic part of the religion, I think most religions have idealistic teachings, and they are there, NOT because they are attainable, but because they are what the followers are aiming for and attempting to achieve.

    It might be true that in order for a person to attain some of the idealistic almost impossibly pure things a religion may preach, they would need to be incredibly strong in will power and faith. But most of these religions also realise that only God/Allah/[insert perfect being here] are perfect and as such do not expect the followers to reach these ideals.

    After all, we can aim to be the worlds best bloggers, but just because there is always a blogger better than us in the world is no reason to give up. It is an ideal we aim for, and it makes us better the more we try to achieve the ideal. So the ideals certainly do have a use within the religion as well. So there is a practical use for what may seem the impractical.

  9. Shalini Says:

    Infact, not only Islam, but all religons are conservative and out dated.

    Anyway, here’s some things I think needed to be corrected (If I am wrong, please correct me)

    1. Islamic teachings does not probhit the usage of condom. Infact there are several Hadiths of Muhammad on contraceptive method. I can get deeper if you want.

    2. Alcohol is not haraam. Wine (or beer) is. They just happen to contain alcohol. In fact, tapai too contain alcohol and consuming it is not haraam.

    What’s Islamic perception of rape cases? Or girls who are forced to have sex by their dominating boyfriend?

    This question is quite provocative. What about the perception of the human race as a whole about rape cases and dominating boyfriends? Whenever one hears about rape, regardless of which God they are afraid of, you will hear excuses of the girl wearing too low a skirt or too thight a jeans or drink too much a beer and dance too hard to the music. By the way, rape never is about sex. It is about crime, like theft or murder. So the question should be “What’s Islam’s perception about crimes?

  10. SAM Says:

    Islam, as I see it,
    “One of the biggest impediments towards a more self-critical outlook among Muslims is our ‘victim’ mentality. Almsot every Friday sermon I attend, I’m reminded of the injustices being committed against us by ‘them’: Palestine, Chechenya, Afghanistan, Kashmir. Nobody talks about the crimes against humanity being committed by our ‘brothers’ in Sudan, the atrcocities being perpetrated in the name of Jihad by our self-styled holy warriors across the world. We don’t hear about the social evils afflicting our community as everything is going perfectly well within our own world. One hardly hears anything positive from the Imams and Khatibs! Is there nothing to celebrate in the wider Islamic world? Why do we always pray for victory against a plethora of aggressors? “

  11. Silencers Says:

    Shalini:
    Alcohol is not haram? Hm. Well, since it’s also used for its medicinal purposes I guess that’s true. The cammandment did, after all, mention khamar [liquor] and not alcohol in particular. I believe this is because of alcohol’s intoxicating properties in liquor that makes it haram.

    And what of perfumes that contain alcohol? I’d like to know more about this.

  12. Shalini Says:

    Silencer:

    Yes it is not. Alcohol (ethanol) is the by product of fermentation (or what you call prosess penapaian) between sugar and yeast. It would sound very funny if you say consuming alcohol is haraam because you’ll find (lab tests has been conducted and confirmed) measurable amount of alcohol in refrigerated fruit juices too :).

    However, when the alcohol content become high enough to cause a state of drunkeness, such as in alcoholic beverages, it becomes haraam, (God, apparently told Muhammad that He is concerned when the believers pray to him but are not in the state of understanding what they utter :)) ).

    In Islam, certain things are forbbiden for reason (whether the reasons are acceptable or not, left to be disscussed). Anyway. Alcoholic drinks are forbidden because it causes harm phisically and mentally. But it will only do harm to you if taken orally, no? In that case, the usage of alcohol in other consumer products should not be haraam. If it is, than there is no religon, more idiotic than Islam.

    Now, while we are still at it, I would like to try to comment on the issue of kangkung with pig’s DNA. Like I wrote earlier, most of the things forbidden by Islam, is for a reason. Pig is haraam because it is unclean or impure (najis). However, when DNAs are extracted in lab, it is done so by conducting processes of sterelization, purification etc. So, the substence become no more impure, as such, it is consumable. Alot of Ulamas agree on this (One of them whom I remember is Yusof Qardawi). However, there are certain Ulamas who do not agree on this.

    But the beauty of Islam is, until and unless it go against the 5 Article of Islam and 6 Articles of Imaan, you are free to follow whichever theory suits you best.

    Now, I am sure alot of esteemed Islamic Scholar, such as MahaMandan58 would make monkey noises and demand me, a Kaafir not to give opinion on Islamic matters. But hey, who cares!!

    There are alot of blunders in Islamic teachings for you to reject the faith. No need to create one.

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