Tuesday, May 01, 2007

yei baatein purani hai jo mujhko sunahni hai..

last week i attended a local koran reading group. the crowd consisting of mostly expat ladies who moved to the US. basically we read the koran and listen to the translation and then have a discussion on something that we dont understand. sometimes when youa re listening to these translations, there are parts which make you feel scared and guilty. scared more on the parts of hell. thats always been a controversial topic. im more of the believer that the Hell is your conscious that will torment you not so much the physical burning fire Hell. but then thats just my opinion and perhaps the making myself feel better thing.

the other controversial topics was when someone started talking about polygamous situations in Islam. The Koran discourages this to the extent where they say its not possible to treat everyone equally and provide for everyone the same. Then some lady in the group was like but men are men and if its in the shariat we accept it and hope God makes our heart big enough to allow our husbands to take another wife. at that statement my eyes popped out, i would never allow it! the times were then different pple were fighting wars it wasnt an organized society like now. you cant equate the times. and plus there were reasons for the Prophet to do so. it wasnt coz men are men!! neways at least these discussions bring about so many pples views together and we at least agree to disagree.

update: my sister told me about todays class and this is how it went.
same lady who made the above mad statement was like we should not think of materialistic things and look beyond that and then goes as far as to say everyone think when you go back home and look at your most precious thing. she answers the question herself and goes its our own kids (way off tangent but i guess family comes under "things") which are the most dear and most precious to us. and everyone is nodding in agreement

then looking at my sister she goes those who dont have kids, its probably your jewelery and clothes. my sister goes err NO its my husband! theres a huge silence in the room and everyone is looking embarassed and then the lady goes "err yea that too". LOL. that too.


Ashraf's Pen 1:26 PM  

Cant really say much.

Would have to write an essay.

Yes the position of women in Islam is really sad. And the tragic part is even educated women accept it.

There can be eloquent lectures by Islamic scholars on how good the womens status is in Islam and how unique. Howeever the ground reality is different.

THe women in conventional Islam remains hidden from view, forced in a Burqa, devoid of choices,subdued and seldom given a say in matters. Killed in the name of honour in many places, the women needs an awakening.

Anyway wait sometime. In July I intend to start a series "The hazy lines" on my blog on the problems in Islam. There I hope to explore this more.

You could agree, you could disagree with me. Its your choice

life of pi 8:23 PM  

ground reality is different coz culture, region, education is all different. great idea abt the blog. look forward to reading it.

Ashraf's Pen 10:29 PM  

That's why I said "conventional" islam. The kind of Islam most mullahs would like to see.

In the Iranian Revolution, the female students marched with the men as equals. Ayotallah Khomeni comes to power because of them and within some time clamps down on them.

Frankly, a Shariat system scares me to no end. I do not desire it. Two women equal to a men, no criticism of the society, etc are frankly atavistic in nature. Polygamy is another example.

Of course at the end of the day its a big joke in the hostel as to how I can take four wives. The rest always wonder if I also have the right to go out with four gals simultaneously. That would be fun-explaining double-timing saying that actually you see its a duty to marry more.

Anyway the exp for diff saying men are men is crap

Ashraf's Pen 4:20 AM  

The update is funny

pi 8:34 AM  

LOL @ the hostel situation and the quadruple timing. well you can always ask them to pray to God for a bigger heart!

you know the problem i often face is that where do you draw the line between positive criticism and downright rejection of the shariat. sometimes i often fear that i might say something that is actually wrong and i try to justify it by saying "chalta hai" and one has to roll with the times.

Ashraf's Pen 10:22 AM  

That would be interesting. A bigger heart. Though it would be a disaster coz none would understand coz its unlikely they would be, ahem lets say share the same beliefs as I do.

Anyway yes I agree its very tough to criticize. And I have faced the same problem. Everyone telling not to question, not to criticize. But over the last 2-3 years I have become increasingly convinced that the moderates must speak out. Blasphemy is just a stick used by the clergy to avoid any sensible debate.

Shariat is the law of Allah, no doubt about it. But when we live in a world where esp in Europe and America we ask for the freedom of religion, cant we do the same. Of course racial and religion biases exist but these countries at least give you the right to protest and sue. Can we say the same for Saudi Arabia? Or much of the middle east

Touching on a very tender point lets take the case of conversion. We cheer at new conversions to Islam but if someone looses his way and becomes an apostate many advocate killing the person. And the sharial affirms it. Though I am no scholar so I could be wrong. There was a case in Afghanistan 1 or 2 years back.

So its not chalta hai. Its about defining what one stands for , because only then can our hearts be clear.

Its about removing double standards.

And Allah is the merciful and all powerful. Even if we commit a wrong searching for our way, hhe will forgive us knowing we did it in good faith in his mercy.

life of pi 7:31 PM  

well dubai and i think places like bahrain, oman does give you the freedom of religion. and i think you can sue, althought its not really called sueing. protesting too well there is power in numbers, if its just 10 pple protesting a random cause its not taken seriously. but things like labour issue protests, those are i believe. but u know everyone in the middle east is there coz they want a better life and want to make more money nobody has time to support any cause.

i totally agree with what you say about the conversion. how can you force someone to be what they dont want to be. and then if they arent, you decide to take their life. who gives anyone that right. its just very illogical. i saw this documentary recently on islam by amanpour on cnn. and it was shocking to see that there were really educated pple advocating this kind of violence. its just really sad but its also great that there are pple who see the double standards and speak out against it.

Ashraf's Pen 6:58 AM  

Maybe they do but is it enshrined in the constitution?? Is it a fundamental right?

I have always believed religion is a private part of our lives. I am not sure about dubai but I think most other countries havr religious police, courts and the like-wise. Saudi Arabia is infamous.

Also in many countries(nigeria, indonesia) Shariat is applicable to you if you are a muslim only. Being born is good enough. What if someone does not desire so?

And as for your lament about the educated, I would wonder who you call educated. A well read clergy is more educated than a grad.

The need is for intellectuals. Islam rarely has those. And it has very much to do with the attitudes prevalent in society and religion as a whole.

Double standards are essentially a paradox, more like a recursive program with no terminating condition. The educated you refer to dont have the vision to realize the paradox

Ashraf's Pen 6:59 AM  

Btw if its not private could you invite me to your cooking blog.

My id is ashraf.ace@gmail.com

pi 9:25 PM  

i think educated in literal sense is someone who is well read and has a degree of some sorts but educated in true sense would be someone who knows how to be respectful and knows when to say what. ive added you but i havent really written much on the cooking blog. so its hardly a cooking blog. =)

Ashraf's Pen 12:18 AM  


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