Blog Posting # 100 – Understanding Islam
Be Familiar with and Understand Other Viewpoints
My first Blog on Understanding Islam was written December 6, 2009 as an Introduction to this subject. Everyone should be familiar and understand other points of view and religions (more a Christian way of thinking; Islamists do not want any Muslim to even think about another faith, let alone rationalize their own.)
What has followed is a series of discussions on Islamic sects, women in Islam, the Quran, the History of Islam and Muhammad, Allah vs. God, Sharia Law, Images, Influences on Muhammad’s Thinking (or lack thereof), Killing Christians, Blasphemy, Strategy of Conquest, Eurasia, Virgins, and Why A Virgin, Lying, Deceit, The Ideology of Islam, Love, Freedom, Teaching and Training, Pride (How Big is your Zabiba), Morality, Religion of Peace, Abrogation, Veiled Women, Envy, Ethnic Policies, Community (micro and macro Umma’s), Islamist’s Politics, Attitudes Toward Sex, Comparisons to the Bible (Why Study the Bible), Internal Conflict among Muslims, Separation of Mosque and State, Patriotism, Sharia Law and the Constitution and most recently Death for Apostasy. Current event issues were discussed such as Cordoba House, Egypt, and other newsworthy items.
Through the process much has been learned. Certainly I have gained a respect for moderate Muslims, yet I am concerned for their future as the more dogmatic Islamists have historically destroyed the people and the scholarly writings of moderate, logical, reasonable and objective Islamic scholars. Burning the documents was the destructive method of choice.
I have not been convinced this is a religion I would choose, seeing it more ideological and fraught with internal conflict as to who is the true Muslim. The methods of the Islamists concern me also and have been discussed in many of the Blog postings. Their penchant towards ‘revelation’ over ‘reason’ is confusing and limiting when growth, except by destructive, imperialistic means, is considered. That is productive growth, job creating growth, is not part of the programs they offer in countries where Sharia dominates the legal landscape.
Islamists Dismiss Use of Reason
A major concern is that dogmatic fundamentalists rely on scholars who dismiss ‘reason’, yes ‘reason’, even the simple act of ‘thinking’ freely when considering any facet of life. Heaven forbid any doubts as to Allah (pun intended). That leaves scientific exploration, philosophical discussions, and progress behind. They believe that all has been ‘revealed’ by the Quran; the Quran is ‘uncreated’, as Allah is ‘uncreated’, or uncaused, and each second of each day is a miracle of revelation of Allah. You never know what the next instant can bring as Allah can do and be what he wants to be when he wants to be. So why do anything. Just wait – in an instant there may be food on your table, water to drink, and funds to spend as Allah will provide and his revelation supersedes any need to plan or consider the future as that is the will of Allah.
As a reasonable, rational, thinking and free human being I don’t get it. There are Islamic scholars that have encouraged a reasonable approach, such as the Mu’talizites, but they were outnumbered, or killed off, their writings burned by the Ash’arites (which are now predominantly Sunni) in the 800-900’s CE (est. of dates). There remain schools more liberal in their thinking or interpretation, but it has been difficult for them to become the voice of the people of Islam. I’d say the voice of ‘reason’, but such would be seen as heretical in the eyes of the Islamists.
More Questions – More Learning
There remain many questions and more learning. I will continue my Blogs, but not as frequently as one per week or more. I want to spend more time on my Christian faith. So there will be Blogs on UI (Understanding Islam) as well and the Christian Faith. The books I have written, Wake Up! Wake Up! The Testimony of a Layman, and The Proven God will be emphasized along with additional writing I enjoy. (Both books are available at http://www.TomBalderston.com) What I read is mostly non-fiction books concerning the Bible and the Christian faith. The last two years I included reading the Quran and many associated documents on the subject of Islam. I will continue my quest to be enlightened by Islam, although I must admit what I have seen is greater darkness in a culture that dismisses logic, for the Christian the concept of the Logos, than an eye-opening justification to find salvation through Allah.
In the two future Blogs on UI I will summarize what I have gleaned first on the Muslim or Islamist (Part 102) and then present a summary on The Christian (Part 103), together they are to provide a comparison. In another future Blog on Understanding Islam ( #104 – Revelation vs. Reason) I will attempt to dialog more on the illogical, or the Islamic logic (but how can there be logic as it implies thoughtful consideration) of excluding ‘reason’ from the mind of the Muslim human, called by many writers ‘intellectual suicide’ for Islam.
With prayerful thought given to all who wish to be free in their thinking and understanding of the world that surrounds, to their role in life, to their purpose for living and to perceiving what God does and does not reveal. To engage the mind into making the cosmos for all, to include our world, this terra, a better place, peaceful, useful, productive and meaningful, only makes sense; how can it not? Can someone provide a cogent, not a fixed, mindless and entrenched belief that the future of the next step in a process cannot be foreseen, even if that process has been repeated over-and-over, observed, studied and made known, recorded and predictable? If may be willed otherwise, but by observation what can happen next, in all likelihood, would be as happened in the past.
God, in my opinion, wants man to know how our universe works, all its components, and Our Creator will make known what needs to be made known as necessary. But man will discover and is needed to make those discoveries. Probability is a mathematic tool of significant importance. The Scientific Method is used to confirm observations and establish facts, repeatable events, that enable future findings to ensue. Neither are used to judge God’s decisions, but to provide man tools to determine elements of the future that are not totally mysterious. God wants His mysteries understood to aid man in better knowing and having a stronger relationship with Him. God reveals his mysteries to those who get to know Him.
Grace and Peace