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u/n3wu53r · 12 pointsr/islam

First, if you really want to know. Read a book on Sirah (biography).

My favourite.

I have not read this one but it's getting a good reception.


Anyways, some hadith. This is only a small portion. Note, I got many of these from reading Abu Amin Elias's blog, so I relied on his translation. These are Sahih.

>Sa’d ibn Hisham reported: Ammar said, “O mother of the believers, tell me about the character of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him.” Aisha said:

> أَلَسْتَ تَقْرَأُ الْقُرْآنَ فَإِنَّ خُلُقَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ كَانَ الْقُرْآنَ

> Have you not read the Quran? Verily, the character of the Messenger of Allah was the Quran.

>Source: Sunan Abu Dawud 1342

.

>Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

>لَا تَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ حَتَّى تُؤْمِنُوا وَلَا تُؤْمِنُوا حَتَّى تَحَابُّوا أَوَلَا أَدُلُّكُمْ عَلَى شَيْءٍ إِذَا فَعَلْتُمُوهُ تَحَابَبْتُمْ أَفْشُوا السَّلَامَ بَيْنَكُمْ

>You will not enter Paradise until you believe and you will not believe until you love each other. Shall I show you something that, if you did, you would love each other? Spread peace between yourselves.

>Source: Sahih Muslim 54

.

>Anas ibn Malik reported:

> مَا رَأَيْتُ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ رُفِعَ إِلَيْهِ شَيْءٌ فِيهِ قِصَاصٌ إِلَّا أَمَرَ فِيهِ بِالْعَفْوِ

>I never saw a case involving legal retaliation being referred to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, except that he would command pardoning the criminal.

>Source: Sunan Abu Dawud 4497

.

>Aisha reported:

> مَا ضَرَبَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ خَادِمًا لَهُ وَلَا امْرَأَةً وَلَا ضَرَبَ بِيَدِهِ شَيْئًا

>The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, did not strike a servant or a woman, and he never struck anything with his hand.

>Source: Sahih Muslim 2328

.

>Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

> مَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ أَغْيَرُ مِنَ اللَّهِ مِنْ أَجْلِ ذَلِكَ حَرَّمَ الْفَوَاحِشَ

>None has more self-respect than Allah, so He has made obscenities unlawful.

> Source: Sahih Bukhari 4847

.

> Abdullah ibn Umar reported: A man asked the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, “Which Islam is best?” The Prophet said:

> تُطْعِمُ الطَّعَامَ وَتَقْرَأُ السَّلاَمَ عَلَى مَنْ عَرَفْتَ وَمَنْ لَمْ تَعْرِفْ

> To feed the hungry and to greet with peace those you know and those you do not know.

> Source: Sahih Bukhari 28

.

>As reported by Anas ibn Malik:


> أَنَّ يَهُودِيَّةً أَتَتْ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بِشَاةٍ مَسْمُومَةٍ فَأَكَلَ مِنْهَا فَجِيءَ بِهَا فَقِيلَ أَلَا نَقْتُلُهَا قَالَ لَا فَمَا زِلْتُ أَعْرِفُهَا فِي لَهَوَاتِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ

> A Jewish woman came to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, with a poisoned sheep and he ate from it. She was brought to him and it was said: Should we kill her? The Prophet said no. I continued to see the effects of the poison upon the Messenger of Allah.

> Source: Sahih Muslim 2190


.

> Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

> لَا يَنْبَغِي لِصِدِّيقٍ أَنْ يَكُونَ لَعَّانًا

>It is not befitting the truthful that they curse others.

>Source: Sahih Muslim 2597

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>Anas ibn Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, reports:

> خَدَمْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَشْرَ سِنِينَ وَاللَّهِ مَا قَالَ لِي أُفًّا قَطُّ وَلاَ قَالَ لِي لِشَىْءٍ لِمَ فَعَلْتَ كَذَا وَهَلاَّ فَعَلْتَ كَذَا

>I served the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, for ten years. By Allah, he never even said to me: Uff! He never said harshly for anything: Why did you do that? Why did you not do that?

>Source: Sahih Bukhari 5691

.

>Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

> لَيْسَ الْمُؤْمِنُ بِالطَّعَّانِ وَلَا اللَّعَّانِ وَلَا الْفَاحِشِ وَلَا الْبَذِيءِ

> The believer does not taunt others, he does not curse others, he does not use profanity, and he does not abuse others.

> Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 1977

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>Aisha reported:

> لَمْ يَكُنْ فَاحِشًا وَلَا مُتَفَحِّشًا وَلَا صَخَّابًا فِي الْأَسْوَاقِ وَلَا يَجْزِي بِالسَّيِّئَةِ السَّيِّئَةَ وَلَكِنْ يَعْفُو وَيَصْفَحُ

>The Prophet was not indecent, he was not obscene, he would not shout in the markets, and he would not respond to an evil deed with an evil deed, but rather he would pardon and overlook.

>Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 2016

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>يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ أَلَا إِنَّ رَبَّكُمْ وَاحِدٌ وَإِنَّ أَبَاكُمْ وَاحِدٌ أَلَا لَا فَضْلَ لِعَرَبِيٍّ عَلَى أَعْجَمِيٍّ وَلَا لِعَجَمِيٍّ عَلَى عَرَبِيٍّ وَلَا لِأَحْمَرَ عَلَى أَسْوَدَ وَلَا أَسْوَدَ عَلَى أَحْمَرَ إِلَّا بِالتَّقْوَى أَبَلَّغْتُ

>O people, your Lord is one and your father Adam is one. There is no virtue of an Arab over a foreigner nor a foreigner over an Arab, and neither white skin over black skin nor black skin over white skin, except by righteousness. Have I not delivered the message?

>Source: Musnad Ahmad 22978

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>Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, was told, “O Messenger of Allah, pray against the idolaters!” The Prophet said:

> إِنِّي لَمْ أُبْعَثْ لَعَّانًا وَإِنَّمَا بُعِثْتُ رَحْمَةً

> Verily, I was not sent to invoke curses, but rather I was only sent as mercy.

> Source: Sahih Muslim 2599

.


>Abu Ad-Darda reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

> أَلَا أُخْبِرُكُمْ بِأَفْضَلَ مِنْ دَرَجَةِ الصِّيَامِ وَالصَّلَاةِ وَالصَّدَقَةِ

> Shall I not tell you about what is more virtuous in degree than fasting, prayer, and charity?

>They said, Of course!” The Prophet said:

> صَلَاحُ ذَاتِ الْبَيْنِ فَإِنَّ فَسَادَ ذَاتِ الْبَيْنِ هِيَ الْحَالِقَةُ

>It is reconciliation between people. Verily, corrupted relations between people are the razor.

>Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 2509,

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>Ibn Mas’ud reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

> إِنَّ عَبْدًا مِنْ عِبَادِ اللَّهِ بَعَثَهُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ إِلَى قَوْمِهِ فَكَذَّبُوهُ وَشَجُّوهُ فَجَعَلَ يَمْسَحُ الدَّمَ عَنْ جَبِينِهِ وَيَقُولُ رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِقَوْمِي فَإِنَّهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

> Verily, a servant of Allah was sent to his people and they denied him, rejected him, and made blood spill from his forehead and he said: O Lord, forgive my people for they do not know.

> Source: Musnad Ahmad 4047

These are sahih.

>What about when he was criticized, or when Islam was criticized, how did he react to or deal with the criticism?

Note: "Mudhammam" is a kind of insulting pun. Change on letter in Muhammad for Mudhammam. Muhammad means "one who is beloved" and Mudhammam is the opposite.

>Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "Doesn't it astonish you how Allah protects me from the Quraish's abusing and cursing? They abuse Mudhammam and curse Mudhammam while I am Muhammad (and not Mudhammam). [Bukhari]

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>non-muslim friends

Does Rabbi Mukhayriq count? He had a great relationship with Abu Talib as well but he was family.

Also watch this lecture on Mut`im b. Adi.

u/LIGHTNlNG · 1 pointr/islam

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_____INTRODUCTION TO ISLAM__

u/hdah24 · 5 pointsr/islam

The problem with any argument based on the life and actions of Muhammad is that such actions are hotly contested. Historically speaking, there is little trustworthy evidence covering his life - and western historiography has struggled to make anything of what is left (scholars such as P. Crone, M. Cook and more recently Tom Holland have done a lot of work on this).

If you're interested in this topic, I suggest you get your hands on J. A. C. Brown's book 'Misquoting Muhammad'. At a fundamental level it will demonstrate how elements of the prophet's life were reinterpreted (read: rewritten) by later scholars to justify certain acts, but it also (and Patricia Crone, Michael Cook and Tom Holland concentrate on this) covers the very serious problems faced in looking at Muhammad's life historically.

It goes like this:

In Islam, one aims to be like Muhammad. He is the role model and his actions determine how one should act. Thus you have hadith telling you whether he urinated standing up or sitting down, just as a silly example. Extremist groups like IS take this to the extreme (hence they are 'extremists'). Most Muslims are willing to accept, just as Christians are in reference to the Bible, that their prophet lived within a historical context and that God's revelation was relevant to that context. For many Muslims, it is compatible that they deviate from Muhammad's example in some ways, for he lived in a different time. They focus on the positive aspects of his character, of which there truly is many - he is by all accounts a great man, kind and generous, diplomatic and peace-loving. The negative aspects of his character are ignored, for to acknowledge them would be to undermine his importance and sanctity as a messenger of God. It's around here that I personally unsubscribe from religion - I find this idea incompatible. But to many, many people, this is okay, and they remain believers. I, and all, should respect that choice.

Anyway, herein lies a very strange historical phenomenon. Usually, the further we get from a historical event, the less is known. For the life of Muhammad, however, it seems the opposite is true: the further we get from his life the more and more detail there is about him. This can be explained, but the explanation is uncomfortable for a lot of Muslims. His life was not recorded at the time. It was remembered orally - thus you have the isnad chains of the hadith - as was the qur'an which was not codified until Caliph 'Umar at the earliest. Oral transmission is not a reliable way to preserve historical truth, especially when we're talking about centuries of oral transmission. Muslim scholars of the 10th and 11th centuries, when the life of Muhammad was codified, tried their utmost to determine what was legitimately true and what was not. But a significant amount of these 'true' hadiths have been found to be problematic (see Ignaz Goldziher, for one).

I could go on, but the general moral of the story here is that the life of Muhammad is a fascinating historiographical phenomenon. Here we have possibly the most detailed account of the life of any historical individual: few humans in history have had so much written about them. Yet all of that knowledge is on incredibly shaky ground, and in reality we are left with very little, if anything, about his life.

In relation to your questions, this is just a background understanding which I think it is important. I wish to respond to them, though, on an understanding (for sake of argument) that the early Islamic historical tradition is reliable (which it is not). For the record, I'm a Western Historian with no religious biases either way, interested only in historical fact and the implications of that fact.

> Didn't Muhammad collect sex slaves

He certainly had at least one: Maria al-Qibtiyya, who was a Coptic slave (Christian from Egypt) and bearer of his only son, Ibrahim, who died as a child. The two were not married, and she was in servitude to him, having been a gift from al-Muqawqis, the Christian ruler/governor of Egypt.

Now we return to historical context, which I'm sure you would agree is hugely important. Groups like IS, being 'extreme' (as I discuss earlier), ignore historical context. But the majority of Muslims worldwide are happy to accept that this was appropriate at the time, but no longer is. For in 7th century Arabia - and indeed across the world from China to Constantinople, from Balkh to Rome - sex slaves were an accepted part of society. The Christian monarchs of medieval Europe had sex slaves. By modern standards even, almost all of those monarchs were sexual abusers - their wives were usually younger than 18, often younger than 16.

My point here, as in the next couple of points, is that context is everything. What Muslims do celebrate though is that Muhammad's treatment of women was actually far, far better than that of the cultures which preceded him. Islam gave women property rights, for example. Women in China, Iran and Europe did not have property rights. Many contemporary observers in Europe from the 7th century onwards actually express surprise at the high status given to women in Islamic society - it is unusual to them.

>"Strike at the neck" to his enemies

This is from Qur'an 47:4, and is one of many massively misunderstood passages explained by this helpful infographic. Ironically, you'll find this if you browse the top of all time on this very subreddit.

> A religious tax

This is a seriously long and complicated subject and i've already babbled on enough, but I will make one important point here: the level of tax imposed by the Arabs on the empire established under the Rashidun was significantly better than the level of tax imposed prior. Those who lived in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt etc. actually found that under Islamic government they had a far better deal than under Byzantine or Sasanian rule.

Furthermore, there was no concerted effort of conversion. The idea that Islam was spread by the sword is historically false. In Western historiography we call the conquests 'Arab', not 'Islamic', in order to make this clear. In fact, we find the opposite is true: the Arabs were very reluctant to let non-Arabs convert to Islam. The Abbasid revolution in 750, one of the great historical junctures in the political history of Islam, was a direct result of non-Arab converts (mawali) being angry that Arab Muslims were not treating them like Muslims. The conquests, and the rule of the 'Islamic' world from the 7th century until about the 10th, was 'Arab', not 'Muslim'. After ~10th century, with the Shu'ubiyya and rise of Persian dynasties, it became 'Persian', rather than Arab - but still not 'Muslim'. This idea of 'Islamic conquests' and 'Islamic rule' is historically unfounded.

I could go on, but Islam has an incredible political, cultural and religious history which I highly recommend you read about. I'm not a Muslim and not a die-hard defender of religion, nor am I anti-religious or anti-Islam. The more I learn about it, the more I find ignorance and misunderstanding on both sides. The more I realise that, as with all history and cultural development, the truth is murky and somewhere in the middle.

TL;DR: From a historical perspective, we have to be careful when talking about the life of Muhammad. Some of what you claim is true, but must be contextualised. Some is not, and represent major misunderstandings of Islam found in the west. Overall, we should all be a bit more critical of what we think we know and understand. That goes for anti-Islamic people and Muslims alike. Perhaps the world would be a better place if everyone just accepted that we all have different worldviews, and none of them are perfect.

u/autumnflower · 10 pointsr/islam

> I don't see God as a person or personality but rather as infinite intelligence which we are connected to

What do you mean by infinite intelligence? Where does it come from and what is it based on? How do you view the world in light of this infinite intelligence? Was it created by this intelligence or did the intelligence pre-exist or is the infinite intelligence part and parcel of the universe? And if it's the latter, then how did the world come about, i.e. do you believe in a creator?

And if you don't mind, what do you base your view on? What I mean is that there is usually some basis for one's belief, some scriptural source which is believed to be divinely revealed or inspired, some reason based argument, etc. How do you come to this particular belief? Is it just one that appeals to you?


In Islam God is the creator and sustainer. He is distinct from creation. When we pray to God, we are declaring that we are slaves in submission to Allah and such a status is the highest and best a creation could possibly be. Praying for something (ex. a job) is recognition that we have no power and all power and provision lies with God and it is only through Him that we may obtain something we want.

Angels and Jinn are creations just like us. Angels are made from light and Jinn from fire, so in a sense, I suppose you could consider them as made from energy though not in the new-age energy kind of view.


>I find it hard that there's a person who listens and is then like "Yes/No" and decides everything.

Why do you find it hard to believe that there's an infinite One entity that decides everything? The God of Islam is not a man in the sky with limited time and resources. He is eternal and knows everything, decides everything, and does everything. You wouldn't even be typing this reddit post without His willing to do so. He encompasses everything and is closer to you than your jugular vein, yet is distinct from his creation.

And though He has infinite intelligence, to say that this is all He is would be to limit Him. Have a look at the 99 names of Allah, each a characteristic of His.

My recommendation would be, if you haven't already done so, to read a biography of the prophet Muhammad (sawa). And the Qur'an.

u/ohamid345 · 3 pointsr/islam

>Inshallah I want to read about the life of the prophet Muhammad (pbuh), but it's hard to trust random online sites from Muslims, who will naturally praise him, and sites from Christians/atheists who only want to slander him. I honestly don't know what to believe.

Karen Armstrong is not a Muslim and has written a biography of the Prophet ﷺ, see: Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time. We do not need her to praise the Prophet ﷺ in order for it to be the case however.

>Was he truly the final prophet of God? This question has been bothering so much that I can't sleep a night. The past few night I've been up till the sun came up researching.

Rest assured, the Prophet ﷺ was the final prophet. Here is a helpful video on the matter: The Prophetic Truth: Proving Prophet Muhammad's ﷺ Prophethood.

>I've briefly read about the supposed miracles he did, but how do we know these are true? Please help me!

The miracles took place in the past, so we can't see them happen in front of us right now, we can trust the sources which tell us he did do them, however. But the miracle which is still here today is the Quran: God’s Testimony: The Divine Authorship of the Quran.

u/shikatozi · 1 pointr/islam

Salaam Sbadiglio. Thanks, but the important thing to remember is that there are other Muslims just like me all around the world, and I'm not even that good. I'm not a shiek/imam, and I do sin, whether I know it or not. However, I do ask Allah for forgiveness for the sin I do. Alhamduallah Allah knows best.

Are there sins so great that could get someone beyond redemption? The most dangerous sin is shirk, that is idolatry or polytheism. It is important to emphasize that in Islam, there is no God but Allah. Can shirk/murder/fornication/etc be forgiven? It is up to Allah. However, it is important for Muslims to quickly recognize that if they are sinning to quickly stop doing the sin and ask forgiveness and to prevent themselves from sinning again. Intention is also important; what is in your heart is the true intention.

are you free to read it and take "lessons" from it by yourself or is there only one way for everyone? A couple of things: 1) Translated versions of the Quran are not the Quran. The Quran is only the Quran if it is in Arabic. In addition, the Quran is an -immensely- complex and logical book. True scholars in Islam do not just read the Quran, they read the hadiths (stories of the Prophet Muhammed peace and blessings to him) associated with the sura (chapter), they study for years and years the scholars before themselves, they spend incredible amount of time, wisdom, and energy deriving lessons from the Quran. But you might ask yourself, if the book is so complex, then how is it supposed to be a manual for humanity? Well, at the same time, the Quran lays out simple laws for the common man to obey. Do not cheat on your wife, do no injustice to your fellow man, do not oppress, eat halal and spend your money on charity, pray 5 times a day, fast during Ramadan. These are simple laws that everyone can follow. So, in essence, yes you can read the Quran, but -understanding- it is a different thing. To understand the Quran, I highly recommend going to a mosque, watching Islamic videos (the good, authentic ones with sources), taking classes, talking to fellow Muslims, reading Islamic books and really diving into the history of Islam. I really recommend you read this book. It is about the Prophet Muhammed, peace and blessings upon him. It's a good first step.

do you think that muslim face discrimination in the world nowdays? No doubt about it. Somewhere around the world, there are people being discriminated for their race, belief, ideas, religion, etc. One of the worst sins is oppression. Oppressing others/not treating them fairly is very bad. We must be mindful and proactive about stopping this discrimination/oppression. If you see a child treating another child unfairly, we must teach them the right way to treat one another.

Yes, well media is media, they have their own agenda and their own intention. But alhamduallah there is no greater force than Allah, and I would rather be a bum who is a devout Muslim than the King of the finite world
who is not Muslim. It is this inner serenity, this peace that Islam has that cannot be brought or challenged.

Salaam friend!

u/TheKingOfTheGame · 1 pointr/islam

Welcome to /r/Islam :)

About the basics of Islam, read this
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Firstly, Praise to God. I am sure alot of other people will answer better than me, but I'll try. First off, for Muhammed (saw) in the bible, here is a very interesting video by a former Christan youth minister titled - "How the Bible Led me to Islam"

His story is so interesting because he figured out that a through read of bible itself made him realize something, and convinced him to study other religions in which he found finally found Islam, his story is something every typical Christian should hear.

Secondly, You said:

>I'd like recommendations for a quran translation.

I personally believe that people willing to learn about Islam should read the biography of Muhammed (saw) first to get a grasp of the message of Islam, how it spread, and how we come to respect this man as the greatest of all creation. The best book I recommend is Tariq Ramadan's Book about Muhammed and his life.

Once you've done that, I recommend an exegesis over a translation because your understanding is enhanced.

But a good translation is: http://quran.com
An exegesis (recommended) is: http://www.amazon.com/The-Quran-Oxford-Worlds-Classics/dp/0199535957

Hope that helps.

u/dassitt · 23 pointsr/islam

The Qur'an can be a confusing text for beginners, especially its English translation. It isn't a "book" in the traditional sense. It's meant to be lived, interacted with, and recited out loud often. Hence, you'll find a lot of repetition, as repetition is one of the hallmarks of oral recitation; the best way to emphasize a point orally is to repeat it again and again. The Qur'an isn't a book that one is meant to simply read, and no translation can match up the majesty, eloquence, and utter elegance of its original Arabic.

I'd recommend keeping that in mind when approaching the Qur'an! It might seem daunting and inaccessible at first, and you might think, "OK, I get it," when you read the repetitive descriptions of warnings of hellfire, pleasures of paradise, mercy of Allah, etc again and again and again. Just remember: this isn't a traditional book, it's a lived, interactive text :)

Also, I'd highly recommend The Study Qur'an. It not only provides commentary and historical context to every single verse, but includes maps and many other useful tools. One of my favorite features of The Study Qur'an is its extensive collection of essays in the back of the book, ranging from topics such as Islamic art and architecture and medieval Islamic philosophy to women in Islam and Islamic eschatology. If you're in the US, it's available at most Barnes & Noble stores as well!

Most importantly, if you have any questions, come seek us! I am by no means an expert of the Qur'an, but a lot of things can be taken out of context and Islamophobes love to cherry pick certain verses that appear outwardly violent. This is a super handy infographic to explain some of them, and most English Qur'ans with commentary (including The Study Qur'an) will provide explanations and context as well!

Best of luck! Let us know if you need anything at all and what your honest thoughts are!

u/baronfebdasch · 13 pointsr/islam

As people have mentioned here, Sufism is incredibly misunderstood on multiple level by various types of people. It would be good to discuss some terms first:

  1. Tasawwuf and Tazkiyah - these are common terms that are associated with Sufism. They both share similar meanings, I won't go into the details but basically both mean achieving spiritual purification. In essence, practicing tasawwuf is what Sufism is supposed to be about. To people who misunderstand these terms, or who look historically improper connotations associated with it, hearing the term "Tasawwuf" can mean running for the hills in fear of bidah (improper innovation in Islamic practices/worship/etc.). Unfortunately, tasawwuf as a term has the same problem that the terms "Islamic fundamentalism" have (Note that there is nothing wrong with wanting to follow the fundamentals of Islam, but clever wordplay by folks in the media have redefined this to mean "supports terrorism" in the same way that tasawwuf is associated with "practicing bidah"

  2. Tariqah - This is the following of a sheikh or equivalent spiritual master to help achieve tasawwuf and the like. Consider this the same way that one might go to the same psychiatrist for therapy. The psychiatrist grows to understand your condition, and suggests exercises and approaches to help you deal with the problems. In the same way, following a tariqah allows one to use a path (like how 12 step programs work) in order to achieve spirituality. Tariqah is not necessary for tasawwuf. And not all tariqahs are equal, there are many that follow deviant ideologies and practices.

  3. Ihsan - Here's a term that people are more likely to agree with. Ihsan is a difficult word to deal with, but everyone knows there are three dimensions to a Muslim - Iman, Islam, and Ihsan. Iman is faith itself (although that is such a limiting definition), Islam is the "what" (think the other 4 pillars) and Ihsan is the "how." It isn't "how" in terms of the action, but rather the state of your heart and intention. It's about purity in action. Tasawwuf is ultimately about attaining a high state of Ihsan.

  4. Zuhd - This is another important term. Also difficult to explain, but in essence it is about avoiding attachments to this life. Zuhd is not about monasticism, and it's not about just refusing everything in this life. It's about understanding the big picture. The afterlife is the true life, this is just fleeting. If Allah gives you rizq and you earned it through halal means, enjoy it, provided you fulfill your obligations first. But if your happiness is focused on the accumulation of wealth, like our consumer society is, there is a problem. Zuhd is in many ways the opposite of riya, which is arrogance or showing off.

  5. Shariah - Now here is a term that one accustomed to the popular (in the Western sense) impressions of Sufism. Shariah is the limits. Islam is not a religion where the ends justify the means. It sets the limits according to what Allah ordains is permissible and not. Feeding one's family is a requirement and an act of worship. Feeding one's family by stealing from your employer is not. Making dawah is incumbent on every believer. Forcing conversion is not. In the same manner, achieving a higher state of spirituality is of course something expected of the believer. Performing this outside the boundaries of the Shariah is not. Thus some practices that can be associated with Sufism (whirling dervishes, the use of narcotics, abandoning prayer on the pretense that you have achieved a higher level of spirituality, etc.) are impermissible.

    So what is Sufism really? In its true form, it is attaining spirituality within the bounds of the Shariah. There cannot be Sufism without Fiqh. Anything other than that is neither Sufism nor is it Islam. It becomes a sin. Sufism is not about monastic isolation, it is not about changing Islamic law, and it is not about having hallucinations of seeing Allah.

    What are good bases for achieving spirituality and tasawwuf? It all starts with purifying one's character. There are many great books on this topic. A lot of them are written by several scholars from the subcontinent, such as students of Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi. They had collections of ahadith and primers on tasawwuf to counteract the growing movement that was attacking Sufism from two sides: First, those who were so apprehensive about bidah that they rejected any notion of tasawwuf in Islam, and secondly, those who were so into spirituality that they abandoned the core responsibilities ordained to them by their maker.

    I've got titled in Urdu, but some good books in English are Purification of the Heart and Prohibitions of the Tongue (this might be out of print, I'll look for a PDF. It's translated from Mawlana Mawlud from Hamza Yusuf). In both books, the core is to first and foremost improve our character. If our character is poor, we cannot possibly achieve any spirituality. Oftentimes when people go abroad to study under scholars, they will find themselves forced to observe their teachers, and clean up the masjid, etc. The intent is to have the students first and foremost learn proper character before even opening a single text. That is what inculcates spirituality and tasawwuf.

    One thing to clarify when it comes to Sufis and Sufism. By following the Shariah, we all are trying to achieve the same destination, which is Jannah. Spirituality comes naturally to some, and is more difficult for others. The goal is not the trance. The goal is not to have visions and dreams of pious predecessors. The goal is Jannah.

    A great analogy that Sheikh Rami Nsour gave me was to look at life like a plane trip. The Shariah is our ticket, and it lets us board the plane. Some people have window seats, where along the way they might have a nice view of all kinds of amazing things along the way. Some have middle seats, where their view isn't as great. Others have aisle seats, who don't have any good view of things along the flight. However, what the passenger sees along the way does not change the destination. All the passengers, Insha Allah, are on the flight to the same destination, Jannah.

    I have some more that I could add to, but I'll leave it here. Anything that is good and true comes from Allah, and anything that is incorrect is a fault from my own self and I ask for forgiveness from you all and from Allah.

    Edit: added definition for zuhd
u/Exxec71 · 3 pointsr/islam

You'll have to forgive me I'm neither the most knowledgeable, intelligent or even the best choice as a role model. I am only someone who wants to help even if its weighted in terms of an atom.

In the name of the most gracious, the most merciful.

You won't turn into an imam overnight unfortunately however we are humans and intended to err. It is by design we commit sin, the only difference is those that ask for forgiveness afterwards. You seem to intend well and fortunately you have a goal which is miles ahead of some of your peers. In my experience (yes I have highs and lows) starting with the simplest thing than work your way up. First and foremost should be porn. That's a abyss without end so be extra careful. Try to quit slowly and inshallah days turn to weeks and on. As in try to maintain yourself for a bit then if you err your err but double your efforts next time. Fast if you have to until you succeed one day so on and so on. Second Start praying just the morning prayer than work your way gradually up but don't drag your feet and don't push too hard. Allah may give you a hard time now but thats only to lesson any punishment and possibly reward you. Your young and inshallah have a long and prosperous life ahead of you. Your fear of Allah probably stems from a lack of knowledge however you wanting him to be happy is something to think about. I say spend some time reading the Quran. A easy translation like oxfords MAS abdel haleem. If its okay with you I'll buy you a kindle copy. Educate yourself by reading some of the background info on chapters in the Quran then work your way up. There are free online courses or you can consider applying to the Zaytuna institue. Only You can hold yourself back. May Allah forgive us both and grant us patience, knowledge and save us from even the mere warmth of hellfire.

Edit: Typos and some wording.

u/Elliot_Loudermilk · 5 pointsr/islam

It takes time to research and learn about any theology. Islam is no exception.

I'd recommend looking into Scott Atran. Scott Atran is one of the worlds leading anthropologists. His publications are great and I'd recommend them all, but because we're on the interwebs I'll diversify it a bit.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5701806759199654816
^Scott Atran at Beyond Belief in '06. 40 minute lecture. Must watch. A crash course on Islam in the context of politics, news, and the West.

http://nationalinterest.org/bookreview/sam-harriss-guide-nearly-everything-4893
^His most recent publication- a review of Sam Harris' new book. I highly recommend reading this it's well worth it.

For an understanding of Islam, you have to turn to the Qur'an. But it really is not easy to just pick up and read. It requires a lot of knowledge about context, translation, format and other things.

http://www.ted.com/talks/lesley_hazelton_on_reading_the_koran.html
^Lezley Hazelton's introduction to get you motivated. Good watch.

I also recommend "Approaching the Qur'an" by Michael Sells. It explains context, significance of translation, and the importance of interpretation. It's a great short book that is pretty widely available.

http://www.amazon.com/Approaching-Quran-Revelations-MIchael-Sells/dp/1883991692/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1308671898&sr=8-1

More? Nouman Ali Khan's story is interesting and you might find it worth watching if you're interested. A Muslim who became an atheist but turned back to Islam and became a scholar. His videos are all over youtube and very informative. His story: http://youtu.be/FD8AWqMUv18

u/austex_mike · 3 pointsr/islam

OK, in the interest of full disclosure I am not Muslim. However I have a degree in Islamic studies, studied Arabic in the Middle East, and have weekly Quran studies in my home.

So, first of all it is important to know that the original Qur'an is in Arabic, and many Muslims believe that in order to truly be able to understand the message of the Qur'an, you must read it in Arabic. That said, there are countless translations (some refer to them as "interpretations") of the Qur'an.

Two things to know about the Qur'an before you start. 1) As far as we know, the text of the Qur'an we have today is believed to be the same as the one recited during the life of the Prophet Muhammed. (PBUH). Unlike the Bible, the Qur'an is not a collection of stories from various sources of hundreds of years. The Qur'an as it is today is as far as we know exactly the same now as it was during the life of Muhammad. 2) The Qur'an itself is organized more or less in order from the longest chapter to the shortest. So for someone unfamiliar with the Qur'an it can be a little intimidating to start reading from beginning to end.

So, since I have lots of experience with the Qur'an, both in Arabic and English, and I have lots of experience with teaching others about it, I have learned a couple things to make it easier for people who are reading it for the first time that you might find helpful.

First, rather than read the Qur'an in the order it is traditionally arranged in, I find that it is better to read it in chronological order that the chapters were revealed in, meaning you will read it in the order that the Prophet Muhammad received the chapters from Allah. Just imagine yourself as a Arab in the 7th century who was used to hearing about pagan religion, so this on God concept is new to you. So if you look at this list you will see in the column on the far right the number of the chapters, 96 being the first one, 68 being the second one, etc.. So you will pick up your Qur'an and turn to chapter 96, then go to chapter 68 and so forth.

Second, you need to decide on a translation. Everyone has an opinion in this matter as to which translation is the best. Honestly no translation is perfect, and if you want to really understand the Qur'an you will need to read it several times. But based on my experience I have found Western English speakers do best with is the Haleem translation. The Haleem English is easy to understand, and the notes are just enough to give you some context for each chapter. So my advice is to pick up that translation and begin reading it in chronological order. I literally own dozens of translations, and have tested them all with English speakers and people new to the Qur'an, Haleem's really stands out as the easiest to understand for people new to the Qur'an.

For an idea of what your journey will be like reading the Qur'an, check out this video from Lesley Hazelton.

Did you find a place to ask a similar question about the Bible? I would be interested to know what people tell you.

u/costofanarchy · 9 pointsr/islam

This is correct in terms of both contemporary Sunni and Shi'i Islam. Scholars are generally recognized by their erudition and contributions to the theory and/or application of Islamic (as well as other areas such as theology, Qur'anic exegesis, spiritual practice, etc.).

I can comment more on the situation in Twelver Shi'ism, as I am a Twelver Shi'i Muslim myself. Twelver Shi'ism will appear to have more of a hierarchical structure or at least exhibit more centrality than what is seen in the Sunni world, but it's still very far form the central hierachy of the Catholic clergly. While often finds comparisons between the Shi'i scholars and the catholic clergy in the media and even in the academic literature, these comparisons are often misguided, and at the very least reductive. Basically, within Twelver Shi'ism since the late eighteenth (or perhaps more accurately/practically, the mid-nineteenth century), the common practice has been for the laity to follow the rulings of the most learned scholar that has the authority to exercise independent legal judgements (although these are still, at least nominally, only derivations made from the source material, the Qur'an and ahadith, rather than original legislation); they would also pay the khums tax to this scholar if applicable, which among other things, funds the seminaries. At various points in time one figure would be seen by the vast majority as the most learned, but at other points in time (such as the current era), there would be multiple figures with large followings. Virtually anyone could announce themselves as a learned scholar, but to be taken seriously by much of the population, and indeed by ones peers, one would typically need to study in one of several seminaries (which today would primarily be those in Qum, Iran and to a lesser extent in Najafi, Iraq) under well-known teachers (generally, the most recognized scholars of the previous generation). Things have become more complicated since the Islamic Revolution in Iran, where the lines between scholarship and public service (i.e., holding positions of political power) are becoming blurred.

The situation within contemporary Sunni Islam is even more decentralized. For one things, there are four major legal schools within Sunni Islam, and then there's also the Salafi movement that exists outside of those legal schools. Moreover, scholarship even within the same legal school can be quite different based on geography. For example, the Hanafi school is the primary school followed in both Asia Minor (e.g., Turkey) and Central/South Asia, but as I've heard there's quite a difference between the practice of the religion, even in its more legal dimensions, between say Turkey and Pakistan; in fact even within South Asia, there are multiple approaches taken by Hanafi Sunni Musilms that lead to quite different expressions of religion, and each will have their own scholars.

Moreover, the prestige of centers of learning within Sunni Islam have also been in flux lately. One of the issues in Sunni scholarship today is that whereas in Shi'i Islam centers of learning are primarily funded through khums, in Sunni Islam they've historically relied mainly on awqaf (charitable endowments, the singular form is waqf), and these were regulated if not outright taken by modern nation states in the contemporary era. In fact, modern (often secular) nation states in the Islamic world began to increasingly oversee and regulate the formal practice of religion and its scholarship within their borders. Therefore, scholars became increasingly dependent on the state for support, so you have something like national hierarchies forming, with say, a grand mufti at the head. This in term led to the prestige of centers of learning such as Al-Azhar university in Cairo, Egypt to fall in the eyes of many, as they were seen as being co-opted by the state (although the relationship between scholars and temporal power has always been tenuous and tricky in both the Sunni and Shi'i traditions). Simultaneously, we've seen increasing prestige associated with the Salafi expression of Islam (with centers of learning in Saudi Arabia), which ostensibly eschews all hierarchy even more rigorously than what's seen in other expressions of Islam, by rejecting the legal schools. However, some would contend that effectively, much of Salafi practice comes from treating a small number of contemporary scholars as authorities.

Of course there are other Muslim groups, so we can briefly cover them. Zaydi Shi'ism also has a rich history of scholarship, based primarily in Yemen, but I'm less familiar with that to comment (and at various times throughout history the lines between Zaydi scholarship and Sunni scholarship have become blended), and I know virtually nothing about Ibadi scholarship (which is a school of thought that is neither Shi'i nor Sunni, largely based in Oman), and ditto for Zahiri scholarship (sometimes considered a fifth school in Sunni Islam). I should add that the Nizari Ismaili Shi'i community does feature a type of hierarchy, in that they have a present living Imam who carries the charismatic authority of the Prophet (saws), as opposed to the hidden Imam of the Twelver Shi'is; this Imam can act as an infallible. But really this is one charismatic figure, who essentially acts like a head of state without a territory in the modern world, surrounded by a bureaucracy. For more information, you can look up the Agha Khan Development Network (AKDN). I should add though that Nizari Isma'ilis today resemble something that is basically unrecognizable when compared to normative Sunni, Twelver/Zaidi/Shi'i, and Ibadi Islam.

There are also Sufi groups, most of which fall within Sunni Islam legally speaking, but some of which are not strictly speaking Sunni (and might actually be affiliated with Twelver Shi'ism, even though Sufism is generally viewed upon negatively in that tradition). Here you might have some hierarchy within a tariqa but that's different. There are also antinomian Sufi groups, which do their own thing and don't really follow Islamic law. These may exhibit some cult-like tendencies, where you have a charismatic community built around one or a small group of leaders, but here I'm just speculating as this is pretty far from the areas I'm knowledgeable about.

In short, aside from these mystical/antinomian persuasions, in theory, a scholar in Islam is really no different than a member of the laity in religious/theological terms, except for their ability to issue rulings on religious law. Although I don't know much about Catholicism (so take this with a grain or few of salt), I guess you can think of Muslim scholars as something in between a lay theologian and a canon lawyer I guess. In practice, of course, they serve in a distinct social/cultural role, and do things like leading prayers, officiating marriages, handling burial rites, counseling people and giving them advice, etc., although a qualified lay individual can fulfill all these functions too.

For further reading on Sunni scholarship, see Jonathan A.C. Brown's Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenge and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet's Legacy, and for further reading on Shi'i scholarship, see Roy Mottahedeh's The Mantle of the Prophet.

u/[deleted] · 8 pointsr/islam

Wa `alaykum,

I'll let others recommend websites. In terms of books, there's a lot of material in English available, but it can be tough to find stuff that's well-written. I've found many books to unfortunately be written in very dry and unengaging language due to the challenges of translations.

That being said, here are a few gems that I've come across:

  • Suzanne Haneef's book What Everyone Should Know About Islam and Muslims serves as an excellent primer on Islam. The author is a female convert, and I think she offers a unique perspective female readers will appreciate.
  • Martin Ling's Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources is an excellent English biography of the Prophet (s.). The book reads like a story as opposed to a dull recitation of dates and incidents. You'll encounter many names as the book progresses, but don't get overwhelmed. Lastly, the author made some mistakes that have been corrected by respected Islamic scholars (feel free to ask or PM if interested and I'll post/forward a link for more info) but for the most part I think it represents an excellent resource for the English reader.
  • I have not read the translation in full myself, but I have heard a lot of praise for M.A.S. Abdel Haleem's translation of the Qur'an from Muslims involved in introducing non-Muslims to Islam.

    Hope this helps!
u/Didyekenit · 3 pointsr/islam

"The Study Qur'an" cites multiple tafsir, which I quite like.



The problem is that many of the more readily available tafsir are more conservative, or have a wahabi bend to them, which can give you a false impression that all Muslims agree with certain statements. The Hilali-Khan translation/tafsir is just a summarized version of Ibn Kathir, which is a Salafist interpretation. (Again, I urge that anyone study tafsir from multiple schools of thought, and I am not bashing any one sect, it's just that there are many, many, many interpretations of the text and a knowledge of more than one is beneficial.)



Yusuf Ali's commentary is good, and in fact his Qur'an was the gold standard for the last 100 years in English. It's probably a bit old fashioned for most, though.



Muhammad Assad's is very good. Extremely good, and the one 90% of people would reccomend, and one you should just get anyway. Though some of his commentary is not inline with Islamic thought (his views on Jesus, for example, are controversial in general), but you should read any tafsir with a grain of salt.


Ma'ariful Qur'an is an excellent modern tafsir. Usmani was a Hanbali or Hanafi, I believe, but manages to be neutral and quite moderate in his commentary. The cost of the full 8 volume set is a bit much, but you can get a cheap version from India for a low price if you don't mind imperfect binding (I found all 8 volumes in a local shop for around 60$ CAD, which is awesome.).



If you want to read an AMAZING Shi'a commentary (you likely are not Shi'a, but still.....people should understand multiple views on any topic whether or not you agree), then Tafsir al-Mizan is incredible. It's not 100% translated into English yet, but it is available for free online. Whether Shi'a or Sunni, I think it can be agreed that Muhammad Husayn at-Tabataba'i was a great scholar.


The only work in English which includes multiple tafsir from multiple schools and multiple writers is the Study Qur'an, and it is insanely exhaustive, listing all of the sources and even telling the reader where to go and read most of the tafsir cited on the internet. It's amazing. Spend the money and also buy some "Bible highlighters" (the kind that work on thin pages). (I have been using a regular Staples brand "Hype!" highlighter and it doesn't bleed through, though, so the pages are quite tough despite being thin. Pen doesn't go through either, as I have been underlining quite a lot and have had no problems, but I would still recommend a .005 fine line marker just in case.]


If you are a cheapskate, go to altafsir.org, which is what "The Study Qur'an" advises also. You can either search for individual verses and pull up different classical tafsir for that verse, or just download/read a PDF of an entire tafsir if you prefer. Tafsir al-Jalalayn is, as I understand, the most universally used in teaching Qur'an because it is short, and only provides the context of revelation for verses. You may want more in-depth tafsir, but al-Jalalayn has been the jumping off point for Muslims for 500 years. And is available on altafsir.


tl;dr - "The Study Qur'an"

u/hl_lost · 2 pointsr/islam

>rejecting anything in Islam that does not go along with their subjective morality

You are assuming here. Do you know the amount of disagreement traditional scholars and schools of thought have on almost anything? Were they using their subjective morality? No of course not. They were victims of their cultural and historic backgrounds. You can say the same about liberals but i would suggest you don't ascribe intention to them in a blanket statement like this. Otherwise you will be calling Mufti Abu Layth, Dr. Shabir Ally, even Dr. Brown liberals who just follow their whims. (btw, please read this)

>you cannot do so while hand waving away things like modesty and hijab, the difference in roles of men and women, the role of shari'ah in our lives, etc

Thats not what the problem is at all. First of all, things are not black and white as you seem to think. Also the issue is spending 99.999% of time in these issues. Spending our lives doing nothing but following rote dogma. The world is crumbling around us and all we seem to want to do is close our eyes and recite Allah HoAkbar 30 times, 3 times a day and after each prayer and before sleeping and after waking up immediately and before wudu and ... Is that the Islam you think God wants you to practice? Or the balanced one where you wake up thinking to yourself how you can help those around you while saying your prayers and dressing modest?

>You also then cannot pick and choose the most liberal opinion on every issue simply because you agree with it

lol, nobody does that. Thats just a convenient strawman the traditionalists set up to attack. The truth of the matter is that we have a rich history of diverse opinions on anything, wine from grapes vs other sorts of wine, music, apostasy, punishment for adultery, definition of modest dress etc. We even have a huge diversity in philosophical thought. I mean for heaven's sake the Mutazilites were the state sponsored religion for over 30 years! and this is early Islamic history. Then you have philosophers like Ibn Sina and Averroes amongst others who were rationalists and this is all early Islam. How can you now come 1400 years later and say that the earliest muslims had it completely wrong? Its not about right or wrong. Its not about black or white. Religion, like anything in life is nuanced.

>then rejecting the same scholar on another issue simply because they disagree with his conclusion

God gave you intellect. God asks you to question things and to find out the truth using your intellect. You agree with one scholarly opinion based on his/her evidences and you disagree with another because a lack of evidence or because another scholar has a stronger evidence in that case. What is wrong with that? Or do you want to disobey God and just follow a scholar blindly? I agree with the case Dr. Brown makes for why women can lead men in mixed congregation from behind as he laid out in his book. I have not found any sensible rebuttal to that yet. I disagree with Dr. Brown on the age of Aisha. Whenever he has talked about the age, he has never once addressed the multiple other evidences such as her joining Badr, her conversion to Islam etc. So how can I just close my intellect, become a dumb animal, and say that since Dr. Brown opines it, i believe it?

Ultimately, I alone will answer for my beliefs and actions in front of God. May God guide me to what is right and correct and protect me from ideas and thoughts that are against His will.

u/Lizardman_Gr · 2 pointsr/islam

You should read the Qur'an. That might help increase your faith. Also, read about Imam Ali (a.s) the son of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him and his progeny). There is a good book called "In the footsteps of the Prophet (a.s)". You can look it up to see how our Prophet lived. Also look up the Nahjul Balagha, or "Peak of Eloquence" which is about Imam Ali (a.s). This book has strengthened countless people's faith in God. There is a hadiths which I roughly translate saying "If I am the city of knowledge, then Ali is the gate".

We are translating from Arabic to English, so if anything upsets you please send me a message. I have come across bad translations, and passages which need clarification. That said, this is my favorite English Qur'an, because it is so well translated, and it's language is not Old-English.
http://www.amazon.com/The-Quran-Oxford-Worlds-Classics/dp/0199535957

This is a free online link to the Nahjul Balagha. I have not read it, but I do have two copies of this book with different publishers. One of them slanders Imam Ali (a.s), because of the terrible printing job they did. Know that this man did not commit any sins, because he is a part of the household of the Prophet that was purified by God. This is a major event, and you can research it. Tell me if there are errors, and I can try to send you a better link InshaAllah. I highly recommend going to the sayings, and then going back to the lessons.
http://www.al-islam.org/nahjul/index.htm

Again Arabic can be poorly translated, and context is often left out in these quotes. For ex. There is a saying where he compares women to scorpions. I told my friend, and he told me it meant bad women, and not all women. ( phew )

http://www.amazon.com/Footsteps-Prophet-Lessons-Life-Muhammad/dp/0195374762/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1372348452&sr=1-1&keywords=tariq+ramadan

This book is pretty clear, and is also popular. The guy is an excellent translator.

u/Zendani · -2 pointsr/islam

>Could you kindly point me to any content which I have copied and pasted from anti-Islamic websites please.

Here
and here

If you did the research yourself, then you didn't do a very good job of it and it would be quite obvious that you were looking for something to hate about Islam. Probably because you think all religions are the same, and Islam MUST be exactly like Christianity. Your lack of knowledge in Islam shows that. All of those "arguments" you posted are EASILY findable in Google, probably within the first page of results. It's the same arguments over and over again and it's become cliche to the internet Muslims. We just roll our eyes, like how you roll your eyes when a Christian comes to you preaching about Jesus. These so called "issues" have been refuted over and over again, and many of them can simply be refuted with just a basic understanding in Islam.

>If your holy book makes you look silly, why not pick a new one?

Looks silly to who? Someone who isn't Muslim? Why should I listen to them for?

>Please point me to better translations so I can learn.

Here is a good translation, with some commentary. If you want to go all out on commentary then get this. And this is the abridged version. It's translated from 11th century Arabic, but at least its 400 years newer than the Qur'an. You might be able to borrow a volume or two from your local mosque. However, do not make the claim that just because you read a couple of books on Islam, you are some sort of scholar. If I read "A Brief History of Time", it does not make me an astrophysicist.

>If pointing out what it says in your holy book is so irritating to you, what does that tell you about your holy book?

It tells me that the Qur'an was correct about non-Muslims after all. But since you read the entire Qur'an, you already know what I mean.

>further comment on your remark on the fairness of the Qu'ran's translations and scientific accuracy: why is it that the salt and fresh water thing and creationism are still taught in modern Islamic schools even in Europe?

I can't access youtube since I'm at work. Creationism in Islam is different than creationism in Christianity. Read this if you're interested.

As for the fresh water/salt water thing, this thread does a pretty good job explaining it.

Open mind, remember.

u/Aiman_D · 3 pointsr/islam

Hadith book collections such as Al-Buhkari are basically a collection of hadiths organized topically. It doesn't provide much in the department of context and what rulings can be derived from each hadith. some hadiths were valid for a set period of time for specific circumstances and then the rule changed later. Scholars call this "Al-Nasikh wa al-Mansukh" and it is found in the hadith as well as the Quran.

My point is that books like Al-Buhkari are meant as raw data for scholars who study the context and the reasons and the conclusions of rulings in the hadith. Not for the layman to causally read through.

If you want to read hadiths that are organized for the layman here are a few suggestions from the sidebar:


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____LIFE OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD____

u/HakimPhilo · 5 pointsr/islam

> Overall rating
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The presence of 'heavenly beauties' in Paradise is established by the Qur'an, as are the accolades and place in Heaven awarded to martyrs. Moreover, the collection of all the above transmissions, whether or not they can be accurately traced back to the Prophet or just to a Companion or other members of the early Muslim community, strongly indicate that reports were circulating among the first Muslim generations enumerating several heavenly compensations given to martyrs and including the companionship of huris. This lies behind al-Albani's decision to rate these narrations collectively as sahih (al-Albani, Silsilat al-ahadith al-sahiha, 7, part 1:647-50, no. 3213).
>
As for the specific number of seventy or seventy-two huris for each martyr, however, this hinges on the reliability of 1) the narrations via Bahir, and 2) the solitary narration from Abu Hurayra in al-Tabarani's works. Bahir's narrations fell victim to Ismail bin Ayyash's confusion and are only otherwise known by the unreliable and inaccurate Baqiyya, who was known to take liberties with precisely such extravagant contents. The narration from Abu Hurayra collected by al-Tabarani is unreliable due to the questions surrounding Bakr bin Sahl, its solitary narrator. This collection of evidence does not seem to merit any rating higher than 'weak' (**daif) for both of the Hadith clusters above.
>
[**Jonathan A.C. Brown
, Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenge and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet's Legacy](http://www.amazon.com/Misquoting-Muhammad-Challenge-Interpreting-Prophets/dp/178074420X) -- Appendix IV

By the way that book is really excellent, Jonathan does a great job at illustrating and tracing how and why such controversies developed through Islamic civilization.

u/kerat · 5 pointsr/islam

Easily the most outstanding translation of them all is the Muhammad Asad (Leopold Weiss) translation of the Quran. It can be found here

After that I'd have to say Allamah Noorruddin's translation here. Excellent translation. And as a book itself, probably the best. Leather bound. It's something to pass on to children and read many times.

After that I prefer Arberry's translation. He was a Cambridge linguist. He was non-muslim, but he had excellent command of the language.

Following that I prefer Mohammad Marmaduke Pickthall's translation. He was one of the first English muslims. Converted, learnt the language, translated it.

After that I'd go with Yusuf Ali, an Indian-born muslim with a western education. For some odd reason, his translation and Shakir's translation are the 2 most common ones, although easily out done by Muhammad Asad's. Asad was born Leopold Weiss, a Polish Jew. He moved to the middle east, spent time with the bedouin, learnt the language, and created an utterly brilliant translation that I've linked to.


EDIT: Just a note on myself. I've read about 5 english translations. I would avoid the Sahih International, as well as the Shakir one. They are influenced too much by the Saudi authorities. I've skimmed through Haleem's version, which others have mentioned here. It seemed really good. But go with Asad, you won't regret it.

u/if_and_only_if · 5 pointsr/islam

I was a Catholic. I had issues with certain parts of the faith that I didn't think too much about since I didn't really have a way to answer them, such as reconciling the idea of the trinity with monotheism.

I've studied the church's stance on it but it doesn't FEEL like the two beliefs are compatible and it never has. The explanations I was given and that I thought of myself always seemed a bit unsatisfactory like technicalities. That and the idea that I had to accept the teaching of a church whose members consist of fallible people. How do I accept creeds and beliefs laid down by other people throughout history hundreds and thousands of years after Jesus lived? It was, in fact, the vow of obedience to the church that dissuaded me early on from contemplating joining the clergy.

The last reticent doubt I had was about the authenticity of the bible, having studied a bit about the Documentary Hypothesis and the different authors of the bible. It became a bit hard for me to believe it could be very factually accurate or (more importantly) have spiritual authority for me to base my beliefs on. Different people throughout hundreds of years wrote different documents and I'm supposed to follow this specially compiled group of them as an authoritative fact? It would require me to accept the authority of the people who wrote them, and the people who edited them, and the people who compiled them, the authors and the church. So I ended up not reading too much of the bible after a point.

When I learned about Islam (completely by happy accident, I enjoy studying world religions anyways and realized reading through the Islam wiki I had no idea what this huge religion was about or how it originated, etc) I found that I agreed with Islam's teachings about Jesus as prophet. And then the Qur'an (in Islam) does not present the same difficulties as the bible does in Christianity IF you believe in the prophethood of Muhammad ﷺ. That came to me upon reading the Qur'an and reading a short biography about the prophet's life and the origin of Islam source

If you'd like to talk more about this please feel free to PM me :)

u/bokertovelijah · 6 pointsr/islam

> He says the Bible is the true word of God because every book in the Bible has the same topic

That's not a good litmus test. Having the same topic or message is not a miracle. You would have to include books like Frankenstein into the canon since it was also a continuation of the story of Adam and his fall.

>He also says that everything prophesised by the Bible eventually came true, like the destruction of Babylon

Every empire crumbles. This is not hard to predict.

> I still consider myself an atheist but I want to know God.

Ask God to guide you. If He guides you to the Quran (and it sounds like He has) then pour over it like any researcher looking for answers. When you feel you've exhausted it, move on. You don't need to learn Arabic, but you should know how to read the genre of literature that is the Quran. I highly recommend to everyone Carl Ernst's How to Read the Quran. I assigned this to my university students along with Michael Sells Approaching the Quran.

But to answer you question in brief, the first revelation of the Quran begins "Read! In the Name of your Lord who creates, He creates humanity as an embryo"

You are still an embryo in the womb of the Quran where all your human faculties are being nurtured. If you become aware of your fleeting and transitory existence, then God's message to you has succeeded in transforming you.

u/mtrash · 7 pointsr/islam

I'm sorry you feel that way but you obviously came here and felt the need to say something. If you have questions I am happy to answer for you so that I may shed some light into your darkness.

Edit: I would also like you to notice that you are the only person who is being negative. This community is far more understanding, forgiving and accepting than you realize and I implore you to do some research into what Islam really is. If you would like to check these out

The New Muslim's Field Guide https://www.amazon.com/dp/1981328998/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_OsN1Cb99E8BEQ

The Clear Quran https://www.amazon.com/dp/097730096X/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_ItN1CbGKXHNWW


In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammad https://www.amazon.com/dp/0195374762/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_PuN1CbMBE7QD9

If you want to really understand what you are making assumptions about DM your information or email I would be happy to send you some information so you may better educate yourself. Then you can formulate an educated opinion.

u/AndTheEgyptianSmiled · 1 pointr/islam

I like these kinds of questions coz I get to use bulletpoints. I love bulletpoints.


Is it okay to use a video of a guy praying certain prayers....

u/uwootm8 · 3 pointsr/islam

>Very grateful for your reply, uwootm8. I googled "criterion of multiple attestation" in an attempt to learn more about this method. "Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim" will definitely take a look at those too. You mentioned "Ibn Ishaaq", are there other ((early)) Muslim historians who were more scrutinizing to Seerah than him? historians who made sure their stories are (as correct as it can get given the available resources of that time)? Thanks again.

Just FYI the subreddit filters out all submissions from new account, nobody can see them except if they click your username.

I am not certain of how much scrutiny was put in. Given the massive size of ibn ishaaq's collection, I tend to think he wrote everything he heard. There is another early historian named Tabari. He flat out just says that he is not judging anything he hears, he's just writing it down. Perhaps that could indicate how the early historians approached seerah. But, ibn ishaaq is pretty much the primary source nowadays. If you are critical of the work I think you can puzzle out the general life of the Prophet. The Qur'an helps in this regard, as do the hadith.

If you're interested in learning more about hadith, I would recommend this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Hadith-Muhammads-Legacy-Medieval-Foundations/dp/1851686630/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1411856221&sr=8-1&keywords=jonathan+brown+hadith

It's one of the best intro's I've read.

u/swjd · 1 pointr/islam

Additions:

Lives of other Prophets Series

  • [Video] Lives of the Prophets - Series of 31 lectures by Sheikh Shady on the lives of the Prophets from Adam (AS) to Isa (AS).

  • [Video] Stories Of The Prophets - Series of 30 lectures by Mufti Menk on the lives and stories of the Prophets from Adam (AS) to Isa (AS).

    End times, Death, Hereafter

  • [Video] Death and the Hereafter - Series of 10 or so lectures by Sheikh Shady on what happens during and after death. Also, the minor and major signs that would occur until the end of times.

  • [Video] Signs of Day of Judgement - Series of multiple lectures on the signs of the day of judgement by Sh. Yaser Birjas.

    Seerah (Life of Prophet Muhammad (SAW)

  • [Video] Seerah - Series of 47 lectures on the signs of the life of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) by Sheikh Shady.

    Understand the Quran

  • [Video] Story Night - How Allah(swt) wrote/directed the Quran with analogies to popular works of flim and stories. Another way of looking at it is that why does it seem the Quran is out of order sometimes? Noman Ali Kahn mainly talks about the story of Musa (AS) and how ayats pertaining to his story are written.

  • [Book] The Qur'an by M. A. S. Abdel Haleem - Translation of the Quran with modern English vernacular.

  • [Book] Approaching the Qur'an: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells - There's a chapter that goes in depth about how the pre-Islamic Arabs previved the concept of love and the female beloved character layla and what Islam changed about this concept.

  • [Book] No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam by Reza Aslan -- Covers lots of topics, excellent writing overall.

  • [Audio] Fahm al-Qur'an - Tafseer of the entire Quran in very simple English. The commentary is by a female scholar, Amina Elahi so it's a good tafseer for gatherings with a lot sisters but obviously anyone can listen. Best way to make the most of this tafseer and others like it is to have a translated copy of the Quran in front of you and some highlighters, sticky notes and a dedicated notebook and just scribble away as you listen. BTW, if you have a Muslim friend(s) who is/are interested in Islam and you don't have access to a teacher or w/e, have a listening party/gathering with these lectures once a week. Since each lecture is 2 hrs long, in 30 weeks, you will have finished the tafseer of the entire Quran and you have a notebook filled with notes and a translated Quran that is now colorful and filled with notes.
u/waste2muchtime · 7 pointsr/islam

You may not like my answer, but in the end it's up to you how you feel about this issue. First let me say that wikiislam is a propaganda islamophobic website. If I were to want information on Christianity, I would ask a Priest or a scholar of Christianity. So please don't read what you find on propaganda websites, some things are outright fabrications, others are taken out of context, others are misattributed etc. etc. So please don't read from those websites, but read from Muslim sources. If you are really sincere in what you say, you can do various things.

Read ''In the Footsteps of the Prophet'' by Dr. Tariq Ramadan, Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University. He's a Muslim. He's well versed. He writes amazingly.

Read ''Muhammad: Man and Prophet'' by Adil Salahi. Book is somewhat expensive, but just read the top review by 'Mary' and I think that will tell you everything you need to know, haha. A biography on the life of the Prophet SAW! What more would you want!

You can always read the Qur'an - but that can be taken out of context. Muhammad Asad has a great translation of the Qur'an containing many footnotes describing the context of many verses. After all, in a book that was revealed over 23 years every verse has a context of its own.

The issue with all the above is that they cost money.

So in that case here is Dr. Yasir Qadhi's ongoing series about the life of the Prophet Muhammad SAW discussing many many things going on around his life from beginning to end. There are 98 videos and each has 1 hour.. And it's still going, so this can be really time consuming.

In the end I want to say: If you don't have the time to watch the series, or the money to buy and read the books (which are all sourced from Muslim scholars and even then the muslim scholars cite muslim scholars, the companions of the Prophet, and even the Prophet SAW himself) - then please hold your judgement on Muslims and do not let yourself be distracted by anti Islamic sources. To learn about vaccines, we learn from Doctors, not from anti-Vaccination supporters!

u/Keyan2 · 7 pointsr/islam

The questions that you have asked require some in-depth answers, however, I will briefly touch on one of them.

Slavery was so ingrained in Arabic culture (and every other culture) and society 1400 years ago that it would have been impossible to abolish slavery at the time. Hell, we didn't do it until like 150 years ago.

What Islam did, however, was significantly limit its usage by doing things like restricting who could become a slave, giving slaves certain unalienable rights and freedoms, allowing slaves to pay for their freedom, making the freeing of slaves one of the best of deeds, etc. It set us on the path to ultimately abolish slavery completely, but in the meantime, treat slaves with dignity and respect. These two articles have a lot of good information on this issue:

Slavery in Islam

The Islamic view on Slaves and Slavery

I would definitely check out Losing My Religion by Jeffrey Lang. It answers a lot of the questions that you are concerned with, and it does it very well in my opinion.

u/tReP2pHu · 2 pointsr/islam

Abdul-Haleem's translation of the Quran is very good. He also wrote a good companion book "Understanding the Quran: Themes and styles" which I also recommend. If you prefer something a bit more archaic and poetic, I really like the Arberry "Koran Interpreted". You can get Arberry's (and many other translations) here: http://arthursbookshelf.com/koran/koran.html

As for Sufism, some of the best books, in my opinion, are:

Lings, Martin. What is Sufism?
http://www.amazon.com/What-Sufism-Islamic-Texts-Society/dp/0946621411/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1335349461&sr=1-1

Helminski, Camille Adams. Women of Sufism: a Hidden Treasure
http://www.amazon.com/Women-Sufism-A-Hidden-Treasure/dp/1570629676/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1335349480&sr=1-1


A practical guide for diseases of the heart:

Yusuf, Hamza (tr). Purification of the Heart
http://www.amazon.com/Purification-Heart-Symptoms-Spiritual-Diseases/dp/1929694156/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1335349415&sr=1-1

Something more academic but fascinating. You might consider this if you want to really get into the guts of things:

http://www.amazon.com/Sufism-Theology-Ayman-Shihadeh/dp/0748626050



u/onepath · 3 pointsr/islam

Although there are a lot of people recommending Ibn Kathir, the best translation with a complete set of footnotes that works for myself and a lot of non-Muslims are by Muhammad Asad. Here's are some very helpful reviews on the book: link

Here's a link to the copy at Amazon: link

That's just my opinion if you want as much historical information and context of revelation and related footnotes as possible, this book does an amazing job. Also, as a graphic designer I have to commend the publisher on their artwork and organization as well :)

u/Tariq_7 · 1 pointr/islam

Welcome Castro

"Understanding the Qur'an: Themes and Styles" by M. A. Abdel Haleem from Oxford is a useful book:
http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Quran-Muhammad-Abdel-Haleem/dp/1845117891

Prof. Abdel Haleem also produced a translation of the Qur'an which I have not yet read, but understand to be one of the best so far:

http://www.amazon.com/Quran-English-translation-Parallel-Arabic/dp/019957071X/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411451704&sr=1-2

Happy reading :)

u/bipolargraph · 2 pointsr/islam

This is an excellent, but pretty long source, by Yasir Qadhi. You can use it to look up whatever controversy, or topic (for example, muslim wars), to see their context in detail.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAEA99D24CA2F9A8F

This is a well praised book, yet I didn't read it to be honest:
https://www.amazon.com/Muhammad-Life-Based-Earliest-Sources/dp/1594771537/ref=zg_bs_12532_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=1E7EFS62ZE6WF9E67CPR

u/monk123 · 8 pointsr/islam

>Is there any difference between a Jew converting, and a follower of another religion converting?

A Jew is a "person of the book." As such, if you convert to Islam, you will get a double reward.

>Third, I have read about people choosing a new Muslim name when they convert. How does one go about this?

It is not obligatory, but you can choose any name you want if you choose to take an Arabic name, as long as it has a good meaning. Names of prophets and "servants of" a particular attribute of Allah are common.

>Also, in your opinion, what is the best and closest English translation of the Qur'an for me to read? Maybe someday I will finally be able to master Arabic... :)

This one.

u/TechnicalHovercraft · 16 pointsr/islam

I suggest finding out about the Prophet Muhammad because he is the best living example of Islam.

Karen Armstrong's biography is a very engaging read: https://www.amazon.com/Muhammad-Prophet-Time-Karen-Armstrong/dp/0061155772

In terms of visiting a mosque, its best to go to the biggest one in your area because they'll have the most resources to welcome you and answer any questions you have. You can just turn up, but there might not be anyone available to meet you. If you call ahead most mosques will make sure someone is there to greet you, make you feel comfortable and answer any questions you might have.

u/save_the_last_dance · 1 pointr/islam

https://www.amazon.com/Study-Quran-New-Translation-Commentary/dp/0061125865

I recommend this as you're first quaran. It's practically a textbook on Islam bundled with a quaran. It includes commentary from a respected Muslim scholar, and study guides.

If you feel like you just want the English text, Abdel Haleem's translation for OXford World Classics is excellent. https://www.amazon.com/Quran-Oxford-Worlds-Classics/dp/0199535957/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_3?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=D4JB076JEGW58RRZXPEV

Mustafa Amur has written an entire step-by-step guide on converting to Islam, that's free on Kindle and very cheap on paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Welcome-Islam-Step-Step-Muslims-ebook/dp/B008FRA60E/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1478505547&sr=1-1&keywords=islam+convert

If you want something more comprehensive though, Ella Richardson wrote a more expansive book about it: https://www.amazon.com/Islam-Beginners-Basics-Muslim-Customs-ebook/dp/B01759SQF4/ref=pd_sim_351_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=BE51FXHRD5TXEHBKE01F

u/mansoorz · 2 pointsr/islam

Just FYI, if you are a beginner diving into Islamic history you shouldn't be trying to dig at the controversies first. That's one of the reasons they are controversial: even the scholars devoted to those issues have not come to consensus :) I've already upvoted the comment for reading books by Tariq Ramadan. His book In the Footsteps of the Prophet is pretty amazing and very well written.

Additionally, if you already have a specific bias you will always find contrary opinions to not be worthy of note. This is not meant to be an insult of any kind, but sometimes you have to take a step back and assess through what prism you are seeing a topic before you can proceed in a more objective manner. My best method is to just dive in and read whatever you can on the topic that interests you, talk to learned people who you like, and inshaAllah a sound opinion will crystallize for you on its own.

u/zbhoy · 7 pointsr/islam

I recommend you read Misquoting Muhammad by Jonathan Brown. It's not perfect but very good and definitely great for intro reading.

Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenge and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet's Legacy https://www.amazon.com/dp/1780747829/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_SNk7AbN3K3351

u/SYEDSAYS · 3 pointsr/islam
u/Axiom292 · 5 pointsr/islam

>is Sahih Al Bukhari considered totally checked and true by all Muslims? What about specifically Sunni?

Sahih al-Bukhari is one of many compilations of hadith. All the ahadith within are sahih (authentic) according to the conditions of Imam al-Bukhari. Every hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari is accepted as authentic by all Sunni Islamic scholars, not Shias.

>if you disagree with something that is supposed to be a totally sahih hadith -- is that "haram"?

Yes, to deny a sahih hadith is fisq (transgession). To deny a hadith that is mutawatir (sahih through multiple chains) is kufr (disbelief).

>Is Sahih al Bukhari considered THE definition of the Prophet?

No. Firstly, Sahih al-Bukhari does not contain every sahih hadith - there are hundreds that are not found in Sahih al-Bukhari or even Sahih Muslim (which are together known as the Sahihayn - the two Sahihs). Secondly, we do not reject all other ahadith just because they are not at the level of sahih.

FYI most hadith compilations are not intended for use by layman. There are volumes of books devoted to the interpretation of hadith - Ibn Hajar's Fath al-Bari, for example, is a sharh (commentary) on Sahih al-Bukhari.

Edit:

(Your comments aren't showing up since you're using a new account)

>Do different schools of Islamic thought differ on the answer to these questions? For example Hanafi vs Maliki?

No. Scholars of all four madhhabs accept the ahadith in Sahih al-Bukhari as sahih. However the different madhhabs differ on the interpretation and applicability of individual ahadith.

>I understand compilations like Bukhari were made 100-200 years after the Prophet.

Clarification: Bukhari was not the first compiler of hadith.

>What is the common answer to the question of - how do we know that these actually were his sayings? I know there is the "chain" of relayers, but what is it beyond that?

A hadith has two parts - the sanad/isnad (chain of narrators) and the matn (the text). Scholars of the past memorized thousands of hadiths word for word along with their isnads. The authenticity of a hadith is judged primarily on evaluation of its isnad. It needs to be possible for each narrator to have met each successive narrator. There are volumes of books devoted to ilm ar-rijal - biographical evaluation - which include details of each narrators memory, trustworthiness, piety, knowledge, students, teachers, date of birth and death, etc. Narrators are judged as strong, rejected, unknown, trustworthy, etc. The strength of a hadith is judged by its weakest link. Multiple isnads strengthen a hadith, as do supporting narrations. There is much more to it, please take a look at this book:

Studies in Hadith Methodology and Literature by Mustafa Azami

>I understand Kufr to be when one denies the oneness of God or his prophet. Anything else, isn't Kufr -- correct?

Kufr is disbelief. Each verse of the Qur'an is mutawatir (mass-transmitted at every level of transmission). Similarly if a hadith reached the level of mutawatir there is no possibility for error. So just as denying a single verse of the Qur'an is kufr, so too is rejection of a mutawatir statement of the Prophet SAW.

Edit 2:

>thanks very much for the updated reply -- very thorough and i plan to check out the book. Did you ever read this book? If so, thoughts? I read it, but it was my first book on the topic.
http://www.amazon.com/Hadith-Muhammads-Legacy-Medieval-Foundations/dp/1851686630

Glad to be of help. No, sorry, I haven't read Brown's book, but I've seen others recommending it and I've heard only good stuff about his work.

u/InMemoryOf · 1 pointr/islam

I appreciate your intellectual honesty and I didn't find any of your question insulting.

As for books/lectures, here's a few links to start things off, some of them might be what you're looking for.

Yasir Qadhi has a YTube channel and gave tons of interesting lectures (check this one in which we talks about the theological legitimacy of groups like Al Qaeda or ISIS)

Tariq Ramadan's work which is focused on Islam and modernity.

And although I haven't read it yet, I only heard good things about Jonathan Brown's "Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenge and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet's Legacy".

u/Lawama · 3 pointsr/islam

>I want to go with a physical copy, so if I can find that particular one in a hardcover i'll go for it.

Read a chapter off the link and see if you like the translation style, if you do, buy it. It's pretty cheap, here's a link to buy it:

>http://www.amazon.com/Quran-Oxford-Worlds-Classics/dp/0199535957

.

>Do you think a commentary is neccesary? Ive noticed most versions have a commentary as well, what do they provide that the text itself can not?

Kinda. I mean it will help if you're confused in certain parts. For example, in Chapter Mary (19th Chapter), after Mary gives birth to Jesus she returns to her family:

>Then she brought him to her people, carrying him. They said, "O Mary, you have certainly done a thing unprecedented. O sister of Aaron, your father was not a man of evil, nor was your mother unchaste."

Christian apologists would say Muhammad got Mary the mother of Jesus, confused with Miriam the Sister of Aaron and Moses. A commentary would help clear these silly misconceptions up.

u/ThinkofitthisWay · 0 pointsr/islam

Salam bro, i hope you're being sincere in your path, but i urge to look at things objectively.

Also, maybe ask specific questions, because you're asking us a research paper.

As for the stupidity of people, i think you're being a pessimist, just like in the story of creation of men, God has appointed mankind as khalifas on the earth but the angels ask God:

> And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, "Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority." They said, "Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?" Allah said, "Indeed, I know that which you do not know."

Then God said:

> He said, "O Adam, inform them of their names." And when he had informed them of their names, He said, "Did I not tell you that I know the unseen [aspects] of the heavens and the earth? And I know what you reveal and what you have concealed."

They acknowledged the bad side of humanity, but they didn't acknowledged the good, intellectual side of it. You're doing the same.

I'd recommend wathcing this the purpose of life by Jeffrey Lang.

And check out his books:

Losing my religion: A call for help: http://www.amazon.com/Losing-My-Religion-Call-Help/dp/1590080270

Even the angels ask: http://www.amazon.com/Even-Angels-Ask-Journey-America/dp/0915957671

Struggling to surrender: http://www.amazon.com/Struggling-Surrender-Impressions-American-Convert/dp/0915957264/ref=sr_1_16?s=english-books&ie=UTF8&qid=1333097284&sr=1-16

u/recipriversexcluson · 1 pointr/islam

Jumu'ah Mubarak

Today's Ayat for Friday, 2017-01-20 / 22 Rabi` al-thani 1438

The believers, both men and women, they are guardians, confidants, and helpers of one another. They enjoin and promote what is right and good and forbid and try to prevent the evil, and they establish the Prescribed Prayer in conformity with its conditions, and pay the Prescribed Purifying Alms. They obey God and His Messenger. They are the ones whom God will treat with mercy. Surely God is All-Glorious with irresistible might, All-Wise.

-- at-Taubah 9:71 as rendered by Ali Ünal


وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتُ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ يَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَيُطِيعُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ أُولَٰئِكَ سَيَرْحَمُهُمُ اللَّهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ

Listen: http://islamawakened.com/quran/Audio/009071.mp3

Study: http://www.islamawakened.com/quran/9/71/

Go deeper: http://www.islamawakened.com/quran/9/71/w4wcv.html



(please share)


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u/plizir · 2 pointsr/islam

Salam Brother, I recommand Abdel Haleem translation of the Qur'an (Oxford World's Classics). I believe it's the best translation. The footnotes gives you the context and additional info about the verses.

I also recommand reading the autobiography of the Prophet, the best one I read so far is Tariq Ramadan's : In the Footsteps of the Prophet

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May God make things easy for you

u/Maglgooglarf · 10 pointsr/islam

As others have mentioned, a prophetic biography is one of the best places to start. I prefer Karen Armstrong's book on the prophet Muhammed as the starting point for pretty much everyone, but especially those from a nonMuslim perspective.

I unfortunately don't have good reading recommendations about daily routines and their association with belief. If you feel comfortable doing so, that may be something you can get from your local mosque. They tend to be well-equipped, at least where I have lived in the US, to be able to deal with people who have questions about Islam.

The one thing I'll note here is that I think a lot of people are surprised by the level of diversity within the religion and the way that practice changes from one culture to the next. While there are many core shared elements, Islam definitely means different things to different people when you look across the totality of belief and practice across the whole world.

u/AnotherAlire · 2 pointsr/islam

To keep it simple, I always recommend this (Oxford) translation of the Qur'an. It's a very simple and easy to read translation that has gotten a lot of praise from many people from different backgrounds for having decent enough translations and contexts, where appropriate.

You can't go wrong with reading a translation of the Qur'an. It's where everyone should start.

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Many people also converted to Islam after studying Malcolm X, whose journey I think embodies the perfect result of someone who fought against the racism of society out of sincerity and not out of a desire to conform (to pretend one opposes racism because it's taboo now). This sincerity led him from being a staunch advocate of Elijah Muhammad (an extreme position in the Muslim world, such that to be Elijah's follower is to make you a non-Muslim) to eventually realising the falsehood of the "Nation of Islam" and accepting the true religion of Islam, whilst continuing to fight for his cause in 'his' "country".

His letter from Mecca is also worth listening to/reading.

His last speech was also quite poetic and eye opening.

The main reason I have gone to the example of Malcolm and not linking books explaining the theology like many do is due to the example of salaf (first generations of Muslims) in how they approached dawah (teaching others the religion of Islam). They didn't let themselves get bogged down in preaching the religion to others (most time gets wasted in arguments with people who have no interest in listening, only defending their position and in repeating the same arguments like a parrot); they let their actions speak for themselves. And from their actions, the pagans reverted to Islam. It was from seeing the justice of the political system of Islam and how the leaders conducted themselves that non-Muslims reverted. Malcolm was quite similar to this in that his objective was not to become a preacher but a fighter against racism. And through understanding his fight and his reason for fighting (believing in the oneness of mankind), people revert to Islam.

To be clear, I do also have criticisms of some of Malcolm's positions, specifically his advocacy of black nationalism as a solution to racism. Though, in his defence, he believed this to only be a temporary solution. Once black people were on the same economic and political level as whites (black nationalism), the problem would be solved and hence it would no longer be black nationalism. Compared to '60s USA, oppression was worse 1400 years ago in Arabia and the solution was Islam, not black nationalism (Malcolm didn't understand that Islam had political elements to it). Had he lived longer, I believe he would have corrected his position. He also spoke of Arabia as if racism was solved there, which it isn't. Racism from all ethnic groups in the Muslim world still exists; that was a result of nationalism. Malcolm spoke about nationalism in the Muslim world freeing them from European domination; rather nationalism ensured European domination by dividing the Muslims who are instructed by Allah to remain united. But Malcolm didn't have enough time to observe everything about the Muslim world and its modern politics and history. Again, he was a proper Muslim for a very short time. Though I applaud him and pray for his forgiveness. He was sincere through and through and fought vehemently for what he thought was right. May Allah SWT have mercy upon him and reward him with Jannah. Ameen.

u/mentaleur · 1 pointr/islam

Thank you for your sincere interest, people like you deserve respect and admiration. Muslims doesn't mean scholars automatically, there is many responses already here, I agree with them on general yet It's difficult to respond formally with full knowledge and proof, but since your questions are mostly about the prophet and early years of Islam, I recommand to read the biography of the prophet to see his full perspective and contexts, this one is easy and into the point by the Oxford Professor Tariq Ramadan: In the Footsteps of the Prophet .

http://www.amazon.com/Footsteps-Prophet-Lessons-Life-Muhammad/dp/0195374762/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1426453522&sr=8-1&keywords=tariq+ramadan

u/supes23 · 12 pointsr/islam

:)

Thoroughly recommend Professor Abdel Haleem's translation of the Quran:

The Qur'an (Oxford World's Classics) https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0199535957/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awd_DL6QwbQXJ0J9V

My recommendations mostly more recent stuff, I think written well for a western audience

Understanding Islam and the Muslims: The Muslim Family, Islam and World Peace https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1887752471/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awd_QM6QwbPQHCTB9

The Messenger: The Meanings of the Life of Muhammad https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0141028556/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awd_1O6Qwb8M0D5KQ

Understanding the Qur'an: Themes and Style https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1845117891/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awd_QK6QwbGS8EN0D

Being Muslim: A Practical Guide by Asad Tarsin et al. http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01833W1KM/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_udp_awd_1L6QwbC9BNTXA

The Messenger: The Meanings of the Life of Muhammad https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0141028556/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awd_1O6Qwb8M0D5KQ

Worth YouTubing:

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf
Professor Tariq Ramadan
Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad

u/StructuralHazard · 5 pointsr/islam

I have this one:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Message-Quran-Muhammad-Asad/dp/1904510000

It's pricey, but very nice. A great translation, and some additional tafsir to go along with the ayahs alongside the arabic.

u/jewiscool · 1 pointr/islam

I recommend these books:

u/PotentialRevert1 · 3 pointsr/islam

Well, I can't speak a lot of Arabic (I can say a handful of phrases and that's only because of what I remember from a trip to Egypt and Qur'an recitation), my translation of the Qur'an is this one by MAS Abdel Haleem: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Quran-Oxford-Worlds-Classics/dp/0199535957

It's in modern English, quite easy to read (and incidentally is the one recommended in the sidebar). But there aren't much in the way of footnotes, I believe for footnotes you'd be well off to have this translation by Abdullah Yusuf Ali: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/8171512186/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_3?pf_rd_p=569136327&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=0199535957&pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_r=0M6PYCF68XAQ7SF01N3S

It's in a more archaic form of English, but has extensive footnotes and also has the Arabic alongside the English.

I hope this is of help to you In'Sha'Allah.

u/oreith · 18 pointsr/islam

My struggles with the image of Jesus as God also drew me away from christianity and as I started to learn more about Islam I came to realise that my view of Jesus as a prophet rather than God was exactly what Islam teaches us. My advice to you is to read a lot, there is so much information out there, I struggled a lot with the language used in many translations of the Quran, the one that I found the easiest to read is this one.

There are other books that really helped me, one that I really enjoyed reading is "Stories of the Prophets" by Ibn Kathir, especially coming from a Christian background. Somebody else mention videos by Nouman Ali Khan, he's very engaging so you could look up some of his stuff too. If you have any further questions don't hesitate to contact me =)

u/Yosaerys · 1 pointr/islam

>but a god, to me sounds like woodo.

I highly advice you to read this book, hopefully it will clear up your doubts about God and give you a different perspective on the issue.

The Divine Reality: God, Islam and the Mirage of Atheism