Written by Theresa Corbin
From the time I started blogging, I have always welcomed questions about Islam, Muslims, or really anything. I was naive. After spending years wading through horrifying emails and comments on this blog and other places, I have realized that many people are not looking for answers to their questions.
They may frame an intense insult, curse, or horrifying suggestion as a questions, but they are not asking anything.
Many askholes are simply looking to express or validate their hate and ignorance to which they so desperately cling. To these people, I would like to say, the best I can do for you is ignore you.
But every now and then a questioner comes along that I feel is sincere. And I want to celebrate those questions and questioners as the bright spot in my writing adventure because the more real questions you ask, the closer we come to understanding each other and building stronger bridges.
So here are some real questions several different real people have asked in sincerity (edited for length) that I will attempt to answer to the best of my ability.
Q1: Why are you trying to convert everyone to Islam?
A1: I’m not. My only obligation is to convey the message and invite, not convince and coerce. It is up to each person to find the truth of God as they see it. And if they are really seeking in all earnestness, I am sure God will guide them. It is not up to me to guide, nor do I wish for that burden.
In all honesty, I could not care less if more people came to Islam. It would not matter one bit to me if more people apostate from Islam. I will still be Muslim, InshaAllah.
What other people do in their relationship with God is not my concern. My point in creating this blog and writing about Islam, was and is to, yes, convey the message of Islam.
But also, and more important to me, is to bridge the gap between what Westerners think about Islam and the Muslims and what is actually true about Islam and the Muslims. My intention was/is to fill a void, dispel myths, to bring people closer together; since I speak both American and Islamic. 😉
Q2: Abrogation is a big hurdle. Shouldn’t revelation from God apply to everyone, everywhere?
A2: Abrogation. Would you tell a newborn that he or she has to sit up at a the table and eat with a fork and knife. No, of course not. Newborns laugh in the face of orders. But in seriousness, the newborn is not ready. S/he first needs to breastfeed (or bottle feed), then needs a high chair, and so on. The same is true of spiritual growth.
The human cannot just jump into hard core worship and devotion. Sometimes it is too much. Like the Quranic order to not ingest intoxicants. It was a process of revelation, each verse abrogating the earlier one.
First, the revelation was to not come to prayer intoxicated. Then it was revealed that there is a little good in intoxicants, but the bad outweighs the good, so we should avoid it. And finally intoxicants were totally forbidden, abrogating just avoidance and making it a stronger prohibition.
It was a process because quitting intoxicants, such as alcohol, takes time. And because human beings need to be trained to do some things and not just thrown into it. This is the wisdom of God. We cannot say we think it is better or worse how God chooses to guide us to what pleases Him. Sometimes it takes steps to get humans to the right point of capability to do something. This, to me, is a mercy.
This is just one kind of abrogation that I have used as an example. You can read more about it here.
We do not abrogate a verse or cause it to be forgotten except that We bring forth [one] better than it or similar to it. Do you not know that God is over all things competent? [2:106]
Q3: Why do the women have to cover up?
Q4: Western countries are rescuing and taking in Syrian refugees. But the far richer Gulf States are accepting zero. Why?
A4: The problem here is the media, and not that largely Muslim countries are not taking in refugee. They in fact were and are. Specifically in Saudi Arabia, since the start of the revolution in Syria, more than half a million Syrians have been welcomed into Saudi Arabia and provided for.
Check out what other gulf countries are doing and how Gulf States accepting zero refugees is a myth on The Huffington Post. Muslim countries have a long tradition of helping refugees. The Ottoman empire took in Jewish refugees during the Spanish inquisition. It is a Muslim duty to stop injustice and help the oppressed no matter what their religion (and sometimes we fail).
This is a huge problem of perspective when it comes to Western minds. People tend to believe that the media is fairly covering everything that happens. This is seriously just not true. The media has to make money and selling stories of Muslims doing good things just doesn’t sell, so it does not make news. And some times, like in this case, facts and figure are manipulated to fit an agenda.
Q5: It’s fine to be outraged about injustice, but why are Muslims only outraged about personal slights when people are actually being massacred and enslaved in other parts of the world?
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