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I am a year eleven student from xxx, Australia. As an elective for one of my subjects, (Study of Religion) I have chosen to compose a 1000-1500 word essay on the importance of the Pillars of Faith, to modern day Moslems; in particular, to what extent sociality and mythology play a role in each of the pillars. I would be much obliged if you could inform me of or send me any relevant information conforming to this topic. I am very grateful for your time.
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With regards to your query
we would suggest you read the book entitled: "Introduction to Islam"
by Dr. Muhammad Hamidullah. Chapter 5 in particular
would be of interest to you for your essay and more specifically, paragraph
165. The book is commonly available at Muslim bookstores, and might possibly
be in your local library. If you can't find it there, then it could be
purchased online at amazon.com
I saw your posting on soc.religion.islam and hope you don't mind my writing you.
I've been trying to find information on how Islam, specifically the Qur'an, deals with the subject of sex. I am sure this may seem like a set-up of some sort but please let me assure you, it is not.
I'm on several menopause mailing lists, and the subject of sex and religion has come up. Some religions feel that sex should be only for procreation and not for enjoyment. With menopause putting an end to a woman's fertility, those religions would appear to be saying that once a woman reaches menopause, she shouldn't be having sex.
I've been submerging myself in islam newsgroups and books for the past month, and for the life of me, I can not find the reference that indicated that Islam dictates sexual relations only within marriage, and only for procreation.
Am I wrong? I'd appreciate any references that you might be able to provide. Please feel free to forward this message to anyone you feel may be able to help me.
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This letter required a very detailed answer, so we published our answer on this website. Click here to see our response.
Question To print this letter click here
I am a Christian, Canadian female and I have recently started dating a Muslim man. I am ignorant towards the Muslim traditions and customs and would like to gain more insight. However, the resources on the internet are limited to strict Islamic traditions. I was more curious on subjects about the unions of a Muslim and non-Muslim couple. For example, does the non-Muslim have to become Muslim? He was born in Canada and says that he is very Canadianized. I am pretty sure his parents are more traditional about his culture though.
I do not want to insult him or his family by asking invasive questions about his culture. I was wondering if you would have any information or possible sites I could go to (and look at) to help me with this. Unless, of course, you would be able to give me some advice and/or information of your own.
I appreciate all your time and help. This has kept me up (as you can tell by the hour) and I have been unable to get proper sleep. Thank you for all your time and consideration with this matter.
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Thank you for your inquiry to The Canadian Society of Muslims.
We would like to refer you to an article on our other website, entitled Sex in Islam which might provide some answers for you.
Another useful book for you would be "Islam Forbids Free Mixing of Men and Women?" by Muhammad Iqbal Siddiqi. This book, if not available at local Muslim Bookstores, is available at Kazi Publications in Chicago.
Also, "Purdah and the Status of Women in Islam" by S. Abul Ala Mawdudi, might answer some of your questions. This book can also be found at Kazi Publications in Chicago and may also be found at local Islamic bookstores.
These titles deal with the subject from the Islamic Law point of view, however, cultural usage and practices may vary widely. Interpretations supporting various cultural traditions, practices and usage in all parts of the Muslim world are so different, ranging from the orthodox to liberal, and so it is extremely difficult for us to help you in suggesting any particular book. At any rate, we do hope this meager attempt will be useful for you.
QuestionTo print this letterclick here
I am a white Christian male who is deeply in love with a Muslim woman from Africa. She has a child and has been divorced from a Muslim man who treated her cruelly. We were good friends at first, then we fell in love with each other. My family are racists and she believes her family will disown her if they knew of her relationship with me. So we have kept our relationship a secret. As to the extent of our relationship, we have hugged and kissed, but nothing further. I respect her and her religion and she respects mine. We were really close until Ramadan. A few weeks after Ramadan, she told me that she loved me, but I could not touch her anymore. Some of this has to do with bad memories of her husband, and some has to do with her thinking that she is dishonouring God. I love her and need her in my life. How can I bring her happiness. Friends, she has gone through so much. I need more than "stop seeing her". We both feel that God brought us together. There is no other reason that our relationship should have happened. It is true love. Please help.
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Thank you for your letter. We do sympathize with your situation, however, the only way we can possibly help you is to let you know what the Muslim law is that pertains to your situation. The Islamic religion provides a complete code of life for its faithful followers, and people who follow the Muslim religion are required to obey and comply with certain laid down restrictions and prohibitions.
There are two very fundamental rules of law in Islam which relate to your particular situation:
(1) Free mixing of sexes – for example . . . unescorted meetings for purposes other than marriage are absolutely forbidden. Obviously then, physical contact such as "kissing and hugging" are not permissible . To even look at a member of the opposite sex with lust and undesirable thoughts is also strictly forbidden.
(2) A Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man, even though he may be a Christian or a Jew. Christians and Jews are legally termed “People of the Book” or “People of the Scripture” in Islam.
As to the special rules for the month of Ramadan, which involves fasting from dawn to dusk, a Muslim husband and wife are even forbidden normal conjugal relations (which includes touching, kissing & hugging with lust). These activities are strictly and absolutely forbidden while fasting, although they are permissible after the fasting hours, or during the night, when the couple is not fasting.
We trust this information
will help in developing a proper understanding of the nature of the privileges
and limitations of Muslim women in these matters. Obviously then, it calls
for great respect, tolerance and thoughtfulness of all the parties involved
in order to keep the relationship above board. For further information,
we invite you to read some of the articles on our website.
Under the English concept, which forms the basis of the "Law of Guardian and Wards and Operatives" in Pakistan, custody of a minor rests with the mother for a period of Seven years in case of Boys and until Puberty in case of Girls.
What are the Islamic Laws on the subject?
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This letter required a fairly complicated answer and so we published our answer on our website. Click here to view our answer.
I recently read an item in the Ottawa Citizen, where it was reported that a Christian Bishop committed suicide by shooting himself in a court in Pakistan. It seems that this was to protest the trial of a Christian who was accused of expressing an opinion on the book 'Satanic Verses'. Apparently, the 'Blasphemy Laws' promulgated in Pakistan precipitated this action.
I have a few questions. Is this incident really true. If so, could you let me have the details on this? Details such as the name of the Bishop, his Church, his denomination (Catholic, Protestant etc.). Also, if this actually happened, what is your stance on this? Do you endorse this action? If you do endorse or do not endorse this, do you intend to make your views know in the media and on the weekly television programs you have on Vision TV as well as on CFMT (Ottawa). I would also like information on the Blasphemy Laws.
As a Christian, I grew up in Pakistan and the happiest times of my life were spent there! I left in 1974 but have not been back since. Items like the one I have referred to scare me and make me think twice of visiting home.
I look forward to your e-mail response. If your society is unable to respond, please refer me to someone who can give me answers to allay my fears.
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This obviously was a serious issue which required a great deal of detail, so we published our answer on this website. Click here to view it.
my name is xxx. i am interested in the history of islam in canada. if you have any information or sites concerning that subject pleas contact me on my email address. (to be more specific i want to know when and why they came to canada)
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We have an article on this website entitled Canada's Muslims which you might find informative for your purposes.
Question To print this letter click here
If there is one thing about Islam that I cannot understand and hence cannot accept is predestination, it simply is not very rational. Please help me understand. Yes I am a Muslim.
The following is a quote from a book entitled "Introduction to Islam" by Dr. M. Hamidullah. In it is a chapter discussing your particular inquiry, and it is very good. We hope this will help resolve some of your problems with this question.
Paragraph number 121: "This leads us to the philosophic question of the free-will. This eternal dilemma can never be resolved by logic alone. For, if man enjoys free-will with respect to all his acts, the omnipotence of God suffers thereby. Similarly, if God predestines, why should man be held responsible for his acts? The Prophet Muhammad had emphatically recommended his adherents not to engage in discussions on this topic, "which has led astray those people who preceded you," (As Ibn Hanbal, Tirmidhi and others report); and he has separated the two questions, viz., the omnipotence of God and the responsibility of man. In fact there is no logic in love, and the Muslim loves his Creator; he cannot admit that God should have defective attributes; God is not only Wise and Powerful, but also Just and Merciful in the highest degree. Islam separates celestial affairs, which are the attributes of God, from human temporal matters and insists on the faithful to act; and since the Divine Will rests concealed form man, it is man's duty never to despair after a preliminary failure, but to try again and again until the object is either realized or becomes impossible to attain. The Islamic concept of predestination comes in this latter case to console man that [this] was the Will of God, and the success or failure in this world has no importance in connection with eternal salvation, in which matter God judges according to intention and effort and not according to the measure of realization and success.
Paragraph number 122: "According to the Qur'an (53/36-42, among other passages) such is the truth always revealed by God to His successive Messengers:
"Or hath he not news of what is in the leaves (Books) of Moses and of Abraham who paid his debt: That no laden on shall bear another's load and that man hath only that for which he maketh effort, and that his effort will be seen, and afterwards he will be repaid for it with the fullest payment; and that thy Lord. He is the goal . . . .?""We are rewarded only because we have accepted also to be punished for acts which are predestined. This seems to be the Divine Deposit with which we have been entrusted, when the Qur'an (33/72) reports: " We did indeed offer the Trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains; but they refused to undertake it, being afraid thereof: but Man undertook it; -- he was indeed unjust and ignorant." God said: I shall predestine your acts, and want to reward or punish you according to whether they are good or evil. Other created beings said: How? Thou wilt create, and we have to be responsible for the same? They got afraid. Man believed in the limitless mercy of the Lord, and said: Yes Lord, I accept to take this responsibility and this Depost of Thine. This pleased the Lord so much that He ordered even the angels to prostrate before man. To sum up, since Islam separates completely the two questions, it is not difficult to admit simultaneously the requirements of man (effort, sense of responsibility) and the rights of God with all His attributes, including the power to predetermine.
Paragraph 123: "Predetermination in Islam has another significance, not less important, names, it is God Who alone attributes to a human act the quality of good or evil; it is God Who is the source of all law. It is the Divine prescriptions which are to be observed in all our behaviour; and which He communicates to us through His chosen messengers. Muhammad being the last of these, also the one whose teaching has been the better preserved. We do not possess originals of the ancient messages which have suffered damage in the unhappy fratricidal wars of human society. The Qur'an is not only an exception to the rule, but also constitutes the latest Divine message. It is commonplace that, a law later in date abrogates the former dispositions of the same legislator.
Paragraph 155: PREDESTINATION AND FREE-WILL "In his expose, the Prophet Muhammad has lastly demanded the belief that the determination (qadr) of all good and evil is from God. Does this phrase signify that everything is predestined for man, or does the statement merely imply that the qualification of good and evil in a given act depends on God? In other words, nothing is good or evil in itself, but it is so only because God has declared it to be such; and man has to do nothing but observe it.
Paragraph 156: "Here is in fact a dilemma for the theologian. If we declare that man is responsible for his acts, it would be incompatible with the predestination of his acts. Similarly, if we declare that man is free in his acts, this would imply that God has neither power over nor the knowledge of what man is going to do in his worldly life. The two alternatives create an embarrassment. One would like to attribute to God not only justice, but also omnipotence and omniscience. The Prophet Muhammad ridicules this discussion which will even remain inconclusive: and he has formally ordered his adherents not to engage in it, adding: "people before you have been led astray by this discussion." He recognizes for God, in all respect and reverence, the attribute of omnipotence-omniscience, and affirms also that man shall be held responsible for his acts. He does not want to tie up one of these things with the other. In a way, he relegates this discussion to the level of the futility of knowing whether the egg came first into existence or the hen?
Paragraph 157: "Moreover good and evil are but relative terms. A tiger hunts a rabbit for food. What is good (sustenance) for one is evil (death) for the other. That is why the evil that seems to reach us is on account of our own nature, which merits or requires that "evil". That is also why it is for God to determine, for whom a given act is good and for whom evil. Furthermore it should be remembered that the conception of "responsibility" is a this-worldly thing, whereas the "Divine reward and punishment" belong to the other-worldly matters. We are shocked only when we relegate them both to the same level. To do so would be a fallacy.
Paragraph 158: "Let us remember that it is this double belief in omnipotence of God and the absolute individual responsibility of man, which rouses a Muslim to action, even as it enables him to support easily an unavoidable misfortune. Far from creating in him an immobility, it gives him a dynamism. We have to refer to the exploits of the early Muslims, who were the best practitioners of the teaching of the Prophet, in order to convince ourselves of the truth of this statement.
Paragraph 222. CONCLUSION "Man being composed simultaneously of body and soul, or an outer and an inner existence, the harmonious progress and balanced evolution towards perfection require that attention should be paid to both these aspects of man. Mysticism or spiritual culture in Islam envisages the diminution of the Ego and the ever-increasing realization of the presence of God. To be absorbed in the will of God does not at all mean an immobility; far from it. In innumerable verses, the Qur'an urges man to action and even to compete in search for the Divine pleasure by means of good actions. Not to follow one's own evil desires, but to abide by the will of God alone, does not lead to inaction. Only that happens which God wills; yet not knowing the will of God, which remains concealed from man, men must always continue his efforts, even though failure follows failure, when trying to attain the goal which he conscientiously believes to be good and in conformity with the revealed commandments of God. This notion of a dynamic predestination, which urges one to action and resignation to the will of God, is well explained in the following verses of the Qur'an (57:22-23): "Naught of disaster befalleth on the earth or in your souls but it is in a Book (Prescription) before We bring it into being -- lo! that is easy for God -- that ye grieve not for the sake of that which hath escaped you, nor ye exult because of that which ye had been given; God loveth not prideful boasters." Man should always think of the grandeur of God and vis-a-vis this, or his own humility, as well as of the day of the Resurrection when the Lord will demand individual accounts. The Qur'an says (29:69) "As for those who strive in Us, We surely guide them to Our paths, and lo! God is with the good."
I'm a Muslim High School student doing a paper on "Muslim Teens and Problems they face in a Canadian (Toronto) society." I have had, and am still having, extreme trouble finding information on this topic specifically. I saw a site that you suggested to another person on Canadian Muslims. I really don't think that will help me much. Thus, I was wondering if you could give me other links that relate to this topic. I turned my computer inside out trying to find a fairly good site I could use, most are under "construction". Your help would mean so much.
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The problems Muslims face in Toronto (and throughout Canada) are not really all that different than the problems of any other religious group. The basic problem, in effect, is to decide how to reconcile the Muslim way of life with the predominant secular system in Western countries like Canada. In other words, how well and how fairly, or how badly or unfairly, minorities are treated in such countries determines the severity of the problem and the level of difficulty of resolving such problems.
As such, the main difficulty arises when Muslims begin to follow the Islamic Law (Shariah) as they are obliged to, no matter where they live. To deal with this problem, the Canadian Society of Muslims began a campaign for finding ways and means of how to accommodate this very basic need in the Muslim community. I would recommend that you carefully study the articles and publications on our website under the heading of "The Canadian Society of Muslims - Personal Family Law Campaign - A General Picture" on our Contents Page.
You will no doubt appreciate that the Muslim Personal Law/Family Law does not cover Muslim Criminal Law, nor does it cover other aspects of Muslim Civil Law. Yet family law covers almost two-thirds of the kind of legal injunctions (commands) which a Muslim must follow regardless of his or her country of residence.
I hope this will help you
in your school project. If you need any further information for further
studies/research, please feel free to contact us.
I read there that music is forbidden in Islam and as a newcomer to Islam, I would like to get a second opinion on that. Can you point me to a place in the Qur'an which states that music is forbidden.
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We have published on our other website, a full explanation of music (sama) for our readers. Click here to go there.
Question To print this letter click here.
Why must Muslims pray using the Arabic language?
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The following is excerpted
from Introduction to Islam, by Dr. Muhammad Hamidullah, and it most
thoroughly answers your question:
I would need some information. I am a university student conducting a research paper on both male and female African Canadian Muslims' sexual practices. I would need information on monogamy, polygamy, heterosexuality, homosexuality, bi-sexuality, marital practices, as well as anything else that would help me on my research paper. I've searched the web high and low, and I having a lot of difficulty accessing any information on this topic. Can someone please help me, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.
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Well, this is quite a tall order indeed. All we can do, I suppose, is to advise you to go through all the articles we have produced on our website and also do a Search of the website using our search engine. Hopefully you will find clues, references, citations, to other sources which might lead you to further materials suitable for your paper. Unfortunately we don't have a full-fledged research department to do this work on your behalf or to write the essay for you! Good luck.