Truth be told I have no idea how you ended up here, but welcome. I only have the one blog, which means it gets filled up with a lot of unrelated things. There will be numerous fandoms, posts about privilege and oppression, and lots and lots of pretty pictures. Frequently school gets in the way and this Tumblr goes dormant, and then break comes along and I queue up a flood of posts, so don't follow if you like your dash to be somewhat regular.
I'm working on plans for a hobbit
hole mansion that me and my friends will live in. If you have ever thought about your own dream-home, then pretty please will you tell me about it?
I don't put up pictures or much biographical information about myself, but you can call me Sakura Nicole.
Oh, and even though this blog may not always be active, I will always answer my asks, so that's open if you ever need to talk to someone or rant.
P.S. I do occasionally put up personal posts, usually under a read more. I would never ask anybody to not read something I put out there publicly, but if I know you in person could you at least pretend you didn't read it? Please and Thank You.
Because accessing reliable resources has become highly inconvenient, we tend to trivialise the importance we give to what we read, whether it be on the Internet or in books. For this reason, I have composed a list of crucial texts, that essentially addresses Muslims who live in the West. Although numerous PDF links are provided, I strongly recommend you purchase these books if you decide to use them in sha Allah.
- Translations of the Quran
- Collections of Hadith
- Al-Muwatta, collected by Imām Mālik [PDF]
- Sahīh al-Bukhārī, collected by Imām Bukhārī [PDF]
- Sahīh Muslim, collected by Muslim Ibn al-Hajjāj [PDF]
- Sunan Abu Dawud, collected by Abu Dawud [PDF]
- Jāmi’ al-Tirmidhī, collected by Muhammad al-Tirmidhī [PDF]
- Sunan Ibn Mājah, collected by Ibn Mājah [PDF]
- Hadith Qudsi, based on an-Nawawī’s work [PDF]
- Exegesis of the Quran
- The Quran: Transliteration in Roman Script, by Yusuf Ali Abdullah
- The Quran: Transliteration in Roman Script, by M. Pickthall
- Quranic sciences- Dictionary of Quranic Usage, by M. A. Abdel Haleem
- Understanding the Quran: themes and style, by M. A. Abdel Haleem
- Al-Itqan fi Ulum al-Quran, by Imām As-Suyutī [PDF]
- Islamic jurisprudence
- Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence, by Muhammad Hashim Kamali [PDF]
- The Clarified in Legal Theory, by Imām al-Ghazālī
- The Lawful and Prohibited in Islam, by Yusuf al-Qaradawi [PDF]
- The Four Imams, by Mohamed Abu Zahra
- History of Islam
- Islam: The Straight Path, by John Esposito
- The Emergence of Islam, by Muhammad Hamidullah
- In the Footsteps of the Prophet, by Tariq Ramadan
- Western Muslims and the Future of Islam, by Tariq Ramadan [PDF]
- Stories of the Prophets, by Ismaīl ibn al-Kathīr [PDF]
- The Reconstruction of Islamic Thought, by Muhammad Iqbal [PDF]
- Revival of Religious Sciences, by Imām al-Ghazālī [Vol. 1,2,3,4]
- Sufism for Non-Sufis? Ibn Ata’ Allah’s Tâj al-‘Arûs, by Sherman Jackson
- Disciplining the Soul and Breaking the Two Desires, by Imām al-Ghazālī
Today, one of my Jewish friends emailed me this chain letter:
I am truly perplexed that so many people are against a mosque being built at Ground Zero. I think it should be the goal of every American to be tolerant.
Thus, the Mosque should be allowed, in an effort to promote tolerance. That is why I also propose that two nightclubs be opened next door to the mosque, thereby promoting tolerance from within the mosque. We could call one of the clubs, “The Turban Cowboy”, which would be gay, and the other a topless bar called, “You Mecca Me Hot.” Next door
should be a butcher shop that specializes in pork, and adjacent to that an open-pit barbecue pork restaurant, called “Iraq o’ Ribs.” Across the street there could be a lingerie store called “Victoria Keeps Nothing Secret,” with sexy mannequins with short burkas in the window modeling the goods. Next door to the lingerie shop, a liquor
store called “Morehammered.” All of this would encourage the Muslims to demonstrate the tolerance they demand of us, so the mosque problem would be solved.
If you agree with promoting tolerance, and you think this is a good plan, please pass it on, for the sake of tolerance.
This friend knows that I support Palestinian statehood. She knows I have read the entire Quran. She knows I run this blog. And yet she sent me this email anyway, in the apparent cynical confidence that despite my public views, as a Jew, I must secretly hate Muslims.
So I picked my jaw up off the floor, hit “reply all,” and typed this response:
Dear fellow recipients of this chain letter,
There’s a Jewish folktale that compares hateful words to feathers in a pillow—once you scatter them to the winds, there is no bringing them back. Given that the Islamic community center (which is neither a mosque, nor at Ground Zero) this chain letter alludes to opened in 2011, this chain letter has undoubtedly been making the rounds for years, and there is no possible way for me to find and address everyone who received it. I know that. But I can’t let this pass in silence, either, because silence implies agreement. Silence condones.
Kudos to you. This is awesome. I am so humbled and honored by everything you wrote.
Apparently Laci Green quoted the Qur’an in her new video about period positivity. She uses the verse:
And they ask you about menstruation. Say: It is harm; therefore keep aloof from the women during the menstrual discharge and do not go near them until they have become clean; then when they have cleansed themselves, go in to them as Allah has commanded you; surely Allah loves those who turn much (to Him), and He loves those who purify themselves.
2:222, Surat Al-Baqarah
Islam’s perspective is that menstruation is normal and it is natural, it is not considered as a “punishment” on women. There is nothing in Islam that says menstruating women are ‘dirty.’ Rather, menstruation is viewed as a natural process that normal, healthy women experience throughout their lifetime. Verse 2:222 of Surat Al-Baqarah is not implying women can’t “pray” when they’re menstruating; they can still ask things of God, make du’a, and read Qur’an. The MOTIONS of SALAH, which is entirely different, are not permitted, because in order to pray SALAH, you need wudhu, and blood invalidates wudhu. So bleeding from anywhere continuously invalidates it, even from a wound or a cut.
The part where it says “it is a harm” refers to how painful it can be, so avoid having sex with them because of that. Period cramps are absolutely horrible, I can’t imagine having to pray while experiencing it. Many women suffer from extreme cramps, heavy bleeding, nausea, headaches, and other maladies during their cycle. It is truly a sign of the Mercy of Allah (SWT) that we are excused from prayer during this time.The “pure” part of it refers to the ritual purification ghusl bath that must be taken after a woman has finished her monthly cycle. Muslims are expected to be in a state of cleanliness especially when going to pray.
If I missed anything or said anything wrong, kindly correct me or feel free to add.
I have so many problems with it. This will be a rant. Or a list. Probably both. But I’m leaning towards list.
For reference the six/seven religions we’re doing are:
(I chose Islam. It was interesting how most of the class flocked to the Eastern Religions.)
A virulently anti-Islam movie trailer sparked widespread protests across the Arab world and may have caused the death of a U.S. ambassador. But the truth about Islam is anything but hateful, writes Olga M. Davidson.
September 13, 2012
1. Allah is not a name of a god. It is the Arabic word God, with a capital G, referring to the very same god that Christians and Jews worship. If you want to be very literal-minded it means “the god” because it is the definitive of the word “god” (ilah or ilāh), and if one adds the definitive article (al) it become Allah (Allāh, actually but let’s not quibble). In Farsi, God is called khodah—as in French, God is called Dieu, etc.
2. Mohammad isn’t a god. According to Islam, Mohammad is the final prophet, or messenger of God. He isn’t worshipped, since he isn’t God or an avatar of God. His example is emulated, but he is considered a real person, who eats, sleeps, loves, and so on. Islam has many prophets before Mohammad, including Abraham, Moses and Jesus and arguably Mary, because she spoke with God. Mohammad is just a man; progeny of human beings. In the Qur’ān it is clearly stated that God is neither begotten nor begets (lam yalid wa lam yūlad)
3. Speaking of Mary, mother of Jesus … she is considered to be among the finest of women and there is an entire surah, or chapter in the Qur’ān, entitled Maryam, the Arabic form of Mary. She is emulated because of her unwavering faith in God and her supreme spirituality. She becomes pregnant with Jesus, though a virgin, because God can do anything, but God is not considered to be the father.
4. Mohammad was not a womanizer. He married a widow, Khadijah, and was singularly devoted to her until she died. She left him with Fatima, their daughter. Upon her death, Mohammad did not want to remarry but was urged to do so by his followers. His subsequent marriages were primarily to form alliances with his nearest and dearest as well as with more remote followers. In the Sunni tradition, Aishah, daughter of Abu Bakr, was considered to be his favorite wife. She was married to him at a very early age and was consequently raised by him and was his only virgin bride. Her tender age was considered to be normal at the time, but marriages are not consummated until the bride has menstruated, just as in Game of Thrones. His other wives were either widows or divorcées. Mohammad wanted to form a tribe or ummah that was connected through faith, as opposed to blood ties. As this tribe grew, consolidating it through marriage ties was politically prudent. At the time, polygamy at was the norm in Arab tribal society and marrying widows and divorcées was a noble thing to do.
5. Women aren’t sold into marriage. Marriage and divorce in Islam have been greatly misunderstood. In Islam, marriage is a contract, not an oath. The groom has to give the bride a dowry to make the contract valid, and that dowry is for her and her alone to use as she wishes. Hence, her father or uncle or brother does not sell her. Unlike her Christian and Jewish sisters at the time, Muslim women could own property. As for divorce, it is not as simple as making a public declaration. Because marriage is a contract, dowry negotiations are taken very seriously; half the dowry is given at the marriage, while the second half has to be given if the bride asks for it or if the marriage is terminated through no fault of the bride. Furthermore, the groom needs to answer to the bride’s family of he wishes to terminate the contract. A bride can terminate the marriage if her husband is impotent or abusive; if he is an alcoholic or drug abuser; if he forces her to abandon her faith or act in a way that she deems as abandoning her faith; or if he disappears for over a year. Marriage as contract, not an oath, is are meant to be fluid, and if a couple is not happy in living together, they can part from each other, remarry and continue to live normal lives.
6. Mohammad was not illiterate. The word Qur’ān means recitation, coming from the root q-r-‘, which means primarily to recite or declaim and then to read. If Mohammad is said to be illiterate, that is to underscore the importance of the spoken word, not the written word. The angel Gabriel gave the command form of q-r-’, saying iqra’ , which means “recite!” in Arabic, when he transmitted the message of God as opposed to having something written on tablets. That is why memorizing the Qur’ān is so valued. Under Uthman, who was caliph from 644-656, the Qur’ān became a fixed text, as in it was written down as a finalized text and has not changed since. The style of the Qur’ān in Arabic is rhymed prose, so it is easier to memorize and is considered to be inimitable. The physical book as called a maṣḥaf (pronounced as maṣ-ḥaf), which means pages between two covers or a volume, but the value of those pages is in the recitation. When the Qur’ān became mass-produced, recitations of it were considered extremely reliable, to the great surprise of European editors.
7. You can’t be a Muslim if you don’t want to be. Contrary to the misnomer, “Islam or the Sword!”, the Qur’ān is quite clear about not forcing anyone to convert. Conversion must be done through the heart. It is simple because one just has to pronounce, with sincere intention, the shahida: lā ilāh ilā allāh wa muhammad rasūlu’llāh ( “there is no god but God and Mohammad is his messenger”) three times in front of credible witnesses. Hence one comes to Islam from pure intention as opposed to being schooled by a priest, minister or rabbi.
8. You are unlikely to meet 72 virgins in heaven. The Qur’ān says nothing about 72 virgins waiting for you in heaven. Heaven is described, among other things, as the opposite of the harsh desert, hence it is verdant with the river or body of water, Kawthar, and filled with hūr al ayn, which means “ones with eyes that are very dark around the pupil”—a sign of true beauty. The concept of 72 virgins comes from outside of the Qur’ān.
9. Non-Muslims are not infidels. Christians and Jews—also Zoroastrians, for that matter—are considered to be ahl al kitāb or “people of the book,” because they are monotheists, and Islam is strictly monotheistic. References to infidels in the Qur’ān usually have to do with the Quraishi of Mecca, Mohammad’s own tribe, because they tried to kill him and destroy his following. Same would go for any Christian or Jewish tribe with the same intent.
Olga Merck Davidson earned her Ph.D. in 1983 from Princeton University in Near Eastern Studies. She is on the faculty of the Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations, Boston University, where she has served as Research Fellow since 2009. From 1992 to 1997, she was Chair of the Concentration in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Brandeis University. Since 1999, she has been Chair of the Board, Ilex Foundation.She is the author of two books: Poet and Hero in the Persian Book of Kings (Cornell University Press: Ithaca, 1994; 2nd ed. Mazda Press: Los Angeles, CA, 2006) and Comparative Literature and Classical Persian Poetry, Bibliotheca Iranica: Intellectual Traditions Series (Mazda Press: Los Angeles, CA, 2000), both of which have been translated into Persian and distributed in Iran.
Copyright © 2012 The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC.
[Image: Indian Muslims offer Eid al-Fitr prayers at the Shahi Jama Masjid Mosque in the Walled City of Ahmedabad on August 20, 2012. (© Sam Panthaky, AFP/Getty Images)]