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Signor
08-08-2012, 03:37 PM
An American Pastor, Reverend Wess Magruder, has decided to partake in the Muslims holy month of Ramadan this year with his Muslim friends, by fasting, praying and reading the Holy Quran.


The United Methodist has not only decided to observe the Ramadan fast this year but also to share his experience on his personal blog.

"I feel a constant “buzz” [during the fast] in my head," Magruder wrote on his blog.

"This buzz serves a useful purpose, by the way. It keeps me conscious of God, of God’s presence, of God’s will that is bursting to become real in the world. And so when something else isn’t going on in front of me, the buzz reminds me to speak to God," he added.

Magruder also wrote that he turned to the Muslim faith for inspiration since he knew that Muslims have successfully been fasting for 30 days each year during Ramadan for over fourteen hundred years.
“I feel very happy and fortunate now,” Magruder wrote, who has succeeded in fasting from sunrise till sunset.

In his blog, Magruder invited all people of the Christian faith to try the fasting experience even for one day.

The Muslim fast is a total abstention from eating and drinking during the daylight hours. Furthermore, the fast goes beyond stomach and includes the eyes, the tongue, the ears, and all limbs which are expected to be trained to submit to the pleasure of God by refraining from ill manners and moral vice.

http://www.examiner.com/article/why-...ast-of-ramadan
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glo
08-08-2012, 07:01 PM
Strangely enough I started to follow his blog last week.

Here is a quote from what Reverend Wess Magrunder wrote on day 12:
When my forehead touched the carpet on the ground, I found myself deeply awed. I was struck by my vulnerability. I was kneeling forward, head down, neck bared. There is no more vulnerable position than that.

It is a symbol of the supreme Islamic value of “submission” to God. When you are bowing in that position, you are acting the role of slave to God, the Master.
Actually, I know about a number of non-Muslims who fast during Ramadan. Not as uncommon as people might think. :)
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Insaanah
08-08-2012, 07:10 PM
Originally Posted by glo
It is a symbol of the supreme Islamic value of “submission” to God. When you are bowing in that position, you are acting the role of slave to God, the Master.
Prostrating is the way of all the Prophets of Allah, and we follow in their footsteps and the way Allah taught them:

Qur'an

"Those were the ones upon whom Allah bestowed favor from among the prophets of the descendants of Adam and of those We carried [in the ship] with Noah, and of the descendants of Abraham and Israel, and of those whom We guided and chose. When the verses of the Most Merciful were recited to them, they fell in prostration and weeping." (19:58)

"O Mary, be devoutly obedient to your Lord and prostrate and bow down with those who bow [in prayer]." (3:43)

"...And David guessed that We had tried him, and he sought forgiveness of his Lord, and he fell down bowing [in prostration] and turned (to Allah) in repentance." (38:24)

"O you who believe! Bow down and prostrate yourselves and worship your Lord, and do good that you may succeed."-(Holy Qur'an 22:77).

Bible
"And he (Jesus) went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed..."-(Matthew 26:39).

"And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship..."-(Joshua 5:14).

"And he (Elijah) cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees."-(1 Kings 18:42).

"And they (Moses and Aaron) fell upon their faces..."-(Numbers 20:6).

"And Abraham fell on his face..."-(Genesis 17:3).

If Christians come to Islam, they will be coming back to the original teachings Allah sent all the Prophets with, and following the original and only message fully preserved in it's final form, and closer to the teachings of Jesus (peace be upon him).

Peace.
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Abz2000
08-08-2012, 09:27 PM
mashaAllah, even atheists are realizing the benefits of fasting:

Scientists are uncovering evidence that short periods of fasting, if properly controlled, could achieve a number of health benefits, as well as potentially helping the overweight, as Michael Mosley discovered.

The reason seems to be that when our bodies no longer have access to food they switch from "growth mode" to "repair mode".
As levels of the IGF-1 hormone drop, a number of repair genes appear to get switched on according to ongoing research by Professor Valter Longo of the University of Southern California.

One area of current research into diet is Alternate Day fasting (ADF), involving eating what you want one day, then a very restricted diet (fewer than 600 calories) the next, and most surprisingly, it does not seem to matter that much what you eat on non-fast days.
Dr Krista Varady of the University of Illinois at Chicago carried out an eight-week trial comparing two groups of overweight patients on ADF.
"If you were sticking to your fast days, then in terms of cardiovascular disease risk, it didn't seem to matter if you were eating a high-fat or low-fat diet on your feed (non-fast) days," she said.
I decided I couldn't manage ADF, it was just too impractical. Instead I did an easier version, the so-called 5:2 diet. As the name implies you eat normally 5 days a week, then two days a week you eat 500 calories if you are a woman, or 600 calories, if you are a man.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19112549


we've been advised that both of these are among the best methods 1400 years ago lol:

Chapter 32: FORBIDDANCE TO OBSERVE PERPETUAL FAST AND EXCELLENCE OF OBSERVING FAST ON ALTERNATE DAYS

Book 006, Number 2587:
'Abdullah b. 'Amr b. al-'As reported that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) was informed that he could stand up for (prayer) throughout the night and observe fast every day so long as he lived. Thereupon the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Is it you who said this? I said to him: Messenger of Allah. it is I who said that. Thereupon the Messenger of Allah may peace be upon him) said: You are not capable enough to do so. Observe fast and break it; sleep and stand for prayer, and observe fast for three days during the month; for every good is multiplied ten times and this is like fasting for ever. I said: Messenger of Allah. I am capable of doing more than this. Thereupon he said: Fast one day and do not fast for the next two days. I said: Messenger of Allah, I have the strength to do more than that. The Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him), said: Fast one day and break on the other day. That is known as the fasting of David (peace be upon him) and that is the best fasting. I said: I am capable of doing more than this. Thereupon the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: There is nothing better than this. 'Abdullah b. 'Amr (Allah be pleased with them) said: Had I accepted the three days (fasting during every month) as the Messeinger of Allah (may peace be upon him) had said, it would have been more dear to me than my family and my property.

1256. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Actions are presented on Mondays and Thursdays, so I like my actions to be presented while I am fasting." (Muslim related it without mentioning fasting.) [at-Tirmidhi]

It has been reported that the Messenger of Allah (saas) fasted the second and fifth days of the week, namely, Monday and Thursday. These two days, as the Hadith explained, are the days in which, twice weekly, the deeds are raised into the heavens and are the days of forgiveness. Abu Hurairah related the Messenger of Allah (saas) was asked why he rarely missed these two days of fasting. He replied: "Indeed, the deeds of humanity are exhibited every Monday and Thursday. Then Allah will further pardon every Muslim for every behavior, except the two believers who part from each other's company; Allah will say to the angels delay the two of them. (Ahmed)

(Imam Muslim said that in the hadith of Abu Qatada Al Ansari there is a) narration of Imam Shu'ba that he was asked about fasting on Monday and Thursday, but we (Imam Muslim) did not mention Thursday for we found it as an error (in reporting).

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crimsontide06
08-09-2012, 01:03 AM
Thats pretty cool
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glo
08-09-2012, 05:51 AM
Another quote from Wess Magruder's blog, posted today:

One of the reasons I decided to observe Ramadan was to stand in solidarity with the Muslims in my community, because I perceived a real, though hidden, threat against their place in our nation. I want to do so even more now, after this latest burst of violence. And I think it is my duty as a Christian leader to do so publicly.
[...]
Clearly, there is a strain of intolerance, mistrust, and misinformation in America towards people of the Muslim faith.
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muslimah bird
08-11-2012, 10:41 AM
Originally Posted by glo
Another quote from Wess Magruder's blog, posted today:

Clearly, there is a strain of intolerance, mistrust, and misinformation in America towards people of the Muslim faith.
I would also say they're afraid that the spreading of islam will prevent them from enjoying all their evils
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glo
08-11-2012, 06:08 PM
The latest blog entry.

I still find it hard to be as giving and generous as that. I still worry about what will be left for me. I operate so much of the time from a perspective of scarcity, rather than abundance.

I am praying that during this Ramadan, I will learn to be as generous and hospitable as the many Muslims I have met over these last few weeks. I want hospitality to become a part of my own personality.
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Scimitar
08-11-2012, 07:22 PM
you know, the pastor is in danger of becoming a Muslim now? :)

If he believes in Muhammad pbuh, And Allah, and the last day, and does good deeds - he will be of the righteous :) Alhamdulillah...

... so many Christian pastors and priests have already embraced Islam... they became pastors and priests because of an inherent need to do good and be righteous. Along their spiritual journey, they reached a stage of understanding because Allah gave them hidayah (guidance) and they were worthy of it.

I find that these men, these ex-pastors and ex-priests, have the best understanding of the true Islam.

This is amazing.

Scimi
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glo
08-11-2012, 07:26 PM
Our vicar once told me that he agreed that there is only ONE God and that Muhammed is his messenger, and that he had debated with the local imam whether that made him a Muslim or not. The imam thought it did, the vicar thought it didn't ;D

He continued to believe that Jesus is God incarnate ... which clearly left him outside the Muslim camp ...
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Scimitar
08-11-2012, 09:13 PM
a good point...

the Imam should have raised a question:

"if Jesus pbuh is God incarnate, then why did he raise Muhammad pbuh (whom you believe to be a messenger of God), to lead an entirely new nation of people to become Muslims and not Christians who believe that jesus is God?"

stumped...

Scimi
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Muhaba
08-11-2012, 10:13 PM
It's great that nonmuslims want to experience Ramadan. I hope they are aware that a person doesn't fast if sick or travelling and women don't fast during the period or after having a baby (about 40 days). They make up for the missed fasts after Ramadan.
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MustafaMc
08-11-2012, 11:52 PM
Originally Posted by glo
Actually, I know about a number of non-Muslims who fast during Ramadan. Not as uncommon as people might think.
glo, what is the nature of fasting in your church? As a Christian in college before becoming a Muslim, I had occassionally went without food for a few days with the intention of becoming closer to God through additional Bible reading. This was something I did entirely on my own and did not know of anyone else in my church who fasted.
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glo
08-12-2012, 05:37 AM
I am replying reluctantly, Mustafa, because I don't want to turn this into a Comparative religions topic.

To answer your questions very briefly then, different churches/denominations have quite different views and traditions relating to fasting.
In my own church fasting is not communally practiced - except for the traditions of giving something up for the duration of Lent (the 40 days before Easter). This is done as a personal choice and decision - something which is between the person and God. Nobody dictates what you should or shouldn't give up. Indeed nobody else needs to know.

“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
Personally, I have always found fasting very meaningful.
It acts as a constant reminder of how much God blesses us.
It helps me to be mindful of those who go hungry and suffer every day.
I love to do it simply as my offering to God.

And yes, I have found the Islamic fasting very beneficial. Hard enough to have real meaning, but not too hard to break the faster.
But I don't worry if I break my fast too early or if I slept too late or if I decide to have lunch with my husband instead. I just do what I can. I don't fast because I believe I will gain God's favour because of it or earn my salvation; I simply fast (as I said) as my offering and gift to God.
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Insaanah
08-12-2012, 10:39 PM
It is a fact that much of the teachings that Allah sent Jesus (peace be upon him) with have been lost or corrupted. Thus each Christian is left working out for themselves what constitutes a fast, how to do it etc, and there is no common consensus. Surely Allah alone knows the intention that each individual has, but once the true message has reached someone many times over, in different ways and by different people, over a number of years, then even if one says that they do it to joyfully please God, works without the true faith which God makes clear, will be of no benefit in the hereafter.

But Allah, the Most Merciful, didn't leave them to continue wondering. He sent His final messenger with the final scripture, confirming the truth of what was in the earlier scriptures, preserved til the last days. It may be that some choose to reject this messenger and the message, having understood it, or some may say that they accept the message and the messenger, yet they are not prepared to give up their ways of error as made clear in the message and by the messenger. All of these have a consequence in the hereafter.

People should be under no misperception that they can commit themselves to God as their Lord, and then combine this with accepting others as their Lord, or associating others in His Divinity, or deeming certain humans to be incarnations of Him.

Originally Posted by glo
Our vicar once told me that he agreed that there is only ONE God and that Muhammed is his messenger, and that he had debated with the local imam whether that made him a Muslim or not. The imam thought it did, the vicar thought it didn't ;D

He continued to believe that Jesus is God incarnate ... which clearly left him outside the Muslim camp ...
And outside the camp of all the Prophets before Jesus, the Prophet after Jesus, and outside the camp of Jesus himself.

All the Prophets came to tell people to worship Allah alone with no associates whatsoever in His divinity, yet Jesus stands accused of telling people that he was divine, that he was God incarnate, and that people should worship him, which is the opposite of the message Allah sent all the Prophets with and that all the Prophets including Jesus taught. No Prophet before Jesus, nor after Jesus taught that any man was God incarnate or that God begot a son, and neither did Jesus himself:

It is not (possible) for any human being unto whom Allah had given the Scripture and wisdom and the prophethood that he should afterwards have said unto mankind: Be worshippers of me apart from Allah; but (what he said was): Be ye faithful servants of the Lord by virtue of your constant teaching of the Scripture and of your constant study thereof. (Qur'an 3:79)

And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, "O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, 'Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah ?'" He will say, "Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen. I said not to them except what You commanded me - to worship Allah , my Lord and your Lord..." (5:116-117, part)

Islam is what all the Prophets preached, it isn't something new, which is a common misconception among non-Muslims, but it is what always was, and has always been, the true and natural religion ordained by God; the way of all the Prophets, the original message, the only message, which Jesus also brought :

He has ordained for you that religion which He enjoined upon Noah and that which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what We enjoined upon Abraham and Moses and Jesus - to establish the religion and not be divided therein. Difficult for those who associate others with Allah is that to which you invite them. Allah chooses for Himself whom He wills and guides to Himself whoever turns back [to Him]. (42:13)

It clearly states that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is not the founder of any new religion, nor was any of the Prophets a founder of a separate religion, but it has been one and the same religion which all the Prophets have been presenting from Allah from the very beginning, and the same is being presented by Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Nothing is said to you, [O Muhammad], except what was already said to the messengers before you... (41:43)

And when Jesus brought clear proofs, he said, "I have come to you with wisdom and to make clear to you some of that over which you differ, so fear Allah and obey me.
Indeed, Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. This is a straight path."
But the denominations from among them differed [and separated], so woe to those who have wronged from the punishment of a painful Day. (43:63-65)

Regardless of what the Christians might have said or done, Jesus (peace be upon him) did not lay claim to being God or the son of God, nor did he ask anyone to worship him. On the contrary, he called people exactly to what the previous Prophets had called and to which the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was calling, namely, to exclusively serve and worship the one true God.

People went to extremes both in supporting and opposing Jesus (peace be upon him). Those who opposed him went so far as to reject him and blaspheme him, branding him illegitimate. At the other end of the spectrum were those who exaggerated Jesus's status and exalted him to the point of deifying him. But then the question of how a human being could also be God became extremely complicated, with many attempts and efforts to explain it, all of which were unsatisfactory. A number of schisms and sects arose. Muslims believe in Jesus as he was, no more and no less, one the mightiest messengers of God, a sign for all the world, and one of the noblest people to ever walk the face of the earth. I invite you to join us.

Originally Posted by glo
I don't fast because I believe I will gain God's favour because of it or earn my salvation; I simply fast (as I said) as my offering and gift to God.
Muslims fast to fulfil one of the five pillars of Islam, to follow the way of the previous prophets, to obey God, to seek His pleasure, amongst some of the reasons, and it is a bonus from our Generous, Merciful Lord that there is reward in it for us too.

Some non-Muslims will just see Ramadan as a compulsory fast, which either willingly or unwillingly, you have to do and there is no choice.

Ramadan is completely extraordinary, and fasting during it being compulsory or not doesn't make any difference to the joy and the hope that Muslims feels during this blessed month, the world over.

To Muslims, when it arrives, it's like a most beloved guest with you for a month. When Ramadan finishes, there is utter sadness, that the blessed month has departed, and emotional prayers are said, asking Allah to give us it's reward and to make us alive to see and take part and benefit from the next Ramadan.

Ramadan is the compulsory and well-known period of fasting that everybody knows about, however there are many optional recommended fasts on certain days, eg the six days after Eid al Fitr, Mondays and Thursdays every week, 13th-15th of every lunar month, the day of Arafah, (the day before Eid al Adha), the day Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) was saved etc.

On top of this, we fast on other days of our choosing if we want to, feel the need to, or simply wish to for Allah's sake, and many people do. These fasts are invariably kept quiet, the knowledge of it being between you and Allah alone.

So we get the best of both compulsory and optional, public and private, together and alone, as well as following in the footsteps of the earlier prophets (peace be upon them).

Peace.
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glo
08-13-2012, 06:16 AM
Thank you for sharing, Insaanah.

I agree that a non-Muslim's fast will always be different to a Muslim's fast - if not in how it is done, then certainly by why it is done.

But what I find fascinating is that this blog offers an insight into Wess Magrunder's reasons for fasting. His efforts may be Islamically invalid, but his intentions are good - so I am hoping that Allah appreciates his efforts anyway. :)
I hope Muslims find his blog interesting to read too, and take heart because of his loving and caring intentions towards Islam.

Here is a comment a Muslim posted in response to the latest blog post:
Dear Pastor Wes, your words and sentiments are heart touching and profound! Maintaining good neighborly relations is an important edict of Islam also. In fact Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) used to stress so much on this that his companions started to think that neighbors might be allotted a portion in the inheritance also.To quote one of his sayings Hadeeth, “Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “Anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day should not harm his neighbor, and anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day should entertain his guest generously and anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day should talk what is good or keep quiet (i.e. abstain from all kinds of evil and dirty talk).” – Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Number 47. The Jews and the Christians are always mentioned in the Qura’n as ” People of The Book”. We are to maintain good relations with them. So you see, I have no choice but to be good and accepting of you because you are my neighbor and you are Ahl-al- Kitab (one of the People of The Book). This is part of my deen, that I dare not forget if peace and truth are to reign this world eventually insha’Allah! May God lead us towards the ultimate truth and guide us to the straight path! Ameen
Source
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~Zaria~
08-13-2012, 07:18 AM
Assalamu-alaikum and Greetings,

Sister Glo,

As you may know, the foundation of Islam is built on monotheism.
There is absolutely no room for associating any partners to God - and doing so, is considered a transgression of the highest order.

Can you imagine being the Creator and Sustainer of a particular creation......but that very creation that You provide so much for - decides to worship your CREATION rather than their CREATOR?
Can you imagine how that must feel?

Allah tells us in the Quraan:

"And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me." (Al-Quraan 51:56)

This is our only (real) purpose in life.

--> The worship of the One who Created us from nothing.
Imagine: Every beat of our heart is dependant on Him <-- there is no other entity that is doing this, at this very moment in time.

The messengers from the time of Adam (alaihi salam) - were just that - messengers - with the message to worship Him ALONE.


And so, even though, as you say - the pastors intentions are good:

Originally Posted by glo
His efforts may be Islamically invalid, but his intentions are good - so I am hoping that Allah appreciates his efforts anyway. :)
Unfortunately, it will not avail him - unless his heart is opened to:
- Belief in the Oneness of God,
- Belief in ALL his prophets, including the final prophet, Muhammed (peace be upon them all),
- Belief in ALL his books, including His final testiment to man - the Quraan
- Belief in the Day of Judgement,
- Belief in the Angels
- Belief in pre-destination by the will of God

If not:

"And whoever seeks a religion other than Islaam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers." [Aal ‘Imraan 3:85]

“And We shall turn to whatever deeds they (disbelievers, polytheists, sinners) did, and We shall make such deeds as scattered floating particles of dust” [al-Furqaan 25:23]


This is the unfortunate case of many people.
The assumption that: 'Im a good person, I do good deeds......therefore, I will surely be rewarded heaven'.

From an Islamic understanding, this is a false assumption.
And for reasons stated above, a believing man/ woman who may be a sinner is better than a non-believing man/ woman doing good.

Hope this brings more clarity, God-willingly.

On his latest blog, the pastor states:

In other words, I am observing Ramadan BECAUSE I am a follower of Christ, BECAUSE I am a Christian, not because I am secretly harboring doubts about my faith, nor because I am thinking about converting to Islam.

http://newmethofesto.com/2012/08/12/...24-of-ramadan/
We pray that Allah opens the heart of this pastor to His Oneness, and to this beautiful way of life - Islam.
Ameen.

Peace.
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sister herb
08-13-2012, 08:14 AM
Salam alaykum;

I think even this: I´m a good person, I do good deeds, I am muslim..... isn´t any automatic way to heaven. We also need mercy of Allah.

If some non-muslims fast as wanting to understand muslims, I see it only positive thing. As we have to live together in same world, many times even in same country and same community, it is much better if we try to understand each others. By any ways.

And Allah knows best.
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Signor
08-13-2012, 09:05 AM
Greetings Glo

Here is something which I found related:

Book Of Matthews

15"Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

16"You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?

17"So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.

18"A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.

19"Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

20"So then, you will know them by their fruits.

21"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.

22"Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?'

23"And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.

Also

Romans 2:13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.

Islam is not about doing Good Deeds,Its About Submitting your Will TO Allah's Will.Criteria is deed must be right in your Lord's sight e.g For a hungry person having no means of income right thing is to theft or rob someone from his belonging but Will This gives him a legit right to do this....Certainly Not

From Holy Quran

11:23 But those who believe and work righteousness, and humble themselves before their Lord,- They will be companions of the gardens, to dwell therein for aye (Surah Hud)

11:56 I put my trust in Allah, My Lord and your Lord! There is not a moving creature, but He hath grasp of its fore-lock. Verily, it is my Lord that is on a straight Path. (Surah Hud)

3:20 So if they dispute with thee, say: "I have submitted My whole self to Allah and so have those who follow me." And say to the People of the Book and to those who are unlearned: "Do ye (also) submit yourselves?" If they do, they are in right guidance ('Ali `Imran)

Regards
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MustafaMc
08-13-2012, 10:52 AM
Originally Posted by glo
I don't fast because I believe I will gain God's favour because of it or earn my salvation; I simply fast (as I said) as my offering and gift to God.
glo, while I see this thread has merit in building a bridge between our respective communities, this comment illustrates a common misconception of Christians that I perceive as an under-handed slight against Islam. Islam is a way of life that includes worship of Allah in truth (according to the precepts set down by Muhammad (saaws)) and in spirit (with the right intention). We never have the intention of earning our salvation by our practice of Islam, but rather intend to be obedient servants of Allah (swt).

I remind you of Surah Al-Kafirun,
Say: "O unbelievers! I do not worship those that you worship, neither do you worship Him Whom I worship, nor will I worship those whom you worship, nor are you going to worship Him Whom I worship. To you your religion, and to me, my religion."

What is worship?
Wikipedia - Worship is an act of religious devotion usually directed towards a deity.
Merriam-Webster 2: reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power; also: an act of expressing such reverence 3: a form of religious practice with its creed and ritual

In Islam, there are several prescribed acts of worship, including salah (prayer), sawm (fasting), zakat (poor due), and hajj (pilgrimage) that are done exactly in the manner prescribed by Prophet Muhammad (saaws). Our performance of these acts of obedience are indeed offered as worship of our Creator and we do hope to gain the favor of our Lord, but we never intend by any of them to "earn my salvation". We Muslims know that the intention determines the merit of any deed and who among us can judge his own heart with absolute assurance that his intentions are pure? Do we know for a fact that our acts of devotion are accepted? Do we know for a fact that we did not negate our going without food and water by backbiting our brother? We are always at the mercy of Allah (swt) and we pray for acceptance of our acts of worship and we beg Him for forgiveness of the sins we are aware of and the ones we are not aware of.
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glo
08-13-2012, 07:43 PM
Those who have replied with concerns about non-Muslims fasting during Ramadan, how do you feel about the intention and effort of this Methodist pastor?

Is what he is doing disrespectful to Islam, or even blasphemous?
Is he wasting his time?
Is he angering Allah?
Do you feel offended by his actions?

Reading the accounts in and the comments on his blog, many Muslims seem to have responded positively - so I would be interested to hear the views of those of you who seems to find the idea less positive.

Thank you and Salaam :)
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Scimitar
08-13-2012, 08:02 PM
Originally Posted by glo
Is what he is doing disrespectful to Islam, or even blasphemous?
Is he wasting his time?
Is he angering Allah?
Do you feel offended by his actions?
1) No, not at all... this is a very good way to reach a common ground, an understanding born of faith.

2) Nope, not at all... not in the slightest. Allah knows what is in the hearts of men. I believe his intent is a good one.

3) Nope, not at all. He is fasting. This is a sacrifice - and Allah loves sacrifices for HIS sake.

4) Nope, not at all. I refer back to point 1.

Scimi
Reply

Insaanah
08-13-2012, 10:17 PM
Originally Posted by MustafaMc
while I see this thread has merit in building a bridge between our respective communities, this comment illustrates a common misconception of Christians that I perceive as an under-handed slight against Islam.
Brother MustafaMc has raised an important point here. Among some Christians there is an assumption that they serve God out of loving joy and a genuine desire from their own heart to, and not because they have to, nor to earn rewards/salvation, whereas conversely Muslims just obey commands, do things because they are compulsory, or to get reward/salvation etc, and indeed we had a discussion on it on this very forum a couple of years ago.

Our salvation is only through God's Mercy. We believe and try to do good deeds. We do not simply profess to believe and then not translate that belief into practice through our deeds and dealings. We must strive, and must make effort, and translate the faith we profess with our lips into practice in every aspect of our lives.

Muslims view this life as our test. We do the best we can. The more effort we put in, with the right intentions, the more Allah will be pleased, the better we hope to do, with God's Grace and Mercy, and His promise that he does not waste our deeds and will requite us generously and justly.

We feel no hesitation nor any heavy heartedness in obeying God and His prophet, and in doing whatever we can extra to the bare minimum. We try our best to serve Him in the way He has said He wishes to be served, with a balance of love, hope, and fear.

Originally Posted by glo
Those who have replied with concerns about non-Muslims fasting during Ramadan, how do you feel about the intention and effort of this Methodist pastor?
Reading back through the thread, I can't see that anybody had concerns about the pastor or non-Muslims fasting, but rather some pointed out that the original teachings have been lost, but God was kind enough to send His final scripture so that people don't have to work out for themselves how to fast, or what the correct belief might be, and that without the faith that God has made clear and reiterated in His final scripture, such an act while may have some positive outcomes in this world, will have no reward in the hereafter. But that doesn't equate to a concern about him or anybody else fasting. It would be great if this experience led him to eventually come to the straight path.

Originally Posted by glo
Is what he is doing disrespectful to Islam, or even blasphemous?
Is he wasting his time?
Is he angering Allah?
Do you feel offended by his actions?
I am not sure how a non-Muslim fasting would be considered blasphemous or disrespectful.
It doesn't really take much time to fast, just eating to close and open your fast, and he would have eaten at least twice if he wasn't fasting anyway.
I don't know, Allah knows best.
Not at all.

So you see, I have no choice but to be good and accepting of you because you are my neighbor and you are Ahl-al- Kitab (one of the People of The Book). This is part of my deen, that I dare not forget if peace and truth are to reign this world eventually insha’Allah!
While we maintain good relations, that in no way precludes us from giving da'wah, showing what God's original message was, and inviting back to the right path. Indeed in the Qur'an Allah mentions some of the good qualities of some from among the People of the Book, such as being trustworthy in dealings; however it also mentions the wrong beliefs of those of the People of the Book who did not leave their false beliefs about Jesus, in the most strongest of terms, at which the sky is almost rent asunder and the mountains almost fall down in ruins that a son be ascribed to the Most Merciful. (19:88-93)

But giving da'wah, inviting back to the right path, showing that the religion ordained by Allah has never included any associates in His Divinity, should not be misconstrued as not accepting the recipient or as not wishing to maintain good relations with them. Indeed, it is because of our desire for good for our fellow human beings, that we give da'wah. Our neighbour is a Roman Catholic priest, and we have very good relations with their family, with interfaith discussion and da'wah happening frequently. But we do not accept their beliefs as being those ordained by God or by Jesus, and they are fully aware of that.

Again, if we give da'wah doesn't mean that we're not accepting of people. But the beliefs we can never accept as being correct. We accept there is an entitlement to one's own beliefs, but if one has wrong beliefs that go against what Allah and the Prophets taught, then we don't say to people, you're ok, we're ok, it's all good, as that's not the case. We strive ourselves, and look to our own shortcomings, and hope for God's Mercy, and invite others to join us on the path He ordained. In the Qur'an we're commanded to enjoin good, and to cooperate in goodness, and to invite others to the right path is a form of that. Let no one be under any misconception that if you give da'wah, or point out God's original message, you're somehow not accepting the other.

It is good to always start with what is common between us, and then work from there:

Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to common terms as between us and you: that we shall worship none but Allah, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside Allah. And if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered (unto Him). (3:64)

O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion or say about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say, "Three"; desist - it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but one God. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs. (4: 171)

O People of the Scripture, there has come to you Our Messenger to make clear to you [the religion] after a period [of suspension] of messengers, lest you say, "There came not to us any bringer of good tidings or a warner." But there has come to you a bringer of good tidings and a warner. And Allah is over all things competent. (5:19)

I pray that Allah gives this pastor, your vicar and yourself, with the knowledge imparted to you by Muslims and the invitations to Islam you have recieved over the years, guidance to the right path, and I pray you'll consider what has been said and open your heart to the truth.

Peace.
Reply

MustafaMc
08-14-2012, 02:08 AM
Originally Posted by glo
Those who have replied with concerns about non-Muslims fasting during Ramadan, how do you feel about the intention and effort of this Methodist pastor?
From what I read of his blog, it seems he has very admirable intentions and that he is making efforts to de-demonize Islam among his congregants. I see that is a good thing.
Is what he is doing disrespectful to Islam, or even blasphemous?
I do not see how it can be disrespectful in anyway and certainly not that it is showing disrespect to God.
Is he wasting his time?
It does not seem that he is doing it for religious reasons, but rather as an attempt to build bridges with Muslims. In this respect I see that his time and effort is well spent.

Again the merit of every deed is in the intention. It could be that God sees good in his heart and guides him to the Straight Way that leads to Paradise.
Is he angering Allah?
??? - can't answer that one, but I can't see how he would be.
Do you feel offended by his actions?
No, not in the least bit.
Reply

MustafaMc
08-14-2012, 02:15 AM
Originally Posted by Insaanah
We accept there is an entitlement to one's own beliefs, but if one has wrong beliefs that go against what Allah and the Prophets taught, then we don't say to people, you're ok, we're ok, it's all good, as that's not the case.
Assalamu alaikum, Sister Insaanah. This is exactly my thought as well. I also respond and write as I do to speak what I hold is true with the hope that others will see the light that I see.
Reply

glo
08-14-2012, 07:23 AM
Thank you all for sharing your thoughts.
As always, it helps me learn and understand better. :)
Salaam
Reply

MustafaMc
08-15-2012, 08:33 AM
Originally Posted by glo
Thank you all for sharing your thoughts.
As always, it helps me learn and understand better.
... and that is my intention as well, I am sure, as it is of other Muslims. Our intention is not to insult or to offend you, but to speak what we believe is true as accurately and completely as possible so that you can understand Islam better.

It seems that, as a result of discussions on this forum, you must know much more about our practice of Islam than I know about yours as a Christian. Despite the fact that I grew up as a Christian, I am still left bewildered by Christian theology and the practice of that faith.
Reply

glo
08-15-2012, 04:13 PM
Originally Posted by MustafaMc
Despite the fact that I grew up as a Christian, I am still left bewildered by Christian theology and the practice of that faith.
That's because despite our shared core beliefs Christians may have different views and interpretation of certain Bible passages or teachings.

My first teachings about Islam came from this forum, but the more I branch out and speak to/learn from Muslims in other places, the more I come to understand that Muslims have a much broader understanding and interpretation of the Islamic faith than I was ever given the impression whilst LI/IB was my only source of teaching.

That's why I prefer to understand people's own understanding of Islam than the 'official view'. I have come to understand that there isn't really an 'official view' - just people's individual journeys with God, which may align to a greater or lesser extend to what certain people would call the official or mainstream teaching.

Our religions are made up of the sum of their followers, so each of us matters. :)
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glo
08-15-2012, 06:29 PM
I mean, take Pastor Wess Magrunder as an example.

As much as his Ramadan efforts are presented in a positive light, I bet there are many voices who are negative about it.
Perhaps Muslims who feel that his efforts may be ill-informed or meaningless.
And I bet there are Christians who disagree with what he is doing. Those who do disagree are probably quoting Bible verses about not imitating unbelievers, not mixing with unbelievers etc. Those who feel that what he is doing is not according to Christian teaching, and definitely not according to Christian tradition.

And yet Wess Magrunder follows his own convictions and quotes Jesus' teachings on loving you neighbour and supporting those who are marginalised by society.
Has he moved towards the fringes of mainstream Christianity? Perhaps he has.
Is he undermining or weakening his faith? Personally, I don't think so. Instead he has pondered what being a Christian means to him in the present situation in the US and he is taking his stand.

And I admire him for what he that.
Reply

sister herb
08-15-2012, 06:53 PM
I too admire his efforts. I think we need more people like him - from both sides.
Reply

MustafaMc
08-16-2012, 02:05 AM
Originally Posted by glo
That's why I prefer to understand people's own understanding of Islam than the 'official view'.
glo, I am intrigued by your desire to learn more about Islam from the 'grass-roots' level of individual Muslim's perspectives. Yes, there are differences among Muslims, but there is also a huge amount of similarities among Sunni Muslims with regards to salah, sawm, hajj and zakat. I also see that beliefs among Muslims are remarkably similar; however, there remains the debate about certain verses of the Quran regarding attributes of Allah (swt) as to whether they are literal or figurative in meaning. There is more variation in how closely Muslims strive to practice their faith as in 1) full beard, closely cropped beard, clean shaven, 2) nijab, hijab + abiyah, no head scarf, etc. I am of the opinion that there is no compulsion in religion and that the degree a person applies Islam to his life should come from within as opposed to being imposed externally. I am more of the opinion of 'live and let live' with more tolerance for the differences among Muslims with a hesitancy to declare someone to be outside the fold of Islam.

My fundamental confusion about Christianity is more with regards to their fundamental belief about God and about Jesus and how the Father is not the Son, but both are One God. Other than adhering to certain beliefs and striving to follow the example of Jesus, I am also at a loss as to how one practices Christianity (in a general sense) with respect to worship of God. Regarding the fasting of this pastor, I believe that he would have done better to have the intention of doing so to get closer to God or to have a different religious experience to show his congregants some of the merit in adhering to the religious rituals of Islam. This would have addressed the point you hinted at about Muslims trying to earn their salvation by being good enough. Fasting is more than dgoing without food and water although there is merit even in that of experiencing a brief moment of deprivation that the poor of the world experience every day - again more in the sense of solidarity as the pastor expressed. Fasting for me is more about purifying my heart and striving to be closer to God through night prayers, extra Quran reading, listening to lectures, etc. and striving to control some of my bad tendacies.
Reply

glo
08-16-2012, 06:22 AM
Originally Posted by MustafaMc
I believe that he would have done better to have the intention of doing so to get closer to God
Having read his blog, I have a sense that his fasting and the whole Ramadan experience is very much about getting closer to God.

When I entered the prayer room with Larry, I willed myself to will one thing – God’s own will. I prayed that God’s will would be done on the earth, but especially in my life.
In other words, all truth is God’s truth, no matter where we find it. When we find truth in Islam, it is God’s truth. When we find truth in Christianity, it is God’s truth. When we find truth in Judaism, it is God’s truth.
When I start thinking this way, and begin to pray again, then the moment passes quickly. I find myself re-entering the presence of God, and I feel a kind of supernatural surge of energy flow through me again.
What intrigues me is the emphasis of both passages on the right path. Both texts indicate that there is a wrong path and a right path, and that one way leads to destruction, and the other to God. Both selections stress the importance of choosing one’s way in this life carefully.
It’s a sign, then, that one is willing to be vulnerable before God, willing to be open to whatever God chooses to reveal or bestow.
I have only skipped through a few days and found a suitable reference in every single one of them.

Perhaps getting closer to your neighbours ( no matter what faith, colour or background) and extending the hand of human friendship also causes us to get closer to God?

As I said before, one may never see Wess Magrunder's Ramadan experience as in any way compatible with a Muslims' Ramadan.
Why should it be? He is not a Muslims. He is only trying to grasp at the meaning of Ramadan from what he is seeing, learning and experiencing. People might say he gets some things 'right' and some 'wrong' (whatever 'right' and 'wrong' may be, and whoever feels that they can make the judgement of whether it is one or the other ...)
It is his journey. And he is brave to take it.

I would love to see a similar blog of a Muslim sharing his experiences/ feelings of going through Lent or Advent with his Christian friends and neighbours.
Perhaps one day ...
Perhaps - just like Wess Magrunder - that person would discover the many shared values and similarities between our faiths :)

Salaam
Reply

Insaanah
08-16-2012, 10:30 PM
First of all, there's a lot of talk in some posts of negative reactions to the pastor's fasting. I haven't read the comments on his blog yet, so I guess that's where the negative comments are, as other than pointing out a fact that it will be non-rewardable in the hereafter, I have't seen any negative comments to what he's doing in this thread.

Originally Posted by glo
That's why I prefer to understand people's own understanding of Islam than the 'official view'. I have come to understand that there isn't really an 'official view' - just people's individual journeys with God, which may align to a greater or lesser extend to what certain people would call the official or mainstream teaching.
In Islam, there is a correct view, and that is following the Qur'an, the sunnah, the practice of the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), his companions, and the early righteous generations after them that learned from them and followed in their footsteps. There are valid differences of opinion among scholars on certain matters, each backed up by evidence, and there are certain matters where we have a few different valid options.

The Prophet advised us to stick to his example and those of the rightly guided caliphs after him, and that if we held on to the book of Allah (Qur'an) and his example (recorded in the hadeeth), we would not go astray. The vast majority of Muslims do this. We are all striving to be better Muslims, to be better for ourselves, in turn for those around us, and of course to seek the pleasure of Allah. We sometimes slip along the way, as nobody is perfect, there may be things we don't have full knowledge on, and apart from putting in our own effort, we seek His Forgiveness and help, as He is Forgiving, Merciful.

Originally Posted by glo
Our religions are made up of the sum of their followers....
The sum of the followers of Islam makes up the Muslim ummah, the global Muslim brotherhood and community, but the followers don't constitute the religion, which will always be from Allah, the Prophet, the Qur'an and hadeeth. If it's the case that religions are made up of the sum of their followers, then that means that if individuals go astray, commit sins etc, those sins would then become part of the religion, and the religion would change to accommodate those sins as acceptable, as the people (and thus their practices) constitute the faith.

As an example, in the Bible, homosexual acts were a sin. Some denominations, however, deemed it acceptable, as it had become more widespread in society, amongst Christians too. After becoming acceptable for the Christian lay people, it then became acceptable for clergy in those denominations, as it had become a normal way of life for many Christians. Why this u-turn and change from the original Christian teachings of homosexual acts being a sin? Because the religion was deemed to be a sum of its followers, peoples own understandings and interpretations of it, people's own personal convictions, and a sizeable number practiced it (amongst other reasons as well), therefore it was ok.

This is one example of how teachings of religions gradually change to the exact opposite of what God sent His messengers with.

Thankfully this has not happened with Islam, because while there may be a very small number with views that are not according to the Qur'an and hadeeth, we have the preserved text of the Qur'an and preserved example of the Prophet, which makes it easy to see what's not in accordance, and the vast majority hold firmly to these sources. Just the same as an inadvertent mistake can easily spotted in the recitation of the Qur'an, because apart from having the original preserved words, we also have many huffaazh (who have memorised the entire Qur'an word for word).

For us, as Muslims, we hold on to our sources and examples as mentioned above. Islam is for all people, all times and all places, exactly as it was revealed, without needing changing to accommodate practices or changes in society.

But that doesn't stop us from having good relations with anyone, as I mentioned in my previous post. There are great examples of interfaith cooperation (going both ways) involving Muslims and Christians, indeed our own mosque invites multifaith clergy (Jewish, Christian and clergy of other faiths) and the general public at least once every year for dinner and talks, the Rabbis come again separate to that, and talk to the congregation about current affairs and discuss religious matters. The local schoolteachers also have a good relationship, as they bring children on visits to the mosque, as they do to the church.

Originally Posted by glo
I would love to see a similar blog of a Muslim sharing his experiences/ feelings of going through Lent or Advent with his Christian friends and neighbours.
Perhaps one day ...
Perhaps - just like Wess Magrunder - that person would discover the many shared values and similarities between our faiths
Ther are many Muslims who know the shared values and similarities between our faiths already, without needing to practice the rituals of the faith in question. Friendships with neighbours, colleagues, friends, and also strangers, take place all over the world, as well as examples of support, solidarity, empathy and help that take place. Often people do not feel the need to publicise to the world the friendships they have built, the solidarity they've demonstrated, the help they've given, and the fact that they recognise what's common between them. It is quite off the mark to suggest that a Muslim would one day discover similarities and shared values only if they practised Lent or Advent, as clearly, this is not the case.

There is nothing about fasting that would go against the pastors beliefs, other than it being seen as a fast of the Muslims, that some Christians may have a problem with. And it is to be expected that there's nothing wrong, as it is an unchanged teaching of the same God that sent Jesus (peace be upon him). Advent celebrates looking forward to the first coming of Christ (peace be upon him) as saviour. Having a saviour is totally incompatible with Islamic beliefs, and there is no reason any Muslim should need to do that in order to discover shared similarities, or for it to be suggested to them that without doing that, they won't know of their shared values and similarities. If one cannot discover shared values without actually practising rituals of the others faith and going against the main teaching of your own faith, if one cannot appreciate similarities and shared values without doing that, and the other feels it can't be done without Muslims doing that, and simply by meeting, talking, and learning, then something is seriously wrong...

Never will the Jews or the Christians be satisfied with you unless you follow their way. Say: "The Guidance of Allah,-that is the (only) Guidance." Were you to follow their desires after the knowledge which has reached you, you would have against Allah no protector or helper. (2:120)

Peace.
Reply

glo
08-17-2012, 07:27 AM
Originally Posted by MustafaMc
Fasting is more than dgoing without food and water although there is merit even in that of experiencing a brief moment of deprivation that the poor of the world experience every day - again more in the sense of solidarity as the pastor expressed. Fasting for me is more about purifying my heart and striving to be closer to God through night prayers, extra Quran reading, listening to lectures, etc. and striving to control some of my bad tendacies.
The pastor must have read your post, because today he wrote this:

But I hope that my life is forever changed by the experience, and I hope there are long-term effects of my fast. The whole point of Ramadan is to be changed – for good. It’s not simply a set of exercises that one must endure for thirty days so that you can earn a reward in heaven, or earn a check mark next to your name on the “Good” list.

[...]

When we view the practice of fasting as something which must be endured in order to earn a reward, then we have entirely missed the point. Fasting is a discipline which forms and shapes us, makes us into people who are more responsive to God.

That’s why I don’t think I will know how effective my Ramadan fast has been until a few weeks after Ramadan is over. Will I act differently? Will I be closer to my God? Will I be more loving to my family and neighbors? Will I be more sensitive to people in need, to the poor and destitute?

If I manage to complete the 30-day fast successfully, but end up acting selfishly and hatefully on the thirty-first, or forty-first, or sixtieth day, then my first Ramadan will have been a failure.
Would you agree with his statements?
Reply

glo
08-17-2012, 07:34 AM
Originally Posted by Insaanah
I haven't read the comments on his blog yet, so I guess that's where the negative comments are, as other than pointing out a fact that it will be non-rewardable in the hereafter, I have't seen any negative comments to what he's doing in this thread.
I haven't seen any negative comments either. Certainly not in his blog (although they may be edited out). I would say that some posts in this thread have been cautious about a) his intentions and b) the meaning/purpose of his fasting - but not outright negative.

I know that he has appeared on radio, and not every caller was positive about his Ramadan fasting.

I am sure that there are people out there (Muslims and Christians) who will feel quite strongly that what he is doing is wrong. But that's an assumption on my part and I may be wrong. Perhaps everybody is behind Wes Magrunder and thinks what he is doing is great. I hope so. :)
Reply

glo
08-17-2012, 07:36 AM
Originally Posted by Insaanah
There are great examples of interfaith cooperation (going both ways) involving Muslims and Christians, indeed our own mosque invites multifaith clergy (Jewish, Christian and clergy of other faiths) and the general public at least once every year for dinner and talks, the Rabbis come again separate to that, and talk to the congregation about current affairs and discuss religious matters. The local schoolteachers also have a good relationship, as they bring children on visits to the mosque, as they do to the church.
I'd love to hear more about the interfaith efforts of your mosque.
Perhaps you can start a thread in the Comparative Religion section after Ramadan? Or, if it's not appropriate in this forum, perhaps you can PM me?
Interfaith working is one of my great passions. :)
Reply

Muslim Woman
08-17-2012, 11:58 AM
Salaam/ Peace


Originally Posted by glo
......If I manage to complete the 30-day fast successfully, but end up acting selfishly and hatefully on the thirty-first, or forty-first, or sixtieth day, then my ....... Ramadan will have been a failure?

wow, really nice thinking . I wonder , how many Muslims think and act on it. We must follow the values of Ramadan throughout the whole yr but sadly we don't :(
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MustafaMc
08-17-2012, 12:25 PM
Originally Posted by glo
Would you agree with his statements?
His statements ring a bell of truth with me.

Life is an extremely short journey toward the Hereafter and it makes little sense to continually take 2-steps forward then 1-step back although I think that is human nature. If I am less than perfect after Ramadan (which most certainly I will be); however, I would not consider Ramadan a failure. We humans are created imperfect, but we should recognize our faults, repent of them and to ask God for His forgiveness. I believe that Allah (swt) is merciful and that He loves to forgive those who repent and if we were perfect as the angels are, then He would create other beings who would make bad decisions to sin and then ask for forgiveness. Somehow I see that this touches upon why we were created despite the atrocious things that humans have doen and continue to do.
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Insaanah
08-17-2012, 12:53 PM
Assalaamu alaikum brother Mustafa and all who follow the guidance, and peace to all.

Originally Posted by MustafaMc
I believe that Allah (swt) is merciful and that He loves to forgive those who repent and if we were perfect as the angels are, then He would create other beings who would make bad decisions to sin and then ask for forgiveness.
That is indeed a true and beautiful statement, and I hope you won't mind if I place the relevant hadeeths here, I think there are some more but will just post these for now:

Abu Ayyub Khalid bin Zaid (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him): said, "Were you not to commit sins, Allah would create people who would commit sins and ask for forgiveness and He would forgive them". [Muslim].

Abu Ayyub Ansari reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said:
If you were not to commit sins, Allah would have swept you out of existence and would have replaced you by another people who would commit sin, and then asked forgiveness from Allah, and He would have forgiven them. [Muslim, Book 51, Hadith 7140]

Narrated Anas bin Malik:
Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said, "Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His slave than anyone of you is pleased with finding his camel which he had lost in the desert. " [Bukhari]

'Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: I asked: "O Messenger of Allah! If I realize Lailat-ul-Qadr (Night of Decree), what should I supplicate in it?" He (peace be upon him) replied, "You should supplicate: Allahumma innaka 'afuwwun, tuhibbul-'afwa, fa'fu 'anni (O Allah, You are Most Forgiving, and You love forgiveness; so forgive me)."[At-Tirmidhi].

The contrast with Christianity is quite interesting. Because Adam (peace be upon him) sinned and because people sin as a result, they have a broken relationship with God, and this can only be rectified by there being a perfect sacrifice (Jesus, peace be upon him) to reconcile man with God, and accepting Jesus (peace be upon him) as their saviour to atone for their sins.

In Islam, as Adam asked for forgiveness and was forgiven, so we ask for Allah's forgiveness, as He loves for us to turn to Him in repentance, and loves forgiving.
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sister herb
08-17-2012, 01:28 PM
I see this like one of those interfaith efforts:

Muslims break Ramadan fast with homeless in Preston

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D24qN...layer_embedded
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glo
08-17-2012, 06:38 PM
And here is another good example of interfaith efforts. A synagogue in Virginia US welcomes Muslims seeking a place to pray.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-19289226
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Insaanah
08-24-2012, 07:12 PM
Assalaamu alaikum all who follow the guidance, and peace to all.

Pastor Wes Magruder asked his mentor and friend Rev Elaine Heath, to comment on his Ramadan experience on his blog. She responded with the following article:

Elaine Heath on True Evangelism and Our Muslim Neighbors

Have just picked out some quotes that Muslims may find interesting:

Once we unpack the roots of bad evangelism we are ready to move into the theory and practice of the most wonderful adventure of the Christian life—becoming a people who love so well and so consistently, that others are drawn to a transformative relationship with God by their relationships with us.
Should we use words to tell our neighbors about our faith in God? Yes, if it is natural and the Holy Spirit lets us know the time is right.
Only love can set people free.
When Wes told me he was going to fast with Muslim friends during Ramadan, I was excited. I knew that Wes would experience a deeper conversion to his own Christian faith in the process, and that Muslim friends near and far would experience a healthy Christian leader who knows how to show up, pay attention, cooperate with God, and release the outcome. They would experience Christian love and solidarity from a pastor who does not coerce, manipulate, exploit, or use violence to try to get other people to agree to loving Jesus.
Muslims already love and respect Jesus and believe in him as he was, nothing less, and nothing more. Neither rejected/blasphemed, nor deified. Not at one wrong extreme, nor the other wrong extreme. One of the most noble and purest of humanity to ever set foot on the face of the earth, a sign for people, and one of the mightiest messengers of Allah, sent to the Children of Israel.
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Signor
08-25-2012, 02:18 AM
Mosque and church discovered next to each other in Cappadocia

Official highlighted that it was the first time they came across a rock-cut mosque which had changed the common knowledge about the Ihlara Valley, the largest settlement area of Cappadocia.

Discovery of a mosque and a church next to each other brought to light the reality that Muslims and Christians lived together.

Discovery of a mosque and a church next to each other which were cut into rocks in the world-famous Ihlara Valley, Cappadocia, has brought to light the reality that Muslims and Christians lived together in the same period of time.

Curator of the Aksaray Museum, Yusuf Altin, told AA on Wednesday that their works and projects on discovery of cultural assets in Ihlara Valley continue.

He said that the number of cultural assets rose from 12 to 45 during recent works and they were excited when they found the mosque.

He highlighted that it was the first time they came across a rock-cut mosque which had changed the common knowledge about the Ihlara Valley, the largest settlement area of Cappadocia.

"There was also a rock-cut church found next to the mosque. This reveals that in the same period of time there were Muslims and Christians living together in Ihlara. Also both places of worships are so close to each others," said Altin.

"The Mosque has inner dome and dome roof which is interesting. It does not take attention from outside but the inside of the mosque is fascinating. It has a door which opens directly outside. The most important feature of this mosque is that it has been built next to a church. Church has a different entrance and then it connects with the underground city. We discovered an important cultural asset by finding the mosque and the church next to each other," said Yusuf Altin.

Ihlara is a town famous with the nearby valley, Ihlara Valley. The Valley is unique because of its history and civilizations. The whole valley has rock-cut underground dwellings and churches from the Byzantines. Ihlara is 100 km away from the Nevsehir province.

Cappadocia is a historical region in Nevsehir in central Anatolia. Cappadocia is a world-famous town with its exceptional natural wonders, especially with its "fairy chimneys" and a unique historical and cultural heritage. Persians, Assyrians, Greeks and Hittites all lived in Cappadocia. Turkish tribes started settling in the region in the Middle Ages.

http://www.worldbulletin.net/?aType=...rticleID=92986
Reply

MustafaMc
08-25-2012, 04:04 AM
Originally Posted by Insaanah
Pastor Wes Magruder asked his mentor and friend Rev Elaine Heath, to comment on his Ramadan experience on his blog. She responded with the following article
Wa alaikum assalam, respected Ukhti. If one reads between the lines, you can detect an evangelical intention to convert Muslims to Christianity. If I remember correctly, I read on his blog where some of his Muslim friends accepted communion at his church. How many Muslims do you know who will take part in a ceremony that is defined as "a Christian sacrament in which consecrated bread and wine are consumed as memorials of Christ's death or as symbols for the realization of a spiritual union between Christ and communicant or as the body and blood of Christ"?

I am reminded of Al-Baqarah 120, "Never will the Jews or the Christians be satisfied with you unless you follow their form of religion. Say: "The Guidance of Allah,-that is the (only) Guidance." Were you to follow their desires after the knowledge which has reached you, then you would find neither Protector nor helper against Allah.
Reply

جوري
08-25-2012, 04:24 AM
Originally Posted by MustafaMc
Wa alaikum assalam, respected Ukhti. If one reads between the lines, you can detect an evangelical intention to convert Muslims to Christianity
I have always respected and appreciated your candor.. I don't like to beat around the bush myself...
2:109 to top

Sahih International
Many of the People of the Scripture wish they could turn you back to disbelief after you have believed, out of envy from themselves [even] after the truth has become clear to them. So pardon and overlook until Allah delivers His command. Indeed, Allah is over all things competent.


they just disgust me.. I find it hard to pardon disgusting people with mal intent..

:w:
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Insaanah
08-25-2012, 02:00 PM
:sl:

Originally Posted by MustafaMc
If one reads between the lines, you can detect an evangelical intention to convert Muslims to Christianity. If I remember correctly, I read on his blog where some of his Muslim friends accepted communion at his church. How many Muslims do you know who will take part in a ceremony that is defined as "a Christian sacrament in which consecrated bread and wine are consumed as memorials of Christ's death or as symbols for the realization of a spiritual union between Christ and communicant or as the body and blood of Christ"?
I remember reading that on the blog too. I was trying to find the post, it could have been this one, though not sure:

Not only do I stand with the Plano Muslims, but I have also begun to make friends with Muslim refugees from Iraq, Somalia, and Sudan. I’ve previously blogged about Mohammed, a young Sudanese Muslim who often attends the New Day Christian community gatherings that I’m involved with. The last time I served him Communion, he asked if he could pray “for the food” first. After he prayed in Arabic, I happily offered him the bread and cup, symbol of Jesus’ love and sacrifice.
http://newmethofesto.com/2012/07/20/...rving-ramadan/

Basically they have a project set up where they "reach out" to newly arrived refugees from Iraq, Somalia, Sudan etc, show them their "love", offer them help etc, and slowly, under the guise of friendship and mutual understanding, draw them into Christian practices, rather than directing them to the mosque. I'm not sure whether it's the case that there aren't resident Muslims where this is happening, or what the refugee set up is in the US, but sad none the less.

Source: http://newmethofesto.com/project-daraja/

There seem to be contradictory statements coming out, like this:

I served Holy Communion to Mohammed last night, and I hope he doesn’t convert.
On serving communion to Muslims

And this:

Every year, a few thousand refugees are resettled in the Dallas area. They come from Iraq, Congo, Burma, Bhutan, Somalia and Sudan, among other places in the world. They come only with the clothes on their backs, and hope for a brighter future.

At first, these refugees receive case management, cash assistance, and special attention from a refugee agency. But after six months, most find themselves entirely on their own. They have to become self-sufficient quickly, and on their way toward prosperity and citizenship.

As you can imagine, this is a tall order. First Rowlett UMC (United Methodist Church) is in the process of prayer and discernment about how to create a long-term ministry which will act as a bridge between arrival and citizenship for refugees in the Dallas area. We are calling it “Project Daraja,” as “daraja” is the Swahili word for “bridge.”
I would like the opportunity to cast the vision for Project Daraja to you and others from your church or community. At your invitation, I will give an hour-long presentation outlining the needs and goals of this new ministry. Please subscribe to this blog if you are interested in attending future presentations. But don’t come alone. Bring someone else who you think would be passionate about this ministry.

If you would like to know more about this project and how you may get involved, please contact me. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

Wes
Source: http://newmethofesto.com/project-daraja/

And this:

It hit me then that the point of Communion was never about exclusion or inclusion, but simply that Jesus likes to eat with people.
We’re just offering them something to eat. We’re simply making a goodwill gesture of friendship.
I looked at Mohammed and explained that this was the way we remember Jesus. He nodded as if he understood, and I handed him a portion of bread and offered him the cup.
On serving communion to Muslims

I really hope he didn't drink wine, or actually any of it as it is dedicated to shirk, and wonder whether they feel obliged to attend because of any help they might receive. Very sad. The beginnings of "innocently" mixing up the borders between Islam and Christianity, so that any crossover will be "easier" and will seem "harmless".
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جوري
08-25-2012, 02:18 PM
Reminds me of 'mother Jones' the stealth crusade...
But they're delusional at best - they've better luck with Dawkins than Muslims that's how out of touch with reality they're.
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MustafaMc
08-25-2012, 03:41 PM
Originally Posted by Insaanah
I remember reading that on the blog too. I was trying to find the post, it could have been this one, though not sure:
Assalamu alaikum, actually the quote that struck me was, "Over the last few months, our New Day gathering on Sunday nights has included a growing number of Muslim refugees, from Sudan, Somalia, and Iraq. They have been extraordinarily gracious and willing to attend our worship. They have even gotten into the habit of taking Communion with us." from http://newmethofesto.com/2012/08/12/...24-of-ramadan/
Originally Posted by Insaanah
The beginnings of "innocently" mixing up the borders between Islam and Christianity, so that any crossover will be "easier" and will seem "harmless".
I have attended a few 'interfaith dialog' events and this is exactly the thought that I came home with. Sadly, it is highly likely that the children of these refugees stand a strong chance of becoming Christians. If the parents aren't very quickly integrated into a Muslim community, the children will form friendships with Christians and become alienated from their parents as they strive to become 'integrated' into American society.
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MustafaMc
08-25-2012, 04:10 PM
Originally Posted by منوة الخيال
I have always respected and appreciated your candor.. I don't like to beat around the bush myself...
Assalamu alaikum, respected Ukhti, thank you. Yes, we, Sister Insaanah and others speak what comes to our minds. I would prefer to speak what I hold is the truth and possibly offend someone rather than hold back and remain silent.
Originally Posted by منوة الخيال
I find it hard to pardon disgusting people with mal intent..
As I once was a Christian, too, I can only say, "There but by the grace of God, so go I." I can imagine that to them their intentions are good as they strive to bring the infidel Muslims ("Regardless of what Muslims believe, or don’t believe, we are to love them.") into the fold of Christianity as they see it is the only way for their salvation from the Hellfire. Likewise, I would like to see Christians become Muslims and I try to share the message of Islam by my words and my life as best I can, while realizing that guidance to siratal mustaqeem comes only from Allah (swt).
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جوري
08-25-2012, 04:31 PM
Originally Posted by MustafaMc
into the fold of Christianity as they see it is the only way for their salvation from the Hellfire.
it strikes me odd that they bank on people's miseries and difficult circumstances to do their bidding. Exchanging charity for a conversion? If they felt their religion were truth and had some semblance of common sense, why not address atheists or ex-christians in lieu of individuals under dire circumstance? It is just sneaky & under-handed. I don't have a favorable view of Christians or Christianity .. I understand not all Muslims feel as I do but I am not going to apologize for disliking their religion or antics..

:w:
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QueenofHerts
08-25-2012, 06:59 PM
May Allah guide him to Islam, ameen.
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Insaanah
08-25-2012, 07:01 PM
:salamext:

Originally Posted by MustafaMc
As I once was a Christian, too, I can only say, "There but by the grace of God, so go I." I can imagine that to them their intentions are good as they strive to bring the infidel Muslims ("Regardless of what Muslims believe, or don’t believe, we are to love them.") into the fold of Christianity as they see it is the only way for their salvation from the Hellfire. Likewise, I would like to see Christians become Muslims and I try to share the message of Islam by my words and my life as best I can, while realizing that guidance to siratal mustaqeem comes only from Allah (swt).
I'd say there's a slight difference though. As per Rev Elaine Heaths blog post, the new evangelism, and true evangelism, is covertly by love, and under the guise of friendship and understanding, with the true intent/message spoken out in words only if it is natural and when the holy spirit tells you the time is right. In Islam, we are instructed to give da'wah and convey the message clearly, in a forthright manner, with wisdom and in a good way, and to reason with people, so that they understand clearly what is being said to them:

Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided. (16:125)

And never let them avert you from the verses of Allah after they have been revealed to you. And invite [people] to your Lord. And never be of those who associate others with Allah. (28:87)

And indeed, you invite them to a straight path. (23:73)

And We revealed to you the message that you may make clear to the people what was sent down to them and that they might give thought. (16:44)

It isn't a feeling of being all loved up that's important. It is clearly conveying knowledge to people in the way they can understand, reasoning with them, enabling them to reflect and ponder, using their thought and logic.

The Qur'an repeatedly underscores that our duty is to convey the message, not to covertly get people to follow our rituals/beliefs under various guises.
Reply

MustafaMc
08-25-2012, 07:20 PM
Originally Posted by Insaanah
In Islam, we are instructed to give da'wah and convey the message clearly, in a forthright manner, with wisdom and in a good way, and to reason with people, so that they understand clearly what is being said to them:
Your comments brought to mind 1 Corinthians 9:20-23 where Paul wrote:

To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

which also brought to mind 2 Corinthians 4:2

Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.

that indicates that these Christians who use charity, fasting Ramadan, etc hand-in-hand with evangelism are using the deception and trickery of the first passage and not setting forth clearly what they hold as true noted in the second passage.
Reply

Insaanah
08-27-2012, 07:18 PM
:sl:

Originally Posted by MustafaMc
Wa alaikum assalam, respected Ukhti. If one reads between the lines, you can detect an evangelical intention to convert Muslims to Christianity. If I remember correctly, I read on his blog where some of his Muslim friends accepted communion at his church. How many Muslims do you know who will take part in a ceremony that is defined as "a Christian sacrament in which consecrated bread and wine are consumed as memorials of Christ's death or as symbols for the realization of a spiritual union between Christ and communicant or as the body and blood of Christ"?
Originally Posted by Insaanah
I really hope he didn't drink wine, or actually any of it as it is dedicated to shirk, and wonder whether they feel obliged to attend because of any help they might receive. Very sad. The beginnings of "innocently" mixing up the borders between Islam and Christianity, so that any crossover will be "easier" and will seem "harmless".
Just learned that the United Methodist Church (UMC) uses grape juice. One of the reasons might be that they practice "open communion" i.e. non-baptised people and non-Christians can partake in holy communion, and Muslims would obviously object if there was wine.

However, as it is dedicated to shirk, partaking in the rite and eating thereof is as haram as eating pork is for us, if not more so.

He has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah. But whoever is forced by necessity, neither desiring [it] nor transgressing due limits, there is no sin upon him. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. (2:173)

And taking part in the ritual of another faith is forbidden to us, full stop. Allah showed us our rites and rituals, and they did not include any type of communion and are based strictly on monotheism.

about.com gives a good summary of the three major views regarding the symbolism of the bread and wine in Christianity:

Three main Christian views regarding the bread and the wine during the practice of Communion:

The bread and the wine become the actual body and blood of Christ. The Catholic term for this is Transubstantiation.
The bread and the wine are unchanged elements, but Christ's presence by faith is made spiritually real in and through them.
The bread and the wine are unchanged elements, used as symbols, representing Christ's body and blood, in remembrance of his enduring sacrifice.
http://christianity.about.com/od/faq...scommunion.htm

All the reasons are also given on the same page as to why Christians observe communion. One of them is "proclaiming the Lord's death until He comes", as well as "participation in the body of Christ" (peace be upon him).

This whole ritual is steeped in shirk, attributing divinity to Jesus (peace be upon him), and saying that he, as one of the persons of God, died. Na'oothubillah.

If you look at all the reasons mentioned on the about.com page, and then look at what the pastor told the Muslim taking part in the communion, it in no way conveys accurately or clearly the purpose of communion or what it represents:

It hit me then that the point of Communion was never about exclusion or inclusion, but simply that Jesus likes to eat with people.
We’re just offering them something to eat. We’re simply making a goodwill gesture of friendship.
I looked at Mohammed and explained that this was the way we remember Jesus. He nodded as if he understood, and I handed him a portion of bread and offered him the cup.
On Serving Communion to Muslims

Originally Posted by MustafaMc
Assalamu alaikum, actually the quote that struck me was, "Over the last few months, our New Day gathering on Sunday nights has included a growing number of Muslim refugees, from Sudan, Somalia, and Iraq. They have been extraordinarily gracious and willing to attend our worship. They have even gotten into the habit of taking Communion with us." from http://newmethofesto.com/2012/08/12/...24-of-ramadan/
Now see this from Wikipedia:

United Methodists practice open communion, inviting "all who intend a Christian life, together with their children" to receive Communion.[62] Undergoing Baptism is not a prerequisite for receiving Communion, but if unbaptized people "regularly participate in Holy Communion, it is appropriate for pastors to talk with these people" about the possibility of them being baptized.[63]
Can you see where that'll go?

The full version of holy communion in the UMC ends as follows:

The anamnesis follows, leading into the Memorial Acclamation (Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again). The presiding minister then prays the epiclesis (pour out your Holy Spirit...) and closes with a Trinitarian doxology.
Wikipedia (latter two quotes), with credible sources for the above statements.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucharist#Other_churches

It seems to me to that these people may somehow feel obliged. They're also being duped as to what it is they're actually partaking in, it seems harmless to them but the food dedicated to shirk is haram as pork and taking part in a rite of shirk is haram.

I wish there was some way to contact them, find out where these refugees are staying, and write to them as to what they are actually doing and it's repercussions in this world and the hereafter. May Allah save our brothers and sisters, ameen.
Reply

MustafaMc
08-28-2012, 03:16 AM
Originally Posted by Insaanah
The bread and the wine are unchanged elements, used as symbols, representing Christ's body and blood, in remembrance of his enduring sacrifice.
I agree that taking communion is an act of worshipping Jesus as God. When I was growing up as a Baptist, we only occassionally partook of "The Lord's Supper", whereas, when I was a member of the Church of Christ, we did this every Sunday with the intention so stated above.

In reading between the lines, I believe that the pastor's fasting during Ramadan was intended more as a means of his establishing a kinship with the local Muslim refugees as a continuation of his evangelical efforts to bring them into the Christian fold starting with getting them to take communion.
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Aprender
08-28-2012, 03:40 AM
Originally Posted by MustafaMc
In reading between the lines, I believe that the pastor's fasting during Ramadan was intended more as a means of his establishing a kinship with the local Muslim refugees as a continuation of his evangelical efforts to bring them into the Christian fold starting with getting them to take communion.
I'm so glad the Muslim community here takes good care of the refugees when they come in so they're less likely to fall into these traps. We need to work on building stronger Muslim communities in America and a stronger ummah as a whole. May Allah help us worship Him right and protect our brothers and sisters from all harm, deception and evil in this world. Ameeeen.

I can't think of too many Christian traditions that a Muslim could participate in as they're all pretty much shrouded in shirk. In terms of "interfaith" efforts I think it's more of a benefit to express that externally by doing more good in the community. I'd like to see more of that and I'm sure those in need would appreciate it.
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glo
08-29-2012, 01:20 PM
Having read the more recent responses in this thread, perhaps it is fair to say that it is easier for a Christian to share in Muslim practices than the other way round?
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جوري
08-29-2012, 02:48 PM
The end justifies the means for Christians. Islam is about integrity amongst other noble traits.
We don't have to be a Jew to the Jews or a Christian to the Christian per Saul' statements. No need for hypocrisy or exchanging food for conversions or banking on people's miseries. In the end truth stands clear from error without antics or acrobatics!

Best,
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aamirsaab
08-29-2012, 05:03 PM
Originally Posted by glo
Having read the more recent responses in this thread, perhaps it is fair to say that it is easier for a Christian to share in Muslim practices than the other way round?
If a Muslim were to share a Christian practice, this would actually go against the core principles of the Islamic faith. As Muslims we believe that our religion is complete, so adopting other religious practices (Christian or otherwise) is strictly forbidden. Hope you can understand.
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Scimitar
08-29-2012, 06:15 PM
Originally Posted by glo
Having read the more recent responses in this thread, perhaps it is fair to say that it is easier for a Christian to share in Muslim practices than the other way round?
Yes, I think so.

But only because all the Christian practices that are authentic, are also in Islam - given to Muslims. Often in a more stricter manner - for example Lent and Ramadhan. Lent is considered to be easier than Ramadhan. So naturally, a Muslim doing lent is not teaching the Muslim anything new, because Ramadhan already teaches the Muslim what it is like to fast, why we do it, how we gain nearness to God etc...

So, though you're statement is true, it is - but for reasons that are different to what you may first conclude.

Scimi
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MustafaMc
08-30-2012, 01:59 AM
Originally Posted by glo
Having read the more recent responses in this thread, perhaps it is fair to say that it is easier for a Christian to share in Muslim practices than the other way round?
Yes, that is correct. Christian worship predominantly centers around Jesus and/or Mary that is directly contradictory to Islam. For example, 90%+ of the songs in Protestant hymnals are about Jesus, or the Cross. Communion is a partaking in the body and blood of Jesus either in transubstantiation or in remembrance of his life and death on the cross. Prayers are offered 'in the name of Jesus'. The Catholic 'Hail Mary' prayer worships Mary as the 'Mother of God', see also 'Our Lady of Guadalupe', 'Our Lady of Fatima', and statues of 'Madonna', etc.

In contrast, the Islamic rituals of sawm, salah, and zakat can easily be adopted by a Christian as not being contradictory to their worship of God. For example, I believe that a Christian would have no issue with reciting in prayer surah Al-Fatiha, saying 'God is Great', 'glory to God - the Most High,' 'glory to God - the Almighty', etc. As the OP indicates partaking of the Islamic form of fasting is not inconsistent with Christian belief system, nor is giving 2.5% of one's wealth to the poor.

I venture to qualify your statement, however, that the pilgrimage to Mecca is forbidden for non-Muslims. Having been there, as Allah has willed, I can say that it is an 'other world experience' to partake in the hajj with a few million Muslims who shared my faith.
Reply

glo
08-30-2012, 09:07 AM
Originally Posted by aamirsaab
If a Muslim were to share a Christian practice, this would actually go against the core principles of the Islamic faith. As Muslims we believe that our religion is complete, so adopting other religious practices (Christian or otherwise) is strictly forbidden. Hope you can understand.
I totally understand.
My statement was an observation, not a judgement. :)

Originally Posted by Scimitar
Yes, I think so.

But only because all the Christian practices that are authentic, are also in Islam - given to Muslims. Often in a more stricter manner - for example Lent and Ramadhan. Lent is considered to be easier than Ramadhan. So naturally, a Muslim doing lent is not teaching the Muslim anything new, because Ramadhan already teaches the Muslim what it is like to fast, why we do it, how we gain nearness to God etc...

So, though you're statement is true, it is - but for reasons that are different to what you may first conclude.

Scimi
Originally Posted by MustafaMc
Yes, that is correct. Christian worship predominantly centers around Jesus and/or Mary that is directly contradictory to Islam. For example, 90%+ of the songs in Protestant hymnals are about Jesus, or the Cross. Communion is a partaking in the body and blood of Jesus either in transubstantiation or in remembrance of his life and death on the cross. Prayers are offered 'in the name of Jesus'. The Catholic 'Hail Mary' prayer worships Mary as the 'Mother of God', see also 'Our Lady of Guadalupe', 'Our Lady of Fatima', and statues of 'Madonna', etc.

In contrast, the Islamic rituals of sawm, salah, and zakat can easily be adopted by a Christian as not being contradictory to their worship of God. For example, I believe that a Christian would have no issue with reciting in prayer surah Al-Fatiha, saying 'God is Great', 'glory to God - the Most High,' 'glory to God - the Almighty', etc. As the OP indicates partaking of the Islamic form of fasting is not inconsistent with Christian belief system, nor is giving 2.5% of one's wealth to the poor.

I venture to qualify your statement, however, that the pilgrimage to Mecca is forbidden for non-Muslims. Having been there, as Allah has willed, I can say that it is an 'other world experience' to partake in the hajj with a few million Muslims who shared my faith.
Thank you for sharing, Scimi and Mustafa.
Your posts echo what I was trying to convey.

I am glad that I don't feel my faith prevents me from benefiting from the practices of other faiths (I know that other Christians may disagree), because I have benefited hugely from joining is Islamic praying and fasting.

I understand that that doesn't mean that I can expect my Muslims brothers and sisters to do the same in return. :)

Incidentally, I have just returned from a weekend festival, where - amongst other things - I attended a couple of interfaith talks.
One was a by a Ray Gaston, who now works as an Inter Faith Tutor and Enabler. He worked as a vicar in North England when 9/11 happened and asked the local imam to come and read from the Qu'ran at the following Sunday service. The imam came and read a passage from the Qu'ran and then stayed for the rest of the service. He even joined the congregation when they gathered around the altar for communion (although he did not himself take bread and wine).
That story tells me that Muslim can and do join their Christian friends to some extend in their worship - but that they have to be mindful and clear about WHY they are joining, WHAT they are joining and WHERE they draw the line.
I would also go so far as to say that I do the same when I join my Muslim friends. There are certain things I would not join in or do, or when I do, I may actually have quite a different attitude or interpretation towards it. Does that make sense?

Peace :)
Reply

Insaanah
08-30-2012, 01:33 PM
Greetings.

Originally Posted by glo
I am glad that I don't feel my faith prevents me from benefiting from the practices of other faiths (I know that other Christians may disagree), because I have benefited hugely from joining is Islamic praying and fasting.
I wouldn't get too glad just yet.

Firstly, you need to understand that as Muslims, we feel in NO way AT ALL restricted, prevented, or somehow sad or unglad, that we do not follow the practices of other faiths. As brother Aamirsaab pointed out in post 59, Islam is a complete faith, that cannot be supplemented by other practices, and there are no practices of other faiths that can benefit us, not even any new inventions within Islam. Perfection from God cannot be perfected upon by humans.

Sometimes people jump on the bandwagon and portray this as Muslims having a narrow outlook or not being receptive or open-minded. I find that quite claim interesting, seeing as Islam is the only faith in which ALL the Prophets sent by God are accepted, believed in without exception, revered and loved, and none is rejected or discriminated against or defamed in any way.

Sometimes people also portray this as Muslims not willing to explore shared values with others, which has been addressed in post number 33 here, after the last quote: http://www.islamicboard.com/general/...ml#post1537481
Our values are those that all the Prophets shared.

It is unsurprising that you feel benefit from Islamic praying and fasting, which is what Jesus (peace be upon him) did. We prostrate, we fast, we don't eat pork, the same as Jesus, we even worship the same God that He did, without sons or spirits, the same God that all the Prophets did.

Originally Posted by glo
I understand that that doesn't mean that I can expect my Muslims brothers and sisters to do the same in return.
We wouldn't feel any obligation to do anything "in return", as it's not a favour to us.

Our main concern is not for people to adopt our rituals, but for people to have the correct beliefs, beliefs which we try to share openly and clearly, without any kind of cover or guises, or cross-rituals, rather simply by open, honest and frank discussions, sharing the knowledge we have of the truth and reasoning with others, as mentioned in post number 52 here: http://www.islamicboard.com/general/...ml#post1538148

Originally Posted by glo
That story tells me that Muslim can and do join their Christian friends to some extend in their worship
This goes back to your point that you've mentioned before, that you prefer not to go by the sources and texts of faiths, but rather peoples individual practices and understandings. So according to this theory, if a Muslim does something, that means it CAN be done in Islam, because the Muslim was doing it. This has been addressed in post number 33 here, starting from the midde quote: http://www.islamicboard.com/general/...ml#post1537481

As to whether he joined them in their worship of Jesus (peace be upon him), by gathering round with them at the altar, I don't think it's fair to come to the conclusion that he joined them in their worship by having read from the Qur'an and then having remained there and stood with them where they were standing. For all we know, he may have felt uncomfortable having stood there. Allah knows best on his intentions, and we should leave it to Him.

Originally Posted by glo
but that they have to be mindful and clear about WHY they are joining, WHAT they are joining and WHERE they draw the line.
It's a shame though that the refugees haven't been clearly imparted the knowledge, by those inviting them, of WHAT they are joining, WHY it is done, and thus they don't know that it is well over the line.

Originally Posted by glo
I would also go so far as to say that I do the same when I join my Muslim friends. There are certain things I would not join in or do, or when I do, I may actually have quite a different attitude or interpretation towards it.
Joining in the belief is what will count on the day of Judgement, not the rituals, rituals devoid of the correct belief.

I invite you to join in a common belief in one God, the same God of all the Prophets and of Moses and Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them all), Who is not triune or diune and begot no sons or offspring. Joining in this belief, is something that can benefit you in the hereafter, and as a result of which, following the practices will also benefit in both worlds.

Peace.
Reply

glo
08-30-2012, 01:43 PM
Originally Posted by Insaanah
I invite you to join in a common belief in one God, the same God of all the Prophets and of Moses and Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them all), Who is not triune or diune and begot no sons or offspring.
I appreciate your invitation and your concern, sister Insaanah.
Allah alim :)
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MustafaMc
08-31-2012, 04:03 AM
Originally Posted by Insaanah
I invite you to join in a common belief in one God, the same God of all the Prophets and of Moses and Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them all), Who is not triune or diune and begot no sons or offspring. Joining in this belief, is something that can benefit you in the hereafter, and as a result of which, following the practices will also benefit in both worlds.
Ditto for me.

The beauty I see in Islam is absolute, uncompromising and unadulterated belief in One God without father, mother, son, daughter or anything that is comparable. Tonight I was reading in the Quran and came upon this passage, "And who is a greater wrong-doer than he who invents a lie against Allah? Such persons will be set forth before their Lord and the witnesses will testify: "These are the ones who lied against their Lord." Lo! Allah's curse be upon the wrong-doers; upon those who bar people from the Way of Allah, and seek in it crookedness, and disbeieve in the Hereafter." 11:18-19 and Maududi's commentary says, "To invent a lie against God consists of stating that beings other than God also have a share with God in His Godhead, that like God they too are entitled to be served and worshipped by God's creatures." I believe it was GraceSeeker who wrote that Muslims have an incomplete concept of God because Jesus was excluded from it. Whereas, we see that Christians ascribe partners with God by their saying Jesus is the 'only begotten Son of God' despite their inability to explain in what since of the word 'son' that Jesus is the Son of God.
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