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Restless
03-09-2016, 09:19 AM
Salaam,

I am a non-Muslim who has been interested in Islam for some years now. Unfortunately, for a non-Muslim to try to find out what Islam is, it is much easier to find haters of Islam who are willing to explain it to you than to find knowledgeable Muslims who will do the same. This is true at least for the Internet, but also in real life when I have tried to raise critical questions about Islam to Muslims I have sometimes been met, not with hostility but with misunderstanding, so that I have not in the end received an answer to my question. The most delicate question I have about Islam, which is yet to receive an answer, is about the Sunnah. We are told that the Sunnah is all the things that the prophet Muhammad said, did, and approved of, and also his appearance and his character as a person. But this raises some difficult concerns as for what is allowed or encouraged for Muslims to do.

What Islamophobic agitators will tell you - in my experience their favorite argument - is that the doctrine of Sunnah leads to a whole lot of evil actions from Muslims. After all, Muhammad is supposed to have allowed for, in various situations, robbery of non-Muslims, assassinations of poets critical of Islam, forcing women into sex-slavery, among other things. This is also no doubt what ISIS/Daesh and its followers would say. Now as a matter of fact I know that most Muslims do not agree with this - but I don't understand HOW YOU ARGUE AGAINST IT. To me it seems like a perfect closed logic that cannot be dislodged. Let me therefore quote one prominent anti-Islamic ideologue on the matter:

[quote removed]

Dear Muslims, what do you respond to this? Could the murderers of Charlie Hebdo, for instance, or a Muslim man who kidnaps and rapes a non-Muslim woman, be sentenced guilty in an Islamic court? What if the perpetrators of such attacks claim that they are merely following the Sunnah? How do you demonstrate that these actions are not in accordance with Sunnah?
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Muhammad
03-09-2016, 06:27 PM
Greetings Restless,

Originally Posted by Restless
What Islamophobic agitators will tell you - in my experience their favorite argument - is that the doctrine of Sunnah leads to a whole lot of evil actions from Muslims.
If you want to learn about what the Sunnah is, you should look at the authentic sources of Islam, not what 'Islamophobic agitators' have to say. By looking at the actual teachings of the Prophet :saws:, you will realise the beauty of his Sunnah. Here are some examples:

http://www.islamicboard.com/discover...-muhammad.html
http://www.islamicboard.com/seerah/1...h-mankind.html
http://www.islamicboard.com/discover...e-mankind.html
http://www.islamicboard.com/seerah/2...behaviour.html
http://www.islamicboard.com/seerah/1...y-mankind.html
http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/in...cles&id=134199

After all, Muhammad is supposed to have allowed for, in various situations, robbery of non-Muslims, assassinations of poets critical of Islam,
You can find refutations to these claims here:
http://www.islamicboard.com/clarific...ml#post1542434

forcing women into sex-slavery,
Refutations can be found here:
http://www.islamicboard.com/clarific...ml#post1550874

Of course, for Mohammed had all non-Islamic places of worship in Arabia either annihilated or turned into mosques. With their own hands, he and his nephew Ali destroyed all 360 idols in the Ka’ba, until then a Pagan place of pilgrimage.
The Ka'bah was built by Prophet Abraham :as: and his son, who were monotheists., for the worship of the One true God.

response to deleted quote
In response to treatment of his wives, the Prophet :saws: enjoined kind treatment and honouring of one’s wife, and he described the best of people as those who are best to their wives. He said: “The best of you are those who are the best to their wives, and I am the best of you to my wives.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 3895; Ibn Maajah, 1977.
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Restless
03-10-2016, 09:21 AM
Thank you for the links. I was not aware that the stories of assassinations were without isnad. I have read about it in more than one biography about Muhammad, including positive ones like the one written by Karen Armstrong, so I always assumed it was beyond question. Is there any biography of Muhammad that only relies on trustworthy hadiths?

The problem though is that Islamophobic writers also rely on many authentic hadiths, from sahih bukhari and muslim. Some of these hadiths are beautiful but some I find troubling, and I can't find any consistent portrait of Muhammad throughout the hadiths. For instance, some hadiths show the merit in freeing slaves. But other hadiths show Muhammad trading with slaves or even opposing the manumitting of a slave. See for instance Bukhari 3:765 where Muhammad rebukes a woman for freeing a slave girl, saying that the reward would have been greater had she given the girl to her uncle instead. Thus, back to my original question: What is Sunnah and how is it determined? More precisely, what is the methodology used for determining the Sunnah, when some hadiths seemingly contradict each other?
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azc
03-10-2016, 12:20 PM
Fatwa on slavery. http://daruliftabirmingham.co.uk/slaves/
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azc
03-10-2016, 12:37 PM
Plz see this link regarding 'sunnah'...http://www.exploring-islam.com/diffe...nd-hadith.html
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Restless
03-11-2016, 08:44 AM
Alright, thanks for the help. I appreciate Mr. Rahim's definition of Sunnah - not the same as hadith, which seems to me an important point. No further questions!
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