The Difficulties of Public Muslim-ness AND On the Matter of Love & Marriage: A Post in Two Parts

I have two matters troubling me of late, so its time for a double post!


The Difficulties of Public Muslim-ness


I have been trying to slowly integrate Muslim rituals into my daily life in order to see if I can get comfortable with the practices. In private, its been remarkably easy: I love wudhu (so refreshing!), I’m learning to say the Opening surah in Arabic (beautiful – at least when other people say it), and although I’m not praying salat yet, I am praying informally throughout the day, which has been a subtly powerful experience. The problems for me seem to arise outside the home… primarily at work.
I’m not going to go into detail about what I do for a living. Its retail and I hate it, and I’m going to leave it at that. The women’s bathroom has a sink and two stalls. The stalls have latches, the door to the bathroom doesn’t. It is used by employees and customers alike and its usually pretty busy in there… lots of people coming and going while a person is at the sink. I try to do wudhu as fast as I possibly can, but it feels like I’m being sneaky and it certainly doesn’t make me feel very spiritual. Also, this bathroom is pretty gross – it doesn’t get cleaned nearly enough for the amount of traffic it gets, despite multiple complaints. I REFUSE to take my shoes of in there to wash my feet. Even if I had guaranteed privacy, there is no way I would feel clean afterwards. Performing ablutions at home only helps a little; I work 8 hour days, sometimes more… sooner or later nature calls. The other problem is finding a place to prostrate. There are no private areas at work. The best I could do is to find a corner of the parking lot thats slightly obscured and hope it doesn’t rain.
I just don’t feel ready to be “out”, so to speak. I’m still trying to figure out if Islam is right for me, but I feel I have to try living as a Muslim to know that. Even if I was ready, I don’t think my religion should be a public display. For those who would advise that I find a different job – believe me, I would if I could. The economy sucks right now, and I’m making more than average for a retail job. Until I finish school, my prospects are pretty sad. I’m really not sure what to do.
On the Matter of Love & Marriage

This is going to be a bit more personal (so try to remember my life has been pretty non-religious until recently – and don’t get all judge-y). I recently read a thread on Free-Minds.Org about Islam’s stand on premarital sex and it got me thinking. I want to know: how is marriage defined in Islam? Is a couple considered married if they are legally married by the state? Is a couple considered married if they meet some other standard, even if they don’t get legally married? Is marriage about paperwork, or about the promises exchanged between two people?
I have a boyfriend. We’ve been together nearly 7 years. We lived separately for the first couple years, then I started staying at his place about half the time, and the last 3-4 years we’ve lived together. And yes, we’ve been sexually intimate for the vast majority of the relationship. We’ve also been faithful companions to each other, supporting each other through hard times and enjoying each other in good times. We’ve talked about getting married… I guess both of us just have trouble seeing how it would change things. We both have divorced parents and have seen friends and family jump into loveless marriages – the act of marriage didn’t improve things for them. And on a practical level, marriage is not cheap! Finally, a long time ago I promised my mother I would finish college before I got married… neither of us predicted it would take me this long to get through school, but I try to keep my promises.
I guess I feel that in the ways that matter, he is already my husband. We’ve exchanged promises about our lives together and our future, we’ve got dozens of friends and family who have witnessed our devotion, and we’ve outlasted several actual marriages. He’s part of my family and I’m part of his. I can’t believe that the life we’ve had together – sex and all – is a bad thing. But would it be considered bad in Islam? Thats what I hope to find out.
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42 responses to “The Difficulties of Public Muslim-ness AND On the Matter of Love & Marriage: A Post in Two Parts

  1. I think it's totally understandable that you aren't ready to "come out" yet. I think maybe it'd be better to do all your prayers at home until you feel comfy doing them at work. I did that for a long time at the beginning.In Islam a marriage is simply saying you are married in front of witnesses and signing a contract. The issue of pre-marital sex is interesting. Many Muslims are against it for purely cultural reasons, but like you said, in a long, loving relationship what's the problem? Not everyone is in a position to get married so what happens then? It all depends on how you approach and interpret Islam.

  2. Orthodox Islam is of course very conservative about marriage. But in the early days, lesser forms of marriage were practised and permitted by Muhammad, such as temporary marriages during "expeditions" and of course the "right-hand possessions". So I think there is potential for arguing that it's not so black-and-white. If your partner is not Muslim, however, that's probably a more difficult obstacle to it being seen as halal."I can't believe that the life we've had together – sex and all – is a bad thing."As far as I'm concerned the only relevant question is: does it harm anybody? The answer is clearly no. :o)

  3. Thanks for commenting guys! Thanks for the advice, Cairo… I need to get the hang of doing salat in the first place instead of worrying about what coworkers will think. Its not that I think they would judge me for being Muslim – but there aren't even any obviously religious people where I work (as in, if they are religious they don't share about it), so I would kinda stick out.And Cairo… isn't interpreting Islam also haram? 😉 Just kidding! But I've heard stuff like that said enough to make my ears ring.Thanks for your comment Sarah! Yeah, it's unlikely an orthodox interpretation would approve of my relationship, but thats ok. And in fact he's not Muslim – he's not really following any particular religion, and until recently neither was I. He grew up with an odd mishmash of belief systems. But he has been very supportive of me studying Islam – he feels that not expressing one's beliefs is akin to lying (to ourselves, at least), and we both agreed to no lies in the relationship.

  4. I've also struggled with wudu at work, though thankfully I have a private place to pray. I believe that the intention with wudu is more important than following all the steps, so I do regular wudu even if people are in the bathroom with me, except for the feet, which I just wipe off with damp hands rather than putting my feet in the sink. Also, if you don't have a place or time to pray at work, many people pray early or late (i.e. at home) those prayers that will happen while you're at work.I would recommend Kecia Ali's book Sexual Ethics and Islam: Feminist Reflections on Qur'an, Hadith, and Jurisprudence on your question about your boyfriend. She discusses "orthodox" Muslim views on marriage and sex but also raises important questions about how modern ethics and a Western legal system might impact our interpretation of marriage and/or halal relationships. I think, however, that even if you decide that your relationship is halal as is, if you are involved in a Muslim community at all you will constantly be told otherwise, which would be difficult. So you might need to decide whether you are willing to introduce yourselves as married despite not being legally married.

  5. Praise to God…You are interested in salat, an obligatory ritual in Islam.Your post is not a general topic to say “you do whatever you like”. It is related to Islam.The obstacle here on your blog Muslims to express or share their feelings is your links to (so called reformist Muslims) un Islamic web sites,It is true that, after saying shahada and starting practicing Islam, all sins (including sex out of marriage etc..) are forgiven by Allah.But after shahada, (one should have sex only after marriage) it is not permissible.In your case your own study or some new converts who are in your own situation cannot solve your problem of continuing sexual relationships out of marriage or any un islamic activities,. You must contact someone who has mastered in Islamic studies in an Islamic university.As you said you still did not say shahada, you are boss of your own belief…or if u said shahada, and continue your sexual relationship, you are doing unacceptable bidah (innovation) to your belief..In 18th, 19th century, Christians were also thought of changing their belief blaming or twisting verses of their holy book to set into their own benefit.. Result, in recent years most of the churches either gone empty of followers or sold out or for sale. Christians became either less believers of one god or non believers at all…but they represent themselves as Christians.Most of the self studied western Muslim converts are trying to fit their belief in Islam into their past situation to present, influenced by so called reformists and anti Muslim elements. (95% of western converts before 9/11 incident were / are still adhere to Quran , authentic hadith that studied in Islamic universities about Islamic teachings.Some of the new converts also follow the same. but most are trying to change Islamic teachings into their own benefit. ) Any innovations out of Islamic teachings to fit to their own circumstances are called bidah. An unforgivable Islamic practice.Jabir ibn `Abdullah narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "Indeed, the most evil of matters (in the religion) are the newly invented ones, and every innovation (in the religion)is a bid`ah, and every bid`ah is misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Hellfire." (Authinticated by Al-Albani).Al-Bukhari reported that once some Jewish scholars said to `Umar ibn Khattab, (may Allah be pleased with him), "The Qur'an contains a verse that if it had been revealed to us, we would have designated a day to celebrate its revelation, meaning (This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed my favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.) (Al-Ma’idah 5:3) Yes, I know, the time and place where it was revealed," he repliedMost of your website links on your blog says how BIDAH can be implemented to some of modern western converts or born Muslim individuals who are influenced by westerners.most of the time, you expressed on your posts , you don’t want to follow Islam on Islamic way , but your own way that you confirmed yourself what to do with what you studied from so called reformist innovative muslims.May Allah guide Muslims to stick to teachings of Islam, not by SOME, I repeat SOME(Most of converted muslims practice real Islam) newly converts or born innovative Muslims ..

  6. I think a marriage is nothing more than a public relationship with long-term intention to be together and build a life. It helps for the security of everyone and for society to have a contract but I don't believe it to be necessary in the eyes of God. Your relationship sounds just like a marriage!

  7. @cairopre marital sex is cultural? .. really? .. if only u had read the Quran more carefully“And those who invoke not any other ilaah (god) along with Allaah, nor kill such person as Allaah has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse and whoever does this shall receive the punishment”[al-Furqaan 25:68] *It all depends on how you approach and interpret Islam.* yeah thats true cause in the Quran it saysIt is He who has sent down to you, [O Muhammad], the Book; in it are verses [that are] precise – they are the foundation of the Book – and others unspecific. As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will follow that of it which is unspecific, seeking discord and seeking an interpretation [suitable to them]. And no one knows its [true] interpretation except Allah . But those firm in knowledge say, "We believe in it. All [of it] is from our Lord." And no one will be reminded except those of understanding.(Al imran 3 : 7)@ sarahtemporary marriage aka mutah which is practised by shia has been forbidden and is quite similar to one night stands only that this one involves a contract for a night or so as they like . *I'm concerned the only relevant question is: does it harm anybody? The answer is clearly no*even if the Quran specifically says it is haraam so it doesnt mean anything? …. @sarahu dont need to show other people how u do salah or anything to impress other muslims cause thats also a sin cause ur doing it to impress us humans than Allah(swt)yes and of course i dont approve zina cause it is haraam even if u dont believe in hadith then u do believe in the Quran as u said didnt u? Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):“And give not (your daughters) in marriage to Al‑Mushrikoon[polytheists] till they believe (in Allaah Alone)”[al-Baqarah 2:221] “O you who believe! When believing women come to you as emigrants, examine them; Allaah knows best as to their Faith, then if you ascertain that they are true believers send them not back to the disbelievers. They are not lawful (wives) for the disbelievers nor are the disbelievers lawful (husbands) for them”[al-Mutahanah 60:10].

  8. Hi Zuhura! Yes I think praying at home is better until I get more comfortable… I've been trying to make up for my lack of formal prayer by repeating praises to God in my head while I'm working – I figure keeping God in mind throughout the day is still better than nothing.Thanks for the book recommendation, and the goatmilk website is fabulous! I read both the argument and the rebuttal… and I actually agreed with parts of both! True debate – who knew that even existed anymore! I'm definitely spending more time on that blog.

  9. Hello Candice! Yes, both our families treat us as a permanent couple and are a bit exasperated we haven't made it "official" – but no one is offering to foot the bill either, so they may wait awhile longer. But thats why I'm confused about marriage – is it nothing more than a certificate? Times are tough right now for everyone and it seems so wasteful to have even a small-ish ceremony, but I do want to do SOMETHING special (a courthouse marriage just seems a bit sterile to me). Plus my parents divorced when I was a kid, but his divorced only a few years ago so I think his view of marriage as an institution is a bit more raw right now.

  10. Hi there blackb3ard911! Sunni's have temporary marriages too, don't they? Nikah Misyar, so wealthy men can have a wife for the duration of their vacations and then divorce her without obligation – it may not only be one night, but it still seems pretty shady to me. What is zina? I thought zina was adultery. Is there an instance in the Quran where the word zina is used to refer to premarital sex instead of extramarital sex?Also, what specifically does the Quran define as "illegal sexual intercourse"? It seems clear that Muslim men and women shouldn't marry polytheists… and I don't recall ever saying my man is a polytheist. The other verse you mentioned said, "then if you ascertain that they are true believers…" which seems to indicate that I have the responsibility to decide if his beliefs are in line with my own… not the larger Muslim community.Thoughts?

  11. @sophianikah misyar? … firstly i didnt know of such a thing and when i researched on it as of now i found out the prominent scholars have opposed this form of marriage. Getting married with the intention of divorce is a temporary marriage, and a temporary marriage is an invalid marriage, because it is mut’ah, and mut’ah is haraam by consensus. Valid marriage is where a man gets married with the intention of keeping his wife and staying with her if she proves to be a good wife and he gets along with her, otherwise he may divorce her. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “either you retain her on reasonable terms or release her with kindness” [al-Baqarah 2:229]. my bad i tend to confuse these 2 words usually, adultery and fornication, as synonyms which they arent. actually muslim men are allowed to marry non muslim women OF THE BOOk that is christians and jews. Though it is discouraged quite openly. But women are not allowed to marry non muslim men even if they are people of the book. for more on this issue read thishttp://www.answering-christianity.com/marriage_islam.htmand i think its quite clear what illegal sexual intercourse means. Even a noob such as me understood that when i read it the first time so i think ur way smarter than me and know what it means.other than that it all comes down to this. t is He who has sent down to you, [O Muhammad], the Book; in it are verses [that are] precise – they are the foundation of the Book – and others unspecific. As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will follow that of it which is unspecific, seeking discord and seeking an interpretation [suitable to them]. And no one knows its [true] interpretation except Allah . But those firm in knowledge say, "We believe in it. All [of it] is from our Lord." And no one will be reminded except those of understanding.(Al imran 3 : 7)it is so interesting that although the Quranists deny hadiths , they still cant explain then why are all the sahih hadith prophecies all coming true.The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Among my ummah there will be people who will regard as permissible adultery, silk, alcohol and musical instruments.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5590). See also: al-Silsilah al-Saheehah by al-Albaani (91)and this is exactly what the Quranists do. U know what happens when the Quranists cant answer these questions? Either they convert to the real orthodox Islam following the Quran and sunnah in full or they even reject Muhammad(sws) as a prophet and say that the Quran has been corrupted and ive seen such people on youtube and the like that have their own shahada which only has the first line which is *There is no god but Allah(swt)* and the second line they dont even mention it which is *and Muhammad(sws) is the last messenger of Allah(swt)*.

  12. blackb3ard911, I have only read a little bit about misyar marriage, but from what I have read the practice is discouraged but NOT considered illegal under shariah. But I'm not interested in such a thing for myself, so it's moot.As for "illegal sexual intercourse" – I'm flattered you think I'm so smart, but I'm afraid I don't know what that means, which is why I asked you. Does it mean premarital and/or extramarital sex? Does it refer to specific physical acts? Does the Quran define the phrase? Is the term used elsewhere in the Quran so that we can understand from the context? Or is there an example of "legal sexual intercourse" from which we could discern what would therefor be illegal? I'm asking because I'm genuinely unsure what the term means… I can be a bit slow sometimes.The Quranists, from what I've seen, are extremely varied in their beliefs and practices. But the reason some have a different shahada is because they feel the Prophet Muhammad, while deserving respect, has been elevated by many traditions in a way that comes dangerously close to shirk. In order to avoid this, they make their testimony to God alone. But, in all fairness, we were talking about the Islamic definition of marriage, not Quranist theology. How do you think marriage is defined in Islam, blackb3ard911?

  13. @sophiaon Misyar marriage i am still reading but from what ive read so far is that there is difference of opinion but there isnt anything in the misyar marriage such as they will divorce each other after some time or after one night. But i am going to reject it…. u know why? cause this is something that Muhammad(sws) never did so i dont agree with something so major to be allowed and i will side with sheikh Al-albani(rah) and sheikh Ibn Uthaymeen(rah) on this who have also rejected it.I think ur smart cause u are doing ur full research in Islam and on top of that u said u are studying and doing a job also. Bravo, i hardly read a page or 2 of the Quran b4 i start playing my cs for 6 hours.when it says ILLEGAL , it defines the type of act being done weather it be premarital and/or extramarital sex they are both illegal. One is called fornication and the other is called adultery.Marriage in Islam is like thishttp://www.soundvision.com/info/Islam/marriage.nikah.aspand i know its way different than what u do there in the west with throwing the flowers and all that stuff.Quranists are nothing but confused people. In the Quranists sect everyone is a scholar who interprets Islam as he likes. One will say zina is haraam while another will say it is halaal , one will say drinking is haram while another will say halaal. The Quranist just do as they please. They are just deceiving their ownselves cause they are the ones who will be judged as to why they made lawful what Allah(swt) had forbidden. And that is when this verse is specifically for those Quranists and the likesit is He who has sent down to you, [O Muhammad], the Book; in it are verses [that are] precise – they are the foundation of the Book – and others unspecific. As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will follow that of it which is unspecific, seeking discord and seeking an interpretation [suitable to them]. And no one knows its [true] interpretation except Allah . But those firm in knowledge say, "We believe in it. All [of it] is from our Lord." And no one will be reminded except those of understanding.(Al imran 3 : 7)

  14. Thank you so much for your kind words blackba3rd911! Sorry to keep pestering, but would you happen to know which verse defines what is illegal?I haven't read anything by a Quranist yet saying zina OR alcohol is halaal. But, if you are interested in debating some Quranist views, you might be interested in the forums on Free-Minds.Org. I'm still unsure about hadith, but at this point I'm equally skeptical of many of the claims made by some Quranists.

  15. According to one of my favorite translators, Muhammad Asad, zinaa refers to sex between an unmarried man and woman. I don't think knowing that helps you determine what counts as a marriage, though. Being legally married in the States just means having a wedding certificate signed by you, the person who married you, and a witness and returned to the courts. If the major thing preventing you from being married is the expense, you could always do the courthouse thing for now and have a celebration later. To be married in Islam, you wouldn't have to return the form to the court, so you'd be married Islamically but not according to US law.

  16. @sophiai have been to some of the websites uve posted there and i did read a few things in the forums section and i say it quite clearly the type of emaan(faith) those people have. They were debating on alcohol , fornication ,drinking ,how many times to do prayer ,etc.and marriage in Islam is actually quite cheap. Why do people want lavish weddings? . U can just get married in a masjid infront of family and friends. Now how easy and cheap is that.

  17. @sophia*I haven't read anything by a Quranist yet saying zina OR alcohol is halaal.you might be interested in the forums on Free-Minds.Org.*i have been there on the forum and i have seen nothing but ignorance and vanity there. and i think the Quran has openly said it bout these people of who they are and where their finaly resting place will be. No pun intended.And i wouldnt go to such a website or even to any non muslim country(no offence) cause i believe ur environment influences u and the way u think. Even Muhammad(sws) mentioned this in a hadith in which he(sws) compared the attitudes of a ma who grew up while herding sheeps and another with horses. The one with the sheep is a gentle and kind person while the latter is is proud and has ego. I am paraphrasing. So yes ive been to that website and read a few posts such as *taking off my hijab* and every1 is encouraging her saying *ur doing the Islamic thing*. People are so ignorant. They dont know that saying such things even one lie again Allah(swt) and his messenger(sws) could lead u to hell. And even the slightest of good deed could plz Allah(swt) so much that u might end up in heaven such as the woman who was a prostitute ended in heaven cause she gave a dog ,who was going to die of thirst, water from a well. it is He who has sent down to you, [O Muhammad], the Book; in it are verses [that are] precise – they are the foundation of the Book – and others unspecific. As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will follow that of it which is unspecific, seeking discord and seeking an interpretation [suitable to them]. And no one knows its [true] interpretation except Allah . But those firm in knowledge say, "We believe in it. All [of it] is from our Lord." And no one will be reminded except those of understanding.(Al imran 3 : 7)

  18. Well, blackb3ard911, you'd have to ask the Quranists how they feel about these issues if you really want to debate with their views. I'm not well equipped to defend or refute their claims. But I don't understand: you seem very opposed to something you admittedly won't expose yourself to in any way… how can you know if their debates are false if you won't engage in conversation? Its like if I decided everyone in Saudi Arabia must be backwards because I don't agree with something they do (not letting women drive, for example)… without ever setting foot on Saudi Arabian soil, reading anything by a Saudi Arabian, or even talking to a Saudi Arabian online. Would that be fair? I suggest we both drop the subject of Quranist theology – neither of us knows enough to discuss it properly. I do know that they are not the only group questioning the obligatory nature of hijab. Neither the Quran nor historical records suggest that it was a requirement for Muslims in the early days… It was something practiced by wealthy pagans and others in the times before Islam, and it was something that the Prophet's wives practiced for numerous reasons (largely political). Long after the Prophet's death women began to copy the dress of his wives in order to emulate their spiritual Mothers… but even then it wasn't a requirement.And for the record, I don't want a lavish wedding, thats soooo not my style. I want something small, but still special. Me and my boyfriend are living paycheck to paycheck – fully 2/3 of our money goes to rent alone (its expensive to live in California). Half the time we can't afford to replace torn jeans or shoes that are falling apart, and on top of that I'm paying for school… I doubt we could afford even a courthouse wedding. Plus, I'm not doing it till I finish school – I made a promise and I intend to keep it. I'm pretty sure the Quran said something about keeping one's oaths.

  19. @sophiai have debated a quranist and they are just the same as any other deviated sect with their ego , arrogance and pride combined. Everyone is a scholar btw nowadays. It is quite preposterous that quranists interpret the Quran in which ever way they want. I mean like seriously then this hadith is 100 % spot on.The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Among my ummah there will be people who will regard as permissible adultery, silk, alcohol and musical instruments.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5590). See also: al-Silsilah al-Saheehah by al-Albaani (91)Here you are – those who have argued about that of which you have [some] knowledge, but why do you argue about that of which you have no knowledge? And Allah knows, while you know not. (Al Imran 3:66)And i hope uve read that book i gave u on the hadith rejectors and why they are deviated. and of course i wont talk without having knowledge on this issue cause that would make me a bigot.Historical records dont mention of it? … hmmm well again thats where the hadith come in. And it was practised by mary the mother of jesus (as) also wasnt it? . Dont the christian nuns also wear it?… I think that classifies as historical record doesnt it?. And i dont know of any political reasons of why the wives wore it ,maybe u could shed light on those political issues cause i have never heard of them(with proof plz). And well the Quranists or any other sects can say anything they want but the verse in the Quran is crystal clear for those typesit is He who has sent down to you, [O Muhammad], the Book; in it are verses [that are] precise – they are the foundation of the Book – and others unspecific. As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will follow that of it which is unspecific, seeking discord and seeking an interpretation [suitable to them]. And no one knows its [true] interpretation except Allah . But those firm in knowledge say, "We believe in it. All [of it] is from our Lord." And no one will be reminded except those of understanding.(Al imran 3 : 7) oh well ur wedding is ur choice. i was just saying how cheap it is to have a wedding in Islam. U need a masjid which is free , family and friends which are also free i suppose and wallah wedding done with the contract signed.I wonder do u think Muhammad(sws) was a person or Allah(swt) would allow things like pre marital sex or bf/gf stuff when he clearly states in the Quran for the believing men and women to be chaste and to guard their private parts from unlawful intercourse?

  20. blackb3ard911, the translations I've seen of 25:68 vary; most of the translations I've seen say "adultery", but the Yusuf Ali translation says "fornication". So the Quran clearly forbids something here, but is it adultery or premarital sex or what? There is kind of a big difference between these two words, so which one is true?Just to be clear, I didn't say that there were no historical records of anyone anywhere ever wearing headscarves – I said, "Neither the Quran nor historical records suggest that it was a requirement for Muslims in the early days… It was something practiced by wealthy pagans and others in the times before Islam". It was a cultural practice, common to Jews, Christians, pagans, pretty much everybody. There is no historical record (at least, none that I've found so far) of it being a religious requirement for Muslims until quite some time after Muhammads death. I'm afraid I couldn't download that book successfully, so I googled "hadith rejectors" and read some things online. If you can recommend a website maybe? Even if it doesn't have great sources, I'll go easy on it for once. 🙂

  21. well heres the book about the hadith rejectors. I'm going to read it now too finally InshaAllah :phttp://qsep.com/books/modernists.html Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And come not near to unlawful sex. Verily, it is a Faahishah (i.e. anything that transgresses its limits: a great sin), and an evil way that leads one to hell unless Allaah forgives him”[al-Isra’ 17:32]. Ibn Jareer al-Tabari (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “And come not near” O people “to unlawful sex. Verily, it is a Faahishah (i.e. anything that transgresses its limits: a great sin)”. Zina (translated here as “unlawful sex”) is a great sin. “and an evil way” i.e., the way of zina is an evil way, because it is the way of the people who disobey Allaah and go against His command; what a bad way is the way that leads a person to the fire of Hell. Tafseer al-Tabari (17/438). btw if ur going to say define illegal sexual intercourse then it covers boths adultery and fornication since it is being used as an umbrella term. And if ur still going to argue then do u think Muhammad(sws) or Allah(swt) would allow things like bf/gf or sex with non mahrams outside marriage?with regards to hijabAllaah says (interpretation of the meaning):“O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allaah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”This aayah clearly states that it is obligatory to cover all of a woman’s beauty and adornments and not to display any part of that before non-mahram men (“strangers”) except for whatever appears unintentionally, in which case there will be no sin on them if they hasten to cover it up.Al-Haafiz ibn Katheer said in his Tafseer:This means that they should not display any part of their adornment to non-mahrams, apart from that which it is impossible to conceal. Ibn Mas’ood said: such as the cloak and robe, i.e., what the women of the Arabs used to wear, an outer garment which covered whatever the woman was wearing, except for whatever appeared from beneath the outer garment. There is no sin on a woman with regard to this because it is impossible to conceal it. “O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allaah is Ever Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful”[al-Ahzaab 33:59]

  22. Aconverted muslim said ( not me ),I'm a former believing Christian who embraced Islam and now I share Allah's (God's) message of salvation and love with you. I also share with you the authentic teachings of Prophet Eesaa (Jesus). My Christian background along with my experiences living in both Christian and Muslim countries gives me a unique perspective on Christianity and Islam. Presently I'm doing a degree in Islamic Studies. In the past ten years I've travelled to six Muslim countries and I've read scores of books on Islam and Comparative Religion. I also speak conversational Arabic.ME: this muslim brother got an awesome you tube channel,to know about him and to watch his informative videos…..http://www.youtube.com/user/Converted2Islam

  23. blackb3ard911, I'm just confused as to why the translators disagree on the meaning. If it covers both pre-marital and extra-marital sex, why not translate it as such? Also, I looked up the Arabic transliteration of 25:68, and I don't see the word "zina" or anything close… seeing as I don't speak Arabic, I don't know which word in this verse translated to adultery/illegal intercourse here, but obviously some other word was used. Maybe in Arabic there are a bunch of words that translate to naughty nooky, but is that the case or could it mean something else?And I have no real knowledge of what God or anybody else thinks about my relationship, I can only speculate. I would speculate, however, that God would prefer I be with a man who is kind and generous and makes me happy, rather than dump him because of my religion. Others may speculate differently, of course.As for hijab… oy. I don't really want to get into a debate about hijab, honestly. Its a topic that I would like to discuss at some point, but there are a lot of polemic views on the subject and I just don't feel up to that yet. I was only trying to point out that its not just the Quranists who are debating its religious significance. For myself, I feel its something a Muslim woman must decide for herself, regardless of one's opinion of traditions/history/culture, etc.

  24. Hello Messedupbeliever! Very cool website, I'm going to post a link on my main page right now!

  25. Hi view! Interesting vids, I'll have to check them out more.

  26. A medical doctor by professional training, Dr. Zakir Naik is the world renowed illustrious International Orator on Islam and Comparative Religion. Dr. Zakir Naik clarifies Islamic viewpoints and clears misconceptions about Islam, using the Qur'an and authentic teachings of the prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) called the authentic Hadith. Dr Zakir Naik is renowned for his efforts in promoting unity, social justice, harmony and peace using the commonalities and binding strands that exist within all the major religious scriptures such as the Bible, Hindu Vedas, Torah and Glorious Qur’an. Apart from the many telecasts of his public talks, Dr Zakir Naik is often invited as key note speaker at major public gatherings where he attracts large audiences. His dynamic style of speaking often holds the crowd in total wrapped attention using reason, logic and application of scientific facts as a basis for enhancing understanding between people of diverse views and faiths. Dr Zakir Naik is 45 years old.Dr. Zakir is popular for his critical analysis and convincing answers to challenging questions posed by audiences after his public talks. In the past 14 years, Dr. Zakir Naik has delivered mo re than 1300 public talks in the U.S.A., Canada, U.K., Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, South Africa, Italy, Mauritius, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Hongkong, Thailand, Guyana (South America), Trinidad, Maldives, Sri Lanka and many other countries, in addition to numerous public talks in India……………continuedpls Go to :http://www.peacetv.tv/en-gb/speakers/dr-zakir-naik Note: Also, can watch 24 hour tv channel on Islamic topics by renowned scholars on this website…just click on “peaceTV” above said website- and watch.).God bless.

  27. @sophiawell that is where the hadith of Muhammad(sws) come in …. and that is why the Quranist are so confused all the time that they cherry pick the Quran and twist in whatever way they like …The Qur’aan speaks of the importance of the Sunnah, for example:(a) Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “He who obeys the Messenger has indeed obeyed Allaah . . .” [al-Nisaa’ 4:80] Allaah described obedience to the Prophet (peace be upon him) as being a part of obedience to Him. Then He made a connection between obedience to Him and obedience to the Prophet (peace be upon him): “O you who believe! Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger . . .” [al-Nisaa’ 4:59]Allaah warns us not to go against the Prophet (peace be upon him), and states that whoever disobeys him will be doomed to eternal Hell. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “. . . And let those who oppose the Messenger’s commandment beware, lest some fitnah (trial, affliction, etc.) befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them.” [al-Nur 24:63]so if u deny the sahih hadith then well thats the problem… u'll be confused and on many more issues …. the sunnah is like a commentary on the Quran and it also further teaches us the morals and etiquettes to live as muslimsand so well i cant help u if u only want to believe in the Quran … it says obey the messenger Muhammad(sws) in the Quran …..so if ur denying the sunnah of Muhammad(sws) then u are denying Allah(swt) and well u know what that means …

  28. blackb3ard911, I agree that the Quranist viewpoint (which is quite varied, actually, so this is generalizing) has some pretty big holes in its logic. For example, hadiths not only explain things that weren't mentioned in the Quran at all, they also often explain the context in which verses were revealed… without that context, its like hearing one end of a phone conversation – you might hear the answer, but what was the question?However, I have to be honest with you about this: I, like the Quranists, have serious doubts about the historical legitimacy of the hadiths. I don't mean to offend, but it is how I feel. The Quran DOES say to obey the Messenger, on this we agree. Where we diverge is on the point of how likely it is that the Messenger actually said an did the things the hadiths report. Its not that I want to disobey the Messenger, or deny Allah! It's that I want to make sure it's really Allah's will and Muhammad's example that I'm following, not the political machinations of those who came after.But… I am still learning. Perhaps I will find something that instills in me a belief in the sahih hadith. I just haven't yet.

  29. @sophiawell since ur saying u wouldnt deny what Muhammad(sws) and ur issue is with how the hadiths are derived is actually the same thing the Quranists say…. and of course thats where the Isnad(chain of tranmission) comes in …. i did give u those vids which i hoped u have watched … but ill just post them again … here it the whole video explained by jonathan brown who is a convert to Islam and is an assistant professor as the uni of washington if im not mistaken … and well if u want to read the whole 200 page book which goes even deeper into the issue of how the hadiths are derived then i can get that too http://vimeo.com/7216747

  30. Thanks blackb3ard911, I did watch the Jonathan Brown vids you sent me before. He seems like an articulate and intelligent man, but I'm just not convinced by his arguments. Critical study of hadiths has been hampered by the controversial theological implications of such a study – even considering the possibly spurious nature of hadiths is regarded by some as tantamount to disobedience to Muhammad and Islam itself. Scholars in the Islamic world who have reached such conclusions are typically denounced as apostates… hardly an environment for true scholarly discourse.

  31. **ven considering the possibly spurious nature of hadiths is regarded by some as tantamount to disobedience to Muhammad and Islam itself.**hmm? …. really? … but then ive seen and read it myself that scholars differ on certain hadiths themselves yet they dont call each other apostates …. for example some scholars will be of a view that the hadeeth is saheeh(authentic) while might consider it daif(weak) ….. But there are certain hadiths which are crystal clear for example which might say obey Muhammad(sws) and then u say its a fake hadith then there i will agree that man is an apostate.Yes there are some hadith and issues that people argue on such as fiqh but arguing on the matters of aqeedah is different and lands u as an apostate.

  32. Thats exactly my point, blackb3ard911. If an Islamic scholar did a ton of research and came to the conclusion that there is no historical proof of the authenticity of the hadiths, or even found evidence that they were fabricated… BAM! He's an apostate! So who in their right mind would even try to find out if the hadiths were accurate? Better to keep quiet and be allowed to stay with the community and one's own family, right?You yourself said, "so if ur denying the sunnah of Muhammad(sws) then u are denying Allah(swt) and well". Me questioning the veracity of the work of human beings (the people who wrote down, collected, and codified the hadiths) is enough for you to believe that I would deny God. I'm sorry, but I do not hold the work of men up to that level of reverence.To be clear, I don't think that the hadiths should be ignored either. They may be inspirational to Muslims, and thats fine. I just don't personally believe I can say without doubt that the Prophet said and did the things the hadiths report.I can't say for sure that Shakespeare really wrote all the plays attributed to him, but I still love those plays! I know its not the same kind of thing here, I'm just giving an example.However, if you find something on the web that, in a clear and reasoned way, proves or helps to prove the accuracy of the sahih hadiths, please send it my way. I would love to find something definitive so I can move on in my studies.

  33. **Thats exactly my point, blackb3ard911. If an Islamic scholar did a ton of research and came to the conclusion that there is no historical proof of the authenticity of the hadiths, or even found evidence that they were fabricated… BAM! He's an apostate!**like i said they might differ on issues of fiqh but not on matter of Aqeedah. And I have never met a scholar btw that will say Muhammad(sws) isnt the messenger. I mean some Quranists say that but then Quranists dont have scholars , they just have confused trolls.**You yourself said, "so if ur denying the sunnah of Muhammad(sws) then u are denying Allah(swt) and well".**Well if ur denying all the hadiths and only taking what u like then it says clearly in the Quran regarding those people. Like drinking alcohol for example. No scholar will say alcohol is halal but then its not a scholar that will allow it but a laymen who will twist Islam according to their desires and their likes.I never denied that scholars differ on issues on Figh but NEVER will they differ on aqeedah. And even there are certain issues of Fiqh which cant be denied. For example subjects such as sex , alcohol, pork , etc. Now these things have all been proven by scholars of the past and present and yes if some1 is going to say that he doesnt accept what's Islam's stand on these issues then he is not a muslim. Thats another issue that if he accepts it but hes addicted to lets say drinking , that would be classified as him being a sinner not an apostate. it is He who has sent down to you, [O Muhammad], the Book; in it are verses [that are] precise – they are the foundation of the Book – and others unspecific. As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will follow that of it which is unspecific, seeking discord and seeking an interpretation [suitable to them]. And no one knows its [true] interpretation except Allah . But those firm in knowledge say, "We believe in it. All [of it] is from our Lord." And no one will be reminded except those of understanding.(Al imran 3 : 7)

  34. blackb3ard911, I don't know how, "And I have never met a scholar btw that will say Muhammad(sws) isnt the messenger" fits in here. I never said that I didn't believe in Muhammad's prophethood. If I somehow implied that, I am very sorry. To clarify, I was trying to say that I'm not convinced that all the hadiths came from Muhammad.I also agree with you that no one knows the Quran's true meaning except God. I think we just disagree over assumptions we are both making about which human interpretations are closest to God's, when in fact neither of us knows for sure.I admit, I was hoping to find something in the Quran that allowed my relationship. Perhaps their isn't one, or perhaps the scholars of the past misinterpreted God's message themselves – how could they not, considering the passage you quoted? I am ill-equipped to make a reasoned judgement on this now, but I am still trying to learn as much as I can. I realize I may have to accept that my lifestyle is something God dislikes, and that I am a sinner. But even if I left this man today he would still have my heart. I will pray for forgiveness, and that one day, God willing, I will make this man my husband.

  35. **I never said that I didn't believe in Muhammad's prophethood. If I somehow implied that, I am very sorry. To clarify, I was trying to say that I'm not convinced that all the hadiths came from Muhammad.**well , lets see …. of course Muhammad(sws) cant come back and say that these are my hadiths. So how do people find out about the history of Islam? . like lets say: When the ayat of the Quran were revealed ? As u know the verses in the Quran in 1 chapter are separated like mayb lets just say from 1-35 its about orphans righs and then 36=75 its about the christian delegation that came from najrah. I mean this was what u said a while back that the Quranists are a bit hypocritical when it comes to this part.how to do hajj? … as u know hajj is 1 of the 5 pillars of Islam. Does it give a detailed view in the Quran of how to do hajj?. How to Pray? …. praying is also one of the 5 pillars of Islam. Does the Quran give a detailed view of praying?.

  36. **I also agree with you that no one knows the Quran's true meaning except God. I think we just disagree over assumptions we are both making about which human interpretations are closest to God's, when in fact neither of us knows for sure.**well most of the interpretations are quite similar to ach other in one way or another. It doesnt change the whole meaning of the Quran. just answer me this. How do people, historians tell how Muhammad(sws) lived his life , moved about , and most of all u dont find any prophesies if im not mistaken in the Quran. But i want u to download the Sahih Bukhari and read the section under the title 'signs of the hour' and u will see most of those signs have actually been completed , not all though. for example it says 1) Naked, destitute, barefoot shepherds will compete in building high buildings. isnt that true?. The naked destitute is ,by common sense , describing the inner side of these people.2) The slave-woman will give birth to her master or mistress (this refers to children disrespecting their mothers). Isnt this true also? … have u seen those old age homes the kids throw their parents in once they get old? or when the children dont listen to their parents?3) Earthquakes will increase.4) Trustworthiness will be lost, i.e. when authority is given to those who do not deserve it. Well u can just look at the leaders of the muslim world to know this is a 100% match.5)Wine (intoxicants, alcohol) will be drunk in great quantities.Illegal sexual intercourse will become widespread.Time will pass more quickly.Tribulations will prevail.Bloodshed will increase.I think u can see that most of these things are presently happening. And these are all taken from what Muhammad(sws) said and most of these can be found in the sahih Bukhari and Muslim. But what i want to know is what will convince u that hadiths are derived from Muhammad(sws) ? … but i also want to know from u is how historians come about what happened in history?…

  37. I don't have answers for you, blackb3ard911, I'm sorry. I don't understand why a revelation from God to save humanity would accidentally leave out half the religion of Islam. I deeply wish that I did, it's a thought that troubles me greatly.I may choose to follow the practices of mainstream Islam because thats simply how Muslims do it these days – you know, to be part of the community. Its pretty good reason. I'll just pick the practices that everyone agrees are correctly Islamic…. oh wait! Nobody in the Muslim community seems to agree on hardly anything. Even if they agree on the "what", they don't agree on the "how" or the "why". Super.But I can't honestly tell you I'll be doing it because I believe the hadiths are accurate representations of the Prophet's teachings. I simply do not believe it at this point in my studies. It would be a lot simpler for me if I did! But I won't lie to myself about it, or to you.I guess I'm not cut out for this…

  38. You are totally cut out for this, Sophia. You just need to keep sticking to your own beliefs and keep questioning and thinking. The Qur'an commands us to think, after all. I find it helpful to distinguish between islam (surrender to Allah) and Islam (all the stuff that Muslims came up with after receiving the Qur'an). I have pretty much chosen the path you state here—following many of the practices of mainstream Islam so as to be part of a community (unless they contradict my beliefs). I do think there is a benefit to them even if they are not the ONLY way of achieving closeness with Allah. I wish you the best and I hope that you don't get turned off of islam because of the disrespect you may receive from literalists.

  39. Thank you Zuhura, I needed to hear that. At this point I feel that the outer aspects of this (or any) religion are less important than inner sincerity. The outward practices are important because they serve to discipline the mind and heart towards God, but they are the exercise, not the goal. Its easier for us to judge the behavior of others than to discern their innermost thoughts and intentions, so naturally we fall into the trap of focusing on dogma above all else. I am trying to train my mind not to worry about everyone else's deen, realizing that I can only hope to comprehend my own, and God knows best.

  40. Sorry blackb3ard911, I missed your last comment somehow. I have read some of Bukhari… its pretty much the reason I can't stomach hadiths, as you know from my older blog. In fairness, it may be gut instinct as well as reason that makes me question the hadiths. I will not follow a Prophet who disrespects my entire gender. Why on earth would I? What possible motivation do I have to make myself believe that God intentionally made me deficient? I know in the past you said that Muhammad was only being playful or teasing when he said that, but how do you know that? Its certainly not evident in the text.How do historians know what they know? Here's the answer: they don't. They can only make educated guesses, and they debate endlessly about details big and small. I would be willing to believe that the hadiths are educated guesses about the sayings and practices of the Prophet. But that's not enough to be truly Muslim, is it? I have to believe they (some of them, at least) are accurate, and believe that denying them is akin to denying God and his Prophet. Do history books have that kind of power?What would convince me the hadiths are authentic? Clear, scholarly dissection and debate. Certainly not endless, oversimplified explanations of isnad, which fail to even acknowledge the possibility of human fallacy by those who collected or promoted some hadiths. Maybe I'll have to learn Arabic first, because most Western sources are either highly critical of hadiths and their transmission, or don't challenge them at all for fear of being politically incorrect. A balanced view would be a good start in convincing me.

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