[thechat] King Preaches Abstinence to Parading Maidens

Syed Zeeshan Haider szh at softhome.net
Fri Sep 13 15:55:01 CDT 2002

From: "Madhu Menon" <webguru at vsnl.net>
To: <thechat at lists.evolt.org>
Sent: September 13, 2002, Friday 7:34 PM
Subject: Re: [thechat] King Preaches Abstinence to Parading Maidens

> >Personally I don't like burqa.
> I'm happy to hear that. It is, in my opinion, a primitive custom. So if I
> understand you correctly, the people of Saudi Arabia aren't really
> following the tenets of Islam?

Saudi Arabian law to compell the women to wear burqa is opressive. Prophet
Muhammad has said, "There is no opression in religion". It means opression is
NOT allowed in Islam. You (as a Muslim) can't oblige somebody to act on
something. You can advise but advice must be given with due respect. If your
advice is wih intention of hurting somebody's self-respect then it is a sin and
you must keep quite instead.

>Does that mean they're not true Muslims?

You can't blame Saudi people. It's their government which has done it all. Many
Saudis in big cities are very westernized inside their homes. But its a fact
that most Saudis have a typical proud of being an Arab. This pride on themselves
ceases them to completely turn to western culture. Islam has always strictly
condemned this pride. In His last address, Prophet Muhammad said, "Any Arab
doeas not have any superiority on any Ajam (non-arab) and any Ajam (non-arab)
does not have any superiority on any Arab".
> is a burqa required by Islam and *you* don't approve of it?

Burqa is not any requirement of Islam. It is a dress like many others. It is
optional. The requirement of Islam is Pardah. "Pardah" means "hiding body".
Women must hide all of their body accept face, hands and feet. Women can do this
by any means whether it is burqa or any other dress. Most of religious minded
women in Pakistan wear shawl (a big piece of cloth), scarf and many other
comfortable dresses. If a woman does not like pardah then she is responsible for
her own self. Nobody can compel her to do pardah.
If someone is considering burqa a part of Islam then he is doing Bid'at. It
means "adding something to Islam which is not a part of Islam". It is one of the
worst sins in Islam.

> >Madhu, if you study Islamic history in detail then you'll see that Prophet
> >Muhammad has given scientific reasons for many Islamic laws.
> Well, admittedly, I'm not an Islamic scholar (nor a Hindu one, for that
> matter). But I do know that the scientific knowledge in the 7th century
> (the Prophet's time) was nothing near what we have today. I'd like to hear
> more about some of these scientific reasons. What is the scientific reason
> for, say, offering prayers on Friday afternoon?

According to Islamic concepts, Prophet Muhammad and some of His Relatives had
all of the knowledge what we have today or what we'll have in future. They told
what was necessary at that time or what was asked. They did not deliver all of
their knowledge to people because Humanity at that time was not as mature as it
is today. Quran has stated at many places that Allah has revolved sun, moon and
earth. Today's science tells us that Moon is revolving around Earth, Earth
revolves around Sun and Sun is revolving around the centre of the our galaxy. At
one place Quran states, "You find yourself in a pain of suffocation and you are
raised upwards". Science tells us that air becomes denser as we travel upwards
and because of denser air we feel difficulty in breathing.
You asked about Friday prayers. Its reason is more social than scientific. There
are many requirements of Friday prayers which are not often observed by most
people in daily routine life. Theses requirements are bath, new or washed and
clean dress, perfume, hair dressing and other requirements of body care. It
reminds a Muslim that he must take care of himself also.
Friday prayer's requirements are not obligations but a Muslim must observe them
if he can afford.
Friday prayer giveas a concept of division of days into weeks as there is no
concept of weekly holiday in Islam. Weekly holiday is just an optional thing.

> Syed, the concepts of religion and science are at odds with each other. I
> explained this is in my last mail. Religion (any religion, not just Islam)
> calls on people to have faith in something/someone they've never seen,
> something/someone who never seems to act consistently in punishment or
> reward, and all kinds of other phenomena that cannot be scientifically
> proven or even consistently reproduced. So "scientific study of religion"
> is an oxymoron.

Madhu, I respect your point of view but can't completely agree in case of Islam.
Because Quran invites us to research and progress science. In Islam, a scientist
is one of the most respected person of society.

> Religion is based on faith, science is based on evidence. So it would be
> interesting to see if you can provide further examples of how the Prophet
> used science to tell people how to live their lives.

Prophet Muhammad never taught science in the way as we are today taught. He just
gave us a way of living and it's based on science. People at Prophet's time were
not as much interested in science. It was Islam that influenced and tempted
Muslims to research and to work for science. At times in the life of Prophet,
some well read non-Muslims asked him questions on some scientific bases just to
irritate him. For these questions Prophet replied scientifically and made them
satisfied. I cannot remember all events because I don't have any good memory but
I can tell you whenever I remember or read any.

Syed Zeeshan Haider.

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