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Switch to Forum Live View The Qur'án on Tolerance and Democracy
2 years ago  ::  Nov 27, 2011 - 4:12PM #141
Ibn
Posts: 4,229

Nov 27, 2011 -- 1:42PM, IDBC wrote:


Nov 24, 2011 -- 3:01AM, Ibn wrote:


Nov 23, 2011 -- 10:42PM, Miraj wrote:


There was at least one Christian in Mecca.  Waraqa bin Nawfal, Khadija's cousin, was the Meccan Christian scholar who interpreted Muhammad's first revelation for him.



According to IDBC, Christians in Mecca had an idol that Muhammad did not destroy. He is also merely assuming that Waraqa and Khadija had churches in Mecca.




No that is not what I am assuming. I don't know wether there were or were not churches in MECCA at that time.   What I am assuming is that because there was a christian "idol" in the kaaba that there was some tolerance in Arabia and in Mecca. 


If I recall the story correctly after Muhammad had his first revelation he was concerned that it was a jinn and not an angel.  He went to his wife and told his wife what happened.  His wife then when to a christian relative who told them that it was an angel.  


I do not think it is unreasonable to assume that there were some christians who lived in both Mecca and Medina.   Mecca at that time was not only a religious center but also a trade center.  That would also lead me to believe that there were some christians living in Mecca. 


So far as I know there is no reliable statistics about the religious demographics of the people who lived in Mecca.   It does appear to me that the majority of the people living in Mecca at the time of Muhammad were pagans. 


Since  there were other pagan idols in the kaaba along with the christian idol it would be safe to say that whatever christians going to the kaaba were not...mainstream orthodox christians because mainstream-orthodox would not worhsip at a place that had other idols in them.


The description of the christian idol sounds like a Greek Orthodox Icon. A painting of Jesus as a baby and his mother Mary.  Which would make sense since Byzantine was closest to Mecca and such icons-idols were common.  


As to Mecca and there being some christians living there I think there were some living in Mecca.


I would doubt that they were mainstream orthodox christians because mainstream orthodox christians would not have pagan idols alongside their idols.  


I would also doubt that there were churches in Mecca because if there were then the idol would be in the church and not in the kaaba.  


But there is evidence that there were both christians and churches in ARABIA before and during the lifetime of Muhammad.  


Again the conflict in Mecca was over the kaaba.  It involved Muhammad and the pagans.  So far as I know that in Mecca.  There is no mention of either christians nor jews being involved in Mecca.   


After Muhammad and some of his followers fled to Yithrib the Jews got involved.   Wether there were pagans and christians living in Yithrib or what percentage of each I haven't a clue.  But it does sound like the majority of people living in Yithrib were Arab-Jews.  If that is the case then it would be reasonable to assume that there was at least one synogouge in Yithrib.  


Wether or not there were also christians and pagans living in Yithrib I haven't a clue because they are not mentioned. 



Thank you for all that, IDBC.


Please keep in mind that we are talking about Mecca of 1400 years ago. It could only have been a village or a small town at best at the time. Although we talk about it as a trading center, it could only have been a trading center due to pilgrims spending some money there just as they do today.


I don't think the information you have about an idol in Kaaba for Christians is a correct one. People like Waraqa, a Christian monk, who could interpret true Revelation and predict that Muhammad would be expelled or forced to leave his home town by his enemies, could not have worshipped an idol.


As for Christians in Arabia, there was a Christian community in Najran at the time but Najran was not part of today's Saudi Arabia. Najran is near the border of Yemen and was part of Yemen when it became part of Saudi Arabia in 1934. Therefore, there may have been a few Christians in Arabia but could only have been a very small number and very few in or around Mecca. And even then they could only have been traders like Khadija. And if Khadija was a Christian then that clearly shows that Muhammad was tolerant of Christians. Even after his prophethood, he had established a peace treaty with Christians of Najran and wrote letters to other Christians. 


www.cyberistan.org/islamic/charter1.html

I know one thing: There are a billion Islamic people in the world today, and there will be about 2 billion by the time we're dead. They're not going to give up their religion.
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2 years ago  ::  Nov 27, 2011 - 7:02PM #142
visio
Posts: 3,121

One thing for sure ............... there is no way we can associate tolerance with democracy.   Tolerance existed even before the invention of the American Democracy 230+ years ago or the much earlier Western Democacy.  

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2 years ago  ::  Nov 27, 2011 - 10:36PM #143
IDBC
Posts: 4,361

 


Howdy Ibn


 


  Thank you for all that, IDBC.


Please keep in mind that we are talking about Mecca of 1400 years ago. It could only have been a village or a small town at best at the time. Although we talk about it as a trading center, it could only have been a trading center due to pilgrims spending some money there just as they do today.


I would agree that Mecca 1400 years ago was not as big as it is now.  There is no information as to how many people lived in Mecca.  It may have been a town or a village.  


Nov 27, 2011 -- 4:12PM, Ibn wrote:


I don't think the information you have about an idol in Kaaba for Christians is a correct one. People like Waraqa, a Christian monk, who could interpret true Revelation and predict that Muhammad would be expelled or forced to leave his home town by his enemies, could not have worshipped an idol



Therefore, there may have been a few Christians in Arabia but could only have been a very small number and very few in or around Mecca. And even then they could only have been traders like Khadija. And if Khadija was a Christian then that clearly shows that Muhammad was tolerant of Christians. Even after his prophethood, he had established a peace treaty with Christians of Najran and wrote letters to other Christians.


www.cyberistan.org/islamic/charter1.html




.



I think that the information about there being a christian idol was correct. 


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waraqah_ibn_Nawfal


 "Waraka Ibn Nawfal (Arabic: ورقة بن نوفل) was the parental cousin of Khadija, the first wife of the prophet Muhammad, and was also the son of Muhammad's great-grandfather Hashim ibn 'Abd Manaf's half brother Nawfal ibn Abd Manaf. Waraka was a Christian Ebionite priest and is revered in Islamic tradition for being one of the first monotheists to believe in the prophecy of Muhammad.[1]"


"According to the Islamic sources, Waraka was a Christian Ebionite priest LIVING IN MECCA, and one who had made detailed studies of the Gospels and the Old Testament scriptures. Muslim tradition maintains that Waraka was one of the believers in the Age of Ignorance, meaning that he was a believer before the prophecy of Muhammad. Waraka would frequently contemplate and pray at the Kaaba and began to read the Biblical texts in their original language and even learned to read Hebrew."


So it does appear "according to Islamic sources"  that Waraka frequently prayed at the Kaaba. It would seem plasusible that if Waraka prayed at the Kaaba that other Christians prayed at the Kaaba.  It would also be plausable that there was a Christian Idol at the Kaaba.   


It could be that possible that Waraka read Biblical texts in there original language which was Greek.   But wether or not the texts Biblical texts  that he read was the same Biblical Texts that other Chrisitans outside of Mecca and Arabia is a different story. 


 Around this time, Waraka, with another member of his tribe, is said to have found Muhammad as a young infant and immediately returned him to Abdul Muttalib[disambiguation needed ], which has been interpreted to be a foreshadowing to his acceptance of Muhammad's prophecy. As Muhammad grew in age, Waraka's knowledge of the sacred scriptures increased. Several years later, when told of Muhammad's first revelation (which is understood to be Q. XCVI: 1-5), Waraka recognized his call to prophecy as authentic and tradition recounts Waraka saying: "There has come to him the greatest Law that came to Moses; surely he is the prophet of this people" Waraka, upon accepting Muhammad's prophecy, remained a Christian and, in later accounts, was counted among Muhammad's companions. Muhammad is later said to have said of Waraka: "Do not slander Waraka ibn Nawfal, for I have seen that he will have one or two gardens in Paradise."


As for the Christian Ebioniates not a lot is known about them.  They do appear to have been an  "unorthodox" sect of Christianity."   They were not "mainstream" Christians. 


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebionite


They did live in Arabia at the time of Muhammad.   There are no traces of them living in Arabia in present time.  No doubt they all eventually became voluntarily became  Muslims .


 


 


Nov 27, 2011 -- 4:12PM, Ibn wrote:


As for Christians in Arabia, there was a Christian community in Najran at the time but Najran was not part of today's Saudi Arabia. Najran is near the border of Yemen and was part of Yemen when it became part of Saudi Arabia in 1934.



When I refer to Arabia of the past I mean the "geographic"  Arabia.  


As to pre-Islamic Arabia


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-Islamic_Arabia



There is very little material on which to base a description of pre-Islamic religion, particularly in Mecca and the Hejaz. The Qur'an and the hadith, or recorded oral traditions, give some hints as to this religion. Islamic commentators have elaborated these hints into an account that, while coherent, is doubted by academics in part or in whole.


Many of the tribes in Arabia had practiced Judaism. Christianity is known to have been active in the region before the rise of Islam, especially unorthodox, possibly gnostic forms of it



 

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2 years ago  ::  Nov 27, 2011 - 10:48PM #144
IDBC
Posts: 4,361

 


Howdy Visio


Nov 27, 2011 -- 7:02PM, visio wrote:


One thing for sure ............... there is no way we can associate tolerance with democracy.   Tolerance existed even before the invention of the American Democracy 230+ years ago or the much earlier Western Democacy.  




This is one of the few times that I completly agree with your post.  


Tolerance and democracy are two separate principles.


I completly agree that "tolerance" was not an invention of America.   


Nor was tolerance an "invention" of Muhammad or the Islamic Caliphate he established.  




 

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2 years ago  ::  Nov 28, 2011 - 12:05AM #145
Miraj
Posts: 5,023

We need to also remember that Muhammad's Uncle Talib (pbut) raised him.  He was the Prophet's tribal guardian who lived and died a pagan, even resisting demands for him to drop his protection of his nephew and turn him over to his enemies to be killed.  Talib and was still loved, respected and honored by Muhammad for his kindness and guidance during his lifetime and after his death.

Disclaimer: The opinions of this member are not primarily informed by western ethnocentric paradigms, stereotypes rooted in anti-Muslim/Islam hysteria, "Israel can do no wrong" intransigence, or the perceived need to protect the Judeo-Christian world from invading foreign religions and legal concepts.  By expressing such views, no inherent attempt is being made to derail or hijack threads, but that may be the result.  The result is not the responsibility of this member.


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2 years ago  ::  Nov 28, 2011 - 8:02AM #146
visio
Posts: 3,121

Nov 27, 2011 -- 10:48PM, IDBC wrote:


 


Howdy Visio


Nov 27, 2011 -- 7:02PM, visio wrote:


One thing for sure ............... there is no way we can associate tolerance with democracy.   Tolerance existed even before the invention of the American Democracy 230+ years ago or the much earlier Western Democacy.  




This is one of the few times that I completly agree with your post.  



 




Hu! Hu! Aaaah ha!   Thank you.   I have just got and end of the year bonus!


I always find it harder to get people to disagree with (generic) you.   To get thru all the pages of wikipidea is time consuming.   And you end up something like :   Mr. X wrote this in his book published by, first edition in  the year 19xx.    And this was commented by so and so at such a well known institutes 20 years after the 1st.  edition.   Miss Y also discussed on the same subject but at a slightly different angle............


Never mind.   I'll stick primarily to one book most of the time and that is the Al-Quran and dig and crunch as much information I can get.   And I'll guarantee you, 99.7% Muslims don't agree to 99.7% of what I wrote.   And I don't miss anything.   And I remain as much as a decent Muslim you may see in the street of, say, London.


It's just one of those ............I don't have a thinking day.



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2 years ago  ::  Nov 28, 2011 - 1:31PM #147
IDBC
Posts: 4,361

Howdy Miraj


Nov 28, 2011 -- 12:05AM, Miraj wrote:


We need to also remember that Muhammad's Uncle Talib (pbut) raised him.  He was the Prophet's tribal guardian who lived and died a pagan, even resisting demands for him to drop his protection of his nephew and turn him over to his enemies to be killed.  Talib and was still loved, respected and honored by Muhammad for his kindness and guidance during his lifetime and after his death.




I do not dispute that Abu Talib was the uncle of Muhammad, that he raised and protected Muhammad while he was alive.   Nor would I dispute that Muhammad respected and honored him and was grieved after Abu Talib died even though he did not accept Islam and remained "ignorant".  One of those pagans who did not accept the clear proof of the Quran.  One who worshipped idols at the Kaaba and according to the clear signs in the Quran would be assigned to the Motel 666 in the afterlife.  


What I don't know is wether or not Uncle Talib was okay with having the Kaaba turned over to his Nephew Muhammad and his companions.   


I would also like to make clear that I do not agree with the so-called "Islamophobes"  who characterise Muhammad as a bloodthirsty pedophile, an "evil" false prophet.  


However I also disagree with those "Islamophiles" who charcterise Muhammad as a "saint" and a prophet.   Just as Muslims object to those so-called "Islamophobes" who cast all or the majority of Muslims both past and present as being evil or ignorant I disagree with those who cast the pagans in the same darkness.  


Muslims strenuously  object to Non-Muslims casting Muslims in as being "monothlic" but seen to be less strenuous in doing the same to others. 


 


So far as I can see the dispute that led to a war between the pagans in Mecca and Muhammad and his followers was over the Kaaba and not the religion of Islam.  


 


 


 


 


 




 

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2 years ago  ::  Nov 28, 2011 - 7:25PM #148
Miraj
Posts: 5,023

Howdy, hon,



Nov 28, 2011 -- 1:31PM, IDBC wrote:


Howdy Miraj


What I don't know is wether or not Uncle Talib was okay with having the Kaaba turned over to his Nephew Muhammad and his companions.   


He was long dead before that happened.


I would also like to make clear that I do not agree with the so-called "Islamophobes"  who characterise Muhammad as a bloodthirsty pedophile, an "evil" false prophet.  


I appreciate that :-)


However I also disagree with those "Islamophiles" who charcterise Muhammad as a "saint" and a prophet.   Just as Muslims object to those so-called "Islamophobes" who cast all or the majority of Muslims both past and present as being evil or ignorant I disagree with those who cast the pagans in the same darkness.  


In Islam, Muhammad (pbuh) was a prophet, but he was not a saint.  We don't have saints in Sunni Islam.  He was also not perfect, as some will tell you.  In the Quran, there are verses that tell us how he was to teach Islam only as Allah dictated; that if he created teachings on his own, he could be killed.  Surah 66 in the consists of an scolding to him about his error and about how he let his wives interfere in his mission.  He was a man, a chosen man, but a man who did as he was asked, and then died.


Muslims strenuously  object to Non-Muslims casting Muslims in as being "monothlic" but seen to be less strenuous in doing the same to others. 



Who are these Muslims?  I'll slap them around for you!


So far as I can see the dispute that led to a war between the pagans in Mecca and Muhammad and his followers was over the Kaaba and not the religion of Islam.


It was over commerce (isn't everything?).  Luring followers from paganism to monotheism took bread from the mouths of those who made and sold idols and from the pilgrammages to the Kaaba.  It would be like forbidding profit from Christmas in the west.  


 



Disclaimer: The opinions of this member are not primarily informed by western ethnocentric paradigms, stereotypes rooted in anti-Muslim/Islam hysteria, "Israel can do no wrong" intransigence, or the perceived need to protect the Judeo-Christian world from invading foreign religions and legal concepts.  By expressing such views, no inherent attempt is being made to derail or hijack threads, but that may be the result.  The result is not the responsibility of this member.


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2 years ago  ::  Nov 29, 2011 - 7:28AM #149
Ibn
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Nov 28, 2011 -- 1:31PM, IDBC wrote:


So far as I can see the dispute that led to a war between the pagans in Mecca and Muhammad and his followers was over the Kaaba and not the religion of Islam.


It certainly was over worshipping One God (Allah) or worshipping several gods (idols in Kaaba).


The war was begun by the polytheists (Quraish) as soon as they heard that Muhammad is preaching worship of One God only. They had begun to punish and even kill the followers of Muhammad and the religion of worshipping One God. Therefore, it was because of the religion rather than Kaaba.


Muslims did no fighting for first thirteen years in which they were persecuted on regular basis. Instead they had to leave Makkah to save their lives. The Quraish followed them not only to Abyssinia after the first migration of a group of Muslims but also to Yasrib (now Madina) after the migration now commonly known as Hijrah, not just once but three times. The first war was not about the Kaaba but about the property/belongings (in Makkah) of Muslims having been looted by Polytheists, after the Hijrah. The first war at Badr was between 313muslims and 1000 Polytheists (that included one of Muhammad's son in law). 


 

I know one thing: There are a billion Islamic people in the world today, and there will be about 2 billion by the time we're dead. They're not going to give up their religion.
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2 years ago  ::  Nov 29, 2011 - 9:31AM #150
IDBC
Posts: 4,361

 


Howdy Sweetheart



Nov 28, 2011 -- 1:31PM, IDBC wrote:


Howdy Miraj


What I don't know is wether or not Uncle Talib was okay with having the Kaaba turned over to his Nephew Muhammad and his companions.  



Nov 28, 2011 -- 7:25PM, Miraj wrote:

 


He was long dead before that happened.



The misson of Muhammad to liberate the Kaaba from the ignorant pagans who worshipped the idols of tribal gods that did not exist was accomplished after the death of Abu Talib. 


However the intention and desire to liberate the Kaaba from the ignorant polytheistic pagans who defiled the alleged Kaaba of Abraham was known during the lifetime of Abu Talib. 


So what is not known is how Abu Talib who was one of those ignorant polytheistic pagans who defiled the alleged Kaaba built by Abraham felt about the intention of Muhammad to liberate the Kaaba.  


I would also like to make clear that I do not agree with the so-called "Islamophobes"  who characterise Muhammad as a bloodthirsty pedophile, an "evil" false prophet.  


Nov 28, 2011 -- 7:25PM, Miraj wrote:


I appreciate that :-)



Let me make clear my position as to why I don't think that Muhammad was a "pedophile". 


First a "pedophile" is a person who has a "complusion" to have sexual relations with either male or female children.  In the case of females it would be before or shortly after the first menses. 


So far as I know the only female in which it is alleged that Muhammad ploughed the trough of was Aisha. 


The age of Aisha when her trough was first ploughed is in dispute even among Muslim scholars. 


There are...traditions that say she was married at six and that her trough was ploughed at nine.


There are other traditions that disagree.  Some claim that she was as old as sixteen when her marriage was consumated.  At that time and place it was the cultural norm for females to be married and ready to have their trough ploughed appox the age of thirteen and onward.  Menses was the sign from God that she was ready to bear children.  If she was mature enough to bleed she was mature enough to bleed. 


The other reason that I am skeptical as to Muhammad was what would now be classified as a "pedophile" was that his first marriage to Khadjita.  She was supposed to be fifteen years old than him.  She would be old enough to be his mother.   He remained married to her and her alone for at least ten years.  


Also after he married Aisha he also married other women and had concubines of women who were older than thirteen.   


As to being as bloodthirsty as Islamophobes portray him that I do not mean to imply that he was as free from having bloody hands as Islamophiles portray him.  He was no pacifist, no Martin Luther King, no Ghandi and no Yesuah ben Miraum.  


 




 


However I also disagree with those "Islamophiles" who charcterise Muhammad as a "saint" and a prophet.   Just as Muslims object to those so-called "Islamophobes" who cast all or the majority of Muslims both past and present as being evil or ignorant I disagree with those who cast the pagans in the same darkness.  


Nov 28, 2011 -- 7:25PM, Miraj wrote:


In Islam, Muhammad (pbuh) was a prophet, but he was not a saint.  We don't have saints in Sunni Islam.  He was also not perfect, as some will tell you.




In Shia Islam they do have saints but none of those saints are prophets nor do I think they are held to be prophets.  


However even is Sunnia Islam Muhammad is held to be exceptionally virtuous, benevolent and holy. 


 

Nov 28, 2011 -- 7:25PM, Miraj wrote:


 


 In the Quran, there are verses that tell us how he was to teach Islam only as Allah dictated; that if he created teachings on his own, he could be killed.  Surah 66 in the consists of an scolding to him about his error and about how he let his wives interfere in his mission.  He was a man, a chosen man, but a man who did as he was asked, and then died.



I just re-read the Surah 66. 


www.cmje.org/religious-texts/quran/verse...


 


 I don't see where Allah threatened Muhammad with death for teaching only what Allah dictated.  I do not see what exactly Muhammad was teaching that Allah was scolding him. 


And the "scolding" I do read about is more directed towards the wives of Muhammad then towards Muhammad.  Essentially the Quran is warning the wives of Muhammad to stop distracting Muhammad from his mission by revealing confidences made to them by Muhammad.



 


Muslims strenuously  object to Non-Muslims casting Muslims in as being "monothlic" but seen to be less strenuous in doing the same to others. 



Nov 28, 2011 -- 7:25PM, Miraj wrote:




Who are these Muslims?  I'll slap them around for you!


So far as I can see the dispute that led to a war between the pagans in Mecca and Muhammad and his followers was over the Kaaba and not the religion of Islam.



Well there are Muslims as well as Islamophiles who make the claim that the reason that a pagan polytheist like Cyrus the Great showed tolerance towards the Jews was not out of any pure humanitarian intentions but the practical pragmatic goal of collectiong taxes. 


Nov 28, 2011 -- 7:25PM, Miraj wrote:


It was over commerce (isn't everything?).  Luring followers from paganism to monotheism took bread from the mouths of those who made and sold idols and from the pilgrammages to the Kaaba.  It would be like forbidding profit from Christmas in the west.  


 



Then there are other Muslims who make the claim that the only or primary reason that the ignorant polytheistic pagan leaders opposed the liberation of the...house that Abraham built was because they wanted to make a buck selling idols.  


And there is the implication that Muhammad and other of his followers were completly free of such crass commercialism.  


While that "may" or "may not" have been true then, I have heard rumors that the haj is now corrupted by crass comericialism.   


It is also my understanding that visits to Meeca and Medina even during non-haj season is not "tolerated" by non-Muslims. 


It is also my understanding that non-mainstream-orthodox sects that claim to be Muslims are not "tolerated" from particpating in the haj. 


 



 

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