Questions for Moderate Muslims #2
I probably should have broken the previous into two posts. I'll probably have about three more areas to ask about here, and I'll make them into distinct posts -- and possibly intersperse some other topics (I finally saw the new DR. WHO and baseball season is starting very soon).
But this one will be on values.
3: What values, ethical or moral principles, philosophical ideas or other cause you to remain Muslims, rather than to either join another religion or to become 'secular good people'?
3a: In which cases do you consider Islamic values superior to Western ones on similar topics?
3b: In which cases do you consider Western values superior?
3c: How can those Western values you prefer be joined onto an Islam many of whose believers consider is unchangeable.
3d: Is Islam compatible with democracy and democratic values.
3e: If you feel it is, how do you answer an ultraconservative who argues as follows (referring to our ultraconservative "Islam Q&A")
Is the one who fails to rule by that which Allaah has revealed and bases the entire legal system on man-made laws a kaafir? Should we differentiate between him and one who judges according to sharee’ah, but may rule in a manner contrary to sharee’ah on some issues, because of his own whims and desires or because of a bribe, etc.? Answer :
Praise be to Allaah.
Yes, we must make this distinction. The one who rejects the law of Allaah and casts it aside, and replaces it with man-made laws and the opinions of individuals has committed an act of kufr which puts him beyond the pale of Islam. Whereas the one who adheres to the religion of Islam, but is a sinner and wrongdoer by virtue of his following his whims and desires in some cases, or pursuing some worldly interest, but admits that he is a wrongdoer by doing so, is not guilty of kufr which would put him beyond the pale of Islam.
Whoever thinks that ruling by man-made laws is equal to ruling by sharee’ah, and thinks that it is OK to do that, is also guilty of kufr that puts him beyond the pale of Islam, even if it is only in one instance.
Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah al-Ghunaymaan (www.islam-qa.com)
3f: Many of the tenets of Islam that I can wholeheartedly agree with, such as giving to the poor, the equality of all, etc. seem, in Islam, to be limited to believers. Can Islam extend those ideas to non-believers as well?
3g: Several places in the Qur'an assume the existence of slavery, particularly the enslavement of prisoners of war. (Thus the punishment for killing a believer accidentally is first to free a believing slave.) How do you reconcile or accept this?
And, as a bridge between this section and the next, many times when certain barbaric practises that occur only or principally in Muslim societies are brought up (honor killing, forced marraige, etc.) the response is that these are 'cultural survivals' in primitive societies. Yet these societies have been Muslim for centuries. Why has Islam not been able to extirpate this type of primitivism? And why, when civil authorities attempt to move against them, are they so frequently criticized by religious authorities? If Islam is an example of higher values, why does it not fight fiercely against believers whose societies accept such things?
(I have bnot said this, but in all these questions, please answer in re Islam, and do not respond with "Well, look at what Christians do." I am an atheist and could criticize Christianity, Judaism and other religions strongly as well, but I am attempting to discuss Islam here, not compare it.)
More later or tomorrow. the next section will be on Islam and Women.