Thursday, April 19, 2007

British Government recognises polygamy

Cranmer saw this on ConservativeHome a few days ago, pointing to an article in The Daily Telegraph which observed that the Conservative MP, David Davies, had discovered that the Department for Work and Pensions recognises polygamous marriages that are conducted overseas: ‘In a guide to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit, the department states that claimants in polygamous unions are entitled to "additional allowances for each additional partner".’ This is, of course, an exception solely for Muslims; the rest of us have to abide by the law.

Mr Davies is quoted as saying: ‘Polygamy is both demeaning to women and alien to this country's culture… Foreigners who come to Britain should be prepared to fit in with British cultural attitudes - and they do not include acceptance of polygamy.’

The Difference Magazine also covered this, but erroneously asserted that polygamy was contrary to Britain’s ‘Judeo-Christian heritage’. It is, of course, nothing of the sort. Whilst it is true that Christians were urged to be monogamous, the kingdoms of Israel and Judah record numerous examples of polygamy. The practice was not only rife; it was deemed to be the patriarchal norm. The United States, also a child of the ‘Judeo-Christian heritage’, tolerates the polygamy of Mormons, albeit by recognising one wife in law, and subsequent wives only nominally. There is, however, acceptance of their religious right to live in adherence to Old Testament practices.

The interesting thing in the Old Testament is the way in which polygamy and bigamy are presented. Neither are deemed to be ideal (Lev 18:18; Deut 17:17), and both are portrayed negatively (Gen 16:4ff; 21:10) or deemed problematic (Deut 21:15-17). The practice became increasingly uncommon throughout Jewish history, perhaps because they came to agree with Solomon. If the proverbial nagging wife is like the drip, drip, drip of a tap; numerous wives must be an irritating shower indeed.

An interesting corollary of this is how HM Government views polygamous ‘gay marriages’ conducted overseas. Having legislated so much to normalise gay partnerships, it would be difficult now to discriminate against those conducted abroad. EU human rights laws and equality regulations could indeed open the door for homosexuals to demand similar recognition for multiple partnerships, with groups of men or women presenting themselves as polygamous families.

This is, however, merely theory. In practice, in those countries where polygamy is legal, like Saudi Arabia, homosexuality is illegal. The UK is not about to be flooded with gay polygamy; it is, however, a cause of great concern that the British taxpayer is subsidising a distinctly Islamic practice which is contrary to UK law. Still, that’s dhimmocracy for you.

43 Comments:

Anonymous Voyager said...

The point is simoply that the British State recognises and finances using public money a form of cohabitation acceptable in Muslim countries and on the African Continent.

It does not recognise such relationships when contracted in Great Britain.

In this sense it is discriminatory against British Citizens and taxpayers who are funding lifestyles predicated upon recognition in jurisdictions whose legal framework would be unacceptable to the laws and mores of the United Kingdom.

It is a case of malfeasance in the context of public funds and is public sanctioning of multiple cases of illegitimate births and genetic problems since some of these cohabitees are first-cousins. It sets a precedent for inheritance law and pension rights.

It is an abuse of public funds and a blatant attempt to buy votes and the end-result will be a reluctance to fund the welfare state

19 April 2007 at 08:40  
Anonymous Cocked for the lick-back said...

Found a brilliant quote. 'Here’s a thought: If Islamic law only allows for polygamous marriages provided the man can care for all of his wives, how is it ok - under that same Islamic law - for these Muslim men to marry more than once and then put their wives on welfare? They aren’t exactly providing for their wives. The taxpayers are.'

http://www.kxmc.com/getARticle.asp?ArticleId=115301

19 April 2007 at 11:40  
Blogger Sir Henry Morgan said...

Why would anyone WANT more than one wife? I found it difficult to cope with even the one.

Can anyone enlighten me?

19 April 2007 at 12:16  
Anonymous Observer said...

Sir Henry...each wife brings a dowry

19 April 2007 at 13:31  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

Cranmer said...
"The interesting thing in the Old Testament is the way in which polygamy and bigamy are presented. Neither are deemed to be ideal (Lev 18:18; Deut 17:17), and both are portrayed negatively (Gen 16:4ff; 21:10) or deemed problematic (Deut 21:15-17)."

You will find this to be the same case in the Quran, Cranmer.

The Qur’an is the only religious book, on the face of this earth, that contains the phrase ‘marry only one’. There is no other religious book that instructs men to have only one wife. In none of the other religious scriptures, whether it be the Vedas, the Ramayan, the Mahabharat, the Geeta, the Talmud or the Bible does one find a restriction on the number of wives. According to these scriptures one can marry as many as one wishes. It was only later, that the Hindu priests and the Christian Church restricted the number of wives to one.

The context of this phrase 'marry only one', is the following verse from Surah Nisa: "Marry women of your choice, two, or three, or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one." [Al-Qur’an 4:3]

Before the Qur’an was revealed, there was no upper limit for polygyny and men had many wifes, some even hundreds. Islam put an upper limit of four wives. Islam gives a man permission to marry two, three or four women, only on the condition that he deals justly with them.

In the same chapter i.e. Surah Nisa verse 129 says: "Ye are never able to be fair and just as between women...." [Al-Qur’an 4:129]

Therefore polygyny is not a rule but an exception.

Broadly, Islam has five categories of Do’s and Don’ts:

(i) ‘Fard’ i.e. compulsory or obligatory
(ii) ‘Mustahab’ i.e. recommended or encouraged
(iii) ‘Mubah’ i.e. permissible or allowed
(iv) ‘Makruh’ i.e. not recommended or discouraged
(v) ‘Haraam’ i.e. prohibited or forbidden

Polygyny falls in the middle category of things that are permissible. It cannot be said that a Muslim who has two, three or four wives is a better Muslim as compared to a Muslim who has only one wife.

Sir Henry Morgan, you asked why any man would want more than one wife? It's not entirely a matter of want, for you must understand that by nature males and females are born in approximately the same ratio. A female child has more immunity than a male child. A female child can fight the germs and diseases better than the male child. For this reason, during the pediatric age itself there are more deaths among males as compared to the females.

During wars, there are more men killed as compared to woman. The average life span of females is more than that of males.Therefore, Islam allows polygyny.

Hope that's helped clarify any misconceptions about the teachings of Islam. In regards to how Muslims put such teachings into practise, well I can't speak for every Muslim out there. I speak for myself and what I believe to be the authentic teaching of the Quran.

19 April 2007 at 15:57  
Anonymous Observer said...

for you must understand that by nature males and females are born in approximately the same ratio

I doubt that is so...XX is the basic foetal form before it evolves to XY if at all

The Bible had an injunction against marrying outside but the Koran permits enslavement of captured women as booty "wives". Nor does Christianity permit the concept of "temporary wives"

19 April 2007 at 16:08  
Anonymous Voyager said...

It would be a good idea to read Genesis 2:23-24 and Ephesians 5:31

19 April 2007 at 16:19  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

"I will greatly multiply Your pain in child birth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you." Genesis 3:16

Would any of Voyager or Observer care to kindly explain the latter part of this verse to the naive little jelly bean? It appears to be that Jelly Bean is very ill informed of the Christian faith. All that time she thought men and women were equal in Christianity.

19 April 2007 at 16:44  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Miss Jelly Bean,

Welcome back to His Grace's august blog of intelligent and erudite comment upon matters religio-political.

The Apostle Paul wrote numerous stipulations on marriage, and invariably referred to wife in the singular. See, for example, 1Cor7:2, 33; Eph 5:23, 33.

Yet you assert:

The Qur’an is the only religious book, on the face of this earth, that contains the phrase ‘marry only one’. There is no other religious book that instructs men to have only one wife.

See 1Tim 3:2 - a reference of the imperative of being (quote) 'the husband of but one wife'.

This limit to 'one wife' is clearly written in the New Testament, and therefore your assertion is false. In addition, the Old Testament scriptures quoted by His Grace clearly modified Jewish marital practice, and monogamy prevails.

If the Qur'an is so clear, why are so many Mohammedans polygamous? Could it be that they are ignoring your quotation (which His Grace has not in any case checked) and following the Hadith of the Prophet, who must therefore have been disobedient to his own revelation from Allah...

19 April 2007 at 17:25  
Anonymous Colin said...

I am wondering where His Grace found the picture of Miss Jelly Bean (obviously, she must be the only one with a hijab in the middle).

Observer wrote with regard to Miss Jelly (aka green) Bean's claim of different survival rates for both sexes:

" doubt that is so..."

Nevertheless, Miss Jelly Bean's statement is correct.


"XX is the basic foetal form before it evolves to XY if at all"

Sorry but XX chromosomes do not evolve into XY in the foetus.

The earlier death of men is due to the unhealthy effects of their considerable higher testosterone levels (tested by animal experiments and in humans by statistical methods). Testosterone has a negative effect on the immune system, on risk avoidance and intelligence and a positive effect on aggression and cancers. BTW, testosterone levels are highest in Black Africa, medium in Europe and lowest in the Far East.

Your Grace,

"the Prophet, who must therefore have been disobedient to his own revelation from Allah... " That's an excellent point!

I read that he married widows because of merci. At a time without any state-run pension system, marriage provided a better life for these women than widowhood. However, according to some sources, he also killed captives and "married" the widows if they were young and beautiful.

A woman from Subsaharan Africa explained to me that polygamy has less to do with sexual desire as Westerners usually assume but instead with getting more women for the farm work (cheap labor). The situation might be different in Arabe countries where women stay mostly at home.

Anyway, polygamy seems to be an acceptable practice as long as it is practised by consent. Some women would prefer to share a kind and/or high status male with other women instead of being married to an unpleasant poor chap. After her divorce, a protestant woman in the USA, a lawyer, has published a book advocating polygamy by voluntary contract because it avoids the harmful effects of divorce for children and the entire family. Her main statement: Sisters, good men are rare, let's share them.

I am wondering how many British girls would be happy to share Prince Williams with other women instead having an average Joe all by their own.

19 April 2007 at 18:15  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

Well Cranmer, I checked the references you gave and admit that indeed you are correct however; does this therefore mean that Christians are exempt from having to follow certain verses of the Bible, namely from the Old Testament. In which case, you pick and choose what you wish to follow from the Bible. since the Bible so overtly contradicts itself, you couldn't possibly follow all of its teachings collectively.

As for your question regarding why so many Muslims are Polygamous, and why they're ignoring my quotation, I think you've misinterpreted me. I never said polygamy is prohibited in Islam, and if a Muslim feels he can deal adequately and equally with all his wifes, then he is allowed to marry more than one. Muhammad (pbuh) did not disobey the revelation of Allah because Allah never said polygamy is prohibited. Allow me to re-quote the verse for you

"Marry women of your choice, two, or three, or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one." [Al-Qur’an 4:3]

the 'only one' phrase in this verse, is indicative of 'marry only one', if you can't show equality to your wifes.

19 April 2007 at 18:18  
Anonymous Colin said...

"It is an abuse of public funds and a blatant attempt to buy votes and the end-result will be a reluctance to fund the welfare state"

Precisely!

19 April 2007 at 18:21  
Anonymous Colin said...

Miss Jelly Bean,

If beg to differ with regard to your interpretation.

""Marry women of your choice, two, or three, or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one." [Al-Qur’an 4:3]

Your interpretation is: "the 'only one' phrase in this verse, is indicative of 'marry only one', if you can't show equality to your wifes."

But in reality the condition is: if ye fear.

In other words, if the man doesn't have a feeling of fear, he may marry several wives. Not many men experience fear when they desire a beautiful woman. Hence, what it really says is that men may follow their desire in regard to marriage of several women.

19 April 2007 at 18:33  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

no Colin. not several wifes, only upto 4. And 'if ye fear' that you can't treat the 2, 3 or 4 equally, then 'marry only one'.

The quran never said marry several, or as many as you like, and 'if ye fear' then 'marry only one'. It gave a limit upto 4.

Read the verse again colin!

19 April 2007 at 18:50  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Marry women of your choice, two, or three, or four

What a pity Mohammed never read The Koran before acquiring 16 plus a few slave girls

19 April 2007 at 18:59  
Anonymous Colin said...

Miss Jelly Bean,

You are intelligent, you know what I mean. The numbers weren't the topic of discussion on this thread. Don't try to distract from the main point by opening a sideshow about the numbers.

I did not mention the precise numbers because they are completely irrelevant for the discussion of the condition for polygamy. As a reminder, we were discussing monogamy vs. polygamy. The latter is defined by marrying more than one wife. You cited a verse from the Quran and your interpretation was that the condition for the permission of polygamy is the ability "show equality to your wifes". Unfortunately, the verse is not in agreement with your interpretation because the condition is not the lack of inequality but instead the fear of inequality. That's something completely different. Inequality can be objectively measured whereas the fear of inequality is completely subjective. The man decides if he has such a fear and normaly he doesn't.

It seems that you interpret the Quran according to your wishes. No wonder that your interpretations are not in agreement with those of other Muslims.

Read the verse again Miss Jelly Bean!

19 April 2007 at 19:23  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

The point at issue is not what is written in the koran, as far as the English taxpayer is concerned,why should we subsidise something that is against the laws of our country and its culture,if these people want more than one wife, fine but do not bring it to my country and expect me to keep them and thier hordes of children who are of no benefit to the indiginous population,either economically or socially, and are a net drain on our resources,which would be better spent providing a decent standard of life for our elderly people.

19 April 2007 at 20:31  
Anonymous Colin said...

Miss Jelly Bean,

We also seem to have a misunderstanding in regard to the definition of "several".

When I said "several wives" and "several women", I meant more than 2. You seem to have a much higher number in mind.

The definition of several is discussed in the article How Many is Several?: "It’s also fun to stop someone right after they use the word and ask how many they really mean. I have heard answers ranging from ‘1 or more’, up to 10-15 or something. I’ve found dictionary definitions such as “more than one”.

The Free Dictionary defines "several" as "Being of a number more than two or three but not many".

Since four wives is more than two or three, it is correct to say that the Quran permits the marriage of several wives. Any objections?

19 April 2007 at 20:33  
Anonymous Miss Jelly Bean said...

Hmmm, very good point, Colin. I never thought of it that way. I'm impressed.

You said that "It seems that you interpret the Quran according to your wishes. No wonder that your interpretations are not in agreement with those of other Muslims". You're right, I seemed to have noticed this myself. The Muslims that I encounter on a day-to-day basis do differ in terms of how they view/interpret certain verses of the Quran. Some are very literal about their interpretations, whilst others havn't even read the Quran. Whilst I agree with some literal interpretations of the Quran, being immensly influenced by Sufisim, I guess I can be viewed as slightly more on the spiritual side of things in comparison to the regular British Muslim you might find. Coming back to the point though, you said that:

"Not many men experience fear when they desire a beautiful woman."


That may be true Colin, but as I said in one of my previous comments (a long time ago), one of the forms of jihad is 'jihad-ul-nafs'. (Jihad with the lower self). Whilst it is completely acceptable that we as humans have desires which need fulfilment, Sufism teaches the Muslim that it is important to maintain control over one's carnal desires. It's when you turn away from the material desires of this world and make it your shadow, then truly will you come to know God. According to your analysis, the fact that God has used the phrase "if ye fear", he has consequently given man the freedom of will to decide his condition.

According to Imam Ghazaali, 'man only regulates and disciplines his passions, but cannot root them out."

In order to analyse human character, Ghazaali divides mankind, in this respect, into 4 classes.

1)A person whose character is yet unformed, who is 'lacking in the ability to distinguish between good and evil, between right and wrong. He is lacking in reflection and self-consciousness, posessing no moral character...'

2)Some people, in spite of being addicted to the indulgence of the lower appetites, are nevertheless aware of their consequences. 'They can discriminate between good and evil. Their consciouness is fully developed and they realise that the rational self is the only true self. Yet they succumb to the demands of their lower self because they are not practised in subjecting their actions to the power of their will. Such men are however amendable to good influence, if they have the will to improve their character'

3)For others, 'the real nature of things has become obscured in their minds; consequently, the gratification of the lower self has grown in the expense of their rational self.'

4) Finally, the last of men are those who 'are proud of doing evil and of leading others astray. They take pride in doing so. The improvement of such men is the hardest of all'.

Allah teaches us to adopt the best of the 4 characters (number 2). So if the man knows he can't treat his wifes justly, then he must fight of his carnal desires and refrain from polygamy.

Of course not all Muslims are Sufis, or follow Sufi teachings but like I said before, I can't speak for every Muslim out there and therefore inform you of what I as a Muslim, believe to be the genuine teachings of Allah.

You may disagree with me entirely, but that's understandable and acceptable.

(Sorry if I went of topic or if I sounded as though I was preaching. It was trully unintentional).

19 April 2007 at 20:35  
Anonymous Miss Jelly Bean said...

When I said "Hmmm, very good point, Colin. I never thought of it that way. I'm impressed." I was referring to your previous point that "Inequality can be objectively measured whereas the fear of inequality is completely subjective." I didn't see that you'd made another comment.

In regards to your second comment though, now that you've put it that way, I guess the Quran does allow the marriage of several wifes. So you're quite right.

19 April 2007 at 20:42  
Anonymous Colin said...

Miss Jelly Bean, our different view about the numbers behind "several" puzzled me so much that I checked more dictionaries. Here the definition of the Merriam-Webster dictionary: "more than one (several pleas) b : more than two but fewer than many (moved several inches)".

The Sufisim interpretation of the Quran is interesting. I do not know too much about sufism except that it is the mystic form of Islam. The words of Ghazaali remind me more of Hindu mysticism than of the Quran. Thus, I googled for the history of sufism and found an interesting article about "SUFISM IN INDIA: Its origin, history and politics" on the websites of the South Analysis Group where I often have found enlightening analyses:

"Mystic interpretation of Islamic life within the bonds of religious orthodoxy is known as Sufism..The disciples of Sufis adopted the path of peace or even armed jehad for Shariatisation of the whole world as a mission of holy duty. "Seekers of Tawhid should strive to dedicate themselves to the Prophet Mohammad, so much so that their entire selves, including their hearts and their spirits, were free of thoughts other than of God" History of Sufism in India by Saiyied Athar Abbas Rizvi, Volume 2, 1992, Page 178)...

Contrary to the spiritual mission of Sufism, the cult was primarily introduced in India for spread of Islam with a view to help the Muslim rulers for political domination. By and large the spiritual successors of mystic Islamic saints enjoyed the royal favour of Muslim rulers and gave moral support to the atrocious Muslim invaders and looked other way...

The way Sufis' tombs emerged as a place of pilgrimage suggests that the missionary objective of the Islamic mystics was formulated mainly for conversion and to establish the Perso-Arabian cultural domination in South Asia...

Sufis had accompanied the Muslim marauders in their conquest and brought Islam in contact with Hindu priests and saints. They were receptive to some of the local Hindu traditions may be for a tactical reason to entice the locals towards Islam but ensured that local norms are not accommodated against the watertight Islamic belief, dogma and practice of Quran, Hadith and Sharia...

Therefore, in stead of advising the Muslim marauders against their inhuman deeds, the Sufis overlooked the plight of Hindu priests and saints, who were forced to flee and hide themselves. Passion to the essential spirituality of life was hardly found in any Muslim ruler or Prince except Dara Shikoh (1615-1659)...

Under the patronage of the State under Muslim rulers, the Sufi mystics while offering spiritual guidance and support to the Hindu subjects allured them for adoption of Muslim identity, superiority of Arbo-Persian-Turkish tradition and accordingly transplanted them in the cultural tradition of India...

They were basically the mystics for the political domination of Islam activists.

The basic creed of mystic movements is unity of God irrespective of religious connotation. Unity of God denotes social unity and universal brotherhood. But these political mystics not only divided the society on the basis of religion but their doctrine created a permanent Hindu-Muslim conflict in the region."


In other words, Miss Jelly Bean, Sufism actually is Islamic modified Hindu mysticism for the purpose of "leading others astray", of conquest and of domination.

Are your continuing, Miss Jelly Bean, this tradition of Sufism "for Shariatisation of the whole world as a mission of holy duty" to approach the locals, to tell them that Islam actually is similar to their own religion for the purpose of "leading others astray", of conquest and of domination?

19 April 2007 at 21:44  
Anonymous billy said...

Miss Jelly bean said...
"Well Cranmer, I checked the references you gave and admit that indeed you are correct however; does this therefore mean that Christians are exempt from having to follow certain verses of the Bible, namely from the Old Testament."

Correct me if I am wrong but isn't Christ the fulfillment of the OT and as Christians we follow the New Testament?
As for picking and choosing, isn't that something all religions do. Some mohammedans seem to be able to find holy instruction to kill and maim and others don't.

19 April 2007 at 22:16  
Anonymous Matthew said...

On a lighter note, is the picture that of the new Dr Who assistant in the company of the inhabitants of the planet Hijab?

19 April 2007 at 22:54  
Anonymous m.d. said...

Cranmer has this frustrating habit of finding articles which really really annoy me. I can't believe that we're giving money to these people.... It beggars belief our government is still sucking up to minorities like this, I mean we must be one of the only countries who are such bleeding heart liberals that we give money to people who break our laws. WHO IS RUNNNG THINGS??? Sometimes I feel like i'm taking crazy pills.

As for Jelly Bean!! HA! I knew you'd be back!

Cranmer: You do realise that it won't be long until polygamy is legal in this country do you? The fact that we have given complete equality in the eyes of the law to homosexual relationships leaves the door open for other forms of marriage too. Homosexuality is primarily seen as acceptable in our secular country because without the Bible there is no reason why two men or two women shouldn't be allowed to do what they want together in private as long as it isn't hurting anyone else. In a secular society, it makes complete sense for homosexuality to be allowed, because if two people love each other, then who are we to stand in their way right? Well, the same argument can be made for polygamy. If a man and three women all love eachother, then who are we in a secular society, to deny them a life which they want? You see, it becomes the same argument as homosexuality - which itself has set a precedent- so in the future we will not be able to deny equal marriage rights in the eyes of the law to polygamous marriages.

What does his grace think of this?

20 April 2007 at 10:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't believe in any religion, I was never brought up to believe in one but still I think monogamy is the only acceptable practice. This is based on a simply understanding of self respect.

Also, I am more than happy to place my view higher than that of Islam. I believe everyone on this planet should try and be helped to achieve their highest potential, purely because it is possible.

The way Islam treats women worse than cattle is disgusting, abhorrent and an excess of the clearly delusional.

Who would like to have Allah as a neighbour, let alone a God?

I'd say the same of the Christian god but fortunately he sent his son down to clear up all that crazy stuff at the beginning.

In scripture and in practice I see woman who have been abused into a subservient life and, call me arrogant, but I honestly do think I am in a better position to tell if they have a fulfilled life than they are.

I mean Jesus Wept! Sharing a husband with four other women and living under a burka. This alone is clear evidence that the relationship between men and woman in Islam is completely ******. Find what you like in the bible as a retort then take a walk around England.

Case closed.

20 April 2007 at 13:01  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Cranmer has this frustrating habit of finding articles which really really annoy me.

His Grace is honoured.

Mr MD,

Your observations may be accurate, indeed, there is a present case in Germany where a brother and sister (who have already produced a number of children) are using EU legislation to challenge German laws prohibiting incest.

It may not be long before one may marry one's dog.

20 April 2007 at 13:02  
Anonymous Voyager said...

are using EU legislation to challenge German laws prohibiting incest.

They won't get far - I doubt it will even get a hearing. The fact is there is a Green MP trying to get the Bundestag to change the law not the courts....which cannot because of the German Constitution.

20 April 2007 at 13:07  
Anonymous Voyager said...

In 1923 Bavaria seceded from Germany which is why it is called Freistaat Bayern 1923.....it may do so again under the CSU especially if Beckstein becomes leader as he would be a Protestant leading a Catholic Party, just like Merkel

20 April 2007 at 13:08  
Anonymous Miss Jelly Bean said...

Colin said...
"In other words, Miss Jelly Bean, Sufism actually is Islamic modified Hindu mysticism for the purpose of "leading others astray", of conquest and of domination."

Far from it, I assure you. So now that you've read this bias view on sufism, it would be advisable to get an Islamic perspective on Sufism rather than what the orientalists and other such people view it to be.

How can Sufism be modified Hindu mysticism when it existed way before Islam even got to Hindustan. Sufism has been in existance from the time of the Prophet, and was acknowledged as an Islamic science and way of thought, during the time of the 4th caliph Imam Ali. Infact even before that, the Naqshbandi order of Sufism began during the time of the 2nd caliph Abu Bakr.

It began as a reaction against the intellectualism of the rationalists and the philosophers. The theologians and traditionalists adhered to the letter of the law and detailed formulas were put forward to be followed by every Muslim in his daily life, which reduced Islam to a set of rituals and ceremonies. The rationalists adhered to reason, and the philosophers took route in following such rationalistS. Philosophers (e.g. Ibn Sina and Al-Farabi) were influenced by Greek philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato. Yet another way was discovered which consequently led to the development of Sufism. The doctrines of Sufism and its rules of conduct were based on the Quran and the lives of the Prophet and his companions. The Quran is interpreted both mystically and allegorically. However, Sufis realise that both the letter of the law and the spirit are a necessity and must be combined in order for sufi doctrines to be weaved into Islamic thought and literature.

Sufism isn't very easy to understand and I myself don't have complete knowledge of it. So, before you do make a determined decision on this idea about Sufism being modified Hindu mystism, it might be good to know a bit more about it. Just a thuoght, don't take it harshly.

This was an interesting discussion but I think we've gone way off topic so maybe we should end this conversation. Nice talking to you though!

20 April 2007 at 15:58  
Anonymous Voyager said...

How can Sufism be modified Hindu mysticism when it existed way before Islam even got to Hindustan.

A logical inversion would show that Hindustan (an ancient name for India) existed before Islam and it is quite possible that the trade routes from India to Persia and into Mesopotamia could easily bring ideas from Persia and India to the attention of those trading in The Hejaz just as St Thomas made it to India in 52AD


Miss Jelly Bean is far too ethnocentric viewing Islam purely as an export from The Hejaz whereas others view its antecedents and influences which formed its eclectic mix of influences from other mature religious systems

20 April 2007 at 16:40  
Anonymous Miss Jelly Bean said...

Historically, yes voyager, Hindustan did exist before Islam was recognised as an established religion on earth. However(you may already be aware of this), Muslims share a common belief that Allah sent down prophets to all of mankind.

"Indeed, we sent in every community a messenger… " (al-Nahl 16:36). "There was not any community except a warner lived among them." (Fatir 35:24).

The Quran only mentions 25 messengers by name. There are however,124, 000 Prophets (Anbiya’) and from among them 315 were the Messengers (rusul). We don't know them all by name, who they were or which nations/tribes they were sent to. As of this perspective, the people of Hindustan must have also received a prophet or prophets. Muslims don't view Moses or Jesus as Jews. We see them as Muslims, just like we believe the other prophets to be.

Eventhough Sufism was only recognised as an Islamic concept during the time of the Prophet onwards, it could be a possibility that many people prior to the coming of the last prophet, lived lives strongly influenced by sufism. There is a common belief amongst theologians that Sufism was practised by earlier nations, but wasn't named as such during their times, or given such a status (I'm not sure how authentic this is though.)

20 April 2007 at 18:40  
Anonymous Voyager said...

"Indeed, we sent in every community a messenger… " (al-Nahl 16:36)

"Community" is such an interesting word, at once meaningless and yet pregnant with expectation of something solid and tangible.

I think your speculations are just that...could be a possibility

What odds do you assess on it being a "possibility"; or do you give equal weight to it being untrue ?

There is a rather interesting book written in India c 1919 which you would find most interesting, I recommend it to you......Rev J L Menezes

The Life and Religion of Mohammed

it will help you fill in some gaps

20 April 2007 at 18:54  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

Voyager said..."What odds do you assess on it being a "possibility"; or do you give equal weight to it being untrue?"

Interesting question. I assume (and this only an assumption), that yes there might have been existant, some form of early Sufism before Muhammad (pbuh), in the sense that Islam has not changed with time, but has simply been understood better through the development of man's understanding. This is why God gave seperate books to seperate prophets, because what we understand now, people back then may not have been able to comprehend. Similarily, Sufism may have existed at an earlier stage, but is now understood better.

Muslims believe in what we call the 'Lauh al-Mahfudh', which is a tablet in the Seventh Heaven on which the Quran was first written in its entirety before it was sent down to the Baitul 'Izza in the First Heaven. The lauh al-mahfudh also contains the previous revelations: Toraht (torah), zabur (psalms) and injeel (bible), as well as any other revelations, all compiled together. It is all seen as one Quran. So it's not that the religion of God changed, it was just explained and revealed in steps to mankind.

Thankyou for recommending the book you mentioned. Jelly bean likes to have awareness of different people's opinions on aspects of her religion.

20 April 2007 at 19:46  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

In regards to the book you mentioned voyager, I found this site which has comments from both Muslims and non-muslims on the book and its author.

http://www.conservativebookservice.com/products/popreview.asp?prod_cd=c6614

Sounds like an interesting book to read, dispite the islamosceptisism. Might even purchase a copy for myself.

20 April 2007 at 20:12  
Anonymous Colin said...

Miss Jelly Bean and Mr. Voyager,

Congratulations for your interesting discussion. You seem both to agree that Sufism might have been influenced by earlier religions, e.g. from Hindustan.

BTW, simply looking at the development of religions, it is apparent that the founders of new religions not infrequently used parts of the belief systems prevalent at their time.

Independent from your charming personality, Miss Jelly Bean, fact is that also Sufi Islam - despite its romantic and peaceful appearance - aims at establishing the rule of Sharia on the entire world. And since dhimmitude is part of sharia, the ultimate goal of sufism is neither romatic nor peaceful. In conclusion, your beliefs and aims are in disagreement with and possibly endanger British democracy and freedoms.

20 April 2007 at 21:18  
Anonymous Miss Jelly Bean said...

Colin said...
"You seem both to agree that Sufism might have been influenced by earlier religions, e.g. from Hindustan."

No, not from other earlier religions. Like I said, Islam is one complete religion. The religions such as Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, etc that are practised today, are not what we view as Islam, because they have been modified by man. We believe the early revelations to be a part of God's religion: Islam.

Enough said, have a good weekend and may your God be with you. In Colin's case, ummm... I guess... oh well, just have a good weekend ;)

21 April 2007 at 09:58  
Anonymous Colin said...

"In Colin's case, ummm... I guess... oh well, just have a good weekend ;)"

Thanks a lot, Miss Jelly Bean. But doesn't it sound a bit like blasphemy for an Islamic faithful to wish an atheist a good weekenend instead the required burning in hell. I wish you too a nice weekend and hope that you have more fun this weekend than only praying and reading holy books. ;-)

21 April 2007 at 17:14  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

Colin said... "But doesn't it sound a bit like blasphemy for an Islamic faithful to wish an atheist a good weekenend instead the required burning in hell."

Well, I can't know for sure that Colin will remain an athiest all his life and therefore burn in hell, right Colin?
For all I know, tomorrow, Colin might come running down his stairs in his pyjamas, out the front door screaming, Yes! there is a God!

Then realising he's still in his pyjamas, the embarrased little Colin runs back... only to find that the front door to his house is closed!

21 April 2007 at 21:51  
Anonymous Voyager said...

No, not from other earlier religions. Like I said, Islam is one complete religion. The religions such as Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, etc that are practised today, are not what we view as Islam, because they have been modified by man. We believe the early revelations to be a part of God's religion: Islam.



There are some Miss Jelly Bean, admittedly fewer than is pleasing, who hold that the original language spoken in The Garden of Eden was English - this is predicated on the Indo-European languages having elements of Sanskrit.....this thesis holds that after The Flood when Noah disembarked his passengers and crew variations in dialect produced different language-subsets and symbolic depictions of sounds.

We note how over a shorter period of 300 years, dialects of English have mutated in Canada, USA, Australia, South Africa, India, Singapore.....just from expatriates leaving Britain.

This theory is not universally understood or acknowledged, but is regarded as being in no sense inferior to the counter-factual views with respect to Islam you yourself expressed in italics above; indeed it is typical of cut-and-paste that it things itself a precursor to any of the components in its own patchwork quilt of derivative design

22 April 2007 at 07:38  
Anonymous Voyager said...

that it thinks itself a precursor

22 April 2007 at 07:38  
Anonymous Colin said...

Miss Jelly Bean,

What an amazing ability of clairvoyance you have. Yesterday, you predicted: "For all I know, tomorrow, Colin might come running down his stairs in his pyjamas, out the front door screaming, Yes! there is a God! Then realising he's still in his pyjamas, the embarrased little Colin runs back... only to find that the front door to his house is closed! "

This morning, I ran down our stairs in my pyjamas, out the front door and to escape the slitting of my throat by our Islamic neighbour's knife, I screamed, Yes! there is a God! - Unfortunately, this did not stop him but the closing of the front door of our house did.

The reason for his attack was my suggestion to his beautiful hijab wearing sister to watch Robert Spencer on Youtube discussing his book The Truth About Muhammad and to read Brigitte Gabriel's book Because They Hate.

I am most grateful to you for your prediction which made me cautious and saved my life. :-)

BTW, what do you think of Robert Spencer's theses?

22 April 2007 at 20:08  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

It seems plausible to me to see Islam as an extreme "protestant" and iconoclastic derivative of and reaction to Christianity. There have been movements within Christianity that resemble Islam in their attitude.

24 April 2007 at 14:36  
Anonymous Colin said...

Little Black Sambo,

Thanks for this interesting idea. I am interested to learn something new. Therefore, could you be a bit more specific in regard to these movements in order to fill my knowledge gap?

24 April 2007 at 22:40  

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