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Why Muslims are not free to interpret Koran?

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Yes, I believe I have it.

 

So, in the Shia - Sunni difference we have some reflection of the Protestant - Catholic difference in Christianity. The reason for the Catholic Church to have such authority was I believed linked with European feudalism and the same kind of desire for control of the masses by the political powers through the church.

 

I do not think it was a coincidence that the rise of Protestantism spelled the downfall of the divine right of kings - and eventually feudalism. Certainly, the Catholic church has a more feudal structure now; with the Protestant churches being more in tune with capitalism. That is my own particular view - it certainly isn't Biblical.

 

Of course, both Protestants and Catholics in the US are likely to come down on either side of the issue of the separation of church and state and the involvement of religion in politics.

 

Back to the issue of interpretation, I posted this on the issue of Biblical interpretation - which might have some bearing on this thread.

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Dear JHC guy:

It is really great that you are trying to understand Islam or the porblems and sects within it. However, and I might be jumping to conclusion, I find that you often try to relate the history of Islam and christainty. These similarity are oftent he product of thenature of religion as a structure and an institution.

 

My uncle always tried to make arabic and english similarities a way fro him to understand english. However, like my uncle who never learned to speak english correctly, one must at somepoint let go of the training wheels and understand without example and proximity.

 

Many in the west have this tendency I really do not know why. Every institution is a different animal. Some animals are very simliar but if you keep looking at what is smiliar you will miss that which makes it the parituclar animal.

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WHy muslims are not free to interpret the Quran:

 

Here is a list of reasons:

most muslims can not read the Quran.

Most people do not read.

Most people would rather die than think.

The difference between (the prophets: ABraham, Moses, Jesus, mohamad) and the average man is bigger thant the difference between the average man and the average moneky.

Without propoer "sceintific"methodology, your interpretaion may suffer form the following:

Internal inconsistency; your system of beliefs may contain statments that contradict each other. the terrorists think" killing mulims is good for them"

 

incongruence with reality; you are an explosive terd and you think you are a martyr

 

lapses in morality; The ends justify the means attitude. Kill innoncent people to defend other innoncent people?

 

limited understanding of after life;

you might think 70 virgins is a sufficient supply of vagina for eternity. MORON

 

The solution is not to let every moron interpret the sacred. The solution is to get politics away from religion.

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I think that might be my last post into this column. I tried my best to explain. I hope I succeeded. I am sure you guys understand that what I mean in the end is this:

 

 

MAN NEEDS TRAINING TO INTERPRET ANY TEXT. THE QURAN HAPPENS TO BE A COMPLEX TEXT.

THOSE WHO DO INTERPRET IT THEMSELVES MAY MISS ITNERPRET IT.

(I USED MAY HERE AS IN "SIGARETTS MAY CAUSE CANCER")

 

EXAMPLE : THE TERRORISTS ARE INTERPRETING THE QURAN THEMSELVES.

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Guest Moron99

That's very interesting Aldoctor.

 

If I understand you properly, then the following hypothesis would be correct.

 

The shia would be well served to form a council of clerics that includes the 50 most important clerics in the world. The council should resolve to discuss the most important issues and take a unified stand. Then it would be known worldwide what is considered an acceptable interpratation of Islam.

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I think that might be my last post into this column

 

Aldoctor,

I feel that you have a lot to add add to this forum educating us about some of your knowledge and experiences.. It would be a big loss !

 

I wish if you can reconsider your last stand and keep contributing to this forum

 

Any how it was really great running through your feedback and comments.

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Then it would be known worldwide what is considered an acceptable interpratation of Islam

 

Moron99,

I personally think that there is no acceptable interpretation.. Quaran was written in such very high level and sophisticated language that two Arab language experts might look to some statements differently.. I personlly think this was intentional!

 

Let me explain my point.. According to Quran , Human are created to pass an exame .. If the intention is to make the exam so easy and clear, then there is no need for it.. So it has to be hard to get.. In Quran there is a clear statement of this.

 

Islam is a religion of evolve not of end reach..Before the Prophet Mohamed passed away , he reportedly said " today I had completed the message".. He said that at a time a lot of issues were not finalized. One of these issues were the interpretion of Quran.. Early Moslims , even those who had accompanied the prophet for long time were diffrent in interpretation.. Current Quran it self got assembled in away that was not accepted by some..

 

I personally think that religions and prophets are not there to tell us the clear truth but to point to it and it is to every individual to get it the way he/she likes.. That is why Islam considered all the people of faiths as true worshippers..

 

I don't think such call of having some clerics get together to have some "good" interpretation is valid.. At the end it would be THEIR interpretation!

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Aldoctor

 

You are right - I do try to do that. And you are right, that is a form of training wheels.

 

When we learn new knowledge we must attach it to old knowledge in order to organize and understand it. Obviously, there are going to be cultural, political, and religious lines crossed where any relationship to my normal world ends.

 

I trust you brothers to help me out then. However, I do have a very interesting experience set so I may not get lost to fast. We will see.

 

Is the Qu'ran that complicated? I understand from my struggles with Biblical interpretation how hard this is; and I am not uneducated - but do you really think the Qu'ran is out of reach from the masses of Muslims?

 

Certainly this was the position of the Catholic Church (there I go again) for centuries - and the arguments over Biblical interpretation in the US may indicate they were right; but it strikes me as harsh.

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Dear Salim:

Thank you for your interest. Unlike the democracy forum, where I feel I have contirbuted all I can contirbute. especialy with the article I posted seconds ago. In this domain it seems there is more I can contribute. Thank you for asking me to reconsider.

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Dear JHC GUY:

 

"Another problem is that we are supposed to employ the Holy Spirit to give us understanding of the Word (John 16:13, 1 Cor 2:11-12)"

This is from the thing you posted. I think that highlights the fact that fundamentlay in ISLAM we are called upon to employ logicreason and evidence in interpreting the Quran, the contrast is bvious, but I think this is why this column is needed.

 

Notice that I feel that most text is unapproachable by the masses. This is not just my feeling. If you look at the publishing industry, there are multiple level of newspapers that market to multiple levels of readers. They vary their method of delivery by vocabulary, content and acomplextiy of arguments all the way to just a picture and a line underneath. This is not a concindence peopkle in the business know that the population contins many forms of disability.

 

Being educated certainly does not qualify one to read and interpret text. That is you may hagve your own personal interpretation. But, you what degree of confidence do you have that what you understodd is what was intended. Again the Bible is with all repsepct a nightmare version of this. Because of all it has suffered throught the ages. Here is a breif synopsis that I am sure you can add to :

 

So there is this text that came down in Hebrew to people who's natie tongue was egyptian. The text was lost and was rewritten from memory after the destruction of the second temple by Ezra. Then this text was adopted by someone of a fundamentaly different religion and translated in this new light into a a variety of different lanugages. So to escape all the porblems the old testament had to go thorugh in the porcess of textual interpretation which in of itself is a hairy problem, is difficult.

 

You seem like a guy who likes to read and find out things for himself, there is a brnes a nobels book called discourse analysis. It is good as an intro to the issues involved. Other wise you can hold until I write my textual analysis chapter due soon.

 

For Americans, my favorite is the interpretation of the US consitution the laws and philosophies of jurisprudence are very smiliar to a very good but not very accessable book by Muhamad baqir alsadr a genius in jurisprudence and he wrote a three volume book on the matter. It is very tought I had to read the first volume 3 times to understand it. To those of you who od not know, this crazy little sadr is the grandson of the scholar I mentioned. According to my information he is the balcksheep uneducated part of the family. Hs is the only one left alive by allt he madness and he is capitalizing on his granpas name.

 

 

Now the new testament is my favorite example:

 

Here is a class that happened 2000 years ago. The teacher lectured on a ifne point of Hebrew books to native speakers of Armiac. There were no lecture notes taken. The biography of the teacher was written hundred of years later in greek. (mathew and mark are almost identical, leading experts say there was some verbatim copying involved.)21/ 27 books of the new testament don't have a word that the TEACHER said. There was some haevy editing by the students, the biographers, kings, scribes, passers by. The biography with appended letters of the the assistant lead(Paul) are now 'translated' and read in English. Most unterested folk can't read. those who can average a total of 3000 words vocab. Those with larger vocab, are rarely trained in textual anlysis or jurisprudence.

 

These are the obstacles I found that are specific to the new testament. It realy left me with only what Jesus said, and interstingly enough it was sufficient. My commentray on the sayings of Jesus will follow at a later date. He is really a lantern for the lost. Notice that the lost is the last word of the 1st chapter of the Quran.

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Dear Moron:

Unlike Engineering, there is no clear cut answer and a rule of thumb that works. ISlam is based on the struggle of man to fulfill his promise to follow divine guidance. The coucil of fifty you are porposing can not aggree.

As I tried to explain to you in the democracy section, given enough number of issues and enough number of voters, there is no way aggregate choice known to us that does nto create random choice. This is a recurring theme.

There are however, principles that Shia agree on, the are called the metholodgy of itnerpretation. These after hundereds of years of revisision and debate which continues today, are applied in a dynamic way to interpret Islam. It is a very comlicated matter I refer you to my answer to JHC guy.

Also Islam is two parts: Law and Faith.

remember what jesus said on the mound: love the lord they god with all they heart and obey the commanments.

Well lovign god is believeing and obeying his Law(commanments) Law in its process of legistlation only differs by its source. Whether its the US constitution or the Quran, it is a non issue in priincple. However, one can not just gather 50 people and let them decide, they will not agree.

 

Besides, if that was feasible why not gather the 15000 sects of christianty and let them agree. I am not sure what made you say this. I am sure it was somehting I said. please let me know.

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Aldoctor,

 

I agree with you in almost all you say. I think the masses must read (if they are able) a scripture they are to live by - but they must be, as I am and it seems you are, very hesitant to think their personal interpretation (or the interpretation of their favorite teacher) is the only interpretation

 

But (you knew that was coming): With the nature of scripture usage by Muslim religious teachers today to justify such a wide range of views on what the scripture means - and a wide range of actions based on that view - doesn't Islam almost have to have its own "Council of Nicea" to nail down its theology.

 

Not that that kept Christianity under control over time - but for a while there was some concensus over what the Bible was to be. Of course, if you took 50 Baptist (leaving out the other denominations) theologians and asked them to embark on this project today it might take them 50 years to complete it (and only if they didn't kill each other in the process :blink: )

 

Don't you have to try to find some theological unity within Islam?

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I want to comment on the complexity of interpreting Quran..

 

Prophet Mohamed's miracle was not a phisical one as some other previous prophes had, his was a book and words. That words need to first convince a highly sophisticated city state Arab society of Mekkans . These words needed to strick readers that this is different .When President Bush in his last presidency auth speach put the "words of Quran" as one of his three guide lines, he might be refering to this fact that this book include a lot to digest and discuss.

 

Quran was revieled over more than twenty years and it's phrases and messages were to deal with certain incidents and to give guidence to the Prophet and his followers on how to deal with different real life issues.. So it is not a book of ethics or governing or struggle, it a collection of real life experiences..

It ran into two main stages , the first in Mekka when Moslims were an oppresed minority and later in Medina when Moslims become a strong sounding majority..

 

Having this brief in mind , it is very important for any one who try to understand Quran messages to be very knowlegable in three things

Detail history of the messages and early Islam

High experience in a one of most rich language in human history of Arabic

The prophet explanations "Hadith" to the complex phrases and his understandings

 

There is alot of difficulty in getting into such level of competency in interpreting Quran,

Those scholars who tried to put a complete interpretation are not more than few in Islam history.. Each one of them spent tns of years of his first to understanding the three.

The problem with interpreting the Quran messages is the issue of finding an agreed upon cridable resource of the Hadith and history.Both of them were written during the most protal tyrant eras where rulers inforce their point of views on both. That is why Shia is different in their understanding to the intention of Islam than Sunni ruler's sympathisers.. Same phrase might look at differently by different surounding detials. Having in mind that Quran's messages themself were collected more than twenty years after the death of the prophet, by the thrird Khalif .. It was collected in a very unexplainable way. Not in their historical sequence as expected but in their subjects. And here a non knowlegable reader might get confused.. Some of the messages instructions were over riden later "Naskh". When some one rely on a phrase that say some thing, another might come with a contradicting one..

 

 

Today what is needed is not the interpretion of Quran on a non agreed history and hadith, but also through recent human civilization development.. That is a task that might need a nother Prophet, something Islam itself prohipted as Quran considers Mohammed as the last one ever, and I need to comment on this last statement later!

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Dear JHC guy:

 

Well saying that christianity has been under control betrays your vast knwoledge of chritian history. LIke I said there are aprosimately 1.5 Billion muslims and a few thusand ones that are nuts. It took 180 years of indoctrination to craete thsi violent minority. Islam has a unified theology.

HOwever, the salafis are a coult. A rather large one now. There are many reasons for that. Muslims today are weary of any council because these theolgoians are also goveernment emplyees so they have as much ctredability as their governments. enough said

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Actually I said the reverse: "Not that that kept Christianity under control over time". Also, there was the comment about the 50 baptists perhaps killing each other (that was a joke - but with some element of truth).

 

Thanks for the information about Islam's unified theology - I certainly wouldn't have guessed that from the outside. From the view out here there seems to be deep divisions between Sunni and Shia; and between those who take up a peaceful interaction with other religions and those who call for aggression against non-believers.

 

It seems all religions have the problem of educating those outside their own world on their beliefs. Perhaps that is because the media that is relied on to transmit that information filters badly.

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