Critical Muslim 5: Love and Death

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He died without designating a successor. In the absence of a son, many thought it crucial that he make his wishes unequivocally clear, but though his final illness lasted 10 days the duration and symptoms seem to indicate bacterial meningitis , he never did so. Ironically, the prophet of unity -- one god, one people -- thus paved the way for the divisiveness between Sunni and Shiite that persists today. Click through the slideshow for a history of Islamic law :.

Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. An Afghan refugee reads verses of the Quran during the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan, in a mosque on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, Aug. Muslims throughout the world are marking the month of Ramadan, the holiest month in Islamic calendar. Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard. Join HuffPost Plus. Real Life. Real News. Real Voices. Let us know what you'd like to see as a HuffPost Member. Canada U.


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  5. In den Warenkorb. Zustand: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Aamer Hussein takes love to its logical conclusion, Robert Irwin traces the origins of the ghazal love lyric , Christopher Shackle recites epic Panjabi poems of sacred love and lyrical death, Imranali Panjwani mourns the massacre of Karbala, Martin Rose istaken hostage by Saddam Hussein, Jalees Rahman reflects on Nazi doctors who took delight in deathly experiments, Ramin Jahanbegloo is incarcerated in the notorious Evin prison, Hamza Elahi visits England's Muslim graveyards, Shanon Shah receives valuable guidance on love and sex from the "Obedient Wives Club," Samia Rahman sets out in search of love, Khola Hasan has mixed feelings about her hijab, Sabita Manian promotes love between India and Pakistan, Boyd Tonkin discovers that dead outrank the living in Jerusalem, Alev Adil takes "a night journey through a veiled self" and Irna Qureshi's mother finally makes a decision on her final resting place.

    About Critical Muslim: A quarterly publication of ideas and issues showcasing groundbreaking thinking on Islam and what it means to be a Muslim in a rapidly changing, interconnected world. Each edition centers on a discrete theme, and contributions include reportage, academic analysis, cultural commentary, photography, poetry, and book reviews. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days.

    Series: Critical Muslim. Num Pages: pages. Dimension: x x Weight in Grams: Books ship from the US and Ireland. Buchbeschreibung Hurst, The point was that if someone really had to be executed, it was to be done swiftly, with as little torture as possible, and usually publicly so that no vindictive person could do further nasty things behind the scenes and get away with it. Sharia should promote gender equality.

    In fact, the natural Islamic tendency is to always consider women as the weaker sex in need of care and protection, and come down hard on the men who allow their womenfolk to get into difficulties. Sharia does not require women to wear a burqa. There are all sorts of items of dress which are worn by Muslim women, and these vary all over the world. Burqas belong to particular areas of the world, where they are considered normal dress. In other parts of the world the dress is totally different.

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    The rule of dress for women is modesty, the word hijab implies 'covered'. Some Muslim women feel that they should cover everything from neck to ankle, and neck to wrist. Others also include a head veil this is the most controversial bit, and millions of Muslim women choose to wear it, or alternatively choose not to wear it - and there is much disagreement between the types!

    My own preference is a long black dress and a white headscarf - I have never worn a burqa in my life. Incidentally, when men try to enforce Muslim dress on women, this is forbidden - no aspect of our faith is to be done by coercion. It is up to the woman what she chooses to do - some choose full hijab and their men hate it! In Sharia Law any marriage that is forced or false in any way is null and void. It is not a proper marriage. Forced marriage is totally forbidden in Islam.

    False marriage is too - for example, some of our teenage girls are sent back to Pakistan for a holiday when they are about 15, and sign things they do not understand, and then find out later that they have been 'married' even if it has not been consummated. UK lawyers are getting far better at studying Sharia these days, in order to protect these girls from this particular culture. Forced marriage is not at all the same thing as arranged marriage.

    Muslims from many countries have a system of arranged marriages, in which the spouses may not have seen each other before marriage, but it always has to be with their free consent. The Prophet himself advised prospective spouses to at least 'look' at each other, until they could see what it was that made them wish to marry that person as opposed to any other. Women forced into marriage, or seeking divorce for general reasons, have the same sort of grounds in Sharia as in the west - cruelty, mental cruelty, adultery, abandonment, etc. They may even request a divorce for no specific reason whatever, so long as they agree to pay back the mahr marriage payment made to them by their husband if the husband does not wish to let them go but are obliged to.

    Men and women can have as many spouses as they can fit into a lifetime; but this is not generally approved. Women are requested to have only one husband at a time there is evidence that wealthy Arab women were polyandrous before the coming of Islam - certainly wealthy men were polygynous , and men are limited to four at one time, whereas previously there had been no limit, and a wealthy and generous man was expected to cater for as many women as he could afford in the absence of a welfare state.

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    Allah sent the proviso that no Muslim was ever to deliberately cause hurt or harm to another Muslim, so a man might not take extra womenfolk into his home if it would cause upset and distress it was recommended when there were lots of widows after warfare, if the women were willing to be generous to bereft 'sisters'. Also, if a man could not provide equal treatment of his wives - equal food, clothing, money, living quarters, time spent with - he was refused permission for polygamy.

    Equal sexual activity was not ruled on, however. Some wives had no sexual relationship with their husbands at all after a while, or if they came into the household as widows of relatives. Don't forget that most widows also came with their children. When the Prophet married the widow Sawdah he took on six of her children, and with Umm Salamah another four, for example.

    The rules are those of haram banned and halal allowed. All vegetable, fruit, grain and seafood is halal. Meat is halal providing it has been killed in the kindest possible way by a sharp instrument that pierces and kills swiftly sharp knife, bullet, sword , and the appropriate prayers are said at its death or at the time of eating if one is not certain. Muslims may not eat any food that has been sacrificed to idols e.

    Hindu meat , but kosher is fine. They may not eat any pork product or flesh with blood undrained from it; the most extreme Muslims will not touch anything that has animal fat included - even a biscuit - in case it is pork lard or gelatine from an animal not killed in the halal manner.

    If Muslims eat haram food without realising it is haram i. In cases of necessity, Muslims may eat anything available, even pork, rather than suffer hardship. Alcohol is haram. No-one is absolutely certain of her age when she married the Prophet, but it could have been as young as 6; some scholars believe she was ten years older. However, the majority go for the age of 6. The marriage that took place then was an agreement on paper, there was no physical relationship until Aishah reached puberty - but this in itself could have been at around 9 or 10 years old.

    That is not an unusual age for menstruation to start in hot climates, and once a girl is capable of producing a child she is regarded as technically a woman. Sex for children under 16 is forbidden by law in the UK at the moment, but this has not always been the case and it is nonsense to suppose that there is no sexual activity amongst children under 16 in this country. No-one is able to stop them and if the girls get pregnant they frequently have abortions. In Muslim countries it is considered far better to get youngsters married as soon as they show inclinations to have sex - then they can have it honourably, as much as they like, and the children born are not illegitimate.

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    Many Muslim countries in fact do try to keep to the age of about 16 for marriage as is the legal age in the UK , and prefer not to marry off their girls too young. Some societies expect marriages to be life-partnerships, but in others divorces are frequent if things do not work out and girls choose other husbands. In the Prophet's day, the normal age for boys to marry was about 15 and girls between , although some girls preferred to defer the role until their twenties if they had their own money.

    Don't forget, there was virtually no contraception and marriage implied having a baby every two years or so.

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    The used to feed babies as long as possible to avoid too frequent pregnancy. As far as I know, the Virgin Mary was around when she had baby Jesus, and she was living with her husband in one of these non-physical arrangements. The Prophet was certainly not a paedophile! He did not marry his first wife until she was 40, and he had no other wife until she died at the age of 65; then his second wife was in her 40s, to help him out while he was a single parent!

    The specific punishments are decided on by the lawyers of the land, many of whom have been educated and trained in the west! I think many Muslims in the UK would be in favour of Sharia law being implemented here, but true Sharia law is only really possible in a Muslim society, not in a non-Muslim or mixed society.

    Flogging for public drunkenness, for example, might make some of our louts and cruel men folk think twice before acting as they do, and thinking nothing of it. I once left my expensive camera on a wall in Egypt and it was gone when I returned for it - no big surprise. What was a surprise is that someone in that village found out where my coach had gone next and took the trouble to travel nearly miles to find me and return the camera - they had picked it up for safe-keeping and did not want any of their summer tourists it is hard for Egypt to get tourists in August!

    I was also very impressed by the way people just left shop tills and went off to mid-day prayers, trusting that no-one would steal their money or stock. I don't think lawyers in the UK would ever bring back the death sentence, but many people here think that they should. Personally, I could never bring a case against a man seeking his death for adultery, and I would not be willing to put even the worst of criminals to death myself. I feel the electric chair is far more barbaric than stoning.

    People gathering at executions were often those who had come to pray for and support the person being executed and not just ghoulish onlookers. I would feel just the same about witnessing such an execution as I felt about hanging when it was done here. I prayed all night before the execution of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hung in the UK.

    I think Muslims generally are shocked by the general lack of respect and discipline here, especially if they are immigrants and not born here. They are particularly shocked by lack of discipline in schools and the difficulties faced by so many teachers in getting children to behave in class and actually learn. They are shocked by the appalling rates of theft, drunkenness, drug addiction, sex outside marriage, abortions, rape of children and old ladies, homosexuality - especially when it is being put forward as quite normal and an acceptable alternative sexual lifestyle; homosexuals in positions of authority from teachers to MPs.

    They are also shocked by the general lack of respect for those in authority, and older people in general. In Muslim homes, children would probably be expected not to smoke in front of parents, not to sit down or start eating before them. ISBN: Teach Yourself. Search term:. Read more. This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets CSS enabled.

    CM05: Love and Death

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