Friday, April 13, 2007

Islamic websites : weeding out the true from the false

Someone brought my attention to the point that some websites which aim to inform about Islam are actually fake (regardless of who is suspected of having developped them so please do not bring that into the discussion). The objective is to do something about it not point fingers, so please some constructive information ok .

Therefore you must use your judgment when reading.

If any of you knows could you please update us whether the ones listed below are reliable or not ?


www.answering-islam.org
www.aboutislam.com
www.thequran.com
www.allahassurance.com

In general how can we vouch for the reliability of a website ( Islamic or otherwise ? )

18 comments:

Libyan Mental TV said...

Thanks Highlander, much appreciated

LMTV

programmer craig said...

The "answering-islam" one seems to be a Christian site that promotes dialog with Muslims. Similar to those offensive websites that Muslims set up that attempt to "explain" Christianity, from a Muslim perspective.

The "aboutislam" one is down, apparently.

"thequran" seems to be devoted to correcting errors in the Quran. Or, at least, point out obvious contradictions between what is written in the Quran and what is written in previous scriptures. There are many such obvious and direct contradictions and I've wondered myself about why Muslims never question that. I suspect that';s why most Muslims insist that both the Jewish and the Christian scriptures are forgeries, because since Arch-Angel Gabriel confirmed them as valid to the Prophet then really, they must not be the correct versions :O

I'm still wondering how Muslims think that somebody was able to completely re-write the Christian Bible some time after the Prophet's life. With hundreds if not thousands of monks who devoted their lives to writing Bibles (they didn't have the printing press then) there must have been thousands in existence by the 7th century. If not tens of thousands. Even if somebody could somehow produce tens of thousands of "fake" Bibles, how could they make the many millions of Christians who'd lived all their lives being taught one (legit) version of scripture, suddenly accept a completely different version of scripture as being valid? Translation errors are one thing, but it seems like expecting people to accept a complete re-working of basic principals is absurd.

Well, I've mentioned how much it hacks me off to be told by Muslims that my religion is based on forgery, so I'll leave that alone.

I think it's safe to say none of those websites is from a Muslim perspective. They seem to be trying to set the record strait, which is futile. The whole "forgery" accusation defeats any answer Christians may have for Muslims at all. Which is, I'm sure, why Muslims started using it.

The Lost Libyano said...

Therefore you must use your judgment when reading.

If any of you knows could you please update us whether the ones listed below are reliable or not ?


What are you braindead? Seriosly have you no logic. I dont mean to be disrespectful even though I am sure its going to come across that way but either you have some alternative motive, or you are the most naive person on the planet, or youve hit your head on something and you have lost all capacity to think.

Yes Highlander they are very reliable, I belive every Islamic School in the English speaking world is using these websites to teach their students.lol. Look judging on your previose posts and comments their is no way I can make the deduction that you are a stupid person, so please explain to me what exactly are you trying to say, because you are sending mixed signals.


The "answering-islam" one seems to be a Christian site that promotes dialog with Muslims. Similar to those offensive websites that Muslims set up that attempt to "explain" Christianity, from a Muslim perspective.

I agree the websites thrying to explain christianity and the ones trying to explain Islam are equally offensive.


"thequran" seems to be devoted to correcting errors in the Quran. Or, at least, point out obvious contradictions between what is written in the Quran and what is written in previous scriptures.


Lol. Thank you for the Christian perspective. I hope you dont do missonary work Craig, because when entering the feild people like Dr.Gary Miller will wipe the floor with you. And I am just giving you some advice, because I spend a good chunk of my time on "interfaith" blogs and if you come with mindless arguments such as the one you just posted.lol. Well lets just say you will be laughed out of town pretty quickly. But then again Craig dont worry if Highlander represents the next-gen Muslim's thinking capacity(from here comments) on religion you have nothing to worry about.

Well, I've mentioned how much it hacks me off to be told by Muslims that my religion is based on forgery, so I'll leave that alone.

Well it is. Sorry but thats just the plain truth its not a matter of opinion its a fact. Like the universe is steadly expanding or if you put you hand in a furnace you will get burned. if you want me to bring you flat out contridictions and errors I will be more then happy to.But with that being said if we engage in this conversation, intelectual honesty must be upheld. I am not going to twist you verses or make them appear as something they are not.

If you want a honest rational discussion, based on mutual respect for thr truth I am more then happy to engage in it with you. No Insults, No BS. I want some ligitamate interfaith dialogue, I am notintrested in slander and waked out interpertation of incest in the bible or rampant lesbianism in the quran, because belive me all I have heard this rubish and stupidity from both Muslims and Non-Muslims alike, and I am not intrested in wasting my time playing these childish games, so if you want to sit down like rational adults, and have honest dialect I am game. Productivity is the goal, even if we dont agree on this, hopefully we can come out with a better understanding of each others religions.

The Lost Libyano said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Highlander said...

I suspect that';s why most Muslims insist that both the Jewish and the Christian scriptures are forgeries, because since Arch-Angel Gabriel confirmed them as valid to the Prophet then really, they must not be the correct versions :O

Programmer_Craig, thanks for your effort to comment. With regards to the above, if the Qur'an contains a lot of contradictions would it not have been easier for God not to send Archangel Gabriel to confirm the legitimacy of the previous scriptures and set oneself up for future criticism. Why go to such trouble ever wondered about that ?
hmm I'm not sure what I'm trying to say here but I thought I better write down before the idea is lost. I'll probably get back to it in the next few days when it had time to cook in my head :P
I think we have only scratched the surface of knowledge (at least on my part).

Well it is. Sorry but thats just the plain truth its not a matter of opinion its a fact.

Lost Libyano, Craig is saying he feels offended. As a Muslim we try not to offend. Instead of saying the above you try to show the contradictions and explain the reasoning behind the thinking that the Book now may differ from the one 2000 years ago.

I don't feel offended when I hear people say that my Quran are satanic verses, I say to myself astaghfirullah,shrug and move on. I attempt to explain and debate with those who are up to discussing, whose heart is open and receptive but those who are deaf,blind and mute do not interest me the least. I also try to be gentle with people without attacking them .... that's naive lol and retarded but hey I think that is the middle ground that you are speaking about no ? ( btw I am not insulted by you Lost Libyano, because one day you praise me as the best Muslim on Earth and the next you claim I'm crazy so that reflects strangely on your perception :P - however I'm not the topic of this post so I'll leave it there).

Maybe we should all practice this on this blog and count to ten before posting something even when we think it seems logical to us whether we are from the East or the West.

I agree with you though that many Western converts to Islam do not carry any cultural baggage and therefore are more likely to be less biased.


As for the wesbites, now that I had a thorough look at them I would say they are legitimate, however they are not out there to explain Islam from the Muslim perspective neither are there for interfaith dialogue, they are a one-way monologue but it is very enlightening to read them.

The Lost Libyano said...

My spelling on that last comment was so horrible I didnt know what I was saying.lol

I was typing very fast. Here is a very, very quick edited copy of my comment. I dont have a dictionary or a spell checker, but hopefully its more understandable then the last one :P

In general how can we vouch for the reliability of a website ( Islamic or otherwise ? )


Uhh use your intelect???

Remember that the Prophet said; the first thing Allah created in the human being is his intelect.

In matters of religion dont belive a word anyone tells you.

Buy a copy of The Quran, learn the basic rules of religion, learn the diffrence between a Meccan sura, and one that was reveled in Medina.

Read things in context.
When looking at hadith, establish a timeline in order to tell which hadith supercedes the other.

Look at the narators of hadith, read books on the crediabilty of certain people. Look for proof the negates a persons reliabilty.

Read many diffrent translations and meanings. Beware extreamly cautiouse in reading the Quran without proper knowledge. If someone tells you something always ask for Quranic proof.

Beware of people with agendas who cut and paste verses, in order to push a certain veiw point.

Remember that you and you alone are responsible for your actions and interpertations. No one is going to answer for you on the day of judgement, except yourself. Be mindful of the Quranic rules of Shriah. Such as the general permissability of all things; meaning that which is not prohibited is permissible, and that nessecity overrides expectation.

Remember the goal of Islam and its Shriah is to establish happiness, prosperity, and justice to humanity in this life and in the hereafter. The Almighty says: "He has laid no hardship on you in [anything that pertains to] religion" (22:78).

If their is tyrany, hardship, or injustice, then the law has been perveted and is no longer divine, but a gross evil, that is being commited in the name of god. We should remember that "God wants to lighten your burdens" for God knows that "man has been created weak" (4:28). The Laws of Shriah are in benfit of mankind and not God, for God is free from all wants and worthy of all praise.

It is therefore imperative to understand the various parts of the Sharia in the light of the totality and ultimate purposes of the law. Islamic Law must be looked at adequately and in their proper context. Remember that people have diffrent opinions and like the prophet said, the diffrences of opinion in my ummah are a divine mercy from Allah.

Also Remember that people in diffrent times and places have diffrent opinions and ideas.

Remember Islam is good for all times and places, and thus Islam in Norway is diffrent then Islam in Pakistan. People usually look at the Quran through a cultural looking glass. I know I see things in a certain way while you may see things in a certain way. You may view me as radically liberal while I am view you as radically conservative.

That being said also remember that we must be very careful, and cautiouse with our interpertations for the prophet said "Whoever interprets the Qur'an without knowledge must take his seat in hell-fire."

Generally speaking Europeam Muslims in the west tend to be more reliable then Muslims from the east in matters of religion.

For they are enlightened, and do not carry around cultural bagage and superstitions. As you can see the vast majority of Muslim converts find Islam to be a very lovley religion, very simple, and then when the met people from our part of the world they are astounded with our stupidity and lack of reason.:P

Like the Great Cat Stevens says "Thank god I embraced Islam before I met a Muslim."

But then again I was born and raised in the west and someone from the east may view this as a bias. God knows I have a very diffrent mindset then you average Libyan. But then again I have a diffrent mindset then everyone. I am unique. :)

Always remember to take the middle ground in all issues. As the prophet said a Muslim is the one who takes the middle road, and keeps away from excesses.

Also remember that The Prophet said that those who are harsh in matters of religion are doomed. Also remeber to keep away from zealots, because the prophet said that the zealots will perish thrice, and thus if a bolt of lightening where to strike them, then you wanna be far away as possible.:)

Remember that Religouse extreams, was what brought the Children of Israel's demise.

The internet is a scourage dont trust websites and dont trust anyone in my humble opinion, dont be mindless and swear your alligance to a madhab.

These schools of thought are a product of middle age ijtihad.

They are a product of the independent translations and reasoning of their time. You live in 2007, your ijtihad should be quite diffrent then theirs. Remember what Ibn Burhaan says:

Divine laws are policies through which God regulates the affairs of His servants. The way of dealing with people in this regard varies according to the differences in time. Each period of time requires a type of regulation which caters to the general welfare specific to that time. In the same way, each nation has a type of regulation which is in its general interest, even though it may result in vitiating rights when applied to others.

Remember your little post a while back about The Mahrem issue. Well I was extreamly offended by the website you used to explain Shriah.

I felt you where not giving space for people to discuss the matter. The website which you posted was a example of a bad website, created by someone who in my opinion came from the 10 century. The man or women who wrote that website was deceptive, weather they where deceptive on purpose or by accident only God knows.

But they didnt reveal all the authentic hadith on the issue.


`Adî b. Hâtim relates that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said to him: "O `Adî, have you seen al-Hîrah (a region in Iraq)."

`Adî replied: "I have not seen it, but I have heard of it."

Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: "If you live long enough, you will see a woman departing by camel in a litter and traveling until she reaches the Ka`bah without fearing anyone but Allah."

`Adî informs us that he thought to himself: "Where are the robbers and bandits who run rampant through the land?" Then `Adî says: "I have seen a woman travel by camel litter from al-Hirâh to the Ka`bah fearing no one but Allah." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî]

This hadith shows us that it is permissible for a woman to travel unescorted if the road is safe. Someone might argue that the statement of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is merely reporting that such a thing would one day take place, not that it is permissible. However, this argument is weak. This statement is made in a context of praising Islam and showing its future ascendancy. Therefore, it must be assumed that what is being used to indicate such praise is permissible in and of itself. Moreover, `Adî b. Hâtim saw this woman and did not condemn her action, nor did anyone else.


The website also used the lingo of the 12 century in interperting the hadith.

The hadith literally states.

1) Sayyiduna Abu Sa'id al-Khudri (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: "Let no woman travel for more than three days unless her husband or a Mahram is with her". (Sahih Muslim).

2) Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: "A woman must not travel for three days except with a Mahram". (Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 1036 & Sahih Muslim).


The website interperted 3 days as not three actual days, but the distance in which one in the 12 century could travel in 3 days. We know from Authentic hadith Highlander that in the end times distances will be shorter as well time; for time and distance are relative.

Their is nowhere you can not travel to in times of danger that will take you longer then 3 days highlander.

But as we can see by incident which I have just posted on my blog; Europe is a place of danger for women wearing hijab, and women who do not have fair and ruddy complextions. So one should take caution when traveling their.

Now I dont know what you intention was by putting up that website. Allahu alam, but I felt that you where trying to show Islam as a failed and un-rational system. I might have misunderstood you. I do that sometimes:P

mani said...

salam

You'r a Sage of the Tao, Highlander.

Peace

Highlander said...

Yes Highlander they are very reliable,

In matters of religion dont belive a word anyone tells you.

You are contradicting yourself there Lost Libyano :P

Highlander said...

Mani thank you :)

Highlander said...

oh and LMTV you are welcome just wish you could post your comments in the proper topic :)

The Lost Libyano said...

I also try to be gentle with people without attacking them .... that's naive lol and retarded but hey I think that is the middle ground that you are speaking about no ?

no its not retarded. My statements where due to a misunderstanding of your post. The Prophet said " Deal gently with the people, and be not harsh; cheer them and condemn them not.

Ye will meet with many 'people of the Book' who will question thee, what is the key to Heaven? Reply to them (the key to Heaven) to testify to the truth of God, and to do good work. "

one day you praise me as the best Muslim on Earth and the next you claim I'm crazy so that reflects strangely on your perception :P

Like I said H I am unique:P
As is my perspective.

You really are a perplexing character. I have yet to understand.

For instance I have yet to understand the reason for this post. I have yet to understand your initial comments about the websites. Are they sarcastic?
Are you trying to make some kind of point?

Sometimes your opinions come across as those of someone who is a very good Muslim, and sometimes they come across as well I dont understand them, lets put it that way. Culture gap, age gap, intelegence gap, I dont know what it is but their is a gap. :P

Maybe we should all practice this on this blog and count to ten before posting something even when we think it seems logical to us whether we are from the East or the West.

Yes we should. I wont deny it, I am a very emotional person. I wear my heart on my sleave and I take offense to things very, very easily. I am very reactionary, and sometimes I say and do things without processing them fully, things when going back and looking at them seem illogical or contradictory.

As a general rule from past experiances I always assume the worst of people I dont know personally. I am very pesemistic, and i do feel that the vast majority of people do wish ill towards me and my religion. Maybe I am crazy, maybe I am paranoid, but thats just the way things are, if I feel the least bit threatened or offended I will immediatly say something, and without looking at the facts I will assume the worst of a person.

At the same time when I see something I like or something I view as good or honorable, I will think that person is the greatist and immediatly praise him or her to high heaven.

I know its wrong, and unreasonable, but I do and say things more often on the basis of what I feel, then what is logical.

People like Craig say that I am sometimes hateful, I dont think that the right word, angry is more like it. I dont think I am capable of hating, i have fits of anger in which I can say some very "hateful" things, and then if the very same person says something I like I will turn around and change completly with them in a second. One day hugging the next day punching, its all based on emotion. I could say that I would try to change and be more reasonable, but truth is, I think its DNA and its not possible to change its just who I am, who I always have been and who I always will be.

See take Saddam for instance I didnt like him, but when they killed him I sang his praises to high heaven, but a second later I read something about what he did to the kurds, and I was like that evil bastard, and then two seconds later I saw Oreily on the Tv rubbing his nose, in and I started calling Saddam a hero.lol. weird, I know.

mani said...

salam

whatever you do Libyano, always keep this honesty.

salam

programmer craig said...

And I am just giving you some advice, because I spend a good chunk of my time on "interfaith" blogs

LibyanWarrior,

there can be no "interfaith dialog" between Muslims and Christians. Muslims think Christianity is based on forgeries. How does one go about an "interfaith dialog" with a pertson who thinks your religion is false?

The idea is absurd on it's face. And I can just *see* you throwing around those Leviticus quotes like you do here all the time. Yeah, buddy. Right.

Is it the behavior of a good Muslim to tell bald-faced lies? The only "Christians" who engage in interfaith dialogs with Muslims are atheists who are pretending to be Christians for the sake of discussion. No Christian with faith would. There are many things in the Quran that would end such a discussion before it began, and it wouldn't take a serious person long to find them.

programmer craig said...

Hi Highlander,

With regards to the above, if the Qur'an contains a lot of contradictions would it not have been easier for God not to send Archangel Gabriel to confirm the legitimacy of the previous scriptures and set oneself up for future criticism. Why go to such trouble ever wondered about that ?

You're asking me to assume that Islam is a man-made religion and that Mohamed was a false Prophet. Very well. I will do so, since that is the position of all Christians re: Islam. I normally just point out that Christians do not accept the Quran or the Prophet.

There are two reasons why previous scripture had to be confirmed - based on my "Islam is man-made" position.

1) The inhabitants of the region were mostly Christians and Jews. The neighboring empire (Byzantium) was Christian. It's a no-brainer that the easiest way to get converts to a new religion is to tell the locals that it's a continuation of their current religion.

2) Islam is based entirely on Judaism and Christianity. But both have been altered heavily. It would have required substantially more work to try and found a completely new religion with no relationship to past ones. And, of course, a new religion doesn't have the historical credentials. Grandiose ideas could not be expressed by a simple reference to a past verse in scripture, nor could the emotive imagery. It would have been a tough road to hoe.

So, my position (and Christianity's position) on the contradictions between past scripture and the Quran is simply that the Prophet didn't know past scripture very well. Or he deliberately altered it to suit his purposes. Or both.

Now Muslims get to be as offended by what I just wrote as I am every time a Muslim says the Bible is forged, or that Jesus wasn't crucified. The symbol of my religion is the crucifix. Without Jesus dying for our sins, there is no Christianity. These claims are an attempt to dismiss Christianity as false. It's only fair that the favor be returned.

Maya M said...

All these sites make me shout, as the audience at some performances, "The author! The author!". A reliable Web page always contains information who has made it and why. Not that the full name, plus postal adress, should always be given. There are many reasons, some of them legitimate, to hide one's identity. But even in these cases decent authors give enough information about who they are. (If the information is false, you can usually find this out.) If e.g. you see a Web page claiming to be created by somebody who has left Islam and hates it, you may read it or navigate right away, but at least you are provided with the necessary information to choose what to do with the page. You cite a small sample of the tons of anonymous texts floating on the Web. Don't waste your time trying to sort them out, nobody has so much time! Let the creators say who they are, then you can agree or disagree with them.

Highlander said...

Maya, but the problem is when it concerns Islam, these sites are the ones to be quoted or those made my the religious police in KSA or those by other extremist or incomplete information from all sorts of info floating online... frustrating really :(

john said...

To Highlander,

Quote: "If you want a honest rational discussion, based on mutual respect for thr truth I am more then happy to engage in it with you."

I find it wonderful to find Muslims that are willing to talk about Islam and its traditions, particularly as they affect non-Muslims. From personal experience I have not found this to be the case in most circumstances. I think Lybiano did a good job outlining certain principles that should apply to any discussion.

Would either of you be willing to talk about things that I, a non-Muslim, find to be very offensive in Islam? Perhaps you can explain passages and events that are morally unacceptable to me and tell me if I am wrong and why.

Thanks

John Kactuz

PS: The word "fake" is not a good choice as relates to those sites. I pretty much stick to Muslim sites (more fun!) myself but I have seen some on your list described as "anti-islam" which is a better label than "fake Muslim." It is always nice to be honest about these things. John

Anonymous said...

Peace

I remember AboutIslam very well. It was a lovely site, Islamic to :)

AboutIslam.com was anti-Islamic, then it became Islamic. Now it's not much of anything. It was fun however; nice group of Muslims and None-Muslims till politics became too heavy.

That email warning is what got AboutIslam.com so many visitors - 100s of people recive it daily from friends since 1998 I think.

It was run by a new Muslima from NY and one from Ohio - but they got busy with life to.