A quiet evolution of faith… sort of

I was raised in a Christian household, but after attending weekly classes at a local mosque — asking questions, reading the Qur’an, praying and talking with Muslim women — I realized I was one of them, and took the shahada.

I was raised in a very religious Christian household. Religion is as much a part of our family’s identity as are the black eyed peas, corn bread and greens we eat after Sunday service. At any given time, guests who walk into our home would be greeted by Christian, TBN/Moody Bible/Focus on the Family orchestra blaring on all three televisions and the radio.

Outwardly, I sang in the church choir, orchestrated college trips to service and dutifully made communion every first Sunday.  But internally, a storm of confusion brewed. I think I concealed my doubts fairly well, but my mother’s perceptive eyes would press me about where I was in my faith. I tried to talk to her about it, and while our conversations would start off sane,  somewhere along the way I’d eventually pop up with one too many questions. Core-to-the-belief questions. Maybe even blasphemous questions. In fact, our exchanges would turn so heated, they would end in tears from the Mom I describe as my best friend. I hated hurting her and prayed every day for some sort of sign that would quell my doubts, but an emptiness persisted that I couldn’t seem to overcome.

True to my curious nature, I’m a bit of a news junkie. I watch Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck if for no other reason than to scoff at their crazy, vitriolic exclamations. On any given day, I cycle between Huffington Post, Jezebel, Slate, and other progressive news sites constantly checking for updates; I couldn’t tell you where or which article, but one of those sites reposted/linked to Altmuslimah.  And I was hooked.  Here was a forum where Muslims of various shades of skin, nationality and orthodoxy congregated, and to top it all off they were predominantly female voices.   Altmuslimah led me to a Web site penned by “Hijabman.” Disgruntled with the way Muslims were portrayed in the media, I was driven by a desire to prove that we, as a nation, are not at war with Islam.  As the national debate surrounding the proposed mosque and Islamic center in New York, and of course the subsequent antics of the idiotic Floridia pastor, took up more and more of my daily conversations, I would pull quotations from Altmuslimah as my “proof” that radical  Islam is not necessarily a true representation of Islam.  I wanted real explanations as to why the abuse of women is un-Islamic, and most of all, I was curious to learn where local cultural practices veered off of Islamic beliefs.  I found myself passing along posts by Hijabman and from Altmuslimah to friends.

One day, as I walked to my car I spotted a slip of paper annoyingly flapping in the wind underneath my windshield wiper.  When I yanked it out, ready to crumble and throw away, the words “Open Mosque Day” stared back at me. My inquisitive mind wanted to keep up and be in the know for my many water cooler conversations, so I went.  I sat in the front row with some trepidation, and was relieved when other bold souls asked the more sensitive questions.  As I was making my way out of the room, two teenage girls wearing jelbabs greeted me and politely asked what drew me to the meeting.  I was so afraid that I’d somehow antagonize them with my real reasons of curiosity, I wound up causing a bigger offense by making a weak joke about how I thought their head coverings made them look like a group of black ghosts.  Their response was two-fold.  One, check out the site WhyIslam.org and two, come back to a class the following Saturday.

Man, do I feel bad for that teacher!  I pressed him about every stereotype, every “abused Muslim woman forced into a polygynous marriage” story I’d ever been told. Sure, I had read all the articles Altmuslimah had dedicated to dispelling those myths, but surely that web community did not represent mainstream Islam? After five exhausting but exhilarating hours, certain truths stuck in my mind. My patient teacher never flinched at my relentless, pointed questions, and assured me he’d be back next week to show me more.  What he didn’t know was at that first meeting he hit the nail on the head, awakening within me simple, core ideas that I think I always instinctively knew to be true: to pray, to fast, and to make acts of charity were things that I always held close. Those were central aspects of my Christian faith that seamlessly carried over into Islam.  More important though, my teacher had answered the “Jesus question,” something that had always nagged me in my Christian faith.

So, week after week, I eagerly returned to that class. I asked questions, read the translation of the Qur’an, prayed, and chatted for hours with women from the class. After I answered a question for a fellow student in class, the teacher asked why I hadn’t taken shahadah–the solemn testimony of belief in one God and Muhammad as His messenger. I had no answer. It occurred to me then that I was a part of this community now. Wow. I really am… one of them, I thought. I am no longer a student, but am now a believer.That evening I took the literal leap of faith–the shahada.

So now, I am “in the closet.” I believe what I believe, but I am not prepared for the heartbreak that will someday ensue when I open up to my family about my faith. My always astute mother has upped the pressure, asking me each day if I feel like I’m living my life for Christ, representing him as I should. I mumble something about prayer, and try not to focus on the creases forming on her brow. One day, I will tell her Insh’allah. One day.

To be fair, I’m still wrestling with all that my reversion means.  I enjoy music (especially dancing).  I love movies.  Love them.  I have bold, not-meant-to-be-covered hair.  I wear loud high heels.  Stilettos even.  I can throw back a shot of whiskey with a straight face.  I’ve never considered myself second to any man.  I’m not a virgin, and no, I’ve never been married.  Not to mention all my gay friends.  Is there room in this world for me?  I’ve  started to let go of most of my “debauchery,” but nevertheless, I wonder how can something that seems to beautifully answer so many of my fundamental faith-based questions simultaneously fly in the face of everything else that is a part of my day-to-day life.  I am comforted to know that I am not the only one asking these questions; I love that Altmulimah is a forum where people feel candid enough to pose the very same concerns that are swirling around in my mind.  All I know is there is something about Islam – the surrender – that brings my soul peace.  Figuring out the nuances of what that means for my daily life is something I am still learning.

 

Image courtesy of Rudy Herman.

About

Joi Samson is a contributor to Altmuslimah.com.
  • areyousaying

    … so you abandoned one intolerant Abrahamic religion for another and you think it’s progress?

  • Kingofkings1

    Madam, I’m a little confused after reading your very well written essay. From my understanding, the islamic faith is not yet a part of the person if he/she chooses the parts that are acceptable to oneself and disregards the others. Some of the issues you mention lightly are indeed serious matters

  • AKafir

    JoiSamson:Congratulations on your new faith. I left that faith. You sound like a nice and very intelligent woman. I have a question for you regarding your new faith. I am not sure you know Maulan Maudoodi. Here you may want to refresh your memory: As you can see he was a real Scholar of Islam. He wrote a lot on Islam. Now he writes an exegesis on the Quran. And commenting on Sura 65 verse 4 he says (read his footnote 13):Ms. Samson, your newly acquired God, Allah, allows adult men to marry and have sex with little girls who have not even started menstruating for all time to come for Muslims. In Islam when a girl starts Menstruating, she is considered an adult. That is why a Pakistani Court over ruled the wishes of the father of a 12 year old girl who had attained puberty and had been sweet talked by a 25 year old man to “marry” him. The poor father said that the girl had been abducted and raped. Do you agree with the ruling of the Judge of the High Court of Lahore, Pakistan? Do you think the Judge understands what the Islamic laws are for young girls?I hope you will take the time to answer.In any event, best of wishes and luck to you in your new faith.

  • AKafir

    Joi Samson:You may want to listen to the human rights advocate (a woman) in Bahrain on arab TV: Here is a partial transcript if you don’t wish to listen:Interviewer: “Let’s not go into details…”Ghada Jamshir: “Let me tell you what ‘pleasure from sexual contact with her thighs’ means…”Interviewer: “Don’t give me the details…”Ghada Jamshir: “This is a violation of children’s rights! This constitutes sexual assault of the girl. What does ‘pleasure from sexual contact with her thighs’ mean? It means deriving sexual pleasure from an infant. How old is an infant? One year, a year and a half, a few months?”Is it conceivable for a grown man to have sex with an infant girl? And you people tell me that the Islamic Shari’a authorizes this? Forget about the mut’ah. Let’s talk about misyar. What do misyar marriages mean? You said that I’m a Sunni and that’s why I’m attacking the Shiites. No!”Interviewer: “Some people claim that.”]]What do you think? I showed you in the previous post that Allah allows adult men to marry and have sex with young girls who have not attained puberty that is pre-pubertal. What kind of sex do you think an adult man can have with an infant, who he marries temporarily (Mutah Marriages) for a few hours? Do you know these marriages are still valid in Iran, Lebanon, etc.? Do you think Bahrain listened to the westernised Ghada Jamshir or do you think the Mutah marriages are still the law in Bahrain?

  • spidermean2

    Joi Samson,You only thought you were a Chrsitian but you never were. Christianity is a GIFT from God. A gift of knowing Him personally.Ephesians 2:8-10Talking of “total surrender”, you can’t be a true Christian if you are not totally surrendered to the will of God.

  • ThomasBaum

    Joi SamsonYou wrote, “More important though, my teacher had answered the “Jesus question,” something that had always nagged me in my Christian faith.”Could you tell us what the “Jesus question” is?Could you give us the “answer” that your teacher gave to you?Could this “Jesus question” that you speak of be the “question” that Jesus posed to us, “Who do you say that I AM”?If this is the “question”, is the answer that your teacher gave you, that god did not think enough of his creation to become part of it in the most intimate manner possible and that is by becoming one of us?Is the answer to the “Jesus question” that Jesus is merely another prophet?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Kingofkings1

    Thomasbaum wrote:—————————————-Does that mean if I want to take care of my pet fishes, that the best way I can do so would be to become one of them?

  • AKafir

    KoK1 writes:”Does that mean if I want to take care of my pet fishes, that the best way I can do so would be to become one of them?”The Islamic Allah is far far more ‘omnipotent’ than the constrained God of the Christianity. The God of Christianity has to be good and cannot do evil. That means that there is an independent of God notion of good and evil. In Islam that is “Shirk” setting this independence of a “natural” law of Good and Evil. In Islam if Allah says “X” is allowed then it is allowed and if he says “X” is haraam then it is forbidden. There is no Good or Evil. It is allowed by Allah or forbidden by Allah. Fudging little prepubertal girls is allowed by Allah. Muslims never ask whether that is good or not. It never enters their mind. What the little girl feels is not an issue. What anyone feels is never an issue. The Christian God created man in his own likeness. The Christian God loves his creation and will not do anything to harm his creation. In Islam, man has no semblance to God who is so far removed from man that he really cannot be understood at all. It is impossible for the Christian God to mislead his creation. Allah on the other hand boasts about his omnipotence and tells that he misleads who he wills.002.006Allah is stating unambiguously that he chooses to close off the hearts, hearing and sight of the unbelievers. There is no question that the humans may be sincere in his non-belief. He may really “think” with his whole being that Islam is wrong, but that is because Allah has made sure that poor sucker can never believe so he can rot in hell. When one considers all the differences between Allah and the Christian God, it is not surprising at all that the muslim KoK1 would wonder why his unknowable Allah ever want to become a worthless and useless less than a speck of a dust human. He possibly cannot understand the concept of “love” that the Christian God represents and why he is called “Father”. Allah is not the same as God. Just as Zeus was never anything like the Mayan Creator Q’uq’umatz. Imagine a believer of one trying to ridicule the other by mistaking the two to be identical.

  • AKafir

    I know, I know the Surah Kafiroon that you are stating is to express total disgust at the Kafirs. You are most welcome to what you believe. And so so Islamic to wish others horrible torture for eternity in hell. The fact remains that you asked a question of a believing Christian about his God, and your question is phrased pretty much the way Muslims have asked it since the beginning of Islam. Muhammad caused the confusion by trying to ex-appropriate the religions of Christianity and Judaism by claiming that Allah was the same God that the Christians and Jews worshipped. It is not. Muhammad ended up creating a deity that is aloof and remote and very very different from either the Christian God or the Jewish Yahweh. The nature of the God that a civilisation worships, and how they define and understand their deity affects the culture and society of that civilisation.

  • ThomasBaum

    Kingofkings1 You asked, “Does that mean if I want to take care of my pet fishes, that the best way I can do so would be to become one of them?”I ask of you, did you create your pet fishes?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    Kingofkings1I might also inquire as to whether your “pet fishes” were created in your image and likeness?I don’t know if you know that in the bible, it is written, in Genesis, “Then God said: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground.” I was wondering, is this another thing in the bible that the koran says is a lie?If you notice, “in our image, after our likeness”, even in Genesis, the Trinity is alluded to.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Rongoklunk

    “During the youthful period of mankind’s spiritual evolution human fantasy created gods in man’s own image, who, by the operations of their will were supposed to determine,or at any rate to influence the phenomenal world. Man sought to alter the disposition of these gods in his own favour by means of magic and prayer, The idea of God in the religions taught at present is a sublimation of that old conception of the gods. Its anthropomorphic character is shown, for instance, by the fact that men appeal to the Divine Being in prayers and plead for the fulfilment of their wishes.”Nobody, certainly, will deny that the idea of the existence of an omnipotent, just and omnibeneficent personal God is able to accord man solace, help, and guidance; also, by virtue of its simplicity it is accessible to the most undeveloped mind.”But, on the other hand, there are decisive weaknesses attached to this idea in itself, which have been painfully felt since the beginning of history. That is, if this being is omnipotent then every occurence, including every human action, every human thought, and every human feeling and aspiration is also His work; how is it possible to think of holding men responsible for their deeds and thoughts before such an almighty Being. In giving out punishment and rewards He would to a certain extent be passing judgement on Himself. How can this be combined with the goodness and righteousness ascribed to Him?”

  • Rongoklunk

    And now for something completely different.1. Creationists make it sound like a theory is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night — Isaac Asimov2. I dont believe in God. My god is patriotism. Teach a man to be a good citizen and you have solved the problem of life. — Andrew Carnegie3. All thinking men are atheists. — Ernest Hemingway4. Lighthouses are more helpful then churches. — Benjamin Franklin5. Faith means not wanting to know what is true. — Friedrich Nietzsche6. The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. — George Bernard Shaw7. Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile. — Kurt Vonnegut8. I believe in God, only I call it “Mother Nature”. — Frank Lloyd Wright9. Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. — Denis Diderot10. A man is accepted into a church for what he believes and he is turned out for what he knows. — Samuel Clemens11. The whole thing is so patently infantile, so foreign to reality, that to anyone with a friendly attitude to humanity it is painful to think that the great majority of mortals will never be able to rise above this view of life. — Sigmund Freud12. Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. — Edward Gibbon13. The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church. — Ferdinand Magellan14. Not only is there no god, but try getting a plumber on weekends. — Woody Allen15. Its an incredible con job when you think about it, to believe something now in exchange for something after death. Even corporations with their reward systems dont try to make it posthumous. THINK ABOUT IT. THINK!!!

  • ThomasBaum

    Rongoklunk You wrote, ” That is, if this being is omnipotent then every occurence, including every human action, every human thought, and every human feeling and aspiration is also His work; how is it possible to think of holding men responsible for their deeds and thoughts before such an almighty Being.”and attributed this to “Albert Einstein from “Out Of My Later Years” pp26-27″Just because Albert Einstein, apparently, could not imagine that “God” could possibly create a being that is capable of making their own decisions rather than a being that is totally unable to make a decision and therefore could not be responsible in any way for what they do since it wasn’t that being’s decision anyway, means absolutely nothing except maybe that Albert Einstein could not “conceive” of something that “far different from himself”.Just because God “knows” (Omniscience) absolutely everything about us even before we are conceived, does not in any way take away from our ability to make our own decisions and since God has this “knowledge”, have you ever thought that this could be at least one of the reasons why God came up with God’s Plan even before creation?By God’s Plan, I am referring to God’s “decision” to “save” absolutely All of us, seemingly, in spite of the fact, that virtually no one wants God to do this.I believe that with some people, it is not so much that they do not believe in God, it is just that they do not believe in what others “conceive” of God to be.Even tho it has not been all that long ago that I first heard it, the following statement has probably been around for quite awhile: God created us in His Image and Likeness and we have been trying to return the favor ever since.It seems to me that many of the “believers” are going to be more shocked when they, eventually, meet God than many of the “non-believers”.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • detroitblkmale30

    rongoklunk:THINK ABOUT IT lol

  • detroitblkmale30

    Sorry to hear you have left the body of Christ. While I do beleive we should always question and explore the faith, Im saddened that journey led you out of the fold. I nonetheless pray for your well-being and an glad you have some semblance of peace and happiness

  • detroitblkmale30

    “I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details.”-Einstein “In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views.” The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University, page 214

  • ThomasBaum

    Rongoklunk A few comments.2. I dont believe in God. My god is patriotism. Teach a man to be a good citizen and you have solved the problem of life. — Andrew CarnegieI suppose that Andrew Carnegie does not consider war to be one of the “problems of life”.5. Faith means not wanting to know what is true. — Friedrich NietzscheFaith may be wondering if there is something that is TRUTH rather than whether something is true or false.6. The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. — George Bernard ShawFirst off, are these “facts” and second is it about being “happy” or about something much more important than one’s happiness?7. Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile. — Kurt VonnegutHas Kurt Vonnegut ever even thought about such a thing as a “questioning faith”?8. I believe in God, only I call it “Mother Nature”. — Frank Lloyd WrightJust because some cannot conceive that there could possibly be anything other than the physical creation that they perceive with their created physical senses does not in any way mean that this physical creation is all that there is.9. Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. — Denis DiderotDoes anyone know or have an opinion as to why some seem to believe that their “freedom” is contingent on the destruction of others?12. Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. — Edward GibbonWho has determined that the “wise” in the above statement are “wise”? Could it have been Edward Gibbon that has made this determination?You then wrote, “THINK ABOUT IT. THINK!!!”It is good for one to think about it and not let others do one’s thinking for them, some of the thoughts that one may just want to think about: Is this all there is?, Is there a reason that we have reason?, Is life for all of its sorrows and joys, ultimately, meaningless or is there meaning?Just because, according to some of the quotes that you have provided, some have come to the conclusion that life is, ultimately, meaningless, does not mean that all will come to that conclusion.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Rongoklunk

    detroitblkmale30;Unfortunately Newton missed The Enlightenment by a whisker, otherwise he’d have been an atheist too.

  • Rongoklunk

    detroitblkmale30There’s no doubt that Einstein used the word ‘god’ as a metaphor; a metaphor for all that was mysterious and unknown. I think he might just as well have used the phrase “Mother Nature”, because that’s what he meant.

  • Kingofkings1

    AKafir wrote:”Take all the heads of the people

  • AKafir

    KoK1 writes: “I will not ask a question now, but let your scripture that you believe and trust do the asking:”I am not a christian, and hence there is nothing I have to say about what you post apparently from the OT or the NT.However, it is a funny way to respond to what I say about Allah. You are quoting the OT, every single one. That tells me that you are not familiar with the bare minimum of Christian Theology and the break NT makes with OT, and why they think Christ is the Son, and why God assumed the human form of the Son. But hopefully a more knowledgeable and more believing Christian will respond.I do have a question. Do you believe as nearly all muslims do that the Mother of the Book is eternal, and has been there since the beginning of time? Does the very rigid predestination that leads to bother you in the slightest? From the Beginning of Time, Allah had already cursed the uncle and aunt of Muhammad and written it down in the Koran. 111.001 PICKTHAL: The power of Abu Lahab will perish, and he will perish. They were going to burn in Hell for eternity and Allah wrote that down at the Start. What chance did Abu Lahab or his wife ever had? Why create that soul to torture for eternity? How can any soul have any free will with such a predestined outcomes?

  • AKafir

    KoK1:I did not read the answer carefully, but as I said before a believing Christian can argue with you.But what is your point?I am unclear exactly what is it that you are trying to say by posting all those verses from the OT.

  • detroitblkmale30

    Rongoklunk: wrong Einstein did not believe in a personal God, but he did believe in the existence of a God that created the universe. The following is also by Einstein:I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details.”My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.”I’m not an atheist and I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangements of the books, but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.”"Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.”As you see there is no “she” in mother or other entity he refers to. No metaphor, he is speaking literally of a God. He does use metaphors however to describe God and our relation to him. He clearly is speaking of a God. Nice try though.

  • Kingofkings1

    justacomment wrote:——————————————All of your questions can be answered simply by substituting “girlfriend” or “mistress” in western countries, instead of 2nd wife or beyond in islamic countries. Probably 95% of polygamous marriages involve 2 wives. It would be extremely hard to support 3 households or more with the usual legitimate income.

  • Kingofkings1

    Kooky Kafir wrote:Jesus recommends that to avoid sin we cut off our hands and pluck out our eyes. This advice is given immediately after he says that anyone who looks with lust at any women commits adultery. 5:29-30

  • detroitblkmale30

    justacommentI was with you until that last line. Perhaps another option, brilliant and clear thoughts after exhausting all scientifc possibilites, arrive at one final and lack of an alterntate conclusion in their minds as both Newtons and Einsteins writings specifically state: we did not create ourselves nor did the universe create itself. Afterall atheists are the only people who seem to suggest the impossible: everything came from absolutely nothing.Even the religious beliefs are possible, improbable as they may be, but not impossible. At least if one were to postulate it was artifical intelligence/aliens that created the universe I could understand that position better.

  • ThomasBaum

    Rongoklunk You wrote, “Unfortunately Newton missed The Enlightenment by a whisker, otherwise he’d have been an atheist too.”I can see how you can speak for yourself but how can you possibly speak for Newton?Sounds a little bit like arrogance to me, what does it sound like to you?Since you have taken it upon yourself to speak for others, do you think that it is fine and proper for others to take it upon themselves to speak for you?See you and the rest of humanity in the Kingdom.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    Kingofkings1 You wrote, “*”For our God is a consuming fire!” Do you have any idea what this “consuming fire” is?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    Kingofkings1 Your answer, so to speak, to justacomment was, “All of your questions can be answered simply by substituting “girlfriend” or “mistress” in western countries, instead of 2nd wife or beyond in islamic countries.”Just a guess, but considering that most of the “girlfriend” or “mistress” in western countries are probably not known to the “wife”, does this mean that the wife or wives that come after the first are not known to the first wife in islamic countries?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Rongoklunk

    detroitblkmale30;Hi. What can I say? We could go forever and end up where we started from.On the Einstein question I must agree that he made many ambiguous statements on what he believed. And yes – he wasn’t fond of the word atheist. But read again what he writes here, because his beef is with the anthropomorphism of god – which of course means believing that god was a superperson – one we can pray too and worship, and who lives in the sky,etc. He fought this notion because scientifically it makes no sense.He says here;”This qualification has to do with the CONCEPT of God. During the youthful period of mankind’s spiritual evolution human FANTASY CREATED GOD’S in MAN’S OWN IMAGE, who, by the operations of their will were supposed to determine, or at any rate to influence the phenomenal world. Man sought to alter the disposition of these gods in his own favour by means of magic and prayer, The idea of God in the religions taught at present is a sublimation of that old conception of the gods. Its anthropomorphic character is shown, for instance, by the fact that men appeal to the Divine Being in prayers and plead for the fulfilment of their wishes”Einstein from “Out Of My Later Years”.What he meant by the word ‘god’ is not what most religious folk mean by the word god. When we use the term ‘Mother Nature” we don’t imagine a little old lady in a headscarf planting seeds and watering them. But we DO umagine God to be some all knowing, all powerful SuperPERSON who resides (up there) in another dimension. And that is the big quibble.I’m sure that Stephen Hawking has used the word ‘god’ from time to time. In his new book “The Grand Design” he concludes by saying that no god was necessary to account for the creation of the cosmos. He is a brilliant guy – trying to figure things out – and understand how it all came to be. And dismisses the God hypothesis. In conclusion I’d like to say that atheists generally are more interested in the truth than in anything else. Most atheists have dropped the God idea as mythical and foolish in this modern and amazing world we live in. Cheers

  • ThomasBaum

    Has anyone ever considered that just because we can not comprehend God doesn’t mean that there is no God but simply that God is beyond our comprehension.See you all in the Kingdom.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Sara121

    DETROITBLKMALE30″…suggest the impossible: everything came from absolutely nothing.”Two problems here. First, that everything came from nothing is not the only, nor the most useful or discussed hypothesis for the formation of the universe. There are others, do some research. Secondly, the question of where god came from is a perfectly valid question. If you postulate that god was always there or came from nothing, it is actually much less of a stretch to apply that idea to the universe. Though most scientists probably don’t. Just because we don’t yet know the answers to how the universe came to be or because current research designs haven’t hit all the necessary points yet, doesn’t mean we should just quit, ascribe it to god, and call it a day. That’s intellectually lazy.

  • AKafir

    @KoK1:You are quoting more passages from the bible; apparently from the NT now. But, you did not and perhaps do not want to tell exactly why are you quoting these? What should they tell us? How do these relate to Allah and Islam? Do you understand that there was such a thing as the reformation in the sixteenth century? It has a little bearing on how the bible verses are read and understood now. The Christians went through their sectarian killings quite a ways back. Can you say the same about Islam? I am sure you will find the Islamic view point at one or the other website from where you are getting the bible passages. Why do they quote the bible passages?

  • Rongoklunk

    Has anyone ever considered that just because we can not comprehend a Flying Spahgetti Monster doesn’t mean that there is no Flying Spahgetti Monster. but simply that a Flying Spahgetti Monster is beyond our comprehension.See you all in the KitchenDon’t worry. Be happy.

  • Rongoklunk

    Has anyone ever considered that just because we can not comprehend a Tooth Fairy doesn’t mean that there is no Tooth Fairy. but simply that a Tooth Fairy is beyond our comprehension.See you all under the pillow.Don’t curry. Be wappy.

  • detroitblkmale30

    Sara121:It really is the prevailing and most widely held scientific belief just as with evolution. I do not hear the scientific world suggesting we make room for other theories with regards to evolution why should we with the Big Bang. Besides every scientific theory in this arena begins with some mass of hot gases as its point of origin. I would submit the Kindgergaten Test to these theories. As anyone who has had kids can attest, the most difficult questions sometimes come from 5-year olds and their common “but where did that come from?” mantra. Utilizing that repetitious line of inquiry, one arrives at “nothing” pretty quickly. Faith is not intellectual laziness. I’ve already shown there are many dead and living great scientific minds who no one would suggest are lazy academically, who beleive in a divine creator.

  • JUSTACOMMENT

    @KINGOFKINGS1,You posted: “All of your questions can be answered simply by substituting “girlfriend” or “mistress” in western countries, instead of 2nd wife or beyond in islamic countries.Probably 95% of polygamous marriages involve 2 wives. It would be extremely hard to support 3 households or more with the usual legitimate income.”Thanks for your answer.You skipped question 1 about polygamy statistics. I found that “The ratio of Qatari men marrying a second wife dropped from 6.6% to 4%”. Hope you can suggest better sources.In relation to question 2, probably you missed to focus on the religious point of view, not secular laws or cultural customs. You conceptually equate a husband having secret mistresses in western countries with Islam accepting to openly have multiples wives. It’s possible that cases of mistresses and polygamist tend to be the same percentage.Nevertheless, let me apply the substitution you suggested to each inquiry so we see how it matches with what you intended to answer. Multiple mistresses/wives:If the husband never talk previous to his marriage with his actual wife about getting additional wives, can the husband unilaterally go ahead without consultation with the current first wife? Because this is not generally accepted by women in western marriages, by substitution Islam today says is not admissible for the husband to get a second wife after marriage (please confirm). What if she says no? As explained above, in western countries only in extremely exceptional cases a husband dares to ask this to his wife, thus doesn’t apply. By substitution Islam has today no official rule on this (pls. confirm).If a husband has several wives, is customary to have all them living in the same dwelling? There is no case that I know where a western wife accepts to share dwelling with a mistress, by substitution Islam prohibit the husband to bring a second wife to the dwelling he lives in with the first wife (pls. confirm).Can the husband refuse? If the western wives don’t consider their husbands with even one mistress, this doesn’t apply. By substitution Islam do not have any special rule about this type of request (pls. confirm).

  • detroitblkmale30

    Rongoklunk:I do agree. We could go back and forth all day on this and have lol. The quote, what you see depends on where you stand, was never more true between atheists and believers. I agree as well Einstein was a contradiction on faith. On one hand he embraced a God who created the universes, one who basically wound up the forces of our existence like a robot and then pushed it on its way, but didnt embrace a God who could be petitioned to make any further interventions into the matters of the universe. I personally dont see how you can have one without the other, but alas the contradiction. I’m aware of Hawking very brilliant man. We could line up pro-faith vs anti-faith smart minds and go back and forth to no avail.

  • Sara121

    I note no great willingness to apply your “kindergarden test” to god. But beware: should such a question be satisfactorily answered, god would no longer be faith, but be science. To not ask that question but to continue to ascribe the unknowns to a god is lazy. As for all of the scientists mentioned earlier during the battle of the quote book, I would not be at all surprised if they did contemplate that question. God is something of a placeholder in that regard. Something to put down until something better comes along that can actually be observed, tested, and potentially falsified. And as all of these great scientists have shown us, we always seem, eventually, to be able to come up with something better. There’s no reason to think that trend will stop. That is the imaginative part of science – to come with explanations for observations, explanations that have something you can test for, and the test will either support, or falsify. There’s nothing bad about falsification. It takes you one step closer to knowing what something is by knowing what it isn’t. As for the universe, “something from nothing” is certainly there, as is the idea that the universe collapsed in on itself and re-expanded, or collapsed black holes or supernovas, multiple dimensions. Could be any one of those or none of those. Again, that is the imaginative part of science. The ideas help people build research designs. Just because no one has come up with a better idea YET, doesn’t mean no one ever will. The point is, you can’t simply ascribe unknowns to a god as anything more than a placeholder idea, then simply quit trying to figure out that unknown empirically. It’s quitting halfway through.

  • detroitblkmale30

    Sara121:By all means apply it to God. Afterall if one were to accept God as the allpowerful creator of the all things, its not a stretch to assume that life in all forms including his own either began with him or always existed with him. Not really, God would still exist, it simply would not take faith to believe in him. That would not make him science, perhaps just scientifically proven.”There’s nothing bad about falsification. It takes you one step closer to knowing what something is by knowing what it isn’t.”Except for two problems. How can these scientists have falsified something that you claim doesn’t exist? Secondly, we havent even arrived at what “something isnt” We havent definitively concluded that a supernatural creator is impossible or “isnt” Man simply can’t prove that it is, hence the rub.”The point is, you can’t simply ascribe unknowns to a god as anything more than a placeholder idea, then simply quit trying to figure out that unknown empirically. It’s quitting halfway through.”

  • Rongoklunk

    detroitblkmale30Enjoyed your response, it made a kind of sense – and I respect your belief. Ok so you’ve found what you’re looking for. Cool. I guess I haven’t. To me – accepting God as the answer to life’s big questions is a cop-out. It’s too easy. Means you don’t have to look anymore. And there’s not the teeniest weeniest bit of evidence to support it. If that doesn’t matter to you, well, OK.Actually positing a God (of the anthropomorphic kind) complicates the problem enormously, because now we have to figure out – where the hell did He come from????I’m sure it must feel good to believe as you do. But I don’t wonder if you ‘ve found anything at all, except a hope that somebody is up there – who loves you and promises you eternal life. Good on ya. By the way – my Spaghetti Monster and Tooth Fairy posts were not directed at you, but at the deluded gentleman who wrote the ludicrous statement about God preceding my comments – which actually said nothing at all – in a mixed-up way – which if you substitute Tooth Fairy for God – you then realise how emptyheaded the statement is. Cheers. We’ll meet again on these threads from time to time. It’s been fun.

  • Kingofkings1

    Justacomment:I don’t think men in western countries generally seek permission to have a girlfriend from their wives. I don’t believe it’s necessary in islamic polygamy, but many generally do ask.I know of some cases of women suggesting a second marriage and even assisting the husband in finding a second wife because of what the woman felt was excessive demands for sex.Excessive details are not necessary in my opinion if you get the general idea

  • ThomasBaum

    Rongoklunk You wrote, “By the way – my Spaghetti Monster and Tooth Fairy posts were not directed at you, but at the deluded gentleman who wrote the ludicrous statement about God preceding my comments – which actually said nothing at all – in a mixed-up way – which if you substitute Tooth Fairy for God – you then realise how emptyheaded the statement is.”I am, as you put it, “the deluded gentleman”, and what I wrote was:”Has anyone ever considered that just because we can not comprehend God doesn’t mean that there is no God but simply that God is beyond our comprehension.”It is a simple statement and sometimes our ridicule of rather than our thinking about simple statements speaks volumes.One of the thoughts that you posed, “Actually positing a God (of the anthropomorphic kind) complicates the problem enormously, because now we have to figure out…”Not only people but God has presented God in “anthropomorphic ways” and the reason for this is that language and our comprehension is just not up to comprehending God.Can you comprehend or conceive of Love being a Being?I can’t, but God is a Being of Love, Pure Love.God has not only been spoke of in “humanly terms” but also in other ways such as, God has also compared Himself to a “Mother Hen”, does this mean that God is a Mother Hen or is God just trying to get something thru to us?It is also written that God said, “My Ways are not your ways and My Thoughts are not your thoughts”.Could this be God attempting to get us to think? By the way, God is neither a Male, a Female nor an It, even tho God-Incarnate was a Male.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Kingofkings1

    Justacomment:

  • detroitblkmale30

    Rongoklunk:”Actually positing a God (of the anthropomorphic kind) complicates the problem enormously, because now we have to figure out – where the hell did He come from????

  • detroitblkmale30

    JUSTACOMMENTIt is not my place to tell anyone how to run their lives.I can simply offer what I beleive and why, if people choose to accept that for themselves, wonderful if not, I cant force them. Faith by definition, doesnt require evidence anymore than science requires faith.I got news for you DBM30, we will never arrive to a definitive conclusion that God cannot exist nor that he actually doesn’t exist. You know, negatives cannot be proved.”But let’s say that a super powerful and super knowledgeable god(s)/goddess(es) exists. Which one is the real thing among hundreds if not thousands of gods and goddesses known to humanity. Why Allah and not YWH or God Trinity? Why not other one like Krishna or Buddha? Why not the Pagan gods and goddesses?”Well, I cant speak for those Gods as I dont beleive they exist. Those adherents are free to believe that my God doesnt exist. In the end only one of us can be correct. My belief is that those who have passed into eternity already know the answer to your question. The discussion here however has been the suggestion that ANY God does not exist. Obviously I disagree. “After all close to 70% of the humanity don’t agree that Jesus (or God Trinity) is the real god. Not that numbers are definitive as evidence, but religious people frequently use numbers to prove god.”I don’t beleive in numbers to justify one’s religion, afterall in my belief, when Jesus walked the earth, his folowers initially were miniscule in number by todays standards. His message however was no less significant with 12 followers than it is today with 2.2 billion. However, to be a stickler, your numbers are misleading. Christianity is the world’s largest religion. 1 out of 3 religious people in the world do believe in Jesus. 21% in Islam, 14% Hindu, Buddist 6% etc..includling Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist as piece of this pie they equal 16% or 1.1 billion.”Nevertheless if you belong to the religion organization that follows Jesus, you are not in control. You accept responsibility of all good and bad things done by the organization.”Actually God/Jesus is in control the organization and its beleivers follow Him. We are only responsible for our own actions, not those of others or religious organizations.God will only hold me accountable for my life not others and their actions.

  • greenstheman

    Ms Samson, I think you are not alone in your search for God by questioning many core values, in the search for God’s Truth we as individuals must be sure in that God that we are going to entrust our eternal life.If you questioned to your mom or pastor about Jesus, and is He whom He claimed to be, is not blasphemy but your search for truth about Jesus.I hope you find God’s truth, His truth is never changing and it is exclusive, if it were not exclusive it would not be Truth.Christ was God incarnate on earth, what sets Him apart is that He did not only take all our sins and nail it on the cross for all of us, but He told us He would rise again on the 3rd day. The fact He rose on the 3rd day is proof that He is The Son of God He claimed to be.Do not forget, the Pharasies where more aware than his deciples of what it would mean if on the 3rd day Christ’s tomb was empty, so they asked Pontious Pilate to put guards around the tomb, and so it was done, also a big rock was rolled to seal the tomb. Over the years there has been no shortage of people who would love to prove that there is a body in the tomb where Christ was laid, it has been over 2,000 years and no such proof has ever been found.No other religion has a savior that came to the world, was innocent of all sin, overcame all temptation, and gave up His life willingly to save a fallen world. While we were still His enemies he died on the cross to atone for our sins and to give eternal life to those who believe in Him, and rose again on the 3rd day.For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.Truth by definition must be exclusive, because it remains true wether you or i do not believe it to be so.There is not enough acts of kindness, there is not a certain number of prayers we can say in a day, there are not any number of works we can do to earn our way to heaven. Christ did it for us already, all we have to do is to believe in Him.He is Risen, He LIVES!!!

  • JUSTACOMMENT

    @DETROITBLKMALE30,Thanks for your post. Here are my commentsYou said: “It is not my place to tell anyone how to run their lives.” Hey, you seem to be a cool religious person. It confirms what I said when I described my close family and friends. They individually are cool believers, just like you. No surprise on that. But when they contribute tithes to a religious organization, I belie they accept some if not full responsibility of what that organization does with their money. For example, if the organization pay lobbyists to tilt laws for their church get embedded in the government and tell everybody in the country how to run their life, each follower of that church share some responsibility unless they stop paying and renounce their membership. They cannot simple look the other way.You said: “Faith by definition, doesn’t require evidence anymore than science requires faith.” Sorry, I’m not sure if I get your point here. Rather skip to comment on it.You said: “I was simply pointing out the impossible. Hence the possibility of God will always be with us, that which is not impossible, is by intuition, possible.” Agree with you on this in a general sense. That is, as a general rule I agree that you can replace God with whatever and still means the same you want to say about god. For example, an UFO expert can assert that “the possibility that Obama is an extraterrestrial always will be with us, that which is not impossible, is by intuition, possible. That is why I believe with profound faith that Obama is extraterrestrial. My intuition so tells me.”You said: “The discussion here however has been the suggestion that ANY God does not exist. Obviously I disagree.” Your clarification is valid, thanks. Also you have all the right in the world to disagree.You said: “However, to be a stickler, your numbers are misleading. Christianity is the world’s largest religion. 1 out of 3 religious people in the world do believe in Jesus.” The arithmetic in this is simple: if 1 out of 3 believe in Jesus, 2 out of 3 don’t believe. 2 out of 3 is close to 70%. Am I missing something here?You said: “Actually God/Jesus is in control the organization and its beleivers follow Him. We are only responsible for our own actions, not those of others or religious organizations.” There is not credible evidence that God/Jesus are in control of anything in the material world, much less to have control of the actions of the church leaders and each member of the flock. You can contradict me with evidence if you have some. If you have evidence, it will not look nice that the church makes good and horrible things, all under the control of God/Jesus.You said: “God will only hold me accountable for my life not others and their actions.” That’s not what I understand about Christianiy, but you must know better than me on this. My doubt is that when you were born God, if he/she/it really exists, hold you accountable for the life of Adam and Eve and their actions. Right?

  • detroitblkmale30

    justacommentThanks for your questions. I think you have the impression of me because I dont see myself as a religious person, blindly following something I havent questioned or researched, but for me its relational so to best of ym ability I can combine my faith experience with what exists in the world and be civil about it. Jesus himself offered people to the opportunity open the door when he “knocked” on the door of their heart, he never kicked the door down. I dont believe being overbearing is healthy or civil.”You said: “It is not my place to tell anyone how to run their lives.” Hey, you seem to be a cool religious person. It confirms what I said when I described my close family and friends. They individually are cool believers, just like you. No surprise on that. But when they contribute tithes to a religious organization, I belie they accept some if not full responsibility of what that organization does with their money. For example, if the organization pay lobbyists to tilt laws for their church get embedded in the government and tell everybody in the country how to run their life, each follower of that church share some responsibility unless they stop paying and renounce their membership. They cannot simple look the other way.”If they are aware of it yes, they would be responsible. As a person of faith in a pluralistic and democratic country I do beleive that there is nothing wrong with faith in the public square having its voice heard, as secularists, atheists, other faiths, and any other group can have their voice heard as well. I don’t beleive it is my place to judge others or force them to live a certain way, even if I wouldnt live that way myself.”You said: “I was simply pointing out the impossible. Hence the possibility of God will always be with us, that which is not impossible, is by intuition, possible.” Agree with you on this in a general sense. That is, as a general rule I agree that you can replace God with whatever and still means the same you want to say about god. For example, an UFO expert can assert that “the possibility that Obama is an extraterrestrial always will be with us, that which is not impossible, is by intuition, possible. That is why I believe with profound faith that Obama is extraterrestrial. My intuition so tells me.”I think your premise is correct here, your example however isnt fitting. One might question whether Obama is a citizen, but no one can reasonably suggest he is not human, this afterall can(and basically has)been proven.”The arithmetic in this is simple: if 1 out of 3 believe in Jesus, 2 out of 3 don’t believe. 2 out of 3 is close to 70%. Am I missing something here?” I wasn’t faulting your math, simply showing that while some would think two-thirds of people not adhering to Christianity would make it a “small” religion. In fact it is the largest.

  • detroitblkmale30

    Justacomment: I needed more space. I was speaking about how we as believers view it. We dont worship(or we shouldnt)worship the church the organization or even its leaders, we worship God, he sits at the head of it. Now the ACTIONS are carried out by human beings who are yet flawed and make mistakes and bad decisions.You said: “God will only hold me accountable for my life not others and their actions.” That’s not what I understand about Christianiy, but you must know better than me on this. My doubt is that when you were born God, if he/she/it really exists, hold you accountable for the life of Adam and Eve and their actions. Right?”You are half-correct. According to Christianity, all post-Adam and Eve mankind was born in sin. However, accepting Christ as your savior absolves you of that “original sin” You then are solely responsible for your own actions and forgiven for your sins due to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

  • ThishowIseeit

    Joi Samson, IMO there was too much christianity in your family and one day you decided to prove to yourself and to your family that you are different, you are an individual and you went from the pan to the fire. As long as muslims in USA are a minority they will act nicy-nicy, but the day – hope will neve happens- they will be a majority, a literal interpretation of their texts will be enforced, as has happened in other counties. Joi, history is our best teacher.

  • habibbarri

    I’m glad that Jo has found a liberal Muslim community rather than a conservative one. What is the place of women in Islam? Islam QA web site makes it very clear:”Fatwa 112002- …It is not permissible for a woman to go out of her husband’s house without his permission. If she does that then she is naashiz (defiantly disobedient) and she has no right to maintenance until she comes back to obeying her husband.”Should she marry a Muslim she will live in subservience. Jo’s community of women may have different ideas. But will they be able to live those ideas?

  • Farnaz2Mansouri2

    Joi,Your experience is not unique. Open Mosq Days occur all over the world and are intended to bring nonMuslims to Islam in a noncoercive way. The view is that whether or not visitors become adherents, they will, at least, become more knowledgeable about Islam.Liberal, moderate, conservative, and reactionary/militant mosqs and Islamic Centers hold such events. Regardless of their perspective, the funding can generally be traced back to Saudi Arabia.I don’t think they’re a bad idea. Just understand the circumstances, Joi. Know where you are and how you are being positioned.Whether or not they chose to convert would be up to them, but I think it would help to dispel anti-Jewish racism. I do hope that once we get this project off the ground Muslims as well as Christians/Catholics, Hindus, at al, will participate.They will all be most welcome!

  • detroitblkmale30

    JUSTACOMMENTWell the first thing that I think you are having an issue with is evidence. There is no evidence for most matters of faith. At this point time, they are simply mutually exclusive. I dont believe in God because evidence supports him, what would be the point of faith? The Bible says “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Perhaps that makes no sense to those needing tangbible proof, I get that. I would suggest(even though I cant prove it) that the evidence is all around us “The whole earth is full of his glory” as the scriptures. For me it far more incredulous to believe that all that we see in its perfect natural balance from animals, to the stars in the sky exists through its own doing, rather than God’s creation.” Christians in the past believed that everything was under god control, hence used sacrifices to placate god or to get favors. Then came the miracles. Even now in the 21st century most christians believe in miracles and prayers, and in the case of RCC they are convinced that they eat the flesh and drink the blood of Jesus. Why to do that if god is not the one who pulls the strings (controls earthly events)?”I think you are confusing two different issues on this point if I read you correctly. God doesnt actively carry out physical actions say within a church worship service. The believers unlock the building, turn on the lights, play the music, sing the songs, carryout the physical duties. Such is the daily existence, God doesnt physically start my car or walk me down the street. Sacrifices in the past or prayers for favor today have more to do with success rather than hardship. I might pray for good success in a business endeavor, but I still have to conduct the work. God may facilitate the ease of the endeavor or he may not. God is in control of all, but we have free will and are responsible for our own actions. I believe in miraculous interventions in the past and present but they are momentary interactions, rather than a life long controlling. Communion both in the Catholic and Protestant churches isnt conducted as a sacrifice for God’s favor, but rather as a remembrance and honoring of the sacrifice that Jesus made for our sins and a focus on living closely with Him. “Rarely accept that there is no evidence for most of the truth. Also tent to readily feel proud of the good deeds of the church, but rarely accept the shame for its horrible actions.”I cant speak for most Christians, many of those I know aren’t searching for facts to back up their beliefs, they do seek to learn more about historical context. For many of us, either you believe or you dont, its not contingent upon facts as much as personal experiences with God. I accept there is little scientific evidence, that however doesnt impact my beliefs.Everyone is human and therefore prone to mistakes and sin,Christians too, we aim to do that good on a daily basis, there is forgiveness if we fail. My pleasure.

  • yasseryousufi

    The rights Islam gave to women in those middle-ages were revolutionary and something which the western women couldn’t even dream of right up till the 19th and 20th inspite of the so-called renaissance and the industrial revolution (Women weren’t even allowed to vote in Switzerland well into the ’70s whereas in Pakistan there was a female Presidential candidate in the 60′s who would have won hands down had there not been so much rigging).As muslims we should not denigrate Judaism and Christianity because they also believe in Prophets of Allah but its not but I believe that I would do a dis service to my religion if I do not vindicate Islam and pay a tribute, long overdue in the West, to the final truthful Message from God to the human race. As we all know that foundations of western civilization have been built upon Judeo-Christian traditions. Hence the society formed on these principles also called itself “Christendom” sometimes. So its appropriate to begin with how Islam and Judeo-Christianity deal with the subject of woman.EVE’S FAULTThe three religions agree on one basic fact: Both women and men are created by God, The Creator of the whole universe. However, disagreement starts soon after the creation of the first man, Adam, and the first woman, Eve. The Judaeo-Christian conception of the creation of Adam and Eve is narrated in detail in Genesis 2:4-3:24. God prohibited both of them from eating the fruits of the forbidden tree. The serpent seduced Eve to eat from it and Eve, in turn, seduced Adam to eat with her. When God rebuked Adam for what he did, he put all the blame on Eve, “The woman you put here with me –she gave me some fruit from the tree and I ate it.” Consequently, God said to Eve:”I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you.”To Adam He said:”Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree …. Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life…”EVE’S LEGACYThe image of Eve as temptress in the Bible has resulted in an extremely negative impact on women throughout the Judaeo-Christian tradition. All women were believed to have inherited from their mother, the Biblical Eve, both her guilt and her guile. Consequently, they were all untrustworthy, morally inferior, and wicked. Menstruation, pregnancy, and childbearing were considered the just punishment for the eternal guilt of the cursed female sex. In order to appreciate how negative the impact of the Biblical Eve was on all her female descendants we have to look at the writings of some of the most important Jews and Christians of all time.

  • yasseryousufi

    PART II”I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a trap and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare….while I was still searching but not finding, I found one upright man among a thousand but not one upright woman among them all” (Ecclesiastes 7:26-28).In another part of the Hebrew literature which is found in the Catholic Bible we read:”No wickedness comes anywhere near the wickedness of a woman…..Sin began with a woman and thanks to her we all must die” (Ecclesiasticus 25:19,24).Jewish Rabbis listed nine curses inflicted on women as a result of the Fall:”To the woman He gave nine curses and death: the burden of the blood of menstruation and the blood of virginity; the burden of pregnancy; the burden of childbirth; the burden of bringing up the children; her head is covered as one in mourning; she pierces her ear like a permanent slave or slave girl who serves her master; she is not to be believed as a witness; and after everything–death.” 2To the present day, orthodox Jewish men in their daily morning prayer recite “Blessed be God King of the universe that Thou has not made me a woman.” The women, on the other hand, thank God every morning for “making me according to Thy will.” 3 Another prayer found in many Jewish prayer books: “Praised be God that he has not created me a gentile. Praised be God that he has not created me a woman. Praised be God that he has not created me an ignoramus.” The Islamic conception of the first creation is found in several places in the Quran, for example:”O Adam dwell with your wife in the Garden and enjoy as you wish but approach not this tree or you run into harm and transgression. Then Satan whispered to them in order to reveal to them their shame that was hidden from them and he said: ‘Your Lord only forbade you this tree lest you become angels or such beings as live forever.’ And he swore to them both that he was their sincere adviser. So by deceit he brought them to their fall: when they tasted the tree their shame became manifest to them and they began to sew together the leaves of the Garden over their bodies. And their Lord called unto them: ‘Did I not forbid you that tree and tell you that Satan was your avowed enemy?’ They said: ‘Our Lord we have wronged our own souls and if You forgive us not and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be lost’ ” (7:19:23).A careful look into the two accounts of the story of the Creation reveals some essential differences. The Quran, contrary to the Bible, places equal blame on both Adam and Eve for their mistake.Nowhere in the Quran can one find even the slightest hint that Eve tempted Adam to eat from the tree or even that she had eaten before him. Eve in the Quran is no temptress, no seducer, and no deceiver. Moreover, Eve is not to be blamed for the pains of childbearing.

  • yasseryousufi

    PART IIIGod, according to the Quran, punishes no one for another’s faults. Both Adam and Eve committed a sin and then asked God for forgiveness and He forgave them both.

  • yasseryousufi

    PART IVThe Biblical Eve has played a far bigger role in Christianity than in Judaism. Her sin has been pivotal to the whole Christian faith because the Christian conception of the reason for the mission of Jesus Christ on Earth stems from Eve’s disobedience to God. She had sinned and then seduced Adam to follow her suit. Consequently, God expelled both of them from Heaven to Earth, which had been cursed because of them. They bequeathed their sin, which had not been forgiven by God, to all their descendants and, thus, all humans are born in sin. In order to purify human beings from their ‘original sin’, God had to sacrifice Jesus, who is considered to be the Son of God, on the cross. Therefore, Eve is responsible for her own mistake, her husband’s sin, the original sin of all humanity, and the death of the Son of God. In other words, one woman acting on her own caused the fall of humanity. 5 What about her daughters? They are sinners like her and have to be treated as such. Listen to the severe tone of St. Paul in the New Testament:”A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I don’t permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner” (I Timothy 2:11-14).St. Tertullian was even more blunt than St. Paul, while he was talking to his ‘best beloved sisters’ in the faith, he said: 6″Do you not know that you are each an Eve? The sentence of God on this sex of yours lives in this age: the guilt must of necessity live too. You are the Devil’s gateway: You are the unsealer of the forbidden tree: You are the first deserter of the divine law: You are she who persuaded him whom the devil was not valiant enough to attack. You destroyed so easily God’s image, man. On account of your desert even the Son of God had to die.”St. Augustine was faithful to the legacy of his predecessors, he wrote to a friend:”What is the difference whether it is in a wife or a mother, it is still Eve the temptress that we must beware of in any woman……I fail to see what use woman can be to man, if one excludes the function of bearing children.”Centuries later, St. Thomas Aquinas still considered women as defective:”As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active force in the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of woman comes from a defect in the active force or from some material indisposition, or even from some external influence.”Finally, the renowned reformer Martin Luther could not see any benefit from a woman but bringing into the world as many children as possible regardless of any side effects:”If they become tired or even die, that does not matter. Let them die in childbirth, that’s why they are there”

  • yasseryousufi

    PART VIf we now turn our attention to what the Quran has to say about women, we will soon realize that the Islamic conception of women is radically different from the Judaeo-Christian one. Let the Quran speak for itself:”For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast, for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah’s praise– For them all has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward” (33:35).”The believers, men and women, are protectors, one of another: they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil, they observe regular prayers, practise regular charity, and obey Allah and His Messenger. On them will Allah pour His Mercy: for Allah is Exalted in power, Wise” (9:71).”And their Lord answered them: Truly I will never cause to be lost the work of any of you, Be you a male or female, you are members one of another” (3:195).”Whoever works evil will not be requited but by the like thereof, and whoever works a righteous deed -whether man or woman- and is a believer- such will enter the Garden of bliss” (40:40).”Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has faith, verily to him/her we will give a new life that is good and pure, and we will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions” (16:97).It is clear that the Quranic view of women is no different than that of men. They, both, are God’s creatures whose sublime goal on earth is to worship their Lord, do righteous deeds, and avoid evil and they, both, will be assessed accordingly. The Quran never mentions that the woman is the devil’s gateway or that she is a deceiver by nature. The Quran, also, never mentions that man is God’s image; all men and all women are his creatures, that is all. According to the Quran, a woman’s role on earth is not limited only to childbirth. She is required to do as many good deeds as any other man is required to do. The Quran never says that no upright women have ever existed. To the contrary, the Quran has instructed all the believers, women as well as men, to follow the example of those ideal women such as the Virgin Mary and the Pharoah’s wife:”And Allah sets forth, As an example to those who believe, the wife of Pharaoh: Behold she said: ‘O my lord build for me, in nearness to you, a mansion in the Garden, and save me from Pharaoh and his doings and save me from those who do wrong.’ And Mary the daughter of Imran who guarded her chastity and We breathed into her body of Our spirit; and she testified to the truth of the words of her Lord and of His revelations and was one of the devout” (66:11-13).

  • ThomasBaum

    yasseryousufi Simple question: Is the Jesus of the koran considered God-Incarnate as the Jesus of the bible is considered God-Incarnate?Other Muslims have answered that the Jesus of the koran is not considered God-Incarnate, do you agree with their assessment of the Jesus of the koran concerning this?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • AKafir

    In the Koran, Allah allows adult men to fudge prepubescent girls. Ayatollah Kohmenii interpreted that to say it was okay to sodomize a one year old. Even animals do not treat their young that way. In the Koran Allah allows men to beat their women if they FEAR the woman will be disobedient. Those two facts should tell anyone what the real status of woman is in Islam. The rest is crap to cover these two simple facts.

  • yasseryousufi

    Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum!I am sure you must have read my previous posts where I made it crystal clear how Quran and Islam Views Jesus (Issa). He was a devout servant of Allah and brought the same message as did all the prophets before him and Prophet Muhammad after him i.e. to believe in only one God. Trinity, Jesus being son of God and other such corruptions were added by idol worshiping Constantine to make the true word of God impure and create a new religion to help him consolidate his rule. Interestingly Constantine himself died as a unitarian.

  • ThomasBaum

    yasseryousufiYou wrote, ” Jesus being son of God and other such corruptions were added by idol worshiping Constantine to make the true word of God impure and create a new religion”If one were to read what Jesus says in the bible, one would come to their own conclusion and one would come to their own answer to Jesus’s question, “Who do you say that I Am?”.According to what the bible says about the “Word of God”, you are saying that you consider Jesus “impure” considering that the bible says, “The Word became Flesh”, a bunch of “words” did not become human but Jesus did.What you seem to be saying is that pretty much everything in the bible, either about Jesus or about what Jesus said is a lie, correct or not?Most, if not all, that is in the bible concerning Jesus was written before Constantine was even born, how could he have “corrupted” it?As far as “creating a new religion”, neither Judaism nor Christianity is a religion, Judaism is a relationship between God and a people and Christianity is a relationship between God and a person, lots of persons but nevertheless between God and each individual person.You seem to imply that the koran speaks of islam as supposedly “flowing” from Judaism to Christianity to islam yet the only continuity seems to be that the koran says to take pretty much everything in the bible and throw it away because it is full of lies and this book, the koran, will finally get the “facts” straight, is this on the mark or not?I can understand how people might not “understand” what is meant by what is written in the books prior to what you say is now the “correct” one but how, in your opinion, did they get everyday “facts” wrong so consistently?Even the name of that country in the Middle East, Israel, I would think comes from when Jacob’s name was changed to Israel and he happened to be the son of Isaac, not of Ismael, is all of this also documented to be a lie in the koran?Do you have any opinion as to why a book, the koran, seems to be based so much on correcting the “supposed” inaccuracies of the books that preceded it?In the bible, the New Testament looks to the Old Testament and vice versa with God becoming One of us the pivotal and most important point in all of history, this action of God shows that God cares for His creation in a most mind-boggling way. The koran seems to say, look at the bible and see all the lies in both the Old and New Testaments and the god of the koran would never “lower” himself to become one of us and he would rather us be in awe of his power rather than his caring.You also wrote, “Interestingly Constantine himself died as a unitarian”.It is not about Constantine, it is about God and whether or not God cares for His Creation and whether or not God has a Plan worth being thankful about.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • abrahamhab1

    Samson asks:How can the abuse of women be ”un-Islamic” when Allah himself demands it according to Koran? “Beat them if they disobey you!” is what Allah purported to have commanded men. Besides the mere fact of Allah condoning polygamy is very abusing to women not to mention their treatment as minors.

  • abrahamhab1

    Samson says: Jesus in the Koran is a kaleidoscope of different personalities derived mainly from the writings of early Christian heretics. His identity ranges from being a part of the Spirit of Allah and His word who is supported by the Holy Spirit to being merely a prophet not unlike Noah or Jonah. The former persona was reinforced by tales of Him speaking in the cradle, creating birds from mud as a child and raising the dead as well as running the Judgement Day. So Muslims have a wide range of personalities to choose from when defining Issa and the choice would be the one they think will serve their purpose.

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