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  #126  
Old 09-08-2009, 03:25 PM
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Again, NO ONE can judge who is right or wrong in their practice of Islam but Allah (swt)... If a person is a Sunni Muslim and is following the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saws) and the Quran...usually their practices are in line with other Sunnis worldwide..unless it is something cultural (that is not part of the sunnah) or from one of the madhabs and some Sunnis don't subscribe to any particular madhab (school of thought) and the schools of thought are based upon the Quran and Sunnah.
Jazak'Allah khair for posting this entire thing sis!

Just to clarify the top paragraph (I quoted):

"Sunnah" refers to the actions and sayings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). The Qur'an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and we follow the Qur'an and his "sunnah" because he showed us how to properly implement the teachings of the Qur'an into our daily lives. I just wanted to explain that for anyone that may not understand what that meant.
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  #127  
Old 09-09-2009, 08:42 AM
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Again, NO ONE can judge who is right or wrong in their practice of Islam but Allah (swt)... If a person is a Sunni Muslim and is following the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saws) and the Quran...usually their practices are in line with other Sunnis worldwide..unless it is something cultural (that is not part of the sunnah) or from one of the madhabs and some Sunnis don't subscribe to any particular madhab (school of thought) and the schools of thought are based upon the Quran and Sunnah.

And to the person posting this question, what exact practices are you referring to???? Having a beard? Wearing a kufi? Shortening one's pants????? Using prayer beads?

Identify the Practice you are referring to in particular..................

If a person isn't praying properly and cannot pronouce the Quran, it is one thing and it is ok to correct them, but to try an attempt to guage a person's level of faith and sincerity through their actions is FLAT OUT WRONG in Islam (I don't know about other religions)....and the person attempting to judge can even take themselves outside of the fold of Islam....it is called Shirk; Subhan'Allah....

Faith is recognized in Islam as a higher step than practicing Islam. It is a matter of belief in one’s heart. Every faithful Muslim believes in the following 6 articles of faith: NOTE: NO ONE can gauge this... Only Allah (swt) knows if a person is true in their belief!

1. God
Monotheism is central to Islam—a belief in only One God, Unitary, Supreme and Eternal, Omnipotent and Mighty, Merciful and Compassionate.

2. Messengers of God (Prophets)
A Muslim has to believe in all the messengers of God without any distinction among them.

3. The Holy Books
As a result of believing in all the messengers of God, Muslims also have to believe in all the scriptures and revelations of God. In the Quran, a special reference is made to the books of Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus.

4. The Angels of God
Muslims believe in the Angels of God.

5. The Day of Judgment
The divine activities of creation, sustenance, and guidance end with the final act of judgment.

6.The Ultimate Plan (The Qatar)
Muslims believe in the timeless knowledge of God and in His Power to plan and execute His Plans. God is not indifferent to His world nor is He neutral to it. His knowledge and power are in action at all times to keep order in His vast domain and maintain full command over His creation. He is Wise and Loving, and whatever He does must have a good motive and a meaningful purpose. If this is established in our minds, we should accept in good faith all that He does, although we may fail to understand it fully, or even think it is bad. We should have strong faith in Him and accept whatever He does because our knowledge is limited and our thinking is based upon individual or personal considerations, whereas His Knowledge is limitless and He plans on a universal as well as individual basis.
This does not in any way make man helpless. It simply draws the line between what is God’s concern and what is man’s responsibility. Because we are by nature finite and limited, we have a finite and limited degree of power and freedom. We cannot do everything, and He graciously holds us responsible only for the things we do.

Then you have the Five Pillars of Islam; these are duties incumbent upon EVERY MUSLIM:

1. Shahada
Shahadah is a statement professing monotheism and accepting Mohammad as [Allah] messenger and there is no god but Allah.

2. Salat
The five daily prayers

3. Zakat
Zakat is the practice of charitable giving by Muslims based on accumulated wealth, and is obligatory for all who are able to do so. It is considered to be a personal responsibility for Muslims to ease economic hardship for others.

4. Fasting During Ramadan

5. Hajj
Every able bodied Muslim is obliged to make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime if they can afford it.



So, again, I ask what practice are you referring to???????????
Based on the 5 Pillars, I can see why you would question my answer. I was simply stating what my man told me about the Muslims he has encountered in his camp (my bf is Sunni). There are major cultural differences between them, so this may be where he sees the difference.

I have a question for you...is wearing a kufi, having a beard, shortening your pants and using prayer beads an OUTWARD sign of your faith? Just wondering because aside from the prayers beads (which he is not allowed to have in prison), he does none of the other things.

Last edited by HisAngel2; 09-09-2009 at 08:46 AM..
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  #128  
Old 09-09-2009, 10:16 AM
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Based on the 5 Pillars, I can see why you would question my answer. I was simply stating what my man told me about the Muslims he has encountered in his camp (my bf is Sunni). There are major cultural differences between them, so this may be where he sees the difference.

I have a question for you...is wearing a kufi, having a beard, shortening your pants and using prayer beads an OUTWARD sign of your faith? Just wondering because aside from the prayers beads (which he is not allowed to have in prison), he does none of the other things.
You hit the nail on the head with the statement I put in red. The thing is, many people fail to realize that just because someone does or learns something culturally does not make it Islamic. I'll give a perfect example...a new revert sister I know works long hours, and her fiance (born Muslim) told her she doesn't have to make the prayers while at work because it's like a form of prayer (since she works as a CNA). This is INCORRECT! I informed her that what he is telling her may be a cultural practice but is NOT Islamic. Even a sick person has to pray, even if its just by moving their eyes...so why should one be exempt from the most important pillar because of work? Prayer is considered of the utmost importance.

I'm not a guy, but I will tell you what I have learned...insh'Allah, if I'm mistaken about something, another sister will correct me.

Having a beard is considered at the minimum as sunnah (meaning should be worn)...some consider it obligatory. The legnth of the beard is also debated upon, from my understanding. This depends on which school of thought one follows.

Prayer beads (aka dhikr beads) do not need to be used...one can count using their fingers. I finally got prayer beads and don't even use them because I've become so accustomed to counting on my fingers when doing dhikr ("rememberance of Allah"). I have read in some sources that actually it is preferred to use one's fingers and not prayer beads.

Wearing a kufi...again, I think this depends on one's school of thought. I know many brothers that don't wear them, but from my understanding it is sunnah...should be worn...at least during prayer. Some say that it should be worn so they can be easily distinguished as Muslims, just as one of the reasons sisters wear hijab is to distinguish ourselves as Muslimahs.

The legnth of the pants...brothers are to keep their pants above the ankle, and especially not dragging on the ground. It is seen as a sign of arrogance to let one's pants be below the ankles, and this can be considered a minor form of "shirk." If a person cannot help that their pants fall below the ankles (i.e. they are thin and the pants slip down a bit), then they are not in the wrong, as long as the intention is to keep them above the ankle. In Islam, one's intentions are very important...that's why we say we can't judge another's behavior...even if they practice Islam perfectly, if their intention for doing so is to receive praise from others and not for the sake of Allah (SWT), then it means nothing. Likewise, if a Muslim is trying to do good, but makes mistakes (either because they don't know better, or just because we're all human), but his intention was to do right...then the intention counts. But we don't know what is in a person's heart, only Allah (SWT) does, so that's why we say we really can't judge another person's actions. If we see them do something wrong, we should correct them, but that is all...we shouldn't judge them.
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  #129  
Old 09-09-2009, 02:14 PM
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You hit the nail on the head with the statement I put in red. The thing is, many people fail to realize that just because someone does or learns something culturally does not make it Islamic. I'll give a perfect example...a new revert sister I know works long hours, and her fiance (born Muslim) told her she doesn't have to make the prayers while at work because it's like a form of prayer (since she works as a CNA). This is INCORRECT! I informed her that what he is telling her may be a cultural practice but is NOT Islamic. Even a sick person has to pray, even if its just by moving their eyes...so why should one be exempt from the most important pillar because of work? Prayer is considered of the utmost importance.

I'm not a guy, but I will tell you what I have learned...insh'Allah, if I'm mistaken about something, another sister will correct me.

Having a beard is considered at the minimum as sunnah (meaning should be worn)...some consider it obligatory. The legnth of the beard is also debated upon, from my understanding. This depends on which school of thought one follows.

Prayer beads (aka dhikr beads) do not need to be used...one can count using their fingers. I finally got prayer beads and don't even use them because I've become so accustomed to counting on my fingers when doing dhikr ("rememberance of Allah"). I have read in some sources that actually it is preferred to use one's fingers and not prayer beads.

Wearing a kufi...again, I think this depends on one's school of thought. I know many brothers that don't wear them, but from my understanding it is sunnah...should be worn...at least during prayer. Some say that it should be worn so they can be easily distinguished as Muslims, just as one of the reasons sisters wear hijab is to distinguish ourselves as Muslimahs.

The legnth of the pants...brothers are to keep their pants above the ankle, and especially not dragging on the ground. It is seen as a sign of arrogance to let one's pants be below the ankles, and this can be considered a minor form of "shirk." If a person cannot help that their pants fall below the ankles (i.e. they are thin and the pants slip down a bit), then they are not in the wrong, as long as the intention is to keep them above the ankle. In Islam, one's intentions are very important...that's why we say we can't judge another's behavior...even if they practice Islam perfectly, if their intention for doing so is to receive praise from others and not for the sake of Allah (SWT), then it means nothing. Likewise, if a Muslim is trying to do good, but makes mistakes (either because they don't know better, or just because we're all human), but his intention was to do right...then the intention counts. But we don't know what is in a person's heart, only Allah (SWT) does, so that's why we say we really can't judge another person's actions. If we see them do something wrong, we should correct them, but that is all...we shouldn't judge them.
Thanks for clearing that up for me. I would say that 99% of the men I have met here in the states who are originally from the Middle East, particularly from Palestine, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, etc. do not follow the sunnah then. Maybe because they have become Americanized?
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  #130  
Old 09-09-2009, 02:20 PM
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I was simply stating what my man told me about the Muslims he has encountered in his camp (my bf is Sunni). There are major cultural differences between them, so this may be where he sees the difference.
being islamic is the culture, while being muslim is the religion. islam is a religion that has spread culturally and politically--those who are islamic follow the culture of islam, which follows the religion of islam. so are the cultural differences to be limited to "but only so much" difference, or can one person act totally opposite from another person and still be considered islamic in their culture and belief system?

how many differing sunni cultures are there?

islamic countries are those who follow the islamic culture, which is based on the islamic religion. islamic people also follow the religion of islam, this is what makes them islamic (being born or converted into islam), moreso than where they are born. islamic countries are considered islamic because of cultural behaviors. this is the clearest way i understand it to be.

with that being said, can there be a culture in prison that is not the islamic "norm" yet still be islamic, especially if the priciple of islam itself is expressed in culture and behaviors of the muslim peoples?

hope these questions are understandable.
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  #131  
Old 09-09-2009, 02:22 PM
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Thanks for clearing that up for me. I would say that 99% of the men I have met here in the states who are originally from the Middle East, particularly from Palestine, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, etc. do not follow the sunnah then. Maybe because they have become Americanized?
good question.

do the men you know still consider themselves to be islamic/muslim?
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  #132  
Old 09-09-2009, 02:46 PM
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good question.

do the men you know still consider themselves to be islamic/muslim?
Without a doubt they consider themselves to be Muslim, but they do not consider themselves to be "good" Muslims and this is the opinion of my ex-husband who comments about others who do follow the sunnah. Like he would say "He's a real good praying Muslim with a long beard and everything." As to somehow say that he himself wasn't a good Muslim because he doesn't follow the sunnah.

So this leads me to believe that some Muslims judge themselves based on whether or not they follow the sunnah. This too, maybe cultural.
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Old 09-09-2009, 03:02 PM
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So this leads me to believe that some Muslims judge themselves based on whether or not they follow the sunnah. This too, maybe cultural.
now that's interesting, and something i've never heard before. many muslims i know *and most i've seen in prison* do not follow the muslim law concerning beards, pants, beads, etc...i would not have even known there were laws concerning these things if i didn't read it here.

yet all consider themselves to be good muslims.

my sister's ex is a muslim and doesn't do anything to distinguish himself as muslim other than say he's muslim, from what i see. the same as my younger sister's bf, who is a muslim from nigeria.

now every muslim i see that has a middle eastern look going on does seem to practice the law concerning pants and beard, etc. but i thought that was just a middle eastern thing, not an islamic thing. i didn't know that all properly practicing muslims should wear a beard and have fitted pants, etc.

while working in DOC i distinctly remember only 1 proclaimed muslim having a long beard, the rest didn't distinguish themselves by any means other than their beads and prayers.

i'll ask about the trend where hubby is now.
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  #134  
Old 09-09-2009, 04:16 PM
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now that's interesting, and something i've never heard before. many muslims i know *and most i've seen in prison* do not follow the muslim law concerning beards, pants, beads, etc...i would not have even known there were laws concerning these things if i didn't read it here.

yet all consider themselves to be good muslims.

my sister's ex is a muslim and doesn't do anything to distinguish himself as muslim other than say he's muslim, from what i see. the same as my younger sister's bf, who is a muslim from nigeria.

now every muslim i see that has a middle eastern look going on does seem to practice the law concerning pants and beard, etc. but i thought that was just a middle eastern thing, not an islamic thing. i didn't know that all properly practicing muslims should wear a beard and have fitted pants, etc.

while working in DOC i distinctly remember only 1 proclaimed muslim having a long beard, the rest didn't distinguish themselves by any means other than their beads and prayers.

i'll ask about the trend where hubby is now.
I have yet to meet ANY of my ex's or bf's friends who actually follow the sunnah regarding the outward appearance. If you saw them on the street you wouldn't be able to distingush them (other than their obvious Middle Eastern looks) as being Muslim.

PS - I'm learning a lot too!
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Old 09-09-2009, 11:33 PM
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Thanks for clearing that up for me. I would say that 99% of the men I have met here in the states who are originally from the Middle East, particularly from Palestine, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, etc. do not follow the sunnah then. Maybe because they have become Americanized?

Perhaps. Or it could be that they aren't even Muslim. The majority of Muslims are not Arab, but actually Asian. There are many Christian Arabs and Jewish Arabs as well. So, it could be that they are not even Muslim. Idk. It is sad, but in this country, there are many Muslims (male and female) that don't follow the sunnah because of the discrimination we face. For example, a sister in my one English class..she was orginally from Afghanistan. I had no idea she was Muslim 'cuz she didn't wear hijab. When we began talking, she told me how bad she felt for not covering, but that she struggled where she lived because of the prejudice...so she felt uncomfortable covering due to stares and rude remarks. How sad is that?! So, some may not outwardly try to distinguish themselves as Muslim, as we should be doing, due to discrimination.
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  #136  
Old 09-09-2009, 11:46 PM
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being islamic is the culture, while being muslim is the religion. islam is a religion that has spread culturally and politically--those who are islamic follow the culture of islam, which follows the religion of islam. so are the cultural differences to be limited to "but only so much" difference, or can one person act totally opposite from another person and still be considered islamic in their culture and belief system?

how many differing sunni cultures are there?

islamic countries are those who follow the islamic culture, which is based on the islamic religion. islamic people also follow the religion of islam, this is what makes them islamic (being born or converted into islam), moreso than where they are born. islamic countries are considered islamic because of cultural behaviors. this is the clearest way i understand it to be.

with that being said, can there be a culture in prison that is not the islamic "norm" yet still be islamic, especially if the priciple of islam itself is expressed in culture and behaviors of the muslim peoples?

hope these questions are understandable.

Islam is NOT a culture...it is the religion and way of life. Muslims (particularly those born Muslim) tend to incorporate their country's culture into Islam, which is what confuses so many people (especially Americans). Maybe Baba Ali can better explain it (see vid...it is funny, masha'Allah).



There are not "Sunni cultures." There are four schools of thought in Sunni Islam.

Quote:
MrsChris wrote: now that's interesting, and something i've never heard before. many muslims i know *and most i've seen in prison* do not follow the muslim law concerning beards, pants, beads, etc...i would not have even known there were laws concerning these things if i didn't read it here.
Also keep in mind that if a person is a new Muslim, they may not know the rules. Even if they do, as I stated before, we're not expected to change everything overnight. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his companions had 20 years to learn the Qur'an and and how to implement into their daily lives. If we tried to do everything all at once, we'd easily be overwhelmed. I know some sisters don't start wearing hijab until they've been Muslim for years. Each person has their own personal struggles. What is important is their intent...and Allah (SWT) knows best.
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Old 09-10-2009, 12:04 AM
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Without a doubt they consider themselves to be Muslim, but they do not consider themselves to be "good" Muslims and this is the opinion of my ex-husband who comments about others who do follow the sunnah. Like he would say "He's a real good praying Muslim with a long beard and everything." As to somehow say that he himself wasn't a good Muslim because he doesn't follow the sunnah.

So this leads me to believe that some Muslims judge themselves based on whether or not they follow the sunnah. This too, maybe cultural.
Instead of judging others by their faults, IF we judge, we should judge them on how they are better than us instead. This way we can't feel superior to another. And it helps motivate us to become better Muslims.

Here is another funny Baba Ali vid that might be able to better explain it (fyi..."haram" means "prohibited" and "halal" means "lawful").




(BTW...I responded to another post also, and it is on the previous page, at the bottom).
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  #138  
Old 09-10-2009, 06:30 AM
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Perhaps. Or it could be that they aren't even Muslim. The majority of Muslims are not Arab, but actually Asian. There are many Christian Arabs and Jewish Arabs as well. So, it could be that they are not even Muslim. Idk. It is sad, but in this country, there are many Muslims (male and female) that don't follow the sunnah because of the discrimination we face. For example, a sister in my one English class..she was orginally from Afghanistan. I had no idea she was Muslim 'cuz she didn't wear hijab. When we began talking, she told me how bad she felt for not covering, but that she struggled where she lived because of the prejudice...so she felt uncomfortable covering due to stares and rude remarks. How sad is that?! So, some may not outwardly try to distinguish themselves as Muslim, as we should be doing, due to discrimination.
His friends say they are Muslim and I don't want to start any kind of fight on here, but the majority of them are Shiite.

Also, while still married to my ex, we were living in a large city with a large population of Middle Eastern people when 9/11 happened. The blatant prejudice against anyone who didn't look "white" was awful, so I understand why your friend is afraid to wear her hijab. I would hope that we (Americans) have moved on from judging others based on their religion.
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Old 09-10-2009, 06:45 AM
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Instead of judging others by their faults, IF we judge, we should judge them on how they are better than us instead. This way we can't feel superior to another. And it helps motivate us to become better Muslims.



(BTW...I responded to another post also, and it is on the previous page, at the bottom).
Yes, I do believe my ex was judging his own faith to that of someone else's that is following the sunnah. Though, I must also add that he would be careful to watch that same person who is observing the sunnah and see if they were the real deal.

Oh trust me - I know the terms "haram", "halal", "insha'Allah" and a many others. After being with my ex for 6 years and my bf for 3 I've been exposed to several words (some I cannot repeat) in the Arabic language. My favorite word is "Habibi" which I named my cat!

BTW - neither my ex nor my boyfriend are Arab and they are not Asian either! But they speak fluent Arabic as well as 2 other Middle Eastern languages!

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Old 09-10-2009, 08:35 AM
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His friends say they are Muslim and I don't want to start any kind of fight on here, but the majority of them are Shiite.

Also, while still married to my ex, we were living in a large city with a large population of Middle Eastern people when 9/11 happened. The blatant prejudice against anyone who didn't look "white" was awful, so I understand why your friend is afraid to wear her hijab. I would hope that we (Americans) have moved on from judging others based on their religion.

Ok, Shiite are different than Sunnis. Idk if they have the same rulings re: the beard, pants, etc. I haven't studied what they believe in those regards. I just know that they follow some different beliefs than Sunnis. The separation (Sunni and Shi'a) occured after Prophet Muhammad's (SAW) death...before that, there was only Muslims (Sunni)....but after his death, there were arguments over who should be the next Caliph, some believed it should be a direct descendent of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), and others thought it should be whoever is the most knowledgeable of the Qur'an and how to implement, even if that meant it was not a descendent of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). So, that's where the division originated, and I know they do have some differences in regards to how they practice Islam, but I'm not sure exactly what they are.

Yeah, it is sad that there are people, like the sister I know, that are discriminated against and therefore feel they can't practice their religion freely. May Allah (SWT) make it easier for them, Ameen. I have been blessed...I have not had too many problems really; I've had a few ppl ask me q's out of genuine curiosity about Islam and the hijab. I have another friend, she took her shahadah the same day as me, alhamdulilah...and she has been harrassed so badly by her family...they call her names; they disrupt her prayers; they try to pull the hijab off her head; etc. It's a constant struggle for her.
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  #141  
Old 09-10-2009, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by HisAngel2 View Post
Yes, I do believe my ex was judging his own faith to that of someone else's that is following the sunnah. Though, I must also add that he would be careful to watch that same person who is observing the sunnah and see if they were the real deal.

Oh trust me - I know the terms "haram", "halal", "insha'Allah" and a many others. After being with my ex for 6 years and my bf for 3 I've been exposed to several words (some I cannot repeat) in the Arabic language. My favorite word is "Habibi" which I named my cat!

BTW - neither my ex nor my boyfriend are Arab and they are not Asian either! But they speak fluent Arabic as well as 2 other Middle Eastern languages!
That is wonderful that you understand some of the words. I was just clarifying for anyone else that may watch those videos and are unfamiliar with the terms.

That is cool that your ex and bf can speak Arabic fluently, alhamdulilah! I am taking Arabic 101 right now in college. Insh'Allah, one day I will understand it enough to be able to read the Qur'an in Arabic.
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Jeg lærer dansk (for et år) og norsk (for ti uger).

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Old 09-10-2009, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by HesMyForever View Post
That is wonderful that you understand some of the words. I was just clarifying for anyone else that may watch those videos and are unfamiliar with the terms.

That is cool that your ex and bf can speak Arabic fluently, alhamdulilah! I am taking Arabic 101 right now in college. Insh'Allah, one day I will understand it enough to be able to read the Qur'an in Arabic.
Good luck! I know you will do just fine...you seem to have a sponge of a brain for soaking up knowledge!!!
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Old 09-26-2009, 11:09 PM
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Islam is a beautiful religion. It is a practical religion based on the realities of life. So if an inmate is searching the "truth" while they are incarcerated, That's exactly what the Prophet Muhammed is,(may god bless his mention) the truth. It's not that they believe that Jesus was nobody, hes just NOT the son of god. You're not supposed to pray through anyone else but Allah! There is only 1 god. (well, thats what I believe, not knocking any other religion The one thing that I find is wrong is the people who are not true believers and lose their Iman (faith) when they get back out on the street...then I feel like they're doing it for the wrong reasons. It's a wonderful way of life, though. You should read up on it sometime and see for yourself!
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