Thursday, July 2, 2009

Islam - the confusion

With Islam now at its crossroads, some questions have been plaguing my mind for a long time. After much thought, I felt I should confer with Prophet Mohammed directly. As I hoped, he was happy to talk to me.

I am so glad to meet you, Prophet. I would like to clarify certain aspects of Islam with you. Could I?

Of course. Please do.

Is music prohibited in Islam?
No, definitely not.
You just have to see closely at my messages. I have asked you clearly to respect all the prophets before me. That includes Prophet David, who sang and played music. How could music itself then be sinful and prohibited?

Why is this misconception there among people?

You must have heard of the saying “Don’t throw away the baby with the bathwater. This is exactly what is being done with this injunction.
What I had asked people to do was guard against music which uses foul language and steers people toward alcohol, lust and such sinful activity. I have never stipulated that there should be no music at all.

Do you personally like music?
Totally. God created music so that it could give us joy. Music relaxes the mind and helps the person to gain energy and refresh himself..

What is jihad?
Jihad is a struggle. In recent times, the satyagraha of Mahatma Gandhi is certainly a jihad as it required tremendous courage and perseverance.

Many terrorists call their activities a jihad.

That is absolutely incorrect. If they have any issues or grievances, they can peacefully bring it up in accordance with the law of the land and persevere in their strife. That is what I would call a Jihad.

CCan the shariat be changed?
See, Shariat is like a constitution which I made for the people of that time. Naturally, it relates to conditions of that period. There were tribes and people staying with girls without marriage. Yes, I did allow polygamy with full consent of both the groom and bride. Now, obviously times have changed and so should the shariat.

Who is a kafir and how do you recommend we should treat them?
A person who is a disbeliever, not just of God, but of human values, is called a kafir. Still, that is their choice and we should never forget they are human too.

Is attire, such as burqa for women stipulated in Islam?
There is no attire prescribed.
I do recommend modest dressing in women to preserve their dignity. That is not a rule, just a recommendation. Now, how that is achieved is based on the culture of a place at that time. For instance, if I was born in Iceland, I would have been dressed in fur. If I was born today, maybe I would have gone to the moon in a spacesuit.

Please try to see the core teachings and not the external layer of any teaching.

What is the core teaching of Islam? How do we apply them?


Treat everyone as a brother. Share, care and respect each other. Don’t pity, empathize. The other is your brother.
If this can be done without fail always, then you can create your own heaven on this earth.

Wow ! This is so clear and complete. Much of the confusion in my mind vanished.


  1. Jamuna, what a refreshing post! Sometimes we are so lost in the external details of things that the core essence gets lost in the noise. Then it is open to be hijacked by vested interests. That exactly what has happenned with modern Islam.

    I think a lot of 'life style' related guidelines given by the Prophet make sense when we look at them in the proper context: ie the culture and life of that era. The only sensible thing to do is to distill the essence of the teachings and apply them in our present get maximum benefit from these priceless insights.

    This will require more such enlightened discussions and forums, where sensible members of civil society come together to engage in constructive discussions ..... without fear or prejudice.

    thanks for the first step!!

  2. A wonderful, thought provoking post. Keep them coming!

  3. Absolutely right.

    All religions were hijacked by profesional priests who undertood the power of RELIGION to capture great worldly power and wealth. All the founding prophets and sages preached love but the priests knew that hatred was a stronger force to make people united.

    There is nothing spiritual about the penances, offerings, fasts, pilgrimages,etc., that were seldom wanted by the founders but that all RELIGIONS demand today

    Murad Ali Baig

  4. I am so glad you agree with the views. I am sure Prophet Mohammed, who is perhaps the most misundertood one today, will heave a sigh of relief.

  5. I personally hold the belief that ALL religious texts/scripts are the result of misinterpretation of the original teachings/messages/insights/intuitions that the various prophets/ancient saints/men of God/messiahs etc received from that one higher source we all commonly call God. The reason for this is clear: the ancient priests and others who wrote or compiled these texts did so based on their level of conciousneness at that time, which it is fair to say, wasn't the highest – and definitely not the same as the prophets’. So it is understandable that these religious texts have been coloured by their level of awareness and spiritual development at the time they wrote/compiled these scripts. However, the core or the essence of the original teachings/insights etc did survive in their unadulterated, pure form in small pockets in various parts of the world and, not surprisingly, they all speak of the same thing! For example, Sufism, Advaitha Vedanta, Gnosticism, to name a few, all speak the very same thing – and they all ring so true and authentic! It'd be a great day indeed when mankind finally wakes up to this truth and embracers the core and essence of the original teachings – there would then be no fissures among people, no divide, and no polarisation based on religion! Ameen

  6. I certainly hope so.

    Until then, however, we surely can create little havens of peace in our little way. With this, little ripple effects of peace and sanity will surely permeate through

  7. Jamuna, I totally agree with you and others who have commented that religion has become a selfish need of the religious heads who think that they will lose power and control if they make it more meaningful and practical to todays living and available to all!!I am surprised at even educated people believing in so many superstitions and fallacies and forget that the core of all religion is goodness to others and moral and spiritual values which affirm that all mankind is one and all religions preach that God is one!!Due to this wrong belief in the superiority of their religion, people are losing sight of the real meaning of religion and religious teachigs. This is the cause of so many ethnice and religious strifes all over the world and hopefully the awakening will come soon.

  8. Yes, it has been a game of one-upshipship of faiths rather than a focus on the practice of the of goodness.

  9. Sorry for the typo.
    I meant

    Yes, it has been a game of one-upshipship of faiths rather than a focus on the practice of goodness, which is what the prophets would have desired.