Why have they complicated Islam so much?

Published: September 11, 2012

How can you make complete use of the Holy Quran when you can't touch it at certain times of the month when you’re ‘unclean’? PHOTO: REUTERS

If you had a step-by-step guide on how to build a bookshelf, you’d be silly not to use it before cutting your planks or handling your tools.

It would show you the most effective way to wield that saw, use a spirit level and, and hit those nails on the head and not yourself. It would be one of those well thumbed hands-on books, kept in a handy spot for easy reference where you can reach up and pull it down every time you need to check something.

So what’s all this about using the Holy Quran only when you’ve washed, shaved and picked your nose, and then not at certain times of the month when you’re ‘unclean’? If ever there was an instruction booklet, this is it ─ the ultimate DIY book, community bulletin board and hazard warning sign, all rolled into one. So why treat it like an artefact that mustn’t be handled?

I’m really not sure where all this stuff is coming from, except maybe it’s another great Western conspiracy (well, why can’t I join the conspiracy hunt? Everyone else is doing it) led by Zionists and the CIA, a bid to stop people from using the book as much as the book should be used. Ha!

There’s a lady I met who says it’s okay to read the divine verses on an iPod screen but not on paper at the aforementioned time of the month. Sweetheart, those pages have come out of the printing press from Taj Company or something, not hot out of Paradise Press. It’s the Being they come from and not the paper or the screen that we worship. But if you disagree, and His verses are untouchable on paper, then so must they be untouchable on screen. Your cells shed everywhere, unfortunately.

Someone must have pointed this out to her because now she wears gloves. Clearly she needs a microscope to view the warp and woof and the holes in between her holy little black gloves, not to mention the germs unseen by the naked eye – excuse the ‘n’ word.

Anyway, the prod that produced this rant was the news on the Daily Mail Online headed: ‘London’s Olympic Park Toilets to turn away from Mecca out of respect for Islamic law’.

Oh, come on! There are actually people out there who subscribe to placing toilets so that the user/seated person/patron/pooper is facing at an angle to the Ka’aba? Believe it or not, there are.

Has it occurred to anyone that given the round earth we live in, we face into space at any given time, and never at anything that is over the hump of the earth between us and an object, a long distance away? This means that if you draw a line between me here and the Ka’aba in Mecca, the line would travel straight over the structure on towards Mars or Neptune or whatever else is out there in the sky. That doesn’t mean we worship Mars or Neptune and neither do we worship the Ka’aba or in any other way ascribe powers to the building. One ‘faces’ it only to enforce the sense of unity among the Ummah.

Poopers, facing this way or that, or anywhere but the Ka’aba, are simply an exercise in absurdity, not an expression of unity, so help me God.

Rabia.Ahmed

Rabia Ahmed

The author is a freelance writer and translator.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • RK Singh

    Good point. Earth is not flat. So no way you can ever turn towards Mecca. You are simply facing space and beyond. When you are turning towards mecca, you are assuming that earth is flat.

    This argument is ok maybe 1400 years back. Not now.Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/944/sabeer-lodhi/ Sabeer Lodhi

    Oh man… why would you take anything the Daily Mail writes seriously? Recommend

  • Mariam

    If god wasn’t kept at an arm’s length from the public, how would you have a clergy? It keeps the mullah in business. How else would they be able to create and maintain ‘black laws’?Recommend

  • Rabia

    @RK Singh:, when Muslims face towards the Ka’aba wherever they may be in the world, it is a great expression of unity and a reminder of the faith shared by them all. It reflects a common purpose and the shared action carries an important message. . However, some people have turned this beautiful concept into something ridiculous by bringing in concerns such as which direction to face in the bathroom, where your feet must point, etc. These silly things have no validity and this is where the round earth renders the action absurd. Recommend

  • Parvez

    Loved reading this not only because you displayed good common sense but because you touched on the subject of religion and still kept the tone light and breezy.
    When I read stuff like this it convinces me that Islam as a religion is headed in the wrong direction as one sees a lot of ‘show’ and very little ‘substance’ and that just can’t be right.Recommend

  • Awans

    Unfortunately Opportunist and Attention Seeking Bloggers have taken over the Reigns in Pakistan. We had heard that people wanted to become Rich Overnight but now many Authors are looking for Overnight Fame as well. ET articles and Blogs are now more like Religious bashing than Anything else. Either it is so called Aman ki Aasha or Problems of Husbands and Wives in Macdonalds with respect to religion and now this.

    First of All Religion is not a Property of anyone. It should not be one’s problems in the matters of religions of what others follow. If religion is your personal matter then kindly stop Bashing the Whole Community. It is my request to Miss Rabia Ahmed that rather than blaming others that what they are doing with Islam bring your own Interpretation and follow it as Islam is not a Property of Anyone and no one can force you to follow certain interpretation unless you want it to be. Recommend

  • Someone

    Why every stupid article is published by ET just because it is discussing Islam. @Author please try to listern to and learn from respected scholars, and belive me there are many around the world. And every once in a while try to read the Quran as well, it won’t do u any harm.
    @Parver…no my friend Islam is not going in the wrong directions, maybe muslims are.Recommend

  • RBsal

    What wonderful insight Rabia! Please do a follow-up article on how a common Muslim can use the Quran as a DIY manual without referring to religious scholars. I am a recent Muslim revert and would love any help you can offer on the matter.

    Specially help me with the chapters in Quran that describe our basic beliefs, the method of praying namaz, performing hajj (I hope to visit Mecca soon!) fasting during the month of Ramadan and giving zakat. I have Yusuf Ali’s English Translation and seem to get lost in the text! I specially don’t seem to find the ‘litany’ we are required to recite during prayers! You seem to have a firm grip on Quran and must read it regularly to understand its usability in such a way! Please, please write the suggested article on navigating your way through Quran for novices like me!

    By the way, there is an aayah in the Quran which explicitly requires none touch it except the purified! I know this for a fact because I have been reading the English Translation regularly to get a basic understanding of Quranic teachings. And in my naive understanding, that relates to both printed text and the digital text on the iPod screen! Please advise Ms. Black Gloves never to touch Quranic Text on her device screen without being in a clean state! So I will sadly have to disagree with you on this matter!

    Looking forward to a follow-up article from you!Recommend

  • Tony Singh

    Ms. Author if the clergymen do not complicate faith then we all would know the truth and the truth is there is nothing in religion. So relax be spiritual but not religiousRecommend

  • RBsal

    Your insight, I must say again Rabia, is quite admirable!

    You are absolutely right in stating that one faces Ka’abah only to enforce the sense of unity amongst the Ummah! We donot worship the Ka’abah itself but venerate it and love it because it is the House of Allah (SWT)!

    There is no aayah in Quran I could find that stops us from pointing our feet in the direction of Ka’abah! However respect demands us not to! Put simply, if my mother is sitting in front of me, I would never sit in a manner that my legs point towards her or in her direction! That would be very ill-mannered! If due respect is necessary in human relations, imagine the respect required in Divine relations! Please don’t treat this matter lightly! I am a new revert but I deeply realize the importance of these matters!

    Also if you draw a line from your position to Kaabah, you would be led straight to Kaabah unless the ET Bloggers have learned how to draw lines on space itself :-) Just pointing out a logic gap in your above argument, else you are brilliant!Recommend

  • ABZ

    Yet another ATTEMPT by ET to complicate Matters pertaining to Religion by such Ignorant Bunch of Writers…

    Shame on You ET & the Writer.

    Confused Soul..Recommend

  • RBsal

    Dear Moderator,

    I am waiting for my last comment to be published! Why is it taking you so long to deliberate on its public propriety! There was nothing objectionable about it! Kindly publish it and delete this comment! Thanks!!!Recommend

  • rohail

    Islam was and is never a complicated religion but some Liberals who dont want to follow islam , Made it complicated. These illetarate liberal extremists made islam as uneasy and and complicated. Islam is very easy to follow, u just have to kill your own will and follow Allah SWT will.Recommend

  • Oscar

    @RBsal:
    lol.Recommend

  • https://ambiography.wordpress.com Simba

    @RBsal:
    M happy for you that you’ve accepted islam and it’s good to hear that you’re reading Holy Quran and searching for other basic teachings. and your comments in reply to other commenters and to author were awesome and logical :)Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    When one claims that his religion is not a personal connection to a higher power, but a “complete code of life”, then everything from the utensils next to your plate to the length of your hair becomes a complex religious debate.

    It’s an enigma how we find time to do anything else.Recommend

  • RBsal

    @Simba:
    I am not a convert but a revert. I have been a Muslim by pronouncement all my life but a Mumin by faith is what I am now striving to become. I have always accepted Islam but never followed its teachings by heart! This is what I am trying to do now!

    Reading Quran is a transformative experience! I completely agree with Rabia that it is a book to be approached regularly, not kept, covered in cloth, on top of a shelf! However there are certain rules of etiquette prescribed for Muslims when touching or reciting Quran! When Quran itself states that none shall touch it but the purified, then we should not assume the audacity of declaring otherwise!

    Further, Quran, no matter how much one reads it, does not lend itself as a DIY manual for a non-scholar. It affects you deeply but its not a handy reference book for resolution of day to day problems for common Muslims. The level of scholarship that Rabia presumably possesses in Quranic sciences is not the heritage of us ordinary folks, which is why I have requested her to give her expert advise for navigating the deep ocean of Quran! Otherwise, a simple mind like mine will drown in trying to extract DIY tips from it, simple as it may be for the author!

    Furthermore, respect is imperative. If we don’t respect Quran, or Ka’abah, then shame on us! Your boss has the power to fire you so you respect him out of fear! You don’t approach him in dirty attire, you don’t put soiled hands on his clean desk, you don’t point your legs in his direction! So how can you approach Quran in an impure state, point your legs in the direction of Ka’abah and never fear Allah (SWT) while dishing out half-baked opinions on serious matter such as these! This is not liberalism, it’s lack of knowledge and badly distorted education!Recommend

  • curious

    Why have they complicated Islam so much?

    THEY???

    Which They? Hindus? Christians? Budhists? Animists? WHICH?

    English language has another pronoun- WE.

    Try using that.Recommend

  • zeeshan sheikh

    Liberal Excuse to not to read the quran: I want to read the quran but there is so many obligation to read the quran. that’s why I am not reading it. It’s religions fault not mineRecommend

  • Rabia

    @RBsal:

    First let me make it clear that I am no Quranic scholar. I am still in the process of reading the Quran with a guide. It is a transforming experience.

    Seeing that I/we respect the Quran, obviously since it is divine, I would never advocate touching it with dirty hands or treating it with disrespect. However, there are different ways of being respectful. Please note that our excessively respectful, rather dramatically reverential treatment of the holy book is more cultural than anything else. We make it unapproachable. You will find Arabs treating it with much less ceremony and display. The greatest respect one can pay the Quran is by reading it with understanding and observing its commands.

    In response to your earlier remark, yes we respect our parents and our culture teaches us not to sit with our feet in their faces. But if you cuddle up to your mother, hug her, kiss her, and discuss your deepest thoughts with her, you will have a hard time if you must perform elaborate ablutions every time, and if you have to make sure your feet are always pointed the other way (especially if she tends to move around). You will never ever be able to have a decent conversation with her, and we wish to have a dialogue with God’s teachings. The lack of this is the problem with society today.

    There are different interpretations of purity. Cleanliness constitutes half of Faith, remember? This is according to a credible Hadith, which surely means being purified. However we would also like those with different faiths reading the book, otherwise how would anyone discover the Quran? Surely this tells you that purity is a state of mind and intent? Recommend

  • MonsieurCritique

    You can read “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins
    Your next post should be.
    “Why have religions complicated Life so much?”Recommend

  • Vikram

    @Rabia: when Muslims face towards the Ka’aba wherever they may be in the world, it is a great expression of unity and a reminder of the faith shared by them all. It reflects a common purpose and the shared action carries an important message.

    What is this common purpose and shared action? Muslims pray facing ka’aba to please God or to get help to cope with problems or to express unity?Recommend

  • yousaf

    @RBsal::You say that you are a new ‘revert’ meaning that you are not new to the faith you have reverted to.What confuses me is that as you are a revert then it means that you were a member of the same faith about which you are putting such ‘innocent looking’ questions.This thing is beyond me,will you please like to explain? Recommend

  • RBsal

    @Rabia:
    Thankyou for your reply Rabia! I am very happy to know that you are MA reading and understanding the Quran with a guide and finding it to be a transformative experience. May Allah (SWT) make you a veritable Quranic scholar and give you the ability to follow its teachings in their true essence.
    Knowledge, religious or otherwise, cannot be gained without respect. If you don’t respect your teacher, you will not pay heed to his words. If you don’t respect an author, you will never respect his words. And the respect rendered depends upon the value an object holds in a person’s eyes. The more venerable an object, the greater, the more heartfelt, the more sincere the respect that shall be offered. Please try to understand what Quran is. It is the Kalaam of Allah (SWT)! It is not hot out of Paradise Press but the pre-eternal, always preserved Word of Allah (SWT). And its printing by Taj Publications or digitization through an iPod application does not diminish its holiness, its majesty, its veneration, by an atom! Just realize what you are holding in your hands and thank Allah (SWT) that He, in His infinite mercy, has even allowed us humans to touch His Word. But instead of being grateful for this honor, we have debates on touching Quran in impure states! Very childish and immature behavior on our parts! It’s like a beggar being given a 5 rupee note and then him arguing why he wasn’t provided with a 5000 rupee note instead! For shame! No one is making the Quran unapproachable. Approach it every day, every hour, every minute but with proper etiquette! These are not cultural innovations or overt, exaggerated, value-less charades! There is comprehensive Hadith literature and accompanying scholarly explanations on the ‘adab’ of touching, reading, reciting Quran! And their source is the sunnah of Holy Prophet (PBUH) and the commentary of great Mufassirs and Muhaddith, who of all people, really knew what Quran is and the respect it merits!
    You cuddle, hug and kiss your mother but you don’t high five your mother, slap her back in commendation, or call her with catty nicknames as you would with a friend! However, if you realize the true value our religion places on parents, your level of respect for your mother will reach a whole new level!
    A Hadith narrates an episode where Holy Prophet (PBUH) was greeted with salaam by a sahabi (RA) and he didn’t reply with walaikum salaam. Instead he performed wudu and then gave the response greeting. When the surprised sahabi requested the reason for this behavior, Holy Prophet (PBUH) replied; “I disliked remembering Allah (SWT) except in the state of purification”.
    This is the respect that Holy Prophet (PBUH) accorded to the name of Allah (SWT) and here we argue about extra, excessive respect being paid to the Khitaab, the Word of Allah (SWT)!!!
    As for people of different faiths reading Quran, please note that they are unaware of the rules of etiquette for touching / reciting Quran and, as such, cannot be held guilty of transgression! Even if they are informed of such, they will not care to follow them, because for them, Quran is just another book. But if we, as Muslims, are disrespectful, then there is no excuse!
    I wish you all the best for your future Rabia. I have no beef with you personally but I have a problem if you mis-educate the already mis-educated public. I am not a scholar myself. As I have said, it’s only very recently that I have started realizing the truth of Islam and commenced reading and understanding Quran by Allah (SWT)’s Mercy! And using whatever negligible knowledge I possess, I have tried to explain the matter in easy words. Rest I leave to Allah (SWT) for He is the One Who guides whom He wishes! Recommend

  • RBsal

    Dear Moderator,

    Kindly publish my comment without editing!!!Recommend

  • RBsal

    Dear Moderator,

    Why the hold-up? Did I say anything inappropriate?Recommend

  • Dee Cee

    @Rabia: You explained beautifully the loving attitude you have to your God. However, I think that attitude might be a source of debate as seen in some comments. When it is a “loving relationship” like you envisage, you can deviate from rules hoping that your loved one will forgive you because of your love. However, in an authoritarian relationship, there is no scope for deviation. To my untutored mind, this debate is between a loving and an authoritarian God. People who prefer authoritarian interpretation, will always prescribe a “code”. However, like Sufis, followers of love will emphasize devotion. Nobody else can make the choices for you: you yourself have to decide whether you prefer a loving relationship or an authoritarian one. If you follow established scriptures, they always recommend an authoritarian relationship in general. Would love to know from somebody more informed if my analysis is right. Thanks! Recommend

  • John B

    On my trip to Dubai,(west to east) I noticed that the male steward took a break for prayer in the space between the toilet and kitchen in the airplane. He was facing the toilet, and his head literally hit the toilet door during the prayer, and he was an Arab.

    The irony is his feet should be facing the toilet, if the direction towards Mecca is important, but I guess he did not check the direction in the air. Recommend

  • Virkaul

    @Rabia:
    As long as it is symbolic it is fine. But when things are taken to such ridiculous levels, it becomes laughable.Recommend

  • Arshad

    Easy way to find out Kaaba Direction in UK, look for Sky Dish that is exactly same direction of Kaaba, it can not be moved to other direction. What’s ulamas’s fatwa againg Sky who is famous for nudity and half naked fashion shows?Recommend

  • Rizwan Liaqat

    Great write up, voiced my thoughts exactly. Unfortunately in Pakistani society, Quran is something that is to be wrapped up in a fancy looking cloth to be kept on a high shelf for decoration, and God help you if you ever fall asleep with your legs pointing to the Kaaba.Recommend

  • Leopard

    @Rabia:
    Instead fighting for trival discrepencies why do not you take up the matter of acting on the contents/teachings of the Quran. A pias or pure mullah do not touch Quran with dirty hands but when it comes to the respect for human being he forgets all the contents/teachings of Quran and get mad to destroy the fellow being. Rimsha Masih and Khalid Jadoon a current example.
    @Awans: You hammered the nail well. Hope Rabia can take a lesson out of it.Recommend

  • Jahanzeb Punjwani

    @Arshad:

    what nonsense/crap is this?Recommend

  • Parvez

    @Someone: I do get the point you are making but both Islam and Muslims are directly linked, if one deviates the other is dragged along with it.Recommend

  • Faju

    @RBsal:

    Your comments makes more sense than the author’s…I must say that your comments are better then the blog. I want you to write blogs for ET so that already mis-educated public can be educated and let see ET publish you blog or not, because ET loves to publish all those blogs which are related to religious bashing.Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    Rabia,

    Those who say prayers five times aday and clean themselves before the prayers, do bot face the problems you describe. Quraan is not the encyclopedia nor a reference book. It has divine verses and one needs more than a life time to fully comprehend or in decoding them.

    If you understand the arabic language and the arabian culture and have a sound knowledge of philosophy and science, the learning from Quraan would be easier as long as you are able to use your own common sense.

    The rest of your suspicions are overstated and of no importance. Take care.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • pmbm

    @RBsal
    You should try “The Message of The Quran” by Muhammad Asad, I find it better translation than Abdullah Yusuf Ali. Excellent cross reference and commentary.Recommend

  • H2

    @RBsal:
    You explained quite well even with the “negligible knowledge” you possess. Thumbs up! …

    @Rabia:
    Just keep reading and understanding till the feeling of following all the adaab envelopes you. And don’t let the adaab cause a hurdle, keep reading. :)Recommend

  • Rabia

    @John B:
    As I understand it (unless its a lengthy journey such as a sea cruise) a traveller is exempt from prayers. However, I can see that this would not apply to plane stewards whose job it is to be travelling so much of the day and so often, so they prayed,in whichever direction they could without impeding passenger movement. The important thing is to pray, and anyway, how can you check the direction of a fixed object in a moving craft that is in any case high above it? They were quite right not to bother.Let’s not forget that God is everywhere. Recommend

  • BlackJack

    Finally we have a friend for @kaalchakra.Recommend

  • Dr Omar

    Dear Rabia

    The only way clergy stays in business is by complicating matters of religion! This is common not only in Islam but also in other religions as well (Jews, Christians, Hindus etc). The clergy markets itself as the sole service provider for salvation and if people get wise to them they would be out of business!

    But the fortunate aspect with other religions/faiths is that they have a lot more educated people and there is a practice of challenging, questioning and even holding clergy accountable (a prime example is the child abuse scandal at Vatican that happened recently), in short, people can even agree to disagree and most importantly (by law) no one is allowed to hurt or kill someone if they have a different opinion. Unfortunately for Islam the uneducated are under the clergy’s influence and the educated refuse to take up the task of questioning. On top of that convincing others by violent measures also strikes fear in the hearts and minds of people. Thus until these radical practices are curtailed no one will speak-up and highlight the practical and simple aspects of Islam! Recommend

  • ABU

    @RK Singh:
    Mr Singh. You are an expert. you seem to know much about Islam. Recommend

  • ABU

    I want to ask a question to the author. Are you reciting Quran during the days you are clean? i am sure if u do you would not have written this.

    People are happy and have no objection following the rules made by Humans and have problems with the rules made by GOD.

    If you ever get a chance to read Quran ‘When you are not unclean”. Please read verses about the menses. you will get your answer.

    What next? why can’t someone pray and fast when not clean?Recommend

  • Waqas

    @awans agree wid you buddy

    @rabia please don’t interfere in anyone’s personal life. It is one’s matter how he/she uses his toilet.

    @ET would you please bring some variety in your articles?? I think you guys are working on the agenda “HIT ISLAM AS HARD AS YOU CAN”Recommend

  • Mj

    Some people take Harry Potter, Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings too seriously. Some do the same with religion.Recommend

  • freebird

    Dear Writer,

    i am very disappointed by ur approach of handling this issue of touching THE HOLY QURAN, its mentioned in Quran and u cant negate what is written. and FYI Quran’s manual is our Ahadith books. In Quran namaz is mentioned as FARZ but there is no instructions as how to pray and that instructions are in ahadith so if you have any mis-understanding reagrding any issue i think u shd consult our most reliable ahadith collections.

    The issue is not complicating Islam, its respect to our holy book.Recommend

  • arisha

    As much as my heart cries out looking at the way how Mullahs and the so called Extremists are treating Islam, I get equally uncomfortable reading the views of these so called Liberals ( Fake Liberals as I say). You pinpoint a Mullah for forcing us, you and me on following Islam as they think its right but can anyone tell me what Ms Rabia is doing here? She sounds exactly the same to me.. Recommend

  • Noor

    @Rabia:
    Look, if you’ve gone through the Quran(obviously during your purity days) Allah wants us to obey Him & His Prophet Muhammad PBUH as well, without which Allah will not accept your deeds.
    and, the Prophet’s Hadith in Sahih Muslim 104 reads,
    The Prophet said: “When answering the call of nature neither turn your face or back to Mecca.”

    Learning Islam should start from one’s childhood. Frankly I was very slow when I was young, we can improve things around us by educating our children right from the nursery age. My child as young as 6, understands many things I’m trying to teach from Quran & authentic Hadith.

    ET: Please donot publish such articles that make complication & fun out of the Islamic verdicts, may be you are a victim of ‘little knowledge is dangerous’.Recommend

  • dude108

    all religions are complicated.Recommend

  • http://tribune.com p r sharma

    @Noor:

    ” Look, if you’ve gone through the Quran(obviously during your purity days) “- You mean not during the periods. So during the periods women becomes unclean and not eligible to touch or read Qur’an.
    fluids coming out during the period/ menstruation is nothing but the egg which is not fertilized and in a sense died which is flushed away from the female body.. there are many modern ways to keep the body parts dried. so where is the question of being uncleaned. How can you treat the whole person unclean. Her hands are duly washed ( washing is the process termed for cleaning) .which will hold or touch the Holy book. It looks quite unfair to the women at large.

    Also in all the religions Christianity , Islam, or the Hinduism . very high importance is attached to the book, the physical papers and less towards what is written therein.
    We will do all things saying lie, cheat others, insult and disrespect to the weak, no charity and all other sins which are prohibited in the holy book but will decorate the papers / covers of the book to show the most religious person and can murder the person who disrespects the pages of the Holy book while the disrespect committed by us every day is not seen by us .This holds good for the entire society almost.Recommend

  • manish

    @BlackJack:

    i have a hunch that he is just another name for kaalchakra.

    his writing style, though lacks here the usual tinge, yet it is unmistakibly lucid and elaborate.
    try reading kaalchakra on pakteahouse. you will know he is way too much intelligent than we think.Recommend

  • abhi

    @RBsal

    Beautiful comments! I think you should start writing blogs. Poeple need direction from you.Recommend

  • John B

    @Rabia:
    Yes, it was a 14 hour journey and I mentioned the incidence here because of the context of the article. In fact, I appreciated his sincerity to his commitment to his prayers amidst the demands of passenger service and I waited until he finished his prayer ( may be 4 minutes) for my coffee.

    I recalled that incidence when I read here how idiotic the world has become when the direction of the toilet was considered in Olympic venue.

    That said, your coming to his defense in facing the wrong direction by questioning” how can you determine a fixed object in a moving craft” is childish and is on the fringe of overzealous protective justification like those who demanded the change of direction of the toilet.

    The craft moves in a direction relative to a fixed object in space (land or sky ) and that is how rockets are sent to the moon and airplanes are navigated.

    The over all point of my earlier comment in the context of the article is Neither the direction nor the sanctity of the space (nor the time ) was important to him in fulfilling his religious belief That Arab steward did not mind his facing the toilet or the wrong direction and all likely hood he might have a better understanding of Quran and Hadith as Arabic being his native tongue.

    If they were that important he could have found a place in kitchen or took out his iPhone to find the direction. But he did not care and that is the point. Recommend

  • Dante

    Why don’t you just stop complaining and actually read the Holy Quran for a little change?

    For the amount of time you have spent bashing Islam, you could have simply picked up the Holy Book and read and act upon a few verses, even if only 3 or 4.

    Be the change you want to see in this world.Recommend

  • Dinky Mind

    How could you discuss a religion without having full knowledge of it?
    .
    Are you a religious scholar who is entitled to give a fatwa on what’s right and what’s wrong?
    .
    Besides, you can always complete the Quran in your “pure” days, cuz “impure” days last for 7 days only. And Allah has not stopped you from reciting duas or reading Ahadith books in impure days! What an inane argument you’ve got! Recommend

  • Dinky Mind

    Dear ET,
    I would very much appreciate if you also publish the opinion of a certified Islamic scholar on this article. Religion is something serious and we must always promote the valid teachings and not merely “our own opinions”!
    Regards
    Someone-who-is-against-false-religious-teachingsRecommend

  • Dinky Mind

    @Dante:
    100% agreed!Recommend

  • Tony Singh

    @Dinky Mind:
    Yes one should not discuss religion for there is nothing to discuss in it. Its the greatest fraud committed on mankind and like fools we are dying over it. Recommend

  • Dinky Mind

    @Tony Singh:
    Then that’s your belief. And, on a lighter note, do you believe any certain religion? Or you believe in yourself only?Recommend

  • Majid

    Handling Qur’an with care is obligatory for Muslims. Purity of heart and mind, soul and body construct some of the basic tenets for TAHARA (Purification). In certain exceptions the touching of Qur’an is allowed for women. For instance Ibn al-Qayyim (1292-1350CE) held as one of the doctors of law in the world of Islam is of the opinion that even if a women is in her menstruation periods, she is allowed to recite and touch the Qur’an. The reason being is that the period is a natural phenomena that usually occurs with females and falls beyond there capacity of affairs to restrict such occurrences. On the other hand ceremonial impurities that are acquired by human efforts, do impose a sanction of Gusl or a bath that becomes obligatory for both men and women before they go and touch there sacred book.

    The distinction between a state of natural occurrence and an act committed under human efforts must be kept in mind, and this is the beauty of Islam that it molds itself to the human conditions and abstains from such integrities where a person indulges in vain activities that have no rational grounds for there justification.Recommend

  • yousaf

    @Dinky Mind::You have made a very genuine request to ET.To make matters easier for them to find a right man for you please also tell them the sect of the concerned scholar and the authority which gave him the certificate that he is an authentic-scholar.This will make it possible for ET people to provide you with a name of the person who will quench your thirst for knowledgeRecommend

  • Dinky Mind

    @yousaf:
    Mr. Yousaf, one should also look at the other side of the coin as well!
    .
    And your concern for finding the right man for me is totally inane and off the subject. Recommend

  • Saif Khan

    @zeeshan sheikh:
    What are the obligations to read the Quran???Recommend

  • yousaf

    @Dinky mind??.Though it is not clear from your name,you have used for your comments your harsh remarks about my asking ET to ‘find a right man’ makes me feel that I should TAKE MY WORDS BACK.I am sorry if I hurt your feelings.Recommend

  • yousaf

    @Dinky mind??.Though it is not clear from your name,you have used for your comments, your harsh remarks about my asking ET to ‘find a right man’ makes me feel that I should TAKE MY WORDS BACK.I am sorry if I hurt your feelings.Recommend

  • Dinky Mind

    @yousaf:
    No issues man. I’m already married. Recommend

  • yousaf

    I thank you ET for publishing my apology.It has given me great satisfaction.I always avoid indulging in religious discussions because one never knows when things may take an ugly turn.The un-predictable reaction by the righteous people has always kept me away from the complications of religious thoughts and I am quite content with it.I am just a simple Muslim and that’s allRecommend

  • Tony Singh

    @Dinky Mind:
    I have not made my comments in lighter vein. More people have died on this earth due to religion than of any other disease on this earth. THINK ABOUT ITRecommend

  • Vikram

    @Noor: “Learning Islam should start from one’s childhood. Frankly I was very slow when I was young, we can improve things around us by educating our children right from the nursery age. My child as young as 6, understands many things I’m trying to teach from Quran & authentic Hadith.”

    For a 6 yr old religion is not same as for a 30 year old. Example is you “Frankly I was very slow when I was young”. People become religious to cope with life, as you are doing now. A six year has no such need but is just doing it for you.

    Religion is about learning and incorporating what you learned in your daily life. Even Moulvis and Quran teachers fail to do that.

    Become a good role model. If a man forces his kids to memorize Quran, but beats his wife and kids on a daily basis, kids are only going to remember how he treated them and their mother.Recommend

  • Virkaul

    @Dr Omar: As rightly pointed out by you, when any religion gains support, it derives power out it the system. Clergy makes their own rules valid or absurd. No one dares question them. Power corrupts and more power corrupts more. Then beyond a point comes a time when it is time to reform. Question and bring in change. Islam has still not reached the stage of reformation. It will. When it’s own followers will question the clergy and will demolish them.. That will be the new Islam.Recommend

  • Rabia

    @Virkaul: I appreciate your comments. As you say, every system of belief should be routinely questioned by it followers. This is for a better understanding on their part and to weed out anything that does not conform to its principles, or any absurdity that may have crept into its practices. There is much of this nature that has crept into the practice of Islam today. I would like to clarify one point though: you may note that I have said ‘the practice of Islam.’ Islam in itself is what it was always meant to be. This does not mean it is not an adaptable belief system. it is supremely adaptable, but its principles which form its identity remain the same. If it fails to adapt today, this is the fault of its followers, and certainly of its clergy which is in the main (with many exceptions) uneducated.

    The existence of a clergy is not a requirement of Islam, although the clergy must not be confused with those who are learned in religion. I mean a clergy as is understood as for example in Christianity, where it is a formalised institution consisting of persons who act as intermediaries between individuals and God. Islam considers this completely unnecessary, since neither intermediaries nor elaborate ritual (which justifies the clergy in most places) is prescribed in the religion. Each person is in constant and direct communication with God at any time of his/her existence, even outside the compulsory prayers, which are mandatory on every Muslim five times a day. I would therefore amend the phrase: ‘Islam has still not reached the stage…’ to ‘the followers of Islam have still not reached the stage…’Recommend

  • Dr Imran Ahmed

    Have some folk forgotten that The Book was not originally written words, none may touch except purified therefore cannot refer to physical touch which was impossible.Recommend