I'm a proud Muslim but I can't stop noticing that some people have the wrong idea about Islam, so if have any questions or opinions please share, and I'll try to do my best to clarify if it's wrong =)
Are turbans just an ethnic thing, or actually encouraged by the religion? Sunnis and Shiites are just different sects, right? What's the difference? Are there other denominations? How do you spell Koran? Quaran?
Islam is a great religion: down to Earth, calm, truly a great thing. If people don't understand it, no need to hurl insults and accusations at Muslims! That is just wrong!!! Thank you, Flora, for standing up for Islam. Anyways, Imaginedangerous, what female Muslims wear on their heads is not a turban. It is a hijab. A turban is a different thing.
I know the difference between a hijab and a turban. I'm asking about turbans that men wear- you see a lot of pictures of Mus.lim men in the Middle East that wear turbans. Do they wear turbans because it's traditional dress or is it actually required by Is.lam?
They wear because of tradition. Turbans are the traditional wear for men in a lot of arab countries but each has their own way of wearing it. Quran is the way to spell it. @Writingrocks...I just wanted to fix all the wrong in what people think about Islam, if there are stuff I can't explain the right way, please help me out here.
That clears things up... thanks.
What do you believe about the afterlife?
It exists of course. The afterlife is what you work for in this life. I believe in it and I'm scared of it.
Why are you scared? What happens there?
where do you go in the afterlife?
Because of Judgement Day - where God will judge and determine where you spend the rest of eternity
BTW, that post was in reply to Imaginedangerous
So is it pretty similar to most Chri.stianity? You go to heaven or you go to h.ell, endless happiness or eternal misery? Or is it different?
How do they explain J.esus?
As a pro.phet, not a "son of God" or whatever.
Also, that he didn't die but he 'ascended' into Heaven and is gonna come back someday.Yeah, it's pretty similar to C.hris.tianity in terms of an afterlife. I'm pretty sure there isn't a Purg.atory though. Also, the Quran has loads of decscriptions of the afterlife, so it's not really a vague "hm-hm" sort of thing. I know some C.hris.tians deny an afterlife or something.
Shiites originated basically from the time Muh.ammad died. They said his follower in leadership should be his cousin/son-in-law Ali (blood line and stuff). Sunnis said that it should be Abu Bakr, his best friend + person they thought was most fit for the job.
Anyway, so they argued over it. Abu Bakr became the 1st caliph. Ali was the 4th caliph.
So Shiites hold Ali in higher esteem that Sunnis do (some basically revere him). Sunnis often think that's human-worship (b/c some Shiites pray to him), so it's not in Is.lam.
Shiites also only pray 3 times a day (which Sunnis say is wrong--they pray 5 times). They also have more rituals, such as hitting yourself on Ali's son's death anniversary. They have more denominations and have revered Imams and things.
Sunnis have 'denominations', but they don't vary as much and don't fight at all with each other, to be honest. They aren't as different as C.hr.istian denominations.
What does the Mus.lim religion think of the Bi.ble?
One of God's holy books, people corrupted it. It still contains some (or mayble lots of) truth, but, like I said, it was distorted. The Qur.an was sent as a 'replacement', I guess you could say; an update from God.Sort of like how some people think that Je.sus came to 'update' Je.ws on their Old Testament; you know, remove laws, add new ones, etc.
Edit:: I should probably mention that I'm oversimplifying it. Mu.slims don't hold one unified view of it. The one I stated is the most commonly accepted one. Bear in mind that as it is held in great reverence in the Qu.ran and C.hristians (and Je.ws) are referred to as "People of the Book", ie people who try to follow Abraham's original message & who follow his descendants' books.
So how was the Qu.ran formed?
Well, to understand the Qu.ran, first you have to understand that the Qu.ran is considered the literal Word of God in I.slam. So, whereas in C.hristianity it's more of like a history-book/compilation of Je.sus' life and the Old Te.stament, the Qu.ran was not written by humans. Therefore, it is considered infallible. That's also why you won't hear Mu.slims insult the Qur'an; it's like a direct insult at G.od. That's also why Mu.slims believe that a translation of the Qur'an will never be as good or pure as the original in Arabic, because you can never fully translate connotations, implied meaning, devices such as palindromes, rhythm, etc into another language.
Anyway, we believe that the Qur'an was transmitted/revealed to Mu.hammad (peace be upon him). Delving into the world of indisputable facts of history: He was 40 at the time, he was in Cave Hira (in Me.cca) meditating, he thought he was going crazy, his wife consoled him, he kept it quiet for 3 years and only shared the message of Is.lam with only his very close family members and friends, then God told him to tell everybody, but that made him lose his social standing (he was from the richest tribe in Me.cca), he was mocked, only a handful of people believed him, his entire tribe was boycotted for 3 years (that was the way of the Mecc.ans at the time), his wife and uncle (who protected him--you needed a protector in a tribe, which is why the nonbelievers couldn't kill him--it was simply "not done") eventually died b/c of the horrible conditions during the boycott.
Later, he migrated to M.edina, where his message spread, he signed treaties, had battles, ruled the Me.dinans etc, and eventually conquered Me.cca with 10,000 men in a virtually bloodless conquest. During this time, the Qur'an was revealed at various instances and in bits and pieces. God would often reveal something as a reply to a question someone had--eg: laws about what to eat and what not to eat. Other times, it would be to reprimand Mu.hammad. Other times, it would be revealed because of the situation, telling them how to behave, etc. Often it contained warnings if the Mu.slims were going astray or doing something wrong. So it's a really varied book.
Going back to what Mu.slims believe: In the Cave, the angel Gabr.iel appeared before Mu.hammad and told him to "read/recite". Muhamm.ad said that he didn't know how to (he was illiterate). Then the angel revealed the first couple of verses of the Qu.ran. That’s how it started. It took a total of 13 years to be fully revealed.
Anyway, simply (I just went through like a whole lesson): the Qur'an was revealed to Mu.hammad (pbuh) through the angel G.abriel. If you're a Mu.slim , you know that the Quran was revealed in parts to the Prophet Muha.mmad (peace and blessings be upon him), an illiterate man, who in turn memorised it and had others memorise it. Bits and pieces of it were written on stones and other objects. Later, after his death, the Quran was compiled and revised thoroughly. However, if you are a non- Mus.lim , you'd have to believe that Mu.hamamd, illiterate though he was, made it up and convinced other people that it was true. Still, after his death it was compiled--indisputable.
I know you don't consider Muh.ammad a god, but it doesn't seem quite like you consider him an ordinary man either (for example, the restriction against depicting him and always saying 'peace be upon him'). So where exactly does he fit?