A Conversation for Islam - an Introduction

Some corrections...

Post 1


These are factual errors, in the order they appear;

1) Islam began in 610 AD (622 is the year in which Muhammad and his followers emigrated to Madinah).

2) The first prayer of the day is just *after* dawn, but before sunrise.

3) Taqwa means a person's consciousness of God, *not* God's consciousness (important difference, especially in this context).

4) Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is just before the *first* Eid.

5) Zakat is not charity. Sadaqah is the Islamic term for charity; it has the important characteristic of being voluntary, covers a very wide range of good causes, and is greatly encouraged in Islam. Zakat, on the other hand, is an obligation, based on a pre-determined value of one's wealth, and payable only to certain recipients as detailed in the Qur'an. The word Zakat is therefore often translated as 'poor due' or 'welfare contribution'.

6) (a) When animals are killed, it is not true that "a prayer said for the animal's soul to enter heaven before it is killed". The killing is just done in the name of God, to remind that this has only been allowed by God's permission.

(b) The statement "Fish are allowed if they are caught in the open water and a prayer is said for them once they are caught" is misleading; all animals of the sea are halal, and no prayer need be said when they are caught.

Some other points:

* The five pillars of Islam are not usually referred to as 'beliefs'; they are acts of worship, or duties. Beliefs are usually divided into six aspects, as explain in the BBC Islam pages: http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/islam/islam_beliefs.shtml

* It is easier to say that in Ramadan Muslim do not eat, drink or have sexual relations from dawn until sunset. It *is* allowed to take medicine if it is necessary, in which case the person fasts on other days after Ramadan. It is true that smoking is also not allowed as it would break the fast, but it is worth mentioning that smoking is not allowed in Islam!

A good, concise guide about the basics of Islam, "Islam: a brief guide" is available as a pdf file at: http://www.muslim-ed-trust.org.uk/resources.html

Some corrections...

Post 2


If the author was looking for a secular/Christian alternative to the word "Zakat", the word "charity" would spring to mind, but I agree it was incorrect.

I think perhaps drawing a parallel between Zakat and the "tithes" of the British feudal system, in which everyone was told to give one-tenth of their earnings to the church (not quite the same, as the church kept it smiley - winkeye), would be reasonable.

The only thing I noticed in here, not being a Muslim myself but having studied it at GCSE and having a good enough memory to remember what I learned, was that the author of this entry has named Ramadan as one of the five pillars of Islam. As far as I remember (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong), that pillar is called "Sawm", and Ramadan just happens to be the name of the month in which the fasting occurs.

~ smiley - towel

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Post 3

Smij - Formerly Jimster

I've made some of these changes - with the word 'Zakat', I've added a footnote explaining basically what you've discussed here, as 'charity' is a word that would come to mind, but here it has a very specific meaning.

I think some of your other points might be best left here as part of the wider discussion - although I'll be honest, I'm also not sure how to address them in the entry and don't want to make a mess of it by making the wrong changes smiley - smiley

Thanks very much for these points.


Some corrections...

Post 4


OwlofDoom is correct that the correct name is Sawm (meaning 'fasting') - I missed that one! smiley - smiley

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Post 5


Jimster, I've noted the changes you've made. However, I do think priority should be given to correcting factual errors, whereas other points can, as you rightly suggest, be left for wider discussion.

Some corrections...

Post 6

Smij - Formerly Jimster

Have I missed any important corrections here?

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Post 7


Hmm, either the cache in my browser or the cache in my head must have been slow to update! smiley - winkeye My apologies.

But just one little item outstanding: first prayer just *after* dawn, if you don't mind - unless you want us to get up even earlier every morning!

Thanks for making the corrections. smiley - smiley

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Post 8

Smij - Formerly Jimster

My pleasure, and now that I understand the distinction between dawn and sunrise, it makes a lot more sense. Thanks for your patience with me on this.


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Post 9


my apologies for not making it clearer. :/ I'll do better next time.


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Post 10

Smij - Formerly Jimster

No, Jaez, it's great, honestly, but for me, Dawn is when the sun comes up, but of course, there's a period where light first appears before the sun is visible over the horizon, and I hadn't ever been called on to make that distinction before.

One of the reasons we were so keen to have this in the Edited Guide is that now, of all times, there's a need to have a greater understanding of other faiths. Really good work, here. smiley - ok

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Post 11


I agree, a very timely article, which conveys the basic ideas clearly and succinctly. smiley - smiley

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