Continuity and Change in Islam

Nov 12, 2007

That means Islam does not, cannot and will not, permit drinking on weekends or debauching on holidays just because the youth in Europe, America or elsewhere may be clamoring to do that.

What Islam will do instead is work with them diligently to explain to them, to cajole and advise them and to plead with them that these things are contrary to divine teachings. Islam will focus its attention and energies in pleading with these young people to change their ways and enter the blissful fold of Islam without encumbrances of addiction to sex, alcohol or drugs on their shoulders.

King Henry VIII of England Starts a New Religion to Marry a New Wife

King Henry VIII of England wanted to marry a new wife. His solution: start a new religion.

That is how the Anglican Church or the Church of England came about. And that is how English monarchs came to be the "Defenders of the Faith."

I think. All ye historians! Check that out and let me know.

The fact is, often Christianity caved in to pressure from some of its adherents and tried to accommodate their wayward ways by changing its own ways and teachings. Thus, from being a guide, leader and teacher to its flock, it became at times a pawn and a hostage in the hands of those who did not want to mend their ways to fit divine directives but wanted the divine law to change to fit their demands.

King Henry VIII of England had a roving eye and over a life full of marital marauding and adventures he had collected an impressive array of wives. And now he wanted to marry yet another wife.

But in order to make that happen, he needed help and cooperation from the Pope in Rome. And he wanted the Pope to make the necessary religious changes to accommodate the wishes of the English monarch.

When the Pope refused, King Henry broke from Catholic religion in Rome and appointed himself the head of a new church that came to be called the Church of England, thus, in a sense, starting a new religion of his own.

All of this to be able to marry a new wife, something the Pope in Rome would not sanction.

There Is No Such Thing as "Halaal" Beer in Islam

Islam cannot afford the luxury of caving in to pressure from its professed adherents.

Islam is not a mammoth organization that is constantly worried about survival and therefore must retain its worldly viability at all costs. Islam is not a membership structure, whose existence is threatened every time the membership volume flags.

To the contrary, Islam is a do-it-yourself Deen. That means it is a simple message of personal hope, practice and piety that any man or woman can practice and preach in the privacy of their own hearts as well as in the public glare of the mosque and the market.

Islam, therefore, does not dilute or compromise its teachings to retain or attract membership. It lays out what is right and wrong in fairly clear terms and allows people to make up their own minds.

That is why in Islam there is no such thing as "Halaal" beer or "Halaal" pork. As a result, the Islamic spirit is not served by Muslims, or anyone else, trying to market or consume non-alcoholic substitutes for beer by calling them "Halaal" beer.

Alcohol carries with it a simple count of Haraam or forbidden. Those who imbibe it commit a single sin. But inventing or selling or drinking alcohol substitutes that are made to pass for the forbidden spirits is much worse.

It undermines the basic validity of Islamic teachings. And it opens the door to the charge of fraud and pre-Christian Philistinism. It is a throwback to the suspect ways of the Pharisees and the Money Lenders that corrupted the Temple in Jerusalem during the time of Jesus, May God bless him.

Islam Rolls with the Punches and Rises up Strong Every Time

As a result, whenever pressure builds on Islam from those who would either disregard or tamper with its teachings, Islam rises up fresh and strong every time. Rather than change its ways, it stands tall and proud as a beacon of hope for the lost and as a point of return for the wayward.

That means Islam would continue to frown on women roaming outside the privacy of their homes in T-shirts: regardless of the waist and bust sizes of those women; regardless of whether or not those T-shirts are wet; and regardless of whether the wearers of those form-fitting, contour-enhancing T-shirts live in Cairo or Karachi or in Australia, London or Hawaii.

And regardless of whether this happens in the year 2000 or 4000, if the world lasts that long. And regardless of how unattractive or objectionable it makes Islam in the eyes of however many people in this world.

Nevertheless, will some of those who profess Islam continue to engage in these dubious practices?

Yes, they would. Without a doubt.

But most of them will not want to change Islam. And most of them would know that what they are doing is wrong and most of them would leave it at that. And Islam would march on with or without them the way it always had - firm and immutable in the core of its teachings.

Will Some Muslims Misbehave? Surely They Will!

Will some people claiming to be Muslim drink, engage in fornication or adultery, gamble and backbite or miss Fajr Salaat? Yes, they most surely will.

Will some women from Muslim households go out on streets or go to the beach wearing T-shirts? They are quite likely to.

But will any of these forbidden or questionable practices find legitimacy in Islam or alter the norms of Islamic belief or behavior?

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