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Archive for the ‘Religion and philosophy’ Category

A tolerance for others truth

In Religion and philosophy on 29. September 2016 at 18:40

Also published at Minareten

As long as they do not curse those who we deem sacred, we do not have any problem with them. This statement was given by late Israr Ahmed, a senior Salafi scholar in Pakistan. He was referring to Shia Muslims practice of tabarra, in where certain companions of the Prophet are criticised and even cursed due to events during the civil war following Prophet’s death.

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This statement could not gather enough attention, but it tells of a certain mind-set, which is the crux of majority and minority rights in several Muslim majority countries. Israr Ahmed was not the only one to ever have suggested this trade-off between granting safety in return of letting go of what a believer considers a religious obligation or practice.

What gives, a focus on dialogue, when the emphasis is on a notion of respect, rather than tolerance? Muslim intellectuals and clerics have occasionally called out for dialogue following acts of hatred, persecution and violence. Yet a strong commitment to tolerate is not present, especially when it comes to an internal sectarian strife.

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Mihu mussulman

In Religion and philosophy on 27. April 2016 at 19:03

Teksten ble for første gang publisert hos Vårt Land.

Mihu Yehudi spurte David Ben-Gurion da rabbinerne blant de ortodokse og reformister kranglet om å definere den nasjonale identiteten til staten Israel. Hvem er en Jøde er et eldgammelt spørsmål som fortsatt setter debatten i sving i Israel – noe lignende er tilfellet for muslimer. For hvem er muslim, og hva er definisjonen på Islam?

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Den hvite og den sorte standard

De aller fleste kjenner til de to store retningene innen islam – sunni og sjia. Ofte blir disse omtalt som en liten nyanse innenfor Islam, og at dem tilhørende hver av disse utgjør monolittiske og homogene størrelser. En bedre måte å forstå disse to konstellasjonene på er å se dem som paraply definisjon av et mangfold, bestående av ulike lovskoler, teologiske retninger, grad av esoterisk innvirkning som sufi- og irfan-tradisjonen i forhold til puritanisme – og ikke minst personlige preferanser.

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The changing nature of the institution of Caliph, the definition of Ummah, and how these have an effect on the concept of an Islamic state Part III – Islamic State

In Religion and philosophy on 29. February 2016 at 23:37

Text is also published at Eqbal Ahmed Centre for Public Education.

The institution of a central religious and political authority in Islam is something that has been changing drastically through times. Furthermore, what constitutes a Muslim – the pure definition of being a believer – is something that has not a consensus. These two concepts become quite central when some movements talk about the so called revival of a Islamic state. Is there a canon for an Islamic state, the community and the political leadership of this?

This series on three articles will focus on these three subjects, the institution of the Caliph, what the Muslim community (Ummah) is and what is in this concept of an Islamic state. Focus will be on the plurality in understanding these institutions and concepts and how through history they have developed.

Part III – Islamic State

Late last year Gambia passed a constitutional amendment, declaring the country to be an Islamic state. In terms of social life, or state apparatus, there has not been any major changes, yet the news were received as something dramatic.

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Gambia is not the only Islamic state which is declared so by an act of law, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Mauritania, Some of the Gulf countries amongst others are those who claim to be so. In addition, you have the regional breakaway movements, or the manifests of terrorist organizations with their own declared states. What is evident is the differences in between all these states.

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The changing nature of the institution of Caliph, the definition of Ummah, and how these have an effect on the concept of an Islamic state Part II – Ummah

In Religion and philosophy on 31. January 2016 at 18:14

Essay is also published at Eqbal Ahmed Centre for Public Education.

The institution of a central religious and political authority in Islam is something that has been changing drastically through times. Furthermore, what constitutes a Muslim – the pure definition of being a believer – is something that has not a consensus. These two concepts become quite central when some movements talk about the so called revival of a Islamic state. Is there a canon for an Islamic state, the community and the political leadership of this?

This series on three articles will focus on these three subjects, the institution of the Caliph, what the Muslim community (Ummah) is and what is in this concept of an Islamic state. Focus will be on the plurality in understanding these institutions and concepts and how through history they have developed.

Part II – Ummah

The community, nation or society – there are many variations in understanding the concept of ummah, the Muslim community, and still it is vague as it has been since its birth.

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In the later 20th century political landscape the term of a global Muslim community as a unitary block became the utopian goal for many an Islamist movement. Especially as a counter to the atheist-communist Soviet block and the democratic-capitalistic block led by USA. In these environments, the geopolitical and ideological lines shaped concept of ummah. Thus, the definition of laid emphasis on military might, political unity, civil rights and duties and the related economic system.

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The changing nature of the institution of Caliph, the definition of Ummah, and how these have an effect on the concept of an Islamic state Part I – Caliph

In Religion and philosophy on 25. December 2015 at 01:24

Essay is also published at Eqbal Ahmed Centre for Public Education.

The institution of a central religious and political authority in Islam is something that has been changing drastically through times. Furthermore, what constitutes a Muslim – the pure definition of being a believer – is something that has not a consensus. These two concepts become quite central when some movements talk about the so called revival of a Islamic state. Is there a canon for an Islamic state, the community and the political leadership of this?

This series on three articles will focus on these three subjects, the institution of the Caliph, what the Muslim community (Ummah) is and what is in this concept of an Islamic state. Focus will be on the plurality in understanding these institutions and concepts and how through history they have developed.

Part I – Caliph

There used to be a time when the word Caliph was mentioned we thought about oriental stories, magnificent palaces, harems, intrigues and power. Then war broke out in Syria and after a short while we came to know another kind of a caliph, one that will be the reference point for a long time.

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Last Ottoman Sultan and Caliph leaving his office

 

With IS declaration of a Caliphate the public was served the stories about end of the Ottoman caliphate and the early Muslim dynasties, but the historic roots, its function and its power was limited as IS was to dominate the news with a whole different agenda.

Caliph is a title that has developed over time, its meaning, its power, even its name has been evolving. It has also been quite central on several crossroads in Arab and Muslim history, while at the same time been a distant concept even when it existed for majority of Muslims. The institution had its many paradoxes; a Caliph could be the tyrant, or the rebel, the first among equals or the foreigner invader, the most powerful or the symbolic figurehead, the pious or the heretic – you have them all.

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The container beneath the hearth

In Religion and philosophy on 6. September 2015 at 02:08

‘Why am I still following this man?’ Thinks the crow. ‘He has nothing, nor for me, neither for himself, and he barely notices me. Had it not been for those crumbs he throws I would have been off to much more fertile grounds. Nothing holds me back, yet I am somehow mesmerized’.

The crow had been following this old beggar for days, noticing his simplicity, lack of commitments, him being free from the obligations of society. ‘How free is this man with nothing in hand?’ thinks the crow. ‘He reminds of a bird with no restrains, no chains, except for the body he has, which needs its nurturing’.

As the crow was thinking, they reaches a well in between the place they left, and the place they were to seek. The crow took the branch of the mighty cypress right beside the well, while the beggar took what was his share of water.

crow

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Da vitenskapen konverterte til islam

In Religion and philosophy on 25. August 2015 at 23:06

Artikkelen er også publisert hos Minareten.

Perioden som omtales «den arabiske gullalder» eller «islamske gullalder» er spennende i seg selv for historikere og akademikere.  Tolkninger om perioden brukes også av visse segmenter for egne ideologiske formål, og inntar derfor en sentral plass hos disse.

På den ene siden forsøkes det å diskreditere den vitenskapelig progresjon under muslimsk herredømme, mens den andre siden mener at islam var den sentrale årsak til progresjonen. Hvor den ene hevder at islam stengte for kritisk tenkning og hindret progresjon, hevder den andre at islam nettopp oppfordret til kritisk tenkning som ga resultater.

Det er tydelig at begge gruppene velger ut det som understøtter deres standpunkter. Men en blir nødt til å spørre, hva skyldes den vitenskapelige ansamlingen fra tidligere sivilisasjoner, inn til de muslimske rikene? Og hvordan gikk det seg dit hen at da denne kunnskapen gikk fra Midtøsten til Europa, at også stafettpinnen slo følge?

Kort fortalt, hva tente gnisten, og hvem slukket flammen? Dette er et spørsmål mange muslimer stilte seg da europeiske kolonimakter ble herskere i muslimske land – hva ble resultatet av disse spørsmålene?

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Selektiv medmenneskelighet

In Religion and philosophy on 25. May 2015 at 01:05

Innlegget er også publisert hos Minareten.

Det er ikke til å unngå å vemmes over bilder og videoer som blir distribuert av terrorstaten som identifiserer seg som Islamsk Stat/IS. Ytterst få av oss ville følt noe annet ved å se andre mennesker lide en skjebne som vi ikke ville tillatt oss selv.

Det er en stadig tilbakevennende debatt hver gang slike grusomheter blir kjent for oss. Om det er lurt å publisere og dele slike bilder eller om man heller burde boikotte IS. Disse avveiningene er vanskelige selv for profesjonelle redaksjoner, og minimalt regulert på sosiale medier.

Vi må huske ofrene for dem de var er noe som ofte kommuniseres. Men vi må også vite hvilken skjebne de led. Vi leser oss opp på den systematiske brutaliteten til Nazi-regimet, men muligens slår et bilde av en utsultet jødisk guttunge i ghettoen et større slag for bevisstheten enn sterile bunker med rapporter.

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Hvorfor er det forskjell i reaksjonsmønster når bilder/video fremvises direkte av den overgripende part kontra dokumentasjon som gis av journalister og aktivister? Hva er konsekvens av dette?

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Stedfortreder

In Religion and philosophy on 16. March 2015 at 13:32

Innlegget er først publisert hos Minareten

Kalif – et ord som ofte pryder nyhetsbildet når krig og vold skal rapporteres. Det selverklærte kalifatet ledet av Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi er den eneste årsaken til nettopp dette. Før denne erklæringen om dannelsen av et kalifat, hadde de fleste som kjente til begrepet innen allmennheten kun et underholdende forhold til dette – nærmere bestemt tegneserien Iznogoud – hvor hovedkarakteren helst vil være Kalif istedenfor kalifen.

Hvorfor er dette begrepet relevant når vi diskuterer islam i forhold til miljøvern? I det følgende vil du finne et ønske om å se på hvordan tro kan være en motivasjonsfaktor for å styrke og støtte vitenskapens bekymring for klimautviklingen på denne kloden.

sidi sayed mosque 1870

Naturen

Det er ikke, og bør ikke være slik at all vitenskap må gjennom teologiens filtre. Vitenskapens formål er å opplyse om realiteter gjennom faktum. Dette gjøres ved å innhente bevis, noe som hele tiden er i utvikling med tanke på ny metodikk for bevisinnhenting.

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Guds morder

In Religion and philosophy on 18. February 2015 at 00:07

Alle er, frem til de ikke er. Men noen er, selv om de ikke er lenger. De er gjennom de minner de etterlater. Noen er, men er ikke likevel, og når de ikke er, er det heller ingen minner. Vi blir stadig minnet om urett, og vi føler en maktesløshet. Vi blir minnet oftere, fordi vi er mange fler som snakker. Og det er viktig å uttrykke seg, men er løsningen i en oss og en dem? Kan man tvinge det prismet mennesket er, og de farger dets visdom skaper, til å bli så enkelt som noe svart og noe hvitt? Ved graven under grenen ser ravnen en sjel som mumler til seg selv. Den sier;

ravnen

Jeg ser smerten og jeg hører tårer

Jeg ser at du ikke ser, at du ikke hører

Og din stillhet er øredøvende

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