Thursday, July 22, 2010

3 Things You Should Know About Islam

This video probably won't be up long, but it has been saved and is being reposted elsewhere. It states the most vital facts about Islam at a fairly high level of abstraction, leaving the reader with the task of researching the details.

I want you to watch this video and tell your friends and family to watch it. I want it to go viral before it is pulled down by the intolerant, bigoted forces of obscurantism.

For those who prefer the short course: refer to my blog post: What’s Wrong With Islam/Muslims?

The Qur'an is the foundational text of Islam. It is approximately one third as long as the Bible. It contains much redundancy, little context and no chronology.
Reading Surahs 2,3 &4 is essential to understanding Islamic jihad & misogyny. The second Surah deals mainly with defensive & retaliatory fighting. Surahs 8 & 9 contain the imperatives for global conquest. Surahs 47, 48 & 61 add some important reinforcing details.

The Qur'an is available free on line in many languages, translations and formats. The Muslim Student Association at USC hosts three parallel translations: Pickthall, Shakir & Abdullah Yusuf Ali without commentary.

The Skeptic's Annotated Quran presents Pickthall's translation with a graphic index in the right sidebar.

Abdullah Yusuf Ali's translation is available with his commentary at altafsir.

The King Fahd Complex hosts the Hilali & Khan translation with commentary. That translation includes parenthetical expressions from three tafsirs. it is reputed to be 95% accurate, excepting only the terms "fight" and "marry". In the former case, the true expression is fight and kill, in the latter case, it is a common obscenity.

Maududi's translation & commentary displays the Arabic text, English translation & explanation and offers Arabic recital for those who want to know what it sounds like.

Hadith are sayings, observations made by Muhammad's companions. They help to confirm and explain the Qur'an and form half of the basis of Shari'ah.
USC-MSA hosts abridgments of four of the six canonical hadith collections. Sahih Bukhari is considered the most authentic. Its books of Jihad, Khumus & Expedition contain most of what you need to know about jihad.

Tafsir are explanations of the Qur'an, verse by verse. Other verses and hadith form the basis of tafsir. Ibn Kathir's Tafsir is the most widely accepted. Qtafsir has an alpha-numeric search engine so that you can look up a verse by its Surah:Ayeh numbers. In several cases, the topic titles will tell everything you need to know. Here are a few samples. Click them to read the topics at

Umdat as-Salik is the all purpose Shafi'ite handbook of Shari'ah: Islamic law. It was translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller as Reliance of the Traveller, a 1250 page book. That had to be a pure labor of love. It is divided into books, each named with a single letter. Book O treats of justice. Chapter 9 details the law of jihad. From my point of view, it is the most important part of the book. Book M treats of marriage. Open it to 3.13 for a real eye opener.

Maktabah has a pdf version of Reliance that you can search. Here are some extremely relevant samples for readers with less intense curiosity.

No comments: