Okay... Either I have been reading to much or I am just lost. But, the more reading on Islam I do, the more I feel lost. Someone yesterday said "Imams have a higher status then the Prophet (saw)." I freaked. How could anyone be placed above prophethood? I mean, there would be no Imams if there was no prophet. Chicken and the egg. So how could the one be higher than the other. So I've been sent articles, etc. regarding this and I still don't get it. I should say, I've had a hard time accepting the fact that the Imams are infallible so you could probably gather that I would have an even harder time accepting Imams being more important than the prophet. Very confused about all this. If anyone has a book that could enlighten me on this, please recommend it...
I've also had a hard time with some Islamic laws...and I don't mean to argue with Allah on any of this but I hope he forgives me for my ignorance and lack of knowledge regarding such things. But the whole slavery bit bothers me too...how they have different laws (harsher and their rights being violated too). I know it doesn't exist today in those terms, but it does exist. Taliban comes to mind. When the raper has to marry the rapee...it sounds to me like slavery.
Another issue I've been having is how it can be legal (i don't care whether it is widely practiced or not) for a 60 year old man to marry a 15 year old girl. I find this thoroughly sick. I mean if it was their daughter, would they want someone who is 4 times her age to marry her? I guess they wouldn't care if they are doing it or maybe if it would bother them they are just holding a double standard.
The more I read, the less I understand. I came to Islam to get closer to God. I didn't realize I would have to ingest so much information. It is truly the most involved religion ever...and I'm feeling lost within the lessons.
I usually am in agreement with most Islamic laws and believe in most of the concepts, and this is the first time I've been argumentative towards it (may Allah forgive me for my ignorance).
On another note, I've been reading a book called Marjalis al-ilm... Sessions of Knowledge: Reclaiming and Representing the Lives of Muslim Women
and it is very good. The contributors are 9 women of different backgrounds and are from different sects within Islam...both Sunni and Shia are represented and it is a very good read and right up my alley. The compiler is trying to bridge the gap (or break it down) between the sects and also between the different religions. It is written for Muslims and non-Muslims both. I've only just started it, but I am finding it thoroughly enjoyable.
I think I'm going to put the books down tomorrow and just go hiking and geocaching (link on the left) - I've found 95 caches and trying to reach 100 soon. :-) Too much fun.
Nice quote I found in the Quran: (I've bolded the part which really hit me)
"Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His Light is a niche in which is a lamp. The lamp is in a glass. The glass is as it were a shining star. (This lamp is) lit from a blessed tree, an olive neither of the East nor of the West
, whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself) though no fire touched it. Light upon Light. Allah Guides to His Light whom He will
." (The Holy Quran, 24:35)
and another great quote:
"Having drunk entire seas, we remain quite surprised that our lips are just as dry as the shore and we continue to seek out the sea to dip them there, without seeing that our lips are the shore and we ourselves the sea." - Farid al-Din Attar (d. 1220)
I really liked that quote because I've been trying to read so much and have been and still remain thirsty for more (even if I do often feel overwhelmed).
and one last quote:
"I cannot do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, I ought to do. And what I ought to do, I shall do." - Edward Everett Hale