Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Mr Man
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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by Mr Man » Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:07 am

Garrib wrote:
dharmacorps wrote:
This is a fruitless and divisive question.
Agreed.
Definitely

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Mr Man
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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by Mr Man » Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:08 am

Disciple wrote: Speaks to the open mindedness of this site.
Not in my opinion. Also remember you don't always see what is removed.

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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by Disciple » Sat Sep 16, 2017 6:37 pm

Mr Man wrote:
Disciple wrote: Speaks to the open mindedness of this site.
Not in my opinion. Also remember you don't always see what is removed.
Could be but it is better run than stalinwheel.

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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by clw_uk » Sat Sep 16, 2017 6:50 pm

Disciple wrote:
Mr Man wrote:
Disciple wrote: Speaks to the open mindedness of this site.
Not in my opinion. Also remember you don't always see what is removed.
Could be but it is better run than stalinwheel.

:rofl:
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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by clw_uk » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:08 pm

Garrib wrote:Nevermind the charges - do you know a lot of Buddhists who spend a lot of time revering Muhammad? This seems like kind of a non-issue as far as I'm concerned.
Straw-man. My post was asking if Muhammad is worthy of respect, not if Buddhists revere him or not.
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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by clw_uk » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:10 pm

SarathW wrote:It is not easy to make a judgement on what happened 1500 years ago with 21 century standards.
Getting married in very young was very common.
Indeed, but was it right or wrong?


I believe Buddha married very young too.
Marrying your own sister was also common in Buddha's time.
Not to a child as an adult man, as far as I'm aware.

Perhaps we should see what Muslims are doing today rather than what they did 1500 years ago.
My post isn't really about muslims. And I agree, we should treat each individual on their individual merits
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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by clw_uk » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:14 pm

Bundokji wrote:I agree with SarathW that using today's morality standards to judge what happened 15 centuries ago is not a good idea.
The problem with moral relativism of this sort is that usually its only applied to negative judgments. I rarely hear people say the same about positive judgements, despite that being a logical extension of the argument. If I cannot judge Muhammad as being good or bad for his actions as they are dependent on the time, then I cannot do the same with Buddha and so I cannot attribute to him the many noble qualities that I do. Another extension would be the inability to judge Hitler, because anti-semitism was rife at the time and "that was the culture and world he grew up in".

I guess it comes down to if you are a moral relativist or not. Do you believe certain actions are always immoral, or productive of bad kamma, or not?




Also in Islam, there are many versions of each story (including this particular one). The biography of Muhammad as well as the Hadith were written long after his death, so Muslim scholars who were trying to be objective included everything, and then developed a ranking system of men who conveyed the Hadith using a very strict standards focusing on if they ever lied and whether they had good memory or not ..etc

The above is a cause of much confusion among Muslims who don't know much about their religion as well we non Muslims who approach the books and citing whatever they find in them, and then accusing Muslims of denying the truth about their religion.

As DooDoot said, the story itself is disputed, and most Muslims believe that Muhammad married Aisha when she was 13 and some say when she was 18. Even according to the story which says he married her when she was nine, this is half of the story. He married her when she was six and she stayed in her father's house until she became nine (until she reached puberty i guess).

To use today's standards to judge very old behavior is clinging to the current conventions (civil law). These days, it is punishable by law to allow a man who is above 18 to have sex with a woman who is below 18, but nature seems to have different opinion. When a female or a male reach puberty, they can have children, so it is permissible for them to have sex. The difference between the two moral systems is that one uses nature to build a convention, and the other uses convention to determine what is natural or normal behavior!

The above does not apply to the physical, but also to the psychological aspect of men and women. When you treat people as children, they will behave as such. The leader of the last military expedition (against the Byzantine Empire) before Muhammad's death was 17 years of age, and his name was Usama Ibn Zayd.

Also the story as mentioned by Craig can be somehow misleading. Muhammad had many wives, some of them were older than him. His first wife (Khadija) was much older than him, and he married her when he was relatively young (and assumingly at the peak of his sexual desire) and yet, he monogamously married her for 25 years, and when she died, he described this year in his life "the year of sorrow".

All following marriages were done either for political reasons, which is to form alliances with other tribes and to bring them to Islam, or to honor and cement the relation with some of his closest companions (Aisha was the daughter of Abu Baker, the first Khalifah after the death of Muhammad), or to break a tradition and to introduce a new rule (as in the case of Zainab Bint Jahsh)

Assuming the story is true (in terms of the young age) does that make Muhammad's actions good or not, in your opinion?

If you would like to debate the age however, then I can do that as well. I merely suggested not to do so for simplicity of argument.
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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by clw_uk » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:18 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
clw_uk wrote:From my understanding, Muhammad married Aisha at age seven and consummated the marriage at age 9. This makes Muhammad a paedophile as he engaged in intercourse with her before puberty.
It's sounds very tacky, but was that the cultural norm back then? At my local group recently somebody was criticising the Buddha for leaving his wife and child to go off "wandering". :shrug:
Lets say it was the cultural norm. Does that make his actions right or wrong? Slavery was a cultural norm as well in numerous societies. Do we not form a judgement about that?
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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by clw_uk » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:18 pm

binocular wrote:
clw_uk wrote:As Buddhists we should not respect such a man.
So what should this "not respecting such a man" look like?

In simple terms it would involve being critical of Muhammad and the religion that he founded.
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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by clw_uk » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:20 pm

Even if you did decide for some reason you could judge the founder of a major world religion as unworthy of respect, how does this help you? Or us as Buddhists? Or as people? Is it skillful to ask this? Would that mean muslims on the whole are not worthy of respect? This is a fruitless and divisive question.
I always feel that the truth is valuable in of itself. Do I need a reason to form an opinion about Muhammad, or any other religious founder/leader?
Would that mean muslims on the whole are not worthy of respect?
As with any other group, it would depend upon the individual.
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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by Coëmgenu » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:34 pm

clw_uk wrote:
binocular wrote:
clw_uk wrote:As Buddhists we should not respect such a man.
So what should this "not respecting such a man" look like?

In simple terms it would involve being critical of Muhammad and the religion that he founded.
But aren't Buddhists already critical in such ways? Towards Mohammed and various other founders of rival religions?
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः

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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by clw_uk » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:35 pm

But aren't Buddhists already critical in such ways? Towards Mohammed and various other founders of rival religions?
Depends on the Buddhist. I've heard some Buddhist's argue that we shouldn't be critical of any religion or its founder.
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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by Coëmgenu » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:45 pm

clw_uk wrote:
But aren't Buddhists already critical in such ways? Towards Mohammed and various other founders of rival religions?
Depends on the Buddhist. I've heard some Buddhist's argue that we shouldn't be critical of any religion or its founder.
"Mean to-" and "critical of-" aren't the same thing. If a Buddhist was not 'critical' of the teachings of Mohammed in the way that I mean(t) 'critical', which, to be fair, retrojectively, is a rather colloquial and loose usage of the word 'critical', why aren't they a Muslim? Allah makes more 'demands' of them than the Buddha. It would behoove them to be a Muslim instead and respect the Buddha as an anbiyāʔ (prophet) whose teachings became distorted over time.

Presuming someone 'is' a Buddhist, they have also necessarily rejected the teachings of Islam. In this way all Buddhists are 'critical of Islam'. This is what I meant in my post, sorry if it was miscommunicated.

Whether or not we should be "mean to" that religion or its practitioners, despite thinking X or Y things about it, regardless of if X or Y thing we think about it is rightly thought so or wrongly thought so, that can be irrespective of if we are critical of that religion. Which is essentially what you stated here:
clw_uk wrote:As with any other group, it would depend upon the individual.
but I had not read so far when I posted this! :embarassed: :sage:
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः

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clw_uk
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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by clw_uk » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:53 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
clw_uk wrote:
But aren't Buddhists already critical in such ways? Towards Mohammed and various other founders of rival religions?
Depends on the Buddhist. I've heard some Buddhist's argue that we shouldn't be critical of any religion or its founder.
"Mean to-" and "critical of-" aren't the same thing. If a Buddhist was not 'critical' of the teachings of Mohammed in the way that I mean(t) 'critical', which, to be fair, retrojectively, is a rather colloquial and loose usage of the word 'critical', why aren't they a Muslim? Allah makes more 'demands' of them than the Buddha. It would behoove them to be a Muslim instead and respect the Buddha as an anbiyāʔ (prophet) whose teachings became distorted over time.

Presuming someone 'is' a Buddhist, they have also necessarily rejected the teachings of Islam. In this way all Buddhists are 'critical of Islam'. This is what I meant in my post, sorry if it was miscommunicated.

Whether or not we should be "mean to" that religion or its practitioners, despite thinking X or Y things about it, regardless of if X or Y thing we think about it is rightly thought so or wrongly thought so, that can be irrespective of if we are critical of that religion. Which is essentially what you stated here:
clw_uk wrote:As with any other group, it would depend upon the individual.
but I had not read so far when I posted this! :embarassed: :sage:

I agree
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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by Coëmgenu » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:57 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:anbiyāʔ
Nabī, I don't know what possessed me to write the plural.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः

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