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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Coëmgenu
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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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clw_uk
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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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Coëmgenu
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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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Coëmgenu
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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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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by davidbrainerd » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:21 pm

I've been informed I can have my dhammawheel access restored so long as I recant my position on Mohammed. People always say to know who rule you just look at who you aren't allowed to criticize. I don't want Mohammed ruling me, so I won't stop criticizing him. So this post is just to say if people a suicidal lemming is the price to having a dhammawheel access, its not worth it to me.

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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by davidbrainerd » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:25 pm

One more thing, though concerning the notion that I am making "unsubstantiated accusations". As to statements that Muslims dispute that Mohammed married Aisha at 9. Like I said before, that's not correct. Every conversation I've been in or observed with a Muslim on this point goes like this;

Non-Muslim: The Hadiths say Mohammed married Aisha when she was 6.
Muslim: No, the Hadiths say Mohammed married Aisha when she was 9.
Non-Muslim: That's not any better dude.
Muslim: Isaac married Rebecca when she was 6.
Non-Muslim: The Bible doesn't say that.
Muslim: The Talmud says it.
Non-Muslim: I don't believe in the Talmud, nor can I verify if it says that or not. But even if it did, you can't justifiy pedophilia by "other people do it too."

etc. etc.

That's how it always goes. I have never seen a Muslim outright deny that Mohammed married Aisha at 9.

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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by davidbrainerd » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:34 pm

Wikiepedia's article on Aisha says :
The majority of traditional hadith sources state that Aisha was married to Muhammad at the age of six or seven, but she stayed in her parents' home until the age of nine, or ten according to Ibn Hisham, when the marriage was consummated with Muhammad, then 53, in Medina.
And that is the only complaint I ever heard from Muslims, i.e. when Westerners say "Mohammed married Aisha at 6" they always want to clarify that he didn't TECHNICALLY consummate the marriage until she was 9.

That not TECHNICALLY consummating the marriage doesn't mean not doing anything sexual with her. There are activities Mohammed is said by these traditional sources to have done with her that in the West would be sexual assault of a child, that are not considered as consummating the marriage in Islam. But let's not go there. Let's just let the Muslims pretend that he didn't touch her at all until she was 9 (despite the sources not really saying that). Does waiting until she was 9 make it not child rape? No.

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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by davidbrainerd » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:40 pm

Here is a quote from an official Muslim source, one of the most respected Hadith collectors, Sahih al-Bukhari.

Along with the link so you can read it for yourself.
Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64:
Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64 wrote: Narrated 'Aisha:

that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death).
Now, Wikipedia says:
Some traditional sources disagree. Ibn Hisham wrote in his biography of Muhammad that she may have been ten years old at the consummation.
But in reality, this is not real disagreement, because it does not matter to us whether she was 9 or 10. Both are the same. Still child rape.
Last edited by davidbrainerd on Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

WontonCarter
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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by WontonCarter » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:41 pm

dharmacorps wrote:This is a fruitless and divisive question.
Yeah, seriously, who cares here? This is utterly pointless, incredibly unnecessary, and I'm very doubtful it was made with good intentions.

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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by retrofuturist » Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:02 pm

Greetings David,
davidbrainerd wrote:I've been informed I can have my dhammawheel access restored so long as I recant my position on Mohammed.
This is simply false. No one told you to do any such thing. You were instead asked to provide substantiation for something you said earlier in this topic because... "TOS 2d. Unsubstantiated allegations against individuals or traditions" constitute a violation of the Terms of Service.

You can speak or criticize whatever you choose... it just needs to be done within the parameters of the Terms of Service if you're going to do it at Dhamma Wheel. Your recent postings with links have been regarded as an adequate attempt at substantiation.

Now, to avoid violating "TOS 2e. Disruptive meta-discussion (i.e. discussion about discussion)", I recommend getting...

:focus:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Bundokji
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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by Bundokji » Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:37 pm

clw_uk wrote: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?


The fact that moral relativism is applied mostly to negative judgement says nothing about the validity of moral relativism. It is more likely that moral issues are raised when a particular action is perceived "negative" as we have the general tendency to take what is right for granted. In this particular thread, it is used to counteract what is perceived as "unfair" moral judgement and it has a mitigating effect and it makes sense. We all live in space and time and we are social animals, so what we perceive as normal or acceptable behavior is largely driven by the common practices in the age we happen to experience. Overlooking it is as bad as to completely relying on it what we make a moral judgement in my opinion.

In my opinion, a major weakness in the way you chose to approach this topic, at least from an intellectual point of view, is that you decided to use a very personal criteria to judge a historical figure who had a great impact on humanity (great impact does not mean good or bad). Words such as "respect" and "pedophile" did not sound (at least to me) as a serious and fruitful approach. First, it can lead to wrong conclusions as it relied on one isolated action, and second, regardless of its truth it does not necessarily answer whether Muhammad is worthy of respect. Imagine someone taking one aspect of you, and then using it to determine how respectable you are, do you think he should be taken seriously?

More generally, i think we live in an age where we are becoming increasingly opinionated. Seeking the truth becomes secondary.

May i introduce an alternative approach? Muhammad has been successful in many ways and failed in many other. He unified the Arabs and gave them purpose. He introduced a new morality and a new way of life. We always hear about what is wrong with Islam which is mostly valid and true, but i can tell you with a great deal of certainty that Islam improved many people's lives and was a cause of a lot of positive behavior.

On the other hand, he could have done much better. Right after his death, his closest companions started to fight among themselves. Just imagine, right after the Buddha's death, that Anada, Sariputta, Moggallana and other disciples started to fight, would this make him a successful teacher? His realistic and pragmatic approach has backfired regardless of his intentions. But judging his success/failure without taking into consideration the temperament of his people, the historical context and the tribal rift and rivalry between his own tribe (Banu Hashim) and their distant cousins (Banu Umayya) which preceded Islam and the role it played in shaping what Islam turned out to be would be unfair.
Assuming the story is true (in terms of the young age) does that make Muhammad's actions good or not, in your opinion?
I think his marriage of Aisha was bad, but for a totally different reasons than the ones you are emphasizing. After his death, she waged a war against his cousin (Ali bin Abi Taleb) which was one of the main contributing factors of the major rift between Sunni and Shiaa Muslims, and might serve as another reminder that the focus on her age when he married her, in the wider scheme, is pretty pity concern.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by davidbrainerd » Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:38 am

Bundokji wrote:I think his marriage of Aisha was bad, but for a totally different reasons than the ones you are emphasizing. After his death, she waged a war against his cousin (Ali bin Abi Taleb) which was one of the main contributing factors of the major rift between Sunni and Shiaa Muslims, and might serve as another reminder that the focus on her age when he married her, in the wider scheme, is pretty pity concern.
I'm sure she knew more about Ali's character than we do today. Its interesting that the Hadiths record that some verses of the Koran were lost because Aisha's goat ate them. One verse mentioned is some weird idea about women being able to make an unrelated male into a close relative by breast-feeding him 5 times (thus enablding him to be around her without her husband around). That's a very sick idea, that Mohammed supposedly (according to Hadiths) forced upon a particular disciples' wife. Aisha's goat ate it, resulting in it not being in the Koran today. In other words, Aisha purposefully saved future women from that crazy nonsense. She's a hero.

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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by davidbrainerd » Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:45 am

davidbrainerd wrote:
Bundokji wrote:I think his marriage of Aisha was bad, but for a totally different reasons than the ones you are emphasizing. After his death, she waged a war against his cousin (Ali bin Abi Taleb) which was one of the main contributing factors of the major rift between Sunni and Shiaa Muslims, and might serve as another reminder that the focus on her age when he married her, in the wider scheme, is pretty pity concern.
I'm sure she knew more about Ali's character than we do today. Its interesting that the Hadiths record that some verses of the Koran were lost because Aisha's goat ate them. One verse mentioned is some weird idea about women being able to make an unrelated male into a close relative by breast-feeding him 5 times (thus enablding him to be around her without her husband around). That's a very sick idea, that Mohammed supposedly (according to Hadiths) forced upon a particular disciples' wife. Aisha's goat ate it, resulting in it not being in the Koran today. In other words, Aisha purposefully saved future women from that crazy nonsense. She's a hero.
There is also the fact that after Mohammed attacked a certain Jewish city and killed all the men (according to Hadith) and then raped a woman from that town (according to Hadith) he made that woman cook him dinner. As he was eating the dinner, the Hadith says, he realized it was poisoned, and spit it out, after having eaten quite a bit. From that time forward, he was constantly sick, for the next 6 months, until he died. And Aisha took care of him. But he never got better. Although the ancients didn't think of this, some moderns have come up with the theory that Aisha took advantage to get her revenge for him raping her at 6 or 9, by keeping him sick by poisoning him little by little that whole time. If so, she is a hero again.

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Re: Muhammad - Worthy of respect?

Post by binocular » Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:54 am

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.
Oh, honey, we already are critical of Islam, and for reasons that have nothing to do with Mohammed.
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