Posted by: Dawud Israel | October 22, 2008

How Muslims Interpret Islam (and why)


Why do some Muslims believe what they believe? Why do they behave irrationally even though they have good intentions?

I wrote this up thinking as to how Muslims could be affected to believe or behave in certain ways. These are very subtle ways in which Muslims lean towards certain persuasions of Islam. One might be surprised to learn that it usually has very little to do with the person and more to do with how events unfold.

I also composed this on paper whilst trying to be artistic. I am trying to make a shift from the sheer digital to the real and actual.

See below to read this discussion (it will go to super hi-res if you click on it). And please forgive my messy writing!

Sidenote: Often when Muslims use a label to refer to a group of Muslims, there is a great deal of worry. We wish that no one had even used these terms…they are dirty obscene swear words; the words “Sufi” or “Salafi” are the “Nigger” and this issue can be dealt with in two ways.

Firstly, the more we avoid these words the more powerful they become when someone decides to use them and they are a way in which someone else “controls us”. You can continue on this train of thought in watching the comedian Whoopi Goldberg discuss how the N-word has losts it’s negative meaning and is now “controlled by us”. You can view that here.

Secondly, and this is the issue I am approaching, is that these labels are used in the interest of the people thus labeled- and NOT to their hatred. Yes, it is a fact that women who were (heavy) burkahs are more likely to get osteoporosis. Now is this prejudice towards Muslims or is it a fact? It is a fact and needs to be discussed from a point of view that has the interest of that person at heart. Likewise, my interest here is that of the Ummah–our Ummah is wide and big so we do need to account for and take care of as many segments of it as possible. The only reason I use these terms is because they are common and because their are not any “friendlier” terms out there. And it was in that interest I discussed some of these issues here.

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illaha illa ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, Ameen.


  1. Can you please provide a link to your ‘burkah’ comment. Thank you.

  2. I actually read it an a magazine report that was highlighting how certain ethnic groups are more likely to have certain problems.

    If you google osteoporosis and burkah you might find something.

  3. This post truly deserves to be posted at a blog named “muslimology”

  4. AS

    Thanks, Dawud. I enjoyed the post but would hope you develop it more if you have please refer me to the location. It is necessary to clarify the structure of thought at a meta-level if we are to get out of this intellectual rut that we seemed to be forced into by habit in the West wherein intelligent discussion seems rare.

  5. AS

    Dawud, can I ask you a favor bro. When you come across interesting links like the one you linked me to regarding the man who kept silence for 17 years please let me know. Thanks for the quality info I love that type stuff bro it really shows the positive aspects of media technology in learning and communication.

    Your brother

  6. Abul Hussein, glad you enjoyed it. I like the Translators blog because it’s got the same tilt I have, alhamdulillah. It’s all about being relevant.

    This was from a mix of my classes in sociology and social psychology. I could give you a source, but my professors either explained it a lot more clearly from their work experience. I will post the title of my social psychology textbook if you wanna take a look at that.

    I will be doing more posts similar to this soon, just keep an eye out here.

    And I’ll send you an email with some websites where you can find quality information like that. It’s a small circle cuz few are interested but I think you would enjoy it in sha Allah.

  7. […] wanted to re-visit this old post here. This is by no means a complete discussion and it should be understood this is not to demean […]

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