Friday, May 27, 2011

I would be....

If I were a month, I'd be November
If I were a day of the week, I'd be Saturday
If I were a time of day, I'd be dawn
If I were a planet, I'd be the moon! (Okay, not really a planet, but it is in space.)
If I were an animal, I'd be a cat
If I were a direction, I'd be the South (what else? :D)
If I were a piece of furniture, I'd be a comfy, retro sofa (like the one I have)
If I were a liquid, I'd be vanilla Coke
If I were a gemstone, I'd be an Amethyst
If I were a tree, I'd be a maple tree
If I were a tool, I'd be a pen
If I were a flower, I'd be a Cherokee Rose
If I were a kind of weather, I'd be a cool breeze off the ocean
If I were a musical instrument, I'd be an electric guitar
If I were a color, I'd be purple
If I were an emotion, I'd be content
If I were a fruit, I'd be a seedless grape
If I were a sound, I'd be the cat's meow
If I were an element, I'd be fire
If I were a car, I'd be a Toyota Camry
If I were a food, I'd be chicken tikka masala over rice with naan and rice pudding on the side
If I were a place, I'd be Spain
If I were a taste, I'd be peppermint
If I were a scent, I'd smell like an orange stuck with whole cloves and boiled in an open pot
If I were an item of clothing, I'd be a pair of jeans
If I were a body part, I'd be hands
If I were a facial expression, I'd be a smile
If I were a song, I'd be "Como La Flor" by Selena.
If I were a pair of shoes, I'd be flip flops.
What would you be?

Thursday, May 12, 2011


So, after the sudden (but brief) flurry of posts, I'm drawing blanks on post topics. Anybody have any suggestions? :)


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Native Deen

I usually hate rap music, mostly due to the nastiness of it: nearly-naked women shaking their assets, the bad language, drug and violence references... There's very little good in it.

But my sister Sarah pointed me towards a Muslim group called Native Deen. The lyrics are all Islam-related. One of my favorites is "My Faith My Voice", about religious tolerance and the true nature of Islam and Muslims. :)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

One of many.

This is just one of many reasons that I believe in God. I took this photo a few hours ago. The sunset and the starry nights, with very few artificial lights to compete, make me want to bow down and humble myself before Him.


My favorite. . .

1. Food – Indian food. I love it, especially naan with chicken tikka masala, and rice pudding. :)
2. Color – Purple, blue, green, pink, silver, blue... I love them all.
3. Animal – I have four cats. I adore them all.
4. Sports – None. Ever.
5. Dessert – Rice pudding from my favorite Indian restaurant.
6. Pair of shoes – Ballet flats, or sneakers when my feet hurt.
7. Outfit – Jeans and tunics.
8. Brand – ... I don't really have a favorite, but Avenue is a good store for curvier girls. :)
9. Perfume – Elizabeth Arden 5th Avenue
10. Accessory – Hijab! Sometimes earrings.
11. City - San Antonio, Texas
12. Hobby – Reading, blogging, praying, watching movies, shopping for books. :)
13. Beauty Product – Lotion, if my skin is dry.
14. Snack – I like grapes, or applesauce with shredded cheddar cheese.
15. Holiday – I like the 4th of July. :) Fireworks are fun, patriotic-colored hijabs are more fun. :)
16. Movie – the new "Star Trek" film at the moment, but I also love "Top Hat" with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
17. Song – I can't pick just one, but I love all of Josh Groban's music, no exceptions. :)
18. Guilty Pleasure - Reading a book in bed with my cats piled around (and on) me on a cold, rainy day.

Haram and Halal

“Dogs are haram!” “Music is haram!” “Makeup is haram!” “Bright colored clothes are haram!” “Pictures of people or animals are haram!”

I know you’ve all heard this before. For the person who is just learning about Islam, it can be overwhelming. It can leave you wondering if Muslims are allowed to do ANYTHING but wear black, pray, and read the Qur’an.

What does the Qur’an say is forbidden?

Forbidden food

The blood and meat of animals who die of natural causes or are killed or partially eaten by a wild animal, pork, and anything sacrificed or slain by the name of any other but God. If you are starving and this is the only food available, then you are permitted to eat it. Sharing meals with Christians and Jews is not forbidden.

2:172-173 “O you who believe, eat from the good things We have provided for you, and be thankful to God; if it is Him you serve. He has only made unlawful for you that which is already dead, and the blood, and the meat of pig, and what was dedicated to other than God. But whoever is forced to, without seeking disobedience or transgression, then there is no sin upon him. God is Forgiving, Merciful.”

5:3-5 “Forbidden to you is that which is already dead, and the blood, and the meat of pig, and what was dedicated to other than God, and that which has been strangled, and that which has been beaten to death, and that which has fallen from a height, and that which has been gored, and that which the wild animals have eaten from except what you managed to rescue, and what has been slaughtered on altars, and what you divide by the arrows of chance. This is vile. Today the rejecters have given up from your system, so do not be concerned by them, but be concerned by Me. Today I have perfected your system for you, and completed My blessings upon you, and I have approved submission as the system for you. So, whoever is forced by severe hunger and not seeking sin, then God is Forgiving, Merciful. They ask you what was made lawful to them, say: “All the good things have been made lawful for you, and what the trained dogs and birds catch, you teach them from what God teaches you.” So eat from what they have captured for you and mention the name of God upon it, and be aware of God. God is swift in reckoning. Today, the good things have been made lawful to you, and the food of those who have been given the Book is lawful for you, and your food is lawful for them…”

Forbidden “fun”

Alcohol, gambling, idols, and fortune telling. God tells us that these things are used by Satan to distract us from Him and prayer.

2:219 “They ask you about intoxicants and gambling. Say: “In them is great harm, and a benefit for the people; but their harm is greater than their benefit.”…”

5:90-91 “O you who believe, intoxicants, and gambling, and stone idols, and fortunes are an affliction used by the devil. You shall avoid him so that you may be successful. The devil only wants to cause strife between you through intoxicants and gambling, and to repel you away from remembering God and from the prayer. Will you be deterred?”


This is a hard one. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have a mortgage or car payment every month! But this verse seems to address those who collect interest, not those of us who have to pay it.

2:275-276 “Those who consume usury do not rise except as one being influenced by the touch of the devil. That is because they have said: “Trade is the same as usury.” While God has made trade lawful, and He has made usury unlawful. Whoever has received understanding from His Lord and ceases, then he will be forgiven for what was before this and his case will be with God. But whoever returns, then they are the people of the Fire, in it they will abide. God condemns usury, and He grants growth to the charities. And God does not love any wicked sinner.”

Forbidden Relationships

Anyone who is related to you by blood or marriage, or a similar bond: mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, nieces, foster parents, foster siblings, mother-in-law, step daughters, or marrying sisters. This applies to the male counterparts for women. Also anyone who is a polytheist or fornicator.

4:22-23 “And do not marry who your fathers had married from the women, except what has already been done. It is a lewdness, and an abhorrence, and an evil path. Forbidden for you are your mothers, and your daughters, and your sisters, and the sisters of your father, and the sisters of your mother, and the daughters of your brother, and the daughters of your sister, and your foster mothers who suckled you, and your sisters from suckling, and the mothers of your women, and your step-daughters who are in your lodgings from your women with whom you have already consummated the marriage; if you have not consummated the marriage then there is no sin upon you; and those who were in wedlock with your sons who are from your seed, and that you join between two sisters except what has already been done. God is Forgiving, Merciful.”

24:3 “The adulterer will only marry an adulteress or she who is a polytheist. And the adulteress, she will only be married to an adulterer or he who is a polytheist. And such has been made forbidden for the believers.”

Nowhere are dogs forbidden or labeled unclean. Music is not forbidden. Nowhere are pictures of animals or people forbidden. Neither bright colors (which mimic the plants and flowers that Allah created and colored!) nor makeup are forbidden. Music, photos, and makeup should, of course, be in good taste, but they are allowed.

Allah (SWT) has warned us about forbidding what He does not forbid. He chastised Muhammad (PBUH) for trying to do just that!

66:1 “O Our Prophet! Why do you forbid what God has made permissible to you? Do you seek to please your wives? God is Forgiver, Merciful.”

So enjoy the good things Allah (SWT) has made permissible for us!


I was asked about performing ablution without the instructions from the hadith. Now that I’ve done some research, let’s see what the Qur’an says on the subject.

5:6 “O you who believe! When you get ready for prayers, wash your faces and hands along with the elbows, and wipe a part of your heads and feet to the ankles, and if you are polluted (have been intimate with your spouse), then cleanse yourselves, and if you are sick or on a journey, or if one of you comes from the privy, or you have had contact with women, and you do not find water, betake to pure earth and wipe a part of your faces and hands with it; God does not intend to lay a hardship on you, but to purify you instead so that He may complete His favor on you, you may be grateful.”

Wow. Could it be any simpler than that? Not really. So here we have proof of what God wants from us in regards to ablution. Washing three times, washing your ears, rinsing your mouth, and blowing water out of your nose… this is all added by man. If God wanted us to do these things, He would have told us in the Qur’an.

If you do these things, that’s dandy. I’m not criticizing you. Do what makes you happy. I’m just pointing out what the Qur’an says God wants, versus what people say God wants.

Friday, May 6, 2011


Amber asked me about how I pray if I don’t follow the hadith. Well, let’s see what the Qur’an says about prayer.

1. How are you supposed to pray?

7:29 “Say: “My Lord has enjoined justice and set your faces upright when prostrating. Call upon Him sincerely, turning to Him exclusively in religion, even as He brought you forth in the beginning, so to Him shall you also return.”

23:1-2 “Successful, indeed, are the believers, who are humble while offering their supplications.”

107:4-5 “So woe unto those who pray – while being heedless to (the commandments of) their prayers.”

We are to pray sincerely, humbly, and minding what those prayers command, turning to God exclusively and calling on Him.

2. What form is prayer to take?

9:112 “(These are) they who turn to God (seeking forgiveness), who worship Him, praise Him, fast, bow down, prostrate themselves…”

18:110 “Say: “Call upon God, or call upon Ar-Rahman (the Beneficient); whichever you call upon, to Him belong the best names. And do not say your prayer too loudly, and do not say it too softly either, but seek a middle course between these two (extremes).”

We are to bow and prostrate ourselves, and to say our prayers aloud, but not shouting or whispering them.

3. When are we supposed to pray?

2:238 “Be strict in observance of the prayer and (in particular) the midday prayer, and stand up in devotion to God.”

11:114 “Establish prayer in the two ends of the day, and at the approaches of the night. Indeed the good deeds take away the evil ones; this is a reminder for the (believers who are) mindful (of their Lord).”

17: 78-79 “Establish prayer (regularly) from sunset until the darkness of the night, and the recital at dawn; verily the recital at dawn is witnessed. And (in a part) of the night, awake from sleep for performing the prayer, as a supererogation for your own good, perchance your Lord will bring you to a praised position.”

20:130 “So be patient with what they say, and glorify your Lord by praising Him before the rising of the sun and before its setting, and in some hours of the night glorify Him, and during parts of the day, that you may achieve the Pleasure (of your Lord).”

30:17 “So glory be to God when you approach the eve or the morn.”

62:9 “O you who believe! When the call is made for prayer on Friday, then hasten, all of you, to remembering God, and abandon all trading; that is better for you, if you only know.”

We are to pray in the morning at dawn, at midday, and in the evening before the sun sets. Waking up for prayers during the night is encouraged as something extra that is good for us, but not a requirement. We should be especially attentive to prayer on Fridays and the midday prayer.

4. Under what circumstances is prayer to be postponed?

4:43 “O you who believe! Do not approach prayer when intoxicated until you know well what you say, nor if you have had intercourse, unless you are traveling, until you bathe. If you are sick, or on a journey, or if one of you comes from the privy, or you have touched women and you do not find water, then take pure earth and wipe (with it a part of your face and hands); God is Pardoning, Forgiving.”

So, if you’re drunk or high (that you shouldn’t be should go without saying), you shouldn’t pray until you’re sober. If you’ve been intimate with your spouse (unless traveling), if you’re sick, or traveling, if you’ve used the bathroom, or (once again) been intimate with your spouse – NOT just touched a woman – prayer should be postponed until you can do the ritual purification. You are to use dirt if water isn’t available. Nowhere does it say that women can’t pray, touch or read the Qur’an, fast, etc, during their periods. The hadith on this were just men being all grossed out by a process they couldn’t understand. What God makes is not unclean, and He never prohibited women from fulfilling their religious obligations at any time.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My Reasons for Converting to Islam, part 2.

Okay, continuing on with my story.

What about people who change their religion (ex. Go from being Muslim to Christian, etc)?

You were given the freedom to choose whatever religion you wanted, be it Islam, Christianity, or other. No one, not even Muhammad (PBUH), could force someone else to be a Muslim.

29:18 “If you reject the truth, then indeed nations before you rejected it, and nothing is incumbent upon the messenger except the delivery of a clear message.”

88:21-26 “So remind, for you are but a reminder. You have no power over them. Except for he who turns away and rejects. Then God will punish him with the great retribution. Indeed, to Us is their return. Then to Us is their judgment.”

The foolishness about killing apostates is a load of garbage. The Qur’an says that Allah (SWT) is our judge and that He will judge between us and clarify for us that in which we differed, and punish those who didn’t believe in Him. So who are we to try to usurp God’s place as judge?

In fact, if people don’t believe, we are supposed to leave them alone. Not harass them, abuse them, stone them or kill them.

43:88-89 “And it will be said: “O my Lord, these are a people who do not believe.” So disregard them and say: “Peace.” For they will come to know.”

Nor are we forbidden to be friends with Christians, Jews, or anyone else, especially if they don’t obstruct us in practicing our religion. In fact, we are instructed to be kind and fair to them.

60:8 “God does not prohibit you from those who have not fought you because of your system, nor drove you out of your homes, that you deal kindly and equitably with them. For God loves the equitable.”

Why does God allow so many different religions if only one really leads to Him?

2:148 “Everyone has a direction to which he turns. Hasten then to outdo each other in everything good. Wherever you may be, God will bring you all unto Him, for verily God has power over all things.”

5:48 “For each of you We appointed a law and a way. Had God desired, He would have made all of you a single community, but He wished (instead) to try you in what He has given you; therefore, compete excelling one another in goodness; to God alone is the return of all of you; it is then that He shall declare to you that wherein you differed.”

22:17 “On the Day of Judgment, God will decide between those who believe, those who are Jews, the Sabians, the Christians, the Magians, and the polytheists; verily God is witness over all things.”

God’s forgiveness extends to all, not just Jews or Christians:

5:18 “And the Jews and the Nazarenes said: “We are the children of God, and His loved ones.” Say: “Then why does He punish you for your sins?” No, you are merely human beings which He has created. He forgives whom He pleases, and He punishes whom He pleases. And to God is the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and all that is in-between, and to Him is the destiny.”

9:27 “Then God will accept the repentance of whom He pleases after that. God is Forgiving, Merciful.”

42:25 “And He is the One who accepts the repentance from His servants, and He forgives the sins. He is fully aware of what you do.”

And so, after two long, confusing, stressful years I gave in to the truth of what I’d learned and the longing in my heart and became a Muslim. I know that it won’t be easy to tell my family, but what person has been given faith and not been tried in that faith? Inshallah, trials will only make my faith stronger.

In closing, I leave you with these verses.

1 Timothy 4:10 “We struggle and work hard because we have placed our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all and especially of those who believe.”

28:70 “And He is God, there is no god except He. To Him belongs all praise in the first and in the last, and judgment belongs with Him, and to Him you will be returned.”

30:60 “Be patient, therefore; verily the promise of God is true, and let not those who have no belief in God make you despair of His promise.”

Alhamdilullah! May we all be together one day in Paradise , enjoying the reward of God to his faithful. Ameen.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Reasons for Converting to Islam, part 1.

Assalamu aleikum, my sisters. I've been asked about what led to my conversion to Islam. Let me tell you, it wasn't an easy decision! It took a lot of praying, thinking, and studying -- and a lot of time. I had to be willing to let my previous understanding of God, Christianity, and Islam be put to the test, and to accept the results with an open mind and heart. Please keep in mind that these are my personal experiences and opinions, and that my interpretation of things may often differ from yours. I do not intend to cause any offense to anyone or say anything against Christianity, but merely to give you all a glimpse into my personal journey.

Let's rewind back to spring 2009. As a previously life-long Christian, I never thought much about my faith or the reasons that I believed the things I did. Religion had never been a major interest or priority in my life. Not that I was indifferent to it. I just had that whole "young and invincible" mindset. You all know the one I'm talking about. The one where you think you'll live forever. The soul, religion, and what comes after death just weren't things I ever thought much about.

My interest in religion began after I read a Spanish article on the condition of women in Islam, followed by an article from the same site on the hijab. I was intrigued by the concept of covering up for God, and that such covering was an exterior expression of an internal state of modesty and purity. The idea that covering up like that was not really encouraged until a woman had achieved this internal purity was also interesting, and ran counter to what I'd always heard about women being forced to cover by their husbands, fathers, and brothers (and that was if I heard anything about it at all). I had never thought about Islam or Muslims before. Though I knew virtually nothing about Islam, I knew that my dad's assertion that Muslims worshiped Muhammad (PBUH) and not God couldn't be right. Also, having come of age in post-9/11 America, I wanted to see for myself what all the fuss was about.

This branched off initially as in interest in Muslim women. I read countless articles, blog posts, and books about hijab and the rights of women in Islam. I won't repeat any of that here, since I know a lot of you know just as much, if not more, on these topics than I do. Suffice it to say, I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. My interest didn't expand out of that small area for several months. Because of what I'd read about hijab and the fact that, historically, Christian women also covered, I branched out into learning about modern-day Christian head covering and adopted the practice myself. (For those of you who are interested but tired of reading books by men on the topic, I recommend Michelle Barnes McClendon's excellent book "Life as a Prayer: Recapturing the Wind of Headcovering".)

As time went on, I began reading more. Books about the history of Islam, current Muslim beliefs and practices, the different groups within Islam, guides on how best to study the Qur'an, books that compared Islam and Christianity (with virtually all of them, to my annoyance and frustration, leaning towards one or another of them, never being truly impartial and scholarly), and, of course, the Qur'an. But wait! There's more. In my study of Islam, for the first time I became genuinely curious about Christianity, and just a little annoyed at the assertions I found everywhere that the Bible was a "corrupted" (altered) text. Rather than take the word of a preacher as I'd always done in the past, I began to study and learn about Christianity for myself. I read about its history and that of the Bible, compared verses from several different translations of the Bible, and generally searched for answers to my questions.

One of my first questions was:

Why did God keep the Qur'an from being changed, but not the Bible or the Torah?

In my mind, such a thing implied that God was incapable of preventing changes (whether deliberate or accidental) to the earlier books. The idea that God couldn't do something was (and remains) utterly foreign to me. As I read about the history of the Bible, I learned that it wasn't originally one or two books, but dozens of separate books pieced together and decided upon as the Christian scripture in council several hundred years after Jesus (PBUH) preached his message. So what did Christians follow before they had the Bible to tell them what to believe? (I must add that I was also amazed at the sheer variety of belief just within the first 200 years of Christianity. Some sects say Jesus was never crucified, others say he never died at all, and others say he WASN'T the Son of God! Nevertheless, they all claimed to be Christian.) Many of the books they used are now contained in the Apocrypha, floating around out there individually, or lost to time and burning. I still haven't found a satisfactory answer to this question, but I'll keep looking.

From there, I began to wonder other things, such as:

What was Jesus' (PBUH) true role in all this?

The Bible, quite frankly, confused me on this topic. It never gave what I considered to be a definite "I am God" answer. In two of the three translations I have with me here, one of the verses that could be used as answer for this question is Matthew 27:11: "Jesus stood before the Roman governor, who questioned him. "Are you the king of the Jews?" he asked. "So you say," answered Jesus." The verse is virtually identical in Luke 23:3-4. Another translation says "You have said it" as Jesus' response. Or, another popular one, Matthew 3:17: "Then a voice said from heaven: "This is my own dear Son, with whom I am pleased."

Once again, it doesn't outright say that Jesus is God. I knew from my studies that the Jews at that time would not have interpreted "Son of God" to mean literally God's son, but that he was a holy man. Jesus was not the only person in the Bible to be called "Son" by God. Adam and, if I remember correctly, Saul, and others whose names currently slip my mind, were also called the son of God.

Jesus called himself "the Son of Man" in Matthew 16:13, but not God. A couple of verses down, Peter says "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Jesus says "Good for you! For this truth did not come to you from any human being, but it was given to you directly by my Father in heaven." But go a couple of verses farther down: (v. 20) "Then Jesus ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah." Messiah, I found, simply meant "the anointed one", as did "Christ" in Greek. Jesus wasn't the only one to be anointed as a holy man; rabbis were also, in the temple. *sigh* So, once again, nothing for sure.

The Qur'an, on the other hand, makes it clear in many verses who Jesus was:

"O people of the Book, do not overstep in your system, nor say about God except the truth. Jesus, son of Mary, was no more than a messenger of God and the fulfillment of His word to Mary and a Spirit from Him. So believe in God and His messengers, and do not say: “Trinity.” Cease, for it is better for you. God is only One god, be He glorified that He should have a son! To Him is all that is in the heavens and the earth; and God is enough as a Caretaker." 4:171

"The Messiah, son of Mary, is no more than a messenger; like whom messengers have passed away; and his mother was trustworthy, they used to eat the food. See how We clarify the signs for them, then see how they deviate." 5:75

"He was no more than a servant whom We blessed, and We made him an example for the Children of Israel." 43:59

Nothing confusing about that answer.

Question number 2: What happens after death to all the people who aren't Christian?

According to what I'd always been taught, you had to be a Christian to go to heaven. That's it. Oh, but wait! God has a covenant with the Jews, so they're okay, too. My reaction: HUH???? For me, this is quite possibly the biggest contradiction of belief. And what about all the people since the dawn of humanity who weren't Jews or Christians? What about all the Muslims in the last 1,500-ish years? Why would it be okay to be a monotheist Jew but not a monotheist Muslim? A loving, just God wouldn't consign the majority of the world's population over the course of history to Hell, for not being born a Jew or, later, a Christian.

Luke 10:25-28: "What must I do to receive eternal life?" Jesus answered him, "What do the Scriptures say? How do you interpret them?" The man answered "Love the Lord your God with all your heart,with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and Love your neighbor as you love yourself." "You are right," Jesus replied; "do this and you will live."

Says nothing about having to be a Jew or Christian.

2:62 "Surely those who believe; and those who are Jewish, and the Nazarenes (Christians), and the Sabians, whoever of them believes in God and the Last Day and does good works; they will have their recompense with their Lord, and there is no fear upon them, nor will they grieve."

This is the loving, just God that I believe in. This is one of the things that most brought me to Islam. And it's not that Him accepting Jews, Christians, Muslims, and others who believe in Him is a wide, easy road. The requirements are basically the same: Love and obey God and be kind to others. It's a narrow path, just as Jesus said.

To be continued...

On the Hadith

Amber asked me a question about Muhammad’s behavior in regards to his critics, as mentioned in the hadith about him ordering the death of Asmaa bint Marwan, for example, and how I could reconcile that behavior. The answer to that is very simple. I am aware that many of you will disagree with my position on this, and that’s okay. However, don't try enter into a debate with me to change my mind and tell me I'm wrong, a heretic, and going to Hell. Allah (SWT) knows my heart. If you can't restrain yourself, you’re free to stop following my blog. In fact, if it bothers you that much, I encourage you to go. I'm not looking to cause trouble, just express my point of view.

My answer is this: I don’t follow the hadith. Gasp, shock, I know. Why? Because, as far as I’m concerned, the hadith are nothing but hearsay at best. Yes, I know that they went through a chain of narration to test their authenticity, blah blah. I’ve heard all that. But it’s like that whisper game where one person is told something, and it gets passed on down the line until you reach the last person, and the last person says what they thought they were told – which always ends up being totally different from the original comment. The fact of the matter is, modern scholars can’t even completely agree on what is authentic and what is weak or outright false. If scholars can’t figure it out, how is your average Muslim supposed to know?

The hadith are also the source used most often by the crazy extremist-types to justify their behavior, by governments to continue stoning people (hello, Iran) or to prohibit women from leaving their homes, going to the mosque to pray, and a whole variety of other issues facing the Muslim world over here. In some cases, the hadith are used as a guide INSTEAD OF the Qur’an. That’s when people begin to dangerously elevate Muhammad to a near worship-like status. How can you put the hadith and sunnah anywhere near the level of the Qur’an, the Bible, or the Torah? You can’t, and by doing so, I believe that we risk associating Muhammad with God (which is often the complaint made against Christians about Jesus and the greatest sin a person can commit).

Most often, the comment I get after this is: But Muhammad himself told us to follow his sunnah and the Qur’an!

Yes, he did. I’m not arguing that. But what so many people disregard is that some 30-ish% of the Qur’an IS sunnah! It contains a lot of questions from Muhammad and God’s answers. Want to know if gambling or alcohol is allowed? Qur’an has the answer. How to behave with the opposite sex? Qur’an has that answer, too. Want to know how or when to pray? How to treat your family? What to do to be pleasing to God? You guessed it. Qur’an has the answer.

In short, the Qur’an has the answers. It states many times that it is a detailed book, complete in itself, but that if you have any questions or doubt about what was revealed in it, you are supposed to look to the Gospel (Bible) and Torah. I don’t need to look any farther than that.

If you’re interested in learning more about Qur’an alone, go to They have a lot of excellent articles on a variety of subjects, and always supported with ayat.