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“Blaming girls for the problems and perversion of the guys needs to stop. I would quote Jesus saying for His followers to deal with the plank in one’s own eye before pointing out the speck in the other, but it seems to me that there is not even speck on the other side. Just one big plank. The solution of the problem is not to monitor what girls are wearing, but to deal with those who objectify and lust in the first place. If a guy is going to lust after and objectify women, a little more fabric on their bodies is not going to fix that. A trash bag couldn’t fix that. Telling girls to avoid wearing bikinis in public places where guys will be is like cutting away the branches, but unless the root is dug up, the problem will remain. Not to mention that the same kind of steps aren’t being taken with the swimwear of the men.”—Blake Baggott, What About Bikinis?
should Muslims neglect the Bible?
One long, summer night, a man and a group of his travelers were walking on the desert of Arabia in search for water. In this desert, not a source of life was to be seen, except that there was a tower built of bricks of dry mud.
Narrations say that the leader of the travelers was given Divine Knowledge of where he can find water for his people. When he noticed the signs of when the water was near — and the signs pointed to the tower (where only one Christian man protected) — he asked a few men from his group to start digging near it. Almost instantly, water began flowing from the ground, but only the leader of the travelers had the strength to remove the heavy stone that blocked the water. And when he did, the Christian man from the tower ran out crying.
He walked up to the leader of the traveler, his hands shaking, asking him, are you the successor of your Prophet? To which the leader replied yes, I am his successor. The Christian man pointed at the tablet he was holding and said that one of the disciples of Jesus said that this spring (under ground) would not be found except by the Last Prophet or the successor of the Prophet. His ancestors also narrated that if he became a witness to this event, he should believe in the leader without any hesitation and be by his side no matter what.
Hence, this Christian man was considered Muslim in the sight of God. Assuredly, this narration can be found in the literature of the school of ahlulbayt. The leader of the travelers was Imam Ali ibn abi Talib, the closest companion (brother in law and cousin) to Prophet Muhammad.
Whether one is unsure if this narration is considered sound or not, legitimate or not, faulty or trustworthy, wisdom can be found in it.
Even Imam Ali ibn abi Talib, the closest man to the Prophet, accepted the news this Christian man narrated from his Biblical tablet. He believed him; he consoled him; he considered him a Muslim.
And yet here we are, neglecting the Bible; neglecting our brothers and sisters in the Christian faith; neglecting our similarities. In the Quran itself, we find numerous instances where the Quran insists that we make peace and speak of Truth with kindness and sincerity to our Christian and Jewish brethren.
And yet, we believe — we have been taught — to be weary and cautious around the Bible; around Christians; around other religions; around anything that isn’t necessarily Islamic.
Please brothers and sisters, we need to be people of intellect. We need to be people that investigate our sources; that learn from different sources; that challenge what feels questionable and accept what our heart considers Truth.
If we continue to believe in this idea that we must neglect the Bible because it is no longer considered sound or authentic, then we will continue to have problematic situations regarding our discourse with Christians. Yes, have Christian and Muslim teachers advise you about the Bible, but allow your intellect to guide you as well.
Muslims do not neglect God where He appears — Muhammad (nor Ali) sure never did.