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Religion general

Flutter_Lover
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I realised that now is Shraavan, the holy month. According to the Hindu calendar, the month of Shraavan is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
 
But as I had just converted to Hinduism, I am unable to buy a lingam or offerings, so I was only able to download a picture of Shiva and pray to Him for some minutes. I also cannot fast for the whole day on Mondays.
 
Even as my friend (who supported my decision to convert) suggested that I don’t need elaborate rituals, I could still approach Him and He might listen. I hope He could answer my prayers.
tehwatever
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@HorsesandMuchMOAR
 
Happy holy month.
 
Not hindu but considering I’ve dealt with my share of converts I always regularly tell them to “take it easy.” There’s no rush, pace yourself and just do what you can do one small thing at a time.
 
For example, the core islamic rituals are five (you malaysian so you prolly know these):
 
Shahada or the testimony (you do this to become a muslim, once you convert you dont have to do this necessarily, but reciting the shahada on a regular basis is a good habit to make)
 
5 daily ritual prayers  
Fasting in Ramadan  
Pay Zakat  
Go on Mecca Pilgrimage.
 
Nobody is telling the new muslim to just do all five in their 1st year.
 
Like with all things new, ease into it. It works for most everything in general.
Ciaran
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Oh! It’s Shravan already? Seems early this year, but I see it might have started July 6 even.
 
Happy Shravan!
 
@tehwatever  
I thought that the fasting would be hard, but I’ve realized that it’s almost exactly what I’m doing anyway with my ‘intermittent fasting’. At this point I’m basically eating that way all year now, give or take an hour either way.
 
Once you get used to it, I kind of like it. I feel like I have more energy all day, and I don’t get the ‘oof, I just ate lunch time for a nap’ thing.
 
… setting aside the religious aspects, I mean …
 
Fasting! It’s not just for religion any more!
tehwatever
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@Ciaran  
Wanna know what grinds my gears?  
Not ten years ago I had colleagues and schoolmates tell me: “Omg you is gon’ kill yu self! That is self destructive omg that is soo unhealthy!”
 
Fast forwards 2018 2019 I had guys in the gym tell me: “bro you ever tried intermittent fasting?”
 
I remind myself everyday that Islam doesn’t anchor itself on fleeting zeitgeist, scientific discoveries and fad diets, so I don’t have to feel like I wanna slap somebody.
 
But yea I feel like I wanna slap somebody. I have an inkling feeling that if I was to say “I do X because Islam” I will get shit thrown at me but if somebody else does it and they give secular (dont have to be scientific) reason they’d be more willing to consider its positives.
 
This is why sometimes I wanna just paraphrase random hadith and mask it as some greek / biblical / secular philosopher / celebrity quote and see if they’re not immediately be repulsed by it.
Ciaran
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@tehwatever  
Hey, like my mentor always said;
 
“If they can’t hear you, say it as a song lyric. Then they’ll think it was THEIR idea and they’re a genius.”
 
Quote a movie, quote a song, and all of a sudden it’s like they’ve been thinking the same thing forever.
tehwatever
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@Ciaran  
Not eating is the easy part. I do intermittent very frequently, too. I would eat once, or at least I give myself a four to six hours window to eat and the rest of the day I don’t consume any calories
 
However
 
Fasting Ramadhan is a complete abstinence bootcamp and it’s actually kinda tough for beginners and long-timers alike. I recommend actual planning and have a couple guys with you to do do cross-accountability check. Doing it alone with no support group is whack.
 
What breaks the ramadan fast during the fasting period (first light to sunset) are the following:  
Eating, drinking, intentional act of violence, display of anger, usage of inappropriate language, ejaculation, and missing obligatory rituals.
 
Meaning: you may have to limit or avoid stuff that might trigger break-fast.
 
​It’s like quitting cold-turkey on LIFE. Freakin’ brutal.
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@tehwatever
 
I heard somewhere that you can break the Ramadan fast at the cost of “one entire day spent helping the sick/hungry/needy” for each time you break the fast. I’m not Muslim, so I don’t know if that’s actually a thing you can do, but that’s what I heard.
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Part-time Pizza Cat
I do so love when people say I’m not a real scientist because I’m not a raging antitheist.
 
My beliefs don’t change my ability to work with numbers.
 
 
Besides, if you want to say I’m not a real scientist, just do what the other scientists do and accuse psychology of not being one.
 
Physicists are just mad that the only dates they can get are theoretical.
HorsesandMuchMOAR
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@tehwatever
 
Thanks! I didn’t know that converts could be excused for their mistake in their first Ramadan, but this is kind.
 
@Ciaran
 
Dhanyavada! (Thank you!) Shraavan reminds me of Khao Phansa, a Thai Buddhist festival that reminds people who are not monks to avoid certain behaviours, especially drinking alcohol, just as the monks go and pray for several months – in Thailand, stores cannot sell beer on Khao Phansa and certain sacred holidays.
tehwatever
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@Random-Rambling  
Yes you can do that. For ppl who broke they fast and would rather not make up for it by fasting on other days (yes, muslims must make up for it) they have to pretty much spend the day doing social work or spend the money equivalent of your daily on charity or donation or social work.
 
I seen sisters and brothers volunteer on grounds of making up fasts. perhaps that’s not entirely altruistic, but hey.
 
Also they can free a slave. but America freed all the slaves and abolished the practice worldwide. So that’s not an option.
tehwatever
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@HorsesandMuchMOAR  
And the 2nd, and 3rd, 4th, 5th…  
It’s a loooong journey.
 
“Know that the most beloved deed to God is a good deed that is done regularly, even if it’s small.” –some guy
 
Keep working towards incremental progress and small net gains. You’ll get your ups and downs but don’t sweat it.
Ciaran
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Khao Phansa
 
Oh! ‘The Rain Retreat’. Yeah, I haven’t done one of those but I’ve helped others who were.
 
It’s … hmmm … not sure how to say this.
 
It reminded me of Sweat Lodges - you do it not for yourself but for others.
 
With the Rains Retreat you can do it for all the normal ‘ascetics’ reasons, but in the Japanese version you’re doing it for those who can’t. You’re not walking for yourself - you’re walking for those who can’t walk. You’re not meditating for yourself - you’re meditating for those who aren’t. It’s a service that monks do for the rest of the world to make it ok for the rest of us to be farmers, to be engineers, to cook food for others, to be exterminators and dentists.
 
I don’t know very much about the actual “Khao Phansa” - the real thing - but there is kind of a Japanese version that includes a lot of burning ‘the 108 defilements’, meditating on the 108 vital points, all on a community scale where there’s a big bonfire where the defilements are purged.
 
But, with Shinto, it’s a drinking religion, so feasts and wine for the Kami and the Oni alike, but only after hours and hours of work and meditation and listing and purging defilements and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, and cleaning some more.
 
So - it might be that in practice it ends up being very similar, where the entire day is spent in labor to clean the world of sin, and then as the sun is setting the food and drink come out, and the whole world is free to … as they say … rack up a bunch of new sins with a clean soul.
Ciaran
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@Ciaran  
As much as I might be making it sound like a party, I’ve never met anyone who actually participated in the full 3 month or so long ritual who didn’t have some sort of physical scar as a result.
 
“This is where I broke my foot but didn’t get it looked at until the retreat was over and kept walking until I had done the walking that was mine to do”.
 
“This is where I cut my arm but didn’t get it looked at until someone noticed me bleeding in the shrine”.
 
It’s serious stuff. It’s the kind of aesthetic practice that can leave literal scars.
tehwatever
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The islamic solution to why then shouldn’t everybody be monks and ascetics: Islam does the serve Allah by serving his creation deal. By providing necessary material goods and services. If a person can’t walk, you be their legs or bring them things they can’t reach on their own. If they can’t meditate…No. Islam doesn’t recognize that. The Salah (ritual prayer) is non-negotiable for every muslim. If you alive and sane you can offer Salah (there are exceptions, ofc).
 
Islam rarely evokes the self-sacrifice so the rest can do xyz (not dissimilar to Jesus dying for our sins narrative) unless it’s concerning material wealth, or Hajj. It is possible to do Hajj for other ppl who can’t. It is IMPOSSIBLE to make 5 daily prayers or Ramadhan fasting for those who aren’t doing it.
 
What is possible, is to ask forgiveness, mercy and guidance for others.
Random-Rambling
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I seen sisters and brothers volunteer on grounds of making up fasts. perhaps that’s not entirely altruistic, but hey.
 
The “worst” I’ve heard is wealthy Saudis flying to countries far to the north (or south, depending on when, exactly, Ramadan is) to exploit the “fast from sunup to sundown” ruling. If you’re in Alaska and “sunup to sundown” is only about two hours, you’ve fulfilled the letter of the law, if not the spirit.
tehwatever
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@Random-Rambling  
Exploiting the letter of the law is not punishable in court unless harm is done onto others in which case it could turn into a civil case or criminal case, or even sharia case. so this kind of bullshittery that only the ultra rich can pull off gets massive cringe and criticism from everybody else, but not much else
 
Happens in HAJJ as well. The ultra rich gets luxury hotel, comfy transportation, private airconditioned camps, and shortcuts. Also they pay for extra qurbani later.
 
Seems Pay2Win but…no it’s not. Allah knows what they’re doing. He’ll call them out one way or another.
 
BUT, IMO volunteering either way gets my praise. Doesnt matter if you do it purely out of selflessness or not. If at the end of the day you take time out of your day to serve someone else who requires help, even in reluctance that service is rewarded. Islam takes the “no good deed goes unrewarded” notion very seriously.
Random-Rambling
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>Seems Pay2Win but…no it’s not. Allah knows what they’re doing. He’ll call them out one way or another.
 
It’s why I think people who claim to be religious, but flout religious law like this, are probably actually secretly atheist.
 
After all, why WOULD you do this if you knew you would be punished severely for it in the future?
 
And on the other hand, why WOULDN’T you do this if you thought you wouldn’t actually be punished?
tehwatever
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And on the other hand, why WOULDN’T you do this if you thought you wouldn’t actually be punished?
This is probably their default mentality. Either you believe there isn’t a god and therefore nobody would actually punish you for spending lavishly for your own comfort disregarding the spirit and purpose of rituals, or you really believe that God actually loves ppl who are ultra-rich and luxury-hoarders and shortcut-takers.
 
If Allah actually loves and promotes the Jeff Bezos and Oil Sheikhs of the world, I’d quit Islam. So far I haven’t seen evidence for it tho. Not even close.
Random-Rambling
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@tehwatever
 
>Either you believe there isn’t a god and therefore nobody would actually punish you for spending lavishly for your own comfort disregarding the spirit and purpose of rituals
 
If there isn’t a God, there wouldn’t be a point to the rituals. It would be completely pointless to do the fasting and the prayers and everything.
tehwatever
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Hadith:  
warning, brutal.
 
Muhammad said: “A woman is tortured in hell because of a cat she kept locked in until it died of hunger. When she was brought up to Allah she questions her predicament and Allah said “You neither gave water nor fed the cat, nor did you set it free so it could hunt for itself”
 
moral of the story: Allah is not above whooping your ass for pet abuse.
 
I believe this is the case for intentional pet abuse and animal torture, like that guy what lit a kitten on fire? Yeah according to this hadith he could burn in hell for it.
tehwatever
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Hadith:  
warning, death.
 
A funeral procession passed by and Muhammad made a comment: “Well, either they have been relieved, or others have been relieved of them.”
 
So a guy asked: “What do you mean?”
 
Muhammad answered: “The suffering and oppressed person would be relieved from the hardship and pain of this world. As for the tyrant and oppressors, the rest of us, along with the animals the trees and nature, are relieved from them.”
 
moral of the story: Muhammad ain’t above roasting dead people if they were scumbags in life.
 
Tl;dr. Muhammad legit lowkey said: If they was good, may they rest in peace. If they was a scum, good riddance.
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