Posts tagged Islam
Posts tagged Islam
[Jewish village girl shortly after her wedding, Iran, ca. 1875]
The Jewish community in Central Asia is very ancient: by the middle of the first millenium BCE there was already a substantial settlement of Jews in the Persian Empire. Several communities, speaking a variety of Judeo-Persian languages, were established in what is today Iran and Afghanistan; others spread to the north into Bukhara (today Uzbekistan and Tajikistan) and to the west into the Caucasus (Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan). These communities share some common cultural and linguistic markers with each other, but also differ in significant ways.
The henna customs of Kurdish Jewish communities living in Persia are discussed, together with other Kurdish Jews, here.
In Persian Jewish communities, henna was an important cosmetic, forming one of the haft qalam arayesh [‘seven items of beautification’]. It was commonly used by men and women to colour hair, and especially to cover greying hair. Women also used it to colour fingernails and toenails in lieu of nail polish.
Hands and feet were dyed with henna, either solidly or with patterns. The patterns, applied with a stick or even one’s fingertips, depended on what each person wanted: common simple designs included dots, stars and moons, and those more artistically inclined would depict flowers, birds, and even people. Among Persian Jews, the henna was applied by women of the community, rather than professional artists. Henna was generally applied in the hammam [public baths]: women would usually go to the hammam to be hennaed around once a month, generally on a Friday morning before preparing for Shabbat. Women and their children would spend three to four hours in the hammam, which was an important social institution: besides bathing, and being hennaed or massaged, they would socialize, gossip, tell jokes, and catch up on community news.
Aside from the general use of henna, women would also apply henna before holidays and celebrations as a sign of joy and beauty. As a symbol of celebration, henna was not used during periods of mourning, both personal and communal; henna was not used, for example, during the month of Av [a month mourning the destruction of the Temple].
The crypto-Jews of Mashhad (who had been forced to convert to Islam in the mid-19th century, but continued to practice Judaism in secret) also refrained from using henna during the two months of Muslim mourning [i.e. Ramadan, a month of repentance, and Muharram, a month of Shi’i mourning for the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali] when henna is traditionally not done in Muslim communities, as to not draw attention to themselves.
In some Iranian Jewish communities, after someone died, their family would refrain from henna for a full year. At the end of the year, the mourners would be symbolically brought out of their grief: friends and family members would bring gifts of new clothing and jewelry and place them on the mourners; they would then be taken to the hammam and hennaed, which symbolized their return to the cycle of life and sociality. This ceremony was called sal dar overi [literally, ‘to leave the year’, i.e. to end the year of mourning].
What a fascinating read.
Is Kosher Meat Ḥalāl? A Comparison of the Halakhic and Sharʿī Requirements for Animal Slaughter
Observant Muslims and Jews only eat ḥalāl and kosher products, and face many of the same problems in finding appropriate meat products in the modern, secularized world. Due to the dearth of kosher meat products available, and even higher scarcity of ḥalāl meat, many Muslims feel comfortable purchasing kosher meat, believing that all kosher meats (and by extension kosher products) are necessarily ḥalāl. Other Muslims, due to either political or theological reasons, believe that it is impermissible to purchase or consume anykosher meat products.
This paper seeks to discuss the question of the Islamic legal ruling on consuming koshermeat products. Therefore, political questions and personal values, which do not dictate the general ruling (aṣl) with respect to such products, will not be discussed. Read more.
Apparently the ban on circumcision won’t actually be enforced:
“For everyone in the government it is absolutely clear that we want to have Jewish and Muslim religious life in Germany,” Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said Friday according to Reuters. “Circumcision carried out in a responsible manner must be possible in this country without punishment.”
Every year or two, people debate the merits of and challenges presented by circumcision. The catalyst last year was San Francisco’s citywide ban on the practice. This time around, it’s a German court’s decision that circumcision amounts to grievous bodily harm.
The majority of the critiques of circumcision take one of the following forms:
“I am not an adherent of a religion that calls for male circumcision, but I find the practice abhorrent” or “I do not understand anyone who believes that male circumcision is necessary for any reason; it is simply barbarism.”
What happens next is generally that adherents of Judaism or Islam respond, explaining that a ban on male circumcision is a violation of religious freedom. The critics then explain their feeling that religious observation should always be trumped by considerations of bodily integrity. In other words, believe whatever you like right up to the point where it causes you to harm someone else.
There are examples of these arguments that are better and that are worse.
I’ve said this before. Islam and Judaism. Once again though, there are differences in branches of Islam and there are many non-mainstream sects like the Ahmadiyyas which are closer to Christianity. Also, some Shiites and Sufis(more devout ones) have more Christian like traditions, but are generally closer to the Jews.
Overall, Talmudic Law and Sharia are VERY similar and the dietary guidelines in both religious are quite close. I wrote a mini-essay on the food aspect of it two years ago for school haha. It was a ten-minute job that I did in the library before class back in Grade Nine but here it is: (I’m lucky that I still have it) It’s really shitty but that’s just the dietary side of things. Also, I’m not even sure if half of the facts are right because I was bullshittin’ most of it.
Two influential world religions, Islam and Judiasm, both can be traced back to the holiest man in history, Abraham. Although both religions have had their fair share of disputes and differences over the years, dietary guidelines are something that both religions share. There are many similarities on the outlawing of swine, allowance of seafood, and slaughter techniques that are shared by both religions. There are differences in blessings and servings in each religion as well.
Perhaps the most common and most important similarity between these two religions can be found in the view of eating swine. Pork is strictly forbidden, or haram, in Islam. Like the Muslims, the Jews also regard the eating of pork as highly offensive and forbidden. The reason for this is that pigs are often seen as unclean and they have been known to consume their own defecation. Because of this, bacteria has always been present and could cause serious health issues centuries ago. In addition to the consumption of pork being forbidden, Jews and Muslims also do not eat amphibians such as toads or frogs. This is not kashrut, or permissible, in Judaism. Like amphibians, insects are also forbidden for human consumption in both communities. When slaughtering animals, Jews and Muslims both agree that the spinal cord of the animal must be removed and the throat must be slit with a non-serrated blade in order to sever all of the main blood vessels, providing the animal with a more humane and less cruel death. After drawing the blood of the animal, another technique shared by both groups, the body of the animal is examined to see if it is fit for consumption. Both groups will examine the intestines to make sure that they are fit for human consumption and will not cause whoever eats the food any possible harm.
There are a few differences about what is regarded as permissible in both religions. Jews tolerate the consumption of alcohol while alcohol is explicitly haram in the Quran and all of the authentic hadith collections. Sharia clearly prohibits alcohol use while Talmudic Law discourages it. Many Orthodox and Hasidic Jews will still make the personal and spiritual choice to refrain from alcohol consumption anyway. The Sea is an area that is often disagreed upon in terms of dietary guidelines by both Muslims and Jews. Jews will never eat shellfish and it is required that what they eat has scales for it to be considered permissible. In Islam, anything that comes from the sea is halal. However, Shiites agree with the Jews that shellfish should not be consumed. When mammals are slaughtered, Muslims always say the Bismallah before (In the name of Allah (SAW), most gracious, most merciful, master of the Day of Judgement, etc). There aren’t any special requirements in either religion to slaughter animals, although the Jew carrying out the slaughter must be mentally stable to ensure that the process goes smoothly. One thing that is common between Muslims and Jews is that they will not eat in a restaurant owned and operated by a member of the other religion. However, this tends to vary by fiqh in Islam. Many influential Shiite leaders such as Ayatollah Sayyid Ruhollah Khomeini would refuse to eat if they even began to suspect that their waiter was a non-Muslim. However, many influential Shiite leaders today such as Grand Ayatollah al-Sisatani of Iraq agree that Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians are ritually pure and wudu (state of purity) is not broken by a member of a different religion when consuming food.
Muslims and Jews are two different religious groups that share a common heritage. This common bond can be seen through Abraham and the dietary traditions that each group share. Through the abstinence of swine, slaughter of animals, and food preservation, both groups end up following a fairly similar set of rules that are very noticeable.
The main differences are obviously through the prophethood of many different individuals but the general ideas are the same. Also, so much of original Christianity has been manipulated and changed over time. The same thing has happened with Judaism but orthodox Judaism and orthodox Islam have so many similarities that there really isn’t anywhere to even start.