Thoughts regarding Islam

The one moment of my life when I felt great admiration for Islam (and there was only one) was when I was reading a National Geographic article about religious persecution in the former U.S.S.R. and it commented that Muslims could become invisible for they had no ordained priesthood and could pray whenever possible in secrecy. I saw that as a great advantage over the Greek Orthodox who required so much in terms of valid ordinations, proper altars with an antimensa cloth with the relic of a martyr sewn into the hem, etc. In Russia the priestless Old Believers (byez-papovsi) were able to continue for centuries became each layperson has the ability to baptize and to solemnize a marriage.

I found it interesting that in India, the Vallabh lineage had a grihastha (married) sampradaya (lineage) and required no temple but might be conducted in a simple home. One theory was that the Vallabh practice was ideally suited to escape persecution.

The other thing I find convenient about Islam (well actually several) is that #1.) should you be on a desert island and decide to convert to Islam then all you need to do is summon two invisible jinn (spirits) as witnesses and then make your mental intention. For some reason Islam feels that two angels are necessary for various things (e.g. there is one angle to record each persons good deeds and a second angel to record the misdeeds.)

#2.) In Judaism if a male desires to convert but is born without an organ for circumcision or has been mutilated in some accident then conversion is impossible. One Imam in Indonesia ruled that any male may convert to Islam without undergoing circumcision and as time progresses he will naturally come to desire that the proper ritual be performed.

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