Test Your Knowledge of Islam.
October 25, 2005 8:20 AM   Subscribe

Test Your Knowledge of Islam. Also: Understanding Islam, Ramadan 101, Mrs Muhammad, Healthy Fasting. Other useful links here.
posted by matteo (30 comments total)
Monotheism 4.0 is going to have way more features.
posted by fleacircus at 8:30 AM on October 25, 2005

I didn't do very well :( Missed Q's 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 12, 13, 14, and 17. Interesting quiz, even if it doesn't change my view of Islam (which is positive).
posted by sbutler at 8:37 AM on October 25, 2005

2:126 And when Abraham prayed: My Lord! Make this a region of security and bestow upon its people fruits, such of them as believe in Allah and the Last Day, He answered: As for him who disbelieveth, I shall leave him in contentment for a while, then I shall compel him to the doom of Fire - a hapless journey's end!

Thanks, I think I'll pass.
posted by Scoo at 8:59 AM on October 25, 2005

Islam is for fools, and so is all organized religion.
posted by phredhead at 8:59 AM on October 25, 2005

It's convenient most people are fools then I guess. Otherwise we'd be totally screwed with all these stupid people running around being stupid everywhere.

Oh wait-
posted by alexst at 9:03 AM on October 25, 2005

I missed 14, 17 and 18. I am DOOOOOMED!!!
posted by NoMich at 9:03 AM on October 25, 2005

First question is a trick question!
posted by delmoi at 9:04 AM on October 25, 2005

Your favorite [deity] sucks.
Thanks for the post(s), matteo.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:04 AM on October 25, 2005

ouch... 7/18 right. Apparently I don't know much about the details of the Qu'ran. I'm also not sure if that's the write spelling of it either. But then, if you gave me a similar test about Anglican beliefs (which is the faith that I was born into, I guess), I would likely do just as poorly. :)
posted by antifuse at 9:06 AM on October 25, 2005

Apparently I know a lot about Islam, though I missed all the demographic questions. Naturally, as an atheist who was raised in the Episcopal church, I should be an expert on Muslim doctrine...
posted by infidelpants at 9:12 AM on October 25, 2005

12/18, though I missed the Mary questions.
posted by Edible Energy at 9:22 AM on October 25, 2005

Q6. The word "Islam" means:
1. Justice and peace
2. Peace achieved through submission to God
3. Peace achieved through submission to the Prophet's message
4. The spread of peace around the world

well, I can see the obvious flaw in this test already...
posted by j.p. Hung at 9:28 AM on October 25, 2005

Skyscraper Destruction in a Nutshell,

How to Provoke America's Right Wing into Destroying the Indestructable Intangibles
posted by nervousfritz at 9:29 AM on October 25, 2005

14 outta 18. I am teh ISLAMAXXOR!
posted by klangklangston at 9:39 AM on October 25, 2005

13 right which was a bit of a surprise, snce I know jack all about Islam.

Is the Allah one strictly accurate? I seem to remember reading that Allah was initially part of a pantheon of gods when Muhammed repurposed him as the God, similar to Yahweh's assent from minor tribal diety.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:42 AM on October 25, 2005

Fuck your conception of god.

It's all pretend.
posted by MotherTucker at 9:44 AM on October 25, 2005

17 outta 18!

I got Adam and Eve wrong . . . . I actually probably wouldn't get that many correct for Catholicism.
posted by jamesonandwater at 9:45 AM on October 25, 2005

Woohoo, only missed 2! (I didn't know how many Muslims there are in the US, but I figured they'd be trying to surprise people that there were so darn many, so I picked the highest figure.) But as j. p. Hung points out, it's not exactly an objective Q&A. Islam doesn't mean 'peace,' it means 'submission.' And the "jihad" question is disingenous too; jihad means 'fight, battle,' and can equally apply to the external fight against infidels or the internal fight to be a good Muslim.

Nice post, though links to something other than beliefnet might have improved it. Now, can we try not to make this yet another in the line of useless "religion sucks!" threads? Thx.
posted by languagehat at 9:49 AM on October 25, 2005

Now, can we try not to make this yet another in the line of useless "religion sucks!" threads?

I don't see calling bullshit on intolerence as useless. Threatening me with a "doom of fire" for being a Kafir is a spiritual protection racket, see? Nyah.
posted by Scoo at 10:37 AM on October 25, 2005

Is the Allah one strictly accurate? I seem to remember reading that Allah was initially part of a pantheon of gods when Muhammed repurposed him as the God, similar to Yahweh's assent from minor tribal diety.

You're mixing religion and "objective" scholarship (though there's little true objectivity when it comes to Islam). From a Muslim's point of view, there is and always has been only one god, the God, the one worshiped by Jews, Christians, and Muslims ("people of the Book"). Abraham was given the true religion, which kept getting distorted and having to be brought back to the true path by later prophets (of whom Jesus was an important one—as Muslims point out to surprised Christians, in one respect he's regarded as greater than Muhammad, in that he could do miracles). God is called "Allah" in Arabic (by Christians as well—it's not an Islamic thing), "God" in English, and so on, but they're just different names for the same being. What Muhammad did was clear all the tribal deities out of the Kaaba and proclaim the space was henceforth sacred to the one God (Allah, since he spoke Arabic).

Speculation about the historical origin of the god Muhammad proclaimed, like that about the Mesopotamian origins of "Yahweh" (a name created by modern scholars, by the way), is interesting but not really relevant, certainly not to the test question.
posted by languagehat at 10:45 AM on October 25, 2005

Hmm. I got them all, ambiguities notwithstanding. A few were lucky guesses, but I also learned a surprising amount from the only Dummies book I've ever read: Mohammed for Dummies, surprisingly recommended a few years ago by a friend who was about to marry a Muslim guy.
posted by tangerine at 10:52 AM on October 25, 2005

If your favorite [deity] existed, he'd suck. But he probably doesn't, so no worries.
posted by signal at 11:48 AM on October 25, 2005


And yet, the more there is to know, the less there is to like, once you get into the real-time, real-world practical application of particular tenets. Apologies to LanguageHat

Same goes for any organized religion, though no other has enjoyed the recent Noble Savage/Exotic/Other/Beautiful-Fabergé-Egg/Enemy-of-my-Enemy status more than Islam.

When President Jeb allies himself with the Mennonites in 2010, it will become fashionable to express suspiciously sudden 'understanding' of the Amish. Whatever.

Bring on the one true pasta deity so s/he can lead us into Babylon. And so forth.
posted by dhoyt at 12:35 PM on October 25, 2005

It's a really poor test, many questions reveal their own answers or answers to other questions. It seeks to be suprising or supportive of Islam in favor of being acurate. 14 woot!
posted by I Foody at 1:02 PM on October 25, 2005

Well jeepers, I knew it all except for the number of God's names & the number of U.S. muslims (what's a million here or there?).
posted by Zurishaddai at 1:12 PM on October 25, 2005

Languagehat - jihad is more along the lines of struggle (general), qitaal would be more along the lines of actual battle.

17/18 - who knew there were that many muslims in the States?

Being pedantic:

4. I would say the main difference is actually in their epistemology. Sunnis reckon they're going by best approximation to what they believe the correct way to go about things is, with only the Prophet (pbuh) being absolutely correct (and possibly complete consensus), whereas shia have their imams as infallible and the current mujtahids as being absolute and possessing of absolute truth too. That's why sunni methodologies consider themselves mutually correct, but do not consider the shia methodology correct - because they work from completely different epistemological bases. That only applies to ithna ashari (twelver) shia of course, there are other types.

8. There actually aren't that many names in the Qu'ran. There are about 80 odd (the rest come from other sources)

18. It was - the ending was different though :)

I agree with some of the comments above that this is very Islamipositive, but I don't really think its meant to be a serious test - just a fun way of getting you to read more articles on the site ;)
posted by Mossy at 3:06 PM on October 25, 2005

Mossy - I'm interested in learning more about the Shiite / Sunni schism. I've never really understood it. Any good online sources with an objective breakdown of where their differences come from? (and why they now seem to spend so much time attacking each other)

My understanding (probably wrong) is that the dispute was over whether the Quran was the only book worth following, or if other writings of the Prophet were also canonical. (and if so, which ones)

Or am I completely off?
posted by InnocentBystander at 8:04 PM on October 25, 2005

Disappointed -- I got 14/18. Well, I haven't actually read the Quran, so there's that.
posted by dhartung at 11:22 PM on October 25, 2005

Innocent: There's more to it than just the leadership dispute, but most of it stems from that schism on technical grounds. Today the Shi'a have different practices, differing views on the interpretability of the Quran, different clerical structure (e.g. the hierarchy of imams, different derivations of Islamic law, different shrines, and different holidays. They do not disagree on the Quran

If you want to know the basic differences, Wikipedia has a decent (though at times flawed) Shi'a Islam article, and for the history of the split, see Ali; there's also a good one-page history here, and here is a more formal treatment of the doctrinal differences.

Because Ali was stabbed to death at a mosque, you can see that religious assassination has, alas, a long history within the faith; and the martyrdom of Muhammad's nephew Hussein at Karbala is "akin to the crucifixion" by some accounts.
posted by dhartung at 11:39 PM on October 25, 2005

InnocentBystander - objective? Hmm.. The Wikipedia one is probably the best.

Basically, it started out political (messy as that was in those days) and then turned increasingly doctrinal. I'd reiterate that personally (as a sunni who's friends with some shia), the major difference is imamate.

Today the reason that in certain places they spend so much time attacking each other is that they see each other as having perverted the faith (for different reasons) - something which hits closer to home than simply being completely down the wrong path in terms of religion. This usually occurs in areas where you have a hefty cultural influence too.
posted by Mossy at 4:51 AM on October 26, 2005

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