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Duncan Ferguson
10-23-2008, 09:44 AM
The Muslim can't have peace with God, because he practices a works-based salvation. Just ask a faithful Muslim if he can be assured of heaven.
This is a quote from a Christian forum. The poster is a Calvinist - that is to say that he believes that salvation is only available to the Elect and the rest of us simply live with our sinful natures.

By "a faithful Muslim" I take it that he means one who believes that the Qu'ran is the absolute word of God.

We know that the Qu'ran inspires Muslims to do good works, among other things, and that Yahweh, through the Bible, does the same, among other things.

As faithful Muslims, can you be assured of Heaven?
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جوري
11-09-2008, 10:49 PM
work based salvation? that dude needs to call his proctologist so he can dislodge his head!

we don't go to heaven or hell because of deeds, rather God's mercy! and that is the end of that.. the so-called 'work' a Muslim fulfills per life time is really for his/her benefit and society as a whole ... be it fast/prayer, Alms giving!

  • According to some ahadith I read by Ibn Kathir..
  • Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman said, "The Prophet said, 'Islâm will become worn out like clothes are, until there will be no-one who knows what fasting, prayer, charity and rituals are. The Qur'ân will disappear in one night, and no Ayah will be left on earth. Some groups of old people will be left who will say, 'We heard our fathers saying La ilaha illa Allâh, so we repeated it.' Silah asked Hudhayfah, "What will saying La ilaha illa Allâh do for them when they do not know what prayer, fasting, ritual and charity are?" Hudhayfah ignored him; then Silah repeated his question three times, and each time Hudayfah ignored him. Finally he answered, "O Silah, it will save them from Hell", and said it three times. (Ibn Majah)



I have got to say, I really enjoy the christian concept of salvation-- I am not sure why any of them even practice? they -- like their Jewish compatriots are 'saved' for one reason or another, and completely unaccountable for good or bad!---
for people so assured of their salvation though, they sure spend a great deal of time focusing on the fate of Muslims.. why is that? have any of them actually come back from the dead that they should speak with such bravado of paradise awaiting? ^o)

cheers
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rpwelton
11-09-2008, 11:02 PM
Originally Posted by Duncan Ferguson
This is a quote from a Christian forum. The poster is a Calvinist - that is to say that he believes that salvation is only available to the Elect and the rest of us simply live with our sinful natures.

By "a faithful Muslim" I take it that he means one who believes that the Qu'ran is the absolute word of God.

We know that the Qu'ran inspires Muslims to do good works, among other things, and that Yahweh, through the Bible, does the same, among other things.

As faithful Muslims, can you be assured of Heaven?
This is an area in which Christians and Muslims differ greatly.

The only way a Muslim can be assured of entering Paradise directly is to die as a shaheed (roughly translated as a martyr). However, you can't choose whether or not you die as a martyr, but instead Allah SWT makes that choice. Other than dying as a shaheed, we, as Muslims, do not believe that there is a guarantee we will go straight to Paradise. Rather, that knowledge rests with Allah SWT alone, and we do our best to fulfill His commandments.

The reason for this is the nature in which salvation is defined in both religions.

In Christianity, the individual is not accountable for his/her own actions, but instead their sins are transferred to Christ. In theory, a Christian who is saved could commit many sins, but in the end it's all forgiven by the blood of Jesus (as). Christianity has no laws to abide by; there are no set prayers, no dietary restrictions, no economic laws, etc. So there is nothing to really judge a Christian on except by their belief in Jesus (as) as their savior.

In Islam, each individual is accountable for his/her own own actions, and because of this, each time we sin we must repent and do our best not to return to that particular sin. Allah SWT has told us that he is the Most Gracious and Most Merciful, so every time we sin and sincerely repent, He accepts that from us. However, we have a code of laws to abide by as Muslims, 5 daily prayers, dietary and economic regulations, etc. So there is a more accurate metric that a Muslim can be judged against versus a Christian in terms of works while on earth. The common denominator of course is just being a good person: giving charity, displaying kindness, etc, but these attributes are not exclusive to someone who is religious.

Also, the concept of the afterlife is different in Christianity and Islam. In Christianity, Heaven and Hell are black and white. You either go to Heaven or Hell indefinitely, and it's assumed that you are judged immediately upon death. Catholicism is a bit different, in that Purgatory acts as a sort of "waiting area" for those who aren't good enough yet for Heaven, but I'm not sure if there's any actual punishment there or not.

In Islam, we believe in three stages of death: the grave, the resurrection and heaven and hell. If a Muslim was not pure enough in his/her Islam while he/she was on earth, punishment awaits in the grave. If the punishments in the grave are not enough to purify that soul when the Day of Judgement comes, then that person is thrown into hellfire for a time. Then after a period of time, it is written, that Allah SWT will tell the Angels to pluck out anyone from hellfire who has an atom's worth of faith and place them into paradise.

It is generally understood that the only sin which will cause a person to remain in hellfire for eternity is that of shirk, or taking partners besides Allah SWT. For any sins other than that, it is believed that Allah SWT will eventually enter those people into paradise.

So while we Muslims cannot have assurance of whether or not we will go to Paradise directly after the Resurrection, we do believe that as long as we strive as hard as we can in our Islam on this earth and do not stray from our belief in the Oneness of God, we will eventually attain Paradise.

But, Allah SWT knows best and we can only make inferences from the Holy Qur'an and the Hadeeth. A Muslim should never get caught up on what his/her fate is in the end, but instead strive to do their best in pleasing Allah SWT in each and every action. It's like running a race; you don't look back to see the position of your opponent, because if you do this you will lose sight of the finish line and concede defeat.
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Chuck
11-09-2008, 11:03 PM
I don't get faith only based religions. Laws, rules, and regulations are undeniable need of human, why would God made such complicated world and leave His believers without a framework on laws, rules, and regulations to manage their society?
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rpwelton
11-10-2008, 01:25 AM
Originally Posted by Skye Ephémérine
we don't go to heaven or hell because of deeds, rather God's mercy! and that is the end of that.. the so-called 'work' a Muslim fulfills per life time is really for his/her benefit and society as a whole ... be it fast/prayer, Alms giving!
Yes, it is true that we are at the mercy of Allah SWT, and it is only by His grace that we are awarded Paradise. However, we have to keep in mind that although our prayers, fasting, charity, etc could never be enough to be worthy of salvation, we still need to strive in the cause of Allah SWT and follow all of His commandments.
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mkh4JC
11-10-2008, 03:13 AM
Originally Posted by rpwelton
In Christianity, the individual is not accountable for his/her own actions, but instead their sins are transferred to Christ. In theory, a Christian who is saved could commit many sins, but in the end it's all forgiven by the blood of Jesus (as). Christianity has no laws to abide by; there are no set prayers, no dietary restrictions, no economic laws, etc. So there is nothing to really judge a Christian on except by their belief in Jesus (as) as their savior.
Well I will say to this, that you don't really understand what Christianity is about. First let's go over some ground rules as to what a Christian really is. Here's a look at a few scriptures:

'Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whomsoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.

If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.' John 8: 34-36. This is talking about freedom from sin, no matter what your background is.

'Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.' II Corinthians 5: 17. This is not just referencing your mindset, but your lifestyle, you completely throwing off the sinful man and putting on the righteousness of God. It also references the new birth.

'What shall we say then? Shall we contine in sin, that grace may abound?

God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?' Romans 6: 1-2.

'All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.

We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not, but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.' 1 John 5: 17-20.

The Bible says that Jesus died to take away the sins of the world, and that's exactly what it means. It doesn't just mean that he died in all of our places, it means that he came to enable us to live victorious lives, no matter what kind of past we may have. Which is why I can say with great certainty that Chrisitianity then is the cure for sin nature, while everything else just masks it.

Now I have to address another misconception:

the individual is not accountable for his/her own actions, but instead their sins are transferred to Christ

This is not the case. If you sin as a Christian (and I can very much attest to this) then Almighty God will respond to that sin. It's called chastening:

'For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bast-ards and not sons.

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

...

Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.'

Hebrews: 12: 6-9, 11.



Originally Posted by Chuck
I don't get faith only based religions. Laws, rules, and regulations are undeniable need of human, why would God made such complicated world and leave His believers without a framework on laws, rules, and regulations to manage their society?
Well, from a Christian perspective, God sent Christ into the world to die for all of mankind, so that he can first save us from our sins. When you accept Christ, God changes your nature. We are all born with a sin nature, a natural inclination to do that which is wrong. When you accept Christ, he comes to live within you, and he lives his perfect life through you, enabling you to live a victorious and sin free life, no matter what kind of past you may have.

Now, when Christ returns to the Earth, he will establish the kingdom of God. It is during the thousand year reign of Christ when God himself will establish his sovereign government over all those who are his. Man in his supremely fallen state can not live under a spiritual kingdom in God's eyes.
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Keltoi
11-10-2008, 04:08 AM
As was discussed on another thread, Christians believe God to be a God of justice. To a Christian, that means God is just in His rewards and punishments. What that really means is that sin will have consequences. That consequence is death, not physical death because that is the lot of all humans, but spiritual death. That is what the verse "The wages of sin is death" is all about. That is what Christ accomplished for us. Forgiveness of that sin and eternal life, spiritual life. Even though none of us are worthy of that forgiveness. That isn't a free hand to commit sin, but an assurance that one is not condemned for falling into sin, as all people will do. That assurance is based on faith, most importantly, and the fruits of that faith, meaning works.

Christians cannot accept that God simply "decides" who is going to Heaven or Hell, because we believe God is just. God is not capricious.
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جوري
11-10-2008, 04:13 AM
Perhaps the lot of you should direct your grievances to your Christian pastors who seem under the impression that redemption is your birth right through baptisms or whatever anticlimactic acceptance that a man/god died for your sins, essentially a carte blanche to sin as you desire!


cheers
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rpwelton
11-10-2008, 04:26 AM
First of all, I used to be a Christian, so I know very much how the mind of a Christian works and the basics of the faith.

You, as a Christian believe that Jesus (as) died for your sins. He paid the debt for you, so you do not have to be accountable to God for your sins. If your debt was not paid in full, that would mean you would still have to answer for the sins you committed on earth, and therefore you would not be guaranteed heaven.

There is a problem with this argument about eternal salvation by accepting Jesus (as) as a savior. So you say he dies for your sins and that you are forgiven of everything. Logically, one who is saved does not commit any big sins; we could deduce that a truly reborn Christian will not murder someone, or commit adultery, or rob a bank, etc.

But that doesn't leave one immune from ANY sin. You will probably tell a lie at some point down the road, you might copy your classmate's answer on a test, etc. No matter how religious you are, it's not all smiles and rainbows. We ALL sin. You cannot argue that fact.

Now, if Jesus (as) has absorbed that sin then that means you are not accountable for it on the Day of Judgment.

You speak of something called "chastening", can you elaborate on that? I've never heard the term used in Christian circles, and thus the concept is new to me. From what I can infer, it means that God will punish the sinner on earth for that particular sin. Well, if that's the case, then the sinner is still unaccountable on the Day of Judgment, because that sin was paid for on earth, and any afterlife punishment wouldn't apply. On top of that, Jesus (as) has already died for that sin.

So you're saying that no matter what, you won't suffer any consequences in the afterlife for particular sins?

Most Christians believe that salvation from Jesus (as) is irrevocable, and thus once you're saved, you're good to go. Sure you may be accountable for that sin on earth if God punishes you here, but you're free and clear in terms of the afterlife, which is what really matters.
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mkh4JC
11-10-2008, 04:47 AM
Originally Posted by rpwelton
First of all, I used to be a Christian, so I know very much how the mind of a Christian works and the basics of the faith.
Now, you say that you used to be a Christian, but my question to you then would be were you living your life as I illustrated using those scriptures in my first post? Or were you just simply raised a Christian (by your parents), perhaps was baptized, attended church regurlarly, or even went to, say, a Christian school?

Originally Posted by rpwelton
You, as a Christian believe that Jesus (as) died for your sins. He paid the debt for you, so you do not have to be accountable to God for your sins. If your debt was not paid in full, that would mean you would still have to answer for the sins you committed on earth, and therefore you would not be guaranteed heaven.
Well, as I showed through scripture, God will and does respond to the sins that a Christian commits. If you are a person who is Christian and you just one day decide to fall back into a life of sin, then God will discipline you and discipline you unto death if needs be.



Originally Posted by rpwelton
There is a problem with this argument about eternal salvation by accepting Jesus (as) as a savior. So you say he dies for your sins and that you are forgiven of everything. Logically, one who is saved does not commit any big sins; we could deduce that a truly reborn Christian will not murder someone, or commit adultery, or rob a bank, etc.
Yes, this is true.

Originally Posted by rpwelton
But that doesn't leave one immune from ANY sin. You will probably tell a lie at some point down the road, you might copy your classmate's answer on a test, etc. No matter how religious you are, it's not all smiles and rainbows. We ALL sin. You cannot argue that fact.
Ok, it is true that we all sin. But sinning as a Christian is different than it is in relation to a sinner. In terms of Christians, God fully expects you NOT to sin. You have the power I mean, not to sin. You'll still commit little sins, like being lazy, and sins of the mind, which you can't stop. But something like lying, God doesn't expect you to do. The Bible says that all liars shall have their part in the lake of fire.

Originally Posted by rpwelton
Now, if Jesus (as) has absorbed that sin then that means you are not accountable for it on the Day of Judgment.
Yes, for Christians Judgement Day is a judgement of rewards, not of deeds.

Originally Posted by rpwelton
You speak of something called "chastening", can you elaborate on that? I've never heard the term used in Christian circles, and thus the concept is new to me. From what I can infer, it means that God will punish the sinner on earth for that particular sin. Well, if that's the case, then the sinner is still unaccountable on the Day of Judgment, because that sin was paid for on earth, and any afterlife punishment wouldn't apply. On top of that, Jesus (as) has already died for that sin.
Well, I have personally been suffering for sins that I have committed when I first accepted Christ, so I have some understanding of this. I don't think it's wise for me to go over exactly how it is I am suffering, or the things that God has placed in my life, as you woulnd't believe me. My parents, for example, have been saved since before I was born, they have seen a lot in the Lord, and they too don't believe me. But I could perhaps share one dimension of the experience. God has used the devil in the past (and he continues to use him) as an instrument of discipline. But the other dimensions, the things that he has personally placed in my life as a result of me sinning, I don't believe it is wise for me to explain those.

Originally Posted by rpwelton
So you're saying that no matter what, you won't suffer any consequences in the afterlife for particular sins?
I guess this all depends on whether or not as a Christian you can lose your salvation. There are some who say you can, and others who say you can't. The scripture I showed concerning chasteneing seemed to hint that at the very least if you don't endure the chastisement that God has placed in your life that he will at least take you out of the world of the living.

Originally Posted by rpwelton
Most Christians believe that salvation from Jesus (as) is irrevocable, and thus once you're saved, you're good to go. Sure you may be accountable for that sin on earth if God punishes you here, but you're free and clear in terms of the afterlife, which is what really matters.

Well, Jesus does say in the Bible that he will never leave you nor forsake you as a Christian. But that doesn't mean that you can't leave him. And also, there is a verse in the Bible where Jesus says if you are ashamed to confess me before men, then I will be ashamed to confess you before the Father and the angels of heaven.
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rpwelton
11-10-2008, 11:30 AM
Originally Posted by Fedos
Now, you say that you used to be a Christian, but my question to you then would be were you living your life as I illustrated using those scriptures in my first post? Or were you just simply raised a Christian (by your parents), perhaps was baptized, attended church regurlarly, or even went to, say, a Christian school?
I was what you would call a "born again" Christian; I found faith through friends in junior high and high school and would regularly attend bible study and youth church on weeknights (which were really nothing more than glorified concerts). While I was not well versed in the scripture of the Bible, I did believe that Jesus (as) was my savior and that I had a ticket to heaven.

Originally Posted by Fedos
Well, as I showed through scripture, God will and does respond to the sins that a Christian commits. If you are a person who is Christian and you just one day decide to fall back into a life of sin, then God will discipline you and discipline you unto death if needs be.
So basically God punishes you here on earth. This means that you are not accountable for your sin on the Day of Judgment.

Originally Posted by Fedos
Ok, it is true that we all sin. But sinning as a Christian is different than it is in relation to a sinner. In terms of Christians, God fully expects you NOT to sin. You have the power I mean, not to sin. You'll still commit little sins, like being lazy, and sins of the mind, which you can't stop. But something like lying, God doesn't expect you to do. The Bible says that all liars shall have their part in the lake of fire.
Now, see that right there is what I always had trouble with as a Christian. They go around branding non-Christians as "sinners", which implies that they themselves are pure. That, to me, would be a sin in and of itself; one of pride and arrogance. According to the Bible, Jesus (as) taught humility; he even said "why dost thou call me good?"

There's also the issue of a threshold. How much sin is too much? I guess it doesn't really matter since you're only accountable for your sins on earth and not in the afterlife, but realistically speaking there's no way to draw the line and say "such and such a sin is acceptable, but these other sins are crossing the line". Surely we could use the "big sins" as metrics, but what about all the stuff that falls in between the big and little stuff? Once you get into details it becomes hard to measure.
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Malaikah
11-10-2008, 12:03 PM
Originally Posted by Duncan Ferguson
As faithful Muslims, can you be assured of Heaven?
Hi there.

If a person dies a Muslim they are guaranteed that they will eventually go to paradise.

Some Muslim will go directly to paradise. Others will have to go to hell first because they had sins that were not forgiven.

That is part of the justice of Islam - simply believing is not enough, you have to actually do good works and be sincere in what you do and aim to please God. Saying "I believe" and then being the worst person anyone has ever seen (drinking, fornicating, stealing, criminal, gambler, drug dealer, etc) doesn't cut it.

There has to be justice, and for some people that means that they must go to hell before they can enter paradise.

There is no one to die for your sins in Islam. Your sins are your own responsibility. No handing them over to any other innocent.
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mkh4JC
11-10-2008, 04:52 PM
Originally Posted by rpwelton
I was what you would call a "born again" Christian; I found faith through friends in junior high and high school and would regularly attend bible study and youth church on weeknights (which were really nothing more than glorified concerts). While I was not well versed in the scripture of the Bible, I did believe that Jesus (as) was my savior and that I had a ticket to heaven.
Ok, but my point is, if your life did not mirror what I outlined in those scriptures, then you were really not a Christian. You have to understand, that just because a person is baptized that doesn't mean that they were or are a Christian. You have to believe in your heart (not your mind) that Jesus is the Son of God, that he died for your sins, and that he rose the third day, then you have to respond positively when presented with that belief, either by a televangelist, or someone in person.

People nowadays tend to call themselves Christian, or they think that they are Christian, without having any real understanding of what it means to be a Christian. Which is again why I can say with great certainty that there is no where near 2+ billion people living on this Earth who have a real relationship with Jesus Christ, it's more in the realm of the mid hundreds millions.



Originally Posted by rpwelton
So basically God punishes you here on earth. This means that you are not accountable for your sin on the Day of Judgment.
Again, this all goes back to whether or not as a Christian you can lose your salvation.




Originally Posted by rpwelton
Now, see that right there is what I always had trouble with as a Christian. They go around branding non-Christians as "sinners", which implies that they themselves are pure. That, to me, would be a sin in and of itself; one of pride and arrogance. According to the Bible, Jesus (as) taught humility; he even said "why dost thou call me good?"
Well, you are not taking into account all that I have written. Yes, those who are not in Christ are sinners, but what a Christian has, everybody can have. But yes, there are only two kinds of people in this world. Those who have accepted Christ, and those who haven't.



Originally Posted by rpwelton
There's also the issue of a threshold. How much sin is too much? I guess it doesn't really matter since you're only accountable for your sins on earth and not in the afterlife, but realistically speaking there's no way to draw the line and say "such and such a sin is acceptable, but these other sins are crossing the line". Surely we could use the "big sins" as metrics, but what about all the stuff that falls in between the big and little stuff? Once you get into details it becomes hard to measure.
God decides how much sin is too much. But again, as a Christian, he doesn't expect you to do something which sinners would seem as insignificant but is really an offense to God, and that is to lie.
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rpwelton
11-10-2008, 05:22 PM
Originally Posted by Fedos

Well, you are not taking into account all that I have written. Yes, those who are not in Christ are sinners, but what a Christian has, everybody can have. But yes, there are only two kinds of people in this world. Those who have accepted Christ, and those who haven't.
Islam has a similar concept, believers and disbelievers. It would be more appropriate if Christians used those terms, instead of sinners and non-sinners. It eliminates that holier-than-thou mentality that sometimes is projected across. I know how it feels to be sitting across from someone who tells me I've led a sinful life and I need to be redeemed, and it's not pleasant. I believe there are more productive ways of calling a person to a particular faith than pointing out their flaws.

I'm not attacking you in particular, but rather making a broader generalization of Christians from what I have experienced and even used to think myself.
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Grace Seeker
11-19-2008, 07:54 AM
Originally Posted by Malaikah
Hi there.

If a person dies a Muslim they are guaranteed that they will eventually go to paradise.

Some Muslim will go directly to paradise. Others will have to go to hell first because they had sins that were not forgiven.

That is part of the justice of Islam - simply believing is not enough, you have to actually do good works and be sincere in what you do and aim to please God. Saying "I believe" and then being the worst person anyone has ever seen (drinking, fornicating, stealing, criminal, gambler, drug dealer, etc) doesn't cut it.

There has to be justice, and for some people that means that they must go to hell before they can enter paradise.

There is no one to die for your sins in Islam. Your sins are your own responsibility. No handing them over to any other innocent.

Thank-you Malaikah, I was beginning to wonder if anyone was going actually address the question which began this thread. Now that it has been addressed, may I ask a follow-up question, please: Are nominal Muslims (i.e. those that are Muslim in name only, perhaps because they were raised by Muslim parents or in a Muslim culture, but never actually committed themselves to living a life of Islam) likewise guaranteed paradise?
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Al-Zaara
11-19-2008, 01:24 PM
^ Grace Seeker, peace!

Based on what Malaikah said above, your second question is already answered. If they believed and thus died as Muslims, they can go to Paradise if God so wills. If they didn't practice their Islam, yet in their hearts believed Islam to be true, they will have to first pay those sins of not practicing their religion which they believed in, firstly to go to Hell and then Paradise, if God so wills.

If they didn't believe in Islam, then they weren't Muslim, but their names or backgrounds were. I hope you understand.
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Muezzin
11-19-2008, 01:29 PM
Originally Posted by Duncan Ferguson
This is a quote from a Christian forum. The poster is a Calvinist - that is to say that he believes that salvation is only available to the Elect and the rest of us simply live with our sinful natures.
'The Elect'? That sounds a little elitist, considering if you're part of it, you are apparently assured heaven.

By "a faithful Muslim" I take it that he means one who believes that the Qu'ran is the absolute word of God.

We know that the Qu'ran inspires Muslims to do good works, among other things, and that Yahweh, through the Bible, does the same, among other things.

As faithful Muslims, can you be assured of Heaven?
Nope. The minute you assure yourself of a place in Heaven is the minute you place it at risk. That's arrogance because it's not your decision to make. All you can do is your best and hope that Allah wills you a place in Heaven.
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Grace Seeker
11-20-2008, 03:34 AM
Originally Posted by Al-Zaara
^ Grace Seeker, peace!

Based on what Malaikah said above, your second question is already answered. If they believed and thus died as Muslims, they can go to Paradise if God so wills. If they didn't practice their Islam, yet in their hearts believed Islam to be true, they will have to first pay those sins of not practicing their religion which they believed in, firstly to go to Hell and then Paradise, if God so wills.

If they didn't believe in Islam, then they weren't Muslim, but their names or backgrounds were. I hope you understand.
Shall, I take that as a NO? Those that are Muslim in name only (by virture of their parents background or the culture they live in, but not actually belief and practice of Islam --except for that practice which is part and parcel of their culture) will not make it to Paradise.
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AntiKarateKid
11-20-2008, 06:29 AM
Heres an interesting hadith which lends weight to our view that salvation is works based


The profession: (There is no god but Allah), is the profession of monotheism, anyone we will say it sincerely from his own heart will enter Paradise ,when Mu’âdh Ibn-Gabal, may Allah be pleased with him, heard the Prophet's, Allah’s Prayers and Peace be upon him, saying: “Who says: There is no god but Allah will enter Paradise”,..he said: Shall I bring glad tidings to people?. The Prophet, Allah’s Prayers and Peace be upon him, said: “No, so that they may not rely on it”. So Mu’âdh concealed the Hadith till he was on death bed when he feared concealing knowledge from people so he informed them of the Hadith.


Apparently, the stipulation of Muslim was not used but instead one who acknowleges the oneness of God is immediaely granted paradise, provided it reflects on his actions.

It is stipulated that whoso says: (There is no god but Allah), that the tongue should assert it and the heart should believe in it, then this will be reflected on organs and behavioral manifestations of whoso says: (There is no god but Allah) sincerely:

1. No blamer scares him.

2. He seeks no sustenance save from Allah.

3. He never relies save on Allah, and he never resorts save to Allah.

4. He entrusts his affairs to Allah alone.




Perhaps this means that it is easier for Muslims to get into heaven because our religion is pure truth. But those who reflect Islamic values such as the ones above will also be accepted by God, provided they can even find the straight path themselves, which may be hard without Islamic Guidance.


Please do not take my opinions as authoritative, I am merely GUESSING.
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Al-Zaara
11-20-2008, 04:43 PM
Originally Posted by Grace Seeker
Shall, I take that as a NO? Those that are Muslim in name only (by virture of their parents background or the culture they live in, but not actually belief and practice of Islam --except for that practice which is part and parcel of their culture) will not make it to Paradise.
Aren't they then non-believers, kaafirs if they do not believe in Islam (according to Islam)? And you know non-believers do not go to Paradise if God so wills, every human differs of course, Allah knows best? Then if God so wills, no, they won't make it to Paradise, but only God knows best. There have been and still exist examplary non-Muslims (of course!!!) and I trust in Allah the most Just to make the best judgements.

If I may say my own personal opinion, there are so many non-Muslims who deserve Paradise many more times than some Muslims do, no doubt, that's why it's hard and maybe even impossible at some cases to say who should get to go to Paradise and who not. Many factors contribute... Allah knows best.

Aswell, I personally, can't say "we will", without saying "if God so wills", for I do not believe we have automatically any place in Paradise or Hell guaranteed. But there are factors that can help, but the end is unpredictable. These are my own personal opinions.

The bold part in the quote above makes me a bit confused, what kind of practices in a culture do you mean which could be associated with being a Muslim?
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Grace Seeker
11-20-2008, 11:16 PM
Originally Posted by Al-Zaara
The bold part in the quote above makes me a bit confused, what kind of practices in a culture do you mean which could be associated with being a Muslim?
Oh, for instance I have friend who is a taxi driver in Tripoli, and he has told me horror stories of Saudi businessmen (for some reason all of his horror stories are about Saudi businessmen) who, when he picks them up at the airport, want him to find them young boys to spend several hours with in what can euphemistically be called untoward behavior. Now these men are all "Muslims", they are sure to celebrate Ramadan with their families, and will even make a show of buy a lamb for a poor family at the feast of the sacrifice, but they don't keep Islam. They drink, they don't attend to their prayers, they even engage in this illicit sexual encounters with boys they recruit to be prostitutes. Whether in their heart they really trust in Allah, I don't know. But their outward behavior does not express it.

I have another friend from Tehran with a completely different story. She lives what on the surface would be a considered by most to be truly moral life. And she practices all of the outward forms of Islam expected by her society, like dress, etc. And when she has to fill out forms she checks Islam as her religion. But she confesses to me, that she doesn't really believe any of it. She is in fact a secular humanists and nothing more. She doesn't know if there is a god (small "g"), doubts it, and doesn't care because as a scientist (she's a molecular biologist engaged in medical research) she just believes in what she can see and test for in her laboratory.

Now, I admit to judging the business, but my friend in Tehran, these are her own explanation of her religious beliefs to me. At first she said to me that she was Muslim, and then she said, not really because she doesn't really believe, it is just a part of her culture living where she does -- those are her words, not mine. And I suspect that both people would be adjugded as Muslims by the world at large, I don't think that given the information provided that we could say that either of them are truly followers of Islam. As you said, I think they have to considered more as non-believers, even if they do practice some vestiges of Muslim rituals in their lives; they don't do them as an act of faith, but more because they are expected aspects of the society in which they happen to live.
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Argamemnon
11-21-2008, 04:54 AM
^^ What you described is actually considered worse than disbelief according to Islam. Outwardly practising or pretending to be Muslim while not believing in their heart. Such people are called "munafiq" (religious hypocrite).
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Grace Seeker
11-21-2008, 05:21 AM
Originally Posted by Argamemnon
^^ What you described is actually considered worse than disbelief according to Islam. Outwardly practising or pretending to be Muslim while not believing in their heart. Someone like that is called Munafiq (religious hypocrite).
I learned a new word today; thank-you for the edification!

Yet I also find it interesting that rarely do you hear of a Muslim speaking against one who seems to fit this category of Munafiq. (Not that we in the Christian Church necessarily call out our religious hyprocrite either.) Is that because one doesn't want to risk judging what is in a person's heart -- after all none of us are perfect -- and feels the need to leave that to Allah to say? Or are there sometimes other reasons?
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Argamemnon
11-21-2008, 12:02 PM
Originally Posted by Grace Seeker
I learned a new word today; thank-you for the edification!

Yet I also find it interesting that rarely do you hear of a Muslim speaking against one who seems to fit this category of Munafiq. (Not that we in the Christian Church necessarily call out our religious hyprocrite either.) Is that because one doesn't want to risk judging what is in a person's heart -- after all none of us are perfect -- and feels the need to leave that to Allah to say? Or are there sometimes other reasons?
Yes, I would assume that to be the main reason..
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Keltoi
11-21-2008, 12:25 PM
Originally Posted by Grace Seeker
I learned a new word today; thank-you for the edification!

Yet I also find it interesting that rarely do you hear of a Muslim speaking against one who seems to fit this category of Munafiq. (Not that we in the Christian Church necessarily call out our religious hyprocrite either.) Is that because one doesn't want to risk judging what is in a person's heart -- after all none of us are perfect -- and feels the need to leave that to Allah to say? Or are there sometimes other reasons?
I'm not sure how you address this issue, but my pastor routinely gives warnings about this type of behavior. While he doesn't call out people by name, he does often make mention of this practice of being Christian in name alone. Perhaps that is all we can do without passing judgement on individuals.
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Grace Seeker
11-21-2008, 02:58 PM
Originally Posted by Keltoi
Perhaps that is all we can do without passing judgement on individuals.
As a parent I love my children enough to not just correct their behavior but also their attitude. As a spouse it is important to me not just what my spouse does for, but what motivates her to do what she does for me -- is she doing it out obligation, love, or what exactly? As a brother I talk with my siblings about issues of the heart not just surface issues because we truly care for one another.

So, here is my question to Christian and Muslim alike... If this is how we relate to people we truly care about, but we won't deal with the heart issues, the motivation and attitude behind the actions of other individuals does that mean that no matter how much we want to present ourselves to the world as loving people, that we truly don't love others as much as we do ourselves and our own? And if that be the case, then maybe it is in fact our attitude, our motivation, and our heart that needs some work.
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Keltoi
11-21-2008, 11:44 PM
Originally Posted by Grace Seeker
So, here is my question to Christian and Muslim alike... If this is how we relate to people we truly care about, but we won't deal with the heart issues, the motivation and attitude behind the actions of other individuals does that mean that no matter how much we want to present ourselves to the world as loving people, that we truly don't love others as much as we do ourselves and our own? And if that be the case, then maybe it is in fact our attitude, our motivation, and our heart that needs some work.
I understand your point, and perhaps a personal meeting between pastor/minister/priest and a church member who seems to be falling into hypocrisy would be helpful and even necessary. I know that my pastor often makes reference to the fact that he sees every member of the congregation as a member of his family, so your analogy about your own immediate family makes sense.
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Grace Seeker
11-23-2008, 09:41 PM
Originally Posted by Keltoi
I understand your point, and perhaps a personal meeting between pastor/minister/priest and a church member who seems to be falling into hypocrisy would be helpful and even necessary. I know that my pastor often makes reference to the fact that he sees every member of the congregation as a member of his family, so your analogy about your own immediate family makes sense.

Why limit this to pastor correcting membership? Sense you and I are protestants who claim to believe in "the priesthood of all believers," maybe we should understand that part of the responsibility I have toward my brother/sister in Christ is to speak to their unethical behavior rather than ignore it, saying that it is between them and God. Would not those who follow Islam have some simiilar responsibility toward their brothers and sisters within the faith? Specifically, should not the Christian church stand up to groups like the skinheads, the KKK, and other hate groups, or those who promote hedonism as a basic value in society? And should not Muslims speak out against al-Qaida or the Taliban when they practice things that are not truly parts of Islam and then seek the cover of relgion to justify that which is actually condemned by both and the Qur'an and the Hadith of the Prophet?
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Keltoi
11-24-2008, 04:49 AM
Originally Posted by Grace Seeker
Why limit this to pastor correcting membership? Sense you and I are protestants who claim to believe in "the priesthood of all believers," maybe we should understand that part of the responsibility I have toward my brother/sister in Christ is to speak to their unethical behavior rather than ignore it, saying that it is between them and God. Would not those who follow Islam have some simiilar responsibility toward their brothers and sisters within the faith? Specifically, should not the Christian church stand up to groups like the skinheads, the KKK, and other hate groups, or those who promote hedonism as a basic value in society? And should not Muslims speak out against al-Qaida or the Taliban when they practice things that are not truly parts of Islam and then seek the cover of relgion to justify that which is actually condemned by both and the Qur'an and the Hadith of the Prophet?
Yes in that context I agree. I was referring more to the Christian concept of "backsliding", which in most cases would not rise to the level of racism or hedonism.

That being said I agree full heartedly that it is the responsibility of Christians to speak out against those who pervert the meaning of our faith.
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Grace Seeker
11-24-2008, 02:29 PM
Keltoi, the sad thing is that it appears, as if one could judge the entire world based on our present conversation (which I know we cannot), that Christians are more worried about correcting their brothers and sisters who stray in the practice of their faith than Muslims are.

Where, my Muslim friends, is the Islamic response to these questions?
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Al-Zaara
11-24-2008, 02:58 PM
Is that a challenge, Grace? I find it unbelivably dramatic of you to state such as the above, which is why I take it as an provocation, to make us answers, no? That's only my understanding of that post. Or is it coming from the heart? If it is what you truly think, then I see it as presumption from your side, which doesn't fit the 'true' Christian image I've gotten over the years.

I shalth answer when my keyboard is working again, it took me minutes to just write this.
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Grace Seeker
11-24-2008, 03:16 PM
Originally Posted by Al-Zaara
Is that a challenge, Grace? I find it unbelivably dramatic of you to state such as the above, which is why I take it as an provocation, to make us answers, no? That's only my understanding of that post. Or is it coming from the heart? If it is what you truly think, then I see it as presumption from your side, which doesn't fit the 'true' Christian image I've gotten over the years.

I shalth answer when my keyboard is working again, it took me minutes to just write this.
Probably a little bit of truth to both aspects of what you said.

Mostly, I would challenge Muslims to speak out against their own when they go astray. Now, I know that Imans do this in their sermons at the level that Keltoi was talking about. I have set in those mosques and heard those sermons myself. So, I don't mean this as a tirade against Islam. But it does concern me that so many Muslims can turn a blind eye (or are at least silent) in response to some of the outrageous acts of violence done in the name of Islam. Then, when a non-Muslim asks about this, we are told that such actions are not acceptable practice within Islam. My problem is that I don't ever see those statements directed at the renegade Islamic groups that actually perpeutrate them. I accept that these renegade groups may not be true to Islam, but they nonetheless hide behind the cloak of Islam to justify themselves and there is deafening silence from the majority of Islamic world in response. I would think that if I were an adherent of Islam, that I would not only want to tell non-Muslims that the acts of these others don't truly represent Islam, but tell those who do them to stop taking the falsely name of Islam to justify actions that are not a part of the true practice of Islam.
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Muezzin
11-24-2008, 07:36 PM
Just to link this back to the topic:

Maybe we could make banners or something.

'Want to boost your chances of visiting Hell?

Blow something up!'
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Grace Seeker
11-25-2008, 11:44 PM
Originally Posted by Muezzin
Just to link this back to the topic:

Maybe we could make banners or something.

'Want to boost your chances of visiting Hell?

Blow something up!'

:D :thumbs_up
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AntiKarateKid
11-26-2008, 12:00 AM
Originally Posted by Grace Seeker
Probably a little bit of truth to both aspects of what you said.

Mostly, I would challenge Muslims to speak out against their own when they go astray. Now, I know that Imans do this in their sermons at the level that Keltoi was talking about. I have set in those mosques and heard those sermons myself. So, I don't mean this as a tirade against Islam. But it does concern me that so many Muslims can turn a blind eye (or are at least silent) in response to some of the outrageous acts of violence done in the name of Islam. Then, when a non-Muslim asks about this, we are told that such actions are not acceptable practice within Islam. My problem is that I don't ever see those statements directed at the renegade Islamic groups that actually perpeutrate them. I accept that these renegade groups may not be true to Islam, but they nonetheless hide behind the cloak of Islam to justify themselves and there is deafening silence from the majority of Islamic world in response. I would think that if I were an adherent of Islam, that I would not only want to tell non-Muslims that the acts of these others don't truly represent Islam, but tell those who do them to stop taking the falsely name of Islam to justify actions that are not a part of the true practice of Islam.


The same can be said of Christianity and basically any other ideology.
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AntiKarateKid
11-26-2008, 12:02 AM
Originally Posted by Grace Seeker
Keltoi, the sad thing is that it appears, as if one could judge the entire world based on our present conversation (which I know we cannot), that Christians are more worried about correcting their brothers and sisters who stray in the practice of their faith than Muslims are.

Where, my Muslim friends, is the Islamic response to these questions?


It got lost with the response from Christianity condemning Christians from treating us like satan's spawn. The Jewish response to zionism and Jewish superiority complex is tangled there somewhere too.
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MuhammadRizan
11-26-2008, 09:58 AM
The Muslim can't have peace with God, because he practices a works-based salvation. Just ask a faithful Muslim if he can be assured of heaven.
salam to all.

i'm just addressing my opinion, by the way good to be back, miss u all.:D

that is quite tricky question, when people ask u that especially non muslim, u just cought in the middle, u can't say yes because coz after all that's not your decision--but 4 me the most important thing is it's makes me feel arrogant (takabbur) againts Allah, not a good feeling when u pray to Him everything so many times every days.

u also can't say no, coz that is what people with bad intention want to hear, opportunity to bash islam more.

but 4 the people that actually want to understand this.

true faith can't be achieve just by saying and conformation, even the most compelling miracle can't make people faithful--so many example in the bible itself, such as Moses(pbuh) and his people.

one of the reason all the do's and dont's in islam actually is to nurture faith to the very one who command it..bcoz that's how faith really is...like a plant..seed--nurture---grow...at least thats how i see it.

i can't imagine how faith can be achieve without following God commandment devoutly.

one more thing, that true muslim or maybe christian, if you love your God so much.....heaven will be a secondary thing.

Commandment empowering faith---insha'Allah faith will save you.
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Pygoscelis
11-26-2008, 08:05 PM
Originally Posted by Grace Seeker
Probably a little bit of truth to both aspects of what you said.

Mostly, I would challenge Muslims to speak out against their own when they go astray. Now, I know that Imans do this in their sermons at the level that Keltoi was talking about. I have set in those mosques and heard those sermons myself. So, I don't mean this as a tirade against Islam. But it does concern me that so many Muslims can turn a blind eye (or are at least silent) in response to some of the outrageous acts of violence done in the name of Islam. Then, when a non-Muslim asks about this, we are told that such actions are not acceptable practice within Islam. My problem is that I don't ever see those statements directed at the renegade Islamic groups that actually perpeutrate them. I accept that these renegade groups may not be true to Islam, but they nonetheless hide behind the cloak of Islam to justify themselves and there is deafening silence from the majority of Islamic world in response. I would think that if I were an adherent of Islam, that I would not only want to tell non-Muslims that the acts of these others don't truly represent Islam, but tell those who do them to stop taking the falsely name of Islam to justify actions that are not a part of the true practice of Islam.

This is one of Sam Harris' favourite points to make about religion in general. His idea is that within Christianity, and especially within Islam, it is just a small fraction that are extremists and do nasty things, but the majority in holding the same label "Muslim" or "Christian" and in making criticism of their religion taboo, shield the extremists from criticism.

The immense taboo in criticizing religious "faith" (Which some call "blasphemy") is a weapon used by the extremist to great effect. Even those of us outside of the religions have been trained to feel it improper to criticize something done in the name of religion for fear of insulting somebody. The extremists know this and use it well. This is a serious problem.
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Keltoi
11-26-2008, 11:00 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
This is one of Sam Harris' favourite points to make about religion in general. His idea is that within Christianity, and especially within Islam, it is just a small fraction that are extremists and do nasty things, but the majority in holding the same label "Muslim" or "Christian" and in making criticism of their religion taboo, shield the extremists from criticism.

The immense taboo in criticizing religious "faith" (Which some call "blasphemy") is a weapon used by the extremist to great effect. Even those of us outside of the religions have been trained to feel it improper to criticize something done in the name of religion for fear of insulting somebody. The extremists know this and use it well. This is a serious problem.
There is a difference between criticizing an extremist element within a religion and mocking religious faith. If you take the Bill Maher approach and mock religion as a form of criticism then of course people of faith will disregard anything he has to say.
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Grace Seeker
11-28-2008, 12:22 AM
Originally Posted by Grace Seeker
Mostly, I would challenge Muslims to speak out against their own when they go astray. Now, I know that Imans do this in their sermons at the level that Keltoi was talking about. I have set in those mosques and heard those sermons myself. So, I don't mean this as a tirade against Islam. But it does concern me that so many Muslims can turn a blind eye (or are at least silent) in response to some of the outrageous acts of violence done in the name of Islam. Then, when a non-Muslim asks about this, we are told that such actions are not acceptable practice within Islam. My problem is that I don't ever see those statements directed at the renegade Islamic groups that actually perpeutrate them. I accept that these renegade groups may not be true to Islam, but they nonetheless hide behind the cloak of Islam to justify themselves and there is deafening silence from the majority of Islamic world in response. I would think that if I were an adherent of Islam, that I would not only want to tell non-Muslims that the acts of these others don't truly represent Islam, but tell those who do them to stop taking the falsely name of Islam to justify actions that are not a part of the true practice of Islam.
I try to call them as I see them, and so I have to say that in the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, I have heard many Muslims be critical of those who have done this, even if they are Muslim. I am heartened by those condemnations, even as I am saddened that they might have to be made.

And I will also go so far as to acknowledge that thus far the idea that it was Muslims behind this attack is just based on reports of one group with a Muslim sounding name claiming responsibility, that claim itself may yet prove to be untrue.
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Umar001
12-06-2008, 06:23 PM
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem,

As-Salaamu 'Alaykum Wa Rahmatullah,

I have much to say, but I think I may just type more tomorow, let me just ask some questions of some statements and put a summary of my points;



Originally Posted by rpwelton
This is an area in which Christians and Muslims differ greatly.

The only way a Muslim can be assured of entering Paradise directly is to die as a shaheed (roughly translated as a martyr). However, you can't choose whether or not you die as a martyr, but instead Allah SWT makes that choice. Other than dying as a shaheed, we, as Muslims, do not believe that there is a guarantee we will go straight to Paradise. Rather, that knowledge rests with Allah SWT alone, and we do our best to fulfill His commandments.
Please explain this, because I don't understand it. What do you mean when you say 'assured'?

Originally Posted by Duncan Ferguson
This is a quote from a Christian forum. The poster is a Calvinist - that is to say that he believes that salvation is only available to the Elect and the rest of us simply live with our sinful natures.

By "a faithful Muslim" I take it that he means one who believes that the Qu'ran is the absolute word of God.

We know that the Qu'ran inspires Muslims to do good works, among other things, and that Yahweh, through the Bible, does the same, among other things.

As faithful Muslims, can you be assured of Heaven?
We should understand various things, someone ordained to paradise by God will not lose that place, unless God allows that to be lost.

A Muslim believes in the Promises of Almighty God, and thus you have narrations from the Prophet indicating people going to paradise. But the Muslim generally is scared that he himself will cause himself to loose that place. This concept is the same, a Christian may be saved of course, but not if he is not a true Christian.

The crucial part here is not about being saved as a Muslim/Christian, but are you actually a Muslim/Christian. Let me break it down,

Christian (meaning he is good and all) = Promised paradise.
Muslim (meaning he is good and all) = Promised paradise.

The problem then arises, can we claim to be those two things, i.e. the two above. A Muslim say 'insha'Allah' God willing I am. A Christian may say 'I darn skippy am' yet we know that he may end up leaving Christianity later on (although some say the true Christians wont, even if we agree, noone thinks when he is a Christian 'I am a fake Christian' so he thinks he is true during his Christian time).

So in reality both are in the same boat from an outsider's point of view. Just a point I seem to have.

And of course Allah knows best.
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rpwelton
12-07-2008, 03:02 PM
Originally Posted by Grace Seeker
As a parent I love my children enough to not just correct their behavior but also their attitude. As a spouse it is important to me not just what my spouse does for, but what motivates her to do what she does for me -- is she doing it out obligation, love, or what exactly? As a brother I talk with my siblings about issues of the heart not just surface issues because we truly care for one another.

So, here is my question to Christian and Muslim alike... If this is how we relate to people we truly care about, but we won't deal with the heart issues, the motivation and attitude behind the actions of other individuals does that mean that no matter how much we want to present ourselves to the world as loving people, that we truly don't love others as much as we do ourselves and our own? And if that be the case, then maybe it is in fact our attitude, our motivation, and our heart that needs some work.
In Islam, a good Muslim will want for others what he wants for himself, and I'm sure the same applies to Christianity. However, we must perfect our salat before teaching others, we must pray in the masjid regularly before telling others to pray regularly in the masjid, etc. We must ourselves become strong vessels of faith before guiding others, otherwise it's the blind leading the blind.

But, as a whole, I would agree and say we are not concerned about others enough. In the time of Muhammad (SAW) if a man missed one salat in the masjid, they would go and see if he was OK (maybe he was sick, or something happened to him, etc). How many times does a person miss salat in the masjid today before people check on him? One week, one month? Many times nobody calls at all. It's a problem we must fix in that we have to learn to care about one another as brothers and sisters in a community, not just as individuals.

Originally Posted by Grace Seeker
Why limit this to pastor correcting membership? Sense you and I are protestants who claim to believe in "the priesthood of all believers," maybe we should understand that part of the responsibility I have toward my brother/sister in Christ is to speak to their unethical behavior rather than ignore it, saying that it is between them and God. Would not those who follow Islam have some simiilar responsibility toward their brothers and sisters within the faith? Specifically, should not the Christian church stand up to groups like the skinheads, the KKK, and other hate groups, or those who promote hedonism as a basic value in society? And should not Muslims speak out against al-Qaida or the Taliban when they practice things that are not truly parts of Islam and then seek the cover of relgion to justify that which is actually condemned by both and the Qur'an and the Hadith of the Prophet?
It's the job of the Imam to speak out in general against sin in his sermons, and for fellow Muslims to remind each other the perils of sin, but in terms of calling specific people out on sins committed in private, this would not be done in Islam. If a sin is committed in public, however, then Muslims have an obligation to set this person straight.

When I was a Christian, many times sins committted in private were not off-limits at Church. I would attend church and the pastor would call forward the sinners and tell them to ask for Christ's forgiveness. It was very embarassing and humiliating, but you would get many people going up.

I wish Imams would speak out more against the groups that are ruining this religion, like Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations, because this is the ummah's biggest problem. They will often make passing references condemning their actions, but rarely will they devote a whole sermon to it. I think it has to do with either people not fully understanding what Islam has to say in this manner or not wanting to create disunity or create controversy. These should be no excuses. We've had 7 years of living in an environment where our religion is being attacked by terrorists and the media. We as Muslims should know, if nothing else, what our religion truly has to say in regards to terrorism and violence. Sadly, few really do.

There are a few that have spoken against this very strongly (Shabir Ally comes to mind), and I commend them for it, but that is not enough. We need more voices out there denouncing this abomination of Islam.

As far as Christianity is concerned, I'm surprised I don't see too many Christians denouncing the so-called "Prosperity Gospel" preached by the likes of Joel Osteen. I actually was watching a Joel Osteen "sermon" the other day on TV. He didn't mention an scripture once. In fact, this guy could give the exact same speech and bill himself as a motivational speaker. To use God to justify striving after the wealth of the world seems very un-Christian. Didn't Jesus (as) say: you cannot serve both wealth and God?

Christians, what is your take on that last point?

Originally Posted by Pygoscelis

The immense taboo in criticizing religious "faith" (Which some call "blasphemy") is a weapon used by the extremist to great effect. Even those of us outside of the religions have been trained to feel it improper to criticize something done in the name of religion for fear of insulting somebody. The extremists know this and use it well. This is a serious problem.
There's a difference between criticizing faith and mocking faith. If someone does something in the name of God and it's not something that religion is representative of, then that person has a right to be criticized, no matter if their Muslim, Christian, Jewish, etc. Not enough people stand up to set them straight, but I believe the followers of that faith, and those who don't follow the faith (but are learned in it) have a right to stand up against that person or group who abominates the religion.

Originally Posted by Al Habeshi


Please explain this, because I don't understand it. What do you mean when you say 'assured'?

We should understand various things, someone ordained to paradise by God will not lose that place, unless God allows that to be lost.

A Muslim believes in the Promises of Almighty God, and thus you have narrations from the Prophet indicating people going to paradise. But the Muslim generally is scared that he himself will cause himself to loose that place. This concept is the same, a Christian may be saved of course, but not if he is not a true Christian.

The crucial part here is not about being saved as a Muslim/Christian, but are you actually a Muslim/Christian. Let me break it down,

Christian (meaning he is good and all) = Promised paradise.
Muslim (meaning he is good and all) = Promised paradise.

The problem then arises, can we claim to be those two things, i.e. the two above. A Muslim say 'insha'Allah' God willing I am. A Christian may say 'I darn skippy am' yet we know that he may end up leaving Christianity later on (although some say the true Christians wont, even if we agree, noone thinks when he is a Christian 'I am a fake Christian' so he thinks he is true during his Christian time).

So in reality both are in the same boat from an outsider's point of view. Just a point I seem to have.

And of course Allah knows best.
My main point is that we can't be assured of going directly to Heaven except for some very special cicumstances (dying in the cause of Allah, whether it's in prayer, battle, Hajj, etc), and only Allah SWT has the ability to chose whether or not we die in that manner and die with conviction.

Because the afterlife is not black and white for a believer, we are allowed to have our sins expiated through either suffering in the grave, on the Day of Judgment, or in hellfire for a time if we are not pure enough upon our death.

This is contrasted with the Christian's view of heaven and hell; you either go to one or the other forever.

The Muslim believes that as long as he stays true to la ilah ha ilallah (and believes it with conviction), he will eventually attain paradise. We hate to use the words "guaranteed" and "assured" because we always want to have a balance between fearing the wrath of Allah SWT and also knowing he is ever Merciful and Forgiving.
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Grace Seeker
12-11-2008, 08:21 PM
rpwelton, I found much refreshing thought in your post. So, I thank-you for sharing it.

To your question:
Originally Posted by rpwelton
As far as Christianity is concerned, I'm surprised I don't see too many Christians denouncing the so-called "Prosperity Gospel" preached by the likes of Joel Osteen. I actually was watching a Joel Osteen "sermon" the other day on TV. He didn't mention an scripture once. In fact, this guy could give the exact same speech and bill himself as a motivational speaker. To use God to justify striving after the wealth of the world seems very un-Christian. Didn't Jesus (as) say: you cannot serve both wealth and God?

Christians, what is your take on that last point?
Prosperity preachers have been around for decades. Osteen is not someone I have seen much, but from what I have seen he isn't nearly as outrageous as a few others before him.

I have not personally criticized Osteen because, as I've already said, I don't know enough about what he teaches to speak to it. Nonetheless, in my opinion the whole concept presented by these "prosperity Gospel" preachers is contrary to the teaching of scripture. And I have said so on many different occassions in many formats. Nor am I alone in condemning this as heretical teaching. In fact you will find that most pastors condemn it. Unfortunately that doesn't mean that it doesn't have its adherents, and because they have access to cash they often utilize it to get their name and message out in front of people so that it seems to be more common and popularly accepted than it really is.

It also is a very attractive heresy. If one is hurting, it is comforting to think that one can just "name it and claim it" and God must do your bidding, like rubbing a magic lamp. Of course when you break it down like that to its simplest elements then even the most die hard proponet of it can see the error of the teaching that we make God act according to our will rather than us conforming to his. But those who teach this false gospel are good at couching it in more acceptable language. And if one is well off, it is nice to think that it is a result of God's blessings, thus confirming to one's self, that you are doing the right thing and can continue to live and function as you have without having to challenge yourself to change one's life and seek God if God is already blessing you.

And finally, if the prosperity Gospel was actually true, think of what that says about the likes of non-prosperous followers of Christ in the world, a group that would be the majority. Does it mean that those who follow Christ's teachings and are not well off not truly his disciples? Does it mean that Mother Theresa, St. Augustine, the disciples themselves were not truly Christian? The concept is ludicrous, but those who are susceptible to these false teachings simply don't ask such questions, and thus are easily led astray.

Now, you may not have heard any of these criticisms of such teachings outside of Christian circles, but within them (or at least in those of which I am a part) it is actually quite common.
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