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Muslim Woman
12-08-2013, 08:16 AM
:sl:












by Sh Haitham al Haddad

These extremely good and kind people will go to hell?! Yes, as they were not good and kind enough to worship their Lord who created them and gave them everything. In fact, these “good people” had elements of arrogance that we are unaware of.

Full article here


http://www.islam21c.com/politics/nel...-big-loss-but/
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observer
12-08-2013, 11:24 AM
Originally Posted by Muslim Woman
by Sh Haitham al Haddad

These extremely good and kind people will go to hell?! Yes, as they were not good and kind enough to worship their Lord who created them and gave them everything. In fact, these “good people” had elements of arrogance that we are unaware of.

Full article here


http://www.islam21c.com/politics/nel...-big-loss-but/

It's this kind of thing that really turns me (and lots of others) off religion. Someone who does a lot of good is destined to go to hell for eternity because he wasn't the right religion, yet if he'd lived a quiet, simple life and had prayed his 5 prayers and practised islam he'd be going to heaven - although he wouldn't have had the positive impact that he had nor helped the thousands that he did. It just makes no sense - is god really that spiteful? I just cannot believe that an all-powerful being could be so petty.
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muslimah bird
12-08-2013, 01:06 PM
Someone who does a lot of good is destined to go to hell for eternity because he wasn't the right religion,
He wasnt good enough to worship his Lord who created him and gave him everything.
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glo
12-08-2013, 01:15 PM
But Nelson Mandela did believe in God and worshipped him. Just no the same way you do. :)
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cottonrainbow
12-08-2013, 02:35 PM
oh wow! really?
This right here is why some people turn away from religion.

When I was a Christian, I believed that if you didn't believe in Jesus as your lord and savior, that you were destined for Hell. According to many Christians, who think the same way that you do, I am now bound for hell because I am now a Muslim. I am glad that I can still practice Islam, try to live a good life and help others but not be narrow-minded towards others.

Free Your Mind
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Muhammad
12-08-2013, 03:31 PM
Greetings,

Originally Posted by observer
It's this kind of thing that really turns me (and lots of others) off religion. Someone who does a lot of good is destined to go to hell for eternity because he wasn't the right religion,
Your post implies that mankind is left to fend for themselves without any indication as to what is right and wrong. However, God has not only given us a choice but continues to help us make the right choices. I am not sure if you read the article, but it explains: 'Allah is the most Just and helps everyone submit to Him by disposing his nature to pure monotheism...'

yet if he'd lived a quiet, simple life and had prayed his 5 prayers and practised islam he'd be going to heaven - although he wouldn't have had the positive impact that he had nor helped the thousands that he did.
How do you know that he wouldn't have the same, if not more, positive impact? You are looking at this through a limited understanding of what a positive impact can be. For example, a person who prays to God can supplicate for the benefit of not only the people he can reach, but the whole world, as well as all those who come after him and many who came before him. Yes, a believer can benefit people even after they have died. This is just one example how a positive impact can occur on many levels that we may not realise.

Moreover, if a person spends his life working for the people, he can expect reward from the people. But why should he expect reward from God if he was not working for God?

It just makes no sense - is god really that spiteful? I just cannot believe that an all-powerful being could be so petty.
The same All-Powerful God who brought each of us into existence, clothes and feeds us every day, enables us to function on every level from being able to breathe, relieve ourselves and walk without difficulty, despite whether a person believes in Him or not, and continues to be merciful... is it really a petty matter to ignore His rights? The spite is really with the person who refuses to acknowledge all these favours, not the One who is continuously bestowing them.

Originally Posted by glo
But Nelson Mandela did believe in God and worshipped him. Just no the same way you do. :)
Please see the response to the first point above.
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crimsontide06
12-08-2013, 03:44 PM
That awkward moment when people (of all religions) believe they know what Allah/God is going to do,think,say...etc. :heated:
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Muhammad
12-08-2013, 03:46 PM
:salamext:

Originally Posted by cottonrainbow
When I was a Christian, I believed that if you didn't believe in Jesus as your lord and savior, that you were destined for Hell. According to many Christians, who think the same way that you do, I am now bound for hell because I am now a Muslim. I am glad that I can still practice Islam, try to live a good life and help others but not be narrow-minded towards others.

Free Your Mind
Free our minds from what, exactly? The article gives the examples of Abu Talib and Abdullah ibn Jud'aan. Clearly, there are people who are destined for Hell as a result of rejecting the true guidance. The narrow-mindedness would be to assume a good life is what you personally think is a good life and to ignore what Allaah :swt: and His Messenger :saws: have taught us in that regard.
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glo
12-08-2013, 03:58 PM
Well, I think original article shown tremendous arrogance.

Where it claims that "these extremely good and kind people [...] were not good and kind enough to worship their Lord who created them and gave them everything. In fact, these “good people” had elements of arrogance that we are unaware of", it demonstrates arrogance itself.

On of the things I respect and appreciate about Islam is it's humility in never assuming that we are 'good enough' to be accepted by God and that we need to throw ourselves utterly at his mercy.

But that humility does not seem to stretch far enough to consider that perhaps some of those who are not called Muslims (or don't call themselves so) may actually have the qualities God looks for in us.
Perhaps there are even non-Muslims who are greater in the eyes of God than some Muslims are?
Perhaps we can all learn from somebody like Nelson Mandela?

Further, the article says "Abu Talib clearly refused to submit to Allah despite admitting that Muhammad (SallAllahu‘alayhi wasalam) is the Prophet of Allah". That seems to imply that those who are not called to Islam are actively refusing to submit to God.
Again, a very arrogant view. We should be very careful not to think of ourselves better or 'more guided' or 'chosen' over others!

Interestingly I found this picture of Mandela. Perhaps that will appease those who claim that only Muslims will gain God's favour.

mandela zpse50820fc 1 -
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observer
12-08-2013, 04:32 PM
Originally Posted by Muhammad
Your post implies that mankind is left to fend for themselves without any indication as to what is right and wrong. However, God has not only given us a choice but continues to help us make the right choices.
And yet religion continues to be dictated by culture - if you are born in a muslim country you are likely to be muslim, in a christian country a christian etc. So your place of birth is far more important in these matters than god's word. So god gives you a choice, depending on where you're born.

Originally Posted by Muhammad
The same All-Powerful God who brought each of us into existence, clothes and feeds us every day, enables us to function on every level from being able to breathe, relieve ourselves and walk without difficulty, despite whether a person believes in Him or not, and continues to be merciful... is it really a petty matter to ignore His rights?
And what about those that he doesn't feed and clothe? Those who die naked and starving? Do they have the right to reject god?

I've said before that I actually see no reason why there couldn't be a god, we simply cannot say 100% one way or the other. But I really think it betrays a level of human arrogance and insecurity when we apply such human emotions as vengeance and hate to a god and say that he flexes his muscles to impose his wrath on those who are not the same as you, be you muslim ,christian, hindu or whatever.
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جوري
12-08-2013, 05:32 PM
Originally Posted by observer
And what about those that he doesn't feed and clothe? Those who die naked and starving? Do they have the right to reject god?
Strange you should say that on a Mandela thread, it was he who said:

"Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.

You blame God and hate him for something you and your like are responsible for? :)
It is worrisome on so many levels that you are a teacher if this is as far as you're educated I wonder of the future of the people who come under your tutelage!

best,
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observer
12-08-2013, 05:43 PM
Originally Posted by جوري
.You blame God and hate him for something you and your like are responsible for? :)
Of course I don't hate god - I don't believe in him. Atheists don't hate god at all, that's like suggesting I hate pink unicorns.


Originally Posted by جوري
It is worrisome on so many levels that you are a teacher if this is as far as you're educated I wonder of the future of the people who come under your tutelage!
Classy.
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Muhaba
12-08-2013, 06:03 PM
Here are a few verses from the Quran:
أن الشرك لظلم عظيم
...Indeed, association [with God] is great injustice... (31:13)

‏{‏إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاء وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدِ افْتَرَى إِثْمًا عَظِيمًا‏}‏

Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And he who associates others with Allah has certainly fabricated a tremendous sin. (4:48)

So, the one who dies with such a belief will not go to Heaven no matter what good deeds s/he may have done. Such people are rewarded for all their good deeds in this world and have no share in the Mercies of Allah in the Hereafter.

Allah also says about the People of the Book (Jews and Christians):
If only the People of the Scripture had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them are believers, but most of them are defiantly disobedient...
They are not [all] the same; among the People of the Scripture is a community standing [in obedience], reciting the verses of Allah during periods of the night and prostrating [in prayer].

They believe in Allah and the Last Day, and they enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and hasten to good deeds. And those are among the righteous.

And whatever good they do - never will it be removed from them. And Allah is Knowing of the righteous.

Indeed, those who disbelieve - never will their wealth or their children avail them against Allah at all, and those are the companions of the Fire; they will abide therein eternally.

The example of what they spend in this worldly life is like that of a wind containing frost which strikes the harvest of a people who have wronged themselves and destroys it. And Allah has not wronged them, but they wrong themselves.
(3:110-117)

So, God knows a person's inner beliefs and He sees their actions and He will judge them accordingly.
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~Zaria~
12-08-2013, 06:59 PM
:salam:

I have difficulty with this article, as the author speaks as if he knows, without a shadow of doubt, of Nelson Mandela's religious convictions at the time of his death.

While it is true that he followed the Christian faith in his early life, and makes reference to its teachings in his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom - this was back in 1995.

I am not aware of him making any indication of his religious affiliation since then, and esp. not after 2004, when he spent very little time in the public eye (a period of almost 9 long years).
This is in contrast to people such as e.g. Mother Teresa or the previous Popes - who openly declared their beliefs, until their passing.

Allah truly knows best what resided in his heart over the past few years.

I really wish we can leave it at this, with regards to Nelson Mandela in particular, not as a result of being in denial, (or because I have a soft spot for him).....but because in this case, we are merely speculating about that which we do not know with complete certainty.

I think that this is a fitnah in itself.


:wa:
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Zafran
12-08-2013, 09:18 PM
Salaam

I think this thread is stupid and should be closed - We're trying to judge a guy that non of us knew personally. Pure speculation. The guys gone and left a mark that most Muslims never will.

peace.
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Berries'forest
12-08-2013, 09:44 PM
I have always wondered about this, does every good person, I mean genuinely good, have to be a secret closet muslim?. Let's just apprecoate the good he's done in this world and leave his fate to be decided by God, after all no one really knows him or us than our Creator.
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crimsontide06
12-08-2013, 10:13 PM
I guess I am showing my ignorance but I did not even know who this guy was until he died....
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Muhammad
12-09-2013, 12:23 AM
Greetings glo,

Originally Posted by glo
But that humility does not seem to stretch far enough to consider that perhaps some of those who are not called Muslims (or don't call themselves so) may actually have the qualities God looks for in us.
If one continues this line of thinking, what would be the purpose of religion, if all that is required is having good qualities? What is stopping you calling yourself a Muslim if your definition of humility is as broad as this?

Perhaps there are even non-Muslims who are greater in the eyes of God than some Muslims are?
Indeed, for the righteous with their Lord are the Gardens of Pleasure. Then will We treat the Muslims like the criminals? What is [the matter] with you? How do you judge? Or do you have a scripture in which you learn That indeed for you is whatever you choose? Or do you have oaths [binding] upon Us, extending until the Day of Resurrection, that indeed for you is whatever you judge? Ask them which of them, for that [claim], is responsible. Or do they have partners? Then let them bring their partners, if they should be truthful. [Al-Qalam: 34-41]

Then is one who was a believer like one who was defiantly disobedient? They are not equal. [32: 18]

Or do those who commit evils think We will make them like those who have believed and done righteous deeds - [make them] equal in their life and their death? Evil is that which they judge. And Allah created the heavens and earth in truth and so that every soul may be recompensed for what it has earned, and they will not be wronged.
[45: 21-22]

And We did not create the heaven and the earth and that between them aimlessly. That is the assumption of those who disbelieve, so woe to those who disbelieve from the Fire. Or should we treat those who believe and do righteous deeds like corrupters in the land? Or should We treat those who fear Allah like the wicked? [38: 27-28]



Perhaps we can all learn from somebody like Nelson Mandela?
I don't think anyone has argued otherwise.

Further, the article says "Abu Talib clearly refused to submit to Allah despite admitting that Muhammad (SallAllahu‘alayhi wasalam) is the Prophet of Allah". That seems to imply that those who are not called to Islam are actively refusing to submit to God.
In the very words you have quoted, it explicitly says that Abu Talib admitted that Muhammad :saws: was the Prophet of Allah. Clearly, his case is different from someone who had never received the message of Islam.

Again, a very arrogant view. We should be very careful not to think of ourselves better or 'more guided' or 'chosen' over others!
Do you think it is wrong of Muslims to believe their religion is the only true guidance?

Interestingly I found this picture of Mandela. Perhaps that will appease those who claim that only Muslims will gain God's favour.
How does the picture show that a non-Muslim will be granted entry to Paradise?
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Independent
12-09-2013, 12:41 AM
Originally Posted by Muhammad
If one continues this line of thinking, what would be the purpose of religion, if all that is required is having good qualities? What is stopping you calling yourself a Muslim if your definition of humility is as broad as this?
Prior to joining this forum, I have always assumed that morality, or virtuous behaviour, was the same no matter who does it, under whatever religion, or no religion. In history you sometimes see those wonderful moments when people from opposing faiths, or traditions, recognise the same qualities that they admire and strive for in their own religion.

So, although this may not be the Islamic way, in principle I don't agree at all that such a recognition would be to devalue or make irrelevant religion itself.
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Muhammad
12-09-2013, 12:41 AM
Originally Posted by observer
And yet religion continues to be dictated by culture - if you are born in a muslim country you are likely to be muslim, in a christian country a christian etc. So your place of birth is far more important in these matters than god's word. So god gives you a choice, depending on where you're born.
This argument is negated by the fact that there are Muslims in all parts of the globe. In countries that were predominantly Christian, a huge number of native people are converting to Islam. On this forum itself we have had teenagers wanting to become Muslim and fearing the reaction of their families. God guides whom He wills regardless of their birth place.

And what about those that he doesn't feed and clothe? Those who die naked and starving? Do they have the right to reject god?
Were they created by someone else? Even the poorest person has much to be thankful for. God tests us all in different ways - even the Prophets, the best of mankind, suffered through immense hardships such as poverty and illness, yet they were the most grateful and obedient of mankind.

But I really think it betrays a level of human arrogance and insecurity when we apply such human emotions as vengeance and hate to a god and say that he flexes his muscles to impose his wrath on those who are not the same as you, be you muslim ,christian, hindu or whatever.
In Islam, it is not befitting for God to be likened to His creation in any way. So your image and assumption of God experiencing human emotions is something you seem to have imagined, not what has been suggested here. Is it not the greatest arrogance to dictate to God what He should and should not do?
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Muhammad
12-09-2013, 12:48 AM
Originally Posted by Independent
Prior to joining this forum, I have always assumed that morality, or virtuous behaviour, was the same no matter who does it, under whatever religion, or no religion. In history you sometimes see those wonderful moments when people from opposing faiths, or traditions, recognise the same qualities that they admire and strive for in their own religion.

So, although this may not be the Islamic way, in principle I don't agree at all that such a recognition would be to devalue or make irrelevant religion itself.
This is not about the recognition of good deeds by other human beings. It is about their value in the hereafter. If we say that doing good works alone are enough to be admitted to Paradise, doesn't that make religion irrelevant?
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Muhammad
12-09-2013, 12:50 AM
I also want to clarify that this thread is not for judging someone like Nelson Mandela. The things being discussed are in general terms. I agree that such speculation would be of no benefit.
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جوري
12-09-2013, 05:50 AM
The prophet :saws: recognized the good deeds of non- Muslims not just his uncle but amongst other examples the fellow who boycotted querysh during their siege against Muslims!
Good people of great caliber receive their recognition and good fortune but what does that have to go with the hereafter?
You're not granted a passing grade on an exam simply for being affable and studious if you click on a close enough answer!
The purpose of our existence is to worship :Allah: :swt: and nothing else the deeds the intent with whatever vocation or trade etc. Should be done for his pleasure :

ut the messenger hath no other charge than to convey (the message) plainly.
وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَىٰ لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا ۚ يَعْبُدُونَنِي لَا يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا ۚ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ {55}
[Pickthal 24:55] Allah hath promised such of you as believe and do good work that He will surely make them to succeed (the present rulers) in the earth even as He caused those who were before them to succeed (others); and that He will surely establish for them their religion which He hath approved for them, and will give them in exchange safety after their fear. They serve Me. They ascribe no thing as partner unto Me. Those who disbelieve henceforth, they are the miscreants.

Glo doesn't seem to get enough if these threads and is never satisfied not sure what the hope is with this action but can only think of two reasons!

This thread is about paying tribute to a man's life not to discuss his journey thereafter or introduce the topics of oh but why or whine about pink elephants when at a loss of understanding content!

Best,
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observer
12-09-2013, 08:43 AM
Originally Posted by Muhammad
This argument is negated by the fact that there are Muslims in all parts of the globe. In countries that were predominantly Christian, a huge number of native people are converting to Islam. On this forum itself we have had teenagers wanting to become Muslim and fearing the reaction of their families. God guides whom He wills regardless of their birth place.
And Chrsitian forums have young muslims worried about converting, and atheist forums have people of all religions scared to tell their families that they don't believe anymore. The number of converts to any religion is tiny compared to the number of people born into that religion. If you are born into a religion, that is the bigest indicator of what your religion will be. God guides whom he wills, but is more likely to do so if you're born in the right place.

Originally Posted by Muhammad
This is not about the recognition of good deeds by other human beings. It is about their value in the hereafter. If we say that doing good works alone are enough to be admitted to Paradise, doesn't that make religion irrelevant?
So if we flip that round, if being religious is more important than doing good deeds, doesn't that make good deeds irrelevant? Religion obviously gives some people something - be it comfort, purpose or a sense of community, it clearly benefits a lot of people in a lot of ways. But what you're basically saying is that a muslim is inherently "better" than someone else because he believes in the "right" god.
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Independent
12-09-2013, 10:04 AM
Originally Posted by Muhammad
This is not about the recognition of good deeds by other human beings. It is about their value in the hereafter. If we say that doing good works alone are enough to be admitted to Paradise, doesn't that make religion irrelevant?
If those are the rules for Islam so be it, that's not for me to say. But for religion in general - absolutely not. One of the main benefits of religion (I won't call it 'purpose' although that could be the case as well) is to give moral standards of behaviour. All of the great religions work well in this respect or they simply could not have survived and prospered.

But although these values are codified by religions, that doesn't mean they can't be broadly acceptable to people of other religions or no religion. For instance, you could argue that the secular state in the UK has simply absorbed a large part of the moral standards of Christianity and continues to apply them, but no longer in a religious context.

At the individual level, someone can in practice follow the highest moral principles in their lives, but not in the religious framework of being a Muslim. In Mandela's case, his life is exceptional. He has been a far better man than any of us on this forum (unless someone remarkable is hiding here under a secret identity!) both in moral courage and actual achievement. Yet it would seem that every Muslim here still rates themselves as superior to Mandela simply because they have a Muslim label on their behaviour, and he hasn't. Astonishingly, Mandela potentially earns eternal punishment. Even the apartheid regime only gave him 27 years.

It seems that words speak louder than actions - simply saying the shahada once is worth more than a lifetime of sacrifice and nobility. Form has become entirely separated from function.

Although I understand your views when I read it line by line, when I see where it ends up I feel something has to be wrong, this cannot be what was intended.
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Signor
12-09-2013, 10:20 AM
Assalamu Alaikum (Peace be on you)

Nelson Mandela was always uncomfortable talking about his own death. But not because he was afraid or in doubt. He was uncomfortable because he understood that people wanted him to offer homilies about death and he had none to give. He was an utterly unsentimental man. I once asked him about his mortality while we were out walking one morning in the Transkei, the remote area of South Africa where he was born. He looked around at the green and tranquil landscape and said something about how he would be joining his “ancestors.” “Men come and men go,” he later said. “I have come and I will go when my time comes.” And he seemed satisfied by that. I never once heard him mention God or heaven or any kind of afterlife. Nelson Mandela believed in justice in this lifetime.
Source

To Muslims Members:

267. Chapter: On the prohibition against abusing the dead without cause and benefit in the Shari'a


That is cautioning against following his innovation, impiety and the like of that.
1564. 'A'isha reported that the Messenger of Allah , may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Do not curse the dead. They have arrived at what they sent ahead." [al-Bukhari]

Source


For Allah's sake,leave this useless discussion.

Regards
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Aisha
12-09-2013, 11:44 AM
Originally Posted by Signor
Assalamu Alaikum (Peace be on you)



Source

To Muslims Members:

267. Chapter: On the prohibition against abusing the dead without cause and benefit in the Shari'a


That is cautioning against following his innovation, impiety and the like of that.
1564. 'A'isha reported that the Messenger of Allah , may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Do not curse the dead. They have arrived at what they sent ahead." [al-Bukhari]

Source


For Allah's sake,leave this useless discussion.

Regards
I agree. There's no doubting the fact that he was a great man but sitting here debating about where he's going to end up isn't really going to help us build our own Aakhirah is it?

Also, I think the timing of the article isn't the best. Most of the world is in mourning and emotions tend to be high. Let us just recognise the good work he has done and leave it to Allah to decide the rest.
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glo
12-09-2013, 05:49 PM
Originally Posted by Muhammad
Greetings glo,

If one continues this line of thinking, what would be the purpose of religion, if all that is required is having good qualities? What is stopping you calling yourself a Muslim if your definition of humility is as broad as this?
Perhaps you have to remember that I think of religions merely as 'labels' we attach to ourselves. I don't believe any of our religions to fully be the truth - only human attempts to grasp God.
I believe that God is greater than any of our human perceptions and interpretations of him ... and that we will only fully understand his greatness when we meet him face-to-face.

So I am not too troubled by following religious traditions and practises 'religiously' - they may be useful guides and help us focus on God, but they are no more than that.
As observer says, I cannot believe in a God who would dish out eternal punishment to somebody who happened to follow the wrong religion (or none at all) - no matter how good a person s/he had been. I believe that God knows us better than that and looks deeper than that.

And for the record, I would probably call myself a muslim with a small 'm', or a muslim Christian - somebody who believes in one God and tries to submit to him and who follows the teachings of Jesus. :)


Indeed, for the righteous with their Lord are the Gardens of Pleasure. Then will We treat the Muslims like the criminals? What is [the matter] with you? How do you judge? Or do you have a scripture in which you learn That indeed for you is whatever you choose? Or do you have oaths [binding] upon Us, extending until the Day of Resurrection, that indeed for you is whatever you judge? Ask them which of them, for that [claim], is responsible. Or do they have partners? Then let them bring their partners, if they should be truthful. [Al-Qalam: 34-41]

Then is one who was a believer like one who was defiantly disobedient? They are not equal. [32: 18]

Or do those who commit evils think We will make them like those who have believed and done righteous deeds - [make them] equal in their life and their death? Evil is that which they judge. And Allah created the heavens and earth in truth and so that every soul may be recompensed for what it has earned, and they will not be wronged.
[45: 21-22]

And We did not create the heaven and the earth and that between them aimlessly. That is the assumption of those who disbelieve, so woe to those who disbelieve from the Fire. Or should we treat those who believe and do righteous deeds like corrupters in the land? Or should We treat those who fear Allah like the wicked? [38: 27-28]





In the very words you have quoted, it explicitly says that Abu Talib admitted that Muhammad :saws: was the Prophet of Allah. Clearly, his case is different from someone who had never received the message of Islam.
Do you think that somebody like me - who has learned a fair bit about Islam and spent much time with Muslims, but still does not believe in Islam as the true religion - is somebody who is defiantly disobedient?

Or is it possible - as Eric often suggests - that God guides us differently?

Do you think it is wrong of Muslims to believe their religion is the only true guidance?
It's not so much about finding it wrong, but it is not for me.
I would find it constricting and it would prevent me from exploring God. Remember what I wrote earlier - our human understanding of God is limited and we somehow have this urge to put God 'in a small box'. I find that learning about the beliefs and practices of other faiths broadens my own understanding.

Christianity have taught me to look for God in the incarnation of Jesus, Islam has taught me to submit to God in regular prayer, Eastern religions have taught me to look for God within myself and others, early church practices have taught me to seek God in the stillness and to practice obedience and Patience.

All of this has helped me to shape my faith ... and rather than frowning upon it, I imagine God appreciating my efforts. :)

How does the picture show that a non-Muslim will be granted entry to Paradise?
It doesn't at all. I just thought it might appease those who believe that God only loves those who pray the Islamic way. :shade:
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جوري
12-09-2013, 06:30 PM
Originally Posted by glo
I don't believe any of our religions to fully be the truth - only human attempts to grasp God.
Does the whole world have to acquiesce to your understanding of religion or God? I mean what is the point of you repeatedly asking the same Q and being offered the same questions only to pounce on the first thread when a Mother Theresa type figure dies and how outrageous it is for such a good soul to be funneled anywhere other than heaven? Are you hoping to elicit a different response from someone other than herb?

Concern yourself with your own deeds and your own hereafter glo. We're born alone, we die alone and we're resurrected alone if you have any grievances or presume to think for God, then take it out on the day of recompense, not here on the forum!


best,
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glo
12-09-2013, 09:23 PM
Originally Posted by جوري
Does the whole world have to acquiesce to your understanding of religion or God?
Not at all. I was having a conversation with brother Muhammad there. :)
To you your religion and to me mine. Amazingly God gives us the freedom to choose - and hopefully to extend that same freedom to each other.
Nobody has to acquiesce to my personal beliefs. I would rather people developed and deepened their own beliefs.

Concern yourself with your own deeds and your own hereafter glo. We're born alone, we die alone and we're resurrected alone if you have any grievances or presume to think for God, then take it out on the day of recompense, not here on the forum!
That's good advice. I agree that we will be accountable for our own deeds and will not be able to use what others told us as a excuse. All the more reason to be clear about where we stand, what we believe and why.

But until that day we journey together and I can grateful for everybody who has helped me shape my own faith journey - including some Muslims and atheists who have challenged and hones my own faith.
And I am grateful for discussions such as this thread, which clearly has gotten people thinking ...
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observer
12-09-2013, 11:28 PM
Originally Posted by glo
But until that day we journey together and I can grateful for everybody who has helped me shape my own faith journey - including some Muslims and atheists who have challenged and hones my own faith.
And I am grateful for discussions such as this thread, which clearly has gotten people thinking ...
Hear hear! Like it or not, everyone lives in each others' multi-cultural pockets these days - best we try to understand and tolerate each other and get along (maybe even learn a bit from each other too :) ).
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جوري
12-10-2013, 12:05 AM
Originally Posted by glo
And I am grateful for discussions such as this thread, which clearly has gotten people thinking
that's your all too frequent proclamation - at the end of the day everyone still hangs on to the beliefs they've.. two weeks from now you'll jump on a similar band wagon and still be none the wiser!

best,
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Muhammad
12-10-2013, 01:13 AM
Greetings observer,

Originally Posted by observer
And Chrsitian forums have young muslims worried about converting, and atheist forums have people of all religions scared to tell their families that they don't believe anymore. The number of converts to any religion is tiny compared to the number of people born into that religion. If you are born into a religion, that is the bigest indicator of what your religion will be. God guides whom he wills, but is more likely to do so if you're born in the right place.
Your examples of Christian and atheist forums, if true, only emphasise my point, that people may change their belief regardless of where they are born and that at some point they make their own choices. There is no guarantee just because someone was born into a religion that they will remain the same throughout their life. The Qur'an narrates the examples of Prophets on their deathbeds advising their children to remain steadfast upon the true creed of monotheism. Likewise no parent can feel certain of the destiny of their children. The Qur'an appeals to the intellect and reason of the whole of mankind, inviting them to the way of truth. God does not limit His guidance to any culture, place or time.

So if we flip that round, if being religious is more important than doing good deeds, doesn't that make good deeds irrelevant?
This doesn't make sense because being religious naturally involves doing good deeds. The question is whether good deeds done for the sake of God are more worthy of being accepted by God, than those done for the sake of people or other worldly reason.

Religion obviously gives some people something - be it comfort, purpose or a sense of community, it clearly benefits a lot of people in a lot of ways. But what you're basically saying is that a muslim is inherently "better" than someone else because he believes in the "right" god.
Again, you seem to be working on the premise that religion is some kind of luck of the draw, which would then render the conclusion very unfair. That is not in keeping with the perfect Justice and Mercy of God. As I said, He helps us make the right choices. He has given us many signs and means of ascertaining the true guidance. This world is a test and has a purpose, and there are those who will succeed and those who will fail, and none shall be wronged in the slightest.
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Muhaba
12-10-2013, 05:43 AM
Originally Posted by glo
Perhaps you have to remember that I think of religions merely as 'labels' we attach to ourselves. I don't believe any of our religions to fully be the truth - only human attempts to grasp God.
I believe that God is greater than any of our human perceptions and interpretations of him ... and that we will only fully understand his greatness when we meet him face-to-face.

So I am not too troubled by following religious traditions and practises 'religiously' - they may be useful guides and help us focus on God, but they are no more than that.
As observer says, I cannot believe in a God who would dish out eternal punishment to somebody who happened to follow the wrong religion (or none at all) - no matter how good a person s/he had been. I believe that God knows us better than that and looks deeper than that.

And for the record, I would probably call myself a muslim with a small 'm', or a muslim Christian - somebody who believes in one God and tries to submit to him and who follows the teachings of Jesus. :)


Do you think that somebody like me - who has learned a fair bit about Islam and spent much time with Muslims, but still does not believe in Islam as the true religion - is somebody who is defiantly disobedient?

Or is it possible - as Eric often suggests - that God guides us differently?


It's not so much about finding it wrong, but it is not for me.
I would find it constricting and it would prevent me from exploring God. Remember what I wrote earlier - our human understanding of God is limited and we somehow have this urge to put God 'in a small box'. I find that learning about the beliefs and practices of other faiths broadens my own understanding.

Christianity have taught me to look for God in the incarnation of Jesus, Islam has taught me to submit to God in regular prayer, Eastern religions have taught me to look for God within myself and others, early church practices have taught me to seek God in the stillness and to practice obedience and Patience.

All of this has helped me to shape my faith ... and rather than frowning upon it, I imagine God appreciating my efforts. :)


It doesn't at all. I just thought it might appease those who believe that God only loves those who pray the Islamic way. :shade:
Then what keeps you from accepting Prophet Muhammad as well and become fully Muslim? You don't need to call yourself a Muslim Christian. Fact is that both religions were one but became separate after the changes in Christianity took place. Jesus was a Muslim (one who submit his will to the will of God). All the Prophets came from the same one God and taught the same basic faith. All religions were the same until ppl made changes. (Christians weren't called Christians at the time of Jesus. This name was given to Christians at a later time. You should look up the history of the term "Christian.") Furthermore, you don't have to leave Jesus in order to become Muslim. All Muslims have to believe in Jesus (and all former Prophets) and we greatly revere them all.

Then We sent following their footsteps Our messengers and followed [them] with Jesus, the son of Mary, and gave him the Gospel. And We placed in the hearts of those who followed him compassion and mercy and monasticism, which they innovated; We did not prescribe it for them except [that they did so] seeking the approval of Allah . But they did not observe it with due observance. So We gave the ones who believed among them their reward, but many of them are defiantly disobedient.

O you who have believed, fear Allah and believe in His Messenger; He will [then] give you a double portion of His mercy and make for you a light by which you will walk and forgive you; and Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
(57:27-28)

About this verse (57:28) some commentators say that the address here is directed to the people who believed in the Prophet Jesus. It is being said to them, "Believe in the Holy Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings) now; for this you will be given a double reward, one reward for believing in the Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) and the other reward for believing in the Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings).
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glo
12-10-2013, 07:13 AM
Thank you for your kind invitation, sister WRITER. :)

Originally Posted by WRITER
Then what keeps you from accepting Prophet Muhammad as well and become fully Muslim?
To explain that in detail would probably be considered by some as breaking forum rules by 'promoting a religion other than Islam' - so I would prefer not to.

Let's just say that I am who I am ... and I trust that God in his infinite mercy and love can see past my flaws and love me anyway. :statisfie
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Independent
12-10-2013, 10:27 AM
Originally Posted by Muhammad
The Qur'an appeals to the intellect and reason of the whole of mankind, inviting them to the way of truth. God does not limit His guidance to any culture, place or time.
But reason also says that, realistically, the degree of opportunity to be a Muslim is heavily dependent on geography and history. You talk about western converts, but these are the low hanging fruit - people who already understand Abrahamic religion and who have at least some access to information. But that opportunity drops to zero for more distant cultures.

Islam should be in the reach of anyone both now and throughout history - yet the hunter gatherers of the Amazon (who live like we all used to, in countless small bands) still have zero opportunity. There is absolutely no trace of the influence of Islamic ideas outside the places where you might expect to find them for historical reasons. As for these tribes, they have not received any messengers, or if they have there is no trace of their message in any tribe today or at any point in history, so their people still have no opportunity.

This opportunity is not at all equal. It's theoretical. And it's easy to find societies where that opportunity drops all the way to zero. To paraphrase a well known phrase: in many societies, it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a person to convert to Islam.

Originally Posted by Muhammad
This doesn't make sense because being religious naturally involves doing good deeds. The question is whether good deeds done for the sake of God are more worthy of being accepted by God, than those done for the sake of people or other worldly reason.
Being religious should involve good deeds, but that doesn't mean every follower actually does them in practice. Yet the least virtuous Muslim still potentially gets rewarded, whereas the very best non Muslim has no chance. The message is that belief matters more than moral behaviour.

And even many of those Muslims who do give to charity etc, do so for the wrong selfish reasons - to buy their own ticket to paradise, to look 'good' in their community etc. Bad motivation for good deeds is a human failing that will occur among the followers of any religion, or no religion. Look around you - Muslims are not immune.

Leaving aside secular morality - in what way is a person who does a good deed for the sake of their God any worse than a Muslim who does a good deed for Allah? They are equally selfless or self interested.

So, what it comes to is, you're saying morality itself is less important than belief. A Buddhist could be every bit as charitable, virtuous etc as a Muslim, but this counts for nothing. He gets the same eternal punishment as a mass murderer. There is only one punishment for any and every crime - and it's the worst possible punishment you can possibly imagine, infinitely exceeding the worst punishment man has ever inflicted on man.

And even a person of Mandela's exceptional qualities, or another like him, is potentially headed for hell simply because they were born into another religion, not a Muslim family.
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جوري
12-10-2013, 11:02 AM
The best reply for these Non-Muslims who never cease to argue should come directly from the Quran:



22 67 1 -

Sahih International
For every religion We have appointed rites which they perform. So, let the disbelievers not contend with you over the matter but invite them to your Lord. Indeed, you are upon straight guidance.

22 68 1 -

Sahih International
And if they dispute with you, then say, " Allah is most knowing of what you do.

to top

22 69 1 -

Sahih International
Allah will judge between you on the Day of Resurrection concerning that over which you used to differ."






22 70 1 -

Sahih International
Do you not know that Allah knows what is in the heaven and earth? Indeed, that is in a Record. Indeed that, for Allah , is easy.


22:71 to top



22 71 1 -

Sahih International
And they worship besides Allah that for which He has not sent down authority and that of which they have no knowledge. And there will not be for the wrongdoers any helper.


22:72 to top

22 72 1 -

Sahih International
And when Our verses are recited to them as clear evidences, you recognize in the faces of those who disbelieve disapproval. They are almost on the verge of assaulting those who recite to them Our verses. Say, "Then shall I inform you of [what is] worse than that? [It is] the Fire which Allah has promised those who disbelieve, and wretched is the destination."


22:73 to top

22 73 1 -

Sahih International
O people, an example is presented, so listen to it. Indeed, those you invoke besides Allah will never create [as much as] a fly, even if they gathered together for that purpose. And if the fly should steal away from them a [tiny] thing, they could not recover it from him. Weak are the pursuer and pursued.









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Eric H
12-10-2013, 01:18 PM
Greetings and peace be with you all,

Jesus gave us the parable of the ‘Good Samaritan’ to describe ‘The greatest commandments. It might seem strange, but the parable of the Good Samaritan almost makes a mockery of religion.

The priest and the Levite in the parable, chose to ignore the human needs of the wounded man. They seemed to worry more about the religious side of becoming unclean, and not being able to perform their religious duties for a few days.

The Samaritan seemed to go out of his way to help the wounded man, and there was no mention that the Samaritan talked about religion. Jesus would know that the religion of the Samaritan, was not the religion Jesus preached, yet the Samaritan stood out as being the good guy, and the priests the bad guys.

Strange that Jesus should use this as a story, to describe the greatest thing we should do. Jesus seems to talk about the misuse of religion.

I am a Catholic, and if I should achieve salvation; it will not be through my effort, rather it will be through the grace, mercy, and forgiveness of God. If God could be this merciful to me, I pray that he will also be this merciful to all others.

In the spirit of praying to a merciful and forgiving God,

Eric
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glo
12-10-2013, 05:16 PM
I'm not sure that Catholics get to heaven, Eric :giggling: - but beautifully said. I agree with every word.
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جوري
12-10-2013, 06:00 PM
Originally Posted by Eric H
Jesus gave us the parable of the ‘Good Samaritan’ to describe ‘The greatest commandments. It might seem strange, but the parable of the Good Samaritan almost makes a mockery of religion.
In fact dear Eric the greatest commandment is to love God per your bible .. and to show love to God is to obey his commandments:

many of the comments here do remind me also of this verse from the Quran:

Al-Jathiya [45:23] audio icon 1 -
أَفَرَأَيْتَ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ إِلَهَهُ هَوَاهُ وَأَضَلَّهُ اللَّهُ عَلَى عِلْمٍ وَخَتَمَ عَلَى سَمْعِهِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَجَعَلَ عَلَى بَصَرِهِ غِشَاوَةً فَمَن يَهْدِيهِ مِن بَعْدِ اللَّهِ أَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ



Afaraayta mani ittakhatha ilahahu hawahu waadallahu Allahu AAala AAilmin wakhatama AAala samAAihi waqalbihi wajaAAala AAala basarihi ghishawatan faman yahdeehi min baAAdi Allahi afala tathakkaroona

45:23 Then seest thou such a one as takes as his god his own vain desire? Allah has, knowing (him as such), left him astray, and sealed his hearing and his heart (and understanding), and put a cover on his sight. Who, then, will guide him after Allah (has withdrawn Guidance)? Will ye not then receive admonition?

__________________________________________________ ___

If it is a matter of anything goes then there's no point at all for God to have sent all those messengers:

Al-Baqara [2:38] audio icon 1 -
قُلْنَا اهْبِطُواْ مِنْهَا جَمِيعاً فَإِمَّا يَأْتِيَنَّكُم مِّنِّي هُدًى فَمَن تَبِعَ هُدَايَ فَلاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ



Qulna ihbitoo minha jameeAAan faimma yatiyannakum minnee hudan faman tabiAAa hudaya fala khawfun AAalayhim wala hum yahzanoona

2:38 We said: "Get ye down all from here; and if, as is sure, there comes to you Guidance from me, whosoever follows My guidance, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

_____________________________________

That is our purpose in life since the expulsion from heaven. To find our way back through God's guidance..
I assure you all the likes and thumbs up will be meaningless on the day of recompense!

peace to you
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Zafran
12-10-2013, 10:53 PM
Originally Posted by glo
I'm not sure that Catholics get to heaven, Eric :giggling: - but beautifully said. I agree with every word.
I don't think Catholics believe that Muslims are going to heaven regardless of how "ethical" or "good" they were. To deny the mercy of God in Catholicism (crucifixion of Jesus) is to put yourself in hell.

To deny the monotheism of God in Islam its the same thing.
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Ansariyah
12-10-2013, 11:11 PM
Allahu Allam.

To god is our final return, is all I can say. What state he died in we don't know best to leave it to Allah.
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Muhammad
12-11-2013, 12:27 AM
Greetings Independent,

Apologies for my delayed replies. Also the posts have become a bit lengthy and some points may be scattered due to overlap...

Originally Posted by Independent
If those are the rules for Islam so be it, that's not for me to say. But for religion in general - absolutely not. One of the main benefits of religion (I won't call it 'purpose' although that could be the case as well) is to give moral standards of behaviour. All of the great religions work well in this respect or they simply could not have survived and prospered.
There may have been a misunderstanding. I am not saying that religion does not confer moral standards of behaviour. I was saying that by isolating this aspect of religion and taking God out of the picture, you are deeming the concept of religion irrelevant.

But although these values are codified by religions, that doesn't mean they can't be broadly acceptable to people of other religions or no religion.
I don't disagree with this.

In Mandela's case, his life is exceptional. He has been a far better man than any of us on this forum (unless someone remarkable is hiding here under a secret identity!) both in moral courage and actual achievement. Yet it would seem that every Muslim here still rates themselves as superior to Mandela simply because they have a Muslim label on their behaviour, and he hasn't. Astonishingly, Mandela potentially earns eternal punishment. Even the apartheid regime only gave him 27 years.

It seems that words speak louder than actions - simply saying the shahada once is worth more than a lifetime of sacrifice and nobility. Form has become entirely separated from function.
There are a number of issues here. Firstly, I do not remember anyone rating themselves as superior to anyone else on account of behaviour. Secondly, a believer connects his thoughts and emotions to the hereafter, viewing true success in spiritual as well as worldly terms. When believers and non-believers have different perspectives of what it means to be successful and regarding the afterlife, they will not necessarily see eye to eye on who is better than whom. Thirdly, I have said earlier that this thread is not for passing judgement on Nelson Mandela, so it is not our place to say what will happen to him. It is sufficient to know that God knows His servants better than we do, as His knowledge and wisdom is greater than we can comprehend. Whilst we see the outer actions of other humans, He is able to know their hearts and intentions. His punishment and reward are based on perfect justice.

Your last statement about the shahadah is misinformed. Muslims do not believe that a superficial utterance of the shahadah guarantees them Paradise, nor do they believe that a Muslim can never enter Hell for a period of time. The very beginning passages of the Qur'an describe a type of people who believe outwardly yet inwardly disbelieve. So simply having a ‘Muslim label’ will not save anyone.
The shahadah is a serious issue - it is the key to Paradise but it has conditions, and as with any key it needs to be maintained and kept secure. So it is certainly not true that words carry more weight than actions. A cursory glance at Islam and the Qur'an will tell you that belief is always coupled with action.

Although I understand your views when I read it line by line, when I see where it ends up I feel something has to be wrong, this cannot be what was intended.
Perhaps you have not understood correctly, or I have not been able to explain it right.
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Muhammad
12-11-2013, 12:41 AM
This is in response to your other post...

Originally Posted by Independent
Islam should be in the reach of anyone both now and throughout history - yet the hunter gatherers of the Amazon (who live like we all used to, in countless small bands) still have zero opportunity. There is absolutely no trace of the influence of Islamic ideas outside the places where you might expect to find them for historical reasons. As for these tribes, they have not received any messengers, or if they have there is no trace of their message in any tribe today or at any point in history, so their people still have no opportunity.

This opportunity is not at all equal. It's theoretical. And it's easy to find societies where that opportunity drops all the way to zero. To paraphrase a well known phrase: in many societies, it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a person to convert to Islam.
When it comes to people who have never heard of the message of Islam, they will receive their own judgement from God. That is even more reason why we as human beings cannot pass judgement on others because we do not know to what extent they received and understood the message of truth. It is our duty to simply convey the message.

It's worth noting, however, that each and every one of us has been given tools to recognise the existence of God, in the absence of influence from others. A person living in the Amazon is able to realise there is one God worthy of worship. God alone knows how this person would respond if more information came to him and how best to Judge him.

Being religious should involve good deeds, but that doesn't mean every follower actually does them in practice.
Of course. But in relation to the point I was responding to, becoming more religious does not negate the presence of good deeds, rather they go hand in hand. It is not the case that they would become 'irrelevant'.

And even many of those Muslims who do give to charity etc, do so for the wrong selfish reasons - to buy their own ticket to paradise, to look 'good' in their community etc. Bad motivation for good deeds is a human failing that will occur among the followers of any religion, or no religion. Look around you - Muslims are not immune.

Leaving aside secular morality - in what way is a person who does a good deed for the sake of their God any worse than a Muslim who does a good deed for Allah? They are equally selfless or self interested.
It is true that doing good deeds for the wrong reasons can happen to anyone. This is something highlighted in Islam, where we are taught that all actions are by intentions and that doing something for the sake of others ruins such deeds. However, doing something for the sake of God is a noble act. It is not possible to 'buy' a 'ticket' to Paradise. Similar to what Eric said, it is ultimately the Mercy of God that allows entry to Paradise, not purely the number of deeds we did. That is why sincerity is all the more important, and one remains in a state of hope and fear that their deeds are accepted; there is no automatic guarantee.

So, what it comes to is, you're saying morality itself is less important than belief. A Buddhist could be every bit as charitable, virtuous etc as a Muslim, but this counts for nothing.
Belief forms the very basis of our purpose in life. It is the most important message delivered by all the Prophets, Messengers and divine revelation. How can it be that someone forgoes such a crucial part of their existence and expect equal treatment to another person who fulfilled their purpose?

He gets the same eternal punishment as a mass murderer. There is only one punishment for any and every crime - and it's the worst possible punishment you can possibly imagine, infinitely exceeding the worst punishment man has ever inflicted on man.
Punishments in the afterlife are of varying levels, just as rewards are. So the exact punishment is according to the Justice of God.

And even a person of Mandela's exceptional qualities, or another like him, is potentially headed for hell simply because they were born into another religion, not a Muslim family.
I have already mentioned earlier that it doesn't simply come down to being born into the 'wrong' family. Every single event happens for a purpose and based on divine wisdom, regardless of whether we understand it or not. There are many factors that may influence a person throughout their life, and all things are taken account of by God.

To end, some of the statements expressed by yourself and others in this thread carry an implication that Muslims are arrogantly looking down at the rest of the world, as if gloating over their 'bad luck'. This is a gross misunderstanding. Guidance from God is amongst the greatest gifts and blessings which we are indebted to God for granting to us, and it is something we must cherish. It is not a right that we deserve nor a guarantee that it will remain. Hence we continue to ask God in every unit of prayer to guide us to the Straight Path, as we need Him to keep us firm on the path of guidance [Qur'an 1:6]. We do not have the power to benefit or harm ourselves, thus God has directed us to invoke Him constantly for His aid.

Moreover, we do not know if we will die upon a pleasing state to God. We cannot feel safe from the various trials in life, nor can we feel safe from the punishment of God. That is why we are in no position to be arrogant, when our own guidance is in God's Hands and He taught us when we knew nothing. Arrogance is also the quality of Satan, not a believer who submits himself humbly to God.

As for the rest of mankind, it is our duty and responsibility to convey the message to them. When someone dies a disbeliever, it is partly our failing for not reaching out to them and we fear for them. Our Prophet :saws: would grieve much over those who did not accept the message, and he was anxious over the fate of others. The story of Ta'if is a famous example of this, where he overlooked the physical abuse the people put him through and did not desire their destruction in the hope that their offspring may be guided.

I hope this last part puts the discussion into perspective, and I seek Allaah :swt:'s forgiveness if I said anything wrong.

May Allaah :swt: guide us to the Straight Path, Aameen.
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glo
12-11-2013, 06:18 AM
Originally Posted by Zafran
I don't think Catholics believe that Muslims are going to heaven regardless of how "ethical" or "good" they were. To deny the mercy of God in Catholicism (crucifixion of Jesus) is to put yourself in hell.

To deny the monotheism of God in Islam its the same thing.
Perhaps your understanding of what Catholics (or indeed all Christians) believe is a bit limited and too narrow.
I think here is a Catholic who believes otherwise. :)

Originally Posted by Eric H

I am a Catholic, and if I should achieve salvation; it will not be through my effort, rather it will be through the grace, mercy, and forgiveness of God. If God could be this merciful to me, I pray that he will also be this merciful to all others.

In the spirit of praying to a merciful and forgiving God,

Eric
Reply

Independent
12-11-2013, 10:53 AM
Greetings Muhammad

Thank you for you very considered and patient replies - I appreciate that questions about the Islamic nature of punishment and entry to heaven must get asked all the time. But they're still new to me!

Originally Posted by Muhammad
becoming more religious does not negate the presence of good deeds, rather they go hand in hand. It is not the case that they would become 'irrelevant'.
I understand that belief alone is not enough and that no Muslim is guaranteed paradise. But what about the reverse case? What interests me in this thread is whether non-belief is a total barrier - an exclusion clause - no matter what the character of the individual or the reason for their non belief.

I take it from your replies that those who say that non belief is a total barrier are wrong. In reading around this I came across this link which I thought explained things well and is very interesting about the meaning of the term 'kufr' - very possibly it's wrong in some way I can't tell but here it is anyway:
http://quranforbusypeople.com/2012/0...ms-go-to-hell/

Elsewhere I came across this from Imaam Ahmad in his Musnad (16301):
"Allaah's Messenger (sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) said: "Four will have proofs (in their favor) on the Day of Standing: (1) A deaf man who could not hear anything; (2) a fool (who could not understand anything); (3) a feebly old man; and (4) a man who died in the fatrah (the period between prophets). As for the deaf man, then he will say: 'My Lord, Islaam came and I did not hear anything.' And as for the fool, then he will say, 'My Lord, Islaam came and the children were throwing dung at me.' And as for the feebly old man, then he will say, 'My Lord, Islaam came and I did not understand anything.' And as for the one who died in the fatrah (period between prophets), then he will say, 'My Lord, no messenger from you came to me.' So He (Allaah) will take oaths from them that they will obey Him (in what He is about to request from them), so it (an order) will be sent to them: 'Enter the Fire!' And verily by Him in whose Hand is my soul, if they entered it, it will be cool and soothing."

As I understand it, this states that non believers will be judged at the appointed time and may indeed enter heaven, as might a practicing Muslim. Please correct me if I'm wrong. From past comments in various threads, I'm quite sure that not all Muslims believe this.

Originally Posted by Muhammad
some of the statements expressed by yourself and others in this thread carry an implication that Muslims are arrogantly looking down at the rest of the world, as if gloating over their 'bad luck'
From some replies, it does feel like that. I am trying to understand what comes from Islam, and what stems from the misunderstanding of individual Muslims. But it's hard for me as a non Muslim, as I am continually being told how fabulously ignorant and incapable I am of being able to understand the smallest thing about Islam. (Not by you personally.) When someone tells me that any good deed by any non Muslim is always done for selfish reasons (and this has been said) I can't help but feel that this is indeed arrogance, as well as being manifestly untrue.
Reply

Eric H
12-11-2013, 02:07 PM
Greetings and peace be with you جوري;

In fact dear Eric the greatest commandment is to love God per your bible .. and to show love to God is to obey his commandments:
Certainly the greatest commandment is to love God, but it cannot be separated from the second commandment. It is also said; if you say you love God who you do not know, yet hate your neighbour who you do know; you are a liar.

Jesus said, what you do to these least of my brothers of mine, so you do onto me, when you feed the hungry, clothe the naked give shelter to the homeless, visit the prisoner, this is how we show our love for God, and we obey his commandments. I think Islam has a similar passage.

many of the comments here do remind me also of this verse from the Quran:

Al-Jathiya [45:23] audio icon 1 -
أَفَرَأَيْتَ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ إِلَهَهُ هَوَاهُ وَأَضَلَّهُ اللَّهُ عَلَى عِلْمٍ وَخَتَمَ عَلَى سَمْعِهِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَجَعَلَ عَلَى بَصَرِهِ غِشَاوَةً فَمَن يَهْدِيهِ مِن بَعْدِ اللَّهِ أَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ



Afaraayta mani ittakhatha ilahahu hawahu waadallahu Allahu AAala AAilmin wakhatama AAala samAAihi waqalbihi wajaAAala AAala basarihi ghishawatan faman yahdeehi min baAAdi Allahi afala tathakkaroona

45:23 Then seest thou such a one as takes as his god his own vain desire? Allah has, knowing (him as such), left him astray, and sealed his hearing and his heart (and understanding), and put a cover on his sight. Who, then, will guide him after Allah (has withdrawn Guidance)? Will ye not then receive admonition?

__________________________________________________ ___

If it is a matter of anything goes then there's no point at all for God to have sent all those messengers:

Al-Baqara [2:38] audio icon 1 -
قُلْنَا اهْبِطُواْ مِنْهَا جَمِيعاً فَإِمَّا يَأْتِيَنَّكُم مِّنِّي هُدًى فَمَن تَبِعَ هُدَايَ فَلاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ



Qulna ihbitoo minha jameeAAan faimma yatiyannakum minnee hudan faman tabiAAa hudaya fala khawfun AAalayhim wala hum yahzanoona

2:38 We said: "Get ye down all from here; and if, as is sure, there comes to you Guidance from me, whosoever follows My guidance, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

_____________________________________

That is our purpose in life since the expulsion from heaven. To find our way back through God's guidance..
I assure you all the likes and thumbs up will be meaningless on the day of recompense!

peace to you
Thanks for sharing, we struggle and strive to change ourselves.

Blessings and peace to you and those you love;

Eric
Reply

Eric H
12-11-2013, 02:16 PM
Greetings nd peace be with you Zafran;

I don't think Catholics believe that Muslims are going to heaven regardless of how "ethical" or "good" they were. To deny the mercy of God in Catholicism (crucifixion of Jesus) is to put yourself in hell.
You might read this....

Vatican's New Catechism declares Muslims and Jews to be saved!


841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."[330]

This paragraph essentially proclaims that "the plan of salvation" includes all faiths that acknowledge the true creator. The reasoning given is that since the Muslims claim the faith of Abraham, and worship the one true God, they are not only among the saved, but are at the top of any such list.

In preceding paragraphs (839, 840) the Jews are discussed, and parallels drawn between Christians and Jews. Both it is said, are awaiting the advent of the Messiah, though the Jews do so in unbelief relative to Jesus.

Footnote 330 directs one to Lumen Gentium, (DOGMATIC CONSTITUTION ON THE CHURCH), POPE PAUL VI, November 21, 1964, section 16:


16. ... But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohamedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind.

Footnote 330 also directs one to NOSTRA AETATE, (DECLARATION ON THE RELATION OF THE CHURCH TO NON-CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS), POPE PAUL VI, October 28, 1965, section 3:


3. The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth,(5) who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.

These statements regarding the Muslims also apply exactly and identically to the Jews. The implication made in paragraph 841 of the catechism is that in addition to the Muslims, which are just the first example, the Jews also are saved by their recognition and worship of the true creator and their Abrahamic faith.

http://biblelight.net/newcat.htm
In the spirit of praying to 'One God'

Eric
Reply

Zafran
12-11-2013, 04:57 PM
that's interesting but you do see that it focuses a lot more on faith then in the deeds of Muslims and Jews. The article puts a lot more emphasis on faith being the main factor of being saved. Deeds are indeed as you said a by product of faith but not the soul reason of being saved.
Reply

جوري
12-11-2013, 05:26 PM
Originally Posted by Eric H
Certainly the greatest commandment is to love God, but it cannot be separated from the second commandment. It is also said; if you say you love God who you do not know, yet hate your neighbour who you do know; you are a liar.
indeed one commandment follows another and another.. there's no argument we're stratifying them in order of importance. I don't recall anyone saying hate your neighbor here though!


Originally Posted by Eric H
Thanks for sharing, we struggle and strive to change ourselves.
Change should be for the better..

all the best,
Reply

Muhaba
12-11-2013, 06:33 PM
Being good to one's neighbor is also part of Religion Islam.

in the hadith it is written:
والله لا يؤمن ، والله لا يؤمن بالله ، والله لا يؤمن بالله ، ولا يؤمن . قالوا : يا رسول الله وما ذلك ؟ قال : جار لا يأمن جاره بوائقه . قالوا : يا رسول الله وما بوائقه ؟ قال : شره

A rough translation is as follows:
The Prophet (Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) said thrice: "By Allah, he doesn't believe." His companions asked, who? The Prophet (SAW) said "the one from whose evil his neighbor is not safe."
Reply

glo
12-11-2013, 07:46 PM
Originally Posted by Eric H
You might read this....

Vatican's New Catechism declares Muslims and Jews to be saved!


841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."[330]

This paragraph essentially proclaims that "the plan of salvation" includes all faiths that acknowledge the true creator. The reasoning given is that since the Muslims claim the faith of Abraham, and worship the one true God, they are not only among the saved, but are at the top of any such list.

In the spirit of praying to 'One God'

Eric
I did not know about this. A very powerful and inclusive message from one faith to another.
It would be lovely if all faiths could extend that kind of respect and appreciation to each other.

I am glad you shared this, Eric. God's peace to you :)
Reply

Muhammad
12-12-2013, 12:15 AM
Greetings glo,

Apologies for the delayed reply.

From what you have said it seems I was wrong to assume I was talking to a Christian, or at least a person following orthodox Christian beliefs.

Originally Posted by glo
I believe that God is greater than any of our human perceptions and interpretations of him
Or is it possible - as Eric often suggests - that God guides us differently?
From a logical point of view, it does not make sense for the truth to keep changing or be so obscure. What seems more likely, considering the nature of God and the nature of man, is that people keep distorting it whether deliberately or out of ignorance. The fact that the Abrahamic religions have some similar teachings is suggestive that the source is one and the message is a continuation of the same, but that people have fallen into error. If God is Kind and Loving, as both our religions teach, how could a Loving God leave mankind in error without any way of knowing right from wrong? Surely the fact that so many Prophets and Messengers being sent to mankind is indicative that God is teaching us the right way, and that the right way is one, in terms of the core message concerning God, the afterlife, etc.

Differences concerning methods of prayer and other aspects of worship are one thing. But when the core message of each faith is different - what is blasphemy in one religion is required for salvation in another - then such a conflict shows that both as they are today cannot be true at the same time.

In this thread we have been talking about people condemned to eternal punishment in Hellfire, which we can all see as being the worst fate. For something as serious as this, God would not leave us in confusion as to how to save ourselves from it. Believing otherwise undermines the greatness and glory of God; it does not affirm it.

As observer says, I cannot believe in a God who would dish out eternal punishment to somebody who happened to follow the wrong religion (or none at all) - no matter how good a person s/he had been. I believe that God knows us better than that and looks deeper than that.
Indeed God does know us better than that and looks deeper - He alone knows to what extent we received and understood the message. But that is not an excuse for us to pick and choose any way we want to. It is not for us to decide what God can and cannot do. Our responsibility is to respond to His call.

And for the record, I would probably call myself a muslim with a small 'm', or a muslim Christian - somebody who believes in one God and tries to submit to him and who follows the teachings of Jesus. :)
I should ask what is meant by the teachings of Jesus when the authors of the Bible came much later than Jesus and introduced things he never taught. But that would deserve its own discussion.

Do you think that somebody like me - who has learned a fair bit about Islam and spent much time with Muslims, but still does not believe in Islam as the true religion - is somebody who is defiantly disobedient?
I cannot know that. What is in your heart is known only to God and He is the best of Judges.

It's not so much about finding it wrong, but it is not for me.
Perhaps there was a misunderstanding here as you seem to have answered a different question. You said we should be careful of thinking of ourselves as 'more guided' than others, which essentially takes away the concept of right and wrong and the discussion goes back to what we said earlier about truth and falsehood requiring a clear distinction.

It doesn't at all. I just thought it might appease those who believe that God only loves those who pray the Islamic way. :shade:
Our discussion is more than different ways of prayer. There are even those who pray the Islamic way yet they are rebuked by God for the lack of sincerity in their hearts. In any case, posting such pictures says nothing about what God is or is not pleased with.
Reply

Muhammad
12-12-2013, 12:56 AM
Greetings Eric,

Originally Posted by Eric H
Jesus gave us the parable of the ‘Good Samaritan’ to describe ‘The greatest commandments. It might seem strange, but the parable of the Good Samaritan almost makes a mockery of religion.
Strange that Jesus should use this as a story, to describe the greatest thing we should do. Jesus seems to talk about the misuse of religion.
I notice that the Samaritan was praised for his act to the wounded man, not for his creed. It is quite possible to acknowledge good traits of people of other faiths without contravening one's own. The Prophet :saws: acknowledged the Christian King of Abyssinia for his justice. It does not imply that religion is no longer important.
Reply

greenhill
12-12-2013, 02:15 AM
Originally Posted by Independent
I understand that belief alone is not enough and that no Muslim is guaranteed paradise. But what about the reverse case? What interests me in this thread is whether non-belief is a total barrier - an exclusion clause - no matter what the character of the individual or the reason for their non belief.
I see this matter creeping up in quite a few places but this one puts a 'barrier' which is a good description, I suppose. People of the Book believe in the concept of heaven and hell (only over time the messages have changed and created differences). Seeing as I do not make the rules and have to obey them if I want to play the 'game', all I can really consider is am I doing it right? Am I doing enough? etc, it is about me and serving my Lord. It has never been about me negotiating for someone else. So, if to get somewhere you will need a certain kind of 'passport' to ensure arrival, those who do not get the 'passport' are immediately put at a disadvantage (putting it mildly). How it goes from there is entirely up to Allah and it does not bode well to make supposition on things way beyond our realm.

The thing which may put people like you off religion is when you have to hear people putting their opinions across in ways that may rub you the wrong way. After all, it is what they pick up from the Quran itself, and it says syirk is the biggest form of sin, which is to associate others to Him or to worship some other idol. Can't blame those people for saying that hell is for unbelievers.

To put it in another way, there is not many other ways that muslims could convey the message that would make people realise. It is a major issue. Please, we do not want you to burn in hell, but not many people really want to listen ...

Peace :shade:
Reply

glo
12-12-2013, 06:04 AM
I am really enjoying reading all the thoughts and comments, and I am finding the discussion very beneficial.

It seems to me that there is a tension between believers on the one hand having the conviction that their faith is the best way to salvation/paradise and needing to convey this conviction to non-believers to given them a chance of salvation/paradise too, and on the other hand the insight that we should not judge others and that only God knows.

I have listened to many Christians and Muslims over the years and it seems that people tend to veer towards either one or the other position. Either they come across as quite judgmental or they seem relaxed to keep it all in God's hands.

I wonder, is it difficult to strike a balance between both positions?
Reply

Eric H
12-12-2013, 08:37 AM
Greetings and peace be with you Muhammad; thanks for your thoughts;

Greetings Eric,

I notice that the Samaritan was praised for his act to the wounded man, not for his creed. It is quite possible to acknowledge good traits of people of other faiths without contravening one's own. The Prophet :saws: acknowledged the Christian King of Abyssinia for his justice. It does not imply that religion is no longer important]
In the parable, the priests and the Levite had the freedom to help the wounded man, if they did, it would make them impure for a while and they would not be able to perform their religious duties for that period. The religious law was clear, it did not say you must never come into contact with anything impure, but if you do you must purify yourself afterwards, which is what Jesus implied they should have done. This parable was to give an example of what is greatest, so it should not be taken lightly by Christians.

If the priests could have looked beyond their law to the 'Spirit of the Law' they would have helped the wounded man, it seems that Jesus was challenging which is greater, religious duties, or human needs

Jesus gave us many examples of making religious people the bad guys in the story.

In the spirit of searching beyond the law, to the spirit of the law.

Eric
Reply

Eric H
12-12-2013, 08:43 AM
Greetings and peace be with you glo;

I am really enjoying reading all the thoughts and comments, and I am finding the discussion very beneficial.

It seems to me that there is a tension between believers on the one hand having the conviction that their faith is the best way to salvation/paradise and needing to convey this conviction to non-believers to given them a chance of salvation/paradise too, and on the other hand the insight that we should not judge others and that only God knows.

I have listened to many Christians and Muslims over the years and it seems that people tend to veer towards either one or the other position. Either they come across as quite judgmental or they seem relaxed to keep it all in God's hands.

I wonder, is it difficult to strike a balance between both positions?
Thanks for sharing as always, I am reminded of the many passages that say; we will be judged by the way we judge other people, scary thought.

Blessings and peace be with you and your family,

Eric
Reply

greenhill
12-13-2013, 06:21 AM
After completing my errands a bit earlier today, I got to the mosque a lot earlier and picked up a book to while away my time reading random surah and the first thing I came across was this and it reminded me of this thread...


18:103
Sahih International
Say, [O Muhammad], "Shall we [believers] inform you of the greatest losers as to [their] deeds?
Yusuf Ali
Say: "Shall we tell you of those who lose most in respect of their deeds?-

18:104
Sahih International
[They are] those whose effort is lost in worldly life, while they think that they are doing well in work."
Yusuf Ali
"Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life, while they thought that they were acquiring good by their works?"

18:105
Sahih International
Those are the ones who disbelieve in the verses of their Lord and in [their] meeting Him, so their deeds have become worthless; and We will not assign to them on the Day of Resurrection any importance.
Yusuf Ali
They are those who deny the Signs of their Lord and the fact of their having to meet Him (in the Hereafter): vain will be their works, nor shall We, on the Day of Judgment, give them any weight.


It mentions clearly why good deeds of non believers count for nothing. It is not what I say or want to believe or anything to do with any muslims for that matter but a decree by Allah and one of His stern warnings why non believers will be the greatest losers (as to their deeds).

Peace :shade:

Reply

muslimah bird
12-13-2013, 10:40 AM
Vatican's New Catechism declares Muslims and Jews to be saved!841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."[330]This paragraph essentially proclaims that "the plan of salvation" includes all faiths that acknowledge the true creator. The reasoning given is that since the Muslims claim the faith of Abraham, and worship the one true God, they are not only among the saved, but are at the top of any such list.
The plan of salvation is clearly given in the bible in ezekiel 18:21 But if a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die.Where does it say that if you believe that my son Jesus died for your sins and then salvation is yours ?
Reply

Muhammad
12-13-2013, 11:28 PM
Greetings Independent,

Thanks for your patience.

Originally Posted by Independent
I take it from your replies that those who say that non belief is a total barrier are wrong. In reading around this I came across this link which I thought explained things well and is very interesting about the meaning of the term 'kufr' - very possibly it's wrong in some way I can't tell but here it is anyway:
As I understand it, this states that non believers will be judged at the appointed time and may indeed enter heaven, as might a practicing Muslim. Please correct me if I'm wrong. From past comments in various threads, I'm quite sure that not all Muslims believe this.
In general terms, non-belief is a total barrier to Paradise because it defies the very purpose of our existence. The only religion acceptable to God is that which He sent His Final Messenger :saws: with and revealed in His Final Revelation. The hadith mentions people who had genuine excuses for not knowing about Islam. So when it comes to specific cases, we cannot say that a particular person is going to Paradise or Hell, unless it is has been mentioned through revelation.

From some replies, it does feel like that. I am trying to understand what comes from Islam, and what stems from the misunderstanding of individual Muslims. But it's hard for me as a non Muslim, as I am continually being told how fabulously ignorant and incapable I am of being able to understand the smallest thing about Islam. (Not by you personally.) When someone tells me that any good deed by any non Muslim is always done for selfish reasons (and this has been said) I can't help but feel that this is indeed arrogance, as well as being manifestly untrue.
Muslims have the duty to deal with non-Muslims in a merciful and kind manner, and to call them to the way of truth in a good way. What tends to happen in threads is the development of mistrust and personal wars, so it is sad that we lose sight of the bigger picture sometimes. In any case, it is good you make a distinction between what comes from Islam and what comes from individual Muslims. Even in my own posts, I do not claim to always be right as my knowledge is very limited. I can only speak to the best of what little I know and I seek Allaah :swt:'s forgiveness if I say anything incorrect.
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Muhaba
12-14-2013, 07:36 AM
Every good work has to be done exclusively for God's sake for it to be accepted. If it is done for a different reason, even by Muslims, it will not be accepted by God. For example, a person may give a lot of money in charity and thereby help many people, but if the reason is that people will consider him generous or good, then such charity isn't accepted. If you want reward from God you have to do the good deed for God's sake.

Another thing is that unbelievers are given chances of realizing that Islam is the truth. If they deliberately ignore the truth of Islam when realizing that it is the truth, then how can they ask God for Heaven? How many times has your mind said to you 'this seems to be true?' You should answer this sincerely. What was your response. Did you consider it with sincerity? Did you decide to sincerely do some research to get more information? Or did you block such thoughts out altogether without given any further consideration?

Originally Posted by Independent

I understand that belief alone is not enough and that no Muslim is guaranteed paradise. But what about the reverse case? What interests me in this thread is whether non-belief is a total barrier - an exclusion clause - no matter what the character of the individual or the reason for their non belief.
Yes nonbelief is a total barrier. That should make you worried about your future and make you study islam sincerely.
Reply

greenhill
12-14-2013, 07:51 AM
Originally Posted by Dreamin
Another thing is that unbelievers are given chances of realizing that Islam is the truth. If they deliberately ignore the truth of Islam when realizing that it is the truth, then how can they ask God for Heaven? How many times has your mind said to you 'this seems to be true?' You should answer this sincerely. What was your response. Did you consider it with sincerity? Did you decide to sincerely do some research to get more information? Or did you block such thoughts out altogether without given any further consideration?
Very simply put. This is the real issue in my mind that is hard to express (without appearing to be bigoted) which often puts people off the idea of islam as it 'seems' unfair to them. In fact, the message is clear, and Allah is The Most Merciful but yet they don't accept and hence they reject the 'core' message because it does not fit into their own ideals of what is fair.

What is the 'core' message? There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His messenger. What is wrong with that message?

Peace :shade:
Reply

glo
12-14-2013, 09:02 AM
Originally Posted by Dreamin
IHow many times has your mind said to you 'this seems to be true?' You should answer this sincerely. What was your response. Did you consider it with sincerity? Did you decide to sincerely do some research to get more information? Or did you block such thoughts out altogether without given any further consideration?
Interestingly enough, I think atheists would use exactly the same argument against religious belief and suggest that believers blindly cling on to their beliefs without facing the inner niggling doubt (even knowledge?) which says that it all made up and untrue ...
Reply

Independent
12-14-2013, 10:54 AM
Originally Posted by Dreamin
Every good work has to be done exclusively for God's sake for it to be accepted. If it is done for a different reason, even by Muslims, it will not be accepted by God.
Just when I think I have something settled in my mind, it all unravels again.

Any statement that suggests that only Muslims are capable of virtuous acts, and that all acts by non Muslims are for selfish reasons, must inevitably be seen as arrogant by non Muslims. In fact it's just about the most extreme claim I've ever heard from any religion. Many religions say they give the only entry to Paradise, but I've never heard of one claiming that no one else is capable of being moral at all.

Originally Posted by Dreamin
Yes nonbelief is a total barrier.
This surely contradicts the hadith I quoted above?

Originally Posted by Dreamin
What was your response. Did you consider it with sincerity? Did you decide to sincerely do some research to get more information? Or did you block such thoughts out altogether without given any further consideration?
Since joining this forum I have read the Qu'ran and multiple other books and articles with Islamic connections. I've ordered a few more books to read for Christmas (which now i think about it is a bit weird!). If I was persuaded by what I read, i wouldn't stop myself from following that road.

Strangely enough, the thing I find hardest to accept overall is (I admit) relatively trivial. It's the music. When I listen to a work like Thomas Tallis's 'Spem in Alium', I feel I am at my best as a person. How could any God reject this? I understand the arguments, I've read the threads, but I'm just telling you that's my total 100% reaction, every part of me rejects it. And of course, that makes everything else unravel.
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Muhammad
12-14-2013, 12:12 PM
Greetings,

Originally Posted by Independent
Any statement that suggests that only Muslims are capable of virtuous acts, and that all acts by non Muslims are for selfish reasons, must inevitably be seen as arrogant by non Muslims.
I didn't see how the post implied this.

This surely contradicts the hadith I quoted above?
It's possible for them to be true together.

Since joining this forum I have read the Qu'ran and multiple other books and articles with Islamic connections. I've ordered a few more books to read for Christmas (which now i think about it is a bit weird!). If I was persuaded by what I read, i wouldn't stop myself from following that road.
It is great that you are learning about Islam and have read the Qur'an. When reading the Qur'an, one must have a receptive heart seeking the truth. It is an address directed to the reader from God. Bearing these things in mind will help a person get more benefit from reading the Qur'an :ia:.

Strangely enough, the thing I find hardest to accept overall is (I admit) relatively trivial. It's the music. When I listen to a work like Thomas Tallis's 'Spem in Alium', I feel I am at my best as a person. How could any God reject this? I understand the arguments, I've read the threads, but I'm just telling you that's my total 100% reaction, every part of me rejects it. And of course, that makes everything else unravel.
Nobody is perfect and even some Muslims struggle with music. That is not to say they cannot continue being Muslims or that a person cannot become a Muslim on account of it. After all, we are talking about salvation and eternal punishment in the hereafter - it's better to be a sinful believer than not a believer at all.

Can you accept that the Prophet Muhammad :saws: was a true Prophet and that the Qur'an was revealed from Allaah :swt: ?
Reply

Independent
12-14-2013, 12:56 PM
Originally Posted by Muhammad
I didn't see how the post implied this.
I suppose there are two levels here. You could say the acts are virtuous, but not 'accepted' (because not 'offered'). Or you could go further, as some are doing here, and say that not being 'accepted' devalues them as acts altogether and they are to be looked on as purely 'selfish'.

Originally Posted by Muhammad
It's possible for them to be true together
I don't understand how?

Originally Posted by Muhammad
Can you accept that the Prophet Muhammad was a true Prophet and that the Qur'an was revealed from Allaah
The obstacle I have over music is more of a symbolic barrier for me, but my reasons for it are anything but trivial. I don't want to go into big detail because I don't think this is the right place. But in relation to the music prohibition, I am not convinced by the reliability of the hadith tradition and the underlying principle of imitating the life of the Prophet in every detail.
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Muhammad
12-15-2013, 12:08 AM
Greetings Independent,

Originally Posted by Independent
I suppose there are two levels here. You could say the acts are virtuous, but not 'accepted' (because not 'offered'). Or you could go further, as some are doing here, and say that not being 'accepted' devalues them as acts altogether and they are to be looked on as purely 'selfish'.
Saying that a deed is not accepted by God does not automatically mean it was done for a selfish reason (unless your definition of selfish is anything other than for the sake of God). I think you jumped too far ahead when you also assumed this means 'only Muslims are capable of virtuous acts, and that all acts by non Muslims are for selfish reasons'.

I don't understand how?
The hadith doesn't say that non-believers will go to heaven. It mentions that those who genuinely had an excuse for not knowing about Islam will be tested in their own way.

But in relation to the music prohibition, I am not convinced by the reliability of the hadith tradition and the underlying principle of imitating the life of the Prophet in every detail.
So the issue is less about music and more about Islamic sources. If a person accepts the Qur'an as the Word of God and the Prophet :saws: as the Final Messenger of God, then everything else will follow naturally. The Qur'an tells us that the Messenger :saws: is an example to be followed (he implemented the Qur'an in his character and actions) and that his teachings were inspired by God. The hadith tradition is a very in-depth subject and the best way to remove any doubt is to study it and see for yourself. And avoid anti-hadith sites which simply regurgitate myths and distortions.
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Muhammad
12-15-2013, 12:36 AM
Greetings Eric,

Thanks for your explanation.

Originally Posted by Eric H
If the priests could have looked beyond their law to the 'Spirit of the Law' they would have helped the wounded man, it seems that Jesus was challenging which is greater, religious duties, or human needs
In Islam, we are taught to aim for a balance between the letter as well as the spirit of the law. We are commanded to accept Islam completely; not to act upon one thing and leave the other. We must guard against only accepting the belief and neglecting the deeds and morals, as well as only adopting deeds and morals whilst neglecting the belief. The commandments of God apply to all walks of life - in our prayers, in matters of marriage, divorce, maintenance of dependants, dealing with friends and enemies, in peace and war, and so on. With this holistic view in mind, we should see that attending to human need - even environmental needs - is itself a religious duty.
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Muhammad
12-15-2013, 12:54 AM
Greetings glo,

Originally Posted by glo
Interestingly enough, I think atheists would use exactly the same argument against religious belief and suggest that believers blindly cling on to their beliefs without facing the inner niggling doubt (even knowledge?) which says that it all made up and untrue ...
The same argument may be made to both sides, but the question is who has a foundation to stand on. The cure for doubt is knowledge, so we should look at what answers and evidences are presented. Islam is a religion that is built on firm foundations. As mentioned in other threads, among the conditions of the testimony of faith is having certainty and knowledge. Moreover, the Qur'an repeatedly and boldly challenges mankind in various ways, and responds to their various claims. Thus, truth should empower one with confidence and conviction, not give rise to niggling doubts.
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Independent
12-16-2013, 12:19 PM
Greetings Muhammad

Originally Posted by Muhammad
So the issue is less about music and more about Islamic sources. If a person accepts the Qur'an as the Word of God and the Prophet as the Final Messenger of God, then everything else will follow naturally. The Qur'an tells us that the Messenger is an example to be followed (he implemented the Qur'an in his character and actions) and that his teachings were inspired by God. The hadith tradition is a very in-depth subject and the best way to remove any doubt is to study it and see for yourself. And avoid anti-hadith sites which simply regurgitate myths and distortions.
Unfortunately my issues are much wider than this.

At the one end, as I say, I can't understand why any God would prohibit such a wonderful thing as our capacity for music.

But this is not an isolated or random prohibitiion, it connects up. When I look for an explanation or framework for it, I find it lies especially in a hadith tradition which I find historically suspect. (In fact many of the aspects of Islam I am most sceptical about come from hadiths.)

However, my scepticism runs deeper than that. I have issues with the historicity of the Qu'ran, which also has a big academic debate around it. (My views about this are not fixed, they change as i learn more.)

Putting the history on one side - I know Muslims also consider Islam to be proven by many signs etc. But when I look at these signs they don't convince me in the same way. (Especially the declared scientific signs which, to my eyes, have been so tremendously overstated that when they are offered as proofs they have the exact opposite effect on me.)

Most fundamentally of all - I have to be truthful - when I read the Qu'ran and I ask myself the question: "do i feel these are the actual, literal words of God?" I have to answer that I do not. These are my honest reactions, i can't pretend otherwise, I can't help them and i can't deny them.
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crimsontide06
12-16-2013, 12:42 PM
Originally Posted by Muslim Woman
Yes, as they were not good and kind enough to worship their Lord who created them and gave them everything.
What about those who are born and raised into a religion, and believe in their heart that Jesus=God...and THEN they live a good life...all they hear about Islam are the bad representations...etc

I asked a christian friend what would she feel if in the afterlife she realized she was wrong...etc...she got really angry and said Jesus helped her through her past issues and that she cannot fathom what I was asking her to think of....then she said she would pray for me..lol
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glo
12-16-2013, 12:56 PM
None of us have complete proof and assurance of what the afterlife will hold or indeed that it exists.
There are accounts of people having died and having some afterlife experience before returning to the body, but those cannot be proven.
Neuroscientists will tell you that these events may be due to changes in the brain activity as it is close to dying.

However convinced we are that there is an afterlife, even sure of what it will look like - we should be honest and admit that we have no proof of it.
Yes, we have Holy Scripture and stories from our prophets - but again, those are not proof in the scientific sense.

I think we do best if we lead a life which - to the best our our own knowledge and understanding - will please God. If we got the theology wrong, we will need to throw ourselves a this mercy!
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greenhill
12-16-2013, 04:26 PM
Originally Posted by Independent
Most fundamentally of all - I have to be truthful - when I read the Qu'ran and I ask myself the question: "do i feel these are the actual, literal words of God?" I have to answer that I do not. These are my honest reactions, i can't pretend otherwise, I can't help them and i can't deny them.
Don't know if this will help. The Qur'an was revealed when a situation warranted it. To give a message to the prophet (saws) how to deal with a situation. Some as a warning, some as reminders, some as prayers etc. It is all compiled now and we read without guidance and without context, and we are likely to miss the point totally.

Peace :shade:
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Muhaba
12-16-2013, 05:39 PM
Originally Posted by glo

Interestingly enough, I think atheists would use exactly the same argument against religious belief and suggest that believers blindly cling on to their beliefs without facing the inner niggling doubt (even knowledge?) which says that it all made up and untrue ...
Have you clung to your beliefs in this manner? That is, have you thought some other belief seemed true but clung onto your faith blindly? I've never felt this way. For example, I never thought the Christian belief of trinity or Jesus being God was true. The more I explore the Islamic belief and learn about other beliefs, I see how true the Islamic beliefs are and how wrong other beliefs are.

If anyone has asked themselves whether the theory of evolution could be correct and we weren't created by God, it's because they not only have no knowledge of religious faith but also they have no knowledge of nature. God tells us repeatedly in the Quran to look at His Signs in the universe and in man's own self. A bit of study of nature (for example the human body) can tell you that this could not have come into being by itself. That some Wise and All-Powerful Being made this happen.

I doubt that those with knowledge question their Islamic faith. It's those who have no knowledge who might, not because the Islamic faith is wrong but because they have no knowledge. As for unbelievers (Christians, atheists, etc), they no doubt wonder whether some other faith might be true but then blindly cling to their beliefs without acquiring knowledge sincerely.

The difference between islam and other beliefs is that one grows stronger in the Islamic faith the more knowledge they get. While the other faiths get weaker the more knowledge one gets.
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glo
12-16-2013, 05:52 PM
Originally Posted by Dreamin
Have you clung to your beliefs in this manner? That is, have you thought some other belief seemed true but clung onto your faith blindly?
No, I haven't.

The point I was making was that this conviction of "I am right, so everybody who believes otherwise must be wrong ... and if they were only honest with themselves and explored the matter carefully enough, they would come to the same conclusion as me" exists in all religions and worldviews (even atheism).

Personally, I think it is very simplistic and things are really more complicated than that. :)
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Muhaba
12-16-2013, 06:18 PM
Originally Posted by Independent
Greetings Muhammad



Unfortunately my issues are much wider than this.

At the one end, as I say, I can't understand why any God would prohibit such a wonderful thing as our capacity for music.
Music is a great ill and it has many drawbacks, many of which may not be known to us at this time. music is the cause of so much evil. Furthermore, it's not just Islam that forbids music. In fact, early church also forbid musical instruments and only chants were allowed. Later on, after much debating did the church allow musical instruments. And since all major religions were revealed by the One God, therefore, they were one in their teachings. God informed us through His many Prophets (including Jesus and Muhammad -PBUH) that music was not allowed.

If you study the history of music, you'll see that music isn't a blessed profession - so many musicians and composers died young, many under the age of 40!

But this is not an isolated or random prohibitiion, it connects up. When I look for an explanation or framework for it, I find it lies especially in a hadith tradition which I find historically suspect. (In fact many of the aspects of Islam I am most sceptical about come from hadiths.)
How can you find hadith 'historically suspect?' The fact that Muslims all over the world agree on so many hadith clearly show the credibility of those hadith. Many hadith came down from generation to generation, until they reached our generation, so that it's impossible to doubt such hadith. Muslims are unified on so many things that alone shows our religion is the true one. Take the method of fasting and praying, the basic hijab, etc.

The compilation of hadith and the way it was authenticated in the early years of Islam is truly unique in history.

However, my scepticism runs deeper than that. I have issues with the historicity of the Qu'ran, which also has a big academic debate around it. (My views about this are not fixed, they change as i learn more.)
You are getting your information from the wrong sources and such sources will only mislead you and drive you deeper into obscurity.


Putting the history on one side - I know Muslims also consider Islam to be proven by many signs etc. But when I look at these signs they don't convince me in the same way. (Especially the declared scientific signs which, to my eyes, have been so tremendously overstated that when they are offered as proofs they have the exact opposite effect on me.)

Most fundamentally of all - I have to be truthful - when I read the Qu'ran and I ask myself the question: "do i feel these are the actual, literal words of God?" I have to answer that I do not. These are my honest reactions, i can't pretend otherwise, I can't help them and i can't deny them.
First of all, the Quran in Arabic is the Word of God. In all other languages, it is just a translation. And a translation can never do the original justice. The original Arabic Quran surpasses every piece of writing, that is how unique and awesome it is! There is simply nothing like it. Nonetheless, one can get guidance from the translation as well.

2. The Quran is not a stand-alone book. God didn't just reveal the Book. He also sent His Messenger along with it to explain it and to show us how to follow God's Commands. Furthermore, the verses were revealed according to situation, so knowledge of the historical context is also necessary for thorough understanding.
A third thing is that the Quran was revealed in the form of a speech and not a written book so any interjections require explanations. Finally, it's important you read the last chapters first because they are shorter and because they were addressed to unbelievers initially. The beginning chapters are very long and contain the Islamic law and were addressed to the Muslims.

But you also have to read the Quran with an open mind, seeking guidance. Many unbelievers have become Muslims just by opening the translation of the Quran and reading it. I don't know how you say that you don't feel it is the Word of God when so many unbelievers understood by just reading the Quran's translation alone that it was not a human-made book.
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جوري
12-16-2013, 06:52 PM
Originally Posted by Dreamin
Music is a great ill
:arabic7:
people have to go through a very traumatic thing to fully understand the ills of that loot of the devil and I am someone who grew up playing the piano and other instruments per school curriculum.
I had a very bad experience recently and lapsed, I was listening to Adele and other crap around the clock, it can drive a person to madness and possession & suicide. I couldn't stop weeping :alhamd after a while of numbness it was almost like horrible background noise to me and the words earthbound and meaningless.
There is a reason the Quran is said to be a cure for what ails mankind. And if you keep with it with all honestly :Allah::swt: makes the spirit soar aloft in lieu of the body being bound to the ills of the earth.
I don't expect a person who hasn't experienced that to understand that. That is why people who are devoutly religious have the lowest rates of depression and suicide.
When people choose a life away from God, or create the sort of god out of their desires to suit their whims, they're to be pitied, they walk their life lost and in confusion. Surely words to them are meaningless, they are merely looking in their obstinacy to one-up you nothing more nothing less- and it is the sort of vain discourse that offers nothing to the self or others.

:w:
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Muhaba
12-16-2013, 07:10 PM
Originally Posted by جوري
:arabic7:
people have to go through a very traumatic thing to fully understand the ills of that loot of the devil and I am someone who grew up playing the piano and other instruments per school curriculum.
I had a very bad experience recently and lapsed, I was listening to Adele and other crap around the clock, it can drive a person to madness and possession & suicide. I couldn't stop weeping :alhamd after a while of numbness it was almost like horrible background noise to me and the words earthbound and meaningless.
There is a reason the Quran is said to be a cure for what ails mankind. And if you keep with it with all honestly :Allah::swt: makes the spirit soar aloft in lieu of the body being bound to the ills of the earth.
I don't expect a person who hasn't experienced that to understand that. That is why people who are devoutly religious have the lowest rates of depression and suicide.
When people choose a life away from God, or create the sort of god out of their desires to suit their whims, they're to be pitied, they walk their life lost and in confusion. Surely words to them are meaningless, they are merely looking in their obstinacy to one-up you nothing more nothing less- and it is the sort of vain discourse that offers nothing to the self or others.

:w:
I agree with you 100%. I remember a time in my life when I listened to music and I used to be so upset in those days. I remember once 'the Power of Love' was playing and I couldn't hear a thing because I was just crying throughout the song. I'd replay it and again I wouldn't hear a thing but I was getting more and more upset.

There are a few hadith regarding this. One states that demons are appointed on the person playing and they beat him on the chest and don't stop until he stops playing music. in another hadith, some companions asked the Prophet that when they listened to music they couldn't sleep but when they listen to (or recite) the Quran, they quickly fall asleep. The Prophet replied that listening to music was like lying on a bed of thorns, so the listener (or player) couldn't sleep due to the disturbance it causes. while listening to (or reciting) the Quran is like lying on a bed of cushions. the listener quickly falls asleep because of the comfort! I've myself experienced this. Listening to or reciting the Quran makes one fall asleep very fast.
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observer
12-16-2013, 08:33 PM
Originally Posted by Dreamin
The difference between islam and other beliefs is that one grows stronger in the Islamic faith the more knowledge they get. While the other faiths get weaker the more knowledge one gets.
Wow. How incredibly arrogant! I think you'll find there are many, many Christians / Hindus / Sikhs / etc. who, the more they learn about their faith, the more they believe them. To deny that is just crazy.
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Independent
12-17-2013, 12:07 AM
Originally Posted by Dreamin
Many unbelievers have become Muslims just by opening the translation of the Quran and reading it. I don't know how you say that you don't feel it is the Word of God when so many unbelievers understood by just reading the Quran's translation alone that it was not a human-made book
Because the claim is that this is the literal word of God, that places an immensely higher burden of proof on the text compared to other religious books - which usually claim to be divinely inspired, but not necessarily divinely authored. For a variety of reasons i don't feel that what I'm reading are indeed the words of God (even if they are in translation).

I'm just telling you my personal reaction, if I said something else it would be a lie.
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جوري
12-17-2013, 01:34 AM
Originally Posted by Independent
i don't feel that what I'm reading are indeed the words of God
Your feelings are irrelevant- and the onus is indeed on you to prove that it isn't the word of God!

best,
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glo
12-17-2013, 03:36 AM
Originally Posted by جوري
Your feelings are irrelevant
Looks to me like sister Dreamin was asking for Independent's personal thoughts and feelings:

Originally Posted by Dreamin
Many unbelievers have become Muslims just by opening the translation of the Quran and reading it. I don't know how you say that you don't feel it is the Word of God when so many unbelievers understood by just reading the Quran's translation alone that it was not a human-made book.
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جوري
12-17-2013, 04:07 AM
Originally Posted by glo
Looks to me like sister Dreamin was asking for Independent's personal thoughts and feelings:
still doesn't change the fact that his feelings irrelevant. We don't deal with feelings when it comes to religion!

best,
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Muhaba
12-17-2013, 07:42 AM
Originally Posted by observer
Wow. How incredibly arrogant! I think you'll find there are many, many Christians / Hindus / Sikhs / etc. who, the more they learn about their faith, the more they believe them. To deny that is just crazy.
So you're stating that the more Christians learn about the trinity the more they are inclined to believe it is true? Or do their doubts increase but they shut them out?
Or are you stating that the more Hindus learn about reincarnation - a baseless belief with absolutely no scientific proof whatsoever - the more they believe it is true? Or is it their belief in their many god-idols that they make with their own hands and then worship them? Or belief in the many thousands - if not millions - of gods that they have? One example of their 'gods' is a certain snake that resided in a certain cave in India. The Indians believed that it was their god and that this snake never became hungry and never came out of its cave to search for food. When the British went there to investigate, they saw that the cave was full of bats and whenever the snake woke up, it would raise its head and eat a bat, then it would go back to sleep. That is the story of one hindu god!
Or do you think that the more the Sikhs look into their unhygienic and weird customs it makes them realize it is the truth but when they study the Islamic customs which are perfectly according to nature, then they turn away from Islam because they realize they are wrong?

You should give examples of the various beliefs and customs and how studying them deeper makes a person grow stronger in their belief instead of making a blind claim.
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Muhaba
12-17-2013, 07:50 AM
Originally Posted by Independent
Because the claim is that this is the literal word of God, that places an immensely higher burden of proof on the text compared to other religious books - which usually claim to be divinely inspired, but not necessarily divinely authored. For a variety of reasons i don't feel that what I'm reading are indeed the words of God (even if they are in translation).

I'm just telling you my personal reaction, if I said something else it would be a lie.
As God said in the Quran, that if the Quran were manmade you'd find many contradictions in it but since it is from God, there are none. that is the greatest test. If there are contradictions in a book, then it cant be from God or even be divinely inspired. Because God wouldn't inspire contradictory statements would He? So when you look at the Bible you can see so many contradictions that it is proof enough that the current versions are not from God. (or they are changed by man and thus unsuitable for mankind's guidance.) Another test is the quality of the material presented. If a book has insulting words or stories then it can't be from God. The Quran doesn't have such statements but the Bible does.

Tell me what portion of the Quran you read, like what chapter and verses. Post the verses here and discuss your thoughts about them, why you don't feel they are the word of God, etc. (You can copy them from online Qurans like http://www.quran.com ). Just claiming that you read the Quran and you don't feel something isn't enough.
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Muhaba
12-17-2013, 07:52 AM
Originally Posted by glo
Looks to me like sister Dreamin was asking for Independent's personal thoughts and feelings:
Sister Glo, I'd like you to do the same as I asked Independent. Post the verses of the Quran that you read and discuss your feelings and thoughts. You can post them portion by portion section by section or if the chapter is short, then the whole chapter. You can copy them from http://www.quran.com . And then tell us your feelings and why you don't think it is the Word of God. I'd like to know what unbelievers are thinking when they read the Quran.
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observer
12-17-2013, 08:46 AM
Originally Posted by Dreamin
So you're stating that the more Christians learn about the trinity the more they are inclined to believe it is true? Or do their doubts increase but they shut them out?
Or are you stating that the more Hindus learn about reincarnation - a baseless belief with absolutely no scientific proof whatsoever - the more they believe it is true? Or is it their belief in their many god-idols that they make with their own hands and then worship them? Or belief in the many thousands - if not millions - of gods that they have?
Well, yes - that's exactly what I'm saying. Of course the devout from those religions research and increase their faith, I genuinely can't understand how you would believe otherwise.


Originally Posted by Dreamin
One example of their 'gods' is a certain snake that resided in a certain cave in India.
The Quran has plenty of fantastical stories which non-believers find impossible to believe (Mohammed's journey to heaven, for example) yet you - through your faith - have no problem accepting them. Why should that be different for other faiths?
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Independent
12-17-2013, 09:51 AM
Dreamin, please understand that I am simply telling you my personal reaction and responding to Muhammad's question, did i believe in the Prophet/Qu'ran as the direct word of Allah. How can I answer any other way except to give you my honest reply?

Originally Posted by Dreamin
Tell me what portion of the Quran you read, like what chapter and verses. Post the verses here and discuss your thoughts about them, why you don't feel they are the word of God, etc. (You can copy them from online Qurans like http://www.quran.com ). Just claiming that you read the Quran and you don't feel something isn't enough.
I believe that an attempt to answer this question would require me to break the rules of this forum.
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glo
12-17-2013, 10:53 AM
Originally Posted by Independent
Dreamin, please understand that I am simply telling you my personal reaction and responding to Muhammad's question, did i believe in the Prophet/Qu'ran as the direct word of Allah. How can I answer any other way except to give you my honest reply?


I believe that an attempt to answer this question would require me to break the rules of this forum.
I totally echo Independent's view.

Over the years in this forum I have many times been encouraged to express my views on Islam and the Qu'ran as a Christian (presumably with the intention of convincing me otherwise) and have then been shot down in flames, personally attacked and sanctioned with infractions for breaking forum rules when I did so.

I am not doing it anymore. I am very careful not to.
It is simply not why I am here.

I am sure there is a reason why the Comparative Religions section has been closed for so long - so perhaps we should be careful not to encourage inter-religious discussions elsewhere in the forum.
It is very difficult to talk about another religion without bringing in or comparing with parts of your own religion/beliefs/worldview.
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'Abd-al Latif
12-17-2013, 12:29 PM
Originally Posted by Independent
For a variety of reasons i don't feel that what I'm reading are indeed the words of God (even if they are in translation).
Well, by and large you're not reading the word of God! If the Arabic Quran has been translated, it's not God's word anymore.

In a translation a number of things are lost. This could be either the meaning of the verses, it's intended message, it's miracle or it's context.

So are you reading the words of God? As long as it's in a language other than Arabic, no you're not.

But having said this you can't completely discard the original Arabic Quran as being the same as a translation. Just like Shakespeare's plays won't make sense in - say - Pashtun (language of the Afghans), neither will the Qur'an when it's been taken away from it's original language. The last 1400 of Islam years weren't so long withstanding because of an English Qur'an.
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جوري
12-17-2013, 05:26 PM
Just as an aside note, there's a catholic woman I know who is falling apart, everyday she tells me she prays to this saint and that saint. I can do nothing but listen to her. I tried to search the bible for one passage that is relevant to her situation or that would bring her comfort and couldn't find a single one- I don't want this to be a time when I introduce Islam to her but I asked her if I could share with her one verse and it made all the sense in the world to her and she thanked me.
I have read quite extensively in the OT and NT and went to christian schools as a kid- there's no transcendence, no relevance and a time when one needs God's comfort the most they're ever confused about praying to this saint or that saint. I honestly pity her because aside from her deep troubles which I share in, she's completely misguided that I am actually afraid she'll commit suicide the way she sounds and acts. And yes of course she's listening to sad songs on top of the idolatry around the clock..

al7mdlilah alzhi 3afana mima ibtala beh ghyrona.

I think there's nothing worse losing what seems to be the few things of matter and importance in this life, save to actually completely **** the self in the hereafter over something that neither brings peace to the heart in the here and now nor salvation in the hereafter.
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Muhaba
12-17-2013, 06:21 PM
Originally Posted by Independent
Dreamin, please understand that I am simply telling you my personal reaction and responding to Muhammad's question, did i believe in the Prophet/Qu'ran as the direct word of Allah. How can I answer any other way except to give you my honest reply?



I believe that an attempt to answer this question would require me to break the rules of this forum.
Such an easy escape. You claim to have read the Quran. You claim that you don't feel it is the Word of God. And When you are asked to post portions and discuss your feelings, then you escape by saying that that would break the rules of this forum. Why don't you come out openly and say the truth. That you've never read the Quran. Because if you did, you'd have at least something to respond with. But you do not.

The Quran, even it's translation is unique and everyone can tell that it is not a manmade book. Even those who disbelieved and continued to disbelieved acknowledged that it was not an ordinary book. At the time of the Prophet, many idolators gave their feelings about the Quran and clearly stated that it was not an ordinary book. They were so moved by the Quran but despite that, for worldly reasons some of them continued to oppose Islam. So, had you read it (even it's translation) you'd have felt it.
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Muhaba
12-17-2013, 06:28 PM
Originally Posted by glo
I totally echo Independent's view.

Over the years in this forum I have many times been encouraged to express my views on Islam and the Qu'ran as a Christian (presumably with the intention of convincing me otherwise) and have then been shot down in flames, personally attacked and sanctioned with infractions for breaking forum rules when I did so.

I am not doing it anymore. I am very careful not to.
It is simply not why I am here.

I am sure there is a reason why the Comparative Religions section has been closed for so long - so perhaps we should be careful not to encourage inter-religious discussions elsewhere in the forum.
It is very difficult to talk about another religion without bringing in or comparing with parts of your own religion/beliefs/worldview.
If you make a claim then be ready to back it up with proof. Otherwise don't make the claim at all. Don't say that you've read the Quran and you don't feel it is God's Word when you can't even post a few verses and tell us why you don't think they are God's Words.
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Muhaba
12-17-2013, 06:31 PM
Originally Posted by observer
Well, yes - that's exactly what I'm saying. Of course the devout from those religions research and increase their faith, I genuinely can't understand how you would believe otherwise.




The Quran has plenty of fantastical stories which non-believers find impossible to believe (Mohammed's journey to heaven, for example) yet you - through your faith - have no problem accepting them. Why should that be different for other faiths?
What is so impossible about Prophet Muhammad's journey to the Heavens??? Today we have planes and space shuttles so why is it so hard to accept that Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم went from Mecca to Juresalem in one night and then from there to the heavens? Have you so little faith in God's power that you can't accept that God can make it happen? Do we not see planes and space shuttles working today? Is it only in human power to create such amazing equipment but not in God's power to do so???
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Muhammad
12-18-2013, 12:22 AM
Greetings Independent,

Originally Posted by Independent
At the one end, as I say, I can't understand why any God would prohibit such a wonderful thing as our capacity for music.
Not understanding the wisdom behind a ruling does not automatically mean one must doubt it. People trust the knowledge and experience of doctors and are willing to endure painful treatments, despite not fully understanding the reasoning behind them.

Humans have capacities for good and capacities for evil. We are given a choice as to how we use our capacities and the path to success is not an easy one.

But this is not an isolated or random prohibitiion, it connects up. When I look for an explanation or framework for it, I find it lies especially in a hadith tradition which I find historically suspect. (In fact many of the aspects of Islam I am most sceptical about come from hadiths.)

However, my scepticism runs deeper than that. I have issues with the historicity of the Qu'ran, which also has a big academic debate around it. (My views about this are not fixed, they change as i learn more.)
The preservation of the Qur'an and Hadith is very well documented and widely recognised for the unique and meticulous methods involved, both by Muslims as well as Orientalists. Whatever debate may exist, the evidence is available for all to see.

There are many threads on the topic of the preservation of the Qur'an and Hadith. To avoid starting a new discussion here, it would be best to browse those earlier threads or even better to study the topics from recommended books:
http://www.islamicboard.com/discover...resources.html

Putting the history on one side - I know Muslims also consider Islam to be proven by many signs etc. But when I look at these signs they don't convince me in the same way. (Especially the declared scientific signs which, to my eyes, have been so tremendously overstated that when they are offered as proofs they have the exact opposite effect on me.)
As mentioned in the other thread, it is true that some people have not followed the proper methodology when it comes to the scientific miracles in the Qur'an and have gone too far in some of their claims. That is not to say there are none at all. Moreover, the scientific miracle is only one aspect. There are many others, the strongest and most apparent of which is the literary miracle of the Qur'an.
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Muhammad
12-18-2013, 12:54 AM
Greetings glo,

Originally Posted by glo
None of us have complete proof and assurance of what the afterlife will hold or indeed that it exists.
I would have thought that a person of another faith would understand that evidence is not limited to what can be proven in a laboratory or by scientists. Just because we cannot see something does not mean it does not exist. When you speak of scripture, you must remember that Muslims and Christians view their scripture quite differently. Muslims view the Qur'an as being the absolute Word of God, therefore whatever is stated about the world of the unseen and stories of the Prophets are believed in with conviction. We do not see these stories as merely fables.

I think we do best if we lead a life which - to the best our our own knowledge and understanding - will please God. If we got the theology wrong, we will need to throw ourselves a this mercy!
The only opportunity for throwing ourselves at God's mercy is now. Now is the time to ask God for guidance and strive to understand the correct theology. There will come a time when it will be too late to ask for mercy and we will not be allowed to return back for a second chance. May God guide us all.

Regarding what you mentioned in your other post:

The point I was making was that this conviction of "I am right, so everybody who believes otherwise must be wrong ... and if they were only honest with themselves and explored the matter carefully enough, they would come to the same conclusion as me" exists in all religions and worldviews (even atheism).

Personally, I think it is very simplistic and things are really more complicated than that
Ultimately guidance is from God. We must do our part to research and at the same time ask God sincerely for His guidance. And when God guides a person to the truth, it is He who blesses him with firmness and steadfastness.

There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower. [Qur'an 2:256]


Regarding what you mentioned about being shot down after being invited to express your views, then I am sorry if that is what happened. You may remember from our previous discussions that it is often a difficult balance between interfaith discussion and promoting other religions, or even attacking them. Other factors also come into play. In any case, thanks for being considerate of the rules.
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Muhammad
12-18-2013, 12:59 AM
We have come some way from the original topic so I think we should put this thread to rest now. If any further discussion is needed on the new issues, it can be done in a new thread :ia:.
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