Kalam, questions

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by JBeukema, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. JBeukema
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    You say that Islam recognizes no 'chosen people'. How does the Koran justify this? Does it state that the coveneant w/ Abraham's children is broken? It it extended to others now?

    Do you believe Aisha was the right 'leader' past Muhammed's death? Why did your religion split so easily? does the Koran not establish any authority the way the Torah established the Jewsh councils? Is thre made no test to know a rightful Kalif?

    Do Koran says that jesus was a Prophets, yes? How does it square this with his claims of divinity? Is it not the case that one who claims to be divine either is so or is a false prophet and a deceiver? How does the Koran actually address this?

    Why do Muslims call themselves Muslims and not Jews, if they believe in the books of the Jews and merely hold that two more prophets have come?
     
  2. RodISHI
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    RodISHI Gold Member

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    Past your bedtime isn't it?
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Kalam
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    Kalam Senior Member

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    The Israelite prophets are recognized, but prophethood and messengerhood were never limited to the Israelites or any single people. The covenant, according to the Qur'an, was bound to be broken by the "wrongdoers" among Abraham's ancestors:

    And when his Lord tried Abraham with certain commands he fulfilled them. He said: Surely I will make thee a leader of men. (Abraham) said: And of my offspring? My covenant does not include the wrongdoers, said He. - 2:124​

    The annulment of the covenant is referred to repeatedly, especially in the earlier chapters. Specific misdeeds that led to its dissolution are described to some extent in the following passage:
    And when We made a covenant with the Children of Israel: You shall serve none but Allah. And do good to (your) parents, and to the near of kin and to orphans and the needy, and speak good to men, and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate. Then you turned back except a few of you, and you are averse.

    And when We made a covenant with you: You shall not shed your blood, nor turn your people out of your cities; then you promised and you did bear witness.

    Yet you it is who would slay your people and turn a party from among you out of their homes, backing each other up against them unlawfully and exceeding the limits. And if they should come to you as captives you would ransom them, whereas their turning out itself was unlawful for you. Do you then believe in a part of the Book and disbelieve in the other? What then is the reward of such among you as do this but disgrace in the life of this world, and on the day of Resurrection they shall be sent back to the most grievous chastisement. And Allah is not heedless of what you do.
    - 2:83-85

    The universality of the institutions of prophethood and messengerhood are central to Islamic theology.

    Surely We have sent thee with the Truth as a bearer of good news and a warner. And there is not a people but a warner has gone among them. - 35:24

    And for every nation there is a messenger. So when their messenger comes, the matter is decided between them with justice, and they are not wronged. - 10:47

    Muhammad's message, the Qur'an, was intended for the entire world due to his status as the "Seal of the Prophets."

    I believe that the only proper form of government under Islam is government by shura, consultation, as mentioned in the 42nd sura. Aisha was certainly a remarkable and capable woman, but I believe that the concentration of power in a single person's hands should generally be avoided.

    Disputes over succession. Shi'ites believe that Ali ibn Abi Talib was the rightful successor to Muhammad and do not believe that the first three caliphs (those who reigned before Ali) were legitimate. Moreover, they believe that caliphs should be of the family of Muhammad himself. Sunnis at least partially recognized the primacy of shura by affirming the legitimacy of those caliphs who were appointed by councils following Muhammad's death. I believe that they're both somewhat incorrect and that the shura councils themselves should hold political power.

    As mentioned, Shi'ites believed that rightfulness could be determined by Muhammad's blessing and lineage while Sunnis believed that it could be determined by popular opinion and consensus. The only relevant Qur'anic passage is the following:

    And those who respond to their Lord and keep up prayer, and whose affairs are (decided) by counsel among themselves, and who spend out of what We have given them; And those who, when great wrong afflicts them, defend themselves. - 42:38-39

    The doctrine of scriptural corruption is also central to Islamic theology. Islam holds that most Jewish and Christian belief is based on misinterpretation or outright distortion of Biblical passages. The Qur'anic Jesus seems to be aware of this.

    And when Allah will say: O Jesus, son of Mary, didst thou say to men, Take me and my mother for two gods besides Allah? He will say: Glory be to Thee! it was not for me to say what I had no right to. If I had said it, Thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou knowest what is in my mind, and I know not what is in Thy mind. Surely Thou art the great Knower of the unseen. - 5:116

    Qur'anic Islam views itself as a departure from the excesses of Christianity and Judaism at the time and a return to what it believes to be the strict monotheism of the prophets. The use of the Qur'an, the words of Muhammad, as its primary text makes Islam vastly different from Judaism.
     
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  4. JBeukema
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    This naturally raises the same question as with others on this board: How does the Koran justify this? Firstly, is god unable or unwilling to defend his word and why did he allow it to become corrupted? Secondly, if the Koran posits that the texts were corrupted, how do we know that Koran itself and the words of the prophet were not corrupted prior to being written and remain intact today>? Does it not call into question the very reliability of the text itself to state that God's word cannot be guaranteed to be preserved in the writings passed to Men?
     
  5. Kalam
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    Kalam Senior Member

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    Once scripture is put on paper, free will takes rein and anything can be done to it. The Qur'an, however, predicted that it won't be altered or corrupted, and that prediction has turned out to be true.

    From Maulana Muhammad Ali's The Religion of Islam:

    Random reports that a certain verse or chapter, not to be met with in the Qur'an, was part of the text, have no value at all as against the conclusive and collective testimony which establishes the purity of the text of the Qur'an. These reports were in some cases fabricated by enemies who sought to undermine the authority of the religion of Islam. In other cases, they may have been the mistaken conception of some narrator. However that may be, it is necessary to weigh the evidence as to whether or not a certain verse formed part of the Qur'anic text. It is a fact that every verse of the Qur'an was, when revealed, promulgated and made public; it became a part of the public prayer and was repeated day and night to be listened to by an audience of hundreds. When the written manuscripts of the Qur'an were first collected into one volume in the time of the first caliph, and later on when copies were made from that original in the time of the third caliph, there was a unanimous testimony of all the Companions that every verse that found a place in that collection was part of the Divine revelation. Such testimony of overwhelming numbers cannot be set aside by the evidence of one or two, but, as a matter of fact, all reports quoted as affecting the purity of the text ascribe a certain statement to only one man, and in not a single case is there a second man to support that assertion. Thus when Ibn Mas'ud makes an assertion to this effect, Ubayy's evidence, along with that of the whole body of Companions, goes against him; and when Ubayy makes a like assertion, Ibn Mas'ud's evidence along with that of the rest of the Companions goes against him. Thus there is not a single assertion impugning the purity of the Qur'anic text for which even one supporting witness can be produced. - pp. 26-27​

    Certainly, but Muslims have taken great care in preventing the Qur'an from being distorted. Even the Arabic language is largely the same as it was when Muhammad delivered his messages, making the Qur'an fairly easy to understand for the average Arabic speakerl; at least more so than the average Greek can understand the language of the New Testament. And now, because the Qur'an is so widely available and known, the possibility of it being altered at this point in time is virtually nonexistent.
     
  6. JBeukema
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    Well, at least they didn't keep it in a language the masses didn't speak...



    Certainly, but Muslims have taken great care in preventing the Qur'an from being distorted.[/quote]

    Christians make the same claims, and yet there is evidence to the contrary. How old are the oldest surviving texts and fragments? Is there a singular canon, or countless libraries like the Christians have? How do we know that the Torah and NT that Islam accepts are themselves reliable? If you use 'known good' texts to verify the validity of new documents, does that not rest upon the reliability of questionable documents? What councils of men have maintained such documents in Islam and how do they show themselves reliable and trustworthy?

    The fact that it remains in the same tongue certainly lends credence to your assertions that it is far less susceptible to many of the problems that Christianity faces.
     
  7. Kalam
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    Kalam Senior Member

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    That's actually becoming somewhat of a problem today. As you know, ,ost Muslims are not Arabs, and while most of us seem to be at least somewhat familiar with the Arabic language, those of us for whom Arabic is not a native tongue rely at least partially on translations and religious works written in our own languages. English speakers obviously have no problem, but speakers of more obscure languages probably aren't going to have access to many resources crucial to understanding the Islamic religion unless they familiarize themselves with the Arabic language.

    Carbon-14 dating indicates that the Sana'a manuscripts were written between 645 and 690 CE, possibly earlier. So they were written just over 10 years after Muhammad's death at the earliest. Dating of the calligraphy used has led to suggestions that they are somewhat younger, but were still put together within about 100 years of Muhammad's death.

    There is and always has been only one version of the Qur'an, but the Sunni religious canon and the Shi'a religious canon include different hadith collections. They are something else entirely in terms of religious significance, accuracy, and

    Since no evidence of the existence of any other version of the Qur'an has turned up, it can be assumed that the Qur'an as it is today is just as it was when it was compiled and standardized by Uthman.

    I agree.
     
  8. JBeukema
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    Same question as to the Christians: Would not God protect his word when it is written (At least when first written to a new peopl)? If he is unable, he is not all-powerful. if he unwilling. then how can he be called good and merciful, seeing as the people will be punished for not believing his word, though it was not their fault they were not given it.

    on that not, what does the Qura'nic stance on those who never know god's word? To follow the bible/NT, they're basically screwed because god didn't want them. The Torah was even more xenophobic and exclusive. What does the Qu'ran say in regards to this matter? Also, what of those who lived during the past covenants such as that w/ Abraham) and were not partyy to it (outsiders)? Are they still scewed, or does the Koran say that they will be excused? how can their initial fate (to be separate from God not out of sin but out of being born, per his plan, to the wring bloodline) fit with the concept of a kind, loving, benevolent god?



    Strictly speaking, they are not considered and do not claim to be holy books. Hadith are words of believers, but not of prophets? Are the writings of the Apostles regarded similarly, outside of the Gospel (the Epistles etc)?
     
  9. JenT
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    JenT God lead our troops

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    you ARE being sarcastic here, right?

    The Quran? Which has to be read in Arabic whether you understand the language or not?

    you're kidding right?
     
  10. JBeukema
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    you mean like keeping it in latin so that only the church leaders knew what it said and they could telll the sheeple anything that the church wanted them to believe?

    Now, stop interrupting, rude little girl
     

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