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wordVision Student

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  1. I keep reading that Allah has left signs for everyone in His creation, that we can learn a lot by observing His creation. Well, I've been thinking about life and death and I was wondering, can we see any evidence of an afterlife in the creation around us? I was thinking that plants when they die, goe back to the ground and the same with animals, they just die, rot into the ground and cease to exist. So, by extension, would the same not apply to us as it does to the rest of Allahs creation?

     

    Joel, a very significant 'sign' pointing to the Resurrection is the season of Spring (Fall). Every spring we see that hundreds of thousands of species of plants that had withered and died in autumn are resurrected from their dead traces left in the ground.

     

    This proves to the heart that as easily as Allah creates the Spring, He will create the Hashr (the Resurrection) in the afterlife.

     

    "In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

     

    Look, then, to the signs of God’s mercy — how He restores life to the earth after its death — verily He it is Who quickens the dead, for He is powerful over all things." (Quran 30:50)

     

    For further reading on this topic read the 'Tenth Word' of the book 'The Words' by Said Nursi: (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetwordvision(contact admin if its a beneficial link).au/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=45&Itemid=121"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetwordvision(contact admin if its a beneficial link).au/index.php?opt...&Itemid=121[/url]

     

    Selam.


  2. Dear Brother Word Vision,

     

    Thank you for your kind word's and your attempt to help me, may Allah (swt) reward you for the good :sl:

     

    While I agree that disbelief is a SERIOUS crime and one that is carried out either in ignorance and or pride the idea of infinite punishment for it sits heavily with me. Allah (swt) is beyond the need for us to believe in him so I can't fathom why he would punish his creation for ever for something that can neither hurt nor help him? He is also described as al-Rahman al-Rahim. One hadith even mention's that Allah divided His Mercy into seventy parts, and distributed one of those parts in the creation around us. Let us think of all the love in this world; be it between a mother and child, a husband and wife, a brother and sister, be it between animals and their young, be it between friends. All the love amongst these people and in this world comprises just one part out of seventy of Allah's Mercy. Now if my father was a disbeliever or murderer my love for him is that I would not want him to be punished forever. So how can Allah (swt) whose love and mercy is "100x" greater than mine seek to punish his stupid, weak, fallible insignificant creation with an eternity in hell?

     

    :sl:

     

    Brother,

     

    You are quite right when you say that Allah has no need of our belief. Indeed, He has no need of anything whatsoever. But the fact that He has no need of our belief, does not mean He will not punish unbelief, or any other transgression for that matter. For example, He has no need of us to refrain from murder, but will punish the murderer none the less.

     

    You are again right when you refer to Allah's infinite Mercy, Compassion and Love. The love you feel for Allah's creation, including the love you feel for your fellow humans, is a manifestation of this, as Allah gave you the ability to love. Allah's love is pure, divine love. The love we are able to feel and display can not approach the magnitude of Allah's love. But Allah is also the Most Just (Adl). His justice is infinite and based on perfect knowledge. Allah will manifest His infinite Justice, at the same time as His other attributes such as Mercy.

     

    A being can not be considered a God, if He can not demonstrate perfect Justice. Allah is Justice! And He will manifest His perfect justice whenever required. You might disagree with Allah's justice, but you would be absolutely wrong. Allah is indeed Rahman and Rahim and He has stated that He may choose to forgive all sins, with the exception of Shirk. Unbelief is a type of Shirk. Allah has perfect knowledge, and He knows better than us that unbelief is the greatest of evils. It is perfect justice that the unbeliever should remain in Hell for eternity (for reasons I have outlined to you in earlier posts).

     

    But as you say, Allah is also Rahman and Rahim. In His infinite Mercy, He has chosen to allow even the unbelievers to remain in existence in the afterlife. Yes, Allah brought us into existence when we were nothing. If He wanted to, He could annihilate us - remove us from existence. But He has promised that even the worst offender, the worst criminal, will remain in existence in the afterlife. But in keeping with Justice, their abode will be Jahannam. Again in keeping with Justice, Jahannam has infinite levels. The worst offenders will reside in the lower levels, the lesser offenders in the higher levels. So as you can see, Allah's Mercy does extend to even the unbelievers. He does not forsake them, so therefore you should not despair of them.

     

    Brother Pashazada, your compassion for your fellow humans is commendable, may Allah reward you. But I can assure you, come judgment day, the unbelievers you despair for will themselves accept Hell. They will see Allah's manifestations without veil and will understand the gravity of their sins. They will accept their punishment. They will feel absolutely worthy of it - such will be their shame at having denied Allah's existence. Since they will accept their punishment thus, and since they will be thankful to at least continue to exist, you too should accept it. And you should praise Allah for the beauty of His Justice and Mercy.

     

    Selam aleykum.


  3. Yes but he say's he has reserved 99 parts of his mercy till the day of judgement. I have a close friend who is nothing but good however they don't believe in Allah (swt) the thought he would torture them for infinity for a finite crime to me negates the idea or claim of his mercy :sl:

     

    I couldn't hate or want to punish the worst of criminals with an eternity in hell. No one is denying there should be restitution for sin but an eternity!?!

     

    Hence im left with the conclusion Allah (swt) is not as merciful as me stafallah! or that hell and eternal punishment is not as we think and that Allah (swt) will perhaps forgive us all after a time?

     

     

    Some scholars have put forward this view the most important is Ibn Taymiya, but some dispute that he held the view. The next important is his student Ibn al-Qayyim. His book in which he deals with this extensively is Hadi al-Arwah which sadly I can't find in English :sl:

     

    I want to love Allah (swt) with all my heart! but it's hard when I think he will be torturing the people I love :no:

     

    My valuable brother,

     

    You should be commended for your desire to love Allah, as this is the purpose of all our lives. It seems to me that your difficulty here lies in underestimating the seriousness of 'not believing in Allah'. You say for example that your friend does good, apart from disbelieving in Allah. Brother, know that there can be no greater transgression than this. If a person, for example, commits murder and rape, but then does nice deeds like giving charity, can the person be considered good? Obviously not. Well, denying the existence of Allah is an infinitely greater transgression than a murder. You should not downplay this. I'll quote again from the Risale-i Nur on this matter:

     

    A Question

     

    How can incarceration in Hell for an infinite duration in return for unbelief for a short duration be justice?

     

    T h e A n s w e r : Reckoning a year to be three hundred and sixty-five days, the law of justice requires for a one-minute murder seven million eight hundred and eighty-four thousand minutes imprisonment. So, since one minute’s unbelief is like a thousand murders, according to the law of human justice, someone who lives a life of twenty years in unbelief and dies in that state deserves imprisonment for fifty-seven billion, two hundred and one thousand two hundred million years. It may be understood from this how conformable with Divine justice is the verse,

     

    They will dwell therein for ever.(you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetnur(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/en/intro/nurlibrary/m_risale?id=22&page=374#NOTE1"] 1[/url]

     

    The reason for the connection between these two numbers, so far from one another, is this: since murder and unbelief are destruction and aggression, they have an effect on others. A murder which takes one minute negates on average at least fifteen years of the victim’s life, so the murderer is imprisoned in their place. While since one minute of unbelief denies a thousand and one Divine Names and denigrates their inscriptions, violates the rights of the universe and denies its perfections, and gives the lie to innumerable evidences of Divine Unity and rejects their testimony, the unbeliever is cast down to the lowest of the low for more than a thousand years, and “dwells†in imprisonment.

     

    S a i d N u r s i

     

     

     

    Brother, the only way you can cure yourself of this vesvese you are experiencing is to read. Read and come to know your Lord. Then you will, inshallah, see His Majesty and understand what it means to deny Him.

     

    I wish you every success in your studies.

     

    Selam aleykum.


  4. Brother,

     

    It is absolute justice that a person should receive an infinite punishment for what you call a 'finite crime'. We should not be looking to the length of time it takes to commit a crime, but instead, to the magnitude of the crime. It takes me only a few seconds to kill a man, yet I am justly imprisoned for 25 years for the crime. It might take me only a moment to assault a man, but again, I could be sentenced to 12 months 'community service' to repay my debt to society. In most countries, if I assault a someone like a police officer, the punishment is even harsher than if I had assaulted a common man.

     

    Similarly, a person who commits a sin such as denying Allah, in a finite time commits a crime of infinite magnitude. And moreover, he commits this crime against the One who is Most High. Therefore, he deserves an infinite punishment.

     

    From the Tenth Word of the Risale-i Nur by Bediuzzaman Said Nursi:

    Also let nobody ask: “How can one earn eternal torment in the course of a very brief life?” For unbelief seeks to drag creation, something as valuable and exalted as a letter written by Allah, down to the depths of meaninglessness and purposelessness. It is an insult to all being, since it denies and rejects the manifestations and impresses of Allah's Sacred Names that are visible in all being, and it seeks to negate all the infinite proofs that demonstrate the veracity and truthfulness of Allah Almighty. Hence, unbelief is a crime of infinite proportions, deserving of infinite punishment.

     

    See following links for more reading of the Risale-i Nur online:

     

    (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetnur(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/en/intro/nurlibrary/m_risale?id=20&page=74"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetnur(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/en/intro/nurlibrary/m_r...=20&page=74[/url]


  5. Brother,

     

    The Risale-i Nur (available in English online: (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetwordvision(contact admin if its a beneficial link).au/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=45&Itemid=121)"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetwordvision(contact admin if its a beneficial link).au/index.php?opt...amp;Itemid=121)[/url] is highly commendable.

     

    It is a treatise comprising several books. It is a non-classical Tafsir of the Quran, a book on Marifetullah (Attributes of Allah), a book of Tawhid and a book of belief. The Risale-i Nur speaks to not only the reason, but also the heart. It elucidates the reason for the existence of the universe, as well the purpose and duties of Man.

     

    The Risale-i Nur has strengthened my faith and the faith of millions of other readers. It is highly regarded in academic circles (see the following article, as one example: (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetwordvision(contact admin if its a beneficial link).au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=89:the-risale-i-nur-a-revolution-of-belief&catid=44:general-articles&Itemid=55"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetwordvision(contact admin if its a beneficial link).au/index.php?opt...s&Itemid=55[/url]

     

    Parts of the Risale-i Nur, particularly Isaratul Ijaz (Signs of Miraculousness), on the miraculousness of the Quran, are actually on the syllabus at Al Azhar University.

     

    I would recommend you commence reading it from the book known as The Words. The first eleven chapters are quite short and make for a good introduction.

     

    I wish you success in your studies brother.


  6. Yes, the mistake emanated from that article, but is clearly just a typing error. The article even suggests the total number of electrons in the universe 1079. Again, this is clearly meant to mean 10 to the power of 79.

     

    Nobody would suggest that the probability of a protein forming is as little as 1 in 10210. A cursory google search clearly indicates otherwise. So I repeat, the original poster meant 10 to the power of 210. If this figure is correct, the poster is right to say that the probability is virtually zero.


  7. I just can't seem to pinpoint my issue/question. I just hope that I can figure it out in the following year and hopefully I'll live the following year (so that I wouldn't die a non-believer; but then, what if you didn't die a non-believer? should you be thrown in hell? if god created us just to worship him, why not just make it known to us and command us to worship him? we were given a choice? but the correct choice is only one, or else you'll burn in eternal hell?

     

    Brother, your questions are valid and you have every right to seek answers to them. Never consider that you are a Kafir or Unbeliever just because you have these thoughts. A believer is one who believes in Allah and the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him). You have said you accept the Quran, that you find it miraculous. You are believer, no doubt at all.

     

    It seems that there are several questions on your mind. These can generally be categorised as relating to Justice. You rightly assume that Allah ought to be Just, which He is. But if He is Just, why do we see things that seem unjust? The key to understanding this is to know that what seems just to us, may in reality be unjust. What seems unjust to us, may in reality be totally just. Allah is Adl, The Most Just, and His justice is perfect. But human justice is imperfect. It is tainted by self interest and imperfect knowledge.

     

    For example, a judge in court makes a decision on the basis of the evidence available to him. An alleged thief, for example, is tried on the evidence of a certain witness. That witness is somehow discredited in court, so the judge acquits the accused thief. Has he acted justly? Maybe not. The judge can only decide on the basis of what evidence the police can gather. Allah, on the other hand, sees and knows all things, all at once. When He deals justice, He does so on the basis of perfect knowledge of all the relevant matters.

     

    The fact that humans experience pain or suffering in no way means that Allah is unjust. The reasons for human suffering are numerous. Primarily, hardship is a means to knowing and loving our Lord, and a way of building character and maturity. How do we come to love Allah through hardship? When we are sick for example, we wish to be healed. When Allah heals us, we come to know His Name of Shafi (The Healer). If we are aware, as we should be, that Allah is the One who heals us, we then come to love Him. If there was no sickness, we would not understand the value of being well, and would not know Allah's attribute of being The Healer. If there was no cold, we would not understand the value of being warm. And so on.

     

    Remember that Allah has honored us humans with a rank above even the angels. The angels do not experience the hardship that humans do. Through enduring hardship, we come to know our Lord more comprehensively, and become strong and mature. It is a rule in nature, isn't it, that all achievement comes through striving, through enduring difficulty? If you wish to score well in an exam, you must endure hard study. If you wish to get fit, you must endure hard training. Similarly, if you wish to develop good character, you need to endure difficulty.

     

    Allah tell us in many places in the Quran (such as 29:2-3) that we will all be tested. We are tested with illness, poverty, stress, doubt, temptation. Allah wishes for us to pass these tests. When confronted with the temptation to do something forbidden, Allah wishes for us to resist that temptation. It is through the endurance of this kind of difficulty that we gain character. Difficulty should therefore be embraced, not despised.

     

    Brother, I pray that Allah guides and assists you to maintain your faith, and assists you to endure all difficulties. If you would like us to try to answer any other specific questions or doubts you may have, please let us know.

     

    Peace.


  8. You have a point Aviv. But I guess we can rest easy, however, as I'm sure the members of these forums would never involve themselves in anything that would draw the ire of those kinds of agencies. The rules of the forum clearly forbid even discussing, let alone advocating, the sorts of matters in question.

     

    I think the content of these forums is testament to the fact that the vast majority of the world's Muslim are not the kind the people who those agencies would be worried about. And I'm not just referring to the 'T' word. Us Muslims are preoccupied with the afterlife, more so than this life. To those who want to own and control this world, we say, "You have this world. Our wish is to own the Akhirah."

     

    Peace


  9. My friend, before you do anything drastic I was hoping to share some thoughts with you...

     

    The situation with being a part of the Islamic faith is quite unique. There aren't really any official entry or exit procedures, a person simply chooses in their heart and mind to either accept Islam, or reject it. A person accepting it simply has to believe in their heart that there is only one true deity, being Allah (or God in English) and that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was Allah's final messenger. We then proclaim this belief verbally through the shahada, which I'm sure you would have done.

     

    As for exit, this occurs simply when a person truly believes in their heart that either Allah does not exist, or that Muhammad (pbuh) was not the final prophet. There is no official procedure - it is a procedure of the heart.

     

    Having said all that, let me ask you: Do you no longer believe in Allah and the prophethood of Muhammad (pbuh), or is it simply that you are not ready to perform all the practices of Islam? You see, it is belief that makes a person a Muslim, more so than their level of religious adherence. So a person could be a Muslim, without currently performing all their religious obligations. (Of course, they would be well advised to resume these obligatory practices as soon as possible).

     

    So brother, ask yourself whether or not you believe in Allah. Remember, Islam loves and accepts the Jewish tradition, and reveres Moses (peace be upon him). We only say that the final prophet is Muhammad (pbuh). Islam perfects and completes the three Abrahamic faiths. This is Allah's will, and Allah knows us and our needs better than us.

     

    My wife is a convert to Islam also. I know all too well the cultural and social difficulties a convert is faced with. Often, a convert is disappointed not with Islam, but rather, with the Muslims who mis-represent Islam. When a Muslim does not treat a new Muslim with the love and respect they deserve, that new Muslim has every right to be upset and angry. But this anger should not be projected upon the religion itself. Islam demands that we treat our fellow Muslims, and even non-Muslims, with every respect possible.

     

    Brother, if there is anything we can do to assist you, please tell us. There are many members on these forums who I am sure can offer you the support need in your journey on the path of faith. In the meantime, I urge you to maintain your faith, even if you can not maintain the obligatory practices.

     

    Peace.


  10. Since the purpose of the activity and beauty in the universe is so that Allah may behold Himself

     

    This should read:

     

    Since the purpose of the activity and beauty in the universe is so that Allah may behold that beauty Himself...

     

    Estaghfirullah...


  11. I'll have a shot at answering this sister...

     

    The unceasing motion in the universe, from the vibration of particles at the sub-atomic level, to the flight of photons, to the orbit of planets and the rotations of stars, to the expansion of the universe... All these point to the infinite, unceasing Power, Activity, Will, Beauty and Perfection of Allah.

     

    Since the universe is place of manifestation for His Names, and since His Names are enduring and unceasing, their manifestations in the universe will also be unceasing. Allah's infinite Power requires infinite activity, therefore we see unceasing motion and activity in this universe.

     

    Since the purpose of the activity and beauty in the universe is so that Allah may behold Himself, and since He is Enduring and infinite in His Beauty and all of His attributes, He wishes to constantly renew the manifestations of His Beauty in the Universe. A beautiful flower is therefore replaced with a new flower. Stars die, are cleansed from view and are replaced elsewhere by new stars.

     

    But since this life, this universe, is a temporary abode, a finite place, Al Baqi - The Enduring One - will necessarily create a new abode, an infinite place, where His Names will continue to be manifested. That place is the Hereafter.


  12. This is not going to be an easy discussion, wordvision student. The article is long, and has numerous points where I disagree. Let me show you what I mean as briefly as possible:

     

    Of those points, I disagree with the premises: 1, 2, 2.1, 2.11, 2.22, and so obviously I disagree with the conclusions: 2.13, 2.23, and 3

     

    Each one of these points could be a long and detailed thread in and of itself. How would you like to proceed? I am afraid the conclusion to each of these discussions will ultimately be the same as it is now, since both of us are aware of the argument and its counter arguments. Let me know what you want to do and I will do my best to proceed on that.

     

    I think you are right. As with most philosophical issues of this nature, the arguments, counter-arguments and responses to the counter-arguments are all freely obtainable in the literature. I feel that there is little to be gained by simply re-stating these well known points. You will necessarily side with the non-theistic view, while I will naturally take the theistic view 'and ne'er the two shall meet'. In case other readers are interested, I will simply re-post the link which supports my position, as well some additional references.

     

    1. William Lane CRAIG's article on his version of the argument, with responses to counter-arguments:

     

    (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetleaderu(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/truth/3truth11.html"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetleaderu(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/truth/3truth11.html[/url]

     

    2. Islamic Thought on the Existence of God by Cafer YARAN (on Google Books) - Chapter on Kalam Cosmological Argument:

     

    (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_books.google(contact admin if its a beneficial link).au/books?id=aEwG7DHrDAIC&pg=PA165&lpg=PA165&dq=kalam+cosmological+argument+ibn&source=bl&ots=NL8V93fpfH&sig=UeciJ9j_j2zDl0X9Ugln-IVxomA&hl=en&ei=lj7rStqbI9aIkQXizoSKDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=&f=true"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_books.google(contact admin if its a beneficial link).au/books?id=aEwG7D...p;q=&f=true[/url]

     

     

    As a postscript, I might just take this opportunity to mention the deficiencies of the Wikipedia entry on this topic, and of Wiki in general. It should never be thought that the Wiki entry on any given topic represents a comprehensive and unbiased view. The Wiki entry on Kalam, for example, states the various objections to Craig's argument, but doesn't deal as comprehensively with Craig's responses to those objections. While some of the entries on Wiki are fantastic, others, by Wiki's own admission, require quite a bit more work before they come up to scratch. The Kalam entry is a case in point.


  13. Allah razi olsun Multezem abla (May Allah be pleased with you sister Multezem). Thanks for putting this up.

     

    This Second Word nicely encapsulates what Bediuzzaman Said Nursi would refer to as Nazar. Nazar can be roughly translated from Turkish as one's View, Perspective or Worldview. Nursi saw the believer's Nazar - the believer's way of viewing the world - as being the key to happiness in both this life and the next.

     

    Personally, I have found great strength and inexhaustible optimism in applying a believer's Nazar in my life. Such a Nazar has enabled me to see beauty in all things and to maintain hope in all situations. My ability to see the world through the eyes of the second man in Nursi's comparison has saved me from the grimness of unbelief. For this I can only say, "Alhamdulillahi Rabbil Alemeen" (All Praise is due to Allah, Lord of all the worlds).


  14. I didn't get very far on that link. From the summary of the article:

     

    That isn't true, at least not as far as we know. There is no known cause for the decay of radioactive isotopes. You can predict how many will decay on a statistical level, but when or why each individual atom decays is spontaneous and without any known preceding events. I will read the rest of the article, but I did want to report back that I found this to be less than encouraging.

     

    Sad Clown, I really feel that you should read the article. Craig deals with various objections that have been raised by contemporary philosophers to the argument. I've cut and paste an excerpt below. If you really feel that you have something new to offer to the debate, perhaps you should submit it for publication.

     

    At this point, we might find it profitable to consider several objections that might be raised against the argument. First let us consider objections to (2.11). Wallace Matson objects that the premiss must mean that an actually infinite number of things is logically impossible; but it is easy to show that such a collection is logically possible. For example, the series of negative numbers {. . . -3, -2, -1} is an actually infinite collection with no first member.[10] Matson's error here lies in thinking that (2.11) means to assert the logical impossibility of an actually infinite number of things. What the premiss expresses is the real or factual impossibility of an actual infinite. To illustrate the difference between real and logical possibility: there is no logical impossibility in something's coming to exist without a cause, but such a circumstance may well be really or metaphysically impossible. In the same way, (2.11) asserts that the absurdities entailed in the real existence of an actual infinite show that such an existence is metaphysically impossible. Hence, one could grant that in the conceptual realm of mathematics one can, given certain conventions and axioms, speak consistently about infinite sets of numbers, but this in no way implies that an actually infinite number of things is really possible. One might also note that the mathematical school of intuitionism denies that even the number series is actually infinite (they take it to be potentially infinite only), so that appeal to number series as examples of actual infinites is a moot procedure.

     

    The late J.L. Mackie also objected to (2.11), claiming that the absurdities are resolved by noting that for infinite groups the axiom "the whole is greater than its part" does not hold, as it does for finite groups.[11] Similarly, Quentin Smith comments that once we understand that an infinite set has a proper subset which has the same number of members as the set itself, the purportedly absurd situations become "perfectly believable."[12] But to my mind, it is precisely this feature of infinite set theory which, when translated into the realm of the real, yields results which are perfectly incredible, for example, Hilbert's Hotel. Moreover, not all the absurdities stem from infinite set theory's denial of Euclid's axiom: the absurdities illustrated by guests checking out of the hotel stem from the self-contradictory results when the inverse operations of subtraction or division are performed using transfinite numbers. Here the case against an actually infinite collection of things becomes decisive.


  15. I think the problem with your scenario is that it posits an actually infinite period of past time. But as the Kalam Cosmological Argument (adapted by Josh) shows, this is an impossibility. William Lane Craig, a Christian thinker who has recently re-popularized this old Islamic argument, deals with all the recent attempts at rebuttal:

     

    (you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetleaderu(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/truth/3truth11.html"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetleaderu(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/truth/3truth11.html[/url]

     

    In short, an actually infinite period of past time, and an actually infinite number of past events are both impossibilities. (A potentially infinite thing however, is possible, and should not be confused with an actual infinite.)

     

    If you feel that you can prove the existence of an actual infinite, I'm sure Craig would love to hear about it (or maybe not)! Seriously though, the Kalam Argument has the purpose of showing that the universe can not have existed for an actually infinite period of time and that it therefore had a beginning in time. And recent science has tended to support this philosophical view, as Craig points out. The Kalam argument then propounds the necessity of an Uncaused Cause to terminate an infinite regression, as an infinite regression is an impossibility. What the Kalam argument does not necessarily do, is show us who or what the Uncaused Cause is. As Craig suggests however, the argument does at least provide the clue that Uncaused Cause should possess will (see above link).

     

    Peace


  16. But isn't it true that more often than not, it is the strong and healthy of the animals whose needs are met, and precisely because they use their strength and health to secure them? And when they fail, due to weakness or ill health or misfortune, then their needs are not met and they perish or suffer some other calamity.

     

    I am sorry for being so pessimistic. Your recent posts are very encouraging and uplifting, but I can't help doubting their claims. If, instead it is true that these animals are securing their needs through their own efforts (although these efforts are no guarantee to success), then it seems entirely plausible that we really are witnessing blind force and senseless chance. Apologies from your resident ignorant unbeliever and dissolute heedless one ( :sl: no offense actually taken).

     

    The OP (as well a similar post by the same member in another thread) is an excerpt from the Thirty -Third Word of the 'Risale-i Nur' by Said Nursi.

     

    What Nursi is alluding to here is his observation that animals who seem to be endowed with higher intelligence, or greater faculties, need to work harder to obtain their needs. Compare a fox, for example, with a dung beetle.

     

    Often, it is beneficial to read the entirety of a given section of Nursi's writing, in order to best understand his point. Unfortunately, the original poster seemed to neglect to reference the work in a way that would have facilitated this. But I'm sure this was merely an oversight. Thanks to the sister who took the time to start the thread.


  17. Just further to my last point...

     

    Said Nursi points to the faculties we human possess, to demonstrate that we were created for much more than the fulfillment of base desires. We are not designed merely to eat, drink and reproduce. We are much more than just 'self-replicating' organisms. Nursi uses the following comparison. A man has two servants. He gives the first servant 20 gold pieces to buy him a garment, which the servant does. He gives the second servant 1000 gold pieces, together with some instructions on a piece of paper and sends him to conduct some business. Now, if the second servant were to neglect to read the piece of paper and following the first, was to spend the 1000 gold pieces on a single garment, he would be in great error. Since the master had given him 1000 gold pieces, not 20, it is clear that his duty was to conduct business of far greater value than that of the first servant. So, since man is equipped with faculties of enormous value and importance, his duties are not confined to the fulfillment of base desires like an animal. His duties are to think, learn, imagine, dream, have ambition, love, empathise, sympathise, contemplate, reflect, and appreciate. His duty is to offer comprehensive thanks and worship to Allah, on behalf of all creation.


  18. But that meaning is true for me. It is what it means to me. You want an objective meaning, but you find it by choosing the meaning that the author gives it. But why am I bound by that meaning? And in the case where there is no author, clearly I wouldn't be bound by it. I don't know how you can justify this claim that this meaning and not that is what is true. Sometimes we do want to know what the original meaning of something was, and in that case, of course we are asking about the author's intent. But that is the true meaning only once we have limited the parameters of our inquiry to the original meaning. But why is the original meaning the only one allowed? And if other meanings are allowed, meanings found in the interaction between the object and the observer, then why should we say these are less real or untrue? They are as true as the authors intent, in that they exist in that persons perception of the object, even as it existed in the perception of the author.

     

    I agree that a thing could have various meanings. But in the theistic view these are all intended. For example, I look at a snake and am terrified. A zoologist looks at the same snake and feels no fear maybe, but sees wisdom in its camouflage. I am not wrong in saying the snake represents or points to Allah's fearsome Names like Al Qahhar (The Subduer). Nor is the zoologist wrong is saying the snake is representative of Wisdom (Hakim).

     

    In relation to narrowing our frame of reference for valid meanings, I am more than happy to apply a narrow frame if it means restricting the valid meanings to those intended by Allah. Obviously, I am a worshiper of Allah, and I don't care for other meanings. But for a non-theists, I can understand that this would be unnecessarily restrictive. What I say is wholly valid if you're a theist, and invalid if you're not. If the universe is really uncreated, yes, there is no one 'true' meaning, perhaps no objective truth at all. But if there is a God, and He created all things to point to Him and make Him known, then His intended meanings are the ones I seek to discover. As Muslims, and as students of Marifetullah (Knowledge of Allah), whenever we look at anything or any event in the universe, we attempt to discern how these point to Allah, how they describe Him. This process leads to Love of Him.

     

    But what is beauty? I think here there may be a disagreement between us. My view would characterize beauty as a judgment, hence the need for the observed, to be judged, and the observer, to judge. You seem to be advocating a concept of beauty that is inherent in the object, waiting to be discovered.

     

    Thus, I too would not say that it requires the interaction to exist, but rather that it is the interaction.

     

    I am advocating that beauty is reflected in the object. If a beautiful person stands in front of a mirror, the mirror reflects a beautiful image. But the beauty is not in the mirror, it is merely reflected in it. It is not the source of the beauty. In our example here, the source of the beauty is the person standing in front of the mirror. But in reality, we believers see that not even the person is source of the beauty. The person, their aesthetic appearance, their good character and behaviour, are all reflections of Allah's Beauty. Allah is the source.

     

    Why do we say this? For one, beauty definitely exists. Call it a human construct if you will, but the reality is that there is such a concept as beauty. It is non-matter, yet it exists. Its existence, for us believers, points clearly to a Creator of Beauty. We ask, how should beauty emerge by chance from nothingness? Furthermore, things which appear beautiful come and go. Humans are born and die. Life itself comes and goes. A plant grows but eventually dies. Yet beauty itself endures. A beautiful life which dies, or a beautiful inanimate object which is destroyed, is always replaced by other things which reflect beauty. This to us, points to an Enduring Beauty.

     

    There is so much beauty in the world, that it would be a shame not to explore it with all of our faculties, including reason. I look forward to continuing the discussion with you.

     

    A beautiful statement! My friend, you feel yourself a non-theist, yet you perform what we see as the duties of mankind better than many of us believers.

     

    Indeed, faculties like reason are exactly the things which make us human. We are exhorted to utilise them as far as possible to fulfill the purpose of our existence. It is no coincidence that the universe contains remarkable workings, and we have the tools to discover and marvel at those workings. The next step is to see that these workings describe their Wise Maker.


  19. wordVision Student, I have greatly benefited from all the threads you have discussed in and follow them very closely. Honestly my Iman has never been stronger, my thanks goes out to you as well sad clown for your input I have a slightly better understanding of a non-Muslims view on life, its purpose etc.

     

     

    I doubt that people aren't replying due to being uninterested in the discussion, but because any reply would have to be very well thought out and consist of well reasoned, logical thoughts with a deep insight on the matter, an insight that not many of us posses or one that hasn't matured to the same level of understanding as the ones in the posts above.

     

    Or.

     

    Everyone else is in the process of formulating some hectic reply's. Maybe in a few decades or so, I'll have something to say on the matter.

     

    My dear brother Saaabz. Thanks for kind words - you praise me much more than my due. You are humble, yet I see the makings of a leader in you. If you are representative of your generation, the future is bright indeed.

     

    Jazakallahu khair.


  20. Thanks SC for your valliant effort at providing us the Readers Digest version of the philosophical positions, which are otherwise a quagmire!

     

    I tend to side with Josh's view, that what really matters is that we behave as though free when making choices. For me, what's relevant is whether I am accountable for my actions. If I can blame someone or something else for my actions, then I can rest easy. But if not, I had better make sure that I make wise choices. For me, this means acting in accordance with Islam.

     

    Freedom is an interesting question. I guess the thinkers are right to an extent, when they posit that our freedom is limited. Its clear to me that I have the freedom to choose, but then the choices are limited. As Henry Ford said, in relation to his T-Model Ford, "They can have it any colour they want. As long as its black."

     

    This is necessarily so, because I am not the Creator. I am the created. Its not within my capability to create choices, I merely choose. Allah created the universe and the choices. Being All Knowing (Alim), He even knows what choices I will make, ab initio. But I am more than content with all this. Allah has created me, has created my needs, and the means to fulfilling those needs. He clothed me in Existence, when I was nothing. I have no need of any freedom outside of this.


  21. Albert Einstein once said:

     

    “A person's actions were just as determined as those of a billiard ball, planet, or star… Human actions are determined, beyond their control, by physical and psychological laws … Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect as well as for the star.â€

     

    The Islamic view propounded by Said Nursi rejects this deterministic view which implies the absence of free-will. In Nursi's view, it is wrong to see humans as having no free-will, as this would avoid responsibility for actions and render any Divine punishment unjust. Human beings have been given a very limited free-will. Our free-will is limited to making choices, or having a preference. We have no power of our own to actually carry out an action subsequent to making a choice. Once we make the choice, Allah either allows the action to take place, or disallows it. The Power to make things happen belong to Him alone. We can only desire things. But contrary to Einstein's or Spinoza's view, the choices we make are freely made; they are not deterministic.

     

    In Nursi's view, the freedom to choose is wholly reconcilable with Divine Predetermining or Qadar. Qadar is a kind of Divine Knowledge, which is omniscient, all encompassing. Not bound by the constraints of time, Allah knows what the future holds. He sees the past, present and future of the universe all at once. But the fact that Allah knows what choices we will make, or even the fact that He enables those choices to be carried out, in no way absolves us of guilt for wrong-doing. This is because the wrong-doing was freely wanted and desired by us.

     

    Free-will has numerous purposes and benefits. In essence, it is what makes us human. It is what enables us to be examined and what gives us the potential to rise above the Angels in rank. Moreover, it is a tool or device which simultaneously enables us to reflect and know our Creator's Attributes. In relation to the latter, sensing our limited free-will, we can imagine Allah's infinite free-will.

     

    Sad Clown, I'm certain you'll have some thought provoking questions. I'll look forward to them...


  22. It only lacks the meaning that a creator would give it. I am free to supply my own meaning as the observer.

     

    Ah, but that meaning is everything! It is the true meaning. Any meaning which I arbitrarily ascribe to something can not be compared in beauty to the true meaning intended by its creator. I look at a supercomputer and say, "this was made for playing Pac Man - its meaning is Amusement or Fun." But its creator tells me, "it was made for performing super complex calculations in order to determine events which occurred at the sub-atomic level just subsequent to Planck time. And this is so that humanity can better understand the universe. Its meaning is Knowledge". Our objective is to find the true meaning of the things in the universe. Of course, if we don't believe in Allah, the true meanings may be lost on us.

     

     

    So, I think these atheists who say there is no beauty in the world are in a sense correct, but only in a very sad and impoverished sense. There is no beauty out there if all you consider is the object. Rather, beauty is always a synthesis of the observed and the observer. It is found not in the observed, nor in the observer, but rather in the observation, that is, in the interaction between the two. There is beauty, it is a force of nature, both without and within us, and your atheistic empirical objectivist can deny this only by denying his own humanity and all the richness of the human experience.

     

    Yes, the object is not the source of the beauty. And when you say that beauty is in the interaction between the observed and the observer, I do agree with you - but only in the sense that the beauty requires that interaction to be seen by us. But it does not require the interaction to exist. The interaction is not the source of the beauty, nor is the object observed.

     

    Indeed, a very interesting issue arises here. If beauty is non-matter, yet still exists, what is its source? Where is it coming from? What is the source of all non-matter things? What is the source of life, love, compassion, Dark Energy, Dark Matter? Nursi sees all of these, which in fact represent the vast majority of all existence, as being sourced from particular Divine Names. Life for example, is sourced from the Name Al-Hayy (The Ever-Living). And the meaning of Life is to manifest and point to this Name, thereby making known the Creator, Allah. In the same vein, things which appear beautiful are merely mirrors reflecting Allah's Beauty. But moreover, they are meaningful words describing and making known their Creator.

     

    Nursi says, "The physical world is but a lace veil strewn over the irradiating worlds of the Unseen." One these worlds is the world (or realm) of Meanings. The meanings are intended, not arbitrary, and exist to make known and loved the Creator.

     

    Thanks Sad Clown for your always insightful input into this discussion. Unfortunately, I seem to have been unable to interest anyone else in offering their view on the Meaning of Life! Anyway, I hope this discussion has benefited anyone who may have stumbled upon it - I know I have. From now, I hope to honour my commitment to SC to start a thread on 'free-will'. Stay tuned...

     

    The Enduring One, He is the Enduring One![using large font size is not allowed]


  23. Well of course its value as a wisely crafted work of art is diminished, because if it was chance it wouldn't be a wisely crafted work of art. But that doesn't make it any less beautiful or awe inspiring, which was my point.

     

    I'm pleased that you acknowledge the beauty in things. Some non-theists have told me that they see no beauty in things, that even 'consciousness' is nothing special. Of course, most would take the view that beauty can not come from chance processes. I suspect that this is why the non-theists in question have been forced to resort to such an indefensible view as denying all beauty.

     

    But your view seems to differ from all this. It seems that you feel beauty can arise through chance. Obviously, I don't agree with you, but I'm not here to argue the point. Instead, I wish to point out Nursi's view that if a given thing is the result of chance, it can never be as beautiful as something created purposely, simply because it lacks the meaningfulness of created things. Things in the universe, when viewed as missives describing their Maker, become beautifully meaningful. For example, a rain cloud expresses a certain meaning. It was not created just to give rain, it was primarily created to act as a meaningful book describing the Attributes of the Creator, such as Mercy, Compassion, Bestowal. In other words, it was created to enable us to know our Lord, which is the purpose of our creation. The cloud's value and beauty therefore, is in its possessing these meanings. Its other aspects of beauty, such as its appearance and functionality, are merely secondary.

     

    Peace.

     

    Baqi, antal Baqi! The Enduring One, He is the Enduring One!

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