Jump to content
Islamic Forum
EasternQibla

I Never Thought I'd Post Here ...

Recommended Posts

Due to certain recent mentions of the hadith, I started to read all of the Sahih Bukhari. I've read from books 1 to 62, and 93. There was a mention of the Negus, the king of Ethiopia who accepted Islam. Previously, I had written the following:

 

the King of Ethiopia put a paper copy of Islamic teaching on Jesus beneath his shirt and told his people, when touching this paper, that this is what he believed. The people thought he meant Christian teachings, but he deceptively referred to Islamic teaching.

 

However, I began to explore more his conversion and I said the Shahadah sincerely. This is how my reasoning went:

 

Muhammad sent a letter to the Negus (see (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 yetmyspace(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/m.grontka/blog/527023627"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetmyspace(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/m.grontka/blog/527023627[/url] ):

 

"In the name of Allah, the All-merciful, the Compassionate - From Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah to the Negus, the King of Abyssinia - I convey to you the praises of Allah the King, the Holy, the Accepter of Faith, the Guardian. I furthermore bear witness that Jesus son of Mary is the Spirit of Allah and His Word, which He sent down to Mary, the pure and chaste virgin who then conceived Jesus, whom Allah created of His Spirit which he breathed into him - just as he created Adam with His Hand and breathed of His Spirit into him. I thus call you to the worship of the One and only Allah alone Who has no associate, and that you obey Him, follow me and believe in me and the message which was vouchsafed me. For I indeed am the Messenger of Allah. I have, moreover, sent to you my cousin Ja'far with a company of the Muslims. When they come to you, show hospitality to them and do not be arrogant. I call you and your hosts to Allah! I have conveyed my message to you and given good counsel. Peace be with those who follow true guidance."

 

I understand this correspondence in exactly the same way as Negus would have understood it, from the point of view of the Orthodox Christian Faith:

 

Regarding the phrase, "Jesus son of Mary is the Spirit of Allah and His Word, which He sent down to Mary, the pure and chaste virgin who then conceived Jesus, whom Allah created of His Spirit which he breathed into him - just as he created Adam with His Hand and breathed of His Spirit into him.":

  1. Calling Jesus the 'Spirit' does sound a bit strange to modern Christian ears, but there were many ways of describing Christian beliefs before certain controversies made them unsuitable due to the possibility of being falsely interpreted. There are places where Jesus is called the Spirit. Such interpretations are not wrong if they are correctly interpreted in the light of the clarification of the later Fathers of the Church.
     
  2. "His Word, which He sent down to Mary": to any Christian this can only mean that 'who Jesus was' existed before all eternity as God's uncreated Word, although his body was created in the womb, as described next. I personally like to clarify the term 'Word' by making reference to the Preserved Tablet which some Muslims believe to be uncreated. It is this symbolic (not physical) Preserved Tablet which became flesh inside the Virgin Mary, without moving itself, without addition to reduction to itself, in a way known to Allaah alone: Allaah knows best.
     
  3. "Jesus, whom Allah created of His Spirit which he breathed into him - just as he created Adam with His Hand and breathed of His Spirit into him": the human body, human soul, and human spirit of Jesus were created in Mary's womb as described here, and St Irenaeus (2nd century) states that the 'virgin (untilled) earth' was for the creation of Adam and the Virgin Mary for the creation of Christ's body, who is therefore the 'second Adam' who leads us into the uncreated Light of Allaah from which the first Adam sinned and caused us all to leave paradise.

"I thus call you to the worship of the One and only Allah alone Who has no associate, and that you obey Him, follow me and believe in me and the message which was vouchsafed me. For I indeed am the Messenger of Allah." We do indeed worship one indivisible Allaah – who cannot be divided into 'thirds of three' – and there is no associate in this sole worship of Allaah. We can say that Allaah has the uncreated Preserved Tablet, but there are not two uncreated elements – Allaah and the Tablet – but only one, for Allaah is our only Creator who is therefore alone uncreated. This is a mystery to us, known in the Vision of the Light of Allaah.

 

I accept Muhammad's prophethood as the Negus would have understood it: a missionary man with general inspiration from Allaah seeking to turn people away from idolatry. Muhammad was not a baptised Christian, but with clear pro-Christian leanings as to make him align himself with us (see what I wrote about (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 yetgawaher(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/index.php?showtopic=736859&st=20&p=1246954&hl=ephesusentry1246954"] the Companions of the Cave ('al-Kahf') being Christians (page 2 post #26 of that topic)[/url]

 

 

The Negus then wrote in answer to the Messenger of Allah:

 

"In the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Compassionate - To Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah - from the Negus al-Ashamah ibn Abhar. Peace be upon you O Prophet of Allah and Allah's mercy and blessings - There is no god but He Who guided me to Islam. I have received your letter, O Messenger of Allah, concerning the importance you give in the case of Jesus. By the Lord of the Heaven and Earth, Jesus does not exceed what you have mentioned concerning him. We acknowledge what you have written to us, and have thus shown hospitality to your cousin and Companions. I bear witness that you are the Messenger of Allah truly and that you tell the truth. I have, therefore, given allegiance (bay'ah ) to you and your cousin. I have accepted Islam to Allah, the Lord of all beings at his hands. I have sent to you, O Messenger of Allah, Arijan ibn Ashamah ibn Abhar, I have indeed no authority except over myself alone. If, therefore, you wish that I come to you, I would come, O Messenger of Allah. For I bear witness that what you say is the truth."

 

"There is no god but He Who guided me to Islam. … I bear witness that you are the Messenger of Allah truly and that you tell the truth. I have, therefore, given allegiance to you and your cousin. I have accepted Islam to Allah": Islaam is merely a word meaning 'submission', and is used of Jesus' disciples in the Quran. It is only later that it is used as a separate religion against Christianity.

 

Therefore a few days ago, before an icon of Mary and Jesus, while making the sign of the Cross, I confessed that:

 

"There is no God but Allaah, and Muhammad is his messenger" (prophet or apostle)

 

Admittedly, this is not a creedal statement, but merely a statement I can agree with. Muhammad was inspired of God in a general sense because Muhammad wished to convert the idolaters away from idolatry to the belief in one God. As such, God would have cooperated with him, "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him." (2 Chronicles 16:9)

 

He was clearly a pro-Christian monotheist, even if he was never baptised. As such, like the Negus, I have not changed my Christian Orthodox Faith at all, with the exception that I can adjust terminology to suit the new situation (e.g. not use the title 'Son of God', but replacing it with the nearly equivalent 'Preserved Tablet': note the Negus was never told to renounce this claim, "Jesus does not exceed what you have mentioned concerning him" in his mind would refer to many strange beliefs still around concerning Jesus).

 

However, I do not think it fair to change my forum religious affiliation (from 'Christian' to 'Muslim'; personally if questioned I would say that I am an 'al-Kahf Muslim', as they were Christians as I still am). You probably have many reservations about this, but you can think of it as a step in the right direction if you like!

 

Richard

:sl:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PropellerAds

It is good to hear you are expanding your knowledge in Islam by also reading the hadiths. It is very commendable the amount of hadiths you have read. Am a little confused at what you believe now - do you still believe in the trinity?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Good question.

 

Muhammad was not pro-Christian. He was pro-his version of Jesus.

 

And what was his version of Jesus in your point of view ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
However, I do not think it fair to change my forum religious affiliation (from 'Christian' to 'Muslim'; personally if questioned I would say that I am an 'al-Kahf Muslim', as they were Christians as I still am). You probably have many reservations about this, but you can think of it as a step in the right direction if you like!

 

Richard

:sl:

 

Great job there :sl: and I would exactly agree on a step in the right direction indeed :no: keep it up !!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"There is no God but Allaah, and Muhammad is his messenger" (prophet or apostle)

 

Just so people don't get confused: do you accept that Jesus son of Mary (peace be upon him) is not God, and that he is a Messenger of God like the Messengers that come before him?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just so people don't get confused: do you accept that Jesus son of Mary (peace be upon him) is not God, and that he is a Messenger of God like the Messengers that come before him?

 

I too desire that there is no confusion, hence I wrote:

As such, like the Negus, I have not changed my Christian Orthodox Faith at all, with the exception that I can adjust terminology to suit the new situation

 

"do you accept that Jesus son of Mary (peace be upon him) is not God": It is blasphemous to say that God or Allaah has a body or is contained in his own creation. Allaah is beyond all comprehension. I accept what the Negus was told:

 

I furthermore bear witness that Jesus son of Mary is the Spirit of Allah and His Word, which He sent down to Mary, the pure and chaste virgin who then conceived Jesus, whom Allah created of His Spirit which he breathed into him - just as he created Adam with His Hand and breathed of His Spirit into him.

 

Some might want to clarify Jesus being "His Word, which He sent down to Mary" by saying that Allaah's Word is uncreated which implies the title of God to be used of this same Word. To what extent this can be then applied to Jesus is then another matter. But to say that God ceased being above all creation and became limited in a human body - Christ's or any other's - is plain wrong.

 

 

"he is a Messenger of God like the Messengers that come before him": no, most definitely not. According to what the Negus was told Jesus is Allaah's Word which he sent down to Mary. No other messenger is spoken of like this. Then again, if you mean that he had the same human nature as the messengers - and indeed, the rest of humanity - then of course he did.

 

Peace,

 

Richard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Am a little confused at what you believe now - do you still believe in the trinity?

 

Elsewhere I have already denounced what people understand by the word 'trinity' as 'Harmonious Tri-theism'. How's this for an example (from an Anglican booklet):

 

Pray to the ‘person’ of the Trinity whom you do know, thank him for your knowledge of him, repent of your unwillingness to grow in your experience of God, and ask him to reveal more of his own character and nature, and also to reveal the other ‘persons’ of the Trinity to you. … Try extending your prayer-life by praying to the ‘persons’ of the Trinity whom you do not normally address.

 

This is utter sentimental rubbish: "his own character and nature", "to reveal the other ‘persons’ of the Trinity" – well so much for being united! These 'persons' may well get along well, but this is a belief in three separate gods while denying the term 'three gods'.

 

We know about His Word which he sent to Mary, and also from the houri will shine "Light from the Light of God" (Tafsir al-Tustari on 78:34). Here there are no three gods or persons even. And certainly not a man with a long beard, nor part of Allaah leaving Allaah and entering into Jesus's body, nor a dove.

 

Nevertheless, as I said above, I have not changed my beliefs. The West changed the ancient beliefs while keeping the same terminology, so that it appears that I agree with such nonsense. As such, I am more than happy to leave such terminology behind.

 

I will be clear: if someone came to me in my church and asked if I believed in the Trinity or Jesus is God then I would reply yes, but only because I can be fairly confident that I will not be misunderstood. Here, I have absolute confidence that I am capable of being totally misunderstood and so try to be very careful with what and how I write.

 

I am on a journey of discovery …

 

Richard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Meh, it's a nice try, but I just don't see it happening. Even if you can pull it off, it's just deceptive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"he is a Messenger of God like the Messengers that come before him": no, most definitely not. According to what the Negus was told Jesus is Allaah's Word which he sent down to Mary. No other messenger is spoken of like this. Then again, if you mean that he had the same human nature as the messengers - and indeed, the rest of humanity - then of course he did.

 

The context of the words was the Messengerhood of Jesus. A Messenger serves a specific role: he conveys the message of Allah to people and brings them new laws and commandments from Allah.

 

As a MESSENGER, prophet Isa had the same role as all Messengers before him. So yes, he is a Messenger just like those who had come before him.

 

Salam.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't really get it and it seems a little hypocritical but maybe I don't understand it right....you don't believe in the trinity but you still go to church where the trinity is a core belief.

 

At least you have seen that Jesus pbuh was just a messenger of Allah and Allah knows what is in your heart.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Might I clarify one thing. "The Spirit of Allah" does not mean that the spirit was part of Allah, just as Baytullah "House of Allah" doesn't mean the house is part of Allah. It is a sign of possession; it means that the spirit (soul) of prophet Isa belongs to Allah and was breathed into him.

 

Salam.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't really get it and it seems a little hypocritical but maybe I don't understand it right....you don't believe in the trinity but you still go to church where the trinity is a core belief.

 

At least you have seen that Jesus pbuh was just a messenger of Allah and Allah knows what is in your heart.

No, I am confident he does believe in the Trinity when correctly defined. He is rejecting what he views as improper conceptions of the Trinity, which he calls tri-theism. He is still a Christian, he is simply finding a way to express his Christian faith and identity that fits within the words of the quoted letter from Muhammad to the Ethiopian king, something I think he is claiming the King himself did as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As a MESSENGER, prophet Isa had the same role as all Messengers before him. So yes, he is a Messenger just like those who had come before him.

 

In effect, yes, as a messenger. Although I do not accept that a messenger brought new laws or commandments. David is a messenger, but he brought no new laws or commandments. Jesus was, of course, the Word of Allaah and as such more than a just a messenger.

 

And what was his version of Jesus in your point of view ?

 

The Quran mentions the Companions of the Cave. It is vital that my understanding of this is grasped. I made reference to a post I had previously made concerning them (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 yetgawaher(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/index.php?showtopic=736859&st=20&p=1246954&hl=ephesusentry1246954"](see here page 2 post #26)[/url], wherein I quoted:

 

“Truthfully, we are Christian believersâ€. The gathering said: “We are all like you, and even the king believes in god tooâ€.

...

(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 yetamrkhaled(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/articles/articles3270.html"]Source[/url]

 

Additionally, ibn Kathir mentions his name (other Islamic sources too confirm his Islaam but give a different name):

 

the king greeted them and embraced them. Apparently he was a Muslim, and his name was Tedosis.

 

(you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_abdurrahman(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/qurantafseer/ibnkathir/ibnkathir_web/18.30063.html"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_abdurrahman(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/qurantafseer/ibnkat...b/18.30063.html[/url]

Surah No.18

How the People of the City came to know about Them; building a Memorial over the Cave

 

'Tedosis' is Theodosius II, Byzantine (Roman) Emperor from 408 to 450 (Wikipedia). I, and the Negus, have the same faith as he did (with probably a minor quibble or two).

 

This is how I was able to state that Muhammad (God rest his soul) is a prophet of God, which I truly accept. To what extent I accept the religion today called Islaam is another matter. This is why I wrote in post #1, "I do not think it fair to change my forum religious affiliation".

 

Richard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't really get it and it seems a little hypocritical but maybe I don't understand it right....you don't believe in the trinity but you still go to church where the trinity is a core belief.

 

At least you have seen that Jesus pbuh was just a messenger of Allah and Allah knows what is in your heart.

 

Dear 'Lost_In_Paradise',

 

I wrote:

 

"His Word, which He sent down to Mary": to any Christian this can only mean that 'who Jesus was' existed before all eternity as God's uncreated Word, although his body was created in the womb, as described next. I personally like to clarify the term 'Word' by making reference to the Preserved Tablet which some Muslims believe to be uncreated. It is this symbolic (not physical) Preserved Tablet which became flesh inside the Virgin Mary, without moving itself, without addition to reduction to itself, in a way known to Allaah alone: Allaah knows best.

 

" 'who Jesus was' existed before all eternity as God's uncreated Word, although his body was created in the womb": The Negus would have believed this, as I do. If I were to give the impression that Jesus was just a messenger, that would be deceptive. I have been absolutely clear that this is not the case. I am merely trying to state my – and the Negus' – beliefs within the framework of Islamic terminology. Why? Because the Negus accepted the prophethood of Muhammad (God rest his soul) without being told to reject anything, as shown in the letter from Muhammad (God rest his soul) to him.

 

No, I am confident he does believe in the Trinity when correctly defined. He is rejecting what he views as improper conceptions of the Trinity, which he calls tri-theism. He is still a Christian, he is simply finding a way to express his Christian faith and identity that fits within the words of the quoted letter from Muhammad to the Ethiopian king, something I think he is claiming the King himself did as well.

 

And I confirmed this:

 

if questioned I would say that I am an 'al-Kahf Muslim', as they were Christians as I still am

 

The Companions of the Cave are called Muslims, yet they are as I am "Christians as I still am". I therefore refer to them as 'al-Kahf Muslims'. But I do accept that there is no god but Allaah and Muhammad is his messenger, when seen through the eyes of the Negus.

 

Richard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
He is still a Christian, he is simply finding a way to express his Christian faith and identity that fits within the words of the quoted letter from Muhammad to the Ethiopian king, something I think he is claiming the King himself did as well.

 

"something I think he is claiming the King himself did as well": No, I do not think that the king did needed to express his faith in ways which Muslims could accept. It was the Muslims who expressed their faith in a way which he could accept. They knew he believed that Jesus could be called the 'Son of God', and they never asked him to change.

 

Might I clarify one thing. "The Spirit of Allah" does not mean that the spirit was part of Allah, just as Baytullah "House of Allah" doesn't mean the house is part of Allah. It is a sign of possession; it means that the spirit (soul) of prophet Isa belongs to Allah and was breathed into him.

 

Salam.

 

Yes, I know this is what Muslims believe today, but you cannot show that this is how the Negus accepted it. There is a hadith which states:

 

I heard two sayings: one from the Prophet and one from the Negus. I heard the Prophet saying, "Look at the Quraysh and accept some of their words, but refrain from their deeds". And I sat with the Negus when his son came home from school (al-kuttdb) and recited a verse from the Gospel which I knew (var.: which I understood). I laughed, but the Negus said, "At what do you laugh? At the Book of God? By God, among God's revelations to Jesus, son of Mary, are these words, 'The curse will lie on the earth when its rulers are small boys'".

 

Kb. 15: A.b.H. — Abu Nasr — Abu Sa'Id Muhammad ibn Muslim ibn abl Waddah (TT 1x1735) - Isma'H ibn abl Khalid (TT 1:542; Kufan) and al-Mujalid ibn Sa'Id (TT x:6}; Kufan) — 'Amir al-Sha'bi (TT v:no; Kufan) — 'Amir ibn Shahr (TT v:ii2; Kufan)

where TT = Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalanl, Tabdbib al-tabdbib (Hyderabad 1325)

from page 12 (208) "Some Early Islamic Texts On The

Negus Of Abyssinia"

(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 yetuni-marburg.de/cnms/arabistik/team/raven/Abyssinia"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetuni-marburg.de/cnms/arabistik/t...raven/Abyssinia[/url]

 

Here the Negus still accepts the Gospel as the Book of God (and then quotes words of Jesus from other sources; there were such lists). Note that the book of the four gospels is called in the Orthodox Church simply 'The Gospel' (and the rest of the New Testament is called 'The Apostle'). As such, his interpretation of Spirit and Word of Allaah are still the Orthodox Christian interpretations.

 

Meh, it's a nice try, but I just don't see it happening. Even if you can pull it off, it's just deceptive.

 

Deceptive is the Muslims seeking refuge trying to claim the same beliefs as the Negus while willingly knowing it to be false. Deceptive is calling Jesus the "word of Allaah which He sent into Mary", when thinking that Jesus is not actually the word of Allaah at all but just created by the word. This is the traditional Islamic view, which I realised might not be true. Hence I interpret the 'conversion' of the Negus from his point of view, and assume that the Muslims knew exactly what was going on with all honesty. The Arabian polytheists had to forget all references to the term sons/daughters of God due to any possible misunderstanding. The Negus was not included in this, but had he come to Arabia to be with Muhammad (God rest his soul) he would have modified his terminology to fit in so as not to mislead the polytheists, with everyone knowing what was going on.

 

It's a new angle on the sterile debate of "Christians versus Muslims". I could just throw here quotations from anti-Islamic web sites to be countered by quotations from anti-Christian web sites. I am actually trying to move forward. Originality is not deception. I made the sign of the cross while saying the Shahadah – true, this is original – but it shows I meant it.

 

Peace,

 

Richard

 

PS. It is vital to understand my readings of Bukhari, and so I will start new topics now to discuss.

:sl:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Assalamo alaikum brother Richard

 

I confessed that:

"There is no God but Allaah, and Muhammad is his messenger"

if you mean that he (Jesus) had the same human nature as the messengers - and indeed, the rest of humanity - then of course he did.

 

That makes you officially a Muslim. Congratulations brother.

I'm very happy for you, for Allah has guided you to Islam.

I'm glad that you see the truth of prophet Jesus, whom we all Muslims love dearly. I hope also that you realize that he is not dead, but alive with Allah Al-Mighty.

 

May Allah The All-Merciful always guide you to the true path, amen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"something I think he is claiming the King himself did as well": No, I do not think that the king did needed to express his faith in ways which Muslims could accept. It was the Muslims who expressed their faith in a way which he could accept. They knew he believed that Jesus could be called the 'Son of God', and they never asked him to change.

That changes the scenario quite a bit. I'm still having a difficult time seeing that this is what is going on, but at least it isn't an attempt to be deceptive. Instead it is an effort at accommodation by both parties.

 

Deceptive is the Muslims seeking refuge trying to claim the same beliefs as the Negus while willingly knowing it to be false. Deceptive is calling Jesus the "word of Allaah which He sent into Mary", when thinking that Jesus is not actually the word of Allaah at all but just created by the word. This is the traditional Islamic view, which I realised might not be true. Hence I interpret the 'conversion' of the Negus from his point of view, and assume that the Muslims knew exactly what was going on with all honesty. The Arabian polytheists had to forget all references to the term sons/daughters of God due to any possible misunderstanding. The Negus was not included in this, but had he come to Arabia to be with Muhammad (God rest his soul) he would have modified his terminology to fit in so as not to mislead the polytheists, with everyone knowing what was going on.

Again, if your scenario is the correct interpretation of this exchange, then I wouldn't lay deception at the feet of any party. Rather, there is an effort to accommodate one another in an environment in which the Christian's traditional language was ill suited for the propagation of monotheism in Arabia at the time.

 

It's a new angle on the sterile debate of "Christians versus Muslims". I could just throw here quotations from anti-Islamic web sites to be countered by quotations from anti-Christian web sites. I am actually trying to move forward. Originality is not deception. I made the sign of the cross while saying the Shahadah – true, this is original – but it shows I meant it.

No, I am all for originality and discovering points of accord rather than retreading old positions of conflict. I merely misunderstood what it was you were trying to do. I would like to see if Muslims can accept your interpretation of this exchange as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Companions of the Cave are called Muslims, yet they are as I am "Christians as I still am". I therefore refer to them as 'al-Kahf Muslims'. But I do accept that there is no god but Allaah and Muhammad is his messenger, when seen through the eyes of the Negus.

I would like to hear more about your acceptance of Muhammad as a prophet while retaining your Christianity. Given my improved understanding of your position, this would seem to me to be the only real sticking point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would like to hear more about your acceptance of Muhammad as a prophet while retaining your Christianity. Given my improved understanding of your position, this would seem to me to be the only real sticking point.

 

Why bother? You wont get a straight answer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Why bother? You wont get a straight answer.

I don't know that. I believe he was sincere about the other element, that there is no God but Allah. Any Christian could say this based on both the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 6:4 "Hear, O israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one") or the New Testament (Ephesians 4:6 "one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all"), so why not grant him the benefit of the doubt about the other element. Just because I can't imagine how this would be done by a Christian doesn't mean it can't be. This is why I want to hear from him how he thinks he manages it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would like to hear more about your acceptance of Muhammad as a prophet while retaining your Christianity. Given my improved understanding of your position, this would seem to me to be the only real sticking point.

Thank you for asking.

 

To put it simply, there were these steps:

 

1) A realisation that the Kaaba was indeed accepted by Christians as a place of worship associated with Abraham before Muhammad (God rest his soul), as opposed to belonging to Islam alone. This is a start of breaking down barriers.

 

2) Better knowledge of the religious environment at the time of Muhammad (God rest his soul)

 

3) My interpretation of what I had read in Sahih Bukhari

 

4) My emotional attachment to Muhammad (God rest his soul)

 

I shall give details later.

 

Richard

:sl:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Kaaba

 

Since learning something about Islaam about 20 years ago, I had always been disturbed by the references to Arabia in the Bible. I always in my mind made a note of saying that Mount Sinai is thousands of miles away from Mecca. However, a good theological acquaintance of mine published a book (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 yetmargaretbarker(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/Publications/Christmas.htm"]"Christmas. The Original Story"[/url] which talked about the Quran's version of Christ's nativity, and how it all fitted in with the symbolism of King Solomon's Temple.

 

Later, when I visited her, she described how the Kaaba was almost the same dimensions as the Holy of Holies in Solomon's temple (20 cubits cubed=approx 10 metres cubed; Kaaba 13.1 m high, sides 11.03 m by 12.86 m, Wikipedia). Given that it has been destroyed many times, it is easily probable that it was built as an imitation of Solomon's Temple (or vice-versa, whichever way you look at it).

 

Now there were many Jewish priests who rejected Josiah's reforms (about 622BC) and "What they took with them to Arabia must have been the faith of the first temple, the religion Josiah had sought to purge" (full quotation (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 yetgawaher(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/index.php?s=&showtopic=735926&view=findpost&p=1252848"]in this post[/url]). In other words, some or all of the references in the Quran to the Biblical era must have come from those priests all those years ago. (It is vital to realise that such Jews were against Rabbinic Judaism, which to them must have been an invention based on Josiah's reforms. The Jews of the Dead Sea Scroll were similar, as were the Jewish Christians …)

 

Indeed, realising that such rich Jewish traditions could be found amongst Arabic (and so now Islamic) traditions caused me to start reading about Islaam again, and I joined this forum. I mentioned here how the 'Light Verse' contained (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 yetgawaher(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/index.php?s=&showtopic=736985&view=findpost&p=1244776"]very ancient symbolism about the holy anointing oil[/url] which had been lost during Josiah's reforms, how the Bismillah was very plausibly (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 yetgawaher(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/index.php?s=&showtopic=736985&view=findpost&p=1244776"]a reference to Yahweh[/url], and how the Quran links in with the ancient Jewish way of describing the Temple/tabernacle by means of the (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 yetgawaher(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/index.php?s=&showtopic=737413&view=findpost&p=1247520"]creation narratives[/url].

 

For example, Tafsīr al-Jalālayn on [3:96] states:

 

When they said, ‘Our direction of prayer (qibla) came before yours’, the following was revealed: The first house, for worship, established for the people, on earth, was that at Bakka (a variant of Makka [Mecca], so called because it ‘crushes’ [tabukku] the necks of tyrants); it was built by the angels before the creation of Adam, and after it the Aqsā [in Jerusalem] was built, a period of forty years separating them, as reported in the hadīth of the two Sahīhs [sc. of al-Bukhārī and Muslim], and in the hadīth [that states]: ‘The first thing to appear on the surface of the water, at the creation of the heavens and the earth, was a white foam, underneath which the earth was unrolled’; a blessed place (mubārakan, a circumstantial qualifier referring to la’lladhī, ‘that’) meaning a place of blessings, and a guidance to all worlds, because it is their qibla.

 

Now the creation stories are really talking about the temple or tabernacle (e.g. the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple by the Babylonians in 586BC is described like "the waters of Noah" (Isaiah 54:9), and when we read carefully the texts dealing with both Noah's flood and israelite history we can find parallels). So saying the Kaaba was built by angels means the word angels has to be interpreted. The priests are called 'angels': "For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge, And people should seek the law from his mouth; For he is the messenger ['angel'] of the LORD of hosts" (Malachi 2:7), and the letters in the book of Revelation are addressed "To the angel of the church in …" (Revelation 2:1, etc).

 

So the Kaaba being built by angels means that the priests ('angels') when they left Jerusalem and came to Arabia built (or re-built) it, with similar dimensions to the Holy of Holies in Solomon's Temple. As the rebuilding of the Jerusalem Temple was finished in 516BC, and it is stated that the Kaaba was built 40 years before it, then the Kaaba would have been built (rebuilt?) in around 556BC. The priests who left Jerusalem brought with them to Arabia "the faith of the first temple, the religion Josiah had sought to purge" (quoted above); this was the faith of Abraham, to which the israelites had added idolatry, and then Josiah removed the lot (including the images made by Solomon). Rabbinical Judaism then cannot see beyond Josiah to go back to the faith of Abraham.

 

The Kaaba was built 'before the creation of Adam'. Adam refers to the high priest, for the prophet Ezekiel symbolically describes someone as being "in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone [was] your covering: The sardius, topaz, and diamond, Beryl, onyx, and jasper, Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold"; these precious stones are a description of the priestly garment (compare Exodus 28:17-20 and Ezekiel 28:13, the Qiraat behind the Greek translation of Ezekiel has all 12 stones listed here). So the creation of Adam here refers to his vision of the Light of Allaah: "the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being." (Genesis 2:7). The actions in the temple and the vision of the Light of Allaah were passed on in such stories. For example, the floor of the temple was "overlaid with gold" (1Kings 6:30), and it is symbolically from gold dust (see the symbolism of Job 28:6) that Adam was made, for the gold represents the Light of Allaah 'the breath of life' shining from Adam, who was therefore made like the angels (the cherubim are called "living creatures" in Ezekiel 1:13).

 

And it is believed to be the first place of at-taubah or repentance, done by Adam after being sent down from the Paradise. It is said Adam put his head on the ground in the same location where the Kabah is situated today.

(you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_islamnewsroom(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/news-we-need/1729-what-is-in-the-kabah-really"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_islamnewsroom(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/news-we-need/1729...he-kabah-really[/url]

This fits in well with the idea that the Jewish priests fleeing Jerusalem built the Kaaba. For Adam represents the high priest, who would have repented for his sins and the sins of the people. And the place where he did is now called the Kaaba.

 

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The Black Stone came down from Paradise.â€

 

(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 877; al-Nasaa’i, 2935. The hadeeth was classed as saheeh by al-Tirmidhi).

(you are not allowed to post links yet)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_islamqa.info/en/ref/1902"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_islamqa.info/en/ref/1902[/url]

The main area of the temple represented paradise or earth, the Holy of Holies represented heaven. To say that the Black Stone came from Paradise or heaven is to imply that the Jewish Priests took a stone with them to the Kaaba from Jerusalem after its temple was destroyed: "There were established rituals for building a new temple: a stone was removed from the old building and incorporated into the new, and there were laments and weeping until the new building was completed" ( (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 yetmargaretbarker(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/Papers/TheNewchurch.pdf"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetmargaretbarker(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/Papers/TheNewchurch.pdf[/url] page 14). (Also, Tafsir al-Jalalayn on 2:248 states that the Ark of the Covenant was sent down by God to Adam; this would strongly suggest that the priests took it with them from Jerusalem to the Kaaba, supporting the theory that Ethiopia does indeed have it to this day.)

 

Interesting, the Zamzam well is "20 m (66 ft) east of the Kaaba"(Wikipedia). Yet the distance from the Holy of Holies to the entrance of the temple was 40 cubits, or about 20m. The thing is there was a bronze basin there for washing, symbolised by the Zamzam well. The correspondence between Solomon's Temple and the Kaaba is striking.

 

Finally, and most importantly, is this: both Hagar and Ishmael are buried in the Kaaba, in the hatim crescent to the north-west.

 

Those who circumambulated around the Kaaba used to circumambulate the Hajar (stone of) Ismail and they also used to touch it. It contains the graves of Ismail (a.s.) and Hajra (s.a.), his mother, and all the Islamic scholars agree upon it. It is mentioned in the Sirat of Ibne Hisham (died 218 A.H.), Tarikh of Ibne Athir (died 630 A.H.), Tarikh of Tabari (died 310 A.H.), and Tarikh of Ibne Kathir (died 774 A.H.)

 

(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 yetintroducingislam(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/info/tombs/chapter3.php"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetintroducingislam(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/info/tombs/chapter3.php[/url]

 

Whenever Muslims prostrate to the Kaaba, they are prostrating to the graves of Hagar and Ishmael, the mother and her son. And what is the most famous world religious image of a mother and her son? The Virgin Mary and Jesus. No wonder when St Paul left Rabbinic Judaism he "went to Arabia" (Galatians 1:17). He would have performed the Hajj and learnt of the ancient religion of Abraham which Rabbinical Judaism had distorted.

 

 

I suppose I should send this stuff to an academic journal to be published, but am happy to share it with you now. The Kaaba is no longer a symbol of a different religion opposed to my own, but a symbol I lovingly embrace within my own heart.

 

So as you can see, a huge barrier falls down when Christians can embrace the traditions of the Kaaba as well as Muslims. Compare this to the stuff on anti-Islamic websites about the Kaaba and paganism, denying any link to Abraham!

 

Richard

:sl:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My emotional attachment to Muhammad (God rest his soul)

 

I will discus the other parts (mentioned in post #22 above) involved in my acceptance of a form of the prophethood of Muhammad (God rest his soul) later, but will for now show what was the final leap.

 

I had read about the Negus and Islam, and my heart had melted on reading the description of the followers of the Prophet (God rest his soul):

 

The king summoned the poor fugitives and inquired of them what was the religion, which they had adopted in preference to their old faith. Ja'far, son of Abu Talib and brother of 'Ali, acted as spokesman for the exiles. He spoke thus:

 

"O king, we were plunged in the depth of ignorance and barbarism, we adored idols, we lived in unchastity, and we ate dead bodies, and we spoke abomination, we disregarded every feeling of humanity and sense of duty towards our neighbors, and we knew no law but that of the strong, when Allah raised among us a man, of whose birth, truthfulness, honesty, and purity we were aware. He called us to profess the Unity of Allah and taught us to associate nothing with Him; he forbade us the worship of idols and enjoined us to speak the truth, to be faithful to our trusts, to be merciful, and to regard the rights of neighbors; he forbade us to speak evil of the worship of Allah and not to return to the worship of idols of wood and stone and to abstain from evil, to offer prayers, to give alms, to observe the fast. We have believed in him, we have accepted his teachings and his injunctions to worship Allah alone and to associate nothing with Him. Hence our people have persecuted us, trying to make us forego the worship of Allah and return to the worship of idols of wood and stone and other abominations. They have tortured us and injured us until, finding no safety among them, we have come to your kingdom trusting you will give us protection against their persecution."

 

Stories of the Prophets, Written by Al-Imam ibn Kathir, Translated by Muhammad Mustapha Geme’ah, Al-Azhar; page 196-7

you are not allowed to post links yetislambasics(contact admin if its a beneficial link)

 

The above description is part of the beauty I found in the life of Muhammad (God rest his soul). In fact, recently I found the following which confirms this:

 

A large number of idolaters remained prisoners in the hands of the Muslims. They were, contrary to all usage and traditions of the Arabs, treated with the greatest humanity.

 

The Prophet gave strict orders that sympathy should be shown to them in their misfortune and that they should be treated with kindness. These instructions were faithfully obeyed by the Muslims to whose care the prisoners were confided. Dealing with this event, Sir William Muir, in his book Life of Muhammad, quotes one of the prisoners saying: "Blessing be on the men of Medina; they made us ride, while they themselves walked; they gave us wheaten bread to eat, when there was little of it, contenting themselves with dates."

Stories of the Prophets (as above) page 210

 

This is the Muhammad (God rest his soul) I recognise within myself. How can I deny what is within me?

 

Reading in Bukhari I found the following:

 

Volume 1, Book 12, Number 805:

 

Narrated Warrad:

 

(the clerk of Al-Mughira bin Shu'ba) Once Al-Mughira dictated to me in a letter addressed to Mu'awiya that the Prophet used to say after every compulsory prayer, "La ilaha ilallah wahdahu la sharika lahu, lahul-mulku wa-lahul-hamdu, wahuwa ala kulli shai in qadir. Allahumma la mani 'a lima a'taita, wa la mu'tiya lima mana'ta, wa la yanfa'u dhal-jaddi minka-l-jadd. (None has the right to be worshipped but Allah and He has no partner in Lordship or in worship or in the Names and the Qualities, and for Him is the Kingdom and all the praises are for Him and He is omnipotent. O Allah! Nobody can hold back what you give and nobody can give what You hold back. Hard (efforts by anyone for anything cannot benefit one against Your Will)." And Al-Hasan said, "Al-jadd' means prosperity."

 

This is a beautiful prayer, and moved my soul.

 

Again,

 

Volume 1, Book 8, Number 345:

 

Narrated Abu Dhar:

 

…Those on his (Adam's) right are the people of Paradise and those on his left are the people of Hell and when he looks towards his right he laughs and when he looks towards his left he weeps.

 

quoted fuller with others in (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 yetgawaher(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/index.php?s=&showtopic=737816&view=findpost&p=1252818"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetgawaher(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/index.php?s=&sh...t&p=1252818[/url]

 

Here is true love and compassion, weeping for those in hell, not gloating over them nor seeking the condemnation of those who disagree with you in theology. Whoever embraces such an attitude is indeed going beyond this world with its petty desires.

 

Volume 2, Book 21, Number 230:

 

Narrated Al-Mughira:

 

The Prophet used to stand (in the prayer) or pray till both his feet or legs swelled. He was asked why (he offered such an unbearable prayer) and he said, "should I not be a thankful slave."

 

Here is the ultimate proof that he was inspired by Allaah, our true God. This is true ascetical desire, a desire to go beyond this world into Allaah himself, not to abuse yourself in guilt or otherwise, but concentrating on Allaah so much that even bodily desires seem insignificant and irrelevant.

 

How can I deny what is already within myself? I recognise Muhammad (God rest his soul) as being both moved and inspired by Allaah. True, my emotions still do go up and down regarding this, but the foundation has been firmly set.

 

It must be noted therefore that his devotion to Allaah and love for all humanity is the basis for my acceptance of Muhammad (God rest his soul) as a prophet, and nothing else. If anything is against this then I reject it or overlook it due to love of humanity in our weakness. The claimed proofs of the beauty of the Quran, its miraculous preservation, or Islam's rapid rise mean nothing to me in themselves, but all is subjected to the love of Allaah and love for all humanity.

 

Please join me in working towards love of all humanity equally, and so thereby attain to love of Allaah dwelling in his beautiful Light.

 

Richard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Confusion ...

 

I was re-reading my notes from the Quran (via Tafsir al-Jalalayn), and while searching the Quran on-line, I found some places in the Quran I had not noted.

 

As such, I am thinking that I might have made a mistake. True, I could imitate Islaam and accept Jesus to some extent but reject the Bible, but when I said the Shahadah I thought I could accept around 98-99% of the Quran, which is not bad for a start (although I greatly dislike what happened after Muhammad died). The bits I thought I could not accept were regarding some of the moral teaching: all the teaching about Allaah, Jesus, and Christianity I could accept because of what I had read in the hadith and elsewhere (things are not so obvious as Muslims think!). My emotions really have been going up and down, although not so 'up' as before. I don't feel against Muhammad (God rest his soul), but felt a sort of numbness in my heart. Re-reading the above post on my emotional attachment to Muhammad has helped, but my emotions are still shaky.

 

I will start to share things soon.

 

Pray for me,

 

Richard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×