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Crazy Dream- Call To Islam?

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I'm not told that I need to speak Hebrew, Aramaic or koine Greek to understand perfectly the message contained within the Bible.

 

Well, I have read Jewish vs. Christian debates. Language comes up often. So, it appears that in order to perfectly understand the Bible, you really do need to understand the languages. 

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As you claim not to distinguish between the prophets and hold them all in equal esteem then, I don't know how you make allowances for that. 

 

Muslims don't distinguish between Prophets (pbut) by saying this one is a true one and this one is an impostor, like the Jews and Christians do. However, Allah Himself says in the Qur'an that He has favored certain Prophets above others. 

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but in order to understand the Mohammed's revelation the better one ought to understand Arabic, then it does rather rule out a large proportion of mankind.

 

This is just stating the obvious. The same exact thing applies to the rest of the Prophets (pbut).

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The fact that you have to say certain words after his name, can't depict him or even  criticise him on pain of death, are all noteworthy.

 

The same applies to the rest of the Prophets (pbut). 

 

 

 I know that according to Islam, he is no different from any of the other prophets and they must all be treated with the same respect but I don't see much fuss when people draw caracatures of the other Abrahamic prohpets. I don't remember any protests at school nativity plays or whenever "The Ten Commandments" are on TV, nor do I expect there to be Muslims threatening volence on the makers of "Noah".  There is a fine line between veneration and worship and I think, for many people, that line has been crossed.

 

Come on. The Ten Commandments and Noah? Sure, these are movies not considered proper from an Islamic perspective but they aren't insulting. The movies aren't there out to portray Moses or Noah, peace be upon them, in a bad light. 

 

By the way, I know Prophets, peace be upon them, like Jesus are portrayed in a bad light and made fun of in the media. It's sick. Muslims don't like it. However, the fact that the caricatures of the previous Prophets haven't caused such a huge controversy as the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), doesn't mean that the latter has been elevated to the level of a minor deity or that he is worshiped. 

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Come on. The Ten Commandments and Noah? Sure, these are movies not considered proper from an Islamic perspective but they aren't insulting. The movies aren't there out to portray Moses or Noah, peace be upon them, in a bad light. 

So what, in your opinion, would be the reaction to a respectful film about the life of Muhammed, that wasn't insulting and didn't portray him in a bad light but did show him?

Would it be the same as Muslim reaction to "Solomon" or "The Passion of Christ" for example?

 

The same applies to the rest of the Prophets (pbut).

Having searched this forum, there seems to be some discrepancy. Some people say it after all the prophets, some after only Muhammed (most common) and some after none, so I guess it's optional.

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85% of Muslims are not Arab . That is a fair  proportion  . But mostly ALL Arabs are Muslim .

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85% of Muslims are not Arab . That is a fair  proportion  . But mostly ALL Arabs are Muslim .

 

Yes, I was making a point regarding the language. You don't have to speak Arabic to be a Muslim.

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Yes, I was making a point regarding the language. You don't have to speak Arabic to be a Muslim.

Obviously. But I am regularly told that I have to understand Arabic to truly understand the Quran, a translation is not sufficient. Therefore, the majority of Muslims don't understand the Quran.

If I need to speak Arabic to properly analyse and critique it, surely others need to speak Arabic (not just recite the words) to use it as a life guide.

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In the Quran, the language has 2 strengths: the meanings, and the linguistic beauty. Any translation can give you the meanings, just like any Arabic speaking individual can understand it. That is why you don't have to speak Arabic to be a Muslim, and that is why 85% of Muslims are not Arabs.

 

By not knowing the Arabic language you would be missing out only the second strength: the linguistic beauty of the Quran, which is not a must to become a Muslim. True, its one of the miracles of the Quran, but its not the only miracle. The Quran holds multiple miracles, and any one of them should be enough to convince people into the fold of Islam.

 

 But I am regularly told that I have to understand Arabic to truly understand the Quran

 

That's not true. You can understand it in the same level that I do, through the use of translations. If there are verses here or there that is hard to understand, or can have multiple interpretations, then you're not alone, because Arabic speaking people would meet the same difficulty for the same verses. That means that there is no language advantage or disadvantage when it comes to understanding the Quran.

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Any translation can give you the meanings, just like any Arabic speaking individual can understand it.

So when discussing the meaning of any particular verse, I do not need to refer to the original Arabic, any of the main translations will be good enough? Anyone telling me that I need to speak Arabic know what a passage is actually saying is wrong?

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Like I said, the translator translates the meanings of verses, just like Arabs understand it. Some verses are hard to understand, both for Arabs and non Arabs alike. For example, some chapters start a verse that consists of a set of characters. No human can claim to understand those yet.

 

And yes, anyone telling you that you need to learn Arabic to understand the Quran is wrong. When reading a translation, consider it a translation of the meaning, as interpreted by the translator. Even more, in many cases, those translators understand the meanings more than an average Arab would do.

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And yes, anyone telling you that you need to learn Arabic to understand the Quran is wrong. When reading a translation, consider it a translation of the meaning, as interpreted by the translator. Even more, in many cases, those translators understand the meanings more than an average Arab would do.

Thanks for that explanation. Very helpful.  Although my explorations over tha last few months have led me to think that Islam may not the path for me, I think that your statement would be very usefull for those struggling with interpretation. There may be some on this forum who could benefit from such an enlightened approach!

 

As I have said in other discussions here, it is the inflexible approach advocated by some that may put people off. In some ways, it is a failing of Islam that it does not have a definitive authority to resolve such issues (paradoxical as that may appear!). On the other hand, it was one of the things that drew me to investigate as it initially seemed to be a personal relationship with the universal presence. Unfortunately, it does not seem that way in practice.

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Glad I could help.

I think you need first to believe in God, what's your stand regarding the creation of the universe? who/what start it all, in your view?

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Glad I could help.

I think you need first to believe in God, what's your stand regarding the creation of the universe? who/what start it all, in your view?

As I base my view of the physical universe on what we actually know, I don't know for certain. There are several hypotheses (including the actions of an omipotent force) but none are established fact so I reserve judgement.

 

On the question of God, I still reserve judgement. I don't know if you are familiar with the "Star Wars" films, but I do like the idea of something like "The Force". Maybe the sum total of the concsiousness af all the sentient beings in the universe (including all those that may well exist elsewhere in the Cosmos). Whether we continue to contribute to this after death, I don't know (current science suggests not). One thing I am pretty certain of is that there are not two separate realms; one full of wonderful pleasures for those who have followed the rules of a particular book, and one full of unbearable torment for those who had the bad luck not to follow the rules of that particular book. That seems to be the obvious wishful thinking of man-made social control constructs. The idea of a personal, interventionist God just does not seem to fit the evidence available. All the different versions cannot be right, but they could all be wrong. I have the feeling that if there is an omnipotent, omniscient being, it is looking at the world thinking "come on guys, you are all really overthinking this"!

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It is strange that while you're not sure of anything, you're sure that there is no paradise or hell.


Thinking that the few years you'd live here is all there is to it, and that you are on your own, have no guardian watching over you, guiding you, assisting you or protecting you, makes your life shallow, meaningless and freaky.


 


Less than 12% of people are still lost (non religious or atheists), everyone else believes in a creator. Come on, you're making it hard on yourself, to be all on your own in this universe.


 


QED, the complexity and perfection of the creations in front of your eyes must push you to think that there must be a maker who designed and created all this. Name one tool/device/thing that was made to perfection without a maker.


 


Have a look at this video..


 


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Well, I have read Jewish vs. Christian debates. Language comes up often. So, it appears that in order to perfectly understand the Bible, you really do need to understand the languages. 

Again I did not say it is not a good thing to read any book in its original language. I said I am NOT TOLD I need to understand the original language to understand Gods word. However, I am constantly told by muslims, ( usually when I question something and not blindly accept it) that in order to understand the relevant sura I need to be able to understand Arabic. Ok I can see now by further posts in this thread that this apparently not the case and I was being told porkies

 

If Gods Word can't be understood in any language to be found in the world, then that's a fail, don't you think? Obviously any peoples entering into "debates" do so each with their own axe to grind, each are going to be arguing from their own point of view which let's face it they believe is the right one ;)

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Muslims don't distinguish between Prophets (pbut) by saying this one is a true one and this one is an impostor, like the Jews and Christians do. However, Allah Himself says in the Qur'an that He has favored certain Prophets above others. 

Well, the Bible says we must test a prophet, so we would be failing in our duty if we ignored this and just accepted anyone who came along and claimed to have a revelation. Why would Allah favour some over others do you think?

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Less than 12% of people are still lost (non religious or atheists), everyone else believes in a creator.

You raise several complex points which I don't have time to address right now.

However, if you play the numbers game, you have to accept that only 25% are Muslim. Does this make them wrong? Is Christianity the one true religion because it has the most adherents? Do "One Direction" make the best music in the world?

This is just argumentum ad populum (the fallacy of popularity).

Also bear in mind that in Western European and Scandinavian countries, only 15-40% of people believe in god.

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Well, the Bible says we must test a prophet, so we would be failing in our duty if we ignored this and just accepted anyone who came along and claimed to have a revelation.

 

Have you read the biography of Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) ?

 

Also who do you believe this prophet to be?

 

Deuteronomy 18:18 I (God) will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee (Moses), and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

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If Gods Word can't be understood in any language to be found in the world, then that's a fail, don't you think? Obviously any peoples entering into "debates" do so each with their own axe to grind, each are going to be arguing from their own point of view which let's face it they believe is the right one ;)

 

The thing is in order to understand the Bible, or any book for that matter, you need to understand the original language. You don't personally have to understand the language, but somebody better understand it.

 

Well, what I have gotten from the Jewish vs. Christian debates is that Christians do not understand Hebrew or try to misrepresent it. In other words, the Jews are telling you do not understand the Bible. Is that considered a fail? 

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Why would Allah favour some over others do you think?

 

Because some of them were superior in rank compared to the others. For example, the Prophet Muhammad, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Noah, peace be upon them all, are Messengers of strong resolve, and their rank is superior compared to the rest. 

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 You don't personally have to understand the language, but somebody better understand it.

As salaam alaykum 

 

that is a very important point. It is like most things in Islam. We have people who are more knowledgeable with certain aspects. Some will be experts in Islamic family law, some will be experts in Islamic economics and some are experts in the arabic of the quran. Not all of us spend our lives studying such subjects but as long as we have some people who do this it is important so that people who do not have such knowledge have these people.

 

I think it is clear from this thread that arabic is not required to be a Muslim. I never knew arabic when I became a Muslim but I must say that learning some arabic has helped me understand the richness of the language and how one word can have several meanings.This helps in understanding some issues surrounding interpretation for example the word Ruh in arabic has several meanings and it is been misused by some Christians who attack some verses of the quran. Do they need to know arabic to understand it ? No, there are plenty of resources explaining the meanings of arabic words. Should they be aware that arabic is not like English? Yes. 

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It is strange that while you're not sure of anything, you're sure that there is no paradise or hell.

I am sure of many things. There are few things about which I am unsure and most of these are in the realm of the metaphysical. Where proof  or certainty is impossible, I have to rely on levels of confidence. Having spent some time looking at religion and spirituality, I am fairly confident that all the major religions are the constructs of man to suit his purposes at a certain point in time. That is not to say that there may be some underlying commonality which is tapping into some undefined universal, as I mentioned earlier. But all the rules and restrictions, the rewards and punishments are just methods of social control. I have a very high level of confidence in this. The reasons for this are manifold but, very briefly, the reason why I find them all unconvincing is probably similar to the reason that you find all the others religions apart from Islam unconvincing.

 

 

Thinking that the few years you'd live here is all there is to it, and that you are on your own, have no guardian watching over you, guiding you, assisting you or protecting you, makes your life shallow, meaningless and freaky.

Absolutely not! If this is the one chance we get and there is nothing more, it means that every second is precious. We should experience everything that life has to offer to the full (whilst doing no harm). Our legacy is how we treat others and how we are remembered. How we raise our children. That is true immortality, I can help shape future generations (hopefully in a good way!) The Golden Rule is paramount, treat others as you would want to be treated.

I find more comfort in the fact that my life is my own, shaped by me and controlled by me, than I would thinking that everything I do has been preordained and out of my hands. The idea of some sort of divine protection is simply a delusion. Devout people suffer calamity just as much as the godless. In fact statistics show that natural disasters befall the devout at a much higher rate than non-believers. It is just an accident of geography and history.

I find the idea of someone watching me and judging me against some arbitrary set of rules far more freaky than the thought that we may be mere biological machines, programmed to reproduce and propagate our DNA (just like every other species on the planet).

I think it is possible that the only reason that we think we are different and special is because we are able to think that we are different and special.

 

QED, the complexity and perfection of the creations in front of your eyes must push you to think that there must be a maker who designed and created all this. Name one tool/device/thing that was made to perfection without a maker.

Complexity does not demand an intelligent creator. Nature is full of complexity. Snowflakes, crystalline structures, etc. Evolution shows how complexity can arise through natural processes. It also shows how all the imperfections we see in life arise. If there was a creator designing everything, why is so much of it so badly designed? If, as most theists insist, the world and, by extension, the universe was created for man, why is 99.999% of it deadly to us. Why is the majority of the earth inhospitable to humans. Why are there so many deadly diseases, hideous parasites, bith defects, neurological disorders, natural disasters etc, etc. A lot of the time we survive despite our environment, not because of it! If this is perfection, I'd hate to see what god came up with on a bad day!

The lack of perfection in the world renders your last question immaterial, but how about a tree? No one makes a tree. It is produced by natural processes. Or a snowflake?

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I am sure of many things. There are few things about which I am unsure and most of these are in the realm of the metaphysical. Where proof  or certainty is impossible, I have to rely on levels of confidence. Having spent some time looking at religion and spirituality, I am fairly confident that all the major religions are the constructs of man to suit his purposes at a certain point in time. That is not to say that there may be some underlying commonality which is tapping into some undefined universal, as I mentioned earlier. But all the rules and restrictions, the rewards and punishments are just methods of social control. I have a very high level of confidence in this. The reasons for this are manifold but, very briefly, the reason why I find them all unconvincing is probably similar to the reason that you find all the others religions apart from Islam unconvincing.

 

Absolutely not! If this is the one chance we get and there is nothing more, it means that every second is precious. We should experience everything that life has to offer to the full (whilst doing no harm). Our legacy is how we treat others and how we are remembered. How we raise our children. That is true immortality, I can help shape future generations (hopefully in a good way!) The Golden Rule is paramount, treat others as you would want to be treated.

I find more comfort in the fact that my life is my own, shaped by me and controlled by me, than I would thinking that everything I do has been preordained and out of my hands. The idea of some sort of divine protection is simply a delusion. Devout people suffer calamity just as much as the godless. In fact statistics show that natural disasters befall the devout at a much higher rate than non-believers. It is just an accident of geography and history.

I find the idea of someone watching me and judging me against some arbitrary set of rules far more freaky than the thought that we may be mere biological machines, programmed to reproduce and propagate our DNA (just like every other species on the planet).

I think it is possible that the only reason that we think we are different and special is because we are able to think that we are different and special.

Complexity does not demand an intelligent creator. Nature is full of complexity. Snowflakes, crystalline structures, etc. Evolution shows how complexity can arise through natural processes. It also shows how all the imperfections we see in life arise. If there was a creator designing everything, why is so much of it so badly designed? If, as most theists insist, the world and, by extension, the universe was created for man, why is 99.999% of it deadly to us. Why is the majority of the earth inhospitable to humans. Why are there so many deadly diseases, hideous parasites, bith defects, neurological disorders, natural disasters etc, etc. A lot of the time we survive despite our environment, not because of it! If this is perfection, I'd hate to see what god came up with on a bad day!

The lack of perfection in the world renders your last question immaterial, but how about a tree? No one makes a tree. It is produced by natural processes. Or a snowflake?

 

Argument of poor design - First of all. Who determines when a design is "poor" or "great"? I argue that a great "design" is one in which the design "fulfills the intended person of the designer". Example : Imagine a bomb exploded - someone says: OMG it exploded -it must have been a terrible design!!!! you say: no wait- it was "designed to be exploded" - as a matter of fact - it's a perfect design -because it exactly fulfilled the purpose of it's design.

 

Perfection does not mean utopic perfection, but practical perfection. In other words, it's "as good as it gets".

 

 

Similarly - humans/this world are not built to last forever in this life. Everything we observe is finite. We are not created/designed to last forever - and thus any argument about the "lack of perfect design" is centered around defining a perfect "design" as a design that allows for survival ('cause it's affected by evolutionary mentality).

 

 

In a nutshell: They say a perfect design is that which allows survival -we say: No - a perfect design for us is that which fulfills the intended purpose of the designer!!

Edited by The Doc

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