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Leto

Islamic Soteriology

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Good discussion,

Because I don't understand Arabic, and because it is the Quran only that was the revelation given to Muhammad to be preserved in the Book, --- I check the prominent translations which are readily available, to get the consensus of the meaning.

Surah 3:45 gives the status of Jesus as being 'the Word Incarnate," --- due to His virgin birth.

--- 3:47. "God createth what He will. If He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is."

--- Also, His status on earth and in the hereafter, bearing in mind 3:55 where God said, " I am going to terminate the period of your stay (on earth) and cause you to ascend unto Me,"

--- Which is indicated in the announcement to Mary in 3:45

Pickthall: (And remember) when the angels said: O Mary! Lo! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a word from him, whose name is the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, illustrious in the world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near (unto Allah).

Yusuf Ali: Behold! the angels said: "O Mary! God giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to God;

Hilali-Khan: (Remember) when the angels said: "O Maryam (Mary)! Verily, Allah gives you the glad tidings of a Word ["Be!" - and he was! i.e. 'Iesa (Jesus) the son of Maryam (Mary)] from Him, his name will be the Messiah 'Iesa (Jesus), the son of Maryam (Mary), held in honour in this world and in the Hereafter, and will be one of those who are near to Allah."

Shakir: When the angels said: O Marium, surely Allah gives you good news with a Word from Him (of one) whose name is the Messiah, Isa son of Marium, worthy of regard in this world and the hereafter and of those who are made near (to Allah).

Sher Ali: When the angels said, `O Mary, Allah gives thee glad tidings of a son through a word from HIM; his name shall be the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, honoured in this world and in the next, and of those who are granted nearness to God;

Khalifa: The angels said, "O Mary, GOD gives you good news: a Word from Him whose name is `The Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary. He will be prominent in this life and in the Hereafter, and one of those closest to Me.'

Arberry: When the angels said, 'Mary, God gives thee good tidings of a Word from Him whose name is Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary; high honoured shall he be in this world and the next, near stationed to God.

Palmer: When the angel said, 'O Mary! verily, God gives thee the glad tidings of a Word from Him; his name shall be the Messiah Jesus the son of Mary, regarded in this world and the next and of those whose place is nigh to God.

Rodwell: Remember when the angel said, "O Mary! Verily God announceth to thee the Word from Him: His name shall be, Messiah Jesus the son of Mary, illustrious in this world, and in the next, and one of those who have near access to God;

Sale: When the angels said; o Mary, verily God sendeth thee good tidings, [that thou shalt bear] the word, [proceeding] from himself; his name shall be Christ Jesus the son of Mary, honourable in this world and in the world to come, and [one] of those who approach near [to the presence of God];

--- Some time after the "catching away" of the 'chosen,' --- which is commonly called 'the Rapture,' --- Christians anticipate the return of Jesus, from the 'presence of God,' to earth, --- to fulfill the remaining prophecies concerning Him.

Placid

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I'm not sure why you had to answer eight parts of my post in defense of yourself, as it was not in response to you specifically or exclusively, but a general look at God's preference of some prophets over others as mentioned in the Qur'an. We are in agreement of most of the points and I didn't misunderstand your points - I was making a general case based on yours, Jinn's, and Son's posts on this thread.

(salam)

If you were making a general case, it would have been better if you had not used extracts from my post in your post # 19.

That led me to believe that you were responding to me.

In any case, I did not mean to specifically counter anyone’s views, but to highlight my own. I simply don’t like the idea of us mortals trying to discuss a hierarchy. After all, all prophets were people extremely dear to their Lord and did their best to serve Him. Some may have been slightly better than others. But the difference between the best and the worst is like the difference between very bright students in a class aggregating between 99% and 100%, while ordinary humans might be languishing around 20-60%.

The fact that Islam views all prophets as without sin should, in my view, be a positive deterrent, against unnecessary discussions on the subject.

The trilateral root F-Dh-L means to prefer, to bestow liking over something else

If you don’t mind a last word from me, I don’t believe that the word ‘preference’ represents the precise nuance embedded in the word ‘F-DH-L’ in [2:253]. Actual meanings are often not exactly the same as the literal.

I have nothing further to add.

I have no intentions of coming back to this thread.

Cheers and peace.

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If "Preference" means liked one, didn't like the other I'll go along with Ilove's understanding.

As I see it having a preference doesn't mean that evrything less is taboo.

I was in a pool tournament last year, (not that I'm any good, but bro in law's team was short one man and desparate) While playing I considered complimentary stateents as good sportsmanship, but bro in law explained it to me. When you exclaim someone has made a good shot you imply that his last shot was not as good and could be taken as an insult. Now maybe it's because my good shots are few and far between, but none the less, if ppl are going to turn your positive into negative ya may as well just stay quiet.

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That's kinda what I was getting at.

I have no trouble believing Jesus and Muhammad were blessed with certain tasks and abilities more than the others, but I do not see this as in any way implying that the previous messengers were "not as good" or that I should stop studying other lesser messengers simply because Jesus and Muhammad came along. Each messenger has their own respective duties, some greater than others, but each one brings the same message in their own special manner that is different from others, even if they don't have some other heavy task they need to perform like Jesus or Mahdi do and for that reason there is no shame in maybe venerating one messenger more than the other, even if it's a lesser one, if you feel a certain individual connection with them. So long as you do not reject any of the messengers before or after that one, there is no shame in having a favorite. However, one should always remember that veneration of any spiritual and religious hero is pointless without worship of the God whose message all of them bore. If a person says "I love all the messagers, but this one is my favorite," there is no shame in that. That's perfectly human of us to do.

HOWEVER, to imply that God does the same thing...that is what doesn't sit right with me because that is such a behavior of us who are created. If the word "preference" is used so as to imply that God has a favorite amongst his messengers...I think that is an ascribing a certain behavior to God that is "too human"

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Hi Leto,

I would like to add this to what I said in Post 14 about the Messiah:

There is another important thing to consider.

John 1:1 said, In the beginning was the Word (Logos) and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

--- (We can understand that the Word, Logos, was the manifestation of God in creation, and in the world.)

3. All things were made through Him (the Word, Logos).

--- If you notice in this verse above, Surah 3:

45. (And remember) --- When the angels said, 'Mary, God gives thee good tidings of a Word from Him whose name is Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary; high honoured shall he be in this world and the next, near stationed to God.

--- The ‘Word’ is capitalized, --- and this refers to the Logos, through whom all things were created.

John 1:14. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

--- Two things to notice, --- The Word (Logos, through whom all things were created) took on the form, or body of flesh, in the Person of Jesus.

--- The second thing to notice is that John, the author of his Gospel, was there, --- "The Word --- dwelt among US."

--- Now the question is, how did the Word, Logos, get from the presence of God to indwell the body of Jesus?

The Word (Logos) was manifested different times in the OT.

--- One of them was in the Person of Melchezidek, who established the worship system in the days of Abraham, including tithing.

We find this description in Hebrews 7:

1. For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham, --- and blessed him,

2. to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,”

3. without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually. --- (A pattern of the Glorified Christ that will remain forever).

Another Manifestation was as 'the LORD of hosts,' which I will explain in the shortest terms possible.

--- (The 'LORD' --- of hosts, --- is always written in capitals

In Isaiah 48, the LORD of hosts said:

12 “ Listen to Me, O Jacob,

And Israel, My called:

I am He, I am the First,

I am also the Last.

13. Indeed My hand has laid the foundation of the earth,

And My right hand has stretched out the heavens;

--- (Here He is speaking as the God of creation and the God of eternity "I am the First and I am the Last).

16. “Come near to Me, hear this:

I have not spoken in secret from the beginning;

From the time that it was, I was there.

And now the Lord GOD and His Spirit

Have sent Me.”

17. Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer,

The Holy One of Israel:

--- And the LORD of hosts says: "And now the the Lord GOD and His Spirit have sent Me.

Now if we understand this again from 1 John 5:7. "For there are three that bear witness in heaven: The Father, the Word (Logos), and the Holy Spirit," --- then the LORD of hosts is saying, "The Lord GOD (the Father) and His (Holy) Spirit have sent Me (the Word, the Logos, the LORD of hosts).

--- And 17. "Thus says the LORD (of hosts), your Redeemer, --- (Redeemer means Savior), --- the Holy one of Israel.

So the LORD of hosts was 'sent' as Redeemer, and the Holy One of Israel.

Placid

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To continue from above,

--- And to show the 'transition, --- how the Word (Logos), who is identified also as the LORD of hosts, got from heaven to earth, to indwell Jesus, the Messiah.

Isaiah 16. “Come near to Me, hear this:

I have not spoken in secret from the beginning;

From the time that it was, I was there.

And now the Lord GOD and His Spirit

Have sent Me.”

17. Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer,

The Holy One of Israel:

--- And 17. "Thus says the LORD (of hosts), your Redeemer, --- (Redeemer means Savior), --- the Holy one of Israel.

So the LORD of hosts was 'sent' as Redeemer, and the Holy One of Israel.

Notice what the angel Gabriel said to Mary in Luke 1:

34. Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”

35. And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.

Here we have the link in prophecy and fulfillment.

--- But there is one more important verse in Malachi 3 which shows the transition:

1 “Behold, I send My messenger,

And he will prepare the way before Me.

And the Lord, whom you seek,

Will suddenly come to His temple,

Even the Messenger of the covenant,

In whom you delight.

Behold, He is coming,”

Says the LORD of hosts.

--- Behold, I (the LORD of hosts) send My messenger (small m on messenger signifying John the Baptist),

And he (John) will prepare the way before Me (the LORD of hosts)

--- And the Lord whom you seek (the Messiah that the Jews looked for)

Will suddenly come to His (God's) temple.

--- Even the Messenger (Capital M on Messenger signifying Jesus), of the (New) covenant.

In whom you (will) delight.

--- Behold, He (the new Messenger, Jesus) is coming

Says the LORD of hosts.

Notice in the verse how it changes from I, the LORD of hosts, to He, the Messenger of the New Covenant.

--- The LORD of hosts is never mentioned in the NT, because the Word, Logos, took on the new role of the indwelling Spirit in Jesus, the Christ, as Savior/Messiah.

And the 'resurrected Jesus continues to bear the name of Jesus in heaven.

And a verse says, "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.

--- God, (the Word, Logos) was in (the) Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, (God).

Matthew 1:21. "And she (Mary) will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."

--- So 'Jesus' means Savior, --- and 'Christ' means Messiah.

Placid

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Salams to All

This is an interesting discussion, (thankyou Leto) and I am pinning this thread cz it sets a good example of how muslim and christian brethren should discuss topics (i-e in an intellectual, unbiased and respectful manner).

That's kinda what I was getting at.

I have no trouble believing Jesus and Muhammad were blessed with certain tasks and abilities more than the others, but I do not see this as in any way implying that the previous messengers were "not as good" or that I should stop studying other lesser messengers simply because Jesus and Muhammad came along. Each messenger has their own respective duties, some greater than others, but each one brings the same message in their own special manner that is different from others, even if they don't have some other heavy task they need to perform like Jesus or Mahdi do and for that reason there is no shame in maybe venerating one messenger more than the other, even if it's a lesser one, if you feel a certain individual connection with them. So long as you do not reject any of the messengers before or after that one, there is no shame in having a favorite. However, one should always remember that veneration of any spiritual and religious hero is pointless without worship of the God whose message all of them bore. If a person says "I love all the messagers, but this one is my favorite," there is no shame in that. That's perfectly human of us to do.

HOWEVER, to imply that God does the same thing...that is what doesn't sit right with me because that is such a behavior of us who are created. If the word "preference" is used so as to imply that God has a favorite amongst his messengers...I think that is an ascribing a certain behavior to God that is "too human"

I think I understand your point of view and it makes sense. I guess what Islamic texts (specifically the shia texts) try to clarify is the difference of Role and Fazeelat* among the 124,000 Prophets. For e.g all of them did not have the same job of spreading the word of God. There were Prophets who did not have the responsibility of leading a nation; rather, revelations were sent to them via dreams (only) and their task was to (only) remain steadfast to the message of God (and not lead a nation). However there were Prophets (who were also Messengers), who lead a nation, and Islam differentiates them (from those who were only Prophets) because they brought with them the law and message of God (through divine books) primarily because the nations had forgotten or ammended/distorted the laws introduced by the previous Messenger. Prophets, on the contrary, did not bring their own laws....they would either continue to practise themselves or preach others to follow the laws introduced by the previous Messenger.

*Fazeelat: We have this concept mentioned in Quran which is called Fazeelat (roughly translates to "Divine (God given) value/importance/worth" in english). Basically Allah mentions in Quran that He has given Fazeelat to some over others and we should not grudge over that because there is wisdom behind it. Just like when God created Adam and gave him fazeelat over other creations and the angels questioned Him why He gave caliphate to Adam over other creations such as the angels and jins, Allah replied, "... (but) you do not know". (Various sayings of our Imams suggest that Adam proved His fazeelat to the angels through His knowledge/intelligence). There is also no doubt that we gain more worth in the court of Allah for having free will. We have temptation to face..... we are fighting a constant battle which angels or other creations are not.... I think it's not such a big deal when it comes to fazeelat of Prophets, since all of them happen to be divine Authorities, but I personally don't mind learning/researching the fazeelat of various pesonalities (Prophets/Messegers) mentioned in Abrahamic religions (as long as the discussion is intellectual).

Fi-Amanillah

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We should not try to read too much into the Quranic assertion that God gave a superiority, if that might be the correct translation for the word 'Fazeelat', to some prophets over others. After all, the Quran also asks the faithful not to draw a wedge between them.

The Shia Islamic belief is that they were all men of exemplary character - all without sin. And that being the case, to all intents and purposes, any other differences cannot possiby be very meaningful.

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I think it is clear that we are all God's slaves, whether common believers, prophets, or ahlul bayt. All bow before the master fully. Nobody has to bow less than anyone else. So with this in mind we can understand that it's not a matter of prophets, angels, or any other figure with authority being somehow closer to being God than we are, rather it is a case of certain figures fulfilling certain functions in the universe for the Master by his command. Thus the hierarchal structure of messengers is based on the amount and nature of the tasks God has created them for.

Edited by Saintly_Jinn23

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The word nabi, navi in Hebrew is singular. The plural is ambiya, naviim in Hebrew. Nabi is someone who gives naba (guidance, advice, good news and so forth). He does that by mouth. Thus a nabi receives a message from God, and then he verbally transmit this message.

In English language nabi is a called, a prophet, but this is not a good translation, as prophet implies someone who prophesizes.

In Islam there are about 140,000 nabis. The fist nabi is Adam (as.) and the last nabi is Mohammad (saws).

Rasool, is someone who receives the message directly and leaves this message in written form. Thus, a rasool is appropriately translated as "messenger". To be a rasool, one has to be a nabi first. There are about 20 rasools in Islam, the first being Abraham (as.) and the last being Mohammad (saws).

The Quran tells us, that we human being shouldn't make any distinction between the rasools. But the Quran also tells us that Allah does, becasue He is Allah.

Thus, according to Allah:

1. Prophet Mohamamd is the best of nabis.

2. Prophet Mohammad is mercy to mankind.

3. A light from Allah, and bringer of the mainifest Book.

4. And, that we should send blessing on prophet Mohammad.

Allahuma salli ala Muhammad wa aale Muhammad

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-What is the nature of the Messiah according to Islam? Which qualities define the Messiah?

-Why would Jesus be the Messiah?

Isa (as) is known as Al-Masih in the holy Qur'aan. he was a special prophet, full of signs and miracles to clearly distinguish him from being a false warner, to make him beyond doubt. He (as) spoke in the tongue of the people (Aramaic) and brought a scripture that could be clearly understood by the layman because by then only the Rabbinical classes spoke Hebrew. Allah intended to make the Jewish peoples a priestly nation to be a lesson to other nations (how Allah (SWT) raises a peoples station, favours them with scripture and make a covenant with them) when they believe in Him ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì. Isa (as) was the last hope one could say for the Jews to be saved from Allah's tribulation (for wrong doing, Allah never punishes a people without warning them first) as the Jews had slayed other warners sent to them.

--

-What is the purpose of the Messiah?

Originally the last prophet for the house of Israel to obtain salvation and to be guided aright. The Jews angered Allah (SWT) when they rejected Isa (as). As we know the Jews boasted (falsely) that they slayed Isa (as), they didn't. Thus did Allah (SWT) sent them a tribulation by destroying the temple again.

His initial mission was meant to be short comparatively as we see he didn't live to old ages seen traditionally with other prophets (as) thus he (as) was gifted with being able to speak from the cradle.

--

-What is (the nature of) salvation? Is there a relationship between salvation and the Messiah?

-Jesus preached the Injil. Was his role as Messiah important in this preaching? Is it important to belief him to be the Messiah?

One can clearly observe that there is a parallel between prophet Musa (as) and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) not seen with Isa (as), they were law givers who both received their missions at age 40 and both had their own exodus, both completed their missions. Isa's has completed his inital mission with the revelation of the injil which is a book of warning and wisdom and not a new law and as for his other mission it is pending one could say, a sort of evidence for our time of living prophetic mission. His role of being saviour to the world that denied him and was led astray in the aftermath of his initial mission.

--

-Is there a connection between the kinghood of the house of David and the role of Jesus? What is this connection?

-The notion of Jesus as a metaphysical saviour is being denied. Is he a political saviour? Why did he live on this earth for a while and disappeared afterwarts if his role was political?

His second mission is to return as a representative of the Israelites and descendants of Isaac (as) to stand next to the representative from the Ishmaelites Al-Mahdi (as) to complete the promise rendered unto Abraham (as) that from his progeny will Allah (SWT) raise Imaams / leaders.

Was-Salaam

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The prophets are guidance.

Their big scale objectives the creator knows best...

My opinion our life's are to distinguish truth from false, righteous from the oppressor's..

There is only one great creator no matter what our different faiths may call upon the beneficent..

Jesus (as) & Imam Mahdi (as) are to unite the good against evil..

There will be no difference in their teachings & all misconceptions shall be resolved. Jesus (as) will call upon is ummah (followers) & Imam Mahdi (as) likewise people of his ummah.

Then there will be a period of evil dajal or anti-crist what ever you wish to call him. But the good will prevail over evil in the final battle in which the followers of the righteous shall overcome the tyrants. This will be a joint effort of both ummahs.

Then comes a time of JUST rule for a period then the shahadat of our pure leaders & soon after the trumpet of judgment blows..

Now it's the time to be held accountable for our deeds.

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Interestingly, there is a Jewish legend, according to which Imam Ali was a descendant of king David, whose family line is associated with messianic figures. Is there anything about it in the Shia tradition?

 

What Islam accepts is the notion of Jesus being a "Logos" of some kind as well as a savior of the world during the end times from the Dajjal who will claim Jesus' status as "Messiah" Jesus will destroy him with the assistance of Imam Mahdi who is a descendant of Prophet Muhammad as well as Simon Peter(at least according to Shia traditions)

Hope that helps a little.

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It's still a standard belief in esoteric Jewish tradition. Enoch (Hanoch) was transformed into an aspect of the angel Metatron who is very close to God and plays a highly important (kind of demiurgic) role in Kabbalistic cosmology. He serves like a mirror that reflects God's light. Kabbalists warn specifically that some mystics by mistake conflated Metatron/Enoch with God and came to believe in a wrong dualistic theology.

 

It seems plausible that some Jewish group encountered by Muhammad held Gnostic dualistic views regarding Ezra. Early medieval Judaism had many esoteric streams that sound very odd today and are only partially known from rare and fragmentary enigmatic manuscripts.

 

This verse has sometimes been used by Jews to discredit the Quran, but Muslims cite apocryphal Jewish works such as 3 Enoch where Enoch (pbuh) is said to have become the Angel Metatron who is amongst a choir of angels called the "Sons of God," in some esoteric Jewish traditions.

Edited by Yoel

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