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Believing the unseen is rational?

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In Quran, Allah says: "Those who believe in the unseen and keep up prayers and spend out of what We have given them." (2:3)

Yesterday, during a discussion with my brothers, this point emerged & brothers said, believing the unseen is rational. Here in this specific verse, what is actually meant by "Unseen"? we need to look at it. Secondly what do we mean when we say it is rational? I think it means something based on "reason & logic".

So our believe in unseen (e.g., Allah) is rational? Is it really based on reason & logic? And are those reasons & logic, created by us or we have been told by that UNSEEN?

This is not the question of freewill & predestination. So no need to involve freewill & predestination debate here, we all know very well how much freewill we posses & what things are predestined. Just stick to the very basic question i.e., believing in unseen is rational or not? 

What I think, is that it is neither rational nor it is emotional, rather it is the matter of simple submission. Our intellect is limited & cannot grasp/comprehend the zaat of Allah, the maximum reach of our intellect, after observing these state of the art systems like universe & life, is to conclude that "there is something or things" who has created all these things. We can also conclude that "That Something or some things" is/are supreme in knowledge and power. This is the fact that we (and our intellect as well) are "Mohtaj" of guidance, without guidance, we cannot get to the truth (Al-Haq).

You may think that I am giving reasons here hence proving that believing in unseen is rational, no that is not the fact, all of these reasons are not mine. These are the guidance which we have been told by the Creator or His chosen ones. The taught us which we don't knew therefore all these arguments are divine and challenge our intellect hence this is pure submission. Our intellect then draw conclusion and from here the actual journey of "freewill" began, whether to accept that guidance or reject it. Freewill is not the name of freedom to do anything, in that sense, we and animals would becomes equal. Our freewill is our test & our capacity to accept or reject the divine message.

"Surely We have shown him the way: he may be thankful or unthankful" (76:3)
 

My those brothers who are debating with me on a different thread, can share their views here. Hope to have a constructive debate here on this thread with them.

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Rationally speaking, we understand a reality exists beyond our immediate five senses because there are multiple forces at play we cannot empirically touch and analyze, yet we understand exists through its manifestations. 

Therefore, the existence of the "unseen" is logical. The precise nature of it though, is told via divine revelation. 

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1 hour ago, magma said:

we understand a reality exists beyond our immediate five senses

I think it is better to say "something" rather than "reality".  Because the concept of reality is also not ours. So yes, our intellect do conclude something might exist but we don't knew that whether that some thing is a singularity (Ahad) or they are many. We don't knew the exact nature, its beginning & its end. It can be understood as our assumption until or unless we receive any confirmation or evidence that "that something really exists".

Here is the important point, The very first human or you can understand him as modern human on this earth was a Prophet of Allah. A prophet who received the divine knowledge, how can we then claim that it is rational to believe in unseen? Again keep in mind, rational means something based on reason & logic.

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Just now, magma said:

Logic dictates the existence of the unseen. Faith dictates its relevance. 

Let me correct your statement, Logic helps us to extrapolate the unknown through known. But remember that with the same logic people try to reject the existence of ultimate reality which is obviously unseen (Allah s.w.t).

The second part of your statement is beyond my understanding. How can faith, dictates only the relevance? Why you're putting faith in a second place?

Allah says:

"Most surely there is a sign in this for the believers" (15:77)
"Allah created the heavens and the earth with truth; most surely there is a sign in this for the believers" (29:44)
"Most surely in the heavens and the earth there are signs for the believers" (45:3)
" Allah promised you many acquisitions which you will take, then He hastened on this one for you and held back the hands of men from you, and that it may be a sign for the believers and that He may guide you on a right path." (48:20)
" And in the earth there are signs for those who are sure, and in you own souls; will you not then see" (51:20-21)

 

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To explain it in an easier way:

You have found Allah, Quran and Ahlulbayt honest. You know whatever they say is right and they have said “there is something unseen called ghayb”. You, based on the faith in Allah, Quran and Ahlulbayt, will find out ghayb exists, even if this is unseen for you.

Since you have believed in ghayb via the process above that is rational and reasonable, your belief in ghayb will be a rational belief.

BTW, if our belief in ghayb is not rational, then it would be irrational. So, are you trying to prove that our belief in ghayb is irrational?!

Do our brothers understand what they are saying?

58 minutes ago, DigitalUmmah said:

its ok to admit you were wrong, you know. 

 

I don’t know where you have found this self-confidence from. It’s special. 

We don’t need to comment on everything we don’t have required knowledge about. Even if we have knowledge, we don’t need to comment on everything, when we possess an awkward basirah. This makes us statue of jahalat. People will see it, even if they don’t or can’t say it.

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This relates to a book that I started reading but haven't been able to finish yet. If you want a perspective of a Christian author, look for The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James. I can only recommend the first few lectures though - that's as far as I've gotten yet. But he talks about the unseen being more real than what is seen, even if we can't explain it rationally.

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26 minutes ago, kamyar said:

You have found Allah, Quran and Ahlulbayt honest. You know whatever they say is right and they have said “there is something unseen called ghayb”. You, based on the faith in Allah, Quran and Ahlulbayt, will find out ghayb exists, even if this is unseen for you.

Since you have believed in ghayb via the process above that is rational and reasonable, your belief in ghayb will be a rational belief.

:) honest Allah.

Dont use your intellect too much to justify the absurd statements. 

Surah Al-Baqara, Verse 285:

آمَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِن رَّبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ كُلٌّ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّن رُّسُلِهِ وَقَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ

The apostle believes in what has been revealed to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers; they all believe in Allah and His angels and His books and His apostles; We make no difference between any of His apostles; and they say: We hear and obey, our Lord! Thy forgiveness (do we crave), and to Thee is the eventual course.

(English - Shakir)

To believe is to submit, like the verse mentions "we hear and obey". There is no way where you invent reasons & apply logic in this matter. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Spiritual said:

The second part of your statement is beyond my understanding. How can faith, dictates only the relevance? Why you're putting faith in a second place?

What do you mean I "put it in second place"? 

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3 hours ago, magma said:

Rationally speaking, we understand a reality exists beyond our immediate five senses because there are multiple forces at play we cannot empirically touch and analyze, yet we understand exists through its manifestations. 

The OP says "unseen" but I think he/she is talking about the existence of a God or a Creator and not everything that we do not "see" or understand. Your line of reasoning doesn't really prove that a Creator must exist. It only proves that there is something or things that we cannot see or understand, not necessarily that this something created everything. 

 

 

The most common line of reasoning that people use to prove that a God exists who created everything is that things cannot exist without someone creating them. And then they will give you a few instances of how human beings make things and even the smallest of things cannot be without someone creating them, so how can such a vast universe exist without a creator.

That line of reasoning is faulty. There are so many things that we are not sure about that they have a creator. For example, the Earth, Sun, Moon, galaxies, life etc. If you tell those people that we can't be certain that all these things have a creator[maybe these things don't really have a creator] then they'll say God created all those things [Keep in mind, they haven't really proven the existence of God yet because you are still questioning their argument "things cannot exist without a creator" which they used to tell you someone must have created everything]. Since they need to assume that God must have created these things to prove that God exists, that means their argument is only based on assumption. 


So we can't be sure of whether or not these things do have a creator. We only choose to believe that they do and then that leads us to the conclusion that the creator of everything is God.

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I can go on about the philosophical side of why believing in god(unseen) is rational.

But honestly, the amount of good role models islam has produced in history just proves to me that god exists. When i look at a hero like imam hussain(as) who was willing to sacrifice his 6 month old infant to save the message of islam. What clearer proof is there than this that God exists. Also On 19th of ramadan when imam ali was killed during his prayer and the first thing he did when he got up, was to give his killer water to drink. Now do you really think a man of this character and personality would be be praying to a god, if god did not exist?

People from other religion wish that they had a role model like imam ali(as) to follow, and we shias are born to such a religion. I am grateful for this, and i have absolutely no doubts about the existence of god.

So i think it is very rational to believe in the unseen. We also believe in the battle of karbala when we have not seen it from our eyes. We mourn for imam hussein even though not even seen him. 

Edited by ali_fatheroforphans

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41 minutes ago, strangelove said:

The OP says "unseen" but I think he/she is talking about the existence of a God or a Creator and not everything that we do not "see" or understand

Yeah, but I think the same principle applies, in that the unseen is logically deduced by manifestations that we witness between the lines of the "seen". Therefore, the "unseen" (however defined) exists. Once this is established, then you can enter a discussion on what the "unseen" actually entails (i.e. Like a creator), and that's suited for a separate discussion.

Also, I believe the verse cited in the OP is referring to what's "unseen" in the collective sense, both creator and created.

Edited by magma

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41 minutes ago, strangelove said:

The OP says "unseen" but I think he/she is talking about the existence of a God or a Creator and not everything that we do not "see" or understand. Your line of reasoning doesn't really prove that a Creator must exist. It only proves that there is something or things that we cannot see or understand, not necessarily that this something created everything. 

 

 

The most common line of reasoning that people use to prove that a God exists who created everything is that things cannot exist without someone creating them. And then they will give you a few instances of how human beings make things and even the smallest of things cannot be without someone creating them, so how can such a vast universe exist without a creator.

That line of reasoning is faulty. There are so many things that we are not sure about that they have a creator. For example, the Earth, Sun, Moon, galaxies, life etc. If you tell those people that we can't be certain that all these things have a creator[maybe these things don't really have a creator] then they'll say God created all those things [Keep in mind, they haven't really proven the existence of God yet because you are still questioning their argument "things cannot exist without a creator" which they used to tell you someone must have created everything]. Since they need to assume that God must have created these things to prove that God exists, that means their argument is only based on assumption. 


So we can't be sure of whether or not these things do have a creator. We only choose to believe that they do and then that leads us to the conclusion that the creator of everything is God.

How do you accept the position of the imams as, who continually argue with Athiests about the existence of God via rational discourse?

Also more contemporary works such as Shield of the Believer that proves the existence of God based on the traditions of the Imams As?

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9 minutes ago, magma said:

Yeah, but I think the same principle applies, in that the unseen is logically deduced by manifestations that we witness between the lines of the "seen". Therefore, the "unseen" (however defined) exists.

Who will decide that your logically deducted conclusion is a logical fallacy?

There is no problem in accepting ignorance, it is always good to follow the One which is supreme in knowledge & power.

Lets have a look at different religions, every one has justifications based on reason & logic. Even the Christians give you their reasons & logic for justifying the trinity. Even the Prophet (pbuh) called them for mubahila for invoking the curse of Allah on liars.

 

 

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15 minutes ago, iraqi_shia said:

How do you accept the position of the imams as, who continually argue with Athiests about the existence of God via rational discourse?

Also more contemporary works such as Shield of the Believer that proves the existence of God based on the traditions of the Imams As?

Again discussing the divine knowledge. Knowledge of Imams, their rational reasons, verses of Quran & its rational reasoning, they all are example of divine knowledge.

 

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I dont know why my friends are so confused in accepting the very basic fact. From where we learn hikmah? Your every reason & logic became a fallacy if collided with verses of Quran.

Surah Al-Jumua, Verse 2:

هُوَ الَّذِي بَعَثَ فِي الْأُمِّيِّينَ رَسُولًا مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُوا مِن قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ

He it is Who raised among the inhabitants of Mecca an Apostle from among themselves, who recites to them His communications and purifies them, and teaches them the Book and the Wisdom, although they were before certainly in clear error,

(English - Shakir)

 

 

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ـ الإمامُ عليٌ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): اِعرِفوا اللّه‏َ بِاللّه‏ِ ، والرَّسولَ بِالرِّسالَةِ ، واُولي الأمرِ بِالأمرِ بِالمَعروفِ والعَدلِ والإحسانِ . 

 

Imam Ali (AS) said, ‘Get to know Allah through Allah, and the Prophet through the message he brought, and those vested with authority through their command to do good, their justice and righteousness.’[al-Kafi, v. 1, p. 85, no. 1]

 

 

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2 hours ago, iraqi_shia said:

How do you accept the position of the imams as, who continually argue with Athiests about the existence of God via rational discourse?

You saying that someone else logically proved the existence of God isn't a very strong argument. You can use the argument used by that person to prove the existence of God but just saying that someone else did it isn't really logical proof. 

I believe in God btw. I'm only saying how it isn't logical.

Edited by strangelove

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3 hours ago, Spiritual said:

Again discussing the divine knowledge. Knowledge of Imams, their rational reasons, verses of Quran & its rational reasoning, they all are example of divine knowledge.

I am starting to think that some people do not know what the word "rational" means

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4 hours ago, Spiritual said:

Who will decide that your logically deducted conclusion is a logical fallacy?

There is no problem in accepting ignorance, it is always good to follow the One which is supreme in knowledge & power.

Lets have a look at different religions, every one has justifications based on reason & logic. Even the Christians give you their reasons & logic for justifying the trinity. Even the Prophet (pbuh) called them for mubahila for invoking the curse of Allah on liars.

 

 

Thats not true. 

Firstly the rules of logic are clear and just like maths, all those able can check if a sum adds up.

Not every religion is based on reason, thats the point. Im sure many claim to have be based on reason, but the reality is somewhat different. Therefore it is important to analyse the claims and not just accept how they "make you feel" as a way of recognising the truth. 

For example our belief on tauheed is very reasonable and rational compared to that of the salafi tauheed or christian or hindu etc.

Your really selling our religion short if you think its "just like the others".

 

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4 hours ago, Spiritual said:

Again discussing the divine knowledge. Knowledge of Imams, their rational reasons, verses of Quran & its rational reasoning, they all are example of divine knowledge.

 

They bring us rational arguments which an intellectually honest person can not deny. That person can either accept and submit to the truth that has been presented to them and recognised by the rational presentation, or they can deny it. 

https://www.medinaminds.com/classic-debate-existence-god-via-fruit/

You seem to be proposing that a person submits to the truth without recognising it as the truth first. 

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