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I have been having discussions with my sister and she clearly seems an athiest now by her thinking and arguments.

I need a bit help in answering some of her questions.

1) She says that why do all Evil people go to hell, once they were like that because of their environment and how they were raised. She said yazid was like that because of his upbringing and had he had a better upbringing he would not of killed the family of prophet Muhammad (saw).

2) She thinks doing good deeds for the sake of Allah or receiving heaven as a reward is being selfish and a fake concept. She says she will do good deeds for society and people.

3) She doesn't agree with the idea of heaven and hell. She says that hell is very cruel and who deserves to be burned hell for eternity based on a sin they might of done in limited time.

It would be nice if some of you would answer these questions.

 

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2 minutes ago, ali_fatheroforphans said:

1) She says that why do all Evil people go to hell, once they were like that because of their environment and how they were raised. She said yazid was like that because of his upbringing and had he had a better upbringing he would not of killed the family of prophet Muhammad (saw).

2) She thinks doing good deeds for the sake of Allah or receiving heaven as a reward is being selfish and a fake concept. She says she will do good deeds for society and people.

3) She doesn't agree with the idea of heaven and hell. She says that hell is very cruel and who deserves to be burned hell for eternity based on a sin they might of done in limited time.

(1) Your sister is right that the character of people does conform to their environment. 

But that is only partly so. It is possible for a person to be born in an environment that does not nurture good qualities and yet be a good man. There are lots of people in the world who did not have a fruitful upbringing but have turned out to be good people. So her argument is not valid.

2a)  Once again, she is right that doing good in the hope of heaven iis selfish.

But she is wrong that doing good for the sake of Allah is selfish.

There is no substance in her argument.

Ask her how that is selfish.

2b) As for doing good to people, it is certainly a good idea.

No one denies that.

2c) But it does not undermine the fact that if God is deserving of obedience, then doing good for His sake is not selfishness at all.

3) Allah claims that He is the Most Merciful of the merciful ones.

And He is also the most Just of the Just.

So if she doesn't believe that, it is no use arguing with her about hell or heaven.

                                                        * * *

The first thing you can do to help her is to prove to her from her own life that God is the most merciful of the merciful.

If you can convince her of that, the rest becomes easy.  

 

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1) Allah isn't unfair. Even if someone had a bad environment while growing up, Allah still sends people and opportunities their way to guide them towards the right path.

2)There is nothing wrong per se in doing good deeds for people.

Does she believe Allah is her creator? If she does ask her how would she be able to perform good deeds without a sound mind and body given to her by Allah. 

3) -Man A killed man B, man B being the sole provider for his family.

-A person bribed his way into getting a job(that was rightfully another person's) that he would do for the next twenty years of his life.

-A man was the caretaker of an orphan's property which he squandered away and as a result there was no money left when it was time to pay the child's college fees or the rent for his home etc.

All of the above sins have effects that last an individual or a family's whole life, totally change the course of action for them. 

For the oppressor or bystanders it's easy to say that the act of oppression lasted a few hours so what's the big deal.Ask a mother who does not have the money to pay the doctors fees or buy medicines for a sick child or a father whose children will go to bed hungry...Every second seems like a eternity. 

Edited by starlight
grammar

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1 hour ago, baqar said:

It is possible for a person to be born in an environment that does not nurture good qualities and yet be a good man. There are lots of people in the world who did not have a fruitful upbringing but have turned out to be good people. So her argument is not valid.

Yeah even I have tried this argument. She says that yeah some people are able to, but it doesn't mean the rest will be punished for their bad upbringing. She basically disbelieves that there is a heaven or hell because of this point.

She also thinks that not even a single person deserves to go to hell because people are born innocent but turn bad.

That is why she believes Islam,Christianity and Judaism is at fault because heaven and hell doesn't make sense. She just believes there is a creator but not any religion is the truth. So she seems an athiest because she rejects Islam but not entirely as a creator exists.

Edited by ali_fatheroforphans

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1 hour ago, ali_fatheroforphans said:

t it doesn't mean the rest will be punished for their bad upbringing.

Who told her that the rest will be punished for their upbringing?

They will be punished for not using their brains to filter out the evil from their upbringing.

They will be punished for supporting the bad lessons they learnt in their upbringing and not trying to learn better.  

As I told you in my last post, try to look into facts of her life to see if you can find examples of God's kindness on her - personally.

And try to work through the topic of God's mercy.

1 hour ago, sidnaq said:

 you help solve my doubts too masha'Allah JazakAllah. brother you should be a speaker. 

Thank you brother.

I am just an ordinary person.

Thank you for your kind words.

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As posted in a previous shiachat topic

When I was alone, and had nothing

I asked for a friend to help me bear the pain

No one came, except God

When I needed a breath to rise, from my sleep

No one could help me.. except God

When all I saw was sadness, and I needed answers

No one heard me, except God

So when I'm asked.. who I give my unconditional love to?

I look for no other name, except God

it was by tupac :D 

and who was tupac, someone who gre up in the poor neighbourhood, on the streets ,etc is he respected today cz he wanted to be a hustler? no people remember him for some of the wisdom he quotes in trying to make the world fair(minusing his thug life image)

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2 hours ago, ali_fatheroforphans said:

1) She says that why do all Evil people go to hell, once they were like that because of their environment and how they were raised. She said yazid was like that because of his upbringing and had he had a better upbringing he would not of killed the family of prophet Muhammad (saw).

2) She thinks doing good deeds for the sake of Allah or receiving heaven as a reward is being selfish and a fake concept. She says she will do good deeds for society and people.

3) She doesn't agree with the idea of heaven and hell. She says that hell is very cruel and who deserves to be burned hell for eternity based on a sin they might of done in limited time.

1. Yazid was given countless chances. It was not only raising but personal beliefs as well. Did he not saw what his father Muwaviya was doing. He spent whole of his 26 years before his father and saw the battles of Imam Ali a.s and Muwaviya, did she think that these were not enough experiences. While Yazid's son named also "Muwaviya" kicked the throne and was raised in same house and same circumstances but said that Yazid did atrocities and was unjust to Prophet and his family. On the day of Judgement when Yazid would say that Ya Allah! I did not know anything and I was deceived by people then Allah AWJ will put before his own son and will ask that why did not people fool you like your father. His son will say that Ya Allah! truth is always clear and people were always deceivers and you had already told us in Quran that "Only few are faithful". So, I did not believe Banu Umayyad and believed in the truthfulness of the few that were "Ahlebait and family of Prophet". Besides, after the murder of Imam Hussain a.s, Yazid did not repent and sent expeditions that killed more than 40,000 people who saw Prophet and some say that 100,000 people of Medina and tied horses and donkeys in the Masjid-e-Nabvi. Lastly, he sent army to destroy "Khana Kaba". This show that he was never embarrassed and nor repented. So, your sister should keep these things in mind. Only thing that makes us old is experience and Yazid was old by brain because he saw many battles and knew right and wrong but persisted in wrongdoing until he died miserably.

2. Why is that selfish, Allah AWJ offers himself for gifts and it is actually looking down upon to deny the gifts and it seems that you do not respect that person who give you gifts. Although heaven is not the criteria for which a Zahid adopts Zuhd but it is "Happiness" of Allah AWJ and admitting His greatness like Imam Ali a.s says: "I neither worship for the want of heaven nor due to fear of Hell but because I believe that Allah AWJ is worthy to be worshiped". If someone wants peace, it does not mean that he is selfish but it means that he is peaceful, heaven is place for those who want peace and hell is place for those who want destruction.

3. lolz, Allah AWJ says that He is not unjust and He is one who created your sister, so He AWJ more wise and merciful than your sister. Hell is a place for those who deserve it and who never repent and consider their sins to be light such as killing people, taking away properties of widows and letting her children die without food and water, deceiving people so that they may sin and die in that state which Satan has done. If she think that Allah AWJ is less merciful than her then she is still unaware of His greatness. Allah AWJ says in Quran: "They will abide in Hell until otherwise Allah AWJ decides". It is like a Jail, where even Muslims wrong doers have to pay price but it is also a jail like "Death sentence" where from people who were permanent in their crimes will live forever and one such example is Shaitan. So, like you see jail and do not feel sympathy for criminals, you should also not feel sympathy for wrong doers in hell for it is weakness. 

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5 hours ago, ali_fatheroforphans said:

I have been having discussions with my sister and she clearly seems an athiest now by her thinking and arguments.

I need a bit help in answering some of her questions.

1) She says that why do all Evil people go to hell, once they were like that because of their environment and how they were raised. She said yazid was like that because of his upbringing and had he had a better upbringing he would not of killed the family of prophet Muhammad (saw).

2) She thinks doing good deeds for the sake of Allah or receiving heaven as a reward is being selfish and a fake concept. She says she will do good deeds for society and people.

3) She doesn't agree with the idea of heaven and hell. She says that hell is very cruel and who deserves to be burned hell for eternity based on a sin they might of done in limited time.

It would be nice if some of you would answer these questions.

 

Salamualaykum my dear brother,

While i never contemplated atheism, i used to have these questions and embarked on a long search to find answers. I hope i can assist somewhat with the approach required to engage in this discussion with her.

For the question of evil:

I also used to think this. For example, if we are all sitting an exam, but some of us have access to the best teachers, while others were in a  home where our parents were alcoholics, where we were influenced by very bad people, it is no surprise to find one person performing better in that exam relative to the other. Our upbringings, biases we are fed from a young age, and unique contextual circumstances are indeed, very different.

However, it is important to understand that when we say Allah [azwj] is the all knowing, this means he knows not only what you do, but what you would do if circumstances were different. He knows every possibility of what may have happened and what could have happened. He knows full well the circumstances surrounding influence upon us, as well as  sources of misguidance. On the day of judgement, no-one will be judged unjustly in the least - as he mentions in the Quran not even the weight of a mustard seed.

Having said that, we find the son of Yazid was a good individual [Muawiyah the second] , and far better than his father and respected the Ahlulbayt asws. We find Asiya [as] the wife of Pharoh, despite having a tyrant husband, was a pious woman. We also find the inverse - the son of Nuh [as], despite having one of the most highly-ranked prophets as his father, still chose the wrong path. The same with the wives of Nuh and Lut, as the Quran even attests, having a Prophet [asws] as their husbands was of no avail to them.

We must understand that in Allah azwj is the best of judges and that no-one will be wronged in the least.

 

Doing good deeds for the sake of Allah:

She should take a look at this hadith from our Aimmah [asws]:

Imam Ali (as) had said:

"O God, I do not worship You out of fear of the hell-fire because this would be the worship of a slave. Nor do I worship You out of desire for the pleasures of paradise because this would be the worship of a merchant (tujjar). Rather I worship You because You are worthy of worship!"

[i will get the reference later inshAllah]

Although we must understand that as human beings, granted with the faculties of intellect, reason, and understanding, we must do all we can to avoid the consequences of actions that will mandate hell upon us. Additionally, we must understand that God almighty wants to reward us for properly exercising thse faculties with Jannah, through his mercy. This point must be emphasized because by our own deeds, we will never deserve paradise, but it is by his mercy.

However, for one who has truly understand how liberating it is to know when we die, we won't decompose and our existence nullified. For one to understand what meaning our lives our given, knowing that matter and energy are not the creators, but there is an ultimate necessary existence above all, who by his power, has given we humans - who can self reflect, are concious, aware, have hopes and dreams and potential- the abiility through our own actions influence our ultimate destiny and live forever, is beyond description.

Thus when one reflects on the existence of Allah [azwj] and how great the necessary existence must be and how far removed he is from the changable, decayable matter we see around us, and the potential we have and the enormous blessings he has bestowed upon us to know him, exist, and decide our destiny, we come to understand that while hell does make us fear and we want to avoid it, and while we yearn heaven, the ultimate reward is being human and being given the chance to know and recognize Allah, because through him, we are elavated and given real meaning.

 

Heaven and Hell

We must understand that the justice of Allah [azwj] is absolute, and no-one will be wronged in the least. Furthermore, let us take the example of one who shoots a baby in the head. If you do that, the shooting may take a second or two seconds. But the time you will face in jail is for your whole life [hopefully], and you may even be sentenced to death. Hence for one second of crime [shooting] you may be in jail for 70,80,90 years [depending on how old you live to].

Spiritually, the consequence of sins also mandate a certain kind of punishment. Not everyone will be in hell forever, some may go in for some time, and then be removed. Really, going into hell or heaven is a choice - and we decide if we want to by our actions. Despite that, we know Allah [azwj] has given us so many instances where we may obtain his mercy, again and agan, giving us opportunity after opportunity to reform and change. If that was not enough we also have the potential of having intercession on the day of judgement.

Just as a judge on earth may decide a baby-killer deserves life in prision, Allah azwj in his infinite wisdom and knowledge, may know something we do not, and may know the true value of certain spiritual abominations and crimes that may truly enable one to develop the existential capability of being worthy of hell for ever.

 

Edited by QuranandAhlulbayt

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4 hours ago, ali_fatheroforphans said:

 

She also thinks that not even a single person deserves to go to hell because people are born innocent but turn bad.

 

She seems like a deist. But if she is an atheist, perhaps it is important for her to note, in atheism there is no such thing as something objectively unfair or not. Value statements in the absence of a value-giver who may instill these have absolutely no foundation and are subjective statements.

If we are merely the product of chance, and matter and energy are all there is, there is no basis for any objective moral statements, only subjective ones. And we know one subjective statement is just as valid as any other.

 

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Your sister's words may be reactionary rather than reasonable doubts.

Sometimes we argue using arguments we truly and heavily believe on, and we change opinion when they are properly deconstructed by other arguments. In other ocassions, we stick to certain arguments and mindset in order to explain the facts and reality of our life in a way that doesn't harm us.

I would focus on that there is hope in Allah, and future, and forgiveness, and support in all difficulties, and embellishment of akhlaq, and that gratitude to Allah is a natural consequence of the good He has given to us. And as surat arRahman (a sura that focuses on creation and the blessings of Allah on us) says:

هل جزاء الإحسان إلا الإحسان

Is the reward for good [anything] but good? (55:60)

For all the good He has given to us, isn't reasonable that we at least showed gratitude and acted according to His commands?

Edited by Bakir

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7 hours ago, ali_fatheroforphans said:

1) She says that why do all Evil people go to hell, once they were like that because of their environment and how they were raised. She said yazid was like that because of his upbringing and had he had a better upbringing he would not of killed the family of prophet Muhammad (saw).

Tell her not to ever get angry with people who do bad things to her. It's not their fault. Also tell her to go out in the streets and protest against the criminal justice system.

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Sounds like an interesting conversation.  Just encourage her way of thinking and tell her that it is good she has challenging questions.  In the mean time you should keep reading and researching.

I have very simple answers though

1) Evil people wouldn't want to be in paradise because their constitution would NOT enable them to take pleasure in paradise.  Paradise is a sacred place and God cannot force those who don't like the sacred to be in a sacred place.

2) God = Ego-free 

    God = selflessness

   Tell her she already believes in God is she truly believes in being self-less and ego-free.

 

3) Hell or paradise is not a place God puts our souls in.  Hell and Paradise is simply our soul discovered.  God simply lets us see who we are (and that becomes a Hell or Paradise).

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None of these things even if hypothetically speaking she was right and that is the biggest if I have ever said. None of this would disprove the existence of God.  It's just about people and hell pretty much. 

But I see the arguments people have put here have pretty much destroyed her points.

man you need to really talk to your sister see what's influencing her and tell your parents maybe she is watching a stupid speaker like Sam Harris or Bill Mahr or other morons like that. You need to try to guide her man it's going to be hard but try.

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Atheists are dangerous.Many atheists before a week (after the attack of ISIS to a Coptic church) say in Sweedish tv that religions are dangerous for this reason.But they dont say what religion habe the ISIS who do the attack.ISIS is Suni muslim terorism.It is false to say for that all religions are dangerous.In West europe atheists are many.They try to convert christians,muslims,jewish and other to atheism.It is posdible that your sister have an atheist boyfriend/friend?Say her that atheists do very bad things habe sex with many boys/girls before marriage,they dont listen the opinion of religious people and other.Religions in many countrys of West are some as bad thing and the people who follow a religion attaced by atheists.Atheists in West Europe are dangerous.

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11 hours ago, Al Hadi said:

None of these things even if hypothetically speaking she was right and that is the biggest if I have ever said. None of this would disprove the existence of God.  It's just about people and hell pretty much. 

But I see the arguments people have put here have pretty much destroyed her points.

man you need to really talk to your sister see what's influencing her and tell your parents maybe she is watching a stupid speaker like Sam Harris or Bill Mahr or other morons like that. You need to try to guide her man it's going to be hard but try.

Yeah, most people become atheist based on absurd assumptions. 

I remember this Imam ali(as) quote :

"There are things in it which are beyond our ken, things which we do not and cannot know and things which cannot be foreseen and foretold, for example the rewards and punishments on the Day of Judgement. Under these circumstances, if you do not understand a thing, do not reject it. Remember that your lack of understanding is due to insufficiency of your knowledge."

I prefer to place my trust on our Imams (as) and they know much better then these obnoxious people like Sam Harris, Richard Dawkin etc

Edited by ali_fatheroforphans

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3 hours ago, Coptic said:

Atheists are dangerous.Many atheists before a week (after the attack of ISIS to a Coptic church) say in Sweedish tv that religions are dangerous for this reason.But they dont say what religion habe the ISIS who do the attack.ISIS is Suni muslim terorism.It is false to say for that all religions are dangerous.In West europe atheists are many.They try to convert christians,muslims,jewish and other to atheism.It is posdible that your sister have an atheist boyfriend/friend?Say her that atheists do very bad things habe sex with many boys/girls before marriage,they dont listen the opinion of religious people and other.Religions in many countrys of West are some as bad thing and the people who follow a religion attaced by atheists.Atheists in West Europe are dangerous.

To put blame on religion for ISIS instead of America has nothing to do with being an atheist. It has more to do with being a real ignorant who will die as an ignorant.

Edited by Bakir

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Your Sister should think about why  these people are going to hell and they did to others and did to themselves. When we do a good deed we are benefiting someone else regardless of whether your doing it for the fear of Allah or if your doing it to actually help the people or society. People can go from Good to Bad regardless of what upbringing they come from it is them that are choosing to do bad things. Someone putting the blame for their bad deeds on their upbringing or environment is absolutely pathetic. We have brains that develops a conscience and takes in knowledge. 

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