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.InshAllah. last won the day on June 17 2014

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About .InshAllah.

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  1. .InshAllah.

    Professor Michael Behe has a new book coming out

    You don’t understand intelligent design. You should take a look at some of Behes videos online or read stuff by him / his supporters. The fact that Behe believes in common descent shows that intelligent design isnt simply the denial of evolution.
  2. https://darwindevolves.com/ Responses to critical review: https://darwindevolves.com/criticism/
  3. If its very problematic, then its very problematic for everyone including you, as you cannot escape using some norms when trying to understand the teachings of Ahlul Bayt as. The norm you use seems to be something like : if biographers have deemed transmitters of a hadith reliable, and the transmitters are connected, then accept the literal meaning of the hadith as the truth. Even if this rule is correct, an attempt to prove it from the Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام) will be circular as it will rely on the same rule. You could attempt to prove it by applying another norm to the hadith, but then what I said will apply to that norm.
  4. Accepting certain interpretative norms is a necessary prerequisite to understanding anything from the ahadith. Without already accepting some norms you can’t derive anything from the texts. So it makes no sense to say they have to all come from the Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام).
  5. Yes they play a very positive role in academia by funding important projects. Alfrede Mele's work on free will and the libet experiments come to mind - multiple threads on Shiachat about this. Whats particularly interesting about Templeton is that the people they fund arent necessarily theists, even if the projects are favourable or relevant to theistic belief
  6. UMSL philosophers win nearly $1 million grant from John Templeton Foundation JAN/22/2019 | POSTED BY STEVE WALENTIK Philosophy Professors Jon McGinnis and Billy Dunaway won a nearly $1 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation to examine the writings of medieval Islamic thinkers for answers to questions of contemporary philosophy of religion. (Photos by August Jennewein) What started as a conversation over beers at a local tavern has led, more than a year later, to $1.1 million in research funding for two members of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Professor Jon McGinnis and Assistant Professor Billy Dunaway concocted their idea to bring together medieval Islamic philosophy and apply it to contemporary questions about the epistemology of religion, and they secured a grant of $933,000 from the John Templeton Foundation plus additional funding from UMSL to support the project, entitled “The Christian West and Islamic East: Theology, Science, and Knowledge.” “We’re going to start looking at figures who never were translated or even known in the Latin tradition, and yet who are still dealing with the same sorts of problems and questions,” McGinnis said. “What can we know? What is the relationship between science and the claims of religion? If there is a God, what is God’s relation to creation?” These are questions that contemporary philosophers of religion continue to explore, but existing discussions don’t draw on the writings of medieval Islamic thinkers. “Their answers to those questions haven’t been explored,” McGinnis said. “They’re the ones that Templeton is interested in. The Arabs were interested in them, and their arguments are highly sophisticated and really good.” McGinnis and Dunaway hope the grant will help them bring more attention to this area of study and help inspire more study from younger scholars in the early stages of their careers. “We want to involve older scholars, but a lot of times older scholars have their research program set and that’s what they do,” Dunaway said. “The whole point of this is it’s something slightly different than what’s being done already.” They plan to invite academics from different regions of the world, including the Middle East, to conferences or workshops each of the next three summers. They will be opportunities for individuals to present their work but also to become more familiar with texts to which they otherwise might never be exposed. The plan is to hold the first two workshops at UMSL, but the 2021 event will take place at the University of Oxford in England. “Given the current political climate, bringing folks from the Middle East over here may be more difficult,” McGinnis said. “It’s just a fact. So Templeton said, ‘We’ve got these contacts in Oxford …’ And we’re like, ‘Oxford? We’d love to be in Oxford.’” With the grant, McGinnis and Dunaway also plan to award research stipends to promising young scholars. They hope to fund at least one master’s student in the Department of Philosophy to serve as a research assistant. They also plan to bring a visiting scholar in Islamic philosophy to the UMSL campus in 2020. They hope that individual will deliver a public lecture, just one of the events they intend to hold to involve the public. McGinnis and Dunaway want the project to help generate scholarly articles, presentations, an edited volume and a special journal issue that examines the contributions the Islamic tradition can make to contemporary debates. McGinnis, who chairs the Department of Philosophy, has spent much of his career researching medieval Islamic thinkers, an area of study that also includes some Christian and Jewish philosophers writing at the time in Arabic. His interest developed during his time studying classical philosophy as a doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania. He noticed much work being done on the writings of Greek and Latin philosophers. But a gap existed in between them. “What was happening is as classicists were working, they were coming up against this wall that was the Arabic language,” McGinnis said. He received a fellowship to learn Arabic and spent time studying in Egypt. It has paid dividends throughout his career since, helping him gain access to ideas from prominent thinkers such as Avicenna, Averroes and Moses Maimonides, who remain largely overlooked in the English-speaking world. Dunaway’s work has been centered more on ethics, metaphysics, epistemology and the philosophy of language. He received his PhD from the University of Michigan and went on to work as a postdoctoral fellow at Oxford under John Hawthorne, a noted epistemologist who also works in the philosophy of religion. McGinnis has served as one of Dunaway’s mentors since Dunaway came to UMSL four years ago, and they meet regularly – occasionally off campus at Three Kings Public House in the Delmar Loop. “In good philosophical fashion, we were sitting over a beer discussing his paper, which was drawing on the Medieval Latin philosopher Duns Scotus,” McGinnis said. “I said, ‘Oh, these Muslim guys I read are kind of interested in a similar problem and have similar but slightly different answers.’” The more they talked, they realized the potential of bringing these two disciplines together, and Dunaway knew from his time with Hawthorne that there was a chance the Templeton Foundation might fund just such a project. They’re both elated that instinct was correct, that their formal proposal was accepted and they’re beginning the work. “It’s a lot of fostering more intellectual engagement by getting people with the different norms and expectations of different intellectual communities together,” Dunaway said. “The hope is that after the project is done people continue with the connections they’ve made and there’s more engagement and diversity in the intellectual environment.” https://blogs.umsl.edu/news/2019/01/22/mcginnis-dunaway-templeton/
  7. .InshAllah.

    Ignorance and Perfection

    This raises the question of how we deal with narrations that say that the Ahlul Bayt knew 'what was, and what will be and what won't be until the day of judgement'. One possible way is to understand them as saying that the Ahlul Bayt have access to all knowledge. There are other traditions which say that if the Ahlul Bayt ask Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) about something then He tells them. This implies that they don’t have direct knowledge of all things, but they do have access to all knowledge as Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) would tell them if they asked. They can be said to know everything only in the sense of say a government official saying 'we know everything about you', I.e. there is a database that contains all the information about you that the government has access to, not that there is one person who has all the information about you in his mind. In this way we can also make sense of the narrations in which the Imams explicitly deny ilm ghayb: having access to knowledge from God is not the same as literally knowing everything
  8. I heard from Aqā Mīrza Jafar Shīrāzī – from Tabrīz – regarding the knowledge of the Imams, he said: at times the knowledge of something can be perfection, while other times the ignorance of something can be perfection and Allah would take knowledge away from the Imams (a) in those later cases. For example, the night when Imam Ali (a) slept on the bed of the Prophet (p), if he had known that sleeping on the bed will not result in any harm, this would not have been an instance of perfection. The condition of perfection which was exhibited through the sacrifice of the Imam (a) is that he should not know, and he did not know. In cases where ignorance is a condition of acquiring perfection, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) takes away the knowledge. Source: Dars Khārij of Āyatullah Sayyid Shubayrī Zanjāni, 23rd September 1995 https://www.iqraonline.net/the-martyrdom-of-lady-Zahra-s-and-maintaining-respect-on-both-the-first-and-second-fatimiyyah/ *** I wouldn't say that ignorance can be perfection, but rather that it is sometimes a prerequisite for performing a great deed and perfecting one's character. I know some people want to say that the Ahlul Bayt had complete knowledge of the unseen, but if that was the case then it would diminish the value of many of their actions. This is the opposite of what you would expect, as being very knowledgeable is a praiseworthy trait, yet it does seem that too much knowledge in certain situations undermines the value of actions. If Imam Ali (عليه السلام) knew beforehand that no harm would come to him when he slept in the Prophets (sawa) bed, then there was nothing special about him sleeping in the Prophet's bed. What made his action special was the he was putting himself in harms way for the sake of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and the Prophet (sawa).
  9. I take back the harsh language but still think that such a mahr request is inappropriate
  10. $20,000 mahr is in most cases disgraceful. Any woman who asked this from me I would have told goodbye. I understand cultures are different but its already hard enough for people to get married without imposing extortionate mahr on young men. A mu'mina would follow Sayyida Fatimas example. Yes often its the parents who make this request, but I would expect the woman to be embarrassed at her parents insistence on such a value. If this wasnt clear to me then a definite goodbye
  11. .InshAllah.

    Origin of diseases

    Salam @Qa'im, what is the original source for this?
  12. .InshAllah.


    In answer to the specific scenario above: This is more of a problem for the materialist who thinks our mind is just a complex physical computer. If we are immaterial souls then its impossible that we are nothing but complex code in a computer simulation.
  13. Salam Tabrisi in Majma' albayan mentions one opinion that their لباس (clothes) was نور (light). I've not looked into why some have said this, but it suggests something more spiritual that they lost when they disobeyed God. Here is another (related) possibility. When we look at others often we miss certain features that are right infront of us, e.g. someone might have brown hair but when we saw them we just didnt register that, or they may have glasses but we see past them. This is because our attention is focused on a certain aspect of their being but not on others. Perhaps (and this is my speculation which I give as a logical possibility only) Adam and Hawa were truly naked in the physical sense, but given their proximity to God they didnt register that about each other, because it just didnt matter to them. Clothes conceal, much like darkness does ( God describes night as لباس) and in this case their taqwa was the concealer - the لباس. The spiritual outcome of eating from the tree was to become more focused on the material and physical, and so all of a sudden they became naked to each other.
  14. Salam There are ways to seek knowledge without impacting much on career or family time, e.g. listening to lectures during your commute, or when shopping and doing usual errands, or reading if you get public transport. I spend about 8hrs a week on average commuting to/from work - thats potentially 8hrs of lectures. Add in time grocery shopping or driving to other places and its potentially over 10hrs. I used to listen a lot to tafsir by sh bahmanpour from SICM until they changed their website and removed the lectures. Now I mostly listen to sh Shomali on philosophy and akhlaq from the Hawza England website.
  15. .InshAllah.

    What was achieved out of Karbala?

    @Ibn al-Hussain lots of interesting points as always. I think we should look at the Imam's actions in the context of his desire for Islah - betterment of the Ummah of the Prophet (s). After all this is what the Imam told us he was doing. This betterment can be achieved by many different routes, although they are not all equally effective. One route to the betterment is to overthrow Yazid. When the Kufans betrayed him, this route was blocked. Another route to betterment is to influence Yazid by meeting him and addressing him directly. The Imam coming with his family and close companions would likely attract the attention of people in Shaam and may put some pressure on Yazid to make some changes. Or Yazid may just kill the Imam and his family and make them martyrs. And this brings me to the third way to achieve betterment, which is through self sacrifice. In the end, it was the third way that was realised. The Imam offered to go elsewhere - this is a fourth way to achieve betterment. To go to another community and influence them, and perhaps try again when he builds up enough support there. The Imam had one goal - Islah - but had to alter his plans based on the changing situation he found himself in. But the ultimate goal was always the same. He never did full blown taqiyya and give allegiance as this would have undermined his goal. It would have legitimised Ibn Ziyad and Yazid in a way that was too damaging to his goal of Islah . Just as there are actions that promote Islah, so too are there actions which undermine it.