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In the Name of God بسم الله


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About HakimPtsid

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    In fields of buried wisdom
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    Twelver Shia Islam
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    Mashallah and infinite praises be to his glorious names!
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    Allah, Qur'an, All things Religion/spirituality/mystical, philopsophy, Art, Poetry, music

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  1. I'm kinda running in and out right now so I've gotta be quick. Now Surah al-Ikhlas is the most profound, concise summary you can find. However philosophically we have to understand it foremost via Ontology to get a grasp of what it really means for us to profess Tawhid. Reality itself is a collective whole, the totality of what we experience in this life is limited to our relative or subjective perceptions but there is an inevitable Absolute that is ever-present regardless of any random person's own views or perceptions of said reality, the Absolute is something that will never disappear from philosophy. God is the Source of "all-that-is" and the Material Universe is that which we are conditioned to know via physical feeling and visual perception. Tawhid posits that the Ultimate Source of all-that-is, is of Perfect essence and Transcendent Unicity, it creates (as in constantly) and pervades it's creation likewise and is itself an embodiment of the highest Unity. Polytheism and anthropomorphism both fail to grapple with greater existence (of which Tawhid tackles with full force) as they limit the understanding of the Ultimate Reality to compartmentalized psychological images and characterizations that reflect only on Human-based conditions (like Dualism of Male/Female or the Life/Death cycle). I think your reference there speaks about Polytheistic ideas about Deities being very fallible and causing of logical error. Polytheistic conceptions of Deity exalt archetypal facets of human nature as congeneric to the Human condition (which brings politics and social structure into the metaphysical realm) which is to be blunt; an immature form of spirituality and ontology. The early Christian Gnostics also fell for this trap too, politicizing the role of God to man as a kind of tyranny, where a perfect, more real God is at the top of a cosmology. Of course in Islamic theology and philosophy we posit the coherent answer that makes all the more profound sense that there is God (Allah) which transcends everything but also sustains it, then below God is the intermediaries (Angels) and spirits (Jinn) and that we are below them but more important than them. For God to be God, it requires there to be nothing like it. Like someone mentioned above, God isn't "owned" by anyone, cause God created all - but we do firmly believe that the Qur'an is a Revelation from God. Islamic theology and philosophy can get extremely deep (hey, the Qur'an itself is, so it's expected) but hopefully you understand what I've explained. Peace and blessings
  2. Well I did liken it to that in your other thread on this topic, so yes. However it does cross into the "associating partners with Allah" territory Islamically speaking. One of the ways that Hindus describe their pantheon is that all the Devas are branches on a tree, and the tree in it's totality is Brahman (God/Allah). The philosophical schools of Vedanta breakdown the traditional forms of Hinduism by taking it to the extent of saying that the Devas are merely psychological tools for connecting to Brahman (God/Allah). When it comes to Islamic beliefs about God and what is revealed in the Holy Qur'an, I think we have the advantage - in that we start from the point (via revelation) where God is above all attributes and qualities (such as the male/female dichotomy that Deva traditions are stuck in - being father/mother creator personifications of the Brahman). We don't attach ourselves to images, symbols etc, we have a direct path (hence the whole idea of "The Straight Path") within our devotion to Allah as we are taught the folly and error in taking image and idol for intermediary between us and the Source of all that is. When it comes to Vaishnavism, things can get more complicated as they themselves have the notion of 'avatars of Vishnu' and they have eschatological narratives, which make them historically the most controversial within Hindu pluralism. However with Hinduism in the big picture, it's hard to not say that they are a heavily Monotheistic religion that expresses itself through polytheistic understanding of that One Absolute (Brahman - God/Allah). I also think that Hinduism demonstrates an inevitability of Monotheism, that even the most superstitious idolaters eventually will come around to Monotheism given enough time.
  3. Salaam brother, it's ok. Well their religion starts off in the period where the Rigveda is "inspired", of course the Rigveda is not a scripture in the form of the Qur'an or even the Bible (except for the book of Psalms). The Rigveda was the first of four "vedas" which contain hymns and rituals etc to a lot of Devas. Keep in mind that they also emerged around the same period that Prophet Zoroaster taught clear Monotheism. Now, the Vedic tribes had a massive confluence of folk paganism, so much so that the Vedas themselves started veering towards a form of Monotheism. One of the most famous of these, is the mantra "AUM" (or "Om") ॐ which vaguely resembles the Arabic word of "Allah" interestingly. Now after the period of the Atharvaveda (the fourth Veda), a large tradition of philosophical texts known as "Upanishads" were written that where commentaries on the Vedas. The Upanishads themselves expounded on the mystical and philosophical aspects that emerged from the Vedas and introduced the concept of Brahman that explains both the unification brought about within the Vedas and an Ontological Monotheism. The Upanishads formed the backbone of Hinduism as we know it today, often referred to as the "Fifth Veda". From there many traditions (Saivism, Shakta and Vaishnavism) as well as schools of philosophical though (Vedanta) have emerged within Hinduism and there are endless variations of ideas. However they all seem to agree over Brahman and related concepts like Parabrahman (which matches the Qur'anic notion of Allah actively sustaining the entire universe every second of it's existence). In their Deva-based traditions, they usually treat the Devas as characterizations of Brahman. To Hindus, Shiva, Shakti, Vishnu, Indra etc are all the same transcendent God (Brahman) but are just different faces they put to it. So they are practicing Shirk but acknowledging the falseness of their deities (Devas) - if you get what I'm saying. Although some traditions of Vaishnavism definitely do believe in Vishnu very literally, which is an exception. Within schools of Vedanta (which is philosophy) they often don't even use idols or symbols and can even get a bit spiteful towards traditions that do devote to Devas. Hindu traditions and their 'sacred texts' largely vary and they aren't a scriptural religion as I've mentioned. There are many genres of texts, from Upanishads to Amgas to Puranas to Sutras (etc) which are more likely to be the genre of text that the average Hindu reads and practices from, rather than the Vedas. However many Mantras (kind of like Dhikr) from the Vedas are still actively practiced today. It's that the Vedas themselves are so divorced from modern Hinduism that it doesn't have relevance towards a Hindu's general practice. In your quoted post, you mentioned the Gita (Bhagavad Gita). Well, the Gita is actually a small portion of the Hindu epic known as the "Mahabharata", which is thousands of pages long. The Gita however is perhaps the most popular Hindu 'sacred text' there is and for that reason, it'd be more relevant to read than the Vedas if you are trying to understand Hinduism. There's a very famous chapter in the Gita (I think it's the 11th) where Krishna describes himself in all splendor to Arjuna in a grand cosmic scope, it's interesting because in that chapter Krishna speaks for Shiva, showing how they are one and the same - that being that they are characterization for a more-real Universal God of Brahman (Ultimate Reality/al-Haqq - which we call Allah). My own theories about Hinduism is that around the time of before the Rigveda, there was a Monotheistic Revelation given to a Prophet from Allah that was distorted by confluence of culture and that echoes of it remained in the Rigveda. From there it was an inevitability for the early Hindus to elevate the Monotheistic remains to a higher status, realizing the major logical contradictions that came from idolatrous and semi-polytheistic practices.
  4. He's a Wahhabi too, which puts his credibility very very low.
  5. Yes hopefully he will continue this discussion so that he will increase his Din in Islam. It is weird to have a user with few posts come in asking something like that, and yeah, the Vedas themselves are nothing like the Qur'an - in spite of all the explanations I've attempted here of their own theology.
  6. Yes I do agree with you. Although, in the outsiders perspective the Hadith side of Islam is like an endless maze, if you know what I mean Within Hinduism itself it is common knowledge about Brahman. The thing is that Brahman is not an image and image-based devotion is obviously the usual common practice in Hinduism. Next to the Vedas, the true core of Hinduism as it is actually thought of and practiced, is actually the Upanishads (which I mentioned earlier). The Upanishads are philosophical commentaries on Vedic passages, the Upanishads basically describe greater existence. The Vedas themselves don't describe Hinduism as practiced in the modern world, or even the world of 1CE, it is supposed to be the ancient practices of the Indian Vedic religion which became Hinduism. Obviously they don't have a central revelation the way we do with the Qur'an, that's obvious. It's definitely a complex religion for the layman and hard to grasp in the aspect of basic footing, as each Hindu tradition follows different Devas, sacred texts (though they often share many of the same things) and disciplines themselves differently - in spite that they believe in Brahman. To put it as clearly as possible, in light of it's Shirk aspect - Hindu's don't believe the "money and elephant faced things" to be "God" but rather they believe them to be the expression in which they devote themselves to the One, Eternal, Transcendent God. Yes they're confusing, yes they're Shirk but they do believe in One God - they thrive on that kind of contradiction.
  7. My point is that it is (properly) speaking of the concept of Devas (which are deities), which has it's own meanings in Hindu theology. We've already established that they commit Shirk, that's well known. The point of contention is understanding their own theology for point of comparison and their concept of Brahman is their Ontological Absolute (like Allah is for us). Their Devas don't have the same role in Hinduism that say, Jesus does for Christianity or the Ancient Greek deities had for the Ancient Greeks. The thing is that they don't see their Devas the way you might. I oppose shirk but they themselves do believe in the Absolute Formless, Transcendent God - to some degree.
  8. Brahman is not a "who", you're thinking of "Brahma" who is a Deva. Brahman is the Ultimate Reality, the Absolute God of all existence in Hinduism. https://www.britannica.com/topic/brahman-Hindu-concept Brahma is a creator Deva in some forms of Hinduism and is a member of the Trimurti ("Hindu trinity") https://www.britannica.com/topic/Brahma-Hindu-God And a Brahmin is a priest, which is entirely different again. Just to clear that up. Yes, in Hindu Theology the Devas include Vishnu and Shiva (in the Trimurti), who are drops of water to Hindus. Hindus generally consider Devas to be less real than we are and that Devas themselves again, are drops within Brahman.
  9. Well yeah, every Muslim knows that idols are Shirk, it's Islam 101. The idols themselves though aren't the area of comparison, where Noor Taleb is asking about Monotheism. The actual analogy is "drops of water in the same ocean". The best comparison, using Hindu logic, would be the 99 Names of God in the Qur'an. 99 names, different attributes of the same reality. The ocean is God, the drops of water are just aspects of God's Unicity. Again, that's the Hindu perspective. In their concept of Brahman, they believe it is formless and transcendent. That it creates and sustains all etc.
  10. Well you're reading it in English obviously which will obviously choose more English-common words. La ilaha illa'illah = There's no Rabb but Allah = There's no God (or Deity) but God For "Gods", your thinking Deities, which would be properly termed "Devas". Devas are one concept, Brahman is another concept (their equivalent of Allah) - both fill different ontological places within Hindu theology, like Rabb and Allah do, Allah of which is al-Haqq. With Devas, Hindus are far far less likely to be literalists than we are as Muslims so it helps to recognize that. Of course, I certainty don't condone Shirk but I do understand how Hindu theology and philosophy works and where it connects with our own.
  11. It's a broad question. Hinduism isn't a scriptural religion, the Vedas doesn't have the same central position as the Qur'an, but it is understood as the foundation of Hinduism and to be of divine origin. The Vedas praises all kinds of deities, the most worshiped one in there is Indra. But Ontologically it has a self-awareness of the greater reality behind the deities, being the equivalent to al-Haqq in Islam. Hindus mythologize the Vedas as divine limbs and all kinds of stuff, the Vedas are referenced all throughout later scriptures but the Vedas themselves are weirdly enough Hymns and Rituals. If you want to get at Hinduism vs Islam deeper, you have to look into the Upanishads and Puranas of later traditions. The closest direct school of thought in Hinduism to Islam is Dvaita Vedanta, although Advaita Vedanta also has similarities to Islam. When it comes to Monotheism and Tawhid, Hinduism's concept of Brahman (and Parabraham) is described very, very, very similarly to Tawhid. And like Tawhid, it is non-anthropomorphic. Devas/deities, in many traditions and schools of Hinduism are seen more as akin to Angels at best, or as a kind of metaphorical depiction to which they use to worship. There is no single answer to this though, really. What is the motivation for your interest in the Vedas? if you don't mind me asking. (of course, I can only answer this from what I've studied and conversed with Hindus about myself, as I am not a Hindu by any stretch of the imagination)
  12. Yeah, I've had friends of all kinds of walks of life. One of my friends is a religious Jew, another is a Pagan, others are Twelvers like us. For some reason though, Hindus don't often seem to want to get along Although there have been exceptions at times in my experience. And I've worked jobs with Christians, who are usually fine (my brother is a Christian). Atheists are too easy to find though
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