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  1. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) said : 'When Allah created the intellect, He gave it the faculty of reason and then commanded it,'Come forward', so it came forward, then commanded it, "Go back"' and it went back. Then He said to it:"By my Honour and Sublimity,I have no created anything as dear to Me as you, and I have bestowed you only upon one whom I love. It is you that I command, and you that I prohibit from things, and you that I punish and you that I reward."' - al- Kafi,v.1, p.8, no.1: al-Mahasin,p.192,no.6 & 7 Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) was asked by someone what the intellect was, to which Imam(as) replied: 'It is that with which a servant worships the Beneficent and that with which he attains Paradise.' So the man asked:'So what about that which even Muawiyah possessed?' Imam(as) replied:' That is a vicious thing, that is devilry, and resembles intellect, though it is not so.' - al-Kafi,v.1, p.8, no.2; al-Mahasin, p.191, n0.2; al- Faqih, v.4, p.298,no.902 Imam Ali al-Rida(as) said; 'Every man's friend is his intellect, and his enemy is ignorance.' al-Kafi v.1,p.8,no.4; al-Mahasin, p.194, no.12; Illa al-Shara'i, p.101, no.2; Uyun Akhbar al-Rida(as), v.2, p.24, no.1; and v.1, p.258, no.15 Imam Jafar al-Sadiq(as) said; 'Whoever uses his intellect will have belief, and whoever has belief will enter Paradise.' al-Kafi, v.1,p.9, no.6; Thawab al-A'mal, p.29,no.2
  2. Salam Alaikum Brother and Sisters My name is Hussain Makki and I've been studying our magnificent religion for over a decade. I started a YouTube channel to breakdown and discuss our ideologies and other important topics. here's a link to the first video i posted https://youtu.be/p8V-EsNjVVA I plan to answer a range of questions such as: is religion a cult? why bother investigating if there is a God? who created the Creator? and many more topics let me know if you have any topics that are relevant and if the channel is helpful at all. many thanks
  3. salam. so, to be a perfect muslim is not possible ofcourse. but that is with respect to actions. for beliefs, it is surely possible to have all the correct beliefs, right? so what are the things that a person must believe in order to be a perfect muslim(with respect to beliefs)? and why? and by why, i mean what is the daleel for it? who said we have to believe in it? and why is that particular person;s word a hujjah/proof upon me or any random person?
  4. I’ve always been religious and started praying at a young age by myself. It was just me and Allah- like Allah was my only friend. One day I watched a video on YouTube and it said that how Allah is so far away. I felt like Allah was really faraway. Slowly it started becoming is Allah really there? I know it says that Allah’s closer to our jugular vein but I just I don’t know. My Imaan is so weak that the belief in Allah is going up and down. One minute it’s there an the next minute it’s not. It’s like my heart doesn’t want to accept like I feel a tightening in my chest. I want to have that connection again. I’m 18 and people usually come to me for advice like my cousins,aunties, school mates and friends. I feel SO fake. They will go to heaven not me. It seems like my heart wants to accept other fake religions but I know that if I do I will go to hell. I can’t get these shirk thoughts of Jesus being the... I can’t even say it. It’s like I’m starting to believe what’s in my head. Help! The religion Islam feels like a burden but I’m constantly asking Allah to guide me to the right way. I want to understand Islam simply. It’s like other people believe and I don’t because my heart is blind. I see so many Christians convert to Islam but there I am. Was I doomed from the beginning? I have a very low tolerance for pain and really don’t want to go hell. I’m scared. I want to die a shaheedan! Why is this happening to me? I know that if I were to die right now I would go hell. Yet the people around me who take advice from me and benefit from me will think I’ve gone heaven. I cry so much and try to have hope but I can’t. I haven’t told any family members or any friends. I really can’t.
  5. Salam and hello everyone, I apologize from the get go if this sounds like a Tumblr post but I genuinely want to hear from other Shiachat lurkers regarding the titular question. Over the past few years I've had the opportunity to meet people from a multitude of backgrounds and diverse schools of thought and I was shocked by how fragile the structural integrity of my beliefs was. Everything that I've ever known was challenged, and I started to question the very nature of my existence. Now of course one could blame it on my upbringing, maybe I didn't attend enough lectures or didn't pray hard enough. It's possible, but I urge you to approach this topic pragmatically and with an open mind. Have you ever considered that there is no God and we're really the consequence of...coincidence? A magnificent one on a celestial scale, but a coincidence nonetheless? There way as well may be infinite multiverse a out there, is it really that special to have life spring up on the tiniest of planets in the tiniest of solar systems in some so and so galaxy? And if we're to put aside the sheer awesomeness of the world for a minute, what really is there to compel a belief in a God? Many of us claim that God has a destiny for us, and there's a grand plan. Things have a way of working out in the end, don't they? But what if that's all just the human mind trying to rationalize the unexplainable, or attempting to live with the fact that ultimately nothing is under its control? Haven't there been countless events in history where powerful folk used religion for political agendas such as conquer and control? Hell, some religions were born from purely those motives. Gods all around the world have similar attributes and godly stories similar themes, and I feel like the differences in belief systems only reflect the differences in circumstances, geography, history etc. The Sumerians in ancient Mesopotamia believed in Gilgamesh's Epic (origins of Noah's Ark story, some say) because their livelihood depends so deeply on the rise and recede of the Tigris and Euphrates. The Roman Empire eventually adopted Christianity because it was better suited for its imperialistic needs. The point is, each society in history had molded the concepts of a higher deity(ies) as was needed by the people of its time. Too many times I've seen Muslims poking fun at say, Hindus, for having one too many gods, but I'm a little tired of my brethren walking around like it's their birthright to walk straight into Heaven. Why should you be any more proud to be a Muslim than if you're proud to be tall or have ten fingers? The only reason I haven't completely abandoned the idea of a God is because I don't understand death. It certainly makes it easier to fathom my inevitable doom by thinking that we have a purpose. I want to, nay, I need to believe in a grand scheme if I'm to live my life not in a state of a constant existential crisis. Who's to say anyone of us is right?
  6. In the Qur'an, Allah ( swt ) teaches us that Prophet Ibrahim first turned to the sun and the moon before he realised there was only one God who is superior to all those things. Were there no remaining traditions from prophets that came before him, like Sheet, Idriss, Nuh, ( as ) etc... ?
  7. I know many of us (believers) have been through this, and I personally experienced my boat sinking and I know it is tough getting it back up. But if you won't understand why you have to get back up then you're definitely going to drown. My point of bringing this topic up is not to scare you away by telling you about the torment of hellfire or the agony in the grave, surely I'll do that by the end of our short exchange, but before everything else I want you to know what benefits and positive change prayers can bring to your life! BENEFITS OF PRAYING There are actually a lot; me and you could go on and on about how practicing Islam can benefit you and the people around you, but this once, let me just mention a few of those that I experienced first-hand. Health Prayer can be a source of exercise for most people. It keeps check on your physical fitness. All the obligatory acts in prayers benefit greatly to ones health. For example, going to ruku and sajda and tash'had saves one from back pain and knee-joints pain. Prayer also wards off many illnesses. Down to Earth When you go down in sujood, it gives you a feeling of how small and insignificant you are in front of all the blessings and creations of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى. He made so much, and still blesses you and showers upon you from good. Prayer kills your ego and brings you closer to Allah and the reality. Focusing on how you're alone in this world, and how only Allah is your supporter and benefactor even in the time of adversity. Strengthens the heart and the belief Prayer gives you the strength that you are lacking when facing adversity. It becomes a driving force when met with a lot of short-comings. It strengthens ones resolve to keep moving forward and facing new challenges while knowing that Allah never burdens a soul more than what it can bear. Closeness to Allah When we recite the verses sent down to us Humans by Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى, we naturally feel close to Him. His words are the reflection upon our own-selves. When we make dua to Him and kneel down to Him, it shows that we are ready to give in our desires for pleasing Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى. And that: He is the only "one" we can turn to in the time of adversity... There's nobody else, is there? Countenance and Spiritual Pleasantness Did you know that prayers make your face and spirit brighter? Who wouldn't want their face glowing with happiness and zeal. This not only allows others to look at you in good light but also brings a smile to their faces (especially your family). And it takes off a lot of tension from their shoulders (for some reason). Keeps you away from sins and keeps sins away form you Now this is note-worthy, because both sound just about the same. So where lies the difference? The difference is that there in you will come a sense of responsibility and a sense of accountability once you start praying. You will become more aware of your performance near Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى, and you'd want to please him more and more. Who wouldn't want beautiful reward from Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى?And alternatively, Allah will keep you away from sins with his authority over you if he finds your actions pleasing. And no doubt, he is the most merciful and the most benevolent. Along with oft-forgiving. Gets rid of laziness and grooms punctuality Most of the time we are extremely lazy when it comes to our responsibilities and obligations. But once we start being punctual in prayers habitually, we (Insha'Allah) will become more aware of the limited time we have and the utilization of it. Prayer somewhat grooms the instinct of time within you. When you start praying five times a day, you'll begin to realize if you're spending the remaining time the right way. You will have thoughts like: Am I fulfilling my religious obligations correctly? Is Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى going to be pleased enough with the current me? Have I been listening to every words my parents say? Have I done the job that I must in time? Sense of Accountability I know I am kinda repeating myself here, but I couldn't just skip this point. Because this one is very significant when it comes to prayers. In our daily life, if we skip a prayer, do you know how many things go wrong then? How many times we attempt sins and bad acts? Have you ever reflected upon them?Prayer gives you a chance of reflection. And in the future it keeps you intact and in-check that you don't fall astray to bad acts from Satan. Keeps you pure and clean Before going to prayer, you remember, that you have to be Tahir (pure from any impurity). Thus this single remembrance can keep you more than enough clean and pure. Also, performing ablution three-to-five or more so times a day, protects you from Satan and his devilish whispers. Takes away nightmares and bad dreams I am sure many of us had nightmares or dreams that were bad, something you wish you'd never seen. But if you sleep after doing a wudu, and with faith that Allah and His angels will protect you from such dreams (that come from Satan), you'll be protected. WHAT DOES THE QURAN SAY ABOUT PRAYERS? I hope this thread will open your eyes to the importance of prayers and will bring you closer to Allah. If I made a mistake somewhere in the text, then it is solely from me. Forgive me, as I am only human. P.s. Thanks to my brothers and sisters here, they gave me confidence enough to post my material here. lol. I have some serious confidence issues. :P Anyways, thanks to everybody for reading and supporting! Jazak Allah Khair. Hope it will be helpful to at least a single soul!
  8. Salam This is a hadith that is famous and well known but I'm not sure if it was discussed in SC Allah said in his book that the love of Ahlulbayt is obligation and reward to the prophet messengership (review the verse of mawaddah) while all other previous prophets said to their nations that " we ask you for no reward for this guidance we brought you, our reward is from Allah", our prophet said " I ask you for no reward except the love of my household" This indicates, for shia, that the love of Ahlulbayt is associated with religious value instead of simply being love to biological bloodline . In the same time, associating a religious love with blood line made many question or get confused or deny any special place for this blood line simply because of its blood relation. So the prophet announced that if someone found in himself that he cannot love ahlulbayt then he did not believe in the prophet's message because the love of Ahlulbayt is part of it. يا علي لا يحبك الا مؤمن و لا يبغضك الا منافق
  9. I hope you are all in the best of health and in the best of Imaan. Also, Ramadhan Mubarak to you all. So, I'm interested in understanding the extent of the political authority of a marja. We all know that according to usooli belief it is incumbent upon an individual to do the taqleed of a marja and waajib upon him to abide by the laws of fiqh as set down by the marja. We also have a famous saying that taqleed is in fiqh, not aqaid (beliefs). So, those limits are pretty clear but what is often not clear is the political authority a marja commands. Now, part of answering this question goes back to the raging debates we've had over the years on Wilayatul Faqih and Iran and, if possible, I'd like to avoid those. Instead, I'd like you to answer three simple questions:1. Can a marja ask me to kill someone? Is it incumbent upon me to obey him - even if I don't necessarily agree with him on the reasoning or if he actually doesn't even give one? We have the opinion by many scholars that the hudud cannot be implemented or an offensive war cannot be initiated except in the presence of a ma'soom. Will the murder of a single individual, then, follow in the same vein (as a war is basically killing people in the plural and in this case you're killing just one person?) Also, I know that someone do hold the belief that this is not necessary so I'm only interested in the opinion of those scholars who do deem the presence of ma'soom necessary in the above two situations. 2. If a marja endorses someone in an election, for example, is it wajib for me to vote for them?3. How much political authority do they command in general? In particular, I'm interested in the famous tobacco fatwa of Iran, where a marja banned tobacco for what seemed to be purely political reasons. Was he allowed to do that? Is there a difference of opinion on this? Also, let's assume that the above hypotheticals involve a marja who is not the head of a Islamic government under which you live (so, someone like Ayatollah Seestani and not Ayatollah Khamenaei as the existence of an Islamic government and the stature of the individual ruling as the haakim would muddle the discussion. Now, I also know that some believe that the authority of an Islamic government, like the one established in Iran, is not restricted to those living within the physical borders of the country - and thus any command from Ayatollah Khamenaei, for example, is incumbent upon all Shi'as, and not just those who do his taqlid or those living in Iran and, again, this is a whole topic on its own so I'd like to assume, for the purpose of this discussion, that that is not the case. PS: Once again, I'd like to remind you that while it's obvious that discussion of the theory of wilayatul faqih will inevitably be required in answering my question, I would prefer it if we didn't make this thread just about the theory, or about Iran and its implementation of the idea. Also, while I have singled out Ayatollah Seestani as I am his muqallid and wants to know what he believes is obligatory for me, I do want to know the variety of opinions that are out there, including those of Ayatollah Khomeini and Ayatollah Khamenaei (just with the assumptions I have put forth - so, in a hypothetical world where they were not the heads of states of an Islamic government in Iran).
  10. May the peace, blessings and mercy of God be upon you all. I am aware that Sunnis believe that the Messenger of God used to fast on Mondays and Thursdays. What do the Shias believe with this matter? Is it true, or not? Do Shias condemn this statement or not? Do Shias have a different belief? Also, I would like to fast outside of Ramadan because it increases my taqwa, am I allowed to do this, if no, why? If yes, on what days? [Any hadith on fasting outside of Ramadan for Shias?] I would like to say that I am not here to refute with anyone. Thank you.
  11. Salam everyone, i had a question revolving in my mind for much time and so today i decided to share my question so that i may find satisfying answers from the knowledgeable users of the forum From the time we are young the elders tell us that nothing perfect can come in to existence by itself and so that is the proof for the existence of god but the question that arises is that how can God come to being all by himself?
  12. Salaam, Are there any shias who originally sunni's on this form, if you can share about how and why you would converted that wuld be great
  13. What is Religion! We must know about religion, what it is, to develop to know our position to it. How can we practice Islam that is a religion-not any religion but religion to the whole creation beyond derby -, without knowing about what religion is. Sure all are good and excellent followers of Islam, but Islam is a religion so what is religion again! What specific thoughts occur in you, please let us know. If it is not cool to mention I, AGAIN I AM, than maybe we should use 'you'- hmm how logical is this sentence -. Our scholars say religion has three parts-or 3 whatever - that is: Ahklaq, Aqaed and fiqh- respectively Ethic-ethical morality, belief and jurisprudence-Islamic law -. If any religion misses one of these parts, that religion is defected, handicap,or either sick but can we say it is no religion! Why Islam is the last holy religion to humanity? You have probably confronted the above question in your life! In this topic following questions should be dealt with: What is religion? What is a defected religion? If we accept the concept of religion, than why should we accept Islamic religion and not any other Ibrahimic religion; what answer is needed here? Why Islam the final stage, what can we say about the development of religion because we read in the holy Quran, some Prophets Peace upon Them said that we are muslim! Hope this topic is successful Allah will, and this 'riter a excellent host to guests participating in this topic. Please leave your view and thoughts, this servant will be frugal in using posts to develop text in this regard.
  14. Salam Alaikom Am aware and heard names such as: mottaqi, momin, muslims, moztazafin, kafir, hypocrite, unjust, referring to people or group of people, they are synonym to each other and also opposite of it exist, so all of it is called/named generally what! What is a 'group name'; for example can we say, it is characteristics of the group or individual, or 'kinds of people' or certain level of people! WHAT IS A PROPER WORDING FOR ALL OF IT? And also any important group missing that i have not mentioned! Or maybe we can call it horizontal spectrum/ spectrum of 'what'-level of people, kind of people -. A name that can describe it and also other synonyms. Extra aref, aqil and so on. What more synonym is out there? Please let us know. What is the definition of each word? What is called or what we should call it altogether? What is the proper naming! The Host welcomes all to participate and hope all guests benefit from this topic.
  15. For all of those who are in serious search of the 'TRUTH',This is kind of long but it will help you, InshaAllah :) PART 1: Once Abu Shakir, one of Imam (a.s) opponents, said to him: "Would you allow me to say something and ask some questions?" "Yes, you can", replied Imam Jafar as-Sadiq. Said Abu Shakir: "Is it not a myth that there is Allah? You want people to believe in a thing which does not exist. If there was Allah, we could have felt his existence through our senses. You may say that we can feel His presence by the help of our inner senses, but our inner senses also depend upon our five outer senses. We cannot conjure up an image of anything in which some of our senses were not involved. We cannot conjure up the picture of a person whom we have not met; recall to our memory his voice if we have not heard him and feel the touch of his hand by our inner senses if we have never taken his hand in our hand." "You may say that we can perceive the presence of Allah by our intelligence and not through our inner or outer senses. But our intelligence also needs the assistance of our five outer senses, without which it cannot function. We cannot make any reasoning or come to any conclusion without the help of our senses. By your imagination you have created a being, which is of your own image. Since you see, talk, hear, work and rest, He also does exactly what you do." "You do not show Him to anyone. To maintain your hold on the people you say that He cannot be seen. You also say that He was not born from the womb of a woman. He does not procreate and that He would not die. I have heard that there is an idol in India, which is hidden behind a curtain and is not allowed to be seen by the Hindu devotees. The custodians of the idol say that it is out of mercy that their god does not appear before them, because whoever casts his eyes on it, would instantly die." "Your Allah is also like the veiled god of the Hindus. It is out of His mercy that He does not appear before us. If he does, we shall surely die. You say that the universe was created by Allah, who did not talk to anyone, except to the Prophet of Islam. As a matter of fact the universe came by itself. Does anyone create the grass, which grows in the field? Does it not grow and get green by itself? Does anyone create the ants and the mosquitoes? Do they not come out by themselves?" "I must tell you, who claims to be a scholar and the successor of the Prophet, that among all the stories, which circulate among the people, none is more absurd and baseless than the story of Allah, who cannot be seen. There are many baseless stories, but they, at least, depict real life and present before us the people and personalities, who may themselves be fictitious, but their acts and deeds are like those of real human beings. We can see them. They eat, they drink, they talk, they sleep and they love. When we read these fictitious stories, we enjoy them. We know that they are false, but we see in them the faces of men and women, who are like us. The people mentioned in the stories might not have existed, but our common sense accepts existence of such people in the world. However, when we cannot see, feel or touch your Allah, our logic and reasoning, which depend upon our senses, do not accept his existence." "l know that some people, who have been deceived by you, believe in your invisible Allah, but you cannot deceive me and make me believe in Him. I worship God, who is made of wood and stone. Although my God does not talk, but I can see him with my eyes and touch him with my hands." "You say that the God whom I have made from my own hands is not worthy of being worshipped, while you ask the people to worship Allah, you have created by your imagination. You deceive innocent people by saying that your imaginary Allah has created the universe, but I do not deceive anyone. No one created the universe. There was no need of any god to create it. It came by itself. God cannot create anything. He is himself our creation. I created him by my hand and you by your imagination." PART 2: Answer by Imam Jaffer al Sadiq (a.s) Imam Responded to Abu Shakir. "you have said that I have fabricated stories and ask the people to worship Allah, who cannot be seen. You refuse to acknowledge existence of Allah, because He cannot be seen. Can you see inside your own body?" Replied Abu Shakir: "No, I cannot." Imam Jafar as-Sadiq said: "If you could have seen what is inside you, you would not have said that you do not believe in Allah, who cannot be seen." Abu Shakir asked: "What is the relationship between seeing within one's own body and the existence of your unseen Allah?" Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (A. S.) replied: "You have said just now that a thing, which cannot be seen, touched, tasted or heard, does not exist." Abu Shakir said: "Yes, I have said that and I believe it is true." Jafar as-Sadiq asked: "Do you hear the sound of the movement of blood in your body?" Said Abu Shakir: "No, I do not. But does blood move in the body? Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (A. S.) said: "Yes, it does. It makes a full circuit of your body. If the circulation of blood stops for a few minutes you will die." Abu Shakir said: "I cannot believe that blood circulates in the body." Imam Jafar as-Sadiq said: "It is your ignorance, which does not let you believe that your blood circulates in your body, and the same ignorance does not let you believe in the existence of Allah, Who cannot be seen." Then the Imam asked Abu Shakir whether he has seen the tiny living beings, which Allah has created in his body. Jafar as-Sadiq continued: "It is because of these small creatures and their wonderful work that you are kept alive. They are so small that you cannot see them. Since you are a slave of your senses, you do not know about their existence. If you increase your knowledge and decrease your ignorance, you will come to know that these small beings in your body are as large in number as the particles of sand in the desert. These small creatures are born in your body, multiply in your body, work in your body and die in your body. But you never see them, touch them, taste them or hear them in your life time." "It is true that one who knows himself knows his Allah. If you had known yourself and had the knowledge of what is going on inside your body, you would not have said that you do not believe in Allah, without seeing Him." Pointing his finger to a huge stone he said: "Abu Shakir, do you see the stone, which is in the foot of that portico? To you it seems lifeless and motionless, because you do not see the brisk motion, which is inside the stone. Again it is lack of knowledge or your ignorance, which would not let you believe that there is motion inside the stone. The time will come when the learned people would see the motion which is in the stone." "Abu Shakir, you have said that everything in the universe came by itself and has no Creator. You think that the grass in the field grows and gets green by itself. You must know that the grass cannot grow without seeds and seeds would not germinate without moisture in the soil and there would be no moisture if no rain falls. The rain does not fall by itself. First the water vapors rise and gather above in the atmosphere in the form of clouds. The winds bring the clouds. Then the water vapors condense and fall down as rain drops. The rain must also fall at the right time; otherwise no grass will grow and become green. Take the seeds of ten kinds of herbs and put them in a closed jar, which has sufficient water, but no air. Would they germinate? No, in addition to water, seeds need air also. It is possible to grow grass, herbs and fruits in hot houses, when it is very cold, provided there is sufficient air. Without the presence of air no grass will grow in the fields and get green. If there is no air, all plants and animals, including human beings, would die." "Abu Shakir, do you see the air, on which your very existence depends. You only feel it when it moves. Can you refuse to believe in the existence of air? Can you deny that to grow and get green the grass needs many things like seeds, soil, water, air, a suitable climate and above all a strong managing power, which may co-ordinate the action of these different elements? That Managing and coordinating Power is Allah." "You say that everything comes by itself because you are not a scientist. No scientist would ever say that. All scientists and all scholars believe in the existence of a creator; albeit, they may call Him by different names. Even those, who do not believe in Allah, believe in a Creative Force." "Abu Shakir, it is not because of one's knowledge, but it is due to his ignorance that he does not believe in Allah. When a wise man thinks of himself, he finds that his own body needs a controller so that all its organs and systems may function properly. He then realises that this vast Universe also needs a controller or supervisor so that it may run smoothly." PART 3: Imam (a.s) continued to Abu Shakir "You said that both of us create our own gods - you by your hands and I by my imagination. But there is a big difference between your god and my Allah. Your god did not exist before you made him out of wood or stone, but my Allah was there before I could think about Him. I do not create my Allah by my hands or by my brain. What I do is to know Him better and think of His Greatness. When you see a mountain you try to know more about it. It is not creating the mountain by imagination. That mountain was there before you saw it and it would be there when you are gone." 'You cannot know much about the mountain because of your limited knowledge. The more your knowledge grows, the more you will learn about it. It is impossible for you to find out when and how that mountain came into being and when it would disappear. You cannot find out what minerals are there inside or underneath the mountain and what is their benefit to mankind." "Do you know that the stones, out of which you make your idols, came into being thousands of years ago and shall exist for thousands of years more. These stones have come here from a distant place. They could travel that long journey because different parts of the earth are always moving, but this movement is so slow that you do not feel it. There is nothing in the universe, which is not in motion. Rest or motionlessness is meaningless. We are not at rest even when we are sleeping. We are in motion because the earth is in motion. Besides, we have a motion inside our own bodies." "Abu Shakir, if you had any knowledge about the piece of stone, out of which you carve an idol, you would not have denied the existence of Allah and said that I have created Him by my imagination. You do not know what a stone is and how it came into being. Today you can handle it as you like and cut it into any shape or form, but there was a time when it was in liquid state. Gradually it cooled down and Allah solidified it. In the beginning it was quite brittle and would have broken into pieces in your hand like a piece of glass." Asked Abu Shakir: "Was it in a liquid condition before?" "Yes, it was", replied Jafar asSadiq (A. S.) Abu Shakir burst into a peal of laughter. One of the students of Jafar as-Sadiq got angry and was about to say something when he was stopped by his teacher. Abu Shakir said: "I am laughing because you say that the stones are made of water." Jafar as-Sadiq (A. S.) replied: "I did not say that the stones are made of water. What I had said was that in the beginning they were in a liquid state." Abu Shakir said: "What difference does it make. The liquid and water are the same things." Imam Jafar as-Sadiq replied: "There are many liquids which are not water. Milk and vinegar are liquids, but they are not water, although they have a water content in them. In the beginning the stones were liquid like water and they flowed like water. Gradually they cooled down and became hard so that you could cut them and make them into idols. The same hard stones will turn into liquid, if they are heated." Said Abu Shakir: "When I go home I will check the truth of your statement. I will put the stone in the fireplace and see if it turns into liquid or not." Said the Imam: "You cannot liquefy stone in your fireplace. Can you liquefy a piece of iron at home? A very high temperature is required to turn solid stone into liquid." "Do you realise how you could make the idols out of stones? It was Allah, who made the stones. It was He Who created you and gave you the hands with the unique fingers, which enabled you to handle tools and chisel out the idols from the stones. Again it was He who gave you power and intelligence, which you used in making the idols." Imam (a.s) Continued "Abu Shakir, do you think that the mountains are only heaps of stones? The Great Allah has created them to serve some very useful purpose. They were not created so that you may take stones and turn them into idols. Wherever there is a mountain there is flowing water. Rain and snow which fall on the mountain tops produce streams of fresh water. These streams combine together to form big rivers, which irrigate farms and fields. The people who live in the valleys, through which the rivers flow, are assured of constant supply of water. People who can afford it, go to the mountains during the summer season to escape the heat of the plains." "The mountains work as a great bulwark and protect towns and villages, which are in their valleys from the devastation and destruction of hurricanes. Green mountains provide good grazing grounds for sheep. When burning heat burns the Grasslands down in the plains and no fodder is left, the shepherds take their flocks of sheep to the mountains and stay there till the end of summer. Mountains are also habitats of birds and animals, some of which are a good source of food for those, who live there. Even the mountains, which are not green, are not without some use. If the people try, they may discover in them mines of metals and minerals which are useful for mankind." "Abu Shakir, I am too small and too weak to create Allah with my brain. It is He, who has created my brain, so that I may think of Him and know Him - my Creator. He was there before I came into being and He would be there when I am no more. I do not mean that I would be totally destroyed. Nothing in the universe is totally destroyed. Everything is subject to change. It is only Allah, Who does not change." PART 4: Imam (a.s) Continued "Abu Shakir, please tell me sincerely to whom will you turn for help when you are in trouble? Do you hope that the idol you carve out of stone can come to your Help? Can it cure you when you are sick; save you from mishaps and calamities; save you from starvation and help you pay your debts?" Abu Shakir replied: "I have no such expectations from the stone, but, I think there is something inside the stone, which will help me. Moreover, I cannot help worshipping it." Imam Jafar as-Sadiq enquired: "What is inside the stone? Is it also stone?" "I do not know what it is. But it cannot help me if it is also stone," replied Abu Shakir. Said Imam Jafar as-Sadiq: "Abu Shakir, what is inside the stone and is not stone and can help when you are in trouble is, Allah." Abu Shakir pondered over the subject for a while and then said: "Is Allah, who cannot be seen, inside the stone?" The Imam replied: "He is everywhere." Abu Shakir said: "I cannot believe that a thing may be everywhere but remain unseen." The Imam said: "Do you know that the air is everywhere but cannot be seen?" Said Abu Shakir: "Although I cannot see the air, I can, at least, feel it when it moves. But I can neither see your Allah nor feel his presence." Imam Jafar as-Sadiq said: "You do not feel the presence of air when it is not moving. The air is only a creation of Allah. It is everywhere, but you cannot see it or feel its presence by your senses. You have admitted just now that although you do not see it, but your instinct or your soul tells you that there is something inside the stone, and is not the stone, which can help you. That something is Allah. Your instinct also tells you that you cannot live without Allah and without worshipping Him." Abu Shakir said: "It is true. I cannot live without worshipping idols." Said Imam Jafar as-Sadiq: "Do not say idols. Say Allah. It is He, Who is worthy of worship. just like you everyone is obliged to worship Him. One, who does not worship Allah has no guide and no guardian. He is just like one, who cannot see, cannot hear, cannot feel and cannot think. He does not know where to go and on whom to depend when in trouble. Imam (a.s) Continued ‘‘Worshipping Allah is a part of living. Every living being worships Him instinctively. Even the animals cannot live without worshipping Him. We cannot ask them and they cannot tell us that they worship Allah, but their well regulated and orderly life is sufficient proof that they worship Him.’’ "I do not say that the animals believe in Allah and worship Him just as we do. But there is no doubt that they obey the laws made by their Creator faithfully, which means they worship Him. If they were not obedient to their Creator, they could not have such an orderly and regulated life." "We see that just before the advent of spring the titmouse (a kind of small bird) always comes at the same time and sings, as if to give us the tiding of the new season. The itinerary of these migratory birds is so regulated and their schedule so fixed that even if the last days of winter are still cold, their arrival is not delayed for more than a few days. When Chilchila (a migratory bird) returns after covering a distance of thousands of miles, it builds its nest at the same place, where it had built it last spring. Was it possible for these small birds to have such a well organised life if they did not obey the laws of Allah and worship Him?" "Abu Shakir, even the plants obey the laws made by Allah faithfully and worship Him. Out of 150 species of plants, which are further divided into hundreds of sub-species you will not find even one plant, which has a disorganised and disorderly life." "Abu Shakir, just like us the plants also do not see their Creator, but they worship Him by obeying His laws instinctively." "I know that you will not accept, or perhaps you do not understand, what I say. A man must have sufficient knowledge to understand complicated problems." "Abu Shakir, not only animals by their animal instinct and plants by their plant instinct obey Allah and worship Him, the lifeless and inanimate objects also, with whatever instinct they have, obey Allah and worship Him. If they did not worship Him, they would not have followed the laws made by Him. As a result, their atoms would have broken apart and they would have been destroyed." "The light which comes from the sun also worships Allah by obeying his laws, which are very stringent and exact. It comes into being by the combination of two opposite forces. These forces also obey the laws of Allah and worship Him, otherwise they cannot produce light." LAST PART: In Last Imam (a.s) Said "Abu Shakir, if there was no Allah there would have been no universe and no you and me. The sentence, "There is no Allah', is meaningless. The existence of Allah is a must. If attention of Allah is diverted, even for a moment from the affairs of the universe to something else, it would break up. Everything in the universe obeys His laws, which are permanent and eternal. Because of His absolute wisdom and knowledge, He could make such wonderful laws, which will last for ever. Each and every law, made by Him serves some special and useful purpose." When the Imam concluded his discourse, Abu Shakir fell into a deep reverie as if he was greatly inspired. Imam Jafar as-Sadiq asked: "Do you now believe that Allah, who cannot be seen, does exist and what you worship is the unseen Allah?" Abu Shakir replied: "I am not yet convinced. I am in a quandary. I am full of doubts and misgivings about my faith and my convictions." Jafar as-Sadiq remarked: "The doubt about idol worship is the beginning of the worship of Allah."
  16. (BISMILLAH) (Salam) I hope you are all in the best of health and Iman. When we look at the events surrounding Siffin and the events resulting from it, such as the creation of the Kharjites and the subsequent battle of Naharwan, we that a lot of the people who left the Imam's side were not necessarily evil but were simply fooled by Ibn Aas. For example, when I was younger and had for the first time come across the Imam's history in the series made about him, when his camp started panicking because Ibn Aas has spread rumours that he would divert the flow of the Euphrates, I actually believed it! I was neither in the war nor was I opposed to the Imam (I was barely old enough to understand this stuff) but, if I was, at that time, one of his camp, I would have probably run away like those guys. The same was true for a lot of the people who accepted arbitration: they simply weren't clever enough to see through Ibn Aas' rouse. Many of the Kharjites, too, were not bad people. They were not out for personal gain or to profit and in fact had a very ascetic lifestyle but because they were not clever enough and hypocritical, they became the worst of the Imam's enemies, despite probably having good intentions and only wanting to please God. Now, if we believe that non-Muslims who have good intentions and tried their best to find the right religion but were, for whatever reason, unable to come to accept Islam as the right religion will also be accepted into Heaven, what about people like the Kharjites? Given that I can't exactly control how intelligent I am and if I will be able to see through another person's deceit, is it possible that they will also be forgiven?
  17. (bismillah) (salam) I hope you are all in the best of health and Imaan. As we all know belief is one of the fundamental requirements for success in the afterlife: "By time! Verily, man is at loss, except for those who believe and perform goods and exhort one another to the truth and to endurance." - Surah Asr While these verses and numerous others in the Qur'an constantly remind us of the importance of belief, I have wondered if many of us born Muslims really fulfil the requirements as they were meant to be met. Most converts - from any religion to any other religion, whether Islam or not - can safely claim that they tried to find the truth and have arrived at whatever they found most logical. Even if they were ultimately wrong, they can at least excuse themselves by telling God that they tried their best. Can we do the same, however? Can we truly say that we believe not because we were born into the religion but because we believe? Are we sure that we aren't Muslims simply because we have a bias toward the religion? Over the years, I have become more and more certain that while the test of the non-Muslims is to oppose their bias against their against Islam, ours is the exact opposite: to be introspective and examine our belief while considering our bias for the religion. And, the more I consider this, the more I realise that many of us have failed utterly in this regard! Consider the following verses: [2:170] …they say, "Rather, we will follow that which we found our fathers doing." Even though their fathers understood nothing, nor were they guided?" [5:104] …they say, "Sufficient for us is that upon which we found our fathers…" Do you believe were only relevant to the pagan Arabs and don't apply to us? How many of us can satisfactorily answer the problem of evil? How many of us even know about and properly understand the problem of evil? How many of us will just stand silently? And, how many of our answers will just be lip service to what we heard some Sheikh say in some lecture, when we don't even understand half of it? Even if we think we have the answer, how many of us would now present it to an atheist to see if it actually holds up to scrutiny? If we have never even entertained these questions, are we not the same as the pagan Arabs, sheep who have simply followed in their forefathers' footsteps? While you must have heard numerous how we are lucky to have been born into Islam, I have often wondered whether this has made us lax, as we have simply started to believe that just because we are Muslims, we have successfully fulfilled the belief part of the criteria. Would a just God give a man who had to fight his family, his friends and, most important, his own self to validate Islam the same "pass" as He would to someone who claims to be Muslim but doesn't even understand the basics properly, let alone being able to justify them? If we've never even tried attacking Islam, or considered the arguments made by other religions, if we've simply lived in this bubble for all your life, as many of us have, I highly doubt we will be labelled as Muslims on the Day of Judgement and that we will be granted the Jannah that we deem our birth right! In conclusion, if you were born as a non-Muslim, can you truly answer that, with the way you have lived your life, you would have become a Muslim?
  18. (bismillah) (salam) I hope you are all in the best of health and the best of Imaan. There is a question that has bothered me for sometime now, regarding the status of miracles and whether they - or, at least, some of them - should be used as a basis for belief. While the end results are what concern me the most, my beliefs, as well as the questions I have regarding them, are shaped by my personal experiences, as is the case for us all. What we are exposed to has a profound impact on how we view the world. And, while the end result to these questions is what I seek, these experiences have created certain assumptions in my mind, certain prerequisites before I can finally get to my final query. As such, I have decided to put the question in parts, beginning with certain underlying assumptions, based on my personal experiences, so that we may first debate their validity before dealing with the derivatives. Due to this, I will also share some of these experiences, so that you may have a clearer picture of where I'm coming from. While there are obviously other avenues to pursue with regard to miracles and their impact on beliefs, such as whether these miracles are simply examples of self-fulfilling prophecies or whether the individual is simply delusional, for the sake of this discussion, we will assume that miracles, Divine acts that affect the natural course of events, whether by means that can be explained by science or not, do take place. Once we have establised this, I would like to divide miracles into two categories. The large scale, impersonal events, such as the flood of Moses or the Prophet parting the moon, that affect/benefit a large group of people and no one individual in particular, especially if the benefits are not material, and, as such, cannot also be a result on one individual's psychosis. Then, there are the small-scale, personal miracles, that by definition, only affect a single individual or a very small group. Examples of these would be a relatively miraculously returning to health after contracting a terminal disease. As my title suggests, my focus will primarily be these and, while I might dabble in the former in a future thread, this will be the focus. The reason I am interested is because you hear numerous stories of people converting to Islam because of similar miracles. For example, I've heard of a story of a Hindu woman in Congo whose son was sick and the doctors recommended that he drink some alcohol/wine (I think the problem had to do with the throat?) and she, for whatever reason, chose not to do so (though I can't imagine why she would be opposed to it). Instead, someone suggested she do a Nadhr for Hazrat Abbas, which she did, and her son was cured. She, then, became a Muslim and to this day, holds ceremonies in respect for Hazrat Abbas. Now, I've never been to Congo so I can't confirm the story but I'm sure you've come across myriads of such cases. Now, onto the actual thing: When I was much, much younger, there used to be a show on the TV that I used to watch on weekends, which showed various miracles. Now, the show chronicled miracles involving people pertaining to various faiths: you would have a Muslim returning from the brink of death one week and Hanuman helping a single mother the next week. This raised a curious question in my mind: if only one God - or belief - is correct, how do all these people experience miracles? As such, the next time I met a cleric, I inquired about this apparent discrepancy. His reply was somewhere along the lines of: while Islam is the only true religion, and the cries of the followers of other faiths to their gods fall on deaf ears, Allah is, after all, the Creator of all humans and, as such, when He hears His creation pleading, He sometimes chooses to enact a miracle, even though they may not be praying to Him. To my young self, the answer seemed satisfactory enough. A similar sentiment was also expressed in the first episode of the series about Prophet Joseph (I've embedded the link, in case anyone wants to see it), where Prophet Jacob is preaching to the pagans of his time and one of them argues that if their god, Ishtar, is false, how did he/she heal their son. To this, the Prophet replied: "The Omniscient God who hears your sobs healed your child, not Ishtar! Although you sought help from your gods, and sought help from someone other than God, He, who is aware of all His creations, heard you plead and showed mercy to you by healing your child." This is very similar to the reply of the cleric that I had received earlier. Granted, the series is semi-fictional but it is, I assume, done under the supervision of religious scholars and consultants. And, that is the first assumption I wanted to debate. Can personal miracles happen to those who do not follow the religion prescribed by God for their time and have either adulterated His religion or plain worship other gods? My primary concern at this point is textual; do we have any aHadith that might suggest that this is possible? Of course, there are philosophical questions that this raises as well, which I am much more interested in discussing, either here or in Part II, but we must first establish that this position has some credibility.
  19. Hello! I'm new posting and the reason why I have become part of this community is because there are some questions in life that I have that I cannot ask others in my family (either because they'll call me crazy or not understand me, not because of any shameful reasons). Anyway, the point of my post is to ask what your thoughts on Evolution are. Please, if you are not informed on what evolution really means then try to refrain from merely giving negative comments. In my opinion, the evidence on evolution is overwhelming, to the extent that if it is not real then it must be to some extent true. I am a true believer in Allah, but I'm not a native speaker of Arabic and find it difficult to read the Qur'an. I have it in my list of top things to learn, no need to comment on this. With the knowledge I do have however I find no clash whatsoever in the writings of our holy book and evolution... unless we were to take everything literally. So what do you think? Some people call it a sin to find evolution feasible and call me names for appreciating the beauty of the mechanism. On the other hand, it just strengthens my believe in Allah that he could have possibly created us so perfectly and simply.
  20. QUR'AN: and give good news to the patient ones who, when a misfortunate befalls them, say: "Surely we are Allah's and to Him we shall surely return." Those are they on whom are blessings and mercy from their Lord, and those are the followers of the right course: The patient ones are mentioned in these verses so that Allah may give them good news to begin with, and then may teach them the way of good patience, and thirdly, may explain to them why patience is essential it is because Allah owns the man and fourthly, may declare what is its overall recompense, that is, blessing, mercy and being guided aright. Allah first told His Prophet to give them good news; but did not disclose what was that good news about. This was to show the greatness of the subject matter it is from Allah, therefore, it must be about something specially good, great and beautiful. Moreover, it is something which Allah, Himself has guaranteed. Thereafter, He said that the patient ones are those who say these words when misfortune befalls them. "al-Musibah" (translated here as misfortune) is any happening that occurs to a man; but it is always used for a distressing happening. "Who... say: 'Surely we are Allah's...'": The word "say" as used here does not mean mere utterance of the sentence without keeping its meaning in mind. Even understanding its meaning is not sufficient, unless one penetrates to the depth of its reality. And that is that man is owned by Allah in real ownership and that he is surely to return to Allah his Master. If this feeling takes deep root in his heart, the man will observe the highest degree of patience; sorrow, fear and anguish will be totally eradicated, and the rust of heedlessness will be removed from the heart. How? Man and all his faculties, actions and other concomitants of existence, are there because of Allah He is his Creator and Originator. Man exists because of Allah, and is dependent on Him in all his affairs and conditions. He does not have any existence, or continuity independent of Allah. The Master has the right to manage His slave's affairs in any way He likes; the slave has authority whatsoever in his own affairs, because he has has no authority no independence at all. Allah, owns him; He is the real Owner of man's existence, faculties and actions. Then Allah allowed man to ascribe his "self" to himself as a property is ascribed to its owner. That is why it is said that "man has existence." In the same way, He permitted him to ascribe his faculties and actions to himself. Accordingly, it is said that "man has faculties like hearing and sight", or "he does some actions like: walking, speaking, eating and hearing." Without the Divine permission neither man nor anything else could own any such ascription or attribution, because nothing exists without the Divine permission, or independent of Allah's will. Allah has also informed us that ultimately all things will revert to their original status the state before Allah allowed them to be attributed to one or the other creature and then no ownership will remain there except that of Allah, as He says: To whom belongs the kingdom this day? To Allah the One, the Subduer (of all) (40:16). It shows that man together with all that "belongs" to him or is with him is to return to Allah. In short, there is a "real" ownership; it is reserved for Allah nobody be he a man or something else shares it with Him. And there is an "apparent" ownership, for example, man "owns" his own "self " as well as his children and properties etc. But the real ownership is of Allah, and man owns them in form and appearance only and that also because Allah has allowed such attribution. Thus, when man remembers the reality of Divine ownership, and then looks at his own "self", he knows that he is wholly and totally owned by Allah, Then, he realizes that his "apparent" ownership of his "self" as well as of his children and properties, etc. will soon cease to exist, will become null and void; it will return to his Lord. Then, he will understand that ultimately he owns nothing, either in reality or in appearance. In this background, there is no reason why he should grieve if he is afflicted with some misfortune. One may be affected only by something which one owns feeling happiness when it is found or sorrow if it is lost But when he believes that he owns nothing, he shall not be affected by finding it or losing it. How can he be afflicted by any loss when he believes that Allah is the real Owner of everything and He may manage His property in any way He likes?
  21. Straitness and the Prophets The Prophets encompassed a struggle when they came to mankind to preach. Allah says in the Quran to Prophet Muhammad: [7:2] A Book revealed to you-- so let there be no straitness in your breast on account of it-- that you may warn thereby, and a reminder close to the believers. The breast of the Prophet Muhammad was meant to be straitened because of what he was meant to preach. The literal meaning of the word strait is narrow. It is used to describe pain and difficulty. But despite Allah saying that "let there be no straitness in your breast on account of it", the poor Prophet Muhammad has his breast straitened; because of them. [11:12] Is it then possible from you (O Prophet,) that you will abandon some of what is being revealed to you, and that your heart will be straitened thereby, because they say: Why has a treasure not been sent down to him or an angel not come with him? You are but a warner. And Allah takes care of everything. But what did the Prophet say? He still asked for their forgiveness. He continued to feel the pain in his heart, and continued to ask for their forgiveness. That is why Allah stated in the Quran: [59:21] Had We sent down this Quran to a mountain, you would have seen it humbled, burst apart out of awe for Allah. We cite such examples for people, so that they may ponder. Such was the heart of our Prophet Muhammad, and that is what differentiated him from other human beings. And that is what made him special. The reason the Imam Mehdi will be different from other human beings is because his heart will be able to experience all the same and he would be able to withstand the pressure of it all to speak to Allah for one last forgiveness for the people. Would you try it and feel the pain and not fall down crying? Surely, you will not have the strength. May he have it! (The concept of the straitness of the Prophets is also there for other Prophets, when Musa said: [26:13] My heart gets straitened, and my tongue is not fluent; so send for Harun. And for Lut: [29:33] And when Our messengers came to Lut, he grieved for them and his heart was straitened because of them, but they said: We are going to save you and your family, except your wife who will be among those remaining behind. Also, the concept of straitness is there for the unbelievers: [6:125] So, whomsoever Allah wills to guide, He makes his heart wide open for Islam, and whomsoever He wills to let go astray, He makes his heart strait and constricted, (and he feels embracing Islam as difficult) as if he were climbing to the sky. In this way, Allah lays abomination on those who do not believe. (Perhaps some people will wonder here how is it that the Prophets feel the same way as unbelievers feel. Allah says in the Quran: [9:128]“There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you [i.e., your guidance] and to the believers is kind and merciful.” Allah has no qualms to set forth a destined time and send down His punishment. He says in the Quran: [32:13] And if We had so willed, We would have led everybody to his right path (by force), but the word from Me had come to pass: I will certainly fill the Jahannam with jinn and human beings together. [68:14] So, leave Me alone with those who reject this discourse. We will draw them on little by little (towards hell) from a way they do not know. [89:23] and Jahannam (hell), on that day, will be brought forward, it will be the day when man will realize the truth, but from where will he take advantage of such realization? There are many more Ayats that tell of Allah's reckoning and some more where He is stated to be quick in reckoning (3:19, 40:17, 5:4 and many more) but there are a variety of Ayats that tend to make a believer even more fearful of Allah's wrath: [74:35] it (Saqar : hell) is one of the greatest things. [67:11] Thus they will confess their sin. So, away with the people of the hell! [67:10] And they will say: Had we been listening or understanding, we would not have been among the people of the hell. [89:23] and Jahannam (hell), on that day, will be brought forward, it will be the day when man will realize the truth, but from where will he take advantage of such realization? All these Ayats, and there are many more, talk about the regret that the unbeliever will have on the day of judgment. There are also numerous Ayats where the people of the hell ask the angels and the keepers of the hell to pray to Allah for their mercy (40:49, 43:47). Thinking that hell will not be painful for us, or that we may never be able to get into it is equivalent of denying it. As it is in Surah Haaviya, man cannot comprehend what hell is; it is in a state of fury. He just seems to think that he will get over it or that he will not suffer enough or that he will be able to find the grace of the Lord...but that will not be the case. We must always deliver durood and salaam on the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa'Alihay Wassalam) because he was a sign of mercy for the people. Which brings me to my initial topic: why do the hearts of the Prophets straiten? It is stated in the Quran: [9:113] It is not (permissible) for the Prophet and the believers to seek forgiveness for the Mushriks, even if they are kinsmen, after it became clear to them that they are the people of hell. [48:6] and so that He may punish the hypocrites, men and women, and the mushriks (polytheists), men and women, who think evil thoughts about Allah. Bound for them there is a vicious circle, and Allah has become angry with them, and He has prepared Jahannam (hell) for them, and it is an evil destination. [92:11] And his wealth will not help him when he will fall down (into hell). These all Ayats point out to the facts that not the Prophets, nor the believers are permitted to seek forgiveness for those meant to be in hell. And then there a reason to go to hell. And then the failing of wealth to protect him.The straitness of the Prophet is because he chose to defy God, continued to preach, and seek forgiveness for each and every single person in mankind. Ibrahim couldn't do it, Musa couldn't do it, Lut couldn't do it, by God Nuh lived 950 years and he couldn't do it...but the Prophet Muhammad brought down the Lord's favor and said that even if you say "One Allah" I promise paradise for you. It is such a pity, that some of us are even unable to do that. Before I leave, some Ayats to consider: [7:179] Surely We have created for hell a lot of people from among Jinn and mankind. They have hearts wherewith they do not understand, eyes wherewith they do not see, and ears wherewith they do not hear. They are like cattle. Rather, they are much more astray. They are the heedless. [25:65] and those who say: Our Lord, avert from us the punishment of Jahannam (the hell); indeed, its punishment is a persisting affliction. And, perhaps if you are able to comprehend this Ayat: [33:72] We did offer the Trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they refused to bear its burden and were afraid of it, and man picked it up. Indeed he is unjust (to himself), unaware (of the end). Thank you.
  22. (bismillah) In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the most merciful. May He ward misconceptions from our souls and help us attain certainty. ßóÊóÈó Úóáóì äóÝúÓöåö ÇáÑóøÍúãóÉó He has decreed upon Himself Mercy. (6-12) The question is based upon the attribute of Mercy. It is commonly known that Allah has created humanity out of His Mercy. Therefore, Since we say Allah has created everything out of His Mercy, I raise two questions: 1) Is the attribute of Mercy created by Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì? 2) If it is a creation, why did Allah allow it to partake in His actions? i.e. Does Mercy govern Allah or does Allah govern Mercy? If Allah governs Mercy, then Allah does not need to create because of "His Mercy." If Mercy governs Allah, then there is a flaw in our understanding, which needs immediate attention, of the Most High, Most Merciful. Please, any opinions or elaborations are greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. (wasalam)
  23. In The Name of Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful. Assalamualaykum wa RAHMATULLAHI WA BARAKATOH. I hope you are all in the best of health and faith. :D Recently, on another thread, Satyaban used the word "satuguru". I was wondering what it means and, so, would be very grateful if he could any other adherent of Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) could answer me about that. I have seen on the internet some Hindus who reject the whole notion of idols - or, atleast, this is what I have understood which MAY BE WRONG. Can you shed some light as to whether such people exist in Sanatana Dharma? I also had a specific question for Brother Satyaban: "If the above is true and there are followers of Sanatana Dharma who reject idols, then do you agree with them?" I have no intention of hurting or offending the Hindu brother here so, if any of my comments/questions here have hurt you, I am extremely sorry and hope you will forgive me. May Allah (SWT) bless us all, our families and loved ones, may He guide us all to The Straight Path with His Perfect Guidance and may He, The Forgiver of Sins and The Oft-Forgiving, forgive all our sins for, indeed, there is neither any refuge nor any respite except in Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì.
  24. Some of you may of read my previous thread(linked here), in which i asked whether unbelievers, even if they have lived good lives, would still be sent to hell by the God of Islam. I think in the end it kind of wound up inconclusive. Many people seemed to hold different views, as in, hell is a possibility OR hell isn't then they went on to rationalise why they believe such a thing. Just from the quranic evidence i have found i have a moderately strong reason to believe that as an "unbeliever" i will be sent to hell for an undefined period of time (somewhere between a little after 0 and eternity). Even if i was a good person, i would still be sent to hell because i am an "unbeliever". I don't really wish to discuss that topic any further here, if you really feel the need you can take it to the other thread. However, it did get me thinking, if i'm being sent to hell just because i simply don't believe, is it even possible to believe? Granted, i've thought about it before then but that thread gave me the drive to post it here. So, what i'm really asking is this - Is belief strictly voluntary? Think about it, the quran says (possibly) eternal hell is a punishment for not believing. So, why doesn't everyone just start believing? A lot of people seem to think they're sadly mistaken or they're doing it out of spite for God or something and even to myself this spite is hinted at in the Quran. However, i contend it is simply impossible to voluntarily change your belief at any instant in time. Let me offer several thoughts why. Obviously, going to heaven and not going to hell is what most people would want if God did exist. I'm sure we could all agree going to heaven is a fairly large reward, some would contend an infinite reward, the best reward one can ever receive and i probably agree. Hell conversely, is the very worst outcome you can get, to be subjected to the horrors of hell. It's the worst outcome. Even with infinite reward at stake and infinite motivation to do it, i still can't suddenly start *actually* believing in God. It’s important to note here that its *actual* belief. As true as you believe a circle has no edges or the sky is blue, you just *know* it. I'm not talking about some kind of self-deception or lying or a false display of belief, i mean *actual* belief. On a similar kind of vein of thought, think about this. I have a (very large) briefcase with 1 trillion dollars ( 12 zeros!) in it. What you actually want to do with the money doesn't matter, you could buy yourself fabulous mansions, build a bunch of mosques or churches, open your own library, donate heavily to charity, look after everyone you know, ect. This amount of money is so huge it's very hard for our minds to conceive but it is a huge, huge amount. It's bigger than the GDP of a lot of countries, Only 15 of the 192 countries counted have a GDP higher than 1 trillion dollars, thats the value of *all* the goods and services produced in the entire country in an entire year, so its an absolutely mind-blowing amount of money. I will give you this briefcase; you only have to perform one simple task. I want you to actually and truly believe there is a purple elephant in the corner of this room, right now, at this instant. Actually, truly, believe it. Let’s pretend i have super powers and i can look into your mind (this isn't as silly as it sounds, God can see inside your mind so he would also know if you had true belief, so it is highly applicable to my situation/argument/thought experiment) or some kind of magical machine that can read your mind. Even under such an enormous reward, you would find it impossible to choose to believe in the elephant. Its analogous to the situation about God, even though the reward is great and people understand this, just as people understand the possible severe punishment, they are still *incapable* of just suddenly choosing to believe. Again, another situation. Imagine i have taken you and your family hostage (don't worry, i'm too much of a peaceful person to ever do anything like this :) ) i will hurt or kill your entire family *unless* you can, at that instant or very soon, start to actually believe that a circle is square or that i am a dolphin. You just couldn't do it. Even it being the life or death situation it is, you still couldn't do it and truly believe it (let’s assume I’m using my magical machine again). Likewise, even if you wanted to, do you think tomorrow you could just suddenly will to exchange your belief for a totally polar one. For you Muslims out there, perhaps just decide to believe that Hinduism or Shinto is true or that there is no God. You cannot simply just start believing it and truly accept it, even if you wanted to. Same to the atheists out there, could you just wake up tomorrow and just decide to believe in a God? It seems impossible. Therefore, i contend it is impossible to choose your belief. What does everyone think about this? It seems like a fairly set case to me personally. (Just as an add-on to my hell thread, if it is as i have shown and it is impossible to choose your belief, which the quran suggests why would an all loving and all just God send people to hell for something they have no control over? If he indeed would send them to hell. If he doesn't that means you don't need to believe in him to get into heaven, so what is the point in believing? I actually summarised this in a nice little table on the very last page of the heaven/hell thread, i suggest you look at it. What i would like to suggest is this - Long as you didn't do anything grossly bad or evil or that your Good outweighed the bad, everyone will get into heaven. If you truly believed in what you believed and you thought about it, no punishment will be delivered. On the odd chance someone decided to go against God out of spite the reward or punishment might be different. However, it seems grossly unfair to punish people for something they have no control over. This isn't the purpose of the thread though, i mainly want to talk about belief here.)
  25. Someone here asked me awhile ago why i don't believe in God and in Islam and i sent them some reasons through the messenger system here. They encouraged me to share them, i didn't because they weren't up to my standard and various other reasons with things like this but i decided to share some of them. They are far from finished though, so excuse any imperfections. Usually in these kind of arguments the burden of proof is on the person to prove something *does* exist if it is not apparently obvious, instead of comming from the default state that it doesn't exist. However, i guess i will do just that. Also note, even if you come up with arguments proving that God exists, it still doesn't negate my arguments that he doesn't. Whereas, if i come up with arguments proving he doesn't exist, it does kind of negate the arguments that he does. To start off with though, i am not very well trained in philosophy. I have only taken a handful of classes. I'd like to mention something rather profound my professor told me though... If you accept the premises of an argument(these are the things that lead to a conclusion) as logical and yet you reject the conclusion or the argument, as a whole, there is something wrong with your reasoning. You need to step back and reexamine your views. Even if one and only one of these arguments still seems logical to you (i have put a lot of thought into them as well, it does seem almost all muslims would accept my premises) then you still have a little reexamining to do. In my case here, every numbered item, except the last is a premise. If you accept each of these individually and yet, reject my conclusion, that is not logical. You must step back and reexamine what you think, with all respect intended of course. If you wish to accept this as a prerequisite for continuing then please, do read on. I have put a decent amount of time into this. As promised in the thread i will outline some of my reasons: Category A: Arguments against God The properties of God are hard to list and vary wildly. Most religions however agree that God is all loving. Reason 1: The problem of evil. If god is loving why would he allow evil to exist? I realise the Islamic view point (as far as I'm aware) is that free will is a greater gift or of greater benefit to humanity than evil. I have formulated my own counter argument however. 1)God is all loving. 2)Evil exists. 3)An all loving God would not allow evil to exist at all or would not allow it to exist without an excusing reason. 4)God allows evil to exist because to allow free will is the greater gift(the excusing reason). 5)An evil doers free will however can negate and cancel out another persons free will. 6)Allowing evil to exist negates free will in a large proportion of the time. 7)There is no great benefit to be derived in allowing evil/free will to exist. 8)Why does a loving God allow evil to exist then? 9)An all loving God does not exist. An example - People often say even if God enacts bad or evil upon us (being robbed, raped, mugged, having our house burn down) it is just a test for us in life, to judge our resolve and faith to determine where we go in the next life. It is also often said God allows evil to exist because to allow free will, rather than deny, is a greater gift. The capacity to do evil comes along with the gift of free will. Example: A little girl is walking on her way to school one day. A convicted murderer and rapist abudcts, horribly rapes and later murders this girl after several days of suffering. It is logically inconsistent to inflict such a thing upon the girl to test her faith and resolve, she is not at an age capable of logical reasoning or her deeds admitting her to heaven or hell. Some people have told me that this poor girl was treated in such a horrible fashion to test her parents, i however, find this extremely disgusting that God would create the little girl and use her as a pawn to simply test the parents. I do not want to believe in such a God and i do not think many others would. God knows all that will happen. God lets us into this earthly life so we might be judged for the next. Why create this little girl, to judge her, with full knowledge she will die before she is able to be judged. Why allow this little girl to suffer, if it is not even capable of judging her. Why bring her into the world in the first place if you know full well this will happen? Onto the free will argument for the existence of evil. People say evil exists because free will exists and free will is a great gift. Indeed it is. However, in almost all cases, the evil people exercise as a result of having the trait of free will, restricts or totally denies others the same right to exercise their free will. This is logically inconsistent. Why would God allow evil as a result of the gift of free will, when evil is used most of the time to deny another's free will. That girl was raped and murdered *against* her free will. God allowed one being to deny her free will. This is not a good enough reason for the existence of evil, when evil in itself, negates free will most of the time. That girl was killed and subsequently, her free will extinguished by the free will of another. This does not make logical or theological sense in the light of an all loving, all powerful God. Reason 2: The natural problem of evil. Ok, even if you manage to accept God allows evil to exist because free will is a great gift, this raises another problem. The natural problem of evil. Evil caused by one human onto another isn't the only kind of bad thing that exists in this world. Evil exists in nature. For example: In Africa there is a young boy who grew up in very very poor and horrible conditions, he is not yet of an age to be judged by God (according to islam). This boy, by nature of living in such horrible conditions, drinks water that is infected with a parasite. There is no other source of water in the village and no one was previously aware this water was infected. He contracts a horrible parasitic worm. This worm slowly bores into the eye of the boy. Causing extreme pain and suffering over the course of many months, followed by blindness and finally the relief of Death. 1)God is all loving and all powerful. (Premise 1) 2)Free will exists. (Premise 2) 3)Evil exists. (Premise 3) 4)Evil exists to allow free will to exist. (Premise 4) 5)A parasitic worm that bores into childrens eye sockets exists. (Premise 5) 6)This worm does not need to exist to allow free will. (Premise 6) 7)It does a bad or evil action. (Premise 7) 8)This action is not a necessary prerequisite to allow the existence of free will or the judgement by God of the child. (Premise 8) 9)Yet, God still allows such a parasite to exist. (Premise 9) 10)God either does not exist or is not all loving or all powerful. (Conclusion 1) As someone who studies biology and will go on to do a PhD i'd just like to point out the entire ecosystem wouldn't collapse if parasites didn't exist in the same way everything would fall apart if we suddenly removed plants. Parasites don't really need to exist. Even if they did (which they don't), an all powerful and loving God would be able to design an ecosystem without these creatures in the first place. All parasites invariably cause suffering to their hosts. Suffering is not a good thing. People may say parasites aren't evil, they are just natural but again, this raises the question, why did God put them here in the first place? He could of designed a world without them. Less animals and humans would of suffered because there were no parasites and yet, parasites still exist. Example 2: Another example not even entirely related to humans is thus - A baby deer wanders in a Forrest, frolicking in all its innocent wonder. Animals are not capable of being judged. Lighting strikes a tree, causing a fire and the burning tree topples over striking the deer. The deer is horribly burnt and suffers in agony for 5 days until death finally relieves it of its pain. God being an all powerful being could have control over lightning if he so wished. There is no good reason for such a thing to happen to an innocent creature who is not capable of being judged. Yet, it still does occur. Why would a good God allow such an innocent animal to suffer such horrendous pain? He could of surely prevented this horrible suffering as an all powerful and all loving being. You might say that only proves God isn't wholly (100%) good. I for one do not wish to believe that God is not wholly good or in other words, God is at least partially evil. You may believe such a thing and that is fine, i personally find such a notion abhorrent. So, in this case, we either have a God who does not care or not willing to do anything about the suffering of the deer (who is not 100% loving) OR can't do anything about it (not all powerful) OR doesn't exist/interfere in earthly life *at all* ever (why even believe/worship then). Reason 3: Poor Design As someone trained in human anatomy and biology in general this is of special interest to me. If God was all powerful, surely, he would do the best he could at designing things, the first time around as well. Humans exhibit poor design. Most other animals for example have the ability to synthesize Vitamin C whilst humans lack this trait. Lack of vitamin C causes scurvy and eventual death. There is no good theological reasoning for making humans able to synthesis so many other things (we synthesis the many building blocks needed to make hair and we can synthesise many of the building blocks for proteins crucial to health for instance) and yet, not Vitamin C. Flightless birds still have wings, this is another argument of poor design. Human females go through an external menstural cycle, that is, waste from such a process is released externally. Most other mammals do this internally (called covert menstruation - https://secure.wikim...rt_menstruation ) with relatively few health effects that human females suffer from during menstruation such as headaches or cramps. There are many other examples but i think mine shall suffice. 1)A perfectly powerful God would logically exhibit very Good design. (Premise 1) 2)Things do not exhibit very good design (Premise 2) 3)This raises problems about an all powerful God or such a God does not exist.(Conclusion) Some of our poor design plays into my second argument about natural evil. I mentioned scurvy and Vitamin C, why would an all loving God allow children to die from Vitamin C deficiency when he could of simply allowed our bodies to make it like most other animals? Why make innocent and good people suffer by simply not designing us to produce Vitamin C like most other animals do? Scurvy isn't a nice disease to have, at all, feel free to look up the symptoms and pictures if you wish. Another example of poor design is diseases. Most will say diseases are created by God to inflict upon us to test us. In muhammeds time pretty much any serious bacterial infection would of killed you, if you had any kind of cancer, you would or most likely died. The plague killed so many people. You know what would happen today if you got the plague? You would be prescribed some antibiotics and you would most likely live. Not the death sentence it used to be. So, why bother creating diseases to "test" us when we can cure such diseases anyway? Does that mean i should never take any medicine so i should be fully tested by a disease? If i do take medicine aren't i giving up on my test? I believe there will be a day where we can find proper pharmacological targets for any disease and cure them. There will be a day where most people will no longer suffer from disease. Why bother inflicting such horrible things on early humans only to have humanity now start to cure them? Why bother creating disease we will cure one day anyway? Reason 4: Contradictory Free Will God gave me free will and God is all knowing. Could i use my free will to deny God's plan, it would make me in effect, in one way, almost have power over God. Let me elaborate. IT is said that only God knows when jugement will happen and this date is set. There will be all the signs, the madhi will come, ect... all at certain set times. What if i were to construct a 5,000 very large nuclear warheads, mad scientist style. I would then take them into space and then launch them at earth. I would kill all humanity before judgement time, i would kill all humanity before the madhi arrives. I would make a liar out of the holy books. There are two options here, either, God stops me from launching these nuclear warheads but that negates my free will and if you are able to negate free will, it isn't free after all. That suggests that our free will isn't entirely free. The second option is i ended the world and stopped the god given prophecies from ever happening, even though it is clearly written they would. These events would not take place anymore. I know i do not have access to that many nuclear warheads obviously but it still is a logical argument. It is not impossible to suppose with enough initative, money and manpower that i will not be able one day to construct such a thing. You could replace it with anything really, an extremely deadly virus i engineered, ect, anything with the same philosophical nature. Category B: Arguments against Islamic conceptions Reason 1: Heaven and Hell 1)God is all loving, all fair and all just (according to Quran) [Premise 1] 2)Heaven and Hell exist according to the Quran. [Premise 2] 3)Good people would logically go to heaven and Bad people would logically go to hell. 4)A loving God would not punish someone who has done good deeds. 5)Either: A)God denied unbelievers entry into heaven but allows the believers only. This is not 100% just and not 100% loving. So, God is partially unjust and partially unloving/ partially not good, so, partially evil. B )God allows all into heaven eventually. What is the point of following Islam and not every other religion or no religion? 6)Both can not be simultaneously true. 7)Either God is unjust or unloving or there is no point in following Islam. [Conclusion] Reason 2: Heaven and Hell - Shirk 1)God(Allah) is all loving and all powerful.(Premise 1) 2)Shirk is the one sin that God can not or will not forgive ever, according to the quran.(Premise 2) 3)If God does not forgive shirk he is not all loving. (Premise 3) 4)If God can not forgive shirk he is not all powerful. (Premise 4) 5)Shirk is unforgiveable according to the quran. (Premise 5) 6)Either God is not all loving or not all powerful. (Concluson 1) That is an argument in itself. I present a totally different thing below as well. I am not 100% sure on the Islamic theology regarding this so i am not using it as an argument on its own. I am using it as an additional note to the one above. It no way superceeds or replaces or conflicts with the above. It is thus - If i grow up a Hindu polytheist, doing only Good deeds for my entire life, what is my fate? Surely it is hell for all eternity, because i comitted shirk. Yet, i only did good deeds. Why would God punish a good man, additionally, it was not my fault i was born in india into a hindu family. I had no control over it and yet God did. Why is God punishing me for the very thing he instituted upon me? I realise some say that regardless of where you are, you should still naturally find Islam. I reject this assertion. The same argument could be used for any religion. What if i monothestically worshiped Satan or a pagan God, why is that still not as bad as being a polytheist? This seems grossly unjust and unloving. Why are my good deeds as a polytheist worthless than those of a monotheistic pagan or indeed anyone else. Say i was born into a remote tribe? What of me then? This isnt the crux of my argument though, the above numbered list is. Reason 3: Argument from incompleteness 1)The quran is the complete (Qur'an 6:11-116; 7:52) and perfect document of God 2)The quran is incomplete (EG. Doesn't detail the correct method of prayer, even though you are expected to pray.) 3)The quran is Authored by God 4)God asserts the Quran is complete 5)The Quran is incomplete 6)Either God is a liar, not all powerful or the quran was not authored by God. Reason 4: The contradiction inherent in abrogation. 1)God is omnipotent (all powerful) and all perfect. 2)The quran is the literal document of God. 3)The quran is perfect, since it is designed by a perfect being. 4)The quran states verses may need to be aborogated. 5)This implies the quran wasn't written to the absolute highest, complete and perfect standard in the first place. 6)Either God is imperfect, not all powerful or the Quran is not the literal, innerant document of God. I believe you accept all these assertions as a muslim. If you accept all these assertions and yet reject the conclusion i drew from it there is some kind of problem with your reasoning and you need to step back and think. Same holds for all my other arguments. Category C: Miscellanea These aren't what i consider absolutely good or proper, flawless, arguments. They are some of my favourite though and do raise interesting questions about knowledge (epistemology), i consider them more "fun" arguments than "serious" arguments. Reason 1: Argument from Incosistent Revelations As it says over to the side, i am agnostic. 1)I and many others currently hold no beliefs with regard to religion or lack there of. 2)There must be a true religion or true idea of God out there. 3)There is a huge number of exclusively different belief systems/religions out there(Hinduism, Paganism, Wicca, Buddhism, Taoism, ect). 4)Only one or a particular group of beliefs can be true. The rest can not. 5)All religions just seem as equally as true. There is no reason to suppose hinduism or paganism look any less true or logical to an outsider choosing a religion. They all claim to be true. There is no way to establish conclusively which one is true. 6)The probability of any particular belief system being the truth is exceedinly small and a risky gamble. The probability your religion is false is much higher than the probability that it is true. See the following link for more Info - https://secure.wikim...ent_revelations There are two more miscelanous arguments which i didn't have the time to type up but you can read them here(taken from wiki): 1) "The "historical induction" argument concludes that since most theistic religions throughout history (e.g. ancient Egyptian religion, ancient Greek religion) and their gods ultimately come to be regarded as untrue or incorrect, all theistic religions, including contemporary ones, are therefore most likely untrue/incorrect by induction. It is implied as part of Stephen F. Roberts' popular quotation: “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” 2) https://secure.wikim...heist%27s_Wager I have many more arguments, some are better than these but these are easier to present and i lack a lot of time to present them all. I think this provides a reasonable sample of my reasons why though. These last ones were just for fun. Again, remmeber what i said in the opening, if you accept all the premises but reject the conclusion you really need to consider what exactly you do believe. It's alright to have differing interpretations and be liberal if you so wish, its alright to believe in the literal interpretation if you so wish, long as you can find logical reasons for it. If you cant or unwilling...its a bit hard if you want to go against logic but thats up to you. I realise some of these questions might be hard or distressing to think about for some people, this is one of the reasons why i did not wish to post them, so i am sorry if i upset anyone in advance. It was not my intention. I hope you take the time to read them and consider them. I consider the first 2, the ones about evil, to be some of my very best arguments against the existence of God. They seem near bulletproof to me in a philosophical sense. Thanks for your time reading, -kingpomba
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