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Found 5 results

  1. If God created the universe, then who created God? And who created the creator of God? Dear Readers, The question seems mind-blowing and thus has been at the center of the most heated philosophical and theological debates in Islam. To solve the very problem, I would like to draw your kind attention to the following points that can easily solve the problem raised: A) The philosophical principles are always all-inclusive and do not undergo any exception of any kind. Hence, the impossibility of ‘effect without cause’ and ‘infinite regress’ are of those philosophical principles that can never be subject to any exception. B) To the Muslim Philosophers, the proposition “everything needs a creator” is not a true philosophical rule. As mentioned earlier, had this proposition been philosophical, it should have included all cases and examples. Nothing and no one should have remained beyond this philosophical rule. But as we see the proposition is not truly applicable to the Ultimate Cause. At least, from this perspective, Allah, being the Ultimate Cause, seems an exclusion to the rule. C) To solve the very challenging problem we must reword and rephrase the above-mentioned misleading proposition with another alternative. Instead of maintaining “everything needs a creator” we must say that “every contingent and possible existent needs a creator or an efficient cause”. The subtle difference between the two propositions is “everything” and “every possible thing or being”. As a result, It is correct to say that ‘every possible and contingent existent needs its appropriate cause or creator’. This sentence, logically and rationally, does not include the Necessary Being called Allah. For He is not a contingent existent rather He is the Necessary Existent. Thus, Allah or God, the Ultimate Cause of the causes, does not stand in need of any begetter or creator. This concept is harmonious with the Quranic verses as well that says: Say, “He is God, [who is] One, God, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born, Nor is there to Him any equivalent”.
  2. Salams to all, Great excerpt from David Bentley Hart's book, "The Experience of God."
  3. (bismillah) (salam) I am aware that it is a general belief that Hindus are kafir. But are they? Because in their religion there is also a concept of monotheism. they(a larger part of them) believe that there is only one creator of the world ishwara/brahma/vishnu/parmeshwara but sometimes god manifests himself in physical forms on earth and they are called avatars or bhagwans .This is shirk, but does shirk makes someone kafir? if yes then since Christians believe in trinity , are they kafir too? what actually makes someone kafir? what is the defination of kafir? Thanks in advance for those who are willing to help.
  4. If a married woman has relations with her husband's best friend, she makes arguments that it is OK we are JUST friends, I did not make him my husband. He fulfills my needs whenever I ask him, he takes care of me. And yes, he's very close to my husband, my husband can't refuse his request. The same thing mostly people do with Allah. They say it's OK to supplicate to others, prostrate, making Niyaz/ nazar etc as far as we did not call them God. While Allah clearly says, Surah Al-Baqarah, Verse 186 ٢-١٨٦ ‌وَ‌إِ‌ذَ‌ا‌ سَأَلَكَ عِبَا‌دِي عَ‍‍نّ‍‍ِ‍ي فَإِنّ‍‍ِ‍ي قَ‍‍ر‍ِ‍ي‍‍بٌ ‌أُج‍‍ِ‍ي‍‍بُ ‌دَعْوَةَ ‌ال‍‍دّ‍َ‌اعِ ‌إِ‌ذَ‌ا‌ ‌دَع‍‍َ‍انِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُو‌ا‌ لِي ‌وَلْيُؤْمِنُو‌ا‌ بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُد‍ُ‌ونَ “And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me, indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.” Surat Ghāfir (The Forgiver) - سورة غافرAnd your Lord says, "Call upon Me; I will respond to you." Indeed, those who disdain My worship will enter Hell [rendered] contemptible. Prophets (as) supplicated to Allah, other people too, mentioned in Quran. For Allah, fornicator and polytheist are on same level. Surah Noor, verse 3 The fornicator does not marry except a [female] fornicator or polytheist, and none marries her except a fornicator or a polytheist, and that has been made unlawful to the believers.
  5. Tauheed and Capital Introduction Human beings are born with some distinctive traits which are absent in all other species. These distinctive traits not only form the basis of many philosophical debates, but are also of significance in this discussion. Our subject regards the topic of Tauheed (or, literally, the oneness of God). Then, practical relations of the concept of Tauheed to the notion of ‘capital’ are drawn. The concept of capital starts with a humanly trait of gaining more. Very broadly and crudely speaking, this quest for more may be present in the form of a human’s worldly or spiritual gains. In contemporary social terms, this trait of human can be defined as the practical demonstration in the form of the ‘free market economy’. In this economy, the rule of the thumb is to maximise own profits through the procedure of buying least expensively and selling most expensively possible. It forms the basis of the rationale of value and prestige to common man i.e. a man in this world is appreciated a great deal by his fellows as long as he can follow this pattern successfully. The logic present in the current world is the maximization of profits without a set limit for any end. In Marx’s terms, “capital does not abide a limit” (Marx, 1973) Alongside this limitless quest of human to reach the infinity of most profitable outcomes while using everything around him including his own self as a ‘tool’ to attain that objective prevails in the current age, Muslims are seen to recite in every prayer that God is ‘one’. The aim of this paper is to draw a theory that with the desires of attaining a limitless capital, a Muslim’s self-declared concept of Tauheed is challenged. We try to cover a debate of many pages in only a few words; it is inevitable that many concepts might remain ill-explained and incomprehensive conclusions may be drawn by this process of shortening, but we will try our best to capture some realities of the life here. There is no god but Allah Amongst the most commonly quoted words for any Muslim are the words of the Kalma. The literal translation of that oft-quoted phrase is ‘There is no god but Allah’ (Kalma Taiyyaba) One of the most common Surah’s of the Quran, arguably the second most common, opens up as follows: “Say, "He is Allah , [who is] One,”” (Quran Surah Ikhlas, 112:1) Another Surah not as commonly recited opens up as, “Craving for excess diverted you” (Quran Surah Takathur, 102:1) We start off by putting to question the literal meaning of the Kalma Tayyiba itself. When we say there is no god except Allah, is it merely numerical oneness meant by Tauheed? We wish to not debate on the topic that whether even numerical oneness is applicable to Allah or not. Not to mention that when we consider He is the creator of time, space, numbers and even infinity, there is none of these notions that can ‘limit’ Him. But what we want to bring to light is the notion that when we deny all other gods what is it that we really mean. Is it necessary for us to deny all other gods in order to accept Allah to be the ‘One’ and ‘Only’ praiseworthy Entity? Which perspective on this very Kalma is important to us. To use it as what it can be, i.e. the biggest weapon against so many ills including capitalism? Or just to repeat the word merely as a tongue exercise. Verily God is, as the Surah Ikhlas proceeds, indifferent (not indifferent in the sense that he does not care about us, but that he does not need our prayers for any benefit to Him). So all the implications of the concept of Tauheed must have a direct effect on primarily our betterment. It might be assumed at this point that the concept of Tauheed must be something of prime advantage to ourselves, individually and collectively, instead of God. While the positive effects of belief in Oneness of God are promised in Islam, practically speaking, we can be observed not to actively take as much advantages from it. On an average level, all of our lives revolve around the capital. When a child is born in any average Muslim family, his educational needs are met by his parents. The parents feel successful if their children go to schools, universities and colleges that are best known for generating the most capital. One of the most significant determinants of any marriage is the possession of or the ability to attain the most capital by the to-be spouse (commonly the male half). The mental and physical effort that one puts in attainment of his perceived ‘success’ in the form of this holy capital makes a person spend his entire life struggling, obsessing over, and achieving this capital. But it might make him regret in his deathbed that ‘I wish I hadn’t worked so hard’ (Steiner, 2012). This process of starting schooling as soon as the ability allows, completing the educational career without any thoughtful breathers in the middle, being on the quest for the most paying jobs or making the best out of his present business, develops a person’s character in a way that his focus lies in approaching the one and only reality of his life: the capital. It is then sensed, that the capital is in fact the most significant variable that shapes our lives. While describing ‘Capital’, Ali Shariati very aptly calls it ‘the great idol of our age’ (Shar'iati, 1979). The above mentioned idol, however, is only one of the four idols around us. What was mentioned above is only the economic capital. According to Bourdieu (1994), there are three other kinds of capitals that humans engage in accumulating. Second to the economic form of capital, which Bourdieu brings to light, is the ‘social capital’. Human beings become worried about not having enough of social relations. This ends up in us spending most of our time looking for perfect social relations which may or may not be important to our character building. Thirdly, human beings strive to accumulate ‘cultural capital’, to blend into the highest forms of culture. This might include communicating in English to emphasize familiarity with the highest form of global culture (it being the internationally recognized language). Lastly, ‘symbolic capital’ is our way of attaining prestige and honor from the society around us. It essentially means that we want to acquire We struggle to gain as much of capital in the form of respect and glory as we possibly can so much so that we lose touch of our actual worth. All of these mentioned capitals divert a man from his main objective in life. They are powerful enough to prevent deep thinking from occurring. So with the presence of such powerful forces that drives almost everything in our lives, it might be argued that when we actually give up all other deities other than Allah, why the capital attains such a centrality in our lives? Could elevating the level of capital to such a primacy in our practical lives arguably be the modern form of ‘shirk’? Should capital be our main prayer when we are praying to ‘God’ while better life after death a secondary one? Whether it is material or Islam that we let occupy the central position in our lives explains a great deal about whether it is Allah that we are taking as our sole Diety or are we mixing our concept of Tauheed with the capital? All of this confusion is caused very fundamentally by the presence of the concept of ‘duality’ in our lives. Tauheed, as analyzed by Ali Shariati, is a concept which explains that everything moves in a ‘single direction’ and what does not move in that direction by its nature does not exist (Shar'ati, 1979). However the notion of duality is caused by looking at the world with two different views simultaneously. One is earthly while the other heavenly, one is applicable and the other is personal, one relates to action the other only relations to mere beliefs which occupy a lesser part of the practical life. What would exemplify this argument would be a Muslim teenager who spends his time in college and when he is asked what does he ‘believe in’ in terms of his god, he might succeed in saying Allah. But when asked about his main objective in life, he might change his tone to a completely earthly objective. What we see is that although practically his aims and objectives and ‘beliefs’ are different and do not center around the notion of God, his religious belief is God. This presence of duality can also be perfectly exemplified in the case of a non-practicing Christian celebrating Christmas superficially, as merely a cultural occasion that involves no practicality in his real life. This duality paves ways a great deal for manipulators to corrupt, impure and desensitize the strongest powers that any Muslim possesses, those of Tauheed. This process is done by the most used and tested method of all time: inject materialism into a religion and there shall be no ‘religious religion’. The only way to rid this duality is to bridge the gap between the ‘beliefs’ and ‘practicality’ and see it as one. This fundamentally means the internalization of beliefs so much so that they are noticeable in our externality. Conclusion So my argument is that the concept of Tauheed does not merely entail the belief in presence of Allah, the Almighty. It also entails the process of defying any other god that we might hold central to our beings. If by god we mean the entity which is most prior to us, occupies most of our time in practical as well as mental lives and matters the most to us and we place it as our first and foremost obligation while we are existing for an evidently ephemeral time on this earth, then there is no doubt capital has attained a much more elevated position than it deserves. Is saying there is no god but God only applicable if we think of the gods which were worshipped wrongly instead of Allah in the time when Quran was revealed? Consequently for a religion that thrives on its universality in terms of space and time, would the most fundamental concept be limited by time in the sense that only a renouncement of those certain gods would satiate the purpose behind worshipping Allah alone? What we experience in fact, is that this Kalma has lost its power in the contemporary Muslim community, although it is supposed to be perfectly universal. We have taken it for granted that to believe in God’s numerical oneness and not taking any other deities (only those which were present in other religions) instead of Him satiate the necessity of this Kalma to be a Muslim. There are no more idols made of sand or clay to challenge our belief in Allah anymore. It is not the worshipping of those physical idols which were present in the time before Prophet Muhammad (SAWW) initiated the revolution in Arab that are applicable to the challenges faced by Muslims of today. The contemporary idol is the capital, which shapes our behavior, is ‘made’ to exert so much power on us by the portrayal of images on media which depict a practically unattainable status of beauty, power and wealth, prestige and relations which keeps us busy in our entire lives striving to attain those statuses. It is this capital that needs to be removed from its central position given by us, the believers of the One and Only God. It needs to be removed from its primacy of being at a level which ‘diverts us’ (Quran 102:1) from our main purpose of existence. Bibliography George Ritzer, J. S. (2009). Sociological Theory. McGraw Education. Marx, C. (1973). Grundrisse (English Translation). Shar'ati, A. (1979). On the Sociology of Islam. USA: Mizan Press. Shar'iati, A. (1979). Marxism and Other Western Fallacies. Islamic Foundation Press. Steiner, S. (2012). Top five regrets of dying. www.guardian.com. http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/01/top-five-regrets-of-the-dying
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