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placid

Let's study 'The Spider'

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Surah 29 is called 'The Spider.'

41. The parable of those who take protectors other than God is that of the spider, who builds (to itself) a house; but truly the flimsiest of houses is the spider's house; - if they but knew.

Hi Yonus,

You had said in a previous discussion that it is considered that all non-Muslims are infidels.

As I keep studying I find that the Quran identifies 'infidels' or 'unbelievers,'

--- and that we are to 'discuss' with other believers (as we do here on Shiachat).

44. Allah created the heavens and the earth with truth. Lo! therein is indeed a portent for believers.

45. Recite that which hath been inspired in thee of the Scripture, and establish worship. Lo! worship preserveth from lewdness and iniquity, but verily remembrance of Allah is more important. And Allah knoweth what ye do.

46. And argue not with the People of the Scripture unless it be in (a way) that is better, save with such of them as do wrong; and say: We believe in that which hath been revealed unto us and revealed unto you; our God and your God is One, and unto Him we surrender.

47. In like manner We have revealed unto thee the Scripture, and those unto whom We gave the Scripture aforetime will believe therein; and of these also (the people of Mecca) there are some who believe therein. And none deny Our revelations save the disbelievers.

48. And thou (O Muhammad) wast not a reader of any scripture before it, nor didst thou write it with thy right hand, for then might those have doubted, who follow falsehood.

49. But it is clear revelations in the hearts of those who have been given knowledge, and none deny Our revelations save wrong-doers.

Sale: 44. God hath created the heavens and the earth in truth: Verily herein [is] a sign unto the true believers.

45. Rehearse that which hath been revealed unto thee of the book [of the Koran]: And be constant at prayer; for prayer preserveth [a man] from filthy crimes, and [from] that which is blamable; and the remembring of God is surely a most important [duty]. God knoweth that which ye do.

46. Dispute not against those who have received the scriptures, unless in the mildest manner; except against such of them as behave injuriously [towards you]: And say, we belive in the [revelation] which hath been sent down unto us, and [also in that which] hath been sent down unto you; our God and your God is one, and unto him are we resigned.

47. Thus have we sent down the book [of the Koran] unto thee: And they unto whom we have given the [former] scriptures, believe therein; and of these [Arabians also there is] who believeth therein: And none reject our signs, except the [obstinate] infidels.

48. Thou couldest not read any book before this; neither couldest thou write it with thy right hand: Then had the gainsayers [justly] doubted [of the divine original thereof].

49. But the same [is] evident signs in the breasts of those who have received understanding: For none reject our signs, except the unjust.

--- Does this not say that disagreements should be discussed for the betterment of all, --- and that the infidels and disbelievers and the unjust are easily identified?

Placid

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Hi Placid, If roman or estern orthodox consider catholic and protstant are disbelievers ,so how muslim not consider jews and christians kuffar disbelievers ? Forexample : You can't marry orthodox lady .Kafir in arabic means cover in english = cover the truth like farmer cover the seed with sand .1- Christians disbelieve prophethood of Muhammad ,so they disbelieve Allah who sent him .2- They disbelieved who said Allah is Jesus Son of Mary .3- They disbelieved who said Allah is the third person in trinity .4- 9:30] And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah. That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved of old. 9:31] They have taken as lords beside Allah their rabbis and their monks and the Messiah son of Mary, when they were bidden to worship only One Allah. There is no Allah save Him. Be He Glorified from all that they ascribe as partner (unto Him)!Quote : 46. And argue not with the People of the Scripture unless it be in (a way) that is better, save with such of them as do wrong; and say: We believe in that which hath been revealed unto us and revealed unto you; our God and your God is One, and unto Him we surrender. If it is so then why muslims claim that the bible is corrupted !

THE BIG QUESTION IS , IS QURAN (SALEH) GOOD FOR EVERY WHERE AND EVERY TIME ?

Edited by yonus

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Hi Yonus,

46. And argue not with the People of the Scripture unless it be in (a way) that is better, save with such of them as do wrong; and say: We believe in that which hath been revealed unto us and revealed unto you; our God and your God is One, and unto Him we surrender.

--- Aparently it was God speaking to Muhammad through the angel, who said, --- "And say: We believe in that which has been revealed unto us and revealed unto you; our God and your God is One, and unto Him we surrender."

--- There is much repetition in the Quran from both the OT and NT, so is this not saying that what was being 'revealed' to Muhammad both compliments, and confirms, what was 'revealed' to the 'People of the Scriptures?

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Hi Placid

If you spoke to several Muslims on the subject, you would probably get several different answers.

The fact is that the word 'infidel' does not correspond exactly to the word 'Kafir'. If you looked up the word 'infidel' in three different dictionaries, you would get three different definitions. 'Infidel' came into existence during the hey days of Muslim-Christian discord several centuries ago. 'Infidel' is a derogatory term while in common parlance, 'Kafir' is generally meant to describe a person who knowingly and willfully rejects Islam. However, the People of the Book seem to be excluded. As for those born in the Christian or Jewish faith, there is even less reason to identify them with 'kafirs' because thay have been born as such and have not knowingly or willingly rejected Islam.

Here are the meanings of the word 'infidel' from three different dictionaries :-

(1) Cambridge : OLD USE DISAPPROVING :-(used especially between Christians and Muslims) someone who does not have the same religious beliefs as the person speaking

(2) Merriam-Webster :

1 : one who is not a Christian or who opposes Christianity

2 a : an unbeliever with respect to a particular religion

b : one who acknowledges no religious belief

3 : a disbeliever in something specified or understood

(3) Oxford : a person who has no religion or whose religion is not that of the majority.

Since the word is not really used any more, all three meanings are different. In any case, Christians and Jews are certainly neither Kafirs nor infidels, by any stretch of the imagination.

But you might be interested to know that many denominations within Islam call one another kafir.

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Hi ILove,

The word 'infidel' is used twice in the NT, 2 Cor 6:15 and 1 Tim 5:8.

It basically means 'disbeliever' as your definitions explain.

Au 'unbeliever' might be one who has never heard the message in order to believe, and a 'disbeliever' might be one who has heard and rejected.

I agree that 'unbeliever' does not really apply to Jews, Christians and Muslims, while there may be many 'disbelievers' in all three religions, is that not right?

--- Wikipedia says of Kafir:

In the Islamic doctrinal sense, the term refers to a person who does not recognize God (Allah) or the prophethood of Muhammad (i.e., any non-Muslim) or who hides, denies, or covers the "truth". The Quran also uses the word for Muslims; in Sura 2 Verse 256, it asks them to take upon themselves the action of "Kofr" of all unjust idols, persons or powers.

It is usually translated into English as "unbeliever" "ungrateful" or "obliterator." In recent times, the term is seen as derogatory, which is why some Muslim scholars discourage its use and suggest the term "non-Muslim" instead.[1] --- End of quote.

--- Because the words have different meanings in different applications it may be well mot to use them at all and say what we understand, --- non-Jewish, non-Christian, non-Muslim, and unbeliever, or disbeliever.

There is another word that has kind of lost its meaning over the years that was close to infidel, and that is the word 'fool.'

The dictionary meaning is 'simpleton' but in the Scripture, it didn't mean crazy, stupid of clownish, but rather, a person lacking in spiritual understanding, as in Psalm 14:

1. 'The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God."

Thank you for correcting my spelling of Jihad. I really knew that, and have spelled it right before but got careless.

I notice you didn't correct the meaning, or the application I made to the 'inner struggle,' so that does apply to each of us in our submission to God, does it not?

Placid

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Hi Yonus,

Quote:

1- Christians disbelieve prophethood of Muhammad ,so they disbelieve Allah who sent him.

Response, --- Christians believe in God and honor Him whether or not they accept the prophethood of Muhammad. Those of us who do accept his prophethood are in the minority, ---- but many divisions have been caused and manipulated through misunderstandings and deceptions by the great divider, Satan.

--- As I discuss with Christians, I say, "Read the Quram and find out who Muhammad was and what he did." --- (I have said the same to Muslims, "Read the Gospels, find out who Jesus was and what He did.")

You see, Muslims have enlarged the problem by exalting Muhammad above what the Quran does, have they not? --- It says in Surah 3:

84. Say (O Muhammad): 'We believe in God and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and that which was vouchsafed unto Moses and Jesus and the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered.'

Does this not say the same as 29:46?

--- "And say: We believe in that which has been revealed unto us and revealed unto you; our God and your God is One, and unto Him we surrender."

In these verses it identifies Muhammad as a prophet and messenger, as were all the ones who went before him, but the Quran doesn't say he 'superseded' or 'replaced' them, does it?

--- In our discussion here, 'for the betterment of all,' could we study what the Quran says and see if it has a message for us today?

If the Quran is the 'benchmark, or the 'standard' let's 'let it speak' because in so doing we are 'letting God speak to us,' are we not?

It is interesting to note that in this Surah, God uses parables in revelations to Muhammad, as He did in revelations to Jesus.

--- Don't be too hard on me, Yonus, but for each negative you bring, I will try to bring a positive.

I get the sense from Muslims that they are always 'defending a position' yet the different Muslim groups take 'different positions.'

--- If these positions are different then they can't all be right, --- therefore, is it not good reasoning and logic to 'go to the source,' the Quran?

Placid

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Surah 29, --- This is an interesting study and I wonder if others study the Scriptures by comparison as well?

2. Do men imagine that they will be left (at ease) because they say, We believe, and will not be tested with affliction?

3. Lo! We tested those who were before you. Thus Allah knoweth those who are sincere, and knoweth those who feign.

4. Or do those who do ill-deeds imagine that they can outstrip Us? Evil (for them) is that which they decide.

5. Whoso looketh forward to the meeting with Allah (let him know that) Allah's reckoning is surely nigh, and He is the Hearer, the Knower.

6. And whosoever striveth, striveth only for himself, for lo! Allah is altogether Independent of (His) creatures.

7. And as for those who believe and do good works, We shall remit from them their evil deeds and shall repay them the best that they did.

This was the revelation that Muhammad was given and it is written like a parable or a comparison of good and evil:

2. Does one think that by saying, ‘I believe,’ they will not be tested for what they believe?

3. The test reveals who is sincere and who is false, or who is pretending.

4. Or do they think they can fool God? They show poor judgment.

5. The sincere, who look forward to meeting God, let them be assured of His acceptance.

6. Those who strive for themselves, God doesn’t owe them a reward.

7. Those who believe and do good works, their sins will be forgiven because of their faith and their reward will be according to their righteousness before God.

This is a comparable Scriptures in poetic form from Psalm 1:

1. Blessed is the man

Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,

Nor stands in the path of sinners,

Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;

2. But his delight is in the law of the LORD,

And in His law he meditates day and night.

3. He shall be like a tree

Planted by the rivers of water,

That brings forth its fruit in its season,

Whose leaf also shall not wither;

And whatever he does shall prosper.

4. The ungodly are not so,

But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.

5. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,

Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

6. For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,

But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

--- Notice the progression of positions of the ungodly:

Those who WALK according to the advise of the ungodly,

Then who STAND around with them in the path of sinners,

And then SIT with them in a position of scorning others.

--- 5. Therefore the ungodly will not STAND in the judgment

(They won't have a leg to stand on in the Day of Judgment.)

And another comparable Scripture in figurative form is from Matthew 7:

Jesus was speaking to the multitude and said:

24. “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:

25. and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

26. “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:

27. and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

Placid

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To continue with a few more verses,

--- Surah 29 is considered a late Meccan Surah, but it seems it was not all revealed at one time, --- however, it carries a message of comfort for the Muslims at a time of persecution.

It contrasts the various types of unbelievers to the righteous.

8. We have enjoined on man kindness to parents; but if they strive to make thee join with Me (God) that of which thou hast no knowledge, then obey them not. Unto Me is your return and I shall tell you what ye used to do.

9. And as for those who believe and do good works, We verily shall make them enter in among the righteous.

10. Of mankind is he who saith: We believe in Allah, but, if he be made to suffer for the sake of Allah, he mistaketh the persecution of mankind for Allah's punishment; and then, if victory cometh from thy Lord, will say: Lo! we were with you (all the while). Is not Allah Best Aware of what is in the bosoms of (His) creatures?

11. Verily Allah knoweth those who believe, and verily He knoweth the hypocrites.

12. Those who disbelieve say unto those who believe: Follow our way (of religion) and we verily will bear your sins (for you). They cannot bear aught of their sins. Lo! they verily are liars.

13. But they verily will bear their own loads and other loads beside their own, and they verily will be questioned on the Day of Resurrection concerning that which they invented.

--- The fifth commandment from Exodus 20:12 says, ‘Honour your father and mother.’

8. But God is saying, if they lead you into any form of idolatry where they join anything to God, do not obey them.

--- (Even as Abraham said in Surah 6:

74. And remember the time when Abraham said to his father, Azar, `Dost thou take idols for gods? Surely, I see thee and thy people in manifest error.'

75. And thus did We show Abraham the Kingdom of the heavens and the earth that he should have full knowledge and that he might be of those who possess certainty of faith.)

29:16. Abraham said to his people, "You shall worship GOD, and reverence Him. This is better for you, if you only knew.

17. "What you worship instead of GOD are powerless idols; you have invented a lie." The idols you worship beside GOD do not possess any provisions for you. Therefore, you shall seek provisions only from GOD. You shall worship Him alone, and be appreciative of Him; to Him is your ultimate return.

9. (And then the contrast), And for those who believe and do good works, --- reward.

10. The unstable, with little or no faith. They complain in natural suffering, and rejoice in a victory as though they were favoured of God. (But God knows their hearts.)

11. (Again the contrast), God knows those who believe, and those who are hypocrites.

12. There are groups who say, “Join us and you will be saved.” --- Thus the group or organization takes the responsibility of others’ sins. --- But they are liars and cannot bear others’ sins, or their own. (They cannot save themselves, or others who join them.)

13. They will bear an extra load to the Day of Resurrection of both what they did, and what they taught.

--- (James 3:1. “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that you shall receive a stricter judgment.” --- A teacher is held accountable for what he does, what he believes, and what he teaches.)

These revelations to Muhammad parallel the teaching of the Gospel, do they not?

This proves the revelations are from the same Source, and that the teaching is the same.

Are there any new laws in the Quran that did not have their basis in the former Scriptures?

Placid

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This Surah continues in contrasting good and evil, --- reward and punishment.

Muhammad is relating to the people at Mecca, with the warning:

29:18. "And if ye reject (the Message), so did generations before you: and the duty of the apostle is only to preach publicly (and clearly)."

--- (He had previously mentioned Abraham who warned his generation even as Muhammad is now warning them.)

19. See they not how God originates creation, then repeats it: truly that is easy for God.

20. Say: "Travel through the earth and see how God did originate creation; so will God produce a later creation: for God has power over all things.

--- (They were reminded to observe the wonders of creation and how God is the creator and sustainer of all things.)

21. "He punishes whom He pleases, and He grants Mercy to whom He pleases, and towards Him are ye turned.

22. Ye cannot escape (from Him) in the earth or in the sky, and beside God there is for you no friend or helper.

--- (Know that we are at His mercy and we cannot escape Him, nor is there another that can help us.)

23. Those who reject the Signs of God and the Meeting with Him (in the Hereafter), - it is they who shall despair of My Mercy: it is they who will (suffer) a most grievous Penalty.

--- (The signs were given to be constant reminders of God’s sovereignty. Those who failed to observe and benefit from them, suffered the consequences.)

Then it speaks further of Abraham:

27. And We bestowed on him Isaac and Jacob, and We established the Prophet-hood and the Scripture among his seed, and We gave him his reward in the world, and lo! in the Hereafter he verily is among the righteous.

--- (Abraham became a sign to the nations as he was the Patriarch of the Hebrews.)

Then it recounts the story of Lot and the destruction of the wicked cities, saying:

34. For we are going to bring down on the people of this township a Punishment from heaven, because they have been wickedly rebellious."

35. And We have left thereof an evident Sign, for any people who (care to) understand.

36. And unto Midian We sent Shu'eyb, their brother. He said: O my people! Serve God, and look forward to the Last Day, and do not evil, making mischief, in the earth.

37. But they denied him, and the dreadful earthquake took them, and morning found them prostrate in their dwelling place.

38. And (the tribes of) A'ad and Thamud! (Their fate) is manifest unto you from their (ruined and deserted) dwellings. Satan made their deeds seem fair unto them and so debarred them from the Way, though they were keen observers.

39. And Korah, Pharaoh and Haman! Moses came unto them with clear proofs (of Allah's Sovereignty), but they were boastful in the land. And they were not winners (in the race).

40. So We took each one in his sin; of them was he on whom We sent a hurricane, and of them was he who was overtaken by the (Awful) Cry, and of them was he whom We caused the earth to swallow, and of them was he whom We drowned. It was not for God to wrong them, but they wronged themselves.

--- (Yusuf Ali: It was not God Who injured (or oppressed) them: They injured (and oppressed) their own souls.)

Muhammad recounted the many failures of the people of the past who were warned and rejected God. It is hard to understand why the people continued to disregard the many signs, --- but later, Muhammad too, was rejected by his own townsmen of Mecca, and had to flee to Al Madinah.

--- But God rewarded Muhammad for his faithfulness, and in turn, Muhammad became a sign for future generations, did he not?

Placid

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Hi Placid,

Don't be too hard on me, Yonus, but for each negative you bring, I will try to bring a positive.

I get the sense from Muslims that they are always 'defending a position' yet the different Muslim groups take 'different positions.'

--- If these positions are different then they can't all be right, --- therefore, is it not good reasoning and logic to 'go to the source,' the Quran?

Lol ! flipped roles ! but I am sorry any way .

This why I say that islam is religion for worshipping only not for politics same as christianity and judaism today . They have secular elected governments with Constitution guarantees the rights of people .

We have many problems in islamic world such as no freedom , illiteracy , jobless , housing ,poverty ,woman liberty ..and many more therfore islam especially sunni has not solution for these problems especially if we know that they lookfor fatwas from books written thousend years ago like book of malik ,abu hanifa ,shafiii and Ahmad bin hanbal .

However shia school is modern and they study these problems whenever they appeared through ages . see Basic PrinciplesThe Iraqi Constitution sets out a multitude of basic assertions:

If you look carefully you would see islam is a basic ,but not the basic which is good .

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Hi Yonus,

Quote:

This why I say that islam is religion for worshipping only not for politics same as christianity and judaism today . They have secular elected governments with Constitution guarantees the rights of people .

Response, --- I understand what you are saying, that Islam should be the religion of the people and the government should be a separate ruling body, like many other countries have.

When God chose The descendants of Israel as His people, He said, "I will be your God and King." This is what was called a 'Theocracy,' where God chose Judges, Prophets, and Priests to guide the people. It was to teach the Supremacy of God. When the people began to sin and make demands, they said to the Prophet, Samuel, "Appoint us a king like other nations have. 1 Samuel 8:

4. Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah,

5. and said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.”

6. But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the LORD.

7. And the LORD said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.

8. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day—with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also.

9. Now therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them.”

10. So Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who asked him for a king.

11. And he said, “This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots.

12. He will appoint captains over his thousands and captains over his fifties, will set some to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and some to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots.

13. He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers.

14. And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants.

15. He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants.

16. And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work.

17. He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants.

18. And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the LORD will not hear you in that day.”

19. Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, “No, but we will have a king over us,

20. that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.”

--- This is the description of a king who can become a dictator, as many of them did. From that time on Israel rose and fell under the various kings.

They always retained a priesthood but it didn't always run in harmony with their government.

--- Then when the leadership of the government and the leadership of the priesthood both become corrupt, you have many problems in government like there are today.

--- A religion based government has its problems because it is easy for the leaders to impose laws supposedly from the 'Book of Law' of that religion, but it may be man's interpretation of the law. (This is where you can get the idea that everyone who isn't with us is an enemy. Then you get the ideology that 'we are the ones that God favours'.)

A democracy is supposed to be of 'chosen leaders from among the people, to rule over them.' It is supposed to be , 'of the people, by the people, and for the people.'

Somebody said that 'Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the alternatives.'

--- This is saying that Democracy is the best form of Government, but when it becomes corrupt, and gives way to man's greed and selfishness, you have a chaotic state.

Somebody else said, "Progress is a good thing, but it has gone on a little too long."

Government bodies become so 'questionable' that they have to appoint 'watchdogs' to govern themselves.

Quote:

We have many problems in islamic world such as no freedom , illiteracy , jobless , housing ,poverty ,woman liberty ..and many more therfore islam especially sunni has not solution for these problems especially if we know that they lookfor fatwas from books written thousend years ago like book of malik ,abu hanifa ,shafiii and Ahmad bin hanbal .

Response, --- I believe that, as well as removing idolatry from Arabia, God established a right government through Muhammad.

Quote from Mr Pickthall's intro:

He personally controlled every detail of organization, judged every case, and was accesible to every suppliant. In those ten years he destroyed idolatry in Arabia; raised women from the status of a chattel to complete legal equality with men; effectually stopped the drunkenness and immorality which had till then disgraced the Arabs; made men to live with faith, sincerity, and honest dealing; transformed tribes who had been for centuries content with ignorance into a people with the greatest thirst for knowledge; and for the first time in history made universal human brotherhood a fact and principle of common law. --- End of quote.

--- (They started out well, did they not?)

Quote:

However shia school is modern and they study these problems whenever they appeared through ages . see Basic PrinciplesThe Iraqi Constitution sets out a multitude of basic assertions:

Iraq is an independent nation.

The system of government is a democratic, federal, representative, parliamentary republic.

Islam is the state religion and a basic foundation for the country's laws,and no law may contradict the established provisions of Islam.

No law that contradicts the principles of democracy may be established.

If you look carefully you would see islam is a basic ,but not the basic which is good .

Response, --- Do you think that Iraq will be able to flourish as a democracy if it is allowed to govern itself?

Placid

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Hi Placid,

Quote : Do you think that Iraq will be able to flourish as a democracy if it is allowed to govern itself?

1- As you know my friend that this region (middle east ) was governed by dictatorship since Omayad 1400 years ago ,therefor it is not easy to be democratic overnight .

2- It was faught by it's neighbors ,because they don't want a democratic country near to them (democratic is infectious ) .

3- USA is building the largest embassy in Iraq ,auspices of The US democracy will be flourish in Iraq .

4- I wish saudi arabia started as model of democracy because we are prepared for democracy more than Iraqis ,fortunately Saudi regime is better than saddam's and Egypt .

5- I guess if you Placid live in saudi arabia you will be relax especially if you are little bit rich ,because it is quite and spiritual place and you will not see anything hurt your eyes (conservative country ) . However it is sometimes like a dead planet .

Edited by yonus

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Hi,

I can assure you that Yonus and I are not one and the same.

We are two, and very different.

I appreciate the fact that Yonus is genuine in his feelings and expression and is a learner, as I am.

I am intrigued by the simple names of the different Surahs and whether they were chosed from particular verses, or from a verse at random, I am not sure.

My interest is in comparing the Quran to the former Scriptures.

Here, also, verse 41:

--- The parable of those who take protectors other than God is that of the spider, who builds (to itself) a house; but truly the flimsiest of houses is the spider's house; - if they but knew.

--- Has a comparable Scripture in Job 8:

11. “Can the papyrus grow up without a marsh?

Can the reeds flourish without water?

12. While it is yet green and not cut down,

It withers before any other plant.

13. So are the paths of all who forget God;

And the hope of the hypocrite shall perish,

14. Whose confidence shall be cut off,

And whose trust is a spider’s web.

15. He leans on his house, but it does not stand.

He holds it fast, but it does not endure.

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This is a comparable Scriptures in poetic form from Psalm 1:

....

--- Notice the progression of positions of the ungodly:

...

--- 5. Therefore the ungodly will not STAND in the judgment

(They won't have a leg to stand on in the Day of Judgment.)

That's a pretty interesting analysis of walking, sitting, standing.

However I am afraid to say that your translation is wrong. (Which translation are you quoting?) The word that your translation translates as "ungodly" is "rashaim," which means "wicked" (pl. n.). You could translate it as "wicked ones" or "evil ones" or "wicked people" or something like that, but "ungodly" is not a good translation at all. (There may be a philosophical point that an unreligious person is per se wicked, but if so that point should be made by argument, not by fanciful translation.)

I went to blueletterbible.org which is a useful concordance and if you look up this verse you find that the word "rasha" (H7563) appears 263 times in the Hebrew BIble. The CHristian King James Bible translates it as follows:

wicked 249, ungodly 8, wicked man 3, misc 3

I'm fine with "wicked" or "wicked man," so clearly the translators knew what "rasha" means. "Ungodly" is just not what it means, though, and if those Brits wanted to make a point about religiosity and morals, I wish they'd have done it in commentary rather than deliberate mistranslation.

wicked 249, ungodly 8, wicked man 3, misc 3

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Hi Boston,

Quote:

The word that your translation translates as "ungodly" is "rashaim," which means "wicked" (pl. n.). You could translate it as "wicked ones" or "evil ones" or "wicked people" or something like that, but "ungodly" is not a good translation at all. (There may be a philosophical point that an unreligious person is per se wicked, but if so that point should be made by argument, not by fanciful translation.)

I generally use the New King James Version as it was published after the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered and many of them examined. It also has an archealogical Supplement which has many new discoveries. --- I have a number of translations and we have access to more on Bible Gateway, but I am limited to the English language.

So, when it comes to checking words in the original languages, 'I don't have a leg to stand on.' either.

I will accept your correction in the translation,

However, --- many translations or versions depend on the 'choice of words' used by the translator to express the sense of what is being translated, is that not right?

Normally an 'ungodly' person is considewred one who --- doesn't believe in God,

or, who acts inappropriately in a situation, even to the point of being wicked.

A 'wicked' person is usually considered to be sinful, vile, or evil.

Sometimes the meaning of words change over the years and some translators take that into account.

For an example: --- If you have an atheist who doesn't believe in God, but who is a good humanitarian, a good husband, a good father, a good neighbor.

--- Would you consider him, 'ungodly,' or 'wicked?'

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I want to pick up the study again of Surah 29:

Yusuf Ali: 29:41. The parable of those who take protectors other than God is that of the spider, who builds (to itself) a house; but truly the flimsiest of houses is the spider's house; - if they but knew.

42. Verily God doth know of (every thing) whatever that they call upon besides Him: and He is Exalted (in power), Wise.

43. And such are the Parables We set forth for mankind, but only those understand them who have knowledge.

44. God created the heavens and the earth in true (proportions): verily in that is a Sign for those who believe.

45. Recite what is sent of the Book by inspiration to thee, and establish regular Prayer: for Prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds; and remembrance of God is the greatest (thing in life) without doubt. And God knows the (deeds) that ye do.

These profound verses are very complimentary of the former Scriptures, which are referred to as ‘the Book.’

41-44, mentions the use of parables which were common in the Book of Proverbs and the Gospels, and are used here as well. A parable is ‘an allegory presenting a moral’.

--- Notice, it mentions, ‘only those understand them who have knowledge,’ meaning, ‘only those who have Spiritual knowledge understand them.’

Also, it says, ‘in that is a Sign for those who believe.’ --- This indicates that there is a deeper Spiritual meaning that is missed by the untuned ear.

This prepares for the next verse, 45, which says to Muhammad:

‘Recite what is sent of the Book by inspiration to thee.’

The new revelations that were sent ‘of the Book’ would make up the new Quran in Arabic, but they were the stories and truths from the former Scriptures. --- Stories of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, etc.

They were revealed by inspiration to Muhammad and he taught them by memory to his followers.

I have mentioned before where the inspiration came from, and how it was hidden to others. --- Surah 42:

52. And thus have We inspired in thee (Muhammad) a Spirit of Our command. Thou knewest not what the Scripture was, nor what the Faith. But We have made it a light whereby We guide whom We will of Our bondmen. And lo! thou verily dost guide unto a right path,

We (God) inspired in Muhammad ‘a spirit of Our command’ (any Spirit that came from God was Holy because God is Holy, therefore we can say Muhammad was ‘inspired by the Holy Spirit, the same Holy Spirit that is mentioned as being with Jesus in 2:87 and 2:253.

This was the same Holy Spirit that was given to the disciples on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 1 and 2.)

--- (Now you can see how deep this is. --- Muhammad was not picked at random and given a new message, but rather Muhammad was chosen to be a disciple of God, inspired by God’s Holy Spirit to deliver the people of Arabia from the bondage of idolatry.)

--- He was not called to start a new religion any more than Jesus was, but to restore worship to God and reinstate the ‘Right Religion’ that was revealed to Abraham.

The verse goes on to say, “You knew not what the Scripture was, nor what the Faith, but we have made it - (the revealing of Scripture and Faith in God) - a Light to guide you.”

So the inspiration of the Holy Spirit was in Muhammad to guide him as God led him.

This was the same guidance that the Apostles had, so it was not new any more than the Scripture was new. --- It was, and is, the experience that is given to those who seek God for it, and are worthy of receiving it.

While we are on the subject of God’s revealing by His inspiration, we should look at part of Surah 3:

7. He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. --- (with hidden meanings), --- but no one knows its hidden meanings except God. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: "We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:" and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding.

Men who have been given the inspiration of the Holy Spirit understand the hidden meanings because the same Holy Spirit inspired the men who wrote it.

--- (This is why Prophets could predict, not knowing what they were saying meant, but the Holy Spirit would inspire another at the time of the fulfillment, to reveal the hidden meaning so that men would understand.

This is why I say it is kind of deep, but the understanding is there.

29:45 (Then with this inspiration, Muhammad was to fulfill the verse), “and establish regular Prayer: for Prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds; and remembrance of God is the greatest (thing in life) without doubt. And God knows the (deeds) that ye do.

Placid

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For an example: --- If you have an atheist who doesn't believe in God, but who is a good humanitarian, a good husband, a good father, a good neighbor.

--- Would you consider him, 'ungodly,' or 'wicked?'

Out of those two choices, I guess I'd pick "ungodly," although "irreligious" would be less inflammatory. Certainly "wicked" would be wrong in that circumstance.

Now what about a purportedly religious person who fervently believes in G-d and believes that he is serving G-d by crashing a plane into an office tower?

For him I'd pick "ungodly" AND "wicked," but the "wicked" would be the more important part of it.

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Hi Boston,

Out of those two choices, I guess I'd pick "ungodly," although "irreligious" would be less inflammatory. Certainly "wicked" would be wrong in that circumstance.

Now what about a purportedly religious person who fervently believes in G-d and believes that he is serving G-d by crashing a plane into an office tower?

For him I'd pick "ungodly" AND "wicked," but the "wicked" would be the more important part of it.

--- Yes, I think wicked, even malicious for such a one,

But the blame falls on the leaders of such a group who teach their subjects that they do God a favour by killing innocent people, does it not?

Imagine this, that a suicide murderer, who murdered himself as well as other innocent people, comes up before God, and God says, "Have you seen My commandment that said, 'Thou shalt not kill?'"

--- The person might say, "Yes, but we were told that it is okay to kill your enemies."

And God might say, "I ordained life for all, and whoever takes a life before its time, will be guilty before Me. --- By this act you have proven that your friends are My enemies."

--- I really feel bad for the (hopefully) seldom used practice of 'honour killing' that we hear of from time to time. --- That a victim is used to destroy other innocents, thus adding to the dishonor, rather than removing it.

What do you think, --- those who devise such practices of deceiving the authorities, comandeering aeroplanes and crashing into buildings, as well as other destruction of life, are ungodly, wicked, and malicious, even moreso than the victims they mislead, are they not?

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I want to continue in 29, which compliment and encourage the believers while showing the flimsiness of the house of unbelievers, like a spider's web.

46. And dispute ye not with the People of the Book, except with means better (than mere disputation), unless it be with those of them who inflict wrong (and injury): but say, "We believe in the revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you; Our God and your God is one; and it is to Him we bow (in surrender)."

--- (This gives the encouragement of dialogue with others, but with the goal of better understanding, not just for the sake of argument. However, when people are wrong, they need to be corrected.)

--- (For God to instruct Muhammad to say, "We believe the same revelation as you, and we bow in surrender to our One God," --- it was enlisting the support of the People of the Book in presenting a stronger witness to the unbelievers at Mecca.)

47. And thus (it is) that We have sent down the Book to thee. So the People of the Book believe therein, as also do some of these (pagan Arabs): and none but Unbelievers reject our signs.

--- (The Book, or the former Scriptures, were part of the new Quran that was being revealed to Muhammad. Therfore, the people of the Book, Jews and Christians, already believed it, and the followers of Muhammad believed it, and even some 'pagan Arabs' [who had not yet become believers]. --- Just the unbelievers reject the signs, but they have to be exposed to the signs and to other believers before they can believe.)

48. And thou wast not (able) to recite a Book before this (Book came), nor art thou (able) to transcribe it with thy right hand: In that case, indeed, would the talkers of vanities have doubted.

--- (God revealed the Scripture to Muhammad so that he could teach others, but Muhammad didn't write the Book. Had he written it, then the talkers could have had reason to doubt. But when it came from God and was already recorded, they either believed, or they didn't.)

49. Nay, here are Signs self-evident in the hearts of those endowed with knowledge: and none but the unjust reject Our Signs.

--- (The Signs are clear to the believers, or those to whom God has given knowledge and understanding, and only the unjust, or the wrongdoers reject the Signs. ---Often people do not want to know, because their mind is made up, but once they see God's Signs of power or blessing, they are responsible for their response to God, whether by believing, or rejecting. --- This Surah is called 'A late Meccan Surah,' --- at that time many rejected Muhammad's message, but when he returned to Mecca some years later with the same messave of 'surrender to God' they were willing because they would have seen how God had blessed the Muslims, even when the Qureysh went from Mecca to do them harm at Madina. They would have seen over the years how the Muslims increased in number and then returned peacably to establish the religion of Abraham in Mecca.)

Placid

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