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zainally

The Book: No God But God

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(bismillah)

(salam)

I'd like to begin this thread about the book by Reza Aslan: No god but God. I'd prefer if people who have read the book participate in this thread, although of course, there is no restriction on other brothers and sisters from sharing their opinion and knowledge.

For Admins: I did a search for this title and didn't come across any topic on the forums. I apologize if this book has already been discussed previously. May be you can merge it with that thread. I have chosen Thinker's Discourse because I think the following discussion should encourage food for thought.

Before my fellow brothers and sisters flame me - I'd like to say I have performed Hajj and pray regularly, keep my fasts and would love to join our Imam's forces against evil and spreading the right version of Islam.

Back to the topic: The book starts with the history of Islam according to the author, Reza. He says that at the time of Prophet's birth, there were three kinds of people: those who worshiped idols; ones who were followers of previous prophets: Christians and Jews; and Hanifs: the ones who believed in one God. The Prophet, he says was brought up and influenced by people holding this belief of one God. If you read the book, it seems like the author says that the Prophet based his teachings of Islam on this faith and mixed them up with traditionalistic rituals of the arabs of other faiths. So for example, Ka'aba was already a temple of a very important nature in the pre-Islamic arab world. Whoever was in charge of the Ka'aba and had the keys to the temple was respected and had high importance. Prophet's Islam purified the Ka'aba of the many idols it contained but retained the importance of it within this new faith. Even the idea of fasts is borrowed from the Jewish faith but of course, that is a different debate which I want to avoid starting. The Quran already says that fasting is prescribed on you as it was prescribed on other nations.

I'd like to ask the people who read the book what do you think about how it presents the development of Islam and the forming of sects after the Prophet's death and their subsequent building into branches of Islam.

Also, while I am aware of the spiritual significance of Hajj and Namaz. And I'm also aware that Islam means obedience to God. What do you think of performing traditionalistic rituals like Tawaf, stoning of a block of concrete in Jamarat, praying five times, everyday, in a regular fashion in modern times.

Looking forward to a healthy debate. :)

(wasalam)

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This book is disgusting, from someone who doesn't believe.

It is all sutble poison,

I heard an interview with him where he stated that the Prophet (pbuh) used to have fits

and convulsions at the time of receiving revelations.

This is clearly aimed to push the line that the Prophet (pbuh) was sufferring as a result

of (mental) medical issues. (Na'uthubIllah)

He is a puppet of the west as is clear that they choose him as an authoritative voice on

The History Channel, National Geographic and others.

The interview that I watched was from a program about The Koran.

Which was quite clearly trying to cast doubt upon the authenticity of our Holy Book Kitaab'Allah Al-Karim.

Have you ever watched a program called: Don't Tell My Mother... it is a program on National Geographic.

In Episode 5 of the series; Don't Tell My Mother I'm In Iraq :

Diego, the narrator clearly states that Imaam Ali (as) is a shi'ite prophet. Na'uthubIllah.

A blatant lie about a community with millions of followers world-wide! Aim? Spreading disinformation!

These are the tools of our very sly enemies. I always used to wonder why Ayat. Khomeini (Rah) referred to

them as "Great Satan" particularly, I no longer wonder.

Was-Salaam

Edited by JawzofDETH

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(salam)

I read this book when it was published (it has been quite long). I don’t remember much now.

One thing I liked about this book is the fact that he hilighted Imam Ali (as) claim to the Caliphate and as the successor of the Holy Prophet (pbuh).

Old topic:

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I didnt like how he said the Prophet (S) once worshiped idols (or sacrificed something for an idol), but then quickly repented after his friend told him he was wrong. The "fits of convulsion" when receiving the Koran, is not a problem at all (if anything it is beautiful).

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I didnt like how he said the Prophet (S) once worshiped idols (or sacrificed something for an idol), but then quickly repented after his friend told him he was wrong. The "fits of convulsion" when receiving the Koran, is not a problem at all (if anything it is beautiful).

Bro, one must differentiate the way you understand it and the way it enters the western mind.

We are not talking about the 'states of ecstasy' that you are so coloured by in your sufi' tendencies.

That is fine, but that is not how (more analytical) westerners understand it.

I think you'll understand what I mean.

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I read Reza Aslan's book and I think it is a very readable, frank, concise and comprehensive look at the history and disposition of Islam. For an objective overview of this sort, it's necessary to avoid authors who are overly zealous since they tend to paint a rather skewed picture that reflects only the views of their own scholars and Madrassas. Inevitably there are always those who want to demonize moderates like Aslan. Naturally, the most virulent of critics are of the Salafi/Wahhabi/Denobandi stock but we do get the odd paranoid Shi'ite too.

One thing I like about the book is that it illustrates the origins of movements that plague the Muslim world today (Ibn Taymiyyah, the Muslim Brotherhood, Wahhabism, etc.). For non-Muslims, now is a critical time for recognizing the differences between the authentic, peaceful and progressive ideologies and the vile, fascist, mind-controlling ideologies that have garnered so much media attention as of late.

Regarding the 'fits of convulsion', I agree with eThErEal that it's not a problem (and it's even beautiful). It illustrates a seldom-acknowledged humble side of Rasool Allah before his maker. Usually, non-Muslims are more acquainted with the image of a bullying war-monger.

By the way, this book is available free online via Google books here.

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Are you calling me paranoid?

I have cited my opinion and with proof.

If you regard me as paranoid, that is your opinion.

There is no need to be under-handed and draw a

simmiltude to this thinking being the dominion of

"Salafi/Wahhabi/Denobandi."

Say your opinion and have the courage to state that

it is your opinion, without demonizing others to serve

your own interests in getting that point across.

He is not a moderate like unto other moderates among

muslims, most of his views are not a majority position,

even among moderates. He is a free-thinker, which I

usually don't have a problem with, but when he esposes

positions that may potentially injure one's depiction of

Islam's integrity as 'God's Religion for mankind.'

Then sorry fellow, I take issue with it.

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I'm not calling you paranoid since I don't know enough about you to make that claim. I'm just saying that there are some radically-minded people out there who scoff at any Muslim who engages in amicable dialogue with non-Muslims. It seems to me that, for some folks (usually but-not-always traditionalist Sunnis), collaboration with non-Muslims is tantamount to furthering some mysterious kufr agenda designed to bring down Islam; hence my use of the term 'paranoid'.

Looking at your original comments, you said "this book is disgusting" and "it's all subtle poison" designed to characterize the Prophet(swt) as insane. Would non-Muslims think more highly of him were we to claim he was serene when presented the message of Allah? In my opinion, one would expect to endure a fairly shocked state of mind under such conditions. I'm not sure how being a speaker on National Geographic and The History Channel makes Reza Aslan "a puppet of the west". What did he say that casts doubt about the Qur'an? Has he been insincere?

While he may come across as a free-thinker, he does claim to be a Shia Muslim on Wikipedia. With what views does he diverge from the majority position and even so why would a minority view take him out of the fold of Islam? After all, Shias don't hold a majority position among Muslims.

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Looking at your original comments, you said "this book is disgusting" and "it's all subtle poison" designed to characterize the Prophet(swt) as insane. Would non-Muslims think more highly of him were we to claim he was serene when presented the message of Allah? In my opinion, one would expect to endure a fairly shocked state of mind under such conditions. I'm not sure how being a speaker on National Geographic and The History Channel makes Reza Aslan "a puppet of the west". What did he say that casts doubt about the Qur'an? Has he been insincere?

So it is clear that you are accusing me of paranoia...

The truth is that you are comprimising on THE CORRECT perception of the Prophet (pbuh), for he famously said:

"I was a Prophet, when Adam was between clay and water."

You think it he (pbuh) would have been in any doubt while clouds would follow him as a child,

or when religious men and sooth-sayers used to react strangely/ differently upon seeing him,

would you rather believe that when he heard revelation he ran away (scared) saying; 'cover me, cover me!' (alledgedly)

Bottom-line:

If Musa (as) COULD SPEAK TO GOD! Kalim'Allah and Isa (as) could speak from the cradle anouncing that he was a Prophet (as)

Why do you want Muhammad (pbuh) to suffer from epilepsy when faithful Gabriel (as) brings him (pbuh) a verse!

--- --- ---

Aslan's view is not a shi'a view, very sorry.

At the same time I am not saying that he was insincere,

his book is more suited for an academia shelf, then to

bring anyone to this beautiful religion of ours.

And finally yes, someone can be an unwitting puppet, take Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahaab for instance,

if you watched the propgram that I was referring to, you wouldn't be having this discussion with me.

It was supposed to be about the Qur'aan, there were things said there like Al-Azhar advocates

female-circumcision which ofcourse even if they believe, they did not derrive it from Qur'aan anyway!

There was a large part of the program dedicated to the (alleged) fallible method of 'how the koran was collected.'

So perhaps, you should check sources instead of automatically going to the defence of others without

knowing the facts.

Was-Salaam

Edited by JawzofDETH

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I don't have the book. One thing to check though is his bibliography. Are there any Arabic titles or is it all English works he lists? Does he know how to read Arabic? If the answer is that he can't, he only uses English sources, then the book is yet another populist paperback not really worth much time. The reason I say that is that someone who cannot read Arabic cannot thus read the actual source texts of the religion they're writing about and certainly is not qualified to be writing about "reforming" it. Instead, they will be completely dependent on second hand material filtered through someone else's view, which in the case of Islam will often be the view of non-Muslim (often anti-Islamic) academics.

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Salam,

It is a beautiful book, keeping in mind, his audience. His audience was Western People who are allergic to Islam and Iran, especially after 9/11.

He won his audience and reduced the threat to Iran at the time his book was published.

1. He highlighted the Missionaries, and the conquest of Islamic Countries is to convert them.

2. Showed Islam in a very positive manner, where the audience saw a different side of Islam.

3. Diplomatically, exposed Wahhabism and the threat to the World.

4. Positively showed Shiaism and Sufism as religion of Peace and Passive Resistance.

5. Lowered the burned on Iran.

6. Convinced the Audience that the Muslims should be let alone to solve their problems.

7. And many, many more good things.

Allah to give him and his family good in this life and afterlife bi haqe Mohammad (pbuh) wa aale Mohammad (as).

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JawzofDETH: So it is clear that you are accusing me of paranoia...

Again, I never called you paranoid. I wrote my first response to this thread before I had even looked at your comments. Judging from your insistence that I did call you that, I'm beginning to wonder if you really are paranoid. Maybe you've continued down this path because I suggested that it is paranoia for people to assume any who collaborate with non-Muslims are inline with conspiracies against Islam. If you happen to be one of those then I'll happily grant you the status I'm accused of assigning you.

I'm not compromising, I'm merely taking the book for what it is - an attempt to summarize the history of a religion. As with all histories, we can never be certain that the author got it completely right. In the case of No god but God, there is a fairly extensive list of references cited. If you have a Google account, you can see the list of all the works Aslan consulted here.

You seem fixated on the issue of the Prophet(swt) having been surprised by Gabriel but note that the author made it clear he could only speculate about such details based on past records, such as those of Ibn Hisham, who edited the biography of Muhammad(swt) written by Ibn Ishaq. Any intelligent reader, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, can see that Aslan is neither making a staunch assertion nor fabricating stuff. Have you read beyond this point of contention or could you not stomach such speculation any further?

The books I trust most are those suited for the academic shelf. Why? Because they're subject to academic standards and scrutiny rather myth and propaganda. As for Dawah, I don't see No god but God as being intended to convert people - it's designed to help non-Muslims (who probably won't convert anyway) understand Islam in a way that FOX news doesn't permit. If you were to recommend a concise Islamic history book to a non-Muslim wanting to understand Islam, what would your choice be? Would you pick a book that appeals to emotion and a majority Shia outlook or one that is speculative and impartial?

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(bismillah)

(salam)

I'd like to begin this thread about the book by Reza Aslan: No god but God. I'd prefer if people who have read the book participate in this thread, although of course, there is no restriction on other brothers and sisters from sharing their opinion and knowledge.

Wa alaykum assalam.

I read the book along time ago. He makes the same mistake some orientalists do. Casting random doubt where there's really no need to do so. For example, the translator of Ibn Ishaq's sirat likes to randomly interrupt the translation and insert how he doubts it; in other words, he casted doubt over it. Which makes a person think "well maybe it's not true", even though actually the doubt has no basis, and the story probaby has alot of sources. Anyway, the author of the book you mentioned...something he wrote struck in my mind as casting random doubt. He implied that Allah was a madeup God, and that He was simply a sky god who later became important; random doubt, that is without evidence. Actually, it's well-known Allah was seen as the High God, brought with Ismail, aleyhis salam, the emigrant. Whereas the Arabs later introduced lesser false gods; (For example, al-Lat).

Back to the topic: The book starts with the history of Islam according to the author, Reza. He says that at the time of Prophet's birth, there were three kinds of people: those who worshiped idols; ones who were followers of previous prophets: Christians and Jews; and Hanifs: the ones who believed in one God.

There were no Jews or Christians in Makkah except for some of the four seekers. That's why the four seekers had to LEAVE Makkah to investigate other religions.

The Prophet, he says was brought up and influenced by people holding this belief of one God. If you read the book, it seems like the author says that the Prophet based his teachings of Islam on this faith and mixed them up with traditionalistic rituals of the arabs of other faiths. So for example, Ka'aba was already a temple of a very important nature in the pre-Islamic arab world. Whoever was in charge of the Ka'aba and had the keys to the temple was respected and had high importance.

Which is true. But the Kaba was also said to be the House of Allah which was later filled with idols. Abdul Mutallib was in charge of the Kaba and he was a monotheist ([and] he said that Allah would protect His House).

Also, while I am aware of the spiritual significance of Hajj and Namaz. And I'm also aware that Islam means obedience to God. What do you think of performing traditionalistic rituals like Tawaf, stoning of a block of concrete in Jamarat, praying five times, everyday, in a regular fashion in modern times.

It is said that the Arabs used to performed these rituals and had forgotten the reasons why. So the Quraysh began to introduce bidah rules into the Hajj (which the Quran removes) and the Prophet restored the meaning to the rituals of Hajj.

Peace.

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I don't have the book. One thing to check though is his bibliography. Are there any Arabic titles or is it all English works he lists? Does he know how to read Arabic? If the answer is that he can't, he only uses English sources, then the book is yet another populist paperback not really worth much time. The reason I say that is that someone who cannot read Arabic cannot thus read the actual source texts of the religion they're writing about and certainly is not qualified to be writing about "reforming" it. Instead, they will be completely dependent on second hand material filtered through someone else's view, which in the case of Islam will often be the view of non-Muslim (often anti-Islamic) academics.

There is something to this, but you're exaggerating big time. Arabic expertise is necessary for the most in depth study of classic texts, but it's not by any means necessary for one to have expertise in the language to be able to have something useful to say. In terms of qualifications to talk about "reform," one doesn't need Arabic to notice certain phenomena are messed up. One just needs to observe.

There's a place and a role for populist paperbacks in the ongoing public discussion of Islam. It certainly shouldn't be the foundation for a Muslim's understanding of his own religion, but it's ignorant to casually dismiss the usefulness of such popular-oriented works in explaining things to a non-Muslim audience.

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It's been a while since I read this, but at the end doesn't he suggest that just as the new Muslims in the beginning (sahaba) were open to recieving a Prophet perhaps we should also be open to - and accept - the possibility of further 'Prophets' i.e. people who through their teachings guide humanity towards a better, spiritual etc society?

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You seem fixated on the issue of the Prophet(swt) having been surprised by Gabriel but note that the author made it clear he could only speculate about such details based on past records, such as those of Ibn Hisham, who edited the biography of Muhammad(swt) written by Ibn Ishaq. Any intelligent reader, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, can see that Aslan is neither making a staunch assertion nor fabricating stuff. Have you read beyond this point of contention or could you not stomach such speculation any further?

The books I trust most are those suited for the academic shelf. Why? Because they're subject to academic standards and scrutiny rather myth and propaganda. As for Dawah, I don't see No god but God as being intended to convert people - it's designed to help non-Muslims (who probably won't convert anyway) understand Islam in a way that FOX news doesn't permit. If you were to recommend a concise Islamic history book to a non-Muslim wanting to understand Islam, what would your choice be? Would you pick a book that appeals to emotion and a majority Shia outlook or one that is speculative and impartial?

My question to you regarding your first paragraph is simple, why is it that only these types of stories of 'how Islam came about' make it to mainstream stores and become flavour-of-the-month paperbacks? There are many, many books on the teachings of Islam, it's origins etc. that are well written and have a much more broadly accepted status among muslims themselves, this is a religion, the last true religion of God! It is not an academic paper/ thesis/ article! If it is to be portrayed correctly, it should be protrayed the way it is seen by it's adherence, as a definitive way of life; divorced of the catagorical substructs (moderate, jihaadi etc) that have become common-place, but are misinterpretations within themselves to begin with, it should protray an Abrahamic religion, not a study of the life of an influential man among others in sixth century Arabia.

And no, it's not paranoia, but when you use words like "fixated" instead of saying (in the context of arguments) "centered around," tell me how you wish for me to see otherwise.

And no, I am not one for speculative works, I must confess in honesty that I could not read the whole book, I read flipping in parts and sections, this was not what I cam across

in the book as I have mentioned in my first post, it was in an interview with the man.

Have you read so-called academic western works on Islam such as from sources like the encyclopedia brittanica and the likes. You will find in such so-called works of academia views that are proported which are not shared by the bulk of muslims and never were, but obscurities that are cited from sources without any follow up in actual implementation from the creed's followers perspective themselves! A good example of this is the satanic verses which appear in Tabari (if I am not mistaken) and others. Maybe a handful of muslims today actually believe in that satanic verses fairy-tale, yet it seems to be more than noteworthy in these texts/ articles etc. Where is this level of scrutiny and myth-dispelling to which you speak?

To your question, no I would not choose a speculative text and impartial is a very subjective term in the present context.

I would not even recommend a seerah work at all to prosletize our religion. I would give him the Holy Qur'aan itself.

If he was an english speaker, I would choose a very mainstream translation of the Qur'aan such as Yusuf Ali, for I believe

that the polemical approach to the religion is not as important as the kalimah itself. In my community personally appart

from giving him a Qur'aan to read (with my phone-number and house-directions to ask questions) I would also show him

to a local mosque (which are all sunni where I am) so he can see the beauty of that community-feeling we have in Islam.

Personally for reverts I avoid the polemics of the situation as much as possible, if they of their own free will wish to discuss

"problems" that they see with the religion and I see no other way to explain these "discepencies" but by explaining our sect's

values, then and only then will I do this. You asked me what I would do, this is what I would do, I am open to a better way, but

I am not interesting in debating anyone's opinion of whether that is right or wrong,

it is quite simply what I would do given my circumstances.

Was-Salaam

Edited by JawzofDETH

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My question to you regarding your first paragraph is simple, why is it that only these types of stories of 'how Islam came about' make it to mainstream stores and become flavour-of-the-month paperbacks? There are many, many books on the teachings of Islam, it's origins etc. that are well written and have a much more broadly accepted status among muslims themselves, this is a religion, the last true religion of God! It is not an academic paper/ thesis/ article!

No god but God devotes a chapter or two to how early Islam came about but it's much more than a book about the religion's origins. It discusses the history, conditions and rational behind different ideological movements within Islam up until present times. There are other books of this historical/current-affairs nature that non-Muslims could pick up but, in my experience, they are neither as easy a read nor as broad in scope as Reza Aslan's book. In reading some of the brief Islamic histories by Shia ulema I've observed a tendency to focus disproportionately on the Imamate while, in the case of Sunni authors, the Shia movements are often portrayed as deviant or are ignored completely. That would be expected in a theological text but not in a legitimate historical text.

There are some who may be open to conversion while there are many more who won't but none-the-less want to learn about Islam given it's influence in the world. It is this latter group rather than the former that is the target audience of Reza Aslan. For such knowledge-seeking people, any attempt to depict Islam via an imperious, righteous narrative will be discarded as boosterism. No one with an ounce of critical thinking skills is going to embrace a history that comes across as unquestioning and dogmatic.

And no, I am not one for speculative works, I must confess in honesty that I could not read the whole book, I read flipping in parts and sections, this was not what I cam across

in the book as I have mentioned in my first post, it was in an interview with the man.

I appreciate your candidity about not having read the whole book. While the sections on the pre-Islamic period and the origins of Islam are interesting, I found myself more engaged with the issues raised in the second half of the book. Non-Muslims would likely gain respect for the social policies our Prophet brought to the world but it would be expected that this target audience would be more compelled by examination of the later chapters since they highlight issues of great relevance to the culture clash experienced in modern times.

As for his interviews and debates, Reza Aslan is in a tight spot. On one hand he identifies himself as a Muslim, while on the other he engages with a sensationalist Western media. To be taken seriously by Western observers, one has to be moderate and respect enlightenment values (i.e. equality, pluralism, freedom of speech, self-criticism etc.). This is a prudent advantage Reza Aslan has over more pious polemicists in his defense of a benign Islam; people will actually listen to him.

To your question, no I would not choose a speculative text and impartial is a very subjective term in the present context.

I would not even recommend a seerah work at all to prosletize our religion. I would give him the Holy Qur'aan itself.

The Holy Qur'an does not provide the kind of history most non-believers are seeking. Again, I think you're expecting the typical audience to be people considering conversion to Islam but that's not the case right now. In my experience, non-Muslims who read translations of the Qur'an to learn about Islam without the proper historical context develop bad impressions of the religion.

I would also show him to a local mosque (which are all sunni where I am) so he can see the beauty of that community-feeling we have in Islam.

Those who are willing to venture into a local mosque will most likely only do so after acquiring rudimentary knowledge from the available literature. As for Shia values and community, I think there's a lot to be gained by expressing their merits to non-Muslims but in a way that is disjunct from theology. You might be surprised by how many Jews, Christians and free-thinkers detest the permissive, exploitative and materialist aspects of Western culture and would see virtue in some of our teachings were they able to get past all the dogma.

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Bro, one must differentiate the way you understand it and the way it enters the western mind.

We are not talking about the 'states of ecstasy' that you are so coloured by in your sufi' tendencies.

That is fine, but that is not how (more analytical) westerners understand it.

I think you'll understand what I mean.

I cant say whether this hadith is sahih or not but I found this in the Al Amaali of Shaikh Mufid, but it does mention that the revelation overwhelmed our Prophet (pbuh)

He said: Abu Ubaidullah Muhammad b. Imran al-Marzbani reported to me from Abu

Bakr Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa al-Makki, who reported from al-Sheikh al-Swaleh

Abu Abdil Rahman Abdullah b. Muhammad b. Hanbal, who reportted from Abdul

Rahman b. Sharik, from his father, who reported that Urwah b. Abdillah b. Qyshayr al-

Ja'fiy said:

(Once) I called upon Fatemah, daughter of Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be upon him, when

she was quite advanced in age. She wore beads around her neck and two bangles

on her hands, and she said: "It is abominable for women to resemble men." Then

she said: "Asma b. Umays reported to me that, once, the revelation from Allah

descended upon His Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, and it

overwhelmed him. Ali b. Abi Talib, may peace be upon him, covered him (i.e. the

Prophet) with his cloth, till the sun set. When the revelation ceased, the Prophet,

peace be upon him and his progeny, said: "O Ali! Have you offered your Asr

prayers?" He said: "No O, messenger of Allah! My attendance upon you prevented

me from that." Then the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, prayed: "O

Allah, cause the sun to return for Ali b. Abi Talib". The sun had set, so it rose again

till its rays reached my room and half the height of the Mosque."

You people ought to read Karen Armstrong's History of God and its section on Islam. Its a good read. The experiences our Prophet (pbuh) described are similar to the ancient Jewish prophets

She says in her book

"In Islam Gabriel is often identified with the Holy Spirit of revelation, the means by which God communicates with men. This

was no pretty naturalistic angel but an overwhelming ubiquitous presence from which escape was impossible. Muhammad

had had that overpowering apprehension of numinous reality, which the Hebrew prophets had called kaddosh, holiness, the

terrifying otherness of God. They too had felt near to death and at a physical and psychological extremity when they

experienced it. But unlike Isaiah or Jeremiah, Muhammad had none of the consolations of an established tradition to support

him. The terrifying experience seemed to have fallen upon him out of the blue and left him in a state of profound shock. In

his anguish, he turned instinctively to his wife, Khadija."

"Unlike the Torah, however, which according to the biblical account was revealed to Moses in one session on Mount Sinai,

the Koran was revealed to Muhammad bit by bit, line by line and verse by verse over a period of twenty-three years. The

revelations continued to be a painful experience. 'Never once did I receive a revelation without feeling that my soul was

being torn away from me,' Muhammad said in later years. He had to listen to the divine words intently, struggling to

make sense of a vision and significance that did not always come to him in a clear, verbal form. Sometimes, he said, the

content of the divine message was clear: he seemed to see Gabriel and heard what he was saying. But at other times the

revelation was distressingly inarticulate: 'Sometimes it comes unto me like the reverberations of a bell, and that is the hardest

upon me; the reverberations abate when I am aware of their message.' The early biographers of the classical period

often show him listening intently to what we should perhaps call the unconscious, rather as a poet describes the process of

'listening' to a poem that is gradually surfacing from the hidden recesses of his mind, declaring itself with an authority and

integrity that seems mysteriously separate from him. In the Koran, God tells Muhammad to listen to the incoherent meaning

carefully and with what Wordsworth would call 'a wise passiveness'. He must not rush to force words or a particular

conceptual significance upon it until the true meaning revealed itself in its own good time:

Move not thy tongue in haste, [repeating the words of the revelation]; for, behold, it is for Us to gather it

[in thy heart], and cause it to be recited [as it ought to be recited].(75:17-19).

Like all creativity, it was a difficult process. Muhammad used to enter a tranced state and sometimes seemed to lose

consciousness; he used to sweat profusely, even on a cold day, and often felt an interior heaviness like grief that impelled

him to lower his head between his knees, a position adopted by some contemporary Jewish mystics when they entered an

alternative state of consciousness though Muhammad could not have known this."

You can download the book here

http://ebooklab.blogspot.com/2007/10/history-of-god-4000-year-quest-of.html

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Bro, I really don't have a problem with the analysis, cited with substantiation that you have provided.

My question is, did it cause the holy Prophet (pbuh) to convulse (uncontrollably) in epileptic shock?

Personally, my view is not this way (Karen's), but I am not dogmatic about my own being correct.

That is why you may have noticed, I said to bro eThErEaL, that even if it was mean like how the sufis

say; a person goes into an ecstacy (haal), we do not understand that to be (such) a negative thing.

But how would an audience of the overwhelmingly spiritually challenged interpret these fits and convulsions?

As divine? I think you'll see what I am getting at.

--- --- ---

abecedarian, there are some serious issues I take with your reply.

That being said, this back and forth is not sustainable for me.

I wish you the best.

Was-Salaam

Edited by JawzofDETH

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Bro, I really don't have a problem with the analysis, cited with substantiation that you have provided.

My question is, did it cause the holy Prophet (pbuh) to convulse (uncontrollably) in epileptic shock?

Personally, my view is not this way (Karen's), but I am not dogmatic about my own being correct.

That is why you may have noticed, I said to bro eThErEaL, that even if it was mean like how the sufis

say; a person goes into an ecstacy (haal), we do not understand that to be (such) a negative thing.

But how would an audience of the overwhelmingly spiritually challenged interpret these fits and convulsions?

As divine? I think you'll see what I am getting at.

--- --- ---

Was-Salaam

From the description I've read its not like a fit, the state produced by the revelation, it was more like a trance. But i wouldn't call it some mystical ecstasy. The revelation of a servant of god is produced through glimpsing the truth, but not by his own will. Its is not a self induced state. It is clarity, not delusion.

Although I dont think this state happened when hadiths of Qudsi were stated was there? This state was produced when Jibraeel made the Prophet (pbuh) recite the words of God.

To call it something like wajad or ecstasy is incorrect, wajad seems like the kind of exhilaration when get when you listen to a particularly good song and let your inhibitions go. Like a rave or something, like all the doped up mast malangs at the Ghazi shrine in Karachi. Im not saying all sufis are like this. I understand that during the medieval era it was really something with some really deep thinkers behind it, but currently as it is in Pakistan, its just an excuse to be a lazy libertine and eat free food at mazars.

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From the description I've read its not like a fit, the state produced by the revelation, it was more like a trance. But i wouldn't call it some mystical ecstasy. The revelation of a servant of god is produced through glimpsing the truth, but not by his own will. Its is not a self induced state. It is clarity, not delusion.

Although I dont think this state happened when hadiths of Qudsi were stated was there? This state was produced when Jibraeel made the Prophet (pbuh) recite the words of God.

To call it something like wajad or ecstasy is incorrect, wajad seems like the kind of exhilaration when get when you listen to a particularly good song and let your inhibitions go. Like a rave or something, like all the doped up mast malangs at the Ghazi shrine in Karachi. Im not saying all sufis are like this. I understand that during the medieval era it was really something with some really deep thinkers behind it, but currently as it is in Pakistan, its just an excuse to be a lazy libertine and eat free food at mazars.

I am in agreement with you, I don't think it was a "haal" either,

but I am merely pointing out how it can be interpreted.

I think, if it did happen it may have been like the prophet (pbuh)

was overcome with the realizations of the verse and what it means

for his ummah, in an instant he saw the underlying deeper

meaning of the words that were being transmitted to him.

To me, he was a lot more than a vehicle for the words of Allah,

he was the knower of Allah's word. So he could SEE what the

particular verse being received meant.

I am not sure about the ahadith Al-Qudsi. To this whole discussion

I don't have a position of my own as to whether I want to believe

what I have written above or not. I am just not sure and rather keep

silent about it. I don't have a problem with any views, only the ones

that cause doubt of the integrity of our holy Prophet (pbuh)

Was-Salaam

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