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A Wrong Quranic View On Christian Beliefs?

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http://quran.com/5/116

There are 2 problems I find with this above passage, no matter how many times I read it.

1. Christians never believed in the deity of Mary. I could be wrong but Christianity generally believes in one god who occupies three forms in order to interact with living beings. The first form of god is his original "fatherly" form which they interpret as omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. But god also takes human shape, in the form of Jesus, in order to interact with the world of his creation and the chosen people. And then there's the holy spirit which is god's presence in the world and which will last until the coming of Jesus or something like that. So basically they believe in one god who somehow has the power to be in three different forms all at the same time. Sounds farfetched but the problem is there's no Mary. Even the early Christian offshoots which denied that Jesus died and believed in non-mainstream views of Christianity never viewed Mary as a deity.

So where is the Quran getting its information from? I've heard someone tell me that a particular sect of Catholicism prays to Mary, but only for intercession, which means they do not see Mary as a god. And that's not even mainstream Christianity, neither is it a form of worship toward a deity.

2. The second problem I have with this passage is that Allah is asking Jesus why he told his followers to worship him and his mother as gods. Why is Allah even asking Jesus this question in the first place? Firstly, shouldn't he know this already, which negates the whole purpose of asking the question? Secondly, isn't it paradoxical for Jesus to be handpicked by god to be his messenger but ends up betraying god by telling people to worship him and his mother instead?

So not only is this passage wrong about Mary being god according to Christian views, or at least to the best of my knowledge on this subject, but it's also a paradox in the way Allah, the all-knowing, asks Jesus about something he should already know isn't true, not to mention ask a prophet of god why he decided to teach people to worship him and his mother instead, which no prophet would do in the first place if he's to be called a prophet. So it's confusing beyond belief.

Can someone please help explain this passage?

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The Qur'an can never be wrong. And which Christianity is this talking about? Because from when Christianity first started till now it has taken on major changes. Some people do view Maryam as some kind of goddess.

Maybe at the time of Maryam they viewed her as a goddess or the daughter of God or something because of the virgin birth or that her son spoke from the cradle.

Allah (swt) doesn't need to ask questions to know answers. Maybe the dialogue was put forth so that we Muslims will know of it in the Quran and have proof that Jesus never did such a thing? Maybe it was for Jesus himself to know so that it settles in his heart? It's like asking why did God create us to worship him? He doesn't need us tow worship him.... some things are just meant to be unknown to us. We are incapable of understanding everything believe it or not...

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http://quran.com/5/116

There are 2 problems I find with this above passage, no matter how many times I read it.

1. Christians never believed in the deity of Mary. I could be wrong but Christianity generally believes in one god who occupies three forms in order to interact with living beings. The first form of god is his original "fatherly" form which they interpret as omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. But god also takes human shape, in the form of Jesus, in order to interact with the world of his creation and the chosen people. And then there's the holy spirit which is god's presence in the world and which will last until the coming of Jesus or something like that. So basically they believe in one god who somehow has the power to be in three different forms all at the same time. Sounds farfetched but the problem is there's no Mary. Even the early Christian offshoots which denied that Jesus died and believed in non-mainstream views of Christianity never viewed Mary as a deity.

So where is the Quran getting its information from? I've heard someone tell me that a particular sect of Catholicism prays to Mary, but only for intercession, which means they do not see Mary as a god. And that's not even mainstream Christianity, neither is it a form of worship toward a deity.

All Catholics pray to Mary. The fact that you think this is ok because it's only intercession perhaps says something about your own mistaken ideas of what is allowed under the pretext of 'seeking intercession'. If you talk to Protestants, they certainly think Catholics worship Mary, and if you read some of the prayers Catholics address to Mary, it's pretty hard to avoid that conclusion, although perhaps it's a little harder for some Shias to see that due to them doing similar things with the Imams (as).

By the way, the Pagan Arabs also didn't view their idols as equal to Allah, and also claimed to be only seeking intercession, but they did consider them as deities since they worshipped them, prayed to them, and saught their help.

And they serve beside Allah what can neither harm them nor profit them, and they say: These are our intercessors with Allah. Say: Do you (presume to) inform Allah of what He knows not in the heavens and the earth? Glory be to Him, and supremely exalted is He above what they set up (with Him). [Qur'an 10:18, Shakir translation]

2. The second problem I have with this passage is that Allah is asking Jesus why he told his followers to worship him and his mother as gods. Why is Allah even asking Jesus this question in the first place? Firstly, shouldn't he know this already, which negates the whole purpose of asking the question? Secondly, isn't it paradoxical for Jesus to be handpicked by god to be his messenger but ends up betraying god by telling people to worship him and his mother instead?

So not only is this passage wrong about Mary being god according to Christian views, or at least to the best of my knowledge on this subject, but it's also a paradox in the way Allah, the all-knowing, asks Jesus about something he should already know isn't true, not to mention ask a prophet of god why he decided to teach people to worship him and his mother instead, which no prophet would do in the first place if he's to be called a prophet. So it's confusing beyond belief.

Can someone please help explain this passage?

The passage you are referring to is a way of making a point. It's obviously not meant to be taken to mean that Allah doesn't know what Jesus (a) said to people. Perhaps Allah will ask Jesus (a) this question in front of Christians when they are resurrected, so that they can see the error of their ways, or perhaps it's just a rhetorical device used in the Qur'an, that won't actually happen.

Edited by Haydar Husayn

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There are 2 problems I find with this above passage, no matter how many times I read it.

1. Christians never believed in the deity of Mary. I could be wrong but Christianity generally believes in one god who occupies three forms in order to interact with living beings. The first form of god is his original "fatherly" form which they interpret as omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. But god also takes human shape, in the form of Jesus, in order to interact with the world of his creation and the chosen people. And then there's the holy spirit which is god's presence in the world and which will last until the coming of Jesus or something like that. So basically they believe in one god who somehow has the power to be in three different forms all at the same time. Sounds farfetched but the problem is there's no Mary. Even the early Christian offshoots which denied that Jesus died and believed in non-mainstream views of Christianity never viewed Mary as a deity.

This is totally false and represents a lack of knowledge of the outburst of sects that arose during the ongoing ecumenical councils. There was sect that appeared around the 4th century whose followers were known as the collyridians. These collyridians were known to worship mary and even present offerings to her (incidentally they appeared in yemen, the one place where you'd expect widespread misogyny arising from bedouin culture lol).

A contemporary of the collyridians by the name of St. Epiphanius speaks of their heresy thus:

"After this a heresy appeared, which we have already mentioned slightly by means of the letter written in Arabia about Mary. And this heresy was again made public in Arabia from Thrace and the upper parts of Scythia, and was brought to our ears, which to men of understanding will be found ridiculous and laughable. We will begin to trace it out, and to relate concerning it. It will be judged (to partake of) silliness rather than of sense, as is the case with other like it. For, as formerly, out of insolence towards Mary, those whose opinions were such sowed hurtful ideas in the reflexions of men, so otherwise these, leaning to the other side, fall into the utmost harm...... For the harm is equal in both these heresies, the one belittling the holy Virgin, the other again glorifying her over-much. For who should it be that teach thus but women? for the race of women is slippery, fallible, and humble-minded...... For some women deck out a koutrkon that is to say, a square stool, spreading upon it a linen cloth, on some solemn day of the year, for some days they lay out bread, and offer it in the name of Mary. All the women partake of the bread, as we related in the letter to Arabia, writing partly about that...... Yea, verily, the body of Mary was holy, but was surely not God. Verily, the Virgin was a virgin, and was honoured, but was not given to us to worship; but she worships Him who was born from her according to the flesh, having come from heaven out of the Father's bosom......" This offering and eating of cakes was probably derived from the worship of Artemis.

(A Protestant Dictionary , p. 390)

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1) How can we say for sure that there never was, at any point in time, a group of Christians who held the Lady Mary to be divine? Also, why does it matter whether it was a mainstream belief or not? Rationally, even if there was just one person who held the view that she was divine, it would suffice to justify why the question is being posed to Jesus in the verse 5:116.

2) Since Allah is not bound in space, time or matter, He in fact already knows the outcome of this trial that we are going through. He already knows which of us are going to achieve eternal salvation, and which of us are going to fail. So why does He not then just put us in heaven/hell based on His infallible knowledge instead of making us actually live our lives out? It is because although He is All Knowing, He is also Just. It is for this same reason that a Day of Judgement will actually occur. What is the purpose of a judgement if Allah already knows absolutely (without any possibility of error) those who are guilty and those who are not? It is for our own benefit, so we can rest assured that we are not being dealt with a whit unjustly.

Perhaps Allah will pose the question to Jesus so that the people who held Jesus and his mother as being divine will have the satisfaction of hearing from his own mouth that their beliefs were contradictory to his message.

The following verses in Chapter 7 also show that Allah will be asking both the people to whom the message was revealed, and the messengers, and then after that stating the absolute truth as He was witness to everything that passed.

[Shakir 7:6] Most certainly then We will question those to whom (the messengers) were sent, and most certainly We will also question the messengers;

[Shakir 7:7] Then most certainly We will relate to them with knowledge, and We were not absent.

Edited by *Slave of Zahra*

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Some people have found it hard to explain the verse because the Christians do not believe in the divinity of the virgin Maryam; and they have mentioned several points for explaining it.

But it should be kept in mind that the verse mentions their taking her as a goddess, and not that they believe in her as a goddess. Taking someone as a god is quite different from believing in his divinity - except as a concomitant. Taking someone as a god is applicable to submitting to him with humility. Allah says: Have you then considered him who takes his base desire for his god? (45:23). And this theme is narrated from the ancients of Christians, and observed in their descendants.

al-Alusi has written in Ruhu'l-ma'ani: Verily Abu Ja'far al-Imami has narrated from some Christians that in the past there was a sect called Maryamiyyah; they believed about Maryam that she was a goddess.

(Rashid Rida) has said in Tafsiru'l-Manar. As for their taking the Christ as a god, it has already been mentioned in several places in explanation of this chapter; and as for his mother, her worship was agreed upon in the Eastern and the Western Churches after Constantine; then the Protestant denomination (which appeared many centuries after the advent of Islam) rejected her worship.

This worship offered to Maryam, mother of Christ, by Christians, is of various modes: There is a salat which contains prayer, praise, call for help and intercession; there is also a fast ascribed to her and named after her; and all this is joined with humility to her remembrance, and to her pictures and images, combined with the belief of her authority emanating from the unseen world. That authority, according to their belief, enables her to bring benefit and harm in this world and the next, either by herself or through her son. They have clearly declared that it is incumbent to worship her. However, we know not of any of their sects which would use the word, goddess, for her; of course they name her, 'Mother of god'; and some sects make it clear that it is used in its real, not metaphorical, sense,

The Qur'an says here that they had taken 'Isa and his mother for two gods, and the taking is other than naming; taking them for gods occurs when they worship them, and this certainly happens in their case. Allah has said in another verse that they say: Surely Allah, He is the Masih son of Maryam;... (5:72). But that is something else. And the Prophet (s.a.w.) has explained the divine words: They have taken their doctors of law and their monks for Lords besides Allah,... (9:31), that they followed them in what they allowed or forbade, not that they called them Lords.

The first clear declaration that I saw about the Christians really worshipping Maryam, was in the book, as-Sawa'i, from among the books of the Greek Orthodox, and I had seen this book in a monastery called Dayru't-Talmid, when I was first admitted in the educational Institute; and the Catholic declare openly and take pride of it.

al-Jazwit had decorated in Beirut their magazine, al-Mashriq (no.9, year 7) with Maryam's picture and colored designs, it was done as a souvenir to celebrate the Golden Jubilee at the end of fifty years since the announcement of the Pope Pius IX that the virgin Maryam had become pregnant without pollution of sin; and in that very issue they confirmed that the Eastern as well as the Western Churches worshipped Maryam.

Of the same theme is the word of father Luis Shaykhu, in an article of his regarding the Eastern Churches: "Verily the worship by Armenian Church of the chaste virgin, the Mother of Allah, is certainly a well-known affair." He also writes: "The Coptic Church is distinguished by its worship of the Blessed Virgin, the Mother of Allah."

Then he quotes a part of an essay by father Inistas al-Karamli published in the Catholic magazine al-Mashriq (no. 14, year 5) of Beirut. He writes under the heading, "Antiquity of the Virgin's worship", after mentioning the wording of Genesis, regarding the enmity of the serpent with the woman and her offspring, and interpreting the woman as the Virgin: "Don't you see that you do not find in this text anything clearly pointing to the Virgin until there came that great prophet, Elia the living, and he brought forth the worship of the Virgin from the corner of symbolism and ambiguity to the world of clarity and explanation."

Then he interprets this clarity and explanation by what is written in the Kings E (according to the Catholic arrangement) that when Elia was with his servant at the summit of Karami, he ordered him seven times to look towards the sea. After the seventh observation, the servant informed him that he saw a cloud about the size of a man's palm rising from the sea.

The essay-writer says: "From that rising (the first rising of the cloud) I say: 'Is it anything except the picture of Maryam, according to what the exegetes have established, rather it is the picture of the fetus without the original sin'." Then he says: "This is the origin of the Virgin's worship in the esteemed orient; and it goes back to the tenth century B.C.; and the excellence in this matter goes to this great prophet Elia." Again he says: "That is why the ancestors of the Karmalites were the first to believe in the Lord Jesus after the apostles and the disciples, and they were the first to establish a place of worship for the Virgin after her being taken away to the heaven with soul and body."

al-mizan http://www.shiasource.com/al-mizan/

...those first few paragraphs kind of remind me of something

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And they serve beside Allah what can neither harm them nor profit them, and they say: These are our intercessors with Allah. Say: Do you (presume to) inform Allah of what He knows not in the heavens and the earth? Glory be to Him, and supremely exalted is He above what they set up (with Him). [Qur'an 10:18, Shakir translation]

Shakir [43:86]

And those whom they call upon besides Him have no authority for intercession, but he who bears witness of the truth and they know (him).

Yusuf Ali [43:86]

And those whom they invoke besides Allah have no power of intercession, only he who bears witness to the Truth, and they know (him).

Sahih International [43:86]

And those they invoke besides Him do not possess [power of] intercession; but only those who testify to the truth [can benefit], and they know.

Explain.

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Shakir [43:86]

And those whom they call upon besides Him have no authority for intercession, but he who bears witness of the truth and they know (him).

Yusuf Ali [43:86]

And those whom they invoke besides Allah have no power of intercession, only he who bears witness to the Truth, and they know (him).

Sahih International [43:86]

And those they invoke besides Him do not possess [power of] intercession; but only those who testify to the truth [can benefit], and they know.

Explain.

It's not very hard if you put away your preconceptions.

Certain individuals are given authority for intercession, on the day of judgement, as the Qur'an and ahadith make clear. However, what people do is worship those individuals, and then say "they are only intercessors". Intercession doesn't mean you pray to other than Allah, asking them for your needs, and then trying to justify it by saying they are only intercessors. This is what the mushrik Arabs did, and is still what people are doing now.

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http://quran.com/5/116

There are 2 problems I find with this above passage, no matter how many times I read it.

1. Christians never believed in the deity of Mary. I could be wrong but Christianity generally believes in one god who occupies three forms in order to interact with living beings. The first form of god is his original "fatherly" form which they interpret as omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. But god also takes human shape, in the form of Jesus, in order to interact with the world of his creation and the chosen people. And then there's the holy spirit which is god's presence in the world and which will last until the coming of Jesus or something like that. So basically they believe in one god who somehow has the power to be in three different forms all at the same time. Sounds farfetched but the problem is there's no Mary. Even the early Christian offshoots which denied that Jesus died and believed in non-mainstream views of Christianity never viewed Mary as a deity.

So where is the Quran getting its information from? I've heard someone tell me that a particular sect of Catholicism prays to Mary, but only for intercession, which means they do not see Mary as a god. And that's not even mainstream Christianity, neither is it a form of worship toward a deity.

2. The second problem I have with this passage is that Allah is asking Jesus why he told his followers to worship him and his mother as gods. Why is Allah even asking Jesus this question in the first place? Firstly, shouldn't he know this already, which negates the whole purpose of asking the question? Secondly, isn't it paradoxical for Jesus to be handpicked by god to be his messenger but ends up betraying god by telling people to worship him and his mother instead?

So not only is this passage wrong about Mary being god according to Christian views, or at least to the best of my knowledge on this subject, but it's also a paradox in the way Allah, the all-knowing, asks Jesus about something he should already know isn't true, not to mention ask a prophet of god why he decided to teach people to worship him and his mother instead, which no prophet would do in the first place if he's to be called a prophet. So it's confusing beyond belief.

Can someone please help explain this passage?

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The problem with Christianity is the birth of Jesus. If he was an incarnate God, how was he conceived? Bible tells us that he was conceived by Holt spirit. But is this like the conception of Hercules?

Christians find these questions difficult to answer, so most of them find an easy answer. Mary was an incarnate Goddess herself

http://www.goddess.ws/mother-mary.html

The Church will tell us that Mary died like a mortal but so did Jesus according to them. If Jesus dies and later became a God so can Mary die and become divine later.

But let this holy city of Rome be the first to give the example, this city which from the earliest Christian era worshipped the heavenly mother, its patroness, with a special devotion. As all know, there are many sacred edifices here, in which she is proposed for the devotion of the Roman people; but the greatest without doubt is the Liberian Basilica [st. Mary Major], in which the mosaics of Our predecessor of pious memory, Sixtus III, still glisten, an outstanding monument to the Divine maternity of the Virgin Mary, and in which the "salvation of the Roman people" (Salus Populi Romani) benignly smiles./ At the funeral of Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Ratzinger

Rome's Catholic Church claims Mary, the mother of Jesus is the Germanic pre-Christian Goddess of Snows...because it snowed in Rome Aug 5th. The Council of Ephesus defined Mary as Theotokos, the God-bearer, in 431 A.D., Pope Sixtus III (432-440) rebuilt and embellished the basilica. From the seventh century onward, it was referred to as St. Mary the Great or Major. The Basilica has also been called Our Lady of the Snows in commemoration of the miraculous snowfall. The imposing facade was built by Pope Eugene III (1145-1153).

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Tell me brother if jesus is god according to catholics then what does that make his mother obviously the mother of god and about god asking jesus the question its meaning jesus will tell the people he never said such things and its all a lie.

Edited by quran-alhakeem

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Wow, many replies. Didn't expect that. Well thanks to everyone for replying. I think my following four replies will answer most of the comments anyway because I've read them all and they more or less say the same thing.

==========================================

Haydar Husayn: From my understanding, not all Catholics pray to Mary. Some do, some don't. Many simply prefer to pray directly to their God (the trinity). Any prayer toward Mary is simply a form of intercession, not worship. If this is shirk to us then we might as well close down the Shia sect because it means we're also mushrikeen for praying to imams so that they intercede for us. There's a difference between intercession and worship and we are the last people who should confuse the two things together, seeing as we are Shia and don't have problems with people interceding our payers to god.

If there are any protestants today who think catholics worship Mary, then they're just as as idiotic as the wahabis who think Shias worship the imams. Protestants are afterall literal interpreters of their faith and the wahabi and many other forms of Sunni islam are just as literal. An extreme protestant is akin to an extreme sunni so it's no surprise that there might be a few likeminded people between the two sects.

I would never ask this question in a Sunni forum so I don't know why I'm getting a Sunnified answer.

Praying to someone for intercession does not equal worship. The fact is Catholics and protestants only worship the deity of god in the form of the father, son and holy spirit. Anything else would be heretical to the teachings of their faith. Worshiping Mary is heresy according to the Bible because their holy texts (old and new testaments), including the canons and chronicles, made no reference to Mary's divinity. So it's heretical for starters. And if someone today is praying to Mary, which I've already heard christians tell me, then it's an intercession, not worship.

Quran 10:18 is making reference to pagan Arabs who worshiped idols as form of intercession between them and the "main god". That's bizarrely different than Mary being prayed to. For god's sakes we Shia are asking imams to intercede for us. Your answer is Sunni-oriented. If praying to Mary is considered worship and shirk then basically the wahabis are right about us? We are also mushrikeen for praying to our imams?

Furthermore it doesn't make sense why Allah even asks this question. We cant assume hes asking this question to prove to christians that their religion is wrong, given that their religion has no teachings of Mary being worshiped.

==========================================

Lanat ma man: The collyridians were an interesting group of people but the unfortunate thing for us is they were considered heretical. They were a heretical group that ceased to exist long before prophet Mohammad was even born.

If Allah is interested in discrediting christian beliefs, he should've said "Oh Jesus, why did you say to your followers: worship me and my god as same gods" instead of saying something about Mary.

Imagine tomorrow a new religion comes out like a mushroom somewhere and tries to discredit Islam by making reference to the Ahmadiya sect. "Say to the Muslims: Oh Muslims, why do you believe in Mirza Gullam as your mahdi and savior". The mainstream Muslims would read that text and go "hold on, we don't believe in this. The Ahmadiya sect is a heretical sect of Islam".

The argument that Allah uses to discredit christians in the Quran is an oxymoron because it's discrediting a heretical group.

Also take into account that Allah explicitly says to Jesus why he told his people to "worship me and my mother as two gods". But no Biblical or canonical text ever referred to Jesus telling his people to worship Mary. There were times he hinted he was god, there were times he hinted he was god in the flesh, which led to many debates etc. But the divinity of Mary is not mentioned. So infact, Jesus never uttered those words to his followers.

I'm open to the idea I'm wrong though.

Also the bold part in your quote of the protestant dictionary actually dismisses the notion of Mary being worshiped, but rather honored.

=========================================

Ali Hussain: The verse specifically implies that Jesus told his followers to take him and his mother as two gods besides Allah. First, where is the evidence that Jesus said this to his followers? Second, if this is only a hypothetical question Allah is posing on Jesus, why was it posed to begin with? Jesus's teachings were documented by the early Christians and regardless of any translation and any chronological manuscript, none whatsoever mentioned Jesus telling his followers to take him and his mother as gods.

Of all ways for Allah to discredit Christianity, he had to use an argument against a heretical group of people, which christians largely dismissed, who were mostly present in the Syrian desert and the nearby deserts and mixed their pagan Arab beliefs with christian beliefs?

Allah implied Jesus taught them, his followers, to take Mary and him as gods besides Allah. Besides Allah, therefore it's a form of worship. Taking something for your god and believing in god are not two different or independent things, they're the same thing. But let's use your argument. Let's assume "taking X as your god" and "believing X as your god" are two different concepts. You say to take Mary as goddess is basically to submit to her in humility. Submitting to something can be interpreted in many ways. People submit to Allah, therefore Allah is their god. Having said that, people also submit to their prophets and imams, but generally this is not considered worship. And then there are those who say submitting to a prophet or to god is the same thing, ie worship. But let's assume they're different submissions for a second. Which one of the submission types applies to Mary? As a status of an imam/prophet/lady Fatima, or as a status of god? Well, according to the Quran, it's as a status of god, because Allah implies that she was taken besides Allah.

And if taking something as god merely means submitting to it in humility, and not worshiping its divinity, then are we taking our imams and prophet as gods aswell? Because there sure is alot of submission regarding that. And are Sunnis also taking their highly esteemed sahaba as gods as well?

I think you're reading too much into this. Sometimes the simplistic answer is the correct one, because the more detailed you get into the subject, the more it can actually backfire on our own beliefs too.

Furthermore, the title Mary mother of god is an honorary title for her. Yes some christians thought and probably still do that Mary is holy because she conceived god in the flesh (Jesus), presumably. But that does not grant her divinity, nor does it elevate her into the status of a god/deity. But the Quran explicitly mentions her elevation to the status which is "next to" Allah's own status, thus divine.

Another problem is Mary's divination died hundreds of years before prophet Mohammad was born, although one can presume that remnants of that particular heretical group might have still existed in small pockets in the deserts of Syria, which can explain prophet Mohammad's contact with them. The books Islamic scholars wrote where they quote off and off others about practices of worshiping Mary in eastern churches are problematic aswell, because they dont seem to be mentioned by other academicians in theology, unless one is referring to the historical era of the 4th century.

=========================================

Omar: I highly doubt the world of Christendom would even acknowledge the website, which you linked, as "christian". The front page of that website makes it clear the person who made it believes in a goddess who took the form of Isis, Lakhsmi and Mary and many others. Therefore that website follows a different religion altogether, combining what the author assumes to be the same goddess in the form of different people throughout history. The whole argument there is moot and I dont see its relevance to this topic. If some idiot tomorrow makes his own website about lady Fatima being a goddess, I hope nobody from the other side of the world reads it and thinks Islam believes in the divinity of Fatima.

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Haydar Husayn: From my understanding, not all Catholics pray to Mary. Some do, some don't. Many simply prefer to pray directly to their God (the trinity).

Mainstream Catholicism includes prayers to Mary.

Any prayer toward Mary is simply a form of intercession, not worship. If this is shirk to us then we might as well close down the Shia sect because it means we're also mushrikeen for praying to imams so that they intercede for us. There's a difference between intercession and worship and we are the last people who should confuse the two things together, seeing as we are Shia and don't have problems with people interceding our payers to god.

Well, this is part of the whole problem isn't it? Allah is making a point in the Qur'an that you can't see because you view prayers to created being under the guise of 'intercession' as ok.

What is worship?

2: reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power; also : an act of expressing such reverence

3: a form of religious practice with its creed and ritual

http://www.merriam-w...tionary/worship

By this defintion, Catholics certain worship Mary, just as many Shias worship the Imams (as).

If there are any protestants today who think catholics worship Mary, then they're just as as idiotic as the wahabis who think Shias worship the imams. Protestants are afterall literal interpreters of their faith and the wahabi and many other forms of Sunni islam are just as literal. An extreme protestant is akin to an extreme sunni so it's no surprise that there might be a few likeminded people between the two sects.

It never crosses your mind that they might be right? Read the Qur'an, and see whether it really contains a message that it's ok to pray to other than Allah (here's a shortcut: http://www.shiachat....h-in-the-quran/).

I would never ask this question in a Sunni forum so I don't know why I'm getting a Sunnified answer.

There is nothing 'Sunnified' about it. You aren't going to get very far in answering your questions if you carry so many preconceptions around with you and are unable to open your mind to different possibilities.

Praying to someone for intercession does not equal worship. The fact is Catholics and protestants only worship the deity of god in the form of the father, son and holy spirit. Anything else would be heretical to the teachings of their faith. Worshiping Mary is heresy according to the Bible because their holy texts (old and new testaments), including the canons and chronicles, made no reference to Mary's divinity. So it's heretical for starters. And if someone today is praying to Mary, which I've already heard christians tell me, then it's an intercession, not worship.

You do realise that Catholics hold many beliefs about Mary that can't be found in the Bible? Right?

They believe she always remained a virgin. They believe she was sinless (the immaculate conception). They believe she was taken up into heaven (assumption of Mary). They believe she is the mother of God (in both his human and divine natures). They believe Mary can perform miracles. They believe she makes appearances on earth. Etc, etc.

Quran 10:18 is making reference to pagan Arabs who worshiped idols as form of intercession between them and the "main god". That's bizarrely different than Mary being prayed to.

What's so different? Most of those idols probably started out as real people, like prophets or angels.

It is not meet for a mortal that Allah should give him the Book and the wisdom and prophethood, then he should say to men: Be my servants rather than Allah's; but rather (he would say): Be worshippers of the Lord because of your teaching the Book and your reading (it yourselves). And neither would he enjoin you that you should take the angels and the prophets for lords; what! would he enjoin you with unbelief after you are Muslims? [Qur'an 3:79-80, Shakir]

Also, Allah says in the Qur'an that those who are woshipped besides him will renounce their worshippers on the Day of Judgement:

And there are some among men who take for themselves objects of worship besides Allah, whom they love as they love Allah, and those who believe are stronger in love for Allah and O, that those who are unjust had seen, when they see the chastisement, that the power is wholly Allah's and that Allah is severe in requiting (evil). When those who were followed shall renounce those who followed (them), and they see the chastisement and their ties are cut asunder. And those who followed shall say: Had there been for us a return, then we would renounce them as they have renounced us. Thus will Allah show them their deeds to be intense regret to them, and they shall not come forth from the fire. [2:165-167]

He causes the night to enter in upon the day, and He causes the day to enter in upon the night, and He has made subservient (to you) the sun and the moon; each one follows its course to an appointed time; this is Allah, your Lord, His is the kingdom; and those whom you call upon besides Him do not control a straw. If you call on them they shall not hear your call, and even if they could hear they shall not answer you; and on the resurrection day they will deny your associating them (with Allah); and none can inform you like the One Who is Aware. [35:13-14]

And who is in greater error than he who calls besides Allah upon those that will not answer him till the day of resurrection and they are heedless of their call? And when men are gathered together they shall be their enemies, and shall be deniers of their worshipping (them). [47:5-6]

So if these are just fake idols, I'm not sure how they will deny anything on Judgement Day.

For god's sakes we Shia are asking imams to intercede for us. Your answer is Sunni-oriented. If praying to Mary is considered worship and shirk then basically the wahabis are right about us? We are also mushrikeen for praying to our imams?

I wouldn't be so quick to put all Shias in the same boat, but yes, I think that praying to other than Allah is shirk.

Furthermore it doesn't make sense why Allah even asks this question. We cant assume hes asking this question to prove to christians that their religion is wrong, given that their religion has no teachings of Mary being worshiped.

Yes it does, but you don't want to see it.

Ok, let's assume for a second that the Qur'an was written by Muhammad (pbuh) or a group of men. Then at the very least Mary (ahs) must have been worshipped by some Christians they were in contact with, otherwise why say it and look foolish in front of the local Christians? And if they were worshipping Mary, then that would be enough to mention it in the Qur'an, since it was primarily directed towards those people the Prophet (pbuh) was in contact with.

Edited by Haydar Husayn

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Lanat ma man: The collyridians were an interesting group of people but the unfortunate thing for us is they were considered heretical. They were a heretical group that ceased to exist long before prophet Mohammad was even born.

If Allah is interested in discrediting christian beliefs, he should've said "Oh Jesus, why did you say to your followers: worship me and my god as same gods" instead of saying something about Mary.

Imagine tomorrow a new religion comes out like a mushroom somewhere and tries to discredit Islam by making reference to the Ahmadiya sect. "Say to the Muslims: Oh Muslims, why do you believe in Mirza Gullam as your mahdi and savior". The mainstream Muslims would read that text and go "hold on, we don't believe in this. The Ahmadiya sect is a heretical sect of Islam".

It wasn't just the collyridians, after the Council of Nice a group emerged which believed Mary was a seperate divine entity in herself. This group was well known throughout history and were named after the holy lady herself; they were called the "Mariamites". George Sale (an anti-islamic polemicist from around the early 18th century) in his commentary on the Quran mentions this group and their beliefs:

"This notion of the divinity of the Virgin Mary was also believed by some at the Council of Nice, who said there were two gods besides the Father viz. Christ and the virgin Mary, and were thence named Mariamites. Others imagined her to be exempt from humanity, and deified; which goes but little beyond the popish superstition in calling her the complement of the Trinity, as if it were imperfect without her. This foolish imagination is justly condemned in the Koran as idolatrous, and gave a handle to Mohammed to attack the Trinity itself." (The Koran)

The problem with your analysis is that you expect the Quran to always speak in an absolute sense, that the issue is black and white. Judgement Day is a time when ALL the generations of yore, today and the future will be gathered under common leaders and ideological background. So the mariamites and extinct collyridians will invariably be put to question as well on Judgement Day. Your analogy is faulty and conflates the context of judgement day with an entirely different issue. The Quran always, always notes the fact that there are many different ideological groups within the divine religions and acknowledges there are believers from the people of the book; afterall, it does order them to look into their scriptures for the truth of Muhammad's prophecy. So it's fully aware there are many who don't worship mary or even Jesus (as) himself.

The argument that Allah uses to discredit christians in the Quran is an oxymoron because it's discrediting a heretical group.

'Allah' uses? I thought you were gonna say Muhammad there for a minute :rolleyes: . Read the above response, it's a time when all acclaimed followers of christianity are going to be addressed; and the Quran has full knowledge that there are genuine believers among christians too.

Also take into account that Allah explicitly says to Jesus why he told his people to "worship me and my mother as two gods". But no Biblical or canonical text ever referred to Jesus telling his people to worship Mary.

That's the damn point! None of this worship was sanctioned by the divine texts, yet it happened anyway.

There were times he hinted he was god, there were times he hinted he was god in the flesh, which led to many debates etc. But the divinity of Mary is not mentioned. So infact, Jesus never uttered those words to his followers.

Are you seriously making this much of an issue of the second verse you quoted? It's as clear as daylight that what was going was a public exposé in this interrogation scene. Just read the verse again more clearly:

"And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, "O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, 'Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah ?'" He will say, "Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen."

This would have been more evident to you had you been reading the Quran independantly, but it seems you've been going through age-old polemics on propagated missionary websites in this month of all months. Correct me if i'm wrong.

Also the bold part in your quote of the protestant dictionary actually dismisses the notion of Mary being worshiped, but rather honored.

Yes, honoured by the orthodoxy; but she was still worshipped by others nonetheless.

I'm open to the idea I'm wrong though.

I hope it's clear you are now.

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Thx, La'nat, you saved me the time and effort to write up that information myself.

It's a polemic against Catholics that they "worship Mary" No Catholic, who actually knows even a tiny fraction of their faith, will tell you they worship Mary as a goddess next to God. OP, that verse is referring to the process of deification. It's referring to a PERCEPTION of Mary and Jesus, peace upon them both, that was present among Christian sects in the early centuries. The core of the Quran and the principles it teaches are absolute and universal, but it addresses the particular events and conditions of Prophet Muhammad's historical time period and immediate surroundings. A gross error is made when we take the words of the Quran in reference to the conditions of the mortal realm at the time of its revelation to be referring to necessarily static conditions.

Edited by Saintly_Jinn23

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From my understanding, not all Catholics pray to Mary. Some do, some don't.

In the 7th century they did.

Furthermore, the title Mary mother of god is an honorary title for her.

The early church took this "honorary" term of "God-bringer" / "Mother of God" so seriously as to anathematize those who challenged it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theotokos

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Ecumenical_Council

Edited by kadhim

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If people don't think Catholics worship Mary, then they obviously don't understand what the word worship means in the English language.

They don't. Catholics themselves for years have said they don't. Mary is not a goddess, but a saintly woman and holy vessel, just as she is in Islam. You are simply twisting the english word "worship" to the context that serves your own purposes to polemicize something you refuse to understand because it's foreign and different to you. All Catholics will tell you that Mary is "not worshiped" God "is worshiped" and this has been the view of the Roman Catholic Church for years, for centuries.

Maryam (as) as well as her son and the Holy Household are intercessors before God on the believers' behalf. And just as a person is blessed by God for pronouncing blessings upon Ahul Bayt and professing love especially for the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his blessed progeny, so too does God visit special blessings upon those who honor Maryam (as) and Jesus (as). The Catholics believe that Mary's place is as a special intercessor and that it is meet for all good Christians to show her respect and reverence for her duty and faith to God, but it is the desire for God that the love for Mary grows out of and is a aspect of. Therefore one's love and devotion to Mary must be an extension of a love for the beauty and supremacy of God and the desire to come under this supremacy through Mary. The acts of respect and piety towards Mary individually are thus, ideally, in the heart of a true Christian, an extension of the piety and respect towards God. It's not when you make no difference that idolatry and polytheism occur, it is when you DO make a difference, because if the honored servants of God like Mary, or Jesus, or Muhammad, peace upon them all, were anything but those who acted as an extension of God's will, without the slightest instance or thought of rebellion against it, then how is showing any reverence or devotion towards them or their actions anything other than reverence and devotion to God?

The Catholics' prayers and veneration to Mary (as) are to honor her as a servant of God and the bearer of Jesus Christ (pbuh) and to admire her exceptional purity, not to erect her as a separate deity or demi-god beside God, as this would mean they see her as a will that acts in some shape or form apart from the will of God or has some sort of great or minor authority over something He does not. This is not the case. Catholics, like Muslims, see Mary as someone whose will is completely and utterly bent in submission and servitude to the one god, who has no power beyond what God has allowed and commanded of her. This, by very definition, cannot be considered deification as it contradicts everything implied by the word "god" or "deity." That's all I have to say on the subject.

Edited by Saintly_Jinn23

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Some Catholic views on Mary:

St. Maximillian Kolbe, in keeping with Catholic Tradition, sees Mary as holding a preeminent place in God's plan of salvation; of being a conscious cooperator with all the grace which comes from God to man. But while Sacred Tradition, represented by writers such as St. Louis de Montfort, emphasize Mary's Divine Motherhood as being the basis for this teaching, Kolbe views Mary's universal mediation of grace as primarily being linked with and drawn from her intimate and hidden relationship with the Holy Spirit.

All grace, says the Polish saint, ultimately comes to us from God the Father, through the merits of Jesus Christ, his Son, and is distributed by the Holy Spirit; and the Holy Spirit, in distributing all grace, works in and through Mary — not because he has to do so, but precisely because in his plan of salvation, God wills to do so. And God wills to do so for a reason: Jesus, the Source of all grace, came through Mary via the work of the Holy Spirit; therefore it is fitting that all grace continue to come through Mary by the work of the Holy Spirit.

Further, Kolbe says the path by which God's grace comes to us — from the Father, through the Son and by the Holy Spirit — is inversed upon our return to God. The return to God on our part, which is our loving response to his love and grace, goes from the Holy Spirit (who operates through Mary), through the Son and back to the Father.2

Kolbe sees Mary's preeminent role in this divine ordo — of grace and love coming from God to man, and of love returning from man to God — as flowing especially from her unique and intimate union with the Holy Spirit. He says that the Holy Spirit dwells in Mary's soul in such an ineffable manner that it goes beyond and is deeper than the union achieved between the Holy Spirit and souls by sanctifying grace in Baptism.3

To convey this deep union between Mary and the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, Kolbe, in keeping with Sacred Tradition,4 refers to Mary as the "spouse" of the Holy Spirit. But at the same time Kolbe expresses dissatisfaction with this term, saying that "spouse" is really inadequate to describe this intimate and mysterious relationship. In matrimony a man and woman become united through sacramental grace so as to become, in a mystical way, "one flesh." But Kolbe sees the union between Mary and the Holy Spirit being even more intimate than that of spouses in marriage:

Among creatures made in God's image, the union brought about by married love is the most intimate of all. In a much more precise, more interior, more essential manner, the Holy Spirit lives in the soul of the Immaculata, in the depths of her very being.
5

What accounts for Mary's special relationship with the Holy Spirit? Kolbe says it is her Immaculate Conception, which was accomplished through the direct work (via appropriation) of the Holy Spirit. With Mary's Immaculate Conception, God the Father and the Son willed that Mary be united to their common Spirit of Love in such a close and intimate manner that would allow the Holy Spirit to bring about the Incarnation of the Word within her womb, making Mary the Mother of God; and further, that this union would enable Mary to be the instrument or vessel through which the Holy Spirit would distribute all the graces merited by Christ. Kolbe emphasizes that the precise meaning of "Immaculate Conception" is a great mystery, too deep and mysterious to be fully understood.

http://www.catholicc...cfm?recnum=4270

As for the sanctifying grace which the sacraments automatically confer, Mary nonetheless mediates it in several ways. First, Mary mediates the grace of the sacraments by being Mother of Jesus, the Author of Grace and the First Sacrament to the world. Secondly, Mary mediates the grace of the sacraments by her role as Co-redemptrix. By Mary's direct and meritorious participation in the Redemption of the world by Jesus Christ, she shares in the acquisition of the graces of Calvary which are distributed through the sacraments of the Church. So in this foundational and pivotal manner, Mary mediates the grace of the sacraments through her association with Christ.

Thirdly, it is through Mary's direct mediation that we receive the actual graces to desire the reception of the sacraments and to prepare us for worthy reception of the sacraments. Through Mary's direct distribution of actual graces, we receive a temporary enlightening of the mind and strengthening of the will to perform the meritorious acts of receiving the sacraments, which constitute the spiritual backbone of the Christian life. Mary's mediating presence is at every baptismal font, leading people by actual graces into the sacramental life of Jesus Christ and the Church.

Moreover, Mary's profound union with the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier, leads to her role as Mediatrix of every grace bestowed to the human family. As St. Maximilian Kolbe taught, the Holy Spirit is so deeply united to Mary in the work of sanctification, that their inexpressible spousal union resembles (without fully reaching it) the union of the divine nature and human nature in the one person of Christ. And since the Holy Spirit always acts through the Virgin Mary in His sanctifying action, then all graces must come through Mary as Mediatrix of all graces. As St. Maximilian Kolbe describes:

The union between the Immaculata and the Holy Spirit is so inexpressible, yet so perfect, that the Holy Spirit acts only by the Most Blessed Virgin, His spouse. This is why she is the Mediatrix of all grace given by the Holy Spirit. (2)

http://www.all-about...-mediatrix.html

The rosary is a devotion in honor of the Virgin Mary. It consists of a set number of specific prayers. First are the introductory prayers: one Apostles’ Creed (Credo), one Our Father (the Pater Noster or the Lord’s Prayer), three Hail Mary’s (Ave’s), one Glory Be (Gloria Patri).

[...]

The next prayer in the rosary, and the prayer which is really at the center of the devotion, is the Hail Mary.

The prayer begins, "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee."

"Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus."

"Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen

[...]

We’ve covered the opening prayers of the rosary. In fact, we’ve covered all the prayers of the rosary except the very last one, which is usually the Hail Queen (Salve Regina), sometimes called the Hail Holy Queen. It’s the most commonly recited prayer in praise of Mary, after the Hail Mary itself, and was composed at the end of the eleventh century. It generally reads like this (there are several variants):

"Hail holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary."

http://www.catholic....acts/the-rosary

POMPEII, Italy, OCT. 19, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI placed the world in Mary's hands during his one-day visit to the shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary in Pompeii, near Naples.

The Pope's leading of the Supplication of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary, a prayer written by Blessed Bartolo Longo (1841-1926) was one of the high points of this 12th pastoral trip in Italy.

"We implore you to have pity today on the nations that have gone astray, on all Europe, on the whole world, that they might repent and return to your heart," the text of the prayer reads.

With the words of Bartolo, the Pontiff turned to Mary, saying: "If you will not help us because we are ungrateful and unworthy children of your protection, we will not know to whom to turn."

In a gesture of filial love, the Pope then offered the Madonna a golden rose.

http://www.zenit.org...23987?l=english

If this isn't outright shirk, then I don't know what is.

Edited by Haydar Husayn

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Omar: I highly doubt the world of Christendom would even acknowledge the website, which you linked, as "christian". The front page of that website makes it clear the person who made it believes in a goddess who took the form of Isis, Lakhsmi and Mary and many others. Therefore that website follows a different religion altogether, combining what the author assumes to be the same goddess in the form of different people throughout history. The whole argument there is moot and I dont see its relevance to this topic. If some idiot tomorrow makes his own website about lady Fatima being a goddess, I hope nobody from the other side of the world reads it and thinks Islam believes in the divinity of Fatima.

I never said that it was the official Roman Catholic position. I gave the site to show that Christians believe in many Divine apparitions of Mary.

This is a created by Catholics http://medjugorje.org/

The Apparitions in Medjugorje are never denied by the Roman Catholic Church.

The Hail Mary Rosary, although not proven from St.Dominic, is a standard catholic practice. Anyone who recites the rosary is given promises by a Divine Mary.

· I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the rosary.

· The faithful children of the rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in heaven.

· You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the rosary.

The soul which recommend itself to me by the recitation of the rosary, shall not perish

(Given to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan) Imprimatur: Patrick J. Hayes DD Archbishop of New York)

St.Albert(d. 1140) by his contemporary biographer, who tells us: "A hundred times a day he bent his, and fifty times he prostrated himself raising his body again by his fingers and toes, while he repeated at every genuflexion: 'Hail Mary`

I am the first and the last.

I am the honored one and the scorned one.

I am the [Edited Out] and the holy one.

I am the wife and the virgin.

I am the mother and the daughter. . . .

I am she whose wedding is great,

And I have not taken a husband. . . .

I am shameless;

I am ashamed. . . .

I am godless,

And I am one whose God is great.

Thunder, Perfect Mind

Gnostic Poem

(A, p. 55-6)

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Where does the Qur'an say that Maryam (as) was a part of any trinity doctrine, let alone in the theology of the Byzantine Orthodox? 5:73 condemns the trinity without mentioning Jesus, Mary, or the Holy Spirit. Then, 5:75 condemns the worship of Mary. The Qur'an as a text does not explicitly say Mary was a part of any religion's trinity; it simply acknowledges the indisputable fact that Mary was worshiped. Someone mentioned the Collyridian beliefs that Mary was a goddess and the Father took her as a wife. Arabia was full of Christian and Jewish sects, many of which did not join the "mainstream" denominations until way past the medieval era. 5:73 isn't even a condemnation of all Christians, as there were/are some that did not accept the trinity as well.

Also, consider the very loose Islamic definition of 'worship' (`ibada). The Qur'an said that some Jews took their rabbis as gods - this is an accusation of major shirk - and our tafasir stated that this accusation is not that they literally worshiped their rabbis, but rather, they accepted the rabbis' words as hujja above the Torah. While Catholics don't explicitly profess worship of Mary, doesn't building statues of her approach shirk in the Islamic sense? Calling her the mother of God? What matters is not their definition of worship, but ours.

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Some Catholic views on Mary:

I find it rather amusing how you only highlighted the parts that you could twist to some other meaning than what is actually being said to support your agenda. If you actually read what is being said in full and within context, perhaps you could understand, assuming you want to, that very little said there contradicts anything in Islam and I have heard/scholars Muslim scholars and mystics speak of Mary with almost the exact same language.

If this isn't outright shirk, then I don't know what is.

Clearly you don't...

Also, consider the very loose Islamic definition of 'worship' (`ibada). The Qur'an said that some Jews took their rabbis as gods - this is an accusation of major shirk - and our tafasir stated that this accusation is not that they literally worshiped their rabbis, but rather, they accepted the rabbis' words as hujja above the Torah. While Catholics don't explicitly profess worship of Mary, doesn't building statues of her approach shirk in the Islamic sense? Calling her the mother of God? What matters is not their definition of worship, but ours.

I don't think the use of statues and icons by the Catholics can be considered shirk in the Islamic sense. Yes, we could argue about the permissibility of images, but I don't think that is the same topic of discussion. "Idolaters," as I understand the word to mean in its most religious context, refers almost exclusively to those whose worship centered exclusively around graven images, where the graven image was seen as an utmost necessary thing and which one's faith was centered around.

While Catholics do use icons, such as statues or paintings, as a means of sanctifying a place, Catholic worship is not dependent on images. A Catholic is still a Catholic and is still answered just as well without any images in his/her home. One doesn't need a statue of Christ or Mary to form a spiritual connection with either, but these kinds of things do serve as symbols or reminders of such people and for that reason they have a use and a purpose, but they are not an essential part of one's faith that one is incomplete or cut off from God without them. There's a use of images, but not a spiritual dependence on them (at least there shouldn't be). If a Catholic Church doesn't have statues or paintings of Biblical scenes, it is still a Catholic place of worship and is in no way less of a holy place by the virtue of the lack of icons. Sure, Catholics will kiss the feet of a statue of Mary (as) but this isn't anymore shirk in my opinion than when those Iranian women and children kiss pictures of Ayatollah Khomeini or when you kiss the photo of a dead relative in your wallet. Sure, there's a spiritual use for icons, but the faith is not defined or confined by them. Mary and Jesus (pbuh) are still with you regardless of whether you have any paintings or statues of them in your house.

I don't think this fits either the most technical definition of "idolatry" (such as in reference to 'pagan idols' and their worshipers) or the typical metaphorical use (I love money more than anything else in the world, therefore I have made it my 'idol')

I come from a large family of Catholics and I have talked with some of them on these issues before, and I've also talked with a Greek Orthodox priest near my house on the subject. I actually see very few real theological contradictions between Shi'ism and Catholicism and keep a few Catholic and Orthodox icons myself.

Edited by Saintly_Jinn23

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I find it rather amusing how you only highlighted the parts that you could twist to some other meaning than what is actually being said to support your agenda. If you actually read what is being said in full and within context, perhaps you could understand, assuming you want to, that very little said there contradicts anything in Islam and I have heard/scholars Muslim scholars and mystics speak of Mary with almost the exact same language.

Clearly you don't...

I don't think the use of statues and icons by the Catholics can be considered shirk in the Islamic sense. Yes, we could argue about the permissibility of images, but I don't think that is the same topic of discussion. "Idolaters," as I understand the word to mean in its most religious context, refers almost exclusively to those whose worship centered exclusively around graven images, where the graven image was seen as an utmost necessary thing and which one's faith was centered around.

While Catholics do use icons, such as statues or paintings, as a means of sanctifying a place, Catholic worship is not dependent on images. A Catholic is still a Catholic and is still answered just as well without any images in his/her home. One doesn't need a statue of Christ or Mary to form a spiritual connection with either, but these kinds of things do serve as symbols or reminders of such people and for that reason they have a use and a purpose, but they are not an essential part of one's faith that one is incomplete or cut off from God without them. There's a use of images, but not a spiritual dependence on them (at least there shouldn't be). If a Catholic Church doesn't have statues or paintings of Biblical scenes, it is still a Catholic place of worship and is in no way less of a holy place by the virtue of the lack of icons. Sure, Catholics will kiss the feet of a statue of Mary (as) but this isn't anymore shirk in my opinion than when those Iranian women and children kiss pictures of Ayatollah Khomeini or when you kiss the photo of a dead relative in your wallet. Sure, there's a spiritual use for icons, but the faith is not defined or confined by them. Mary and Jesus (pbuh) are still with you regardless of whether you have any paintings or statues of them in your house.

I don't think this fits either the most technical definition of "idolatry" (such as in reference to 'pagan idols' and their worshipers) or the typical metaphorical use (I love money more than anything else in the world, therefore I have made it my 'idol')

I come from a large family of Catholics and I have talked with some of them on these issues before, and I've also talked with a Greek Orthodox priest near my house on the subject. I actually see very few real theological contradictions between Shi'ism and Catholicism and keep a few Catholic and Orthodox icons myself.

The problem, though, potentially, with your thinking, as some have pointed out, however, is that you're assuming in the first place that such forms of ibaadat are OK according to Islam as taught by the ahlul bayt (as). This cannot simply be assumed, and, as some have shown previously, evidences supporting such forms of ibaadat are rather lacking.

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I find it rather amusing how you only highlighted the parts that you could twist to some other meaning than what is actually being said to support your agenda. If you actually read what is being said in full and within context, perhaps you could understand, assuming you want to, that very little said there contradicts anything in Islam and I have heard/scholars Muslim scholars and mystics speak of Mary with almost the exact same language.

If the bolded part is true, then you are listening to the wrong scholars.

I actually see very few real theological contradictions between Shi'ism and Catholicism and keep a few Catholic and Orthodox icons myself.

That probably has something to do with your rather loose undersanding of Tawheed.

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macisaac: Don't you think it's cheap to use images of people praying to Mary in order to somehow prove that Christians worship her? That's pretty low and cheap coming from a Shia website which honors the imams just the same way as Catholics honor Mary.

This is really surprising people.

We're in a Shia forum and we are claiming that Catholics worship Mary just because they pray to her for intercession. I thought this sect of Islam is supposed to be more intellectual when it comes to making the differentiation between worship and intercession.

"If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck."

You can apply that to anything, including Islam.

Islam today looks violent, talks violent and sounds violent. So it's probably violent, eh?

===

Saintly Jinn:

Sure, Catholics will kiss the feet of a statue of Mary (as) but this isn't anymore shirk in my opinion than when those Iranian women and children kiss pictures of Ayatollah Khomeini or when you kiss the photo of a dead relative in your wallet.

Actually you could use an even better example.

Muslims kiss the black stone. Gee, I guess we're all black stone worshipers.

===

Where does the Qur'an say that Maryam (as) was a part of any trinity doctrine, let alone in the theology of the Byzantine Orthodox? 5:73 condemns the trinity without mentioning Jesus, Mary, or the Holy Spirit. Then, 5:75 condemns the worship of Mary. The Qur'an as a text does not explicitly say Mary was a part of any religion's trinity; it simply acknowledges the indisputable fact that Mary was worshiped. Someone mentioned the Collyridian beliefs that Mary was a goddess and the Father took her as a wife. Arabia was full of Christian and Jewish sects, many of which did not join the "mainstream" denominations until way past the medieval era. 5:73 isn't even a condemnation of all Christians, as there were/are some that did not accept the trinity as well.

Actually you just made the argument a whole lot worse.

Because if Allah mentions the trinity and condemns it, and then mentions the worship of Mary and then condemns that, then it means that Allah thought Christianity's trinity is to believe in: Allah, Jesus and Mary as three deities.

If a Collyridian calls himself a Christian and then believes Mary is a godess, then he's no longer Christian.

If a Muslim believes in Allah and the last messenger and then believes Mirza Gullam is the Mahdi or Jesus's resurrection, then he's no longer Muslim.

You can't use an argument against Christianity by condemning a heretical group that shot off Christianity and became something totally different.

It seems like people's arguments around here are the following:

1 Allah was referring to Collyridians. But unfortunately, the Collyridians are just as non-Christian as another group of believers because they blasphemed the message of the bible.

So then the argument switches to point number 2, which is:

2. Allah is referring to Catholics today who take Mary as a goddess because they pray to her. But the problem here is that Mary is an intercessor, not god, not divine and never elevated in any Christian script to the status of God, be it the father, son or holy ghost whatever they call it.

Edited by Mo.

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We're in a Shia forum and we are claiming that Catholics worship Mary just because they pray to her for intercession

See, this is the thing. You're talking about being intellectual yet you refuse to objectively group the intention of actions due to word labels alone. The very definition of worship is ritualised reverence. The very definition of a god becomes loose when just a few attributes begin to merit worship; what qualifies as a god begins to merely be a perfectly righteous ascetic (as in the case of Jainism). Whichever way you look at it, the prayers are worship as they are formulated appraisals of her status and attributes. They dont merely request Mary for intercession, they go the next step further and require singing hymns of her and her attributes with utmost devotion and ritualised actions. A pagan Arab travelling in a time machine to our time and studying the prayers to Mary wouldn't see any difference between his angel worship and the dedicated supplications to Mary (as). He'll just need someone to tell him "it's not worship", and he'll fail to see any difference as he would easily respond by saying "well we have much higher reverence for Allah than anything yet our prayers to the angels Uzza, Manat and Lat are still counted as worship". A similar line of response would go for any of the pagan religions that held belief in a Supreme God and lesser gods.

If a Collyridian calls himself a Christian and then believes Mary is a godess, then he's no longer Christian.

If a Muslim believes in Allah and the last messenger and then believes Mirza Gullam is the Mahdi or Jesus's resurrection, then he's no longer Muslim.

Did you even read my post? The Quran addresses all factions of Christianity; and it acknowledges there are genuine believers alongside the fact that the original Christianity is a pure, divine religion. Everyone of the past, present and future is going to be addressed on Judgement Day. And this will include the mariamites and extinct collyridians.

Edited by La'nat Ma Man

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Lanat: But you're missing something more obvious.

The biggest component of worship is a person's inner belief.

I know Saudis who go to mosque, pray 5 times a day, and yet they don't believe in god's existence. They think it's all fake. Yet they're bowing down, "praying" to him and yet they don't believe in him despite all the prayers and salutations.

Belief is the most important aspect of worship.

Mary is not a god, she is not a deity or something divine, just because a few people sang a few songs about her, prayed to her for intercession, etc. That doesn't make you creator of everything, creator of the heavens and the earth, creator of all forms of life, not least of which is human life with the start of Adam and Eve and their subsequent lineages. Mary is not a god, neither is she seen as one.

Catholics praying to her for intercession is no different than Shias praying to imams for intercession. Songs about Mary are no different than songs about Hussain. And it's no different than prophet Mohammad interceding for people in the afterlife so that they enter heaven. It does not make them gods.

To turn someone into a god, you must believe in his/her divinity/deity. If Catholics simply pray to her for the sake of intercession, make a few songs, but at the end of the day acknowledge that she's not a god and dismiss her association to any form of divinity, then she's not worshiped besides Allah.

So actually, the strongest bit about worshiping a deity is to believe that this thing you're worshiping is god.

It brings me back to my example of Saudis I know who pray 5 times a day, recite Qurans, etc. But inside them, there's no god.

Catholics praying to Mary doesn't make Mary a god anymore than Muslims kissing the black stone makes the black stone divine. A pagan Arab from your time machine would see Muslims kissing the black stone and think it's a god until told it isn't.

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Belief is the most important aspect of worship.

Mary is not a god, she is not a deity or something divine, just because a few people sang a few songs about her, prayed to her for intercession, etc. That doesn't make you creator of everything, creator of the heavens and the earth, creator of all forms of life, not least of which is human life with the start of Adam and Eve and their subsequent lineages. Mary is not a god, neither is she seen as one.

No one's saying catholics believe Mary is creator of everything. You're still missing my point, the attributes needed to qualify something as 'a god' can become very loose. There is no difference between the devotional prayers pagans addressed to their gods for intercession and what catholics do for mary. A 'god' is a superior being with exceptional qualities that is worthy of worship. Islam says the only being worthy of worship is Allah. There's no difference - I repeat - NO difference between the nature and quality of the prayers addressed to mary and those in the Vedas addressed to the hindu gods (I can be a witness to that as i've read the vedic hymns myself). A devotional, ritualised prayer revering a being is what defines worship - there is no way out of it. And on top of that requesting favors in return, look at hayder husayn's posts for more information on catholic doctrine. She is a necessary mediatrix - a channel - for ALL of God's graces. Without her medium, no grace is given to us. Her superiority lies in her purpose as the medium of all grace and influencing God's decision to avert his punishment for sinners due to love for her. Her exceptional qualities are also these, and these qualities are revered. And this is what a god is, a superior being with exceptional qualities worthy of worship. Whether you call it a god or not, it has everything the definition of a god would be surrounded by.

Regardless, my post from yesterday should have made clear that not all christians are grouped in one category by the Quran.Whether there are people who still worship mary or otherwise, it won't matter as Judgement Day addresses all generations of the past and future. And the problem you had with the second verse you quoted really is a non-issue, I hope that's clear to you now.

Catholics praying to her for intercession is no different than Shias praying to imams for intercession. Songs about Mary are no different than songs about Hussain. And it's no different than prophet Mohammad interceding for people in the afterlife so that they enter heaven. It does not make them gods.

Ah you see, this is actually wrong. Mainstream shi'ism has adoptd many practises which are considered heretical by the tashayyu brought by our classical scholars. Read Hayder Husayn's links, they show why this practice is unislamic. It is not sanctioned by any authentic texts of ours and is actually condemned by our own narrations.

Catholics praying to Mary doesn't make Mary a god anymore than Muslims kissing the black stone makes the black stone divine. A pagan Arab from your time machine would see Muslims kissing the black stone and think it's a god until told it isn't.

Analogies, analogies - irrelevant and misleading. Im saying a pagan arab studying prayers for goodness sake, not just observing. No one is singing the attributes and status of a stone and requesting favours from it afterwards.

So actually, the strongest bit about worshiping a deity is to believe that this thing you're worshiping is god.

These saudi guys are another faulty example, there are no attributes or statuses or favours perceived in a being that doesn't even exist in their eyes :P.

Edited by La'nat Ma Man

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These collyridians were known to worship mary and even present offerings to her (incidentally they appeared in yemen, the one place where you'd expect widespread misogyny arising from bedouin culture lol).

Yes, ironical, isn't it ?------but it was countered-balanced by the Arabian movement of Antidicomarianitism---

Are Charismatics sort of modern day Collyridians ?--or do they just focus on the manifestation of inner charisma , like revelations, epiphanies, miracles or linguistic feats ?

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Actually you just made the argument a whole lot worse.

Because if Allah mentions the trinity and condemns it, and then mentions the worship of Mary and then condemns that, then it means that Allah thought Christianity's trinity is to believe in: Allah, Jesus and Mary as three deities.

What kind if logic is this? Because the Quran condemns worship of Mary and seperately condemns the Trinity, that means the author of the Quran (I don't know why you don't just go ahead and use this terminology) thought that Mary was a part of the Trinity?

2. Allah is referring to Catholics today who take Mary as a goddess because they pray to her. But the problem here is that Mary is an intercessor, not god, not divine and never elevated in any Christian script to the status of God, be it the father, son or holy ghost whatever they call it.

Read the verses in my signature for Allah's answer to this 'we are just seeking intercession' excuse.

And they serve beside Allah what can neither harm them nor profit them, and they say: These are our intercessors with Allah. Say: Do you (presume to) inform Allah of what He knows not in the heavens and the earth? Glory be to Him, and supremely exalted is He above what they set up (with Him). [Qur'an 10:18, Shakir translation]

Now, surely, sincere obedience is due to Allah (alone) and (as for) those who take guardians besides Him, (saying), We do not serve them save that they may make us nearer to Allah, surely Allah will judge between them in that in which they differ; surely Allah does not guide him aright who is a liar, ungrateful. [Qur'an 39:3, Shakir translation]

By the way, you might not know this, but the Arabs also recognised that Allah was the creator of the universe, and not their other gods. So by your logic they wouldn't be mushriks either.

And should you ask them, Who created the heavens and the earth? They would most certainly say: Allah. Say: Have you then considered that what you call upon besides Allah, would they, if Allah desire to afflict me with harm, be the removers of His harm, or (would they), if Allah desire to show me mercy, be the withholders of His mercy? Say: Allah is sufficient for me; on Him do the reliant rely. [39:38]

Why do you think Allah keeps saying in the Quran that there is no intercession except His, or that it will only be through those who he permits? It's because the pagan Arabs also used to claim that they were seeking intercession with Allah through their gods.

Say: Call upon those whom you assert besides Allah; they do not control the weight of an atom in the heavens or in the earth nor have they any partnership in either, nor has He among them any one to back (Him) up. And intercession will not avail aught with Him save of him whom He permits. Until when fear shall be removed from their hearts, They shall say: What is it that your Lord said? They shall say: The truth. And He is the Most High, the Great. [34:22-23]

As for the Catholic view of Mary, they view her as the daughter of the Father, the mother of the Son, and the spouse of the Holy Spirit, with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all being 100% God. She is also the Queen if Heaven, and the Holy Spirit only acts through her. That's not a divine being to you?

Edited by Haydar Husayn

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Actually you just made the argument a whole lot worse.

Because if Allah mentions the trinity and condemns it, and then mentions the worship of Mary and then condemns that, then it means that Allah thought Christianity's trinity is to believe in: Allah, Jesus and Mary as three deities.

Why? How did you come to this conclusion? Why can't the Qur'an criticize one belief in one verse, and another belief in another verse? The latter verse does not mention the trinity, nor are the two verses necessarily addressing the same groups of people. The word "Christianity" is not in the Qur'an for a good reason - Christianity is not a monolith and for most of its history, it never was. The Manichean religion also would have been considered a "heretical offshoot", even though, at its height, it was the same size as the main body of Christians. Allah can address both and there is no problem with that.

The earlier verse denounces the trinity, which is a belief that many Christians upheld/uphold but not all - and therefore the verse addresses those who uplifted Jesus to a divine status, and does not apply to those who did not worship Jesus. Those other Christians, albeit Unitarian or Jewish Christians, are wrong for other reasons beyond the trinity issue. The second verse in question denounces the worship of Jesus and Mary, which was practiced more explicitly by the Collyridians and perhaps implicitly by other modern groups. Some here would like to debate that, but I do believe the worship of Mary does manifest in people today. Even if you'd like to exonerate mainstream Catholicism, I have seen and heard of pretty explicit Mary-worship from non-mainstream Catholics from different parts of the world (particularly in the Carribbean and the Indian subcontinent). The two verses in question are calling on all people to abandon the trinity, the worship of Christ, and the worship of Mary. I do agree that all three directives have lessened since the 7th century Arabia, especially Mary-worship, and that is a good thing. Now they need to resolve their other issues.

Edited by Qa'im

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I think Mary worship is still alive and well, personally:

PSALM 2

Why have our enemies raged and our adversaries devised vain things? May thy right hand protect us, O Mother of God: as a line of battle terrible in aspect, confounding and destroying them. Come ye to her, all who labor and are in trouble: and she will give refreshment to your souls. Draw nigh to her in your temptations: and the serenity of her countenance will bring you peace and confidence. Bless her with your whole heart: for the earth is full of her mercy. Glory be to the Father, etc.

PSALM 3

O Lady, why are they multiplied who afflict me? By thy might thou shalt follow them and scatter them. Loose the bands of our impiety: take away the burden of our sins. Have mercy on me, O Lady, and heal my sickness: take away the grief and anguish of my heart. Deliver me not into the hands of my enemies: and in the day of my death strengthen thou my soul. Lead me into the harbor of salvation: and give up for me my spirit to my Maker and Creator. Glory be to the Father, etc.

PSALM 4

When I called upon thee, thou didst hear me, O Lady: and from thy throne on high thou hast deigned to be mindful of me. From the roaring of the wild beasts prepared to devour me: and from the hands of them that sought me, thy grace will deliver me. For thy mercy is kind and thy heart loving: towards all who invoke thy holy name. Blessed art thou, O Lady, forever: and thy majesty for evermore. Glorify her, all ye nations in your strength: and all ye peoples of the earth, extol her magnificence. Glory be to the Father, etc.

PSALM 5

Incline thine ear, O Lady, to hear my prayers: and turn not away from me the beauty of thy face. Turn our mourning into rejoicing: and our tribulation into joy. May our enemies fall down at our feet: by thy power may their heads be crushed. Let every tongue praise thee: and let all flesh bless thy holy name. For thy spirit is sweet above honey: and thy inheritance above the honey and the honeycomb. Glory be to the Father, etc.

PSALM 6

Lady, let me not be corrected in the wrath of God: nor be judged by Him in His anger. For the honor of thy name, O Lady: may the Fruit of thy glorious womb be propitious to us. From the gate of hell and from the depths of the abyss: by thy holy prayers deliver us. May the eternal gates be opened unto us: that we may declare forever thy wondrous works. For it is not the dead, nor those in hell, who will praise thee, O Lady: but those who by thy grace will obtain eternal life. Glory be to the Father etc.

PSALM 11

Save me, O Mother of fair love: fount of clemency and sweetness of piety. Thou alone makest the circuit of the earth: that thou mayst help those that call upon thee. Beautiful are thy ways: and thy paths are peaceful. In thee shine forth the beauty of chastity, the light of justice, and the splendor of truth. Thou art clothed with the sunrays as with a vesture: resplendent with a shining twelve-starred crown. Glory be to the Father, etc.

Etc, etc.

http://www.franciscan-sfo.org/ap/bona/PSALTER.htm#Ps%201

By the way, Pope John Paul II's motto was 'Totus Tuus', which is latin for 'totally yours'. This was not addressed to God, or Jesus, but to Mary.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Totus_Tuus

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