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mehdi23

A Contestation Of Justice & Mercy

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I recall a narration, I don't have at hand, that says God forgave an adulteress for quenching the thirst of a stray dog. Assuming the narration is authentic, if the divine mercy can negate a sinful act of adultery for a minor act of goodness, then also, to be perfectly consistent, can it negate an act of murder by the same token? Because in an adultery, the wife or husband is affected and likewise in a murder the victim and his / her family is affected adversely.

What if the adulterer is remorseful but yields no sympathy or forgiveness from their spouse? What if the penitent murderer receives no forgiveness from the relatives of the victim? Do they carry the sin to their death bed and get tortured in the pit of an inferno for that one act forever? What about their good deeds? Do you see what I'm saying? The fact that there exist a plethora of variables involved, that life isn't black and white, supports the point I'm putting forward. Namely, that it seems unjust and unmerciful to punish a weak being in a place utterly devoid of mercy for all eternity, because it is out of proportion. Mercy dictates that the good performances be accounted and recompensed and justice demands that the punishment should not be more than what is due.

However, we're not seeing that. This is the dilemma. Instead, there are vivid descriptions of Hell and Heaven. Two extremes, nothing in between. A person can be the most wicked thing throughout life, and perform one mighty good act in the end and gain salvation. There is no real justice evident, frankly.

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Salam

 

Brother, Allah is always just in everything He does, and if you think that He is unjust in anyway, then you may not understand the reasoning of such actions, and we probably dont, being the feeble ignorant humans we are.

 

In truth, everything is forgiven in Allah's eyes except shirk, but then that is debatable because Allah is so forgiving that He may even forgive that if a person repents enough.

 

It is not unjust, I always ask this question that it seems unfair that people that die in jihad for Allah die as shaheeds and are forgiven in everything and let into paradise without punishment, yet us doing the jihad of the nafs, which is 1000 times harder, have to be punished before entering paradise. I always ask that, because frankly this world has nothing worth living for, and its so easy to give up everything for Allah's sake without hesitation. no money or degree or anything is worth us wasting time on when Allah has opened the doors of paradise up for you. but then we are stuck fighting our desires and constantly hating ourselves because we always make mistakes. I have realised that Allah forgives everything if you repent, no matter how great, as long as you dont repeat it. and that the jihad against oneself will be rewarded more than just normal jihad because it is more difficult. inshallah hopefully.

 

Murder is a touchy subject because you are taking another person's life, it is not only a matter of doing an act, its a matter of great oppression to that person, and i doubt that person you killed would forgive you, and Allah may forgive you if you didnt mean to or if you regret enough. but then depends on the situation, your intentions, the act and everything.

 

Hadiths are not always complete, they may send you the main message, but you dont know maybe that woman who committed adultry was repenting and regretful, and so with good intention and a good deed, Allah forgave her. Allahu 3lam.

 

Inshallah Allah forgives us all and all our sins :(

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In truth, everything is forgiven in Allah's eyes except shirk, but then that is debatable because Allah is so forgiving that He may even forgive that if a person repents enough.

 

I've never fully understood this. Performing any sin is a form of shirk because it is following the dictates of other than the divine, according to Islam. That would mean God doesn't forgive anything. Also, does it mean someone who has literally performed an act of shirk is no longer worthy of salvation? Deprived from seeking repentance while still alive? If not, the statement is redundant. 

 


It is not unjust, I always ask this question that it seems unfair that people that die in jihad for Allah die as shaheeds and are forgiven in everything and let into paradise without punishment, yet us doing the jihad of the nafs, which is 1000 times harder, have to be punished before entering paradise.

 

 

Isn't that a problem? The martyr gets a fast track ticket to salvation, albeit painful, and is granted divine amnesty for past errors. The Christian in the battle of Kerbala died a martyr even though he hadn't prayed or fasted in his lifetime, but had enough of a conscience and good heart to fight for justice. Us average believers perform wrongdoings just as most martyrs of Islamic history have, but only we receive an everlasting, severe chastisement for it. Where is the justice? Who accounts for the good we have done?

 

Murder is a touchy subject because you are taking another person's life, it is not only a matter of doing an act, its a matter of great oppression to that person, and i doubt that person you killed would forgive you, and Allah may forgive you if you didnt mean to or if you regret enough. but then depends on the situation, your intentions, the act and everything.

 

It depends? OK. In the end, my good deeds to bad deeds ratio is 50:51. Is torment my eternal abode? Why would a merciful God render my lot of good deeds into dust to focus solely on bad deeds that I regret? 

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I recall a narration, I don't have at hand, that says God forgave an adulteress for quenching the thirst of a stray dog. Assuming the narration is authentic, if the divine mercy can negate a sinful act of adultery for a minor act of goodness, then also, to be perfectly consistent, can it negate an act of murder by the same token? Because in an adultery, the wife or husband is affected and likewise in a murder the victim and his / her family is affected adversely.

What if the adulterer is remorseful but yields no sympathy or forgiveness from their spouse? What if the penitent murderer receives no forgiveness from the relatives of the victim? Do they carry the sin to their death bed and get tortured in the pit of an inferno for that one act forever? What about their good deeds? Do you see what I'm saying? The fact that there exist a plethora of variables involved, that life isn't black and white, supports the point I'm putting forward. Namely, that it seems unjust and unmerciful to punish a weak being in a place utterly devoid of mercy for all eternity, because it is out of proportion. Mercy dictates that the good performances be accounted and recompensed and justice demands that the punishment should not be more than what is due.

However, we're not seeing that. This is the dilemma. Instead, there are vivid descriptions of Hell and Heaven. Two extremes, nothing in between. A person can be the most wicked thing throughout life, and perform one mighty good act in the end and gain salvation. There is no real justice evident, frankly.

 

I do believe in corporeal resurrection, but I am also inclined towards viewing eternal torment (Hell) and eternal bliss (Heaven) as the existential states of our souls on the Day of Judgment (when "everything" will be revealed to us). While Allah [swt] is the Supreme Judge and Giver of Justice, it is also the case that every good we do in this transient life is for our own benefit and every evil we do is to our own detriment. In essence, we dictate our eternal abode. Thus, the biggest burden we shall bear when we transition to the next life, are the choices we made in this life. In other words, when we see what "could have been ours as rewards for good deeds" we will feel that indescribable remorse for our actions (and likewise for the evil deeds we performed in lieu of those good deeds). I also look at beliefs as being manifested in similar ways. For instance, someone who willfully rejected God (though he/she knew of Him, either intuitively or otherwise, and made no sincere attempt to find the Truth) then they shall be deprived of proxmity to the Divine (which, again, is also part of the that eternal regret, since they did not believe in Him and/or the hereafter they shall be deprived of His Blessings). In this way, people who are innocently ignorant of religious truths do not suffer as they did not obstinately reject. Those who did, will. As long as every soul made his/her concerted and sincere effort to find the Truth (and obey His commandments) will attain eternal bliss (and only the Divine could account for all these other variables present in that person's life, like their particular social context which they may have had no choice in and which significantly influenced the specfic beliefs they took on). So, basically the way I look at it, there really can't be anything other than the two extremes. The soul can't be in a simply neutral state (given the choices we make in this life). We either feel eternally remorseful (given the incomprehensible blessings that we excluded ourselves from) or we feel eternally rejoiceful (having been sincere in our efforts and acted in accordance to that which is good, thus enjoying the presence of the Divine and His Intimate Friends). In this way, a sinful person could then repent shortly before their death (provided they are sincere, and only Allah [swt] would know that) because that intention and sincerity would have transformed the state of their soul before the transition to the hereafter (one could say it "cleansed" or "purified" the tainted soul). Of course, there's also the issue of intercession but maybe I can add my thoughts on that later, insha'Allah.

 

(wasalam)

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You're looking too much into the hypothetical my friend. As for sinful people yes many factors are involved, and in fact they don't get eternal punishment. The ultimate factor that determines whether a man receives eternal punishment is his nature, whether he is forever bound to his vain inclinations or is ready to open his mind to more. Kufr and ímán. From what I gather from your other posts you should know what the two mean.

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In essence, we dictate our eternal abode.

This sits at the heart of the problem I feel. In the example I gave, the adulteress is redeemed for essentially saving the life of a lost and deprived dog. I'll substitute that with her simply repenting to God with the fullest sincerity. Now she potentially gains immunity from divine wrath for the apparent sin. She knew well before she commited the act that it is wrong to cheat on one's spouse, but desire overwhelmed her. Suppose a reconciliation is eventually established and the marriage has been recovered. But, over time she experiences tyranny and abuse from her husband and decides to, once again, wilfullly sleep with another man numerous times, clandestinely, out of a mixed emotion of rebellion, anger, despair, depression and anguish. A combination of lack of courage and intense fear precludes the option of divorce. Is she really at fault? Can she be eternally chastised for her predicament? Also factoring in her in-built female mental characteristics? If she rationalises her actions to be totally justified to the point of utter conviction, how can she dictate her own, personal eternal abode to be anything other than a positive outcome? If this cannot be the case, how will God judge? You said that a neutral state is not possible; rationale provided being an arguably subjective dichotomy of remorse and rejoice. If remorse or rejoice is contingent to where God perceives it to be applicable or inapplicable, then the claim that autonomy in dictating our metaphysical abodes rests in our hands solely, based on how we rationalise or feel, is demonstrably false.

The argument thus would be that the ultimate decision rests in the hands of God who can judge only in accordance to two extreme dichotomous forms of recompense. So how shall He judge her ultimate fate?

If he uses justice, how would it be fair? He'd be punishing her for something she genuinely doesn't realise is wrong in her given context. That, and her entirety of good deeds are annulled which contravenes the ultimate mercy of His lordship.

If he uses mercy, it creates a sort of anomaly due to the fact that any sane person who lacks logic, the ability to reason, or otherwise genuinely finds nothing to be wrong with any particular action in their personal perspective is given an excuse to receive mercy. The result would be eternal reward.

Leaving the question: who exactly would be eligible for punishment? Those who intuitively realise they're doing wrong but do it anyway for no apparent reason? The Mexican drug cartel that decapitate and physically dismember / torture other innocent human beings to purposefully instil fear? All crime syndicates that extort and kidnap?

I watched a video showing two Mexican cartel gang members captured by the local populace who set them both on fire and casually observed it burn them alive slowly, recording the entire event, while they writhed in excruciating pain. This doesn't constitute carrying out justice in a justly fashion, of course. The court of law and due process are the only legitimate means. Whether the people understood this or not, what would be the existential state of their soul?

I understand it is all extremely complex, but that does not mean we shy away from it. The concept of recompense is core to theology. If sense can't be made out of it, it puts myself and truth-seeking believers out there into a predicament. In my experience, evasion of a pertinent response is sometimes telling that the argument isn't flawed. That, maybe, a bias is preventing receptivity to the actual truth of an argument. I hope sincerely to be proven wrong and mistaken. Insha Allah.

Edited by mehdi23

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This sits at the heart of the problem I feel. In the example I gave, the adulteress is redeemed for essentially saving the life of a lost and deprived dog. I'll substitute that with her simply repenting to God with the fullest sincerity. Now she potentially gains immunity from divine wrath for the apparent sin. She knew well before she commited the act that it is wrong to cheat on one's spouse, but desire overwhelmed her. Suppose a reconciliation is eventually established and the marriage has been recovered. But, over time she experiences tyranny and abuse from her husband and decides to, once again, wilfullly sleep with another man numerous times, clandestinely, out of a mixed emotion of rebellion, anger, despair, depression and anguish. A combination of lack of courage and intense fear precludes the option of divorce. Is she really at fault? Can she be eternally chastised for her predicament? Also factoring in her in-built female mental characteristics? If she rationalises her actions to be totally justified to the point of utter conviction, how can she dictate her own, personal eternal abode to be anything other than a positive outcome? If this cannot be the case, how will God judge? You said that a neutral state is not possible; rationale provided being an arguably subjective dichotomy of remorse and rejoice. If remorse or rejoice is contingent to where God perceives it to be applicable or inapplicable, then the claim that autonomy in dictating our metaphysical abodes rests in our hands solely, based on how we rationalise or feel, is demonstrably false.

The argument thus would be that the ultimate decision rests in the hands of God who can judge only in accordance to two extreme dichotomous forms of recompense. So how shall He judge her ultimate fate?

If he uses justice, how would it be fair? He'd be punishing her for something she genuinely doesn't realise is wrong in her given context. That, and her entirety of good deeds are annulled which contravenes the ultimate mercy of His lordship.

If he uses mercy, it creates a sort of anomaly due to the fact that any sane person who lacks logic, the ability to reason, or otherwise genuinely finds nothing to be wrong with any particular action in their personal perspective is given an excuse to receive mercy. The result would be eternal reward.

Leaving the question: who exactly would be eligible for punishment? Those who intuitively realise they're doing wrong but do it anyway for no apparent reason? The Mexican drug cartel that decapitate and physically dismember / torture other innocent human beings to purposefully instil fear? All crime syndicates that extort and kidnap?

I watched a video showing two Mexican cartel gang members captured by the local populace who set them both on fire and casually observed it burn them alive slowly, recording the entire event, while they writhed in excruciating pain. This doesn't constitute carrying out justice in a justly fashion, of course. The court of law and due process are the only legitimate means. Whether the people understood this or not, what would be the existential state of their soul?

I understand it is all extremely complex, but that does not mean we shy away from it. The concept of recompense is core to theology. If sense can't be made out of it, it puts myself and truth-seeking believers out there into a predicament. In my experience, evasion of a pertinent response is sometimes telling that the argument isn't flawed. That, maybe, a bias is preventing receptivity to the actual truth of an argument. I hope sincerely to be proven wrong and mistaken. Insha Allah.

 

O, I don't claim to know the answers to these questions. I, like yourself, have much to learn and reflect upon. What I proposed seems to satisfy me in terms of trying to make sense of it all, but certainly I am open to other possiblities. The thing is though that human experience itself is rather subjective and so even if I were to come up with some sort of way to reconcile the apparent conundrum, it might not be so easy to convey it to others. Which is why (although I do consider holding the "correct" beliefs to be essential), I lay more emphasis upon the sincerity of intention (which is then linked to the existential state of the soul). That is that the soul does not necessarily feel that painful remorse when one commits a wrongful act unknowingly, but if one does know a certain act is immoral and yet still commits it, that pain is definitely there (this would be bringing in some of my own experimental experience).

 

Although, it seems that there are a number of issues here for discussion. For starters, I think perhaps I did not properly convey what I intended by the phrase, 'In essence, we dictate our eternal abode.' What I meant here was that our ultimate fate in the hereafter lay in our hands based upon the choices we make in this life (cases in which the choices we make are real), not that they are necessarily subject to a sort of reductionism where we are treated almost as mechanicalistic creatures. Where the choices we make are ultimately dictated by the most irreducible elements (i.e. the social climate, biological processes, psychological tendencies, etc). While I do believe there are certainly other variables to take into consideration (some of them related to these materialistic properties), I also believe that there are choices we make that are real, that we make out of our own free will (without it being affected by other externalities, that there is no preponderance of one decision over the other). Here, again, I take this more so from personal, human experience.

 

But before we go further, it seems to me that you're asking a number of questions. One, is it just for an all-Merciful God to punish an individual for eternity when they commit a finite number of evils which had a limited implication upon the lives of others? Two, do we really have any actual choice in the decisions we make (given all these other influences and variables around us), and if so, why would an individual commit a wrongful act if they actually knew it was so? Am I getting that right?

 

(wasalam)

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The thing is though that human experience itself is rather subjective and so even if I were to come up with some sort of way to reconcile the apparent conundrum, it might not be so easy to convey it to others.

Actually, not so much to do with clarity of conveyance as it is to do with conveying in a way that is consistent and faithful to the perspective of a specific doctrinal framework when trying to decipher how a seemingly simplistic life after death outcome is coherent to a living reality that is the very antithesis of being simple or uncomplicated.

Which is why (although I do consider holding the "correct" beliefs to be essential), I lay more emphasis upon the sincerity of intention (which is then linked to the existential state of the soul). That is that the soul does not necessarily feel that painful remorse when one commits a wrongful act unknowingly, but if one does know a certain act is immoral and yet still commits it, that pain is definitely there (this would be bringing in some of my own experimental experience).

Think about this carefully. Notice a subtle feature of human intent. It is teeming psychological flaws and deficiencies. The process of internalization is entirely subjective. As a byproduct, an act that evokes any type of internal or projected emotion may be entirely misplaced, regardless of intention. An act performed by good intention can turn out to be counterproductive, even evil. Is the negative outcome accounted or merely the positive intention? For God to carry out an absolute judgment by such a fuzzy and inherently flawed standard is a mockery of justice, especially when it is meant to be perfect and balanced.

Although, it seems that there are a number of issues here for discussion. For starters, I think perhaps I did not properly convey what I intended by the phrase, 'In essence, we dictate our eternal abode.' What I meant here was that our ultimate fate in the hereafter lay in our hands based upon the choices we make in this life (cases in which the choices we make are real), not that they are necessarily subject to a sort of reductionism where we are treated almost as mechanicalistic creatures. Where the choices we make are ultimately dictated by the most irreducible elements (i.e. the social climate, biological processes, psychological tendencies, etc). While I do believe there are certainly other variables to take into consideration (some of them related to these materialistic properties), I also believe that there are choices we make that are real, that we make out of our own free will (without it being affected by other externalities, that there is no preponderance of one decision over the other). Here, again, I take this more so from personal, human experience.

Can you give an example of a real choice that excludes subjective variables and externalities? The problem with this is that it works on a false premise that our every decision making or intent is objective, devoid of any complexity. This is resoundingly untrue as evidenced by the aforementioned example I provided.

That we shall be judged solely by the actions we individually deem objectively good or bad is also not true.

But before we go further, it seems to me that you're asking a number of questions. One, is it just for an all-Merciful God to punish an individual for eternity when they commit a finite number of evils which had a limited implication upon the lives of others? Two, do we really have any actual choice in the decisions we make (given all these other influences and variables around us), and if so, why would an individual commit a wrongful act if they actually knew it was so? Am I getting that right?

Yes, both questions are adequately formulated. These are the primary concerns.

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Ibn al-Hassan

 

Have you forgotten to respond or is that you cannot respond because you lack a cogent response? If you concede to the latter, I can respect that.

However, it'll be a stain on my faith.

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Ibn al-Hassan

 

Have you forgotten to respond or is that you cannot respond because you lack a cogent response? If you concede to the latter, I can respect that.

However, it'll be a stain on my faith.

 

Ha Ha. No, sorry I forgot about this thread. I can't respond now, but later today, insha'Allah.

 

(wasalam)

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Think about this carefully. Notice a subtle feature of human intent. It is teeming psychological flaws and deficiencies. The process of internalization is entirely subjective. As a byproduct, an act that evokes any type of internal or projected emotion may be entirely misplaced, regardless of intention. An act performed by good intention can turn out to be counterproductive, even evil. Is the negative outcome accounted or merely the positive intention? For God to carry out an absolute judgment by such a fuzzy and inherently flawed standard is a mockery of justice, especially when it is meant to be perfect and balanced.

 

I would disagree. Of course, there is an internal complexity in the person themselves with regard to their emotions and psychological tendencies. It would be quite difficult (perhaps impossible I would say) to properly judge that person's intention in the various different acts that they commit. And so as such, it becomes something to which only Allah can judge upon (perfectly knowing the internal state of the person at that moment they perform an act). And as I stated before, I don't share a strictly reductionist outlook on these things as many others do. I believe people make real choices at times out of their own free will.

 

Can you give an example of a real choice that excludes subjective variables and externalities? The problem with this is that it works on a false premise that our every decision making or intent is objective, devoid of any complexity. This is resoundingly untrue as evidenced by the aforementioned example I provided.

That we shall be judged solely by the actions we individually deem objectively good or bad is also not true.

 

I may not have been as clear as I thought I was, but I do agree that things are not necessarily black and white (that there are many factors and variables to take into consideration) while still maintaining the notion that we make certain choices in our lives - and on a daily basis - out of our own free will (where external influences are negligible). I'm not stating that this is the case with every decision we make. I can't really give an example because this is something subjective, something that can only properly be known by the individual making the decision. I'm referring to moments where we understand the situation and make a choice (one that can easily go one way or the other, but that ultimately we choose which one - and are consciously aware of our action and intent).

 

But before we go further, it seems to me that you're asking a number of questions. One, is it just for an all-Merciful God to punish an individual for eternity when they commit a finite number of evils which had a limited implication upon the lives of others? Two, do we really have any actual choice in the decisions we make (given all these other influences and variables around us), and if so, why would an individual commit a wrongful act if they actually knew it was so? Am I getting that right?

 

Yes, both questions are adequately formulated. These are the primary concerns.

 

So, yeah, for the first one it would tie right back into what I mentioned earlier about the existential state of the soul prior to death. That whether we feel the pains and horrors of Hell or the pleasures of Heaven would depend on the internal feeling of regret or satisfaction of our actions. The choices we make here would "live" with us for eternity. And so, it's not so much Allah throwing us into the hellfire as it is us throwing ourselves into the it. I guess another question could arise from this, in that couldn't a Merciful God relieve the person from his own distress and misery? I suppose that's a possibility, but I wouldn't necessarily think that Mercy entails Him to have to do so, otherwise we'd have to start all over and ask if a Merciful God ought to create any hardship (even the slightest bit) for His creation or admit everyone into Heaven (regardless of actions or intent or what have you). I obviously don't agree with that. Plus, if you look at human notions of justice and mercy, in general, amongst themselves, it seems quite reflective of what (I think, we intuitively know) to be just. For instance, if a person commits murder with the intent to carry out the act (not that they did so innocently), even secular notions of justice would be to imprison that individual for the rest of their life (and possibly execute them, though, more often than not that person dies whilst in prison). So, if one even assumes that death is the end of our existence as such, we can say that society has punished an individual for "eternity" (from the perspective of the criminal) for a single act, with a finite "amount" of evil. Now, extend that to what we're discussing in relation to Allah and whether His judgement can be just whilst maintaining the notion that He is Merciful. I think here our conception of His Justice and His Mercy has to be more intertwined as attributes that give us an abstract notion of Him, rather than a more dualistic view where we have the attributes of justice and then we have mercy and now we want to apply them Allah (without even being able to fully elucidate what those terms mean, but rather having a relative understanding of them).

 

The second one is a bit simpler for me, seeing as how this manifests itself through my own experiences. I know something is wrong or immoral (or forbidden, according to my own understanding of the religious tradition) but I find myself at times doing it anyway. And this is something I think is fair to say happens to all of us. For instance, you have somebody who knows that lying is evil (in general, excluding cases where not lying would cause severe hardship and poverty, where maybe the person was forced to lie in order to save their life or the lives of others) yet out of desire for wordly gains or what have you, they still choose to lie (seeing in their mind the benefit of lying vs. the "loss" of telling the truth). In other words, I don't think we need to look much further than our own selves in answering this question of why somebody would commit a wrongful act, even if they clearly and undoubtedly knew it to be wrong.

 

(wasalam)

Edited by Ibn al-Hassan

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I can't really give an example because this is something subjective, something that can only properly be known by the individual making the decision.

Precisely my point. It is rather self refuting, actually. The assertion that we have an objective monopoly of right and wrong dismisses the relativistic reality in which this intuitive sense of morality is thoroughly immersed.

I'm referring to moments where we understand the situation and make a choice (one that can easily go one way or the other, but that ultimately we choose which one - and are consciously aware of our action and intent).

I refer you to the example I concocted earlier in the thread. The woman understood her situation and tread the path she did, consciously. In her mind, it is justified. To someone else detached from her situation, it isn't justified. Who is the ultimate arbiter? God. Again, how will He judge her? Justice? Mercy?

So, yeah, for the first one it would tie right back into what I mentioned earlier about the existential state of the soul prior to death. That whether we feel the pains and horrors of Hell or the pleasures of Heaven would depend on the internal feeling of regret or satisfaction of our actions. The choices we make here would "live" with us for eternity. And so, it's not so much Allah throwing us into the hellfire as it is us throwing ourselves into it.

I've already addressed this I believe. It is completely subjective. By that criteria, our flawed constant shifts of cognition would determine our ultimate abode. It wouldn't be an accurate, holistic judgment.

A major hole in the existential state of being determining afterlife is that no one is in a constant state of regret or satisfaction. Feelings alternate throughout life and retrospection can alter a prior perspective, whether accurate or inaccurate.

No one is a cookie cutter type. People evolve in all fronts of life. Doesn't an extreme eternal punishment treat us complex beings as caricatures, our problems simplistic?

Plus, if you look at human notions of justice and mercy, in general, amongst themselves, it seems quite reflective of what (I think, we intuitively know) to be just. For instance, if a person commits murder with the intent to carry out the act (not that they did so innocently), even secular notions of justice would be to imprison that individual for the rest of their life (and possibly execute them, though, more often than not that person dies whilst in prison). So, if one even assumes that death is the end of our existence as such, we can say that society has punished an individual for "eternity" (from the perspective of the criminal) for a single act, with a finite "amount" of evil. Now, extend that to what we're discussing in relation to Allah and whether His judgement can be just whilst maintaining the notion that He is Merciful. I think here our conception of His Justice and His Mercy has to be more intertwined as attributes that give us an abstract notion of Him, rather than a more dualistic view where we have the attributes of justice and then we have mercy and now we want to apply them Allah (without even being able to fully elucidate what those terms mean, but rather having a relative understanding of them).

I contend with a facile in your analogy for several reasons:

- A secular court of law doesn't consider repentance a form of defence, let alone intentions.

- The criminal still maintains a right to protection from cruel and unusual punishment; afforded a minimum standard of living.

- Usually, there is a negative domino effect of influences that drive someone to commit a heinous act like murder. It's not accounted in trial.

- A judge or jury focusses on reaching a verdict based on one act committed alone. God assesses every act in proportion to one another.

- The death penalty is not an eternal punishment, per se. It is done humanely, for the most part, in accordance with the administration of state rules and regulations.

For instance, you have somebody who knows that lying is evil (in general, excluding cases where not lying would cause severe hardship and poverty, where maybe the person was forced to lie in order to save their life or the lives of others) yet out of desire for wordly gains or what have you, they still choose to lie (seeing in their mind the benefit of lying vs. the "loss" of telling the truth). In other words, I don't think we need to look much further than our own selves in answering this question of why somebody would commit a wrongful act, even if they clearly and undoubtedly knew it to be wrong.

Most people have lied at one point or another and legitimised it in a subjective manner.

Most people have lied, felt it was wrong but have been indifferent to it. Some have felt a pang of regret for lying. Either way, can it outweigh a majority of positive actions on the divine scale of justice? If so, where be mercy?

Edited by mehdi23

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I havent read everything as i can bearly keep my eyes open (not as a reflection of the thread, but of my brains unwillingness to let me stay conscious for much longer). I noticed the point made about shirk not being forgiven. This is something i have pondered on a bit. Its not something ive spent very much tme looking at yet though, but i have noticed that people who reject prophets in their midst and worked against them are strongly condemned, whether it be previous ones or prophet Mohammed(saw). So i have wondered whether the extremely strong condemnation of shirk and it not being forgiven might be mainly applicable to those people who had a prophet in their midst and saw his clear signs, recognised the truth of it yet still denied him and continued to (or returned to) idol worship etc and propogated that - actively working against the religion. Also we cannot know what not being forgiven means exactly, it could be a denial of some sort that isnt denied to believers, or it could be a special kind of consequence that is experienced. It might not mean that the entirety of you (what ever you is) is condemed to a place of suffering 'forever' (what ever that is).

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Precisely my point. It is rather self refuting, actually. The assertion that we have an objective monopoly of right and wrong dismisses the relativistic reality in which this intuitive sense of morality is thoroughly immersed.

 

Well, actually, that statement was in reference to the subjectivity of the person making the decision (in whether or not it was a real choice, unfettered by the externalities around them).

 

I refer you to the example I concocted earlier in the thread. The woman understood her situation and tread the path she did, consciously. In her mind, it is justified. To someone else detached from her situation, it isn't justified. Who is the ultimate arbiter? God. Again, how will He judge her? Justice? Mercy?

 

Again, we (from our relative point of view) would not be able to fully comprehend her intention behind the act and the state of her soul. I think what we accept is that there are other variables to take into consideration, so it would be quite strange in that we accept that notion yet we want a relatively straight-foward solution in regards to how she ought to be judged (whilst acknowledging this relativistic reality we live in).

 

I've already addressed this I believe. It is completely subjective. By that criteria, our flawed constant shifts of cognition would determine our ultimate abode. It wouldn't be an accurate, holistic judgment.

A major hole in the existential state of being determining afterlife is that no one is in a constant state of regret or satisfaction. Feelings alternate throughout life and retrospection can alter a prior perspective, whether accurate or inaccurate.

No one is a cookie cutter type. People evolve in all fronts of life. Doesn't an extreme eternal punishment treat us complex beings as caricatures, our problems simplistic?

 

I don't see it that way. Our existential states can change within us, through our own will and actions. So, I don't see it as flawed as you might think because it takes into consideration the intention behind an act whilst also considering the action itself. And leaves it to the person to dictate their outlook (i.e. to sincerely repent or what have you). In terms of remaining in a constant state of either regret or satisfaction, I do see that as a real possiblity. Again, because of subject matter we're talking about (heaven and hell) and the lack of actions that can be performed after the fact.

 

I contend with a facile in your analogy for several reasons:

- A secular court of law doesn't consider repentance a form of defence, let alone intentions.

- The criminal still maintains a right to protection from cruel and unusual punishment; afforded a minimum standard of living.

- Usually, there is a negative domino effect of influences that drive someone to commit a heinous act like murder. It's not accounted in trial.

- A judge or jury focusses on reaching a verdict based on one act committed alone. God assesses every act in proportion to one another.

- The death penalty is not an eternal punishment, per se. It is done humanely, for the most part, in accordance with the administration of state rules and regulations.

 

That's exactly the point. There is little to no uproar in regards to the secular notions of justice, imprisioning an individual for the remainder of their life (and if one assumes that death is the end of their existence, then I would consider that "eternal" in a sense, that they would be punished the remainder of their life for one evil act). How then can we object to Divine notions of Justice that we assume would be able to take into consideration all those other variables and still maintain the element of mercy?

 

Most people have lied at one point or another and legitimised it in a subjective manner.

Most people have lied, felt it was wrong but have been indifferent to it. Some have felt a pang of regret for lying. Either way, can it outweigh a majority of positive actions on the divine scale of justice? If so, where be mercy?

 

Maybe it can. Though, mercy itself may entail taking into consideration the good deeds of an individual. Perhaps that's what we mean by mercy here, that it's none other than God allowing for a person's good actions to compensate for evil ones.

 

(wasalam)

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I havent read everything as i can bearly keep my eyes open (not as a reflection of the thread, but of my brains unwillingness to let me stay conscious for much longer). I noticed the point made about shirk not being forgiven. This is something i have pondered on a bit. Its not something ive spent very much tme looking at yet though, but i have noticed that people who reject prophets in their midst and worked against them are strongly condemned, whether it be previous ones or prophet Mohammed(saw). So i have wondered whether the extremely strong condemnation of shirk and it not being forgiven might be mainly applicable to those people who had a prophet in their midst and saw his clear signs, recognised the truth of it yet still denied him and continued to (or returned to) idol worship etc and propogated that - actively working against the religion.

This discussion deserves a separate thread, but I'll indicate the problem in a nutshell.

Quran 4:48: Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And he who associates others with Allah has certainly fabricated a tremendous sin.

Quran 4:116: Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And he who associates others with Allah has certainly gone far astray.

Quran 4:153: The People of the Scripture ask you to bring down to them a book from the heaven. But they had asked of Moses even greater than that and said, "Show us Allah outright," so the thunderbolt struck them for their wrongdoing. Then they took the calf for worship after clear evidences had come to them, and We pardoned that. And We gave Moses a clear authority.

Quran 4:110: And whoever does a wrong or wrongs himself but then seeks forgiveness of Allah will find Allah Forgiving and Merciful.

Quran 39:53: Say, "O My servants who have transgressed against themselves by sinning, do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful."

Chapter 4 says that Allah does not forgive the association of other gods with Him, but chapter 4 also says that Allah forgave them for worshiping the golden calf, and chapters 4 and 39 say that Allah forgives all sins.

Contradictions:

1. Allah will not forgive idol associations = Allah forgave worshiping the golden calf.

2. Allah will not forgive idol associations = Allah forgives all sins.

Also we cannot know what not being forgiven means exactly, it could be a denial of some sort that isnt denied to believers, or it could be a special kind of consequence that is experienced. It might not mean that the entirety of you (what ever you is) is condemed to a place of suffering 'forever' (what ever that is).

This doesn't make sense. "Not being forgiven" is the denial here. Forgiveness of sins, in general, is obviously not denied to believers since they do not commit the act of shirk, in any case. However, my argument is that even the smaller sins that God says can be forgiven also constitute a form of shirk in themselves. So it's a paradox.

If a polytheist turns to monotheism later in life, can the person be forgiven? If yes, the verse is redundant or false. If not, then the integrity of God can be questioned. Is God fretful, jealous and stubborn? Is the mercy of God really that expansive if it can't forgive a sincerely repentant soul, regardless of the sin?

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Well, actually, that statement was in reference to the subjectivity of the person making the decision (in whether or not it was a real choice, unfettered by the externalities around them).

Are we speaking past each other? It appears you're reiterating my point in a different way.

Again, we (from our relative point of view) would not be able to fully comprehend her intention behind the act and the state of her soul. I think what we accept is that there are other variables to take into consideration, so it would be quite strange in that we accept that notion yet we want a relatively straight-foward solution in regards to how she ought to be judged (whilst acknowledging this relativistic reality we live in).

But I've already described the state of her psychological being. The "straight forward" judgment is espoused by religious doctrine. So where does she go? A blissful paradise? Or a disturbing torment? Can you not see the huge problem in a simplistic judgment for a "relativistic reality?" It's effectively antithetical.

I don't see it that way. Our existential states can change within us, through our own will and actions. So, I don't see it as flawed as you might think because it takes into consideration the intention behind an act whilst also considering the action itself.

If the intention is bad and the action good or if the action is evil but intention good, what single state of being is formed in the afterlife? There's no balancing act in recompense according to Islam. Please focus. There's either hell or heaven. Now, based off my question of inconsistency between action and intent, which eternal abode would be appropriated for such a person, in either case?

That's exactly the point. There is little to no uproar in regards to the secular notions of justice, imprisioning an individual for the remainder of their life (and if one assumes that death is the end of their existence, then I would consider that "eternal" in a sense, that they would be punished the remainder of their life for one evil act). How then can we object to Divine notions of Justice that we assume would be able to take into consideration all those other variables and still maintain the element of mercy?

First, the comparison is fundamentally flawed. There's no coherent relation between an ephemeral, relativistic reality and an eternal, absolute meta-reality.

Second, that God assesses an individual based on all acts rather than one, which is subjectively declared to be deserving of a death penalty, was conveniently ignored by you.

Third, you're assuming the legitimacy of divine justice. Why are you working on an assumption that is being challenged? I don't understand. What's going on? How can hell maintain an element of mercy if it is devoid of anything that could be termed mercy? Don't respond in a way that implicitly assumes it can without elaborating how.

Maybe it can. Though, mercy itself may entail taking into consideration the good deeds of an individual. Perhaps that's what we mean by mercy here, that it's none other than God allowing for a person's good actions to compensate for evil ones.

Good deeds cancel out the bad deed is what you're essentially saying. Problem: the amount of lies, or negative actions generally, accumulated over time can be compensated with subsequent good deeds and vice versa. This is how mercy glaringly conflicts with justice, no? A senile man who was hot-headed, pig-headed and cruel throughout most of his earlier years can be redeemed by a few good acts and repentance. If he goes to heaven, how is it really fair? If he goes to hell, his reformed state of conscience manifesting in positive acts is ignored. Where is mercy? Where is justice?

Ultimately, where is the balance?

Edited by mehdi23

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Are we speaking past each other? It appears you're reiterating my point in a different way.

 

No. My statement was in reference to a person making a decision (it being only the person who would know the ultimate intention and emotional state prior to making it). Your statement was in reference to the subjectivity of morality in a relativistic reality. Those are quite different. Anyways...

 

But I've already described the state of her psychological being. The "straight forward" judgment is espoused by religious doctrine. So where does she go? A blissful paradise? Or a disturbing torment? Can you not see the huge problem in a simplistic judgment for a "relativistic reality?" It's effectively antithetical.

 

Well, I'd hate to have to repeat this again, but, I did state that the psychological tendency and emotional state (and whatever else you'd like to be considered prior to a judgement regarding that person's eternal abode) can and ought to be taken into consideration on the part of God. So, I don't see the "straight foward" judgement being espoused here. An important doctrine within the religious tradition itself is that ultimate judgement rests with God alone and for anyone to claim to know the eternal abode of another (unless it's conveyed by the Divine through infallible means i.e. the Qur'an or the Prophet [sawa] or an Imam [as]) is tantamount to kufr (disbelief). That's a fairly basic doctrine (and rightfully so considering the nature of our discussion here).

 

If the intention is bad and the action good or if the action is evil but intention good, what single state of being is formed in the afterlife? There's no balancing act in recompense according to Islam. Please focus. There's either hell or heaven. Now, based off my question of inconsistency between action and intent, which eternal abode would be appropriated for such a person, in either case?

 

The first is obviously not going to help that person in the afterlife (considering that their intention was evil to begin with, effectively nullifying their "good" action). The second can be rewarded, seeing as how though the act (ignorantly thought of to be good, but in fact "evil") was accompanied with a good intention. If in the second case you're saying the person knew the action to be evil but had a "good" intention. I'd like to ask how that can be? A good intention to commit an evil act? That sounds like an evil intention to me (unless you're talking of, for example, an impoverished man stealing a loaf of bread for his family, that I can see being rewarded).

 

First, the comparison is fundamentally flawed. There's no coherent relation between an ephemeral, relativistic reality and an eternal, absolute meta-reality.

Second, that God assesses an individual based on all acts rather than one, which is subjectively declared to be deserving of a death penalty, was conveniently ignored by you.

Third, you're assuming the legitimacy of divine justice. Why are you working on an assumption that is being challenged? I don't understand. What's going on? How can hell maintain an element of mercy if it is devoid of anything that could be termed mercy? Don't respond in a way that implicitly assumes it can without elaborating how.

 

You missed the whole point behind the example...

 

What I meant by the comparison between the accepted notion of justice today (in relation to imprisonment of criminals for the remainder of their lives with no possibility of forgiveness) and Divine Justice was that God can take into consideration all other factors behind the act while we cannot. And the fact that imprisoning a person for the rest of their life for a single act, with a fallible judgement, with no possibility of that person being released whatsoever is somehow accepted as just yet the notion of God weighing in all other factors, with infallible judgement before summoning that person to hell (or heaven) for eternity is somehow glaringly immoral. Thus, if we consider justice to have been served here with the lack of capability on our part to know what exactly happened, the intention behind the act and all other emotional and psychological tendencies of the person then I don't see the objection behind the notion of Divine Justice. I mean is that not what you want? That everything ought to be taken into consideration by God? Well, there wouldn't be an issue for Him to do so, would there? There was no assumption regarding Divine Justice being just on my part. All I raised was the real possibility of those other variables (which you would like to be considered) being factored into a judgement on the person's ultimate destination in the afterlife.

 

In addition, I never made the contention that hell contains an element of mercy. The whole concept behind hell is that it is devoid of mercy. I said that justice can be served whilst still maintaining an element of mercy. And I think I've already gone over that.

 

I'm not claiming that my conceptions are somehow free of any flaws. Though, the flaw I find in your thought process is that you concede to the notion of this all being a relativistic reality. And due to this relativity, any judgement ought to take into consideration all factors and variables that may have influenced the person and the actions they performed. Any judgement that does not do so, is by nature unjust. Okay, all is well. But then you want us to pass a judgement (or our perception of what Divine Justice ought to be) whilst forgetting that we live in a relativistic reality, (where we can't possibly know of all those other externalities and intentions and what have you). Is there not an inherent contradiction here? How could my notion (or anybody's for that matter) possibly satisfy your thirst for justice. And rightfully so, you demand justice. But any conception of justice we have will, again, be subjective. On top of that it would have to attempt to fit that within this dualistic model of heaven and hell (with the notion of nothing in between). I don't know if I can do that. And I wouldn't be surprised considering your own presumptions about human nature and the reality we find ourselves in. I think we differ more so on those presumptions themselves.

 

(wasalam)

Edited by Ibn al-Hassan

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No. My statement was in reference to a person making a decision (it being only the person who would know the ultimate intention and emotional state prior to making it). Your statement was in reference to the subjectivity of morality in a relativistic reality. Those are quite different. Anyways...

 

How is it different? You're not going out of your way to expound a rather mundane point in any meaningful way. Are you saying moral choice or decision, per se, is subjective? If so, we're not in disagreement. Subjectivity of morality arises from it. If not, why can you not provide an example? Earlier you told me: 

 

 

 I can't really give an example because this is something subjective, something that can only properly be known by the individual making the decision.

 

:wacko:

 

 

 

Well, I'd hate to have to repeat this again, but, I did state that the psychological tendency and emotional state (and whatever else you'd like to be considered prior to a judgement regarding that person's eternal abode) can and ought to be taken into consideration on the part of God. So, I don't see the "straight foward" judgement being espoused here. An important doctrine within the religious tradition itself is that ultimate judgement rests with God alone and for anyone to claim to know the eternal abode of another (unless it's conveyed by the Divine through infallible means i.e. the Qur'an or the Prophet [sawa] or an Imam [as]) is tantamount to kufr (disbelief). That's a fairly basic doctrine (and rightfully so considering the nature of our discussion here).

 

 

I take it, then, that the woman in my example who committed adultery for a legitimate reason is absolved? She enters heaven? What about her bad deeds? She enters hell? It means God doesn't take her psychology nor her good deeds into account. What has been solved? Nothing. Justice and mercy is either too extreme or missing one another. Such a phenomena makes for a simplistic accountability. Which in itself is fatally flawed.

 

 

The first is obviously not going to help that person in the afterlife (considering that their intention was evil to begin with, effectively nullifying their "good" action). The second can be rewarded, seeing as how though the act (ignorantly thought of to be good, but in fact "evil") was accompanied with a good intention. If in the second case you're saying the person knew the

action to be evil but had a "good" intention. I'd like to ask how that can be? A good intention to commit an evil act? That sounds like an evil intention to me (unless you're talking of, for example, an impoverished man stealing a loaf of bread for his family, that I can see being rewarded).

 

If the ill intention isn't projected in any tangible way, how can it nullify a good result? Let's say a person intending to drink an illicit substance out of rebellion of religion inadvertently drinks water instead. Is this person eternally punished even though he is generally a good, civic gentleman?

If a good intention results in bad results, who can ever be at fault? Every moral being with a conscience is a claimant of "good intent." Environmentalists intend to fight global warming by cutting down on Co2 emissions from factories and industries, which in fact contributes a negligible amount in the so-called "crisis." This effectively inhibits the growth of industry in the third world and makes them poorer. Who accounts for negative results? No one? In order to accommodate a subjectively "good" intention? Where is the justice? But, then, where is the mercy in contingence?

An impoverished man is eternally rewarded for stealing out of necessity? What if the theft results in another person becoming impoverished? Still rewarded? OK. Then what about the bad deeds? I hope that you're realising where I'm going with this... 

 

You missed the whole point behind the example...

 

What I meant by the comparison between the accepted notion of justice today (in relation to imprisonment of criminals for the remainder of their lives with no possibility of forgiveness) and Divine Justice was that God can take into consideration all other factors behind the act while we cannot. And the fact that imprisoning a person for the rest of their life for a single act, with a fallible judgement, with no possibility of that person being released whatsoever is somehow accepted as just yet the notion of God weighing in all other factors, with infallible judgement before summoning that person to hell (or heaven) for eternity is somehow glaringly immoral. Thus, if we consider justice to have been served here with the lack of capability on our part to know what exactly happened, the intention behind the act and all other emotional and psychological tendencies of the person then I don't see the objection behind the notion of Divine Justice. I mean is that not what you want? That everything ought to be taken into consideration by God? Well, there wouldn't be an issue for Him to do so, would there? There was no assumption regarding Divine Justice being just on my part. All I raised was the real possibility of those other variables (which you would like to be considered) being factored into a judgement on the person's ultimate destination in the afterlife.

 

 

Problem here is that you're cruising on the assumption that God can judge a complex being with balance without explaining how, considering the dualistic recompense. The analogy you're making between a decision made in a court of law and a decision made before the divine is a fallacy. A criminal is put behind bars or put to death to basically keep society safe, away from harm. The decision is dependant on that one, specific act. Divine justice doesn't make a judgment on that one act in isolation of all other acts and contextual factors. The criminal, in the eyes of state law, could deserve hell as an abode. Does his good performances go to utter waste, then? Where is the mercy and compassion of the infinite creator? The criminal could go to heaven, but then justice is rendered kaput. See?

 

In addition, I never made the contention that hell contains an element of mercy. The whole concept behind hell is that it is devoid of mercy. I said that justice can be served whilst still maintaining an element of mercy. And I think I've already gone over that.

 

You have most assuredly not explained how that is possible by giving a tangible example. I've checked.

 

On top of that it would have to attempt to fit that within this dualistic model of heaven and hell (with the notion of nothing in between). I don't know if I can do that.

 

Right. Because either extremity doesn't constitute mercy or justice in an authentic fashion. Isn't it so?

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Ibn al-Hassan

 

Have we reached an impasse? Is that even possible, though? To disagree, you have to respond and explain why.

 

Yeah, I'm starting to think we're just running around in circles. I disagree with some of your presumptions and what I find to be flaws in your thought process (I elaborated on that in my last post). And I'm sure you would likewise say the same about me. So, perhaps we should break here.

 

(wasalam)

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Yeah, I'm starting to think we're just running around in circles. I disagree with some of your presumptions and what I find to be flaws in your thought process (I elaborated on that in my last post). And I'm sure you would likewise say the same about me. So, perhaps we should break here.

 

(wasalam)

 

I appreciate you engaging in a proper discourse on this problem and trying to solve it, nonetheless. No one else seemed to be up for it.

 

(wasalam)

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I recall a narration, I don't have at hand, that says God forgave an adulteress for quenching the thirst of a stray dog. Assuming the narration is authentic, if the divine mercy can negate a sinful act of adultery for a minor act of goodness, then also, to be perfectly consistent, can it negate an act of murder by the same token? Because in an adultery, the wife or husband is affected and likewise in a murder the victim and his / her family is affected adversely.

What if the adulterer is remorseful but yields no sympathy or forgiveness from their spouse? What if the penitent murderer receives no forgiveness from the relatives of the victim? Do they carry the sin to their death bed and get tortured in the pit of an inferno for that one act forever? What about their good deeds? Do you see what I'm saying? The fact that there exist a plethora of variables involved, that life isn't black and white, supports the point I'm putting forward. Namely, that it seems unjust and unmerciful to punish a weak being in a place utterly devoid of mercy for all eternity, because it is out of proportion. Mercy dictates that the good performances be accounted and recompensed and justice demands that the punishment should not be more than what is due.

However, we're not seeing that. This is the dilemma. Instead, there are vivid descriptions of Hell and Heaven. Two extremes, nothing in between. A person can be the most wicked thing throughout life, and perform one mighty good act in the end and gain salvation. There is no real justice evident, frankly.

 

Hello Mehdi23,

 

Very cool question.

 

We do see it. According to John 8:1-11, Jesus forgave the woman caught in adultery. Why the man wasn't brought, I have no idea. Jesus preached repentance and forgiveness for sinners, which is directly in line with God's Amazing Love, Grace, Mercy, Forgiveness, and Love.

 

He rebuked a "righteous" Pharisee for condemning a woman who had repented of her sins:

 

Luke 7 (NIV)

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%207&version=NIV

 

"36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”

40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”

“Tell me, teacher,” he said.

41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[c] and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

 

When Jesus was talking to the Samaritan woman, he frankly told her about her sexual history. However, he didn't condemn her! Instead, he helped her understand God's gift of eternal life and true worship of God!

 

John 4 (NIV)

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%204&version=NIV

 

"Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

17 “I have no husband,” she replied.

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

 

God's divine mercy is forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

 

Peace and God bless you

Edited by Christianlady

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Hello Mehdi23,

Luke 7 (NIV)

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%207&version=NIV

 

"36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”

40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”

“Tell me, teacher,” he said.

41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[c] and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

It's a beautiful story, no doubt, but it has no real relevance to the thread. The fact that the husband wasn't factored into the story makes it simplistic and faulty. To top that, Christian theology is confusing. I think a lot of Chrtistians make mistakes in trying to oversimplify their belief system to try to amplify differences between what they believe and what others do so as to make it easier to convert people. This issue is a great example. Evangelists go to extremes in hyping the supposed simplicity of their salvation plan: "It's not about works! We are justified by faith." To which comes the response: "Well, what if you believe but do bad works." To which the reply comes, "Well that just proves the person doesn't really believe. If they believed, they would do good works, and avoid bad ones." Which proves it's not so simple as it was earlier made out to be. We are justified by faith, perhaps, but it also seems that our works justify our faith. Works are an essential part of true faith; without them it is dead, false faith. It's not enough to merely believe in Jesus. That the woman in the story had to seek sincere forgiveness instead of merely believing in him as lord and saviour goes to prove this point.

The question that can't be answered is the solitary recompense for complex beings. It's contrary to the dictates of common sense, frankly.

 

19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet.

Jesus is a prophet...

20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.

...Which means the one to be worshipped is other than Jesus, as the woman attests.

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It's about a prostitute (not an adulteress). Narrated by Abu Hurayrah.

Well, what do you know? A Shia scholar explained the extent of the mercy of Allah with this story. Modaressi. If it's fabricated, the problem still stands in any case.

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Well, what do you know? A Shia scholar explained the extent of the mercy of Allah with this story. Modaressi. If it's fabricated, the problem still stands in any case.

Are you playing devil's advocate? Are you Kimk?

 

Your objections are like that of a person who hears that Islam prescribes fasting during daylight hours in month of Ramadhan. Without spending much time learning the religion and it's teachings, they conclude that Islam is a religion which asks the sick, the old, the babies & the ones who live at the poles to fast. They protest that Islam is a cruel religion and its God is cruel for punishing such people who wont be able to fast. When they are told about some of the conditions e.g. that a sick person should not fast and must do qadha, again they protest that Islam is an irrational religion because some people are chronically ill. When they told that the chronically ill must pay fidya, they protest that some of them may be poor and it is unjust for a supposedly merciful God to punish the poor who can't pay fidya. Then they are told that the poor don't need to pay etc ...

 

As Einstein said: "Make things as simple as possible, but not simpler".

Edited by Muhammed Ali

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Islam is a religion which asks the sick, the old, the babies to fast

 

No, it doesn't.

 

God is cruel for punishing such people who wont be able to fast

 

Those unable to fast are not punished by God. Where are you getting this from?

 

Then they are told that the poor don't need to pay etc ...

 

Of course the impoverished don't need to pay. They can't pay.

 

You're simply bringing up flawed tangents because you have no answer to the problem of divine justice presented in this thread.

Edited by mehdi23

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I don't see the need to keep discussing with you. I say one thing but you attribute the opposite to me. I would be wasting my time.

 

LOL, thank you! This guy does not know how to have a simple debate. All he does is ignore all the points you raise and when you tell him to stop doing that, he just keeps accusing you of being wrong or worthless, its quite annoying.

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so, he was banned for not agreeing to our view points?. I never did see anything wrong with his posts, they stated questions, that many have, and answers were not sufficient enough. But it just shows, how we all view information.

 

Fans beings must be pleased. I await another one like him to make it more interesting.

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so, he was banned for not agreeing to our view points?. I never did see anything wrong with his posts, they stated questions, that many have, and answers were not sufficient enough. But it just shows, how we all view information.

 

Fans beings must be pleased. I await another one like him to make it more interesting.

 

I believe he was a banned member quite a few times...

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so, he was banned for not agreeing to our view points?. I never did see anything wrong with his posts, they stated questions, that many have, and answers were not sufficient enough. But it just shows, how we all view information.

 

Fans beings must be pleased. I await another one like him to make it more interesting.

 

You may have noticed that I haven't been moderating the forums a great deal. I made an exception for him because he has been banned many times. I had to be certain that it was him and it was only in the last couple of days that I became certain. However to be honest under his current username he didn't seem to have an apparently detrimental effect on this forum to the same degree that other members may have done.

 

With regards to his arguments, he could have done a better job. We have non-believers and sceptics on this forum who are more challenging. 

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