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In the Name of God بسم الله
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LiveLikeAli

Dichotomy - 2: 30-35

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I was reading Sura Baqarah, when this dichotomy sort of just hit me. I'd like to know your opinions as to whether or not it makes sense, if it's a stretch, etc... Black text is Quran, and red is the parallel I attempt to make.

 

I believe there’s a clear dichotomy between God placing a vicegerent on earth, and Prophet Muhammad leaving a successor (vicegerent) after his death.

 

Chapter 2, Verses 30-35:

 

After God had appointed for his next creation to be humans, the angels were curious as to why God needed to create this new being, especially when he had them, the angels, who would perpetually sing his hymns and sanctify him. God replied by stating that He knew what they did not.  

 

Prophet Muhammad appointed Ali Ibn Abi Talib to be the successor after him. Many companions questioned this decision, or flat out did not want to follow his command. Ultimately though, God and the Prophet know what others do not.

 

God then taught Adam the knowledge and names he needed to know, and then tested the angels to tell him the names He had taught Adam. They conceded they did not know, and replied by saying that they knew only what God had taught them.

 

 The famous saying by the Prophet, "I am the city of knowledge and 'Ali is its gate" attests to the notion that the Prophet taught Ali Ibn Abi Talib things which no one else knew about. Throughout the lives of these two great men, there have been many instances where it is clear that they had knowledge that no one else possessed, thereby forcing others to admit that they did not have the knowledge these two pious men had. The only way they would be able to have that knowledge is by asking the Prophet or Ali.

 

God then ordered the angels to prostrate to his vicegerent on earth. One angel, Satan, refused, and was arrogant, and thus became one of the disbelievers.

 

Finally, as he had done multiple times before, the Prophet, on his deathbed, commanded the Muslims to follow Ali Ibn Abi Talib as his successor. However, people refused out of arrogance, the same way Satan refused God’s direct order to prostrate to Adam.

 

Therefore, one can only conclude that these “companions” who did not follow the Prophet’s order became disbelievers.

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I wish to make a correction to your statement, as there is a mistake in it.

 

Satan is not an angel in Islam. Yes, he was among the angels in assembly, but he was not an angel himself. He was a jinn who once had elevated status - therefore he was counted amongst the angels. Please remember that Malaaika are not able to disobey Allah, whereas Jinn are able to sin. Iblis (LA) disobeyed the order of Allah (swt) to prostrate to Adam (A.s).

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Salam

 

Humbly and with utmost respect:

 

I think you are totally right and I hold the same interpretation. I believe this narrative is a parable describing our relationship with our living Imam, and Satan's actions are what constitutes disbelieving. Even though the Imam is like a parent, defending and nurturing his flock, Satan cannot bring himself to humility and surrender his will. This parable puts into context a tradition I once read, "Around every believer there are ten satans."

 

You might also want to check out the parable of Saul (Talut). It is somewhere in the latter half of the second chapter.

 

Thank you for your post.

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(salam)

 

Say: l Am,

 

I disagree that this passage is a "parable" as you stated in post 4.

 

This is a revealed history as much as Sura Yusef is.

 

In my humble opinion it's erroneous to say this is a 'revealed history.' Just like with Islam, that you have to start with the Qur'an and not jurisprudence made centuries later, so too you have to start with yourself when considering life. Ask yourself, does any man experience what I cannot? If I accept that someone has experienced something beyond normal human experience then I merely take his/her word for it, and thus it is not definite. It remains my opinion.

 

It is my opinion that the Holy Prophet did not experience anything out of the ordinary because otherwise humankind would have made record of it. It is therefore probable the Qur'an is entirely a parable when not speaking directly. Every prophet is Muhammad and every successor Ali. If Muhammad would have come right out and said what he was doing he would have been killed, like Jesus. However, he said what he said as stories and parables for the people to easily understand, and the point of them was the meaning behind them. He came as a Mercy to mankind and his mission was to continue that Mercy until the end of time.

 

I guess the real question is, what does a revealed history do for you other than give you an idea to believe in? Be careful because ideas can quickly turn into golden calves—shirk.

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