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In the Name of God بسم الله
Haydar Husayn

Do Catholics Worship Mary?

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9 minutes ago, andres said:

I know Shias believe theŕe also were 12 infallible ones, which to me means that they must be divinities. 

Must one be a god to be without sin? 

That's rather cynical. 

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15 minutes ago, andres said:

I was thinking about today living religious leaders. I know Shias believe theŕe also were 12 infallible ones, which to me means that they must be divinities. I am certain Shias say they are not, just like Catholics say Saints arent either.

Not at all, rather, they were purified, just like the Prophets.

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1 hour ago, notme said:

Asking whether Catholics worship Mary is like asking whether Shia worship the infallibles. Some do, denying it would require either ignorance or dishonesty, but it's not part of the religion. 

 

They might say they don't worship her, but according to what our Religion says, what they do regarding her is worship. They supplicate to her.

Our hadiths say "Du'a (supplication) is Worship".

Having idols and bowing down to them is also worship/idolatry in our religion. 

Edited by E.L King

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Having been raised Catholic, all I can say for sure is that I was never taught to pray directly to Mary or any other saint. We were taught to seek their intercession or look to them for guidance, not because we couldn't pray directly to God (or Jesus) but because the saints were considered more accessible, more easily understood by the layperson.

That is, if I'm a Catholic worried about my business deals, God will understand, absolutely, but I will better understand and be inspired by the life of Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of merchants. So basically Catholics don't pray to saints - they ask saints to pray for them, with the belief that a particular saint will understand their problem better than most people.

It's like how some folks like to visit the graves of their family members or monuments of historical persons, and are inspired by their life stories. These people might even "talk" to the deceased person, seeking inspiration, sympathy, and even guidance. 

I'm not saying it's correct to pray to, or more accurately through saints. I'm just explaining what they taught me in Catholic school and in catechism classes. 

It's a common misconception. I used to explain sometimes to my Protestant Christan friends. 

Edited by notme
Added info.

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6 minutes ago, notme said:

Having been raised Catholic, all I can say for sure is that I was never taught to pray directly to Mary or any other saint. We were taught to seek their intercession or look to them for guidance, not because we couldn't pray directly to God (or Jesus) but because the saints were considered more accessible, more easily understood by the layperson.

That is, if I'm a Catholic worried about my business deals, God will understand, absolutely, but I will better understand and be inspired by the life of Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of merchants. So basically Catholics don't pray to saints - they ask saints to pray for them, with the belief that a particular saint will understand their problem better than most people.

It's like how some folks like to visit the graves of their family members or monuments of historical persons, and are inspired by their life stories. These people might even "talk" to the deceased person, seeking inspiration, sympathy, and even guidance. 

I'm not saying it's correct to pray to, or more accurately through saints. I'm just explaining what they taught me in Catholic school and in catechism classes. 

It's a common misconception. I used to explain sometimes to my Protestant Christan friends. 

Do they supplicate to those Saints? Do they bow down to their idols/images?

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18 minutes ago, E.L King said:

Do they supplicate to those Saints? Do they bow down to their idols/images?

Supplicate? Not really, except to ask/beg for intercession. (E. g. "Mother Mary who concieved without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.") I can't recall ever bowing to anything when I was Catholic, but they do often kneel in front of the statues or paintings when they ask for intercession. They don't have to kneel, but a cushion is usually provided for those who wish to kneel, so clearly it's somewhere between tolerated and encouraged. 

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7 minutes ago, notme said:

Supplicate? Not really, except to ask/beg for intercession. (E. g. "Mother Mary who concieved without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.") I can't recall ever bowing to anything when I was Catholic, but they do often kneel in front of the statues or paintings when they ask for intercession. They don't have to kneel, but a cushion is usually provided for those who wish to kneel, so clearly it's somewhere between tolerated and encouraged. 

This is not a supplication?

Quote

“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.”

Posted by brother @Haydar Husayn

Edited by E.L King

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^ I acknowledge that. I was just explaining what I was taught. If I thought it was right I'd still be Catholic, but I never thought of intercession as the same thing as worship. I'm sure some do overstep into worship, apparently including some high level leaders.

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Here is some of Allama Tabatabei's commentary on the verse in the Qur'an mentioning people taking Mary as a goddess. I'm not sure how interesting this will be for our Christian members, but I certainly think it makes interesting reading for the Shias here.

And when Allah will say: "O 'Isa son of Maryam! Did you say to the people: 'Take me and my mother for two gods besides Allah'?" (Qur'an 5:116)

Quote

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.

You can search for the commentary here: http://www.almizan.org/

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On 06/09/2016 at 7:15 PM, andres said:

Catholics definitely would say they do not worship Mary as a deity. As a Lutheran I also say they dont, thou I find the idea of Saints unbiblical. As I understand the Quran, Muhammed say Christian do worship Mary. I can actually understand if Muslims or others may have this impression.

 

Don't know what Lutheran denomination you belong to but Lutherans believe in Saints and actually have a Calendar of Saints

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On 30/09/2016 at 0:43 AM, E.L King said:

They might say they don't worship her, but according to what our Religion says, what they do regarding her is worship. They supplicate to her.

Our hadiths say "Du'a (supplication) is Worship".

Having idols and bowing down to them is also worship/idolatry in our religion. 

Notme has explained this but we don't worship idols/statues/images. Worship is due to God Alone. Its like me saying you worship Imam Ali because you have a representation of him framed on your wall. No such thing. You've misunderstood or have been misinformed about our Church.

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3 hours ago, shreek said:

Notme has explained this but we don't worship idols/statues/images. Worship is due to God Alone. Its like me saying you worship Imam Ali because you have a representation of him framed on your wall. No such thing. You've misunderstood or have been misinformed about our Church.

False equivalence because I don't supplicate to Ali. Do you supplicate to Mary? Do you fast to her? 

Edited by E.L King

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Anyone who uses those exact words [and i mean those exact words in bold] for the Prophet or Imams [asws] has not understood tawassul, or even istigatha, and Tawheed.

 In my eyes, those words are going beyond an acceptable form of intercession, and are now transgressing into worship.

Edited by uponthesunnah

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12 hours ago, shreek said:

Don't know what Lutheran denomination you belong to but Lutherans believe in Saints and actually have a Calendar of Saints

Swedish Lutheran Church. Until 500 years ago Sweden was Catholic. In old churches there are remains like statues from Catholic days. Saints belong to our history and we regard them as Christian personalities. Normal human beings like you and me.

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Muslims pray in direction to the Kaaba. An old pagan place. But muslims say they do not worship the Kaaba. Catholics kneel in front of Saints. But they say they dont worship them.  How can I know what is in their minds? Is there any reason for them all not to tell the truth?  I am certain there is not.

As a christian I react when Muslims say there are perfect humans (prophets and 12 Imams). To me this is blasphemy. Only God is perfect. And Jesus, which makes it blasphemy to Muslims. God is only one person they say. Christians agree, but we are not very successful explaining trinity to Muslims. Actually we do not understand this dogma either.

Human intellect can not fully understand Gods true nature. God knows of course, and he is able to forgive us for having wrong beliefs. What is important is that we try to do our best, no matter the religion we have been raised with. God gave us a consciense. Love thy neighbour as yourself and God above all. Not always easy.

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4 hours ago, andres said:

Muslims pray in direction to the Kaaba. An old pagan place. But muslims say they do not worship the Kaaba. Catholics kneel in front of Saints. But they say they dont worship them.  How can I know what is in their minds? Is there any reason for them all not to tell the truth?  I am certain there is not.

As a christian I react when Muslims say there are perfect humans (prophets and 12 Imams). To me this is blasphemy. Only God is perfect. And Jesus, which makes it blasphemy to Muslims. God is only one person they say. Christians agree, but we are not very successful explaining trinity to Muslims. Actually we do not understand this dogma either.

Human intellect can not fully understand Gods true nature. God knows of course, and he is able to forgive us for having wrong beliefs. What is important is that we try to do our best, no matter the religion we have been raised with. God gave us a consciense. Love thy neighbour as yourself and God above all. Not always easy.

 

The difference is, we bow in the direction of the K'aba, and the intention is not that we bow to the K'aba. It is also something mandated by God, to give a unified direction of prostration. Bowing down to an idol of someone can confuse worship, intention, and it is ultimately, bowing to, rather than in the direction of - and prostration is only for God.

We do not claim that the Prophets of God [asws] and the Imams [asws] are perfect in the same way God is. Remember, when we say that the Prophets of God or the Imams asws are 'infallible' it is not anywhere near the same level of infallibility of God. Rather what is intended is, God has chosen certain servants of his who he deemed worthy to give them and bless them with such a profound insight into the reality of sin, that they see it for what it truly is on a level far above us, and it is not that they can't commit sins, but that they would never commit signs , the capability is there, but the ability to reject is profoundly greater. 

You see, we believe the Prophets of God [asws] generally and the Imams asws had sexual relations, used the toilet, felt ill, had desires, grieved, laughed, cried, and were human beings. We also believe that they could choose the lesser of two good options. So if there is an option, and a better option, it is possible they choose the good option, but not the best possible option. Jonah [as] should not have left his people, but it wasn't a sin, and it is understandable why he did it, but the better of the two options was to stay, and the lesser of the two options that still do not constitute sin, was to leave after the ignorance, arrogance and wretchedness - he sought time away from such barbaric people after trying so hard bringing them towards God. The same applies to the Prophet and Imams [asws], they did not have knowledge anywhere near the same level of God, who thus is the one who truly acts with ultimate infallibility. Rather, they judged things to the limit of their knowledge, which is why the Prophet Muhammed was unable to know who the hypocrites around him were, until God had informed him of it , for example, and so for a time, he could only judged by what he apparently understood.

  

Edited by uponthesunnah

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44 minutes ago, uponthesunnah said:

Remember, when we say that the Prophets of God or the Imams asws are 'infallible' it is not anywhere near the same level of infallibility of God.

To say that God is infallible is like saying God is good. It's such an understatement that it becomes almost ridiculous. God isn't infallible, God is perfect. That's much greater. 

A human might be perfect in piety, perfect in actions, perfect in wisdom, perfect in humility, and so on, but not perfect. 

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58 minutes ago, certainclarity said:

Kaaba was the first place Adam and Eve did the Hajj ritual. It was later occupied by the pagans...

Come on. Islam begins in 7th century. By the way, the first Muslims kneeled against Jerusalem.

 

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7 hours ago, notme said:

To say that God is infallible is like saying God is good. It's such an understatement that it becomes almost ridiculous. God isn't infallible, God is perfect. That's much greater. 

A human might be perfect in piety, perfect in actions, perfect in wisdom, perfect in humility, and so on, but not perfect. 

I think the problem arises when the same word is used to describe qualities of God and creation. For example, we can say God is merciful, and we can also say the Prophet (S) was merciful, but that mercy is on an entirely different level and scale, and the mercy we find in human beings can never be comparable to that of Allah [azwj]. 

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Hi uponthesunna

I never believed that Muslims are not honest about their beliefs and I am just as certain that Catholics also are. So why dont we just accept their testimonies instead of trying to suspect them of not being honest? It may look as if the Catholics worship Mary,  as if Muslims worship the Kaaba and as if Jews worship Abraham when paying visit to his grave. What matters however is what goes on within our and their minds.

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8 minutes ago, magma said:

@andres

No, Islam (submission to one absolute creator only) began with Adam and Eve. It was completed and perfected in the 7th century with the final messenger (peace be upon him).

Wrong. Jews were the first semitic tribe to become monotheistic. No more than 3.000 years ago.

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8 minutes ago, andres said:

Wrong. Jews were the first semitic tribe to become monotheistic. No more than 3.000 years ago.

So you are saying that Adam and Noah were polytheists?

Also, since no written record of Abraham aside from the Bible/Torah has been found, how do you assign this age? 

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This is a diversion from the topic. @andres isn't even Catholic. His point about taking others at their word with regard to their worship is good. What he says about his own beliefs isn't relevant to this discussion.

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@uponthesunnah I agree wholeheartedly. It is a shortcoming of language. Human communication is never perfect. 

With regard to the idea of infallibility, Catholics do not believe saints to be infallible. Mary is sinless, not necessarily infallible, and some other saints were documented to have repented of their sins. 

 

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1 minute ago, magma said:

What's the difference between these two words. 

As I understand it, if a person is infallible they also do not make mistakes. A sinless person still might make mistakes. I think this definition is the same for Shia and for Catholics.

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10 minutes ago, notme said:

As I understand it, if a person is infallible they also do not make mistakes. A sinless person still might make mistakes. I think this definition is the same for Shia and for Catholics.

What's the difference between a mistake and a sin?

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1 hour ago, magma said:

What's the difference between a mistake and a sin?

Usually intention. Sometimes knowledge. 

For example, if you drop a stone off a cliff and it strikes and kills a person below, whether it was murder or not depends on whether you knew they were there but if you didn't intend to hurt anyone it's definitely a mistake. This example is a bit silly and extreme, but I think you can get the point. 

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