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In the Name of God بسم الله
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ali_fatheroforphans

Knowledge and Faith (Islam vs Christianity)

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Salam,

Just ponder over this statement of Allama Mutahari, as he tries to describe the relationship between knowledge and faith according to Christianity.

We have studied the relation between man's humanity and his animality, in other words, the relation between man's cultural and spiritual life and his material life. It is now clear that man's humanity has an independent existence and is not a mere reflection of his animal life.

It is also clear that knowledge and faith are the two basic parts of the humanity of man. Now let us see what mutual relation these two facets of humanity have or can have.

Unfortunately certain parts of the Old Testament have in the Christian world created an idea of contradiction between knowledge and faith. This idea which has cost dearly to knowledge and faith both has its root in the Book of Genesis of the Old Testament.

Narrating the story of Adam and the Forbidden Tree, the Book of Genesis, Chapter II, verses 16 and 17 says:

"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die".

In the Chapter III, verses 1 - 7 it says:

"Now the serpent was more subtile than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons".

In the verse 22 - 23 of the same chapter it says:

"And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: "

According to this conception of man, God, knowledge and disobedience, God wants that man should not be aware of good and evil. The Forbidden Tree is the tree of knowledge. Man attains knowledge only if he rebels against God's command (disobeys the teachings of religion and the Prophets), but for that very reason he is driven out of God's Heaven.

On the basis of this conception all evil insinuations are those of knowledge, and reason is the insinuating Devil.

In contrast, we learn from the Holy Qur’an that Allah taught all names (realities) to Adam and then ordered the angels to prostrate themselves before him. The Devil was condemned because he refused to prostrate himself before the vicegerent of Allah, who was aware of the realities. The Prophetic traditions have told us that the Forbidden Tree was that of avarice, greed and such like things, that is the things related to the animality of Adam, not to his humanity. The insinuating Devil always insinuates what is against reason and what answers the base desires. It is concupiscence and not reason that represents the Devil within man. Contrary to all this what we find in the Book of Genesis is really very amazing.

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Just today I spoke to a Christian. He invited me to study both our religions so that I may know the truth, as did he for decades. 

Alhamdulillah for the reason and simplicity that we find in our religion. You just reminded me again why I'm a Muslim, and not anything else. 

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On 6/21/2018 at 9:43 AM, ali_fatheroforphans said:

The Forbidden Tree is the tree of knowledge

It's not the tree of knowledge, it's specifically the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Once Adam had disobeyed, he knew what it was to do wrong. The only knowledge he actually gained, besides emotions, guilt, shame, was that it was a really bad idea.

This is often mistaken, like the phrase "Money is the root of all evil.", actually, money is a necessity. The real quote is "The love of money...". Leaving out the actual description is of itself a form of corruption, not to say that was the plan, it just changes the light around the event and leaves it up to all forms of conjecture. 

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Usually, the story is summarized, much in the way SOP described above.  In that, when mankind ate of the apple, they became aware of good and evil, and in that, aware of the sin that they had committed. They hid from God, they were afraid, they were "naked" and felt exposed in shame. Adam blamed eve for supplying the fruit and Eve blamed satan, both pointing fingers to shift blame from their own actions.

And with that, God ultimately sets the stage for a savior. That savior of course being God himself, in the form of man, as Jesus. But only after mankind admits their weakness and accepts God back into their hearts. Mankind sinned, and hid in shame, guilt and blame, and so God opened the door for redemption.

 

Ultimately though, many OT stories, in my opinion, ought to be taken allegorically of course.  This story of Adam and Eve, for starters has a talking snake. It isnt meant to be taken as a literal, straight forward story where every word means precisely what it says in a simplistic manner. And with that, I would say that Allama Mutahari makes the mistake of taking on a simplistic interpretation of the story, much like young earth creationists do when they assume that the planet is 6000 years old based on genealogies. 

 

 

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On 7/1/2018 at 8:50 PM, iCambrian said:

 Ultimately though, many OT stories, in my opinion, ought to be taken allegorically of course.  This story of Adam and Eve, for starters has a talking snake. It isnt meant to be taken as a literal, straight forward story where every word means precisely what it says in a simplistic manner. And with that, I would say that Allama Mutahari makes the mistake of taking on a simplistic interpretation of the story, much like young earth creationists do when they assume that the planet is 6000 years old based on genealogies. 

 As you say snakes do not speak. It can be nothing but allegory. In the Quran ants speak. Again this is allegory.

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On 7/7/2018 at 4:02 AM, andres said:

 As you say snakes do not speak. It can be nothing but allegory. In the Quran ants speak. Again this is allegory.

It says that satan entered the snake. If this is the case, it's not the only case where the spiritual has taken on form, or used objects or animals to convey a message. 

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13 hours ago, Abu Nur said:

It is literally, not allegory.

It is not surprising that this was credible 1.400 years ago, but it is very surprising that you can believe so in 2018. Like believing the world is flat.

According to the Bible, a snake spoke with Eve. You believe snakes can speak also?

 

Edited by andres

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8 minutes ago, andres said:

It is not surprising that this was credible 1.400 years ago, but it is very surprising that you can believe so in 2018.

 

Yes, It is very surprising for you, what you could even understand who understanding can't seem to reach only but to surface of this realm? 

 

Edited by Abu Nur

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19 minutes ago, andres said:

is not surprising that this was credible 1.400 years ago, but it is very surprising that you can believe so in 2018. Like believing the world is flat.

Allah is capable of doing anything. The same lord that made the earth subservient to us, is capable of doing anything he wills. Yes, it is not rational for a bird to speak, based on the laws we observe today. However it doesn't mean that the bird never spoke to Prophet Solomon (as).

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8 hours ago, ali_fatheroforphans said:

Allah is capable of doing anything. The same lord that made the earth subservient to us, is capable of doing anything he wills. Yes, it is not rational for a bird to speak, based on the laws we observe today. However it doesn't mean that the bird never spoke to Prophet Solomon (as).

If you believe God wrote that ants can speak, of course this must be true to you. I understand this very well. But your problem is that you believe God said so. Ants cannot speak. Period. Why does the Quran say so? What was the point? Have you got a clue?

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3 hours ago, andres said:

If you believe God wrote that ants can speak, of course this must be true to you. I understand this very well. But your problem is that you believe God said so. Ants cannot speak. Period. Why does the Quran say so? What was the point? Have you got a clue?

God has created ants, and however they communicate - God has translated it for us. God is capable of hearing his creatures communicate. 

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@andres You try your best to pick out errors for the sake of it, in this way you'll never learn anything. 

Science actually confirms that ants communicate with each other, God just granted Solomon (as) the ability to understand their communication. If God is speaking to us humans in the Quran, do you think he will use ant language to describe what happened? Try to think a little at times.

What is amazing is that Quran also confirms that a specific group of ants guards the nest, and science even confirms this.

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2 hours ago, ali_fatheroforphans said:

God has created ants, and however they communicate - God has translated it for us. God is capable of hearing his creatures communicate. 

You can even go one degree deeper;

And they will say to their skins, "Why have you testified against us?" They will say, "We were made to speak by Allah, who has made everything speak; and He created you the first time, and to Him you are returned. Qur'an 41:21

Edited by Abu Nur

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11 hours ago, andres said:

 Ants cannot speak. 

Andres, what makes you think that ants cannot speak?

It makes perfect sense that every animal must have some means of communicating with one another.

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2013/02/shhh-ants-are-talking

This article says that "even ant pupae—a stage between larvae and adult—can communicate via sound."

So if their pupae can communicate via sound, it is obvious that the adults must also have that ability.   

We believe that God had given Prophet Solomon the ability to understand the languages of several animals. 

The Quran talks about a certain situation when Solomon overheard ants warning their own to be careful because they could easily be crushed by human feet.

That is all.

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9 hours ago, ali_fatheroforphans said:

God has created ants, and however they communicate - God has translated it for us. God is capable of hearing his creatures communicate. 

I am amazed to learn that Muslims believe all creatures can form sentences like humans can. 

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7 minutes ago, baqar said:

Andres, what makes you think that ants cannot speak?

It makes perfect sense that every animal must have some means of communicating with one another.

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2013/02/shhh-ants-are-talking

This article says that "even ant pupae—a stage between larvae and adult—can communicate via sound."

So if their pupae can communicate via sound, it is obvious that the adults must also have that ability.   

We believe that God had given Prophet Solomon the ability to understand the languages of several animals. 

The Quran talks about a certain situation when Solomon overheard ants warning their own to be careful because they could easily be crushed by human feet.

That is all.

Animals do communicate, I just do not believe they can form sentences. Nor do I believe they knew that Solomon was King. 

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2 minutes ago, andres said:

Animals do communicate, I just do not believe they can form sentences. Nor do I believe they knew that Solomon was King. 

hi we don't say that they make sentences but can communicate & every being knows Imam & leader of his time & Imam knows what they say ,their leadership is for every being not just humans. 

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On 7/1/2018 at 7:50 PM, iCambrian said:

Usually, the story is summarized, much in the way SOP described above.  In that, when mankind ate of the apple, they became aware of good and evil, and in that, aware of the sin that they had committed. They hid from God, they were afraid, they were "naked" and felt exposed in shame. Adam blamed eve for supplying the fruit and Eve blamed satan, both pointing fingers to shift blame from their own actions.

And with that, God ultimately sets the stage for a savior. That savior of course being God himself, in the form of man, as Jesus. But only after mankind admits their weakness and accepts God back into their hearts. Mankind sinned, and hid in shame, guilt and blame, and so God opened the door for redemption.

 

Ultimately though, many OT stories, in my opinion, ought to be taken allegorically of course.  This story of Adam and Eve, for starters has a talking snake. It isnt meant to be taken as a literal, straight forward story where every word means precisely what it says in a simplistic manner. And with that, I would say that Allama Mutahari makes the mistake of taking on a simplistic interpretation of the story, much like young earth creationists do when they assume that the planet is 6000 years old based on genealogies. 

 

 

So from the Christian perspective this whole universe and the existence of humanity is simply a misunderstanding about some fruit?

Then because God was upset someone ate his apple, his son has to die?

 I think Christian thinkers havent really done this topic justice. 

 

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7 minutes ago, Ashvazdanghe said:

hi we don't say that they make sentences but can communicate & every being knows Imam & leader of his time & Imam knows what they say ,their leadership is for every being not just humans. 

No Imam can speak with ants.

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2 minutes ago, iraqi_shia said:

So from the Christian perspective this whole universe and the existence of humanity is simply a misunderstanding about some fruit?

Then because God was upset someone ate his apple, his son has to die?

 I think Christian thinkers havent really done this topic justice. 

 

I am convinced that even very conservative Christians that believe the snake and Eve spoke together, knows that snakes cannot speak. They believe the Devil spoke through the snakes mouth.

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1 minute ago, andres said:

I am convinced that even very conservative Christians that believe the snake and Eve spoke together, knows that snakes cannot speak. They believe the Devil spoke through the snakes mouth.

when these animals can talk why not ants speak to Imam when they are Representative of god on earth.

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23 minutes ago, andres said:

I am convinced that even very conservative Christians that believe the snake and Eve spoke together, knows that snakes cannot speak. They believe the Devil spoke through the snakes mouth.

You seemed more concerned about your doubt that God could not make a snake speak, than the fact that the God your describing is so touchy about his fruit that he killed his son over an apple. 

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16 minutes ago, iraqi_shia said:

You seemed more concerned about your doubt that God could not make a snake speak, than the fact that the God your describing is so touchy about his fruit that he killed his son over an apple. 

Never heard this interpretation before. God did not kill Jesus. The Romans did. They regarded him as a rebel.

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17 minutes ago, iraqi_shia said:

You seemed more concerned about your doubt that God could not make a snake speak, than the fact that the God your describing is so touchy about his fruit that he killed his son over an apple. 

The point is that, it's not a story that is meant to be taken at face value in such a literalist type way.

I'm not sure what you're trying to say, otherwise.

Snakes of course do not talk, and let's be honest, ants do not either. The OT is filled with stories that, when taken at face value, will lead people down an intellectually dark road. Like young earth creationists. But when you read the actual message contained throughout scripture, you find what it is really about, beyond the literal interpretation.

 

It's a story about a broken people, in need of salvation and what these same people go through, over time, and with the help of God, to achieve it. With of course the grand conclusion of Christ's saving grace.

 

And honestly, I really enjoy books of the OT because the message is quite deep, while simultaneously telling interesting stories about fire breathing beasts and men who's strength is defined by the length of their hair and talking snakes etx.

Edited by iCambrian

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3 minutes ago, andres said:

Never heard this interpretation before. God did not kill Jesus. The Romans did. They regarded him as a rebel.

So you do not believe that God sent his "only son" to be sacrificed for the sins of humanity?

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1 minute ago, iCambrian said:

How could the value in this message be misconstrued to God killing over an apple?

Because of what you said: 

On 7/1/2018 at 7:50 PM, iCambrian said:

And with that, God ultimately sets the stage for a savior. That savior of course being God himself, in the form of man, as Jesus. But only after mankind admits their weakness and accepts God back into their hearts. Mankind sinned, and hid in shame, guilt and blame, and so God opened the door for redemption.

 

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The story again, was never meant to be taken literally. If you read it, of course you would never see God say " well, you ate my Apple, now I'm going to kill my prophet ".

Nor was it ever meant to be perceived in such a way.

Edited by iCambrian

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Imam Ali was martyred. Did God kill him too?

Surely God knew what he was doing when he created Imam Ali. God knew Imam Ali's ultimate fate and his purpose for people on earth.

Of course nobody ever has a majlis where the Maulana misconstrues the message this way. And that's what you're doing with the OT.

Edited by iCambrian

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15 minutes ago, andres said:

he Romans did. They regarded him as a rebe

In Christians story Jews Rabbis asked it from Pilates but he doesn’t take this responsibility by washing his hands but put his crew in order of Jews rabbis.

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10 minutes ago, iCambrian said:

Imam Ali was martyred. Did God kill him too?

Surely God knew what he was doing when he created Imam Ali. God knew Imam Ali's ultimate fate and his purpose for people on earth.

Of course nobody ever has a majlis where the Maulana misconstrues the message this way. And that's what you're doing with the OT.

But we do not make the claim that God sent Imam Ali AS to be sacrificed for our sins. This seems to be the claim your making.

 

On 7/1/2018 at 7:50 PM, iCambrian said:

And with that, God ultimately sets the stage for a savior. That savior of course being God himself, in the form of man, as Jesus. But only after mankind admits their weakness and accepts God back into their hearts. Mankind sinned, and hid in shame, guilt and blame, and so God opened the door for redemption.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, iraqi_shia said:

But we do not make the claim that God sent Imam Ali AS to be sacrificed for our sins. This seems to be the claim your making.

The purpose of Imam Ali's or Jesus' creation is irrelevant to my analogy. Both men were martyred for a purpose, and you're equating creation followed by martydom, with murder.

Edited by iCambrian

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Regarding Imam Ali, part of the power of the story of Shia Islam, is this concept of martyrdom. Men, created by God, who ultimately died and gave everything for God, who also brought a message to the people.

God knew, that they were not going to make it. And God knew that their deaths at the hands of those who opposed God himself, would in part, serve in the power of the message.

Jesus, is essentially the ultimate martyr.

But, nobody misconstrues the story and says "well God just murdered this man after someone ate an apple, and thats what the story is about". Likewise, nobody misconstrues the story of Karbala in such a simple way either.

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