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In the Name of God بسم الله

The failures of “born” Muslims

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16 hours ago, Northwest said:

I am asking whether bloodline might be a potential clue.

The faith itself places no store on bloodline whatsoever. The misplaced emphasis on bloodline and discrimination against converts that you see in the communities is the result of culture supplanting religion. Very few among the laity actually take the time and effort to learn and unlearn and carry on practising their faith in the same culturally-transmitted ways. The clergy also mostly keep mum about this because they don't want to antagonize the community. But strictly speaking from the perspective of the religion itself, there is no hereditary 'elect' in the Judaic or Zoroastrian fashion, your 'noble' bloodline does not indicate that you are marked out for divine favour. 

Yes, the tribalistic xenophobia is a deterrent for potential converts, but it all comes down to whether you are willing to prioritize principles over people, and put up with the not-so-nice 'people' for those 'principles' ,should you choose to believe in them. 

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On 10/13/2023 at 4:12 AM, Northwest said:

In other words, if one is born among unbelievers in a bad environment, or into the wrong tribe or clan (cultural variant) among nominal believers, could this say something?

Hi/salam It doesn't say something which majority of people wh converted to Islam at era of prophet muhammad (pbu) have had at least one of these situation or both of it which for example Abu Dharr Ghifari (رضي الله عنه) has been born in among unbelievers in a bad environment also " into the wrong tribe or clan (cultural variant) among nominal believers," which his tribe during ignorance era has been an infamous tribe due to attacking merchant Caravans which he has been first person among his tribe who has accepted Islam . 

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On 5/17/2019 at 6:59 PM, AbdulKarim313_Austin/Nola said:

What is a born Muslim?

I think this is the key question. You need to ponder over it. Your following assessment is correct to some extent, but is not the answer of that key question:

On 5/17/2019 at 6:59 PM, AbdulKarim313_Austin/Nola said:

Technically every soul is pure before being mutilated by its parents or society

Yes, every soul is born on the fitrah and hence born pure. Does this mean everyone is born muslim? No

Even the kids of muslims are not born muslims. Infact most of them are muslims because their parents are. Quite similar to born christians or jews or hindus etc. 

So who are the born muslims? You need to figure it out so that you can study whether they failed or got success. 

For me, born muslims are only Prophets & Imams. Other than that, everyone becomes muslim at any point of his time irrespective of the religion of his/her parents. 

On 5/17/2019 at 6:59 PM, AbdulKarim313_Austin/Nola said:

Both of my parents are Muslim but as an individual I had to embrace Islam and act upon the pillars of my faith

This is truth and is truth for everyone, applicable to everyone. 

If you are truly willing to study human failures you will find failures of the ones you think are born muslims as well as the failures of the ones who are reverts. 

If you study the Islam from its beginning i.e., from the life of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم), you will find many reverts, almost everyone, except the few, were reverts and it turns out later how they accepted the Islam! Many of them stayed behind, failed to embrace the emaan from Islam, many had accepted the islam from their tongues and turned into hypocrites. Many reverts turned apostate after the wafat of Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم). 

So if you look at Islam, from its very origin, you will find that the present shape & form of Islam is nothing but the failures of those who were "reverts". 

At Ghadeer Khum, how many reverts were there? Who were the ansaar & the muhajireen who sat in saqifa bani sa'ida to settle the issue of caliphate? Who are the ones who have side lined the "truthful ones" (the sadiqeen) after even identifying them? 

They are all reverts..... Or the offspring of reverts. 

The sincere followers of Islam, may they be born into the muslim families or may they be the reverts, are very little even in this point of time, in our age. 

 

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On 10/14/2023 at 3:15 PM, AbdusSibtayn said:

The faith itself places no store on bloodline whatsoever.

One shouldn't completely discard the importance of lineage in Islam, as it is quite relevant in Fiqhi issues of sadaqah, khums and marriage.

A believer who is blessed with good lineage is given both an honour aswell as a responsibility, even moreso in the case of those whom are descendants of the Prophet (saww).

I believe this narration sums it up beautifully:

Several of our companions from Ahmad b. Muhammad from ibn Abi Nasr. 

He said: I asked ar-Rida عليه السلام; I said to him: A disbeliever from you (i.e. the children of Fatima) and one from other than you – are they equal? So he said: A disbeliever from us, for him are two sins; and a good person [from us], for him are two good deeds. (al-Kafi, Volume 1, hadith 975)

(sahih) (صحيح)

https://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/235051963-why-do-we-revere-sayids/?do=findComment&comment=3074847

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6 hours ago, Ibn Tayyar said:

One shouldn't completely discard the importance of lineage in Islam, as it is quite relevant in Fiqhi issues of sadaqah, khums and marriage.

A believer who is blessed with good lineage is given both an honour aswell as a responsibility, even moreso in the case of those whom are descendants of the Prophet (saww).

I believe this narration sums it up beautifully:

Several of our companions from Ahmad b. Muhammad from ibn Abi Nasr. 

He said: I asked ar-Rida عليه السلام; I said to him: A disbeliever from you (i.e. the children of Fatima) and one from other than you – are they equal? So he said: A disbeliever from us, for him are two sins; and a good person [from us], for him are two good deeds. (al-Kafi, Volume 1, hadith 975)

(sahih) (صحيح)

https://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/235051963-why-do-we-revere-sayids/?do=findComment&comment=3074847

Understand the backdrop behind the question and the answer. I am as aware of these rulings and narrations as you are. The question was if a bloodline predisposes you to belief or disbelief, or if we have any concept of a hereditary 'elect' in Islam like the Jews and Zoroastrians do. The example of the sadah and other ashraf is irrelevant to the question. 

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On 10/15/2023 at 3:38 PM, AbdusSibtayn said:

Understand the backdrop behind the question and the answer. I am as aware of these rulings and narrations as you are. The question was if a bloodline predisposes you to belief or disbelief, or if we have any concept of a hereditary 'elect' in Islam like the Jews and Zoroastrians do. The example of the sadah and other ashraf is irrelevant to the question. 

@AbdusSibtayn I was thinking about this in light of history. Why do the majority of people tend to follow the habits of their ancestors? If this is but natural, part of human nature, then would conversion (or “reversion”) be unnatural? If so, would that imply that one’s status in the Hereafter is predetermined from birth? (Obviously, the concept of the sayyid may indicate that each bloodline contains within itself a kind of immutable, unique spiritual quality from birth. But this in and of itself does not say anything about one’s spiritual fate.)

^ According to the hadith God created a specific kind of lineage, which was man’s original state. The hadith would imply that:

  • a) in the beginning man’s bloodline was pure but became contaminated due to sin;
  • b) differences in socioeconomic status are a result of sin;
  • c) these are transmitted by bloodline

The problem with this is the implication that:

  • if not for the sin, there would be no and/or few distinctions of rank among men;
  • God needed man to sin so as to allow for a specialised, developed economy

So if God:

  • desired man’s development;
  • the latter could only come about via specialisation;
  • specialisation is (ultimately) a consequence of sin,

Does God sanction the sin that gave rise to this economy? This is the problem with these kinds of narrations (and discrimination).

 

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On 11/3/2023 at 4:55 AM, Northwest said:

@AbdusSibtayn I was thinking about this in light of history. Why do the majority of people tend to follow the habits of their ancestors? If this is but natural, part of human nature, then would conversion (or “reversion”) be unnatural? If so, would that imply that one’s status in the Hereafter is predetermined from birth? (Obviously, the concept of the sayyid may indicate that each bloodline contains within itself a kind of immutable, unique spiritual quality from birth. But this in and of itself does not say anything about one’s spiritual fate.)

^ According to the hadith God created a specific kind of lineage, which was man’s original state. The hadith would imply that:

  • a) in the beginning man’s bloodline was pure but became contaminated due to sin;
  • b) differences in socioeconomic status are a result of sin;
  • c) these are transmitted by bloodline

The problem with this is the implication that:

  • if not for the sin, there would be no and/or few distinctions of rank among men;
  • God needed man to sin so as to allow for a specialised, developed economy

So if God:

  • desired man’s development;
  • the latter could only come about via specialisation;
  • specialisation is (ultimately) a consequence of sin,

Does God sanction the sin that gave rise to this economy? This is the problem with these kinds of narrations (and discrimination).

 

This is a part of the same determinism versus free will controversy. But I'll say that the chances are even; people may decide to stick to their ancestral religion or think for themselves. After all individual and mass cases of conversion are to be found throughout history- the conversion of Greko-Roman and Germanic Europeans to Christianity, the conversion of East and South East Asians to Buddhism and then to Islam, and so on and so forth. Entire countries and continents have switched their religious identities throughout history. People are as prone to question their ancestors as to stick to their ways, it all depends on if they choose to do so. After all they do spend a lot of grey matter on good investment plans, good houses, good cars, good spouses, good schools and colleges for their children. Spending a bit of grey matter on a good hereafter won't hurt. 

The Sayyids are honored because of their association with the Prophet (S),  the same way that the other relics, monuments and places associated with him are; they are not the Shamanic/Brahman equivalent of Islam, and their bloodline doesn't confer any special privilege upon them (ie they are not exempt from any legal obligation, and they are not entitled to heaven because of their bloodline). They are honored because they are looked upon as ambassadors of their grandfather's religion, and an ambassador can either be a good ambassador or a bad ambassador. 

The book quoted in that thread you have linked to- Allamah Majlisi (rh)'s 'Hayat al-Quloob', is known to contain several fabricated and inauthentic narrations that have their sources in Judeo-Christian traditions (Israiliyyat). The aforementioned notion reeks somewhat of the concept of 'Original Sin' which has no basis in Islam. These racist narrations have been discussed by the scholars before and they have concluded that they are not authentic. 

So when the premise is inauthentic, the inferences are of no consequence either. Overall the scholarly consensus is that the idea that certain bloodlines or ethnicities/races are inclined to specific types of activities has no basis in the religion. 

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On 11/3/2023 at 2:55 AM, Northwest said:

The problem with this is the implication that:

  • if not for the sin, there would be no and/or few distinctions of rank among men;
  • God needed man to sin so as to allow for a specialised, developed economy

Hi,

  • according to holy Quran distinction of rank among men & women based on their level of piety Godwariness.
Quote

  And take provision, for indeed the best provision is Godwariness. So be wary of Me, O you who possess intellects! (197) 

https://tanzil.net/#trans/en.qarai/2:197

O mankind! Indeed, We created you from a male and a female, and made you nations and tribes that you may identify yourselves with one another. Indeed the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most Godwary among you. Indeed Allah is all-knowing, all-aware. (13)

https://tanzil.net/#trans/en.qarai/49:13

  • God doesn't need neither sin nor obedience which he develops economy based on his knowledge & infinite resources which he may give unbelievers too much wealth in this world so therefore they won't have any excuse for not receiving their share but on the other hand maybe keeps a believer poor in this world because he knows that giving wealth to him in this world maybe causes his corruption but he will compensate it by great rewards for him in hereafter in reard of tolerating being poor in this world. 

 

 and made in it [various] means of livelihood for you and for those whom you do not provide for. (20) There is not a thing but that its sources are with Us, and We do not send it down except in a known measure. (21) 

https://tanzil.net/#trans/en.qarai/15:20

https://tanzil.net/#trans/en.qarai/15:21

 

Quote

 Certainly We have established you on the earth, and made in it [various] means of livelihood for you. Little do you thank. (10) 

https://tanzil.net/#trans/en.qarai/7:10

 

https://www.al-islam.org/quran/surah/11/hud/ayat/31

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On 11/3/2023 at 2:55 AM, Northwest said:

So if God:

  • desired man’s development;
  • the latter could only come about via specialisation;
  • specialisation is (ultimately) a consequence of sin,

Does God sanction the sin that gave rise to this economy? This is the problem with these kinds of narrations (and discrimination).

Specialition in Islamic viewpoint is consequence of Godwariness not committing sin & doing good & paying charity in way of god  which God sanctions any sin specially financial sins likewise usury which is a war against him & his apostle  which has been initiated by Jews for disobedience commands of God which now current financial systems have been based on their financia sins which gods will perish & nullify it although it's transaction & apparent benefits of it for sinners . 

Those who exact usury will not stand but like one deranged by the Devil’s touch. That is because they say, ‘Trade is just like usury.’ While Allah has allowed trade and forbidden usury. 

https://tanzil.net/#trans/en.qarai/2:275

Allah brings usury to naught, but He makes charities flourish.

https://tanzil.net/#trans/en.qarai/2:276

Indeed those who have faith, do righteous deeds, maintain the prayer and give the zakat, they shall have their reward near their Lord, and they will have no fear, nor will they grieve. (277) O you who have faith! Be wary of Allah and abandon [all claims to] what remains of usury, should you be faithful. (278) And if you do not, then be informed of a war from Allah and His apostle. And if you repent, then you will have your principal, neither harming others, nor suffering harm. (279) 

https://tanzil.net/#trans/en.qarai/2:279

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On 11/4/2023 at 6:28 AM, AbdusSibtayn said:

This is a part of the same determinism versus free will controversy. But I'll say that the chances are even; people may decide to stick to their ancestral religion or think for themselves. After all individual and mass cases of conversion are to be found throughout history- the conversion of Greko-Roman and Germanic Europeans to Christianity, the conversion of East and South East Asians to Buddhism and then to Islam, and so on and so forth.

@AbdusSibtayn The counterpoint to this is the contact between medieval Europe and the Islamic world. According to this study, there is very little material evidence of European conversion on any scale during this timeframe, despite the long-running wars between Crusaders and Muslims. There is ample evidence of trade (and warfare), moreover, but little, if any, of conversion, which is all the more striking. Even if there were more conversions than indicated, there is little basis for supposing that they would reflect proper Islam, rather than a syncretistic and/or relatively “liberal” version, e.g., a newfangled version of Sufism.

Case in point: Christianity only succeeded on a large scale by acceding to the cultural influences of the peoples that Europeans came to directly or indirectly dominate. As more black Africans “converted,” they adapted Christianity more to suit their needs than they altered their customs and behaviours to suit Christianity. “Africanised” denominations and sects resemble native shamanism more than they do their ancestral European strains. Christianity as practised among African slaves in the Americas also came to resemble culturally the rituals and beliefs of traditional African systems rather than those of the European Church(-es).

An analogous trend can be noted among Muslims: as soon as Islam was transferred outside its Arab core, it increasingly bent to the needs of other ethnicities, rather than the ethnicities to the religion as was received. That is why Bosnian, Turkic, and Indonesian Islam looks so very different from that of the Arabian peninsula and its immediate environs, even in the pre-colonial (and hence pre-Wahhabi) era. Chechen and Minangkabau Islamic practices for centuries have born very little resemblance to the sharia of revivalist movements in the Middle East. In practice, ethnicity and lineage seem to determine religious forms more than vice versa.

Even the case of Christianity illustrates my point. The Romans and the Germanic tribes only “converted” to the religion of Jesus after it had been mutilated to suit the cultural practices of pagan Europe. The rituals and symbols were stripped of their Judaic/Israelite forms, if not content, and refashioned in the mould of Hellenistic culture, to not speak of Germanic tribalism. Soon the religion of Jesus simply became a disguised form of solar-cult worship, in which the tradition of Israel was subordinated to that of the Gentiles, rather than vice versa. And the resultant form of Christianity has been ossified for millennia.

On 11/4/2023 at 6:28 AM, AbdusSibtayn said:

Entire countries and continents have switched their religious identities throughout history. People are as prone to question their ancestors as to stick to their ways, it all depends on if they choose to do so. After all they do spend a lot of grey matter on good investment plans, good houses, good cars, good spouses, good schools and colleges for their children. Spending a bit of grey matter on a good hereafter won't hurt.

Regarding free will vs. determinism: what about the scientific consensus that between ~60–75%—and quite possibly up to 80%—of man’s intelligence quotient (IQ) is hereditable? (Furthermore, note that the studies found a link between specific genes, or a range of genes, and IQ, suggesting that epigenetic influence plays a comparatively minor role.) If true, this would hold implications for morality, for moral reasoning is correlated with the ability to reason abstractly. For example, individuals who cannot think abstractly tend to have less self-awareness and a higher time-preference, that is, less focus on the future and more on the immediate present. Such individuals are less able to defer gratification, are more selfish, and are more impulsive. If one is born with a deficient IQ, then one’s capacity for maximising one’s faculties would be diminished, and this would have correspondingly negative bearing on morality.

On 11/4/2023 at 6:28 AM, AbdusSibtayn said:

The Sayyids are honored because of their association with the Prophet (S), the same way that the other relics, monuments and places associated with him are; they are not the Shamanic/Brahman equivalent of Islam, and their bloodline doesn't confer any special privilege upon them (ie they are not exempt from any legal obligation, and they are not entitled to heaven because of their bloodline). They are honored because they are looked upon as ambassadors of their grandfather's religion, and an ambassador can either be a good ambassador or a bad ambassador.

I was alluding more to the notion among some “Muslim” racists that the original, primal man had the same DNA as the “purest” lineage of the Arabs (presumably including the Prophetic line), and that only individuals with this proper genetic heritage had the moral capacity to practice Islam “properly” and attain Paradise. According to these racists, while individuals of “pure” lineage are capable of sinning, this supposedly does not imply that “impure” lineages are capable of attaining Paradise, even by their own efforts. (Note that I myself do not subscribe to this line of thought, but am merely describing some individuals’ point of view, which I have heard about elsewhere.)

Regardless, my point still stands: why are humans “wired” to be a little ethnocentric, tribal, and racist? After all, such an attitude implies at least some hatred of the “Other,” which is deemed synonymous with “enemy” and “evil” on some level. A lot of people tend to lump in religion with race and ethnicity as well. For example, among Islamists the retort is often made, before any other, that critics of Islam are first and foremost “racist.” Islam is not a race, so why do some Muslims fixate on the racial aspect? If you’re going to be racist and equate proper religious practice with biological lineage, then why even bother with attempting to convert people?

The racists themselves are inconsistent and illogical. So why is their mentality is so common?

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The answer, and it is only my speculation, is that at the Realm of Thar we were free to ask to be created into this lower life (Dunya) or not and although some of us were told they would end up in hell, they insisted on tasting this life regardless. They chose temporary enjoyment instead permanent joy. (no pun intended for mut3a :)

@Ashvazdanghe How does the above bear on the question of free will? Is it possible that free will only existed prior to birth? In other words, did humans choose to believe or disbelieve prior to being born, so that upon arrival on Earth they are not free to choose that which they had already chosen? And then does the circumstance of birth (lineage) potentially indicate the choice that the individual made before being born? And if someone chose a particular option prior to being born, is he still free to change the outcome during his earthly life or not?

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7 hours ago, Northwest said:

In other words, did humans choose to believe or disbelieve prior to being born,

Hi , according to Islam all humans have promised to be believers .

7 hours ago, Northwest said:

so that upon arrival on Earth they are not free to choose that which they had already chosen?

After arrival on earth people are free to choose or deny what they have already chosen .

7 hours ago, Northwest said:

And then does the circumstance of birth (lineage) potentially indicate the choice that the individual made before being born?

definitely no which it's possible that  someone becomes a believer although of being born in an totally unbeliever family or  becomes unbeliever although of being born in a totally believer family.

7 hours ago, Northwest said:

And if someone chose a particular option prior to being born, is he still free to change the outcome during his earthly life or not?

Definitely yes which anyone can change outcome  in whole of earthly time life. 

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