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Haji 2003

Can rules for assessing Hadiths be applied to the NT?

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And that's one of the pressing questions because the NT doesn't profess in any direct sense, to be divine revelation or even scripture in the fundamental sense. The four 'gospels' claim to be records of Jesus life, Acts is further history, The letters (epistles) are exactly what they say they are: Letters, then there is the Apocalypse of St John which is a doctrinal and arguably eschatological book which claims to contain visions received by the anonymous author within the context of it's doctrinal subjects sent to various churches individually. 

The letters of Paul are ironically generally seen by secular scholarship as the earliest known written texts of the NT, this doesn't make them the most reliable however, it only means that we know that they were written by Paul, nothing more or less (however it's not the case for all of the letters attributed to him just a portion of them).

From at least a secular standpoint, they can only be measured upon the known historical, anthropological and geographical basis - judged according to that. There isn't anything else in the texts themselves however that cause them to give any reason to accept as reliable or trustworthy on the merit of them alone. They certainly were not written like Hadith were recorded and have no built-in falsifier to determine it's authenticity from cases of inauthenticity - seeing that there is no chain of narration. 

It's basically quite a hard deal there, lol 

If one were to apply Hadith methodology then de facto, the entire NT would be thrown out. 

Edited by al-Muttaqin

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1 hour ago, al-Muttaqin said:

And that's one of the pressing questions because the NT doesn't profess in any direct sense, to be divine revelation or even scripture in the fundamental sense. The four 'gospels' claim to be records of Jesus life,

Yes, that is what I had in mind. That, for example, the Gospels are records of Jesus ((عليه السلام).) life, but is there a record for example of who the Saints narrated these gospels to and how these were passed down?

A quick look at wikipedia for the gospel of Mark suggests that it's impossible to derive any chain of authorship and hence at least from an Islamic point of view any the ability to assess reliability.

Would it be fair to say that the Islamic approach has more in common with the current approach to scientific publishing with its emphasis on citations and referencing?

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3 hours ago, Haji 2003 said:

and if they can, what result do you get?

Maybe the question should be, can the rules of assessing the Old and New Testaments, be applied to the Hadith and Quran. As opposed to applying rules of Hadith to the Bible.

I don't know much about Shia Hadith, but one thing that sticks out about Sahih Al Bukhari, is that, as far as I can tell, it wasn't completed until some 200-250 years after the death of the prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم).

Which is literally about as long if not longer than the entire history of the US. It really is an incredible length of time, it is something like 10-15 generations. And people trust in oral transmission over time, though I'd wonder to what extent that can be trusted.

In contrast, books of the NT in large part are of the first century AD, dated within 1-2 generations of Jesus or otherwise written by contemporaries.

There is also a level of trust placed in the compiler of the Hadith. If information was gathered from animal hide, parchment, leaves, stone tablets, paper etc. There is a question of the medium in which the message was passed through on, after it was no longer oral, and also who the keepers of those mediums were. 

In today's time, if I have a work laptop, that laptop must be locked to prevent outside influence. So there are further questions of who those carriers of the messages were, and who was with them that may have had influence on them. If X person is alive 100-150 years after the Prophets death, and if he has a message written on a leaf or some animal hide or bone, is that individual protecting that message (the hide or bone) from the elements (rain and wind etc.) and from other people (influencers)? 

And on the compiler, when that person received those documents, on bone or leaves etc. What do we know about that individual? If he lived back in the year 800, over 1200 years ago, to be fair, we really don't know much of anything about that individual, except for what we might read. And so we ponder the nature of writings about that individual, and even how that individuals reputation was recorded and how he was viewed through the annals of time. Was the message about that individual properly maintained until today?

And of course as others might have mentioned before, the idea that a compiler might destroy records (variant or not), is concerning because it erases history. It's easier to understand Christian scripture and Christian history when you have apocryphal documentation. But imagine if all books of the NT were burned except for those that identically matched. It could completely transform how the Bible were understood by people hundreds or thousands of years later. It draws into question the willingness of historic Islamic scholars to destroy or to disregard information that they perhaps "feel" runs contrary to their individual "vision". If wahabi today would go as far as to even kill a Shia human being, we can only imagine what scholars of such a line might do to the textual message of those who disagree with them. And this question would remain the same when pondering about Bukhari or whomever compiled these Hadith or even the Quran, over the course of hundreds of years or even thousands of years with respect to information about the compilers themselves.

Another thing I think of, are of course how the NT has been investigated for authorship. Where we have things like the two source hypothesis, in which patterns of writing styles are noted in the NT, to determine authorship (for example source Q). And I wonder about the sincerity of such studies, if conducted on the independent chapters of the Quran or even Hadith too. I'm not aware of such studies on the Quran or Hadith.

And lastly, as a scientist, much of the heat that falls on the Biblr of course comes from the scientific community, both atheists and Christians alike. There are many organizations like Biologos or even the intelligent design movement, and of course regular scientists as well, that seek to unravel the Bible, scientifically. But I'm not sure I've ever really heard of similar natured studies on the Quran or Hadith. Maybe such organizations and studies are out there, but I've never heard any such discussions here. I would wonder what Hadith or chapters of the Quran might be open to scientific investigation. If there are thousands of Hadith, I would imagine some could be. But of course I wouldn't really know as someone outside of Islam.

 

From the stance of a purely secular scientist, I would say that both the Quran and Bible (among other books of major orthodox religions), fail, in meeting the literary truth "sniff test". But as someone mentioned above, nobody cares if the Bible fails at depicting perfect truth because everyone agrees that such works were written by regular people. And it is easy for Christians to accept this because we know that the authors were flawed people.

But for Islam, it is a different ball game, where the Quran is held to a much higher standard (God's perfect word), but the evidence for the Quran is not held at an equally high standard. In the sense that the extraordinary claim, appears to have ordinary evidence. From a purely secular perspective. Which I guess is why there is the challenge to "produce a chapter like it" with respect to chapters of the Quran, which is a challenge that comes with its own questions that I, as a non Arabic speaker, of course couldn't really investigate.

There's the two cents.

Edited by iCenozoic

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Surah 5:43 “But how is it that they come to you for judgement while they have the Torah, in which is the judgement of Allah ? Then they turn away, [even] after that; but those are not [in fact] believers.” 

Laws of the Torah is protected 

Deuteronomy 13:1 “Everything I command you that you shall be careful to do it. You shall neither add to it, nor subtract from it.”

Exodus 20:2-5 “I am the Lord, your God, who took you out of the land of Egypt, out of the houses of bondage. You shall have no other gods upon My Face. 

You shall not make for yourselves a graven image or any LIKENESS which is in the heavens above, which is on the earth below, or which is in the water beneath the earth.” 

“You shall have no other gods upon My Face” is an expression meaning you shall not associate partners with God. 

 

Deuteronomy 4:15-19 “And you shall watch yourselves very well, for you did not see any form on the day that the LORD spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire. 

Lest you become corrupt and make for yourselves a graven image, the representation of any form, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the heavens, 

the likeness of anything that crawls on the ground, likeness of any fish that is in the waters, beneath the earth. 

And lest you lift up your eyes to heaven, and see the sun, and the moon, and the stars, all the host of heavens, which the LORD your God assigned to all peoples under the entire heaven, and be drawn away to prostrate yourselves before them and worship them.”

“There is no one like The Lord our God” -Exodus 8:10

“The Lord He is God; there is none other besides Him” Deuteronomy 4:35

“The Lord He is God; in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other”-Deuteronomy 4:39 

“See now that I, I am He, And there is no God besides me” Deuteronomy 32:39

Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear O’Israel The Lord our God, The Lord is one”

 

Surah 5:46 “And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming that which came before him IN THE Torah; and We gave him the Gospel, in which was guidance and light and confirming that which preceded it OF THE Torah as guidance and instruction for the righteous.” 

We can see that jesus came to confirm the truth contained within the Torah.

Mathew 5:17-18  “17Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”

Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie, not a Son of Man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

Malachi 3:6 “For I the Lord do not change.”

Isaiah 44:24 “Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, "I, the LORD, am the maker of all things, Stretching out the heavens by Myself And spreading out the earth all alone”

2 Chronicles 6:18 But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!

2 Chronicles 2:6 But who is able to build a temple for Him, since the heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain Him? Who then am I to build a temple for Him, except as a place to burn sacrifices before Him?

1 Chronicles 17:20 “O Lord, there is none like You, and there is no god beside You according to all that we have heard with our ears.”

Before there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me” -Isaiah 43:10

“I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me” - Isaiah 44:6

“ I am the Lord, and there is no other; Beside Me there is no God” Isaiah 45:5 

“Surely God is with you and there is none else, No other God.” Isaiah 45:14

“Is it not I, The Lord? And there is No other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior,There is none except Me” Isaiah 45:21

“I am God, and there’s no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me” Isaiah 46:9 

Isaiah 40:25 “To whom will you compare Me? Or is my equal? Says the Holy One.”

Isaiah 40:18 “To whom will you liken God? To what image will you compare Him?”

Isaiah 46:5 “With whom will you compare Me or count Me equal ? To whom will you compare Me so we are alike?” Says the Lord”

Isaiah 45:6 “In order that they know from the shining of the sun and from the west that there is no one besides Me; I am Lord and there is no other.”

 

your measuring rod is the Law and the prophets and the truth contained within the gospels exposes all the corrupted parts in the Tanakh. 

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1 hour ago, Haji 2003 said:

Yes, that is what I had in mind. That, for example, the Gospels are records of Jesus ((عليه السلام).) life, but is there a record for example of who the Saints narrated these gospels to and how these were passed down?

A quick look at wikipedia for the gospel of Mark suggests that it's impossible to derive any chain of authorship and hence at least from an Islamic point of view any the ability to assess reliability.

Would it be fair to say that the Islamic approach has more in common with the current approach to scientific publishing with its emphasis on citations and referencing?

And sorry to jump in here, but it's also worth noting that, if Jesus died, hypothetically, in 30 AD, and if the book of Mark was completed by 70 AD (the book of mark itself also being copied from prior works), then we wouldn't have much of a temporal chain of references. At least not a chain that would pass much time. According to Wiki, some parts of the book of Mark, with respect to the death and resurrection of Jesus, date to 40AD. Which of course would be perhaps just 10 years after the death of Jesus.

Which leaves us with anonymous authors that were potentially eye witnesses or otherwise immediate contemporaries of Jesus. More than likely though, we could be working with second hand accounts, perhaps siblings or followers of the disciples of Jesus. Here is a passage from Luke:

Luke 1-2 New International Version (NIV)

Introduction

Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled[a] among us,  just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.  With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,  so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

Otherwise I'd agree that Hadith Isnad is more like the scientific method in referencing. Though usually in science, references are made first hand because we have the internet to do so. As opposed to a reference of a reference of a reference etc.

I think that expanse of time though, would be of consequence, if a Hadith had to survive hundreds of years of potential external influence. And It is said that Bukhari destroyed something like hundreds of thousands of false Hadith in the process of figuring out what was credible and what was not. It is really an incredible task to lay on one individual. Imagine going to work and your boss gives you perhaps 500 thousand documents and asks you to go through all of them in perhaps just 15-20 years and to not make any mistakes on judging credibility.

I remember one time at work, I had to simply scan over 10,000 pages of paper (I was simply digitizing files). I had my automated scanner that could scan 2-3 pages per second, and it took me and two-three others, at least 3 months to scan and file and re-organize just 10,000 pages. I would take a document of maybe 50 pages, remove the binding, scan all the pages in less than a minute and stick the binding back on and go to the next, for hours upon hours, 5 days a week. And it took me and others doing the same, literally months.

Imagine having to sit and read 100 thousand or 2 or 3 or 5 or 6 hundred thousand. It really is an incredible task. Especially without computer technology. And to pull this off without error? 

If these numbers were true (600,000 Hadith in 16 years), it would have been an impossible task for a human being to do. Bukhari would need, most likely a large team, perhaps of dozens of scholars. Working simultaneously, without any breaks. Perhaps even more than dozens, maybe even hundreds of scholars.

Edited by iCenozoic

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2 hours ago, iCenozoic said:

Which is literally about as long if not longer than the entire history of the US. It really is an incredible length of time, it is something like 10-15 generations. And people trust in oral transmission over time, though I'd wonder to what extent that can be trusted.

In contrast, books of the NT in large part are of the first century AD, dated within 1-2 generations of Jesus or otherwise written by contemporaries.

There is also a level of trust placed in the compiler of the Hadith. If information was gathered from animal hide, parchment, leaves, stone tablets, paper etc. There is a question of the medium in which the message was passed through on, after it was no longer oral, and also who the keepers of those mediums were. 

These are reasonable points.

  1. I think that from a scientific point of view having two sects has really helped. This is because you have always had two groups of people who are always willing to critically assess each others' material, and even if they are not able to keep the other one honest all the time, at least draw attention to the weaknesses in each others scholarship/arguments. What this also means is that where there is agreement (e.g. in terms of the source and content of Hadiths) it has been through a very robust process of evaluation indeed. Christianity seems to have lacked that 'sense check'.
  2. Bear in mind also that as far as the Shia faith is concerned the existence of the Imams ((عليه السلام).) has provided a continuity and consistency of narrative spanning many decades after the revelation of the Qur'an. Moreover, the fact that each Imam ((عليه السلام).) himself had a contemporary and antagonistic Sunni caliph also served to provide a critical audience against which personal credibility, consistency of message and verification of ideology could be undertaken.

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1 hour ago, iCenozoic said:

the book of mark itself also being copied from prior works),

That copy was copy of a portion of Paul’s corrupted gospel which is lost today. There were two gospels in Paul’s time, his one had the upper and due to his terrorist attacks on the original followers of Christ and deceiving ignorant Gentiless. Paul’s epistle predate  the 4 gospels. You can show as much arrogance as you want but 1 Corinthians 8:6 shows clear as daylight Paul believes only the Father to be God not a triune God, and In Romans 15:6 , Ephesians 1:3 Paul believes Jesus has a God. And he was definitely a dualist Philippians 2:5 

“6Who, being in very nature a God,

did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage” 

Paul distinguishes Jesus whom he believes to be divine(God) from God Almighty as we can clearly see but Paul believes Jesus took on a form of a human so he is longer equal to God Almighty. 

and Luke is not a disciple of Christ he is a disciple of Paul. The gospel according to Luke is attributed to Luke the  actual author is anonymous he just attributed it to Luke obviously for political and theological reasons. 

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9 minutes ago, Haji 2003 said:

These are reasonable points.

  1. I think that from a scientific point of view having two sects has really helped. This is because you have always had two groups of people who are always willing to critically assess each others' material, and even if they are not able to keep the other one honest all the time, at least draw attention to the weaknesses in each others scholarship/arguments. What this also means is that where there is agreement (e.g. in terms of the source and content of Hadiths) it has been through a very robust process of evaluation indeed. Christianity seems to have lacked that 'sense check'.
  2. Bear in mind also that as far as the Shia faith is concerned the existence of the Imams ((عليه السلام).) has provided a continuity and consistency of narrative spanning many decades after the revelation of the Qur'an. Moreover, the fact that each Imam ((عليه السلام).) himself had a contemporary and antagonistic Sunni caliph also served to provide a critical audience against which personal credibility, consistency of message and verification of ideology could be undertaken.

I think that, in the west, having a large body of non-Christian critique has helped open Christianity up, in ways that it would never see without that external position. And I think that the Islamic world would benefit as well. Though I don't get the impression that the Islamic world has really stepped into such a realm of recent times.

For example, we have a large body of non Christians with a large assortment of ideas and approaches to Christianity that are very vocal and well known in the US and Europe. But it's harder to say the same, of course with countries like Iran or KSA where dissent is largely silent (or perhaps silenced). And some could say there is silence because of a robustness of Islam. But I don't get the impression that that is the full story, given things like stigmas of death sentences for apostates (whether carried out or not) and more.

A cross check is only as good as the sincerity of the disagreeing party. And in large part, I get the sense that Sunnis and Shia rest upon similar foundations in their faith, despite the lesser significant differences that they have 

And I think that on paper, your response sounds good, but I don't know enough about Islams methodology to gauge it's rationality. Aside from some of the above noted concerns. There are some things that only Muslims can truly investigate, or people of the middle east region. And until that freedom is observed, I think there are parts of this story that will not be uncovered. And what is deemed "robust" by Shia and Sunni parties, for all I know, could be not robust at all, to an outside party. 

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12 minutes ago, iCenozoic said:

I think that, in the west, having a large body of non-Christian critique has helped open Christianity up, in ways that it would never see without that external position. And I think that the Islamic world would benefit as well. Though I don't get the impression that the Islamic world has really stepped into such a realm of recent times.

I've got a photo of a family trip to Bahira's monastery somewhere. Islamic tradition has it that this Christian monk warned the Prophet ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم).) about the danger presented to him by local Jewish leaders.

The point is that Islam came into a society where Judaism and Christianity were well established. In my assessment, the language of the Qur'an takes it for granted that amongst the contemporary audience would have been Jews, Christians and certainly people familiar with the Old Testament. The Qur'an therefore embeds itself within the Judeo-Christian tradition and its 'voice' certainly suggests a contemporaneous dialogue with both groups.

So as well as a Sunni/Shia debate that was to come later, Islam had to face initial scrutiny from pagans and Jews and Christians. No doubt the latter two groups would have been more than willing to help the pagans challenge the claims of the new religion and theologically would have been ideally placed to do so.

Since the new religion would have been very much a minority and unable to gain adherents via force of arms, does suggest that it was able to rise to any doctrinal challenge presented by the existing Abrahamic hierarchy.

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6 hours ago, al-Muttaqin said:

Letters, then there is the Apocalypse of St John which is a doctrinal and arguably eschatological book which claims to contain visions received by the anonymous author within the context of it's doctrinal subjects sent to various churches individually. 

You know the Ayat where it is revealed that most people see religion as entertainment? Ayat 6:70.

So Judeo-Chr!stianity has a tradition of religious stores: Ester, Daniel, Ruth and of course Revelation (writ by Clement of Alexandria ~196CC and described by Martin Luther -in short- as irrational and confused)

The reason it is incorporated into their bible is because when the decision was made to unify Mediterranean churches in the fourth century, Alexandria refused to join if this 'apocalypse' was not included.

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4 hours ago, Haji 2003 said:

Yes, that is what I had in mind. That, for example, the Gospels are records of Jesus ((عليه السلام).) life, but is there a record for example of who the Saints narrated these gospels to and how these were passed down?

Yes, the records exist. You are familiar with hadith science, so it is easy to understand why in the 4th Century 'the church' had such a difficult time deciding what was and what-was-not accurate. For example, they had ten versions of Matthew.

So basically, they settled on two things: which events were too famous in Jesus' own time to be unllikely fabrications; and using the crucifixtion story to seperate themselves from the heretics.

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1 hour ago, Haji 2003 said:

I've got a photo of a family trip to Bahira's monastery somewhere. Islamic tradition has it that this Christian monk warned the Prophet ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم).) about the danger presented to him by local Jewish leaders.

The point is that Islam came into a society where Judaism and Christianity were well established. In my assessment, the language of the Qur'an takes it for granted that amongst the contemporary audience would have been Jews, Christians and certainly people familiar with the Old Testament. The Qur'an therefore embeds itself within the Judeo-Christian tradition and its 'voice' certainly suggests a contemporaneous dialogue with both groups.

So as well as a Sunni/Shia debate that was to come later, Islam had to face initial scrutiny from pagans and Jews and Christians. No doubt the latter two groups would have been more than willing to help the pagans challenge the claims of the new religion and theologically would have been ideally placed to do so.

Since the new religion would have been very much a minority and unable to gain adherents via force of arms, does suggest that it was able to rise to any doctrinal challenge presented by the existing Abrahamic hierarchy.

Sure. Well that's why I threw the word "recent" into my statement. The world has changed since 2,000 years ago. The critique that is offered now, is largely different than that of thousands of years ago.

I'm basically just saying that, times have changed. Christianity in modern times has been experiencing something that Islam, doesn't appear to be, as far as external critique is involved. Islam is largely isolated in today's time from the aggressive critiques offered through what are current generally western ideas. We can't exactly go to Saudi Arabia to watch a seminar on "the four horsemen" (hitchens and all them) at a public venue. Regardless of what we think of the atheist movement, it is accurate to say that the middle east in particular, is kind of like a closed door. And unfortunately even further, a lot of people who might offer critique of Islam, or of the Quran in particular, of course cannot even read Arabic. 

So there are features, political, cultural, linguistic etc. That act as barriers to exposure of Islam to modern critique. 

And I think that this information, if accessible, would transform Islam as we know it. Or would at least provide us with a bit more of an earnest investigation into topics that are otherwise locked away.

Maybe I can give an example.

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On 6/18/2020 at 1:06 PM, iCenozoic said:

Maybe I can give an example.

Here's an example:

I imagine some here may already know the host in the series. But, it's interesting to note that, most westerners who aren't born into Islam, really don't know much of anything about the religion.

Their critique is more or less, non existent. 

But rather, what is observed, though still a very rare scenario, is when we have basically ex Muslims who are more familiar with the Quran or associated literature that can actually offer a more critical perspective. But even these people, are those that have, for whatever reason, relocated to Europe or the US. 

Just because of this topic, I decided to look this up as an example. 

But, what I'm trying to say is, this form of communication or investigation, is really just largely absent in modern times. I have an example in another topic of Salman Rushdie drawing his picture, and how a religious leaders of a nation called for his death. 

This culture, puts an extreme damper on considerations of critique, particularly in the middle east. Nobody wants to poke the elephant in the room, so everyone just leaves it be.

And with that absence of open dialogue, Islam will forever continue to have an appearance of complete perfection. 

And it looks like there are a lot of videos in the above series, it wouldn't surprise me if there were fair considerations in the series, or ideas shared.

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And one last note, we mentioned science a couple times now. Of course our understanding of science has come a long way as well. Topics relating to mountains acting as pegs, the Quran on embryology, the moon splitting and as noted above with talking ants, and topics like this...when it comes to pondering perfection of the Quran, times have changed. Ideas have changed. Arguments suggesting extraordinary evidence for the extraordinary claims, have changed. 

And these are things that we see a little bit of exploration of in the west, but it's still very much in an infancy.

So I think the question is not of if rules of assessing Hadith can be applied to the NT, but rather, can modern rules of assessing the NT be applied to Hadith, or Quran etc.

The NT has been transformed in it's assessment. But the discussion on Islam, is absent. 

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On 6/18/2020 at 11:58 AM, hasanhh said:

Yes, the records exist. You are familiar with hadith science, so it is easy to understand why in the 4th Century 'the church' had such a difficult time deciding what was and what-was-not accurate. For example, they had ten versions of Matthew.

So basically, they settled on two things: which events were too famous in Jesus' own time to be unllikely fabrications; and using the crucifixtion story to seperate themselves from the heretics.

I was reading earlier, more on Bukhari, just out of curiosity.

And I came across this link:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muwatta_Imam_Malik

The Muwaṭṭaʾ (Arabic: الموطأ‎, "well-trodden path") or Muwatta Imam Malik (Arabic: موطأ الإمام مالك‎) of Imam Malik (711-795) written in the 8th-century, is the earliest collection of hadith texts comprising the subjects of Islamic law, compiled by the Imam, Malik ibn Anas.[1] 

Over one thousand disciples of Malik have transmitted this work from him. This has resulted in differences in the text in various instances. There are thirty known versions of the work of which the most famous is the one transmitted by Yahya al-Laithi.

 

This is with regards to one of what appear to be a large number of sources (I don't know how many total sources), in which Bukhari used for the complation of his Hadith. And beyond this literature being written perhaps 100 years later than the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)...

If Bukhari truly did go through 600,000 passages, if his sources themselves were from other compilations and adjustments of hundreds of thousands of narrations further, that were then even further transmitted in different ways by hundreds or thousands of individuals...

And maybe I'm reading this wrong, but this suggests an extremely large body of people who have influence over what Hadith ultimately made their way to what we now have in Al Bukhari. So many individuals that, we could only begin to wonder how many versions of these Hadith, once existed.

Edited by Hameedeh
Removed large empty space.

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57 minutes ago, iCenozoic said:

The world has changed since 2,000 years ago. The critique that is offered now, is largely different than that of thousands of years ago.

But the Christians and Jews did not upsticks and leave 2,000 years ago, they've been part of the fabric of Muslim countries from the very beginning and it was only after the end of western rule over parts of the Middle East and the establishment of Israel that any exodus of Christians and Jews happened.

So Muslims have always had exposure to 'the other'.

And Baghdad has been sacked by the kafir Ilkhanate Mongol hordes (and other Muslim cities likewise), so we've also had exposure to people such as Hitchens.

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44 minutes ago, Haji 2003 said:

But the Christians and Jews did not upsticks and leave 2,000 years ago, they've been part of the fabric of Muslim countries from the very beginning and it was only after the end of western rule over parts of the Middle East and the establishment of Israel that any exodus of Christians and Jews happened.

So Muslims have always had exposure to 'the other'.

And Baghdad has been sacked by the kafir Ilkhanate Mongol hordes (and other Muslim cities likewise), so we've also had exposure to people such as Hitchens.

I don't know if I would compare mongol hordes to modern fields of secular thought, with respect to intellectual critique of ideas. 

Would the Mongols have had philosophers who perhaps debated against Islam? Sure. But the time being some 6 or maybe up to 800 years ago, would lead me to believe that a lot of critique back then probably lacked a drive of...I guess the enlightenment might be worth considering. Or ideas of the enlightenment. And we also have the internet now that allows open communication and a more visible exposure of ideas to people. Assuming internet isn't censored. Times for religious critique now are unlike anything of the deep past.

And it's true that other religions didn't simply just disappear from middle eastern countries. We could look at Iran or Saudi Arabia right now and perhaps we could find pockets of non Muslims. But I think the statement still stands that their voices, and the critique that largely has revamped Christianity, I just don't see it present in middle eastern countries. Certainly not at the magnitude that it is seen in the west at least.

Edited by iCenozoic

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Check this out:

"However, as irreligion and other religions are not recognized by the Iranian government, the true representation of the religious split in Iran is unknown."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Iran

Public worship by adherents of religions other than Islam is forbidden.[2][3] Any non-Muslim attempting to acquire Saudi Arabian nationality must convert to Islam.[4]

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Saudi_Arabia

This ^ is the kind of stuff I think people need to get past before we get to a point where Islam can really be opened up for examination. 

We can, from a lay person position, toss around ideas. But what we have is a...a major obstacle for analysis.

Well, we all know what it is. I think I'd just be repeating myself so I'll let it go.

Maybe I should be asking the question of why these nation's are so aggressively locked down? 

Edited by Hameedeh
Removed large empty space. Do not push the enter key or spacebar before saving your post.

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On 6/19/2020 at 12:40 AM, Haji 2003 said:

Yes, that is what I had in mind. That, for example, the Gospels are records of Jesus ((عليه السلام).) life, but is there a record for example of who the Saints narrated these gospels to and how these were passed down?

A quick look at wikipedia for the gospel of Mark suggests that it's impossible to derive any chain of authorship and hence at least from an Islamic point of view any the ability to assess reliability.

Would it be fair to say that the Islamic approach has more in common with the current approach to scientific publishing with its emphasis on citations and referencing?

As far as Catholicism is concerned (seeing as that Protestantism literally rejects any epistemology :hahaha:), Catholics (like their Orthodox peers) justify this by a further doctrine known as Apostolic Succession, which is basically a very very loose equivalent to either Caliphate or Imammate. It's only really claimed though rather than having any solid historical or textual proof of the extent of such claims (as it's more of a 3rd century thing, than a 1st century). 

Regardless, it still does not answer the unanswerable problems over anonymous authorship, because Apostolic Succession obviously still doesn't answer this, all it does is simply appeal to authority on what is seen to be 'canonical'.

As far as what you ask about the Islamic approach. Yes definitely to a certain extent. Citations and referencing is very obviously a key component of Hadith verification methodology, as well as the way which the procedure of recording these voluminous Hadith were undertaken. 

As a phenomenon, the methodology applied from the very earliest (and lost collections) up to the more well known (whether it be Bukhari on the Sunni side or collections like al-Kafi on our Shia side) is quite unprecedented as far as religion goes. No other has gone through such an arduous process of providing a system of falsifiability (remember scientific theories for instance, have to be falsifiable or else they cannot be even tested, to avoid circular logic etc).

Edited by al-Muttaqin

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On 6/18/2020 at 6:50 PM, Muhammed Ali said:

You picked out a line from Wikipedia about Iran without verifying what it says?

I think that this response...it sounds like you're trying to suggest that Iran doesn't suppress apostates or the voices of non-believers. And yet, you aren't really saying it, but rather you're poking at Wikipedia as kind of a side comment.

There is another discussion on death to apostates in another thread here on SC, and I mentioned before the understanding that Salman Rushdie had the leader of a country call for his death after drawing a picture. 

I remember protests, really nasty and aggressive protests across various middle eastern nation's when there was news of someone burning a Quran.

If we are really being honest about the discussion, there is a...threat of violence, against opponents of Islam, be those opponents peaceful or not. 

And it is this threat of violence and this collective culture of shaming and even ridiculing (in some cultures likely disownership of children, let's be honest), that really takes away from internal critique of Islam. 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Afghanistan_Quran_burning_protests

http://iranpresswatch.org/post/16521/apostasy-in-the-islamic-republic-of-iran/

https://egyptindependent.com/pope-and-muslim-brothers-angry-bishops-remarks-quran/ (even Christians can't even speak).

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yusuf_al-Qaradawi (one of the "sheikh's of death" with millions of followers).

And I know that people have varying feelings about the topic. Here is another topic on DC that discusses punishment of apostates:

But notice how instead of just saying that apostasy shouldnt be punishable by death, the speaker goes on to consider justification by comparing apostates to people walking around with active flame throwers. He goes on to talk about how some apostates may bring people to hellfire so that makes it arguably ok to kill them now.

It's honestly kind of rediculous. 

And I know thatany Muslims wouldn't agree with these ideas, but the point is just that these ideas are apparent and very visible throughout countries of the middle east. And I think, or rather I know, that this is an obstacle for "free thought", it's an obstacle for sincere investigation of the faith.

And this goes back to the topic or credibility of Hadith as well. This obstacle permeates every aspect of investigation.

Edited by iCenozoic

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On 6/18/2020 at 2:55 PM, iCenozoic said:

"However, as irreligion and other religions are not recognized by the Iranian government, the true representation of the religious split in Iran is unknown."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Iran

Seems incompatible with:

Quote

The fall of the Soviet Union, the common border with Armenia, and the Armeno-Iranian diplomatic and economic agreements have opened a new era for the Iranian Armenians. Iran remains one of Armenia's major trade partners, and the Iranian government has helped ease the hardships of Armenia caused by the blockade imposed by Azerbaijan and Turkey. This includes important consumer products, access to air travel, and energy sources (like petroleum and electricity). The remaining Armenian minority in the Islamic Republic of Iran is still the largest Christian community in the country, far ahead of Assyrians.[36]

The Armenians remain the most powerful religious minority in Iran. They are appointed two out of the five seats in the Iranian Parliament reserved for religious minorities (more than any other religious minority) and are the only minority with official observing status in the Guardian and Expediency Discernment Councils. Half of Iran's Armenians live in the Tehran area, most notably in its suburbs of Narmak, Majidiyeh, Nadershah, etc. A quarter live in Isfahan, and the other quarter is concentrated in Northwestern Iran or Iranian Azerbaijan.[37][38][38][39][40]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iranian_Armenians

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3 hours ago, Haji 2003 said:

Seems compatible to me.

https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/bahai-minority-says-iran-is-trying-to-crush-the-religion/

What do you think of my last post? Do you think atheists have a free voice in Iran?

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https://www.reuters.com/article/us-religion-atheists/atheists-face-death-in-13-countries-global-discrimination-study-idUSBRE9B900G20131210

http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/ir0108a.pdf

http://www.iranhrdc.org/english/publications/reports/1000000512-apostasy-in-the-islamic-republic-of-iran.html

Numerous writers, thinkers and philanthropists have been accused of apostasy and sentenced to death for questioning the prevailing interpretation of Islam in Iran.

https://web.archive.org/web/20150623005634/http://www.iranhrdc.org/english/news/inside-iran/1000000588-iranian-writer-sentenced-to-death-for-apostasy.html

https://web.archive.org/web/20150924040109/http://www.iranhrdc.org/english/human-rights-documents/aadel-collection/11756-human-rights-questions-human-rights-situations-and-reports-of-special-rapporteurs-and-representatives-situation-of-human-rights-in-the-islamic-republic-of-iran.html

http://www.iranhrdc.org/english/publications/witness-testimony/1000000543-witness-statement-of-hasan-yousefi-eshkevari.html

https://fot.humanists.international/countries/asia-southern-asia/iran/

https://www.loc.gov/law/help/apostasy/index.php#:~:text=Although Iran's current Penal Code,opinions issued by religious leaders.

Although Iran’s current Penal Code does not criminalize it, courts have prosecuted individuals for apostasy based on their understanding of Sharia’a and legal opinions issued by religious leaders. 

http://iranpresswatch.org/post/16521/apostasy-in-the-islamic-republic-of-iran/

The IRI has prosecuted a wide range of individuals on charges of apostasy and swearing at the Prophet. Muslims who hold different views from the conservative establishment, Christian converts and Bahá’ís have been targeted by the Iranian government. In addition, the IRI has used the charge of apostasy against its political opposition. Ayatollah Khomeini’s declaration that the members of the National Front were apostates and his fatwa authorizing the 1988 prison massacre are clear examples of this approach.

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We have plenty of reading material to work with from a large assortment of sources.

And I understand that no nation is perfect and I understand that Iran certainly continues to work toward religious equality.  Every nation is constantly fighting for freedom, no matter what country.

But back to the main point. Until people can be honest about...the taboo, legal and cultural, that comes with investigating Islam (across the entire middle east, including in Iran), then Islam will remain in somewhat of an isolated shell, and will remain more or less in a perceived state of perfection with little to no information of any contrary position.

Until there is religious freedom, Islam won't be touched. Because the west, of course doesn't really know anything about Islam and generally isn't filled with scholars who speak Arabic and therefore rarely even know what the Quran says. The only people who can truly investigate Islam of course are people who know and who care about the faith. But there are a world of obstacles that come with that position, probably many challenges beyond anything I could even begin to understand as someone of a different culture and faith than many of the middle east.

In the west, it is easy (relatively speaking) for a Christian to pickup a Bible and to look at something like...let's say the apostle Thomas sticking his fingers in the wounds of the resurrected Jesus and to say "well, the story is not necessarily a literal truth but rather was written with a purpose of swaying people to trust in God". But in Islam, the comfort to...even critique the most basic things, it's just not there. It's like an all or nothing kind of faith. And the "All" is a whole world of debated and yet perfect jurisprudence. Even just subtle critiques of ayatollahs are just not there.

And we see it on these forums all the time. There is a...mentality of perfection and a surprising aggression against those of dissenting points of view. It's as clear as day.

Edited by iCenozoic

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Alright last post for now. I just wanted to draw a comparison:

 

In one hand, there is this very rapid and aggressive response to UnderCover brother. People just dove on this guy like a pack of wolves (in many cases in unjustified ways). And the thread was locked and has otherwise faded in the annals of shiachat. 

But in the latter, you have this guy throwing out a very subtle justification for death to apostates, and he's getting praise. 

And we see topics like this, regularly here on SC. Where did it all go wrong?

And this is something that everyone shouldnt just be like "oh well that's just the way it's always been, it will never change and it's ok". People who are educated in Islam have to collectively be willing to speak freely. The faith has to be pliable. It has to be able to open up and flex and to reform. This sinful "R" word, reform.

And dissenter can't just be crushed (even if their ideas are on just a rare occasion, justified), else the conversation never occurs. And that justification disappears. 

And to turn back around to the original topic on Hadith in comparison with the Bible or the Quran to the Bible. We aren't even at a position in history, where such a comparison of critique can even earnestly be made. 

Edited by iCenozoic

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17 hours ago, iCenozoic said:

Seems compatible to me.

https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/bahai-minority-says-iran-is-trying-to-crush-the-religion/

What do you think of my last post? Do you think atheists have a free voice in Iran?

Islam explicitly makes provision for a modus vivendi with Christians and Jews.

There was, and I guess still is, the opinion that Ba'haism was a foreign creation to subvert the Iranian state.

My view on the matter is to observe how much of a coincidence it was that Ba'haism, the revival of Nizari Ismailism, the Ahmedi sect and Wahabism all seemed to arise in geographic proximity of the British Army of the colonial Raj.

You may find the following blog entry I made useful (I tried to go a bit beyond wikipedia):

beyond

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5 hours ago, Haji 2003 said:

Islam explicitly makes provision for a modus vivendi with Christians and Jews.

There was, and I guess still is, the opinion that Ba'haism was a foreign creation to subvert the Iranian state.

My view on the matter is to observe how much of a coincidence it was that Ba'haism, the revival of Nizari Ismailism, the Ahmedi sect and Wahabism all seemed to arise in geographic proximity of the British Army of the colonial Raj.

You may find the following blog entry I made useful (I tried to go a bit beyond wikipedia):

beyond

I noticed atheism and agnosticism were left out of the above.

I think it's fine to examine origins of religious beliefs in modern times. But I wouldn't say that the above provides justification for silencing various faiths (or non-faiths), much less with a threat of death.

And the above blog post I think reinforces my idea that...some topics, people here on SC just aren't interested in critiquing. And I think this is like a microcosm of what is going on at a much larger scale across various countries of the middle east.

I mentioned above how a guy was praised in a YouTube video justifying the death penalty for apostates. Right here on shiachat. We don't even have to go to a wahabi website to find it.

Meanwhile the guy who suggests anything even remotely related to leaving Islam, is bombarded and the topic is locked almost immediately.

Now I'm seeing potential explanations for why, perhaps it ought to be ok to treat non Muslims as at times less-than Muslims. 

I just think the above is an issue. The treatment of other religions is an issue, as is the lack of vocal opposition to it. And why people aren't more critical of these ideas,  I'm not sure I fully understand as a non-muslim. It's just not being addressed. Few actually seem interested in even tackling it. As if everyone...perhaps supports these above concepts. Which I think is sad.

 

Edited by iCenozoic

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31 minutes ago, iCenozoic said:

Meanwhile the guy who suggests anything even remotely related to leaving Islam, is bombarded and the topic is locked almost immediately.

 

My understanding of the Islamic position about various issues is that they are clear and fair. Jews and Christians have rights and obligations. Apostates and atheists don't. But they can live without any problems provided they don't enter the social space and public discourse.

How is the latter any different to polygamists in a western society? They can believe in polygamy, they can even practice it surreptitiously, but they can't go around publicising their views.

As far as this website is concerned our way of dealing with this in a fair way is to limit the ability of people to proselytise atheism in Islamic threads for example, but there is a specific forum dedicated to atheism.

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How absurd it is to think that any religious peoples could live happy lives without entering public spheres and while trying to hide their faith or lack thereof.

And pointing at the western world has never been and will never be a good excuse for backing death penalty for apostates.

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, iCenozoic said:

How absurd it is to think that any religious peoples could live happy lives without entering public spheres and while trying to hide their faith or lack thereof.

I didn't say that!

It's the atheists who can't!!

 

4 minutes ago, iCenozoic said:

And pointing at the western world has never been and will never be a good excuse for backing death penalty for apostates.

There is no death penalty for apostates, though there may be for people who go 'woo look at me aren't I a big boy I am an apostate'.

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2 minutes ago, Haji 2003 said:

I didn't say that!

It's the atheists who can't!!

 

There is no death penalty for apostates, though there may be for people who go 'woo look at me aren't I a big boy I am an apostate'.

That's what "lack-thereof" means.

And this really isn't even a response, it's more like an omission that non believers or dissenters from Islam basically cannot live happily in Iran. Or at the very least, they basically have to hide their beliefs or risk literally being killed.

And the second paragraph there is merely an excuse.

I gave an example in another thread that you should checkout. Actually, I'll copy and paste it. And I highly recommend reading the discussion:

 

Imagine if you and I were sitting at a restaurant.

A public area with others.

And you yelled to the top of your lungs "I am Muslim and I am proud to be Muslim and Islam is the greatest religion!".

I would probably smile, and I would say, "ya know what ayuoobi, good for you man, now let's have some pancakes". 

And if people got mad and wanted you arrested, or worse, even killed, I would defend you, potentially even to my own grave (because you know how cops are these days with black men (I'm half African American myself).

Because that's freedom.

But would you do the same for me? Or would you let me be killed?

 

Haha, and you said something like, "you would be given 3 days to recant your statement".

I would never ask that of a Muslim. If you believe in something with all your heart, then you should be free to express it, even if I am not Muslim and wouldn't necessarily agree.  If you believe it, you have the right to speak it. Even on YouTube, you have a channel and you speak, and nobody is out to execute you even if you're in a majority non Muslim society. 

But would you grant me the same freedom? Would you protect me if others came to kill me in that restaurant, if I yelled that I was an atheist?

 

 

 

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Sorry double post.

Edited by iCenozoic

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