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In the Name of God بسم الله

Loving your enemy

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Hello friends,

In one of Jesus' most famous teachings in the Injeel he says,

"Do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do no turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. " (Matthew 5:39-42)

I think that these teachings allow a person who is abused to take back power from the abuser by taking charge of the situation. By turning a cheek, you force the person who struck to think about what he is doing before striking again. By carrying his burden a mile longer than a Roman soldier asked you, you would shame him because his superiors did not allow such a thing. And by giving someone your cloak you would shame the one who saw what happened. I think this was Jesus way of teaching that the weak and oppressed that they could stand up for themselves and shame their abusers by showing them love. Another verse in the Injeel teaches a similar lesson: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." (Romans 12:20)

 

What are your thoughts on these teachings of Isa about loving your enemies?

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Posted (edited)
On 8/10/2020 at 1:37 AM, sfayew said:

Hello friends,

In one of Jesus' most famous teachings in the Injeel he says,

"Do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do no turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. " (Matthew 5:39-42)

I think that these teachings allow a person who is abused to take back power from the abuser by taking charge of the situation. By turning a cheek, you force the person who struck to think about what he is doing before striking again. By carrying his burden a mile longer than a Roman soldier asked you, you would shame him because his superiors did not allow such a thing. And by giving someone your cloak you would shame the one who saw what happened. I think this was Jesus way of teaching that the weak and oppressed that they could stand up for themselves and shame their abusers by showing them love. Another verse in the Injeel teaches a similar lesson: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." (Romans 12:20)

 

What are your thoughts on these teachings of Isa about loving your enemies?

These are intellectual states that believer need to reach and perfect them. It is manifesting the mercy to God creations, no matter what is their background or race. We need to take care of them in their need, forgive them when they have done something to us, show mercy and kindness, being justice, and keep promises etc

But It does not mean that we need to become their allies or take them as same value than our believer brothers and sisters. This is something people misunderstand in Qur'an when it says:

O you who have believed, do not take My enemies and your enemies as allies, extending to them affection while they have disbelieved in what came to you of the truth, having driven out the Prophet and yourselves [only] because you believe in Allah, your Lord. 

Affection here in arabic is Mawadda, and it can be defined:

Lexically the word ‘mawaddah’ derives from the root verb wadda meaning ‘to love something’.2 In addition to the above meaning, Raghib al-Isfahani also considers wadda to mean ‘to wish’. He maintains that wadda is used for both meanings and, in fact, the act of ‘wishing for something’ involves love and liking for that thing.

This loving is different from the word used by Jesus as Love your enemies (If we assume that he said such thing), because in Mawadda, it involves love and liking for that thing. And can not love someone who hates God etc.

A believer need to become such a that he manifest goodness to all God creations:

He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Matthew 5:45

Edited by Abu Nur
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Posted (edited)

So, by applying that thinking Palestine should hand over whatever plot of land is left to Israel and Syria should invite US corporations and surrender the rest of its oil wells in its north.

That will really put them to shame and the world will rebel by witnessing it.

 

Edited by The Green Knight
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On 8/9/2020 at 6:37 PM, sfayew said:

one of Jesus' most famous teachings in the Injeel he says,

"Do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do no turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. " (Matthew 5:39-42)

Which translation are you using? This is different from the way I've read it. There is nothing about suing in any translation that I've read, only about stealing. The implication that I got from it is that person needs it desperately and you do not. By changing it to suing (did civil penalties even exist 2000 years ago?) it entirely changes the meaning from "be generous to the desperate" to "give all you have to the wealthy."

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1 hour ago, Abu Nur said:

O you who have believed, do not take My enemies and your enemies as allies, extending to them affection while they have disbelieved in what came to you of the truth, having driven out the Prophet and yourselves [only] because you believe in Allah, your Lord. 

This would have its context right? I.e. not becoming ‘awliya (or under the Guardianship) of warring parties (see study Quran). Elsewhere it says you can marry Christians / Jews (albeit scholars say temporarily).

As for muwadda doesn’t it mean love and follow (illal muwaddata fil qurba). Hence we can’t follow non Muslims in haram like drinking alcohol.

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1 hour ago, Ejaz said:

This would have its context right? I.e. not becoming ‘awliya (or under the Guardianship) of warring parties (see study Quran). Elsewhere it says you can marry Christians / Jews (albeit scholars say temporarily).

As for muwadda doesn’t it mean love and follow (illal muwaddata fil qurba). Hence we can’t follow non Muslims in haram like drinking alcohol.

Yes Muwadda is that. It is interesting that there are part of scholars who are in opinion that it is even haram to take them even as temporarily too.

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6 minutes ago, Abu Nur said:

It is interesting that there are part of scholars who are in opinion that it is even haram to take them even as temporarily too.

Nonetheless, during rasulullah’s (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) time it was permissible right (as per that verse)?

My point is that I don’t think the verse can be interpreted to restrict amicable and friendly relations between Muslims and non-Muslims and has an underlying context (which I found in The Study Qur’an). Sayed Sistani (rah) states that exchanging gifts and taking them as acquaintances is permissible.

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2 hours ago, Ejaz said:

Nonetheless, during rasulullah’s (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) time it was permissible right (as per that verse)?

My point is that I don’t think the verse can be interpreted to restrict amicable and friendly relations between Muslims and non-Muslims and has an underlying context (which I found in The Study Qur’an). Sayed Sistani (rah) states that exchanging gifts and taking them as acquaintances is permissible.

Allies is different from friendly relations, this verse is clearly talking about allies.

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10 hours ago, Cherub786 said:

If only Christians would actually embody such teachings, rather than merely speaking about them

I absolutely agree! It is sad how many Christians do not live out what they say they believe. True faith is always accompanied by action!!!

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10 hours ago, Abu Nur said:

These are intellectual states that believer need to reach and perfect them. It is manifesting the mercy to God creations, no matter what is their background or race. We need to take care of them in their need, forgive them when they have done something to us, show mercy and kindness, being justice, and keep promises etc

This loving is different from the word used by Jesus as Love your enemies (If we assume that he said such thing), because in Mawadda, it involves love and liking for that thing. And can not love someone who hates God etc.

A believer need to become such a that he manifest goodness to all God creations:

He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Matthew 5:45

Yes, I agree that it is important to treat all people with kindness and respect because they are created by God. We don't have to like them, but we have to choose to love them with our actions...the same way that God loves us!

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9 hours ago, notme said:

Which translation are you using? This is different from the way I've read it. There is nothing about suing in any translation that I've read, only about stealing. The implication that I got from it is that person needs it desperately and you do not. By changing it to suing (did civil penalties even exist 2000 years ago?) it entirely changes the meaning from "be generous to the desperate" to "give all you have to the wealthy."

Great question!

I did a little research and found twenty different English translations, all using the word "sue." From what I can understand, the Greek word from which it's translated "krinó" means to judge, to decide or to condemn. So I think the intended meaning is that if someone decides that they can "judge and take" or "decide to take" your shirt, then you should also give them your cloak. The principle being that when someone decides to steal from you, you should still show them love. So I would agree that although it says "if anyone wants to sue you," the intended meaning is not the same as what we mean when we talk about law suits in our present day and age.

Hope that helps clarify!

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On 8/26/2020 at 7:15 AM, The Green Knight said:

So, by applying that thinking Palestine should hand over whatever plot of land is left to Israel and Syria should invite US corporations and surrender the rest of its oil wells in its north.

That will really put them to shame and the world will rebel by witnessing it.

With all due respect, I think the verses are referring to the way individuals should treat each other with kindness and dignity rather than about international relations.

God bless you, my friend!

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I respectfully disagree. The mentioned conduct can only work with other true believers and human beings. If you try it generally you will quickly regret it. Probably Jesus (عليه السلام) instructed his followers to practice it among themselves. The Quran explains it better:

[Shakir 48:29] Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those with him are firm of heart against the unbelievers, compassionate among themselves; you will see them bowing down, prostrating themselves, seeking grace from Allah and pleasure; their marks are in their faces because of the effect of prostration; that is their description in the Taurat and their description in the Injeel; like as seed-produce that puts forth its sprout, then strengthens it, so it becomes stout and stands firmly on its stem, delighting the sowers that He may enrage the unbelievers on account of them; Allah has promised those among them who believe and do good, forgiveness and a great reward.

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17 hours ago, The Green Knight said:

I respectfully disagree. The mentioned conduct can only work with other true believers and human beings. If you try it generally you will quickly regret it. Probably Jesus (عليه السلام) instructed his followers to practice it among themselves.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. :) But if Jesus only meant for his followers to show love and kindness to each other, then why did he say, "Love your ENEMIES and pray for those who persecute you." (Matthew 5:44) He was clearly teaching that we should love all people, not just those who believe as we do.

I love the following verses in Matthew 5:43-46:

 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighborand hate your enemy.’But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?"

It is easy to love those who love you. But I believe that God's standard for us is higher than that. He wants us to love and forgive our enemies, and those who do us wrong. If God forgives me, how can I not also forgive others?

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23 hours ago, sfayew said:

Yes, I agree that it is important to treat all people with kindness and respect because they are created by God. We don't have to like them, but we have to choose to love them with our actions...the same way that God loves us!

There are two loves, one love is for the creations and one is for specifical ones who love God. 

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34 minutes ago, Abu Nur said:

There are two loves, one love is for the creations and one is for specifical ones who love God. 

Yes. I think that we need to treat all people with love and respect, but I do think God gives a special kind of love for brothers of the same faith.

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You should go back in time and tell it to the crusaders. You should preach this outside US senate. You should tell it to the CIA and Pentagon. You are instead telling it to a people facing constant persecution by everybody else. Personally I dont take most of the Bible seriously. Its too distorted and despite all efforts Christianity is pretty much flat lined. I cant believe in a book in which its own people do not believe. Which tells us that prophets had drunk incestual orgies and murdered husbands for their women. In which sometimes new chapters are added and then removed in the next version. Its not the injeel or book of God. Its by men. Very sorry but its only the truth.

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22 hours ago, The Green Knight said:

You should go back in time and tell it to the crusaders. You should preach this outside US senate. You should tell it to the CIA and Pentagon. You are instead telling it to a people facing constant persecution by everybody else. Personally I dont take most of the Bible seriously. Its too distorted and despite all efforts Christianity is pretty much flat lined. I cant believe in a book in which its own people do not believe. Which tells us that prophets had drunk incestual orgies and murdered husbands for their women. In which sometimes new chapters are added and then removed in the next version. Its not the injeel or book of God. Its by men. Very sorry but its only the truth.

I understand your frustration, my friend. And I am very sorry for the hypocrisy that you have seen. It is true that many who call themselves "Christians" do not really follow the teachings of Jesus, or even read the Bible for themselves. I do not agree with what the crusaders did any more than you do. I agree with you that there are many discrepancies in the way so called Christians have behaved in history and still today. I am also very sorry for the way your people are and have been persecuted. I respect your religion, even though I disagree with parts of it. And I am so sorry for those who do not treat you with honor and respect.

I can also understand why you are alarmed and disgusted by some of the things that the Bible says about the prophets, etc. But I believe that all humans, even the prophets were sinful. The story of the Bible is not one of great moral heroes that we should immitate. But rather, it's about sinful and broken people, who God loved enough to redeem. He shows both perfect judgement and abundant mercy all throughout the Bible. And I find hope in it's pages, because if God can forgive and use even people who got drunk, were murderers, and committed adultery, then I know He can forgive and use me too. His love and forgiveness are what motivate me to love and forgive others too...even my enemies and those who have wronged me.

I am praying for you. God bless!!!

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