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In the Name of God بسم الله

Did God Have a Choice to Not Create?

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2 minutes ago, Cool said:

2 & ∞

:) See what you are comparing? 

Defined with the Undefined. One number while other can only be expressed by symbol. They are not comparable at all. 

Pardon me, what I really meant is contrast.

In informal vernacular “compare” also means to contrast differences and not always compare similarities.

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Punishment (Azab) is not eternal.  Some of the greatest mufassirs have pointed out that Azab shares the same root as the arabic word for sweet(Azeeb) which means that the punishment will eventually be

Are not you aware that Allah has created the heavens and the earth in accordance with Truth? He can, if He so wills, do away with you and bring forth a new creation [14:19]

God treats everyone equally.  His Mercy for everyone is equal.  Because His Being is that mercy.  And His Being is equally there for all (His Being is everywhere in the sense that there is no place th

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Posted (edited)

∞,....,-1,0,1,2,3,4,5......,∞

Do you want to describe His "oldness" like this? @Cherub786 

Or like this:

1,2,3,4,5,6.........,∞

First implies infiniteness in both directions (forward & backward), the other implies infiniteness in just one direction.

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Posted (edited)
On 9/30/2020 at 3:22 PM, Cherub786 said:

Qadim is a revealed divine attribute, and it literally means ancient, old.

If you go to the Bible, Atik the Aramaic word which corresponds to Atiq in Arabic, means ancient, old, and is one of God’s divine attributes and names.

It isn’t shirk for us but maybe for you. For us, shirk is basically worshiping other gods, in the form of idols or bones – which is what many Shi’ah do in praying to the departed and constructing shrines over graves.

Yes, I believe God is purana meaning old, ancient, but without beginning or origin. Being old or ancient does not necessitate origin, He is simply old relative to that which is new or young. Likewise, we say God is big, and everything compared to Him is small, but being “big” does not necessitate a limit in size. Even that which is unlimited and infinite can still be described with such positive adjectives as old, big, strong, etc.

Not only does God have no-beginning and no-end, He also has no "before" and no "after" (in time).  In other words,  He is not in time (He is not bound by any time reference).  I believe this is the point I was trying to make.

So one should not say "God is 'before' creation" or that "creation is 'after' God".  

All dualities such as (This vs That) as in the statement "We are this and God is that", are ultimately merely mental categories / concepts that are not themselves real.  Even to maintain that "God is Infinite and creation is finite" is a duality and therefore has to be understood as a mental category (i.e. not real).  The duality of "God" and "Creation" is itself a mental category and is not real.

 

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 God is the First, but His precedence is not temporal so as to be in contradiction with His being the Last. He is the Manifest, but not in the sense of being physically visible or perceptible to the senses; His Manifestness does not contradict His Hiddenness. In fact His Firstness is identical with His Lastness and similarly His Manifestness and Hiddenness are identical; they are not two different things:

Praise be to Allah, for whom one condition does not precede another, so that He may he the First before being the Last or may be Manifest before being Hidden ... (Sermon 65)

Time is not His accomplice, nor does He need the assistance of tools and agents His Being transcends time. His Existence transcends nothingness and His pre-eternity transcends all beginning. (Sermon 186)

The Divine Essence's transcendence over time, nothingness, beginning, and end is one of the most profound concepts of al-hikmah philosophy. God's pre-eternity does not mean that God has always existed. Certainly God has always existed but Divine pre-eternity (azaliyyah) is something greater in meaning than 'existence at all times'; because, 'existing at all times' assumes existence in time; but God's Being has not only been at all times, It precedes time itself. This is the meaning of Divine pre-eternity. This shows that His precedence is something other than temporal precedence.

Praise be to God, whose creation bears testimony to His Existence; temporality (huduth) of whose creation is the evidence of His preternity the similarity and likeness amongst whose creation proves that He is unique. The senses do not perceive Him and nothing can conceal Him. (Sermon 152) That is, God is both Hidden and Manifest. By Himself He is Manifest but is Hidden from the human senses. His Hiddenness from the senses is due to man's own limitations and not on account of Him.

It needs no proof that existence is synonymous with manifestation; the more powerful the existence of a being, the more manifest it would be. Conversely, the weaker its being is and the more intermingled it is with non-being, the less manifest it is to itself and others. For everything, there are two modes of being: its being-in-itself (wujud fi nagsih), and its being-for-others. The being of every thing for us depends upon the structure of our senses and certain special conditions. Accordingly, the manifestation of a thing is also of two kinds: its manifestation-in-itself (zuhur fi nafsih) and its manifestation-for-others.

Our senses, on account of their limitations, are able to perceive only a limited number of finite objects possessing the characteristics of similarity and opposition. The senses can perceive colours, shapes, sounds, etc., which are limited temporally and spacially; that is, their existence is confined within a particular time and place. Now if there existed a uniform light, always and everywhere, it would not be perceptible. A continuous monotonous sound heard always and everywhere would not be audible.

The Being of God, which is absolute being and absolute reality, is not confined to any particular time and place, and is hidden from our senses. But God in Himself is absolutely manifest; the perfection of His manifestness, which follows from the perfection of His Being, is itself the cause of His hiddenness from our senses. The two aspects of His manifestness and hiddenness are one and the same in His Essence. He is hidden because He is perfectly manifest, and this perfect manifestness conceals Him.

Thou, who art hidden on account of Thy perfect brilliance, Thou Art the Manifest, hidden in Thy manifestness. The veil on Thy face is also Thy face, So manifest Thou art, Thy manifestness conceals Thee from the world's eyes

http://www.shiavault.com/books/theology-and-metaphysics-in-nahj-al-balaghah/chapters/6-god-the-first-and-the-last-the-manifest-and-the-hidden

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On 10/3/2020 at 3:48 AM, eThErEaL said:

All dualities such as (This vs That) as in the statement "We are this and God is that", are ultimately merely mental categories / concepts that are not themselves real. 

Hi There - can you give me a statement about God which doesn't contain a duality?

What is reality then?

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On 10/5/2020 at 4:02 PM, SoRoUsH said:

Coincidentally, this following clip was uploaded on YouTube five days ago. 

https://youtu.be/ik5CRalZv6o

I've just watched this.  A bunch of humans trying to understand an infinite (oh dear that word again!) God.  How can we grasp how God acts and behaves outside of what he has revealed about himself?  I like the concept that he is the greatest of beings and so must be good, therefore limiting God to only being able to do good.

All these philosophers were 'christian' - Is this idea of God only being able to do good an Islamic philosophical concept too?

I was really disappointed with the video because it left out God's major characteristic that of Love.  I don't claim to be a philosopher, but I do claim to know and experience God's love for me and for his creation.  How does love express itself?  By wanting the best for the one who is loved.  I rest in that fact that whether God 'had to' create or not, now he has created he loves me and wants my best.  He loves you too.  What a privilege! Will we live in that reality?

Edited by Dave follower of The Way
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53 minutes ago, Dave follower of The Way said:

I rest in that fact that whether God 'had to' create or not, now he has created he loves me and wants my best.  He loves you too.  What a privilege! Will we live in that reality?

how can God love everyone

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4 minutes ago, dragonxx said:

how can God love everyone

God's love is without limit or measure (I don't want to use infinite again!) so he can love all with the same love without there being any reduction to his love.

I experience this love of God, which is new every morning and stays with me through the day and surounds me when I sleep.  Praise his name!

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5 hours ago, dragonxx said:

Yeah sure he is al Wadud, but He also dislikes the transgressors.

The transgressors transgress against nothing but His Love and so they deprive themselves of His love.  God does not “hate” them for God has no hate within Him.  Hate is a limitation.  Love knows no boundaries.  God IS love.  

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36 minutes ago, Cherub786 said:

Denying the personhood of God is denying the most fundamental teaching of Islam

We are not Christians God can’t be a man

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8 hours ago, Cherub786 said:

And yours do sound Islamic?

No.  I am an Atheist.

but neither is yours Islamic.

the Islamic conception is that of both aspects need to be considered when it comes to God: Tanzih (no-personhood) and Tashbih (personhood).  


 

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10 hours ago, eThErEaL said:

God does not “hate” them for God has no hate within Him.  Hate is a limitation.  Love knows no boundaries.  God IS love.  

What is Love?

Just asking this question for further refining my understanding. If God has no hate within Him what is the meaning of this verse then:

فَلَمَّا آسَفُونَا انْتَقَمْنَا مِنْهُمْ فَأَغْرَقْنَاهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ

43:55 So, when they angered Us, We punished them and drowned them every one.

Why God is one emotion (Love) but not the other (hate)? Or love itself is not an emotion? 

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1 hour ago, Cool said:

What is Love?

Just asking this question for further refining my understanding. If God has no hate within Him what is the meaning of this verse then:

فَلَمَّا آسَفُونَا انْتَقَمْنَا مِنْهُمْ فَأَغْرَقْنَاهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ

43:55 So, when they angered Us, We punished them and drowned them every one.

This shouldn't be construed as "hate".  A child that walks to the fire or does something outrageous, may sometimes be punished by the parents , but not out of hate, but out of wisdom, compassion and love.  When Muslims speak of God's "unconditional and all-encompassing mercy" they really mean "loving mercy".  As it is well known to most of us here, the Arabic term for "womb" shares the same root letters as the Arabic term for mercy (r.h.m).  It is not "mere mercy" that does justice to the word "r.h.m", but "loving mercy" because the mother is not merely merciful but is in fact "lovingly merciful" to the child in her womb.  The child is encompassed entirely and unconditionally by the lovingly merciful or lovingly compassionate womb of the mother.        

 

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Why God is one emotion (Love) but not the other (hate)? Or love itself is not an emotion? 

Yes, love is not an emotion.  

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12 hours ago, eThErEaL said:

The transgressors transgress against nothing but His Love and so they deprive themselves of His love.  God does not “hate” them for God has no hate within Him.  Hate is a limitation.  Love knows no boundaries.  God IS love.  

Regardless, coming back to my first question to @Dave follower of The Way, to which you responded He is Love,

some humans being deprived of Allah's love means that Allah does not love everyone. It's ludicrous to even fathom that fools like Yazid (la) have love from God.

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37 minutes ago, dragonxx said:

Regardless, coming back to my first question to @Dave follower of The Way, to which you responded He is Love,

some humans being deprived of Allah's love means that Allah does not love everyone. It's ludicrous to even fathom that fools like Yazid (la) have love from God.

Why did God create people like Yazid?  Is Yazid a defect in God's creation?  Is Yazid necessary so that God has someone to hate?  Is the entire being of Yazid evil? Is Yazid saturated with evilness?  If you hate something so much why would you not get rid of it right away?  obviously, God loves SOMETHING about Yazid!  right?  SOMETHING about Yazid must be right...  yes?

I agree that talking about this aspect doesn't make for a good masaib during Muharram ... 

A great masaib requires that the preacher say Yazid is 100% evil, that every single cell of his is pure darkness and misery and has no right to exist.  now, this makes a great masaib.  

 

 

 

 

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38 minutes ago, eThErEaL said:

Why did God create people like Yazid?  Is Yazid a defect in God's creation?  Is Yazid necessary so that God has someone to hate?  Is the entire being of Yazid evil? Is Yazid saturated with evilness?  If you hate something so much why would you not get rid of it right away?  obviously, God loves SOMETHING about Yazid!  right?  SOMETHING about Yazid must be right...  yes?

I agree that talking about this aspect doesn't make for a good masaib during Muharram ... 

A great masaib requires that the preacher say Yazid is 100% evil, that every single cell of his is pure darkness and misery and has no right to exist.  now, this makes a great masaib.  

Same as the usual question of why God created evil. Regardless of the answer, we can all agree that Allah doesn't love anything about evil.

Even if I were to concede to your point that at some point, yazid (la) was loved to some degree, there is no doubt that by the time he reached the end of his life, there is no love for him. This is unanimous for Shia as you know. 

Thus, again, point proven that not everyone can be loved by God. Admitting God has love for evil and evil acts/people is senseless, because a human can contend on the day of Judgement; "Oh God, I did that which you love, thus why have I earned your punishment?". Appalling.

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2 hours ago, dragonxx said:

Same as the usual question of why God created evil. Regardless of the answer, we can all agree that Allah doesn't love anything about evil.

Even if I were to concede to your point that at some point, yazid (la) was loved to some degree, there is no doubt that by the time he reached the end of his life, there is no love for him. This is unanimous for Shia as you know. 

Thus, again, point proven that not everyone can be loved by God. Admitting God has love for evil and evil acts/people is senseless, because a human can contend on the day of Judgement; "Oh God, I did that which you love, thus why have I earned your punishment?". Appalling.

The answer is not that God doesn't love evil.  The answer is that there isn't any evil in the first place, from God's point of view, to love!  Evil only exists from a relative frame of reference (from the point of view of a creature looking at another creature, and that also from the point of view of God's Legislative Command (Al-'Amr At-Tashri'i).

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2 hours ago, dragonxx said:

Even if I were to concede to your point that at some point, yazid (la) was loved to some degree, there is no doubt that by the time he reached the end of his life, there is no love for him. This is unanimous for Shia as you know. 

Unanimous Shia point view?  So you represent the unanimous Shia point of view.  wow, must be the greatest Marja" in the whole wide world. 

2 hours ago, dragonxx said:

Thus, again, point proven that not everyone can be loved by God. Admitting God has love for evil and evil acts/people is senseless, because a human can contend on the day of Judgement; "Oh God, I did that which you love, thus why have I earned your punishment?". Appalling.

Not sure how your point is proven.  But you can wish what you want.

 

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8 hours ago, eThErEaL said:

No.  I am an Atheist.

but neither is yours Islamic.

the Islamic conception is that of both aspects need to be considered when it comes to God: Tanzih (no-personhood) and Tashbih (personhood).  

Tanzih doesn’t mean non-personhood. It means transcendence.

And we reject Tashbih altogether.

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30 minutes ago, eThErEaL said:

Unanimous Shia point view?  So you represent the unanimous Shia point of view.  wow, must be the greatest Marja" in the whole wide world. 

Quote

I suppose its understandable for someone who use to identify as shia to believe yazid(la), shirma (la) and their likes didn't die in a state of the worst evil, and go on to insinuate that there is a marja who agrees with this view.

 

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34 minutes ago, Cherub786 said:

Tanzih doesn’t mean non-personhood. It means transcendence.

And we reject Tashbih altogether.

Tanzih means to declare God incomparable (or as you said, to declare a god as transcendent).

So, to illustrate:

if personhood is an attribute of creation, then Tanzih demands that God is not a person.  

If you reject Tashbih entirely,  then you reject the Quran which describes God using qualities found in creation!  
 

so, to illustrate:  God is merciful, this creature is merciful.  You see?  

So both, Tanzih AND Tashbih are necessary in the Islamic Worldview.  
 

I don’t know what you mean by “we” when you said: “we reject Tashbih entirely”

does “we” consist of some ignorant group of Muslims who have big mouths?  I could are less.  
 

I would rather side with a Cambridge professor and we’ll known Islamic scholar like Abdul Hakim Murad:

 

 

 

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38 minutes ago, dragonxx said:

I suppose its understandable for someone who use to identify as shia to believe yazid(la), shirma (la) and their likes didn't die in a state of the worst evil, and go on to insinuate that there is a marja who agrees with this view.

 

Yawn.

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1 minute ago, eThErEaL said:

Tanzih means to declare God incomparable (or as you said, to declare a god as transcendent).

So, to illustrate:

if personhood is an attribute of creation, then Tanzih demands that God is not a person.  

If you reject Tashbih entirely,  then you reject the Quran which describes God using qualities found in creation!  
 

so, to illustrate:  God is merciful, this creature is merciful.  You see?  

First look how blatantly you are contradicting yourself. You say God can’t be a person because personhood is an attribute of some of His creation.

Then you say God does resemble His creation because He is merciful and some of His creation is merciful.

If you accept the validity of tashbih, why don’t you accept God is a person? Why do you arbitrarily dismiss some of God’s characteristics but affirm others?

Our answer is simple. God’s mercy, personhood and other attributes which are apparently the same as the creation are only the same in meaning and name, not the same in modality. Therefore, there is no tashbih.

Also, how can you affirm God is merciful and not a person. Mercy can only be associated with personhood. A non-person can’t be merciful by definition.

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2 minutes ago, Cherub786 said:

First look how blatantly you are contradicting yourself. You say God can’t be a person because personhood is an attribute of some of His creation.

Then you say God does resemble His creation because He is merciful and some of His creation is merciful.

If you accept the validity of tashbih, why don’t you accept God is a person? Why do you arbitrarily dismiss some of God’s characteristics but affirm others?

Our answer is simple. God’s mercy, personhood and other attributes which are apparently the same as the creation are only the same in meaning and name, not the same in modality. Therefore, there is no tashbih.

Also, how can you affirm God is merciful and not a person. Mercy can only be associated with personhood. A non-person can’t be merciful by definition.

The Islamic worldview is comfortable with paradoxes and contraries when it come to God’s Being because God is the Coincidence of Opposites. 
this is why the Islamic worldview demands that Muslims view God’s nature from both points of view: namely, that of Tanzih and that of Tashbih.
 

is it a contradiction when God says: He is the First & the Last?  Is it a contradiction when God says He is the Outward and the Inward?  Is it a contradiction when God says in the same verse, There is nothing like unto Him and when He describes Himself using qualities found in creation like “He is The Seeing and Hearing?
 

the Quran is comfortable with paradoxes and contraries.  Muslims are at easy with this because Islam is a non-dual religion.  No not monotheistic, or mono whatever.  Non-dual.  

 

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