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In the Name of God بسم الله

Capitalizing on Ignorance

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Couldn't think of an appropriate title for this thread...

The pattern that I’m seeing emerging is Islamic arguments are primarily based on “arguments from ignorance” combined with something that we have some understanding of. So the following are issues I have been struggling with for many years, and maybe even at the root of losing much of my faith. I try to address the purpose of life, the Islamic concept of being tested, and the belief in the unseen.

The unseen, angels, heaven, Barzakh, the spiritual reality of actions such as sins and acts of worship. Here we have to take them on faith based on the words of individuals we have never met and have had no interaction with… further we have to figure what words and events regarding these individuals has been fabricated and what’s real (e.g. in hadith and history). Further we have to battle with competing and contradictory theories, sects, and philosophies to have even some basic understanding of what’s going on around us.

There is world of difference between knowing the harm/good of something vs having to believe in the harm/good of something. For example, if someone smokes today, practically everyone understands it’s bad for our health… even the labeling warns you… this is no longer a matter of belief, but certainty. Anyone that still smokes, they knowingly cause harm to themselves, and here I have no issues in holding them responsible for their actions.

Another example is fire. Fire as a tool can be extremely beneficial or harmful depending on how it’s used. It isn’t a matter of belief that fire is hot, this is a matter of certainty. How we make use of this tool is now a matter of free will, and there isn’t a person that will doubt this or purposely burn themselves.

Now let’s look at the unseen. This isn’t a matter of certainty for majority of people. Even those that believe in it, typically their actions don’t reflect their beliefs. The unseen, is monopolized by very few elite people within the religion (Prophets, Imams, urafa etc) – they essentially get to control the narrative by arguing based on our ignorance of the unseen. Would it not make sense for all of us to have some degree of access to the unseen so that we may all have certainty, like we have certainty that smoking is harmful or that fire is hot?

What about the test you might say? If everything is light, how will we appreciate it and not take it for granted?

When we go to the gym and workout, it is a type of suffering/hardship that we are willing to accept because the end goal is near certain. We don’t believe we will become healthy, we know it will happen. It’s not just a few elite in the gym world that know this or few elite that can gain muscles. Similarly taking care of our health is a certainty. If someone doesn’t take care of their health, I have no issues in holding them responsible for this.

Before the next paragraph, let’s remind ourselves why we are told God created us? So that we may know Him, worship Him, ultimately move and grow towards perfection. That as human beings we are uniquely created and have the potential to gain infinite knowledge until infinity.

Now you see being able to know or see the goal with certainty (e.g. heaven/hell, without having to rely on men from history or the elites) – only enables and motivates us to reach our goal, the goal God supposedly created us for. It would be the fastest and most efficient way to attain the above mentioned purpose of creation. Having to “believe” in the goal is not nearly as motivating… it defeats the purpose. Seeing the goal doesn’t mean you have attained it. Seeing a body builder doesn’t mean the work is done, or that the test is over… you would still need to work just as hard as our role model body builder to attain the goal. People could still fall into temptation, sin, self harm, addictions etc, just like people do today with things like smoking and other addictions. I personally would find worship easy and enjoyable, just like working out in the gym, I would happily accept hardships and be motivated in self purification and worship if I too had the same certainty as our religious elite claim to have.

In a “seen” world our purpose of life, our free will, and God’s Mercy all make sense – here we would freely get to choose where we want to go and what we wish to be achieved.

So to summarize, why is so much of religion based on the unseen? What is the wisdom of keeping the unseen in the hands of few elite, who at this point are dead or conveniently hiding or keeping their abilities a secret? Is Islam not relying on arguing from ignorance?

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Guest Psychological Warfare
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The unseen, angels, heaven, Barzakh, the spiritual reality of actions such as sins and acts of worship. Here we have to take them on faith based on the words of individuals we have never met and have had no interaction with… 

 

Fyi

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As for the Arabs, they were distinguished in the art of literary style and were celebrated for the eloquence of their language. They had reached the pinnacle of literary art, to the extent that they used to hold assemblies and gatherings to compete in poetry and oration. A person [competing at these gatherings] was rated by the literary excellence of what he said. Their love for poetry was so great that they selected the seven odes, wrote them with gold water on papyrus, and hung them on the walls of the Ka'ba. Thus, it became the practice to call a person's best poem "his gilded poem."3 Among the Arabs, both men and women were interested in literature. Al-Nabigha al-Dhabyani was the first judge [at the contests for] poets. He used to attend the fair of 'Ukaz: during its season, where a red dome of animal hide would be pitched for him. The poets used to come to him to submit their compositions for his opinion.4 It was for this reason that the wisdom of God required that the Prophet of Islam should be endowed with the miracle of the Qur'an's clarity of expression and eloquence. Thus, the Arabs realized that this was the speech of God, and that in eloquence it is beyond human power. This was acknowledged by all Arabs who were not obstinate.

This is indicated by a narrative on the authority of Ibn al-Sukayt. He asked [the eighth Imam] Abu1 al-Hasan al-Rida (peace be upon him):

Why did God send Moses (peace be upon him) with the [miraculous] staff, white hands, and the power of magic, [whereas] he sent Jesus with the power of healing and Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny) with the [power of] speech and oration?

The Imam Abu al-Hasan (peace be upon him) replied:

This is because when God sent Moses (peace be upon him), what prevailed among the people of his time was magic. Thus, he brought them from God something that no one among them could perform, and which rendered their magic null and void; and with that He established the proof for them. And God sent Jesus (peace be upon him) at a time when chronic illnesses had appeared and people needed the medical sciences. Jesus brought them from God something the like of which they did not have, and by means of which he raised them from the dead, and healed the blind and the lepers, with God's leave. Thus, he established the proof for them.

And God sent Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny) at a time when the art of oration and poetry was prevalent among the people of his time. Thus, he brought them from God his exhortations and his wisdom, which rendered speeches null and void, and he established his proof for them.5

....

Every intelligent person to whom the call of Islam has reached knows that Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny) announced to all mankind the call to accept Islam, and through the Qur'an, established for them the proof [of the claim to prophethood] and challenged them, with [the Qur'an's] inimitability, to produce its like, even by helping each other in so doing. Then he lowered this and challenged them to produce ten suras [like those in the Qur'an]. And, finally, he challenged them to produce only one sura like it.6

Had that been possible, it would have behooved the Arabs--especially those among them who excelled in eloquence-to take up the Prophet's challenge and invalidate his proof by matching it. Indeed, it would have behooved them to counter one sura of the Qur'an and match it in eloquence so as to invalidate the proof of this claimant who was challenging them in their most outstanding skill and their most notable distinction. They would thus have gained a manifest victory, endless renown, and eminence in honor and position. A contest like this would have spared them wars, great expenses, separation from their homeland, and the suffering of hardship and affliction.

But the Arabs reflected on the eloquence of the Qur'an and conceded its inimitability, for they knew that they would be defeated trying to match it. Hence, some of them believed the caller to the truth and submitted to the call of the Qur'an and attained the honor of Islam. Others took the course of obduracy and chose to counter with swords rather than words, and preferred a contest of lances to a contest of eloquence. This incapacity and opposition were the ample proof that the Qur'an was a divine revelation beyond human capability.

https://www.al-islam.org/al-bayan-fi-tafsir-al-quran-prolegomena-quran-ayatullah-sayyid-abulqasim-al-khui/1-inimitability#best-miracles-are-those-which-best-resemble-most-advanced-arts-time

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So to summarize, why is so much of religion based on the unseen? 

Fyi

ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ هُدًى لِلْمُتَّقِينَ {2}

[Shakir 2:2] This Book, there is no doubt in it, is a guide to those who guard (against evil).
[Pickthal 2:2] This is the Scripture whereof there is no doubt, a guidance unto those who ward off (evil).
[Yusufali 2:2] This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah;

الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنْفِقُونَ {3}

[Shakir 2:3] Those who believe in the unseen and keep up prayer and spend out of what We have given them.
[Pickthal 2:3] Who believe in the Unseen, and establish worship, and spend of that We have bestowed upon them;
[Yusufali 2:3] Who believe in the Unseen, are steadfast in prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them;

---------

The Book makes it Clear- It is for those who believe in the Unseen....

Since you base premise is out of ignorance of the Facts as mentioned above no point in discussing other Conjecture

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11 hours ago, Guest Psychological Warfare said:

 

Fyi

https://www.al-islam.org/al-bayan-fi-tafsir-al-quran-prolegomena-quran-ayatullah-sayyid-abulqasim-al-khui/1-inimitability#best-miracles-are-those-which-best-resemble-most-advanced-arts-time

Fyi

ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ هُدًى لِلْمُتَّقِينَ {2}

[Shakir 2:2] This Book, there is no doubt in it, is a guide to those who guard (against evil).
[Pickthal 2:2] This is the Scripture whereof there is no doubt, a guidance unto those who ward off (evil).
[Yusufali 2:2] This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah;

الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنْفِقُونَ {3}

[Shakir 2:3] Those who believe in the unseen and keep up prayer and spend out of what We have given them.
[Pickthal 2:3] Who believe in the Unseen, and establish worship, and spend of that We have bestowed upon them;
[Yusufali 2:3] Who believe in the Unseen, are steadfast in prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them;

---------

The Book makes it Clear- It is for those who believe in the Unseen....

Since you base premise is out of ignorance of the Facts as mentioned above no point in discussing other Conjecture

forget the premise then, so what's the reason for keeping things "unseen" - where do you feel that has been answered in your post... 

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, khamosh21 said:

samajh aati hai bhai jaan... although your english is pretty good

ہم ایسے اہل نظر کو ثبوت حق کے لئے

اگر رسول نہ ہوتے تو صبح کافی تھی

Edited by Cool
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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Advanced Member
On 1/3/2021 at 12:29 AM, khamosh21 said:

 

.

 

So to summarize, why is so much of religion based on the unseen? What is the wisdom of keeping the unseen in the hands of few elite, who at this point are dead or conveniently hiding or keeping their abilities a secret? Is Islam not relying on arguing from ignorance?

 

Ask yourself: “Am I asking questions simply to engage my mind or am I asking with the intent that the answers will lead me to the actualization of finding what I am looking for?”
Are you sure of what you are looking for ? 
Are you sure that you are ready for it ?
Perhaps You have been so accustomed to seeking that You don't even realize that You are terrified of the actuality of the end of the seeking. 

You are asking same question what Moses (a) asked..........
7:143. When the period We appointed was complete, and his Rabb called 
out to him, (Moses) said to his Rabb, “My Rabb, show me Yourself, let me 
look at You!”... (His Rabb said) “Never can ‘you’ (with your illusory self /belief that you are the body) see (comprehend) ‘Me’... (Absolute Reality, Absolute ‘I’)... But look at the mountain... If the mountain remains in place after I reflect Myself, then you shall see Me!” When his Rabb reflected on the mountain,He destroyed it... and Moses fell unconscious (freed from the belief "i am the body ")! When he woke up, he said, “Subhan, You are (I exalt you)! I have repented to You... I am the first of the believers.”

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