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In the Name of God بسم الله

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23 hours ago, MexicanVato said:

313_Waiter akhi, I think your views are more in line with this Sufi master than Ibn Arabi

That quote by Ibn Sab’in at 6:31 reminded me of this quote by Imam Ali (عليه السلام) (I have also heard Sheikh Hamza Yusuf attribute it to him but I can’t seem to find a reference):

Quote

in everything i see, i see allah before it, i see allah in it, and i see allah after it.

 

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On 4/5/2021 at 6:08 AM, 313_Waiter said:

how can I read the Quran like you?

I want to tell you another story, this is called Zen koans....

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring.

The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!"

"Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"

My friend @313_Waiter empty your cup.

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On 6/16/2021 at 9:58 PM, Shahrukh K said:

"Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"

I think this story shows the difference between Eastern religion and faith in the Great Creator God.  Zen is about empting yourself of your own ideas and self.  Whereas God the Almighty calls us as we are - valuable people with a unique identity - to come to him and allow him to work on us like a potter with the clay and transform us into a new creation made in his likeness with his charactaristics but still contained in the jar of our uniqueness.

We need what is in us from our life and experience to be able to engage with God.  Yet we come humbly allowing God to speek and listening to his guidence.

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@Shahrukh K Potter, Spider, dreams

All nice pictures and mataphores with the normal short comings that dirive from metaphore.

Each one has strengths and weaknesses.  The great thing is your first comment

On 5/26/2021 at 1:13 PM, Shahrukh K said:

In the beginning before the universe was created only Allah existed.

This is such a fundamental starting point.  It lifts God above our own intellectual struggles to understand the universe and its beginnings.

We cannot know or understand with our created minds how God went about the creation.  But we know, as people of faith, that through the power of his words what we now call 'reality' came into existence.

I understand the role of God's revelation of himself through the Holy Books is not to tell us 'how' but to invite his creation into a closeness and an intimacy with himself. 

As a follower of Jesus, I see God as a relational being.  He created in order to relate.  His very being is relational and so out of his being came the desire and realisation of another relational being (as Genesis says 'made in God's image').  We are missing a vital core of our humanity if we are not in intimate relationship with the God who made us to know him and walk with him for eternity.

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On 6/22/2021 at 6:13 AM, Dave follower of The Way said:

As a follower of Jesus, I see God as a relational being.  He created in order to relate.  His very being is relational and so out of his being came the desire and realisation of another relational being (as Genesis says 'made in God's image').  We are missing a vital core of our humanity if we are not in intimate relationship with the God who made us to know him and walk with him for eternity.

I used to believe this. I spent many years in high school and beyond trying to have that "personal relationship with Jesus Christ" that Christians talk about. I went to the altar calls, I said the prayers, I read the bible every day (matter of fact, I've probably outread many of them when it comes to the bible), but I could never get to that point that all of the other Christian kids seemed to get to where they had that "personal relationship with Jesus Christ".  It just didn't ever happen and I still felt empty inside, was still chasing after the things of the world and definitely had no desire to convert people by leaving tracts or "witnessing" to them, which is something that is non-negotiable in evangelical Christianity... you're always supposed to be trying to fill seats in your church and for what? What do you really do at those churches the two or three times a week that you go?

You sit in a big auditorium and listen to a guy give his thoughts on maybe three of four verses of the bible for maybe a half an hour, then the hat gets passed around and you're expected to cough up money, he gives the sales pitch and the "sinners" are supposed to go up to the front and repeat a prayer and then BOOM! All of their spiritual problems are supposedly solved and it doesn't matter how many people they killed or how many times they've fornicated, they're going to heaven. Maybe someone takes a dunk in a special pool/tub and this symbolizes that they're "officially christians" (or is how they're actually saved, depending on the flavor of the church). Some alternative rock songs are performed both in the beginning and at the end and people hold their hands over their heads and close their eyes to symbolize how "saved" they are... It just never did anything for me and it all felt horrendously contrived and fake and this made me feel objectively horrible because I was like "Why can't I get what these people have? What is so bad about me that I can't be like these people?"

Maybe it's because I grew up in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic church, with all of it's pageantry and sacred mystique of the man dressed as a wizard and his magic rituals that the standard American church offered nothing to me because it didn't "feel" like what I had expected church to feel like, but the fact that it felt like nothing to me and felt contrived always made me feel awful about myself, like there was something wrong with me. I went to many of the youth conferences too, including Acquire the Fire, which was the Republican National Convention of youth conferences in the late 90s and early 2000s (the exact time that America evangelical christianity began to decline and die in relevance, believe it or not). None of it felt the way that a religious experience was supposed to feel-- it felt more like a rock concert combined with a conservative political rally, as there was so much talk of "battle" this and "struggle" that. Of course the people who I went with were crying and holding each other, hands above their heads, eyes closed, some across the way making random noises supposedly speaking "in tongues".

But I never felt what I was supposed to feel with all of this, so I began looking for God in other places. Only years after this did I begin to find out the truth of what scholars believed about the bible, and it crushed me, because the veracity of the stories within were still something that I believed to be (mostly) true, particularly the gospels. I had no idea that these four books were not written by anyone who had actually been there with Jesus and that the authors were pretty much unknown. Then I learned that there were other gospels that exist and that were not included in the Bible, and finally, I learned that the myth of the Bible being "the word of God" was just that: a myth. Early Christians did not have what we know as being "the bible" and the bible did not exist until around the third century after Jesus. This destroyed me inside, because everything I had been taught was that the Bible just basically came down to man along with Jesus and that you had to have the Bible to really have a relationship with god. Then as I looked further into it, I discovered that the Bible wasn't translated into English until the year 1611 and that many Baptist churches believe that this 1611 KJV of the Bible is the "authoritative" version despite it lacking 7 of the books that the Roman Catholics and even more that the Orthodox use.

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On 4/3/2021 at 2:52 AM, 313_Waiter said:

Salaam / Hi,

What, in your belief, is the nature of God? Please also explain why you believe this is so. 

Do you believe in (note: they may not be mutually exclusive):

  • Pantheism: everything is part of God who encompasses all things. 
  • Panentheism: God is everywhere, but at the same time transcends all things. The universe could be seen as a manifestation of God (like the sun and its rays, or the ocean and the waves of the ocean or like clothing and individual threads...). Other forms of panentheism may assert that the universe is contained within God. 
  •  

Great post.

Can you explain the difference between 

Pantheism and Panentheism as both seem like they are not mutually exclusive 

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I don't know if this has been mentionned before, but this reminded me of the debate Imam al-Rida (عليه السلام) had with a Sabian in the court of Ma'moun, about the existence and nature of God. Here's his reply:

إن الله المبدئ، الواحد، الكائن، الأول لم يزل واحدا لا شيء معه، فرداً لا ثاني معه، لا معلوماً ولا مجهولاً ولا، محكماً ولا متشابهاً، ولا مذكورا ولا منسياً، ولا شيئاً يقع عليه اسم شيء من الأشياء غيره، ولا من وقت كان ولا إلى وقت يكون، ولا بشيء قام ولا إلى شيء يقوم، ولا إلى شيء استند، ولا في شيء استكن، وذلك كله قبل الخلق إذ لا شيء غيره، وما أوقعت عليه من الكل فهي صفات محدثة، وترجمة يفهم بها من فهم

“Certainly, God is the Only Initiator, and the first Ever-Being. He has always been One without anything to accompany Him. He is One and there are no seconds for Him. He is neither definite nor indefinite. He is neither decisive nor allegorical. He is neither mentioned nor forgotten. He is not a thing such that a name of things can fit Him. There is no time for the beginning of His Being. And there is no time until which only He will last. He has not been standing upon anything else, nor will He be standing upon anything. There is nothing up until which He is. There is nothing on which He leans. He had all these attributes before creating anything when there was nothing but Him. Whatever you attribute to Him will be originated attributes which are only means for understanding Him, which anyone possessing understanding can comprehend."

For those who are more interested in the debate in Arabic: https://ar.wikishia.net/view/مناظرة_الإمام_الرضا_عليه_السلام_مع_الصابئة

In English, pages 113-120: http://www.jaffaribooks.com/books/UYUN AKHBAR AL-REZA VOL 1(rev).pdf

 

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10 hours ago, Ali bin Hussein said:

From nothing ?

If by no-thing you mean non-existence, then non-existence (by definition) does not exist, is not, was not and will never be.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, 313_Waiter said:

If by no-thing you mean non-existence, then non-existence (by definition) does not exist, is not, was not and will never be.

I mean the absence anything we as humans can perceive from the senses or imagine from the mind.

from a current science point of view that would be energy,matter, dimension of space, and time.

Definition of thing

1)an object that one need not, cannot, or does not wish to give a specific name to.

2)an inanimate material object as distinct from a living sentient being.

so I do mean no-thing from the definition of "thing"

thesaurus for exist:

liveb, be alive, be living ,have life

breathe ,draw breath ,be, have being

So I think saying no-thing is non- existence is a dishonest use of English.

Edited by Ali bin Hussein
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Posted (edited)

 

On 6/24/2021 at 7:34 PM, Ali bin Hussein said:

I mean the absence anything we as humans can perceive from the senses or imagine from the mind.

from a current science point of view that would be energy,matter, dimension of space, and time.

 

 


Sorry, you are not making much sense to me. Are you saying that God brought about “creation” from His own energy, power? 

On 6/24/2021 at 7:34 PM, Ali bin Hussein said:

So I think saying no-thing is non- existence is a dishonest use of English

Allah knows I was not trying to be dishonest. 
إِنَّهُ عَليمٌ بِذاتِ الصُّدورِ

Rather, the philosophical definition of nothingness (or at least “true nothingness”) is:

Quote

"Nothingness" is a philosophical term for the general state of nonexistence, sometimes reified as a domain or dimension into which things pass when they cease to exist or out of which they may come to exist, e.g., God is understood to have created the universe ex nihilo, "out of nothing".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nothing

This, to me is a common understanding of nothing. When I say I have nothing in my pockets, it is not commonly thought to mean that I have “matter” in my pockets, it means my pockets are empty.

Thus the definition of thing as “anything” or “an object / entity” is applied here.

 

Edited by 313_Waiter
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, 313_Waiter said:

 


Sorry, you are not making much sense to me. Are you saying that God brought about “creation” from His own energy, power? 

Allah knows I was not trying to be dishonest. 
إِنَّهُ عَليمٌ بِذاتِ الصُّدورِ

 

Sorry brother I didn't mean dishonest as you had a bad intention. Maybe it was a poor choice if words on my part.

I can't use the term energy as by my understanding, energy is part of the material world and can be used and manipulated by the creation and itself is a creation of Allah.

Allah is not composed of energy and does not need energy. 

Allah created energy.

 

Edited by Ali bin Hussein
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, 313_Waiter said:

:

This, to me is a common understanding of nothing. When I say I have nothing in my pockets, it is not commonly thought to mean that I have “matter” in my pockets, it means my pockets are empty.

Thus the definition of thing as “anything” or “an object / entity” is applied here.

 

 

That empty pocket is understood as no sold or liquid in your pocket. Everyone will justifiably ignore air/gas in the context of speaking about your pocket.

The analogy doesn't help with my/ your use if "nothing".

Also I never used the term nothingness.

I said "nothing" which I have defined both scientifically and linguistically.

So I'll emphasize my belief

Allah created everything from nothing.

Edited by Ali bin Hussein
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23 hours ago, Ali bin Hussein said:

Sorry brother I didn't mean dishonest as you had a bad intention. Maybe it was a poor choice if words on my part.

I can't use the term energy as by my understanding, energy is part of the material world and can be used and manipulated by the creation and itself is a creation of Allah.

Allah is not composed of energy and does not need energy. 

Allah created energy.

Thanks for clarifying brother, I appreciate it.

So I assume you affirm Dualism as per the definition in my OP?

It does not make sense to me how dualism could be true if Allah (azwj) is using His own power to create creation. It doesn’t make sense to me to envision creation like bricklaying, where the bricklayer uses something “separate” (as understood commonly) to “create” something. If we affirm this understanding of creation, well then where did this “separate” material come from? 

It also doesn’t make sense to me how if we affirm our existence, we naturally assign a portion of Existence to ourselves and another portion to Existence to Allah (azwj). Would this not mean that God is finite?

 

22 hours ago, Ali bin Hussein said:

That empty pocket is understood as no sold or liquid in your pocket. Everyone will justifiably ignore air/gas in the context of speaking about your pocket.

The analogy doesn't help with my/ your use if "nothing".

Also I never used the term nothingness.

I said "nothing" which I have defined both scientifically and linguistically.

So I'll emphasize my belief

Allah created everything from nothing.

I understand your perspective. Though I always thought that when people talk about nothing they meant the philosophical nothing (non-existence). You’re right in that there is no such things as non-existence since even the pockets contain gas or space, I just don’t think people are aware of this or pay much attention to it.  Though I may be wrong and am happy to admit it.


Though I have seen the atheist Lawrence Krauss use the term “nothing” in the way that you use it since he has a book called “A universe from nothing”. Allah knows best his intentions though.

 

I’m not sure most theists, when they talk about Creatio ex nihilo, are affirming your understanding of nihilo.
 

Wallahu A’lam

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On 6/29/2021 at 10:36 AM, 313_Waiter said:

Sorry, you are not making much sense to me. Are you saying that God brought about “creation” from His own energy, power?

I'm not sure where this discusion is getting us.

In my understanding God creating from nothing is emphasising that God is above and beyond and different from everything else.

This elevates God to the only being worthy of worship and service.  I sense in discussing the finaries of what is "nothing" and how did God create we are missing the vital point that there is a God who wants to enage with humans and that he is the source of our life and being.

The amazing thing to me is that this great creator God who holds the universe in his hands (metaphorically of course) whats to enter into relationship with people and has chosen to reveal himself to us in a way we can relate to.  Particularly through the person of Jesus the Messiah who lived amongst us to show us clearly what God is like.

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