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Quote TG12345 Replybullet Posted: 12 January 2013 at 5:26am
Originally posted by Rational

In The Name Of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Originally posted by nospam001

No doubt the deception is all done for a worthy cause, such as testing the Faithful, or ensuring an ample supply of non-believers to 'make an example of'. But the same could also be said of 2:7, 6:25, 17:97 and 18:57.

I'm not so bothered about the deception part. It's actually quite ingenious, the more I think about it.

What really irks me is the apparent injustice of being condemned to eternal hellfire just for my inability to remove a seal that Allah() placed on my heart expressly for the purpose of ensuring that I will never believe.

Hi nospam001,

The way I look at this is, the further you deviate from the righteous path, the further you are from it, the harder it is to return to it. And it is a reminder and a warning to the believers not to disbelieve. And Allah knows best.

If we contemplate, look around us and ask questions, and not distract ourselves in unworthily things, then we have made steps towards the truth. If we are sincere then there is no doubt that our Creator will answer to us and give us the truth. For you to be contemplating those versus indicates that you are seeking.

You have been given free will and if you choose to take the wrong path i.e. disbelieve then that is an individual's choice. Allah has given sign after sign after sign:
"And He has subjected for you the night and day and the sun and moon, and the stars are subjected by His command. Indeed in that are signs for a people who reason." (16:12)

He (the Almighty) also says:
"And if you should count the favor of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, mankind is [generally] most unjust and ungrateful." (14:34)

Indeed those favors are all around us. I don't need to go far, I'm looking at my fingers move, the mechanics behind this is overwhelming. Looking at my nails, it's fascinating how they are hard and positioned right at the tip of each finger. etc etc etc… Was this all by chance? Surely this is the Fashioner of forms, the best Creator.

"Then We made the sperm-drop into a clinging clot, and We made the clot into a lump [of flesh], and We made [from] the lump, bones, and We covered the bones with flesh; then We developed him into another creation. So blessed is Allah, the best of creators." (23:14)

And if these signs are willingly disregarded, Allah won't force you to believe. Just like a teacher trying to teach their student, but if this student refuses to learn, you can't force them, it isn't just.

It isn't "apparent injustice of being condemned to eternal hellfire" as you may think, as this surah in it self mentions:
"So if you repent, that is best for you; but if you turn away - then know that you will not cause failure to Allah. And give tidings to those who disbelieve of a painful punishment." (9:3)

Also, Hadith Qudsi (*):

"Allah the Almighty said: I am as My servant thinks I am (1). I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assemble better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm's length, I draw near to him a fathom's length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed. (1) Another possible rendering of the Arabic is: "I am as My servant expects Me to be". The meaning is that forgiveness and acceptance of repentance by the Almighty is subject to His servant truly believing that He is forgiving and merciful. However, not to accompany such belief with right action would be to mock the Almighty. It was related by al-Buhkari (also by Muslim, at-Tirmidhi and Ibn-Majah)."

We need Allah, He doesn't need us and we need to surrender to Him and His will. If we do this, we are saved and there would be no seal on our hearts. But we have to make the choice ourselves. If we continue to disobey, then Allah will make it harder for us to seek the righteous path.

(*) Hadith Qudsi are the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) as revealed to him by the Almighty Allah. Hadith Qudsi (or Sacred Hadith) are so named because, unlike the majority of Hadith which are Prophetic Hadith, their authority (Sanad) is traced back not to the Prophet but to the Almighty.

I have to agree with Rational, here. God says in the Bible also that those who seek Him with a sincere heart will find Him.

Proverbs 8:17

I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me

However, people who turn away from God will not only not find Him, but are likely to fall into all sorts of sin. God does not make people sin, but He allows them to do so, because we have free will.

The way I see it, we serve 2 masters... either we serve God, or we will serve someone or something other than God. When we turn away from God, we fall to sin. This applies also for believers, when we pray less, read the Bible less, be less serious about trying to please God, we are more vulnerable to doing bad things.

Romans 1:18-32

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

Although Rational is a Muslim and I am a Christian and we have many points of disagreement in our beliefs, on this I agree with him.

God is our Creator and our Lord. We can choose to serve Him, or choose not to. If we do not serve God we serve those others than God, and sin invevitably follows.

I don't agree that God makes it harder for sinners to come to Him, rather, I think it is our sins that do that.
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Quote Nausheen Replybullet Posted: 12 January 2013 at 6:51am
Originally posted by Caringheart

 Are there muslims who have the wrath of God?  I think so.  Does this mean we discard all muslims?

I dont know what you mean by discard, but we are discussing the 'actions' of people that incure anger and wrath of Allah. Most certainly those muslims who are incurring wrath of Allah, we must not follow in their foot steps.
This argument might get convoluted if you want to ask why the Quran does not mention the rejection of wrathful actions of muslims. This is because the word Muslim means 'one who submits' so when this word is mentioned it is not just a lable to a group rather a definition.

Originally posted by Caringheart

This is the problem with the teaching of the pride and the prejudice.  There are those who would be proud who truly have the wrath of God, and there are those against whom you would be prejudiced whom truly have the love of God.

I dont think muslims who read these verses become Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley, Derbyshire!

Originally posted by Caringheart

The quran does not have what the early faith taught.  The quran does not even know what the early faith taught.  But the followers of the early faith do know.  This is why the quran refers you to seek those who have the book... the first scriptures.

The Author of the Quran in our belief is God almighty who says about himself:
"If the sea were ink for [writing] the words of my Lord, the sea would be exhausted before the words of my Lord were exhausted, even if We brought the like of it as a supplement."

Therefore, just because the Quran says in certain places to go and ask the people of the book, or go and ask those who had knowledge before you, does not mean the All knowledgeable, Almighty needs to extract information from other sources.

Originally posted by Caringheart

<blockquote style="margin-right: 0px;" dir="ltr">
"though I have compassion for her and would be there for her if she needs me. "
Would you have compassion and be there for her if she was being persecuted, knowing that she is a good person, would you stand up for your friend?  and if not, is it real friendship? 

I would have responded if you had left this question open ended.
Your 'if not' argument puts me on the defensive and I dont want to defend myself. I will leave it up to you to judge whatever you like.

Originally posted by Caringheart

<blockquote style="margin-right: 0px;" dir="ltr">
"because this person does not share my sentiments - rather this person does not care about my sentiments. "
Perhaps they do not share your sentiments but this does not preclude caring about your sentiments.  It is possible to have differing beliefs and still care about people.  It is possible to care about and respect another persons beliefs even if you do not share them.  At least where I come from and the way I am raised.

I respect Ram, Krishna, Budhdha and any whom my friends hold in high regard, or even as deities - just because these figures are of special value to them. I expect the same from them in regards to Muhammad pbuh. Although Im open to any discussion where people say they cannot believe Muhammad pbuh as a true messenger of God. However I dont want to discuss unreasonable attacks on his personality. My sentiments, and that of any true muslim are that we love our messenger above anything else, more than our selves, our family, spouses, children etc etc. So anyone who cannot understand these sentiments, its better not to mix with them, otherwise when sentiments get hurt, to remain noble and do the honorable things becomes somewhat a test. And I believe friendships are smooth, easygoing, comforting relationships. They are not burdensome load we have to carry on our souls - this is just my personal perception about friendships, not trying to make any debate out of it.

Originally posted by Caringheart

 here is the crux of the problem.  What if everyone were to say, 'it does not matter what YOU think'?  It always matters what others think.  If you take the attitude that it does not matter then understanding and peace can never be achieved.  We must care about how the other thinks or there will never be understanding... there will never be peace.  Who is it that wants continued misunderstanding and dissention among people?

Forgive me Caringheart, but I could not see you asking to reach for an understanding ... This post I am responding to is on the 10 page of this string. If you please go back and read where this argument is going. To me, (I hope am wrong) this is getting to a place where you are telling us what you think, no matter how much, or whichever way we tell you its not how we take things, its not helping.

Originally posted by Caringheart

ostentation... let's take a look at this...
The muslim way of dress could be considered a form of ostentation... a show or pretense of being better than everyone else... like the pharisees liked to parade or show themselves in their robes.

self glory - aren't the muslims taught to glorify themselves... that they are "the best of all peoples"?

<blockquote style="margin-right: 0px;" dir="ltr">
"I never saw these verses as a reason to 'go against' the non-muslims or puff myself up with pride as the chosen one."
It is good that you personally do not feel this way (although I would advise you to take a deep and honest look to be sure)...
but this is why we must view each as an individual because while you may not have learned from your scriptures to think you are better than others, there are others who have learned this very lesson, and are likely not even aware that they hold these judgements within themselves.

Going back to my first response. In the end what matters is how the scripture is meant to be taken. Everybody will be judged according to what they do, and the basis of that judgement with be the true knowledge contained in the scripture.
If Quran is teaching A and someone is understanding B out of it, no body will be able to blame the Quran on the day of judgement.

The hadith says one who has even a mustard seed of pride in his heart will not enter paradise.
This hadith does not identify the person according to his faith, race, color or anything ... just anybody, any human being who has pride, even the size of a mustard seed ...

Originally posted by Caringheart

Who is the great deceiver?  Whose very words in the garden of Eden led Eve astray by their cunning use?
I don't think other people feel small or offended by those verses, but it is offensive that those others are taught to think themselves better... that is offensive.  The very fact that you could make such a statement reveals the hidden prejudice that you do have... that you do think you are better... that it's 'not your fault' if 'others feel small' because of you.

It is not my fault that Allah praises the believer and admonishes the disbeliever.
The underlying problem of those who attibute the linguistic nature of Quran as my fault is that they cannot come to terms with the fact that I believe the Quran to be the Word of God and not a human composition.
This whole argument is stemming from this basic problem.

Originally posted by Caringheart

True servers of God are humble, knowing that they too, like all others, "have sinned and fall short of the glory of God". 

I did not say they are not. If your read my post again --- I said the best of slaves are those who are most humble to their Lord The closest relationship is that of an abd - a humble slave and the Mighty Lord.
The verses we are talking about are not written by the slaves, these are written for the slaves, by their Lord.
You don't want to believe its from the Lord, you want to believe its from the slave himself to himself - thus the blame and all the fuss.
But you are not listening. Those who believe in the verses being from the Lord, they dont find a sense of pride within them. They find humility within them.

Originally posted by Caringheart

There are none who are "the best of peoples".  There are only people, individuals, judged in their hearts only by God Himself.

Is God not allowed to voice His judgement about people in this world? Is He supposed to save it all for the judgement day?

Why should He not tell a new generation to abstain from the wrongs of an old generation that has earned his anger? Why should He keep it a mystery till the end?

Originally posted by Caringheart

I am frankly surprised that my words made no impact on you.<blockquote style="margin-right: 0px;" dir="ltr">
"How would it be if I said that my god said, 'take no muslim as a friend because they are not followers of God', instead of considering how they conduct themselves in their lives as individuals?"

If you dont say this I will be surprised and confused. Read TG12345 and my response to him.
Your stance and your sensitivity on the issue is confusing.
Mathew 21-23
Not everyone saying to me, Lord, Lord will enter into the kingdom of heavens, but one doing the will of my father who is in the heaven will. Many who say to me that day, Lord,Lord did we not prophecy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name? And yet I will confess to them get away from me, you workers of lawlessness.

Are these words not distinguishing those who believe in Jesus and those who reject him?

Originally posted by Caringheart

]"To sort those who follow God's ways from those who do not is an entirely different matter." -- than what they call themselves by their faith or upbringing.

The verses in context of which you are discussing this say ... It is you We worship iyyaka na'abudu - this is like a declaration that O lord, we worship you, so count us as your worshipers.

and goes on to say, since we worship you and you alone, please guide us to your way ie please prevent us from going astray... show your guidance to us because it is You who we worship

...and do not have your anger dierected towards on us, and do not make us go astray.

because those who got lost from your guidance, received your anger and went astray, so protect us from becoming like those , protect us from losing your straight path.

Have you not noticed that plea for guidance part ... its a prayer, a requests to God from the one who first makes his case before Him by saying - 'its you who we worship'

Originally posted by Caringheart

I was just asking myself the question this morning; Is there, honestly, any muslim who does not think he is better than everyone else?

Being a muslim is a continuous process. One has to be a muslim in every moment of their lives, and every moment has a new demand ... in some of those we behave like a muslim while in others we fall short of that ... That is why five times a day when we bow down to our Lord we ask him to Guide us.
We are also supposed to seek repentance at least 100 times a day.
This repentance is not just for actions alone, but for intentions and notions of the heart ... If we let a blameworthy notion take its dwelling in the heart then we must repent.
If we think of us as great, this is a blameworthy notion.It entails repentance.

Originally posted by Caringheart

Can you love a Jew or a Christian?

Is that a plural you - like you musims, or exclusively myself?
I dont have a problem loving even Hindus or Budhists - at the moment I am not in touch with any Jew. In fact most of my friends are either hindus or budhists because I grew up in India and now I live in Japan.
Okay there s one exception - I have made friends with the Jehova witness lady, she is perhaps more than 70 years old, and probably I am going to fall in love with her - because I love old people and I m loving her ways already ;)

Originally posted by Caringheart

Let's compare this with what Jesus taught;
Jesus taught, 'every man is a sinner and if there is any that say otherwise, he is a liar'.
I believe Jesus pbuh is right. Because prophet muhammad pbuh taught us to seek forgiveness agaist sins 70 times a day, and he likewise seeked forgiveness everyday.

Originally posted by Caringheart

Jesus taught that no one is better than any other. He taught to embrace all in love.

We know it similary from the Quran that noone is better except in their devotion to God, and this is something which only God can judge, so no one is in a position to make claims.

Originally posted by Caringheart

It's not about who is better than another, at least it should not be... God created us all, and loves us all. Our Creator only wants what is best for us... He is our protector. His Word is to guide us in wisdom and to protect us... to teach us how to love ourselves, by loving the Father who gave us life, and to love one another.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another...
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us (1 John)
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans)
4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
7 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.
8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.
9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.
10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. (1 John 2)
We are all created by the Creator, and born of Adam... all brothers and sisters... all children of the Creator.

I dont dispute you in these words.

Quran 24:35
Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His light is like a niche within which is a lamp, the lamp is within glass, the glass as if it were a pearly <font color="white"> star lit from [the oil of] a blessed olive tree, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by fire. Light upon light. Allah guides to His light whom He wills. And Allah presents examples for the people, and Allah is Knowing of all things.

Edited by Nausheen - 12 January 2013 at 6:56am
Wanu nazzilu minal Qurani ma huwa
Shafaa un wa rahmatun lil mo'mineena
wa la yaziduzzalimeena illa khasara.
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Quote Caringheart Replybullet Posted: 12 January 2013 at 1:30pm
Greetings Nausheen,
"I would have responded if you had left this question open ended.
Your 'if not' argument puts me on the defensive and I dont want to defend myself."
Thank you for this insight.  Is there any way I can take you off the defensive so that you may answer the question?

"My sentiments, and that of any true muslim are that we love our messenger above anything else, more than our selves, our family, spouses, children etc etc."
I have heard this before from you, and from other muslims, and I wish to ask... So often my faith is attacked because it is said that a follower of Jesus worships Jesus with God... takes Him as a partner with God.  Do you see that you exalt Muhammad to a level with God?  Shouldn't your greatest love be for God, not Muhammad?  I always, always, speak of my love for God.  Jesus simply leads me to Him.
You are correct though, friendships are always easiest with those who share our beliefs, ideas, and values.  That is why we will usually make friendships with those who share our values.  I believe I share your values, just not through the same faith.

"It is not my fault that Allah praises the believer and admonishes the disbeliever."
Ah, but herein lies the problem, herein lies the pride expressed in the quran(and I do not believe God would encourage pride)... Who to your mind is the believer?  I do not think it is defined by the faith by which you call yourself.  I think it is defined by the heart, which only God can see.  God loved David.  David who by all human definition was a grave sinner.  God must have known something about his heart.  God considered David a believer.   I too am a believer, but I would never say that I am 'the best of all peoples' or presume to be the condemner of others.  I will always try to share and lead others to God and His way, but I will not condemn others because they have not yet found Him.  It is up to God to work in the hearts of men, and in His time.

"Those who believe in the verses being from the Lord, they don't find a sense of pride within them. They find humility within them."
I can agree with that, if the people don't equate the words 'the best of all peoples' with the word 'muslim'.  The best of all peoples, and those to whom God bestows His blessings and Love, would be those who are submitted to God, and this can include many, muslim or non-muslim, while I am sure there are many 'muslims' who can be excluded.

and if they don't equate the words, 'those whom have earned the wrath of God', with all Jews,
or the words, 'those who are astray', with all those who follow Jesus.
There are those who are astray, those who have earned God's wrath, and unbelievers amongst all people.  This is my argument.

"Are these words not distinguishing those who believe in Jesus and those who reject him? "
No.  It is distinguishing those who do the will of God from those who did not.
"Whenever you did for the least of your brothers, you did it for Me, and when you did not for the least of your brothers you did not for Me."
This is about the command to love one another.  Jesus taught us Love above all else.
Which is the greatest commandment they asked;
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and the second is like it;
love your brother as yourself."

"I have made friends with the Jehova witness lady, she is perhaps more than 70 years old, and probably I am going to fall in love with her - because I love old people and I m loving her ways already ;) "
as I feel I have fallen in love with you and your ways.  Smile

I admire your great devotion, I just think it is misplaced.

Peace and blessings,
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Quote nospam001 Replybullet Posted: 12 January 2013 at 2:23pm
Originally posted by Rational

If we contemplate, look around us and ask questions, and not distract ourselves in unworthily things, then we have made steps towards the truth. If we are sincere then there is no doubt that our Creator will answer to us and give us the truth...You have been given free will and if you choose to take the wrong path i.e. disbelieve then that is an individual's choice.
Hi Rational

Those were exactly my assumptions too, until I read 2:7, 6:25, 17:97 and 18:57.


In every translation, these four verses make it crystal clear that some will never believe, not because of their own free will but because of a special veil or seal placed on their hearts by Allah() Himself "so they understand [it] not".

I can see why one might prefer to discuss another subject rather than face the implications of that phrase.

Allah() has not sealed the hearts and ears of every unbeliever, obviously, otherwise none would ever convert to Islam. For many perhaps, the inspirational verses you quoted would have reached their target unimpeded.

But for me, well.. it seems I must be one of those whom He has chosen to make an example of. That would certainly explain why twenty years of seeking has not brought me any closer to belief, contrary to all expectations.
God has the right to remain silent. For His advocates, however, each resigned shrug is a missed opportunity to win new converts.
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Quote nospam001 Replybullet Posted: 12 January 2013 at 3:13pm

Originally posted by caringheart

I'm a big Star Trek fan and whenever I think of God I am put in mind of the prime directive.
That we are meant to work things out for ourselves.
Yes but unlike God, the USS Enterprise uses its cloaking device only in emergencies.
God has the right to remain silent. For His advocates, however, each resigned shrug is a missed opportunity to win new converts.
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Quote nospam001 Replybullet Posted: 14 January 2013 at 8:25pm
Hello? Anyone? I thought we had a really interesting debate going...
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Quote Nausheen Replybullet Posted: 14 January 2013 at 9:42pm
Nospam, I felt overwhelmed -and when that happens I tend to take a break. However, these messages are spinning in my head all the time.

Im going to write something soon ...
Wanu nazzilu minal Qurani ma huwa
Shafaa un wa rahmatun lil mo'mineena
wa la yaziduzzalimeena illa khasara.
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Quote Nausheen Replybullet Posted: 15 January 2013 at 12:18am
Originally posted by Caringheart

Hello Nausheen,

Thank you for continuing this discussion, and you do not need to worry about offending me.
i understand the technicality of your religion. It is this that I challenge. Why the technicality? Why set people up against each other? Who would do this? the one who created them all? I don't think so. Why do you suppose your religion creates this divide? Can this truly be the religion of the God of Abraham?
Here's the thing. While I suppose I believe, because according to Jesus it has been taught... that at the end of days all will come to see the Truth that is Jesus... including the Jews who have currently rejected Him. This in no way precludes my treating them as equals on earth, and as friends deserving of all equal rights and treatment. It is judgement day that will separate the wheat from the chaff. That is the realm of God to determine, not humans.

Hello Caringheart,
Sorry for the late response. I had been giving this thread quite a bit of thaught, even though have not posted much.

First off, I use words like technicalities or practicalities and transparencies of matters, and protocols of doing things … please do not pay much heed to them, its my vocab from professional setting. In a religious setting I should be more sensitive of others, and usually I do not forget this, but there are times when I become a bit careless. My religion is very spiritual, and it is this aspect which gives me most tranquility and I have come to enjoy this technicality of islam very much (feel free to feel teased)!

I have thaught and thaught over how to make myself brief on the issue of this divide … but I cannot. So please forgive my jabber, and give me a listening ear. Thank you.

Im telling you something you will not find in any translations – usually when texts re translated the ‘feel of the language’ is sometimes lost. These is because the linguistics of every language works differently.

In the Quran when Allah addresses a group of people or even individual persons in the second person - the verses appear like this …
Ya ahlal Kitab = O people of the book
Ya bani adam = O children of Adam
Ya bani isreal = O children of Isreal
And so on …
One might want to ask if the Quran is the holy scripture of the muslims, why is Allah addressing these people who are not muslims – One of the reasons is that the Quran is meant for entire mankind. It calls our attention to several things, and there are certain things which are of concern to people in general, so it addresses eg, children of Adam in general. On top of that, there are places when Allah addresses the mankind in second person, as if the Creator is having a live dialogue with them through His scripture. This is a great honor bestowed on the people. Because a bigger honor than this was what He bestowed upon Musa alaihe salam where He used to actually have a live dialogue with him. [on a side note, we call him Kaleem-Allah ie the one who had the honor of speaking with Allah]

However, one will notice that not even once does the Quran use a second person address to those group who He is not happy with. Like the mushrikeen, the munafiqeen, the kafireen, the fasiqeen – these are the polytheists, the hypocrites, disbelievers etc .

Eg, no verse begins with ‘Ya mushrikeen …’

One mght wonder why?
Their action is so disliked by Allah, that He refuses to even address them with a second person address.
Think about it. What does it tell us?
Now, how does He address the believers in a second person?
One might expect ‘ ya mu’mineen = O believers.
But no, this is not the norm. The norm is something else.
It says, Ya ayyiyuha al-ladhina aamanu.
Here comes the part that is invariably missed in translations.
This will be closely translated as ‘ O you who believe’ which is not very different from ‘O people of the book’. There is nothing apparently special about the language in ‘o you who believe’
Ya is called harf an nida = the letter of address, or the letter of calling attention.
But there is an extra word there. ‘ayyiyuha’ This is a word of honor or ta’zeem in Arabic.
When Allah is addressing His believing servants, He is not just drawing their attention to the matter that follows in the verse, He is also giving them a status of honor by saying Ya (letter of calling attention) ayyiyuha (honor) – alladhina (those who) aamanu (have believed).
And He does not use Ayyiyuha for bani adam, or bani isreal or any of others whom he addresses in a second person.
This is again very amazing. Why does He do this?
And, whatever follows after ‘ya ayyiyuha al ladhina amanu’ is either a command or a prohibition – either they are being instructed to do something which is very important, or forbidden from something which is of equally important nature.
So why does He create this divide?
Perhaps because belief and disbelief is not equal in His sight. And He is giving this message in a very subtle rhetorical fashion in Arabic – a language which the arabs were well versed in.
If one is a believer this understanding can only give a shiver in the spine.

Its like when the king of kings chooses to address someone with so much of care and concern, bestowing His covenant to him with trust - it instills awe, and a good kind of fear – a consciousness towards ones own actions, and a deap seated desire to become worthy of that trust.

This is an experience, a feeling if you will. You have said Islam cannot be understood till one enters it. Its not the knowledge of Islam that cannot be understood, as its open for all to master, however the experience cannot be reached through intellects.

Originally posted by Caringheart

David's illicit relationship with Bathsheba was not a sin? Having her husband killed was not a sin?
Noah when he got drunk and had relations with his daughters... this was not a human sin?
Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land because God considered that he had sinned against Him.
Jacob did not sin when he deceived his father into givng him his brothers inheritance?
Solomon was absolutely guilty of sin in God's eyes as he took wives who led him away from God and back into idol worship.

Godforbid, we do not believe in any of this.
Originally posted by Caringheart

"what matters in the end is how well one understands the true message of the QuranI agree and therein lies the problem... there are so many ways that the quran can be, and is, interpreted. It is impossible to define one true message of the quran except to accept that Muhammad was a prophet... and there were many false prophets, and Jesus said there would be many false prophets to come after Him. The age of prophesy ended... i.e., God stopped sending prophets when His temple in Jerusalem was destroyed and the Israelites became the diaspora... when they were no longer all together in one place God stopped sending prophets.
Was Muhammad meant to be a prophet to the children of Ishmael? I don't know, but if he was then to Ishmael's children only he was sent, if he was indeed sent by God, and lies and deception creeped into the Truth of God, if indeed, by God he was sent. "

This was exactly the problem the Jews had in the 6th century. Why was it that all prophets were in the line of Isaac, but this one is from the line of Ismael? The wondered why. They could not believe God could do this – thus they would ask him, pbuh questions of the nature which only their rabbies could answer. Like they asked about the sleepers of the cave – and no body knew the answer, not even Muhammad pbuh. He waited for a revelation to answer this, and it did not come for a long time … its all documented in asbab an nuzul of 18th chapter. There was a long lapse of time between their asking him and the revelation. So much that the jews started to mock him, pbuh – ‘see he is a false prophet’. Then finally it came and answered, which was amazing to them. His prophethood was proved to jews in not one way, but several. … Those who accepted Islam in those days they knew he was a prophet not just from their heart, but also through their own scriptures.

There is a story of a jew who grabbed him by the collar in public and started calling names, so hard that his neck was red … when the companions got up to retaliate, he stopped them – and this person said, he saw all the qualities of a true prophet in him except that he could not verify forbearance, so he did this act. And now that he saw forbearance, he accepted Islam right there.
These are some stories which confirm some people’s belief while disturb others.

The answer to your question is Muhammad is called ‘rahamt lil alamieen’ He is sent as a mercy to all the worlds. Alam is this world, but in this statement plural form is used – alameen.

Originally posted by Caringheart

surah 5:82
Thou wilt find the most vehement of mankind in hostility to those who believe (to be) the Jews and the idolaters. And thou wilt find the nearest of them in affection to those who believe (to be) those who say: Lo! We are Christians. That is because there are among them priests and monks, and because they are not proud
What Muhammad was seeing in the Christians was their Love and humility, the Love and humility that comes from Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Christians willing to reach out in Love and acceptance to those who do not believe, rather than condemn them, as Jesus did not condemn but rather invited to repentance. This is why Muhammad felt that the Christians were accepting of him where the Jews and idol worshipers were not. The difference is Christ Jesus. What he was seeing was the Love of Christians that comes through Christ.

I wonder why you did not point at the divide between jews and christians in this verse.

Originally posted by Caringheart

What does it matter whether or not one accepts Muhammad as a prophet? Isn't the thing that should matter, whether or not one serves God? If I am honoring God in the same way you are honoring God, I simply do it for love of Jesus while you do it for love of Muhammad.... the Jews do it for love of God, period...

So if I am serving God for the love of Muhammad (pbuh), will I be received paradise?

Originally posted by Caringheart

Don't you think that will be the thing God will be looking at... whether or not we had love for Him and for one another? What is God, and what is the gift of life, if not Love itself?

Yes I think so. The ultimate achievement is the Love of Allah. We believe that to gain a status where He would love us, we need to do a certain things … that is what a muslim should be avidly looking for –

what is it that Allah demands from him/her ?
We believe that God has mercy for All, but His love is exclusive and it demands exclusive price to earn it. If love of status, prestige, power, material world resides in the heart, then one will miss the exclusive love of God.

Its said in the Quran …
The believers are those who are excessive in their love for Allah. ‘Alladheena amanu ashaddu hubba lillah’

If we want Allah to love us, we will have to love for his sake and reject for His sake, ie love that which He loves and reject what He has rejected. The most disliked of all things to Allah is association of anything, from His creation to Him.
On the day of judgment, one can have wiggle room with Allah if in this life one has not associated partners with Him. One whose heart is not pure from this, Allah has said He can forgive any sin on that day accept the sin of associating partners with Him.
So, one who is looking for the love of Allah, this is the scratch from where he’s got to begin.
Wanu nazzilu minal Qurani ma huwa
Shafaa un wa rahmatun lil mo'mineena
wa la yaziduzzalimeena illa khasara.
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