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Interfaith Dialogue
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Message Icon Topic: The Final Hurdle of becoming a Muslim is Post Reply Post New Topic
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Rational
 
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Quote Rational Replybullet Posted: 02 March 2013 at 2:14pm
Assalam Alaik nospam001,

Sorry for the very late reply.
Originally posted by nospam001

By looking only at English translations, am I missing a crucial difference in meaning which would have been obvious in Arabic, even to a non-believer? In other words, why do English translations of Islamic texts use the word "just" when describing Allah(), given that it is meaningless to do so?

I'm not sure what you mean by "just". Maybe give an example from the Quran.

About reading translations of the Quran, some verses will seem to give different meanings. But it's good to read several translations to get a better understanding (you probably do this already), and even ask someone that can read arabic to explain what a word or verse means. When reading the Quran in arabic, the reader obtaines the original and obviously the most accurate meaning. Arabic is such a rich language and the holy Quran makes full use of it. And as you know, the Quran is written in classical arabic known as arabic "foss-ha" (that's one word btw).

The Quran is amazing when read in Arabic. No man-written poetry dares compete or even come close. In all those years and still, nothing has ever come close to it's quality in style, content and consistency. As they say "It's out of this world". There is no doubt that these are the words of our Creator.

Not sure if that answers your question but I tried.



Edited by Rational - 02 March 2013 at 2:34pm
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nospam001
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Quote nospam001 Replybullet Posted: 06 March 2013 at 1:02am

Originally posted by Rational

Sorry for the very late reply.
Late or not, I'm grateful for intelligent conversation on this topic. It doesn't seem to matter to a lot of people.
I'm not sure what you mean by "just". Maybe give an example from the Quran.
I take your point. Googling the phrase "Allah is just", I found some tafsir but nothing in any translation of the Qur'an. "The Utterly Just" (Al-'Adl) is often said to be one of the 99 names, but even that originates from Hadith, evidently a disputed one.

So you've got me. It seems that Allah() Himself never actually claimed to be anything of the sort. Not in those words, anyway.

Having said that, the Qur'an (in English translation) does seem to blur the alleged distinction between esoteric divine justice and familiar human justice, allowing naive readers like me to form the impression that both forms of justice do indeed follow the same set of principles - principles that include 'whether the punishment fits the crime'.

What seems to be missing completely is the principle that 'unlike human justice, divine justice is whatever pleases the boss'.

In everyday commerce we often see advertisers trying to exploit a familiar-sounding word or phrase that also has a 'special' or unfamiliar meaning - so as to overcome resistance and shift more product. Take the word "guarantee" for example. I can't count the number of times I've been fooled by that one!

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: 28 March 2013 at 2:48pm
Here's a bit more on divine justice, thanks to Wikipedia.
The Shias believe that there is intrinsic good or evil in things, and that God commands them to do the good things and shun the evil. They believe that God acts according to a purpose or design, and human reason cannot comprehend this design or purpose in its entirety (though man must always strive to understand as much as he can).

The Sunni School of thought does not consider Justice of God as part of Uṣūl ad-Dīn (fundamentals of faith). It subscribes to the view that nothing is good or evil per se, and that what God commanded people to do became good by virtue of his command, and what he forbade became evil.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adalah

It would be a tautology for a Sunni to say "Allah() is just". That sentence is true by definition and therefore conveys absolutely no useful information. It is logically impossible for Him to do what is 'not just'. The Problem of Evil is 'solved' by declaring a word to mean something else. We may need a special Sunni dictionary, but at least it places no demands on Faith.

By contrast, the Shia does not rely on flexible semantics. Allah() could easily do what is not just, but He always chooses not to. This is acknowledged as an article of Faith. Stuff only seems unjust to the extent that we don't understand Allah's purpose or design. I don't subscribe to this view, obviously, but at least it's open to further discussion.
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 Rational Replybullet Posted: 12 April 2013 at 4:50pm
Assalamo Alaik nospam,

Allah (subhanaho wa ta'ala) says:

Indeed, Allah is not timid to present an example - that of a mosquito or what is smaller than it. And those who have believed know that it is the truth from their Lord. But as for those who disbelieve, they say, "What did Allah intend by this as an example?" He misleads many thereby and guides many thereby. And He misleads not except the defiantly disobedient,
(26)
Who break the covenant of Allah after contracting it and sever that which Allah has ordered to be joined and cause corruption on earth. It is those who are the losers. (27)

In other words, Allah (subhanaho wa ta'ala) does not mislead those that are obedient, those that do not violate moral principles and are sincere in being righteous.

But Allah will, if He wishes, mislead the defiantly disobedient, the rebellious transgressors, the committed wrongdoers... and certainly those that worship other than Him (subhanaho wa ta'ala).



Edited by Rational - 13 April 2013 at 5:55am
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Quote Rational Replybullet Posted: 13 April 2013 at 6:28am
Originally posted by nospam001

Here's a bit more on divine justice, thanks to Wikipedia.
The Shias believe that there is intrinsic good or evil in things, and that God commands them to do the good things and shun the evil. They believe that God acts according to a purpose or design, and human reason cannot comprehend this design or purpose in its entirety (though man must always strive to understand as much as he can).

The Sunni School of thought does not consider Justice of God as part of Uṣūl ad-Dīn (fundamentals of faith). It subscribes to the view that nothing is good or evil per se, and that what God commanded people to do became good by virtue of his command, and what he forbade became evil.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adalah

It would be a tautology for a Sunni to say "Allah() is just". That sentence is true by definition and therefore conveys absolutely no useful information. It is logically impossible for Him to do what is 'not just'. The Problem of Evil is 'solved' by declaring a word to mean something else. We may need a special Sunni dictionary, but at least it places no demands on Faith.

By contrast, the Shia does not rely on flexible semantics. Allah() could easily do what is not just, but He always chooses not to. This is acknowledged as an article of Faith. Stuff only seems unjust to the extent that we don't understand Allah's purpose or design. I don't subscribe to this view, obviously, but at least it's open to further discussion.


Interesting. However, I don't agree with the claims from Wikipedia regarding this subject that shia believe this and sunnis believe that. There are varying opinions on both sides amongs people.

For me, a muslim trusts in Allah and submits to Him. For a muslim, Allah is the very definition of justice. He is just. He doesn't answer to us, we answer to Him. He is the judge, we do not judge Him. He knows what is just, we don't. He tells us what is just, we follow.

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Quote nospam001 Replybullet Posted: 14 April 2013 at 3:48pm
Originally posted by Rational

Assalamo Alaik nospam,

Allah (subhanaho wa ta'ala) says:

Indeed, Allah is not timid to present an example - that of a mosquito or what is smaller than it. And those who have believed know that it is the truth from their Lord. But as for those who disbelieve, they say, "What did Allah intend by this as an example?" He misleads many thereby and guides many thereby. And He misleads not except the defiantly disobedient,
(26)
Who break the covenant of Allah after contracting it and sever that which Allah has ordered to be joined and cause corruption on earth. It is those who are the losers. (27)

In other words, Allah (subhanaho wa ta'ala) does not mislead those that are obedient, those that do not violate moral principles and are sincere in being righteous.

But Allah will, if He wishes, mislead the defiantly disobedient, the rebellious transgressors, the committed wrongdoers... and certainly those that worship other than Him (subhanaho wa ta'ala).

Hi Rational - Thanks. I had completely overlooked that verse. As I was never a believer, I cannot say I have been deliberately blinded by Allah(). It seems that the active misleading is reserved mainly for apostates, judging by 2:27.
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: 15 April 2013 at 3:55pm

Originally posted by Rational

Interesting. However, I don't agree with the claims from Wikipedia regarding this subject that shia believe this and sunnis believe that. There are varying opinions on both sides amongs people.

For me, a muslim trusts in Allah and submits to Him. For a muslim, Allah is the very definition of justice. He is just. He doesn't answer to us, we answer to Him. He is the judge, we do not judge Him. He knows what is just, we don't. He tells us what is just, we follow.

I agree that one's actual beliefs are not necessarily the same as any particular set of orthodox teachings. Indeed, your own opinions on divine justice would serve as a powerful example, assuming you have ever disagreed with Sunni doctrine on any other matter.

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 maazalisyed Replybullet Posted: 17 April 2013 at 6:14am
There are many instances specially in Malaysia and Indonesia, where some Muslims accepted other faith because of lack of Islamic knowledge transferred by parents etc. But when preachers reach there they turn back to Islam, and there is no punishment... If a Muslim rejects Islam or leave his faith, there is always as option of forgiveness, as soon as he comes back towards Islam.
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