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Islamic INTRAfaith Dialogue
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Quote herjihad Replybullet Posted: 06 June 2005 at 6:38am


To know something is to do it.  I heard this hadith a long time ago about how Omar, SWS, would implement the Quran he knew before he would study more.  Someone can quote the exact hadith, I'm sure. 

So I take from this a good lesson that if I am impious and impatient, I need to work on those things because the Sura Wal Asr tells me to before I try to become an expert in history and other things.  People can do both, but I think the point is that we are not supposed to abandon the essentials that we haven't mastered to chasing new knowledge for the sake of "knowing" it.

Al-Hamdulillah (From a Married Muslimah) La Howla Wa La Quwata Illa BiLLah - There is no Effort or Power except with Allah's Will.
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Ali Zaki
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Quote Ali Zaki Replybullet Posted: 06 June 2005 at 7:07am

Salam to herjihad,

I am very deliberately avoiding discussing the policy of Omar in implementing Sharia as the Caliphate, as this is a very different issue than what we are discussing and would take us to far off topic.

In regards to reliance on our own experience, understanding to explain Quran, here is an interesting discussion on this topic from one of the most well-know and respected Mufasireen, Sayed Tabatabai, author of "Al-Mizan". In his forward to this book, he writes,

" In this life we are surrounded by matter; even our senses and faculties are closely related to it. This familiarity with matter and material things has influenced our mode of thinking. When we hear a word or a sentence, our mind races to its material meaning. When we hear, for example, the words, life, knowledge, power, hearing, sight, speech, will, pleasure, anger, creation and order, we at once think of the material manifestations of their meanings. Likewise, when we hear the words, heaven, earth, tablet, pen, throne, chair, angel and his wings, and Satan and his tribe and army, the first things that come into our minds are their material manifestations....

In this way, we jump to the familiar (which most often is material) meaning of every word. And it is but natural. Man has made words to fulfil his social need of mutual intercourse; and society in its turn was established to fulfil the man's material needs. Not unexpectedly, the words became symbols of the things which men were connected with and which helped them in their material progress

But we should not forget that the material things are con­stantly changing and developing with the development of expert­ise. Man gave the name, lamp, to a certain receptacle in which he put a wick and a little fat that fed the lighted wick which illumi­nated the place in darkness. That apparatus kept changing until now it has become the electric bulb of various types; and except the name "lamp" not a single component of the original lamp can be found in it.


Likewise, there is no resemblance in the balance of old times and the modern scales - especially if we compare the old apparatus with the modern equipment for weighing and measuring heat, electirc-current's flow and blood-pressure.


And the armaments of old days and the ones invented within our own times have nothing in common, except the name.


The named things have changed so much that not a single component of the original can be found in them; yet the name has not changed. It shows that the basic element that allows the use of a name for a thing is not the shape of that thing, but its purpose and benefit.


Man, imprisoned as he is within his habitat and habit, often fails to see this reality. That is why al-Hashawiyyah and those who believe that God has a body interpret the Qur'anic verses and phrases within the fame-work of the matter and the nature. But in fact they are stuck with their habit and usage, and not to the exterior of the Qur'an and the traditions. Even in the literal meanings of the Qur'an we find ample evidence that relying on the habit and usage in explanation of the divine speech would cause confusion and anomaly. For example, Allah says: nothing is like a likeness of Him (42:11); Visions comprehended Him not, and He comprehends (all) visions; and He is the Knower of subtilities, the Aware (6 :73) ; glory be to Him above what they ascribe (to Him) (23 :91; 37:159). These verses manifestly show that what we are accustomed to cannot be ascribed to Allah.


It was this reality that convinced many people that they should not explain the Qur'anic words by identifying them with their usual and common meanings. Going a step further, they sought the help of logical and philosophical arguments to avoid wrong deductions. This gave a foot-hold to academic reasoning in explaining the Qur'an and identifying the individ­ual person or thing meant by a word. Such discussions can be of two kinds:


i) The exegete takes a problem emanating from a Qur'anic statement, looks at it from academic and philosophical point of view, weighs the pros and cons and with the help of the phil­osophy, science and logic decides what the true answer should be. Thereafter, he takes the verse and fits it anyhow on that answer which, he thinks, is right.


The Muslim philosophers and theologians usually followed this method; but, as mentioned earlier, the Qur'an does not approve of it.


ii) The exegete explains the verse with the help of other relevant verses, meditating on them together - and meditation has been forcefully urged upon by the Qur'an itself - and ident­ifies the individual person or thing by its particulars and attributes mentioned in the verse.


No doubt this is the only correct method of exegesis."





"The structure of faith is supported by four pillars endurance, conviction, justice and jihad."

Imam Ali (a.s.)
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Quote Community Replybullet Posted: 09 June 2005 at 12:14am

how do you really know if you are going to be questioned in the grave and what questions you will be asked?

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Abu Hadi

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Quote Abu Hadi Replybullet Posted: 09 June 2005 at 4:07am

“Allaah will keep firm those who believe, with the word that stands firm in this world (i.e. they will keep on worshipping Allaah Alone and none else), and in the Hereafter. And Allaah will cause to go astray those who are Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers), and Allaah does what He wills” [Surat Ibraaheem 14:27]

It was narrated that al-Baraa’ ibn ‘Aazib said: “What is meant by ‘this world’ is the questioning in the grave, and what is meant by ‘the Hereafter’ is the questioning on the (Day of) Resurrection.” 

As mentioned above, the keeping firm in this world is keeping (the believer) firm when he is questioned by the two angels in the grave, and keeping the believer firm in adhering to the truth, taqwa and righteousness in this world. The keeping firm in the Hereafter means keeping the believer firm on the Day of Resurrection, when he is questioned about his deeds and actions, his youth and his life, his wealth and possessions, his duties towards himself, towards others and towards the people around him, his different dealings and his affairs which have to do with his Islamic duties, commands and prohibitions, what he did and did not do 

Imaaam Ahmad(d.241H)(rh) said:

"From the essential Sunnah, which if a person leaves anyone of its points-not accepting it and not having eemaan in it-then he will not be from its people are:(he then mentions) eemaan in the Punishment of the Grave"(*17)He also said:"Punishment of the Grave is a true fact. The servant will be questioned about his Religion and his Lord.Munkir and Nakeer and Paradise and Hellfire are also true facts"

Abdul-Hasan al-Asharee(d.324H)(rh) -said:

 "The Mutazilah denied Punishment in the grave.It has been related from the Prophet(saw) by many ways and by his Companions(rta).Nothing has been related from a single one of them denying or negating this,to the point when there is ijmaa(comcensus) from the Companions of the Prophet(saw)"(*22)He also said:"There is consensus that the Punishment of the grave is a true fact,and that people will be tested and questoined in their graves.So may Allaah,establish us with what He loves'

Also, here is a hadith that has been narrated by Imam Ali(a.s), Imam Al Reda(a.s.), and Imam Jaafar As Sadiq(a.s.)

One who denies (any of these) three things is not among our Shi`a (followers): the Me`raj, the questioning in the grave and ash­ Shafa`ah (intercession).

There is no compulsion in religion; truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error...
Quran Ch.2 Verse 256
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