Introduction to Islam

Zolani99

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Christians revere the Hebrew prophets, but exclusively follow what they believe to be the teachings of Jesus Christ. Christos means "anointed/chosen one", and this is where the term Christian comes from.
The origin of Christianity is still a grey area to me. How would you have responded if, after Muhammad was driven out of Mecca, his remaining followers in Mecca were then called Mohammedans and they introduced a divergent interpretation of Islam? This would have resulted in 2 biblical religions Judaism & Islam vs 2 divergent religions, namely Christianity & Mohammedanism. Do you think in this instance the Quran would also have referred to Mohammedanism as a religion?

I'm of the opinion if Jesus was accepted as a prophet from the Jews to the Jews, Christianity wouldn't have existed today as the followers of Jesus would have been known as Jews and not Christians.
 
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Splinter

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Note that those who have genuinely conducted an open-minded search for Truth, having explored various positions, including Islam, and thereafter sincerely rejected it, because they genuinely cannot conceive of it as the truth, are not the same as those who refuse to search for truth, or refuse to see Islam as truth due egotism, laziness, bigotry or arrogance.
Dear wayfarer, that's rather condescending and insulting. I take it you would include me in your latter description?
 

wayfarer

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The origin of Christianity is still a grey area to me. How would you have responded if, after Muhammad was driven out of Mecca, his followers in Mecca were then called Mohammedans and they introduced a divergent interpretation of Islam? This would have resulted in 2 biblical religions Judaism & Islam vs 2 divergent religions, namely Christianity & Mohammedanism.

I'm of the opinion if Jesus was accepted as a prophet from the Jews to the Jews, Christianity wouldn't have existed today.
Multiple factors led the formation of present day Christianity, including the involvement of Paul (click here to see Paul's role), Constantine, the Council of Nicea, etc.

The point is that at the time of Jesus Christ, the Jews no longer accurately practiced the true faith. Those who broke away from the mainstream Jewish tradition to follow the corrections brought by Jesus Christ were originally in the minority, and were regarded as heretics. Instead of sketching themselves as deviants from the incumbents, they eventually came to present themselves as a new faith. Doctrinal perversions only became entrenched later on.

Zolani, the foundations of Christianity are complex, but Christianity is an inflection of the Abrahamic Tradition, as Judaism is. Jews refuse to accept the legitimacy of Jesus Christ, and both Jews and Christians refuse to accept the legitimacy of Prophet Muhammad. But this is the way of the Lord, as willed by Him, and He will be the ultimate arbiter.

This is explained in the Quran:

"And We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the (Jewish/Christian) Scripture and as a criterion over it. So judge between them by what God has revealed and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth. To each of you We prescribed a law and a method. Had God willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To God is your return, all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ."
(Quran 5:48)
 

Zolani99

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This is explained in the Quran:

"And We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the (Jewish/Christian) Scripture and as a criterion over it. So judge between them by what God has revealed and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth. To each of you We prescribed a law and a method. Had God willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To God is your return, all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ."
(Quran 5:48)
What a beautiful and clear verse. It's everything I've been promoting all the time i.e. The tests of life, submission to the will of God and doing righteous work. Thank you.
 

Zolani99

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"Behold, I am about to create a human being out of clay; and when I have formed him fully and breathed into him of My spirit ..."

Is my interpretation correct to say the Islamic view of creation is that humans were created by God and did not evolve?

What about animals? Did all animals evolve or were some animals created in their current form from day 1?
 
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wayfarer

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"Behold, I am about to create a human being out of clay; and when I have formed him fully and breathed into him of My spirit ..."

Is my interpretation correct to say the Islamic view of creation is that humans were created by God and did not evolve?
What about animals? Did all animals evolve or were some animals created in their current form from day 1?
Religion and science

To require one to choose between the ideas of creation by God and evolution, is a false dichotomy. The two are not mutually exclusive. If evolution is true, then it merely means that God is involved at every step of the way. Not an electron orbits in a particular energy level, at a specific spin path in a particular orbital, but that God wills it and enacts it thus.

Religion furnishes us with meaning: the "whats" and the "whys". The Quran does not detail the "whens" and the "hows". The Quran is not meant to do that, as its focus is God, moral guidance and the Next Life. God gave us senses and an intellect, that we may study the world empirically. Via the faculty of reason, upon which revelation descends, we behold all of creation as signposts pointing to Him.

Islam teaches that God created the universe and all life, including humankind. It speaks about the actual creation processes in very basic, symbolic and allegorical terms. To discern their exact meanings, we have to turn to science. To reject science is an affront to God, for science represents the knowledge of God's physical laws and processes by which He creates and sustains everything in existence, whether organic or inorganic. Learning about science is learning about God's creative act, and about God's beautiful creation. To appreciate the art is to appreciate the Artist, and to prize the poem is to prize the Poet.

While there are certainly dissident scientists opposed to the Theory of Evolution, most academics who encounter this theory, embrace it. There may be development and changes over time, as this particular aspect of biology becomes more refined. There are also diverse interpretations of the more complex aspects, but some central principles are broadly accepted.

Creation from clay

God states that Adam was created from clay, but not by which processes. Evolutionary biologists maintain that life originated from the substance of the earth. Therefore, the idea that Adam evolved from clay over millions of years is NOT inconsistent with the idea of him being created from clay by God.

Evolution for animals, and evolution for humans

Regarding animals, the vast majority of Islamic scholars accept evolution for them. We are not to deny clear evidence (though for some, evidence for evolution is not at all that clear). However, there exists a tiny minority of extremist literalists, who interpret Scripture in such a manner as to deliberately exclude the possibility of evolution. For those individuals, accepting evolution is a rejection of God's Infallible Word, and therefore it is not even an option.

Regarding the view on humans, there is still a sizable proportion of traditional mainstream scholars who exclude humans from evolution. The human creature is God's honoured creation, created for God Himself. They maintain that God took special care to directly and instantly create Adam. Verses of the Quran, when interpreted in a certain way, may give the impression that very little time passed between Adam's creation and the events in the Garden.

However, the number of Islamic scholars who accept evolution for humans too, is growing. They maintain that the verses referring to Adam's creation refer to the final steps. Clay and water, having evolved into Homo Sapiens over millions of years by God's direction (not random mutation and natural selection, but by mutation and selection determined by God), is raised up to receive the honoured soul. The events of the Garden follow soon thereafter.

Our bodies are organic compounds, made up of what we eat; our bodies are not that different from other mammals. The human creature is of this Earth and will return to it as worm food. But the soul is not from here, nor will it remain here. Just like other animals, we move around, breathe, reproduce, eat, sense, excrete and grow. The human honour is contingent on the soul borne by the body. So, why exclude the human body from the Theory of Evolution?
 

Zolani99

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Thank you for the comprehensive answer. I'm in agreement that (some) animals may have evolved over centuries with God's power. I however have my doubts over evolution of humankind as God only needs to say "Be, and it is". Why would He take the long evolution route with humans?

PS: Don't quote any verses as you may get banned from PD like I was. Truth hurts.
 
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signates

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Why would He take the long evolution route with humans?
Wayfarer will have a better answer to this but my take on it is that He transcends time and therefore does not experience it the way we do. A million years to us would be an instant to Him.
 

wayfarer

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Thank you for the comprehensive answer. I'm in agreement that (some) animals may have evolved over centuries with God's power. I however have my doubts over evolution of humankind as God only needs to say "Be, and it is". Why would He take the long evolution route with humans?
I am redirecting this to the Islam and Evolution thread, as I feel that is more appropriate for this topic. I have posted my reply there.

http://mybroadband.co.za/vb/showthr...-Evolution?p=18701180&viewfull=1#post18701180
 
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BBSA

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Thank you for the comprehensive answer. I'm in agreement that (some) animals may have evolved over centuries with God's power. I however have my doubts over evolution of humankind as God only needs to say "Be, and it is". Why would He take the long evolution route with humans?

PS: Don't quote any verses as you may get banned from PD like I was. Truth hurts.
You are lying, you were not banned from PD or was that your previous account?
 

Splinter

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Dear wayfarer, that's rather condescending and insulting. I take it you would include me in your latter description?
Hmm. I see wayfarers response was deleted (and my subsequent challenges to him to prove instances of his attacks on my character). Why was that? To protect his façade as the gentle and wise Islamic scholar?

Anyway, my question still stands.

I also pose a further question - who do you consider to fill or be examples of this category of "those who refuse to search for truth, or refuse to see Islam as truth due egotism, laziness, bigotry or arrogance."

Would it include atheists who use intelligence, logic and common sense to refuse to see Islam as the truth?

Edit: I see the "deleted" posts I'm referring to are actually in another thread. My bad :)

My questions still stand.
 
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Zolani99

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"Allah says: "There is no compulsion in religion", meaning: do not force anyone to embrace Islam, because it is clear and its proofs and evidences are manifest. Whoever Allah guides and opens his heart to Islam has indeed embraced it with clear evidence. Whoever Allah misguides blinds his heart and has set a seal on his hearing and a covering on his eyes cannot embrace Islam by force...hence Allah revealed this verse. But, this verse is abrogated by the verse of "fighting...Therefore, all people of the world should be called to Islam. If anyone of them refuses to do so, or refuses to pay the Jizya they should be fought till they are killed. This is the meaning of compulsion. In the Sahih, the Prophet said: "Allah wonders at those people who will enter Paradise in chains", meaning prisoners brought in chains to the Islamic state, then they embrace Islam sincerely and become righteous, and are entered among the people of Paradise." -Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, Al-Firdous Ltd., London, 1999: First Edition, Part 3, pp. 37-38
What is the Islamic view to the above claim?
 

battmann

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Im also interested in the seemingly contradictory view of verse 2:256 where there's no compulsion in religion and verse 3:85 where Islam is the only accepted religion?

Can someone please explain?
It's double mindedness. Don't steal, but it ok to steal from infidels...
Make up your mind
 

wayfarer

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Dear Excellent Questioners

Please bear with me... I'm in the middle of writing exams, but I will be sure to give your questions the attention they deserve in about a week or so. Thanks a mil.
 

Splinter

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Dear Excellent Questioners

Please bear with me... I'm in the middle of writing exams, but I will be sure to give your questions the attention they deserve in about a week or so. Thanks a mil.
This Excellent Questioner awaits my deserved attention.
 
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