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Thread: Introduction to Islam

  1. #61

    Default 5. Belief/Faith (Iman)

    Main > Belief/Faith (Iman)


    Often translated into English as "belief", Iman is an Arabic term which denotes certitude to the unseen. In Islamic theology, it refers to the inner aspect of the religion, and denotes a believer's faith in the metaphysical realities of Islam. The term Iman has been delineated in both the Quran as well as the famous Hadith of Gabriel (see Wikipedia article for more - info accurate at time of this post).

    God says in the Quran:

    "The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and [so have] the believers. All of them have believed in God and His angels and His books and His messengers, [saying], "We make no distinction between any of His messengers." And they say, "We hear and we obey. [We seek] Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the [final] destination." " (Quran 2:285)

    We can ascertain the 6 articles of faith to be (click the links below to jump to the relevant posts):

    5.1. Belief in God

    5.2. Belief in the Prophets
    - 5.2.1 Jesus Christ, the Messiah
    - 5.2.2 Prophet Muhammad

    5.3. Belief in Divine Books

    5.4. Belief in the Angels

    5.5. Belief in the Day of Judgment

    5.6. Facilitation of Good & Evil

    Islamic scholars also speak of Branches of Faith, referring to beliefs, qualities and actions associated with faith in God. Furthermore, it is the norm for beginner students of Islamic belief to study Tahawi's detailed list of Islamic beliefs (full list in point form or concise explanatory notes).
    Last edited by wayfarer; 24-02-2013 at 10:36 PM. Reason: link

  2. #62

    Default 5.1 Belief in God

    Main > Belief/Faith > Belief in God


    The attributes of God are infinite. However, there are 20 attributes of God that Muslims necessarily attest, and to which all other attributes return. Some lists summarise these further into 13 points, such as the list below (note that most scholars regard 11.1 and 11.2 as two separate points).

    1. God does exist.

    2. God is beginninglessly eternal.
    This does not mean that it is believed that God existed for an infinite amount of time, as God is not believed to be subject to time and space (both created by Him), but He transcends beyond it. It is not believed that God had no temporal beginning, but rather that He has no logical beginning.

    3. God is everlastingly abiding.
    This does not imply belief that God will exist for all time. He is the creator of time. It means that He will have no logical end.

    4. God is dissimilar to anything else.
    There is nothing even similar to Him in existence, and His exact nature is not like anything imaginable.

    5. God is self-subsistent.
    He is an entity with attributes, and not innately an attribute dependent on anything. Even if all else ceased to exist, He would still be God. He is free of any determinants, and does not require to have been created.

    6. God is One.
    No one shares any of His attributes, no one shares in His actions.

    7. God possesses almighty Power (and exercises that Power).
    God is able to bring from non-existence into existence and from existence to non-existence.

    8. God has Will (and executes His Will).
    He does everything according to His Will or Choice.

    9. God is knowledgeable (and has full Knowledge).
    God wills things according to His knowledge, which is infinite. Everything exists through His Power, Will and Knowledge.

    10. God has Life (He is living).

    11. God is all-perceiving (and perceives) [e.g., 11.1 All-seeing and 11.2 All-hearing].
    His perceiving is without the need for material sense organs.

    12. God has Speech (and does speak).
    It is an eternal and absolute Speech.

    Contemporary Islamic Scholar, Faraz Rabbani, sheds some light on this list:

    "In principle, God is characterized by all perfections, and exalted beyond all imperfections. However, the scholars deduced that all the divine attributes can be categorized systematically, for the purpose of understanding clearly.

    Given this, they say:

    God has one essential attribute: Being.

    God has five negative attributes: Beginninglessness, Endlessness, Being Distinct from Created Things, Self-Sufficiency, Oneness. These are called 'negative' because they negate their opposites, which are impossible for God.

    God has seven affirmative attributes... Knowledge, Will, Power, Life, Hearing, Seeing, and Speech. These have seven attributes that relate to them, which are God's being Knowing, Willing, Powerful, Living, Hearing, Seeing, and Speaking.

    Mercy, for example, is either God's willing good, which returns to Will, or His giving good, which returns to Power. His Might relates to His ability to do whatever He wills, or actually carrying it out; the first returns to Will, and the second to Power, and so on..."


    Listen to: Attributes of God, by Hamza Yusuf (Part 1 of 3).
    Last edited by wayfarer; 07-05-2013 at 07:59 PM.

  3. #63

    Default

    Hi I am redirecting a question from Islamic calls for for Slavery's Legalization to here since you might be able to awnser it

    With regard to the growth of Wahabism, are you not worried that it is becoming the face of Islam to the rest of the world due to the billions that the Saudis are putting into promoting it as the only true form of Islam?.

    There has been a lot said on this site as to how it is not a true form of Islam which is great, but there is no unified response

    The fragmentary nature of the Islamic authority seems to work against you in this regard, as there is no definitive voice that can say, NO this is not Islam
    (The above statement is based on what I have read, so feel free to provide a correction)

    Another point is that it seems to me that if there is a verbal attack on the practitioners of Wahabism, then all Muslims form a untied front and claims that this is an attack on Islam, this doesn’t win any points as this is seen by the rest of us as an acknowledgment and approval of Wahabism and its practices

  4. #64

    Default

    What would your reaction be to a christain group promoting classes on the truth about Muhammad in the local free paper?

  5. #65

    Default Muslim Efforts to Combat Extremism (2)

    Main > Q&A > Muslim Efforts to Combat Extremism (2)


    Quote Originally Posted by R/SGT View Post
    Hi I am redirecting a question from Islamic calls for for Slavery's Legalization to here since you might be able to awnser it
    Posts in your thread correctly point out that the calls are not made by the mainstream majority, but comes from within the Wahhabi deviation (who represent less than 1% of the world's Muslims). What the thread fails to point out is that while the calls have been attributed to a senior Wahhabi leader, it did not garner any significant support from fellow Wahhabi authoritative figures. So even the extremist Wahhabi group rejected this call, let alone the mainstream majority.

    With regard to the growth of Wahabism, are you not worried that it is becoming the face of Islam to the rest of the world due to the billions that the Saudis are putting into promoting it as the only true form of Islam?.
    This has already been dealt with in a detailed manner earlier in this thread. See posts linked here. I strongly suggest reading that first before continuing below.

    A few matters need to be clarified at this point. Perhaps it would be beneficial to address them as bulleted statements.

    • Wahhabis/Salafis are an extremist deviation from mainstream Islam.
    • These deviations are doctrinal deviations and practice deviations.
    • Wahhabis have tarnished the face of Islam in a limited way.
    • Western media outlets, through biased reporting (in the service of Western imperialist and materialistic powers), have done much damage to Islam's image.
    • Terrorist acts such as suicide bombing of innocents, the World Trade Centre attacks, etc. have strongly been condemned by the representative Wahhabi religious and political authorities.
    • Bin Laden and the Al-Qaeda ilk have been rejected and condemned by the Wahhabi authorities.
    • Virtually every Wahhabi (and other Islamic extremist deviations) political administration was put into power (and is maintained) by the West (first by the British Imperialists, and then by the US and its European allies). These despots are supported while they serve Western interest, and destroyed when they are no longer useful.
    • Powerful Western support for extremists (when they serve the West) compounds matters for Islam.

    There has been a lot said on this site as to how it is not a true form of Islam which is great, but there is no unified response. The fragmentary nature of the Islamic authority seems to work against you in this regard, as there is no definitive voice that can say, NO this is not Islam
    (The above statement is based on what I have read, so feel free to provide a correction)
    I do not believe that the international scholarly co-operative of the mainstream is fragmented. Furthermore, while the opposition to extremist deviations go way back in Islamic history, they have never been more vocal than they are now. Popular online Muslim portals also loudly shout this "No". One does, however, have to recognise that polemical discourse and debate has seldom been the domain of the laity, and that ordinary Muslims are more concerned with practicing their faith and co-operating in good works on a grass-roots community level. Scholars and activists, on the other hand, are actively engaged in combating extremism.

    Mainstream Muslims are comfortable and peaceful in their faith, and the uneasiness felt by those who look in from outside is often due to the portrayal of Islam in the media.

    Another point is that it seems to me that if there is a verbal attack on the practitioners of Wahabism, then all Muslims form a untied front and claims that this is an attack on Islam, this doesn’t win any points as this is seen by the rest of us as an acknowledgment and approval of Wahabism and its practices
    It would depend on the context and topic. I, too, would defend someone who is verbally attacked just because he is a Wahhabi, Sunni, Atheist, Jehovah's Witness, Mormon, Hasidic Jew, etc. And doing this would not mean that I believe in or support their respective practices.

    See also: Muslim Efforts to Combat Extremism (1)
    Last edited by wayfarer; 16-09-2012 at 05:55 PM. Reason: clarity and readability

  6. #66

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by R/SGT View Post
    What would your reaction be to a christain group promoting classes on the truth about Muhammad in the local free paper?
    Personally, I would be pleased.

    Furthermore, I would recommend as a syllabus text, the concise and acclaimed biographical works by Shakespearean scholar, Martin Lings, entitled "Muhammad: his life based on the earliest sources."
    Last edited by wayfarer; 02-08-2012 at 12:14 PM.

  7. #67

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wayfarer View Post
    Personally, I would be pleased.

    Furthermore, I would recommend as a syllabus text, the concise and acclaimed biographical works by Shakespearean scholar, Martin Lings, entitled "Muhammad: his life based on the earliest sources."
    I don’t think I put it across properly, i came across an add in our local free paper where a Muslim group offered to tell the truth about Jesus in that he is not the Messiah and son of God as seen by Christians but rather a prophet who came before Muhammad who is the final prophet.

    What I should have said is this
    What would your reaction be to a Christian group promoting classes on the truth about Muhammad in that he is a false prophet who based his religion on an imperfect understanding of Christianity and Judaism, along with his own ideas?

  8. #68

    Default

    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by wayfarer View Post
    Posts in your thread correctly point out that the calls are not made by the mainstream majority, but comes from within the Wahhabi deviation (who represent less than 1% of the world's Muslims). What the thread fails to point out is that while the calls have been attributed to a senior Wahhabi leader, it did not garner any significant support from fellow Wahhabi authoritative figures. So even the extremist Wahhabi group rejected this call, let alone the mainstream majority.
    Is this correct
    Leading government cleric Sheikh Saleh Al-Fawzan is the author of the religious books currently used to teach 5 million Saudi students, both within the and in Saudi schools aboard Ė including those in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


    [*]Wahhabis/Salafis are an extremist deviation from mainstream Islam.
    How do they view The Sunni and Shia groups?

    [*]These deviations are doctrinal and practical.
    If this is the case then why is it not practiced by all Muslims?

    [*]Wahhabis have tarnished the face of Islam in a very limited way.
    I disagree, as most of the problems for Islam seem to have been caused by persons practicing Wahhabis

    [*]Western media outlets, through biased reporting (in the service of Western imperialist and materialistic powers), have done much more damage to Islam's image.
    So why havenít the Saudis been spending billions on repairing it, plus the above is getting a bit stale (Sounds like a ANCYL response)

    [*]Terrorist acts such as suicide bombing of innocents, the World Trade Centre attacks, etc. have strongly been condemned by the representative Wahhabi religious and political authorities.
    That is great but what have they done to stop the preaching and practice of this form of extremism which by the way seems to be in line with Wahhab beliefs

    [*]Bin Laden and the Al-Qaeda ilk have been rejected and condemned by the Wahhabi authorities.[*]Virtually every Wahhabi (and other Islamic extremist deviations) political administration was put into power (and is maintained) by the West (first by the British Empire, and then by the US and its European allies). These despots are supported while they serve Western interest, and destroyed when they are no longer useful.[*]Powerful Western support for extremists (when they serve the West) compounds matters for Islam.[/LIST]
    A the time it was a case of An Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend, noboddy ever accused the yanks of been very smart


    I do not believe that the international scholarly co-operative of the mainstream is fragmented. Furthermore, while the opposition to extremist deviations go way back in Islamic history, they have never been more vocal than they are now. Popular online Muslim portals also loudly shout this "No".
    Not loud enough since it doesnt seem to get past the biased western reporting

    One does, however, have to recognise that polemical discourse and debate has seldom been the domain of the laity, and that ordinary Muslims are more concerned with practicing their faith and co-operating in good works on a grass-roots community level. Scholars and activists, on the other hand, are actively engaged in combating extremism.
    This comes across as a head in the sand approach, where you leave it to a small group of other people to sort out, isnít this also the opposite of what the Wahhab believe

    Mainstream Muslims are comfortable and peaceful in their faith, and the uneasiness felt by those who look in from outside is often due to the portrayal of Islam in the media.
    That is good for them, as for the unease, it is not the portrayl but rather the actions of practioners of Islam that cause the unease


    It would depend on the context and topic. I, too, would defend someone who is verbally attacked just because he is a Wahhabi, Sunni, Atheist, Jehovah's Witness, Mormon, Hasidic Jew, etc. And doing this would not mean that I believe in or support their respective practices
    Usually the attack is on their beliefs and practises, if you you defend them, then you condone what you are defending

    Also isnít it interesting that western converts all to often become extremists and that the majority of these join through the Wahhabi sect

  9. #69

    Default

    What is your belief regarding Jewish claims to Jerusalem and especially the Temple Mount which was originally the site of two important Jewish temples.

  10. #70

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by R/SGT View Post
    I don’t think I put it across properly, i came across an add in our local free paper where a Muslim group offered to tell the truth about Jesus in that he is not the Messiah and son of God as seen by Christians but rather a prophet who came before Muhammad who is the final prophet.

    What I should have said is this
    What would your reaction be to a Christian group promoting classes on the truth about Muhammad in that he is a false prophet who based his religion on an imperfect understanding of Christianity and Judaism, along with his own ideas?
    Comparative religion polemics can quickly deteriorate into dirty mudslinging matches, and needs to be approached with honesty, respect and open-mindedness. But I do not think that the two scenarios you present are comparable. It should be noted that while most Christians hold that their scripture makes no direct reference to Prophet Muhammad, the Quran unambiguously honours Jesus Christ as the Messiah, and spirit of God. In other words, the doctrine derived from the Quran (largely consistent with that of the Old Testament) includes explicit statements regarding what it sees as the truth about Jesus Christ.

    The Messiah status of Jesus Christ is mentioned several times in the Quran:

    "But the Messiah has said, "O Children of Israel, worship God, my Lord and your Lord." " (Quran 5:72)

    and

    "The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him. And his mother was a supporter of truth. They both used to eat food. Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look how they are deluded." (Quran 5:75)

    It is not my intention to go into depth with interfaith polemics in this thread, but I would be happy to present the Islamic view on matters such as the person of Jesus Christ to the best of my ability.

  11. #71

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by R/SGT View Post
    Is this correct
    Leading government cleric Sheikh Saleh Al-Fawzan is the author of the religious books currently used to teach 5 million Saudi students, both within the and in Saudi schools aboard – including those in the Washington, D.C. metro area.
    I am unable to comment on the veracity of the statement, but I would not be surprised if the Saudi authorities prescribe selected works by him.

    How do they view The Sunni and Shia groups?
    That varies. Some Wahhabis view the mainstream as sinning Muslims, others view the mainstream as ex-Muslims.

    If this is the case then why is it not practiced by all Muslims?
    I am not sure that I understand your logic. Perhaps my statement lacked clarity. What I meant was that Wahhabis deviate from the mainstream in terms of doctrine and in terms of practice.

    I disagree, as most of the problems for Islam seem to have been caused by persons practicing Wahhabis
    So why haven’t the Saudis been spending billions on repairing it...,
    Perhaps a little research into the history of orientalism would change your mind. Western discourse about Islam was traditionally geared for conflict and war, and Islam was almost exclusively portrayed as the "feared other". Changes in this ethos have not been substantive. Furthermore, the preferred (and official) Islam inflection of the Saudi regime is, in fact, Wahhabism.

    plus the above is getting a bit stale (Sounds like a ANCYL response)
    The fact that you perceive it as stale does not affect its factual status. This is a matter that has been well researched.

    That is great but what have they done to stop the preaching and practice of this form of extremism which by the way seems to be in line with Wahhab beliefs.
    They have (often unjustly) jailed and executed thousands of individuals accused of being linked to groups such as Al-Qaeda, destroyed their literature and banned their websites.

    A the time it was a case of An Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend, noboddy ever accused the yanks of been very smart
    Smart or not is debatable. Those were decisions taken based on information gathered by the most advanced intelligence agencies in the world. Bin Laden was never a friend to the US, but more like a pawn, disposed of when expedient to do so. And Western support for Middle-Eastern dictatorships has more to do with greed for oil wealth than enemies and friends.

    Not loud enough since it doesnt seem to get past the biased western reporting
    This is only true for individuals who limit themselves to bias western reporting.

    This comes across as a head in the sand approach, where you leave it to a small group of other people to sort out, isn’t this also the opposite of what the Wahhab believe. That is good for them, as for the unease, it is not the portrayl but rather the actions of practioners of Islam that cause the unease
    The statement above is a loaded statement. When there exists uneasiness towards an entire group because of the actions of deviants who even deviate from a deviation of the group, then it is because of portrayal.

    Also isn’t it interesting that western converts all to often become extremists and that the majority of these join through the Wahhabi sect
    This is a fairly recent lie, but I doubt that it will gain much support, as there is just too much actual research about Western converts to Islam available. See, for example, research by UK-based interfaith group Faith Matters.
    Last edited by wayfarer; 09-11-2012 at 08:13 AM.

  12. #72

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by R/SGT View Post
    What is your belief regarding Jewish claims to Jerusalem and especially the Temple Mount which was originally the site of two important Jewish temples.
    The claim is fine, but one should also try to glean the motive behind such claims, particularly when some of the most vociferous promoters of this claim are in fact secular Zionists. This claim, then, does little to solve the decades old Israeli-Palestinian problem. I am keen to see the day that democracy reigns, and the land is shared by all who live in the region, under a single representative administration.

    But I do not feel that such a heated political matter is an appropriate topic for in-depth discussion in this Intro to Islam thread.

  13. #73

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wayfarer View Post
    The claim is fine, but one should also try to glean the motive behind such claims, particularly when some of the most vociferous promoters of this claim are in fact secular Zionists. This claim, then, does little to solve the decades old Israeli-Palestinian problem. I am keen to see the day that democracy reigns, and the land is shared by all who live in the region, under a single representative administration.

    But I do not feel that such a heated political matter is an appropriate topic for in-depth discussion in this Intro to Islam thread.
    It is not a political matter it is purely historical one, does the Jewish faith have a claim to the temple mount Yes/No.

    If No, then why

  14. #74

    Default Temple Mount / Quds

    Main > Q&A > Temple Mount / Quds


    Quote Originally Posted by R/SGT View Post
    It is not a political matter it is purely historical one, does the Jewish faith have a claim to the temple mount Yes/No.

    If No, then why
    There exists differences of opinion as to the archaeological accuracy of the claims, as well as to claims about its presumed Biblical colocation with Mount Zion and Mount Moria.

    Nevertheless, the site in contention is considered by some as the place where Prophet Solomon, the son of Prophet David, built the First Temple. It is also believed by some to be the site from where God collected earth to create Adam, and where Prophet Abraham bound his son. None of these claims are able to be proven definitively.

    So does the Jewish faith have a claim to the site? Does any one faith have a claim to the site?

    Indeed, Jews do have a faith-based attachment to the site for the above reasons (and some other reasons). However, the personalities/events mentioned above are also significant within the Christian faith. Additionally, some Christians believe that the site was also the place where St. Helena, Constantine's mother, commissioned the building of the Church of St. Cyrus and St. John (other Christian links to the site exist as well). Muslims also revere those self-same prophetic personalities and events, and those prophets enjoy honoured mention throughout the Quran. Additionally, the Muslim faith reveres the site as the First Qibla and the place where Prophet Muhammad ascended into heaven (Muslims also revere the site for some other reasons).

    While Roman Paganism no longer exists as an organised religion, it was an important site for its adherents too. In fact, I have heard it said that there are scholars from all 3 major Abrahamic traditions that hold that the site belongs to all of humanity, since its dust was used to create Adam, the father of the human race.
    Last edited by wayfarer; 23-08-2012 at 08:19 PM.

  15. #75

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wayfarer View Post
    Comparative religion polemics can quickly deteriorate into dirty mudslinging matches, and needs to be approached with honesty, respect and open-mindedness. But I do not think that the two scenarios you present are comparable. It should be noted that while most Christians hold that their scripture makes no direct reference to Prophet Muhammad, the Quran unambiguously honours Jesus Christ as the Messiah, and spirit of God. In other words, the doctrine derived from the Quran (largely consistent with that of the Old Testament) includes explicit statements regarding what it sees as the truth about Jesus Christ.

    The Messiah status of Jesus Christ is mentioned several times in the Quran:

    "But the Messiah has said, "O Children of Israel, worship God, my Lord and your Lord." " (Quran 5:72)

    and

    "The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him. And his mother was a supporter of truth. They both used to eat food. Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look how they are deluded." (Quran 5:75)

    It is not my intention to go into depth with interfaith polemics in this thread, but I would be happy to present the Islamic view on matters such as the person of Jesus Christ to the best of my ability.
    They are comparable as it denies Jesus true nature and is actually more offensive as it can be seen as a denial of god

    We believe (I believe) in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, and born of the Father before all ages. (God of God) light of light, true God of true God. Begotten not made, consubstantial to the Father, by whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven. And was incarnate of the Holy Ghost and of the Virgin Mary and was made man; was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried; and the third day rose again according to the Scriptures. And ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, and shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, of whose Kingdom there shall be no end. And (I believe) in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father (and the Son), who together with the Father and the Son is to be adored and glorified, who spoke by the Prophets. And one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. We confess (I confess) one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for (I look for) the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen."
    For Christianity Jesus is the Be all and End all, as you say there is nothing in the Bible that says to be continued, therefore the fact that the Quran honours him is meaningless to Christains unless you accept the above as truth.

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