Jesus / Isa – alahi salam

On occasions, I feel Muslims ‘lose’ something when it comes to religion. I am speaking about the second last prophet Jesus or Isa (E-sa) peace be upon him.

Muslims believe that Christianity, as we know it today, and its history, has suffered a corruption of Jesus’ (pbuh) message. They believe this is one reason why the had the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) whose recitation of Divine revelation is encoded in the Qur’an, whose message today is the same as what it was almost 1400 years ago, and is protected so by God.

Why ‘bother’ with what is said of Jesus (pbuh) then when a particular issue may contain distortiortions and errors?

Indeed, I was never able to really understand why what I’ve always thought were Christians discussing the New Testament, identified the books of the apostles as having been written some 50,60,70,80,90 or so years after the ‘death’ of Jesus (pbuh) yet they never seemed concerned with that to me seemed like that very time sequence suggesting that in there weren’t actually written by the apostles. I can’t understand how an apostle who was x+50, x+60, x+70… years old (where x=their age while at the last day of of Jesus) could himself have written it, or even if he did write it, how could such writings be accurate. I know this issue isn’t ‘new’ and OK, the Grace of God could have made these things happen, but I don’t think there is any evidence or indeed, any claim that that is indeed the case. For some time now, I’ve held the assumption that the books of the apostles were ‘ghost’ written on behalf  of the words/techings of the apostles, but again, I’ve never seen any claim of this by the Church.

In addition to the above oddities, that the Church – a still generally beneficial force in society, despite various corruptions – then allowed usury,causing Christians to thereafter adopt, is something unless I am mistaken, which Jesus (pbuh) abhored [Note: Some Muslims also practice usury, is a part of which is in something they call Riba, a sin of such seriousness that it invites Gods War against you]. The acceptance/normalisation of usury struck a severe blow to Christianity from which it argueably has never recovered, and doubtless, has aided the huge fall from grace as a faith in the eyes of some Muslims.

And in recent times we the Judeo-Christian allaince when for millenia, generally Christians viewed Jews in similiar, yet milder way, from how Jews viewed Christains.

All of which have contributed to Muslims distancing themselves from the Christian faith.

In recent years, I have come across people who call themselves Christians but don’t seem to cede to the Church, instead, believing in Christianity according to their own analysis and understanding, and of the significance of Jesus. [These people could always have existed, perhaps it's just my age, exposure and social cirles that is makeing them more visible to me]. Personally, what they are doing appeals to me [As it is increasingly doing so in the disorganised ‘organised religion stricture’ of Islam. I think these Christians are able to ‘see’ some fictions propagates by the Church. However, they still seem likely to adopt other distortions about Jesus – like some indulging the usurers [Muslims too remember!] and not following Jewish custom e.g. Sabbath, circumcision, eating Kosher and so on. But I don’t think in this say any age that anyone is pure – that goes for Muslims too.

My general opinion of Muslims is that they tend to take on a facile view of Christianity and don’t see those ‘independent’  Christians mentioned just above, and from my experience of these people, they are very amicable and  have significant overlap with Muslim perspectives and teachings [Not really surprisin]. Thin thoughts of Muslims about their Christian counterparts – most significantly in Muslim dominated populations – unnecessarily widens the gap between them, and that’s a shame.

A similar thing – primarily form distortions embedded in their religions – exists with (real) Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Muslim relations, but I’d say the philosophical gap between Jews and Christians as well as Jews and Muslims is greater than that of Christians and Muslims.

Jesus (pbuh) does appear in the Qur’an and in the saying of the last Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Despite the possible explanations as to why above, it’s a pity and wonder why Muslims gove so little attention to Jesus’ story (pbuh), but other Prophets like Ismail (so called ‘Father of the Arabs’) and Moses and Abraham are given more (IMO) significance.

I get the feeling that this may be because: If an increase in discussions by Muslims of Jesus (pbuh) were to take place, it would be percieved as “being Christian”. To me, that’s a real shame, especially when one thinks about Jesus (pbuh) and his influence on the world today [I can't here reference Paul / Saul of Tarsus, regarded as being the one to 'establish/grow' the religion of Christianity, being beyond the scope of this post]. After (possibly) Muhammad, the next most Influential man influencing the world today is Jesus (peace and blessings be to both of them), yet Muslims largely ‘whitewash’ him.

Frankly, it’s hard to accept the Church’s distortions and corruptions are a good enough reason for any ‘whitewashing’ of Jesus, and actually I don’t think Muslims have ever spent much thought at all as to how to weigh-up/assess Jesus’s role in their lives. That the religion of Islam was deemed to be completed very shortly before the death of Muhammad (saw) seems to make some think that Islam is all the need at the cost of looking for overlap with their Christian brothers.

To me, the influence of Jesus across the world (even when one factors in a corrupt Church) is testament that what this man did and said is of the most extraordinary power and significance. It’s amazing that the corruptions and distortions piled upon Jesus are incapable of destroying the way he is revered, and I don’t think he is revered because of those distortions.

Jesus performed miracles. As far as I know, Muhammad (saw) didn’t – although he did go on a miraculous journey – Al-Isra and Al-Miraj. I think Jesus was able to perform miracles so that people had no excuse not to fast-track themselves to belief in God, perhaps a sign that Jesus’ task was much more of a challenge than what Muhammad (saw) faced [It must be noted that Muhammad (saw) did have a very rough time himself in his duty as a Prophet; It wasn't easy by any means]. The miracle worker was clearly special and should be listened to.

Why is it said that Allah(SWT) commands that the Muslims do not make judgements as to the fate of the people of the book? Some, in an attempt to shy away from this, many ask ‘which book?’ to which I propose, the bible at the time of Muhammads Divine revelations had not changed significantly from that time onwards. It makes more sense to think God was referring to the Divine scriptures, the ‘books’, at the time of revelation onwards which I’d say, works its way down to the Christians and Indeed Jews of  today. It also seems straightforward to think it’s the uncorrupted elements of those scriptures which still maintain a tie of Christians and Jews to God. Yet, some Muslims seem ‘quite edgy’ about all this.

When Muslims were being persecuted, the Prophet Muhammad (saw) sent some Muslims into Christian lands (Abyssinia) for refuge. They were protected. Isn’t this simple aspect of the history of Islam in itself a strong indication of the natural affinity of Christians and Muslims [And that Jews were given refuge in Muslim Arab lands also indicative of something?]

As I begin to end this post, hopefully my Muslim readers will not succumb to such instant dismissal from what’s said above and will consider these questions:-

1) Why is it Jesus/Isa (peace be upon him) that will return to ultimately re-establish mans solid relationship to God in the hearts of ALL mankind?

2) Why is it said that Muhammad (saw) is calimed to have said that of all the prophets, Jesus had a special place in the Prophets heart ? (I’m paraphrasing)

3) Aren’t many Muslims themselves already following distortions/corrutions in disorganised Islam? – Remember about the ‘sects’ within Isla, yet on the whole, we don’ really reject other Muslims, so why (when it happens) do we reject Christians?

4) Even some atheists brought up in Christian environments, and hence take some ‘Christian stuff’ on board, can be a fine example of a free and moral upstanding people. For some reason, Rodney Shakespeare comes to mind.

5) When Jesus (pbuh) dies, who will be be buried next to?

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To some Muslims, they will instigate a mind-block about what is written here. They will dismiss it, believing it may ‘rock their Islamic’ faith, when actually I am trying to show them on the contrary, their faith can be strengthened. They may think it’s an attempt to ‘convert them the Christianity’. It most certainly isn’t, and if you thought as much, I suspect you ave a significant flaw in your understanding of Islam [I don't pretend amateur 'Muslim me' is immune].

I believe that what I have written here is important and should be thought about and if what I say is wrong, then only by undertaking honest and thoughtful analysis of what I say will show that to be wrong.

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24 Responses to “Jesus / Isa – alahi salam”


  1. 1 anonymous June 9, 2011 at 9:16 am

    I must say i had a terrible time determining whether the writer of this blog is muslim or christian! still havnt figured it out!

  2. 2 lwtc247 June 9, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Part of the post appeals that we shouldn’t be so entrenched in our labels.

  3. 3 lwtc247 June 9, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Hahah.
    Someone has sent this to “http://www.anti-semitism.net/”.

    Thanks.

    It puts recent events in greater perspective. Sorry to pee on your chips however, as the descendants of Shem don’t in fact get singled out for my crabbiness. Zionism yes, but of course, anti-Zionism is called anti-Semitism for rather obvious reasons.

    Here’s the the death of Zionsim :) Hip hip hourray!

  4. 4 anonymous June 9, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    i think its quite disrespectful to call your religion a “label”. your religion is what you are and what defines you. no offense brother, but you need to be certain of what you say before you say it. as a matter of fact muhammad (saw) did perform many miracles (for example he split the moon into 2). jesus performed close to 8 miracles while muhammad performed close to 40!! and i honestly dont know where you base your generalisations on muslims from, because i cant lay claim to any one of them. ive never come across a muslim who would not speak about jesus simply because “it would be perceived as being christian”. and his story, in my view is given even more importance than the other prophets simply because he is still alive and obviously will return to earth.

  5. 5 lwtc247 June 10, 2011 at 3:07 am

    I’m not being disrespectful. The term label was used solely to get a mental signpost/grip/understanding, but as you seem so keen on your labels, then fine.

    I had thought it was Allah(SWT) which split the moon and the Prophet pointed it out. I should point out my opinion on this was from my understanding of the Qur’an (and from the Seerah I read), I am cautious about taking info from any other sources as only the Qur’an is pure and it’s the nature of man to err. I did not come across stated miracles of Muhammah(saw) in the Qur’an and the seerah. Admittedly, as with the nature of man, I may be wrong. If so, I ask Allah most Mercyful to correct my understanding.

    Lets assume then that the last Prophet did these miracles. It doesn’t suddenly reverse the tiny amount of time Muslims spend in reading about the life of Jesus in the New Testament.

    I never said “a muslim who would not speak about jesus simply because “it would be perceived as being christian”. You have adopted a mental perception about this post and like the ‘disrespectful’ claim, you have used it to paint your perception over the words I have written here.

    I base this post on my experiences of Muslims of which I am one. And If you were one, I’m surprised you did not give issue salutations of Assalam o’ alaikum.

  6. 6 anonymous June 10, 2011 at 4:11 am

    wel yeah man, but like i said, i had quite some difficulty figuring what you are, so there, thats why no salutation of assalamu alaikum.

  7. 7 lwtc247 June 10, 2011 at 6:43 am

    I’m getting the impression that the light/characterisation you are trying to see me in, is what would have (will have) determined how you view this post. That’s similar to what I’ve identified in this post.. Muslims see Christianity in a certain light and hence erect a barrier preventing them getting to be more familiar with the story of Jesus.

    How many Muslims do you know that read the story of Jesus (pbuh) in the NT?
    How many Muslims do you know would seek out a Christian to hear him describe the life of Jesus? How many Muslims do you know that have even read a book about Jesus even written by a Muslim? In my walk of life there has been virtually none that I now of who have done that, and I believe in this post I show why that may be.

  8. 8 anonymous June 10, 2011 at 8:48 am

    listen brother, im not here to argue. but i suppose we live in different parts of the world so that could account for our differences. ive heard lots of lectures or programs dedicated to isa (as) alone. if you’re interested in reading about the miracles of the prophet then get the following book “the miracles of the holy prophet (saw)” written by jaamiah khaatamun nabiyeen. (and its authentic as authentic comes) it clearly documents about 60 miracles of the prophet (saw), substantiated with quraanic verses and ahaadith. some of them he performed (example when he healed the broken leg of his companian hadhrat abdullah ibn ateek) and others are considered miracles on account of their nature (example the me’raaj and israa). and, just by the way, im also cautious about where i get my info from, and what i read.

  9. 9 lwtc247 June 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Salam.

    I didn’t realise we were arguing.

    Anyway, thanks for the book recommendation. It’s quite amazing that I’ve never come across miracles as performed by the Prophet Muhammad(saw). Perhaps it’s because I don’t ‘need’ them in order to believe. I’m not quite sure the Qur’an categorically ‘the Prophet’ did these miracles as in 54:1, rather, (that) the miracle happened, but that’s just my opinion – not that I’m denying it was a miracle, but my view on the miraculous event(s) wasn’t quite the same as yours. I look forward to reassessing that view. Anyway, this isn’t the major point of my post.

    “ive heard lots of lectures or programs dedicated to isa (as) alone.” – then I’d say you are one of the fortunate ones. How much of it came from Christian sources? What in particular was said?

  10. 10 anonymous June 10, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    wslm.

    from what i understand you’re suggesting that isa (as) did perform his miracles himself, while the prophet didnt? i guess i dont understand your understanding of miracles. of course all miracles “happened”. their purpose was to show the believers, as well as the unbelievers, that they were true prophets. one of the miracles of isa (as) was blowing life into clay birds. its not possible for a human to give life, Allah did it, but it was a means of showing that they were true prophets. from what i understand you consider the quraan your only source of guidence. but the Quraan and ahaadith go hand in hand, its not just the quraan. there are things in the ahaadith that are not in the quraan, but we dont dismiss it simply because its not in the quraan. those form the sunnah acts. for example, the quraan states only the fardh acts of wudhu, whereas the hadith state the full, complete wudhu (fardh and sunnah actions). and im sure you know that sometimes you cant simply take a translation of the verses of the quraan at face value, there may always be deeper meanings, and one verse cant be considered in isolation, it needs to be viewed in the context which it is in.

    Why on earth would i want to listen to info from christian sources when ive got a whole sea of true knowledge about such matters. whats the point of hearing a christians view of isa (as), when we know that most of it is false. there was an incident at the time of the prophet when he saw umar (ra) reading the taurah, and the prophet reacted very angrily to that. some of their narrations are actually quite shameful. have you any idea what the christian view of adam and hawa (as) is? its the most disgusting allegation ever! now why would i want to hear all of that, hearing such false allegations attributed to such pure and holy people? so no, its not a habit of mine to listen to info from christian sources. ofcourse as a means of dawah you need to familiarise yourself with basic knowledge of their religion, but thats it, the way i see it there is no need to delve any further into their stories, which we obviously know are false.

  11. 11 lwtc247 June 11, 2011 at 4:38 am

    @ anon.
    “from what i understand you’re suggesting that isa (as) did perform his miracles himself, while the prophet didnt?” – No. I only mentioned the splitting of the moon. The other miracles I had never come across.

  12. 12 lwtc247 June 11, 2011 at 4:54 am

    “from what i understand you consider the quraan your only source of guidance.” – No, but it greatly towers above all else. By departing from the Qur’an you are almost certainly going to get man made distortions. Interpretations are also likely to include innovations. An example of where all this leads to is with the claim apparently coming from al-Azhars Sheikh Mohamed Tantawi who is said to have OK’ed “A litle bit of riba”

    I believe one miracle of the Qur’an is that it contains different levels of knowledge accessible dependent on the readers individual knowledge. So simple farmers living in the countryside can read it, and implement it. A seasoned so called scholar can contextualise it, and apply it. In the modem world I would say the ‘scholar’ is more at risk of mentally distorting what he understands to fit into this decaying society we have these days…. being a ‘good little muslim’ a “proof” that Muslims can exist in the west. Or have friendly chats with gross killers like Tony bLiar.

    A friend of mine said recently everything he reads Al Khaf he gets something new from it. I could instantly appreciate what he said..

  13. 13 lwtc247 June 11, 2011 at 4:56 am

    “Why on earth would i want to listen to info from christian sources when ive got a whole sea of true knowledge about such matters.”

    You have proved exactly the point I am making in this post.

  14. 14 anonymous June 11, 2011 at 7:37 am

    well all i can tell you is good luck to you my brother. i honestly have no idea where you off to.

  15. 15 lwtc247 June 11, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Pity you didn’t get the post.
    Anyway, again, thanks for your thoughts. and waalaikumassalam to you too.

  16. 16 humanbeingsfirst June 11, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    Title: Knowledge vs. Socialization

    Hello, AOA,

    Interesting perspective (lwtc247.wordpress.com/2011/06/09/jesus-isa-alahi-salam/), and along the lines which reduce to the following empiricism: Human beings in general don’t tend to appreciate what is not part of one’s own socialization.

    Furthermore, with suitable inculcation, this lack of appreciation can span the gamut of behavior from remaining largely indifferent to being outright antagonistic to what’s not perceived as one’s own. The limit of that of course being intense doctrinal hatred and warfare.

    This is pretty much a universal trait. An observable universal truism if there is one. And just as applicable to one as to another.

    Upon this truism is the manipulative jingoism of antiquity to modernity constructed. We see this from from tribalism to ethnocentrism, and nationalism to patriotism.

    It is even the basis of the following formulation in Zbigniew Brzezinski’s The Grand Chessboard: “More generally, cultural change in America may also be uncongenial to the sustained exercise abroad of genuinely imperial power. That exercise requires a high degree of doctrinal motivation, intellectual commitment, and patriotic gratification.”

    I mention that not to needlessly digress, but only to point out the universality of the principle that you have outlined just one instance of.

    Recognizing this innate psychological trait of mankind (one presumes), is why the author of the Qur’an, which Muslims of course believe is the Creator (while other’s believe was a lunatic), makes an extraordinary pronouncement on this very topic in Surah Al-Maeda:

    “It was We who revealed the Torah (to Moses); therein was guidance and light. By its standard have been judged the Jews, by the Prophet who bowed (as in Islam) to Allah’s will, by the Rabbis and the Doctors of Law: for to them was entrusted the protection of Allah’s Book, and they were witnesses thereto: therefore fear not men, but fear Me, and sell not My Signs for a miserable price. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) Unbelievers. (44) We ordained therein for them: “Life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equal.” But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity, it is an act of atonement for himself. And if any fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) wrong-doers. (45) And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah. (46) Let the people of the Gospel Judge by what Allah hath revealed therein. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) those who rebel. (47) To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety; so judge between them by what Allah hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the Truth that hath come to thee. To each among you have We prescribed a Law and an Open Way. If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to Allah; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute. (48)” (Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Maeda 5:44-48)

    And to ensure that the point is not lost here, permit me to highlight the solution-space outlined in the above passage by none other than the presumed Almighty Creator of mankind:

    “To each among you have We prescribed a Law and an Open Way. If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to Allah; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute.”

    If one were to endeavor to judiciously extract the core principle from that multicultural pronouncement, one discovers a governing principle that is universally applicable to all of mankind, to all beliefs, and to no belief: 1) mind one’s own business for what one does not feel is one’s own as in the case of what’s outside one’s own sphere of socialization; and 2) compete with each other in virtuous conduct among each other with what one does feel is one’s own.

    In my humble view, this is outstanding guidance to a fractious mankind who are naturally psychologically prone to tribalism, ethnocentrism, the modern version of it being nationalism. By the admission of the author of the above verse, it is by design that the Creator made mankind into separate peoples and nations and gave each localized affiliations: “If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single people”.

    Of course, when own looks at evolutionary biology and sociology, that is the natural outcome of how mankind has developed in many different tribes and nations across the earth.

    And the author of the Holy Qur’an provides the prescription taking empiricism of mankind’s condition into account!

    The obvious point to make here is that otherwise, the following Biblical Commandment from antiquity was, and still is, at least in my view, both complete and sufficient for governing the peaceable and virtuous conduct of mankind:

    “Do unto Others as you have others do unto you”.

    So, why does mankind need anything more than that one general statement? Indeed, one can easily surmise that all beneficial national constitutions, international and local laws, and inter and intra governing principles are logically derivable from just that one first principle, for a fairly equitable co-existence of mutual benefit to mankind.

    While this universal pithy wisdom is Biblical, I have found evidence of its truism in both Greek and Roman antecedent writings. For instance, see Plato and Solon respectively.

    Even beyond divine religion, in the realm of logic and rational empiricism alone, the following operations-research (OR) logical formulation due to Bertrand Russell, a man of considerable beliefs in no religion, is the most commonsensical recipe of governing peaceable human conduct. In my own succinct rendition, Bertrand Russell’s formulation goes something like this (and I am putting it in single quotes to indicate that the formulation belongs to Russell but the words may not all be his):

    ‘Maximize individual happiness while minimizing social conflict for optimizing the overall common-good.’

    With just a little bit of reflection, one will see that Bertrand Russell captures the beneficial essence of many religions, including Islam, in at least so far as “haquq-al-ibad”, i.e., the rights of man upon man, are concerned, quite admirably. By just using rational empathetic logic which hinges on spreading virtue rather than glory, vice, hegemony, and conquest, one can come up with reasonably equitable methods of governing oneself in any age and among any peoples.

    However, the author of the Qur’an having commanded the path to virtue is as meaningless as man coming up with it on his own logic, if man is unwilling or unable to implement it.

    That choice, is entirely man’s. The author of the Qur’an also asserts that such a choice is up to man and not a diktat:

    “There is no compulsion in religion.” (Holy Qur’an, Surha Al-Baqara 2:256)

    The point being, at the risk of being repetitious, whatever the religion, whatever the people, and whatever the culture and geography, man naturally gravitates firstly to one’s own kith and kin, and secondly to one’s own socialization.

    And Islam, recognizing this natural tendency for partisanship, proffered the above quoted solution of Surah Al-Maeda 5:44-48, to those who believe in Islam lest Muslims become senselessly imbued with empire and its ‘la mission civilisatrice’, and criminally come to carry the “white man’s burden”! The commandment is very explicit. Even though, the universal principle of virtuous co-existence to be derived from it evidently require at least a modicum of reflection.

    Indeed, this is such a momentous concept of acceptance of others in the religion Islam, that it is even formulaically repeated countless times each day by its adherents without any reflection whatsoever. For, if one even spent 10 minutes thinking about what many “pious” among Muslims likely repeat at least 17 times daily, if not more, one would easily see that very core-principle at work for oneself.

    That repetitive formulation is Surah Fatiha of the Holy Qur’an, its very first Surah. It is recited countless times daily by Muslims as a prayer. Just look at it with some reflection rather than rehearsing it as a parrot and matters become transparent. And what does it say?

    First let’s see what it does not say: 1) there is no mention of the word “muslim” in it; 2) nor is there any mention of the noble name of the harbinger of the Qur’an, its Exemplar.

    If one were not so imbued with one’s own socialization since birth, one would surely ask the following question to oneself: why not?

    If Islam is the last Testament, its Prophet the last Messenger, and the Holy Qur’an the last Word on the matter of Divine Guidance to mankind, why have the following riddle:

    “Show us the straight path, (5, Arabic اِهۡدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الۡمُسۡتَقِيۡمَۙ) The path of those whom Thou hast favoured. (6, Arabic صِرَاطَ الَّذِيۡنَ اَنۡعَمۡتَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ ۙ)” (Holy Qur’an, Surha Fatiha, 1:5-6)

    Why command the reciter of that Surah to beseech the Creator to show him or her the “straight path”, a path that is not named or labeled or identified in other way other than as the “straight path”, a singular path, and only identified as the path of those who have been bestowed “divine favors”, or who have been divinely favored?

    Why send the poor seeker of divine wisdom in search of solving what appears to be a complicated riddle?

    Given that the average intelligence of the masses among any nation is rather low, and the author of the Holy Qur’an, if it is indeed the Creator of man, would certainly have known that, why then did the author of the Holy Qur’an not straightforwardly say for all and sundry to understand in its most oft recited Surah: follow the path laid out in the Holy Qur’an, or, follow the path of Muhammad, its last Messenger and Exemplar?

    How ironical that what the Surah calls a “straight path” is not identified straightforwardly!

    The answer to the riddle, as invariably in all riddle cases, the Holy Qur’an itself also provides.

    The author of the Qur’an has repeatedly alluded to Its Word as the Book of Reflection which none shall approach except with a cleansed heart. So, not everyone can glean the wisdom of the Qur’an even though they may be reading its words – how interesting!

    And the solution to the riddle is hinted in the afore-quoted verses from Surah Al-Maeda 5:44-48. It is still obviously not the complete solution, but we are an inch closer to solving the riddle.

    For one thing, we learn that the solution is multicultural, and is socialization dependent. Different peoples will naturally have different perspective on what is “divine favor”, who those favored ones are, and are thus encouraged to seek out the path followed by those whom they naturally psychologically feel closer to – that is the basis for what appears to the riddle of Surha Fatiha, 1:5-6. And Surah Al-Maeda 5:44-48 is an examplary partial hint to solving that riddle.

    Wow! What an incredible Book!

    And what does the Author of the Qur’an say about its many prophets and messengers? Well, read the Book to find out.

    But does the Author of the Qur’an forbid reading other books?

    No!

    I have not found any occassion when such a travesty has been advocated.

    Does the Author of the Qur’an forbid Muslims imbibing themselves of knowledge and wisdsom from any source?

    No!

    I have also not found any occassion when such a travesty has been advocated.

    Quite the opposite in fact. The Author of the Qur’an commands Its own last Messenger to pray to his Creator to increase his own “ilm” as a virtue:

    “and say: My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.” (Holy Qur’an, Surha Ta-Ha, 20:114 , Arabic: وَقُلْ رَّبِّ زِدۡنِىۡ عِلۡمًا)

    And therefore, since the Author’s last Messenger is also the Exemplar for his followers, the commandment is to the Exemplar’s followers as well, i.e., to the Muslims, to do the same: “and say: My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.” This pithy prayer is recited by many Muslims in their daily prayers. Unfortunately, it hasn’t come to pass for a vast majority of us.

    So, to finally conclude this long response to your article lwtc24, I wish you had a more pronouncible nom de plume :-), you have posed a good specific question whose general answer has been explained to those Muslims who can understand the wisdom of the Qur’an.

    Interestingly, it is also a commonsense wisdom. Acquire Knowledge – ‘even if one has to journey to China’, as the Prophet of Islam is reputed to have also stated to his followers in that Age of Jahiliya (ignorance).

    The difficulty of physically journeying to China is of course considerably less today. However we continue to suffer in another Age of Jahiliya. One that is dominated by deception all around.

    Where to seek knowledge, wisdom, when all bearers of knowledge and wisdom, both in the East and the West, appear to be shilling for self-interest?

    To be continued someday. For now – if there’s interest – please see “The Poor-Man’s Guide to Modernity”. It references two additional articles which shed some tangential light on how difficult this endeavor of seeking knowledge has become in our times: “The IVY League Morons Syndrome” and “Response to ‘Why I’m leaving Harvard'”.

    But, in my view, talking to other morons to seek knowledge of Jesus / Isa – alahi salam is patently silly. Just because someone has divorced themselves from establishementarian version of religion, true for any people and any religion, is irrelevent to this matter.

    Thank you for a thoughtful article.

    Zahir Ebrahim
    Project Humanbeingsfirst.org
    June 11, 2011

    Response to: lwtc247.wordpress.com/2011/06/09/jesus-isa-alahi-salam/

  17. 17 humanbeingsfirst June 12, 2011 at 2:55 am

    The above comment in slightly modified form is now here:

    http://print-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2011/06/knowledge-vs-socialization.html

    Thank you

    Zahir Ebrahim
    Project Humanbeingsfirst.org

    • 18 lwtc247 June 22, 2011 at 3:42 pm

      Salam Zahir. As usual thanks for sharing your thought provoking writings. But there’s far too much for me to reply to. I have all permutations of strong and mild, agreement and disagreement. You advocate the Golden rule which is I think is the essential principle that must form the centre piece of how we life our lives – if we are serious about having those lives unfurl productively and peracefully. I don’t think that its (paraphrase) ‘none of our business’ however what opinions/beliefs others hold. Wishing you well.

      P.S. Much thanks for pointing out that we see the world through the prism of our own tribalism/socialisation and biases.

  18. 19 anonymous June 15, 2011 at 10:29 am

    “But, in my view, talking to other morons to seek knowledge of Jesus / Isa – alahi salam is patently silly” – i agree with you!

    • 20 lwtc247 June 22, 2011 at 4:30 pm

      First of all, “other” morons, and other “morons” Zahir… ?
      As for anon. If you are the anon that wondered why on earth should you tap into Christian discussions/descriptions of Jesus, then I think that despite you agreeing with that statement, you are not agreeing with it in the sense that Zahir meant. – Did you read the article on his blog?
      P.S. Correct me if I’m wrong Zahir.

  19. 21 nida June 17, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post. While I agree with you, for the most part, I’d have to say that generally speaking Muslims do acknowledge the significance of Jesus in their own faith tradition (there are many many books written on the significance of Jesus in Islam); however we often fail to apply his teachings and principles in our day-to-day lives.

    I often speak of Islam as a median between Judaism and Christianity. Islam incorporates the legalism of the Torah, and the spiritualism of the Injil. The Qur’an is a book that recognizes all previous revelation, and often speaks to non-Muslims. In other words, the Qur’an addresses all people, believers and non-believers alike.

    But even though Muslims recognize this shared common ancestry, the Judeo-Christian world has until recently rejected Islam as heretical and satanic – evident in the volumes of Oriental writings on Islam and the ‘Muslim world.’ It is not until very recently (a decade or two) that an ‘interfaith’ dialogue was initiated and a more inclusive shared judeo-christian-muslim heritage was recognized in the West. When we look at today’s islamophobic reactionaries across Europe they constantly call for a return to a ‘Judeo-Christian’ European past, yet fail to understand that Islam was very much part of that past (Islamic Spain and the Ottoman Balkans). I think this exclusivity gave birth to a religious exceptionalism among the Muslims. They began to only accept in Islam that which is solely “theirs” and be wary of those things that were common to all three faiths. I am not saying that every single Muslim felt this way, or that it’s a solely Muslim phenomenon. Christians as well as Jews adapted this exceptionalist ideology. Thanks to the self-fulfilling prophecy of a perceived ‘clash of civilizations’ our worlds became even further polarized and divided. Yet this ‘clash’ is not a ‘clash’ of values (because as you’ve substantiated in the post very eloquently, we have many things already in common), but a clash in policies and unjust politics.

    So to resolve this issue, Islam needs to be included in the Judeo-Christian dialogue. This way Muslims will start re-discovering the inherent truth – that Islam is simply a continuation of previous revelation. It’s like a ‘new edition’ to an old book. It doesn’t mean that the old book is completely wrong, it simply means that the ‘new edition’ contains updated information that is more relevant to humankind.

    • 22 lwtc247 June 22, 2011 at 5:16 pm

      Salam Nida. Thanks for the nice comments. Its good a second person who I like to hear from and read their narrations, has come here to leave their thoughts on this post.

      “we often fail to apply his teachings and principles in our day-to-day lives. ” Indeed. But one reason why Muslims keep Isa (pbuh) at bay (or what I should say is why I think Muslims seem to keep him at bay) is because they don’t know which of the Jesus story is true and which is fabrication, and then (as is a problem in Islam) what is the interpretation of that. In the eyes of a Muslim that which cross references with what’s written in the Qur’an is the truth. Everything else in the NT is open to question, hence, why ‘bother’ looking in the NT for stuff which may, or may not be about Jesus (a.s.)? For example where can we reference the Injil?

      As for the satanic vision of Islam by the Judeo-Christian world. I kind of agree with you. For a start up until the mid-second millennium the Christians pretty much despised the Jews – The ‘killers’ of Christ and the subject of Jesus’s denouncements and the pedallers of usury. It was only when the Christian strangely (I’d say prophetically but anthropogenicly deliberately) collapsed in terms of prohibition of Usury that this strange, new Judeo-Christian alliance came into existence. Ties between the money lending Jews and the Euro elite eventually came to filter down to the masses and the Judeo-Christian terminology seemed to be used as though this had always been the case. Secondly, if anything, there was a Judeo-Islamic alliance where the Jews took refuge in Muslim lands fleeing persecution from the ‘Christians’. To some extent there was a Christian-Islamic alliance too, as Islam moved up from the Magreb into southern Europe, characterised by the glory of the Muslims in Spain. Then of courser until recently, we’ve had the Jews (albeit it small in number) in Palestine and the Christians in Palestine too living peacefully.
      For some time now I’ve rejected the term Judeo-Christian as to me it’s a synthetic con, an oxymoron (other than in within the elite who aren’t really Christians and aren’t really Jews). The Orientalist (although admittedly my knowledge of ‘orientalism’ is pretty laughable) to me seem a subsection of that bizarre and contradictory fusion, promoting godlessness against the things that is in fact closest to God – i.e. Islam.

      Anyway…

      If I get what you are saying straight, that is the “Judeo-Christian” hostility against Islam caused Muslims to adopt a stance of exceptionalism. Hummm… perhaps, but If this is indeed the case, then again I’d identify it back to the time when the Christian Church’s prohibition of Usury collapsed in the middle ages and not within the last few decades. Or perhaps any possible ‘exceptionalism’ is actually a deliberate media projection to make a perceived exceptionalism. You know, over the last 100 years or so, the scientific malfeasance involving manipulation of the mind has taken on enormous might.

      Pretty much in agreement with you about the ‘clash of civilisations’ – It certainly is a “clash in policies and unjust politics” with the ordinary folk across the planet. it’s actually a rehash of good versus evil, but masked by the politics of evil men like bLiar and Bush. I watched a Francis Fukiyama lecture, entitled “The End Of History Revisited” and some of the things he said along the lines of the clash were laughable but horrendous that people accepted it. People don’t understand the ‘clash’ in terms that we see it.

      “So to resolve this issue, Islam needs to be included in the Judeo-Christian dialogue” – I know a deep researcher who would strongly disagree. He believes (with strong justification I feel) there is a war against Islam. and that interfaith dialogue is very wrong, but personally, I can’t terminate interfaith leanings, despite thinking many Muslims will have their faith corroded by it’s touch when those interfaith dialogues are the ones designed for that very purpose. If as I said many moons ago, Jews and Christians are simply unripe Muslims, then maybe dialogue will be their acetylene (i.e. cause them to ripen faster), and interfaith helps (IMHO) counter some of the propaganda the corporate MSM is spewing out about Islam and Muslims (at least to the ordinary and reasonable man on the streets).

  20. 23 Joe Jussac, Jr. (Yusuf bin Jussac) July 27, 2011 at 7:52 am

    Salaam!
    I must confess I don’t remember the Verses and Chapter of the OT or NT re Nabi Isa a.s.’ (Jesus’) WARNING (to whom I do not recall either — perhaps the “LOST people!) of his SECOND coming; that it is important for the WARNED to (I rephrase) “stay AWAKE…….in the middle of the night, for I will be coming like a thief…meaning undetected.

    Are we MUSLIMS (active ones, to borrow the term coined by the “Submitters”) not the ones who REALLY follow (stick to) Nabi Isa a.s’. WARNING, especially when we stay awake (in my case, yes; did not SLEEP first then getting up) to perform the Shalah Sunna TAHAJJUT???

    Of course the Prophet’s WARNING and our doing TAHAJJUT is just a coincidence because Salah TAHAJJUT is in the Al-Qur’an……

    The INSIGNIFICANT, extremely dha’if Muslim Yusuf bin Jussac (Google it pls)

    http://www.scribd.com/Tjoaginsing — ENJOY!….

  21. 24 lwtc247 July 27, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Salam brother. You lost me, just at the end.


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