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Non Believer  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Non Believer Replybullet Topic: Hadith question -- hungry birds
    Posted: 23 September 2017 at 10:29am
“If you all depend on Allah with due reliance, He would certainly give you provision as He gives it to birds who go forth hungry in the morning and return with full belly at dusk.”

Isn't this just nonsense? It's true in the sense that birds sometimes fail to feed themselves and then die from starvation, and likewise "Allah" sometimes fails to provide for us.

What does the hadith signify, then? What is "due reliance"? Does that mean that you can have too much reliance or not enough reliance? What happens if you depend either too much or too little? Is this the cause of a man's failure? Is it helpful to think about our daily lives in this way, striving for just the right amount of reliance?
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 23 September 2017 at 3:30pm
Reliance on God, is called "Tawakul" in the Qur'an and Hadith.

To have Tawakul means 2 things:

1- You do your best effort

2- After doing your best effort a believer knows for sure that it is God who will provide.

When birds leave their nests in the morning, they do their best effort, and go searching for their food and what benefits them.

God provides for them, and before sunset, they return to their nests satisfied with what they got during the day.

Did they know what they were going to find on that day?

No they didn't, but they did their best effort and trusted their Creator would provide for them.

Same with us human beings.

Do you know for sure what you will earn tomorrow, next week or next year?

The answer is no.

This uncertainty makes some people worry about the future, as this is part of human nature.

But this hadith tells believers don't worry; do your best and trust God ...

Does that background make this Hadith clearer?

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Non Believer Replybullet Posted: 26 September 2017 at 11:45am
Thank you, Al-Cordoby.

While I agree that such optimism is a valuable approach, there are times where it isn't the best approach. There are time when a bad reality must simply be confronted and handled differently.

If it is true that “If you all depend on Allah with due reliance, He would certainly give you provision”, then it is also true (by the rules of logic) that if Allah does not certainly give you provision then you have not depended on Allah with due reliance.

I don't think it is fair to blame the victims of injustice.
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Shenango Replybullet Posted: 26 September 2017 at 9:16pm
Originally posted by Non Believer

that if Allah does not certainly give you provision then you have not depended on Allah with due reliance.


I'm going to sound like a broken record, but your statement there indicates you're taking the hadith too strictly literal than it was ever intended.

It was said to teach a simple lesson: reliance on God and putting your trust in his sovereignty over the affairs of the world. It has nothing to do with optimism. The birds go out in the early morning empty-handed (or empty-beaked as the case may be) and return home in the evening daily with their provision.

God is in control of your affairs even though they appear to be solely in your hands. There is nothing bad that's going to happen you that God hasn't willed and measured out beforehand.

My father taught me this hadith when I was younger, on what I (still) consider to have been the worst day of my life thus far. I was fretting about this and that detail and how the hell I would ever work my way out of my situation. Sure enough, God found me a way out and saw me through.

And you ask what it was new that Islam brought? You find anything comparable by Jesus (AS) in the New Testament?

Edited by Shenango - 26 September 2017 at 9:20pm
"I mean, brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none"--Paul c. 55 CE
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Non Believer Replybullet Posted: 26 September 2017 at 9:59pm
Originally posted by Shenango

And you ask what it was new that Islam brought? You find anything comparable by Jesus (AS) in the New Testament?
I'm not sure what your point is. I'm sure one of our Christian friends can point out several verses along these lines.

When I was going to school, we were all required to recite the Lord's Prayer every morning. Thankfully, that doesn't happen in public schools any more. It's pretty much the same sentiment as this hadith.

Look, even a bird analogy in Matthew 6:26 "Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. "
Matthew 6:25-34

PS: Now you show me 10 or so verses of the Qur'an (or Hadith) that have as much meaning as these verses of Matthew.

PPS: LOL The Lord's Prayer is also Matthew 6. I may become a learned Christian, yet!

Edited by Non Believer - 26 September 2017 at 10:54pm
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Shenango Replybullet Posted: 26 September 2017 at 11:13pm
Originally posted by Non Believer

=Now you show me 10 or so verses of the Qur'an (or Hadith) that have as much meaning as these verses of Matthew.


Great, no seriously, good for you. I stand corrected: I used a bad example, and had forgotten about that verse. So Jesus' hadith in Matthew 6:26 makes sense to you, but Muhammad's hadith doesn't it? Are you sure you're sane, man?

Better watch how your prejudice gets the best of you. The Qur'an is a very deep book, do try to reflect on it sometime. Hadith is also very voluminous. Both are more developed and much more extensive than the NT, which is a much more primitive text by comparison. Just Al-Fatiha (the first surah of the Qur'an) alone suffices to meet your challenge.

The Hadith goes: "Nothing like it (Al fatiha) has been revealed in the Tawrah (Torah), nor the Injeel (gospel), nor in the Zabur (the Pslams), or the Furqaan. And it is the seven oft-repeated verses and the Mighty Qur'an which i have been given."

[2884 Tirmidhi, BOOK ON VIRTUES OF THE QUR’AN Chapter 1: Virtues al-Fatihah, Agreed Upon]

PS

There's a great book out there called "Jesus and Muhammad: The Parallel Sayings". If I recall now, it may actually have these two sayings. You should check it out sometime!

Edited by Shenango - 26 September 2017 at 11:28pm
"I mean, brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none"--Paul c. 55 CE
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Non Believer Replybullet Posted: 27 September 2017 at 12:43am
I'm an atheist. Why would I have a strong prejudice toward one or the other of these? This is getting a little weird, an atheist explaining the New Testament to a Muslim.

The "meat" of Matthew 6:25-34 is verse 33: "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. "

Though I'm an atheist, it is possible to interpret this verse in a secular way, namely, through right actions and right thinking (focusing on the important issues), your daily needs will look after themselves.

Verse 34 goes on to say that we should take one day at a time.

The Islamic texts don't allow for that view and I'm not able to find any worldly meaning from those texts. Qur'an 1:5 has us asking for help. How should an atheist interpret that? 1:6 'Guide us', but Matthew 33 tells us to guide ourselves. That's not the same at all.

And then, as always, the attack on the non-believer in 1:7

Matthew mentions pagans in verse 32, but it is to say that we must do more than merely chase our daily needs. There's no condemnation of those who don't follow along. They just won't be as satisfied.

Do you see the difference? Even though I don't buy into the Christian notion of God and salvation, there is still a valuable lesson for everyone... and no anger and no non-believers being led astray. I don't feel threatened.

This is just too much for me to bear:
http://quran.ksu.edu.sa/tafse
er/tafheem/sura1-aya7.html#tafheem
Originally posted by Tafheem Al-Quran


This makes it clear that the recipients of God's favour are not those who appear, briefly, to enjoy worldly prosperity and success; all too often, these people are among those whom God has condemned because they have lost sight of the true path of salvation and happiness. This negative explanation makes it quite clear that in'am (favour) denotes all those real and abiding favours and blessings which one receives in reward for righteous conduct through God's approval and pleasure, rather than those apparent and fleeting favours which the Pharaohs, Nimrods and Korahs (Qaruns) used to receive in the past, and which are enjoyed even today by people notorious for oppression, evil and corruption.



Edited by Non Believer - 27 September 2017 at 12:47am
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Shenango Replybullet Posted: 27 September 2017 at 1:33am
Originally posted by Non Believer

Why would I have a strong prejudice toward one or the other of these?


It's not one or the other of these sayings against which you have prejudice. It is your prejudice against Islam that became clear to me in you starting this thread about the Prophet's hadith not making sense, while in full knowledge Jesus' parallel saying in Matthew 6:26.

Originally posted by Non Believer

The Islamic texts don't allow for that view and I'm not able to find any worldly meaning from those texts. Qur'an 1:5 has us asking for help. How should an atheist interpret that? 1:6 'Guide us'


Just FYI, I'm not too concerned with helping derive secular meaning from a religious text, as I think that more or less defeats its purpose. But I'll humor you here to show you that you're not even trying NB.

Ok, so for you there's no God to pray to, or to guide us, but can you deny the awesome wisdom of being 'guided' in the general sense of "guidance" to the straight path of righteousness and leading as seamlessly a moral life as possible?

Originally posted by Non Believer

And then, as always, the attack on the non-believer in 1:7


1:7 is charting a new course from the two previous failed monotheisms. Are you blind to the symbolic beauty of ending the opening chapter (which is really a prayer, as you recognized) like that? It is awesome!!! Someone put a lot of thinking into this!!!

Al-Fatiha represents a prayer for God's guidance and the highest aspiration of mankind. It's part of the Qur'an yes, but the rest of the Qur'an is like the answer to the prayer!

It is a message from God to mankind. Notice how the first words in the Qur'an are "In the Name of God", and the final word in it is "mankind" (114:6). These aren't accidental!!!

God has a lot of attributes/names in Islam, but the first ones He mentions about Himself are that He is the Most Compassionate, Most Merciful. That is significant.

Originally posted by Non Believer

There's no condemnation of those who don't follow along. They just won't be as satisfied.


"If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town."--Matthew 10:14-15

The message there is that anyone who rejects the gospel is going to Hell, in case you need that interpreted. No, I'm not saying you lived in that town, but you are meant by extension.

Originally posted by Non Believer

Do you see the difference?...I don't feel threatened.


Are you so sure after reading Matthew 10:14-15? There are some other quotes like that in the gospels. I hate how Jesus (AS) has been made out into some pacifist, non-threatening hippie in the modern West.

Originally posted by Non Believer

This is just too much for me to bear


How come?
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Non Believer Replybullet Posted: 27 September 2017 at 2:57am
Obviously, I'm not going to defend every chapter of the Bible. My point is that there are many chapters which specifically contain teachings which are, in most cases, as relevant today as when they were written. I don't worry that the lessons might not be original; just they are easy to find, easy to read, and easy to talk about. The stories are well-constructed and typically work on more than one level.

When I see a chapter like Matthew 10, I wonder how it got there and why... and then I move on.

You should not presume that I knew about Matthew 6:26 before you asked me if I'd looked in the New Testament. Besides, it's clear what my objection to the hadith is. It's the notion that a passive believer will be fully provided for, just cuz.... just cuz he believes. This flaw was clear to me when I considered the logical contrapositive of the hadith. That Matthew 6:33 demands that the follower be active "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness.." was an unexpected discovery. The logical contrapositive of this verse is "All those things will not be given to you if you do not first seek his kingdom and righteousness"... makes perfect sense.

Yes, I've seen that "guidance" is a major theme of Islam. That, too, is a passive concept; mankind is being guided along by God. An atheist believes that he is responsible for finding his own path; i.e. he must actively search for a path of righteousness. There is no assuming that we are on the right path just because we're holding a book in our hands. Some may think that it would be awesome to sit back and let God lead us. I don't think that way.

Why would an initial statement about God being Most Compassionate, Most Merciful be at all significant to an atheist? Think, please!

I've written much about all the attacks in the Qur'an, of non-believers generally and of individual groups. Morality can be defined by what it is, rather than by what it is not. You don't seem to be bothered by all the negativity in Islam. I find it oppressive. I also find it political.

Since you admit that Muhammad is not a pacifist hippie like Jesus, then why are you so adamant in your denials when we point out how filled with violence Islam is? And since the violence of Muhammad is directed at any and all enemies of Islam, why wouldn't the non-Muslim world fear a rise in Muslim power?

Even in Matthew 10, it is God, not followers of Jesus, who will punish those who will not welcome the disciples.

Seriously, you don't understand my problem with the Al-Maududi tafseer? From the perspective of an atheist, it's just a string of religious gobbledegook which can't be translated into anything meaningful. It is also full of "loaded" words that are designed to elevate Muslims about those who have chosen a different path: "recipients of God's favour"? "those whom God has condemned"? "the true path of salvation"? "blessings which one receives in reward"? "God's approval and pleasure"? "which are enjoyed even today by people notorious for oppression, evil and corruption."?
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 27 September 2017 at 5:00am
Originally posted by Non Believer

Thank you, Al-Cordoby.

While I agree that such optimism is a valuable approach, there are times where it isn't the best approach. There are time when a bad reality must simply be confronted and handled differently.

If it is true that “If you all depend on Allah with due reliance, He would certainly give you provision”, then it is also true (by the rules of logic) that if Allah does not certainly give you provision then you have not depended on Allah with due reliance.

I don't think it is fair to blame the victims of injustice.


When a believer relies on God, as mentioned above, he or she first does his best effort.

This means applying for a new job, going to the market to sell something he or she owns or taking other measures to earn a living.

So the main lesson from this hadith is to be proactive and do something positive, like birds that fly out of their nests in the morning to find their sustenance.

That is the default position ...

Are there exceptions?

Sure.

When someone is ill in bed and can't go out to work, then the default rule would not apply, simply because he is "unable to leave his nest."

But that is an exception, not the norm, for the majority of adults who are healthy and able to earn a living.

Do you agree?

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Non Believer Replybullet Posted: 27 September 2017 at 10:56am
The problem for me may be the translation. There are a number of ambiguities in the hadith, as presented. I don't see "best effort" in the Hadith. If the Hadith had read "If you do your best, Allah will certainly give you provision..." I might not have said anything about it (though what would birds have to do with it? Do we admire them for their industriousness?)

As I've pointed out, (and something I hadn't considered when I started this thread) is that there is a Bible parallel that is an affirmative and direct message that, for me, is more explicit and meaningful. It bothers me that Muslims can't admire the Christian lesson; I'm not a Christian but I don't have a problem saying that these words make sense:

Matthew 6:26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?... 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

(The whole passage is 6:25-34, but I'm shortening it to match the Hadith)

"depend on Allah" does not have anything like the sense of "seek first his kingdom and his righteousness"

This is not the first time that I've found the Bible parallel more satisfying than the Islamic text. I'm upset by the fact that Muslims cannot admit that there is anything of value in the Bible and that it is possible for the Bible to offer something better than the Quran/Hadith. This is blatantly confrontational and speaks poorly about the Muslim attitude towards others.

It's not "my" Bible, yet I can still find much of value in it, while rejecting other parts which I find to be nonsensical. Why can't Muslims be honest about it? Why can't Muslims accept that not everyone will relate to their theology but we can still learn from their lessons?

The thing that I've learned about Islam which is the absolutely worst thing about anything is that Muslims believe that they've perfected their religion. As soon as you think you're reached perfection, you have sealed your doom. You can only be wrong-headed from that point on.

It is impossible to have an honest conversation in this environment. Why am I so persistent? ... because I think that the world's future is bleak until non-Muslims figure out how to crash through this impenetrable wall.

Please stop blaming us for your intransigence and stop giving us labels for being critical of your condescension. When you start showing intellectual kindness to others which shows that you truly believe that there can be more than one truth, then I will have hope.

You've put me into a rage and at least one of you claims "a victory". You guys should feel so proud!

How many times can I reach out and every time, you allow one of yours to mock me? How do you benefit from angering the non-Muslims who visit here? Why do you tolerate the disrespect that I've endured here?
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Shenango Replybullet Posted: 27 September 2017 at 1:15pm
Originally posted by Non Believer

It's the notion that a passive believer will be fully provided for, just cuz.... just cuz he believes.


Nobody ever said that, that's only your invention. Neither I nor any Muslim would say that. Nor does Islam teach that. Fatalism has no place in Islam.

Why do you keep insisting on taking everything a Muslim on this forum responds to you with, and every hadith or verse we quote for you to its logical extreme or so strictly literal so as to practically negate or undo its teaching or meaning? It's a baffling phenomenon about you that I've yet to understand. It's like you're determined to mischaracterize our faith no matter what.

Originally posted by Non Believer

You don't seem to be bothered by all the negativity in Islam. I find it oppressive. I also find it political.


One reason I may not be bothered by the negativity is that I am individual and not the text itself. What I'm trying to say is that you need to go out and meet some Muslims. Our texts can make us out to be worse than we are. At the end of the day, we are humans like you making our way in the world, with all the concerns that entails. You've fallen into a trap of demonization.

Originally posted by Non Believer

Since you admit that Muhammad is not a pacifist hippie like Jesus, then why are you so adamant in your denials when we point out how filled with violence Islam is?


Read my response again. I didn't say Jesus (AS) was a pacifist hippie. I said I hate how contemporary society has MADE HIM INTO a pacifist hippie. Christians too believe that Jesus (PBUH) returns to earth in the Second Coming to do some serious smiting. A pacifist he is surely not!!!

Originally posted by Non Believer

Even in Matthew 10, it is God, not followers of Jesus, who will punish those who will not welcome the disciples.


Is this a subtle attempt to reassert your misunderstanding that Islam assigns its followers the task of punishing the rest of God's creation for their sins?

Originally posted by Non Believer

"depend on Allah" does not have anything like the sense of "seek first his kingdom and his righteousness"


You're comparing a relatively short hadith of the Prophet (PBUH) to a relatively long monologue by Jesus (AS). Rest assured, our teaching lacks nothing in this regard. It's "seeking the kingdom" you're looking for? Try this hadith and this one.

You may still prefer Jesus' parable, and that's fine. But that's just a personal style preference. My point is to show you that Christianity has no moral or general religious teaching that Islam lacks. This is putting aside their different theological beliefs (crucifixion, Trinity etc.).

You cry about how we find nothing of any redeeming value in the Bible, but yet fail to understand why we view our message as having superseeded the Christian one, and indeed all previous others. The hadiths I posted above are the very reason why we don't need your Matthew passage. Are you capable of making the logical connection? I posted the hadiths for you in the hopes of you seeing that we actually mean what we say, and aren't just BS'ing you.

Don't take this last thought with great offense, but over the months that you've posted here I've observed that you fundamentally lack the learned principles or building blocks that enable a person to think about revealed religion properly.

The things you find it logical to accuse Islam/Muslims of would be a non-starter to any theist. Examples include not understanding that people cannot 'punish' any other people's sins, and the supersession of past dispensations (the above paragraph). Even Christians believe the Gospel has superseeded all other teachings before it. They even debate whether they should even use the OT at all. Here's to hoping that someday you'll no longer see that as just a 'Muslim' problem, to the extent it is a 'problem' at all. You seem to understand that religions set out rules for society, but still believe that Islam or any other faith could condone personal retribution for people's wrongs against one another. It's completely beyond me how your brain operates.

Even the most vicious Christian trolls on this forum, being theists themselves, don't show signs of ignorance this fundamental. They don't hate Islam any less than you, believe me, but they understand these 'ground rules' that come along with being a theist of any stripe. Consequently, discussion with them can proceed to differences of theology, which is at a higher level of consideration.

But with you it's always back to Fundamentals of Theology 101 and the discussion can never progress to any higher level, because you always revert to thoughtless comments that slide us back down to the drawing board. I may have a second career as a theology professor yet in store for me, if my students are anything like you, I quit already!

Edited by Shenango - 27 September 2017 at 1:18pm
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Non Believer Replybullet Posted: 27 September 2017 at 3:40pm
So more insults and condescension.

When did I mention fatalism? I've said it before, I'm not interested in wading through the Islamic reconciliation of what is God's will and what is free will. From the perspective of an atheist, there is nothing to reconcile.

I'm interested in understanding your worldview. "If you all depend on Allah.." has implications which are in stark opposition to an atheist's worldview. Why shouldn't I question it?

I'm puzzling over your comment about going out and meeting some Muslims. The implication is that "real" Muslims that I might meet aren't anything like the Muslims posting here; implying that in reality, most Muslims haven't been so heavily indoctrinated that I would find them unpleasant. WOW. That's quite the comment!

Please don't blame me for either the historic reality that Muhammad led an army against all those who opposed him or the present when Muslims are murdering in the name of God. (and possibly during every period in between, though that's irrelevant). You can believe in God and be a murderer. It's a fact. Muhammad slaughtered at least one tribe. It's in your history; it's not our fabrication.

Jesus never did this.

Now tell me this: Do you really think those two Hadiths would in any way resonate with me or inspire me? Are you so unaware of how an atheist thinks that you could imagine me reading beyond "“Whoever makes the world his most important matter, Allah will confound his affairs ..." or "Verily, the Holy Spirit impressed upon my mind that a soul will never die until..."

No, don't try to teach Islam to atheists. You just don't get it.

And you still won't admit that Matthew 6 is a positive message while these Hadiths are negative ("Allah will confound" "do not let")? Why is that so hard to admit?

And returning to Matthew 10:14 "If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words..." That's not an unreasonable expectation. I show that much courtesy to the JW's who show up at my door and it displays none of the vitriol of the Quran that you think I should tolerate.

And cut with the insults. The fact that you can't adapt to arguing with an atheist is your problem, not mine. I hope when you're teaching Theology 101 you mention that for atheists the argument "it is written..." is totally meaningless and without weight. If you can't justify what you're teaching without invoking this "authority" then it is plain rubbish.

Christians, generally, don't have this problem. They know that what Jesus preached is good and that most of what he preached can stand on its own legs. I can skip that Trinity stuff and the heaven and hell and day of judgement nonsense that I don't care for, besides which, in my opinion, was not actually from Jesus, not that it matters.
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Doris Replybullet Posted: 27 September 2017 at 4:15pm
Magister, you do not seem to recognize that criminals who commit random murders claim to be following the dictates of the Quran and hadith.You seem like a gentle sort,but others who share you faith are not.

I understand that most spiritual texts have a certain ambiguity about them. There is also, in the Quran, the issue of abrogation.

I think that you and some other posters on this forum should be trying to convince other Muslims that your interpretations are correct, for they belie your words with their actions.

If you're trying to convince NB and others that Islam is the way to go, you must find a way to counteract the moral and civil crimes of your co-coreligionists, who seem just as convinced as you are. Sorry, but they are your fellow travelers. And I'm afraid you're stuck with them.

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