Suscipe Domine Traditional Catholic Forum

The Church Courtyard => Non-Catholic Discussion Subforum => Topic started by: Vetus Ordo on June 17, 2019, 03:45:42 PM

Title: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on June 17, 2019, 03:45:42 PM
In surah Al-Anbiya ("The Prophets"), the 21st chapter of the Qur'an, verse 107, we read the following about Muhammad:

Wama arsalnaka illa rahmatan lil'alamina, "And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds." In what sense was the Prophet of Islam a mercy to all creation, according to Islamic understanding?

Tabari, in his famous tafsir, quotes Ibn Abbas narration about this verse: "The more correct of the two opinions is that which was narrated from Ibn Abbas, which says that Allah sent His Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) as a mercy to all the world, both believers and disbelievers. As for the believers, Allah guided them through him and caused them, through their belief in him and their acting upon what he brought from Allah, to enter Paradise. As for the disbelievers, by virtue of him He warded off from them the hastening of the punishment that came upon the nations who disbelieved in their Messengers before him."

He continues: "There is no doubt that, although the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) did not kill anyone with his own hand except this wretch [n.b. Ubay ibn Khalaf at the battle of Uhud] he is the one who prescribed and enjoined jihad and urged the Muslims to go out on jihad. There is no contradiction between the fact that he prescribed and enjoined jihad and killed that wretch or anyone else, and the words of Allah, may He be exalted, 'And We have sent you (O Muhammad ) not but as a mercy for the worlds' (21:107), because Allah, may He be exalted, only sent him to bring people forth from darkness to light, and to guide them to His straight path. He prescribed for him jihad for His sake and to fight His enemies who wanted to extinguish the light of Allah and spread mischief on earth."

Traditionally, Muhammad has been viewed with utmost hostility by the Christian world. His character, even today, is subject to the most extreme forms of maledicency. From all the figures of history, he seems to be universally the most maligned in Western historiography. We all know the typical accusations: from pagan God and devil to a simple war-mongerer, child molester, fraud, etc. Only in the past century have some of these ideas been challenged.
 
William Montgomery Watt, a famous Orientalist and Anglican priest, in his book about early Islam entitled Muhammad at Medina, writes the following:

Quote
Of all the world's greatest men none has been so much maligned as Muhammad. It is easy to see how this has come about. For centuries Islam was the great enemy of Christendom, for Christendom was in direct contact with no other organized states comparable in power to the Muslims. The Byzantine empire, after losing its provinces in Syria and Egypt, was being attacked in Asia Minor, while Western Europe was threatened through Spain and Sicily. Even before the Crusades focused attention on the expulsion of the Saracens from the Holy Land, medieval war-propaganda, free from the restraints of factuality was building up a conception of 'the great enemy'. At one point Muhammad was transformed into Mahound, the prince of darkness. By the eleventh century the idea about Islam and Muslims current in the crusading armies were such travesties that they had a bad effect on morale. The crusaders had been led to expect the worst of their enemies, and, when they found many chivalrous knights among them, they were filled with distrust for the authorities of their own religion.

More interestingly even, he concludes regarding the moral accusations levelled against him by Western historians and Christian missionaries:

Quote
The other main allegations of moral defect in Muhammad are that he was treacherous and lustful . . . Sufficient has been said above about the interpretation of these events to show that the case against Muhammad is much weaker than is sometimes thought. The discussions of these allegations, however, raises a fundamental question. How are we to judge Muhammad?  By the standards of his own time and country?  Or by those of the most enlightened opinion in the West today?  When the sources are closely scrutinized, it is clear that those of Muhammad's actions which are disapproved by the modern West were not the object of the moral criticism of his contemporaries. They criticized some of his acts, but their motives were superstitious prejudice or fear of the consequences.  If they criticized the events at Nakhlah, it was because they feared some punishment from the offended pagan gods or the worldly vengeance of the Meccans.  If they were amazed at the mass execution of the Jews of the clan of Qurayzah, it was at the number and danger of the blood-feuds incurred. The marriage with Zaynab seemed incestuous, but this conception of incest was bound up with old practices belonging to a lower, communalistic level of familial institutions where a child's paternity was not definitely known; and this lower level was in process being eliminated by Islam . . . From the standpoint of Muhammad's time, then, the allegations of treachery and sensuality cannot be maintained.  His contemporaries did not find him morally defective in any way. On the contrary, some of the acts criticized by the modern Westerner show that Muhammad's standards were higher than those of his time.  In his day and generation he was a social reformer, even a reformer in the sphere of morals. He created a new system of social security and a new family structure, both of which were a vast improvement on what went before. By taking what was best in the morality of the nomad and adapting it for settled communities, he established a religious and social framework for the life of many races of men. That is not the work of a traitor or an old lecher.

Thomas Carlyle, in his famous work On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and The Heroic in History, has to following refreshing admission:

Quote
Our current hypothesis about Mahomet, that he was a scheming Imposter, a Falsehood incarnate, that his religion is a mere mass of quackery and fatuity, begins really to be now untenable to any one. The lies, which well-meaning zeal has heaped around this man, are disgraceful to ourselves only. When Pococke inquires of Grotius, where the proof was of that story of the pigeon, trained to pick peas from Mahomet's ear, and pass for an angel dictating to him? Grotius answered that there was no proof! It is really time to dismiss all that.

Vatican II has definitely inaugurated a new era in Catholic-Muslim relations and dialogue. As we deepen our understanding of Islam and the person of Muhammad in a climate of peace and scholarly dialogue, will we finally reach a more balanced view of one of the most important men to have ever walked the planet?
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: ChristusRex on June 17, 2019, 10:52:12 PM
When do you think you’ll convert to Mohammedanism?
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Xavier on June 18, 2019, 12:14:26 AM
"Muhammad is a narcissist, a pedophile, a mass murderer, a terrorist, a misogynist, a lecher, a cult leader, a madman, a rapist, a torturer, an assassin and a looter." Quote from a former Muslim, Ali Sina, who offered $50,000 to anyone who could prove this wrong based on Islamic texts.  The reward has gone unclaimed" https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/muhammad/life-of-muhammad.aspx

"Terrorist attacks by Islamist extremists to further a perceived Islamist religious or political cause have occurred globally. The attackers have used such tactics as arson, vehicle rampage attacks, bomb threats, suicide attacks, bombings, spree shootings, stabbings, hijackings, kidnappings and beheadings." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Islamist_terrorist_attacks

The blood of every Christian Martyr who continues to suffer under Islamist terrorism will cry out for judgment against those who knowingly and deliberately continue to make excuses for the False Prophet Mohammed who's prepared the way for Anti-Christ to come. He is of Anti-Christ, as St. John the Apostle says, who denies the Father and the Son. And the sect of Islamism does all that and more, for it blasphemes the Holy Trinity, attacks the Holy Cross of Christ, denies the Glorious Redemption that He alone has accomplished, and denies that Jesus Christ is our God and Saviour. It even completely rejects Baptism, Holy Mass and the Sacraments. And any person who teaches and glorifies polygamy, concubinage and sex slavery after Christ has so much elevated and sanctified Holy Matrimony is no Prophet at all but a lecherous man. Anyone who invents a false religion of hatred and of killing innocents in opposition to the religion of forgiving one's enemies that Jesus taught condemns himself.

Not even Vatican II says one good word about Mohammed, and WikiIslam has this on the wretch who who would make even modern pagans blush with his lawlessness and his sexual immorality, "The historian Al-Tabari calculated that Muhammad married a total of fifteen women, though only ever eleven at one time; and two of these marriages were never consummated.[2] This tally of fifteen does not include at least four concubines. According to Merriam-Webster, a concubine is “a woman with whom a man cohabits without being married”, and has a “social status in a household below that of a wife.”[3] All of Muhammad’s concubines were his slaves." https://wikiislam.net/wiki/List_of_Muhammads_Wives_and_Concubines

VetusOrdo, the idea that Mohammed is mercy for the world is a terrible blasphemy. One could more correctly say it rather seems to be God's judgment on an unbelieving world that did not want the Divine Mercy of His Son that such a false Prophet had to arise, as St. Peter would say - there have to be false prophets, so that those who are faithful in following the divine revelation that Jesus Christ has taught us, performing so many and such great miracles in the sight of all and throughout the history of His Church, may be distinguished, differentiated, and set apart, from deceived lost souls who follow heretics and false prophets to their own perdition. Jesus Christ wants to save our Muslim friends, but He will do that by delivering them from Islamism and from the shackles of this wicked man and his perfidious sect of apostasy that to this day persecutes Christians terribly.

St. John Damascene, Doctor of the Church, on Mohammedanism: "But when we ask: ‘And who is there to testify that God gave him the book? And which of the prophets foretold that such a prophet would rise up?’—they are at a loss. And we remark that Moses received the Law on Mount Sinai, with God appearing in the sight of all the people in cloud, and fire, and darkness, and storm. And we say that all the Prophets from Moses on down foretold the coming of Christ and how Christ God (and incarnate Son of God) was to come and to be crucified and die and rise again, and how He was to be the judge of the living and dead. Then, when we say: ‘How is it that this prophet of yours did not come in the same way, with others bearing witness to him? And how is it that God did not in your presence present this man with the book to which you refer, even as He gave the Law to Moses, with the people looking on and the mountain smoking, so that you, too, might have certainty?’ ...

“When we ask again: ‘How is it that when he enjoined us in this book of yours not to do anything or receive anything without witnesses, you did not ask him: “First do you show us by witnesses that you are a prophet and that you have come from God, and show us just what Scriptures there are that testify about you”’—they are ashamed and remain silent.” http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/stjohn_islam.aspx

St. Thomas, Angelic Doctor, on Islamism: "On the other hand, those who founded sects committed to erroneous doctrines proceeded in a way that is opposite to this, The point is clear in the case of Muhammad. He seduced the people by promises of carnal pleasure to which the concupiscence of the flesh goads us. His teaching also contained precepts that were in conformity with his promises, and he gave free rein to carnal pleasure. In all this, as is not unexpected, he was obeyed by carnal men. As for proofs of the truth of his doctrine, he brought forward only such as could be grasped by the natural ability of anyone with a very modest wisdom. Indeed, the truths that he taught he mingled with many fables and with doctrines of the greatest falsity. He did not bring forth any signs produced in a supernatural way, which alone fittingly gives witness to divine inspiration; for a visible action that can be only divine reveals an invisibly inspired teacher of truth.

On the contrary, Muhammad said that he was sent in the power of his arms—which are signs not lacking even to robbers and tyrants. What is more, no wise men, men trained in things divine and human, believed in him from the beginning, Those who believed in him were brutal men and desert wanderers, utterly ignorant of all divine teaching, through whose numbers Muhammad forced others to become his followers by the violence of his arms." https://thomasofaquino.blogspot.com/2016/03/on-other-hand-those-who-founded-sects.html

St. John Bosco on Mohammed: Q. What is the difference between the Catholic Church and the Mohammedan one?

St. John Bosco: The difference is very great. Mohamed established his religion with violence and arms; Jesus Christ established His Church with words of peace using His poor disciples. Mohamed incited the passions; Jesus Christ commanded the denial of self.  Mohamed worked no miracles; Jesus Christ worked uncountable miracles in broad daylight and in the presence of countless  multitudes.  Mohamed’s doctrines are ridiculous, immoral and corrupting; Jesus Christ’s are august, sublime and pure. In Mohamed not even one prophecy was fulfilled; in Jesus Christ all were.
 
To sum up, the Christian Religion, in a certain way, renders man happy in this world so as to raise him up to the enjoyment of heaven; Mohamed degrades and dishonours human nature and by placing all happiness in sensual pleasures, reduces man to the level of filthy animals." http://www.catholicapologetics.info/apologetics/islam/bosco.htm
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: TheReturnofLive on June 18, 2019, 12:50:24 AM
Vetus, when you play EU4, I swear, if you have ever unironically picked Kebab and not converted to Orthodoxy, Coptic, Catholic, or Catholic and then Protestant / Reformed, I have lost any inkling of respect for you. You also have better not culture-converted the Greeks and Armenians to Kebabi.

At least play as QQ or Mamluks, or just Oman.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: TheReturnofLive on June 18, 2019, 12:51:21 AM
In all seriousness,
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: TheReturnofLive on June 18, 2019, 01:35:18 AM
Islam has been foundational in terms of Middle Eastern culture for more than one and half millenia, and the developments in terms of Islamic theology I find really fascinating. For instance, in Sunni Islam, the debate as to whether or not the Quran is uncreated or created, or the ideas that have been permeating within the Sufi school of Islamic thought, including it's ideas of Origenism or the ideas of the world existing as in God's mind.

While also being by and large an iconoclastic religion (one could actually argue that the iconoclastic persecution during the end of the first millenia in Christianity was started from Islamic influence), it has also led to many unique works of art that have been produced.

I don't think there's anything inherently wrong about wanting to learn about the belief system that has guided several cultures for more than a millenia and a half.

Now, with that said, Vetus, I have brought up my oppositions to Islam before, but I'll bring them up again; for one, so much of Islamic praxis does not, in fact, come from Islam itself, but comes from a combination of Byzantine and Alexandrian Christianity, as well as Judaism. The Burka can actually be found in Clement of Alexandria in his suggestions of modesty, where he argues women need to be clothed completely except for their eyes. Islamic chant has clear origins in Middle Eastern Christian chant, which can be compared to this day in the Alexandrian and Antiochian Byzantine, Oriental, and Assyrian Rites; even the way that Mosques are designed have clear origins from Middle Eastern Church architecture, with some famous Mosques even appearing in the shape of a cross. Prostrations are huge in Byzantine Christianity; if one attends a Byzantine Catholic or Eastern Orthodox Presanctified Liturgy of Saint Gregory the Great, you will wonder if you wandered into a Mosque with how many people prostrate in rapid succession (I got sweaty during my first Presanctified service), not to mention the interval prayers which have clear origins in Christian liturgical praxis. Finally, as in an argument that Saint John of Damascus brings up, who worked for an Islamic government, while Islam mandates some parts of the Old Covenant, like circumcision, they blatantly ignore other rules and regulations within the Old Covenant, like the requirements of the Aaronite Priesthood.

For two, the Theistic worldview of Islam doesn't make much sense to me. For Islam, what was the point of God having picked the Israelites as His chosen people? Did God ever indicate He would abandon them for the Ishmaelites? Why has God switched from the Israelites to the Ishmaelites? Why does God favor some people He creates over others? At least in Christianity it can be argued that the point of it all was to have a people that would be the light to the nations, with that light being the root in which Christ comes forth from, and in which the Church can truly be Catholic by having Saints from Pentecost onward. What ever happened to the very clear Messianic Prophecy which can be found as incomplete in Judaism, but complete in Christianity? Going back on Saint John of Damascus's argument, why did God abolish certain precepts, but allow others?

For three, I don't find Muhammad or his narrative very convincing. First of all, he already proved himself as not legitimate when he argued that three pagan deities were actually angels, but then "oops, Satan was whispering into my ear." Second of all, while arguing to be a Prophet of Peace, he nonetheless - like Joseph Smith - used force and political pressure to disseminate his ides. Third of all, I find the argument that Christianity apostasized within the first moments of Jesus's death not convincing, considering that the people who actually knew Jesus for a couple of years helped establish the Church - I also don't get why Jesus would have disciples sent out to establish organize communities when they would just apostatize immediately; why would God do that? Fourth of all, it seems weird that although Jesus was a Prophet, he nonetheless taught things that Muhammad would disagree with, such as divorce, polygamy, drinking, being allowed to deny God to save your life, etc.

For four, overall, I find the morality of Christianity way more fulfilling and in tune with what human nature demands than Islam. In Christianity, there is a genius balance where while the law and rules and regulations are  important and shouldn't be denied, nonetheless intrinsic human morality holds precedent to it. In Islam, you will find an unabashed legalism as the Pharisees taught; I've actually talked to a person online who lives in Saudi Arabia who tried worshiping Pagan deities in order to achieve short-term goals of manipulation and power, only for these Pagan deities to harass him in his dreams in nightmarish forms with extreme hostility towards the worship of the Abrahamic God; when he went to a member of the Islamic clergy to tell him one on one with his struggles, the man in question was extremely offended, shocked, and disgusted with what he did, and threatened to report him to the authorities. This is in stark contrast to say something you would find in Christianity, like Confession.


Now, to actually answer your question.

No.

I don't think that the kind of Ecumenical dialogue that Vatican II has paved way will answer anything or create an enlightenment among the Catholic populace; I can tell you that despite the heavy Ecumenism of the Catholic Church with Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholics remain in the dark about Eastern Orthodoxy, with many not knowing it even exists, while others being completely ignorant to it; Pope Francis is certainly ignorant of it and how conservative and strict the Eastern Orthodox laity and clergy can be, judging from his recent comments from his latest trip. I bet most Catholics don't know about Hesychasm, or Mount Athos, or the Jesus Prayer, or icons, or Ad-Orientem Liturgy, or leavened bread, or the fact that Priests can get married. The only thing that they do know about Orthodoxy - if they know it exists at all - is that it's wrong because it allows divorce and contraception, because that argument has been repeated like a Hindu mantra.

Now, that is Eastern Orthodoxy - the religion that, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, is the closest religion to Catholicism. How do you think that Ecumenism will help people learn about Islam in terms of its liturgical praxis, its mysticism, its theology, its history?

Ecumenism, while being active for 60 years, has not spread an enlightenment throughout the Catholic Church. It instead has only brought indifference and ignorance, and a John Lennon intellectual level of understandings of the differences of the worlds religions in terms of philosophy, outlook, and culture; where all the religions are more or less the same and they all preach peace, love, and rock and roll.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Xavier on June 18, 2019, 01:45:58 AM
Whatever "ecumenism" means (it's an amorphous term that's not clearly defined, but a possible meaning could be "Restoration of Unity among Christians" - one, indeed, suggested by the Title Unitatis Redeintegratio), ecumenism is among those who (1) Have been validly baptized in the Name of the Holy Trinity (2) believe at least in the Triune God, and confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

This is what UR states: "Everywhere large numbers have felt the impulse of this grace, and among our separated brethren also there increases from day to day the movement, fostered by the grace of the Holy Spirit, for the restoration of unity among all Christians. This movement toward unity is called "ecumenical." Those belong to it who invoke the Triune God and confess Jesus as Lord and Savior, doing this not merely as individuals but also as corporate bodies. For almost everyone regards the body in which he has heard the Gospel as his Church and indeed, God's Church. All however, though in different ways, long for the one visible Church of God, a Church truly universal and set forth into the world that the world may be converted to the Gospel and so be saved, to the glory of God ... 12. Before the whole world let all Christians confess their faith in the Triune God, One and Three, in the incarnate Son of God, our Redeemer and Lord. United in their efforts, and with mutual respect, let them bear witness to our common hope which does not play us false. In these days when cooperation in social matters is so widespread, all men without exception are called to work together, with much greater reason all those who believe in God, but most of all, all Christians in that they bear the name of Christ. Cooperation among Christians vividly expresses the relationship which in fact already unites them, and it sets in clearer relief the features of Christ the Servant. This cooperation, which has already begun in many countries, should be developed more and more, particularly in regions where a social and technical evolution is taking place be it in a just evaluation of the dignity of the human person, the establishment of the blessings of peace, the application of Gospel principles to social life, the advancement of the arts and sciences in a truly Christian spirit, or also in the use of various remedies to relieve the afflictions of our times such as famine and natural disasters, illiteracy and poverty, housing shortage and the unequal distribution of wealth. All believers in Christ can, through this cooperation, be led to acquire a better knowledge and appreciation of one another, and so pave the way to Christian unity."

I prefer the Catholic Encyclopedia's way of putting it: "The Catholic Church is by far the largest, the most widespread, and the most ancient of Christian communions in the world, and is moreover the mighty trunk from which the other communions claiming to be Christian have broken off at one time or another. If, then, we limit the application of the term Christendom to this, its most authentic expression, the unity of Christendom is not a lost ideal to be recovered, but a stupendous reality which has always been in stable possession. For not only has this Catholic Church ever taught that unity is an essential note of the true Church of Christ, but throughout her long history she has been, to the amazement of the world, distinguished by the most conspicuous unity of faith and government, and this notwithstanding that she has at all times embraced within her fold nationalities of the most different temperaments, and has had to contend with incessant oscillations of mental speculation and political power. Still, in another and broader sense of the term, which is also the more usual and is followed in the present article, Christendom includes not merely the Catholic Church, but, together with it, the many other religious communions which have either directly or indirectly, separated from it, and yet, although in conflict both with it and among themselves as to various points of doctrine and practice agree with it in this: that they look up to our Lord Jesus Christ as the Founder of their Faith, and claim to make His teaching the rule of their lives. As these separated communities when massed together, indeed in some cases even of themselves, count a vast number of souls, among whom many are conspicuous for their religious earnestness, this extension of the term Christendom to include them all has its solid justification. On the other hand, if it is accepted, it becomes no longer possible to speak of the unity of Christendom but rather of a Christendom torn by divisions and offering the saddest spectacle to the eyes. And then the question arises: Is this scandal always to continue? The Holy See has never tired of appealing in season and out of season for its removal but without meeting with much response from a world which had learnt to live contentedly within its sectarian enclosures. Happily a new spirit has lately come over these dissentient Christians, numbers of whom are becoming keenly sensitive to the paralyzing effects of division and an active reunion movement has arisen which, If far from being as widespread and solid as one could wish, is at least cherished on all sides by devout minds."

Muslims are also loved by God, and called by Him to salvation, but through faith and knowledge of Jesus Christ, loving and recognizing Him as God, and through Holy Baptism in the Name of the Triune God.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on June 18, 2019, 06:24:44 PM
Vetus, when you play EU4, I swear, if you have ever unironically picked Kebab and not converted to Orthodoxy, Coptic, Catholic, or Catholic and then Protestant / Reformed, I have lost any inkling of respect for you. You also have better not culture-converted the Greeks and Armenians to Kebabi.

When I have the honour of playing with the Sublime Porte, I do my best to bring the light of Islam and the love of the Prophet, s.a.w., into the very heart of Europe.

Something along these lines:

(http://i.imgur.com/QhhjbBN.jpg?1)
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Chestertonian on June 18, 2019, 07:44:17 PM
They didn't seem very merciful to the church in Mosul.  You could say that those Muslims were "radicalized" but entire countries embrace this.  I will never understand why American liberals pay more attention to "mansplaining" "manspreading" or whatever they're complaining about, yet little girls in many Muslim countries still can't obtain a basic education and they throw acid on rape victims, then there's the polygamy, the gay underbelly in a lot of Muslim countries. 
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on June 18, 2019, 07:49:44 PM
Thank you for your thoughtful post, Live. I'll try to exchange some ideas on the points you raised.

for one, so much of Islamic praxis does not, in fact, come from Islam itself, but comes from a combination of Byzantine and Alexandrian Christianity, as well as Judaism. The Burka can actually be found in Clement of Alexandria in his suggestions of modesty, where he argues women need to be clothed completely except for their eyes. Islamic chant has clear origins in Middle Eastern Christian chant, which can be compared to this day in the Alexandrian and Antiochian Byzantine, Oriental, and Assyrian Rites; even the way that Mosques are designed have clear origins from Middle Eastern Church architecture, with some famous Mosques even appearing in the shape of a cross. Prostrations are huge in Byzantine Christianity; if one attends a Byzantine Catholic or Eastern Orthodox Presanctified Liturgy of Saint Gregory the Great, you will wonder if you wandered into a Mosque with how many people prostrate in rapid succession (I got sweaty during my first Presanctified service), not to mention the interval prayers which have clear origins in Christian liturgical praxis. Finally, as in an argument that Saint John of Damascus brings up, who worked for an Islamic government, while Islam mandates some parts of the Old Covenant, like circumcision, they blatantly ignore other rules and regulations within the Old Covenant, like the requirements of the Aaronite Priesthood.

Since Islam claims to be the perfection and divine correction of the revelations that preceded it in history, it is no wonder that it incorporates some practices that are found in religions that came before it. I don't think plagiarism per se can be successfully leveled against Islam given the context of its own claims. That it took some things from Judaism, for instance, while ignoring others, is no more an argument against Islam as it is against Christianity that also abandoned the Mosaic Law while keeping the OT scriptures. Both religions have different claims and reasons to have done so (Christianity because Christ fulfilled the Law; Islam because the Law as it is found in the Torah has been corrupted by the Jews and the Rabbis themselves) but each one is logically defensible in itself.

For two, the Theistic worldview of Islam doesn't make much sense to me. For Islam, what was the point of God having picked the Israelites as His chosen people? Did God ever indicate He would abandon them for the Ishmaelites? Why has God switched from the Israelites to the Ishmaelites? Why does God favor some people He creates over others? At least in Christianity it can be argued that the point of it all was to have a people that would be the light to the nations, with that light being the root in which Christ comes forth from, and in which the Church can truly be Catholic by having Saints from Pentecost onward. What ever happened to the very clear Messianic Prophecy which can be found as incomplete in Judaism, but complete in Christianity? Going back on Saint John of Damascus's argument, why did God abolish certain precepts, but allow others?

The favor of God towards the Jewish people in Islam does not display the same messianic context that we have in the Bible. They're merely a subset of the Abrahamic and Noachide prophetic missions which were destined to all men on earth.

This koranic exegesis might interest you: Tafsir of Surat al-Baqarah (2:122-129) (http://www.islamicstudies.info/tafheem.php?sura=2&verse=122&to=129)

For three, I don't find Muhammad or his narrative very convincing. First of all, he already proved himself as not legitimate when he argued that three pagan deities were actually angels, but then "oops, Satan was whispering into my ear." Second of all, while arguing to be a Prophet of Peace, he nonetheless - like Joseph Smith - used force and political pressure to disseminate his ides. Third of all, I find the argument that Christianity apostasized within the first moments of Jesus's death not convincing, considering that the people who actually knew Jesus for a couple of years helped establish the Church - I also don't get why Jesus would have disciples sent out to establish organize communities when they would just apostatize immediately; why would God do that? Fourth of all, it seems weird that although Jesus was a Prophet, he nonetheless taught things that Muhammad would disagree with, such as divorce, polygamy, drinking, being allowed to deny God to save your life, etc.

As regards to the episode you described, related by Al-Tabari and Ibn Sa'd and popularized in the West by Salman Rushdie's famous novel The Satanic Verses, it bears mentioning that its factual historicity has been rejected by all exegetes. Some orientalists without an axe to grind, like John Burton, plainly admit it: There existed therefore a compelling theoretical motive for the invention of these infamous hadiths. If it be felt that this has now been demonstrated, there should be no further difficulty in suggesting that those hadiths have no historical basis. ("Those Are The High-Flying Cranes", Journal Of Semitic Studies). The fact that this story was recorded in their works does not prove that the story itself is historically true, neither do these sources claim it. In fact, the episode is so absurd that it runs contrary to the historical information we have on Muhammad and the way he spread his religion.

As for Islam not squaring with the New Testament, this is to be expect by Islamic standards. All previous revelations have been tampered with over time, so there can't be an exact correspondence. The Koran, miraculous in its nature, is the criterion by which everything in the past (and present) is judged. While there is no unanimous agreement in Islam to explain the facts of early Christianity that I'm aware of, it is generally assumed that the message was only corrupted later on and the the extant copies of the NT that we have today cannot be fully trusted.

For four, overall, I find the morality of Christianity way more fulfilling and in tune with what human nature demands than Islam. In Christianity, there is a genius balance where while the law and rules and regulations are important and shouldn't be denied, nonetheless intrinsic human morality holds precedent to it. In Islam, you will find an unabashed legalism as the Pharisees taught; I've actually talked to a person online who lives in Saudi Arabia who tried worshiping Pagan deities in order to achieve short-term goals of manipulation and power, only for these Pagan deities to harass him in his dreams in nightmarish forms with extreme hostility towards the worship of the Abrahamic God; when he went to a member of the Islamic clergy to tell him one on one with his struggles, the man in question was extremely offended, shocked, and disgusted with what he did, and threatened to report him to the authorities. This is in stark contrast to say something you would find in Christianity, like Confession.


Christianity was known to harass and kill heretics and apostates for centuries. So did the OT religion of the Hebrews. That an apostate today wouldn't be killed in Western Christianity only proves that the Church lost temporal power and gave in to Enlightenment demands, nothing more.

Islam is a holistic system that does not have the same concept of law and grace that Christianity does. Nevertheless, I'd submit that its spirit is as Semitic and Abrahamic as anything that preceded it, while not encountering the traditional difficulties that the Church has had in trying to harmonize the OT with the NT.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Heinrich on June 18, 2019, 08:51:19 PM
So, are you now a Muslim, Vetus Ordo?
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on June 18, 2019, 09:34:15 PM
When do you think you’ll convert to Mohammedanism?
So, are you now a Muslim, Vetus Ordo?

I've been a student of Islam and Muslim History since 2005.

That's all.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Heinrich on June 18, 2019, 09:59:28 PM
When do you think you’ll convert to Mohammedanism?
So, are you now a Muslim, Vetus Ordo?

I've been a student of Islam and Muslim History since 2005.

That's all.

OK. But it appears that it is bleeding into a reverence and premiere Weltanschauung for you.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: TheReturnofLive on June 18, 2019, 11:40:08 PM
Vetus, when you play EU4, I swear, if you have ever unironically picked Kebab and not converted to Orthodoxy, Coptic, Catholic, or Catholic and then Protestant / Reformed, I have lost any inkling of respect for you. You also have better not culture-converted the Greeks and Armenians to Kebabi.

When I have the honour of playing with the Sublime Porte, I do my best to bring the light of Islam and the love of the Prophet, s.a.w., into the very heart of Europe.

Something along these lines:

(http://i.imgur.com/QhhjbBN.jpg?1)

sadhfwoqieurfhaljn

I knew it; for some reason I knew it. You are a traitor to the HRE, you barbarian scum!

Although, if that's a legit run, that's pretty dang good. Even though I love EU4, I suck at it.

But I'm kind of disgusted that you just completely ignored the No CB Ireland strat, and instead attacked England directly.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on June 24, 2019, 11:34:37 AM
Does it come as any surprise that a man who embraces Vatican II, pushes evolutionism, embraces Biblical criticism and casts aspersions upon Genesis is also a bona fide Islamophile?

Ecumenism with what is possibly the single-most explicitly anti-Christ religion? Really? Because they claim "Allah" was Abraham's God? I have more in common with just about any other world religion I can think of.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on June 24, 2019, 02:42:25 PM
Ecumenism with what is possibly the single-most explicitly anti-Christ religion?

Is it? Islam honors Christ and the Virgin Mary, unlike Judaism which reviles them. The Da Vinci Code movie was banned in Muslim countries, for instance.

John Paul II offered us a more balanced and educated view of this matter. When addressing a symposium on Holiness in Christianity and in Islam, he remarked the following:

Quote
"All true holiness comes from God, who is called ‘The Holy One’ in the sacred books of the Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Your holy Qur’an calls God ‘Al-Quddus,’ as in the verse: ‘He is God, besides whom there is no other, the Sovereign, the Holy, the (source of) Peace’ (Qur’an 59, 23). The prophet Hosea links God’s holiness with his forgiving love for mankind, a love which surpasses our ability to comprehend: ‘I am God, not man; I am the Holy One in your midst and have no wish to destroy’ (Ho 11:9). In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches his disciples that holiness consists in assuming, in our human way, the qualities of God’s own holiness which he has revealed to mankind: ‘Be holy, even as your heavenly Father is holy’ (Mt 5:48).

Thus the Qur’an calls you to uprightness (al-salah), to conscientious devotion (al-taqwa), to goodness (al-husn), and to virtue (al-birr), which is described as believing in God, giving one’s wealth to the needy, freeing captives, being constant in prayer, keeping one’s word, and being patient in times of suffering, hardship and violence (Qur’an 2:177). Similarly, St. Paul stresses the love we must show toward all, and the duty to lead a blameless life in the sight of God: ‘May the Lord be generous in increasing your love and make you love one another and the whole human race as much as we love you. And may he so confirm your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless in the sight of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus Christ comes with all his saints’ (1 Th 3:12-13)."

Or his address when visiting the Great Mosque of Damascus:

Quote
"We are meeting close to what both Christians and Muslims regard as the tomb of John the Baptist, known as Yahya in the Muslim tradition. The son of Zechariah is a figure of prime importance in the history of Christianity, for he was the precursor who prepared the way for Christ. John’s life, wholly dedicated to God, was crowned by martyrdom. May his witness enlighten all who venerate his memory here, so that they - and we too - may understand that life’s great task is to seek God’s truth and justice.

The fact that we are meeting in this renowned place of prayer reminds us that man is a spiritual being, called to acknowledge and respect the absolute priority of God in all things. Christians and Muslims agree that the encounter with God in prayer is the necessary nourishment of our souls, without which our hearts wither and our will no longer strives for good but succumbs to evil.

Both Muslims and Christians prize their places of prayer as oases where they meet the all-merciful God on the journey to eternal life and where they meet their brothers and sisters in the bond of religion. When, on the occasion of weddings or funerals or other celebrations, Christians and Muslims remain in silent respect at the other’s prayer, they bear witness to what unites them without disguising or denying the things that separate.

(...)

It is important that Muslims and Christians continue to explore philosophical and theological questions together in order to come to a more objective and comprehensive knowledge of each others’ religious beliefs. Better mutual understanding will surely lead at the practical level to a new way of presenting our two religions not in opposition, as has happened too often in the past, but in partnership for the good of the human family.

Interreligious dialogue is most effective when it springs from the experience of ‘living with each other’ from day to day within the same community and culture. In Syria, Christians and Muslims have lived side by side for centuries, and a rich dialogue of life has gone on unceasingly. Every individual and every family knows moments of harmony and other moments when dialogue has broken down. The positive experiences must strengthen our communities in the hope of peace; and the negative experiences should not be allowed to undermine that hope. For all the times that Muslims and Christians have offended one another, we need to seek forgiveness from the Almighty and offer each other forgiveness. Jesus teaches us that we must pardon others’ offenses if God is to pardon us our sins (cf. Mt. 6:14).

(...)

"As we make our way through life toward our heavenly destiny, Christians feel the company of Mary, the mother of Jesus; and Islam too pays tribute to Mary and hails her as ‘chosen above the women of the world’ (Qur’an, 3:42). The virgin of Nazareth, the Lady of Saydnâya, has taught us that God protects the humble and “scatters the proud in the imagination of their hearts” (Lk. 1:51). May the hearts of Christians and Muslims turn to one another with feelings of brotherhood and friendship, so that the Almighty may bless us with the peace which heaven alone can give. To the one, merciful God be praise and glory forever. Amen."

Being able to understand better the faith of the non-Christian, treating it fairly according to its sources and rulings, and avoiding to bear false witness about his beliefs and religious figures, is already in itself a lofty pursuit for those who love and serve God who alone is Truth.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Gardener on June 24, 2019, 02:50:38 PM
Yeah, they honor Christ and the Virgin Mary by besmirching Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross and denying the Son.

 ::)
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on June 24, 2019, 06:19:39 PM
Yeah, they honor Christ and the Virgin Mary by besmirching Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross and denying the Son.

I was responding to the blanket assertion that Islam is "possibly the single-most explicitly anti-Christ religion."

Certainly, as per 1 John 2:22, Islam is also anti-Christian. All religions are. However, the claim is that it's the most anti-Christian religion of all. An odd claim given that Christ isn't treated as a fraudulent preacher and the Blessed Virgin isn't treated as a prostitute unlike, say, in Rabbinic Judaism for instance.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on June 25, 2019, 06:53:33 AM
Ecumenism with what is possibly the single-most explicitly anti-Christ religion?

Is it? Islam honors Christ and the Virgin Mary, unlike Judaism which reviles them. The Da Vinci Code movie was banned in Muslim countries, for instance.

Yes, it is, by definition. It explicitly denies the Trinity and divinity of Jesus Christ as a matter of doctrine.

Quote
John Paul II offered us a more balanced and educated view of this matter.

Shut your patronising trap.


Quote
"All true holiness comes from God, who is called ‘The Holy One’ in the sacred books of the Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

The "Allah" of Islam is not God.

Quote
Your holy Qur’an calls God ‘Al-Quddus,’ as in the verse: ‘He is God, besides whom there is no other, the Sovereign, the Holy, the (source of) Peace’ (Qur’an 59, 23).

Yes, the "God" who begets not, nor is begotten. That's not the God of Abraham. Next please.





Quote
The fact that we are meeting in this renowned place of prayer reminds us that man is a spiritual being, called to acknowledge and respect the absolute priority of God in all things. Christians and Muslims agree that the encounter with God in prayer is the necessary nourishment of our souls, without which our hearts wither and our will no longer strives for good but succumbs to evil.

As do Zoroastrians, Brahmins, etc. Who cares.

Quote
Being able to understand better the faith of the non-Christian, treating it fairly according to its sources and rulings, and avoiding to bear false witness about his beliefs and religious figures, is already in itself a lofty pursuit for those who love and serve God who alone is Truth.

I am treating it fairly, like Pharisaic and Talmudic Judaism, as the religion of Satan, the god of this world, the legalistic rigorist who attempts to set his throne above the Most High's and  demands worship or death.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on June 25, 2019, 06:57:59 AM
Certainly, as per 1 John 2:22, Islam is also anti-Christian. All religions are.

That's at best true implicity. Or it's not true at all.

Quote
However, the claim is that it's the most anti-Christian religion of all. An odd claim given that Christ isn't treated as a fraudulent preacher and the Blessed Virgin isn't treated as a prostitute unlike, say, in Rabbinic Judaism for instance.

That's not a Jewish doctrine with its place in Jewish scripture. It's a rabbinical opinion. Unlike the explicit anti-Christ doctrines of the Qur'an.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on June 25, 2019, 07:14:34 AM
Quote
“Thus says the great prophet (Allah’s prayers and supplications be upon him) Mahdi is the peacock of all angels and of the dwellers of the heavenly realm, he is dressed and adorned with the cloaks of light.”

Quote
it is He (Allah) Who is the Lord of Sirius.

Quote
Say (O Muhammad): It is revealed unto me that a company of the Jinn (demons) gave ear, and they said: Lo! It is a marvelous Qur’an, Which guides unto righteousness, so we believe in it and we ascribe unto our Lord no partner. And (we believe) that He, exalted be the glory of our Lord! Hath taken neither wife nor son.”

 :cheeseheadbeer:

There are demons who are Muslim and worship Allah. That should tell you everything.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: clau clau on June 25, 2019, 09:13:44 AM
Is it? Islam honors Christ and the Virgin Mary, unlike Judaism which reviles them. The Da Vinci Code movie was banned in Muslim countries, for instance.

Islam's position on Christ is not rational.  My understanding is that Islam recognises Jesus as a prophet.

But if Jesus is only a prophet then the Jews were correct in condemning him since he claimed to be the Son of God and if that was true then how could he be a only a prophet.

Jesus, therefore, by definition, has to be a false prophet OR the Son of God.

Judiasm is wrong but rational (i.e. if Jesus is not the Son of God then he must be an imposter)

Islam is irrational (a prophet who claims to be the Son of God but is not is a false prophet so why honour him).
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on June 25, 2019, 03:05:53 PM
Quote
Say (O Muhammad): It is revealed unto me that a company of the Jinn (demons) gave ear, and they said: Lo! It is a marvelous Qur’an, Which guides unto righteousness, so we believe in it and we ascribe unto our Lord no partner. And (we believe) that He, exalted be the glory of our Lord! Hath taken neither wife nor son.”

 :cheeseheadbeer:

There are demons who are Muslim and worship Allah. That should tell you everything.

The Jinn are not demons in the classical Christian sense. They represent a third category of beings between Angels and men.

According to traditional Islamic theology, the Jinn are beings endowed with free will who live on earth in an invisible world parallel to mankind. Just like humans, some choose good and worship God, being Muslims, while others don't. The disbelieving Jinn are also called devils, the chief of which is Iblis or Shaytan. They are not fallen angels, though, like in Christian theology. The chapter you just partially quoted deals with this very subject. However, the translation you provided inserts the word "demons" to explain nafarun mina'l-jinni. This is intentionally misleading and to be expected given the source you took it from (Walid Shoebat). Here's Pickthall's (72:1-13):

Say (O Muhammad): It is revealed unto me that a company of the Jinn gave ear, and they said: Lo! we have heard a marvellous Qur'an, which guideth unto righteousness, so we believe in it and we ascribe no partner unto our Lord. And (we believe) that He - exalted be the glory of our Lord! - hath taken neither wife nor son.

If you are genuinely interest on this subject, here's a traditional fatwa on the Jinn by Sheikh Muhammad Saalih Al-Munajjid, a prominent Saudi Salafi scholar:

Quote from: Islamonline.net
In his capacity as Allah’s vicegerent on earth, man is ordained by Allah to worship Him Alone without partners. Consequently, we should not get absorbed in stories about jinn, as it is not a form of worship. The Qur’an and Sunnah indicate that jinn exist, and that there is a purpose for their existence in this life, which is to worship Allah alone with no partner or associate. Allah Almighty says: "And I (Allah) created not the jinns and humans, except they should worship Me (Alone)." (Adh-Dhariyat: 56)

Scholars are in disagreement over the difference between jinn and demons. Some of them say that the word jinn goes far to encompass the jinn as well as the demons. The word also includes believing and unbelieving jinn. Allah Almighty says, "And among us there are righteous folk and among us there are far from that. We are sects having different rules." (Al-Jinn: 11) "And there are among us some who have surrendered (to Allah) and there are among us some who are unjust. And whoso hath surrendered to Allah, such have taken the right path purposefully." (Al-Jinn: 14)

However, the word demon or shaytan is used to refer to the unbelieving ones among the jinn. Allah Almighty says, "…and the devil was ever an ingrate to his Lord.‏" (Al-Isra’: 27) The world of the jinn is an independent and separate world with its own distinct nature and features that are hidden from the world of humans. Jinn and humans have things in common, such as the ability to understand and choose between good and evil. The word jinn comes from the Arabic root meaning "hidden from sight." Allah Almighty says: "… Verily he (shaytan) and his soldiers from the jinn or his tribe see you from where you cannot see them…" (Al-A`raf: 27) Allah has told us in His Book the essence from which the jinn were created. He says: "And the jinn, We created aforetime from the smokeless flame of fire." (Al-Hijr : 27) A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) says that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "The angels were created from light, the jinn were created from fire, and Adam was created from that which has been described to you." (Reported by Muslim)

Types of jinn

Allah has created different types of jinn. Among them are some who can take on different forms such as dogs and snakes; some who are like flying winds with wings; and some who can travel and rest. Abu Tha`labah al-Khushni says that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) says: "The jinn are of three types: a type that has wings and they fly through the air; a type that looks like snakes and dogs; and a type that stops for a rest then resumes its journey." (Reported by At-Tahawi in Mushkil Al-’Athar)

The jinn and the sons of Adam

Every individual among the sons of Adam has a jinn who has been appointed to be his constant companion (qarin). Ibn Mas'ud reports that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) says: "The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) says:‘There is not one of you who does not have a jinn appointed to be his constant companion.’They said, ‘And you too, O Messenger of Allah?’ He said,‘Me too, but Allah has helped me and he has submitted, so that he only helps me to do good.’" (Reported by Muslim)

Their powers

Allah has given jinn powers that he has not given to humans. Allah has told us about some of their powers such as the ability to move and travel quickly. One of the jinn guaranteed to Prophet Sulayman (Solomon, peace and blessings be upon him) that he would bring the throne of the Queen of Yemen to Jerusalem in a moment, faster than the time needed for someone to get up from where he was sitting. Allah Almighty says: "A stalwart of the Jinn said: I will bring it thee before thou canst rise from thy place. Lo! I verily am strong and trusty for such work. One with whom was knowledge of the Scripture said: I will bring it thee before thy gaze returneth unto thee. And when he saw it set in his presence, (Solomon said) This is of the bounty of my Lord. That He may try me whether I give thanks or am ungrateful. Whosoever giveth thanks he only giveth thanks for (the good of) his own soul: and whosoever is ungrateful (is ungrateful only to his own soul’s hurt). For lo! My Lord is Absolute in independence, Bountiful." (An-Naml: 39-40)

‏The food and drink of jinn

Ibn Mas'ud reports that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) says: "There came to me an inviter on behalf of the Jinn and I went along with him and recited to them the Qur’an." He (the narrator) said: The Prophet then went along with us and showed us their traces and traces of their embers. The Jinn asked the Prophet about their provision and he said: "Every bone on which the name of Allah is recited is your provision. The time it will fall in your hand it would be covered with flesh, and (you can have) all the droppings as food for your animals." The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "So do not use (these things) for cleaning yourselves (after relieving oneself), for they are the food and provision of your brothers (Jinn)." (Reported by Muslim)

The believing jinn may eat any bone on which the name of Allah has been mentioned, because the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) did not permit them to have anything on which Allah’s Name has not been mentioned – those are for the unbelieving jinn.

The beasts of the jinn

According to the Hadith reported by Ibn Mas'ud, that we have quoted above, the jinn asked the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) for provision, and he said to them: "…and (you can have) all the droppings as food for your animals."

The dwelling-places of the jinn

The jinn live where we do live on this earth. They are mostly to be found in ruins and unclean places like bathrooms, dunghills, garbage dumps and graveyards. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) taught us to take precautions when entering such places, by reciting the adhkar(mentioning Allah’s Name) prescribed by Islam. One of these are reported by Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) who says: "When the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) entered the toilet, he would say, ‘Allahumma inni a'udhu bika min al-khubuthi wal-khaba'ith (O Allah, I seek Refuge with You from all offensive and wicked things [evil deeds and evil spirits]).’"

Some Jinn are Muslims and some are non-Muslims

Allah tells us that some of the jinn said "And there are among us some who have surrendered (to Allah) and there are among us some who are unjust. And whoso hath surrendered to Allah, such have taken the right path purposefully.‏" (Al-Jinn: 14)

Protection from harm of jinn

Because jinn can see us while we cannot see them, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) taught us many ways to protect ourselves from their harm. They are seeking refuge of Allah from the accursed shaytan, reciting surat Al-Falaq and surat An-Nas, and reciting the words taught by Allah in the Qur’an. Allah Almighty says, "And say: My Lord! I seek refuge in Thee from suggestions of the evil ones. And I seek refuge in Thee, my Lord, lest they be present with me." (Al-Mu’minun: 97-98) Saying Bismillah (in the Name of Allah) before entering one’s home, eating or drinking, and having intercourse will keep Satan from entering the house or partaking with a person in his food, drink and sexual activity. Similarly, mentioning the name of Allah before entering the toilet or taking off one’s clothes will prevent the jinn from seeing a person in a state of undress or harming him. The Prophet (peace and blessings of be upon him) says: "To put a barrier that will prevent the jinn from seeing the`awrah of the sons of Adam, let any one of you say ‘Bismillah’ when entering the toilet." (Reported by At-Tirmidhi)

Strength of faith and religion in general will also prevent jinn from harming a person, so much so that if they were to fight, the one who has faith would win. Ibn Mas'ud (may Allah be pleased with him) says: "A man from among the Companions of Muhammad met a man from among the jinn. They wrestled, and the human knocked down the jinn. The human said to him, ‘You look small and skinny to me, and your forearms look like the front paws of a dog. Do all the jinn look like this, or only you?’ He said, ‘No, by Allah, among them I am strong, but let us wrestle again, and if you defeat me I will teach you something that will do you good.’ The human said, ‘Fine.’ He said, ‘Recite (the verse):“Allah! There is no God save Him, the Alive, the Eternal. Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him. Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Who is he that intercedeth with Him save by His leave? He knoweth that which is in front of them and that which is behind them, while they encompass nothing of His knowledge save what He will. His throne includeth the heavens and the earth, and He is never weary of preserving them. He is the Sublime, the Tremendous." (Al-Baqarah: 255) The human said, ‘Fine.’ He said, ‘You will never recite this in your house but the shaytan will come out of it like a donkey breaking wind, and he will never come back in until the next morning.’" (Reported by Ad-Darami)
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on June 25, 2019, 03:10:10 PM
Judaism is wrong but rational (i.e. if Jesus is not the Son of God then he must be an imposter)

Islam is irrational (a prophet who claims to be the Son of God but is not is a false prophet so why honour him).

According to Islam, Jesus never claimed to be God or the son of God. Rather, He was a mighty prophet of Israel. He and His mother are highly revered by the Muslims.

Their position is internally consistent since the Koran is the lens or the criterion by which everything is judged. The Scriptures in the NT that stress Christ's divinity are deemed to have been corrupted and not a part of His original teaching.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: clau clau on June 25, 2019, 05:53:36 PM
Judaism is wrong but rational (i.e. if Jesus is not the Son of God then he must be an imposter)

Islam is irrational (a prophet who claims to be the Son of God but is not is a false prophet so why honour him).

According to Islam, Jesus never claimed to be God or the son of God. Rather, He was a mighty prophet of Israel. He and His mother are highly revered by the Muslims.

Their position is internally consistent since the Koran is the lens or the criterion by which everything is judged. The Scriptures in the NT that stress Christ's divinity are deemed to have been corrupted and not a part of His original teaching.

Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Fleur-de-Lys on June 25, 2019, 06:16:41 PM
The ignore feature is a wonderful thing.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on June 25, 2019, 06:21:42 PM
I am treating it fairly, like Pharisaic and Talmudic Judaism, as the religion of Satan, the god of this world, the legalistic rigorist who attempts to set his throne above the Most High's and demands worship or death.

It's interesting you keep repeating this claim as if the consequences for rejecting God in Christianity did not consist of death as well, either in this or the next world. It is well known that apostates were commanded to be put to death by God in Deuteronomy, usually by stoning. The death sentence extended to those who violated the Sabbath, cursed their parents, committed homosexual fornication, etc. In fact, the commandment to kill those who deviated from true religion included women and children as well: "whoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman." (2 Chronicles 15:13) This is confirmed in the Book of Hebrews where the apostle reminds us that "anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses." (10:28)

When Joshua exterminated the Canaanites, including their children and babies, obeying a direct command of God, was he also obeying a "legalistic rigorist" that "demands worship or death"? Or was it an extermination out of love?

Even after the preaching of the Gospel, the Church maintained for more than a millennia the right to kill grievous sinners such as heretics, sorcerers, apostates, etc., including the practice of torturing them to obtain confessions and burning them alive at the stake in what is certainly a public spectacle of sadistic cruelty. This practice was only dropped after the victory of the principles of the Enlightenment. But, regardless, the most grievous penalty of all reserved for those who reject the Lord comes after death, when every unredeemed and unrepentant sinner will be thrown into the lake of fire for everlasting destruction. Given that these facts are common knowledge, I'm not sure where your recurring objection comes from.

Your German screen name translates as crusader in English. I'd suppose it reveals some sort of identification with the Teutonic Knights, an order that was instrumental in the subjugation of the Baltic Pagans by order of the Holy See. Do you think that when these knights were busy slaughtering pagans and subduing them into obedience, they were also instruments of "the god of this world" that "demands worship or death"? Or was this subjugation done out of love?

God has every right to demand worship or death. In its essentials, this truth runs through both the Bible and the Koran. In fact, if we don't worship God, we're spiritually dead already.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on June 26, 2019, 07:54:17 AM
Quote
Say (O Muhammad): It is revealed unto me that a company of the Jinn (demons) gave ear, and they said: Lo! It is a marvelous Qur’an, Which guides unto righteousness, so we believe in it and we ascribe unto our Lord no partner. And (we believe) that He, exalted be the glory of our Lord! Hath taken neither wife nor son.”

 :cheeseheadbeer:

There are demons who are Muslim and worship Allah. That should tell you everything.

The Jinn are not demons in the classical Christian sense. They represent a third category of beings between Angels and men.

And? I'm operating from within the truth of the Christian world view, in which there is no such "third category". It is irrelevant what Islam says of the ontology of djinn; what is relevant is that the category of "demons" of Christianity, like Islam's Iblis, are encompassed by the "djinn", and one faction of these beings are, accordign to Islam itself, Muslim and worship Allah.

Now stop being deliberately obtuse. My assertion is not that Islam declares the djinn to be equivalent to the fallen angels of Christianity; my assertion is that the beings which Mohammed and Muslims call "djinn" are demonic, and some of these beings worship Allah.


Quote
According to traditional Islamic theology, the Jinn are beings endowed with free will who live on earth in an invisible world parallel to mankind. Just like humans, some choose good and worship God, being Muslims, while others don't. The disbelieving Jinn are also called devils, the chief of which is Iblis or Shaytan.

I know all this, Sherlock.

Quote
They are not fallen angels, though, like in Christian theology.

I'm not interested in Islamic views of what "djinn" actually are but in the objective truth of what they actually are.

Quote
The chapter you just partially quoted deals with this very subject. However, the translation you provided inserts the word "demons" to explain nafarun mina'l-jinni. This is intentionally misleading and to be expected given the source you took it from (Walid Shoebat). Here's Pickthall's (72:1-13):

The translation is entirely apt, and it cannot be any more or less "misleading" than is the use of "demon" for translating the Greek "daimon" when the classical Greek concept of the nature of the daimon, which corresponds rather closely with that of the djinn, was rather different from the modern Christian demon.

These beings are demonic, as is Allah and the entire religion of Mohammed, the pox be upon him. Now go cry to your Imam.

Quote
Say (O Muhammad): It is revealed unto me that a company of the Jinn gave ear, and they said: Lo! we have heard a marvellous Qur'an, which guideth unto righteousness, so we believe in it and we ascribe no partner unto our Lord. And (we believe) that He - exalted be the glory of our Lord! - hath taken neither wife nor son.

Yes, indeed. Demons glorifying the work of Lucifer, their lord, who has taken neither wife (an idiotic reference to Mary) nor son. They certainly aren't talking about the God of Abraham, who is Father and Son and definitely has a bride, the Church.


Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on June 26, 2019, 08:44:29 AM
It's interesting you keep repeating this claim as if the consequences for rejecting God in Christianity did not consist of death as well, either in this or the next world.

And I will keep repeating this truth. And that sentence is a straw man. What is being proposed in it is not equivalent to your pseudo-demiurge's demand of worship or death.

Quote
It is well known that apostates were commanded to be put to death by God in Deuteronomy, usually by stoning.

That has a context of tribal loyalty and political expedience in an age of constant warfare and living on the brink of extermination. The law also enshrined divorce, which is an evil. Nevertheless, Deuteronomy is a problematic text, particularly in the context of Josiah's reforms and Hilkiah magical "discovery" of a "Book of the Law", and the corruption of the Old Testament by Jewish scribes from the Second Temple period on is not a conjecture but an objectively demonstrable fact even alleged by the text itself. In any case, I do and will maintain that "othodox Judaism" at the time of the birth of Jesus was totally corrupt, a doctrine of sons of Satan, John 8:44-45.

Thankfully, my faith isn't based in a text but in a real enounter with the person of Jesus Christ, who is the farthest thing in the world from "Allah".

Quote
The death sentence extended to those who violated the Sabbath, cursed their parents, committed homosexual fornication, etc.

None of which is equivalent to a demand of worship or death, especially in the case of the latter two, while the interpretation of the Sabbath commandment you're implying was clearly contradicted by Jesus Christ, a reality in harmony with Jeremiah 8:8.

Quote
In fact, the commandment to kill those who deviated from true religion included women and children as well: "whoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman." (2 Chronicles 15:13)

That's not a commandment. It's a chronicle of Asa's reforms.

Quote
This is confirmed in the Book of Hebrews where the apostle reminds us that "anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses." (10:28)

And that is true. It's true regardless of what Yahweh did or did not command and what the Old Testament does or does not say.

Quote
When Joshua exterminated the Canaanites, including their children and babies, obeying a direct command of God, was he also obeying a "legalistic rigorist" that "demands worship or death"?


Well, we know that's not true and such speech of total extermination is an ancient Near-Eastern idiom (e.g. incriptions of Tuthmose III and rameses II), whose literal reading is contradicted by the Biblical text itself.

Quote
Or was it an extermination out of love?

It was an extermination of demonic infestation and Moloch worship upon Earth. And again, this is distinct from a being demanding worship or death. It is an act to stop the committign of great moral and metaphysical evil upon Earth. Nowhere did Yahweh demand that they bow and worship him or be killed. That is what the pagans of Babylon and Rome demanded of the Hebrews and Christians.

Quote
Even after the preaching of the Gospel, the Church maintained for more than a millennia the right to kill grievous sinners such as heretics, sorcerers, apostates, etc., including the practice of torturing them to obtain confessions and burning them alive at the stake in what is certainly a public spectacle of sadistic cruelty. This practice was only dropped after the victory of the principles of the Enlightenment.

None of this pertains to a being demanding worship or death, so I don't even need to get into it as a moral question. Next please.

Quote
But, regardless, the most grievous penalty of all reserved for those who reject the Lord comes after death, when every unredeemed and unrepentant sinner will be thrown into the lake of fire for everlasting destruction.

As an essential consequence of rejecting God, not of a butthurt snowflake of a bloodthirsty dictator not getting his way.

Quote
Given that these facts are common knowledge, I'm not sure where your recurring objection comes from.


Quote
Your German screen name translates as crusader in English. I'd suppose it reveals some sort of identification with the Teutonic Knights, an order that was instrumental in the subjugation of the Baltic Pagans by order of the Holy See. Do you think that when these knights were busy slaughtering pagans and subduing them into obedience, they were also instruments of "the god of this world" that "demands worship or death"? Or was this subjugation done out of love?

I can't say, as I don't know enough about the history and what the Balts where up to.

Quote
God has every right to demand worship or death.

That depends how you define "right". The Jesus Christ I know demands no such thing, and only a prideful, megalomaniacal, batshit insane parasite would. If you want to worship one, go ahead.

Quote
In its essentials, this truth runs through both the Bible and the Koran.

Yes, yes, we know you like to speak of Mohammed's demonically-inspired text in the same breath as the Bible.

Quote
In fact, if we don't worship God, we're spiritually dead already.

That's a totally different proposition.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on June 26, 2019, 11:42:55 AM
According to Islam, Jesus never claimed to be God or the son of God. Rather, He was a mighty prophet of Israel. He and His mother are highly revered by the Muslims.

They're certainly right that Jesus never claimed to be Allah.


You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Quote
Their position is internally consistent since the Koran is the lens or the criterion by which everything is judged. The Scriptures in the NT that stress Christ's divinity are deemed to have been corrupted and not a part of His original teaching.

It's funny how the corruptions we know of in the Hebrew scriptures point in the exact opposite direction of the Islamic religion and conception of the deity and toward what Islam considers "polytheism", "idolatry" and pagan.


Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Miriam_M on June 26, 2019, 01:28:19 PM
Judaism is wrong but rational (i.e. if Jesus is not the Son of God then he must be an imposter)

Islam is irrational (a prophet who claims to be the Son of God but is not is a false prophet so why honour him).

According to Islam, Jesus never claimed to be God or the son of God. Rather, He was a mighty prophet of Israel. He and His mother are highly revered by the Muslims.

Their position is internally consistent since the Koran is the lens or the criterion by which everything is judged. The Scriptures in the NT that stress Christ's divinity are deemed to have been corrupted and not a part of His original teaching.

Just slightly correcting the record here.  There are various theories and positions about Our Lord Jesus Christ that are held by Jews.  Remember, first of all, that Judaism is not monolithic and is minimally dogmatic.  Setting aside trends that began with Rabbinic Judaism, the dogma exists as the Torah, but even the Commandments (especially the Fifth and what Catholics consider covered under the Sixth Commandment) are considered in Reform Judaism to be open to some variants of interpretation. 

I won't go into all the other variants and differentiations, but suffice it to say that Jews are uniform only in their belief that Jesus Christ was/is not divine.  Many Jews believe precisely what Muslims believe:  that He was a human being who was an inspired prophet within a respected lineage from the OT and Who did not claim divinity; others believe He was innocent of any deception but was deluded about His identity; still others believe He was an outright imposter and not a genuine Jew outwardly (and for the latter reason excluded as a Messiah); yet a fourth segment believes that however He showed allegiance to Jewish belief and practice, and however His martyrdom fulfilled OT predictions, the lack of peace in the world then and now "proves" He could not have been the genuine Messiah.

Some Jews among the various branches of Judaism also believe that the NT was corrupted in content, in interpretation, or both.

Continue.... :)
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on June 26, 2019, 04:07:24 PM
And? I'm operating from within the truth of the Christian world view, in which there is no such "third category". It is irrelevant what Islam says of the ontology of djinn
I'm not interested in Islamic views of what "djinn" actually are but in the objective truth of what they actually are.

This sums up the matter quite well.

You're not really interested in engaging meaningfully with what Islam teaches about itself. This is plainly obvious. Fortunately, there are other Catholics who have realized by now that categorizing the whole religion of Muslims simply as a demonic enterprise does a disservice to truth and to the preaching of the Gospel. In fact, the spectacular failure of the Church in evangelizing Muslims down in history is partially explained by this attitude of contempt and ignorance.

my assertion is that the beings which Mohammed and Muslims call "djinn" are demonic, and some of these beings worship Allah.

This is simply a gratuitous assertion, typical of a polemicist.

And bizarre assertion since, if it were true, we'd have some demons worshipping Allah (the devil, according to you) and other demons refusing to worship Allah (the devil, according to you) and going on about harassing the lives of the Muslims.

The translation is entirely apt, and it cannot be any more or less "misleading" than is the use of "demon" for translating the Greek "daimon" when the classical Greek concept of the nature of the daimon, which corresponds rather closely with that of the djinn, was rather different from the modern Christian demon.

Shoebat's translation is obviously misleading because it uses the English word demons between brackets to categorize what the Jinn are. If confers a meaning that is alien to the Arabic text and to Islamic theology, since not all Jinn are evil and those who are don't worship Allah. It's not a translation: a translation remains faithful to the original text in letter and spirit. Shoebat's insertion of demons is nothing but a polemical jab.

Now go cry to your Imam.

You often sound like an angry 9 year old throwing a temper tantrum.

I'm not a convert like you, Kreuzritter, so tone it down.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on June 26, 2019, 04:41:00 PM
That has a context of tribal loyalty and political expedience in an age of constant warfare and living on the brink of extermination. The law also enshrined divorce, which is an evil. Nevertheless, Deuteronomy is a problematic text, particularly in the context of Josiah's reforms and Hilkiah magical "discovery" of a "Book of the Law", and the corruption of the Old Testament by Jewish scribes from the Second Temple period on is not a conjecture but an objectively demonstrable fact even alleged by the text itself. In any case, I do and will maintain that "othodox Judaism" at the time of the birth of Jesus was totally corrupt, a doctrine of sons of Satan, John 8:44-45.
And that is true. It's true regardless of what Yahweh did or did not command and what the Old Testament does or does not say.
None of which is equivalent to a demand of worship or death, especially in the case of the latter two, while the interpretation of the Sabbath commandment you're implying was clearly contradicted by Jesus Christ, a reality in harmony with Jeremiah 8:8.

Okay. Let me see if I understood you correctly. You're stating one of the following:

1. The Law of Moses, dictated by God, contains evil commandments;
2. Evil is tolerated therein for expedience' sake;
3. The text of the OT that has been cherished by the Christ, the Apostles and the Church as God's word, has been corrupted. We can't be entirely sure of the original contents of the Law.

It was an extermination of demonic infestation and Moloch worship upon Earth. And again, this is distinct from a being demanding worship or death. It is an act to stop the committign of great moral and metaphysical evil upon Earth. Nowhere did Yahweh demand that they bow and worship him or be killed. That is what the pagans of Babylon and Rome demanded of the Hebrews and Christians.

The Canaanites were not given the option of worshipping Yahweh or death. Their extermination was decreed right off the bat by God because they were idol-worshippers. In the Koran, the pagans are at least given an opportunity to repent and convert before facing the wrath of the scimitar. The spirit presiding both accounts, however, is similar: God is to be worshipped above all things. Those who refuse it and who confuse the terrestrial creation for the celestial truth face death.

For instance, Aaron's sons, Nadab and Abihu, were struck dead on the spot by God because they didn't worship Him as He commanded. Clearly, God has a more stringent view of His holiness and His right to be worshipped than what you seem to give Him credit for.

None of this pertains to a being demanding worship or death, so I don't even need to get into it as a moral question. Next please.

Heretics, apostates, sorcerers, etc., were put to death precisely because they refused to worship Christ, either in toto, or as the Church commands. So yes, it's completely relevant.

As an essential consequence of rejecting God, not of a butthurt snowflake of a bloodthirsty dictator not getting his way.

The consequences are the same: either you turn to God in repentance and worship Him or you die. Except that in Islam, hell is intrinsically purgatorial so some people can get out of it.

Thankfully, my faith isn't based in a text but in a real enounter with the person of Jesus Christ, who is the farthest thing in the world from "Allah".

That's in the realm of phenomenology, so I won't delve into it.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Xavier on June 27, 2019, 03:16:23 AM
St. John Damascene: "As has been related, this Mohammed wrote many ridiculous books, to each one of which he set a title. For example, there is the book On Woman, [109] in which he plainly makes legal provision for taking four wives and, if it be possible, a thousand concubines—as many as one can maintain, besides the four wives. He also made it legal to put away whichever wife one might wish, and, should one so wish, to take to oneself another in the same way. Mohammed had a friend named Zeid. This man had a beautiful wife with whom Mohammed fell in love. Once, when they were sitting together, Mohammed said: ‘Oh, by the way, God has commanded me to take your wife.’ The other answered: ‘You are an apostle. Do as God has told you and take my wife.’ Rather—to tell the story over from the beginning—he said to him: ‘God has given me the command that you put away your wife.’ And he put her away. Then several days later: ‘Now,’ he said, ‘God has commanded me to take her.’ Then, after he had taken her and committed adultery with her, he made this law: ‘Let him who will put away his wife. And if, after having put her away, he should return to her, let another marry her. For it is not lawful to take her unless she have been married by another. Furthermore, if a brother puts away his wife, let his brother marry her, should he so wish.’ [110] In the same book he gives such precepts as this: ‘Work the land which God hath given thee and beautify it. And do this, and do it in such a manner” [111]—not to repeat all the obscene things that he did."

From: http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/stjohn_islam.aspx

Vetus Ordo: do you still believe Jesus Christ is our God and only Saviour, died on the Cross for our sins, and rose from the dead on the 3rd day? If so, you should denounce Mohammed as a wicked and lecherous man and a false prophet sent by hell to destroy Christianity. The Doctors of the Church have taught us this, and they are right. The man who invented the poison has the greatest guilt for it. Those unfortunate souls who drank his poison by believing his heresies against Jesus Christ, the Lord our God, are not so guilty but they are in the greatest danger of falling into hell by the hundreds of millions, and it is the greatest charity to acknowledge that Truth, and labor to deliver them from it. The Old Covenant was temporary, the New Covenant is Everlasting. The man who claims new public revelation superseding Jesus Christ is a heretic and a false prophet.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on June 27, 2019, 03:58:46 PM
If so, you should denounce Mohammed...

Anyone can denounce Muhammad and shout invectives at the founder of Islam. Any Tom, Dick and Harry can speak of the world's second largest religion as being diabolical and incompatible with the "values" of America or Europe. The fruits of this line of reasoning and action, though, are a redundant zero. Nil. Zilch. After so many centuries of evangelical failure when it comes to Islam, one would expect that this simplistic approach should have been dropped by now.

We need more serious study and more willful and honest engagement with the Muslim sources and the Islamic community in order to make any progress. Trying to move beyond the medieval and orientalist stereotypes of Muhammad is a good start.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: TheReturnofLive on June 28, 2019, 02:04:45 PM
If so, you should denounce Mohammed...

Anyone can denounce Muhammad and shout invectives at the founder of Islam. Any Tom, Dick and Harry can speak of the world's second largest religion as being diabolical and incompatible with the "values" of America or Europe. The fruits of this line of reasoning and action, though, are a redundant zero. Nil. Zilch. After so many centuries of evangelical failure when it comes to Islam, one would expect that this simplistic approach should have been dropped by now.

We need more serious study and more willful and honest engagement with the Muslim sources and the Islamic community in order to make any progress. Trying to move beyond the medieval and orientalist stereotypes of Muhammad is a good start.

Surely not by kissing Qurans; praying in Mosques; singing Kumb-bay-ah, my Lord together; but by actually learning about it, correct?
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on June 30, 2019, 03:11:43 PM
If so, you should denounce Mohammed...

Anyone can denounce Muhammad and shout invectives at the founder of Islam. Any Tom, Dick and Harry can speak of the world's second largest religion as being diabolical and incompatible with the "values" of America or Europe. The fruits of this line of reasoning and action, though, are a redundant zero. Nil. Zilch. After so many centuries of evangelical failure when it comes to Islam, one would expect that this simplistic approach should have been dropped by now.

We need more serious study and more willful and honest engagement with the Muslim sources and the Islamic community in order to make any progress. Trying to move beyond the medieval and orientalist stereotypes of Muhammad is a good start.

Surely not by kissing Qurans; praying in Mosques; singing Kumb-bay-ah, my Lord together; but by actually learning about it, correct?

You can start here:

An interesting and balanced lecture by American Sheikh Hamza Yusuf on the revelation and compilation of the Koran according to Islamic sources and theology.

Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: abc123 on June 30, 2019, 04:13:46 PM
If so, you should denounce Mohammed...

Anyone can denounce Muhammad and shout invectives at the founder of Islam. Any Tom, Dick and Harry can speak of the world's second largest religion as being diabolical and incompatible with the "values" of America or Europe. The fruits of this line of reasoning and action, though, are a redundant zero. Nil. Zilch. After so many centuries of evangelical failure when it comes to Islam, one would expect that this simplistic approach should have been dropped by now.

We need more serious study and more willful and honest engagement with the Muslim sources and the Islamic community in order to make any progress. Trying to move beyond the medieval and orientalist stereotypes of Muhammad is a good start.

If you haven't already I would recommend checking out the Acts17Apologetics YouTube channel.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on June 30, 2019, 04:21:51 PM
If you haven't already I would recommend checking out the Acts17Apologetics YouTube channel.

Yes, I'm familiar with David Wood and Sam Shamoun's work. It's an interesting approach because they delve right into hadith sources but it's also highly polemical and more often than not extremely biased. His Islamicize Me series, for instance, was a teatrise in mockery which I find distasteful, misleading and counterproductive.

In terms of apologetics, I think James White's approach, with his now long history of debates with high-ranking Muslim apologists like Shabir Ally or Abdullah Kunde, to be much more serious, engaging and balanced, though.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: abc123 on June 30, 2019, 05:24:22 PM
If you haven't already I would recommend checking out the Acts17Apologetics YouTube channel.

Yes, I'm familiar with David Wood and Sam Shamoun's work. It's an interesting approach because they delve right into hadith sources but it's also highly polemical and more often than not extremely biased. His Islamicize Me series, for instance, was a teatrise in mockery which I find distasteful, misleading and counterproductive.

In terms of apologetics, I think James White's approach, with his now long history of debates with high-ranking Muslim apologists like Shabir Ally or Abdullah Kunde, to be much more serious, engaging and balanced, though.

Though I found the Islamicize Me skits humorous at points I ultimately agree with your assessment to their approach overall. Speaking of James White, he also had rather sharp critiques of the series as well which turned into a bit of a kurfuffle.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 01, 2019, 03:00:23 PM
An interesting and balanced lecture by American Sheikh Hamza Yusuf on the revelation and compilation of the Koran according to Islamic sources and theology.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICu3ITHnBoM (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICu3ITHnBoM)

I enjoyed watching this presentation.  A nice digression on Heidegger, and this was the first I've heard that the lush concept of jannah is not supposed to be taken entirely literally: that the descriptions are a paradox, both true and yet only a manner of suggesting to the mortal mind what is incomprehensible.

Surely there is a literalist school on jannah that predominates, though.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on July 01, 2019, 03:29:59 PM
An interesting and balanced lecture by American Sheikh Hamza Yusuf on the revelation and compilation of the Koran according to Islamic sources and theology.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICu3ITHnBoM (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICu3ITHnBoM)

I enjoyed watching this presentation.  A nice digression on Heidegger, and this was the first I've heard that the lush concept of jannah is not supposed to be taken entirely literally: that the descriptions are a paradox, both true and yet only a manner of suggesting to the mortal mind what is incomprehensible.

Surely there is a literalist school on jannah that predominates, though.

Yes, there have been both literal and allegorical interpretations of heaven. However, the allegorical readings aren't strictly modern by any stretch of the imagination. Al-Ghazali in the 11th century already stated that "this life belongs to the world of earth and the world of visibility; the hereafter belongs to the world of transcendental and the world of beings. By this life I understand your state before death, by hereafter I understand your state after death ... However, it is impossible to explain the world of beings in this life by any other means than allegories."

Islamic traditional theology is very rich and nuanced. Hamza Yusuf is actually a traditional Maliki scholar.

He lived and studied for years in the UAE, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania. I posted this talk precisely because he's not a modernist sheikh. He represents a genuine trend of Islam and that's what you should focus your studies on when trying to deepen your knowledge of Sharia and Islamic spirituality.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Prayerful on July 01, 2019, 04:30:07 PM
"Muhammad is a narcissist, a pedophile, a mass murderer, a terrorist, a misogynist, a lecher, a cult leader, a madman, a rapist, a torturer, an assassin and a looter." Quote from a former Muslim, Ali Sina, who offered $50,000 to anyone who could prove this wrong based on Islamic texts.  The reward has gone unclaimed" https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/muhammad/life-of-muhammad.aspx

"Terrorist attacks by Islamist extremists to further a perceived Islamist religious or political cause have occurred globally. The attackers have used such tactics as arson, vehicle rampage attacks, bomb threats, suicide attacks, bombings, spree shootings, stabbings, hijackings, kidnappings and beheadings." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Islamist_terrorist_attacks

The blood of every Christian Martyr who continues to suffer under Islamist terrorism will cry out for judgment against those who knowingly and deliberately continue to make excuses for the False Prophet Mohammed who's prepared the way for Anti-Christ to come. He is of Anti-Christ, as St. John the Apostle says, who denies the Father and the Son. And the sect of Islamism does all that and more, for it blasphemes the Holy Trinity, attacks the Holy Cross of Christ, denies the Glorious Redemption that He alone has accomplished, and denies that Jesus Christ is our God and Saviour. It even completely rejects Baptism, Holy Mass and the Sacraments. And any person who teaches and glorifies polygamy, concubinage and sex slavery after Christ has so much elevated and sanctified Holy Matrimony is no Prophet at all but a lecherous man. Anyone who invents a false religion of hatred and of killing innocents in opposition to the religion of forgiving one's enemies that Jesus taught condemns himself.

Not even Vatican II says one good word about Mohammed, and WikiIslam has this on the wretch who who would make even modern pagans blush with his lawlessness and his sexual immorality, "The historian Al-Tabari calculated that Muhammad married a total of fifteen women, though only ever eleven at one time; and two of these marriages were never consummated.[2] This tally of fifteen does not include at least four concubines. According to Merriam-Webster, a concubine is “a woman with whom a man cohabits without being married”, and has a “social status in a household below that of a wife.”[3] All of Muhammad’s concubines were his slaves." https://wikiislam.net/wiki/List_of_Muhammads_Wives_and_Concubines

VetusOrdo, the idea that Mohammed is mercy for the world is a terrible blasphemy. One could more correctly say it rather seems to be God's judgment on an unbelieving world that did not want the Divine Mercy of His Son that such a false Prophet had to arise, as St. Peter would say - there have to be false prophets, so that those who are faithful in following the divine revelation that Jesus Christ has taught us, performing so many and such great miracles in the sight of all and throughout the history of His Church, may be distinguished, differentiated, and set apart, from deceived lost souls who follow heretics and false prophets to their own perdition. Jesus Christ wants to save our Muslim friends, but He will do that by delivering them from Islamism and from the shackles of this wicked man and his perfidious sect of apostasy that to this day persecutes Christians terribly.

St. John Damascene, Doctor of the Church, on Mohammedanism: "But when we ask: ‘And who is there to testify that God gave him the book? And which of the prophets foretold that such a prophet would rise up?’—they are at a loss. And we remark that Moses received the Law on Mount Sinai, with God appearing in the sight of all the people in cloud, and fire, and darkness, and storm. And we say that all the Prophets from Moses on down foretold the coming of Christ and how Christ God (and incarnate Son of God) was to come and to be crucified and die and rise again, and how He was to be the judge of the living and dead. Then, when we say: ‘How is it that this prophet of yours did not come in the same way, with others bearing witness to him? And how is it that God did not in your presence present this man with the book to which you refer, even as He gave the Law to Moses, with the people looking on and the mountain smoking, so that you, too, might have certainty?’ ...

“When we ask again: ‘How is it that when he enjoined us in this book of yours not to do anything or receive anything without witnesses, you did not ask him: “First do you show us by witnesses that you are a prophet and that you have come from God, and show us just what Scriptures there are that testify about you”’—they are ashamed and remain silent.” http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/stjohn_islam.aspx

St. Thomas, Angelic Doctor, on Islamism: "On the other hand, those who founded sects committed to erroneous doctrines proceeded in a way that is opposite to this, The point is clear in the case of Muhammad. He seduced the people by promises of carnal pleasure to which the concupiscence of the flesh goads us. His teaching also contained precepts that were in conformity with his promises, and he gave free rein to carnal pleasure. In all this, as is not unexpected, he was obeyed by carnal men. As for proofs of the truth of his doctrine, he brought forward only such as could be grasped by the natural ability of anyone with a very modest wisdom. Indeed, the truths that he taught he mingled with many fables and with doctrines of the greatest falsity. He did not bring forth any signs produced in a supernatural way, which alone fittingly gives witness to divine inspiration; for a visible action that can be only divine reveals an invisibly inspired teacher of truth.

On the contrary, Muhammad said that he was sent in the power of his arms—which are signs not lacking even to robbers and tyrants. What is more, no wise men, men trained in things divine and human, believed in him from the beginning, Those who believed in him were brutal men and desert wanderers, utterly ignorant of all divine teaching, through whose numbers Muhammad forced others to become his followers by the violence of his arms." https://thomasofaquino.blogspot.com/2016/03/on-other-hand-those-who-founded-sects.html

St. John Bosco on Mohammed: Q. What is the difference between the Catholic Church and the Mohammedan one?

St. John Bosco: The difference is very great. Mohamed established his religion with violence and arms; Jesus Christ established His Church with words of peace using His poor disciples. Mohamed incited the passions; Jesus Christ commanded the denial of self.  Mohamed worked no miracles; Jesus Christ worked uncountable miracles in broad daylight and in the presence of countless  multitudes.  Mohamed’s doctrines are ridiculous, immoral and corrupting; Jesus Christ’s are august, sublime and pure. In Mohamed not even one prophecy was fulfilled; in Jesus Christ all were.
 
To sum up, the Christian Religion, in a certain way, renders man happy in this world so as to raise him up to the enjoyment of heaven; Mohamed degrades and dishonours human nature and by placing all happiness in sensual pleasures, reduces man to the level of filthy animals." http://www.catholicapologetics.info/apologetics/islam/bosco.htm

One notable thing is how the Salesians of Don Bosco, despite the near collapse of Salesian vocations in the West, are overwhelmingly supporters of the failed Council, even Fr. Roberto Spataro SDB book on Latin and the Mass of Ages (https://us5.campaign-archive.com/?e=&u=eebd62fe31d24b610d9b0e420&id=0709306653) works from words of Francis on the joy of the Gospel (I suppose a priest in his role has to be prudent and it is said to be a fine book).

Anyhow, Mohammad was cunning warlord who created a perfect system for war and tyranny. A person can respect the achievements of Moslems, even where the immediate successors of Mohammad tore down the Roman-Persian dyarchy of the Middle and Near East, plus so much calligraphic and ceramic art, fine literature too, including even talented interpretation of the impoverish Quran, but Islam is frankly evil.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on July 01, 2019, 04:47:34 PM
Pon, and anyone else who might be interested in this topic, here are two more lectures by Sheikh Hamza Yusuf on the Pillars of Islamic Practice.

Very informative talk. It follows the same format of the one I shared before.

Part 1:


Part 2:

Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: abc123 on July 01, 2019, 06:51:21 PM
Its unfortunate that Mark Hanson abandoned Christ who is the source of Life for Mohammad's delusion.

 
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on July 01, 2019, 09:43:18 PM
Its unfortunate that Mark Hanson abandoned Christ who is the source of Life for Mohammad's delusion.

From a Christian perspective, yes.

From an Islamic perspective, it's a blessing that Mark Hanson abandoned the delusion of Paul and the Imperial Church that compromised with Paganism for the light of Allah who alone is the source of life.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on July 02, 2019, 03:33:20 PM
Directly related to the main subject of this thread, i.e., Muhammad as a mercy to the worlds according to Islamic theology, I've found an interesting talk by the famous Syrian Sufi Sheikh Al-Yaqoubi, himself a descendant of Muhammad.

For those of you who have a genuine interest on the subject, I highly recommend this lecture. It gives us a perfect and unfiltered insight into traditional Islamic spirituality.

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d8/Shaykh_Muhammad_Al-Yaqoubi.JPG)

Yearning for the Beloved: Reflections on our Attachment to the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w).

Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi talks about being a descendant of the Prophet, the blessings associated with name of the Prophet, the virtues and benefits that personal attachment to him bring, some living examples of the pious ulema of Damascus, ending with a theological explanation of what it is to yearn for the Messenger of God.

Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Miriam_M on July 02, 2019, 07:13:53 PM

Directly related to the main subject of this thread, i.e., Muhammad as a mercy to the worlds according to Islamic theology,


It may be shocking to you, Vetus, that many of us care little about Islamic theology.  It has never been the Church's official position that converts to Catholicism are made by way of a theology in competition with approved Catholic theology.  (Earlier you spoke about evangelization.)

And as to the latter, the emergency evangelization that is needed is within the Novus Ordo, including the hierarchy therein. When baptized Catholics and their purported leaders understand what Catholicism actually is, and convert to that, then any potential converts not yet baptized will have something recognizable to convert to, instead of identifying with ignorant people such as this:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/01/opinion/how-to-defy-the-catholic-church.html

Since you are so fond of V2, surely you are also fond of JP2, its principal cheerleader and PR man.  JP2 interpreted the most important mission of evangelization to be that within the Church.

Yes, by the way, all men yearn for the true God, even when they have a mixed up image and understanding of him.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Fleur-de-Lys on July 02, 2019, 08:50:08 PM
This is the non-Catholic discussion sub forum. My understanding is that this the place for Catholics to engage with other religions. If you have no interest in doing that, why post in the thread? What is the point in derailing a discussion that others are interested in having? If you feel that this sub forum should not exist, why not bring your concerns to the forum owner?
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Gardener on July 02, 2019, 10:03:21 PM
On what basis can it be claimed Sheikh Al-Yaquobi’s brand of Islam is traditional and its insight unfiltered?
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Miriam_M on July 02, 2019, 10:06:01 PM
This is the non-Catholic discussion sub forum. My understanding is that this the place for Catholics to engage with other religions. If you have no interest in doing that, why post in the thread? What is the point in derailing a discussion that others are interested in having? If you feel that this sub forum should not exist, why not bring your concerns to the forum owner?

You couldn't be more wrong.  I very much have an interest in participating in discussions which include the supposed value of non-Catholic ideologies on Catholics and on the Church.  This is the same kind of exclusionary argument some use to dissuade contributors to the SV forum:  If you don't agree with us, don't bother to post.

It's a discussion forum, which means that I get to discuss issues as much as you do and anyone else does, including when you don't agree with me, I don't agree with you, or neither of us agrees with a particular poster.

It is not yours or the OP's prerogative to limit dissent.

Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Fleur-de-Lys on July 02, 2019, 10:37:31 PM
You couldn't be more wrong.  I very much have an interest in participating in discussions which include the supposed value of non-Catholic ideologies on Catholics and on the Church.  This is the same kind of exclusionary argument some use to dissuade contributors to the SV forum:  If you don't agree with us, don't bother to post.

It's a discussion forum, which means that I get to discuss issues as much as you do and anyone else does, including when you don't agree with me, I don't agree with you, or neither of us agrees with a particular poster.

It is not yours or the OP's prerogative to limit dissent.

MiriamM,
My comments were not directed to you specifically, but to many posting in this sub forum who seem more interested in shutting down the discussion than in furthering it. But it certainly seemed to me that that was what you were doing here:

It may be shocking to you, Vetus, that many of us care little about Islamic theology.  It has never been the Church's official position that converts to Catholicism are made by way of a theology in competition with approved Catholic theology. (Earlier you spoke about evangelization.)

And as to the latter, the emergency evangelization that is needed is within the Novus Ordo including the hierarchy therein. When baptized Catholics and their purported leaders understand what Catholicism actually is, and convert to that, then any potential converts not yet baptized will have something recognizable to convert to, instead of identifying with ignorant people such as this:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/01/opinion/how-to-defy-the-catholic-church.html

Since you are so fond of V2, surely you are also fond of JP2, its principal cheerleader and PR man.  JP2 interpreted the most important mission of evangelization to be that within the Church.

Yes, by the way, all men yearn for the true God, even when they have a mixed up image and understanding of him.

Is this not a demand to talk about Catholic theology rather than Islamic? How does that make sense in the context of this subforum?

I have no interest whatsoever in stifling dissenting views. I would like nothing more than to see a lively discussion of the topic of this thread.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: mikemac on July 03, 2019, 12:14:41 AM
As we deepen our understanding of Islam and the person of Muhammad in a climate of peace and scholarly dialogue, will we finally reach a more balanced view of one of the most important men to have ever walked the planet?

As we deepen our understanding of Islam we are finding that it is much worse than we could ever imagine.  As we deepen our understanding of the person of Muhammad we are starting to understand how Islam got to be such a scourge upon the earth.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Miriam_M on July 03, 2019, 03:24:10 AM
As we deepen our understanding of Islam and the person of Muhammad in a climate of peace and scholarly dialogue, will we finally reach a more balanced view of one of the most important men to have ever walked the planet?

As we deepen our understanding of Islam we are finding that it is much worse than we could ever imagine.  As we deepen our understanding of the person of Muhammad we are starting to understand how Islam got to be such a scourge upon the earth.

And as we deepen our awareness of the agendas of the leaders of the modern world and of modernism within the Church, we are starting to understand how men who began as naive ecumenists evolved into outright apologists for the infidels.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: John Lamb on July 03, 2019, 05:03:50 AM
The Antichrist is the most important person in history after Christ, and he will be a great reformer and seemingly just, zealous, and religious man who will ostensibly bring world peace. I am sure he will be lauded for his great mercy, even while he ruthlessly massacres his enemies (the few remaining true-believing Christians).
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on July 03, 2019, 08:19:39 AM
Its unfortunate that Mark Hanson abandoned Christ who is the source of Life for Mohammad's delusion.

From a Christian perspective, yes.

From an Islamic perspective, it's a blessing that Mark Hanson abandoned the delusion of Paul and the Imperial Church that compromised with Paganism for the light of Allah who alone is the source of life.

No, as an objective fact independent of any perspective.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on July 03, 2019, 09:04:53 AM
And? I'm operating from within the truth of the Christian world view, in which there is no such "third category". It is irrelevant what Islam says of the ontology of djinn
I'm not interested in Islamic views of what "djinn" actually are but in the objective truth of what they actually are.

This sums up the matter quite well.

You're not really interested in engaging meaningfully with what Islam teaches about itself. This is plainly obvious. Fortunately, there are other Catholics who have realized by now that categorizing the whole religion of Muslims simply as a demonic enterprise does a disservice to truth and to the preaching of the Gospel. In fact, the spectacular failure of the Church in evangelizing Muslims down in history is partially explained by this attitude of contempt and ignorance.

That's a total misrepresention of the sense of my words. What Islam teaches of itself is of interest as data for analysis in arriving at the objective truth, but it is not the objective truth. Your "repudiation" of the assertion that djinn are demons is to repeat the position of Islam, a move which I can't be sure is one of a believer in Islamic teaching or the subjectivist waffle of a Jesuit, and that is, for me, not an argument.

Quote
my assertion is that the beings which Mohammed and Muslims call "djinn" are demonic, and some of these beings worship Allah.

This is simply a gratuitous assertion, typical of a polemicist.

No, it's not a gratuitous assertion. It, firstly, fits the djinn, given the characteristics which exclude them from the being members of the angelic host (they are sexual, they can sin, and they can be converted into Muslims, for instance), into the only place they can occupy within the Christian tradition. Secondly, it is, under that same Christian tradition and Psalm 95:5, congruent with their pre-Islamic origins in idolatrous practices within which they were worshipped as gods. Lastly, it is confirmed by my own experience, so I know you're wrong.

And, lest I forget, do these good djinn who worship Allah testify to the Trinity and the incarnation of the divinity in Jesus Christ, as any angel of God would? What do you call a non-human spirit that affirms the Shahada, genius? An angel of God?

In any case, I have serious doubts you even believe in the reality of djinn.

Quote
And bizarre assertion since, if it were true, we'd have some demons worshipping Allah (the devil, according to you) and other demons refusing to worship Allah (the devil, according to you) and going on about harassing the lives of the Muslims.

Yes, that's exactly what I'm asserting, which is not intrinsically bizarre at all, and it implies a solution to the problem of the two falls found within the Hebraeo-Christian tradition, that of Lucifer which predated the fall of Adam and that of the Watchers, also implied in the text of Genesis, which post-dated it.

I've never given anyone reason to believe I regard Lucifer as an impish devil who goes about causing mischief in the lives of humans but have always insisted on his identity as a false "God", tyrant and Jobian legalist par excellence who demands worship and blood,  the liar in whom there is no truth and the murderer from the beginning. The image of the  impish devil and receiving marginal worship through explicitly Satanic cults simply do not meet those criteria: only false monotheisms that replace the Blessed Trinity of El Elyon, Yahweh and the Ruach Hakodesh with an impostor unitarian "God" do that.

Quote
The translation is entirely apt, and it cannot be any more or less "misleading" than is the use of "demon" for translating the Greek "daimon" when the classical Greek concept of the nature of the daimon, which corresponds rather closely with that of the djinn, was rather different from the modern Christian demon.

Shoebat's translation is obviously misleading because it uses the English word demons between brackets to categorize what the Jinn are.

Shoebat's commentary is entirely accurate, as djinn are in fact demonic.

Quote
If confers a meaning that is alien to the Arabic text and to Islamic theology, since not all Jinn are evil and those who are don't worship Allah. It's not a translation: a translation remains faithful to the original text in letter and spirit.

Shoebat's insertion of demons is nothing but a polemical jab.

Shoebat isn't writing a history or an academic translation: he's writing as a Catholic about a demonic religion.

Quote
Now go cry to your Imam.

You often sound like an angry 9 year old throwing a temper tantrum.

I'm not a convert like you, Kreuzritter, so tone it down.
[/quote]

You were born Muslim then?

Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on July 03, 2019, 10:13:36 AM
Quote
1. The Law of Moses, dictated by God, contains evil commandments;

No, that's impossible.

2. Evil is tolerated therein for expedience' sake;

As per Jesus' own words in Matthew 19:8. The letter of the Law didn't save and could never save.

Quote
3. The text of the OT that has been cherished by the Christ, the Apostles and the Church as God's word, has been corrupted.

This is simply an objective fact. Genesis 18:22 is but one proof text. Jeremiah 8:8, understanding who the soferim were durign the Second Temple Period, confirms it.

Quote
We can't be entirely sure of the original contents of the Law.

Nobody said that.

Quote
The Canaanites were not given the option of worshipping Yahweh or death.

If you cannot grasp the distinction between being put to death for committing a heinous act of evil and being put to death for refusing to perform an act of worship, the rest of us can.

Quote
Their extermination was decreed right off the bat by God because they were idol-worshippers.

No. The Hebrew tradition has a lot more to say about the Canaanites than "mere" idolatry. They were sodomites, cannibals and child-sacrificers who invoked demons into the world and poisoned the very earth upon which they stood.

Quote
In the Koran, the pagans are at least given an opportunity to repent and convert before facing the wrath of the scimitar.

And your true feelings begin to show again ...

Quote
The spirit presiding both accounts, however, is similar: God is to be worshipped above all things. Those who refuse it and who confuse the terrestrial creation for the celestial truth face death.

No, that's not the spirit of the account. The example from Christian history would be the conquest of Mexico: the Aztecs were annihilated, as an entity, for their blasphemous existence while the other pagan tribes, idolaters no less, were converted by the efforts of missionaries.

Quote
For instance, Aaron's sons, Nadab and Abihu, were struck dead on the spot by God because they didn't worship Him as He commanded.

That's a nice ambiguous sentence. They weren't killed for refusing God worship; they died for the same reason a man who walks into a nuclear reactor without a radiation suit will die.

Quote
Clearly, God has a more stringent view of His holiness and His right to be worshipped than what you seem to give Him credit for.

I've never mentioned holiness. I've never mentioned the right to be worshipped. If you confuse these with a right to demand worship or mete out death and bow to a being you perceive as behaving like this, that's fine - the Pharisees were too.

Quote
None of this pertains to a being demanding worship or death, so I don't even need to get into it as a moral question. Next please.

Heretics, apostates, sorcerers, etc., were put to death precisely because they refused to worship Christ, either in toto, or as the Church commands. So yes, it's completely relevant.

Again: none of this pertains to a being demanding worship or death. Squeal and squirm as much as you like.

Quote
As an essential consequence of rejecting God, not of a butthurt snowflake of a bloodthirsty dictator not getting his way.

The consequences are the same: either you turn to God in repentance and worship Him or you die. Except that in Islam, hell is intrinsically purgatorial so some people can get out of it.

Again: it's as different as dying because you refuse to eat and dying because somebody puts a bullet in your head for refusing to eat when he tells you to. One view regards God as the live-giving source of infinite love; the other turns God into Quare's lightning-hurling caricature who throws his toys out the cot and kills people because they won't praise him.

Quote
Thankfully, my faith isn't based in a text but in a real enounter with the person of Jesus Christ, who is the farthest thing in the world from "Allah".

That's in the realm of phenomenology, so I won't delve into it.
[/quote]

This is in the realm of reality, and you'd better not, since its apparent you're ignorant of both.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on July 03, 2019, 10:17:01 AM
Quote
In terms of apologetics, I think James White's approach, with his now long history of debates with high-ranking Muslim apologists like Shabir Ally or Abdullah Kunde, to be much more serious, engaging and balanced, though.


Observe this cuck defending Muslim violence against someone calling Mohammed what he was: a paedophile.

Quote
How is anyone ever going to have an opportunity again to reach out to that woman ...

In your Satanic Calvinist theology, James White, it's irrelevant; if she's goign to Hell, she's already predestined to it regardless of her actions or anyone else's. Birds of a feather, I guess.



Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on July 04, 2019, 02:44:35 PM
On what basis can it be claimed Sheikh Al-Yaquobi’s brand of Islam is traditional and its insight unfiltered?

Sheikh Al-Yaqoubi is a traditional scholar of the Maliki school. He's also a Sufi master which puts him in a position to speak both of the legal and mystical aspects of Islamic theology.

Furthermore, Al-Yaqoubi is a descendant of Muhammad and those who are descendants of the Ahl ul-Bayt enjoy great prestige and reverence in the Muslim world.

Here's a short biography of the Sheikh in the website Sacred Knowledge (https://sacredknowledge.co.uk/our-teachers/shaykh-muhammad-al-yaqoubi/), a "UK initiative started by the erudite scholar of Syria, Shaykh Sayyid Muhammad al-Yaqoubi, dedicated to spreading the teachings of orthodox Islam":

Quote from: Sacred Knowledge
Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi

Al-Allamah Shaykh as-Sayyid Muhammad al-Yaqoubi is one of the greatest scholars in the world today. In Syria, and particularly in his home city of Damascus, the Shaykh rose to great prominence in recent times for defending the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace), and being one of the first from amongst the ulema to courageously condemn the brutal Syrian government at the start of the popular uprising. In the West, he is an extremely eminent and distinguished preacher amongst Muslim minorities, and a caller to Islam, thousands having embraced the religion through his powerful and uncompromising lectures, wise words and charismatic approach. For several years running, the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute has included him as one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world.

Shaykh Muhammad descends from a scholarly family that traces its roots back to Morocco, and lineage to the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace). He is both a sufi and jurist, continuing the glorious legacy of his late father, the Imam of the famous Grand Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, the gnostic, and polymath of Syria, Sayyid Ibrahim al-Yaqoubi (Allah show him mercy), as well as his grandfather, the erudite Imam, gnostic and ascetic, Shaykh Ismail al-Yaqoubi (Allah show him mercy). Prior to being forced into exile in 2011, Shaykh Muhammad was teaching regularly at the Umayyad Mosque, as well as being the weekly Friday speaker at the Hassan Mosque in the Abu Rumana district of Damascus. He also taught regular classes at the Mosque of Shaykh al-Akbar Muhyiddeen Ibn ‘Arabi.

From an early age, Sayyid Ibrahim al-Yaqoubi supervised Shaykh Muhammad’s upbringing and tutelage, ensuring that every aspect of his son’s life was developed with the most detailed care under the guidance of the Sharia. For over 20 years, Shaykh Muhammad studied over 500 books with his father, in the sciences of the Qur’an, Hadith, Fiqh, Mantiq and many other fields. His father gave him full authority to narrate Hadith, to teach and issue fatwa. He also received many other ijazas from the most prominent scholars of Syria, including Mufti Abul Yusr ‘Abidin and Shaykh Makki al-Kittani (Allah show them mercy), granting him some of the shortest isnads on the face of the Earth. The Shaykh is fluent in several languages including Arabic, English, and Swedish, and has trained several hundreds of scholars, imams and preachers both in Syria and the West. He is the author of a number of books in Arabic, as well as several poems in both Arabic and English. He has travelled the world extensively and participated in conferences, lectures and taught several intensive programmes from Finland to South Africa, and Indonesia to the West coast of the USA.

The Shaykh currently resides in Morocco with his wife and 3 children, and continues to teach the sacred sciences to scholars and students.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Gardener on July 04, 2019, 02:56:25 PM
Who is to say that Maliki is better than Hanafi or Shafi'i, etc?

And who is to say that any Sunni madhhab is better than any Shi'a?

Why not the Ibadi, for that matter?

Iran has plenty of men who are sayyid, yet they are most certainly not Sunni, and the Sunni would look down on them for incorrect fiqh, and might even accuse them of shirk for images of Ali, etc.

Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on July 04, 2019, 03:01:45 PM
Who is to say that Maliki is better than Hanafi or Shafi'i, etc?

No-one, they're all equally valid in Sunni theology.

And who is to say that any Sunni madhhab is better than any Shi'a?

Sunni Islam is the predominant form of Islam in the world (about 85% to 90% of the world's Muslims), so this is where you naturally focus your attention on.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Gardener on July 04, 2019, 03:13:34 PM
I dunno man, I have a soft spot for the Twelver's, as I was in Samarra for my first tour and used to drive by the shrine for the "hidden imam" a lot. I actually have the major architecture of Samarra tattooed on my right arm. I'll take a pic when I get a chance and send it to you via PM if you want to see it.

And then on my second tour, we used to drive by the Abu Hanifa mosque when in that neighborhood.

My preference is Shi'a Sufi poetry more than the minute details of fiqh, be that Sunni or Shi'a.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on July 04, 2019, 03:15:37 PM
I dunno man, I have a soft spot for the Twelver's, as I was in Samarra for my first tour and used to drive by the shrine for the "hidden imam" a lot. I actually have the major architecture of Samarra tattooed on my right arm. I'll take a pic when I get a chance and send it to you via PM if you want to see it.

Sure, Gardener. It sounds nice.

My preference is Shi'a Sufi poetry more than the minute details of fiqh, be that Sunni or Shi'a.

Shia Islam is interesting in its own right. I'm focusing on Sunni simply because it is, and has always been, statistically far more representative and powerful.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: martin88nyc on July 04, 2019, 03:59:54 PM
Vetus Ordo, what do you mean by The Way? What religion do you subscribe to?
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on July 04, 2019, 04:03:39 PM
Vetus Ordo, what do you mean by The Way? What religion do you subscribe to?

"But this I confess to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets." (Acts 24:14)
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on July 07, 2019, 07:00:17 PM
Here's another excellent lecture that touches on a fundamental point of Islamic theology with many ramifications to everyday life: rida which means the acceptance, satisfaction or perfect contentment with God's will or decree. There are some very interesting insights shared by British Sunni scholar and Sufi master Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad that I feel are also applicable to Christianity.

Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on July 08, 2019, 05:56:49 AM
Quote
... without which religion is a kidn of DIY exercise ...

Like it was for Mahomet?
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on July 10, 2019, 08:26:29 PM
From the beginning, our Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam) was accused of many things. "A mad man!" they called him, or a liar, or deluded and possessed, perhaps a deceitful sorcerer! Yet, his followers continued to grow, and his opponents dwindled even as they increased in their exasperation and frustration. His image and his legacy has constantly been smeared throughout history, but until today his teachings bring about peace to billions around the globe, and his followers increase day-by-day.

Was he a liar? Was he deluded? Was he really a fraud? Or was he truly the Messenger of God sent as a mercy to mankind? Join Shaykh Dr. Yasir Qadhi​ as he academically and unabashedly deals with the most controversial allegations on Muhammad: Fraud or Messenger of God!

Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: mikemac on July 10, 2019, 11:28:17 PM
So Vetus Abdul, are you proselytizing for Islam in this thread?  Serious question.

You have posted 6 videos in this thread, roughly an hour long each that explains Islam.  If that is not proselytizing for Islam I don't know what is.

As if anyone around here would want to waste 6 hours listening to mullahs explain a false religion.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on July 11, 2019, 05:23:13 AM
Vetus Ordo, what do you mean by The Way? What religion do you subscribe to?

"But this I confess to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets." (Acts 24:14)

The inevitable non-answer.

Was he a liar? Was he deluded? Was he really a fraud? Or was he truly the Messenger of God sent as a mercy to mankind? Join Shaykh Dr. Yasir Qadhi​ as he academically and unabashedly deals with the most controversial allegations on Muhammad: Fraud or Messenger of God!


A genuine messenger of the god of this world.

Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on July 11, 2019, 11:52:09 AM
If that is not proselytizing for Islam I don't know what is.

You should consult the entry in the dictionary where proselytism is defined. That might help.

These videos help you understand Islam straight from the horse's mouth. They help you avoid bearing false witness about what Muslims believe, explaining what and how they believe from their own perspective and sources. And if you know and understand them better, you can love them better.

As if anyone around here would want to waste 6 hours listening to mullahs explain a false religion.

Zelus sine scientia est ignis sine lumine.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Gardener on July 11, 2019, 12:48:00 PM
I dunno man, I have a soft spot for the Twelver's, as I was in Samarra for my first tour and used to drive by the shrine for the "hidden imam" a lot. I actually have the major architecture of Samarra tattooed on my right arm. I'll take a pic when I get a chance and send it to you via PM if you want to see it.

And then on my second tour, we used to drive by the Abu Hanifa mosque when in that neighborhood.

My preference is Shi'a Sufi poetry more than the minute details of fiqh, be that Sunni or Shi'a.

Pics attached.

Images include Al-Malwiya (Spiral Minaret), the Great Mosque of Samarra, the cemetery, the Al-Askari shrine, its minarets and its side cupola (the blue dome); the mosaic work has faded on that one.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samarra
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Mosque_of_Samarra
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Askari_Shrine

NB: For those who might be scandalized, when I got this tattoo I was not Catholic. I have not received any tattoos since I was 22, over 6 years before I began the process of conversion.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Miriam_M on July 11, 2019, 02:04:48 PM
If that is not proselytizing for Islam I don't know what is.

You should consult the entry in the dictionary where proselytism is defined. That might help.

These videos help you understand Islam straight from the horse's mouth. They help you avoid bearing false witness about what Muslims believe, explaining what and how they believe from their own perspective and sources. And if you know and understand them better, you can love them better.

As if anyone around here would want to waste 6 hours listening to mullahs explain a false religion.

Zelus sine scientia est ignis sine lumine.

What Muslims "believe":

Show us where they believe in a Trinitarian God.  De Fide Catholic dogma is that the Godhead is indivisible.  One cannot know the Father without knowing the Son.  The Gospel of John (Jesus' own words) might help refresh your memory on that one, keeping in mind that all Catholic doctrine is based on Revelation, and the primary source for Revelation is the Word of God, doubly understood:  the Scriptures and the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, who is Truth and who is co-equal with the Father. Jesus Christ -- not a mere "respected prophet" -- IS the revealed word of God. 

It's the same problem Jews have, actually.  They worship a Father without His Son.  And they revere and follow one part as well as one-half of the Word:  certain books of Scripture which the Catholic Church also reveres and follows. 

The written and oral words of Muslims are not revelation, and the Church need not consider Catholicism "in light of" Islam.
For Jews, their limited understanding of the Torah -- limited in that it lacks the fulfillment of the prophecies, assuming they have yet to be fulfilled -- is an interpretation that distorts the Fatherhood of God.

Muslims are theists.  Better than being an atheist, and maybe the devout ones are actually more theistic than many bishops, cardinals, and the current pope -- but in that case, maybe they could get busy converting the Catholic hierarchy into theism from practical atheism.  Just a thought.

But convicted lay trads on a Catholic discussion forum probably don't need to learn how to be theists, from Muslims.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on July 11, 2019, 02:31:28 PM
What Muslims "believe":

Show us where they believe in a Trinitarian God.

Non sequitur.

But convicted lay trads on a Catholic discussion forum probably don't need to learn how to be theists, from Muslims.

While you may not be interested in understanding Islam, there are others here who might be interested.

Let them benefit from the thread and the videos.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: John Lamb on July 11, 2019, 03:47:09 PM
Ishmael is the son of the slave woman. He has not inherited the liberty of the true children of God. The Mohammedans do not accept the freedom of sonship that has been given to us in Christ; they are rebellious, envious slaves of God who persecute God's true children: the Christians. Their righteousness and zeal is a false and ungodly righteousness and zeal, driven by the lust to dominate, not charity.

This is a family dispute:
The Jews are the prodigal elder brother who has left the house cursing it.
The Muslims are the rejected slave who assaults the house out of envy and hatred.
The Christians are the faithful son who abides in the house.

That's why we alone call God "Father".
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on July 11, 2019, 04:33:56 PM
It's the same problem Jews have, actually.  They worship a Father without His Son.

No. This is where you're also wrong. They do not worship the Father or any father. And they do not worship God, as God, who has no existence separate from the concrete reality of his hypostases, is only worshipable in these.

For the life of me, I cannot figure out why Christians will think that a unitarian deity, like Allah for example, is the Father. Perhaps this is born of an implicit bias against the coequality of the three hypostases.

Quote
For Jews, their limited understanding of the Torah -- limited in that it lacks the fulfillment of the prophecies, assuming they have yet to be fulfilled -- is an interpretation that distorts the Fatherhood of God.

It's not a limited understanding but a misunderstanding: they do not understand the divinity as Father, Son and Holy Spirit and therefore do not understand the Hebrew scriptures, which are based in this idea. The Old Testament is, like the New, fundamentally about the Son, Yahweh, who is clearly named as the son of the Most High unto whom the nation of Israel was alotted (Deuteronomy 32:8-9, whose correct reading is preserved in the Septuagint).
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: mikemac on July 11, 2019, 07:18:02 PM
If that is not proselytizing for Islam I don't know what is.

You should consult the entry in the dictionary where proselytism is defined. That might help.

These videos help you understand Islam straight from the horse's mouth. They help you avoid bearing false witness about what Muslims believe, explaining what and how they believe from their own perspective and sources. And if you know and understand them better, you can love them better.

As if anyone around here would want to waste 6 hours listening to mullahs explain a false religion.

Zelus sine scientia est ignis sine lumine.

I didn't need to look it up, but I did anyway.

proselytize
verb
convert or attempt to convert (someone) from one religion, belief, or opinion to another.
advocate or promote (a belief or course of action).

Yep, your zeal for knowledge of Islam gives you away.

By the way, I don't care what Muslims believe, because I believe Islam is a false religion.  I could know, understand and love them better if they converted to the Catholic Faith.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Miriam_M on July 11, 2019, 07:32:23 PM
Kreuzritter,
The technicalities of Jewish and Muslim belief are immaterial to Catholicism because neither non/Catholic religion professes the Trinitarian God professed by the One True Religion. Different concept of deity, not harmonious with Catholic belief.  Theologically, there is nothing for Catholics to “learn” from Islam.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on July 11, 2019, 09:05:03 PM
If that is not proselytizing for Islam I don't know what is.

You should consult the entry in the dictionary where proselytism is defined. That might help.

These videos help you understand Islam straight from the horse's mouth. They help you avoid bearing false witness about what Muslims believe, explaining what and how they believe from their own perspective and sources. And if you know and understand them better, you can love them better.

As if anyone around here would want to waste 6 hours listening to mullahs explain a false religion.

Zelus sine scientia est ignis sine lumine.

I didn't need to look it up, but I did anyway.

proselytize
verb
convert or attempt to convert (someone) from one religion, belief, or opinion to another.
advocate or promote (a belief or course of action).

Yep, your zeal for knowledge of Islam gives you away.

By the way, I don't care what Muslims believe, because I believe Islam is a false religion.  I could know, understand and love them better if they converted to the Catholic Faith.

Ignorantia non est ineluctabilis sed excogitata.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 12, 2019, 07:43:48 AM
Here's another excellent lecture that touches on a fundamental point of Islamic theology with many ramifications to everyday life: rida which means the acceptance, satisfaction or perfect contentment with God's will or decree. There are some very interesting insights shared by British Sunni scholar and Sufi master Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad that I feel are also applicable to Christianity.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oxi8lJXqLP8 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oxi8lJXqLP8)

This one was good too, albeit a bit triumphalist.  I agree that this topic is relevant to Christianity: scratch almost any Catholic, and you will find a semi-Pelagian right below the surface.  But as the speaker indicates, this is more of a problem for Christianity, where God is said to be love.  Allah, elusive with his ninety-nine names, is not so readily identified.

However, the fable of the ant crawling over the Persian carpet is a poor analogy.  It is essentially the same thing Bishop Berkeley offered: "the very blemishes and defects of nature are not without their use, in that they make an agreeable sort of variety, and augment the beauty of the rest of creation, as shades in a picture serve to set off the brighter and more enlightened parts."  Woe to the poor souls who have the misfortune of being the shade in God's painting instead of the light.  But we need not rehash our theodicy debates here.

Where this fellow becomes more interesting is towards the end, when he discusses the future of the ummah.  In terms of birth rates, immigration, and the watered-down offerings of Christianity, he has a good point that Islam might position itself as an attractive alternative to seekers as secularism fails.  But I think he is wrong.  Islam is more Semitic than Christianity, and Semitism is alien to the Western mind.  Even though we were converted to a Semitic religion, it is easily the most Hellenistic of the three (Nietzsche referred to it as "Plato for the masses").  There are relatively few converts among Europeans to Islam and Judaism.  Orthodox Christianity probably stands the best chance as a serious option.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on July 12, 2019, 09:36:27 AM
Here's another excellent lecture that touches on a fundamental point of Islamic theology with many ramifications to everyday life: rida which means the acceptance, satisfaction or perfect contentment with God's will or decree. There are some very interesting insights shared by British Sunni scholar and Sufi master Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad that I feel are also applicable to Christianity.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oxi8lJXqLP8 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oxi8lJXqLP8)

This one was good too, albeit a bit triumphalist.  I agree that this topic is relevant to Christianity: scratch almost any Catholic, and you will find a semi-Pelagian right below the surface.

And why would I or any Catholic shy away from such a description? What you call "semi-Pelagianism" is the Patristic synergist doctrine and has never been condemned by the Church. But note that even you admit, by that term, that it is not Pelagianism; on the other hand, the Augustinianism, and moreso the Baneisianism, toward which you appear to have a peculiar bias for an "agnostic", I have no problem in declaring to be, looking past the scholastic word games, indistinguishable from Calvinism.

As expected, even for a Sufi, the conception of "acceptance, satisfaction or perfect contentment with God's will or decree" is from a perspective of law, authority and slavery. And of course, like Calvinism, it cannot resolve the logical contradiction inherent in its conception of Allah as the sole cosmic agent and the supposed ability of human beings to "choose" and be morally accountable for their actions, and has to talk about "mystery" and "miracles".

Quote
But as the speaker indicates, this is more of a problem for Christianity, where God is said to be love.

It's not a "problem" at all for Christianity, since it, not the vision of the dictatorial clockmaker of authoritarian, legalistic religions, is truth.

Quote
Allah, elusive with his ninety-nine names, is not so readily identified

Allah is quite readily identified by those with eyes to see:

Al-Mutakabbir The Proud
Al-Baari    The Evolver
Al-Qaabid    The Restricting One
Al-Muzil    The Abaser
Al-Mumeet    The Inflictor of Death
Al-Waahid    The Only One
Al-Mu’akhkhir    The Procrastinator
Ad-Daarr    The Distressor


and let's not forget the one left out from the list

Al-Makireena The Deceiver

and the Lord of Sirius, also the Morning Star.

Quote from: Ezekiel 28
1 The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying,

2 Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord God; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:

3 Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee:

4 With thy wisdom and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures:

5 By thy great wisdom and by thy traffick hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches:

6 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God;

7 Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness.

8 They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas.

9 Wilt thou yet say before him that slayeth thee, I am God? but thou shalt be a man, and no God, in the hand of him that slayeth thee.

10 Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God.

11 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.

13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.

14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.

18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.

19 All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.


Quote from:  Isaiah 14
12
“How you are fallen from heaven,
O [a]Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
13
For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’
15
Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the lowest depths of the Pit.

Quote from:  John 8
44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

Quote from:  2 Corinthians 4
3 And if our gospel be also hid, it is hid to them that are lost,

4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of unbelievers, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine unto them.

Quote from:  2 Corinthians 11
14: And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.

Quote
Hebrews 2: 14 That is why Jesus became one of us. That through his death he might bring to nothing the one having the means to cause death, that is, the Devil.

The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was not convincing the world that he does not exist; it was convincing the world that he is God. It's there, for all to see, but Christians seem to be struck with a peculiar blindness as to the nature and identity of Lucifer.

So is the lord of the devils:

Surah 19:83: See you not that We have sent the Shayatin against the disbelievers to push them to do evil.

Surah 6:112: Thus have We appointed unto every Prophet an advesary, – evil one among men and jinns, inspiring each other with flowery discourses by way of deception.

What a psychotic sociopath.

Surah 32:13: If We had so willed, We could certainly have brought every soul its true guidance: but the Word from Me will come true, “I will fill Hell with Jinns and men all together.

Sahih al-Bukhari Book 60 Hadith 475 Once Allah's Apostle became sick and could not offer his night prayer (Tahajjud) for two or three nights. Then a lady (the wife of Abu Lahab) came and said, "O Muhammad! I think that your Satan has forsaken you, for I have not seen him with you for two or three nights!" On that Allah revealed: 'By the fore-noon, and by the night when it darkens, your Lord (O Muhammad) has neither forsaken you, nor hated you.' (93.1-3)


Quote
Islam is more Semitic than Christianity, and Semitism is alien to the Western mind.

What precisely is "the Western mind" and how can Christianity, which presumably shaped much of it, be alien to it?
 
Quote
Even though we were converted to a Semitic religion, it is easily the most Hellenistic of the three (Nietzsche referred to it as "Plato for the masses"). 

What do ancient Greeks have to do with Germans apart from their culture having influenced the German by way of Rome and eventually the Western Catholic adoption of classicla philosophy and the philo-Hellenism of the Renaissance?

Quote
There are relatively few converts among Europeans to Islam and Judaism.  Orthodox Christianity probably stands the best chance as a serious option.

There are relatively few converts from any culturally entrenched religion into another. Even from a human perspective it requires mustering some degree of intelligence and indifference toward institutionalised authority in order to dare to question what one has been raised in. That might tell one something about actual faith and the fewness of the saved.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on July 12, 2019, 09:48:30 AM
Kreuzritter,
The technicalities of Jewish and Muslim belief are immaterial to Catholicism because neither non/Catholic religion professes the Trinitarian God professed by the One True Religion. Different concept of deity, not harmonious with Catholic belief.  Theologically, there is nothing for Catholics to “learn” from Islam.

Maybe, but Catholic conceptions of them can certainly reveal a Catholic's underlying ideas. Again: why would you say that Jews worship a Father without His Son?!? I find this ubiquitous inference among Christians befuddling, as I do any inference that identifies "Hashem", "Allah" etc. with the Father. If they are merely misunderstanding the nature of God, why would you not identify these with the Trinity? Why the Father specifically?
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on July 12, 2019, 10:10:01 AM
Quote
Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas

Naturally this lead me to look ...


And it is He who created the heavens and the earth in six days – and His Throne had been upon water…
(Quran 11:7)
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 12, 2019, 01:17:43 PM
And why would I or any Catholic shy away from such a description? What you call "semi-Pelagianism" is the Patristic synergist doctrine and has never been condemned by the Church. But note that even you admit, by that term, that it is not Pelagianism; on the other hand, the Augustinianism, and moreso the Baneisianism, toward which you appear to have a peculiar bias for an "agnostic", I have no problem in declaring to be, looking past the scholastic word games, indistinguishable from Calvinism.

As expected, even for a Sufi, the conception of "acceptance, satisfaction or perfect contentment with God's will or decree" is from a perspective of law, authority and slavery. And of course, like Calvinism, it cannot resolve the logical contradiction inherent in its conception of Allah as the sole cosmic agent and the supposed ability of human beings to "choose" and be morally accountable for their actions, and has to talk about "mystery" and "miracles".

Yes, I agree.  Every theology ends in paradox.  Even as an agnostic, however, my bias is still for Augustinianism, because it correctly diagnoses man's sickness.  More so than any other theological system, it is the most honest concerning man's wretchedness and depravity.  Islam, so far as I know, does not do this, because it lacks the doctrine of Original Sin.

It's not a "problem" at all for Christianity, since it, not the vision of the dictatorial clockmaker of authoritarian, legalistic religions, is truth.

Allah is quite readily identified by those with eyes to see.

The speaker's point, which I was only repeating, is that Allah is multi-faceted and not strictly identified with love.  The Islamic apologist has more maneuver room on that particular point of the theodicy problem, though as far as I'm concerned it doesn't come close to getting him out of it.

What precisely is "the Western mind" and how can Christianity, which presumably shaped much of it, be alien to it?
 
What do ancient Greeks have to do with Germans apart from their culture having influenced the German by way of Rome and eventually the Western Catholic adoption of classicla philosophy and the philo-Hellenism of the Renaissance?

Virtually all of the pre-Christian European cultures were polytheistic in devotion and monistic in philosophy.  The Greeks had a refined form, emphasizing the latter, and the Saxons, Celts, and Norse had a crude form, emphasizing the former.  Philosophy requires R&D.  The warmer climes of the Mediterranean are most hospitable to it.  But the desert breeds something else entirely.

There are relatively few converts from any culturally entrenched religion into another. Even from a human perspective it requires mustering some degree of intelligence and indifference toward institutionalised authority in order to dare to question what one has been raised in. That might tell one something about actual faith and the fewness of the saved.

This is true, but there are always ebbs and flows.  Conversion rates from paganism to Christianity were far higher in the fourth and fifth centuries than they were in the first.  The same with rates of conversion from Christianity to Islam when the Prophet's armies first swept across N. Africa and into Iberia.  More Christians in the past sixty years have probably converted from Christianity to Buddhism than they had done in the previous sixty.  In a time of stasis, the rates slow down.  But in an age of spiritual anxiety, they tend to go up.


Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 12, 2019, 01:28:21 PM
The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was not convincing the world that he does not exist; it was convincing the world that he is God.

I agree completely.  It wasn't for no reason at all that Marcion arrived at his theology.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on July 12, 2019, 03:53:03 PM
This one was good too, albeit a bit triumphalist.  I agree that this topic is relevant to Christianity: scratch almost any Catholic, and you will find a semi-Pelagian right below the surface. But as the speaker indicates, this is more of a problem for Christianity, where God is said to be love.  Allah, elusive with his ninety-nine names, is not so readily identified.

However, the fable of the ant crawling over the Persian carpet is a poor analogy.  It is essentially the same thing Bishop Berkeley offered: "the very blemishes and defects of nature are not without their use, in that they make an agreeable sort of variety, and augment the beauty of the rest of creation, as shades in a picture serve to set off the brighter and more enlightened parts."  Woe to the poor souls who have the misfortune of being the shade in God's painting instead of the light.  But we need not rehash our theodicy debates here.

I'm glad you enjoyed the video, Pon.

My point about rida, or the acceptance of the divine will, being applicable to Christianity deserves further elaboration, though. I believe it is an integral part of the Christian faith that somehow got lost when we fully transitioned into modernity in the 17th and 18th centuries. I still find remnants of it in the popular psyche of Iberian Catholicism, for instance, where you have a strong emphasis on fate and the notion that when bad things happen, it is also God's will that we must accept with humility and docility. Indeed, man may propose, but it is God alone who disposes. As Scripture often reminds us, "there are many thoughts in the heart of a man: but the will of the Lord shall stand firm" (Prov. 19:21), or even "all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing before him: for he doth according to his will, as well with the powers of heaven, as among the inhabitants of the earth: and there is none that can resist his hand, and say to him: Why hast thou done it?" (Daniel 4:35).

We can still find in Islam, sadly more than in our modern churches (even if traditional), a striking of example of this profoundly religious mentality. And it is the correct answer, I believe. Theodicy is inherently paradoxical but the only reasonable solution is submission to the divine will and a humble admission, in a fair Socratic fashion, that when it comes to these mysteries we know that we know nothing. When some tragedy befalls a Muslim man, and he is tempted to curse God, you have his family or friends immediately begging him not to do it, to even stop thinking those thoughts, urging him not to sin because all that happens is part of God's will and decree. That is profoundly true and soothing. It brings peace of mind, it puts man in his proper place and it reinvigorates faith. It is a spiritual remedy to any community, as the good sheikh said, and as any good priest should say. And we see that attitude in the history of Catholicism before semi-Pelagianism won the day during the counterreformational efforts and the controversies on grace. It's a tragedy that contemporaneous Christianity lost sight of this truth and I believe it's a huge problem with practical implications in real life and in the faith of many. When you only speak of God as the one who wants everyone to be saved and the one who creates good in our lives, people get confused and angered when real evil and tragedy befalls them. And then you have unnecessary crises of faith.

Complete acceptance of fate or providence is an essential component of the true faith. And it is liberating.

Where this fellow becomes more interesting is towards the end, when he discusses the future of the ummah.  In terms of birth rates, immigration, and the watered-down offerings of Christianity, he has a good point that Islam might position itself as an attractive alternative to seekers as secularism fails.  But I think he is wrong.  Islam is more Semitic than Christianity, and Semitism is alien to the Western mind.  Even though we were converted to a Semitic religion, it is easily the most Hellenistic of the three (Nietzsche referred to it as "Plato for the masses").  There are relatively few converts among Europeans to Islam and Judaism. Orthodox Christianity probably stands the best chance as a serious option.

Islam is surely Semitic in spirit. One cannot fail to feel the dry wind of the desert and the beauty of Arabic chant when listening to the Koran. But its philosophy is perhaps more adaptable than what you may initially think. Look at Zaytuna College in California, for instance. It presents a successful blend of traditional Islamic thought with Western scholarship. In a sense, these are serious attempts to create an indigenous Western Islam.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on July 12, 2019, 05:31:49 PM
1. I don’t see how every theology ends in paradox. Molinism or derivatives only end in “paradox” from an outside and unprovable perspective on what God’s power supposedly encompasses, not from any internal inconsistency; the usual alternatives actually contradict their own terms, like Thomism with free will, which it tries to wiggle itself out of with characteristic semantic juggling acts. In the synergistic approach of the Fathers, it’s obvious that sufficient prevenient grace confronts man with God and frees him to be able to make a self-determined choice in favour of God or not, and there is no Pelagianism in this, no undermining of grace and no paradox. The only paradoxes come from Jonny-come-latelies who, trained in Greek pagan philosophy with all its preconceptions, felt a need to one-up the original teaching with sophisticated theological innovations. Exactly the same thing can be said of Anselm’s theory of atonement by satisfaction, derived in part from Augustine, supplanting the patristic ransom theory and Christus Victor still taught in the East: there is no way in hell this was actually taught by the Apostles and is not a Medieval theological innovation. “Original sin”, considered ontologically rather than as a monstrous inherited moral guilt, is well and good, but then I don’t see how it is an Augustinian innovation, which no doctrine should be - an innovation.

2. Well, I think the theodicy problem is actually rather easily “solved” by defining “good” and “evil” in legalistic moral, rather than ontological, senses and painting God as a monster who is, by definition, not “evil”, as Calvinism and Islam appear to do.

3. I think what you describe fits virtually every culture, including pre-Christian desert ones. You even see it in Africa with “monotheistic” beings like Nzambi or Bondye alongside the “polytheistic” Orisha and Lwa. The concept of “monotheism” opposed to “polytheism” is basically a Western invention, a load of bollocks and a nonsense that bears little relation to the historical and current realities of religion and, frankly, isn’t even Hebraeo-Christian: the Christian distinction is between worship of the Trinity on the one hand and idolatry on the other, with licit veneration of creatures forming a middle ground between the two. To take it back to two examples, Zoroastrianism is supposedly “monotheistic”, yet spirits like the Yazata and ones personal Fravashi are venerated in it; on the other hand, Vodou is seen as “polytheistic”, yet alongside what generally amounts to idolatry of the Lwa, these are in fact seen as either ancestors or divine messengers of God, or Bondye, who is also worshipped, in fact often in syncretism with Catholicism.

Peace.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on July 12, 2019, 06:00:39 PM
This one was good too, albeit a bit triumphalist.  I agree that this topic is relevant to Christianity: scratch almost any Catholic, and you will find a semi-Pelagian right below the surface. But as the speaker indicates, this is more of a problem for Christianity, where God is said to be love.  Allah, elusive with his ninety-nine names, is not so readily identified.

However, the fable of the ant crawling over the Persian carpet is a poor analogy.  It is essentially the same thing Bishop Berkeley offered: "the very blemishes and defects of nature are not without their use, in that they make an agreeable sort of variety, and augment the beauty of the rest of creation, as shades in a picture serve to set off the brighter and more enlightened parts."  Woe to the poor souls who have the misfortune of being the shade in God's painting instead of the light.  But we need not rehash our theodicy debates here.

I'm glad you enjoyed the video, Pon.

My point about rida, or the acceptance of the divine will, being applicable to Christianity deserves further elaboration, though. I believe it is an integral part of the Christian faith that somehow got lost when we fully transitioned into modernity in the 17th and 18th centuries. I still find remnants of it in the popular psyche of Iberian Catholicism, for instance, where you have a strong emphasis on fate and the notion that when bad things happen, it is also God's will that we must accept with humility and docility. Indeed, man may propose, but it is God alone who disposes. As Scripture often reminds us, "there are many thoughts in the heart of a man: but the will of the Lord shall stand firm" (Prov. 19:21), or even "all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing before him: for he doth according to his will, as well with the powers of heaven, as among the inhabitants of the earth: and there is none that can resist his hand, and say to him: Why hast thou done it?" (Daniel 4:35).

We can still find in Islam, sadly more than in our modern churches (even if traditional), a striking of example of this profoundly religious mentality. And it is the correct answer, I believe. Theodicy is inherently paradoxical but the only reasonable solution is submission to the divine will and a humble admission, in a fair Socratic fashion, that when it comes to these mysteries we know that we know nothing. When some tragedy befalls a Muslim man, and he is tempted to curse God, you have his family or friends immediately begging him not to do it, to even stop thinking those thoughts, urging him not to sin because all that happens is part of God's will and decree. That is profoundly true and soothing. It brings peace of mind, it puts man in his proper place and it reinvigorates faith. It is a spiritual remedy to any community, as the good sheikh said, and as any good priest should say. And we see that attitude in the history of Catholicism before semi-Pelagianism won the day during the counterreformational efforts and the controversies on grace. It's a tragedy that contemporaneous Christianity lost sight of this truth and I believe it's a huge problem with practical implications in real life and in the faith of many. When you only speak of God as the one who wants everyone to be saved and the one who creates good in our lives, people get confused and angered when real evil and tragedy befalls them. And then you have unnecessary crises of faith.

Complete acceptance of fate or providence is an essential component of the true faith. And it is liberating.

Where this fellow becomes more interesting is towards the end, when he discusses the future of the ummah.  In terms of birth rates, immigration, and the watered-down offerings of Christianity, he has a good point that Islam might position itself as an attractive alternative to seekers as secularism fails.  But I think he is wrong.  Islam is more Semitic than Christianity, and Semitism is alien to the Western mind.  Even though we were converted to a Semitic religion, it is easily the most Hellenistic of the three (Nietzsche referred to it as "Plato for the masses").  There are relatively few converts among Europeans to Islam and Judaism. Orthodox Christianity probably stands the best chance as a serious option.

Islam is surely Semitic in spirit. One cannot fail to feel the dry wind of the desert and the beauty of Arabic chant when listening to the Koran. But its philosophy is perhaps more adaptable than what you may initially think. Look at Zaytuna College in California, for instance. It presents a successful blend of traditional Islamic thought with Western scholarship. In a sense, these are serious attempts to create an indigenous Western Islam.

Ugghh. False dichotomies. This again is so Western. This Stoic (Why? Because if God determines everything then, self-contradiction aside, trying to fight what happens is “irrational”, the great sin of the Stoics; yes, but it’s still heroic and kicks the ass of being the Fates little bitch) resignation to fate is so unlike the Christian concept still alive in the East, guided by the idea of theosis, which seeks an ontological participation in the will of God through the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart and to which suffering becomes not something passive, to which one submits like a puppet to a puppeteer, but something active, a sharing in the mystery of the cross through which one comes closer to union with God. Nothing like this exists in Islam, as the Islamic deity does not suffer, and suffering becomes at best an ascetic exercise in detachment and strengthening the will, though usually a passive resignation which never conquers it.

Again, there is nothing for the Christian to learn from Islam, unless he wants to learn half-truths rather than fill his empty exoteric religion with the pearls of his own tradition. It would even make more sense to point him to Hermeticism or such like before imbibing Islamic theology with the intention of supplementing his faith! But “occultism” is worse than a Christ-denying religion, as the CCC implicitly tells us: better a false exoteric worship than a man dare to plumb the mysteries of the cosmos by experiencing them for himself.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: mikemac on July 12, 2019, 11:23:49 PM
... I believe it is an integral part of the Christian faith that somehow got lost when we fully transitioned into modernity in the 17th and 18th centuries. I still find remnants of it in the popular psyche of Iberian Catholicism, for instance, where you have a strong emphasis on fate and the notion that when bad things happen, it is also God's will that we must accept with humility and docility. Indeed, man may propose, but it is God alone who disposes. As Scripture often reminds us, "there are many thoughts in the heart of a man: but the will of the Lord shall stand firm" (Prov. 19:21), or even "all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing before him: for he doth according to his will, as well with the powers of heaven, as among the inhabitants of the earth: and there is none that can resist his hand, and say to him: Why hast thou done it?" (Daniel 4:35).
...

This is what I am reading in 'The Following of Christ in Four Books' by Thomas A. Kempis.  I'm still reading a small chapter every day.  Not only does he say to accept bad things with humility and docility, but with thanksgiving.  If we put everything in God's hands we actually benefit when bad things happen to us, you know, looking at the eternal as the prize.  He says forget about pride and the comforts of life, consider ourselves lowly and always striving for the eternal.  Obviously this is paraphrased.  As I am reading this book I am surprising myself at how often I am thinking of Chestertonians situation.

Thomas A. Kempis lived between 1380 and 1471.  Better known as The Imitation of Christ, it is still one of the most popular and best known Christian devotional books.  What I am getting at is that we do not have to go outside of our Catholic Faith to find what we are looking for.  Just pick up a good Catholic traditional devotional book.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Miriam_M on July 13, 2019, 02:51:13 AM
Here's another excellent lecture that touches on a fundamental point of Islamic theology with many ramifications to everyday life... the acceptance, satisfaction or perfect contentment with God's will or decree.

I don't understand why any Catholic would feel the need to go to a different religion than traditional Catholicism, which teaches precisely that.  The great spiritual doctors and wise souls -- Alphonse Liguori, Francis de Sales, Teresa of Avila, many more -- all speak of acceptance and perfect contentment with God's will.  And while the ultimate attempt at that is pursued in vowed religious life, it is similarly a goal for the devout lay person in the spiritual journey.  It is not just for the Religious that it is possible and recommended; St. Francis de Sales and Garrigou-LaGrange make the same very clear in their writings.

But if someone hangs out in a N.O. parish and eats the pablum cooked up there, without investigating the Church's far richer treasures than anything Islam can offer, I guess by contrast Islam looks great.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Miriam_M on July 13, 2019, 03:01:43 AM
there is nothing for the Christian to learn from Islam,

because all this part:

My point about the acceptance of the divine will, being applicable to Christianity deserves further elaboration, though. I believe it is an integral part of the Christian faith that somehow got lost when we fully transitioned into modernity in the 17th and 18th centuries. I still find remnants of it in the popular psyche of Iberian Catholicism, for instance, where you have a strong emphasis on fate and the notion that when bad things happen, it is also God's will that we must accept with humility and docility. Indeed, man may propose, but it is God alone who disposes.

...is not original, not invented by Islam, and not "lost to modernity." 
It has been and still is part of lived Catholic tradition, and it certainly is in my parish.

And if you don't happen to see it in a particular Catholic location, that is not evidence that it "somehow got lost." 

Vetus and Pon don't get out enough -- not among believing, practicing Catholics.  That's quite obvious. 

 :violin:
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 13, 2019, 07:19:14 AM
I think what you describe fits virtually every culture, including pre-Christian desert ones. You even see it in Africa with “monotheistic” beings like Nzambi or Bondye alongside the “polytheistic” Orisha and Lwa. The concept of “monotheism” opposed to “polytheism” is basically a Western invention, a load of bollocks and a nonsense that bears little relation to the historical and current realities of religion and, frankly, isn’t even Hebraeo-Christian: the Christian distinction is between worship of the Trinity on the one hand and idolatry on the other, with licit veneration of creatures forming a middle ground between the two. To take it back to two examples, Zoroastrianism is supposedly “monotheistic”, yet spirits like the Yazata and ones personal Fravashi are venerated in it; on the other hand, Vodou is seen as “polytheistic”, yet alongside what generally amounts to idolatry of the Lwa, these are in fact seen as either ancestors or divine messengers of God, or Bondye, who is also worshipped, in fact often in syncretism with Catholicism.

Peace be with you, Kreuzritter.  I was speaking more in terms of our Western intellectual inheritance, which is Greek philosophy up through its Roman branches.  Christianity would probably not have gotten far past converting slaves, women, and lower classes had the Fathers not diluted its Semitism with liberal infusions of Hellenism.  Tertullian seems to be the only one who resisted the trend.  But even among the less philosophically-inclined tribes of Europe, Christianity was not an easy sell.  Consider the Saxons who resisted Charlemagne's demands for their conversion.  They were having none of it.  When it was brought to my own ancestors in the isles, the evangelization went smoother there, but not without generous concessions to paganism, where certain gods were demoted to saints, and their rites transferred to a cultus.  St. Brigid is the best-known example.  In many respects, the Semitism had to bend to the European character in order to be successfully taken on.

By comparison, the sweep of Islam through Christian N. Africa went with a surety Charlemagne would've envied, but this was because those people had already been primed with a Semitic religion.  (The confusion of successive Christological controversies probably didn't help them much in withstanding a more streamlined doctrine).  This isn't to say I don't lament the conquest.  The armies of the Prophet snuffed out the Alexandrian Christianity of Clement and Origen, which was surely one of its most beautiful strains.  Only meager vestiges of it survive among the Copts.


Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 13, 2019, 07:25:16 AM
Vetus and Pon don't get out enough -- not among believing, practicing Catholics.  That's quite obvious.

Given almost twenty years spent in traditional Catholicism, and having met many good and faithful people during that time, I would have to disagree.  However, not wishing to argue what you are in no position to know about me from your vantage point of a stranger on the internet, I will concede the point.  But be of good cheer, Miriam: God wills it.  After all, God willed Vatican II.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: mikemac on July 13, 2019, 05:04:59 PM
... When it was brought to my own ancestors in the isles, the evangelization went smoother there, but not without generous concessions to paganism, where certain gods were demoted to saints, and their rites transferred to a cultus.  St. Brigid is the best-known example. ...

St. Brigid of Ireland was not the Celtic goddess Brigid.  St. Brigid became a nun.  She founded a monastery in Kildare, called the Church of the Oak.  She eventually founded two monastic institutions, one for men and one for women.  She later founded a school of art, where the Book of Kildare was illuminated.  There is evidence that Brigid was a good friend of Saint Patrick's and that the Trias Thaumaturga claimed, "Between St. Patrick and Brigid, the pillars of the Irish people, there was so great a friendship of charity that they had but one heart and one mind. Through him and through her Christ performed many great works."  Sheesh.

https://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=453

Trias Thaumaturga
The Three Wonderworking Patrons of Ireland

(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yw8Zj6Th4qQ/UG1xzIwsY2I/AAAAAAAAAMU/oGGGpIEHIcI/s1600/saintpatrick00oleauoft_0006.jpg)
Source (http://triasthaumaturga.blogspot.com/)
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Gardener on July 13, 2019, 05:27:31 PM
I suspect that Vetus' point of this thread isn't to learn from Islam but to learn about Islam.

In doing so, one must put aside the Western notions of Islam and look at it from the Islamic perspective so that the reader does not learn about it incorrectly.

While we do not have anything to learn from Islam, being that any good it can be said to contain is demonstrably in the Christian Tradition literally almost a full 6 centuries prior to Mohammed, if we are to truly evangelize Muslims we should know what they actually believe. To do so is a service to them, and respectful of the position in which they find themselves.

But knowing what they believe, as beautiful as any good aspect to it may be, should not threaten any well catechized Catholic.

Islam is ultimately, and demonstrably, syncretic in its views, practices, etc. Very little is original to Mohammed, and what is seems to be evident by how utterly weird it is.

From the mosaic work to the adhan (call to prayer) and qira'at and its tajwid (manner in which the Quran is recited), even to the prayer postures, all is antecedent to Mohammed and at best, modified.

The Sufi wine poetry, which has secular and religious roots prior to Islam, is very much a situation of "deep calling to deep". All humans are created with a desire to "know, love, and serve God", and while they get the object wrong in many manners of understanding, their intention is correct.

It is from these things which are beautiful, aesthetically and philosophically, that one can begin to pull out the splinter of the muslim's misunderstanding. So much of this is problematic for the Western mind because of a cultural disparity. The occidental mind has no experiential knowledge of the harshness of the typical Arab environment. They don't understand the "feeling" of coming out of the hot sun into comparatively cooler buildings, like mosques, and having an hour of respite. In doing so, going from the blaring sun into shaded tranquility. From rock and sand into tile mosaics extolling the glories of Allah. From the incessant wind to the mournful/hopeful/devoted strains coming from the mouth of the Qari (the one who recites the Quran). It is their entire life.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Xavier on July 14, 2019, 03:08:08 AM
At least 2 of my Muslim friends I've spoken to have accepted Baptism and Jesus Christ, have become Catholic and entered the Church. Let me share their amazing stories, wondrous spiritual journeys, and life testimony for Jesus and Mary as we reflect on what helps our friends see the Light of Truth and by God's Grace and Christ's favour become Catholic Christians.

One of them, a good friend of mine, was a dear Muslim girl, now a Sister in Christ, named Siras Banu. I spoke to her gently many times about the love of Jesus. Because Muslims believe Jesus was the Virgin-Born Messiah and a Miracle-Working Prophet, Who even miraculously breathed life into a bird, in the way God had done into Adam in Eden of old (this story is found in some ancient Christian sources and was replicated in the Quran), one can often begin presenting the Gospel from that inciden. Now, Sacred Theology teaches us that only God can create life by breathing in the soul, as indeed early revelation accepted by Muslims shows, and as even natural reason can prove; and hence it must necessarily follow from this miracle which has found it's way into the Quran that Jesus must be God. So, a good way for sharing the Treasures of the Gospel and our holy Catholic Faith with our dear Muslim friends is to begin with the Person of Jesus. For although indeed at first they will say He was only a Prophet, and perhaps they will confess He was among the very greatest of the Miracle-Working Prophets that God ever sent for humanity's salvation; it is the task of the Apostle and Evangelist of Jesus Christ to lead from that relatively weak confession to the saving confession that He is the Son of God. As we see in Mat 16, the assertion that He was but One of the Prophets was not yet fully pleasing to Jesus; however the salutary confession that He, Jesus Christ, was the Son of God, so greatly pleased the Son of God that for it the Lord of Truth declared Simon Peter the Rock of His Church and His Vicar, and said this confession was the supernatural revelation of His Father, and a proof of supernatural grace in St. Peter; as St. Paul later would say no one can confess that Jesus is the Lord our God save only through the revelation of the Spirit of Truth; and St. John the Apostle teaches it is one of the criteria for a true prophet of the Lord that he confessed that Jesus Christ is the True God Who has come in the flesh.

I can't really recall speaking much to her about the person of Mohammed. My advice for all those who aspire and are called to be evangelists for Jesus Christ, is to speak as little about Mohammed as is reasonably possible. Nevertheless, I am very sure I never insulted Mohammed before her because, after all, for better or worse (worse, but still!),Muslims do highly respect Mohammed, as we know; that doesn't mean we try to deny the truth of what Mohammed did and was, but try to direct the conversation to Our Lord Jesus. The best evangelism is a person to person conversation in love, perhaps with Bible in hand for study, but mostly focused on discussion on the Person and Love of Our Lord Jesus.

The second approach to evangelizing Muslims I will illustrate with the second testimony of another former Muslim known to me, now Catholic, formerly called Maulvi Suleiman, now called Mario Joseph. And if those are the second and third most beautiful Names in existence after the Name of Our Lord Jesus, this second stratagem of love bears that most sublime and divinized Name: the Virgin Mary, the divine Mother of the Divine Lord. Maria, as we call Her in the Sacred Latin tongue, and Myriam, as She is called in the Arabic tongue and Quran - which devotes an entire chapter only to Her, the only Woman ever to be named in the Quran.

And, as Jesus is called the Word of God in the Quran, even bearing the Spirit from Him, which Mohammad appears not to have understood are Divine titles of the Divine Lord and proofs of His Divinity; so also the divine Mother Myriam is said, in the Quran, the Hadees and the Tafsirs to be (1) the holiest and greatest of all Women (2) to be and have ever been the ever-Virgin Mother of Jesus of Perpetual Virginity (3) and there are even distinct traces and faint echoes of the ancient revelation that this Mother and Son are alone without original sin! For, as the Hadiths explained it, perhaps crudely, Satan attacks every child near the time of its birth. But he could not do this and failed to do it for Jesus and Mary only.

Anyway, Suleman was born in a Muslim family, and he came to Our Lord Jesus through reading and being curious about Mary Immaculate! He is now Catholic and has led 100s of Muslims to Christ, by the Grace of God! He has also faced terrible, terrible persecution from his very own family, including some things almost too horrible to mention. So pardon me for going ahead to describe it, but it is necessary so we know what Islamism is: his own brother, the better to humiliate and shame him, tied him up, shaved his hair almost bald, and (he told me this with tears in his eyes, and I hugged him tightly, felt really bad for him and marveled at his courage as a Catholic Soldier of Jesus Christ) passed urine in his mouth. And they did many other things; they took a knife, and were planning either to kill him or at least to scare him into denying Jesus: but then the Lord Jesus, Who works miracles for His apostles who bear crosses for Him, intervened.

Mario told me only remembers just screaming the Holy Name, Jesus. The knife which was supposed to go into him, probably into his heart, incredibly turned back and pierced the brother wielding it, to the utter shock and confusion of the whole family who were planning to kill Suleiman! The brother was rushed to the hospital; it was not fatal, but only a divine Warning against daring to touch the Annointed of the Lord.

Mario Joseph was able to escape, the Lord delivering Him miraculously as He has delivered countless apostles in 20 centuries, for His Glory; and still lives giving testimony to His Name, especially telling Muslims of the love of Jesus. He forgave his family, prayed for their conversion, and some of them have become Christians. Our Lord still does things like this just as He did in Acts. What He asks of us, as He asked of Suleiman,  is we consider even the labours and tears of even 10,000 lifetimes to be too little and too less, if it is necessary to purchase the salvation of 1single soul, for love of whom Jesus Christ has shed every last drop of His Precious Blood.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Miriam_M on July 14, 2019, 03:38:32 AM
Vetus and Pon don't get out enough -- not among believing, practicing Catholics.  That's quite obvious.

Given almost twenty years spent in traditional Catholicism, and having met many good and faithful people during that time, I would have to disagree.  However, not wishing to argue what you are in no position to know about me from your vantage point of a stranger on the internet, I will concede the point.  But be of good cheer, Miriam: God wills it.  After all, God willed Vatican II.

When you say I am "in no position to know about" you from my vantage point, my vantage point, and the limits of that knowledge, are simply what your words patently reveal about how impressed you are with the supposed different, deeper, more beautiful, whatever message of Islam than that of the Traditional Catholic Church, not the modern Catholic Church.  And if you don't know my own position on the latter, my words are also patently clear over 6 years on this forum about the rotten fruits of that modernism, being born from Sloth, Pride, and Human Respect, and producing Sloth in abundance as a chief fruit of the Council.  If you think that God willed either the Council as it actually materialized, or its much later fruits, your belief is subject to error. All of that can be concluded from both public and that private revelation (Fatima, especially) which the hierarchy of Church, including recent popes, have spoken about. One could argue that it was not the original papal intent (JXXIII, Paul VI) that the Council proceed as it did, in steamroller fashion; there would be some basis of belief in that. (i.e., that the original intent was benign, restrained, and within Catholic Tradition --thus, loosely, "God's Will"-- but that neither pope was able to control the direction or consequences).

I have a lifetime of study with Religious and Priests within the Traditional Church, into which I was born (did not have to convert or try to piece together "against" what the modern Church professes or fails to profess).  It is a lot more than 20 years.  The very fact that you claim to have a credibly universal knowledge of all traditional Catholic parishes (as Vetus also implies he has), and that you would know (therefore) that there simply is nothing in the Church today resembling the acceptance of God's will which is ancient, medieval, and continuous Catholic spirituality -- evidenced by saints both ancient and some modern -- does demonstrate that you have not visited all the apostolates in the Western world nor all the parishes in the Western world.  All you can say is what you personally have seen. For sure you haven't visited my parish, and by visiting any parish is meant actually getting to know parishioners over a period of time.  When one does bother to get to know these parishioners deeply, one learns their spirituality and sees that they are committed to it.

I will estimate after many years at my own parish that easily (conservatively) 50% of our parishioners genuinely try to submit to the will of God and take sufferings in stride as God's will, as fully as possible -- using all the spiritual resources the Church makes available and has always made available for those who seek them.  Their chief aim is to submit to the will of God in all things -- family life, parish life, social life, work life. About a third of us parish regulars are in spiritual direction to help us maintain that resolve of abandonment to the Divine will, which is actually a pretty high figure. 

The traditional apostolates that serve the Latin Mass community -- actual apostolates now; I am not talking about priests ordained in the diocesan structure, able to say the TLM but not trained in Traditional seminaries -- are fully committed to the abandonment to God's will and to forming their parishioners in the same vein.  They build their own training out of the pattern of the monastic rule. The monastic rule and way of life has abandonment and self-emptying as its center. Muslims did not invent the monastic rule. Many of us who grew up with Tradition from the cradle are quite acquainted with this because we were taught by traditionalist Religious, who lived that very life. (Certain principles of the monastic life operate in active traditionalist orders as well as the contemplative orders.)

The idea that it has "vanished" has no basis in lived fact.  If you're expecting an extremely high figure of spiritual progress among all trads you meet (e.g., a majority of them spiritually committed), any priest would say you are being unrealistic and setting yourself up for disappointment.  Comparing my childhood as a trad with my adulthood as a trad, I can say that although commitment to traditional doctrine among practicing Catholics in my childhood (all of whom were trads) was nearly universal during that childhood, commitment to traditional spirituality was a smaller figure than I've seen today in trad parishes, which are much smaller as communities, of course, but contain higher percentages of those committed to the spirituality and to all of the discipline that entails.

Unrealistic expectations can be dangerous to the soul because they can easily lead to disillusionment. ("A majority is not ____; therefore, the movement has failed. Let's go look for another religion at the store.")

I doubt that either you or I knows from a distance the percentage of spiritually committed Muslims to the percentage of those who were no more rigorous about the faith than many Catholics I encountered in my childhood and early adolescence, and for that reason perception (watching a YouTube video) is prone to distortion as to whether that ideal represents a tiny number of practitioners or a majority of them.  Investigating another religion from the outside is fraught with a tendency to romanticize and idealize what it is quite easy to be impressed with.  If a non-Catholic reads sermons and books of the Catholic saints, expecting such lives and ideas to represent a majority of Catholic laypeople, one is going to be in for a very big surprise.

I have mentioned at least twice on this board my familiarity with Sufis.  What I didn't say is that the Sufis I met (small sample of them -- maybe 30-40) seemed to be 100% spiritually committed, and I've mentioned on the forum also that I felt very comfortable with them and as if I had a lot in common with them.  Well, you can't get higher than 100% !   And Sufis are represented variously throughout Islam.  But overall, their commitment level may match the commitment level of only 10% of all Muslims, or it may represent 40-60%.  Let's say that it's much more -- that 80% of all Muslims are working rigorously toward abandonment of their wills to "Allah" and that "therefore" Islam is "superior" to Catholicism -- that is, it is supposedly more persuasive and succeeds in higher numbers of committed followers than does traditional (not modern) Catholicism.

Again, an analogy would be a non-Catholic meeting all the members of a traditional Catholic community of women or men, observing their holiness and joy, and assuming that such a segment is a representative mirror of traditional Catholicism.  Of course it isn't, anymore that some YouTube scholar or Imam represents the majority of Muslims.

If that's the comparative reasoning, that's a shaky reason to have such a high regard for a religion.  After all, evangelical Protestantism, in the last 70 years, has proven itself to have done a better sales job than has Catholicism.  Far more numbers among evangelicals, and many of those are fall-offs from Catholicism, especially in Latin America.

So?

Trads should seriously look at evangelical Protestantism, too, and "see what it has to offer?"  Here's a better concept:  trads easily disillusioned might actually engage a well-trained traditionalist priest to direct them in a systematic way to reading about the rigors of the spiritual life, from the Doctors of the early Church to Saints of the 19th century who walked the walked of self-denial, founded monasteries and orders, and evangelized their brains out regarding the purity of the faith.  Unfortunately, there is a ton of misguided independence among a large segment of the traditionalist movement, which thinks it can self-teach by reading random books about the faith.  That piecemeal method has never been recommended by any trad priest I have ever known -- in childhood or in adulthood. It doesn't produce an integrated sense of the doctrine + the liturgy + the spirituality, so Catholicism is not sufficiently understood as an organic whole.  And it leaves out, as we can see in these threads, a deep knowledge of the rich spiritual history of the Church which those who actually know what Tradition is (I'm speaking especially of certain priests) are so familiar with that the idea of "learning about abandonment to God's will" from Islam would be preposterous and laughable.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 14, 2019, 08:41:06 AM
St. Brigid of Ireland was not the Celtic goddess Brigid.

Yes, and I wasn't clear on that.  When I said the goddess was demoted to a saint, I meant that the worship of her was suppressed, but that many of her attributes were found in the stories of the saint, so that there was a transference from the one to the other.  It is difficult to see the communion of saints (and the intercession of the saints) as something other than a transferal of the pagan pantheons, especially in that so many of the feast days coincide with the ancient holidays.  Praying to the saints for certain causes replaced the practice of praying to the old gods.  I was just using it as example of how the Semitism had to be diluted.

But I don't mean to say that all hagiographies are based on non-existent people (though a few possibly were).  Most were actual saints who simply accrued certain pagan associations posthumously.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 14, 2019, 08:42:59 AM
Here's a better concept:  trads easily disillusioned might actually engage a well-trained traditionalist priest to direct them in a systematic way to reading about the rigors of the spiritual life, from the Doctors of the early Church to Saints of the 19th century who walked the walked of self-denial, founded monasteries and orders, and evangelized their brains out regarding the purity of the faith.  Unfortunately, there is a ton of misguided independence among a large segment of the traditionalist movement, which thinks it can self-teach by reading random books about the faith.  That piecemeal method has never been recommended by any trad priest I have ever known -- in childhood or in adulthood. It doesn't produce an integrated sense of the doctrine + the liturgy + the spirituality, so Catholicism is not sufficiently understood as an organic whole.  And it leaves out, as we can see in these threads, a deep knowledge of the rich spiritual history of the Church which those who actually know what Tradition is (I'm speaking especially of certain priests) are so familiar with that the idea of "learning about abandonment to God's will" from Islam would be preposterous and laughable.

Okay, but I never suggested traditional Catholics should learn about surrendering to God's will from Muslims.  The video is relevant because according to the speaker, many Muslims these days are lacking in rida, and he sees this as the cause of much anxiety and anger among them.  He sees rida as something that ought to be more widely understood and appreciated among his brethren, so that Islamic communities might be better-poised to welcome inquirers from other religions if Muslims are contented rather than cranky.

No one here has said that Catholicism does not teach an abandonment to God's providence.  Certainly it does.  And Catholics should surely learn about surrender to God's will from their own tradition, where it is ample.  I would only suggest that the sheikh's concerns mirror a similar trend in traditional Catholicism, where (in my experience) there is also a fair amount of anxiety and anger, and where the sense of contentment can often seem missing.  Let it be known: I'm not saying that all traditional Catholics are anxious and angry all the time, or lacking in holiness.  Many of them are kind and pious people—but at the same time, I think there is a quality of peevishness which permeates the scene, directed at the hierarchy, and this can distract them.  It's more Martha than Mary.  It seemed to be at its most pronounced in both ecclesial politics and secular politics.  We can say things like, "well, in my experience, that's not the case, very few are anxious and angry, and virtually all of us are contented," but then we are committing the anecdotal fallacy, where our own experience is mistaken for fact.  Conversely, I won't claim my own experience for fact.

So maybe instead of comparing parishes, we can look at a more objective set and see whether, when they write things on the internet, traditional Catholics express a serene contentment with God's will in all things (seeing Vatican II and Pope Francis as the will of God).  Or whether there is a "Fox News" quality of perpetual complaining and casual outrage.  Of course, it's also possible that the cranky ones are disproportionate on the internet, and that the holy ones are more likely to be unplugged.  There's really no way to get an accurate sampling.


Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 14, 2019, 09:09:09 AM
Islam is surely Semitic in spirit. One cannot fail to feel the dry wind of the desert and the beauty of Arabic chant when listening to the Koran. But its philosophy is perhaps more adaptable than what you may initially think. Look at Zaytuna College in California, for instance. It presents a successful blend of traditional Islamic thought with Western scholarship. In a sense, these are serious attempts to create an indigenous Western Islam.

I forgot to respond to this earlier.  It's true that Islamic theologians, during that religion's Golden Age, assimilated Greek philosophy into their program.  It is sometimes said that Aristotle was returned to the West via a Muslim (Avicenna).  But it didn't seem to have the same effect on Islam.  Islam's Semitic-to-Hellenistic ratio is far greater than Christianity's.  Here is something I agree with Kreuzritter on:

Or: when Aristotelianism became quasi-dogma and a source of truth practically placed above revelation by being the lense through which it is interpreted and language wherein it is expressed. And lest one think I exaggerate, remember the Summa upon the altar next to the Bible at Trent. Seriously, is nobody else even a little disturbed by that image?

If Thomism is so formidable, why did it fail to successfully combat and hold back the Cartesian revolution, the Enlightenment, and Modernism? Maybe because its rationalistic spirit actually set the stage for these?

The Enlightenment, in this sense, can be seen as Greek philosophy's revenge on Christianity.  (Perhaps Tertullian was correct: "what hath Jerusalem to do with Athens?  What concord hath Christ with Belial?")  But why do you suppose the influence of Aristotle didn't equally corrupt Islam?  Was its portion within Islamic thought quashed by the imams, whereas in Catholicism the Summa was enthroned next to the bible on the high altar?


Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on July 14, 2019, 03:39:24 PM
I forgot to respond to this earlier.  It's true that Islamic theologians, during that religion's Golden Age, assimilated Greek philosophy into their program.  It is sometimes said that Aristotle was returned to the West via a Muslim (Avicenna). But it didn't seem to have the same effect on Islam. Islam's Semitic-to-Hellenistic ratio is far greater than Christianity's.

That's true.

Hellenic philosophy did not have the same influence in Islamic thought as it had in Christianity. While you had famous Neoplanonists like Avicenna and Aristotelians like Averroes, the dominant schools of kalam of Ash'ari and Maturidi thought prevailed to this day in shaping Sunni Orthodox thought. Nevertheless, Islam is not impervious to external influences and, despite its unmistakable Semitic quality, has shown a remarkable degree of adaptation to different cultural settings. You just have to look at the amazing conversion and absorption of Persian civilization, for instance, by the creed of Muhammad in a very short period of time with profound and lasting effects, a civilization that to that day (7th century) remained unconquered and unswayed in any significant extent by Orthodox Christianity. Persians, in turn, also shaped Islam and produced a vast array of brilliant scholars. So there's a blend of Semitic and Aryan ethos at the heart of Classical Islamic theology and culture. Or, conversely, you can consider how successful Islam was in penetrating and adapting to the Far Eastern spirit of Indochina and Indonesia.

The Enlightenment, in this sense, can be seen as Greek philosophy's revenge on Christianity.  (Perhaps Tertullian was correct: "what hath Jerusalem to do with Athens?  What concord hath Christ with Belial?")  But why do you suppose the influence of Aristotle didn't equally corrupt Islam? Was its portion within Islamic thought quashed by the imams, whereas in Catholicism the Summa was enthroned next to the bible on the high altar?

Certainly, Aristotle did not rise to any comparable height in Islam as it rose in Western Christianity. Simply put, Islamic theology seems to have had little need or even the space for rationalism that we have had in Catholicism. However, you do see some influence of it in Asha'rites famous doctrine of occasionalism, for instance, which is in itself a reaction against Neoplatonism. For all its merits, Scholastic philosophy falls short in may respects, as does any human philosophy. The enthronement of scholasticism after Aquinas was understandable at the time but, in the long run, also unfortunate. It is telling, as you and Kreuzritter have already rightly pointed out, that it could not counter the onslaught of Enlightenment thought. When you dogmatically rationalize mysteries such as the Eucharist in Aristotelian metaphysics, ending up having to affirm an object without substance (bread) and a body without accidents that is really present in substance but not locally in the species, you run into unfathomable riddles that strain credulity and do more harm than good, in my view. Some infamous proponents of the Nouvelle Théologie, like Congar, Rahner and De Lubac, tried to address this limitation and to give Catholic theology a new impetus but without much success, given the chaotic aftermath of Vatican II.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 14, 2019, 06:20:07 PM
Gracias.  My mistake, though: it was Averroes, then, and not Avicenna, from whom the Scholastics received the Trojan horse of Aristotle.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on July 16, 2019, 03:51:17 PM
Another interesting read, directly related to the topic at hand.

Islam and Tradition: Evola’s Thoughts on Islam

In Kali-Yuga (https://kali-yuga.org/islam-and-tradition-evolas-thoughts-on-islam/).

While he examined various traditions around the world, both occidental and oriental, Julius Evola also had things to say on the tradition of Islam that is predominant in areas between those two regions. In his valuable article Islam in the Eyes of Julius Evola, the Italian Muslim Claudio Mutti pays homage to his ideological father in regards to the latter’s views on Islam. Among the aspects he points to in Evola’s work is “a direct connection of this tradition to the Primordial tradition itself, such that Islam is independent from both Judaism and Christianity, religions whose characteristic themes he rejects (original sin, redemption, sacerdotal meditation, etc.).”

This conclusion is essential, for it demonstrates the lengths to which Evola not only rejected those who want to separate Islam from the Primordial tradition as something “foreign,” but even that he regarded it as superior in certain aspects to other traditions. So from the outset we must not make the mistake of viewing Islam as a distinct culture, but rather as a filter of cultures that inevitably takes on the vibrant coloring of the people who accept it without detracting any from the message. With this brief but important backdrop to the Islamic tradition, let us now examine how Evola viewed different aspects of Islam.

Islam as Tradition

Evola characterized Islam as “a tradition at a higher level than both Judaism and the religious beliefs that conquered the West.” Despite Islam as a message based on the Qur’an and the sunna, or way, of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) being a relatively recent phenomenon, Evola clearly includes it as a manifestation of Tradition. Islam as an expression of the primordial din al-fitra, or natural way of disposition, is a reality expressed throughout the Qur’an. It recognizes the spiritual foundations of humanity as one, with the various traditions of the world being local expressions of a common primordial origin. “Mankind! We created you from a male and female, and made you into peoples and tribes so that you might come to know each other.” The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is regarded by Muslims as last in a line of 124,000 prophets, each sent to a distinct nation and tribe. “Every nation has a Messenger and when their Messenger comes everything is decided between them justly. They are not wronged.” Whereas their messages differed according to time and place, the core message remained the worship of the One God as the basis of human endeavors. Muhammad (peace be upon him) was not only the last prophet, but also the one whose scope was universal such that the Qur’an identifies him as being sent “as a mercy to all the worlds.”

There are a number of aspects Evola identifies as part of Islam’s primordial links to Tradition. “Although Islam considers itself the ‘religion of Abraham,’ even to the point of attributing to him the foundation of the Kaaba (in which we find again the theme of the ‘stone,’ or the symbol of the ‘center’), it is nevertheless true that (a) it claimed independence from both Judaism and Christianity; (b) the Kaaba, with its symbolism of the center, is a pre-Islamic location and has even older origins that cannot be dated accurately; (c) in the esoteric Islamic tradition, the main reference point is al-Khadir [Khidr], a popular figure conceived as superior to and predating the biblical prophets (Koran 18:59-81).” Indeed, a popular tradition identifies the foundations of the Ka’aba being raised by Adam. There is also interesting evidence to consider of the holy city of Makka being described in the Bible, thus linking the final relevation to those of the earlier Biblical prophets. As for what Evola terms “symbolism of the center,” then this is interesting to compare with the legend of the Grail as the Scottish Sufi master, Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi (Ian Dallas) writes:

“….as the occidental world, unsatisfied spiritually, reached out past Rome and Pope to find its source of healing in the tomb of the redeemer at Jerusalem, as, unsatisfied even there, it cast its yearning gaze, half spiritual, half physical, still further towards the East to find the primal shrine of mankind, so the Grail was said to have been withdrawn from our cynical West to the pure chaste unattainable birthplace of all nations. And so, the Grail was nothing other than the Black Stone of the Ka’aba, the central shrine of the world’s largest religion, purified judaeo-christianity, Islam. Makkah is named in the Qur’an as the Mother of Cities, and thus the ‘birthplace of all nations’ and the Ka’aba is named the ‘primal shrine of all mankind.’ Embedded in one corner of the Ka’aba stands the Black Stone which every Muslim raises his lips to and kisses when he arrives dusty and exhausted as a pilgrim, kisses as if quenching his thirst.”

The Holy Grail can thus be viewed as a metaphor for the spiritual quest, which in Europe extends back to pre-Christian Indo-European and other indigenous traditions. It is certainly no coincidence that Celtic, Germanic and Iberian tribes tended to adopt the gnostic and unitarian expressions of Christianity which can be traced back to remnants of the Primordial Tradition. “According to the pure doctrine of the huda, or ancient guidance that has adhered from the time of our father, Sayyidina Adam, peace be upon him, gnosis lies in the hands of the Prophet of the time….For six hundred years [before the appearance of the Prophet Muhammad] there was a living christian gnostic tradition.” Sufism is the carrier of the primordial spiritual wisdom, as bounded within the final message of that Tradition which is Islam. The inner wisdom was transmitted by the prophets to gnostic communities, and with the end of the line of prophethood this is now transferred to the spiritual pole of the age, or the qutb. The legend of Khidr can be seen here in a similar light as the “Green Man” who transmitted wisdom to seekers in medieval Europe. As we will see later, Islam and specifically Sufism played an important role in shaping European chivalry.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) called others to the worship of the One God, in other words to recapture the primordial Covenant of Alast. Towards this end he also sent out letters to leaders, including the Byzantine emperor Heraclius. Although he refrained from accepting Islam, deep within his heart Heraclius felt drawn towards it and kept the letter in a golden casket that was passed down and gave rise to a legend that as long as the letter remained, so too would the kingdom. One Islamic scholar has identified this letter with the Holy Grail.

Doctrines

Evola then moves to the spiritual doctrines of Islam, the highest pillar of which is to testify that there is only one God to be worshipped, without associating any partners to Him. Islam is distinct from all other faiths in how absolute it is in its doctrine of Divine Unity, or tawhid:

“Islam also not only rejected the idea of a Redeemer or Savior, which is so central in Christianity, but also the mediation of a priestly caste. By conceiving of the Divine in terms of an absolute and pure monotheism, without a ‘Son,’ a ‘Father,’ or a ‘Mother of God,’ every person as a Muslim appears to respond directly to God and to be sanctified through the Law, which permeates and organizes life in a radically unitary way in all of its juridical, religious, and social ramifications.”

As we shall see, Evola also admires Islam for its action and it is exactly this reality that distinguishes tawhid from monotheism. “Tawhid is not monotheism, it is not a metaphysical principle. Allah is beyond what is attributed to Him, therefore beyond logos. Allah is not a mono-theos, nor poli-theos, or tri-theos, or a-theos. Allah is not theo-logical or onto-logical. Allah is neither a theory nor a principle. Allah is not contained by definition.” Islam is not a “religion” that is confined to the realm of ideas and principles, but rather a din or a higher wisdom that is organic in every sense of the word. It is a life transaction between an individual and their Lord, the simplicity of which serves as its greatest strength. It certainly appealed to the French anarchist Gustave-Henri Jossot, who converted to Islam and became a student of the Algerian Sufi master Shaykh Ahmad al-Alawi, as “the most rational religion in the world” because it had “no mysteries, no dogmas, no priests, almost no ceremonies.”

The Tradition of Scholar-Warriors

“As in the case of priestly Judaism, the center in Islam also consisted of the Law and Tradition, regarded as a formative force, to which the Arab stocks of the origins provided a purer and nobler human material that was shaped by a warrior spirit.” One distinguishing feature of Islam is the access given to the Law, or Shari’a, such that every sincere seeker has the potential within themselves to become scholars of their own right. This is indeed the primary task of Sufism, which is to equip the seekers with the means to triumph over their own ego and through this against their external enemies. This is why the Sufi shaykhs have always been at the forefront of the struggle against temporal enemies as surely as they provided the wisdom necessary for the seekers to defeat their inner spiritual enemies:

“Such men as the Naqshbandi sheikh Shamil al-Daghestani, who fought a prolonged war against the Russians in the Caucasus in the nineteenth century; Sayyid Muhammad ‘Abdullah al-Somali, a sheikh of the Salihiyya order who led Muslims against the British and Italians in Somalia from 1899 to 1920; the Qadiri sheikh ‘Uthman ibn Fodi, who led jihad in Northern Nigeria from 1804 to 1808 to establish Islamic rule; the Qadiri sheikh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jaza’iri, who led the Algerians against the French from 1832 to 1847; the Darqawi faqir al-Hajj Muhammad al-Ahrash, who fought the French in Egypt in 1799; the Tijani sheikh al-Hajj ‘Umar Tal, who led Islamic Jihad in Guinea, Senegal, and Mali from 1852 to 1864; and the Qadiri sheikh Ma’ al-‘Aynayn al-Qalqami, who helped marshal Muslim resistance to the French in northern Mauritania and southern Morocco from 1905 to 1909.
 
Among the Sufis whose missionary work Islamized entire regions are such men as the founder of the Sanusiyya order, Muhammad ‘Ali Sanusi, whose efforts and jihad from 1807 to 1859 consolidated Islam as the religion of peoples from the Libyan Desert to sub-Saharan Africa; [and] the Shadhili sheikh Muhammad Ma‘ruf and Qadiri sheikh Uways al-Barawi, whose efforts spread Islam westward and inland from the East African Coast.”


Although it is a complex matter whose essence has been distorted by Islamophobes and extremist Wahhabis alike, we must also caution against those modernists who subvert Islam and seek to “pacify” it in service of their Zionist and Globalist masters, in order to accomodate it to the global banking system. But as a corollary to this, they also deny the spiritual struggle as this primordial wisdom is contrary to any consumerist vision they support. As Evola writes,

“Islam presents a traditional completeness, since the shariah and the sunna, that is, the exoteric law and tradition, have their complement not in vague mysticism, but in full-fledged initiatory organizations (turuq) that are categorized by an esoteric teaching (tawil) and by the metaphysical doctrine of the Supreme Identity (tawhid).”

It is no accident that these same modernists are generally the same individuals who seek to distort the Sufi Path as not being bounded within orthodox Islam. There is indeed some parallel between Wahhabis and Orientalists who seek to deny that Sufism is founded upon the Prophetic Sunna and the Islamic Shari’a. Sufism is the fulfillment of tawhid, to purify one’s lower self or ego and to elevate the soul to attain true gnosis, or ma’rifa in the Islamic tradition. The four stages of understanding within Sufism are the (1) Shari’a, the Law which is the foundation for the next three stages and provides guidance within this world; (2) Tariqa, the inner practices as instructed by a Shaykh with a true path of initiation; (3) Haqiqa, the inner meaning of the practices and guidance found within the Shari’a and Tariqa; and (4) Ma’rifa, the highest stage or gnosis which is superior wisdom or knowledge of spiritual truth. It is a deeper level of knowing beyond haqiqa and is the highest stage of Reality attained by few although each have the potential.

The great Sufi Imam Junayd of Baghdad, who has truly defined the essence of Sufism to an extent that even modern seekers describe themselves as following the path of Junayd, said: “Surely all the paths (turuq) are choked off by the creation except those following the footsteps of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, those following his Sunna and his Tariqa.” One later Sufi who treaded this path of a scholar-warrior, or what Evola would admire as the “asceticism of action,” was the Shehu Uthman dan Fodio of West Africa. He defined the scholar-warrior as the one who lived in simplicity and among the people, like all true zahids (people of asceticism) and awliya (friends of Allah). They walked the path and actually lived the Qur’an through their actions.

Umma as a Race of the Spirit

“It is precisely through the holy war, and not through preaching or missionary endeavor, that Islam came to enjoy a sudden, prodigious expansion, originating the empire of the Caliphs as well as forging a unity typical of a race of the spirit, namely, the umma or ‘Islamic nation’.” This spiritual nation called the Umma is, in every sense of the word, the fullest expression of the race of the spirit as it is founded on the Idea that is superior to and transcends the blood: “The Idea, only the Idea must be our true homeland. It is not being born in the same country, speaking the same language or belonging to the same racial stock that matters; rather, sharing the same Idea must be the factor that unites us and differentiates us from everybody else.” As Claudio Mutti said about the Islamic stance on race:

“Islam affirms in a radical way the prominence of the spiritual factor over the biological; but that does not mean that Islam does not recognize the racial differences at all and does not hold it in account. The Islamic doctrine relative to this argument is expressed synthetically in the following Qur’anic verse: ‘Among his signs are the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the differences of your languages and colors’ (XXX, 22). Islam therefore considers ‘languages and colors’, that is, the factors of cultural and racial identity, as ‘divine signs’.”

The Islamic Roots of Medieval Chivalry

In his work, The Mystery of the Grail, Evola describes parallels between Sufis and Gnostic communities that survived in Europe into the medieval times. He identified the legend of the Grail with the Ghibelline tradition, as represented by Friedrich II der Hohenstauffen, who built a pan-European imperium and refused Crusades against Muslims and the Cathars in opposition to the Papacy. He then makes reference to the Knights Templars:

“Moreover, the Templars were charged with keeping secret liaisons with Muslims and being closer to the Islamic faith than to the Christian one. This last charge is probably best understood by remembering that Islam too is characterised by the rejection of Christ worship. The “’secret liaisons’ allude to a perspective that is less sectarian, more universal, and thus more esoteric than that of militant Christianity. The Crusades, in which the Templars and in general the Ghibelline chivalry played a fundamental role, in many respects created a supra-traditional bridge West and East. The crusading knighthood ended up confronting a facsimile of itself, namely, warriors who abided by corresponding ethics, chivalrous customs, ideals of a ‘holy war,’ and initiatory currents’.”

Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi described how these knights were devoted to honor, valor, and victory. The Crusades were partly an effort by the Church to break the chivalry code, but interaction with the Middle East intensified it. This took the form of efforts to break the knights’ tournament. In the ninth canon of the Council of Clermont in 1130, Pope Innocent II condemned the tournament and commanded knights killed in them not be given Christian burials. But the effort was largely unsuccessful and Pope John XXII reluctantly lifted the ban in 1316. Chivalry, or what Evola would undoubtedly identify as the struggle between the Ghibelline Hohenstauffens and the Papacy, was also symbolized in treatment of women:

“The final element of the new chivalric religion, having replaced a celibate and misogynist priesthood with a new elite brotherhood of warriors, was to introduce the honour due to women. Women were pure by nature and not, as the priests claimed, corrupted vessels of the flesh pulling men down to punishment and death. Part of chivalry was not only the respect due to good women but also the task of protecting them from slander and danger.”

Thus, the medieval Christian “knightly attitude towards women is Islamic in origin.” In his book on the history of medieval literature, the early nineteenth century French-Swiss historian Jean Charles de Sismondi described how Arabic literature and specifically that written by Sufis, was the source for “that tenderness and delicacy of sentiment and that reverential awe of women….which have operated so powerfully on our chivalrous feelings.” Chivalry manifested within the Indo-European traditions, but experienced decline over the centuries. Just as the Muslims preserved and transmitted ancient texts back to the Europeans, so too was it revived by the Muslims and passed back to the Europeans. “Between the seventh and twelfth centuries it was known among the Arabs, who became the instruments of the revival, in the medieval West, of the older legacy of the pre-Christian wisdom tradition.”

Love Is Divine

Islam does not hold “the idea of sexuality as something blameworthy and obscene,” to the extent that the Spanish Sufi Shaykh al-Akbar (Great Shaykh) Ibn al-Arabi “goes so far as to speak of a contemplation of God in woman, of a ritualisation of the sexual orgasm in conformity with metaphysical and theological values.” In The Metaphysics of Sex, Evola describes the important role that Love plays in the Sufi Islamic tradition. Ibn al-Arabi says in Fusus al-Hikam that “the dissolution through woman” is the symbol of extinction in Divinity. In applying the masculine symbolism to the seeker’s soul, “divinity is considered as a woman: she is not the ‘celestial bride’, but the ‘Beloved’ or the ‘Lover’. That is, for instance, the case in Attar, Ibn Farid, Gelaleddin el-Rumi, etc.” Evola admires the idea of love as a “force that kills” the individual self or ego. He then quotes the Persian Sufi Shaykh and poet Jalal ad-Din Rumi, “He who knows the power of the dance of life does not fear death, because he knows that love kills,” as representing “the key to the practices of a chain or school of Islamic mysticism that has been transmitted for centuries and which considers Jalal ad-Din Rumi as its master.” Evola concludes about divine love:

“In this Sufistic theology of love, one must see the amplification and the elevation to a more lucid conscience of the ritual world with which man from that civilisation has more or less distinctly assumed and experienced conjugal relationships in general, starting from the sanctification which the Qur’anic Law confers to the sexual act in not only a monogamist, but also polygamist structure. Whence derives the special meaning which procreation can acquire, understood precisely as the administration of the prolongation of the divine creating force existing within man.”

Imam Ali: A Perfect Example of Chivalry

The Sufis have a culture of chivalry (futuwwa) and courtesy (adab) consciously woven into nearly every aspect of their lives. The key to Islamic chivalry and good manners is to struggle against the ego. “Our master, may Allah be pleased with him, said, ‘The truly sincere faqir [impoverished one] is the one who is such that his enemy cannot find a way to injure him. This is his sign since his only constant occupation is his Beloved. His occupation with his Beloved veils him from his enemy. The Lover and the enemy are never joined’.” The Islamic Guilds were based upon futuwwa, and out of this futuwwa grew the tariqas or the orders of Sufism. Many of these guilds were founded by the Caliph An-Nasir and modelled after the character of Imam Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who served as the fourth caliph. The descendants of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) through his daughter Fatima and her husband Ali, are called the Ahl al-Bait (people of the Household) and hold a special place within Islam. In addition to his prophethood (nubuwwa) and receiving revelation (wahy), the Prophet (peace be upon him) also possessed the spiritual guidance and initiation (walaya) which he transferred to his Household. This is why the spiritual lineage, or silsila, of nearly all the major Sufi tariqas are transmitted from the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) through Ali and the Household. The earliest Sufi ascetics surrounded themselves with the company of the Household. This is what Evola would consider a true chain of orthodox initiation. Within the Islamic tradition, what Evola called the “divine kingship” was manifested in the khilafa (caliphate), which was the political leadership. However, there was a second which was the wilaya (spiritual leadership) that manifested within the character of the Prophetic Household. The manifest caliphs coexisted with the hidden caliphate of Ahl al-Bait, that was a spiritual position designed to transmit the spiritual wisdom down to succeeding generations of seekers.

The perfect combination of physical heroism on the battlefield with a sanctity wholly detached from the worldly life, was personified in the character of Imam Ali. The Qur’anic verse, “You did not kill them; it was Allah who killed them; and you did not throw, when you threw; it was Allah who threw”, was revealed during a battle when the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) threw a handful of dust towards the enemy. Rumi also explains it as an inner reality that all actions derive from Allah; actions are “good” only if one is conscious of this reality, and one is effaced in this consciousness. This is similar to a verse from the Bhagavad-Gita: “Who thinks that he can be a slayer, who thinks that he is slain, both these have no (right) knowledge: He slays not, is not slain.” Rumi devotes a poem in his Mathnawi to Imam Ali:

“He said, ‘I am wielding the sword for Allah’s sake, I am the servant of Allah, I am not under the command of the body.

“I am the Lion of Allah, I am not the lion of my passion: my deed bears witness to my religion.

“I have removed the baggage of self out of the way, I have deemed (what is) other than God to be non-existence.”


These lines allude to an incident one day when Imam Ali was in battle and his opponent’s sword broke. The man fell and Ali stood above him, holding his sword to the man’s neck but refusing to kill him, despite the opponent’s personal insults. Ali then told him: “I am not your enemy. The real enemies are the evil qualities within us. You are my brother, yet you spit in my face. When you spat upon me, I became angry, and the arrogance of that came to me. If I had killed you when I was in that state, then I would be a sinner, a murderer. I would have become the very thing I was fighting against. That crime would be recorded against my name, and I would have to answer for it later, when Allah questions me. That is why I cannot slay you.”

Imam Ali described the battle that is waged in the soul: The intellect is the leader of the forces of ar-Rahman (the Compassionate); al-hawa (whim, caprice, desire) commands the forces of ash-shaytan (the devil); the soul itself is between them, undergoing the attraction of both (mutajadhiba baynahuma). The soul “enters into the domain of which ever of the two will triumph.”

The Greater Jihad

In another section of Revolt Against the Modern World, Evola discusses the hadith (narration from the Prophet), “Raja’na min al-jihad al-asghar ila-l jihad al-akbar” (“You have returned from the lesser struggle to the greater struggle”). While the chain of narrators (isnad) for this hadith has been considered by classical Islamic scholars as being inauthentic, the essence of its meaning is confirmed in several verses from the Qur’an, as well as several sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that scholars of hadith have classified as authentic: “The mujahid is he who makes jihad against his nafs (ego) for the sake of obeying Allah.” “The strong one is not the one who overcomes people, the strong one is he who overcomes his nafs [ego].”

It is the inner warfare that distinguishes the true “warriors of the spirit” form the mass of ordinary believers. The Qur’an describes the companions of the right (ashab al-yamin) and the foremost (as-sabiqun). The spirituality of jihad, which is conducted within an established framework, is not synonymous with the modern nihilistic ideology of Jihadism, exactly because in Islam the ends do not justify the means: “The true warrior of Islam smites the neck of his own anger with the sword of forbearance; the false warrior strikes at the neck of his enemy with the sword of his own unbridled ego. For the first, the spirit of Islam determines jihad; for the second, bitter anger, masquerading as jihad, determines Islam. The contrast between the two could hardly be clearer.” For Evola, this greater and lesser jihad “represents the general conception that the world of Tradition attributes to the warrior experience, and, generally speaking, to action as a path to realisation.” As Evola writes in Revolt Against the Modern World:

“The relationship between the ‘greater’ and the ‘lesser holy war,’ however, mirrors the relationship between the soul and the body; in order to understand the heroic asceticism or ‘path of action,’ it is necessary to recognize the situation in which the two paths merge, ‘the lesser holy war’ becoming the means through which ‘a greater holy war’ is carried out, and vice versa: the ‘little holy war,’ or the external one, becomes almost a ritual action that expresses and gives witness to the reality of the first. Originally, orthodox Islam conceived a unitary form of asceticism: that which is connected to the jihad or ‘holy war’.

“The ‘greater holy war’ is man’s struggle against the enemies he carries within. More exactly, it is the struggle of man’s higher principle against everything that is merely human in him, against his inferior nature and against chaotic impulses and all sorts of material attachments.”


This inner struggle is the animalistic instinct, the disorganized multiplicity of impulses, the limitations imposed on us by a fictitious self, and thus also including fear, wickedness, and uncertainty. Subduing the internal enemy is the only way to achieve inner liberation or the rebirth in a state of deeper inner unity and “peace” in the triumphal sense of the world. In the midst of external jihad, the inner enemy emerges and puts up a fierce resistance through these instincts; it is the task of the true warrior to overcome these instincts before entering the battlefield if he hopes to triumph over his enemies. The intention (niya) is what preserves the sacred character and heroism of jihad.

Parallels with the Indo-European Tradition

Just as with the role of Islamic mysticism in transmitting ancient Indo-European chivalry, so too did Evola see in jihad a “late rebirth of a primordial Aryan heritage,” such that “the Islamic tradition serves here as the transmitter of the Aryo-Iranian tradition.” There is mention of this reality of the inner struggle in the verses of the Bhagavad-Gita: “Know Him therefore who is above reason; and let his peace give thee peace. Be a warrior and kill desire, the powerful enemy of the soul”(Bhagavad-Gita, 3:43). Throughout the Qur’an, the verses about striking against the enemies and maintaining the upper hand are presupposed on the verses about sacrificing the illusions of this worldly life for the truth of the struggle. The Hereafter is regarded as the ultimate destination, and those who fall in battle are promised heavenly rewards so long as their intention was pure and they fought within the balance and justice of Shari’a.

There is a parallel here to a saying from the Bible, “Whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 16:25). Similar to the saying of the Qur’an that those who are slain are alive in Paradise, is a saying from Plato’s The Republic: “And of those who are slain in the field, we shall say that all who fell with honor are of that golden race, who when they die, according to Hesiod, ‘Dwell here on earth, pure spirits, beneficent, Guardians to shield us mortal men from harm.” Throughout Indo-European traditions can be found this view that the slain warrior becomes immortal. Evola draws parallel between the Islamic view of the martyr (shahid) with the mors triumphalis of the Roman tradition.

Distinguishing Features of Islamic Mysticism

Comparing Christian and Islamic mysticism, Evola notes that what lacks among Christian ascetics is going further than the vows of silence, “the practice of the most interiorised degree of this discipline, that does not only consist of putting an end to the spoken word, but also to thought (Ibn ‘Arabi’s notion of ‘not speaking with oneself’).” He compares the practice of Sufi dhikr (remembrance of Allah) with the Hindu mantra and the repetition of sacred names practiced in the Hesychasm of some of the Orthodox Christian and Eastern Catholic churches. Evola describes these doctrines as “recognizing in man the condition in which the Absolute becomes conscious of itself, and that professes the doctrine of Supreme Identity,” so that Islam constitutes “a clear and eloquent example of a system that, although including a strictly theistic domain, recognizes a higher truth and path of realization, the emotional and devotional elements, love and all the rest losing here….every ‘moral’ signification, and every intrinsic value, acquiring only that of a technique among others.” Within Sufism, “the word qutb, ‘pole’, does not only designate the sovereign, but, more generally, he who dictates the law and is the head of tradition of a given historical period.” The Sufi masters such as Ibn al-Arabi, illustrate “the inversion of roles in relation to the state where, duality having been created, the divine image incarnating the superior I become to the mystic like a different being.”

The objective of the Sufi is to be continuously in a state of change, of waging the struggle against the lower self or the ego, and to continuously strive towards elevating the soul towards higher levels seeking the Divine Presence: “It is interesting to note that in Islamic esoterism there is a specific term to indicate that change: shath, which literally means ‘exchange of parts’ and expresses the level at which the mystic absorbs the divine image, feels it as himself and feels himself, instead, as something else, and speaks as a function of that image. There are, in fact, in Islam, certain ‘sure signs’ by which to distinguish the objective shath from a mere illusionary feeling in a person.”

Conclusion

The current author makes reference to his attachment to the faith of Islam, although he remains proud of his European descent. There is no contradiction in the two, but rather through recapturing the essence of Islam that is primordial and a cultural filter, in every sense of the word it is valuable as an internal aid for spiritual awareness that allows him to hold onto the primordial traditions of his ancestors at the same time. We have focused in Tasawwuf as the latest expression of the timeless spiritual wisdom that was always transmitted through the ages to sincere seekers, usually in the midst of fierce opposition. The way of Islam is the final expression of the previous messengers who were sent to Indo-European nations and tribes, just as the reality of Tasawwuf is further the way of those communities of gnostics and mystics who protected the spiritual wisdom. Just as these communities were responsible for the best of European art, architecture, literature, chivalry, and music, so too will it be left to a core vanguard of devoted men and women – European in blood, Islamic in faith, Sufi in devotion – to continue planting the seeds of a new Indo-European renaissance. We will do so infused with the doctrines of the Qur’an and its accompanied spiritual wisdom, and through it recapture the essence of what was lost from our primordial traditions.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on July 16, 2019, 03:59:27 PM
Really, nothing more need be said. Everything falls into place. It's there for all to see now.

(https://pics.me.me/alt-right-fanfic-tm-altright-fanfic-sep-18-wow-steve-4117650.png)
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Michael Wilson on July 16, 2019, 06:21:10 PM
Christians receiving Aristotle through the Moslems is a myth; there is ample documentation of earlier translations of the Stagirite from Greek Christian sources.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 16, 2019, 07:40:39 PM
Christians receiving Aristotle through the Moslems is a myth; there is ample documentation of earlier translations of the Stagirite from Greek Christian sources.

True, but the question would be how many of Aristotle's works, how widely they were read, and how serious an influence Aristotle had on Christian philosophy until the Scholastics.  Most of the Nicene and post-Nicene Church Fathers seem to have been some stripe of Christian Neoplatonist (a contradiction in terms, in my view, but let it be).

Wikipedia | Recovery of Aristotle (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recovery_of_Aristotle)

I once read somewhere that Aquinas cited the Pseudo-Dionysus more frequently than Aristotle.  I don't know if that's true, but even so, he enshrines Aristotle as "the Philosopher"—no name needed, in the same way it's customary to cite St. Paul as simply "the Apostle."  Or when people say "the King," we know they're talking about Elvis.  There does not seem to have been much Aristotle in the Christian water prior to how much there was in the thirteenth century and onward.  The translations from Averroes appear to have been an important part of that.

Kreuzritter's little meme is funny, but you could substitute "Nietzsche" or "St. Thomas Aquinas" for Julius Evola, and it would not devalue the joke. 
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: mikemac on July 17, 2019, 02:05:05 AM

Islam and Tradition: Evola’s Thoughts on Islam


Who would care what Julius Evola has to say?  I mean other than a freemason or an ecumaniac.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Miriam_M on July 17, 2019, 02:26:44 AM

Islam and Tradition: Evola’s Thoughts on Islam


Who would care what Julius Evola has to say?  I mean other than a freemason or an ecumaniac.

Suscipe Domine, Muslim Discussion Forum
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: mikemac on July 17, 2019, 02:38:57 AM

Islam and Tradition: Evola’s Thoughts on Islam


Who would care what Julius Evola has to say?  I mean other than a freemason or an ecumaniac.

Suscipe Domine, Muslim Discussion Forum

Yeah Miriam, this is getting ridiculous.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Davis Blank - EG on July 17, 2019, 11:13:26 PM
St. Brigid of Ireland was not the Celtic goddess Brigid.

Yes, and I wasn't clear on that.  When I said the goddess was demoted to a saint, I meant that the worship of her was suppressed, but that many of her attributes were found in the stories of the saint, so that there was a transference from the one to the other.  It is difficult to see the communion of saints (and the intercession of the saints) as something other than a transferal of the pagan pantheons, especially in that so many of the feast days coincide with the ancient holidays.  Praying to the saints for certain causes replaced the practice of praying to the old gods.  I was just using it as example of how the Semitism had to be diluted.

But I don't mean to say that all hagiographies are based on non-existent people (though a few possibly were).  Most were actual saints who simply accrued certain pagan associations posthumously.

This observation is well known - is the purpose in bringing it up to suggest that the veneration of saints is objectively wrong (either in that it displeases God or that the saints have nothing to do with us), or is the purpose to suggest that it is indeed appropriate?

Some will state that all civilizations have some form of a story about a great flood, and so that shows that this is a common myth among man that we keep making up this same story.  Or others would say this shows the existence of a great flood, as there are so many diverse testimonies to it.

It is similar to a court room case.  "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, what you have seen today are people of all walks of life coming to testify that my client beat that woman and stole her bag.  Some say they saw my client wearing a red shirt with blue jeans, others an orange shirt with navy slacks, and yet another said they only saw the bag in my client's hand but had no recollection of his clothing.  Furthermore, some testify they did not even see an assault but only recgonize my client's face as he ran past them.  With so many diverse narratives of what happened we must conclude that this is a common narrative, a common myth, among human beings, that so many people would tell such a story.  It comes from the deep psychological core of our ancestral minds, from when we were living on the plains of Africa and witnessed innocent gazelles running away from lions.  Ladies and gentlemen, with what are we left to believe but that this is a mere psychological aberration?"

The evidence goes both ways.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on July 18, 2019, 04:13:14 AM
Quote
I was just using it as example of how the Semitism had to be diluted.

Big assumption there that the ancient Hebrews didn't venerate saints and a curiously ahistorical notion of how monotheistic the people were. Probably based on projecting "orthodox Judaism" and Pharisaism onto the past. What exactly is "Semitism"?
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 18, 2019, 07:34:30 AM
This observation is well known - is the purpose in bringing it up to suggest that the veneration of saints is objectively wrong (either in that it displeases God or that the saints have nothing to do with us), or is the purpose to suggest that it is indeed appropriate?

I am neutral on the practice of intercessory prayer to saints.  I only offer here that the prevalence of it in Christianity, as opposed to the comparative dearth in Judaism, along with the fact that the aspects and holidays of some ancient gods were transferred to some of the saints, seems to illustrate a concession to the missionary territory (polytheistic paganism).  "You can still keep up the practice of praying to certain heavenly denizens for certain things."


Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 18, 2019, 07:36:13 AM
Big assumption there that the ancient Hebrews didn't venerate saints and a curiously ahistorical notion of how monotheistic the people were. Probably based on projecting "orthodox Judaism" and Pharisaism onto the past. What exactly is "Semitism"?

If the ancient Jews did pray to saints, then even according to Catholicism, they would've been in error, as the righteous among the dead were still in the Limbo of the Fathers at that time.  There are a lot of prayers recorded in the Old Testament.  How many of them are petitions to the dead such as Abraham, Moses, and Elijah for intercession?

Let "Semitism" refer to the religious activities and doctrines pertaining to the God of the Hebrews as found in the OT.  Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are Semitic religions.


Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: John Lamb on July 18, 2019, 07:53:18 AM
Big assumption there that the ancient Hebrews didn't venerate saints and a curiously ahistorical notion of how monotheistic the people were. Probably based on projecting "orthodox Judaism" and Pharisaism onto the past. What exactly is "Semitism"?

If the ancient Jews did venerate saints, then even according to Catholicism, they would've been in error, as the righteous among the dead were still in the Limbo of the Fathers at that time.  There are a lot of prayers recorded in the Old Testament.  How many of them are petitions to the dead such as Abraham, Moses, and Elijah for intercession?

Distinguish forms of veneration. To venerate the memory of your ancestors, filial piety, is different than to venerate a saint as a living being with spiritual powers, religious piety. The incarnation, resurrection, and ascension of Christ has spiritually elevated humanity, so the saints of the NT are now living godlike beings whom we can address prayers to, while the saints of the OT were still waiting for this elevation in limbo. Still, the veneration of holy ancestors was a kind of prefigurement of the veneration of the saints, just as the OT was a prefigurement of the NT.

Quote
Let "Semitism" refer to the religious activities and doctrines pertaining to the God of the Hebrews as found in the OT.  Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are Semitic religions.

Christianity is a catholic religion. Like the church fathers say, it has in a sense existed all over the world since the beginning of time.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 18, 2019, 08:14:11 AM
Distinguish forms of veneration. To venerate the memory of your ancestors, filial piety, is different than to venerate a saint as a living being with spiritual powers, religious piety. The incarnation, resurrection, and ascension of Christ has spiritually elevated humanity, so the saints of the NT are now living godlike beings whom we can address prayers to, while the saints of the OT were still waiting for this elevation in limbo. Still, the veneration of holy ancestors was a kind of prefigurement of the veneration of the saints, just as the OT was a prefigurement of the NT.

Correct.  We have to make the distinction between the mere veneration of, as opposed to intercessory prayer to, the saints, or the dead.  We also need to consider how developed the notion of petitioning saints was in the first century.  The Protestants have a point that it does not appear evident in the NT.  St. Paul said the elect were merely "asleep" and waiting for the trumpet to sound—something more like the limbus patrum than an active communion of "living godlike beings whom we can address prayers to."

Christianity is a catholic religion. Like the church fathers say, it has in a sense existed all over the world since the beginning of time.

"In a sense" is pretty nebulous.  The non-Semitic religions were abhorrent to the God of the Hebrews.  "All the gods of the pagans are devils." 

I do not dispute that the Church Fathers taught that Christianity was nascent in some sense everywhere; indeed, I consider it part of the ecumenical and syncretic efforts toward Hellenism.    The Sibylline oracles were interpreted as foretelling it, and Justin Martyr called Plato a "Christian before Christ."  St. Augustine said it most famously—but didn't he also include it in his retractions?
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on July 18, 2019, 09:11:41 AM
If the ancient Jews did pray to saints, then even according to Catholicism, they would've been in error, as the righteous among the dead were still in the Limbo of the Fathers at that time.

If they did, then it's irrelevant to the point whether Catholicism would consider them in error or not or if they were objectively in error or not. What we're interested in is what Semites actually did and believed.

Quote
There are a lot of prayers recorded in the Old Testament.  How many of them are petitions to the dead such as Abraham, Moses, and Elijah for intercession?

From Wikipedia:

Judaism
Quote
While orthodox and organized Judaism do not countenance the veneration of saints per se, veneration and pilgrimage to burial sites of holy Jewish leaders is an ancient part of the tradition.[30]

Today it is common for some Jews to visit the graves of many righteous Jewish leaders.[31] The tradition is particularly strong among Moroccan Jews, and Jews of Sephardi descent, although also by some Ashkenazi Jews as well. This is particularly true in Israel, where many holy Jewish leaders are buried. The Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem and that of Maimonides in Tiberius are examples of burial sites that attract large pilgrimages in Israel.[1][2] In America, the only such example is the grave site of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, at the Ohel, in the cemetery in Queens where he is buried alongside his father-in-law. During his lifetime, Schneerson himself would frequently visit the gravesite (Ohel) of his father-in-law, where he would read letters and written prayers, and then place them on the grave.[32] Today visitors to the grave of Schneerson include Jews of Orthodox, Reform and Conservative background, as well as non-Jews.[33][34] Visitors typically recite prayers of psalms and bring with them petitions of prayers written on pieces of paper which are then torn and left on the grave.[35][36][37]

In particular

Quote
"....the veneration of, and pilgrimages to, saints were part of an ancient Jewish tradition." Sharot, Stephen (1976). Judaism: A Sociology. New York: Holmes & Meier Publishers. p. 42

You act like these are Christian innovations, possibly adopted from paganism. Implicit in this is a denial of the continuity between Christianity, with its Trinity, Mariology and veneration of saitns and images, and the ancient Hebrew religious tradition, and this can only be founded in taking "Orthodox Judaism", that of the Pharisees, Rabbis and Talmud, to be preresentative of an ancient Hebrew religious monolith. To the contrary, I propose that Apostolic Christianity is representative of and in continuity with the ancient beliefs and practices that date to the First Temple Period and survived through to the time of Jesus, even if they had been rejected by the Pharisees and Scribes who represented the "official" post-exilic religon. In any case, religious syncretism and polytheistic worship were part and parcel of Hebrew history, and the Bible does not contradict this assertion but recapitulates it.

Nevertheless, there are intances of this in the Bible that slip through the cracks. In Matthew 27:47, we see the Jews interpret Jesus' words as crying to Elijah. This makes no sense unless calls for intercession were known in Jewish culture of the time. There is also the Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man, and Genesis features a prayer addressed to an angel.

I quote from chabad.org:

Quote
The Torah tells us that Caleb, one of the twelve spies that Moses sent to spy out the Land of Canaan, made a personal detour to Hebron. What was his interest in Hebron? The Talmud (Sotah 34b) tells that he wished to pray at the cave where Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob and Leah are buried. He prayed there for mercy on his soul and he was saved from the fateful decision of the other spies.

And further:

Quote
The Talmud also states that it is customary to visit a cemetery on a fast day (Taanit 16a). Why? Typical of the Talmud (and anything that involves Jewish people), two opinions are provided: Some say that this is simply to remind those who are fasting of their own mortality—a graveyard can be a magically effective cold-bucket of inspiration when you're feeling smug and self-assured. But others say that this is in order to connect to ask the souls of the righteous who are buried there that they intercede on our behalf. In fact, the Zohar states that if it were not for the intercession of those souls who reside in that afterworld, our world would not endure for a moment.

Quote
Let "Semitism" refer to the religious activities and doctrines pertaining to the God of the Hebrews as found in the OT.  Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are Semitic religions.

So the religion of the Canaanites, Assyrians, Babylonians, ancient Arabs, etc. are not examples of "Semtism"? That's not a particularly useful term to me then, not only because it gives no context to the OT from which to derive its meaning, but because I don't see that much essential in common between Apostolic Christianity and "Judaism" and Islam. But I guess you will chalk up those differences to pagan influence or something, even though Islam is centuries younger than Christianity and Judaism as we know it at the very least no older.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 18, 2019, 12:57:51 PM
... examples of Jews making pilgrimages to venerate their ancestors and honor the dead ...

This has nothing to with praying to the dead for their intercession.  If the term "Semitism" is too inaccurate for you, I can use "Hebraism."

You act like these are Christian innovations, possibly adopted from paganism.

No.  My claim is that intercessory prayer to the saints is the innovation.  Did the ancient Hebrews, as a practice, pray to the dead for their intercession?  It's curious that a Catholic would claim this, because the Church teaches that the righteous dead, before the harrowing of hell, remained in Limbo.  It would be strange if the people with whom God made a covenant, and to whom he gave a revelation, would've been so mistaken about this.

In any case, religious syncretism and polytheistic worship were part and parcel of Hebrew history, and the Bible does not contradict this assertion but recapitulates it.

Polytheistic worship was condemned by the God of the Hebrews.  That this was forbidden to them is found in the very first commandment.  At every juncture when the Israelites went whoring after other Gods, they were chastised.  "For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God."

Nevertheless, there are intances of this in the Bible that slip through the cracks. In Matthew 27:47, we see the Jews interpret Jesus' words as crying to Elijah. This makes no sense unless calls for intercession were known in Jewish culture of the time.

Which seems to be an interpolation.  Anyway, Elijah wasn't dead.  From the corresponding footnote in the NABRE:

Quote
This prophet, taken up into heaven (2 Kgs 2:11), was believed to come to the help of those in distress, but the evidences of that belief are all later than the gospels.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Xavier on July 18, 2019, 01:39:35 PM
Dear Pon, in the sacred Book of the Macchabees, we read that the Prophet Jeremiah was praying for the Holy City during that time of crisis. Also, the Holy High Priest Onias, who had passed into eternity a while earlier, was praying. Limbo is an intermediate place for souls. There in Limbo, the souls can do all that God permits them to do, except they cannot see the Beatific vision as of yet until Christ had come.

2 Macc 15: "What he saw was this: Onias, the former high priest,* a noble and good man, modest in bearing, gentle in manner, distinguished in speech, and trained from childhood in all that belongs to excellence, was praying with outstretched arms for the whole Jewish community.13 Then in the same way another man appeared, distinguished by his white hair and dignity, and with an air of wondrous and majestic authority. 14 Onias then said of him, “This is a man* who loves his fellow Jews and fervently prays for the people and the holy city—the prophet of God, Jeremiah.” 15 Stretching out his right hand, Jeremiah presented a gold sword to Judas. As he gave it to him he said, 16 “Accept this holy sword as a gift from God; with it you shall shatter your adversaries.”

Here is more on the Great High Priest Onias, a figure and type of Jesus Christ to come, the Greatest High Priest, Who offered Himself as Victim for all sins. From http://www.usccb.org/bible/2maccabees/3

The Restoration and Testimony of Heliodorus.

29 As Heliodorus lay speechless because of God’s action and deprived of any hope of recovery,
30 the people praised the Lord who had marvelously glorified his own place; and the temple, charged so shortly before with fear and commotion, was filled with joy and gladness, now that the Almighty Lord had appeared.
31 Quickly some of the companions of Heliodorus begged Onias to call upon the Most High to spare the life of one who was about to breathe his last.
32 The high priest, suspecting that the king might think that Heliodorus had suffered some foul play at the hands of the Jews, offered a sacrifice for the man’s recovery.
33 While the high priest was offering the sacrifice of atonement, the same young men dressed in the same clothing again appeared and stood before Heliodorus. “Be very grateful to the high priest Onias,” they told him. “It is for his sake that the Lord has spared your life.
34 Since you have been scourged by Heaven, proclaim to all God’s great power.” When they had said this, they disappeared."

Now, for Vetus, and others, on the earlier topic, of Muslims being baptized and converted to Christ; there are and were reports, by the Grace of God, of millions of Muslims converting to the Church: God Almighty is still doing the great things He did in the Bible, if we believe Him, and if we carefully follow His doings around the world, extol them, make them known, and pray for more such great things.

Quote
"Islam used to represent, as you previously mentioned, Africa's main religion and there were 30 African languages that used to be written in Arabic script. The number of Muslims in Africa has diminished to 316 million, half of whom are Arabs in North Africa. So in the section of Africa that we are talking about, the non Arab section, the number of Muslims does not exceed 150 million people. When we realize that the entire population of Africa is one billion people, we see that the number of Muslims has diminished greatly from what it was in the beginning of the last century. On the other hand, the number of Catholics has increased from one million in 1902 to 329 million 882 thousand (329,882,000). Let us round off that number to 330 million in the year 2000.

As to how that happened, well there are now 1.5 million churches whose congregations account for 46 million people. In every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity. Everyday, 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity. Ever year, 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity. These numbers are very large indeed.

From what I have heard from reliable sources, six million may be too low. Reliable accounts say that one hundred thousand Africans convert to Christianity per day, though not all of them come from Islam. Then Katani says Muslims should build schools before mosques, in order to build the worshipper (Muslim) before the building. Why? To stop the the dangerous "Christian missionary octopus..."
https://virtueonline.org/six-million-african-muslims-convert-christianity-each-year

Quote
"Africa has seen the births or conversions of nearly 50 million people in the last year

New data, released earlier this year, announced that Africa holds the largest number of Christians in the world. This moves the reigning champs of the title, Latin America into 2nd place.

The Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, produced an infographic which breaks down the world’s Christian population by continent. The results show Africa on top with 631 million Christian residents, Latin America in 2nd place with 601 million Christians, and Europe in 3rd place with 571 million Christians.

CBS News reports the African countries with the highest percentages of Christian residents are Zambia (95.5%), the Republic of Seychelles (94.7%), and Rowanda (93.6).

A 2017 survey by the same group had Africa at 582 million Christians and Latin America at 591 million. This means Africa has seen the births or conversions of nearly 50 million people in the last year. Similarly, Latin America has increased by about 10 million."
From: https://aleteia.org/2018/07/24/africa-overtakes-latin-america-for-the-highest-christian-population/

Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on July 18, 2019, 02:08:33 PM
... examples of Jews making pilgrimages to venerate their ancestors and honor the dead ...

This has nothing to with praying to the dead for their intercession.  If the term "Semitism" is too inaccurate for you, I can use "Hebraism."

The passage doesn't end there, Pon. "Visitors typically recite prayers of psalms and bring with them petitions of prayers written on pieces of paper which are then torn and left on the grave." And this in 21st century Judaism. Clearly this is just "honouring" ones ancestors, right? I presented what the Talmud says about Caleb, which right or wrong and approvingly or unapprovingly shows that prayer for intercession from the "dead" was known among the Jews as a cultural phenomenon and one believed to go back to Mosaic times. I showed you further what it says about visits to graveyards on fast days. We can leave the Zohar aside as it's likely of Medieval origin, at least according to Gershom Sholem, but that also flies in the face of the term "Semitism". The fact is, Semites, or Hebrews, practised things like syncretistic polytheism, and this is a problem for a notion of "Semitism" or "Hebraism" as something culturally or spiritually intrinsic to Semites or Hebrews that had to be transformed by the Western mind to whom it was alien to form Christinaity as it is.

Quote
No.  My claim is that intercessory prayer to the saints is the innovation.  Did the ancient Hebrews, as a practice, pray to the dead for their intercession?

Ok. Yes, I say they did. I say they venerated images, prayed for intercession from saints, invoked angels, worshipped Jesus as Son of the Most High, and honoured the Mother of Yahweh in the Solomonic temple as Queen of Heaven and Tree of Life.

Quote
It's curious that a Catholic would claim this, because the Church teaches that the righteous dead, before the harrowing of hell, remained in Limbo.  It would be strange if the people with whom God made a covenant, and to whom he gave a revelation, would've been so mistaken about this.

I don't see how this implies they were not in Limbo. In any case, I am arguing that they practised it, not whether it was licit. But I do believe it was licit. People on Earth and souls in Purgatory can both intercede for us, and the righteous in Limbo were certainly above either. Anyhow, this all also presumes a view of the tremporal relationship between Earth and Limbo which I can't say is true or not.

Quote
Polytheistic worship was condemned by the God of the Hebrews.  That this was forbidden to them is found in the very first commandment.  At every juncture when the Israelites went whoring after other Gods, they were chastised.  "For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God."

That doesn't change that Semites after whom we've named "Semitism", or Hebrews, as a people, practised it.

Quote
Which seems to be an interpolation. 

Alright. If we want to play the textual criticism game, then let's not be conveniently selective about it. Let's go down the rabbit hole. Let's call Hebrew monotheism a post-exilic invention. Let's call the scriptures, as they came to exist, a giant work in propagandistic editing and mythologising of history to justify and solidify the revolution of the priest class in overthrowing the priest-king monarchy and religion of the First Temple. Let's call Deuteronomy, with its injunctions, the "rediscovered" Temple scroll of Josiah's reforms and the example par excellence of this. Etc. It's a Pandora's box which turns the Bible into a blank slate.

Quote
Anyway, Elijah wasn't dead.

Fair enough, but it's still praying for saintly intercession.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 18, 2019, 02:22:46 PM
Dear Pon, in the sacred Book of the Macchabees, we read that the Prophet Jeremiah was praying for the Holy City during that time of crisis. Also, the Holy High Priest Onias, who had passed into eternity a while earlier, was praying. Limbo is an intermediate place for souls. There in Limbo, the souls can do all that God permits them to do, except they cannot see the Beatific vision as of yet until Christ had come.

Gracias, Xavier.  But there seems to be some confusion.  Even if the souls in the Limbo of the Fathers were permitted to pray, this is still not indicative of a practice among the Hebrews of praying to those souls in Limbo for their intercession.  That's what's in question.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 18, 2019, 02:40:49 PM
The passage doesn't end there, Pon. "Visitors typically recite prayers of psalms and bring with them petitions of prayers written on pieces of paper which are then torn and left on the grave." And this in 21st century Judaism. Clearly this is just "honouring" ones ancestors, right? I presented what the Talmud says about Caleb, which right or wrong and approvingly or unapprovingly shows that prayer for intercession from the "dead" was known among the Jews as a cultural phenomenon and one believed to go back to Mosaic times. I showed you further what it says about visits to graveyards on fast days.

None of those examples showed people praying to the dead.  Traveling to the tombs of the dead and praying there (or leaving written prayers) is not the same thing.  Otherwise we might as well conclude that Protestants pray to the dead when they visit their ancestors' graves.  The question is, who are these prayers being directed to?  A Protestant is probably starting off with, "Heavenly Father ... " 

Ok. Yes, I say they did. I say they venerated images, prayed for intercession from saints, invoked angels, worshipped Jesus as Son of the Most High, and honoured the Mother of Yahweh in the Solomonic temple as Queen of Heaven and Tree of Life.

This is most intriguing.  Can you cite some instances in the Old Testament record?

That doesn't change that Semites after whom we've named "Semitism", or Hebrews, as a people, practised [polytheistic worship].

Correct; that is not in doubt.  At one point they worshiped a golden calf.  But this (and the other instances of their whoring after other gods) are examples of faithlessness to the God of the Hebrews and the religious diktats thereof.  Hebraism is a devotion to the God of the Hebrews, otherwise we are talking about their various forays into apostasy from that religion.  "Perfidious."

Fair enough, but it's still praying for saintly intercession.

It's far too ambiguous for such certainty.


Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Xavier on July 18, 2019, 02:48:22 PM
Gracias, dear Pon. Always a pleasure to converse with you. But, my dear Agnostic and Platonist, when are you coming back to life in Christ? There is nothing so wonderful as a life lived in Union with Jesus Christ in all the whole wide world, and that blessed life is open to all of us, and especially you, dear Pon, who are so much beloved to God. And the Grace of Sacramental Communion and tasting once more the Wonders of God's Love in the Blessed Sacrament, are but one good heartfelt Confession away. Jesus Christ is waiting for you. :)

Not to get too involved in the other thing, but I think Our Lord relating the incident of Dives and Lazarus shows both (1) the Jews knew and acknowledged the souls of the just go to Abraham's bosom, what we call limbus patrum, or limbo of Abraham and the Fathers (2) The intercession of Abraham was sought. From this, it seems to follow, though of course Christ revealed and manifested all these things much more fully, that the Jewish people too had a general idea of the the importance and the power of the intercession of the saints.

Luk 16: 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.The rich man instinctively cries out to Abraham, and invokes his intercession for help. The hour was late then, as he was doing only now what he should have done earlier in life. And yet from the passage, a theological case could be made that prayer to the Saints was, in a partial sense, known to the Jews. God bless.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 18, 2019, 02:56:30 PM
Thank you again, Xavier.  It needs only be pointed out, however, that the intercession in that passage is asked for by someone already in hell.  The parable of Dives and Lazarus definitely tells us something about what Jews believed was the commerce between souls in the afterlife.  But the question regards the living.  If there was a practice among the Jews themselves of praying to the dead, I think there would be more than just a few passages that demand a generous spin.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Xavier on July 18, 2019, 03:17:28 PM
Ok, Pon. It seems 2 Macc 15:16 is fairly demonstrative, because Judas Macchabeus even received a cool golden sword from the Prophet Jeremias/Jeremiah! How can this be if they did not have a general belief in the power of the intercession of the saints? Sure, the Saints may not always send down awesome golden swords from Heaven, but surely they did believe they would help in other ways at least. ;)

2 Mac 15:

15 Stretching out his right hand, Jeremiah presented a gold sword to Judas. As he gave it to him he said,
16“Accept this holy sword as a gift from God; with it you shall shatter your adversaries.
17 Encouraged by Judas’ words, so noble and capable of instilling valor and stirring young hearts to courage, they determined not merely to march, but to charge gallantly and decide the issue by hand-to-hand combat with the utmost courage, since city, sanctuary and temple were in danger.”

Do you consider this an example of Judas relying on the intercession of Onias and Jeremiah? Or is the issue uncertain to you?

God bless. [P.S. I would really urge those who can to try to do the Hours of the Passion on the other thread. Jesus promises all who make it that we will save souls whenever we pray it in love, for God and for souls, in union with His Divine Will. We will become holy too. Take care.]
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 18, 2019, 03:46:52 PM
Ok, Pon. It seems 2 Macc 15:16 is fairly demonstrative, because Judas Macchabeus even received a cool golden sword from the Prophet Jeremias/Jeremiah! How can this be if they did not have a general belief in the power of the intercession of the saints?

Do you consider this an example of Judas relying on the intercession of Onias and Jeremiah? Or is the issue uncertain to you?

I think we might be at an impasse.  This passage refers to a “dream, or a waking vision” which Judas had.  But even granting it as literal commerce between the righteous in Limbo and the souls on the earth, it seems an un-asked-for gift.  There is no mention (so far as I can tell) of Judas praying to Jeremiah specifically.  That would be the criteria: people praying to the dead for their intercession.  Thank you for your patience.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Xavier on July 18, 2019, 04:28:05 PM
Ok. You're welcome. I should thank you, Pon, as your questions make me study the Holy Bible more. But I think the idea is this, if the Saints and Angels are praying for you, and they are, then you should ask their intercession. We see the same concept in the Apocalypse of St. John later, when the beloved Apostle is taken to Heaven now fully opened; and sees Angels offering golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the Saints. The Apostle of Love sees the Saints in Heaven themselves interceding, and St. John also records Martyrs slain under the Altars praying to God.

But let us take another OT example, as deals with the intercession of the Angel St. Raphael. Would you agree on intercession of Angels?

Raphael maketh himself known. http://www.drbo.org/chapter/17012.htm

[1] Then Tobias called to him his son, and said to him: What can we give to this holy man, that is come with thee? [2] Tobias answering, said to his father: Father, what wages shall we give him? or what can be worthy of his benefits? [3] He conducted me and brought me safe again, he received the money of Gabelus, he caused me to have my wife, and he chased from her the evil spirit, he gave joy to her parents, myself he delivered from being devoured by the fish, thee also he hath made to see the light of heaven, and we are filled with all good things through him. What can we give him sufficient for these things? [4] But I beseech thee, my father, to desire him, that he would vouchsafe to accept one half of all things that have been brought. [5] So the father and the son, calling him, took him aside: and began to desire him that he would vouchsafe to accept of half of all things that they had brought.

[6] Then he said to them secretly: Bless ye the God of heaven, give glory to him in the sight of all that live, because he hath shewn his mercy to you. [7] For it is good to hide the secret of a king: but honourable to reveal and confess the works of God. [8] Prayer is good with fasting and alms more than to lay up treasures of gold: [9] For alms delivereth from death, and the same is that which purgeth away sins, and maketh to find mercy and life everlasting. [10] But they that commit sin and iniquity, are enemies to their own soul.

[11] I discover then the truth unto you, and I will not hide the secret from you. [12] When thou didst pray with tears, and didst bury the dead, and didst leave thy dinner, and hide the dead by day in thy house, and bury them by night, I offered thy prayer to the Lord. [13] And because thou wast acceptable to God, it was necessary that temptation should prove thee. [14] And now the Lord hath sent me to heal thee, and to deliver Sara thy son's wife from the devil. [15] For I am the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord.

[16] And when they had heard these things, they were troubled, and being seized with fear they fell upon the ground on their face. [17] And the angel said to them: Peace be to you, fear not. [18] For when I was with you, I was there by the will of God: bless ye him, and sing praises to him. [19] I seemed indeed to eat and to drink with you: but I use an invisible meat and drink, which cannot be seen by men. [20] It is time therefore that I return to him that sent me: but bless ye God, and publish all his wonderful works.

[21] And when he had said these things, he was taken from their sight, and they could see him no more. [22] Then they lying prostrate for three hours upon their face, blessed God: and rising up, they told all his wonderful works.

A very good practice is to have the Holy Names of Jesus, Mary, St. Joseph, St. Michael or one of the Saints always on our lips. We could say, Jesus, Mary, I love you, save souls. St. Joseph, St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael, pray for us, and ever obtain for us Grace in all our needs. Amen.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: mikemac on July 18, 2019, 11:49:19 PM
"O Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, hear now the prayer of the dead of Israel, and of their children ..." Baruch 3:4
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on July 19, 2019, 03:55:27 AM
Quote
None of those examples showed people praying to the dead.  Traveling to the tombs of the dead and praying there (or leaving written prayers) is not the same thing.  Otherwise we might as well conclude that Protestants pray to the dead when they visit their ancestors' graves.  The question is, who are these prayers being directed to?  A Protestant is probably starting off with, "Heavenly Father ... " 

The examples from the Talmud and Zohar do. And, again, these are not prayers for the dead; they are prayers and requests made and left at the burial sites of perceived holy men. Protestants do not do this. It makes no sense for anyone to be doing this unless they believe in some quasi-magical or intercessory power provided by the sacred space or the dead person.

Quote
Ok. Yes, I say they did. I say they venerated images, prayed for intercession from saints, invoked angels, worshipped Jesus as Son of the Most High, and honoured the Mother of Yahweh in the Solomonic temple as Queen of Heaven and Tree of Life.

This is most intriguing.  Can you cite some instances in the Old Testament record?

Coming up.

Quote
That doesn't change that Semites after whom we've named "Semitism", or Hebrews, as a people, practised [polytheistic worship].

Correct; that is not in doubt.  At one point they worshiped a golden calf.  But this (and the other instances of their whoring after other gods) are examples of faithlessness to the God of the Hebrews and the religious diktats thereof.  Hebraism is a devotion to the God of the Hebrews, otherwise we are talking about their various forays into apostasy from that religion.  "Perfidious."

You're now far away from your original assertions about "Semitism". I quote:

Virtually all of the pre-Christian European cultures were polytheistic in devotion and monistic in philosophy

But the desert breeds something else entirely.

Islam is more Semitic than Christianity, and Semitism is alien to the Western mind. 

You seem to have changed the sense of "Semitism" from something cultural, born of the desert and Semitic mind, to just "devotion to the God of the Hebrews", although how you invoke it it's more projecting a sterile, ahistorical, by-the-book idea of Judaism onto ancient Hebrew culture.

Again, your claim was that Christianity, being "Semitism", had to be tranformed because it was alien to the Western mind. But this "Semitism" was never the ubiquitous, monolithic cultural norm of the Hebrews that this statement entails, and the Empire wasn't Christianised by a book: it was Christianised by living people of whom we cannot say, for all the reasons above, that they practised and taught "Semitism".

Quote
Fair enough, but it's still praying for saintly intercession.

It's far too ambiguous for such certainty.
[/quote]

The Jews interpreting Jesus' cries as cries to Elijah makes no sense if there was no cutural context to provide the possibility and likelihood of such a sense. People don't mishear words and project a meaning onto them in a vacuum, and even less so a group of people.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 19, 2019, 07:45:06 AM
But let us take another OT example, as deals with the intercession of the Angel St. Raphael. Would you agree on intercession of Angels?

Of course.  But again, in this passage, Tobias and his son are not praying to Raphael for his intercession.  He is visiting them in human disguise, like the angels who visited Abraham and Lot in Genesis.  The angel intercedes for them unbidden, just as Jeremiah was seen to offer Judas a golden sword unbidden.  I am not denying that in the OT there was much traffic between the heavens and the earth.  Even praying to Michael (http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/10779-michael) was not unheard of, though it was proscribed by the authorities:

Quote from: Jewish Encyclopedia
The idea that Michael was the advocate of the Jews became so prevalent that in spite of the rabbinical prohibition against appealing to angels as intermediaries between God and His people, Michael came to occupy a certain place in the Jewish liturgy.  Apart from the word (http://d3sva65x0i5hnc.cloudfront.net/V08p537001.jpg), which occurs frequently and which refers to Michael, there are two prayers beseeching him as the prince of mercy to intercede in favor of Israel: one composed by Eliezer ha-Ḳalir (Bartolocci, "Bibl. Rab. Magna," i. 192 et seq.), and the other by Judah b. Samuel he-Ḥasid (MS. De Cambrai No. 946, fol. 110). But appeal to Michael seems to have been more common in ancient times. Thus Jeremiah is said (Baruch Apoc. Ethiopic, ix. 5) to have addressed a prayer to him. "When a man is in need he must pray directly to God, and neither to Michael nor to Gabriel" (Yer. Ber. ix. 13a).

I am questioning whether there are examples of the Hebrews praying to the dead for their intercession.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 19, 2019, 07:49:28 AM
"O Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, hear now the prayer of the dead of Israel, and of their children ..." Baruch 3:4

This prayer is directed to God, not to the dead.  It is not being denied that the dead in She'ol could pray.  The question is whether the Jews believed that they themselves could (and did) pray to the dead to intercede for them.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 19, 2019, 08:29:26 AM
The examples from the Talmud and Zohar do. And, again, these are not prayers for the dead; they are prayers and requests made and left at the burial sites of perceived holy men. Protestants do not do this. It makes no sense for anyone to be doing this unless they believe in some quasi-magical or intercessory power provided by the sacred space or the dead person.

Not so at all.  Protestants do this quite frequently.  At Protestant funerals you will even hear Protestants tearfully lapsing into talking to the dead during their eulogies: "Kaylee-Ann, honey, I know you're up there smiling down on us.  You'll always be Momma's little angel, and now you're God's angel too."  You can find notes and written prayers at the shrines that go up at fatal accident sites.  Along with the bouquets of flowers and teddy bears, there are notes and cards and letters.  None of this could be fairly cited, though, as evidence that Protestants believe in praying to the dead for their intercession.

You seem to have changed the sense of "Semitism" from something cultural, born of the desert and Semitic mind, to just "devotion to the God of the Hebrews", although how you invoke it it's more projecting a sterile, ahistorical, by-the-book idea of Judaism onto ancient Hebrew culture.

Which is why I was willing to change it to "Hebraism" because you wanted to be more particular.  I was using "Semitism" in the way we commonly use the terms "philo-Semitism" and "anti-Semitism" to refer to the admiration or detestation of Jews and things Jewish.  I would never be so ignorant (and I hope you'll credit me with this much) as to claim that a desert breeds only strict monotheists, or that all the Semitic peoples were such.  I do think, though, that the desert landscape and the harshness of desert existence breeds a different sort of psychology from the comparatively moister and more verdant terrain of Europe.  And I do believe this has something (though I wouldn't venture a percentage on it) with the emergence from an original Semitic polytheism of the singular, exclusivist, and jealous "tantrums-and-chastisements" God, as if Zeus and Ares were merged into one who would brook no second, whereas the Hellenes grew out of their polytheism into monistic, rationalist, and stoic philosophy (of which your detestation is duly noted).

Again, your claim was that Christianity, being "Semitism", had to be tranformed because it was alien to the Western mind. But this "Semitism" was never the ubiquitous, monolithic cultural norm of the Hebrews that this statement entails, and the Empire wasn't Christianised by a book: it was Christianised by living people of whom we cannot say, for all the reasons above, that they practised and taught "Semitism".

The New Testament is a Hebraism.  How is this controversial?  Unless you are a Marcionite or Gnostic Christian, the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament are the same god.  This is quite clear in the NT and all the Fathers.  It is simply a supercession.  From the synagogue to the Church.  This is Catholic teaching.

The Jews interpreting Jesus' cries as cries to Elijah makes no sense if there was no cutural context to provide the possibility and likelihood of such a sense. People don't mishear words and project a meaning onto them in a vacuum, and even less so a group of people.

But we can't know this, because the evidence that would support your contention comes afterwards.  So there is no way of knowing it's not an interpolation, which is damaging enough, and anyway Elijah wasn't dead.  Calling out for a living person to come to your aid (even if the person is in occultation in the heavens) is different from the practice of praying the dead to intercede.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on July 19, 2019, 09:55:48 AM
Again you've just skipped over my references to the Talmud and Zohar which show that Jews acknowledge intercessory prayer as a Jewish cultural phenomenon:

Why  do  they go  to  the  cemetery?  With  regard  to  this  there  is  a  difference  of  opinion  between  R.  Levi  b.  Hama  and  R.  Hanina.  One  says:  We  are  as  the  dead  before  Thee;  and  the  other  says:  In  order  that  the  dead  should intercede for mercy on our behalf. What is the difference between them?—The difference is with regard to going to the cemetery of Gentiles

Quote
You can find notes and written prayers at the shrines that go up at fatal accident sites.  Along with the bouquets of flowers and teddy bears, there are notes and cards and letters.

These are eulogies and prayers for the dead. They are not prayers and requests made in the Jewish context under discussion. You're nit-picking texts and drawing false analogies because, respectfully, you're speaking from a place of ignorance of what the Jews who do this actually intend and believe about what they're doing.

For by visiting  these  graves  of  the  righteous  and  by  prostrating  oneself  upon  them,  the  Holy  One, blessed be he, grants favors even if one is totally unworthy of them. - Sefer Ha'midot

Through close physical proximity to the saint, and by touching his or her relics  and  artifacts,  one  could  invoke  the  berakhah  implicitly  associated  with  such  figures, by assuming that a commitment was made to “convince” the saint to intervene on behalf  of  those  in  need.  During  this  process  prayers  were  recited  and  donations  and  contributions were pledged to the saint’s shrine or cult in exchange for the saint’s mi-raculous powers to help the sick and those in need. - Ephraim Shoham-Steiner


Prayer in that place will be more favorably  received  as  that  is  where  the  bodies,  on  which  the  divine  spirit  had  rested,  are  found.
- Rabbi  Nissim  ben  Reuben  Gerondi

the cemetery is the resting place of the righteous. Therefore it is a holy and ritually pure place and prayer is most acceptable on holy soil. [However], those who prostrate themselves on  the  tombs  of  the  righteous  and  pray  should  not  focus  on  the  dead  person`s  body  lying  there but should rather beseech God, blessed be he, for mercy based on the spiritual merits of the righteous dead who lie in the earth, may their souls be bound in the bond of life - MaHaRIL

A  certain  community  wanted  to  leave  their  city  and  move  elsewhere.  One  of  the  dead  appeared  in  a  dream  vision  to  one  of  the  community  members  and  said:  Don’t  leave  us  for  we  take  great  pleasure  when  you  come  and  visit  us  in  the  graveyard  and  I  therefore  notify  you that if you abandon us you will all be killed. However community members didn’t fear and weren’t mindful of this warning and they were all killed. - Book of the Pious

... there are  quite  a  few  great  ones  who  have  objected  to  this  practice  and  have  labeled  it  ‘necromancy’  (Deut.  18.11),  for  most  of  the  unlearned  folks  and  women  beseech  the  dead  as  mediators  between  them  and  their  maker  blessed  be  he. - Rabbi Moses Minsk

Again, this is not to suggest that "orthodox Judaism" looks favourably upon such practices, or that there is a singular understanding of them, but there isn't and never has been a "Judaic" monolith, and they have been part-and-parcel of Hebrew culture through history. Christianity emerged, with its practices, out of one segment of that culture.

Quote
None of this could be fairly cited, though, as evidence that Protestants believe in praying to the dead for their intercession.

Obviously, but the analogy with Jews visiting shrines of holy men and making prayer requests is false.

Quote
Which is why I was willing to change it to "Hebraism" because you wanted to be more particular.  I was using "Semitism" in the way we commonly use the terms "philo-Semitism" and "anti-Semitism" to refer to the admiration or detestation of Jews and things Jewish.  I would never be so ignorant (and I hope you'll credit me with this much) as to claim that a desert breeds only strict monotheists, or that all the Semitic peoples were such.  I do think, though, that the desert landscape and the harshness of desert existence breeds a different sort of psychology from the comparatively moister and more verdant terrain of Europe.  And I do believe this has something (though I wouldn't venture a percentage on it) with the emergence from an original Semitic polytheism of the singular, exclusivist, and jealous "tantrums-and-chastisements" God, as if Zeus and Ares were merged into one who would brook no second, whereas the Hellenes grew out of their polytheism into monistic, rationalist, and stoic philosophy (of which your detestation is duly noted).

Fine, though I don't agree with this naturalistic account of the origins of religions that does nto involve itself with actual encounters with spiritual beings and revelation, but in both cases I believe you're describing a small self-styled elite who had power over politics and published discourse, not the people and culture as a whole. When did the Romans for instance, as a pagan people, grow out of polytheism and into monistic, rationalist, and stoic philosophy? This never happened. And I'd also hold up Philo as a counterpoint to your distinction.

Quote
Again, your claim was that Christianity, being "Semitism", had to be tranformed because it was alien to the Western mind. But this "Semitism" was never the ubiquitous, monolithic cultural norm of the Hebrews that this statement entails, and the Empire wasn't Christianised by a book: it was Christianised by living people of whom we cannot say, for all the reasons above, that they practised and taught "Semitism".

The New Testament is a Hebraism.  How is this controversial?  Unless you are a Marcionite or Gnostic Christian, the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament are the same god.  This is quite clear in the NT and all the Fathers.  It is simply a supercession.  From the synagogue to the Church.  This is Catholic teaching.

I don't see what this response has to do with my statement. The New Testament is, like the Old, what the Church teaches it is: part of a faith that worships Jesus, venerates Mary and prays to saints. From the synagogue to the Church. Yes. But once again: there was no "Hebraism" monolith in the Judea of Jesus Christ. This is a fact. There were multiple competing "Hebraisms" alongside what became "Judaism". One of these became "Christianity".

Quote
But we can't know this, because the evidence that would support your contention comes afterwards.

No, it doesn't. It's plainly there in the New Testament text. The rest follows. You're conveniently making the assertion that it's likely an interpolation to avoid what it implies. I am not the one here who is bending over backwards to not have to accept an inference.

Quote
So there is no way of knowing it's not an interpolation, which is damaging enough,

There's no reason to dismiss its authenticity in the absence of proof of your claim. The burden is not on me who takes it as it is. And the argument made for the interpolation, frankly, is no argument at all:

Mark uses "Eloi".
The Jewish bystanders in Mark 15:35 should not have mistaken "Eloi" as a cry to Elijah.
Matthew changed "Eloi" to "Eli" to reflect Psalm 22, which makes sense of Mark 15:35.
Therefore Mark 15:35 is probably an interpolation inserted after Matthew had been written.

A few things:

People frequently do things they "shouldn't".
Marks nevertheless mirrors Psalm 22 apart from "Eli", so it it is quite possible the Jews, being aware of this psalm, heard "Eli".
The conclusion doesn't follow anyway.

Quote
and anyway Elijah wasn't dead.  Calling out for a living person to come to your aid (even if the person is in occultation in the heavens) is different from the practice of praying the dead to intercede.

Again, it's a call to a saint for intercession. Bickering over the details of his vital status, when he'd supposedly been taken up to Heaven in a flaming chariot 900 years beforehand, is a bit bizarre. Nevertheless, it's academic. Ancient Hebrews were absolutely aware of such a practice as praying to the dead for intercession, just as they were aware of necromancy and idolatry, among their own people. This cannot be a point of contention.

The point of contention, in fact, is that you insist that under this "Hebraism", which original Christianity supposedly was, this practice was illicit; but the Catholic Church disagrees on your view of what original Christianity was.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on July 19, 2019, 10:26:04 AM
Rabbinical Judaism is a post-Christian revision of history. They even edited the Masoretic Old Testament where it conveniently expunges, as in Psalm 110, Christian implications from the text. So, too, the Judaism of the Scribes and Pharisees had involved a revision of history and an accompanying editing of the Old Testament, as happened with Genesis 18:22 and Zechariah 2:12. It was done in the name of "correcting" the text. The temple scribes had rules on how to do this.

Have you read Enoch's Apocalypse of Weeks?

3. And Enoch began to recount from the books and said:
'I was born the seventh in the first week,
While judgement and righteousness still endured.

4. And after me there shall arise in the second week great wickedness,
And deceit shall have sprung up;
And in it there shall be the first end.

And in it a man shall be saved (this is Noah);
And after it is ended unrighteousness shall grow up,
And a law shall be made for the sinners.

5. And after that in the third week at its close
A man shall be elected as the plant of righteous judgement (this is Abraham),
And his posterity shall become the plant of righteousness for evermore.

6. And after that in the fourth week, at its close,
Visions of the holy and righteous shall be seen,
And a law for all generations and an enclosure shall be made for them (this is Moses and the Ark).

7. And after that in the fifth week, at its close,
The house of glory and dominion shall be built for ever. (this is Solomon's Temple)

8. And after that in the sixth week all who live in it shall be blinded,
And the hearts of all of them shall godlessly forsake wisdom.

And in it a man shall ascend (possibly Elijah);
And at its close the house of dominion shall be burnt with fire (this is the destruction of the Temple and Babylonan exile),
And the whole race of the chosen root shall be dispersed.

9. And after that in the seventh week shall an apostate generation arise,
And many shall be its deeds,
And all its deeds shall be apostate.


10. And at its close shall be elected
The elect righteous of the eternal plant of righteousness,
To receive sevenfold instruction concerning all His creation.

Note how it characterises the post-exilic Second Temple period: a generation of apostates and apostate deeds. Yet this is the "Judaism" we knwo as orthodox.

From the synagogue to the Church, Christianity is absolutely not a continuation of this "Judaism".
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 19, 2019, 02:11:44 PM
Again you've just skipped over my references to the Talmud and Zohar which show that Jews acknowledge intercessory prayer as a Jewish cultural phenomenon:

Well, this is where I'm confused.  Why are you citing the Talmud and Zohar if we are trying to establish things about pre-Christian Judaism?  I wonder if we don't disagree as much as you think.  I certainly agree with you that the Judaism of Christ's day was not monolithic.  It is clear enough from the gospels that the hierarchs were from both the Sadducean and Pharisaical sects—one of which didn't even acknowledge an afterlife.  Surely they could tolerate a good deal of variance.  But the authorities have to count for something.  "The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.  Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example.  For they preach but they do not practice."  Here's something you said earlier:

I am arguing that they practised it, not whether it was licit.

I guess that's fine.  But I am arguing that in such cases they were going against Hebraism—that the licitness is what matters, as something like polytheistic worship is expressly verboten according to the God of the Hebrews.  If it's not, then I don't know what.  End of conversation, I suppose.  Not to be sola scriptura or anything, but the revelation of God as contained in the Old Testament has to be at least our primary source for what constituted orthodoxy and orthopraxy for the ancient Jews, otherwise we are just arguing over a heap of indistinguishable and unimportant variances.

It seems to be the default setting of most humans to fall back on superstition, folk religion, and gooey paganisms.  After all, what have the moderns gone in for now that they've rejected God?  New Age goo-goo, angels, crystals, ersatz occultism, yoga, reiki healing, and sending their wishes out to the universe.  "I'm spiritual, but not religious."  This idiocy is as old as the ages, and doubtless it occurred among the Jews.  But the ancient Jewish authorities were apt to quash these tendencies.  Protestant authorities operated on the same level, as Protestantism is far more a Hebraism than Catholicism or Orthodoxy.  Which returns us to my point: that the Church greatly relaxed its Hebraic quotient as it evangelized the Gentiles.  (And I don't argue that there was no thing as a "Hellenized Jew."  Indeed, such a term exists because the distinctions are so important.  St. Paul himself may have been one.  If so, this was probably what made him so effective as "the apostle to the Gentiles").

When did the Romans for instance, as a pagan people, grow out of polytheism and into monistic, rationalist, and stoic philosophy? This never happened.

They didn't.  That's part of my point.  But among the educated, it took a hold and trickled down.  By the time of Christ, Stoicism was popular as a practical philosophy, and where it mentioned "the gods" or "the fates," it was casual shorthand, not doctrinal belief.  The Greek philosophers regarded the traditional local polytheisms as harmless.  The average bumpkin was not going to become a philosopher, so let him sacrifice his incense and say his prayers to his chosen gods and hope for a good spouse or a bountiful harvest.  What does it hurt him?  And this is the aspect that sums it up: there's no wrathful father-god to offend, so let it be.  This is the crux of the difference between Athens and Jerusalem here.

The New Testament is, like the Old, what the Church teaches it is: part of a faith that worships Jesus, venerates Mary and prays to saints.

If we are going by what the Church teaches, then I am handicapped too much to argue.  The Church teaches a lot things that are said to be "implicit" in the early Chuch.  But the New Testament ought to speak for itself, simply as a record.  Where is prayer to saints in the letters of St. Paul?  These are letters that even include trivial things like "do me a favor and bring back the cloak I left in Troia," as well as various salutations and closings and prayers and benedictions—wouldn't there be at least one instance where he asked the dead for their intercession?  If this was the practice at the time, why isn't it more evident?

You're conveniently making the assertion that it's likely an interpolation to avoid what it implies.

There is no way to know that it isn't an interpolation—unless there is evidence that this belief predates the gospel.  The onus is on you.  The best I can say is: "I don't know."  But I would think that if this kind of belief was as common among "the Judaism that became Christianity," there would be more evidence in the NT for it aside from a possible interpolation (since you claim I'm the one bending over backwards).

Ancient Hebrews were absolutely aware of such a practice as praying to the dead for intercession, just as they were aware of necromancy and idolatry, among their own people. This cannot be a point of contention.

Precisely.  They were aware of necromancy and idolatry among their own people: as acts of faithlessness to God.  By your logic, a person could use heresies to define Catholicism.  This is nuts.


Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 19, 2019, 02:13:21 PM
Have you read Enoch's Apocalypse of Weeks?

No.  Does it contain examples of people praying to the dead for their intercession?

 :confused:
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on July 26, 2019, 09:53:15 AM
An interesting lecture by Dr. Ali Ataie, a Persian Sunni scholar specialized in comparative religion, trying to connect the linguistic and theological dots between Allah and God in the Bible:


For those interested, you can learn more about Dr. Ataie here (https://www.seekersguidance.org/articles/knowledge/the-interfaith-master-ustadh-ali-ataie-seekers-highlight/).
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Fleur-de-Lys on July 26, 2019, 12:12:37 PM
A very interesting lecture. From a purely linguistic perspective, Dr. Ataie’s analysis of the relationship between the Arabic allah/ilah, Hebrew el/eloah/elohim, and Aramaic elaha is solid and well established. But his attempt to tie in the Tetragrammaton seems eisegetical and is ultimately unconvincing.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on July 26, 2019, 01:14:30 PM
A very interesting lecture. From a purely linguistic perspective, Dr. Ataie’s analysis of the relationship between the Arabic allah/ilah, Hebrew el/eloah/elohim, and Aramaic elaha is solid and well established. But his attempt to tie in the Tetragrammaton seems eisegetical and is ultimately unconvincing.

Yes, I found that last part a bit contrived as well. He tried too hard. In any case, Dr. Ataie proposes the relationship between Al-Ikhlas and the Shema merely on a tentative level.

The most refreshing part about these lectures is that they attempt to present the issues with academic rigor, intellectual honesty and good will towards the other side. It's a completely different tone than the one we usually find in popular apologetics from both sides that is more often than not marred by false (or incomplete) portrayals and religious hysteria.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Miriam_M on July 26, 2019, 02:09:02 PM

Yes, I found that last part a bit contrived as well. He tried too hard. In any case, Dr. Ataie proposes the relationship between Al-Ikhlas and the Shema merely on a tentative level.

The most refreshing part about these lectures is that they attempt to present the issues with academic rigor, intellectual honesty and good will towards the other side. It's a completely different tone than the one we usually find in popular apologetics from both sides that is more often than not marred by false (or incomplete) portrayals and religious hysteria.

Point of Information:
Understanding why a religion is false is not equivalent to "religious hysteria."  It's a false religion.  So is Freemasonry.  So is Judaism.  So are all the Protestant sects.  Etc.

It might be an interesting intellectual exercise (for some) to examine why its adherents believe falsely in a non-Trinitarian Allah as equivalent to the true God, but it doesn't alter the fact that their beliefs are false.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on July 26, 2019, 03:30:42 PM
Well, this is where I'm confused.  Why are you citing the Talmud and Zohar if we are trying to establish things about pre-Christian Judaism?


Because the Talmudic sources are contemporaneous with Christ and early Christianity, and the Zohar gives us further insight into what your Semitic "Hebraists" actually believe. Now you're going to claim that "Hebraists" par-excellence watered down "Hebraism"? I see how it is: Catholics, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox and even Jews are incorrect: the Protestant idea of Judaism and early Christianity are correct.

Quote
I wonder if we don't disagree as much as you think.  I certainly agree with you that the Judaism of Christ's day was not monolithic.  It is clear enough from the gospels that the hierarchs were from both the Sadducean and Pharisaical sects—one of which didn't even acknowledge an afterlife.  Surely they could tolerate a good deal of variance. 

It's more than "variance"; we have the Essenes, Philo's doctrines, primitive Gnosticism, the beliefs that would become Christianity and so on, and no, the Pharisees did not tolerate these.

Quote
But the authorities have to count for something.  "The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.  Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example.  For they preach but they do not practice."  Here's something you said earlier:

Yes. And he also said render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. And then went on to break and dismiss what the Pharisees taught about the Sababth, unclean food and stoning adulterers.

Quote
I am arguing that they practised it, not whether it was licit.

I guess that's fine.  But I am arguing that in such cases they were going against Hebraism—that the licitness is what matters,

Yes, and nobody is arguing against that, but your "Hebraism" represents one faction of post-exilic Hebrew religion, albeit the one that politically entrenched itself through the ruling priest caste, the same one that crucified our Lord. It does not represent the faith of Enoch, Abraham, David and the priest-kings of the First Temple period that the Second Temple reformers had tried to extirpate as "pagan" and that lead the Jews of the Sanhedrin, knowing full well that by calling himself Son of the Most High, Jesus was invoking the old faith and declaring himself to be Yahweh, to nail him to a tree.

Quote
as something like polytheistic worship is expressly verboten according to the God of the Hebrews.  If it's not, then I don't know what.  End of conversation, I suppose.  Not to be sola scriptura or anything, but the revelation of God as contained in the Old Testament has to be at least our primary source for what constituted orthodoxy and orthopraxy for the ancient Jews, otherwise we are just arguing over a heap of indistinguishable and unimportant variances.

It certainly is a primary source but it is not the only source, and if you are not going to read it according to the Catholic tradition, and don't regard it as perfectly inerrant as transmitted, then for goodness sake, accept the demonstrable and self-admitted fact that the Scribes altered parts of it and the textual evidence that supports a re-making of the faith by returning elites after the Baylonian exile that was even more radical than the Reformation was to Catholicism. Anyone find it just a little ironic that the Temple was destroyed and the Captivity begun immediately following Josiah's supposed cleaning up of paganism and idolatry to return to the true faith based upon a discovery of a "scroll of the law"? Christianity was not the novelty; unitarian, iconoclastic and legalistic Judaism was.

Quote
It seems to be the default setting of most humans to fall back on superstition, folk religion, and gooey paganisms.  After all, what have the moderns gone in for now that they've rejected God?  New Age goo-goo, angels, crystals, ersatz occultism, yoga, reiki healing, and sending their wishes out to the universe.  "I'm spiritual, but not religious."  This idiocy is as old as the ages, and doubtless it occurred among the Jews.  But the ancient Jewish authorities were apt to quash these tendencies.  Protestant authorities operated on the same level, as Protestantism is far more a Hebraism than Catholicism or Orthodoxy.  Which returns us to my point: that the Church greatly relaxed its Hebraic quotient as it evangelized the Gentiles.  (And I don't argue that there was no thing as a "Hellenized Jew."  Indeed, such a term exists because the distinctions are so important.  St. Paul himself may have been one.  If so, this was probably what made him so effective as "the apostle to the Gentiles").

Protestantism certainly is far more "Hebraism" in various aspects. In fact, it sounds like "Hebraism" is in some respect an anachronistic Protestant construct that does not even fit what you'll hear from orthodox Jews, but I won't belabour the point. But I'll take "superstition, folk religion, and gooey paganism,  New Age goo-goo, angels, crystals, ersatz occultism, yoga, reiki healing, and sending their wishes out to the universe" over the masochistic submission and absurd worship of the God of this World, Father of Lies, Murderer from the Beginning, grand cosmic tyrant and enemy of all mankind as "God".

Quote
They didn't.  That's part of my point.  But among the educated, it took a hold and trickled down.  By the time of Christ, Stoicism was popular as a practical philosophy, and where it mentioned "the gods" or "the fates," it was casual shorthand, not doctrinal belief.

The Greek philosophers regarded the traditional local polytheisms as harmless.  The average bumpkin was not going to become a philosopher, so let him sacrifice his incense and say his prayers to his chosen gods and hope for a good spouse or a bountiful harvest.  What does it hurt him? 

Sure. But Neoplatonism says something different about people who where the farthest thing from country bumpkins, as does the Hermetic corpus and the Papyri Magicae Graecae.

Quote
And this is the aspect that sums it up: there's no wrathful father-god to offend, so let it be.  This is the crux of the difference between Athens and Jerusalem here.

Ok.

Quote
If we are going by what the Church teaches, then I am handicapped too much to argue.  The Church teaches a lot things that are said to be "implicit" in the early Chuch.  But the New Testament ought to speak for itself, simply as a record.  Where is prayer to saints in the letters of St. Paul?  These are letters that even include trivial things like "do me a favor and bring back the cloak I left in Troia," as well as various salutations and closings and prayers and benedictions—wouldn't there be at least one instance where he asked the dead for their intercession?  If this was the practice at the time, why isn't it more evident?

I'm not going to play the sola scriptura game.

Quote
There is no way to know that it isn't an interpolation—unless there is evidence that this belief predates the gospel. 

There's no reason to believe it is an interpolation.

Quote
The onus is on you. 

That's absurd. If you're going to dismiss it because you declare it's likely an interpolation, then the onus is on you to demonstrate that.

Quote
The best I can say is: "I don't know." 

You could say that about every word and every sentence in the scriptures. If you're going to use that as an argument, then stop asking me for scriptural evidence of anything, because it's totally pointless.

Quote
But I would think that if this kind of belief was as common among "the Judaism that became Christianity," there would be more evidence in the NT for it aside from a possible interpolation (since you claim I'm the one bending over backwards).

Everything is a "possible interpolation". Yes, you are bending over backwards since the argument for interpolation is logically fallacious. And no, there's no objective reason to conclude "there would be more evidence in the NT".

Quote
Precisely.  They were aware of necromancy and idolatry among their own people: as acts of faithlessness to God.  By your logic, a person could use heresies to define Catholicism.  This is nuts.


Just stop it. I'm not defining "Hebraism"; that's your construct. I'm not arguing that "Hebraism" taught these things. "They" are the Hebrews, and the Hebrews practised these things. Please understand the point: The Hebrews practised magic, idolatry, veneration, praying for the dead, praying to the dead, etc. I'm not saying which of these were licit, but the Church regards praying to the dead for intercession as licit, AND YOU HAVE NO BASIS TO DECLARE THAT VENERATION OF SAINTS AND PRAYERS FOR INTERCESSION FROM THEM IS SOMETHING THAT DEVELOPED AMONG CHRISTIANS THROUGH LATER PAGAN INFLUENCE WHEN THE HEBREWS WERE AS A FACT PRACTISING THIS SAME THING, WHETHER OR NOT "HEBRAISM" REGARDED IT AS LICIT. (emphasis, not sreaming)
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on July 26, 2019, 03:37:48 PM
An interesting lecture by Dr. Ali Ataie, a Persian Sunni scholar specialized in comparative religion, trying to connect the linguistic and theological dots between Allah and God in the Bible:


For those interested, you can learn more about Dr. Ataie here (https://www.seekersguidance.org/articles/knowledge/the-interfaith-master-ustadh-ali-ataie-seekers-highlight/).

Thanks. I needed a good laugh.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 27, 2019, 07:46:43 AM
The Talmudic sources are contemporaneous with Christ and early Christianity, and the Zohar gives us further insight into what your Semitic "Hebraists" actually believe. Now you're going to claim that "Hebraists" par-excellence watered down "Hebraism"? I see how it is: Catholics, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox and even Jews are incorrect: the Protestant idea of Judaism and early Christianity are correct.

It's not the dichotomy you see it as.  It could be that Protestantism is simply correct on this particular point.  If the Talmud is contemporaneous with early Christianity, and it contains references to praying to the dead for intercession, then why doesn't the Christian corpus contain them also?  And it's not sola scriptura.  You are not restricted to the NT.  Any of the orthodox writings would suffice.  Does Clement of Rome mention praying to the dead for intercession?  Tertullian?  St. Justin?  Origen?

Here is your problem: you can't trot out something from the Talmud and say, "this is the Judaism from which Christianity sprung."  That's a mere assertion.  To prove it, you would have to show concurrences in Christianity.  The only "Judaism" which Christianity formally admits a continuance with is the Judaism in the OT.  If your rebuttal is that an evil, hook-nosed rabbinical caste redacted and edited the OT in their own favor (and not yours), then that only raises the question of why a tampered collection is enshrined by the Church as the word of God.  You would also be in the same boat as the Mohammedans, who maintain that the ancient Jews actually had the Qur'anic understanding of the patriarchal stories.  Their proof: none.  Their claim: "the scriptures were tampered with."  This is suspiciously convenient.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 27, 2019, 08:17:46 AM
There's no reason to believe it is an interpolation.

The editors of the NABRE beg to differ.  There are two competing claims: theirs and yours.  I haven't the learning to determine which is correct.  And either one could be wrong.  A shepherd boy in Libya could knock over a clay urn in a dusty cave tomorrow morning, and out might spill papyri dating from the second century BC, containing an Enochian Psalter and confirming that the Jews prayed to Enoch for his intercession.  But until then, there is no proof.  The Catholic scholars of the NABRE (affirmed by the US bishops) could be correct, or Margaret Barker could.  Who knows?

But if you think the rabbinical class edited the OT to their own favor, I don't know why you refuse to admit any tampering by Christian scribes to the NT.  You can't have it both ways.  Mark, at any rate, the gospel in question, does seem to contain obvious interpolations and additions (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_16).  At the very least it contains observable early variations.


Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Xavier on July 27, 2019, 02:08:55 PM
Thanks, Pon, for sharing that Tradition of the Jewish Faithful being particularly devoted to St. Michael, regarding him as the special patron and protector of the Hebrew Nation, and imploring his intercession in their trials. May St. Michael the ArchAngel lead them safely to their salvation in Christ.

Can we discuss on how Prayers of the Saints in Heaven is revealed more fully in the New Testament? That might help us understand the Old better.

Apoc 5:8 And when he had opened the book, the four living creatures and the four and twenty ancients fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

6:9  And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.6:10  And they cried with a loud voice, saying: How long, O Lord (Holy and True), dost thou not judge and revenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 6:11  And white robes were given to every one of them one; And it was said to them that they should rest for a little time till their fellow servants and their brethren, who are to be slain even as they, should be filled up.

8:3  And another angel came and stood before the altar, having a golden censer: and there was given to him much incense, that he should offer of the prayers of all saints, upon the golden altar which is before the throne of God.

8:4  And the smoke of the incense of the prayers of the saints ascended up before God from the hand of the angel.

Commentary: the prayers of the Saints in Heaven ascends to the Throne of God like sweet smelling incense. Because all of this is so similar to how we worship Almighty God when Heaven comes to Earth in Holy Mass, many Catholic commentators see here prefigured in mysterious type the incense we offer God, which the Saints also pray over, during Holy Mass. And the second verse confirms it, for it shows murdered martyrs as living souls making requests of God, to be answered st their proper time; moreover it is said under the Altar because Churches are often constructed over the relics of the Saints, and their souls still active there also shows why their intercession should be sought and their relics venerated. Finally, as a kind of triple cord, the Angelic Hierarchy also adds the merit of its prayers before these prayers ascends to the Most High.

Do you agree, dear Pon, that all this in the NT is warrant for seeking the powerful intercession of the Saints? [Edit: also 14:13  And I heard a voice from heaven, saying to me: Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. From henceforth now, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours. For their works follow them. tells us the departed in the Lord now fully enter the reward of their works after Christ. I'm doing a Bible study on Revelation and it's quie amazing how much information there is about Heaven, Angels and Saints in 1 single Book].

God bless.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 28, 2019, 08:31:47 AM
Thanks, Pon, for sharing that Tradition of the Jewish Faithful being particularly devoted to St. Michael, regarding him as the special patron and protector of the Hebrew Nation, and imploring his intercession in their trials.

You're welcome.  But let's be cautious not to overdo it with the embellishments.  According to the citation, the practice of praying to St. Michael among the Jews seems to have been a "folk religion" element that eventually gained in popularity.  This was to the consternation of the rabbinical authorities of the time (presumably, those who "sat in the seat of Moses") who tried to quash and discourage it, seeing it as an error given the oneness and sovereignty of God.  It seems to be an instance of a quasi-pagan inclination clashing with the Hebraic lordliness.  And yet, in your favor, it does indeed stand as an example of people "praying to heavenly denizens besides God" within the Semitic monotheism.

Can we discuss on how Prayers of the Saints in Heaven is revealed more fully in the New Testament? That might help us understand the Old better.

I think Revelation 5:8 makes an implicit case, but just as with the examples we discussed from the OT, the element of the faithful praying specifically to the dead is missing.  The saints are presenting the Lamb with incense-filled bowls of prayers.  But to whom were these prayers originally addressed?  That's the crucial question.  The text doesn't say.  It doesn't tell us whether the saints themselves were the intended recipients of these prayers, or whether it is an honor in heaven for the saints to ceremoniously present to the Lord the prayers offered to Him.

What we really need is an example of someone praying to (or exhorting prayer to) the dead for their intercession.  Consider St. Stephen, the first martyr.  St. Paul was present at his execution.  As the Church underwent her trials of persecutions under the Romans, it seems that if praying to the saints was a commonplace practice, St. Stephen would've been an obvious saint to pray to for fortitude in the possibility of eventual death.  But does St. Paul (or anyone else in the first or second century) pray to St. Stephen?  Or to any other of the deceased?  That is the kind of thing which would explicitly prove it.  Many of the earliest epistles conclude or begin with various prayers, benedictions, and exhortations to prayer.  Do we find any mentions of prayer to the dead?  I don't know the answer, but it seems like if there was such a thing, the Protestants would've been clubbed to death with it long ago (with much triumphalism).  Peace be with you.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on July 28, 2019, 05:57:59 PM
Another interesting lecture by Dr. Ali Ataie exploring the Islamic positions on Christ's crucifixion. As far as I gather, he himself defends a minority position but it is still well worth exploring it.


Based upon Todd Lawson's book by the same name, this lecture will highlight and analyze the exegetical history of Muslim theo-Christological thought with respect to the highly controversial al-Nisa 4:157 — the only ayah in the Qur'an that explicitly references the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him). What exactly is the ayah saying? Was Christ substituted? Did he swoon? Was he actually crucified? What are the (inter)textual and historical evidences for these positions?
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Fleur-de-Lys on July 28, 2019, 10:19:38 PM
Another interesting lecture by Dr. Ali Ataie exploring the Islamic positions on Christ's crucifixion. As far as I gather, he himself defends a minority position but it is still well worth exploring it.


Based upon Todd Lawson's book by the same name, this lecture will highlight and analyze the exegetical history of Muslim theo-Christological thought with respect to the highly controversial al-Nisa 4:157 — the only ayah in the Qur'an that explicitly references the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him). What exactly is the ayah saying? Was Christ substituted? Did he swoon? Was he actually crucified? What are the (inter)textual and historical evidences for these positions?

A very thorough examination of the various traditional interpretations of this ayah. I particularly appreciated Dr. Ataie’s bringing both philology and intertextuality to the discussion. His conclusions were certainly surprising. :D
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 29, 2019, 06:44:46 AM
Another interesting lecture by Dr. Ali Ataie exploring the Islamic positions on Christ's crucifixion. As far as I gather, he himself defends a minority position but it is still well worth exploring it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09-JthSnyic (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09-JthSnyic)

I'll look forward to watching this one.  I enjoyed the previous video you posted from this same speaker.  The philology aspects were educational to me, and I appreciated his juxtaposition of Marcionite Christianity with orthodox Christianity and Islam, which is a good way to frame the "God of the Hebrews" issue (R.C. Zaehner used the same tactic in his book Our Savage God).  I was also pleased with his digression to confront the theory that the God worshiped by Muslims is somehow a Babylonian moon god.  I remember I had never heard of that one until devotedknuckles voiced it on Fish Eaters some years ago.  It's one of those theories I like, even though it isn't true.  Like the "Egyptians were black" theory.

But Dr. Ataie is surely wrong about the Qa'abah, even if he is only re-stating a pious Islamic belief.  It was not originally an altar built by Abraham and Ishmael.  Is there any evidence the Arabians believed it to be that, prior to the Prophet?


Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Gardener on July 29, 2019, 07:42:02 AM
The Talmudic sources are contemporaneous with Christ and early Christianity, and the Zohar gives us further insight into what your Semitic "Hebraists" actually believe. Now you're going to claim that "Hebraists" par-excellence watered down "Hebraism"? I see how it is: Catholics, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox and even Jews are incorrect: the Protestant idea of Judaism and early Christianity are correct.

It's not the dichotomy you see it as.  It could be that Protestantism is simply correct on this particular point.  If the Talmud is contemporaneous with early Christianity, and it contains references to praying to the dead for intercession, then why doesn't the Christian corpus contain them also?  And it's not sola scriptura.  You are not restricted to the NT.  Any of the orthodox writings would suffice.  Does Clement of Rome mention praying to the dead for intercession?  Tertullian?  St. Justin?  Origen?

Here is your problem: you can't trot out something from the Talmud and say, "this is the Judaism from which Christianity sprung."  That's a mere assertion.  To prove it, you would have to show concurrences in Christianity.  The only "Judaism" which Christianity formally admits a continuance with is the Judaism in the OT.  If your rebuttal is that an evil, hook-nosed rabbinical caste redacted and edited the OT in their own favor (and not yours), then that only raises the question of why a tampered collection is enshrined by the Church as the word of God.  You would also be in the same boat as the Mohammedans, who maintain that the ancient Jews actually had the Qur'anic understanding of the patriarchal stories.  Their proof: none.  Their claim: "the scriptures were tampered with."  This is suspiciously convenient.

Starting in the late 2nd century and moving forward:

Quote
Tradition / Church Fathers

I. Intercessory Power and Veneration of the Saints

“[T]hat it is neither possible for us ever to forsake Christ, who suffered for the salvation of such as shall be saved throughout the whole world (the blameless one for sinners), nor to worship any other. For Him indeed, as being the Son of God, we adore; but the martyrs, as disciples and followers of the Lord, we worthily love on account of their extraordinary affection towards their own King and Master, of whom may we also be made companions and fellow disciples! The centurion then, seeing the strife excited by the Jews, placed the body in the midst of the fire, and consumed it. Accordingly, we afterwards took up his bones, as being more precious than the most exquisite jewels, and more purified than gold, and deposited them in a fitting place, whither, being gathered together, as opportunity is allowed us, with joy and rejoicing, the Lord shall grant us to celebrate the anniversary of his martyrdom, both in memory of those who have already finished their course, and for the exercising and preparation of those yet to walk in their steps.” Martyrdom of Polycarp 17,18 (A.D. 157).

“[Appealing to the three companions of Daniel] Think of me, I beseech you, so that I may achieve with you the same fate of martyrdom.” Hippolytus of Rome, On Daniel, 11:30 (A.D. 204).

“As often as the anniversary comes round, we make offerings for the dead as birthday honours.” Tertullian, The Crown, 3 (A.D. 211).

“Nor is that kind of title to glories in the case of Celerinus, our beloved, an unfamiliar and novel thing. He is advancing in the footsteps of his kindred; he rivals his parents and relations in equal honours of divine condescension. His grandmother, Celerina, was some time since crowned with martyrdom. Moreover, his paternal and maternal uncles, Laurentius and Egnatius, who themselves also were once warring in the camps of the world, but were true and spiritual soldiers of God, casting down the devil by the confession of Christ, merited palms and crowns from the Lord by their illustrious passion. We always offer sacrifices for them, as you remember, as often as we celebrate the passions and days of the martyrs in the annual commemoration. Nor could he, therefore, be degenerate and inferior whom this family dignity and a generous nobility provoked, by domestic examples of virtue and faith. But if in a worldly family it is a matter of heraldry and of praise to be a patrician, of bow much greater praise and honour is it to become of noble rank in the celestial heraldry! I cannot tell whom I should call more blessed,–whether those ancestors, for a posterity so illustrious, or him, for an origin so glorious. So equally between them does the divine condescension flow, and pass to and fro, that, just as the dignity of their offspring brightens their crown, so the sublimity of his ancestry illuminates his glory.” Cyprian, To Clergy and People, Epistle 33(39):3 (A.D. 250).

“I am also of opinion that there were many persons of the same name with John the apostle, who by their love for him, and their admiration and emulation of him, and their desire to be loved by the Lord as he was loved, were induced to embrace also the same designation, just as we find many of the children of the faithful called by the names of Paul and Peter.” Dionysius of Alexandria, Books of Promises, 5 (A.D. 257).

“Then we commemorate also those who have fallen asleep before us, first Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, that at their prayers and intercessions God would receive our petition. Then on behalf also of the Holy Fathers and Bishops who have fallen asleep before us, and in a word of all who in past years have fallen asleep among us, believing that it will be a very great benefit to the souls, for whom the supplication is put up, while that holy and most awful sacrifice is set forth.” Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, 23:9 (A.D. 350).

“Thus might you console us; but what of the flock? Would you first promise the oversight and leadership of yourself, a man under whose wings we all would gladly repose, and for whose words we thirst more eagerly than men suffering from thirst for the purest fountain? Secondly, persuade us that the good shepherd who laid down his life for the sheep has not even now left us; but is present, and tends and guides, and knows his own, and is known of his own, and, though bodily invisible, is spiritually recognized, and defends his flock against the wolves, and allows no one to climb over into the fold as a robber and traitor; to pervert and steal away, by the voice of strangers, souls under the fair guidance of the truth. Aye, I am well assured that his intercession is of more avail now than was his instruction in former days, since he is closer to God, now that he has shaken off his bodily fetters, and freed his mind from the clay which obscured it, and holds intercourse naked with the nakedness of the prime and purest Mind; being promoted, if it be not rash to say so, to the rank and confidence of an angel.” John Chrysostom, On the Death of his Father, Oration 18:4 (A.D. 374).

“He voluntarily undertook all the toil of the journey; he moderated the energy of the faithful on the spot; he persuaded opponents by his arguments; in the presence of priests and deacons, and of many others who fear the Lord, he took up the relics with all becoming reverence, and has aided the brethren in their preservation. These relics do you receive with a joy equivalent to the distress with which their custodians have parted with them and sent them to you. Let none dispute; let none doubt. Here you have that unconquered athlete. These bones, which shared in the conflict with the blessed soul, are known to the Lord. These bones He will crown, together with that soul, in the righteous day of His requital, as it is written, ‘we must stand before the judgment seat of Christ, that each may give an account of the deeds he has done in the body.’ One coffin held that honoured corpse. None other lay by his side. The burial was a noble one; the honours of a martyr were paid him. Christians who had welcomed him as a guest and then with their own hands laid him in the grave, have now disinterred him. They have wept as men bereaved of a father and a champion. But they have sent him to you, for they put your joy before their own consolation. Pious were the hands that gave; scrupulously careful were the hands that received. There has been no room for deceit; no room for guile. I bear witness to this. Let the untainted truth be accepted by you.” Basil, To Ambrose bishop of Milan, Epistle 197 (A.D. 375).

“Furthermore, as to mentioning the names of the dead, how is there anything very useful in that? What is more timely or more excellent than that those who are still here should believe that the departed do live, and that they have not retreated into nothingness, but that they exist and are alive with the Master…Useful too is the prayer fashioned on their behalf…For we make commemoration of the just and of sinners: of sinners, begging God’s mercy for them; of the just and the Fathers and Patriarchs and Prophets and Apostles and Evangelists and martyrs and confessors, and of bishops and solitaries, and of the whole list of them…” Epiphanius, Panarion, 75:8 (A.D. 377).

“Only may that power come upon us which strengthens weakness, through the prayers of him[i.e. St. Paul] who made his own strength perfect in bodily weakness.” Gregory of Nyssa, Against Eunomius, 1:1(A.D. 380).

“But God forbid that any in this fair assembly should appear there suffering such things! but by the prayers of the holy fathers, correcting all our offences, and having shown forth the abundant fruit of virtue, may we depart hence with much confidence.” John Chrysostom, On Statues, Homily 6:19 (A.D. 387).

“As to our paying honor to the memory of the martyrs, and the accusation of Faustus, that we worship them instead of idols, I should not care to answer such a charge, were it not for the sake of showing how Faustus, in his desire to cast reproach on us, has overstepped the Manichaean inventions, and has fallen heedlessly into a popular notion found in Pagan poetry, although he is so anxious to be distinguished from the Pagans. For in saying that we have turned the idols into martyrs, be speaks of our worshipping them with similar rites, and appeasing the shades of the departed with wine and food…It is true that Christians pay religious honor to the memory of the martyrs, both to excite us to imitate them and to obtain a share in their merits, and the assistance of their prayers. But we build altars not to any martyr, but to the God of martyrs, although it is to the memory of the martyrs. No one officiating at the altar in the saints’ burying-place ever says, We bring an offering to thee, O Peter! or O Paul! or O Cyprian! The offering is made to God, who gave the crown of martyrdom, while it is in memory of those thus crowned. The emotion is increased by the associations of the place, and. love is excited both towards those who are our examples, and towards Him by whose help we may follow such examples. We regard the martyrs with the same affectionate intimacy that we feel towards holy men of God in this life, when we know that their hearts are prepared to endure the same suffering for the truth of the gospel. There is more devotion in our feeling towards the martyrs, because we know that their conflict is over; and we can speak with greater confidence in praise of those already victors in heaven, than of those still combating here.” Augustine, Against Faustus, 20:21 (A.D. 400).

“We, it is true, refuse to worship or adore, I say not the relics of the martyrs, but even the sun and moon, the angels and archangels, the Cherubim and Seraphim and ‘every name that is named, not only in this world but also in that which is to come.’ For we may not “serve the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Still we honour the relics of the martyrs, that we may adore Him whose martyrs they are. We honour the servants that their honour may be reflected upon their Lord who Himself says:–‘he that receiveth you receiveth me.’ I ask Vigilantius, Are the relics of Peter and of Paul unclean? Was the body of Moses unclean, of which we are told (according to the correct Hebrew text) that it was buried by the Lord Himself? And do we, every time that we enter the basilicas of apostles and prophets and martyrs, pay homage to the shrines of idols? Are the tapers which burn before their tombs only the tokens of idolatry? I will go farther still and ask a question which will make this theory recoil upon the head of its inventor and which will either kill or cure that frenzied brain of his, so that simple souls shall be no more subverted by his sacrilegious reasonings. Let him answer me this, Was the Lord’s body unclean when it was placed in the sepulchre? And did the angels clothed in white raiment merely watch over a corpse dead and defiled, that ages afterwards this sleepy fellow might indulge in dreams and vomit forth his filthy surfeit, so as, like the persecutor Julian, either to destroy the basilicas of the saints or to convert them into heathen temples?” Jerome, To Riparius, Epistle 109:1 (A.D. 404).

“For you say that the souls of Apostles and martyrs have their abode either in the bosom of Abraham, or in the place of refreshment, or under the altar of God, and that they cannot leave their own tombs, and be present there they will…And while the devil and the demons wander through the whole world, and with only too great speed present themselves everywhere; are martyrs, after the shedding of their blood, to be kept out of sight shut up in a coffin, from whence they cannot escape? You say, in your pamphlet, that so long as we are alive we can pray for one another; but once we die, the prayer of no person for another can be heard, and all the more because the martyrs, though they cry for the avenging of their blood, have never been able to obtain their request. If Apostles and martyrs while still in the body can pray for others, when they ought still to be anxious for themselves, how much more must they do so when once they have won their crowns, overcome, and triumphed? A single man, Moses, oft wins pardon from God for six hundred thousand armed men; and Stephen, the follower of his Lord and the first Christian martyr, entreats pardon for his persecutors; and when once they have entered on their life with Christ, shall they have less power than before? The Apostle Paul says that two hundred and seventy-six souls were given to him in the ship; and when, after his dissolution, he has begun to be with Christ, must he shut his mouth, and be unable to say a word for those who throughout the whole world have believed in his Gospel? Shall Vigilantius the live dog be better than Paul the dead lion? I should be right in saying so after Ecclesiastes, if I admitted that Paul is dead in spirit. The truth is that the saints are not called dead, but are said to be asleep. Wherefore Lazarus, who was about to rise again, is said to have slept. And the Apostle forbids the Thessalonians to be sorry for those who were asleep.” Jerome, Against Vigilantius, 6 (A.D. 406).

“Even if we make images of pious men it is not that we may adore them as gods but that when we see them we might be prompted to imitate them.” Cyril of Alexandria, On Psalms 113 (115) (ante A.D. 444).

“The noble souls of the triumphant are sauntering around heaven, dancing in the choruses of the bodiless; and not one tomb for each conceals their bodies, but cities and villages divide them up and call them healers and preservers of souls and bodies, and venerate them a guardians and protectors of cities; and when they intervene as ambassadors before the Master of the universe the divine gifts are obtained through them; and though the body has been divided, its grace has continued undivided. And that little particle and smallest relic has the same power as the absolutely and utterly undivided martyr.” Theodoret of Cyrus, The Cure of Pagan Maladies, 8:54 (A.D. 449).

” Thou gainest nothing, thou prevailest nothing, O savage cruelty. His mortal frame is released from thy devices, and, when Laurentius departs to heaven, thou art vanquished. The flame of Christ’s love could not be overcome by thy flames, and the fire which burnt outside was less keen than that which blazed within. Thou didst but serve the martyr in thy rage, O persecutor: thou didst but swell the reward in adding to the pain. For what did thy cunning devise, which did not redound to the conqueror’s glory, when even the instruments of torture were counted as part of the triumph? Let us rejoice, then, dearly-beloved, with spiritual joy, and make our boast over the happy end of this illustrious man in the Lord, Who is ‘wonderful in His saints,’ in whom He has given us a support and an example, and has so spread abroad his glory throughout the world, that, from the rising of the sun to its going down, the brightness of his deacon’s light doth shine, and Rome is become as famous in Laurentius as Jerusalem was ennobled by Stephen. By his prayer and intercession we trust at all times to be assisted; that, because all, as the Apostle says, ‘who wish to live holily in Christ, suffer persecutions,’ we may be strengthened with the spirit of love, and be fortified to overcome all temptations by the perseverance of steadfast faith. Through our LORD Jesus Christ.” Pope Leo the Great [regn. A.D. 440-461], On the Feast of Laurence the Martyr, Sermon 85:4 (ante A.D. 461).

“To the saints honour must be paid as friends of Christ, as sons and heirs of God: in the words of John the theologian and evangelist, As many as received Him, to them gave He power to became sons of God. So that they are no longer servants, but sons: and if sons, also heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ: and the Lord in the holy Gospels says to His apostles, Ye are My friends. Henceforth I call you not servants, for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth. And further, if the Creator and Lord of all things is called also King of Kings and Lord of Lords and God of Gods, surely also the saints are gods and lords and kings. For of these God is and is called God and Lord and King. For I am the God of Abraham, He said to Moses, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. And God made Moses a god to Pharaoh. Now I mean gods and kings and lords not in nature, but as rulers and masters of their passions, and as preserving a truthful likeness to the divine image according to which they were made (for the image of a king is also called king), and as being united to God of their own free-will and receiving Him as an indweller and becoming by grace through participation with Him what He is Himself by nature. Surely, then, the worshippers and friends and sons of God are to be held in honour? For the honour shown to the most thoughtful of fellow-servants is a proof of good feeling towards the common Master.” John of Damascene, Orthodox Faith, 4:15 (A.D. 743).

“We, therefore, following the royal pathway and the divinely inspired authority of our Holy Fathers and the traditions of the Catholic Church (for, as we all know, the Holy Spirit indwells her), define with all certitude and accuracy that just as the figure of the precious and life-giving Cross, so also the venerable and holy images, as well in painting and mosaic as of other fit materials, should be set forth in the holy churches of God, and on the sacred vessels and on the vestments and on hangings and in pictures both in houses and by the wayside, to wit, the figure of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ, of our spotless Lady, the Mother of God, of the honourable Angels, of all Saints and of all pious people. For by so much more frequently as they are seen in artistic representation, by so much more readily are men lifted up to the memory of their prototypes, and to a longing after them; and to these should be given due salutation and honourable reverence, not indeed that true worship of faith (latria) which pertains alone to the divine nature; but to these, as to the figure of the precious and life-giving Cross and to the Book of the Gospels and to the other holy objects, incense and lights may be offered according to ancient pious custom. For the honour which is paid to the image passes on to that which the image represents, and he who reveres the image reveres in it the subject represented. For thus the teaching of our holy Fathers, that is the tradition of the Catholic Church, which from one end of the earth to the other hath received the Gospel, is strengthened.” Ecumenical Council of Nicea II, Action VII (A.D. 787).

https://www.scripturecatholic.com/saints-and-intercessory-prayer/#I_Intercessory_Power_and_Veneration_of_the_Saints

Scriptural proofs:
https://www.scripturecatholic.com/saints-and-intercessory-prayer/#II_God_Desires_and_Responds_to_Our_Subordinate_Mediation_Intercessory_Prayer

The argument that “were there proofs, the Protestants would have been clubbed to death with them” is a bit cheeky, considering there are ample proofs not only of intercessory prayer but of many other Catholic doctrines which they repeatedly ignore despite overwhelming evidence in Scripture and history.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on July 29, 2019, 08:57:44 AM
But Dr. Ataie is surely wrong about the Qa'abah, even if he is only re-stating a pious Islamic belief.  It was not originally an altar built by Abraham and Ishmael. Is there any evidence the Arabians believed it to be that, prior to the Prophet?

Well, there is an Arabic tradition that tells of the existence of the hunafa or hanifs. According to that tradition, these were pre-Islamic Arabs that had rejected idolatry and maintained some of the tenets of the religion of Abraham. It does not seem entirely implausible, or completely outside the realm of possibility, that there remained distant memory among some of them that related the Ka'bah to Abraham and Ishmael. Certainly, by the time of Muhammad, it seems that the Ka'bah was venerated chiefly as the shrine of Allah, the highest god of their pantheon.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on July 29, 2019, 09:29:25 AM
There's no reason to believe it is an interpolation.

The editors of the NABRE beg to differ.  There are two competing claims: theirs and yours.

I already addressed the argument and proved that it is invalid, that is, the conclusion does not follow from the premises by logical inference. You don't need "learning" to understand this; it's a fact of logic.

Quote
I haven't the learning to determine which is correct.  And either one could be wrong. 

Irrelevant. It's nevertheless evidence, and it can't be thrown out based in a fallacious argument for interpolation while still demaning scriptural evidence.

Quote
But if you think the rabbinical class edited the OT to their own favor, I don't know why you refuse to admit any tampering by Christian scribes to the NT.  You can't have it both ways.  Mark, at any rate, the gospel in question, does seem to contain obvious interpolations and additions (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_16).  At the very least it contains observable early variations.

This is more nonsense from you. I reject the proposition because those who make it base it upon a fallacious argument. They have not proved their assertion. This makes the claim that this is not actual scripture as significant as the same claim being made of any other verse. In which case, if you're going to take seriously that possibiltiy, you have to take seriously the possibiltiy that any part of scripture is interpolated, rendering all of it useless for your intended purposes (it might be authentic or it might not be authentic, hur, hur, so let's ignore it QED) . Therefore it is you who wants to have it both ways:

You demand "scriptural" evidence of me, but at the same time you reject the scriptural evidence because of possible "interpolation". This behaviour ought to be beneath you.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on July 29, 2019, 09:50:21 AM
The Talmudic sources are contemporaneous with Christ and early Christianity, and the Zohar gives us further insight into what your Semitic "Hebraists" actually believe. Now you're going to claim that "Hebraists" par-excellence watered down "Hebraism"? I see how it is: Catholics, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox and even Jews are incorrect: the Protestant idea of Judaism and early Christianity are correct.

It's not the dichotomy you see it as.  It could be that Protestantism is simply correct on this particular point. 

Again: what is left of your point if the "Hebraists" par-excellence watered down "Hebraism", and we have to look to Western, non-Hebrew, non-Semitic Protestants to understand what "Semitists" or  "Hebraists" once believed? This is becoming ridiculous.

Quote
If the Talmud is contemporaneous with early Christianity, and it contains references to praying to the dead for intercession, then why doesn't the Christian corpus contain them also?  And it's not sola scriptura.  You are not restricted to the NT. 

It does contain them. But you will simply reject them as pagan-influenced and not early enough.

Quote
Any of the orthodox writings would suffice.  Does Clement of Rome mention praying to the dead for intercession?  Tertullian?  St. Justin?  Origen?

Now supplication and plea and thanksgiving may be offered to people without impropriety. Two of them, namely pleading and thanksgiving, might be offered not only to saints but to people alone in general, whereas supplication should be offered to saints alone, should there be found a Paul or a Peter, who may benefit us and make us worthy to attain authority for the forgiveness of sins. - Origen

Let us remember one another in concord and unanimity. Let us on both sides [of death] always pray for one another. Let us relieve burdens and afflictions by mutual love, that if one of us, by the swiftness of divine condescension, shall go hence first, our love may continue in the presence of the Lord, and our prayers for our brethren and sisters not cease in the presence of the Father’s mercy. - St. Cyrpian


Quote
Here is your problem: you can't trot out something from the Talmud and say, "this is the Judaism from which Christianity sprung." That's a mere assertion.

I didn't say this is the Judaism from which Christianity sprung; I said this is the culture from which Christianity comes, and that is a fact.

Quote
To prove it, you would have to show concurrences in Christianity.

Those concurrences exist, and you write them off as post-Christian pagan influence. You specifically focus on prayers to the dead for intercession because it lets you do this, while ignoring prayers to angels, which alreayd exist in Genesis and 1st-2nd century Christian texts, and the veneration aspect of angels and saints, which are demonstrably 1st-2nd century.

Quote
The only "Judaism" which Christianity formally admits a continuance with is the Judaism in the OT. 

This tells me nothing. The Church never "admitted" continuance with any "Judaism". The Church claims continuity with the faith of the Patriarchs and Prophets as revealed in the scriptures according to how the Church understands them - which includes licitly venerating and asking for intercession from the dead.

Quote
If your rebuttal is that an evil, hook-nosed rabbinical caste redacted and edited the OT in their own favor (and not yours), then that only raises the question of why a tampered collection is enshrined by the Church as the word of God. 

This isn't a claim. It's a fact. I already pointed you to absolutely factual and undeniable instances of changing the texts by the Temple scribes as recorded by them.

Quote
You would also be in the same boat as the Mohammedans, who maintain that the ancient Jews actually had the Qur'anic understanding of the patriarchal stories.  Their proof: none.  Their claim: "the scriptures were tampered with."  This is suspiciously convenient.

No, it doesn't. The Mohammedan claim is not based in any textual analysis or supported by it. All ancient "correcting" by the scribes and blatant tampering by anti-Christians in the Masoretic points in the exact opposite direction of the Islamic anti-Christian, unitarian, iconoclastic claims: it points to pre-Christian Christianity.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 29, 2019, 12:34:01 PM
The argument that “were there proofs, the Protestants would have been clubbed to death with them” is a bit cheeky, considering there are ample proofs not only of intercessory prayer but of many other Catholic doctrines which they repeatedly ignore despite overwhelming evidence in Scripture and history.

But what are the proofs?  Gracias for the link you provided, but I think you may've mistaken the point of dispute: it is not the honoring or the veneration of the saints, but specifically the practice of praying to the dead for their intercession.  The passages you cited from before St. Cyril (in the fourth century) all seem to pertain to veneration, except for one, culled from Hippolytus.

Yet even the reference in Hippolytus is taken out of context.  It is a recurring rhetorical flourish in a commentary wherein he speaks to, and questions, the characters in Daniel—including Nebuchadnezzar himself, and the damned.  Here is a Protestant blogger (http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2013/06/hippolytus-and-prayers-to-dead.html) who makes the case plainly:

Quote
Ott is correct in saying that Hippolytus writes as if he's speaking to the companions of Daniel. But consider who else Hippolytus addressed in a similar manner (all references that follow are to Tom Schmidt's translation):

"For they who believe have carried up all authority and glory to God, because he is able to deliver us, but if not we would rather gladly die than to do what is prescribed by you, Nebuchadnezzar!" (2.24.8 on p. 66)

"Tell me, Nebuchadnezzar, on what account do you order these boys to be bound and cast into the fire?" (2.27.2 on p. 68)

Notice, first, that Hippolytus is addressing Nebuchadnezzar in contexts in which he's acting sinfully, an unlikely context for addressing prayer to somebody. Secondly, notice that Hippolytus addresses Nebuchadnezzar as if he's currently in the process of doing what's described in the book of Daniel. Clearly, Hippolytus is addressing Nebuchadnezzar as a rhetorical device. He's not praying to Nebuchadnezzar. So, why should we think that he's praying to Daniel's companions when he addresses them?

Here's an example of Hippolytus addressing dead unbelievers in the context of sins they committed centuries earlier:

"O lawless rulers and leaders who are filled with diabolical activity! Did Moses hand down these things to you?" (1.20.2-3 on p. 32)

Elsewhere, Hippolytus approvingly refers to believers who speak to "all creation" (2.29.3-9 on pp. 71-72). Should we conclude, then, that Hippolytus believed in praying to trees, planets, etc.?

Another problem with Ott's use of Hippolytus is that he ignores the immediate context of the passage he cites. Here's the passage as Ott cites it, followed by the full passage in Schmidt's translation:

"Think of me, I beseech you, so that I may achieve with you the same fate of martyrdom."

"Tell me, you three boys, remember me, I entreat you, that I also may obtain the same lot of martyrdom with you, who was the fourth person with you who was walking in the midst of the furnace and who was hymning to God with you as from one mouth? Describe to us his form and beauty so that we also, seeing him in the flesh, may recognize him. Who was he who in this way orderly described all creation through your mouth, so that you omitted nothing of which is and has been?" (2.30.1-2 on p. 73)

Notice that Ott leaves out the portions of Hippolytus' comments in which he asks Daniel's companions to answer questions and provide him (Hippolytus) with information. When Catholics pray to the dead, do they expect the dead to answer questions for them and provide them with the sort of information Hippolytus is requesting? Catholics often tell us that they don't pray in that manner. We're often told, by Catholics, that all they do in prayer to the dead is ask the dead to pray for them. Despite what they claim, they often do more than that. For instance, they'll offer thanksgiving, praise, and requests for protection to Mary when they pray to her. But when Hippolytus asks Daniel's companions questions and asks them to provide him with information, is that how Catholics typically pray to the deceased?

If Hippolytus is the sole attestation for the practice of praying to saints by early Christians, then it is a controversial proof, and probably shouldn't be described as "overwhelming evidence."
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 29, 2019, 12:39:48 PM
Kreuzritter, we are just going needlessly around and around on this bit about Elijah in Mark, and it's not even that big of a deal.  For the sake of discussion, I'm more than happy to concede your claim.  Assuming that there were Jews at Jesus' crucifixion who believed Elijah could be called upon for his help, then that tells us the following: that there were such Jews.  But how do we establish that the early Christians prayed, and not only to Elijah, but to the dead for their intercession?  We would need evidence from the Christians.

Quote
If the Talmud is contemporaneous with early Christianity, and it contains references to praying to the dead for intercession, then why doesn't the Christian corpus contain them also?  And it's not sola scriptura.  You are not restricted to the NT. 

It does contain them. But you will simply reject them as pagan-influenced and not early enough.

No, I don't think they were necessarily pagan-influenced.  That's possible, though, and in my view likely, but there's a chance it could also have been a development independent of (or perhaps unconscious of) paganism.  But yes, I do think such an instance would have to be earlier than the fourth century if you're going to claim that the practice was one of a more or less seamless transition from Judaism to Christianity.

Even if you want to say that the Jews practiced this (conveniently edited out of the OT, and then on display in Talmudic Judaism), you would still have to see it on display in Christianity.  After all, the transition from the synagogue to the Church had been effected.  The rabbinical editors on the seat of Moses were not redacting the early Church writings.

Your citation of St. Cyprian (350) is indeed too late to make the case, but your citation from Origen is intriguing.  Gardener's list did not mention it.  I think I can see why:

Quote
Now supplication and plea and thanksgiving may be offered to people without impropriety. Two of them, namely pleading and thanksgiving, might be offered not only to saints but to people alone in general, whereas supplication should be offered to saints alone, should there be found a Paul or a Peter, who may benefit us and make us worthy to attain authority for the forgiveness of sins.

It looks as if the word "saint" here indicates a living saintly person, as in a "holy one"—a renowned prophet, ascetic, or preacher.  Otherwise why would Origen say "should there be found a Paul or a Peter"?  If he is talking about saints in heaven, then there already is a Paul and a Peter.  The way it is worded, he seems to be talking about coming across someone holy, and asking them to pray for you (which does make sense).


Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Miriam_M on July 29, 2019, 01:34:51 PM
We would need evidence from the Christians.

No.  Because faith, while harmonious with reason and springing from it, does not insist on evidentiary "proofs."

What a professing Catholic "needs" is trust in the continuous deposit of faith by believing and professing men and women who preceded his own lifetime.  What the Church passes on to us as essential Tradition from her earliest times is what I am bound to believe.  No Catholic is bound to have data, in the modern way we think of that, in order to honestly and sincerely profess the traditional faith.  There are various accounts of how the early Christians worshipped and practiced.  Similarly, there are various accounts of the Passion and Crucifixion, not just verbatim, in Scripture, but within the canon of traditional Catholic spirituality. 

While Faith is a gift, it can be difficult to acquire it without the humility of deference to authority.  My graduate studies in biblical theology do not grant me any position to edit, question, and reject portions of the deposit of faith or the canon of approved spirituality (veneration of the saints being only one example).  If I'm going to question the veneration of saints, I might as well question everything else as well, and in so doing, I will have fun exercising my Pride while engaging in a never-ending battle with my superiors. 

Veneration of saints is an aspect of the Catholic theological principle which we profess in the Creed-- "the Communion of Saints" -- which in turn is integral to the broader principle of the continuous reality of the Christian life:  For each one of us, our eternity begins now -- or more exactly -- began with our birth.  The Poor Souls for whom we pray to become sanctified will definitively join that Communion of Saints (including non-canonized saints enjoying the Beatific Vision) as a source of prayer for others/ourselves.  This is de fide dogma, not to be questioned or objected to, based on "lack of evidence."
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 29, 2019, 07:01:24 PM
We would need evidence from the Christians.

No.  Because faith, while harmonious with reason and springing from it, does not insist on evidentiary "proofs."

What a professing Catholic "needs" is trust in the continuous deposit of faith by believing and professing men and women who preceded his own lifetime.  What the Church passes on to us as essential Tradition from her earliest times is what I am bound to believe.  No Catholic is bound to have data, in the modern way we think of that, in order to honestly and sincerely profess the traditional faith.

All this is true.  And if this is nothing more than a matter of "roma locuta, causa finita est," then we can leave it there.  End of discussion.  But I think this an area where the Church at least does endeavor to offer some proofs.  Otherwise I don't think Xavier and Kreuzritter would be citing Scripture or the Fathers to buttress this doctrine, nor Gardener with the scripturecatholic.com website.  For believing Catholics, indeed, it can be taken on faith, but in terms of apologetics aimed at Protestants, skeptics, and unbelievers, proofs for these practices are typically offered.  Cardinal Newman once said something like, "to read the Church Fathers is to cease to be a Protestant."  I think he was right on that one, for the most part.  But perhaps not specifically on the matter of praying to the dead.


Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on July 29, 2019, 07:26:52 PM
Another interesting reflection by Dr. Ataie on the fundamental value of fasting in Islamic and Judeo-Christian traditions and how they relate to one another:

Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on July 29, 2019, 07:36:09 PM
Your citation of St. Cyprian (350) is indeed too late to make the case,

It's not 350. It's ~250, contemporaneous with Origen.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on July 29, 2019, 07:47:50 PM
All this is true.  And if this is nothing more than a matter of "roma locuta, causa finita est," then we can leave it there. 

That's not my argument. The irony here is that most of the Biblical manuscripts and the Patristic writings and mansucripts are contemporaneous, and  contemporaneous with the age in which Protestants claim the Church had been paganised in its practices. Yet they, and you, place so much emphasis upon the "early" textual evidence while discounting the oral, ritual and institutional traditions or later writings as valid evidence. At least the Da Vinci Code crowd are more consistent in claiming that the canonical texts themselves are edits and fabrications. Heck, Edwin Johnson claimed the entire classical tradition was an invention of Medieval monks. You are right though: from the period in question, the practise will never be satisfactorily demonstrated to the Protestant from the extant Christian writings.

"In The Pauline Epistles and The Rise of English Culture Johnson made the radical claim that the whole of the so-called Dark Ages between 700 and 1400 A. D. had never occurred, but had been invented by Christian writers who created imaginary characters and events. The Church Fathers, the Gospels, St. Paul, the early Christian texts as well as Christianity in general are identified as mere literary creations and attributed to monks (chiefly Benedictines) who drew up the entire Christian mythos in the early 16th century. As one reviewer said, Johnson "undertakes to abolish all English history before the end of the fifteenth century."[3] Johnson contends that before the "age of publication" and the "revival of letters" there are no reliable registers and logs, and there is a lack of records and documents with verifiable dates. "

Funny how these pagan practices were ubiquitous and universal across all the ancient Apostolic churches, from Europe to North Africa to the Levant to the Caucasus to Iraq and on to India. Funny how the bishops of X never came along to the bishops of Y to complain about their praying to the dead. Funnier still how no Fathers object to and debate this novel practice! If you will argue from the relative silence of the first and second centuries, I will argue from that silence.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 29, 2019, 08:22:45 PM
It's not 350. It's ~250, contemporaneous with Origen.

You're right.  My mistake: I confused it with the citation from St. Cyril in Gardner's post.  Reading it now, it has the same problem as Xavier's citations: it indicates that the saints in heaven can pray, but it does not indicate that the faithful on earth are praying to the saints.  He exhorts Christians to pray for each other (presumably to God), and that those who die should continue praying.  It could qualify as an implicit mention, of course, if one wants to read the doctrine into it.  But it doesn't contain it on its own.

And if this is nothing more than a matter of "roma locuta, causa finita est," then we can leave it there. 

That's not my argument.

I know.  I was responding to Miriam, whose argument it is.  I just don't see how you can argue from an oral tradition to establish this, since the contents of such a tradition are unknown to us, centuries later, unless they've been written down.  A person could argue an oral tradition for anything.  A person could just as well argue the Gnostic gospels are early, but were circulated orally and not committed to paper until the common dating.  It seems like such a non-starter.  I guess it's convincing to those who already believe it.

Funny how the bishops of X never came along to the bishops of Y to complain about their praying to the dead. Funnier still how no Fathers object to and debate this novel practice! If you will argue from the relative silence of the first and second centuries, I will argue from that silence.

I don't know what you mean here.  The Church obviously did accept the practice of praying for the dead, whether it was a continuation of a practice from Judaism, or a later borrowing from paganism.  You can't argue from non-condemnation.  Nothing is a novelty in the pejorative sense until it's condemned as such, but there are plenty of accepted novelties that never raised any hackles.  Some things develop naturally and organically, and a slow, gradual evolution is usually the least objectionable.

Permit me a question.  Do you think kourbania (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kourbania) was a practice carried over from Judaism, or a borrowing from paganism?


Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: mikemac on July 29, 2019, 09:10:32 PM
Tobias 12:"[11] I discover then the truth unto you, and I will not hide the secret from you. [12] When thou didst pray with tears, and didst bury the dead, and didst leave thy dinner, and hide the dead by day in thy house, and bury them by night, I offered thy prayer to the Lord. [13] And because thou wast acceptable to God, it was necessary that temptation should prove thee. [14] And now the Lord hath sent me to heal thee, and to deliver Sara thy son's wife from the devil. [15] For I am the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord."
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Davis Blank - EG on July 29, 2019, 09:15:55 PM
Because faith, while harmonious with reason and springing from it"

Apologies for the tangent, but as I was discussing this with a friend the other day, I wanted more insight into this - does reason come from faith or faith from reason?
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Miriam_M on July 30, 2019, 03:43:10 AM
I will respond some time on Tuesday, Davis.
 :)
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on July 30, 2019, 06:58:48 AM
Permit me a question.  Do you think kourbania (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kourbania) was a practice carried over from Judaism, or a borrowing from paganism?

This is a practice peculiar to one particular region, never universal among Christians like praying for intercession from saints, so it makes little sense to see it as a product of diffusion from the Hebrew source. I also know of no evidence of Hebrews or Jews sacrificing animals to holy men, so it has no direct precedent.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Gardener on July 30, 2019, 08:01:57 AM
https://www.catholic.com/tract/the-intercession-of-the-saints

More in link (probably some overlap)

Veneration of the mere dead would be pointless were they, the Saints, not alive in Christ and, as Scripture shows with Tradition witnessing, not only believed to be able, but truly able to intercede in Heaven for us.

He is the God of the living (Mt 22).

Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 30, 2019, 09:02:23 AM
Tobias 12:"[11] I discover then the truth unto you, and I will not hide the secret from you. [12] When thou didst pray with tears, and didst bury the dead, and didst leave thy dinner, and hide the dead by day in thy house, and bury them by night, I offered thy prayer to the Lord. [13] And because thou wast acceptable to God, it was necessary that temptation should prove thee. [14] And now the Lord hath sent me to heal thee, and to deliver Sara thy son's wife from the devil. [15] For I am the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord."

This is quite in accord with the scenario in Revelation 5:8, where the elders bring froth the bowls of incense and prayers.  There is definitely a Hebraic notion of heaven where angels and saints present prayers before the majesty of God.  But it still doesn't say that these prayers are addressed to the angels and the saints.  They seem to be prayers asked of God, and carried to him ceremoniously by the angels.  At least there is no mention of Raphael being the designated recipient of the prayer.  Raphael says "I offered thy prayer to the Lord."  He doesn't say, "I prayed to the Lord as thou asked of me."  This, again, is an implicit passage, where the doctrine can comfortably fit in, but it works just as well without it.  It's an either/or.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 30, 2019, 09:04:07 AM
This is a practice peculiar to one particular region, never universal among Christians like praying for intercession from saints, so it makes little sense to see it as a product of diffusion from the Hebrew source. I also know of no evidence of Hebrews or Jews sacrificing animals to holy men, so it has no direct precedent.

A territory ranging over Turkey, Greece, Armenia, and Bulgaria can't really be called an insignificant region, though.  It was condemned at a synod in Carthage, so it must've been known of even in North Africa.  It does seem to have happened that some Jews made holocausts to Michael, since the practice was mentioned (http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/1521-angelology#anchor28) in a condemnation:

Quote from: Jewish Encyclopedia
R. Ishmael, in Mek., Yithro, x., expressly applies the prohibition of idolatry to the likeness of angels of the ofanim and cherubim (compare Targ. Yer. to Ex. xx. 20). "He who slaughters an animal in the name of sun, moon, stars, and planets, or in the name of Michael, the great captain of the heavenly hosts, renders the same an offering to dead idols" (Ḥul. 40a; 'Ab. Zarah, 42b).
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 30, 2019, 09:06:09 AM
Veneration of the mere dead would be pointless were they, the Saints, not alive in Christ and, as Scripture shows with Tradition witnessing, not only believed to be able, but truly able to intercede in Heaven for us.

This doesn't follow.  Veneration is its own reward.  If you read the passage from the Martyrdom of Polycarp on your own list, it indicates that the veneration of the saints is, itself, pleasing to God.  And it certainly isn't pointless: it says the practice renews their ardor to follow in the martyr's footsteps.

You can certainly have veneration without praying to the deceased, and you could logically have praying to the deceased without veneration.  Both could be self-contained and not dependent on each other.  The latter, of course, is psychologically dependent on the former.  As I mentioned earlier in the thread, we can see this even in contemporary Protestantism, where obvious aspects of veneration keep creeping back in.  And sometimes they even talk to the dead in their eulogies, or in private moments.  They're known to cast the dead in roles of quasi-guardian angels: "Clayton, darling, I know you're up there looking after me."  Isolate them from an anti-Catholic prejudice, and many of them would probably evolve praying to the dead.  It seems to be a natural progression for the human psyche:

honor veneration conversation supplication.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: mikemac on July 30, 2019, 12:18:48 PM
Tobias 12:"[11] I discover then the truth unto you, and I will not hide the secret from you. [12] When thou didst pray with tears, and didst bury the dead, and didst leave thy dinner, and hide the dead by day in thy house, and bury them by night, I offered thy prayer to the Lord. [13] And because thou wast acceptable to God, it was necessary that temptation should prove thee. [14] And now the Lord hath sent me to heal thee, and to deliver Sara thy son's wife from the devil. [15] For I am the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord."

This is quite in accord with the scenario in Revelation 5:8, where the elders bring froth the bowls of incense and prayers.  There is definitely a Hebraic notion of heaven where angels and saints present prayers before the majesty of God.  But it still doesn't say that these prayers are addressed to the angels and the saints.  They seem to be prayers asked of God, and carried to him ceremoniously by the angels.  At least there is no mention of Raphael being the designated recipient of the prayer.  Raphael says "I offered thy prayer to the Lord."  He doesn't say, "I prayed to the Lord as thou asked of me."  This, again, is an implicit passage, where the doctrine can comfortably fit in, but it works just as well without it.  It's an either/or.

But it clearly shows that Raphael interceded to God for Tobias.  Hmm ... maybe that's why they prayed to the saints and angels for intercession.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 30, 2019, 12:38:37 PM
But it clearly shows that Raphael interceded to God for Tobias.

Agreed.

Quote
Hmm ... maybe that's why they prayed to the saints and angels for intercession.

But that's what the text is missing.  It's possible to read that back into the text, but you'd be assuming the conclusion.  The text itself is inconclusive.

All the other mentions in the OT seem to read the same way: angels interceding, but with no mention of prayers being addressed specifically to angels.  There are a hundred and fifty psalms; do any of them contain a petition addressed to an angel?
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on July 30, 2019, 12:56:55 PM
All the other mentions in the OT seem to read the same way: angels interceding, but with no mention of prayers being addressed specifically to angels.  There are a hundred and fifty psalms; do any of them contain a petition addressed to an angel?

Curiously, in Islam the angels also intercede in behalf of believers, invoking blessings upon them, recording their prayers and beseeching mercy for them.

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.) as saying: The angels invoke blessings on everyone among you so long as he is in a place of worship with these words: O Allah! pardon him, O Allah, have mercy upon him, (and they continue to do so) as long as, he ablution (of the worshipper) is not broken, and one among you is in prayer and so long as he is detained for the prayer. [Sahih Muslim]

Mulla Ali al Qari mentions, [the angel to the right] writes down good works which are a sign of mercy. [Mulla Ali Qari: Sharh Mishkat]

Bara bin Azib said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) say: ‘Allah and the angels send blessings upon the first row.’” [Ibn Majah]

Other angels are responsible for protecting the believer throughout his life, when he stays home and when he travels, when he is asleep and when he is awake. These are the muʿaqqibātun, the angels in succession, concerning whom Allah says in Surat al-Ra'd:

"For each (such person) there are (angels) in succession, before and behind him: They guard him by command of Allah. Allah does not change a people's lot unless they change what is in their hearts. But when (once) Allah willeth a people's punishment, there can be no turning it back, nor will they find, besides Him, any to protect." [13:10-11]
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 30, 2019, 01:18:49 PM
Gracias, Vetus.  Do Muslims pray to the angels for their intercession, or do the angels see the piety and righteousness and prayer (to Allah) of Muslims, and then intercede?  The latter appears to be the OT pattern.  Is Islamic angelology believed to come from its Judaic influences or its Christian ones?

And do you think the qurban sacrifice at Eid has its origins in Judaism, Christianity, or Arabic paganism?  The divvying up of the body parts and the giving of them to the poor seems to echo the Christian version.  Apart from the Paschal sacrifice, I believe Jewish holocausts were typically burnt after the ritual slaughter, were they not?
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on July 30, 2019, 01:37:54 PM
Gracias, Vetus.  Do Muslims pray to the angels for their intercession, or do the angels see the piety and righteousness and prayer (to Allah) of Muslims, and then intercede? The latter appears to be the OT pattern. Is Islamic angelology believed to come from its Judaic influences or its Christian ones?

They do not pray to the angels. Prayer is exclusively offered to Allah in Islam.

The overarching Abrahamic theme, however, seems to portray the angels as supernatural agents that intercede and present prayers to God. I think there's a cultural and theological continuum there with Judaism and even with Christianity to an extent.

And do you think the qurban sacrifice at Eid has its origins in Judaism, Christianity, or Arabic paganism? The divvying up of the body parts and the giving of them to the poor seems to echo the Christian version. Apart from the Paschal sacrifice, I believe Jewish holocausts were typically burnt after the ritual slaughter, were they not?

I believe so, regarding the Jewish holocausts, but I'm not entirely sure. I don't want to give false information.

As for the Islamic qurban and Eid ul-Adha, it seems to point to a common Abrahamic source. A ritual feast instituted by Muhammad, certainly, but that reflects an idea of common descent from Abraham that was not entirely lost in the mist of Arabian time. It is a communal remembrance of Abraham's sacrifice to God: the patriarch had shown that his love for the Almighty superseded all others and so must the love of Muslims for Allah supersede all others: the festival is a symbolic yearly renewal of one's submission to the will of God and also an opportunity to practice social charity, as you pointed out.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: mikemac on July 30, 2019, 01:50:05 PM
But it clearly shows that Raphael interceded to God for Tobias.

Agreed.

Quote
Hmm ... maybe that's why they prayed to the saints and angels for intercession.

But that's what the text is missing.  It's possible to read that back into the text, but you'd be assuming the conclusion.  The text itself is inconclusive.

All the other mentions in the OT seem to read the same way: angels interceding, but with no mention of prayers being addressed specifically to angels.  There are a hundred and fifty psalms; do any of them contain a petition addressed to an angel?

https://www.learnreligions.com/jewish-guardian-angel-prayers-124055

Quote
Jewish Guardian Angel Prayers
Prayers for Help from Guardian Angels in Judaism

Guardian angels watch over people and care for them during every part of their lives, believers say. Here are some guardian angel prayers from Judaism:


The Shalom Aleichem Prayer (Sung Before Shabbat Meals)

"We wish you peace, guardian angels of service, angels of the most high, from the King of kings, the Holy One, praised be he."


Bedtime Prayer (Part of the Shema) Asking God to Send Archangels to Guard You

"To God Almighty, the Lord of Israel: May Michael be at my right hand, Gabriel at my left hand, before me Raphael and behind me Uriel, and above me the divine presence of God."


Jacob’s Blessing Prayer

"May the angel who redeems me from all evil bless the children. In them may my name be recalled, and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, and may they flourish as multitudes upon the earth."


Prayer to Ask Guardian Angels to Deliver Your Prayers to God

"Usherers of mercy, usher in our plea for mercy, before the master of mercy, you who cause prayer to be heard, may you cause our prayer to be heard before the Hearer of prayer.

You who cause our outcry to be heard, may you cause our outcry to be heard, before the Hearer of outcry.

You who usher in tears, may you usher in our tears, before the King who finds favor through tears.

Exert yourselves and multiply supplication and petition before the king, God, exalted and most high."

But I'm sure this still will not satisfy your pride.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on July 30, 2019, 02:23:10 PM
All the other mentions in the OT seem to read the same way: angels interceding, but with no mention of prayers being addressed specifically to angels.  There are a hundred and fifty psalms; do any of them contain a petition addressed to an angel?

Genesis 48:16 The angel that delivereth me from all evils, bless these boys: and let my name be called upon them, and the names of my fathers Abraham, and Isaac, and may they grow into a multitude upon the earth.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 30, 2019, 02:58:28 PM
I'm sure this still will not satisfy your pride.

Your gratuitous insult aside, I think the latter two are the best citations yet provided on this thread.  I'm not sure why you included the first two, though: the Shalom Aleichem Prayer is clearly not a supplication, and the bedtime prayer is addressed directly to God.

This leaves us with the guardian angel prayer and Jacob's prayer to bless his grandsons.  Two questions: does the guardian angel prayer date to pre-Christian Judaism, or is it from Talmudic Judaism?  And the prayer of Jacob: why does it read as if he starts off praying directly to God, and then suddenly switches to an angel?  Here is the complete prayer:

Quote from: Genesis 48:15-16 (NABRE)
Then he blessed them with these words:

“May the God in whose presence
my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked,
The God who has been my shepherd
from my birth to this day,
The angel who has delivered me from all harm,
bless these boys
That in them my name be recalled,
and the names of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac,
And they may become teeming multitudes
upon the earth!”

If praying to an angel is intended to have the angel pray to God, why does Jacob invoke God first?  Obviously he is praying to an angel, but in the same breath he had just been praying to God.  It seems strange is all.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Miriam_M on July 30, 2019, 03:50:25 PM
Pon,
I wonder if we will ever know all these academic answers before Heaven, but to me, the larger question -- intellectually curious as I am about many unanswered questions, including these technical ones -- does it really matter?  Personally, I know that I need all the help I can get on the journey to an ultimate destination, and I surely don't want it to be Hell, through my negligence or intellectual distraction along the way.  Thus, God sees my prayers and the similarly desperate prayers and supplications of believers and wannabe believers, who don't "know" if they're praying directly to God, "to" an intercessor, or whatever the mechanism is.  He doesn't care. What He's looking at is the sincerity and humility of our hearts and whether we are really seeking Him (not "facts" about Him, not verification about the mechanics of prayer, but Him), and He will sort it all out.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on July 30, 2019, 04:23:32 PM
Two questions: does the guardian angel prayer date to pre-Christian Judaism, or is it from Talmudic Judaism?

Dunno.

Quote
And the prayer of Jacob: why does it read as if he starts off praying directly to God, and then suddenly switches to an angel?  Here is the complete prayer:

If praying to an angel is intended to have the angel pray to God, why does Jacob invoke God first?  Obviously he is praying to an angel, but in the same breath he had just been praying to God.  It seems strange is all.

Oh, I don't know. Depends on how he intended the angel to bless? But angels can be invoked to do something directly. It's not "Michael, please pray to God to protect me" but "Michael, protect me". God has imbued these creature with power. Personally, I'd always pray to and invoke the name of God first, as a rule.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on July 30, 2019, 06:37:39 PM
does it really matter?

Yes it does.

You are commanded to worship God alone. If praying to intercessors were forbidden by divine Law, then it would objectively constitute a matter of idolatry, a sin against the highest of commandments.

God sees my prayers and the similarly desperate prayers and supplications of believers and wannabe believers, who don't "know" if they're praying directly to God, "to" an intercessor, or whatever the mechanism is. He doesn't care.

The God of Revelation cares.

Only the God of deists or hippies doesn't care if people commit idolatry or not.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Miriam_M on July 30, 2019, 07:07:46 PM
does it really matter?

Yes it does.

You are commanded to worship God alone. If praying to intercessors were forbidden by divine Law, then it would objectively constitute a matter of idolatry, a sin against the highest of commandments.

God sees my prayers and the similarly desperate prayers and supplications of believers and wannabe believers, who don't "know" if they're praying directly to God, "to" an intercessor, or whatever the mechanism is. He doesn't care.

The God of Revelation cares.

Only the God of deists or hippies doesn't care if people commit idolatry or not.

Either you are being deliberately obtuse/disingenuous in interpreting my Reply, or you prefer to score gratuitous points, unnecessarily, against people who have dared to join the thread.

My God is not a god of hippies, deists, or idolators.  He is the God professed by the Roman Catholic Church.  I was speaking of the mechanics of prayer.  We pray trustfully if we are practicing, believing Catholics, directing our prayers according to the order and manner the Church instructs us to.  In this way we can be assured that God is listening to our prayers, particularly if we are in a state of grace and not practicing idolatry of another religion (false religion). 

I love how non-practicing Catholics on this thread are fond of spending hours on a traditional Catholic discussion forum criticizing, with zero authority or credibility, practicing Catholics.  And yet you expect to be taken seriously when what you are doing is blowing hot air and spreading contempt for Catholics.

The Roman Catholic Church does not agree with you that it's critical to know exactly how the God of infinite knowledge receives, hears, and responds to prayers, in conjunction with the Heavenly Court and the Communion of Saints.  There's nothing wrong with a frivolous academic exercise, but the Catholic Church has not commanded its members to understand such mysteries perfectly by joining in such academic exercises, because religion is not an academic exercise.  Only, apparently, you do demand it -- and your confreres who no longer profess the religion of Roman Catholicism.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on July 30, 2019, 08:01:25 PM
...against people who have dared to join the thread.

Speaking of daring, I'm not the one here who tried to shut the discussion down in this thread.

My God is not a god of hippies, deists, or idolators.  He is the God professed by the Roman Catholic Church.  I was speaking of the mechanics of prayer.

This is immaterial to Pon's point to which you responded. That's why I quoted you.

It objectively matters if intercessory prayer is lawful or not and whether there is historical and theological pedigree backing it up among the OT Jews. That has been Pon's question all along. To answer that it doesn't really matter because God doesn't care about whether prayer should be directed solely to Him or not is nonsensical, even if you're just trying to describe the "mechanics of prayer" from a Catholic standpoint. What matters in this case is to demonstrate, even if just tentatively, that intercessory prayer to dead people and angels is lawful, that it doesn't violate the First Commandment and that it has roots in the OT.

I love how non-practicing Catholics on this thread are fond of spending hours on a traditional Catholic discussion forum criticizing, with zero authority or credibility, practicing Catholics. And yet you expect to be taken seriously when what you are doing is blowing hot air and spreading contempt for Catholics.

I hope this emotional diatribe isn't directed at me. I don't want you to commit slander.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Pon de Replay on July 31, 2019, 08:56:29 AM
Pon,
I wonder if we will ever know all these academic answers before Heaven, but to me, the larger question -- intellectually curious as I am about many unanswered questions, including these technical ones -- does it really matter?

From a broader standpoint, I agree: it really doesn't matter.  Set against the concern of personal salvation, it doesn't matter whether a person knows how many angels can dance on the head of a pin if they aren't a believing Catholic in the state of grace at the moment of their death.  So in that sense, no, it doesn't matter.  But Catholicism is a missionary religion, and part of that entails evangelization.  And the discussion over the past several pages has been about the historical attestations for a Catholic practice and doctrine.  If nothing else, it's featured a lot of the relevant apologetics material that would be offered to an inquiring Protestant or Muslim.  The "Non-Catholic Discussion" subforum would seem to be the right place for it.  Xavier, for his part, said he appreciates these questions because it makes him delve into the bible further.

My own bias is not for Protestantism.  I didn't anticipate this tangent, so I'm only using the Protestant (and, implicitly, Islamic) objections as a sounding board to draw out the history.  The larger (and original) dispute between Kreuzritter and myself was between Greek philosophy and Semitic monotheism.  Anyway, I take it you were referring to me in your comment about "non-practicing Catholics ... criticizing, with zero authority or credibility, practicing Catholics."  Firstly, I haven't claimed any more personal authority for myself than anyone else does.  Usually when I appeal to an authority, I try to include a link to the source.  And second, I don't know where I've "criticized Catholics."  To the extent that I've critiqued anything, it's been a doctrine, not people⁠—and via skepticism, I think, not rancor.  Is the Socratic method not welcome?  We can terminate the discussion if you think I've gotten personal.


Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Matto on July 31, 2019, 01:03:48 PM
Nani . . .
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Fleur-de-Lys on July 31, 2019, 03:23:02 PM
Nani . . .

Nani as in  何 (or なに)?

Indeed.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on August 21, 2019, 12:38:38 PM
Another interesting video about the Prophet and the deep emotional and psychological connection all Muslims have to him:

Laqad jaakum rasulun min anfusikum. 'Azizun 'alayhi ma 'anittum; harisun 'alaykum bil-mu'minina raufun rahim.

"There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you and to the believers is kind and merciful." (9:128)

Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Vetus Ordo on August 21, 2019, 06:58:03 PM
A lecture by Dr. Jeffrey Lang given in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1995. It was entitled Muhammad (pbuh), the Seal of the Prophets - Why?, wherein Dr. Lang explores some arguments in favor of Muhammad's nature as a final prophet of God.


Dr. Lang is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Kansas and long time convert to Islam. Here's a brief narrative of his conversion found in Quora:

Quote
The first 18 years of his life were spent in Catholic schools, which left him with many unanswered questions about God and the Christian religion, Lang said, as he narrated his story of Islam. “Like most kids back in the late 60s and early 70s, I started questioning all the values that we had at those times, political, social and religious,” Lang said. “I rebelled against all the institutions that society held sacred, including the Catholic Church,” he said.

By the time he reached the age of 18, Lang had become a full-fledged atheist. “If there is a God, and He is all merciful and all loving, then why is there suffering on this earth? Why does not He just take us to heaven? Why create all these people to suffer?” Such were the questions that came up in his mind in those days.

As a young lecturer in mathematics at San Francisco University, Lang found his religion where God is finally a reality. That was shown to him by a few of the Muslim friends he had met at the university. “We talked about religion. I asked them my questions, and I was really surprised by how carefully they had thought out their answers,” Lang said.

Dr. Lang met Mahmoud Qandeel, a regal looking Saudi student who attracted the attention of the entire class the moment he walked in. When Lang asked a question about medical research, Qandeel answered the question in perfect English and with great self assurance. Everyone knew Qandeel – the mayor, the police chief and the common people. Together the professor and the student went to all the glittering places where “there was no joy or happiness, only laughter.” Yet at the end, Qandeel surprisingly gave him a copy of the Quran and some books on Islam. Lang read the Quran on his own, found his way to the student-run prayer hall at the university, and basically surrendered without much struggle. He was conquered by the Quran. The first two chapters are an account of that encounter and it is a fascinating one.

“Painters can make the eyes of a portrait appear to be following you from one place to another, but which author can write a scripture that anticipates your daily vicissitudes?... Each night I would formulate questions and objections and somehow discover the answer the next day. It seemed that the author was reading my ideas and writing in the appropriate lines in time for my next reading. I have met myself in its pages...”

Lang performs the daily five-time prayers regularly and finds much spiritual satisfaction. He finds the Fajr (pre-dawn) prayer as one of the most beautiful and moving rituals in Islam.

To the question how he finds it so captivating when the recitation of the Quran is in Arabic, which is totally foreign to him, he responds; “Why is a baby comforted by his mother’s voice?” He said reading the Quran gave him a great deal of comfort and strength in difficult times. From there on, faith was a matter of practice for Lang’s spiritual growth.

On the other hand, Lang pursued a career in mathematics. He received his master’s and doctoral degrees from Purdue University. Lang said that he had always been fascinated by mathematics. “Math is logical. It consists of using facts and figures to find concrete answers,” Lang said. “That is the way my mind works, and it is frustrating when I deal with things that do not have concrete answerers.” Having a mind that accepts ideas on their factual merit makes believing in a religion difficult because most religions require acceptance by faith, he said. Islam appeals to man’s reasoning, he said.

As faculty advisor for the Muslim Student Association, Lang said he viewed himself as the liaison between the students and their universities. He gets approval from university authorities to hold Islamic lectures. “The object of being their faculty advisor is to help them get their needs met as far as adjusting to the American culture and to procedures of the university. They appreciate the opportunity to have misconceptions corrected,” he said.

Lang married a Saudi Muslim woman, Raika, 12 years ago. Lang has written several Islamic books which are best sellers among the Muslim community in the US. One of his important books is “Even Angels ask; A Journey to Islam in America”. In this book, Dr. Lang shares with his readers the many insights that have unfolded for him through his self discovery and progress within the religion of Islam.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: abc123 on August 22, 2019, 06:29:40 PM
Vetus-

A straight yes/no please...

Have you embraced Islam? Your videos seem to indicate a desire beyond mere educational purposes.
Title: Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
Post by: Kreuzritter on August 22, 2019, 06:51:14 PM
Quote
Islam appeals to man’s reasoning

No vision of God, no meeting with Allah, no encoutner with the divine. Just "reasoning", as though "reasoning" were able to discover "Allah" and the purported truth of Mohammed's claims: pure intellectual wishful-thinking and make-believe. But then this has so very much in common with much of post-Scholastic Western Christianity.