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Islam Moving Mountains

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naben

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Feb 19, 2012
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It has been asked, what miracle was not given to Mohammad like what were given to the prophets before him.

Quran is the miracle. As scientific discoveries being made, as knowledge is expanded, the people will come to know and questions will be asked, how could Quran knows about this when the discoveries is only been made recently………..It Is a Miracle.

quran 27:89

Rather than literally comparing the motion of the earth to that of other heavenly bodies, the Quran makes the following statement:

The mountains that you see, you think they are stationary while they are constantly floating like the floating of clouds. Such is the work of Allah Who made everything firm and strong…

If the mountains are declared to be in constant motion, then the only logical inference to be drawn from this would be that the earth is also rotating along with them. But thanks to the masterly language of the Quran this observation went unnoticed. They had the impression, shared with the rest of mankind, that the earth was stationary and it was this false impression that was not obtrusively challenged. If they had read with care the end of the same verse they would have been left with no room for any misunderstanding. It ends with a lasting tribute to the creative faculty of God, Who has created all things with such firmness that they cannot be dislodged. Anything which cannot be dislodged can never be catapulted out of the earth, to fly alone, leaving the earth behind.

‫الجبال تتحرك ÙÙŠ ايطاليا سبحان الله‬‎ - YouTube
 

Ishna

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Re: Moving Mountains-----

How is it a miracle? Most religions have some kind of holy scripture, Islam's is no different than the rest of them.

A book which gives permission for men to beat their wives is no miracle.

Re. the mountains, I say the verse makes more sense when you consider them floating on the earth's mantle, but then, they don't exactly move around. I think you can twist interpretation of scripture around to mean anything, but not sure 'the earth is spinning through space' comes from 'mountains are floating and moving'.

Who has created all things with such firmness that they cannot be dislodged.
Everything will be dislodged in the end. And before that, wind, rain river erosion, earth quakes, volcanoes, meteorite collision all cause dislodgement to earth's crust, including mountains. Tectonic plates move - they are not stationary forever.

Eventually, Indonesia will find intself wedged under Australia due to movement of the plates.
 

Luckysingh

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:noticemunda:It just looks like a mudslide caught on camera!!

The layer of soil underneath becomes dislodged and the movement gains momentum with gravity so it all comes sliding down !!!!
Sadly this is NOT the miracle of Allah, it's nature, geology and geography.

If it were sliding up and against gravity..ie.. going backwards then it could be 2 things...-
1) A Miracle !!!
2) Some one playing the film in rewind mode and fooling the audience!!

Come on Naben, I thought you were smarter than thislol
 

Ishna

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I didn't even watch the video - sounds like I missed something exciting haha
 

namjiwankaur

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Nov 14, 2010
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Re: Moving Mountains-----

Sat Nam _/|\_

I think it took centuries of patriarchal domination of women for people to really look at the meaning of the word so commonly translated as beat. There are many many different meanings for the word which has been translated falsely as beat. Many words in many languages have a variety of meanings rather than just one. The same is true for 4:34.

It has only been in the past forty or fifty years that the US (I can't speak for other countries, only my own) made it truly illegal and unaccepatable for men to treat women like property & for husbands to feel they had the right as "head of household" to "discipline" wives. Thankfully, the west leads the way here and is insisting that women all over the globe will one day be freed from all forms of abuse.

Here's one link that explains the various meanings of the word DaRaBa (which has been mistranslated for centuries):
http://imedaindia.ning.com/profiles/blogs/verse-4-34-the-meaning-of-the-word-daraba-is-not-what-is-populist

I want to stand up and say this because too many men use that verse as permission to beat or otherwise oppress their wives. Too many Islamic countries think they have a right to treat women as second class citizens.

They ignore the fact that Muhammad, pbuh, revealed God's ideas about women being the equals of men. It is time to stop using 4:34 as a way to trash Islam. Not only is it unfair to Muslims, it is unfair to women who are pushed down by poor and inaccurate translation of 4:34.

A book which gives permission for men to beat their wives is no miracle.
I mean nothing against you personally Ishna. Its just that every time someone says Quran condones this, it also tells men that Quran condones it. And Quran doesn't condone it. We need to get that message out loud and clear. I would rather rescue women from harm than use 4:34 to claim Islam actually teaches mean to abuse women.

Nam Jiwan mundahug
 

namjiwankaur

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Re: Moving Mountains-----

Naben ji

I also believe that Quran is filled with a lot of esoteric meaning. Not only do I see the meaning you see in the verse you are speaking about. I also see it as referencing to the fact that what we think we are is actually an illusion.

Surely We made the mountains to sing the glory (of Allah) in unison with him at the evening and the sunrise, (Quran 38:18)

There is that saying: "We are not human beings on a spiritual journey; we are spiritual beings on a human journey".

The verse you are speaking about also may refer to the fact we are made up of atoms or that we are all radiance & light....as we are when we shed our human bodies and go beyond the death of the earthly body.

Also, science tells us that we are not solid. What appears solid is merely moving at a slower vibration which causes that appearance of solid. But, in reality, the solid doesn't exist.

Then We told Moses by inspiration: "Strike the sea with thy rod." So it divided, and each separate part became like the huge, firm mass of a mountain. (Quran 26:63)

Every Holy Book (and almost all religions have their Holy Books) is filled with mystery and inner meaning. As a Muslim, I am sure you will not deny that. Muslims respect all Prophets and Holy Books, making no distinction between them.

The Truth has revealed itself since creation began. The most mysterious Holy Book is the universe itself. Life is, in essence, a mystic's Quran.

When Moses came to the place appointed by Us, and his Lord addressed him, He said: "O my Lord! show (Thyself) to me, that I may look upon thee." Allah said: "By no means canst thou see Me (direct); But look upon the mount; if it abide in its place, then shalt thou see Me." When his Lord manifested His glory on the Mount, He made it as dust. And Moses fell down in a swoon. When he recovered his senses he said: "Glory be to Thee! to Thee I turn in repentance, and I am the first to believe." (Quran 7:143)

HAD WE bestowed this Qur’an from on high upon a mountain, thou wouldst indeed see it humbling itself, breaking asunder for awe of God. And [all] such parables We propound unto men, so that they might [learn to] think. (Quran 59:21)


One way that all Holy Books reveal Truth is by mention of Light/Nur/Jyoti. It says we are all made of light.

Many of the verses I have included here are compatible with the universal message of God given through all time to all people. Do you agree?

Blessed Be
Nam Jiwan mundahug
 
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Ishna

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Re: Moving Mountains-----

Sat Nam _/|\_

I think it took centuries of patriarchal domination of women for people to really look at the meaning of the word so commonly translated as beat. There are many many different meanings for the word which has been translated falsely as beat. Many words in many languages have a variety of meanings rather than just one. The same is true for 4:34.

It has only been in the past forty or fifty years that the US (I can't speak for other countries, only my own) made it truly illegal and unaccepatable for men to treat women like property & for husbands to feel they had the right as "head of household" to "discipline" wives. Thankfully, the west leads the way here and is insisting that women all over the globe will one day be freed from all forms of abuse.

Here's one link that explains the various meanings of the word DaRaBa (which has been mistranslated for centuries):
http://imedaindia.ning.com/profiles/blogs/verse-4-34-the-meaning-of-the-word-daraba-is-not-what-is-populist

I want to stand up and say this because too many men use that verse as permission to beat or otherwise oppress their wives. Too many Islamic countries think they have a right to treat women as second class citizens.

They ignore the fact that Muhammad, pbuh, revealed God's ideas about women being the equals of men. It is time to stop using 4:34 as a way to trash Islam. Not only is it unfair to Muslims, it is unfair to women who are pushed down by poor and inaccurate translation of 4:34.



I mean nothing against you personally Ishna. Its just that every time someone says Quran condones this, it also tells men that Quran condones it. And Quran doesn't condone it. We need to get that message out loud and clear. I would rather rescue women from harm than use 4:34 to claim Islam actually teaches mean to abuse women.

Nam Jiwan mundahug
Thanks Nam ji... I'm pretty sure Naben himself has spoken on this passage before. I think he said it means to strike with something the size of a toothpick. I'll see if I can find the quote.

Edit: here it is, from the thread on women's rights in Islam
Naben said:
-Women hit Beating women have certain conditions
Condescension and arrogance of the husband and mistreatment
Women hit by tooth brushing your teeth

This is the mercy of God
Because tooth brushing is a small piece and very light wood
In the sense that women will not suffer at all
But
In other religions
I see women in a degrading tormented
Such as
Beatings with whips and iron tools and the use of fire


Women hit comes in the final stage completely
I think your interpretation might be in the minority. We just need to look at Muslim societies around the world for evidence of how women fare under this regime.

Fo me, the West is not bound for eternity by a passage which is generally translated to mean 'beat her (lightly)'. The West has the capacity to change and develop. Its not perfect, but its not shackled to something immutable forever.

I'm glad you can find beauty and spirituality from it, personally.
 
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namjiwankaur

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Re: Moving Mountains-----

Sat Nam _/|\_

Ishna ji

I think he said it means to strike with something the size of a toothpick.
He is referring to the miswak (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miswak)

There are levels of meaning in the verse. First it is the way English interpreters of Quran have been influenced by the patriarchal misogynistic culture which has ruined the lives of women, both Muslim and non-muslim, for many centuries.

Its important to point out that it only a few decades ago, a man beating his wife in the US was tacitly accepted by our society. Jewish & Christian men felt wives should submit to their husbands as the Bible says. In pre-islamic Arabia & Muhammad's time, men were allowed to be as violent as they desired with their wives. Baby girls were buried alive (in China, girls are still frequently aborted).

It may not have been humanly possible for Muhammad pbuh to put an end to the abuse of girls and women, but Islam made clear women could not be beaten nor could Muslims bury girls (educating and raising well 3 daughters is considered a guaranteed ticket to Paradise).

When seen from that perspective, its obvious that 4:34 is not about abusing women. Its about not abusing women. It gives several coping skills, teaching Muslim men to control their temper. As for the miswak interpretation, I doubt this would even be meant literally. It basically means, do not harm your wives physically.

I think your interpretation might be in the minority. We just need to look at Muslim societies around the world for evidence of how women fare under this regime.
But now that the west has worked to protect women from abuse, there will be more and more who realize the misinterpretation of 4:34. Many of the new interpretations are already opting for the alternative meanings

Fo me, the West is not bound for eternity by a passage which is generally translated to mean 'beat her (lightly)'. The West has the capacity to change and develop. Its not perfect, but its not shackled to something immutable forever.
Do you not believe the rest of the world can change? I know that many of the poorer countries tend to be farther behind when it comes to women's rights, but this is again not only in the Muslim world.

I'm glad you can find beauty and spirituality from it, personally.
I've struggled with a lot of these issues in the past 5 years. Quran speaks to people according to their level of knowledge. And Quran is created in a way that it makes you think. It is said over and over again that Quran holds much knowledge "for a people who reflect". That is why Muslims should embrace itjihad (using reason and personal study to come to an understanding). Blindly relying on the madhabs (schools of law) is, to be honest, the lazy way.

And just like most Christians do not really know the Bible, many Muslims don't know the Quran. We are blessed in the west that we have the freedom we have to explore, to accept or reject, to question and criticize. Many parts of the world (not just Islamic countries, also countries like N. Korea) are not allowed to voice their personal truth without worrying about being judged and punished.

Love, Joy and Light to you...
Nam Jiwan icecreamkaurpeacesignkaurpeacesignicecreammunda
 
Feb 23, 2012
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Re: Moving Mountains-----

Its important to point out that it only a few decades ago, a man beating his wife in the US was tacitly accepted by our society. Jewish & Christian men felt wives should submit to their husbands as the Bible says. In pre-islamic Arabia & Muhammad's time, men were allowed to be as violent as they desired with their wives. Baby girls were buried alive (in China, girls are still frequently aborted).

My dear sister Namji kaurhug

Peace be with you.

You are correct that the Bible, as a piece of literature from 2,000 years ago, says the following:


“...Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly....”

- Colossians 3:18-19


What does "love" mean in a Christian context? Paul's definition of love in I Corinthians 13:4-7: "Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful, it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends."


"...You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, paying honour to the woman as the physically weaker sex; and showing her honor as an equal heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered..."

- 1 Peter 3:7


“...Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord…Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her…In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it…”

- Ephesians 5:22-29


Now I don't like at all the idea of a women 'submitting', however...can this really be equated with physical punishment, however light? In fact, in his letter to the Ephesians, Paul prefaces his whole discussion of headship with a statement clearly indicating that neither party has power over the other: "Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ" (Eph. 5:21).

It is radically different in its teachings on husband-wife relations in my opinion. There is no evidence in these old-fashioned Christian teachings of the husband abusing his greater physical strength. Rather he is too pay honour to his wife precisely because she is physically weaker, never treating her harshly but loving her as his own body because that physical weakness is more Christ-like and peacable than male bodies which are so often made to go to war and fight etc.

Would a man strike his own body? Of course not.

Neither are exactly in line with 21st century values of sexual equality and feminism (and I am at heart a male feminist who has been involved in campaigns to improve the rights of women living in Iran, I even composed and orchestrated the performance of a play in my local theatre about the human rights situation over there).

However I think we have to be fair and say that while the New Testament passages above are old-fashioned, they also gave birth to the practice of chivalry in medieval Europe - the idea of men opening doors for women, sacrificing their lives for them in a knightly fashion, courting them etc.

Read:

Chivalry elevated the status of women in European society. For this reason, wealthy female patrons propagated its development by subsidizing various writers like Chretien de Troyes, who went out of his way to portray the finest knights as dedicated to their ladies' whims.
This was exemplified when the Titanic sunk in 1912. The victims were disproportionately male, because of the chivalric, traditional Christian value expressed in the above passage, that a man must put his wife before himself above all else and gladly give up his life for hers.

If you watch Downton Abbey you will see this traditional Christian value-system at work in the way the men bow before the women, kiss their hands, open doors etc.

Here is an illustration depicting chivalry:




See the wikipedia article on chivalry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chivalry

It says:

The Knight's Code of Chivalry was a moral system that stated all knights should protect others who can not protect themselves, such as widows, children, and elders. All knights needed to have the strength and skills to fight wars in the Middle Ages. Knights not only had to be strong but they were also extremely disciplined and were expected to use their power to protect the weak and defenceless. Knights vowed to be loyal, generous, and "noble bearing". Knights were required to tell the truth at all times and always respect the honour of women
This is an example of the knight showing the woman "honour" as the weaker sex. In Christianity "weakness" is a sign of strength, because according to Jesus the "meek shall inherit the earth". Jesus taught traditionally feminine virtues whereas Islam is more typically "masculine". Jesus taught that the "least among all of you is the greatest".

Here is a painting actually from the Middle Ages depicting the same act of chivalry:



The knight had to kneel before the woman in Catholic Europe and she would recognise him as 'her' knight.

Such a movement never arose in the Islamic world. Why?

Here is the Chivalric Code as described by the twelfth century Song of Roland:

The Knights Code of Chivalry described in the Song of Roland and an excellent representation of the Knights Codes of Chivalry are as follows:
  • To fear God and maintain His Church
  • To serve the liege lord in valour and faith
  • To protect the weak and defenceless
  • To give succour to widows and orphans
  • To refrain from the wanton giving of offence
  • To live by honour and for glory
  • To despise pecuniary reward
  • To fight for the welfare of all
  • To obey those placed in authority
  • To guard the honour of fellow knights
  • To eschew unfairness, meanness and deceit
  • To keep faith
  • At all times to speak the truth
  • To persevere to the end in any enterprise begun
  • To respect the honour of women
  • Never to refuse a challenge from an equal
  • Never to turn the back upon a foe

Not exactly women's liberation but I daren't equate it with a "light beating" either personally.
 
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Ishna

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Thanks for your efforts to shed light on the topic.

Do you not believe the rest of the world can change? I know that many of the poorer countries tend to be farther behind when it comes to women's rights, but this is again not only in the Muslim world.
No, I believe everything can change, but issues arise when an immutable scripture says one thing and society's evolution says another. I take issue to the fact that even in 1000 more years, Muslims will still have the authority to keep slaves including sex slaves. They will always have that god-given right. It's from the word of god.

I don't argue that Muhammad did wonders for protecting and raising women's rights in the time. The evidence is available to that end. He took women's rights from 1/5 to 3/5. But it's going to be stuck at 3/5 as long as the word of god says so.

You might argue that now Muslims have better relationships with their women and don't beat them, or don't have slaves, but they always have to read scripture telling them it's ok (even if you only beat them lightly, or metaphorically with a toothpick). There is no provision to discard that which has become outgrown.

And that's in my opinion one of the problems with religion. Not only does it continue to teach outdated lifestyles, but it becomes redundant yet people continue to carry it around.
 

Ishna

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Ah, Christians don't beat their wives, only their children.

Proverbs 13:24

New International Version (©1984)
He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.

New Living Translation (©2007)
Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.

English Standard Version (©2001)
Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.


King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
Everyone that spares concerning his rod, hates his son, and he that loves his son disciplines him earnestly. GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
Whoever refuses to spank his son hates him, but whoever loves his son disciplines him from early on.

---

Look at me go! I've managed to derail a thread about geology twice, once don't women's rights, now down child spanking!
 
Feb 23, 2012
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Ah, Christians don't beat their wives, only their children.

Look at me go! I've managed to derail a thread about geology twice, once don't women's rights, now down child spanking!

LOL Good one Ishna sis I must grant you that lol mundahug

That gave me a good chuckle.

It is the Old Testament though, which Christians believe is supersceded by the NT.

The OT prescribed stoning for adultery, Jesus prohibited it etc. mundahug The Catholic Church officially teaches that the OT is "provisional and imperfect", while inspired.


Thus in the Catechism the Church explains:


204 God revealed himself progressively and under different names to his people

Dei Verbum itself notes, that the Old Testament “contains matters imperfect and provisional.” But the Council goes on to say that,

"These books [of the Old Testament] nevertheless show us authentic divine teaching. Christians should accept with veneration these writings which give expression to a lively sense of God, which are a storehouse of sublime teaching on God and of sound wisdom on human life, as well as a wonderful treasury of prayers; in them, too, the mystery of our salvation is present in a hidden way" (15).
So we believe it to be divinely inspired but written through the minds of ancient people living in a tribal culture with very different (and less humane) social mores from us. Therefore its a treasury of wisdom but not "perfect", as the quotation you present above about disciplining a child amply demonstrates.

Even the NT is culturally bound though as I described in my last post, although I would say (and actually Dawkins agrees oddly enough) in a rather different way from certain parts of the OT, hence why Chuch believes in the "Development of Doctrine"
 
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Ishna

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Ah, that's one of the parts of Catholicism I do respect - they tend to have a relatively progressive attitude (as far as religion goes).

However, I must disagree with you about the New Testament/Old Testament division.

Matthew 5:17
The Fulfillment of the Law

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
 
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I don't argue that Muhammad did wonders for protecting and raising women's rights in the time. The evidence is available to that end. He took women's rights from 1/5 to 3/5. But it's going to be stuck at 3/5 as long as the word of god says so.
Indeed! He ended the Arab infanticide of baby girls. This is mentioned in the earlier revelations (oddly enough one of the latter suras of the Qur'an).

This was a significant step forward for woman's progress in Arabia and indeed throughout the wider region.

He also introduced a limited tolerance for "people of the book", which was very progressive for his time compared with most cultures (excepting India where one always had religious pluralism despite a few episodes of severe persecution by the Brahmanic priestly class on Buddhists etc.).

Nonetheless I agree with you that the problem lies with taking the example of Muhammad, in his time and specific culture a progressive individual, and using it as a blueprint for all time and places as a divine model. Muhammad's teachings on gender equality simply aren't enlightened by modern standards.

That however does not discredit his teachings for when they were delivered nor his worthy intent.
 
Feb 23, 2012
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Ah, that's one of the parts of Catholicism I do respect - they tend to have a relatively progressive attitude (as far as religion goes).

However, I must disagree with you about the New Testament/Old Testament division.

Matthew 5:17

I think that what is important is the ability to admit that one's history is not perfect and that the institution has made mistakes and attempt to reform. The Catholic Church has done this throughout its history. There's been the Cistercian Reforms, the Gregorian Reform, the reform by the Council of Trent and most recently the Second Vatican Council reform.

There will be more in the future. We're all very flawed human beings, as recent scandals *ahem* highlighted by the media have duly noted....

"...Men should be changed by religion, not religion by men..."

- Cardinal Egidio da Viterbo (1469-1532), Italian Augustinian friar, reforming theologian, humanist, Catholic mystic & poet
Read:

Pope John Paul II made many apologies. During his long reign as Pope, he apologized to Jews, Galileo, women, victims of the Inquisition, Muslims slaughtered by the Crusaders and almost everyone who had suffered at the hands of the Catholic Church over the years.[1] Even before he became the Pope, he was a prominent editor and supporter of initiatives like the Letter of Reconciliation of the Polish Bishops to the German Bishops from 1965. As Pope, he officially made public apologies for over 100 of these wrongdoings, including:
  • The conquest of Mesoamerica by Spain in the name of the Church
  • The legal process on the Italian scientist and philosopher Galileo Galilei, himself a devout Catholic, around 1633 (31 October 1992).
  • Catholics' involvement with the African slave trade (9 August 1993).
  • The Church's role in burnings at the stake and the religious wars that followed the Protestant Reformation (May 1995, in the Czech Republic).
  • The injustices committed against women, the violation of women's rights and for the historical denigration of women (10 July 1995, in a letter to "every woman").
  • The inactivity and silence of many Catholics during the Holocaust (16 March 1998)
  • For the execution of Jan Hus in 1415 (18 December 1999 in Prague). When John Paul II visited Prague in 1990s, he requested experts in this matter "to define with greater clarity the position held by Jan Hus among the Church's reformers, and acknowledged that "independently of the theological convictions he defended, Hus cannot be denied integrity in his personal life and commitment to the nation's moral education." It was another step in building a bridge between Catholics and Protestants.
  • For the sins of Catholics throughout the ages for violating "the rights of ethnic groups and peoples, and [for showing] contempt for their cultures and religious traditions". (12 March 2000, during a public Mass of Pardons).
  • For the sins of the Crusader attack on Constantinople in 1204. (4 May 2001, to the Patriarch of Constantinople).
An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded.
— Pope John Paul II [3]


Its actually quite brave for the leader of the world's single biggest religion to admit that it has done so much wrongfulness and to ask for forgiveness. I admired the old Pope for that.
We've made plenty of mistakes, we're sorry about it and we've asked for forgiveness from the world.

On another point...

Indeed, Jesus upheld the Torah. The word "fulfil" actually means, "to fill to its full" which means that he intended to bring the law to its "summation". Christians often call this the "spirit of the law" rather than the letter. Saint Paul speaks of this:

2 Corinthians 3:6 The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life
We do not (and neither did Jesus or he couldn't have broke so many OT commandments!) interpret the OT by the letter but by the spirit which we regard Jesus as having extolled on the Sermon on the Mount.

Christians consider the Law (Jews call it Torah, which means teaching, or Law, rather than Mosaic Law or Levitical Law) as fulfilled by Jesus. That is why there is a New Testament in the first place.

Another helpful verse:

Ephesians 2:15

Quote:
[15] by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,

The essence of the OT is "Love your neighbour as you love yourself".

Every OT law was reinterpreted anew in Christ, by the "Spirit" and not the "letter".

Richard Dawkins has some controversial views on Jesus vis-a-vis his birth religion that Christians cannot subscribe too but which I nonetheless find intriguing.

He writes in the God Delusion:

"...Jesus, if he existed, was surely one of the great ethical innovators of history. The Sermon on the Mount is way ahead of his time. His 'turn the other cheek' anticipated Ghandi and Martin Luther King by two thousand years. It was not for nothing that I wrote an article called 'Athiests for Jesus' (and was later delighted to be presented with a T-shirt bearing the legend). But the moral superiority of Jesus precisely bears out my point. Jesus was not content to derive his ethics from the scriptures of his upbringing. He explicitly departed from them, for example when he deflated the dire warnings about breaking the sabbath...Since a principal thesis of this chapter is that we do not, and should not, derive our morals from scripture, Jesus has to be honoured as a model for that very thesis..."

- Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion
 
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Compare Jesus' famous teachings on child welfare with the passage from Proverbs quoted by sister Ishna ji:


At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven ?" 2 And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, 3 and said, "Truly I say to you, unless you change and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven
People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them.14But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.15Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.’16And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.
In the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas there is another such passage:

His disciples said: On what day will you be revealed to us, and on what day shall we see you? Jesus said: When you unclothe yourselves and are not ashamed, and take your garments and lay them beneath your feet like the little children (and) trample on them,

Again the child's attitide to life is extolled above the adult's.

Jesus upheld childhood as the model for adults and treated them with the utmost gentleness. He reversed the social dynamics of his time, both in Judea and the wider Roman Empire. Children, in his eyes, were closer to God than adults which would have horrified the trained scholars of learning in his day.

This is an example of Jesus championing the downtrodden in society, the "weak", the helpless, the voiceless, the oppressed.
 

namjiwankaur

SPNer
Nov 14, 2010
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Sat Nam _/|\_

Vouthon ji

I hear you. There are verses in Bible and Quran that command love and honor. And there are what appear to say the opposite.

"As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. Did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached?" (1 Cor. 14:33b-36).

To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16)

Only in the last hundred or so years, were women allowed to be ministers in churches. In the Catholic church, they still insist that Jesus was male, the disciples were male....so the priest must be male.

One thing I want to add about the misinterpretation of 4:34 is the verse 4:36. Only two verses after the troublesome verse 4:34, we read:

Serve Allah, and join not any partners with Him; and do good- to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbours who are near, neighbours who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (ye meet), and what your right hands possess: For Allah loveth not the arrogant, the vainglorious;- (Quran 4:36)

It would make no sense if God said in 4:34 it is fine for men to beat their wives, but they should be nice (kind) to everyone else.

Quran also says: And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect. (Quran 30:21)

and: And Allah has made for you mates (and companions) of your own nature, and made for you, out of them, sons and daughters and grandchildren, and provided for you sustenance of the best: will they then believe in vain things, and be ungrateful for Allah's favours?- (Quran 16:72)

And (as for) the believing men and the believing women, they are guardians of each other; they enjoin good and forbid evil and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, and obey Allah and His Messenger; (as for) these, Allah will show mercy to them; surely Allah is Mighty, Wise. (Quran 9:71)

Mainly, what matters is how these verses effect our hearts. Both the Bible and Quran can appear to condone inequality, but it can also make it clear that there is gender equality. If God sees it, then we should also.

Among the verses that show us God's view of gender: For Muslim men and women,- for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in Charity, for men and women who fast (and deny themselves), for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah's praise,- for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward.(Quran 33:35)

I think its important to point out that equality vs. dwell on verses like 4:34 being about "beating" when it can be translated in many other ways. By supporting equality, we strengthen women in those countries who use Quran as if it supports inequality and misogyny.

Nam Jiwan :)
 
Last edited:
Feb 23, 2012
391
642
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Sat Nam _/|\_

Vouthon ji

I hear you. There are verses in Bible and Quran that command love and honor. And there are what appear to say the opposite.

"As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. Did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached?" (1 Cor. 14:33b-36).

To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16)

Only in the last hundred or so years, were women allowed to be ministers in churches. In the Catholic church, they still insist that Jesus was male, the disciples were male....so the priest must be male.

One thing I want to add about the misinterpretation of 4:34 is the verse 4:36. Only two verses after the troublesome verse 4:34, we read:

Serve Allah, and join not any partners with Him; and do good- to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbours who are near, neighbours who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (ye meet), and what your right hands possess: For Allah loveth not the arrogant, the vainglorious;- (Quran 4:36)

It would make no sense if God said in 4:34 it is fine for men to beat their wives, but they should be nice (kind) to everyone else.

Quran also says: And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect. (Quran 30:21)

and: And Allah has made for you mates (and companions) of your own nature, and made for you, out of them, sons and daughters and grandchildren, and provided for you sustenance of the best: will they then believe in vain things, and be ungrateful for Allah's favours?- (Quran 16:72)

Nam Jiwan :)
Thank you sister Namji, a very good post and I don't disagree with anything that you say.

The New Testament passage is simply a reflection of Paul being a man of his time, although some scholars do say that because the Letter is a specific address to a specific group of people, it was intended to address a particularly rowdy group of women among the Corinthians who kept on speaking aloud during services. Thats kind of the problem with the Epistles (Letters) section of the New Testament. Just what is specific to a group, private opinion and a divinely ordained statement? Sometimes Paul is helpful in that he says, "I say this and not the Lord" but it leaves a lot up to debate. So, its apparently debateable - I am not a biblical scholar though lol!

In another passage Paul tells us:

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28; ESV).

Paul even entrusted his letters to be read out by women in the congregations he sent them too, which contradicts his statement that you refer to concerning women being "quiet" during services. Its very contradictory, which is why some question whether that was a specific command rather than a universal one.

Neither Muhammad nor Paul were sexist. They were both innovators. Muhammad taught that men and women proceed from one another. That is a tacit statement of equality. But we wouldn't want to follow them both literally by the hilt today, would we?

I would ask though, do you know of anything that might appear discriminatory of women by modern standards, uttered by Jesus? I am genuinely curious as I struggle to think of an example. One can cite the Sychro-Phonencian woman incident even as an instance of cultural bias in favour of Jews, but I can't think of anything that might appear "sexist" by our standards.

You might be interested in the book, "Jesus was a Feminist" by Leonard Swidler:

Jesus Was a Feminist: What the Gospels Reveal about His Revolutionary Perspective: Leonard Swidler: 9781580512183: Amazon.com: Books

A fascinating book that makes the claim that Jesus was an early champion of women's rights.
 
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namjiwankaur

SPNer
Nov 14, 2010
557
433
USA
Sat Nam _/|\_

Nonetheless I agree with you that the problem lies with taking the example of Muhammad, in his time and specific culture a progressive individual, and using it as a blueprint for all time and places as a divine model. Muhammad's teachings on gender equality simply aren't enlightened by modern standards
peacesign

The problem is the tendency to think that what Quran said to the early Muslims should remain frozen in time. The same verses can speak differently to succeeding generations and that helps a religion thrive. Muhammad revealed that equality existed between men and women. And in one society this would be interpreted as progressive while in other societies that would follow in the centuries to come, it would be interpreted as archaic and misogynistic.

If one studies Quran, we learn that it supports the equality that exists between genders in the west. One can find verses to take literally to support that kind of equality. A real Holy Book is relevant throughout all time. And Quran can be interpreted to support the perspective of gender equality as it now exists in the west.

Never does Muhammad pbuh or Quran say, "these are the rules to be forever frozen in time." It says follow "the example" of the prophet. He promoted women's rights because Allah revealed gender equality to him. The Quran and Islam will not break (as I suspect some think) if we have new perspectives. That strengthens the religion.

The fact that it is possible to be a good liberal Muslim shows this. Liberal Muslim do not reject Quran or the example of the prophet. They do not change those sources of knowledge. They merely reflect on the passages from the perspective of their own cultures.

Nam Jiwan mundahug
 
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Feb 23, 2012
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Never does Muhammad pbuh or Quran say, "these are the rules to be forever frozen in time." It says follow "the example" of the prophet. He promoted women's rights because Allah revealed gender equality to him. The Quran and Islam will not break (as I suspect some think) if we have new perspectives. That strengthens the religion.
Nam Jiwan mundahug

I agree with you, sister Namji, but the problem is that only one sect of Islam has ever understood the Qur'an and Shari'ah Law in the way in which you describe: the Nizari Ismaili Shi'ites. They are led by a spiritual figure called the, "Imam of the Time" or the Agha Khan. They have renounced traditional Islamic jihad against unbelievers, and even do not enforce hijab upon men or women ie the headscarf for women. This is because they believe that Islam's teachings can be "updated" to meet the needs of different time periods, through the mystical mediation of the Imam who interprets Islamic law for the modern age in which he lives. Islam in essence thus never changes buts its application and understanding of itself does. And so the Agha Khan has used his spiritual authority to re-interpret for his Muslims the Islamic faith in light of modernity.

Catholicism teaches much the same in a Christian context but NO OTHER Christian Church does (other than very liberal Protestants I should add) and neither do any other Islamic sects that I know of, although most Christian denominations have in fact moved with the times in many respects even if won't admit to doing so.

Your view is orthodox Nizari teaching but would be heretical to practically all schools of Sunni and Twelver Shi'a which believe the Qur'an is God's Word in the actual arabic in which it was delivered. The Mutazilis disagreed with this opinion and briefly had a mini-renaissance in the 9th century when the Caliphs supported their rationalism but they were then condemned as heretics for their use of reason in interpreting the Qur'an. The Mu'tazili taught that while the Qur'an expresses God's eternal will, he created the Qur'an itself at some point in time whereas most of the 'orthodox' schools taught that the Qur'an was uncreated and eternal in the time-bound form in which it was delivered to Muhammad and practiced by him through the Hadith.

The vast majority of the Islamic world simply does not share your enlightened understanding of Islam.

God Bless the Nizaris for holding the fort but they are not enough. A sea change would have to occur within most of Islam.
 
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Shabad Vichaar by SPN'ers

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As previous, individual words provided, please feel free to correct. My interpretation underneath in blue. Please add in your own understanding and how this shabad influences your life...

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