Saturday, 12 June 2010

Asalamu aliakaum wa rahmat Allah wa barkatoo and HellOOo!

GRRRRRR! Blogger isn't letting me comment on your comments :P So, I had to make it as a new post :D

15 comments! AWESOME! I was worried that not many people would be interested in a Muslim’s thoughts on the New Testament and that I was just writing to myself—but yaaaay! I wasn’t!

Okay, first things first, Joni and Carmen! What would you like to drink (non-alcoholic, LOL.) Orange juice? Chocolate milk? I’m an Arab, you know. This is how we treat our guests, hehehe. Seriously welcome! I’m very glad you guys could come and answer these questions. (Thank you, Susanne). Oh and I think it’s great that y’all met online. I’ve got many great online ‘sisters’, friends I’ve met and had for 5 years or so. (I met a few of them in person this year!)

Naz, I really love your comments. Man, I always ask myself, “was I that mature at 17?” Ma’shaAllah. As for your question about ‘everybody going to heaven’ since “Jesus already atoned’ for mankind’s sins, a similar question was asked on Susanne’s blog by another Muslim. You can see Susanne’s answer in her post called “Christianity Q&A.

Rebecca, thank you so much for your suggestion about reading the Apologetics. I bet that would help clarify things just as we always recommend reading ‘tafisr’ or scholarly explanation of the verses of the Qur’an (context of verses/etc.). It’s just right now my time is a bit limited, but we’ll see how it goes!

Anon, hope you had a good weekend too and of course, as a Muslim I noticed the '3rd person pronoun' as well ;)

Moonsmile! I was also pleasantly surprised to see many similarities! In fact, I left out a number of other similarities because I thought I had written too much but now, I’m going to share them with you as they might surprise you (like they surprised me!).

1.Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,[c]' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell (Matthew 5: 22)

It reminded me of this: O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one's] faith. And whoever does not repent - then it is those who are the wrongdoers. (Surat Al Hujurat 11)

2.The titles in chapter 6: Giving to the needy, Praying, Fasting- doesn’t it sound familiar? Like 3 out of the 5 pillars of Islam! SubhanAllah.

3.Also, about praying- they have this: But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Of course, we have that it is recommended to pray the 5 obligatory prayers in a congregation( in a Masjid). This helps foster ‘a sense of unity and brotherhood/sisterhood in the community’ and allows people of different nations, ages, social classes, economic classes to all meet each other and stand united. Blacks, whites, Pakistani, American, Egyptian, Chinese, rich, poor, a janitor, a Prince, whatever—all stand together, acknowledging that no one else is worthy of worship but the Lord, and together bowing down to Him.

However, we are also warned of praying just for others to notice us, and thus, besides the 5 obligatory prayers, we have the ‘voluntary night prayers’. Qiyam al Layl- ‘the standing up at night’. WE are advised to get up in the middle of the night and pray secretly- this is a true testament of faith (why else would anyone get up at 2:00 at night for example and pray when no one else can see him/not even his parents/etc.) and it is also has been described as having the ‘sweetest, most delicious taste’. When everyone else is sleeping, it’s just you and God :D

4. For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15

Reminded me of : …and let them be clement and let them pardon . Do you not love that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Ever-Merciful” (Surat Nur: 22) (There’s even a specific story regarding this verse but my point here is just to say that were still lots of other similarities that I didn’t get to touch upon.)

There were more, but I want to start commenting on all these answers, explanation and questions! My ‘answers’ will be a bit jumbled- sorry about that :P I am trying to connect relevant points together. I also won’t be able to get to ‘everything’ today but I have read all of the comments and appreciate every sentence! 

Before I begin though, I want to say I sincerely apologize if I had written (or am going to write) anything ‘scandalous’, or ‘very blasphemous’ to you. I try my best to avoid saying anything that may offend you. Also, I know that ‘online’ things can be interpreted differently/you may hear my tone differently than the way I am writing…:D I trust you know that I am not coming here to insult or defame Christianity and that I would never insult (who we consider to be one of the greatest) Prophets, Jesus.

Okay, so first of all, Carmen (and Susanne), thanks for pointing out that Mary was married to Joseph, the carpenter. That’s what happens when you’ve got a migraine and you try reading something new! Hehe!

Second, about “the Virgin Birth”. I in NO way, meant to imply that she had consummated her marriage before Jesus’ birth or that she was pregnant as in had a relationship with God. I know that, of course! We have it that Jesus’ birth was miraculous as well. WE believe that God created Jesus without a father and that his birth was a divine proof of God’s power and Jesus’s prophethood.

(Actually, while we’re on the subject, we believe that there were kinds of ‘births/coming to life’. One- Adam was created with neither a mother nor a father. Hawa was created from a man, without a woman (rib of Adam). Isa (our name for Jesus- Joni, I wrote since you noticed Hawa) was created from a woman, Mariam/Mary, without a man. And finally, me and you- we were created with moms and dads, hehe. Taken together, these 4 'births' testify to God's Absolute Power.) 

So definitely, I knew that and I understood that she had not consummated the marriage- the betrothal sorta thing- but what I was commenting on was that from the version I was reading, she did consummate the marriage after Jesus’ birth, which we don’t have in our traditions:

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Actually, lol, we don’t have anything about her being married- so it was interesting to me. Also, now I understand that the ‘siblings’ may not necessarily be Jesus’ siblings- but say his step siblings, etc.

Perhaps it's like some people I've known who have Islamically married yet not consummated the marriage, yet when they broke up they had to be divorced. Also Susanne: bout divorce -- Of course there are reasons for it, but divorce isn't something we should enter into just because the wife burned dinner or stop looking attractive.

Oh yes, Susanne, first of all, we have this concept and I understood it when I read that part about Mary. We have that first you ‘give the marriage vows/sign the contract’ but that there is usually a period between that and consummating the marriage. However, as you said, if you do not consummate the marriage and choose to end it- then, it is a divorce. For your info, though, the difference though is that is not a ‘regular divorce’. In a regular divorce scenario, one who had consummated the marriage, a divorce does not take place instantly. What happens is say a man tells his wife that she is divorced, they do not leave and go on their own ways- they MUST remain together for another 3 months (3 period cycles/known as the Iddah, or if she is pregnant, until the baby is born! Which could be 9 months, lol), to see if they can reconcile their differences, if they’ll change their mind and decide to go back together, etc. During these 3 (or 9)months in fact, the man still has to provide for the ‘wife’, her food, clothes, etc. (Now, let’s say, he does change his mind- and decides that ‘yeah, what the hell was I thinking, this woman is a gem’. That ‘divorce’ is canceled. Ultimately, he can only do this 2 times- the 3rd time for example a man tells his wife that she is divorced, that’s it…he can never marry her again. This is sorta like protecting women’s rights as you were saying. You can’t just divorce your wife as you said because she burnt the bread. 3 times and you’re out buddy.) But on the other hand, in the case of those who have not consummated marriage, divorce takes place instantly. The only thing is that a man can ask back for half the mahr (wedding gift that a groom must give the bridge, which unfortunately, contrary to our teachings, today costs thousands and thousands), but he is told in the Qur’an that it is better to leave it entirely to her... (And you were referring to MR. Handsome, right? Wasim? May Allah bless him and his ex with good partners :D)

Now about my question about the birth- He always was, but there was a point at which he took on the form of man, was born and died and then was resurrected (how do you keep someone with no beginning or end, dead?)
Oh, thank you, Joni for explaining that. That is why I said I must not have understood what was meant with ‘birth’- so what is meant is the ‘birth of the human form’ but not the birth of God- just a birth of a form. And since you brought death up, I was wondering about something.

This is what Carmen said: (thanks Carmen, btw) Jesus began His life on earth as a little baby and was fully God, and fully man. He experienced everything we has humans experience although He was still Jesus, perfect in every way.

Since Jesus was fully human and fully God, does this mean that Jesus, who was both human, and “God” at the same time, was “God” at the same time he was being crucified or was it ‘only’ the human form on the cross? I mean was Jesus ever only in the human form or was he at all times thought to be “still God”?

I ask because it wasn’t only the birth that confused me, hehe, but the idea of death. See, I had been thinking, if Jesus is God and Jesus died on the cross, what does that mean happened to God? I mean how could “God” die, right… It doesn’t help that I got even more confused because I had been told before that the reason the crucifixion all works out is’ because it was “God, himself, ‘sacrificing himself”, and not just a ‘sinless person’ taking our blame/shouldering mankind’s sins’ (Jesus as a human). Again, I could not understand how God could die? But what it sounds like to me you are saying is that it wasn’t actually “God dying”-not real death, anyways- but it was just the human form, right (Jesus as a sinless person)?

Is that correct? Or am I again totally confused? I didn’t want o ask this until I reached that part, but since my blog is only supposed to be 50 days anyways..;)

While we are on this topic, Regarding the trinity, consider as a weak analogy an egg: it has three parts - the shell, the white, the yolk.
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this analogy out to me. The thing is that I always understood it before kinda like that- I think I had understood it as 3 separate parts that together are supposed to make up one, sorta like the analogy implies. It’s sorta like I have 5 fingers which make up my hand. But my recent discussions with Susanne have led me to finally understand that the idea is a bit more complicated, right, because each part, individually, in itself, is considered the whole. What I mean is that you consider Jesus as God, right? So it’s like saying that the yolk by itself is the whole egg in itself, or God completely? Right? Like one finger is by itself like a whole hand and at the same time, all together, they are one? Or is the Son not by himself the Father? Is the Son different from the Father or equal to and is the Father ?

While it is confusing for me, I understand that many Christians take it as a leap of faith and not that we ‘should try and grasp who God is’ with our finite mortal minds, right? In any way, I know that it is also similar (at least to me) to what the Hindus also believe. From what I read about Hinduism at least, Hindus believe that Brahma, Vishnu and Siva are not three independent and separate deities, but three different aspects of the same Supreme God, with each part in charge of a certain purpose=the creation, sustenance and destruction of the universe. Is the similarity that I see clear? Or totally off? (I remember some websites even explain it by calling it the Trinity of Hinduism.)

And while we’re on this topic, I appreciate, Joni, your honesty in saying that you cannot answer my question regarding if the 3 themselves see each other as separate entities since they converse with each other and ‘see’ each other, ‘hear each other’. We always say the best answer when someone asks you a question and you do not know is to say “God knows best and I do not know”- that way we avoid saying anything blasphemous. So I really respect your answer.

As for my point about the genealogy, Joni, I can’t take full credit for that! Hehe! See, before I started reading the Book of Matthew, I started reading about Jesus and I stumbled on this website which was trying to explain what his name means/should be pronounced/etc.

The website turned out not to be a Christian one, but Jewish. It said (or claimed, at least) that the word Jesus in Hebrew was Yeshua and that the first one to be called that was Joshua (the successor of Moses) who was known as (Yeshua ben Nun- Jesus of the Fish- by the way, ‘nun’ is used in classical Arabic to refer to fish). Anyways, it then said that Jesus was originally a title and that there were several Jesus’ in history and even a few that were his contemporaries.
I can’t remember the specific contemporaries it listed, but one that stuck in my mind was: Jesus ben Damneus, (It reminded me of Damascus, lol); if you check Wikipedia, it actually states that he became high priest after the original high priest ‘killed James the ‘brother of Jesus Christ’. So he was living at the same time. Okay, I know that was probably boring to you, but it was all very interesting to me! Hehe!

But about this most Christian theologians say that the author's intent with the genealogy was to establish that Jesus was the heir of Abraham - this sets him up to be the fulfill-er of the Abrahamic covenant.

The funny thing is that our genealogy of Prophet Mohammed traces back to Prophet Abraham as well, for the same reason. I don’t know if you guys know this or not but we believe that Prophet Abraham built the Kabah in Mecca with his son; we even have ‘his footprint’, and actually much of the Hajj, the pilgrimage every able bodied and financially able Muslim must perform, commemorates Abraham and his family. Oh and I also thought it was interesting that Jesus’s ministry began at the age of 30! Alyhee as as salat wa salam (Blessings and peace be upon him :D)

Okay, now I’m REALLY going to jump around, lol.

Satan tried to prey on the face that Jesus faced emotion, fatigue, hunger, thirst, and much more while here
Oh, okay! Now I don’t think that is that ‘funny’ anymore, lol. Basically, he was trying to tempt the ‘human form’, right, that Joni was talking about? But not that he actually thought he could trick God.

I once heard it said, the best's enemy is not bad, but the good. Meaning, We often lose out what's best because we accept mere good.
I know what you mean. In Islam, we say that Paradise is promised to those who pardon others- so obviously you are ‘missing out/losing’ when you don’t go that extra mile and forgive.

But here’s the thing. The general day to day rule in Islam is :

Nor can goodness and Evil be equal. Repel (Evil) with what is better: Then will he between whom and thee was hatred become as it were thy friend and intimate! (41:34)

So definitely, someone backbites against you, someone starts a nasty nasty rumor about you or your kid even accusing you of adultery (as in the famous Ifk incident that happened during the Prophet’s time), you should forgive the person. Just overlook it, just like you want God to overlook your own sin.

But when it comes to murder- things are a bit different and as I said before it is perfectly acceptable to ‘ask for exact retribution’. Let me explain the thinking a bit better this time. We believe that God is Merciful not only to those who have ‘committed crimes’ (e.g. murderer) but to the victims and He does not make them ‘shoulder a burden greater than they can bear’. Sometimes, they just cannot find it in themselves to reach the point of forgiveness. Since they are the innocent ones, it seems a bit unfair to burden them with more than they can handle.

See, the thing is that that we believe in the necessity of following the Commandments. Not following them means that we are sinning, so if it was a Commandment to HAVE to forgive a murderer, one who didn’t would be sinning - do you see how that would be a bit difficult and harsh? God is Merciful and Just, but He is Merciful and Just to all.

Also, at the end of the day, this system also acts a ‘deterrent’ to crime and protects not just individuals (the criminals/etc.) but all of society at large. Islam is a religion that promotes not only the individuals’ rights but society’s rights. A murderer chooses to jeopardize society- by killing one individual, s/he kills all of these: a mother/sister/daughter/wife/employee/aunt/niece/etc.

I guess you can think of it as how some states employ the death penalty- why? As protection of the whole society. For us, Islam is not merely a religion but also includes a judicial system, set in place to protect all of society, just like how laws are made in any country. I hope that makes it a bit more clear :D

And Jesus isn't saying "don't pay all you owe" - rather he is saying for us to be honest and humble rather than stubborn. The two ideas are the person who pays back willingly and the person who refuses to pay and whose "money" is taken from him by force. Jesus wants us to be the willing one
Right!! I knew that there was no way I could have understood that right. Thanks for explaining that. I get it, now!

- Jesus is saying, there will people on Judgement day that say "but, but, but....and fumble over their words, calling out Jesus' name but not truly having lived here on earth as He and His Father have said. Even Satan knows that Jesus is God's Son. Jesus is saying, it's not enough to know -who- I am but to follow God's laws. By God's laws, Jesus is not trying to be legalistic but saying, IF you love Me and My Father you will desire to follow His will (what he instructs us) AND you will try with all of your heart to do so. Also: 
Jesus didn't speak about his resurrection because it hadn't happened yet.;) But more than that, he's definitely talking about the spirit of the law which he later sums up as "Love the Lord your God and Love your neighbor as yourself".

Oooo, okay, yeah, I understand now how you interpret it. Funny thing is that this is what I was telling Susanne the other day! Heheeh! I said that even Satan (or Shaytan as we call him) has complete belief in God. Satan does not deny God’s existence nor does he deny that God is Mighty and Powerful (he happens to swear by God’s Might in the Qur’an.) So I was saying that is not enough to ‘just believe’. I’ll discuss more of the Islamic concept of this but in a Islam 101 post, later, God’s willing.

As for the ‘God’s laws’, I understand that you all take it as not ‘being the legalistic laws’, but I was wondering if Jesus anywhere explicitly says that those laws are not needed at all? And that he wasn’t referring to those when he said that verse? Because I had understood it that those 2 laws, that you mentioned, the summary, were ‘the greatest’ but not the only laws. I guess I sorta don’t understand why would God ‘tells us certain rules/Commandments’ if they’re not important to Him? I don’t mean to imply that they are the most important thing to Him- purifying our hearts and turning to Him, Loving Him is more important- but do we really love Him when we won’t obey His laws?

See, we have a similar concept to “Love God with all your heart, mind and body” as you said –but for example, I believe that loving God with my heart= faith, loving Him with my mind equals knowledge (learning about Him and His Wonderful and Perfect Attributes, His 99 names, living with these names, seeing them in my day to day life, like “Al Ghani” that I shared with you guys, and reading His Divine Words, etc.), and loving Him with my body= loving Him enough to put His (legalistic) commandments over my own desires. Having faith actually show on my appendages so to speak- my hands giving charity, my feet standing up in prayer, etc.
One verse that is often called the ‘summary of Islam is this:

It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces Towards east or West; but it is righteousness- to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfill the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the Allah-fearing (2:177)

One hadith which is similar to the neighbor one says: None of you is a believer until you love for your brother (obviously not real brother) what you love for yourself.

About Jesus not having talked about the Resurrection because it hadn't happened yet, but isn't God above 'Time'? Doesn't He know what will happen? What I mean is that if the Resurrection is the single most important event in all of mankind's history and that believing in it the key to salvation and if God actually came all the way down to Earth, why would He not have told us that 'the great in heaven' would be those who believed in it? Do you understand why I was confused about it? 

Probably this is because when the Bible was first translated into English they used the word "apple" which at that time (1600s) meant any fruit of any tree "As late as 17c. a generic term for all fruit other than berries but including nuts. Hence its grafting onto the unnamed "fruit of the forbidden tree" in Genesis."
Oh my gosh, that was so interesting, Joni. Thanks for sharing that!

Thanks also for explaining the baptism question I had.

Okay, guys, I know there were more points I just don't have the time right now. I hope to get to them soon, as well as to your questions regarding Islam, inshAllah. Once again, thank you for sharing your explanations~ I know I didn't comment on everything but I want you to know that I have read every single comment and appreciate every single sentence. :)


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11 comments:

  1. Sarira, welcome home! I'm glad to read your comments in this new post. It was great reading more similarities between the two faiths as well. :) Here are a few thoughts for now. More later perhaps! :)

    1. "Isa (our name for Jesus- Joni, I wrote since you noticed Hawa)"


    Since we're talking names here for Joni's sake (grin), don't Arab Christians have another name for Jesus?


    2. Yes, I didn't think Muslims knew Mary actually married later so it makes sense that you were startled at that information. The Quran doesn't tell full stories from what I've gathered from the 43 chapters I've read thus far. That's why it says it's a reminder and you are to ask Jews and Christians for the fuller stories, in my opinion.

    3. Thanks for what you shared about Muslim divorces. I knew much of that from Samer, but I'm glad you wrote it for those curious about it. Yes, I was talking of Mr. Handsome! His fiancee' is Syrian and her father wanted her to marry someone from Syria, however, Wasim didn't want to live forever in the US yet she didn't want to live and raise children in Syria. Plus she didn't want to wear hijab once she was married (her father made her) and Wasim is more conservative than liberal so it didn't work out for them. I'm glad they found out this before they married! :)

    4. "See, I had been thinking, if Jesus is God and Jesus died on the cross, what does that mean happened to God? I mean how could “God” die, right"

    I was thinking of this one time a few months ago and the thought crossed my mind that when we die, we don't cease to exist. At least not in the Christian faith. We believe "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord" for believers. So when Jesus died physically on the cross, it didn't mean "God" died and ceased to exist. Not that this helps explain things, but it was something that I was pondering and thought I'd share now for the sake of interest or critique. :)


    5. I liked what you shared about the different Jesuses of the time. I knew it was a name used by more than just Jesus son of Joseph (Yeshua bar Yusuf..or something like that) as I saw it written recently in a book I was reading about the Bible and archaeology. I'm glad you shared what you did from the Jewish website.


    I hope your blog will be longer than 50 days. I really enjoy reading your posts. More later! Oh, the post you inspired about prophets and their sinfulness is on my blog now. :)

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  2. Wow...another great post,will read it inshallah when I have the time.
    I will be waiting for ur post on similarities between the two Books inshallah :)

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  3. About Jesus not having talked about the Resurrection because it hadn't happened yet, but isn't God above 'Time'? Doesn't He know what will happen? What I mean is that if the Resurrection is the single most important event in all of mankind's history and that believing in it the key to salvation and if God actually came all the way down to Earth, why would He not have told us that 'the great in heaven' would be those who believed in it? Do you understand why I was confused about it?

    Actually, Jesus did talk about the resurrection before it happened. It's in more than one gospel but here it is in John.

    18Then the Jews demanded of him, “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”

    19Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”

    20The Jews replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoke.

    Even the disciples were confused when Jesus first spoke that to them as they thought He was talking about the literal temple. We see, however, that Jesus was saying His body would be destroyed and three days later, He rise it up. :)

    I'm at a hotel right now so very limited time to write. We've gotta check out and then wander Springfield before we need to check in with the conference registration, but I hope to visit and respond more when I can.

    Oh, and I'd love a juice!

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  4. Sarira, I will take chocolate milk, thank you! Or tea, if you are offering! ;D

    Thanks for your long response. I will got through it more deeply later. And of course Carmen is right that Jesus did speak of his resurrection before it happened and that God exists outside of time and knew about that already. I should have been more careful about what I was saying.

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  5. Susanne! Thank you! I am glad to be home :)

    I forgot, hehe, to mention that the Arab Christians call Jesus, "Yasoo3". I guess it's sorta similar to the Jewish term, but with out 'sh'...

    You know, I was thinking about it and I realize what you are saying. Death is 'not the end' Islamically either. We believe in 'life' actually in the grave- it is actually the first stage of the hereafter for us. It is just a transition between this life and the next, so yes, I understand what you are saying. [souls do not die :D]

    You're so kind to say that about my blog but I may have a JOB, like this week, hehe. I'm waiting to hear 'the results' :D

    Jazaki Allah moon smile :)

    Carmen, yes, see, that makes sense to me. Take your time to respond to the stuff. I know it can be overwhelming :) Also, I was going to say that I just want to clarify my original question more [about where it explicitly states that Jesus does not also mean the legalistic commandments, as well]:

    Number 1, the reason why I was confused was because of the 'context'. He said he didn't come to abolish the laws, right, but to fulfill them, and those who follow them are the 'great in the kingdom of heaven'. Were those laws 'already' there? Like are those 2 laws the laws of the Torah? Moses came with those laws?

    Or was I right in understanding that he meant he did not come to abolish the old Jewish legalstic laws? And if he was talking about that context, do you understand why I feel like he may also mean not to dismiss those laws?

    Let me give an analogy. Let's say a teacher were to say "Y'all better study for the final. That's the MOST important thing". Do you think the students would understand not to do their homework or take the other tests? Or perhaps, one is given the greatest priority but not at the expense of others?

    Joni, take your time, as well. No problem. I do that all the time :)

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  6. I forgot to mention, Susanne, that's so ironic about Wasim, because I had a family friend propose last year living in the States and we ended up not getting involved primarily because I didn't want to live in the US indefinitely and he wouldn't give me a 'clear' answer.

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  7. Oh, I totally forgot to comment on like the MOST important thing, hehe. I wanted to say thank you Carmen for providing those verses for me that prove to you that Jesus was the literal “Unique” son of God/is God.

    The second one, about honoring God by honoring Jesus, reminds me of something that we have. We have in the Qur’an that God says those who obey Prophet Mohammed obey God- and this is because we believe that Prophet Mohammed did not command/forbid out of his own accord, but by Divine Revelation. Therefore, we believe that if you disobey Prophet Mohammed’s direct orders, you are disobeying God. So obviously I can see what you are saying and how you take it—it’s just I take it the same way we take our verse. If you don’t honor Jesus, the prophet sent by God and chosen by Him, then you do not honor God, Himself. It’s sorta like if I were to visit you and I was rude to your kids, then you would consider that I was ‘rude’ to you, yourself.

    About the other verse I found it interesting that Jesus said ‘those who have seen me’ have ‘seen the Father’, but didn’t directly say “I am the Father/the Lord/etc.”, or “Look at me. I am your Creator”, like a more of a direct statement. [but I am starting to see that the Bible isn’t necessarily direct, right]. Anyways, I thought I would check it out to better understand the context(I’m always interested to see how these verses would fit in my Islamic understanding). As a Muslim, hehe, I found that I interpret it a bit differently.

    To me what is happening here is that Philip wanted to actually see God with his own eyes, but this is impossible [here on earth]. I remember that I had read/heard before that the Bible even attests to that [it stuck in my mind because I wondered how that could be when many people saw Jesus?]:

    18No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only,[a][b]who is at the Father's side, has made him known

    So what Jesus was actually saying was that his own actions and miracles should be a sufficient proof of the existence of God without God having to physically come down and let himself be seen every time someone is doubtful.

    I looked around and found other Muslims adding their understanding, regarding that verse hehe, and it was similar to mine but with many more verses to illustrate. I didn’t check them out, though. But this is what one person, Mistah stated:

    1.John 12:44 "Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me."
    2.John 15:23 "He that hateth me hateth my Father also." [Sarira's thought- I thought this was interesting becuase of the usage of the word? Doesn't that connoate more than one? If I say I love this blog and mine, also, you would understand that this bog is not mine]
    3.Matthew 10:40-41 "He that receiveth you receiveth me (Jesus), and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward."

    "If we want to insist that when Philip saw Jesus (pbuh), he had actually physically seen God "the Father" because Jesus "is" the father and both are one "Trinity," and Jesus is the "incarnation" of God, then this will force us to conclude that John 1:18, 1 John 4:12, ..etc. are all contradictions."
    End of Mistah's quote.

    In any case, I was just trying to understand both your perspective and our perspective; how we could for example have understood why Jesus would say that line :)

    I also see that to you though that is sufficient proof that Jesus was the 'Lord' and I respect your interpretation and am not trying to force mine on to you!

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  8. ^ETA- the usage of the word 'also'.

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  9. Sarira, I know you addressed this to Carmen, but since she is at a conference this week and likely not able to check in much, I wanted to chime in on something. Hopefully she can address this later and maybe Joni as well. About this that you wrote:

    ______________________________________________________

    1.John 12:44 "Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me."
    2.John 15:23 "He that hateth me hateth my Father also." [Sarira's thought- I thought this was interesting becuase of the usage of the word? Doesn't that connoate more than one? If I say I love this blog and mine, also, you would understand that this bog is not mine]
    3.Matthew 10:40-41 "He that receiveth you receiveth me (Jesus), and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

    ________________________________________________________

    The way that I understand this based on the whole of the Bible is that the Israelites believed in God, right? They thought they were acceptable to God through keeping their law and being children of Abraham. Yet most of them rejected Jesus as "the Way the Truth and the Life" as Jesus said of himself in John 14:6. In fact Jesus said "no one comes to the Father except through me." So when I read those verses I see that when you rejected Jesus (God in the flesh) you are rejecting God whom you *think* you have a relationship with by virtue of keeping the law and being a Jew. I think Jesus was challenging them to realize their bloodline and good deeds weren't going to save their souls. I think he was wanting them to realize you reject me, you reject God because "I and my Father are one."

    But I enjoyed reading how YOU and Mistah interpreted those verses.I can see where you are coming from since the Quran does say a lot about obeying Muhammad and God. To me this seems a bit like associating a partner with God if I'm honest. I think it's very "shirkish" when I read it. :) You could just say "obey God" and leave the associating Muhammad with God out. It's not just once or twice either. I just read suras 47 & 48 this morning and wrote my notes on them. (Not published yet.) They seem very shirkish to me.

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  10. Asalamu aliakum.

    I don't really have anything to add, but I think this is a comprehensive 'comparative' view between Christianity and Islam. You might want to check it out.

    http://muslim-canada.org/islam_christianity.html

    Quite long but very interesting. I learned a lot like the "Lord's Prayer" in Christianity, etc.

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Hey :D So am I talking to myself or...? Tell me what you think :D