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Thread: Charis & Sadaqa, the roads meet

  1. #21
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by 37818 View Post
    http://www.islamicstudies.info/tafhe...ra=6&verse=163
    
    (6:163) He has no associate. Thus have I been bidden, and I am the foremost of those who submit themselves (to Allah).`
    Thankyou for the effort of finding and sharing this.... I hope others may be able to use it as a resource to double check information....(the tafsir is a bit shallow---but better than nothing)

    As you may have noticed by reading the previous verses beginning with 6:155--the Quran is explaining the human use of "reason" to find excuses not to do the right thing. A list of excuses is given so that the audience is aware that such excuses will not be accepted. God has provided Guidance as a mercy (Grace) so that people may follow the right path. In fact, I actually had a conversation with a non-Muslim similar to the proposition in 6:158---that if God had wanted humanity to believe---he should have sent a revelation/angel/sign to everyone---not just one person----then there would be no doubt. And this led to a discussion about free-will---for if God had done so, it would have compromised our ability to choose freely---but as a text, (Quran) an individual has the opportunity to use his intellect and reason---to engage critically---then to make a choice. The use of ones intellect and reason to come to the conviction of One God is the story of Prophet Abraham in the Quran---that is why verse 6:161 says it (Guidance) is the religion/way of Abraham. Verse 163 is in the context of the previous verses concluding that when one has arrived at conviction, one must submit willingly to God's will.

    In this context of "submission" (Islam) ---as well as Zakat/Sadaqa (Charity) verse 6:165 is relevant.
    (6:165) For He it is Who has appointed you vicegerent over the earth, and has exalted some of you over others in rank that He may try you in what He has bestowed is upon you. Indeed your Lord is swift in retribution, and He is certainly All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate.

    The verse points out that God has given some people more and others less---those who have more, have a higher commensurate degree of responsibility as Trustees (Khalifa)---it is a test and they will be judged accordingly.

    The reason why submission (to God) is important in this context is because of the juxtaposition between hierarchy and equality. In the Islamic context---God alone is superior---all creation is inferior to God. Thus, all humanity is equally inferior to God, thereby, they are all equal to one another in front of God. (to say that one group of humanity is more inferior---automatically makes another group superior---but, God alone is superior). This means that despite human diversity in form or circumstances---all humanity is equal to one another and our diversity is a test of our compassion and mercy towards each other. Therefore, the relationship between God and man is that of master and servant, or King and subject---superior/inferior---but the relationship between Man and Man (humanity) is that of equals---none is superior/inferior to another. To put it another way---God is the giver, humanity is the receiver--since God has no needs, humanity is incapable of "giving" to God---but between people, the relationship is one of sharing between equals---even in the context of charity.
    Thus, the poor, needy, are receiving what is due to them (obligation)---because the right to wealth and happiness is given by God to all humanity and not the entitlement of just a few allocated by some man-made set of "rights" or systems, or laws....

    This premise is a different concept of equality than that of the Enlightenment/Modernity in which one group was "more equal" than others being more civilized, or more progressive, or more whatever....and the entitlement of "equality" is built on the condition that the "other" become "like us". (equality = sameness)

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    @ elam
    Right to lineage/identity (nasl) (subject of Kohen)
    Think-by-proxy

    The Sunni/Shia split occurred because there was a dispute as to who would succeed as leader after the Prophet (pbuh) (The Prophet was chosen by the community of Yathrib) When it came time to decide on the next leader there was a split. The question of legitimacy occured. It was easier to convince people of legitimacy if there was a connection to the family of the Prophet....later, the Abbasid (Sunni) and the Fatimid (Shia) dynasties both used descent as a means for legitimacy. The king of Jordan also claims descent from the family of the Prophet(pbuh). The Sharia protects the right to one's identity both for adults as well as children---so a child who is adopted---still retains his name and origins. Yet, identity-constructs can be abused and one has to beware of excess and ego......The Shia have a concept of an Imamate--a spiritual leader who is from the line of the family of the Prophet---but since he does not exist, the practice is the same as Sunni---both use scholars

    The use of Scholars can be abused if people do not use their intellect but blindly follow others. The Quran does not encourage blind belief as this can cause one to fall into "Shirk" (superstitions)---on the other hand, it is difficult to verify everything. Islam is a "way of life" and an average person is so busy living and fulfilling his obligations---it is simpler to follow. So there is an element of "thinking-by-proxy"---let the scholars figure things out and we---the average person, simply follow their conclusions.....So debates about difficult issues such as medical and bio-ethics, Finance and economic ethics, ethical governance...and so forth are left upto Scholars to conclude. Fortunately, Islam is not an "organized" religion with a hierarchical Church system---so people can choose opinions or conclusions (somewhat). Islam is more of an "organic" system....a people's religion.....?....

    So "Scholars" such as Abdal-Wahab get followers known as the Wahabi (or Salafi---depending) who advocate for a "Pure" Islam. Its been labelled as a reformist/reactionary movement ---but its alliance with the Saudi monarchy who in turn are allied with the U.S. makes it used/abused for extreme political purposes......creating headaches for the rest of us Muslims.....

    ...So, as the Prophet recommended, to seek knowledge is a duty of all Muslims for this is the only way to make intelligent choices....
    Hia Siam, Have had a health issue that has kept me offline for a bit...

    What you describe, apart from the hierarchy thing, approximates my experience of the RCC = not a religion but a way of life!

    A week or so ago, on TV, I saw an interview with the Rock'n'Roller, Suzi Quatro, on one of her annual pilgrimages to Oz. I never realised she was RCC!

    She made a couple of points. 1. She has a public (performance) persona and a very private persona, 2. She was RCC and therefore plagued with conscionable self doubt, and "you can't escape being Catholic", it is a way of life that governs your conscience...

    As for the RCC hierarchy: the idea is something of a misnomer. Back when in history when there were competing monarchies trying to subdue the Church there was in fact a political hierarchy. Thus at one stage there were simultaneously at least 5 individuals sponsored by various principalities who claimed the papacy (2 in France, 2 in Italy, 1 in Germany). My RCC educators summed up the history as there have since the times of the apostles (Jesus' discipl;es) there have been three ecclesia (gatherings) = The church political. the church social & the Church religious. The last is made up of the "true believers" whether they be mums, dads, kids or clergy, the other two are those distracted by worldly illusions (wealth, power, poverty etc)... The apostle Paul regularly chastises them...

    In my experience, the RCC hierarchy bends over backwards to keep out of peoples lives. Of course they provide guidelines but as it is often pointed out in Catholic radical literature "it is almost impossible to be kicked out of the RCC". Nobody can be prohibited from the Mass or Confessional but they can, as a public declaration, be denied participation in Communion...

    As an older fellow, I am greatly amused by the American fuss about Muslim's women's attire. In the 1950s, 60s & before no descent "British" or "Australian" woman would go out in public without a head covering (scarf or hat) and wearing gloves...and modest dress...

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    @elam
    Many of my thoughts are unformulated and I am still making up my mind on some issues, so I am using you to bounce ideas off of, and I hope you do the same and share your ideas and concerns....

    Exclusivity/Property---
    My concern is with all the groups---Nations, ethnicity, families...as for family, the concern was sparked by your comment about homelessness. Does the "family" have the right to kick someone out into the street because they have a problem with the behavior---such as alcoholism, addiction etc. On the other hand, the safety and security of the other members of the family are also important considerations....and rights. There should be a better way for us (community and family) to handle troubled human beings without throwing them away? I also have misgivings about the nation-state and national borders...etc. There should be a better balance between our need for security and our obligation towards compassion and mercy...of 114 surah, 113 Surah of the Quran begin with the words "In the name of God the most compassionate, the most merciful". So, to be true to these values...one needs to think of a way of community building that cares for the needy while also providing for the support of the caregivers...since I am Muslim---I look at historical examples of (Muslim) community building, for ideas....but care for the needy is an important value for all religions and historical religions have practiced good community building in pre-modern times....so there can be a variety of ideas....

    Proud Catholic/Multiculture---I agree that different religions have their own meta-narratives that give them a particular world-view. Such diversity makes our engagement with the world more interesting. But---it also makes groups different. Though humanity and its nature and needs are not all that different from one group to the other, the interpretations and implementations of our (common) values may take on variety....just as they vary from generation to generation also.....But if we are to be true to our "way"---we need to respect our own values so that we can respect those of others. The present multiculture system does not allow for this--we are all required to homogenize into a public monoculture....and in an age of globalization, if there is going to be only one dominant "culture" in the public space---whose is it going to be?...is a question that distresses everyone. So, perhaps Pluralism may be a better way than Secularism......?....Religious identities are already global (at least for the major world religions)...and so these would provide a better platform for identity-constructs and group-building with the added benefit of encouraging humanity towards its potential for excellence and balanced altruism...?.....
    I guess I am persuaded by the Oz experience, especially since the 1970s when the authorities pursued its policy of multi-culturism. Sure we have had issues with various ethnic groups, but largely those have been drug wars between ethnic factions. Currently, in my area (what is becoming the Sunni Arab capital here in Sydney) the issue is their indiscriminate shooting of each other and honour killings... aprt from the later, in the 1970s we had the same problem with the Italians...but that went away (or at least out of sight) as the years passed by...here is hoping...

    Your circumstance in the Malaysian pursuit of a mono-culture, as far as I understand it, is completely different. I have had numerous Chinese-Malaysian work mates & friends that came to Oz as students but never returned (except to visit family) because of ethnic "Malay" nationalism. So I've only heard one side of the story...
    Last edited by elam; 03-27-2017 at 08:05 AM.

  4. #24
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    Nationalism is also an identity---and like all identities---it can cause problems---today the problem is the mixing of religion with identity---be it the Hindutva movments of India, the Burmese-nationalism (969 group), or the Muslim nationalists of Indonesia/Malaysia, or the Nationalists of Japan and China, or the Australia first/one nation of Australia...Pegida, EDL...etc...of Europe......everyone is fighting to figure out "who" they are and what values define them. The ISIS rhetoric of Khaliphate, or the idea of Zionism...etc...are also a marriage between religion and "nation" identity-constructs----the problem with all of these is not the identity-construct itself---but the notion that only one identity construct can be supreme in one (imagined) "location"/territory (nation). But such a way of thinking is incorrect. Such thinking led to the displacement and/or forced conversion of many Aboriginals in Australia. It has led to extreme exclusivity---forgetting that all humanity is a single family---instead (arbitrary) claims are made that a person must be x and only x to "belong".
    But think of our own family---in our family we have siblings that have different names, personalities and thoughts, yet, we try to get along despite these differences and tensions....and in the East, at least, even when family members have problems...we still try to provide care and compassion...This is how society should function as a larger group---like family---where we respect each others identity and differences, yet also help each other be better.
    How to be "better" requires teaching "values" and these come from religion/philosophy. So, for example, in the case of Lebanese gangs (of Australia)---if the community, and the Mosques and Churches (Lebanese Arabs are both Christian and Muslim) were more active in helping their communities and guiding their young---society would improve with less trauma. Right now---society generally "outsources" their problem-makers to the police and law...instead of actively seeking compassionate solutions....(homelessness, poverty...etc and their "cure" is outsourced to the government....)

    In the case of Islam (as a value-system) the pursuit of a state mono-culture is particularly problematic as Pluralism is an inherent/traditional "value" of Islam. For ex...there are many Sharia and if a state were to choose only one as state-approved....it would destroy one of the key values of Islam---that of legal pluralism....

    Secular "multi-culturalism"---does not come with any "values" as it is not a philosophy itself---it therefore generally uses "Christian" values as default in Christian-majority territories it claims....and Hindus and Buddhists and Muslims use their values as default in territories with their majorities....BUT---this means that minorities in all of these territories must "conform" to a degree....and when they do not or cannot...tensions occur. Some countries such as France have tried to define "secular" values---but other than "secularism" being anti-religion---have not really come up with anything substantial....and so, this is not an attractive solution either...
    So, under such circumstances, I think Pluralism (instead of secularism) is an option worth exploring....

  5. #25
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    "In my experience, the RCC hierarchy bends over backwards to keep out of peoples lives."---if so, then can you really claim it is a "way of life"?

  6. #26
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    According to Mark Koyama, the economic history of Islam and Christianity seem to have different trajectories...both Islam and Christianity have ethical principles against interest---In the case of Christianity, Koyama argues that it is based on the argument that interest lending is unjust. Thus, Canon Law was developed in the 12th/13th centuries to regulate such activities:-
    https://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/mater...s/paper412.pdf

    1139 Second Lateran Council
    Usury prohibited to laymen as well as clergy.
    1179 Third Lateran Council
    Manifest usurers to be excommunicated and denied Christian burial
    1215 Fourth Lateran Council
    Jewish usurers to be ostracised
    1245 Council of Lyon I
    Churches forbidden from contracting usurious debts
    1274 Council of Lyon II
    Usurers to be expelled. Bishops who fail to excommunicate usurers to be suspended.
    Wills of usurers invalided. Those who upheld the wills of usurers are to be treated as usurers

    Table 5: Sources Tanner (1990); Gilchrist (1969)


    According to Koyama---the Christian economic experiment did not work---but Islamic ethical economics did---while I do not agree with his premise as to why it did not work in Europe, I think that Zakat (institution of Charity) and Awqaf (Charitable Trusts) played an important part in balancing the economic superstructure/system. As Mark Koyama notes, the regulations by the Church made entry into commerce difficult, thus creating a monopoly situation---but in the Islamic economic structure---the redistribution of wealth through zakat and awqaf mechanisms created a more egalitarian society.....(Dr Shinsuke Nagaoka has done some research on these mechanisms---both how they worked in traditional Islamic economic system and how they can work today---such as in Singapore)

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    "In my experience, the RCC hierarchy bends over backwards to keep out of peoples lives."---if so, then can you really claim it is a "way of life"?
    Definitely!!!

    When Jesus opponents questioned him about the greatest of laws, Jesus responded: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets". (Matthew 22:34-40).

    Notice that Jesus' enlightenment totally rejects institutionalism (tribalism) of religion, and places the emphasis on the individual's responsibility (Jesus foretold: “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem... a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks...worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth". John 4:21- 24).

    In my experience of the RCC, we are brought up to "take to heart" that each of us is responsible for our own actions & their consequences - there is no one to blame but myself! Rote prayers, rote rituals and the vanity of public piety are worthless in the eyes of God! My RCC educators emphasised the point that the communal Mass & communal prayers sole function is to upbuild the weak of heart...the time has already arrived that God is not to be confined to an institution, ritual or building!

    From memory: the RCC teaching is similiar to Mohammad's teaching in the Quran (paraphrased) "Allah knows what is in your heart. He is closer to you than your jugular vein". Many years ago I read the Quran and have never forgotten the reference to the "jugular vein", which to me symbolises judgement, life or death....

    [Before saving this post, I quickly did a google on the Sura. This is what I found...
    https://www.central-mosque.com/index...ularvein.html]

    To an extent the RCC ignores Moses' ordinances and structures because: 1. They are impractical & 2. they are proven historically to be a failure and not inspired!

    As many a Rabbi will ultimately admit, they were merely a replication (syncretisation) of secular excesses & practices of Moses time. Moses' father-in-law was a Midianite priest (Ex 3:1, 18:1); it was he that instituted the sacrifices (Ex 18:9-12) & encouraged Moses to establish the already existing institutions amoungst the Israelites (Ex 18:24). The failure of Moses' institutions is reflected in the corruption of the high priesthood, priesthood & judges which gave rise to the establishment of Israel's kings (who according to the prophets & biblical history were equally corrupt, immoral & paganised).

    The RCC copies Jesus' practices. Thus we have attachment to the Decalogue given personally by God = Allah = Hasham to Moses, which Moses almost immediately smashed to pieces when reviewing his people (the Jewish justification is Hashem's commandments were too lenient, Moses determined his people needed to be punished).

    The RCC also rejects the irreligious concepts of predestination, predetermination, fatalism, celestial punishments & like stupidities... Consequently, it has attracted persecution by adherents of these stupidities who have monetised religion... Despite this missionaries put their life at risk to benefit these people! Why? Because following in the footsteps of Jesus, his example, it is "the way".e

    Another idea rampant in the USA pseudo-christian gatherings is exclusivism. To an extent, in times past, the RCC has been accused of exclusivism but read the factual histories (especially those written by the opponents of the RCC) and you might find the opposite to be true (Consider the RCC work amoungst the leper colonies - everybody else isolated & rejected them. Consider the establishment of "free to all" hospitals, schools & age care facilities irrespective of religion).

    ____________________

    In another post you made mention of Australia's "First People" and suggested the Christian religion was rammed down their throats. History both past & present as related by "the old people" (on the ground aboriginal history) doesn't support your accusation. In fact: amoungst the "First People" there is a strong movement refuting the "socialist agenda".

    Lets consider the "stolen generation" as an example - something of which I have personal knowledge.

    It is possible that I am part aborigine (from Grafton). My mother was adopted. Her complexion was ambiguous...

    When a young woman she was compared to Merle Oberon a movie & beauty star in Britain & the USA during the 1930s & 40s. In old age, Merle admitted that her heritage was Anglo-Indian. Funnily, Wiki says that Merle "to conceal her Indian heritage...maintained the fiction that she was born in Tasmania, Australia"). My older sister has all the physical characteristics of a "Lowanna" = "Aboriginal girl" in the language of the Gumbaynggir up Grafton way. Option 2 is the line that my mother pushed = she was of Welsh heritage. Whatever the case, until late in the 20th century there was stigma in being an unmarried mother and whether black, white, or any shade in between the British authorities intervened and took the child away if they thought the child was at risk. A particular problem with mulatto children was the "full bloods" would reject both mother & child from the tribe or dispose of the child.

    Ella Simon, who in 1962 was reputed to be NSW's first Aboriginal recounts in her memoirs of a baby "stuffed head-first down a rabbit hole and left to die..."

    This is what the missionaries had to contend with...to a large extent missions were places of refuge for aborigines. In documentaries the "old people" lament the demise of the "mission station". Sure, they were tough places but no different from the "white schools" of a bygone era (my dad, "a white boy" who was fostered out to a farm in Crookwell in the early 1920s relates how the teacher (state school) would "bash the s__t out of anyone that looked as much as sideways". Such was the norm (caning) in my days at a prestigious private school, and remained so until the 1970s...

    When I was very much younger, I had a very good friend from Thursday Island whose aboriginal mother had sold her for a bottle of rum. In her words "the missionaries rescued me"...

    When we first started chatting about economics I enquired about what appeared to me a Marxist slant on things. In your latest post I'm now detecting communist clap trap (?)

    As I indicated previously there are two sides to every story. Via my Chinese-Malaysian friends I have one side of the story, there must be a Malay story as well (?) Or is it that the Malay ultra-nationalists & their cohorts are dooming Malaysia to the abyss of Mugabe...

    I have a hard & fast rule = beware of anyone promoting exclusivity of race, color and/or religion, and discard all who invoke tribalism (eg: the red shirts) or promote efortless utopia...

  8. #28
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    According to Mark Koyama, the economic history of Islam and Christianity seem to have different trajectories...both Islam and Christianity have ethical principles against interest---In the case of Christianity, Koyama argues that it is based on the argument that interest lending is unjust. Thus, Canon Law was developed in the 12th/13th centuries to regulate such activities:-
    https://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/mater...s/paper412.pdf

    1139 Second Lateran Council
    Usury prohibited to laymen as well as clergy.
    1179 Third Lateran Council
    Manifest usurers to be excommunicated and denied Christian burial
    1215 Fourth Lateran Council
    Jewish usurers to be ostracised
    1245 Council of Lyon I
    Churches forbidden from contracting usurious debts
    1274 Council of Lyon II
    Usurers to be expelled. Bishops who fail to excommunicate usurers to be suspended.
    Wills of usurers invalided. Those who upheld the wills of usurers are to be treated as usurers

    Table 5: Sources Tanner (1990); Gilchrist (1969)


    According to Koyama---the Christian economic experiment did not work---but Islamic ethical economics did---while I do not agree with his premise as to why it did not work in Europe, I think that Zakat (institution of Charity) and Awqaf (Charitable Trusts) played an important part in balancing the economic superstructure/system. As Mark Koyama notes, the regulations by the Church made entry into commerce difficult, thus creating a monopoly situation---but in the Islamic economic structure---the redistribution of wealth through zakat and awqaf mechanisms created a more egalitarian society.....(Dr Shinsuke Nagaoka has done some research on these mechanisms---both how they worked in traditional Islamic economic system and how they can work today---such as in Singapore)
    A while back ago when I was investigating alternative finance I came across an older Islamic teacher (Malaysian?) who made a statement that grabbed my attention = "Don't be fooled. Halal & Islamic banking doesn't exist and its concept is an oxymoron! But there are enough mullahs & imans, who for a fee, will declare whatever you want to be halal."

    We have to put things into perspective:

    Slavery was once (and in places like Sudan continues to be) integral to Islamic economics. Similarly, until relatively modern times, feudalism (tenant serfs) was the norm in the Christian world.

    Thus in a rural setting usury was the farthest thing from anyone's mind (only the nobility who had arisen through conquest had the ability to borrow, and generally they had no need to borrow! Except for possibly in times of pestilence, flood or drought when they needed to replace seed and/or stock. The ancient solution was not to borrow but to steal. Running short of something get your serfs together and raid whoever has what you need. The history of north-eastern Europe substantiates this proposition upto the late middle ages...

    It is only when a merchant class arose that usury became an issue. Muhammad's financial difficulties were solved by a rich widow (Khadija) who sponsored his endeavours and whom he later married (a 25 year exclusivity). That option for financing wasn't open to everyone. Arrangements arose where a camel or slave train would transport a merchants wares to long distance markets for a proportion of the produce. The story of how Aristotle became a free-man highlights freight mechanisms in early times. With the advent of long distance freight came the advent of an exploitative bourgeoise class who provided market infrastructure. Several issues arise: How did the freighters raise the initial funds to procure slaves, camels etc? How did the bourgeoise raise the initial funds to provide granaries, feed lots, buildings, land for the markets etc? Where did these classes of society get the money to pay taxes, tolls & admission fees? The answer as far as I can gather is credit, which is usury by another name, if payment for the provision is excessive (the RCC definition of Usury is excessive charges and is not limited to credit eg: inflating prices in times of shortage).

    Several Islamic teachers I've encountered on Youtube cite Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" as a prime example of excesses that amount to usury...

    The words [of the contract] expressly are “a pound of flesh”. Take then thy bond, take thou thy pound of flesh,
    But in the cutting it if thou dost shed one drop of Christian blood, thy lands and goods are by the laws of Venice confiscate..

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by elam View Post
    ...
    When Jesus opponents questioned him about the greatest of laws, Jesus responded: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets". (Matthew 22:34-40).

    Notice that Jesus' enlightenment totally rejects institutionalism (tribalism) of religion, and places the emphasis on the individual's responsibility (Jesus foretold: “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem... a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks...worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth". John 4:21- 24).

    In my experience of the RCC, we are brought up to "take to heart" that each of us is responsible for our own actions & their consequences - there is no one to blame but myself! Rote prayers, rote rituals and the vanity of public piety are worthless in the eyes of God! My RCC educators emphasised the point that the communal Mass & communal prayers sole function is to upbuild the weak of heart...the time has already arrived that God is not to be confined to an institution, ritual or building!

    From memory: the RCC teaching is similiar to Mohammad's teaching in the Quran (paraphrased) "Allah knows what is in your heart. He is closer to you than your jugular vein". Many years ago I read the Quran and have never forgotten the reference to the "jugular vein", which to me symbolises judgement, life or death....

    [Before saving this post, I quickly did a google on the Sura. This is what I found...
    https://www.central-mosque.com/index...ularvein.html]

    To an extent the RCC ignores Moses' ordinances and structures because: 1. They are impractical & 2. they are proven historically to be a failure and not inspired!

    As many a Rabbi will ultimately admit, they were merely a replication (syncretisation) of secular excesses & practices of Moses time. Moses' father-in-law was a Midianite priest (Ex 3:1, 18:1); it was he that instituted the sacrifices (Ex 18:9-12) & encouraged Moses to establish the already existing institutions amoungst the Israelites (Ex 18:24). The failure of Moses' institutions is reflected in the corruption of the high priesthood, priesthood & judges which gave rise to the establishment of Israel's kings (who according to the prophets & biblical history were equally corrupt, immoral & paganised).

    .....edited....
    In another post you made mention of Australia's "First People" and suggested the Christian religion was rammed down their throats. History both past & present as related by "the old people" (on the ground aboriginal history) doesn't support your accusation. In fact: amoungst the "First People" there is a strong movement refuting the "socialist agenda".

    Lets consider the "stolen generation" as an example - something of which I have personal knowledge.

    It is possible that I am part aborigine (from Grafton). My mother was adopted. Her complexion was ambiguous...

    ....edited......

    When we first started chatting about economics I enquired about what appeared to me a Marxist slant on things. In your latest post I'm now detecting communist clap trap (?)

    As I indicated previously there are two sides to every story. Via my Chinese-Malaysian friends I have one side of the story, there must be a Malay story as well (?) Or is it that the Malay ultra-nationalists & their cohorts are dooming Malaysia to the abyss of Mugabe...

    I have a hard & fast rule = beware of anyone promoting exclusivity of race, color and/or religion, and discard all who invoke tribalism (eg: the red shirts) or promote efortless utopia...
    Law---I don't have any problems with the Christian interpretation of the essence of Jewish law---its what Rabbi Hillel also said....
    To lead an ethical/moral lifestyle,---one must have a set of ethical/moral principles or "laws" (rules). If the RCC does not have those --- can it be a "lifestyle" based on values?
    However, it is my opinion that the RCC does have such values---the CCC spells out many things such principles of interfaith relations (CCC839-843) or principles of war (CCC 2307-2314)....?....and probably more such things?---(I am not very familiar with Christianity in general or the particulars of the RCC) So, if the ordinary Catholics are ignorant of the ethico-moral principles of their own religion/philosophy then maybe the Church might want to do a better job? ---that is, if they have any interest in making their followers ethical/moral human beings?

    take to heart...etc---Yes, we are responsible for our own actions----BUT wrong belief can lead to harm...even when the intentions are good...(and the policy of Christian missionaries to kidnap children---not just in Australia but also in the Americas and Africa---is an example of "good intentions" leading to harm because of "wrong belief" stemming from ideas of superiority/"civilizing mission" and such...tribalism, in all its variety, (as you have pointed out)---is "wrong belief" because it divides our human family so that we only consider "us" as truly human and others as having lower degrees of humanity. (In Islamic philosophy this type of belief is called "Iblisi logic")

    Jewish law and Rabbis---Not sure what this is about?---can you elaborate? From what (little) I know of Halaka (Jewish law) it is a sophisticated system of law whose principles have been inherited into our Modern law systems such as innocent until proven guilty, equality under the law, and other practices....(as well as into Islamic Fiqh (jurisprudence) theories)

    Communism/Marxism---There have been Russian scholars who have suggested Islam/Islamic economic philosophy is favorable to Marxist/Communist ideas. And there may be some elements of convergence such as the importance on equitable wages for labor (...policies of non-exploitation of human resources and material resources) equitable distribution of the production of wealth and such...but there is also much difference. Likewise, Capitalists might claim Islam favors capitalism because it favors free-markets and profit-making---but Islam is actually a wholistic system of ethics and morality in which all aspects of "living" are integrated together.
    IMO, one difference between Modern forms of government,....communist, democratic or "Islamic"---is that they consolidate power. The traditional system was one in which "power" was dispersed. For example, the zakat and waqf system of redistributing wealth encourages communities to actively find solutions to the inequities in their areas and to come up with resources that will address particular problems unique to their circumstances. But in (all types of) modern government systems---wellfare---is outsourced to government bureaucrats who come up with generic---one-size-fits-all policies which often work inefficiently if they work at all....this also means whole communities are dependent, not on themselves,---but on their governments to "solve problems". It takes "power"/choices away from the people and makes them dependent on government---which often exploits the poor for the benefit of the rich (because the rich have more "power" and modern government is about power).

    Thankyou for the verse of the Quran...in return let me quote Isaiah 58, 6-10 ---sentiments of charity which are also echoed in many verses of the Quran....

    Isaiah 58:6-10 (NIV)

    6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
    to loose the chains of injustice
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
    to set the oppressed free
    and break every yoke?
    7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
    when you see the naked, to clothe them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
    8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
    and your healing will quickly appear;
    then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
    and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
    9 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
    you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
    “If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
    with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
    10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
    and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
    then your light will rise in the darkness,
    and your night will become like the noonday.

  10. #30
    tWebber
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    Prejudice (Malaysia)---Most Identity constructs are necessarily artificial since we are in reality all one human family. Generally, The British had a policy of "Divide and rule"---and one face of this policy was discriminatory attitude towards one group of people compounded by a favorable attitude towards another group. In order to adjust the consequences of such discrimination, "affirmative action" policies were tried but to know who was "eligible" a group had to be defined---so came about the "Bumiputra"---this division ended up leading to discriminatory policies in turn....as I explained before---wrong belief will lead to harm even if the intentions are good.....
    The idea that some "rights" are a privilege/entitlement (allocated by a government) is against the traditional Islamic ideals and ethico-moral principles that rights and responsibilities are god-given to all humanity....the same for the idea that one group of humanity is inferior/superior to another....This does not mean that identity-constructs must be eliminated and one must conform to some homogeneous construct called "culture"---rather, it means that all groups and individuals must be respected in their diversity so that they can live freely and with integrity to their own values and ethics. (Pluralism)

    Halal/Haram---Islamic ethical system is not a binary (good/bad). It has degrees from permissible to not permissible and there are about 5 categories. Banking is essentially an interest-based institution---the reason for its existence is to use deposits (with interest) for interest-based loans. The main heart of Islamic finance and economics is non-interest based transactions. So, Islamic finance (funding/investment) is not necessarily an oxymoron but Islamic "Banking" is.

    Slavery was a practice of pre-Modern societies but was never integral to Islamic economy or economic system. That is why the Quran advises people to free the slaves.
    Muhammed (pbuh) became a Messenger (Prophet) when he received a revelation---he was simply a Merchant before that (though he was a spiritual-seeker). The fact that he worked for his wife only shows that in Islam, the women (including wives) are independently wealthy and retain the right to finance (or not) any venture they see fit. A Merchant class did not "arise"---Mecca was a Merchant town---part of a trade route. With the territorial expansion...the trade routes were more secure and rest stations and provisions were provided for the travellers/caravanserai. During this time, the trade winds were discovered and the sea routes became much more efficient and trade expanded rapidly. The rise of the Merchant class did not bring about a rise in exploitation because the Islamic economic practices were based on ethico-moral principles, one of which was not to steal the wages of the laborers but to pay them equitably.
    Christianity also has these principles---but the difference in economic histories suggest that the Church may have abdicated its responsibility to Guide people? or maybe it did not understand economics---since it did not distinguish between profit and interest the way Islamic economics does.....?....

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