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Thread: Justice and mercy with God?

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    Justice and mercy with God?

    How is God according to Islam both truly Just and truly Merciful?

    The problem:
    If God issues justice to men because of sin then all men perish, how can God provide mercy and still be just?
    If God provides mercy to any men, where is God's justice in doing so?

    The Christian view: Romans 3:23-26.
    . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

    . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

    Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

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    tWebber
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    The problem:
    1) If God issues justice to men because of sin then all men perish, how can God provide mercy and still be just?
    2) If God provides mercy to any men, where is God's justice in doing so?


    ----1) There is no "original sin" in Islam, therefore humanity is not sinful. This means that people have the capacity to do good as well as bad and sometimes they do right and sometimes they do wrong. When a person does right it is good for the (human) soul, when a person does wrong it injures the (human) soul.
    ----2) To forgive when a person repents is fair and just. To not forgive a person when he repents is harsh (not compassionate).

    How is God according to Islam both truly Just and truly Merciful?

    ----Justice tempered with compassion and mercy
    The answer to this will be complex and we will have to go into a couple of other concepts such as Tawheed (Unity) and Qadr (to measure/destiny) to give it nuance...so I will give the simple answer first....but in order to do that let us simplify the terms as well---lets understand compassion and mercy as love and forgiveness.....

    Now consider, If you are in a position of guardianship over a younger sibling/child who has committed an (ethico-moral) error/mistake---what balance of justice, love and forgiveness would you consider as fair?
    If the young person has yet to commit any error---you might consider deterrents as a way to prevent the error such as saying you would ground them for a month (?) or something....
    If the young person has already committed an error but is remorseful---you might consider forgiving him and perhaps encouraging the person to repair any harm his actions might have caused. (reconciliation)
    If the young person has committed an error but is not sorry about it---then you might go through with some form of punishment ---grounded for a week (or two) so that he may reflect on his actions and perhaps feel remorse over them. (punishment that might lead to remorse/reform which can then promote reconciliation)

    The end purpose of Justice tempered with compassion and mercy should be healing and reconciliation. (healing the soul and reconciliation of the relationship)
    Last edited by siam; 06-05-2017 at 04:17 AM.

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    Romans 3:23-26New International Version (NIV)

    23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,[a] through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.


    The verse above refers to the relationship between Man and God?----right? In Christianity, are the concepts of Justice, mercy, compassion confined to this relationship only?

    In Islam---Justice, compassion and mercy are concepts that have relevance to both the relationship between Man and God (vertical axis) and the relationship between Man and Man (horizontal axis).......

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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    The problem:
    1) If God issues justice to men because of sin then all men perish, how can God provide mercy and still be just?
    2) If God provides mercy to any men, where is God's justice in doing so?


    ----1) There is no "original sin" in Islam, therefore humanity is not sinful. This means that people have the capacity to do good as well as bad and sometimes they do right and sometimes they do wrong. When a person does right it is good for the (human) soul, when a person does wrong it injures the (human) soul.
    ----2) To forgive when a person repents is fair and just. To not forgive a person when he repents is harsh (not compassionate).

    How is God according to Islam both truly Just and truly Merciful?

    ----Justice tempered with compassion and mercy
    The answer to this will be complex and we will have to go into a couple of other concepts such as Tawheed (Unity) and Qadr (to measure/destiny) to give it nuance...so I will give the simple answer first....but in order to do that let us simplify the terms as well---lets understand compassion and mercy as love and forgiveness.....

    Now consider, If you are in a position of guardianship over a younger sibling/child who has committed an (ethico-moral) error/mistake---what balance of justice, love and forgiveness would you consider as fair?
    If the young person has yet to commit any error---you might consider deterrents as a way to prevent the error such as saying you would ground them for a month (?) or something....
    If the young person has already committed an error but is remorseful---you might consider forgiving him and perhaps encouraging the person to repair any harm his actions might have caused. (reconciliation)
    If the young person has committed an error but is not sorry about it---then you might go through with some form of punishment ---grounded for a week (or two) so that he may reflect on his actions and perhaps feel remorse over them. (punishment that might lead to remorse/reform which can then promote reconciliation)

    The end purpose of Justice tempered with compassion and mercy should be healing and reconciliation. (healing the soul and reconciliation of the relationship)

    Proverbs 9:

    1 Wisdom has built her house; she has set up its seven pillars. 2 She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table. 3 She has sent out her servants, and she calls from the highest point of the city, 4“Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says, 5“Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed. (John 6:53)6 Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of insight.” (Psalms 32:8 - noting, Psalms 32:7, "You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.)

    What are the seven pillars - and what do they stand for? In considering these interpretive options, it is most likely that “her house” and “seven pillars” both refer to a home that is in proper order, with the use of “seven” emphasizing its completeness and all-sufficiency. (Hebrews 3:4 - For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything; Matthew 13:52"Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old."


    Ismā'īlī pillars: 1) Walayah "Guardianship" denotes love and devotion to God 2)Taharah "Purity": The Ismā'īlī lay special emphasis on purity and its related practices, and the Nizari consider this in a more esoteric sense too and apply it to purity of mind, soul and action3) Salat "Prayer": Unlike Sunni and Twelver Muslims, Nizari Ismā'īliyya reason that it is up to the current imām to designate the style and form of prayer, and for this reason the current Nizari prayer is called Du'a and they pray three times a day.4) Zakah "Charity" 5) Sawm "Fasting" 6) Hajj "Pilgrimage" and last, 7) Jihad "Struggle"


    In Judaism:

    The term “mipnei tikkun ha-olam” (perhaps best translated in this context as “in the interest of public policy”) is used in the Mishnah (the body of classical rabbinic teachings codified circa 200 C.E.). There, it refers to social policy legislation providing extra protection to those potentially at a disadvantage — governing, for example, just conditions for the writing of divorce decrees and for the freeing of slaves - tzedakah (charitable giving) and gemilut hasadim (acts of kindness).


    In Christianity:

    The seven Christian virtues are from two sets of virtues. The four cardinal virtues are Prudence, Justice, Restraint (or Temperance), and Courage (or Fortitude). The cardinal virtues are so called because they are regarded as the basic virtues required for a virtuous life. The three theological virtues, are Faith, Hope, and Love (or Charity).
    Prudence: also described as wisdom, the ability to judge between actions with regard to appropriate actions at a given time
    Justice: also considered as fairness, the most extensive and most important virtue[19]
    Temperance: also known as restraint, the practice of self-control, abstention, and moderation tempering the appetition
    Courage: also termed fortitude, forebearance, strength, endurance, and the ability to confront fear, uncertainty, and intimidation
    Faith: belief in God, and in the truth of His revelation as well as obedience to Him (cf. Rom 1:5:16:26)[20][21]
    Hope: expectation of and desire of receiving; refraining from despair and capability of not giving up. The belief that God will be eternally present in every human's life and never giving up on His love.
    Charity: a supernatural virtue that helps us love God and our neighbors, more than ourselves.
    Last edited by Marta; 06-05-2017 at 08:00 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    In Islam---Justice, compassion and mercy are concepts that have relevance to both the relationship between Man and God (vertical axis) and the relationship between Man and Man (horizontal axis).......
    a6e72c41-6099-460f-86c3-816d00cbf799_16x9_788x442.jpg

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

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    tWebber
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    How is God according to Islam both truly Just and truly Merciful?

    In Islam---Justice, compassion and mercy are concepts that have relevance to both the relationship between Man and God (vertical axis) and the relationship between Man and Man (horizontal axis).......However, the question posed, concerns the relationship between Man and God only (vertical axis)...so, let us explore the difference between the 2 axis...God and Man and Man and Man.

    Tawheed (Unity) = One God. This means that allhumanity is created by the One God. All worship (from humanity) is heard by the One and Only God. This also means that all blessings and trials to (all) humanity come from the will of the One/Only God.---no other. Therefore, justice, compassion, mercy apply to all humanity---not a selected/chosen few. This leads into the concept that all humanity is equal before God. (Only God is most superior, all humanity is equally inferior to God).
    Creation is created inherently good. The creation of humanity is also good, therefore human beings possess a natural capacity for good. When they rebel against their own "self"/human nature, they have the capacity to do bad. Therefore, humanity has the capacity and the inclination towards good unless they choose of their own free will to do bad. Another way to phrase this would be---humanity is innocent until they choose otherwise. Yet, this is not enough. it is too abstract. There needs to be evidence/proof of guilt(bad intentions/actions.) Which means---humanity is innocent until proven otherwise.
    (At Judgement "day", the human soul is shown evidence so that they are without a shadow of doubt as to their status)

    The above aspects of Justice applies to both the vertical and horizontal axis---where the 2 axis differ is in the power relations.
    (Only God is most superior, all humanity is equally inferior to God)

    Qadr (to measure/destiny)
    On earth, humanity has different destinies (measures)---some have little wealth, others have much, some do not have access to knowledge, others do, some have more strength than others, some have a higher capacity for spirituality than others....etc. In spite of these differences, all humanity is inherently of equivalent value before God. (All are equally creations of One God). Our time on earth is a test. Some human beings live longer than others...to give life, or death, or to determine its length (on earth) is a privilege of God. The different measure of trials and blessings God wills to human beings is a privilege (right) of God.

    how does compassion and mercy fit into this framework?

    There is a saying of the Prophet(pbuh) ---" God's mercy takes precedence over His wrath" (this is also a privilege of God)
    In the horizontal axis (man to man), justice, compassion and mercy are bi-directional because all humanity is of equal value to one another.
    But in the vertical axis, it is unidirectional---God has no need for justice, compassion and mercy from humanity with regards to himself---it is humanity that is dependent upon God.
    Therefore, trials (on earth) are tests and can be both punishment or reward. When a person has been given trials and is patient and remembers God--this trial becomes a blessing (virtue) but when the person becomes arrogant and forgets God (or gets angry at God) this can become a punishment (sin). Abundance (blessings) can also be a punishment or reward---A person who has been given much and is grateful and shares what God has given---this can become a reward (virtue) but if he is ungrateful and forgets God or is arrogant---this can become a punishment (sin).
    In this context, "want"(trials) and abundance(blessings) are neither good nor bad but take on the color/hue depending on human intentions/actions. (Arabic= Sharr/Khair)

    Human beings are each given a measure of life-span---long or short----within this life-span we may do good and/or bad---whatever good we do will be rewarded, whatever bad we do will be punished. BUT God, most merciful, most compassionate will give every opportunity for us to be remorseful and ask forgiveness during our life-span. This opportunity comes to an end at death.
    The way to heaven is wider than that to hell. While we are on earth, we can have right belief that can promote right intentions that lead to right actions orif we fall into error, then to repent, ask forgiveness and strive to reform (jihad). Only those who persist in wrong belief that promote wrong intentions that lead to wrong actions, despite knowing it is wrong---will be punished.

    How does (divine) justice fit into this framework?

    God has given Guidance (scriptures/Wisdom teachings), sent teachers (Prophets, Sages..etc) and created humanity with a capacity for Good and human nature that inclines towards good. God has also provided intelligence and reason so that even if guidance and teachers were unavailable, we would be able to use our intelligence to reason about these matters. But to those who may have less measure of this capacity, God has also given us eyes to see the "signs of God" (in nature) and the intuition to feel awe.
    If, despite all these favors, human beings persist in intentionally doing wrong, then it is just and fair that there be consequences for the harm they cause (to God's creations and to their own souls)
    (...to not have consequences for the intentional harm caused, would be unjust)


    We all come from God and will return to God.

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    There are multiple issues which make this complex to deal with. All of which are of importance.

    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    . . .

    ----1) There is no "original sin" in Islam, therefore humanity is not sinful. . . .
    Just this one sentence has more than one issue.
    1) Genesis 2:17; Genesis 3:1-24. Is this being denied? In Christianity those Hebrew texts are regarded as from God Himself.
    2) If man is not sinful, then there should be no sin. And then there should be no infidels.


    . . . This means that people have the capacity to do good as well as bad and sometimes they do right and sometimes they do wrong. When a person does right it is good for the (human) soul, when a person does wrong it injures the (human) soul.
    . . .
    Again, if mankind is not sinful, where does the ability to do bad come from?

    Just this much is now complex.
    . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

    . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

    Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by 37818 View Post
    There are multiple issues which make this complex to deal with. All of which are of importance.

    Just this one sentence has more than one issue.
    1) Genesis 2:17; Genesis 3:1-24. Is this being denied? In Christianity those Hebrew texts are regarded as from God Himself.
    2) If man is not sinful, then there should be no sin. And then there should be no infidels.

    Again, if mankind is not sinful, where does the ability to do bad come from?

    Just this much is now complex.
    There is no original sin in Judaism either.
    http://www.aish.com/atr/Original_Sin.html
    The way Jews understand their Torah and the way Christians interpret the Old Testament are different. That is why Judaism and Christianity are 2 different religions.

    Good people can do bad things---why? because God gave us this potential when he gave us limited free-will.

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    ...with regards to ISIS, White supremacy, Manifest Destiny/American exceptionalism, religio-nationalism (969 movement, Hindutva...etc) and other toxic ideas.....

    In a world of diverse ideas, philosophies and propaganda, how do we tell "right belief" from "wrong belief"?
    Right belief leads to benefit for all of God's creations...Wrong belief leads to harm to God's creations.
    Its not about a "label" (Hindu, Shinto,...etc) rather it has to do with the "spirit"/principle underlying the meta-narrative/paradigm/world-view.

    Right belief = Tawheed (Unity), the principle that encourages compassion and mercy despite variety/differences. It bends the heart towards altruism---kindness to the "other"
    Wrong belief = Shirk (Division), the propaganda that encourages arrogance and intolerance of variety/differences. It bends the heart towards pride and selfishness---dehumanizing the "other"

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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    ...with regards to ISIS, White supremacy, Manifest Destiny/American exceptionalism, religio-nationalism (969 movement, Hindutva...etc) and other toxic ideas.....

    In a world of diverse ideas, philosophies and propaganda, how do we tell "right belief" from "wrong belief"?
    Right belief leads to benefit for all of God's creations...Wrong belief leads to harm to God's creations.
    Its not about a "label" (Hindu, Shinto,...etc) rather it has to do with the "spirit"/principle underlying the meta-narrative/paradigm/world-view.

    Right belief = Tawheed (Unity), the principle that encourages compassion and mercy despite variety/differences. It bends the heart towards altruism---kindness to the "other"
    Wrong belief = Shirk (Division), the propaganda that encourages arrogance and intolerance of variety/differences. It bends the heart towards pride and selfishness---dehumanizing the "other"
    I can probably at this point in my life, discuss this subject but not from ease. People have a choice to make in their life to do good or harm. What motivates either choice? Where there is a injustice done and it causes others to get hurt then this will stir a right to defend. I'll give an example, we'll use the story of the Exodus because I always think the story brings out some truths. Moses is told to confront Pharaoh and he becomes afraid -naturally, I would be. We read the story, as a story and not as a upfront factorial. So Moses had insisted that God send someone else because he can't speak very well, like someone who has authority. In the course of the story, Moses returns back to God to ask why He treats his people so cruelly. How God did reply? God -like our Jesus wants to know how people think - He assess the injustice. Remembering Sodom and Gomorrah, Genesis 18:"that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.” Prior to this story was the flood or even the story of the garden of Eden when He approached Adam. The question is about where are you? Genesis 3:9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He already knows what to expect from mankind - since day "one". Right? Genesis 6:5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.

    So, what makes people so wicked to do bad things and others righteous to do good? and what makes another look away to the bad? Like Moses, they become afraid. Wickedness can spread (like in the days of the flood - Genesis 6:5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth; Genesis 18:20 Then the Lord said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous ) as Good can spread when the motivation by His Spirit, same chapter, ("Genesis 18:19 For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.” and then, the end of the promise, "69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David")

    In Judaism, there is this thought of both good inclinations and bad ones:

    "There is a biblical basis to the idea of the existence in man's nature of an instinctive tendency or impulse (yeẓer as in Ps. 103:14 from yaẓar, i.e., to "form" or "create" as in Gen. 2:8), which, left to itself, would lead to his undoing by prompting him to act in a manner contrary to the will of God (whence the term yeẓer ha-ra or "inclination to evil"). Thus, in Genesis 5 it is stated that "every inclination of the thoughts of his – i.e., man's – heart is only evil continually" and again in Genesis 8:21 "for the inclination of man's heart is evil from his youth." The doctrine of the two inclinations (or drives) is a major feature of rabbinic psychology and anthropology. As a personification of the permanent dualism of the choice between good and evil, the rabbinic notion of the two inclinations shifts this dualism from a metaphysical to a more psychological level (i.e., two tendencies in man rather than two cosmic principles)." Inclinations Good and Bad

    In thought, you can make those inclinations (bad or good) become real - in the flesh and blood. If I do something very bad, that "action" becomes flesh and blood, as well as, if I do something good. You can (as the saying goes) become the devils advocate to that inclination but also, you can be God's servant by fighting it.

    Does this make sense? It becomes a process of thought and that thought can become real - like the story (chapter on creation) Eve "picks" of the forbidden fruit and those actions from that point become "flesh and blood". In the story of creation, how does the chapter begin?


    Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day."

    John 1: The Word Became Flesh: 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.
    Last edited by Marta; 06-07-2017 at 04:41 AM.

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