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Thread: Justice and mercy with God?

  1. #21
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    Dominionism?---A Christian concept/doctrine? that encourages the belief that Christians are biblically mandated to control all earthly institutions until the second coming of Jesus.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/0..._n_945601.html

    That concept is not Quranic....the Quran talks of Trusteeship, which is about the responsibility to care for all of God's creations.
    The Pursuit of happiness/tranquility/peace is a God-given right/responsibility---within relationships and with the community. Both sadness and happiness---like trials and blessings are tests.

    Anymore than taking care of your own family - you are entrusted with the care. Our children are not ours (per se) but we are their teachers, we are responsible to teach them to take care of themselves, educate them and to guide them. Same concept - we our entrusted. Yes, fully agree with this. In the same thought as the biblical verse out of Jonah:

    1 But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3 Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”

    4 But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”

    5 Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. 6 Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. 7But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.”

    9 But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”

    “It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.”

    10 But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”


    The answer is in the last verse - Same concept in the Exodus with Moses: Deuteronomy 29:5"I have led you forty years in the wilderness; your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandal has not worn out on your foot. 6"You have not eaten bread, nor have you drunk wine or strong drink, in order that you might know that I am the LORD your God.…
    Last edited by Marta; 06-07-2017 at 11:45 PM.

  2. #22
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    Desire---from the Islamic perspective, the desire for food, shelter, love, safety, society...etc are not "bad"---they are simply a normative condition of being in a "body" on earth. Such desires are necessary for the body to survive on earth and for human flourishing. Desires become "bad" when in excess....for example greed, gluttony...etc....Therefore the purpose of ethics/morality (rules/laws) is to "manage" so as to restrict harm and promote good/benefit.

    The purpose/test of our creation is "to choose" to do God's will (submission) of our own free-will. (Ibadah (worship) = "to do for God")
    Well - when the Israelites asked Jesus the question of "What does God demand of us?", the response back was to believe in the one He sent. (period - end of thought). Belief - can open ones' eyes. However, who opens our eyes to see. In the same way, so can salvation but who leads us? Story being that Hagar was sent out into the desert with very little, however, God provided the means. Just as Hagar couldn't watch her boy die - anymore than Abraham when he offered his only son - God provided the means. Again, I hope that made some sense to you.

    Genesis 21:17 God heard the boy crying. Then the angel of God called out to Hagar from heaven. He said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid. God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18 Lift up the boy and take him by the hand. I will make him into a great nation.”

    19 Then God opened Hagar’s eyes, and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the bottle with water and gave the boy a drink.


    ** Next Chapter

    Genesis 22: 12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not harm him. Now I know that you would do anything for God. You have not held back from me your son, your only son.”

    13 Abraham looked around. There in a bush he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram. He sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham named that place The Lord Will Provide. To this day people say, “It will be provided on the mountain of the Lord.”

    **********
    We don't own anything - not really. God provides us with the means to live - Jesus said it himself (Matthew 6:25-26). As Hannah prayer expresses it in 1 Samuel 2:

    “The Lord brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up. 7 The Lord sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts.
    8 He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor."
    Last edited by Marta; 06-08-2017 at 12:28 AM.

  3. #23
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    Some interesting thoughts and connections.

    1) Fear--- I agree---but---from the Quranic perspective, the (Arabic) word Taqwa, often translated as love of God/God-consciousness, corresponds better with the English word "awe" which has connotations of both love and fear. Therefore, "fear" could be an element in prompting both good and bad action. The difference would be between non-selfish/altruistic fear---the fear of disappointing God vs selfish fear---the fear for ones self.....?...

    2) Yetzer hara and Yetzer hatov---The human soul is called nefesh (Arabic = nafs) and there are 3 categories, a) nefesh b) ruach 3) neshama. Neshama could be equated somewhat to (spiritual) "enlightenment".
    In the Quran the human being is made of 3 components, a) the body (bio-chemistry), b) the nafs (soul) and c) the ruh (spirit).....of this, the soul/nafs has 3 levels...nafs ammara (animal/egoic soul), nafs lawama (transegoic soul), and nafs mutmainna (soul at peace). Nafs mutmainna is the highest spiritual level and could be equated somewhat with neshama/spiritual enlightenment......

    more info on Jewish ideas---
    http://www.aish.com/jl/sp/bas/48942091.html
    https://ohr.edu/ask_db/ask_main.php/220/Q4/

    3) Interesting connection between thought and action and the role of language (word)/ideas in the transition of thought to action.
    My opinion is that generally thoughts/ideas are abstracts and cannot cause harm unless used/abused to justify/promote harmful action. (with the exception of libel/defamation....) Therefore, I would be cautious of any tendencies to restrict thoughts/ideas (though with some exceptions) within human societies. However, God is most knowing---therefore God can judge beliefs and intentions.
    Yes, unless we used/abuse to justify/promote harmful actions. Then our action or out of our action that thought becomes real as flesh and blood. We can "create" as if, like James said, those actions are "born" - create, in the same tenacity.
    Last edited by Marta; 06-08-2017 at 12:31 AM.

  4. #24
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    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.
    Yes! Your statements (down below) are in the same direction that I made with my previous comment:

    siam;447417 How is God according to Islam both truly Just and truly Merciful?

    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.
    We are our own teachers even within our family. Whatever we learn about God and when God enlightens our thoughts/beliefs we begin to see how to live rightly. Sometimes those beliefs can come from our own experiences and those who teach us; Parents and Family (external family), even our own children teach us about how to love and to forgive. Within that concept of teaching, like God's comment to Jonah, we are not a property to someone or to something (materialism). Our selves and those we love belong to God and we return back to God. However, we (to ourselves) have to grow and learn even in a bad situation. We all have the means when we ask God to help us - to change to become a better person. Only when we give up hope do we stop.

    I think of the verse Jesus stated to the apostle or the three angels that visited Abraham - "Nothing is impossible with God!" or "Is anything impossible for God to do"
    either way!
    Last edited by Marta; 06-08-2017 at 12:48 AM.

  5. #25
    tWebber
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    Human dignity and Imago Dei---
    As I understand it, Judaism and Christianity formulate concepts of equality, human dignity, and responsibility as partners/caretakers on earth (tikkun olam/repair the world)...from this idea of Imago Dei?....
    perhaps you could elaborate on this?....

    Islam/Quran does not have this concept because Muslims cannot do imagery of God. So, Muslims use the concept of the 99 names of God---among which are Justice, Compassion, Mercy...etc...
    There is a saying of the Prophet which explains that of the 100 portions of Mercy, God sent one portion to his creation, from which they show mercy between themselves, and the other 99 portions God has kept to bestow to his creation......
    ...this exemplifies the difference between the limits of our human imagination to comprehend the vastness of God's attributes and smallness of any likeness to human actions of Divine mercy, justice, compassion....etc....

    It is interesting how in spirit, the essence of many of our concepts are very similar/same---though the language used to express these ideas are different.....?....



    ....thoughts about mercy from a Muslim perspective.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4k-i9vk080w&t=675s

  6. #26
    tWebber 37818's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    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.
    The argument "there is no original sin" is a fallacy. There was always a first [an original] sin. Either mankind being always sinful, or being created good and then there being a first sin. There is no way around this, even if the garden story of the fall man is a myth.
    . . . 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.

  7. #27
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by 37818 View Post
    The argument "there is no original sin" is a fallacy. There was always a first [an original] sin. Either mankind being always sinful, or being created good and then there being a first sin. There is no way around this, even if the garden story of the fall man is a myth.
    Sorry, I made a mistake.
    What I meant to say was the Christian doctrine of original sin (and all it entails) is a uniquely Christian interpretation---Jews and Muslims do not have this concept.
    Jews don't have a very strong/clear concept of the afterlife---but Muslims do. The starting premise is that God forgives sins and sins cannot be inherited, passed on, acquired by another person/group. Subsequent ideas about Divine Judgement are based on this premise.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    Human dignity and Imago Dei---
    As I understand it, Judaism and Christianity formulate concepts of equality, human dignity, and responsibility as partners/caretakers on earth (tikkun olam/repair the world)...from this idea of Imago Dei?....
    perhaps you could elaborate on this?....

    Islam/Quran does not have this concept because Muslims cannot do imagery of God. So, Muslims use the concept of the 99 names of God---among which are Justice, Compassion, Mercy...etc...
    There is a saying of the Prophet which explains that of the 100 portions of Mercy, God sent one portion to his creation, from which they show mercy between themselves, and the other 99 portions God has kept to bestow to his creation......
    ...this exemplifies the difference between the limits of our human imagination to comprehend the vastness of God's attributes and smallness of any likeness to human actions of Divine mercy, justice, compassion....etc....

    It is interesting how in spirit, the essence of many of our concepts are very similar/same---though the language used to express these ideas are different.....?....



    ....thoughts about mercy from a Muslim perspective.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4k-i9vk080w&t=675s
    Differences between the Letter of the Law or observing the Spirit of the Law: (Beyond the letter of the Law)

    But in ‘Parshat Yitro’ we were first commanded to do “observe the laws and the teachings (of the Torah) and to be taught the path upon which to walk and the behavior that they should follow.” The Midrash states that the phrase “the behavior that they should follow” refers to this concept of “lifnim meshurat hadin” – doing more than what one may be held strictly, legally, liable to do. Even though, at first glance, this concept appears to be one of super-righteousness, the Talmud defines this concept as one of legal and societal necessity and not solely one of piety and saintliness."

    Muslims do have the same concept:

    Muslim scholars have generally regarded Fiqh as understanding of the Sharia, and not the Sharia itself; a certain distinction between them had thus existed from the formative stages of Fiqh. Note, for example, that the leading schools of law that were developed in the first three centuries were all known as the schools of Fiqh. They were not known by any such terms as the Hanafi Sharia, or the Shafi’ee Sharia but consistently as Hanafi Fiqh, Shafi’ee Fiqh, and so forth. The underlying message was one of unity in reference to Sharia but of diversity with regard to Fiqh. Sharia, Fiqh, and Islamic Law explained Abu Amina Elias • April 18, 2013
    In the Quran, šarīʿah and its cognate širʿah occur once each, with the meaning "way" or "path". It is when the letter of the law and the spirit of the law intertwine with each other. The Letter of the law only means this - The letter of the law versus the spirit of the law is an idiomatic antithesis. When one obeys the letter of the law but not the spirit, one is obeying the literal interpretation of the words (the "letter") of the law, but not necessarily the intent of those who wrote the law.

    The Sharia is the collection of values and principles derived from the Quran and Sunnah that form the moral, religious, and legal teachings of Islam. It is distinguished from Fiqh (jurisprudence) which is the practical application of those principles in real life. In other words, the Sharia may be called the spirit of the law, while Fiqh may be called the application of the law.

    According to Ibn Al-Qayyim, the values of the Sharia are the following:
    1.Justice
    2.Mercy
    3.Welfare
    4.Wisdom

    Any Islamic law whose application contradicts these core values cannot be considered the Sharia, even if it is based upon the literal application of some verses of the Quran or the Prophetic traditions. From these core values, scholars have derived the legal objectives of the Sharia (maqasid) that correspond with the welfare of human beings.

    According to Al-Ghazali, laws derived from the moral philosophy of Sharia should protect the following basic human rights:
    1.Life
    2.Religion
    3.Property
    4.Intellect
    5.Family

    Any Islamic law whose application fails to protect these basic rights cannot be considered the Sharia, even if it is based upon the literal application of some verses of the Quran or the Prophetic traditions.

    The distinction between the Sharia and Fiqh is of paramount importance in Islamic legal thought, just as Western jurists would distinguish between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. Professor Mohammad Hashim Kamali explains this important distinction: SEE ARTICLE
    Last edited by Marta; 06-09-2017 at 12:40 AM.

  9. #29
    tWebber 37818's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    Sorry, I made a mistake.
    What I meant to say was the Christian doctrine of original sin (and all it entails) is a uniquely Christian interpretation---Jews and Muslims do not have this concept.
    Jews don't have a very strong/clear concept of the afterlife---but Muslims do. The starting premise is that God forgives sins and sins cannot be inherited, passed on, acquired by another person/group. Subsequent ideas about Divine Judgement are based on this premise.
    There is the Biblical Christian doctrine.
    Which would hold the Hebrew account as a historical event (Genesis 2:17; Genesis 3:1-24). There are professing Christians, of course, which do not hold that it was historical. Biblically people are responcible for their own sin (Romans 5:12; Ezekiel 18:20).
    . . . 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.

  10. #30
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    Pre-modern religions were a "way of life"--- a philosophy that formulated ethico-moral principles in the framework of a larger narrative/paradigm so that people could give assent to a set of ethical rules/laws by which to govern their lives.
    Modernity/secularism has stripped "religion" of some of its philosophy, ethics/morality, rules/laws and reduced it into a "culture"....one that is "private".
    IMO, there is much potential for good in a comprehensive and consistent "way of life".

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