My discussion with Faiz continues at BloggingTheology.net

  1. Hello again Faiz, thanks for the interesting discussion.

    You said: “The word used to describe both Ishmael and Moses (peace be upon them) is exactly the same. You have not given any good reason as to why we should assume that the meaning is different in each case. The fact that the Bible does not differentiate is exactly the point!”

    As I understand the word hayyeled can refer to a small child or infant, in the case of Moses, but also to a teenager as it does in the case of Ishmael. I don’t see any incongruity here. The fact that the KJV does use the word child (hayyeled) and the word boy (hannaar) for Ishmael is proof for me that the word hayyeled can be used simply to denote the parent child relation without specifying what stage of maturity the child is in. In other words the meaning of the word is not equivalent to infant. The word is more flexible than you claim in my view. If you are right the translators of the KJV were wrong. They must have known that they were translating two incompatible descriptions of Ishmael. This is something that is ruled out of any consideration in my mind. They were all doctors and experts in their field.

    In both judgements mentioned in Genesis and Jonah the only specific evil mentioned is violence:

    11The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

    : 8But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.

    No mention of false worship which is supposed to be the reason why Allah wants to destroy non-Islamic cultures by violent means, which is ironic if it were true.

    You said: “You also don’t seem to understand the Islamic position. Death is not a punishment. It is the natural order of things. Everyone dies. It is not “unjust” on the part of Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) that someone dies without receiving a warning, because we know from a hadith that He will not judge that person until he is tested in the Hereafter”

    But doesn’t Allah boast about being able to make everyone believe if he wanted to? So why does he need to offer people a second chance after death? Can’t he get the job done in this world? He doesn’t seem to be the all powerful God that he boasts of being.

    [6.39] And they who reject Our communications are deaf and dumb, in utter darkness; whom Allah pleases He causes to err and whom He pleases He puts on the right way.

    I’m sure there are other scriptures to the same effect. A deity who can’t fulfil his purposes during the normal life span of a human being can hardly be called Lord of the worlds can he? As a Calvinist there is no way I can believe in “second chance after death” deities.

    you said “As for the message, I already explained why it changed. Islam is universal and applies to all mankind for all time, not just one particular nation in a specific time period. Of course the message would be different in some ways.”

    also “After the coming of Muhammad (peace be upon him), there is only one universal message since he was sent to the entire world, not just to his own people. Even then, the only time it is allowed to wage war is against those who wage war against Muslims”

    But the message was universal before Mohammed through a plurality of prophets to all nations. The method of achieving universality was a different one but the end effect is the same so I am still left wondering why the message should be changed because the conduit is reduced to one. You are still not explaining exactly why the message should change solely because the mode of it’s transmission has changed. How can Allah be just and immutable if he treats the pagans differently at different times in response to the same sin of shirk?

    When you use the phrase “wage war against Muslims” and “allowed to wage war” do you just mean war in the sense of physical force or are you including other possible non-violent types of warfare?

    Look forward to your response whenever you get the chance.

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  2. ” because we know from a hadith that He will not judge that person until he is tested in the Hereafter. ”

    And how is he going to be tested in the hereafter? Multiple choice? Or perhaps one question such as : Would you like to commit shirk, go to hell and have you have your skin roasted? If you answer yes you have failed the test.

    “The Quran says that everyone is responsible for their actions, but that there is no compulsion in religion. If an idolater continues to worship idols, despite being warned to stop, he can continue to do so without fear of being persecuted. But when he dies, he will go to Hell, as the Quran and Ahadith state.”

    If the religion just happens to be the state that is enforcing the law, in this case Sharia, then there is compulsion in religion. In that case the phrase “there is no compulsion in religion” is just a hollow platitude.

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  3. “As for the message, I already explained why it changed. Islam is universal and applies to all mankind for all time, not just one particular nation in a specific time period.”

    “not just one particular nation in a specific time period.”

    What do you mean by this? Which nation in which time period are you talking about?

    Are you saying that before Mohammed Islam was only incumbent on one nation at a time? Doesn’t the Koran talk about a number of nations or peoples that were destroyed by Allah for going down the path of shirk? I thought the idea was that each nation received it’s own prophet before Mohammed came. Did this never happen simultaneously to different nations?

    Another question that comes to mind is why did Moses leave Egypt in a pagan state when he had the country under his control through the power of Allah? Didn’t Allah or Moses want to rid Egypt of shirk? So Moses the great islamic prophet just ran off like a coward and left Pharoah to carry on pagan business as usual. Doesn’t make sense to me. I thought the whole purpose of Islam was to establish Sharia. Just when Moses had the chance he ran off in to the desert for forty years.

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