Kabbalah and Gnostic Christianity are often discussed here, but what about esoteric Islamic sects?
I'm not a total expert, but this is a field of study I'm currently researching, so I'm happy to share anything I can on the subject or direct anyone interested. My minor is religious and near eastern studies btw.
Angels (Malaikat in Arabic) in Islamic traditions, be they esoterically inclined or not, are regarded as having been created from pure light as opposed to dust like humankind or fire like the djinn (genies)
They perform a variety of functions in maintaining the world of created things. Specific angels and their functions which appear in the Qur'an or extra-canonical Islamic traditions include:
1. Gabriel/Jibril--He's widely considered by most Muslims to be the highest of all the angels and is in charge of relating divine messages to humankind through the prophets and messengers, including Muhammad to whom tradition says Gabriel revealed the Qur'an. Gabriel also sometimes appears as a sire of all the lesser angels or is interpreted as being the "Holy Spirit" mentioned in both the Qur'an and Bible, though there's some debate on that laste issue from what I can tell.
2. Michael/Mikhail--Michael appears in Islamic lore as the angel responsible for both rain and plant life. Some traditions mention him as never smiling because of having witnessed the horrors of Hell (Jahannam)
3. Azrael/Izra'il--The head angel of death. Is sometimes mentioned as possessing in his true form a multitude of eyes, legs, wings and tongues, though he appears as beautiful and kind to those who are good and upright.
4. Munkar and Nakir--Two angels who are said to interrogate the dead. Those who have been deemed guilty are punished in the grave by them
5. Ridwan--The minister and guardian of Paradise (Jannah, Firdaus)
6. Malik--The angel who oversees Hell.
7. Harut and Marut-- They are mentioned as masters of the occult arts and possess knowledge of different kinds of magic. In the Qur'an they're mentioned as having taught men secrets of the magical arts in Babylon, but men abused this knowledge for their own selfish gain.
In most manifestations of Islam, Angels are considered infallible beings who do not possess the free will to sin like humans or djinn do.
I wouldn't normally ask this, but you seem to know your shit. I was raised Christian (just a step down from fundamentalist) and both my father and Grandmother give me a lot of crap for not thinking Islam is the problem. I have not read into Islam in depth, but have known many great men that were of an Islamic faith. What would you say to the typical bigoted American that watches Fox News 24/7 and thinks all Islamic faiths are made up of terroists?
Or to put it another way, angels aren't seen as capable of sin because they are what is called ma'soom (purified) and too close to God to desire sin.
Angels are typically characterized as being intelligent beings who aren't composed of fleshy bodies. You could say then that an angel in the Islamic context doesn't quite understand the concept of sin and is confused by it. The idea of questioning the Creator or disobeying the Creator is foreign and peculiar to beings such as the djinn and humans. There's a verse in the Qur'an to this effect:
>Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: "I will create a vicegerent on earth (Adam)." They said: "Wilt Thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood?- whilst we do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name)?" He said: "I know what ye know not."
--Surat al-Baqarah, verse 30 (2:30); Yusuf Ali translation.
"Esoteric Islam" would encompass the variety of Sufi mystical movements, certain schools of thought in the Shi'a Muslim community (particularly the Ismaili and Twelver branches), as well as syncretic groups like the Ahmadiya and the Ahl-e-Haqq.
>The idea of questioning the Creator or disobeying the Creator is foreign and peculiar to beings such as the djinn and humans
But the Djinn are thought of as tricksters, or demons. Most of the Islamic followers I've met regard them as chaotic and better avoided. If they were more akin to the ideas of "the Creator" they would not be regarded as such.
Also I would ask this again. How do you counter the people who would call you terrorist (and worse) at the mention of the word Islam?
When one learns about a religion, it's important to consult a variety of authorities on the subject, not just one, even if that one him or herself is very learned and honest so that one gets a bigger picture of what is a diverse phenomenon. Traditional authorities, people who can at least trace their authority to interpret and understand the Qur'an and Islam's various extra-canonical and apocryphal sources down a long line of saints, masters and sages are the best people one should lend an ear to, whether these people may be categorized as "mainstream" or "fringe". Many of the modern Islamic groups whose ideology forms the basis of groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia, are in fact by definition Islamic REFORMERS who came into conflict with the traditional Islamic clerical schools.
To answer your question more directly, what would be the best thing to say to a Christian with the views you mentioned, I would first remind them that in the early years of Christianity, Christians were tortured in brutal ways by Romans who had all kinds of misconceptions. The Christian ritual of the Eucharist was thought by some Romans to be a real form of cannibalism (eating the flesh of Christ) which confirmed the notion that Christians were both a political and moral threat. Then later on in Europe, Christians often believed the same things about Jews, that Jews used to do things like kill and devour Christian babies. I would say that those who refuse to give a serious ear to those who offer alternative views and interpretations to what one takes for granted as evil and wicked about the other, Jew, Christian or Muslims are themselves complicit when those who have a more volatile and intolerant point of view are the only groups who seem to grow and may also be complicit in the sufferings of innocent people (most of the people these terrorists kill are people who are Muslims who disagree with them, often from among the more traditional believers)
Well, in the case of the Ahmadiya, they actually do consider themselves to be Muslims by confession. The reason why their views are controversial is because their conception of Prophecy (nubuwwah) grants that there are indeed prophets after Muhammad, although they consider Muhammad the "Seal of Prophecy" like mainstream Muslims because he was the best and most perfect of the prophets according to their belief. To be honest, many of the Ahmadiya from what I've been able to tell are far more intelligent and learned than many of their fiercest opponents, who just resort to calling them Jews or other bad names when they get schooled.
The Ahl-e-Haqq on the other hand do not accept the prophethood of several Islamic religious figures, including Muhammad, but they do reverse some historic Muslim personalities associated with the Sufis and Shi'a.
More like heretical, judging from what I read.
And from what I read, unfortunately it doesn't stop at name calling.
It's funny though, the muslims claimed the prophets of the Christians and the Christians claimed the Old Testament that came from the Jews.
And I don't know where the Jews got their stuff from.
>But the Djinn are thought of as tricksters, or demons. Most of the Islamic followers I've met regard them as chaotic and better avoided.
This is their characterization is many Arab and Islamic folktales for sure. I have also noticed that among Muslims with strong predestinarian viewpoints, there is a greater trend to de-emphasize or even deny the free will of the Djinn.
However, to say that the Djinn are necessarily evil would contradict the chapter in the Qur'an known as Surat al-Jinn, which tradition holds records the words of a party of good Djinn
>Say: "It has been revealed to me that a company of Jinns listened (to the Qur'an). They said, 'We have really heard a wonderful Recital! It gives guidance to the Right, and we have believed therein: we shall not join (in worship) any (gods) with our Lord.And Exalted is the Majesty of our Lord: He has taken neither a wife nor a son.There were some foolish ones among us, who used to utter extravagant lies against Allah; But we do think that no man or spirit should say aught that untrue against Allah.True, there were persons among mankind who took shelter with persons among the Jinns, but they increased them in folly.And they (came to) think as ye thought, that Allah would not raise up any one (to Judgment).And we pried into the secrets of heaven; but we found it filled with stern guards and flaming fires.We used, indeed, to sit there in (hidden) stations, to (steal) a hearing; but any who listen now will find a flaming fire watching him in ambush.And we understand not whether ill is intended to those on earth, or whether their Lord (really) intends to guide them to right conduct.There are among us some that are righteous, and some the contrary: we follow divergent paths.But we think that we can by no means frustrate Allah throughout the earth, nor can we frustrate Him by flight.'"
--Surat al-Jinn; 72:1-12; Yusuf Ali translation
Also, I'd like to comment on the word "demon," for a minute. It may be that the djinn could be categorized as "demons" in the classical sense of the word, which referred not to uniquely good or evil beings or fallen angels, but rather as the Greek "daemonis" which in classical mythology could refer to both good and evil spirits.
I'd also compare the name Djinn and Djinni (djinn in the singular) to the Latin term "genius" which in its classical usage referred to a kind of spirit or demigod.
The concept of the Djinn appears to be exactly the same as both these creatures of ancient mythology.
>More like heretical, judging from what I read.
It's difficult to say what is or isn't heretical in Islam simply because there is no authority recognized by all Muslims who has the right to condemn something as heresy for everyone. Unlike Catholic Europe, Islam never had a centralized political and religious authority after its first fifty years and the first two centuries after Muhammad's death are marked by various rebellions and civil wars rooted the question of who had the authority to lead the Islamic community and interpret the message. In that sense, Ahmadiya would have just as much a right to call themselves Muslim as anyone else, perhaps moreso than some other fringe Muslim groups like the Nation of Islam (which drew a little bit from the Ahmadiya theology and even made use of Ahmadiya versions of the Qur'an btw)
>It's funny though, the muslims claimed the prophets of the Christians and the Christians claimed the Old Testament that came from the Jews.
The thing is the Qur'an never claims to continue the Jewish tradition in the same manner as Christianity, but rather claims that the Jewish prophetic tradition stems from Islam in the sense that all the religions revealed by the divinely guided prophets were "Islam" in the literal sense of the term (the term Islam itself meaning surrender or submission). And while a number of the Jewish prophets and saints dominate the Qur'an, they aren't the only ones. For example, one prophet for whom chapter 31 is named is "Luqman," who by some Muslims was interpreted as Aesop of Aesop's Fables fame. Another person mentioned in the Qur'an is a figure known as "Dhul Qarnayn" which means "the one of two horns". He is mentioned as a king of sorts whose rule "God established" (some disagree on whether this means he was a prophet or 'nabi') The interpretation of who Dhul Qarnayn is exactly is not universally agreed on, but some associate him with an ancient king of Yemen, with Cyrus the Great who is mentioned in the Bible as having funded the rebuilding of the Temple of the Israelites, or even Alexander the Great (the latter seems to have been the most popular suggestion for Muslims influenced by Greek culture and philosophy). There are also other prophets who may have been unique to an Ishmaelite/Arabic tradition such as the prophets known as "Hud" and of course Ishmael/Ismail himself.
Likewise, if you go to different parts of Asia, many of the Muslims who've lived in these areas for centuries accept figures like Confucius, The Buddha, Zoroaster and Lao Tzu as Islamic prophets sent to the other nations as the Qur'an refers to in verse 10:47 when it speaks of God sending every "nation" a guide.
I knew that the Romans had a poor view of Christians, and I had heard that Christians had at times had a similar view of Jews, but I greatly appreciate these points. I'll look them up and be amused the next time some ignorant "Christian" says something and I mention it. They will be as a deer in the headlights.
I often mention the Crusades and similar things as references that Christians can be just as capable of horrible things, but they scoff it off as happening "a long time ago." Maybe referencing cases where Christians or Jews (who most modern Christians support blindly and absolutely, kinda scary) were misunderstood and persecuted for using rituals that they use still today.
Ty for the clarification. I, too, should clarify that the Djinn wasn't ALWAYS personified as an evil entity. It was more a "if you fuck with me even on accident, you'll definitely regret it" type of deal.
None of my muslimbro's would ever willingly talk about them, I had to trick them into it.
>Do any of these esoteric sects have a different objective rather than get into heaven and be served by six dozen virgins?
To answer this I'd need to focus on two separate ideas: one is the concept of Divine Love as it appears in the esoteric traditions of Islam and the other is the Houris, or the "maidens" of Paradise. Proponents of Divine Love simply state that mankind ideally is to devote himself to God out of a pure kind of selfless love for God's beauty and majesty as the ultimate and supreme Truth. In order to do this, he or she must sever attachment from all material things in order to eliminate any duality in his or her heart and allow only the love for God to dictate one's actions in the material world. This doesn't necessarily involve living as a hermit or monk, though, as a rich person can be rich, but not be ruled by his wealth and a monk can be poor and ruled by his walking stick.
Ali ibn Abi Talib (d.661 AD/CE), Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law who's regarded by Sunni Muslims as the "fourth righteous caliph" after the Prophet, but is also the first "Imam" of the Shi'a and seen by all traditional Sufi orders as THE guardian of esoteric knowledge of the Qur'an and entrusted by Muhammad with the foremost authority in matters of Islamic gnosis is recorded as having said:
>“Some people worship Allah out of their desire for rewards; this is the worship of traders. Another group worships Allah out of fear; this is the worship of slaves. Yet another group worships Allah out of gratitude; this is the worship of freemen.”
--Nahjul Balagha (Peak of Eloquence); Hadith #237; compiled by Sharif al-Radhi (d. 977 AD/CE)
>"Even if Allah had not warned of chastisement on those disobedient to Him, it would be obligatory by way of gratefulness for His favours that He should not be disobeyed."
--Ibid; Hadith #239
The popular female Sufi saint, Rabia al-Adawiyya (d. 801 AD/CE), also has recorded among her sayings:
>"O God, if I worship Thee for fear of Hell, burn me in Hell and if I worship Thee in hope of Paradise, exclude me from Paradise; but if I worship Thee for Thy own sake, grudge me not Thy everlasting beauty.
--taken from A.J. Arberry's abridged translation of Tadhkirat al Awliya ('Memorial of the Saints) written by Farid al-Din Attar (d. 1220 AD/CE); see page 47 of "Muslim Saints and Mystics"
Rumi (d. 1273) also mentions:
>"When you pass beyond this human form,no doubt you will become an angel and soar through the heavens! But don't stop there. Even heavenly bodies grow old. Pass again from the heavenly realm and plunge into the ocean of Consciousness. Let the drop of water that is you become a hundred mighty seas. But do not think that the drop alone
becomes the Ocean. The Ocean, too, becomes the drop!"
--A Garden Beyond Paradise, page 148-149
And just to supplement these sayings:
>Wealth and sons are allurements of the life of this world: But the things that endure, good deeds, are best in the sight of thy Lord, as rewards, and best as (the foundation for) hopes.
--Qur'an 18:46; Yusuf Ali translation
In short, the basic idea one finds in Islamic esotericism and spirituality is that one doesn't endeavor to reach Paradise simply so one can sleep with a beautiful woman. This is seen as a trivialization of the matter and one worshiping purely for selfish gain. That, however, is not to say that sexuality doesn't exist in the Islamic Paradise, but the reason sexuality exists in it is because, unlike Christianity, Islam tends to see sexuality as a holy act and a symbol of the union of the masculine and feminine attributes of God who in the Islamic esoteric tradition is neither male nor female as the name "Allah" itself implies, but beyond both. In this esoteric tradition, generally speaking, the more worldly paradisaical realms are in fact the LOWER realms of paradise which are symbolic in nature and purified of the corrosion which one finds in those same elements which may also be found in the mortal realm, but whose promise to those in this world can still cloud the mind of the ignorant to the true goal. The ignorant and worldly man in this context thus sees sexuality as merely for his own gratification and by extension paradise's worth being in its maidens who exist for his own pleasure, while the enlightened individual based on the above sayings is willing to sacrifice his entire being for God and thus sees sexuality as only having value in as much as it brings one closer to God and thus paradise's value is in the way in which all its elements, not just the maidens, praise God, and the beauty of paradise pales in comparison to the beauty and incomprehensible material essence of Allah and the various incorporeal emanations that are believed to shine forth from his essence.
*from the light of his essence
This brings me to the subject of the "houris" or the "maidens" of Paradise. In my opinion, next to Islam's conception of violence, the houris are probably one of the most misunderstood and misconstrued elements of the Islamic worldview. Many people have this image of naked women who are just lying around waiting to be ravished by men. But to reduce the Houris to merely sex objects is to focus on but one element and gives the image of a mass produced female who is composed more of the stereotypes of the harem woman than it is of actual Islamic traditions regarding them.
They are often described as having a very otherworldly appearance, being dressed in robes of green light, with large black eyes, and having skin so bright and transparent that one is able to literally see through them. In Islamic sources, such as the Sufi Memorial of the Saints mentioned above, they appear also as testers of saints and sages, chastising, sometimes in very aggressive words those who allow their concern for this world to overwhelm their desire for God and the next world, especially in regards to being distracted by their own beauty. They are also mentioned as comforting people as their souls lie in the world of the dead awaiting Resurrection, particularly martyrs. In the hadith works of the Shi'a scholar, Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi, there are some traditions that speak of them as bringing gifts from heaven such as perfume. Also, the Shi'a believe Muhammad's daughter, Fatima, Ali's wife, is herself a Houri and the queen of all women in Paradise. Fatima's sayings are considered a major source of moral and spiritual guidance for the Shi'a so it's necessary that the Houris be understood in the view of the spiritual traditions of Islam as the pure embodiments of feminine strength, beauty and wisdom as such, possibly having parallels with many other legends of heavenly maidens.
Wrong! God creted djinns before adam.. And angels saw what could a creature with freewill do on earth before.. They werent disobeying.. they just wondered.. ANGELS HAVE NO CHANcE TO DISOBEY.. And the Sheitan wasnt an angel as in the christianity. Sheitan was a master djinn he was the boss of all djinns. Thats why most of djinns hate humans. Evil djinns=demons..
The most quoted prophet in the quran is jesus
the problem isent the religion its the way some people interpret it
there are more muslims that just want to live peacefull lives then there are muslims who want to fuck shit up
Having read this thread and probably missed the point of some posts, I'd like the clarification... The bible and the quaran seem to say that angels have no choice whatsoever (they must obey Gods will implicitly) but when it comes to Djinn the lines are blurred.
Also demons and the devil/satan/light bringer (whatever you want to call him) are called fallen angels, so if they have no choice other than God/Allah's or whatevers will then how do they do crazy demonic shit.
And if God commands demonic shit to happen then aren't they not rebels? Trying to keep up with this shit is so confusing and everyone always just says "oh but you just don't get it" or whatever without bothering to TRULY explain (not some bullshit cryptic/mythic crap) when it all contradicts it all.
The accepted position in Islam is that angels do not sin. Humans and Djinn have the free will to choose between good and evil. In the Qur'an, the devil, also known as "Iblis" is from the djinn. The general view is that Iblis was a djinni who served God dutifully for thousands of years until God decided to create Adam from dust. Iblis became jealous of Adam's favor and incited Adam and his wife Hawwa (Eve) to partake of the forbidden tree, causing them to fall from their exalted place. As punishment for his deed, God cursed him, but gave him respite until the Judgement Day. At this point, Iblis, knowing he was doomed to be punished for what he'd done, swore to take with him to hell as many of the servants of God as he could.
One of the biggest debates among early Muslims was free will vs predestination. Within the Sunni world, you had the Asharite school and the Mutazilites. The Asharites believed in a form of predestination on par with what you see in Calvinism. Mutazilites were more to left, believing that mankind had been given free will by God. The Asharites eventually became the mainstream view of Sunni Islam, with the Mutazilite position waning for the most part, though some of its positions agree with the Shi'a. The Shi'a believe men and djinn have free will and God does not decide their actions for those who choose not obey him, but that God still knows what a person is going to choose
One way I guess you could make some sense of this is that God perceives the entire chain of causality for every possible choice in any given situation by every individual all in a single timeless moment. Thus, one has the freedom to choose, but one cannot say God doesn't know what the choice will be. This has Qur'anic precedence as well
>Remember how the Unbelievers plotted against thee, to keep thee in bonds, or slay thee, or get thee out (of thy home). They plot and plan, and Allah too plans; but the best of planners is Allah.
So a multiverse would work by letting God be omniscient and humans have free will right? It would also explain the rab al alamin (lord of the worlds) thing. And Allah says that he makes duplicates of everything he creates, so why not the universe? Also, can you tell me more about the khidr, or the green man?
And mention, O Muhammad, when your Lord said to the angels, "I will create a human being out of clay from an altered black mud. And when I have proportioned him and breathed into him of My [created] soul, then fall down to him in prostration." So the angels prostrated ,all of them entirely. Except Iblees, he refused to be with those who prostrated. [ Allah ] said, O Iblees, what is the matter with you that you are not with those who prostrate?" He said, "Never would I prostrate to a human whom You created out of clay from an altered black mud." [ Allah ] said, "Then get out of it, for indeed, you are expelled. And indeed, upon you is the curse until the Day of Recompense." He said,"My Lord, then reprieve me until the Day they are resurrected." [ Allah ] said, "So indeed, you are of those reprieved, until the Day of the time well-known to me." [Iblees] said, "My Lord, because You have put me in error, I will surely make disobedience attractive to them on earth, and I will mislead them all, except, among them, Your chosen servants." [ Allah ] said, "This is a path [of return] to Me [that is] straight. Indeed, on my servants no authority will you have over them, except those who follow you of the deviators. And indeed, Hell is the promised place for them all. It has seven gates; for every gate is of them a portion designated." Indeed, the righteous will be within gardens and springs. Having been told, "Enter it in peace, safe and secure." And We will remove whatever is in their breasts of resentment, so they will be brothers, on thrones facing each other. No fatigue will touch them therein, nor from it will they ever be removed. [O Muhammad], inform My servants that it is I who am the Forgiving, the Merciful. And that it is My punishment which is the painful punishment.
nobody is able to answer me this question:
so muslims should do salat for God
muslims should do salat for the prophet = asking God to do salat for the prophet = God bestowing mercy and things on the prophet
what's the common meaning of the word salat?
>Indeed it resembles Calvinist predestination a lot.
Indeed, it also has the same philosophical problems I think. What differentiates modern Asharite theology (I have to say modern because Asharism, like all theological schools, changes) from other schools of thought is its:
1. Emphasis on predestination over free will. Human beings may have free intention, but they can do nothing that God doesn't will himself.
2. Belief that God has a literal body and that references to God's body parts such as hands, face and eyes are not purely metaphorical. Mutazilites and Shi'a see this as blasphemous.
3. A tendency to believe that what is "good" is good because God commands it, not that God loves the good because it is good as Mutazilites and Shi'a generally believe
The last point is very important in understanding some Islamist radicals. Taqiuddin al-Nabhani, the founder of the Islamist party Hizbut Tahrir, seems to have held such an opinion. To quote Ed Hussain in his book "The Islamist" in citation of one leader of Hezbut Tahrir's defense of pornography:
>"Shaikh Nabhani always taught there was no morality in Islam: It was simply what God taught. If Allah allowed it, it was moral. If He forbade it, it was immoral. There was no such category as 'feeling moral'"
In The Muslim World, Vol. LXXXI, Nos. 3-4, pg.202-203, we read more about this train of thought:
>"In one work Nabhani explained at length why morals are not the basis of Islamic revival. The argument boils down to asserting that morals derive from ideas. Moral behavior is part of obedience to God in Islam; a call to morals wrongly implies that Islam is merely a moral message. Moreover, one need not be a Muslim to be a moral person"
Many of strong Asharite persuasion would stop at just saying that man can't know what is good except through revelation. Mutazilites and Shi'a argued that man possesses the intellectual and instinctive capacity to know the basic principles of good and evil.
know the basic principles of good and evil through reason alone that is.
Most human beings, according to this position, regardless of whether they've even heard of God or revelation can come to the reasonable conclusion that stealing and murder is wrong. The finer details of piety, cosmology and social organization may escape them without revelation and thus they may not avoid these things as perfectly as they might hope, but the major evils of the soul don't require revelation to be known by most people who aren't complete sociopaths.
The rationalist argument against the Asharite position has mostly been that if man could not know what is good, true and just through reason but ONLY through revelation, that is the Qur'an and Sunnah of the Prophet, then man could never know what purported revelation is the most true, nor could he confirm whether or not revelation is even a real phenomenon. There'd just be a sea of contradicting revelations with no barometer to gauge their truth and no means to sort out the subjective from the objective.
I believe you two are confusing "salat" with "salawat"
Salat is the five prayers, but SALAWAT refers to the sending of blessing. Muslims in their main prayers and outside of them send blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad or to put it more precisely, asking God to bestow his blessings on Muhammad.
For all sects of Islam, this is obligatory as it warrants the Prophet's intercession on Judgment Day and without it one's prayers are considered null and void. However, Shi'a and some Sufis believe it is required to ask for blessings to be sent upon Muhammad and "Ale-Muhammad" (the family of Muhammad)
During a prayer, you might hear a Muslim say something like this in Arabic:
"Oh, God, bless Muhammad and the companions/family of Muhammad"
"Peace be upon of O' Prophet, and God's mercy and blessings"
this is a form of salawat.
thank you for your answer, i just found this http://free-minds.org/forum/index.php?topic=9603820.0 and it explained the meaning for me since salawat also seems to refer to the ritual prayers at times?
i also wanted to know, why is Allahu akbar said instead of Allah al akbar or something like that
also, why the need for esoterism? why couldn't God just say, hey it's all about love, the reason of your existence is to reflect my attributes and get to know me?
>None of my muslimbro's would ever willingly talk about them, I had to trick them into it.
Some Muslims believe that just talking about the djinn may risk inviting one into someone's life.
Another thing might also be that some Muslims are self-conscious about the djinn either because they have trouble believing in them in spite of their very prominent place or are worried about how others may perceive Islam if it teaches the existence of "genies."
We often use the word "fairytales" to refer specifically to something made up, nonsensical and fictional, especially in regards to things which are "magical" in nature. But we forget that fairies or the fae were seen as something very real by many cultures, something they revered or feared, and for some they still are something serious. If someone explains that their religion believes in "djinn" or genies, the first thing to come to mind is Disney's Aladdin and Robin William's smart talking, pop culture reference spewing blue thing, not the terrifying ghouls whom Muslims believed fed on the bodies of the dead and drank human blood or the fiery Ifrits who resided in ancient ruins or even the Devil himself who is the father of all lies and is believed to exist in some way in all human beings, whispering to them to commit adultery, abandon prayers or kill innocent people. Nor does it come to mind that some Muslims believe there are even good djinn who are locked in a tug of war with the evil ones.
I had a brother who kind of laughed at the idea of djinn and I had to point out that he believed as an Evangelical Christian that the same thing was the case with his angels, and he would certainly be bothered by popular fiction that seemed to trivialize these things.
As a matter of fact, now that I think about it, he WAS bothered by my other brother's purchase of El Shaddai: The Ascension of Metatron for PS3 and called him a pagan, without even checking out the game for himself.
>i also wanted to know, why is Allahu akbar said instead of Allah al akbar or something like that
Well, I'm no expert in Arabic, but the "al" prefix usually means something like "of" or "the" so when you say "Allah al-Akbar" or "Allahul Akbar" you are actually saying "Allah the Great(er)" not "Allah is great(er)"
>also, why the need for esoterism? why couldn't God just say, hey it's all about love, the reason of your existence is to reflect my attributes and get to know me?
That's exactly what Islamic esotericism is though, emphasizing the knowledge of the self and coming to know God through the instrument of one's true self, which is is in fact the manifestation of the knowable attributes of God and by the power of divine love for Truth, shedding one's self of those things that have caused rust to collect over the heart and impaired its ability to become a "clear mirror" of those heavenly attributes which are found in their ultimate perfection in God. The esoteric tradition of Islam, or what could be called "Islamic Gnosticism" as it manifests itself in the Shi'a and Sufi worlds emphasizes these things: divine love, contemplation of the attributes, inner jihad, resisting the archons that make the soul a slave to its carnal ego rather than a slave to God, not letting even the temporal rewards of God to become blinders to His truth etc. but it also historically emphasizes the dependence of the spiritual wayfarer on the wisdom of those who achieved some degree of this enlightenment and thus have the authority to speak on these matters, tracing their wisdom back to the Prophet himself. This manifests itself in the devotion to both living and deceased spiritual masters and saints (awliyun).
>i meant to ask, who not say God is the greatest instead of God is greater
Well, to correct myself a little bit, God does have a name that refers to him as "The Great": Kabir, which of course is related to "akbar"
Allahu akbar is a way of saying "God is great" in the more general sense of greatness. Really, what it means in its proper context is something like "God is greater than what I see or am experiencing right now."
>i know that's what esoterism is about, my question is: why is it esoteric
Well, it's esoteric for two reasons:
1. This knowledge of the heart is the trust of only a select group of people who are tasked with not only dispensing among the people, but also guarding it from adulteration.
2.This knowledge is based on the esoteric or inner (batin) reading of the Qur'an and authentic hadith, not just simply its exoteric or outer meaning (zahir). But only the people of intellect know the various layers of meaning. The common person can't just read the Qur'an and understand all of its dimensions and applications without resort to the learned. This is true both in matters of exoteric fiqh (law) as well as matters of irfan (gnosis).
The complete knowledge of the Qur'an and thus how to apply that knowledge to one's life fully and perfectly is the exclusive domain of a small group of people. Although many people may be able to glean some of these secrets just through exercising their intellects, they need a master from among this small group of gnostics if they hope to stay on the right path and not have their ignorance cause them to be misled from the divine path and they need to commit their hearts to the divine saints so that the light of those exemplaries from among the people of understanding may cleanse their souls of the impurities of selfishness and ignorance. And few achieve that goal to its fullest in this life. Something like ISIS, in the eyes of Islamic esotericists, is the result of sheep abandoning the shepherds
Exalted is He who created all pairs, from what the earth grows and from themselves and from that which they do not know. 36:36
And of everything We have created pairs, that you may be mindful. 51:49
its not only sexual pairs, me and you are pairs of the same thing, yourself are a combination of many things. indeed only Allah has the name AL-WÂHID, or the ONE. since only God can be unique
"Uzzah was an idol placed in Nahle, North of Mecca. Ghatafan Tribe was worshipping and taking care of her. There was a dome there, built by ibn es'ad long ago. Ghatafan people could hear voices coming from dome during their prayers to Uzzah. Also a sacred grove was built there by Quraysh by the name of Uzza at later times. They wanted to imitate Haram of Kaaba so honor Uzzah as high as Hubal. After conquest of Mecca, Muhammad summoned Halid bin Velid and commanded him to cut down one of three fruit trees grown in Uzza's grove in Nahle.
Halid cut down the tree and returned to Mecca and Muhammad asked him if he saw anything extraordinary. Halid said no. So Muhammad sent him again for cutting down the second tree. Halid cut it down too. Muhammad asked him again if he saw anything extraordinary and he said no again. This time Muhammad commanded him to cut down last tree.
When Halid arrived near tree he saw a naked woman with long, black hair.Woman had a large evil grin, her hands was tied around and gripping her neck.
Dubayyah, caretaker of Uzza idol at that time was standing behind woman and commanding woman with a deep evil voice:
"Attack him Uzza, don't let us down. Wake up from your slumber and kill Halid. If you fail to kill him now, you'll be forgotten forever"
and Halid responded:
"O Uzzah there is no repentance for you and i see Allah forsaked you forever"
after that he hit the woman's head with his sword and killed her then he killed Dubayyah and cut down the last remaining tree.
When he returned to Mecca and reported the incident to Muhammad he said:
"That woman was Uzzah herself. You killed her and There is no Uzzah for Arabs anymore"
Halid, fearless commander of Armies of Islam later reported that he had shaken with pure terror when he saw said woman"
a multiverse is nothing more than a single universe with a bunch of "bubbles"in it.
So the idea of a multiverse isn't contradictory at all.
I think the bigger question would be how the singularity manifests in all the different worlds. There are obviously certain rational principles which may give us an idea of how other universes work, but is the hypothetical Qur'an of universe #89009 the same as the one in this universe in spite of any differences between universes?
Is this the same Uzzah that touch the Ark and died from it? Can you explain who/what Uzzah is? Is the story from the Qur'an? And do you know the deeper significance of what this story means?
>You killed her and There is no Uzzah for Arabs anymore
Does Uzzah relate to the ego, hence when Muhammad said there is no Uzzah (ego) for Arabs anymore?
>but is the hypothetical Qur'an of universe #89009 the same as the one in this universe in spite of any differences between universes?
I suppose at on point, a universe will have different prophets and different books. But they will all be judged by what they have. But as for the universes with slight variations to this one, they essentially have the same quran, and believer in one universe might be an unbeliever in the next. In the end, everything that is possible happens.
Many Muslims believe the Qur'an is eternal, so the Qur'an would have to be the same.
The question may be more difficult for that minority of Muslims who the say Qur'an is somehow created.
But many Muslims do believe the Arabic language is the most divine language and in the esoteric sciences, much like in the Jewish Kabbalah, the world is created by God through the Arabic letters (Arabic shares all the same letters as the Hebrew alphabet with a few additional ones unique to the language).
can anyone tell me how hadiths are meant to be read, and how many (percentage and number) of the hadiths are to be trusted/credible?
I know that some are quranists, and therefore only follow the quran, how does that work when one tries to see it from a historical point of view? Is it not necessary to use the hadiths to atleast get an idea of how the quran is supposed to be read?
Further, there are quite controversial things even in the sahih hadiths, like in Sahih al-Bukhari, book 7, volume 62, hadith 88, about the marriage with aisha, how come this is in a sahih hadith?
Thanks in advance, great thread!
I wouldn't even bother asking this question. Many of the arguments Muslims use in interfaith contexts rely on hadiths containing something they accept as absolute truth in one hand and deny as not being legitimate on the other. Forcing them to actually address the contradictions generally leads to butthurt and name-calling.
Sorry if I stirred some shit up, didn't mean to, but I really need to understand this.
Thanks alot! Helped quite a bit!
The man in the video, Adnan Ibrahim, took a very rational approach to the sahih hadith of bukhari, was easy to follow, and he used agreeable means to come to a conclusion. I've seen other people present the same arguments as him, but these arguments usually use logical fallacies, and try to maintain both a faultless perspective on the sahih bukhari AND maintain their view on the age of aisha, which often leads to either contradiction or cherry picking.
However Adnan was straightforward with the fact that he refuted the specific verse in bukhari, by contradictions from bukhari itself. An further he provided logical arguments to why this should be accepted.
Thanks alot, I really learned something, and that video presented the arguments very well!
Hadith are judged by scholars on scale from least authentic to most authentic. Some hadith are authentic, other aren't authentic, some are "good" others are "weak" and some are "false" A hadith that is most authentic or deemed absolutely authentic (sahih) by a scholar trained in the science of hadith study is determined so through a mixture of various standards. These standards would include whether the hadith has a proper chain of narrators composed of trustworthy individuals who have narrated the hadith accurately from the previous individual who narrated, whether the content of the hadith appears to be in compliance with accepted dogma and whether the any controversial content may be capable of interpretation in a way that may be compliant with accepted law and doctrine.
Traditionally, Sunni Islam is divided into four madhabs, or schools of law: Maliki, Shafi'i, Hanbali, and Hanafi. All of these schools make use of various collections, most chiefly books such as:
Sahih Bukhari, by Imam Bukhari (d. 256 AH, 870 CE)
Sahih Muslim, collected by Muslim b. al-Hajjaj (d. 261 AH, 875 CE)
Sunan Abu Dawood, collected by Abu Dawood (d. 275 AH, 888 CE)
Jami al-Tirmidhi, collected by al-Tirmidhi (d. 279 AH, 892 C.E)
Sunan al-Sughra, collected by al-Nasa'i (d. 303 AH, 915 CE)
Sunan ibn Majah, collected by Ibn Majah (d. 273 AH, 887 CE)
Muwatta Imam Malik, collected by Imam Malik (d. 179 AH, 795 CE)
Sunnis, historically, tended to give precedence different collections out of these. Malikis for example, based most of their legal rulings and understandings of history from the hadith narrated by Imam Malik. Likewise, the methodology by which some scholars even within the same schools authenticated hadith or derived legal rulings from them differed. Some scholars believed analogical reasoning for example was forbidden and others didn't and the differences in how the different Sunni schools authenticated or used hadith often led to fierce infighting
It wasn't until much later that the consensus developed among many Sunni scholars that all hadith in Sahih Bukhari for example were Sahih, we find that this wasn't exactly the opinion throughout all of history since its composition and really isn't even universal now.
The Shi'a, who mostly follow the Ja'fari madhab, understand the hadith a bit differently. Shi'a make primary though not exclusive use of at least four collections of hadith distinct from the Sunnis:
1. Kitab al-Kafi by Muhammad ibn Ya'qub al-Kulayni al-Razi (d.329 AH, 931 CE)
2. Man la yahduruhu al-Faqih by Muhammad ibn Babuya (d.381 AH, 991 CE)
3. Tahdhib al-Ahkam by Shaykh Muhammad Tusi (d. 457 AH 1067 CE)
4. Al-Istibsar by Shaykh Muhammad Tusi
These of course aren't the only books used by Shi'a as they may, like Sunnis, make use of the books of other scholars within and outside their schools or the various works of Sufi saints and sages (which often many unique hadith as well) to help themselves as they do not accept any of the four books above as completely 100% and acknowledge the collections posses, intentionally, many weak hadith or hadith of middling authenticity. For example, some of the most famous books used by Shi'a like Nahjul Balagha (Peak of Eloquence) pull from a variety of sources not limited to those mentioned above.
While the standards for verifying the authenticity among Sunnis tends to be based on a mixture of consensus among scholars, and the ability to trace a narration down a chain of narrators to a trustworthy companion (sahaba) of Muhammad, the Shi'a take a different approach. The Shi'a believe in the authority of their "Imams" from among the blood descendants of the Prophet Muhammad and their partisans takes precedence. If for example, Imam Husayn, the third Imam and Muhammad's grandson, says something is true, even if there is no parallel narration in the sayings of Muhammad, if this can be verified by chain of trustworthy narrators to have been Husayn's saying and doesn't contradict anything, it is regarded as authentic as if the Prophet said it himself because based on other narrations, Shia believe Muhammad invested ALL authority in religious matters to the Imams
This also means that if a companion of Muhammad, either during his lifetime or after it, expressed hatred towards the Imams or their loyal partisans, then that person's narrations are suspect if not outright rejected. For example, Aisha,one of Muhammad's wives, in the Sunni hadith collections is counted as having narrated literally thousands of hadith and is said to have founded her own school, and so Sunnis greatly admire her. Meanwhile, Shi'a believe that Aisha was a liar and a contemptible woman who not only hated Ali, Muhammad's cousin and the fourth Sunni caliph, and Muhammad's daughter, Fatima Zahra (Ali's wife), because Muhammad favored Fatima's mother, Khadija, but also helped incite a war, from their point of view, against Ali (see The Battle of the Camel). Thus, Shi'a reject most hadith which are said to be related from Aisha and therefore would consider a good portion of Sunni hadith books that quote extensively from her as being unreliable. Likewise, Sunnis may reject a hadith based on the Shi'a character of a narrator or they may share narrators with the Shi'a
Hope all that helps
Wow! Absolutly wow!
So let me see if I got this correct, even though a hadith might be sahih, that does not mean that the hadith in question might bree free from errors, and one must still investigate the hadith's claim even though it might be sahih?
Could you explain the Sufi whirling? I've always wondered about it. And could you explain its esoteric/deeper meaning as well, that is if it has one. Is it a type of meditation Sufi's do?
Hadith in terms of authenticity are graded like this:
1. Sahih-- Authentic. Has a perfect unbroken chain (isnad) of trustworthy narrators and doesn't contradict any other sahih hadith
2. Hasan--Good. the chain may be unbroken, but there may be reasons to doubt the accuracy with which the narrators transmitted it in its present form.
3. Da'if-- Weak. Something is wrong with the chain of narrators that prevents it from gaining good status.
4. Mawdu--Fabricated. Pretty self-explanatatory
there are a few other categories, but these aren't necessarily related to authenticity. For instance, you have "hadith qudsi" which are said to be sayings of God which aren't officially part of the Qur'an.
Once the chain's authenticity has been established, it comes down to a question of interpretation and context, and this again differs between schools. Shi'a are well known for their rational approach to hadith, while Sunnis tend to have a more textual and populist approach to confirming hadith and their interpretation
You also have what are called "rijal books" these are large volumes written by scholars that act as biographies and assessments of the character of narrators one finds in hadith collections. Scholars studying hadith are expected to consult books of rijal in order to ascertain the trustworthiness and character of individual narrators. This of course involves a lot of study because two scholars may disagree on the trustworthiness of a single narrator as I pointed out.
In the old days before the introduction of the printing press into Islamic languages and before the internet, it used to be that the doors to becoming a scholar in either the Sunni or Shi'a schools was much more narrow. And in many cases, one could not even recite hadith publicly without a certificate from a high ranking scholar/clergyman. That's changed now with many reformist groups and a new literate middle class having greater access to books, including condemned ones.
>1. Sahih-- Authentic. Has a perfect unbroken chain (isnad) of trustworthy narrators and doesn't contradict any other sahih hadith
very interesting, what do you have to say to Adnan Ibrahim's view on some of the sahih hadith, since he seems to argue that there can indeed be contradictions in sahih hadith's, as seen in the video below:
He really isn't saying anything that hasn't been said before. The whole idea that Sahih Bukhari was accepted as the most reliable AND absolutely sahih was a later thing that developed, mostly in order to stamp out Mutazilites, Shi'ites and/or Sufis which did not limit their understanding to a surface reading of these books. It wasn't uncommon in past centuries to find Sunni scholars who freely drew from the corpus of hadith literature in its relative entirety, consulting the mystical experiences of Sufi sheikhs and saints, consulting Shi'ite hadith books or Mutazilite commentaries. The problem is the nature of Sunni authority. Sunnis place a lot of emphasis on consensus among scholars to decide things, so if the majority of the most learned scholars come to a conclusion, it's often accepted as fact on a matter of principle and anyone or any group who disagrees is branded as a dissident, sometimes even a heretic, even if the conclusion reached is new. Also independent reason (ijtihad) among Sunni clergy was declared impermissible about 500 years ago. This meant that Sunni scholars could not exercise their individual reasoning to derive unique rulings or devise new methodologies
Shi'a, though most of their doctrines are based on hadith, have been saying much of what Ibrahim has been saying for centuries. Shi'a tend to have a very strong position that the Qur'an needs to act as the measuring stick by which hadith are judged and are very particular in the hadith they accept due to their sectarian position. Shi'a would reject many hadith for the same reasons as Adnan. Also, as a struggling minority, Shi'a made heavy use of rational argumentation to explain doctines and harmonize seemingly contradicting narrations.Also,they never forbade ijtihad, but merely emphasize it as the providence of an elite group of grand ayatollahs each with their own range of expertise or their imams who have an authority not unlike popes or archbishops.
However, unlike with traditional Sunni clergy, each Shia mujtahid has his own area of expertise and his own authority over his own flock. So, when mujtahids come to a consensus on issues, unlike with Sunni clergy, lay people don't follow the majority opinion but follow their own maraji-i-taqlid (sources of emulation) among these mujtahids. And an individual mujtahid is obligated to respect other mujtahids who possess certificates of ijtihad in their own fields. So, a mujtahid cannot officially excommunicate another mujtahid or brand him as a heretic and have it apply to anyone else but his own followers. It's more individualized than Sunni clerical authority.
Ismailis, the other main branch of Shi'a, each follow dynasties of Imams believed to be descended from a chosen bloodline from the family of the Prophet Muhammad.. The most popular branch of Ismailism are the Nizaris or the followers of the Aga Khans. The Aga Khans, like other Ismaili imams, wield a papal authority, but only over the followers that recognize their authority. Other Ismailis, like the Dawoodi Bohra, follow different Imams.
The Nizaris, however, are most famously known for having produced in the past groups such as the Assassins, and one can see how deep and extreme the loyalty to Ismaili leaders seen as possessing divine authority can be by the loyalty and inclusive nature of the Assassins of Alamut.
very nice thread, and very informative thank you everyone. btw i'am a muslim although a cultural one if such a thing exists. thus my main information background is based on education and culture. so i'am learning alot from this thread thank you guys. you can ask me questions if i can help out in any way
Not Muslim myself, but about a year back I found a very interesting topic in Sufi called Yaqeen which is about degree's of certainty of knowledge.
Seems to be similar in thought to a lot Gnostic stuff, but my understanding might be off. Anyone know any more?
Here's a decent explanation I've found:
i'am from morocco, very nice country with a very rich cultural mix of jewish, pagan and european historical background. it's a mainly sunni muslim country so i dont have alot of knowlege about suffi islam and shiite islam.
I don't know which part of morocco you're from, but I know there are some Sufi tariqat in the country.
Anyway, as someone who's grown up in a Sunni environment, do you feel like the kind of Sunnism in Morocco is different from Sunnism in other countries? Or do you feel like Saudi Arabia is meddles in the religion of North Africa too much?
i do not think that there is a difference in sunnism between countries, the difference that exists is usually cultural, because in the Sunna, the rules are simple and plain. you have to follow the prophet ways of living (even if you don't understand his actions), thus the beard thing amonst muslims and you have to follow the quran. so basicaly anything outside of sunni hadiths and views is condisderd heresy and not real islam. but yet in every country you will have small details that i consider cultural. for example the "3ayn harra" or "the bad eye/evil eye", it is a concept that is mentioned in the quran but it is not something as important for people in the middle-east compared to people from north africa, especially morocco due to the jewish cultural influence in there. also morocco is a country where there is a strong believe in the occult and they have alot of magic going on, but in countries like saudi arabi it's a death sentence.
keep in mind that everything i say is my view of things and i might be wrong about everything.
Can someone explain the difference between Sufism and standards Muslims, forgive my ignorance. I've always been really interested in Sufism but never really knew where to look. Is it just that they are more esoteric in their views?
simply put, both are muslim but when we speak of a sufi we think of a muslim who gives a lot of priority to getting closer to God (tasawwuf), in other words someone who's more into the mystical aspect of the religion, while at the same time not neglecting other parts of the religion of course
Also, Sufis are often ordinary Muslims who are committed to specific institutionalized orders of dervishes ('poor ones') who are in charge to disseminating a specific "tariqah" or spiritual path which traces itself to a particular individual who is seen as a guide ('Pir') for people who are seeking that closeness to God.
Usually in Sufism, they follow the Shariah (divine law) according to whatever school of law and branch they identify themselves with. For example, in West and North Africa, you might find many Sufi orders whose followers in terms of daily religious practice follow the Maliki school of law and are Sunni by confession. Likewise, in places like Iran, you find Sufi Orders which are Shi'a in confession and consider themselves adherents of the Jaf'ari school of law. However, on top of this they follow the principles of a certain spiritual path or tariqat of a Sufi order of dervishes, which they believe also helps elucidate the true inner meanings of the Shariah. Often this may result in the practice of certain extra-ritualistic behavior which may or may not stretch the boundaries of what is normally seen as permissible by all the Muslim population who isn't part of any Sufi order or who may affiliate themselves with another order and its rituals, the orders may justify this behavior by appealing to the example of the Order's original enlightened founder and by appealing to the esoteric interpretation of certain laws based on the hadith and Qur'an. Muslims friendly to an order or who are formal members of the Order may also visit the graves of past Sufi masters who are revered by their order to seek everything from forgiveness of sins to miraculous cures for common ailments.
In Sufism, traditionally you have a three elements:
Haqiqah, which comes from the Arabic word "Haqq" meaning "Truth" is the ultimate goal which can only be achieved by following the spiritual path or tariqah of the saints and masters of Sufism who trace their spiritual ancestry down a chain (silsila) going back to the Prophet Muhammad. The Shariah corresponds to the external practice and confession, without a faithful observance of which, one cannot hope to achieve any degree of success on the Tariqah.
Traditionally, Sufism emphasizes complete obedience of a disciple (muhib) to his or her murshid (guide) usually in the character of a respective Order's grand sheikh. This is because the path of "irfan" or gnosis can be dangerous for the untrained and undisciplined. The sheikh's responsibility is to help sort out the subjective experiences of the spiritual wayfarer from the objective according to the degree of his own progress on the path and intellectual training.
Some orders may put more emphasis on the "internal master" and direct connection with the spirit of the Prophet Muhammad and thus may not have a single, physically present, grand master or may not emphasize as strict of an obedience to said master in order to achieve a connection with the inner master.
This last form is usually called the "Owaisi" method, named after one of Muhammad's companions by the name of Owais al-Qarni who is said to have achieved a psychic connection with the Prophet himself despite having never met him in person.
Owaisi Sufis may be those who are part of an order or branch of an order whose last master died without leaving a successor and so they could be said to be said to be in an "Owaisi state," where scholars merely try to relate or preserve the teachings of the master as they are. Or they may be members of an order which claims that it's master has received his authority through a direct connection to the prophets or a previous saint, in which case their chain has been initiated by an Owaisi method.
The Owaisi orders in California for example are of Shi'ite-Iranian origin and are also connected to the Kubrawiya Sufi orders, but the heads of these Orders emphasize generating an Owaisi connection by interpreting Sufism in an accurate way by which the followers of the order may create to their own personalized connection to the divine, as opposed to other orders in which commitment to the spiritual path entails committment to the cult of personality surrounding the present master who is seen as a kind of living saint himself.
not him but i'am from morocco, france hold's a dear place in my heart but i must be honnest it has gone to shit, there is alot of immigrants in there (north africans), the thing is their immigration selection/student selection is not as strict as it should be so almost everyone from morocco right now can go there. and that is not a good thing for the country especially when you accept alot of immigrants and the average french is highly racist. it's a very bad mix and i wish they could have less immigration from north african countries.
I know there were a lot of French scholars who had a fetish, if I may put it bluntly, for Islam and respected Middle Eastern culture far more than others.
One book I'm reading right now is pic related by Henry Corbin,
top banter m8, got anyomore of those ?
You're welcome grandma! Be sure to bookmark it!
Reminder that Sufism is the occult/"kabbalah like" part of Islam. It's pretty interesting too.
Also there are rumors that some of their sufi leaders used to smoke ayahuasca.
>Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia, are in fact by definition Islamic REFORMERS
nope,they are hijackers,and traditional islamic clerical schools most of em only exploiting the text that is considered sacred
Hezbut Tahrir is actually just political cult,the problems is they are usually moderate,but behind you they plan to steal your country to create pseudo communist theocracy,beware.
>why couldn't God just say, hey it's all about love, the reason of your existence is to reflect my attributes and get to know me?
reason of human existence is to find reason and meaning itself.as a sufi practicioner, maybe i could teach one way,but my way its not the only way.most of times i just let people know mine,if they decide to follow it, that way is theirs,not mine anymore,if they could fine another way,that's good...there is almost no heresy
as a muslim (and not all muslim thinks like me)
quran is creation.if it is the record of what god's order for muhammad,doesn't mean all human,or all muslim must follow the order.
what makes quran truth is because what is inside is what must be done in order to survive or behave justly.
and again,in order to survive and behave justly,in the times of quran and now,could be different.
there are many kinds of standards muslim.but if you know muslim a lot in indonesia or malaysia they are pretty much like you.but yes,the one with low education and raised without seeing outside world is very much bigots
To continue on the theme of Islamic reverence of Greek philosophers, Iblis, the Quranic equivalent of Enoch is traditionally identified with Hermes Trismegistus and the Druze, an religious offshoot of Islam elevate several Greek philosophers, such as Pythagoras and Plato, & Aristotle to levels of prophethood.
so could we say that selfishness is key in sufism, since the path is only undertaken by those who deem themselves not worthy of being average humans and feel the need to transcend their station?
No, you could say that "selfishness" is key in sufism in as much as God may be considered "The Self" one seeks. Though many Sufis would detest this concept being morphed into some kind of pantheistic doctrine.
The goal of most Sufis is to abandon attachment to their personal ego, that is the contingent being which you generally call "yourself," and become a vessel for the divine consciousness by having one's being devoured by this pure love for God. You may still exist as an individual in some sense, but you have wiped away the rust that has collected over the mirror of the heart as a result of the effects of the ego and have thus become a clearer reflection of the divine attributes in the external world of multiplicity that emanates from the divine essence (God in his essential being).
Some Sufis have taken this annihilation to mean a kind of complete destruction into nothingness (similar to many Buddhist conceptions of nirvana) while others, in an effort to curtail interpretations which may be seen as too monist or pantheistic, have asserted that once the effects of the ego are wiped clean, the gnostic continues to exist as an individual who now finds his sustenance and pleasure only in God for God's sake and becomes then a source of heavenly barakah (divine grace) for others.
My mistake. I'm a Christian but I've been studying Islamicate Esotericism for a little while now, particularly Hikmat al-Ishraq, or as it's sometimes translated Illuminationism. Here's a diagram I made of an "imamocentric" depiction of the Ithna'ashari Shiite universe. The 14 Pure Ones refers to the Prophet, is daughter Fatima and the Twelve Imams. Each "layer" embodies another plane of reality which is most easily accessible to the one adjacent to it. Our physical world is in red, whilst the green is the intermediary plane where legendary and mythological events like those of the Bible and Quran occur and are not so much "real" in the empirical sense but beyond our plane of comprehension from a materialistic perspective.
In Shi'ite cosmology, what you usually find is a very Neo-Platonic or Kabbalistic system of emanationism centered around the persons of Ali and Muhammad.
The pre-existent Muhammad is the first emanation and Ali emanates second, then Fatima, then the rest of the Imams and from the Imams emanate the primordial lights of the other "high prophets" or "ulul azm al-anbiyya" who are Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus. Each represents his own interdependent aeon, which the light of Muhammad surrounds like a womb.
Each prophet and saint is the representation of the "Muhammadan consciousness," and the light of Muhammad itself reveals God and at the same time obscures God, acting as a veil, without which of course, there would be no multiplicity and thus no way for one to know God since there would only be God and nothing else.
The earthly Muhammad and Imam Ali represent the exoteric and esoteric respectively but in reality, they along with God constitute a single unified reality which in some circles is invoked by the phrase "God-Muhammad-Ali," God being the origin and the essence of all truth, Muhammad being the revealer of God's truth and Ali being the gate to the city of the Muhammadan gnosis.
you'd still be giving up part of yourself so that another could thrive, you are not pleased that your heart has rust on it, you are not pleased that your soul can't achieve purification because of the lower self
stating that seeking this form of yourself is equal with seeking God doesn't seem so innocent/humble as mystics want to make it appear
Except the very idea here is to find pleasure only in God's pleasure.
You're thinking in too dualistic of terms. There is nothing fundamentally evil with caring for one's self in Islam at all, since you are just as much a manifestation of the divine attributes as anyone or anything else. What many Sufis seek is a sense of harmony and balance. Complete selflessness leads to self-denial, which itself is just a form of mortification, a hatred of life and a revulsion for the gifts of God to his creation. Complete selfishness leads to gluttony, greed and other vices which also destroys the harmony and equilibrium of a society.
But many Sufis recognize this harmony between the "yin and yang" elements of the universe can only emerge from a love of truth as Truth, in which one's desire is centered only on the glorification of the Truth as such. When a person lives only for truth's sake, then harmony is maintained between selfishness and selflessness, between light and dark. Much like other Eastern traditions,such as Confucianism or Taoism, Islam usually saw disharmony as evil.
In the Catholic and Orthodox world, saints usually came from the class of ascetic monks and priests who lived atop high towers and never married. In the Islamic world, saints from the Sufi tradition comprised wealthy aristocrats dressed in silk as well as the wandering miracle workers wearing coarse clothes. Certain Sufi stories in fact mock or criticize those dervishes who forsake gold but demonstrate a greater attachment to their walking sticks than the rich man does his wealth.
In short, to want to satisfy one's self in its spiritual sense is not evil because your self is a manifestation of the divine, but to live only for the carnal ego, that is for only one's most material wants and desires and to live in a state of panic for the loss of one's material goods is to live a lowly existence full of dread and disappointment.
my only disagreement in this approach is they centered it in muhammad and ali too much.
imo for me (muslim) this muhammad bin abdullah,our prophet,is only become a prophet because allah's will.
and allah's will couldn't be made of any diagram.
muhammad figure or imagination that comes from history or knowledge shan't be sanctified at all.
>imo for me (muslim) this muhammad bin abdullah,our prophet,is only become a prophet because allah's will.
The emanation doctrine of the Ismaili or Ithna Asharite Shi'a doesn't contradict that all, actually, since the emanations come into being only because of God's will.
Shi'ite and Sufi cosmology usually teaches that Muhammad existed before his mortal existence in history as a "light" that worshiped and glorified God/Allah before anything else and it was from his light that God himself created the lights of the other prophets. Ali figures into this because Muhammad ibn Abdullah gave express orders for the Muslims to follow Ali ibn Abi Talib in all matters, which also symbolizes the relationship the two have always had in the other world of light.
For Shi'a mystics, it is no coincidence that Muhammad ibn Abdullah was made a prophet, but rather prophecy (nubuwwa) was always part of his own natural condition, being born of a pure bloodline and possessing this special inner light. Shi'a also don't believe Muhammad was ever an unbeliever, but Shi'a hadith usually narrate that Muhammad was always intuitively aware of his own nature as a prophet.
> Muhammad existed before his mortal existence in history as a "light"
i think Jesus refers to the same light as that through which salvation is attained, but to say that this "light" = Muhammad/Jesus seems odd and having no clear basis in scripture, of course we can always come up with "esoteric" interpretations and ignore all other meanings of light, or maybe we could say that the light refers to guidance and includes the guidance of the prophets,
maybe the holy spirit would seem more fitting to be made equal as the medium of guidance
anyway i'd love to read arguments about this,
i can accept that the prophet Muhammad is reffered to as being the best of creation and all that, but muslims claiming that everything was brought into existence for him and similar talk seems a bit exaggerated,
also why would the majority of muslims be left in the dark about this if it was such a foundational metaphysical doctrine
in the sense that all religions teach the oneness of God and submission to him, yes
For each We have appointed a divine law and a traced-out way. Had Allah willed He could have made you one community. But that He may try you by that which He hath given you (He hath made you as ye are). So vie one with another in good works. Unto Allah ye will all return, and He will then inform you of that wherein ye differ. (5:48)
am I false in stating that all traditional religions teach oneness and submission?
the Quran is a reminder
We have not sent down the Qur'an unto you to cause you distress, but only as a Reminder to those who fear God (20:2-3)
it is true that Muhammad came with a new law, like every prophet, that's one of the particular aspect of religion
I don't care, fuck your prophet, fuck Islam, fuck Abrahamic God, and every other God out there.
It's all made up shit designed to control primitive people. The fact some still haven't realized this and moved on is distressing.
It was top grade edgy. Fresh off the shelves!
I can just tell you're an obese fedora-wearing neckbearded 'm'lady'-saying white knight beta cuckold-fetishist faggot who tries to be grimdark and edgy to compensate for the fact that you have no friends and that everyone ignores you.
Go back to white knighting whatever whore the people on /v/ are trying crucify, you child.
>Azrael/Izra'il--The head angel of death
>angel of death
this explains everything
In Gaelic pls
you seem to know what you're talking about. Tell me this, as someone who knows very little about islam, is there an english translation that is actually (pretty) accurate or are the translations already interpreted a certain way that it defeats the purpose ?
not anon, but in my opinion the sahih international translation is the most literal, you'll find words added to give more understanding but they're always between brackets.
it always helps to read different translations simultaneously http://quran.com
this is a translation which claims not to be influenced by tradition, i don't feel it's that different from other translations though
>Arabic shares all the same letters as the Hebrew alphabet
but they look nothing alike
assassin cult only using spiritual jargon as a means to drug people to their cause.meanwhile,real sufis either didn't care at all with politics,or forming secular mind to address real problems
>it is not derived from the name of the drug hashish, which Western historians believed that members of the sect took. Instead, he proposed that this story was fabricated by Orientalists to explain how effectively the Ismāʿīlīs carried out these suicide-assassinations without fear. Maalouf suggests that the term is instead derived from the word Assass (foundation), and Assassiyoon, meaning "those faithful to the foundation
almost everything follows seneca sayings.
religion as a personal truth,drug for mass,and tool of power for any people that know how to exploit it.
but now we're talking about personal truth that could be shared to each others,accepted and refused honestly.
not to drug each other and manipulating each other
>i can accept that the prophet Muhammad is reffered to as being the best of creation and all that, but muslims claiming that everything was brought into existence for him and similar talk seems a bit exaggerated,
It doesn't seem to me if one understands that the "Muhammadan Light" is itself the spiritual foundation of all created things.
If I could put it shortly, Muhammad's primordial light is the spirit of contingent existence itself. From the esoteric Islamic perspective, particularly as its found in the Shi'ite or traditional Sufi circles, Muhammad in a sense exists within all of us and is the archetypal human being. Sort of like the blueprint upon which humanity, in its immaterial sense, is based as well as the spirit that drives the forces of intellect.
>also why would the majority of muslims be left in the dark about this if it was such a foundational metaphysical doctrine
Well, actually, the whole idea of the Muhammadan Light itself was practically standard doctrine across most of the Islamic board in the past, especially during the Ottoman and Safavid Empires in which Sufism and mystical philosophy flourished under the patronage of kings and aristocrats. Even a common peasant knew the sayings of Muhammad "I was a prophet when Adam was between mud and water," and the stories of the world of light. It during later centuries when various reformers, particularly in the Sunni camp, wanted to rid Islam of these "superfluous doctrines," which they felt were a product of a thousand of years of deviation.
Again, to make clear, for Muslims who were well versed in Greek or Persian philosophy, or who were part of various Sufi orders and thus preserved years of mystical tradition based on the mystical teachings of early Islamic figures, the notion of this Muhammadan Light was a given.
It was more literally minded reformers who kind of had a strange ultra-rationalism when it came to scripture and hadith that the whole doctrine became a problem. They saw it as a product of Islam mixing with other religious or philosophic traditions and also believed that the idea that there were some Muslims "more enlightened" than others as contradicting their almost socialist conceptions of the equality of all believers.
what about al insan al kamil and similar concepts in different religions like adam kadmon,
how can islam still be universal if it presents muhammad not merely as a prophet like others who were send to all peoples but as the spiritual foundation of all created things
i know there are some weak hadith that support this doctrine, if you have a serious text on this i would be glad to read it, haven't come across it while reading ibn arabi
>I thought Adam was the first human though. How can Mohammad be the blueprint?
The idea in Islamic esotericism was that there was that Adam himself was based on a blueprint, this blueprint being the "Perfect Man" or al-insan al-kamil who was the sublime reflection of all the knowable divine attributes. One can see a similar idea in the Kabbalistic traditions explaining how man is created in the "image" of the incomprehensible deity, the ten sefirot and all that. The primordial Muhammadan Light and the Archetypal Adam can be seen then as one in the same.
Also, the question of whether Adam was the first humanoid on earth is something that has been debated among Muslims before due to various hadith which seem to imply that Adam wasn't the "first Adam" God created.
To quote a couple sayings attributed to the sixth Shi'a Imam, Jafar al-Sadiq:
>"Perhaps you think God has not created a humanity other than you. No! I swear to God that He has created thousands upon thousands of mankinds and you are the last among them."
>"I cannot say that there are human beings in other worlds, but I can say that there are living beings, whom we cannot see because of the great distance between us."
You find such sayings above in various Shi'a encyclopedias of hadith with some variations between them, such as Allamah Majlisi's Bihar al-Anwar. Likewise, Qur'anic commentators, both past and present, theorized that Surah 2:30, where the angels speak of those who spread mischief may be referring to those who dwelled on earth or traversed the universe before the prophet Adam. Some simply said these must have been the Djinn, while others, based on some hadith like those above, have suggested these must have been other humans whom Adam himself ministered to, which has also become popular due to the latest scientific discoveries which would seem to contradict other traditions which imply that the Prophet Adam was the first Adam.
we are talking about islam right?
the esoteric side.
i'm just trying to remind you that if you learn about it,you should know the boundaries.if you agree with esoteric side,the real side,like law or culture doesn't always get along.
imo,insan kamil is a good person.
muhammad is a good person in that era.
and the point is for being good human without foreming some kind of idolatry towards him.
according that standard,he's founder of his own sect of christianity or judaism,modifying pre existed teaching to suit his interests and later being used by his friend and successor even from different faction.
what good from him that he create realism awareness in that era (even it seems machiavellian).
actually what makes islam universal is that realism.and imo everyone could make their own sect,you could cherry picked what suitable for your position
"Perhaps you think God has not created a humanity other than you. No! I swear to God that He has created thousands upon thousands of mankinds and you are the last among them."
>"I cannot say that there are human beings in other worlds, but I can say that there are living beings, whom we cannot see because of the great distance between us."
this is about aliens i think
>>"Perhaps you think God has not created a humanity other than you. No! I swear to God that He has created thousands upon thousands of mankinds and you are the last among them."
>>"I cannot say that there are human beings in other worlds, but I can say that there are living beings, whom we cannot see because of the great distance between us."
I really know nothing about these books and what a Hadith is, but what is the book called which includes these pieces above ?
I'm not being sarcastic, I mean to say that I am going to take in information and draw my own conclusions, I will not take things literally word by word and live by them.
>what about al insan al kamil and similar concepts in different religions like adam kadmon,
The concept of al-insan al kamil was often understood as the goal one reached when an individual had reached a certain stage of spiritual perfection. The Prophet Muhammad was seen as a vision of the utmost perfection the human race could reach. His manifestation in time as the Arab Muhammad was also the realization of the potential perfection that existed within the human race, which manifested itself various ways through the other prophets and saints.
>how can islam still be universal if it presents muhammad not merely as a prophet like others who were send to all peoples but as the spiritual foundation of all created things
Because Muhammad was still sent for all peoples. But you are wrong that all prophets are equal. But rather, some prophets were sent more or less for all peoples while others were sent to simply to their own nations to answer local concerns and were often the servants of other more universal prophets. Among the thousands of prophets, you have those who are simply "prophets" or "nabi" and those who are "messengers" or "rasul" as well as prophets and among the messengers you have who are referred to as the High Prophets or Arch Prophets, who are those five messengers who brought a message and shariah for a much larger group of people. These five high prophets are: Muhammad, Jesus, Moses, Abraham and Noah. Muhammad is of course considered the Chief of the Messengers and he himself embodies all the qualities of the previous prophets. Muhammad is the most universal even of the universal messengers precisely because he acts at the central point from which the spirit of prophecy emanates.
The problem as I see it, is that I think many people's understanding of "prophet" is not always an Islamic one. Sure, we can translate "Nabi" as prophet, but "prophet" doesn't necessarily mean the same thing that it does in the Christian or Jewish parlance.
I don't see how they couldn't refer to both, honestly.
>I really know nothing about these books and what a Hadith is, but what is the book called which includes these pieces above ?
A hadith is an extracanonical saying of a prophet, a saint or God that is separate from the Qur'an and acts as a means of interpreting law and scripture. I went into more detail here if you're interested:
>The concept of al-insan al kamil was often understood as the goal one reached when an individual had reached a certain stage of spiritual perfection. The Prophet Muhammad was seen as a vision of the utmost perfection the human race could reach. His manifestation in time as the Arab Muhammad was also the realization of the potential perfection that existed within the human race, which manifested itself various ways through the other prophets and saints.
too bad this kind of perfection is limited by what idea that he could got in his era,and what kind of morality that currently exists
i know that prophets are not equal in rank, but i can't imagine Mohammed saying: hey guys so, i'm actualy the primordial spiritual light. while at the same time revealing verses about how he's just a human being etc
in my understanding we're all manifestations of the divine, i understand how one could say that muhammad would be the best of manifestation in human form, but creating some kind of intermediary concept which exalts him and the imams in a way that they're essentially of a different nature than the rest of human creation would seem odd to me (in my limited understanding of islam, metaphysics and religion in general)
i'm still willing to read a book that explains the concept to me if you could recommend one, i don't want to reject a belief that many muslims hold without research, but i really don't feel inclined to accept it
Not sure I follow what you're trying to say.
>i know that prophets are not equal in rank, but i can't imagine Mohammed saying: hey guys so, i'm actualy the primordial spiritual light. while at the same time revealing verses about how he's just a human being etc
None of the verses which emphasize Muhammad's humanity contradict this concept though, at least if you ask me. What this doctrine is meant to state is that Muhammad is in fact more human than anyone else. It is we who are still in a process of learning to be human. The problem is that many of us living in the modern world are guilty to some extent of seeing "humanity" as simply a biological, material condition. When the Qur'an says stuff like
>Say: "I am but a man like yourselves, (but) the inspiration has come to me, that your Allah is one Allah: whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteousness, and, in the worship of his Lord, admit no one as partner. (18:110)
This statement does not in anyway contradict the notion of primordial light of Muhammad because the "man" being referred to here is not a purely biological machine. In Islam, "man" is the vicegerent of God on earth, the mirror of heavenly attributes and in his perfection, is higher than any angel. There's a reason God had the angels bow to Adam in 2:34. Man is higher than the angels, but when he gives into sin and forgets worship of God, he becomes lower than the lowliest of beasts. The pre-existence of Muhammad is not meant to suggest that Muhammad was at some point not human, but to say that Muhammad was always human in the spiritual sense of what we understand "humanity" to be. As Rumi says:
>"In form you are the microcosm, but in reality you are the macrocosm"
Angels and djinn have their place, but they are only manifestations of a handful of the attributes that exist within man.
As for books, there is a list here: >>15687829
So, in short, if we understand "man" in a verse like 18:110 to refer to solely a biological condition, certainly this is true for Muhammad as well as anyone else, but this doesn't mean that Muhammad's nature is limited to solely that biological condition anymore than anyone else.
If we understand "man" in the spiritual sense, as a being from God who was created as God's "khalifa" then this probably applies more to Muhammad than it does anyone else.
>Not sure I follow what you're trying to say.
sorry,english is not my mother tongue.what i try to imply is.that spiritual perfection that he's got. couldn't make him almighty or doing what he want,for himself or society.
example:he couldn't make his regime democratic,because democracy is not yet being known either by him or his society
>sorry,english is not my mother tongue.what i try to imply is.that spiritual perfection that he's got. couldn't make him almighty or doing what he want,for himself or society.
These notions of spiritual perfection should not be misunderstood as somehow being achieved through independent action from God. It is only by the grace of God and the obedience of God that man can reach his perfection and God is the only one who is truly Almighty.
>example:he couldn't make his regime democratic,because democracy is not yet being known either by him or his society
Democracy doesn't really make much sense if you have a leader whom for whatever problem that arises, is given the answer by divine inspiration. And democracy is a really bad idea if you ask me when the population isn't educated enough to make thoughtful decisions or are slaves to lowly desires and passions. This is what I think makes most modern Islamic political movements problematic too, as you have a lot of people who are not exactly "spiritual elites" thinking that the prosperity of a society is simply a matter of imposing the right external system of government and even those who suppose themselves to be spiritual elites, suppose perhaps a little too much about their own right to re-establish a system which ideally could only be done efficiently by the Prophet Muhammad.
probably because more people on /x/ are more interested in talking about the dark side rather than the good side. why? obviously because this world is in a fallen state. esoteric islam is too innocent & pure to intrest the majority of idiots on here.
Andrew J. Newman's book on the Safavid Empire is pretty good. A bit of a difficult read at times, but he helps put a lot of things in better perspective than other writers.
I also recommend "Converting Persia" by Rula Jurdi Abisaab, which helps create a more dynamic portrait of the interactions between the various religious elements that influenced the development of Iranian Shi'ism during the Safavid period.
Islam is gay.
Islam + wizards = top gay.
There's plenty if you read the hagiographical literature, but I think anon was referring to actual theurgy/magic/psychic powers
see the lectures posted here if you're interested >>15685768
The way I see it is it's like Catholicism, how you have dulia, hyperdulia and latria. "Latria" refers to the worship of God which is due to God alone, then you have hyperdulia, which is the special veneration or reverence given to the Virgin Mary and then "dulia" which is just the veneration accorded to ordinary saints.
You have the same thing in the Islamic tradition with the veneration of Sufi or Shi'ite saints. If you read "The Lantern of the Path," in Section 27, you find these words:
>Allah has provided His Prophets from the treasures of His subtlety, generosity, and mercy. He has taught them from the wealth of His knowledge, and He has singled them out for Himself from among all creation. No one from the entire creation possesses a state or character similar to theirs, for He has made them the means for all creatures to come to Him. He made obedience to and love for them the cause of His contentment, and opposition to them and rejection of them a cause for His wrath. He commanded all peoples and groups to follow the religion of their Messenger, rejecting any obedience other than by means of obedience to them, praise of them, recognition of their love, respect and veneration for them, esteem for them and deference to them, and rank with Allah. Therefore glorify all the prophets of Allah, and do not place them in the same position as anyone inferior to them.
So the expression of love for these personalities is meant to bring one closer to God. To adore them is to adore the principles because their personalities, at least in their special case, embody those principles. To follow charismatic personality alone is not enough, but a personality which itself manifests higher principles is worth following.
The Ahmadiyya differentiate between receiving commandments and law (which Muhammad was the last person to do so) and divine inspiration (in the case of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who just had some crazy dreams). They believe the Seal of the Prophets has come and gone, and while there's no more prophets, there has- and will be so-called "Renovators," who will set the Muslim community on the right path again.
I sorta see them as less syncretic, and more so apologetic. They don't take parts of other religions and fuse them together, they use Islamic justifications to find similarities between Islam and other religions in order to justify inter-faith dialogue.
Speaking of those guys- they seem to really know their shit, but there's a few different sects of Ahmadiyya with differing views. If you wanna read a really logical, informative translation and explanation of the Quran and hadith, check out the website of the Ahmadiyya Ishaat Lahore sect at aaiil(.)org
I once read an interesting interpretation about the names Shaitan and Iblis, and what they represent of the human psyche based on Surat al A'raf (I hate to paraphrase, but I forget whose interpretation it was exactly...)
Basically, this scholar believes that if you remove the theological idea of Shaitan as the Whipserer- an essentially physical, living being, as well as the Jinn as separate, sentient entities, they make a striking allegory for the human subconscious. I knew a guy who based on reading this, had come to believe that the Jinn are representative of our id, a throwback to our time as animals/our animal instinct. Shaitan and Iblis are allegorical for the sin that our animalistic urges cause. The name Iblis represents the sin we inflict on ourselves, and Shaitan represent the sin we either inflict on others or encourage others to inflict or co-inflict.
>Better safe than sorry, don't trust any
Or, if you want to reference them for further information- only trust the ones that seem logical/don't contradict the Quran/the laws of nature/the perceived personality of God/the personality of Muhammad
I knew a wise young muslima who once told me that "the only miracle is in creation itself. Even still, creation itself obeys the laws of physics, as does the whole universe. Islam is the religion of reason, so it has no fairy tales". Interesting point...
do angels fit somewhere in this model?
i also found similar interpretation of a reference to shaitaan
>Basically, this scholar believes that if you remove the theological idea of Shaitan as the Whipserer- an essentially physical, living being, as well as the Jinn as separate, sentient entities, they make a striking allegory for the human subconscious.
This isn't exactly a new interpretation and when it comes to the Bahai, this is their position I believe on Djinn. However, I don't think the interpretation of Satan/Iblis as a real supernatural entity and an allegory are mutually exclusive, especially when you consider how mystic cosmologies and psychology tend to operate, not just in the Islamic tradition but also in other traditional systems, particularly those further East. You find in islamic sources plenty of talk of Iblis or a part of Iblis being "inside of us," in various forms. Likewise, the mystical path in Islam, its goal has always been to "free the person of the influences of demons,"
Evil Djinn are often associated with the various chaotic elements within the human soul as well as those outside of it. To put it in terms /x/ would be familiar with, the role of evil djinn or "Satans" in Islam tends to occupy much of the same role as the "Archons" of Christian Gnosticism, those forces which are trying to keep a person from returning to the heavenly fullness or pleroma. A person needs of course a gnostic who has followed the mystical path so that when he turns inward, he is not misled by the shadows the archons cast upon the light of his soul.
The Islamic mystical tradition as it is manifested in traditional Sufism and Shi'ism usually saw little need to completely internalize the devil, to make him merely a clever metaphor. Rather, the devil and his minions could be both an external threat and an internal influence at the same time.
It's balderdash and I'll briefly explain why. For starters, there has been since the later 19th century an attempt on the part of Muslim reformers to repaint Islam as a "religion of reason or science," when nothing could be further from the truth. I say this not as a derogatory statement, mind you, but what I mean is that there is a difference between profane reason and intellect, or "Aql" as it is used in the Qur'anic idiom. Most of these Muslims, under the influence of Egyptian and Arab reformists both of the fundamentalist camps and the liberal democratic crowd have adopted an understanding of "rationalism" and "reason" that has much less to do with the historic Islamic philosophers and theologians and blindly accepts the Western paradigms of rational thought, as embodied in the works of thinkers like Kant, Voltaire, Jefferson, Descartes, Hegel, Marx, etc. That is, they are trying to on the one hand claim they believe in revelation, while at the same time trying to make Islam seem like it is basis of all the scientific and rational thought of the West from the 17th century onwards, a scientific/rational thought which is itself in opposition to notions like the divine intuition and revelation which are said to relate truths high above profane material reason that cuts the umbilical world between the divine and physical worlds in the name of "rational laws/thought," and instead believes the profane world is but a reflection of higher divine or spiritual worlds whose breath is consistently felt and seen within the physical world and all its elements, which testify by their nature to immaterial realities and principles higher than themselves.
One result of this has been a kind of bashfulness when it comes to the Islamic tradition's own mythology and folklore (please note my use of 'mythology' here isn't for something that is untrue) which relates the countless miracles of Muhammad and various other Islamic figures. For these people, who mostly came from the Western educated urban elites, the traditional hagiographies are an embarrassment, which reminds them that Islam could be just as "backwards" as any other world religion could be. So rather than accept that the Muslims of generations past, including many of its most celebrated philosophers and thinkers, lived in a world which they felt was populated by evil genies and ghouls, angels with wings, dragons, sages who could walk on water, and magical talismans, there's this attempt to cast all these things as aberrations (despite the fact that they are present in even the earliest sources) because they "conflict with reason," reason in this case not being defined by how the majority, if not the entirety, of Islamic thinkers of the past defined it, but reason as defined by writers of European Renaissance and Enlightenment.
So now you get all these publications of "scientific miracles of the Qur'an," which hope to show us how based on such study by so and so at the blah blah blah university of whatever the heck it is I don't care about that verse X actually foretold this scientific discovery, ignoring how 800 years of Islamic scholars understood the meaning of this verse and this will continue until suddenly some new discovery by someone 10 or 20 years later will tell us that the previous scientist or professor was wrong and it's in fact the opposite, and then the preachers will tell us how verses X and Y predicted that discovery.
There may not be a complete denial of miracles as such, but there is this reductionist trend which reeks of the influence of worldviews which have no business defining the Qur'an's own worldview for itself. What you also have is this trend to "secularize miracles," by presenting how a miracle may have been done "scientifically." The problem here is not the pursuit of understanding better the nature of the miracle, but what people usually mean by "scientific" here is not the traditional Muslim approach to the physical sciences which accepted the role played by the supernatural, but a science defined by the modern West which has no room for the divine or the unexplainable in its paradigm. Even if a scientist has a religious belief, it cannot be of any consequence.
To say that the Qur'an or certain hadith don't contradict the latest scientific discoveries is one thing, to secularize the prophets and saints is another and there exists a fine line between the two. Oddly enough, I find it is often young female Muslims who are guilty of crossing the line, perhaps motivated by a need to defend their religion against criticisms, but end up resorting to the methodologies of reason designed to undermine not just Islam but religious thought itself.
Also, to comment on the concept of "Islam doesn't believe in fairy tales." The Houris, the maidens of light who dwell in the Islamic paradise, have also at times been translated to mean "fairies". Plus you have the story of Prince Ahmed and the Fairy found in the Arabian Nights tales where they are associated instead with Djinn.