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Spider

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Everything posted by Spider

  1. Thread Al-3rabi

    I knew that already.
  2. Thread Al-3rabi

    What's a fatha?
  3. Random Islamic Questions

    In short, it's because Prophethood is an extremely heavy task, and by nature, men compared to women are better able to handle it. But Allah knows best. Here's a fatwa on that, if you want a little more elaboration: https://islamqa.info/en/158044
  4. Happy Birthday M-C and Faerie

  5. Hadiths on Fasting

    FASTING (TRANSLATION OF SAHIH BUKHARI, BOOK 31) Volume 3, Book 31, Number 115 Narrated Talha bin 'Ubaid-Ullah: A bedouin with unkempt hair came to Allah's Apostle and said, "O Allah's Apostle! Inform me what Allah has made compulsory for me as regards the prayers." He replied: "You have to offer perfectly the five compulsory prayers in a day and night (24 hours), unless you want to pray Nawafil." The bedouin further asked, "Inform me what Allah has made compulsory for me as regards fasting." He replied, "You have to fast during the whole month of Ramadan, unless you want to fast more as Nawafil." The bedouin further asked, "Tell me how much Zakat Allah has enjoined on me." Thus, Allah's Apostle informed him about all the rules (i.e. fundamentals) of Islam. The bedouin then said, "By Him Who has honored you, I will neither perform any Nawafil nor will I decrease what Allah has enjoined on me. Allah's Apostle said, "If he is saying the truth, he will succeed (or he will be granted Paradise)." Volume 3, Book 31, Number 116 Narrated Ibn 'Umar: The Prophet observed the fast on the 10th of Muharram ('Ashura), and ordered (Muslims) to fast on that day, but when the fasting of the month of Ramadan was prescribed, the fasting of the 'Ashura' was abandoned. 'Abdullah did not use to fast on that day unless it coincided with his routine fasting by chance. Volume 3, Book 31, Number 117 Narrated 'Aisha: (The tribe of) Quraish used to fast on the day of Ashura' in the Pre-lslamic period, and then Allah's Apostle ordered (Muslims) to fast on it till the fasting in the month of Ramadan was prescribed; whereupon the Prophet said, "He who wants to fast (on 'Ashura') may fast, and he who does not want to fast may not fast." Volume 3, Book 31, Number 118 Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "Fasting is a shield (or a screen or a shelter). So, the person observing fasting should avoid sexual relation with his wife and should not behave foolishly and impudently, and if somebody fights with him or abuses him, he should tell him twice, 'I am fasting." The Prophet added, "By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. (Allah says about the fasting person), 'He has left his food, drink and desires for My sake. The fast is for Me. So I will reward (the fasting person) for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times." Volume 3, Book 31, Number 119 Narrated Abu Wail from Hudhaifa: Umar asked the people, "Who remembers the narration of the Prophet about the affliction?" Hudhaifa said, "I heard the Prophet saying, 'The affliction of a person in his property, family and neighbors is expiated by his prayers, fasting, and giving in charity." 'Umar said, "I do not ask about that, but I ask about those afflictions which will spread like the waves of the sea." Hudhaifa replied, "There is a closed gate in front of those afflictions." 'Umar asked, "Will that gate be opened or broken?" He replied, "It will be broken." 'Umar said, "Then the gate will not be closed again till the Day of Resurrection." We said to Masruq, "Would you ask Hudhaifa whether 'Umar knew what that gate symbolized?" He asked him and he replied "He ('Umar) knew it as one knows that there will be night before tomorrow, morning. Source: http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/h...ri/031.sbt.html
  6. Solar Eclipse 2017

    https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/ Illustration is from here, which also shows the path of the total eclipse on the US map.
  7. I think that all bad experiences can either be good or bad for you depending on how you react to those situations. Also, it's easy to blame others or denigrate others when they treat you badly, or to think that they should apologize or something (and maybe rightly so), but yet sometimes we fail to realize that we ourselves may react in ways that make the situation even worse. Then we recount and rationalize things in a way which makes us feel as if we have the higher moral ground, with no faults of our own. In other words, many people just aren't very willing to take responsibility for their own actions, and they don't even realize this. I think there lies the more hidden but dangerous problem. And I think we all have this problem to some extent - thus, I try to remind myself also.
  8. Cosmological Argument

    This may be true, but now this would make science itself circular (in a physical sense), because we are essentially a highly organized collection of particles which are learning and thinking about it's own self. In short, we are a part of nature, and we are made up of nature (atoms, molecules, etc), and this "nature" that we are composed of is trying to understand nature itself. Therefore, science is sort of like nature having a dialogue with itself. That is, we human beings pose questions to nature through experiments and scientific reasoning in order to gain knowledge about the universe, but there's a circularity behind the whole thing given that we ourselves are a part of nature. Carl Sagan also once summed up this idea when he said, "We are a way for the cosmos to know itself." Well, so if nature can have a dialogue with itself, and if it is trying to "know itself," then this is like saying that nature already has some kind of a "mind." And if you accept that, then it shouldn't require much of a leap of thought to go from that idea to the idea of an intelligent being (God).
  9. Cosmological Argument

    It's not like belief in God (or belief in anything else, for that matter) is supposed to have a rational chain of arguments. As I said, we cannot ignore the inner aspects of being a human, especially given that the way we reason and perceive things are not independent from our emotions (gratitude, yearnings, etc.) Are we all Turing machines? No, I don't think so.
  10. Cosmological Argument

    You wouldn't have to "assume" anything if you were simply and truly grateful to God; rather, you would believe in His existence. Therefore gratitude and faith are interconnected, and there is something that connects them, but it's not circular. Maybe it's a level of moral maturity, a sense of connectedness of things, an emotional intuition about God, a sense of responsibility to give thanks, or something of that nature which unites the two. Edit: It's probably one of those chicken and egg type questions. But he didn't say that you can't contextualize the Quran in history, as you stated earlier.
  11. Cosmological Argument

    To share another insight of mine, I think that people's faith becomes weaker in part because they are not appreciative or grateful enough of the countless blessings that they've been given. And no one can "educate" you about these things. One might be very cognizant of his intellect as being one of the favors of Allah, but there are so many other things which most of the time we don't even think about. I think that when some people get very ill or they lose something valuable that they had, that is when they realize the greatness of what they had, and then they might even make dua or start calling Allah to help them recover what they lost. But we seldom appreciate things when we already have them. The fact that I am breathing right now without effort, that my fingers are typing these words, that my brain is functioning, that my heart is beating, and so on and so forth, these are all things to be grateful about. But if we start losing this feeling of appreciation and gratitude towards Allah, then, gradually, our entire faith will also leave us. And then we will just try to rationalize and logicize everything, because we've forgotten the essence of what it means to be a human.
  12. Cosmological Argument

    We were discussing what he meant by "historicizing the Quran," so you sort of sidestepped that point by mentioning that Yale historicizes the Quran (which I don't disagree with). So do you agree with this: "Again, I think what he meant is that the Quran should not be studied as if it is just a historical text, thereby ignoring the universal and timeless nature of it." If so, then I'm not sure why you wrote "nah" (twice) to my responses.
  13. Cosmological Argument

    What he said about Yale doesn't support your previous comment about what he meant by historicizing the Quran, so it's irrelevant. And yeah Western style analysis can break your faith, but only if you stop using your own intelligence, that is. I mean, it's pretty sad if we trained our intelligence to operate only within the realms of science and evidence like in the Western style.
  14. Cosmological Argument

    He wrote an entire book titled An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qu'ran, and in it there are plenty of things discussed about the usefulness of history in relation to the sciences of the Quran (tafseers, interpretations, etc.), so he can't possibly be saying that you shouldn't contextualize the Quran in light of it's history. Again, I think what he meant is that the Quran should not be studied as if it is just a historical text, thereby ignoring the universal and timeless nature of it.
  15. Cosmological Argument

    He said that you shouldn't historicize the Quran, and that has a different meaning from saying that you can't look at Islam or the Quran from a historical context. Some people historicize the Quran so much as if nothing in it is relevant anymore. That's when it becomes a problem.
  16. Cosmological Argument

    ^ At 5:35 he succinctly states what the real problem is: "The answers to the shubuhaat (doubts) are not necessarily 'aqli. Here is I think a big issue of our times. We assume every single answer has to be 'aqli or rational. In the end of the day, there are answers that are fitri. And science does not recognize the fitrah." Unsurprisingly, this idea corresponds with the statements of some of the greatest thinkers, writers, philosophers, and even logicians (who are specialists on Godel's theorems, one of the most ground-breaking insights in mathematics). They taught people not to try to approach truth with the intellect alone, but rather to approach it with one's entire being, with one's despairs, anxieties, and the myriad of human emotions along with the intellect. And this is why they never gave priority to technical intelligence over intelligence, or rationality over reason. But nowadays Western education forces people to develop an over-rational worldview, as opposed to a reasonable worldview.
  17. Cosmological Argument

    But all my tedious mental gymnastics aside, I appreciate your level-headed and honest replies on this subject. It was thought-provoking at least.
  18. Cosmological Argument

    I agree, and this is perhaps the wisest lesson that can be drawn from our discussion. The only problem here is that it is near impossible to pinpoint exactly what we are biased about, much less how biased we are. I suppose this is one of the inescapable limits of self-referentiality, the limits of reasoning about our own reasoning. Even if we completely stripped away the emotional aspects of bias, you still have the problem of cognitive bias, which has to do with how we think and, consequently, how we make meaning of and interpret the world. People have different rules of consistency and truth-finding techniques that they employ depending on the nature of their own cognitive machinery. And no one can make a definitive judgement about it (i.e. about their own selves). Therefore, even if you acquired a vast amount of knowledge about all the world's religions, your conclusion could be as equally as likely to lead you to the truth as it could lead you to falsehood. Gaining more knowledge about religions won't really help if the deeper systems of reasoning are out of shape in a significant way. You might want to argue that emotions are more likely to lead people to false beliefs. Well, emotions in and of themselves cannot be associated with bias, unless they are caused by mistaken beliefs. That's why there is nothing false or biased about emotions IF they are in harmony with what is true. But again, how we determine what is "true" and "not true" in the first place is influenced by our own truth-finding techniques, which themselves are determined by the cognitive biases that we all have. (All of this stuff reminds me of the free will conundrum ...)
  19. Cosmological Argument

    Also, you seem to have a double-standard as to when biased attitudes are useful or not, because earlier when you said this: "Finally - I don't think my bias is probably as bad as yours. For me there isn't much emotional attachment to the Quran so I don't feel my decision is being dictated by emotions as much." You are implying that decisions being dictated by emotions is a bad thing (after linking bias to my emotions). Yet, elsewhere you wrote that bias can be "very useful in helping to build the narrative" since it is people's attitudes that "makes decisions and moves history." So, sometimes, when decisions are dictated by bias (like the bias in Islamic history), it's a good thing? And sometimes, when decisions are dictated by bias (like my emotional attachment to the Quran), it's a bad thing? Well, isn't that inconsistent?
  20. Cosmological Argument

    Exaggerations are inaccurate, hence untrue. There may be some truth in biased sources (and the "some" is a highly subjective measurement here, depending on where you stand), but you can't say that they are true. That's why when you said "Biased does not mean untrue" (as if it can be true), I disagreed with that. And you have just re-affirmed my point that biased sources give us useful information about people's (biased) attitudes, which is a circular explanation. But the real problematic thing is that people can very easily make an assumption about how much bias there is, so that it fits with their own beliefs about religion. And I know you already agreed that you might have bias, which is good. How much exaggerated? A little or a lot? If you say "a lot," then aren't you being very biased if you think that without having studied or reflected on the Quran enough?
  21. Cosmological Argument

    The beauty of the Quran is not just in the Arabic, although it's a huge part of it indeed. The beauty of the Quran is also in the meanings, the emotional impact that it has on people, the psychological depth of the verses, and so. It is beautiful in every possible way. As for me, I spend a good portion of my time on some days listening to tafseers, like the videos at this link and some other Youtube channels that I frequently visit, because learning tafseer helps me to learn and reflect more on the Quran, while also learning some Arabic at the same time. And alhamdullillah since two years ago I've been investing an increased amount of my time and effort to learn Arabic (from the videos in this channel along with a few other ones that I go to every now and then). I know it's not the best way to learn Arabic, nor the fastest, but I have the intention to learn and I am learning alhamdullillah, and that's what matters. In fact some days I sleep very little because of doing these things. And I prefer to learn in times of solitude, i.e. not when people around me, because this way I experience more pleasure and enjoyment when I'm learning the Quran. So, you can't really consider me to be like many of the Muslims who just passively follow Islam without putting any effort to learn things. I'm the exact opposite of that.
  22. Cosmological Argument

    I partially agree with that sentence: Yes, biased history doesn't mean that it is unreliable, but at the same time, it cannot be associated with what is true or accurate. Why? Because the word "bias," by definition, is an attitude which possesses the quality of distortion or a relative departure from what is true. Therefore the meaning of bias cannot be equated with truth, and so logically it is untrue. I don't know if you realized this, but your description of bias being "extremely useful" was bound to have a circular meaning, and you just proved it now. Basically, you are saying that it is useful in determining the attitudes of certain people. In other words, the biased attitudes of certain people, right? And in fact I don't really think you can infer anything else besides that. The same goes for your nationalism example, i.e. it's a biased attitude. And it is only in this sense that biased history is useful/reliable. So the question, is there anything else that biased history can be useful for, besides giving us a glimpse into people's (biased) attitudes and emotions? Here, you are saying that highly biased sources are still extremely useful in determining history (specifically, about people's attitudes to certain things). And earlier you said for the Muslims there were "high emotions and heavy bias" involved. So now, putting those two statements together, you should agree that Islamic history is extremely useful in determining history, right? But this leads to me ask the same question that I posed to you right above: How is it extremely useful other than teaching us about the biased attitudes of the Muslims?
  23. Cosmological Argument

    It could be just a few sentences, because I didn't ask you for an in-depth explanation or to really prove that Islam is true. Just briefly explain the rational base for your faith, if you have any. I'm guessing that you are insecure about your own reasons and that's why you don't want to share, just making excuses. You don't have to answer, but it makes you look hypocritical to make fun of my arguments for believing in Islam, and yet you go all quiet when I ask you for your own perspective.
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