by Noman Waseem, Saturday, August 03, 2013, 17:53 (2152 days ago) @ Damon

Dear Br Damon,

I think we are both misunderstanding something here as I can assure you my name is not Hello Name and I didn't post that :-). Having said that, I'm a little confused as to why you didn't simply respond to my original post. I'm wondering because this:

"Perhaps my biggest contention here is this: there is a millenia of historical tradition involving fasting and Abrahamic religions and non-Abrahamic religions. Even if this is a huge misunderstanding of the original Arabic, it is quite an oversight for you to not explain the very similar traditions or at least commands to that effect that have gone on for thousands of years. One does not simply overturn a millenia of historicity on grounds of a single instance of a grammatical/linguistic nuance without some tremendous evidence explaining why this prevailing understanding of God's message has been misunderstood for the last many thousand years in all these religions."

wasn't a standalone argument but rather it built on the spirit and reasoning in my previous two posts. Maybe I'm missing something, but you critiqued the above seemingly out of context to its supporting arguments. So allow me to respond point by point, for example:

"First of all, I am going by The Quran, NOT historical tradition that is irrelevant and have nothing to do with The Quran. I am calling you to a re-examination of The Quran and you bring up TRADITION just like the rejectors of Quranic ayaat in 2:170, 5:104 and 31:21. Secondly, Al-Islam is NOT a "religion", Abrahamic or non-Abrahamic in flavor; it is simply not a religion."

Brother, let's not give millennia old traditions an inherent quality of being wrong. If we are to criticize them, let's do so as per merit, not as a rule. Consider please that in an ideal Kingdom of God, agreeing with tradition would imply leading a life of the highest standards and emancipation from man-made influences. Specifically, your claim:

"First of all, I am going by The Quran, NOT historical tradition that is irrelevant and have nothing to do with The Quran."

is not only wrong in many ways, but is made with apparent ignorance to what I actually wrote in my post. So let me relate a part of it to you here, a part that has very much to do with the Qur'an:

"My second point comes from verse 2:183:

2:183 (Creating an ideal society requires discipline and self-restraint among the individuals.) O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Abstinence (from sex and free indulgence in food and drink during the daytime) is prescribed for you AS IT WAS PRESCRIBED FOR THOSE BEFORE YOU so that you get empowered against evil.

And now consider this:

"The "acceptable fast" is discussed in the biblical Book of Isaiah, chapter 58:6–7. In this chapter, the nation of Israel is rebuked for their fasting, and given this exhortation:

(verse 6) “Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
(7) Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?"

This passage indicates that the acceptable fast is not merely abstinence from food or water, but a decision to fully obey God's commands to care for the poor and oppressed." -"

We are not talking here about man-made tradition Br Damon, we're talking about tradition based directly on God's message. Do you not see the similarities between the above understandings of fasting in Christianity and Judaism and how Dr. Shabbir explains Saum as abstinence? Now, I am well aware of the status of Islam as a Deen. What I'm asking you to consider is whether you are ignoring verses like this:

"2:41 And grace yourselves with belief in what I have revealed now confirming (the truth) in what you already have. Be not the first among those who will conceal the truth therein, and trade not My revelations for petty gains. Rather, be mindful of Me.

2:89 Whenever revelation from God is delivered to them, confirming (the truth in) what they have, they flatly deny it! Yet, before that, they had been praying for winning the hearts of those who denied all Divine revelation. And now that a message has come to them that they very well recognize, they deny it and conceal (what they know). God‟s condemnation is the due of all those who turn ungrateful. [Kufr = Rejecting, denying, opposing, or concealing the truth = Ingratitude. 2:101, 2:41, 7:157]

2:91 When it is said to them, “Believe in what God has revealed”, they say, “We only accept what has been sent to us.” And they reject all besides that, even though it is the truth confirming what they possess. Say, “(If you claim to believe in the scripture that you have), then why did you oppose and even slay the Prophets of God before, if you were believers?” [2:101. For Qatl, see 2:54]

2:97 (They are displeased with Gabriel for bringing revelation to a gentile Prophet. 2:90.) Say (O Prophet), “Who could possibly bear a grudge against Gabriel when he has revealed (the Qur‟an) upon your heart by God‟s leave, confirming what was revealed before it. And it (the Qur‟an) is a beacon of light and glad tiding for all those who accept it. [2:101]"

I could go on and on, but even I am surprised as to the extent with which the Qur'an is peppered with verses noting that it confirms the truth in what was sent before. So I must ask you, on what basis are you ignoring the fact that Christianity and Judaism and likely many other religions (which might have been originally founded by Messengers of God) have/had historical traditions very similar in likeness to how Saum is translated as Abstinence? Does not the Qur'an in this instance confirm the truth contained in the traditions involving the practicing of Abstinence which happens to include fasting? And the fact that these are traditions we are talking about is not a valid argument; again it must be on merit that tradition is criticized, not as a rule.

So to be clear, when you ask "Does the fact that Their Traditions have gone on for thousands of years make them correct?", no it does not make them correct. But the fact that they have gone on for thousands of years does not make them incorrect either; it does however lend it the weight of historical evidence, in this case thousands of years of historicity. Proper research is humble research, and the burden of proof is on the one making the exceptional claim. I am not suggesting that you are right or wrong, but presenting your criticism against thousands of years of historicity can only be done in the humblest manner. None of us have direct access to divine knowledge as the Messengers did.

On the flip side, when you say:

"As far as your prevailing understanding for the last many thousand years, that is a very simple matter to tackle. Just pick ANY N2I country; Malaysia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, U.A.E. or Iran and go there and TRY TEACHING what I am advocating here as well as anti-hadith, Nisaa'a not meaning women, salaat is not namaz ad women are not lesser than men and LET'S SEE if you'll live!!"

controversial arguments are not either correct or incorrect as a rule either; their correctness is also solely based on merit. Though there is something to be respected about taking a stand for something you feel is right, and I can respect that, it must be done so humbly.

As to why I keep mentioning being humble, perhaps it is a reaction to your writing style (particularly your use of CAPS and BOLD as though you are yelling at me ;-)), but I don't question your intentions. I have however questioned the merits of your argument.



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