by Damon, Pennsylvania, USA, Sunday, August 04, 2013, 04:11 (2143 days ago) @ Noman Waseem

Dear Noman Waseem,

I am going to respond to your post you directed towards me and when I am finished responding to you I have something important that I would like for you and everyone else to kindly take note of.

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.

Brother, I think your request to not give millennia old traditions an inherent quality of being wrong is the same as asking me to give millennia old traditions an inherent quality of being right. As per my understanding of 17:36 and 39:18 I feel it is my duty to question, research and reject if need be. Also, you are expressing your own personal opinion when you say in an ideal Kingdom of God, agreeing with tradition would imply leading a life of the highest standards and emancipation from man-made influences. This is an opinion and not a fact, and it is an opinion that I personally disagree with. I had pointed the traditions of other religions than your own. Do you agree with those other religious traditions? Are they good and/or correct?

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:

Again, an opinion you have that my stance is wrong. I know what you posted and I know the angle you are coming from and I'm trying to get you to understand that I disagree with your stance. I posted those ayaat talking about people who place their cherished traditions above The Quran.

"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[/u]) is prescribed for you AS IT WAS PRESCRIBED FOR THOSE BEFORE YOU so that you get empowered against evil.

First of all, that is not The Arabic Quran. What you posted is an English translation of an original Arabic Document and what is included in the brackets (which I have bolded and underlined) of your translation is not in the original Arabic text at all.

Second of all, just because you capitalized "AS IT WAS PRESCRIBED FOR THOSE BEFORE YOU" doesn't prove anything. All that you have done is reminded me of something I already know which is As-Siyaam is written/prescribed for us readers and upholders of this book just as it was for those who preceded us. You still have to go to The Quran to prove As-Siyaam is refraining from eating, drinking and sex (as you have it in brackets).

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 is why you and I disagree on this topic. The Bible is not the document that I am going by, The Quran is the document that I am going by. Brother are you are a Muslim or a Christian? Is The Quran your book or is The Bible your book? The cat has been out of the bag for years now that The Bible is a completely bogus book. I'm surprised you can quote one of Shabbir's books to me (QXP) but ignore that he also wrote a book criticizing The Bible. And I know you are aware of how the late Ahmed Deedat have shown the bible to be a completely bogus book. Here's just one of his works demonstrating that:

Is The Bible The Word of God?

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." -"

I cannot respond to anything else dealing with the bible. It is not my book and I do not believe in it, let alone read it. If you wish to discuss The Quranic ayaat then I will most certainly respond to you.

We are not talking here about man-made tradition Br Damon, we're talking about tradition based directly on God's message.

Brother, all traditions are man made. There is no such thing as a tradition directly from God.

Do you not see the similarities between the above understandings of fasting in Christianity and Judaism and how Dr. Shabbir explains Saum as abstinence?

Yes, I do see the similarities and I disagree with and reject all of it. I reject religion, therefore I reject religious rituals that are not in The Quran.

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]"

Again, I wish to remind you that the words in brackets are Shabbir's own words and understanding. They are not in the original Arabic Quran. Secondly, since you seem to insist on basing your views on the bible, then please track down an original Aramaic Bible and translate it for me.

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.

Brother, please thoroughly explain to me exactly how you deduce those ayaat in The Quran to be referring to the bible. Where is there a verse that says The Quran Confirms The Bible or it Confirms any religious book of any religion? And before you answer that I need to let you know ahead of time that I am asking you to show me this in The Arabic Quran, not a translation.

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?

On the basis that Christianity and Judaism and all the other "Religions" are man-made and fake, on the basis that The Quran is not peddling yet another religion and on the basis that Saum does not mean abstinence from eating and drinking. It simply means abstinence; that is all.

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?

In my personal estimation (based on my personal pondering and study of The Quran) the answer is no, it does not. What you and those who think like you are doing is imposing your understandings of fasting and prior religious books into those ayaat. That is why your understanding and translation of those ayaat require extra words in brackets of your translation, ahadith to say in very clear terms what The Quran does not say and explanations and tasafeer from Mullahs to preach these imposed understandings to the masses. The Quran Alone, on its own merits and in its own words do not say these things at all.

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.

Brother, seriously, I outright reject all traditions that I deem to be based on unintelligent premises. Do you accept the tradition of female mutilation in Africa? Do you accept the tradition of children terrorizing elderly people and their homes on "Devil's Night" in The U.S.? Do you accept the tradition of mass killing of dolphins in Denmark as a rite of passage to manhood? Do you accept the tradition of self mutilation to commemorate Hasan and Husain? To be honest with you I am actually shocked that you can present tradition and chrisitianity as a basis for your argument.

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.

That is all I needed to know. Thank You for your honesty.

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.

I 100%, totally disagree. I said it before and I will say it again. The Only reason N2I and all of its non Quranic traditions survived for thousands of years is because in the N2I majority countries these traditions are not allowed to be questioned, let alone shunned and rejected. If the entire N2I world were to abolish their Blasphemy and Apostasy Laws (both of which are totally un Quranic by the way) I think the N2I religion would disappear in a matter of decades. People in the N2I world are forced against their will (through fear of punishment and death) to uphold and honor these thousand year old traditions.

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.

Well, what I am offering as proof you reject. There's nothing I can do about that.

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

Sorry about that Brother. I am not yelling at you on screen. :-) I like to use caps and bold for emphasis.

Okay, now I wish to say something and this is directed at everyone participating in this discussion.....

I have been responding to everyone's post to the best of my ability. However, what I have said about 19:26 has gone untouched. What I have said about kul washrab being idiomatic has also gone untouched. What I have said about Saum not meaning abstenance from eating and drinking has also not been responded to. What I have said about the lack of a direct command not to eat has not been responded to. And then there are the questions that I have asked, none of which have been answered. Such as:

WHY is not the N2I world a nation of Muttaqeen? If Saum is fasting and 2:183 says Saum makes one a Muttaqee, then why are they not Muttaqeen after thousands of years?

How is it that 19:24 mentions a سريا which is a small body of water, that 19:25 mentions رطبا جنيا (dates from a tree ready for consumption) and 19:26 gives the imperative to Maryam to كلي واشربي (eat and drink) while at the same time Maryam is informing other human beings that she is observing Siyaam??

How does a person "Witness" a month?

What is the significance of ANY month that The Quran would be sent down during that month?

There are other questions which I will hold off for now. I also wish to add that I am in the same boat as Waqas. I don't care either way if the Concordances and whatever dictionaries say that Ramadan is a proper noun. The validity or invalidity of that is not the strength of my argument anyway. It never was. But I do know that it is according to the traditionalists that Ramadan is a proper noun. I know that we have nothing prior to The Quran or Ibn Ishaq's Seerah that proves there was a month called Ramadan. There is much more I can say to invlidate that view but I'll hold off on that as well for now.

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