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Messages - Joseph Islam

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1
Dear Truth Seeker / Beyond Tradition,

As-salamu alaykum to you both.

It is correct that in my humble view of the Quranic narratives, I have posited that the point at which the nafs / soul is possibly recognised, is approximately 3 months after conception.

However, it is also important to remember the Quran's focus on the preservation of innocent human life in all its forms which would arguably encompass both the mother and a child. Therefore, a mother's welfare should also be of paramount importance / consideration as part of any medical decision that is undertaken.

Indeed, God is most merciful.

Regards,
Joseph

2
Dear respected readers,

Peace to you all.

Notwithstanding the number of emails / queries I can potentially receive, I also often receive requests for pro bono input on general academic work, PhD theses, to peer review articles and to proof read material before book publications. 

Albeit I feel extremely honoured that some of you think my input worthy of being solicited, I humbly regret that I cannot respond to all the requests due to my own intense personal commitments / pursuits both academic and otherwise.

Therefore, please kindly accept my sincerest apologies if I am unable to respond to your requests.

With utmost respect and regards,
Joseph

3
Wa alaikum assalam

The term admits shades of meaning depending on context. The term 'al-nas' can also describe broadly the entire human race. Please kindly see just two examples below:
 
11:103   "…that is a day mankind (al-nas) are to be gathered…"
010:24   "…the plants of the earth mingle with it where mankind (al-nas) and cattle eat…"
 
As I have mentioned in my writings, the Prophet was tasked with a responsibility to convey the message of the Quran in Arabic to his people as a witness to the truth. His people had a responsibility en masse to pass the message to mankind (22:78) as witnesses to the truth. This would imply a discourse both in Arabic and an ability to convey its meaning to those who did not understand the language.
 
"...The messenger is a witness over you and you may be a witness on mankind (al-nas)..." (22:78)
 
Please also kindly note above how the responsibilities are clearly delineated. There would be no point of his people passing the message separately on to wider mankind as witnesses to the truth if the intention was to reveal the Quran to a specific people exclusively. In that case, the Prophet would have sufficed as witness.
 
I hope that helps, God willing
 
Regards,
Joseph

4
Wa alaikum assalam

I humbly do not believe that the Quran's authenticity needs to be proved through an enterprise that attempts to prove it to be a mathematical marvel.

As I have already shared, it is often unappreciated by many Muslims that headings and even verse numberings as we understand them today were absent in the earliest codices of the Quran. Therefore, it can be argued that they were never part of the Quranic revelation, despite any claims of later Islamic secondary sources. Early Quranic codices didn't even possess diacritical marks or vocalisations / vowel signs or even formally indicate when verses had ended. The primary mode of revelation and transmission was oral supported by a written transmission by the hands of noble scribes (80:13-16) [1]. Therefore, any attempt to prove a mathematical marvel is arguably a futile endeavour if verse numberings were only introduced for ease of reference later.

Furthermore, in respect to other mathematical enterprises devised to prove the Quran's authenticity, I have respectfully shared that "I require no arithmetic reassurance as the arguments of the Quran are absolutely clear and leave no doubt in my mind to its Divine provenance." That is my humble position.

I hope this helps, God willing
Joseph


REFERENCES:

[1] Translation without Interpretation
http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=574.msg1981;topicseen#msg1981
[2] Code 19 and asking for Proof
http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=259.msg779#msg779
[3] CODE 19 AND THE REMOVAL OF TWO VERSES FROM THE QURAN - A PROBLEMATIC THEORY
http://quransmessage.com/articles/19%20FM3.htm


5
General Discussions / Re: Plastic Surgery
« on: March 14, 2019, 03:54:43 PM »
Haram is a very strong word and one must be careful not to pronounce something 'haram' if it is not explicitly mentioned or strongly implied by the Quranic verses by strong analytical deduction.

Plastic Surgery in my opinion, does not violate any Quranic verse if and only if it is done for the purpose of reformation of parts of human body when distorted by any from of accidents.
It is somehow tantamount to a transgression, if done for passion or changing lifestyles or fashion as it defaces the creation of GOD "intentionally", which would arguably put it at tension with verses 4:118-119.

004:118-119 (Part)
"...and he said "Most certainly I will take of your servants an appointed portion: I will surely mislead them, and I will create in them false desires; I will order them to slit the ears of cattle and to deface the creation of God..."

Dear Sstikstof,

As-salamu alaykum

In the main, I agree with your perspective.

Regards,
Joseph

6
Wa alaikum assalam

In my humble view, the argument would present itself as thus:

  • The Quran does not authorise any other source for religious guidance for believers [1]. The burden of proof is with others to prove otherwise, not with you. [2]
  • There is no mention of ‘Hazrat Uthman’ in the Quran or who was specifically involved in the Quran's compilation. Such stories are found in Ahadith sources canonised centuries later by fallible men. The Quran provides its own testimony as to its compilation. It was arguably, fully canonised and transmitted (both orally and in written form) en masse in the life of the prophet. [3]
  • The Quran is clear guidance and other than its language [Note 1], requires no other source for interpretation / or religious interpretation [4]
  • Even if the Ahadith corpus could be proven 100% authentic it is irrelevant as the question is of 'authority'not authenticity. The Quran provides no authority for another source for religious guidance for believers. Of course, the sources that it does ratify, such as aspects of the previous scriptures are mentioned in the Quran. [5], [6], [7].

I hope this helps, God willing,

Regards,
Joseph


REFERENCES:

[1]  THE QURAN STANDS ALONE AS SOLE RELIGIOUS GUIDANCE
http://quransmessage.com/articles/quran%20sole%20guidance%20FM3.htm
[2]  BURDEN OF PROOF - PROPHET ABRAHAM'S (pbuh) ARGUMENT
http://quransmessage.com/articles/burdenofproof%20FM3.htm
[3] THE COMPILATION OF THE QURAN
http://quransmessage.com/articles/the%20compilation%20of%20the%20quran%20FM3.htm
[4] GOD HAS WARNED BELIEVERS TO ONLY FOLLOW THE QURAN
http://quransmessage.com/articles/god%20has%20warned%20believers%20to%20only%20follow%20the%20quran%20FM3.htm
[5]  'BETWEEN HIS HANDS' OR 'BEFORE IT' (MA BAYNA YADAYHI)
http://quransmessage.com/articles/between%20hands%20or%20before%20it%20FM3.htm
[6]  The TWO GUIDES - THE QURAN AND THE BIBLE
https://www.facebook.com/joseph.a.islam/posts/300599863410481
[7]  LAMBASTING THE BIBLE
http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=146


[NOTE 1]:

PRESERVATION OF THE LANGUAGE

The protection of the 'dhikr' (reminder) is assured by the Quran (15:9). This implies both the 'words' of the Quran and an appropriate ability to discern its 'meanings'. Otherwise, the 'dhikr' would be meaningless.

Therefore any source, including classical lexicons, works of grammarians, dictionaries or indeed, any Islamic secondary source as defined above which is used to understand the classical Arabic language is implicitly ratified by the Quran (15:9).

The Prophet was tasked with a responsibility to convey the message of the Quran in Arabic to his people. His people had a responsibility en masse to pass the message to mankind (22:78) both in Arabic and to convey its meaning to those who did not understand the language

Source: http://quransmessage.com/articles/hadith%20FM2.htm

7
Dear All,

Please kindly note that any translations offered based on my articles / work by any member has not been approved by me or checked for accuracy.

These unofficial renditions remain the contributions of the person providing the translations.

Regards,
Joseph

8
Q&As with Joseph Islam - Information Only / Re: Tawaaf
« on: December 30, 2018, 04:27:44 PM »
Peace,

The Quran provides no explicit number of circuits required. [1]

However in my humble view,  it is useful to acknowledge that the current practice of 7 or even more (in remembrance of God) is not incongruent with the Quran’s overarching teachings. Also one circuit close to the Ka’aba is not the same as a circuit completed at the outermost boundaries of the Ka'aba's precinct. Arguably, the intentions will remain paramount with the Quranic proviso “to keep your duty to God as best you can / what you are able... (Arabic: ma is’tata’tum)”

Given the above and personally, I have not found any cogent reason to breach the current practice if I am able to fulfil it. Completing more or less circuits would be a matter of choice given the circumstances presented at the time.

I hope this helps, God willing

Regards,
Joseph


REFERENCES:

[1] THE SEVEN CIRCUITS OF THE KA'ABA
http://quransmessage.com/articles/seven%20circuits%20FM3.htm
[2] DO THE BEST YOU CAN WITH SINCERITY
http://quransmessage.com/articles/best%20you%20can%20FM3.htm

9
Wa alaikum assalam


RESPONSE TO POINT 1:

The verses you have cited of Surah Najm do not provide irrefutable evidence that the Quran was revealed to the Prophet all at once. However, there is explicit and more cogent 'implicit' evidence throughout the Quran that it's revelation was piecemeal.

As I have noted:

"The disbelievers ask, ‘Why is the Quran not revealed to him all at once?’ [25:32] i.e. as one integral unit (Jumlatan Wahida). Regardless of the obvious charge of the polemics of Islam at the time of the Prophet with this statement which hints at a Prophet of God revealing verses to suit certain conditions, the Quran’s statement clearly denies the insinuations and admits to a well-planned and arranged structure despite its piecemeal revelation." [1]


RESPONSE TO POINT 2:

It is correct in my humble view to assert that the Quran provides evidence that the Prophet experienced 'the one mighty in power (shadidu'l-quwa)' twice. This is most likely a reference to Gabriel (2:97) who was tasked with the piecemeal revelation to the Prophet.

Furthermore, it is perfectly reconcilable given the verses cited in this response that the Prophet did see Gabriel in his physical form twice (53:13) but also had the Quran's revelation revealed to him subsequently (as the Quran claims - to his heart) over a period of time (2:97).

There is also further arguable evidence that once these revelations were 'inspired' to the prophet's 'heart', these revelations further manifested to the Prophet in the likeness of dreams (21:5).

I hope this helps, God willing
Joseph


REFERENCES:

[1] THE COMPILATION OF THE QURAN
http://quransmessage.com/articles/the%20compilation%20of%20the%20quran%20FM3.htm

RELATED:

[2] THE NIGHT JOURNEY - ISRA AND MI'RAJ
http://quransmessage.com/articles/lailatul%20miraj%20FM3.htm

10
Wa alaikum assalam

As I trust that you will appreciate, in this context, it would be pointless for me to provide a counter argument for a subjective claim from either someone today or someone from antiquity (or 3rd party claims of what someone may have allegedly said in antiquity). As you will know, there are many that arguably hold a completely different view and remain resolute that the Quranic narrative is in a form that is par excellence.

Furthermore, being 'recognised' as a 'scholar' or having bound written parchments in one's name doesn't automatically entitle one to the mantle of absolute truth. All human endeavour concerning opinions / wider epistemology remains open to critique.

However, what I will respectfully assert is that contrary to popular belief, neither does the Quran make claims of Arabic being a superior language [1], nor does the challenge of the Quran to produce a Surah like it founded on the premise to produce a more eloquent script / narrative. [2]

The Quran simply professes to be a scripture that provides clear / plain guidance in a particular language of a particular people who spoke it [3], clear proof, an explanation of all things necessary for religious guidance for wider believers, a discernment between truth and falsehood and a powerful evidence based scripture imbued with a fine balance [4].

Personally, I have found that the Quran wholly lives up to its claims and to me, provides irrefutable evidence to the truth. Others can disagree of course, that is again, wholly their prerogative.

I hope this helps, God willing
Joseph


REFERENCES:

[1] IS ARABIC A HOLY OR SUPERIOR LANGUAGE?
http://quransmessage.com/articles/is%20arabic%20a%20holy%20language%20FM3.htm
[2] PRODUCE A SURAH LIKE IT - THE CHALLENGE OF THE QURAN
http://quransmessage.com/articles/produce%20a%20surah%20FM3.htm
[3] WHY WAS THE QURAN REVEALED IN ARABIC?
http://quransmessage.com/articles/why%20in%20Arabic%20FM3.htm
[4] HOW THE QURAN DESCRIBES ITSELF
http://quransmessage.com/articles/how%20the%20quran%20describes%20itself%20FM3.htm

11
Wa alaikum assalam

The first point I would like to advance is that God's knowledge or decree of our death is not incongruent with the notion that we also have free will to act out our choices (within the constraints that God allows). Thus the verses you have quoted in which we have input into the outcomes as a consequence of our  choices / endeavours (53:39, 13:11, 14:7) does not necessarily conflict with the knowledge that God possesses (or it’s decree) of the time and place of our demise (56:60).

One way to think of life is in the form of a ‘matrix’. We have an entrance point (birth) and an exit point (death) from this matrix which is decreed. The constraints of the matrix are governed by the Almighty, All Wise Creator who allows us to make ‘certain’ choices (exercising our free will) 'within' the matrix.

With a view to broaden the response further and as I have argued elsewhere, 'free-will' in this context is also better understood as 'managed’ free will. [1] 

All life on earth is temporal. It is a trial bed for humankind which is not without purpose (75:36) but 'designed' to test our mettle (29:2). Therefore, it is not left completely uncontrolled, but is actively managed by God ('yudabbiru l-amra' 13:2) to necessitate a fair platform from which human accountability (of choices) can be justifiably deduced.

This is also supported by numerous verses in the Quran where it is explicit that God 'intervenes' to allow for certain outcomes to take place. For example, please see places of worship being protected (22:40) or the dispatching of angelic forces for the assistance of the believers (3:124).

Another example can be inferred from verse 25:20 where there is the inherent implication that situations / circumstances are ordained. "...And We have made some of you as a trial for others, will you have patience?" (25:20). Another well-known example is within the narrative concerning Prophet Moses and the servant of God, where the latter marred a boat, killed a young boy and where the refusal of hospitality was met with an act of grace with the construction of a wall. (18:65-82). These are all arguably examples of 'divine intervention' that are enacted to manifest a certain outcome.

One mechanism to allow for a certain outcome to take place is through ‘inspiration’ as can be seen when the mother of Prophet Moses placed him in the river (20:38-39) or when a certain outcome was required and the incident of the ‘cup’ was deliberately contrived by God to yield the particular result (12:76).

It also remains noteworthy that God's infinite knowledge transcends time and space.

As I have also mentioned (which supports the above):

“…having infinite knowledge (as God has) DOES NOT mean that human choices were 'ENFORCED'. These are two separate matters which are oft confused under the guise of predestination. God certainly knows our start and our end as part of being the One who encompasses His creation holistically from outside the realms of time (eternity) and space with infinite knowledge. [2] But His purpose was to try us within a ‘created closed realm of time and space’ in a constant battle for us to seek out truth from falsehood whilst exercising our volition in all its widest remit. He then holds us accountable for our choices granting us perfect requital based on our endeavours with not an iota of injustice. [2]

So it all depends on how we define 'destiny' and what we actually mean by 'predetermined' in this context. If 'destiny' is seen as our involvement in the 'matrix' as illustrated above and 'predestination' in terms of 'extent' and 'constraints', I truly believe the topic becomes easier to comprehend. 

I hope this helps, God willing
Joseph


REFERENCES:

[1] Who made God?
http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=1138.msg4943#msg4943
[2] Predestined Destinies
http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=484.msg1559;topicseen#msg1559
[3] Predestination, Afflictions and Trials
http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=256.msg751#msg751


12
Dear brother Hamzeh,

As-salamu alaykum

Thank you for your post which is well argued and really appreciated.  :)
 
As you also quite rightly point out:

  • "What needs to be made clear from this point is that, the Quran does not lack any details at all. It only lacks details from the relative point of whats been added or invented in the name of religion over the past 1400+ years or in others words from the lenses of a present day Islam which one needs to admit that over the span of time could of intentionally or unintentionally obscured its message with false prohibitions and legislations if not resorting to reassessing the source."

I think the prescription of 'ablution' in the Quran also makes this point quite cogently. Here we have a religious ritual that has details unequivocally furnished by the Quran (4:43, 5:6). However, one finds that extra rituals are performed by the traditionalists 'as religious decree' which finds no explicit mention in the Quran such as the rinsing of one’s mouth, the nose cleanse, repeating the washing of the arms thrice etc.

From a Quran-centric position of course, there is no harm in performing these extra rituals as long as they are not considered 'compulsory' as part of religious divine decree. However, the traditionalist must resolve the question that if the Quran does not provide these extra details which the traditionalists accept as compulsory, then how do they square this with the verses where the Quran describes itself as ‘explained in detail’ (11:1) and an ‘explanation / clarification of everything ‘ in matters of religious guidance?

This is a matter they must resolve, cogently.


RELATED:

[1] HOW THE QURAN DESCRIBES ITSELF
http://quransmessage.com/articles/how%20the%20quran%20describes%20itself%20FM3.htm




13
Q&As with Joseph Islam - Information Only / Re: Meaning of the word 'Junub'
« on: November 02, 2018, 03:59:55 PM »
Peace,

'Junub' in the context of verse 4:43 refers to a state that is caused by sexual intercourse and discharge of semen.

"He was, or became, in the state of one who is termed جُنُب; (S, IAth, Mgh, L, Msb, K;) i. e., under the obligation of performing a total ablution, by reason of sexual intercourse and discharge of the semen." [1]

I hope this helps, God willing

Regards,
Joseph


REFERENCE:

[1] LANE. E.W, Edward Lanes Lexicon, Williams and Norgate 1863; Librairie du Liban Beirut-Lebanon 1968, Volume 2, Page 465

14
What the Quran-centric approach is and what it is not for me.

http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=2622

15
Discussions / Quran-centrism
« on: October 23, 2018, 07:07:11 PM »
QURAN-CENTRISM


1. To uphold the Quran as the final divine testimony and authority for believers.

2. Rejects the 'authority' of any other source as a divinely ordained religious source for believers.

3. Continues to engage with any secondary source to better understand communities in antiquity, their thoughts, expressions and how they interpreted / practiced their religion. This is only with a view to extract wider wisdom if possible. This engagement does not imply validation of its 'religious authority'. These sources are always open to debate / discussion and critique.

4. Appreciates the efforts of the intellectuals and thinkers of the past and present. However, this does not imply that their views are to be followed as if they possess divine authority. Their thoughts are always open to scrutiny and critique.

5. Does not reject the 'Ahadith corpus' in toto on the basis of its inauthenticity. Whilst the corpus may have doubtful integrity, it is the 'religious authority' of the corpus which is denied.

6. The Biblical scriptures, the particular canons available during the Quran's revelation are appreciated with a view to engage with. They are to be utilised if a further enquiry to context is of interest. It is important to remember that the Prophet was also referred back to the knowledgeable folk from the People of the Book to verify claims if he was in doubt (16:43; 21:7-8).

7. Does not dismiss traditions outright. Only those traditions, practices and beliefs are dismissed that are deemed to be incongruent with the overarching message of the Quran. There is no intention to 'throw the baby out with the bathwater'.



RELATED ARTICLES:

[1] The Quran-centric Position
https://www.facebook.com/joseph.a.islam/posts/330796700390797

[2] Two Crucial Differences Between the 'Quranist' (ism) and 'Quran-Centric' Approach
https://www.facebook.com/joseph.a.islam/posts/542672849203180

[3] An example of a Quran-centric approach - Wash or Wipe in Ablution?
https://www.facebook.com/joseph.a.islam/posts/481405705329895

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