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Offline optimist

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Re: four birds or four parts of the bird
« Reply #45 on: July 05, 2012, 12:35:59 PM »
We can continue to surmise ad infinitum. With respect, you will have to provide clear evidence that the Christians at the time of the Quran's revelation understood these narratives as allegories.

We know how the Christians understood these narratives of the Bible before the time of the Quran.  At the time of the revelation of the Quran, these thoughts were not corrected, but confirmed. This would have been the perfect time for the Quran to correct Biblical theology as it does in other areas. However, it did not.
Wa'alaikumu'ssalam,

I will say "Confirming what is between your hands from the Book" mentioned in the Quran means confirming what were actually stated in the original scriptures....not their actual beliefs at the time of the Quran's revelation.....Therefore, what is actually required to be investigated is whether all these miracles were mentioned in the original scriptures were allegorical or not.  I have come across in a google search many interesting such works from Christian scholars.  One of such works  I am reading (just out of curiosity) at the moment is; The miracles of Exodus  By John Plkinghorne -  A scientist’s discovery of the extraordinary natural causes of the biblical stories.

Even reading the Bible itself we can see many allegorical statements as such as,

Matthew 17:20 Jesus says quite clearly:  For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.

In John 2:19  the Jews demanded Jesus what miraculous sign can you show to prove your  authority to do all this? Jesus answered them? Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three  days? The Jews replied, It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you  are going to raise it in three days??

Please notice a spiritual connection in the above statements rather than literal understanding...see how Jesus telling them with spiritual power even the people can do miracles like moving a mountain!!

Well, the only question someone can ask; why such literal understandings were not corrected by Quran (there is NO question of confirmation prevailing beliefs of  Christians....what is confirmed by Quran is only what is mentioned in original scriptures...if these miracles are mentioned allegorically allegorical, if literally literal).  The plausible explanation for not specifically correcting could be, Allah would be deviating from His ways by doing literal explanation of something which he had decided to explain allegorically, another plausible reason could be it would be impossible for literal explanation, also the reason could be,  the issue is not something affecting the foundation of Deen, etc.   Anyhow, such a question has no relevance here.  It is like someone asked me recently why in Quran it was not specifically stated that many people will start to compile the hadiths of the prophet after prophet’s death and start to follow such hadiths,  and if Allah had done so the present day Muslims would not have been under the trap of Shaythan!! (May be, If Allah had stated such a comment in this way it would not have been possible to preserve the Quran as we see today….the criminals would have caused corruptions in verses of Quran as well).   Such questions have no relevance.   One can ask such questions out of curiosity only.

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Once again, please accept my post as the last on this topic.

With respect.

Joseph.

I respect your decision.....I do have lot of respect for you....more than you can imagine.  Take care always

Salamun Alaikum
The meaning which was lost in all our divisions will not be understood until our perceptions become untainted -  Allama Iqbal

Offline Truth Seeker

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Re: four birds or four parts of the bird
« Reply #46 on: July 06, 2012, 04:22:30 AM »
Salaam Optomist,

A lot of verses that you claim to be allegorical are in fact part of a bigger narrative. That is, when God is recalling an event in the past, we are conveyed a series of incidents and conversations which give us a fuller picture of what happened.

So I wonder then, when we read through the narratives, why an allegory would be inserted mid way for no reason.
This would throw the reader off because the Quran is narrating factually a whole scene to us where we are told that x said this and y replied,then this happened and then the story concludes.

I note your comments on G. Parvez's in depth work with Arabic. This is no mean feat and I hope that God rewards him for all his efforts InshAllah.
However, he would be better placed that most would you not agree, to be able to understand the context and nuances of the verses. He, because of his beliefs that miracles do not exist, seems to have pushed aside what is clearly being narrated.


The story of Prophet Moses for example, when he faces Pharoah and his magicians is an example of an event in history.The story starts from 7.103 :

'Then we sent after them (the messengers) Moses with Our signs to Pharaoh and his chiefs, but they disbelieved in them; so see what the end of the corrupters was.'

We can clearly see that a FACTUAL series of events is about to be relayed to us regarding the plight of Prophet Moses. Clearly depicted in Arabic, are conversations that ensued and incidents that occurred.

Now by saying that in between this, allegories are being introduced  midway into the story for example when we are told that his staff turns into a serpent and his hand becomes white in response to Phaorah's challenge, is nonsensical. This is not contextually correct in this whole section (7.103 till 7.145)

I could argue that Pharoah's threat to chop off hands and feet on opposite sides is an allegory which really means that he will cut off the sustenance and family from those who deflect.
But in the context of the story, you would obviously say that he is literal in his statement.

We are not left in the dark regarding allegories. They do exist but they are presented clearly to the reader as such because in these verses God asks us to ponder and consider similitudes.

Otherwise we will have no way of discerning fact from fiction and everyone would be singing from a different hymn sheet.





Offline optimist

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Re: four birds or four parts of the bird
« Reply #47 on: July 06, 2012, 10:40:54 AM »
Dear Truth Seeker,  Salamun Alaikum

Let me respond to you by citing a beautiful verse from Quran;

And We never sent before you (O Muhammad) any of the Messengers but verily, they ate food and walked in the markets. (25:20)

The above verse contains a powerful message.....please THINK how Allah compares prophet with other messengers.  The above verse contains very powerful message.   Keeping this verse  in mind, let us look into the verse you have quoted;   

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'Then we sent after them (the messengers) Moses with Our signs to Pharaoh and his chiefs, but they disbelieved in them; so see what the end of the corrupters was.'
A layman’s understanding from the above verse could be;  Moses showed great signs like a live serpant swallowing faked serpants, and showed his hand producing light, but Pharoah and his cheifs disbelieved! 

In fact, looking at the Quran you will see Quran is full of the monumental struggle which prophets had to do to succeed in their missions . 

[But] do you think that you could enter paradise without having suffered like those [believers] who passed away before you? Misfortune and hardship befell them, and so shaken were they that the apostle, and the believers with him, would exclaim, "When will God's succour come?" Oh, verily, God's succour is [always] near!  (2:214)

Rejected were the messengers before thee: with patience and constancy they bore their rejection and their wrongs, until Our aid did reach them”(6:34)

“The fair promise of thy Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel, because they had patience and constancy, and We levelled to the ground the great works and fine buildings which Pharaoh and his people erected (with such pride)”(7:137)

Sura ‘Araaf cites Moses’ people requesting Allah to “write for us good things in this life as well as in the hereafter.” Allah’s response was: “These (good things) are written for those who (are ‘muttaqeen) follow Allah’s laws.  

Said Moses to his people: "Pray for help from Allah, and (wait) in patience and constancy: for the earth is Allah's, to give as a heritage to such of His servants as He pleaseth; and the end is (best) for the righteous. (7:128)

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We can clearly see that a FACTUAL series of events is about to be relayed to us regarding the plight of Prophet Moses. Clearly depicted in Arabic, are conversations that ensued and incidents that occurred.

Now by saying that in between this, allegories are being introduced  midway into the story for example when we are told that his staff turns into a serpent and his hand becomes white in response to Phaorah's challenge, is nonsensical. This is not contextually correct in this whole section (7.103 till 7.145)

I am not saying we will be doing a big crime in understanding allegorically explained miracles literally since the issue of miracles (understanding allegorical narratives like an Ant's speech and acting of as a real Ant's is not a major issue as litereally understanding narratives like Hands of Allah, face of Allah, etc).   But it will make us fail to appreciate long, sustained, crushing battle that the previous prophets and his people had to undergo before success reached them (2:214).   It will negate facts like Allah will never bring about a change in a nations conditions unless they change themselves.  Suddently you start to view just a miraculous rod winning a battle against a mighty army.  In fact those who strive in the path of Allah will have to undergo many struggles and painful experiences before success reach them;

“You will face war and killing, shortage of food, loss of life and property, damage to crops and orchards. But eventually, good news will come to the steadfast who constantly keep in view their target of replacing the wrong evil system with the right good one. They say” “We are devoted to this cause. Regardless of problems and difficulties, we will keep striving to achieve that goal by moving towards that target” (2 : 155-156).

The above success comes with Man’s own effort which bears fruit in a collective (social) form of life of a nation, not through any miracles from heaven.  It is the message of the Quran. 
The meaning which was lost in all our divisions will not be understood until our perceptions become untainted -  Allama Iqbal

Offline Truth Seeker

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Re: four birds or four parts of the bird
« Reply #48 on: July 07, 2012, 04:36:22 AM »
Salaam,

I think that we can still appreciate the struggle that the prophets and messengers faced as humans in their endevour to convice others of the Truth as well as believing that God aided some by providing miracles. These were merely sent to further prove the existence of God beyond doubt once they saw His display of power. They would therefore have no excuse on the Day of Judgement.

God knew that the majority would disbelieve yet He still sent these 'signs' sometimes in the form of miracles and other times as a final warning before His punishment ensued.

If He then decided to put a stop to these signs when it came to the Quran it is clearly His perrogative. He is never unfair. Each generation had different ways of receiving the Truth.

We could question then why were all the people who disbelieved not destroyed when they had a messenger/s amongst them?
 
You would say that it is God's perrrogative. He always knows the conditon of a people and in what way they should receive the message.

Offline Wakas

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    • What does The Quran really say?
Re: four birds or four parts of the bird
« Reply #49 on: August 05, 2012, 10:10:50 AM »
salaam all,

Some translate this verse to mean birds were cut up and brought back alive, whilst others translate it as birds were trained/tamed and returned back to Abraham. In my view, the latter is the most likely translation based on the evidence.

Shakir And when Ibrahim said: My Lord! show me how Thou givest life to the dead, He said: What! and do you not believe? He said: Yes, but that my heart may be at ease. He said: Then take four of the birds, then train them to follow you, then place on every mountain a part of them, then call them, they will come to you flying; and know that Allah is Mighty, Wise.

Further reading:
http://aaiil.org/text/articles/bash/referencebirdsquran.shtml