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Offline Zack

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Is love and goodness a part of God's nature?
« on: April 11, 2014, 10:42:02 AM »
Dear Joseph

I am reading at the moment of the move of Islam away from Rationalism and recognizing the value of sciences  in the 11th century. It was said to be replaced with an understanding of God as pure "will" / takdir, where God did not act in according to a  loving and compassionate nature, as that would be viewed as a  limit upon his actions. Weather forecasts are a violation of recognizing Gods omnipotence, in that there are no natural laws, only what God wills.

Quotes were from 2:284 that God does as he pleases; 5:40 He punishes who he pleases are used.

This would seem to be a major departure in what is understood of the God of the Torah and Injil. Obviously "who God is" did not suddenly change from one era to the next.

How would you respond to this as a Muslim scholar?


Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Is love and goodness a part of God's nature?
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2014, 10:38:42 PM »
As-salam alaykum Zack,

Notwithstanding the fact that God's nature has often been misconstrued and God's agents such as His noble prophets and messengers have been raised to part with a truer representation of God, His nature and purpose, I wholeheartedly concur that God's nature does not change from one era to the next. This can also be seen in the manner He deals with persistent transgressors. [1]

“On account of their arrogance in the land and their plotting of evil, but the plotting of evil will only encompass its own people. Now are they but waiting for the way the ancients were dealt with? But no change will you find in God's way (Arabic: Sunnata-llahi): and never will you find in God's way (Arabic: Sunnata-llahi) any change"

Without commenting on the material that you are currently studying or the thoughts of Muslims of a particular period, God's benevolence has been persistently mentioned throughout the Quran. Every initiation of a Surah (bar one - Surah 9) begins with words which speak about God’s compassion and the Quran is absolutely clear that His compassion is overriding. [2]

“Say: "To whom belongs all that is in the Heavens and on Earth?" Say: "To God. He has inscribed for Himself (the rule of) Mercy (Arabic: Kataba ala nafsihi l-rahma). That He will gather you together for the Day of Judgment, there is no doubt whatever. It is they who have lost their own souls that will not believe”

"When those come to thee who believe in Our signs, Say: "Peace be on you: Your Lord has inscribed for Himself (the rule of) mercy (Arabic: Kataba ala nafsihi): surely, if any of you did evil in ignorance, and thereafter repented, and amends (his conduct), lo! He is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful"

God's love, compassion is also clearly noted in the following verse. One's good is multiplied beyond its merits. However, the evil is only punished to the extent of the evil that is committed. Despite the evil, the doors still remain open for repentance until a moment decreed.
"He that does good shall have ten times as much to his credit: He that does evil shall only be recompensed according to his evil (or the like of it Arabic: illa mith'laha): no wrong shall be done unto (any of) them"

Therefore, in my humble view and given the overarching philosophy of the Quran's message, verses such as 2:284 and 5:40 should not be interpreted to imply God's will as arbitrary. He certainly has a plan and within His wisdom, He manifests His will. He has clearly mentioned that no soul will bear an iota of injustice, yet good will be multiplied.

"Indeed, God does not do injustice, (even) as much as an atom's weight. And if there is a good deed, He multiplies it and gives from Himself a great reward."

Finally, as far as weather forecasts are concerned, I respectfully do not see how this is violation of recognising God's omnipotence. Indeed God does what He wills in measure and His wisdom making use of the laws and His creation, to manifest His will. (35:9, et al)

I hope that helps, God willing


[2] A GENEROUS, LOVING AND FORGIVING LORD,%20forgiving%20lord%20FM3.htm
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline good logic

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Re: Is love and goodness a part of God's nature?
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2014, 06:18:58 AM »
Greetings jack.

A researcher of Qoran can easily notice that positive and negative have always been graphically displayed side by side with no ambiguity: evil versus righteousness, misery versus peace. Even God's messengers and scriptures have been declared in Qoran as bearers of good news as well as warners, thus, rewards are right next to punishment

This approach of presenting both sides of the truth by God has led to famous misconceptions and baseless claims about "God of the Muslims" or "Allah". We always hear the claim that He (God of Muslims) is not merciful and that He is presenting a lot of intolerance, violence, and revenge in the "book of Muslims," or Qoran

For example:

[Qoran 47:12] God admits those who believe and lead a righteous life into gardens with flowing streams. As for those who disbelieve, they live and eat like the animals eat, then end up in the hellfire.

[Qoran 7:64] They rejected him. Consequently, we saved him and those with him in the ark, and we drowned those who rejected our revelations; they were blind.

[Qoran 11:94] When our judgment came, we saved Shu`aib and those who believed with him, by mercy from us. As for the evil ones, they were struck by a disaster that left them dead in their homes.

Many see a big contradiction.Although repeated to us 114 times that God is the Most Gracious, Most Merciful, some still question these attributes, challenging them with the display of revenge ( "God is Almighty, Avenger." 3:4, 5:95, 14:47, 39:37) and retribution as a consequence of our unrighteous choices (2:167, 3:137, 6:5 and many more). This challenge is erroneous and must be refuted based on the realization that the true essence of mercy must encompass the whole spectrum of all the other attributes scattered throughout Qoran including the "seemingly anti-mercy" ones.

To explain that, we, as believers and students of Qoran, should trust in the fact that the negative side presented by God perfectly conforms with His attribute of being "The Most Merciful." A deep analysis of God's lessons and reminders should lead us to the conclusion that it is illogical and unjust for "the Most Merciful" to offer unconditional forgiveness and love EQUALLY to all humans. That would NEVER be befitting the Source of all Perfection. A god who engages himself to this kind of conduct cannot be trusted,or indeed be just. Good and evil are not the same, hence they cannot be treated equally.

[Qoran 21:47] We will establish the scales of justice on the Day of Resurrection. No soul will suffer the least injustice. Even the equivalent of a mustard seed will be accounted for. We are the most efficient reckoners.

[Qoran 40:58] Not equal are the blind and the seer. Nor are those who believe and work righteousness equal to the sinners. Rarely do you take heed.

[Qoran 68:33] Such was the requital. But the retribution of the Hereafter is far worse, if they only knew.
 [Qoran 68:34] The righteous have deserved, at their Lord, gardens of bliss.
 [Qoran 68:35] Shall we treat the Submitters like the criminals?
 [Qoran 68:36] What is wrong with your logic?

These are powerful yet beautiful descriptions of His dominion and His mercy..

GOD bless you.

Total loyalty to GOD

Offline Zack

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Re: Is love and goodness a part of God's nature?
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2014, 05:28:14 PM »
Thank you very much for your response....

Much appreciated