Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
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06-09-2012, 11:05 AM (This post was last modified: 06-09-2012 11:45 AM by Internet Mullah.)
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
(16-07-2012 07:59 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Muslims assert that Allah is a later evolution, and indeed the same divine being, (in pre Islamic times), as Yahweh, the god of the other guys, (the Patriarchs, Prophets, and Apostles...the Jewish people, and the Christians). Thus the ONLY issue is the obvious one of continuity. If Allah really IS Yahweh, then "he" is just, if not more ridiculous, than the Yahweh god, (the "God of the Armies", better known to Christians as the "Lord of Hosts"). Even some Christians attempt to say Islam is one of the three "Abrahamics". Historically, this is false.

Yahweh is easily refuted, historically. So the question is, "is Allah, (Ilah) a DIFFERENT deity, or a continuity?". While the claim in Islam is that the deity IS a continuity, in fact it isn't. Allah, upon historical examination, proves to be a pre-Islamic deity. The continuity claim is essential if the claim to a "continuous flow" of revelation is to remain intact. Allah, historically, has been proven to be a PRE-ISLAMIC moon-god. In fact Mecca was originally built as a shrine to the moon-god. The religious claims are shredded by the archaeology, just as happens with the Yahweh claims. Allah, just as Yahweh, had a wife. He was married to the sun goddess, and the stars were the daughters. Just as Yahweh, Allah was not the only god in the house. The popularity of the moon god, began to wane, as astronomers began to predict the moon's cycle, so Arabs began to say that the moon-god was the greatest of the gods, just as Yahweh came to be seen as the one god, when in fact he was one of many. Besides the moon-god, they also worshiped 359 other known gods at the Kabah in Mecca.

The temple of the moon god remained active as a worship site well into the Christian era, and the moon god was worshiped in both North Arabia, and South Arabia in Muhammad's day, and was still the dominant cult. The name of the moon god was "Sin", but it's title was al-ilah, which meant "the deity", (emphasis on "the"), ie meaning this deity was the chief among the gods. The god Il, or "Ilah", was a PHASE of the moon god. Allah was a popular name. Muhammad's father and uncle had "Allah", as part of their names. Allah is NEVER defined in the Qur'an. Why ? Because Muhammad was raised in the cult of the moon-god, and he assumed that everyone already knew who he was. Muhammad just went the extra step, (as the later Jews did), and said he was one of many, then was first of many, then the only.

The claim that Allah IS Yahweh is nonsense. Islam is a moon-god cult, AND even if Allah were Yahweh, since Yahweh is nonsense, so is Allah.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZY2eeozdo8

The first and most important thing to understand about this, Bucky Ball, is that "Allah" is merely the Arabic word for God. The claim that Allah was a "moon god" is simply a Christian anti-Muslim propaganda or a lie. This propaganda started to spread since the demise of Christian polemicist Robert Morey, and been polished on by other Christian missionaries as well (such as Robert Spencer more recently), but the fact is that their claims have been thoroughly refuted by academics in the field of archaeology and even by the explicit statements of the Quran itself. They're fighting a losing battle, and so the "moon god" theory is only one of the most recent of their many failed attempts to disparage Muslims and their religion.

Although there is little doubt about the existence of moon gods worshiped in Arabia before and during Muhammad's time, there are several weaknesses with identifying this moon god with Allah. Hubal, Illat, Ta'lab, Wadd, Amm, and Sin were the Moon gods of ancient Arabian mythology, but the name "Allah" has nothing to do with the moon. In fact, Muhammad initially adopted the term "Allah" as it was used by the Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians of his day for referring to the God of the Bible. The Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians used the term Allah for God even long before the time of Muhammad. This is known based on textual, lexical, historical, and theological sources.

"Elah" is the hebrew word for God, and the Aramaic equivalent of it is "Alaha,", taken from the Biblical Aramaic "Elaha" - and since Arabic is a sister language of the two languages - Allah is the Arabic cognate of the Aramaic word "Alaha." Given the prevalence of Judaism and Christianity in Arabia, the name "Alaha" would have been well-known and one would expect them to have Arabicized it by dropping the final "a" vowel. Also, you'll see that the words "Elah," "Eloah," and "Alaha" appear in many places in the Tanakh (Jewish canon) such as in the books Ezra, Daniel, and Jeremiah when referring to the god of the Jews. These names are etymologically related to Allah.

For clarification, here is a Yemeni Jew who speaks Arabic, Hebrew, and Aramaic confirming himself that Allah is not the name of a moon god, but merely the Arabic form of a Hebrew word for God, and that the associations that ignorant Christians try to make linguistically to "prove" that "Allah" is the name of a moon god is not only false, but also unwittingly condemns the same Hebrew god they claim to worship.

The Quran itself affirms that the Islamic god is the same as the Judeo-Christian one. And the word used for God is "Allah." Over twenty prophets of Allah are mentioned in the Quran, each corresponding to a prophet in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Muslims have always believed that they worship the same God as the God of the Bible. They believe in the God of Israel, whom the Jews believed in, and whom the Christians referred to as the Father. The Quran says:

"Do not argue with the People of the Book [the Jews and Christians] except in the kindest possible manner, save those of them who are oppressive, and say: “We believe in what was revealed to us and what was revealed to you; our God and your God are one and the same, and to Him do we submit ourselves.” (Quran, 29:46)

Here are some other verses in the Quran which certainly imply that Allah is not just a moon god:

One of the signs of the Judgment Day is the splitting of the moon (Quran 54:01); Allah created the moon with the rest of the heavens, and the moon's purpose is to help us tell time (Quran 6:96) and to be a beautiful light (Quran 10:05); Allah has authority over it as well as everything else in the heavens (Quran 7:54); Those who worship the sun, moon, and/or idols will be the inhabitants of Hell. Allah strictly forbid us from worshipping the sun, moon, nor anything except Himself (Quran 41:37); Allah is the creator of everything (Quran 6:102); And the moon will last only for an appointed time (Quran 13:2, 31:29) but Allah is eternal (Quran 3:02).

Robert Morey, as I mentioned earlier, was a Christian polemicist and he was the first to invent the moon god theory of Allah. But, not surprisingly, his theory has been proven to be just a shoddy work of pseudo-scholarship and none of his archeological findings signify that Allah was a moon god. Upon close examination, it will be observed that on numerous occasions Morey has resorted to suppression of evidence, forgery, deception, and deliberate misquotation in an attempt to prove that Allah was a moon god. But, again, it was an embarrassing and a paltry attempt, and there is also a very long and thorough refutation of Morey's moon god arguments which you can read about in this article. So, bring any evidence that Allah was a moon god, and I will heartily explain to you in specific details why that is not correct.

Morey and other Christians of his type will just try to mislead or confuse the average, non-academic audiences about Islam. That's why you have to take the time to research such topics, brother. You cannot take the word "Allah" and just throw it around as if it's a piece of play-dough, molding and hurling upon it whatever criticism you wish to lay at the feet of Muslims at any particular time.
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06-09-2012, 11:06 AM (This post was last modified: 06-09-2012 11:10 AM by Internet Mullah.)
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
(16-07-2012 07:59 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Muslims assert that Allah is a later evolution, and indeed the same divine being, (in pre Islamic times), as Yahweh, the god of the other guys, (the Patriarchs, Prophets, and Apostles...the Jewish people, and the Christians). Thus the ONLY issue is the obvious one of continuity. If Allah really IS Yahweh, then "he" is just, if not more ridiculous, than the Yahweh god, (the "God of the Armies", better known to Christians as the "Lord of Hosts"). Even some Christians attempt to say Islam is one of the three "Abrahamics". Historically, this is false.

Yahweh is easily refuted, historically. So the question is, "is Allah, (Ilah) a DIFFERENT deity, or a continuity?". While the claim in Islam is that the deity IS a continuity, in fact it isn't. Allah, upon historical examination, proves to be a pre-Islamic deity. The continuity claim is essential if the claim to a "continuous flow" of revelation is to remain intact. Allah, historically, has been proven to be a PRE-ISLAMIC moon-god. In fact Mecca was originally built as a shrine to the moon-god. The religious claims are shredded by the archaeology, just as happens with the Yahweh claims. Allah, just as Yahweh, had a wife. He was married to the sun goddess, and the stars were the daughters. Just as Yahweh, Allah was not the only god in the house. The popularity of the moon god, began to wane, as astronomers began to predict the moon's cycle, so Arabs began to say that the moon-god was the greatest of the gods, just as Yahweh came to be seen as the one god, when in fact he was one of many. Besides the moon-god, they also worshiped 359 other known gods at the Kabah in Mecca.

The temple of the moon god remained active as a worship site well into the Christian era, and the moon god was worshiped in both North Arabia, and South Arabia in Muhammad's day, and was still the dominant cult. The name of the moon god was "Sin", but it's title was al-ilah, which meant "the deity", (emphasis on "the"), ie meaning this deity was the chief among the gods. The god Il, or "Ilah", was a PHASE of the moon god. Allah was a popular name. Muhammad's father and uncle had "Allah", as part of their names. Allah is NEVER defined in the Qur'an. Why ? Because Muhammad was raised in the cult of the moon-god, and he assumed that everyone already knew who he was. Muhammad just went the extra step, (as the later Jews did), and said he was one of many, then was first of many, then the only.

The claim that Allah IS Yahweh is nonsense. Islam is a moon-god cult, AND even if Allah were Yahweh, since Yahweh is nonsense, so is Allah.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZY2eeozdo8

I will now also discuss the history of the crescent moon (the one in my avatar) in addition to my previous reply to your "moon-god" theory post.

The crescent moon and star symbol goes back thousands of years. It goes back before the time of Muhammad who never used the crescent moon as a symbol for Islam. Information on the origins of the symbol are difficult to ascertain, but most sources agree that these ancient celestial symbols were in use by the peoples of Central Asia and Siberia in their worship of sun, moon, and sky gods.The pre-Christian Greek city of Byzantium used the Crescent Moon and star as the flag of the city before Christians renamed the city, Constantinople. The Pagan and later Islamic Turkic people of central Asia used the Crescent Moon symbol of the heavens.

The crescent symbol did not become an "official symbol" for Islam until the rise of the Ottoman Empire. The Prophet Muhammad certainly never used the symbol. Neither did the Muslims use it for hundreds of years. It was only in the nineteenth century that the Ottoman Empire used the crescent symbol on their flag.

The Ottoman Turks were converts to Islam and they retained the pre-Islamic crescent and star symbol from their pagan faith. When the Turks conquered Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1453, they adopted the city's existing flag and symbol. And legend holds that the founder of the Ottoman Empire, Osman, had a dream in which the crescent moon stretched from one end of the earth to the other. Taking this as a good omen, he chose to keep the crescent symbol and make it the symbol of his dynasty.

For hundreds of years, the Ottoman Turks ruled over the Islamic world and, after centuries of battle with Christian Europe, it is understandable how the symbols of this empire became linked in people's minds with the faith of Islam as a whole. With no icon representing the faith, the crescent moon became the stand-in symbol for Islam. The Ottoman Empire expanded to involve much of the Islamic world and soon “Muslim” became synonymous with “Turk” to the Europeans. Therefore, the crescent became associated not just with the Ottoman Empire, but Islam in general.

Although it is true that the crescent symbol is pagan in origin, it cannot be used as a proof that the Muslims used to worship the moon, since the crescent becoming an official symbol for Islam is a recent phenomenon. During Muhammad’s time (and hundreds of years thereafter), the Muslims did not use the crescent moon a symbol for Islam. Many Muslims even today reject using the moon as a symbol for Islam since they know that it was essentially an ancient pagan icon.

I, personally, have a neutral position on this because I do not love the symbol nor do I oppose it. To me, it is merely a symbol for Islam. The star of David is used to symbolize Judaism, but that doesn't mean that Jews worship the stars nor that Yahweh is a star god. The cross is used to symbolize Christianity, but that doesn't mean that Christians worship the cross. Similarly, it is not logical to think that Muslims worship the moon or that Allah is a moon god in Islam just because we use that as a symbol for Islam.
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06-09-2012, 11:08 AM
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
(06-09-2012 11:01 AM)Internet Mullah Wrote:  
(15-07-2012 12:45 PM)SlipStitch Wrote:  If your god hated these things so much as it seems he does, why would he have created them in the first place? What is the logic behind putting something that tastes good in front of people who would then want to consume it and tell them they're forbidden from doing so? That seems overly cruel of this god, in my opinion. I know the Christian god used to have the same rules and that Jewish folks still follow those old rules in much the same way as Muslims do now, but it still baffles me that these things are still practiced.

We believe that God has put a lot of tempting things in this world, but there are some of them that God has forbidden for Muslims to consume and/or to take part in. Some of these forbidden things in Islam include alcohol, bacon, ham, and pork, for example. We are not supposed to gamble either as it is a sin according to the Quran. Some scholars say that music is also forbidden in Islam although there is a difference of opinion on that. Why did God forbid these things? There may be different reasons for each of them, but the general reason for their prohibition is that sometimes we have to sacrifice our temptations or the desire for something pleasurable for the cause of a higher end, or for the sake of God, essentially. Refraining from the prohibited things is a way of showing our love and our obedience to Him.

Another lesson of this is that we have to seek the spiritual pleasures more than the material pleasures of this world, and this particular message is conveyed in many places throughout the Quran, i.e. that material pleasures such as food, money, sex, and all that stuff will be of no benefit to us in the next life. All those thing will disappear one day (according to Muslim belief), but our deeds and our actions will be recorded and they will not disappear unlike the tangible things that we see around us.

As for the Islamic prohibition of pork, specifically, the reason is because this one of the foods that are considered "impure" to eat according to verse 6:145 in the Quran. I don't know what that means exactly, but maybe the reason for God banning it is because the harms of eating them outweigh the benefits, or maybe they are banned because of the unhealthy things contained in them such as a high amount of toxins, high fat content, parasitic worms, etc. (hence the word "impure").

Similarly, alcoholic drinks are also forbidden for Muslims because of the potential harmful effects it can have on a person (even when consumed in moderation).

The level of your ignorance is shown by " bacon, ham, and pork, for example". They are all pork.

The level of your indoctrination is shown by "Why did God forbid these things?"
You only have a book that says someone said that Muhammed said that God said this. Why would you believe hearsay of hearsay of hearsay?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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06-09-2012, 11:11 AM (This post was last modified: 06-09-2012 11:15 AM by Internet Mullah.)
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
(21-07-2012 12:57 AM)Atothetheist Wrote:  Do you believe in Free Will... And if ya do, Do ya believe God developed the circumstances for free will to be explioted? (Evil, Decievery?, etc?

Yes, I believe in free will. And yes, I believe that God developed the circumstances for free will to be exploited. But, that doesn't mean that God compels or causes us to exploit our free will. Rather, we do it ourselves. That's why we will be held accountable for our actions. I don't believe that we have complete free will, but I believe that we must have at least some degree of free will in order for personal accountability and love of God to have any real meaning in our lives whatsoever. A strict view of predetermination seems to reduce God to a universal puppet-master, and a cruel one at that, in my opinion. I have discussed the issue of free will more in this post.

A lot of our circumstances are forced on us indeed, which means that we have no choice in them, such as the day when we were born, the color of our skin, the color of our eyes, when we will die, etc. All of these are matters over which we have no control. They happen to us in a predetermined fashion. So, given that these are matters in which people have no free will, they do not have anything to do with Paradise or Hell, or good or bad. But, on the other hand, some of our actions are the open to free will or choice, such as choosing what to eat or drink, when to sleep, what to do for a living, where to live, and so on. I think that we have at least some degree of free will in those matters.

The Quran states that all humans have, ingrained in their souls, a basic guidance to understand the great evils and to make the correct spiritual choices so that each person is at least responsible for his response to that basic spiritual guidance. This innate guidance must be nurtured or else it will die and everyone will be held responsible for failing or succeeding in hearkening the basic calls of their ingrained God-consciousness. We are told in the Quran to adhere to the "divine nature mady by God upon which He has created all people.” (30:30). This divine nature, or spiritual nature, is termed "fitrah" in the Quran as it appears in the original Arabic.

The "fitrah" in every person is the origin of all spiritual matters and goodness. Fitrah refers to having a pure heart which is ready to accept the truth. Fitrah, in it's Quranic use, is more of an internal spiritual compass that is deeply imbedded in us but within our unconsciousness. We can either bring it to consciousness or we can suppress it. We have to bring it to our consciousness by using our intellect (or "aql") which is a mostly conscious exercise that we may use in harmony with our fitrah or to suppress our fitrah.

The opposite of fitrah is "tabi'ah" (or animal nature), which is referred to as the origin of all material and instinctive matters. Islam teaches that man is a being of free will that continuously chooses either the way of his fitrah (spiritual nature) or the way of his tabi’ah (animal nature), and so it is with this free will that man determines his life in the Hereafter.

Here's a good article on free will:

Free Will and Determinism from a Scientific and Religious Perspective
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06-09-2012, 11:19 AM
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
(06-09-2012 11:11 AM)Internet Mullah Wrote:  A strict view of predetermination seems to reduce God to a universal puppet-master, and a cruel one at that, in my opinion.
The puppet-master god is an excellent metaphor. That being said, it does sound a lot like Calvinism. Consider

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06-09-2012, 11:27 AM
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
(06-09-2012 11:08 AM)Chas Wrote:  The level of your ignorance is shown by " bacon, ham, and pork, for example". They are all pork.

Okay, I get it now.

I just said those three items to mean that all kind of pork-made foods are prohibited in Islam. But, yeah, maybe that was redundant.

(06-09-2012 11:08 AM)Chas Wrote:  You only have a book that says someone said that Muhammed said that God said this. Why would you believe hearsay of hearsay of hearsay?

You think it is hearsay. But, according to my study of the history of Islam, the Quran, and the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and upon my reflection of myself and everything else around me, all of this tells me that Islam is the religion that makes the most sense whenever I open my heart and mind and begin to think about these things.
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06-09-2012, 11:30 AM
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
(06-09-2012 11:27 AM)Internet Mullah Wrote:  
(06-09-2012 11:08 AM)Chas Wrote:  You only have a book that says someone said that Muhammed said that God said this. Why would you believe hearsay of hearsay of hearsay?

You think it is hearsay. But, according to my study of the history of Islam, the Quran, and the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and upon my reflection of myself and everything else around me, all of this tells me that Islam is the religion that makes the most sense whenever I open my heart and mind and begin to think about these things.
How does any of that change the fact that it's based on hearsay? Drinking Beverage

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06-09-2012, 12:50 PM
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
(06-09-2012 11:27 AM)Internet Mullah Wrote:  
(06-09-2012 11:08 AM)Chas Wrote:  The level of your ignorance is shown by " bacon, ham, and pork, for example". They are all pork.

Okay, I get it now.

I just said those three items to mean that all kind of pork-made foods are prohibited in Islam. But, yeah, maybe that was redundant.

(06-09-2012 11:08 AM)Chas Wrote:  You only have a book that says someone said that Muhammed said that God said this. Why would you believe hearsay of hearsay of hearsay?

You think it is hearsay. But, according to my study of the history of Islam, the Quran, and the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and upon my reflection of myself and everything else around me, all of this tells me that Islam is the religion that makes the most sense whenever I open my heart and mind and begin to think about these things.

That's one way. I open my mind to evidence, to the universe around me, and no religion makes any sense at all.

I don't accept as evidence obviously made-up stories that were assembled after the purported events by people who had no first-hand knowledge.

Especially books that are full of contradictions, impossible events, and hateful barbaric morality. The Bible and the Koran are both dreadful compendia of myth.

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06-09-2012, 03:33 PM (This post was last modified: 06-09-2012 05:43 PM by Internet Mullah.)
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
I don't think it's one way. The thing is that people have different standards of what constitutes as reasons and/or evidence needed to support the existence of God or the truth of a religion. I don't limit the idea of evidence to being only scientific evidence or empirical evidence. For me, searching for evidence of something is also a matter of using our intellect and inductive reasoning in a way that may not be always reachable with our sensory perceptions. Religion requires a lot of study, thought, and self-contemplation as well and it's not something that you can see proof of right in front of your eyes. You have to use your mind and constantly search for the truth and never give up because the truth may exist on a much, much deeper level than you think.

As for my belief in Islam, I already discussed some of the miraculous aspects of the Quran in my earlier replies in this thread so far. Some of those things include the incapability to produce anything similar to the Quran by the disbelievers during the Muhammad's time and those after them, even though Muhammad was illiterate; the eloquence of the Quran being above that of any human speech; the predictions which are mentioned in the Quran and later came true; the fact that it has been protected and remained unchanged over such a long period of time despite the fact that all other religious books have been distorted; the powerful effect it has on people's emotions when they listen to it being recited and so much that it even brings tears to Muslims' eyes when they listen to it being recited; and the ease by which it is memorized by thousands of Muslims in contrast to all other religious books. And the literary beauty of the Quran is so great that it is considered to be the ultimate authority and reference work for Arabic rhetoric, grammar, and syntax even by non-Muslim Arabs. These are some of the qualities of the Quran that puts it in a place way above the abilities of human production let alone the ability of a single person.

The Quran itself challenges the non-believers by saying: "Say: 'If all mankind and the jinn would come together to produce the like of this Quran, they could not produce its like even if they exerted all their strength in assisting one another'" (17:88). In other words, this is telling us that even if all the best Arabic poets of the world, and the best poetry-generating computer programs in the world, and the best writers in the world combined together to produce a book like the Quran, they wouldn't be able to do it. Furthermore, along this line, once a famous scholar named Ibn al-Atheer said, "If we begin to investigate into the wisdom and secrets of the eloquence of the noble Quran, we sail into a deep ocean that has no escape from it."
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06-09-2012, 04:03 PM
RE: Ask a Muslim [split from introductions]
(06-09-2012 11:30 AM)Vosur Wrote:  How does any of that change the fact that it's based on hearsay? Drinking Beverage

Well, you don't actually know if this is hearsay, nor does anyone else, for that matter. And I know that my own beliefs doesn't necessarily have to be a correct statement about reality either. So, that's why I don't claim to know with a certainty that Islam is the one and only correct religion.
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