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 What do you think of the way Allah is depicted in the Quran?

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Wombat



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PostSubject: What do you think of the way Allah is depicted in the Quran?   Wed Jan 09, 2008 8:07 pm

Hi folks

Religion has never played a significant role in my life, and I've never believed in any gods, so I approach all religions with (I hope) few preconceptions. When I read the Qur'an I see things like this:

[2:126] "As for him who disbelieveth, I shall leave him in contentment for a while, then I shall compel him to the doom of Fire"

[4:56] Lo! Those who disbelieve Our revelations, We shall expose them to the Fire. As often as their skins are consumed We shall exchange them for fresh skins that they may taste the torment.

8:14 That (is the award), so taste it, and (know) that for disbelievers is the torment of the Fire.

10:4 ...as for those who disbelieve, theirs will be a boiling drink and painful doom because they disbelieved.

17:10 And that those who believe not in the Hereafter, for them We have prepared a painful doom.

18:29 Say: (It is) the truth from the Lord of you (all). Then whosoever will, let him believe, and whosoever will, let him disbelieve. Lo! We have prepared for disbelievers Fire. Its tent encloseth them. If they ask for showers, they will be showered with water like to molten lead which burneth the faces. Calamitous the drink and ill the resting-place!

22:19 These twain (the believers and the disbelievers) are two opponents who contend concerning their Lord. But as for those who disbelieve, garments of fire will be cut out for them; boiling fluid will be poured down on their heads, Disbelievers will wear garments of fire, boiling fluid will be poured on their heads, their bellies and skin will be melted, they will be tormented with iron hooks, and when they try to escape they will be driven back with the taunt: Taste the doom of burning.
22:20 Whereby that which is in their bellies, and their skins too, will be melted;
22:21 And for them are hooked rods of iron.
22:22 Whenever, in their anguish, they would go forth from thence they are driven back therein and (it is said unto them): Taste the doom of burning.


... And so on, and on, and on, and on... there seems to be a great deal of this sort of thing.

Now, if a human being conducted himself in this way, torturing people, revelling in their agony, we would (rightly I think) regard him as evil, and he would receive long terms of imprisonment, and could possibly be incarcerated for life in an institution for the criminally insane. This is a fact which I don't think anyone would dispute.

So, my question is fairly obvious: Why would a god who (supposedly) behaved in this way be worthy of any respect, let alone worship? I am not trying to be inflammatory - I genuinely cannot understand why anyone would revere a god who was depicted in this way. How can it be defended? What do you, personally, think of these kind of passages in the Qur'an? The Bible has a similarly brutal depiction of its god, particularly in the Old Testament, so I am not picking on Islam unfairly - I'm just really interested to learn how Muslims perceive this kind of thing.

Cheers,
John.
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The Instant Classic



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PostSubject: Re: What do you think of the way Allah is depicted in the Quran?   Wed Jan 09, 2008 9:04 pm

You don't know the context these were taken from. The context makes all the differnece in the world. And besides its pretty simple. Those who don't believe in God won't make it to heaven. Of course there are many types of exceptions for non muslims to get into heaven.
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Wombat



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PostSubject: Re: What do you think of the way Allah is depicted in the Quran?   Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:23 pm

The Instant Classic wrote:
You don't know the context these were taken from. The context makes all the differnece in the world. And besides its pretty simple. Those who don't believe in God won't make it to heaven. Of course there are many types of exceptions for non muslims to get into heaven.

What kind of context do you think could make this sort of behaviour acceptable and just and morally correct?
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The Instant Classic



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PostSubject: Re: What do you think of the way Allah is depicted in the Quran?   Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:40 pm

Somewhere where someone backstabbed muslims or others and are viewed as evil. Usually used to describe the Jews.
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Wombat



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PostSubject: Re: What do you think of the way Allah is depicted in the Quran?   Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:52 pm

The Instant Classic wrote:
Somewhere where someone backstabbed muslims or others and are viewed as evil. Usually used to describe the Jews.
Even people who are universally regarded as evil do not get tortured as punishment.
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The Instant Classic



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PostSubject: Re: What do you think of the way Allah is depicted in the Quran?   Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:56 pm

Anyone who goes to hell will be continually tortured.
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Zulfiqar07



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PostSubject: Re: What do you think of the way Allah is depicted in the Quran?   Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:13 am

Quote :
... And so on, and on, and on, and on... there seems to be a great deal of this sort of thing.

Now, if a human being conducted himself in this way, torturing people, revelling in their agony, we would (rightly I think) regard him as evil, and he would receive long terms of imprisonment, and could possibly be incarcerated for life in an institution for the criminally insane. This is a fact which I don't think anyone would dispute.

So, my question is fairly obvious: Why would a god who (supposedly) behaved in this way be worthy of any respect, let alone worship? I am not trying to be inflammatory - I genuinely cannot understand why anyone would revere a god who was depicted in this way. How can it be defended? What do you, personally, think of these kind of passages in the Qur'an? The Bible has a similarly brutal depiction of its god, particularly in the Old Testament, so I am not picking on Islam unfairly - I'm just really interested to learn how Muslims perceive this kind of thing.


Salaam Wombat

Wombat, what u r looking at is 10 verses out of 6,236 verses from the noble Quran. That is an extremely small proportion to the whole; needless to say, the bigger picture is not very clear if one only sees these verses. However, this still does not diminish their value. Context, as instantclassic said is an important part of correctly interpreting verses from the quran but what u have to understand is is that these verses are from God (and if u don't believe that, then just take it for the sake of argument). Thus it is that he says:

(Their doom is) because Allah sent down the Book in truth but those who seek causes of dispute in the Book are in a schism Far (from the purpose).
( , Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #176)

and so forth as u listed the verses. In order to understand, first we have to define God (Allah). What is god and what is it that makes it permissible for him to commit the acts that u stated? Should he not be held accountable for a bad that he does?

In short, God is an entity that is perfect in every way. He is the ultimate creator, the ultimate ruler (God has ninety names, each of which give him a characteristic, http://www.jannah.org/articles/names.html these are the names btw). Continuing, now, try to think for a moment; if u give a being life, a place to live and a set of guidelines by which he can achieve his purpose of life, and by which he is meant to live because after all it is not his creation that he dwells in, it is the creators' and suppose he then chooses not to follow them and turns away from them at every step. Then is it not just that he may be punished?

U say that if a human being commits such an act then he is thought of as evil. Yes well of course he is, because it not in his hands alone who to punish and who to not. It is not his hands alone to determine whats just and whats not and punish accordingly. You are comparing a creation to the creator. please reply and tell me wut u think... kinda of late so gtg Smile
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Zulfiqar07



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PostSubject: Re: What do you think of the way Allah is depicted in the Quran?   Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:18 am

Quote :
I am not trying to be inflammatory - I genuinely cannot understand why anyone would revere a god who was depicted in this way

yes i can understand, and its good that atleast u are asking abt it and u want to know. A lot of people don't ask and thats the worst part. people, both muslims and nonmuslims
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Wombat



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PostSubject: Re: What do you think of the way Allah is depicted in the Quran?   Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:22 am

The Instant Classic wrote:
Anyone who goes to hell will be continually tortured.

Let's be clear about this, because I don't want to misunderstand or misrepresent your views:

Are you saying that you approve of torture?
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Wombat



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PostSubject: Re: What do you think of the way Allah is depicted in the Quran?   Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:43 am

Zulfiqar07 wrote:
U say that if a human being commits such an act then he is thought of as evil. Yes well of course he is, because it not in his hands alone who to punish and who to not. It is not his hands alone to determine whats just and whats not and punish accordingly. You are comparing a creation to the creator. please reply and tell me wut u think... kinda of late so gtg Smile
To me, it doesn't seem to make much sense to say "Yes, torture is evil... but if it's a god doing it, that's OK". If something is evil, then it's evil, regardless of who does it - the evil is in the nature of the act. A god ought to be better than us, not someone who does things we rightly regard as evil.

Realistically, there's a way that all this makes sense: Suppose you were going to invent a religion, and you just wanted followers, and you didn't care how you got them. You would invent a god who rewarded his followers with an eternal blissful afterlife and punished disbelievers with eternal torment. It's what the Americans would call a 'double whammy', or what I think of as the carrot and stick approach. It's exactly what humans would think of if they wanted to invent a god that people were going to be persuaded to believe in. I think this is what's going on here.
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PostSubject: Re: What do you think of the way Allah is depicted in the Quran?   Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:27 pm

Wombat wrote:
Realistically, there's a way that all this makes sense: Suppose you were going to invent a religion, and you just wanted followers, and you didn't care how you got them. You would invent a god who rewarded his followers with an eternal blissful afterlife and punished disbelievers with eternal torment. It's what the Americans would call a 'double whammy', or what I think of as the carrot and stick approach. It's exactly what humans would think of if they wanted to invent a god that people were going to be persuaded to believe in. I think this is what's going on here.

Dear Wambot, I would like to ask you to respect the beliefs of others in this forum... the tone in that post is overly harsh and some parts could be rephrased so that we don't disrespect each other here. None of us have done any mudslinging at atheism and I would like to ask you to do the same to theists. Respect each other's opinions.

As for your post. Well sorry if this is slightly off topic but what you have said there is a slight misconception. See if "a religion," in this case Islam, "... just wanted followers," I believe that the LAST thing it would do is tell everyone that they were all wrong in believing that there is more than one God and if everyone doesn't convert, then they burn in hell forever. In my opinion, that wouldn't be a sensible approach for anyone who, as you said, just wanted to invent a religion and people to follow it.

That's all I'm going to say. Thought I might clear your misconception. Thank You Smile
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Wombat



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PostSubject: Re: What do you think of the way Allah is depicted in the Quran?   Fri Jan 11, 2008 12:28 am

Admin wrote:
Dear Wambot, I would like to ask you to respect the beliefs of others in this forum... the tone in that post is overly harsh and some parts could be rephrased so that we don't disrespect each other here.
OK, my apologies. I've been impressed with the way people have been polite and friendly to me here, and I certainly don't want to respond with rudeness. I will try to do better!
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PostSubject: Re: What do you think of the way Allah is depicted in the Quran?   Fri Jan 18, 2008 1:16 pm

Wombat wrote:
Hi folks

Religion has never played a significant role in my life, and I've never believed in any gods, so I approach all religions with (I hope) few preconceptions. When I read the Qur'an I see things like this:

[2:126] "As for him who disbelieveth, I shall leave him in contentment for a while, then I shall compel him to the doom of Fire"

[4:56] Lo! Those who disbelieve Our revelations, We shall expose them to the Fire. As often as their skins are consumed We shall exchange them for fresh skins that they may taste the torment.

8:14 That (is the award), so taste it, and (know) that for disbelievers is the torment of the Fire.

10:4 ...as for those who disbelieve, theirs will be a boiling drink and painful doom because they disbelieved.

17:10 And that those who believe not in the Hereafter, for them We have prepared a painful doom.

18:29 Say: (It is) the truth from the Lord of you (all). Then whosoever will, let him believe, and whosoever will, let him disbelieve. Lo! We have prepared for disbelievers Fire. Its tent encloseth them. If they ask for showers, they will be showered with water like to molten lead which burneth the faces. Calamitous the drink and ill the resting-place!

22:19 These twain (the believers and the disbelievers) are two opponents who contend concerning their Lord. But as for those who disbelieve, garments of fire will be cut out for them; boiling fluid will be poured down on their heads, Disbelievers will wear garments of fire, boiling fluid will be poured on their heads, their bellies and skin will be melted, they will be tormented with iron hooks, and when they try to escape they will be driven back with the taunt: Taste the doom of burning.
22:20 Whereby that which is in their bellies, and their skins too, will be melted;
22:21 And for them are hooked rods of iron.
22:22 Whenever, in their anguish, they would go forth from thence they are driven back therein and (it is said unto them): Taste the doom of burning.


... And so on, and on, and on, and on... there seems to be a great deal of this sort of thing.

Now, if a human being conducted himself in this way, torturing people, revelling in their agony, we would (rightly I think) regard him as evil, and he would receive long terms of imprisonment, and could possibly be incarcerated for life in an institution for the criminally insane. This is a fact which I don't think anyone would dispute.

So, my question is fairly obvious: Why would a god who (supposedly) behaved in this way be worthy of any respect, let alone worship? I am not trying to be inflammatory - I genuinely cannot understand why anyone would revere a god who was depicted in this way. How can it be defended? What do you, personally, think of these kind of passages in the Qur'an? The Bible has a similarly brutal depiction of its god, particularly in the Old Testament, so I am not picking on Islam unfairly - I'm just really interested to learn how Muslims perceive this kind of thing.

Cheers,
John.

Salaam,

Allah is rightfully representative of the punishment that awaits those who hurt others, who backbite, who wage war against the innocent, who do not help the poor, who simply do not act in accordance to Allah's will. Are you telling me that we should take out the mention of punishment in the law books? I would like you to post those punishments from the Quran in accordance to their context, again, and this time you tell me why Allah would punish those and for what reason. Just like people get the death sentence in Britain and America, just like those who have to suffer at Guantanomo bay, just like those tortured by the CIA--in accordance to modern day law who seems more sinister to you? Humans or Allah? I can list you thousands of atrocities, beacuse humans did not heed the warnings given by law, because they thought they could escape it (almost all of them suffered for the way they hurt others. Interesting topic. I'm looking forward to your reply.

Peace Within
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