Monday, October 16, 2006

Islam's Take on Prophecy

Thanks to Debbie for finding this link which gives us a perspective of how at least one Muslim understands the concept of prophecy.

While we clearly don't accept everything he writes, (even beyond the obviously Muslim content at the end), Imam Chirri does raise some interesting points.

Any thoughts?

(FYI, you can find out more about Imam Chirri here.)

7 Comments:

Anonymous esti said...

i agree with him saying that there is a need for nevuah even though people are doing the right thing, thus people would think that nevuah was unneeded. but i tink that the reason for nevuah is to remind people even more so to do the mizvot. like you can be doing mizvot, but once you have a nevauh with god, you are like on a high for a bit and it reminds you even more so to do the mizvot. like you can be doing a mizvah (ie tzedaka)jsut because you were told to, or you can do happily and because you actually want to. and maybe you can only acheive the actual want of doing the mizvah by directly being reminded of gods presence.

October 23, 2006 6:38 PM  
Anonymous chavie said...

I'm not really sure if i understand this one, but i think i agree with it...and esti. heres my thought; it's true that man was created with innate abilities to access higher levels of spirituality. But through evolution, those abilities have been somewhat restricted and...lessened in a way. we have become reliant on material things. the mind is not used for things it once was used for. therefore, it makes sense to say we need navis/nevuah. We need something to constantly remind us of what is right. obviously it would be even better if each individual could figure these things out on his own, but because of society today, that becomes almost impossible for most ppl. (there are a select few who have higher psychic abilities-who know how to channel these abilities.) Like esti said, if one was reminded to really want to do good, eventually it'll stick. many ppl need that little push to get to that place...where they really desire to do mitzvot-just for the sake of doing mitzvot. i apologize if this made no sense. That is all. shalom and erev tov.

October 23, 2006 7:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting article, if only Muslims had the same concepts of what G-d wants His people to do during their lifetime. Anyway, I do not believe all our recorded prophecies are necessary to establish a belief in G-d. Man innatly needs to believe in a higher power - it gives him hope in times of crisis as well as a certain sense of importance that someone cares about his life. People need to feel important, and the thought of a supreme being watching your every move can be a comforting one.
Jews are fortunate enough to have proof that there is in fact a powerful and merciful G-d. Without the Torah it is hard to imagine having any relationship with G-d (aside from the inate desire), but without the Neviim or Ketuvim, I believe it is possible to have faith in Hashem. The fact that the Neviim and Ketuvim were written and included for us is like a special gift to the Jewish people. These books sometimes seem more approachable and humanistic, and help answer some questions on how to be a better person, but in terms of establishing a belief in G-d, they are not so essential. I will admit sometimes I've had moments where I question G-d's watching over and taking care of His people, and I wish He would speak to us, but Nevuah is not absolutly necessary. Faith, and knowing that Hashem is able to communicate in other ways, not through direct prophecy alone, can be equally comforting.
As Chavie said, I too apologize if this makes no sense...
- Rebecca

October 23, 2006 9:21 PM  
Anonymous ally said...

Although us as Jews beleive in having more than adoration for hashem,(fear ect) I agree that it takes each person a different way to spark their adoration ect. this quote" life is an abomination to God and destructive to the human race" is clearly contradictive to our jewish beleifs. if one truly had an adoration for god, he would know never to inflict pain or discomfert to another fellow jew or any other person.

October 23, 2006 10:10 PM  
Blogger Yoni Krestt said...

Ally,

If you look in context, he was not stating that this is what Islam believes. Rather he was stating that without revelation, a free thinker might posit that particular (and incorrect) view.

October 24, 2006 12:43 PM  
Anonymous Lisa Amy said...

hey guys, so im going to come straight out and admit that i didnt read the whole article on islam and prophesy- i mean it was pretty long and it came right out and said some of the basics in bold: 1.THERE IS A NEED TO REMIND PEOPLE OF GOD 2.THERE IS A NEED FOR AN INCONTROVERTIBLE AUTHORITY
3.THERE IS A NEED FOR ADORATION OF GOD 4.THERE IS A NEED TO RESTRAIN THE IMPULSES 5. THERE IS A NEED FOR INFORMATION ABOUT AFTERLIFE.

So i thought about these concepts of islam and it struck me how all of these topics could be relevant to judaism, or any religion for that matter. For example, 1. Remind people of god- Throughout all ages in every religon there has always been outreach, prophets, missionaries.. trying to convert or keep people in their faith. 2. Incontrovertable authority- at first i thought incontrovertable god/ power might not apply to judaism because people are always arguing over the laws of judaism. However i then realized those are the laws and the rabbis words, we do not argue over what god says strait out- rather we do it. this comes in play not only in judaism- thomas hobbes in the 16th century wrote the leviathan arguing for absolutionism of a ruler/ power or else humanity would be at war. 3.Adoration of god- God doesnt need us to fan over him- howver there is a crucial need for adoration of god. It is for US, the humans. jews and christains and.... pray to god every day- it is to deeper connect us with god. 4. Restraint of impulses-actually, we just went over the need to restarin impulses in class today. What is an example of this? Kashrut- what better way to excercise self control and restarin animalistic impulses than denie us of easy yummy looking foods?? i have no idea. 5. Information on the after life- its something that i think everyone yearns for. there are so many different theories on what will happen to people after they take their last earthly breath: heaven, hell, pegatory, gehenem... and how they will get there: good/ bad deeds, predestination, faith..... and so on. none uf these books... will be proven wrong until mashiach comes.

so, now that i've spent forever incorporating the themes into judaism and such, ill adress the question that has been running through my mind. If religons have such similar basics and beliefs why are there so many of them, why can't we reconcile and become a powerful religion monopoly. yes, we all have differnt people that "started"/ are symbols of the religion ( moses, christ, mohammed), but other religions could just say oh we made a mistake or changed back then because of political differences and then become jewish.Haha ok so i no thats crazy wishful thinking and that jews dont seek to convert people and that people always brancj off i guess and disagree...but think of the world peace it could create. would that make it worth it?

October 24, 2006 10:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have alot to say but I'll try keeping it short-ish. In response to Lisa, Jews do argue laws by G-d, that's what the Rabbi's in the G'mara are talking about! But that's a good thing! I believe one of the fundamental ways Judaism differs from other religions is that we are active in the religion, with the procedures, laws, rituals, traditions, etc. With regard to adoration for G-d, I agree that it is for the people, not G-d, which connects to my next point responding kind of to Esti: I don't believe nevuot should be given during good times to inspire people to do mitzvot. Then we will be doing the mitzvah for G-d, while we should be doing it for ourselves. Not in a selfish way, but to fulfill that internal need to do good and help others. I guess I kind of agree with Rebecca (shocker!) in that I do think a good connection with G-d is necessary, but if we constantly have someone/thing there reminding us of G-d I feel like it takes away the challenge. I mean, I personally find joy in the complexities of life and having to find G-d in this world on my own. Having a prophet around would be taking the easy way out.
-laya
p.s. Rabbi Krestt, you should make a new thread from Lisa's final idea cause I have alot to say to that (and I'm sure others do too).

October 26, 2006 1:36 AM  

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