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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 29th April 2015 07:25
There is a lots of rebuttal of the book by Richard Dawkins entitled the God Delusion.

We at MS should have our own view.
Debate might not result is change of view but some benefits are there.
For example we do get into a dialogue with the atheists and that is helpful because you just denied them the walk over that they would have enjoyed a lot.
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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 29th April 2015 09:54
Longing for spirituality, religion & GOD is part of the Fitra, which every single human being is born with. Just as this inner natural predisposition (which we call Fitra) forces humans to eat when hungry, to drink when thirsty and to sleep when tired ever since the initiation of our species, the same way humans are not inclined towards religion or feel the thirst for God since a few hundred years ago or even since the formal origin of Judaism, Christianity or Islam but rather since the very outset of humanity's existence. Every human possesses the need of loving, relying, revering, trusting and ultimately worshipping. Now, one can focus all these channels on something besides God, but one will never be able to seperate those feelings from oneself or become independent of them.

أَفَرَأَيْتَ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ إِلَٰهَهُ هَوَاهُ
Have you seen he who has taken as his god his [own] desire...

So, besides all philosphical & rational arguments Dawkins & Co. while being obsessed with mother nature around them clearly oppose and violate the basic human nature by denying the need of connecting to our Creator. I know, not very convincing for an Atheist... but debating them is quite futile anyway. They are quite stubborn fellas...
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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 29th April 2015 11:34
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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 29th April 2015 15:41
True Life wrote:
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I have always said this. The natural human need to acknowledge and feel inferior to a greater protection springs from all forms of characters. Those who abandon God find comforts in other forms of worship no matter what they label it. Football, musicians and even worshipping scientists with extreme loyalty. This spurs from the lack of faith in the Almighty as it's blinded by an unnecessary, illogical and irrational need to physically see to believe.
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#5 [Permalink] Posted on 30th April 2015 06:59
True Life wrote:
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I understand your view about futility of debating and I agree with that.
In fact I did admit the same in my OP.

The issue here is not to convince the atheists about existence of God.
God is there, has always been there and will always be there in all His Glory and Grandeur.
The issue is that if we do not defend our territory then they start making inroads into it and indulge in encroachment. The least benefit of we asserting our view will be that they will be much less likely to get fancy ideas about making fun of Muslims.

As far as your other ideas like spirtual need vs hunger are concerned that too is a very strong point and needs to be thrust before atheists.

Freud was an atheist whom the atheist cartel is absolutely proud.
Freud argued that man is merely a sexual being.
That was a gross error on his part.
Like thirst, hunger, clothing and shelter sex too is one of the basic needs of man.
And this need is extremely potent too.
But to cast man into a merely sexual being is simply off the mark.

Later psychologists did restore some semblance of balance into the scheme of things in life and they asserted that one another potent force in psyche of man is creativity and man has this strong urge to be what he can be. Or she can be. This is self realization or self actualization.

This much is very well argued and imbibed in psychology.
But then there is the spiritual need and spiritual self actualization.
That man would like to have a very strong realosation and bonding with his creater is simply not acknowledged by official atheistic psychology establishment.
Officially psychologists take religion, spirituality packed with it, as a mental disease.
This is gross wrong being perpetuated by atheistic establishment and this has to change.
This is the encroachment upon the territory of religious people in general and Muslims in particular.
We shall not get our territory back unless we try.

Engaging atheists in a dialogue is just one step towards that goal.
That goal incorporates that the field of psychology be liberated from atheistic shackles.
In biology theory of evolution be exposed as being unscientific and the biggest fraud committed in the name of science. A hideous religion of atheism being thrust upon unsuspecting people who have been taking it for granted that scientists have been functioning with the required integrity.

Of course there are other sectors also from where atheistic monopoly or encroachment has to be removed and let us keep discussing those issues.

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#6 [Permalink] Posted on 30th April 2015 07:04
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Agree Maulana.
In fact a former Imam of our local mosque told be an interesting thing.
He said that sometimes it so happens that we are seeing something for the first time but it feels to familiar.
He said that these are the memories from spiritual world.
Of course modern psychologists call these experiences deja vu and hence a mental disease.
This calumni has to be rebutted with utmost vigour.

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#7 [Permalink] Posted on 30th April 2015 07:05
Muadh_Khan wrote:
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Jazakallah Khan sahab.
Brother Hamza is an asset.

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#8 [Permalink] Posted on 30th April 2015 14:27
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Anyone following my Twitter account for example would be aware, that I find this discussion very needed and Muslims have to engage more in this intellectual field. Even the last few weeks I've been almost obsessed with this topic and consumpted a lot of material regarding it out there. That's why I really appreciate your posts and find them incredible inspiring. May Allah ta'ala enable me also to contribute to this cause in soon future...

It just seems very important to me for any Muslim wishing to engage in countering Atheism and it's evil effects to priorly be clear about these things and not get lost in a purely intellectual excercise himself like the Atheists. Just to keep the usage of our intellect, reason and 'aql in line with the general Islamic teaching of moderation. In relation to this I came across this brief talk by brother Nouman Ali Khan, which is an important prelude to this field for Muslims:

Halalified YT Audio

In terms of understanding Neo-Atheism and counter-arguments this lecture of Sidi Ali Ataie was very helpful:

Halalified YT Audio

Also Mufti Muhammad Saeed Khan (hafizahullah) in his series of 'Aqidah lectures has a few nice ones on the classical and more Quranic approach to establishing the existence of Allah ta'ala: www.seerat.net/Audio/Audio.aspx?catid=88
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#9 [Permalink] Posted on 1st May 2015 06:30
True Life wrote:
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Quote:
Anyone following my Twitter account for example would be aware, that I find this discussion very needed and Muslims have to engage more in this intellectual field. Even the last few weeks I've been almost obsessed with this topic and consumpted a lot of material regarding it out there. That's why I really appreciate your posts and find them incredible inspiring. May Allah ta'ala enable me also to contribute to this cause in soon future...


Jazakallah Akhi for your kind words.
Indeed posts like yours are the most endearing ones for me.
Of necessity there can not be many posts like this and hence I do wait for these.
Occasionally a brother or sister will come up with such kind words and that is when I feel that it has been more than an intellectual cud chewing on my part.
Of course there are several brothers and sisters who make it a pleasure to be on these fora.
So I thank you from the core of my heart and I fecilitate you and other brothers and sisters with similar concerns.

Personally I would like to see the dawn of that day when we Muslims have taken back our social, cultiral, theological, scientific, technological, business, industrial, economic, financial, military and political spaces back from those people who have encroached upon it.

Being a person with limited intellectual capabilities I can to tackle all of these topics alone.
Ours is a big Ummah and hence it is not necessary that all of these things should be done by a single person. Unfortunately number of people accepting the intellectual challenge in any one of above fields is nearly cipher except for the theological matters. Even in that field there is a dearth of people when we look at the number of opponents.

You will remember I was impressed by brother Abdul1234 on SF in psychological matters. But he simply disappeared.

Of course Muadh Khan works persistently on matters related to applications of scientific notions for the service of Deen.

There are many people who address the questions in the field of commerce and business and to some extent industry. But we should have been the leaders there for our beloved Prophet (PBUH) himself was a trader in the beginning of his life. So was Imam Abu Hanifa (RA).

Anyway this thread is about battling atheists and I am absolutely thrilled that you are focussing on it.
The way we are so happy to have brother Tripoli-Sunni to deal with the Shia trouble makers I would have left the atheist issue to you for i have limited time, energy, capabilities and capacity. Even then I have some burden on my head that I have to off load. For quite some time I was part of that environment where Dawkins was a way of life and hence I had the ring side view of the things and hence I am duty bound to put my finger on those points that I can. Thus I shall spend some time in deconstructing the book Selfish Gene by him and overview the response to his book God Delusion.

But I am happy to the hilt that you have your eyes set upon these matters. Without pushing you into vanity I am asserting that Lord Most High willing your contributions will be even better than brother Hamza, no offence to that very smart, brave and enthusistic brother. Please do pay attention to what Craig and Lennox have been saying for theistic arguments have a universality and it against Sunnah to re-invent the wheel.
Quote:

It just seems very important to me for any Muslim wishing to engage in countering Atheism and it's evil effects to priorly be clear about these things and not get lost in a purely intellectual excercise himself like the Atheists. Just to keep the usage of our intellect, reason and 'aql in line with the general Islamic teaching of moderation. In relation to this I came across this brief talk by brother Nouman Ali Khan, which is an important prelude to this field for Muslims:

Wow!
Completely impressed.
Two most important ideas from first half:
(1) The whole argument from atheisti point of view is designed to make us lose.
(2) Qur'an does not address atheism per say - it does address doubt.

This second point is just mind blowing.
I knew similar things for long and was very perplexed.
May Allah (SWT) give brother Nouman enormous Jaza for destroying a gigantic idol for me.

Basically the point he has chanced upon is the following.
We know darkness is merely absence of light.
So there is nothing to discuss about darkness.
Discuss light for that is present, positive and fruitful.
There is nothing to discuss about darkness that is simply absence of a real, positive and beneficial thing.
Same is true about faith and atheism.
Atheism is absence of faith and hence there is nothing to discuss about it.
Hence that is not the subject matter of the Noble Qur'an.

Sub-han Allah.


In the second part he makes another useful suggestion.

Our belief in Allah Azz wa Jall has two dimensions, at least.
Spiritual and intellectual.



The Noble Qur'an is a miracle is more ways than we can understand and appreciate in a life time.
So rather than confining the utility of this book into a list of fixed number of miracles use a different phraseology. Say that I find the Noble Qur'an miraculous in this, this and this matter and I am already overwhelmed.


Finally NAK is against debate.
But that corner is anyway covered by successors of of Rahmatullah Kairanvi, Vazeer Khan and Ahmed Deedat. I mean Zakir Naik, Shabbir Ali and Ali Ataie.

Quote:
In terms of understanding Neo-Atheism and counter-arguments this lecture of Sidi Ali Ataie was very helpful:


Also Mufti Muhammad Saeed Khan (hafizahullah) in his series of 'Aqidah lectures has a few nice ones on the classical and more Quranic approach to establishing the existence of Allah ta'ala: www.seerat.net/Audio/Audio.aspx?catid=88

Got to check these.
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#10 [Permalink] Posted on 12th May 2015 18:13
Sigmund Freud vs. Carl Jung

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and his colleagues defined man as a purely ‘Psychological man’ driven by his past experiences and memories as opposed to ‘Religious man’ who has a constant attraction and a drive towards his Creator and Protector, the God of monotheism. Freud theorized that personality is developed by the person’s childhood experiences. He was not vague about his claims for atheism. He actually predicted that as the masses of people become more educated, they would ‘turn away’ from the ‘fairy tales of religion.’ We will examine how his views were shaped by the anti-Semitism of his time.

Carl Jung, a contemporary of Freud took an exception, he wrote, “Freud has unfor­tunately overlooked the fact that man has never yet been able single‑handed to hold his own against the powers of darkness — that is, of the unconscious. Man has always stood in need of the spiritual help which each individual’s own religion held out to him.”

Totally on the opposite pole of Freud in matter of religion, Carl Jung explained at length, in the chapter, ‘Psychotherapists or clergy’ of his book, Modern Man in Search of a Soul:
Quote:
During the past thirty years, people from all the civilized countries of the earth have consulted me. I have treated many hundreds of patients. … Among all my patients in the second half of life — to say, over thirty‑five — there has not been one whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a religious outlook on life. It is safe to say that every one of them fell ill because he had lost that which the living religions of every age have given to their followers, and none of them has been really healed who did not regain his religious outlook.

Sigmund Freud wrote in a letter to Carl Jung, dated January 17, 1909, “The more the fruits of knowledge become accessible to men, the more widespread is the decline of religious belief.” In his essay on war & death, he wrote, “Religion is an illusion, and it derives its strength from its readiness to fit in with our instinctual wishful impulses.”

Both Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung were psychologists of great repute. So, are we to believe in ‘Psychological man” of Freud or the “Religious man’ of Carl Jung?

CARL JUNG

According to Encyclopedia Britannica:
Quote:
“As a boy Jung had remarkably striking dreams and powerful fantasies that had developed with unusual intensity. After his break with Freud, he deliberately allowed this aspect of himself to function again and gave the irrational side of his nature free expression. At the same time, he studied it scientifically by keeping detailed notes of his strange experiences. He later developed the theory that these experiences came from an area of the mind that he called the collective unconscious, which he held was shared by everyone. This much-contested conception was combined with a theory of archetypes that Jung held as fundamental to the study of the psychology of religion. In Jung’s terms, archetypes are instinctive patterns, have a universal character, and are expressed in behavior and images.
… Jung devoted the rest of his life to developing his ideas, especially those on the relation between psychology and religion. In his view, obscure and often neglected texts of writers in the past shed unexpected light not only on Jung’s own dreams and fantasies but also on those of his patients; he thought it necessary for the successful practice of their art that psychotherapists become familiar with writings of the old masters.”

His advice has been largely ignored in the last century to the detriment of humanity. He wanted to take a more holistic view of human personality. For example he said, “In therapy the problem is that it is less a question of treatment than of developing always the whole person, the patient’s own latent creative possibilities never the symptom alone.”

By Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times
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#11 [Permalink] Posted on 14th May 2015 08:30
Very informative and relevant post brother.
Kindly pay attention to my Psychology thread too.
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#12 [Permalink] Posted on 14th May 2015 08:51
The Cursed Professor


There is this professor with whom I had three encounters only but everyone of them has been not only damaging but devastating.

I was curious about what Muslims did to the mathematics they got from India.
I asked this man.
He said all these things are today taught in high school.
And that was it.
This was the first encounter.
I had asked him because he is an authority on history of science.
I was looking for reasons to motivate Muslim youth and I thought Muslim contribution to science in the past is a wonderful avenue to use for that purpose.
But this man killed one half of the motivation as well as joy in this single one statement encounter.

In the next encounter he talked very distraught things.
The gist of his blabber was that he had come to know that I had said an unsavoury thing about him.
Since I did not at all remember analysing his character at all therefore there is only one explanation to this - he is simply paranoid. Paranoia must be rather strong for yesterday he did not even answer my Salaam.
Not that I feel much bad.
This was the second encounter when he imagined things about him.

Third encounter was when I directly asked him whether he has any plans to do something for Islam and Muslims. His answer was that he has left this task to me. I happily accept this delegation of responsibility.

I had heard about him from my senior and teacher that he has been rather career oriented and obsessed about his biodata. Another irritating aspect of his personality is that he does not share his writings. He will deliver a talk in all of the relevant local conferences and the conferences outside the town but never provide even the slides for photocpying. Having attended several of his talks I can testify that he does indulge in very significant cademic research in history of science but never will he make his notes vaialable.

Why were those three encounters with him so damaging?
I have already stated the reason - he is damaging to motivation that Muslims need so desperately even now.

One relevant information in this regard is that I just came to know that he is an atheist.
La haula wa la qoowwata illa billahil aliyil azeem.

On the face of it all three encounters are rather routine.
But these were damaging because of the ideology working behind them.
Clearly atheism is not such an innocent enterprise.
Believers got to be on their toes to safeguard against their onslaught.
Sometimes the attack is rather subtle.
And they operate according to their ideology.
Even if they outwardly look harmless, detached and objective.
All these attributes are really the disguise.
I succumed to his charmes and tricks because of my Husn-ad-dhann. Very expansive lesson indeed.
After his first high school remark I did not pursue that angle for more than a decade.
Damage cause by atheists is very extensive and significant.
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#13 [Permalink] Posted on 2nd August 2017 15:54
Dawkins on the Defensive


Richard Dawkins Event Canceled Over Past Comments About Islam

By JACEY FORT

JULY 24, 2017



Richard Dawkins in December 2014. A public radio station in Berkeley, Calif., canceled Mr. Dawkins’s appearance because of his past comments about Islam. Credit Don Arnold/Getty Images

A public radio station in Berkeley, Calif., said it canceled a live discussion and book signing with the evolutionary biologist and noted atheist Richard Dawkins because of his past comments criticizing Islam.

Mr. Dawkins was to promote his new book, “Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist,” before an audience of hundreds of paying ticket holders on Aug. 9. The event was also to be a fund-raiser for its host, the radio station KPFA.

The station sent an email to ticket holders on Thursday that praised the book but apologized for not having “broader knowledge” of his views much earlier. It added that Mr. Dawkins had hurt people with “his tweets and other comments on Islam.”

The email was quoted in full by Mr. Dawkins in an open letter that criticized the station’s decision on Friday.

He said in a phone interview on Saturday that he learned about the cancellation only after a ticket holder received the email and forwarded it to him. He said he had received no further explanation from the station.
Continue reading the main story


“Many people are saying this is a freedom of speech issue, and of course it is,” he said. “But it’s actually more of a freedom of listening issue. People bought tickets because they wanted to hear me.”

In recent months, the cancellation of speeches on college campuses has stirred debates over balancing free speech and security concerns.

Berkeley has been a particular focus. In February, the University of California, Berkeley, canceled a speech by Milo Yiannopoulos, a right-wing writer and commentator, after a violent demonstration. In April, the university canceled a speech by the conservative author Ann Coulter, citing security concerns. KPFA, however, is not affiliated with the university.

Bob Baldock, the events coordinator for the station, said in a phone interview on Saturday that he could not recall in his three decades at the station any other live event it hosted being canceled because of its content.

The decision was made by the station’s management, and Mr. Baldock said he lent his support, but he called the cancellation a “fraught decision.”


“I could probably do my best at defending Dawkins,” he said. “I’m very fond of him. I’ve liked his books.”

He added that Mr. Dawkins’s unscripted remarks and social media posts gave him pause. “He has said things that I know have hurt people,” Mr. Baldock said.

Some of the first objections to Mr. Dawkins’s appearance came from Bay Area residents. They pointed to his tweets like one posted in 2013 in which he called Islam “the greatest force for evil in the world today.”

Henry Norr, a former KPFA board member, criticized Mr. Dawkins in a July 17 email to the station. “Yes, he’s a rationalist, an atheist and an advocate of the science of evolution — great, so am I,” Mr. Norr wrote. “But he’s also an outspoken Islamophobe — have you done your homework about that?”

Lara Kiswani, the executive director of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center, which is based in San Francisco, also emailed the station last week. She said Mr. Dawkins’s comments give legitimacy to extremist views.

“KPFA is a progressive institution in the Bay Area, and an institution that reflects social justice,” she said in a phone interview on Saturday. “It isn’t required to give such anti-Islam rhetoric a platform.”

Quincy McCoy, the station’s general manager, did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. In a KPFA news broadcast on Friday, he said the station “emphatically supports free speech.”

He added, “We believe that it is our free speech right not to participate with anyone who uses hateful or hurtful language against a community that is already under attack.”

Several of Mr. Dawkins’s comments on social media have drawn criticism in recent years. In 2015, he wondered whether Ahmed Mohamed — the boy in Texas who was suspended after bringing a homemade clock to school that officials said resembled a bomb — wanted to get arrested given that the episode led to an invitation to the White House and crowdfunding. In a Twitter post in 2014, he suggested that people should “always put Islamic ‘scholar’ in quotes, to avoid insulting true scholars.”

“True scholars have read more than one book,” he wrote.

Mr. Dawkins stood by those tweets on Saturday. “I’ve been criticizing all religions for years,” including Christianity, he said. He added that he lived in Berkeley during the late 1960s and was once a frequent listener and supporter of KPFA.

Mr. Dawkins said he objected to the idea that speakers who might be offensive should be turned away from institutions of higher learning.

“I do think that the business of universities is to expose students to all kinds of views,” he said. “If somebody objectionable like Ann Coulter comes on, they should argue with her.”

Source : NYT
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#14 [Permalink] Posted on 2nd August 2017 17:00
The space between belief and disbelief


Tabish Khair


Quote:

The concept of an unknowable god roots us in our humanity, but also makes it possible for us to strive for more

I recently witnessed an acrimonious debate between a New Atheist and a couple of religious people (a Muslim and a Christian, actually). The New Atheist wanted to prove that god did not exist, and the Muslim and Christian believers were just as adamant that god existed. Finally, as often happens, all three turned to the non-participant in the room, and asked him to adjudicate. That was, alas, me.


Tabish Khair has been writing in the Times of India since those days when it was an upward struggle for yours truly to understand even the news in it.

Then he quit India after the bigots of anti-Muslim kind sent him a parcel with filthy matter in it. That too was a long time ago - around the time of the destruction of the Babri Masjid.

Being a Muslim he should have an advantage over a New Atheist as well as a Christian when it comes to the attributes of God. In this note he does not betray any such qualification. Clearly every Muslim should listen to what Dr Zakir Naik says in his lecture on the Concept of God in Major World Religions. Dr Naik has improved over his teacher in these matters - Shaikh ahmed Deedat. Hence his lecture is not only lucid but avante guarde too.



Quote:
I did not want to answer them. It is usually my policy not to comment on matters of belief and disbelief, both of which tend to be put in highly reductive terms. But they insisted. So, I gave them an honest answer: “You cannot disbelieve in god without having the concept of god, and you cannot have any conception of god without disbelieving in god.” Thankfully, they thought I was being facetious and continued their discussion without me.

The second part of his assertion is clearly not very clear - to say the least.

"There is no god but God" is an Islamic dictum and its beginning is what can be said in corroboration of his contention. But that is not what he is saying. He has made vaguely philosophical statement that simply does not help in solving the problem at hand - whether there is God nor not. This question is usually posed as a scientific inquiry but a scientific inquiry it is not. Whether there is God or not is a personal decision and all of us have to make this choice. One may ask that how can we believe in God without having and evidence for His existence. This evidence is what is supplied by Signs of God. these are scattered over the whole of the Noble Qur'an. You can look at these sSigns and on the basis of thies you have to make your decision. Then you have to stick to your decision.
Quote:

But I am convinced that the main divide runs not between religion and atheism but through each of them. Thinking atheists and thinking religious believers actually share a lot, just as half-thinking atheists and half-thinking believers share a lot too.

Does it help? Is it relevant? Is it even true?
Why bring addiotional issues into discussion when you are trying to resolve the all important question whether there is God or not?


Beyond form-time-space
Quote:
While all religions finally deal with some personification of deity — incarnation, son of god, names or attributes of god, etc. —

Islam, for example, is against idolization and Tabish Khair should know it.

Quote:
... all religions also have a similar concept of god as beyond human comprehension of form-time-space,

Again not true. Christianity has trinity and Jesus Christ AS is one of the trinity and there is nothing abstract about him.
Quote:

and as unchanging and impossible to fully define. Even so-called ‘primitive’ tribes worshipping totems have this concept, for the totem is not just a plant or an animal but something more than just that plant or animal.

If all stake holders agree on something then it should be taken as a clarification and resolution and need not be discussed in an article that is investigative in its objective.

Quote:
In other words, the concept of god eludes human imagination and language.

It is true yet very missleading too.
Basically this can go in the following wrong direction -- since we can not fathom God therefore let us forget about Him.


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One of the first modern thinkers to try to go beyond the unnecessary antagonism of religion and science was the German Oxford University don, Friedrich Max Müller. In the 1870s, he explained the concept of gods, ranging from those in Vedic India to classical Greece, by arguing that these were powerful forces of nature that got personified in language over the centuries. So, initially, Apollo meant just the Sun, but later Apollo got constructed as a male god, with increasing human (and superhuman) attributes.

One wonders why a Muslim should be trying to learn from a western about what God is. The Islamic concept of God is not that difficult to fathom. According to the Noble Qur'an God is Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim. That means Most Merciful, Most Benevolent. Now what is difficult about these two attributes? Similarly when we talk about few other attributes then we already have sifficient knowledge about Him to go about our daily life. Then one can keep on improving.

Everyone needs God. This includes the simple people. Clearly concept of God has to be simple. Of course there will also be some things that are complex about Him - these things will keep the sophisticated people engaged. why should we be surprised at it?

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Max Müller’s version has long been dismissed in intellectual circles, but he had made a valid incidental point: the concept of god eludes human constructions, including those of language.

We just answered this confusion. And confusion is something that the Noble Qur'an simply does not admit, it dispels all confusion.
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Whatever we say about god does not exhaust the concept of god, ...

Remember that quote about making all trees pen and all ocean ink?
If we accept it then why do we go back to this Profundity?
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... and hence our beliefs can only be personal.

That is what we Muslims say. why is being presented as a revelation? Or a conclusion obtained by much thinking and analysis?
We shall reach a lot of truth by thinking and analysis but not whole of it.
For some of the necessary knowledge we shall have to depend upon the Noble qur'an.



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They cannot be imposed on others.

It is there in Islam - there is no compulsion in religion.
again there was no need to rederive this conclusion.

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As the medieval Sufi poet, Rumi, suggests in one of his poems, any person’s conception of god can be valid only for that person; to pass it on to another person (by persuasion, argument or force) is to pass on what cannot be communicated, what is bound to be reduced in language. Many major religious thinkers have seen this too: the Muslim Avicenna or Ibn Sina (11th century) and the Christian Thomas Aquinas (13th century), among others.

Rumi can be taken as an authority but why start with him when you have the Book?
Ibn Sina is not that reliable on theology and Thomas Aquinas is not simply a Muslim.
In matters of religion, particularly God, it is risky to mix no-Islamic thought with Islamic.

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The opposition to images of divinity that we find in iconoclastic religions, most obdurately Islam, is a consequence of this realisation. The divine, such religions argue, cannot be given a human shape. Hence, we have the Taliban blowing up the ancient statues of the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan in 2001. Incidentally, though, this does not get us out of the conundrum: there is not that much of a difference between imagining god in human or animal shapes and attributing human (or animal) attributes to god.

We can agree with these observations but it is still strange that a Muslim should be mixing knowledge from various sources giving them equal status. When a non-Muslim asks a Muslim about any theological issue the expectation will be that you shall give the Islamic answer. The liberal democratic answer will obtained from a liberal democrat.


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When we say that god is merciful or loving, we use a human concept to talk of god; it is not entirely different from saying that god is blue or wears a crown of thorns. This was the hidden gem in Max Müller’s perception: we can imagine anything only through language and our own experiences, and hence there is a tendency to personify the concept of god. It is a bit like saying that a quantum particle is both wave and particle and neither wave nor particle. What we mean is that we cannot really imagine quantum particles except by using what we have experienced in life and language: waves and particles.

Again there is mixing of divergent sources here.
This is usually the bane of philosophical talk.
While talking about God one should simply jump to spirituality and shun philosophy completely.
The author admits in above paragraph that idolization is not a worthwhile pursuit.
Then he also says we should not insist upon classifying a quantum entity as a wave or a particle.
Idolization does not capture assence of God and wave or particle attributes separately do not capture the essence of a microscopic system in Physics.
But if these statements are correct then what is wrong in saying them?
Well we must avoid giving any worldly examples of God's form.
Including wave-particle duality.
Wave-particle duality is complex issue.
God is needed even by those who can not fathom quantum mechanics.


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The concept of god is exactly this point, which escapes our imagination.

Islam has clarified it for us that we should not try any physical image for God.

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We need it for two main reasons. One, because it is only by situating ourselves between the knowable and the unknowable that we become human.


Again Mr Khair brings additional philosophical concepts - knowable and not knwoable.
Islamic attitude is that we simply focus on God's attributes and names and that is all.

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Two, because to let go of the concept runs the risk of reducing everything to the known (which is sacrilege for the truly religious and hubris for the truly scientific) or to give up our claim on that which exceeds our current understanding.


If you restrict yourself to attributes and names of God this entanglement will not fall upon you.
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The concept of an unknowable god roots us in our humanity, but also makes it possible for us to strive for more — including more knowledge, which only comes with the knowledge that we do not and cannot have perfect knowledge (which belongs only to ‘god’).

This is again the wrong end of the rod.
You can know all that you need about God and that is all that matters.

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That is why thinking atheists cannot do away with the concept of god.

Atheists have made their decision about God and we have to leave them to their ways.
That is what Islam says.

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That is also why the religious cannot claim to know god.

So I can not claim: (1) There is no god but God, (2) He is Most Merciful, (3) He is Most Beneficent....
Is that not absurd?
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We become human in exactly that space where we are not animals (whose possibility of knowledge is restricted to what they already know) and where we are never ‘god’ (whose possibility of knowledge is complete and infinite).

The question, I suppose, is whether there is God or not.
What is Mr Khiar's decision?
He has not betrayed in this note.
We know the answer though - in spite of the fact that Mr Khair is trying to be very sophisticated, refined, knowledgeable.
He is simply not decided about existence of God.
That is a pity.
May Allah SWT make it easy for him.
May He also make the things easy for us.

Source : The-Hindu
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