We consider Muh.ammad (pbuh) to be a pro.phet or a Messenger of God’s message. So, no, he wasn’t an ordinary man, he was an exceptional man in that he was as close to perfect as a human being can be. So, we try to emulate him as much as possible. (Eg: Sitting down when you eat, drinking water before or during eating, but not directly after, etc.) We also follow his sayings, but unlike the Qur’an, which we think is 100% accurate and has not been changed since it was revealed, his sayings might have been polluted/forgotten/wrongly-transmitted. So, scholars developed a system after he died of seeing how authentic his sayings were.
We also consider Je.sus to be a Messenger of God. Mos.es, No.ah, Abraham, (peace be upon them) etc were all Messengers from God too. Technically, I should be saying ‘peace be upon him’ after saying Je.sus, but I don’t want to be confusing b/c Ch.ristians consider him to be the son of God.
The reason we can’t depict him in a picture (or any prophet, or God) is simply because we don’t want to begin worshipping him. It becomes easy to revere a picture or a portrait of someone, even accidentally, so we avoid doing it altogether.
I guess that makes sense. The Old Testiment and To.rah both have a lot of prohibitions against idols/graven images too.
Do you believe in the devil?
Yes. The story's basically the same, except that he's not a serpent, he's a whole other type of creation called a 'djinn' (which has been become a 'genie' in English). They're made of smokeless fire and can be good or bad.
So nobody else saw the "original" Qura.n except for Muha.mmed?
Um...what do you mean by "saw"? It was revealed to only him, and he recited it to everybody else.
Because there is no easy way to say this, I will be blunt: How can you verify that he actually saw these the tablets and that they were actually God inspired?
1. They weren't tablets, it was verbal. He couldn't read.
2. This is important. The Qur'an was Mu.hammad's (pbuh) greatest miracle. We believe that he did have other miracles, but this is the one that lasts. So, for instance, you might say, "Je.sus healed lepers". However, you use the Bi.ble to convince people that Je.sus healed lepers, that was his miracle.
The Qur'an, on the other hand, is the miracle. It's difficult to explain the linguistic marvels in English, which were the original reason so many paga.n Arabs converted to Isl.am, but, for instance, it has prophecies (very few compared to the B.ible. I'm told the B.ible has 60 or something?), it has scientific things, it has historical things, and it's just a very compelling read.
So, in the end, we think it's God-given because there is no other explanation for it. M.uhammad (pbuh) was illiterate, like most Arabs at the time. He was unschooled. The things in the Qur'an are not those said by an illiterate dude.
This is where I am confused: if he was illiterate, how did it all get wrote down?
Wait, while I've got your attention: I'm not getting your posts on the "Holy Tr.inity" thread. Are they showing up for you?
How did it get written down:
1. It was mainly memorised. It's a very rhythmic book. Memorising it (I can tell you from experience) is extremely easy--it's like memorising a song.
2. People wrote it on bones/stones/pieces of parchment, etc
3. Muhammad (pbuh) had a scribe named Zaid ibn Thabit. This scribe later compiled all of the chapters (see next point.)
4. It was compiled after his death. The first successor to "rule" the Mu.slim people in Mec.ca was Abu Bakr after Muha.mmad's death. During his time, there was an enormous battle where a lot of people who had memorised the Qur'an were killed. He became worried about the Qur'an being lost, so he had Zaid ibn Thabit (the scribe) compile all of the Qur'an. It was cross-referenced with the bones, with what people had memorised, etc. This was the first copy of the Qur'an, fully written down.
Even though I don't agree that this is all logical and I believe there is way too much room for manipulation or error, I now really respect Muslims for the amount of faith you guys have, and I am not being sarcastic. I respect you greatly for that.
Um..thank you? What do you mean it's not logical?
You're Ch.ristian, right? I've actually wondered this for quite a while (it's not some sort of a spiteful comeback): How was the Bi.ble cross-referenced for errors? Are the oldest versions of the B.ible at odds with each other at all?
As far as the old tes.tament goes, it is meticulously accurate when compared with the dead sea scrolls, providing evidence that it has not been altered. As far as the new testament goes, when the modern day B.ible is compared with the original scrolls, they are also meticulously accurate.
Oh and by my earlier posts I meant that if it was composed after his death, then how do they know they got everything accurate if he was the only one who knew everything? What if someone memorized it wrong? What if it was changed in a huge way because he wasn't there to say anything?
One person didn't memorise it, thousands of people did....so...yeah.
I've never actually understood what the Dead Sea Scrolls were. They were being displayed in Toronto once, and now I wish I had gone. :'( Apparently they're a big deal, eh?
Where are the original scrolls? Also, how do Ch.ristians know that the eye-witnesses didn't forget something/were lying?
Also, before his death, Mu.hammad (pbuh) recited the whole thing, front-to-back, in the month of R.amadan to Zaid ibn Thabit. Which is why he was asked to compile it.
The dead sea scrolls and all that take a while to explain, so I will post on it tomorrow. I would if I could tonight, but I am exhausted. I enjoyed the conversations tonight and I'll be posting tomorrow!
All right, good night and thank you! :)
About the Bib.le: I don't know if tdnarb has more information on the Bi.ble and where it comes from, but I've thought through what I know and have come to the conclusion that you pretty much have to take God's word for it. Remember that discussion we had on the other thread about the Holy Spirit and good feelings about religion? That's pretty much why I believe in the Bi.ble.
And I've got another question. How exactly is Is.lam related to Jud.aism? You say you believe Moses was a prophet, and the main thing he did was lead the Isrealites. How do you go from a small group of escaped slaves living near Jeru.salem to a prophet in a cave in Me.cca? (And I've heard Mus.lims consider Jeru.salem a holy city, too. Why?)
OK, Is.lam in its current form was revealed to Mu.hammad 1400 years ago. However, Mu.slims believe that Is.lam was the original religion. Basically, the word "isl.am" means "to surrender" [to God]. So, all of the pr.ophets who ever existed prea.ched that people surrender to God.
However, it is important to realise that in its current form, ie with all of the current rules, Is.lam was revealed 1400 years ago. The basic message however, which is to surrender to God's will, has never changed.
If you look at it that way, Mo.ses was basically telling the Is.raelites to surrender to God, ie to follow God. Abraham surrendered to God. Je.sus followed God, etc. We think that there have been countless (well, a lot) of pr.ophets that we have never heard about, all of whom were prea.ching one basic message of following God.
That is how Jud.aism is related to Is.lam. Je.ws believe that Je.sus wasn't from God, correct? But Ch.ristians say he was. So, similar to that, we think that Je.ws and Ch.ristians believe that Mu.hammad wasn't from God, when he actually was.
And Je.rusalem is holy because it has the mosque, Mas.jid al-Aqsa, in it. This is where Mu.hammad prayed during his Night Journey (basically, he was feeling really down because no-one believed him and everyone ridiculed him, so God sent him on a night journey to Jer.usalem, and then to Heaven, and then back to Me.cca).
Also, Ab.raham, who, as you probably know, was the father of a lineage of pr.ophets, was in Jer.usalem. In Is.lam, anyone who follows Ab.raham's original message can get into Heaven (well, God will judge).
Lastly, when Mu.slims pray, we face Me.cca (you might have seen a video of Mu.slims prostrating or something. That's us praying). In Mu.hammad's day, the original direction of prayer was Jer.usalem. Later, God ordered for it to be changed to Me.cca.
I hope that answers your question.