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To Muhammed Fikri on conversion to Islam, etc.

Reader comment on item: Pope Benedict XVI and the Koran
in response to reader comment: My friend...

Submitted by Plato (United Arab Emirates), Jan 17, 2007 at 06:22

Did I sound angry to you? I thought I was merely posing some questions. In any case my apologies.

You write: "My first point is people convert to Islam because of one God. Yes, we've been told about it in Koran. Same like you. You believe to 33 millions gods because you've been told in your scripture too."

Your scripture says there is only one god mine says there are 33 million. Or there are none. What is so special about belief in one almighty god? Why should I believe yours. You have not answered the question.

You write: "Let we discuss together about this thing. If there are no holy books on the earth, what will you think about your god?"

I may not think about god at all. And don't you think the holy books have made a holy mess by having all those differing ideas about god. Which one am I supposed to believe?

Another quote: "There must be only one God who governs the world. Why? It is because only the god has the power. A god should not have a partner to help Him to govern the world. Do you agree with my point? I hope so."

I find it a bit difficult to understand your train of thought in that quote. You have made a bland dogmatic statement about there having to be only one god that governs the world. Your reasoning seems to be a bit fuzzy here when you say it is because only god has the power. What is that supposed to prove? You make another dogmatic statement that god should not have a partner. On what basis did you decide that. What if god chooses to have partners. How can you or me stop him from having partners or helpers. Even your scriptures admit he has helpers. You know the thousands of angels who god regularly sent to help the Prophet during his ghazwas. Gabriel who god sent to communicate his message to Mohammed. God has chosen to have helpers! He can choose to have partners or children too.

You also seem to think that god is not capable of having sons and daughters because then he would be just like humans. Why do you deny him that power just as you denied him the power of having partners? He seems to have emotions just like humans so maybe he craves children too. He craves to be worshipped, loved, respected believed in, so he created humans. Since he created humans aren't we his sons and daughters. You probably think that god is not a sexual being because sex is indulged in in a furtive manner by humans and is seen as something dirty. There are many religions who don't consider sex to be dirty or sinful that do believe god is a sexual being.

You write: "Besides that, also ask yourself what you want your god to look like? " That is a very pertinent question you ask. And when you think about it you will understand why Allah sounds so human. He gets angry, he threatens, he cajoles, he craves love, respect and fear. He terrorises. He makes contracts. He can be manipulated. Just like humans. Because as your question seemed to suggest humans want him that way.1.

2. Here is Allah making a contract: 9:111 God hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Qur'an: and who is more faithful to his covenant than God? then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme.

3. He can be manipulated: How? You can choose to do what you want, right? If you choose to commit a sin, say you drink wine, Allah is angry at you.Your action has affected his emotion. You pray regularly and observe all the rituals. Allah is pleased with you. Who chose to manipulate god's emotions of anger and happiness?

About the first two points you might plead context. But so what, god did it did he not, just like a human.

You quote the Koran: "This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah(Al-Baqara,"

As a student of the Koran you also know there are various verses saying that Allah has drawn a veil on he hearts of unbelievers and that even if they were shown the right path they would not because of the veil. So what kind of guidance is it. For instance: 006.110 We (too) shall turn to (confusion) their hearts and their eyes, even as they refused to believe in this in the first instance: We shall leave them in their trespasses, to wander in distraction.

Instead of guiding Allah leaves them in their tresspass!

To quote you: "My second point is people convert to Islam because they read Koran. Yes, because they read Koran. It is hard to tell you why. "

As I pointed out in my previous mail people also convert to Buddhims, Christianity, Hare Krishan etc and as you say it is hard to tell why. So what is your point here? Nothing special about people converting to one religion or the other.

"I believe 100% to Koran because I read it everyday. So, I know the content very much.." I fail to understand what this means. If I read Das Capital everyday and know its contents should I believe Das Capital. Or the Guru Granth Sahib. Or the Gita.

I took the advice of reading the Koran long ago. I have read it a few times, in English. What I found did not convince me to believe. Let tell you why. I am an infidel and I read: "You do not guide those whom you like, but God guides those whom He wills" (sura 28, verse 56) "And if We had so willed, We would have given every soul its guidance" (sura 32, verse 13).

Since you have read the Koran many times you must have come across these and some of a similar kind. If Allah guides only those whom He wills why should I bother? Maybe he has willed that I should not believe. God also says in another place that he sometimes changes his mind and abrogates what he has revealed with something better. So how do I know that there could not be even better verses which he has not revealed. Maybe he could even reveal to someone that Mohammed was not the last prophet because God has retained the right to abrogate what he has revealed.

You say: "Most of the non Muslim just says this and that about the Koran ".

Non-muslims don't say this and that it is the Koran itself which says this and that . The Koran says man was made from water, from sounding clay, from dust. It is the Koran itself saying this and that.

Read these verses: "095.001-008 By the Fig and the Olive, And the Mount of Sinai, And this City of security,- " We have indeed created man in the best of moulds, Then do We abase him (to be) the lowest of the low, Except such as believe and do righteous deeds: For they shall have a reward unfailing. Then what can, after this, contradict thee, as to the judgment (to come)? Is not Allah the wisest of judges? "

That is the whole of of the sura At Tin. No quoting out of context. God starts off by swearing on some fruits, Mount Sinai and Mecca or Medina. Humans swear by something which is superior to themselves or love above themselves. Here is Allah swearing by his own created things. Then he says he has created man in the best of moulds and in the very next sentence says that He then debases them. Why did he create them in the best of moulds then.

How can humans overcome debasement that Allah has himself brought down as the next sentence seems to imply. After making these schizophrenic statements He goes on to claim that He is the best of judges. An infidel like me would not want to be judged by someone like that. So here is Allah saying "this and that." As you can see I am not impressed by the contents. Apart from swearing on his own creation he also says this: "70:40 Now I do call to witness the Lord of all points in the East and the West that We can certainly" Why is God calling witnesses who is lord of all points of east and west. Either it is himself or it is somebody else. What do you make of this? Has god set up some Lords of the east and west (partners?)003.007

If only Allah can understand some verses what is the point in revealing them to humans. And where is it indicated which are allegorical so that the reader can skip them. Mr. Fikri can you tell me which they are? Again "this and that" right in the Koran.

Your last point: "My third point is only the God can forgive our sins. So, that is why people convert to Islam. "

Again reading the Koran infidels like me come to the unhappy conclusion that this forgiveness of god is entirely capricious. His forgiveness depends on his whim. Read:

013.031 If there were a Qur'an with which mountains were moved, or the earth were cloven asunder, or the dead were made to speak, (this would be the one!) But, truly, the command is with Allah in all things! Do not the Believers know, that, had Allah (so) willed, He could have guided all mankind (to the right)? But the Unbelievers,- never will disaster cease to seize them for their (ill) deeds, or to settle close to their homes, until the promise of Allah come to pass, for, verily, Allah will not fail in His promise.006.107

Fikri, when I read these two verses I see that Allah is not interested in guiding all human kind except the ones he favours. And as a person who has studied the Koran you know that it states in many places God forgives only those whom he pleases, not necessarily those who have toed the straight and narrow path.

Fateha 1-6Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds

(If He exists this would certainly be true)Most Gracious, Most Merciful

9:30 The Jews call 'Uzair a son of God, and the Christians call Christ the son of God. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. God's curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth!002.065

Do these two verses show graciousness

Surah 8:12 I shall terrorise the infidels. So wound their bodies and incapacitate them, because they oppose Allah and his apostle."

Does this and innumerable others, of which I am sure you are aware, show mercy.

Master of the Day of Judgment.

This remains to be seen

Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.

This will apply to people who don't mind worhipping a capricious being who may or may not reward you for your good works.

Show us the straight way.

How can I know I am being guided properly when god himself says I will be debased etc. and that he guides whom He pleases?The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray

Why does god bestow his grace on some and not on others. This is unjust on the part of god. Those who have gods's grace cannot go astray.

Also notice that this Sura does not begin with 'Say'. As many have pointed out this means that Allah is praying to himself.

You end with: "ALLAH IS A FORGIVENESS"

How can it be if Allah says he will forgive only those whom he wants to and that never will shirk be forgiven. He says: 003.091 : As to those who reject Faith, and die rejecting,- never would be accepted from any such as much gold as the earth contains, though they should offer it for ransom. For such is (in store) a penalty grievous, and they will find no helpers.

There are many more verses where god's forgiveness is always conditional so the claim to Allah being "forgiveness" is questionable.

Mr. Fikri, you sound a sincere believer, and I can accept that. That is why I have spent time and energy to take you up on as many points as possible. And I am not angry, all I am trying to do is have a lively exchange of ideas which is the best way for the world to go forward rather close our minds and say all other ideas are false or that a final truth is now in our hands.

Please take your time reflect on the points I have raised. But please do not come back with the jaded excuse of context and subtleties of the Arabic language. Remember the Koran cannot be a contextual book since it claims to be for all time and places. Some believers , to hide their embarrassment at some of its verses, end up sounding as though they are discussing a history text.

: And well ye knew those amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath: We said to them: "Be ye apes, despised and rejected." If it had been Allah's plan, they would not have taken false gods: but We made thee not one to watch over their doings, nor art thou set over them to dispose of their affairs

He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: "We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:" and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding.

Here is Allah terrorising, just like say Hitler or Saddam. "I shall terrorise the infidels. So wound their bodies and incapacitate them, because they oppose Allah and his apostle." (Surah 8:12)

Submitting....

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