Can you describe what you think the process of forming faith is?
- Justified in the heart (deep belief in the truth that is conveyed)
- Promised orally (spread the truth)
- Being practiced (realizing faith by following the prophet/apostle example)
The level of faith is often not fixed and changes according to the trials and obstacles we go through. Not all pleasures can be viewed as mere pleasures. But it can also mean trials. Likewise with trials and obstacles sometimes it can be of great benefit and pleasure to us.
Consider the sky and its wondrous make,3
(6) and the earth and all its expanse! (7) Consider the human self,4 and how it is formed in accordance with what it is meant to be,5 (8) and how it is imbued with moral failings as well as with consciousness of God!6 (9) To a happy state shall indeed attain he who causes this [self] to grow in purity, (10) and truly lost is he who buries it
6 Lit., “and [consider] that which has inspired it with its immoral doings (fujuraha) and its God consciousness (taqwaha)” - i.e., the fact that man is equally liable to rise to great spiritual heights as to fall into utter immorality is an essential characteristic of human nature as such. In its deepest sense, man’s ability to act wrongly is a concomitant to his ability to act rightly: in other words, it is this inherent polarity of tendencies which gives to every “right” choice a value and, thus, endows man with moral free will (cf. in this connection note 16 on 7:24-25).
Do you think there is any evidence that strengthens faith? How familiar are you with the old and New Testament?
Yes, especially to me and what I understand (as a Muslim individual). I’m not an expert on New and Old Testament.
Have you studied to any extent?
Not much. Just read some literatures and it is difficult to understand. I mostly watch explanatory videos and comparisons of several studies on religion.
Thanks. I have read the Quran once and was surprised in the amount of commonality.
Exactly what you would expect if it shared a common ancestor (Judaism) with Christianity
Do you know it affirms Jesus as the Jewish Messiah?
I don’t, but do you also know it says that Jesus was just a prophet, not the Son of God?
I agree. He however is considered a very special prophet. So Christianity may be the real common ancestor.
Sorry Bill, Muhammad is the most special.
Judaism says eye for an eye, Islam agrees, Christianity disagrees. Christianity says Jesus was a prophet, Judaism disagrees, Islam agrees. Judaism says it is forbidden for a man to lie with another man, both Christianity and Islam agree. I guess we know who the common ancestor is.
@Roels, this is interesting. What do you think is the role of God (Allah) in an individual’s faith? By faith I mean both religious belief in the truth as well as religious practices. Is faith purely a gift from Allah, or is it up to the individual’s free will to follow Him or not?
Based on the sources of commentary on the Quran from commentators and other sources that I have read, we are given free will to decide our own actions, and are also given inspiration or guidance about good and bad things that come from Allah SWT. What is unique at the beginning and at the end is that everything that happens to us is a decree of Allah SWT.
So, even if we have free will, ultimately both our behavior and experience is constrained by Allah’s decree. Is that right? That also means that what determines whether we go to heaven or not is ultimately determined by Allah, as He is the one who gives us the ability to obey Him or not. Do you agree?
In the part that I call unique, I still don’t understand what it means and questions will arise, such as if all of Allah’s will, why does Allah give free will? There are several stories that say, actually I don’t remember much, but the point is that in the end everyone will go to heaven after weighed by their practices and what they do in this world, except those who really do not acknowledge the existence of Allah SWT and consider themselves to be God. But only Allah SWT knows this secret.
That’s illuminating, since that means Islam (or at least your tradition of Islam) has a similar view regarding God’s decrees and free will as the Reformed Christian tradition - namely that it is God’s sovereign will determines who responds to Him in faith and obedience, instead of a person’s own effort. The difference is that we like to call this as an act of God’s sovereign, loving grace - meaning that it is completely unmerited and due to God’s mercy, not our own worthiness. Do Muslims ever talk about God’s actions in providing guidance (hidayah) as an act of love and grace?
I think one other difference is that in Islam it seems that one is ultimately still judged by the whole record of one’s actions on Earth - good and bad. In Reformed theology, once God gives his grace to someone, then they are no longer judged by their actions in the world, but their salvation is guaranteed.
But you’re talking about something different, namely that in the end Allah will judge everyone for what they did while on Earth. Instead, my question is about whether Allah helps certain people to obey him and do good things in this world or not in the first place. In the Reformed tradition the answer is absolutely yes, because it is believed that without God’s act of grace to change the hearts of His people, they are left helpless in sin and rebellion against Him.
Allah gives guidance to whomever He wants. We pray that directions are given to the way of salvation not the way of destruction.
Can that mean Allah’s love for his servants? Yes, it can be interpreted that way.
(1:6) Guide us the straight way
(1:7) the way of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings,3 not of those who have been condemned [by Thee], nor of those who go astray!4