Hello - Islam

From: Joel Wendt
Date: Thu Nov 27, 2003 5:13 am
Subject: hello - Islam

Dear new and old friends,

Someone, I expect it was Uncle Taz's nephew, sent me an invitation to join this conversation list yesterday. So I did, and I thought I would now introduce myself, and make a few comments. I've read the first 100 e-mails in the archive, and didn't want to pass by those struggles to understand the world, without adding from my own experience and thinking.

As a side note, the movie Charlie was not based upon something written by Ray Bradbury, but upon a short novel called Flowers for Algernon (Algernon being the mouse that was experimented on before the human being was), which was written (I had to Google this) by one Daniel Keyes [ http://www.danielkeyesauthor.com/algernon.html ].

That minor point aside, I'd now like to add some comments to the conversation about Islam.

In my thinking, I try to distinguish a religion, whether Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, whatever, from the life and biography into which an incarnating spirit has entered. We are, on the Earth, star-children, each and every one of us. We've come from our star, and entered into life accepting our Karma (ordained and agreed to suffering as recompense for past and future deeds), Fate (those new trials that come given that each biography is always an ongoing shared creation - it would be empty were others not part of it) and Destiny (that which we ourselves can make into Art out of our life, and which is neither Karma or Fate, but our own individual invention).

In order to experience this threefold life pattern and potential, we choose at the Midnight Hour, in the company of Higher Beings, to live out our biography within a particular time, culture, language, religion, and related and necessary companions (family, friends and enemies - these last are crucial for they are often our greatest teachers). What this means is that Islam is no more crucial to the biographies of those who have chosen to incarnate within its influence than was/is traditional Catholicism or Hinduism.

It is context, but not essence.

Moreover, in our time, in the Age of the Consciousness Soul, it is precisely the dead and dying aspects of these religious traditions which the individual star-child is meant to encounter and struggle with in order to have the possibility of finding personal spiritual freedom. These cultural contexts exist precisely and only for the purpose of providing us with a certain tension, which our developing I-am needs to meet and grow within.

So as regards to Islam, there are two aspects to it. One is tradition, and found in the Koran and other teachings. The other is what the individual star-child does with it, out of their own humanity, and which we can only know through personal meetings with such individuals. Our imagination cannot supply us with knowledge of the second, or lived Islam, which individuals manifest, any more than our imagination can supply us with knowledge of how an individual and particular Catholic chooses to live out their humanity in the context of that tradition.

The fact is that Christ has given to all egos, all star-children, the same nature in the I-am. When we meet the Thou, in whatever circumstances or context, we meet that about which Christ said: "Whatsoever ye do to the least of these my brethren, you also do to me."

warm regards,
joel

for those who may be new to me
Shapes in the Fire: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/index.html
Outlaw Anthroposophy: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/otlwa.html
some thoughts on the nature of public life and an offer of service:
http://ipwebdev.com/campaign
Celebration and Theater - a People's Art of Statecraft:
http://ipwebdev.com/celebration

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Thu Nov 27, 2003 2:25 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] hello - Islam

At 14:13 27.11.2003, Joel wrote:

As a side note, the movie Charlie was not based upon something written by Ray Bradbury, but upon a short novel called Flowers for Algernon (Algernon being the mouse that was experimented on before the human being was), which was written (I had to Google this) by one Daniel Keyes [ http://www.danielkeyesauthor.com/algernon.html ].

Thank you for the correction and clarification. My error.

In my thinking, I try to distinguish a religion, whether Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, whatever, from the life and biography into which an incarnating spirit has entered.

My sentiment exactly. In an earlier message I wrote:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/anthroposophy_tomorrow/message/22

".....the distinction needs to be made between a religion like that and its individual followers."

".....remember the Good Samaritan, who today would translate into the Good Muslim."

Cheers,

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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From: dottie zold
Date: Thu Nov 27, 2003 5:07 pm
Subject: Re: hello - Islam

Hey Tarjei and Joel,

I wanted to share a few quotes from the Qu'ran that I find relative to this discussion.

"Abraham in truth was not a Jew, neither a Christian; but one who surrendered himself (muslim) and one of pure faith (hanif); certainly he was never of the idolators. Surely the people standing closest to Abraham are those who followed him, and this prophet, and those who believe; and God is the Protector of the believers."

"Say you: 'We believe in God, and in that which has been sent down on us and sent down on Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac and Jacob and the Tribes, and that which was given to Moses and Jesus and the Prophets, of their Lord; we make no division between any of them, and to Him we surrender.'

It seems to me that this muslim is actually the act of surrendering one self. And there are three more steps within this whole search for God.(I showed this earlier in a post about the Treatise of the Heart by and early Sufi writer) Even the word jihad comes from 'struggle' and is directly tied to the struggle within, against ones lower self. Ms. Armstrong notes that there are many other words that could have been used to denote war and such and they were not used in the instances where Jihad was if what they were looking for was a war.

I have not found anything to suggest, in this book I am reading, that Muhammed was a camel stealer and so forth. I asked my Christian friend from Lebanon about Muhammed being a camel stealer and she looked at me like I was crazy and then she laughed so hard. I felt a wee bit silly and just tried to explain some of the things I had been hearing lately and actually before as well. I told my friend Markram that I had heard Muhammed had stolen camels and he asked me for other things I had heard. He seemed a bit shocked to say the least.

Markam used to ask me to search the bible for he was sure there was a reference to Muhammed in the NT. I told him I had searched and asked others but no where was this acknowledged. I actually found out in this book i am reading, that there indeed was a tradition in the early days of Islam that mentions an Ahmet in the Syriac bible which was around that area at the time. I wonder if anyone else knows about this particular reference.

What I find very interesting while reading this book is an idea long ago brought up by another list regarding the shadow. Can it be that we indeed have made a reputation that these people are now beholden to. And instead of fighting themselves to surrender they have to continually fight this shadow self concept. For truly the majority of Muslims do not hate Christians. They do not like that we involve ourselves in their Prophet, to the extent we have since the beginning it seems, but they do not hate us.

And also I think if we took the Gandhi approach with a group like this, and not to change their religion but to inspire them to the highest idea within theirs, we would have a better world. And we would be loved greatly by God:) I don't find them to be blindly following and any more non thinking than the rest of the God fearing people on this planet. When these terrorists choose to fly a plane into the tower they are only following those like minded terrorists and not Islam. They are a small lot affecting the whole world including their own people who disagree with these methods. One thing that may turn against them is the killing of innocent muslims whether intentioned or not. This is the one thing that truly has a capactiy to bring the wrath of good Muslims upon their heads.

What does anyone think about the concept that being a muslim is actually meant for anyone who surrenders to God and is the first step to self realization?

Dottie

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From: dottie zold
Date: Thu Nov 27, 2003 8:27 pm
Subject: Re: hello - Islam

Dottie wrote:
I have not found anything to suggest, in this book I am reading, that Muhammed was a camel stealer and so forth.

Me again,

Yes, I have found references towards Muhammed being a part of caravans that stole camels, goods, women and so forth. And in looking at this it seems that this is part of the makeup of these people at the time and even appears in the OT as well with the Jews. It seems to be part and parcel of how things happened in the Arabian territories. Yet, it almost feels like the whole Robinhood dilema of stealing from the rich to feed their own poor: they had been kicked out of their town and almost starved to death so the story is told by Karen Armstrong.

I am struck as well by the story of how the veil came to take place. It seems it was an honor that would allow Muhammeds wives to show their queenliness:) due to Muhammeds growing popularity. It also served as a protection of sorts for them from the possibility of any scandal that might have been brought on Muhammeds family regarding his wives and other men. In later years, other women wanted to show their queenliness as well and decided to take on the veil as a show of respect for themselves and how they wished to be treated.

I wish to bring a few suras once I can get my hands on the Qu'ran that has a good interpretation. There are references regarding womens rights, that were not even honored in our country until the 19th century, that were alotted to these women of the desert. He seems indeed to have been quite honoring of women for a man of his time. Many of the marriages seem to be a political brokering of sorts that allowed some further protection from the groups wanting to annihilate him for the new religion and so forth.

All in all I do not know how anyone can judge this Prophet's story, taking moral high ground, when ours began in a very similar manner. And we obviously were much more educated than they or at least the story goes.

Does Steiner ever speak of another incarnation of this Muhammed?

All good things,
dottie

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Fri Nov 28, 2003 2:30 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: hello - Islam

At 05:27 28.11.2003, Dottie wrote:

All in all I do not know how anyone can judge this Prophet's story, taking moral high ground, when ours began in a very similar manner.

As a matter of fact, Norway was Christianized a millennium ago by king "Holy Olav." His method was to cut the heads off unbelievers, just like Mohammed. It was quite effective. But there is no need to criticize Holy Olav because Christians today don't look up to him as a prophet and try to emulate him. By the same token, the criticism is not against Mohammed and his blood-stained biography. It's a concern about so many people regarding this barbarian historical figure as a role model, still cutting off people's heads and limbs in public squares.

RS said somewhere that we're making a mistake if we compare religions with the sole purpose of finding out what they have in common, how similar they may be. It is much more important to discover how they differ, to distinguish between them. Buddha and Christ didn't run around killing people. On the contrary, they both sought to relieve suffering and offer a way out of it.

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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From: dottie zold
Date: Fri Nov 28, 2003 6:02 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: hello - Islam

Tarjei wrote:
His method was to cut the heads off unbelievers, just like Mohammed.

Dear Tarjei,

I would like some more time to look at this subject before responding any further. In the book I am reading I have found no instance where Muhmmed cut off heads because people didn't believe. I have found however that he did not convert others forcibly and it is actually in the Qu'ran that this is not to be done. Ms. Armstrong does say that a few hundred years after Muhammeds death his one sect of his believers did indeed bring forced conversions but at some point this disappeared as well.

Tarjei
By the same token, the criticism is not against Mohammed and his blood-stained biography.

Dottie

Well, it seems to me that it is against his biography if it happens to not be true. Scientologists claim that Jesus was a perverter of little boys. And they can point to the current 'outing' scandal of this issue with the many coverups of molestations and rapes happening in their very churches to show their claim to be true. We obviously realize this is not true however they are giving Jesus a reputation according to his followers.

I am so happy you brought this stream of Islam to the group. It's actually the first time, and I have wanted to for a while, that I am actually creating time to read on him. My muslim friends have been encouraging me a while to take a look at their Prophet but I didn't and so now I shall look to see what is going on. Do you have a specific book you can recommed that speaks to the way your understanding that you consider credible?

The only head cutting or dismembering I have found in Muhammeds fight, before his death, is when he was determined to not be pushed out by the Qyaarsh who were a pagan following group. They despised Muhammed even though he came from the same area. They did not want to give up the Goddess and move to a one God system. There were quite a few attempts on his life and he wasn't safe really anywhere with certain groups teaming up with the Jews to take him out. It is not a pretty time of Islam however it does pretty much seem spirit inspired. After the initial war for a singular God it seems Muhammed led them to a place of peace. In their Qu'ran they are told that if the enemy makes a concession they are to take it no matter what it is. That peace is better than war. He felt that physical war was the little jihad and fighting ones self was the greater Jihad.

Gabriel seems to be the Angel in which Muhammed was in contact.

All in all, I sense something very different than you. I am not trying to find what is common at this point although there is much. I am trying to point out the similarities in which many of the great religions began well at least the three connected to Abraham.

One difference being however is that Muhammed does not seem to have a great personal bio, or it has not be noted upon, with a great spiritual being inhabiting his body. He was dependant on his faith and what he believed the messages of God were telling him. He was not as blessed as Jesus nor that of the Buddha. He seems to be a man who wrought out of nothing to bring his all to God and his all to the people. And his primary concern was for the orphans and the widows. He felt that one of the tribe should marry these left behind groups so as to insure them a good life. And that God would store treasures for the good behaviour for this. I find him to be a good man of God who did the best he could to bring a people together under one God which allowed them to move forward with the rest of the middle eastern world. I find him to be a man riding the dragon.

But after all this is said and done I feel the need to read more of this man to have a better understanding for the future.

Tarjei
It's a concern about so many people regarding this barbarian historical figure as a role model, still cutting off people's heads and limbs in public squares.

Dottie

What books on Muhammed have you read that show him to be a barbarian or maybe what websites?

Tarjei
Buddha and Christ didn't run around killing people. On the contrary, they both sought to relieve suffering and offer a way out of it.

Dottie

Muhammed sought to find a way out of the killing and suffering as well and he did. He led his people, as the Jews and Christians did, to one God. The main difference that I have noted earlier is the idea that this Muhammed had no great spiritual being inhabit his body he was totally guided by his heartmind connected to the Cosmos. He seemed to be heading towards the I AM.

Thanks for sticking with me during this discussion. I feel the need to go deeper than what others have said and told us about this Prophet in the same way I have felt about searching for the Mother.

All my best,
Dottie

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Sat Nov 29, 2003 10:07 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: hello - Islam

At 15:02 28.11.2003, Dottie wrote:

In the book I am reading I have found no instance where Muhmmed cut off heads because people didn't believe. I have found however that he did not convert others forcibly and it is actually in the Qu'ran that this is not to be done. Ms. Armstrong does say that a few hundred years after Muhammeds death his one sect of his believers did indeed bring forced conversions but at some point this disappeared as well.

It seems like I'm picking up conflicting info about Mohammed's biography, so you may be right; there are plenty of articles supporting you here, e.g. "Mohammed The Prophet"

http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/prophet/lifeofprophet.html

Like I said, my perceptions may be biased and ignorant. I'm still learning.

<snip>

Gabriel seems to be the Angel in which Muhammed was in contact.

Corroborated by RS too, as far as I remember.

<snip>

What books on Muhammed have you read that show him to be a barbarian or maybe what websites?

I do have a book by Idries Shah entitled "The Way of the Sufi," but I haven't gotten very far, because it is bewildering in the sense that Mohammed and the Qu'ran are sidestepped when the Sufis themselves claim that their knowledge has existed for thousands of years: An equivalence of the Hermetic, Pythagorean and Platonic streams.

The way of the Sufi, therefore, is not the way of Islam:

http://www.yelwan.com/islam/shahada49.asp

"....there is no need of a Prophet after Prophet Muhammad, for the Message, i.e., the Holy Quran (that he has brought for the whole world) is the final and the completest Code of Religion, and is and will be preserved for all time absolutely intact in its original form; besides the authentic record of the Prophet's eventful life covering all human activities is also extant, and will always remain as a Model for mankind. Hence no Prophet either with code and commandments, or without, is required after him, and therefore the Holy Quran says that Prophet Muhammad is the last and the Seal of all Prophets."

Here is an interesting set of rules from a bona fide Muslim website:

http://www.yelwan.com/islam/shahada55.asp

Can you name some of the acts that are major sins and are liable for severe punishment ?

Yes. Some of the acts that are major sins are liable for severe punishment are :

1. To believe in anyone as partner of Allah.
2. To disbelieve in Allah or His Prophets or His Books or to deny any of the Fundamental Principles of Islam.
3. To lie
4. To commit adultery or sodomy
5. To rob or steal
6. To cheat or deceive anyone
7. To bear false witness
8. To bring false charge against anyone.
9. To backbite
10. To abuse anybody or injure anyone's feelings.

This is why the Mujaddid of the Age (Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib of Qadian) found it necessary to include in his oath of allegiance the condition: "I shall put religion above the world." His aim was to instil in the lives of Muslims a practical manifestation of their faith in Allah.

Islam: A false religion that was invented by illiterate individual who was a pedophile rapist, a robber, a mass murderer, and who made Charlie Manson look like a nice guy in comparison. The so-called prophet Mohammed was for all practical purposes was an Enemy of Mankind in General..

"Mohammed (aka: Muhammad) - Terrorist or Prophet?" (Christian-Jewish site)

http://feistymama.com/bp/mohammed.htm

http://www.allahjones.org/pro_mo.htm

"The Truth About Islam"

http://www.pagerealm.com/celinet/

And here is a little special quote from the Quran:

Quran 4:34: Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in their sleeping places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.

Plus a few choice pieces from Islam Review
http://www.islamreview.com/articles/issuesoflife.shtml

Islam teaches that women are less than equal to men in at least two major areas:

First, in inheritance: A woman's share is half that of a man.

"To the male a portion equal to that of two females..." Surah 4:11

Second, in court witness: The witness of two women equals the witness of one man.

"And get two witnesses out of your own men, and if there are not two men,
then a man and two women such as ye choose, for witness..."
Surah 2:282

Islam teaches that a wife is subject to punishment by her husband. As a punishment, beating a wife or abstaining from sexual relations with her is allowed.

"...As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct,
Admonish them, refuse to share their beds, beat them,..."
Surah 4:34

"For those who take an oath for abstention from their wives, a waiting for four months is ordained; if they return, God is oft-forgiving, most merciful." Surah 2:226

Islam teaches that any person who accepts Islam and then later turns away from it will be subject to death.

"But if they violate their oath after their covenant, and taunt you for your faith, fight ye the chiefs of unfaith: for their oaths are nothing to them." Surah 9:12 (See also Surah 4:89)

Resisting Islam: punished by death, crucifixion or the cutting off of the hands and feet.

"The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Apostle, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of the hands and feet from opposite sides or exile from the land..." Surah 5:33

Adultery and Fornication: punished by public flogging for the unmarried person. For the married, the punishment is stoning.

"The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication, flog each of them with a hundred stripes; let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day; and let a party of the believers witness their punishment." Surah 24:2

Stealing: punished by amputation of the hands.

"As to the thief, male or female, cut off his or her hands: A punishment, by way of example, from Allah for their crime: and Allah is exalted in power." Surah 5:38

Drinking: punished by 40 to 80 lashes according to the Hadith (Mohammed's sayings). - See Sahih al-Bukhari vol. 8:770

Islam forbids wine.

"O ye who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, stones and arrows, are an abomination, of Satan's handiwork: Eschew such that you may prosper." Surah 5:90

Ironically, the faithful are promised "rivers of wine" in Paradise.

"The garden which the righteous are promised...in it are rivers of wine, a joy to those who drink..." Surah 47:15

"...truly the righteous will be in bliss,,, their thirst will be slaked with pure wine sealed." Surah 83:22, 25

Muhammed sought to find a way out of the killing and suffering as well and he did. He led his people, as the Jews and Christians did, to one God.

We've already been through this monotheism bit, but even as such, the "one God" we're talking about there is not identical with the God described by RS, who was previously quoted:

"The all-encompassing attribute of the Godhead is not omnipotence, neither is it omniscience, but it is love - the attribute in respect of which no enhancement is possible. God is uttermost love, unalloyed love, is born as it were out of love, is the very substance and essence of love. God is pure love, not supreme wisdom, not supreme might." - http://www.uncletaz.com/lovemeaning.html

I'm sorry I had to snip some interesting parts of your text to make my response relatively brief. If I get the time, I'll get back to those snipped parts.

Cheers,

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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From: dottie zold
Date: Sat Nov 29, 2003 7:42 pm
Subject: Re: hello - Islam

Tarjei wrote:
We've already been through this monotheism bit, but even as such, the "one God" we're talking about there is not identical with the God described by RS, who was previously quoted:

Hey Dear Tarjei,

I'm going to the Imam; in a veil:) The great thing about this internet communication reality is that we get to interact and be inspired to look at things we may not have naturally.

I read your quotes to my friend Markram and he agreed these were things said. He says how there are also many words that speak to the opposite of what these specific quotes are saying. Contradictions all over the place and his particular group looks to those particular quotes for understanding while fundies tend to ignore these aspects and go with the most outrageous of understandings.

The greatest thing is that I get to go to the Imam and we are going to ask about these particular questions and quotes you have supplied.

As a gnostic minded christian I will say I as well go along with the idea that the OT speaks to a tyrant god similar to the god of the muslims. AND this tyrant god is the foundation of Christianity. So, the question is if the OT god is the same Islam god? I believe they are. I also had to come to an understanding, which was really hard for me, for I was convinced that the God we were calling Father God was a false Father, was really the one and same Father God of the NT: it was the Son that was the new salvation and inspiration for the Father to not be so mean minded. So, here I am with Islam looking at the same questions as arose for me when I argued this point on the Ark. How could God say, 'kill all those people, leave no women men or children alive' and so forth, was what kept me from reading the OT my whole life till just two years ago. How do we reconcile these things?

So, here you are calling this a different God and I have to disagree. But anyway we shall look inside and see what is going on. I will tell you that since my reading of this Muhammed book I feel a 'pull' of sorts to look to God more often that I usually do. I mean my heart is in a state of prayer most of the time but this 'pull' I am experiencing is a definite 'feeling' towards prayer.

All my best,

Dottie

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Mon Dec 1, 2003 3:24 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: hello - Islam

At 04:42 30.11.2003, Dottie wrote:

As a gnostic minded christian I will say I as well go along with the idea that the OT speaks to a tyrant god similar to the god of the muslims. AND this tyrant god is the foundation of Christianity. So, the question is if the OT god is the same Islam god?

That does not make sense to me, because the god of the Muslims denies the divinity of the Christ, "God's only begotten Son." Jesus is depicted as a great prophet just like all other wise and great men and prophets, but the idea that Allah should have a son is blasphemous according to Muslims. For that reason, I don't see how Yahve, who promises the coming of Christ in the OT, can possibly be the same god as Allah.

Whether we think of these two gods in the classical mythological sense as flawed, superhuman characters, or in the psychological-philosophical sense as pure concepts, they remain strikingly dissimilar.

Cheers,

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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From: golden3000997
Date: Sat Nov 29, 2003 8:07 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: hello - Islam

Hello Dottie, Tarjei and Everyone!

Dottie, Steiner makes a tremendous distinction between "God" of the Old Testament, the God of Abraham and Issac and Jacob and "God the Father". "God" as revealed in the Old Testament is Yahweh, or Jehovah, one of the Seven Main Exusiai (Spirits of Form) that live in the Sun Sphere. Whereas six of the seven are Exusiai AND Spirits of the Sun, Jehovah was an Exusiai but a Spirit of the Moon. His special task was as "God" of the Hebrew nation/race whose task was to specially prepare the physical body that would be able to withstand and support the reality of the Christ Being's Incarnation for the three years between Baptism and Crucifixtion. The Buddha stream prepared and "donated" (my terminology) the Etheric Body of the Nathan Child within that Physical Body of the Hebrews. Moses/ Hermes out of the Egyptian stream "donated" the Astral Body which was first with the Solomon Child and carried over when the Ego of Jesus (ie Zarathustra) entered the Nathan Child (which carried the Adam Kadmon as well). And the Zarathustra Ego carried the stream from the Persian mysteries with which to work on the body from 12 to 30 to complete the preparation for the Incarnation.

Yaweh or Jehovah, being a Spirit of Form, yet a Moon Exusiai had everything to do with bloodline and heredity, which is part of the story of Cain and Abel and why the gift of the shepherd (Abel) was acceptable while the gift of the farmer (Cain) was not. He was never "God the Father". Maybe one could say he was "the God of the Fathers" in a sense - Abraham, etc.. In relating themselves to Abraham through Ishmael, his first son, those of the Mohammedan stream are really relating themselves to "the God of the Fathers" not "God the Father." I don't really know WHO Allah is, but what I have read so far leans me toward Jehovah or some such Spiritual Being. After all, Steiner says that if a person sees an Angel, he or she is going to think it is "GOD" for lack of understanding of the hierarchies and who they are.

PLEASE don't take this the wrong way - with what I am about to say, I really don't mean to criticize in any way. You told me that you have been reading Steiner for years and I am sure that you have. But you might want to take some time with his lectures on the Gospels and really sort out some of his work on the whole incarnation and OT/ NT transition. I really feel in some of your questions and responses that you are "mixing" up some basic ideas and that some of the confusion that is arising in trying to make sense of things like the relationship of Christianity to Islam starts with mixing up some concepts in Steiner's Christology.

Have you had any contact, written or in person with the Christian Community. Many Christian Community priests have written very beautiful and clear descriptions of this Christology and what is really a new way of reading the Gospels and understanding both the Old and New Testaments.

Well, there is so much to explore in Steiner's work, I think maybe we all need to be Initiates just to be able to figure out where to begin!

: ) Christine

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From: dottie zold
Date: Sat Nov 29, 2003 10:24 pm
Subject: Re: hello - Islam

Christine
PLEASE don't take this the wrong way - with what I am about to say, I really don't mean to criticize in any way. You told me that you have been reading Steiner for years and I am sure that you have. But you might want to take some time with his lectures on the Gospels and really sort out some of his work on the whole incarnation and OT/ NT transition.

Hi Christine,

I do not take it as an insult because I know one is not intended. And I also know that some things I was not able to 'think' on, while first reading Steiners books, I can now. My spirit grasped onto certain aspects that I felt we could make my own out of my own personal experiences.

It's funny because I just wrote Tarjei about the idea of the OT god being the same god as the Muslim god. And here you touch on that for a second. AND for me as always I see a oneness in all things, and in all that would be, at the End. Almost like two sides of one coin in a sense. I find alot of transformation from one to the other with the end being One.

Christine
I really feel in some of your questions and responses that you are "mixing" up some basic ideas and that some of the confusion that is arising in trying to make sense of things like the relationship of Christianity to Islam starts with mixing up some concepts in Steiner's Christology.

Dottie

Well, I am not trying to make sense of Christianity and Islam to one another. I sense Sophia in there and feel there is a real 'human' relationship to this Muhammed through it. In my mind we are all One. Even if we do not see it now. And I think we return to that Oneness once we find the I AM. I believe once we find our I AM we come WE ARE.

Unfortunately you may have to explain what concepts you think I am mixing up because I am not aware I am using any Steiner concepts to express my thoughts on Islam. I am using Christ concepts. And these are concepts I made my own and my prism is through this.

Christine
Have you had any contact, written or in person with the Christian Community. Many Christian Community priests have written very beautiful and clear descriptions of this Christology and what is really a new way of reading the Gospels and understanding both the Old and New Testaments.

Dottie:

Again, I read the bible differently before Steiner ever came into the picture. These questions were posed from childhood just about. I just did not know others felt the same way. I use Steiner as a jumping point in a sense and then I find myself in a whole stream of spiritual understandings. I get confused sometimes when I hear people say, oh well such and such and such and such, as facts, when it may not be what they 'got' for themselves, rather it is what Steiner said that felt self evident. And I can hear what he is saying but if I don't find it on my own it is not mine, even to the littlest thing. My beginning and end point is not Steiner its Christ. I guess what I am trying to say...is that I get an intuitive feeling about something and then I feel led to something, me being the guide to my self, that shows me what I was intuitively feeling before I even knew what it was. Mostly it is a confirmation of this 'thought/feeling and then I see others speaking of it although I did not get it mentally in the same way they did. And then I know it is mine. And usually it is Steiners work that confirms for me, on an outer level, what I had found and it never ceases to astound me.

Christine
Well, there is so much to explore in Steiner's work, I think maybe we all need to be Initiates just to be able to figure out where to begin!

Dottie

Well I think we are initiates. That is the path I am committed to and that seems to be a Michaelic path to me. An initiate is not the end result to me, rather it is the journey that becomes the initiate.

And I like that you point these things out to me. I trust you. And I am committed to understanding.

Love,

Dottie

p.s. You spoke of this Christian community before and Steiners comments to them. I am wondering if you can tell me where I can view these lectures or talks?

....................................................................................................................................

From: Richard Distasi
Date: Sun Nov 30, 2003 3:01 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: hello - Islam

Christine wrote:

Yaweh or Jehovah, being a Spirit of Form, yet a Moon Exusiai had everything to do with bloodline and heredity, which is part of the story of Cain and Abel and why the gift of the shepherd (Abel) was acceptable while the gift of the farmer (Cain) was not. He was never "God the Father"."

Steiner made mention that Jehovah was called the "Father" not because he is God the Father as you point out but because when we descend back to earth for each incarnation we pass through the elliptical sphere of the moon; the sphere of Jehovah. He gives us physical form, the forces that build our physical/mineral bodies and is perceived in a sense as our Father.

rick distasi

....................................................................................................................................

From: Daniel Hindes
Date: Sun Nov 30, 2003 8:32 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: hello - Islam

I found some interesting articles comparing Allah to Jehova. They were written anonymously by someone calling themselves "Fatima" and posted on a weblog at http://www.secularislam.net. The first essay she posted on March 4th, 2003, "The Distance of Allah from His Creatures". This was followed on June 2nd, 2003 by "Bible vs. Qur'an: Part 1 Abraham Bargains with God". While I can take no stance on the subject (I really lack the expertice) I found them quite interesting, and perhaps relavant to our discussion. I also found interesting the fact that the arguements are supported with extensive quotes from the source documents. Our discussion of Islam here so far has mostly been characterized by generous generalizations drawn from the somewhat superficial overviews of the subject. In this there is always the danger that we impose too much of our own culture and attitudes to the subject, perhaps working out of a desire to be "fair" to the subject. Were this to happen, then the irony would be that we would be guilty of ethnocentrism, imposing our values on Moslem culture, rather than letting it speak for itself. Against the quotes from the Qur'an and the Bible below, the similarities and differences between Allah and Jehova will hopefully become clear.

Daniel Hindes

The Distance of Allah from His Creatures
The last post about free will vs. predestination made me think of the differing distances between God and His creatures in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This subject has been bothering me for a long time. I read the Bible and I feel as though God is close, wanting us to love Him; I read the Qur'an and feel that Allah is much more distant, wanting us to submit to Him. No wonder Sufi mysticism, with its emphasis on love of Allah and closeness, even unity, with Him, has been so widespread in the Islamic world.

Allah seems more distant in Islam than in Judaism and Christianity; there is more of an emphasis on His might and His power, His inapproachability, the fact that He has no need of His creation and says, "I have only created Jinns and men, that they may serve Me." (51:56) Note the word serve, not love. In Islam one submits to Allah; in Judaism (repeated in Christianity) the Shema says, "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might," a concept totally lacking in Islamic prayers. Men and women are slaves of Allah in Islam; in Christianity they are children of God. Children are a source of love and worry for their parents; slaves exist merely to serve. Allah lets it be known in the Qur'an that if a people or nation rejects His message, He will simply wipe them out and put another people in their place who will serve Him better. Islam means submission; this does not leave much in the way of personal interaction. Allah orders, you obey. No debating or bargaining, like when Abraham got God down from fifty to ten righteous people to save Sodom and Gomorrah from destruction. Moses speaks directly with God; Allah communicates with Muhammad via the angel Gabriel, since "it is not fitting for a man that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration, or from behind a veil, or by the sending of a messenger to reveal, with Allah's permission, what Allah wills: for He is Most High, Most Wise." (42:51)

The Qur'an mentions that Allah is closer to man than his jugular vein (50:16), and Allah is constantly referred to as the Most Merciful and All Forgiving, but I have to say that I don't feel much warmth in the relationship. Allah is usually angry with man for constantly disobeying Him and constantly mentions how those who disobey and disbelieve will burn in Hell (quite graphically, too.) The portrayal of Paradise is mostly a picture of earthly delights such as flowing rivers, green gardens, cool fountains, cushions, green garments, fruits, cold drinks, and even "houris whom no man nor jinn has touched," not a picture of blissful union with Allah. Of course, these descriptions can easily be taken as metaphorical, but it is interesting that Paradise is described in these terms. Not to mention the fact that they generally have in fact been taken quite literally! The promise of 72 virgins to martyrs killed in jihad is only the best known, but there also have been Muslim scholars claiming that a man will be given the sexual strength of a hundred men, or the claim that a man will find, each time he has sex with a houri he will find her a virgin, or that houris supposedly will have no periods and will never need to go to the bathroom. The point is, this doesn't seem like a very spiritual haven, to say the least, more like a heavenly Playboy Mansion (and what's in it for the girls anyway???).

The heavy emphasis on rewards and punishments in the Qur'an and on fearing Allah and what He will do to you if you don't repent and submit to His will doesn't leave much room for really loving Him. The legalistic nature of Islam and the intricacies, even the often anal nit-picking of shari'ah, only serve to strengthen this idea of Allah as demanding slave-master, quick to punish.

Hence the huge appeal of Sufism among Muslims, even some non-Muslims. Sufism may have grown out of Hindu or Christian mysticism. At least it was sufficiently exotic and suspect to be distrusted and sometimes even banned by the scholars of religion. Some Sufis became infamous for flouting the exoteric Law of Allah in favor of personal contact with the Divine, which of course cut into the ulama's job. Other Sufis insisted that it was necessary to follow the Law, but that was only the beginning of a journey to meet the Face of Allah. In any case, it was the personal experience of Him, the overpowering love for Him, that counted. This was necessary to bridge the gap between the believer and Allah the All-Powerful, Almighty, who was to be served by fastidious obedience to His law in all aspects of life.

There is just nothing similar to the writings of the Hebrew prophets of the Bible in Islamic literature, whether Qur'an, hadiths, or sirah (lives of Muhammad). These demonstrate a very close and affectionate relationship between Israel and its God, God the loving, often chastising parent who nevertheless mourned over His people and promised them redemption. There is nothing like Isaiah's, "When Israel was a child I loved him; out of Egypt I called my son," or "Come now, let us reason together," (which would suggest a level of closeness and intimacy with God that would never be permitted in Islam--Allah would never condescend to reason with His slaves). Instead Allah of the Qur'an simply literally blows away those who refuse His message and goes on to the next people.

I've already gone on much too long, but I wish there was some way to get more of that intimacy into the Qur'an and less legalism and threats. I guess in this I am influenced by Christianity, but I don't think it's too much to ask for.

Bible vs Qur'an: Part 1 Abraham Bargains With God
In this entry, I will compare and contrast the Bible and Qur'anic stories of one incident: when Abraham pleads for the lives of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. In both versions, messengers from God have been sent to him and his wife Sarah to inform them of the birth of Isaac, and then Abraham is told (by the messengers in the Qur'an, but by God himself in the Bible) that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah will be destroyed for their horrific sins.

Here is the passage from the Bible (NIV translation): Genesis 18:16-33, but I will also include the first part of of the chapter because it is an integral part of the story, and shows up in the Qur'anic version(s).

1 The LORD appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day.
2 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
3 He said, "If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by.
4 Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree.
5 Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way, now that you have come to your servant." "Very well," they answered, "do as you say."
6 So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. "Quick," he said, "get three seahs of fine flour and knead it and bake some bread."
7 Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it.
8 He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.
9 "Where is your wife Sarah?" they asked him. "There, in the tent," he said.
10 Then the LORD said, "I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son." Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him.
11 Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing.
12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, "After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?"
13 Then the LORD said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Will I really have a child, now that I am old?'
14 Is anything too hard for the LORD ? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son."
15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, "I did not laugh." But he said, "Yes, you did laugh."
16 When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way.
17 Then the LORD said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?
18 Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.
19 For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him."
20 Then the LORD said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous
21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know."
22 The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the LORD.
23 Then Abraham approached him and said: "Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?
24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it?
25 Far be it from you to do such a thing-to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?"
26 The LORD said, "If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake."
27 Then Abraham spoke up again: "Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes,
28 what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city because of five people?" "If I find forty-five there," he said, "I will not destroy it."
29 Once again he spoke to him, "What if only forty are found there?" He said, "For the sake of forty, I will not do it."
30 Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?" He answered, "I will not do it if I find thirty there."
31 Abraham said, "Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?" He said, "For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it."
32 Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?" He answered, "For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it."
33 When the LORD had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.

Now here is the first Qur'anic version, which, like most Biblical stories told in the Qur'an, is very compressed. I should recount briefly how the Qur'an tells the story of Lot (Lut in this translation). It holds that Lot was the prophet of Sodom, who was sent to make the people stop their despicable homosexual practices (Lot says, "Ye do commit lewdness, such as no people in Creation (ever) committed before you. Do ye indeed approach men, and cut off the highway? And practice wickedness (even) in your councils?" (Qur'an 29-28-29) When the people refused to change their ways, Lot called for help on Allah, who sent him messengers to destroy the city and save him and those who believed with him, but Lot's wife was evil, for what reason we are not told, and she was apparently destroyed with the city, though there are references to her as one who "lags behind," perhaps a relic of the story of Lot's wife looking back and turned into a pillar of salt, which is not explicitly told. There is also nothing of the tale of Lot's incestuous antics with his daughters in Genesis 19:30-38.

Anyway, here, without further ado, is the story from the Qur'an (Surah Hud, 11:69-76; Yusuf Ali translation):

11:69 There came Our messengers to Abraham with glad tidings. They said, "Peace!" He answered, "Peace!" and hastened to entertain them with a roasted calf.
11:70 But when he saw their hands went not towards the (meal), he felt some mistrust of them, and conceived a fear of them. They said: "Fear not: We have been sent against the people of Lut."
11:71 And his wife was standing (there), and she laughed: But we gave her glad tidings of Isaac, and after him, of Jacob.
11:72 She said: "Alas for me! shall I bear a child, seeing I am an old woman, and my husband here is an old man? That would indeed be a wonderful thing!"
11:73 They said: "Dost thou wonder at Allah's decree? The grace of Allah and His blessings on you, O ye people of the house! for He is indeed worthy of all praise, full of all glory!"
11:74 When fear had passed from (the mind of) Abraham and the glad tidings had reached him, he began to plead with Us for Lut's people.
11:75 For Abraham was, without doubt, forbearing (of faults), compassionate, and given to look to Allah.
11:76 O Abraham! Seek not this. The decree of thy Lord hath gone forth: for them there cometh a penalty that cannot be turned back!

Another, somewhat different, version appears in Surah 29, Al-Ankabut, verses 31-35 (it is very, very common for the same story to be told multiple times in the Qur'an, with some differences). This incorporates the destruction itself:

29:31 When Our Messengers came to Abraham with the good news, they said: "We are indeed going to destroy the people of this township: for truly they are (addicted to) crime."
29:32 He said: "But there is Lut there." They said: "Well do we know who is there : we will certainly save him and his following, except his wife: she is of those who lag behind!"
29:33 And when Our Messengers came to Lut, he was grieved on their account, and felt himself powerless (to protect) them, but they said: "Fear thou not, nor grieve: we are (here) to save thee and thy following, except thy wife: she is of those who lag behind.
29:34 "For we are going to bring down on the people of this township a Punishment from heaven, because they have been wickedly rebellious."
29:35 And We have left thereof an evident Sign, for any people who (care to) understand.

The arguing isn't mentioned, except in an oblique way in 29:32, where Abraham shows concern for Lot.

This story is also told in a somewhat different way in Surah 51, Ad-Dhariyat, verses 24-37 (it is very, very common for the same story to be told multiple times in the Qur'an, with some differences):

51:24 Has the story reached thee, of the honoured guests of Abraham?
51:25 Behold, they entered his presence, and said: "Peace!" He said, "Peace!" (and thought, "These seem) unusual people."
51:26 Then he turned quickly to his household, brought out a fatted calf,
51:27 And placed it before them. He said, "Will ye not eat?"
51:28 (When they did not eat), He conceived a fear of them. They said, "Fear not," and they gave him glad tidings of a son endowed with knowledge.
51:29 But his wife came forward (laughing) aloud: she smote her forehead and said: "A barren old woman!"
51:30 They said, "Even so has thy Lord spoken: and He is full of Wisdom and Knowledge."
51:31 (Abraham) said: "And what, O ye Messengers, is your errand (now)?"
51:32 They said, "We have been sent to a people (deep) in sin;-
51:33 "To bring on, on them, (a shower of) stones of clay (brimstone),
51:34 "Marked as from thy Lord for those who trespass beyond bounds."
51:35 Then We evacuated those of the Believers who were there,
51:36 But We found not there any just (Muslim) persons except in one house:
51:37 And We left there a Sign for such as fear the Grievous Penalty.

In this version, Abraham's arguing with Allah for the people of Sodom isn't even mentioned, though it seems to be obliquely referred to in 51:36, about not finding any just people except for Lot's family (or more accurately, those who were in his home who believed in Lot's message).

You will notice that while Abraham is directly speaking to God and being answered by him in the Bible story, the Qur'an simply says that Abraham was "pleading with Us" for Lot's people. It doesn't say that he was directly answered, or that any bargaining took place; it might have just been a simple prayer for all we know. The words of Allah that follow that verse ("For Abraham was, without doubt, forbearing (of faults), compassionate, and given to look to Allah. O Abraham! Seek not this. The decree of thy Lord hath gone forth: for them there cometh a penalty that cannot be turned back!") seem to be more of a later commentary on Abraham's acts than actual words addressed to him. Allah does not converse with mere mortals; instead he sends an angel or a prophet or a vision (42:51: "It is not fitting for a man that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration, or from behind a veil, or by the sending of a messenger to reveal, with Allah's permission, what Allah wills: for He is Most High, Most Wise.") In Genesis and Exodus, God speaks personally with Abraham and Moses, and even addresses the Israelites at Mt. Sinai, who shudder in fear and ask not to hear the voice of God anymore, with which God acquiesces, but he does continue to speak directly to Moses. By contrast Muhammad had to receive his sacred scriptures, which are supposed to be the speech of Allah himself, through the angel Gabriel.

More importantly, the whole concept of Abraham bargaining with God, the spectacle of a mere man telling God Almighty that he is being unjust, is fundamentally against the entire nature of Islam, which after all means "submission" and whose most salient trait is total submission to the decrees of Allah, instead of rebelling against them or trying to bargain out with them. This is why Abraham's request for pity is followed by an "excuse" that Abraham was very tender-hearted, perhaps too much so, and a reproach and an insistence that Abraham must accept the decree of Allah for the destruction of Lot's people. Abraham's kindness and tender-heartedness, which seem to be exceed even that of Allah the All-Merciful, is also referred to in 9:113-114: "It is not fitting, for the Prophet and those who believe, that they should pray for forgiveness for Pagans, even though they be of kin, after it is clear to them that they are companions of the Fire. And Abraham prayed for his father's forgiveness only because of a promise he had made to him. But when it became clear to him that he was an enemy to Allah, he dissociated himself from him: for Abraham was most tender-hearted, forbearing."

The figure of YHWH (God, the LORD) in the Pentateuch is very close to his chosen people (the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, the Israelites, and so on), who is very much a part of the action and susceptible to many quite human traits, such as being bargained with, "regretting" and "repenting" (as in the case of the Flood and threatening to leave the Israelites out in the desert for their disobedience; what this means has been hotly debated by Jewish and Christian scholars). He takes a personal interest in the Israelites, vowing to never abandon them and to admonish them with punishments for the sake of correcting them. The figure of Allah in the Qur'an is much more distant, one who will utterly destroy a people that have rejected his message without a second though, and replace them with a new people, who will be destroyed in their turn if they don't believe, the Qur'an warns. By contrast, God as portrayed in the Prophetic books of the Bible feels a great deal of sorrow about how his people Israel have turned their backs on him and that he has to punish them for their misdeeds, and with the promise that they will eventually be redeemed, that he will always be there waiting for their repentance. In the Qur'an, they would have just been wiped out and that would be that. (44:29: "And neither heaven nor earth shed a tear over them: nor were they given a respite.") In the Old Testament (Hebrew Scriptures; Tanakh) Israel is God's son (Hosea 11:1 "When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son."). In the New Testament, humans are the children of God (Romans 8:16: "The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children."); in the Qur'an they are the slaves of Allah (51:56: "I have only created Jinns and men that they may serve Me."). In the Bible are many references to loving God (Deuteronomy 6:4-5: "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."--the opening of the Jewish Shema or profession of faith); in the Qur'an are constant references to serving Allah (20:14: "Verily, I am Allah: There is no god but I: So serve thou Me (only), and establish regular prayer for celebrating My praise." 29:56: "O My slaves who believe! truly spacious is My Earth: therefore serve ye Me!")

This topic is also discussed in the essay I wrote called "The Distance of Allah from His Creatures," and I find it a fascinating topic. It really throws into relief one of the major differences between Islam and Judaism and Christianity.

....................................................................................................................................

From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Sun Nov 30, 2003 4:53 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: hello - Islam

Great post, Daniel! Thanks!

Here are a few comments to some of it:

At 17:32 30.11.2003, Daniel wrote:

Our discussion of Islam here so far has mostly been characterized by generous generalizations drawn from the somewhat superficial overviews of the subject. In this there is always the danger that we impose too much of our own culture and attitudes to the subject, perhaps working out of a desire to be "fair" to the subject. Were this to happen, then the irony would be that we would be guilty of ethnocentrism, imposing our values on Moslem culture, rather than letting it speak for itself.

Islam is being agressively marketed the throughout whole world, including the West, with the expressed intention of winning humanity for Islam through proselytizing. With this in mind, it is unfair for Islam to use "ethnicity" in its defence in order to seek immunity against Western criticism. They even cry racism if need be. Moslem culture is already part and parcel of Western culture, which it seeks to dominate. For this reason, it is only fair and square to analyze it in the light of Western thinking and Western traditions.

Allah seems more distant in Islam than in Judaism and Christianity; there is more of an emphasis on His might and His power, His inapproachability, the fact that He has no need of His creation and says, "I have only created Jinns and men, that they may serve Me." (51:56) Note the word serve, not love.

Although there are some clear similarities and parallels between Judaism and Islam, some of which are counter-productive (especially when we look at orthodox Jews and fundamentalist Muslims), there are also some striking differences. Jewish culture is so much a part of the West that in some ways it's the very backbone of the West. "Jewish" thinking is much more similar to Christian thinking than is Muslim thinking. Judaism does not seek to convert new members and win the world for Jewry. Although a Jew who adopts another religion or world view is not considered a Jew proper by the orthodox, Jews, as the term is commonly understood today, are atheists (Issac Asimov), Christians (Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen), Buddhists (Allan Ginsburg), agnostics (Albert Einstein), Anthroposophists, Theosophists and so on. They have a relaxed relationship to their heritage. There is pressure in some circles to preserve the Jewish faith at all costs, but no persecution of those who leave it, and certainly no death penalty, like in Islam.

For this reason, it is no wonder that Allah comes across as more inapproachable and impersonal than Jehovah, and with more emphasis on his might and power.

In Islam one submits to Allah; in Judaism (repeated in Christianity) the Shema says, "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might," a concept totally lacking in Islamic prayers. Men and women are slaves of Allah in Islam; in Christianity they are children of God. Children are a source of love and worry for their parents; slaves exist merely to serve. Allah lets it be known in the Qur'an that if a people or nation rejects His message, He will simply wipe them out and put another people in their place who will serve Him better. Islam means submission; this does not leave much in the way of personal interaction. Allah orders, you obey. No debating or bargaining, like when Abraham got God down from fifty to ten righteous people to save Sodom and Gomorrah from destruction. Moses speaks directly with God; Allah communicates with Muhammad via the angel Gabriel, since "it is not fitting for a man that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration, or from behind a veil, or by the sending of a messenger to reveal, with Allah's permission, what Allah wills: for He is Most High, Most Wise." (42:51)

You've hit the nail on the head. And at the risk of appearing ethnocentric, I dare say that Islam seems most incompatible with the individual freedom proposed in the PoF.

I also have a question: There are Roman Catholic Anthroposophists, Buddhist Anthroposophists, Australian Aborigine Anthroposophists and so on. (And I'm talking about AS members here too.) Are there any Muslim Anthroposophists? If so, we need one right here at Anthroposophy Tomorrow. Please pass the request.

Cheers,

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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From: golden3000997
Date: Sun Nov 30, 2003 5:28 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: hello - Islam

Anyone know of any place where RS actually says WHO ALLAH is?? If he can illumine the Being of Jehovah, surely he could do the same with ALLAH. I haven't found it yet.

OK - just my own quirky idea - please don't think I can defend this in any way, but *** What If **** Allah were Jehovah who felt left out, discarded and pissed off once the mission of the Hebrew people was fulfilled????? I have absolutely no idea why that comes into my head!!! Anybody can say definitely why not or is there some kind of possiblity here?

Nothing like pouring gas on the fire, eh? : )

....................................................................................................................................

From: Daniel Hindes
Date: Sun Nov 30, 2003 5:48 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: hello - Islam

Tarje,
I'm glad that you found my posting helpful. In the interest of clarity, the second two sections you quote and attribute to me were actually written by one anonymous "Fatima" (and I will state for the record that I am not "Fatima") and posted on http://www.secularislam.net. Credit where credit is due...

Daniel Hindes

 

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