Discussion:
It is good to give even a small amount in charity
(too old to reply)
Fariduddien
2013-03-24 13:48:40 UTC
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The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be with him) said:

"Save yourself from hellfire by giving even half a date-fruit in
charity."

- Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Hadith 498

(I got this hadith from the following web page, where you can also
find other hadiths about the blessings of giving in charity:
http://www.islamawareness.net/Hadith/htopic_charity.html )
DKleinecke
2013-03-27 02:24:15 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by Fariduddien
"Save yourself from hellfire by giving even half a date-fruit in
charity."
- Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Hadith 498
(I got this hadith from the following web page, where you can also
find other hadiths about the blessings of giving in charity:http://www.is=
lamawareness.net/Hadith/htopic_charity.html)

Islam, in some ways, gives us a choice. This hadith, others like it
and numerous passages in Quran give us the impression that one tiny
good deed will same one from hell. Since the chance of anyone dying
while they had at least bad deed on their record and no good deeds at
all is very small there is a strong chance that Hell is was, is and
always will be empty. The same chain of thought in Christianity is
called universalism. The other chain of thought tries to scare people
into good behavior by threatening them with Hell.

I suspect I have given away which side I am on. But I would estimate
that about 85% of people believe in, and sometimes actually fear Hell.
I admit that, in my opinion, Hell is not just empty - it is non-
existent.
But there aere passages in Quran and hadiths galore that tell us about
Hell. I wish I could propose a way to resolve this apparent
contradiction - but I can't. All I can do is believe in a merciful
God and that "His mercy exceeds his Wrath".
Fariduddien
2013-04-05 04:24:44 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by DKleinecke
Islam, in some ways, gives us a choice. This hadith, others like it
and numerous passages in Quran give us the impression that one tiny
good deed will same one from hell. Since the chance of anyone dying
while they had at least bad deed on their record and no good deeds at
all is very small there is a strong chance that Hell is was, is and
always will be empty. The same chain of thought in Christianity is
called universalism. The other chain of thought tries to scare people
into good behavior by threatening them with Hell.
Just as a comment, to my understanding, good deeds in Islam must always be =
accompanied by faith in God (as a minimum at least).

However, Christianity seems to have (at least) two points of view. From my =
own reading, Catholicism also teaches that both faith and works are needed =
(though they may argue that faith without good works is not true faith). Ho=
wever, some Protestant churches (from discussions I have had) seem to teach=
that faith is sufficient, and that good works are not actually required, a=
s long as the person has faith (in this case, that Jesus died for their sin=
s).

Anyway, I found an interesting discussion of this, from a Catholic point of=
view - http://www.catholicbible101.com/faithandworks.htm

To my knowledge, this is not an issue in Islam, though. I just bring it up =
since you are discussing good works in both Islam and Christianity.
Post by DKleinecke
I suspect I have given away which side I am on. But I would estimate
that about 85% of people believe in, and sometimes actually fear Hell.
I admit that, in my opinion, Hell is not just empty - it is non-
existent.
Some may argue that a form of "hell" can exist right here on earth.
Post by DKleinecke
But there aere passages in Quran and hadiths galore that tell us about
Hell. I wish I could propose a way to resolve this apparent
contradiction - but I can't. All I can do is believe in a merciful
God and that "His mercy exceeds his Wrath".
Well, I certainly don't claim any special knowledge into the "Unseen!"

I think trust that "His Mercy exceeds His Wrath" is a good attitude, while =
doing one's best to be on the side of what is good!

Best wishes,

Fariduddien
DKleinecke
2013-04-06 02:08:15 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by DKleinecke
Islam, in some ways, gives us a choice. This hadith, others like it
and numerous passages in Quran give us the impression that one tiny
good deed will same one from hell. Since the chance of anyone dying
while they had at least bad deed on their record and no good deeds at
all is very small there is a strong chance that Hell is was, is and
always will be empty. The same =A0chain of thought in Christianity is
called universalism. The other chain of thought tries to scare people
into good behavior by threatening them with Hell.
Just as a comment, to my understanding, good deeds in Islam must always b=
e =3D
accompanied by faith in God (as a minimum at least).
However, Christianity seems to have (at least) two points of view. From m=
y =3D
own reading, Catholicism also teaches that both faith and works are neede=
d =3D
(though they may argue that faith without good works is not true faith). =
Ho=3D
wever, some Protestant churches (from discussions I have had) seem to tea=
ch=3D
=A0that faith is sufficient, and that good works are not actually require=
d, a=3D
s long as the person has faith (in this case, that Jesus died for their s=
in=3D
s).
Anyway, I found an interesting discussion of this, from a Catholic point =
of=3D
=A0view -http://www.catholicbible101.com/faithandworks.htm
To my knowledge, this is not an issue in Islam, though. I just bring it u=
p =3D
since you are discussing good works in both Islam and Christianity.
Post by DKleinecke
I suspect I have given away which side I am on. But I would estimate
that about 85% of people believe in, and sometimes actually fear Hell.
I admit that, in my opinion, Hell is not just empty - it is non-
existent.
Some may argue that a form of "hell" can exist right here on earth.
Post by DKleinecke
But there aere passages in Quran and hadiths galore that tell us about
Hell. I wish I could propose a way to resolve this apparent
contradiction - but I can't. =A0All I can do is believe in a merciful
God and that "His mercy exceeds his Wrath".
Well, I certainly don't claim any special knowledge into the "Unseen!"
I think trust that "His Mercy exceeds His Wrath" is a good attitude, whil=
e =3D
doing one's best to be on the side of what is good!
Best wishes,
Fariduddien
I really didn't mean to drag Christianity into the core of this
matter. I just wanted to be sure people knew that one strain of
Christianity did believe that no one was going to Hell. It's not a new
idea. Origen, around 250 CE, said "Even the Devil will be saved -
should he repent".

The argument about faith and works is even older - in fact it is
enshrined in the New Testament (in the part that Muslims usually
ignore). Paul seems to say that faith alone is needed. And James
replies that faith without works is a straw gospel. The standard
Christian theological way to resolve this is to say that if one has
faith one is sure to do good works. All of this should be quite
familiar to Muslims - with all the names changed, of course. It is
really sort of a corollary to belief in God (under any name) - if you
believe then you should do something to demonstrate your belief.

Trying to determine what Christians believe is like nailing jelly to
the wall. I think the only thing all contemporary Christians agree on
is that Jesus was killed by crucifixion - which, of course, is not
orthodox Islamic teaching. There were Christians who agreed with the
Muslims but they all seem to have died out. But is Islam really any
more monolithic?
Yusuf B Gursey
2013-04-06 20:51:40 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by DKleinecke
Trying to determine what Christians believe is like nailing jelly to
the wall. I think the only thing all contemporary Christians agree on
is that Jesus was killed by crucifixion - which, of course, is not
orthodox Islamic teaching. =A0There were Christians who agreed with the
Muslims but they all seem to have died out. =A0But is Islam really any
more monolithic?
Islam has a simpler theology based on the absolute unity of God and
this has not been challenged, accusations of shirk notwithsanding.
also the ritual amongst the various groups hardly shows any variation.
I would count the createdness or not of the Qur'an and the status of
Ali as amongst the major theological issues.
DKleinecke
2013-04-07 01:08:07 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Yusuf B Gursey
Post by DKleinecke
Trying to determine what Christians believe is like nailing jelly to
the wall. I think the only thing all contemporary Christians agree on
is that Jesus was killed by crucifixion - which, of course, is not
orthodox Islamic teaching. =3DA0There were Christians who agreed with t=
he
Post by Yusuf B Gursey
Post by DKleinecke
Muslims but they all seem to have died out. =3DA0But is Islam really an=
y
Post by Yusuf B Gursey
Post by DKleinecke
more monolithic?
Islam has a simpler theology based on the absolute unity of God and
this has not been challenged, accusations of shirk notwithsanding.
also the ritual amongst the various groups hardly shows any variation.
I would count the createdness or not of the Qur'an and the status of
Ali as amongst the major theological issues.
I wasn't thinking of just theology - where I admit Islam is quite
simple and straightforward compared the baroque excesses of current
Christian theology (and it gets worse if you look at the old
gnostics). By "what Christians believe" I was referring to the entire
belief system associated with the religion. For example Christianity
has no implied law code and Islamic belief includes a law code (and
gives one the choice among several - seven at least). There is really
no way to balance these things - but one might try to balance a
complex theology against a complex law code.

It is very hard to determine what other people really believe -
sometimes one does not even know what one's self believes. But I think
we can approximate the truth by accepting what people say they
believe.
And there seems to be considerable difference of opinion about all
sorts of details that some people think are part of Islamic belief -
for example, female circumcision.

Christianity made a partial solution to the differences-in-opinions
problem by splitting up into denominations. Islam has tried hard to
preserve the ideal of one unity - which, if it ever held, had come
apart by 750 CE with the rise of the Shi'ites. The result has been a
useless proliferation of organizations on the one hand and a
transparent fiction on the other.

And I have yet to mention the hadith literature - "authentic", in the
shariat and in the surat - or the post-hadith legends which many
Muslims imagine to be part of Islam. I think we must view both
religions as equally fragmented. This matters - so long as Muslims
think the Pope speaks for Christianity they will make mistakes and if
Christians think Usama bn Ladin spoke for Islam they will make
mistakes.
Yusuf B Gursey
2013-04-07 10:05:00 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by DKleinecke
Post by Yusuf B Gursey
Post by DKleinecke
Trying to determine what Christians believe is like nailing jelly to
the wall. I think the only thing all contemporary Christians agree on
is that Jesus was killed by crucifixion - which, of course, is not
orthodox Islamic teaching. =3D3DA0There were Christians who agreed wi=
th t=3D
Post by DKleinecke
he
Post by Yusuf B Gursey
Post by DKleinecke
Muslims but they all seem to have died out. =3D3DA0But is Islam reall=
y an=3D
Post by DKleinecke
y
Post by Yusuf B Gursey
Post by DKleinecke
more monolithic?
Islam has a simpler theology based on the absolute unity of God and
this has not been challenged, accusations of shirk notwithsanding.
also the ritual amongst the various groups hardly shows any variation.
I would count the createdness or not of the Qur'an and the status of
Ali as amongst the major theological issues.
I wasn't thinking of just theology - where I admit Islam is quite
simple and straightforward compared the baroque excesses of current
Christian theology (and it gets worse if you look at the old
gnostics). =A0By "what Christians believe" I was referring to the entire
belief system associated with the religion. For example Christianity
has no implied law code and Islamic belief includes a law code (and
gives one the choice among several - seven at least). There is really
no way to balance these things - but one might try to balance a
complex theology against a complex law code.
It is very hard to determine what other people really believe -
sometimes one does not even know what one's self believes. But I think
we can approximate the truth by accepting what people say they
believe.
And there seems to be considerable difference of opinion about all
sorts of details that some people think are part of Islamic belief -
for example, female circumcision.
Christianity made a partial solution to the differences-in-opinions
problem by splitting up into denominations. Islam has tried hard to
preserve the ideal of one unity - which, if it ever held, had come
apart by 750 CE with the rise of the Shi'ites. The result has been a
useless proliferation of organizations on the one hand and a
transparent fiction on the other.
Islam's solution is recognizing several schools as equally legitimate
because after all, they are the product of human endeavor. in the
process however, the Shii point of view was left out, in part because
of Shii theory that the Imam's are divinely guided. also the Shiites
are split (unequally in terms of numbers) as to the "dynasty" of
Imams.

Nadir Shah (ruled Iran 1736 - 1742) tried to "water down" the militant
Shiism of the Safawids and sought unsuccesfuly to have "Ja`farism"
recognized as a fifth school of Islam. this made sense in his desire
to expand into Sunni Central Asia. the Ottomans refused.

in the past years, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (formerly
"of the Islamic Conference") has done much to recognize Twelver Shiism
and other sects formerly not recognized by Sunni Islam.
Post by DKleinecke
And I have yet to mention the hadithm literature - "authentic", in the
shariat and in the surat - or the post-hadith legends which many
Muslims imagine to be part of Islam. I think we must view both
religions as equally fragmented. =A0This matters - so long as Muslims
think the Pope speaks for Christianity they will make mistakes and if
Christians think Usama bn Ladin spoke for Islam they will make
mistakes.
Yusuf B Gursey
2013-04-07 09:24:16 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by DKleinecke
Islam, in some ways, gives us a choice. This hadith, others like it
and numerous passages in Quran give us the impression that one tiny
good deed will same one from hell. Since the chance of anyone dying
while they had at least bad deed on their record and no good deeds at
all is very small there is a strong chance that Hell is was, is and
always will be empty. The same =3DA0chain of thought in Christianity =
is
Post by DKleinecke
called universalism. The other chain of thought tries to scare people
into good behavior by threatening them with Hell.
Just as a comment, to my understanding, good deeds in Islam must always=
b=3D
e =3D3D
accompanied by faith in God (as a minimum at least).
However, Christianity seems to have (at least) two points of view. From=
m=3D
y =3D3D
own reading, Catholicism also teaches that both faith and works are nee=
de=3D
d =3D3D
(though they may argue that faith without good works is not true faith)=
. =3D
Ho=3D3D
wever, some Protestant churches (from discussions I have had) seem to t=
ea=3D
ch=3D3D
=3DA0that faith is sufficient, and that good works are not actually req=
uire=3D
d, a=3D3D
s long as the person has faith (in this case, that Jesus died for their=
s=3D
in=3D3D
s).
Anyway, I found an interesting discussion of this, from a Catholic poin=
t =3D
of=3D3D
=3DA0view -http://www.catholicbible101.com/faithandworks.htm
To my knowledge, this is not an issue in Islam, though. I just bring it=
u=3D
p =3D3D
since you are discussing good works in both Islam and Christianity.
Post by DKleinecke
I suspect I have given away which side I am on. But I would estimate
that about 85% of people believe in, and sometimes actually fear Hell=
.
Post by DKleinecke
I admit that, in my opinion, Hell is not just empty - it is non-
existent.
Some may argue that a form of "hell" can exist right here on earth.
Post by DKleinecke
But there aere passages in Quran and hadiths galore that tell us abou=
t
Post by DKleinecke
Hell. I wish I could propose a way to resolve this apparent
contradiction - but I can't. =3DA0All I can do is believe in a mercif=
ul
Post by DKleinecke
God and that "His mercy exceeds his Wrath".
Well, I certainly don't claim any special knowledge into the "Unseen!"
I think trust that "His Mercy exceeds His Wrath" is a good attitude, wh=
il=3D
e =3D3D
doing one's best to be on the side of what is good!
Best wishes,
Fariduddien
I really didn't mean to drag Christianity into the core of this
matter. =A0I just wanted to be sure people knew that one strain of
Christianity did believe that no one was going to Hell. It's not a new
idea. Origen, around 250 CE, said "Even the Devil will be saved -
should he repent".
at least according to Enc. of Islam II, Hell (Jahannam) will be empty
once the last soul in it repents. I don't think this is popularized. I
remember once in SRI (or ARI) that a poster said that Satan's sin will
never be forgiven.
The argument about faith and works is even older - in fact it is
enshrined in the New Testament (in the part that Muslims usually
ignore). =A0Paul seems to say that faith alone is needed. And James
James would be the Judaizing party that Islam favors.
replies that faith without works is a straw gospel. The standard
Christian theological way to resolve this is to say that if one has
faith one is sure to do good works. All of this should be quite
familiar to Muslims - with all the names changed, of course. It is
really sort of a corollary to belief in God (under any name) - if you
believe then you should do something to demonstrate your belief.
Trying to determine what Christians believe is like nailing jelly to
the wall. I think the only thing all contemporary Christians agree on
there was even more variety in the early centuries of Christianity
before the Romans suppressed many forms.
is that Jesus was killed by crucifixion - which, of course, is not
orthodox Islamic teaching. =A0There were Christians who agreed with the
Muslims but they all seem to have died out. =A0But is Islam really any
more monolithic?
Yusuf B Gursey
2013-04-07 09:31:14 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Fariduddien
"Save yourself from hellfire by giving even half a date-fruit in
charity."
- Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Hadith 498
(I got this hadith from the following web page, where you can also
find other hadiths about the blessings of giving in charity:http://www.is=
lamawareness.net/Hadith/htopic_charity.html)

it is to Islam's credit that it is more concerned about the welfare of
people on this earth (as opposed to just in the afterlife) than many
other religions.
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