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Question for Muslims

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I've been having a discussion with a Muslim fellow on another forum.  He is asking about a few Christian doctrines, around the Fall and a few other things.

 

I'm having trouble figuring out the way he's thinking about the Fall.  What he is telling me about what Muslims think seems a little off, and I'm not sure if he is just having trouble explaining, or is way out there, and it makes it hard to answer his questions.

 

So, in talking about how it is that Adam and Eve sinned, he is telling me that it was because they were made imperfect by God.  Is this true, and if so, what exactly does it mean?  Did God intend to make them imperfect? 

 

I'd appreciate any insights on this anyone could give me.

post #2 of 7

In Islamic theology nothing happens that god does not intend. "The fall" isn't really a terminology that figures into what is theologically significant in Islam, and there is no concept that mankind was ever perfect in any respect.   The story of Adam and Eve is taken sort of "historically," I guess, an account of the first humans and the first prophet, but it is not a huge, transformative moment that could have gone either way, there is no "original sin" with deep ramifications for the rest of mankind, etc.  In Islam it's really more the story of god's forgiveness of beings he created in the knowledge that they would err than it is the story of any sort of great condemnation of our species.  It is, in short, comparatively no big deal.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post

In Islamic theology nothing happens that god does not intend. "The fall" isn't really a terminology that figures into what is theologically significant in Islam, and there is no concept that mankind was ever perfect in any respect.   The story of Adam and Eve is taken sort of "historically," I guess, an account of the first humans and the first prophet, but it is not a huge, transformative moment that could have gone either way, there is no "original sin" with deep ramifications for the rest of mankind, etc.  In Islam it's really more the story of god's forgiveness of beings he created in the knowledge that they would err than it is the story of any sort of great condemnation of our species.  It is, in short, comparatively no big deal.

Ok.  So from this perspective why do we err - just because we are bad?  The fellow I am talking about feels that although there are a few people who might do so because of lack of understanding (children for example) most people do it knowingly.  And what about people who want to do the right thing, but seem unable to stop themselves?  He doesn't seem to think that is really true either - I get the impression he thinks that if we really tried, this would never happen.
 

post #4 of 7

Uhh ... no.  The lack of "born in sin" sorts of concepts is a rather explicit refutation of the idea of our being inherently bad.   Being flawed is not perceived as being bad ... more simply a natural element of the existence of agency and choice.  We err because we are not god, we are not inherently bound to follow all of god's ordinance in the manner of angels or the like, we do not have perfect knowledge or perfect perspective, and so sometimes, all of us, will get some things wrong.  Some people are considered effectively immune from accountability for the times in which they are wrong due to age or capacity; for everyone else it's just up to god to know the fuller circumstance.

 

But that some people might think they are doing right and not be, or that others might think something is wrong but feel incapable of stopping themselves, would be rather pointless to deny -- I mean that's basically denying other people's self-perception.  What people intend, what people sincerely regret, what god will and will not forgive in an individual ... that's all in the "unseen," things about which we really can't comment.   

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post

Uhh ... no.  The lack of "born in sin" sorts of concepts is a rather explicit refutation of the idea of our being inherently bad.   Being flawed is not perceived as being bad ... more simply a natural element of the existence of agency and choice.  We err because we are not god, we are not inherently bound to follow all of god's ordinance in the manner of angels or the like, we do not have perfect knowledge or perfect perspective, and so sometimes, all of us, will get some things wrong.  Some people are considered effectively immune from accountability for the times in which they are wrong due to age or capacity; for everyone else it's just up to god to know the fuller circumstance.

 

But that some people might think they are doing right and not be, or that others might think something is wrong but feel incapable of stopping themselves, would be rather pointless to deny -- I mean that's basically denying other people's self-perception.  What people intend, what people sincerely regret, what god will and will not forgive in an individual ... that's all in the "unseen," things about which we really can't comment.   

THanks.  This has been helpful - I think I may see a way to explain what he is asking.

post #6 of 7

Mashallah, Liquesce, you are wonderfully articulate and precise. thumb.gif

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1jooj View Post

Mashallah, Liquesce, you are wonderfully articulate and precise. thumb.gif

 

love.gif  (<-- inarticulate moments call for smilies)
 

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