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nicolelynn 09-27-2011 02:54 PM

Let me preface my question with the confession that I am a former evangelical fundamentalist Christian turned mystic. I am currently reading the Holy Qu'ran for the first time.


I understand that Allah is viewed as transcendant and we cannot fully know His nature. Also, contrary to what I was told as a fundamentalist Christian I understand that Allah IS loving and merciful.


My question is, is Allah ever viewed as or related to as a Father? Not in the sense of the incarnation, but in the sense of having a Father-like "personal relationship"? 


I do not wish to start a debate between Muslims and Christians (and that would be a UV), I am just genuinely curious as my mystical understanding of the Divine continues to unfold. I'm not getting much luck looking up the concept online and have not yet finished reading the Qu'ran. 


Thank you. 

Liquesce 09-27-2011 07:53 PM

No.  The Qur'an is quite explicit that god neither "begets nor is begotten," strongly enough that the ideas of god the father or being god's children are pretty taboo.  Creator/created, yes, literally, but not parent/child, even metaphorically.

nicolelynn 09-27-2011 09:16 PM

I see, thank you. That would explain why I couldn't find anything online about the idea.

umsami 09-29-2011 05:51 AM

No, God (Allah) is never referred to as a Heavenly Father or what not.  There's a very famous surah (chapter) called Al Ikhlas which basically says God doesn't have any kids (that Liquesce referenced above).  Basically, they want to refute the whole Trinity as well as a pre-Islamic thought that Allah was too powerful to intercede with personally, so people would pray to Allah's so-called daughters.    I believe that surah also is meant to address that and say... nope, Allah(God) is the only God--and doesn't have sons (aka Jesus) or daughters   As a Christian who became a Muslim in my 20s, I personally don't have any problems thinking of God as a Spiritual Mother/Father (as in Islam God is neither male nor female), but most Muslims would find have a problem with that.  

nicolelynn 09-30-2011 08:43 PM

That is fascinating as well, thank you!

nicolelynn 10-04-2011 09:59 AM

Can ask another question about the Qu'ran? I understand Sunni, Shi'ites and Sufis will all have different interpretations. I am having a discussion with a Pastor friend who sent me this crazy conservative Christian apologetic link about Islam. It asserts wherever the Qu'ran seems to contradict itself that later passages supercede earlier passages. It asserts the beginning of the Qu'ran has messages of peace and tolerance while later passages command violence (I'll admit, I've only read about 75 pages of Qu'ran so far so I haven't read it all and am unable to speak authoritatively to this).

I know none of you claim to be an Islamic scholar but I'm especially interested in your insight Umsami since you converted from Christianity. I'm just tired of the ignorance of fellow "Christians" (though most of my friends IRL are evangelical fundamentalists while I am a mystic/Universalist) and what that means for international affairs, so I'm starting at home trying to shed some light on some of their ignorance and intolerance =(.

umsami 10-04-2011 11:03 AM

I studied the Bible in seminary (Reformed--Presbyterian)...and then studied the Qur'an on my own.  Honestly, there is plenty of violence in both.  The one difference I found is that at least with regards to the Qur'an, the whole thing was revealed/written down in such a short period of time (compared to the Bible) and during the lifetime of Muhammad (peace be upon him).  We also have a pretty good understanding of what was going on at the time the various surahs were revealed--which I don't think we have as accurate of understanding with regards to the Bible--although I could be wrong.  The earliest book from the New Testament was written at least 20 years after Jesus's death with the earliest of the Gospels being written around 70 AD (usually attributed to the Gospel of Mark).  


There's a really good, well-written book by Reza Aslan called "No god but Gods" which goes through the history behind the Qur'an.  It talks about what was going on when different things were revealed.  I think reading that will help you a lot.  


In general, later in Muhammad's life, when the Medinan surahs were revelead, he was facing battles and other issues vs. the Meccan surahs when things were more peaceful (beginning of his Prophethood, flying under the radar so to speak).  So yes, you can generalize like that--but it's not so cut and dry. :)  With any book, it is critical to know the background and not take verses out of context.  I think Americans these days tend to give the Bible the benefit of the doubt, but not so much the Qur'an.  


As for contradicting itself, one example that comes to mind is the issue of drinking.  At first, Mohammad (pbuh) said...don't come to the prayers drunk.  But over time, the revelation became more strict and said "don't drink any alcohol".  The general theory is that if he had started with don't drink, people would have thought he was crazy... they needed a more gentle approach.  There might be others, but that's the one that comes to mind.    OK...Googled and found this... I guess there are more.... LOL....    


nicolelynn 10-04-2011 12:29 PM

Oh I totally agree that there is violence in the canon, namely the Old Testament, that's why I've had it up to my eyeballs with fellow Christians that point to the violence in the Qu'ran. As well as the question of auhorship/revelation (hence I do not believe in the inerrancy of scripture). Or their gasping over Sha'ria law when it is pretty similar to Levitical law. Yes, and it's all to give the Bible the benefit of doubt and not the Qu'ran. This infurating video made the claim I use to believe, "Muslims will not stop until the whole world is ruled by Sha'ria law"=therefore Islam is violent=therefore it is ok for a "Christian nation" to start wars in the middle east to "try to stop them". *Barf*.

Interesting you went to Presbyterian seminary. In my fundamentalist days I went to churches of every denomination. My last theological stop was Reform, I stuck with that for a while. Then all my theological footing crumbled for me and the only answer I can come to is mysticism. One of the things that affected me was watching Malcom X. I couldn't deny that when he truly experience Allah in Mecca that it changed his life and heart. That was always the evangelical assertion why we know our religion is true "because Jesus changed my life". Well there was no denying that Allah changed Malcom's life. My favorite band are Christian mystics and their parents are Sufis whom they are very influence by. So there is more to it than what I've always thought.

So far I've been enlightened reading the Qu'ran. I don't believe any religious text to be inerrant, but I cannot deny the Divine inspiration in it. Thanks for the above info! =)

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