Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A Religious Discussion - Soliciting a Believer's Opinion


Ali Rashada - I have a question for my friend, Muhammad Rasheed. Since you are a Muslim and have spent time in a predominately Muslim country, are you able to explain the mindset and conversations that take place between people you know and meet, when supposed Muslims kill other Muslims in what we call terrorist attacks? Is there a call for Muslim governments to join the fight for what is 'right'? Why does it seem that Muslim countries aren't helping each other to eradicate what we in the west see as terrorism?

Muhammad Rasheed - The 'terrorist attacks' come from outside infiltrators, designed to keep the Muslim world from pooling their resources and becoming an effective rival power to Western European Global Supremacy. So that the Euro-ethnic groups & allies may maintain their cartel of dominance, an elaborate plan of keeping the Muslim nations in a continuous state of war torn strife & confusion has been unleashed upon them, starting after a detailed analysis of The Six-Day War (1967) was conducted.

Prior to The Six-Day War, the western powers assumed that they would be able to run over those nations relatively easily, using the hi-tech might at their command. Even though western allies technically won the war, the allies received far more casualties and damage than they expected, with the Arab nations proving far more canny on the battle field. Consequently, they decided to use a tactic that would keep the Muslim world battling itself, as opposed to directing that energy towards their true enemies. What you see going on over there today -- unprecedented in history -- is in fact the culmination of decades of manipulation from the western world's intelligence agencies and allied powers.

Me being a Muslim, having spent time in a Muslim country, and having had discussions with the locals, I find that any "terrorist" leaning talks are very political and are completely divorced from the religious tenets in any way. Under the background described above, there can be no governmental call for what is 'right,' since the governments have been infiltrated by outsiders interested in only what is 'wrong.' This has been going on for generations now, and the people are becoming more and more indoctrinated into what their sophisticated enemy wants them to be. As a Muslim, it's very sad to watch them being yanked to & fro by their puppet master enemies in this way, especially since they are not inclined to listen to yet another westerner telling them what they should do.

Ali Rashada - So in the Six-Day War, you are talking about the Arabic countries in a war against Israel, funded and armed by the US, and the European nations who supported the creation of Israel. Does this mean you believe the attackers are foreign nationals in most cases, or brainwashed Muslims, or European or American citizens employed by the intelligence agencies, or D all of the above?

Muhammad Rasheed - Brainwashed Muslims.

The western intelligence agencies trained up generations of Muslim kids in terrorist tactics & mindsets -- from a playbook that has a foundation in tactics developed by the secular Tamil Tigers group -- through aggressive recruiting efforts that in the beginning, was done by foreign agents in disguise.

Ali Rashada - I could ask almost any question about Muslim choices and the result upon the country, as most Americans would; but currently residing in Australia, I am also able to see almost the exact same result in America (see popularity of Donald Trump, and mass shootings) which is just as Christian as North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula are Muslim, and think we could agree, if we were open minded, religion in itself cannot be the answer. I mean "zealots" of all faiths seem empowered to deny the rights of others, when obeying the will of God. I see the same atrocities Americans perpetrate, and worse, by the wealthy Muslim princes, and there is a falseness among the wealthy, and their feigned devotion to religion over the pleasures and excess of life.

Muhammad Rasheed
- In order to jump on board that train, you would first have to show me the verses in the source texts that support these items you insist are the fault of religion. If you cannot, and assuredly ye cannot, then the fault is ever only with the people who wanted to commit this mischief in the earth.

In other words, if they were actually obeying the will of God, then none of these problems would exist. That was my point in explaining that the 'terrorist' speak of the locals is always 100% political, and divorced from the tenets of any faith they claim to subscribe to in that conspicuously compartmentalized part of their lives.

Ali Rashada - I guess then it boils down to, the compulsion provided by the Abrahamic religions do not have the full effects one would hope for, in modifying the behavior of its adherents towards peaceful ends, nor do they seem to protect society by restraining those who seem to be in position of authority and operational wisdom.

Muhammad Rasheed - From that same logic you could just as seriously make the claim that, because there is a criminal element present in modern society, civilization itself has proven to be a failure and should be discarded.

The message of God lets every individual know that his/her actions will have ultimate consequences and that there will be a Final Accounting on the day of resurrection. Reward & Punishment will be issued out accordingly. Whether people personally decide to heed this information is up to them, and whether they do or not... in whatever numbers... has nothing to do with the validity of the religion that holds this message. Honestly I don't understand the logic of you all's thinking on this topic.

Ali Rashada - Yes but the Supreme Creator would exhibit traits contrary to the scenario you describe, if that is true.

Muhammad Rasheed - I find it impossible to take seriously a human telling me what an Omnipotent, Omniscient Superior Being would or would not do, as if he had been given some special divine insight into how the only truly unique being in all of reality would/should behave.

He told you how He behaves in His scripture.

Ali Rashada - Ah ha! Now I see the problem. You read a book, printed by a company, dictated by a man, over a thousand years ago, and believe it is the most recent, and authoritative communication from the creator of all life, to all humans for all of time.... excluding the other "scriptures" that other groups of human believe the same thing about. Yeah, I don't do that.

Muhammad Rasheed - He was kind enough to explain that the other scriptures were also from Him, and He is the only God. There is only one message: Believe in Him, do good, reject evil.

You SHOULD do this. If you choose to continue not believing, that is your Free Will in action. Enjoy it as you like, for as long as it lasts.

Ali Rashada - Just so I understand your viewpoint on this, can I communicate directly with my creator, or do I have to rely on books written more than 1300 years ago? And you think that creating a being with free will and decision, and punishing it infinitely if its operation does not conform to the creators ideals, shows more " scope, force, insight, awareness, knowledge, plans, foresight," than just creating being that just does what it is told...really? What is the need for punishment? If your creation doesn't do what you intend, why not just un-create and try again, although being perfect, the creator should be able to create anything it wants. Following that logic, at some level, the creator you describe must want to punish some living being, because his omnipotence would tell him upon their creation that they would not suffice, yet they are forced to play their role and take their due punishment at the end? Wow, that's depressing

Muhammad Rasheed



Muhammad Rasheed - God said it is "not fitting" to speak directly to humans, and that He only does so by inspiration, from "behind a veil," or by sending an angel to reveal. The canon of His message is closed now; He's revealed everything that He needs us to know about our existence. Under what justification would He need to send you a special inspiration? For what?

Ali Rashada - Yeah, I'm just a servant to the will of the creator, why would he care what I have to say, think or feel? Its funny, when I speak to people like you (of many different religions) I feel like that strange kid in the movies. You know the one where there is some old creepy house on the corner, and everybody says the owner is some old, crazy guy who eats kids. Then one day, the loner meets the guy in the house and he is actually a cool, and funny guy who would do anything to help his friends and loved ones, but nobody believes it. Well, I'm that kid, God is the old man, and you are a neighborhood kid who has been too scared to meet the old man and see what he's really like, because you believe the stories of others.

Muhammad Rasheed - 1.) Why do you think you have any special insight to offer God?  Why would He need to talk to you?  It would be like one of us talking to a one year old -- it's adorable because they think they are really saying stuff. I'm just going to toss that into your arrogant "Why would God...?" line of questioning bag.

2.) You may feel that way all you wish, but you actually come across like a hellbound pagan, who somehow believes he is the peer to The One. I advise you to repent. This path will not turn out the way you think. At this point in the discussion, there is no way I would believe you actually talk to God on any kind of level ever. Everything you've written sounds quite removed.

3.) God is ONE. He's not an 'old man.' The comparison is offensive.

Ali Rashada - Yeah, but I'm saying I have a personal relationship with my creator, and you're saying its not possible...because some 1300 year old book told you so, so you are even afraid to try. At this point, you have nothing useful to teach because you can only prove how much of another man's words you have memorized. You don't speak from experience, but fear, and belief in what you read. in my experience I have met many people who have tried to tell me what my relationship with another will be like... yeah, whatever.

Muhammad Rasheed - I'm open-minded enough to be willing to believe you've tapped into a relationship with SOMETHING. Is it the Lord of the worlds, the Supreme Creator of the heavens and the earth? No, or you would not talk this way. You sound exactly like those who will earn His wrath and there's no truth or spiritual insight in your words.

Have a good night, Ali. I hope I've managed to quench the thirst of all the questions you had for me in this shout-out post. Thanks for reaching out. Peace.

Ali Rashada - I call my creator - Father, Daddy, and my source and center, your belief changes nothing in our relationship. Thanks for very much for an enjoyable session    :)

Muhammad Rasheed - It wasn't lost on me that "daddy" was conspicuously absent from the 99 Attributes of God that He used to describe Himself in the Qur'an. I think He took that one off of the table because the Christians overstepped their bounds in the worst way by taking the term literally. God was obviously offended by the blatant insolence.

Ali Rashada - Luckily, I don't let anyone outside of my relationship with the creator define it.

Muhammad Rasheed -   ;)

Ali Rashada - @Muhammad Rasheed… I sincerely want to thank you for your honest and straight forward dialog yesterday. I had a think about our conversation and noted that I did not answer some very valid questions you asked, and thought I might do so now. I do this to show respect, and to satisfy the corresponding curiousity you might have, for the honest mind set of one who seems like "a hellbound pagan, who somehow believes he is the peer to The One." You essential asked me, what makes me so special that God would want to speak to me, or hear what I said, because "It would be like talking to a one year old; it's adorable because they think they are really saying stuff."

That's a very valid question, especially when your holy book tells you that God doesn't talk to you. There's an interesting phenomenon that occurs when people don't know what their limits are "supposed to be", and many times people superceed limits simply because they are placed in front of them, since you are a parent, I'm sure you know what I mean.

But more truthfully, and more to the point, what if there was commuciation, undeniable and effective? What would you believe, the experience, or the opinion? There is a moment in my life that I will share with you. I was living in Atlanta, single, in an apartment downtown. I was working as computer tech support for a company, in their customer service center, and my manager knew nothing about computers. Long story short, at the end of my contract, when the company is deciding whether they want to bring me on full time, my manager bungles another call and blames it on me, which ends with me telling him how incompetent he is, loud enough for the entire floor to hear it, and him telling me that the company will not be renewing my contract or bringing me on at all. This led to a chain reaction where within a month, I am desperate, and feel that soon I will lose my home and be out on the street. Because, in all honesty, I felt I was correct in all my actions to that point, I called out to God and pleaded my case, and asked for help. I do not normally ask God for help because I believe life is cause and effect and we must face the consequences of our actions, but I saw no way out. I prayed and prayed, and finally I received a powerful thought. I remember because I knew it was not "me" because I argued with the thought. It said, call your old job. My reply was, "why would I call them, I told that man off in front of everyone, and he's the one who makes the decisions?" Again, the strong compulsion, thought, idea, "call your old job", so I did. One of my old co-workers answered the phone, he was second in charge after the manager. He was happy to hear from me and said so. "Man I'm glad you called, if you call ***** and ask for your job back you will get it." I didn't really believe what I was hearing, but this guy was an ex-army staff Sargentt who played it very straight and didn't joke around. "Just call back and tell ****** that you want to come back. I'll see you soon." Then he hung up. So I called and talked to the manager, and apologized for what I said and asked for my job. I was hired back immediately and allowed to set my own terms. To truly end on a high note, the manager was fired after about a month of my return. Now, I'm NOT saying I talked to God and he made something happen, but I did call his number, someone answered, and gave me the lowdown on reality. I promise you, I argued that there was no good reason to call my old boss, but I knew that I asked for help and this was information coming from outside of myself in response to my request. Because things like that have happened regularly in my life, I know that there is a connection to a higher power that I am able to access.

I want to next comment on you comparing me to a one year old, because there is some wisdom to be gained from your analogy.

When most children are young, they are afraid of their fathers. They don't understand their motives, cannot hope to overcome them, and thus feel powerless. As they grow, their attitude changes, and the way they are treated by their father affects their attitude as well. As children become adults and experience the breadth and depth of life and gain wisdom within themselves their attitudes again change and it would be silly for grownup children to fear their parent. Not simply because their ability to defend themselves has changed, but because they understand their parents and their actions and decisions.

1300 hundred years have passed since the last holy book you believe was written. I submit to you that it is possible that humanity has gained enough wisdom and understanding that we can look to our creator with more than just fear and silence.

I remember that we went to the same school, and I'm sure you remember sitting on Fridays, listening to the Imam teach his lesson. I will share something else with you, that I have not shared with many people in my entire life. I remember sitting there during many lessons, trying my best to be a perfect student, listening and absorbting the lessons, so I could memorize them an do well. A number of time during the lesson, the speaker would say something, and a literal voice would say to me, "That's not true." I remember specifcally, the story where Abraham is told to sacrifice his son, that voice spoke to me and said, "God would never require such a thing to prove your love." I didin't even understand the concept, to make such a declaration, but I heard the voice. I heard the same thing when I was sitting in the church my grandfather preached at, and the preacher begain talking about Jesus sacrificing his life to erase the sins of man. A voice told me, "God the Father of all Life would NEVER require, or accept such a thing". Again, this is before I even understood what I was hearing, but I understood the voice telling me these were false teachings. I guess this is why it has always been so easy for me to follow a different path. I am willing to believe that this is not God the supreme being, speaking to me, but I accept that when I am doing my best do be a loving, caring, spiritual being, I am not led to follow many of the teachings now accepted as tenents of the 3 major Abrahamic religions.

Fundamentally, I believe and try to live the golden rule and its axiom: Treat others as you wish to be treated, because as you give, so shall you recieve.

I don't believe that believing a piece of minutia that you have to learn from religious teachings are necessary to find the favor and love of the creator of all life. You simply have to love and respect the creation as the creator would wish.

Muhammad Rasheed - Thank you for sharing your testimony, Ali. I read it with interest, both as an interested party to your expressed experience, and as a student of revealed scripture. Of note that there was nothing in the expressed events themselves that challenged my understanding based on what God said about the matter in the Qur’an, only in how you chose to interpret the phenomenon, and on what weight you gave certain of the comments/messages ‘whispered’ to you.

Muhammad Rasheed - Ali Rashada wrote: “You essential asked me, what makes me so special that God would want to speak to me, or hear what I said […] That's a very valid question, especially when your holy book tells you that God doesn't talk to you. There's an interesting phenomenon that occurs when people don't know what their limits are ‘supposed to be,’ and many times people superceed limits simply because they are placed in front of them, since you are a parent, I'm sure you know what I mean.”

Even if I agreed that it was really God communicating with you, in the context of your tales your opinion still wasn’t being solicited. You were being given info to either act upon or to believe... the entity[s] were not asking you what you thought, or seemed to require an answer from you. This is Item #1 of your testimony not challenging my understanding of humans being contacted by the unseen, but actually reinforcing it.

Ali Rashada wrote: “But more truthfully, and more to the point, what if there was commuciation, undeniable and effective? What would you believe, the experience, or the opinion?”

This comes across as irony.  How are you attaching “truthfully/to the point” to a speculative ‘what if…?’ that lies only in your own subjective opinion of this matter?  There is the experience – that falls well inside of the allowable boundaries explained in detail by Allah – and then there are your opinions of your own interpretations of the same.  Again I’ve found no truth or insight in your words.  You are literally asking me to seriously pit the well-documented enduring scripture of the ages against what li’l ole Ali thinks.  I’m afraid your opinion comes up woefully short.

Ali Rashada wrote: “I prayed and prayed, and finally I received a powerful thought. […] It said, call your old job. My reply was, ‘why would I call them, I told that man off in front of everyone, and he's the one who makes the decisions?’ Again, the strong compulsion, thought, idea, ‘call your old job,’ so I did.”

                               

God said, quite frankly, that He doesn’t personally deliver such messages. In the grand scheme of things, should I believe Him or you? The story is touching, but it has a lot in common with many other tales in which an angel gives an encouraging message to a human. I have zero problem accepting that this creature was or could have been an angel, or even make the case that it was "inspiration." Why not? It certainly wasn’t God Himself though, no.

Ali Rashada wrote: “1300 hundred years have passed since the last holy book you believe was written.  I submit to you that it is possible that humanity has gained enough wisdom and understanding that we can look to our creator with more than just fear and silence.”

1.) Mankind in general is the same as it has always been, and the message of scripture will never stop being relevant.  In certain pocket communities around the globe there will be specific aspects of the message with greater or lesser relevance, but as long as there are humans then the message of God that was specifically tailored for humans, will always be fresh.

2.) The “fear and silence” comment reflects the disbeliever’s typical poor understanding of the teachings within religious tradition he is so quick to dismiss as outdated and irrelevant ‘tales of the ancients.’  Your opinion of my relationship with my Lord is significantly shy of the truth and is also offensive.  Ali, I’m not likely to find spiritual truth and insight in the words of a man who only thinks he knows what I believe, but is at the same time so arrogantly sure of what worth is to be found therein.  I believe the message of the Omnipotent-Omniscient Supreme Creator of all reality, while finding your own “spiritual but not religious” opinions of the usual surface-level and poor quality of insight I’ve come to expect from that group.  No deliberate offense intended, but this is how it will come across when you pit your opinions – ones I’ve heard numerous times just in the last 5 years – against the Word of God.   If you are sincere in your belief that whatever you think is just as good as what He revealed, you’re going to have to do a better job at getting your game up.

Ali Rashada wrote: “I remember that we went to the same school, and I'm sure you remember sitting on Fridays, listening to the Imam teach his lesson. […] A number of time during the lesson, the speaker would say something, and a literal voice would say to me, ‘That's not true.’”

lol Considering that this is a mere human preaching his opinion of his own understanding of the religious principles, it isn’t inherently shocking that anyone would have that opinion of anybody preaching anything.   What I would like to see is a detailed & complete itemized list of every single message that a voice whispered that comment to you.

Ali Rashada wrote: “I remember specifcally, the story where Abraham is told to sacrifice his son, that voice spoke to me and said, ‘God would never require such a thing to prove your love.’ I didin't even understand the concept, to make such a declaration, but I heard the voice.”

God told that tale twice in both the Old Testament and in the Qur’an, revealing the potency of the lesson He wished us to grasp.  He didn’t want His servant to slay the boy, but He did want 100% obedience from him.  Both Abraham and the son demonstrated without doubt that they submitted their complete wills to their Maker to His satisfaction, so there was no need to go through with the deed itself.  God said total devotion to Him is indeed required from the creation, while your mysterious voice said otherwise.  God instructed the First Family not to touch the fruit of the tree, while another mysterious voice expressed the opposite opinion.  Like you, they decided to believe the contrary opinion to what their Creator said, and discovered they were indeed in the wrong.

Ali Rashada wrote: “I heard the same thing when I was sitting in the church my grandfather preached at, and the preacher begain talking about Jesus sacrificing his life to erase the sins of man. A voice told me, ‘God the Father of all Life would NEVER require, or accept such a thing.’”

As a Muslim this one seems like a no-brainer for me, but I will instead step back and wish I had a more detailed version of the message the mystery voice was condemning, since you do seem to have clear competing entities in your head trying to draw your attention to their opposing causes.  It’s possible that the preacher very well may have said something a bit more nuanced that actually lined up to the stricter monotheistic stance of the foundational message, and you misinterpreted as the more well-known item of Paulinian Doctrine.  So I will pass on this one lest you manage to conjure the actual tape from that sermon (no guarantee I would actually get around to listening to it though.  :P )

Ali Rashada wrote: “Again, this is before I even understood what I was hearing, but I understood the voice telling me these were false teachings. I guess this is why it has always been so easy for me to follow a different path.”

You admit to me that you have built up the habit of deliberately following the opposite path of the one commanded by the all-powerful Lord of the worlds, Master of the Day of Judgment.  Interesting.

Ali Rashada wrote: “I am willing to believe that this is not God the supreme being, speaking to me, but I accept that when I am doing my best do be a loving, caring, spiritual being, I am not led to follow many of the teachings now accepted as tenents of the 3 major Abrahamic religions.”

God is the Author of what is right and wrong, and what is moral, and you admit to me that you use your own alternate measure of what being a “loving, caring, spiritual being” is, downloaded from a mysterious voice often at odds with the message of the Supreme Creator.

Ali Rashada wrote: “Fundamentally, I believe and try to live the golden rule and its axiom: Treat others as you wish to be treated, because as you give, so shall you recieve.”

“Fundamentals” from where, Ali?   From whence do these well-known sayings actually come?

Ali Rashada wrote: “I don't believe that believing a piece of minutia that you have to learn from religious teachings are necessary to find the favor and love of the creator of all life.”

I ask you to please compare that comment to the one you expressed directly before it, and put yourself in my shoes when you read them together.  It’s possible that you won’t “get it” and see what I see, so I will say once again that I’ve not yet found any truth or insight in your words. Items like this one reinforce my original opinion that they will not be arriving anytime soon.  No offense intended.

Ali Rashada wrote: “You simply have to love and respect the creation as the creator would wish.”

Are you really going to tell me you have insight into what the Creator would wish while at the same time rejecting His message?  He said it will be impossible to achieve paradise if you love this finite world more than the ever-during next one, so forgive me if I hold great suspicion over what you may consider “love and respect” for the creation, as your message so far does little more than beckon people towards the Fire.

Ali Rashada - Muhammad Rasheed wrote ,"Of note that there was nothing in the expressed events themselves that challenged my understanding based on what God said about the matter in the Qur’an, only in how you chose to interpret the phenomenon, and on what weight you gave certain of the comments/messages ‘whispered’ to you."

It wasn't supposed to. As I said, the goal was to give you an insight into my mindset, and answer some of your questions.

Ali Rashada - Muhammad Rasheed wrote ,"Even if I agreed that it was really God communicating with you, in the context of your tales your opinion still wasn’t being solicited. You were being given info to either act upon or to believe... the entity[s] were not asking you what you thought, or seemed to require an answer from you. This is Item #1 of your testimony not challenging my understanding of humans being contacted by the unseen. "

I was demonstrating a two way exchange, I expressed my thoughts, needs and desires as I saw them, and I received an answer that put me where I wanted to be.

Ali Rashada - Muhammad Rasheed wrote, "God said, quite frankly, that He doesn’t personally deliver such messages. In the grand scheme of things, should I believe Him or you?"

You may see it that way, I could ask, what should I believe, a 1300 year old book, written for idol worshipping cannibals, or my own experience?

Ali Rashada - Muhammad Rasheed wrote, "You admit to me that you have built up the habit of deliberately following the opposite path of the one commanded by the all-powerful Lord of the worlds, Master of the Day of Judgment. Interesting."

Different path, meaning, different than the path of the masses, who are so afraid, that they will accept anything without question, reflection or proof.

Muhammad Rasheed - "Written for idol worshipping cannibals" goes into that bag where the disbelievers proclaim definitive statements about the text that reveal they really don't know what is in it. God said it was revealed as a Good News to those who believe in Him and love doing good, and as a warning to those who do not believe and/or love sowing mischief in the earth. Your experiences fall in line with everything He said about our contact with the unseen, and aren't necessarily in dispute here, only your interpretations.

Muhammad Rasheed - lol We began this discussion with my acknowledgement that many among the "masses" are often swayed away from the path by manipulative outsiders, as well as their own vain thoughts, lusts, etc. These are the falsehoods the species readily accepts without "question, reflection or proof" while rejecting the one thing that will truly save them, revealed as a mercy from the One that knows them best.

They greedily eat up their own sins, while pretending to hold a standard when it comes to walking the Straight & Narrow Path of their Lord who made them. The only truth is with Allah -- Glory to He! -- there is no truth or insight within mankind's vain efforts to figure out the path on their own. That way leads only to foolishness, and then hell.

Ali Rashada - I'm not sure if you remember, but a number of months ago, I wrote you a private message indicating that I was reading the Quran again, and would love to engage in a discussion with you about my impression. I was interested in doing this because of the huge amount of negative press and discussion Islam seems to be getting, and I wanted to gain an accurate understanding of what was in the Quran versus what was being taught, and what was being lived by the average Muslim.

You would have noticed of course that I never contacted you regarding that project again, but you probably wouldn't have guessed the reason why.

Before I get into that I would like to preface this with a few things. Firstly, before my examination of the Quran, I did an in depth dissection of the Bible, with the express goal of determining how much the message of Jesus (as recorded in the Bible) differed from what the apostles he taught and trained preached to the peoples, and even more how much the original message differed from what Paul taught. As I pursued this action, my spirit receptors were set to high as I attempted to feel the power of truth within what I was reading. I brought this spirit of receptivity, as a man searching for truth and the message of the creator, not as one looking for flaws, to the reading of the Quran

I did however, bring my experience of life, and curiously enough my time Sister Clara Muhammad served me well in my studies. When I attended that school, I did my best to be a good student, and remember studying the life of Prophet Muhammad and circumstances regarding the revelation of various portions of the Quran in respect to what was happening with the tribes in the area. So much so, that as I read a number of suras, the actual stories would come back to me, except now I could reflect on them as an adult. This was aided by the fact that the Quran I was reading had copious notes and explanations.

Anyway, the reason I didn't write you publicly and engage in a debate, is because I was not prepared to follow thru on what I found in a public forum. Let me tell you exactly what I felt after reading the Quran.

First, I felt that I had been brainwashed in some way. Before re-reading the Quran, I had a reverence about Islam and the Quran. I felt that people just didn't take the time to understand, and the Book and religion had an obvious quality of truth in contrast to other religions. I follow no religion made by man, but I had a quiet respect for the beauty and penetrating instruction of the Quran. After re-reading the Quran, I realized that all these ideas were put there by the book itself, through repetition. If you say words enough and are encouraged to believe them, eventually they become true to you. The Quran takes this quality to the nth degree, so no wonder someone who studies and repeats the Quran has such a strong and positive belief.

The next thought was, “This is an amazing piece of war propaganda”, and lo and behold, my studies about the life of the prophet show that so much of the his time of revelation was involved with war, and all that comes with it. There are repeated calls to fund the war, and give your life for the war, and not to be afraid of dying in the war. Again, if this is learned, repeated, internalized , it is a powerful tool in controlling the minds of people you want to fight for you.

I wanted to be able to come back and say, “No, if you read the Quran, its not full of calls for violence, its about peace and knowledge.” But I can't. I can understand why the mid-east is in the situation its in, if a majority of the population studies and lives their lives by the Quran. I can't see how there will ever be peace.

Muhammad Rasheed - I remember. I still have that PM.

Because of your "idol worshiping cannibals" comment, combined with this "full of calls for violence" post, I'm going to call your bluff, Ali. The reason you never followed up on your PM is because you never read through the Qur'an. You might have managed to at least read through the second Surah, but probably not.

Another clue was your admission of getting so pumped up when reading the bible prior... because of your Christian background; I recognize the signs of someone being put off by the Qur'an's very blunt and uncompromising stance on monotheism in general, and the deification of the Christ Jesus in specific, and the Book puts all of that stuff right up front.

You didn't read through the Qur'an as you claim. Your false assessment of its contents can be found in the narrowly cherry-picked quotes compiled in any anti-Islam site, and you found one you decided to accept without "question, reflection or proof." All of the war references in the Qur'an are from the strict stand point of defense, with the most oft quoted one heavily bookmarked with the command to stop fighting when the enemy has stopped fighting "and let there be Peace." That part is, not surprisingly, always left out when anti-Islam folk are doing their surgical cherry-picking, and I'm certainly not surprised to find it missing from your own "study" of the Book. Should I assume your pet mystery voice steered you astray by advising you on the path of slipshod and lazy scholarship, or will you take full responsibility for your attempted deceit?

Ali Rashada - You are accusing me of parroting scholars... I guess I should be flattered. I speak only my words, gained from my experiences. I obviously struck a nerve, but you cannot call my bluff, because I was not bluffing and stand as I am. As for whether I read through the Quran, do not let your anger lead you to presume too much. One of the reasons I don't really like to engage you, is that you are not really fair, you make false assumptions and cling to them while make accusations of others, and never admit when you are wrong, change the argument mid stream, or acting as if you were joking. If you are calling me a liar now, when I say I read the Quran, and the observations you read, EVERY SINGLE ONE, were formed and verbalized by me, without me paraphrasing or quoting anyone, then we have nothing left to discuss. Peace and Love to you.

Ali Rashada - Maybe you don't remember your lessons from SCM, but I remember quite clearly on a discussion of the benefits of Islam to the Arabs at the time. One benefit was that during war, the victors would cut out and eat the livers of the vanquished; This act was forbidden in Islam. A large part of the wars Prophet Muhammad fought was about idolatry. The Arabs the Quran was delivered to were Idol worshiping cannibals.

Muhammad Rasheed - Ali Rashada wrote: "You are accusing me of parroting scholars..."

lol That's one way of putting it. Another more accurate way would be to say that I accused you of having not read the Qur'an at all, as nothing in your lengthy post revealed such insight. In fact, your pretend assessment is no different from that of my political anti-Islam enemy, who do no more than pass around the same list of divorced from context, cherry-picked quotes. If you genuinely consider these folk "scholars," then this goes a long, long way towards explaining why all of your posts are devoid of truth or insight.

Ali Rashada wrote: "I guess I should be flattered."

To each his own.

Ali Rashada wrote: "I speak only my words, gained from my experiences."

In this case your experience involved not reading the Qur'an, and perusing anti-Islam sites, and uncritically accepting what they said as fact without doing the research yourself. There is no honor in pretending to have done such research, and then attempting to bluff me as if you had. Bad form, Ali.

Ali Rashada wrote: "I obviously struck a nerve..."

In truth it is clear that my numerous references to the poor quality of your argument and "insights" are what struck the nerves during the discussion, causing you to behave in this fashion from an equally poor and desperate effort to save face.

Ali Rashada wrote: "...but you cannot call my bluff..."

I called your bluff and found you wanting. Saying "Nuh uh!" will not save your argument.

Ali Rashada wrote: "...because I was not bluffing and stand as I am."

I challenge you to take the time to read the Qur'an all the way through for real this time, and come back and let's have our debate. Take your time, and take notes beforehand. I am always game.

Ali Rashada wrote: "As for whether I read through the Quran, do not let your anger lead you to presume too much."

For what reason have I to be angry during this discussion, Ali? Are you really under the impression that you challenged me at all? Are you somehow under the impression that I didn't recognize your weak swipes at Islam in the beginning, and at the Qur'an at the end, as a diversion from your own poor defense? Have a care, please. The only time I've been really angry during an Internet argument was during the height of that Darren Wilson/Mike Brown circus. Confronting that particular demon gets my blood pressure up to the point of active danger to my health. Here, I am in my element, against a debate partner who is clearly out of his.

Ali Rashada wrote: "One of the reasons I don't really like to engage you, is that you are not really fair, you make false assumptions and cling to them while make accusations of others, and never admit when you are wrong, change the argument mid stream, or acting as if you were joking."

I joke while I am seriously standing my ground defending my position, and I joke while seriously challenging others in their position. I am not wrong in my assertions here.

Ali Rashada wrote: "If you are calling me a liar now, when I say I read the Quran, and the observations you read, EVERY SINGLE ONE, were formed and verbalized by me, without me paraphrasing or quoting anyone..."

lol You formed your opinions on the Qur'an from reading anti-Islamic websites. You gave reading the Qur'an through a try, but nothing in that above post revealed that you came anywhere near finishing it.

Ali Rashada wrote: "...then we have nothing left to discuss."

Well, I did notice that you made another post after this one, so...

Ali Rashada wrote: "Peace and Love to you."

Peace & Love to you, too, Ali.

Muhammad Rasheed - Ali Rashada wrote: "One benefit was that during war, the victors would cut out and eat the livers of the vanquished [...] The Arabs the Quran was delivered to were Idol worshiping cannibals."

In the Qur'an, God said numerous times that the Book comes as a Good News to those who believe and love doing good, and as a warning to those who disbelieve and love sowing mischief. Tell me: How is it that all of these mentions have managed to escape someone who wants me to believe he recently read the Qur'an all the way through, but all he can actually remember about the Qur'an is the M. Haykal biography's description of Hind eating Hamza's liver, which of course ISN'T in the Qur'an at all? You don't think it is suspicious that you would step over the time period in which you were supposed to have read the Book, to instead present a decades old SCM lesson to prove you know what was in the Book, that actually wasn't?

Even your efforts to definitively prove you've read the Qur'an demonstrate without doubt that you've done no such a thing. You can stop now.

Muhammad Rasheed - lol Considering how repetitive your anti-Islam sites admit the Qur'an is (to aid in reinforcing important lessons as well as memorization), one would think at least SOMETHING would have stuck in the long-term memory of someone who actually read it, hm?

Ali Rashada - You are mistaken if you think I have made an effort to prove anything to you. I have shared my truth, which you obviously can't handle. Its quite amazing to watch your denial and meltdown from this side.

Muhammad Rasheed - No, I'm not mistaken. The whole point of you weaving that elaborate and flimsy tale of your Qur'anic "studies" was to prove that you had something substantial to back your opinions, and the same with you bringing up the liver eating thing. You called yourself providing your own house-of-cards proof to refute my breakdown of your argument. I don't even understand why you are saying otherwise. Just own up to your stuff and stop flopping around like a fish, please. (is this what Australia has done to you? lol j/k)

But I'm done now before this lack of integrity thing of yours finally turns into something uglier. Go ahead and make time to read the Qur'an, take notes, and then get back to me. I'll be here ready for our real debate, God willing.

Peace.

Ali Rashada - You don't get to call someone a bald face liar, then sign off Peace. You have a problem with reality, and since it doesn't really affect me one way or another what you believe, enjoy your ignorance.

Ali Rashada - @Muhammad Rasheed... Let me show you how to really call a bluff.

Please read this slowly and make sure you take time to read and understand before you reply.  In the past few days, I have made public declerations about my search, beliefs and experiences with God and the spiritual realm.  It finally came to pass that I stated that I had read the Quran and come to my own conclusions, and said so with my own words.  In this same public forum, you stated that my words were untrue, and I did not do what I claimed.

I accuse you of slander and backbiting. I say your ego has caused you to publicly speak about things you do not know.

I ask for this:  I would like a public apology for your slander and lies against me, or  I would like you to prove that ANYTHING I said was untrue, or said with intent to mislead, or me speaking my understanding of someone elses views.

I would really like to see what kind of Muslim you are.

Muhammad Rasheed - Ali Rashada wrote: "It finally came to pass that I stated that I had read the Quran..."

This was the lying part. I forgive you though. Just make sure you read it for real (and take notes) so we can have our true debate about it. No prob.

Ali Rashada wrote: "I would like you to prove that ANYTHING I said was untrue..."

This very thread discussion is the documented proof and me pointing out exactly why what you said was untrue.

Ali Rashada wrote: "I would really like to see what kind of Muslim you are."

That's adorable since your status post itself, and all your swipes at Islam, revealed you have no idea what being a Muslim is even supposed to look like.

I'm going to go ahead and interpret this new tantrum of yours as an effort to squirm out of reading the Qur'an, since you found the first 10 pages or whatever such a chore to get through. You don't have to read it if you don't want to, of course. No pressure. Sincere searches for Truth aren't for everyone after all. We wouldn't want to cheat on your mystery voice by actively searching for God, would we? lol

Peace, Ali. Be good now.

Ali Rashada - Doubling down. Wow, you are dumb on so many levels.

Muhammad Rasheed - lol I know.

Muhammad Rasheed - That's what I'm famous for.

Ali Rashada - Ok, since you didn't produce some proof let me show you how to do that as well, and predict your next move. Since you "moved the goal post", and changed the discussion from my critique of the Quran to "did you even read it", assigning me to take notes and you will decided when I've read enough for you to engage me...you will employ that tactic again, and move the goal post instead of admitting you are wrong, and didn't know what you were talking about. No, wait, you will accuse me of forging the times and dates, and somehow having the time and energy to the do the research I present.


Muhammad Rasheed - How am I the one that moved the goal post when you intro'd the fiction of you having read the Qur'an in the first place? You're the one that started saying crazy, contradictory stuff about the Abrahamic religions and Islam, and when I refuted those comments based on scripture, you volunteered the tale of you having read the Qur'an itself as proof that your crazy, contradictory claims were true. I was explaining what you obviously didn't know from the beginning, and your "critique of the Qur'an" wasn't a discussion we were having.

The "Moving the Goal Post" fallacy is not a thing in this thread.

Muhammad Rasheed - Nothing in these screen shots disproves my accusations. How could it? At best it demonstrates your original intentions to read the Qur'an and take notes, but the quality of your insights reveal that you came up short in the effort. The alternative to my "you didn't read it" theory is the backup "you have poor reading comprehension of complex material" theory. I'm good with either of those paths you wish to take, but it changes nothing.  Get your game up.

Muhammad Rasheed - Again, my proof is in my responses compared to your regurgitated anti-Islam site comments. It is the quality of your argument in the future debate that will determine whether you actually read it or not, the same as in this thread. Just as a teacher can tell whether the student read the novel or just skimmed the Cliff Notes.



Muhammad Rasheed - smh.  You shouted ME out for this argument, remember?

Ali Rashada wrote: "One of the reasons I don't really like to engage you, is that you are not really fair, you make false assumptions and cling to them while make accusations of others, and never admit when you are wrong, change the argument mid stream, or acting as if you were joking."

If this is really how you felt, then what was the point in engaging me this time?  lol  What made you think you were prepared, had a shot at neutralizing these traits you believe I possess, or even that I would act differently?

Did you abandon your Qur'anic studies, and your plans for a public debate, because you saw me in an argument with someone with similar views to your own, and it caused you to lose confidence?

Peace, Ali.  Enjoy your life while it lasts.  I advise you to repent and bow down to your Lord who made you.  Do NOT die in your unbeliever state.  Be forewarned.

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