To Christians: Jacob and God

Discussion in 'Muslim <---> Christian Dialogue' started by Israaeel, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. Israaeel
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    Salaam to those who follow the Guidance

    I wanted to know how Christians explain the incident mentioned in the bible regarding Jacob wrestling with God - while winning as well...
  2. Abu Loren
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    Abu Loren Defender of Islam!

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    Wa Alaikkum Asalaam

    The thing with the Bible is that it is corrupted, there are incidents in the Bible where men have made additions to the Words of Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala.

    With regard to your query though some Christians say that the 'man' who wrestled with Prophet Jacob (Alayhi Salaam) was an angel rather than God Almighty. No surprise there as there is confusion from Genesis to Revelation.
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  3. Cariad
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    With respect Abu Lore. You should not criticise what you do not understand.
    If you have not read about or understand sacrifice in the Old Testament, you cannot understand why God would become Man.
    If you do not understand what worship of God is and what it means, you cannot understand why God would become Man.
    If you refuse to accept that all men are sinners in need of a Savior and a Redeemer, you cannot understand why God would become Man.
    If you do not realize that God IS Love, then you cannot understand why God would become Man;
    If you refuse to accept God in the Old Testament of Abraham, Moses, and Noah as YHWH (Self-Existent One) or as ELOHIM (Strong One) or as Adonai (Lord) or as El Elyon (Most High) or as El Roi (Strong One) or as El Shaddai (Almighty One) or as El Olam (Everlasting ) then you cannot understand why God would become Man.
    If you believe and follow only one mortal man's opinion and creation of his god, then you cannot understand why God would become Man.
    If you do not understand why you were created, how this world and the next is NOT all about you, how you have estranged yourself from God by sinning, why all your human good intentions, rituals and good deeds are pathetic and woefully lacking in earning God's approval let alone righteousness and paradise when you die, then you cannot understand why God would become Man.
    If you do not read about or understand God's unlimited Sovereignty over all His creation, if you do not accept God's Power over all His creation, then you cannot understand why God would become Man.
    And if you choose to put God in a mortal box of a human's creation; if you put God into terms that mere mortals can understand; if you limit God's power, ability, creativeness, knowledge, wisdom, love and all else that He is, then certainly you cannot understand why God would become Man.

    You see things from your perspective, which is fine, but others will see from a different view and that view will differ from yours but still can make perfect sense and logic to them. You are measuring our God by mere mortal ideologies. Our God is greater than that, with God anything is possible. :)

    Tell me please..does it say in the Quran or Hadith or from any other sources that it is permissible for muslims to spread misconceptions and untruths about previous Holy scriptures? I have struggled with this idea for some time and I can see no point or reason why any Muslim should seek to prove previous revelations as false when their own revelation (Quran) uses it in validation of their word. Given the accepted fact that there is only ONE God and its up to the ONE God to guide his children to the path the ONE true God chooses for them.

    Please desist in unpleasantness and ask what Our God expects of us all. Accept our differences and value our diversity. Question..? Compare...? Yes both are good because that way we reach better understanding. But it is not good to say one is lies and one is truth...they are just different. I respect your right to believe in Islam and your Holy Book the Quran as your truth as you know it to be, would it be kinder if you respected mine? Would our God approve of kindness. :)
  4. Abu Loren
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    Abu Loren Defender of Islam!

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    Seriously think about what you are saying. God Almighty Who made men out of clay would then become a man His creation in order to redeem mankind? Whichever way you look at this it is flawed.

    I do understand what worship of God is as He tells me how to worship Him through His final messenger to mankind Prophet Muhammad (SalAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam).

    I accept that all men are sinners but mankind does not need a redeemer. We can repent to God Almighty directly without any intercessor. We can sincerely repent to Him after we have sinned. I don't need a man god to die on the cross to atone for my sins.

    I realise that God is indeed LOVE. Without His infinete Mercy and Love human kind would have been destroyed as soon as they were created.

    I accept the God of Abraham, Moses and Noah. I know Him as Allah in the Arabic language.

    A typical Christian response. Prophet Muhammad (SalAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) did not have any opinions. Everything he said was through revelations straight from God Almighty Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala.

    I understand perfectly why I was created after reading the Holy Qur'an and the Hadiths. I was at a loss before that.

    This is all chronicled wonderfully in the Holy Qur'an without God becoming a man.

    It's the other way round actually. It's the Christians who do not understand His attributes which you describe above.

    I do not see things from my own perspective. If you read the Holy Qur'an and the Hadiths you would get a 20/20 vision of clarity of what God wants from us and what we are supposed to do in this life.

    Actually, the Holy Qur'an corrects the mistakes contained in the Bible. Muslims do not spread misconceptions and untruths about the previous scriptures, if there are Muslims doing this then it is a great sin. Astaghfirullah!


    I have not been unpleasant in any way, shape or from. The fact is that Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala Himself tells us in the Holy Qur'an that the Bible is corrupted.

    When we say that the Bible is corrupted the Christians are bound to get upset. This is unavoidable unfortunately. There's an old saying which comes to mind 'the truth hurts'.
  5. Hajjerr
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    Hajjerr He is Dhul-Jalali Wal-Ikram

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    Salam

    Much was said but the original question was ignored, i wonder why..
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  6. Cariad
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    Hello Hajjerr, I did not address the question as I did not believe the questioner would be at all interested in an answer. :) maybe this was wrong of me. I shall of course answer, I will keep it simple as it was explained to me many years ago. I remember there was discussion on weather the battle was spiritual or an actual physical contact. We are taught that Jacob had an anger or inner struggle within him from birth, deceiving his brothers and full of fear and anxiety. He has enmity between his brother Esau all his life. He comes to a realisation that his struggle is not against Esau as man but rather against God himself. Before God can use Jacob in his plan as the father of the Israelite nation, Jacob must have a change of heart.

    Do we take it as a spiritual battle? Later in the OLd Testament the Prophet Hosea tells of the life of Jacob, saying of his struggle started even in the womb with his brother and when he became a man he fought with God and won. At Bethel he met God face to face, and God spoke to him. It seems clear that we are meant to interpret that the "man or angel" was God himself. This may seem strange to believe but there are many occasions in the Old Testament that God spoke with his people...one has to remember that this was the time that God was laying down the rules about how his people should live. As I believe God is all powerful I do not question his methods. :) we also have to believe it was indeed a physical encounter and not spiritual because Jacob was left with a physical wound...a permanent limp.

    I remember asking the question ..but surely God is all powerful he could so easy defeat Jacob in a blink of an eye? It was explained to me that God matched Jacob's strength but did not overpower him, so that the struggle could continue. Though God could obviously defeat Jacob at any time, the extended battle was somehow important to Jacob's spiritual development. When at daybreak the "man"/ God is ready to discontinue the wrestling match, he simply touches Jacob's hip and it is over. The lesson for us here is easy to understand...and everything in the Bible is a lesson for us to learn from, like your Quran.. ya. :)

    So often in life are we in the midst of a struggle and praying for God to end it, only to find that He allows the struggle to continue? If you've ever been in a situation like this, wishing for something hard for you to be made easy or just go away, you also know that it is when we have to struggle for something and succeed we learn the greatest lesson and grow ourselves as a person. This is why God allowed Jacob to wrestle all night and why He leaves us in our trials, often far beyond what we think we can tolerate. But in His mercy, he does eventually reach down, and with "one touch" end the struggle. The fact that we may bear a scar, as Jacob did in his resulting limp, serves to remind us of His rescue and provision.

    When at last the wrestling has subsided, the "man" asks Jacob what his name is. Of course He knew what Jacob's name was, but Jacob needed to come to terms with what his name meant. When he states his name, which means "the grasper" or "the deceiver", he is admitting who he is. His name is then changed to Israel, which means "he struggles with God" or "God prevails". He has had a fundamental shift in his relationship with God and in his concept of himself. He is ready to move into the Promised Land and into his role as the father of God's holy people.

    That is how it was explained to me and it seemed a worthy lesson to learn. That God is with us always bad times and good. He can end the bad times easy if He wished..but our struggles to overcome them make us better and stronger.
  7. Cariad
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    Abu Loren, please do not take this as personal meaning yourself being unpleasant. I did not mean that accept my apologies if it came across that way. I meant it being unpleasant to read all the time hateful things about the Bible, many it is easy to see come from simple misunderstanding.

    Where did Our God say in the Quran the Bible was corrupted? Can you provide a quote please? Because if this is indeed a fact do you understand the serious implications implied by this?
  8. Abu Loren
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    Salaam Ms Cariad,

    I did not take it personally I assure you, I was just replying to what you wrote. No need to apologise as sometimes what we write can be misinterpreted.

    Muslims do not hate the Bible nor are they allowed to say anything hateful about it. Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala tells us that it was indeed sent down from Him to His Prophets (Peace and blessings be upon them all). However, Muslims do accept that the Bible is corrupted by the hand of man.

    Sahih International
    So woe to those who write the "scripture" with their own hands, then say, "This is from Allah ," in order to exchange it for a small price. Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn. 2:79

    Sahih International
    And indeed, there is among them a party who alter the Scripture with their tongues so you may think it is from the Scripture, but it is not from the Scripture. And they say, "This is from Allah ," but it is not from Allah . And they speak untruth about Allah while they know. 3:78

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  9. Hajjerr
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    Hello Cariad
    Your answer makes sense but not 100% as i dont find the meaning of a physical battle.
    We, as you know, as muslims, make clear distinctions between people, angels, jinns and Allah swt, who tells us in Quran that He is far above any form people associate with Him (human form, spirit, white pigeon etc.)..but khair.
    For me, and i speak from personal point of view, the christian holy books are much more hard to understand than the Quran, but i dont doubt the message was the same in origin and Allah from above takes care to place all believers in the right spot, according to their level of faith, effort and power of understanding, Alhamdulillah.
  10. Janaan
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  11. Abu Loren
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    QUESTIONS FOR CARIAD

    In the Bible :-

    1) Prophet Lot (Alayhi Salaam) had sexual relations with his daughters.

    2) Prophet Noah (Alayhi Salaam) got drunk and appeared naked to his sons.

    3) There are various other instances of incest concerning Prophets of God.

    Do you believe all these stories?

    In the Holy Qur'an Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala tells us that ALL of his Prophets were truthful, righteous and God fearing.
  12. Cariad
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    Hello Abu Loren, ok, it's good that I did not offend you..ya. :) thank you for the reply and quotes. I shall look into this further. I agree it's very easy to misunderstand the meaning when the person you address is not available in person. It may appear that I am being disrespectful in my questioning, truly I do not mean any disrespect. Just I am said to be very direct person and tend to be outright in my speech..this is me :) How Our God made me :)

    What you say, if these are truly the word of Our God has most serious consequences that maybe you do not see. As Yahweh so promised to keep his word safe in the Bible, yet the Quran claims God failed in this promise. You ask that I believe Our God who I believe is all powerful in His greatness is not capable of protecting his word from change by his lowly creation..man!

    If you said Mohammed believed this rather than Allah, then it would be less of a problem for me.

    Peace.
  13. Cariad
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    BTW..it's Mrs Cariad. :)
  14. Cariad
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    Hello Hajjerr, I understand that you will have difficulty seeing God in a different way to what you know, it is the same for me with Allah. :) I find the Quran confusing as you find the Bible so, this I am thinking is because it is what we know and are familiar with. Many of the messages in both Quran and Holy Bible are the same. We are shown Our God as approachable yet I find in the Quran the ideology of Allah is distant. I think you are right to say Our God places people where we are best to be, we all travel a path chosen by Our God. :) I do hope and pray that when our paths do cross that we greet each other with love in our hearts knowing that we all share Our Gods love. :)

    Peace and blessings to you Hajjerr. X
  15. Cariad
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    Thank you Janaan for the links I will read them. :) I am as yet unable to thank posts or rate them, I would have rated yours as helpful :) so I just do a reply in my empty text box...Hassan very kindly told me how I could do quotes using the BBcodes..

    Peace.
  16. Cariad
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    Why would I not believe them? Do you believe all the stories in the Quran? I'm am thinking you would say yes to that. I said before all in the Holy Bible serves as a lesson to be learnt.

    It should be understood that Lot was never considered a Prophet of God in the Bible. He was described as a pious man in a time where there was so much sin amongst his people that caused God to pass judgement on the people. But where was the sin in Lot? It should be understood that the daughters thought to drug their father with wine before endeavouring to commit a sexual act with him, that shows that they believed their father would not have been in agreement with such action. Then we also have to look at the motives of the daughters who believed after the judgement their father would be their only option to populate their world. They may have been misguided in this thinking, but it is not for us to pass judgement on them. Did God forgive them..that is the only important consideration.

    Prophet Noah...there is a lesson here.. The drunkenness of Noah is recorded in the Bible, with that fairness which is found only in the Scripture, as a case and proof of human weakness and imperfection, even though he may have been surprised into the sin and to show that the best of men cannot stand upright, unless they depend upon Divine grace, and are so upheld. Ham, Noah's son appears to have been a bad man, and probably rejoiced to find his father in an unbecoming situation. It was said of Noah, that he was perfect in his generations, but this is meant of his character as a sincere man..not of sinless perfection. The consequence of Noah's sin was shame. The great evil of the sin of
    drunkenness is it discovers men, what infirmities they have, they betray when they are drunk, and secrets are then easily got out of them. It disgraces men, and exposes them to contempt. Have you heard it said that men say and do that when drunk, which, when sober, they would blush to think of. Shem and Japheth (Noah's other sons) took great care to cover their father's shame. This they did out of love and respect for their father, and we are all told to love and respect our parents, even when at times we may not agree with their actions they are still our parents who gave us life and so deserve honour and respect. blessing of God attends on those who honour their parents, and his curse lights especially on those who dishonour them. (Ge 9:24-29)
  17. Cariad
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    Sorry I forgot your last point.:)

    Here you are using the Quran as a measure of the Holy Bible. It is not accurate to do this because the Quran tells you that Prophets were somehow above ordinary men and were even sinless. I think I have understood this, please if I am in error on this point say so. :) whereas the Bible teaches that Prophets were ordinary men from various walks of life that were chosen by Our God to do his work. As such they were never considered prefect and the Bible accurately portrays them as they were...human..along with their flaws and weaknesses as we all have. On the question of incest It is important to distinguish between incestuous relationships prior to God commanding against them (Leviticus 18:6-18), and incest that occurred after God’s commands had been revealed. Until God commanded against it, it was not incest. It was just like marrying a close relative. God allowed incest in the early centuries of humanity. If Adam and Eve were the only two human beings God created, their sons and daughters would have had no other choice but to marry and reproduce with their siblings and close relatives. The second generation would have had to marry their cousins, just as after the flood the grandchildren of Noah would have had to intermarry amongst their cousins. The reason incest is so strongly discouraged in the world today is the understanding that reproduction between closely related individuals has a much higher risk of causing genetic abnormalities. In the early days of humanity, though, this was not a risk due to the fact that the human genetic code was relatively free of defects.

    It would seem then, that by the time of Moses, the human genetic code had become polluted enough that close intermarriage was no longer safe. So, God commanded against sexual relations with siblings, half-siblings, parents, and aunts/uncles. It was not until many centuries later that humanity discovered the genetic reason that incest is unsafe and unwise. While the idea of incest is disgusting and abhorrent to us today, as it should be, we have to remember why it is sinful, that is, the genetic problems. Since this was not an issue in the early centuries of humanity, what occurred between Adam and Eve’s children, Abraham and Sarah, and Amram and Jochebed, cannot be viewed as incest. It did not become “incest” until God commanded against it.

    By the time the Quran came into being incest had already been outlawed as a practice. It's about seeing things in perspective. So although the Quran makes the claim that Our Gods Prophets were truthful, righteous and God fearing...this is not the same as being sinless. If they were human, which they were, then they cannot be sinless and we have to accept when they make an error of judgement or show weakness they are as Our God made them.

    Peace.
  18. Abu Loren
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    Salaam Mrs. Cariad,

    Please provide evidence from the Bible where God promised to guard it from corruption.

    Consider this passage in the Holy Qur'an.

    Sahih International
    Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur'an and indeed, We will be its guardian.

    Muhsin Khan
    Verily We: It is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Quran) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption).
    15:9
  19. Abu Loren
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    Think about this. Prophet Lot (Alayhi Salaam) and his two daughters were saved from destruction of Sodom and Gomorroah and as soon they start a new life his daughters would seduce him for sexual relations? This is even hard to fathom as they were witnesses to the lewdness and the despicable acts that were going on in that City. Would they return to sin after what they have witnessed?

    If that is the case then the Holy Qur'an corrects it.

    Muhsin Khan
    And (remember) Lout (Lot), We gave him Hukman (right judgement of the affairs and Prophethood) and (religious) knowledge, and We saved him from the town (folk) who practised Al-Khaba'ith (evil, wicked and filthy deeds, etc.). Verily, they were a people given to evil, and were Fasiqun (rebellious, disobedient, to Allah). 21:74

    Muhsin Khan
    And verily, Lout (Lot) was one of the Messengers. 37:133

    Sahih International
    Indeed, Allah chose Adam and Noah and the family of Abraham and the family of 'Imran over the worlds - 3:33

    Sahih International
    O descendants of those We carried [in the ship] with Noah. Indeed, he was a grateful servant. 17:3

    Muhsin Khan
    Verily, he [Nuh (Noah) ] was one of Our believing slaves. 37:81

    Sahih International
    He has ordained for you of religion what He enjoined upon Noah and that which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what We enjoined upon Abraham and Moses and Jesus - to establish the religion and not be divided therein. Difficult for those who associate others with Allah is that to which you invite them. Allah chooses for Himself whom He wills and guides to Himself whoever turns back [to Him]. 42:13
  20. Abu Loren
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    Mrs. Cariad,

    I suggest you read a translation of the Holy Qur'an, it's just that it's more fair when somebody talks about a topic with knowledge.

    I recommend quran.com as they have six different English translations to choose from. The Holy Qur'an has 114 chapters in varying lengths with the longest put in the beginning.

    Within quran.com is sunnah.com which is the sayings and the actions of Prophet Mohammad (SalAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) as transmitted by his companions and family. Personally I think it is a goldmine of information, some of the information contained in it are mind blowing and I am convinced that information like that can only come from divine revelation, though I might be prejudiced in that view. :)

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