Posts Tagged ‘Zoroastrianism’

“Absolute Oneness”

March 11, 2017

Please enjoy an excellent article on “Absolute Oneness” by 

” Oneness, whether relative or absolute, is an attribute that defines the uniqueness of the entity that possesses it. While relative oneness can be possessed by anything unique in any respect, absolute oneness is a feature of Divinity alone. Oneness can be, at times, as profound a concept as the enigmatic concepts of Infinity and Zero. The prime number ‘One’ can actually be intriguing enough to put the most competent of human minds to the most formidable of challenges.

The Qur’an introduces us to two special attributive names of God that relate specifically to God’s absolute oneness. These names are Ahad and Waahid. While in general terms, Ahad and Waahid both, could loosely be translated as ‘One’, but more specifically Ahad can be translated as ‘One’ and Waahid as ‘Only’. Hence, when the Qur’an informs us that its Author is Ahad and Waahid, essentially what we are being told is that God, in the absolute sense, is the ‘One and Only’. These two attributive names, in conjunction, describe the Absolute Oneness of God. Both names Ahad and Waahid denote two different aspects of the Oneness of God. The name Ahad suggests that God is ‘One’, thus highlighting the absolute oneness of His Being, implying that, in all respects, there is only one Being Who is God. The name Waahid, on the other hand, suggests that God is ‘Unique’, thereby highlighting His singularity in terms of His attributes, which means to say that, for instance, there is none as merciful as Him, none as forgiving as Him, none as beautiful as Him, and so on. We read in the Qur’an: “Say, He is Allah – The One” (Ch.112:V.2). In this verse, God’s name Ahad has been used. We also read: “And your God is the Only God. There is no god but He.” (Ch.2:V.164). In this verse, God’s name Waahid has been used.

The essence of worship is simply an extreme form of Love. In English, the expression ‘adoration’, otherwise a synonym of ‘worship’ is freely used, to express extreme love. When the intensity of love soars to levels where the beloved also becomes the most sought of all, the most adored of all, and the most loved of all, love assumes the form of worship and that beloved becomes an idol. We read in the Qur’an: “And among mankind there are some who take for themselves objects of worship other than Allah, loving them as they should love Allah. But those who believe, excel in their love for Allah” (Ch.2:V.166). The Arabic term for “the sought” is Maqsood, the Arabic for “the adored” is Ma’bood, and the Arabic for “the loved” is Mahboob. Interestingly, the Promised Messiah(as) has proposed all these three terms as synonyms of the Arabic word ilaah, translated generally as deity. Hence, the statement “laa ilaaha illallah” meaning “there is no god but Allah” could have at least three meanings: there is none Sought but Allah, there is none Worthy of worship but Allah and there is no Beloved but Allah”.

Absoluteness is an inherent and intrinsic feature of being God. Since God is the only Being who is absolutely absolute in all respects, it therefore follows that in the absolute sense, there is none worthy of being sought but Him, there is none worthy of being worshiped but Him and there is none worthy of being loved but Him. At this juncture, one is reminded of the historic testimony given by the bitterest of the enemies of the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw), during his days in Makkah. The Quraish would often say of the Holy Prophet(saw), “Ashiqa Muhammadan rabbahu”, meaning “Muhammad is in love with his God”. Now this happens to be the testimony coming from the enemy and yet a testimony of manifest admiration. The Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw) was all love and his love was all-encompassing, yet the love he harboured in his sacred heart for Allah was infinitely greater than the love he had for anyone else. Among the Sahaba or the Companions of the Holy Prophet(saw), Hadhrat Bilal(ra) seems to stand out as an exceptional case. He was a slave to Umayya, a chieftain of Makkah. Upon learning that Bilal(ra) had accepted Islam, Umayya subjected Bilal(ra) to the most severe form of torture. He made Bilal(ra) lie bare-backed on the scorching mid-day desert sand and placed a heavy stone on his chest and then while lashing him would demand that Bilal(ra) accept the idols of the Makkans. Bilal(ra) would respond by cries of “Ahad, Ahad”, meaning “One. One.”

Love is an amazing force. On the one hand, it fills the heart with an urge to seek the beloved, while on the other it instills in the heart a concurrent sense of fear as well. Love generates a very unique sense of fear – the fear of losing the loved one. Hence, when the Qur’an speaks of the ‘fear of Allah’, what is meant is not the fear of harm. The concept of the ‘fear of Allah’ is, in reality, the fear of losing Allah or in other words, of being distanced away from Him due to His displeasure. Thus, when we read in the Qur’an “Me alone should you fear” (Ch. 2:V.41), it is the fear of God’s displeasure that is being mentioned. In the Qur’anic terminology, this unique form of fear – the fear of losing the Beloved – is called “Taqwa”. One who treads the path of Taqwa is called a Muttaqi. When the love for God surpasses the combined love for everything else and when the fear of losing Him exceeds all other fears combined, then it can be assumed that the Muttaqi is on the path of discovering the splendours of God’s Absolute Oneness.

On the philosophical plane, the question of God’s Absolute Oneness, has haunted and mesmerised mystics of all religions, throughout the ages. This perplexing question even led some mystics to the concept of Pantheism, a concept that suggests that since everything that exists is part of God, hence ‘All is God’ and since all that exists is God, there is therefore no duality in Existence. In Arabic, the term for Pantheism is Wahdatul Wajood, meaning Oneness of Existence. The Persian parallel term is “Hama Oost”, meaning Everything is Him. By adopting and endorsing the concept of Pantheism, proponents of this particular school of mysticism were led to conclude that they had, on the intellectual plane, successfully resolved the issue of Duality of Existence.

Secrets of the realm of Spirituality and the deeper and more sublime truths pertaining to the mechanics of the soul have been frequently disclosed from On-High to prophets, saints and mystics. Revealed wisdom thus transferred, has allowed the common man to appreciate such realities as are not conveniently accessible to the curious and inquisitive human mind. The Promised Messiah(as) resolved the philosophical parallax of Duality of Existence through a simple interpretation of the second verse of Surah Fatihah, the opening chapter of the Holy Qur’an – “Al hamdu lillaahi rabbil aalameen” (Ch.1:V.2). These words mean “All Praise is due unto Allah the Lord of the Worlds”. The Promised Messiah(as) expounded that this verse clearly enumerates two entities – Rabb, or The Lord, and Aalameen, or the Worlds. Hence, while indeed there are two classes of existence – the Creator and the Creation – only one deserves to be worshiped – the Creator. A very saintly disciple of the Promised Messiah(as) further elaborated this explanation on the basis of an enchanting spiritual experience he once had. Hadhrat Abdus Sattar Buzurg(ra), a Companion of the Promised Messiah(as), was once shown a vision by God in which God appears before him in the form of a teacher standing before a blackboard. God writes the digit “1” on the board and asks Buzurg Sahib(ra) what it is. Buzurg Sahib(ra) replies, “This is One.” God says, “This is Me.” Then God writes the digit “0” on the blackboard and once again asks Buzurg Sahib(ra) what it is. This time, Buzurg Sahib(ra) replies, “This is Zero.” God says “This is everything else beside Me.” In this Divinely revealed vision, or kashf as it is called in Arabic, God puts this across to Hadhrat Abdus Sattar Buzurg(ra), and very exquisitely, that although Creation does indeed exist as an entity distinct from the Creator, yet the measure of its existence and significance, in comparison to the Existence and Oneness of the Creator is that of a mere Zero. Hence, not only is God ‘One’, He is ‘Absolutely One’. All beside Him, inspite of existing, in comparison to His own Oneness, virtually amount to being Zero.

The Arabic term for idolatry is Shirk. Someone engaged in Shirk or someone in the state of Shirk is known as a Mushrik. The ‘idol’ in question may or may not be visible. Whether the idolater or mushrik worships a physically perceivable idol or one concealed in his heart, he is in either case, dwelling in the state of shirk or idolatry. The state of shirk or idolatry may therefore be not only undeclared, but also intangible. It is very plausible to have a Muslim, even a seemingly practicing one, existing in a perpetual state of shirk, while being completely unaware of this spiritual state of his. In such a case, the idol in question, would obviously not be an apparent one, but would rather be a non-material one. The idol could well be his own ego, his desires, his material lusts, his wealth or his desire to be popular. Any of these entities can absorb the attention of man to a degree that matches worship. That being the case, any of these entities would assume the role of an idol or god. It is with reference to this form of idolatry or shirk that the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw) says, “Save yourselves from shirk-us-saraa’ir”. The Arabic term shirk-us-saraa’ir literally means hidden idolatry. What is being implied is that true insight into God’s absolute oneness can not be attained without cleansing one’s heart, mind and soul of all forms of idols – apparent and hidden.

Focused attention at its highest peak and love in its exceedingly intense form is ‘worship’ indeed. Objects that attract such attention and love, thus earn the status of idols, even if they are not in the physical form of idols. The Qur’an speaks of two such inconspicuous idols – idols that remain hidden in the deepest recesses of the human mind. Firstly, we read in the Qur’an: “Hast thou seen him who takes his own desire for his god?” (Ch.25:V.44). Thus the Qur’an categorises man’s intense desire as an idol – a hidden idol that is capable of completely capturing human attention. Our desires can be absorbing enough to be classified as idols, while we may not even be aware of the fact that the attention we are awarding them can be as intense as worship. Secondly, we also read in the Qur’an: “And you love material wealth with an exceeding love” (Ch.89:V.21). Thus does the Qur’an rate material wealth, whether in the form of belongings or in the shape of aspirations, as idols. The rationale behind this categorisation is the simple fact that love, in its extreme and exceeding form, is virtually the same as worship. By the same logic, Heaven and Hell too, can become idols. If the motivation behind good deeds is the desire for Heaven or the deterrence against wrongdoing is the fear of Hell, then Heaven and Hell too, are idols. The Promised Messiah(as) imparts to us true insight in this matter, through his profound words of enlightenment. The Promised Messiah(as) says, “Our God is our Paradise.” (Kishti-e Nuh), p. 30).

According to the Qur’an, all revealed religions were revealed by the same God – One and Only God. The Qur’an also enlightens us that there is not a single nation on Earth that has not been visited by a Divine Apostle. We read: “Verily We have sent thee with the Truth, as a bearer of glad tidings and as a Warner; and there is no people unto whom a Warner has not been sent.” (Ch.35:V.25). One is naturally intrigued by the question – if all revealed religions were revealed by the same One God, how did polytheism or idolatry happen to become the doctrine in some of these religions? A study of the journey these religions made from monotheism to varying shades of idolatry may be useful.

In the case of Zoroastrianism, we find the concept of “Duality” or what may be perceived as ‘Bitheism’. Zoroaster(as) (Hadhrat Zartusht) was most certainly a Prophet of God, who preached and taught in the name of the One God who revealed Himself to Zoroaster under the name of ‘Ahura Mazda’. With the passage of time, Zoroaster’s monotheistic message failed to retain its original purity. The concept of the ‘Force of Evil’, mentioned in the Qur’an as “Shaitan”, with the passage of time, began to be seen as a god, named “Ahraman” or “Angra Mainyu”. Therefore, in the case of Zoroastrianism, the ultimate force of negativity, due to its immense influence, became a deity itself. This is a classic case of the doctrine of Oneness changing into Duality. However, there are still some groups among the Zoroastrians who profess strict monotheism.

The other case worth examining is of Christianity. Jesus(as) (Hadhrat Isa), a Messenger of the One God, was deified and made into a god. The literalistic interpretation of the expression “son of God” eventually led to a prophet being worshiped. The proverbial “son of God”, meant only to signify the bond of love between Jesus(as) and his Maker, was transformed into a genetic relationship, hence rendering one of the greatest advocates of monotheism an idol himself. Then by including the Holy Ghost too into Divinity, the original monotheistic concept of God’s Oneness in the message of Jesus(as), transformed into Trinity.

The most interesting case perhaps, is that of Hinduism. In Hinduism too, there is a different concept of trinity – the ‘Tridev’ – meaning the three gods. Brahma the god of creation, Vishnu the god of sustenance and Shiva the god of destruction, together make the One God of Hinduism. When viewed in this perspective, we begin to see how belief in One Rabb – Rabb the Creator, Rabb the Sustainer and Rabb the Perfecter, eventually got modified into the doctrine of ‘Tridev’. Interpolations, extrapolations and amendments, spanning a period of three millenniums, thus changed a true Divinely revealed monotheistic religion of India, into an idolatrous one. Briefly speaking, this is how some revealed religions, all of whom were originally monotheistic, regressed into polytheistic ones.

The most fundamental doctrine in the Religion of Islam is the ‘Absolute Oneness’ of God. This doctrine, in the Islamic terminology is known as Tauheed and one who believes in Tauheed is known as a Muwahhid. According to Islamic philosophy, Tauheed is the basis of man’s spiritual prosperity. Man, on the other hand, tends to forget, slacken and even lose sight of things that matter most to his spiritual prosperity. The establishment of Tauheed in our hearts and lives, therefore entails a continuous process of rejuvenation of mental orientation. This in turn requires Zikr or rememberance. In every single rak’at or unit of the Salat or Muslim prayer, one is required to recite the opening chapter of the Qur’an – Sura Fatihah. The fifth verse of this chapter reads, “Thee alone do we worship and Thee alone do we implore for help.” (Ch.1:V.5). It is obvious that God does not need to be reminded of the fact that He alone is worthy of worship or that He alone is worthy of being implored for help. It is the believer who needs this reminder. The Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw) has said, “The greatest way to remember God is by means of the words ‘laa ilaaha illallaah’.” Mere incantations and utterances clearly mean nothing. Zikr or Remembrance, needs to be an act of the heart. In compliance with this teaching of the Holy Prophet(saw), the words “laa ilaaha illallah”, meaning “none is worthy of worship except Allah”, would have to be recited from the depths of the heart and with an accompanied rejection of all apparent and hidden idols. A believer can not attain the enviable state of Ikhlaas or purity, until he or she absorbs the essence of the message of Sura Ikhlaas, which is the “Absolute Oneness of God”. This chapter of the Qur’an has been termed “the heart of the Qur’an” by the Holy Prophet(saw). This is how this Sura, or chapter, runs:

In the name of Allah, The Gracious, The Merciful.

Say: He is Allah – The One

Allah – the Independent and Besought of all.

He begets not, nor is He begotten

And there is none like unto Him. (Ch.112:V.1-5)”

Sayed Hameedullah Nusrat Pasha is presently serving as a Dental Surgeon at Fazle Omar Hospital Rabwah, Pakistan.

http://www.reviewofreligions.org/5582/absolute-oneness/

With thanks and regards from paarsurrey, please

 

Did Zoroaster prophecy fate of Zoroastrians at hands of Arabs?

May 21, 2015

Please view my post and comment on it.
https://sharukheruchbamboat.wordpress.com/2015/02/22/zoroastrianism-the-rise-and-fall-and-the-migration-of-the-early-settlers/comment-page-1/#comment-61

May 21, 2015 at 19:53

paarsurrey wrote:

Quote “After this, the Persian Empire saw the rise and fall of the Sassanian dynasty in 224 BC, but was overthrown by the Arabs. The Empire was quickly Islamicized under the Umayyad Caliphate. Zoroastrians came under some serious social pressures to convert to Islam. It was at this time that Zoroastrians decided to look for another safe haven and resulted in a large-scale migration.”Unquote.

My Comments

Zoroaster was a truthful prophet/messenger of Ahura-Mazda (G-d), did he prophecy of such a fate to the Zoroastrians and subsequent migration?

Regards

Jesus mention touchstone of Christian scriptures

March 17, 2014

http://www.is-there-a-god.info/blog/about/welcome-to-atheists-and-others/#comment-8853

paarsurrey
MAR 17, 2014 @ 17:32:16

Jesus mentions his core teachings:
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22:36-40
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+22%3A36-40

The method of purification of Bible suggested by me is reasonably inferred from the above Jesus’ core teachings.

1. “This is the first and greatest commandment” hence, I think, Jesus would be happy if it is used as touch stone of his teachings and those which contradict with it are dubious and must be discarded.
2. “All the Law”; here he means that his teachings are for revival of Moses’ law; those of his teachings that conform to it only that must be accepted the rest discarded. This adds further purity to # 1.
3. “And the Prophets”; if the teachings have been mentioned by the prophets that further would ensure correctness.
4. “Love your neighbor as yourself”; all teachings that your neighbors don’t understand being mythical, not accepted by common sense and unreasonable should not be accepted.

Quran also confirms this principle:

[3:8] He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book; in it there are verses that are decisive in meaning — they are the basis of the Book — and there are others that are susceptible of different interpretations. But those in whose hearts is perversity pursue such thereof as are susceptible of different interpretations, seeking discord and seeking wrong interpretation of it. And none knows its right interpretation except Allah and those who are firmly grounded in knowledge; they say, ‘We believe in it; the whole is from our Lord.’ — And none heed except those gifted with understanding. —

http://www.alislam.org/quran/search2/showChapter.php?ch=3

I think with this measure Judaism, Christianity and Islam; even other revealed religions (Buddhism, Hinduism and Zoroastrianism etc) come on to the same page.

hanks and regards

Conference of World Religions 2014

March 13, 2014

Friday Sermon: Conference of World Religions 2014

Sermon Delivered by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (at) Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

http://www.alislam.org/friday-sermon/2014-03-07.html

Translation of the Sermon is available in following languages.

Urdu English Arabic Bengali Bosnian Bulgarian French German Malayalam Swahili Tamil Turkish

Please click the language of your choice on the link provided above.

Synopsis:

English

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih said that about three weeks ago Jama’at Ahmadiyya UK held a conference to commemorate its 100 years in Britain. Scholars and representatives of various religions were invited to present concept of God and religion based on their scriptures. The theme of the conference was God in the 21st Century. Indeed, Islam was going to be represented at the conference and it was done by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih. Other religions represented were Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Druzes and Zoroastrianism. Also present at the event were Sikhs and Baha’i.

Before giving the details Huzoor said that the administration of UK Jama’at which organised such a big event did not promote it ahead of time as they should have and were satisfied by simply organising it and anticipating a large number of guests. This was a chance to introduce the Jama’at on a wide scale and disseminate the beautiful teaching of Islam to as many people as possible. If the media had been contacted properly it would have produced better results than what we have as a result of efforts Ameer Sahib and his team is making now.

Baroness Warsi said: ‘It is an honour to speak before such an illustrious audience in such prestigious surrounding here at the conference of world religions. It is a testament to the openness and the pragmatism and the humility of the Ahmadiyya community that your flagship global event today is not just about celebrating your own faith but you are celebrating all faiths.

A message from Her Majesty the Queen who is the supreme governor of the Church of England and defender of the faith read: ‘The Queen was pleased to receive your kind message sent on behalf of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK on the occasion of the conference of world religions being held today at Guildhall as part of your centenary celebrations. Her Majesty was interested to learn of the aims of the conference and appreciates your thoughtfulness in writing as you did.
Huzoor told the conference that when God sent the Holy Prophet(saw) to reform the entire world, he surpassed in disseminating the message and not only that, he spent his nights in intense prayer and supplication made to God. In doing so he wept with such anguish and heartache that the place where he prostrated would become submerged in tears. His agony and anguish to reform mankind cannot be described in words.

Huzoor also told the conference that God’s help is with the one He sent in this age, otherwise how could a claimant from a small village in India become renowned throughout the world. And following his passing away without God’s help he could not have left behind such a flourishing community. A community which due to being firmly attached to the institution of Khilafat, was furthering his mission throughout the world.

Next Hazrat Khalifatul Masih said that may the world turn to its Maker, it can only be saved from the destruction that it faces by turning to God. Indeed, the Promised Messiah(as) had warned about this in his writings. Huzoor asked for prayers for the situation in Pakistan. May God save the country from the evil and keep Ahmadis safe and also them safe who wish for peace and wish to avoid conflict and strife. Prayers should also be made about the situation in Syria, may God protect Ahmadis there.

on the side of Christians to win back the lost souls towards Theism from Atheism or Agnosticism, with the reasons mentioned in Quran

May 10, 2009

awfrick says:

Since I am a Christian, I do believe Jesus was of divine nature. However, I do NOT believe Christianity is the only expression of God, or the only legitimate path to God. I believe your faith is just as legitimate as mine, Paar Surrey.

As far as Christ-doctrine pushing people away from God, you may be correct. Most of the Atheists I have spoken to, however, don’t wish to involve themselves in anything religious, Christ or not.

thanks friend!

-adam

Paarsurrey says:

Hi friend awfrick, adam

I respect your religion. I appreciate your charitable comments. I have been writing on different discussion forums. Though lately the things did not move comfortably but I found Catholics to be the most peaceful people; the Protestants are not to that extent.

The Atheists Agnostics though claim to be humanists and reason oriented; yet, excepting a few, generally they are abusive and not much reason oriented.

I find myself on the side of Christians to win back the lost souls towards Theism from Atheism or Agnosticism, with the reasons mentioned in Quran, which becomes an achievable goal with the grace of God, if instead of the Jesus of Bible, Jesus of Quran is presented, which is more in conformity with Judaism and Zoroastrianism and other religions also as their revealed books and their Messengers Prophets in origin were truthful.

I believe in freedom of faith and freedom of expression for all the human beings without discrimination as to religion, race, color and faith. Love for all hatred for none.

Thanks and regards

I am an Ahmadi peaceful Muslim