Sunday, December 20, 2015

Parable Comparison

I've compared other aspects between Christianity and Islam before here.  This is not unusual for me, as a curious guy.  While having an affinity for Christianity, I DO try to show all sides impartially, with the actual words or the interpretations of Muslim scholars or authors.

All in an effort to find Truth~

In his sermon today in church, our pastor departed from the usual 'birth of the Christ child' homily, instead preaching about Jesus' greatest parables, with His most profound, "The Prodigal Son" from the Gospel of Luke, Luke 15, vv 11-32:

11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

Meaning, that no matter how much disappointment a son may bring to his Earthly father, the father will always welcome his child's return home.
So how much more will our Holy Father God, welcome His sinner-child who repents and comes back home to be with the Holy Creator~!!???

Now let's look at the Quoran, and the parables of Mohammed (pbuh):

Lovingly lifted from Muslim Matters(dot)org, this author's favorite parable--


“Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of His light is as if it were a niche containing a lamp; the lamp is [enclosed] in glass, the glass [shining] like a radiant star: [a lamp] lit from a blessed tree – an olive-tree that is neither of the east nor of the west, the oil whereof [is so bright that it] would well-nigh give light [of itself] even though fire had not touched it: light upon light! Allah guides unto His light him that wills [to be guided]; and [to this end] Allah propounds parables unto men, since Allah [alone] has full knowledge of all things.” [24:35]

And it's meaning:

“The parable of 'his' Light” – there are two views concerning the meaning of the pronoun (his):
The first is that it refers to Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, meaning that the parable of His guidance in the heart of the believer is “..as a niche“. This was the view of Ibn `Abbas.
The second view is that the pronoun “his” in “his light” refers to the believer, which is indicated by the context of the words and implies that the parable of the light in the heart of the believer is as a niche. So the heart of the believer and what he is naturally inclined to, of guidance and what he learns of the Qur'an, which is in accordance with his natural inclinations are, as Allah says:

أَفَمَن كَانَ عَلَى بَيِّنَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّهِ وَيَتْلُوهُ شَاهِدٌ مِّنْهُ

“Can they who rely on a clear proof from their Lord, and whom a witness from Him recites it (can they be equal with the disbelievers“: [11:17]. The heart of the believer in its purity and clarity is likened to a lamp in transparent and jewel-like glass, and the Qur'an and shari'ah by which it is guided are likened to good, pure, shining oil in which there is no impurity or deviation.

كَمِشْكَاةٍ

“…as (if there were) a niche…” Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Muhammad bin Ka`b and others said, “This refers to the position of the wick in the lamp.” This is well-known, and hence Allah then says:

فِيهَا مِصْبَاحٌ“…and within it a lamp” – this is the flame that burns brightly. Or it was said that the niche is a niche in the house. This is the parable given by Allah of obedience towards Him. Allah calls obedience to Him as light, then He calls it by other numerous names as well. Ubayy bin Ka`b said, “The lamp is the light (Al-Nur) and this refers to the Qur'an and the faith that is in his heart.” As-Suddi said, “It is the lamp.”

الْمِصْبَاحُ فِى زُجَاجَةٍ

“…the lamp is in a glass” – this means that this light is shining in a clear glass. Ubayy bin Ka`b and others said, “This is the likeness of the heart of the believer.”

الزُّجَاجَةُ كَأَنَّهَا كَوْكَبٌ دُرِّىٌّ

“.…the glass as it were a star durriyyun” – some authorities recite the word durriyyun with a dammah on the daal and without a hamzah, which means pearls, i.e., as if it were a star made of pearls (durr). Others recite it as dirri'un or durri'un, with a kasrah on the daal, or dammah on the daal, and with a hamzah at the end, which means reflection (dir'), because if something is shone on the star, it becomes brighter than at any other time. The Arabs call the stars they do not know darari. Ubayy bin Ka`b said, “A shining star”. Qatadah said: “Huge, bright and clear.”

يُوقَدُ مِن شَجَرَةٍ مُّبَـرَكَةٍ

“…..lit from a blessed tree” – this means, it is derived from olive oil, from a blessed tree.

زَيْتُونَةٍ

“...an olive” – this refers to the blessed tree mentioned previously.

لاَّ شَرْقِيَّةٍ وَلاَ غَرْبِيَّةٍ

“..…neither of the east nor of the west” – this means that it is not in the eastern part of the land so that it does not get any sun in the first part of the day, nor is it in the western part of the land so that it is shaded from the sun before sunset, but it is in a central position where it gets sun from the beginning of the day until the end, so its oil is good and pure and shining. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas commented on:

زَيْتُونَةٍ لاَّ شَرْقِيَّةٍ وَلاَ غَرْبِيَّةٍ

“……..an olive, neither of the east nor of the west” – this is a tree in the desert, which is not shaded by any other tree or mountain or cave, i.e. nothing covers it, and this is best for its oil.” Mujahid commented on:

لاَّ شَرْقِيَّةٍ وَلاَ غَرْبِيَّةٍ

by saying; “It is not in the east, where it will get no sun when the sun sets, nor is it in the west where it will get no sun when the sun rises, but it is in a position where it will get sun both at sunrise and sunset.” Sa`id bin Jubayr commented on:

زَيْتُونَةٍ لاَّ شَرْقِيَّةٍ وَلاَ غَرْبِيَّةٍ يَكَادُ زَيْتُهَا يُضِىءُ

..by saying, “This is the best kind of oil. When the sun rises it reaches the tree from the east and when it sets it reaches it from the west, so the sun reaches it morning and evening, so it is not counted as being in the east or in the west.”

يَكَادُ زَيْتُهَا يُضِىءُ وَلَوْ لَمْ تَمْسَسْهُ نَارٌ

“…..whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself), though no fire touched it.” `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said, “(this means) because the oil itself is shining”.

نُّورٌ عَلَى نُورٍ

“..Light upon Light!” – Al-`Awfi narrated from Ibn `Abbas that this meant the faith and deeds of a person. As-Suddi said: “…Light upon Light!”: “Light of the fire and the light of the oil. When they are combined, they give light, and neither of them can give light without the other”. Similarly the light of the Qur'an and the light of faith give light when they are combined, and neither can do so without the other.”

يَهْدِى اللَّهُ لِنُورِهِ مَن يَشَآءُ

“....Allah guides to His Light whom He wills“: this means that Allah shows the way to the ones whom He chooses, as it says in the hadith recorded by imam Ahmad from `Abdullah bin `Amr, who said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah [صلى الله عليه وسلم] say:

إِنَّ اللهَ تَعَالَى خَلَقَ خَلْقَهُ فِي ظُلْمَةٍ ثُمَّ أَلْقَى عَلَيْهِمْ مِنْ نُورِهِ يَوْمَئِذٍ، فَمَنْ أَصَابَ مِنْ نُورِهِ يَوْمَئِذٍ اهْتَدَى وَمَنْ أَخْطَأَ ضَلَّ فَلِذَلِكَ أَقُولُ: جَفَّ الْقَلَمُ عَلَى عِلْمِ اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ

“…Allah created His creation in darkness, then on the same day He sent His Light upon them. Whoever was touched by His Light on that day will be guided and whoever was missed will be led astray. Hence I say: the pens have dried in accordance with the knowledge of Allah, may He be glorified.”

وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الاٌّمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عَلَيِمٌ

“…And Allah sets forth parables for mankind, and Allah is All-Knower of everything”: Having mentioned this parable of the Light of His guidance in the heart of the believer, Allah ends this verse with these words, which mean that He knows best who deserves to be guided and who deserves to be led astray.

Got It ? See the difference?

No comments: