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 Topic: Metaphorical/Figurative vs. Literal interpretations

 (Read 5093 times)
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  • Metaphorical/Figurative vs. Literal interpretations
     OP - August 11, 2009, 02:08 PM

    How do muslims say verse XYZ is metaphorical and verse ABC is literal?
    Is there some objective method? OR, more likely, do they simply say, "Oh crap, this doesnt make sense! Ok, ok, ok, ok, lets say its metaphorical and that god was using his poetic license! Yea that'll do!"

    Maliki yawm ul LULZ
  • Re: How do muslims decide something is metaphorical or literal?
     Reply #1 - August 11, 2009, 02:17 PM

    ... o.O
    That is what i used to do tbh lol

    Say it was a 'interpretation' and that was it, purely subjective.

    Blind faith is an ironic gift to return to the Creator of human intelligence

  • Re: How do muslims decide something is metaphorical or literal?
     Reply #2 - August 11, 2009, 02:22 PM

    Whenever it is too barbaric to be taken literally, because that makes them too uncomfortable.


    Inhale the good shit, exhale the bullshit.
  • Re: How do muslims decide something is metaphorical or literal?
     Reply #3 - August 11, 2009, 02:23 PM

    How do muslims say verse XYZ is metaphorical and verse ABC is literal?
    Is there some objective method? OR, more likely, do they simply say, "Oh crap, this doesnt make sense! Ok, ok, ok, ok, lets say its metaphorical and that god was using his poetic license! Yea that'll do!"

    you got it in one, with the hadith the word metaphorical gets swapped with corrupted.

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  • Re: How do muslims decide something is metaphorical or literal?
     Reply #4 - August 11, 2009, 04:33 PM

    It seems to be a staple of every religion.
    Sad that people don't see it for what it is - hopeless mullahs scraping the bottom of an empty barrel.

    Maliki yawm ul LULZ
  • Re: How do muslims decide something is metaphorical or literal?
     Reply #5 - August 11, 2009, 05:22 PM

    How do muslims say verse XYZ is metaphorical and verse ABC is literal?
    Is there some objective method? OR, more likely, do they simply say, "Oh crap, this doesnt make sense! Ok, ok, ok, ok, lets say its metaphorical and that god was using his poetic license! Yea that'll do!"


    They'll tell you it's based on certain criteria, such as the context, clues in the text and reference to hadith or by analogy with something else.

    And although they will tell you it's all 'perfectly obvious' - it differs from Muslim to Muslim.

    But the real way they decide it is this: If it suits their beliefs it's literal - if it doesn't it's metaphorical.
  • Re: How do muslims decide something is metaphorical or literal?
     Reply #6 - August 11, 2009, 06:56 PM

    Quote
    If it suits their beliefs it's literal - if it doesn't it's metaphorical.

    + 1

    "Poor human nature, what horrible crimes have been committed in thy name!"
    - Emma Goldman
  • Re: How do muslims decide something is metaphorical or literal?
     Reply #7 - August 11, 2009, 09:05 PM

    How do muslims say verse XYZ is metaphorical and verse ABC is literal?
    Is there some objective method? OR, more likely, do they simply say, "Oh crap, this doesnt make sense! Ok, ok, ok, ok, lets say its metaphorical and that god was using his poetic license! Yea that'll do!"

    The parable of those who reject Faith is as if one were to shout like a goat-herd, to things that listen to nothing but calls and cries: Deaf, dumb, and blind, they are void of wisdom. (Surat al-Baqara, 171)

    The metaphor of those who take protectors besides Allah is that of a spider which builds itself a house; but no house is flimsier than a spider's house, if they only knew. (Surat al-Ankabut, 41)

    please read my blog, read how islam will win
    the clash of civilization.

    http://www.xanga.com/hfghj23458654fgha
  • Re: How do muslims decide something is metaphorical or literal?
     Reply #8 - August 11, 2009, 09:36 PM

    Those verses state very clearly that they are metaphors. Yet there are plenty verses where many Muslims will claim that they must not be understood literally. Like the verses that say Allah created the world in 6 days. Nowhere are these verses preceded with the words allegory, metaphor, similitude etc.

    Are we then to believe that Allah literally created the universe in six, 24 hour days? You could say it's foolish to believe that, but I would ask what your issue is, because surely he could have done that, he is omnipotent after all.

    Even if a literal understanding of the creation account contradicts science and the facts we know about the universe today, that doesn't mean that both can't be true at the same time. You can just say that Allah put everything in its place in 6 days in such a way so as to make everything appear as if it had formed after billions of years. Logic, bitches! It works!

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  • Re: How do muslims decide something is metaphorical or literal?
     Reply #9 - August 11, 2009, 09:51 PM

    Those verses state very clearly that they are metaphors. Yet there are plenty verses where many Muslims will claim that they must not be understood literally. Like the verses that say Allah created the world in 6 days. Nowhere are these verses preceded with the words allegory, metaphor, similitude etc.

    Are we then to believe that Allah literally created the universe in six, 24 hour days?





    gap between six days

    for axample first day next day after million years etc

    please read my blog, read how islam will win
    the clash of civilization.

    http://www.xanga.com/hfghj23458654fgha
  • Re: How do muslims decide something is metaphorical or literal?
     Reply #10 - August 11, 2009, 10:43 PM

    Holy shit, you're incredibly clever. So Allah went on holidays in between those creative days, you know, just to relax and to throw the occasional incest party with his daughters? It all makes sense now!

    German ex-Muslim forumMy YouTubeList of Ex-Muslims
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    CEMB-Chat
    I'm on an indefinite break...
  • figurative and direct sentence
     Reply #11 - August 13, 2009, 12:58 PM

    How can you tell a difference between a direct sentence and a figurative one??

    Example:

    Verily, God make Man from a clot of congealed blood.


    some say it is figurative and others will say it is direct sentence, is there any way to tell the difference between the two? you guys can provide your own examples if you guys wish. Thank you.
  • Re: figurative and direct sentence
     Reply #12 - August 13, 2009, 02:16 PM

    merge threadance?

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  • Re: How do muslims decide something is metaphorical or literal?
     Reply #13 - August 13, 2009, 03:42 PM

    Those verses state very clearly that they are metaphors. Yet there are plenty verses where many Muslims will claim that they must not be understood literally. Like the verses that say Allah created the world in 6 days. Nowhere are these verses preceded with the words allegory, metaphor, similitude etc.

    Are we then to believe that Allah literally created the universe in six, 24 hour days? You could say it's foolish to believe that, but I would ask what your issue is, because surely he could have done that, he is omnipotent after all.

    Even if a literal understanding of the creation account contradicts science and the facts we know about the universe today, that doesn't mean that both can't be true at the same time. You can just say that Allah put everything in its place in 6 days in such a way so as to make everything appear as if it had formed after billions of years. Logic, bitches! It works!


    hmm... It's interesting that you should say that. I have thought about that also. What seems like eons to us might be small in the sight of allah
  • Re: How do muslims decide something is metaphorical or literal?
     Reply #14 - August 13, 2009, 05:31 PM


    gap between six days

    for axample first day next day after million years etc


    Omnipotent Allah must've tired of all the hard work he had to do, you know, like saying "be" and "come willingly or unwillingly", but then again talking to inanimate objects is always tough work.

    Maliki yawm ul LULZ
  • Re: How do muslims decide something is metaphorical or literal?
     Reply #15 - August 13, 2009, 05:40 PM

    If they are losing the argument its becomes metaphorical

    Take the Pakman challenge and convince me there is a God and Mo was not a murdering, power hungry sex maniac.
  • Re: figurative and direct sentence
     Reply #16 - August 14, 2009, 01:32 PM

    well, actually i've been trying to counter an argument to whoever says that a particular verse that is being pointed out is figurative rather then had a direct meaning, consider the verse below:  

    096.001
    YUSUFALI: Proclaim! (or read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created-

    096.002
    YUSUFALI: Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood:


    Some muslims will say that the above verse is figurative and had a indirect meaning for a cell (zygote). Although we all know that a cell is transparent but we cannot simply says that the figure of speech had no connection to the supposedly actual meaning (a cell) because, the indirect meaning for example,  "John came to the mall for only once in a blue moon" that had a meaning of John rarely came to the mall. But when we think about it, there is no such thing as a blue moon! lol, but had a indirect meaning for rarely rather then never appear at all. So, what i'm asknig is how does one counter an argument to whoever said that a particular verse is figurative rather then direct because i am planning to compare the interpretation of a particualr verse historically and today. Any one got a bright idea? better, can someone be a knid soul and provide me the related verse (particularlly about the developement of an embryo in the quran). thank you.
  • Re: figurative and direct sentence
     Reply #17 - August 14, 2009, 01:58 PM

    Any one got a bright idea? better, can someone be a knid soul and provide me the related verse (particularlly about the developement of an embryo in the quran). thank you.


    You'll find that in Hassans scientific miracles video or in the blog in my signature

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  • Re: figurative and direct sentence
     Reply #18 - August 14, 2009, 02:01 PM

    merge threadance?

    What I meant by this was that a thread is already ongoing about this issue http://www.councilofexmuslims.com/index.php?topic=6176.msg157931#msg157931

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  • Re: figurative and direct sentence
     Reply #19 - August 14, 2009, 02:10 PM

    Here is my translation, if someone requires the word-for-word plz let me know. Those are the verses mohammed claimed were the first gabrial told him:

    96:1 - Read by the name of your Rabb who created        (Rabbi means "my god" in arabic)
    96:2 - Created the human from a clot of blood.
    96:3 - Read and your Rabb is the most generous
    96:4 - Who taught with the pen
    96:5 - Taught the human what he did not know.


    I loathe the translators who try to use old english and insert their own big words to try to make the text look more 'profound' then it really is. Specially the lying twirp Yusuf Ali. Although in this example, Yusuf was the only translator honest/stupid enough, to mention that 'Alaq' is a clot of blood, not just a 'clot' (96:2)

    Example:

    096.001
    YUSUFALI: Proclaim! (or read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created-
    PICKTHAL: Read: In the name of thy Lord Who createth,
    SHAKIR: Read in the name of your Lord Who created.

    096.002
    YUSUFALI: Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood:
    PICKTHAL: Createth man from a clot.
    SHAKIR: He created man from a clot.

    096.003
    YUSUFALI: Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful,-
    PICKTHAL: Read: And thy Lord is the Most Bounteous,
    SHAKIR: Read and your Lord is Most Honorable,

    096.004
    YUSUFALI: He Who taught (the use of) the pen,-
    PICKTHAL: Who teacheth by the pen,
    SHAKIR: Who taught (to write) with the pen

    096.005
    YUSUFALI: Taught man that which he knew not.
    PICKTHAL: Teacheth man that which he knew not.
    SHAKIR: Taught man what he knew not.


    "Ask the slave girl; she will tell you the truth.' So the Apostle called Burayra to ask her. Ali got up and gave her a violent beating first, saying, 'Tell the Apostle the truth.'"
  • Re: figurative and direct sentence
     Reply #20 - August 14, 2009, 02:42 PM

    How can you tell a difference between a direct sentence and a figurative one??

    Example:

    Verily, God make Man from a clot of congealed blood.


    some say it is figurative and others will say it is direct sentence, is there any way to tell the difference between the two? you guys can provide your own examples if you guys wish. Thank you.


    I take it he assumes that the congealed blood example here is figurative.  You could ask him if tomorrow science proved that foetus's were in fact formed from congealed blood, would he still say it was figurative or literal?  He would probably now take it literally and present it as a scientific miracle.

    Hey presto, it proves that he is the one defining and interpreting the quran in which ever way he intends, not God.  Also when somebody is prepared to interpret a book in any which way they wish, then it is impossible to ever prove anything wrong.  While you're at it, you can also hit him with the contradiction "quran is clear" as it claims in numerous passages.

    As you can probably tell, Ive done this before.

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  • Re: figurative and direct sentence
     Reply #21 - August 14, 2009, 04:59 PM

    merge threadance?


    Done.

    This debate is at the heart of reformation of any religion. Other religions have managed to gain consensus in that their teachings are seen as mostly metaphorical in nature. Islam will get there, kicking and screaming. Ultimately, it's about consensus among muslims how they will interpret their religion. If 1/100th of muslims take Islamic texts to be metaphorical while the rest take them literally, it doesn't help muslims, or the rest of us. Religion, at its least harmful, is seen by its followers as a loosely interpreted set of guidelines, not as dogma that must be adhered to literally. When the christians thought that way in large numbers, the world endured inquisitions, church-led governments, witch burnings etc.

    "Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused."
  • Re: figurative and direct sentence
     Reply #22 - August 15, 2009, 04:55 AM

    Thanks for the reply guys.


    I take it he assumes that the congealed blood example here is figurative.  You could ask him if tomorrow science proved that foetus's were in fact formed from congealed blood, would he still say it was figurative or literal?  He would probably now take it literally and present it as a scientific miracle.

    Hey presto, it proves that he is the one defining and interpreting the quran in which ever way he intends, not God.  Also when somebody is prepared to interpret a book in any which way they wish, then it is impossible to ever prove anything wrong.  While you're at it, you can also hit him with the contradiction "quran is clear" as it claims in numerous passages.

    As you can probably tell, Ive done this before.

     you're good...


    But i intend to say that if verse is really figurative then, how does the companions of muhammad intrepret the verse knowing that cell was not discovered during that time? surely they take it literally and would mean that the Allah, being to be the most fair, is not being fair towards the people of that time because of the verse, being figurative,  and being that humans are from a single cell was virtually unknown during that time, then Allah had purposefully misinformed them.
  • Re: Metaphorical/Figurative vs. Literal interpretations
     Reply #23 - August 15, 2009, 05:53 AM

    That is because god never said it. It is Mo who studied few scientific scrubby old books while cleverly inventing a religion.

    Funnily enough every Muslim start their shahada by saying: Ashhadu ana la illaha....  Which literaly means ..."I testfy that there is no god..." I think that is ironic ... He he he

    ...
  • Re: Metaphorical/Figurative vs. Literal interpretations
     Reply #24 - August 15, 2009, 07:50 AM

    I thought he learned about these scientific fallacies from from his scholarly friend?

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  • Re: Metaphorical/Figurative vs. Literal interpretations
     Reply #25 - August 15, 2009, 08:41 AM

    Yes I have a theory that Waraqa Ibn Nofel was the source!

    Actually, many facts about Islam points to just that. Examples being failure to mention any thing outside the Gulf region such as fruits or vegetables from Asia or Europe or the Americas. No mention to any thing that happened Millions of years ago like the existence of Dinosaurs etc.

     Huh?

    ...
  • Re: Metaphorical/Figurative vs. Literal interpretations
     Reply #26 - August 15, 2009, 08:52 AM

    That is because god never said it. It is Mo who studied few scientific scrubby old books while cleverly inventing a religion.


    The muslims would probably disagree with you here and ask you to bring evidence along to prove it. They would say something along the lines of:-

    "When would Mo have had the time to hide from his companions like abu bakr etc to copy works etc? They were always with him".

    Which makes me suspect that the quran we have in our hands today is the result of multiple hands and not canonised in the time period that the official story claims.

  • Re: Metaphorical/Figurative vs. Literal interpretations
     Reply #27 - August 15, 2009, 08:59 AM

    He was 40 when the prophecy occurred. He had the time to do a PhD in old religions and scientific theories and he had Waraqa Ibn Nofel a very well known scholar. Waraqa Ibn Nofel was the cousin of Khadeja his Wife. Warqa was the one who said that Mo is the prophet!! Hint Hint!!!

    ...
  • Re: Metaphorical/Figurative vs. Literal interpretations
     Reply #28 - August 15, 2009, 09:05 AM

    Quote
    The first biography of the life of Mohammed was written during the 8th century A.D. by Ibn Ishack and edited by Ibn Hisham. In it we read that the Honafa? was a small group "started when four persons at Mecca agreed. Those four were Zyed bin Amru bin Nafil, Waraqa bin Nofil, Obeid allah bin Jahsh, and Othman bin Al-Howerieth. They died as Sabians .?[iii]

    The four founders of Ahnaf were all related to Mohammed. They  were descendants of Loui, one of Mohammed ancestors. Furthermore, Waraqa bin Nofel and Othman Ben Al-Huwereth were cousins of Khadijah. We know this from Mohammed?s genealogy presented by Ibn Hisham.[iv] Khadijah was  the first wife of Mohammed. She played a major role in convincing Mohammed that he was a prophet, using Waraqa to achieve her goal.



    Read more here: http://religionresearchinstitute.org/index_articles/ahnaf.htm

    ...
  • Re: Metaphorical/Figurative vs. Literal interpretations
     Reply #29 - August 15, 2009, 09:05 AM

    "He was 40 when the prophecy occurred. He had the time to do a PhD in old religions and scientific theories and he had Waraqa Ibn Nofel a very well known scholar. Waraqa Ibn Nofel was the cousin of Khadeja his Wife. Warqa was the one who said that Mo is the prophet!! Hint Hint!!!"

    Absolutely. I don't really have an issue with that statement, cos once you have left Islam you are open to all the theories about Islam that you wouldn't have attempted to look at when you were a believer. The issue is that if you proposed what you have said to the muslim, he would be swift in asking you for a proof, and without that he would just dismiss it as conjecture. My own take is that multiple hands were involved in it's compilation and certainly not from the 7th century.
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