Why not Muhammad (SAWS)

Discussion in 'Judaism' started by Ali_bin_Abi_Talib, May 31, 2007.

  1. Ok, so I understand why Jews do not accept Jesus Christ as the son of God, and you guys have given me alot of ideas to refute the trinity with. However, Why do you not accept Muhammad SAWS as a prophet? Is there any law that says "No more messengers"?

    What does a person do to become a muslim? He says La Ilaha Il Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, the same as the first commandment) and then say Muhammadan RasoolAllah (Muhammad is the messenger of God) Any proof why Muhammad could not be a messenger?

    JazakAllahu Khair
  2. nirmalamaya

    nirmalamaya Member

    youre from iraq..thats awesome.
  3. drumminmama

    drumminmama Super Moderator Lifetime Supporter

    because we are already monothiestic!

    careful, bro, you are trading on what can look like conversion attempts...

    but to answer, we have had our laws refined all along (talmud) & don't really see a new prophet within it.
    To Islam, he is the end all be all of communication, so naturally, Muhammad's importance is very high, ultimate to you.
    to us, he's just another guy with ideas.
    not a complete heretic (although we wonder about the current crop of extreme thought and its power).
  4. the dauer

    the dauer Member

    We don't accept Jesus as a prophet either for that matter. Like Muhammad he is only a historical figure.

    Yes and no. There are many levels of prophecy in Judaism. Some types exist today and do happen but it's not in the sense you're referring to. There have even been people who created systems for developing prophetic states like Abraham Abulafia. Muhammad may very well be a prophet to non-Jews but he could not be a prophet to Jews. His teachings violate and change Torah.

    Now as a liberal thinker I'm okay with Torah changing. All religion, including Islam, changes and evolves over time. But I also reject supernaturalism, including the type of prophecy you refer to. I don't accept the idea of finite revelation. It doesn't make sense to me that revelation could be confined to a specific text. Torah is sacred to me because I hold it as sacred and find meaning in it. In my understand that is the same reason the quran is sacred to you or the gospels are sacred to a christian. It is subjective.

    To mirror what drummin said, exercise caution. We Jewish folk don't take too kindly to missionizing.

    He could have been a messenger, just not to the Jewish people. That's why the Jews rejected him and he was forced to change the direction of prayer from Jerusalem to Mecca in order to pitch his ideas to another audience.
  5. Not trying to preach, just opening dialogue.

    So, you guys believe that non jews get sent non jewish messengers to tell them how to live a non jewish life? Does that mean G-d accepts more then one religion?

    Also Dauer, You said you don't believe in finite revelation, but you only believe in the Torah? Sounds like finite revelation to me (PS Muhammad SAWS said that after him prophecy will only come through dreams, so revelation does continue)

    You also say that Muhammad changed the Torah and thats a bad thing, but then you said your ok with Torah changing. Whats up with that?

    When you say you reject supernaturalism, does that mean you don't believe Moses (AS) split the red sea? Can you even be a Jew when you think like that? (not being sarcastic, I'm really ignorant of Judaism and I just know that if a Muslim said that, he probably would not be a Muslim anymore).

    and Finally, not really from Iraq, I'm a reverted white boy with a red beard.
  6. niranjan

    niranjan Member

    Then in the same logic, why do you not accept Bahaullah, who established the bahai faith. He is also a messenger of God.

    Why not accept him ?

    Here is a teaching of Bahaullah with respect to one loving God.

    Love Me, that I may love thee.
    If thou lovest Me not, My love can in
    no wise reach thee.
    Know this, O servant.
  7. the dauer

    the dauer Member

    Absolutely possible. Judaism is the religion for Jews and makes no claims to being the right thing for everybody.

    I don't believe in Torah. I hold it as sacred. Something does not need to be believed in to be held sacred. It's no different than The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn or TIME Magazine. No text is no matter how exemplary. What changes the text is the way we view it.

    Believing prophecy will still continue via dreams is still finite revelation. It's limiting revelation to certain places and times. It doesn't matter how many apples you have. They're still a finite number of apples. Getting away from that paradigm means understanding the revelatory nature of all of life and opening oneself to receiving that revalation, which is not to say that all of life should be regarded like everything happening has been handed to you on Har Sinai, immutable and uncontestable. I don't accept revelation in that sense.

    What I said is that according to the traditional Jewish laws of prophecy Muhammad cannot be a prophet. I, however, do not accept prophecy as such. For that matter I don't regard the biblical prophets in that way either. On a mythical level they are prophets, but on a historical level I don't believe prophecy can really take such a concrete form. Religions evolve. That's normal. It's all part of the G!dding process. In order for a religion to evolve there must be a general consensus among the members of that religion. If a part of the religion begins changing without the acceptance of the majority that can lead to a schism. Likewise, if a religion is changing and a minority refuse to change that can lead to schism. It doesn't have to do with concrete prophecies. More to do with the unfolding process of the religion.

    There is also a method by which religions generally evolve. Generally change is built upon what is already there. It may take a perspective or use methods not previously practiced but it's building upon what exists. If a group comes along and rejects what came previously asserting a new mythical source of truth that overrides and supercedes the previous one instead of connecting itself, building upon it, and paying homage, chances are it will lead to schism.

    No, I don't believe Moses split the red sea. It is true for me on a mythical level but not on a historical level. The story contains truth and meaning but not historical truth.

    Absolutely. As you say in your first post, Islam is a faith-based religion. Adhering to creed makes someone a Muslim. Not so with Judaism. It's a tribal religion, the religion of the Jewish people. As R. Mordechai Kaplan put it, it's an "evolving religious civilization." In other words to be Jewish either one's mother was a Jew (or father also when the child is raised Jewish in some circles) or you've converted to Judaism which is not a simple process and takes time and dedication.

    Theology in Judaism has always been much looser as the real emphasis is generally on action, practice. There are 13 principles of faith devised by Rambam most likely in response to the faith-based religions of Islam and Christianity. Stripped of his personal understanding of these principles, eventually they became included in the siddur. However there have been a number of great minds before and after him who disagreed quite clearly with even the bare-bones of what he suggests, and it is often the case in liberal Judaism that at least one or two his his principles is rejected by the individual.

    In Orthodoxy, the most conservative of the modern movements, even in that denomination is a lot of theological diversity from the rationalists to the mystics. In any given position on that scale can be a lot of nuance. This is less important.

    As long as the practical issues are okay for each individual participating, a group of Jews can and will pray together despite what can be very significant theological differences.
  8. Wow, quite interesting. i read somewhere that non Jews only have to follow something like 7 rules of the Torah?

    Dauer would you say your a pretty liberal jew and that other jews might disagree strongly with what your saying?

    Niranjan- If you want to talk about deviant groups in Islam, start a thread in the Islam forum.
  9. niranjan

    niranjan Member

    Well the bahais claim they are not muslims. And most muslims who have converted to the bahai religion too says the same thing .
  10. the dauer

    the dauer Member

    Yeah, I was going to mention that but my answer still covered the fundamentals. They're 7 laws that are mostly equivalent to what we might think of as natural law. Things like animal welfare for example. And as we have no hell, if someone really does slip up on those it doesn't mean they're doomed for all eternity.

    Yes and no. Judaism is primarily liberal. Some of the things I've presented that probably sound pretty liberal to you aren't really liberal within Judaism. Other things I've presented are more liberal. All of Judaism today is a reaction in one form or another to the enlightenment and the modern era. There really is no Judaism today that is identical to that of 500 years ago. There have been two types of reactions. On the extreme right folks have cloistered themselves away, turned what were understood as customs into law, concretized theology that was more fluid. And in that I don't even mean Orthodoxy but just an extreme part of Orthodoxy. On The extreme left there are the folks who have abandoned Jewish practice altogether. And by that I don't mean liberal Judiasm but some folks within liberal Judaism. Most people, including myself, fall somewhere in the middle.

    Within Judaism, I mean the organized liberal forms are really so diverse and so large. Conservativism is the most conservative of the liberal movements, not including things like progressive forms of Orthodoxy (which can be more liberal about certain matters than the Conservatives.) The Conservatives go by halachah which is the Jewish equivalent to sharia to the same degree as the Orthodox, but they sometimes use non-traditional methods to come to their conclusions, are more forward-thinking in their rulings, and accept things like critical bible scholarship. At one time the big thing causing a stir with them was feminism and equality in religious practice for women. Lately they've been tackling gay rights. So now for example they'll give an openly gay individual rabbinic ordination which before they wouldn't do.

    Reform Judaism for a long time said ritual didn't matter anymore. The important thing was the ethical laws. But this generation has been more interested in that sort of stuff. So they're now encouraging people to explore Jewish practice more.

    Reconstructionism is the first denomination that really started to think in fairly different ways. It's a naturalist form of Judaism that sees the mitzvot as folkways. Because they view Judaism as an evolving religious civilization their synagogues are home not just for religious matters but also to those things meaningful specifically to Jewish culture. They reject the concept of chosenness Authority with them rests more on the practices of a given community. They place a lot more emphasis on ritual life than Reform. I should have mentioned authority for Conservative and Reform before, and Orthodoxy. Orthodoxy gives religious authority to individual rabbis who make decisions based on what has been done previously and by applying halachic principles to new situations. Some folks in Orthodoxy also try to apply those principles in order to make room for more things like feminism and gay rights, to place new emphasis on ecology etc. The Conservative movement has a group of rabbis that meet to make decisions. Individual rabbis then make decisions based on that and also act a bit independantly. Reform places authority on the individual and values that autonomy.

    There's also Jewish humanism which is essentially Judaism without G!d. It's fairly small right now but growing. Think secular humanism meets Judaism.

    The havurah movement is diy Judaism, people coming together in groups to do it themselves. It overlaps all of the forms in Judaism and varies greatly from group to group.

    Jewish Renewal is a transdenominational mystical movement. While it is a bit liberal it does have some overlap with Orthodoxy, albeit not to the same degree as the havurah movement. And it also can vary quite a bit from place to place.

    Regardless what type of service it is, all Jewish services look pretty much the same. They may have a little more or less english, the dvar torah may focus on different issues or use different methods, there may or may not be a mechitzah, women may or may not be involved in ritual leadership or counted as part of a minyan, but the structure and the basic prayers included is the same. Jewish humanism is an exception though. A good source that has information from all the different Jewish backgrounds is this one:


    I am personally post-denominational in that I see the whole institutionalization of denominations as damaging. Most people don't affiliate because of denomination. They go to a shul because it meets the religious requirements they hold to and they like the service and community. I am very much for the disintegration of the institutions we have today, replaced by looser networks for like-minded communities, and a localization. I think simply having these institutions puts them more at odds with each other than saying, for example, "We're all Jews. We just all Jew it a bit differently."

    The groups whose ideas I borrow from most strongly are reconstructionism, the havurah movement, and Renewal, particularly Renewal. Along with Renewal thinking I see the inherent importance of all Jewish texts including the modern approaches and the traditional ones. In order to be holistic I think all of it really must be integrated. Experiential Judaism is most important to me. As I see it we shouldn't throw things away without first trying to work with them. If a practice is offensive or doesn't make your life more holy, if it could be done in a way that would instill greater holiness for you, change it. But change it instead of throwing it away. For me Judaism is not simply a religion that I practice when I'm at the synagogue or on holidays. It's a way of life. I don't think G!d should be left out of anything. I could probably also be described as neo-hasidic in that I apply hasidic ideas outside of a traditional framework. But there is quite some overlap between neo-hasidism and renewal anyway.

    My blog is primarily about the overlap of technology and spirituality but I also talk about my views on Judaism in general, specific forms of Judaism, interfaith, religion in general, and spirituality in general: http://hechadashyitkadesh.blogspot.com/
  11. Puffis

    Puffis Member

    Um, I am curious, I am Muslim, in Islam we have a hell for sinners, in Judaism, as I have just read there is no hell, so what happens to the souls of the sinners?

    Please know I am not critiscising your religion, but I am dealing with concepts far different than what I am used to, I am still trying to grasp the concept that you all don't have to agree about your religion, or accept all prophets to be Jewish.
  12. dauer

    dauer Member

    Hi Puffis.

    The ideas about the Jewish afterlife aren't concrete. It's a bit more like inspired conjecture. Nonetheless there are a few different ideas that come up fairly frequently. There is something a little like hell in Judaism called gehinom but it's a temporary place. And going there isn't so much punishment as it is a way to transform a person so that they're ready for gan eden, sorta like heaven. It's like tempering a sword to make it stronger. Because we hold G!d's justice is always tempered by his mercy we wouldn't agree with eternal suffering. However those truly wicked souls who could not be transformed are instead extinguished. Some have suggested that in gehinom a person is confronted with all of the pain and suffering they've caused in their lives.

    There is also an idea of reincarnation in Judaism.

    Orthodoxy is a little more dogmatic about belief but that's more recent, possibly as a response to the more dogmatic systems in Islam and Christianity. At its roots its a very midrashic, a very interpretive religion.
  13. ProggyMan

    ProggyMan Member

    Judaism is a set of teaching based on the Torah handed down and refined through the generations. I wrote my Drash about Modern Judaism and the implications of being an accepted world religion, and about the concept of a chosen people in relation to other religions.
  14. xexon

    xexon Destroyer Of Worlds

    You didn't get very far with the chosen people thing, did you?

    Many people, including hardcore Christians, see it as a form of Jewish supremacy. Having grown up in the old south, I saw lots of white supremacy. The Jewish version is no less offensive to many. With the exception of people like John Hagee and his Christian zionist followers.

    They just can't wait for the end of the world so they can show the rest of us how wrong we've been about things.

  15. famewalk

    famewalk Banned

    it will get you into hot water for not sueing when you were supposed to, or not understanding that it's already too late for getting into Politics.

    Cutting your hands off to the naive (ho, ho, ho) was all about "Idle hands is the Devil's Worship". Missed my friend downtown today too.

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