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23 September 2006

Divine Justice

I've received the following comment on my post about "The pope Benedict XVI speech controversy", by an anonymous user. And here you are a part of it.
The second, very important issue was about God / Allah and His properties. B16 said, that Muslims believe in a completely transcedent God, free of all human determinations while Christians believe that God (the same one, btw) has ethics / morale conforming to the human one because in the Genesis (which is part of Muslim belief too, afaik) God creates human beings in His image, which doesn't mean, as Christians think, that God looked like a man but that He gave His ethics / morale to the human race. This, as Jews and Greek people understand, leads to the judgement of human deeds after death. How can a human being reach paradise if s/he doesn't know whats right or wrong in the eyes of the creator?
First of all I'd like to thank this anonymous user for pointing to such important issue, which is God's Justice according to the Islamic point of view. Actually what I've got from his comment is that the Islamic point of view for this subject differs than the other religions, where God is beyond Justice and Ethics, and His deeds are not always just according to our own morals and ethics. While Christians for example think that humans have inherited God's morals and that's why His deeds conform to our morals as humans.

The problem with non-muslims is that they don't know much about the Islamic Sects, especially those ones related to theology, or what we call here Elm El Kalam, علم الكلام , Science of Speech.

There were two major schools of Elm El Kalam, the Ash'ari school and the Mu'tazili one. And each of them have their own point of view regarding the subject of God's Justice. According to Murtaza Motahhari's book "Al Adl Al Elahi", العدل الإلهي , or Divine Justice, The Ash'aris belive that justice doesn't have a solid definition that can be used in order to evaluate God's deeds, as God is the creator of everything including morals and ethics and that's why He cannot be subject to a rule created by Himself. The Mu'tazilis on the other hand belive that Justice has its solid definition, and because God is just he makes His deeds and laws subject it. Which is by the way simillar some how to what Mr. Anonymous has called the Christians, Jews, and Greek people point of view.

The Mu'tazilis may not exsist today anymore, and there may be other Islamic Theological schools today other than those two, but they all share the same point of view whith either the Ash'aris or the Mu'tazilis. The Imami's (Shiits) for example share the same point of view with the Mu'tazilis in this subject. The Maturidis, Wahabis/Salafis [Fixme] on the other hand share the same point of view with the Ash'aris in it.

Wikipedia, Divisions of Islam
Wikipedia, Modern Islamic philosophy
Morteza Motahhari's Al Adl Al Elahi

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  1. Thank you very much for sharing Islamic theological theory! I'm in your debt. Now I do know much more.

    As a conclusion: regarding this part, the Pope's quotes from the dialogue between Manuel II and the Persian scholar were utterly useless. He did not know that there are Muslims who share their view of God with Christians, at least with the catholic ones.

    P.S. I'm sorry for being 'Mr Anonymous', I had no choice when sending the comments. My name's Guenter and I'm from Vienna in Austria, a rather small country in Europe. I've been to Egypt several times and found it to be a fascinating country, besides all of the remanants of the great past. I like to read a number of Egyptian blogs and can find a lot of valuable insights (and receive some good lessons like yours). Thank you!

  2. You're welcome Guenter, and looking forward to see your own blog.

  3. Thanks for the comment on my blog, I sometimes tend to leave it for a while every now and then becuase I didn't think anyone really read it. Thanks again!

  4. Anonymous = Horse whispers
    Hi tarek

    First,I would like to congratulate u for your blog ,I have been in the blogs world only one month ago and I found your blog realy intersting .
    may be my words don't have a direct relation with the subject you wrote about the pope speech but it have a direct relation about the fact that muslims and christians changed towards each other in the last yearssssss.15 years ago ,As christian living in a popular suburb most of it christians ),I remember how we used to wait & prepare for Ramadan ,we used to do nice decoration with my cousins and wait till our muslim friends start to do put their decoration in the street and we surprise them by puting our decoration in the balconies like them, we used even to buy fanous and celebrate with them ,neither father or mother said anything about it because it make us respect and understand the feeling of the others, and during our eid our muslims friends used to celebrate with us too.This are not my only memories about it,there is a lot more (I will save it when I will have my blog:) ) so I am begging all egyptians for the sack of this old days forget about being fanatic and let us live together like I use to see it 15 y ago . ( by the way lot of christians told me u are wrong nothing changed it was like this longtime ago, but I am sure that I am right )