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The Difference Between A Miracle and Supernatural Events

The Difference Between A Miracle and Supernatural Events

Q: What is the difference between supernatural occurances that are preformed by those who practice yoga (a Hindu discipline to reach perfect spiritual insight) and miracles (preformed by prophets)?

A: Miraculous events that - by divine authorization - are preformed by prophets and holy saints (Awliyah) have two qualities that distinguish them from Supernatural events preformed by those who practice yoga: 1. Miracles can cot be learned or taught (to others), this is because the causes of such events are beyond the conperhension of mankind. 2. Miracles (of prophets & saints) can not be surmounted by other superhuman occurances. book :Tafsir Al-Mizan Vol. 1 pg. 82 Author :Tba'tabai, Muhammad Husayn
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The Misleading, Deception, and Mockery of God

Q: In many verse of the Holy Qur'an such acts as misleading, deception, mockery, and more have been ascribed to God. Are these acts compatible with the Divine (beautiful & perfect) Atributes of God?

A: These acts that have been ascribed to God in the Qur'an, on no account are the primary actions of God. Rather, because of continuous sinning without repenting (and being presistant in sinning) - making ill use of human free will and choice - such acti ons are carried out by God (as punishment for sinners). book :Tafsir Al-Mizan Vol. 1 pg. 96 Author :Tba'tabai, Muhammad Husayn
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Postrating To Other Than God

Q: Is postrating to other than God forbiden?

A: Postration is accepted when it is preformed to display the best form of worship (for God). What is fordiden is worshiping other than God, whether it is done by postrating (to other than God) or by some other form of worship. Those who consider (the an gles) postration to Adam (AS) as forbiden, have assumed that postration - itself - is worship. Such an assumption is incorrect, because if it was so (correct), then at no point would postration be other than worship; while it is possible that postration is preformed as mockery. According to this, worship is particular to God, while postration in and of itself is not particular to God. If postrating to other than God is forbiden, then it is due to rational and/or legal deducction, which states that it is forbiden to give the status of Lordship to other than God (by means of postration). In conclusion, postration is preformed out of respect for someone; thus it can be preformed for someone (Adam (AS)) who is the representative and sincere servant of God. book :Tafsir Al-Mizan Vol. 1 pg. 122 Author :Tba'tabai, Muhammad Husayn
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The Untaught Prophet

S: Some have said that the eludication of the Qur'an about the Prophet (PBUH) being untaught is incorrect, because the Prophet (PBUH) learned many things from Selmon Farsi, an Irian scholar of his time

A: First of all Selmon (ro) accepted Islam in Medina, whereas most of the Qur'an was revealed in Mecca, before the migration to Medina. Secondly, Selmon Farsi's knowledge of religions and their sects came from (reading) the Torah (Old Testament) and the Enjil (New Testament). On the other hand, it is evident that the stories and conversations (with) earlier prophets that are recorded in these books, from the Qur'an's point of view, are incorrect; thus the Qur'an only narrates the correct version of tho se events. This is strong enough proof that Qur'anic verses were not effected by the learnings or information of persons such as Selmon Farsi (ro). book :Tafsir Al-Mizan Vol. 1 pg. 64 Author :Tba'tabai, Muhammad Husayn
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Seeking Miracles From the Prophet

Q: In the Qur'an it is stated that people asked the Prophet of Islam(PBUH) to preform miracles and other superhuman events and he obstained from acting upon their request - (6:37,109), (10:20), (13:7), (21:5). If preforming miracles is a method of confir ming the prophesy of a prophet, why did the Prophet (PBUH) not make use this method?

A: 1. These verses are concerning requests for the preformance of miracles after clear evidence of the prophesy (of Muhammad (PBUH)) had been established - through clear signs, the prophecy of previous messengers, and other miracles. Futhermore, miracles were preformed on the account of (people's) objection to and turning away from the Messenger in disbelief (of the prophesy), not merely to disclose what is reality - (6:35,124), (20:132); and divine wisdom does not necessitate the confirmation of such r equest. 2. The purpose of preforming miracles is the reconition of God's prophets and to give clear evidence to people (of the existence of God and the truthfulness of the prophet's message), not coercion of accepting the prophets invitation (to religion) or acc eptance of his leadership. Also, miracles were not preformed for entertainment or to disturb the order of cause and effect. book :Tafsir Al-Mizan Vol. 1 Author :Tba'tabai, Muhammad Husayn
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Adam's Sin and The Infallibility of The Prophets

S: According to the Shiite ideology, all prophets are infallible. However, by contrast, Adam (AS) disobeyed the command of God, which in trun it was the reason why God expelled him from living in paradise. Thus, Adam and Eve admitted their wrong doing an d sought repentance from God.

A: Sinning is contradictary to infallibility inasfar as a sovereign command (of the Divine - God) has been disobeyed. However, in the case of Adam (AS), the command of staying away from the `Forbidden Tree' was directive and given as advice - not a sover eign command. Also, The world that Adam was living in was not a place for formal religious duty; thus the confession of Adam and Eve was not an admission of a sin. book :Tafsir Al-Mizan Vol. 1 pg. 13 Author :Tba'tabai, Muhammad Husayn
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The Disposition in Revealing (Qur'anic) Verses, The Everlasting

Q: Acknowledging that prophetic traditions have clarified the disposition in revealing some verses and laws, is it possible to apply those verses and laws to situations other than that which they have been revealed for?

A: The disposition for which a verse was revealed does not limit it to a particular reality - the circumstance in which for which it was revealed. This is because the general eludication of the Holy Qur'an interprets reality as an absolute entity; thus i ts explination is not particular to one event. For example, if a particular person has been praised or criticized (by the Qur'an), it is because of a quality which that person posses. Thereupon, any person who has the same quality, will be encompassed by the praise or criticism (of the Holy Qur'an). book :Tafsir Al-Mizan Vol. 1 (A Commentary on Qur'an) Author :Tba'tabai, Muhammad Husayn
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The Miraculous Eloquence of The Qur'an

S: Insofar as a word denotes a meaning - it is a verbal indication coined by man - it is impossible that a word signifies an meaning that is beyond mortal comprehension. In other words, human beings due to social needs - because of social interaction - c oined words to convey the meaning of things and ideas that they have in their minds. Therefore, competence in disclosing the meaning of things is relevant to the word coined by humans; thus the eloquence of the Qur'an can not be beyond the ability of man kind to compose the likes of it (the Qur'an).

A: It is correct that words are coined to indicate upon the meaning of things and that the coiner is mankind. However, this disposition is correct only for individual words, not for the composition of the various types of sentences, which have their own particular style and beauty. Assembling individual words to create various compound sentences that convey different meanings depends upon one's knowledge of literary eloquence and fluency. Scholars of literary eloquence clearly state that the amount of k nowledge and information about the affairs, psychological states, and emotions of human beings have a great affect upon (eloquent) expression; insofar as the more one knows about these things, the more eloquent his expression will be. In conclusion, it is clear that attributing the coinage of words to mankind is no proof for the absence of a text that is beyond ordinary human comprehension. Such an argument (previously stated), is like saying that the inventor if chess must be the mos t skillful player and the inventor of the tambourine must be the best at playing it. book :Tafsir Al-Mizan Vol. 1 pg. 69 Author :Tba'tabai, Muhammad Husayn
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S: Basically, the proof that mankind cannot or until now has not been able to bring the likes of the Qur'an, is that Allah - whose eternal will governs the will of human beings - does not allow the notion of such a thought (to bring the likes of the Qur' an) to come to mankind; and if someone thinks of such a thing then Allah prevents him from fulfilling this thought. Thereupon, the reason for the Qur'an being a miracle is not because of its eloquence.

A: This disposition, by contrast, opposes the strict tone of the Qur'an in the 13th and 14th verses of the chapter Hud - Say, `Bring ye then ten chapters like unto it forged, and call ye (to your aid) whomsoever ye can besides God, if ye be truthful; The n if they answer ye not, then know ye that this (Qur'an) is revealed (only) by God's knowledge...' (11:13-14). As it is apparent that the last sentence of this verse clearly indicates that the strict tone is based on the fact that the Qur'an was revealed by and with Allah's divine knowledge; and it is not the words of the Prophet (PBUH). On the account that man's knowledge is very limited he is not able to bring the likes of Qur'an. Another testiment on behalf of this disposition is the 82nd verse of th e chapter The Women (An-Nisa) - Do they not think (carefully) in Qur'an? And if it had been from any other than Allah, they would surely have found in it much discrepancy (4:82) - that indicates that the reason for mankind's inability to bring the likes of Qur'an is the absence of verbal and lexical contradiction in its' text; and mankind is not able to compose a work (like it) without contradicting themselves. book :Tafsir Al-Mizan Vol. 1 pg. 70 Author :Tba'tabai, Muhammad Husayn
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A Critque on Sophistic Skepticism

S: One of the arguments that Sophists use to deny knowledge of any ultimate reality behind the sensations of human beings is that: We never ascertain that which is in the external world - at most, we conceptualize what is in it; thus it is not possible to truthfully avouch for the external existence of a thing.

A: The disposition of knowledge is the disclosure and illumination of the realities around us. If we accept that we only conceptualize that which is in the enternal world, this only means that we have discovered external realities (no one claims more th an this in the sutdy of epistemology). Insofar as man imagines a carnivorous predator (e.g. a lion) he does not become afraid or attempt to flee, however the moment he discovers that, in the external world, a lion is comming his direction, he becomes fri ghten and flees. The distinguishing factor between the two occurrences is that in the latter an external existence was the cause of illumination (knowledge), which is sufficent enough for the confirmation of (human knowledge of) an existent in the extern al world by the name of `liom'. book :Tafsir Al-Mizan Vol. 1 (A Commentary on Qur'an) Author :Tba'tabai, Muhammad Husayn
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The Vicegerent of God

Q: Is the status of being the vicegerent of God particular to Adam (AS)?

A: The answer is no, primarily, because the criterion and entrustment of teaching the names (to the angles) is not particular to Adam (AS). Secondly, there are many verses that indicate that the children of Adam (AS) are also vicegerents of God - He made you vicegerents after Noah's people (7:69) and Then we made you vicegerents in the land (10:14). book :Tafsir Al-Mizan Vol. 1 pg. 116 Author :Tba'tabai, Muhammad Husayn
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