Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Principles of Faith

Among the books that I read while on research about the Holy Books vis-a-vis other religion

Torah, Jewish,Judaism:

I wish to draw a simple relationship between the Torah, the Jews and Israel in the following short brief as an introduction before discussing further on their relationship in a bigger context:-
  1. Torah contains the 5 books of Moses, respectively quoted in the Quran as understood by Muslim as 1 of the holy book from the same God, Allah. The 5 books are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Torah has been use as reference for 2 Jewish text of Judaism, called Mishnah and Talmud composed in the 2nd and 4th century CE, also being collated at the beginning of 5 chapters in the Christianity Gospel (Old Testatement & New Testament);
  2. The Jews,  also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethno religious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation. Converts to Judaism, whose status as Jews within the Jewish ethnos is equal to those born into it, have been absorbed into the Jewish people throughout the millennia. A similar concept with Coverts to Christians and Muslims; and
  3. Israel is a renamed given to Prophet Jacob by Allah and it has been referred to as the Land of Israel for the last 3000 years, as promised by Allah to the patriarch of Jacob. There are more than 5.4 million jewish people in Israel and between 5.4 to 6.2 million in America. The jewish in Amerika were mostly migrated after the Nazi’s or Hitler’s genocide killing, Holocaust. There are 12 sons of Israel (Jacob) among others are Prophet Joseph, his brother Benjamin and the famous Judah (Remarks: separate notes on the Jacob family in another entry).
Both Judaism and Islam guides are its adherents in both practice and belief, and has been called not only a religion, but also a "way of life".

Principle of Faith

Unlike Muslims, both Christianity and Judaism does not have any specific principles of faith but Christians claims they hold onto Moses’s Ten Commandment. As for Judaism, though debated among the rabbis, no specific principles were quoted, but the doctrine strongly believe in one indivisible God as recited in the prayer of Jewish, Shema Yisrael (the first two words of a section of the Torah that is a centerpiece of the morning and evening Jewish prayer services), "Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One". This is a very important note for both Judaism and Islamism to decline the Christian’s beliefs in trinity. "The Quran 4:171. O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Do not exceed the limits in your religion, nor say of Allah aught but the truth. The Messiah 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), was (no more than) a Messenger of Allah and His Word, ("Be!" - and he was) which He bestowed on Maryam (Mary) and a spirit (Ruh) created by Him; so believe in Allah and His Messengers. Say not: "Three (trinity)!" Cease! (it is) better for you. For Allah is (the only) One Ilah (God), Glory be to Him (Far Exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is All-Sufficient as a Disposer of affairs."

Take note: The surah corrected the wrong teaching of Catholic Christianity Church that Prophet Jesus is a son of God, i.e the trinity concept. If Prophet Jesus was born without a father, what about Prophet Adam? He was descend from the heaven and born without a father nor a mother. He (Adam) would be then rewarded as God following a twisted teaching of Christianity, a religion that was born after the death of Jesus. Jesus was preaching the Old Testament during his life on earth, whilst Prophet Muhammad was bringing people of the book to the original teaching of all prophets before him.

To the Jews, Moses being regarded as the highest prophecy among all due to the miracles quoted in Torah, including an encountered appearance with Allah in Mt. Sinai. In Exodus, chapter 24, Moses was directed by Allah to the Mount of Sinai, where the glory of Allah abode upon Mt Sinai, clouded for 6 days and on the 7th day Moses was called unto the midst of the cloud where he stayed there for forty days and forty nights to receive the Law of Allah, the testament.  (about 613 according to the Rabbinic tradition, but the most recited are the present 10 commandment).

The ten commandments of Moses are:-
  1. "I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me (Similar Shahadah, the oath for those converting to Islam "There's no God but Allah")..." - This commandment is to believe in the existence of God and His influence on events in the world, and that the goal of the redemption from Egypt was to become His servants (Rashi). It requires the worship of the Abrahamic God before any additional deities ;
  2. "Do not make an image or any likeness of what is in the heavens above..."  -  This prohibits the construction or fashioning of "idols" in the likeness of created things (beasts, fish, birds, peoples) and worshipping them (In Islam, Shirk or Shirik is the highest sin);
  3. "Do not swear falsely by the name of the LORD..."  - This commandment is to never take the name of God in a vain, pointless or insincere oath (similar prohibited act in Islam);
  4.  "Remember [zachor] the Sabbath day and keep it holy" (the version in Deuteronomy reads shamor, "observe") -  The seventh day of the week is termed Shabbat and is holy, just as God ceased creative activity during Creation. The aspect of zachor is performed by declaring the greatness of the day (kiddush), by having three festive meals, and by engaging in Torah study and pleasurable activities. The aspect of shamor is performed by abstaining from productive activity (39 melachot) on the Shabbat (a Friday prayer to Muslim, once a week);
  5. "Honor your father and your mother..."  - The obligation to honor one's parents is an obligation that one owes to God and fulfills this obligation through one's actions towards one's parents;
  6. "Do not murder" - Murdering a human being is a capital sin;
  7. "Do not commit adultery."  - Adultery is defined as sexual intercourse between a man and a married woman who is not his wife;
  8. "Do not steal." - According to the Talmud, this commandment refers to kidnapping and not to theft of material property, as theft of property is forbidden elsewhere, and it is not a capital offense. In this context it is to be taken as "do not kidnap.";
  9. "Do not bear false witness against your neighbor" - One must not bear false witness in a court of law or other proceeding; and
  10. "Do not covet your neighbor's wife" - One is forbidden to desire and plan how one may obtain that which God has given to another.
It is also worth to know about the seven laws of Prophet Noah,

  1. Prohibition of Idolatry: You shall not have any idols before God;
  2. Prohibition of Murder: You shall not murder;
  3. Prohibition of Theft: You shall not steal;
  4. Prohibition of Sexual immorality: You shall not commit any of a series of sexual prohibitions, which include adultery, incest, sodomy, and bestiality;
  5. Prohibition of Blasphemy: You shall not blaspheme God's name;
  6. Dietary Law: Do not eat flesh taken from an animal while it is still alive;
  7. Requirement to have just Laws: Set up a governing body of law (eg Courts)
I discovered about Jewish Rabi, Moses Maimonides or his Arabic name was Abu Imran Musa bin Ubaidallah Maimun al-Qurṭubi. He was born in Cordoba, Spain (1135) wand as a prominent medieval Jewish philosopher; one of the greatest Torah scholars of the middle ages had narrated 13 Principles of Faith. He worked as a rabbi, physician and philosopher in Morocco and Egypt. With the contemporary Muslim philosopher Averroes [or Arabic name is Abu 'l-Walid Muammad bin Amad bin Rushd better known just as Ibn Rushd- a scholar of Maliki’s school], he promoted and developed the philosophical tradition of Aristotle, which gave both men prominent and controversial influence in the West. His 13 Principles of Faith of Judaism are:

  1. I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, Blessed be His Name, is the Creator and Guide of everything that has been created; He alone has made, does make, and will make all things;
  2. I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, Blessed be His Name, is One, and that there is no unity in any manner like His, and that He alone is our God, who was, and is, and will be;
  3. I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, Blessed be His Name, has no body, and that He is free from all the properties of matter, and that there can be no (physical) comparison to Him whatsoever;
  4. I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, Blessed be His Name, is the first and the last;
  5. I believe with perfect faith that to the Creator, Blessed be His Name, and to Him alone, it is right to pray, and that it is not right to pray to any being besides Him;
  6. I believe with perfect faith that all the words of the prophets are true;
  7. I believe with perfect faith that the prophecy of Moses our teacher, peace be upon him, was true, and that he was the chief of the prophets, both those who preceded him and those who followed him;
  8. I believe with perfect faith that the entire Torah that is now in our possession is the same that was given to Moses our teacher, peace be upon him;
  9. I believe with perfect faith that this Torah will not be exchanged, and that there will never be any other Torah from the Creator, Blessed be His Name;
  10. I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, Blessed be His Name, knows all the deeds of human beings and all their thoughts, as it is written, "Who fashioned the hearts of them all, Who comprehends all their actions" (Psalms 33:15 "he who fashions all of their hearts; and he considers all of their works”);
  11. I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, Blessed be His Name, rewards those who keep His commandments and punishes those that transgress them;
  12. I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah; and even though he may tarry, nonetheless, I wait every day for his coming; and
  13. I believe with perfect faith that there will be a revival of the dead at the time when it shall please the Creator, Blessed be His name, and His mention shall be exalted forever and ever.
To be continued...

Qualification: the note is written based on personal research and knowledge..not to be misinterpret and/or quoted otherwise.
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