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The Reality That Is Islam

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posted on Apr, 18 2012 @ 01:54 PM
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reply to post by sk0rpi0n
 


Meh, I'm not sure I agree with them...

They're basing themselves more on pop islam books and/or the rabbinic correlation of Ishmael with Islam then with any factual examination of Islamic philosophy i.e. it's metaphysics (as found in Ibn Arabi).

Although I can see how they could confuse as the "oldest religion", which, btw, if you understood Rabbinic parlance, is really just equating Islam with Noahidism (which is the rule of law); Islam takes law and blows it completely out of proportion - everything becomes conditioned and smothered by law - every tiny detail about life becomes regimented, something which the ultra Orthodox Jews are amenable to - but, this is not what should be implied by Noahidism.

Yes, Noah symbolizes the rule of law, since prior to Noah, when the world was run by pure natural instinct, the "world was destroyed' (in other words, a world without law creates anarchy i.e. deluge), but the religion of Noah's descendants is by no means meant to be what Islam is: Islam is an exaggeration of that reasoned need for law - it goes beyond whats necessary and stifles and stultifies the heart, really, turning it into another kind of stone.




posted on Apr, 18 2012 @ 03:03 PM
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reply to post by dontreally
 


Originally posted by dontreally
I think it's perfectly reasonable to believe that the Sheikhs and Imams of Islam base their sharia on metaphysical considerations - i.e. the ACTUAL significance of their religion, rather than anything else...

Is it? I wouldn't say it is reasonable at all. "Sheikhs and Imams of Islam" base their "sharia" (i.e. their interpretation of the "path to be followed" or perhaps "the way") on the instructions given in the scripture, or derived from the instructions given in the scripture, or sometimes (if they are ignorant) bits of culture that they have confused with their religion. Not based off some mystical understanding of God.



Originally posted by dontreally
Call it mystical, or ideological, whatever word you prefer, it is definitely the basic ingredient for why the world's elite have always picked on the Jews.

You tell me to call it what I want, but we should be clear here. "Metaphysical" doesn't mean the same thing as "mystical", although you seemed to be using both words interchangeably. The concept of God is fairly clearly stated in the scripture. There needn't be (although I'm sure the mystical branches of Islam have some) any mystical aspect to comprehending the concept of God in Islam. The idea that one would want to be "dwell in God" or whatever is an aspect of some mystical traditions of Islam, NOT AT ALL an aspect of the traditional metaphysical understanding of God and Islam.

For example, you seem to place an inordinate amount of emphasis and importance on this "Ka'aba in the desert" metaphor- you've brought it up twice here, and I've even seen you mention it in another thread. I suppose on the surface it is plausible, but it isn't some great universally accepted Islamic thought or metaphor or something, probably something Hossein or perhaps Ibn Arabi (although I doubt that) thought up and decided that it sounded cool.

Speaking of which... muslims really don't place the same amount of reverence and importance on scholars of "theoretical theology" or metaphysics as Jews do on their Rabbi scholars, so using their works as examples of what Islam is doesn't REALLY work...even the scholars of the "practical theology" are only remembered through their interpretations, not because of themselves- a muslim will tell you that they are a follower of the "Shafi'i" strain of islamic jurisprudence, but it won't be because of any great investigation (or even basic knowledge) of that form of doctrine or its originator...more likely they were born in Asia, and that is what their parents told them to say. The "Defacto authority on Islamic Metaphysics", in fact, the "Defactor Authority on Islamic ANYTHING", would be the Islamic Scriptures, not whatever metaphor Ibn Arabi or Hossein decided to use.


Originally posted by dontreally
The hundreds of deaths during the Hajj each year (from getting trampled to death) perfectly reflects this metaphysics: In their euphoria, the only thought the worshiper has is of Allah (the Absolute, which means getting as close as possible to the Ka'aba)

The deaths each year during Hajj have less to do with fanatical worship in an attempt to get close to the Ka'aba, and more to do with cramming 4 million people in 0.35 square kilometres. Unfortunately, they don't fit your extended metaphor...these deaths don't usually occur due to anyone trying to get closer to the Ka'aba. In fact, muslims only need to circumambulate the ka'aba...there is no need to get near it.

Trying to take the metaphor forward with that and having it imply new things and some deeper understanding of the flaw of religion is a bit far-fetched and reaching. It'd be like me telling you that "a book blew my mind", and then you start re-analysing the history of the internal combustion engine to figure out where the book fit in.

That is one of my personal problems with mysticism based religions and mystical aspects of religions...so many words for so little meaning. The point being, if you ask a muslim about the significance of Hajj, you're probably not even going to get 1 in 500 to go on about how the Ka'aba symbolises God, and the desert is this reality. More likely they'll tell you it is a pillar of worship, or that it builds a sense of community, or remembrance of Abraham or some such thing.



Originally posted by dontreally
Basically, and simply put, Judaism puts more stock into the realm of "appearance" - something Islam does not

Also, you speak about the "Absolute" and "eternal" and talk about how it is separate from God being the "Creator", and thus having separate names in Judaism. I'm not sure what you are on about here. There are 99 traditional attribute names of God in Islam, "The Eternal/Absolute/Self-sufficient" being one of them as well as "The Creator". There is also "The First" and "The Last" Judaism has similar names as well. There are many names and titles, but there is only 1 God. What is your point? Perhaps your animosity towards mysticism has you going against Kabbalah which in turn has got you against the concept of "ain soph", so thus you must attack similar concepts in other religions?
I reiterate, "life in Allah" as you called it, is certainly not a goal of any mainstream adherent of Islam.

The Islamic Scriptures DO speak of how those who lust after this world: for material wealth, for power, etc. are ultimately chasing illusions, but I'm not sure how you took that and turned it into "Only Judaism puts stock in the realm of appearance".
edit on 18-4-2012 by babloyi because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 18 2012 @ 03:47 PM
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reply to post by babloyi
 





"Metaphysical" doesn't mean the same thing as "mystical"


Metaphysical tends to be regarded as the intellectual (or discursive) aspect of what I gingerly term 'the mystical"; If by mystical, is meant the experience of God, the metaphysical is that instruction which guide and helps explain the mystical experience, therefore, the metaphysical and mystical are both usually codified under the term "esoteric".




thought up and decided that it sounded cool


If you prefer to look at religion that way, that's your opinion. I however think Islam - along with all other religions - has a basic metaphysical outlook, and that the scriptures are the SYMBOLIC expression in tangible real life terms of that said outlook.

This is as much the case, in my opinion (and of many others) with Judaism and Christianity. Unlike in western traditions, where there is a wall put between the esoteric and exoteric (leading some to erroneously think the exoteric stands by itself) in Eastern traditions, it's well understood that the language of the Vedas, Upanishads and Puranas is metaphorical.



The deaths each year during Hajj have less to do with fanatical worship in an attempt to get close to the Ka'aba, and more to do with cramming 4 million people in 0.35 square kilometres. Unfortunately, they don't fit your extended metaphor...these deaths don't usually occur due to anyone trying to get closer to the Ka'aba. In fact, muslims only need to circumambulate the ka'aba...there is no need to get near it.


And you still think that is normal? I never said it was a conscious metaphor - but it is still nonetheless reflective of the ontological dynamic I've been describing: in their zeal, they ignore the fact that people are being trampled beneath their feet.

And if this happens every single year, why don't the authorities do something to prevent it from happening? Or, perhaps, is the worship of Allah - the Absolute - more important than the relative safety of the hundreds of people that get killed?



sm based religions and mystical aspects of religions...so many words for so little meaning. The point being, if you ask a muslim about the significance of Hajj, you're probably not even going to get 1 in 500 to go on about how the Ka'aba symbolises God, and the desert is this reality


I am quite aware of that, I never said that every Muslim was indoctrinated into this tradition - on the contrary, very few Muslims are acquainted with the inner metaphysical basis of their religious beliefs. Even though I'm not a Muslim, I will admit that the symbolism is quite profound; the world, creation, the realm of appearance, being treated as lifeless in itself (aptly conveyed by the desert) with the city of Mecca the realm of the holy, the Kaaba as the intellectual apprehension of Allah, and the stone inside, the ineffable mystery of that connection - the symbolism is great indeed - how could such an idea not enrich the religious feelings of the average Muslim? If he's intellectually able, why reject such an interpretation when it makes so much sense - when the world we exist in, very much, is a physical expression of an ontological reality? I cannot honestly believe that the early theologians of Islam didn't concieve that symbolism; I'm sorry, I'm not that naive, or gullible: i personally doubt whether Mohammad ever existed - and frankly the evidence suggests that he was probably the creation of 8th century theologians of Baghdad. Check out the book "the hidden origins of Islam" for a compelling discussion of why I consider that possibility.

But, if I'm unreasonable for thinking that, even though this is how human beings tend to operate (i.e. with political agendas) I don't think would the conventional orthodox viewpoint, that some guy named Mohammad roused a group of Arabians into taking over the whole world, is anymore reasonable. In fact, it just isn't reasonable at all.

Look at the intellectual climate of that period: Neoplatonism/Gnosticism, and you think Islam developed independently of these philosophical traditions?




More likely they'll tell you it is a pillar of worship, or that it builds a sense of community, or some such thing.
That's accidental (secondary) to the primary metaphysical (symbolic) reason. All human gatherings, btw, have the power to create a sense of community. Religion is not - and should not - be thought of only in that way. In my opinion, that is definitely an important aspect, but I don't think it is more primary then the philosophical (or personal) experience of God that religion can provide.




Also, you speak about the "Absolute" and "eternal" and talk about how it is separate from God being the "Creator", and thus having separate names in Judaism. I'm not sure what you are on about here


The names of God in Islam are totally different than in Judaism. In Islam, it's Al _______ (fill in the blank with a verb) and these names, as I understand it, refer to Allah in his mode as creator: but that still doesn't change the fact that one name applies to both God as Godhead and as Creator (as Allah). Archetypally, Allah denotes the Absolute and the Relative (creative), but in his mode in the relative, he's given appellations such as 'the truth', the deceiver and so forth.

Conversely (and I speak much more authoritatively with Judaism) God has distinct names for different realities, and there is no one name which encompasses the roles of both Godhead (which is called Ein Sof in Kabbalah) and Creator. God as Creator is יהוה , and the name in itself denotes "being", which already discounts it from also meaning "non-being" as Allah also implies (basing myself on the works of Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Rene Guenon, Frithjof Schuon, AnneMarie Schimmel, Martin Lings, and Titus Burkhartd).

The names Elohim, or El Shaddai, Adonai, Elohei Tzvaoth, or EHYH, all denote levels of reality ALONG the spectrum provided by the name יהוה - but none of them relate to God as He is in Himself. Even EHYH, a supernal name associated with the sephera of Kether, still refers to God in a determined role because it implies a relationship with a created reality, and not as He is in Himself, which would be the Ein Sof.




"Only Judaism puts stock in the realm of appearance".


Judaism holds two contradictory points of view: it maintains the sanctity of God as commander, and this is his role as the Absolute source of all reality, but, with that opinion, they also contend that this world - the simple realm of human relationships, right and wrong (which, I might add, the above experts on islamic mysticism call a "parochial morality") basically, how things appear in themselves, is equally as important.

While Islam (I speak of Islam, but I could easily apply this to Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism) gives credence to ONLY the reality of the Absolute: Allah commands and what he commands cannot be amended by human conditions, and this is perfectly reflected by the egregious expectations Islam demands of it's followers. An apostate is to be killed? WHY? Why can't that person choose to leave? In Islamic thought, if i may endeavor to answer that question, that could be due to that person leaving the umbrella of the Absolute truth of Allah - which, if he leaves, ontologically (but not realistically) he leaves life, and so, as Islam seeks to bring the Godhead into the relative, a person who kills him or herself by leaving Islam (the protective umbrella of the Absolute) should also be killed in this world. Make sense? To Islamic thinking - it does, but to any natural state of being, it is ludicrous nonsense. So, killing apostates - check; demeaning non-muslims, wacking their necks with a stick when they pay their taxes, as the tax collector is commanded to do by the Quran - is that a decent thing to do? Is it right that Muslim societies force Jews and Christians to walk on the left when they pass by a Muslim?

Consideration of the realm of appearance completely modifies ones perception of the moral; in Islam, consideration is only given to the Absolute, and so, the real life human woes of human beings, inasmuch as they do not accord with Islamic law, are to be neglected.
edit on 18-4-2012 by dontreally because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 18 2012 @ 04:28 PM
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also, one more note on the names which may add to my point. In Hebrew, El means "power", as in, "the power of something", so, Gever (strength or might) becomes Gavriel, the statement Mi Ka (who is like) becomes Mika'el (or michael), Rophe (Healer) becomes Raphael, Sama (Blindness) becomes Sama'el etc.

I would imagine the 99 names of God, Al-Haqq etc would imply something similar, and thus would relate to the sphere of manifestation where God acts



posted on Apr, 18 2012 @ 09:01 PM
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reply to post by dontreally
 



Meh, I'm not sure I agree with them...


Of course, you wouldn't agree with those Rabbis. ;-)
Only the Rabbis who speak what you want to hear get your approval, right?


if you understood Rabbinic parlance, is really just equating Islam with Noahidism (which is the rule of law); Islam takes law and blows it completely out of proportion - everything becomes conditioned and smothered by law - every tiny detail about life becomes regimented, something which the ultra Orthodox Jews are amenable to - but, this is not what should be implied by Noahidism.


Except Islam is not Noahidism...and it doesn't matter if some Rabbis equate Islam with Noahidism...its not like they all agree on everything, anyway. The Rabbis who equate Islam with Noahidism, are indirectly admitting that there there is no conflict between the concept of God in Islam and Judaism...and that Jewish and Islamic monotheism are identical.

Regarding law in Islam....it exists because Islam was an exclusive revelation to a specific people and not just casual Noahidism.

Regardless of Rabbis perception of Islam and laws, Islam gets credit for annihilating the culture of idolatry/polytheism and replacing it with the strict monotheism that directs all worship to God and God alone. This is a feat that neither the Jews nor the Christians could achieve.... despite having a head start in the middle east for centuries.



posted on Apr, 19 2012 @ 12:43 AM
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reply to post by dontreally
 

Hey again, dontreally!



Originally posted by dontreally
Metaphysical tends to be regarded as the intellectual (or discursive) aspect of what I gingerly term 'the mystical"; If by mystical, is meant the experience of God, the metaphysical is that instruction which guide and helps explain the mystical experience, therefore, the metaphysical and mystical are both usually codified under the term "esoteric".

I am glad I did my attempt to clarify, because it does seem you are mixing the two. Almost all religions have a metaphysical aspect. Many religions have a mystical aspect as well, but that is not the same. "What is God?", "What is the soul?", "How did I get here?" are all questions relating to metaphysics, although they may not necessarily be relating to mysticism. So I would most strongly disagree that there is anything necessarily esoteric about metaphysics.



Originally posted by dontreally
If you prefer to look at religion that way, that's your opinion.

I am looking at the opinions of one man that way, it has nothing to do with my views on religion. If a religion has a scripture which is supposed to be of divine origin, I am a firm believer of the school of thought that the scripture is the first and last word on all things metaphysical relating to that religion- commandments can be reinterpreted and reunderstood for the modern day, but the basis remains the same- from the Scripture.



Originally posted by dontreally
And you still think that is normal? I never said it was a conscious metaphor - but it is still nonetheless reflective of the ontological dynamic I've been describing: in their zeal, they ignore the fact that people are being trampled beneath their feet.

And if this happens every single year, why don't the authorities do something to prevent it from happening?

I didn't say it was normal. It is sad that it happens, sure. Nobody is "ignoring" anything. As I said, with 4 million people packed into such a small place, things sometimes get out of control. You ever been in a large crowd of people, and then some at the back start pushing forward? The whole mass of people are uncontrollably moved forward as well. The authorities certainly ARE trying to improve things every year, they expand certain places, limit the total number of pilgrims from each country and so on.



Originally posted by dontreally
I am quite aware of that, I never said that every Muslim was indoctrinated into this tradition - on the contrary, very few Muslims are acquainted with the inner metaphysical basis of their religious beliefs.

Actually, anyone with the capability to read and comprehend the Quran is acquainted with the metaphysical basis of their religious beliefs.



Originally posted by dontreally
Even though I'm not a Muslim, I will admit that the symbolism is quite profound; the world, creation, the realm of appearance, being treated as lifeless in itself (aptly conveyed by the desert) with the city of Mecca the realm of the holy, the Kaaba as the intellectual apprehension of Allah, and the stone inside, the ineffable mystery of that connection - the symbolism is great indeed - how could such an idea not enrich the religious feelings of the average Muslim? If he's intellectually able, why reject such an interpretation when it makes so much sense - when the world we exist in, very much, is a physical expression of an ontological reality?

Because it is not scriptural. I'm not sure you realise how much of a sticking point that is. Just because something seems "profound", doesn't make it right. I find the meaning behind the Pink Floyd song "I Am Mine" to be quite a cool, profound idea. I still absolutely disagree with it.


I'm still not quite sure what you are going on about with your talk of the different names. God having different names doesn't make different Gods. In Judaism, whatever the names, the God is the same. The concept of God as the Creator is the same God as the "Absolute". Why would God behave differently in the role of the Creator than he would as "himself"? Islam doesn't separate or ignore reality in favour of what you are calling "The Absolute".

You give the example of apostasy, but I don't think you realise, the punishment of death for apostasy isn't mandated in the Quran, and there are conflicting opinions of it in the prophetic traditions, thus there is divided opinion on it. The Torah, however, clearly advocates death for apostates. But then again, it seems you do not mind when the Rabbis oppose the your scriptures, which I guess in this case is a good thing.

I don't know what Quran you read, but there is no version that commands tax collectors to "wack the necks of non-muslims with a stick when they are paying taxes" or "make them walk on the left when passing muslims". Very often I get the feeling that you derive your understanding of Islam from some very odd sources. Surely you realise that the actual scriptures are somewhat more reliable than whatever Seyyed Hussein Nasr, Frithjof schuon, Martin Lings and Rene Guenon have to say about Islam.
edit on 19-4-2012 by babloyi because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 19 2012 @ 01:06 AM
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reply to post by sk0rpi0n
 





Only the Rabbis who speak what you want to hear get your approval, right?


Are you criticizing how people generally operate? Yes - I disagreed because I disagreed, actually - their understanding of Islam differs from my own.




The Rabbis who equate Islam with Noahidism, are indirectly admitting that there there is no conflict between the concept of God in Islam and Judaism.


Where do you get that reasoning from? How much do you know of either of these religions?




and that Jewish and Islamic monotheism are identical.


Far from it! As I've been explaining (and you conveniently ignoring) throughout this thread, Judaism's God is in a very important way different from Islam's conception of God. As I said earlier, the name for God in Judaism is YHVH, which is related to the Hebrew root "Yehi" 'to be', which means, the God of Being i.e. God in his creative mode.

God is the Absolute, the One before whom no relativity may even be said to exist. – Seyyed Hossein Nasr, The Garden of Truth, pg.35, HarperOne

Allah denotes at once Godhead and God as the divine person and Creator. It contains, therefore, both the impersonal and personal aspects of the divinity. – Seyyed Hossein Nasr, The Garden of Truth, pg.35, HarperOne

Allah denotes both states of God, the infinite Godhead, God as he in himself, and God as the creator (which would be related to the 99 divine names) in his relation to created beings.

Judaism simply does not relate to the former God - the ein sof - and although he is spoken of in Kabbalistic literature, he is still nonetheless limited by the halachah, which is to say, there is never total union between the mystic and God, as there is in Islam

The prophet has said, “Knowledge is light” and one can add that the Quran speaks of God being the light of the heavens and the earth. Now, existence itself is a ray of light that issues from the divine sun. Knowledge is therefore also being. The more one knows in a principle manner, and not only discursively, the more one is. On the highest level the knower, knowledge and the known are one. To know the truth with ones whole being mis ultimately to “become the truth”, to realize that the the root “I” is the divine self itself, who alone can utter “I”. It was not the individual ego of Al-Hallaj who uttered Ana l’-Haqq. That would be blasphemy, and that is how the ignorant around him who did not understand interpreted it. In reality, one who does not utter Ana l’Haqq is still living as a polytheist and idol worshipper, positing his or her own ego as a reality separate from God as al-haqq and idolizing that ever changing and evanescent ego as well as the world as divinity. In any case, the quest for truth lies at the heart of Sufism, and the goal of the adept is to be able to ascend the levels of certitude until ones separate existence is consumed by the truth and one is given access to the garden of truth. – Seyyed Hossein Nasr, The Garden of Truth, pg.33, HarperOne


No Jewish mystic has ever uttered "I am the truth" Why you might ask? Because there is - at least from the point of view of Judaism - a distinction to be made between the created world, the human being, and God as He is in Himself. In Islam, there is no such distinction: Allah is one in the world as much as he is Outside the world, which in essence obviates the world - the creation - and the individual himself, before the sacred law of Allah, as projected into his Quran.

Rabbis who 'share' this idea, really, in my opinion, are trying to have their cake and eat it to. How can you accept God as the Absolute, yet reject antinomian impulses, when the Absolute is beyond any limitation? Look to the Bektashi order and those Sufi saints intoxicated by the love of God, who do impious things - such people are granted clemency by Sharia because they exist in another category of being. Others engage in something called Malamatiyya:


According to Annemarie Schimmel, "the Malāmatīs deliberately tried to draw the contempt of the world upon themselves by committing unseemly, even unlawful, actions, but they preserved perfect purity of thought and loved God without second thought" (Schimmel 86).


And yet, the Rabbi's would quickly and vociferously excommunicate any Jew for doing that - indeed, Jewish history has a precedent for that, and not surprisingly, it's founder, Sabbatai Sevi, converted to Islam (A religion which accommodated his philosophic doctrine of a separation, or at least, a subordination, of YHVH (and his Torah) to the Ein Sof during moments of reverie.



posted on Apr, 19 2012 @ 01:36 AM
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reply to post by babloyi
 





What is God?", "What is the soul?", "How did I get here?"


Thanks for the Jab. I disagree. Most would regard those questions as being of a more 'theological' import, rather than a pure metaphysics.




You ever been in a large crowd of people, and then some at the back start pushing forward?


I'm sorry, you shouldn't be expecting such an attitude (or calamity) in a religious setting; at a rock concert, or a riot, or some other secular setting, yes, but by no means, not during a religious pilgrimage.

Though this happens, and I'm sure they'd like it not to happen, they wont do anything substantial to prevent it from happening, which is why it continues to happen year in and year out.




Actually, anyone with the capability to read and comprehend the Quran is acquainted with the metaphysical basis of their religious beliefs.


I would say the Quran is rather vague in giving a systematic explanation of Islam (for instance, what the various names of God mean philosophically, etc, all this necessitates a deeper understanding) - there is always an oral explanation (and according to Sufis, this explanation was handed down with the Quran).




God having different names doesn't make different Gods.


Of course, there is one God - no one is arguing that. Different names simply means 'different modes of being', obviously, as perceived by human beings.




The concept of God as the Creator is the same God as the "Absolute".


Maybe that reductionism works well with Islam, but in Judaism, it is not so simple. Do you see why this matters? It is the ramifications of this fundamental conception which determines HOW man should live.




Why would God behave differently in the role of the Creator than he would as "himself"?


Must I hold your hand and explain this to you?



Islam doesn't separate or ignore reality in favour of what you are calling "The Absolute".


Sure, whatever you say.




The Torah, however, clearly advocates death for apostates.


Where does the Torah call for the death of apostates? I think you may be confusing heresy for apostasy.

One can leave Israel at any time and not be punished for it.




But then again, it seems you do not mind when the Rabbis oppose the your scriptures, which I guess in this case is a good thing.


The Quran and the Torah are different. The Torah reads as a series of narratives. The Quran, conversely, is mostly a political manual which offers concrete solutions to real life situations.

The Torah mostly requires interpretation, and hence, is deliberately vague, while the Quran is pretty explicit.




"wack the necks of non-muslims with a stick when they are paying taxes"


This is derived from Quran 9:29


Al-Zamakhshari, a Mu’tazili author of a commentary on the Qur’an, said that “the Jizyah shall be taken from them with belittlement and humiliation. The dhimmi shall come in person, walking not riding. When he pays, he shall stand, while the tax collector sits. The collector shall seize him by the scruff of the neck, shake him, and say “Pay the Jizyah!” and when he pays it he shall be slapped on the nape of the neck.”




"make them walk on the left when passing muslims".


Who cares what the Quran does or doesn't say! This is what Islamic jurists have legislated in many different Islamic lands and at different times in Islamic history to the Jews or Christians who lived in it's territories.



Feel free to look up the credibility of my 'very odd' sources.


Hossein Nasr is an Iranian University Professor of Islamic studies at George Washington University, and a prominent Islamic philosopher. He is the author of many scholarly books and articles
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edit on 19-4-2012 by dontreally because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 19 2012 @ 02:22 AM
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reply to post by dontreally
 


Originally posted by dontreally
Thanks for the Jab. I disagree. Most would regard those questions as being of a more 'theological' import, rather than a pure metaphysics.

What Jab? I am sorry to say, but common usage and the dictionary disagree with you.
I hate to do this, but quoting from dictionary.com:


Metaphysics:
the branch of philosophy that treats of first principles, includes ontology (the nature of existence and being) and cosmology(the origin and general structure of the universe), and is intimately connected with epistemology (the origin and nature of human knowledge).
...
Mysticism:
a doctrine of an immediate spiritual intuition of truths believed to transcend ordinary understanding, or of a direct, intimate union of the soul with God through contemplation or ecstasy.
...
Esoteric:
understood by or meant for only the select few who have special knowledge or interest

I am sure you can understand that these are not the same thing, although mysticism and mystics might have theories about certain metaphysical aspects of religion, and generally consider their doctrines to be esoteric- i.e. they "transcend ordinary understanding", but the traditional metaphysical aspects of religion, and in particular, of Islam, are dealt with in the core texts and are accessible to anyone, without any "intimate union of the soul with God through contemplation or ecstasy"- in most cases, the answers to the fundamental questions in metaphysics can be verbatim pulled off the verses of the Quran.



Originally posted by dontreally
I would say the Quran is rather vague in giving a systematic explanation of Islam (for instance, what the various names of God mean philosophically, etc, all this necessitates a deeper understanding) - there is always an oral explanation (and according to Sufis, this explanation was handed down with the Quran).

Since the various names of God are in arabic, one would simply have to translate them to know what they mean (or speak arabic). There is nothing requiring a "deeper" or esoteric understanding (nevermind a mystical one). The explanation, if one would so require one (although again, I dispute this point), is in the traditions of the Prophet, which are also easily available. Again, none of these, for example, talk anything about "The Ka'aba representing God, and the desert representing reality".



Originally posted by dontreally
Who cares what the Quran does or doesn't say! This is what Islamic jurists have legislated in many different Islamic lands and at different times in Islamic history to the Jews or Christians who lived in it's territories.

I care. Muslims care. It is the basis of the religion. Not what Islamic jurists have to say. But since you bring that up, most scholars agree that the "Pact of Umar" (the document with this talk of hitting non-muslims with sticks and having them walk on the left and wear special clothes) is an inauthentic forgery (it was never a historical document, certainly not a Pact by Umar). Some say it was invented by the mad Caliph Al-Hakim in an attempt to justify his persecution of the non-muslims.

The point being, even during the times and places when these instructions were believed to be true, the stuff about hitting non-muslms and not letting them build new places of worship, or wear special clothes or walk on the left, etc. were considered optional (as opposed to stuff like not marrying muslim women, or not spying or relaying information to the enemies), and almost never enforced. This can be seen from the documents in the Cairo Geniza, for example.


The point being, if you are going to start a topic about "The Reality that is Islam", and then totally discount the actual scriptures of Islam in favour of the writings of mystics (who in many cases aren't even muslim), and then use these writings to build up a theory or thesis about how Islam and all other religions hate Judaism....well, your thesis will be faulty, and not grounded in reality, as it seems now:
In one part you say that the Quran is vague, and therefore needs supplementary materials, then in another part you negate yourself and say that it is quite explicit. At one point you say that the Quran only cares about approaching and joining the "Absolute", and considers this reality unimportant, and then in the next you say it is a "political manual which offers concrete solutions to real life situations".
edit on 19-4-2012 by babloyi because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 19 2012 @ 03:57 AM
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reply to post by dontreally
 




Where do you get that reasoning from How much do you know of either of these religions


Rabbis who equate Islam to Noahidism, only do so because Islam maintains the first and most critical Noahide law.
1. Prohibition of idolatry You shall not have any idols before God.
wikipedia

Rabbis know they cannot find fault with Islams concept of God, that He is the one Creator and sustainer of the universe. They will, however stop short of acknowledging Islam as a valid religion...because, they'd need to accept the prophethood of Mohammad and the messiahship of Jesus.
edit on 19-4-2012 by sk0rpi0n because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 19 2012 @ 12:13 PM
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reply to post by babloyi
 





I care. Muslims care. It is the basis of the religion. Not what Islamic jurists have to say. But since you bring that up, most scholars agree that the "Pact of Umar" (the document with this talk of hitting non-muslims with sticks and having them walk on the left and wear special clothes) is an inauthentic forgery (it was never a historical document, certainly not a Pact by Umar). Some say it was invented by the mad Caliph Al-Hakim in an attempt to justify his persecution of the non-muslims.


Read: "The Legacy of Jihad". Your idea of Muslim persecution of non-muslims being 'aberrant' is so outrageously far from the truth.

In whatever land Jews or Christians have lived in, they have been persecuted by the Islamic authorities - especially the Jews. In one land it's 'affix a little demon to your front door' (as was done in Egypt), in another, Jews were forced to wear special clothing and Christians another, or non-Muslims were to pass by Muslims on their left; in essentially every place Jews have lived, they have been levied extra taxes, and sometimes, if the ruler proved hardened enough. he would exact taxes from those who couldn't support themselves - the sick, insane, widowed or orphaned, and would devolve this obligation on the community at large, all for the purpose of getting more money from the Jews; the procedure which you regard as an 'invention of the mad caliph (it seems almost every caliph must be mad then) was carried out in most Islamic lands where Jews/christians lived. Even the hightime period of Islamic history - the 12th century in Andulasia - saw Moses Maimonides flee Cordoba, and then Fez, after he wrote a letter to the community of Fez telling it's Jews to lie about converting if it will protect them from the cruel treatment they had been enduring; once discovered, he fled to the more tolerant Islamic kingdom of Saladin. The Jewish poet Judah Ha Levi - a contemporary of Maimonides - was murdered on his way to the Holy land by Arab robbers.

It has never been easy for Jews or Christians who lived under Muslims; yes, it is true, that Jews suffered worse in Christian lands, but that says more about how the Christians treated them than how the Muslims did. Unlike the Christians, the Muslims were more preoccupied with demeaning and degrading the Jews and Christians who lived amongst them for the purpose of making it known that these infidels were not equal with Muslims. If a Muslim made a claim against a non-Muslim, his word would always be regarded as more trustworthy, and so very often innocent non-muslims would be punished by the state for nothing - Even today we see things like this happening all around the Islamic world, particularly to Christians, in Iraq, Pakistan, Iran etc...

Beyond that, why not mention the Armenian genocide, perpetuated by the Ottoman empire
(muslims) against it's Armenians? Or the genocide of serbs by Muslims in the former Yugoslavia? Or the genocide of non-Muslim animists and Christians in Darfur - again by Muslims? Or the Muslim terrorist activities in Chechnya? Or the Muslim terrorist activities in the Kashmir region? Or Hezbollah, Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda etc? Geeeez -and there ISN'T Something inherent to Islam which incites this ubiquitous barbarity? Let me anticipate your retort: they aren't real Muslims? Were those who spread Islam by the sword (an example they merely follow) also not real Muslims?




In one part you say that the Quran is vague, and therefore needs supplementary materials, then in another part you negate yourself and say that it is quite explicit


If you simply analyzed what I said you would understand why I left this apparent contradiction (to someone of poor analytical ability) in place: The Quran is vague in giving a systematic metaphysical explanation of Islam. You may say what it gives suffices, but it simply doesn't: Does it explain what the Quran is? What it's letters represent? Do they know the nature of the relationship between God and Reality? Do they know how the Spirit (mind) is reflected in matter? These are all esoteric matters of a metaphysical import which is NOT CONVEYED by the Quran. If you think such an explanation did not exist, even though essentially every religious tradition is based on this dictum, a subject which Plato treats of, Neo-Platonists, Hermeticists, Gnostics and Kabbalists, all dealt with, then I guess you don't know very much about such esoteric subjects.

And as for my "while the Quran is pretty explicit. " Again, the context referred to its politics - which is different from metaphysics. It can be both explicit and vague - vague in giving a systematic explanation of it's inner logic, while explicit in directing Muslims in how to take over.



posted on Apr, 19 2012 @ 12:45 PM
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words are words, and actions are actions... look at the actions taking place across european countries as far as it concerns the muslim population. they simply do not want to follow western cultural tenants and/or laws of society in those countries. why do people that come from other cultures seem NOT TO be interested in adopting the host countries culture...NOT doing so, shows to me an utter lack of respect, therefore, they would get no respect from me, and i would strongly encourage them to leave



posted on Apr, 19 2012 @ 12:46 PM
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reply to post by dontreally
 


Originally posted by dontreally
Read: "The Legacy of Jihad". Your idea of Muslim persecution of non-muslims being 'aberrant' is so outrageously far from the truth.

So the Jews were lying in the Cairo Geniza? Are we throwing books at each other now?
Perhaps you should read "Proceedings of the Seminar on Muslim-Jewish Relations in North Africa" from the I.A.S and World Jewish Congress
Or "The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Studies" by Martin Goodman
Or "Judaism Confronts Modernity" by Rabbi David Sherman
Or "The Solomon Goldman Lectures" from the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies
Or "Jewish Communities in Exotic Places" by Ken Blady
Or "A Short History of the Jewish People" by Raymond Scheindlin
Or "The Arab Lands under Ottoman Rule" by Jane Hathaway
Or "Demonizing the Other" by Robert S. Wistrich
Or "A History of the Jews" by Solomon Grayzel
Or "Under Crescent and Cross: Jews in the Middle Ages" by Mark Cohen
Or "Hebrew Studies" from the National Association of Professors of Hebrew in American Institutions of Higher Learning
Or "The Ornament of the World" by María Rosa Menocal

They all agree that these restrictions were rarely enforced, so I don't know what you're on about. It is funny that Moses Mamonides fled Cordoba to go to another Muslim ruled land, and he eventually became the Royal Physician to Saladdin. Those muslims must've really hated and wanted to demean the jews!

As for your other examples, you think violence is exclusive to Muslims? You think Jews and Christians are the exclusive recipients of violence? Every community and religion in the world (even, or perhaps especially the jews) must have some pretty messed up theology, considering your method of evaluation.
edit on 19-4-2012 by babloyi because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 19 2012 @ 03:03 PM
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reply to post by babloyi
 


Way to avoid facing the facts.



Saladdin


Kurds have always been nicer than Arabs.



As for your other examples, you think violence is exclusive to Muslims?


Not exclusive, but objectively, it does reach it's greatest frequency and intensity with Muslims.

I see you're simply not ready (or emotionally capable) to accept that fact. The VAST majority of the evils (excluding state sponsored genocide i.e. nazis, commis, etc) of the past 100 years, especially in recent history, is perpetuated by Muslims..

Was the genocide of the Armenians not perpetuated by Muslims? And the genocide of Serbs - again, by Muslims? and the current genocide (conveniently ignored by the UN, though it's human rights council has no problem filling up it's time with Israel) perpetuated by Muslims? That's 3 separate genocides in 100 years. And then you have it's bellicose encroachments in India, terrorist attacks - almost always committed by so-called "extremist" Muslims.

And How dare you claim Judaism could be even more extremist than Islam. Where do you get off saying that? What examples in history are you basing yourself on? The concept of the fatwa - an edict of assassination against a particular individual - is a purely and solely Muslim invention: No other religion, Christianity, Judaism or eastern, has such a concept. Judaism has never thought of that; there is no halachic call to kill someone - that is absurdly contrary to the principles of Jewish thinking.

Conversely, in Islam, that is simply not the case. You can whine and complain and say 'its not fair' because I say Judaism interprets the Torah in one way, in that the Rabbi's sometimes oppose explicit commands in the Torah, while Islam in another - they completely follow every one of the ludicrous calls in their Quran - whether that be treating woman as half that of a man, permitting rape (requiring 4 male witnesses essentially enables men to rape women without fear of punishment), cut off hands, feet, noses, tongues, honor killings: I say this because this Jewish tradition goes back to Talmudic times - OK? That's close to 2000 years - its intrinsic to Jewish thought. And as Eliezer Berkovits (a prominent 20th century jewish theologian) notes, the Rabbis allow this because it expresses two different impulses: the ordinance of reason (the law, or the objective) and the ordinance of the heart (the purely human, subjective). Judaism reconciles these two disparate needs by establishing a rapprochement between the two: the law bends to the human, while the human tries by all rational means to meet the requirements of the law.

Can Islam do this, even though they have 1300 years of precedents that stymies any innovation?
edit on 19-4-2012 by dontreally because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 19 2012 @ 03:44 PM
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reply to post by dontreally
 

Dontreally, it is very interesting to see what you write when you write what you know about. But honestly, Islam isn't it. "Fatwa" is an edict of assassination? I'm sorry, but you've fallen victim to pop culture media.


Originally posted by dontreally


Saladdin


Kurds have always been nicer than Arabs.

While in the course of your discussions about the persecution of Jews it would make sense that you'd knock on Islam, but I never took you to be racist, dontreally. Please don't start now!

And how dare I claim? Because the Hebrew Bible quite clearly and explicitly advocates (unlike the Quran, where this permissibility has to be "interpreted" or "derived" from the text through weird convolutions) killing, massacring and subjugating the "other", the effects of which we can clearly see today in the way Israel handles the Palestinians. The dubbing of Palestinians as "Amalekites" is particularly noteworthy in the context of what was commanded to be done to the Amalekites.

The Hebrew Bible clearly and explicitly "gives" everything from the Nile to the Euphrates to the Jews. It quite clearly commands the wholesale slaughter of any who reside in that area who are not Jews. It is the Hebrew Bible, and not the Quran that commanded "Hormah". You're not going to find "dashing babies heads" in the Quran. If you wish to surrender? You can become enslaved (although a portion of you will still die as "tribute"). If you wish to remain neutral (and perhaps not let the Jews pass through your land to make attacks further on, like Sihon)? Too bad. You must die. Heck, you don't even have to be one of these "nations" to be attacked by the Jews. The Hebrew Bible has instructions for that situation as well (you can offer them peace-through enslavement- first, and if they don't accept, you only have to slaughter all the men, and you an keep the cattle and women and children for yourself).
edit on 19-4-2012 by babloyi because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 19 2012 @ 04:05 PM
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reply to post by babloyi
 





"Fatwa" is an edict of assassination? I'm sorry, but you've fallen victim to pop culture media.


This is one of the many downfalls of the internet. No, I meant Fatwa - which i then correlated with halacha - to mean 'a religious decree': Hence why I said Judaism has NEVER and would never issue an edict obligating ones followers to kill someone - as Imams frequently do.

I'm not an idiot Bablyoi, although you often talk to me like im one; I know what metaphysics means, and what mysticism means, and of course, I am aware of what fatwa means




While in the course of your discussions about the persecution of Jews it would make sense that you'd knock on Islam, but I never took you to be racist, dontreally. Please don't start now!


It's not racist - far from it: it's an ethnological observation. The harsh Arabian climate has bred a certain culture and ethic that suits the Arab - in the deserts - but unfortunately has been exported with the Arabization and Islamization of the west ad east.

Also, historically, Kurds have been the more tolerant of the two.




The dubbing of Palestinians as "Amalekites" is particularly noteworthy in the context of what was commanded to be done to the Amalekites.


Unlike in Islamic lands, in Israel, the rabbinate has no authority: and no Rabbinic leader has ever come out and called the Palestinians amalekites. But, even if they did, it always remains a theoretical assertion: it is never put into practice, as Islam often educes in it's followers.




e effects of which we can clearly see today in the way Israel handles the Palestinians.


Oh, don't turn this into a Palestine-Israel thread. That will take us too far off topic.

But, as for calling Palestinians "Amalekites" - I don't think it's nice to call anyone an Amalekite, but if anyone deserves the label, it is those ideologically motivated antisemites, like the schopenhaur, wagner, chamberlain types, who think Jews and their philosophy of conscience pollutes the traditional aryan ethic.

But Palestinians, no. However, how can you even rush to their defense when they're conditioned as they are? I've made it a general rule: If someone doesn't first acknowledge the vitriolic propaganda the PA feeds it's citizens (surprisingly, with Israeli sanction) it's no use entering a dispute about who's right and who's wrong.




The Hebrew Bible clearly and explicitly "gives" everything from the Nile to the Euphrates to the Jews.


It actually says from 'river to river' - it's only inferred by some that it means the nile to the euphrates, but it could very well mean from the nile delta to the Jordan river. In any case, there is no Israeli agenda - and if you think there is you are #ing idiot - to start wars with an already belligerent civilization which surrounds them on all sides.




You're not going to find "dashing babies heads" in the Quran. I


These are just stories within a narrative - they are not commands.




If you wish to remain neutral (and perhaps not let the Jews pass through your land to make attacks further on, like Sihon)? Too bad. You must die. Heck, you don't even have to be one of these "nations" to be attacked by the Jews. The Hebrew Bible has instructions for that situation as well (you can offer them peace-through enslavement- first, and if they don't accept, you only have to slaughter all the men, and you an keep the cattle and women and children for yourself). edit on 19-4-2012 by babloyi because: (no reason g


So you don't want to address my points? That the Talmud - Jewish law - mitigates time and again those harsh narratives in the Torah.

2000 years of self awareness, verses - what has Islam produced comparable to it? hmmm?
edit on 19-4-2012 by dontreally because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 20 2012 @ 12:51 AM
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reply to post by dontreally
 

Apologies. I can only go by what a person writes, and before you clarified it with an edit, it certainly read like that.

Aside from Iran, I don't think there is any country where the "Islamic Leadership" (if one could even use such a term outside of Shi'a Islam) has any authority. In fact, in Saudi Arabia, there are accusations that the Royal Family influences the fatwas, and not the other way around. You think the ruling class would stand for the religious leadership even for a second if it threatened them? It isn't the religion that is the problem there....

And are you sure about the area? I've checked both mechon-mamre.org and blueletterbible, and they both use a specific word for the Euphrates (פְּרָת, Perath).

But see, now we come to that point: According to you, the Word of God is therefore meaningless, because, as you say, it can be negated by man. The Talmud has some pretty bad stuff as well, but man can overrule man much more easily than man can overrule God. But even that is irrelevant. Today, even the prominent Rabbis and Rabbinical doctrines support some pretty violent stuff. And people make the excuse "Nonono, that Rabbi was an extremist! He doesn't represent the mainstream!", when in fact, they DO. AND they support their arguments from the Talmud and Torah.

PS: Does "Halakha" really translate to a "religious decree"? The definition doesn't seem to think so. I'd say it is much more accurate to say it is "way to behave" or...well..."religious commandments". Instead of "fatwa", a better comparison with Islam would be "Sharia".
edit on 20-4-2012 by babloyi because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 20 2012 @ 01:09 AM
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reply to post by GmoS719
 





Surah 2:190-193 "Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits


Fight THOSE who fight you, meaning defend yourself and fight to live. I emphasized the word THOSE because it says not to fight just anyone, but those people specifically who attack you. Wait a minute we have a book here talking about self defense but your bigotry is confusing it with indiscriminate murder. Are you saying that self defense is now indiscriminate murder?

Do not transgress: meaning do not go overboard and kill innocents and those not guilty, and do not commit war crimes

Oh wait, are they teaching basic self defense principles, and proper conduct even during wartime? Haha you are so blind that you did not even read the quotes you provided yourself dude..




but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression."


if the attacker/enemy surrenders, dont do them any harm, except the ones who cause you to be oppressed. This is all basic english that anyone who has passed the third grade can understand and it shows no harm to be done to innocents.

You do not understand the concept or the context. I can take a mickey mouse book and take things out of context and make it seem bad. This is not that obviously because these are simple quotes anyone with common sense can understand
edit on 013030p://4America/ChicagoFri, 20 Apr 2012 01:13:52 -0500 by THE_PROFESSIONAL because: (no reason given)
edit on 013030p://4America/ChicagoFri, 20 Apr 2012 01:19:52 -0500 by THE_PROFESSIONAL because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 20 2012 @ 02:04 AM
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reply to post by babloyi
 



While in the course of your discussions about the persecution of Jews it would make sense that you'd knock on Islam, but I never took you to be racist, dontreally. Please don't start now!


If you cannot understand the cultural differences between a people so different as the Arabs and Kurds, then why are you here trying to defend Islam? If you fail to understand the difference in culture you also fail to understand what both groups offered to the world and to the world of religion(Islam and others), and the differences in what was offered by both groups. Then you try to tie in the Palestinian issue, which highlights your ignorance about the Kurdish issue, which nullifies your point about violence.

What you "defenders of Islam"(I dub thee), fail to understand is, exactly what Dontreally is trying to get across here; The absoluteness of Islam compared to Judea-Christian doctrines and the lack of love it brings. Until you personally experience this, you won't understand. And every and all attempt at trying to "defend" Islam by you, will be worthless and will only be seen as "truthful" or "valuable" to others who are just as ignorant about the absoluteness of Islam.

You may live in America or any other Western country alongside Muslims and you won't have a problem. That is because in America and other Western countries, the rule of law goes above the rule of religious law, meaning, you are not living in a country where Islamic law is the absolute law. In fact, a lot of these Western countries used to be ruled by churches, ie. religious law. But not anymore. Ask yourself WHY.

There are numerous countries that do practice Islamic law and I dare any and every one of you "defenders of Islam" to go live in one of these countries. Then compare that life and those Muslims who are fanatic about their Islamic laws over there...to your America and its Muslims who are trying their best to adjust to the Western model of living(ie. secularism) over here. You'll be eating your own words in no time.



posted on Apr, 20 2012 @ 02:20 AM
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Islam is not a religion, it is a religious state of government. They govern by their religious beliefs, according to their holy book.

alisina.org...
avideditor.wordpress.com...
video.search.yahoo.com...




The Sharia (literally "the path leading to the watering place") is Islamic law formed by traditional Islamic scholarship, which most Muslim groups adhere to. In Islam, Sharia is the expression of the divine will, and "constitutes a system of duties that are incumbent upon a Muslim by virtue of his religious belief".[63] Islamic law covers all aspects of life, from matters of state, like governance and foreign relations, to issues of daily living.

en.wikipedia.org...





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