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3 years ago  ::  Feb 03, 2012 - 8:51PM #1
koolpoi
Posts: 6,595
After his vision of Jesus,the Bible says that St. Paul went to Arabia for three years.However there is no real information about what he did there.Does Muslim tradition say anything about Paul's activities there?
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3 years ago  ::  Feb 04, 2012 - 3:04AM #2
Ibn
Posts: 5,009

Nothing.


There is some doubt whether according to the Paul's writings he went to Arabia or straight to Damascus.

I know one thing: There are a billion Islamic people in the world today, and there will be about 2 billion by the time we're dead. They're not going to give up their religion.
(Chris Matthews)
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3 years ago  ::  Feb 04, 2012 - 2:03PM #3
BDboy
Posts: 6,284

I do not know anything about that.

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 04, 2012 - 7:10PM #4
visio
Posts: 3,537

Feb 3, 2012 -- 8:51PM, koolpoi wrote:

After his vision of Jesus,the Bible says that St. Paul went to Arabia for three years.However there is no real information about what he did there.Does Muslim tradition say anything about Paul's activities there?



No, there is no mention about it in both the Al-Quran and Hadith.


There is a verse in the Al-Quran which reads:


Al-Ma'idah 5 : 82-85   Verily, you'll find the strongest among Man in enmity to the believers, the Yehud (Jews?  Bani Israel?) and you will find the nearest in love to the believers those who say:   "We are Nasara."   That is because amongst them are priests and monks, and they are not proud.   And when they listen to what has been sent down to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of the truth they have recognised.   They say:  "Our Lord!  We believe;   so write us down among the witness.   "And why should we not believe in ALLAH and in that which has com eto us of the truth?   And we wish that our Lord will admit us along with the righteous people.  So becasue of what they said, ALLAH rewarded them Gardens under which river flow, they will abide therein forever.   Such is the reward of Al-Muhsinun (the good doers). 


Please note that Muhammadsaw/Al-Quran used the term Nasara, even though the term Christianity ( pre-existed/pre-established 300 years before the Al-Quran) to refer to the, presumably, followers of Isasaw (Jesus of Nazareth).   And the verse only provided a generalised mention of priests and monks. 


If we were to give Paul some benefit of the doubt we can speculate that after he had a "vision" of (spirit of) Jesus while on his way to Damascus he probably had vowed himself a repentance, and made a diversion to Arabia where he could find some Nasarani settlements and learnt something from them and/or subjected himself as a hermit/monks or got himself educated in the practice of contemplation and meditation.


Finally, just a friendly advise, do not be obsessed and unduly impressed by the term "vision".   It can be an elusive experience.  It wasn't uncommon among Muslims that somewhat, somewhere out of the blue would come out and declare he/she had a vision of Prophet Muhammadsaw.  For salvation and spiritual growth it is not that important (to me, at the least).  It is just that he/she just had his/her mind vibration resonated with the spirit left behind by, in this case Prophet Muhammadsaw.   And in his Last Sermont the late Prophet had made it quite clear that after his death, there would be only two things he would leave behind - the Al-Quran and his Sunna/Hadith.  That implied he wouldn't even leave his spirit behind and that no one including the jinn would ever assume his image what-so-ever.  And I believe the same applied to all of ALLAHswt's Prophets, including Isasaw (Jesus).   One has to really be in ALLAHswt's Presence to be able to have those vision and that is subjected to ALLAHswt's Will.   Among known Muslim, Muhyi al-Din Ibn 'Arabi had this type of experiencing as written in his Fusus-al-Hikam (The Seal of Wisdom). 


 

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2012 - 2:13AM #5
koolpoi
Posts: 6,595

Feb 4, 2012 -- 7:10PM, visio wrote:


Feb 3, 2012 -- 8:51PM, koolpoi wrote:

After his vision of Jesus,the Bible says that St. Paul went to Arabia for three years.However there is no real information about what he did there.Does Muslim tradition say anything about Paul's activities there?



No, there is no mention about it in both the Al-Quran and Hadith.


There is a verse in the Al-Quran which reads:


Al-Ma'idah 5 : 82-85   Verily, you'll find the strongest among Man in enmity to the believers, the Yehud (Jews?  Bani Israel?) and you will find the nearest in love to the believers those who say:   "We are Nasara."   That is because amongst them are priests and monks, and they are not proud.   And when they listen to what has been sent down to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of the truth they have recognised.   They say:  "Our Lord!  We believe;   so write us down among the witness.   "And why should we not believe in ALLAH and in that which has com eto us of the truth?   And we wish that our Lord will admit us along with the righteous people.  So becasue of what they said, ALLAH rewarded them Gardens under which river flow, they will abide therein forever.   Such is the reward of Al-Muhsinun (the good doers). 


Please note that Muhammadsaw/Al-Quran used the term Nasara, even though the term Christianity ( pre-existed/pre-established 300 years before the Al-Quran) to refer to the, presumably, followers of Isasaw (Jesus of Nazareth).   And the verse only provided a generalised mention of priests and monks. 


If we were to give Paul some benefit of the doubt we can speculate that after he had a "vision" of (spirit of) Jesus while on his way to Damascus he probably had vowed himself a repentance, and made a diversion to Arabia where he could find some Nasarani settlements and learnt something from them and/or subjected himself as a hermit/monks or got himself educated in the practice of contemplation and meditation.


Finally, just a friendly advise, do not be obsessed and unduly impressed by the term "vision".   It can be an elusive experience.  It wasn't uncommon among Muslims that somewhat, somewhere out of the blue would come out and declare he/she had a vision of Prophet Muhammadsaw.  For salvation and spiritual growth it is not that important (to me, at the least).  It is just that he/she just had his/her mind vibration resonated with the spirit left behind by, in this case Prophet Muhammadsaw.   And in his Last Sermont the late Prophet had made it quite clear that after his death, there would be only two things he would leave behind - the Al-Quran and his Sunna/Hadith.  That implied he wouldn't even leave his spirit behind and that no one including the jinn would ever assume his image what-so-ever.  And I believe the same applied to all of ALLAHswt's Prophets, including Isasaw (Jesus).   One has to really be in ALLAHswt's Presence to be able to have those vision and that is subjected to ALLAHswt's Will.   Among known Muslim, Muhyi al-Din Ibn 'Arabi had this type of experiencing as written in his Fusus-al-Hikam (The Seal of Wisdom). 


 




I take your point about not being unduly impressed by visions but this vision of Paul's may have been the foundation of Christianity as we know it.If he spent three years in Arabia delving into the meaning of that vision,it makes me wonder how far he went.Perhaps even to Mecca?

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2012 - 9:27AM #6
Ibn
Posts: 5,009

koolpoi,


There is doubt whether he even went to Arabia.


Acts 9:19-29 "And when he (Paul) had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul (Paul) certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests? But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ. And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him: But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him. Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket. And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem. And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him."


Acts 26:19-21  "Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me."


Contradicted by:


Galatians 1:15-23 "But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother. Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not. Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ: But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed."


With regard to the first two passages, Reverend Dr. Davies in "The First Christian," says:


"These assertions are not inconsistent with each other, but are damaging for another reason,: they are contradicted by Paul himself in his letter to the Galatians."


Rev. Davies draws attention to Paul's oath:


 "Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God I do not lie", which makes his account a sworn affidavit. He goes on to say:


"To the story in Acts, this contradiction is disastrous. There never was a teaching campaign at Jerusalem and through all of the county of Judea (Acts 26:20).


"If Paul was unknown to the Judean communities as he says, then he had undertaken no mission among them. In fact he had never joined the Judean movement or even attempted to join it. He only saw Cephas, and Jesus' brother James. Even of the other apostles, not to mention more ordinary believers, 'I saw none' he admits. Instead of his having gone 'in and out of Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord' the Jerusalem community had not even known that he was there. 'They only heard' he tells us 'that he who once persecuted us now makes the faith of which he made havoc'; but they never heard him preach it in Judea."


 Rev. Davies concludes that "..if there is any portion of the New Testament that is authentic, it is Paul's letter to the Galatians. If we cannot rely upon this letter, we can rely upon nothing and may as well close our inquiry. But the fact is that we can rely upon it. The letter to the Galatians is from Paul himself and by every test is genuine."


 “The First Christian" A Powell Davies, Farrar Straus & Cudahy, pp. 30-31


So, when did he go to Arabia, if he did, according to the New Testament books? 

I know one thing: There are a billion Islamic people in the world today, and there will be about 2 billion by the time we're dead. They're not going to give up their religion.
(Chris Matthews)
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3 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2012 - 10:42AM #7
visio
Posts: 3,537

Feb 11, 2012 -- 2:13AM, koolpoi wrote:

Feb 4, 2012 -- 7:10PM, visio wrote:


Feb 3, 2012 -- 8:51PM, koolpoi wrote:

After his vision of Jesus,the Bible says that St. Paul went to Arabia for three years.However there is no real information about what he did there.Does Muslim tradition say anything about Paul's activities there?



No, there is no mention about it in both the Al-Quran and Hadith.


There is a verse in the Al-Quran which reads:


Al-Ma'idah 5 : 82-85   Verily, you'll find the strongest among Man in enmity to the believers, the Yehud (Jews?  Bani Israel?) and you will find the nearest in love to the believers those who say:   "We are Nasara."   That is because amongst them are priests and monks, and they are not proud.   And when they listen to what has been sent down to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of the truth they have recognised.   They say:  "Our Lord!  We believe;   so write us down among the witness.   "And why should we not believe in ALLAH and in that which has com eto us of the truth?   And we wish that our Lord will admit us along with the righteous people.  So becasue of what they said, ALLAH rewarded them Gardens under which river flow, they will abide therein forever.   Such is the reward of Al-Muhsinun (the good doers). 


Please note that Muhammadsaw/Al-Quran used the term Nasara, even though the term Christianity ( pre-existed/pre-established 300 years before the Al-Quran) to refer to the, presumably, followers of Isasaw (Jesus of Nazareth).   And the verse only provided a generalised mention of priests and monks. 


If we were to give Paul some benefit of the doubt we can speculate that after he had a "vision" of (spirit of) Jesus while on his way to Damascus he probably had vowed himself a repentance, and made a diversion to Arabia where he could find some Nasarani settlements and learnt something from them and/or subjected himself as a hermit/monks or got himself educated in the practice of contemplation and meditation.


Finally, just a friendly advise, do not be obsessed and unduly impressed by the term "vision".   It can be an elusive experience.  It wasn't uncommon among Muslims that somewhat, somewhere out of the blue would come out and declare he/she had a vision of Prophet Muhammadsaw.  For salvation and spiritual growth it is not that important (to me, at the least).  It is just that he/she just had his/her mind vibration resonated with the spirit left behind by, in this case Prophet Muhammadsaw.   And in his Last Sermont the late Prophet had made it quite clear that after his death, there would be only two things he would leave behind - the Al-Quran and his Sunna/Hadith.  That implied he wouldn't even leave his spirit behind and that no one including the jinn would ever assume his image what-so-ever.  And I believe the same applied to all of ALLAHswt's Prophets, including Isasaw (Jesus).   One has to really be in ALLAHswt's Presence to be able to have those vision and that is subjected to ALLAHswt's Will.   Among known Muslim, Muhyi al-Din Ibn 'Arabi had this type of experiencing as written in his Fusus-al-Hikam (The Seal of Wisdom). 


 




I take your point about not being unduly impressed by visions but this vision of Paul's may have been the foundation of Christianity as we know it.If he spent three years in Arabia delving into the meaning of that vision,it makes me wonder how far he went.Perhaps even to Mecca?


When we talk about spiritual vision, one must understand that there are so many types and level.   And very much depends on what are described in the experience of the experiencers.   Claiming you have interacted with this and that isn't good enough.   I am not in the position to accept or deny Paul's claim on meeting with the spirit of Jesus.   The 12th. century Muslim sufi, Syahkh Muhiyideen Ibn Arabi claimed he met the (spirit of ) Jesus whom he said was his first supernatural teacher (in the heavenly kingdom of the jinn).   He didn't have the inspiration to create a new religion because his experience was never the same as Muhammadsaw's.   Muhammadsaw's experience is the Al-Quran itself.


In the context of Islamic/Al-Quranic theology, the sign of an impending vision of the highest type is the vision of your own Guardian Angel, which, in the case of Muhammadsaw (soul + spirit) , this was referred to as Gabriel.  For this reason, any well infromed Muslims are always skeptical to anyone who claim to have a vision of Muhammadsaw and let alone interact with his spirit. The gate to ALLAHswt's for any Muslim is his/her own Gabriel.   And Muhammadsaw's spirit is not the intercessor.   However a Muslim may supplicate to ALLAHswt, to bless him/her with the same kind of spirit that was Muhammadsaw's, as a known human benchmark. 


There are verses in the Al-Quran that warned Muslims about the mistakes made by our ancienct predecessors who took both the jinns and angels as God.   And there have been posters coming to this board proudly claiming that their God is not the same as Muslim's ALLAHswt.   I could only smile at them and say it "You are damn right!."   

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2012 - 11:09AM #8
visio
Posts: 3,537

Feb 11, 2012 -- 9:27AM, Ibn wrote:

koolpoi,


There is doubt whether he even went to Arabia.


Acts 9:19-29 "And when he (Paul) had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul (Paul) certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests? But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ. And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him: But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him. Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket. And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem. And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him."


Acts 26:19-21  "Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me."


Contradicted by:


Galatians 1:15-23 "But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother. Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not. Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ: But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed."


With regard to the first two passages, Reverend Dr. Davies in "The First Christian," says:


"These assertions are not inconsistent with each other, but are damaging for another reason,: they are contradicted by Paul himself in his letter to the Galatians."


Rev. Davies draws attention to Paul's oath:


 "Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God I do not lie", which makes his account a sworn affidavit. He goes on to say:


"To the story in Acts, this contradiction is disastrous. There never was a teaching campaign at Jerusalem and through all of the county of Judea (Acts 26:20).


"If Paul was unknown to the Judean communities as he says, then he had undertaken no mission among them. In fact he had never joined the Judean movement or even attempted to join it. He only saw Cephas, and Jesus' brother James. Even of the other apostles, not to mention more ordinary believers, 'I saw none' he admits. Instead of his having gone 'in and out of Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord' the Jerusalem community had not even known that he was there. 'They only heard' he tells us 'that he who once persecuted us now makes the faith of which he made havoc'; but they never heard him preach it in Judea."


 Rev. Davies concludes that "..if there is any portion of the New Testament that is authentic, it is Paul's letter to the Galatians. If we cannot rely upon this letter, we can rely upon nothing and may as well close our inquiry. But the fact is that we can rely upon it. The letter to the Galatians is from Paul himself and by every test is genuine."


 “The First Christian" A Powell Davies, Farrar Straus & Cudahy, pp. 30-31


So, when did he go to Arabia, if he did, according to the New Testament books? 


Assalamualikum br. Ibn,


Somehow, I have the feeling that the Galatian's account is more spiritually realistic.   If Paul had really encountered with the spirit of Jesus, that spirit could have given him the tip where he (Paul) could find the true knowledge that the man, Jesus, had taught.   And that doesn't automatically means that knowledge resided with former discilples of Jesus or even James, Jesus's brother.   The logic of this prevailed even in the case of Prophet Muhammadsaw's.   Although we all know that the four companions of the Prophets were very close to him, rarely we read any of their explanation/interpretation of the Al-Quran and Hadiths.   Even for Aisha, she could be a well of the Prophet's hadith, she wouldn't understand many of those vision that Muhammadsaw witnessed as narrated in the Al-Quran.  


There had been strings of Muslims who had visions of many fifferent types and levels.   If not for the built-in perfection and completeness of the Al-Quran, it would have been rewritten so many times.   

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