I wrote about my pluralistic approach before in
Since then, I added Buddhism in my religious library. Now I am wondering Am I lost somewhere? I will try to resume my opinions about the different books and believes here in this post.
This is my library
(the Bible is missing in this photo)
I think it is very important that children learn about all the main religions in the World as they do in Sweden. Dan Dennet says trhis in this Ted below. But his main issue is the “evolution of Religions”.
I shhould have had the Bible there in the photo instead of Bhagawad-Gita. I will explain why.
Actually the only part that I use from this book is the knowledge about Avatara – the incarnation of Good (4:7d ) I don’t know much more about this Hindu scripture book. I am actually not interested about learning more. I were told some by a Indian student explaining a little bit about the Indian God incarnations on a flight from Berlin to Catania this summer. Morgan Freeman gave me a lot more knowledge about Hinduism in his documentary about God.
In the Buddha’s Words.
An Anthology of Discources from the Pali
I became interested in this book in my recent Buddhist phase and studies. My son bought it at Amazon and I asked if he could give it to me and buy another one together with “The Tibetan Book of the Dead” that a friend of hours (believe or not) enjoyed. 🙂
I am happy to to have this book as I am now able to read myself more about Buddhism with this book. I will soon come back to “The Human Condition” part of this book, discussing the life and death issue in it in a comparison with the Zoroastrian ethics and Christian words about hell.
Read this from page 30
I hope to find time read more in this book.
Gathas, the Holy Songs of Zarathushtra
A good friend of mine introduced me into Zoroastrism and helped me get this book. Zoroastrianism is the first monotheistic religion that was among others misinterpreted by Mohamad who most probably was desinformed and believed that Zoroastrians in Iran adored the fire in so called fire temples.
There is a letter about this between Mohamad and theChosroes/Khusraw, the Emperor of Persia. The letter is also mentioned in https://iranian.com archive with details I did not know about.
Muhamad letters is not a permissive and tollerant one:
“This letter is from Muhammad (saw), the Messenger of God, to Chosroes, the Chief of Iran. Whoever submits to a perfect guidance, and believes in Allah, and bears witness that Allah is One, and has no equal or partner, and that Muhammad (saw) is His Servant and Messenger, on him be peace. O King, under the command of God, I invite you to Islam. For I have been sent by God as His Messenger sa to all mankind, so that I may warn all living men and complete my Message for all unbelievers. Accept Islam and protect yourself from all afflictions. If you reject this invitation, then the sin of the denial of all your people will rest on your head. “
I read somewhere years ago that the Emperor answered invane that they indeed believed in one God. But this was maybe a Zoroastrian version of the story.
The Iranian.com archive version of the story , justifies instead the persecution of Zoroastrians and the invasion of Persia. The Iranian.com archive has a slightly different version of Muhammads letter, mentioning Magians.(see the mail and the full story below) This version tells about an intollerant emperor of Persia looking at Muhammad as a slave to be killed for his “outrageous” letter. Whatever is true, this iranian.com story probably explains how the war of Muhamad against the Emperor and Zoroastrianism started and finally led to the Zoroastrian persecution and diaspora to India.
Many Zoroastrians especially refugees and their descendants from Iran, could never forgive the Muslims for that.
Purpose of life according to Zoroastrian believe
I like this “the purpose in life is to “be among those who renew the world. To make the world progress towards perfection iIts basic maxims include: Humata, Hukhta, Huvarshta, which mean: Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds.” ( wiki )
Scan from my book from song 47, vers 1-3
Read more at http://www.zoroaster.com
The Tibetan book of the dead
I dont know how I came over this book. I probably thought this was the main book of the Budhists. I started to read “Signs of dead” and “Ritual averting of signs of near and remote death.” telling e.g. about what to do with powders of iron and cupper if ones urine vapour is blackish and putrid (a sign of coming deat). That was not really what I wanted to know about and looked for. 🙂 Maybe I have to read other parts instead like “introduction to awareness” or “daily practices”. “the great liberation of hearing” may also be interesting as I have had problems with hearing with my stroke related mental fatigue . I will maybe be back to read these parts. For now the book is part of my library.
The Bible that is missing in the photo above, is a book that I do not accept as is. I do not like those parts that tells how to act with “bad deeds” and “bad thoughts” like e.g about how to stone your daughter outside your house. Deuteronomy 22:13-21
How many times have I not heard about how a mariage night ending with mens showing up bed white sheets in Sicilian villages. If there was no blood found, I never heard about lapidation but only about direct resolution of the marriage with a lot of shame for the womans family in the villages.
Read more about stoning at http://dwindlinginunbelief.blogspot.se/2006/09/biblical-justice-everybody-must-get.html
I have never heard these parts be read during catholic masses. I almost nerve read the old testament. I prefer the new testaments With Jesus telling “Trow the stone who is without sin” John 8:7-11) and “Love your enemy” ( Matthew 5:44 ) Reading the Gospels has helped me a lot several times. I wrote about hate recently in another post. mentioning verses in Matthew5:43-44 and Syrach 27:30.
The story how I came into reading the Quran and studying Arabic is closely related to my work as a math and Science teacher in a suburb area school were many of the pupils have Muslim background and came to Sweden after the Muslim diaspora in the Balcan and later came during Isis persecution and war.
I listened to pupils shortly after the 9/11 talking among themselves about “Holy war”. I got an example of a Quran translated in Swedish by aAhmadiyya muslim belonging to http://karlekforallahatmotingen.se/.He told me that the Qurans messages is clear about loving and rejects war and hatred.
https://www.whyislam.org/jihad-2/what-does-islam-say-about-terrorism/ tries to show taht the Qu’ran does not accept terrorism. but https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/violence.asp makes gives another picture. Searching for ” kill ” in www.searchtruth you find the word 133 times in different forms while ” love ” appears 64 times.
Jesus with his extremely intelligent strategy “love your enemy and pardon 7×77 times” to get peace is my lex divina. Every time I find killing as a strategy in the Quran I do see those verses as results of restricted human reasoning, intelligence or maybe translation. I wonder if Allah really meant “kill” with the word qätilu in Qu’ran 2:191 I doubt that if that was Allah talking and not Sheitan wispering. “My Lord! I seek refuge with You from the whisperings (suggestions) of the Shayatin (devils). ” ( Quran 23:97 )
For what can killing lead to if not more pain, dear and destructiveness?
A few ears later a pupils threatened me to throw a 1 dm big piece of ice on me as he thought I offended the Quran. He asked for pardon as he said he mistaked me with another teacher.
i read a lot in this Quran book I was given searching knowledge about the true Islam. I foudn no mention about I started to inform myself about what is said in “Holy war” in this translation.
I also attended a seminar for teachers here in Göteborg with Jan Östen Hjärpe a Swedish Islamicist and a professor emeritus in Islamic studies at the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies at Lund. He explained how Muslims read The Hadith and there find testimony about the life of Muhamad.
I started to read in the Hadith but stopped shortly after having read about Muhamed and his letting a 9 year old girl (Ed. Aisha ) , enter his house and the description of his toilet practices with warm stones in the desert (read more in
I left the Hadith as I could not see the Hadiths to be books containing messages of God. I also understood that fanatic islamists support their evil actions on the testimonials of the Hadiths. I have also read about Pakistan Muslims defending there desire in marrying 9 year old girls referring to the Hadiths testimonial of Aisha in Sahih Bukhari.
This is was Aisha herself told about the relation with Muhamad.
“The Prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six (years). We went to Medina and stayed at the home of Bani-al-Harith bin Khazraj. Then I got ill and my hair fell down. Later on my hair grew (again) and my mother, Um Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was breathless then, and when my breathing became Allright, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, “Best wishes and Allah’s Blessing and a good luck.” Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah’s Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age.”
( Source: Hadith Sahih Bukhari 5:58 that for some reason is not readable in http://ahadith.co.uk/sahihbukhari.php ) Read more bout this story in https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2012/sep/17/muhammad-aisha-truth
I decided to go back reading the Quran and stay there.
We got a new colleague a few years ago who emigrated from Syria. She talked Aramaic. I was reminded about Jesus that is said to have talked Jewish Aramaic. I learned from this colleague that Aramaic is part of the semitic language family together with Arabic.
I was reminded about the very special experience I made attending a Catholic mass in aramaic in franciskus-jonkoping.net many years ago. I decided thererfore to learn Classic Arabic using the Quran as reading book. I now can recite Al Fatiha the frist Quranic Surah and hopefully soon be able to write it down too. I write about my learning Arabic in www.kinberg.net/arabic/
While teaching my seventh grade students about the Evolution theory with focus on the evolution of Homo sapiens I learned about the Islamic Paradise and Adam. I have based my Unified creation theory upon the Islamic Adam as is written about in the Quran.
Reading about Isis killing Christians, I discovered and used www.searchtruth.com to find were it is written about Jesus in the Quran. I were informed by a former student of mine that Jesus son of Mary (“Isa ibn Maryam” in the Quran) is one of the biggest prophets in Islam and the only prophet that could make miracles with the support of Holy Spirit. Look for the word Jesus in searchtruth to see yourself the number of appearances in the Quran.. Look also for Ruh-ul-Qudus (the holy Spirit that Jesus was supported with (Quran 2:87 )
I have found different parts with ethical rules that tells about good deeds and good words and what happens if you do not follow these.
“And argue not with the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), unless it be in (a way) that is better (with good words and in good manner, inviting them to Islamic Monotheism with His Verses), except with such of them as do wrong; and say (to them): “We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you; our Ilah (God) and your Ilah (God) is One (i.e. Allah), and to Him we have submitted (as Muslims).” ( Quran 29:46 )
In contradiction the the verse above seems these three verses translated into English to be if you do not read it carefully with good mind:
“Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.“ (Quran 9:29 )
“And fight in the Way of Allah those who fight you, but transgress not the limits. Truly, Allah likes not the transgressors. (Quran 2:190 ).”
And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out…(Quran 2:191 )“
There are several words in these three verses, whose implication have to be carefully thought about:
- “in the Way of Allah”
- transgress and transgressors
“Islam allows using weapons to defend yourself”
I got really upset with this statement, in Swedish written “Islam tillåter endast strid i självförsvar” made by a Ahmadiyya Imam in http://debattcentrum.se/2017/08/28/islam-tillater-endast-strid-sjalvforsvar/ as an interpretation of the three verses above. I deeply dislike the statement above as it as is, does not exclude anything in the definition of “defend yourself”. Self defence may be read by some as
- “killing a journalist or an artist who supposedly offends Islam” or
- “killing any citizen living according to Western costums” or
- “kill a Christian because of wearing a cross.
Not knowing that
- 29:46 was written to keep peace between Jews, Christians and Muslims.
- Christians and Muslim have shared churches hundreds of years in Sicily, Spain decoring them with mosaic
- Muslims allowed Christians to keep their churches and go there in Jerusalem in the early Muslim days
- Muslims tollerated other religions in the first Islamic caliphate.
- Christians were invited to Islam not with death treath but with tax reliefs. Converted Christians, did not have to pay taxes. A fact that explains the fast growth of the first calliphate in North Africa and the south of Europe.
Meaning of “Fight”
Dos fight (qätilu) both in 9:29 and 2:190 mean killing as the Ahmadiyya Imam Kashif Virk and many Isis symphathizer translates it (“strida” in Swedish is making war or kill) . “Kill” comes in 2:191 after 2:190 and not after 9:29. “You shall not kill” is the message teh Islamic messenger Moses brought to us from Allah. I think we must avoid killing as much as possible.
Screenshot taken from Quran Tafsir pro app I very oftenuse in my Quran reading.
Meaning of Messenger
what does the Quran verse above (9:29) mean with Messenger? Is Muhamed (PBUH) the only messenger? Read this verse:
“(2) And indeed, We gave Musa (Moses) the Book and followed him up with a succession of Messengers. And We gave ‘Îsa (Jesus), the son of Maryam (Mary), clear signs and supported him with Ruh-ul-Qudus” ( Quran 2:87 )
Keeping ( Quran 29:46 ) fresh in mind, I would translate 9:29 and 2:190 like this
“Fight with good words and good manners (Ed. according to ( Quran 29:46 ), those who do not follow the laws given trough his messengers, Moses, Jesus and Muhamed (Ed. according to 2:87 ).
“Transgress” translated as “taking weapon”
the Ahmadiyya Imam Kashif Virk mentions and translates 2:190 into this Swedish version with his own translation of “transgress” and “transgressors”:
“Strid för Guds sak mot dem som för krig mot er, men var inte de första som griper till vapen, Gud älskar sannerligen inte angripare”
His Swedish Into English:
“Fight for the sake of God against them who fight you you but be not the first who take weapons in hand, God does truly not like attackers”
to be compared with the Mohsin Khan English version at https://www.searchtruth.com/chapter_display.php?chapter=2&translator=5#190 :
“And fight in the Way of Allah those who fight you, but transgress not the limits. Truly, Allah likes not the transgressors. [This Verse is the first one that was revealed in connection with Jihad, but it was supplemented by another (2:290)].”
About “fight in defence” and “transgressing the limits” ( Quran 2:190 )
I read 2:190 this way:
“Fight in the Way of Allah (Ed. ihdina l-sirata) with good words and manner , those who fight you, but transgress not the limits, using words and manners (Ed. according to ( Quran 29:46 ). Truly, Allah likes not the transgressors. (ed. ….of Quran 29:46) “
A young Muslim should not understand it is ok to kill a Christian simply because he wear a cross. Or kill a journalist or an artist that argues in media against Islam, in effect fight against Islam with words and paper. the Quran confirm Moses law “You shall not kill” and tells that a good muslim should act according to 29:36. But If let say, USA attacks Mekka and Mosques killing Muslims with weapons then 2:191 permits Muslims to kill as a self defence. But just screeming out in H1 “Islam allows using weapons to defend yourself” is dangereous as it can be so misunderstood.
The Iranian.com archive full story
about the start of the Zoroastrian persecution.
As I don’t find a link from the new Iranian.com site to the archive and this most interesting story of the mail from Muhammad to the Emperor of Persia. As it is an interesting piece of story, I decided to keep a copy here of the full story below the screenshot of the iranian.com archive with the story.
copy of the text with the full story from iranian.com
(I added some text color to make it easier to find Muhammad letter.)
“A Letter to Chosroes, Emperor of Persia …
“In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
From Muhammad, the Messenger of Allâh to Chosroes, king of Persia.
Peace be upon him who follows true guidance, believes in Allâh and His Messenger and testifies that there is no god but Allâh Alone with no associate, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. I invite you to accept the religion of Allâh. I am the Messenger of Allâh sent to all people in order that I may infuse fear of Allâh in every living person, and that the charge may be proved against those who reject the Truth. Accept Islam as your religion so that you may live in security, otherwise, you will be responsible for all the sins of the Magians.”
‘Abdullah bin Hudhafa As-Sahmi was chosen to carry the letter. Abdullah got his camel ready and bade farewell to his wife and son. He set out, alone, and traversed mountains and valleys until he reached the land of the Persians.
He sought permission to enter into the king’s presence informing the guards of the letter he was carrying. Khusraw Parvez thereupon ordered his audience chamber to be made ready and summoned his prominent aides. When they had assembled he gave permission for Abdullah to enter.
Abdullah entered and saw the Persian potentate dressed in delicate, flowing robes and wearing a great, neatly arranged turban. On Abdullah was the plain, coarse clothes of the bedouin. His head though was held high and his feet were firm. The honor of Islam burned fiercely in his breast and the power of faith pulsated in his heart.
As soon as Khusraw Parvez saw him approaching he signalled to one of his men to take the letter from his hand.
“No,” said Abdullah. ‘The Prophet commanded me to hand over this letter to you directly and I shall not go against a command of the Messenger of God.”
“Let him come near to me,” Khusraw said to his guards and Abdullah went forward and handed over the letter. Khusraw then called an Arab clerk who originally came from Hira and ordered him to open the letter in his presence and read its contents. He began reading:
“In the name of Allah, the Beneficent the Merciful. From Muhammad, the Messenger of God, to Khusraw the ruler of Persia. Peace on whoever follows the guidance . . .”
Khusraw only heard this much of the letter when the fire of anger burst within him. His face became red and he began to perspire around the neck. He snatched the letter from the clerk’s hand and began tearing it to pieces without knowing what else it contained and shouted, “Does he dare to write to me like this, he who is my slave”. He was angry that the Prophet had not given him precedence in his letter. He then commanded Abdullah to be expelled from his assembly.
Abdullah was taken away, not knowing what would happen to him. Would he be killed or would he be set free? But he did not want to wait to find out. He said, “By God, I don’t care what happens to me after the letter of the Prophet has been so badly treated.” He managed to get to his camel and rode off.
When Khusraw’s anger had subsided he commanded that Abdullah be brought before him. But Abdullah was nowhere to be found. They searched for him all the way to the Arabian peninsula but found that he had gone ahead.
Back in Madinah, Abdullah told the Prophet how Khusraw had torn his letter to pieces and the Prophet’s only reply was, “May God tear up his kingdom”.
Meanwhile, Khusraw wrote to Badhan, his deputy in the Yemen, to send two strong men to “that man who has appeared in the Hijaz” with orders to bring him to Persia.
Badhan dispatched two of his strongest men to the Prophet and gave them a letter to him in which he was ordered to go with the two men to meet Khusraw without delay. Badhan also asked the two men to get whatever information they could on the Prophet and to study his message closely.
The men set out, moving very quickly. At Taif they met some Quraysh traders and asked them about Muhammad. “He is in Yathrib,” they said and they went on to Makkah feeling extremely happy. This was good news for them and they went around telling other Quraysh, “You will be pleased. Khusraw is out to get Muhammad and you will be rid of his evil.”
The two men meanwhile made straight for Madinah where they met the Prophet, handed him the letter of Badhan and said to him, “The king of kings, Khusraw, has written to our ruler Badhan to send his men to get you. We have come to take you with us. If you come willingly, Khusraw has said that it will be good for you and he will spare you any punishment. If you refuse, you will know the power of his punishment. He has power to destroy you and your people.”
The Prophet smiled and said to them, “Go back to your mounts today and return tomorrow.”
On the following day, they came to the Prophet and said to him, “Are you prepared to go with us to meet Khusraw?”
“You shall not meet Khusraw after today,” replied the Prophet. “God has killed him and his son Shirwaih has taken his place on such a night and on such a month.”
The two men stared in the face of the Prophet. They were completely dumbfounded.
“Do you know what you are saying?” they asked. “Shall we write about this to Badhan?”
“Yes,” replied the Prophet, “and say to him that my religion has informed me about what has happened to the Kingdom of Khusraw and that if he should become Muslim, I would appoint him ruler over what he now controls”.
The two men returned to the Yemen and told Badhan what had happened. Badhan said, “If what Muhammad has said is true, then he is a Prophet. If not then we shall see what happens to him.”
Not long afterwards a letter from Shirwaih came to Badhan in which he said, “I killed Khusraw because of his tyranny against our people. He regarded as lawful the killing of leaders, the capturing of their women and the expropriating of their wealth. When this my letter reaches you, take the allegiance of whoever is with you on my behalf.”
As soon as Badhan had read Shirwaih’s letter, he threw it aside and announced his entry into Islam. The Persians with him in the Yemen also became Muslim.
That’s the story of Abdullah ibn Hudhafah’s meeting with the Persian king.” ( Source: iranian.com )
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