Blind Followers

The one and only free public forum for Bohras. The focus of this forum is the reform movement, the Dawoodi Bohra faith and, of course, the corrupt priesthood. But the discussion is in no way restricted to the Bohras alone.
kalim
Posts: 107
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2005 5:01 am

Re: Blind Followers

#31

Unread post by kalim » Tue Jun 14, 2005 6:30 pm

Dear Spot, I suggest that you actually read the original texts before forming an opinion. Of course, you will also need to be familiar with Greek thought before you can understand its influence on Ismaili philosophy. I will give you some explicit examples below. I do not expect you to be convinced by them as I know that a rational argument with blind believers is next to impossible.

I mentioned in my previous post that the first treatise in the Ikhwan al-Safa is on the theory of numbers. In it explicit mention is made of the Greek mathematician Nicomachus who died in about 120 AD. The authors of the Rasail essentially elaborate on concepts already touched upon by Nichomachus. Further the mystical properties attached by the Ikhwan to numbers is a modification of his (and Pythagorean) ideas. So in this case you can verify for yourself that the authors were actually borrowing ideas from the Greeks. Not only that you will find that they even "borrowed" an error: Nichomachus (and following him, the Ikhwan) thought that there was exactly one perfect number with a given number of digits. For example, 6, 28, 496 and 8128 are the first four perfect numbers. Nichomahus generalized this by stating that the nth perfect number has n digits although no higher numbers were then known. It turns out that there are no 5, 6 or 7 digit perfect numbers. In fact the next perfect number is 33550336 (8 digits)

My second example is about Sayedna Nasafi. He died in about 943. Nasafi is credited with introducing Neoplatonism into Ismaili thought. At first there was a lot of resistance to his ideas. For example Sayedna Razi wrote a book to rectify what he thought were incorrect concepts of Nasafi. To add more confusion, Sayedna Sijistani wrote his own book criticizing Razi and supporting Nasafi. Finally, diplomatically, the great da'i Sayedna Kirmai later tried to reconcile this controversy amicably. Remember all this was for incorporation of Greek (Neoplatonic) thought into Ismaili philosophy!

Finally I want to give the example of Sayedna Muhammad al-Harithi who was the mazoon of Sayedna Hatim. By the way, it is a dawat tradition to use the title "Sayedna" for him even though he was a mazoon. One reason (among many) is that he is the author of the "bavisa" duas. Anyway, Muhammad al-Harithi wrote a chrestomathy of dawat literature. In it he has a book on the sayings of Rasulallah, Ali, Socrates, and Aristotle. He also has a book on Aristotle's views on the soul. Clearly he considered it important to incorporate ideas from these Greeks into dawat literature, possibly for a later synthesis.

I would suggest, as I have done before, that you actually think for yourself. Sabaks and vaaz maybe useful to some extent but to get the complete and comprehensive picture you must study on your own. That is precisely what the current administration does not want you to do. By claiming to be the sole inheritors of our literature they want to stifle your own understanding of our literature and philosophy. Today there is no real danger of persecution, so citing "taqiyaa" as a reason to hide this literature sounds hollow. The only danger is that reading this literature may make you an independent thinker, and how can any priestly clique allow that?

Alislam
Posts: 234
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2002 5:01 am

Re: Blind Followers

#32

Unread post by Alislam » Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:27 pm

Br Kalim,

I have a personal experience of these sabaks, where the mullahs/Amils are in no position to answer the above average queries..

It feels so depressing that inspite of so rich knowledge tradition of the Fatimi imams, we are deprived of their learnings..

There is a dire need to get all important works to be translated into english and be made easily available.

spot
Posts: 204
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 5:01 am

Re: Blind Followers

#33

Unread post by spot » Tue Jun 14, 2005 9:01 pm

dear porus and kalim,

i have done the studing you speak of and have read the actual writings of plotinus, aristole, the other fore fathers of greek philosophy you speak of. the problem is your prespective as to what came first. the concept of "be" or the originator arrives from as far back as the book of genesis. judaeo-christian philosphy is indoctrinated into the greek culture and thinking. this is the philosphy islam expanded on.

however, the parts you forget is the correlation. none of the greek philosphers believed in supreme being the created the originator or the originated. none of the greek philosphers believed in the worshipping or acknowledgement of the being. it was the concept of a mathematical exercise to them.

Plotinus wrote of the heavenly system and its relation to the Soul and the Will of God. Where do you think this came from....not a greek philosphy of origin.

http://classics.mit.edu/Plotinus/enneads.html

in addition, the ikhwan as'safa related the current philosphical preaching of the time and its relation to islam...not islam's relation or deravation to the philosphical teaching (ie greek). there was commonality between the two and the differences.

maybe you should start reading the sources the authors like paul walker quote from. ismaili thelogy was always there...there was efforts to create similarities between the two.

it is like comparing the supreme being (allah) to the hindu bhagwan. in the clear definition and essense..they are exactly the same. it is the manifestation of the the two the make them very different.

kalim
Posts: 107
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2005 5:01 am

Re: Blind Followers

#34

Unread post by kalim » Tue Jun 14, 2005 9:46 pm

Dear Spot, Yours is a rather ingenious argument: Ismaili philosophy was always around (even before Islam), it was the Greeks who copied them. Of course you may not be saying that but maybe if your posts were more coherent we could understand exactly what you are saying. Note that I am not suggesting that Ismaili philosophy is a copy of the Greeks: obviously it had to be modified to give it an Islamic flavor. Many other influences (besides Greek) can also be found in it. Further the philosophy is not static but has evolved over a period of time. In fact the current cosmology of the bohras is a further modification of the one developed in the Fatimid era. Anyway, you are free to believe what you want.

This argument reminds me of one I had with a well-known miyasaheb. On mentioning the topic of Greek thought in Islam he said that the Greeks were actually "muslims", following the religion of the prophet of their own era. Hence, triumphantly, he said that there was no question of "Greek" influence on Islam. On mentioning the topic of progress of Indians in general in relation to bohras he said that the reason the other Indians were progressing was also because of the dua of the dai'! At this point I thought it wise to cease all discussion with him. Best of luck in your future apologetics. I have nothing more to contribute to this discussion with you.

spot
Posts: 204
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 5:01 am

Re: Blind Followers

#35

Unread post by spot » Wed Jun 15, 2005 3:23 pm

kalim,
i apologize if my post were incoherent. the problem is your prepective on understanding and its catagorization. you say ismaili philosphy is "this" and the it reflects or is similar to a developed greek philosphy. the problem with that analogy is two fold. one, ismaili philosphy is based on the philosphy of monothism, originated since the prophet adam..nothing new. secondly, greek philosphy and those that taught it, derived their concepts from monotheism as a belief (specifically judae-christianity). before the birth of christ, greek believed in hellenstic religion of various heavenly gods who controlled the world. then you have plotinus and others speaking of a one god and a creation. "where did this come from" says the blind man?

you see i am saying the direct opposite as you are. monotheism in forms of judaism, christianity and islam influenced greek philosphy. greek philosphy during the time of the christian revolution that overtook the greek and roman empires needed to be adapted so that the greek and roman could convert to christianity.

thus in roman catholism you have a pope (similar to the caeser of rome) as well as other attributes combined into the christian faith from the roman belief structure to make it easier to accept christianity. in greek philosphy and theology you had a similar advent.

Humsafar
Posts: 2518
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2000 5:01 am

Re: Blind Followers

#36

Unread post by Humsafar » Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:35 pm

Spot,

Not that any of your posts make any sene, yet I'm curious to know what you mean by this:
Originally posted by spot:

...ismaili philosphy is based on the philosphy of monothism, originated since the prophet adam..

spot
Posts: 204
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 5:01 am

Re: Blind Followers

#37

Unread post by spot » Thu Jun 16, 2005 5:14 pm

humsafar,
ismaili philosphy (theology) is based on the belief structure since the time of adam nabi, which is the belief in monotheism (ie one God). this is why islam does not deny the core teaching of judaism or christianity.

it also bring about the acceptance of those who believe in the One God, no matter what they refer to Him as.

Humsafar
Posts: 2518
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2000 5:01 am

Re: Blind Followers

#38

Unread post by Humsafar » Thu Jun 16, 2005 5:20 pm

... since the time of adam nabi...

You mean to say adam nabi existed in actual time/space etc.?

tahir
Posts: 1229
Joined: Sat Apr 20, 2002 4:01 am

Re: Blind Followers

#39

Unread post by tahir » Thu Jul 07, 2005 12:13 pm

This is for all the folks who have been asking the reformists "whom do you follow"? I am not making a case for any religion here but want to highlight the attitude one should have towards following a religion, philosophy or cult. If they can just get a clue from this article:

THE SPEAKING TREE

SBM
Posts: 6243
Joined: Sun May 09, 2004 4:01 am

Re: Blind Followers

#40

Unread post by SBM » Thu Jul 07, 2005 11:00 pm

Dear hi786
You talk about SABAK let me give you an example what do you get from Sabak
In one of the Sabak, a person asked Aamil how does anyone knows that Fatema Ut Zohra was carrying a male named Mohsin( We always hear in the waiz that one of the person ( to respect the others I would not use LANAT nor names) pushed the door where Fatims was behind and she fell down and lost the hamal of MOhsin.
DNA testing has been a recent event, how does any one know 1000 years ago that Ma Fatima was carrying a male. In our dawat or shariah we donot name a person till CHATTI so how did they know the name Mohsin.
The reply from Aamil was because our Aqa Moula said so and you can question his lectures orBayan and that is what you learn in SABAK so pleas Mr. HI786 tell me how do you get knowledge when every time you are told that this TAAWIL NO BAYAN and it is beyound your capacity to understand
I hope you can direct me to RISALAS and REFRENCES of our DUATs so I can broaden my knowledge by reading not listening

mbohra
Posts: 242
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 4:01 am

Re: Blind Followers

#41

Unread post by mbohra » Fri Jul 08, 2005 12:59 pm

One of the ladies at a SABAK held in Toronto by Shk. Noordin Yamani, a number of years ago, when he was the aamil of Toronto Jamat, now a side-kick of Maalukul Lashkar BS, asked him how one should fast or pray in "the lands of midnight sun".

His ignorant, arrogant and callous response was " ask me if and when you go and live there" - instead of admitting that he did not know or he will find out.

There are now a number of Muslims, including Bohris who live in those lands - i.e. Norway, Alaska etc.

May be now the millionaire Shk. Yamani could answer the question - that is assuming that he knows!!

Kaka Akela
Posts: 389
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 4:01 am

Re: Blind Followers

#42

Unread post by Kaka Akela » Wed Jul 13, 2005 5:25 pm

Hello All: I am one of those blind followers of the Dai , but I hate all the money -mongering people surrounding him. Each one trying to outdo the other in raising funds so they can get even closer to the inner circle.
Brother Kalim had mentioned the incident in his hometown of Pune about the Nasim-e-Sahar. I am a subscriber to it but was unaware of what happened in Pune. I feel sorry for the editor and staff of that glorious paper which has been published for last almost 90 years with blood, sweat, tears and toils of that family. But lately it has become a target for all the jamea educated people due to their jealousies of somenone not from them doing a superb job, they have put hurdles in their way at every step and want them to stumble and fall badly so they can take over. This is very strange attitude, you would think they would help support and provide help in every which way to keep it going. Uneducated Aamils like the one in Pune get all excited and overwhelmed by these jamea people to take drastic actions for minor infractions
Our good religion in last 95 years (between the reigns of 51 st, and 52nd dai) has turned into a cult of dai-worshiping people. And due to the electronic modern media we get to hear every sneeze the dai takes and we all have to say a collective Alhamdolillah for him. Now anywhere Dai goes 100s of his relatives follow him there(they have nothing better to do anyway) with 100s of his staff people and all the Aamils encourage everyone to go there too. Now every vaez of the dai is being relayed to every jamaat in the world and all the Aamils are forgetting their vaez materials and becoming useless as white elephants for jamaats to support.
Our grand religion is the only religion where we have nobody to go to with our complaints, except the dai himself, which is not possible also as he is surrounded by the people who wants to know what you are going to see him for? When Aamils misbehave we have no one to reprimand or discipline them. This is the biggest drawback of our religion and this is breeding more & more boldness in these crooks.

observer
Posts: 121
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2000 5:01 am

Re: Blind Followers

#43

Unread post by observer » Wed Jul 13, 2005 6:13 pm

so what should we do about it? Any ideas or do we continue and pretend someone else will step forth from another planet to fix our problem. We have to fix it so stand up for yourself. De take the bullying from these assholes for mishak, weddings and funerals. There is another way find it. You are one of those guys I find in majlis next to me who complain and whisper in your ear about all the goings on but with no balls to do something. He tells you hoping you will do something about it. We are a communtiy of cowards.