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['Aalim Network QR] Bible Code/Nostradamus


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|       In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the All-Merciful       |\
|  Greeting of Allah be upon Muhammad and the pure members of his House |\
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Salamun alaykum,

	The reply to the following questions was kindly provided by Shaykh
Panah.

Wasalaam,

Mustafa Rawji
Moderator, 'Aalim Network

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QUESTION 1:

As-Salamualaikum,

My question concerns the new 'discoveries' about the Torah (5 books).  I
have heard some hype about a "Bible Code."  I have seen it on TV and heard
about at school.  It claims that the 'original' Torah in Hebrew, if
decoded properly, gives historic facts such as Yitzak Rabin's
assasination.  I am quite annoyed because I don't have any evidence to
disprove this concept.  What they do is connect the whole Torah together,
and skip a set number of letters (Like every five letters, they pick that
letter) and this forms a word, which they claim gives news of the future
or the past events.  My problem with this is that according to Islam, the
Torah has been altered.  If it has been altered, then how can it contain
this 'code' still.  Inshallah you can help me with this problem and may
Allah help you continuously in your struggle in promoting the True Islam. 

With that, please comment on the Islamic view of the Torah's preservation at
the time before the Prophet, at the Prophet's time and after him up until the
present age.  

QUESTION 2:

Salam alaikum,

Brother, I have an inquiry concerning people who have some sort of powers. 
If we say that prophecies are miracles, then how can a man like
Nostradamus have such prophecies.  Does Islam have an explanation for
things like this? 


ANSWER:

Dear Br/Sr,

Salamun Alaykum. With regard to your question on the mathematical decoding
of Torah, I think the following points are helpful:

1- The creation of Allah (AWT) is full of mysteries. Human soul is the
most gifted creature of the all. Human beings are multi-dimensional and
can almost do anything, God permitting, if they put their mind and soul
into it. Some use their power in the right path and some for the evil. In
short, the power of human soul is mysterious and beyond comprehension. But
we, people of modern era of science and empiricism, are socialized to dis-
credit anything which is not verifiable through the narrow procedure of
the modern science. "Science" is the boundary of our knowledge.


2- Mystical and mathematical decoding of texts, especially religious texts
is nothing new. One can mention many classical poems and texts which are
believed to hide a particular message beyond their appearances, which
need to be decoded. The "Hurofiyoun" Movement (School of Letters) in Islam was
based on the same idea. Some modern Muslims have adopted a similar
approach to the Holy Qur'an using numbers, especially 19. Bahais have made
similar claims about their texts. Now the question is "what is the value
of such findings?"

3- In my opinion one can look at these findings in the following way:

a) If we do not have any proof that these findings correspond with
some actual events outside those texts, then we should not bother to infer
anything from them.	

b) Assuming that the findings correspond with some actual events or reveal
a complex pattern and order which cannot be a work of ordinary people,
then we should bear in mind that: 

i) According to some theorists it is possible to find an ordered pattern
in almost anything. In most cases the patterns revealed in the texts are
the work of the readers who have manipulated the texts so that they fit
into their pre-established patterns.

ii) In cases that we cannot detect any manipulation on the part
of the readers, we may give them the benefit of the doubt. But we should
bear in mind that it always more assuring if they could find those
predictions in those texts before the actual events happen. Furthermore,
the most important thing is that such predictions normally are not to be
taken as signs of moral and religious authority. I will explain this
matter in the next point.

4- As mentioned in point 1, the human soul is very mysterious and can be
educated and trained to do almost anything, God permitting. Take the
Qur'anic example of Pharaoh's astrologists and witches who predicted Moses'
birth and his challenging of Pharaoh. Evil minds can also predict future
events, God permitting. The difference between these acts of predictions
and prophecy is that prophecy is accompanied with THE CLAIM TO THE
PROPHET-HOOD. We believe no false prophet can perform any extra-ordinary
act or predictions if he or she claims to be a prophet. Miracles are
distinguished from other extra-ordinary act by this criterion, i.e. making
the claim of prophet-hood. No person of moral authority performs
extra-ordinary acts. As a rule, you can almost say that the more 
spiritual authority one has, the less he or she engages in extra-ordinary
acts. Such people, do such acts only and only for some reasons God has
permitted them to do so. But in case people with less or no moral
authority God's permission is only granted by not preventing them doing
such acts. In other words they are not ordered to do so, neither they are
prevented. But a False Prophet, who makes a false claim of being a prophet,
will be prevented from doing any extra-ordinary acts. If we study people
who make predictions such Nostradamus, we see that either they are wrong
in their predictions OR THEY HAVE MADE NO CLAIM TO PROPHET-HOOD.
	
	One historical example: An Astrologist came to Imam Sadiq (AS). 
Imam (AS) asked him what his profession was. He said he was an Astrologist
and had knowledge of the unseen. Imam (AS) asked him if he knew of anyone
who was at the same time everywhere in the universe. He said that he knew
of no such person. Imam (AS) said "I am that person." He asked for some
signs. Imam (AS) told him (the astrologist) where he was coming from, and
when he wanted to leave his city, he went into his house to a secret hiding
place. Imam (AS) asked him if anyone was with him at that place. He said
"No." Imam (AS) told him that then he took a bag in which he kept his
money and what exact amount of money was and how much he took for his trip
and how much he left there. The man acknowledged the rightfulness of Imam
Sadiq (AS). Then Imam (AS) told him if he was with him at his house and on
his way, what would prevent him to be everywhere else. The astrologists,
who saw Imam (AS) had more power than he and had a claim to moral and
religious authority became a believer. 

5- Finally, I like to mention that in case of Torah, our belief is that it
has been distorted but it does not mean that all its words are altered. It
is possible that some passage have remained unchanged. In that case, one
may speak of prophecy if it can be shown that the prediction has really
happened.

With Regards,

Mohammad










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