Tuesday, October 21, 2003

From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
From many gods to one?
S al-B: Interesting article. The theory of primitive monotheism brings to mind Islam's theological worldview, which sees the prophets as men who were charged with the task of renewing God's revelation every time mankind strayed from the original and primordial revelation of tawheed (unification--God is One), revealed to Adam, the first man, to the error and deadly (arguably the most deadly) sin of shirk (sharing--meaning assigning to other than God His absolute attributes and assigning partners to him in His absolute rule and divinity). As the cosmic scenario of Fall and Redemption is absent from Islamic theology, hence negating the need for a Saviour, the prophets' mission is not to herald the coming of the Messiah as the Redeemer mankind has been waiting for since the time of Adam. Rather, the prophets are a corrective device; they steer the wayward back on track as they branch off from at'tareek al-mustaqeem (the Straight Way) that was followed at the very beginning of history, the primordial monotheism. Therefore, Jesus is sent with the Gospel, a fresh new draft and renewal of Revelation, as a response to the Jews' having corrupted the Torah and strayed from the path of God; he is not the Saviour Whose coming is necessitated from the very beginning due to the curse with which Adam has beleaguered the human race. Christians commit the sin of shirk and also corrupt their sacred texts. Revelation is once again renewed, and is delivered by its seal: Mohammad. Islam's simplicity and absence of a scenario of cosmic restoration and redemption of sinful man has it focusing more in its essence on the concept this article describes: a primoridal religion and revelation, a monotheism that existed before the Old Testament, and before Noah, back to the first man. To focus on this concept from a Christian perspective makes this article a very interesting and intriguing read.

Anonymous: The primordial element (particularly when mixed in with apocryphal lore--think Adam and Lilith) seems to greatly entice goths, at least in my view. It seems to be one of their biggest fetishes. Whether what passes as "ancient" to them is the paganism of the pre-Christian era or an ancient, apocryphal monotheism is anyone's guess.

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