Other Manifestations of Love for God (1)

        Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Misbah

The love which God's friends ask from Him is pure love. When it blossoms, man's attention is entirely directed to God and by seeing God's manifestations, glory and omnipotence, he feels boundless pleasure unequalled.
Man is a perfection-seeker and pleasure-seeker. All the perfections, pleasures and beauties in the world are ascribed to the Most High God. Therefore, when man succeeds to understand the manifestations of the real object of worship and beloved, he feels deep love for God.
A beloved's good pleasure and nearness bring utmost joy to the lover, which is the outcome of his pure love for God. From the effects of pure love for God are lack of inclination to this world and inattention to its attractions. Those who know God full well, are devoted to Him and seek his nearness remember Him all the time. The lifestyle of infallible Imams is a vivid example for this.
Key words: love, pure love for God, manifestations of love, God's friends, God's satisfaction.


Selection of Israelites in the Quran and in Prophet Isaiah's Book

Delara Ne'mati Pirali

The supremacy and selection of a nation by God depend on some criteria and standards. One of the most important issues which makes one attain the real doctrines of religions on the one hand and makes clear those interpretations which are based on one's preferences and interests is the extraction and review of these criteria and standards and identifying the real instances of selection according to the sources confirmed by religions and comparing between them.
Prophet Isaiah's book which is one of the latter prophets' books in the Old Testament not only includes doctrinal issues and prophecies but also details about the characteristics of Israelites. These characteristics which completely conform with those found in Quranic verses, describe Israelites as aggressive people who, contrary to the thrust of divine covenant (that is, their adherence to motheism and righteous deeds) have turned away from God, Musa's religion and the prophets after him and got involved in personal and social sins due to their doctrinal and moral deviations. Those who commit these sins receive punishments in this world and the next. Accordingly, it may be admitted that the selection of Israelites is limited to time, contingent upon practical and doctrinal criteria, and cannot be generalized to this people at any time and with any belief and practice.
Key words: Israelites, selection, Prophet Isaiah' book, the Glorious Quran.


Imam Ali's View about the Meaning of Awareness of Death and Its Effects

Baksh Ali Qanbari - Mohammad Ali Mashayekhipoor

All the creatures in this world are destined to death and man is no exception. He, also confronts death like any other creature. However, because mankind has certain characteristics and qualities, he is aware of his death. All divine religions have paid particular attention to death, awareness of death, and thinking of death their doctrines. Referring to Quranic verses and traditions and focusing on Nahjol Balaghah, the present paper tries to elaborate on the meaning of awareness of death and identify its causes. This article also reviews the contexts, effects and obstacles of awareness of death in order to prepare the ground for its emergence and manifestation in man's life, which can direct our acts towards what is the best in the world and hereafter.
Key words: death, awareness of death, thinking of death, this world, hereafter, Imam Ali (peace be upon him), Nahjol Balaghah


Pathology of Reuven Firestone's Research on Prophet Ibrahim
(peace be upon him)

Hassan Rezaii Haftador, Morteza Valizadeh

It is undeniably necessary for us as Muslims to precisely know what orientalists' views on Islamic sciences are so that we can criticize them scientifically. Therefore, the main concern of the present paper is to shed light on Firestone's research on Prophet Ibrahim and see what problems it has. The research uses a documentary method and analytical-critical approach, but this does not mean that descriptive methods has been neglected. Although the main focus in this research is on Firestone's views on Prophet Ibrahim, Muslim scholars' views have been considered whenever necessary. Firestone's research indicates that he has made a thorough enquiry into Islamic sources, but the mistake, he has committed and which cannot be overlooked, is that he has not examined all valid Islamic sources, especially Shiite sources. He has not investigated the views of the Twelvers' school on Prophet Ibrahim and his referring only to Sunni resources has undermined the validity of his research.
Key words: Reuven Firestone, Ibrahim, offering, having scriptures, idolatry of Ibrahim's father, Aazar, Quran's quotation from the Testaments.                


The Conformity between God' Knowledge of the Particulars and His Invariability Demonstrated in the Works of Famous Philosophers and Theologians

Mohammad Hussein Faryab

God is a constant and invariable Being who is not influenced by time and place or spatial-temporal existing objects or creatures. On the other hand, He is fully aware of the particulars which are variable and whose change will, at the first glance, lead to change in God's knowledge and then in His essence. The present paper is mainly concerned with whether or not God's knowledge of the particulars is compatible with invariability of God's knowledge and essence of God.
The researcher tries to examine how the works of famous philosophers and theologians consider God as an invariable Being on the one hand and as aware of the particulars, on the other hand. The most important research findings show that famous philosophers have proposed different solutions based on different approaches. It seems that Avicena's view is the most challenging view of these philosophers. Furthermore, Fazil Miqdad's view should be considered a new headline in the subject of God's knowledge in Islamic theology.
Key words: knowledge, philosopher, theologian, God's knowledge of the particulars, invariability.


An Inquiry into the Concept and Nature of Religious Experience in Iqbal Lahori's View

Ali Parimi

Iqbal Lahori looks at religion from the angle of religious experience and regards religions experience as the basis of religious knowledge. Therefore, his theological approach is governed by religious experience and regards religion as a branch of knowledge which results from a kind of experience. He sees that religious knowledge is an interpretation of religious experience and, like the other experiences of man, it is insightful. Iqbal is the first scholar who maintains that religious experience is identical to revelation, and talks about the transformation and reduction of Islamic revelation to religious experience. This view entails the negation of the linguistic nature of revelation, negation of the infallibility of prophet hood, the fallibility of revelation, looking at religion as non-divine and man made, rejecting that idea that there is a seal of prophets, and expanding prophetic experience.  Using a descriptive- analytical method, the present paper explains and describes the nature of religious experience and makes explicit Iqbal's methodological, epistemological and theological approach and religious experience. It also reviews and criticizes Iqbal's view to expound its effects and shortcomings.
Key words: Iqbal Lahori, religious experience, religious knowledge, experience, religion, revelation.

A Comparative Analysis of the Definition and Components of Religion according to the West and Islam

Mahmud Namazi

There have been completely different views about religion. Some believe that religion is a spiritual and internal state, which is experienced only by the individual. Others consider religion not more than a set of beliefs. Such a view entails that rules, rituals and practical decrees are considered as separate from religion. Some others believe that religion is but a number of acts some individuals do in the name of religion, and which have nothing to do with beliefs. On the contrary, others consider religion as an abstract idea consisting of such things like the domain of religion and economic, legal and political behavior. Accordingly, religion cannot be a mere personal experience because treatment of these issues is beyond the capacity of personal experience.
Anyway, the different views about religion and its components necessitates investigating whether or not there can be a strict definition of religion with specific components. The question that arises is whether the rich resources of Islam- Quran and Sunna can contribute to providing a definition of religion and its real components, not because of the authenticity and authority of these sources but because the deep meanings in these sources are provided by unique sages. Discussing and criticizing the prevalent western views on religion and taking an overall look at this issue, the present paper tries to provide a strict definition of religion and its main components.
Key words: religion, the West, Islam, anti-arrogance, happiness.


Christianity in Modern Latin America

Yasir 'Asgari

The immigration of the Spanish and Portuguese to Latin America and the complete domination over, and brutal colonization of this region turned it into a Christian territory. This continued for five centuries so that nearly ninety percent of its population follows Christianity today and the followers of other religions and domestic faiths are only few. Catholicism has been unrivaled religion in Latin America for the last few decades as result of the immigration of Latin groups contemporary with the rulers and kings were in favour of Vatican Church. The Protestant Church and different denominations, which had no opportunity for propagation and free activity, and which constitute a small part of its population have recently witnessed a significant growth.
The present paper aims at investigating Christianity in Latin America in modern time. To this end, this article is mainly concerned with the latest condition of Catholics and Protestants and most important challenges they face, and it uses a library method and makes use of the latest news about Christian activities in the region. Among the important results of the research is identifying the strengths and weakness of different Christian denominations of the region. This can be of some help to Muslim leaders and statesmen, those in charge of Islamic centers and policy makers of Islamic seminaries, both Shiite or Sunni.    
Key words: Latin America. Brazil, liberation theology, Evangelists, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses.