In the name of Allāh,
the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Peace and Blessings of Allāh on Mohammad.
Allāh–the Glorious and the High,
Lord of the worlds
Mohammad–who brought the world
to our feet and eternity to our arms.
WHY I AM NOT A MUSLIM
C O N T E N T S
1. Muslims, victims of Islam;
2.Three parts of Islam
3. Mohammad and poets
4. Islam and science
5. Ar-Razi and Mohammad
6. Islam and non-Muslims, slaves
7. Islam and circumcision
The Rushdie Affair
8. Mohammad unoriginal, not perfect; a rich non-Muslim
9. Ali Dashti, arrangement and syntax of the Qur’an
10. Qur’an and borrowed teachings
11. Mohammad, Hajj, political assassinations
12. Islam: al-Raziq and religion and state
13. Abraham and Ishmael
14. Islam, Science, Apostasy, Democracy
15. Islam–solution to problems
16. Stoning and dismembering
17. Islam and blasphemy
18. Gibbon, the Qur’an, Mohammad a fiction
19. Mohammad, Jews and Idolaters
20. Qur’an–treachery, inhumanity, cruelty revenge, bigotry
21. Mohammad, the Holy Ghost, and Dante
22. Qur’an–literal meaning
23. Islam–murder of writers
25. Islam–a threat
26. Mohammad, a child molester–‘Aisha
27. Right to criticize Islam
28. Superiority of the Qur’an
29. Islamic tolerance
30. George Sale, Arabs, the Christian Church
31. Mohammad’s sincerity
32. Religious charlatans
33. Communism, and the Industrial Revolution
34. Monotheism versus Polytheism
35. Islam, anti-Christian religion. Salman Rushdie
36. Shari’ah-Islamic law
37. Mohammad and the Bani Quraiza
38. Allah is dead
39. Biblical figures, miracles
40. Darwin and the Qur’an
The Origins of Islam
41. Islam–a concoction
42. Islam–religion of the sword
43. Islam and superstition and paganism and jinns and demons and charms and omens and angels
44. Revocation of the treaty with the pagans
45. Allah and Hubal
46. Islam and Pagan customs
47. Islam and the Adhan (call to prayer)
48. Islam influenced by past religions
49. Al-Mizan, the scale/balance
50. Mi’raj–Mohammad’s ascension to the heavens
52. Sufi and Parsi, and Zwemer
53. Could Mohammad read and write? The Babylonian Jew from Southern Mesopotamia
54. Malik and Molech–Fire God
55. Lack of chronology, Confusions, and misunderstanding in the Qur’an
The Problem of Sources
56. Hadith. Collecting of the Qur’an
57. Mohammad and the gods of the Pagans
58. Mohammad, Monotheism, Satanic Verses
59. Mohammad and raiding parties
60. Mohammad and the Jewish tribe Bani Quraiza
61. Unity of God in other Scriptures
Muhammad and His Message
62. Mohammad and epilepsy
63. Mohammad, power and ambition
64. Slay unbelievers. Crush opposition
65. Polygamy (and concubinage). Divorce. Slavery
66.Political assassinations. Bani Quraiza
68. Bani Nadir
69. Mohammad–a barbarian
70. The Zainab Affair
71. Mary the Coptic Affair
72. The Satanic Verses
73. Treaty of Hudaibiyah
74. Mohammad a “robber chief”
75. Mohammad and Ibn Ishaq The Koran (correctly, Qur’an)
76. Children and the Qur’an
77. Word of God
78. Sura Fatihah (Opening chapter of the Qur’an)
79. “Say” in the Qur’an
80. Abu Lahab
81. Two Speakers
83. Foreign vocabulary of the Qur’an
84. Variant versions, Variant readings
85. Perfect Arabic
86. Verses missing, verses added. Collecting of the Qur’an
87. Jumbled histories
88. Abd Allah b. Sa’d Abi Sarh and Mohammad
89. Abrogation in the Qur’an. Tolerance abrogated by intolerance
90. Jinns and angels, Monotheism and polytheism, and Adam
91. Islam and saints
92. The Existence of God
93. Sixth century Arabia
94. Allah and conquest
95. Loot, women and land
96. Robber community
97. The Muslim concept of God. Predestination.
99. Islam and Ethics
100. Is God good?
101. Fear of Allah
102. God’s weaknesses
103. Why choose Mohammad?
104. Does Allah demand praise?
105. Did Mohammad see Allah?
106. The Ten Commandments
107. Days of creation
108. Law and the earth
109. Allah’s Throne
110. The moon and sun
111. The solar system
112. The Origins of Life and the Theory of Evolution
113. Einstein and Islam
116. Jesus–Virgin birth
117. Did Jesus Exist?
118. Restoring the dead
119. Martyrs of Islam
120. Qur’an–Recording angels
121. The afterlife
122. Islam–terror of the unknown
125. Women to be immured
127. Historical Errors in the Qur’an
128. Effects of the Qur’an a disaster.
The Totalitarian Nature of Islam
129. The Totalitarian Nature of Islam
130. Separation of State and Mosque. Founder of Islam. Mohammad making war.
132. Criticisms of Islamic Law
Is Islam Compatible with Democracy and Human Rights?
133. King Fahd–Democracy in the Middle East
134. Woman–testimony is half that of a man’s
135. Woman–movement restricted
136. Woman–cannot marry non-Muslims
137. Non-Muslims/Non-believers under Islam
139. Torture, cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment and punishment
140. Non-Muslim and justice (Why non-Muslims are not allowed public worship in Arabia).
141. Converts from Islam
142. Women and employment.
143. Democracy and Islam
144. Allah–not a democrat
146. The Muslim thinker
147. Human rights and the West
148. Liberal Democracy
149. Taking the truth
Arab Imperialism, Islamic Colonialism
151. Islamic Colonialism.
152. The tribes of Ukl and Urayna
153. Abolition of slavery.
154. Muslim’s defeat
155. Yacine and Islam
The Arab Conquests and the Position of Non-Muslim Subjects
156. Compulsion and intolerance
157. Muhammad and the Koran
158. Mohammad and the theologians
159. Jews hatred of Muslims
160. Umar and the Jews of Khaibar
162. Mankind–two groups
163. Dhimmis, kharaj and Jizya
164. Dhimmi and employment
165. Dhimmi and the Law (Islam)
166. The Pact of ‘Umar
Heretics and heterodoxy, Atheism and Freethought, Reason and Revelation
167. Islam and truth
168. Sprenger and Islam
169. Qur’an–created or eternal word of Allah?
170. Ibn Abi-l-Awja and Muslims
171. Zaqqum tree
Greek Philosophy and Science and Their Influence on Islam
172. Islamic and Greek civilizations
173. Al-Razi and the Soul
174. Religions and war
175. Greek Science and Islamic Civilization
176. Service to Allah
Sufism or Islamic Mysticism
177. Sufism and Islam
178. Moses, Aaron and the golden calf
179. Al-Ma’arri and religion
180. Questioning of the dead
181. God taking life
182. Monopoly on truth
183. Al-Ma’arri and meat and furs
Women and Islam
184. Female infanticide
185. Woman’s inheritance
187. Muslim Women vs. Pagan Women
188. Women inferior
189. Muslim and democracy
190. Woman, a curved bone
191. Women, guile and deceit.
192. Female deities
193. Woman’s testimony.
194. Woman’s Inheritance half that of a man’s
196. The ungrateful wife
197. Women and learning
198. Men and women contact; women and slaves are weaklings
199. Male not like a female
200. Women like bottles
201. Concubinage and polygamy
202. Nikah (Marriage)
204. Woman a tilth
206. Pleasures in the Qur’an
207. Woman–and menstruation
208. Women and religion
209. Woman–No pariah
211. The sick wife
212. Men superior to women
213. The Veil
214. Women and employment
215. Woman–choosing husband
216. Child marriages
218. Rape (and marital rape)
219. Brides of the Qur’an
Taboos: Wine, Pigs, and Homosexuality
220. Whisky and Wine
221. Pigs and Pork
Final Assessment of Muhammad
223. Mohammad’s mercy
224. Mohammad’s sincerity
225. Mohammad–praying for the enemy
226. Qur’an–Different modes of recitation
227. Islamic women vs. Pagan women
228. Mohammad and oaths
229. Mohammad and compromise
230. Mohammad–omens and charms
231. Islam and parents
232. Mohammad–moral plane
233. Qur’an–literal Word of God
Islam in the West
235. Women–arranged marriages
236. Whose side is God on?
Ibn Warraq (like other critics; and even some Muslims) has taken verses of the Qur’an ‘willy-nilly’ style out of context and without knowledge as to the background to which they were revealed, and used them in an effort to discredit Islam. Most of these verses, if not all, have been dealt with in one place or another.
To comment on every anti-Islamic anti-Qur’anic statement of Ibn Warraq’s would require a separate volume and of cyclopaedic proportion. This might have been the reason that there is no refutation of his work by a Muslim scholar.
It would be wise that any who read Mr. Warraq’s book to try and obtain a copy of Muhammad Ali’s translation of the Qur’an, as he has explained verses and given background to their revelations. Muhammad Ali’s translation of the Qur’an can be viewed online: ww.muslim.org
Ibn Warraq quotes the conjectures and baseless criticisms of several writers to justify his WHY I AM NOT A MUSLIM.
He lacks in presenting any intelligent discourse against the Prophet Mohammad, Islam, and the Qur’an; and he confuses the un-Islamic actions of Muslims with the teachings of Islam.
On the outside of the back jacket of his book, Ibn Warraq wrote (about his book, Why I Am Not A Muslim): “The present work attempts to sow a drop of doubt in an ocean of dogmatic certainty by taking an uncompromising and critical look at almost all the fundamental tenets of Islam.”
But instead of “sow(ing) a drop of doubt,” Ibn Warraq has fortified my belief in Islam.
Quotes and page numbers in “red” at the beginning of topics are from Ibn Warraq’s book Why I Am Not A Muslim.
1. Muslims, victims of Islam: On the lead page of his book, Ibn Warraq quotes E, Renan: “Muslims are the first victims of Islam. Many times I have observed in my travels in the Orient, that fanaticism comes from a small number of dangerous men who maintain the others in the practice of religion by terror. To liberate the Muslim from his religion is the best service that one can render him.”
Muslims are not “victims of Islam.” There is nothing fanatical about Islam. What Muslims may need liberation from is “fanaticism,” not from his religion. The Muslims’ religion is the world’s greatest liberating force. Islam liberates physically, socially, morally, spiritually, and intellectually:
–physically: by proclaiming that bondage is worse than slaughter
–socially: in decreeing that the exacting of one’s rights is equal to the executing of the rights of others
–morally: it not only laid down precepts for good conduct but instituted the machinations to compliment these precepts. The institution of prayer keeps one from indecency. The institution of fasting makes one aware of the suffering of those who are without; it conditions one to withstand periods of deprivations, and also guards against evil. The person who willingly abstains from what is lawful for him–food, drink, conjugal pleasure– will not seek what is unlawful. The institution of charity in which a person is to give freely a portion of his acquisition to the poor, such a person will not take from others what does not belong to him
–spiritually: it frees man from the worship of man, and of objects of nature, and of things created by man. It instills in man that the only object greater than himself is the Creator.
–intellectually: it informs man that all things are created for his use, and exhorts the pursuit of knowledge in order to make these creations subservient to him.
Muslims are not “victims” of Islam:
Muslims are victors.
2. Three parts of Islam (p. 1): (Ibn Warraq divides Islam into three categories): “Islam 1 is what the Prophet taught, that is, his teachings as contained in the Koran. Islam 2 is the religion as expounded, interpreted, and developed by the theologians through the traditions (Hadith); it includes the sharia and Islamic law. Islam 3 is what Muslims actually did do and achieved, that is to say, Islamic civilization.”
Islam is not subjected to divisions. Islam is the Qur’an and the Sunnah –actions and sayings– of the Prophet Mohammad. One is not separate from the other. The Qur’an is not a treatise on any subject. It lays down the basics from which to build. Any development that is based on these basic principles is Islam. Anything against these principles has no place in Islam. Islam is not an adversary of science. Islam is a proponent of science.
3. Mohammad and poets (p. 1): “At least early on, Muhammad despised the poets: “Those who go astray follow the poets”(sura 26.224)…..Had the poets adhered to Islam 1 and Islam 2, we certainly would not have had the poems of Abu Nuwas singing the praises of wine and the beautiful buttocks of young boys, or any of the other wine poems for which Arabic literature is justly famous.”
The Qur’an is not against all poets, as the text shows: “Shall I inform you upon whom the devils descend? They descend upon every lying sinful one –They give ear, and most of them are liars. And the poets–the deviators follow them. Seest thou not that they wander in every valley, And that they say that which they do not?–(Qur’an 26: 221-226)
Those who rejected Mohammad as Prophet were the deviators, and they followed the poets who opposed the Prophet.
The aim of Islam is to mold man into physical, social, moral, spiritual, and intellectual excellence. To achieve such excellence, Islam charts man away from frivolities and encourages him to invest his time and efforts into meaningful pursuits. It is doubtful that an intelligent father and mother, given the choice, would prefer not the Qur’an but would give to their daughter(s) and son(s) literature extolling the “praises of wine and the beautiful buttocks of young boys.”
The reason why Islam forbids the drawing of humans and animals is that these depictions were used in worship. And to worship or stand before images in worship is the worst of all degradations: Islam instills in man that the only power greater than himself is God.
4. Islam and science (p. 2): “…without the influence of Greek philosophy and Greek science there would not have been Islamic philosophy or Islamic science, for Islam 1 and Islam 2 were certainly ill-disposed to these “foreign sciences.” For the ortho-dox, Islamic philosophy was a contradiction in terms, and Islamic science futile.”
The orthodox may have held such a view, but that do not make them correct in their thinking. As shown elsewhere Islam is for science. There is no “secular” knowledge in Islam: all know-ledge is from God, as such all knowledge is Islamic.
Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din wrote in his book Introduction to the Study of the Holy Qur’an: The “Qur’an announced as follows:
(a) The whole world was full of potentialities, (52:4; 2:22.)
(b) Everything in the universe was for a purpose, (3:190; 14:33)
(c) They all were for our service, use and benefit, (15:19-20)
(d) Not a single thing in the whole universe, however insignificant it might be, had been created without its proper use; they have been created to minister to us; and that everything we need is already provided, (3:190; 14:33)
(e) No labour is wasted, (29:58)
(f) Right actions would receive ample reward, 6:161; 7:170; 12:56; 18:30)
(g) Idleness should gain nothing, (94:7)
(h) Nothing in the universe is changeable in its nature, (30:30)
(i) The whole world is chained by the law. Everything in it follows certain laws, and we can turn everything in it to our advantage if we discover and use the said law. The laws of Nature are none other than the Will of the Most High, (3:82)
(j) The laws of Nature are unalterable, (17:77; 35:43)
(k) Knowledge and the discovery of new sciences will enable us to turn these things in Nature to our use, (2:31; 2:34; 96:5)
(l) Things in Nature stand in a complimentary relation to each other, (86:11-12)
(m) They combine with each other in a fixed proportion to create new things, (87:2-3)
(n) God's blessings are open to all, (1:1)
(o) His ways are shown to him who seeks after them, (29:69)
(p) There are material treasures in the world for us to work upon. The word Rahman literally conveys this idea that they are open to all and ready to respond to our needs if properly approached, (1:1; 17:20; 67:3)
(q) Everything is already designed and comes to perfection under the principle of Evolution, (20:50)
(r) Man had not to create anything. Everything was already in existence. He had only to strive and use his limbs and he would have an ample reward, (53:39-40)
(s) Everything is for our good but its mishandling makes it evil, (4:79)
(t) Good or evil even in the least measure brings recompense, (7:8-9)
(u) No one will bear our burden, (17:15)
(v) The whole universe is in a measured order, and we have to observe it if we wish to invent other devices or things for our comfort, (15:21)
(w) There are limits and bounds for everything, their trespass entails loss.
(x) Human nature possesses the best of capabilities, but we need divine guidance for progress, (95:4)
(y) There are pitfalls in our ways, (95:5)
(z) True success only comes to him who exerts to excel others in his occupation of life, (79:1 to 5). (pp. 15-19)
With such a guide before them, it was not surprising that early Muslims should have become keenly interested in scientific research. ….They were the founders of a new civilization. Nay, further, they began to rule Nature, and through it, conquered the world. For centuries they continued supreme, but the riches they thus accumulated, subsequently made them slothful and wrought their ruin. Abuse, excess and self–indulgence shook the structure of their power to its foundations, leaving them an easy prey to others.
The early Muslims, however, bequeathed a vast heritage to their Western successors in the form of that learn-ing which the latter have since pursued under the name of modern science.”
“Algebra, Statics, Conic Sections and other branches of applied mathematics are amongst Muslim discoveries.”(pp. 20-21).
“Muslims were admittedly the founders of modern culture. …It is also an admitted historical fact that there was nothing in pre-Islamic culture to inspire them for scientific research. The Qur'an came to advocate the acquisition of knowledge for the first time. The Holy Prophet bade his followers to go to far off countries in search of it. …In short, while St. Paul deprecated the law and called it a curse to humanity, the Qur’an respected it and made the observance of it our religion, as Islam literally means “Obedience to the Law.”…The formal Church had also to assert that sin was innate in human nature, since sin is a breach of the Law. The dictum that man is sinful by nature involves an assumption that he is incapable of observing the Law. It is a most despicable libel on our character to assert that we are criminal by nature. If sin is innate in our nature, it is an anomaly if legislation exists in Christian land. Parliament and all other legislative bodies are a mere infringement on our liberty. …It was this principle, no doubt, that for centuries retarded all material progress in Christendom, which began to move forward only when the Church dogmas had lost their hold on the human mind.
Briefly, Law is the chief thing in the world and governs the world. The discovery of this principle and our observance of it brought us progress and success; but it was the Qur’an that first of all taught that obedience to the Law was the Religion from God. All the seven articles of faith in Islam pertained to the Law. They are as follows:-
(1) Allah -God, the Source of all Law.
(2) Angels -The first agents through whom the laws of Nature came to operation.
(3) Books -Revelations that came to man for the promulgation of the Law.
(4) The Messengers -Those through whom the Law was given.
(5) The Last Day -The day when we shall all be judged according to the Law.
(6) The Measures of Evil and Good –As already described, in other words, Law.
(7) The Coming Life -In which we shall be rewarded according to our observance of the Law.
In contradiction to the Church, the Qur’an announces that man comes into this world with a nature created to observe the Law:
“Then set your face upright for religion
in the right state–the nature made
by Allah in which He has made man;
there is no altering of Allah’s creation:
that is the right religion,
but most people do not know”
Herein lies the chief difference between Christianity and Islam. While the former was bound to produce mat-erial retrogression in the human race, the latter's aim is to set man on the right path to progress.
…All pre-Islamic religions dealt chiefly with a few doctrines of morality, ignoring other aspects of human nature….The Holy Book treats of all subjects–morality, spirituality, sociology, economics, politics and aesthetic matters. But the beauty of the Book lies in the fact that it does not separate one thing from the other. It creates a kind of agreement among them all, and works them out into one harmonious whole.
The Book promulgates certain principles that are broad enough to apply equally to every aspect of the question. For instance, it refers to the doctrine of Evolution and its aspects, while elucidating most of its salient truths. The principle of evolution, it should not be forgotten, was taught to the world for the first time in Islam. The Qur’an began with a chief Divine Attribute–Rabb-ul-‘Alamin. Though this Attribute, in the first place, means the Creator, the Maintainer and the Nourisher of the various worlds, the word Rabb itself is very rich in significance. Its English translation “Lord,” which we find in almost all English translations of the Qur’an, is not an adequate one.…It also means the Originator of things and their Combiner to create new forms–(Qur’an 87:1-3).…Rabb also signifies One Who reposes all the faculties in things at their inception, and then brings them to perfection, to attain which they pass through various stages. (Lane’s Arabic-English Lexicon). In short, the Arabic word conveys all that is connoted by Evolution, as well as every other thing necessary for its functioning. …There is no word in any other language to convey all the meanings of Rabb adequately.” (pp. 15-21, 23-27. Italics/emphasis in “red” added).
Further, as Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din noted:
“(e) The art of navigation was discovered and brought to a high pitch of perfection by early Muslims. Though everyone before Islam knew well enough that the blowing of the winds did aid the course of the ship on the sea, the Qur’an disclosed a wonderful truth, so helpful to navigation that the winds might be made subservient to human will, and the mighty ocean itself would become the servant of man as soon as he acquired proper knowledge (Qur’an 14:32-33)
(f) The world knew something of the heavens in early days, but the Qur'an increased immensely our knowledge of the subject. It inspired the early Muslims to rescue astronomy from the clutches of astrology and place it strictly on a scientific basis (Q; 36:38), leading to many valuable discoveries. The Qur'an not only asserted that the luminaries moved in their respective orbits but it revealed that each orbit or sphere consisted of a sort of liquid matter in which it floated (Q; 36:40): this again is a recent discovery.
(g) No one knew of the roundness of the earth in pre-Islamic days, but the Qur’an clearly hints at this when it speaks of numberless Easts and Wests (70:40). ……if the earth be round, every inch of it is a new East and a new West. If, for instance, "B" is distant two hundred miles from "A" which, let us suppose, is situated to the West of "A", the sun will rise there some three minutes before it will rise at "B". Similarly, it will set at "B" three minutes after it has set at "A". If, therefore, we take two places on the hemisphere two hundred miles apart as rising and setting places for the sun, there will be thousands of Easts and Wests on the earth, thus confirming the truth of the Qur'an.”1
Clearly, the above prophecies and scientific truths are proofs that the Qur’an could not have been the work of man, but was revealed by the All-knowing God, Allah.
Without doubt, Muslims sought knowledge from other nations. But it is absurd to say that if there was no “Greek heritage” there would not have been an “Islamic civilization.” In his booklet Al-Qur’an The Miracle of Miracles, Ahmed Deedat has quoted from the writings of “Maulana Abdul Aleem Siddiqui” (taken from the booklet “Cultivation of Science by the Muslims,” which was “published by the World Federation of Islamic Missions, Karachi, Pakistan”) it states:
(the Qur’an) “exhorts us to study the structure and function of the human organism, the structure, functions and distribution of animals, the form, structure, func-tions, classification and distribution of plants, and these are problems of BIOLOGY.
“It exhorts us to study the order of nature and the general properties of matter as affected by energy, which is the problem of modern PHYSICS.
“It exhorts us to study the properties of substances both elementary and compound and the laws of their combination and action one upon another which is the problem of modern CHEMISTRY.
“It exhorts to study the structure and mineral constitution of the globe, the different strata of which it is composed, the changes that takes place in its organic and inorganic matter, etc, etc; which are the problems of modern GEOLOGY.
“It exhorts us to study the general description of the earth, its physical divisions into seas, rivers, mountains, plains, etc; and the minerals, plants and animals in each, and its political divisions which are the problems of modern GEOGRAPHY.
“It exhorts us to study the causes which bring about the alternation of day and night, the variation of the seasons, the movements of the planets and other celestial phenol-mena, which are the problems of modern ASTRONOMY.
“It exhorts us to study the movement of winds, the formation and evolution of clouds and the production of rain, and other similar phenomena, which are the problems of modern METEOROLOGY.””
“For centuries, Muslims were world leaders in the field of scientific learning,” notes Ahmed Deedat. (pp. 24, 25).
Sir Isaac Newton may have formulated the laws of motion in the 17th/18th century. But a thousand years before him Hazrat Ali, the fourth Caliph of Islam, explained to Muslims that “nothing in the universe can come into motion of its own accord unless some outside agency imparts movements to it and when once moved nothing will come to rest unless some force outside this body puts a break to this motion. Similarly nothing in the universe will change its direction and speed of motion unless a foreign factor compels it.” (Nahjul Balagha, sermon # 191, p. 340)
Twentieth century scientists may have discovered DNA/Genetics. But in the 7th century, Hazrat Ali, answering queries about “the causes of differences in features, habits and disposition of people,” replied: “In the very origin of human body lies the causes of these differences or similarities in disposition and features.” (Ibid. sermon # 238, p. 413).
The lofty principles as enshrined in the Qur’an cannot be “inimical” to progress, be it social, moral, intellectual, or spiritual. Ahmed Deedat quotes Maulana Abdul Aleem Siddiqui who aptly points out:
“The intellectual upheaval created by Islam was a gigantic one. There is not a single department of learning which the Muslim scholars have left untouched and which they have not carved out a high position for themselves.
“In truth, Islam intends the Muslim community to be a community of intellectuals, and the cultivation of science and all other forms of learning is one of the primary aims of Islam. Had it not been for the Muslims, Europe would never have seen its way to the Renaissance and the modern scientific era would never have dawned. Those nations who have received their knowledge of science from Europe are in fact indirectly the disciples of the Islamic community of the past. Humanity owes to Islam a debt which it can never repay and gratitude which it can never forget.”
“Islam has laid it down as a religious duty that a Muslim should enquire into the reality of objects around him, so that his scientific enquiry may lead him to the knowledge of his Creator. Scientific enquiry in Islam is not an end but a means to the attainment of a higher end. And this is really the true end of humanity. ‘TO ALLAH WE BELONG AND TO ALLAH IS OUR RETURN’–(Holy Qur’an 2:156).” (Al-Qur’an, The Miracle of Miracles, pp. 26-27).
The preceding material is testimony that there is no “religious fanaticism” in Islam, ancient or modern, or that Islam has a “dark side.” The critics seem to have confused the un-Islamic practices of Muslims with the teachings of Islam.
It seems tragic that Twentieth century intellectual(s) cannot find in Islam answers to political and economic problems; whereas the backward denizens of Seventh century Arabia found precepts and ideas that molded them into a fortress of morality and nobility, unity and sovereignty.
5. Ar-Razi and Mohammad (p. 2): “Ar-Razi, the greatest physician….of the Middle Ages and the greatest representative of Islamic science. Razi was totally hostile to every single tenet of Islam 1 and Islam 2; he even denied the prophethood of Muhammad.”
It is a contradiction for Razi to be hostile to “every single tenet of Islam” (of the Qur’an) and to have “denied the prophethood of Muhammad” and yet be an adherent of Islam.
6. Islam and non-Muslims, slaves (p.2): “The treatment of women, non-Muslims, unbelievers, heretics, and slaves (male and female) was appalling both in theory and practice. In other words, Islam 1, Islam 2, and Islam 3 all stand condemned. The horrendous behavior toward women, non-Muslims, heretics, and slaves manifested in Islamic civilization was a direct conse-quence of the principles laid down in the Koran and developed by the Islamic jurists.”
Muslims may have engaged in “horrendous behavior” towards others, but to say that Islam/the Qur’an espouses such behavior is to “betray ignorance” of Islam/the Qur’an.
“Before Islam,” as Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din noted in his Open Letters to the Bishops of Salisbury & London, “Woman was treated as a chattel. No religion or civilization had as yet raised her to the status that should have been her birthright.” (p. 71).
In pre-Islamic Arabia women had no rights to inheritance. Her daughters were buried alive. She could be inherited against her will, and deserted by her husband by his simply calling her his mother. He could suspend conjugal relations with her indefinitely by swearing that he will not be intimate with her. Islam abolished all these abominable practices.
“Muhammad says: “Woman is the sovereign of your house.”
“Give your wife good counsel, and do not beat your noble wife like a slave.” “Admonish your wives with kindness.” “A Muslim must not hate his wife; and if he be displeased with one bad quality in her, then let him be pleased with another which is good.”” (Ibid. pp. 74, 75, 76).
Women can earn–(Qur’an 4:32); and can inherit and own property–(Qur’an 4:7, 177); and have rights similar as those against her–(Qur’an 2:228). Whereas women have exclusive right to utilize their earnings however they please–(Qur’an 4:4, 32), it is incumbent on men to maintain women–(Qur’an 4:34). Islam liberated woman–(2:187; 4:19-22); exalts her–(4:1; 9:71-72); and has given her equality with man in financial, property, moral and spiritual matters–(4:32, 7-10, 176-177; 3:195; 33:35).
Islam does not sanction any injustice against any people, whe-ther the difference is in race, color, creed or sex, this is cemented in the following verses:
“O you who believe, be maintainers of justice, bearers
of witness for Allah, even though it be against your
own selves or (your) parents or near relatives
–whether he be rich or poor….”
“So He reveals to it (the soul) its way of evil and its
way of good, he is indeed successful who purifies it,
and he is ruined who corrupts it”
“Whoever does good it is for himself, and
whoever does evil, it is against himself…”
“And wrong not men of their dues, and act not
corruptly in the earth, making mischief”
“Surely Allah enjoins justice and the doing of good…
and He forbids indecency, and evil and rebellion”
(Qur’an 4:135; 91:8-10; 45:15; 26:183; 16:90).
Slaves/Slavery: There is no slavery in Islam! Islam abolished slaver! Islam requires that public funds be used for the emancipation of the slaves–(Qur’an 9:60). Allah tells us that righteousness includes freeing the slaves–(Qur’an 2:177; 90:13); to free a slave in expiation of a certain oath–(Qur’an 58:3); and that slave-masters assist their industrious slaves to earn their freedom–(Qur’an 24:33). These declarations were the herald for the aboli-tion of slavery. Thus, it could not be said that Islam “took over” “slavery” from the “pagan Arabs.”
Qur’an 16:75-76 which is clearly a parable, is only to show that false gods are as helpless as the slaves who control nothing, and as noted above, in no way sanctions slavery. Allāh enjoins:
“And those of your slaves who ask for a writing
(of freedom), give them the writing, if you know any
good in them, and give them of the wealth of Allah
which He has given you”
“Thus every possible facility was afforded to the slave to earn his freedom. Though the practice of the master making such a contract with the slave prevailed before the advent of Islam, the important reform introduced by Islam was that, when a slave desired such a contract to be made, the master could not refuse it. Twelve centuries before any attempt was made by any individual or community to legislate for the liberty of slaves, a dweller in the Arabian desert had laid down this noble insti-tution, that, if a slave asked for a writing of freedom, he was not only to be given that writing by the master, but he was also to be provided with money to purchase his freedom, the only condition being if you know any good in them, i.e. if he is fit for work and able to earn his livelihood. And, in addition, the duty was imposed upon the State of spending a part of the collection of the poor-rate for this object, as stated in 9:60.” (M. Ali Qur'anic comm. #1755)
Islam, through the hands of the Prophet Mohammad, not only carved the coffin for slavery but also entombed it forever.
There is no “horrendous” behavior towards women, non-Muslims, unbelievers, heretics, and slaves in the Qur’an or in the Tradition of the Prophet Mohammad. Neither did Islam retain any “social laws” from the Pagan Arabs. The pagan Arabs were a ruthless, barbaric tribal people who engaged in drunkenness and lascivity, who practiced female infanticide, inherited women against their will, deny women inheritance, and kept man in slavery –such cannot be classified as “social laws.”
It was Islam which set up a State fund for the welfare of the poor, freed the slave, ennobled Woman and gave her rights, gave hope to the poor and the orphans, and set up a code of life that is yet to be equaled. As Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din points out:
“Muhammad (may his memory be ever green) was the first man in the history of the world who felt commiseration for the slave class. He did so in a degree that was not even imagined by his predecessors in history; and Islam, his religion, was the first creed that made the liberation of slaves a matter of great virtue, and preached abolition of slavery.”
“The Qur’an, to begin with, thus abolished all kinds of slavery, with the sole exception of the bondage that resulted from fighting, provided that fighting was in self-defence. In other words, a Muslim has been forbidden, under the clear teaching of the Qur'an, to make others his slaves; he may make prisoners of others, but only in a self-defensive fight. …a Muslim’s bondsman is not a slave, but a fallen foe, otherwise his equal, and that he should either be ransomed or set free out of favour; and the latter was the course which was in most cases adopted by the Prophet himself.”2
Allah instructs us in the Qur’an 47:4–“So when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, smite the necks; then, when you have overcome them, make (them) prisoners, and afterwards (set them free) as a favour or for ransom till the war lay down its burdens. …..”
This verse clearly is only about the disbelievers in the field of battle, and not about all disbelievers in general. After which, as the verse further says, the prisoners are either to be set free “as a favor” or used “for ransom.” Muhammad Ali notes that Islam
“condemns the practice of slavery, according to which men could be seized anywhere and sold into slavery. Here we are told that prisoners of war can only be taken after meeting an enemy in regular battle, and even in that case they must be set free, either as a favour or after taking ransom. It was the former of these alternatives that the Holy Prophet adopted in most cases” (and he gave examples). (Comm. # 2294).
The statement of Qur’an 9:5-6, which is about fighting the disbelievers, refers only to “those idolatrous tribes of Arabia assem-bled at the pilgrimage who had first made agreements with the Muslims and then violated them,” Muhammad Ali explains. Reading from verse one makes this clear. Muslims are allowed to fight a defensive war only.
Propagating the message of Islam is to be done with reason, not with force: “Call to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation, and argue with them in the best manner. Surely thy Lord knows best him who strays from His path, and He knows best those who go aright”–(Qur’an 16:125).
Man’s “ultimate destiny” does “depend on himself”
Therewere many slaves who rose from the feet of servitude to the head of power under the liberating hand of Islam. (To briefly quote Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din from his Open Letters To The Bishops of Salisbury & London):
“To understand to what heights it was possible for slaves to attain, it is interesting to follow the history of Kutub-uddin, one of the Emperors of Delhi. Kutubuddin, the founder of the Dynasty of the slaves, was a war-prisoner and, as such, a slave. But he won the favour of his master and became his successor. He himself had a war-prisoner, Shamshuddin Altamash, to whom his master gave his daughter in marriage. Not less than eight kings, most of whom were, like Kutubuddin, slaves in their youth, with all the pomp and dignity of absolute rulers, and the only queen who ruled at Delhi–Razia Begum– were also of the same Dynasty. The Kutub-Minar, a big tower of marble, which was built by the first slave king of India in the beginning of the thirteenth century, is a standing monument of the high position that Islam con-ferred upon slaves.
Subuktagin, the father of Mahmud of Gazni, the fam-ous invader of India, was, again, a slave captured in the war by Aliptagin, the first king of the Gazni Dynasty, but became his successor as a king. There were slaves who led, as generals, Muslim armies which included scions of the best families, the aristocrats and the best blood in the country to victory.
…we have in modern times the Amir Abdulrahman Khan, the grandfather of the present Amir of Afghanis-tan, who had as his commander-in-chief his own slave. Another of his slaves filled the important post of High Treasurer. Yet another two of his slaves were given the highest positions under his rule. All this appears in his autobiography, and he states the facts in order to show what treatment a slave may aspire to, with a Muslim master, and under the Islamic Law.
All European scholars who have studied Islam with an unbiased mind have come to the conclusion that Islamic teachings condemn slavery and aim at its abolition, and the only legal cause of bringing others into bondage is prisonership of war; and as long as war continues in the world the system must continue.” (pp. 95-96).
Muhammad Ali correctly points out that:
“No religion has laid so much stress on the uplift of the poor and the distressed as Islam, and it is the only religion which enjoins the duty of granting freedom to slaves, and the Holy Prophet Muhammad is the only founder of a religion who showed the noble example of freeing all slaves that he ever had and helping in the freedom of others. Yet prejudiced writers blame Islam for not taking any steps to uproot slavery. There is even a suggestion that such precepts regarding the nobility of liberating slaves as exist in the Makkan chapters were abrogated* by later revelation (see Wherry), a preposterous statement in view of the plain directions given in 9:60 (the latest revelation) to the State itself to spend a part of the public funds in purchasing freedom for slaves.” (Qur’anic comm. # 2739).
*(There is no “abrogation” in the Qur’an; see M. Ali Qur’anic comm. #152 (re: Qur’an 2:106). His translation of the Qur’an can be viewed online: www.muslim.org).
Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din eloquently elucidates: “Muhammad was the true Emancipator and Benefactor of Slaves throughout the whole world.” (Open Letters to The Bishops of Salisbury & London, p. 3).
Islam does not extol the servitude of man to man.
Islam champions the liberation of man from man.
There is slavery in Judaism and Christianity. A man may make slaves of his “heathen” neighbors–Lev; 25:44; he may sell his daughter(s) into bondage–Ex; 21:7). (For a full treatment on “Slaves” see Islam-slaves/slavery).
7. Islam and circumcision (pp. 2, 305): “Circumcision is not mentioned in the Koran, and most jurists at most only recom-mend it.”
Allah reveals in His Qur’an for us to follow the religion of Abraham–(Qur’an 2:130; 3:94; 16:123). The religion of Abraham (and of all prophets) is Islam–(Qur’an 42:13). The Covenant between Allah and Abraham was about circumcision–(Genesis 17:10-14), and the Prophet Mohammad, to whom Allāh enjoined obedience from us, instituted it–(Qur’an 3:132, 80-81; Bokhari. Vol; 7, #779; Vol; 8, # 312). Thus, circumcision is mandatory for the Muslim males. It is not to be “most only recommend.”
Female circumcision is not a requirement of Islam.
1. The Rushdie affair
8. Mohammad unoriginal, not perfect (p. 3): “The prophet Muhammad is described as someone unoriginal …..“There is no proof that Muhammad attained perfection and the ability to perfect others as claimed.” People generally convert to Islam only “in terror or in quest of power, or to avoid heavy taxation, or to escape humiliation, or if taken prisoner, or because of infatuation with a Muslim woman.” A rich non-Muslim well-versed in his own faith and that of Islam will not convert except for some of the preceding reasons. Finally. Muslims seem unable to provide good arguments –let alone proofs– for the prophethood of Muhammad.”
Mohammad did not claim to bring a new religion; Allah “perfected” religion–Islam, which was given to all prophets–through him–(Qur’an 5:4; 42:13).
Mohammad unoriginal: “Two billion years” after the Vedas and two thousand years after the Bible and six hundred years after the Gospels mankind was running around with flint tools and torches; within a hundred years after the Qur’an backward and barbaric camel drivers were sitting in the seats of science and Caesars–and Mohammad was “unoriginal”?
“Two billion years” after the Vedas and thousand years after the Bible and six hundred years after the Gospels the Arabs were degrading themselves before idols and heaps of sand; within two decades Mohammad fashioned them into the beacon of Monotheism–and Mohammad was “unoriginal”?
Mohammad not only preached the giving of charity and gave charity, but also bought slaves their freedom, and assigned a portion of the States’ funds for the poor–and Mohammad was “unoriginal”?
-Mohammad unshackled the slave from the oars of hopelessness and put in his grasp the scepter of regality–and Mohammad was “unoriginal”?
-Mohammad extricated Woman from the bog of degradation and enthroned her on the pinnacle of dignity, and gave her rights and honor unparalleled in the history of religions–and Mohammad was “unoriginal”?
-Mohammad lifted the orphan from the dust of despair and sat him on the chair of hope and dignity–and Mohammad was “unoriginal”?
-Mohammad took God from the bosoms of the nations and sat Him aloft on the mount of Universalism–and Mohammad was “unoriginal”?
-Mohammad put an end to the sons of God, to the Gods of the womb and to the dying God–and Mohammad was “unoriginal”? (See Mohammad-wrote the Qur’an).
Did Muhammad attain perfection and the ability to perfect others?: Be he Mohammad or any other, no person can make another perfect. Man has to make himself perfect. Man can only do so through the mercy and guidance of Allah God.
Mohammad made peace with his persecutors; forgave his enemies and made them beneficiaries in his kingdom; gave charity and bought slaves their freedom; provided for the poor; gave honor to women, freedom to the slaves, hope and dignity to the orphans and justice to all; removed the “malaise” of female infanticide, drunkenness and lascivity, the taking of one’s step-mother by force, and the leaving of the wife in conjugal despair; and he cleansed away the “spiritual crisis” of worshipping idols, stones, and heaps of sand.
If there is any measure to perfection, Mohammad has achieved more than any man that history can show.
People generally convert to Islam only “in terror or in quest of power, or to avoid heavy taxation,” etc: There is no compulsion in religion–(Qur’an 2:256; 6:105; 9:6; 10:99-100; 17:7; 18:6, 29; 50:45; 76:3; 109:1-6. If Muslims force Islam, whether in terror or in any other form, they have no support from the Qur’an or Tradition of the Prophet Mohammad. In Islam there is no terror. A religion of peace and submission to Allāh, God, cannot be a source of terror to anyone who does not violate the rights of others.
Islam, physically, is a threat and a terror only to the occupiers, the usurpers, the oppressors, and the aggressors; and ideologically it is a threat and a terror to those who are opposed to, or are afraid of, Divine truth and those who knowingly propagate falsehood. The sword of Islam is resplendent with honor, justice and dignity: a shining glory demonstrated by the Prophet Mohammad upon his triumph at Makkah.
Mohammad not only preached love, mercy and forgiveness but in the greatest demonstration of love, mercy, and human forgiveness the world has ever known he, upon his conquest of Makkah, forgave his most horrid persecutors; as Muhammad Ali has noted: “It is related that the Prophet took hold of the two sides of the gate of the Ka’bah on the day of the conquest of Makkah and said to the Quraish: How do you think I should treat you? They said: We hope for good, a noble brother and the son of a noble brother. Then he said: I say as my brother Joseph said: “No reproof be against you this day.”3
No inquisition. No incrimination. No confession. No rancor. Only lofty words of benevolence and nobility -"No reproof be against you this day."* This demonstration by the Prophet Mohammad upon his conquest of Makkah is evidence that Islam does not conquer man’s faith by steel, but by reason. * (See Qur’an 12:92 for this saying of Joseph).
Taxation: The only charge the Qur’an imposes on non-Muslims under a Muslim government is the jizyah; which Muhammad Ali explains:
“was a tax levied on non-Muslim subjects under the rule of Islam, so called because it was a tax for the protection of life and property which that rule guaranteed them. Muslim subjects were exempt from this tax in consideration of military service, which for them was compulsory. As a matter of fact, they too were made to pay for that protection, but in different form. They bore the hardships of a military life, they fought the country’s battles, they laid down their lives in defence of the country. Non-Muslims were exempt from all this, and in lieu of this they contributed their share in the shape of money. It is obvious which of the two alternatives is the easier. In countries where conscription is the law today, there would certainly be many who would be glad to buy their exemption from military service so cheaply, paying a small amount as tax. It must be remembered, furthermore, that the tax was not indiscriminately charged to every non-Muslim subject. Males under twenty and above fifty, all females, those suffering from some chronic disease, the blind and the poor were all exempt. As a matter of fact, the Muslims had also to pay a tax in addition under the name of zakaat, and this was much heavier than jizyah as it was levied at the rate of 2 1/2 percent, on all savings annually.” (The Early Caliphate, f/n p.41).
It is a rather strange reasoning that one would convert to Islam to escape “heavy taxation” when Muslims are required to shoul-der a heavier burden than non-Muslims. The Kharaj and Jizya are not “Discriminatory Taxes.” Jizya, as already noted, was paid by non-Muslims for military protection. Payment of “half a guinea or a dinar a year” is a cheap price than suffering the hardship of military life and for putting one’s life on the line for the welfare of the country. Muhammad Ali notes:
“…jizyah, which was originally a tribute paid by a sub-ject state, took the form of a poll-tax later on in the time of ‘Umar; and the word was also applied to the land-tax which was levied on Muslim owners of agricultural land. The jurists, however, made a distinction between the poll-tax and the land tax by giving the name of kharaj to the latter. Both together formed one of the two chief sources of the revenue of the Muslim state, the zakat paid by the Muslims being the other source.”4
Thus, Muslims also had to pay not only kharaj but zakat as well, (and do military service). This disparity clearly shows that there is no basis for the claim that the kharaj and jizya are “Discriminatory Taxes.”
All governments levy taxes to raise revenues. If Muslim rulers of later times discriminated against non-Muslim subjects then Islam is not to be blamed for this. Islam forbids discrimination. Muhammad Ali has noted in his The Early Caliphate that when a Muslim government could no longer provide the protection for which jizya was taken, this amount was returned to the people. He gave the example of Abu ‘Ubaidah when he
“gave up his position at Hims and returned towards Damascus. On leaving Hims, however, he ordered that the whole amount of jizyah realised from the people of Hims should be returned to them. Jizyah, he said, was a tax in return for protection. When they could no longer give that protection, they had no right to keep the money. The whole amount was consequently withdrawn from the treasury and made over to the people … who were all either Christians or Jews. In vain will the critic ransack the dusty pages of history for another such brilliant spot, such scrupulous regard for the rights of citizenship in time of war. The treatment by Muslims of the inhabitants was such that, at their departure, Christians as well as Jews actually shed tears and prayed God to bring them back. Muir, after admiring the leniency of the Arab conquerors towards the conquered and their justice and integrity, quotes a Nestorian Bishop of the time: “These Arabs to whom God has accorded in our days the dominion are become our masters; but they do not combat the Christian religion; much rather they protect our faith; they respect our priests and our holy men, and make gifts to our churches and our convents” (p. 128 [The Caliphate])”” (p. 86)
On the belief that the Kharaj and Jizya are “Discriminatory Taxes,” Muhammad Ali notes that during the reign of ‘Umar when the whole of Persia “came completely under the rule of Islam” that while “jizya was imposed in some parts, there were other adjacent parts where the people neither embraced Islam nor paid jizya. They only agreed to render military assistance in time of need.” “In affairs of state, non-Muslims were duly consulted.” ‘Umar also ordered “that old-age pensions must be granted to all the old people among non-Muslim subjects, who must also be exempt from jizya. Poor-houses for the weak and the disabled were open to Christians just as to Muslims.” (Ibid. pp. 101, 118, resp.)
To say that jizya is a “discriminatory” tax is, in the words of Muhammad Ali, “to betray ignorance.”
(Those who are jaundiced against jizya and “dhimmitude” must turn their sights to the Biblical Fathers and the Defenders of the Faith–David and Joshua and the Christian conquerors of Jerusalem and Spain–whose victims were shrouded in blood, expelled or forced to convert. Not to mention the 800-year Inquisitions–Medieval, Roman and Spanish; from 1000-1834.
Praise be to Islam’s mercy and tolerance –to jizya and “dhimmitude”!
Humiliation, and terror: Since Islam allows freedom of choice in belief and advocates justice to all without distinction, non-Muslims do not have to convert to Islam to avoid “humiliation” or out of “terror.” There is no place in the Qur’an or Tradition of the Prophet Mohammad that endorses such acts of “humiliation” and “terror” towards non-Muslims.
About non-Muslims converting to Islam I quote again the following from the Cultural Atlas Of Islam (pp. 197-198); where Isma’il R. al Faruqi and Lois Lamya ‘al Faruqi give a revealing account of the magnanimous attraction of Islam:
“And yet, if the Muslims were so tolerant, the Christian persistently asks, why did their co-religionists flock to Islam by the millions? Of these co-religionists the Arabs were the smallest minority. The rest were Hellenes, Persians, Egyptians, Cyrenaicans, Berbers, Cypriots, and Caucasians.”
T. W. Arnold in his The Preaching of Islam, quoted Canon Taylor as saying:
“It is easy to understand why this reformed Judaism* spread so swiftly over Africa and Asia. The African and Syrian doctors had substituted abstruse metaphysical dogmas for the religion of Christ: they tried to combat the licentiousness of the age by setting forth the celestial merit of celibacy and the angelic excellence of virginity –seclusion from the world was the road of holiness, dirt was the characteristic of monkish sanctity– the people were practically polytheists, worshipping a crowd of martyrs, saints and angels; the upper classes were effeminate and corrupt, the middle classes oppressed by taxation, the slaves without hope for the present or the future. As with the besom of God, Islam swept away this mass of corruption and superstition. It was a revolt against empty theological polemics; it was a masculine protest against the exaltation of celibacy as a crown of piety. It brought out the fundamental dogmas of religion –the unity and greatness of God, that He is merciful and righteous, that He claims obedience to His will, resignation and faith. It proclaimed the responsibility of man, a future life, a day of judgment, and stern retribution to fall upon the wicked; and enforced the duties of prayer, almsgiving, fasting and benevolence. It thrust aside the artificial virtues, the religious frauds and follies, the perverted moral sentiments, and the verbal subtleties of theological disputants. It replaced monkishness by manliness. It gave hope to the slave, brotherhood to mankind, and recognition to the fundamental facts of human nature.” (pp. 71-72) *(Islam is not “reformed Judaism”).
A rich non-Muslim and Islam: Since no one is forced to accept Islam, and since no religion is superior to Islam, why would a “rich non-Muslim well-versed in his own faith and that of Islam” not convert (more correctly, revert, as Islam is the natural state of man) to Islam?
I note below the findings of one non-Muslim who seemed “well-versed” in his religion and who, after becoming versed in Islam, reverted to Islam:Professor ‘Abdul Ahad Dawud, B.D., (“the former Reverend David Benjamin Keldani, B.D., a Roman Catholic priest of the Uniate-Chaldean sect”), states in his book Muhammad in the Bible:
“If the Christian priests and theologians knew their Scriptures in the original Hebrew instead of in trans-lations as the Muslims read their Quran in its Arabic text, they would clearly see that Allah is the same ancient Semitic name of the Supreme Being who revealed and spoke to Adam and all the prophets.” (p. 12).
One non-Muslim who knew his religion and Islam but did not revert to Islam, Muhammad Husayn Haykal noted:
“It was this materialistic ambition for wealth, worldly prestige and social eminence that caused Abu Harithah, the most learned of the people of Najran, to tell a friend of his that he was perfectly convinced of the truth of which Muhammad was teaching. When that friend asked him why he did not then convert to Islam, he answered: “I cannot do so on account of what my people have done to me. They have honored, financed, and respected me; and they insist on differing from him. Should I follow him, they would take away from me all this that I now have.”5
(The Prophet Mohammad is reported to have said whoever wants to be honored let him build his house in the Fire).
And when Salahuddin Ayyube (Saladin) conquered Jerusalem the wealthy barons, instead of helping the poor, ransomed only themselves. The Patriarch Heraklius left the city “with his chariots groaning under the weight of his treasure,” notes (Ms.)Karen Armstrong. 6
(Perhaps these barons did not believe or did not care that their Master says that the rich shall hardly enter the kingdom of Heaven, and to give away all they have and to put treasures in storehouses in heaven–Matt. 19:23-24. Or perhaps these barons were amass-ing wealth to fund another man-made and unGodly crusade).
Perhaps every religion has those who are members for benefit instead of for belief. Perhaps every religion has members whose belief does not go past their throats.
(Regarding the belief that a “rich non-Muslim well-versed in his own faith and that of Islam will not convert” to Islam, at the risk of being labeled a religious bigot, I dare say that, the more I investigate other religions all the more brilliant the beacon of Islam shines).
Proof of Mohammad’s prophethood: The prophecies and the scientific ideas in the Qur’an–detailed elsewhere–as well as the Qur’an’s inimitability are proofs of the prophethood of Mohammad. (See Qur’an).
9. Ali Dashti, arrangement and syntax of the Qur’an p. 5): “He(Dashti) points out that even some early Muslim scholars, “before bigotry and hyperbole prevailed, openly acknowledged that the arrangement and syntax of the Koran are not miraculous and that work of equal or greater value could be produced by other God-fearing persons.”” (Does this mean you accept that Mohammad was real and God-fearing? What are modern day Muslim scholars views about the arrangement and syntax of the Qur’an?)
The Qur’an is not a story-book. It does “not relate stories for the sake of giving information of the past, but for the lessons which they afford for the future guidance of man.”
Neither is the Qur’an “a book of laws, but essentially a book meant for the spiritual and moral advancement of man, and therefore the power, greatness, grandeur and glory of God is its chief theme, the principles of social laws enunciated therein being also meant to promote the moral and spiritual advance-ment of man,” states Muhammad Ali. (Comm. p. vi).
(Muhammad Ali has provided, which I have found to be, the most informative commentaries to his translation of the Qur’an. Also his preliminary notes to his trans-lation are invaluable. His translation of the Qur’an can be viewed online: www.muslim.org
The Qur’an is not a story-book. Revelations were given as needed for the circumstances and occasions. This is why com-mentaries are necessary so as to give the background to which the revelation was given.
That the Qur’an contains sentences which are incomplete, perhaps all languages when translated into another would require filler words to complete the statement. Even the English language when translated into a foreign one may require “fill-in” words. Also, words of one language generally do not follow the same flow as that of another, they usually require re-arrangement to form an intelligible statement.
Work equal to the Qur’an: That “work of equal or greater value (than the Qur’an) could be produced by other God-fearing persons.” There are perhaps tens if not thousands of Christian Arabs who would like to belie the Qur’an as the Word of Allāh, God. There is no “bigotry and hyperbole” to restrict them.
To those who doubt the Qur’an to be the Word of God, Allah has put forward the challenge for them to “produce a chapter like it and call on your helpers besides Allah if you are truthful”–(Qur’an 2:23. See also 10:38; 11:13; 17:88). It has now been over fourteen hundred years no one has met this challenge to produce a chapter like it; never mind one of “greater value.” Maurice Bucaille in his book The Bible The Qur’an And Science, states about the Prophet Mohammad:
“How could he then pronounce truths of a scientific nature that no other human being could possibly have developed at the time, and all this without once making the slightest error in his pronouncements on the subject?
The ideas in this study are developed from a purely scientific point of view. They lead to the conclusion that it is inconceivable for a human being living in the Seventh century A.D. to have made statements in the Qur'an on a great variety of subjects that do not belong to his period and for them to be in keeping with what was to be known only centuries later. For me, there can be no human explanation to the Qur'an.” (p. 125. Italics/emphasis added).
Muhammad Ali has noted in his translation of the Qur’an:
“What, however, establishes the Qur’an’s claim to uniqueness even in the outward form, apart from its subject and the effect produced, is the permanent hold that it has kept on the Arabic language itself, the fact that it remains forever the standard by which the beauty of style and diction may be judged in Arabic literature. No other book in the world can be credited with even the achievement of keeping alive a language for thirteen centuries (fourteen now); the Qur’an has done this, attaining to the eminence of being the standard of elo-quence for so long, and of retaining that position while the nation speaking it emerged from oblivion to become the leader of civilization in the world, leaving its home to settle in far distant lands where Arabic became either the spoken language of the masses or at least their literary language. Such is the incredible achievement of the Holy Qur’an. It is true that the Arabs had a literary language before the Qur’an–the language of poetry, which, notwithstanding slight dialectic differences, con-formed to one standard– but the scope of that poetry was very limited. Their most eloquent themes rarely went beyond the praise of wine or woman and horse or sword. In the condition in which Arabic was before the advent of Islam, it would soon have shared the fate of the sister languages of the Semitic group. It was the Qur’an which made it the language of a civilized world from the Oxus to the Atlantic. Whatever changes spoken Arabic, like any other language, may have undergone, literary Arabic is to this day the Arabic of the Qur’an, and the Qur’an remains its one masterpiece.”("Introduction" notes, p. ix).
If anyone can prove that Mohammad knew by himself or was taught by some humans: that water is the producer of life–(Qur’an 21:30); the various stages of the development of the fetus and that we are covered in three layers of darkness in our mother’s womb–(22:5; 23:12-14; 39:6); that planets float in their own orbits–(21:33; 36:40); how cattle produce milk–(16:66); how bees make honey–(16:68-69); that there is something smaller than the atom–(10:61); that the moon is not a light but a reflector of the sun’s light–(10:5; 25:61; 71:16); the formation of rain clouds–(30:48; 35:9); that mountains are pegs/stabilizers for the earth–(31:10; 79:32); that all things are created in pairs–(13:3; 36:36; 51:49)– if any can prove that Mohammad knew these things by himself or that he was taught them by other humans fourteen hundred years ago, then, he/she would have proven that the Qur’an is “human and earthly” in origin.
If no one can prove it –and for a surety no one can– then it behooves you to accept the Qur’an as the Word of Allah God.
If Islam is Mohammad’s “concoction” then he has formulated the world’s perfect religion; and has composed the best Scripture in the history of religions. He has produced a Book that is superior in all aspects –moral, social, spiritual, intellectual, scientific ideas, and prophecies– to all those Books that claim Divine Revelation.
10. Qur’an and borrowed teachings (p. 5): “What of the claim that the subject matter (of the Koran) is miraculous? Like Ibn Kammuna, Ali Dashti points out, that the Koran contains nothing new in the sense of ideas not already expressed by others.”
Islam teaches that Allah raised prophets/messengers among all nations and gave them revelations. If all these religions–Zoroatrianism, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam–have similarities in doctrines, it could not be said that one have been “influenced” by the other; or that Mohammad (or the Qur’an) borrowed these teachings. A child who is given the same guidelines as his older brother, could not be said to have borrowed those instructions from the older brother.
In fact, Allah informs us that the advent of the Prophet was foretold in ancient Scriptures and that He decreed through those prophets for their followers to believe in and help the Prophet Mohammad–(Qur’an 3:80; 26:196).
Did the Qur’an borrow its teachings from the Bible? That Muhammad got his teachings from his fellow man, only two statements from the observation of Maurice Bucaille are needed to refute this piece of age-old foolhardiness which the critics of Islam have continued to make; Maurice Bucaille notes:
(In the Qur’an) “statements are to be found in it (as has been shown) that are connected with science: and yet it is unthinkable that a man of Muhammad's time could have been the author of them. Modern scientific knowledge therefore allows us to understand certain verses of the Qur'an which, until now, it has been impossible to interpret." "Whereas monumental errors are to be found in the Bible, I could not find a single error in the Qur’an.” (pp. 251, 120. Italics/emphasis added).
That Mohammad copied the Bible, there is “an enormous diff-erence between the Biblical description and the data in the Qur’an concerning the Creation,” wrote Mr. Bucaille. (Ibid. p. 148).
The Bible says that Adam and Eve were given a life sentence of sorrow and hardship for eating of the forbidden tree–(Genesis 3:16-19). But the Qur’an says that Allāh forgave them–(Qur’an 2:37; 20:122).
The Bible says woman is a ‘defiler’ of man–(Rev. 14:4). But the Qur’an says woman is the “twin-half” of man–(Qur’an 4:1; 7:189).
The Bible says that man was not created for the woman, but that the woman was created for the man–(1 Cor. 11:9). But the Qur’an says that man and woman were created for each other–(Qur'an 2:187; 4:1; 7:189; 30:21).
The Bible says that the Flood of Noah covered the entire earth. But Allah God reveals that only Noah’s people were destroyed–(Qur’an 25:37; 29:14; 71:25). Maurice Bucaille* has shown that this Flood of Noah could not have been a global occurrence. *(The Bible The Qur’an and Science, pp. 32-35).
(It may be asked, how then is the story of this Flood known in other cultures if it was not global? The answer is simple–Allāh, God, as Islam teaches, raised prophets among all peoples; thus, just as how God gave this revelation to the prophet of Israel and to the Prophet Mohammad, He could also have given this knowledge to those prophets of other nations who taught it to their respective peoples. The erroneous belief that this deluge covered the entire world may have come from taking the “world” or “earth” of Noah’s environment to mean the entire world/earth).
The Qur’an explains that Iblis (Satan) vowed to lead man astray because he was cast down from grace for disobeying God, because he considered himself superior to man–(Qur’an 7:11-18). But the Bible does not give any motive for the serpent’s opposition to God and for tempting the woman (Eve)–(Genesis 3:1-13). As the serpent seemed to belong to the kingdom of the beast–(Genesis 3:1), and must have been an animal/reptile, it could not then, not having any faculty of reasoning and no freedom of choice, beguile the woman.
(The serpent could not have been human. Adam and Eve were the only humans at that time. If the Devil had spoken through the serpent then the serpent was a helpless pawn and should not have been the one to be “cursed” to crawl upon his belly and eat dust all his life–(Gen. 3:14). One who is possessed by the Devil is not responsible for his/her actions).
If Mohammad wrote the Qur’an, it is remarkable that this mortal produced a Book that is superior to the Bible, which is claim-ed to be “Word of God.” If humans taught Mohammad, he should have been in error just as they were. If Mohammad copied the Bible he should have been in error just as the Bible.
These truth/knowledge (which scientists have confirmed) and the prophecies of the Qur’an (some of which have manifested) are sufficient to refute atheism, and to establish Mohammad as the Messenger of Allāh, God.
That the Qur’an “contains nothing new.” No other Scripture can show prophecies, scientific ideas, and events of the Doomsday, materials on women, orphans and slavery, and descriptions of Paradise and Hell, as detailed in the Qur’an.(See Mohammad-wrote the Qur’an).
11. Mohammad, Hajj, political assassinations (p. 5): ““Many of the duties and rites of Islam are continuations of practices which the pagan Arabs had adopted from the Jews.” Dashti ridicules the superstitious aspects of much ritual, especially that which occurs during the pilgrimage to Mecca. Muhammad himself emerges as a shifty character who stoops to political assassinations, murder, and the elimination of all opponents. ….The position of women under Islam is examined and their inferior status is admitted (by whom?) The Muslim doctrine of God is criticized (as compared to which doctrine?). The God of the Koran is cruel, angry, and proud –qualities not to be admired. Finally, it is quite clear that the Koran is not the word of God, since it contains many instances that confuse the iden-tities of the two speakers, God and Muhammad.”
Identities of the two speakers: In chapter 17:1 of the Qur’an Allah reveals: “Glory to Him Who carried His servant by night from the Sacred Mosque (Makkah) to the Remote Mosque (Jerusalem), whose precincts We blessed, that We might show him of Our signs! Surely He is the Hearing, the Seeing.”
“We” and “Our” in the verse refers to the powers of God, and is the same as if “God” or “He” was mentioned in the text. As the instances of the powers of God are limitless, there is nothing “unusual” about the number of times this “We” and “Our” is used in the Qur’an. These words are not self-glorification by Allāh, God. But they become words of praise to God when uttered by us, which is the intent of this revelation since one of the aspects of the Qur’an is the glorification of Allāh, God.
Thus the statement becomes our saying, ‘Glory to God Who carried His servant from Makkah to Jerusalem, which God has blessed, that God might show him of His signs. And God is the Hearer, the Seer.”
In sura 81:15-17 it is not Mohammad who is “swearing”. In these verses Allah, God, are calling our attention to the pheno-menon in nature –that just as how the planets, and the night and day etc. are a surety– the Qur’an surely is a Revelation from Him.
The verses of sura 84:16-19 which says, “I call to witness the sunset redness, And the night and that which it drives on, And the moon when it grows full, That you shall certainly ascend to one state after another.” These verses have nothing to do with paganism. As has already been shown there is nothing “pagan” in Islam. These verses are prophetic about the triumph of Islam. These statements are emphasizing that just as how things in nature –such as sunset, and the alternation of the night and day, and the increasing of the light of the moon– are immutable, likewise the success of Islam cannot be altered or be prevented.
Allāh, God, uses oaths in some of the passages of the Qur’an: “I swear …” (75:1-2; 90:1). As I have explained, the instances of the powers of God are limitless, thus there is nothing “unusual” about the number of times Allah has used the plural of majesty, “We,” in the Qur’an. The swearing and “oaths” of God is not a “matter of ridicule.”
Allah God does not need anything from man. He does not need recognition. Allah God swearing taking “oaths” in these verses is not to gain believability for Himself, but to call to man that man is witness against his own self because of the undeniable truths that surrounds him.
If God was to try to arrest our attention through angels, or beings on other planets or cities in distant places, it would not have any impact on us. Man needs tangible evidence to convince him; and there are no better proofs than those in his own presence, that tell on his own being.
Allah makes statements that man can identify with. Certainly man can identify with the resurrection (which is like the coming of the dead earth to life after rainfall), and with his conscience –(75:1, 2); and by the City of Makkah, which city is not any place distant but in the midst of his very gaze –(90:1). And since these items –resurrection/rainfall, conscience, City of Makkah– are intrinsic parts of their being, they are admonished that just as how these things are a surety then so are His words.
Women under Islam inferior: Since men and women were created from the same essence–(Qur’an 4:1; 7:189), therefore one cannot be spiritually, “physically, intellectually, and morally” “inferior” to the other. In fact, except for her lack in physical strength, woman may be said to be superior to man: she having conceived, given birth, and suckled–three conditions which man has not experienced.
1. Allah is a Just God. He will not discriminate against woman because of her form and function –a form and physiology He gave her; a form and physiology of which she had no choice. In fact, if form and physiology is the measure of superiority, Woman is superior to Man–she having carried man, gave birth to him and nursed him. Three degrees of excellence and superiority that Man have yet to acquire. Women even have a fourth degree of excellence over men–cloning! Whereas the male sperm can be dispensed with in duplicating the being, the female’s ovum is necessary to develop the clone.
2. Allah says that He created man and woman from the same essence–(Qur’an 4:1). Since man and woman are created from the same essence, and are instilled with the same laws –such as the five senses and susceptibilities to hunger and diseases– one cannot be superior to the other. This verse establishes that from the very beginning of creation man and woman are equal.
3. Allah says, give reverence to the womb that bore you (Qur’an 4:1). Give reverence to the womb that bore you –not to the loins that emitted you. Reverence to the womb is not discrimination against her, but honor. The Prophet Mohammad says that Paradise lies at the feet of mothers –not at the feet of fathers. The Prophet says that after worship of Allah, next in line for our service is our mother; and three times over before service to our father: thus women have three degrees of excellence over men. Such esteem is not discrimination against her.
4. Allah says that men and women are garments to the other (2:187). Garments protect and beautify us, make us comfortable and conceal our body’s imperfections. Since men and women are to protect and beautify and comfort and keep each others flaws private; one cannot oppress the other.
5. Allah says that men and women are friends of one another (9:71). Friends do not oppress one another; friends liberate one another.
6. Allah says that women have rights similar to those against her (2:228). People who have mutual rights cannot oppress.
7. Allah says that He has put love and compassion between man and woman, and that man may find peace of mind in her (7:189; 30:21). The man who abuses his wife causes her distress or puts her under duress cannot find love and compassion and comfort in her. It is not love and compassion and comfort to oppress.
And the Prophet Mohammad is reported as saying that he is best among you who is best to his wives. And which saying is in consonance with the teachings of the Qur’an.
To claim that “The position of women under Islam is examined and their inferior status is admitted,” is clumsy. (See also Islam-wife-beating).
Pilgrimage to Makkah superstitious: This order to circumambulate the Ka’ba predates the “pagan” Arabs and even the Arab nation. Allah instructed Abraham and Ishmael to purify the Ka’ba for those who “compass it round, or use it as a retreat, or bow or prostrate themselves (in prayer)–(Qur’an 2:125).
Since Allah “pointed” out the place of the Ka’ba to Abraham–(Qur’an 22:26, which seemed to predate Abraham–Qur’an 14:37); and Abraham and Ishmael raised the foundation of this House–(Qur’an 2:127); and Allah covenanted with Abraham and Ishmael to sanctify His house (the Ka’ba) “for those who compass it round”–(Qur’an 2:125); and all this was done before idolatry, and before Judaism.And if the Ka’ba later became under the possession of the idolaters who undertook the practice of making circuits (all be it naked) round the Ka’ba, and when the Ka’ba came into the control of Muslims who then observed this injunction to “compass” the Ka’ba that Allah gave to Abraham and Ishmael, it cannot be said that Muslims copied this circuit round the Ka’ba from the idolaters; when in fact, it was the idolaters who adopted this act which was enjoined by Allah.
(2) The Safa and Marwah are two hills in Makkah. When Abraham left his wife and son, Lady Hajra (Hagar) and Ishmael, in the desert, she ran to and fro between these hills in search of water. Allah revealed in the Qur’an: “The Safa and the Marwah are truly among the signs of Allah, so whoever makes a pilgrimage to the House (Ka’ba) or pays a visit (to it), there is no blame on him if he goes round them.…” –(Qur’an2:158)
Muslims are enjoined to imitate this action of Lady Hajra, as a lesson in patience, which is rewarded by Allah. Allah reveals to us in the Qur’an that He raised up messengers among all nations/peoples; and that He appointed to every nation rites and ceremonies–(Qur’an 22:67). Since one of the acts of devotion for Muslims is the traversing between the hills of Safa and Marwa, which affords us the lesson of faith, patience and perseverance, it could hardly be considered an “absurd ritual.”
These physical acts of devotion are training for our moral and spiritual enhancement.
As this event–Lady Hajra running between the two hills– (occurred about 2500 BC), before the populating of Makkah, the idolaters worship of Isaf and Naila–two idols placed on either of these two hills, Safa and Marwa–have no relevancy to the Hajj. Muslims do not engage in this act of running between Safa and Marwah so as to acquire “luck” or “good fortune.” The idolaters running between Safa and Marwah in an effort to acquire “luck” or “good fortune” would seem to be in imitation of Lady Hajra’s running and finding water.
The Sermon on Mount Arafat is an address by the Prophet (and now the Imam) to the pilgrims. This is not of “pagan” origin or a “superstition” or “adopted” from the Jews.
Pelting stones at the Devil is in remembrance of Abraham’s temptation by the Devil. It is a symbolic expression for the Mus-lims to fight off evil temptations.
The animal sacrifice at Minna is in memory of Abraham’s intended sacrifice of his then “only son,” Ishmael. The signifi-cance of the animal sacrifice being, as man has control over the beast, just as much Allah has control over man, who should give himself in sacrifice to the cause of Allah, the Glorious and the High.
Kissing the Black Stone. Muslims also kiss the Qur’an, this is not an act of worship. Kissing the Black Stone may be pagan in origin; and this kissing may have been an act of stone-worship of the pagans. But this stone does not possess the power to harm or to benefit; and Muslims only worship the only One Who has the power to effect harm and to confer benefit –Allah! There are different kinds of ‘kiss,’ and with different significance. A man kissing his mother and daughter does not carry the same meaning as when he kisses his wife.
(Muhammad Ali has given a lengthy explanation on this “Black Stone.” The following is a brief entry):
“It [the Black Stone] was kissed but it was never taken for a god, though the Arabs worshipped even unhewn stones, trees and heaps of sand. And the Muslims, to say nothing of the Prophet, were so averse to idolatry that when they saw two idols, the Usaf and the Nailah, on the hills of Safa and Marwah respectively, they refused to make the sa’y between these two mountains, until a verse was revealed: “The Safa and the Marwah are truly among the signs of Allah, so whoever makes a pilgrimage to the House or pays a visit to it, there is no blame on him if he goes round them both” (2:158). …… How could they think of worshipping the Ka’bah and the Black Stone, which even the idolaters had never worshipped? Had the idea of idolatry been connected in the least with the circuits round the Ka’bah and the kissing of the Black Stone, the Muslims would never have resorted to those practices. ….the Prophet once made circuits of the Ka’bah on the back of a camel; he also touched the Black Stone with the rod in his hand; all of which goes to show that the Muslims never entertained the idea of the worship of these things, nor was their attitude towards them at any time that of the worshipper towards the object of his worship. The Black Stone was not kissed alone; the Prophet kissed both the Black Stone, which is in the Eastern corner, and the Yaman corner, while some of the Companions kissed all the four corners of the Ka’bah.”
“That the Ka’bah was rebuilt by Abraham is an historical fact. The Black Stone has been there ever since the Ka’bah has been known to exist, there is not the least reason to doubt. That it was a stone sent down from Paradise, or that it was originally white and became black on account of the sins of men, there is no reliable tradition to indicate.”7
(3) Muzdalifah. Allah assigns acts of devotion to man. If pre-Islamic Muzdalifah was a place of “fire worship,” this Pagan custom has no connection to Muslims Hajj journey from Arafat to Muzdalifah to Minna. The Prophet Mohammad allowed the visiting Christians of Najran to offer their prayers in his mosque. These Christians in all likelihood sat facing the front of the mosque which faced the Ka’ba. These Christians, by supplicating in this mosque and facing the Ka’ba, were not honoring the Ka’ba as their Qiblah and accepting Allah as their God.
Likewise, Muslims associating with Arafat and Muzdalifah and Minna cannot be taken as an acceptance of paganism. There are churches that have been converted into mosques, Muslims who offer prayer in these churches are not conferring Divinity to Jesus Christ. Likewise, Muslims associating with Arafat and Muzdalifah and Minna cannot be taken as an acceptance of paganism. In some countries the Ka’ba lies in an easterly direction, but Muslims do not worship the rising sun as the pagans did.
(4) Shaving the head. This shaving of the head is a sign of the pilgrim getting out of the “state of ihram” (ceremonial garment).
The Prophet is reported as saying that one who completes the Hajj is like a newborn baby. As Islam requires the head of the newborn be shorn, this shaving of the pilgrim’s head is symbolic of that birth. For women, clipping of a lock of hair is sufficient.
There is no basis for the assertions that many of the practices of Islam are “continuations” from Paganism; or that the Pilgrim-age is “rooted” in ancient Arabian “tribal” worship. It would be against reason to entertain that Mohammad, who as a minority fought against Paganism, would, as a majority and with worldly treasures at his command, imitate Paganism.
It is only ignorance to claim that the Hajj was “shamelessly” adopted from “pre-Islamic practice.” The Prophet, in order to disassociate the practice of Muslims with anything relating to paganism went so far as to forbid Muslims to pray at the time of the rising of the sun, its zenith, and its’ setting. It is not credible that he would then incorporate other aspects of paganism into the religion of Allah.
The Muslim acts of prayer, fasting, and hajj are the greatest levelers of ranks: the greatest examples of equality. They compel the stiff-kneed, the proud, and the vain to bend in ranks with the poor, to feel their hunger and thirst, and to dress in the bare essentials.
In his ritual of five prayers daily, Muslims achieve exercise, morality, and meditation. The body is exercised through the physical movements; morality is strengthened through implementing the prayer into practice; and spirituality is strengthened through meditating on the Power that shaped him–Allah, God.
Hajj may make one realize that whereas formerly he wor-shipped Allah God because of fear of the Fire and for want of Paradise; that, though he still prefers Paradise over Hell, he now worships Allah because of His goodness, His mercy, His magnificence. Hajj may give an understanding as to how the prophet Jesus was content with the earth as his bed and the rock as his pillow. Hajj may give an insight as to how the Prophet Mohammad, being the king of Arabia with all the treasures at his command, was content with a bed made of palm leaves, and a wooden scepter. Hajj may give an understanding as to how the Caliphs ‘Umar and ‘Ali were content with wearing worse than the poorest of their subjects. Hajj may give a glimpse of what those righteous people were seeing of the Glory of Allah.
Mohammad and political assassinations: What sane general would allow his “opponents” to “eliminate” him? There are perhaps modern nation(s) (that are not even at war) that conduct “political assassinations” and “murder,” and strive for the “elimination” of all of their “opponents.”
Allah reveals in Qur’an 8:67–“It is not fit for a prophet to take captives unless he has fought and triumphed in the land. You desire the frail goods of this world, while Allah desires (for you) the Hereafter. And Allah is Mighty, Wise.”
This statement does not sanction “political assassinations.” It is not a license for Mohammad to slaughter and plunder.
Several injunctions of the Qur’an relate to specific incidents. Muhammad Ali has noted that to him
“it seems quite clear that the reference is to the desire (mark the word desire used in the verse)–not to an action already completed– of a party of the Muslims referred to in v. 7, and you loved that the one not armed should be yours. Some Muslims desired to attack and capture the unarmed caravan, but depredations like these, though committed by disbelievers upon the Muslims, were not fit for a prophet. He must fight a hard fight in his defence first and then, if he overcomes the enemy, he may take prisoners. Thus this injunction also declares slavery to be illegal, and allows only the retaining of those who are taken prisoners in war.” (See also Qur’an 47:4).
“The Prophet never slew a single prisoner of war, even after the battle of Badr, though thousands of prisoners were taken in some of these battles. On the other hand, the prisoners were almost always set free as a favour, and ransom was taken only from the Badr prisoners.” (Comm. 1024).
From the beginning of his mission the Prophet and his followers were victims of persecution. There is hardly a person, whether he is victim or villain, who would not take the upper hand against his enemy when the opportunity arises. If Mohammad and his followers took the offensive against those who sought to exterminate them they were only making, in modern terminology, “pre-emptive strikes.”
(Given the inhuman manner in which suspects are held, and even tortured, by unjust powers), it is hardly credible that a leader whose all determination is to eliminate his opponents would, upon his victory over his most horrid enemies not slaughter them, but would grant them amnesty to roam his kingdom, as Muhammad did: leaving himself open to the possibility of them later rising in insurrection against him and completely destroying him. Mohammad’s mercy is a beacon for the world to behold. On his conquest of Makkah, his opponents stood before Moham-mad their vulnerable heads poised to fall at the dictates of his motion. One nod and the valleys of Makkah would have become rivers with their arrogant blood. But Mohammad was no butcher; Mohammad was a savior: Mohammad was as Allah our God says “a mercy for all creatures”–(Qur’an 21:107).
Mohammad’s act of forgiveness has given “to all mankind and all the generations the most perfect example of goodness, of truthfulness, of nobility and magnanimity.” (Muhammad Husayn Haykal, The Life of Muhammad, p. 408).
(Remarkably, today (July 2006), Jews, the occupiers of Palestine, in their drive to root out Hezbollah freedom fighters are devastating Southern Lebanon–killing some twelve hundred civilians, injuring hundreds and displacing nearly one million: and they are not labeled “assassins,” but are being defended as having the “right to self-defense,” as acting with “restraint” and that their slaugh-tering of the Muslim civilians is “measured.” Whereas Mohammad, [like the Palestinians] who was no occupier and oppressor, his right to self-defense is labeled “political assassinations.” This is “civilized” logic. And to know, Mohammad is the one who is said to be a “barbarian.”
These critics of Mohammad and the Palestinians should be in the situation of Mohammad and the Palestinians. Let’s hear what song they’d be crooning then).
Significantly, Muslims do not need superiority of armaments and numbers or “political clout” or massive wealth to triumph over the enemy: “Surely those who disbelieve spend their wealth to hinder (people) from the way of Allah. So they will go on spending it, then it will be to them a regret, then they will be overwhelmed”–(Qur’an 8:36). All Muslims need is Allah: “certainly the remembrance of Allah is the greatest (force);” “And trust in Allah. And Allah is enough as having charge (of affairs);” “Surely Allah will not fail in (His) promise;” “Allah is the Friend of the dutiful;”“Allah has promised to those of you who believe and do good that He will surely make them rulers in the earth”–(Qur’an 29:45; 33:3; 13:31; 45:19; 24:55).
So why are Muslims not capitalizing on this vast, inexhaustible and invincible source of power? It is incredibly easy and simple to obtain this Help: all we need to do is, basically, avoid the pig, the intoxicants, the illicit relations and return to Allah’s service. Then, we will not only have Allah’s help but would also have purity of body, mind and soul.
Allah cruel, angry, proud: It is doubtful that a rational individual would accuse the government of being “cruel, angry, and proud” for punishing those who disregard the law and cause injury to others.
Parents who discipline their children for their upliftment are not cruel. Punishment from Allah is only meant for the reformation of man–(Qur’an 6:42-43; 7:94). At the beginning of every chapter (except the ninth) –at least a hundred and thirteen times– the Mercy and Grace of Allah is presented to us. Allah’s compassion and mercy preponderates overwhelmingly over His wrath and retribution.
The Prophet Mohammad is reported to have said that it is written over the Throne of Allah that ‘My Mercy precedes My anger’; and that while evil is pardoned or recompensed with its like, good brings from a tenfold to a seven-hundredfold reward –(Bukhari 81:33).
Allah says that He created man to have mercy on him–(Qur’an 11:119); He has ordained mercy on Himself–(Qur’an 6:12, 54); that He invites us to forgive us our sins–(Qur’an 14:10); that “My mercy encompasses all things”–(Qur’an 7:156); and He implores us in loving compassionate terms: “Say, O My servants who have sinned against their souls, despair not of the mercy of Allah, surely Allah forgives all sins. Verily He is Most For-giving, Ever Merciful”–(Qur’an 39:53).
Allah, the God Who has ordained mercy on Himself, Who invites us to forgive us, Who punishes only to the extent of the crime but rewards up to seven-hundred times for a good, and Who implores us in loving, compassionate terms to never despair of His mercy –this God of the Qur’an could not be rightly indicted as being “cruel, angry, and proud.”
In fact Allah, this God of the Qur’an, is the most loving, merciful, compassionate and forgiving God.
12. Islam: al-Raziq and religion and state (p. 6): “Ali Abd al-Raziq, a sheikh at the famous Islamic University of al-Azhar in Cairo, published Islam and the principles of Government in 1925. In this book, al-Raziq argued for a separation of religion and politics since he sincerely believed that this was what Islam really preached.” (And there are some Muslims who, seemingly, “sincerely believed” that they have the God-given right to bomb other nations into Islam. Interesting that al-Raziq was a sheikh at al-Azhar).
Al-Raziq may have “sincerely believed” in a separation of religion and state, but Islam does not preach this. (Wonder what part of the Qur’an or Tradition of the Prophet that led al-Raziq to his belief).
There is no “politics” in Islam. Islam is based on truth and justice. If Islam had intended a separation between Religion and State the Prophet would have instituted this. Islam is the way of life devised by Allah for man.
While knowledge may be grouped into two classes –spiritual and material– in Islam there is no secular knowledge: all knowledge is from Allah, God.
13. Abraham and Ishmael (pp. 6; 131, 132): “Another graduate of al-Azhar was the Egyptian man of letters Taha Husayn. …In his On Pre-Islamic Poetry, Taha Husayn had written that the fact that Abraham and Ishmael appear in the Koran “is not sufficient to establish their historical existence.”” (This Egyptian “man of letters” should go back and study his “letters” closely. Is your account of Taha Husayn in your book “sufficient to establish” Taha Husayn’s “existence”?)
(Quoting Voltaire) “[Abraham] was the son of a poor potter who earned his living by making little clay idols. It is scarcely credible that the son of this potter went to Mecca, 300 leagues away in the tropics, by way of impassable deserts.” (Abraham’s father may have been a “poor potter,” that does not necessarily mean that Abraham did not acquire wealth. There are probably a legion of sons of the poverty-stricken that have risen into wealth-hood. The Bible tells us that Abraham had many camels and servants).
“According to Muslim tradition Abraham and Ishmael built the Kaaba…But outside these traditions there is absolutely no evidence for this claim–whether epigraphic, archaeological, or documentary. Indeed, Snouck Hurgronje has shown that Muhammad invented the story to give his religion an Arabian origin and setting.” (And how did Hurgronje show this?)
Contrary to Biblical narrative that the Pharaoh of Moses’ time perished in the sea, the Qur’an 10:92 says that his body was saved to be a sign for future generations. It took the world some twelve hundred years after this Qur’anic revelation, and nearly twenty-five hundred years after the fact to discover the truth of this revelation.
The Qur’an also speaks of the city of Iram–(Qur’an 89:7) which seems unheard of in history. But the December 1978 edition of National Geographic carried an article on the excavation of a city named “Ebla” whereby this city of Iram is mentioned. Perhaps, it may take another four thousand years (if the world is still around) for man to discover the Divine truth of Jonah. What is definite is that since the Qur’an says that Abra-ham and Ishmael existed, there is no doubt that he did. Investigation will verify it.
Abraham’s father may have been a “poor potter” but according to the Bible Abraham was a wealthy individual. It is not “scarcely credible” that Abraham “went to Mecca.” Muslims from Asia journey by foot to Makkah to perform the Hajj. Jesus traveled from Palestine to India; Hannibal crossed the Pyrenees and the Alps with elephants; Columbus, survived the Atlantic to reach the Americas; and even today there are tens if not hundreds who ride the deserts.
The Toronto star of Saturday, March 13, 1999, reported that three Canadians crossed the Arabian desert, and that in 1946 “British explorer Sir Wilfred Thesiger” also crossed this desert. It is very credible then that Abraham, who was of a period and people more seasoned to severe climates and rough travels, could go to Makkah, “300 leagues” away. (Being a man of wisdom, Abraham may have camped during the day and traveled from late afternoon until early morning when it was cooler).
There may not be “epigraphic, archaeological, or documentary” evidence to support that Abraham and Ishmael built the Ka’ba. But what kind of artifacts can one expect to find of a man who lived 2500 years ago, and who within a period of about one hundred years–(Gen. 12:4; 25:7)–traveled back and forth from Mesopotamia to Canaan to Egypt to Canaan to Arabia, and who may have lived in Makkah for only a few years.
It is doubtful that this lone traveler and his family had any scribe to inscribe tablets so as to leave “epigraphic” inscriptions behind for future generations. Or that he was accompanied by secretaries so that we could have some “documentary” of him.
That there is no “epigraphic, archaeological, or documentary” evidence that Abraham and Ishmael built the Ka’ba does not prove that they did not build it.
The Bible says that Abraham left Ur (Iraq) and went to Canaan (Palestine). Then Abraham went to Egypt and returned to Palestine. Next, Abraham has his first son, Ishmael; and that Ish-mael and his mother Hagar ended up in Paran (which is in Makkah, Arabia), where his mother “took him a wife out of the land of Egypt”–(Genesis 21:21). We are next told that upon the death of Abraham that “his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him”–(Genesis 25:9). That Ishmael was at the funeral of his father clearly shows that Abraham and Ishmael were in close contact with one another–then they could have built the Ka’ba.
Since Ishmael was an Arab and living in Paran (Makkah), and Muhammad was an Arab living in Makkah (Paran), Mohammad did not have to “invent” the story about building the Ka’ba to give Islam an “Arabian origin and setting.” (See Hajj/Pilgrimage to Makkah).
That “There seems to be a distinct possibility that Abraham never existed.” The National Geographic, December 1978, carried an informative article titled EBLA Splendor Of An Unknown Empire, written by Howard La Fay. The article states:
“…in 1975,” “Dr. Paolo Matthiae of the University of Rome” discovered “the ruins of a palace apparently destroyed in the 23rd century B.C.”
“The names of cities thought to have been founded much later, such as Beirut and Byblos, leap from the tablets.…Also included is Iram, an obscure city referred to in Sura 89 of the Koran.
Most intriguing of all are the personal names found on the Ebla tablets. They include Ab-ra-mu (Abraham), E-sa-um (Esau), and Sa-u-lum (Saul).”
“The Book of Genesis introduces him (Abraham) as a native of Ur of the Chaldees, in southern Mesopotamia. Scholars have always taken this at face value.”
“But we now encounter a Syrian capital, dating from five hundred years before the widely accepted date for Abraham….Muslim scholars have long held that Abraham’s epic journey occurred about 2300 B.C.” (pp. 731, 735, 736. See also Ency Britannica, Vol. 1. Art. Abraham).
That Abraham could not have crossed the desert because his father was a “poor potter” is a pathetic and desperate attempt to disprove Scripture.
14. Islam, Science, Apostasy, Democracy (p. 7): “Scientific knowledge directly conflicts with Muslim religious beliefs on a number of issues.…Islam relies on blind faith and the uncritical acceptance of texts on which the religion is based, whereas science depends on critical thought, observation, deduction, and results that are internally coherent and correspond to reality. ….Perhaps the most famous contemporary Muslim mentioned by Pipes is the Libyan leader, Mu’ammar al-Qaddafi, whose public statements on Muhammad, the Koran, and Islam amount to a blasphemy far greater than anything discussed so far. Qaddafi confined sharia to private matters, his own ideas were promulgated in the public domain. He changed the Islamic calendar, mocked Meccan pilgrims as “guileless and foolish,” criticized the prophet Muhammad, and claimed that his own achievements were greater than those of the Prophet. (Qaddafi, as any other leader, can change whatever he likes and can claim anything he likes; but for Mohammad and the Qur’an and Islam Qaddafi may yet be scouting the sands for oases. Wonder if Qaddafi would risk holding “democratic” elections).”
Those who view Muslim pilgrims as ““guileless and foolish”” have not grasped the meaning of Hajj. And leaders who claim–because they sit in gilded thrones–their own achievements to be “greater” than that of the Prophet Mohammad must consider this: Mohammad commanded not only an empire and not only the loyalty of tens of thousands during his lifetime but fourteen hundred years after his passing he enjoys the loyalty of more than one billion; and, more significantly, of this excess of one billion there are millions of loyalists who would at the blink of an eye give their lives in defense of his honor, and for ‘free’; how many of your subjects will give their lives in defense of your honor, and without payment? And how long after your passing will you be honored–never mind being honored, how long will you even be remembered?
Islam does not rely on “blind faith and the uncritical acceptance” of its doctrines. It was the Qur’an that propelled Muslims into the realm of science. It was the Prophet Mohammad who declared through Divine Revelation that: “Allah has made subservient to you whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth”–(Qur’an 31:20; 45:13). One could not make subservient “whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth” without “critical thought, observation, deduction, and results that are internally coherent and correspond to reality.”
Allah does not call on man to believe in Him through mystery, mythology, or miracles; Allah, citing creation as one of His Signs, calls on us to believe in Him through reason, arguments, and examples (and through the study of nature–to investigate the phenomenon in nature, whose intricate constructions and operations would prevail upon us to deliberate whether such phenolmenon can be the products of mere chance, or are the machinations of a Master Power).
In Islam, religion and science are not adversaries of the other. They are compatible. As noted elsewhere, the Qur’an teems with scientific truths.
“Never has a people been led more rapidly to civilization, such as it was, than were the Arabs through Islam”
“And to it was also indirectly due the marvellous development of all branches of science in the Moslem world”8
Allah instructs the Prophet (and us) to pray: “My Lord, increase me in knowledge”–(Qur’an 20:114). Clearly, the God who increases His servants in knowledge, and the religion which advocates the pursuit of knowledge could not be said to rely on “blind faith” and/or the “uncritical acceptance” of its doctrines. As there is no separation of State and religion in Islam and as Islam encourages scientific pursuits, knowledge here refers to spiritual and temporal.
It is nothing but foolhardiness to take the Islamic exhortations to seek knowledge to mean religious knowledge (of others). It would be rather strange for Islam to advocate traveling to China in search of “religious knowledge” when the Qur’an is the best message from which nothing is omitted–(Qur’an 7:185; 39:23; 77:50; 6:38; 16:89) and when Islam is the only religion acceptable to Allah God–(Qur’an 3:18, 84, 101). Hazrat ‘Ali, the fourth Caliph:
“Know all, that if one has studied the Qur’an carefully he does not require any other Gospel to guide him; and without knowing the Qur’an no other knowledge is complete or useful.”9
It would be pointless for Islam to instruct us to seek knowledge about other religions when Islam is the best and the only religion from Allah God. (See also item # 4).
Apostasy: There is no penalty of “death” for the apostates. This is made clear by the following Qur’anic statements: “And whoever of you turns back from his religion, then he dies while an unbeliever –these it is whose works go for nothing in this world and the Hereafter” – “How shall Allah guide a people who disbelieved after their believing, and (after) they had borne witness that the Messenger was true and clear arguments had come to them?…” – “Those who believe then disbelieve, again believe and again disbelieve, then increase in disbelief, Allah will never forgive them nor guide them in the (right) way”–(Qur’an 2:217; 3:85; 4:137)
If apostates were to be killed there would be no question of them “believing” then “disbelieving” then “believing again” as 4:137 says.”
Regarding the report about the Prophet Mohammad ordering the death of the men of Ukl, who had accepted Islam and who later killed the camel-herders and stole the camels, were they killed for apostasy or for the crime of murder? These thieves/killers were not necessarily apostates. Muslims of today seem to be killing Muslims for less than camels; and they are not apostates. Even if these murderers and thieves were apostates from Islam and if initially apostates were given the death penalty, then the revelation of the above Qur’anic verses would have put an end to such a practice. As already stated, the Qur’an supersedes all other sources of guidance.
There is no compulsion in religion
(Qur’an 2:256; 6:107; 9:6; 10:99-100; 17:7; 18:6, 29; 50:45; 76:3; 109:1-6).
There is death for apostasy in Judaism and Christianity:
“And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt…. If thy brother…entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou has t not known, thou, nor thy fathers…thou shalt surely kill him…..” (Deut; 13:5-16).
“If there be found among you…man or woman….And hath gone and served other gods, and worshiped them, either the sun or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded…..Then thou shalt bring forth that man or that woman …and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.” (Deut; 17:2-5).
Islam and democracy: There is no absolute freedom!
In Islam there is only one law for the king and the commoner. The Prophet Mohammad did not choose a successor to himself. After his death Abu Bakr was elected as Caliph. Abu Bakr, though he had sons capable of the position, selected ‘Umar to succeed him. But ‘Umar’s appointment was final only after con-sultation and confirmation with the other Companions.
Muhammad Ali has noted that
“legislation was not placed in the hands of the king. First of all the Qur’an, then the Prophet’s precept or practice, then the will of the people, such was the machinery that framed the law; and the law, not the king, was the supreme authority. In subordinating kingship to the law of the land and the law of the land to the will of the people, Abu Bakr laid the foundations of a truly democratic gov-ernment as also of liberty and equality in the truest sense of these words.”
But, as Muhammad Ali adds:
“To the misfortune of the community of Islam, however, this golden rule of government was abandoned after the reign of ‘Ali, the fourth Caliph. Kingship again became private property, as also did the public treasury. Demo-cracy gave way to despotism, and thus began the disin-tegration and decay of the power of Islam.” (The Early Caliphate, p. 52).
The freedom and equality espoused by Islam is unrivalled in the annals of history, ancient and modern. Muhammad Ali has pointed out in his The Early Caliphate:
“Bilal, ‘Ammar, and others who were, originally slaves but were among the first to embrace Islam, were shown preference over the great chiefs of the Quraish. …. All distinctions of heredity were abolished and society was ordered on the Qur’anic principle: “The most honourable among you is the one who has the greatest regard for his duty.”
“The weak and disabled were granted allowances from the public treasury, and in this there was no discrimina-tion between Muslim and non-Muslim. The system of old-age pensions now prevailing in many countries in Europe was first introduced by ‘Umar. For wayfarers, large caravansarais were erected in all big centres. Children without guardians were brought up at the expense of the state.”
“There was no restriction whatever on freedom of opin-ion or on the expression of that opinion. Governors were made accessible to the public to the extent that they were forbidden to have guards at their doors lest there should be the least hitch for the aggrieved to approach the highest authority at any time…The position of the Caliph himself, in this wonderful democracy, was no higher than that of a commoner. He was considered the servant of the people, not the king, and as such he was open to criticism…This unrestricted freedom, in itself the highest virtue, served in the hands of mischief-mon-gers as the most deadly weapon to undermine the power of Islam.” (pp. 121, 122, 136, 137, 143).
Without doubt, “equality and freedom of opinion were the two most important rights that Islam conferred on every individual,” as noted by Muhammad Ali. (The Early Caliphate p. 143).
Islam is democracy, socialism, and dictatorship, all delicately balanced together. While Islam has forbidden usury, it does not prohibit the pursuit of wealth through lawful avenues, and en-courages its use in charity. Islam is:
–democracy: in that it allows one freedom of religion–(Qur’an 2:256; 9:107-108); freedom of movement, thought, and expression [though freedom of expression even in modern advanced societies would seem to have its limit when it advocates anarchy, and when it proves slanderous]–(4:140; 6:68, 108; 29:52); the pursuit of knowledge, and the acquisition of wealth and property–(2:274-275, 276-282; 35:12; 53:48; 62:10); to choose only those worthy of power and to exercise justice–(4:58); to govern by consultation/ counsel–(3:158; 5:38; 42:38).
(It is to be noted that Islamic democracy is unlike secular democracy. In secular democracy there are opposition parties, the laws are man-made; and laws usually are determined by the will of the majority–e.g. capital punishment; abortion. In Islam, since the laws are Divine injunctions, and are not based on the will of the majority, there is no need for an opposition. In the cases where secondary laws are required, owing to the progress of society, the legislation of such laws are not governed by the dictates of the majority, but are based on the prin-ciples of the Qur’an, and are formulated through consultation. Thus under Islamic democracy there is no marginalization of any sector of society: one cannot prove his judgment/belief superior to the teaching of the Qur’an).
–socialism: in that it is the duty of the State to utilize its income from the people (their Zakat/compulsory charity)–(Qur’an 9:60) to generate wealth for the welfare of its population and to care for the poor as well as the orphans.
–dictatorship: whereas in secular dictatorship all power is held by a single person or a small party. In Islam, leadership is chosen by the people and the people are governed, not by the dictates of the leadership, but by the Qur’an and Sunnah.
Islam is dictatorship in that the Leader (Caliph) rules for life, so long as he does so within the framework of Islam. No one (except crooks, maybe) would want to replace a just ruler.
As Shari’ah is based on the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah–sayings and actions of the Prophet Mohammad–and as the Sunnah is based on the teachings of the Qur’an, and as there is no discrimination in the Qur’an whatever in Shari’ah that is the opinion of the Jurist(s) that discriminates is to be removed.
Allāh has informed us that He created everything for our use (which could only be utilized through knowledge of them) and has enjoined on us the acquisition of knowledge, and for us to govern according to consultation and to exercise justice (which was practiced by the Prophet and the four Caliphs), Islam is the nucleus of “creativity, dynamism, and democracy.”
A common charge by the West is that ‘they (Muslims) hate our democracy.’ From a theological standpoint this is claptrap. It is either a reflection of the West’s ignorance of Islam or its self-flattery. Muslims can not hate democracy. As shown, Islam is democracy.
In fact, at the time Islam established democracy the West was still trampling on the dignity of woman, both religiously and secularly –“Just a quarter of a century after the time when the council of Christian Fathers at Nicaea were discussing whether any female could enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, and with great difficulty they had come to the conclusion that she might enter into Paradise, but that she would have to be sexless, the Quran brought the gospel to her in the following words: “Enter into Paradise, ye and your wives delighted;” “But whoso doeth the things that are right, whether the male or female, and is a believer, whether male or female, they shall enter into Paradise;” “Whoso doth that which is right, whether male or female, him or her will we quicken to happy life”–(43:70; 4:124; 16:97). When the world was doubtful whether any spiritual advancement was open to Woman at all, the Qur-an taught the following: “Surely the men who submit and the women who submit, and the believing men and the believing women, and the obeying men and the obeying women, and the truthful men and the truthful women, and the patient men and the patient women, and the humble men and the humble women, and the almsgiving men and the almsgiving women, and the fasting men and the fasting women, and the men who guard their private parts and the women who guard, and the men who remember Allah much and the women who remember–Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a mighty reward”–(Qur’an 33:35).”*
It was only in the mid–1900’s that Canada regarded woman as a person. Compare to the rights Islam has conferred onto woman 1400 years ago, as appended to in these pages. And 1960's American woman was burning her brassiere for equality with her "male chauvinist pig."
What Muslims hate is the West’s injustice, arrogance and hypocrisy against Muslims–mainly its injustice against the Palestinians; its arrogance in perpetuating this injustice instead of redressing it; and its hypocrisy in advocating democracy, yet when Muslims are the victors in this “democratic” machinations they are spurned, as in the case of Algeria and in Hamas’ victory in Palestine.
*(Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, Open Letters To The Bishops Of Salisbury & London, pp.71-77). (See also items #4 and 14).
15. Islam–solution to problems (p. 8): Ibn Warraq notes that a survey of “twenty-four Arab writers” shows that “a majority of these Arab intellectuals do not see Islam as the answer to the social, economic, and political problems besetting the Islamic world. The majority of the respondents fervently advocate a secular state. (These “Arab intellectuals” may know the language of the Qur’an; they do not know the Qur’an). ”
Every Muslim must know that Allah has “perfected” religion–(Qur’an 5:3). This is for all ages until the Day of Judgment. This religion could not be said to be “perfected” to the day of Judgment if its laws would soon become obsolete. Religion could not be “perfected” and Allah’s (God's) favor could not be “completed” with archaic laws.
“We have not neglected anything in the Book.”
“And We have revealed the Book to thee
explaining all things,
and a guidance and mercy
and good news for those who submit.”
It is not conducive to reason that Allah would give to mankind a set of ordinances for guidance to the Day of Judgment that would soon become defunct.
Since Qur’anic law transformed bands of heathenistic and ruthless peoples into a peaceful, brotherly and God-fearing nation; gave liberty, dignity and rights to women; replaced drunkenness and profligacy with sobriety, chastity, and modesty; ignorance with knowledge and progress; gave freedom to the bondage; hope to the orphans; and justice to all regardless of race color or creed; condemns compulsion, aggression, oppression, exploitation; promotes peace, love, patience, tolerance; advocates that all, regardless of race, nationality or color are equal and that man is better than the other only through righteousness; and encourages the pursuit of knowledge to both male and female for the purpose of good uses; not only is the world in dire need of this Qur’anic law, but in the quest for peace and justice it is the only law that is applicable for all times.
This Islamic system is the answer not only for “problems besetting the Islamic world,” but is also the answer for problems besetting the entire world.
The problems “besetting” the Islamic world is not the Qur’anic law, but the tyrants and Muslim pretenders. It cannot be proven that a secular state is superior to an Islamic state (as practiced by the Prophet Mohammad and the first four Caliphs). What Islam needs at the helm are not ignorant back-pedalers, but progressive thinkers who can apply its lofty, infallible doctrines to an advancing society.
While some nations may be advanced and certain requirements of Islam may seem antiquated, there are other nations that are still, where modernism is concerned, in their infancy; and whose people are yet at the first rung of the technological ladder; and some people who have not yet acquired a technological ladder. And this condition will persist till the Day of Judgment. The Qur’an is guidance for all peoples for all times, to the Day of Judgment.
16. Stoning and dismembering (p. 8): “To the question “could Islam be a system of government for a modern state?” Boudjedra unequivocally replies: No, absolutely not. It’s impossible….. We saw that when Nemeiri [head of the Sudan] wanted to apply the Sharia: it didn’t work. The experiment ended abruptly after some hands and feet were chopped off…There is a reaction even among the mass of Muslims against this sort of thing –stoning women, for example, is hardly carried out…. Islam is absolutely incompatible with a modern state.”
(The Bible also requires dismembering: “When men strive together one with another. And the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets: Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her”–Deut. 25:11-12).
Dismembering: In (some) secular societies, murderers, rapists, thieves etc; sometimes return to society and kill and rape and steal again; yet the government does not give up on imprisoning them. Does this mean that this “system of government” is unsuitable for a “modern state”?
Dismemberment is said to be ineffective as a deterrent. How-ever, almost all societies imprison the murderers and rapists and thieves and other criminals. Yet these imprisonments do not deter others from becoming murderers and rapists and thieves; nor does it, in some cases, deter criminals from repeating their crimes. Must societies then refrain from incarcerating its crimi-nals because incarceration is no deterrent to crimes?
Some secular laws allow murderers to return to society where they may again commit murder and perhaps other crimes, and where in prison they may be supported by the families of their victims (through their taxes; and criminals are given such facili-ties as gym, computers, study material; etc, that some taxpayers and members of some victims may not be able to afford for themselves or families; and they are probably better fed than some of the taxpayers that shoulder their bills). (Unless one is pardoned through mercy or compensation) Islam rids society of them permanently.
Most, if not all, secular laws imprison the thief, who may yet return to menace society. Islam puts an end to their thievery permanently.
Allah enjoins charity. Muslim society is to be charitable; and the hungry are to ask assistance so that there should be no need for theft because of hunger. The punishment for theft is the cutting off of the hand of the thief–(Qur’an 5:38). Allah also says: “But whoever repents after his wrongdoing and reforms, Allah will turn to him (mercifully). Surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful”–(Qur’an 5:39. Also 5:33-34).
Cutting off of the hand is dependent upon whether theft was because of hunger, for profit, or mischief. In the case of hunger there is to be no cutting off of the hand. In the case of the latter two, compensation or restitution may be effected before appre-hended by the law. Muhammad Ali says, “cutting off of the hand is the maximum punishment.” Consideration should be given to the age of the culprit and the value of the article in question–(Bokhari Vol. 8, #’s 780, 785), as well as the mental soundness of the individual.
Muhammad Ali has noted an incident whereby a slave was not dismembered because the slave’s master evidenced that he heard the Prophet say that “there was to be no cutting off of the hand in the case of theft of fruit”–(The Religion of Islam, p. 729).
Those who condemn this law of Islam should consider:
-since it is better for a man to dismember his offensive limb to preserve the health of his other parts, how much more appropriate it is that the cancer of society be excised to maintain the moral health of society
-it is doubtful an individual would not amputate a limb of his body that is afflicted with cancer so as to prevent the cancer from infecting his or her entire body
-it is doubtful law-abiding citizens, men and women, toiling honestly and tiringly for their livelihood would take kindly to thieves to come and plunder their belongings; it is doubtful such men and women after a day of toiling would prefer to keep vigil at night against thieves in sympathy for them, to spare their hands from being chopped off
-it is doubtful an honest person would not like to sleep with windows open on sweltering summer nights, without having to fear thieves and robbers.
It would seem to be “torture” to have victims and/or their family-circles live with the mental torture of fear, dreading if or when the murderer, rapist, or thief might return to plague them.
Man is not more merciful than God!
The believer in God who does not apply the law of God, thinking himself to be more humane than God or in trying to avoid the heat of popular opinion, is simply throwing the Book of God behind his back. “Hell is hotter.” And inescapable.
To emphasize. Those “Arab intellectuals” that “do not see Islam as the answer to the social, economic, and political problems besetting the Islamic world” may know the language of the Qur’an; they do not know the Qur’an.
Stoning:There is no stoning or sentence of death in the Qur’an for the sin of adultery. The Arabic word Zinaa means sexual intercourse between people who are not married to each other –i.e. adultery and fornication. The punishment for adultery and fornication, according to the Qur’an, is lashes: “The adulteress and the adulterer, flog each of them (with) a hundred stripes”–(Qur’an 24:2). That flogging for adultery is the required pun-ishment is verified in 4:25, where the punishment to married slave-girls guilty of adultery is stated that “…if they are guilty of adultery when they are taken in marriage, they shall suffer half the punishment for free married women. …”–(Qur’an 4:25). Stoning to death “could not be halved;” but flogging can be “hal-ved.”
The reasons for the Prophet Mohammad’s orders to stone the adulterer/adulteress were two-fold: (1) it was carried out against the Jews, who were to be judged according to the Torah; (2) prior to the Qur’anic revelations on this subject, the Prophet followed the Torah.
The Prophet Mohammad taught us according to Divine Revelation: he did not speak out of desire–(Qur’an 10:15; 21:45; 53:3-4). It is inconceivable that the Prophet would act against the clear injunction(s) of the Qur’an and “stone to death” when Allāh ordered “flogging.”
It is clear that the Prophet’s “stoning” to death was limited to the Jews. In the case of Muslims, if any, “stoning” was carried out before the revelation of the above Qur’anic verses.
The Qur’an supersedes all other source(s) of guidance.
Stoning and death is the Jewish and the Christian law:
(Apostasy): Those who “secretly” entice another to follow an unknown God are to be stoned to death–(Deut. 13:5-16; 17:2-5).
- A “stubborn and rebellious son” is to be stoned to death–(Deut. 21:18-21).
- (Honor killings): Married damsel without the “token of virginity” is to be stoned to death: “But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you”–(Deut. 22:20-21).
- A virginal damsel who lies with a man other than her “betrothed,” both are to be stoned to death–(Deut. 22:23-24).
- A witch is to be put to death–(Exodus 22:18).
- Who curses his father or mother is to be put to death –(Lev. 20:9).
- Punishment for adultery is death–(Lev. 20:10-12; Deut. 22:22).
- Homosexuals are to be put to death–(Lev. 20:13).
- A man who takes a “wife and her mother,” both shall be burnt with fire–(Lev. 20:14).
- Who commits bestiality are to be put to death–(Lev. 20:15-16).
- (Blasphemy): “And the Israelitish woman’s son blasphemed the name of the Lord, and cursed….And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying…let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him.…And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death”–(Lev. 24:11-16, 23).
- The adulteress is to be stoned–(John 8:3-5).
The Qur’an abrogates these laws of the Bible.
(When the Qur’an speaks of abrogation and changing of message–(Qur’an 2:106; 16:101), it does not mean that one verse of the Qur’an abrogates another, as is believed by many. It refers to the replacing of laws/messages of Scriptures previous to the Qur’an. Muhammad Ali has dealt with this topic in his Qur’anic commentary #152 –re: Qur’an 2:106. His translation of the Qur’an can be viewed online: www.muslim.org).
(Jesus may have said to turn the other cheek–(Luke 6:29), and that the one who is without sin to cast a stone at the adulteress–(John 8:3-7). These sayings of Jesus do not abrogate the Mosaic teachings of an eye for an eye–(Exod. 21:24), and to stone those guilty of adultery–(Lev. 20:10/John 8:5). To turn the “other cheek” is not applicable to infractions against cardinal laws.
Jesus not only says that he came to fulfill the law–(Matt. 5:17-18), but he explicitly instructed his follolowers to “observe and do” whatever the “scribes and Pharisees” bid them to do because they sit in Moses’ seat–(Matt. 23:2-3). And the Mosaic teachings are to take an eye for an eye, and to stone the adulterer/adulteress. Jesus could not be said to have abrogated these Mosaic laws and yet tell his followers to observe them. It would be a contradiction. To say that the law of stoning was abrogated because no man is without sin and therefore no one would be able to “cast a stone,” it would have been pointless for God to have given such a law that man could not have carried out. It would have been interesting to note Jesus’ response if the Jews had said to him, since he, Jesus, was without sin, and as an upholder of the Judaic law, for him to first cast a stone at the woman. Notably, the woman did not deny the charge of adultery). (See Jesus and the adulteress)
In Hinduism: “Should a wife out of her family pride desert her husband and misconduct herself, let the king condemn her to be devoured by dogs before all men and women. Similarly should a husband forsake his wife and misconduct himself with other women, let the king cause that sinner to be burnt alive publicly on a red hot iron-bed”–(Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Light Of Truth, p. 199). And “A woman who has been unchaste should worship Siva in his calm aspect, Siva who is Kama. Then she should summon a Brahmin and give herself to him, thinking, ‘This is Kama who has come for the sake of sexual pleasure.’ And whatever the Brahmin wishes, the sensuous woman should do. For thirteen months she should honour in this way any Brahmin who comes to the house for the sake of sexual pleasures, and there is no immorality in this for noble ladies or prostitutes.” “The Brahmin guest represents Śiva/Kāma, who purifies the woman whom he seduces, for extreme sexual licence may remove sexual stigma, just as extreme tapas (austerity) does” (Cited in Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty, Śiva The Erotic Ascetic, p. 256).
17. Islam and blasphemy (p. 9): There is no Qur’anic order to kill blasphemers. Allah reveals: “when you hear the Signs of God being denied and mocked at, sit not with them until they enter into some other talk”–(4:140. Also 6:68). And, “Revile not those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest they out of spite revile Allah in their ignorance”–(6:109). Clearly, there is no order to kill the deniers/mockers/ revilers of Allah.
Allah says: “They do blaspheme who say: “God is Christ the son of Mary.” “They do blaspheme who say: God is one of three in a Trinity…”–(Qur’an 5:75, 76). If there was a law against blasphemy in Islam, according to the above two verses there probably would have been no Christians in the dominion of the Prophet Mohammad during his reign; neither would there have been any Christians in the countries ruled by Muslims: they would either have had to revert to Islam, flee, or face imprison-ment or death.
Allah says that Muslims will face “much abuse” from the People of the Book and the idolaters; but they must be “patient and keep your duty” (there is no order to kill)–(Qur’an 3:185). Allah says: “And those who molest the Messenger of Allah, for them is a painful chastisement” (this is a Madinan chapter revealed “in the ninth year” of the Hijrah, near the end of the Prophet’s mission. And there is no order to kill –(Qur’an 9:61). Even in the early Madinan chapter, there is no order to kill those who “annoy” the Prophet: they are “cursed” and would receive “an abasing chastisement”–(Qur’an 33:57).
Man cannot disprove the existence of Allah, yet he is not vilified nor killed nor incarcerated for his disbelief in Allah. Why then should man suffer death or incarceration for denying earthly things –things lower than God?
(When one is forced to believe and is subjected to Judiciary for denying a thing the truth of such a thing becomes highly suspect. If an event or doctrine is truth there is no necessity to legislate belief in it or to criminalize question or denial of it; proponents and opponents alike must provide proofs of their claim and let the public judge who is truthful and who is liar. To institute a law against denial of a thing is an abomination and an insult to the intellectuals and to all members of society–it may be equated with tyranny; and may be an avenue to other such legislation(s). Laws do not prevent people from being violated: laws can only bring violators to justice; laws do not sanctify or justify a claim: truth does. Forcing people to not speak out only serves to silence voices: it does not change mentality. Such a law may bring more harm than benefit–it may attract more opposition to the “truth” it professes to protect. It is a monumental disgrace that “civilized” society would allow such a law to be instituted. Such a law is repugnant to reason. And is to be repealed. Forthwith! Be it history or theology Truth stands by itself; Falsehood needs to be propped up!)
The despots must be having a “laugh-a-rama” at this “democratic” law: ‘and they call us tyrants.’
18. Gibbon, the Qur’an, Mohammad a fiction (p. 10): "Gibbon, who wrote: “[The Koran is an] endless incoherent rhapsody of fable, and precept, and declamation, which seldom excites a sentiment or an idea, which sometimes crawls in the dust, and is sometimes lost in the clouds.” (At least among fables, the Qur’an is rhapsodic). …Muhammad’s claim that he was the Apostle of God was “a necessary fiction.”” (p. 10).
If the Qur’an is a difficult book to understand, this does not disqualify it as being Divine. One may consider legal writings to be garbled and puzzling; his mental limitation does not render them meaningless.
The Qur’an is a Revelation on many subjects. Anyone trying to read verses at random or trying to understand the Qur’an without knowledge as to the background of certain verses may very well find the Qur’an to be “incoherent.” This is why, at times, reading the commentaries are essential to help in understanding the Qur’an.
It is a miracle of monumental proportion that this Qur’an “which sometimes crawl in the dust and is sometimes lost in the clouds” has catapulted backward camel-herders into being masters of the world.
It is a miracle of monumental proportion that this Qur’an which is an “endless incoherent rhapsody of fable” foretold so many accurate prophecies that have already manifested.
It is a miracle of monumental proportion that this Qur’an “which seldom excites a sentiment or an idea” has made, more than a thousand years ago, several unerring scientific pronouncements that have been verified.
It is also a miracle that this “incoherent” Qur’an is free of interpolations and mistakes, and revisions upon revisions!
Mohammad could not have been the author of these scientific pronouncements.
As to the critic’s claim that these Qur’anic expressions are “putative:” it is the miracle of miracles that statements on science (and history–Pharaoh’s body saved, Roman victory over Persia, Alexander the Great, Jesus not killed/crucified) coming from the mouth of a Seventh Century unschooled desert dweller have proved accurate. (See QUR’AN).
Mohammad–a necessary fiction:
(That Mohammad did not exist is a claim made also by one German Muslim scholar–Toronto Star, Tuesday, Dec; 23, 2008).
Though no proofs are advanced to support this view; and no source of reference is given.
If Mohammad’s claim to Divine Apostleship was a “necessary fiction” it must be the miracle of the Ages that Mohammad on his own account made unerring statements on science and prophecies that manifested.
If Mohammad did not exist who “invented” Mohammad? And to whom did Allāh reveal the materials on science that no man could have known; and the many prophecies that manifested in Mohammad’s reign and afterwards?
If Mohammad did not exist, which Mohammad is the Messenger of Allāh and the “Seal of the prophets” –(Qur’an 3:144; 33:40; 48:29) and to which Mohammad did Allāh said He revealed the Qur’an–(47:2)?
If Mohammad did not exist from where did all the material on his birth, life and death come?
It is amusing that people would believe in the existence and Divine “apostleship” of prophets who preceded Mohammad by centuries and whose history were bequeathed through oral transmission for hundreds of years and recorded by men who were not “eye-witnesses” to the data they recorded, and of which prophets there are no proofs of the works to which they are credited; but they do not believe in the Divine “apostleship” and existence of Mohammad who lived a mere fifteen hundred years ago, whose life and history were both recorded and orally transmitted and whose works –the Qur’an, with its prophecies (that have manifested) and pronouncements on science (some of which have been substantiated)–are present with us today to verify.
Even if Mohammad did not exist yet this would not make any religion superior to or equal with Islam.
19. Mohammad, Jews and Idolaters (p. 10): ““Mohammad commanded or approved the assassination of the Jews and idolaters who had escaped from the field of battle. ….In his private conduct Mohammad indulged the appetites of a man, and abused the claims of a prophet. A special revelation dispensed him from the laws which he had imposed on his nation; the female sex, without reserve, was abandoned to his desires.””
Assassinations of Jews and idolaters: Be it on the battle field or in the civilian tent, these Jews and Idolaters were enemies of war. Their sole intent was to eliminate the Prophet and his followers.
Aren’t America and the Jewish state pursuing those (Muslims) they consider to be murderers and villains to subject them to their Judiciary; and even kill some of them?
Those who criticize Mohammad seem to be ignorant of events such as the assassination attempt on the Prophet’s life, the constant threat of death under which he and his followers lived, the Makkan’s pursuit of Mohammad to kill him on his journey to Madinah, the Makkan’s pursuit of the Muslims to Abyssinia; and the Jewish treachery with the idolaters to annihilate the Prophet and his followers.
Whatever measures Mohammad took to safeguard himself and his followers who were under the constant threat of extirpation, Mohammad was fully justified. What nation or individual is there, whether they are the oppressor or the oppressed, and be they religious or atheist, would not resort to any measure necessary for its self-preservation?
Significantly, unlike nations of today who engage in clandestine and open aggression, Mohammad was no aggressor, occupier, exploiter or oppressor.
Mohammad–a voluptuary: While there is a revelation giving the Prophet liberty to numerous marriages, the Prophet was also forbidden to enter into other marriages after this permission; and he did not enter into any marriage after this revelation–(Qur’an 33:50-52. For an explanation of the circumstances relating to these revelations please read Muhammad Ali’s commentaries). But was Mohammad a voluptuary?
In the first twenty-five years of his life Mohammad lived a life of celibacy. At the age of twenty-five he married his first wife, Lady Khadijah, who was a widow forty years old. Mohammad was about fifty-three years when Lady Khadijah died. It was only after the death of Lady Khadijah that Mohammad entered into subsequent marriages.
For twenty-five years Mohammad lived a life of celibacy. For twenty-nine years, from 25-54, he lived in a monogamous marriage with a woman fifteen years his senior. As Muhammad Ali notes, only from 54 did he enter into multiple marriages. After the death of his first wife, Khadijah, Mohammad married Saudah, “a widow of advanced age;” then ‘Aisha; Hafsah, a widow; Zainab, “daughter of Khuzaimah,” a widow; Umm Salmah, a widow; Zainab, the former wife of Zaid; Umm Habibah, a widow; Juwairiyah, Maimunah, and Safiyyah, three widows taken as war captives, whose marriages “in each case” “led to the union and pacification of a whole tribe;” and in the case of his marriage to Juwairiyah “a hundred families” of her tribe, “the Bani Mustaliq” “was at once liberated by the Muslims;” and Mary, the Coptic.
Though the Prophet Mohammad had some “fifteen” wives; it is significant to know his reasons for his multiple marriages. Which reasons are manifold:
(1) Social–married Safiyyah, a high-born Jewess captive of war to maintain her social status,
(2) Federal–to effect unity between tribes; one such marriage was to Hafsa; the Prophet’s marriage to ‘Aisha was three-fold: Divine revelation–(Bokhari Vol. 7, # 15; to effect unity between tribes; and to put an end to marriages with pre-teen girls (shown later),
(3) Diplomatic–accepted Mary, the Coptic, as gift from ruler of Egypt,
The Prophet Mohammad was born into a custom that engaged in child marriages. As he could not change a practice of society until he received Divine revelation, the Prophet, by marrying ‘Aisha and delaying consummation for five years, he was hoping to change society of pre-teen marriages by his action. This practice did end, as Muhammad Ali notes:
“there is no case on record showing that the marriage of a minor through his or her guardian was allowed by the Prophet after details of the law were revealed to him at Madinah. His own marriage with ‘Aishah which took place when she was nine years of age, is sometimes looked upon as sanctioning the marriage of a minor through his guardian, but there are two points worth con-sideration in this matter. In the first place, ‘Aishah’s nikah at nine was tantamount only to an engagement, because the consummation of marriage was postponed for full five years, to allow her, no doubt, to attain majority. In the second place, ‘Aishah’s nikah was perform-ed in Makkah long before the details of the Islamic law were revealed to the Prophet, and therefore her marriage at nine can be no argument for the marriage of a minor.” (The Religion of Islam, p. 601).
(Muslims who marry minors have no recourse to Islam for such a marriage. The Prophet’s marriage to ‘Aisha is no precedent for Muslims. The Prophet not only postponed consummation of his marriage to ‘Aisha for five years, he also married women of advanced age, and had their free consent. He was not pandering to prurient desire(s).
If Mohammad had sought to have the female sex “abandoned to his desires,” it is doubtful that he would have waited until the heat of his youth had dissipated, neither would he have pursued widows who were old and laden with children, there were scores of virgins of beauty and youth (which lustful old men often relish) for him to command.
This man who never lied, refused all wealth, and who returned the riches to his conquered subjects, would he now tell a lie on God that he was the Messenger of God?–such a man could hardly be viewed as an “impostor” whose enthusiasm of his “youth” was to gratify the “appetites” of a man.
Rationale is and will be the best and the greatest exonerator of Mohammad –of the calumnies against him.
20. Qur’an–treachery, inhumanity, cruelty, revenge, bigotry (p. 10): “What of Roper’s beloved Hume who wrote: “[The Koran is a] wild and absurd performance. Let us attend to his [Muhammad’s] narration; and we shall soon find that he bestows praise on such instances of treachery, inhumanity, cruelty, revenge, and bigotry as are utterly incompatible with civilized society.”
-The Qur’an which stresses the fulfilling of covenants, keeping of oaths and not to be deceptive (16:91-92); to speak justly (6:153); to be righteous (2:277-278; 6:152-154); to not let hatred for a people incite you to transgress (5:2); to render back trusts to whom they are due, and to judge justly (4:58); because Allah God loves those who judge in equity (5:45-47)–cannot be a Book that endorses “treachery.” Nor could it be a “wild and absurd performance” and “utterly incompatible with civilized society.”
-The Qur’an which admonishes against dealing unjustly with men (2:279, 5:8); and not to rob them of their dues (26:183); to give justice even if it be against one’s self or parents or kins or whether he be poor or rich (4:135), encourages the feeding of the needy and the poor, to free the captives, to help those in debt, to care for the orphans, the wayfarer, and to free the slaves (9:60, 2:177), not to act corruptly in the earth or to make mischief (26:183); not to be transgressors (2:190), not to help one another in sin and aggression (5:2), to restrain our anger and forgive others (3:133), to fight on behalf of the oppressed (4:75); because Allah God loves those who are just, and because He commands justice and the doing of good, and He forbids injustice (60:8, 16:90)–cannot be a Book that sanctions “cruelty’ and “inhumanity.” Nor could it be a “wild and absurd performance” and “utterly incompatible with civilized society.”
-The Qur’an which forbids against helping one another in sin, and to not counsel one another in sin, but in goodness (5:2; 60:8-9); to avoid letting hatred of a people incite transgression (5:2); not to take a greater recompense than the injury suffered (2:194; 16:126; 42:40); that instead of retaliation, to make reconciliation, and to show patience and forgiveness (16:126; 42:39-43); to be merciful and forgiving (3:133); to fight only as long as there is persecution and oppression (2:193), and to make peace when the enemy desires peace (4:90, 8:61); because Allah God loves the doer of good, and the dutiful (2:195, 3:75)–cannot be a Book that enjoins “cruelty’ and “revenge.” Nor could it be a “wild and absurd performance” and “utterly incompatible with civilized society.”
-The Qur’an which reveals that all men are created equal (95:4), that we are made into different tribes and nations that we may know one another (49:13), that we are to be judged not by our race, color or nationality but by our deeds (6:133), that angels ask forgiveness for all mankind (42:5), that the noblest ones are those who are righteous (49:13, 98:7), not to let hatred of a people incite you to transgress, and to help one another in righ-teousness and help not each other in sin and aggression (5:2), to return evil with that which is better (23:96), to give justice (4:58; 5:8); because Allah God loves those who judge in equity, and because Allah God is aware of what you do (5:45, 4:135)– cannot be a Book that fosters “bigotry.” Nor could it be a “wild and absurd performance” and “utterly incompatible with civilized society.”
It cannot honestly be denied that the world today would benefit from a massive dose of such sublime Qur’anic doctrines.
The Qur’an of such noble injunctions cannot be a Book that advocates “treachery, inhumanity, cruelty, revenge, and bigotry.” Nor could Mohammad who followed such a Book be said to have bestowed “praise” on “treachery, inhumanity, cruelty, revenge, and bigotry.”
21. Mohammad, the Holy Ghost, and Dante (p. 10): “What of Hobbes who thought that Muhammad “to set up his new religion, pretended to have conferences with the Holy Ghost in form of a dove.” (Hobbes “thought”–he is not certain?) …Mark Musa sums up Dante’s reasons for consigning Mu-hammad to Hell: “[Muhammad’s] punishment, to be split open from the crotch to the chin, together with the complimentary punishment of Ali, represents Dante’s belief that they were initiators of the great schism between the Christian Church and Mohammedanism. Many of Dante’s contemporaries thought that Mahomet was originally a Christian and a cardinal who wanted to become pope.” (And to know, such are the works that are glorified as literature and scholarly: works “rich in reflection and intelligence,” to borrow the words of R. Joseph Hoffmann, as penned in his foreword to Warraq’s book, p. xi). (p. 10).
The religion that Muslims follow is Islam, not “Mohammedanism.”
Not that Mohammad ever claimed to have “conferences with the Holy Ghost in form of a dove,” but if Balaam’s ass can speak to Balaam–(Numbers 22:28-30), and if the Holy Ghost can descend to Christ as a dove–(Mark 1:10), surely, the Holy Ghost can come also to Mohammad and “have conferences” with him.
Mohammad did not set up a “new” religion. Islam is the religion that was given to all prophets.
If Mohammad was “originally a Christian and a cardinal who wanted to become pope,” Mohammad had the good sense to abandon this doomed man-made and ephemeral ship of Trinity and take refuge aboard the eternal and Divine lifeboat of Unity.
Dante “consigning Muhammad to Hell”: This is hilarious. Dante, a mortal, insignificant man, ‘consigned” Mohammad to Hell; and Allah, the Eternal and Omniscient God, admits Mohammad into Paradise.
Who is Dante to consign Mohammad (or any one else) to Hell? Dante should concern himself as to where he is consigned. It would be interesting to know of Dante’s Divine source of reference “consigning” the Prophet Mohammad and Ali to Hell.
Mohammad and Ali did not initiate “the great schism between the Christian Church and” Islam. Mohammad brought Divine Revelation. The Church precluded this schism between itself and Islam when it tampered with Christ’s teaching and instituted the “senseless God-dishonouring doctrine” of Trinity; as well as the doctrines of Divine sonship of God, inherited sin and vicarious atonement. There is no place in the Bible where Jesus says I am God, I am the divine son of God, I am one in a Trinity with God, mankind inherited sin from Adam/Eve, I came to die for the sins of the world. These doctrines have no Divine foundation, no prophetic foundation, no logical foundation, and are repug-nant to reason. These doctrines are assumed and propagated as Divine Truths.
In fact, this schism is not only between the Church and Islam but also between Christians themselves; as some hold that Jesus is God whereas others that he is not God; some holding on to the Trinity whereas some reject the Trinity; some holding that Jesus died for inherited sin whereas others say that he died only for committed sin.
That Mohammad is to be “split open from the crotch” seems to be a veneer for the critics’ obsession with, and jealousy of, Mohammad’s “particularly active sex life.” It is doubtful that a voluptuary, and later a king at that, would live a life of abstinence till marriage, a monogamous life for nineteen years, and marry matrons, and elderly widows and with children when he has the expanse of nubile virgins at his disposal.
If dogmas consigning Mohammad to Hell and for him to be “split open from the crotch to the chin” is “the greatest poem in Western literature” that Western parents can bequeath to their children, may Allah help these children.
22. Qur’an–literal meaning (p. 11. Also p. 350): “Most Christians have moved away from the literal interpretation of the Bible…But Muslims have not moved away from the literal interpretation of the Koran: all Muslims ….believe that the Koran is literally the word of God.” (No one can disprove the Qur’an to be the literal Word of God).
Verses of the Qur’an are of both literal and allegorical meanings–(Qur’an 3:6). It is reasonable to expect that a Book from God must possess qualities that will distinguish it from books written by men. To prove that the Qur’an is a Book from Him, Allah has offered the challenge –He says: “And if you are in doubt as to that which We have revealed to Our servant then produce a chapter like it and call on your helpers (or leaders) besides Allah if you are truthful”–(Qur’an 2:23).
Allah has repeated His challenge to those who doubt the authenticity of the Qur’an as being a Book from Him in Chapter 10 verse 38, and in Chapter 11 verse 13. And in Chapter 17 verse 88 Allah declared that the whole of mankind is unable to produce a Book like the Qur'an. It has now been over fourteen hundred years; no one has met this challenge. There are perhaps millions of Christian Arabs, knowing the language, that are eager to disprove the Qur’an as Divine Revelation.
“I am Allah, the Seeing. (This is) a Book
which We have revealed to you
(that you may) bring forth men,
by their Lord's permission, from utter
darkness into light to the way of
the Mighty, the praised One”
That “Christians have moved away from the literal interpretation of the Bible.” Christians are to not only move away “from the literal interpretation of the Bible” Christians are to move away from their erroneous doctrines of Trinity, begotten Son of God–as begetting (fatherhood) requires the joining of sperm and ovum–inherited sin, and vicarious atonement. As stated above, these doctrines have no Divine foundation, no prophetic foundation, no logical foundation, and are repugnant to reason. These doctrines are assumed and propagated as Divine Truths. There is no place in the Bible where Jesus says “I am God,” I am one in a Trinity with God,” mankind inherited sin from Adam,” “I came to die for the sins of the world.”
As they delineate between Hell and Heaven, the cardinal doctrines of a religion are to clearly stated, they are not to be left to the function of interpretation. Research has confirmed the truth of the Qur’an that Jesus as Son of God dying for sins is a remnant of paganism–(Qur’an 9:30. See SOURCES OF CHRISTIANITY: www.muslim.org).
23. Islam–murder of writers (pp. 11; 93): “Iranian spokesmen examined the details of Muhammad’s life. There they found numerous precedents for political assassinations, including the murder of writers who had written satirical verses against the Prophet” “Again, these assassinations are sanctioned by a revelation in sura 8:68: “It has not been for any prophet to take captives until he has slaughtered in the land.”
Regarding the instances where the Prophet is said to have ordered death to those who denigrated him. From the beginning of his ministry the Prophet was a target of annihilation attempts. There was tacit warfare by his opponents. By intriguing against his life and openly reviling the Prophet these opponents identi-fied themselves as “enemy combatants” and were subjected to reprisals –even today and in “civilized” society during times of tension “free speech,” which may even express the truth, may be viewed as an incitement to unrest against the State, and be subjected to reprisals. People are targeted for opposing authority. People who are mere suspects are routed and even tortured or killed. Unlike rogue leaders, the Prophet Mohammad was no tyrant, no occupier, no oppressor, and no exploiter. This state of warfare was also true during the reign of the Caliphs, who were fighting wars with the enemies devoted to destroying the fledging Islamic State.
As noted elsewhere, the Prophet never took revenge for himself. These executions were only to curb mischief, which carries the maximum penalty of death or crucifixion–Qur’an.5:33. If the enemies had not become physical, Mohammad would not have retaliated.
The Prophet himself is reported to have sanctioned the lampooning of the pagans–(Bokhari Vol. 4, #’s 434-435, 731). This would show that there are different ways to respond to attacks on the Prophet, according to the prevailing atmosphere. In the absence of war, Muslims are to respond to the denigrators of Islam intellectually.
There is no Qur’anic law against blasphemy, there is, however, a law against slander–(Qur’an 24:4; 33:58); and against mischief –(Qur’an 5:33).
There is a law against blasphemy in Judaism and in Christianity–(Lev. 24:11-16, 23).
Whatever actions the Prophet took to safeguard the welfare of himself and followers against his enemies he was fully justified.
Regarding the “murder of writers” there are two points that merits consideration (1) were such ‘murders’ carried out before or after the revelation of the Qur’anic verses (quoted earlier) on blasphemy? (2) Were these writers ‘murdered’ for blasphemy or for slander or for mischief? Lady ‘Aisha, the wife of the Prophet is reported as saying that the Prophet “never took revenge for himself concerning any matter that was presented to him”–(Bokhari Vol. 8, # 777).
That these assassinations are sanctioned by a revelation in sura 8:68: “It has not been for any prophet to take captives until he has slaughtered in the land”: This verse does not mean that captives are to be slaughtered instead of them being taken prisoners. The entire verse reads: “It is not for a prophet to take captives unless he has fought and triumphed in the land. You desire the frail goods of this world,while Allah desires (for you) the Hereafter. And Allah is Mighty, Wise.”
Two verses over, verse 70 clearly contradicts Warraq’s view when it says: “O Prophet, say to those of the captives who are in your hands….” And chapter 47:4 made it even clearer: “So when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, smite the necks; then, when you have overcome them, make (them) prisoners, and afterwards (set them free) as a favour or for ransom till the war lays down its burdens.”
There could not be the taking of prisoners and setting them free or ransoming them if the Qur’an had sanctioned “assassina-tions” or to annihilate all soldiers/captives.
These verses also condemn abducting people into slavery; and laid down the condition that prisoners are to be taken only after defeating them in war and later to ransom or set them free.
24. Jihad (p. 12): “The celebrated Dictionary of Islam defines jihad as: “a religious war with those who are unbelievers in the mission of Muhammad. It is an incumbent religious duty, established in the Quran and in the Traditions as a divine institution, enjoined especially for the purpose of advancing Islam and of repelling evil from Muslims.” (This may be the definition in the Dictionary, but it is not the correct definition. And whose compilation is this?)
Jihad does not mean “religious war” or “holy war” in the sense of taking up arms and killing non-Muslims; it is “holy war” in the sense of striving against all forms of evil. Jihad is the noble struggle against all forms of injustice. Jihad means to “strive” or exert one’s self in the way of freedom, truth, and justice:
- to strive against our low desires (such as greed, selfishness, covetousness, jealousy, vanity, pride)
- to strive against evil temptations (such as to commit a sin or a wrong against someone)
- to speak out against an injustice
- to finance or take up arms against occupation, oppression/ persecution, exploitation, and usurpation (Muslims are al-lowed to fight only in self-defense; when he is not the ag-gressor. In Islam, to defend one's self, property, and fa- mily, and even others who are wronged, is a God-given right)
- to strive with the Qur'an against false worship. This form of Jihad is known as "Jihad kabiran"–the mighty striving–(Qur’an 25:52); perhaps because the worst form of bondage is bondage of the intellect.
The lesser Jihad, which is the armed struggle, liberates man physically; and the greater Jihad, which is the ideological struggle–propagating the Qur’anic Message of Allāh, God–liberates man morally, intellectually and spiritually. Islam strives to liberate man physically, morally, intellectually and spiritually. Islam liberates man:
–Physically–gives freedom of religion, movement and expression;
–Morally–impresses on us to be modest and moderate; and that the exacting of one’s rights is governed by the instituting of the rights of others;
–Intellectually–frees man from the degradation of worship of other humans and of nature and idols; and makes man the equal of man, and the master of nature; and instills in man that the only existence greater than himself is Allāh, God;
–Spiritually–enjoins man to entomb his lower desires; and to robe himself in the garments of prayer, charity, fasting, pilgrimage and Divine Attributes that will give him success in this life and in the life to come.
Islam strives to both liberate and captivate the mind of man –it strives to liberate us from the base and ephemeral, and to captivate us with the virtuous and eternal. There is no better source to be held captive by than Allāh, God, and His everlasting grandeur.
It would be unreasonable to cerebrate that the God Who enjoined His believers to swing the steel against the aggressor, oppressor, occupier, usurper, and the destroyers of shrines would condone such actions by His believers themselves. The permission to use the sword is limited to against those who first take up the sword to fight Muslims–(Qur'an 22:39; 2:190).
Only the oppressor, usurper, occupier, exploiter, usurper, the unjust, and those dedicated to falsehood and to mislead others are terrified of this Divine and noble Jihad.
Fighting for the propagation of Islam is no where mentioned in the Qur’an. While there is no injunction in the Qur’an or in the Tradition of the Prophet to spread Islam by the sword, there is a clear injunction to propagate Islam with the Qur’an–(25:52; 3: 103; 50:45).
Whereas jihad is rooted in peace and justice, violence is rooted in injustice and anarchy. Islam does not require Muslims to conquer lands for Allāh: the heavens and the earth already belong to Allāh. The Prophet’s duty was only to deliver the Message of the Qur’an not enforce it: “thy duty is only to deliver the message,” “There is no compulsion in religion,” “And if thy Lord had pleased, all those who are in the earth would have believed, all of them. Wilt thou then force men till they are believers?” “thou art not one to compel them. So remind by means of the Qur’an,” “We have truly shown him (man) the way; he may be thankful or unthankful,” “Call to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation, and argue with them in the best manner”–(3:20; 64:12; 24:54; 2:256; 10:99-100; 50:45; 76:3; 16:125).
There is no religious intolerance in Islam or subjugation of non-Muslims. The Prophet and the four Caliphs never forced Islam at the point of the sword on anyone.
Muslims are also required to undertake jihad on behalf of non-Muslims who are oppressed–(Qur’an 4:75).
It is only ignorance to cerebrate that the God Who enjoined His believers to swing the steel against the aggressor, the oppressor, the usurper, the occupier and the destroyers of shrines would condone such actions by His believers themselves.
It would be a contradiction to take up the sword on behalf of unbelievers if Islam had sanction the killing of all unbelievers. The permission to use the sword is limited to against those who first take up the sword to fight Muslims.
Jihad could not be “religious war” against non-Muslims to impose Islam on them when all religions are for Allah: “And fight with until there is no more persecution, and all religions are for Allah. …”–(Qur’an 8:39). As is clearly stated fighting is only to put an end to persecution.
25. Islam–a threat (p. 12): “What (John) Esposito (“an American Islamist”) and all Western apologists of Islam are incapable of understanding is that Islam is a threat, and it is a threat to thousands of Muslims. As Amir Taheri put it, “the vast majority of victims of ‘Holy Terror’ are Muslims.’”
There are some one-point-five billion Muslims in the world. Guess-timating that about one million engage in acts of “Holy terror” what about the remaining more than one-point-four billion? And all Muslims want Jannah (Paradise).
If Islam was a religion of “Holy terror” (or had counseled death to all disbelievers), the fastest and most assured way to attain Jannah would be for Muslims to lob one or a few grenades or home-made molotovs “helter-skelter” and get themselves shot and killed or imprisoned or the lethal injection. Why don’t we?
Muslims may be “the vast majority of victims of ‘Holy Terror’” because of the tyrants who profess to be Muslims, not because of the teachings of Islam. As shown, Islam is no “threat;” not to Muslims; not to non-Muslims.
Islam, the religion that liberates man physically, morally, intellectually and spiritually could not be a threat to anyone. It is a blessing!
Islam could not be “Holy Terror” when the Prophet’s duty was only to deliver the message–(Qur’an 64:12; 3:19). Islam could not be “Holy Terror” when all religions are for Allah–(Qur’an 8:39). Islam is a “threat” only to the occupier, the oppressor, the exploiter, the aggressor, the usurper, the criminals, the bigots, and those dedicated to Falsehood and misleading of others.
26. Mohammad, a child molester –‘Aisha. (p. 14): “One book mocks the Prophet; another refers to the Prophet as a child mo-lester (alluding to Muhammad’s nine-year-old bride, Aisha).
Unable to find any flaw(s) in the teachings of Islam (as the system from Allah, God, the All-knowing, All-wise, is perfect), the critics of Islam turned to tailoring the Prophet Mohammad–cloaking him in the garb of hedonism and terrorism.
Given the prevalence of, and the availability of, pornographic material, both in print and on screen, in modern times it would not be any wonder if children as young as eight and nine are aping the procreation act. What then was the age of sexual knowledge and sexual maturity in 7th Century Arabia where drunkenness and looseness of the loins were the prevalence of the day? What was the age of marriage in such a society devoid of prospect for career development as in modern times?
Perhaps it is not uncommon for people to be married at different ages according to the climate and period in time, and culture. And, there are some younger girls who are more developed anatomically than some older girls.
Tradition tells us that Al-Mughira said that “he attained puberty at the age of twelve,” and Al-Hassan bin Salih said “I saw a neighboress of mine who became a grandmother at the age of twenty-one” (the footnote to this narration explains that “This woman attained puberty at the age of nine and married to give birth to a daughter at ten; the daughter had the same experience”)–(Bokhari Vol. 3, ch. 18, heading of # 832).
In fact, as Muhammad Ali noted, ‘Aisha was at first “betrothed to Jubair, son of Mut’im;” and that the Prophet’s consummation of his marriage to ‘Aisha “was delayed for five years on account of ‘Aishah’s age, which was only nine at the time of nikah, according to a report of Ibn Sa’d.”10
If Mohammad married ‘Aisha for carnal pleasure it is doubtful that he would have delayed his matrimonial rights for full “five years.” If ‘Aisha was not of marriageable state it is doubtful that Mohammad would have married her. Considering the fuel that Mohammad would be giving to his opponents (not to mention the loss of support from his own followers) by undertaking such a marriage.
Webster defines “molest” as “burdensome, annoying,” “to make indecent advances to.” Thus, even adults–male and female –can be victims of molestation (of unwanted and indecent advances). There is no molestation in a man being with his wife. The accusers of the Prophet should be made to prove that ‘Aisha disapproved the Prophet’s attention.
To label Mohammad a “child molester” is slander.
Some countries may have laws forbidding it but are there no ten-year old girls in the world who are capable, and have inti-mate relations with men? And why is it not permissible for one to marry until the age of 16 or 18, but it is permissible for her to have a legion of sexual partners?
According to the Toronto Star, Tuesday, October 12, 1999, “the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland has revealed it is paying the bills of a poor, pregnant 12-year-old to prevent her from having an abortion.”
(Unless she was raped, how long has this “12-year-old” been having sex before she became pregnant? If a twelve year-old can have sex, become pregnant, and deliver, why can’t a fourteen-year old be a wife)?
The Toronto Star, Thursday, February 11, 1999 notes: “At 14, Kimberly is a veteran of Toronto’s sex trade;” written by “Mich-elle Shephard,” the article says about Kimberly that she “began selling her body when she was 11 years old.”
The Toronto Star, Saturday, April 29, 2000, Section J8, says: “Sordid child sex trade booms in Costa Rica;”reporter “Glenn Garvin,” notes that the girls say “they’ve been working as pros-titutes for a year, since they were 11 and 12,” the “youngest” of these prostitutes was one who was a “9-year-old.”
The Toronto Star, Wednesday, August 9, 2000, in its article, “U.S. teen birth rate at 60-year low, agency reports,” says that the drop in births was “4 percent among girls aged 10 to 14.”
(Disturbing as the above is, this is to draw attention to the fact that the young female is capable of intimate relations, which seems to be the root of the critic’s objection against the Prophet. Unless these ‘street-girls’ were selective their clientele may include 50-60 year-old men; it is doubtful that such a girl, or one in a society where 14 year-olds are permitted to marry, would refuse to be the wife of a 60 year-old king).
Again, the Toronto Star, Tuesday, May 2, 2006, page A11, reported that “At least 17 Israeli soldiers are under investigation” for having sex with “an 11-year-old girl.” According to the girl “the sex was consensual.”
If girls as young as 9-12 years old are capable of engaging in prostitution or illicit relations why are they not capable of engaging in the dignity of marriage? While, rightly, there are laws protecting children from sexual exploitation, the fact remains that female(s) as young as “9-year-old” are capable of, and are, having sex.
For twenty-five years Mohammad lived a life of celibacy. For twenty-nine years, from 25-54, he lived in a monogamous marriage, with a woman fifteen years his senior. Only from 54 did he enter into multiple marriages. After the death of his first wife, Khadijah, Mohammad married Saudah, “a widow of advanced age;” then ‘Aisha; Hafsah, a widow; Zainab, “daughter of Khuzaimah,” a widow; Umm Salmah, a widow; Zainab, the former wife of Zaid; Umm Habibah, a widow; Juwairiyah, Maimunah, and Safiyyah, three widows taken as war captives, whose marriages “in each case” “led to the union and pacification of a whole tribe;” and in the case of his marriage to Juwairiyah “a hundred families” of her tribe, “the Bani Mustaliq” “was at once liberated by the Muslims;” and Mary, the Coptic.11
Mohammad having relations with his young wife does not negate him from being Prophet of God. (Notably, Mohammad taught that prophets of Allāh God were sinless–Qur’an 21:25-28).
-Lot had relations with his daughters–(Genesis 19:30-38), this does not negate him from being prophet of God;(The ages of these daughters of Lot are not given; perhaps they were about the same age as ‘Aisha, and that Biblical girls had similar life-style as Arab girls; notably, whereas Arab girls were buried alive, Bib-lical children were sacrificed to the fire-god, Molech; Jephthah sacrificed his daughter as a “burnt offering”–(Lev. 18:21; Judges 11:30-40. Also, that Lot was made “drunk” does not negate the fact that he committed incest; he may have been drunk but he was conscious and functional and must have know the girls were his daughters, moreover as he had no wife).
-David had relations with Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba; and had a “young virgin” to keep him warm because he “gat no heat”–(2 Samuel 11:1-5; 1 Kings 1:1-4), this does not negate him from be-ing prophet of God. (and Christians sing his praise to the extent of their lungs and in beautiful, melodious tones; and they crab at Mohammad).
-Abraham is said to have had relation with his half sister–(Genesis 20:2, 12), this does not negate him from being prophet of God.
-Jesus had a woman “kissed” his feet and “wipe them with the hairs of her head”–(Luke 7:37-38), this does not prevent him from being prophet of God –he is even revered as God/son of God.
Lot is said to have had relations with his daughters–(Gen. 19:30-38), this does not negate him from being prophet of God. David is said to have had relation with Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba–(2 Sam. 11:1-5), this does not negate him from being prophet of God. Abraham is said to have had relation with his half sister–(Gen. 20:2, 12), this does not negate him from being prophet of God. Jesus had a woman “kissed” his feet and “wipe them with the hairs of her head”–(Luke 7:37-38), this does not prevent him from being prophet of God–he is even revered as God/son of God.
It is not presumptuous to say it is acceptable for a man to have carnal relations with his wife, than for a man to have carnal relations with his daughter(s), or with another’s wife, or with his half sister; or for God/son of God to have a woman kiss his feet and wipe them with her hair.
Nor is it presumptuous to say it is degrading for God(s) to have engaged in indecencies* than for a mortal to be in the company of his wife.
And, be it seventh century Arabia or twentieth century Modern Era, it is not presumptuous to say that the choice preferable for a young girl would be one as a wife rather than her being a courtesan.
The Prophet Mohammad was born into a custom that engaged in child marriages. As he could not order a change in practice of society until and unless he receive Divine revelation, the Prophet, in recommending “thighing”–simulated intercourse–with child brides was anticipating an end to intimacy with young girls; and by marrying ‘Aisha and delaying consummation of his marriage to her, he was hoping to change society of pre-teen marriages by his action. This practice did end, as Muhammad Ali notes:
“there is no case on record showing that the marriage of a minor through his or her guardian was allowed by the Prophet after details of the law were revealed to him at Madinah. His own marriage with ‘Aishah which took place when she was nine years of age, is sometimes looked upon as sanctioning the marriage of a minor through his guardian, but there are two points worth consideration in this matter. In the first place, ‘Aishah’s nikah at nine was tantamount only to an engagement, because the consummation of marriage was postponed for full five years, to allow her, no doubt, to attain majority. In the second place, ‘Aishah’s nikah was performed in Makkah long before the details of the Islamic law were revealed to the Prophet, and therefore her marriage at nine can be no argument for the marriage of a minor.” (The Religion of Islam, p. 601).
Muslims who marry minors have no recourse to Islam for such a marriage. The Prophet’s marriage to ‘Aisha is no precedent for Muslims. The Prophet not only postponed consummation of his marriage to ‘Aisha for five years, he also married women of advanced age, and had their free consent. He was not pandering to prurient desire(s).
*(Base acts have been attributed to the Gods of Hinduism; see Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty, Siva, The Erotic Ascetic).
(See item 19 for the reasons for Mohammad’s several marriages).
27. Right to criticize Islam (p. 14): “This book is first and foremost an assertion of my right to criticize everything and any-thing in Islam–even to blaspheme, to make errors, (and you’ve made a mountain-load of them) to satirize, and mock.”
Absolutely! Whereas slander and mischief are other matters, every person has the right to question and to comment on each and every religion. A religion that is displayed in the public gallery is an open subject to the light of investigation. And critics are to be able to make their expressions without fear of being violated –only that it is expected of them to substantiate their claims.
(Regardless of our “religious sensibilities” it is disgraceful that critics and revilers of Islam are threatened or harmed or killed: they are to be educated.
Islam, the religion of reason, argument, and examples does not seek to silence voices: Islam seeks to enhance mentality: “Call to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation, and argue with them in the best manner”–(Qur’an 16:125). ‘The superiority of the learned scholar over the pious worshipper is as the superiority of the [full] moon over the stars’–Prophet Mohammad.
There is no charge against Allāh, the Prophet, Islam and the Qur’an that is not refutable. The “perfected” Divine system cannot be “insulted.” Nor is there anything in the “perfected” Divine system for which to apologize. It’s perfect!
The most profound expression of love for the Prophet is to defend him. On the Day of Judgment when we desperately will be seeking his intercession before Allāh we will at least have the joy and satisfaction of knowing that in this world we stood up for him).
One who does not agree with the views of the other must take to the podium or take up the pen: this is the civilized and the intelligent approach. Only he who has no intelligent response in a matter would attack the messenger, physically or verbally–one who attacks physically is a coward–violating (and even hiding) without being violated; and violating a person does not alter mentality, but in fact tends to lend support to his views– and one who attacks verbally is a jerk–calling a person “ugly” names or other vulgarities does not make him/her those names etc; but instead may project the caller as a fool.
Warraq criticizes Islam –albeit baseless criticisms– without offering any knowledge: without offering anything better than Islam –not that anyone could. As shown his criticisms are without foundation. And, regarding the “war,” and “murders,” in such countries as “Algeria, the Sudan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan” he has muddled the line between Islam and the un-Islamic actions of Muslims. (p. xiii).
28. Superiority of the Qur’an (pp. 15; 159): “Accompanying an uncritical attitude toward Islam goes a corresponding myth of its superiority, its greater tolerance, its greater rationality, its sense of brotherhood, its greater spirituality, and the myth of Muhammad as wise and tolerant law-giver.” “But on balance, the effects of the teachings of the Koran have been a disaster for human reason and social, intellectual, and moral progress.”
The transformation brought about by the Qur’an in the lives of people is unrivalled in the history of religions. A hundred years after the advent of Islam ‘backward’ camel herders were sitting on the ‘thrones of Caesars.’
“That the Qur’an is a unique production of Arabic literature and has ever been regarded as the standard of the purity of that literature, goes without saying, but the chief characteristic of the Holy Book, in which no other book can claim equality with it, is the wonderful transformation which it accomplished, and it is to this characteristic that it lays claim in the very commencement when it says that this Book is a guide (2:2). That the transformation wrought by it is unparalleled in the history of the world is admitted on all hands, for if the Holy Prophet was the “most successful of all prophets and religious personalities” (En. Br. 11th ed., Art. Koran), this success was due to no other cause than the Qur'an. Its injunctions swept off the most deep-rooted evils, like idolatry and drunkenness, so as to leave no trace of them in the Arabian peninsula, welded the warring elements of Arabian society into one nation, and made an ignorant people the foremost torchbearers of knowledge and science, and a politically down-trodden people the mas-ters of the greatest empire of the world. Besides, every word of the Qur’an gives expression to Divine majesty and glory in a manner which is not approached by any other sacred book. The challenge (to produce a chapter like one of the Qur’an’s) remains unanswered to this day.”(M. Ali comm. # 36).
(For a fuller treatment of this topic, see QUR’AN).
There is no system –be it theocratic, democratic,
or despotic– that is superior to Islam.
The systems which respectively advocates an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, and to turn the other cheek and to go another mile with your enemy may be palatable for national con-sumption, but on the international table they are unwholesome diets. Islam combines both. There are times when a tooth and an eye have to be taken in retaliation; and times when to turn the other cheek and waltz with the enemy.
The system that teaches rebirths onto varying rungs of the social ladder and that man’s fate is robotic according to deeds in a past life is a system that disgraces people into subservience to others, is apt to kill incentives and may even breed animosity, and is a lawless system (because if we are governed by our deeds of a past life then any human law would be against this destiny dictated by the past life) with horrible consequences.
Islam holds that the bounty of God is open equally to all, and that one is better than the other only through faith in Allah and doing good deeds. Allah’s door is never closed.
As for secularism. There is probably no country in the world that does not have two sets of laws–one for the diplomatic elite, and one for the public. In Islam there is one law for all–be he of Majesty or penury.
Any system that denies the accused access to information that is being used against him, or the right to see and question such information could not be a system that is just, or a process that is fair. Such a system could not be superior to Islam, which requires that justice be given even if it be against our own self or parents.
(According to The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, (1) “Everyone is entitled to all rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, reli-gion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.” (2) “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.”12
To deny the accused his right to see the information against him, or to face his accuser, under the cloak of “national security” is a colossal crock! The highest right of an individual is his right to freedom, which is superseded only by his right to life. Anything that denies or restricts this right is a violation of his first and basic liberty–he may as well be not born. Such a denial or restriction is an obscenity and abhorrence of the highest order. Let the court find other ways to preserve “national security.”
‘The People is not of the State; the State is of the People’).
Contrary to Islam which seeks to keep man in sobriety and chastity. Alcohol, this water of the Devil, flowing freely from the fountains of secularism, is responsible for physical, psycholo-gical, and physiological destruction. Perhaps only war has a greater record of devastation. While there is some benefit in alcohol, as Islam teaches, the harm far outdistances the benefit. Modern medical discoveries are testimony to this.
Alcohol causes loss of mind, money, and manhood.
Drunks are ridiculed; children make fun of them; they may be unable to distinguish between wife, daughter, or mother–alcohol thrusted Lot into incest with his daughters and waylaid Jesus–who Christians say is “God” and “son of God”–as “wine-bibber,” as the Bible says–(Gen. 19:30-38; Matt. 11:19). Even dogs are said to spray on the drunk as they lie on the street.
Drunks may not know what they are doing or what is being done to them; saying thing(s) they would not normally say; doing thing(s) they would not normally do, and getting into situation(s) they would not normally get into –there are stories of women having compromised themselves while drunk and later regretting it; not knowing whose baby they are carrying and who is carrying their baby; (in a drunken or drugged state a woman may not know if she was violated or by whom or by how many, only realizing a few weeks afterwards that she was violated upon discovering herself being pregnant: this is perhaps the paramount reason young girls and women should avoid environments of drugs and alcohol). (Sadly, some Muslims, against the clear injunctions of Allāh, also swallow this “corrosive” and mind-stealer).
Alcohol may open the door to drunkenness, gambling, adultery, and thievery to support the habit. In fact it may be said that not money but that alcohol ‘is the root of all evil.’
It is ironic, first the bottle and the dice are thrown to us, and when we become chronic drunks and gamblers, we are shown the expressway to AA and GA–Alcoholics Anonymous and Gamblers Anonymous: we pay to become addicts, then we have to suffer from its withdrawal.
While secularism (in advanced countries at least) has given women equality with men in social, intellectual, and financial matters (which Islam did 1400 years ago), women has been reduced to an object of sex. Under the guise of ‘freedom’ she has been duped, stripped of her dignity: freedom from what? She has been given freedom to hit the bottle equally with men, to become easy target for sex–free sex and no babies.
Islam exhorts the man and the woman to keep the mind alert, and to guard what is between the cheeks and the legs–to purify the body and beautify the soul.
Then there is the matter of divorce. The man is hopelessly penalized into supporting his ex-wife for the rest of his/her life, so long as she chooses not to be wife to another, even though she may have a legion of sex-mates. This is probably the worst social immorality.
It is nothing but ignorance or bigotry to surmise that “the effects of the teachings” of the Qur’an “have been a disaster for human reason and social, intellectual, and moral progress.”
Further, the challenge to produce a verse as that of the Qur’an is still outstanding. If the Arabs could have done it their ability has not declined. In fact, with the advance of time their ability must be said to have been enhanced. There are still millions of non-Muslim Arabs, who are perhaps most enthusiastic to belie the Qur’an as the Word of God.
29. Islamic tolerance (p. 16): Warraq writes about the “myth of Islamic tolerance.”
Whereas Muslims may be guilty of intolerance, Islamic tolerance is no “myth.” (This is dealt with in item 89).
Only one statement need be advanced to show Islam’s tolerance for all religions: “Revile not those whom they call upon besides Allāh”–(Qur’an 6:108).
30. George Sale, Arabs, the Christian Church (p. 20): “(George) Sale firmly believed that the Arabs “seem to have been raised up on purpose by God, to be a scourge to the Christian church, for not living answerably to that most holy religion which they had received.””
Does Sale (and his supporters) “firmly believed” that the Christians (of which Hitler was said to be one) was “raised up on purpose by God, to be a scourge to” the Jews, for being the “children of them which killed the prophets,” for their ‘stoning’ ‘crucifying’ ‘scourging’ ‘persecuting’ the righteous, and for their killing the “son of God” (and even “God Himself” as some believe Jesus to be); or “for not living answerably to that most holy religion which they had received”?–(Matt. 23:31, 34, 37)?
If “God” “raised up” the Arabs “to be a scourge to the Christian church, for not living answerably to that most holy religion which they had received,” why blame the Arabs –can any man circumvent the dictates of God?
Which “Christian church” did Mohammad, Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, and ‘Ali “scourge?”
If George Sale is referring to Christianity as “that most holy religion,” he is deluded. As noted in item # 22 there are no Divine teachings as Trinity, begotten Son of God–as begetting (fatherhood) requires the joining of sperm and ovum–, inherited sin, and vicarious atonement. These doctrines are assumed and propagated as Divine Truths. There is no place in the Bible where Jesus says “I am God,” I am one in a Trinity with God,” mankind inherited sin from Adam,” “I came to die for the sins of the world.” As they delineate between Hell and Heaven, the cardinal doctrines of a religion are to clearly stated, they are not to be left to the function of interpretation.
And Christians follow “Greek” Gospels. Jesus did not speak Greek: Jesus, a Jew, spoke Hebrew and/or Aramaic.
31. Mohammad’s sincerity (p. 22):“How do we know Muhammad was sincere?”
Putting aside the materials noted in item # 28. The verses of the Qur’an speaking of double punishment to the wives of the Prophet–(33:30); the Zainab incident–(33:37); the command for the Prophet not to marry any more wives–(33:52); the revelation about the Prophet’s frowning at the blind man, Ibn Makhtum–(ch. 80), are proofs not only of the truthfulness of Mohammad but that the Qur’an is a Revelation from God. It is beyond reason to accept that an “impostor” would have such verses against himself and his beloved wives in a book that he wishes to exalt himself.
32. Religious charlatans (p. 22):
It may be that most anyone could start a religion and have a multitude of followers, but can their precepts supersede –or even equal–that of Islam’s?
Regarding the founders of religions, it may be “especially difficult to know how much of their own mumbo jumbo charlatans believe,” but the Qur’an with its prophecies that have already manifested and its scientific pronouncements that have already been verified are no “mumbo jumbo.” No “charlatan” could make such unerring prophecies and pronouncements on science. They have to be gifts from the Omniscient.
Mohammad was not the founder of Islam. Islam is the Divinely chosen religion–(Qur’an 5:3).
33. Communism, and the Industrial Revolution (p. 24):
The rise of communism was due not to any missionizing but to brute suppression. The doctrines of the Qur’an (as shown in this book) are sufficient to refute atheism. If Islam perceived commu-nism as a “danger” it is only because Islam is against oppression, occupation, usurpation, and compulsion, not because its doc-trines are inferior to communism.
Since Allah calls on man to believe in Him through the study of science, Islam could not view the “scientific atheists” and “rationalism” as a “danger.” Since Islam is for the social, moral, spiritual, and intellectual development of man, it could not view the “Industrial Revolution” and “materialism” (in the sense of acquiring wealth only) as a “danger.”
Islam is not against the acquisition of wealth and progress. What Islam is against is the hoarding of wealth; the obtaining of wealth through unlawful means; and the pursuit of wealth to the neglect of one’s spiritual elevation. All that is in the heavens and the earth, as Islam teaches, has been created for the benefit of man. As such, these bounties of God could not be taboo for man.
34. Monotheism versus Polytheism (p. 28. Also pp. 118-120): “why is monotheism seen as something higher than polytheism?”
Imagine that all time-keeping equipment was made by three individuals, with each individual having exclusive knowledge in manufacturing of a component. One day one (or each) of these individuals felt that his part was the most important and that his name should be first on the list of manufacturers, and that there is no compromise on the point; or that one of the individuals decides he wants out of the business and does not want to sell or disclose knowledge about his component. We would all have to go back to reading the sun. As for North Americans and those people laden with winter, their “wheel” of schedule would, naturally, be un“balanced.”
C. Rajagopalachari in his Ramayana conveys the point more “timely”:
“Viswaamitra was a king who attained sainthood throu-gh terrible austerities. He had long ago exhibited his spiritual powers by starting to create another Brahma and a rival universe: he had gone as far as the creation of new constellations, but was prevailed upon to stop by the entreaties of the alarmed gods.” (p. 19)
Imagine polytheism with its multiple gods. Imagine half a’ dozen disgruntled, or ambitious gods each creating his own “rival universe.” The Milky Way would become like a bowling alley.
How profoundly Allah has given us the arguments in His Qur’an for the existence of One God. He asks us to reason that:
1. If there were other gods with Allah then the idolaters with the help of these other gods would have been able to seek a way to the Lord of the Throne–(17:42).
2. If there were other gods besides Allah governing the heavens and the earth wouldn’t there be confusion in them–(21:22).
3. If there were other gods with Allah then each would have taken away what he created, and some of them would have seek to dominate others–(23:91).
If there were God(s) other than Allāh it would be expected that He would send His own messengers.
The argument (on pp. 118-119) that “A great number of men join in building a house or ship, in rearing a city, in framing a Commonwealth: Why may not several deities combine in con-triving and framing a world?” is a poor one. Such buildings by this great number of men are no guarantee of peace and harmony. There are much strife and infighting among the builders of this same house and city and Commonwealth.
There are those who transgress –who try to subjugate and control other nations; and even try to dominate the world– and they have created not even a gram of dirt, and they want to be lord over all. What if such transgressing nations were creators?
Clearly, it can never be better to have many creators instead of one. Even in the human sphere there is only one at the helm–in the home, organization, expedition, or country.
“There is order in the universe because one law pervades the whole of it, and one law clearly points to one Author and Main-tainer of that law. The unity of law is a clear proof of the Unity of the Maker.” (Muhammad Ali, Qur’anic comm. # 1620)
As noted in this presentation, Monotheism is not “inherently intolerant.”
Regarding the statement (on p. 119): “As the Dictionary of Islam says, Muslim writers are “unanimous in asserting that no religious toleration was extended to the idolaters of Arabia in the time of the Prophet. The only choice given them was death or the reception of Islam.”” This ‘assertion’ has been debunked in these pages. These “Muslim writers” may know the language of the Qur’an but it is clear they do not know the Qur’an.
That the Hindus and Buddhists have a “peaceable historical record” than the “monotheists,” as claimed by Schopenhauer (p. 120). It may be true that Hinduism and Buddhism do not have a dismal record of intolerance than the followers of monotheism. But Hinduism is not altogether free of religious fanaticism. Not only have they destroyed mosques–the most famous being the Babri Masjid*–and killed Muslims because of their religion as recently as the nineties. But, as Abdul Haque Vidyarthi has noted in his Muhammad in World Scriptures, the Hindu “ecclesiastic Shankaracharya” “perpetrated all sorts of afflictions upon the Buddhists in India because he was of the view that the Buddha was opposed to the Vedas.…He massacred Buddhists to such an extent that none of them remained in India, either they were killed or they fled out of India.”–(Vol. 1, p. 340).
*(Interestingly, Krishna says, “I still appear in every millennium ….Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice….To deliver the pious”–(Gita 4:6-8). Thus, Krishna must have come as Mohammad to the Arabs; and such seems to be Hindu belief as they say that Allāh is one of the names of God. As Rama and Krishna are said to be incarnates of Vishnu, then Allāh, Vishnu, Krishna, and Rama must be the same. It is ironic then that Hindus destroyed the Babri Masjid to build a temple of Rama: in essence Hindus destroyed the shrine of Vishnu/Rama to build a shrine for Vishnu/Rama).
And regarding Buddhist’s “pacifism” and tolerance. As late as 1902, Buddhist Thailand annexed Muslim Malay–presently numbering about three million. The Muslims “have been systematically discriminated against by successive governments in Bangkok.” “The latest of Thai assaults on Muslims began in 2002. Arbitrary arrests and brutal military tactics, including a 2004 incident in which 76 peaceful protesting Muslims were killed.”13
The “wickedness and cruelty” of the monotheists is not to be put at the door of the religion of Allāh.
Regarding the “tolerance” of the Pagan Arabs, it is rather strange that these Arabian idolaters/polytheists have shown tolerance for another God by subjecting Mohammad and his followers to attempted assassination, persecution, exile, most horrid torture, and war. (Wonder what their action would have been if they were intolerant).
There is no “advantage” in “Idolatry.” There is no “advantage” in subjugating one’s self to monuments of stone. And of depend-ing on this god and on that god for this and for that. Objects fashioned by man’s own hands cannot confer benefit or effect harm.
Regardless of how great a “tolerating spirit” idolatry may have, any man who would throw himself at the mercy of idols or would advocate or esteem such a practice of idolatry could be no “genius,” “customary” or otherwise. Much less, those who crown such individual(s) with the distinction of “genius.”
By taking other humans in worship man has made himself subservient to man. By taking objects of creation in worship man has rendered himself subjective to nature rather than make nature subjective to him. Idolatry is perhaps the worst of all degradation. Islam did not and does not preach “hatred” of idolatry or polytheism. Islam preaches only against the futility and degradation of idolatry, and the irrationality of polytheism.
While Islam is superior to all other religions, Islam does not deny salvation in other religions. Nor could it, for Allah says that He raised messengers among all peoples.
35. Islam, anti-Christian religion. Salman Rushdie. (p. 29): “The Koran explicitly denies the crucifixion (of Jesus). ….As the Muslim Word put it, “Islam is, in a sense, the only anti-Christian religion.””
Islam is Anti-Christ –more correctly, anti-Church– in the sense that it does not subscribe to the beliefs of Jesus being God, son of God, one in a Trinity, vicarious atoner and that man inherited sin. In fact, the Church which teaches these doctrines that Christ did not teach is, in this respect, anti-Christ.
In fact, given the contradictions among Christians themselves –some holding that Jesus is God whereas some do not; some believing in trinity and others do not; some believing in inherited and others do not– Christians indirectly consider the opposing sect as “anti-Christ.”
Mohammad was no anti-Christ. Mohammad “testify” of Christ –(John 15:26). Mohammad, through the Qur’an “repudiated” the Jewish calumnies against Jesus and his mother, Mary–that Mary was an “adulteress” and Jesus was of illegitimate birth.
That Jesus did not die on the cross has been shown in a legion of other presentations.
(It would be a gross error to view Muslims as “enemies” of Jesus. In fact, considering that Jesus taught the Unity of God, sinless birth, eternal life through obedience to the Commandments of God and to love him requires following the Comforter, (who has been shown to be the Prophet Mohammad), Muslims, who observe these teachings of Jesus, can be said to be the true followers of Jesus).
Salman Rushdie: (Regarding Muslim protest against Salman Rushdie over his book The Satanic Verses Ibn Warraq wrote), “Christian and Jewish religious leaders joined hands and closed ranks” with Muslims “to condemn Rushdie without scarcely a murmur against the un-Christian call to murder.”
How is it “un-Christian” to murder? Were those Popes who blessed the Crusades to the Holy Land “heretics” or were they Ambassadors of Christ –did they send these crusaders with palm branches in their scabbards and harps on their arms to fan the Muslims and Jews and to hymn them “Hosanna! Hosanna”?
Christians killed “six million” Jews; hooded themselves and hanged the blackman; have killed one another in Ireland; slaugh-tered the Bosnians and Kosovars; “massacred” in Ethiopia and savaged in Libya; slaughtered one another in the Second World War and in the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre and decimated the natives.
While it may be argued that some of these acts were not religiously motivated: did not the Master himself say: “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me”–(Luke 19:27)? (Which statement seems to be the justification for the ‘Crusade’. But God sent Jesus only to the Jews.
Muhammad Husayn Haykal points out in his book The Life of Muhammad:
“From the dawn of Christianity until today (20th century) every country of the world has been soaked with blood in the name of Jesus Christ. The Romans and the Byzantines of old as well as the European peoples of modern times are guilty of shedding blood in religious causes. The Crusades were launched and their fires fanned by Christians, not by Muslims. For hundreds of years, one army after another rolled out of Europe in the direction of the Muslim Orient to fight, to destroy, and to shed blood. In every case, the popes who claimed to be the vicars of Jesus Christ, blessed and encouraged these armies and hurried them to Jerusalem and other destinations. Were all these popes heretics? Was their Christianity spurious? Or was everyone of them a pretender, an ignoramus, unaware that Christianity absolutely condemns fighting? The missionaries rejoin, “Those were the Middle Ages, ages of darkness, unfit as evidence against Christianity.” If this is an argument on which they pin some hope, let us then turn to the twentieth century in which we now live and which they call “the century of the highest human civilization.” This century has indeed seen the same darkness as did the Middle Ages. Lord Allenby, representing the allied forces of England, France, Italy, Rumania, and America, stopped in Jerusalem in 1918 after his conquest of that city toward the end of the first World War and said: “Today the Crusades have come to an end.” (pp. 213-214).
Based on their belief that God “gave His only begotten son,” Jesus, to be crucified, it may be argued that Christianity stands on the very foundation of “murder.” How then is it “un-Christian” to murder?
36. Sharia-Islamic law (p. 31): Ibn Warraq quotes an “Iranian girl” lamenting Islamic law practiced after the fall of the Shah. ““Lovers’ heads and robbers’ hands are falling….In the coun-tries surrounding Iran, Islam is sheltering feudal or pseudo-revolutionary oppression….The liberal Left in the West should realise what a dead weight Islamic Law can be for a society that is desirous of change, and ought not to be seduced by a cure that is worse than the disease.”
Most, if not all, secular laws do nothing to those guilty of adultery (and fornication) which could not only “ruin families,” “destroys household peace,” deprives children of their need for parental togetherness, and contribute to the moral decay of society; but which could multiply sexually transmitted diseases, genital warts, gonorrhea, syphilis, AIDS–which may even be-come epidemic and even threaten chaste individuals (we’ve heard of people contracting AIDS through tainted blood and infected needles, and yet some deliberately infecting others), diseases which may affect the unborn who doubtlessly has the right to protection from diseases–may create unwed moms and dads; and perhaps abandoned children; traumatized individuals (traumatized by not knowing the identity of their biological parents); and which could perhaps cost millions of dollars to society to stem these diseases and to provide for pre and post-natal care for unwed mothers and children, and to provide for the welfare of these hapless children and even the unwed mothers; and if the fornicating couples have multiple sex-partners they may end up not knowing whose baby they are having, or who is having their baby, and if such babies are given up for adoption or abandoned then, depending on the age of these couples, a mother may end up having sex with her son, and a father with his daughter when these children are grown.
Thus, adultery and fornication, seemingly a personal affair, can and do have far-reaching effects in society. Should fornication and adultery then not be forcibly deterred?
These laws of Islam –dismemberment, flogging– are not “torture.” If the taking of painful injections for the containment of rabies, and suffering radiation for the treatment of cancer, and suffering deprivation to free oneself from addiction, are not torture–but rather are the remedies for the diseases afflicting the individual–then flogging the adulterer and fornicator, dismembering the thief, and executing the murderer–which are remedies for the diseases afflicting not only the individual but the society– could not be deemed as torture.
Society is not to be hostaged (with cost and disease) by loose sexuality; and overrun by criminals because man considers himself more humane than God. If individuals are brazen enough to transgress the law, be it religious or secular, they must suffer the consequences.
In Saudi Arabia “Lovers’ heads and robbers’ hands are falling.” And in the West robbers are sent to prison; and most likely end up robbing again and may even commit acts of murder and rape; and lovers run the risk of contracting herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis and AIDS which they may in turn infect others. It is doubtful that a decent law-abiding citizen would not prefer a society where thieves are permanently removed from thievery and promiscuity discouraged, but would prefer a society over-wrought with the “dead weight” of robbers, rapists, murderers, drunkenness, gambling, drug-dealing, drug addiction, pimping and prostitution, pornography and child pornography, and sexually-diseased children. (See also Islam-Shari’ah).
Islam does not support oppression–“feudal or pseudo-revolutionary”–or sin. Allah enjoins Muslims to fight oppression–(Qur’an 2:191, 193; 8:39; 42:42); and to “help not one another in sin and aggression”–(Qur’an 5:2; 58:9).
37. Mohammad and the Bani Quraiza (p. 32): “Norman Stillman describes Watt’s justification of the murder of between 600 and 900 Jews of Qurayzah by the Muslims under Muhammad as “as strong an apologetic defense of Muhammad’s con-duct on this occasion as might be expected from any devout Muslim.” (And Stillman’s baseless claim is “as strong” a condemnation of Mohammad’s “conduct on this occasion as might be expected from any devout” critic of Islam).
These Jews were not “murder(ed),” they were executed for trea-son; and executed under the dictates of the Torah. Mohammad did not pass this judgment. This judgment was rendered by the person chosen by the Jews to arbitrate on their behalf. Whatever misfortune the Quraiza’s suffered were due to their own orchestration. Which fate was of their own choosing seeing that they demanded “that they should submit to the sentence of punishment pronounced by Sa’d ibn Mu’adh.” The men were “put to death” and the women and children ransomed “in accordance with the Jewish law”–Deut. 20:12-14.”14 And Deut. 20:12-14 say that if the people will not make peace but war with you then:
“thou shalt besiege it; And when the Lord thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword: But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself.”
If Mohammad was pleased with this decision by Sa’d, Mohammad was justified because as believers in the Torah they were judged and sentenced according to the Torah.
Thus, Mohammad being pleased was not because the Bani Quraiza was executed (for Mohammad could have executed the Bani Nadir instead of expelling them from Madinah) but because the Quraiza had been judged and sentenced according to the law of God.
Mohammad faced death not only from the idolaters on the outside, but also from the Jews in the inside.
“The Jews,” as Muhammad Husayn Haykal noted, “sent some of their rabbis to feign conversion to Islam in order to enter Muslim ranks and councils. While showing all piety, these rabbis were commissioned to disseminate doubt and suspicion of Muhammad among his own people. …A number of hypocrites from al Aws and al Khazraj tribes joined Islam for the same purpose.” And “…upon Muhammad’s arrival at Madinah” the Jews, “after befriending him and pledging to honor his freedom to practice and preach the new religion, they had begun to oppose and plot against him. In fact, no sooner had Muhammad settled down and the prospects of Islam had begun to improve, than the Jews, for their part, began their undeclared war against him. Their opposition and hostility were never open.”15 (Perhaps this is so today also).
Muhammad Ali noted that upon his settling into Madinah the Prophet Muhammad made a “treaty of mutual obligation” with the Jews in which “the Muslims and the Jews were bound not only not to turn their hands against each other but also to defend one another against a common enemy;” and “when the enemy laid siege to Madinah, they were bound to repel the attack.” But, “Instead of this they sided with the investing army.” The Quraiza’s “were in alliance with the Prophet, but when the Quraish attacked Medinah, which, under the treaty, they were bound to repel, they secretly sided with the invading army.” 16
38. Allah is dead (?) (p. 32): Substituting “Allah” for the Christian’s “God,” Ibn Warraq argues that “Nietzsche’s “God is dead” becomes “Allah is dead.”
Who is God and who is Allah? The general Christian concept of God is that He incarnated Himself as Jesus–was in the womb of a woman, fed on her liquid, emerged from her vagina, nursed her breast, was circumcised, ate, slept, drank and answered the calls of nature and was killed. Whereas the Muslim’s concept of Allah, is that He does not incarnate Himself nor could He be killed.
Also, according to Christians God is without generosity and mercy, He needed some kind of “satisfaction” in order to forgive sins–hence the crucifixion of his “only begotten son” and even of Himself, as some believe Jesus to be God. Whereas Allah forgives without the need for any “satisfaction”–He is the Rahman: “the Beneficent God Whose love and mercy are manifested in the creation of this world” and having “the greatest preponderance of the quality of mercy;” and He is also the Raheem: “the Merciful God whose love and mercy are manifested in the state that comes after” the creation of this world.”*
Thus, it is an absurdity to surmise that “God is dead” becomes “Allah is dead.”
*(Quotes, M. Ali Qur’anic comm. # 3).
39. Biblical figures, miracles (p. 33): “even Muslims attest to Jesus’ miracles. …When biblical scholars say that Jonah never existed or that Moses did not write the Pentateuch, then, implicitly, the veracity of the Koran is being called into question.” (Where’s the proof that “Jonah never existed”?)
When Allāh speaks about the Revelations given to Moses (Torah) and to Jesus (Injeel/Gospels) and to David (Zaboor/Psalms), He is referring to the original Books, not what is presently known, though these may contain portions of the original.
Though the Qur’an contains references to the above-named figures, the Qur’an does not put the stamp of Divine truth on all the Biblical accounts of these figures–such as Lot having committed incest with his daughters, that David was an adulterer, or that Solomon was a polytheist, etc;…
The Qur’an also speaks of the city of Iram–(Qur’an 89:7) which seems unheard of in history. But (as noted in item #12) the December 1978 edition of National Geographic carried an article on the excavation of a city named “Ebla” whereby this city of Iram is mentioned, and also noted the name of Abraham.. Perhaps, it may take another four thousand years (if the world is still around) for man to discover the Divine truth of Jonah.
What is definite is that since the Qur’an says Jonah existed then there is no doubt that he did. Investigation will verify it.
While there is evidence that Moses did not write the Torah (as it appears today), it is not unbelievable that revelation was given to him and his original teaching was later modified. If a teaching so late as that of Jesus Christ could suffer such a fate, how much more vulnerable to modifications are teachings that are thousands of years old.
Regarding the miracles of Jesus, there are some Muslims who are of the view that the sick, the blind and the dead that Jesus healed and raised were the morally and spiritually defected. This seems to be a reasonable view considering that Jesus, as the Gospel says, gave such miraculous powers to his disciples. But there is no record of any such literal dead being raised by them.
The only miracle the Prophet Mohammad claimed to bring was the Qur’an. In the words of Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din:
“The claim of the Qur’an, that it would baffle human efforts to produce its equal, is based on absolute truth. A Book completed in twenty-three years, dealing with every aspect of human life, and yet remaining free from any kind of discrepancy or even a slight variation, is in itself a miracle.”17
40. Darwin and the Qur’an (p. 33): “Can the Koran also with-stand the onslaught of Western scientific thought? What of Darwin and the theory of evolution that were to deal such a decisive death blow to the biblical account of man and creation. Both the Bible and the Koran talk of Adam and Eve. Many Christians have accepted the results of science, adjusted their beliefs accordingly, and are no longer committed to the literal existence of their biblical parents. Muslims have yet to take even this first step.”
Scientists may have been successful in “producing organic compounds” from “inorganic ones” in the lab; but what is the source of this “mixture of chemicals” in the wild, and in the required proportions?
The Qur’an does not oppose the belief in the evolution of the non-human species. However, the writers of the Biblical account of “man and creation” erroneously thought they could trace man’s pedigree to the first pair, leaving the modern day Christian fathers with the wrong belief that the earth was only about six thousand years old. Muhammad Ali explains:
“Adam is generally taken to be the proper name for the first man, but neither here [Qur’an 2:31] nor anywhere else in the Holy Qur’an is it affirmed that Adam was the first man or that there was no creation before him. On the other hand, great Muslim theologians have held that there were many Adams–thousands of Adams–before the great ancestor of mankind known by this name (RM). As the previous verse shows [verse 30 of chapter 2], the whole of humanity is spoken of here because the shedding of blood could not be the work of one man; the reference is to the shedding of the blood of man by man. Adam, therefore, though it may also be the name of a particular man stands for man generally.”18
That this Adam was not the first man seems to be borne out by the fact that after Cain killed Abel, Cain is said to have gone to the land of Nod where he knew his wife who conceived–(Genesis 4:16-17). Since Cain and Abel were the only two children–and there was no mention of any other children so that Cain could be said to have taken a sister as wife–where then did Cain find this woman for wife if there were no other human beings on the earth? As noted, the verses of the Qur’an are either of basic or allegorical in meanings–(Qur’an 3:6).
Allah says that when He decrees a matter, He only says to it “Be, and it is”–(Arabic “kun fayakun: Qur’an 2:117). This coming into existence of the various creations according to the command(s) of Allah–(Qur’an 41:11-12)–are their submitting to His will–which is Islam: Submission or Obedient to the law of God. However, this “Be, and it is” does not mean an instantaneous manifestation of items, only that when Allah commands nothing nor anyone can prevent His will from coming into being.
Creationism is not opposed to evolution. Allah reveals in the Qur’an that, “He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth”–(2:117); that He “originates creation then reproduces it”–(30:11). But Allāh originating and reproducing creation does not negate the possibility of Him effecting creation through evolution also.
Allah says that He created man with His own hands–(Qur’an 38:75; this does not necessarily mean that God actually fashioned man with His hands, but that He brought man into existence through a more immediate act as against the other creations which came through a process of evolution), there is no statement to show that He created other forms of life directly as He created man.
Allah says that He created all things from water–(Qur’an 21:30; 24:45), which may suggest that other forms of life were created through the process of evolution according to His laws. (That God created all things from water is not to be confused with the statement of the Qur’an that He created man as well from water; because this creation of man from water refers to his creation through procreation, for He already revealed that He created man with “His hands”).
Allah reveals that He created all things in pairs–(Qur’an 42:11). If creatures had evolved by mere chance, the chance of them being evolved as either male or female or with any genitals for that matter, and with reproductive cells would seem highly improbable. Allah creating all things in pairs, does not necessa-rily mean that He created all things through His laws of evolution (supposedly). He may have created a few species only; which inter-bred with one another (much like modern day inter-breeding of animals to produce other breeds); which would account for the several species of one creature, as in the case of birds and beetles. This inter-breeding could very well apply to every kingdom of animal species.
After willing the various creations to manifest, Allah created man and “breathed into him of His spirit”–(Qur’an 7:11; 15:26-29; 32:7-9). As can be seen, whereas Allah manifested all other creations through a process or His command, His creating of man was through direct intervention. Thus, there are two methods of creation–through the process or “evolution” under the laws of God, and through direct intervention or “creation.”
However, one must keep this creation through a “process” in perspective, i.e. it must not be imagined as when one is viewing a movie–where everything occurs one after the other in a few moments. This creation process may take centuries. The Qur’an likens one Divine day to be the equivalent of a thousand years of ours.
So if creation of the heavens and the earth took six Divine days or periods, then we must be looking at a time frame of six thousand years –(this must not be confused with the age of the earth and the heavens. For it is not necessarily so that God created man immediately after His creating of the heavens and the earth. Neither is it necessarily so that God created all things in succession one immediately after the other).
In effect, Allah is Creator of all, though not necessarily by direct intervention; but also through ‘laws of association’–mean-ing when certain elements are combined new forms or objects come into being. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din points out:
“The principle of evolution, it should not be forgotten, was taught to the world for the first time in Islam. The Qur’an began with a chief Divine Attribute–Rabb-ul-‘Alamin.…It also means the Originator of things and their Combiner to create new forms. It means the Law-giver, Who frames Laws under which He propounds the shapes which things must assume and the ratio and pro-portion in which various ingredients must combine with each other. He is the Regularizer, i.e., the Lord Who puts things on the way to perfection. He is the Arranger of the different stages through which they have to pass on their way to completion.”–(Ref. Qur’an 87:1-3).” (Introduction to the Study of the Holy Qur’an, pp. 25-26).
Muslims do not have to adjust our beliefs on the teachings of the Qur’an, as Christians have “adjusted their beliefs” on the Bible. The Qur’an is the infallible and indisputable Word of Allah. Science is today verifying its statements.
2. The Origins of Islam
41. Islam–a concoction (pp. 34, 45): “Perhaps Muslims have the unconscious fear that if we can trace the teachings of the Koran to a purely human and earthly source, then the entire edifice of Islam will crumble.” “…among the companions of the Prophet there was one Persian called Salman, who may well have taught Muhammad something of the religion of his ancestors.”
It is reasonable to expect that a Book from God must possess qualities that will distinguish it from books written by men. To prove that the Qur’an is a Book from Him, Allah, God, has offered the challenge–He says: “And if you are in doubt as to that which We have revealed to Our servant then produce a chapter like it and call on your helpers (or leaders) besides Allah if you are truthful”–(Qur’an 2:23).
For any human to teach Mohammad the Qur’an, he would have had to know that Pharaoh’s body was in preservation for future generations; that after the flood Noah’s Ark rested on Mount Judi; relate prophecies to Mohammad, and scientific ideas which took the world some thirteen hundred years to discover –scientific ideas such as that the heavenly bodies swim in orbit and that the earth was a sphere; relate to Mohammad what is not in the Bible, such as that all things are created in pairs, and that man is covered in three layers of protection in his mother’s womb; correct the “discrepancies” in the Bible for Mohammad, and to “pronounce truths of a scientific nature that no other human being could possibly have developed at the time, and all this without once making the slightest error in his pronouncements on the subject.”19
To quote Maurice Bucaille on the Qur’an:
"What initially strikes the reader confronted for the first time with a text of this kind is the sheer abundance of subjects discussed: the Creation, astronomy, the explanation of certain matters concerning the earth, and the animal and vegetable kingdoms, human reproduction. Whereas monumental errors are to be found in the Bible, I could not find a single error in the Qur’an. I had to stop and ask myself: if a man was the author of the Qur’an, how could he have written facts in the Seventh century A.D. that today are shown to be in keeping with modern scientific knowledge?”20
Muhammad Ali notes, regarding these alleged teachers of Mohammad:
“Various names have been suggested as to the person whom the opponents of the Prophet referred to. These are mostly the names of Christian slaves, Jib, Yasir, ‘Aish or Ya’ish, Qais, ‘Addas, who were not Arabs. …. The general opinion of the Christians is that it was a Nestorian monk named Sergius, who is identified with the monk Buhairah, whom the Holy Prophet, while yet a boy, met on his journey to Syria with his uncle Abu Talib. The absurdity of this view is also pointed out by Sale. As regards the Christian slaves, they certainly cannot be supposed to have been the authors of the sublime themes of the Holy Qur'an.21
“The broad principles of religion and the beautiful moral and spiritual truths which find expression in the Qur'an could not have been collected, if such a collection by human exertion were possible, except by one who had knowledge of all the previous scriptures; but the Holy Prophet had not read even a single book. He could neither read nor write. …Leaving aside all the principles and truths, if we consider the broad principles that Islam taught with regard to the truth of Divine revelation in all ages and to all nations, a truth never taught or recognized by any religion or by any man before the Holy Prophet, it is remarkable that such a broad truth should have been preached by one who had never read the scriptures of any religion and who lived in a country which was almost cut off from all communication with other countries.”22
“The Qur’an contains not only truths which are met with in previous scriptures, but also others which are not to be found in any scripture….What the most progressive religious thought of today considers desirable for the basis of a common religion of humanity is met with in Islam.”23
42. Islam–religion of the sword (p. 35): “…Zwemer’s conclu-sion that Islam “is not an invention, but a concoction; there is nothing novel about it except the genius of Mohammad in mixing old ingredients into a new panacea for human ills and forcing it down by means of the sword.””
If Islam is Mohammad’s “concoction,” it is the most baffling “concoction” to the best human brain to produce its equal.
That “there is nothing novel about” Islam. But for Islam, as appended to in preceding pages, mankind may yet be running around with flint tools and torches.
Mohammad’s whose duty was only to deliver the message, and as all religions are for Allah, and as there is no compulsion in religion, it could not be said that Islam propagates religion “by means of the sword.”
Ahmed Deedat has pointed out that “over a hundred million Indonesians are Muslims, yet no conquering Muslim army ever landed on any of its over two thousand islands.” He also points out that in “Malaysia: The overwhelming number of its people in this country are Muslims yet no Muslim soldier had landed there either;” and that in “Africa: The majority of the people on the East coast of Africa as far down as Mozambique, as well as the bulk of the inhabitants on the West coast of the continent are Muslims, but history does not record any invading hoards of Muslims from anywhere. What sword? Where was the sword? The Muslim trader did the job. His good conduct and moral rectitude achieved the miracle of conversion.” (The good conduct of the Muslim trader and Islam’s appeal to reason!).24
It cannot be shown that the Prophet Mohammad or the first four Caliphs of Islam forced Islam at the point of the sword on anyone.
If Islam was for the conquest of lands Muslims would not have devoted all their energy towards science and academics; but would have directed a part of their efforts in pursuit of the development of armaments of war and bondage.
43. Islam and superstition and paganism and jinns and demons and charms and omens and angels (p. 35. Also pp. 42, 48; 117): “Islam owes many of its most superstitious details to old Arabian paganism especially in the rites and rituals of the Pilgrimage to Mecca.”
Sura 2:153 says: “O you who believe; seek assistance through patience and prayer; surely Allah is with the patient.” Seeking Allah God’s assistance through patience and prayer could hardly be classed as “superstitious.” Mohammad could not have “perpetuated innumerable superstitions” when Mohammad spoke out against superstition. For instance, the Jews use to believe that if a man had sexual intercourse with his wife from the posterior position and had a child born from that union then the child would be squint-eyed; so Allah revealed “Your wives are a tilth unto you; so go to your tilth when and how you will”–(Qur’an 2:223. Cf. Bokhari Vol. 6 # 51).
Also, pre-Islamic Arabs use to believe that a worm would come out of the head of a man who was killed and not avenged. An owl perched on one’s house use to be viewed as an omen of death to the owner of the house or to a relative. Some use to claim that “the bones of a dead person turned into a bird.” But the Prophet Mohammad “denies all this and invites people to abandon all such superstitions”–(Bokhari Vol. 7 #653 Cf. The word ‘Hama’).
The Qur’an condemns not only idolatry, but sorcery, fortune telling, and superstition as well. It would be ridiculous, to say the least, that Mohammad practiced and/or preached or encouraged superstitious beliefs.
The Qur’an is a Book of wisdom. Islam teaches us to be wise. There is no wisdom in aping idolatry, superstition, sorcery, and fortune telling. In the realm of the seen and the unseen only Allah God is the true power.
The Qur’an supersedes all other sources of guidance. The Prophet Mohammad instructed us only according to Divine Revelation–(Qur’an 21:45; 53:3-4).
Sura 22:28-30 deals with animal sacrifices, circumambulating the Ka’ba, and shunning the abomination of idols and all words of untruth (verse 31 instructs us to devote ourselves only to Allah and not to associate anything with Him). Observing the rites of sacrifice and compassing the Ka’ba and devoting oneself only to Allah could hardly be viewed as “superstition” or “paganism.”
Sura 53:19-20 mentions the names of the pagan gods/idols Lat, Uzzat and Manat. This does not mean that Islam incorporates “Arabian paganism.”
Verse 23 of Sura 50 tells us that Allah told these pagans/idolaters that their gods/idols are “nothing but names which you have named, you and your fathers –Allah has sent no authority for them. They follow nothing but conjecture and what their souls desire, while there has already come to them guidance from their Lord.”(See also verses 26-30).
“To show God in human shape, or imagine sons or daughters of God, as if God were flesh, was in any case a derogation from the supreme glory of God, high above all creatures, even if the human shapes were invested with great beauty and majesty as in the Greek Pantheon. But when we consider in what low opinion Pagan Arabia held the female sex, it was particularly degrading to show God, or so-called daughters of God, in female shapes.”25
Sura 71:22 (recounting the story of Noah), reveals that the idolaters said to one another “forsake not your gods; nor forsake Wadd, nor Suwa, nor Yaghuth and Ya’uq and Nasr.”
Verse 24 states that by opposing Noah and encouraging others to false worship that “they have led many astray;” and that Noah prayed for God to give the idolaters “an increase in nothing but perdition.” (Verse 25 says of the idolaters that “because of their wrong-doings they were drowned”). It is absurd then to take the recounting of the story of Noah and the fate of the idol-worshippers, which serves as a lesson for mankind, as an incorporation of “Arabian paganism.”
Mohammad, in order to disassociate the practice of Muslims with anything relating to paganism, went so far as to forbid Muslims to pray at the time of the rising of the sun, its zenith, and its’ setting.
It is not credible that Mohammad, who from day one of his mission fought unceasingly and uncompromisingly against idolatry, risked his life in wars and against secret conspiracies, endured horrible tortures of his few followers, and suffered persecution and exile, would then upon his victory and with tens of thousands of followers, incorporate idolatry and superstition into the religion of Allah.
Islam and jinns and demons:Are physical beings the only creation? I have heard of people being possessed by demons/evil spirits. Jesus is said to have cast out devils from people. How can this be if there were no beings of the unseen?
Allah has revealed to us that “He creates what you know not”–(Qur’an 16:8). Two thousand years ago, as far as we know, man was not aware of the existence of electricity and magnetism, and forces of gravity. Nor did we know about the atom, and better yet that it can be split, nor did we know about electrons. How many things there may yet be that man does not know of. We cannot see electricity, magnetism, or forces of gravity, but we know they are present. We can see their effects.
An automobile needs fuel and a driver (whether by direct operation or by remote control) to give it mobility. What then is this force that drives the human body? What is this factor that so long as it is with the body makes it mobile and keeps it free from corruption (decay); and which, from the moment it is removed renders it a corpse and subject to decomposition? If we cannot see this factor (which we will call the soul) that drives the body and keeps it free from corruption, it is not unfathomable to accept the existence of Jinns, demons/evil spirits, and angels.
There is none better to pray to for protection against these demons/evil spirits than to the Superpower –Allah, the Glorious and the High.
Islam and charms and omens: It would be an abdication of reason to entertain that the man who suffered persecution, exile, fought tooth and nail against all forms of false beliefs –idolatry, superstition, charms, and omens–would, after being victorious, incorporate them into his faith. Seeking Allah God’s protection against the forces of evil are not “charms.”
As for “superstitions” and “omens,” I have noted the Prophet’s refuting (through the Qur’an) the Jewish superstition of the squint-eyed child. At the death of the Prophet’s son, Ibrahim, there was a lunar eclipse. The Arabs attributed this to the death of Ibrahim. The Prophet informed the Arabs that eclipses do not occur because of a person’s birth or death, but that it is a phenomenon of nature–(Bokhari 2:153, 156).
The Prophet also dispelled the Pre-Islamic “omens,” saying: “There is no ‘Adwa, nor Tiyara, nor Hama, nor Safar”–(Bokhari Vol. 7, # 653).
Islam also abolishes the idolatrous practice of “bahirah, saibah, wasilah, and hami”–(Qur’an 5:103), in which “The liberation of certain animals in honour of idols was a practice among the Arabs.”–(M. Ali, Qur’anic comm. # 742).
Islam also teaches about the existence of angels.
It is not unbelievable that there are unseen creations such as angels and jinns. We know of individuals being possessed by evil spirits; we know about magnetism, electricity etc; and Allah tells us that He creates what we know not.
However, the Qur’an does not say what form these unseen creatures have. Thus, that some of these creatures have “wings” and that some are “snakes and dogs” are only the imaginations of men.
Pilgrimage to Makkah: (Already discussed in item #11).
Qiblah: This is the direction/station which Muslims face to offer their prayers. This Qiblah is the Ka’ba in Makkah. Allah instructed the Prophet Mohammad to face this Ka’ba during prayer–(Qur’an 2:143, 149-150). It was not Mohammad’s duty to get anyone to accept him as Messenger of Allah. His duty was only to preach the message of Allah–(Qur’an 24:54).
Since Allah informed Mohammad that He instructed Abraham and Ishmael to purify His House for His righteous servants–(Qur’an 2:125, which House at Makkah is the first House of worship appointed for mankind–Qur’an 3:95), it is obvious that Mohammad was anxious for the House of Allah to be made the Qiblah for Muslims; and was wondering why the order to make this sacred (and first) House at Makkah the Qiblah was not yet given. As well, since Jerusalem was the center of the Israelite prophets–a brotherhood (of prophets) of which he himself was a member–Mohammad had no choice but to honor Jerusalem as the center of worship (until he received revelation to change to the Ka’ba at Makkah).
44. Revocation of the treaty with the pagans (p. 38): (Qur’an 9:1 and 28): This treaty was revoked only in the case of those pagans who constantly broke their treaties with the Prophet, as is made clear in verse 4 (of 9:4) “Except those of the idolaters with whom you have made an agreement, then they have not failed you in anything and have not backed up any one against you; so fulfill their agreement to the end of their term. …”
That some of the pagans habitually broke their agreement with the Muslims is borne out in Qur’an 8:56, “Those with whom thou makest an agreement, then they break their agreement every time, and they keep not their duty.”
The ban on all pagans from the Ka’bah (Qur’an 9:28) was because they were “unclean”: they engaged in intoxicants, gambling and the worship of idols–(Qur’an 5:90), and they went around the Ka’bah naked.
(See Mohammad Ali’s commentaries on these verses, from where I have taken my information. His translation of the Qur’an can be viewed online: www.muslim.org).
45.Allah and Hubal (p. 39):“Wellhausen concludes that Hubal is no other than Allah, the “god” of the Meccans.”
Muhammad Ali explained: “It should be further borne in mind that the idolaters did not deny the existence of God the Supreme, Whom they believed to be above their idols, who were recognized only as minor deities.”26
This belief in the Supreme Lord by the pagan Arabs was evident upon Abraha’s invasion of Makkah in the year 570 to destroy the Ka’ba. “Unable to defend the Holy House against the huge army, ‘Abd al-Muttalib thus prayed aloud, leaning upon the door of the Ka’bah (he did not pray to any of the statues): “Defend, O Lord, Thine own House! and suffer not the cross to triumph over the Ka’bah” (Zurqani).”27
Thus, if to the pagan Arabs “Hubal” is the same as Allah, then this idolater, ‘Abd al-Muttalib was calling on Allah, the Lord of the worlds, to defend His First, Sacred and only House of wor-ship that He has established for all men.
Islam teaches that Allah is the God of all mankind. Hence, Allah is known by a myriad of names (according to the language of the people). Thus, it does not matter if in Arabia God was known as Hubal or Allah; as long as He is worshipped in His Purity, i.e. He is the One and Only God, Who is the Eternal, The Absolute, Who begets not nor is begotten; and Whom there is none like Him–(Qur’an 112:1-4).
However, Muhammad Ali notes, “Hubal, the chief Arab idol in the Ka’bah, “was brought from Belka in Syria into Arabia by ‘Amr ibn Lohay, pretending that it would procure them rain when they wanted it” (Sale’s Preliminary Discourse, sec. 1)”–(Qur’anic comm. 2577, re: Qur’an 71:23).
46. Islam and Pagan customs (p. 42): “Islam also took over –or rather, retained– the following customs from the pagan Arabs: polygamy, slavery, easy divorce, and social laws generally, circumcision, and ceremonial cleanliness.”
Polygamy: The Qur’an 4:3 which permits polygamy (maximum four wives) was revealed following the battle of Uhud, as Muhammad Ali notes, in which “70 men out of 700 Muslims had been slain, and this decimation had largely decreased the number of males, who, being the breadwinners, were the natural guardians and supporters of the females.”
Polygamy in Islam is an exception rather than the rule. It is only recommended as a remedial measure. It is a fact that females mature earlier than males, and women live longer than men do; and the flames of war usually leave many widows in its ashes. Whereas some women are financially independent, their feminine needs can be met with in either the bed of marriage or the cot of concubinage.
Polygamy is no vice, but a virtue when practiced in accordance with the Qur’an. It is doubtful that a decent woman would not prefer to be a second or even third or fourth wife in the divine sanctuary of marriage but to be in the immoral parlor of concubinnage–a kept woman.
Slavery: There is no slavery in Islam. (Already dealt with. See item # 6).
Easy Divorce: There is no “easy divorce” in Islam. Islam enjoins counseling. While divorce is “the most hated” thing, there is no ‘till death do us part’ in Islam. If a couple cannot live in harmony, it is better for them to part in peace than live in misery. The Prophet Mohammad is reported as having said that, “of all things which have been permitted divorce is the most hated by Allah”–Abu Dawud 13:3 (M Ali, comm. # 293).
It is a mistake to believe that the pronouncing of the phrase “You are divorced” three times makes a divorce final. Allah enjoins the couple to seek arbitration–(Qur’an 4:35). Thus a divorce is allowed only after all avenues of reconciliation have been explored.
As woman has rights as those against her–(Qur’an 2:228) and as marriage is a contract–(Qur’an 4:21) either party may file for divorce–(Qur’an 2:229; 4:130. Bokhari Vol. 7, # 197).
Regarding the belief that after the pronouncement “You are divorced” three times the divorce is final. Allāh says, “Divorce may be (pronounced) twice; then keep them in good fellowship or let (them) go with kindness”–(Qur’an 2:229, and 2:228 where reconciliation is allowed during the three-month waiting period; the reason a woman must wait three menstrual courses seems to be a guide to find out if she is pregnant or not); and, “So if he divorces her (the third time), she shall not be lawful to him after-wards until she marries another husband. If he (the latter husband) divorces her, there is no blame on them both if they return to each other (by marriage), if they think they can keep within the limits of Allah”–(Qur’an 2:230).
After the first intent to divorce, there is a waiting period of three months before this divorce is finalized; within this three-month waiting period the couple may resume married life, or separate after the waiting period; and may remarry each other–(Qur’an 2:232. Bokhari Vol. 6, # 52). This is allowed for up to two times. After the third intent to divorce they may reconcile during the waiting period; but if the divorce is finalized this third time, they can only re-marry after the wife has married someone else, consummate that marriage and divorce the latter husband.
(The reason it is mandatory for the wife to marry another man after the third divorce before remarrying her former husband seems obvious. As carnal intimacy is the closest a man and a woman can be physically, and since a man, generally, would not want another man to touch his wife, then he must really need/love the woman to still want her after knowing that she had been intimate with another man).
The saying of the Prophet that a divorce is a shameful thing in the sight of Allah, this alone is proof that there is no “easy divorce” in Islam.
Islam inherits social laws from Pagans: Neither did Islam retain any “social laws” from the Pagan Arabs. The pagan Arabs were a ruthless, barbaric tribal people who engaged in drunkenness and lascivity, who practiced female infanticide, inherited women against their will, deny women inheritance, and kept man in slavery –such cannot be classified as “social laws.”
Women of Pre-Islamic Arabia may have had “a choice” as to the place of marriage, but watching hopelessly as your daughters are buried alive, having no rights to inheritance, inherited against your will, deserted because your husband says you are like “the back” of his mother, and being denied conjugal rights, as was the practices against women before Islam–these can hardly be “greater powers” and “freedom” and “liberty” of person. The woman of Islam does have “freedom,” “liberty” of person and “a choice” in marriage.
Ceremonial cleanliness: Prayers and ceremonies are a reminder and a link for us. They are a reminder that we are not here in this world by ourselves and without purpose. They are links to the Spiritual.
If cleanliness is a hygienic practice for personal health and social intercourse, it is even more recommended at times of worship, when one is standing in the court of His Creator, Who is the Ultimate in Purity.
Cleanliness by anyone and for any reason is commendable. Those who carp at cleanliness, whether for personal benefit or at times of ceremony, should cultivate this magnificent and beneficial habit. Even the backward “pagan Arabs” did.
Putting aside the fact that sayings were forged in Mohammad’s name, if devils can enter into humans and can be exorcised and cast into swine, it would seem possible that they could spend the night in a man’s “nostrils.”
Warraq further notes: “Traditionally, a Muslim is required to cover his head, especially the back part of his skull. Wensinck thinks this is to prevent evil spirits from entering the body.” (p. 42).
Traditionally, Muslims are required to perform the Hajj bare-headed and also shave their heads (at the hajj); using Wensinck “think”ing this bare-headedness and shaving of the head are to allow “evil spirits” unimpeded access into “the body;” and the Jewish yarmulke and the Catholic priests cap are “to prevent evil spirits from entering the body;” and the tonsure–bald disc–on the monk’s head are made to allow “evil spirits” unimpeded access into “the body.”
47. Islam and the Adhan (call to prayer) (p. 42): “…the cry of the muezzin, the raising of the hands, etc, have been shown to be animistic in origin and often employed with the intention of warding off evil spirits.”
The cry of the muezzin (i.e. the adhan or call to prayer) in-forms us: “Allah is greatest; I bear witness that there is no god but Allah; I bear witness that Mohammad is the Messenger of Allah; come to prayer; come to success; Allah is greatest; there is no god but Allah.” It is sheer foolishness to assert that this call is for “warding off” of “evil spirits.”
It could hardly be said that the President or Prime Minister raising of his hand while taking the oath during his inaugural ceremony is for the “warding off” of “evil spirits,” it is nothing but a symbol to the truth of his oath that he will uphold the constitution of his country. Nor could it be said that witnesses in a court of justice raising of their hands while affirming to tell the truth, is for the “warding off” of evil spirits,” but that it is a symbol to the truth of their oath that they will tell the truth.
Muslims raising their hands at the beginning of their prayers are not for “warding off” of “evil spirits.” It is simply an affirmation of their declaration that “Allah, God, is great!” And in the bowing posture we say “Glory be to Allah, the Magnificent!” And when we are in prostration (with our foreheads on the ground) we utter the praise “Glory be to Allah, the Most High (or the Exalted).”
If it be advanced that by worshipping Allah man is indirectly seeking guidance for the “warding off” of “evil spirits,” in this respect all religions that profess Godliness can be indicted as engaging in ceremonies for the “warding off” of “evil spirits.”
48. Islam influenced by past religions (p. 43): “Islam was directly influenced by the Iranian religion, but the indirect influence on Islam of Judaism and Christianity, has never been doubted.”
No later Divinely inspired religion is “influenced” by one of the past. Islam is the same religion that was given by Allāh to all prophets prior to the Prophet Mohammad. Thus, if Islam, as taught by the Prophet Mohammad, has doctrines similar to those of Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Hinduism and any other religions previous to Islam it cannot be said that Islam was “influenced” by these past religions. The youngest child could not be said to have been “influenced” by (or to have borrowed from) his elder siblings the same teachings that his parents gave them all.
(See item # 10 Qur’an and borrowed teachings).
49. Al-Mizan, the scale/ balance (pp. 44, 64): Allah informing us that our deeds will be weighed does not mean that Allah will sit before a scale weighing our deeds. All of the verses of the Qur’an (and sayings of the Prophet) are not to be taken literally. The verses of the Qur’an are either of literal or allegorical meaning–(Qur’an 3:6). Muhammad Ali notes:
“A man is judged by the preponderance of good or evil in him and it is in this connection that the setting up of a mizan, or a balance, is spoken of. The words wazn and mizan, as used in the Holy Qur’an in this connection, do not indicate weighing with a pair of scales; it is in the wider sense of fulfilling the requirements of justice that they are used. For instance, 57:25 speaks of messengers being sent with the Book and the mizan, where the mizan clearly stands for rules of justice or principles of equity –“that men may conduct themselves with equity.”” (M. Ali, p. xvi).
50. Mi’raj–Mohammad’s ascension to the heavens (p. 46):
The Prophet’s Ascent (Qur’an ch. 17): It could hardly be doubtful that Allah, God, carried Mohammad to heaven and showed him of His signs. If God can take Elijah in a chariot to heaven, if He can translate Enoch to heaven, if He can raise Jesus up to heaven, if He can take the Zoroastrian “Arta (or Artay) Viraf” to heaven, and if He can take Abraham “to heaven,” why is it difficult to accept that He can also take Mohammad to heaven, and show him of His signs?
(There is a difference of opinion among Muslims as to the nature of this journey (Mi’raj) by the Prophet Mohammad; some holding that it was physical, and others, that it was spiritual. This difference of opinion is of no consequence; what is paramount is the significance of the journey–that the Prophet Mohammad “would also inherit the blessings of the Israelite prophets,” as noted by Muhammad Ali. And as prophesied by Jesus that the kingdom of God shall be taken from the Jews and given to another people: “Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof”–Matthew 21:43).
51. Paradise (p. 47): “…the Hindu account in many ways resembles the Muslim view of paradise, with its vivid and voluptuous scenes of houris and virgins that so scandalized early Christian commentators.” (Does this mean that latter day Christian commentators are not scandalized? Wonder why not).
And what is the Christian/Biblical teaching on Paradise? Wonder if those early Christian commentators were “scandalized” by the “vivid” scenes of Solomon, the Prophet they believe in, and his seven hundred wives and legion of concubines? and by the “vivid” scene of David’s dalliance with Uriah’s wife? and by the “vivid” scene of their God and son of God having a non-wife “wipe” his feet with her hair and “kissed his feet”? (Islam teaches that prophets of Allah were sinless).
And (unless they were celibates) did these “early Christian commentators” not had sexual pleasures with their wives?
Since on the physical plane sexual pleasure is lawful, where is the problem if such pleasure will be allowed on the spiritual plane?
There is nothing scandalous about having pleasure in paradise. This –having peace and joy– seemingly, is the desire and goal of every religionist. However, heavenly bliss is not a pleasure of the body. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din points out:
“The Muslim Paradise is not, it must be understood, a garden for the voluptuary, where he may sit in the com-pany of maidens under the shade of trees, with goblets of wine circling continually for the enjoyment of the dissipated. We read, it is true, of Hur (Qur’an 44:54) in the Muslim Paradise….But we are assured that these damsels of heaven will be possessed of a pure and spotless heart (Qur’an 56:22), which the very word Hur literally means. Their eyes, fascinating as they may be, will not be the bearers of amorous message….We shall all be free of physical appetites and there will be no further procreation of the species…..It may be said that the Hurs are not wanted if they are not to play the role of wife as in our earthly sojourn. But those who say so only betray the hollowness of their own minds. Even in this life bed is not the best part of our happiness. All earthly tastes lose their attractions for us when we pass a certain age. Intellectual or spiritual pleasures alone can captivate us for good. Knowledge, and not the flesh, is our real plea-sure.”28 (Much like a ballerina finds pleasure in his/her dancing, and a musician in his/her music.)
What is to be remembered is that the verses of the Qur’an are of literal and allegorical meanings. There are several descriptions of the “Garden(s)” in the Qur’an. These descriptions are not to be taken literally. Allah says in Qur’an 32:17: “And no soul knows what delights of the eyes is kept hidden for them, as a reward for their (good) deeds.”
The Prophet Mohammad is reported to have said: “Allah says, I have prepared for My righteous servants that which no eye has seen and no ear has heard, and which the heart of man cannot conceive.” (Bokhari Vol.’s 4:467; 6:302-303; 9:589)
Man can relate to things only in the physical life. To us the ultimate in possessions are gold and precious stones, wealth and carnal pleasure. So Allah relates to us in terms of what we understand. These descriptions of paradise are to let us know that we will receive in paradise the ultimate in bliss. This reward is not a lure for us to do good and to avoid evil, but rather the fruits of our own labor that we have toiled for in this life.
Paradise is everlasting–(Qur’an 11:108; 15:45, 48). As sexual joy in the bed of marriage is Divinely lawful on the earthly plain there is no difficulty if it should be allowed in the spiritual plain. Carnal pleasure in the conjugal bed is a form of worship of God. The ignorant revile this blessed union as vulgar.
Whereas the Muslim Paradise is criticized as one of sensuality, what is the Christian heaven like? Christians have depicted hea-ven as a picturesque landscape of people laxing and reading, with the lamb and wolf nesting together (from Isaiah 11:6-7, “the wolf also shall dwell with the lamb…and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.” This must be a cruel joke on the lion or these lions would have to be outfitted with dentures of incisors and molars for stripping and grinding hay, and have their carnivorous systems redesigned to process and evacuate hay).
In other words, the Christian heaven is B-O-R-I-N-G. Small wonder the Christian is obsessed with Mohammad’s “particularly active sex life,” and the gardens of “virgins” Muslims will have. The Christian is jealous to boot.
(A survey should be done among Christians, men and women, to find out how many prefer to lax in heaven reading past-time stories and watching lions stripping hay instead of being in the Muslim Paradise of joys beyond human comprehension, lounging on couches of velvet savoring “wine” from goblets of gold and silver and enjoying “an eternity” of “sex”. And don’t forget to query the priests!)
That “the Hindu account in many ways resembles the Muslim view of paradise, with its vivid and voluptuous scenes of houris and virgins.” According to Swami Dayananda the “emancipated soul roams about” in the heavens observing “the laws of nature.” (There seems to be discrepancy in Hindu teachings about heaven).
Also, in Hindu heaven, for “3,11,040,000,000,000 years” “The emancipated soul roams about… meets other emancipated souls …acquires perfect knowledge of all hidden things,” before returning to earth (to repeat the cycle of births and deaths; though “all the world believe” the soul does not return to earth).29 (There’s also discrepancy in Hindu teachings about the future of the soul. See Hinduism).
(A survey should be carried out to determine how many individuals would prefer the Hindu heaven–to be with Krishna “herding the surabhi cows;” and to roam the heavens for 3.11 trillion years, gathering knowledge, and forgetting it–and to return to earth, possibly as sub-humans, for some four billion years dwelling in sub-standard conditions; and how many Hindus, affluent and destitute, would prefer a life in the Hindu heaven instead of life in the Muslim paradise–of splendorous Gardens, fine garments and fruits, and magnificent companions for eternity). (See Heaven/Paradise).
52. Sufi and Parsi, and Zwemer (pp. 48-49): “…the figure 33 plays an important part in Parsi ritual, and in Islam. (Ibn Warraq quotes S. M. Zwemer as stating): “Islam is nothing more nor less than Judaism plus the apostle-ship of Mohammad.”
Sufi and Parsi may hold the “figure 33” in “superstitious awe” but Islam does not. The Prophet teaching Muslims to recite “33 tasbih, 33 tahmid, 33 (actually 34) Takbir”–which totals one hundred–is in reflection of the ninety-nine names that Allah is known by plus his crowning name Allah, which totals one hundred.
While Islam accepts Moses as a prophet of Allah, Islam is not “Judaism plus the apostleship of Mohammad” seeing that Judaism does not accept Jesus as the Messiah and does not give “all truth,” and seeing that Islam abrogates Biblical laws, such as stoning, burning and honor killings.
Islam teaches that Allah is the God of all peoples and elevates the believer in God–irrespective of his race, nationality, color, or status–only according to his good deeds. A God Who would reward man because of his race or nationality–factors that he has no control over–cannot be said to be a Just God. As Allah is Just, from the Islamic perspective, a religion that claims merit on the basis of its race or nationality has no Divine sanction. Such a religion cannot be the base of Islam. Ishmael and the Arabs also are the “seed” of Abraham.
Judaism may be founded on Divine Inspiration, but the only Divinely named religion is Islam–(Qur’an 5:3). Moses taught Islam. Muslims do not owe any “Debt to Judaism”: Muslims owe to Allāh.
(Neither is Islam Christianity plus the Apostleship of Mohammad, Christianity rejects the Divine Messengership of Mohammad, and Islam rejects the Divinity of Jesus, inherited sin, and vicarious atonement).
53. Could Mohammad read and write? Babylonian Jew (p. 50): “It is true Muhammad did not want to be seen as a man of book learning, for that would have undermined his assertion that his revelations came directly from heaven, from God. ….Torrey has argued this instructor (of Mohammad) must have been a Babylonian Jew from Southern Mesopotamia.” (Such are the writings that are gold-plaqued “rich in reflection and intelligence”).
Mohammad’s uncles–two of whom rejected his Apostleship– and those who knew him were aware of Mohammad’s upbringing. They would in all likelihood have exposed Mohammad as a fraud if he pretended to not know how to read and write; especially when he would have tried to palm off on them the revelation: “And thou didst not recite before it (the Qur’an) any book, nor did thou transcribe one with thy right hand, for then could the liars have doubted”–(Qur’an 29:48).
Whether Mohammad was able to read after his receiving Divine revelation is debatable but irrelevant. The information in the Qur’an–prophecies, scientific statements, events of the Doomsday that have found resonance in the scientific world–is proof that the Qur’an could not have been the product of Mohammad’s mind, or of any human mind.
(As to the critic’s claim that these Qur’anic expressions are “putative:” it is the miracle of miracles that statements on science and history–Pharaoh’s body saved, Roman victory over Persia, Alexander the Great, Jesus not killed/crucified–coming from the mouth of a Seventh Century unschooled desert dweller have proved accurate. See Qur’an-prophecies; Qur’an-science).
That Mohammad was taught by a “Babylonian Jew from Southern Mesopotamia; this Babylonian Jew must be either the most humble or the most stupid Jew to impart unerring prophecies and scientific ideas to Mohammad and not seek to have any credit to his name. Uh, oh! Oops! My mistake. The critics would likely argue that Mohammad “assassinated” the man and effaced his name from the Qur’an. And that he also killed all the other Jews and idolaters who were aware of him being schooled by this Babylonian Jew. And the Muslims who knew about him being taught by this infallible Jew, Mohammad bribed (more like brainwashed) them into battling heavily armed odds for “loot, women, and land.”
54. Malik and Molech–Fire God (p. 52): (The Qur’an 43:76 refers to the keeper of Hell as Malik). “Malik is obviously a corruption of the Fire God of the Ammonites, Molech, mention-ed in Leviticus, I Kings, and Jeremiah.”
Allah is the Ever-living and Self-subsisting God–(Qur’an 2:255). Muhammad Ali notes: “The word Allah is not applied to any being except the only true God, and comprises all the excellent names, and the Arabs never gave the name Allah to any of their numerous idols.”30
Professor ‘Abdul Ahad Dawud, B.D., (“the former Reverend David Benjamin Keldani, B.D.,”), wrote: “Allah is the same ancient Semitic name of the Supreme Being who revealed and spoke to Adam and all the prophets.”31
Since Allah “is the same ancient Semitic name of the Supreme Being,” it cannot be a name that was originated by “heathen Arabs,” when this name predates the “heathen Arabs” to Adam.
Allah also tells us in the Qur’an that He is the Seer–(14:1); and that His names are the most beautiful names –(17:110, 59:24). The Prophet Mohammad tells us that Allah has ninety-nine names and the one crowning name Allah–(making it a hundred names). One of these names of Allah is Malik–(Master). Malik is also a general term meaning one who is in supervisory capacity over others, as is noted in Qur’an 43:76, in reference to the custodian of Hell.
Malik, in reference to Allah is not to be confused with Molech, “the fire God,” of the Bible–(Leviticus 18:21; 20:2-5).*
As Allah is the God of all the worlds, He is also the God of the prophets and of the people of Israel. In the verses of Leviticus, noted above, the people of Israel are instructed by God to keep their offspring from “the fire to Molech.” This clearly shows that Molech is an other than God. Molech then could not be the same as Malik–Allah. If Malik and Molech were the one and same being, it would seem senseless for God to instruct the Israelites to avoid Molech. *(Molech’s identity is unknown. He was associated with child sacrifice).
55. Lack of chronology, Confusions, and misunderstanding in the Qur’an (pp. 56-65): “Muhammad had only the fuzziest notions of Hebrew chronology. He knew that Saul, David, and Solomon were subsequent to the Patriarchs, but not the order of the other prophets nor the time at which they lived.” (Why fault Mohammad for this lack of chronology? The “Babylonian Jew from Southern Mesopotamia” and others who are alleged to have taught him are to be blamed).
Chronological order: The Qur’an is not a story-book, it does not narrate events in sequence. The stories of various prophets mentioned in the Qur’an are not necessarily given in chronological order. Regarding the Qur’an’s “inveterate habit” of repeating its verses. Abul A’la Mawdudi explains:
“The different portions of the Qur’an were revealed according to the requirements of the various phases of the (Islamic) Movement. …The Prophet was entrusted with a special mission and had to appeal both to the emotions and to the intellect; he had to deal with people of different mentalities and cope with different situations and various kinds of experiences during the course of his mission. …He has also to train and reform his followers and to imbue them with spirit and courage, and to refute the arguments of opponents and to expose their moral weaknesses and so on. That is why the style of the discourses that Allah sent down to His Messenger had to be what suited the requirements of a Movement. It is, therefore wrong to seek the style of a formal book or that of college lectures in the discourses of the Qur’an.
That also explains why the same things are repeated over and over again in the Qur’an. A mission and a movement naturally demand that only those things should be presented which are required at a particular stage and that nothing should be said about the requirements of the next stage. That is why the same things are repeated over and over again as long as the movement remains in the same stage, no matter whether it remains there for months or for years. ….Moreover, it repeats at suitable places its basic creed and principles in order to keep the Movement strong at every stage. That is why those surahs which were revealed at a particular stage of the Movement generally deal with the same topics, though, of course, in different words and in various forms. Moreover, all the surahs of the Qur’an contain references to the basic creed, i.e., the Unity of Allah, His attributes, the Hereafter and accountability, punishment and reward, Prophethood, belief in the Book etc… They all teach piety, fortitude, endurance, faith and trust in Allah and the like, just because these virtues could not be neglected at any stage of the Movement. If any of these bases had been weakened at any stage even in the least, the Islamic Movement could not have made any progress in its true spirit.”32
It is an accepted truth that repetition of words commits them to memory; and regimentation builds character, instills discipline and easy and automatic remembrance of duties. This is precisely the motive of the Qur’an for repeating its injunctions–for exhorting Muslims to daily prayers, giving alms, fasting and undertaking the pilgrimage to Mecca.
One can see all branches of the security and defense systems –police, army, navy, and air force– of a nation practicing this “inveterate habit” of repeating verses.
Noah: Regarding the age of Noah. The Qur’an 29:14 clearly states that Noah remained among his people “a thousand years save fifty”–which would give 950 years. The fact that this statement is made at the beginning of the section, with the details of Noah following, does not mean that Noah was 950 years at the time of the Flood. The statement that Noah remained among his people is sufficient to convey that that was the time up to which he had lived, 950 years.
The Qur’an does not support the story about a “universal deluge”; but that only Noah’s people were drowned –(Qur’an 25:37; 29:14; 37:75-82; 71:21-25). And Maurice Bucaille in his book The Bible The Qur’an and Science has shown (on p. 34) that this Flood of Noah could not have been a global occurrence.
Saul and Gideon:–(Qur’an 2:250; Judges 7:5). Only those critics of the Qur’an are “confounded” between Saul and Gideon, who have not carefully studied the Scriptures. As Muhammad Ali notes, “The story of Saul is here confounded with that of Gideon” says a Christian critic.” However:
“All that the Qur’an states is that Saul tried his forces by a river, and the Bible does not say anything about it. On the other hand, the Bible speaks of a trial of a somewhat similar nature by Gideon (Judges 7:1-6), while the Qur’an does not speak of Gideon at all. The Qur’an does not undertake to give a full and detailed history of the Israelites, and no Christian does, I think, hold the belief that the Bible gives a full and detailed record of the whole of the Israelite nation, so that it could not have omitted a single incident. Nor is there anything strange if Saul followed the example of Gideon. That these are two different incidents is made clear by the fact that while Gideon tried his forces by “the well of Harod” (Judges 7:1), Saul tried his forces by a river, as stated in the Qur’an. It further appears from the Bible that the river Jordan was there: “Some of the Hebrews went over Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead” (1 Sam. 13:7).” (M. Ali, comm. # 331).
Solomon and Sheba: Allah tells us in Qur’an 34:12-13 that “jinn” helped Solomon to build synagogues. Are these “jinn” supernatural beings? These “jinn,” Muhammad Ali wrote, “were no other that the strangers whom Solomon subjected to his rule and forced into service” –“And Solomon told out threescore and ten thousand men to bear burdens, and fourscore thousand to hew in the mountain”–(See 2 Chron; 2:2-18). The “jinn” spoken of in Qur’an 34:12-13 are the same “devils, every builder and diver” that were made subjected to Solomon–(Qur’an 38:37), explains Muhammad Ali.
Jinn are not only beings of the unseen. Tabrezi is quoted as recording that “the Arabs speak of the jinn frequently, likening a man who is clever in executing affairs to the jinni and the shaitan or devil, and hence they say his jinn is gone, when they mean that he became weak and abased.”(M. Ali, comm. 2027).
Incidentally, if evil spirits can be exorcised and imprisoned in bottles, it could hardly be considered “fable” that Solomon had control over supernatural beings –“demons” and “jinns.”
(For an explanation of “jinns” read Muhammad Ali Qur’anic commentaries 2027 and 2143. And also his book The Religion of Islam. For in-depth explanations of the stories of Moses and his servant Khidr, Dhulqarnain, and Gog and Magog–Qur’an 18:60-101, read the commentaries of Muhammad Ali and Malik Ghulam Farid. Muhammad Ali’s translation of the Qur’an can be viewed online: www.muslim.org)
Confusions and misunderstanding in the Qur’an: There are no “confusions” in the Qur’an. The Qur’an being the Revelation sent by Allah God through the Angel Gabriel, could not be the word of Mohammad or of Gabriel, but the Word of Allah God.
Words which appear to be those of Mohammad such as: “I am commanded only to serve Allah”(13:36)– are the Words of Allah God instructing him what to say of himself personally; and in the case of others–such as Abraham’s dialogue with the king (2:258), and of the angels explaining that they descend by Allah’s command (19:64)–are the Words of Allah recounting in-cidents and/or the sayings of others.
Qur’an 6:105 states: “Clear proofs have indeed come to you from your Lord; so whoever sees, it is for his own good; and whoever is blind, it is to his own harm. And I am not a keeper over you.” The words “I am not a keeper over you,” are not the words of Mohammad, only that Mohammad is instructed by Allah God to relate to the people that he is not a keeper over them, (i.e. he is not responsible for them).
In chapter 27:91 the Prophet is instructed to say: “I am commanded only to serve the Lord of this city…”
Here, Allah God instructed the Prophet to inform the people that he is “commanded only to serve the Lord of this city”, (instead of serving other objects), though the speaker to the people is Mohammad; Mohammad was instructed by God to utter those words, thus the words could not be Mohammad’s, but are the words of God. The words of the Qur’an though at times are statements applying to Mohammad, are not his personal state-ments, but words put in his mouth by Allāh, God, and spoken in God’s name–(Deut; 18:18-19).
The Seven sleepers in the cave: Chapter 18 of the Qur’an is known as Sura Kahf or The Cave. It tells of the story of a num-ber of righteous youths who, to escape persecution, took refuge in a cave. Where they slept for a number of years.
“Kahf signifies a cave as well as a place of refuge, and raqim [a writing placed above the entrance to the cave] means an inscription or a tablet with a writing upon it,” explains Muham-mad Ali. This story alludes to the history of Christianity. (Bearing in mind that some verses of the Qur’an are allegorical).
Muhammad Ali points out, that The Cave “stands for that peculiar aspect of the Christian religion which finds manifesta-tion in its institution of monkery, this being the distinctive characteristic which it assumed soon after its birth,” and that the Inscription (raqim) “contains a prophetical reference to another aspect of the Christian religion, quite opposed to its first aspect of growth in the Cave. Inscription (or Advertisement) is, in fact, as prominent a feature of the business activities of the Christian nations of today as the Cave was a feature of their religious activities in the early days. …The first and the last conditions of Christianity thus seem to be hinted at in the Cave and the Inscription respectively, a religion of monkery turned into a religion of business.”
Muhammad Ali gave explanations of these Qur’anic verses to show that, “it is really the history of Christianity that is dealt with in the story of the Companions of the Cave.” Regarding verse 25 which says: “and they remained in their cave three hundred years, and they add nine,” Muhammad Ali says:
“There is no tradition that the Companions of the Cave remained in the Cave for three hundred years, but Christianity itself remained in a Cave for full three hundred years. It is a fact that Christianity rose to power with the conversion of Constantine, and at the same time it lost its purity with the formulation of the doctrine of the Trinity, which was promulgated in 325 A.D. It is, more-over, now almost agreed that Jesus Christ was born five or six years before the reputed date of his birth. Bishop Barnes says in The Rise of Christianity that he may have been born in 6-5 B.C. So if he began his ministry at the age of thirty, the Christian religion may be said to have been born at about 25 A.D., and thus exactly after three hundred years it lost its purity by the promulgation of the Trinitarian doctrine, emerging at the same time as a State religion. Thus it remained in the Cave for three hundred years.
But what does this, the addition of nine years mean? (verse 25 above). To reduce solar years to lunar years, three years have to be added to every hundred years, and to the three centuries another nine years are thus added. It is due to this computation that nine years are spoken of as being added.” (Comm. 1481; 1492; 1495).
Mary the mother of Jesus, and Miriam the sister of Moses and Aaron: In the Qur’an 19:28-29 Mary, the mother of Jesus is addressed as “sister of Aaron,” and in Qur’an 66:12 she (Mary) is called “daughter of Imran.” There is no error here. Mary, addressed as “sister of Aaron” is not to be “confused” with Miriam the sister of Moses.
In Qur’an 3:34 it is not Mary, the mother of Jesus who is termed “woman of Imran” but rather Mary’s mother, Anna or Hannah; as verse 35 makes it clear by stating that she (Hannah) brought forth a female; (whereas Mary, the mother of Jesus brought forth a male). As noted, Mary, the mother of Jesus, is termed “daughter” of Imran, not “woman” of Imran. Muhammad Ali:
“Imra’at means a woman and also a wife. I take imra’at ‘Imran as meaning a woman of the family of Amran, because the name of a great ancestor is frequently used to indicate the nation which has sprung from him. Thus Kedar stands for the Ishmaelites and Israel for the Israelites. This interpretation is in perfect accord with what is said in the previous verse (3:32) as to the election of the descendants of Amran. The general statement is followed by a particular instance. The second instance also refers to one of the descendants of Amran, viz. John the Baptist, who was also of “priestly descent through both parents” (Bib. Dic., Cambridge University Press). Though we know very little regarding the parentage of Mary, yet the fact that she was, according to the only tradition that we have about her, devoted to the Temple from three to twelve years of age, shows clearly that she belonged to the priestly class. She is elsewhere called the sister of Aaron (19:28) and not a sister of Moses, for priesthood was an exclusive prerogative of the descendants of Aaron. In the Semitic languages the words ab (father), umm (mother), akh (brother), and ukht (sister) are used in a broad sense, and do not necessarily imply the very close relations of real mother, father, brother, and sister. Thus we have a saying of the Prophet in which he speaks of himself as the prayer of my father Abraham. (The Prophet Mohammad also refers to himself as the “brother of Joseph”–see comm. #1252). Jesus was also addressed as “son of David”. According to tradition, however, ‘Imran was the name of Mary’s father, and therefore the words imra’t ‘Imran may mean the wife of ‘Imran.” (Comm. 412).
Regarding Mary, the mother of Jesus being addressed as “sister of Aaron” and as “daughter of Imran, Muhammad Ali notes: “In the Semitic languages the words ab (father), umm (mother), akh (brother), and ukht (sister) are used in a broad sense, and do not necessarily imply the very close relations of real mother, father, brother, and sister. Thus we have a saying of the Prophet in which he speaks of himself as the prayer of my father Abraham. Jesus was also addressed as “son of David.” According to tradition, however, ‘Imran was the name of Mary’s father…”
The Prophet Mohammad, upon his conquest of Makkah, refers to himself as brother of Joseph. (M. Ali, comm. 412, 1252, res-pectively).
Mi’raj, The Prophet’s Ascent (Qur’an ch. 17): (Already dealt with in item #50)
The Sabians (Qur’an 2:62; 5:69; 22:17): There are some chapters of the Qur’an, such as 56:75 and 53:1, that refers to the stars/planets in oath. But these references do not mean that Mohammad worshipped the stars/planets.
There are suras by the names of “The Cow” (ch. 2) and “The Spider” (ch. 29); one would have to be very foolish to suggest that Mohammad worshipped the “cow” and “spider.”
Regarding the Qur’an swearing by the stars/planets. The Qur’an also swears by the moon, the night, and the dawn–(74:32-34); and by the resurrection and the self-accusing spirit–(75:1-2): this does not mean that Mohammad worshipped them.
If the Sabians “influenced” Mohammad to “swear” by the stars who “influenced” Mohammad to swear by these other mediums?
Apart from the “stars,” the Qur’an also calls to witness/oath the night and the morning–(81:15-18); the heaven, the Promised Day and the bearer of witness–(85:1-3); the heaven, the Comer by night, the cloud and the earth–(86: 1-2, 11-12); by the daybreak, the ten nights, the even and the odd and the night when it departs–(89:1-5); by the City (Makkah)–(90:1); by the sun and the moon and the day and the night and the heaven and the earth and the soul–(91: 1-7); by the fig and the olive, and mount Sinai and the City (Makkah)–(95: 1-3); and by the time–(103:1): this does not mean that Mohammad worshipped these mediums.
If the Sabians “influenced” Mohammad to “swear” by the stars, who “influenced” Mohammad to swear/ witness/ oath by these other mediums?
There may be “seven planets,” but it is rather strange that Mohammad would mimic the pagans in circuiting the Ka’ba seven times yet he would set the daily prayers at five times per day and format the prayers into 2, 3 and 4 rakaahs (sequence), and give Muslims the options of reciting the tasbih (glorification of Allah God) either 3, 5, or 7 times.
Moreover, as already pointed out, it is not credible that Mohammad who fought tooth and nail against idolatry would then incorporate this idolatry into the pure worship of Allah God.
It is poor cerebrating to reason that Mohammad would resort to element worship when Allah God tells him that He has made subservient to us the sun and the moon; and the stars are made subservient by Allah’s command–(Qur’an 14:33; 16:12) so, adore not the sun nor the moon, but adore Allah Who created them–(41:37); and that we are to worship none but Allah–(Qur’an 11:2). (See also Allah Is A Pagan Moon-God).
That parts of a story are missing from the Qur’anic narrative is of no consequence. The Qur’an is not a storybook. It “does not relate stories in all their details, and often omits a number of incidents which are not needed for its purpose.” (M. Ali Qur’anic comm. 1540).
(1) Adam: (pp. 56, 118). Iblis refusing the command of Allah to make submission to Adam (which some interprets to mean to “worship” Adam) is not of literal meaning. Some verses of the Qur’an are of literal meaning–which forms the generalguidance –and some verses are of allegorical meaning–(Qur’an 3:6). For example: The prophet Joseph had the vision that eleven stars and the sun and the moon were “prostrating/making obeisance” to him; which was in fact his eleven brothers and parents honoring him, or that he would be on a high status above them–Joseph’s brothers and parents did not literally prostrate themselves to him or “worship” him.
Allah did not ask Iblis to “worship” Adam, but to bow down to or make obeisance to him (in a token of respect on account of him, [man in general], being superior to all creations). This is not “worship.” Men, especially those receiving knighthood, bow in such honor/respect to royalty–this is not “worship” of royalty. We also stand in respect/honor of the national anthem, and at the raising of the flag–this is not “worship” of the anthem or flag.
However, if for whatever reason Allah had commanded Iblis to literally “worship” Adam, who was Iblis to disobey the com-mand of God? Employees of a company are commanded not to punch the time card of another, but if the owner commands one employee to punch the card of another, that employee has no right to question the purpose of, or to refuse to comply with the order of the owner. If he does refuse, he is subject to discipline.
It is to be noted that Iblis’ reason for disobeying the command of God to make “obeisance” to Adam was not because Iblis honors that God alone is to be worshipped, but because Iblis considered himself superior to Adam: him being created from “fire” whereas Adam was created from “dust”–(Qur’an 7:12). Why Iblis has not been destroyed already for his disobedience to Allah is no “puzzle;” neither is he “more powerful” than God. Iblis was given respite until the Resurrection, to try to seduce man from the path of Allah. (Qur’an 7:11-18; 15:26-44; 17:61-65).
(2) Cain and Abel: The relation between Cain killing Abel unjustly and Allah God prescribing for the Children of Israel that whoever kills a person unjustly it is as though he had killed all men; and whoever saves a life it is as though he had saved all men–(Qur’an 5:27-32), is that, to kill unjustly is the ultimate in transgression and such a killer is likely to kill several times over–even all men; and to save a life (which only God can give) is to commit the greatest act of compassion and one who has saved once is likely to save several times over–even all men. This verse illustrates the enormity of committing murder and the sanctity of saving life.
(3) Joseph: In the story of Joseph–(Qur’an chapter 12).
(a) Joseph’s resolve not to sin with the Aziz’s wife was the result of the Divine revelation given to him in his dream and in the well, about his future greatness–(vv. 4-6; 15; 24). As to what the women were doing at the time they cut their hands offers no lesson–they had gossiped about the Aziz wife’s attempt to seduce Joseph; she had prepared a repast for them to introduce Joseph to them so as to justify her affection for Joseph. That the women cut themselves on beholding Joseph’s beauty was enough to establish that Joseph had the features that could easily cause women to become excited–(vv. 30-32).
(b) When Benjamin is caught with the silver cup in his sack one of his brothers said that if Benjamin has stolen, then a brother of his (meaning Joseph) had also stolen before him (Benjamin)–(vv. 69-77). That the Qur’an does not relate the incident(s) as to how Joseph was “accused of stealing” or why or what Joseph had stolen offers no moral lesson. In this story one of the brothers of Benjamin offered that one of them be punished instead of Benjamin. The guard informed them that: “Allah forbids that we should seize other than him whom we found with our property, for then surely we should be unjust!”–(vv. 78-79). The moral of this portion of the story is that no one is to be blamed for the wrongs of another. Likewise, Joseph was not to be blamed for theft because “Benjamin’s mother before him had stolen–referring to the time when Rachel carried off her father’s household gods–(Genesis xxxi. 19-35). The moral of this incident is that it is an injustice to blame children for the sins of their parents and vice versa, and to punish the innocent for the guilty.
(c) Jacob was certain that his son Joseph was alive. Being a prophet of God, he received Divine revelation: “….and I know from Allah what you know not”. This is why he again instructed his other sons to “go and inquire about Joseph and his brother (Benjamin, who was wrongly imprisoned for stealing a cup)–(vv. 84-87).
There is nothing “offensive” or “erotic” in the Qur’anic narration of the story of Joseph. As Muhammad Ali points out in his introduction to this chapter 12 of the Qur’an, the story of Joseph is a parallel to the mission of the Prophet Mohammad:
“The entire chapter gives a continuous account of the history of Joseph, the first three verses and the concluding section both pointing to the purpose which underlies the story. It is not, in fact, a mere narrative, but foretells the ultimate triumph of the Holy Prophet, who was to be turned out of his native city, and also the final submission of those who were plotting against his very life.
The chapter deals with three kinds of vision, viz; the vision of a prophet (Joseph), which pointed to his ultimate triumph and the triumph of Truth (vv. 4 and 100); the vision of a king, relating to the material welfare of those under his care (vv. 43-49), and the vision of ordinary men, relating to their own adversity or pros-perity (vv. 36-41). The grander the purpose, the longer the vision takes for its due fulfillment; Joseph’s vision took a whole lifetime, the king’s vision fourteen years, while the visions of ordinary men come to immediate fulfilment. The Holy Prophet doubtless obtained consolation from these facts, as he had before him a very grand object–the reformation, first of the Arabs and then of the whole world.
In the arrangement of the chapters, the connection of this chapter with the one preceding it (i.e. the 11th chapter) is clear. That chapter deals with the histories of several well-known prophets and the fate of their opponents. This prophetically states that the mutual dealings of the Holy Prophet and his enemies would be similar to the dealings of Joseph and his brethren, there being persecution on one side and entire forgiveness and merciful dealing on the other.”
Alexander the Great: In the Qur’an 18:83, Allah recounted the story of Dhul-qarnain (Zul-qarnain). Muhammad Ali identifies Dhul-qarnain with “Darius I Hystaspes (521-485 BC).” Malik Ghulam Farid identifies him with “Cyrus”. And Yusuf Ali states, “Popular opinion identifies Zul-qarnain with Alexander the Great.”
Muhammad Ali and Malik Ghulam Farid have made extensive commentaries on Dhul-qarnain. Yusuf Ali has devoted an impressive five-page Appendix to this topic at the end of chapter 18. In this Appendix he notes: “It is one of the wonders of the Qur’an, that, spoken through an Ummi’s (unschooled one’s) mouth, it should contain so many incidental details which are absolutely true.” And that “Each of the episodes mentioned is historical. But the pomp and glitter of military conquest are not mentioned. On the contrary spiritual motives are revealed and commended.” Which “spiritual significance” is the “chief thing to note in the story.”
It would be an absurdity to say that the Qur’an is “hopelessly confused historically” because of the Muslim’s inability to unanimously identify Dhul-qarnain. Whether Dhul-qarnain was “Darius,” “Cyrus” or “Alexander the Great,” whether he was a Muslim or not is of no consequence. What is significant is that the incidents recounted are historically accurate.
Regarding the question as to whether Alexander the Great was a Muslim. Who is a Muslim? All prophets of God obeyed the laws of God. They were thus, Muslims. If Alexander the Great was a prophet or followed the teachings of any of these prophets, he also would be obedient to the laws of God, and would be a Muslim.
Mariolatry: The Qur’an 5:116 states: “And when Allah will say: O Jesus, son of Mary, didst thou say to men, Take me and my mother for two gods besides Allah?” This is not to be taken to mean that the Qur’an includes Mary as part of the Trinity. Muhammad Ali notes:
“From this description of Mary being taken for a god by the Christians, some Christian critics of the Qur’an conclude that the doctrine of the Trinity according to the Qur’an consists of three persons–God, Jesus and Mary. But this is an absolutely unwarranted conclusion. Mary is no doubt spoken of as being taken for an object of worship by the Christians; but the doctrine of the Trinity is not mentioned here, while the Divinity of Mary is not mentioned where the Trinity is spoken of. The doctrine and practice of Mariolatry, as it is called by Protestant controversialists, is too well-known. In the catechism of the Roman Church the following doctrines are to be found: “That she is truly the mother of God, and the second Eve, by whose means we have received blessing and life; that she is the mother of Pity and very specially our advocate; that her images are of the utmost utility.” (Ency. Br. 11th ed., vol. 17, p. 813).”33
If the Trinity consists of God, Jesus and Mary, Allah would not condemn the Trinity as blasphemous–(Qur’an 4:171). Mary, created by God, could not be “the Mother of God.” God could not have a mother, as He is the First and the Creator of all.
Wonder what lead “The highly revered Muslim commentator al-Baidawi” to speculate that “Muhammad’s own view” was that “the Trinity consist of God, Christ, and Mary” considering that Allāh unambiguously condemned the Trinity as blasphemous, and decreed that followers of Trinity are destined to Hell–(Qur’an 5:75-76). Moreover, how could anyone know that Mohammad’s “own view” was that “the Trinity consist of God, Christ, and Mary” when Mohammad expressed no such “view”?
3. The Problem of Sources
56. Hadith (p. 68): The reason that “extremely little” is known of Mohammad’s life “before his appearance as the messenger of God,” is because no one, not even Mohammad, knew that he would be chosen as Messenger of God, so that his parents/guardians might keep a record of him–Allah did not give announcement to his mother as in the case of Jesus. And even in the case of Jesus the Gospels tell us nothing about him between his birth and twelve years old –except that he waxed strong–and from between the age of twelve to thirty.
And if Mohammad was a “necessary fiction since it is always assumed that every religion must have a founder,” who is the author/creator of Mohammad? It is rather queer that this inventtor/creator of Mohammad would name his religion Islam and not Mohammadanism. And it must be the wonder of all wonders that this inventor/creator of Mohammad gave Mohammad the best Book in the Arabic language, and imparting to him unerring prophecies and scientific pronouncements–superseding the Bible.
That there were “forgeries” of hadith (i.e. sayings and actions of the Prophet Mohammad) even in the Prophet’s time was not unknown to the Prophet; Hazrat Ali, the fourth Caliph of Islam is noted as saying: “During the very lifetime of the Holy Prophet (AS) many a false tradition was attributed to him. This continued till the apostle of God got so vexed that he stood up and declared, ‘Whoever deliberately and purposely tells a lie against me or attributes lies to me shall make a place for himself in the Hell’”–(Nahjul Balagha, sermon 215, p. 386. See also Bokhari Vol. 1, # 106-109; Vol. 4, # 667, 712). That sayings of the Prophet were recorded during his lifetime was a fact, as the Prophet is noted as having expressed surprise to learn of this recording. And while the Prophet warned against such forgeries, and while it might be difficult to differentiate the forgeries from the authentic sayings, if a saying does not contradict with the teachings of the Qur’an, it might be argued that there is no harm in following a good.
However, what is to be noted is that despite these “fabricated traditions” Muslims the world over–Sunnis, Shia’s and Ahmadis etc,–all use the same Qur’an, follow the same Prophet, and face the same Qibla. Such similarities would not be possible if they did not originate with the Prophet Mohammad. “Ijtihad is the third source from which the laws of Islam are drawn.” The first two being the Qur’an and Sunnah (Sayings and practice of the Prophet). Muhammad Ali notes:
“Reasoning or the exercise of judgment, in theological as well as in legal matters, plays a very important part in the religion of Islam, and the value of reason is expressly recognized in the Qur’an, which is full of exhortations like the following: “Do you not reflect?”…. “Have you no sense?” “There are signs in this for a people who reflect;” “There are signs in this for a people who understand;” and so on. Those who do not use their reasoning faculty are compared to animals, and spoken of as being deaf, dumb and blind.”
“The exercise of judgment (ijtihad) is recognized in Tradition as the means by which a decision may be arrived at when there is no direction in the Qur’an or Tradition.”
“The work had begun, as already shown, in the Prophet’s lifetime, since it was impossible to refer every case to him. After the Prophet’s death, the principle of Ijtihad obtained a wider prevalence, and as new areas were added to the material and spiritual realm of Islam, the need of resorting to the exercise of judgment became greater.”
“Decisions were given and laws made and promulgated subject only to the one condition that they were neither contrary to the Qur’an nor to the practice of the Prophet.”34
For a doctrine to be authentic it is not necessary for it to have been discussed by the Prophet. The statements of the Qur’an are not limited to one period. They are broad principles suitable for all time and all conditions–for example, only in this age of the 20th century do we need to formulate laws about euthanasia, organ transplant, cloning etc. Since there were no occasions for such matters to be deliberated by the Prophet, these documents cannot then be considered as “inauthentic.”
As science advances, still more laws (based on Qur’anic prin-ciples) will have to be formulated. If in about two hundred years time scholars can find precedents to such laws dating back only to the 20th century and not back to the Prophet, that would not make these laws any less authentic. So long as Islamic laws fall within the principles of the Qur’an they are authentic. It is not necessary for them to have been discussed by the Prophet, more so if such laws are in regards to a topic or topics which were not present at the time of the Prophet.
The main thrust of the early Muslims was not of social reforms, but of quelling rebellion, defending against aggression, Islamic propagation and the pursuit of knowledge as per the scientific pronouncements in the Qur’an. As such, there was no opportunity to formulate laws, but rather to govern by the law directly as expressed in the Qur’an.
While Muslims believe in the oral teachings of the Prophet that do not contradict with the Qur’an’s, the practical part of Islam –format of prayer, percentage to give as zakaat, etc;– is also handed down from one generation to the other.
(Muhammad Ali has dealt at length on the topic of The Tradition of the Prophet in his The Religion of Islam).
If the Qur’an had no “definitive form before the ninth century,” then, seeing that Muslims lived in different countries, there should be more than one version of the Qur’an. How then can one account for the universality of the one Qur’an?
(Muhammad Ali in his preliminary notes to his translation of the Qur’an has refuted all the objections against the authenticity of the Qur’an; including the “great discovery” of “Dr. Mingana’s Leaves”. Not only has Muhammad Ali proved the authenticity of the Qur’an, but also the collecting of it; and that the arrangement and sequence of the chapters as they appeared in the Qur’an was established by the noble Messenger himself. The material on this matter is voluminous. I enter a few excerpts sufficient to establish the authenticity of the Qur’an, and an “Arabian origin for Islam”. Muhammad Ali’s translation of the Qur’an can be viewed online: www.muslim.org).
“The Qur’an was revealed piece-meal (25:32) during a period of 23 years. …The practice was, as will be shown later on, that when a chapter was revealed in parts, the Holy Prophet specified, under Divine guidance, the place of the verse revealed, and thus the arrangement of verses in each chapter was entirely his work. Similarly, later on when a considerable portion had been revealed, the arrangement of the chapters was also the work of the Holy Prophet himself. It is in one of the earliest revelations that the Holy Qur’an speaks of its collection as well as its revelation as being a part of the Divine scheme: “On Us rests the collecting of it and the recitation of it” (75:17). The collection of the Holy Qur’an –which means the arrangement of its verses and chapters –was, therefore, a work which was performed by the Holy Prophet himself under Divine guidance, and it is a mistake to think that either Abu Bakr or ‘Uthman was the collector of the Qur’an, though both of them did important work in connection with the dissemination of the written copies of the sacred text. Abu Bakr made the first complete written copy, by arranging the manuscripts written in the time of the Holy Prophet, in the order of the oral recitation of the Prophet’s time. ‘Uthman’s work, on the other hand, was only the ordering of copies to be made from the written manuscript of Abu Bakr’s time and the placing of these copies in the various centres of Islamic learning, so that those who wrote the Holy Qur’an might be able to follow the stan-dard copy. The text of the Holy Qur’an has thus been safeguarded from all alterations or corruptions in accordance with the Divine promise contained in one of the earliest revelations: “Surely We have revealed the Reminder and We are surely its Guardian” (15:9). The subject of the purity of the text of the Holy Qur’an has been fully discussed further on.” (p. ii)
“There are numerous anecdotes showing that when the Holy Prophet received a revelation, it was immediately reduced to writing. The general practice is thus described, by no less a personage than ‘Uthman, the third Caliph…..“It was customary with the Messenger of Allah that when portions of different chapters were revealed to him, and when any verse was revealed, he called one of those persons who used to write the Holy Qur’an and said to him, Write these verses in the chapter where such and such verses occur” (AD. 2:123). This report mentions, not what the Holy Prophet did on one occasion, but what he always used to do whenever any verse of the Holy Qur’an was revealed to him. Thus we have the clearest testimony that every verse of the Divine revelation was put into writing by the order and in the presence of the Holy Prophet, while additional care was taken by him to point out the place and chapter of a verse, when there were two or more unfinished chapters, so that the scribes might not confuse the verses of one chapter with those of another.” (p. xxvi-xxvii).
“Other reports of the highest authority support the evidence of ‘Uthman. Thus Bukhari narrates under the heading The Amanuenses of the Prophet: “When the verse….(4:95) was revealed, the Prophet (peace and the blessing of Allah be upon him!) said, ‘Bring Zaid to me, and let him bring the tablet and the inkstand’. Then he said to him (Zaid), ‘Write….(the verse revealed)” (B. 66:4).” (Muhammad Ali gave several more examples, then notes) “In fact as many as forty-two of the Companions are related to have acted as scribes for the Holy Prophet. The importance given to the writing down of the revelation as they came down to the Prophet was so great that in the historic Flight of the Prophet from Makkah to Madinah, pen, inkstand and writing material were among the essential necessities of the journey. ….Not only could men read and write, but even women were taught the art. Among the wives of the Holy Prophet, at least ‘Aishah and Hafsah could read and write, as many reliable reports show.”
“Every portion of the Qur’an was committed to memory as soon as it was revealed. With the Arabs memory was the safest of repositories…. We learn from numerous reports that whenever a passage was revealed, it was recited by the Holy Prophet to those who hap-pened to be present at the time and many of his follow-ers committed it to memory at once, others again learn-ing it from those who heard it from the mouth of the Prophet. (p. xxix).
“Eagerness to commit the Holy Qur’an to memory and recite it frequently was in fact so great that the Prophet had to place a limit as to the number of days in which the whole Qur’an should be recited. ….the minimum limit allowed was seven days. (Muhammad Ali notes several sayings of the Prophet) ….It is also clear from these reports that the whole of the Qur’an was committed to memory by many of the Companions, otherwise it could not be spoken of as being finished in a stated interval of time.” (p. xxxi).
“In fact, many persons are mentioned as being able to recite the whole of the Qur’an from memory in the life-time of the Holy Prophet, among these being the four Caliphs, viz., Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, and ‘Ali, and such renowned Companions as Talhah, Sa’d, Ibn Mas’ud, Salim, Abu Hurairah, etc., while three women, viz., ‘Aishah, Hafsah and Umm Salamah are also named in the same category.” (p. xxxii).
“The entire Qur’an was revealed in the long period of twenty-three years, and if Muslim boys of the age of ten or twelve years can even now commit the whole Qur’an to memory within one or two years, the Arab possessors of wonderfully retentive memories, to whom the importance of the Qur’an was far greater than to any Muslim of a later age, would not find it difficult to memorize it within the long period of twenty three years, especially when it was given to them gradually.” (p. xxxiii).
“The assertion that no arrangement was followed in the case of single verses revealed at different times is so absurd on the very face of it that it hardly requires a refutation. How was it possible for anybody to commit the Holy Qur’an to memory, if there was no settled order in which the verses were read? (p. xxxvi.)
Regarding the Shia’s and the Qur’an:
“It is sometimes asserted that the Shi’ahs regard the Qur’an as incomplete. The following remarks from Muir’s Life of Muhammad, which has raised and answered this question, will be a sufficient answer: “Assuming, then, that we possessed unchanged the text of ‘Uthman’s recension, it remains to inquire whether the text was an honest reproduction of Zaid’s, with the simple reconcilement of unimportant variations ….There is the fullest ground for believing that it was so. No early or trustworthy tradition throws suspicions upon ‘Uthman of tampering with the Qur’an in order to support his own claims. The Shiahs, indeed, of later times pretend that ‘Uthman left out certain surahs or passages which favoured ‘Ali. But this is incredible. When ‘Uthman’s edition was prepared, no open breach had taken place between the Omeyyads and the Alyites. The unity of Islam was still unthreatened. ‘Ali’s pretensions were as yet undeveloped. No sufficient object can, therefore, be assigned for the perpetration by ‘Uthman of an offence which Muslims would have regarded as one of the blackest dye. Again, at the time of the recension, there were still multitudes alive who had learnt the Qur’an by heart as they had heard it originally delivered; and copies of any passages favouring ‘Ali, if any such passages ever existed, must have been in the hands of his numerous adherents, both of which sources would have proved an effectual check upon any attempt at suppression. Fur-ther, the party of ‘Ali, immediately on ‘Uthman’s death, assumed an independent attitude, and raised him to the Caliphate. Is it conceivable that, when thus arrived at power, they would have tolerated a mutilated Qur’an, mutilated expressly to destroy their leader’s claim? Yet we find that they continued to use the same Qur’an as their opponents and raised no shadow of an objection against it.”
To this I would add a few words from a Shi’ah commentator of the Holy Qur’an, Mullah Muhsin, who says in his Tafsir Safi: “Certain men from among us and the Hashwiyah masses have reported that the Qur’an has suffered loss and alteration. But the true belief of our friends is against this, and such is the belief of the vast majority. For the Qur’an is a miracle of the Holy Prophet and the source of all knowledge relating to law and all religious injunctions, and the learned Muslims have taken the utmost pains for its protection, so that there is nothing relating to its vowel-points, its recital, its letters and its verses, which they do not know. With such strong measures of protection and such faithful preservation of the Holy Book (by the Muslims) it cannot be supposed that any alteration or loss could take place” (p. 14).
The learned author goes on to say: “Surely the Qur’an was collected and arranged in the lifetime of the Holy Prophet exactly as it is in our hands. This is inferred from the fact that the Qur’an was even then recited and committed to memory as a whole, and there was a body of the Companions whose duty it was to commit it to memory. It was also recited and read out as a whole to the Holy Prophet (by the angel).”” (pp. xlviii, xlix).
(Allāh, God, says that He will guard the Qur’an from corruption – 15:9; 56:77-80; 85:21-22; there are millions who know the Qur’an from memory, there cannot be alteration in the Qur’an). Not only the Qur’an was written and memorized in the lifetime of the Prophet, but also some of his sayings. Muhammad Ali has noted in his The Religion of Islam that Abu Hurairah says:
“None of the Companions preserved more traditions than myself, but ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Amr is an exception, for he used to write and I did not” (Bukhari 3:39). Also, “Abu Hurairah is reported to have said: “The Prophet of God came to us while we were writing traditions and said: What is this that you are writing? We said: Sayings which we hear from thee. He said: What! a book other than the Book of God?” Now the disapproval in this case clearly shows fear lest his sayings be mixed up with the revealed word of the Qur’an, though there was nothing essentially wrong in writing these down nor did the Prophet ever forbid this being done.”(p. 64)
57. Mohammad and the gods of the Pagans (p. 76): “The pagan Meccans tolerated him (Mohammad) until he began attacking their gods.”
Allah is the God not only of the Ka’ba and of Makkah and Arabia, but also the God of all the worlds. The Prophet Mohammad was not commissioned to revile those whom the pagans (and other peoples) called upon besides Allah. Mohammad was sent to establish to all mankind the pure Monotheism given to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and the tribes, Moses and Jesus; and to liberate man from the indignity of idol worship (things fashioned by their own hands)–objects that cannot confer benefit nor effect harm.
Mohammad could not ‘attack’ the gods of the pagan Makkans seeing that Allah instructs him in His Qur’an 6:109: “And abuse not those whom they call upon besides Allah, Lest they, out of spite, abuse Allah through ignorance.”
Mohammad sought to enlighten the pagans (and all mankind) about the irrationality of polytheism and of the futility and degradation of idolatry.
58. Mohammad, Monotheism, and the Satanic Verses (p. 77): “Muhammad seems to have even compromised his monotheism, at first, to make peace with the Meccans. This is the incident retold in The Satanic Verses. ”
In making peace with the Idolaters, one tribe objected to the Prophet using his title “Apostle of Allah” on the peace document. Rather than let this hinder the “ratification” of the treaty, the Prophet omitted his title from the document. It is a mistake to cerebrate that by omitting his title from the document at the objection of the Idolaters that the Prophet ‘compromised’ his principles for “political gain” or for “power.”
In fact, Mohammad’s act highlights two important truths (1) that Islam does not force religion onto people. No one is compelled to accept Mohammad’s status as Messenger of God to co-exist in peace with him; (2) that Islam is a religion committed to peace, and to make reasonable compromise with the enemy when necessary to effect this peace.
Two examples of Islam’s pursuance of peace are those of the treaty of Hudaibiyah in which two of the terms “were humi-liating” to Muslims. The second was at the Battle of Yarmuk, during the Caliphate of ‘Umar, where peace with the people of Jarjoma were concluded in which they “neither embraced Islam nor paid jizyah,” the only condition was that “they would fight on the Muslim side” if need be.35
Allah says: “And if they incline to peace, incline thou also to it…. And if they intend to deceive, then surely Allah is sufficient for thee”–(Qur’an 8:61-62. See also 4:90). Even in the face of possible deception by the enemies, Muslims are to seek peace.
Such a religion could hardly be “evil and wicked.”
Satanic verses: It is claimed that the Prophet Mohammad “compromised his monotheism,” initially, to make peace with the Makkans. This alleged “incident” is narrated in “The Satanic Verses.” In the Qur’an we are told about three deities of the Idolaters, Lat, Uzzat, and Manat–(Qur’an 53:19-21). To this Muhammad Ali notes:
“Verses 19-21 are made the basis of the false story of what is called the “Lapse of Muhammad” or “Compro-mise with idolatry” by Christian writers. Certain reports narrated by Waqidi and Tabri are the sole authority for this charge against that incessant preacher against idolatry, every incident of whose life condemns it as a bare falsehood. Muir asserts that “Pious Muhammadans of after-days, scandalized at the lapse of their Prophet into so flagrant a concession, would reject the whole story,” as if the earlier Muslims were not as pious as the latter. The fact is that the story was quite unknown to the earlier Muslims. There is not a single trustworthy hadith that lends support to this story. Muhammad ibn Ishaq, who died as early as 151 A.H., does not mention the incident, while Muir’s earliest authority, Waqidi, was born more than forty years later. It is stated in the Bahrain that when questioned about it, Ibn Ishaq called it a fabrication of the zindeeqs. And the famous Bukhari, the most trustworthy authority on the sayings of the Holy Prophet, was Waqidi’s contemporary, and his col-lection of sayings contains no mention of the story. As regards Waqidi, all competent authorities entertain a very low opinion of his trustworthiness. The Mizan al-l’tidal, a critical work on the lives and characters of the reporters of Hadith, speaks of Waqidi as unreliable and even as a fabricator of reports. As regards Tabri, Muir himself represents him as guilty of “indiscriminate reception”. As against these two unreliable authorities, “those who reject this story are highly learned men” (Ruh al-Ma’ani). The six collections of reports known as the Sahih Sittah (or the Six Reliable Works) do not mention it at all, and contain instead a report which essentially contradicts the story of the so-called compromise. Internal evidence, too, is wholly against the story. We are told that instead of verse 21 [of ch. 53] the Prophet read the words: Tilk al-gharaniq al-‘ula wa inna shafa’atahunna la-turtaja, i.e. “These are exalted females whose intercession is to be sought.” But the insertion of these few words in a chapter which is wholly directed against idolatry is quite out of place: v. 23 condemns idols; v. 26 denies their intercession; v. 28 condemns the giving of names of female deities to angels, and so on. It is further asserted that 22:52 was revealed in connection with this change, but it should be noted that a period of at least eight years must have elapsed between the revelation of this verse and that of 22:52. Moreover, if the Prophet had made any such compromise, it could not have been a sudden event, and traces of it would have been met with in other chapters revealed about the same time. But a perusal of these shows clearly that the Qur’an’s condemnation of idolatry was never marked by the slightest change.” (Comm. 2382).
And 22:52 of the Qur’an (mentioned above) reads: “And We never sent a messenger or a prophet before thee but when he desired, the devil made a suggestion respecting his desire; but Allah annuls that which the devil casts, then does Allah establish His messages. And Allah is Knowing, Wise.” The verse refers to the devil interfering with the intentions of all messengers. It is not stated that it is revelation that is interfered with by the devil; only that when these messengers desired– per-haps an act–the devil dissuades them; at which time Allāh instructs these messengers. Muhammad Ali comments:
“Some careless commentators mention here the false story relating to what the Christian critics call “the Lapse” of the Prophet. The Prophet, they say, on this occasion recognized that the idols worshipped by the Arabs could intercede with God on their behalf. That such a thing never happened is shown in 2382. This story has been rejected by all sound and reliable commentators. Thus Ibn Kathir says: “Many commentators relate here the story of the Gharaniq…. but it is from sources not traceable to any companion”. According to Rz, commentators who aim at accuracy and truth say that this story is false and a forgery. Bd makes similar remarks.
The words do not, and cannot, mean that when a prophet recites a revelation, the devil introduces his own words into his recitation. It is absurd on the face of it, and the Holy Qur’an belies it when it says: “He reveals not His secrets to any, except to him whom He chooses as a messenger; for surely He makes a guard to march before him and after him, so that He may know that they have truly delivered the messages of their Lord” (72:26-28). (See Yusuf Ali commentaries 5751 and 5751-A). Moreover, it is absolutely inconceivable that such an important incident as the Prophet’s having accepted the intercession of idols should have been mentioned in the Qur’an eight years after it happened. The 53rd chapter, in which the change is said to have taken place, was revealed before the fifth year of the Prophet’s call, while this chapter was revealed on the eve of the Prophet’s departure from Makkah. That more than half the Qur’an should have been revealed during this long period without a single reference to the alleged story, and that it should then have been quite unnecessarily referred to in a surah where it is quite out of place, is alone sufficient to give the lie to this story.” (M. Ali, comm. 1701).
Regarding Lat, Uzzat and Manat of Qur’an chapter 53, Ghulam Farid notes:
“It may be, as stated by Qastalani and Zurqani and supported by some other eminent scholars, that when the Holy Prophet, during the recital of the present Surah before a mixed assembly of Muslims and disbelievers, recited these verses, some evil-minded person from among the disbelievers might have loudly interjected the above-mentioned words, as was the disbelievers’ wont to create confusion by resorting to such low tactics when the Qur’an was being recited (41:27).”
And 41:27 of the Qur’an tells us: “And those who disbelieve say: Listen not to this Qur’an but make noise therein, perhaps you may over-come.” They create disturbance while the Qur’an is recited, to annoy/frustrate Muslims.
That Mohammad “compromised” his monotheism, initially, to make “peace” with the Makkans is sheer fabrication.
59. Mohammad and raiding parties (p. 77): “After six months in Medina, Muhammad began sending out raiding parties to attack and capture Meccan caravans on their way to Syria.”
Mohammad preached against the irrationality of polytheism, the futility and degradation of idolatry, the depravity of wine and profligacy, and the injustice against daughters, wives, orphans and slaves. The Makkans were free to accept or reject Mohammad’s message. If they had not taken up arms against Mohammad, Mohammad would not have retaliated. Mohammad had no choice but to defend himself and followers. No man would do any less. (There are nations today that have not been wronged and are yet transgressors).
In the year 622 (After Christ), a dozen years after he began preaching the Divine Message of the Qur’an, the Prophet Mohammad, because of persecution by the Makkans, was forced to migrate with his followers to Madinah. In Madinah, Mohammad entered into covenants with various tribes along the Makkan trade route. Mohammad did not enter into these alliances so as to make war on the Makkans; and to acquire booty. If Mohammad’s intention was to acquire booty by raiding the Makkan’s caravans along the trade route, Mohammad was fully justified; for these were the very Makkans who forced him into exile and usurped his property.
The Muslims who migrated with Mohammad to Madinah were forced to leave behind their property and wealth. Why should they not recoup from the Makkans what they had been forced to abandon? If you were to meet the person who forced you out of your home in a vulnerable position wouldn’t you confront him? Why then fault Mohammad for a legal act that you would commit? The occupier/usurper is not to be left untouched to devour the fruits of his victims in peace.
However, that Mohammad’s purpose was to make war, and to acquire booty is a myth. The number of Muslims on these expeditions were far less than those of the Quraish guarding their trade caravans; and their armaments “was not such as would encourage them to make war.” The “covenant of al ‘Aqabah was a defensive one which both al Aws and al Khazraj had under-taken to protect Muhammad. These tribes of Madinah have never agreed either with Muhammad nor with anyone else to commit aggression on anyone.” Moreover, the Madinites were not bandits. They, like the Makkans, “had other sources of income” and took part in “agriculture and trade.” Whereas the Muslim emigrants were “entitled to seize” the goods of the Quraish “in retaliation” for the loss of goods they suffered from migrating, they were unable to retaliate “before the battle of Badr.” Thus, their expeditions could not have been for war and booty. These early expeditions of the Muslims were meant as a message to the Makkans, to let the Message of the Qur’an “take its course freely, without impediment or recourse to war or fighting.”36
Regarding the opinion that Mohammad wanted to attack the unarmed caravan of Abu Sufyan–(Qur’an 8:5), which was on its way from Syria to Makkah, Muhammad Ali points out:
“It is true that a caravan was returning from Syria, and an army (which one critic opined was responding to Abu Sufyan’s call for help) had marched forth from Makkah; it is also true that some of the Muslims wished that they should encounter the caravan and not face the Makkan force (which was Allah’s purpose that they should face, in order to “cut off the root of the disbelievers”–Qur’an 8:7). Had the Holy Prophet desired to plunder the caravan, he would have done so long before Abu Sufyan could obtain succour from Makkah. Madinah was situ-ated at a distance of thirteen days journey from Makkah, so that if the Holy Prophet had actually an idea of plun-dering the caravan, he would have done it long before Abu Sufyan could obtain succour in less than a month, even if he had been apprised of the Holy Prophet’s intentions and had sent for aid from Makkah. And why should the Prophet have waited all this while and not plundered the caravan before help reached Abu Sufyan?
Badr, where the encounter took place, lies at a distance of three days’ journey from Madinah. Here, marching towards each other, the two armies met. This shows that the Makkan army had long been on its way to Madinah, while the Muslims were as yet quite unprepared. The enemy had marched forth for ten days and the Muslims only for three days when the two forces encountered each other, which shows clearly that the Muslims had turned out to take the defensive against an invading force. The Prophet had never any design of plundering the caravan, for if he had any such design he could have carried it out long before the Makkan force had approa-ched Madinah, and his hands would thus have been strengthened to meet a powerful enemy. It is quite clear that the Holy Prophet only marched forth when the enemy had already travelled over three fourths of the way to Madinah, and the caravan had left Madinah far behind.
Further, it is clearly stated here (Qur’an 8:5) that a party of the believers were averse to fighting. They could not have been averse if they had to encounter only an unarmed caravan. What is said in the next verse makes it clearer still, they went forth as if they were being driven to death, because they knew that they were going to meet an enemy not only treble in numbers, but also much more powerful and efficient.” (M.Ali, Qur'anic comm. 980).
If Mohammad raided the caravans of his enemies to “nourish” his army, Mohammad was fully justified. These were the very enemies who persecuted him, plotted against him, made attempt to assassinate him, drove him out of his home and confiscated his property, and were bent on annihilating him and his followers.
(That “two wrongs” do not make a right. One taking from his enemies in return for what was taken from him could hardly be viewed as a “wrong.” And, for how long must the “first wrong” [by the enemies] be allowed to perpetuate?)
60. Mohammad and the Jewish tribe Bani Quraiza (p. 78): (Already dealt with in item # 37).
61. Unity of God in other Scriptures (p. 82): “The formula “There is no God, but the One” is an ever-recurring refrain in Samaritan liturgies. …We can immediately notice the similarity of the Muslim proclamation of faith, “There is no God but Allah.”…The Muslim formula “In the name of God” (Bismillah) is found in Samaritan scripture as “beshem.” The opening chap-ter of the Koran is known as the Fatiha, opening or gate, often considered as a succinct confession of faith. A Samaritan prayer that can also be considered a confession of faith begins with the words… “I stand before Thee at the gate of Thy mercy. Fatah is the Fatiha, the opening or gate.”
Allah tells us in His Qur’an that He raised up messengers among all peoples and gave them the one common message that There is no God but Allah. Thus, it would be expected that the “Samaritan liturgies”(as well as those of all other religionists that claim Divine revelation) to proclaim such a belief. As well as to begin their prayer in words similar to the Muslims’ In the name of Allāh, and to declare that “I stand before Thee at the gate of Thy mercy.”
4. Muhammad and His Message
62. Mohammad and epilepsy (p. 86): (Gustav Weil, in 1843) “put forward the idea that Muhammad suffered from epilepsy.”
If Mohammad produced the Qur’an during bouts of epilepsy, he has produced the best Book in the history of religions, and has made accurate scientific pronouncements and prophecies which no man so far has been able to do in his conscious moments.
63. Mohammad, power and ambition (p. 87): “The scholar divided Muhammad’s life into two periods, the Meccan period and the Medinan period; during the first period, in Mecca, Muhammad was a religiously motivated, sincere seeker after truth; but in the second period, Muhammad the man shows his feet of clay, and is corrupted by power and worldly ambitions.” (In some places Mohammad is said to be a ‘myth,’ and a ‘necessary fiction,’ and now he is a ‘sincere seeker after truth.’ So which is he?)
Mohammad claimed to be nothing more than the Messenger of Allāh, God; to bring no miracle but the Qur’an; that his word is subservient to that of God; to retaliate only to the degree suffered but that it is better to forgive; to give men their dues; prohibited from aggression, oppression, occupation, exploitation; that his duty is only to deliver the message of God (not to enforce it); he stood in worship for half the night, married the elderly and the widow and with children, bought slaves their freedom; instead of giving his beloved daughter a servant told her that the remem-brance of God is the best help; forgave his rabid enemies and left them with their riches; slept on a bed made of leaves; wore coarse garments; had no worldly possessions; mend his clothes and cobbled his shoes; and when he died his shield was in the pawn-shop–to indict this magnificent man Mohammad as being “corrupted by power and worldly ambitions” is either crass ignorance, absolute bigotry, or just sheer stupidity. Or maybe all three.
64. Slay unbelievers. Crush opposition (p. 87): Ibn Warraq quotes from Muir: “The name of the Almighty (Allāh) imparted a terrible strength to the sword of the State. “Slay the disbelievers wheresoever ye find them,” was now the watch word of Islam. “Fight in the ways of God until opposition be crushed and the Religion become the Lord’s alone.””
That the Qur’an says to kill the Unbelievers, is a statement applicable only during the time of battle; and even then Muslims are urged to take prisoners and to set them free–(Qur’an 47:4); and more importantly, to make peace with the enemies when they desire peace: “And if they incline to peace, incline thou also to it”–(Qur’an 8:61).
Regarding the statement, “And fight with them until there is no more persecution, and all religions are for Allah”–(Qur’an 8:39), this verse makes it clear that fighting is only to be engaged in until there is no more persecution. When the enemies desisted from their persecution of Muslims, Muslims were to stop fighting. “The state of religious liberty which Islam aimed at is put tersely in the two opening statements–there is no more persecution and all religions are for Allah.” (M. Ali comm. 1005).
That Muslims are urged to fight the Unbelievers until they say none has the right to be worshipped but Allah does not mean that the unbelievers must accept that Allah is the only One that has to be worshipped. What it means is that just as how they (the unbelievers) have the right to their belief, they must also accept that the Muslims have the right to practice their belief that ‘none has the right to be worshipped but Allah.’
Whereas striving with the “sword” is necessary to overcome aggression, occupation and oppression, striving with the Qur’an is known as the “great” Jihad –Jihad kabiran, (Qur’an 25:52).
The sword may conquer the body, which is no victory. The mind can never be conquered by steel. But when the mind is conquered –and this can only be conquered by reason, which Allah calls man to in the Qur’an– this is not only victory, but also triumph and success.
Allah informed Mohammad that there is no compulsion in religion–(2:256); that Mohammad’s duty is only to deliver the message–(29:18; 64:12); to invite people to Allah through wis-dom and best arguments–(16:125). It is only ignorance or bigotry to claim that Islam forces religion at the point of the sword. To propagate Islam with the sword is no where mentioned in the Qur’an. For: “The truth is from your Lord, so let him who please believe, and let him who please disbelieve”–(Qur’an 18:29).
Sura 9:5 saying, “Slay the idolaters wherever you find them,” does not refer to all idolaters –America is pursuing and “slay(ing)” the Talibans and Al-Qaeda “wherever “America finds them– this refers only to those who fight against Muslims–(Qur’an 2:190-191). Muhammad Ali explains:
“The clear exception of the last verse (9:4) shows that by the idolaters here are meant, not all idolaters or poly-theists wherever they may be found in the world, not even all idolaters of Arabia, but only those idolatrous tribes of Arabia assembled at the pilgrimage who had at first made agreements with the Muslims and then violated them.
The exception here has given rise to much misconception. It is thought that it offers to the disbelievers the alternative of the sword or the Qur’an. Nothing is farther from the truth. The injunction contained in the first part of the verse establishes the fact that the whole verse relates to certain idolatrous Arab tribes who had broken their engagements with the Muslims, and who had now been apprised of a similar repudiation by the Muslims. The order to kill them and to make them prisoners and to besiege them and ambush them amounts clearly to an order to fight against them, as it is in war only that all these things are made lawful. They had so often broken their word that they could no more be trusted….The subject is further clarified in the next verse and the following section.” (And the next verse says: “And if anyone of the idolaters seek thy protection, protect him till he hears the word of Allah, then convey him to his place of safety. This is because they are a people who know not” (9:6).
“This verse leaves no doubt that the Prophet was never ordered to kill anyone on account of his religion. “You shall give him a safe conduct that he may return home again securely in case he shall not think fit to embrace Muhammadanism” (Sale).” (M. Ali comm. 1033-1035). See also Qur’an-evil verses).
If Islam had required all idolaters and disbelievers to be killed, the Prophet would not have granted a general amnesty to them when he conquered Makkah.
If Islam had demanded that all Unbelievers be killed, Prophet Mohammad, on reports that the Romans were preparing for battle, would not have returned from this expedition to Tabuk without wiping out the Romans who were unprepared for war.
If Islam had counseled Muslims to kill all the Unbelievers and to make war so that Islam is accepted in every country through-out the world, the Prophet Mohammad would not have spared the Jews of Khaibar and returned the Torah to them.
If Islam had demanded that all Unbelievers be killed, ‘Umar would not have spared the Christians upon his conquering of Jerusalem. Neither would Salahuddin Ayyube (Saladin) have spared the Christians of Jerusalem; nor would he have invited the Jews back to Jerusalem.
If Islam had required all idolaters and disbelievers to be killed there would not be a Coptic Church in Egypt.
If Islam had required all idolaters and disbelievers to be killed there would not be a Cathedral in Istanbul.
If Islam had demanded that all Unbelievers be killed, there would not be millions of non-Muslims in Muslim lands.
Taking up arms against oppression and occupation could hardly be viewed as “Violence.”
As explained, to “slay the unbelievers wherever you find them” is restricted only to those who are in violation against Muslims.
As also pointed out, America is pursuing and slaying the Talibans and Al-Qaeda –and even pursuing them outside of her country; and even imprisoning mere suspects.
Muslims, who were neither transgressors nor occupiers nor usurpers nor oppressors nor exploiters had all justification to “slay” those who are determined to annihilate Muslims –and in their own country– wherever they are found.
Though it has already been proven that there is no abrogation in the Qur’an. For those who claim that early Makkan “toler-ance” was abrogated by later Madinan “intolerance,” chapter 2:191 which allows fighting only in self defense is Madinan. Chapter 2:256 which says, “there is no compulsion in religion” is also Madinan. Again, Chapter 9:6 says, as noted: “And if anyone of the idolaters seek thy protection, protect him till he hears the word of Allah, then convey him to his place of safety. This is because they are a people who know not,” is also a Madinan Chapter. Muslims could not be instructed to give idolaters “protection” and safe escort to their “place of safety” if “tolerance” was “abrogated by “intolerance.”” It is clear from this verse that the Prophet was never ordered to kill anyone on account of his religion.
Again, regarding the hypocrites/disbelievers, Allah instructs the Prophet–in the 9th year of the Hijrah, near the end of his mission–“never offer prayer for any one of them who dies,”–(Qur’an 9:84). The Prophet could not have waited till they die if Islam had decreed that all disbelievers be killed.
Yet again. Allah enjoins: “And if they incline to peace, incline thou also to it…. And if they intend to deceive, then surely Allah is sufficient for thee;” “So if they withdraw from you and fight you not and offer you peace, then Allah allows you no way against them”–(Qur’an 8:61-62; 4:90). These two chapters are also of the later Madinan period. Muslims could not lay down their arms and “incline to peace” if Islam had required the annihilation of all non-Muslims.
Islam is the “abode of peace”–(Qur’an 10:25)
65. Polygamy. Divorce. Slavery. (p. 88): “Muir went on to say that so long as the Koran remained the standard of belief, certain evils would continue to flow: “Polygamy, Divorce, and Slavery strike at the root of public morals, poison domestic life, and disorganize society; while the Veil removes the female sex from its just position and influence in the world….Freedom of thought and private judgment are crushed and annihilated. Toleration is unknown, and the possibility of free and liberal institutions fore-closed.”” “Muir’s final judgment is “The sword of Mahomet, and the Coran [Koran], are the most stubborn enemies of Civilization, Liberty, and Truth, which the world has yet known.”” (Wonder against which Scripture and Sword Muir is comparing Mohammad’s. Materials in this presentation have shown such claims to be utter rubbish!).
Slavery: (See #6).
Polygamy: The verse of the Qur’an 4:3 which permits polygamy (maximum four wives) was revealed following the battle of Uhud, as Muhammad Ali notes, in which “70 men out of 700 Muslims had been slain, and this decimation had largely de-creased the number of males, who, being the breadwinners, were the natural guardians and supporters of the females.”
Polygamy in Islam is an exception rather than the rule. It is only recommended as a remedial measure. It is a fact that fe-males mature earlier than males–a report in the Toronto Star Tuesday November 7, 2000, under the heading Early puberty, low birth weight linked?, Section A18, by Lindsey Tanner of Associated Press, says that in the U.S. “it has been estimated that nearly half of black girls and 15 per cent of white ones start puberty by age 8”–and women live longer than men do; and the flames of war usually leave in its ashes many widows. While some women may be financially independent, they have feminine needs, which can be met either in the unceremonious cot of concubinage or in the honorable bed of wifehood.
It is not morally healthy for men to have half a dozen paramours than to have women in the dignity of polygamous marriages. To prevent the moral decay of society, Islam allows a limited polygamy to alleviate the problem of female preponder-ancy. That Islam allows polygamy even though Allah knows that man is not capable of “impartiality.” This is so because the preservation of the moral standards of society, which Islam strives to foster, is of a greater importance than man’s inability to be impartial with his affections. (And it is morally and socially better that man live with this partiality in polygamous marriage than in promiscuity). However, the man must make all efforts to minimize this partiality.
Seemingly, the reasons why women are not allowed more than one husband are:
(a) Since women mature earlier and live longer, there is no question of there being a preponderance of men (over women).
(b) While in advanced nations with medical techniques it may not be a problem, a woman with multiple husbands may not know who the father of her child is.
(c) Since woman is a vessel (a collector of the man’s deposit), with multiple husband’s these various deposits, which may adversely interact, may lead to the development of disease(s) (perhaps this is how venereal disease originated).
Polygamy is no vice, but a virtue when practiced in accordance with the Qur’an. It is doubtful that a decent woman would not prefer to be a second or even third or fourth wife in the Divine sanctuary of marriage but to be in the immoral parlor of concubinnage–a kept woman. Abraham and Solomon had more than one wife.
Concubinage: It is sheer ignorance for the critic(s) of Islam to say that the Qur’an allows Muslims “to cohabit” with their female slaves, when the Qur’an forbids adultery and fornication. Islam, having abolished slavery, there could be no such law allowing intimacy with female slaves when there is no such institution as slavery.
Though Mohammad had “fifteen wives,” he had no “concubines and those who serviced his sexual desires,” as one Christian preacher claims. (See Jesus or Mohammad-greatest, Pastor James Mc Donald).
Islam does NOT allow sex outside of marriage. Allāh says: “Go not near to fornication/adultery”–(Qur’an 17:32; 25:68). Going not near to fornication/adultery means to not even indulge in acts that lead to them–such as amoral speech and touching.
Qur’an 23:1-6 states: “Successful indeed are the believers, who are humble in their prayers…And who restrain their sexual passions–Except in the presence of their mates or those whom their right hands possess…” It is a mistake to believe that this verse sanctions concubinage with slave-girls. Muhammad Ali points out:
“The words au ma malakat aimanu-hum, of which a literal rendering is given in the translation, usually indi-cate slaves. It should be noted that this chapter is a Mak-kan revelation, and the conditons under which slave-girls could be taken as wives were given later at Madinah; see 4:25a. If the reference here is to sexual relations, the permission regarding those whom their right hands possess must be read subject to the conditions of 4:25. It may be added that slave-girls, when taken as wives, did not acquire the full status of a free wife, and hence they are spoken of distinctly. It may, however, be added that hifz al-farj in a wider sense means the covering of parts of the body which it is indecent to expose, and in this connection it must be borne in mind that according to Islamic rules of decency, the exposure of such parts of the body, as are generally exposed in ballrooms and theatres, is disallowed, but a certain degree of freedom is allowed to women in the presence of their husbands and female servants and to men in the presence of their wives and male servants.”
Women slaves are to be taken as mates in marriages only. In Qur’an 4:3 and 4:25 Allāh makes it clear that these “slave-girls” are to be married: “And marry not the idolatresses until they believe”–(Qur’an 2:221); “marry such women as seem good for you, two, or three, or four; but if you fear you will not do justice, then (marry) only one or that which your right hand possess”–(Qur’an 4:3); “And whoever among you cannot afford to marry free believing women, (let him marry) such as your believing maidens as your right hands possess”–(Qur’an 4:25); “And marry those among you who are single, and those who are fit among your males slaves and your female slaves”–(Qur’an 24:32).
And the Prophet Mohammad taught: “The man shall have a double reward who has a slave-girl and he trains her in the best manner and he gives her the best education, then he sets her free and marries her”–(Bokhari Vol. 4 # 655; & 3:720).
Again, Allāh says: “Surely prayer keeps (one) away from indecency and evil”–(Qur’an 29:45); and adultery, whether with slave-girls or with the free, is indecency. To enjoin decency and allow concubinage is a contradiction.
It would be a contradiction of the most glaring kind for Allah to enjoin chastity and decency, to instruct us to come not near to adultery/fornication and still sanction “concubinage.” And there are no contradictions in the Qur’an –(4:82).
Conversely, while Islam requires freeing of captives–(Qur’an 47:4), and Mohammad had no concubines, the Bible (and Christian’s God, Jesus), commanded: “thou shalt smite every male thereof: But the women, and the little ones…shalt thou take unto thyself”–(Deut.20:12-17. This is another law of the Bible that the Qur’an abrogates–Qur’an 2:106). There must have been quite a haul of attractive women and budding girls “who serviceed” the “sexual desires” of their Biblical captors. Solomon had “three hundred concubines;” his son, Rehoboam, had “three score concubines” (plus their 318 wives)–(1Kings 11:3; 2 Chr. 11:21. And Solomon is said to be ‘wise’). These two alone reduce Mohammad’s “fifteen wives” to a speck on the horizon. And Christians mouth off at Mohammad.
(Christians must know the days when they can libel Islam and go unchallenged went out with the pony express).
Divorce: There is no “easy divorce” in Islam. Islam enjoins counseling. While divorce is “the most hated” thing, there is no ‘till death do us part’ in Islam. If a couple cannot live in harmony, it is better for them to part in peace than live in misery. The Prophet Mohammad is reported as having said that, “of all things which have been permitted divorce is the most hated by Allah”–Abu Dawud 13:3 (M Ali, comm. # 293).
It is a mistake to believe that the pronouncing of the phrase “You are divorced” three times makes a divorce final. Allāh enjoins the couple to seek arbitration–(Qur’an 4:35). Divorce is allowed only after all avenues of reconciliation have been explored.
Like a man, a woman also may file for divorce: “And if they separate, Allah will render them both free from want….”–(Qur’an 4:130). Again, Allah says, “…if you fear that they can-not keep the limits of Allah, there is no blame on them for what she gives up to become free thereby”–(Qur’an 2:229). There is a report of Thabit ibn Qais wife’s seeking permission from the Prophet to divorce her husband; which permission was given on agreement that she return the wedding gift to her husband–(Bokhari Vol. 7, # 197). As woman has rights as those against her –(Qur’an 2:228) and as marriage is a contract–(Qur’an 4:21) either party may file for divorce.
Regarding the belief that after the pronouncement “You are divorced” three times, the divorce is final. Allāh says, “Divorce may be (pronounced) twice; then keep them in good fellowship or let (them) go with kindness”–(Qur’an 2:229, and 2:228 where reconciliation is allowed during the three-month waiting period); and, “So if he divorces her (the third time), she shall not be lawful to him afterwards until she marries another husband. If he (the latter husband) divorces her, there is no blame on them both if they return to each other (by marriage), if they think they can keep within the limits of Allah ”–(Qur’an 2:230).
After the first intent to divorce, there is a waiting period of three months before this divorce is finalized; within this three-month waiting period the couple may resume married life, or separate after the waiting period; and may remarry each other–(Qur’an 2:232. Bokhari Vol. 6, # 52). This is allowed for up to two times. After the third intent to divorce they may reconcile during the waiting period; but if the divorce is finalized this third time, they can only re-marry after the wife has married someone else, consummate that marriage and divorce the latter husband.
The reason that it is mandatory for the wife to marry another man after the third divorce before remarrying her former hus-band seems obvious. Since carnal intimacy is the closest a man and a woman can be physically, and since a man, generally, would not want another man to touch his wife, then he must really need/love the woman to still want her after knowing that she had been intimate with another man.
The reason why a woman must wait three menstrual courses is a guide to find out if she is pregnant or not.
The Prophet’s saying that a divorce is a shameful thing in the sight of Allāh, this alone is proof that there is no “easy divorce” in Islam.
That “The sword of Mahomet, and the Coran [Koran], are the most stubborn enemies of Civilization, Liberty, and Truth, which the world has yet known.””
The Qur’an transformed fragmented, ruthless and lascivious brigands into fortresses of unity, peace, piety and virtue and catapulted them into seats of knowledge and thrones of Caesars, which extricated woman from the bog of degradation and gave hope to the orphan and liberty and regality to the slave; and the sword of Islam declared open war against the scourges of occupation, usurpation, oppression, exploitation, and compulsion. It is only abject ignorance, then, to declare this benevolent Qur’an and magnificent sword as the “most stubborn enemies of Civili-zation, Liberty, and Truth.
66. Political assassinations. Bani Quraiza. (p. 91): Political assassinations and the Bani Quraiza have already been dealt with.
67. Bani Qaynuqa (pp. 91-94): Ibn Warraq uses the conjectures of “several eminent scholars” in his effort to portray the Prophet Mohammad as “no more than the head of a robber community, unwilling to earn an honest living.”
Qur’an 3:12-13, (vvs. 10-11): “Say to those who disbelieve: You shall be vanquished, and driven together to hell; and evil is the resting place,” does not refer to the Jewish tribe of Qaynuqa, as Warraq claims; but to the disbelievers in general. As Muhammad Ali explained: “This is one of the passages in which the punish-ment of this life, which is vanquishment, is spoken of in the same breath with the punishment of the Hereafter, which is hell.” Reading from the beginning of this section (from verse 9) to verse 12 makes this clear.
Mohammad “head of a robber community”: Can pomegrantes be had from a cactus plant? What a rare and astounding feat! That this “robber community” should become the practitioners of the highest morality, the pioneers of progress, and the inhabitors of thrones by following a leader who indulged them in “lying and treachery,” “obscenity” of language, and the want of the “goods and wives” of others.
The many nations of the world today could use the leadership of this “robber” chief. There would be (through promiscuity) no more AIDS, syphilis and gonorrhea; no more epidemic of drunkenness and libertine, and ‘junkie’ kids; no more battered wives and broken homes and troubled suffering children; no more un-wed parents, unwanted babies, and the sadness and tragedy of discarded infants; no more hypocrisy and double-talk; no more aggression, usurpation and occupation (of other people), persecution and exploitation; hoodlums–blue collars and white–who prey on the resources and on the persons and the lives of others would rightly lose their hands and heads. In fact, society will be free of all of its “dead weight”.
Regarding Qur’an 2:217. Fighting in the Holy month is allowed only if the enemy forces a battle. It would be foolish on the part of any man to render himself defenseless should an enemy attack him, regardless of the time and place.
Mohammad who lived within the Divine dictates which requires justice and restraint could not have “countenanced proceedings that were sometimes both cruel and unscrupulous.” (p. 93).
The Prophet never took revenge for himself–(Bokhari Vol.8, # 777).
(See item # 59 for Mohammad sending out raiding parties).
68. Bani Nadir (p. 95):“Needing a victory, Muhammad decided to attack the Jewish tribe of Nadir, who are said to have expressed joy at the defeat of the Muslims. On the pretext that he had received a divine warning of their intention to assassinate him, Muhammad ordered them to leave Medina within ten days on pain of death. After a siege of several weeks, the Jews surren-dered and were allowed to leave; they left and joined the Jews of Khaybar, only to be massacred there two years later. This victory over the Jews is referred to at length in sura 59. The Prophet had been well aware of the wealth of the departing Nadir, whose land was divided between the Muslims; Muham-mad’s share made him financially independent.”
(Qur’an 59:2). That the Prophet Mohammad was under the constant shadow of the assassin’s blade was no “pretext.” This shadow took substance on the eve of the Prophet’s departure to Madinah. The strike was fruitless however as ‘Ali, his future son-in-law and fourth Caliph, had made himself a shield for the noble Messenger. This banishment of the Bani Nadir was not on account of any “pretext” by Mohammad to pre-empt this threat on his life.
“The banishment spoken of here took place six months after the battle of Uhud, when the Bani Nadir, a Jewish tribe of Madinah, who had at first entered into a cove-nant with the Holy Prophet, showed signs of treachery and were punished with banishment (Bokhari)….The following detailed account is given by Rz (Razi): The Bani Nadir made a treaty with the Holy Prophet to stand neutral between him and his enemies. When he was victorious at Badr, they said that he was the Prophet promised in the Torah, on account of the victory, but when the Muslims suffered a loss on the day of Uhud, they (i.e., the Bani Nadir) repudiated their vow and broke the agreement. Ka’b, son of Ashraf, went to Makkah with forty horsemen and made an alliance with Abu Sufyan. As a consequence, Ka’b was murdered, and the Holy Prophet told the tribe to leave Madinah. They wan-ted ten days for preparation, but ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy (the head of the hypocrites) advised them not to leave Madinah but to fight against the Prophet, promising the help of his own men. He also assured them that, if they were compelled to go forth, he would go with them. So they fortified themselves within their strong-holds. After having remained besieged for twenty-one days, and having despaired of help from the hypocrites, they surrendered. The Prophet raised the siege on condition that they should depart from Madinah. With the exception of two families that chose to remain at Khaibar, they all went to Syria.
Dr. Prideaux says that the Prophet ordered a party of the Muslims to pursue the emigrants, and that thus they were all put to death. Sale has shown in his note on this verse that the incident from which Dr. Prideaux draws this strange conclusion relates really to the murder in cold blood of seventy Muslims, who, being invited to preach Islam, were treacherously put to death by an Arab tribe.”
“The Bani Nadir, being granted ten days in which to collect and take with them such of their property as they desired, devoted the time at their disposal to the destruction of their houses, lest they should be a source of strength to the Muslims. What remained of them was demolished by the Muslims.”37
No Head of State would tolerate such treachery within its midst. In the twentieth century (and the twenty-first also) people are expelled from their homes, lands, and countries for far less than treachery. If Mohammad wanted to execute the Bani Nadir nothing could have prevented him once they had surrendered. If Mohammad wanted their properties he would not have given them time to collect and to destroy, he would have let them go “empty-handed.”
Mohammad could not be unjust to the Jews (or to any other) when he is commanded by Allah to give justice to all, even if it be against his self or parents or kins–(Qur’an 4:135).
If Mohammad’s share of the Bani Nadir’s “wealth” made Mohammad “financially independent,” Mohammad must have been a squanderer of wealth–which goes against the injunctions of Allah; and Mohammad observed the injunctions of Allah– because when he died his shield was in the hands of a Jewish “pawnbroker.”
As noted elsewhere, Mohammad did not nominate Sa’d ibn Muadh “to be judge” over the Bani Quraiza: Muadh was chosen by the Jews themselves.
(Jews of Khaibar dealt with in item #160).
69. Mohammad–a barbarian (p. 97): “If Mohammad lived in barbaric times, then he was a barbarian: no worse than any other member of his society; but no better either. (And, of course, the relativist cannot merely blame the “times.”) ”
In his book, The End Of Faith, Sam Harris, notes from the New York Times, July 27, 2002 article by C.W. Dugger, “Religious Riots Loom over Indian Politics”:
“Mothers were skewered on swords as their children watched. Young women were stripped and raped in broad daylight, then…set on fire. A pregnant woman’s belly was slit open, her fetus raised skyward on the tip of sword and then tossed onto one of the fires that blazed across the city.” (p. 27. Italics/emphasis, added).
Our time is said to be that of “civilization.” Could those engaged in the above acts be labeled “civil”? Decidedly not. So, therefore, in the midst of civilization we have “barbarian(s)”.
That Mohammad lived in “barbaric times” does not necessarily mean that Mohammad was a “barbarian,” as other people of his community. Mohammad practiced chastity, sobriety, and meditation. His people engaged in profligacy, drunkenness and idolatry.
Lot lived in the time of thievery and sodomy, but it could hardly be said that he was a thief and a sodomite. Abraham lived in the time of idolatry, but he was no idolater.
Moses lived in a time of oppression and slaughter, but he was no oppressor and butcher. Jesus lived in the time of hypocrisy and revenge, but it could hardly be said that he was a hypocrite and an avenger.
Some leaders in our twentieth century slaughter, evict, oppress, and usurp –these can hardly be classed as civilized beings.
Some modern cities are in the throes of drunkenness and pro-fligacy, yet there are religious and non-religious individuals who live lives of sobriety and probity, and practice tolerance and civility. It is not necessary then that a person who lived in “barbaric times” must also be “a barbarian.”
Mohammad –who made peace with his enemies, forgave his persecutors, freed the slave, liberated woman, exalted the orphan, and set up a public fund for the underprivileged– could not have been a “barbarian.”
If Mohammad was a “barbarian” then this “barbarian” performed the greatest act of clemency, upon his conquering of Makkah, which not even the most civilized man or nation has so far equaled.
Mohammad has “been made victorious with terror”–(Bokhari Vol. 4, # 220), in that Allah cast “terror” into the hearts of his enemies–(Qur’an 3:122-123, 150-151; 8:9,12,17; 33:9-10).
That Mohammad engaged in “Assassinations, murder, cruelty, and torture” does not accord with the teachings of the Qur’an.
In distant past there were arrows, spears and swords, now there are all manner of guns, missiles and agent orange etc. In distant past there was the stretching rack, now there is electric shock, sleep deprivation, bamboo and “sterilized needles” under the fingernails, dunking, and, the strap and blindfold and kneeling (as at the abominable Guantanamo Bay).
From Seventh century to Twentieth century, Man has not changed, he is just as “barbaric,” if not more so: only his methods of inflicting devastation and injury have evolved; and instead of coats of skins and hookah, he’s now suited in silk and top-hat and smokes a cigar.
70. The Zainab Affair (p. 99-100):(Zainab, a “very beautiful” cousin of the Prophet Mohammad, was married to Zaid, a former slave and the adopted son of the Prophet. This marriage was arranged by the Prophet himself). Ibn Warraq wrote: “One day the Prophet set out to visit his adopted son Zaid. … On the day concerned, Zaid was not at home, but Zaynab, rather lightly clad, and hence revealing a great many of her charms, opened the door to the Prophet, and asked him in. As she hastily prepared to receive him, Muhammad was smitten by her beauty: “Gracious Lord! Good Heavens! How you do turn the hearts of men!” exclaimed the Prophet. He declined to enter and went away in some confusion. However, Zaynab had heard his words and repeated them to Zaid, when he returned home. Zaid went straight to the Prophet and dutifully offered to divorce his wife for him. Muhammad declined, adding, “Keep your wife and fear God.” Zaynab now seemed quite taken with the idea of marrying the Prophet, and Zaid, seeing that Muhammad still yearned for her, divorced her. Still, fear of public opinion made Muhammad hesitate: after all, an adopted son was in every respect equal to a natural son; therefore, such a union would have been seen as incestuous by the Arabs of his time (this is nonsense: the Arabs could not hold such a marriage as being “incestuous” seeing that Allāh already revealed that an adopted son is not your real son–Qur’an 33:4). As always, a revelation came to him in time, enabling him to “cast his scru-ples to the wind.”” (May be the “Babylonian Jew from Southern Mesopotamia,” who is said to have taught Mohammad, masterminded this revelation to enable Mohammad to “cast his scruples to the wind”). …The Muslim sources themselves give the entire story a sexual interpretation: Zaynab’s beauty, her state of undress, her charms revealed by a gust of wind, Muhammad’s remarks and signs of confusion.” (That Muslim sources give the entire story a sexual interpretation does not mean they are right).
Since Zainab being “lightly clad” was already revealing “a GREAT MANY” of her charms” what need is there for a “gust of wind” to reveal “her charms?” So, was Zainab’s charms revealed because she was “lightly clad” or because of this “gust of wind?” The imaginations the critics of Mohammad and Islam employ are of Oscar proportion.
To respond to this folly, it is necessary to comment on the Qur’anic verses relating to Zainab and Zaid. (The following material is taken from Muhammad Ali’s Qur’anic commentaries on 33:36-37):
“And it behoves not a believing man or a
believing woman, when Allah and His
Messenger have decided an affair, to exercise
a choice in their matter”
“All the commentators agree that this verse was revealed on the occasion when the Holy Prophet demanded Zainab, his cousin through his aunt, in marriage for Zaid, his adopted son. Both Zainab and her brother were averse to this match, because Zaid was a freedman, and it was in obedience to this revelation that their scruples were overcome and Zainab accepted Zaid for her husband ….The verse has no connection with the subsequent events, which brought about the divorce and Zainab’s marriage with the Holy Prophet. It, moreover shows that it was the Prophet himself who had arranged this marriage between Zainab and Zaid, and were it not in deference to his wishes, Zainab would never have consented to the alliance.”
(It is doubtful that Mohammad would have insisted that Zainab should marry Zaid if Mohammad had desired Zainab for himself).
“And when thou saidst to him to whom Allah
had shown favour and to whom thou hadst
shown a favour: Keep thy wife to thyself and
keep thy duty to Allah; and thou
concealedst in thy heart what Allah would
bring to light, and thou fearedst men,
and Allah has a greater right that
thou shouldst fear Him. So when Zaid
dissolved her marriage-tie, We gave her to
thee as a wife, so that there should be no difficulty
for the believers about the wives of their adopted sons,
when they have dissolved their marriage-tie”
(Was it lust for Zainab that Mohammad concealed in his heart, or was it fear of his niece’s marriage dissolving? It is odd that if Mohammad had written the Qur’an as some say, and if he was guilty of lust for Zainab, that he should have entered such a verse into the Qur’an that would cast aspersions upon his character. It is odd that Allāh and Mohammad would consider Mohammad’s “love”–an emotion instilled by Allāh–for a woman as something to be “feared” of Allāh).
“This verse [Qur’an 33:37, quoted above] consists of two distinct and separate parts, the first dealing with Zaid’s divorce of Zainab, and the second beginning with so when Zaid, etc; with the Holy Prophet’s marriage with Zainab, and therefore a full explanation of the events in connection with this marriage is necessary. Zaid belonged to the tribe of Kalb, and was taken prisoner in childhood and sold as a slave at Makkah, where he was bought by Khadijah’s brother, who gave him over to his sister, and she in her turn presented him to the Holy Prophet, who, as was his wont, liberated him. But Zaid was so much attached to the Holy Prophet, that when the Prophet gave him the option of accompanying his father to his home or of remaining with him, Zaid chose the latter course. On account of his great attachment, Zaid was called the son of Muhammad, and he was one of the early converts to Islam. It is to these events that the opening words of the verse refer, when they speak of Zaid as being one to whom Allah as well as the Prophet had shown favour.
Zainab was the daughter of the Prophet’s own aunt, Umaimah, daughter of ‘Abd al-Muttalib. She was one of the early converts to Islam, and the Holy Prophet pro-posed to her brother that she should be given in marriage to Zaid. Both brother and sister were averse to this match, and only yielded under pressure from the Holy Prophet, for which see the last note. It is related that they both desired that the Holy Prophet himself should marry Zainab. In fact, when marriage was first proposed to Zainab, she gave her assent under the impression that the Prophet wanted her for himself (Rz), but the Prophet insisted that she should accept Zaid (IJ).
The marriage was, however, not a happy one. Zainab was harsh of temper, and she never liked Zaid on account of the stigma of slavery, which attached to his name. Differences arose, and Zaid expressed a desire to the Holy Prophet of divorcing Zainab. The news was grieving for the Prophet, for it was he who had insisted upon the marriage, and he therefore advised Zaid not to divorce her. He feared that people would object that a marriage which had been arranged by the Prophet was unsuccessful. According to one interpretation, it is to this circumstance that the words refer, and thou fearedst men, and Allah has a greater right that thou shouldst fear Him. According to this interpretation it is also to the same matter that the words and thou concealedst in thy heart what Allah would bring to light refer, for the Prophet did not like that the disagreements between Zainab and Zaid should become generally known. The Prophet’s injunction to Zaid not to divorce his wife is contained in unmistakable terms in the Holy Qur’an. But it was all in vain, and Zaid at last divorced Zainab. According to another interpretation, however, the words and thou concealedst in thy heart to thou shouldst fear Him, are a continuation of the advice which the Prophet gave to Zaid not to divorce Zainab (Rz). This inter-pretation suits the context even better than the first interpretation, for as we are further told in v. 39, the prophets fear none but God.
After Zainab was divorced the Holy Prophet took her in marriage, that being the wish of the lady and her relatives before her marriage with Zaid, and the Prophet was, now that the marriage arranged by him proved unsuccessful, morally bound to accept their wishes. Moreover, the Qur’an had declared against an adopted son being regarded as if he were a real son, and now there was an opportunity where the Holy Prophet could by his own example deal a death-blow to that custom. This reason is plainly given in the second part of the verse: We gave her to thee as a wife, so that there should be no difficulty for the believers about the wives of their adopted sons. The Qur’an does not give any other reason for the marriage.
This simple story is made the basis of a mean attack on the Holy Prophet. It is stated that the Prophet having seen Zainab by chance through a half-open door, was fascinated by her beauty, and that Zaid, having come to know of this, divorced her, and then she became the Prophet’s wife. That Muir and Arnold, not to mention more prejudiced writers, accept this, only shows how far religious prejudice may carry “criticism.” It is admitted that Zainab was the daughter of the Prophet’s real aunt; it is admitted that she was one of the early believers in Islam who fled to Madinah; it is admitted that the Pro-phet himself had arranged the marriage between Zaid and Zainab; and finally it is admitted that Zainab desired, as did also her brother, before she was married to Zaid, that she should be taken in marriage by the Holy Prophet. What was it then which prevented the Prophet from marrying her when she was a virgin? Had he not seen her before? He was so closely related to her that on the face of it such a supposition is absurd. Then there was no seclusion of women before Zainab’s marriage with the Prophet, a fact the truth of which is attested by Muir himself. Having not only seen her when she was a virgin, but knowing her fully well on account of her close relationship to him and her early belief in Islam, while both she and her relatives were desirous that the Prophet should take her for a wife, what hindered the Prophet from marrying her? The story is so absurd that any man possessing ordinary common sense would unhesitatingly reject it.” (Comm.1990, 1991).
Significantly, Ibn Warraq conjoins 33:4 which says that Allah has not given man two hearts–meaning that one cannot obey Allah and the disbelievers at the same time, as noted from verses 1-3–with 33:36-37 which deals with Zainab affair; and he writes: “The most natural and immediate reaction to the preceding account (the Zainab affair) must surely be that of the Prophet’s own wife, Aisha, who is said to have remarked wittily on this occasion, “Truly, your God seems to have been very quick in fulfilling your prayers.” (p. 100).
(It is intriguing that this remark of ‘Aisha is interpreted to mean that she was doubtful (or cynical) of the Pro-phet’s truthfulness, when in fact it could merely have been an observation on her part. Notably, Allah was ‘very quick’ to the aid of ‘Aisha also, when she was slandered. Details further on).
But this remark of Aisha was not made on the occasion of the Zainab affair, as Ibn Warraq claims. This remark was made on another occasion permitting the Prophet to temporarily postpone company with a wife that he was supposed to be with–(Qur’an 33:50-51; Bokhari Vol. 6, # 311-312. Details in the next topic).
In the foregoing, Muhammad Ali has shown the lunacy of the critics’ charges against the Prophet from a theological and his-torical perspective. Let us also assess this story from a literal angle.
To restate Ibn Warraq: “Zaynab, rather lightly clad, and hence revealing a great many of her charms, opened the door to the Prophet, and asked him in. As she hastily prepared to receive him, Muhammad was smitten by her beauty,” and that “her charms (were) revealed by a gust of wind.” “Gracious Lord! Good Heavens! How you do turn the hearts of men!” exclaimed the Prophet.” (pp. 99-100).
As already shown, being family members, Mohammad was already cognizant of Zainab’s beauty for him to now be “smitten” by it.
The magical “gust of wind”: Mohammad was invited in. Whether Mohammad actually came inside or was standing in the open doorway is irrelevant; either way this “gust of wind” would have had to knock Mohammad over in order for its full blast to tell on Zainab to ‘reveal’ a “GREAT MANY” of her “charms” (must have been a barn-size door; and she must have been wearing frills for this “gust of wind” to be able to expose a “GREAT MANY” of her charms).
Even if this “gust of wind” had come through an open window –assuming that there was a window, and it was opened and not closed to keep out the dust and desert heat brought by “gust(y) wind”–it would have had to be quite a tempestuous “gust of wind” so as to reveal a “GREAT MANY” of Zainab’s charms.
Mohammad’s exclamation: “Gracious Lord! Good Heavens! How you do turn the hearts of men!”
Mohammad, as an ordinary man, from youth to aged, and in the midst of drunkenness and profligacy, lived a life of sobriety, chastity and decorum. Would he now, as Messenger of God and as an example to men utter words of eroticism, and to his cousin, and to the wife of his adopted son? (Go figure).
And if Mohammad did utter those words, why is it necessary that they be interpreted as an expression of carnal desire? It could very well be an expression of praise or a compliment.
Zainab relating to her husband: Zainab must have told Zaid about Mohammad’s words in such an insinuating manner as to suggest to him that she was desirous of becoming the wife of the Prophet for Zaid to offer to divorce her for him to marry; also it would have been Zainab’s desire, not the Prophet’s, (unless he was incredibly stupid, it is doubtful a man would divorce his wife for another man who desired her so that this man could marry her). Even if there was no such insinuation on the part of Zainab, and Zaid made this offer to the Prophet out of love for him, it would take the presumption on Zaid’s part that Zainab would agree to marry the Prophet without obtaining her consent in the matter.
Allah saying to Mohammad: “and thou concealedst in thy heart what Allah would bring to light.” What did Mohammad conceal in his heart, that he feared Allah would to bring to light– desire to marry Zainab or the dissolution of her marriage to Zaid? Notably, this was while Zainab was yet the wife of Zaid.
To say that Allah would bring to light Mohammad’s desire by having him marry Zainab would be to imply that Allah would cause the dissolution of this marriage, in order to satisfy Mohammad’s carnal desire. This is absurd. Allah instructs us to seek conciliation rather than dissolution; and the Prophet taught that of all the things Allah has made, divorce is the most shameful.
The entire Zainab affair–her marriage to Zaid, a former slave, her divorce and her remarriage to the Prophet–is a guidance for Muslims; in that it shows that a freed-man could marry a free woman and that a man could marry the wife of his adopted son.
“The Muslim sources” that “give the entire story a sexual interpretation” need to reason the Qur’an and Islamic history carefully.
71. Mary the Coptic Affair (pp. 99-100): “Another sexual scandal threatened to disturb the domestic bliss of the Prophet’s harem. To prevent jealousy among his wives, Muhammad used to divide his time equally among them, spending one night with each of them in turn. On a day when it was his wife Hafsa’s turn, she was out visiting her father. Returning unexpectedly, she surprised Muhammad in her bed with Mary the Coptic maid, his legal concubine. Hafsa was furious and reproached him bitterly; what is more, she threatened to expose him to others in the harem. Muhammad begged her to keep quiet and promised to stay clear of the hated Mary. Hafsa was unable to keep the news to herself and told Aisha, who also hated Mary. The scandal spread throughout the harem, and soon Muhammad found himself ostracized by his own wives. As in the Zaynab affair, a divine revelation interposed to sort out his domestic problems. …Harmony returned again to the harem. The sura concerned is 66:15). (Mohammad’s wives lived at their individual houses).
It is absurd, in the least, to label the Prophet’s relations with Mary as an “affair” when Allah God expressly forbids fornication and adultery. Mary was a wife of the Prophet, not a concubine. What is a “legal concubine”? There is no such allowance in Islam: any carnal relations outside of marriage is forbidden. That the Prophet married Mariyah/Mary the Coptic, Muhammad Husayn Haykal notes in his book The Life of Muhammad: “The Coptic Archbishop of Egypt…accorded to Muhammad’s messenger a good reception and sent with him a gift to the Prophet consisting of two slave girls…The two slave girls were Mariyah, whom Muhammad took in marriage and who gave birth to Ibrahim, and Sirin, who was given in marriage to Hassan ibn Thabit.” (p. 376).
The verses of the Qur’an which relates to this alleged “sexual scandal” are 66:1-5:
“O Prophet, why dost thou forbid (thyself) that which Allah
has made lawful for thee? Seekest thou to please thy wives?” (1)
“Allah indeed has sanctioned for you the expiation of your oaths….” (2)
“And when the Prophet confided an information to one of his wives
–but when she informed (others) of it, and Allah informed him of it,
he made known part of it and passed over part. …” (3)
“If you both (‘Aisha and Hafsa) turn to Allah… and if you back up one
another against him, then surely Allah is his Patron….” (4)
“Maybe, his Lord, if he divorce you will give him in your place wives
better than you, submissive, faithful, obedient, penitent, adorers,
fasters, widows, and virgins” (5)
Mary was not a “concubine.” She was a wife of Mohammad. It is hardly credible that Mohammad would have intimate relations with Mary out of wedlock–which would be adultery. Islam (as well as the Torah) forbids this and the penalty for this is a hundred lashes, (and Mary, a Christian, would have been subjected to stoning to death). As Muhammad Ali says, “It is a fact that the Prophet never kept a slave”–(Comm. # 2517).
If Mary was Mohammad’s “legal concubine” why then should Hafsa make such a stink if Mohammad was with Mary when Hafsa was not home (even if it was Hafsa’s turn to be with him)? How could this relation be of such bitterness to Hafsa for her to tell ‘Aisha, and for Mohammad to be “ostracized” for it? How could ‘Aisha “expose” Mohammad if he was with his “legal concubine”? Further, Mary, as a wife of the Prophet, is ranked equally with the other wives of the Prophet. Why then should the Prophet’s intimate relations with her be viewed with an evil eye?
66:3 above speaks of “an information” the Prophet had given to one of his wives. Hafsa surprising Mohammad in bed with Mary could not be “an information” the Prophet gave to one of his wives. 66:4 speaks of the wives ‘backing up one another;’ Hafsa surprising Mohammad and Mary could not be something that the wives were ‘backing up one another’ in. How could ‘Aisha back up Hafsa in a matter when she (‘Aisha) was not present at the time of the Prophet and Mary were in bed? ‘Aisha would have been found to be a liar. What is it then that the wives were ‘backing up one another’ in against the Prophet?
The verses quoted above (66:1-5) has nothing to do with Mary the Coptic. Verses one and three are dealing with two separate matters as careful reading of these verses and as the reports of the Tradition show. Verse one recounts the Prophet’s taking oath to keep away from his wives on account of their demands for material wants, which is in reference to Qur’an 33:28 which says: “O Prophet say to thy wives, if you desire this world’s life and its adornments…” This verse clearly is in answer to the demands of the wives of the Prophet for worldly glamour. And “The Holy Prophet,” as Malik Ghulam Farid points out “had severely taken to heart his wives’ demand for amenities of life, and in order to show his extreme displeasure had sworn to keep away from them for one month”–(comm. # 3072).
Regarding the revelation of this verse (66:1) in which the Prophet took an oath to separate from his wives, Bokhari notes a long narration in which ‘Umar says that ‘Aisha and Hafsa were the ones who backed up one another against the Prophet. And that his wife told him that his daughter, Hafsa, argues with the Prophet till he becomes displeased. Whereupon ‘Umar went to Hafsa who admitted, “we argue with him.” To which her father advised her “Don’t be betrayed by the one who is proud of her beauty because of the love of Allah’s Apostle (peace be on him) for her (i.e. ‘Aisha).” Soon afterwards the Prophet separated himself temporarily from all his wives. (Bokhari, Vol. 6, # 435).
Verse 3 (of ch. 66) which says, “And when the Prophet confided an information to one of his wives –but when she informed (others) of it, and Allah informed him of it, he made known part of it and passed over part,” recounts the intrigue of ‘Aisha and Hafsa to tell the Prophet, who used to drink honey at the house of Zainab, his wife, that he smelled of maghafir, “a kind of bad-smelling resin.” To which the Prophet promised “I shall never take it (honey) again. I have taken an oath as to that, and you should not tell anybody about it” –(Bokhari Vol. 6, # 434).
(It is to be noted, whereas this plot to tell the Prophet that he smelled of maghafir was hatched by ‘Aisha and Hafsa, the Prophet confided only to ‘Aisha about this “oath” not to take honey anymore, the words “you should not tell anybody about it” confirms this. However, it is obvious that ‘Aisha passed on this information of the success of their scheme to Hafsa. And this is what is referred to in verse 3 (of ch. 66) which says: “And when the Prophet confided an information to one of his wives–but when she informed [others] of it”).
In summary, 66:1 and 66:3 recounts, respectively, the Prophet taking oath to separate himself from his wives on account of their demand for worldly comforts, and the intrigue of ‘Aisha and Hafsa in the maghafir affair. Being wives of the Prophet these women were to live simple and modest lives so as to serve as a model for the community. Verses 4 and 5 offers them the high road of repentance, or replacement. As Muhammad Ali says:
“The story therefore that Hafsah’s discovery of the Prophet having conjugal relations with her upset the Prophet to such a degree that he swore not to have anything more to do with her is a pure invention, and the known facts not only nullify the calumny, but brand it as another of those fables invented by Christian writers who seek to vilify Islam.”38
It is doubtful that a man who was himself publicly sunk in sexual degradation could lead others to sexual purity. It is not presumptuous to say that the three most notable passions of men are power, wealth, and glamorous women; (and in the case of women, comfort and pleasure). The wives of the Prophet are here told–(66:4) that if they consider themselves as women of sophistication and above a life of simplicity and strictures, which as wives of the Prophet they are to observe, then Allah will replace them with wives who are devout from both categories of women–matrons and virgins. As the Qur’an is a guidance for Muslims to be modest and moderate, Allah has related this verse to be a red flag to Muslims of all times, who may be tempted to put desire before duty.
Regarding this Qur’anic revelation (66:1-5), Ibn Warraq quotes Muir as saying: “there is surely no grotesque utterance than this in the “Sacred Books of the East”; and yet it has been gravely read all these ages, and is still read, by the Moslem, both in public and private, as part of the eternal Coran.”” (Wonder to which “Sacred Books of the East” Muir is comparing the Qur’an).
Seems that the mention of the word “virgins” in verse 5–that Allāh would replace the wives of the Prophet with virgins also–is the reason for Muir’s statement. “Virgin” is a natural state of birth, and represents purity: the state created by Allāh, God. There is no impiety is using this word. Only the vulgar would view this word with disdain.
As noted above the Qur’an is a guidance for Muslims to be modest and moderate. The Qur’an which requires its followers to be conservative in wear, modest in deportment, and purity of speech and carnality could not be a Book of “grotesque utterance.”
(Regarding the Qur’an 33:50-51, where the Prophet is allowed multiple wives, ‘Aisha, as already noted, may have remarked to the Prophet that “your Lord hastens in fulfilling your wishes and desires” (which some may want to interpret to mean that ‘Aisha was doubtful of the Prophet’s truthfulness (or was being cynical), when in fact it could merely have been an observation on her part)–(Bokhari Vol. 6, # 311). But ‘Aisha also eloquently said about the Prophet that “Whoever tell you that he concealed (some of Allah’s orders), is a liar”–(Bokhari Vol. 6. # 378). Notably, Allah ’hastened’ to the aid of ‘Aisha also, when she was slandered–Qur’an 24:11-20; Bokhari Vol. 6 # 274).
The punishment to the Prophet’s wives for committing sin is double. This is so because, as wives of the Leader, they were better guided, and are to be role models for the Muslim women.
72. The Satanic Verses (p. 101): (Already dealt with).
73. Treaty of Hudaibiyah (p. 102): (Qur’an 48:25, 9:1) (Already dealt with).
74. Mohammad a “robber chief” (pp. 102-103): Ibn Warraq notes from Dr. Margoliouth about the Prophet that: “His (Mohammad’s) career as tyrant of Medina is that of a robber chief.”
It is hardly credible that robbers steal to live in poverty. Mohammad, the king of Arabia, with all its wealth at his command, instead of luxuriating himself, he bought slaves their freedom, had a bed made of palm leaves, cobbled his own shoes, went hungry at times, and “when he died his shield was in possession of a Jewish pawnbroker as lien for a loan made to Muhammad to spend on his family.”39
It is not credible that a “robber chief” would leave his captive princes on their thrones, as Mohammad did upon his triumph at Makkah.
Mohammad who taught and practiced the fulfilling of covenants, keeping of oaths and not to be deceptive (Qur’an 16:91-92); to speak justly (6:153); to be righteous (2:277-278; 6:152-154); to not let hatred for a people incite you to transgress (5:2); to render back trusts to whom they are due, and to judge justly (4:58); because Allah God loves those who judge in equity (5:45-47)–could not be a “robber chief.”
Mohammad who taught and practiced against dealing unjustly with men (2:279, 5:8); and not to rob them of their dues (26: 183); to give justice even if it be against one’s self or parents or kins or whether he be poor or rich (4:135), encourages the feeding of the needy and the poor, to free the captives, to help those in debt, to care for the orphans, the wayfarer, and to free the slaves (9:60, 2:177), not to act corruptly in the earth or to make mischief (26:183); not to be transgressors (2:190), not to help one another in sin and aggression (5:2), to fight on behalf of the oppressed (4:75); because Allah God loves those who are just, and because He commands justice and the doing of good, and He forbids injustice (60:8, 16:90)–could not be a “robber chief.”
Mohammad who taught and practiced against helping one another in sin, and to counsel one another in sin, but in goodness (5:2; 60:8-9); to avoid letting hatred of a people incite transgression (5:2); not to take a greater recompense than the injury suffered (2:194; 16:126; 42:40); that instead of retaliation, to make reconciliation, and to show patience and forgiveness (16: 126; 42:39-43); to be merciful and forgiving (3:133); to fight only as long as there is persecution and oppression (2:193), and to make peace when the enemy desires peace (4:90, 8:61); because Allah God loves the doer of good, and the dutiful (2:195, 3:75)–could not be a “robber chief.”
It cannot honestly be denied that the world today would benefit from a massive dose of such sublime doctrines and practice of this “robber chief.”
75. Mohammad and Ibn Ishaq (p. 103): Margoliouth is also noted as stating: “…even though Ibn Ishaq’s name was for some reason held in low esteem by the classical traditionalists of the third Islamic century, they make no attempt to discredit those portions of the biography which bear hardest on the character of their Prophet.” (Muslims are not to “discredit” anyone: only to correct their errors; and invite to Divine truth–Islam. Mohammad is Prophet not only of Muslims: Mohammad is Prophet of all, whether he is accepted or not).
That Ibn Ishaq was not discredited by other Muslim scholars for his writings that “bear hardest on the character of the Prophet” does not mean that Ibn Ishaq’s assessment of the Prophet was a correct one.
There are perhaps many baseless charges against Islam and the Prophet that have gone uncontested by Muslims. Many educated Muslims may have read such materials and instead of caring to respond to it just threw the book aside. This does not mean that such statements against Islam and the Prophet are accurate.
Another example may be taken from that of Jesus Christ who was said to be a ‘magician,’ that he ‘deceived’ and ‘drove Israel to idolatry;’ and his mother was charged as being an ‘adulteress.’
Did any one refute these false sayings against Jesus and his mother? Silence does not mean that these claims are true.
(Incidentally, if Mary was guilty of adultery, she would most likely have been stoned to death, according to Jewish law–(John 8:4-5; Deut. 22:22-24); and if Jesus was born out of wedlock, instead of him throwing the “money-changers” out of the temple the moneychangers might have thrown him out, for it is written: “a bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the Lord”–(Deut. 23:2).
There is no charge against Allāh, the Prophet Mohammad (or any other prophet), Islam, and the Qur’an that is not refutable.
5. The Koran (correctly Qur’an)
76. Children and the Qur’an (p. 105): “Both Hurgronje and Guillaume point to the mindless way children are forced to learn either parts of or the entire Koran (some 6,200 odd verses) by heart at the expense of teaching children critical thought.” (What makes you think these Muslim children are forced? Are secular children forced to attend school?)
Islam does not require children to memorize the Qur’an “at the expense of teaching children critical thought.” Muhammad Hu-sayn Haykal notes:
“Islam made reason the judge in everything, whether in religion or in conviction and faith itself. God said: “And the case of those who disbelieve is like that of a person who hears the sound of a call but who does not distinguish any word or idea. To talk to them is like talking to the deaf, dumb, and blind. Those who disbelieve simply do not use their reason, and neither do they understand”–(Qur’an 2: 171). Commenting on this verse, Shaykh Muhammad ‘Abduh wrote: “This verse clearly asserts that taqlid (Imitation of the ancestors, conservatism.–Tr.) without reason or guidance is the prerogative of the disbelievers, that man is not a con-vinced Muslim unless he has reasoned out his religion, known it in person, and become personally convinced of its truth and validity. Whoever, therefore, has been brought up so as to acquiesce without reason and to act without knowledge and wisdom–even though he may be virtuous–is not a convinced Muslim. Religious conviction does not have for its purpose the subjugation of man to the good as if he were an animal. Rather, its purpose is that man may, by the use of reason and the pursuit of knowledge, rise to the level where he will do the good because he fully knows that it is in itself good and acceptable to God, and avoid the evil because he fully knows its undesirable consequence and harm.
….The Qur’an has called upon men to look into the universe and to discover its construction and structure. It commanded men to do so in the conviction that their investigation of the structure of the universe would lead them to the discovery of God as well as of His unicity–May He be adored!”
“Indeed, the call to look into the universe to discover its laws and to arrive at the conviction that God is its creator is repeated a hundred times in the various Surahs of the Qur’an. All these Qur’anic invitations are directed to man’s rational faculties in the expectation that he will consider, search for and discover the truth, so that his religious conviction might be rational and truly supported by the facts. The Qur’an constantly warns its readers not to adopt uncritically and blindly the ideas and principles of the forefathers, but to have faith in man’s personal capacity to reach the truth.” (The Life of Muhammad, pp. 522, 523, 524).
There are Muslims who know the Qur’an from memory and yet are qualified professionals. Whereas on the obverse there are, doubtlessly, secular children who were schooled in “critical thought” who are misfits in societies.
77. Word of God (p. 106): It is rather strange that “Al-Suyuti” would hold that passages of the Qur’an attributable to Allah was “disputable” and still choose to be a Muslim; when Allah says that the Qur’an is from Him–(20:2-4; 32:2; 40:2; 45:2; 46:2); and that Mohammad “errs not, nor does he deviate. Nor does he speak out of desire”–(Qur’an 53:2-3; also 32:3).
78. Sura Fatihah (Opening chapter of the Qur’an) (p. 106): “These words (of Sura Fatiha) are clearly addressed to God, in the form of a prayer. They are Muhammad’s words of praise to God, asking God’s help and guidance.”
The Fatihah could not be Mohammad’s words when Allah says: “And certainly We have given thee seven oft-repeated (verses) and the grand Qur’an”–(Qur’an 15:87). Muhammad Ali points out that: “The Fatihah has a special importance as a prayer. Its oft-repeated seven verses constitute the prayer for guidance of every Muslim at least thirty-two times a day.” “… the Fatihah is the quintessence of the whole of the Qur’an. For the Qur’an is a book which declares the glory of Allah and teaches the right way to man, and both these themes find full expression in the Fatihah.”–(Notes to ch. 1 of the Qur’an; pp. 1, 2.).
The Qur’an came to answer questions and to give guidance. A moment’s cerebration would reveal that in the Fatihah Allāh, God, instructs man how to begin his offering of praise to Him and how to seek His aid. The Fatihah reads:
- Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.
- The Beneficent, the Merciful.
- Master of the day of requital
- Thee do we serve and Thee do we beseech for help.
- Guide us on the right path,
- The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favors,
- Not those upon whom wrath is brought down, nor those who go astray.–(Qur’an 1:1-7).
The charge that the Fatihah is Mohammad’s words has been given the lie not only by Allah’s statement that He gave us the seven-oft repeated verse and the Grand Qur’an–(15:87); but by the Fatihah itself; in the very first verse. It is doubtful that any in 7th century Arabia knew that there was more than one world; yet the verse says that Allah is the Lord of the worlds–(1:1)
79. “Say” (p. 106):“Ibn Masud, one of the companions of the Prophet and an authority on the Koran, rejected the Fatihah (opening chapter of the Qur’an) and suras 113 and 114 that contain the words “I take refuge with the Lord,” as not part of the Koran.
It is perplexing that “Ibn Masud” “rejected the Fatihah” and chapters 113 and 114 that begins with the words “I seek refuge in the Lord,” as being “not part” of the Qur’an and still remained with the Prophet and Islam. Considering that Mohammad taught that the Qur’an is from Allah.
There is no grounds for the belief that the words “I seek refuge with the Lord,” be considered as “not part” of the Qur’an. In these chapters Allāh instructs us in the manner how to pray for Divine protection to guard us from becoming victims to all forms of evil–the seen and the unseen–those who would impede us physically, those who cast doubt, plots treachery, and those who envy.
This word “Say,” which occurs “some 350 times” in the Qur’an. Part of the function of the Qur’an is to give guidance and to answer questions. It is obvious then that when a question was put to the Prophet, that Allah would reveal for him to “Say (such and such…). There are also verses that begin with “They ask thee (about so and so…)
When a question requiring revelation was put to the Prophet and that revelation was given immediately then it seems the response would be “Say (such and such)……” When revelation was given later some time after the question, then it seems the response would be preceded by words to the effect of “They ask thee about so and so…” in order to recall the subject matter, and then followed by the answer which would generally be “Say (such and such)…” Also, the word “Say” is used in statements in reasoning against certain beliefs: as against the Jews and Christians–(Qur’an 2:94, 97; 5:68, 76-77; 62:6-8).
Word or parts of the Qur’an could not have been “inserted” into the Qur’an after the Prophet’s death when the Qur’an was both memorized, written down (and sequenced) by the Prophet Mohammad himself. (The Angel Gabriel rehearsed the Qur’an annually with the Prophet–Bokhari Vol. 4; # 819).
There are no “confusions” in the Qur’an. The Qur’an being the Revelation sent by Allāh, God, through the Angel Gabriel could not be the word of Mohammad or of Gabriel, but the Word of Allāh, God. Words which appear to be those of Mohammad such as: “I am commanded only to serve Allah” (13:36)–are the Words of Allah instructing him what to say of himself personally; and in the case of others–such as Abraham’s dialogue with the king (2:258), and of the angels explaining that they descend by Allah’s command (19:64)–are the Words of Allah recounting incidents and/or the sayings of others.
In chapter 6:104 (105), the statement, “I am not your keeper,” in these words Mohammad was instructed by Allah to inform the people that he is not their keeper; thus these words, though uttered through the lips of Mohammad, are the words of God. A clerk who conveys the direct words of his superior could not be said to be the owner of those words.
The same applies to Qur’an 6:114 in which Allāh reveals for the Prophet to state to the people: “Shall I then seek a judge other than Allāh, when He it is Who has sent down to you the Book fully explained.”
80. Abu Lahab (p.106): Allah reveals in chapter 111 of the Qur’an: “Abu Lahab’s hands will perish and he will perish. His wealth and that which he earns will not avail him. He will burn in fire giving rise to flames–And his wife–the bearer of slander; Upon her neck a halter of twisted rope”–(Qur’an 111:1-5). To which Ibn Waraq states: “Ali Dashti also considers sura 111 as the words of Muhammad on the grounds that these words are unworthy of God: “It ill becomes the Sustainer of the Universe to curse an ignorant Arab and call his wife a firewood carrier.” …Either these are Muhammad’s words or God is fond of rather feeble puns, since “Abu Lahab” means “father of flames.” But surely these words are not worthy of a prophet either.”
As explained, the words of the Qur’an are all Word of Allah, and not the words of either Mohammad or Angel Gabriel: they are only the conveyers of these words.
Abu Lahab means, “father of flame” Abu Lahab, an uncle of the Prophet, was “one of the most inveterate enemies of early Islam” who cursed the Prophet. “It is also related that he followed the Prophet when he went out to preach, saying to the people that the Prophet was a mad relative of his.”
“Many of the leaders of persecution perished at Badr, and Abu Lahab himself perished a week after Badr, consumed with grief and his own fiery passions. Verse 3 (of sura 111) was prophetic of his end in this very life, though it also refers to the Hereafter.”
Abu Lahab’s wife, Umm Jamil, not only “used to spread false reports about the Prophet;” but she “was a woman of equally passionate spite and cruelty against the sacred person of the holy Prophet. She used to tie bundles of thorns with ropes of twisted palm-leaf fibre and carry them and strew them about on dark nights in the paths which the Prophet was expected to take, in order to cause him bodily injury. “To carry fire-wood” may also be symbolical for carrying tales between people to embroil them. This was also one of her vices.”
“It is said that Abu Lahab’s wife died by being strangled by the very rope in which she used to bring thorns.”*
There is nothing “ignorant” about a man (and his woman) who faces no compulsion or persecution and chooses to engage in opposition and “persecution” (and to slander and mechanize injury) of another.
It does not “ill becomes” Allāh, God to “curse” Abu Lahab and to address his wife as “a fire-wood carrier.” The curse (destruction) of a tyrant is a blessing (freedom) for the oppressed. It would not be better to have oppression than freedom.
Those religionists–Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Christians, etc;– who pray for the destruction of the evildoers, are not unGodly. The Allies rising up against the Third Reich is not unconscion-able–(if you believe it is, go tell it to the survivors of the concen-tration camps and to their families).
It does not “ill becomes” Allah to destroy evil-doers, and it is “not worthy” of Mohammad or any prophet of Allah to call for the defeat of those who persecute and fight Divine truth.
*(Quotes from Yusuf Ali and Muhammad Ali’s commentaries).
81. Two Speakers (p. 107): In chapter 17:1 of the Qur’an Allah reveals: “Glory to Him Who carried His servant by night from the Sacred Mosque (Makkah) to the Remote Mosque (Jerusalem), whose precincts We blessed, that We might show him of Our signs! Surely He is the Hearing, the Seeing.”
“We” and “Our” in the verse refers to the powers of God, and is the same as if “God” or “He” was mentioned in the text. As the instances of the powers of God are limitless, there is nothing “unusual” about the number of times this “We” and “Our” is used in the Qur’an. These words are not self-glorification by Allah. But they become words of praise to God when uttered by us, which is the intent of this revelation since one of the aspect of the Qur’an is the glorification of Allah.
Thus the statement becomes our saying, ‘Glory to God Who carried His servant from Makkah to Jerusalem, whose precincts God blessed, that God might show him of His signs. And God is the Hearer, the Seer.”
The words of Qur’an 27:91, “I am commanded only to serve the Lord of this city,” though referring to the Prophet are the words of instruction from Allah.
Here, as in chapter 6:105, noted above, (and in every other place of similar utterances) the same reasoning is applied: they are words of instructions from God relating personally to the Prophet as to what he must say or do.
82. Swearing/Oaths (p. 107): In many instances in the Qur’an the words “I swear by” are mentioned. This expression means “I (Allāh) call your attention to.”
In sura 81:15-17 it is not Mohammad who is “swearing”. In these verses Allah are calling our attention to the phenomenon in nature–that just as how the planets and the night and day etc. are a surety–the Qur’an surely is a Revelation from Him.
The verses of sura 84:16-19 which says, “I call to witness the sunset redness, And the night and that which it drives on, And the moon when it grows full, That you shall certainly ascend to one state after another.” These verses have nothing to do with paganism. As has already been shown there is nothing “pagan” in Islam. These verses are prophetic about the triumph of Islam. These statements are emphasizing that just as how things in nature–such as sunset, and the alternation of the night and day, and the increasing of the light of the moon–are immutable, likewise the success of Islam cannot be altered or be prevented.
Allah uses oaths in some of the passages of the Qur’an: “I swear …” (75:1-2; 90:1).
The swearing and “oaths” of God is not a “matter of ridicule.”
Allah does not need anything from man. He does not need recognition. Allah swearing/taking “oaths” in these verses is not to gain believability for Himself, but to call to man that man is witness against his own self because of the undeniable truths that surrounds him.
If God was to try to arrest our attention through angels, or beings on other planets or cities in distant places, it would not have any impact on us. Man needs tangible evidence to convince him; and there are no better proofs than those in his own presence, that tell on his own being.
Allah makes statements that man can identify with. Certainly man can identify with the resurrection (which is like the coming of the dead earth to life after rainfall), and with his conscience –(75:1, 2); and by the City of Makkah, which city is not any place distant but in the midst of his very gaze–(90:1). And since these items–resurrection/rainfall, conscience, City of Makkah–are intrinsic parts of their being, they are admonished that just as how these things are a surety then so are His words.
The instances of the powers of God are limitless, thus there is nothing “unusual” about the number of times Allah has used the plural of majesty, “We,” in the Qur’an.
83. Foreign vocabulary of the Qur’an (p. 108):“Although al-Suyuti enumerates 107 foreign words (in the Qur’an), Arthur Jeffreyin his classic work finds about 275 words in the Koran that can be considered foreign (can be considered?)… The word “Koran” itself comes from the Syriac, and Muhammad evidently got it from Christian sources.” (Really? Mohammad did not get it from the “Babylonian Jew from Southern Mesopotamia”?)
How many words are there in the Qur’an? That Arthur Jeffery found “about 275 words” in the Qur’an which can be considered foreign is hardly a matter of worth to discredit the claim of the Qur’an to be an Arabic Qur’an.
The English language is made up of “foreign” words, this does not negate it from being called “English.” Where then is the problem that the Qur’an has words that can “be considered foreign.” Considered mind you. Not certain.
84. Variant versions, Variant readings (p. 108): “We need to retrace the history of the Koran text to understand the problem of variant versions and variant readings, whose very existence makes nonsense of Muslim dogma about the Koran. …there is no such thing as the Koran; there never has been a definitive text of this holy book. ….. After Muhammad’s death in A.D. 632, there was no collection of his revelations.”
Originally, the Qur’anic text “had neither dots nor vowel points,” says A’la Mawdudi. Points (dots) and vowels were added to the Arabic text for the benefit of those who do not know the Arabic language.
It is sheer nonsense to say that the absence of these dots and vowels resulted in a great many “variant readings.” The Qur’an was not only written down at the time of its revelation but was also memorized; and the Angel Gabriel rehearsed it annually with the Prophet–(Bokhari Vol; 4, # 819). It would have been necessary that those who would have taught it to others must themselves have been taught the correct recitation as the Prophet Mohammad recited it.
For example, if one was to attempt to read the written text “Mry hd lttl lmb” this would indeed prove difficult, since various vowels can be added to produce a reasonable statement, for instance: Mary hid (the) little limb/lamb. But if that person is instructed by one who has memorized the correct or original statement then the meaning can only be one: “Mary had (a) little lamb.” Mawdudi explains:
“Though the correctness of the Qur’anic text was ensured in the written form, the work of its propagation was done orally because of the general illiteracy and scarcity of paper. Little difficulty was, however, felt by the literate Arabs in deciphering this script. There were thousands of such persons who had learnt the whole of the Qur’an by heart from the Prophet (p.) himself and his Companions. They followed and taught the same reading that they had learnt from the Prophet (p.) and his Companions.” “With the passage of time it was felt that there should be vowel points to preserve the correct reading of the Qur’an. Accordingly, at the instance of Zaid (b.) the Governor of Basrah (45 to 53 A.H.–After the Hijra, the prophet’s journey from Makkah to Madinah in 622 after Christ–) dots were assigned for vowel points. Then during the reign of Abdul-Malik (65-85 A.H.) Hajjaj bin Yusuf appointed scholars to assign new symbols for vowel points and dots to distinguish between the similar letters. The same practice continues to the present time.” (An Introduction to the Qur’an, pp. 16, 17).
Muhammad Ali notes in his The Religion of Islam that when people of different tribes began to accept Islam in large numbers “it was found that they could not pronounce certain words in the idiom of the Quraish, being habituated from childhood to their own idiom, and it was then that the Prophet allowed them to pronounce a word according to their own peculiar idiom.” For example –“Hatta (meaning until) was pronounced ‘atta by the Hudhail; ta’lamun (meaning you know) was pronounced ti’lamun by the Asad; the Tamim read hamzah one of the letters, whereas the Quraish did not”–(pp. 34-35). As noted elsewhere, when people began producing home-made copies with variation in the text these copies were destroyed by orders of the Caliph ‘Uthman, who provided various centers with copies of the Qur’an made from the authentic volume which was in the possession of Hafsa, the Prophet’s wife.
While some variations in recitation of the Qur’an are allowed, these do not affect the meaning of the revelations.
If the Qur’an suffered from any kind of weakness, “stylistic” or otherwise, it should not be difficult for the critics, and their helpers, to meet the Qur’anic challenge and produce a chapter like it. This would put to end once for all its claim of being the Word of Allah, God.
There is no “variant versions” of the Qur’an. The Prophet, because of the “variety of dialects with differences of pronunciation” had “permitted these slight variations of pronunciation according to local dialects owing to lack of education among the people,” as Muhammad Ali has pointed out in his The Early Caliphate. But this permission was only “temporary” until the people became educated; and was “confined only to pronunciation. The script was to be the same everywhere.”
However, “varieties of pronunciation found their way into writing.” It was to stem this tide of variations that ‘Uthman had copies of the Qur’an made “from the standard volume prepared in Abu Bakr’s time,” and which was in the possession of Hafsah, the Prophet’s wife. Such copies were sent to other Islamic centers. It would have been “a half measure” to leave the “unauthentic versions” of the Qur’an with their “discrepancies” in circulation. They had to be “absolutely obliterated.” These were put into the fire. (The Early Caliphate, pp. 145, 146).
However, it is possible that a stray copy or two may not have been collected, and may have found its way into the archives of today. It is likely that such a homemade copy having certain “curious features” may be present at the Azhar Library in Egypt.
Muslims have only one Qur’an. There are no different versions.
(Collecting of the Qur’an already dealt with in item # 56).
Muhammad Ali’s translation of the Qur’an, from where the material is taken, can be viewed online: www.muslim.org).
85. Perfect Arabic (pp. 110-111): Three examples of grammatical errors have been pointed out to in the Qur’an:
Chapter 49:9 of the Qur’an says in part: “And if two parties of believers fight each other, make peace between them.” The verb meaning “fight each other” is “plural,” but should be “dual” like the subject “two parties.”
- Chapter 4:162 says in part: “But the firm in knowledge among them and the believers…. And those who keep up prayer and give the poor rate.” The word moqimenas –who keep up prayer– is in the “accusative case;” but should be moqimunas, the “nominative case.”
- Chapter 20:63 says in part (about Pharaoh’s people speaking to Pharaoh about Moses and Aaron): “These are surely two enchanters.” The word for these two (hadhane) is in the “nominative case;” but should be in the “accusative case” (hadhayne).
(According to Arabic scholar), it is true that the above three examples are of incorrect grammar. However, in order to arrest the attention of the reader and to impress upon the mind the importance of the matter, the Qur’anic statements are correct. The rules of Arabic language sanction the variations for the pur-pose of emphasis.
(An example of this is the word dhalika [of dhalik-al kitab–Qur’an 2:2] which means that. The translation should be that book [referring to the Qur’an], but is translated this book. As the “Arabic English Lexicon by Edward William Lane says: “like as a person held in mean estimation is indicated by hadha which denotes a thing that is near, so, on account of its high degree of estimation a thing that is approved is indicated by dha-lika, whereby one indicates a thing that is remote.”” (M. Ali, comm # 12). Thus, that Book–which is the Qur’an in a guarded tablet–(Qur’an 85:21-22), is this Book, which we have in our possession).
Regarding the word hadhane (of Qur’an 20:63 noted above). ‘Uthman, the third Caliph, and ‘Aisha, the wife of the Prophet, could not have read the word hadhayne (instead of hadhane). It is indeed rather strange that ‘Uthman and ‘Aisha would read a word differently than was taught by the Prophet especially since there were several Muslims who could recite the Qur’an from memory.
86. Verses missing, verses added (p.112):“There is a tradition from Aisha, the Prophet’s wife, that there once existed a “verse of stoning,” where stoning was prescribed as punishment for fornication, a verse that formed a part of the Koran but that is now lost (there is no stoning for fornicators, see HONOR KILLING)….According to this tradition, over a hundred verses are missing. Shiites, of course, claim that Uthman left out a great many verses favourable to Ali for political reasons. The Prophet himself may have forgotten some verses, the com-panions’ memory may have equally failed them, and the copyists may also have mislaid some verses. We also have the case of the Satanic Verses, which clearly show that Muhammad himself suppressed some verses (If Mohammad “suppressed” verses who could have known? If the Satanic Verses were “suppressed” how are they alleged to be in the Qur’an?).
That there once existed in the Qur’an a “verse of stoning,” but which is now lost. This is in contradiction to the Qur’an which prescribes lashes. It may be questioned that if there was no “verse of stoning” why does Islamic law “decrees stoning” when the Qur’an “demands flogging”? That the early caliphs carried out stoning, Muhammad Ali writes that:
“It is generally thought that while the Qur’an prescribes flogging as a punishment for fornication, i.e. when the guilty person is not married, stoning to death is the pun-ishment for adultery, and that this is allegedly based on the Prophet’s practice. But the Qur’an plainly speaks of the punishment for adultery in the case of married slave-girls as being half the punishment of adultery in the case of free married women (muhsanat), and therefore death or stoning to death cannot be conceived of as possible punishment in case of adultery as it cannot be halved, while imprisonment or flogging may be. Thus the Qur’-an not only speaks of flogging and not death, as punish-ment for adultery, but it positively excludes death or stoning to death.”
“…stoning was the punishment of adultery in the Jewish law, and that it was in the case of Jewish offenders that this punishment was first resorted to by the Prophet when he came to Madinah. There are other reports which show that the same punishment was given in certain cases when the offenders were Muslims, but appa-rently this was before the revelation of the verse (24:2) which speaks of flogging as the punishment for both the adulterer and the adulteress, it being the practice of the Prophet to follow the earlier revealed law until he re-ceived a definite revelation on a point. A suggestion to that effect is contained in a tradition: “Shaibani says, I asked ‘Abd Allah ibn Abi Aufa, Did the Holy Prophet stone to death? He said, Yes. I said, Was it before the chapter entitled the Light (ch. 24) was revealed or after it? The reply was, I do not know” (Bu. 86:21. [Vol. 8 # 804]). The chapter referred to is that which speaks of flogging as a punishment for adultery, and the question shows clearly that the practice of stoning for adultery was recognized as being against the plain injunction contained in that chapter. It is likely that some misunderstanding arose from the incidents which happened before the Qur’anic revelation on the point, and that that practice was taken as the Sunnah of the Prophet. The Khwarij, the earliest Muslim sect, entirely rejected stoning to death (rajm) as a punishment in Islam (RM. VI, p. 6.)
The question seems to have arisen early as to how an adulterer could be stoned, when the Qur’an prescribed flogging as the only punishment for adultery. ‘Umar is reported to have said that “there are people who say, What about stoning, for the punishment prescribed in the Book of Allah is flogging” (Ah. I, p. 50.) To such objector’s ‘Umar’s reply was: “In what Allah revealed, there was the verse of rajm (stoning); we read it and we understood it and we guarded it; the Prophet did stone (adulterers to death) and we also stoned after him, but I fear that when more time passes away, a sayer would say, We do not find the verse of rajm in the Book of Allah” (Bu. 86:31 [Vol. 8 # 816]). According to another version he is reported to have added: “Were it not that people would say that ‘Umar has added in the Book of Allah that which is not in it, I would have written it” (AD. 37:23). The argument attributed to ‘Umar is very unsound. He admitted that the Qur’an did not contain any verse prescribing the punishment of stoning for adulterers, and at the same time he is reported as stating that there was such a verse in what Allah revealed. In all probability what ‘Umar meant, if he ever spoke those words, was that the verse of stoning was to be found in the Jewish sacred book, the Torah, which was undoubt-edly a Divine revelation, and that the Prophet stoned adulterers to death. The use of the words “Book of God” (Kitab Allah) for the Torah is common in the Qur’an itself, the Torah being again and again spoken of as Kitab Allah or the Book of God, or al-Kitab, i.e., the Book (Qur’an 2:213, etc.). In all likelihood ‘Umar only spoke of rajm as the punishment of adultery in the Mosaic law and he was misunderstood. At any rate he could not have spoken the words attributed to him. Had there been such a verse of the Qur’an, he would have brought it to the notice of other Companions of the Prophet, when a complete written copy was first pre-pared in the time of Abu Bakr at his own suggestion. The words, as attributed to him in some of these reports, are simply meaningless. How could he say that there was a verse of the Qur’an which he would have written down in the Qur’an, but he feared that people would say that he had made an addition to the Qur’an, that is to say, added to it what was not part of it? A verse could not be said to be a part of the Qur’an and not a part of the Qur’an at one and the same time.
There is further evidence in tradition itself that ‘Umar himself, at least in one reported case (and it is a reliable report), punished adultery with flogging as laid down in the Qur’an in 24:2, and not with stoning to death.”40
The Qur’an supersedes all other sources of guidance. The Prophet governed only according to the Qur’an–(Qur’an 10:15).
It is rather strange that ‘Uthman would have omitted a “great many verses” of the Qur’an that were “favorable to Ali” for “political reasons,” and Ali and the followers of Ali would have remained silent, especially as ‘Ali himself knew the Qur’an from memory and that to this day all Muslim sects (schools of thought) follow the same Qur’an.
What ‘Uthman did was made copies from the original (as noted above). But this copying and burning of the Qur’an was not solely the endeavor of ‘Uthman but, since Muslims decide through consultation, such copying must have been done with the knowledge of ‘Ali, who was one of the foremost members of the Muslim society.
It is equally strange that Mohammad would suppress verses on stoning and his companions would know about it.
It is even stranger that Mohammad “may have forgotten” verses of the Qur’an, his companions memory “may have failed” them, and the scribes “may also have mislaid” some verses, all at the same time. Moreover, that all the companions (who knew the Qur’an from memory), had all of their memories deprived of these identical verses at the same time.
Even if, in this moment of stupendous coincidence, the Prophet, his companions, and copyists were simultaneously afflicted with the loss of memory and loss of the same verses, tradition tells us that the Angel Gabriel used to rehearse the Qur’an yearly with the Prophet, and in the last year prior to the Prophet’s death the Angel came twice for this function–(Bokhari Vol. 4, # 819), it would be whimsical to entertain that the Angel Gabriel also forgot these, or any, verses.
Allah says that He is the Revealer and Guardian of the Qur’an –(Qur’an 15:9); therefore no verses of the Qur’an could have been forgotten, be corrupted, or omitted by any one, be it for “political reasons” or other.
Verses 36-38 of Chapter 42 could not have been “added” to justify ‘Uthman’s elevation to the Caliphate, to the disadvantage of ‘Ali. Even without the promise of Allah to guard the Qur’an from corruption, the known facts belie such an assertion:
(1) No “interpolations” could have been effected in the time of ‘Uthman (or at any time) when the Qur’an was both memorized by many and written, and the original copy was with Hafsah, the wife of the Prophet.
(2) ‘Ali could not have been denied the Caliphate when, as the Prophet has shown, there is no order of successsion: the caliph is elected by council.
(3) And ‘Ali was himself a member of this council; and he voted for ‘Uthman, (and ‘Uthman voted for ‘Ali).
(4) The majority of votes favored ‘Uthman.
There is no ground for the belief that there are “interpola-tions” in the Qur’an; be it of a “dogmatic” character or “politi-cal” character.
(Satanic Verses dealt with in item # 58).
87. Jumbled histories (p. 113): “The Christian al-Kindi, writing around A.D 830, criticized the Koran in similar terms: “The result of all this [process by which the Quran came into being] is patent to you who have read the scriptures and see how, in your book, histories are all jumbled together and intermingled, an evi-dence that many different hands have been at work therein, and caused discrepancies, adding or cutting out whatever they liked or disliked. Are such, now, the conditions of a revelation sent down from heaven?””
(Is this all that al-Kindi can find in the Qur’an–histories “jumbled together and intermingled”? Wonder what al-Kindi had to say about the Bible which has been “tampered with,” with its “monumental errors,” “contradictions,” “textual difficulties” and “other problems,” and which consists of books that some Christians deem “apocryphal” which one is required to accept wholesale as the Word of God. This does not mean that the Bible does not contain Words of God).
There are no verses that are out of place in the Qur’an. The Qur’an is not a story-book. “The Qur’an does not relate stories for the sake of giving information of the past, but for the lessons which they afford for the future guidance of man.”41 Abul A’la Mawdudi explains:
“The Qur’an is a complete and the most perfect code of life and provides humanbeing with a comprehensive and unerring intellectual and practical guidance. It offers the best way of life to be established here in this world and guarantee the success and affluence in the life Here-after.”
“Unlike conventional books, the Qur’an does not contain information, ideas and arguments about specific themes arranged in a literary order. That is why a stranger to the Qur’an, on his first approach to it, is baffled when he does not find the inunciation of its theme or its division into chapters and sections or separate treatment of different topics and separate instructions for different aspects of life arranged in a serial order. …He finds that it deals with creeds, gives moral instructions, lays down laws, invites people to Islam, admonishes the disbeliev-ers, draws lessons from historical events, administers warnings gives good tidings, all blended together in a beautiful manner. The same subject is repeated in different ways and one topic follows the other without any apparent connection. Sometimes a new topic crops up in the middle of another without any apparent reason. The speaker and the addressees, and the direction of the address change without any notice. ”
“The reader may be saved from all these difficulties, if he is warned before-hand that “The Book he is going to study is the only book of its kind in the whole world: that its literary style is quite different from that of all other books: that it’s theme is unique and that his pre-conceived notion of a book cannot help him understand the Qur’an”.
“The SUBJECT it deals with is MAN: it discusses those aspects of his life that lead either to his real success or failure.
The CENTRAL THEME that runs throughout the Qur’an is the exposition of the Reality and the invitation to the Right Way based on it. It declares that Reality is the same that was revealed by Allah Himself to Adam at the time of his appointment as vicegerent, and to all the Messengers after him, and the Right Way is the same that was taught by all the Messengers. It also points out that all theories contradictory to this Reality, invented by people about Allah, the universe, man and his relations with Allah and the rest of His creation, are all wrong and that all the ways of life based on them are erroneous and lead to ruinous consequences.
The AIM and OBJECT of the revelations is to invite man to that Right Way and to present clearly the Guidance which he has lost because of his negligence or has perverted by his wickedness.
If the reader keeps these three basic things in mind, he will find that in this Book there is no incongruity in the style, no gap in the continuity of the subject and no lack of interconnection between its various topics. As a mat-ter of fact, this Book is not irrelevant anywhere with regard to its Subject, its Central Theme and its Aim. From its very beginning to its end, the different topics it deals with are so intimately connected with its Central Theme that they may be likened to the beautiful gems of the same necklace, despite their different colours and sizes. The Qur’an keeps the same object in view, whet-her it is relating the story of the creation of the earth or of the Heavens or of man or is referring to the mani-festations in the universe or stating events from human history. As the aim of the Qur’an is to guide man and not to teach nature study or history or philosophy or any other science or art, it does not concern itself with these latter subjects. The only thing with which it is concerned is to expound the Reality, to remove misunderstandings and misconceptions about it, to impress the Truth upon the minds, to warn them of the consequences of wrong attitudes and to invite humanity to the Right Way. The same is true of the criticism of the creeds, of the moral systems, of the deeds of men and communities and of its discussions of the problems of metaphysics etc. That is why it states or discusses or cites a thing only to the extent relevant to its aims and objects and leaves out unnecessary and irrelevant details and turns over and over again to its Central Theme and to its invitation round which every other topic revolves. When the Qur’an is studied in this light, no doubt is left that the whole of it is a closely reasoned argument and there is continuity of subject throughout the Book.” (An Introduction To The Qur’an, pp.Foreword, 1,2,3,6,7).
Those who are looking for a storybook approach to Divine guidance will not find it in the Qur’an. The scientific ideas alone are sufficient to establish the Qur’an as the Word of Allah.
88. Abd Allah b. Sa’d Abi Sarh and Mohammad (p.113):“We also have the story of Abd Allah b. Sa’d Abi Sarh;” who ““had for some time been one of the scribes employed at Medina to write down the revelations. On a number of occasions he had, with the Prophet’s consent, changed the closing words of verses. When the Prophet had said “And God is mighty and wise,” Abd Allah suggested writing down “knowing and wise” and the Prophet answered that there was no objection. Having observed a succession of changes of this type, Abd Allah renounced Islam on the ground that the revelation, if from God, could not be changed at the prompting of a scribe such as himself.”
(It is incredible that Mohammad would consent on many occasions to the scribe Abd Allah b. Sa’d Abi Sarh changing the closing words of verses of the Qur’an reflecting the status of Allah–from “mighty and wise” to “knowing and wise.”
With all the ingenuity ascribed to Mohammad as him writing the Qur’an and deceived the world that it was the Word of Allah, you would think he’d be smart enough to know what consequences such pandering to the whims of a scribe might entail).
Never mind the statement of Allāh that Mohammad “errs not, nor does he deviate. Nor does he speak out of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed–(53:2-4]. The critics, as usual, may say that Mohammad wrote that himself.
(With all the rejecting of the Qur’an as the Word of God and Mohammad as the Prophet of God, the critics have yet to explain away the scientific truths expounded in the Qur’an. Those critics who lived and died before scien-tific confirmations of Qur’anic truths may be excused for some of their ignorant statements against Islam, but what about modern critics who reject Mohammad as Prophet of God and the Qur’an as the Word of God; and even deny the very existence of God?)
Mohammad was constantly surrounded by several of his companions. It is highly unlikely that this man, Abd Allah b. Sa’d Abi Sarh, was alone with Mohammad and that no one else knew about these changes, and not only on one occasion but on “a number of occasions.”.
It is rather strange that this man would leave Islam because of these changes and would not alarm the other scribes and com-panions of the Prophet, and neither informed the Quraish, who in all likelihood would not miss such a grand opportunity to expose Mohammad as a fraud, and broadcast it to all.
Significantly, the Angel Gabriel rehearsed the Qur’an with the Prophet Mohammad on a yearly basis–(Bokhari Vol. 4, # 819), it is doubtful that Gabriel also pandered to the whims of this scribe, Abd Allah b. Sa’d Abi Sarh.
It is amusing Mohammad wrote the Qur’an when he did not know to read or write and pandered to Abi Sarh and changed words when he was taught by a “Babylonian Jew from Southern Mesopotamia.” (See item #53). If Mohammad wrote the Qur’an he has written the best Book in Scriptural history.
“I am Allah, the Seeing. (This is) a Book
which We have revealed to you
(Mohammad) (that you may) bring forth
men, by their Lord's permission, from
utter darkness into light to the way of
the Mighty, the praised One;”
“Say: If you love Allah, follow me:
Allāh will love you, and grant you
protection from your sins.
And Allah is Forgiving, Merciful”
(Qur'an 14:1; 3:30).
89. Abrogation in the Qur’an. Tolerance abrogated by intolerance (p.114): “…the Koran abounds in contradictions.… According to al-Suyuti, the number of abrogated verses has been estimated at from five to five hundred.” (From five to five hundred is a Grand-canyon spread: someone has to be not thinking). …“tolerance” has been abrogated by “intolerance.” For example, the famous verse at sura 9:5, “Slay the idolaters wherever you find them,” is said to have canceled 124 verses that dictate toler-ation and patience.”
Neither “al-Suyuti” (nor anyone else) can claim that there are “abrogated verses” in the Qur’an when the Prophet is the only person who could decide which verse is to be in the Qur’an; and when the Prophet never made any such declaration that one verse has been abrogated by another.
There is no contradiction between Qur’an 2:240 and 2:234. Qur’an 2:240 speaks about maintenance for widows being for a period of one year with the option of them leaving after this term. And 2:234 says that widows should wait for four months and ten days, after which time no one is responsible for what they do for themselves (i.e. remarry).
Verse 240 speaks about her maintenance, whereas verse 234 speaks about her waiting period before her remarrying. There is no abrogation here.
The Qur’an 16:101 and 2:106 is the basis for the supposed abrogation in the Qur’an. Qur’an 2:106 which reads: “Whatever message We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring one better than it or one like it” does not refer to the Qur’anic verses; it refers to the Jewish law, as the context shows. The Jews “could not accept a new revelation which was not granted to an Israelite,” notes Muhammad Ali
“This is plainly stated in vv. 90 and 91…Their objection was: Why was another revelation sent down to Muhammad, and why was a law containing new commandments promulgated? …. The answer is given partly in v. 105, and partly in the verse under discussion. In the former of these they are told that Allah chooses whom He pleases for His revelation. In the latter, that if one law (i.e. the Jewish law) was abrogated, one better than it was given through the Holy Prophet. It should be noted that the new law is here stated to be better than the one abrogated or like it. It is a fact that though the law of the Qur’an is decidedly superior to and more comprehensive than the previous laws in most respects, yet there are many points of likeness in the two. Hence the words one like it are added.
…. The old law had been partly forgotten, and what remained was now abrogated to give place to one better and in certain matters one like it. It will thus be seen that the reference here is to the abrogation of the Jewish law, the statement being really an answer to the objection of the Jews.
That some of the Qur’anic verses were abrogated by others, though a generally accepted doctrine, is due to a misconception of the words of this verse. The word ayat occurring here has been wrongly understood to mean a verse of the Qur’an. Similar words occur elsewhere: “And when We change one message (ayat) for another message (ayat), and Allah knows best what He reveals, they say thou art only a forger” (16:101). This is a Makkan revelation and it is an undisputed fact, admitted by all upholders of abrogation in the Qur’an, that there was no abrogation at Makkah, because the details of the law were not revealed there. Therefore the word ayat, occurring there twice, could only mean a message or a communication from God, and the first message meant the previous scriptures and by the second message was meant the Qur’an.
The interpretation adopted by the commentators generally is not based on any saying of the Prophet; it is their own opinion. Nor is there a single report traceable to the Prophet that such and such a verse was abrogated. A companion’s opinion that he considered a certain verse to have been abrogated by another could not carry the least weight. It was the Prophet only on whose authority any verse was accepted as being a part of the Holy Qur’an, and it was he only on whose authority any verse could be considered as having been abrogated. But there is not a single hadith of the Prophet speaking of abrogation.
Another consideration which shows the erroneousness of the doctrine that any verse of the Qur’an was abrogated by another is the hopeless disagreement of the upholders of this view. In the first place there is no agreement as to the number of the verses which are alleged to have been abrogated; while some accept no more than five verses to be abrogated, others carry the number to hundreds. This shows that the view is based simply on conjecture. Secondly, if one commentator holds a certain verse to be abrogated, another calls this an erroneous view. In Bukhari especially do we find op-posite views cited side by side. What happened really was this that when a commentator could not reconcile one verse with another, he held the verse to be abrogated by the other, but another who, giving deeper thought was able to effect a reconciliation between the two, rejected abrogation. This seems to be the basis on which the theory of abrogation of Qur’anic verses rests, and this basis is demolished by the Holy Qur’an when it says: “Do they not then meditate on the Qur’an? And if it were from any other than Allah, they would have found in it many a discrepancy” (4:82). There are no discrepancies in the Qur’an, and it is want of meditation on it that is responsible for the theory of abrogation.”42
“The words “or cause to be forgotten”–(2:106), cannot refer to the Qur’an at all because no portion of it could be said to have been forgotten so as to require a new revelation in its place. There is no point in supposing that God should first make the prophet forget a verse and then reveal a new one in its place. Why not, if he really had forgotten a verse, remind him of the one forgotten? ….That the Prophet never forgot what was recited to him by the Holy Spirit is plainly stated in the Qur’an: “We shall make thee recite, so thou shalt not forget”–(87:6)…..It was a miracle indeed that he never forgot any portion of the Qur’an, though other things he might forget, and it is to his forgetfulness in other things that the words except what Allah pleases, in the next verse (87:7), refer. On the other hand, it is a fact that parts of the older revelations had been utterly lost and forgotten, and thus the Qur’an was needed to take the place of that which was abrogated, and that which had been forgotten by the world.” (Muhammad Ali, The Religion of Islam, pp. 38, 39, 40).
In Qur’an 2:219 intoxicants are prohibited; and in 16:667 Allah revealed: “And of the fruits of the palms and the grapes, you obtain from them intoxicants and goodly provision. There is surely a sign in this for a people who ponder.”
This verse of 16:67 does not abrogate that of 2:219. And verse 16:67 does not sanction the drinking of wine. The statement makes it clear that we obtain both“intoxicants” and “goodly provision;” it nowhere says that intoxicants are allowed. Allah reveals that everything was created for the use of man–(Qur’an 31:20; 45:13). Whether we put these gifts to good use or evil is in our hands.
While the grapes (and other fruits) in its natural form is whole-some to us –a “goodly provision”– when we ferment it into in-toxicants it becomes mostly harmful to us, as we are told in Qur’an 2:219. Here, Allah tells us that in intoxicants there is some benefit for man. (Apart from the fact that alcohol is beneficial as an antiseptic and preservative) it has benefits for human consumption, as 2:219 indicates. But as a regular drink its harm to man, as medical reports have shown, way outstrip its benefit –its indulgence can lead to addiction, temporary loss of clear thinking and judgment, and various diseases. It may also lead to thievery (to support the habit).
Below, are the relative portions of the two verses in this discussion dealing with intoxicants:
“They ask thee about intoxicants… “And of the fruits of the palms
In……them is a great sin and the grapes, you obtain
and (some) advantage for from them intoxicants and
men” (2:219) goodly provision.”(16:67)
Regardless of where these verses were revealed–Makkah or Madinah–there is no discrepancy/contradiction between them. One does not abrogate the other. There is no abrogation in the Qur’an. There is no discrepancy in the Qur’an–(4:82); its verses are consistent –(39:23). Only a lack of meditation on its verses by some commentators (and critics); which lack of meditation leads to error and confusion.
That ”tolerance” has been abrogated by “intolerance.” If the later Madinan verses abrogate the earlier Makkan verses–which would mean that “tolerance” was “abrogated by “intolerance,” how can any critic account for this later Madinan verse which says:
“And if anyone of the idolaters seek thy protection,
protect him till he hears the word of Allah, then
convey him to his place of safety. This is because
they are a people who know not”
As pointed out this is a Madinan sura, “revealed in the ninth year of the Hijrah,” as Muhammad Ali notes. Muslims could not be instructed to give idolaters “protection’ and safe escort to their “place of safety” if “tolerance” was “abrogated by “intolerance.”” It is clear from this verse that the Prophet was never ordered to kill anyone on account of his religion.
Sura 9:5 saying, “Slay the idolaters wherever you find them,” does not refer to all idolaters.
“The clear exception of the last verse (9:4) shows that by the idolaters here are meant, not all idolaters or poly-theists wherever they may be found in the world, not even all idolaters of Arabia, but only those idolatrous tribes of Arabia assembled at the pilgrimage who had at first made agreements with the Muslims and then violated them.
The exception here has given rise to much misconception. It is thought that it offers to the disbelievers the alternative of the sword or the Qur’an. Nothing is farther from the truth. The injunction contained in the first part of the verse establishes the fact that the whole verse relates to certain idolatrous Arab tribes who had broken their engagements with the Muslims, and who had now been apprised of a similar repudiation by the Muslims. The order to kill them and to make them prisoners and to besiege them and ambush them amounts clearly to an order to fight against them, as it is in war only that all these things are made lawful. They had so often broken their word that they could no more be trusted.….The subject is further clarified in the next verse and the following section.” (And the next verse says: “And if anyone of the idolaters seek thy protection, protect him till he hears the word of Allah, then convey him to his place of safety. This is because they are a people who know not” (9:6).
“This verse leaves no doubt that the Prophet was never ordered to kill anyone on account of his religion. “You shall give him a safe conduct that he may return home again securely in case he shall not think fit to embrace Muhammadanism” (Sale).” (M. Ali comm.1033-1035).
Again, if Madinan verses abrogated Makkan verses how can it be accounted for the Madinan verses which says:
“There is no compulsion in religion”
“Allah forbids you not respecting those who fight you not
for religion, nor drive you forth from your homes,
that you show them kindness and deal with them justly.
Surely Allah loves the doers of justice”
(Qur’an 2:256; 60:8).
The claim that “tolerance” was “abrogated by “intolerance”” is baseless. If Islam had required all idolaters and disbelievers to be killed, the Prophet would not have granted a general amnesty to them when he conquered Makkah. (Especially Hind, the wife of Abu Sufyan, who tore open the body of Hamza, the Prophet’s uncle, ripped out his liver, and chewed it). Neither would ‘Umar nor Salahuddin Ayyube (Saladin) have spared the Jews and Christians when they conquered Jerusalem.
Tolerance was never abrogated by intolerance. Later Madinan revelations of “retribution” did not abrogate earlier Makkan rev-elations of “compassion.”
In the human sphere, a nation that is perceived as evil is first requested by the World body–the UN–to change its policy on its own. Failing to comply, the nation is subjected to the second step of sanctions. And followed, if need be, by the third stage of military action against it.
Allāh is Just; He does not punish a people for its evil without first sending a messenger, to admonish them to reform to good-ness: “And We destroyed no town but it had (its) warners–To remind. And We are never unjust”–(Qur’an 26:208-209. Also 28:59).
At Makkah the Idolaters not only rejected Prophet Mohammad’s “compassion” with persecution but pursued him to Madinah to annihilate him. Hence, they entered the second phase of their war against peace–to be threatened with punishment. Yet, they were heedless. Therefore, the third phase–that of force–became necessary.
Makkan “compassion” did not change to Madinan “retribution”: the method of approach changed to suit the prevailing at-mosphere. The Qur’anic message is both “compassion” and “retribution”–compassion to those who refrain from transgression and retribution against transgressors. Parent’s have both “softness” and “hardness” of hearts: exercising one or the other depending upon the child’s behavior–whether the child is obedient or delinquent. One does not abrogate the other.
There are no “discrepancies” in the Qur’an, only a lack of meditating on it.
As already shown, the Qur’an speaking about abrogation and changing of message refers to the replacing of laws/messages of Scriptures previous to the Qur’an.
90. Jinns and angels, Monotheism and polytheism, and Adam (pp. 116-117). (Already dealt with).
91. Islam and saints (p. 117). There is no “veneration of saints in Islam.” Allāh reveals in clear terms:
“And those whom you call upon besides
Him (Allah) Are not able to help you,
nor can they help themselves.”
“And those whom they call on besides Allah
Created naught, while they are
themselves created. Dead (are they),
not living. And they know not when
they will be raised.”
“And your Lord says: Pray to Me,
I will answer you.”
(Qur’an 7:197; 16:20-21; 40:60)
In Islam there is no “mediator” between man and God–(Qur’an 2:255; 10:3; 32:4). While man needs teacher(s) to assist in his edification he does not need any sheikh, guru, or saint to link him to God. Every person, man and woman, has access to God. We pray directly to Allāh, Who is nearer to us than our life-vein–(Qur’an 50:56).
Of all human beings, the closest ones to God are His prophets. Even these highest of human beings prayed to Allah and sought his help. No one, whether a man or woman, be he prophet, saint, priest, or other, who since in his lifetime could not help himself and pray to and seek the help of God, cannot in his death answer the prayers of others or render help. In fact, invocation(s) to the dead may be likened to idolatry.
Muslims who seek the aid of saints do so of their own free will. They have no assent from Islam.
92. The Existence of God (p. 118): “Nowhere does the Koran give a real philosophical argument for the existence of God; it merely assumes it. ….All the phenomena adduced by Muhammad in the Koran can be explained without assuming the existence of a God or cosmic designer.”
The scientific ideas expressed in the Qur’an, as verified by modern science are enough to establish the existence of God. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din wrote:
“Science accepts it (the existence of God) as a verity. A century before (i.e. the 19th century) Biology took the universe as a freak of Nature which in her works, as the then atheistic belief went, observed no order or system. But to-day the rule of the Law has been admitted on all hands. Everything in the world appears to have been en-chained by the Law. It follows it implicitly–(Qur’an 3:82). Nature discloses regularity, precision, punctuality, knowledge, power, command, intellect, preordination, prearrangement, precaution, and several other features that are the possessions of the mind exclusively. In their presence the universe cannot be taken as the outcome of accident. It needs an intelligent Design to precede the process of its creation. The word design sometimes used to bore minds with skeptic tendencies, but it has become now widened in its connotation. It brings within it so many facts and figures recently discovered by Science that disbelief in God would amount to ignorance. But how wonderful of the Holy Qur’an to anticipate, in its pages, all that Science advances to substantiate her belief in Divine Existence! It in itself is an extra-cogent reason, firstly, to believe in an Omniscient Being and, secondly, as to the Divine Origin of the Book itself.
The Holy Book–(Qur’an), though teeming with rea-sons on the subject, adopts also another novel but laco-nic method to explain its verities. It gives us a list of Divine Attributes which in their signification also imply the best of logic needed to prove all Qur’anic tenets. Here I would give some such Holy Names as work everywhere in Nature, and also strongly refer to the Existence of the Mind who created the universe. I have already explained Al-Rabb. This includes:–Al-Badi’ –He who creates out of nothing. Al-Bari–He who origin-ates things with various faculties in them. (Khwaja ex-plains seventeen (17) other Attributes of Allah, include-ing) Al-Khaliq–He who combines things in a given proportion to create new things.”
“These Attributes refer to various functions of the Mind that are observed even in the creation of a single thing.
…If the world made no progress in material civilization till the appearance of Islam, and if their then success owed its very existence to certain truths revealed in the Qur’an, how can they minimize the importance of Reli-gion? On the other hand, I would ask the rest of the religious world to ponder over these facts. Is it worth while to follow any religious system in these days of culture and progress, if their respective revelations do not invite our attention to the essentially necessary things in life?”43 (See items # 28 and 34).
That “A great number of men join in building a house or ship, in rearing a city, in framing a Commonwealth: Why may not several deities combine in contriving and framing a world?” has been dealt with in item # 34.
“As the Dictionary of Islam says, Muslim writers are “unanimous in asserting that no religious toleration was extended to the idolaters of Arabia in the time of the Prophet. The only choice given them was death or the reception of Islam”” has been dealt with in item #34.
93. Sixth century Arabia (p. 121): “The Meccans were sunk in moral degradation and idolatry until Muhammad came along and lifted them up onto a higher moral and spiritual level. Such is Watt’s argument. But as Crone and Bousquet pointed out there is very little evidence for a social malaise in Mecca. (Very little is still evidence). … As for the spiritual crisis, there does not appear to have been any such thing in sixth century Arabia.” (Perhaps the spiritual crisis sprang up overnight in seventh century Arabia, just prior to Muhammad’s ministry).
Did the Makkans (or others) document their lifestyles?
Even if “the tradition knows of no malaise in Mecca,” the Qur’an certainly makes mention of them –worshiping idols, burying daughters alive, inheriting women against their will, denying them their conjugal rights, superstition.
Worshipping stones and heaps of sand, taking women against their will, denying them their conjugal rights by saying that they are like the back of your mother, burying daughters alive, profligacy and drunkenness were “religious, social” “moral” and “spiritual” crises.
The Makkans may have been “eminently successful” in acquiring wealth but that does not mean there were no “malaise.”
Many modern societies are wallowing in wealth, yet they suffer from “malaise” of a “religious, social, political” and “moral” nature. It is doubtful they are being documented in any “tradition.”
94. Allah and conquest (p. 122): “But how do we explain the mass conversion of Arabia to Islam?….Scholars such as Becker had argued that the Arabs had been impelled to their conquests by the gradual drying up of Arabia, but as Crone maintains Muhammad’s God endorsed a policy of conquest, instructing his believers to fight against unbelievers wherever they might be found….In short, Muhammad had to conquer, his followers liked to conquer, and his deity told him to conquer: do we need any more? …He (God) told the Arabs they had a right to despoil others of their women, children, and land, or indeed that they had a duty to do so.”
If “Muhammad’s God endorsed a policy of conquest” and “He told the Arabs that they had a right to despoil others of their women, children, and land,” what is preventing the Muslims in those countries where they are the majority from doing so?–and every Muslim wants jannah, and would unhesitatingly follow the command of Allah and His Prophet to achieve jannah, especially if they can have the “fat” of the land as well. In fact there are Muslims who, erroneously, commit other crimes–that are riskier than taking one’s “women, children, and land”–against nations to achieve jannah.
“Muhammad’s God” could not be charged as having “endorsed a policy of conquest” and telling Muslims that “they had a right to despoil others of their women, children, and land,” when (as noted in this presentation) “Muhammad’s God” prohibits ag-gression and all other forms of injustice. It is only crass igno-rance to claim that “Muhammad’s God endorsed a policy of conquest” and that “He told the Arabs that they had a right to despoil others of their women, children, and land.”
Allah, the God Who forbids compulsion and aggression and evil and injustice, cannot be said to permit the “conquest” of others, and to give the Arabs the right to “despoil” them of their families and properties. Isma’il, and Lois Lamya ‘al Faruqi have noted in their Cultural Atlas Of Islam:
“And yet, if the Muslims were so tolerant, the Christian persistently asks, why did their co-religionists flock to Islam by the millions? Of these co-religionists the Arabs were the smallest minority. The rest were Hellenes, Persians, Egyptians, Cyrenaicans, Berbers, Cypriots, and Caucasians.”44
If “Muhammad’s God endorsed a policy of conquest” Muslims would not have devoted all their energy to science and academ-ics for the benefit of all men; they would certainly have also gone in pursuit of components of war and subjugation as other nations have done.
As for “ethnic pride,” Allah informs us that Muslims are the best nation raised up for mankind, because we enjoin good and forbid evil and we believe in Him, [as there is no hypocrisy in Islam, to enjoin good one must himself do good, and to forbid evil one must himself avoid evil]–(3:109; 2:143). There is no greater object of pride than to have belief in Allāh, God, and render service in His Name. (Moral and spiritual pride is not to be confused with pride of vanity).
95. Loot, women and land (p. 123): “Muhammad created a people and offered the Arabs what they had been accustomed to: namely, military conquests with all the attendant material advantages, loot, women, and land.”
That people joined Islam for “loot, women, and land” is patent nonsense. That there were Muslims during the Prophet’s time that were averse to praying does not mean that they did not believe in the Message he brought. Even today, there are Muslims who do not pray or neglect some other requirement of the Faith, yet there is no question about their belief in Islam. Even today when we are so far removed from the past, young men, as we have witnessed, at the drop of a pin would give their lives in defense of the honor of the Prophet.
It could hardly be love for “loot, women, and land” that would prompt ill-equipped and outnumbered men to pit themselves against formidable foes. To impel them
–to thrust themselves against a “wall of elephants” even after seeing others crushed by this enormous beast, as on the “field of Jasr” (p. 105).*
–to rush single-handedly “into the ranks of enemy, 60,000 strong, in the dark of the night,” as at the “battle of Qadisiyah” (p. 105).*
–to throw themselves and horses “into the deep and rapid stream of the Tigris” as at Mada’in (p.106).*
–to dart alone into the unrelenting foe, as in the battle at Fihl.
As Muhammad Ali rightly noted: “The reckless courage with which Muslims fought the foe in these wars, regardless of life and death, should convince any fair-minded man that sordid love of loot could not inspire such invincible bravery.” The “Prophet had breathed an invincible spirit into them.” (pp. 104, 107).* *(The Early Caliphate).
It could hardly have been for the love of “loot” that prompted Mu’adh to refuse a seat on “the magnificent carpet” offered by the Romans. It could hardly have been for the love of “loot” that ‘Umar attired himself in “coarse and patched clothes;” and to declare that ‘The Muslim’s dignity lay elsewhere than in his dress.’ It could hardly have been for the love of “loot” and “women” that Salahuddin Ayyube (Saladin) left the Christian and Jewish women unharmed, and allowed the wealthy Christians to leave with their wealth. It could hardly have been for the love of “loot” that Salahuddin Ayyube spent his wealth in the way of Allah, and died a pauper.
It is a rather strange reasoning that people joined Islam for “loot, women, and land” when they were ill-equipped and out-numbered by such formidable opponents as the Romans and the Persians. Whatever military actions the Muslims took they were forced into. Such a victor is entitled to the fruits of his labor.
After the death of the Prophet, the early Caliphs had to deal not only with internal rebellion by some tribes, but as Muhammad Ali notes in his The Early Caliphate, “There is no doubt that at the very outset when Islam took a firm footing in the soil of Arabia, Persia and Rome viewed this rising power in their neighborhood with jealousy and alarm.” (p. 65)
“In the year 14 A.H. (After Hijrah), when Rustam, the famous Persian general, came out for battle on the field of the Qadisiyah, this is how he loudly swaggered: “The whole of Arabia will I smash.” (p. 66).
The Persians “violated the independence of Arabia by encroa-ching upon its soil. They made common cause with the rebels and sent troops for the destruction of the power of Islam. Like-wise, towards the north, the Romans stirred up Christian tribes against Islam.” (p. 67).
To only expel the enemy would have been a “blunder” on the part of the Muslims, for, as Muhammad Ali rightly states
“the enemy would certainly have reappeared soon after in greater force. It would have been sheer stupidity to have stopped at that. In all civilized warfare, when once the die is cast, it is open to either party to continue the fight to a finish. Either one of the contending parties must surrender or it must be thoroughly crushed. Such are the rules of the game, and if the Muslims played that game to an issue, where lay the harm? In prosecuting war till Persia and Syria were completely broken down, Muslims had behind them all the sanction of civilized warfare, ancient as well as modern.” (p. 67)
There is no militancy in Islam. There is no passivity either. The only militancy in Islam is that of self-defense.
There is no militancy in Islam:
there is the noble jihad against injustice.
96. Robber community (p. 123): “….he (Dr. Margoliouth) denies that Islam somehow lifted the newly converted to a higher moral level. “There is no evidence that the Moslems were either in personal or altruistic morality better than the pagans.” (To bring one into the worship of Allāh, the God Who is One and Only; the Eternal Absolute; on Whom all depend; Who begets not, nor is begotten, of Whom there is none like Him; Who incarnates not; Who has no “chosen people” to the exclusion of others; and Who does not need any “satisfaction” to forgive sins; is the highest “moral” as well as the highest spiritual level to which one can be lifted). : In fact the contrary seems to have been the case (“seems” to have been the case? There is no certainty?) : When [Muhammad] was at the head of a robber community it is probable (probable?) that the demoralizing influence began to be felt, it was then that men who had never broken an oath learned that they might evade their obligations and that men to whom the blood of the clansmen had been as their own began to shed it with immunity in the cause of God (had these clansmen not militate against their fellow members free choice of faith there would have been no shedding of blood); and that lying and treachery in the cause of Islam received divine approval, hesitation to perjure oneself in that cause being reprehended as a weakness. It was then, too, that Moslems became distinguished by the obscenity of their language. It was then, too, that the coveting of goods and wives (possessed by the Unbelievers) was avowed without discouragement from the Prophet.” (Dr. Margoliouth must have been reading his Bible when he penned this trash about Allāh, Mohammad, Muslims, and Islam).
For a refutation that Islam allows men to break oaths, “lying and treachery,” requires man to shed blood “with immunity in the cause of God,” “obscenity of their language,” “coveting of goods and wives (possessed by the Unbelievers),” See item # 20.
That Mohammad “was at the head of a robber community” already dealt with in item # 67.
97. The Muslim concept of God. Predestination. (p. 123): Belief/Faith in Allah. Faith in Allah does not mean a belief in His existence without having proof of His existence. The Qur’an is proof of the existence of God.
Belief/Faith in Allah means belief/faith that there is no other deity but Allah –Laa ilaaha illAllah! He is One of a kind, He alone is to be worshipped, and He has no son or partners. This belief in Allāh, God, includes belief in His Angels, His Prophets, His revealed Books*, in the Resurrection and Judgment, and Heaven and Hell. One cannot profess belief in Allah and also entertain beliefs in polytheism or dualism or exclude any of the above-mentioned –Angels, Prophets, etc.
*(While we are to believe in all His Scriptures, Allāh, God, has informed us what not to believe, such as: polytheism, idolatry, partnership with God, Trinity, sonship of God, idolatry, inherited sin, vicarious atonement, karma, reincarnation, and “chosen people” to the exclu-sion of others).
Predestination: In Islam man’s action(s) is not pre-determined.
“Men of science,” wrote Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, “hold that since everything in the material world run on pre-ordained lines, events being already preordained, therefore it must be the same with human affairs.”
“Kismet–an Arabic word used by Orientalists to convey the idea of predestination–though its literal meaning is ‘division’ or ‘distribution.’ It is thought that good and evil are prearranged entities, and that they have already been allocated by the Lord amongst the people of the world. No effort, therefore, on their part can change their course, while they act as playthings in the hands of Fate. No prophet of God ever taught a tenet so dastardly as this–which could relieve men of all responsibility for their actions. We, however, find a similar doctrine in the Church creed, but it is none of Jesus’ teaching. Since the days of saint Athanasius the doctrine of predestination has been laid down in all Christian creeds as an article of faith. It ahs taken a practical shape in every Christian home at the birth of babies still-born, or who die before they can be baptized. The poor souls are believed to be condemned by the Lord to eternal perdition, and must be buried in unconsecrated ground. This division of Mankind into “the saved” and “the un-saved” smacks strongly of predestination.”45
Muhammad Ali notes:
“A great deal of misunderstanding prevails about the doctrine of predestination and the absolute decree of good and evil by God. It is necessary first to understand the correct meaning of the Arabic words qadar and taqdir–the ideas commonly associated with their meaning being unknown both to the Qur’an and to Arabic lexicology. Qadar and taqdir, according to Raghib, mean the making manifest of the measure (kamiyya) of a thing, or simply measure. In the words of the same authority, God’s taqdir of things is in two ways, by granting qudra, i.e., power, or by making them in a particular measure and in a particular manner, as wisdom requires. An example of this is given in the taqdir of the date-stone, out of which it is the palm only that grows, not an apple or olive tree, or in the taqdir of the sperm of man, out of which grows man only, not any other animal. Taqdir is therefore the law or the ordinance or the measure which is working throughout the creation; and this is exactly the sense in which the word is used in the Qur’an.” (The Religion of Islam, pp. 309, 310. Italics/emphasis added).
It is the laws accorded to nature/creation that are predestined.
The Polytheists claim that Allah is responsible for the actions of man is rejected by Allah Himself: “Those who are polytheists say: If Allah pleased, we would not have set up (aught with Him), nor our fathers, nor would we have made anything unlawful. Thus did those before them reject (the truth) until they tasted Our punishment. Say, Have you any knowledge so you would bring it forth to Us? You only follow a conjecture and you only tell lies. Say, Then Allah’s is the conclusive argument; so if He had pleased, He would have guided you all”–(Qur’an 6:149, 150).
“The polytheists’ contention here is that what they do is in accordance with the will of God, and this is condemned as a mere conjecture and a lie. And against it, two arguments are adduced. The first is that previous people were punished when they persisted in their evil courses; if what they did was because God had so willed it, He would not have punished them for it. The second is that God had never said so through any of His prophets: “Have you any knowledge with you so you should bring it forth to Us?” And in the verse that follows, the argument is carried further: “If he had willed, He would have guided you all.” The conclusion is clear. If it were the Divine will that people should be compelled to one course that would have been the course of guidance. But men are not compelled to accept even the right way; much less could they be compelled to follow the wrong course. This is clearly laid down: “We have truly shown the way, he may be thankful or unthankful” (76:3). And again: “The truth is from your Lord, so let him who please believe, and let him who please disbelieve” (18:29). The Divine will is therefore exercised in the raising up of prophets, and in the pointing out of the courses of good and evil, and human will is exercised in the choice of one course or the other.” (M.Ali, The Religion of Islam, pp. 316, 317).
Muhammad Ali has also pointed out the error in the belief that Allah “leads astray.”
“A great misconception regarding the teachings of the Qur’an is that it ascribes to God the attribute of leading astray. Nothing could be farther from the truth. While al-Hadi or the One Who guides, is one of the ninety-nine names of Allah, as accepted by all Muslims, al-Mudzill, or the One Who leads astray, has never been recognized as such. If leading astray were an attribute of God, as guiding certainly is, the name al-Mudzill should have been included in the list of His names, as al-Hadi is. But the Qur’an, which repeatedly says that God’s are all the excellent names, could not ascribe to Him what it has plainly ascribed to the Devil, viz., the leading astray of men.
….It is impossible that God, Who is so solicitous for the guidance of man, should Himself lead him astray. Guiding and leading astray are two contradictions which could not be gathered together in one being.”
“The mistaken idea that God leads people astray arises out of a misconception of the meaning of the word idzlal when it is ascribed to God.” (The religion of Islam, pp. 323, 324, 325).
What is to be considered is that:
–if Allah has pre-determined man’s life then His sending of prophets and revelations to guide us and to turn us from evil would be meaningless.
–if Allah has predetermined our fate then His instructions to us to pray, give charity, feed the poor and the orphans and the needy, and to free the slaves would all be pointless.
Allah did not predetermine man’s actions any more than He leads us into temptation. That man has complete freedom of choice in his actions is made clear in the following verses of the Qur’an:
“Have We not given him (man) two eyes,
and a tongue and two lips,
and pointed out to him the two
conspicuous ways (of good and evil)?”
“So He reveals to it (the soul) its way of evil
and its way of good,
he is indeed successful who purifies it,
and he is ruined who corrupts it.”
“Whoever does good it is for himself,
and whoever does evil, it is against himself…
But whoever repents after his wrong-doing
and reforms, Allah will turn to him (mercifully).
Surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”
“And wrong not men of their dues, and act not
corruptly in the earth, making mischief.”
“And whatever misfortune befalls you, it is on
account of what your hands have wrought…”
“Surely Allah enjoins justice and the doing of
good…and He forbids indecency, and evil
“O men…follow not the footsteps of the devil.
Surely he is an open enemy to you.”
(Qur’an 26:183; 42:30; 16:90; 2:168)
Allāh God, instructs us to pray: “Guide us on the right path” and “My Lord, increase me in knowledge” –(Qur’an 1:5; 20:114). Clearly, the God who gives guidance, and Who increases His servants in knowledge could not predestine the actions of those servants –a robot or a puppet has no need of, or use for guidance and knowledge. Neither could Islam, which advocates pursuit of knowledge, be said to be backward or non-progressive.
98. Hell (p. 125): Allah is neither a tyrant nor a vengeful God. The suffering in hell are from two causes (1) injustice to others, e.g. oppression, robbery, murder, aggression (2) injustice to self, e.g. disbelief in Allah, joining partners with God, illicit relations even though of mutual consent, hypocrisy and evil plots.
Hell, in Islam, is not a torture chamber of a vengeful God. Hell is a reformatory for the sinners to condition them for suitability into the higher plane of life. If earthly man in order to survive on distant planets must equip himself with specialized equipment, then similarly, man, to exist in the spiritual realm must possess certain spiritual qualities. If we refuse to, or neglect to purify our soul in this world, it becomes inevitable that we must undergo the process of purifying it in the Hereafter. This cleansing process is called Hell.
The suffering we go through during this purifying process in Hell is not punishment from God. It is rather suffering resulting from the cleansing process –like the pain suffered from the injection to cure rabies or from undergoing chemotherapy. It is not the specialist who inflicts the pain. The specialist only applies the remedy. The suffering is the result of the healing process.
If sinners were all put to a final death as punishment then a minor criminal would be subjected to the same fate as the major criminal. This would not be justice. Even in the human justice a criminal is punished only according to the severity of the crime.
As for those individuals who do not care to be in heaven/ paradise, and would commit any crime and lewdness to have a lordly life, they would not suffer any consequences for their evil actions. And if sinners were put to a final death as punishment it would be pointless to resurrect them from their current death.
Will sinners “roast forever” in hell? “Hell”, as Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din states, is “a natural sequence to our evil actions–(Qur’an 21:98), nay, it is a logical necessity; we need it, and cannot avoid it–(30:43). It has been created to meet the needs to which we will become alive as soon as we are resurrected.”46
“Fire is admittedly the most cleansing of all purifying factors. It is most natural, therefore, that this house of purgatory should be made of burning, purging fire with a pall of smoke over it (Qur’an 56:43). …If sufferers from nerve-troubles or filthy diseases are ordered by their medical advisers to be placed in a steamed room in a Turkish bath, how can we scoff at the idea of Hell and of us being ordered thither by Nature’s relentless surgeons (66:6), rough in their methods, perhaps, but bound to do as directed? Metals mixed with alloy are usually put in the melting-pot, so that dross is burnt off and the sub-stance purified; so also we shall have to undergo a similar process to rid ourselves of physical dross. For this reason Saqar is one of the names given to Hell. The word means anything that changes the nature of other things by melting them. In a word, distress will come to a sinner from every quarter (14:17) to cleanse him from the evils that surround him from all sides (2:81).
The different names given by the Qur’an to Hell help to explain its nature. Sa’ir, Jahim and Jahannam mean something in the nature of a burning fire, Laza (70:15) explains the nature of its functions meaning anything that stupefies the brain.
But Hutamah, its sixth name, is very suggestive. It means remorse, a feeling of shame and disgrace, because abasement (9:63) and intense remorse (2:167) are some of the chastisements administered to the denizens of Hell which they may in no wise escape (2:162). It shows that Hell is a mental torture: that its agonies are agonies of the mind (104:7). For, otherwise, why else should our physical body share our troubles if to be nothing but an instrument? The body is a lifeless thing unless it comes under the operation of the mind. It is, as it were, an unconsenting party if it joins with us in our wrong-doings. The principle of justice and equity do not punish a party who is forced to give his consent. Moreover, the verse which explains the nature of Al-Hutamah (104:5) decides the question. Speaking of the fire of Hell the Qur’an says that it will come out of our own hearts. Here in this life we are conscious of the same burning of the heart, when a strong desire, unbecoming in its very nature, goads us to do some wrong. The very idea of shame makes our blood hot and we feel as if we were being driven towards a pit of fire. (Some sick people have been known to groan and agonize over the fire in their bodies).
The Qur’an makes mention of some seven gates of Hell meant for different classes of sinners (15:44). The doors would lead to seven spiritual evils.”47
Sinners will not be destroyed forever. The time spent in Hell by a sinner will be proportional to his sin–(Qur’an 78:21-26); e.g. (just as metal with small amount of impurities require less severe treatment for purification as against more severely contaminated material). A petty criminal will not be subjected to the same punishment as a mass murderer. It would not be justice to punish them both to the same degree. Allah is not unjust to any of His servants–(Qur’an 22:10; 41:46; 50:29).
As for those who doubt the Resurrection, Allah God says to the skeptics who think that bones and decayed particles cannot be restored to life, that even if they were stones or iron, that He Who created them at first has the power to restore them to life–(Qur'an 17:49-52; 75:1-4, 37-40). If today’s man using a single cell can construct an entire being, Allah, the Originator and the Creator, can recreate man.
If in order to preserve one’s life the amputating of a cancerous limb is “ethically admirable,” and to subject one to the rigorous torment of radiation to rid him of a cancer is “ethically admirable,” and to forcibly confine one to cure him of addiction is “ethically admirable,” then to purge one of spiritual dross must also be “ethically admirable.”
If an individual is warned that a certain package contains tainted meat, and that eating of this meat will prove poisonous and will require hospitalization and forcible evacuation of the stomach to restore health; and if this individual still eats of this tainted meat, the physician could hardly be charged as being sadistic for pumping the man’s stomach.
Allah cannot be indicted as sanctioning “sadism” for ridding the sinner of spiritual poison. Parents who punish their errant children (with the required punishment), are not guilty of “sadism.” Doctors who strait-jacket patients in their treatment are not guilty of “sadism.”
Hell is a favor of Allāh, God: restoring one to health by any method needed is a favor to him–(Ref; Qur’an 55:41-45).
The belief that Allah said that half of mankind is destined to hell and the other half to heaven is not a declaration of pre-destination; but, if such a saying was made by Allah, it could only mean that Allah knowing that not all of mankind will follow His guidance, thus, (by their own choice) part will go to hell and part to heaven.
99. Islam and Ethics (p. 126): Islam –the religion which requires its followers to avoid adultery and fornication; teaches that men and women are garments to the other (to protect, beautify, comfort and conceal imperfection(s)); that marriage is a sacred contract between husband and wife; that Allah has put love and compassion between man and woman; that men and women must have mutual respect for the other; that children are to be honorable and caring to parents; to feed the poor, the needy, and the wayfarer; to look after the welfare of the orphans and to free the slaves; to give justice even if it be against ourselves; to be honest in business; to keep oaths and render trusts; to speak only what is good; not to aid one another in sin; not to counsel one another in evil; not to retaliate more than the injury received, but that it is better to forgive; to conduct one’s self decorously–cannot be said to have “no ethics;” be it in matters of “sex” or other. Nor could it be said that the doctrines of the Qur’an are inimical to moral progress.
100. Is God good? (p. 126): Pleasure is invigorating. Parents indulge in pleasure, yet they counsel children against non-marital sex and intoxicants. Are such parents good or bad, right or wrong? Also, to correct delin-quency, parents place restrictions on children and forbid them certain activities. Does this mean that these activities are wrong or bad? It would seem that individuals who choose to have children do so with the intention not to leave them without purpose, but to mold them in a certain way of life.
Allah informs us that He has created everything good–(Qur’an 32:7); that whatever good befalls us is from Him, and whatever misfortune befalls us is from our own self–(Qur’an 4:79); and the Prophet Mohammad is reported to have said that Allah said: I loved that I should be known, so I created man.
It is not unreasonable then to say that One Who creates out of love, and creates all things good, and from Whom only good comes, Who ordained mercy on Himself–(Qur’an 6:12, 54), Who implores us not to despair of His mercy–(Qur’an 39:53), and Who invites us to forgive us our faults–(Qur’an 14:10) –it is not unreasonable to say that such a God is good. Allah is good!
Allah creates us to serve Him and to test us–(Qur’an 51:56; 3:141, 153; 29:2-3; 67:2). Everything in creation has a purpose. A typical example is the wetlands where every creature is a link in the chain, and each serve a specific purpose. What God has designated bad for man is not because it is inherently bad; but, as in the case of certain foods like pork or blood, because it is harmful to health.
God may also impose restrictions as a means of reforming transgressors; as in the case of the Jews who were forbidden to eat “every animal having claws” and the fat of certain animals as punishment for their rebellion –(Qur’an 6:147). Restrictions are also imposed on acts that cause injury, whether physical or emotional, to others (as in theft, aggression, adultery, slander).
Allah is good. All things are good. He decrees a thing “bad” or “wrong” for our own benefit –be it personal, social, moral, or spiritual.
101. Fear of Allah (p. 127): Allah tells us in the Qur’an: “There is no God but I, so fear Me”–(16:2). This does not mean that man is to be in constant fear of God. We “fear” Allah not because He is a tyrant or vengeful but because, in the context of the physical, “fear of God” means that man can cause harm only to the body (the soul being indestructible), whereas only God can destroy both the body and the soul. In the context of the spiritual or worship of God, “fear of God” means to avoid sin/evil: to avoid going against the ordinances of God –much like the fear of disobeying parental instructions, and disappointing their trust and love.
Thus, “fear” of God is not a negative quality. “Fear” of God is of a positive value since it has the effect of keeping one away from sin/evil. The child who avoids narcotics because of fear of parental discipline may have the benefit of better health, non-addiction, better use of money etc., whereas a brigand who has no fear of the law and violates its ordinances would not be immune from magistracy when apprehended.
People who devote themselves to Allah –Who ordains mercy on Himself, Who implores us never to despair of His mercy, and Who invites us to forgive us our faults– cannot be said to be the people “ruled” by fear.
102. God’s weaknesses (p. 127): Does Allāh, God, need human help? Men and women who choose to be parents, provide all the necessary amenities for those children. Since these parents are, (in the human sense) self-sufficient, what then do they need from their children? What could these helpless dependent children give to their parents in way of sustenance?
The Prophet Mohammad is reported to have said that Allah said: I loved that I should be known, so I created man. But does this mean that Allah needs mankind? Allah originates, creates, nourishes, and sustains all creations. What need then can He have of man?
In the Qur’an Allah says to Muslims that He will help those who help Him–(22:40; 47:7). This does not mean that Allah needs the help of humans. Allāh, God, does not ask the help of humans. Allah God enjoining man to feed the poor, etc; does not mean that He is incapable of providing for them.
Allah provides for all. Only that some of His servants–either through disasters, or through lack of the required skills or resources or because of subjugation by others–are not able to exploit these provisions. As Allah does not Himself come, He calls on His kind-hearted servants who are capable and who have the resources to look after the welfare of those who are in an unfortunate situation and unable to maintain themselves.
Islam teaches that service to humanity is service to Allāh, God.
103. Why choose Mohammad? (p. 127): Why did Allah choose Mohammad, an insignificant Arab from among a barbaric people, to be His last messenger?
(If God had chosen a Pharaoh or a Caesar or a Korah to be His last messenger, there would likely be skeptics who would ask why did He choose a wealthy ruler to be His last messenger on earth?)
Islam teaches that Allah raised prophets/messengers among all peoples. Until the coming of Mohammad, no prophet had yet been sent to the Arab people. The Prophet’s mission was two-fold– to be a prophet to a people to whom no prophet had been sent, and to unite all mankind under one comprehensive and complete set of laws, the Qur’an.
104. Does Allah demand praise? (p. 127): (All countries have laws. These laws do not demand anything from its citizens; they are free to observe these laws or not. Those who violate these laws do so to their own detriment. Offenders, when caught, face the consequences of such infringement).
Allah does not “demand” anything from His creatures. He has shown man the two ways (good and evil) and has given him a free choice between the two. Those who opt to follow the way of ‘good’ have been given guidelines for their moral, social, and spiritual elevation. Those who opt to follow the way of ‘evil’ must of a necessity be purified to the condition necessary to live on the higher plain of life (much like prison is meant to reform criminals to function in society)–unlike the human prison where some inmates may become remorseful of their crimes, incarcera-tion in Hell will be severe to guarantee a hundred percent rate of reform: the methods of Hell will produce “wailing and gnashing of teeth”–(Matt. 13:42); unquenchable thirst and endless deaths –(ref. Qur’an 14:16-17). (Who would like a repeat of such conditions?)
As there is no ‘predestination’ in Islam, thus, there is no question of man being an “automata” or “preprogrammed.”
That Allah says that those Whom He guides no one can lead astray, is not pre-destination. Though Allah guides them they still have the choice to turn away from that guidance.
Muslims praying five times a day is not “in homage” to God (it is not for the benefit of God). Prayer is for man’s own benefit. Prayer, as Allah reveals, ‘keeps one away from indecency and evil’–(Qur’an 29:45). The Prophet Mohammad is reported to have said that prayer five times a day is like one having a bath five times a day–as the bathing washes away the dirt five times a day, likewise, prayer five times a day washes away ones sins.
This regiment of five daily prayers is intended to mold man into a moral fortress. For the Muslim person (male or female) who applies his prayers into his life, rather than treat them as mere mechanics, it is unlikely that such an individual knowing that he/she will soon be standing or has just stood in the court of God, would commit acts that are unGodly.
When Allah says for us to serve Him only, it is only for man’s own benefit. By serving Allah only man frees himself from the degradation of idol-worship, spirit-worship, human-worship, nature-worship, and the worship of all other objects beneath him. Our glorifying and giving praise to Allah is a reminder that nothing or no one is worthy of praise and worship but the Creator of everything: That the only object greater than man is God!
105. Did Mohammad see Allah? (p. 129): In the Qur’an 53:2-18 Allāh, God, verifies the truthfulness of Mohammad and of his seeing of the signs of Allah. Verse 13 says: “And certainly he (Mohammad) saw Him in another descent.” But this “Him” does not refer to Allah God. ‘Aisha, the Prophet’s wife, upon being asked if the Prophet had seen Allah God, replied: “Know that if somebody tells you one of the following three things, he is a liar: Whoever tells you that Muhammad (peace be on him) saw his Lord, is a liar.” Then she recited the Verse: “No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision. He is the Most Courteous Well-acquainted with all things.” ‘It is not fitting for a human being that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration or from behind a veil”–(Qur’an 6:103; 42:51)
‘Aisha added: “But the Prophet (peace be on him) saw Gabriel in his true form twice.””–(Bokhari, Vol. 6, # 378). It is clear that the being whom the Prophet saw was not Allah God, but the Angel Gabriel.
The two other things that ‘Aisha said about the Prophet is that he did not know what the future holds–(cf. Qur’an 31:34); and that he did not conceal any part of Allah’s revelation–(cf. Qur’an 5:67).
106. The Ten Commandments (p. 130): Regarding the Ten Commandments, Ibn Warraq quotes Paine as saying: “The commandments carry no internal evidence of divinity with them.”
It would be a grand miracle if Moses carved those tablets and inscribed on them with his fingernails. (As far as is known Moses did not take any cutting tools with him on Mount Sinai, nor was he accompanied by Joshua, the ‘stone-cutter’ (as port-rayed in the movie)).
Apart from the Word of Allah that He gave Moses the tablets–(Qur’an 7:142-150), Moses having these inscribed tablets is “internal evidence of divinity” of the Ten Commandments.
About the Qur’an, Paine is quoted as saying: “I did not see the angel myself and, therefore, I have a right not to believe it.”
While a person has the right to not believe in an act he did not witness, if one would need to see an incident in order to believe in it, one would need to see Edison invent the light bulb; Jesus raising the dead, to believe in his miracles; and “six million” Jewish corpses taken from the concentration camps, to believe in the “holocaust.”
(Unless the Devil is stupid or is fond of having people castigate him or if he likes people to follow God, in which event he deceived man into believing revelation is from God), there is not an item in the Qur’an that glorifies the Devil and advocate wickedness.
(Unless Gabriel knows the future, and has all knowledge and full knowledge of all things). As Gabriel cannot bring revelation of his own accord; he (as all Angels) acts only as Allah commands him, it is within reason to accept that the Qur’an is from Allah.
Mohammad could not have made accurate scientific pronouncements and prophecies, as mentioned in the Qur’an, without the aid of “supernatural intervention.” One does not need to “see” the angel give Mohammad the Qur’an “to believe it.” The contents of the Qur’an is sufficient to instill belief.
107. Days of creation (p. 134): In chapter 41:9-12 of the Qur’an Allah tells us that He created the earth in two days, provided supplies in it in four days, and ordained seven heavens in two days–making creation to total eight days; whereas in chapter 50:37 He tells us that He created the heavens and the earth in “six days,” giving us, seemingly, a discrepancy of “two days;” between chapter 41 and chapter 50. But there is no “contradiction” between these statements of chapter 41:9-12 and 50:37. Muhammad Ali, commenting on verses 9 and 10 of chapter 41, points out:
“The making of the earth in two days and the making on it of the mountains, rivers and of plant and animal life in four days is really one continuous process, there being six days or six stages in all. The first stage is the throw-ing off of the cosmic matter called the earth; the second stage is the cooling off of its surface; the third is the making of the mountains; the fourth is that of blessing it by waters and making in it rivers; the fifth and the sixth stages are spoken of as the ordaining of foods, being, in the first place, the growth of plant life and, in the second, the growth of animal life, culminating in the creation of man. That the creation in six days does not refer to the time actually taken in making the heavens and the earth, which is still going on, is noted even by the earlier commentators.” (Read M. Ali Qur’anic commentaries 46, 894a, 2199, 2201; Yusuf Ali’s 1031, 4477; Malik Ghulam Farid’s 2623, 2626).
Why six days to create? Why did Allāh, God, need six days to create the heavens and the earth when He tells us in the Qur’an that “when He decrees an affair, He says to it only, Be, and it is?”–(Qur’an 2:117). How could there be days before the creation of the sun and the earth, considering that a day is measured by the earth’s revolution around the sun?
A Divine day is not restricted to a 24-hour period. Nor does it necessarily mean part darkness and part light. A Divine day is said to be equal to a thousand years and even fifty thousand years of human reckoning –(Qur’an 22:47; 32:5; 70:4).
“The word yaum,” explained Muhammad Ali, “is applied in the Holy Qur’an to any period of time, from a moment (55:29) to fifty thousand years (70:4), and may therefore indicate an indefinitely small or indefinitely large space of time. According to LL., yaum is a time, whether day or night, time absolutely, whether night or not, little or not; also a day, meaning the period from the rising of the sun to its setting. According to R (al-Raghib), the word yaum indicates a period of time, whatever period it may be, and this is the proper signification.” (Qur’anic comm. 8).
Allah saying “Be” does not mean that things materialize in-stantaneously. What it means is that when Allah commands “Be,” no one or nothing can prevent His will from manifesting; and that the process for such a creation begins to manifest. While this creation is to us millions of years, in the sight of Allah it is but a “twinkling of an eye”–(Qur’an 54:50). (See M. Ali Qur’anic comm.; 163. Yusuf Ali comm; 120. Malik Ghulam Farid comm; 140).
108. Law and the earth (p. 135): In the Qur’an 33:72 Allah says that He “offered the trust (of the Divine Law) to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they refused to undertake it….” How could the Divine law be offered to inanimate objects? How could these objects of creation refuse the offer of God?
The verses of the Qur’an may be literal in meaning, or allegorical–(Qur’an 3:6). If this statement (of 33:72) was of a literal meaning, there was no “temerity to disobey” Allah: it was not a command from God, only an offer.
Not only man but all creations pay service to Allah–(Qur’an 16:48-49; 22:18). In his commentary, Yusuf Ali reflects on the Qur’an 59:21 “where the hypothetical sending down of the Qur’an to the Mountains is mentioned, and it is mentioned that such Parables are put forth in order to aid men to reflection. We may therefore take the Mountains, the Earth, and the Heavens as symbolical. The mountains stand for firmness and stability…” (See comm; 3777-3782).
Muhammad Ali explained this verse (33:72) as meaning, that “nature is true to its laws which bring about its evolution, but man is not true to the laws on which depends his real happiness.”
109. Allah’s Throne (p. 136): Allah reveals in the Qur’an 11:7 that “His Throne of Power is ever on water.” Allah’s “Throne of Power” means His Authority; and “water” symbolizes creation. Thus, the verse means that Allah’s Authority is over all creation.
110. The moon and sun (p.136): In the Qur’an 10:5 Allah says that He made the sun a “shining brightness, and the moon a light, and ordained for it stages that you might know the computation of years and the reckoning.”
Whereas the moon allows the count of months, the sun allows the count of years. As is noted by Yusuf Ali, and Malik Ghulam Farid. Malik Ghulam Farid notes that, “All reckoning and all calendars depend on the movements of the sun and the moon. The moon moves round the earth and thereby we are able to know the measure of months. The earth moves round the sun and also rotates on its own axis, thus enabling us to measure our years as well as our days.”–(Qur’anic comm. 1237)
Yusuf Ali notes that, “The simplest observation can keep pace with the true lunar months and lunar years, which are all that is required by a pastoral people. For agriculture solar years are required, as they indicate the changes of the seasons, but ordinary solar years are never exact; even the solar years of 364¼ days requires correction by advanced astronomical calculation.”–(Qur’anic comm. 1391).
111. The solar system (p. 137): Ibn Warraq notes from Kauf-mann: “The solar system formed from a cloud of gas and dust, called the solar nebula, which can be described as a “rotating disk of snowflakes and ice-coated dust particles. …. The sun was formed by accretion at the centre of the nebula. After about 100 million years, temperatures at the protosun’s center were high enough to ignite thermonuclear reactions. The preceding account is hopelessly at variance with the account given in the Koran.”
Allah reveals in His Qur’an: “Then He directed Himself to the heaven and it was a vapor, so He said to it and the earth: Come both willingly or unwillingly. They both said: We come willingly”–(Qur’an 41:11). That the verse begins with “Then” whereas the preceding verses speak of Allah having created the earth in two days, and made mountains and produce; to this, Ibn Warraq comments: “The preceding account (that of Mr. Kaufmann’s) is hopelessly at variance with the account given in the Koran. The earth was not, as the Koran claims (41:11), created before the heavens.”
That the verse begins with “Then” (meaning afterwards) whereas the preceding verses speak of Allah having created the earth in two days, and made mountains and produce does not mean that the earth was created before the heavens. As the above verse (41:11) shows both heaven and earth were called into creation at the same time.
The development of the earth and heavens could both have been undergoing at the same time. Though the completion of the earth took a longer time or needed more stages to complete, four as compared to the heavens two–(41:9-12). To say that the Qur’an claims that the earth was completed before the heavens might be due to an oversight of verse 11 or lack of pondering. And also in taking that the formation of the earth was fully accomplished immediately. As noted, the earth took four periods whereas the heavens took only two; thus the heavens must have been completed before the earth.
In any event why couldn’t the earth have been created before the heavens? Allāh could have prepared both in their basic form then directed Himself to the earth first, which needed a longer, four, periods to complete, and while it was in the process of being completed started on the heavens, which required only two periods, and was therefore completed before the earth –or was finished at the same time as the earth, depending at what point Allāh went on to the second stage of its creation, so that both can be completed at the same time.
Some thirteen hundred years ago Hazrat Ali, the fourth Caliph of Islam, explained the creation of the earth:
“Out of a stupendous swirling, sweeping, extremely disturbed and turbulent mass of nebulous material which was rolling and rotating in piles, upon piles. He (Allāh, God) solidified a dry and practically steady and motionless earth (when compared to the turbulent condition of the nebulous mass). Over this earth He created envelops over envelops of gases, which are seven in number and which are separated one from the other. These gaseous envelops though overlap each other; yet each one is forced to occupy its own space, as if they are fixed in their places. This solid earth is so created that it is covered by a bluish green mass of water –and it looks as if it floats on the huge volume of water. …On this earth He (Allāh, God) created solid mountains and fixed them in such a way that some of them are so high that their peaks pierce the upper layers of atmosphere and some of them have their bases planted in the deepest parts of the oceans, i.e. these mountains are raised higher than the surrounding lands around them and also reach deep into the bosom of the earth. These apparently sky scraping mountains act as pivots, and with their help the slipping movement (floating of the continents) was brought under control. Thus the earth (the continents of the earth) after passing through many upheavals and jolts steadied itself into its present form. This was necessary so that the solid mass of the land may not leave its place or may not tilt carrying into sea the inhabitants living upon it. (1)”
“(1) The continents may not float towards deep oceans and may not disappear into them–Refer Modern geophysic and geodesic theories of
i. Causes of volcanoes and volcanic regimes
ii. Margins and land side portions of continents on the sides of oceans, and
iii. Causes of the poles changing their places.”48
The Qur’anic account of the creation of the solar system is not “hopelessly at variance” with scientific investigation. Allāh creating the sun does not mean it was created instantaneously without a process. Also, it is not necessarily so that Allāh created man immediately after He created the heavens and the earth.
112.The Origins of Life and the Theory of Evolution (p. 138): (See Darwin and the Qur’an item # 40)
113. Einstein and Islam (p.141): “Einstein observed that “the man who is thoroughly convinced of the universal operation of the law of causation cannot for a moment entertain the idea of a being who interferes in the course of events….He has no use for the religion of fear.””
Fear of God does not mean that if man commit sin God will change the laws of the universe, which seems to be what Einstein is implying. If such was the case, we would not be around.
If by the “religion of fear” Einstein meant Islam, Islam, as proven, is not the “religion of fear,” in the sense of a brutal God. “Fear of God” means to avoid sin. Islam is the religion of peace, love, hope, and mercy, and of truth, knowledge, wisdom, and reason.
As man can construct, control and send rockets to distant planets all on pre-set laws of operation and to execute certain functions, it is not inconceivable that there is a “being” who has created the universe and instituted laws for its governance.
114. Rains (p. 142): In the Qur’an 7:57 we are told that rain is a blessing from Allah. But how could rain be a blessing when “floods claim the lives of thousands of people in, ironically, a Muslim country, namely Bangladesh.”
It was not rain that killed the Bangladeshi’s; it was the “floods” from the rain. The laws of God are in operation in nature, if one area is prone to certain extreme of these laws then it behooves the wisdom of man to avoid such areas, or to develop defenses against the devastation of such natural phenomenon. These devastation would affect the inhabitants, be they Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Jew, or atheist. Allah is not to be blamed if man builds his residence on a volcano or on an earthquake's fault-line. If he does, when the rumbling begins only stupidity would allow him to remain there.
(A person with AIDS who knowingly parents a child has no one to blame but himself/herself when birth is given to an infected child. Allah created man to live in freedom, peace, and justice. If nations, instead of warring, were to spend their wealth to irrigate the land, and create reservoirs, lakes, etc; then when the blessings of the rain turn into “floods” these invaluable waters could be harnessed for times of drought).
115. Miracles (p. 142): The Qur’an mentions many incidences which may be viewed as miracles–clefting of the moon (54:1-2); Allah helping Muslims in the Battle of Badr (3:120-121), and the Prophet’s night journey from Makkah to Jerusalem (17:1).
Miracles, as noted in the Qur’an, are not to induce people to believe in Allah. The clefting of the moon–(54:1-2) was to prove to the disbelievers the falsity of their oaths, that if a sign came to them they would believe–(Qur’an 6:110); yet when this sign did come as in 54:2-3, “they turn away and say: Strong enchantment! And they deny and follow their low desires…” (This clefting of the moon would seem to be a vision, given only to those people to whom it was directed).
The only miracle the Prophet Mohammad claimed to bring was the Qur’an. In the words of Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din: “The claim of the Qur’an, that it would baffle human efforts to produce its equal, is based on absolute truth. A Book completed in twenty-three years, dealing with every aspect of human life, and yet remaining free from any kind of discrepancy or even a slight variation, is in itself a miracle.”49
116. Jesus–Virgin birth (p. 144): “Martin Luther (1483-1546), writing in the sixteenth century, conceded that “We Christians seem fools to the world for believing that Mary was the true mother of this child, and nevertheless a pure virgin. For this is not only against all reason, but also against the creation of God, who said to Adam and Eve, ‘Be fruitful and multiply.’” (Are there no barren women and sterile men?)
Is it not also “against all reason” that man can turn water into wine, walk on water, resurrect the literal dead and ascend into the sky, (as I am almost certain Martin Luther believed), or that God could have a son when He has no consort?
If God can create the heavens and the earth, and bring forth produce without any seeds, why can’t He create Jesus without a father? If todays’ man can create a being from a single cell and without the aid of the male, why can’t God create Jesus without a father?
However, before Jesus’ arrival, almost every country had her “Virgin-born’ son, as Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din has detailed in his book The Sources of Christianity.
Notably, there are some Muslims who are of the view that Jesus had a father. In fact, one group has presented material from the Bible and the Qur’an to show that John the Baptist was the father of Jesus. (For the birth of Jesus in the Bible and the Qur’an see Jesus-birth miracle or mechanix).
117. Did Jesus exist? (p. 148): “It is worth remarking that if the Koran is absolutely true and the literal word of God, why is it that no Christian theologian adduces it as proof of Jesus’ existence?”
Since there is no argument against the Qur’an being the Word of Allah, “why is it that no Christian theologian adduces it as proof of Jesus’ existence?”
Because if Christian theologians adduce the Qur’an as “proof” of Jesus’ existence they would be forced to accept the Qur’an as the Word of Allah and Muhammad as the Messenger of God. This would mean acceptance of the falsity of their doctrines–that Jesus is God and Son of God, Trinity, vicarious atonement, and inherited sin. This would result in the demolishing of the cross by Christians themselves.
As noted elsewhere, there was also doubts about the existence of Abraham. But archaeology have uncovered evidence showing his reality, as well as that of the city of Iram, mentioned in the Qur’an. If the Qur’an says that Jesus existed, then he did.
118. Restoring the dead (p. 154): In the Qur’an 17:97-99 Allah speaks of restoring the dead.
Whether one is cremated or is eaten and become body waste, or is buried, all matters return to its place of origin–the earth. Transforming or creating that matter again into its original personality is not a “replica” of the old body. It is the soul that is the determining factor. Since all creations revert to earth, it matters not whether the person before his death, was the recipient of organ transplant or not.
While the body suffers death and decay and reconstitution, the soul does not go through these processes or conditions. Since the soul is the component that gives feeling and is the one res-ponsible for humans being evil or righteous, it matters not whe-ther the form raised on Judgment Day is a “replica” or not. It is the soul that in effect is the component that would feel the pun-ishment of hell or the bliss of Paradise. The body is only the medium through which these feelings are effected.
A dead body, being devoid of the soul, has no consciousness. The soul estranged from the body, though conscious, has no feeling; much like one under topical anesthesia–he sees what the doctor is doing but cannot feel any pain. The body though decayed can become fresh again. If today’s man can restore a whole being from a single cell, it is not impossible for Allah, Who is the Originator and Creator, to make “fresh” “what was rotten.”
Some Muslims believe that the dead, upon their burial, is subject to questioning in the grave. The Prophet is reported as speaking of punishment in the grave–(Bokhari Vol. 2, #’s 422, 454, 456, 460, 461; Vol. 8, #’s 376-381; 522). But there is no such teaching in the Qur’an (though the Qur’an 40:46 seems to teach that the soul is shown daily its ultimate destination).
Grave in Islam does not mean the hole in the ground. Yusuf Ali notes that “the Grave” may be understood to be the period between physical death and immortal Life, whatever may be the mode of disposal of the dead body. This intermediate period is the Barzakh.”50
Muhammad Ali notes, “Barzakh is the intermediate state in which the soul lives after death till the Resurrection.”51 Thus, grave may said to be the ‘the state between physical death and the resurrection.’
Regarding the belief that the dead is questioned. According to the Qur’an it seems that man is subjected to two lives and two deaths–(Qur’an 2:28; 40:11).
If the state before our coming into existence is one death and our physical death is our second death, and this life is our first life and the resurrection is our second life, then the belief that the dead, whether it be the soul in barzakh or the corpse in the ground (which would exempt those who are cremated, devoured, etc;) is brought to life, would seem to be at variance with the teaching of the Qur’an that there are two lives and two deaths, because this questioning in the grave would entail another life and another death, giving us a third life and a third death.
Even if it be taken that the departure from this life is our first death (as opposed to our non-existence before this life), and this life is our first life and the resurrection is our second life, then this would give us ‘one’ death and ‘two’ lives; which would be in contradiction of the Qur’an that we have two lives and two death’s (not to mention the additional life and death in the grave which would then make it “three” lives and “two” deaths). Either way, the belief that “Munker and Nakir” interrogate the dead, seems to be at variance with the teaching of the Qur’an.
(Unless before Islam there was no punishment in the grave, or if only Muslims are to be punished in the grave) Allah God says that Pharaoh and his host are brought daily before the Fire–(Qur’an 40:46); Allah God also tells us that Pharaoh’s body was saved from decay–(Qur’an 10:90-92; which body was discovered mummified); which means Pharaoh could not have been punished in the grave, since he was not put into a hole in the ground. This seems to show that punishment in the grave does not mean that the dead becomes alive again in the grave (hole in the ground), but seemingly, that this reference to grave and punishment in the grave are to barzakh, the grave of the souls, and torment of the sinning soul, respectively.
If God forbids the taking of life and He Himself then takes life, it is His right to do so because man does not give life to take it; but since God gives life then He has the right to take life. However, it is a mistake to believe that God takes life: God does not take back what He gives. God gives life and He gives/causes death –(Qur’an 3:155).
119. Martyrs of Islam (p. 155): In His Qur’an 2:154 and 3:168 Allah informs us that the martyrs of Islam are not dead but that they are alive. Such also is the tea-ching of the Prophet Mohammad (noted further on).
That all mankind will have to face Allah on Judgment Day in no way contradicts with the martyrs of Islam being alive now in the Hereafter. They can still be alive and enjoying the fruits of Paradise, and on Judgment Day be present before Allah. To explain how the martyrs of Islam can presently be alive, it is to be noted that in the Hereafter, we will be given new forms–(Qur’an 56:61).
The ultimate sacrifice one can make towards a cause is the giving up of his life for that cause. Those who are martyred in the cause of Allah must be deemed to have demonstrated the ultimate in faith and action–righteousness–and seemingly, would not be subjected to judgment; they have already been awarded the new “form” mentioned in Qur’an 56:61 that is necessary for life in the Hereafter; and therefore have no need for the earthly form again. The earthly body, being the form in which the soul committed acts of evil, is the body through which this soul will have to be purified in Hell before it will be given the new form/body that is needed for life in the Hereafter.
As stated, according to the Prophet Mohammad, martyrs of Islam are in Paradise:
“Narrated Anas: “Haritha was martyred on the day (of the battle) of Badr, and he was a young boy then. His mother came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and said, “O Allāh’s Apostle! You know how dear Haritha is to me. If he is in Paradise, I shall remain patient, and hope for reward from Allāh, but if it is not so, then you shall see what I do?” He said, “May Allāh be merciful to you! Have you lost your senses? Do you think there is only one Paradise? There are many Paradises* and your son is in the (most superior) Paradise of Al-Firdaus”–(Bokhari Vol. 5, # 318).
*(Allāh tells us that Hell has seven gates–(Qur’an 15:44), meaning that there are seven classes of sinners or that sinners are grouped into seven categories. We are also told that there are varying degrees in being a Muslim, according to our deeds–(Qur’an 6:132). Perhaps these “many Paradises” spoken of by the Prophet are for the Believers according to their righteousness; which would seem to be reason why in the Hereafter there will be those who will continue to strive for the perfection of their “light” (perhaps to attain the highest Paradise of Al-Firdaus); speaking about the Believers Allāh says: “Their light will gleam before them and on their right hands–they will say: Our Lord, make perfect for us our light, and grant us protection; surely Thou art Possessor of power over all things”–Qur’an 66:8).
120. Qur’an–Recording angels: Allah tells us in His Qur’an: “And surely there are keepers over you, Honourable recorders (Kiramun Kataybeen), They know what you do”–(Qur’an 82: 10-12). This does not mean that there is an invisible being sitting on either shoulder with pen and pad making notes of our activities. Allah also tells us that He knows what is in our hearts, what is secret, and what our soul suggests to us–(Qur’an 5:7; 20:7; 50:16); and there are no beings to record these. Hazrat Ali is reported as saying that:
“God is not unaware of all that you do during broad day light and in the depth of night. He knows everything that you do and every thought that passes in your mind. He is Omniscient. Even your mind and your limbs will bear testimony before Him of your actions and thoughts. Parts of your body are soldiers of His army, your con-science and your mind are His spies against you. Your private life is fully known to Him”–(Nahjul Balagha, sermon # 204, p. 379).
The introduction to this sermon says that (in the above paragraph):
“Hazrat has explained in a few words what science discovered some thirteen hundred years later. Hazrat has said that when God so wills even you brain will give out what you have said and done all your life, that is, all of your experiences. This faculty of the human brain so graphically explained by him is the latest discovery of the science of medicine. ……..
This capacity of the human brain is named ‘Interpre-tive cortex’. The world famous neurosurgeon, Wilder Penfield, has offered evidence to the National Academy of Science that “parts of the brain work like an audio-video tape recorder, preserving the details of everything that a man sees and hears”. He says this area of pre-servation of experiences is in the two temporal lobes (Islam has given the name of Kiramun Kathebeen –Qur’an 82:10-12, the two honourable angels, one on each shoulder of a man to record his good and bad deeds and words. They are called honourable because they will never record any thing that has not actually taken place). Dr. Penfield cites experiments where a person recalled the music he had heard when he was a child, another recalled the experience of the child birth, which had happened to her twenty years ago, a third person got the vision of some people sitting on chairs and talking, a happening of his childhood. All this was brought to the minds of these people by merely touching the temporal lobes with fine electrodes. The experiment is absolutely harmless and painless. This touching of the lobes brings back to mind a wide variety of incidents, even very trivial, often of childhood and connected with family and neighbours.
Dr. Penfield says, “There is hidden away in the brain, a record of the stream of consciousness. It seems to hold the details of that stream as laid down during each man’s waking conscious hours. Contained in this record are all those things of which the individual was once aware –such details as a man might hope to remember for a few seconds or minutes afterwards, but which are lost to voluntary recall after that time…. This is not memory; as we usually use the word. No man can recall by voluntary efforts such a wealth of details….. It is much more real than remembering.””
(Whereas scribes [recording angels] can be accused of omitting a good deed and duplicating an evil deed, surveillance tapes [our limbs] cannot be accused of incorrect documentation. That these recording angels are referred to as Kiramun Kataybeen –one for recording good deeds and one for recording bad deeds– is not to be taken that they are only two in number [as compared to our several limbs]. Only two names are mentioned because our deeds are two –good and bad).
If man can store mountains of data on computer chips the size of a pin-head, if man can have a satellite in surveillance of the earth, if he can transmit words through space from one corner of the Globe to the other, if he can record sounds and images on plastics and replay them, if he can be in one place and operate through remote control objects distance away from him, if he can transmit audio and video signals through the air and have his television (even in the off mode) receive and convert back these signals into sound and image and record them; consider how much more advanced and sophisticated the recording system of Allah God, the Fashioner of the universe, must be. Allāh, God, has called our attention, to reflect:
“Does man think that we shall not gather his bones?
Yea, We are Powerful to make complete
his whole make.”
“Man will that day be informed of what
he sent before and what he put off.
Nay, man is evidence against himself,
Though he put up excuses.”
(Qur’an 75:3-4, 13-15)
“On the day when their tongues and their hands
and their feet bear witness against them
as to what they did.”
(Qur’an 24:24. Also 36:65; 41:19-23).
121. The afterlife (p. 156): The doctrine of an afterlife does not make “this life meaningless.” Allah says that this world was created for our use and for us to make use of His bounties (without waste). Allah tells us also that the joy of the next life is for us (who live within the parameters that He has enjoined). Thus, this life is as meaningful as the next.
(Legally or illegally), we toil to have a lordly life, likewise we are encouraged to toil in goodness in this life for a lordly life in the hereafter.
122. Islam–terror of the unknown (p. 157): Allāh, God, does not “especially creates creatures to consign to hell.” Man does not make laws to consign subjects to prison: subjects imprison themselves when they transgress the laws.
Islam is not based on the “terror of the unknown,” but upon peace, love, hope, and the mercy of Allah. The mercy, forgive-ness and love of Allah are the preponderating factors in the Qur’an.
Clearly, Muslims who believe in Allah–the God Who created man because He ‘loved to be known’ as the Prophet Mohammad taught, Who ordained mercy on Himself–(Qur’an 6:12, 54), Who invites His creatures to forgive them their sins–(Qur’an 14:10), and Who implores us in loving, compassionate terms: “O My servants who have sinned against their souls, despair not of the mercy of Allah”–(Qur’an 39:53)–cannot be said to be in constant “danger of incurring His wrath.” Neither could such a God be said to have orchestrated “predestination” and to have created “creatures to consign to hell.”
There is no Divine Punishment. As already noted, Hell is not a torture chamber of a vengeful God. Hell is a purifying process. Allah offers man Paradise!
123. Amputation (p. 157): Reason will prove that punishments decreed in the Qur’an are not “barbaric.” The Qur’anic injunction to dismember the thief–(Qur’an 5:38). While this punishment is for the incorrigible offender (as verse 39 says that the criminal who repents after his crime and reforms is to be forgiven), consider: if it is better for a man to dismember his offensive limb to preserve the health of his other parts, how much more appropriate it is that the cancer of society be excised to maintain the moral health of society.
The Toronto Star on Wednesday March 16, 1994, in its “Insight” section reported in an article titled “Building a new feudal society” by Adam Pertman, that: “More and more Americans are paying for their own protection. They're putting up castle walls–and gates, guards and missile launchers.” Residents use from “moat,” “drawbridge,” “maze of gated streets” to “underground projectile-launching device” for security. According to one researcher, as the article noted, in certain places “gated communities are becoming the norm in new construction…”
Criminals roam the streets freely and decent citizens suffer self-imprisonment.
124. Crucifixion (p. 158): The injunction to crucify, execute, or dismember the mischief-maker–(Qur’an 5:33). What decent citizens would tolerate those who make unwarranted insurrection against the State and terrorize and plunder the land, and would not welcome severe forms of punishment to minimize or eradicate such mischiefs? It is without question there are genuine cases of accidental killing, but death occurring from the hands of those who deliberately prey on others can hardly be considered as “accidental.”
“And there is life for you in retaliation,
O men of understanding,
that you may guard yourselves.”
Incorrigible offenders are to be removed if society is to have safety of life and liberty, and security of person.
125. Women to be immured (p. 158): Qur’an 4:15 which says that women guilty of lewdness are to be given life imprisonment. The topic of adultery and fornication is dealt with in Qur’an 4:25 where the punishment is stated to be lashes. This verse of 4:15 refers to female homosexuality. In this verse (4:15) Allāh states:
“And as for those of your women
who are guilty of an indecency, call
to witness against them four (witnesses)
from among you; so if they bear witness,
confine them to the houses until death takes
them away or Allāh opens a way fro them.”
(Allāh opening a way for them would seem to mean if
some men would want to marry them).
Islam confers high honor onto women, as well as tremendous responsibility in the home and family. A wife is the monarch of the home. She molds the family. Thus, her actions impact most on the upbringing of the children. It is for this reason that the punishment for female homosexuality is so severe. Islam views womanhood as the “symbol of purity,” and motherhood as the gateway to Paradise.
126. Flogging (p. 158): (Qur’an 24:2). Flogging and identifying the unchaste so the virtuous can avoid them is not “inhuman.”
What concerned man and/or woman is there who would not like that a promiscuous individual with AIDS be identified with a mark so that he/she could avoid intimate relations with this infected individual; especially considering that there might be person(s) with the disease deliberately wanting to infect others?
In summary: Amputation, Crucifixion, Women to be immured, Flogging. Freeing society of the wretched thief and mischief-maker could not be “inhuman.”
Imprisoning the teacher of morals for breach of office is not “inhuman.” Conversely, leniency to acts of thievery, the breaking up of homes and shattering of lives of children, indignity to the spouses of adulterous relations, and loose sexual conduct as examples for impressionable children could not be acceptable to people concerned about morals.
Meting out punishment to offenders is not “torture,” or “cruel, inhuman or degrading.” It would seem to be “torture” to the parents and families to have to support (through their taxes) the rapists, and the killers of their loved ones; and to have incorri-gible offenders paroled (and even to commit their crimes again, and yet again).
As a matter of argument, non-convicted imprisonment, leg-irons, forced kneeling, sleep deprivation, etc; is “torture,” “cruel, inhuman and degrading.”
Which brings to mind the assassination of ‘Ali, the fourth Caliph of Islam: “He sent for his assassin and said to Hasan: “In case I die, this man may be executed. But you must see to it that he is in no way tortured, that he is well-fed and comfortably accommodated.”* Contrast this act of ‘Ali with that of “civilized” man and on those who are even mere “suspects.” And to know that “Ali (like Mohammad) lived in “barbaric” times and was of necessity a “barbarian.”
*(Muhammad Ali, The Early Caliphate, p. 201).
127. Historical Errors in the Qur’an (p. 158): The Haman of the Pharaoh of Moses’ time mentioned in Qur’an 40:36 is not to be mistaken with the Haman, “minister” of the “Persian King Ahasuerus,” of the Bible–(Esther 1:1,10; 3:1).
The book of Esther belonged to about the 2nd century BC, and Moses about the 13th century BC. So in the space of eleven hundred years it is doubtful that there was in all Palestine and Egypt only one individual with the name Haman.
Moreover, Haman may not even be a proper name, but a title; much like Mayor, Chief, Governor, Commander, Pharaoh, or General. In the Qur’an, the instigator of the calf-making in the story of Moses is addressed by his nationality, Samiri–(Qur’an 20:85, 95). In the story of Joseph, Pothipar, who bought Joseph, is mentioned as Aziz–(chief)–Qur’an 12:30).
(Mary and Alexander the Great have already been dealt with).
128. Effects of the Qur’an a disaster (p. 159): “…on balance, the effects of the teachings of the Koran have been a disaster for human reason and social, intellectual, and moral progress.”
While Muslims may be at fault for their present dismal con-dition, evidence have debunk the claim that “the effects of the teachings of the Koran have been a disaster for human reason and social, intellectual, and moral progress.” It was the Qur’an that jettisoned backward and ruthless idolaters into the thrones of Caesars. Sadly, however, Muslims have thrown this “guiding light” from Allah behind their backs: to quote the observation of Hurgronje on the Qur’an, as quoted by Ibn Warraq himself:
“This book, once a world reforming power, now serves but to be chanted by teachers and laymen according to definite rules. The rules are not difficult but not a thought is ever given to the meaning of the words; the Quran is chanted simply because its recital is believed to be a meritorious work. This disregard of the sense of the words rises to such a pitch that even pundits who have studied the commentaries–not to speak of laymen–fail to notice when the verses they recite condemn as sinful things which both they and the listeners do every day, nay even during the very common ceremony itself.
The inspired code of the universal conquerors of thirteen centuries ago has grown to be no more than a mere text-book of sacred music, in the practice of which a valuable portion of the youth of well-educated Mus-lims is wasted.” (p. 105. Italics, “red” added).
While correct pronunciation of the Arabic is necessary so as not to distort the meaning of the Qur’an, and memorizing of the Qur’an by those who can is recommended, the employing of the Qur’an as the way of life is neglected.
We have not revealed the Qur’an to thee
that thou mayest be unsuccessful”
As noted in items # 4 and 28, this throne of excellence is ever present for Muslims to ascend. Allah tells us in His Qur’an 3:109: “You are the best nation raised up for men: you enjoin good and forbid evil and you believe in Allah.*”
Since Allah, the Creator, tells us that we are the best nation, who is there to say otherwise? No one! However, that we are the best nation has its qualifications–we enjoin good and forbid evil. And since there is no hypocrisy in Islam, to enjoin good we ourselves must do good, and to forbid evil we ourselves must avoid evil; or else we lose this lofty distinction of being the “best nation.”
We are to avoid the pig, illicit relations, the intoxicants, etc; and places where they are prevalent.
*(It may be argued that other religionists also enjoin good and forbid evil and believe in God. However, believe in God and believe in Allah is not the same: it depends on one’s concept of God –belief in Allah incorporates the belief that He is One and Only; the Eternal, Absolute; on Whom all depend; He begets not nor is begotten; is without partner or relation; does not incarnate Himself; has no “chosen people” to the exclusion of others; needs no “satisfaction” to forgive sins; belief in all His Angels, Prophets, Revelations, the Resurrection and Day of Judgment, and in Heaven and Hell).
6. The Totalitarian Nature of Islam
129. The Totalitarian Nature of Islam: (p. 163): “Perhaps it was Charles Watson who, in 1937, first described Islam as totalitarian and proceeded to show how “By a million roots, penetrating every phase of life, all of them with religious significance, it is able to maintain its hold upon the life of Moslem peoples.” Bousquet, one of the foremost authorities on Islamic law, distinguishes two aspects of Islam that he considers totalitarian: Islamic law, and the Islamic notion of jihad that has for its ultimate aim the conquest of the entire world, in order to submit it to one single authority.” (Didn’t many in the past, such as Britain and Russia, and now America, wish to have “conquest of the entire world, in order to submit it to one single authority”?) (Emphasis/underline added).
The Totalitarian Nature of Islam: Muslims are not to seek power/status; but should have such power/status given to them–(Bokhari Vol. 9, #’s 260, 263).
There cannot be totalitarianism in Islam seeing that Islam commands that decisions be made by mutual consultation–(Qur’an 3:158; 42:38); and when authority is to be given to those best qualified: “Surely Allah commands you to make over trusts to those worthy of them, and that when you judge between people, you judge with justice”–(Qur’an 4:58).
The Prophet Mohammad is reported to have said: “When the amanat (trust) is wasted, wait for the sa’ah, i.e. the hour or the doom. It was said, How will the trust be wasted, O Messenger of Allah? He said, When government is entrusted to those unworthy of it, then wait for the doom.”–(Bokhari 81:35. M. Ali Qur’anic comm. 592).
There cannot be totalitarianism in Islam when the Caliphs of Islam were chosen through consultation. Abu Bakr Siddiqui, the first Caliph, is noted as saying in his inaugural speech (quoted in part): “Obey me as long as I obey God and His Prophet. But if I disobey God’s command or His Prophet’s, then no obedience is incumbent upon you.*”52 It is doubtful the venerable Caliph would have said “if I disobey God’s command or His Prophet’s, then no obedience is incumbent upon you” if there was “totalitarianism” in Islam.
To charge Islam as being guilty of “totalitarianism” is to expose ignorance of the teachings of Islam.
*(Regarding this saying of the Caliph. Muslims are to take note. One cannot know if his leader is following Allāh and His Apostle or not if one has no knowledge of Islam. We are to seek knowledge and not blindly follow our Imams).
Jihad: There is no jihad “that has for its ultimate aim the conquest of the entire world, in order to submit it to one single authority.” Man has the choice of freedom of conscience; and the Prophet’s (and Muslims) duty was only to deliver the Message, not enforce it –(Qur’an 3:20; 24:54; 2:256; 10:99-100; 50:45; 76:3; 16:125).
Islam could not have as “its ultimate aim the conquest of the entire world, in order to submit it to one single authority,” seeing that Islam/Allāh prohibits aggression and all other forms of injustice. Allāh exhorting Muslims to have military preparedness–(Qur’an; 3:199; 8:60) is not for offense/aggression but for defence.
If Islam had counseled that “its ultimate aim (is) the conquest of the entire world, in order to submit it to one single authority,” Muslims would not have devoted all their effort to the pursuit of knowledge and science for the benefit of all men and opened these doors of learning to students irrespective of race and religion and for free; they would have directed a portion, and probably a significant portion, of their endeavors to the develop-ment of devices of destruction and subjugation.
As jihad is the noble struggle against all forms of evil and injustice, it is expected that every honest individual rather than oppose jihad would embrace it. (Jihad dealt with fully in item #24).
130. Separation of State and Mosque. Founder of Islam. Mohammad making war. (p. 164): (As noted in item # 12). If Islam had intended a separation between the Masjid/Mosque and State, the Prophet would have instituted this.
As already stated, while knowledge may be grouped into two classes –spiritual and material– in Islam there is no secular knowledge: all knowledge is from Allah, God.
Jesus may have said “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and unto God the things which are God’s”–(Matt. 22:17). But it is a mistake to believe that Jesus was advocating a separation of Church and State. As the context shows (vv. 19-20), Jesus was exercising justice. It would have been interesting to note Jesus’ response if someone had said to him that the metal from which the coin was minted belong to God. It is hardly credible that if Jesus was ruler that he would have established a two-state system, rather than govern by the Ten Commandments as he was required by God to judge.
If Jesus was lording America (or any place else) for certain he would employ the Biblical law–killing homosexuals–(Lev. 20: 13); apostates–(Deut. 13:5-16; 17:2-5); witches–(Ex. 22:18); adulterers–(Lev. 20:10-12; Deut. 22:22; John 8:3-5); stubborn and rebellious sons–(Deut. 21:18-21; one who curses his mother or father–(Lev. 20:9); one who takes a wife and her mother–(Lev. 20: 14); one who messes with an animal–(Lev. 20:15-16); the blasphemer–(Lev. 24:11-16, 23); virgin-less brides–(Deut. 22:20-21); the bethrothed virgin who fools around with another man–(Deut. 22:23-24); enslave heathens–(Lev. 25:44-46); and bondage daughters–(Ex. 21:7).
Mohammad was not “the founder of Islam.” Islam is the nature in which Allāh, God, has made man, and the religion He has chosen for man–(Qur’an 30:30; 5:4). Mohammad was not a “military leader, making war.” Mohammad ebbed into war: war was forced upon him; he had no choice. Mohamamd's duty was only to preach the Divine Message. Had the rejecters of Faith not take up the sword they would not have lost their lives and their wealth would not have ended us as "booty."
131. Reasoning (p.166): Only Allāh, God, is “infallible;” and as the prophets of God do and say only as they are commanded, to this degree they also are “infallible.”
Since Islam is the religion for all time, no one can close “the gate of independent reasoning.” Not even the Prophet gave such a ruling that “the gate of independent reasoning” was closed: but in fact left this door wide open.
(Muhammad Ali has dealt at length with this subject
Ijtihad, “the third source from which the laws of Islam are drawn,” has its origin in the Qur’an itself, and in the Tradition of the Prophet. Allah calls on man in several places of the Qur’an to reflect, to understand, to be sensible. “Those who do not use their reasoning faculty are compared to animals, and spoken of as being deaf, dumb and blind”–(Qur’an 2:171; 7:179; 8:22); 25:44).” (The Religion Of Islam, p. 98)
“The exercise of judgment (ijtihad) is recognized in Tradition as the means by which a decision may be arrived at when there is no direction in the Qur’an or tradition. The following Tradition is regarded as the basis of Ijtihad in Islam: “On being appointed Governor of Yaman, Mu’adh was asked by the Prophet as to the rule by which he would abide. He replied, ‘By the law of the Qur’an.’ ‘But if you do not find direction therein,’ asked the Prophet. ‘Then I will act according to the practice (Sunnah) of the Prophet,’ was the reply. ‘But if you do not find any direction therein,’ he was again asked. ‘Then I will exercise my judgment (ajtahidu) and act on that,’ came the reply. The Prophet raised his hands and said: ‘Praise be to Allah who guides the mes-senger of His Apostle as he pleases,” (Abu Dawud, 23:11). This tradition shows not only that the Prophet approved of the exercise of judgment, but also that his Companions were well aware of the principle, and that reasoning or exercise of judgment by others was freely resorted to when necessary, even in the Prophet’s lifetime.” (Ibid. p. 99).
(During the rule of the Caliph ‘Umar) “When there was a difference of opinion, the decision of the majority was acted upon. Besides this council, there were great individual teachers, such as ‘Aishah, Ibn Abbas, Ibn ‘Umar and others whose opinion was highly revered. Decisions were given and laws made and promulgated subject only to the one condition that they were neither contrary to the Qur’an nor to the practice of the Prophet.”(Ibid. p. 100).
The Prophet Mohammad is reported to have said “The differences of my people are a mercy”–(J.S. p. 11)” (Ibid. p. 110). (Tragically, Muslims have denigrated this blessing into a curse –polarizing ourselves into sects, engaged in internecine wars, etc. Sectist Muslims, and who even kill other Muslims, must be the biggest maroons in creation to defy Allah and yet expect Allah to give us Jannah. See Islam-sectism among Muslims).
“The impression prevailing in the Muslim world at present that no one has the right, even in the light of the new circumstances which a thousand years of the world’s progress have brought about, to differ with the four Imams, is entirely a mistaken one. The right to differ with the highest of men below the Prophet is a Muslims’ birthright, and to take away that right is to stifle the very existence of Islam. …In fact, the closing of the door on the free exercise of judgment, and the tendency to stifle independence of thought which took hold of the Muslim world after the third century of Hijrah, was condemned by the Prophet himself who said: “The best of the generations is my generation, then the second and then the third; then will come a people in which there is no good”–(KU. VI, 2068)”
(The three generations referred to in the tradition) “refer to three centuries, the first century being the cen-tury of the Companions, since the last of them died at the end of the first century after the Prophet and the second and the third being those of the next two generations known as Tabi’in and taba’ Tabi’in. As a matter of fact, we find that while independence of thought was freely exercised in the first three centuries, and even Muhammad and Abu Yusuf, the immediate followers of Abu Hanifah, did not hesitate to differ with their great leader, rigidity became the rule thereafter with only rare exceptions. The time when independence of thought was not exercised is, therefore, denounced by the Prophet himself, as the time of a crooked company.” (Ibid; pp.115-116).
Allah the Gracious revealed that He created everything in the heavens and the earth for our use (and whose subjection and utility can only be achieved through knowledge). And the Prophet Mohammad, the magnanimous, taught us, (quoting from memory):
‘The superiority of the learned scholar over the pious worshipper
is as the superiority of the (full) moon over the stars.
If Muslims are not illuminated by this brilliant flame from the mighty Messenger of Allah, to explore the expanse of reason and progress, no other human being can brighten the density of our minds.
132. Criticisms of Islamic Law (p. 169-171): As shown, in the Qur’an, there is no “intolerance of pagans,” no “call to violence and murder,” no “lack of equality for women and non-Muslims,” no “acceptance of slavery,” no “barbaric punishments,” and no “contempt for human reason.”
To surmise that “The principles enshrined in the Koran are inimical to moral progress” is to betray ignorance of the teachings of the Qur’an. (p. 171).
7. Is Islam Compatible with Democracy and Human Rights?
133. Democracy in the Middle East (p. 172): (Ibn Warraq quotes King Fahd of Saudi Arabia as saying): “The Democratic system that is predominant in the world is not a suitable system for the peoples of our region …..The system of free elections is not suitable to our country.” And Warraq comments: “At least King Fahd has had the honesty to admit the incompatibility of Islam and democracy.”
But King Fahd made no such admission–King Fahd did not “admit the incompatibility of Islam and democracy,” as careful analysis of the King’s statement reveals. There are two separate points in the King’s statement: (1) that the prevailing democratic system is not a “suitable system for the people” of the Middle East; (2) that the “system of free elections” is not suitable for “our country,” Arabia. And the King is correct.
In the first part, the prevailing “democratic system” of separation of Church and State is not the Islamic system. And in the second part, the “system of free elections” is not suitable to Arabia, since the system in Arabia is one of “succession.”
Unless the King is not familiar with the teachings of Islam, it is doubtful that he would voice that Islam and democracy are in-compatible.
That Islam is “democracy” has been shown elsewhere.
It certainly is more rewarding and acceptable to have a leadership for life–Caliphate–that governs justly, according to the Qur’an, than to have term elections and a government that is crooked, lying, and unjust; or a government that governs on a policy based on friendship and/or alliances.
134. Woman–testimony is half that of a man’s (p. 173)–(Qur’an 2:282). This is so only in the area of business, as the verse clearly states. A woman’s testimony cannot be half of that of the man’s in every area of life. In Qur’an 24:6-9, (in the matter of the wife’s alleged infidelity) the testimony of the wife supersedes that of the husband’s; and no court would dare to assert that a man’s testimony in all matters is inferior to that of the wife’s, or that the testimony of a man is “worth half” (or less) that of a woman’s.
And a woman’s chastity is a more sensitive matter than a business transaction, and yet the woman’s testimony trumps the man’s.
Also, the Prophet Mohammad taught that after worship of Allāh the next in line for our service is our mother, and three times over before service to our father. And no critic would dare assert that a father’s worth is only one-quarter the worth of a mother.
135. Woman–movement restricted (p. 173): The Muslim woman’s movement is “strictly restricted” only to the degree of her personal safety. When we hear about women in modern “free” society –Britain, Germany, Canada, the U.S.– having to band together in “marches” to take back their neighborhood from rapist(s) and girls being preyed upon, one can greatly appreciate the wisdom of Islam that women not travel about (in certain unfamiliar areas) unescorted, by a male companion of her immediate family. (Even the Canadian government recognizes the danger to women traveling alone. The Toronto Star, Tuesday, February 28, 2012, p. A 10, carried the article by Richard J. Brennan, “National Affairs Writer,” titled: “Don’t forget to pack a fake husband, federal guide tells female travellers” which states that “Foreign Affairs Canada” encourages single women traveling by themselves abroad to wear a “fake wedding ring” and carry a picture of an “imaginary” husband [married women are to carry a picture of their husband] to ward off unwanted male attention. The travel guide is said to note that “women face greater obstacles [than men] when travelling alone”” And the Toronto Star Saturday, November 3, 2012 in the article Top 10 safety tips for women travellers by Evelyn Hannon, notes the vulnerability of women traveling alone). Even in local schools (and colleges) girls are molested, and perhaps raped and forced to perform oral sex on boys. (This difficulty can be eliminated in a well-secured all-female school). Women can go out by themselves to take care of their needs: “O women! You have been allowed by Allah to go out for your needs”–(Bokhari Vol. 7, #164). She can go to the cemetery–(Bokhari Vol. 2, #’s 368, 372; Abu Dawud Vol. 2, # 3161). There is no teaching against her offering the funeral prayer.
Significantly, the above statement by the Prophet that women are permitted to go out for their needs. What is to be considered is the background to which this statement was made. At the time of the Prophet’s marriage to Saudah –when this permission was given, before the Hijrah (the Prophets migration from Makkah to Madinah)–Islam was still besieged by the enemy; and thus, not safe for Muslim women, who were subjected to annoyance by the enemy, to be traveling alone. While this permission may still have had some restrictions, after the triumph of Islam (and in places of peace and security) this restriction would seem to be lifted. For women to obtain an education is definitely a “need.”
While there is probably no environment that is completely safe for a woman (or man), Islam has given severe punishment for violating a woman; which crime may fall under ‘mischief in the land’ and carries up to the maximum penalty of death–(ref; Qur’an 5:33). Muhammad Ali on this verse:
“The words used here imply originally all those opponents of Islam who waged war on the Muslims and made mischief in the land by causing loss to the life and property of innocent Muslims who fell into their hands. But it has generally been accepted as including all dacoits and murderers who cause disorder in a settled state of society. In fact, when war came to an end in Arabia and the kingdom of Islam was established over the whole peninsula, the enemies of Islam, being unable to oppose its authority openly, resorted to dacoity and murder to disturb the peace which was now established in the land. Hence, though it is such enemies that are primarily spoken of here, the words are general and include all cases of murder and dacoity.
The punishment described is of four kinds, which clearly shows that the punishment to be inflicted in any particular case would depend upon the circumstances of th