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Radical Islamism and Jihad

955 - COMMENTS

  • Islam gradually became a violent religion because of the interpretation of certain extremist scholars of Islam who according to the situaation of the time exhorted Muslims to take violent ways for the spread of Islam. One example is Tariq bin Ziyad's offensive in Spain where he went with the aim of imposing Islam with sword. They did not do any missionary work there before the conquest. They were therefore seen as outsiders who had captured their land and imposed their rrligion by force. This factor played an important role in the exit of Islam in Sapin after five or so centuries and with the last ruler being driven out, Islam was totally driven out of Spain because they did not adop Islamic meithods to spread the teachings of Islam. Today we vociferously insist that Islam did not spread withe sword. But the example of Spain negates our claim. By s. arshad - 5/22/2018 7:23:18 AM



  • Good article and very practical suggestions from Mr Shahin. He is pointed out the basis of the distortion of Quranic principles of peace and peaceful co existence. By s. arshad - 5/21/2018 10:02:09 PM



  • language of the religious texts is almost as bad as the language used by mr. naseer ahmad in their support.

    exegesis can be only as good or as bad as the source texts.

    if your source texts are bigoted and inflammatory, the exegesis of such texts cannot be otherwise.

    but only allah noes best.
    By hats off! - 3/9/2018 6:20:42 AM



  • Sultan Shahin sahib’s latest comment to Mr. Naseer is worth focusing. 

    I agree that critical and objective approach to any scholar of the past is most welcome and that the “use of insulting, contemptuous language for the revered scholars” is not good. 

    By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي - 3/9/2018 4:57:20 AM



  • To Sultan Shahin
    You should prove logically with the freedom you got from your father that how Islam is best.

    Because if have choose Islam on research based  relgion than you have to make comparative analysis of your choosen relgion and others you have not choose.

    Why you have not chosen is very important because if one relgion has been supported superior and trying to establish superiority publicly by useing website than what is pitfall of other relgion in Sultan Shahin point of view has to be explained.
    By Aayina - 3/8/2018 3:42:46 PM



  • Calling those with a different opinion bigoted is a simplistic and egotistic approach that taints Naseer sab's claims to being a "scholar".

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 3/8/2018 12:35:26 PM



  • Shahin sb,

     How did kafir come to mean disbeliever in the post classical period except through bigotry of the scholars? How did fitna come to mean shirk? How did Shuhuda come to mean martyr? How did fight to end persecution become fight to end shirk? It takes some effort and bigotry to distort the meaning of words and verses.

    You are free to revere the imams and scholars and denigrate the Quran instead. The Book is clear, lucid and poses no problem if taken literally. It is rejecting the literal meaning by the scholars and their fanciful interpretations employing verbal acrobatics which is the problem. However, my clearing up the confusion caused by them appears to you as verbal acrobatics. Strange indeed!

    By Naseer Ahmed - 3/8/2018 4:58:41 AM



  • Naseer Saheb, you say "However, in this forum, when I criticise such scholarship, it is strongly defended by of all people, Shahin sb and Yunus sb!"
    I am myself the biggest critic of the scholarship of past and present. So is Yunus Saheb. You only have to read our articles. However, what I criticise is not your criticism but your denigration,  use of  insulting, contemptuous  language for these revered scholars. These scholars of the past spent a lifetime in the service of Islam. Most of them spent time in prison, sticking to their ideas. Some like Imam ibn e Taimiya even died in prison. Some like Imam Abu Hanifa, refused high positions with the government of the day, calling them corrupt, which they were. How can I remain silent when they are being called bigots etc on New Age Islam. I criticise them myself and don't agree with many of their views. But why can't we maintain a decorum, while debating issues? Why do we have to badmouth people we don't agree with. Insults hurled at ideological opponents do not add to the strength of our arguments. They only take away from the validity of our arguments. 
    We have had these discussions several times. The first thing that distinguishes a scholar is his humility. The more you know the more you realise your own ignorance. This inevitably makes you humble. But your case is bewildering. I cannot say that you are not knowledgeable about the subject you are discussing. However, you are not prepared to review your position even when you have no answers to questions posed. For instance, I asked you recently some questions pertaining to the inoperability of your  methodology, when verses came piecemeal and primarily addressing illiterate Bedouins of Arabia. 

    See  By Sultan Shahin - 3/7/2018 12:54:08 AM 

    But you have simply ignored the basic premise and taken off at a tangent in another direction. 
    You must understand that even Quran dared not go on its social reform issue beyond a point. Slavery and concubinage were never banned, though Quran gave every indication that these were bad practices. Similarly women's status was never defined as equal to man's in clear, unequivocal terms. Indications were given. The seventh century Arabia was not prepared for this. 
    Clearly we have to go beyond literal instructions in Quran, follow its guidance, and chart our own course in the spirit of peace and pluralism in the foundational verses of Qur'an that were revealed in Mecca before the exigencies of war took over. 
    Also, why should you consider hypocrite/apostate those who want to ignore xenophobic wartime verses and not those who consider abrogated the verses teaching peace and pluralism? Not that I want you to do that. I vehemently oppose use of takfiri language. Your own conclusions seem to go against takfirism, but perhaps not against "apostatisation" and "hypocritisation". 
    Let us agree to make a civilised debate. The issues are critical for the very survival of Muslims as honourable citizens in over a hundred countries. 
    We have to also make certain that minorities in Muslim-majority nations are allowed to live as first class citizens in the same way as non-Muslim majority nations treat Muslims. Take the Indian Constitution. By and large, this should be considered an ideal constitution for all Muslim countries. 

    How do we tweak our theology to allow for that. Not by a literal reading of Quran or even what you call logical derivatives of meanings in a literalist manner. But by applying our common sense. Ijtihad should mean going forward, not going back to seventh century, as Ibn e Taimiya and Mohammad Abdul Wahhab did. It's forward looking, progressive Muslims who will save Islam and Muslims of today and take them to a better future, not Muslims who insist on a literal reading and universality of all verses of Quran without reference to context. 
    By Sultan Shahin - 3/8/2018 2:26:22 AM



  • Shahin sb,

    The proper way to fight the tradionalist/extremist/bigot is not to imitate them which is to fall into a trap. In a war of abrogation and misinterpretation, the tradionalist/extremist/bigot is way ahead and has all the ulema, imams, muftis of the past and present on their side. The way to fight them is to expose their hypocrisy and distortion of the message as I have been doing. However, in this forum, when I criticise such scholarship, it is strongly defended by of all people, Shahin sb and Yunus sb!

    I have shown that the so called “sword verses” by themselves, without considering any context outside of the Quran, or any other verse, gives a message of compassion, reconciliation and accommodation and is consistent with the rest of the Quran. No part of the Quran promotes mindless violence. When no verse of the Quran contradicts another, where is the case for treating any verse as abrogated? The verses that you would like to be ignored have been considered by me in formulating the “Principles of war in Islam”. What part of this do you find irrelevant for the 21st century?

    The Principles of War from the Quran

    By Naseer Ahmed - 3/7/2018 10:38:50 PM



  • I agree fully with Sultan Shahin sahib. In order to determine how best to read the Quran, to reject the theory of abrogation and to identify the verses which form the core of Islam we need the intervention of modern rational man.
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 3/7/2018 11:49:30 AM



  • how sly and oily! truely islamic!

    how smoothly with all the flair of a street corner juggler, mr. naseer ahmed makes devilish use of the forward slash by mischievously writing "hypocrite/apostate"!

    that is the epitome of islamic creed - hatred for the apostate or the kaffir.

    as kaffirs have started revolting, he wants us to believe that kufr is not kufr and a kafir is not a kafir.

    now his latest trick is the "hypocrite/apostate" equality. so any muslim who cannot really bring himself or herself to believe cock and bull stories is an automatic "hypocrite/apostate". being the computer guy he is he should have instead used the backward slash escape character.

    i am starting to wonder if IIT lobotomizes its students.
    By hats off! - 3/7/2018 2:47:13 AM



  • "Those who advocate ignoring any part of the Quran will be ignored as apostates and hypocrites by those who wish to follow the Quran faithfully."
    On the contrary, those who consider all 124 peaceful, pluralistic Makkan verses of Quran having been abrogated by the one so-called sword verse 9:5 alone are the mainstream true Muslims, revered by all. The entire terror industry is based on ignoring these verses, the argument being that they had come to guide Muslims when they were weak and very few in number. 
    I just don't think you can consider wartime verses applicable to Muslims today and fight this war. Remember, the first Muslims, called the Salaf, themselves gave primacy to Madinan verses of war and relegated the Makkan verses of peace and pluralism to the end of Quran. They themselves destroyed the chronology, apparently out of the belief that these verses are like couplets in an Urdu ghazal, complete in their meaning, not dependent on the context. When Quran was being revealed, verse by verse, or a few verses at a time, the whole book was not available for Muslims to logically derive meanings from a reading of other verses that were yet to come. None of the immediate audience of the Prophet was a 21st century mathematician or logician to read meanings of these verses in a logical manner. These were simple folk to whom Quran revealed instructions in simple, uncomplicated language. Of course, some verses were allegorical in nature and they were told not to worry about understanding them right away. But wartime verses of Madina or peacetime verses of Makka are simple, straight forward instructions that contradict each other.
     It seems Muslims through the ages, starting from immediately after the Prophet's time, or probably while he was still alive, have chosen to consider the last instructions of God as more valid, and as having abrogated the first instructions. God had himself told them that he replaces previous instructions with better ones. 
    I think today if we want to live in the present world, we should change this understanding, not by verbal acrobatics, or so-called logical deduction of meanings of clear verses, but by declaring that seventh century wartime verses are not applicable to us today.
    By Sultan Shahin - 3/7/2018 12:54:08 AM



  • Shahin sb,

     The failure is of Islamic theology that while it gave us the five pillars and the six articles of faith, it has failed to codify the Islamic principles of war and the principles for maintaining inter-faith relations and gender related issues. The remedy lies in filling this gap and not in ignoring any of the verses.  Those who advocate ignoring any part of the Quran will be ignored as apostates and hypocrites by those who wish to follow the Quran faithfully.

     2:85 Then is it only a part of the Book that ye believe in, and do ye reject the rest? but what is the reward for those among you who behave like this but disgrace in this life?- and on the Day of Judgment they shall be consigned to the most grievous penalty. For Allah is not unmindful of what ye do.

    (47:24) Do they not then earnestly seek to understand the Qur´an, or are their hearts locked up by them?(25) Those who turn back as apostates after Guidance was clearly shown to them,- the Evil One has instigated them and busied them up with false hopes.(26) This, because they said to those who hate what Allah has revealed, "We will obey you in part of (this) matter"; but Allah knows their (inner) secrets.

     There can be no dispute that the principles underlying every verse are of eternal relevance. The solution lies in extracting those principles and living by them. I have covered these in my articles:

     The Principles of War from the Quran

     Islam's Relationship With The Rest Of The Word - The Current Problem Of Extremism In A False Ideology And The Antidote From An Authentic Understanding Of The Truly Humanistic Message Of The Quran

     The problem with the bigoted and sub-standard Islamic scholarship is that they have corrupted the meaning of the Quran by corrupting the meaning of the words which is what prevents the clear principles from emerging which is what must be set right. Islamic scholars will have to answer to the following;

     How and when did kafir come to mean disbeliever?

    How did Shuhuda become martyr?

    How did fitna come to mean shirk itself?

    How did the permission to fight the persecutors become permission to fight to end disbelief?

    ….and many more questions.

     For the young (full of idealism and eagerness to follow Islam), if the only choice that they have, is to follow the path of the tradionalist/extremist/bigot or the path of the apostate/hypocrite, many will choose the former as they have done till now. The path of the hypocrite/apostate was always open to them from the times of the Prophet (pbuh) and many were/are hypocrites/apostates. That is nothing new. To wean the idealistic youth away from the path of the tradionalist/extremist/bigot, the alternative must be a demonstrably authentic version of Islam that makes the tradionalist/extremist/bigot look like the misguided people that they are. Fortunately, Islam is fundamentally and literally a religion of peace believing in peaceful co-existence with the rest of the people and the task is therefore easy and straight forward if the people are honest and straight forward.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 3/6/2018 11:27:31 PM



  • Naseer Saheb, I agree with you fully on all points in both these comments. But the issue is how do we convince Muslims who are joining these groups in droves. Obviously, they have their own narrative which is powerful enough to convince many people. As long as we keep saying that all verses of war are applicable to us today, I don't see any way of stopping this mischief, as you put it. Inapplicability of war instructions after the war is over may possibly sound commonsensical enough to convince people. This happens in every war. Instructions are no longer valid once the war is over. Please rethink the issue of applicability and universality of all verses including the contextual.  By Sultan Shahin - 3/6/2018 4:38:58 AM



  • Shahin Sb,

    War can be waged only by a ruler of a country and not by non-state actors.

    The verses on qital did not even apply to the Muslims who had stayed behind in Mecca and applied only to those Muslims who were with the Prophet in Medina.

    No prophet was allowed to wage war unless he was also a ruler with a people and territory under his rule.

    War by non-state actors is mischief and nothing else.
    By Naseer Ahmed - 3/5/2018 11:26:46 PM



  • Shahin sb,

    India is a secular country and the Muslims have no problem practicing their religion and living a peaceful life. Where is the oppression?

     There is a political dispute in Kashmir which can be settled only through a political solution. It cannot be settled through war/civil war, acts of terrorism. India is not an invader/occupier. Pakistan is both an invader and occupier of a part of Kashmir.

     Jesus Christ was a prophet in a land occupied and ruled by the Romans. There was no command to fight the ruler and overthrow the Romans.

     Does verse 4:75 " And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)?- Men, women, and children, whose cry is: "Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will protect; and raise for us from thee one who will help!"", describe the people of Kashmir? Not even by a long shot! The people of Kashmir enjoy several immunities not available to any other people in the rest of the country. They are a privileged lot compared to the rest of the country. The GOI is open to a peaceful settlement of the dispute without giving up its sovereignty over the territory. How is sovereignty over the land an issue in Islam? How does a just sovereign become an oppressor? The state is a victim of the mischief mongering by the organizations you mentioned in your comment.

     The division of the country based on religion, was the biggest injustice. How was it legitimate for the country to be ruled by the Muslims when they were a minority and why couldn't the Muslims live under the rule of the majority in a democracy? Why are the Muslims blind to their own oppressive injustices?

    By Naseer Ahmed - 3/5/2018 11:19:46 PM



  • Naseer Saheb, Thanks for the lengthy explanation. One more question that has been bothering me is your view of the universal applicability of the Holy Quran’s verses of war, even dissociation from and killing of Mushrikin as ordered in Surah Taubah (chapter 9 of the Holy Quran), etc, and rush to the rescue of those they consider oppressed. 

    I am writing in the context of the following comments you made in this thread (given below). 

    The question in my  mind emanates from the fact that the same analysis, the same interpretation, or the same understanding of the universality of these verses are peddled ad nauseam by Lashkar-e-Taiyyaba and other Pakistani terrorist organisations while fund-raising in Pakistan for their Qital in Kashmir. Hafiz Saeed and others like him say precisely the same things and quote precisely the same verses repeatedly in their speeches. 

    Obviously a large number of Muslims believe in their analysis and give them funds or physically participate in Qital in Kashmir on the basis of this analysis.

    So if these verses have universal applicability, how can we call them wrong; after all, whether or not oppression prevails in a place is a subjective judgement. If we allow universal applicability of war-time verses in Surah Tauba, Surah Anfal, etc., are we not encouraging terrorism and qital in the world today? Just as Pakistani terrorist organisations use these verses in the context of qital in Kashmir, ISIS, Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda, etc. use them in a global context. 

    There was a war in Arabia in he Prophet’s time, and there was God in direct communication with the Prophet to give instructions on the basis of His judgement whether there was oppression or not. Every Muslim accepted God’s judgement. Now how do we find a universally accepted mode of judging whether there is oppression in some part of the world, necessitating Muslims from around the world to rush to the rescue of the oppressed in that part of the world? Were those 30,000 Muslims who rushed to join ISIS in its Qital in Iraq and Syria and Europe in just one year correct in their reading of these verses and their import? Why should they accept the judgement of people like you and me who may not think that the situation in Kashmir or Middle East or Africa or Europe does not necessitate qital?


    Excerpts from your comments that inspired these questions:


    “Isn’t qital (warfare) when appropriate a good deed? And isn’t avoiding qital when it becomes necessary as was the case when the Prophet was fighting battles a sign of kufr? … A momin does what is appropriate in each circumstance.  … A momin is a person of faith who does whatever is likely to please Allah the most and avoid that which displeases Allah.”

    By Naseer Ahmed - 2/7/2018 1:53:59 AM

    ——-


    “Show me any verse that qualifies in any manner, the literal meaning of Q. 4:76 and say precisely how the verse would be modified by a different context:

    (Q. 4:76) The Amanu fight in the cause of Allah, and the kafaru Fight in the cause of Evil: So fight ye against the friends of Satan: feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan.

    If you cannot show that, then the verse is independent of its context. This verse could have appeared in the context of any war, whether of the Prophet’s times or earlier times and is relevant even today and for all time to come. …

    (4:75) And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)?- Men, women, and children, whose cry is: "Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will protect; and raise for us from thee one who will help!"

    The Quran uses Kafaru for the believers engaged in acts of Kufr and therefore I have no hesitation in calling the oppressors kafir irrespective of the faith they profess. 

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/14/2018 11:36:27 PM

    —-


    By Sultan Shahin - 3/5/2018 2:47:35 AM



  • Shahin Sb,

     The word Mubeen occurs 38 times in the Quran in different contexts. Reading these verses, the correct meaning of Mubeen can be understood even if you do not know Arabic. It has been translated by Yusuf Ali as:

    clear, manifest, plain, evident, obvious, perspicuous. It also means irrefutable, beyond doubt. The Quran is also described as a Book without crookedness (18:1, 39:28), without discrepancy (4:82) and internally consistent (39:23).

     The Book is a testimony to, and proof of Allah’s Oneness or Tauheed

    The Book is a testimony and proof of Allah’s attribute of Oneness or Tauheed. The proof is in the fact that every word/verse has a single clear meaning which can be ascertained beyond doubt through an analysis of all related verses. If the correct meaning is made manifestly clear, any other interpretation is then also manifestly erroneous.

    How does one go about ascertaining the clear meaning? The answer lies in the methodology that one follows. It is easy to agree to a methodology and if all people follow the same methodology, they will converge to the same clear meaning. The problem with Islamic scholarship is that it does not employ logic and reason. If I am not mistaken, logic and reason are shunned by the Islamic scholars and therefore all arguments based on logic and reason falls on deaf ears. The contradictions that their understanding creates does not bother them at all!

     Human nature rebels against Tauheed in different forms.

    (39:45) When Allah, the One and Only, is mentioned, the hearts of those who believe not in the Hereafter are filled with disgust and horror; but when (gods) other than He are mentioned, behold, they are filled with joy!

    For this reason, the hearts of Muslims are filled with disgust and horror when somebody speaks about a methodology that helps converge to a single meaning. They want their freedom to “interpret” and take their own meanings!

     Verses containing the word Mubeen

     لَقَدْ مَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذْ بَعَثَ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًا مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُوا مِن

     قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ               

    (3:164) Allah did confer a great favour on the believers when He sent among them a messenger from among themselves, rehearsing unto them the Signs of Allah, sanctifying them, and instructing them in Scripture and Wisdom, while, before that, they had been in manifest error.        

    ۞ وَعِندَهُ مَفَاتِحُ الْغَيْبِ لَا يَعْلَمُهَا إِلَّا هُوَ ۚ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ ۚ وَمَا تَسْقُطُ مِن وَرَقَةٍ إِلَّا يَعْلَمُهَا وَلَا حَبَّةٍ فِي ظُلُمَاتِ الْأَرْضِ وَلَا رَطْبٍ وَلَا يَابِسٍ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ              

     (6:59) With Him are the keys of the unseen, the treasures that none knoweth but He. He knoweth whatever there is on the earth and in the sea. Not a leaf doth fall but with His knowledge: there is not a grain in the darkness (or depths) of the earth, nor anything fresh or dry (green or withered), but is (inscribed) in a record clear (to those who can read).               

    ۞ وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ لِأَبِيهِ آزَرَ أَتَتَّخِذُ أَصْنَامًا آلِهَةً ۖ إِنِّي أَرَاكَ وَقَوْمَكَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ     

    (6:74) Lo! Abraham said to his father Azar: "Takest thou idols for gods? For I see thee and thy people in manifest error." 

    قَالَ الْمَلَأُ مِن قَوْمِهِ إِنَّا لَنَرَاكَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ              

    (7:60) The leaders of his people said: "Ah! we see thee evidently wandering (in mind)." 

    وَمَا تَكُونُ فِي شَأْنٍ وَمَا تَتْلُو مِنْهُ مِن قُرْآنٍ وَلَا تَعْمَلُونَ مِنْ عَمَلٍ إِلَّا كُنَّا عَلَيْكُمْ شُهُودًا إِذْ تُفِيضُونَ فِيهِ ۚ وَمَا يَعْزُبُ عَن رَّبِّكَ مِن مِّثْقَالِ ذَرَّةٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِي السَّمَاءِ وَلَا أَصْغَرَ مِن ذَٰلِكَ وَلَا أَكْبَرَ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ              

    (10:61) In whatever business thou mayest be, and whatever portion thou mayest be reciting from the Qur´an,- and whatever deed ye (mankind) may be doing,- We are witnesses thereof when ye are deeply engrossed therein. Nor is hidden from thy Lord (so much as) the weight of an atom on the earth or in heaven. And not the least and not the greatest of these things but are recorded in a clear record.          

    ۞ وَمَا مِن دَابَّةٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلَّا عَلَى اللَّهِ رِزْقُهَا وَيَعْلَمُ مُسْتَقَرَّهَا وَمُسْتَوْدَعَهَا ۚ كُلٌّ فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ              

    (11:6) There is no moving creature on earth but its sustenance dependeth on Allah: He knoweth the time and place of its definite abode and its temporary deposit: All is in a clear Record.        

    وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا مُوسَىٰ بِآيَاتِنَا وَسُلْطَانٍ مُّبِينٍ  

    (11:96) And we sent Moses, with Our Clear (Signs) and an authority manifest,     11

    إِذْ قَالُوا لَيُوسُفُ وَأَخُوهُ أَحَبُّ إِلَىٰ أَبِينَا مِنَّا وَنَحْنُ عُصْبَةٌ إِنَّ أَبَانَا لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ        

    (12:8) They said: "Truly Joseph and his brother are loved more by our father than we: But we are a goodly body! really our father is obviously wandering (in his mind)!

    ۞ وَقَالَ نِسْوَةٌ فِي الْمَدِينَةِ امْرَأَتُ الْعَزِيزِ تُرَاوِدُ فَتَاهَا عَن نَّفْسِهِ ۖ قَدْ شَغَفَهَا حُبًّا ۖ إِنَّا لَنَرَاهَا فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ  

    (12:30) Ladies said in the City: "The wife of the (great) ´Aziz is seeking to seduce her slave from his (true) self: Truly hath he inspired her with violent love: we see she is evidently going astray."       

    ۞ قَالَتْ رُسُلُهُمْ أَفِي اللَّهِ شَكٌّ فَاطِرِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ يَدْعُوكُمْ لِيَغْفِرَ لَكُم مِّن ذُنُوبِكُمْ وَيُؤَخِّرَكُمْ إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى ۚ قَالُوا إِنْ أَنتُمْ إِلَّا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُنَا تُرِيدُونَ أَن تَصُدُّونَا عَمَّا كَانَ يَعْبُدُ آبَاؤُنَا فَأْتُونَا بِسُلْطَانٍ مُّبِينٍ     

    (14:10) Their messengers said: "Is there a doubt about Allah, The Creator of the heavens and the earth? It is He Who invites you, in order that He may forgive you your sins and give you respite for a term appointed!" They said: "Ah! ye are no more than human, like ourselves! Ye wish to turn us away from the (gods) our fathers used to worship: then bring us some clear authority." 

    بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ الر ۚ تِلْكَ آيَاتُ الْكِتَابِ وَقُرْآنٍ مُّبِينٍ    

    (15:1) A. L. R. These are the Ayats of Revelation,- of a Qur´an that makes things clear.      

    فَانتَقَمْنَا مِنْهُمْ وَإِنَّهُمَا لَبِإِمَامٍ مُّبِينٍ             

    (15:79) So We exacted retribution from them. They were both on an open highway, plain to see.              

    أَسْمِعْ بِهِمْ وَأَبْصِرْ يَوْمَ يَأْتُونَنَا ۖ لَٰكِنِ الظَّالِمُونَ الْيَوْمَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ            

    (19:38) How plainly will they see and hear, the Day that they will appear before Us! but the unjust today are in error manifest!           

    قَالَ لَقَدْ كُنتُمْ أَنتُمْ وَآبَاؤُكُمْ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ

    (21:54) He said, "Indeed ye have been in manifest error - ye and your fathers."

    ثُمَّ أَرْسَلْنَا مُوسَىٰ وَأَخَاهُ هَارُونَ بِآيَاتِنَا وَسُلْطَانٍ مُّبِينٍ 

    (23:45) Then We sent Moses and his brother Aaron, with Our Signs and authority manifest,         

    قَالَ أَوَلَوْ جِئْتُكَ بِشَيْءٍ مُّبِينٍ     

    (26:30) (Moses) said: "Even if I showed you something clear (and) convincing?"  

    تَاللَّهِ إِن كُنَّا لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ    

    (26:97) "´By Allah, we were truly in an error manifest,    

    بِلِسَانٍ عَرَبِيٍّ مُّبِينٍ    

    (26:195) In the perspicuous Arabic tongue.         

    بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ طس ۚ تِلْكَ آيَاتُ الْقُرْآنِ وَكِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ 

    (27:1) These are verses of the Qur´an,-a book that makes (things) clear; 

    لَأُعَذِّبَنَّهُ عَذَابًا شَدِيدًا أَوْ لَأَذْبَحَنَّهُ أَوْ لَيَأْتِيَنِّي بِسُلْطَانٍ مُّبِينٍ        

    (27:21) "I will certainly punish him with a severe penalty, or execute him, unless he bring me a clear reason (for absence)."          27

    وَمَا مِنْ غَائِبَةٍ فِي السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ   

    (27:75) Nor is there aught of the unseen, in heaven or earth, but is (recorded) in a clear record. 

    إِنَّ الَّذِي فَرَضَ عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْآنَ لَرَادُّكَ إِلَىٰ مَعَادٍ ۚ قُل رَّبِّي أَعْلَمُ مَن جَاءَ بِالْهُدَىٰ وَمَنْ هُوَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ      

    (28:85) Verily He Who ordained the Qur´an for thee, will bring thee back to the Place of Return. Say: "My Lord knows best who it is that brings true guidance, and who is in manifest error."   

    هَٰذَا خَلْقُ اللَّهِ فَأَرُونِي مَاذَا خَلَقَ الَّذِينَ مِن دُونِهِ ۚ بَلِ الظَّالِمُونَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ           

    (31:11) Such is the Creation of Allah: now show Me what is there that others besides Him have created: nay, but the Transgressors are in manifest error.       

    وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَا تَأْتِينَا السَّاعَةُ ۖ قُلْ بَلَىٰ وَرَبِّي لَتَأْتِيَنَّكُمْ عَالِمِ الْغَيْبِ ۖ لَا يَعْزُبُ عَنْهُ مِثْقَالُ ذَرَّةٍ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَلَا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا أَصْغَرُ مِن ذَٰلِكَ وَلَا أَكْبَرُ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ     

    (34:3) The Unbelievers say, "Never to us will come the Hour": Say, "Nay! but most surely, by my Lord, it will come upon you;- by Him Who knows the unseen,- from Whom is not hidden the least little atom in the heavens or on earth: Nor is there anything less than that, or greater, but is in the Record Perspicuous:

    ۞ قُلْ مَن يَرْزُقُكُم مِّنَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ قُلِ اللَّهُ ۖ وَإِنَّا أَوْ إِيَّاكُمْ لَعَلَىٰ هُدًى أَوْ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ

    (34:24) Say: "Who gives you sustenance, from the heavens and the earth?" Say: "It is Allah; and certain it is that either we or ye are on right guidance or in manifest error!"      

    إِنَّا نَحْنُ نُحْيِي الْمَوْتَىٰ وَنَكْتُبُ مَا قَدَّمُوا وَآثَارَهُمْ ۚ وَكُلَّ شَيْءٍ أَحْصَيْنَاهُ فِي إِمَامٍ مُّبِينٍ     

    (36:12) Verily We shall give life to the dead, and We record that which they send before and that which they leave behind, and of all things have We taken account in a clear Book (of evidence).   

    إِنِّي إِذًا لَّفِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ             

    (36:24) "I would indeed, if I were to do so, be in manifest Error. 

    وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ أَنفِقُوا مِمَّا رَزَقَكُمُ اللَّهُ قَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَنُطْعِمُ مَن لَّوْ يَشَاءُ اللَّهُ أَطْعَمَهُ إِنْ أَنتُمْ إِلَّا فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ     

    (36:47) And when they are told, "Spend ye of (the bounties) with which Allah has provided you," the Unbelievers say to those who believe: "Shall we then feed those whom, if Allah had so willed, He would have fed, (Himself)?- Ye are in nothing but manifest error."      

    أَفَمَن شَرَحَ اللَّهُ صَدْرَهُ لِلْإِسْلَامِ فَهُوَ عَلَىٰ نُورٍ مِّن رَّبِّهِ ۚ فَوَيْلٌ لِّلْقَاسِيَةِ قُلُوبُهُم مِّن ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ       

    (39:22) Is one whose heart Allah has opened to Islam, so that he has received Enlightenment from Allah, (no better than one hard-hearted)? Woe to those whose hearts are hardened against celebrating the praises of Allah! they are manifestly wandering (in error)!              

    وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا مُوسَىٰ بِآيَاتِنَا وَسُلْطَانٍ مُّبِينٍ  

    (40:23) Of old We sent Moses, with Our Signs and an authority manifest,              

    أَفَأَنتَ تُسْمِعُ الصُّمَّ أَوْ تَهْدِي الْعُمْيَ وَمَن كَانَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ     

    (40:43) Canst thou then make the deaf to hear, or give direction to the blind or to such as (wander) in manifest error?

    فَارْتَقِبْ يَوْمَ تَأْتِي السَّمَاءُ بِدُخَانٍ مُّبِينٍ       

    (44:10) Then watch thou for the Day that the sky will bring forth a kind of smoke (or mist) plainly visible,

    وَأَن لَّا تَعْلُوا عَلَى اللَّهِ ۖ إِنِّي آتِيكُم بِسُلْطَانٍ مُّبِينٍ         

    (44:19) "And be not arrogant as against Allah: for I come to you with authority manifest.

    وَمَن لَّا يُجِبْ دَاعِيَ اللَّهِ فَلَيْسَ بِمُعْجِزٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَيْسَ لَهُ مِن دُونِهِ أَوْلِيَاءُ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ       

    (46:32) "If any does not hearken to the one who invites (us) to Allah, he cannot frustrate (Allah´s Plan) on earth, and no protectors can he have besides Allah: such men (wander) in manifest error."

    وَفِي مُوسَىٰ إِذْ أَرْسَلْنَاهُ إِلَىٰ فِرْعَوْنَ بِسُلْطَانٍ مُّبِينٍ        

    (51:38) And in Moses (was another Sign): Behold, We sent him to Pharaoh, with authority manifest.        

    أَمْ لَهُمْ سُلَّمٌ يَسْتَمِعُونَ فِيهِ ۖ فَلْيَأْتِ مُسْتَمِعُهُم بِسُلْطَانٍ مُّبِينٍ    

    (52:38) Or have they a ladder, by which they can (climb up to heaven and) listen (to its secrets)? Then let (such a) listener of theirs produce a manifest proof.        

    هُوَ الَّذِي بَعَثَ فِي الْأُمِّيِّينَ رَسُولًا مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُوا مِن قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ

    (62:2) It is He Who has sent amongst the Unlettered a messenger from among themselves, to rehearse to them His Signs, to sanctify them, and to instruct them in Scripture and Wisdom,- although they had been, before, in manifest error;-  

    قُلْ هُوَ الرَّحْمَٰنُ آمَنَّا بِهِ وَعَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْنَا ۖ فَسَتَعْلَمُونَ مَنْ هُوَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ  

    (67:29) Say: "He is (Allah) Most Gracious: We have believed in Him, and on Him have we put our trust: So, soon will ye know which (of us) it is that is in manifest error."             

    By Naseer Ahmed - 3/4/2018 11:32:23 PM



  • I think Naseer Saheb you should carry on with the interesting and enlightening series  “The Quran, Islamic Theology, Philosophy and the Sciences” – specially interesting topics such as:

     Misunderstanding of “The Attributes of Allah.” Some things that are not appreciated in the present, may be understood in the future. This has happened in history several times.

    I think any book that claims to be universal must be written in a language that can be understood by different people of different intellectual levels  in different ages differently and all those understandings should be considered valid. One needs to dispute them only when these understandings lead to violence or gender inequality, segregation, exclusion, etc., things that are detrimental to society. But one can have a dialogue, seeking to understand any ideas that claim to be new and unique. 

    By the way, Naseer Saheb, what exactly do you understand from Quran being kitabum Mubin. Are we making a mistake in translating it as a book whose meaning is clear?

    By Sultan Shahin - 3/4/2018 6:38:13 AM



  • Shahin sb,

    Some of the misunderstood verses on account of the state of knowledge in the first few centuries of Islam, and the articles, in which I have covered these, are as follows:

    The false belief in an immortal soul, Alam-e-arwah, alam-e-barzakh etc.

    (7:172) When thy Lord drew forth from the Children of Adam - from their loins - their descendants, and made them testify concerning themselves, (saying): "Am I not your Lord (who cherishes and sustains you)?"- They said: "Yea! We do testify!" (This), lest ye should say on the Day of Judgment: "Of this we were never mindful":

    The above verse for example, is explained as the souls of all having been gathered in Alam-e-Arwah and made to testify, whereas it speaks of the seed of the Children of Adam proceeding from their loins or of genetic memory, or the instinct to believe in God as the cherisher and sustainer that every human being is born with.

     The Quran, Islamic Theology, Philosophy and the Sciences – On Soul and the Creation of Man (Part 2)

     The Parable of the Lamp and Allah’s Light

    (24:35) Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The Parable of His Light is as if there were a Niche and within it a Lamp: the Lamp enclosed in Glass: the glass as it were a brilliant star: Lit from a blessed Tree, an Olive, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil is well-nigh luminous, though fire scarce touched it: Light upon Light! Allah doth guide whom He will to His Light: Allah doth set forth Parables for men: and Allah doth know all things.

    What do the metaphors mean?

    An Exposition of the Verse of Light (Ayat al-Nur)

     All living beings are composed of water as a major ingredient. This is established by science but even Hazrat Umar (RA) is reported to have commented that he did not understand it:

    (24:45) And Allah has created every animal from water: of them there are some that creep on their bellies; some that walk on two legs; and some that walk on four. Allah creates what He wills for verily Allah has power over all things.

    (25:54) It is He Who has created man from water: then has He established relationships of lineage and marriage: for thy Lord has power (over all things).

    The Quranic challenge

    (2:23) And if ye are in doubt as to what We have revealed from time to time to Our servant, then produce a Sura like thereunto; and call your witnesses or helpers (If there are any) besides Allah, if your (doubts) are true. (24) But if ye cannot- and of a surety ye cannot- then fear the Fire whose fuel is men and stones,- which is prepared for those who reject Faith.

    (17:88) Say: "If the whole of mankind and Jinns were to gather together to produce the like of this Qur´an, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they backed up each other with help and support.

     The Quranic challenge was misunderstood as confined to its linguistic excellence also which is prima-facie, ridiculous. This is covered in my article:

    Science and Religion

                        Limitations of the Quran

    The Quran does not contain all the signs of Allah. These are found in what God has created which must be studied to understand God and the Quran better. Pursuit of the Sciences is as important as reading of the Quran. A Muslim without knowledge of the world and the sciences can only have an imperfect understanding of the Quran. The pursuit of Science is also Zikr Allah and celebrating His praises.

     The Quran, Islamic Theology, Philosophy And The Sciences - What Is God And How Do We Go About Trying To Know God Better? (Part 1)

     I had planned to cover more of such topics under the series  “The Quran, Islamic Theology, Philosophy and the Sciences” – interesting topics such as:

     Misunderstanding of “The Attributes of Allah”. Imam Ghazali is guilty of purveying a major misunderstanding of the “Omnipotence” attribute of Allah. To him omnipotence appears to mean that Allah is not subject to any law whereas Allah makes Himself subject to His own Word or Law which He declares He never changes. Ghazali’s Allah can therefore be a capricious God which is why for a Muslim, misunderstanding the Quran with scores of contradictions, is not a problem at all. To a Muslim, God can say anything – even contradict Himself! The major difference in my approach to understanding the Quran from that of others, is that I do not expect a single contradiction, whereas to others, my arguments about the contradictions that their understanding creates, falls on deaf ears. This is a problem with all Muslims and a major hindrance to their accepting the voice of reason or logic which to them is irrelevant.

     Then there is of course the questions about Freewill and Predestination about which the traditionalist have very rigid views which are false, which make them fatalists.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 3/3/2018 12:33:09 AM



  • I think to prove science and relgion is futil attempt.

    This is the hypocrisy I am talking about which going on this form.

    There is so much observational science that has been attached to relgious book to prove there relgion best.

    All major relgion except Buddhisim are doing that. Muslims and Chistinias did best dishinest job, now BJP of India has joined the rank

    It will be great what Naseer Ahmed puts as scientific Quran and Sultan Shahin will stamp on it.

    Parvenz Hoodboy is most honest scientists and Muslim when it come to science and relgion, not  hypocrate like on this form.

    Here is the scenario: >>>lets take example of people who use to live 2000 years  ago this people had very less chance of going to cost line.
     >>>Lets take one man who is travelling at various place for his business on camels or horse cart or  bullocks  carts and he also had chance of going through cost lines and seashore.


    Conclusion:
    Now if traveller or business man is of scientific tempermat than he will easly conclude from looking where coastline and cliff are together that mountains can far up so can be far deep like tree roots, because water washing and cutting will easily expose bedrock.


    Also try to prove Quran is best, once people had work towards science putting there life in risk is even more dishonest and disrespect towards those People who fought against relgion to bring science at front stage.

    Made Quran will will be futile attempt, try it you will fail badly.
    By Aayina - 3/2/2018 7:39:55 PM



  • Naseer Saheb, could you please throw some more light on the following statement you made some time ago: “I do not see any connection between these failings and the era in which they lived except for certain parts of the Quran having been difficult for them to understand that are better understood today because of our knowledge of the sciences.”
    Which are these “certain parts of Quran” that you have in mind. 
    By SULTAN SHAHIN - 3/2/2018 1:07:05 PM



  • "The Quran is therefore silent on these questions but provides enough basis to logically deduce the answer"

    al kitab al khamosh.
    By hats off! - 3/2/2018 7:38:08 AM



  • Shahin sb,

    “To the Momineen marriage with an adulterous person (even if  Muslim) is forbidden” does not logically imply that the adulterous Muslim is outside the pale of Islam. The verse is saving the clean Muslims from acquiring adulterous spouses who can corrupt them. It is containing and preventing spread of the “disease”. Adultery is the only sin against which the Quran is uncompromising as to the punishment if proven, although the standard of proof required is near impossible to produce, unless the act is deliberately open. The verse however equally applies to the adulterous person, and is primarily addressed to such a person, requiring that he/she does not marry a non-adulterous Muslim, as doing so would make him/her guilty of the sin of violating a prohibition, on top of the sin of adultery. Such a person is therefore permitted to marry other adulterous persons and even polytheists. The person is however treated as a Muslim, as it would be pointless to tell a non-Muslim what he/she can/cannot do. Please keep in mind that the undetected cases of adultery are far more numerous than those that are proven, and therefore, the verse is depending upon the adulterous person to act in good faith and avoid marrying non-adulterous Muslims. Very clearly, such persons who remain mindful of the Quranic injunctions, cannot be outside the pale of Islam.


    By Naseer Ahmed - 3/2/2018 3:19:37 AM



  • Shahin sb,

     Tripe Talaq is non-sense whether given in one sitting or several sittings. The correct process described in the Quran, is covered in my article:

                           The Process for Divorce in the Quran

     The innovative “bidat” process of a Talaq in one sitting is valid, if man makes it valid, just as marriage of a Muslim to a polytheist is made invalid by man but not by the Quran. It is not possible to force anything on anyone. Who can make Tripe Talaq invalid except man himself?

     Banning of slavery is not prohibited.  As a matter of fact, while Quran asks the Muslims to free a slave and even marry a slave, it does not ask the Muslims to enslave. It is unfortunate that the Muslims were not the first to ban slavery.

     5:3 “….This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion…..”

     If you believe in the Quran, then you also believe that the perfect deen or way of life is in following the Quran, in all matters, in letter and spirit. Moving away from the Quran is moving away from Islam. There is no compulsion in religion however, so you can choose to follow Islam selectively, partially, fully or not at all. I try to follow the Quran 100% and therefore do not express any opinion on the religion of Islam, but exactly what the Quran says.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 3/2/2018 2:42:20 AM



  • Shahin sb,

     “Let there be no compulsion in religion” is not meant only for the non-Muslims but for the Muslims also. So, whether a Muslim is a hypocrite, polytheist, or apostate, it is his faith and belief and not anyone else’s business.

    Who is a Kafir in the Quran? (Part 4) Defining Kufr

     While zina/adultery is understandably a punishable offence in Islam as it is a crime against society as well, doing what is otherwise prohibited, is not necessarily punishable. For example, there are no punishments prescribed in the Quran, for violating prohibitions regarding food and drinks. Marriage to a polytheist although prohibited, is neither punishable nor is the marriage invalid. This is deduced through ijtihad. This was not done so far, but it is never too late to do so, and especially now, when such marriages are becoming common.

     What about marriage of a Muslim female to a Christian or a Jew? Is it prohibited? While marriage of a male Muslim to a Christian/Jew female is specifically permitted, the Quran is silent about the marriage of a female Muslim to a Christian/Jew. A Muslim lady asked this question in the seminar at Jamia Milia University. My response was that the relevant question is not whether Islam permits such a marriage, but whether Christianity/Judaism permit such a marriage. I explained that while Islam does not require the Muslim male to convert his Christian/Jew wife to Islam but ordains that the wife be permitted to follow her faith without hindrance, there is no such provision/guarantee in the other two religions for a Muslim female marrying into their faith. The clear answer based on ijtihad therefore is, that first ascertain whether the Muslim female will enjoy complete freedom to practice her religion, before agreeing to such a marriage, if for the woman, her faith is important. Such a logical deduction, is in conformity with the clear message of the Quran.

     There are many such questions, the answer to which can be logically deduced, but if the logical deductions were in the Quran, this would do more harm than good. The Quran is therefore silent on these questions but provides enough basis to logically deduce the answer. I have dealt with several such questions in my articles including: Whether an agnostic who religiously and strictly follows a rule based moral code is on the straight path or not - the path on whom is God’s favour.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 3/2/2018 2:18:14 AM



  • Naseer Saheb, you have quoted the following relevant verses of the Quran in relation to your thesis or logical derivation that a marriage between a Muslim and a polytheist is valid, though prohibited:

     1. Do not marry a polytheist until they believe: A slave who believes is better than a polytheist, even though they allure you. The polytheists beckon you to the Fire. But Allah beckons by His Grace to the Garden (of bliss) and forgiveness, and makes His Signs clear to mankind: That they may celebrate His praise. (2:221)

    2. Prohibited to you (For marriage) are:- Your mothers, daughters, sisters; father´s sisters, Mother´s sisters; brother´s daughters, sister´s daughters; foster-mothers (Who gave you suck), foster-sisters; your wives´ mothers; your step-daughters under your guardianship, born of your wives to whom ye have gone in,- no prohibition if ye have not gone in;- (Those who have been) wives of your sons proceeding from your loins; and two sisters in wedlock at one and the same time, except for what is past; (4:23)

    3.   Let no man guilty of adultery or fornication marry but a woman similarly guilty, or a polytheist: nor let any but such a man or a polytheist marry such a woman: to the Believers such a thing is forbidden. (24:3) (explanatory note: Adultery among the polytheists was common place and not considered a crime or a sin)

    To me, all marriages including common law marriages are valid, though they may be prohibited in some scriptures that were based on the norms of their times.

    However, for me the logical meaning to derive from these verses, particularly 24:3, even more particularly, the phrase, "to the Believers such a thing is forbidden," is that for Quran someone guilty of adultery or fornication is out of the purview of Islam, so it doesn't matter if he or she marries whosoever. "To the Believer such a thing is forbidden."

    It is possibly from such verses that Khwarij logically derive that those who commit "sins" like Ziyarat e Qaboor are out of Islam and also deserving death. 

    Tripple Talaq being forbidden but valid is a similar logical derivative. After all, Quran has bot even specifically forbidden triple talaq. It has only given a method for giving divorce after due deliberation and called it hasan or ahsan, meaning a good method. Will it not be logical to derive from this that a Muslim is not forbidden a bad method of triple talaq, hence it would be valid talaq? So why do we criticise our ulema for considering triple talaq an innovation but valid.

    The thing is we cannot live in the 21st century by the norms of a 7th century tribal society in the deserts of Arabia. The Qur'an was exceptionally progressive for its time. It did not ban slavery, though it gave every indication that it was bad and should be done away with. It could not ban this deeply entrenched social and economic custom. Americans fought a civil war over this custom only a century and a half ago. But despite a lack of ban in Quran, even Saudi Arabia, banned it in 1962, though still practices it in forms of bonded labour, as we in India too do that, despite having the most egalitarian constitution in the world.


    Quran itself asks us to go forward, make progress, adapt to changing times. Ijtihad doesn't mean going back to Quran and derive logical meanings by way of interpretation. It means going forward, making progress. Take clues from Qur'an, regard it as a book that supported modernity and progress in its time, and move with the present and future times.

    By Sultan Shahin - 3/2/2018 12:44:31 AM



  • oh! how one wishes mr. naseer ahmed was either a scientist, a mathematician or logician!

    he is a man who used a null hypothesis to prove that the scriptures were divine. he used market research to establish that god exists. then he used calculus to remove kidney stones. i don't know about that, though.

    just shows what a capable man can do when he has a single track mind locked into delusions of grandeur!
    By hats off! - 3/1/2018 4:14:27 PM



  • Naseer sab's conclusions are not opinions. They are the word of God! To him the word 'mubeen' means "it is clear to me"!

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 3/1/2018 11:34:50 AM



  • Shahin sb,

     I haven’t come across a scientist, mathematician or a logician presenting his conclusions as an opinion. The Quran is such a Book that allows the precision of science, mathematics or logic to understand the clear meaning of every word/verse or find answers to any question as it concerns the right way of living. It openly claims to be so, when it declares several times, that it is Kitabum Mubeen and a Book without a contradiction. To therefore say that we cannot be certain about the deen on any question is to either admit of our inability or to accuse the Quran of making false claims about being both Kitabum Mubeen, and easy to understand.

     I find the Quran to be easy to understand, Kitabum Mubeen and a Book without contradictions as per its claims, and employ a robust, proven, well-honed methodology to determine the clear answer from the Quran on any question. When I discuss the Quran, I am not expressing my opinion, but my conclusions based on every relevant verse and logical analysis. I therefore do not use “probably” and “Allah knows best”. To use these words/expressions, is to falsify the Quran’s claims that it is easy to understand and Kitabum Mubeen, and that it is easy for us to know exactly what Allah means to say.

     The Scientists, Mathematicians and Logicians can sometimes be in error, but their error can be easily shown. Likewise, if I am in error, the same can be shown to be either an error in logic or error of fact. What I say cannot be countered by mere the opinions of others, no matter whether the other person is Imam Hanbali, Imam Shafei or whoever. Another person can challenge what I say only based on employing an equally or more rigorous methodology and showing me to be in error based on either omission of relevant data or reaching conclusions that do not follow logically from the available data. There is no other method to prove me wrong. It is humanly possible to follow methods that drastically reduce the chances of error to the order of 3 errors or less in a million opportunities and I follow such methodologies. The Quran deserves nothing less than the most rigorous methodologies to be followed in its study. I make no compromises with the opinions of others, even if that opinion belongs to any of the Imams. What do I care about what others have said if I am sure of what Allah has said?

    By Naseer Ahmed - 3/1/2018 2:39:34 AM



  • Shahin sb, You are not pained nor have you any compunction while faithfully conveying the abuses of Muhammad Yunus. Why so? Why do you allow yourself to be used by him even to convey his abuses? Does he own you or the NAI foundation?

     Why do you fail to respond to my direct questions the honest answer to which is that Yunus sb has earlier maintained categorically that all the Mushrikin of the Prophet’s times are kafir and later changed it to not all are kafir and is lying when he says that he has never changed his opinion? Hasn’t Yunus sb contradicted himself and flip-flopped several times on every subject that he has debated with me?

     About the Quran being Kitabum Mubeen and a Book full of wisdom, there cannot be an iota of doubt. Very rightly as pointed out by Yunus sb, the logical deduction that marriage of a Muslim to a polytheist is valid although prohibited, reduces the impact of verse 2:221 and renders it weak. To use his words, it reverses what 2:221 is trying to achieve. The intent of the Quran is neither to promote marriages between Muslims and polytheists, nor allow marriages between adulterous Muslims and non-adulterous Muslims which is why you have verses 2:221 and 24:3. The logical implication of these two verses considered together if included in the Quran, would then make the Quran a Book of tautologies, besides weakening the impact of the verses taken separately. You therefore have very rare cases of such marriages and the Muslims in general avoid them. The wisdom of the Quran in not including the logical implication of the two verses taken together, should now be clear.

     However, when faced with a situation where a Muslim has married a polytheist, what should be done? This is a question faced by the judges. How does a judge decide? This is where our Fuquha must guide correctly and we do not have correct guidance from our fuquha on this question. Therefore, I say that Islamic scholarship has been sub-standard in the past and continues to be so. Logical deduction and providing guidance by a Faqih, does not affect the impact of verses 2:221 and 24:3 read by the Muslims, who will continue to avoid such marriages.

     There is nothing esoteric about the logic and is common place and employed by all. If somebody says something ridiculous, you show it to be ridiculous by enumerating the implications if what he said was right and showing these to be false, absurd or ridiculous. The Quran itself discusses many such questions employing the Reductio ad absurdum methodology such as:

     1.  If there was not one but several gods
    2.  If the idols had any power to answer the prayer of their devotees
    3.  If the Sun, the Moon or the stars were god
    4.  If the Quran was not the word of God but of a human being
    5. If the Prophets were not human but divine

    By Naseer Ahmed - 3/1/2018 1:16:22 AM



  • I learned now how to became scholar.

    Just remain shun on hard question and facts which goes against you and your community and at the end say that they are spewing hatred.

    I thing only word for this kind of people is either hypocrate or like Bhismapitama were part of the crime when Drupadi's cloths were removed.

    Let the readers decide how many are raising genuine questions but than debunked by logic which Muslim themselves use and accuse all non-Muslim that logic had no place.
    By Aayina - 2/28/2018 10:45:06 PM



  • Naseer Saheb, it seems all that you have been able to establish so far is that Quran is far from being Kitabul Mobin, a book that gives its instructions in clear language. Obviously, you are implying that that is not the case. One requires a knowledge of the science of logic and Latin formulae to understand and follow its instructions. 
    Any civilised Ahlur Rai, a man of independent opinion, should follow the dictum of all civilised men of independent opinions. This dictum was expressed in a most straightforward fashion by the revered Imam Shafei, the founder of the Shafei school of thought. He said (I am translating and paraphrasing from memory) that “when I make a statement, I always keep the possibility in mind that I may be wrong, and when I refute an argument, I always keep the possibility in mind that the other person whom I am opposing, may be right.” 
    I am certain, though do not exactly know, that other writers in other civilisations too may have expressed similar views. I have followed this dictum for al long as I remember having had an independent opinion. I, therefore, value your opinions, despite my inability to quite understand them or consider them right. I also value opinions of people who are not on the website to understand anything but just spew hatred of Muslims and Islam. I think we have to learn from them too. After all, if any human being, any of our fellow human, hates Islam and Muslims, there has to be a reason for that and we should try and understand reasons behind his hatred as well. And how will we do that if we do not allow them to express their hatred for us. 
    Anyway, I simply want to tell you that I m traveling and finding little time to engage with the conversations going on. But I value all conversations. After all, by simply having this discussion we are defying Ibn-e-Taimiya who has asked people who discuss these subjects to be beheaded. Some readers may have noticed that those who never called themselves Wahhabi are now calling themselves Taimi. In Urdu newspapers you come across articles written by Taimis now. So each one of us is taking great risk by simply discussing issues related to Islamic theology. So how can I not value and admire the great courage displayed by Naseer Saheb, Yunus Saheb, Ghulam Mohiyuddin Saheb, to name only a few. However, it would be more civilised to follow Imam Shafei’s opinion, even if it goes against our own temperament. 
    I am deeply pained Naseer Saheb, when you use words like hypocrite or bigot for people who have spent a lifetime in the service of Islam. They may, of course, be wrong in their opinions and we should certainly oppose them. But what is the point in using such language. It only takes away from our argument. Offensive language doesn’t add any strength to our argument. I am not criticising you at all, only expressing my pain at scholars associated with New Age Islam not being able to engage with each other directly.
    By SULTAN SHAHIN - 2/28/2018 7:21:01 AM



  • Shahin sb,

     Earlier, you had correctly understood that what I have said is that the marriage of a polytheist to a Muslim is Quranically valid although prohibited. If it is a valid contract, where is the question of adultery? This is exactly what is proved in the argument.

     Yunus Sb’s deliberate attempt to misunderstand the starting assumption as true when it is shown to be false appears to have infected you also. There is no adultery and fornication involved. The adultery and fornication are only in your minds.

     The Mullahs however consider such a marriage to be invalid. For the sake of argument, we therefore start with the assumption that their contention is true and show that such an assumption leads to an absurdity thereby proving it to be false. If it is proven false, we have established that the marriage is Quranically valid and therefore the relationship is legitimate and there is no adultery.

     This type of proof which goes by the name of ‘Reductio ad absurdum” is so common in mathematics and logic that I am amazed that Yunus sb is unable to follow it. I suspect that he is deliberately acting dense, else he is dense.

     In logic, reductio ad absurdum (Latin for "reduction to absurdity"; or argumentum ad absurdum, "argument to absurdity") is a form of argument which attempts to disprove a statement by showing it inevitably leads to a ridiculous, absurd, or impractical conclusion.

    The statement that is disproved is:

    The marriage between a Muslim and Polytheist is invalid

    The ridiculous, absurd or impractical conclusion that the disproved statement leads to is:

    A marriage between the same persons becomes valid, even if we consider their first marriage to be invalid!

    The Conclusion

     We have disproved the statement that we started with. Marriage between a Muslim and Polytheist is therefore valid. Since such a marriage is valid, the relationship is legitimate. If the relationship is legitimate, there can be no adultery.

    Yunus sb only provides proof of the continuing problem of the sub-standard and poor quality of Islamic scholarship. Besides, he is dishonest as shown below:

    He has said in his comment By Sultan Shahin - 2/20/2018 10:30:55 AM: that my conclusion reverses the meaning of what is stated prima facie in verse 2:221. The cited Verse 2:221 prohibits marriage between a Muslim and a polytheist. Therefore, my saying that such a marriage is valid although prohibited, appears to prima facie reverse what verse 2:221 is emphatically prohibiting. He has therefore shown a correct understanding of what I am saying which is that “a marriage between a Muslim and a polytheist is valid although prohibited”. Subsequently, unable to oppose this conclusion, he does his now familiar flip and accuses me of saying that I consider the marriage to be invalid and adulterous and continues to repeat the false charge because he has nothing worthwhile to say!

    Shahin sb, you have been playing a very partisan role. You have not responded to my comment: By Naseer Ahmed - 2/20/2018 11:39:40 PM. Do so now and answer every question posed to you.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 2/26/2018 11:54:01 PM



  • Naseer Saheb, please try to understand the Quran from the point of view of its direct audience. None of these was an IIT graduate with the experience you have to derive meanings logically, as you are trying to do.  For them, the simple literal meaning of the verses was what they would follow.

    Indeed this what they did.

    They cleansed Arabia of all polytheists. They never allowed a Muslim to marry a polytheist.  They never told a Muslim that if you want to marry a Muslim, the best and most Quranically logical path would be to  first commit an adultery and / fornication with someone then marry a polytheist in a legal marriage while you will continue to remain a Muslim and your spouse will remain a polytheist. Etc. Etc. Many logical possibilities that Quran probably opens up, as per your logical derivatives. But no one, neither the Bedouins of Arabia nor the later scholars of Islam ever reached such conclusions. They considered Quran a kitab e Mobin, where everything is clear enough to not require any "logical" derivatives. 

    By Sultan Shahin - 2/26/2018 6:40:51 AM



  • al kitab al mubeen. By hats off! - 2/24/2018 6:17:06 PM



  • I would urge Shahin sahib and Yunus sahib to not respond to Naseer sahib's ignoble and moronic attempts to prolong this conversation. What would you gain even if you win this discussion? It is a useless and futile discussion anyway.

    By Ghulammohiyuddin - 2/24/2018 12:51:35 PM



  • Shahin sb,

    Since you have understood correctly that I have said “a Muslim girl marrying a polytheist is Quranically a valid marriage”, why don’t you respond directly to Yunus sb and explain to him what I have said? Why do you keep posting his non-sense on the subject?

     Naseer Saheb, I hope the illiterate Bedouins of 7th century Arabia to whom Quranic verses were directly addressed, were able to comprehend “logically derived conclusions” from Quranic verses. I have put your logic behind the validity of a Muslim girl marrying a polytheist in a Quranically valid marriage before well-educated and sophisticated 21st century Islamic scholars. None of them understood the logic behind your scenario.

    By Sultan Shahin - 1/19/2018 11:51:34 AM

     Yunus sb says “while referring to the atheist, I added the qualifying word ‘probably.’ 

    The dishonest scholar that Yunus sb is, he is hiding behind having used “probably” and “Allah knows best”. He straddles the fence like a hypocrite and can conveniently take either position. What made him consider that an Atheist could also “probably” win Allah’s pleasure? What can make this turn into certainty? If he is an honest scholar, why does he not try to ascertain with certainty?  I have presented my arguments fully in my article The Momineen and the Kafirin.   The article may help him turn his hunches into certainty. Moreover, he talks about the atheist whereas I talk of the agnostic who strictly follows a rule based moral code (like the Buddhists) for no other reason except reverence for the code or reverence for a higher truth/purpose/design which I show to be the essence of belief according to the Quran and not necessarily the recitation of the Kalima alone. The proof of such belief is in the deeds and a person who unfailingly does what is right and avoids what is wrong without any ulterior purpose and for altruistic reasons alone, provides proof of such belief or of iman. Such a person has iman and is a momin. A mere reciter of the kalima may or may not show such iman and be a momin. The Quran itself makes a distinction between mere verbal acceptance and a person with iman.

    What Yunus sb has clearly shown, is that despite having written articles such as “The Hindus are not the Mushrikin in the Quran” and also on pluralism, he has difficulty accepting:

    “Indian army of predominantly non-Muslims fighting in a good cause as Momins, iii) Pakistan army of predominantly Muslims fighting in a bad cause as Kafirs

    Do we need more proof of his two faced hypocrisy of running with the hares and hunting with the hounds?  Clearly to him, a Muslim however evil is superior to a non-Muslim however noble! A non-Muslim according to him, can never be a better momin than a Muslim. He is another bigot but hides his bigotry with his hypocritical articles hiding behind “probably” and “Allah knows best”.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 2/24/2018 12:29:48 AM



  • Naseer sab has brought this forum to it lowest level of discourse with his personal attacks and ignoble attempts at vilification. What is the purpose in continuing this discussion?  It is only going to degenerate further.
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 2/23/2018 11:18:07 AM



  • Naseer Saheb, Yunus Saheb has asked me to post the following response to your latest comment:

    Once again Naseer sahib reads my comment according to his own views. My comment he quoted related to all “all believing humans” and while referring to the atheist, I added the qualifying word ‘probably.’ By any stretch of imagination I never interpreted the Qur’an as he does using his unique logical derivation to i) regard good atheists as Momins ii) Indian army of predominantly non-Muslims fighting in a good cause as Momins, iii) Pakistan army of predominantly Muslims fighting in a bad cause as Kafirs, iv) a polytheist girl in wedlock with a Muslim - both leading an adulterous life, v) Muslims committing adultery forfeiting their claim to Islam, vi)  not a single verse of the Qur’an connotes Kafir with disbeliever and so forth. These propositions will be regarded as crazy by not only Muslims but even non-Muslims who have any familiarity with Islam. As I stated earlier, f the revered 13th century scholar Ibn Rajab al Hanbali were to come alive today, he may place him in the category of “imbecile, hot-headed, insolent, sham who was impressed with his opinion would claim that he is the greatest of all Imams, that he is the one to guide the community” [By Sultan Shahin - 1/20/2018 10:57:05 AM]

    By Sultan Shahin - 2/23/2018 7:06:15 AM



  • The two faces of Muhammad Yunus

    If the Qur’an is interpreted by applying his methodology of logical derivation, an atheist whose deed and conduct are good will be a momin, Pakistan army soldiers who were deployed in the then E.Pakitan in 1971 will stand as kafirin, and Indian army soldiers, Mominin – notions he virtually establishes and boasts to being the only person in Islamic exegetic history who has understood the Qur’anic message correctly.

    By Sultan Shahin speaking for the purdah nashin Muhammad Yunus - 2/20/2018 10:30:55 AM

    From the Qur'anic perspective all believing humans stand equal before God and will be judged on the basis of their deeds and taqwa. Thus, even a monotheist Hindu who is a champion of karma and dharma may stand far ahead of the head of Deobandi or Barelvi school in the divine court - God alone knows best.

    Shocking this may sound, the foregoing statement is compatible with the following corollary tabled in an ijtihad work referenced below:

    “The Qur’anic broader notion of taqwa and its association with the deeper impulses of all humanity demolishes any distinction of people on religious ground. A Muslim person (regardless of gender) most visibly given to religious symbolism or devoted to religious rituals, may lag behind or even fail in taqwa and disqualify for divine rewards, while a non-Muslim person, probably even an atheist, who has no lesser share of divine inspiration in his/her subconscious soul, may excel in taqwa and earn divine reward despite his lacking in religious symbolism and visible or regimented devotion – though God knows best who all will earn divine reward.”

    By muhammad yunus - 4/28/2013 12:21:02 AM

    By Naseer Ahmed - 2/23/2018 2:29:02 AM



  • Shahin Sb,

    Keeping in mind Yunus sb’s definition of ‘Kafir’ in the Qur’an  as “Wilful rejection or denial of any self-evident or irrefutable proposition”. The Qur’an refers to its recalcitrant audience by the plural noun forms Kafirun, Kafirin..,”, it is clear that Yunus sb holds all the Mushrikin of the Prophet’s times as recalcitrant and wilful rejecters without even a single exception in his comments below. He is categorical in his opinion that there wasn’t even a single polytheist who was not such a kafir. He is quoted below verbatim.

     In my understanding of the Qur’an in the context of its revelation, it was the ultimate truth (haqqul yaqin). Not one single polytheists of the era believed in this ultimate truth as it unfolded before their eyes

    Hence, there is no question of the Qur’an dividing the polytheist among its immediate audience as believers and kafirin. In the Qur’anic epistemology, all the polytheists among its direct audience stood as kafirin in God’s sight.

    Naseer Sahab, to be frank with you, I really fail to understand how can you split the polytheists of the Prophets era into two categories (kafir and not kafir) by pure scholasticism.

    By muhammad yunus - 5/11/2015 8:20:30 AM

    View Article

    As I understand and also put in my exeg work, there is no category of people called 'kafirin.' I believe the Qur'an regarded the mushrikin in its immediate audience as kafir because they witnessed the truth of Qur'anic revelation unfolding before their eyes but dismissed it.

    By muhammd yunus - 9/4/2017 7:31:29 AM

    With his conviction that it is inconceivable that any polytheist of the Prophet’s times could be considered anything but kafir, he argued for two years against my contention that there is not even one verse of the Quran that considers all the Mushrikin as kafir. The Quran clearly refers to only a small group among them with certain traits and characteristics that make them enemy of Islam as kafir, but Yunus sb was deaf, dumb and blind to all arguments.

    After two years of debate, and failing miserably in defending his misinterpretation of verses of Surah Al- Bayinnah (98:1,6), Al-Kafirun and Surah Taubah from which it is clear that in no verse of the Quran all the Mushrikin are considered kafir, he reluctantly conceded, that if there were Mushrikin who were not recalcitrant wilful rejecters as defined by him, then such Mushrikin were “obviously” not kafir. From making no exceptions he was forced to make exceptions and concede that all are not considered kafir by the Quran. The debate is not about his definition of the meaning of kafir, but his judging all the Mushrikin as kafir and misinterpreting the verses that make it clear that all are not considered kafir.

    The next logical step is for him to agree that if every Mushrik is considered a disbeliever but not necessarily a kafir, then kafir cannot mean disbeliever. For a dishonest scholar like Yunus sb, this may take another two years for him to concede and even then he will do it slyly and claim that he had always said so!

    By Naseer Ahmed - 2/23/2018 2:24:34 AM



  • Shahin sb,

    There is no cure for a person who is deaf, dumb and blind like Yunus sb who persists in misunderstanding what should be clear to even a child! He takes what I show to be an absurd assumption, to be what I hold to be true!  How stupid of him!

    The absurd assumption

    The assumption of the Mullah and even Muhammad Asad, that marriage of a Muslim to a polytheist is invalid citing verse 2:221 is shown to be lead to an absurdity considering verse 24:3 and therefore false

    The Conclusion       

    The Conclusion therefore is marriage of a Muslim to a polytheist although prohibited, is valid and therefore the relationship legitimate and not adulterous.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 2/23/2018 1:51:38 AM



  • Naseer Saheb, Yunus Saheb has also asked me to post the following response to your latest comment:

    "In his latest comment Naseer Saheb says:  he has revised his earlier categorical opinion that all the Mushrikin of the Prophet's times who constituted the direct audience of the Quran were Kafir and changed it after two years of discussion to not all were Kafir but only those who were recalcitrant rejecters.”[By Naseer Ahmed - 2/21/2018 10:57:27 PM]

    The truth is I never qualified the ‘recalcitrant audience’ of the Prophet with “all the Mushrikin of the Prophet’s time “

    My joint exegetic work Essential Message of Islam published in mid 2009 tables the following definition of ‘Kafir’ in the Qur’an which clearly conflates this term only with the ‘recalcitrant audience of the Prophet” (without the absurd qualification suggesting that "all the Mushrikin of Mecca" constituted his direct audience) as I have stated scores of time consistently in this thread:

    “Wilful rejection or denial of any self-evident or irrefutable proposition. The Qur’an refers to its recalcitrant audience by the plural noun forms Kafirun, Kafirin..,””

    Hence as I already note in an earlier comment “virtually you are adopting the interpretation tabled in my jt. publication and claiming it as your innovative theological insight. I do not claim to be any innovator in religion. I write what my probe into the Qur’an dictates to me. Surely there must be countless other scholars holding the same view. By muhammd yunus - 9/9/2017 5:49:55 AM”

    By Sultan Shahin - 2/22/2018 9:12:16 PM



  • Naseer Saheb, Yunus Saheb has asked me to post the following response to your latest comment:

    As usual Naseer Saheb has ducked the crux of the problem as stated in my last comment (under Flaw in Argument) that his logically derived meaning suffers.

    In short, from his perspective, a polytheist man and a Muslim girl in wedlock are each to be regarded as adulterous and thus their off-springs product of adultery. This is a calumnious proposition that can land him in a court of law or bring on him the charge of defamatory speech. He must keep from expounding (logically deriving) such absurd notions under the banner of Islam. His other queer propositions as cited earlier include: an atheist whose deed and conduct is good is a Momin, Pakistan army soldiers who were deployed in the then E. Pakistan in 1971 stand as Kafirin, and Indian army soldiers, Mominin and so forth.

    Rather than paying any heed to my repeated counselling, he is constantly charging me of conflating the word Kafir of the Qur’an with all the Mushrikin of Mecca – whereas, I have consistently connoted it with the ‘recalcitrant’ audience of the Prophet. But this purely academic and moot interpretation issue has nothing to do with his logically derived preposterous notions.

    Naseer Saheb is virtually behaving like one who when charged for moral turpitude or any major lapse, defends himself with a non sequitur response and he has been doing it persistently. This is symptomatic of cognitive dissonance and renders him an incorrigible colloquist – hence I have been compelled to terminate any direct conversation with him as stated in my last comment, and I am grateful to Sultan Shahin Saheb, who is witness to Naseer Saheb’s obsessive claim to prove himself as the first man in Islam’s exegetic history to have correctly understood the meaning of the word ‘Kafir’ He is obviously angry with me because I have challenged his claim – but this again is not relevant to his logical derivation of preposterous notions.

    By Sultan Shahin - 2/22/2018 8:35:21 PM



  • Naseer sab's relentless and abusive assaults on Yunus sab are an example of mullahish arrogance. Such brazen certitude in matters of faith is foolish. Genuine scholars address each other with respect in spite of sharp disagreements.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 2/22/2018 12:09:37 PM



  • There is no response of either Yunus sb or Shahin sb to my comment By Naseer Ahmed - 2/20/2018 11:39:40 PM

    Yunus Sb can neither explain his flip-flops nor has the honesty to admit that he has revised his earlier categorical opinion that all the Mushrikin of the Prophet's times who constituted the direct audience of the Quran were kafir and changed it after two years of discussion to not all were kafir but only those who were recalcitrant rejecters. 

    Having revised his opinion, he is unable now to defend his other opinion that Kafir means disbeliever since the Mushrikin were disbelievers but not necessarily kafir and therefore kafir cannot mean disbeliever.

    He has tied himself in knots by his dishonesty and reluctance to accept that he made a mistake and corrected himself which is preventing him from correcting his other mistake of saying that kafir means disbeliever. He has therefore run away and is hiding behind Shahin sb.

    Now if it took two years for me to make him realize his mistake, and if he is still not able to admit the mistake and move on, then what hope do I have of convincing such a dishonest person on the other points on which he disagrees with me? He has a long way to go before he can come up to my level of understanding and he is not helping himself by his attitude.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 2/21/2018 10:57:27 PM



  • Yunus sb says :"Flaw in Argument: A Muslim girl can fall in love with and marry a polytheist in breach of Qur’anic decree (2:221) retaining her religion, but no man on earth unless he was stupid, insolent or demented can call her an adulterous, nor can anyone charge her polytheist husband (who is not married to any other woman) of adultery.

     The argument is of the type Reductio ad absurdum where the false notion is supposed to be the true one and then shown that such a supposition leads to an absurdity proving thereby that such a supposition is false.  This type of proof is common to mathematics and logic. Yunus sb seems to be weak in these subjects also. I am amazed at his ignorance.

     There is no flaw in the argument.  The flaw is in Yunus sb’s understanding where he takes what is assumed to be true when the same is shown to be false!

    The following is the assumption which is shown to be false proving thereby that the marriage is valid and the relationship is not adulterous.

     Let us assume that the marriage is not valid.

    Then their relationship is adulterous

    The girl is now guilty of adultery

      The argument with relevant verses:

    An example of logically derived conclusion

     Relevant verses of the Quran:

     1. Do not marry a polytheist until they believe: A slave who believes is better than a polytheist, even though they allure you. The polytheists beckon you to the Fire. But Allah beckons by His Grace to the Garden (of bliss) and forgiveness, and makes His Signs clear to mankind: That they may celebrate His praise. (2:221)

    2. Prohibited to you (For marriage) are:- Your mothers, daughters, sisters; father´s sisters, Mother´s sisters; brother´s daughters, sister´s daughters; foster-mothers (Who gave you suck), foster-sisters; your wives´ mothers; your step-daughters under your guardianship, born of your wives to whom ye have gone in,- no prohibition if ye have not gone in;- (Those who have been) wives of your sons proceeding from your loins; and two sisters in wedlock at one and the same time, except for what is past; (4:23)

    3.   Let no man guilty of adultery or fornication marry but a woman similarly guilty, or a polytheist: nor let any but such a man or a polytheist marry such a woman: to the Believers such a thing is forbidden. (24:3) (explanatory note: Adultery among the polytheists was common place and not considered a crime or a sin)

     The Question: What if a Muslim Girl falls in love with a polytheist elopes and gets married? Is the marriage valid?

     Let us assume that the marriage is not valid.

    Then their relationship is adulterous

    The girl is now guilty of adultery

    She can now marry only an adulterer or a polytheist as per verse 24:3

    She can therefore now marry the polytheist, and this marriage is valid, and their relationship no longer adulterous!

    She does not cease to be a Muslim. We therefore now have a marriage that is between a Muslim and a polytheist that is valid. The assumption that a marriage between a Muslim and polytheist is invalid is therefore false.

     What are invalid marriages? Invalid marriages are those covered under verse 4:23.

    Verse 2:221 is a strong advice against marrying a polytheist and may even be considered prohibited, but such a marriage is valid.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 2/21/2018 10:35:44 PM



  • Naseer Saheb, Yunus Saheb has asked me to post the following response to your latest comment:

     

    ""A close scrutiny of the opening paragraph of Naseer Sahab’s last comment shows the danger of his ‘logical derivation.’ He is categorizing Muslims between ‘good/clean Muslims’ and ‘the Muslims who have committed adultery.” The Qur’an prescribes a very strict punishment for adultery and it is only Naseer Sahab’s unique logic that distinguishes them as a different category of Muslims for life. It is obvious that when such Muslims have already received the punishment, they would have redeemed themselves of their sins and can lead normal social life like what he says ‘good/ clean’ Muslims. If that were not so any Muslim man or women who committed adultery will have his marriage terminated with his ‘good/clean’ spouse and there will huge social problem and disharmony.

     

    "Furthermore his following ‘logical derivation’ to interpreting the verse 2:221 in a meaning opposite to its literal meaning (a Muslim girl can lawfully marry a polytheist) is also clever and flawed:

     

    “The Question: What if a Muslim Girl falls in love with a polytheist elopes and gets married? Is the marriage valid?

     

     Let us assume that the marriage is not valid.

    Then their relationship is adulterous.”

     

    "Flaw in Argument: A Muslim girl can fall in love with and marry a polytheist in breach of Qur’anic decree (2:221) retaining her religion, but no man on earth unless he was stupid, insolent or demented can call her an adulterous, nor can anyone charge her polytheist husband (who is not married to any other woman) of adultery.

     

    “As I have said several times in the past Naseer Sahab at times reads a statement according to his own views and thus gives it a meaning that is different from what is stated prima facie. This verges on cognitive dissonance and this is precisely the reason that I do not want to engage with him directly. I will say one thing and he will charge me for saying a thing that I have not said and a floodgate of conversation will ensue and take acrimonious hue bringing shame to me, Naseer Sahab and this website and not resolving anything. This has happened in the past and I don’t want to repeat the history as it is very taxing at least for me and no less confusing for most .'

     

    A close scrutiny of the opening paragraph of Naseer Sahab’s last comment shows the danger of his ‘logical derivation.’ He is categorizing Muslims between ‘good/clean Muslims’ and ‘the Muslims who have committed adultery.” The Qur’an prescribes a very strict punishment for adultery and it is only Naseer Sahab’s unique logic that distinguishes them as a different category of Muslims for life. It is obvious that when such Muslims have already received the punishment, they would have redeemed themselves of their sins and can lead normal social life like what he says ‘good/ clean’ Muslims. If that were not so any Muslim man or women who committed adultery will have his marriage terminated with his ‘good/clean’ spouse and there will huge social problem and disharmony.

     

    Furthermore his following ‘logical derivation’ to interpreting the verse 2:221 in a meaning opposite to its literal meaning (a Muslim girl can lawfully marry a polytheist) is also clever and flawed:

     

    “The Question: What if a Muslim Girl falls in love with a polytheist elopes and gets married? Is the marriage valid?

     

     Let us assume that the marriage is not valid.

    Then their relationship is adulterous.”

     

    Flaw in Argument: A Muslim girl can fall in love with and marry a polytheist in breach of Qur’anic decree (2:221) retaining her religion, but no man on earth unless he was stupid, insolent or demented can call her an adulterous, nor can anyone charge her polytheist husband (who is not married to any other woman) of adultery.

     

     As I have said several times in the past Naseer Sahab at times reads a statement according to his own views and thus gives it a meaning that is different from what is stated prima facie. This verges on cognitive dissonance and this is precisely the reason that I do not want to engage with him directly. I will say one thing and he will charge me for saying a thing that I have not said and a floodgate of conversation will ensue and take acrimonious hue bringing shame to me, Naseer Sahab and this website and not resolving anything. This has happened in the past and I don’t want to repeat the history as it is very taxing at least for me and no less confusing for most 


    By Sultan Shahin - 2/21/2018 7:44:13 AM

    By Sultan Shahin - 2/21/2018 7:44:13 AM



  • Yunus sb's understanding of the Quran is extremely weak. There is no reversal of the meaning of verse 2:221 which is meant for all good/clean Muslims who are clearly prohibited from marrying polytheists. Verse 24:3 does not contradict verse 2:221 since this verse applies only to the adulterous persons who are already guilty of violating the strictest prohibition that attracts the severest punishment and not to the clean/good Muslims.

    Also, marriage being a social contract remains valid even if a non-adulterous Muslim marries a polytheist which is the logical conclusion and a correct one although the person who does so is guilty of violating a prohibition. 

    Marriages with those covered under verse 4:23 will remain null and void and there cannot be a valid contract of marriage with such people.

    Is this too much for him to understand? How does he explain verse 24:3 otherwise? 
    By Naseer Ahmed - 2/21/2018 1:26:29 AM



  • Will Shahin sb and Yunus sb answer the questions please? Yunus sb cannot explain his flip-flops and will not answer and is therefore in hiding. Why is Shahin sb covering for him? Why does he not answer the questions?

    The following is what Yunus sb has said before running away saying that he will not agree with me even if I said a hundred times that all the Mushrikin of Mecca were never considered Kafir in the Quran while discussing verse 98:6. He argued that 98:6 was referring to all the Mushrikin as kafir and continues to do so even in this very thread. This is what he said:

     In my understanding of the Qur’an in the context of its revelation, it was the ultimate truth (haqqul yaqin). Not one single polytheists of the era believed in this ultimate truth as it unfolded before their eyes

    Hence, there is no question of the Qur’an dividing the polytheist among its immediate audience as believers and kafirin. In the Qur’anic epistemology, all the polytheists among its direct audience stood as kafirin in God’s sight.

    Naseer Sahab, to be frank with you, I really fail to understand how can you split the polytheists of the Prophets era into two categories (kafir and not kafir) by pure scholasticism.

    By muhammad yunus - 5/11/2015 8:20:30 AM

    View Article

    As I understand and also put in my exeg work, there is no category of people called 'kafirin.' I believe the Qur'an regarded the mushrikin in its immediate audience as kafir because they witnessed the truth of Qur'anic revelation unfolding before their eyes but dismissed it.

    By muhammd yunus - 9/4/2017 7:31:29 AM

    The question to you Shahin sb is what do you understand from the above? What is Yunus sb saying except that all the Mushrikin of the Prophet’s times who were his direct addressees are kafir? Is he not contradicting himself below?

    “I never argued that "all the mushrikiin of Mecca were kafir". All I said repeatedly was that the Qur'an used this word for those mushrikin who persistently denied the Qur'anic message, asked others to drown the words of the recited Qur'an by shouting (41:26) and turned away from it like frightened donkeys fleeing a lion (74:49-51). Accordingly, my definition of the word refers only to the "recalcitrant" audience of the Prophet and NOT all the mushrikin of Mecca.”

    By Sultan Shahin speaking for Yunus - 2/19/2018 10:33:52 AM

    Has he not gone back below and saying again that all were kafir?

     "Not one single polytheists of the era believed in this ultimate truth as it unfolded before their eyes

    Hence, there is no question of the Qur’an dividing the polytheist among its immediate audience as believers and kafirin. In the Qur’anic epistemology, all the polytheists among its direct audience stood as kafirin in God’s sight.

    By Sultan Shahin speaking for Yunus - 2/20/2018 10:30:55 AM

    Yunus sb has on a different occasion also said in a comment under the article: The Meaning of the Quran Resonates With the Aims of Progressive Islam :

     I agree with you that the Qur'an does not treat all muhsrikin as kafirin. (9:4). But the Qur'an also regarded the mushrikin as najas and disqualified them from maintaining the Sacred House on account of their kufr (9:7).

    By muhammd yunus - 8/8/2017 9:01:11 PM

    The question to you Shahin sb and Yunus sb is:

    Surah Taubah deals with the direct audience of the Prophet and if in the very last verses, it does not consider all the Mushrikin who were the direct addressees of the Prophet as Kafir as agreed by Yunus sb, then what is his difficulty in accepting that Surah Al-Bayinnah, (verses 98:1, 6) and Surah Al-Kafirun also refer to only the Kafir among them and not to all the Mushrikin? In this very thread, Yunus Sb has not accepted the same and gave lame arguments based on some of the translations.

    The questions to Yunus sb and Shahin sb now are:

    1.If in the very last verses revealed (Surah Taubah) the Quran did not consider all the Mushrikin who were the direct addressees of the Prophet as Kafir, then how can he or anyone  maintain that in the earlier Surahs Al Bayinnah (verses 98:1,6) and Surah Al-Kafirun the Quran refers to all of them as kafir?
    2.If the Mushrikin who are direct addressees of the Prophet are considered disbeliever but not all are considered kafir in the Quran, then on what basis can we say that kafir means disbeliever? Does this not prove that kafir does not mean every disbeliever? If every disbeliever among the direct addressees of the Prophet was is not a kafir, then how can kafir mean disbeliever?

     Shahin sb, answer for yourself and stop relaying the messages of a scholar who has chosen to run away and is in hiding.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 2/20/2018 11:39:40 PM



  • Naseer Saheb, in response to your latest comment, Muhammad  
    Yunus Saheb  has sent the following remarks:
    "Naseer Sahab quotes my following remarks to charge me of claiming that all the mushrikin of Mecca were kafir”.

     

    "Not one single polytheists of the era believed in this ultimate truth as it unfolded before their eyes

    Hence, there is no question of the Qur’an dividing the polytheist among its immediate audience as believers and kafirin. In the Qur’anic epistemology, all the polytheists among its direct audience stood as kafirin in God’s sight.

     

    The fact is my above remarks expressly relate to the polytheists among the Prophet’immediate s audience only, who did not believe in this (Qur’an’s) ultimate truth as it unfolded before their eyes…. Hence to comprehend the above qualified statement as Yunus’s Sahab’s claim that “all the mushrikin of Mecca are kafir” is merely his ‘logically derived’ meaning that as in the case of the verse 2:221 reverses the meaning of what is stated prima facie.

    The problem with him is he reads more than what is stated, quotes a few Qur’anic verses and then logically derives a literal meaning that is just the opposite of what is stated prima facie. If the Qur’an is interpreted by applying his methodology of logical derivation, an atheist whose deed and conduct are good will be a momin, Pakistan army soldiers who were deployed in the then E.Pakitan in 1971 will stand as kafirin, and Indian army soldiers, Mominin – notions he virtually establishes and boasts to being the only person in Islamic exegetic history who has understood the Qur’anic message correctly.

    I am afraid if the revered 13th century scholar Ibn Rajab al Hanbali.were to come alive today, he may place him in the category of “imbecile, hot-headed, insolent, sham who was impressed with his opinion would claim that he is the greatest of all Imams, that he is the one to guide the community”  

    as quoted in a comment 

    by Sultan Shahin 1/20/2018 10:57:05 AM]


    Yunus)

    By Sultan Shahin - 2/20/2018 10:30:55 AM



  • I am unable to comprehend why Shahin sb cannot show the courtesy of doing a proper cut/paste job to present my complete argument. I can understand his inability to follow the reasoning but cannot understand an editor’s inability to present the complete argument. The complete argument is reproduced below:

                                     The argument with relevant verses:

    An example of logically derived conclusion

     Relevant verses of the Quran:

     1. Do not marry a polytheist until they believe: A slave who believes is better than a polytheist, even though they allure you. The polytheists beckon you to the Fire. But Allah beckons by His Grace to the Garden (of bliss) and forgiveness, and makes His Signs clear to mankind: That they may celebrate His praise. (2:221)

    2. Prohibited to you (For marriage) are:- Your mothers, daughters, sisters; father´s sisters, Mother´s sisters; brother´s daughters, sister´s daughters; foster-mothers (Who gave you suck), foster-sisters; your wives´ mothers; your step-daughters under your guardianship, born of your wives to whom ye have gone in,- no prohibition if ye have not gone in;- (Those who have been) wives of your sons proceeding from your loins; and two sisters in wedlock at one and the same time, except for what is past; (4:23)

    3.   Let no man guilty of adultery or fornication marry but a woman similarly guilty, or a polytheist: nor let any but such a man or a polytheist marry such a woman: to the Believers such a thing is forbidden. (24:3) (explanatory note: Adultery among the polytheists was common place and not considered a crime or a sin)

     The Question: What if a Muslim Girl falls in love with a polytheist elopes and gets married? Is the marriage valid?

     Let us assume that the marriage is not valid.

    Then their relationship is adulterous

    The girl is now guilty of adultery

    She can now marry only an adulterer or a polytheist as per verse 24:3

    She can therefore now marry the polytheist, and this marriage is valid, and their relationship no longer adulterous!

    She does not cease to be a Muslim. We therefore now have a marriage that is between a Muslim and a polytheist that is valid. The assumption that a marriage between a Muslim and polytheist is invalid is therefore false.

     What are invalid marriages? Invalid marriages are those covered under verse 4:23.

    Verse 2:221 is a strong advice against marrying a polytheist and may even be considered prohibited, but such a marriage is valid.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/20/2018 12:47:47 AM

    By Naseer Ahmed - 2/20/2018 12:24:36 AM



  • Shahin sb,

    The following is what Yunus sb has said before running away saying that he will not agree with me even if I said a hundred times that all the Mushrikin of Mecca were never considered Kafir in the Quran while discussing verse 98:6. He argued that 98:6 was referring to all the Mushrikin as kafir and continues to do so even in this very thread. This is what he said:

    In my understanding of the Qur’an in the context of its revelation, it was the ultimate truth (haqqul yaqin). Not one single polytheists of the era believed in this ultimate truth as it unfolded before their eyes

    Hence, there is no question of the Qur’an dividing the polytheist among its immediate audience as believers and kafirin. In the Qur’anic epistemology, all the polytheists among its direct audience stood as kafirin in God’s sight.

    Naseer Sahab, to be frank with you, I really fail to understand how can you split the polytheists of the Prophets era into two categories (kafir and not kafir) by pure scholasticism.

    By muhammad yunus - 5/11/2015 8:20:30 AM

    View Article

    As I understand and also put in my exeg work, there is no category of people called 'kafirin.' I believe the Qur'an regarded the mushrikin in its immediate audience as kafir because they witnessed the truth of Qur'anic revelation unfolding before their eyes but dismissed it.

    By muhammd yunus - 9/4/2017 7:31:29 AM

    The question to you Shahin sb is what do you understand from the above? What is Yunus sb saying except that all the Mushrikin of the Prophet’s times who were his direct addressees are kafir?

    Subsequently, Yunus sb has said different things on different occasions and it is not clear what his present stand is after the several flip-flops. In a comment under the article: The Meaning of the Quran Resonates With the Aims of Progressive Islam Yunus Sb accepted the following:

     I agree with you that the Qur'an does not treat all muhsrikin as kafirin. (9:4). But the Qur'an also regarded the mushrikin as najas and disqualified them from maintaining the Sacred House on account of their kufr (9:7).

    By muhammd yunus - 8/8/2017 9:01:11 PM

    The question to you Shahin sb is has not Yunus sb changed his stand?

    Surah Taubah deals with the direct audience of the Prophet and if in the very last verses, it does not consider all the Mushrikin who were the direct addressees of the Prophet as Kafir, then what is his difficulty in accepting that Surah Al-Bayinnah, (verses 98:1, 6) and Surah Al-Kafirun also refer to only the Kafir among them and not to all the Mushrikin? In this very thread, Yunus Sb has not accepted the same and gave lame arguments based on some of the translations.

    The questions to Yunus sb and Shahin sb now are:


    1.If in the very last verses revealed (Surah Taubah) the Quran did not consider all the Mushrikin who were the direct addressees of the Prophet as Kafir, then how can he or anyone  maintain that in the earlier Surahs Al Bayinnah (verses 98:1,6) and Surah Al-Kafirun the Quran refers to all of them as kafir?
    2.If the Mushrikin who are direct addressees of the Prophet are considered disbeliever but not all are considered kafir in the Quran, then on what basis can we say that kafir means disbeliever? Does this not prove that kafir does not mean every disbeliever? If every disbeliever is not a kafir, then how can kafir mean disbeliever?

    By Naseer Ahmed - 2/20/2018 12:13:42 AM



  • The discussion of Kafir is just 1400 year old.

    It keep on changing the meaning depending on where and how Muslims are in political power
    By Aayina - 2/19/2018 8:23:19 PM



  • casuistry when mistaken for logic has hilarious consequences. what with anonymous well known scholars, kill meaning to save, kafir meaning a believer, and anything however absurd in the search for the defense of the indefensible. By hats off! - 2/19/2018 5:34:02 PM



  • This mushrikin/kafir discussion has gone to ridiculous lengths and seems to be never-ending. For a modernist Muslim, a mushrikin has every right to be a mushrikin, a kafir has every right to be a kafir and a momin has every right to be a momin. I doubt that God Almighty, the most merciful and the most beneficent, will punish anyone for their beliefs. He just wants us to be good and righteous in our behavior. He certainly does not want us to be pointing our fingers at those "kafirs". He would much rather have us look at ourselves.


    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 2/19/2018 12:59:53 PM



  • Naseer Saheb, you have said: "While Allah does not consider all of them as kafir but simply as people without knowledge, he [Yunus Saheb] argues that all of them were kafir. He expects a higher standard of wisdom from the common Mushrikin of Mecca than from our own scholars! Not doing so is childish according to him. How foolish of him!”

     

    Since you are explicitly referring to him, he has felt obliged to send a clarification to me, saying the following: “I never argued that "all the mushrikiin of Mecca were kafir". All I said repeatedly was that the Qur'an used this word for those mushrikin who persistently denied the Qur'anic message, asked others to drown the words of the recited Qur'an by shouting (41:26) and turned away from it like frightened donkeys fleeing a lion (74:49-51). Accordingly, my definition of the word refers only to the "recalcitrant" audience of the Prophet and NOT all the mushrikin of Mecca.”

     

    I recall reading this allegation from you Naseer Saheb repeatedly and Yunus Saheb clarifying probably in these same words again and again. What I would like to know is where does this misunderstanding, come from? Where has Yunus Saheb argued, as you say, and is maybe not admitting now that “all of them were kafir.” Can you please point out where has Yunus Sahab argued that all the mushrikin of Mecca are kafir? A straight forward quotation from Yunus Saheb, please, not your logically derived meaning, because in your logically derived meanings we have seen black turning into white and vice versa. In your logically derived literal meaning verse 2:221 permits marriage with polytheists, no single verse of the Qur'an considers kafir a disbeliever, and so on. These logically derived literal meanings escape our ordinary minds. In this logic, not one person has understood the Quran in the last 14 centuries.

     

    By the way, for readers who may not have seen this long running debate about logically derived literal meanings, Quran’s verse 2:221, says the following:

    Sahih International

    And do not marry polytheistic women until they believe. And a believing slave woman is better than a polytheist, even though she might please you. And do not marry polytheistic men [to your women] until they believe. And a believing slave is better than a polytheist, even though he might please you. Those invite [you] to the Fire, but Allah invites to Paradise and to forgiveness, by His permission. And He makes clear His verses to the people that perhaps they may remember.

    By Sultan Shahin - 2/19/2018 10:33:52 AM



  • Shahin sb,

    Neither your anonymous scholar nor those who followed the methodology of Taqlid, appear to be aware that the Quran does not accept the excuse of Taqlid when the person whom you follow is clearly in error.There is no privileged priestly class with a Pope in Islam who must be followed for your redemption. If you set up intermediaries and follow them, blame yourself. 

    The very fact that such a methodology was followed, is proof of the utterly rotten nature of Islamic scholarship that deified the utterances of mere humans rather than be guided by the very clear word of God.

    (2:170) When it is said to them: "Follow what Allah hath revealed:" They say: "Nay! we shall follow the ways of our fathers." What! even though their fathers Were void of wisdom and guidance?

    (171) The parable of the kafaru is as if one were to shout Like a goat-herd, to things that listen to nothing but calls and cries: Deaf, dumb, and blind, they are void of wisdom.

    While blind Taqlid by those without knowledge is understandable, blind Taqlid by the scholars is inexcusable. The similitude of the scholars who are blind Muqallids and do not follow what Allah has revealed but the way of their imams even though they were clearly in error is also that of cattle -deaf, dumb and blind and void of wisdom.

     Why does not Yunus sb, your anonymous scholar, apply the same reasoning for the Mushrikin of Mecca? While Allah does not consider all of them as kafir but simply as people without knowledge, he argues that all of them were kafir. He expects a higher standard of wisdom from the common Mushrikin of Mecca than from our own scholars! Not doing so is childish according to him. How foolish of him! Or is it simply double standards?

    By Naseer Ahmed - 2/18/2018 10:59:09 PM



  • Naseer Saheb, the scholar who wants to remain anonymous has sent me the following response to your questions. It's not a point by point answer, which I would like to take up, but I just do not have the time to do that now, maybe later. However, this is his response:

    Since the early centuries of Islam, exegetic sciences have followed a methodology of taqlid which is captured by Moulana Abul Kalam Azad in these words ( Abul Kalam Azad, Tarjuman al-Qur’an, 1931, reprint New Delhi 1989, Vol.1. p. 42.) - also referenced p.352, Essential Message of Islam.

     

    " an error was made in an interpretation in the third century hijra, it is inevitably copied and recopied down to the ninth century. No one thought for a moment to step out of the taqlid (strict compliance with the precedent) regime even for a moment to investigate the truth. By and by, the spirit of interpretation dipped so low that it got restricted to merely putting new margins (with comments) on the old contents.”

    Copying from, and embellishing upon past works was, however, not all. The early exegetes presented several optional arguments while interpreting the critical verses of the Qur’an. The later interpreters often chose the weakest of these arguments. Thus in later periods, “only those tafsir gained popularity for education and adoption, which totally lacked the beauty of those (advocated by the) ancients.”10

     

    Hence what is listed as 'failings' is nothing but the result of the methodology of exegesis that was specific to the classical era of Islam and it will be ignorance of the state of knowledge of that era and somewhat childish to blame the past scholars for their failings.

    By Sultan Shahin - 2/18/2018 2:12:46 AM



  • Shahin sb,
    Another relevant comment:
    Shahin sb,The anonymous Islamic scholar's protest lacks substance as he has not explained any of the reasons I gave for saying what I said. What has the era in which the scholars lived got to do with their distorting the meanings of words such as kafir, fitna, shaheed, jihad fi sabilillah? 

    How has "shirk" itself come to mean fitna for many scholars except through bigotry?

    How does fight until there is no more fitna of religious persecution become fight until the kafir  disavow kufr and accept Islam?

    How does Deen of Allah become worship only for Allah?

    How does Shaheed become martyr?

    How has kafir come to mean disbeliever?

    How has permission to fight persecution become a fight to end disbelief?

    Are they deaf, dumb and blind to the contradictions their interpretations gives rise to?

    How many scholars are there who reject the notion of the Quran containing abrogated verses? And why are they unable to understand the Quran without treating some verses as abrogated?

    Why is any part of the Quran ambiguous to them? 

    Is there any scholar who speaks of the "Principles of war" in Islam?

    How many scholars understand Islam as a set of unchanging and eternal principles?

    Why are they unable to proclaim "Let there be no compulsion in religion" is an eternal principle without qualifications? Why do scholars discuss this verse with reference to Shan e Nuzool except to limit its applicability?

    Can your anonymous scholar provide cogent reasons for the failings? I do not see any connection between these failings and the era in which they lived except for certain parts of the Quran having been difficult for them to understand that are better understood today because of our knowledge of the sciences.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/2/2018 7:38:01 AM

    By Naseer Ahmed - 2/16/2018 2:22:51 AM



  • Shahin Sb,

    The following is also from the tafsir of Ibn Kathir:

    And fight them until there is no more Fitnah

    He (Umar) said, "That we did during the time of Allah's Messenger when Islam was still weak and (the Muslim) man used to face trials in his religion, such as killing or torture. When Islam became stronger (and apparent), there was no more Fitnah.'' 

    Hazrat Umar (RA) was right. The fitna during the Prophet’s time when Islam was weak was the persecution of the Muslims which ended when Islam became stronger.

    Bigotry among the scholars is pervasive and Ibn Kathir was one such scholar and a commentator who has covered the opinion of other scholars in his commentary many of whom were bigots. Two of  my comments on the meaning of fitna are reproduced below.

    I have covered the subject of Jizya in an article:

          The Story of the Prophetic Mission of Muhammad (pbuh) From the Qu’ran (Part 6): The People of the Book and Jiziya

    ShShahin sb,
    The verse that is misinterpreted is 2:193/8:39 based on how two words/phrases are translated:
    1. Fitnatun 
    فِتْنَةٌ 
    2. The complete law of Allah
    الدِّينُ كُلُّهُ لِلَّهِ 
     The following is a link to 54 translations of the verse:
    islamawakened.com/quran/8/39/
    Only two translators, Muhammad Sarwar and N J Dawud have translated fitna as idolatry. The remaining overwhelming majority have correctly translated fitna  as religious persecution or as oppression. As far as Tafsir is concerned, my earlier comment covered Tafsir of Ibn Kathir. Kanzul Iman is also in line with Ibn Kathir and says that the fighting is to continue until the kafaru “kufr se baaz aye aur iman laye” which implies that it equates fitna with kufr/shirk.
     As far as the second term is concerned, Asad, Mustafa Khattab, Safi Kaskas, Al Muntakhab, Abdel Haleem, Abdul Majid Daryabadi, and several more get it wrong and either are directly or indirectly saying that the fighting must continue until all worship Allah.
     More than half of them get it right with the following more explicit than others 
     Yusuf Ali "and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere"
    Dr Bakhtiar : and the way of life—all of it—be for God
    Shabbir Ahmed: and absolute freedom of religion is established. People must be able to adopt a religion only for God's Approval, and as free choice
    Vickar Ahmed:  and there exists justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere
    Bilal Mohammed: and there prevails justice and faith in God, altogether and everywhere
    Maududi: the way prescribed by Allah - the whole of it -prevail
    Mohammed Shafi: and the way of life is restored in its entirety to Allah
    Bijan Moeinian: a God pleasing “way of life” is established
    My translation: Until the complete law of Allah prevails. Explanatory note: Until there is no compulsion in religion and all oppression ends. This is the cornerstone of Allah’s laws. By Naseer Ahmed - 12/4/2017 11:38:26 PM

         Ghaus Sb,

    Yes, you do need to resolve the following which I had addressed to you earlier also, but which remained unresponded:

    The Tafseer of Ibn Kathir on verse 2:193 and  8:38 quotes a Hadith collected in the two Sahihs of Bukhari and Muslim in which the Prophet (pbuh) is alleged to have said:

     «أُمِرْتُ أَنْ أُقَاتِلَ النَّاسَ، حَتَّى يَقُولُوالَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ، فَإِذَا قَالُوهَا عَصَمُوا مِنِّي دِمَاءَهُمْ وَأَمْوَالَهُمْ، إِلَّا بِحَقِّهَا، وَحِسَابُهُمْ عَلَى اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَل»

    (I was commanded to fight against the people until they proclaim, `There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah.' If and when they say it, they will preserve their blood and wealth from me, except for its right (Islamic penal code), and their reckoning is with Allah, the Exalted and Most Honoured.)"

    The implication of this hadith is clear. The battle was against disbelief and until disbelief exists. The question to Ghaus sb is does he reject this hadith as false? If no, then how does he reconcile it with his saying that the battle is only against the oppressors to end their oppression?

    While translating verse 8:38, while the correct meaning of the verse is: “Tell those religious persecutors/oppressors (kafaru) that if they desist (from their religious persecution), that which is past (their various acts of persecution) will be forgiven…..”

    For 12 translators the meaning of kafaru is disbelievers, who must desist from their “Unbelief” or its equivalent. They are: Yusuf Ali (from Unbelief), Al'-Muntakhab (renounce infidelity, desist from evil purpose and turn to Allah), Ali Unal: (to disbelieve themselves and prevent others from entering the fold of Islam), Muhammad TaqiUsmani (from infidelity), Syed Vickar Ahamed (from disbelief),Farook Malik (from unbelief), Dr Munir Munshey (their skepticism),Dr. M Tahir ul Qadri (from their blasphemous acts),Ali Quli Qarai [faithlessness], Dr Kamal Omar (from their blasphemous acts),Thanvi (Kufr), Kanzul Iman (Kufr Se Baaz Aye Aur Islam Laye).

    Do you also reject the commentary in Kanzul Iman which says that the war was until the disbelievers give up their disbelief and accept Islam? 

    By Naseer Ahmed - 11/9/2017 2:19:07 AM

    By Naseer Ahmed - 2/16/2018 2:12:12 AM



  • Naseer Saheb, just to pick your brain, if this translation and context (shaan-e-nuzool) described in Ibn-e-Kathir is correct, why should fitna not mean shirk? I know you have explained this elsewhere, but it seems to me, that if this translation is correct, God is leaving us in no doubt that shirk is fitna that He wants extirpated. I basically want a correct translation:

    verse 2:193

    Fight them until there is no [more] fitnah and religion and every kind of worship is for Allah alone. Qur'an 2:193
    Explanation of verse 2:193 Tafsir ibn Kathir

    (Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth among the People of the Scripture,) This honourable Ayah was revealed with the order to fight the People of the Book, after the pagans were defeated, the people entered Allah's religion in large numbers, and the Arabian Peninsula was secured under the Muslims' control. Allah commanded His Messenger to fight the People of the Scriptures, Jews and Christians, on the ninth year of Hijrah, and he prepared his army to fight the Romans and called the people to Jihad announcing his intent and destination. The Messenger sent his intent to various Arab areas around Al-Madinah to gather forces, and he collected an army of thirty thousand. Some people from Al-Madinah and some hypocrites, in and around it, lagged behind, for that year was a year of drought and intense heat. The Messenger of Allah marched, heading towards Ash-Sham to fight the Romans until he reached Tabuk, where he set camp for about twenty days next to its water resources. He then prayed to Allah for a decision and went back to Al-Madinah because it was a hard year and the people were weak, as we will mention, Allah willing.
    The Order is to fight People of the Scriptures until They give the Jizyah:

    ----- Tafsir ibn Kathir

    By Sultan Shahin - 2/15/2018 11:42:55 AM



  • I have also said which verses of the Quran tell us that anything said about God is through metaphors or analogies. 

    I am not answerable for what Ibn-e-Taymiyya may or may not have said. I have already expressed an opinion of all of Islamic scholarship which I find to be sub-standard and continues to be so.

    There is a systematic method for determining the meaning of every verse of the Quran and all of the Islamic scholars are oblivious of the same. If they catch on to it, all differences and the numerous sects will disappear.
    By Naseer Ahmed - 2/9/2018 6:25:06 AM



  • Shahin Sb,

    Please go through my previous comments to understand the meaning of logical derivations and why these are not interpretations. Also why the Quran is not a Book of tautologies (meaning containing the logical derivations) and the implications if it were a Book of tautologies.

    It is the most perfect Book which answers every question on religious matters either directly or through logical derivation.


    By Naseer Ahmed - 2/9/2018 3:40:17 AM



  • Shahin sb the Quran is the word of God to be taken literally and not for us to fool around with interpretations. I never deviate from the literal meaning or its logical derivations. I have far too much respect for the Quran to treat it as the speech of a child or an imbecile needing to be interpreted by intelligent people. They are fools who take the word of God any other way except literally while apparently, they think themselves to be intelligent.  By Naseer Ahmed - 2/7/2018 1:31:44 AM

     

    Naseer Saheb, “logical derivations” are interpretations. Is Quran “the speech of a child or an imbecile” needing you to use your logic and reasoning and rationality to understand its meaning. Why not just translate it? Is this not our logic, for instance, that tells us that verses telling us that God is formless and unique have to be considered Muhkamat (clear) and verses talking about God’s seeing and hearing and hands and legs and throne are to be treated as “Mutashabehat” (allegorical), whose meaning is known to God alone? Where in Quran does God tell us that this verse is Muhkam and this verse is Mutashabeh? Obviously, we are using our minds to understand Quran. You do the same.

     Any reader of Quran knows that Quran is not a book of mathematical formulae written with mathematical precision. Those who do not use logic and reasoning, show to their followers, as literalist Hanbalite scholar Ibn-e-Taimia did, by descending a few steps from their pulpit to show the literal meaning of how God descended. Ibn-e-Taimiya said “Verily God descends [from heaven] to the sky over our own world in the same bodily fashion as I make this descent. But when you seek to understand how God descended, I imagine, you would consider it allegorical, and leave its meaning to God. This would be your interpretation or “logically derived meaning,” whatever you call it.

     

    However, you are quite entitled to your opinion, as are others. You are certainly entitled to even an opinion that contradicts all the scholars of the past millennium and a half. You are certainly entitled to calling your interpretation a “logically derived meaning.” Let’s leave it at that.

     

    I have published more than a hundred of your articles and will continue to do so, if you continue to write. The conclusions you reach are in most cases progressive and in line with what the ummah needs today. These ideas need to reach a large number of people. If nothing else they will spark debate. And debate and discussion, and all forms of Kalam, though banned by literalist scholars like Ibn-e-Taimiya on pain of death, have become the most urgent need of the hour. If we are to make any progress, in my view, it will come from Muslims of all sectarian persuasions brainstorming together, differing with one another but respecting each other’s’ opinions. New Age Islam is such a forum, where no views, expressed respectfully, are barred.

    By Sultan Shahin - 2/7/2018 10:39:29 AM



  • Shahin sb says:  I told you before, giving examples from how God says in one place good deeds lead to salvation, then says good deeds plus this and this lead to salvation, then says good deeds plus this and this and this and this lead to salvation. He also says Jihad in the sense of qital in the way of God leads to salvation and so on. So, you can’t say definitively that good deeds alone make you a Momin.

     

    Isn’t qital when appropriate a good deed? And isn’t avoiding qital when it becomes necessary as was the case when the Prophet was fighting battles a sign of kufr? Wasn’t fighting to liberate Bangladesh a good deed worthy of a momin? A momin does what is appropriate in each circumstance.  If there is a verse that says there is salvation in the service of mother and another which says there is salvation in the service of father and a third that says that there is salvation in the service of mankind and a fourth that says there is salvation in the service of animals and a fifth that says there is salvation in the service of living creatures, are these verses contradictory?  It only means that there are multiple ways in which you may attain salvation and multiple ways in which you may deserve to be punished. So do whatever good you can and avoid evil. A momin is a person of faith who does whatever is likely to please Allah the most and avoid that which displeases Allah.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 2/7/2018 1:53:59 AM



  • Shahin sb says: “An educated youth is not going to be fooled by arguments like “the Quran uses Kafir for those who reject the Signs of Allah and not for the disbeliever."  He is bound to ask:Are you saying that a disbeliever does not reject the sign of Allah, and hence he is not a kafir? What kind of nonsense is that, he would say, and justifiably so.”

    While there are certainly a few Kafir among the disbelievers in Islam who have rejected the Signs of Allah, it is also equally true that not every disbeliever is such a Kafir having rejected the signs of Allah. An educated youth is not going to be fooled by the argument that all the disbelievers in Islam are people who have rejected the Signs of Allah when he can easily ascertain for a fact that very few are even aware of what these signs are. This holds equally for those who call themselves Muslim which is why the majority of  Muslims are merely those who say they believe but lack the necessary knowledge about the Signs of Allah to become good Muslims.

    Shahin sb says: So, I am merely asking that we make arguments that can hold water. And we not be dishonest. We use our common sense and rationality, but say that we are using our common sense and rationality for deriving meaning from Quran, and not say instead that this is the literal meaning of Quranic verse when it is clearly not.

    Shahin sb the Quran is the word of God to be taken literally and not for us to fool around with interpretations. I never deviate from the literal meaning or its logical derivations. I have far too much respect for the Quran to treat it as the speech of a child or an imbecile needing to be interpreted by intelligent people. They are fools who take the word of God any other way except literally while apparently they think themselves to be intelligent. 

    By Naseer Ahmed - 2/7/2018 1:31:44 AM



  • Shahin sb, You say: “As I have told you again and again even surah Al-Muddathir, which is the first surah in which God asks the prophet to begin his prophetic work ad proclaim his prphethood publicly refers to Meccan Mushrikin or pagans or non-believers as kafir.”

    You are wrong. The verse 74:10 is speaking of the fate of the Kafirin in general, as a warning to the addressees of the Prophet.  It is not calling all the Mushrikin of Mecca as Kafir. It is about the Day of Judgment and the fate of the Kafirin on that day. Through a clear description of his behaviour in verses 11 to 26, the Surah does describe one person whose fate as Kafir Allah has sealed. This is not the description of every Mushrik but of one individual.  Who this person may have been is irrelevant, but tradition identifies the person as Abu Jahl who died a Kafir leading the Mushrikin in the battle of Badr. The Surah is about one individual held as an example to the rest. To understand the meaning of Kafir, read the description of one such kafir in verses 11 to 26. If you needed more proof that a Kafir is not just any disbeliever, you have it in in this Surah. A Kafir is not just any disbeliever, but an active opponent of Islam, enemy of Allah, the Messenger and the Muslims.

    (8) Finally, when the Trumpet is sounded,

    (9) That will be- that Day - a Day of Distress,-

    (10) Far from easy for the Kafirin.

     (11) Leave Me alone, (to deal) with the (creature) whom I created (bare and) alone!-

    (12) To whom I granted resources in abundance,

    (13) And sons to be by his side!-

    (14) To whom I made (life) smooth and comfortable!

    (15) Yet is he greedy-that I should add (yet more);-

    (16) By no means! For to Our Signs he has been refractory!

    (17) Soon will I visit him with a mount of calamities!

    (18) For he thought and he plotted;-

    (19) And woe to him! How he plotted!-

    (20) Yea, Woe to him; How he plotted!-

    (21) Then he looked round;

    (22) Then he frowned and he scowled;

    (23) Then he turned back and was haughty;

    (24) Then said he: "This is nothing but magic, derived from of old;

    (25) "This is nothing but the word of a mortal!"

    (26) Soon will I cast him into Hell-Fire!

    (27) And what will explain to thee what Hell-Fire is?

    (28) Naught doth it permit to endure, and naught doth it leave alone!-

    (29) Darkening and changing the colour of man!

    By Naseer Ahmed - 2/7/2018 12:10:50 AM



  • Naseer Saheb, you are saying this again and again:

    Shahin sb,
    Of all the people, I find it strange that you do not understand my methods when you have published nearly a hundred of my articles which follow the same methodology consistently. By Naseer Ahmed - 2/4/2018 11:22:40 PM

    In another comment:

    I am not sure whether: Shahin sb is speaking for himself. Or is he a supporter of the views of the bigots whom he quotes. By Naseer Ahmed - 2/2/2018 2:50:24 AM

    The above question repeated thrice on 2/2/2018

     

    Anticipating this, I had written the following over a week ago, on 30 January, 2018, but either you missed it or I was not able to make my position clear:

     

    Naseer Saheb, you know it very well that I have no difference with you on most of your conclusions. I do not think they are any Kafirs or unbelievers in the world, after God’s clarification that there is no nation on earth where a prophet was not sent and no prophet who was not given revelations, which become books when collected. So, all nations are to me ahl-e-kitab. However, God refers to Meccan mushrikin, pagans, non-believers, whatever you call them, as kafirin from the very beginning of Quran.

     

    As I have told you again and again even surah Al-Muddathir, which is the first surah in which God asks the prophet to begin his prophetic work ad proclaim his prphethood publicly refers to Meccan Mushrikin or pagans or non-believers as kafir. Then God uses the variations of kuifr, kafaru, kafirin, etc throughout the Quran from beginning to end in a variety of situations.  So, my conclusion that now there are no more kafirs in the world, only ahl-e-kitab, is my interpretation and my understanding of the Quran; it is not the literal Quran. For you, the same thing is literal Quran.

     

    But why should I insist that we should call our conclusions our interpretations rather than literal meaning of verses from Quran?  What difference would it make?  The issue is not my understanding or Naseer Saheb’s. This entire exercise we are engaged in here is to find a new understanding which is coherent and internally consistent enough for us to take it to our educated youth, that is turning to terrorism under the influence of how revered theologians understand Quran and Hadith.

     

    This youth is educated, sophisticated, under the influence of the theology of consensus, and able to find holes in counter-arguments or counter-narratives given to it. An educated youth is not going to be fooled by arguments like “the Quran uses Kafir for those who reject the Signs of Allah and not for the disbeliever."  He is bound to ask: Are you saying that a disbeliever does not reject the sign of Allah, and hence he is not a kafir? What kind of nonsense is that, he would say, and justifiably so. So, I am merely asking that we make arguments that can hold water. And we not be dishonest. We use our common sense and rationality, but say that we are using our common sense and rationality for deriving meaning from Quran, and not say instead that this is the literal meaning of Quranic verse when it is clearly not.

     

    I am only acting here as a devil’s advocate and only because I have to; there are no representatives of the Jihadism here or the youths who are on their way to Jihadism for us to argue with. We have to sharpen our counternarrative and fill any holes.

    Now after this preamble let me take up some points made by Naseer Saheb one by one: …

    By Sultan Shahin - 1/30/2018 11:55:02 AM

    By Sultan Shahin - 2/6/2018 10:20:33 PM



  • Shahin sb,

    The literal meaning of “barāatun” is not “disassociated” but “freedom”. In verse 9:1 it means freedom from all the obligations arising from the treaties, since these are being dissolved through the announcement.

    “Bari’” is also used in the sense of exonerated. A person charged with crimes may be declared bari or exonerated or freed of all the charges.

    It therefore means “freed” or “relieved” or “exonerated” and used in the context of obligations, responsibility, charges, or  blame.

    For example:

    وَإِن كَذَّبُوكَ فَقُل لِّي عَمَلِي وَلَكُمْ عَمَلُكُمْ ۖ أَنتُم بَرِيئُونَ مِمَّا أَعْمَلُ وَأَنَا بَرِيءٌ مِّمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ

    (10:41) If they charge you with falsehood, say: "My work to me, and yours to you! ye are free (barīūna)from responsibility for what I do, and I for what you do!"

    Disassociated looks like a close synonym but is inappropriate and this becomes clear when an inappropriate synonym is used to disassociate with the Mushrikin of all times. This is a typical example of how the bigots distort the otherwise clear meaning of the Quran and Shahin sb, you have fallen for it!

    By Naseer Ahmed - 2/5/2018 12:27:29 AM



  • Why is Ghulam Ghaus sb and Yunus sb silent on the meaning of the so called sword verses? I am sure they do not differ from what I have shown to be the meaning. Why are they then silent?

    Does any scholar on this forum differ?

    By Naseer Ahmed - 2/4/2018 11:43:21 PM



  • Shahin sb,
    Of all the people, I find it strange that you do not understand my methods when you have published nearly a hundred of my articles which follow the same methodology consistently.
    I never deviate from the literal meaning. The literal meaning of every keyword used in the Quran can be precisely determined with the help of the literal meaning of other verses.
    The answer to any and every question relating to the deen of Islam is found in the Quran - either as a direct answer, or as a logically derived answer.
    Logically derived answers are not interpretations. A logically derived answer is as good as if there was a verse saying the same thing because with the given data, only one conclusion is possible. The Quran is not a Book of tautologies containing logically redundant verses. You do not call a logician a person who interprets. Nor does a logician deviate from the literal meaning of the premises constituting the argument for the logically derived conclusion. A logician is very much a literalist as to the meaning he takes for what constitutes the premises of the argument.
    An interpretation is however one possible meaning considering the given data and admits the possibility of other equally valid interpretations. The Quran however, contains all the data necessary to go beyond mere interpretation and determine the single meaning of each verse which is why it is Kitabum Mubeen.
    I have given the logically derived meaning of every verse based on its literal meaning in my previous comment. You have not responded to it verse by verse. If you can derive other meanings, show it. Do not hide behind what others have said. Speak for yourself.
     I have given three irrefutable reasons why the people who did not fight against the Muslims in violation of their treaty covered by 9:4, are to be left alone to practice their faith if they become willing jiziya paying subjects of the new polity. You have not shown any of these reasons to be incorrect.
    In your last comment, you are trying to put words into my mouth. Please quote me verbatim rather than your “interpretation” of what I said or meant.
    In my previous comment, I have explained the so-called sword verses with the literal meaning of those verses themselves and yet, Islam comes through as a religion of compassion and forgiveness rather vengeance.
    The points to be noted are:
    1. The Quran refrains from using the word kafir in verse 9:5, even for the people who had fought against the Prophet and the Muslims to annihilate them and the religion of Islam. The verse shows that the door for redemption is open even for such people.
    2. The Quran guarantees security of life and safety to anyone who seeks asylum. The only persons in need of asylum are those condemned to die if they do not migrate to a neighbouring country during the amnesty period or accept Islam
    3. The polytheists covered under 9:4, who fought a fair war against the Muslims without violating their treaty or never fought, are free to become willing subjects of the new political authority, by becoming jiziya paying subjects.
    There has never been a more just and compassionate judgment on the vanquished people in the history of mankind, and these were a people who had practiced every kind of persecution, driven out the Muslims from Mecca and were the aggressor in every battle and determined to annihilate Islam and the Muslims.
    It is because of such generosity that people entered Islam in hordes and this event is captured in the following Surah 110:
    (1) When comes the Help of Allah, and Victory,
    (2) And thou dost see the people enter Allah´s Religion in crowds,
    (3) Celebrate the praises of thy Lord, and pray for His Forgiveness: For He is Oft-Returning (in Grace and Mercy).
    The DNA of the Quran is the same in these very last verses of judgment on the vanquished people and in the Meccan verses. The principle of “Let there be no compulsion in religion” was never violated.
    The Quran did not permit war during the Meccan period because the Quran does not allow a civil war or violent resistance other than war. The Quran never allowed anyone other than a ruler with a territory under his control, and ability to protect the people residing in his territory, from waging war.  The Prophets who fought wars were those who became such rulers and they fought wars only after they became rulers such as Moses, Solomon, David etc. and not Jesus, Yusuf, Yunus, Noah etc because they never had political authority and territory under their control.
    Moses also showed the same patience and forbearance while dealing with the Pharaoh but when he had become the ruler and political leader of Bani Israel, he fought wars. David fought under a king and later himself became king. Solomon was also one such King.
    The DNA of the Quran remains unchanged all through history and the earlier scriptures.
    I am not sure what you are trying to prove. It appears to me that you are batting for the extremists view to prevail. By Naseer Ahmed - 2/4/2018 11:22:40 PM



  • Naseer Saheb, what you have brought out is not literal meaning. It’s interpretation. If Quran says in its final judgement in the long journey of revelation: 9:1 [This is a declaration of] disassociation, from Allah and His Messenger, to those with whom you had made a treaty among the polytheists (Mushrikin). And 9:3- And [it is] an announcement from Allah and His Messenger to the people on the day of the greater pilgrimage that Allah is disassociated from the polytheists (Mushrikin), and [so is] His Messenger.

    And you say that Islam’s revered theologians who say that Islam asks Muslims to disassociate themselves from Mushrikin (polytheists) are bigots, then this is your interpretation, your reasoning, your logic, based on a number of factors, including other verses of Quran. If you think “disassociate” means “associate,” then this is not a literal translation. If you think Islam is a pluralistic religion which asks Muslims to co-exist with other religious communities, this is your interpretation (and of course, mine too, and that of any other sensible Muslim) of the spirit of Islam, particularly emerging from early Meccan verses.

     

    Even literal translation of Quran’s early Meccan verses may teach us patience and perseverance in the face of adversity and persecution, rather than killing Mushrikin, driving them out of the land of Islam, etc. Innallah Ma’as Sabirin, for instance, God is with those who remain patient. But you don’t get the same message from a literal translation of Surah Anfal and Sura Taubah that are revelations that came at the near-end and so, are considered by most theologians as the final message of God regarding Muslims co-existing or not with other religious communities.

     

     It’s on the basis of this final message that most theologians conclude that the only possible relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims is that of war; it is because of these verses that most of our ulema teach their students that we should try and not have anything to do with Mushrikin, that there are many fatwas against Muslims participating in non-Muslim festivals and religious celebrations.

     

    If the literalist ulema understand from the following verses that Islam does not allow Muslims to associate with Mushrikin, how can you blame them? After all, they are literalists, they will go by the letter.

     

    9:4 Excepted are those with whom you made a treaty among the polytheists and then they have not been deficient toward you in anything or supported anyone against you; so complete for them their treaty until their term [has ended]. Indeed, Allah loves the righteous [who fear Him]. (Can this be called a crime, an ally not defying Muslims and not supporting any one against them?)

    9:5  And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

    9:29   Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture - [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.

     

    The only concession given to the good Mushrikin described in 9: 4 is that they are allowed to complete their term of the treaty they had with Muslims and not just the four sacred months in which other Mushrikin are allowed to remain free.

    The literalist ulema’s fault is that they are depending on the letter of the Quran. They are depending on the literal meaning of Quran. Let us not call them bigots, only literalists.

    It is this literalism that leads giants among theologians like Iman Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Imam Ibn-e-Taimiya, Imam As’ari etc. to believe that God has eyes and ears, hands and feet and sits on a throne that is so heavy that it can be carried only be eight sturdy men. Of course, as God is also referred to as unique in another verse, they make the concession that God’s limbs are not like human limbs. If you interrogate them any further they resort to the folrmula of bilā kaifa, (Arabic: بلا كيف) [ "without asking how", or "without how"], which means that it is not for Muslims to ask how or why, it’s for them only to follow literally whatever Quran says.

     

    You can’t blame revered ulema for thinking that “kill,” means “kill,” or “hand” means “hand,” or “leg” means “leg” or “throne” means “throne.”

     

    If you are saying in Quran “kill” means “don’t kill,” then you have to resort to some sort of interpretation, using your logic, reasoning, understanding of the spirit of the book, etc. “Logically derived meaning” is interpretation, it’s not a literal translation.

     

    Literalism has led ulema to where Islam is today. Literalists don’t use logic or reasoning. That is what the Mu’tazila or rationalists do.

     

    Please don’t think, as Ash’aris do, that you can ride two horses at the same time. If you are deriving meanings logically, then you are a rationalist, not a literalist. What you are doing in interpretation, not literal translation.

     

    Pray tell us Naseer Saheb, where does the Quran say, that Surah Tauba is giving a one-time judgement on the punishment to be meted out to those few Mushrikin, who had not converted to Islam or gone into exile even 18 months after the Muslim victory at Mecca. Some of these Mushrikin were good ones who had not defied Muslims or conspired with their enemies (9:4).

     

    Where does the Quran tell us where does the Quran say that the wars that the Prophet fought were to be treated as history and these instructions of disassociation from Mushrikin is only meant to be followed during the Prophet’s lifetime.

     

    It doesn’t. And that is why the literalists are doing what they are doing and saying and teaching to our kids today.

     

    To understand that this is history and it’s not applicable to us today, we need logic, reasoning, interpretation, an attempt to understand the spirit of Islam through its foundational verses that were revealed initially in Mecca, not those that were revealed when war broke out as war-time instructions. We need brains to understand that God’s seeing and hearing doesn’t mean eyes and ears, but his ability to know everything, that his throne isn’t a literal throne, but his might. And so on.

     

    This requires interpretation, sometimes through simple logic and reasoning, or Tafseer, and sometimes through deeper process of what is called Ta’weel.

     

    Literalism may lead to bigotry, and it can also sometimes lead to correct understanding. For instance, La Ikraha fid Deen. The literal meaning is “No compulsion in religion.” Nothing wrong with that. So, one has to basically pick and choose, which instructions of Quran, one thinks, are applicable today and which are not. Quran’s criminal jurisprudence and its methods of punishments have been virtually discarded today by the entire Muslim world community, except in literalist, Salafi Saudi Arabia,  Taliban and Boko Haram.

     

    ---

    Maybe the following Google rendition of the meaning of literalism and interpretation will help you understand the two terms and remove any confusion in your mind:

     

    literalism

    noun

    1.   the interpretation of words in their literal sense.

    "biblical literalism"

    o   literal representation in literature or art.

     

    Dictionary.com:

    adherence to the exact letter or the literal sense, as in translation orinterpretation:

    to interpret the law with uncompromising literalism.

    2.

    a peculiarity of expression resulting from this:

    The work is studded with these obtuse literalisms.

    3.

    exact representation or portrayal, without idealization, as in art orliterature:

    a literalism more appropriate to journalism than to the novel.

     

    ----

     

    interpretation

    noun

    1.   the action of explaining the meaning of something.

    "the interpretation of data"

    synonyms:

    explanationelucidation, expounding, expositionexplicationexegesisclarificationdefinition

    simplification

    "the interpretation and application of the Bible's teaching"

    analysisreadingevaluationreviewstudyexaminationdiagnosis;

    decoding, deciphering;

    rareanatomization

    "the interpretation of experimental findings"

    ·        an explanation or way of explaining.

    plural noun: interpretations

    "this action is open to a number of interpretations"

    synonyms:

    meaningunderstanding, construal, connotationreadingexplanationinferenceconclusionsupposition

    "she did not care what interpretation he put on her haste"

    ·        a stylistic representation of a creative work or dramatic role.

    "his unique interpretation of the Liszt études"

    synonyms:

    renditionrenderingexecutionpresentationperformancereading, playing, singing;

    enactmentportrayaldepiction

    "Davis was admirable in his interpretation of the sonata"

    By Sultan Shahin - 2/3/2018 7:59:19 AM




  • I have brought out below, with the help of the literal meaning of the verses of Surah Taubah alone, that the Mushrikin who had kept their treaties with the Muslims, had the right to practice their religion and become Jiziya paying citizens of the new polity. Shahin sb has no response to it and continues to harp on jihadist “interpretations”. Will he respond to the Jihadist “interpretations” with what I have provided as the clear literal meaning of these verses or will he continue to fight against the truth that I have brought out? On whose side is he? Why is he fighting against the clear meaning that I have brought out and batting for “jihadist” interpretations?

     (1) A (declaration) of immunity from Allah and His Messenger, to those of the Mushrikin with whom ye have contracted mutual alliances:-

    Who can these people be except the people with whom the Prophet had alliances? Isn’t this then a historical event?Does the Prophet live among us today and enter into alliances with the Mushrikin? Since the answer is no, does not this verse alone establish this as a historical incident? What more evidence is required to say that these verses describe a historical event? Who can be so dense not to recognize it as a historical incident except one who has taken complete leave of his senses? Isn’t what I am describing the logical derivation of the literal meaning?

    (2) Go ye, then, for four months, backwards and forwards, (as ye will), throughout the land, but know ye that ye cannot frustrate Allah (by your falsehood) but that Allah will cover with shame the kafaru.

    Isn’t this four months from the declaration of immunity which reinforces the fact that this is a historical event?

    (3) And an announcement from Allah and His Messenger, to the people (assembled) on the day of the Great Pilgrimage,- that Allah and His Messenger dissolve (treaty) obligations with the Mushrikin. If then, ye repent, it were best for you; but if ye turn away, know ye that ye cannot frustrate Allah. And proclaim a grievous penalty to the Kafirin.

    Is this not a one-time announcement on the day of the Great Pilgrimage of the year in which the verse was revealed? Or is it to be an announcement to be repeated every year on the day of the Great pilgrimage?Does Allah’s Messenger live among us today to make fresh announcements?  Clearly this is a one-time announcement and not to be repeated year after year which makes it a one-time historical event. We also know for a fact that this declaration is not being made year after year.

    (4) (But the treaties are) not dissolved with those Mushrikin with whom ye have entered into alliance and who have not subsequently failed you in aught, nor aided any one against you. So fulfil your engagements with them to the end of their term: for Allah loveth the righteous.

    The four-month amnesty period applies only to those with whom the treaties are dissolved and not to the people covered by 9:4 or to those who did not fight the Muslims or break their treaty.

    (5) But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Mushrikin wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

    Since the amnesty period applies only to those with whom the treaties are dissolved 9:5does not apply to those with whom the treaties are not dissolved or those covered under 9:4.

     (6) If one amongst the Mushrikin ask thee for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of Allah; and then escort him to where he can be secure. That is because they are men without knowledge.

    This verse is an unqualified command to grant asylum to anyone who seeks it and the only persons in need of asylum are those covered under 9:5. This verse guarantees protection of life and security to all covered by 9:5 and all that they have to do is to seek asylum.

    (7) How can there be a league, before Allah and His Messenger, with the Mushrikin, except those with whom ye made a treaty near the sacred Mosque? As long as these stand true to you, stand ye true to them: for Allah doth love the righteous.

    (8) How (can there be such a league), seeing that if they get an advantage over you, they respect not in you the ties either of kinship or of covenant? With (fair words from) their mouths they entice you, but their hearts are averse from you; and most of them are rebellious and wicked.

    (9) The Signs of Allah have they sold for a miserable price, and (many) have they hindered from His way: evil indeed are the deeds they have done.

    (10) In a Believer they respect not the ties either of kinship or of covenant! It is they who have transgressed all bounds.

    (11) But (even so), if they repent, establish regular prayers, and practise regular charity,- they are your brethren in Faith: (thus) do We explain the Signs in detail, for those who understand.

    (12) But if they violate their oaths after their covenant, and taunt you for your Faith,- fight ye the chiefs of Unfaith: for their oaths are nothing to them: that thus they may be restrained.

    (13) Will ye not fight people who violated their oaths, plotted to expel the Messenger, and took the aggressive by being the first (to assault) you? Do ye fear them? Nay, it is Allah Whom ye should more justly fear, if ye believe!

    (14) Fight them, and Allah will punish them by your hands, cover them with shame, help you (to victory) over them, heal the breasts of Believers,

    Verses 7 to 14 describe people covered by 9:5 - those who fought breaking their treaties and with whom the treaties have been dissolved and to whom the four month amnesty period applies  and not the people covered by 9:4 or those who did not break their treaty.

    What is to be done with people covered by 9:4 after their treaties expire? This is covered by 9:28 and 9:29.

    Why cannot the people under 9:4 be killed after their treaties expire? There are three reasons:

    1. Verse 9:5 does not say “when the forbidden months are past or when their treaties expire…..” and therefore it clearly does not apply to people with whom the treaties are not dissolved or those who never broke their treaty covered by 9:4

    2. People covered by 9:4 are not the people described in verses 9:7 to 14 and guilty of the crimes described in 9:12,13 for which the punishment is as per 9:5

    3. If all are to be killed then to whom does 9:28, 29 apply?

    I have stuck to the literal meaning of each verse. It is those who interpret who distort the meaning of the Quran. I would like Shahin sb to answer each point verse by verse without taking the support of the bigots. He should speak for himself.

     The first 29 verses of Surah Taubah describe the rarest of rare events, the like of which has no parallel in the history of mankind. 

    The People of the Book were assimilated into the new polity without fighting and through negotiations alone in which they agreed to submit to the political authority of the Prophet by paying Jizya not in the manner of 9:29, but as agreed by them willingly as 'value for money' extracting a benefit. During the Medinian period, despite being signatory to the charter of Medina, they had remained aloof and even hostile.

    The Mushrikin who had fought against the Muslims and remained defiant were assimilated by giving them opportunity to migrate or accept Islam and four months’ time in which to act. To those who sought asylum, protection was given and they were escorted to safe places even if they did not accept Islam. 

    Those who had not fought without violating their treaty had the option to retain their faith and become Jizya paying subjects. The fact that there were no jizya paying Mushrikin for long enough period is proof of their willingly accepting Islam. There was absolutely no coercion. 

    The amount of goodwill that was generated was the strength of the new polity - a strength which made them rise to heights never witnessed in the previous history of mankind. 

    The most beautiful part of our history is rendered grotesque and obnoxious by the bigoted versions that Shahin sb is projecting. I hope Shahin sb will cease calumniating against the Quran with the help of the bigoted versions.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 2/2/2018 9:41:41 PM



  • Naseer sab is an opportunistic opponent of interpretation. He uses interpretations only when it is convenient for him to do so. However admitting that would be very inconvenient for him.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 2/2/2018 11:55:14 AM



  • I am not sure whether: Shahin sb is speaking for himself. Or is he a supporter of the views of the bigots whom he quotes. By Naseer Ahmed - 2/2/2018 2:50:24 AM

    You know it very well, Naseer Saheb, that I am answering your following question:

    “How do you implement 9:1,2 and 3 today? How do you implement 9:5 today when the crimes for it in 9:12, 13 cannot be committed today?” By Naseer Ahmed - 1/31/2018 10:46:13 PM

     

    Naseer Saheb, I had asked you where in Quran did you get the idea that Surah Tauba provides only a one-time judgement on the few Mushrikin who have refused to convert to Islam even 18 months after Islam’s sway over the land was established. Since you are a literalist and cannot speculate, you have to quote a verse. You haven’t because you can’t. There is no such verse. Does Quran say anywhere that the order to cleanse the land of Islam of all Mushrikin including the good ones who had not defied Muslims or conspired with the enemy was only a one-time order and history which will not be applied to future generations.  No. You yourself ask: has oppression ended, of course, it hasn’t, so then you ask, why should the struggle against oppression not continue.

    This is precisely what literalist Jihadis are saying. This is the entire basis of present day terrorism, which I know you do not support. I have no problem with your conclusions, only with your methodology of glorifying literalism. You know very well, I am quoting literalist theologians in reply to your question: “How do you implement 9:1,2 and 3 today? How do you implement 9:5 today when the crimes for it in 9:12, 13 cannot be committed today?” By Naseer Ahmed - 1/31/2018 10:46:13 PM

    I am showing you how your fellow literalists have no problem in implementing the judgements of Surah Tauba and Surah Anfal, etc today, nearly 1500 years after these battles. I am also showing what they are doing in the name of implementing the dictates of Surah Tauba. Don’t fall between two stools like Ash’aris do, seeking to be both Hanbali and Mutazila. Not Allama Hasan al-Ashari himself. Though he too argued in the Mu’tazila fashion, he declared himself clearly to be a Hanbali literalist, who considered God to have eyes, ears, hands and legs and who sat on a throne, heavy enough to be carried by eight sturdy men. It’s only his followers who are neither here nor there. You are using your common sense and your rationalism, like me, but, unlike me, calling it literalism.

     

    One thing more that you must understand is that Quran was directly addressing itself to illiterate Bedouins. These people were not IIT-trained mathematicians of 21st century. Quran is Kitab-e-mobin, a book that is clearly understood by all. It is supposed to have no ambiguity.  It was understood even by illiterate Bedouins of seventh century Arabian desert. Then for a millennium and a half, experts, exegetes, theologians, studied it and developed a consensus around a theology. It’s this theology that is leading to war and mayhem today. Now you come and say nobody has understood Quran. It’s meaning is different from what has been understood because it’s a book of mathematical precision and has to be understood with mathematical laws.  Now, please, Naseer Saheb. Nobody is going to take you seriously. However, if you say, that it’s my understanding that this is a historical event and the judgement given on Mushrikin here is a one-time judgement, even though Quran doesn’t say so, this will be still disputed, but maybe taken seriously.

    You are asking me to start becoming a Quran exegete and delineating the meaning of Quran’s verses. You must know that like you I too do not know Arabic. I read Quran in English and Urdu translations. Of course, one gets a hang of some Arabic words like kafir and mushrik, etc. in the process, but this does not qualify us to become exegetes, and start questioning every scholar of the last nearly 1500 years.

     

    We need a theology that will not be scoffed at. It may still be disputed, but not laughed at.  We can’t justify anything by saying had God wanted this he would have used this word and not that word etc. We cannot make sense as you do that 9:4 and 9:5 are not related. Their very proximity makes them cause and effect, as has been understood by everyone. Don’t say Quran gives judgements first and presents charge sheet of crimes later. It’s beyond us to pass judgements on what happened 1500 years ago in a little town in the middle of a desert. Our resources are very meagre. We can only say that whatever was said and done in a long-ago war is not applicable to us today. As a general rule instructions and orders and judgements made in a war become obsolete after that war. No two wars are ever the same.

     

    Let us not look at Quran as a book of mathematical precision. It will lead to the kind of confusion you created by claiming something like that good deeds alone are enough to make you a momin. I told you before, giving examples from how God says in one place good deeds lead to salvation, then says good deeds plus this and this lead to salvation, then says good deeds plus this and this and this and this lead to salvation. He also says Jihad in the sense of qital in the way of God leads to salvation and so on. So, you can’t say definitively that good deeds alone make you a Momin.

     

    I told you before, in this very thread, I think, why doors of ijtihad were closed. What were the concerns of the theologians of yore that led to this. I quoted a revered theologian detailing what happens with the doors of Ijtihad remaining open to all and sundry, as it was at that time. Do I want the doors to remain closed? No. I think ijtihad is the need of the hour. In fact, I think, the doors of ijtihad remain never remained closed fully. Ibn-e-Taimiya, for instance, opened the door of Ijtihad and so have others throughout these centuries.

    But in the name of ijtihad, let’s not make ourselves a laughing stock. Let’s not give reasons for ulema to say, see, this is why doors of ijtihad were closed and need to remain closed.

    By Sultan Shahin - 2/2/2018 10:58:30 AM



  • I am not sure whether:

    Shahin sb is speaking for himself

    Or is he a supporter of the views of the bigots whom he quotes.

    1. A (declaration) of immunity from Allah and His Messenger, to those of the Pagans with whom ye have contracted mutual alliances:-

    Who can these people be except the people with whom the Prophet had alliances? Isn’t this then a historical event?

    2. Go ye, then, for four months, backwards and forwards, (as ye will), throughout the land, but know ye that ye cannot frustrate Allah (by your falsehood) but that Allah will cover with shame those who reject Him.

    Isn’t this four months from the declaration of immunity which reinforces the fact that this is a historical event?

    3. And an announcement from Allah and His Messenger, to the people (assembled) on the day of the Great Pilgrimage,- that Allah and His Messenger dissolve (treaty) obligations with the Pagans. If then, ye repent, it were best for you; but if ye turn away, know ye that ye cannot frustrate Allah. And proclaim a grievous penalty to those who reject Faith.

    Is this announcement a one-time announcement on the day of the Great Pilgrimage of the year in which the verse was revealed, or to be repeated every year on the day of the Great pilgrimage? Clearly this is a one-time announcement and not to be repeated year after year which makes it a one-time historical event. We also know for a fact that this declaration is not being made year after year.

    4. (But the treaties are) not dissolved with those Pagans with whom ye have entered into alliance and who have not subsequently failed you in aught, nor aided any one against you. So fulfil your engagements with them to the end of their term: for Allah loveth the righteous.

    The four-month amnesty period applies only to those with whom the treaties are dissolved and not to the people covered by 9:4

    (5) But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

    Clearly 9:5 applies only to those with whom the treaties are dissolved and who are given the four month amnesty period during which killing is forbidden and not to people covered under 9:4

    (6) If one amongst the Pagans ask thee for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of Allah; and then escort him to where he can be secure. That is because they are men without knowledge.

    This verse is an unqualified command to grant asylum to anyone who seeks it.

    (7) How can there be a league, before Allah and His Messenger, with the Pagans, except those with whom ye made a treaty near the sacred Mosque? As long as these stand true to you, stand ye true to them: for Allah doth love the righteous.

    (8) How (can there be such a league), seeing that if they get an advantage over you, they respect not in you the ties either of kinship or of covenant? With (fair words from) their mouths they entice you, but their hearts are averse from you; and most of them are rebellious and wicked.

    (9) The Signs of Allah have they sold for a miserable price, and (many) have they hindered from His way: evil indeed are the deeds they have done.

    (10) In a Believer they respect not the ties either of kinship or of covenant! It is they who have transgressed all bounds.

    (11) But (even so), if they repent, establish regular prayers, and practise regular charity,- they are your brethren in Faith: (thus) do We explain the Signs in detail, for those who understand.

    (12) But if they violate their oaths after their covenant, and taunt you for your Faith,- fight ye the chiefs of Unfaith: for their oaths are nothing to them: that thus they may be restrained.

    (13) Will ye not fight people who violated their oaths, plotted to expel the Messenger, and took the aggressive by being the first (to assault) you? Do ye fear them? Nay, it is Allah Whom ye should more justly fear, if ye believe!

    (14) Fight them, and Allah will punish them by your hands, cover them with shame, help you (to victory) over them, heal the breasts of Believers,

    Verses 7 to 14 clearly describe people covered by 9:5 - those who fought breaking their treaties and with whom the treaties have been dissolved and to whom the four month amnesty period applies  and not the people covered by 9:4 or those who did not break their treaty.

    What is to be done with people covered by 9:4 after their treaties expire? This is covered by 9:28 and 9:29.

    Why cannot the people under 9:4 be killed after their treaties expire? There are three reasons:

    1. Verse 9:5 does not say “when the forbidden months are past or when their treaties expire…..” and therefore it clearly does not apply to people with whom the treaties are not dissolved or those who never broke their treaty covered by 9:4

    2. People covered by 9:4 are not the people described in verses 9:7 to 14 and guilty of the crimes described in 9:12,13 for which the punishment is as per 9:5

    3. If all are to be killed then to whom does 9:28, 29 apply?

    I have stuck to the literal meaning of each verse. It is those who interpret who distort the meaning of the Quran. I would like Shahin sb to answer each point verse by verse without taking the support of the bigots. He should speak for himself. 

    By Naseer Ahmed - 2/2/2018 2:50:24 AM



  • I am not sure whether:
    Shahin sb is speaking for himself
    Or is he a supporter of the views of the bigots whom he quotes.
    (1)A (declaration) of immunity from Allah and His Messenger, to those of the Pagans with whom ye have contracted mutual alliances:-
    Who can these people be except the people with whom the Prophet had alliances? Isn’t this then a historical event?
    (2)Go ye, then, for four months, backwards and forwards, (as ye will), throughout the land, but know ye that ye cannot frustrate Allah (by your falsehood) but that Allah will cover with shame those who reject Him.
    Isn’t this four months from the declaration of immunity which reinforces the fact that this is a historical event?
    (3)And an announcement from Allah and His Messenger, to the people (assembled) on the day of the Great Pilgrimage,- that Allah and His Messenger dissolve (treaty) obligations with the Pagans. If then, ye repent, it were best for you; but if ye turn away, know ye that ye cannot frustrate Allah. And proclaim a grievous penalty to those who reject Faith.
    Is this announcement a one-time announcement on the day of the Great Pilgrimage of the year in which the verse was revealed, or to be repeated every year on the day of the Great pilgrimage? Clearly this is a one-time announcement and not to be repeated year after year which makes it a one-time historical event. We also know for a fact that this declaration is not being made year after year.
    4)(But the treaties are) not dissolved with those Pagans with whom ye have entered into alliance and who have not subsequently failed you in aught, nor aided any one against you. So fulfil your engagements with them to the end of their term: for Allah loveth the righteous.
    The four-month amnesty period applies only to those with whom the treaties are dissolved and not to the people covered by 9:4
    (5) But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
    Clearly 9:5 applies only to those with whom the treaties are dissolved and who are given the four month amnesty period during which killing is forbidden and not to people covered under 9:4
    (6) If one amongst the Pagans ask thee for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of Allah; and then escort him to where he can be secure. That is because they are men without knowledge.
    This verse is an unqualified command to grant asylum to anyone who seeks it.
    What is to be done with people covered by 9:4 after their treaties expire? This is covered by 9:28 and 9:29.
    Why cannot the people under 9:4 be killed after their treaties expire? There are three reasons:
    1. Verse 9:5 does not say “when the forbidden months are past or when their treaties expire” and therefore it clearly does not apply to people covered by 9:4
    2. People covered by 9:4 are not guilty of the crimes described in 9:12,13 for which the punishment is as per 9:5
    3. If all are to be killed the to who does 9:28, 29 apply?
    I have stuck to literal meaning of each verse only. It is those who interpret who distort the meaning of the Quran.
    I would like Shahin sb to answer each point verse by verse. By Naseer Ahmed - 2/2/2018 2:04:17 AM



  • “No Shahin sb, you have not answered my question. How do you implement 9:1,2 and 3 today? How do you implement 9:5 today when the crimes for it in 9:12, 13 cannot be committed today?By Naseer Ahmed - 1/31/2018 10:46:13 PM

     

    Reading Quran literally, considering all its verses as universal teachings, valid for all time, can be a dangerous proposition, as I said before. Let me add to the ways in which Muslims go by the dictates of Surah Taubah to disassociate with all Mushrikin who are also called kafirin including the good Mushrikin who did not violate their treaties with Muslims in any way.

    One important way is to exhort to Muslims in mosques and madrasas to have nothing to do with Mushrikin/Kafirin, ban them even from celebrating or participating in the celebrations of Christmas, Holi and Deepawali, not to speak of Yom Kippur, the ennobling Jewish festival of Forgiveness, also called the Day of Atonement.

     

    I have quoted in some other context a sample of what is taught in schools and madrasas in Saudi Arabia or those associated with them around the world. Similar things are also taught in non-Salafi-Wahhabi-Deobandi madrasas as well. So, this is not much of a sectarian thing. There is a consensus around the core theology of all sects. But Salafi-Wahhabi ideology being openly literalist Hanbali theology, and Saudi Arabia having the resources to distribute millions of copies of its text books around the world, their teachings are the most influential in today’s world and hence my exclusive focus on them. I would very much like some reader, however, to quote from say Barailvi/Deobandi texts, how they preach disassociation from Mushrik/Kafir in their books. Of course, we all know, there is a Deobandi fatwa against participating in non-Muslim religious festivals, celebrations.

     

    I m now quoting from another page carrying one of my earlier speeches at the UN Human Rights Council with its url at the end:

     

    quote here some paragraphs from a study of Saudi school text books by Eleanor Abdella Doumato in a book edited by her titled “Teaching Islam.” I would consider this book as essential reading for anyone interested in the phenomenon of spreading Jihadism.

    Professor Abdella Doumato comments: “At every grade level the books assert that there is one Islam, that all Muslims are united in one Umma (community of believers), that Saudi Arabia holds a special and sacred place in the Muslim world, and that its royal family fulfils the necessary requirements of legitimate Muslim rulers. Schoolbooks condition students to respect authority, to confuse opinion with fact, and to see ethical questions in black and white, as if Islam were a single, stagnant body of knowledge with obvious and immutable answers to all life's questions. At the same time, the kingdom, like the rest of the Muslim world, is ethnically diverse and divided by sectarian orientations. Although an estimated 10 per cent of its population is Shiite, Saudi Arabia is also home to Sunni Muslims whose religious practices, such as Sufi mysticism, shrine visitation, and veneration of saints, are condemned as polytheism in the schoolbooks…. Although the texts claim authenticity in ancient roots, they espouse an Islam that is a modern amalgamation of home-grown Wahhabism, the Salafism of the Muslim Brotherhood, and a pan-Islamic agenda that inhabits the texts along with the Saudis' own state-building agenda.”

    Professor Abdella Doumato has reached her conclusions by reviewing ‘the books of Fiqh (jurisprudence), Hadith (authoritative anecdotes from the life of the Prophet), and Tawhid (Islamic monotheism) for grades nine through twelve, which were used in the school years 2001/2002 and 2003/2004, and the Tawhid texts for elementary grades three, five, and six and intermediate grades seven, eight, and nine, used in the 2003/2004 school year. In addition, the 2003/2004 texts for courses that incorporate religion into the subject matter have been reviewed: Civics for grades four through Six and eight through twelve and The Life of the Prophet and the History of the Islamic State for the tenth grade. The high school religion textbooks include versions produced by both the Ministry of Education and the General Presidency for Girls.'

    After proclaiming that there is only one Islam for all and there is no room for other interpretations, the schoolbooks lead to the message that philosophy and logic lead to schism, and are therefore especially to be avoided. Professor Abdella Doumato quotes the following paragraph from the text of (10b: 14):

    [W]hen some people built their creed . . . from metaphysical speculation [Iilmal Al-Kilam] and systematic logic [Quwaa 'Ad Al-Mantiq) inherited from Greek and Roman philosophy, they produced deviations and divisions in the creed, and there resulted arguments and divisions in the community and cleavages in building Islamic society.

    "Deviation from the correct creed," indeed, spells "disaster [Mahlikah] and perdition [dayaa'1" (10b: 15).5

    Abdella Doumato comments:

    “The message is that intellectual debate and individual reasoning must be sacrificed on the altar of communal harmony and political unity. The lesson is literally a textbook illustration of what Khaled Abou El Fadl describes as the anti-intellectualism of contemporary Saudi Islam's "supremacist, puritanical orientation," which retreats to the "secure haven of the text," where it can safely dissociate itself from critical historical inquiry (El Fadl 2003). The name he gives to this supremacist, puritanical orientation is "Salafabism," a combination of the words "Salafi" and "Wahhabism," the home-grown Najdi version of Islam that the schoolbook employs to locate the one Islam in Saudi Arabia and legitimize its present rulers.

    “One chapter, in the tenth-grade Tawhid textbook (the unrevised edition), titled the "Call [Da’wah] of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab," describes the progenitor of Najdi Islam as the historical rectifier of deviations in the peninsula, drawing a parallel between al-Shaikh, as he is known in Saudi Arabia, and the Prophet Muhammad. The lesson explains that Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (hereafter MIAW) came as a mercy from God to renew the religion of this Umma, his call for renewal fitting an established pattern: the Prophet Muhammad was sent by God to renew for mankind the creed that had been altered by deviations and innovations over time. Although Muhammad is the final prophet, God produces from time to time individuals from the Ulema to renew the struggle against innovation, to rectify the creed and protect the Sharia from change, and to "bring the light of God to people of blindness" (10b: 19). Such a person appeared in the twelfth century of the Hijra (the eighteenth century of the Common Era); he was al-Shaikh al-Islam, al-Imam the Renewer (Al-Mujaddid) Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, and he appeared in Arabia when it was steeped in ignorance and practicing greater and lesser kinds of polytheistic practices (shirk).”

    But what did Mohammad ibn-e-Abdul Wahhab teach and what is being taught to our children today across the Islamic world and indeed, even in the West? One of the most important lessons in these text books is expressed through the concept of Al-Walaa' Wa Al-Bara (which essentially means showing loyalty towards Wahhabi Muslims and bearing enmity towards everybody else).

    Let me again quote from this chapter of Teaching Islam; “The hostility toward the outsider expressed through Al-Walaa' Wa Al-Bara has a history, and the recipients of Wahhabi enmity shift over time. For example, David Commins (2002) shows that the duty to bear enmity was used to rally resentment against the Ottoman Turks in the 1880s. In contemporary Saudi Tawhid schoolbooks, the objects of enmity range from Jews, non-Wahhabi Muslims to Western civilization in general. In the 'eight grade Tawhid text, for example, the concept is presented as showing love and friendship to right-thinking Muslims and enmity toward (or breaking off relations with) those who disagree with correct faith. The tenth-grade (Tawhid textbook uses its chapter on "showing loyalty and bearing enmity to name the outsiders, delineating the thoughts and actions that separate the believers from their enemies. …

    “The textbook used in 2002 explains that anyone who practices non-conformist thought or action among Muslims should not only be corrected but also despised. Non-Muslims are not to be befriended or tolerated; nor can they be simply ignored. They are to be hated. "It is a law of Tawhid that one should show loyalty to the Unitarian (Muwahhid, Wahhabi) Muslim and bear enmity toward his polytheist (Sufi, Non-Muslim) enemies," says the text.

    Only God is your Wali and His Apostle and those who believe, those who keep up prayers and pay the poor-rate while they bow. And whoever takes God and His Apostle and those who believe for a guardian, then surely they are the party of God and shall triumph. (Quran 5:55-56)

    You shall not find a people who believe in God and the last day befriending those who act in opposition to God and his Messenger, even though they were their own fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their kinsfolk. (Quran 58:22).

    “Additional proof texts (evidence from Quranic verse or Hadith to prove a point) refer to specific events during the Mecca wars but are presented without historical context to show that disassociation between Muslims and non-Muslims is a universal and eternal condition set forth by God (10b: 109-110).10 "The place of Al-Walaa` Wa Al-Baraa` has great standing in Islam," the lesson says, "as the Prophet said: 'The strongest bond of belief is loving what God loves and hating what God hates,' and with these two one gains the loyalty [Wilaayya] of God" (10b: 110). The lesson elevates enmity for the sake of God above the pillars of Islam: "[T]he Prophet said: 'Whoever loves for the sake of God and hates for the sake of God and shows loyalty for the sake of God and enmity for the sake of God, he will achieve the loyalty of God by that, and unless he does so, no worshipper will ever find the taste of faith even if he is excessive in prayer or fasting — (10b: 110).

    “Who are the polytheist enemies against whom the monotheist Muslim must bear enmity? To MIAW (Abdul Wahhab), polytheist enemies were other Muslims, especially the Ottoman Turks, Shi`a, Sufis, and anyone who wore amulets or practiced magic. The school text specifies new ways to become an enemy, explaining why Muslims must be alert to show hostility toward the offender. Student should recognize hypocrisy (al-Mudaahana) when they see it. If a person socializes with moral deviants but thinks himself immune to their 'deviancy, he's being hypocritical, and by not breaking off relations with them and showing them hatred he is showing disloyalty to God (10b: 111). The poof text is the story of Abraham, who broke off from those who did, not believe in the one God but instead worshipped idols."11

    “In the Fiqh and Hadith texts, imitating the Kuffar (unbelievers) is presented as morally corrupting. Women who dress like foreigners, for example, invite temptation and corruption, so the fabric of Muslim women's dress must be thick enough not to show any skin and wide enough to conceal the contours of the body, and the face must be covered to protect her personality. Imitating the Kuffar is an insult to God because Muslims are supposed to love what God loves and hate what God hates. If a Muslim joins in holiday celebrations with the Kuffar or shares with them their joys and sorrows, he is showing them loyalty (10b: 118). To say Id Mubarak happy holiday) to the Kuffar is as bad as worshipping the cross; it's a worse sin against God than offering a toast with liquor; it's worse than suicide and) worse than having forbidden sex (Irtikab Al-Farj Al-Haram); and many people do it without realizing what they have done (10b: 118).

    “Imitating the Kuffar by using the calendrical designation "A.D." instead of the Hijra year is another problem, because A.D. evokes the date of Jesus' birth and shows an affinity with unbelievers. At Christmas time, Muslims are not to dress like the Kuffar or exchange gifts or attend a feast or display ornaments. The holidays of the Kuffar should be like any other day for Muslim. As Ibn Taimiyya said, "Agreeing with the Ahl al-kitab (People of the Book) on things that are not in our religion and that are not the customs of our ancestors is corruption. By avoiding these things, you cease supporting them." Some even say, the lesson warns, that if you perform a ritual slaughter on their day, it's as if you slaughtered a pig.

    “The textbooks evoke the past as a warning for the present. A section of the chapter called "Judgment About Making Use of the Kuffar in Employment and Fighting and Things Like That" quotes Ibn Taimiyya  as saying, "Knowledgeable people know that the protected people among the Jews and Christians (ahl dhimma min Yahood wa Nasara) wrote to people of their own religion giving secret information about the Muslims" (10b: 119). The principle is to not to cooperate with or trust the Kuffar:

     "O you who believe! Do not take for intimate friends those other than your own people; they do not fall short of inflicting loss upon you; they love what distresses you; vehement hatred has already appeared from out of their mouths, and what their breasts conceal is greater still" (Quran 3:118).

    “One should not employ an unbeliever if there is a Muslim who can do the job, and if they're not needed, one should never hire them because the Kuffar can never be trusted (10b: 121). Nor should a Muslim accept employment from an unbeliever, for a Muslim should never be in a position of subservience to the Kuffar, who would surely show him disrespect. Nor should he be put in a position requiring him to deny his religion.

    “A Muslim should not live permanently among Kuffar because his faith will be compromised and that is why God required Muslims to migrate from a land of unbelief (Bilad al-Kufr) to a land of belief (Bilad Al-Islam). As for those who would rather work for the Kuffar and live among them, this is - the same as showing loyalty to them and agreeing with them. This is apostasy from Islam. And whether one were there out of greed or for comfort, even were he to hate their religion and protect his own, it is not allowed. Beware of the worst punishment. (10b: 121)

    “The chapter warns against music, laughter, and singing, the proscription of which, under the Al Sa`ud-led nineteenth-century commentators to liken the Wahhabis to Calvinists. Proscriptions on joyous behaviours, according to the text, are meant to encourage Muslims to invest all their being in thoughts of God and not expend energy in frivolous activities. However, the significance of such proscriptions shifts to contemporary concerns about the new enemy, the cultural invasion from the West. The "worst kind of imitating the Kuffar" is becoming so preoccupied with the unimportant things the Kuffar have promoted in their own societies that Muslims neglect to remember God and to do good works, for God says: "Oh you who believe! Let not your wealth, or your children, diverts you from the remembrance of God" (Quran 63:9; 10b: 124). The lesson explains that the Kuffar assign value to unimportant things because, absent religious faith, their lives are empty.

    “What are these unimportant things? First, there are the performing arts, such as singing and playing instruments, dancing, and theatre and cinema, which are visited-by people who are lost from the truth. Then, there are the fine arts (Al-Funun Al-Jamila), such as painting, drawing, and sculpture. (Despite the prohibition on art, some schools in the kingdom do offer art classes.) Then there are sports, which are sometimes more important to youth than remembering God and obeying him; sports cause youth to miss prayers and ignore school and household obligations. Whether such behaviours are permitted or not, the Muslim nation today should save its energy for dealing with challenges from its enemies: "Muslims have no time to waste on insignificant activities" (10b: 124-125).

    “Forbidding celebrations of birthdays, especially the birthday of the Prophet, and prohibitions against fine and performing arts are all part of the modern fabric and the historical legacy of Wahhabi culture. “It’s hostility to any human practice that would excite the imagination or bolster creativity," says (Dir. Khaled Abou) El Fadl (2003), is "perhaps the most stultifying, and even deadly, characteristic of Wahhabism." Anything that suggests a step toward creativity," he says, "constitutes a step toward Kufr [infidelity]."

    A debate on this speech with 237 comments is available at: http://newageislam.com/d/56177

    By Sultan Shahin - 2/2/2018 1:35:42 AM



  • “Naseer Sahebyou have still not answered this question I posed earlier: you have said that this (Surah Tauba) is a one-time judgement. But where did you get this idea of one-time judgement. Surely not from Quran, to my knowledge. Do please let me know if it is from Quran.

     “No Shahin sb, you have not answered my question. How do you implement 9:1,2 and 3 today? How do you implement 9:5 today when the crimes for it in 9:12, 13 cannot be committed today?By Naseer Ahmed - 1/31/2018 10:46:13 PM

     

    Is this an answer to my question? It may not appear to be so, but I suppose it is an answer of sorts. One, it tells me, that Naseer Saheb knows that Quran does not talk about Naseer Saheb’s interpretation of Surah Tauba giving one-time judgement on the few Mushrikin (Polytheists or Pagans) of Mecca who had not converted to Islam even 18 months after the comprehensive victory of Islam.

    There were two types of people among them. One, those who had fought Muslims and/or helped the enemies of Islam. Either Muslims had no alliance or treaty with them or their terms had expired. To simplify, let us call them bad Mushrikin. Two, those who were allies of Muslims and had neither violated their treaty themselves nor helped the enemies of Islam. Let us call them good Mushrikin. God asks Muslims to disassociate with both of them. The bad Mushrikin group was given four months to go into exile or be killed. The friendly group was allowed to continue to live in peace till the end of their period of treaty (and not just four months like the other group as their treaty period went on for longer and Islam is unequivocal about Muslims fulfilling their treaty obligations). Muslims were asked to get rid of both these groups, either by sending them into exile or killing them after four months for the bad Mushrikin and a little later for the good Mushrikin. But if any one wanted to learn about Islam by living among Muslims he would be given asylum for an unspecified period.

     

    Quran does not say that this is a one-time judgement, as Naseer Saheb speculates. Quran also does not say that these verses will not be applicable to Muslims after the war, or after the Prophet or after a millennium and a half, as I interpret.

    We are both using our common sense and rationality. However, my problem with Naseer Saheb is simply this. While UI am saying that this is my interpretation, my understanding born out of my common sense and rationality, Naseer Saheb, being a literalist, says that this is the logical meaning of Quran’s verses, not his own rational interpretation.

    The logic Naseer Saheb is applying is presumably this. He asks: “How do you implement 9:1,2 and 3 today? How do you implement 9:5 today when the crimes for it in 9:12, 13 cannot be committed today?

    Let us first see what the verses 9:1,2 and 3 say:

     

    9:1 [This is a declaration of] disassociation, from Allah and His Messenger, to those with whom you had made a treaty among the polytheists (Mushrikin).

     

    9:2 So, travel freely, [O disbelievers] throughout the land [during] four months but know that you cannot cause failure to Allah and that Allah will disgrace the disbelievers (al-Kafirin).

     

    9:3- And [it is] an announcement from Allah and His Messenger to the people on the day of the greater pilgrimage that Allah is disassociated from the polytheists (Mushrikin), and [so is] His Messenger. So, if you repent, that is best for you; but if you turn away - then know that you will not cause failure to Allah. And give tidings to those who disbelieve (kafaru) of a painful punishment.

     

    Now, Naseer Saheb, asks, How do you implement 9:1,2 and 3 today? How do you implement 9:5 today when the crimes for it in 9:12, 13 cannot be committed today?

    The implication of this question is that since it is inapplicable today, so it’s logical to think that Quran is implying that it’s a one-time judgement. Even speculating about implications of Quranic verses should be considered interpretation. However, Naseer Saheb’s fellow literalists don’t think that Surah Tauba’s instructions cannot be implemented today. They actually believe they are following Quran’s instructions today and are implementing Quran’s punishments to polytheists of Mecca in a variety of ways.

     

    Some examples of the literalist Salafi-Wahhabi-Hanbali ideologues trying to follow instructions in Surah Tauba today:

     

    1.   Literalists, who also go by the name of Hanbali, Salafi or Wahhabi consider Sufis and their followers among Mushrikin (polytheists). So Sufi shrines, mausoleums have been destroyed in Saudi Arabia and are being destroyed in all of Africa and South Asia, wherever possible. Sufi-oriented Muslims who visit these shrines and seek to follow Sufi masters of yore are targeted and killed while visiting these shrines or otherwise.  

    2.   Literalists also consider Shia Muslims as Mushrikin or polytheists and/or Kafir. You may have noticed that God uses both these terms synonymously in the above three verses as elsewhere. So, literalists also do the same.  I can cite the most shameful example of how Surah Taubah is followed by literalists in Pakistan today in the following episode:

     

    The following advertisement appeared in one of the largest circulated English newspapers of Pakistan. Quoted by Pakistani columnist and author Mujahid Hussain on Islamic website NewAgeIslam.com, it reads:

     

    English translation of the letter of Taliban published in The News

     

    An open letter on behalf of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan to the non-Muslims (Shia sect)

     

    To

    Masjid Imambara Jafaria Colony, in particular.

    All the Kafirs (Shias) living in the state of Pakistan are hereby informed that majority of the people living on this land are Muslims and the followers of Islam. The non-Muslims (Shias) are in the minority and all the sects of Islam follow the true Deen (religion) except the Kafirs, that is the Shias, who are causing severe damage to and maligning Islam in the name of Islam. Therefore, the Tehreek invites all the Kafirs (Shias) to accept Islam and warns them that if the Kafirs (Shias) want to live in peace in this region, they should follow one of these three conditions:

    i)       Accept Islam

    ii)      Pay Jizya

    iii)     Or migrate

    Failing to obey any of the three above-mentioned conditions, the properties and Imambaras of Shias will be seized and the women of the Kafirs (Shias) will be held in mutah (temporary marriage). The children will be enslaved and will either be converted to Islam or used as bonded labours (slaves). If the Kafirs (Shias) do not obey this proposal of the Tehreek, the killing of the Kafirs (Shias) will be lawful for the Tehreek and the Shias will themselves be responsible for all the loss.

    From: Muslim Khan, Commander Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan

    (Translated from Urdu by New Age Islam Edit Desk)

     

    So Naseer Saheb, I hope you realise that playing literalist is a very dangerous game. We must consider all war-time verses of Quran as inapplicable to us today. In every war, instructions are given that become irrelevant immediately as the war is over. It’s dangerous to say that they cannot be implemented today and so they must be a one-time judgement. Evil-minded people will always find a way of implementing things in devious ways. The examples I have quoted are not even the tip of the iceberg. The world is on fire today, and the justification that literalist Islamist ideologues provide comes from these war-time verses and similar Ahadith as well as judgements of theologians based on these verses who read them literally.

     

    The Prophet’s wars finished a millennium and a half ago. It is foolish to keep fighting those wars. Quran cannot be read literally, except in its universal verses, most of which came early in Mecca. There are many verses in Quran, even apart from war-related verses, that are today obsolete. Let us relegate them to history and follow the universal message of Quran that would help us live peacefully and co-exist with other religious communities.

     

    We are living today in a vastly interconnected and complex global society. We need a New Age Islamic vision for that. We need a coherent and internally consistent theology of peace and pluralism and equality and gender justice. Let us evolve that gradually in the light of Quran’s universal message; but we cannot do that by making claims that cannot be sustained.

    By Sultan Shahin - 2/1/2018 9:54:00 AM



  • nodeology is a study of making knots. dontnodeology is the study of untying these knots. By hats off! - 2/1/2018 5:11:57 AM



  • In my previous comment, I said that there is absolutely no link between 9:4 and 9:5. This is not entirely true. The verses 9:4 and 9:6 provide explicit exclusions of people from the applicability of 9:5 although logically 9:4 is redundant because 9:5 applies only to those guilty of crimes described in verses 9:12,13 and the people described by 9:4 are not guilty of the same. There was however the danger that in the absence of 9:4, all the Mushrikin may have been held either directly or vicariously responsible and 9:5 may have been applied to all of them. The Quran prevents such a thing from happening. The most amazing verse is 9:6 which commands that asylum be given to anyone who seeks asylum irrespective of their crimes.

     

    Verse 9:1 to 29 describe the most amazing chapter in the history of mankind without parallel. Not a person was killed, and all the Mushrikin entered Islam in willing submission. There may have been a few who chose to migrate and a few who chose to become willing subjects by paying Jiziya. Over a period all accepted Islam going by the fact that polytheism did not exist very long after the Prophet.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/31/2018 11:09:20 PM



  • Naseer Sahebyou have still not answered this question I posed earlier: you have said that this (Surah Tauba) is a one-time judgement. But where did you get this idea of one-time judgement. Surely not from Quran, to my knowledge. Do please let me know if it is from Quran.

     

    No Shahin sb, you have not answered my question. How do you implement 9:1,2 and 3 today? How do you implement 9:5 today when the crimes for it in 9:12, 13 cannot be committed today?

     

    My response: Since you do not interpret, and only understand Quran literally, please let me know where in Quran did you get this order of crimes and their judgements. Any normal, literalist Quran reader would think that if 9:4 describes a crime and 9:5 gives a judgement, they must be related, coming immediately after the verse detailing the crime. Why should judgement (9:5) come first and crimes be detailed later in 9:12 and 9: 13.

    Obviously, this is your interpretation, to which you are entitled, and to which I am entitled to say you are wrong. Logically, 9:5 should be a judgement on the crime described in 9:4 and for the crimes described in 9:12 and 9:13, the judgement would come in one of the later surahs, say in 9: 28 and 9:29.

     

    Anyway, from your interpretation, the following picture emerges. I am putting below verses that in your view describe the crime and their judgements that either come much later or have been given earlier in the Surah. Readers should judge for themselves and form their own opinions. Of course, there is no saying where from in the Surah you got this order of accusations and judgements. I would still accept your literalist claims if you said you got this crime-judgement order from Hadith, although normally neither of us gives much credence to it. Otherwise it is pure speculation on your part, though you would call it logically derived conclusion.

     

    [As before, I am taking the translation from Sahih international as it translates kafaru or kafirin as disbelievers and mushrikin as polytheists, so readers can understand where in the Quran the actual word is kafirin or kafaru and where it is mushrikin.]

     

    Shahin sb, do not try to force your unidimensional “interpretation” of literalism on me.

     

    فَإِذَا انسَلَخَ الْأَشْهُرُ الْحُرُمُ فَاقْتُلُوا الْمُشْرِكِينَ (9:5)

     

    وَإِن نَّكَثُوا أَيْمَانَهُم مِّن بَعْدِ عَهْدِهِمْ وَطَعَنُوا فِي دِينِكُمْ فَقَاتِلُوا أَئِمَّةَ الْكُفْرِ (9:12)

     

    أَلَا تُقَاتِلُونَ قَوْمًا نَّكَثُوا أَيْمَانَهُمْ وَهَمُّوا بِإِخْرَاجِ الرَّسُولِ وَهُم بَدَءُوكُمْ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ (9:13)

     

    The words that literally and very directly link 9:5 with 9:12, and 9:13 have been highlighted. The keyword that links these verses is fight/kill. Verse 9:5 says fight/kill and 9:12,13 describe the crimes for which they must be fought against or killed.

     

    There is absolutely no link between 9:4 and the above cited three verses.

     

    The link between 9:4, 9:28 and 9:29 is obvious. Although these people have not committed any crime, they are debarred from entering the sacred mosque because they are “najis” and are required to become willing subjects of the new political authority by paying jiziya.

     

    I have earlier compared the Quran with a multi-dimensional database. The Quran is not a flat text. It is very much like a multi-dimensional database which can provide answer to any question. If this was to be achieved with a flat text, it would be many times its present size. The answer to any question is by linking related verses and the linking is to be done with the keyword. Potentially one verse may and does have several keywords.   For example, the verse:

     

    (4:76) The Amanu fight in the cause of Allah, and the kafaru Fight in the cause of Evil: So fight ye against the friends of Satan: feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan.

     

    has the following keywords:

    Amanu, kafaru, fighting in the cause of Allah, fighting in the cause of evil.

    You can find the precise meaning of each of these keywords/expressions to determine the literal meaning of the verse.

    The literal meaning is not necessarily how Sahih International or Maududi or Raza Ahmad Khan or Asad or Pickthall, or Yusuf Ali or even how most of the translators have translated it.

    I repeat, I do not interpret at all because there is no need to. The Quran provides answers with the precision of logic/mathematics.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/31/2018 10:46:13 PM



  • "A one-time judgement" explanation of Surah Tobah sounds good but is flawed. For believers, everything in the Quran is the eternal truth. That's why I maintain that some human-origin exhortations in the wartime context have been incorporated in the Quran because of erroneous compilation.

    We must remember that there was nothing divine about the compilation. It was done by ordinary humans who had no expertise in compiling or editing.

    While we understand the risk in questioning the compilation process, we must also try to understand the risk in not questioning the compilation.

    The ultimate question is whether such words can ever have been spoken by the Almighty under any circumstances. The ultimate question is how we perceive God, the beneficent and the merciful.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 1/31/2018 12:32:25 PM



  • Naseer Saheb, you have still not answered this question I posed earlier: you have said that this (Surah Tauba) is a one-time judgement. But where did you get this idea of one-time judgement. Surely not from Quran, to my knowledge. Do please let me know if it is from Quran.

     

    You obviously got this idea from a common-sense interpretation, which you say, being a literalist, you never resort to. So, please accept that you are interpreting like we all do or tell me where in Quran does it say that Surah Tauba provides only a one-time judgement that will not be applicable to Muslims later.

     

    I am saying the same thing, but I accept that I am saying it from a common-sense perspective. This is my interpretation. My view is that instructions given in a war are not applicable after the war is over, in any case not after a millennium and a half. You say that every verse in Quran is of universal applicability. Your understanding is that, after all, oppression has not vanished from the world, so why should Quran’s verses calling for fighting against oppression should lose their validity. You don’t even believe in defensive war. A fight against oppression in your view doesn’t have to be defensive, meaning surely, it can be offensive. And so, we have to keep fighting against oppression, as per instructions in Quran that asked Muslims to fight oppression and motivated them to do so by announcing great rewards and also punishment for not doing so.

     

    This is the message that comes from a literal reading of Quran, of course. literalism, on which Jihadism is based. Jihadis too claim to be fighting oppression of one sort or another. I know you have issues with them like, who is entitled to order a fight and so on. These are objections that Maulana Maududi also would have had against terrorism that goes in the name of Jihad today.

     

    But the very principle of literalism is wrong. It is this that has led to today’s terrorism. You know, Jihadism is an offshoot of Wahhabism-Salafism, which is based on Hanbali juristic traditions followed by Ibn-e-Taimiya and Syed Qutub. But the root evil is literalism. It’s a literal reading of Quran that has led to this. A literal reading of Surah Anfal (Chapter 8) and Surah Taubah (Chapter 9) in particular is being followed. These chapters came at the end of the Prophet’s journey through revelation and so they are considered by literalists as being the final message that superseded and abrogated all contrary messages of peace and pluralism that came earlier.

     

    In a reply of sorts to my earlier question you say: What do you understand from verse 9:1 to 9:3 except that it is a one-time judgment on a people guilty of crimes described by 9:12, 13? Can people today commit crimes described by 9:12, 13? And how do we implement 9:1,2 and 3 today? What is unjust about the judgment? It is a lie to think 9:5 applies to people covered under 9:4. You misinterpret and then call it unjust!

    “To the people to whom 9:4 applies, verses 9:28 and 9:29 apply. They can remain Mushrik by paying jiziya. Verse 9:5 applies to only those whose crimes are described by 9:12, 13. These are not the crimes committed by those described in 9:4,

     

    My response: Since you do not interpret, and only understand Quran literally, please let me know where in Quran did you get this order of crimes and their judgements. Any normal, literalist Quran reader would think that if 9:4 describes a crime and 9:5 gives a judgement, they must be related, coming immediately after the verse detailing the crime. Why should judgement (9:5) come first and crimes be detailed later in 9:12 and 9: 13.

    Obviously, this is your interpretation, to which you are entitled, and to which I am entitled to say you are wrong. Logically, 9:5 should be a judgement on the crime described in 9:4 and for the crimes described in 9:12 and 9:13, the judgement would come in one of the later surahs, say in 9: 28 and 9:29.

     

    Anyway, from your interpretation, the following picture emerges. I am putting below verses that in your view describe the crime and their judgements that either come much later or have been given earlier in the Surah. Readers should judge for themselves and form their own opinions. Of course, there is no saying where from in the Surah you got this order of accusations and judgements. I would still accept your literalist claims if you said you got this crime-judgement order from Hadith, although normally neither of us gives much credence to it. Otherwise it is pure speculation on your part, though you would call it logically derived conclusion.

     

    [As before, I am taking the translation from Sahih international as it translates kafaru or kafirin as disbelievers and mushrikin as polytheists, so readers can understand where in the Quran the actual word is kafirin or kafaru and where it is mushrikin.]

     

    Crime: 9:4 Excepted are those with whom you made a treaty among the polytheists and then they have not been deficient toward you in anything or supported anyone against you; so complete for them their treaty until their term [has ended]. Indeed, Allah loves the righteous [who fear Him]. (Can this be called a crime, an ally not defying Muslims and not supporting any one against them?)

    Judgement: 9:28   O you who have believed, indeed the polytheists are unclean, so let them not approach al-Masjid al-Haram after this, their [final] year. And if you fear privation, Allah will enrich you from His bounty if He wills. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Wise.

    9:29   Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture - [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.

    ----

    Crime: a) 9:12   And if they break their oaths after their treaty and defame your religion, then fight the leaders of disbelief, for indeed, there are no oaths [sacred] to them; [fight them that] they might cease.

    Crime b) 9:13   Would you not fight a people who broke their oaths and determined to expel the Messenger, and they had begun [the attack upon] you the first time? Do you fear them? But Allah has more right that you should fear Him, if you are [truly] believers.

     

    Judgement: 9:5  And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

    By Sultan Shahin - 1/31/2018 9:24:12 AM



  • Shahin sb,

    In these discussions, people repeatedly quote the wrong verses (as you have done while quoting 74:10) to derive the meaning of kafir and when it is appropriate to use it for a people.

    There are only a few verses in which the Quran refers to the people of the Prophet's times. These are in Surah Al-Kafirun, Al-Bayyinah and surah Taubah and in war related verses in other Surahs. In none of these verses it means disbeliever because none of these refer to all the disbelievers/Mushrikin as kafir.

    There are other ayats on the various signs of Allah and those who accept are the Amanu and those who reject are the Kafir. This is consistent with the meaning of the root word kfr which is to deny/reject. In these verses the Quran is not speaking of any specific people. Rejection is an act and unless somebody has actually rejected, he is not a kafir. From where do I derive this meaning? From the fact that there isn't one verse of the Quran that says the "Mushrikin are the Kafirin", whereas every verse talks only of some of them fitting a certain description as kafir or describing their kufr for which some of these people are called kafir. Can anything be clearer than that?
    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/30/2018 10:58:32 PM



  • Shahin Sb,

    I take the following verses literally to logically conclude that anything said in the Quran about God and the Heavens is described using metaphors.

    112:6 And there is none like unto Him

    (3:7) He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are MUHKAMAT verses (of clear meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are metaphorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is a metaphor, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: "We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:" and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/30/2018 10:44:39 PM



  • Shahin Sb,

    Let us dispose off all arguments one by one. The word Kafir has been used by the Quran for earlier people also and even for Moses. Why should it surprise anyone that it is used in chronologically the second surah revealed? Read Asad’s notes on the meaning of this word.

    Muhammad Asad’s notes on verse 74:10

    Since this is the earliest Qur'anic occurrence of the expression kafir (the above surah having been preceded by the first five verses of surah 96), its use here - and, by implication, in the whole of the Qur'an - is obviously determined by the meaning which it had in the speech of the Arabs before the advent of the  Prophet Muhammad: in other words, the term kafir cannot be simply equated, as many Muslim theologians of post-classical times and practically all Western translators of the Qur'an have done, with "unbeliever" or infidel" in the specific, restricted sense of one who rejects the system of doctrine and law promulgated in the Qur'an and amplified by the teachings of the Prophet - but must have a wider, more general meaning. This meaning is easily grasped when we bear in mind that the root verb of the participial noun kafir (and of the infinitive noun kufr) is kafara, "he [or "it"] covered [a thing]": thus, in 57:20 the tiller of the  soil is called (without any pejorative implication) kafir, "one who covers", i.e., the sown seed with earth, as the night is spoken of as having "covered" (kafara) the earth with darkness. In their abstract sense, both the verb and the nouns derived from it have a connotation of "concealing" something that exists or denying" something that is true.

    Surah Al Bayinnah

    When the Quran uses kafaru to mean only some of the People of the Book and some of the Mushrikin of the Prophet’s times and describes why these were the worst of creatures, I do not see how you can argue about it! I can understand your outrage if all the people were considered kafir which is not the case. I am surprised that you are not outraged with  Yunus sb and Ghulam Ghaus sb for thinking that all the Mushrikin are considered the worst of creatures in this Surah.

    On what basis can we judge any person as Kafir

    When verse 9:5 towards the very end of the Prophetic mission does not refer to those who had fought against the Muslims in violation of their treaties and on whom a death sentence is passed if they do not migrate or accept Islam, on what basis can anyone call another a kafir for mere disbelief in Islam?

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/30/2018 10:15:32 PM



  • Naseer Saheb, you know it very well that I have no difference with you on most of your conclusions. I do not think they are any Kafirs or unbelievers in the world, after God’s clarification that there is no nation on earth where a prophet was not sent and no prophet who was not given revelations, which become books when collected. So, all nations are to me ahl-e-kitab. However, God refers to Meccan mushrikin, pagans, non-believers, whatever you call them, as kafirin from the very beginning of Quran. As I have told you again and again even surah Al-Muddathir, which is the first surah in which God asks the prophet to begin his prophetic work ad proclaim his prphethood publicly refers to Meccan Mushrikin or pagans or non-believers as kafir. Then God uses the variations of kuifr, kafaru, kafirin, etc throughout the Quran from beginning to end in a variety of situations.  So, my conclusion that now there are no more kafirs in the world, only ahl-e-kitab, is my interpretation and my understanding of the Quran; it is not the literal Quran. For you, the same thing is literal Quran.

    But why should I insist that we should call our conclusions our interpretations rather than literal meaning of verses from Quran?  What difference would it make?  The issue is not my understanding or Naseer Saheb’s. This entire exercise we are engaged in here is to find a new understanding which is coherent and internally consistent enough for us to take it to our educated youth, that is turning to terrorism under the influence of how revered theologians understand Quran and Hadith. This youth is educated, sophisticated, under the influence of the theology of consensus, and able to find holes in counter-arguments or counter-narratives given to it. An educated youth is not going to be fooled by arguments like “the Quran uses Kafir for those who reject the Signs of Allah and not for the disbeliever."  He is bound to ask: Are you saying that a disbeliever does not reject the sign of Allah, and hence he is not a kafir? What kind of nonsense is that, he would say, and justifiably so. So, I am merely asking that we make arguments that can hold water. And we not be dishonest. We use our common sense and rationality, but say that we are using our common sense and rationality for deriving meaning from Quran, and not say instead that this is the literal meaning of Quranic verse when it is clearly not.

    I am only acting here as a devil’s advocate and only because I have to; there are no representatives of the Jihadism here or the youths who are on their way to Jihadism for us to argue with. We have to sharpen our counternarrative and fill any holes.

    Now after this preamble let me take up some points made by Naseer Saheb one by one:

    Naseer Saheb’s comments are in black, my response in red:

    The Quran uses Kafir for those who reject the Signs of Allah and not for the disbeliever. It is you and the others who judge every disbeliever as one who has rejected the Signs Of Allah. The Quran does not judge them s0.

     

    Are you saying that a disbeliever does not reject the sign of Allah, and hence he is not a kafir?

    The Quran is not finding fault with them for demanding clear evidence. It is saying that those who had claimed that they would believe once clear evidence came, disbelieved after what the clear evidence that they were seeking came. The Surah is not therefore calling every People of the Book and Mushrikin as Kafir but only the knowledgeable among them expectant of a Prophet to come who rejected him. The Quran is not finding fault with them for demanding clear evidence. It is saying that those who had claimed that they would believe once clear evidence came, disbelieved after what the clear evidence that they were seeking came. The Surah is not therefore calling every People of the Book and Mushrikin as Kafir but only the knowledgeable among them expectant of a Prophet to come who rejected him. Read my article which explains clearly who these people were:

     

    Who will decide if the evidence asked for by the Mushrikin of Mecca is clear and convincing for them or not? Apparently, the questioner, who sought evidence in the first place. Why should a people who had a belief system for generations not be adamant about convincing evidence and clear proof before letting go of their ancestral belief? In any case nobody believes except through God’s blessings. If their hearts were sealed how would they understand the evidence. As I reported earlier, until today, there are people and among Muslims, mostly madrasa-trained scholars, even here in India, some of whom I know personally, who do not consider the evidence in Surah al-Kahf, etc convincing and are either in the process of leaving Islam for this reason or have left Islam already, chiefly on this account.

    I would leave it to readers to read various translations of Surah Bayyinah, and see if there is any context of oppression for these people to be referred to as kafirin. The basic point we are discussing is Naseer Saheb’s claim that nowhere in Quran is the word kafir used except in the sense of oppressor. What find in my reading is that God considers non-belief as oppression (zulm).

    Has every disbeliever read, understood and then exercised his free will to disbelieve and disbelieved? It is only such people who have done so who are kafir.

    Where have you derived this meaning from? You are a literalist. You never interpret or contextualise. So where in Quran does God say this? And if this is the case then why does God use the term kafir or its derivatives in earliest verses of Quran when Prophet (saw) has not yet even started his prophetic mission publicly? Quran has not even been revealed yet, the process is only beginning and people are being called kafir. What does this mean? Also, where is the question of free will when God is saying that people believe through his blessing?

    Man can know about any unknown only in terms of what he knows. The unknown is therefore described in terms of what is known. When Surah Ikhlas says that there is none Like Him, then every description of God and about Him is a metaphor.

     

    Why should it not be the other way around? When God refers to his hearing and seeing, hands and feet and throne, which can only be carried by eight men, why should we not understand this as the great literalist Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Imam Taqi al-Din Ibn -e-Taimiya and other literalists do. They say that God has all these limbs but since in Sura Ikhlas has described God to be like no other, so all these limbs that he has are like no others or like no humans?’ A very famous literalist, Hanbali theologian (died 524 Hijri / 1130 CE) Muhamad bin Sa’dun, also known as Abu Amir al-Quraishi said forthrightly, about people like me and Naseer Saheb: “The heretics cite in evidence the Quran verse ‘Nothing is like Him’ but the meaning of that verse is only that nothing can be compared to God in his divinity. In form, however, God is like you and me.” (quoted in Ignas Goldziher’s Introduction to Theology - P. 93). This is the conclusion that all literalists from Hanbali school adhere to and insist upon.

    Naseer Saheb reaches another conclusion, as I do. For us God is formless. We both reach this understanding using our rationality. But Naseer Saheb insists that this is the literal meaning of Quranic verses, that hearing and seeing, hands and feet and siting on a specific size of throne mean formlessness, as logically derived meanings.

    (To be continued)

    By Sultan Shahin - 1/30/2018 11:55:02 AM



  • How many times will Naseer sab still keep repeating his unconvincing diatribes?

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 1/29/2018 12:56:33 PM



  • Shahin sb’s comments are in red

    But here I would just like to say that the reason scholars including those on this site are unable to accept your conclusion – there is no verse in Quran that uses kafir for non-believer – is that Quran does that from beginning to the end. From the surah Al-Muddathir, which I quoted before, the very first Meccan surah that asks the prophet to start his prophetic work publicly, to the last verses, Quran uses the word kafir in the sense of unbeliever, mostly without ambiguity.

    The Quran uses Kafir for those who reject the Signs of Allah and not for the disbeliever. It is you and the others who judge every disbeliever as one who has rejected the Signs Of Allah. The Quran does not judge them s0

    Even in Surah Bayyinah, there is no context of oppression, only of kafirin

    demanding clear evidence of the prophethood of Mohammad sallallah o wasallam. This was their right. Why should they let go of their ancestral religion without seeing clear evidence? What makes them oppressors here.

    The Quran is not finding fault with them for demanding clear evidence. It is saying that those who had claimed that they would believe once clear evidence came, disbelieved after what the clear evidence that they were seeking came. The Surah is not therefore calling every People of the Book and Mushrikin as Kafir but only the knowledgeable among them expectant of a Prophet to come who rejected him. Read my article which explains clearly who these people were:

    Who Are The Worst Of Creatures In The Quran?

    In Surah Al-Kafirun too, there is no reason to think that if some one is unbeliever today and one says that you do not or will not worship what I worship, tomorrow he may not become a believer. Of course, God must have known that these people will all convert to Islam one day, so why should He say that. There is thus indeed, ambiguity in a couple of places regarding the use of the word kafir that creates a certain amount of confusion.

    There is a contradiction if you think all the Mushrikin are the kafirin. There is neither ambiguity nor a contradiction if you correctly take only some among the people to be the Kafirun to whom the Surah is addressed.

     

    But these ambiguities and questions cannot overturn the overwhelming use of the word kufr and derivatives like kafiroon for non-belief and non-believers in Quran. Take 18;29, as an example, where not only is the meaning of kufr clearly non-belief but even the term zalimoon (normally used for oppressors) is used for just those who will not believe, non-believers.

    18;29 And say: "The truth is from your Lord.'' Then whosoever wills, let him believe; and whosoever wills, let him disbelieve (yakfur). Verily, We have prepared for the non-believers (zalimoon), a Fire whose walls will be surrounding them. And if they ask for drink, they will be granted water like Al-Muhl, that will scald their faces. Terrible is the drink, and an evil Murtafaq!)

     

    Has every disbeliever read, understood and then exercised his free will to disbelieve and disbelieved? It is only such people who have done so who are kafir.

     

    Naseer Saheb, contradictions abound in Quran. That is why there are so many theologies, all deriving strength from one or the other verses of Quran. The very first theology was that of Qadriyah and Jabriyah. It developed because there are verses in Quran supporting both the Qadriya position that “humans possess free will, whose exercise makes them responsible for their actions, justifying divine punishment and absolving God of responsibility for evil in the world” as well as the opposite positionwhich has become the consensus theology basically saying (though not in so many words) that God is an unjust ruler who does not give humans free will and yet punishes them for wrongdoing which he has Himself inspired them to do. Both Qadriyah and Jabriyah schools derived sustenance from Quran, as do all other schools of thought with widely divergent views.

    I cannot answer for the beliefs and understanding of other people nor do I make the beliefs and understandings of others a basis for my beliefs or as an excuse. I can only answer for myself and my understanding. With my understanding, the Book is without a single contradiction which is proof of my understanding being correct.

    Similarly, according to Quran, God is formless, unique, and also sits on the throne, like any other monarch. We reconcile this contradiction by saying that the sitting on the throne is an allegorical verse, and only God knows its meaning. But does Quran tell us this is an allegorical verse? No. This may very well be considered by literalist, as it is, that this is a simple, straightforward statement. There is no poetic imagery here. Literary devices like metaphor, hyperbole, and imagery can be as much seen in verses describing God’s uniqueness and formlessness as his sitting on a chair. All of them can be clear verses or allegorical.

    Man can know about any unknown only in terms of what he knows. The unknown is therefore described in terms of what is known. When Surah Ikhlas says that there is none Like Him, then every description of God and about Him is a metaphor.

    But I think the way to reconcile these contradictions is not to seek to change the universally accepted meanings of words that are so obvious in Quran on the basis of virtually hundreds of verses, from beginning to end.

    Universally accepted? Clearly, the meaning of Kafir was not disbeliever when the Quran was revealed and did not become so until the post classical period of Islam.

    You may say the meaning of Kafir has become disbeliever in a near universally accepted theology  developed in the post classical period.

    It seems Quran is referring to two groups of people, Mushrikun (polytheists) and Ahl-e-Kitab (People of the Book like Jews and Christians) and describes their non-belief and oppression as kufr and zulm, calling them kafiroon and zalimoon, interchangeably, but mostly kafiroon. Non-belief itself is called zulm (oppression) sometimes, so it can also be called kufr in the sense of oppression. Preachers often use synonyms in their exhortations.

    Rejection of belief is kufr. Disbelief is not. You are making the same mistake repeatedly judging every disbeliever as having understood and wilfully rejected.

    Quran is not a book of mathematics and logic, as you seem to think. It is a book of preachings, teachings, exhortations, lessons from God. Preachers and teachers often repeat their message, sometimes giving a full message, sometimes repeating a part of it, sometimes repeating another part of it.

     

    Quran does not teach you either mathematics or logic. It is not therefore a book of mathematics or logic. However, it is a book which enables the meaning of every word and verse to be derived logically. Take any of my articles and disprove that the meaning derived can logically anything except the meaning derived.

    Take, for instance, good tidings of reward in the Hereafter. Sometimes God promises rewards only for good deeds, sometimes for good deeds coupled with faith, sometimes good deeds coupled with faith in God, Prophet, and Day of Judgement along with establishing prayers, fasting, paying Zakat (charity or poor-due) and so on. Gathering from this that mere good deeds are enough for salvation in Islam and make you a momin, even if you are a polytheist, is not proper, much as we would like it to be so. I may believe, on the basis of a concept of Just God that good deeds would be enough for salvation, as they should be in my humble judgement, but if I say that this is the message of Quran, that will be wrong.

     

    Satan is more than just a believer, he has certain knowledge but is faithless to God. You can be faithless/faithful only to your covenants whether explicit or implicit. Satan is not a disbeliever but is a kafir because he is faithless to the gratitude he owes Allah. Satan is not a Momin but a Kafir although a believer.

     

    A believer can be faithless like Satan and therefore be a kafir.

     

    You should tell me who is a disbeliever if all are People of the Book according to you also.

     

    A Momin is a person who is faithful to his covenants whether explicit/implicit. This could be covenants with God and following His religion or a moral code out of reverence.

     

    What are you faithful to? The act of being faithful/faithless is preceded by belief in God or a Moral Code or some understanding of a higher purpose which you try to support, strengthen and facilitate through deeds that exhibit faithfulness to the ideals.

     

    Since all good deeds without an ulterior purpose emanate from such feelings of faithfulness to a higher purpose, these are signs of being a Momin.

    I would be happiest if your contention could be proven that nowhere in the Quran the term Kafir is used for just non-believers, and it has been used only for religious oppressors. This would help us wriggle out of our present predicament, even if convincing the community would still be difficult.

     The Kafir are the people who do evil. Among the evils is also rejection of truth and supporting falsehood. This is not however the description of every non-Muslim or disbeliever in the Quran. Neither does the Quran recognize a single path as the only true path but explicitly says that different people have been shown different paths but the essentials of what constitutes righteousness, remains the same. So, now can you describe a disbeliever to me?

    But the problem is that even disbelief is considered by God oppression, and non-believers are called zalimoon (oppressors). (Quran 18: 29). So, what if they are called kafiroon, also in the sense of oppressors.

    The rejecters are the zalimun and not the non-believers. Is making the distinction between one who has willingly after knowing the truth rejected it and a disbeliever from lack of knowledge so difficult to make?

    Our discussion has brought out the fact that we can’t even say that Quran asks us to fight only defensive wars. If we consider war-time verses as applicable to us for ever, we may have to listen to the theology of consensus that speaks of offensive jihad on the basis of verses in Surah Taubah and Surah Anfal, etc.

    The Quran commands fighting against oppression even if the fighting is to help other oppressed people. Where is the question of defensive war if you go out a and fight against oppression of another people?

    Muslims were asked to fight and kill and exile even those mushrikin (polytheists) who had not defied them or helped their enemies in any way.  God acknowledges this and then says that maintain your treaty till it expires and then, instead of renewing their treaty as a reward for good behaviour, practically, force them to convert or go into exile, on pain of death.

      (Quran 9: 4-5). “But those polytheists with whom you had covenanted and they did not detract anything in your Contract, and did not help any one against you, then fulfil their covenant till the promised day.

     Undoubtedly, Allah loves piety. Then when the sacred months have passed, slay the polytheists wherever you find them and catch them, and confine them and sit in wait for them at every place; again, if they repent and establish prayer and give the poor-due (zakat), then leave their way. Verily Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”

    To the people to whom 9:4 applies, verses 9:28 and 9:29 apply. They can remain Mushrik by paying jiziya.

    Verse 9:5 applies to only those whose crimes are described by 9:12, 13. These are not the crimes committed by those described in 9:4,

    Please read: The Correct Understanding of the So Called ‘Sword’ Verses of Surah Taubah

    Naseer Saheb, you have said that this is a one-time judgement. But where did you get this idea of one-time judgement. Surely not from Quran, to my knowledge. Do please let me know if it is from Quran. You obviously got it from a common-sense interpretation, which you say, being a literalist, you never resort to. But even if that is the case, it is a wrong judgement, an unjust judgement. One would not expect this from a Just God, who was setting examples for Muslims of future generations too.

     

    What do you understand from verse 9:1 to 9:3 except that it is a one-time judgment on a people guilty of crimes described by 9:12, 13? Can people today commit crimes described by 9:12, 13? And how do we implement 9:1,2 and 3 today? What is unjust about the judgment? It is a lie to think 9:5 applies to people covered under 9:4. You misinterpret and then call it unjust!

     

    If it is unjust, then reject the unjust God, the unjust Quran and the unjust Prophet who followed it. Why are you still a Muslim then? This is the acid test that decides what you are. Either you reject the deliberate distortion and affirm that 9:5 does not apply to people described under 9:4 or reject Islam or become a hypocrite who remains a Muslim only to say that the God of Islam and the Quran are unjust.

    This is how theologians are able to convince Muslims that it is the job of Muslims to cleanse the world of Mushrikin. Even those Mushrikin who do not defy Muslims or do not side with their enemies in times of war are not to be spared until they “repent and establish prayer and give the poor-due (zakat),” clearly meaning accept Islam.

    I know what the theologians do which is why I call them bigots and reject them. What you choose to do and why is your call. You can play around with the Quran the same way as the theologians play around with it.

    My mission is to bring out the clear, single, logically derived meaning of the Quran and help those who are seeking the truth understand it.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/28/2018 11:44:10 PM



  • Agreed with the concluding remark of Sultan Shahin Sahab’s detailed comment:

    “Let us tell our community that we are not fighting seventh century wars fought by the Prophet and his companions. We are not likely to fight these wars either. So let us just treat exhortations in Quran and Hadith regarding these wars as history and salute the prophet who was able to establish Islam’s egalitarian message in very adverse circumstances. Muslims being encouraged to fight in the way of God was not a universal commandment."

    The above exhortation does not merely represent the opinion of the Founding Editor of New Age Islam. It places the fighting verses in their appropriate historical corridor and has been expounded on irrefutable exegetic grounds by this commentator dating from Oct. 2012 in a number of his articles in these words:

    “..all those verses that relate to defending against the pagans were specific to the era. Recorded in full light of history they also attest to the defensive character of the Prophetic mission, the agony and trauma that he and his followers lived in on a day to day, and at times moment to moment basis fearing annihilation at hands of their attackers, and under the ominous shadow of the conspiracies of the hypocrites of Medina and the native Jewish tribes who eagerly awaited their destruction.

    Re: ix, Challenging And Shed Of Its Literary Glory in Translation, the Qur'an Offers Clear Clues to Exploring Its Core Commandments - Now Obscured, Corrupted and Distorted By Secondary Theological Sources

    -          http://newageislam.com/islamic-ideology/muhammad-yunus,-new-age-islam/the-muslims’-ignorance-/disregard-of-the-qur’anic-guidance-and-its-colossal-and-recurring-cost/d/7795

    Oct. 2012

     

    "The Qur’anic verses relating to all the major expeditions as captured in this work from Qur’anic allusions were specific to given contexts, and since the contexts cannot be recreated as much as the Prophet and his companions cannot be brought back to life, they are not of any direct relevance this day – and this must be true for all so-called ‘fighting verses’ of the Qur’an. Their presence in the Qur’an is essential to establish Islam as a religion of peace as this discourse aims at.

    ISLAM IS A RELIGION OF PEACE AND PLURALISM

    URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-ideology/muhammad-yunus,-new-age-islam/islam-is-a-religion-of-peace-and-pluralism/d/108249

    Dec. 2016.

    By muhammad yunus - 1/27/2018 10:12:43 PM



  • Sultan Shahin sahib says, "The spirit of Quran, emerging at least from its earlier Meccan verses, the foundational exhortations of Islam, is that of peace, pluralism, co-existence, human equality, patience and perseverance in times of adversity and persecution, gender justice, faith in a Just God who does not burden any one beyond his capacity, etc.  Let us tell our community that we are not fighting seventh century wars fought by the Prophet and his companions. We are not likely to fight these wars either. So let us just treat exhortations in Quran and Hadith regarding these wars as history and salute the prophet who was able to establish Islam’s egalitarian message in very adverse circumstances. Muslims being encouraged to fight in the way of God was not a universal commandment. "

    Those words should put a closure on this discussion. Naseer sab has been shown much indulgence but he cannot be allowed to propound his invalid and erroneous views indefinitely.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 1/27/2018 11:35:37 AM



  • “There is coherence and consistency in the Quran. There is no coherence and consistency in the way people understand it. This is proven on this website with discussion on the meaning Surah 98 (Al- Bayyinah) and especially verses 98:1, 6 and Surah Al-Kafirun.” By Naseer Ahmed - 1/21/2018 10:39:27 PM

    ---

    Naseer Saheb, there is indeed some reason, as you have pointed out before, to get confused about the meaning of Kafaru, Kafirun in both these surahs. Use of “kafaru min ahlil kitab wal mushrekin (kafirs among ahl-e-kitab and mushrekin) and use of “wala antum abedoona maa abud (Nor will you worship what I worship.) Question arising in Surah Bayyinah is, if ahl-e-kitab and mushrikin are non-believers then who are these kafaru among them.  It’s from here that you infer that kafirun are actually zalimun or oppressors, not just non-believers, and that there are kafirin or kafirun among all faiths. In Surah Al-Kafirun the question arising is, if God said “you will not worship what I worship” how did they all eventually become Muslims; did God not know, or is the term kafirun being used for people other than non-believers, say, oppressors or zalimun, as you are suggesting.

    There is plenty of material on this thread for any curious new visitor to the debate for finding further details. But here I would just like to say that the reason scholars including those on this site are unable to accept your conclusion – there is no verse in Quran that uses kafir for non-believer – is that Quran does that from beginning to the end. From the surah Al-Muddathir, which I quoted before, the very first Meccan surah that asks the prophet to start his prophetic work publicly, to the last verses, Quran uses the word kafir in the sense of unbeliever, mostly without ambiguity.

    Even in Surah Bayyinah, there is no context of oppression, only of kafirin demanding clear evidence of the prophethood of Mohammad sallallah o wasallam. This was their right. Why should they let go of their ancestral religion without seeing clear evidence? What makes them oppressors here. This is a late Meccan or early Madinan verse. War had not yet begun, although resistance to Islam had acquired some force, and maybe some Muslims were already being persecuted and terrorised at this time.

    Many Meccans did not find Prophet's or Quran’s answers to their questions about Ashab-e-Kahaf, Zul Qarnain and Rooh satisfactory. As a matter of fact, many Muslims who are leaving Islam today are largely leaving on account of their dissatisfaction with answers given in the Quran as well as the manner in which answers came. I know because several madrasa-trained scholars and madrasa graduated who are in the process of leaving Islam call me and ask me to explain these issues. However, if they are not satisfied, for whatever reason, we cannot call them Zalim or kafir or oppressor, although perhaps God can say so, as He does in Quran, on account of his superior knowledge of his creation.

    In Surah Al-Kafirun too, there is no reason to think that if some one is unbeliever today and one says that you do not or will not worship what I worship, tomorrow he may not become a believer. Of course, God must have known that these people will all convert to Islam one day, so why should He say that. There is thus indeed, ambiguity in a couple of places regarding the use of the word kafir that creates a certain amount of confusion.

    But these ambiguities and questions cannot overturn the overwhelming use of the word kufr and derivatives like kafiroon for non-belief and non-believers in Quran. Take 18;29, as an example, where not only is the meaning of kufr clearly non-belief but even the term zalimoon (normally used for oppressors) is used for just those who will not believe, non-believers.

    18;29 And say: "The truth is from your Lord.'' Then whosoever wills, let him believe; and whosoever wills, let him disbelieve (yakfur). Verily, We have prepared for the non-believers (zalimoon), a Fire whose walls will be surrounding them. And if they ask for drink, they will be granted water like Al-Muhl, that will scald their faces. Terrible is the drink, and an evil Murtafaq!)

    Naseer Saheb, contradictions abound in Quran. That is why there are so many theologies, all deriving strength from one or the other verses of Quran. The very first theology was that of Qadriyah and Jabriyah. It developed because there are verses in Quran supporting both the Qadriya position that “humans possess free will, whose exercise makes them responsible for their actions, justifying divine punishment and absolving God of responsibility for evil in the world” as well as the opposite position which has become the consensus theology basically saying (though not in so many words) that God is an unjust ruler who does not give humans free will and yet punishes them for wrongdoing which he has Himself inspired them to do. Both Qadriyah and Jabriyah schools derived sustenance from Quran, as do all other schools of thought with widely divergent views.

    Similarly, according to Quran, God is formless, unique, and also sits on the throne, like any other monarch. We reconcile this contradiction by saying that the sitting on the throne is an allegorical verse, and only God knows its meaning. But does Quran tell us this is an allegorical verse? No. This may very well be considered by literalist, as it is, that this is a simple, straightforward statement. There is no poetic imagery here. Literary devices like metaphor, hyperbole, and imagery can be as much seen in verses describing God’s uniqueness and formlessness as his sitting on a chair. All of them can be clear verses or allegorical.

    But I think the way to reconcile these contradictions is not to seek to change the universally accepted meanings of words that are so obvious in Quran on the basis of virtually hundreds of verses, from beginning to end. It seems Quran is referring to two groups of people, Mushrikun (polytheists) and Ahl-e-Kitab (People of the Book like Jews and Christians) and describes their non-belief and oppression as kufr and zulm, calling them kafiroon and zalimoon, interchangeably, but mostly kafiroon. Non-belief itself is called zulm (oppression) sometimes, so it can also be called kufr in the sense of oppression. Preachers often use synonyms in their exhortations.

    Quran is not a book of mathematics and logic, as you seem to think. It is a book of preachings, teachings, exhortations, lessons from God. Preachers and teachers often repeat their message, sometimes giving a full message, sometimes repeating a part of it, sometimes repeating another part of it. Take, for instance, good tidings of reward in the Hereafter. Sometimes God promises rewards only for good deeds, sometimes for good deeds coupled with faith, sometimes good deeds coupled with faith in God, Prophet, and Day of Judgement along with establishing prayers, fasting, paying Zakat (charity or poor-due) and so on. Gathering from this that mere good deeds are enough for salvation in Islam and make you a momin, even if you are a polytheist, is not proper, much as we would like it to be so. I may believe, on the basis of a concept of Just God that good deeds would be enough for salvation, as they should be in my humble judgement, but if I say that this is the message of Quran, that will be wrong.

    I would be happiest if your contention could be proven that nowhere in the Quran the term Kafir is used for just non-believers, and it has been used only for religious oppressors. This would help us wriggle out of our present predicament, even if convincing the community would still be difficult.

     But the problem is that even disbelief is considered by God oppression, and non-believers are called zalimoon (oppressors). (Quran 18: 29). So, what if they are called kafiroon, also in the sense of oppressors.

    Our discussion has brought out the fact that we can’t even say that Quran asks us to fight only defensive wars. If we consider war-time verses as applicable to us for ever, we may have to listen to the theology of consensus that speaks of offensive jihad on the basis of verses in Surah Taubah and Surah Anfal, etc. At one-point, when Muslims are in a strong position, most people have accepted Islam eighteen months after victory at Mecca, and only a few polytheists remain, Muslims were asked to fight and kill and exile even those mushrikin (polytheists) who had not defied them or helped their enemies in any way.  God acknowledges this and then says that maintain your treaty till it expires and then, instead of renewing their treaty as a reward for good behaviour, practically, force them to convert or go into exile, on pain of death.

      (Quran 9: 4-5). “But those polytheists with whom you had covenanted and they did not detract anything in your Contract, and did not help any one against you, then fulfil their covenant till the promised day. Undoubtedly, Allah loves piety. Then when the sacred months have passed, slay the polytheists wherever you find them and catch them, and confine them and sit in wait for them at every place; again, if they repent and establish prayer and give the poor-due (zakat), then leave their way. Verily Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”

    Naseer Saheb, you have said that this is a one-time judgement. But where did you get this idea of one-time judgement. Surely not from Quran, to my knowledge. Do please let me know if it is from Quran. You obviously got it from a common-sense interpretation, which you say, being a literalist, you never resort to. But even if that is the case, it is a wrong judgement, an unjust judgement. One would not expect this from a Just God, who was setting examples for Muslims of future generations too.

    This is how theologians are able to convince Muslims that it is the job of Muslims to cleanse the world of Mushrikin. Even those Mushrikin who do not defy Muslims or do not side with their enemies in times of war are not to be spared until they “repent and establish prayer and give the poor-due (zakat),” clearly meaning accept Islam.

    I, therefore, repeat, Naseer Saheb, let us consider militant, aggressive war-time or later Quranic verses obsolete, and not applicable to us today. After every war, instructions given in that war become in applicable to the warriors. Let us focus on the spiritual dimension of Islam. God is not sitting on a chair, contrary to what we find in Quran, but is everywhere, transcendent as well as immanent. The spirit of Quran, emerging at least from its earlier Meccan verses, the foundational exhortations of Islam, is that of peace, pluralism, co-existence, human equality, patience and perseverance in times of adversity and persecution, gender justice, faith in a Just God who does not burden any one beyond his capacity, etc.  Let us tell our community that we are not fighting seventh century wars fought by the Prophet and his companions. We are not likely to fight these wars either. So let us just treat exhortations in Quran and Hadith regarding these wars as history and salute the prophet who was able to establish Islam’s egalitarian message in very adverse circumstances. Muslims being encouraged to fight in the way of God was not a universal commandment.

    By Sultan Shahin - 1/27/2018 8:57:18 AM



  • Shahin sb,

    There is coherence and consistency in the Quran. There is no coherence and consistency in the way people understand it. This is proven on this website with discussion on the meaning Surah 98 (Al- Bayyinah) and especially verses 98:1, 6 and Surah Al-Kafirun.

    If people love the inconsistent and incoherent ways in which they understand the Quran and have no problems with the contradictions, what can be done? And this is the state of those who write for NAI.

    If you want to establish the truths that I bring out or reject it based on rigorous analysis, get a good retired judge to moderate the discussions and debates. 

    Someone, who may not have any knowledge of the Quran, but can decide based on evidence and reason. Otherwise, we will not move an inch.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/21/2018 10:39:27 PM



  • Naseer Saheb, there is a reason why I am so insistent on coherence, consistency and rigour in arriving at any new understanding of Islamic postulates. Any fresh creative thinking or ijtihad is an absolute no, no, for our ulema and through their brain washing to the Muslim masses. The doors of ijtihad were not closed lightly. This was a well-thought-out move by scholars who had only the best for their religion in mind. A large number of unqualified people had started giving ridiculous fatwas based on their own uninformed opinions.

    You have only to read a revered 13th century scholar Ibn Rajab al Hanbali’s essay entitled “Al-Radd Ala man Ittaba Ghayr al-Madhahib al-Arba” (Refutation of those who do not follow the four schools) to realise the depth and strength of feeling and support behind this move. Let me quote him to show the background to the story: “….. This was a time when the majority of the people were dominated by religion and scrupulousness. This saved them from someone speaking without knowledge and those who claimed to possess knowledge while not being qualified.

    “But then religion and scrupulousness declined. It became common for someone to speak without knowledge or claim it for himself while not being qualified. If the state of the earlier times — where everyone gave rulings according to what appeared to him to be the truth — had continued in the later times, it is inevitable that there would be no order in the religion, and the lawful would have become prohibited and the prohibited lawful. Everyone would have said what they wanted, and our religion would have become like the aqdiah (faith) of the people of the two books before ours [the Jews and Christians].

     “So, it is the wisdom of Allah Most High that [He] set the religion and protected it and appointed Imams for the people.”

    After giving more details of the process and thanking Allah profusely for having helped close the doors of ijtihad, he goes on: “…. This is among Allah's gentle kindness toward His believing slaves, and among the mass of His customary laws in preserving this religion. If not for this, people would have seen the wonder of wonders: every imbecile, hot-headed, insolent, sham who was impressed with his opinion would claim that he is the greatest of all Imams, that he is the one to guide the community, that people should turn only to him, and that no one else should be relied.

    “However, with praise for Allah and His gracious bestowal, this door of great danger and tremendous weight was barred. And this great corruption was constrained. This is among the gentle kindness, beautiful habits, and tender mercies of Allah Most High towards His slaves.

    In spite of this, people still appear, claiming to have reached the level of iitihad, speak about knowledge without restraint, or following one of those Imams.”

     Now, what is the point of all this? Do I want doors of ijtihad to remain closed? Certainly not. On the contrary, I believe, ijtihad is the need of the hour. If Islam has to survive we have to find new meanings and new understandings of our religion that keeps Muslims aligned to the present-day world.

    This 21st century world is vastly different from the seventh century Arabian desert where Islam came. Even Quran respected the prevalent mores of the society where it was revealed. It did not seek to revolutionise the society beyond a point. So, Islam today has to be understood in the light of what is normative in the present society while still sticking to its core principles. So, we have to study what are the core principles of Islam and what were the imperatives of the time in which it came. Slavery, for instance, was not banned by Quran, though it made it amply clear that it had no place in the civilised society that Islam was trying to create.

    What then is the point of highlighting Ibn Rajab al Hanbali’s strong support for closing the doors of ijtihad. This is merely to show that the Muslim ummah today thinks the same as our ulema did in 13th century on the subject of reform. Fresh thinking is still not allowed. So mujtahidin and reformers of today will have to work very hard to prove their points; no quarter will be given to them, no leniency shown.  And no reform can succeed unless large number of masses come to accept it. Muslim masses, largely ignorant of theology, and even illiterate till today, are still tied up to the ulema in matters of aqida.

    We cannot afford to close the doors of engagement with our classical ulema. If our arguments have coherence and internal consistency, we should be able to influence at least some of them to begin with. But we just cannot do that with a display of haughtiness and arrogance. We should not appear to them as Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali’s “imbecile, hot-headed, insolent, sham,” but as humble, intelligent, learned people who can be engaged with.

    By Sultan Shahin - 1/20/2018 10:57:05 AM



  • Shahin sb,

    The so-called sword verses have been explained with the help of the verses 9:1 to 9:29 alone in my article:

    The Correct Understanding of the So Called ‘Sword’ Verses of Surah Taubah

    I have stuck to the literal meaning of these verses. At the end, I show that the eternal principles of “let there be no compulsion in religion” and “to the peaceful rejecter of faith be his way and to me mine” were not violated. I have however not used these verses to “interpret” the sword verses nor used the brief historical account that I included to “interpret”.

    The underlying eternal principles, are covered in my article:

    The Principles of War from the Quran

    The Quran contains stories of many prophets which are a historical account of what happened, as well as provide guidance. What we need is codification of the eternal principles which is what I have been trying to do. This should have been done by our theologians, in the same manner as they codified the five pillars and the six articles of faith. Some speak about Jihad as a sixth pillar. The very fact that this is not included, means that it was unimportant to the theologians. It would have been better, if they had not left out anything, whether important or unimportant. This task must be completed. What is then applicable today, are the codified principles.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/19/2018 11:40:52 PM



  • ·        Naseer Saheb, you write:

    “Shahin Sb, Can you please direct me to the laws or principles of literalism that force you to ignore verses 9:1 to 9:29 to understand the complete judgment on the people under the political authority of the Prophet at the end of all the wars?

    If we take the entire judgment passed by a court into consideration to understand the same, do we call that interpretation? What part of any judgment do we interpret and not take literally without ignoring the literal meaning of the remaining relevant parts? If there is no interpretation involved here, why do we have to interpret verses 9:1 to 29, and not take the entire set together as a single subject, with the literal meanings of every verse, to understand every aspect of the complete judgment?”

     

    Naseer Saheb, I don’t think any amount of explanation, interpretation and contextualisation – and I have read many from Islamic scholars who want to present Islam as a religion of peace and pluralism and co-existence, while insisting on the universality of all Quranic instructions – or literal reading of the passage 9:1-29, as per your suggestion, can explain away the terrifying nature of exhortations here for those Muslims who want to co-exist with other communities. For me, the only way out is considering them inapplicable to us today.

     

    I am just not ignoring them, as a context. In fact I have been campaigning for decades for verses to be read in context.

    So, instead  of ignoring, let me just put forward for readers the Surah Taubah verses 9: 1  to  29 verses, so that they can for themselves decide if even after taking all these verses together, we develop an understanding that these verses can be eternally valid to us as divine instructions to be followed by those of us today who want to co-exist with other religious communities in peace and harmony.

     

    I am taking the translation from Sahih international as it translates kafaru or kafirin as disbelievers and mushrikin as polytheists, so readers can understand where in the Quran the actual word is kafirin or kafaru and where it is mushrikin.

    SURAH TAUBAH 9: Repentance - SAHIH INTERNATIONAL

    9:1  [This is a declaration of] disassociation, from Allah and His Messenger, to those with whom you had made a treaty among the polytheists.

    9:2 So travel freely, [O disbelievers], throughout the land [during] four months but know that you cannot cause failure to Allah and that Allah will disgrace the disbelievers.

    9:3  And [it is] an announcement from Allah and His Messenger to the people on the day of the greater pilgrimage that Allah is disassociated from the disbelievers, and [so is] His Messenger. So if you repent, that is best for you; but if you turn away - then know that you will not cause failure to Allah. And give tidings to those who disbelieve of a painful punishment.

    9:4 Excepted are those with whom you made a treaty among the polytheists and then they have not been deficient toward you in anything or supported anyone against you; so complete for them their treaty until their term [has ended]. Indeed, Allah loves the righteous [who fear Him].

    9:5  And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

    9:6  And if any one of the polytheists seeks your protection, then grant him protection so that he may hear the words of Allah. Then deliver him to his place of safety. That is because they are a people who do not know.

    9:7  How can there be for the polytheists a treaty in the sight of Allah and with His Messenger, except for those with whom you made a treaty at al-Masjid al-Haram? So as long as they are upright toward you, be upright toward them. Indeed, Allah loves the righteous [who fear Him].

    9:8   How [can there be a treaty] while, if they gain dominance over you, they do not observe concerning you any pact of kinship or covenant of protection? They satisfy you with their mouths, but their hearts refuse [compliance], and most of them are defiantly disobedient.

    9:9   They have exchanged the signs of Allah for a small price and averted [people] from His way. Indeed, it was evil that they were doing.

    9:10   They do not observe toward a believer any pact of kinship or covenant of protection. And it is they who are the transgressors.

    9:11   But if they repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, then they are your brothers in religion; and We detail the verses for a people who know.

    9:12   And if they break their oaths after their treaty and defame your religion, then fight the leaders of disbelief, for indeed, there are no oaths [sacred] to them; [fight them that] they might cease.

    9:13   Would you not fight a people who broke their oaths and determined to expel the Messenger, and they had begun [the attack upon] you the first time? Do you fear them? But Allah has more right that you should fear Him, if you are [truly] believers.

    9:14  Fight them; Allah will punish them by your hands and will disgrace them and give you victory over them and satisfy the breasts of a believing people.

    9:15   And remove the fury in the believers' hearts. And Allah turns in forgiveness to whom He wills; and Allah is Knowing and Wise.

    9:16   Do you think that you will be left [as you are] while Allah has not yet made evident those among you who strive [for His cause] and do not take other than Allah, His Messenger and the believers as intimates? And Allah is Acquainted with what you do.

    9:17   It is not for the polytheists to maintain the mosques of Allah [while] witnessing against themselves with disbelief. [For] those, their deeds have become worthless, and in the Fire they will abide eternally.

    9:18   The mosques of Allah are only to be maintained by those who believe in Allah and the Last Day and establish prayer and give zakah and do not fear except Allah, for it is expected that those will be of the [rightly] guided.

    9:19   Have you made the providing of water for the pilgrim and the maintenance of al-Masjid al-Haram equal to [the deeds of] one who believes in Allah and the Last Day and strives in the cause of Allah? They are not equal in the sight of Allah. And Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people.

    9:20   The ones who have believed, emigrated and striven in the cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives are greater in rank in the sight of Allah. And it is those who are the attainers [of success].

    9:21  Their Lord gives them good tidings of mercy from Him and approval and of gardens for them wherein is enduring pleasure.

    9:22    [They will be] abiding therein forever. Indeed, Allah has with Him a great reward.

    9:23   O you who have believed, do not take your fathers or your brothers as allies if they have preferred disbelief over belief. And whoever does so among you - then it is those who are the wrongdoers.

    9:24   Say, [O Muhammad], "If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives, wealth which you have obtained, commerce wherein you fear decline, and dwellings with which you are pleased are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger and jihad in His cause, then wait until Allah executes His command. And Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people."

    9:25   Allah has already given you victory in many regions and [even] on the day of Hunayn, when your great number pleased you, but it did not avail you at all, and the earth was confining for you with its vastness; then you turned back, fleeing.

    9:26   Then Allah sent down His tranquillity upon His Messenger and upon the believers and sent down soldier- angels whom you did not see and punished those who disbelieved. And that is the recompense of the disbelievers.

    9:27   Then Allah will accept repentance after that for whom He wills; and Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

    9:28   O you who have believed, indeed the polytheists are unclean, so let them not approach al-Masjid al-Haram after this, their [final] year. And if you fear privation, Allah will enrich you from His bounty if He wills. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Wise.

    9:29   Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture - [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.

    By Sultan Shahin - 1/19/2018 9:04:11 AM



  • Shahin sb, 
    Please ask the two faced Islamic scholar to comment on the following:

    From the Qur'anic perspective all believing humans stand equal before God and will be judged on the basis of their deeds and taqwa. Thus, even a monotheist Hindu who is a champion of karma and dharma may stand far ahead of the head of Deobandi or Barelvi school in the divine court - God alone knows best.

    Shocking this may sound, the foregoing statement is compatible with the following corollary tabled in an ijtihad work referenced below:

    “The Qur’anic broader notion of taqwa and its association with the deeper impulses of all humanity demolishes any distinction of people on religious ground. A Muslim person (regardless of gender) most visibly given to religious symbolism or devoted to religious rituals, may lag behind or even fail in taqwa and disqualify for divine rewards, while a non-Muslim person, probably even an atheist, who has no lesser share of divine inspiration in his/her subconscious soul, may excel in taqwa and earn divine reward despite his lacking in religious symbolism and visible or regimented devotion – though God knows best who all will earn divine reward.”

    Ref: http://newageislam.com/islamic-ideology/muhammad-yunus,-new-age-islam/the-quran-s-broader-notion-of-taqwa-–-an-irrefutable-testimony-to-its-universalism/d/7889

    I only hope the concerned ulama will take a hard look at the above ijtihad work and do tawba for claiming divine authority in expelling a fellow Muslim from the pale of Islam. They also must immediately withdraw their charge of kufr from Shahnaz Sidrat for another group of ulama can call them kafir and revoke their fatwa - a game of takfir that the Ulama who unlawfully claim to judge the faith of fellow Muslims, have been playing for centuries - their primary task seems to be keep the community constantly in a chaotic state by giving fatwas and counter fatwas and thus create a position of authority for themselves. But how long ....?   

    View Article


    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/18/2018 2:58:00 AM



  • Shahin Sb,

    Can you please direct me to the laws or principles of literalism that force you to ignore verses 9:1 to 9:29 to understand the complete judgment on the people under the political authority of the Prophet at the end of all the wars?

    If we take the entire judgment passed by a court into consideration to understand the same, do we call that interpretation? What part of any judgment do we interpret and not take literally without ignoring the literal meaning of the remaining relevant parts? If there is no interpretation involved here, why do we have to interpret verses 9:1 to 29, and not take the entire set together as a single subject, with the literal meanings of every verse, to understand every aspect of the complete judgment?

    The Quran is very much like a book of logic or mathematics. People may misunderstand books of mathematics or books of logic but who is wrong in his understanding and who is right can be established.

    I know that what I say sounds very strange because no one has spoken about the Quran in this manner. Let me however assure you, that if you have the patience, you will understand some day, that I speak the truth. I also appreciate the fact that at this moment, you have difficulty understanding it. I am helpless in making myself clearer. I try to make it simple, but cannot make it simpler.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/18/2018 1:32:53 AM



  • Naseer Saheb, "We do not talk about literalism or interpretation when we talk about the law books or the text books or the books of science" because these books are not word of God, or God Himself or an uncreated aspect of God, universally applicable for all time to come.  Quran, for a Muslim, is virtually God Himself, or at least an aspect or attribute of God. Saying anything else invites beheading. How can Quran and other text books be compared. 

    By Sultan Shahin - 1/17/2018 11:28:56 PM



  • Naseer Saheb, you know I want your thesis to become acceptable to the scholars as well as Muslim masses. It would be great if people come to accept that nowhere in Quran has the term kafir been used for infidel, or unbeliever, or polytheist, etc, but only for religious oppressors. This would resolve so many of our problems. It will break the leg of Islamist terrorism. The same is true of for your claim that Islamic wars have nothing to do with faith, they are only against oppression. Islam supremacism is not supported by Quran. Muslims can be kafir as much as polytheists or ahl-e-kitab. I have no problem even with ideas like an atheist of good behaviour is a momin and a Muslim of bad behaviour a kafir. And a man whose behaviour swings between good and bad is momin one moment and kafir next. Pakistan army being an army of kafirin and Indian army being an army of momineen. Even Allah being kafir in some respect is a great idea. This would probably solve all problems. So many killings are happening in the name of kafir and mushrik, that a Muslim can be forgiven for desperately seeking solutions.

    However, the problem is making these ideas acceptable to the Muslim community and their scholars. Nothing happens if you and I keep writing, expounding these revolutionary ideas.  This can be only done through creative reinterpretation of Islamic scriptures, rejecting verses of war as inapplicable to us today, though useful as history, rejecting Ahadith that contradict the foundational and universal verses of Quran, letting go of blind taqlid of all imams, but treating them with respect as learned scholars who devoted their lives to serious study but were products of their time, as Quran itself one can see is a product of its time, and tries not to tax its audience too much and beyond a point.

    You cannot say that you are doing a literal reading of Quran in which kill the mushrik means don’t kill the mushrik, or something like that, because this is the meaning I have logically derived from keeping the entire book in mind and studying the usage of terms in all places in Quran. Of course, you will not put things so bluntly, and will just keep silent unlike literalists like Ibn-e-Taimiya who can bluntly say that if someone so much as raises the question of Quran being a created work of God behead him.

    I have been asking you some questions but you are avoiding to answer because a literal reading of those verses will render your thesis infructuous. Anybody can see that “kill the polytheists wherever you find them. And capture them, and besiege them, and lie in wait for them at every ambush” (Quran 9: 5) means “kill the polytheists wherever you find them. And capture them, and besiege them, and lie in wait for them at every ambush.” Similarly, on a literal reading. “Fight those who do not believe in God, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden, nor abide by the religion of truth—from among those who received the Scripture—until they pay the due tax, willingly or unwillingly. (Quran 9: 29) would mean “Fight those who do not believe in God, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden, nor abide by the religion of truth—from among those who received the Scripture—until they pay the due tax, willingly or unwillingly.” Is it any wonder that these verses and similar verses are the most popular in Jihadi discourse, which is also based on a literal reading of Quran and Hadith. There is a reason why Jihadis are literalists and abhor interpretation that would sanitize Quran and Hadith.

    It would require an interpretation in the light of context and other verses of Quran which call for co-existence, patience and perseverance, etc, that one can sanitise these verses. To me the best solution is to consider them inapplicable today as instructions given in any war due to the exigencies of situations existing then become irrelevant once the war is over. However, if you say like other literalists that all verses are of universal and eternal applicability, and that you are doing a literal reading and on a literal reading the verses mean something else than they seem to do, it becomes too much for any human mind to accept.

    I don’t think you can fight Jihadi literalists by a literal reading of Quran and saying that logically derived meanings of Quran’s verses read literally overturn the meaning or some such thing. Perhaps I have not been able to paraphrase your position very well. But perhaps that is also because it is so self-contradictory.

    You want to purge the Muslims of their pathological hatred of mushrikin. I would love for you to succeed. I have been trying to do the same, for decades now. But first thing is to accept that this pathological hatred emanates from the pathological hatred displayed in Islamic scriptures. Any effort at finding a solution should start from a recognition of this fact. Any amount of jugglery will not help.  

    By Sultan Shahin - 1/17/2018 11:16:13 PM



  • Shahin sb,

    We do not talk about literalism or interpretation when we talk about the law books or the text books or the books of science. Neither do we read each sentence in these books in isolation from the rest of the paragraph, or chapter. Why then do we talk about literalism and interpretation when we talk about the Quran? We talk about interpretation when we talk about poetry and literature. The Quran is most emphatically not poetry or literature.

    We need to interpret the speech of a child or that of an incoherent imbecile. The Quran is most certainly not such a speech either, but those who interpret, treat it as if it were. If context is relevant to a verse, the context for the verse is found in the immediately preceding or succeeding verses. You don’t have to go looking for it all over the place. The Quran contains the context necessary to understand any verse.

    Not asking why is not literalism. There are prohibitions where the Quran briefly gives a reason for it and there are prohibitions where it does not give a reason – for example prohibited to you are marriages with parent, sibling, aunt etc. No reason is given and we are to follow it. Is following that literalism? We can find our answers in Science and the Quran leaves this to us to ponder over and find the answers.

    Show me an interpretation of the Quran and I will show you an error. The meaning is what can be established through literal reading of the relevant verses without interpretation and such meaning will prevail over every interpretation.

    There are allegorical verses which use metaphors. In science we build models to describe the reality. Metaphors are like these models. We know the difference between a model and the reality. Even metaphors are not to be interpreted but treated as models of the reality and not as reality itself.

    Logical conclusions are not interpretations. A logical conclusion is as good as a literal verse. The examples of logical conclusions:

    1.       Surah Al-Kafirun is addressed to the kafir among the Prophet’s audience and not to all the Mushrikin

    2.       The Quran does not support the concept of an immortal soul

    3.       Marriage of a Muslim to a polytheist is not prohibited and therefore not invalid although warned against

    4.       Kafir does not mean disbeliever in the Quran

     

    The logical argument for “kafir does not mean disbeliever” is so simple that it amazes me that no one gets it. That is how challenged the people are when it comes to logic!

     

    In the Quran, in different contexts:

    Believers are kafir

    disbelievers are kafir.

    Logically therefore, the meaning of kafir cannot be either believer or disbeliever.

    The logical conclusion therefore is that it is neither belief nor absence of belief that makes a person kafir. However, we know from the Quran, that rejection of belief makes one a kafir. So when a disbeliever is referred by us as kafir, we are judging him, and saying that if he is a disbeliever, then he must have rejected belief and therefore he is a kafir. This is a judgment and not the meaning. The Quran does not make such a judgment even in verse 9:5. So, if the Mushrikin, at the end of the prophetic mission, are not judged as kafir, even though they had persecuted the Muslims and fought battles against them, how do we call the non-Muslims kafir today?

    If people do not understand such simple logic, that is not my fault nor the Quran’s. People think with their bodies and not with their brains. What feels right is right for them and what feels right is what is familiar and what everybody else says or what they have learnt in their formative years. It takes enormous effort to unlearn and rid ourselves of false notions.

     

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/17/2018 10:41:29 PM



  • Servent leadears do not take media attention.

    Best servent leadears and their Bhakts will quote goodness from others scriptures same quality which he/she finds his/her own book, For Instance, Christian washing Hindu feet, than Christian will quote Krishna washing sudama's feet, not try to establish bible superiority and ignoring good points in others.

    Help other religion people and try prove our own relgion universalism and only and only follower of our relgion are best that sickness is found in Abrahmic followers.
    By Aayina - 1/17/2018 9:57:25 PM



  • Dear Royalji, Thanks for the compliments. I hope I come to deserve some of these qualities at least in timers to come. 
    And thanks for introducing me to the concept of  SERVANT LEADER’ (21st century leader). I would try to buy this book written by Robert Greenleaf and learn from it.
    Regards
    By Sultan Shahin - 1/17/2018 11:24:05 AM



  • Shahin Sb,

    Read my comment By Naseer Ahmed - 1/16/2018 5:25:57 AM

    Show me where have I departed from the literal meanings and we are dealing with only the related verses 1 to 29 in a Surah of 129 verses?

    The world's understanding of literal meaning is not the understanding of a sentence in isolation from the rest of the paragraph/chapter. Show me where do you find such a definition of literal meaning?

    And why would anyone ignore the context that is included in the Quran?

     Take the verse: 4:76 that I discussed at length. To get at its literal meaning, you need to know the literal meanings in the Quran of each of the terms used in that verse for which you necessarily have to see other verses which define these terms literally. Surely, there is no other way to find the literal meaning of “fighting in the cause of Allah” except to see how the Quran defines it.

    If you have difficulty understanding the difference between logically derived meaning and interpretation, simply prove what I claim to be logically derived as false. Show that with verses 98:1, 6 or Surah Al-Kafirun that we have already discussed.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/17/2018 10:28:32 AM



  • Naseer Saheb, I am told we are living in a dystopian world, though we have not quite reached the frightening level of George Orwell’s novel 1984 where black means while and white black.

    These reflections are occasioned by your following comments:

    “Shahin Sb, Does literal mean taking a word, verse or sentence in isolation? Not to me at least. To me, literal means taking the entire Book into consideration with its literal meaning, in a manner the meaning of the verse under consideration, does not contradict the literal meaning of any other part of the Book. At all times, when I take the literal meaning, I keep the complete Book in mind.

     What is deriving logical conclusions? Are these interpretations? Logical conclusions are not interpretations but what follows logically from other verses.”

    Naseer Saheb, you may invent your own terminology, but when you are communicating with the world, you should be using terminology that is universally accepted. It doesn’t matter to the world what literalism means to you. Your private definitions of any terms are meant for you. You cannot impose them on the world and then judge the world’s response on the basis of your private meanings of the words in communication with wider audience. You may live in a private world in your own mind. But that doesn’t apply to the world. If I may say so, it would be considered insane. If you think literal translation means keeping in mind all the context in which the word has been used in the book in other places and then deriving its spirit or what you call a logical meaning, it can be good for your private understanding, but if you bring it out in public it will be considered an interpretation. There is noting wrong in interpretation and contextualisation, which is what you are actually doing and coming to useful conclusions.  

     I will bring to your notice what literalism and literal translation means to the world at large. But it should appeal to your common sense that when you keep the whole Quran or the spirit of Quran in your mind and the meaning of one world used in other verses at other places in mind while translating a verse, and derive meanings that are not there, it is interpretation, not deriving logical meaning. Indeed, deriving logical meaning is nothing but interpretation. Literal translation is literal translation. When God says in a verse kill the mushrikeen, it should mean kill the mushrikeen, in a literal translation. It can however be interpreted differently in view of context and usage of the word kill or the word mushrik in other contexts differently and a new meaning, different from the apparent meaning can be derived. In a literal sense kill means kill and mushrik means mushrik.

    I don’t understand why you should be denying contextualisation and interpretation when this is what you are doing all the time in the name of deriving logical meanings. Your interpretations may indeed be valuable and useful for the Muslim society in present times of strife. But they cannot be taken seriously if you continue to insist these are simple literal translations rather than interpretations based on the context in which these words have been used before. This is a very good interpretative technique and can be acceptable to any one, but not as literal or “derived logical meaning,” whatever that means.

    I think verses should be read in their context and should not apply to us if the context is not there. Verses like the following from Surah Taubah and many other similar 7th century war-related verses should be read in their context and should not be considered applicable to us today when we cannot possibly be fighting those wars.

    9: 5. When the Sacred Months have passed, kill the polytheists wherever you find them. And capture them, and besiege them, and lie in wait for them at every ambush. But if they repent, and perform the prayers, and pay the alms, then let them go their way. God is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.



     9: 29. Fight those who do not believe in God, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden, nor abide by the religion of truth—from among those who received the Scripture—until they pay the due tax, willingly or unwillingly.

     

    Now, let me bring to your notice how the world understands words like literalism and literal translation:

    Literalism means “the interpretation of words in their literal sense.

    adherence to the exact letter or the literal sense, as in translation or interpretation.”

    “exact representation or portrayal, without idealization, as in art or literature.”

    “the disposition to take words and statements in their literal sense.”

     

    “literal or realistic portrayal in art or literature.”

     

    Biblical literalism in religious fundamentalism in Wikipedia

    Biblical literalism or biblicism is a term used differently by different authors concerning biblical interpretation. It can equate to the dictionary definition of literalism: "adherence to the exact letter or the literal sense",[1] where literal means "in accordance with, involving, or being the primary or strict meaning of the word or words; not figurative or metaphorical".[2]

    Alternatively, the term can refer to the historical-grammatical method, a hermeneutic technique that strives to uncover the meaning of the text by taking into account not just the grammatical words, but also the syntactical aspects, the cultural and historical background, and the literary genre. It emphasizes the referential aspect of the words in the text without denying the relevance of literary aspects, genre, or figures of speech within the text (e.g., parable, allegory, simile, or metaphor).[3] It does not necessarily lead to complete agreement upon one single interpretation of any given passage. This Christian fundamentalist and evangelical hermeneutical approach to scripture is used extensively by fundamentalist Christians,[4] in contrast to the historical-critical method of mainstream Judaism or mainstream Christianity. Those who relate biblical literalism to the historical-grammatical method use the word "letterism" to cover interpreting the Bible according to the dictionary definition of literalism.[5]

     

    Quranic literalism in Wikipedia: “The Arabic phrase bi-la kayfa, also bilā kaifa, (Arabic: بلا كيف) is roughly translated as "without asking how", or "without how" which means without modality. [1] It was a way of resolving theological problems in Islam over apparent questioning in ayat (verses of the Qur'an) by accepting without questioning. [1][2]

    An example is the apparent contradiction between references to God having human characteristics (such as the "Hand of God" or the "Face of God") and the concept of God as being transcendental. The position of attributing actual hands or an actual face to God was known as mugassima ("corporealist") or mushabbih ("anthropomorphist").[3]

    Another was the question of how the Quran could be both the word of God, but never have been created by God because (as many hadith testified) it has always existed. [4][5]

    Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari (c. 873–936) originated the use of the term in his development of the orthodox Ash'ari school against some of the paradoxes of the rationalist Muʿtazila. Instead of explaining that God has a literal face (which would anthropomorphize God), he explained that the earliest Muslims simply accepted the verses as they stand - without asking how or why.[5] This view was held by the vast majority of Sunni Muslims from the first generations of Islam.

    Another source credits Ahmad ibn Hanbal, founder of the Hanbali school of fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) as the original creator of the doctrine.[6]

    Nuh Ha Mim Keller states that both ibn Hanbal and al-Ash'ari held the same creed of and consisted of accepting the words of the mutashabihat "unapparent meanings" of the Qur'an and hadith as they have come without saying how they are meant.[7]

    The term "bi-la kayf" is the belief that the verses of the Qur'an with an "unapparent meaning" should be accepted as they have come without saying how they are meant. For example, Imam Ahmad was asked about the hadiths mentioning "Allah's descending", "seeing Allah", and "placing His foot on hell"; and the like, and he replied: "We believe in them and consider them true, without 'how' and without 'meaning' (bi la kayfa wa la ma‘na) and with firmly believing that these words have a meaning that Allah knows, and that literal meaning isn't meant".[8]

    By Sultan Shahin - 1/17/2018 9:50:42 AM



  • Shahin Sb,
    Ask Yunus sb to post his comment under my article if he wants a response. I can then show him how he contradicts what Muhammad Yunus has said in the past.
    He has two faces -one as an anonymous scholar  and another as Muhammad Yunus and the two are not in sync.
    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/17/2018 7:50:39 AM



  • The scholar who wants to maintain his anonymity has sent me the following comment: There are two grievously flawed statements reviewed below in Naseer Sb article re The Mominin and Kafirin, that purport to transform Islam into a porous religion based on behavior and not Tawhid – a preposterous innovation in religious thoughts: The 3rd para begins with the statement “The Momineen (faithful) and the Kafirin (faithless) are therefore terms that cannot be associated based on the religion professed, but based on behaviour alone.” This statement strips Islam – the faith of the Momin, of its quintessence ‘monotheism (tawhid)’. No Muslim or even non-Muslim scholar in the history of Islam ever propounded such an outrageous notion. Besides, faith is between man and his God/gods and his behavior is informed by his nafs – inner cravings. So faith cannot be logically connected with behavior. History has shown time and again that people profound in faith have committed the most horrific atrocities against fellow humans – the fanatic Christian crusaders at the fall of Jerusalem, the orthodox
    Christians against Albanian citizens, the Buddhist monks against Rohingyas, the fanatic ISIS against Shias and Yazidis and so forth – to cite some random examples from history. So faith of a Momin cannot be equated with good behavior. Besides, in his lifetime, a person swings between good and bad behavior. This will mean practically all humans will alternate between a momin and kafir and that he will not be obliged to follow any religion or even believe in God, as he can maintain good behavior even as an atheist.
    In one word,Naseer Sahab’s suggestion amount to dumping religion altogether from human mind and creating a society of atheists. 2. He also states after quoting the verses 90:10-18: “Anyone who practices the deeds described above, will attain complete faith in God and those who do not, will not attain such faith.”
    The statement implies that those who do not profess faith in one God – the atheists, polytheists etc can never excel in good deeds. This stands in contradiction with the Qur’anic message that gives humans the freedom of choice to do or excel in good or evil regardless of faith. What the Qur’an actually says in the quoted passage is anyone who is active in good deeds (illustrated in the passage) and at the same time believes in God and enjoins patience…. (90:17) will be the companions of the Right Hand (90”18).” This becomes clear when one reads the Arabic script of the verse 90:17. It begins with the statement: ‘thumma kana min alladhina aamanu “ which can be translated as, “and he is (also) among those who believe.” Naseer Sb’s renders the opening part of 90:17, copying Yusuf Ali as . “Then he will he be of those who believe..” suggesting a cause and effect relationship between doing the listed deeds (90:10-16) and attaining complete faith in God, which is not suggested in the Arabic script.
    This becomes clear when we read the following translations by other reputed exegetes:
    Sahih International: And then being among those who believed… Pickthall: And to be of those who believe ..”
    Mohsin Khan: Then he became one of those who believed…
    Arberry: then that he become of those who believe and…”
    The flaw in his argument is that if a person attains ‘complete faith in God’ by doing the listed deeds (or good deeds), then there is no need for him to follow any religion and he can become a happy go lucky believer in God, without the encumbrances of an organized religion. The suggestions are dangerous to say the least.
    By Sultan Shahin - 1/17/2018 3:18:40 AM



  • Royalj,

    You have been all along trying to project Christianity and undermine Islam on this website. I can therefore understand your eagerness to find fault with the Quran based on 9:5 or 9:29 or any other verse. Let me assure you that there is no problem with the Quran. I have given a categorical response to Shahin sb in my comment By Naseer Ahmed - 1/16/2018 5:25:57 AM which perhaps has been released simultaneously with your comment and you may not have read it. I see no reason to be humble about the greatest Book – a book without a single contradiction, a book that is lucid, a book the single meaning of any word or verse in it can be logically derived. You will therefore not live to see the day I accept any fault with the Quran or be humble about any aspect of it. I can see what distresses you and several others like you, is my effectiveness in projecting the clear meaning of the Quran.

     If it took me sometime to understand what Shahin sb was driving at, it was because I was unable to fathom his difficulty with understanding what I mean by literalism. Surely, Shahin sb as an editor of NAI in which I have published close to a hundred articles, is aware of my methods. To establish the correct meaning of one word, or one verse, I neglect no part of the Quran that may have a bearing on the meaning of that word or verse. That is my method. Therefore, more than anyone else, he knows that my meaning of literalism is anything but looking at a word or verse in isolation, while he is looking at 9:5 and 9:29 in isolation and calling that literalism which is not what I mean by literalism nor is that the meaning of the word.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/16/2018 10:12:08 PM



  • Sultan, I appreciate your patience, your persuasive and convincing approach and how you reconcile conflicting ideas from Naseer. I am reminded of ‘SERVANT LEADER’ (21st century leader) written by Robert Greenleaf. It is based on the statement made by the Messiah, who after washing the feet of His disciples said “I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet”(John 13:14)  Robert also quote “Those who are the greatest among you, should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant” (Luke 22:26) We have seen on TV Pope Francis washed the feet of some Muslim immigrants.

     

    Here are some of the main attributes of servant leaders; I am sure you possess some of them.

     

    1.     They develop strong, energising and empowering visions.

    2.     They listen carefully and non-judgementally to others’ thoughts and opinions.

    3.     They make informed decisions, based not on short term benefits for a few, but on long term repercussions.

    4.     They are prepared to learn from others.

    5.     They are committed to the truth regardless of the cost.

    6.     They have and display empathy and compassion.

    7.     They reconcile conflicting ideas.

    8.     They right wrongs.

    9.     They protect those who cannot protect themselves.

    10.                        They think conceptually and describing the big picture so that others can easily understand and share it.

    11.                        They are persuasive and convincing.

    12.                         They are not concerned with protecting their own position, but doing what is right.

    13.                         They have foresight and the ability to predict a likely outcome based on perception, judgement and intuition.

    14.                        They adopt principles of stewardship: being responsible for the longer-term welfare of others.

    15.                        They are decisive and flexible: having weighed up the alternatives, they commit to a path of action unreservedly while remaining open for new information.

     

    I personally came across such servant leaders at a Christian NGO that rehabilitates those who come out of prison and put them back into mainstream life.

    All through the 840 pros and cons comments you have gently and wisely cornered Naseer with the question about 9:5 and 9:29 with the emphatic statement “There is a whole world waiting for your answer”. I think Naseer is not humble enough to accept the fact. He is, seems to me, beating about the bush. I am constrained to accept Thomas’ comment.

    NOT EVERYONE SEEING SEES; NOT EVERYONE HEARING HEARS - MESSIAH

    By Royalj - 1/16/2018 5:02:28 PM



  • Shahin sb,

    "Islam, emerging in the seventh century as a conquering nation with world domination as its ultimate aim, refused to recognize legal systems other than its own." P. vii

    On the contrary, the historians tell us that they left existing structures of administration and judiciary untouched. The legal systems in Islam were as yet undeveloped and they borrowed heavily from the conquered people. The influence of Judaism and Christianity and of the Mosaic laws is evident although these contravene the Quran.

    "In Muslim legal theory, Islam and shirk (associating other gods with Allah) cannot exist together in this world; it is the duty of the imam as well as every believer not only to see that God's word shall be supreme, but also that no infidel shall deny God or be ungrateful for His favours (ni'am)."

    Sounds strange because they left the countries where shirk is practiced alone and neither do they have the kind of bloody history the Christians have for systematically exterminating indigenous populations nor their proselytizing zeal. Not corroborated by other historians. Read Bernard Lewis who has written extensively on the history of the Arabs and Islam. I did not find any such thing in his books. In any case, let us not try to mix up the bigotry of the practitioners with the Message of the Quran.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/16/2018 6:03:48 AM



  • Shahin Sb,

    Is there any problem understanding that verses 1 to 29 of Surah Taubah are a onetime judgment on the vanquished people? The context is clearly set by verses 1 to 3. What interpretation or context outside of the Quran is required to understand that this is a historical onetime event? The literal meanings of verse 9:4 and 9:6 give details of the people to be excluded from the judgment in 9:5. The literal meaning of 9:5 applies literally only to those Mushrikin with whom treaties have been dissolved as per 9:3 at the end of the amnesty period of 4 months. This understanding is further reinforced by the literal meanings of 9:12 and 9:13 according to which only those who violated their oaths are covered by 9:5. Verse 9:5 does not apply to those with whom treaties have not been dissolved covered by 9:4. Verses 9:28 and 9:29 tell us what applied to those covered by 9:4 if they choose to remain Mushrikin. Nothing is required to be interpreted. These are the literal meanings.

    The problems are created by those who interpret and not if we take the literal meanings.

    This is a historical one time judgment. How can 9:5 be applied to anyone who has not broken treaty and committed crimes as per 9:12, 9:13? If there is a treaty and the treaty broken and crimes as per 9:12, 13, then a proclamation is required as per 9:3, making exceptions as per 9:4, 6 and allowing an amnesty period. This is the literal meaning. Anything else is fanciful interpretation.

    The underlying principles that are eternal are covered in my next article.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/16/2018 5:25:57 AM



  • Shahin Sb,

    Does literal mean taking a word, verse or sentence in isolation? Not to me at least. To me, literal means taking the entire Book into consideration with its literal meaning, in a manner the meaning of the verse under consideration, does not contradict the literal meaning of any other part of the Book. At all times, when I take the literal meaning, I keep the complete Book in mind.

     What is deriving logical conclusions? Are these interpretations? Logical conclusions are not interpretations but what follows logically from other verses. The Quran does not contain logical conclusions nor are such conclusions interpretations. The difference between an interpretation and a conclusion is that in case of an interpretation, more than one equally valid interpretations are possible but not in the case of logical conclusions. Apart from taking meanings, I derive logical conclusions.

    I have already discussed how to differentiate between a verse that is independent of context and those that are not.

    I do depend upon outside knowledge to understand the Quran which includes knowledge of the sciences and bare outline of historical events/facts. There is no reason why I should not look at the dates of historical events to get a feel of the story. These dates unlike the ahadith, are not prone to distortions/falsehoods. Anything that is an undeniable and non-controversial fact, is welcome in understanding the Quran. I leave out that which is unnecessary and can prejudice my understanding with falsehood.

    I wonder, with so many of my articles on NAI, how do you still have a problem understanding my meaning of literalism. For a contrast with interpretation, see how you have tried to interpret 4:76 or others have tried to interpret 98:1, 6, Surah Al-Kafirun or even 2:256 that we have discussed.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/16/2018 2:51:09 AM



  • Naseer Saheb, You have written:

    "Shahin Sb, As for your questions:

    “What was the need for exiling or threatening to kill those “few” polytheists who had not yet converted to Islam, including those who had NOT defied Muslims or broken their treaties, “18 months” after victory at Mecca, except that God wanted to cleanse Arabia or the world of all polytheists? If we take these verses at face value, read them literally, and continue to consider them universal and eternal in their applicability, as all Muslims do, how can we claim and convince the world that Islam is a religion of peace and pluralism and tolerance of other faiths?

     “I don’t think you have read my article because you have got it all wrong."

     

    Naseer Saheb, I have read your articles thoroughly and if I have still got it wrong, please explain them to the world. These are questions that I alone do not want answered. There is a whole world waiting for your answer. I am particularly concerned about our youth who are in the process of becoming jihadists. Some of them may be our readers. We have to satisfy them with answers that will keep them from going further on the path they may be about to choose.

     

    My question was the following:

    Would you then like us Muslims in the 21st century, living in the variegated situations that we do, somewhere as a majority and somewhere as a minority, to follow the Quranic advice in the following verses literally, without contextualisation and interpretation? This is precisely what Jihadi ideologues ask us to do. The following verses from Surah Taubah (Chapter 9) are the two most popular verses in the Jihadi discourse. 



    9: 5. When the Sacred Months have passed, kill the polytheists wherever you find them. And capture them, and besiege them, and lie in wait for them at every ambush. But if they repent, and perform the prayers, and pay the alms, then let them go their way. God is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.



     9: 29. Fight those who do not believe in God, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden, nor abide by the religion of truth—from among those who received the Scripture—until they pay the due tax, willingly or unwillingly.



    I repeat, we are familiar with your no-nonsense remarks and sweeping generalisations. But the answer you give me is most uncharacteristic of you. It’s all context and interpretation. There is no direct answer. If I have misunderstood and got it all wrong like others who have read your articles, please explain to me in plain and direct words. You are not known for beating around the bush. If you don't address these questions directly, many would conclude that the theology of consensus is correct in taking Islam as a supremacist religion of war and violence.

    Let me end my appeal to you to help people with your ideas of Islam being a religion of peace with quotes from Islamic scholars who are considered authority on the subject. Professor Majid Khaduri is no terrorist ideologue. His manuscript of War and Peace in the Law of Islam, written for the Johns Hopkins Press, was reviewed by Professor Joseph Schacht, University of Leiden, Sir Hamilton Gibb, University of Oxford, Professor Phillip K. Hitti, Princeton University, Dean Phillip W. Thayer, School of Advanced Studies of the Johns Hopkins University, and Professor Leo Strauss, University of Chicago. He concludes:


    "Islam, emerging in the seventh century as a conquering nation with world domination as its ultimate aim, refused to recognize legal systems other than its own." P. vii

    "In Muslim legal theory, Islam and shirk (associating other gods with Allah) cannot exist together in this world; it is the duty of the imam as well as every believer not only to see that God's word shall be supreme, but also that no infidel shall deny God or be ungrateful for His favours (ni'am)."

    By Sultan Shahin - 1/15/2018 5:06:29 AM



  • Shahin Sb,

     As for your questions:

    “What was the need for exiling or threatening to kill those “few” polytheists who had not yet converted to Islam, including those who had NOT defied Muslims or broken their treaties, “18 months” after victory at Mecca, except that God wanted to cleanse Arabia or the world of all polytheists? If we take these verses at face value, read them literally, and continue to consider them universal and eternal in their applicability, as all Muslims do, how can we claim and convince the world that Islam is a religion of peace and pluralism and tolerance of other faiths?

     I don’t think you have read my article because you have got it all wrong. Also read besides:

    The Correct Understanding of the So Called ‘Sword’ Verses of Surah Taubah

    the article:

    The Ahadith That Distort The Message Of The Quran - Part I

    This Thomas comes from nowhere and sounds exactly like Ghulam Ghaus Sb. You have some wonderful people here who run away from the debate and fire arrows from behind the screen. Yunus sb is your anonymous Islamic Scholar and GG sb has become Thomas and the two are in sync. The cowardly hypocrites!

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/14/2018 11:48:20 PM



  • Shahin Sb,

     There is a direct answer that precedes your question which you ignore. The direct answer tells you the relevance of the verses of Surah Taubah not only for the Muslims in the 21st century, but for all the people irrespective of their faith. There are the exact events and their literal meaning and there are the general principles arising from these. The verses with their literal meanings have been covered in my article cited. The underlying general principles are covered in my comment.

    Please do not try to thrust your understanding of being literal on me. If there is one person who looks at the whole of the Quran while bringing out the meaning of any verse of the Quran or word, it is me.

    Show me any verse that qualifies in any manner, the literal meaning of 4:76 and say precisely how the verse would be modified by a different context:

    (76) The Amanu fight in the cause of Allah, and the kafaru Fight in the cause of Evil: So fight ye against the friends of Satan: feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan.

    If you cannot show that, then the verse is independent of its context. This verse could have appeared in the context of any war, whether of the Prophet’s times or earlier times and is relevant even today and for all time to come.

    The question that is relevant is whether the verse is appropriate in the context of the 1971 war. The four relevant questions are:

    Was the Pakistani army practicing oppression on the people of Bangladesh?

    Was the cause of liberating the people of Bangladesh from the oppressive Pakistani army a “cause of Allah”?

    Can the Pakistani army which carried out genocidal killing and rape of the civilian population be considered as fighting in the cause of Evil and as the Kafaru?

    Can the Indian army which went as liberators of an oppressed people and liberated them be considered as Amanu and fighting in the cause of Allah?

    For the meanings of “Cause of Allah”, Amanu, Kafaru, “Fighting in the cause of Evil”, you may look at the rest of the Quran and say that this verse does not apply to the 1971 war for whatever reasons you may have which you have not done. Neither have you shown how the verse would change based on context.

    As for me, the only cause of Allah in which fighting is permitted has been unambiguously identified as oppression. I have also no doubt that the people of Bangladesh were oppressed, and their condition is aptly reflected in the preceding verse:

    (4:75) And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)?- Men, women, and children, whose cry is: "Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will protect; and raise for us from thee one who will help!"

    The Quran uses Kafaru for the believers engaged in acts of Kufr and therefore I have no hesitation in calling the oppressors kafir irrespective of the faith they profess. The Non-Muslims according to me are all “People of the Book” and if they are engaged in a good cause, then in that context they are Momin. What remains is intention and I have no reason to doubt the intention of the Government Of India in sending the army.

    You have every right to differ and say why you think the verse is not relevant to this event in our history based on how you see these events and the meanings you give to the keywords. You have not done that. You may do so now and enlighten us on why precisely you differ.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/14/2018 11:36:27 PM



  •  Dear Thomas,
    I fully agree with your concluding remark of your comment:
    "There were many hypocrites, wahhabis, terrorists who try to justify their ill mind from the quran, but the real quran understanding people and scholars have always rejected such dangerous and actually anti-islamic elements." 
    I also wonder whether your use of the expression mad dog was casual or calculated. It has historical precedent as captured in the following sentence in my article referenced below that is related to the theme in discussion:
    “Caliph Ali compared them (the terrorists of his era) with mad dogs and declared them as Kharijites (as having forfeited the claim to the pale of Islam)”. 
    Re:
    By muhammad yunus - 1/14/2018 8:35:39 PM



  • Literalistic adherence to the diction and ethos of 7th century Arabia has caused even an intelligent scholar like Naseer sab to go astray. Today Islam requires maximum contribution from people of wisdom and goodwill to develop core Quranic principles of  peace, righteousness and rationality.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 1/14/2018 12:14:09 PM



  • Dear Naseer Saheb, I had asked a simple and straightforward question in the manner of your straightforward way of finding logical meanings from Quranic verses. You have a reputation for not beating around the bush. You don’t interpret or contextualise. In fact, you oppose interpretation and contextualisation in the strongest terms. You say, “The Quran cannot be confined to the context of its revelation in which case it becomes simply a story told. It has verses of eternal relevance and applicability.” (I do not disagree with the last remark, except if you mean to say that “all verses are of eternal relevance and applicability.”)

    My question was the following:

    Would you then like us Muslims in the 21st century, living in the variegated situations that we do, somewhere as a majority and somewhere as a minority, to follow the Quranic advice in the following verses literally, without contextualisation and interpretation? This is precisely what Jihadi ideologues ask us to do. The following verses from Surah Taubah (Chapter 9) are the two most popular verses in the Jihadi discourse.

     

    9: 5. When the Sacred Months have passed, kill the polytheists wherever you find them. And capture them, and besiege them, and lie in wait for them at every ambush. But if they repent, and perform the prayers, and pay the alms, then let them go their way. God is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.

     

    9: 29. Fight those who do not believe in God, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden, nor abide by the religion of truth—from among those who received the Scripture—until they pay the due tax, willingly or unwillingly.


    We are familiar with your no-nonsense remarks and judgements. But the answer you give me is most uncharacteristic of you. It’s all context and interpretation. There is no direct answer.


    In the article you referred to in your answer you provide the context and the reason for these revelations in Surah Taubah (Chapter 9). You say:


    “These verses were revealed approximately 18 months after Mecca fell to the Muslims in a bloodless take-over with the Prophet’s army marching in unopposed. … Although many of the Meccans had accepted Islam during this period, there were a few, who remained polytheists. The judgment on the polytheists of Mecca was announced in these verses. Some were among those who had fought the Muslims, in violation of their treaties and indulged in various forms of religious persecution and there were others who (had) not violated their treaty in any manner.

    “The former category is referred to as the Kafaru or the Kafirin and the latter as merely “disbelievers” or la Yuminun. The punishment for the Kafirin is in verse 9:5 and their Kufr is described in 9:12, 13. The punishment for those who chose to remain disbelievers but were not among the Kafirin, was being debarred from entering Kabah (9:28) and required to pay Jizya 9:29. All the polytheists had the option to migrate to a neighbouring country during the four month period of amnesty and save themselves from the consequences of the punishment in 9:5 or 9:29. The outcome was that not a single person was punished by either verse 9:5 or 9:29. They either chose to migrate or accepted Islam.”


    In the absence of a direct and straightforward answer characteristic of you, If I take the general principle you have enunciated, your answer would be that we should even today follow the instructions given in Surah Taubah 9: 5 and 9: 29 quoted above.


    Fine. This is precisely what Jihadi ideologues ask us to do. They also want us to read Quran literally and follow every verse as they also think they are all eternal and universal in their value and applicable for all time.


    Now after inferring your reply on the basis of general principles enunciated by you, I ask you another question arising from the context and shaan-e-nuzool of these verses that you have described in your article.  


    What was the need for exiling or threatening to kill those “few” polytheists who had not yet converted to Islam, including those who had NOT defied Muslims or broken their treaties, “18 months” after victory at Mecca, except that God wanted to cleanse Arabia or the world of all polytheists? If we take these verses at face value, read them literally, and continue to consider them universal and eternal in their applicability, as all Muslims do, how can we claim and convince the world that Islam is a religion of peace and pluralism and tolerance of other faiths?


    These verses did not come at a time when Islam and Muslims were under attack, and needed to defend themselves, but when they were comfortably ensconced in power for 18 months. However, as war was going on at other fronts and there might be a danger of subversion from within, once can explain these instructions as imperatives of war that was still raging on other fronts. In such situations, every army would want to nip in the bud any possibility of an internal subversion. But even if we stretch the argument and explain these verses as a result of the imperatives of war at a time when Islam was still not very firmly established, and special care was required to protect it, how can we possibly explain considering these verses applicable to us today in the 21st century as a part of Islam’s universal teachings?


     I am entirely with you Naseer Saheb, if you can establish that in Islam fighting is only against oppression, and not to cleanse the world of unbelief or polytheism. But this will have to be established on the basis of Quran (at least) beyond all reasonable doubt.  Our talented youths, educated and highly skilled engineers and doctors, including 16-year-old girls studying in private schools in England, are running away to terrorist groups to participate in what they consider Jihad in the way of Allah to establish the supremacy of Islam.


    We have to create for them a theology of peace and pluralism that they can relate to. This theology should be coherent, it should have internal consistency. It should be able to answer all questions to the satisfaction of all. Islamic theology of consensus or Jihadi ideology are apparently able to fulfil their requirements. We have to do better than what we have been able to do so far in creating a theology of peace and pluralism. 

    By Sultan Shahin - 1/14/2018 10:58:03 AM



  • Nasser sb,

    You are playing politics on this site. Actually there were kharijites whom we the entire world know were the biggest claimants of true followers of the Religion, taking oath with the holy book in their hands.

    So you are new khawarij. You are the wahabi product. And wahabi products are diverting the attention of the moderate Islamic scholars who are working on de-radicalization and counter-terrorism, from their real cause.

    It is only after I have read your articles and comments from the beginning that I have to come to know that you are the actually defender of wahhabism. And you want to save the dignity of wahhabism by defending your true face of wahhabism.

    Your topics of kufr, kafir can be well judged by the scholars from the west to the east and from south to the north. So you cannot play tricks here with the learned readers, as they have also stopped talking to you knowing that there are mad dogs in the street who are dangerous only for those who go and fight the dogs.

    From the beginning I have found you as ill-mouthed and the man having the worst behavior. You have no background and in my opinion you are zero.

    There were many hypocrites, wahhabis, terrorists who try to justify their ill mind from the quran, but the real quran understanding people and scholars have always rejected such dangerous and actually anti-islamic elements.

    By Thomas - 1/14/2018 4:50:14 AM



  • After learning from Sultan Shahin sahib, the Wahabi product Nasser has also started speaking of peace By Pankaj - 1/14/2018 4:32:18 AM



  • Shahin sb,

    I am looking for something based on the clear and authentic message of the Quran and not something mixed up with the Ahadith and other distortions. Neither am I looking for any narrow or parochial version. I do not find anything on the lines of what I have brought out with the help of every relevant verse of the Quran. The Quran, being a universal message to all mankind, its principles are applicable to all people irrespective of their faith. These are as follows:

    The Principles of war that are derived by considering all the verses on fighting are clear and free from ambiguity. None of the verses make an exception based on the times and circumstances of the Prophetic mission of Muhammad (pbuh). The principles are therefore eternal and based as these are on Divine guidance and inspiration, are common to all the scriptures and may be taken as guidance by all the people whether they follow the religion of Islam or not. The clear, unambiguous principles are:

    1. There is no compulsion in religion. Any form of coercion in religion or prevention from following one’s religion peacefully, constitutes persecution.

    2. War is mandated to end any kind of oppression against any people. The oppression may be religious persecution or any other form of oppression. The faith of the oppressor and the oppressed is immaterial.

    3. Only a ruler with a territory and people under his political authority can wage war. Civil war is not permissible. And only people in the territory ruled by such a ruler can participate in the war effort. People residing in territory under the control of the oppressor, must migrate from that territory first, if they wish to join the war effort against the oppressor.

    4. The only justifiable cause for making war is to fight against the oppressors to end oppression. There is no other justifiable cause. 

    Once the principles are understood, and it is seen that every verse on fighting confirms the same, and no verse contradicts these principles, then there is no longer any need to resort to rhetoric and defense based on the spurious argument of exceptionalism or historic relativism. The unending arguments are because the Quran is not understood based on its underlying principles. These principles are applicable to all mankind irrespective of their faith. All people have the same rights and obligations.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/13/2018 11:04:42 PM



  • Shahin Sb,

     As for deciding whether a verse is bound by its context or not, let us take the verse under discussion:

     (4:76) The Aamanu fight in the cause of Allah, and the kafaru Fight in the cause of Evil: So, fight ye against the friends of Satan: feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan.

    Can we imagine a context in which it would read as:

     (4:76) The Aamanu fight in the cause of Evil, and the kafaru Fight in the cause of Allah: So, fight ye against the friends of Allah: feeble indeed is the cunning of Allah ?

     

    The answer is obviously an emphatic no. The only question that remains is whether the verse is relevant to the 1971 war or if some other verse explains the events.

    What difficulty do you and Yunus sb have in accepting that the Pakistani army which was engaged in genocidal killing and genocidal rape of a civilian population was fighting in the cause of evil and in the most evil manner and were therefore the kafirin?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_during_the_Bangladesh_Liberation_War

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1971_Bangladesh_genocide

     

    I don’t think the problem is so much in considering the Pakistani army as an army of the kafirin as it is to accept the Indian army as an army of the momineen which is getting expressed differently for obvious reasons. Why should that be a problem for you when you want the Hindus to be considered as People of the Book which I agree that they are. Why cannot the Indian army which played the role of liberators of an oppressed people be considered as an army of the Momineen in the limited context of the war at least?

    I agree that it is not always true that a war is between the momineen and the kafirin and Allah may mete out punishment to erring believers through any people whether they are the momineen or the kafirin.

    If sending the Indian army to liberate Bangladesh was for an ulterior purpose to weaken and dismember Pakistan and not for humanitarian considerations of liberating an oppressed people, then obviously, it cannot be considered an army of the momineen. In that case, the following verses are relevant:

    …And did not Allah Check one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed be full of mischief (2:252)

    Or

    (17:4) And We gave (Clear) Warning to the Children of Israel in the Book, that twice would they do mischief on the earth and be elated with mighty arrogance (and twice would they be punished)!

    (5) When the first of the warnings came to pass, We sent against you Our servants given to terrible warfare: They entered the very inmost parts of your homes; and it was a warning (completely) fulfilled.

     

    I do not however rule out the altruistic considerations in sending the Indian army to liberate Bangladesh and would like to consider it as an army of the momineen. Those who disagree can very well say that 4:71 is not applicable but the other verses cited. This is a matter of opinion as we have no means of ascertaining the true motives.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/13/2018 10:22:23 PM



  • Shahin Sb, with reference to your comment By Sultan Shahin - 1/13/2018 8:49:56 AM

    See my comment By Naseer Ahmed - 1/13/2018 3:56:29 AM

    Do not thrust your limitations of understanding and your own distortions onto the Quran. The underlying general principles are very clear as brought out in my comment. Also read my article:

    The Correct Understanding of the So Called ‘Sword’ Verses of Surah Taubah

    and my comment under the article:

    The first 29 verses of Surah Taubah describe the rarest of rare events, the like of which has no parallel in the history of mankind. 

    The People of the Book were assimilated into the new polity without fighting and through negotiations alone in which they agreed to submit to the political authority of the Prophet by paying Jizya not in the manner of 9:29, but as agreed by them willingly as 'value for money' extracting a benefit. During the Medinian period, despite being signatory to the charter of Medina, they had remained aloof and even hostile.

    The Kafirin among the Mushrikin who had fought against the Muslims and remained defiant were assimilated by giving them opportunity to migrate or accept Islam and four months’ time in which to act. 

    To those who sought asylum, protection was given and they were escorted to safe places even if they did not accept Islam, All of the asylum seekers chose to accept Islam. 

    Those who had not fought without violating their treaty had the option to retain their faith and become Jizya paying subjects. The fact that there were no jizya paying Mushrikin is proof of their willingly accepting Islam. There was absolutely no coercion. 

    The amount of goodwill that was generated was the strength of the new polity - a strength which made them rise to heights never witnessed in the previous history of mankind. 

    The most beautiful part of our history is rendered grotesque and obnoxious by the Ulema with their bigoted version of the same events.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 11/13/2017 7:56:34 AM

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/13/2018 9:36:17 PM



  • Dear Naseer Saheb,

    If you are looking for Classical Islamic doctrine of war and peace, these books can be helpful. Both are available ay Amazon.in

    "The universalism of Islam, in its all-embracing creed, is imposed on the believers as a continuous process of warfare, psychological and political, if not strictly military. . . . The Jihad, accordingly, may be stated as a doctrine of a permanent state of war, not continuous fighting,” says — Majid Khadduri, War and Peace in the Law of Islam (Baltimore, Md.: John Hopkins Press, 1955), p. 64.

    War and Peace in the Law of Islam

    by University Distinguished Research Professor Majid Khadduri (Author)

    Khadduri presents a lucid analysis of classical Islamic doctrine concerning war and peace and its adaptation to modern conditions. Working primarily with original Muslim sources, he examines the nature of the Islamic state, Islamic law and the influence of Western law on Islam. Other chapters consider classical Muslim attitudes toward foreign policy, international trade, warfare, treaties and how these have developed during the twentieth century. Majid Khadduri [1909-2007] was a Professor of Middle East Studies at the School of Advanced International Studies of The Johns Hopkins University and Director of Research and Education at the Middle East Institute in Washington, D. C. He was the author of several books in English and Arabic on Middle Eastern affairs. Contents: Fundamental Concepts of Muslim Law I Theory of the State II Nature and Sources of Law III The Muslim Law of Nations The Law of War IV Introduction V The Doctrine of the Jihad VI Types of Jihad VII Military Methods VIII The Initiation of War IX Land Warfare X Maritime Warfare XI Spoils of War XII Termination of Fighting The Law of Peace XIII Introduction XIV Jurisdiction XV Foreigners in Muslim Territory: Harbis and Musta'mins XVI Muslims in Non-Muslim Territory XVII Status of the Dhimmis XVIII Treaties XIX Commercial Relations XX Arbitration XXI Diplomacy XXII Neutrality XXIII Epilogue Glossary of Terms Bibliography Index

    ---

    2. The Quranic Concept of War

    by Brig. S. K. Malik (Author)

    with an introduction by President General Zia of Pakistan

    This book is highly regarded by American war strategists.

    Excerpts from a review: The Quranic Concept of War, by Brigadier General S. K. Malik of the Pakistani Army provides readers with unequalled insight. Originally published in Pakistan in 1979, most available copies are found in India, or in small non-descript Muslim bookstores.8 One major point to ponder, when thinking about The Quranic

    Concept of War, is the title itself. The Quran is presumed to be the revealed word of God as spoken through his chosen prophet, Mohammed. According to Malik, the

    Quran places warfighting doctrine and its theory in a much different category than western thinkers are accustomed to, because it is not a theory of war derived by man,

    but of God. This is God’s warfighting principles and commandments revealed. Malik’s attempts to distil God’s doctrine for war through the examples of the Prophet.....

    By Sultan Shahin - 1/13/2018 10:40:49 AM



  • Sultan Shahin sahib said, "these verses came as instructions in a certain context, but as that context doesn’t exist now, they are no longer applicable to us."

    That is a good approach but you can go one step further and say that these verses were included in the Quran by mistake. The compilation was done some 20 years after the Prophet's death by ordinary humans who were prone to error. I say this because as long as these verses are considered genuine we shall continue to have Al Qaeda, Taliban and IsIS. Accepting the fact that the compilation of the Quran was subject to error will free Islam to develop and grow as an ideology of righteousness and love, deriving strength from the best parts of the Quran.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 1/13/2018 10:07:28 AM



  • Dear Ghulam Mohiuuddin Saheb, I don’t think this can be done or this would make any sense to any one: “If portions of the Quran do not support such a vision of Islam, we can only express our ignorance of how they got there and learn to bypass them. We are not going to change Islam, but we can keep the voices of sanity alive….”

    Please consider my suggestion that these verses came as instructions in a certain context, but as that context doesn’t exist now, they are no longer applicable to us, though they may retain a certain historical value. In every war instructions are given that cease to have validity once the war is over. These wars have been over for a millennium and a half now.

     Let us live in the 21st century and deal with our issues rationally and humanely on the basis of principles enshrined in our secular constitutions and international covenants. We can also base our life on the teachings of Quran we have learned from the foundational Meccan verses of Quran, when our religion was being revealed purely as guidance to mankind, unconnected with matters of the day like wars that the Prophet and his followers had to later fight to defend themselves when they were attacked after migration to Madina.

    By Sultan Shahin - 1/13/2018 9:28:22 AM



  • I think it will help readers of comments on this thread to be acquainted with the thoughts of Mr. Hesham Hassaballa, a physician and writer based in Chicago, on Understanding "Kufr."  (irfi.org/articles/articles_501_550/understanding_kufr.htm)

    Among other things he says: “Kafir is one who denies (or "refuses to acknowledge") the truth" in the widest, spiritual sense of this latter term: that is, irrespective of whether it relates to a cognition of the supreme truth.

    … A kafir can refuse to acknowledge the favours given to him or her, i.e., be ungrateful. In fact, the opposite of the word shukr, or "gratitude," in Arabic is none other than kufr. The Qur'an explicitly uses the word kufr to mean "ingratitude": 
     And [remember the time] when your Sustainer made [this promise] known: "If you are grateful [to Me], I shall most certainly give you more and more; but if you are ungrateful, verily, My chastisement will be severe indeed!" (Quran 14:7)  
     The literal Arabic text denoting "but if you are ungrateful" reads: wa la'in kafartum. Thus, the Qur'an uses both renderings of the word kufr, namely, denial of truth and ingratitude. Yet, when I think of it more deeply, kufr is truly ingratitude and nothing else. I remember hearing at a spiritual conference that all aspects of worship are nothing more than acts of shukr or "gratitude" to God. Thus, the kuffar are all those who are ungrateful to God. 
    The late Muhammad Asad (God's Mercy be upon him) eloquently defined the meaning of kufr and kafir in the Qur'an: 
     This meaning is easily grasped when we bear in mind that the root verb of the participial noun kafir (and of the infinitive noun kufr) is kafara, "he (or "it") covered (a thing)": thus, in Quran 57:20 the tiller of the soil is called (without any pejorative implication) kafir, "one who covers", i.e., the sown seed with earth, just as the night is spoken of as having "covered" (kafara) the earth with darkness. In their abstract sense, both the verb and the nouns derived from it have a connotation of "concealing" something that exists or "denying" something that is true. Hence, in the usage of the Quran - with the exception of the one instance (Quran 57:20) where this participial noun signifies a "tiller of the soil" - a kafir is one who denies (or "refuses to acknowledge") the truth" in the widest, spiritual sense of this latter term: that is, irrespective of whether it relates to a cognition of the supreme truth - namely, the existence of God - or to a doctrine or ordinance enunciated in the divine writ, or to a self-evident moral proposition, or to an acknowledgment of, and therefore gratitude for, favours received.  
    … This is truly amazing. For so many years of my life, I had always thought a kafir was an "unbeliever." I realize now how primitive and naive such a belief truly is. The Qur'an is such a profound book, with so many layers of understanding that are waiting to be discovered. The more I delve into the Qur'an, the more I want to keep swimming in its words and meanings. And the more I understand why God asks the question, " Will they not, then, ponder over this Qur'an? - or are there locks upon their hearts?" (Quran 47:24).

    By Sultan Shahin - 1/13/2018 9:07:32 AM



  • Dear Naseer Saheb, I am surprised at this outburst from you against contextualising and interpreting Quranic verses, even though I know of your belief in a literal reading of the holy Quran, though with a more logically “correct” meaning of words like kafir and fitna, etc:

     


    “The Quran cannot be confined to the context of its revelation in which case it becomes simply a story told. It has verses of eternal relevance and applicability.


    “I find it strange that you should say what the Amanu do and what the Kafaru do holds only in the context of its revelation and does not describe general behaviour!


     Amanu and Kafaru are general terms and do not refer to any specific people. At the other extreme, people even talk of the context of revelation of 2:256 "let there be no compulsion in religion". Is the meaning of that also constrained by the unstated context of its revelation? The is the height of contextualization and interpretation! “


    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/13/2018 2:22:11 AM


     

    Would you then like us Muslims in the 21st century, living in the variegated situations that we do, somewhere as a majority and somewhere as a minority, to follow the Quranic advice in the following verses literally, without contextualisation and interpretation? This is precisely what Jihadi ideologues ask us to do. The following verses from Surah Taubah (Chapter 9) are the two most popular verses in the Jihadi discourses and motivation dialogues.

     

    9: 5. When the Sacred Months have passed, kill the polytheists wherever you find them. And capture them, and besiege them, and lie in wait for them at every ambush. But if they repent, and perform the prayers, and pay the alms, then let them go their way. God is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.

     

    9: 29. Fight those who do not believe in God, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden, nor abide by the religion of truth—from among those who received the Scripture—until they pay the due tax, willingly or unwillingly.

    By Sultan Shahin - 1/13/2018 8:49:56 AM



  • Shahin Sb, You say However, there is no controversy on the word mushrik and the Quranic instructions on how to deal with them finally at the near-end of revelations is quite clear in verses that can only be called muhkimat. Should these war-time verses be considered part of the Uncreated Quran, an aspect of God, that is eternal guidance to Muslims for all times to come, or should they be considered as part of war-time instructions of the Prophet's time, not applicable to us today, over 1400 years after the events of those days? 

    When Allah Himself says that He has created the Quran, from where does the question of an uncreated Quran come from? The Quranic verses are an eternal guide for all time to come. What do we understand from the very last verses in which the vanquished Mushrikin are dealt with?

    Let those who fought the Muslims for no other reason except their faith,  but never violated their treaties alone, and let them practice their faith and live peacefully if they agree to become your subjects and submit to your political authority.

    Provide protection to those who fought you in violation of their treaties but who now seek your protection. Make them hear the word of Allah and if they still refuse to accept Islam, escort them to a safe place outside your territory.

    Those who fought the Muslims for no other reason except their faith in violation of their treaty is allowed 4 months of time in which they are free to migrate to a neighboring country or accept Islam. Those who remain defiant at the end of the amnesty period are to be killed.

    What is the problem if the same rules are applied to any vanquished enemy (irrespective of their faith), who had fought for no reason except the religion of the victorious people, if those who are victorious (people of any faith), follow the same rules as above?  Why can we not treat this rules as eternal guidance for people of all faiths?

    Is it so difficult to identify the underlying general principles?

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/13/2018 3:56:29 AM



  • Shahin Sb,

    It is the job of our theologians and our Fuquha to derive the principles of  war which they have not done but I have done so. Do you find any problem with what I have stated as the principles of war or do any of these contradict the Quran? 

    On the question of who will decide, since war is a subject only for the rulers, it is only the rulers who will decide.  Do you have a problem with that?

    It is the failure of our fuquha and the theologians to clearly define the principles of war based on the Quran which is why it has become everybody's business and anarchy prevails.

    The Quran cannot be confined to the context of its revelation in which case it becomes simply a story told. It has verses of eternal relevance and applicability.

    I find it strange that you should say what the Amanu do and what the Kafaru do holds only in the context of its revelation and does not describe general behaviour! Amanu and Kafaru are general terms and do not refer to any specific people.

    At the other extreme, people even talk of the context of revelation of 2:256 "let there be no compulsion in religion". Is the meaning of that also constrained by the unstated context of its revelation?

    The is the height of contextualization and interpretation! 
    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/13/2018 2:22:11 AM



  • Dear Naseer Saheb, you have now quoted the following Qur'anic verse to support your argument that the Pakistan Army in East Pakistan were an army of Kafirin.

      (4:76) The Aamanu fight in the cause of Allah, and the kafaru Fight in the cause of Evil: So, fight ye against the friends of Satan: feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan. ......By Naseer Ahmed - 1/11/2018 7:22:42 AM

    It seems that like other war-time verses these too should be in the historical context to understand their real meaning and intent. The above verse may be read as the lead verse to the passage 4:76-80 that concludes with the statement "He who obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah; but those who turn away - We have not sent you over them as a guardian" (Sahih International).  It seems to mean that it was addressed to the followers of the Prophet who were waging a defensive war against hostile Arabs. Do they continue to be relevant today over 1400 years after that war was fought? In any war, some statements are made and instructions issued. From the very time a ceasefire order is issued or war is won or lost, these orders, instructions, statements become infructuous.

    You have also asked if oppression is over, obviously it’s not, but who will decide, who is the oppressor and who is oppressed. Issues are not so clear in all situations.

    In the war going on in the world today, for instance, the same issue of oppression is used and Muslims are motivated to fight on the basis of these war-time Madina verses, and their universal application on the basis of this same argument: is oppression over? Is Taghut, evil, no longer active? The word Taghut is indeed the most favoured word in Jihadi discourse. Present day terrorism is presented as Jihad against oppression and evil of the evil imperialists or the evil of this religious community or the other. But who is on the side of evil and who is on the side of good is a matter of personal opinion. Oppression maybe all around. So maybe some good everywhere.

    I think we cannot consider war-related verses of the Prophet’s era applicable to us today and expect to fight the ideology of terrorism and Jihadism.

    I am presenting below for the benefit of some readers not very familiar with Quran the five verses of Surah An-Nisa (Chapter4) Verses 76 to 80, of which the above quoted verse is the lead verse. I think it should be read as a part of this group and in its historical context. I don’t think it can be applied to the present circumstances.

     “Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who disbelieve fight in the cause of Taghut. So, fight against the allies of Satan. Indeed, the plot of Satan has ever been weak.

    “Have you not seen those who were told, "Restrain your hands [from fighting] and establish prayer and give zakah"? But then when fighting was ordained for them, at once a party of them feared men as they fear Allah or with [even] greater fear. They said, "Our Lord, why have You decreed upon us fighting? If only You had postponed [it for] us for a short time." Say, The enjoyment of this world is little, and the Hereafter is better for he who fears Allah. And injustice will not be done to you, [even] as much as a thread [inside a date seed]."

    “Wherever you may be, death will overtake you, even if you should be within towers of lofty construction. But if good comes to them, they say, "This is from Allah "; and if evil befalls them, they say, "This is from you." Say, "All [things] are from Allah." So, what is [the matter] with those people that they can hardly understand any statement?

    “What comes to you of good is from Allah, but what comes to you of evil, [O man], is from yourself. And We have sent you, [O Muhammad], to the people as a messenger, and sufficient is Allah as Witness.

    “He who obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah; but those who turn away - We have not sent you over them as a guardian.”

    By Sultan Shahin - 1/12/2018 12:50:05 PM



  • Sultan Shahin sahib,

    Your arguments are sound but any head-on confronatations with Salafis or Islamophobes will produce no results. All that this discussion has done is to give the megaphone to the literalists. Since they do not listen, it cannot even be called a "discussion".

    All that we can do is to continue to assert our vision of an enlightened Islam,  imbued with rationalism, compassion, humanity and brotherhood, and rejecting violence, hatred and jihad. If portions of the Quran do not support such a vision of Islam, we can only express our ignorance of how they got there and learn to bypass them. We are not going to change Islam, but we can keep the voices of sanity alive so that future generations do not feel they have to traverse an untrodden path when they seek Islamic enlightenment.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 1/12/2018 12:31:51 PM



    • “Is Islam a religion of peace or a religion of fighting? Let us reject the concept of "holy war". We cannot fight unbelievers because we live in a pluralistic world and, as civilized people, we should respect the belief systems of others. We cannot fight oppressors and persecutors because that is an area for legitimate governments to deal with. Religious leaders, especially those belonging to the 'Religion of Peace", must stay out of war-policy matters.” By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 1/11/2018 12:31:14 PM

    Dear GM Saheb, Not only in this comment, but most of the time I agree with whatever you say. Except one thing. You seem to think like Sufis of yore that merely saying positive things about Islam will resolve the crisis we are faced with in present times.

    Sufis presented Islam in a positive light as a religion of peace, pluralism, tolerance, equality, gender justice and so on and it worked. They were even able to reach non-Muslim masses in many countries and welcome them into the fold of Islam. But we are not living in those times now. We have Salafi literalists, terror ideologues, Islamophobes, all very resourceful groups, propagating that Islam is a religion of war, the only relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims is that of fighting and war, that Islam has to dominate the world, and all Muslims must contribute to this constant effort, the Jihad that according to a Prophet’s Hadith has to continue till the Day of Judgement. This is an unprecedented situation.

     Islamic totalitarianism has always been there. There is a consensus, ijma, around this. Ulema or theologians have never thought of Islam as merely a spiritual path to salvation of mankind. Political Islam has always had support from most of our theologians, including some Sufis. But this totalitarianism was never propagated with such focus as it has been done in the last four decades.

    Learned scholars associated with New Age Islam have tried to counter this in their own ways. We have not reached a consensus around Naseer Saheb’s idea of a literalist reading of Quran with just changing the meaning of the word Kafir and related words. But in literalism, how do you sort out almost the last two surahs like Surah Anfal and Surah Tauba which asked Muslims of that era to disassociate themselves completely from the mushrikin (polytheists) and kill them if they don’t leave Arabia within a specified period. This order is meant even for those mushrikin who have not defied Muslims and have not broken their treaties. Their treaties are not to be renewed and they have to be exiled or killed, if they do not embrace Islam.

    My submission has been that we declare such war-time verses inapplicable to us today. But, of course, ulema, including Sufi ulema, do not accept this. By an large, I think Mohammad Yunus Saheb and Ghulam Ghaus Saheb have accepted this proposition, in my assessment. However, Naseer Saheb thinks a literalist meaning is good enough, if only we change the meanings of kafir, fitna, etc, or in his view, adopt the logically correct meanings of these terms.

    However, there is no controversy on the word mushrik and the Quranic instructions on how to deal with them finally at the near-end of revelations is quite clear in verses that can only be called muhkimat. Should these war-time verses be considered part of the Uncreated Quran, an aspect of God, that is eternal guidance to Muslims for all times to come, or should they be considered as part of war-time instructions of the Prophet's time, not applicable to us today, over 1400 years after the events of those days? Is Quran created or uncreated? Is Hadith akin to revelation? Is Sharia Divine? Such questions are of vital relevance in our present crisis and need to be discussed and debated.

    However, you seem to be disturbed by the continuing debate. I don’t see how else we can move forward. It’s only through discussions and debate that we can move forward towards a new consensus, ijma, suited to our times. We need a New Age Islamic consensus, a new ijma. But how do we arrive at it except through debate and discussions in which all Muslim schools of thought participate freely.

    By Sultan Shahin - 1/12/2018 5:31:06 AM



  • @Nasser

    You are playing with teh verses of quran. You yourself has become kafir in my view on many accounts. Fear God. But He alone knows everything about yoru heart. I am not supporter of maulvi or mullahs but i know they all can not be wrong. satan has covered your minds. In the hereafter you will have to face teh torment because you are intentionally creating fitna.

    I have witnessed many people playing with the verses of quran they  have been suffering from bad diseases. I fear you too may have to face that disease, as you are too much stubborn in your wrong.    

    By Truth - 1/11/2018 11:03:06 PM



  • 1/16/2017 1:51:29 AMNaseer Ahmed

    Our scholars have made Islam a religion without principles which is what we need to address. My comment on Yunus Sb’s article is reproduced:

    The article is based on the "Qur’an’s Fighting Verses". The comment is therefore necessarily on the principles of war.

    The Principles of war that are derived by considering all the verses on fighting are clear and free from ambiguity. None of the verses make an exception based on the times and circumstances of the Prophetic mission of Muhammad (pbuh). The principles are therefore eternal and based as these are on Divine guidance and inspiration, are common to all the scriptures and may be taken as guidance by all the people whether they follow the religion of Islam or not. The clear, unambiguous principles are:

    1. There is no compulsion in religion. Any form of coercion in religion or prevention from following one’s religion peacefully, constitutes persecution.

    2. War is mandated to end any kind of oppression against any people. The oppression may be religious persecution or any other form of oppression. The faith of the oppressor and the oppressed is immaterial.

    3. Only a ruler with a territory and people under his political authority can wage war. Civil war is not permissible. And only people in the territory ruled by such a ruler can participate in the war effort. People residing in territory under the control of the oppressor, must migrate from that territory first, if they wish to join the war effort against the oppressor.

    4. The only justifiable cause for making war is to fight against the oppressors to end oppression. There is no other justifiable cause.  

    Once the principles are understood, and it is seen that every verse on fighting confirms the same, and no verse contradicts these principles, then there is no longer any need to resort to rhetoric and defense based on the spurious argument of exceptionalism or historic relativism. The unending arguments are because the Quran is not understood based on its underlying principles.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 10/20/2017 11:00:20 PM

    View Article
    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/11/2018 10:24:28 PM



  • Is Islam a religion of peace or a religion of fighting? Let us reject the concept of "holy war". We cannot fight unbelievers because we live in a pluralistic world and, as civilized people, we should respect the belief systems of others. We cannot fight oppressors and persecutors because that is an area for legitimate governments to deal with. Religious leaders, especially those belonging to the 'Religion of Peace", must stay out of war-policy matters.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 1/11/2018 12:31:14 PM



  • Shahin sb,

    Please read the comment carefully which contains the complete argument: By Naseer Ahmed - 1/10/2018 12:11:45 AM

    There is another condition to be satisfied before we say who the Momineen were and who the kafirin.

    (4:76) The Amanu  fight in the cause of Allah, and the kafaru  Fight in the cause of Evil: So fight ye against the friends of Satan: feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan.

    Which cause was Allah’s cause - the atrocities of the Pakistan’s army on the people of Bangla Desh or the Indian army liberating Bangla Desh? This was not just a case of two armies fighting and the defeated army being called kafirin. So, it is not simply being defeated that makes the defeated a kafir but fighting in the cause of evil.

    Individually, there may have been soldiers who did not practice atrocities on the civilian population and were therefore not among the oppressors, but collectively as an army, they were. Individually none of them may be judged as kafir just as the Quran does not judge any of the Mushrikin as kafir in verse 9:5 although the verse applies to those who had fought the Muslims in violation of their treaties. Please read the cited comment very carefully. It clearly states that who is a Momin and who is a Kafir is situational and applies only in that limited context of the war. In every situation, the one who upholds what is right is a momin and the one who stands for falsehood is a kafir and Allah is on the side of who is right. You also seem to divide the population between Muslims meaning momin and non-Muslims meaning kafir. I have been pointing out that this is incorrect. Kafir does not mean non-Muslims nor does Momin mean only the Muslims. Kafir can be anybody including Muslims and Momin could be anyone including non-Muslims.

    Those who fight in the cause of Allah may suffer a temporary set-back from their own weaknesses or follies but will never be overcome by the Kafirin. In which battle was the Prophet defeated?

    Fighting in the cause of Allah is unambiguously defined as fighting to end any kind of oppression. Have oppression ended and the command to end oppression no longer valid? As long as there is oppression in this world, the command to fight to end oppression will remain operative and such fighting will be fighting in the cause of Allah and undertaken by the Mominin.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/11/2018 7:22:42 AM




  • Dear Naseer Saheb, From the following verse you infer that the entire Pakistan Army fighting in then East Pakistan (1970-71) was an army of Kafirin and the the Indian Arny was an Army of Mominin..


    "And never will Allah grant to the Kafirin a way (to triumph) over the Mominin." (Quran 4:141)


    What this implies, however, is that from your point of view, based on a literal reading of Quran, all Muslim armies in the past 1400 years including perhaps the Prophet’s army in the Battle of Uhad, were the army of kafirin, as all Muslim armies tasted defeat in one battle or the other. No armies in history have continued to win consistently all their battles; all of them get defeated some time. Also, can all armies who have been victorious be called armies of momineen? The idea seems preposterous, as many a time in history evil armies seem to have won. I don't think the above verse can be applied in this way. It was clearly meant for that time and context.


     In any case, I feel that the verse 4: 141 should be read in context. Please see the context of that verse:


      "Those who wait [and watch] you. Then if you gain a victory from Allah, they say, "Were we not with you?" But if the disbelievers have a success, they say [to them], "Did we not gain the advantage over you, but we protected you from the believers?" Allah will judge between [all of] you on the Day of Resurrection, and never will Allah give the disbelievers over the believers a way [to overcome them] (4:141). Indeed, the hypocrites [think to] deceive Allah, but He is deceiving them. And when they stand for prayer, they stand lazily, showing [themselves to] the people and not remembering Allah except a little (4:142). Wavering between them, [belonging] neither to the believers nor to the disbelievers. And whoever Allah leaves astray - never will you find for him a way (4:143).


     It seems Naseer Saheb, that we would do better to confine ourselves to what I said in my UN Human Rights Council speech that we are debating:  “A new theology would seek to break this consensus and try to convince Muslims that war-time verses of the Prophet’s time maybe important as a historical account of the near insurmountable difficulties the Prophet had to face to establish Islam but do not apply to us today in the 21st century. We cannot possibly be fighting similar wars. Muslims were fighting existential battles in the early seventh century. Islam was in its infancy and infants do need to be taken special care of. Now the seed that Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) planted in the inhospitable terrain of the Arabian desert has grown into a giant tree with branches across the world. There is no need for us to be fighting offensive Jihad “at least once a year” as Imam Ghazali advised in late 11th and early 12th century CE.


     It seems reading all verses of Quran literally and not interpreting its verses according to the needs of the context in which we are living today is getting us nowhere. Let war-time verses of Quran remain in the context in which they appeared. We are no longer fighting those wars. Let these verses retain their historical character, and not call them uncreated, part of lauh-e-mahfooz (the divine vault), and valid teaching for eternity. The Prophet faced near-insurmountable difficulties in establishing our religion. He made decisions, and God advised him to do things that were necessary at that time. But we are not facing the same situation today, nor are we likely to time-travel and go back in time to fight those wars. So, let these verses lie where they are. Recite them and applaud them. But let us not consider them applicable to us today. We are not fighting those wars. There are enough foundational and constitutive verses of Quran, mostly revealed at Mecca to guide our life today. Let us live by them and not try to foist new meanings of controversial words like kafir, call all our past theologians kafir or devoid of Iman. These people maybe and certainly are, in certain respects wrong, from our 21st century understanding of Islam. But they were products of their time. Let us create today a New Age Islamic theology, without calling them bigots or devoid of Iman or kafir, etc. Calling people names is in any case of no use, only counter-productive.  

    By Sultan Shahin - 1/11/2018 6:08:54 AM



  • Comment 4.

    Shahin Sb,

    The debate and tafsirs on Surah 98 exposes all the scholars, mufassirin etc as hollow bigots.

    Ghaus sb started very confidently by asking

    From your statement as presented after the verse 98:1, it appears to me that you want to say two things,

    All the People of Book are not Kafir.

    All the Polytheists are not Kafir.

     If I am right to deduce these two things from your comment, then let me also write below what can also be easily deduced from your two statements;

    Some People of Book are Kafir.

    Some Polytheists are Kafir.

    Now tell me what is your purpose of deducing these two statements?

    Can you explain those some People of Book who are kafir according to you?

    Also who are those some Polytheists who are kafir according to you?

    Your answer is important for me to present your stupidity to the readers

     He was confident that I would not be able to identify who were those people among the People of the Book and among the polytheists who were considered kafir. He therefore thought it was “stupid” of me to take such meaning and he would easily expose my “stupidity”. He was obviously enjoying his “cleverness” and my “stupidity”. Such is the state of the scholars puffed up with false pride arising from their ignorance! I had identified who these people were three years earlier in my article Who Are The Worst Of Creatures In The Quran?

    It was his supreme confidence that made me look at all the Tafsirs available on the subject and discover that mine was a lone voice. I was not aware of this before. I therefore wrote the article:The Mufassirin Who Render the Quran A Book of Foolish Nonsense

    This should have made Ghaus sb think, but he is incapable of rational thinking. He went headlong into some very fantastic arguments that expose all the scholars and mufassirin as liars and frauds. Consider the rest of the debate:

    Ghaus sb said: ““In the verse 98:1, the preposition “min” (“tabiidhia preposition” meaning ‘some’) comes on the word ‘ahle-kitab’ and not on the word ‘mushrikin’. When it does not come on the word ‘mushrikin’, there comes a possibility (ihtimal) that whether the Arabic preposition “min” qualifies a total of ‘ahle kitab’ and ‘mushrikin’ together, or it qualifies both ‘ahle-kitab’ and ‘mushrikin’ separately. In the first case it will become “some of (a total of) the ahle-kitab and ‘mushrikin’, while in the second case it should have been “some of the ahle-kitab’ (min ahle-kitab) and ‘some of the mushrikin (min al-mushrikin)’”. This way, so far there are two possibilities. Obviously one of them is true according to the Quran, but what is needed for us is to take the best meaning from it.

    He admits to two possibilities and therefore according to the scholars, the Quran is not Kitabum Mubeen, but incoherent speech of some imbecile which needs to be interpreted by them! So, how do they go about interpreting and taking the best meaning?

    “At this occasion the great scholars of tafsir—after utilising all their scholastic capabilities and command over the grammatical construction, and more predominantly, the foremost principle of interpreting one Quranic verse by other Quranic verses (known in Arabic as tafsirul Quran by Quran)—unanimously reached to adopt the interpretation that the preposition ‘min’ applies to a total of ahle-kitab and mushrikin. Hence, they had to say, “some ahle kitab were kafir and some ahle kitab were not kafir” and also that “all mushrikin were kafir”. This was because of many reasons that those scholars of tafsir penned down in their books, but two of them can be briefly presented here in this thread; 1) because the preposition “min” qualifies a total of ahle-kitab and mushrikin together, thereby some of the ahle-kitab and mushrikin means some of the ahle kitab only, and not “some of the ahle-kitab and some of the mushrikin”. If there had been application of the preposition ‘min’ to both ahle-kitab and mushrikin separately, this preposition should have been twice; first for ahle-kitab and second for mushrikin, but we do not find in the Quran it two times.

    If we are to follow “the foremost principle of interpreting one Quranic verse by other Quranic verses (known in Arabic as tafsirul Quran by Quran)”, then the scholars must be able to cite one clear example in which min has been used in the manner they interpret which they fail to do. Following the same “foremost principle of interpreting one Quranic verse by other Quranic verses (known in Arabic as tafsirul Quran by Quran)”, I have cited two verses of clear meaning where a single min qualifies three nouns 40:8, two nouns 25:74. I make a valid claim of following tafsirul Quran by Quran and theirs is a fraudulent claim.

     He further says “This first response is based on the good grasp of the Arabic grammatical construction. The second response, that is the important one, is that it is supported by hundreds of other Quranic verses. Third response is that these two responses support each other.

     If there are hundreds of verses that support such an understanding, he has failed to cite even one. Two fraudulent claims do not make the third based on it right.

    He further said “I told you the name of some widely popular books of tafsir for you, but actually you are a jahile mutlaq of Arabic language and hence you cannot understand it. On being asked i tried to make you understand the grammatical construction of the verse 98:1 in a unanimously agreed way conforming to the divine speech.

    Conforming to divine speech? Where does it conform? As for the Tafsirs, read my article: The Mufassirin Who Render the Quran A Book of Foolish Nonsense

     He further says: My response to you (3)

    This third response is to eradicate your jihalat about the fact that the preposition “min” has been used in different ways. This is common and very clear in the Quranic text. All the scholars of Islam, mufasserin of the holy Quran unanimously agree to the idea that “min” has been used in the Quran in different ways. But as an absolute ignorant, you differ from the entire Science of tafsir, notably, tafsirul Quran by Quran, very clear and basic use of the preposition “min”, the speeches of the beloved prophet (peace be upon him), the speeches of holy companions, all scholars of tafsir. Above all, you differ from the divine speech (i will prove it too in the light of the divine speech in the next comments). Not a single believer can support your yawning jihalat.

     All the scholars of Islam, mufasserin of the holy Quran who have unanimously agreed to the idea that “min” has been used in the Quran in different ways are liars because they are unable to cite a single example in support of what they say and every other example available in the Quran supports what I have said.

    He further says: I am presenting to you the different uses of the preposition “min” in the light of the holy Quran as well as the common usages of Arabic language. You do not understand the Arabic language, but you can get it translated by any of your Arabic-knowing friends.   

    However, he has not cited any example from the Quran where two nouns follow a single min which covers the first noun, but not the other. Why does he repeatedly make fraudulent claims? Min has been used 480 times in the Quran and he cannot find one example to support what he says! He has simply given examples where min has been used. He could have produced all 480 occurrences and claimed that as his proof!

    Yunus sb exulted when Ghaus sb came with that fantastic explanation of two meanings of ‘min’ but ran away when I responded.

     My proof has three parts:

    1.    Support from verses 40:8, 25:74 for my understanding and zero support for the other interpretation

    2.    Showing how the verse would have been worded if the meaning others take was what was meant.

    3.    Clear identification of the people referred to as kafir and the worst of creatures among the people of the Book as well as among the polytheists.

    Those who continue to argue otherwise falsify the Quran and blaspheme Allah. Can I help it if there are no exceptions?

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/11/2018 5:18:25 AM



  • Comment 3 in response to Shahin sb. 

    Excerpt from:

    The Quran, Islamic Theology, Philosophy and the Sciences – On Soul and the Creation of Man (Part 2)

    People take one of the following three views of religion:

    •        It is opium for the people (Greek rationalists)

    •        It expresses Absolute Truth (The naïve fundamentalists)

    •        Its allegories are symbols of the Truth and present a simple model of a complex reality. The unsophisticated may take these as reality in so far as religion is concerned without becoming dogmatic about it, or quarrelling with science.

    Clearly, verse 3:7 cited above, is affirming the last position as the correct one to take. The naïve fundamentalists who forbid all reasoning on religious matters and those who affirm that reason unaided by revelation can attain “religious” truths are both wrong. Philosophy has only been able to apply reason to the moral laws from religion but inadequate in framing even one original principle.

    Revealed religion speaks about absolute Truths through symbols, allegories and models. It leads the masses towards wisdom. Science deals with observable truth in an absolute manner and of necessity keep growing in accuracy, sophistication and complexity over the years and are for the intelligent people and not for the masses. Civilization itself would however have been impossible without religious morality which the intelligent seem to easily forget having appropriated moral principles from religion under philosophy. It is such intellectuals turned atheists who are partially responsible for the opposition to science by the naïve fundamentalists. Without religion, there wouldn’t have been a civilization let alone the excellence man has achieved in the sciences and man would have been just another animal living the life it lived as a primitive. This fact however gets obscured because of the visible presence of the naïve fundamentalists who oppose reason and science. The atheists see religion with disdain as some appendage from the past, unable to acknowledge its contribution and relevance. Such intellectuals deserve being called ingrate rebels against God more than any other group of people, for they can surely ascertain the truth of a revealed Book such as the Quran.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/11/2018 12:32:28 AM



  • Just consider why is it that some of the neo-Muslims, the Christians and the Jews show a better understanding of the Quran than the Muslims themselves? Over a period, many of them, when they get closer to the Muslims and begin to see Islam through the eyes of a Muslim, are disappointed and turn away. It is the Muslims who are the greatest kafirs in today's world preventing the spread of the Universal Message of the Quran by rendering it narrow, parochial, contradictory, inconsistent, unprincipled and capricious.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/11/2018 12:12:52 AM



  • But nature of the God we believe in is of prime importance. Is God invisible, abstract, formless or with a face and hand and legs and a throne which requires eight men to carry it?//

    Sultan, Christian view may be of interest to you. An Anthropomorphism is when God manifests Himself to us in a human form or even attributes to Himself human characteristics.

    Take for example the fact that God is all powerful yet He rests on the seventh day of creation.

    We see that God is in all places, yet He asks Adam “Where are you? (Genesis 2:2)

    You shall not worship the false gods or serve them, for I, the Lord your God , am a jealous God. (Exodus 20:5)

    ”And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the sons of Israel from their midst. (Exodus 20:7)

    “The Lord make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you” (Number 6:24)

    For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. (2 Chronicles 16:9)

    "And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the sons of Israel from their midst.”

     "Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, for my soul takes refuge in Thee; and in the shadow of Thy wings I will take refuge, until destruction passes by."

     We see here God rested, He asked where are you? Jealous, My hand, His face, the eyes, My hand, Thy wings.  Etc.

    Allah may conceal the purpose of His ways, but His ways are not without purpose.

    By Royalj - 1/10/2018 11:54:42 PM



  • Shahin Sb,

    Muhammad (pbuh) was the last of the messengers sent to a people to whom no messenger was sent before. Before this, messengers were sent to every other civilized/urbanized people. Now, if the last of such people turn around on all the previous people who are all "People of the Book" going by the Quran itself, and call them "kafir" destined for Hell, are they not collectively insane? Without doubt, they make a mockery of the Quran and its simple and clear message. Is collective insanity in matters of religion rare or very common? If it wasn’t common, thousands of reformer prophets would not have been sent to the People of the Book. These people called the prophets impostors and killed them although they brought in no new message. The need for sending reformer prophets was because it was not possible to preserve the word of God going by the limitations of language, the times, and the means for preservation. What is however clear is that human beings have always corrupted their religion.

    (5:70) We took the covenant of the Children of Israel and sent them messengers, every time, there came to them a messenger with what they themselves desired not - some (of these) they called impostors, and some they (go so far as to) slay.

    What is different after Muhammad, is preservation of the Book for posterity in a language that will not become dead. The Book will suffice, and it is no longer necessary to send reformer prophets. Human nature however remains unchanged and the Muslims have corrupted their religion by corrupting the meanings of keywords and suspending all checks and balances to an extent where no one any longer expects the Book to make sense without numerous contradictions. Show me one scholar who refuses to take a meaning because taking such meaning contradicts the Quran? On the other hand, I have found every scholar pay a deaf ear to the contradictions that I point out. A scholar trained in a madarsa which teaches blind taqleed as a virtue, will never be able to see reason and change his opinion based on logic and reason. Reform will come only from an Ummi whose vision has not been blinkered by such “education” or by his formative years having been spent in a typical “Muslim environment”.

     Was the Pakistani army raping and killing defenceless civilians on orders? Even then, they are kafir. If people have reservations about the Indian army being called "momin", they may be considered less kafir than the Pakistani army. The Momin -Kafir comparison between two people is always in relative terms. Let those who shoot arrows hiding behind you, explain in the context of the surrender of Pakistan army in 1971 the following verse of the Quran:

    وَلَن يَجْعَلَ اللَّهُ لِلْكَافِرِينَ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ سَبِيلًا

    (4:141) ….And never will Allah grant to the Kafirin a way (to triumph) over the Mominin.

    What it certainly implies is that the Pakistan army were the kafirin and not the mominin. This should be obvious even otherwise. As far as the argument “declaring a whole 100,000-strong army of a Muslim country which was obviously merely following orders as kafir” is concerned, why isn’t the same argument used to defend the Mushrikin of the prophet’s times? The argument is more valid for the Mushrikin of the Prophet’s times because these were an Ummi people, than for the Pakistani army who have the Quran with them.  The Quran therefore does not refer to the Mushrikin as kafirin even in verse 9:5. There were not enough mominin among the Pakistani army, or the mominin lost out to the kafirin among them. The problem with the people who argue, is that they think reciting the kalima is the ultimate proof of being a “momin”, and not reciting it is the proof of being “kafir”.

    As far as the Mutashabihat verses are concerned, you may take it literally if you are a simple minded salafi or take it metaphorically if you can understand that what is outside human experience can never be described except metaphorically. In either case, it does not matter. As verse 3:7 says, it is only “those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah.” How will you, me or anyone else ever understand if God is distinct from His creation in every way? We must be satisfied with metaphors for what is inherently unknowable. If God is not a physical being what is He? How do I or anyone else know who have known nothing except what exists physically or known only matter and energy which is produced from matter? What you do need to know is what God expects of us and this is covered in His Muhkamat verses. It is pointless even to talk about God’s physical attributes without knowing whether God is a physical being.

    These topics are covered in more detail in my articles:

    The Quran, Islamic Theology, Philosophy And The Sciences - What Is God And How Do We Go About Trying To Know God Better? (Part 1)

    The Quran, Islamic Theology, Philosophy and the Sciences – On Soul and the Creation of Man (Part 2)

     The article on who is a Muslim:

    Who is a Muslim in the Quran?

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/10/2018 11:43:42 PM



  • Naseer Saheb, another question I want to raise today is about the advisability of declaring a whole 100,000-strong army of a Muslim country which was obviously merely following orders as kafir and another army of a secular people of diverse faith whose soldiers are also following orders of their superiors as momin. Similarly questioning the faith (Iman) of all previous scholars, theologians, muhaddisin, mufassirin, etc that you seem to have done in one of your comments appears like going a bit too far. Have you had any further thoughts on these issues, after writing them in a rush of adrenaline. I am asking because some people are questioning the very sanity of commentators on New Age Islam. It may be, of course, that this was a well thought out position and people are reacting the way they are because these ideas are too revolutionary for them. Maybe we need an article from you also on who is a momin in Quran. If you have already written on the subject, please remind me of the link By Sultan Shahin - 1/10/2018 9:07:42 AM



  • Dear Naseer Saheb, you suggested I read your article: The Mutashaabihat Or The Allegorical Verses Of The Quran. I did, but I am none the wiser about “how does one resolve the confusion created by anthropomorphic verses of the Holy Quran," the question I originally posed. Salafi literalists believe we should take them at their face value, and if we don’t understand, we should not question or talk about them. But nature of the God we believe in is of prime importance. Is God invisible, abstract, formless or with a face and hand and legs and a throne which requires eight men to carry it. Do you also think that we should simply ignore these questions while believing in what Quran says about the anthropomorphic nature of God? Or should we interpret these verses as others have done, whereby limbs and throne are supposed to represent God’s power, capability and reach.

    By Sultan Shahin - 1/10/2018 8:49:28 AM



  • @arshad

    So they(ahadis) can be taken as genuine  but ……”

    It is these Ifs and Buts that is confusing the issue. Their genuineness in complying with the Statement in Quran does not in my understanding entitle even authentic hadis to stand on the same platform as Quran’s definition of Iman.

    Most importantly if authentic hadis of one Rasul – Muhammad in this case, is important to be a Momin then according to 2-4 authentic hadis’s (ahadis) of the hundreds of thousands of past Rusuls - min qablika must be believed in too. Bukhari, Muslim etc. for example do not mention a single one. Why not?

    The question of “Priority” therefore is a non-issue.

    By Rashid Samnakay - 1/8/2018 12:35:09 AM



  • Shahin sb, with reference to your comment By Sultan Shahin - 1/7/2018 8:46:07 AM, you may ask Yunus sb to cite an example if he can, where a verse takes two equally valid but materially differing meanings, or a situation where the matter of apparently two equally valid meanings cannot be resolved with reference to other verses. He has misunderstood what I said. Moreover, in all the examples that he has given, the Quran has not deviated from the meaning of the root word.

    Masjid l-arāmi (with triliteral root ā rā mīm (ح ر م) ) is so called, precisely because it is a place of sanctuary where certain things are prohibited (declared haram) such as killing or disturbing the peace or in any manner harming those who are within its precincts. Saying that it is a sacred place is not enough, we need to be clear that it is a place where certain things are forbidden there. What is forbidden there is because it is held as a sacred place. If Masjid l-arāmi is translated as the Sacred Mosque, and not as a Mosque where disturbing the peace within its precinct is forbidden, how does it matter?

    Yunus sb is grossly mistaken. He is mixing up words with the triliteral root ā rā mīm (ح ر م) which means forbidden with words with the triliteral root ā hā rā (ط ه ر) which means to purify.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/7/2018 11:41:59 PM



  • Dear Arshad,
    You may read my following article that tables a strong case to treat Hadith as product of human agency:

    Hadith Is Not a Divine Scripture of Islam – a la Qur’an

     
    Its following concluding remark is complementary to your comments:  

    "The above illustrations are more than enough to establish that the Hadith could not be divinely revealed – parallel or complementary or even remotely synergetic to the Qur’an as the article claims. Any further elaboration, which can no doubt be added, will, however, be like killing the scarecrow and tax the readers. Indeed we need the hadith to know the ways the Prophet performed the Islamic rituals like prayer, fasting and hajj but we cannot consider it divine or even indirect revelation (wahi) because then we will make a gross error by elevating what is fallible and historically derived, era specific to the level of divinity – an open shirk." 
    By muhammad yunus - 1/7/2018 11:13:30 PM



  • Shahin Sb,

    The answer to your question in comment  By Sultan Shahin - 1/7/2018 10:54:35 AM 
    is in my article:
    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/7/2018 11:03:45 PM



  • There are hadiths that correspond to the basic tenets of the Quran or are an explanation of a certain verse of the Quran. So they can be taken as genuine  but there are hadiths that negate the basic tenets of Islam because they might be concocted hadiths or fallen out of context today as I have cited the example of hadith or rajam.  There are hadith that say the prophet was made of nur but the Quran says that the prophet was a bashar. On these issues it is very difficult for us to convince them that Quran's stand should be given priority. A hadith cannot surpass a verse of the Quran more so because God swears that he will protect Quran but the Qurand does not guarantee that the hadiths will be protected. So there is scope of corruption in hadith.
    By arshad - 1/7/2018 10:36:46 PM



  • If I were to present my argument in support of discarding reference to the hadis/hadith and all the spurious corpus that spawned “after” the Quran for definition of Iman/Belief, it would be that:-

    • The definition of Belief is given in the very beginning of Quran Chapter Two and first five verses. Every word therein stresses that the ‘Book/Qitaab’ is the sole source of Iman. Within the Book at various places the definition of Belief is elaborated further; for example that Iman is not a blind acceptance of what is given therein, but if convinced by application of intellect then one should accept it.

      Therefore, knowingly accepting/rejecting its ordinances draws the natural consequences, termed as the ‘fixed laws’ of nature. Believers and non-Believers, none are exempted.

    • The spurious corpus and Apocrypha/hadis contains mostly the ‘reported sayings and actions’ of a person called Rasullullah; reported through a long chain of reporters and long after the Quran, and which begin with “Qaala Rasullulllah”- Rasullullah said. These reports run in thousands.

    • The Book Quran was “completed” in the life time of a specific person called Muhammad Rasullullah and contains a finite number of instructions (only about 341) to Say- “Qul”, as “revilations/Wahi”. A direct speech of commands revealed to be acted upon and not indirectly reported through multiple reporters as in hadis.

    • The Quran calls itself “Hadith” at number of places and asks as to “which other hadith will you then believe in?”. This logically refers to the Apocryphal corpus that existed during Muhammad’s time pertaining to the Books of the “People of the Book”.

    • The Quran declares itself not as any new book on the subject of Iman but as a “confirmation” of The Divine Word revealed to all previous messengers, some named and many not named. So if it is considered essential to believe in one Rasul’s hadis then there must be hadis’s (140000/126000) Apocryphal documents of other Rusull/Messengers in the believers Iman! This negates the Quran. (Refer2-79) Therefore accept it as the only Book or leave it completely, this choice is granted .

    • There is strictly NO allowance in Quran for THIS and THAT document for ones IMAN. This Quran is the ONLY one to be obeyed with a view to benefit humanity and further its development 2-5; however authentic THAT other document may be.

    By Rashid Samnakay - 1/7/2018 9:51:49 PM



  • Instead of taking the basic principles from written scriptures and developing the super structure of Islam on that foundation, we have become kitab-parast and forgotten the glory of God and the primacy of rectitude, justice and compassion.
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 1/7/2018 12:52:20 PM



  • Dear Naseer Saheb, you do not like Quran being interpreted. You think literal meaning is so clear that there is no need. In any case Quran itself describes itself as Kitabul mobeen. In this scenario how does one resolve the confusion created by anthropomorphic verses of the Holy Quran, except through interpretation. All Muslims, hold a belief in “tawheed” — the Oneness or Uniqueness of God. We consider him invisible, formless, incomparable and so on. We do not think of Him as the proverbial Big Guy, sitting in Heaven on a throne, using His hand and feet and showing His face to a selected few. But Quran seems to contradict this view on a literal reading. 

    In Surah Ikhlaas (112), one reads, “Say: He is Allah, the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like Him.” 

    This is Tauheed. God here is Unique.

    But in other verses Allah is supposed to possess anthropomorphic qualities.

    Quran 55:27: “And the Face of your Lord full of Majesty and Honour will abide forever.”

    96:14: “Knows he not that Allah does see (what he does)?”

    52: 48: “So wait patiently (O Muhammad SAW) for the Decision of your Lord, for verily, you are under Our Eyes , and glorify the Praises of your Lord when you get up from sleep.”

    20: 39: “Saying: Put him (the child) into the Taboot (a box or a case or a chest) and put it into the river (Nile), then the river shall cast it up on the bank, and there, an enemy of Mine and an enemy of his shall take him. And I endued you with love from Me, in order that you maybe brought up under My Eye,”

    54: 14: “Floating under Our Eyes, a reward for him who had been rejected!”

    68: 42: “(Remember) the Day when the Shin shall be laid bare (i.e. the Day of Resurrection) and they shall be called to prostrate (to Allah), but they (hypocrites) shall not be able to do so,”

    39: 67: “They made not a just estimate of Allah such as is due to Him. And on the Day of Resurrection the whole of the earth will be grasped by His Hand and the heavens will be rolled up in His Right Hand. Glorified is He, and High is He above all that they associate as partners with Him!”

     48: 10: “Verily, those who give Baia (pledge) to you (O Muhammad SAW) they are giving Baia (pledge) to Allah. The Hand of Allah is over their hands. Then whosoever breaks his pledge, breaks only to his own harm, and whosoever fulfils what he has covenanted with Allah, He will bestow on him a great reward.”

    78: 145:  “And We wrote for him on the Tablets the lesson to be drawn from all things and the explanation of all things (and said): Hold unto these with firmness, and enjoin your people to take the better therein. I shall show you the home of Al-Fasiqoon (the rebellious, disobedient to Allah).”

    69: 17: “And the angels will be on its sides, and eight angels will, that Day, bear the Throne of your Lord above them.”

    By Sultan Shahin - 1/7/2018 10:54:35 AM



  • Dear Arshad Saheb, You have raised a vital point. Making Muslims consider Quran their primary scripture and taking them off the addiction to Hadith is not going to be easy. Ahadith narrate stories, that are easy to understand, and most of them are also compatible with the supremacist attitude Muslims have developed under its influence over the last millennium. I am not a Munkir-e-Hadith, and this is what you can also tell your audience about yourself, as I believe you too do not deny the value of ahadith. There are undoubtedly Ahadith that correspond to our understanding of the personality of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), and the teachings of the Quran. But we have to convince Muslims that even regarding such ahadith the best we can say is that the Prophet may have said something like this. We can never be sure that he actually said that.

    This can be easily demonstrated to people. Talk to two or more people for five minutes and ask them to write down immediately thereafter what they have heard. Each one of them will indubitably differ in some of their statements, and some may make even contradictory statements, certainly all written in their own language, though also partly quoting you correctly. Now ask them if they were not to write it down immediately and report this to their grandson orally, who were then to report it to his grandson, who reports it to his daughter, who reports it her son, and so on, if this goes on for 200 to 300 years and is then finally written down, what kind of credibility it should have.  This is a task progressive Muslims will have to undertake on a large scale, using all the media at their disposal.

    Another thing that has to be done is to take Muslims off the notion that “Hadith is akin to Revelation.” That is just not possible. If that were the case the Prophet would not have prohibited Muslims from writing down his statements. This report also comes to us from a hadith, but this is also established by the fact that there are no written records of Ahadith for at least half a century, after which scions of the inveterate enemies of Islam take over the reigns of Islamic rule and tens of thousands of Ahadith start tumbling out, at least one person who provides thousands of hadith narrations, some of them suited to the imperial tasks of Umayyad rulers is also rewarded with governorship of Madina.

    Nearly 90 per cent of such reports (at least 591,000 out of 600,000 narrations of ahadith) are found inauthentic by all the muhaddisin, some of whom found only 1,500 or so Ahadith authentic and some went to different numbers, the highest number going up to around 9,000. The word authentic or Sahih also has to be explained to the community. The Muhaddisin who call some Ahadith sahih have not judged it according to the criterion of being in conformity with Quran, which will have to be the prime criterion. This criterion has not been used at all. All that they have studied is the chain of narrations and the possibility, just the possibility, of this chain being correct.

    All these and more related facts have to be brought out and put before the community with the use of all possible media of communication at our disposal.

    The good news on this front is that several Islamic countries have already become conscious of this need. Turkey has recently completed a project of distinguishing possibly authentic Ahadith with the help of one hundred scholars of hadith who worked for six years on this task. I cannot say how good a work they have done, as their work is so far available only in Turkish. But the fact that Turkey and other countries too are feeling the need for undertaking this task is heartening.

    By Sultan Shahin - 1/7/2018 9:43:04 AM



  • Dear Naseer Saheb, A scholar has sent a response to your following statement:

    "It is possible to take two different meanings only if the Quran is inconsistent in which case it is not Kitabum Mubeen." By Naseer Ahmed - 1/4/2018 10:33:57 PM

    Response:

     

    Now see how the Qur'an uses the same root with different shades of meaning:

    1. wadribu: In a generic sense, the Qur’an uses the verb form daraba with two broad shades of meanings:

    o  Relating to expression, such as to coin a parable, to mention, propound, reiterate etc.

    o  Relating to traveling, such as to go forth in a civil or military campaign.

    The Qur’an also uses it with the following specific   meanings:

    o  To be covered with (humiliation, or clothing) (2:61, 24:31).

    o  To block or fully cover (the ear) (18:11).

    o  To slay (47:4) or knock down (Abraham knocking down the idols) (37:93).

    o  To symbolically ‘strike’: Moses ‘striking’ the rock or sea with his staff (2:60, 20:77, 26:63); angels ‘striking’ the souls of the disbelievers (8:50).

    o  To make a gesture (of striking) (38:44).

     

    2. har’rama: This word is universally understood as prohibition, such as Qur’anic prohibitions against grave crimes, usury, pork etc. However, the Qur’an also uses it with the connotation of ‘sacred’ or ‘binding’:

    ·         Sacred place (2:191), sacred month (2:194), sacred sanctuary (29:67)

    ·         Binding or compulsory instruction, the violation of which is prohibited (6:151, 21:95)

    3. Tahara: In a restricted sense this word and its other roots denote washing or cleansing of body with water, such as during wadu (5:6). In its broader connotation, as illustrated below by the Qur’anic usage, the root denotes a state of purity. Examples:

    ·         Mutah’hir, tah’har: God had purified Jesus (3:55) and Mary (3:42)

    ·         tah’hir, tah’har: purifying one’s thoughts (74:4); sanctifying the House (for worship) (2:125, 22:26)  

    ·         At'har: a pure mental state that disposes one to treat his divorced wife with honor and generosity (2:232), to give out in charity (58:12), and to overcome sexual lust (33:53); purer sexual relationship between man and woman as against homosexuality (11:78).

    ·         Mutah’hara: the pure and sacred contents of the revelation (80:14/98:2); pure companions (2:25, 4:57)

    ·         Yatatah’haru: purity in sexual behavior (7:82, 27:56); spiritual purity of people attending the mosque (9:108)

    ·         Tahura: pure rain water (25:48);  a most pure drink (76:21)

    ·         Yutah’hir: God purifies the faithful (5:6, Ch.12.1.3, 8:11); He does not purify the unbelievers (5:41); the charity offered to the Prophet purified the faithful (9:103); God purified the Prophet’s wives (33:33)

    ·         Tatah’har: women’s physically pure state outside their monthly courses (2:222)

    By Sultan Shahin - 1/7/2018 8:46:07 AM



  • Mr Shahin says,
    "The new theology will have to bring the focus back to Quran, and seek to dislodge both Hadith and Ulema from their present position of pre-eminence."
    It is a difficult task as the majority of Muslims have hadiths more important than Quran. If you cite a verse of the Quran on a certain issue, the followers of hadith will cite a hadith which negates the position of the Quran on the issue and then will ask, don’t you believe the authenticity of the hadiths? If you say that Quran says on this issue, they will retort yes but doesn’t the hadiths say so? Don’t you believe in the Hadith.  Maulana Aslam Jairajpure says that hadith can't be an authority when the verse of the Quran has made its stand clear on it. For example, the Quran doesn’t have verse of 'rajam' now but hadiths on rajam exist which is followed by Taliban and other extremists to punish people for adultery. The Quran prescribes only physical punishment and maximum punishment for woman is life imprisonment. But those following the hadith will ask you if you don’t believe the hadith and believe only the Quran? This is a tricky situation. They will not understand that the prophet adjudicated on the cases of adultery when the verse on rajam existed in the Quran. Later, the verse of rajam was annulled and were replaced by the verse of physical punishment but the hadith had been recorded as the practices of the prophet pbuh without giving the context. That's why the hadith on rajam exist but there is no verse of rajam in the Quran.
    If Mr Shahin wants a new theology for Islam what is his solution for this situation.

    By arshad - 1/6/2018 11:47:44 PM



  • The early exegetes presented several optional arguments while interpreting the critical verses of the Qur’an. The later interpreters often chose the weakest of these arguments. Thus in later periods, “only those tafsir gained popularity for education and adoption, which totally lacked the beauty of those (advocated by the) ancients.”

    The early exegetes apparently treated the Book as any other book of literature or as poetry. It was and is considered a sign of learning to interpret poetry and literature in as many ways as possible and enjoy the different flavours and interpretations. The Quran is not such a book and the early exegetes lacked even an understanding of the unique nature of this Book, the meaning of Tauheed and Kitabum Mubeen.  What claim to Tauheed can God make if His speech allows for multiple interpretations which are equally valid? The Quran is a book which provides proof of Allah’s Tauheed where the clear meaning of every verse can be determined, and every other interpretation can be shown to be false. Those who believe in multiple equally valid interpretations are deficient in their understanding of the meaning of Tauheed, or deficient in their belief in Allah’s Tauheed, or lack the skills to study and understand the Quran as it is meant to be studied and understood. It does not behove Allah, who epitomises Tauheed, to speak in a manner that can be interpreted in more than one way. Allah’s speech is indeed very clear, lucid and its single meaning amenable to be logically derived. Those who disagree do so from an imperfect understanding of Tauheed, and of Allah’s greatness and Oneness, which manifests in several forms including in His Book, where the single meaning of every verse can be logically derived. This property or attribute of the Quran, is one of Alalh’s Ayats and proof of the divinity of the Quran. Those who treat the Book as human speech and interpret it, will never understand it. Their relative “disbelief” in the divinity of the Quran, and its unique attributes, become a veil that conceals the truth from them.

     (6:25) Of them there are some who (pretend to) listen to thee; but We have thrown veils on their hearts, So they understand it not, and deafness in their ears; if they saw every one of the signs, not they will believe in them; in so much that when they come to thee, they (but) dispute with thee; the kafaru say: "These are nothing but tales of the ancients."

    (17:45) When thou dost recite the Qur´an, We put, between thee and those who believe not in the Hereafter, a veil invisible:

    (18:57) And who doth more wrong than one who is reminded of the Signs of his Lord, but turns away from them, forgetting the (deeds) which his hands have sent forth? Verily We have set veils over their hearts lest they should understand this, and over their ears, deafness, if thou callest them to guidance, even then will they never accept guidance.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/5/2018 10:57:26 PM



  • Naseer sab's claim that he is "able to boldly proclaim that it is possible to determine the meaning of every verse and show that every other interpretation is false," is bombastic and preposterous and is an illustration of the supremacist tendencies that have plagued our ulama for centuries.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 1/5/2018 11:30:52 AM



  • “Furthermore, the literary style of the era, as mentioned earlier (Enc. 1) was characterized by exaggeration, embellishment and fantasy, while the Qur’an was in plain and straightforward language. The Muslim scholars were not happy that the Qur'an should remain in its simple form. “They started clothing every statement of the Qur'an in a robe (that satisfied) their intellectual ego. As this robe did not suit the Qur'an, they force-fitted it, and as a result, the consistency was compromised, and all became inconsistent and complicated.”

    The word Mumin does not simply mean a believer or one who recites the kalima. A mumin is one who apart from acknowledging his belief in Allah, the Hereafter, the prophets, the messengers and the Books, unconditionally accepts the Ayats of Allah in willing submission and complies with all of Allah’s commands with humility.

     Our scholars resist the clear meanings, give their own meanings, are unmindful of the contradictions their interpretations give rise to and very much treat the Book as they please. Are they the Muminun the Quran speaks of?

    Belief and rejection of belief falls on a continuum. At one end is discovering the Book is indeed Kitabum Mubeen, easy to understand, consistent and without contradictions. This is a certainty for all those who truly believe and make sincere efforts to understand. In between is not realizing the same but making sincere efforts to understand. These are the people without knowledge but sincere. At the other end is disputing the claims of the Quran, arguing with those who claim these to be true, and becoming dense and rejecting all efforts to make them understand. How will such people who resist all efforts to make them understand ever understand? The outright rejection and opposition of the kafirin is more honest.

    My efforts are to strip the robe that the scholars have covered the Quran with. A good example of such intellectualism is Imam Ghazali. People get impressed by the turn of phrase, or the beauty of the language, or the imagery created, or the emotions evoked and not by the truth. The poets are therefore taken more seriously than they deserve to be because what is well said is also taken to be true. A person with a good command of the language easily passes of as intelligent although he may have very little of it.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/5/2018 1:49:27 AM



  • Shahin Sb,

    Is blind copying of the predecessors' mistakes not a sign of the poor standards of scholarship? It is not only a sign of the poor standards of scholarship but of the institutionalization of the poor standards of scholarship which continues to this day! The Muslim scholarship simply did know the meaning and importance of academic independence and free inquiry. We know for a fact that they killed the movement for rationalist thinking. 

    Distortion of the meaning of words takes some effort. One explanation for it is that the religion of Islam was swamped by an army of neo Muslims from other faiths who brought their own ideas from their former faiths and superimposed these on Islam. The other being considered an infidel, is common to Judaism and Christianity, and so also the ideas of exclusivism in their faiths. The slain in a good cause being considered martyr is also common among other cultures. We can therefore say that Islam got transformed from these influences. However, why were there not any stalwarts resisting such influences? How come we cannot find even a single dissenting voice?

    Ibn Taymiyyah was also a product of his times but you do not hesitate from criticizing him. Why are you selective in your criticism of past scholars? It was I who showed you that Imam Ghazali and Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi were no better. The explanation of “product of their times” cannot be an excuse for their obvious bigotry. Bigotry exists today just as it existed in the past and if we are to get rid of it, it must be denounced. You cannot be making excuses for it and hope to get rid of it. The bigots must be denounced.

    Inventing tales to explain the Quran such as the tale about Alam-e Arwah is a sign of the poor standards of scholarship. Inventing such tales and perpetuating them prevents correct understanding.

    Subscribing to theories not supported by the Quran such as wahdatul wujood is a sign of the poor standards of scholarship. Seeing meanings into the Quran that are not there is a sign of the poor standards of scholarship - meanings such as "Light upon light" in surah Al-Nur supports the sufi concept of fanah. If that is so, what does darkness upon darkness mean in 24:40? Does it mean that the soul of the evil person gets united with the devil?

    Disregarding the Quran when it says that it is produced by Allah and arguing for the uncreatedness of the Quran is a sign of the poor standards of scholarship.

    How will people ever understand the Quran if they try to force fit their own meanings and refuse to accept its clear meaning? How will they ever understand it if they refuse to correct the mistakes and blindly follow their predecessors? The Quran is not a book to be trifled with and those who do not humbly submit to it will never understand it. You cannot reject what it says and take your own meanings and expect it to become Kitabum Mubeen for you. For such people, it will be as Yunus Sb described it “an extremely complex diction renders it virtually unintelligible for its post revelation reader - unless one ignores all that is couched in ambiguity”. The ambiguity is not in the Quran but arises from the pre-conceptions and the meanings you want to force fit onto the Quran.

    The Quranic diction is remarkably simple and consistent all through the Book which is what enables us to find the clear meaning of every word and of every verse. Each time we err, it is because we are inconsistent and not the Quran. The conjunction ‘aw’ meaning ‘or’ occurs roughly 500 times in the Quran. Muhammad Asad takes it as ‘or’ every time except in five verses where he takes it to mean ‘the same as’ or as ‘that is’ and errs each time. Who do we blame - the Quran or Asad?

    It is only on account of the remarkable consistency of the Quran that I am able to boldly proclaim that it is possible to determine the meaning of every verse and show that every other interpretation is false. It is only on account of such consistency that I am able to say that the Quran does not support the concept of an immortal soul although everyone in the past has believed in it and everyone in the present believes in it.

    It is possible to take two different meanings only if the Quran is inconsistent in which case it is not Kitabum Mubeen. The claim of the Quran that it is Kitabum Mubeen is a true claim but every scholar of Islam is engaged in falsifying it. How will such scholars who reject the claim of the Quran that it is easy to understand, a Book that makes things clear, internally consistent, fully explained by itself every find it to be so? The Quran holds out a promise and those who “believe” in the promise with full conviction will never be let down. They will find the promise to be true. But those who “reject” the claim fully or partially will find it to be a book couched in ambiguity and full of contradictions. The fault is in us and not in the Quran. It is light upon light for some, opaque for some, and darkness upon darkness for some.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/4/2018 10:33:57 PM



  • I am also reminded of what Mohammad Yunus Saheb wrote in his joint publication on the subject of exegetical stagnation in the last centuries, Essential Message of Islam (p.352/353:)

    "al-Tabari (d. 313/926) is credited with the compilation of one of the earliest and most elaborate works on tafsir [jami al-bayan fi tafsir al-Qur'an]. Down the centuries, a succession of scholars devoted their entire lives to producing comprehensive exegetic works. However, with the popularity of the principle or doctrine of taqlid (1.6 above), most of the exegetes in the succeeding centuries down to the recent times followed a stereotype approach of copying from the work of a past scholar of their choice. Thus, as Abul Kalam Azad observes:“If an error was made in an interpretation in the third century hijra, it is inevitably copied and recopied down to the ninth century. No one thought for a moment to step out of the taqlid (strict compliance with the precedent) regime even for a moment to investigate the truth. By and by, the spirit of interpretation dipped so low that it got restricted to merely putting new margins (with comments) on the old contents.”

    Copying from, and embellishing upon past works was, however, not all. The early exegetes presented several optional arguments while interpreting the critical verses of the Qur’an. The later interpreters often chose the weakest of these arguments. Thus in later periods, “only those tafsir gained popularity for education and adoption, which totally lacked the beauty of those (advocated by the) ancients.”10

    Furthermore, the literary style of the era, as mentioned earlier (Enc. 1) was characterized by exaggeration, embellishment and fantasy, while the Qur’an was in plain and straightforward language. The Muslim scholars were not happy that the Qur'an should remain in its simple form. “They started clothing every statement of the Qur'an in a robe (that satisfied) their intellectual ego. As this robe did not suit the Qur'an, they force-fitted it, and as a result, the consistency was compromised and all became inconsistent and complicated.”11 This characterized the traditional exegetic discipline until the turn of the last century."

    No question that Islamic theology based on the Quranic Exegesis and Ahadith and jurisprudence available in the last centuries requires a complete overhaul. 

    By Sultan Shahin - 1/4/2018 11:14:18 AM



  • Naseer Sahab you say: 
    "I have been saying that it was correctly understood for several centuries and it is only in the post classical period that the deliberate distortions took place. I have been mild in my denunciation of these distorters and those who perpetuated it over the centuries and continue to do so.” (Emphasis added)
    —-
    “The 'worthies' of the past were bigots, with poor standards of scholarship, without a care for logic and reason or for the contradictions their interpretations gave rise to and must be swept into the dustbin of history.”… By Naseer Ahmed - 1/2/2018 1:28:13 AM 

    Charging the traditional scholars of deliberately distorting the interpretation of the Qur'an seems unwarranted. What motives would these pious scholars have in deliberately distorting the meaning of Quran. You may think you are using mild words for your denunciation, but these are harsh words indeed, and I don’t understand to what purpose. I have myself been very critical of the theology of the consensus of ulema, but harsh words are counterproductive; they don’t strengthen your arguments, only weaken them. As I have said before, they were products of their time, the customs and exigencies of their time. Our generation’s fault and that of the scholars of last several centuries is in blind taqlid. We should use our own minds and arrive at an understanding of our scriptures from our perspective. 

    Let me bring here the words in which Maulana Abul Kalam Azad captures the stagnation of exegetic scholarship in the last centuries:

     “After the 4th century of Islamic calendar, the intellectual creativity (ijtihad) of Islamic scholars came to an end, and barring few exceptions, the path to repetitive copying (taqlid) was adopted. This style influenced the corpus of tafsir (Qur'anic interpretation) as well. Each of those who take on tafsir, installs a mentor in his mind, and follows him blindly. If an error was made in an interpretation in the 3rd century hijra, it is inevitably copied and recopied down to the 9th century. No one thought for a moment to step out of the taqlid (repetitive copying) regime even for a moment to investigate the truth. By and by, the spirit of interpretation dipped so low that it got restricted to merely putting new margins (with comments) on the old contents. Look at the margins of Baidhawi (d. 685 H) and Jalalain (d. 911 H). A great deal of energy was wasted in painting and polishing a fully built mansion.” [Abul Kalam Azad, Tarjuman-ul-Qur’an, 1931; reprint New Delhi 1989, Vol.1. p.42],

    “The poor taste of the times have also supported crookedness. We have therefore seen that in later periods, only those tafasir have gained popularity for education and adoption, which totally lack the beauty of those (advocated by the) ancients... Look at the contemporary tafsir. Wherever a set of opinions (by different scholars of the past) are quoted, often the weakest one is adopted, and the better ones ignored.” Ibid p.44.

    The philosophical trends of the times led to embellishment in the interpretative corpus. 

    Again to quote Abul Kalam Azad (rendering from Urdu):  

    “The thinking of the very early Muslims was not conditioned by later period influences, so they could recognize the clear and simple truths of the Qur'an. The later (scholars) were not happy that the Qur'an should remain in its simple form. Their ‘intellectual ego' was not satisfied with this. They started clothing every statement of the Qur'an in a robe (that satisfied) their ‘intellectual ego'. As this robe did not suit the Qur'an, they force-fitted it, and as a result, the consistency was compromised and all became inconsistent and complicated." Ibid 45

    So perhaps your time-lining of decline in exegetic scholarship to post classical period ignores the grievous impact of the doctrine of taqlid beginning the 3rd century of Islam or the beginning of the classical period.

    By Sultan Shahin - 1/4/2018 10:52:02 AM



  • Where is the problem in understanding?

    (24:35) Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The Likeness of His Light is as if there were a Niche and within it a Lamp: the Lamp enclosed in Glass: the glass as it were a brilliant star: Lit from a blessed Tree, an Olive, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil is well-nigh luminous, though fire scarce touched it: Light upon Light! Allah doth guide whom He will to His Light: Allah doth set forth Parables for men: and Allah doth know all things.

    (36) (Lit is such a Light) in houses, which Allah hath permitted to be raised to honour; for the celebration, in them, of His name: In them is He glorified in the mornings and in the evenings, (again and again),-

     The Likeness of Allah’s light is explained in the verse metaphorically. The metaphors used are the niche, within it the lamp with a glass as if it were a brilliant star, the oil in the lamp is self-luminous olive oil which when lit throws up a brilliant light. While the verse explains the light of Allah using these metaphors, you say the metaphors are irrelevant! You are saying Allah’s light is self-effulgent while the verse is comparing it with a lamp that is lit in places where Allah’s name is abundantly celebrated and He is glorified all through the day/night. The light is clearly neither self-effulgent nor found everywhere.

    Please read the article to understand what the metaphors mean:

    An Exposition of the Verse of Light (Ayat al-Nur)

    The light upon light is the effect of self-luminous oil when lighted up and the flame within a glass lamp which by itself is like a shining star. This is the light of true knowledge which comes only from Allah and refers to His revelations or Books of scriptures1, His wahi and His guidance2 that comes only to people who celebrate Allah’s praises abundantly, and glorify Him by reading/reciting the scriptures. Every metaphor used is explained in the article. Nothing is irrelevant.

    The light of Allah is not Allah Himself but knowledge and guidance from Allah. It is the light that makes Truth stand out clear from Error.(2:256) It is available only to the seekers of Allah’s light and the non-seekers remain in darkness.

    The absence of Allah’s light is aptly described as darkness upon darkness as follows:

    (24:40) Or (the state of those who are without Allah’s light) is like the depths of darkness in a vast deep ocean, overwhelmed with billow topped by billow, topped by (dark) clouds: depths of darkness, one above another: if a man stretches out his hands, he can hardly see it! for any to whom Allah giveth not light, there is no light!

    Allah’s light is further explained as follows:

    Note 1: Allah’s nur is His revelations or Books of scriptures

    (42:52) And thus have We, by Our Command, sent inspiration to thee: thou knewest not (before) what was Revelation, and what was Faith; but We have made the (Qur´an) a Light, wherewith We guide such of Our servants as We will; and verily thou dost guide (men) to the Straight Way,-

    (5:15) O people of the Book! There hath come to you our Messenger, revealing to you much that ye used to hide in the Book, and passing over much (that is now unnecessary): There hath come to you from Allah a (new) light and a perspicuous Book, -

    (5:46) And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah.

    (61:8) Their intention is to extinguish Allah´s Light (by blowing) with their mouths: But Allah will complete (the revelation of) His Light, even though the Unbelievers may detest (it).

     Note 2: Allah’s nur is His guidance

    (89:22) Is one whose heart Allah has opened to Islam, so that he has received Enlightenment from Allah (nūrin min rabbihi), (no better than one hard-hearted)? Woe to those whose hearts are hardened against celebrating the praises of Allah! they are manifestly wandering (in error)!

    (57:28) O ye that believe! Fear Allah, and believe in His Messenger, and He will bestow on you a double portion of His Mercy: He will provide for you a Light by which ye shall walk (straight in your path), and He will forgive you (your past): for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

    (4:174) O mankind! verily there hath come to you a convincing proof from your Lord: For We have sent unto you a light (that is) manifest.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 12/27/2017 7:57:58 AM

     Arshad sb,

    The tree is relevant and not ignored. The oil comes from the olive which is from a blessed olive tree, neither of the east nor of the west. The Quran uses the expression “east and the west” to mean the whole of the earth. The metaphor of the blessed Olive tree, which is the source of the oil, neither from the east nor the west, is telling us that the source of this knowledge is not from this earth but divine. Every metaphor in the verse, points to the divine. You cannot talk about the self-luminous olive oil being from a divine source without talking about the tree which produced the olive and what makes this tree special. It is both a blessed tree and not from this earth. 

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/3/2018 5:44:00 AM

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/4/2018 2:33:06 AM



  • Philosophy is declared in radical Islamic circles and many philosophers werekilled for being phiosophical. So from that point if Allad does philosophies, it would be unthinkable. When Quran says Allah isthe light of the heavens and the earth what is this and if it a plain fact like that of physics, why would people deliberate on it so much and waste their precious time. The meaning should be crystal clear. But here that fact is that the olive tree could not be clarified or explained here.
    By arshad - 1/4/2018 12:59:47 AM



  • The anonymous Islamic scholar says “'These scholars, among many others, devoted their entire lives to produce volumes upon volumes of interpretive corpus, and often furnished may options in interpreting the sensitive verses of the Qur'an.”

     That is exactly the problem. They opened the floodgates to interpretation! Why does one have to interpret a Muhkamat verse of clear established meaning? As far as the Mutashabihat verses are concerned, for example the Ayat Al-Nur, these are also explained very well by other verses of the Quran. It can be understood by itself, by contrasting it with its opposite 24:40 which talks about darkness upon darkness and by many references to Allah’s light and what it means in verses such as 5:15, 5:46, 42:52, 61:8, 4:174, 57:28, 89:22. Each of the metaphors used in the verse has been explained with the help of Quran alone in my article: An Exposition of the Verse of Light (Ayat al-Nur). The Islamic scholars such as Imam Ghazali however, ignored the Quran while writing about this verse and indulged in speculative philosophy unmindful that their explanation contradicted the very next verse 24:36! Even to this day, people follow Ghazali’s treatise on the Ayat. Yes, there are scholars who have written a volume on a single Ayat and if this treatise contradicts the very next verse of the Quran, what can be said about the standard of scholarship of a giant with the title Hujjat ul Islam and ranked second only to the Prophet in knowledge? Understanding of the Quran does not require such scholarship. We must interpret the speech of a child with a limited vocabulary or that of an incoherent imbecile but how dare we interpret the speech of God? Fie on all the interpreters of the Quran!

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/4/2018 12:42:18 AM



  • (54:17) And We have indeed made the Qur´an easy to understand and remember: then is there any that will receive admonition?

    (36:69) We have not instructed the (Prophet) in Poetry, nor is it meet for him: this is no less than a Message and a Qur´an making things clear:

     

    The Quran is neither poetry nor philosophy. Philosophy is a human pursuit. Why would Allah philosophise? Philosophy theorizes about fundamental questions without complete knowledge and fumbles. Allah is the knower of all things and simply informs us. I had intended to write a series on this subject and completed part 3 also but lost it accidentally and didn’t get the time to continue. The third part had covered the great damage done by the Philosopher Imam Ghazali while successfully defeating the Mutazila or the Rationalists. The Mutazila were not simply rationalists, but their ideas bordered on atheism, and they had to be neutralized without killing rationalism. The overkill by Ghazali destroyed rationalism forever.

    The Quran, Islamic Theology, Philosophy And The Sciences - What Is God And How Do We Go About Trying To Know God Better? (Part 1)

    The Quran, Islamic Theology, Philosophy and the Sciences – On Soul and the Creation of Man (Part 2)

     

    The Quran is indeed easy to understand and a Book that makes things clear. All its Muhkamat verses can be taken literally. Any attempt to interpret these verses would make you err. The Mutashabihat verses use metaphors but the meaning of the verse is never in doubt and fully explained by other verses as I have shown with verse 24:35 or the Ayat Al-Nur. The Mutashaabihat Or The Allegorical Verses Of The Quran

     

    The scholars have added only opacity to the message and not clarity. If there were no commentaries, no ahadith and no shan e nuzool, it would have been better understood as it was in the first two centuries. My efforts are to strip the covering the scholars have thrown on it so that we can see once again it’s very clear message. Only an ummi can best understand its message and not the scholars who see it through their heavily tinted glasses. So, one must get into an ummi state and listen to the Quran attentively, cutting out all noise from every other source, to best understand its simple message.

    Shahin sb, I have read your comment. I can only speak about what is known and what is knowable. I cannot speak about what is lost. If the acclaimed moderates also have no knowledge of these lost Tafsirs, then what are we discussing? I never said that the Quran was never understood correctly by anyone. Far from it, I have been saying that it was correctly understood for several centuries and it is only in the post classical period that the deliberate distortions took place. I have been mild in my denunciation of these distorters and those who perpetuated it over the centuries and continue to do so. Those who wrote volumes on a perspicuous book obviously indulged in philosophy. When I read some of these works, I can understand why these are out of favour. I have read Imam Ghazali’s Tahāfut al-Falāsifa, Ihya'u Ulumiddin and  Mishkat al-Anwar in translation. They make little sense today. 

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/3/2018 10:54:20 PM



  • Islam is based on common sense. It is addressed to the masses. Saying that one needs to be a scholar in order to understand Islam is to show a fundamental misunderstanding of what Islam is all about.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 1/3/2018 11:46:53 AM



  • Also Shahin sb, what do you have to say about the fact that the distortions have survived and the correct meanings are lost? What we can certainly say is that just as people now love the distortions and are unwilling to correct, so also in the past, those who tried to correct the misunderstandings were simply ignored and are lost to us.

    My comments cover those whose writings have survived and quoted by the present day scholars. It cannot obviously cover what is lost to us or what every modern scholar ignores including the highly acclaimed moderates.

    What these moderates have to say is equally shocking and covered in my article:
    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/3/2018 10:38:55 AM



  • Shahin Sb,
    I have said it several times that the earliest Muslims understood the Quran without the need for any Tafsir.
    The need for tafsir arose when the Quran had to be reinterpreted in the light of the ahadith. 

    What the earliest Muslims understood is lost to us.

    If there are Tafsirs that are much better than what is available online, why are these not reflected in the writings of scholars whose works are read? For example, in the writings of Maulana Wahiduddin Khan or Javed Ghamidi or Tahir ul Qadri? 
    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/3/2018 10:23:43 AM



  • Also, Arshad Saheb, we must ask ourselves how many tafseer works we have read so far before passing judgement on all of them. Many tafseer works of the past are in Arabic and can only be found in the libraries of major Islamic universities. Have we read all or even any of them at all or are simply relying on on-line sources, which only cover a fraction of Qur'anic exegesis? We may be somewhat like primary level students commenting on doctoral theses with confidence and authority.

     

    However, this is not to ignore the fact that Islamic theology remains in a mess and needs revolutionary changes. Our youth have been running away to join terrorist groups because terror ideologues are able to come up with a coherent and internally consistent theology of violence, based on what the revered theologians of the past have written.

     

    I cannot tell you how shocked I was to read in Tafseer-e-Quran written by a third century Hijri Sufi Master of the stature of Allama Tistari saying that the verse lakum deenakum waleya deen (for you your religion and for me mine, Quran 109: 6) has been abrogated. Then, absolutely unacceptable is revered Mufassirin saying that the so-called sword verse (9: 5) alone has abrogated as many as 124 Meccan verses preaching peace, pluralism, tolerance, patience, perseverance, avoidance of conflict and so on.

     

    So, while we may not have read absolutely everything written by all the mufassirin, we may have access, particularly from writings of terror ideologues as well as Islamophobes, to some of the excerpts of their writings that are used to justify terror. Some books are also available in translation from original Arabic now and enough to give us some idea of what these respected mufassirin of the past have been saying.

     

     But of one thing we can be certain. No matter how much we disagree or oppose the mufassirin of the past, it is possible to do so, respectfully. They were products of their time. We should try to resolve our issues including interpreting sacred literature according to the norms and exigencies of our time. The problem lies in blind taqlid. We should think for ourselves, taking into consideration the demands of the times we live in.  

    By Sultan Shahin - 1/3/2018 9:48:52 AM



  • .....neither is kafir a relative term. By Naseer Ahmed - 1/3/2018 8:49:28 AM



  • Arshad Sb.

    Kafir means neither believer nor disbeliver
    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/3/2018 7:29:41 AM



  • Naseer Sb, you cannot say all the scholars of the past were wrong or ther interpretations were wrong. If that were true, Islam would not stand where it stands today. Truely, I agree and Mr Sultan Shahin also agrees that certain influential ulema misinterpreted the Quran particularly according to the situation Islam was in during their life. Quran is not  couched in ambiguity but also it is not a book entirely for the layman. Because it speaks of the knowlege of Bayan, which is the science of language. The Quran on many occasions used very philosophical and poetic language becasue God is Jameel and loves Jamal. So one cannot say that Quran is easy in the sense that every one can understand any verse of the Quran. This is the notion that many translators make literal translations of words like shahid, mash-hud and Shahood and of words like Ilmul Yaqin, Haqqul Yaqin and Aynal Yaqin. Quran is definitely easy but on certain occasion it becomes very schoarly and philosophical and sometimes metaphorical and symbolical. That's why the verse about Zul Qarnain is not very straight.
    Second, for the last two years you have been trying to prove that the word kafir is relative and the word kafir does not mean disbelievers on all occasions which is not acceptable. Kafir means disbelievers on many occasions though Muslims also commit kufr in some issues and so they do not become disbelievers.
    By arshad - 1/3/2018 4:51:46 AM



  • Shahin Sb,

     The poor quality of Islamic scholarship continues to this day and reflects the poor quality of scholarship in the past.  How does it escape the notice of any serious reader of the Quran that ‘kafir’ is used for the believers, for Moses, for those who will reject the partners they associated with God and therefore cannot mean disbeliever? The scholars of the past who distorted the meaning of kafir to mean disbeliever were aware of what they were doing but how come the modern-day scholars are unaware that kafir did not and could not mean disbeliever in Arabic before Islam and that this is a latter-day development and without justification?

    Why is it difficult for anyone from the past or the present to accept that Surah Al-Kafirun which is addressed to “the Kafirun” and says to them that neither do they nor will they worship what Muhammad worships, is addressed to those Kafirun who will die kafir meaning rejecting, resisting and opposing Islam and not to those who will eventually accept Islam? Those who will eventually accept Islam are certainly not among those who will not worship what Muhammad worships and therefore not the addressees of the Surah and not among the kafirun. Their inability to understand a simple Surah like this is proof of the poor standard of scholarship.

     Haven’t the scholars invented a grammatical rule to distort the very clear meaning of Surah 98 Al-Bayyinah?  This would have been understandable if they could produce a clear verse from the Quran that conforms to their understanding, but every example that we find in the Quran, supports my understanding and contradicts theirs. To me it appears that the sole purpose of inventing such a rule is to “misinterpret” verses 98:1, 6. Which language invents such grammatical rules to promote ambiguous communication when the same can be communicated unambiguously? This is worse than poor scholarship, it is a fraud that they have practiced. Is there any exception among the scholars and Mufasirin who subscribe to the incorrect view? Is it not their bigotry which compels them to reject the Quran when it says not all the Mushrikin are kafirin but only a few among them? The proof that I have produced is compelling and yet, why do the scholars on this website refuse to accept? They choose to run away instead!

    The fraudulent scholars have escaped scrutiny only because the Muslim mind is corrupted very early and is unable to think of the non-Muslims as anything but kafir. They therefore suppress the cognitive dissonance that verses of the Quran cause when these contradict their understanding. They find fault with the Quran instead and go about abrogating verses that do not fit with their understanding!  A modern-day exegete has this to say about the Kitabum Mubeen “an extremely complex diction renders it virtually unintelligible for its post revelation reader - unless one ignores all that is couched in ambiguity”. The Kitabum Mubeen couched in ambiguity?! The Quranic diction is very simple and not complex at all. It is rendered complex when you give wrong meanings to certain words and with those wrong meanings, read the Quran and try to make sense of what cannot make sense with those wrong meanings. 

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/2/2018 11:06:38 PM



  • @ghulam mohiyuddin
     
    is Kafirology is a good term for describing the agenda maaping 21 century.?
    IT sounds reasonalable
    By Asif - 1/2/2018 9:01:05 PM



  • Naseer Saheb, the scholar who wants to remain anonymous has sent the following response to me: 
    "There have been
    scores of voluminous exegetic works   produced by renowned Muslim scholars down the centuries, the notable ones being: 

    ·        Abu al-Laith al-Samarqandi (d. AH 373): Tafsir al-Samarqandi  

    ·        Ahmad bin Ibrahim al-Thalabi (d. AH 383): Tafsir al-Thalabi 

    ·        Hussain al-Raghib (d. AH 503): The Mufradat

    ·        Hassan bin Masud al-Baghwi (d. AH 510): Tafsir al-Baghwi

    ·        Mahmud ibn Umar al-Zamakhshari (d. AH 538): al-Kashshaf

    ·        Muhammad Hussain al-Razi (d. AH 606): Tafsir al-Kabir

    ·        Abd Allah bin Umar al-Baidhawi (d. AH 685): Anwar-ut-Tanzil

    ·        Shihab al-Din al-Baghdadi (d. AH 669): Ruh al Ma’ani

    ·        Ismail bin Amr bin Khatir al-Dimashqi (d. 774 H): Tafsir Ibn khatir

    ·        Jalal al-Din al-Mahalli (d. AH 864): Tafsir al-Jalalainer

    ·        Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti (d, AH 911): Tafsir al-Suyuti

    'These scholars, among many others, devoted their entire lives to produce volumes upon volumes of interpretive corpus, and often furnished may options in interpreting the sensitive verses of the Qur'an. The posterity, however retained the most popular or appealing option, and the rest are lost in the irretrievable archives of history. So anyone who charges all the scholars of the past of failing to answer his listed question is, to say the least, a novice in Islamic scholarship and has to go a very long way to reach even the threshold of the expansive domain of Qur'anic exegetic scholarship."
    By Sultan Shahin - 1/2/2018 8:47:22 PM



  • Before NAI becomes a website specializing in kafirology Naseer sab should be encouraged to publish his views elsewhere so that he can obtain a wider feedback.
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 1/2/2018 11:50:55 AM



  • Shahin sb,
    The anonymous Islamic scholar's protest lacks substance as he has not explained any of the reasons I gave for saying what I said. What has the era in which the scholars lived got to do with their distorting the meanings of words such as kafir, fitna, shaheed, jihad fi sabilillah? 
    How has "shirk" itself come to mean fitna for many scholars except through bigotry?
    How does fight until there is no more fitna of religious persecution become fight until the kafir  disavow kufr and accept Islam?
    How does Deen of Allah become worship only for Allah?
    How does Shaheed become martyr?
    How has kafir come to mean disbeliever?
    How has permission to fight persecution become a fight to end disbelief?
    Are they deaf, dumb and blind to the contradictions their interpretations gives rise to?
    How many scholars are there who reject the notion of the Quran containing abrogated verses? And why are they unable to understand the Quran without treating some verses as abrogated?
    Why is any part of the Quran ambiguous to them? 
    Is there any scholar who speaks of the "Principles of war" in Islam?
    How many scholars understand Islam as a set of unchanging and eternal principles?
    Why are they unable to proclaim "Let there be no compulsion in religion" is an eternal principle without qualifications? Why do scholars discuss this verse with reference to Shan e Nuzool except to limit its applicability?
    Can your anonymous scholar provide cogent reasons for the failings? I do not see any connection between these failings and the era in which they lived except for certain parts of the Quran having been difficult for them to understand that are better understood today because of our knowledge of the sciences.
    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/2/2018 7:38:01 AM



  • Shahin sb,

    La yuminun is a term for the disbeliever which is rarely used because Quran's concern is not with the disbelievers but with those "who will not believe" or those who reject belief and those who are enemy of Allah and the Messengers. 

    Every prophet was opposed by the likes of Pharaoh, Abu Jahl, Abu Lahab etc. The rest of the people simply followed the leader out of fear of persecution or were people without knowledge. Once such leaders (immatal kufri) were removed, the rest accepted belief. 

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/2/2018 7:18:32 AM



  • Dear Naseer Saheb, an Islamic scholar who wants to remain anonymous has sent me a protest letter in response to one of your comments. He says: Dear Sultan Shahin Saheb, your website is now being used to strip Islamic scholarship of its glory that in it its era had outshone the rest of the world - I don't know how you feel about it.

    The following statements are highly objectionable and grossly undermine Islamic scholarship:
     "The bigotry of many of the Mufasirin and scholars, their lack of discipline and lack of adherence to high standards of scholarship is unmistakable.
    "The 'worthies' of the past were bigots, with poor standards of scholarship, without a care for logic and reason or for the contradictions their interpretations gave rise to and must be swept into the dustbin of history."
    The writer is apparently judging the mufassirin of medieval era with 21st century IIT yardstick and throwing mud at Islamic scholarship's glorious past ... 
    The poor IITian then compares the Muslim scholars who lived mostly in 7th to 13 centuries of Christian era with Western scholars who lived in the 14th to 19th centuries in these words:. 
    "Compare Islamic scholarship with western scholarship and you will see the difference. The western scholars have shown a love of knowledge and truth for the love of knowledge and truth alone and attained high levels of scholarship. While they too have their bigots and scholars with an agenda, you are more likely to find a few unbiased scholars among them rather than among the Muslims." By Naseer Ahmed - 1/2/2018 1:28:13 AM {Make Revolutionary changes..]
    By Sultan Shahin - 1/2/2018 5:08:04 AM



  • More for you Asif
    Do you know what is Varlik vergisi, Just find out the history of this hypocritical country and Varlik vergisi what it means. Just little hint,  it help to,take away all non-Muslim property and forced to live in camps, by your so called great Isalm, from where this Varlik vergisi get the birth.

    I can define each every Muslim country and Majority Muslim area in India and their behaviour with non-Muslims.

    I can show you part also in India, make sure whatever good inter-harmony between Muslims and non-Muslim is there it is only in India, though very less places are getting left, your Tablig Jamat and Hindu fascist force reach their to make them pure.
    By Aayina - 1/2/2018 4:33:24 AM



  • Asif is upset.

    We Hindus are broad minded We Hindus will let you built mosque back, ,will you allows to built temple of Mohmmad Paigamber for us and allow us to do aarties, puja archana, we collect all gods, saints and avatars.

    Anyway if you feel this type of thing is  laughable, than there is whole set of  Muslims that belive Ali was incarnation of Hanuman, and they do Hanuman puja, do you have that great heart that those local Muslims has.

    I would not like to disclose this place because comminity of this area had found thier own inter-harmony, otherwise your sick Tablig Jammat will reach their to make them true Muslims to disturbe the harmony.

    Nearly all Hindus can be with Muslims, if Muslims acknowledged misbehaviour of Muslims with Hindus.

    See the sick article published by the Pakistani, S Mubashir, how he is trying to justify Israel is illegitimate. 

    Did you cry for your Kashmiri pandit brothers, have Muslims had rally for them, slowly and silently same thing happening in Kerala in Muslim majority areas.
    By Aayina - 1/2/2018 4:11:31 AM



  • Asif Saheb, I was only trying to make the limited point that in all religions except Hinduism,  if you accept one  religion, you reject other religions. 
    If Muslims went by the Quran, they would have been accepting of all religions, even more than Hindus. In Islam, belief in all previous prophets is an article of faith. We have also been told that there is no nation on Earth where a prophet was not sent and there  was no prophet  who did  not receive Revelations from  God. So all people on Earth are Ahl e kitab, at least those who have even some rudimentary  scriptures.  But, in our supremacism, we do not considers even Hindus Ahl e Kitab, though they have scriptures, and concepts of God and his unity very similar to our own. 
    As for extremists of any religion, we must understand that they do not define any religion and should not be allowed to define any religion. 
    By Sultan Shahin - 1/2/2018 3:51:26 AM



  • Mr Naseer Ahmed, I  think you should stop fighting  for the word Kumar and kafir.

    People do not want Darasiko, in today's world people do not use weapons to kill, they will remain shun and sideline you, weight for some Arungzeb to come who can butchered people like you, Muslims are very good at taking revenge to their muskim reformer.
    By Aayina - 1/2/2018 3:39:28 AM



  • Is there no term for the non-believer in the Quran, then?  By Sultan Shahin - 1/2/2018 3:29:08 AM



  • OH i forgot to mention that my comment was meant for Nasseer Ahaamd By Kyonki main jhut nahi bolta - 1/2/2018 3:02:12 AM



  • Shahin sb asks : “After all, what is the term in Quran for non-believers other than Kafirin, a term that is used most frequently from beginning of the revelation to the end.  La Yuminoon doesn’t seem to fit the bill except as a synonym used occasionally.”

     The Quran uses Mushrikin for the polytheists, Ahle Kitab for the People of the Book, Yahud for the Jews, Nasara for the Christians etc. la yuminun has been used for the Mushrikin but not kafir in any verse.

    It is uses kafir for the kafir who could be among the believers, among the People of the Book or among the Mushrikin. Kafir does not mean disbeliever/non-Muslim even in one verse of the Quran.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/2/2018 2:33:51 AM



  • Some interesting quotes about an idiot

    Never argue with an idiot. People watching won't be able to tell the difference.
    Who left the bas of idots open?
    Everytime you open your mouth some idiots start talking.
    Idiots cause stress. Stress causes depression. Depression causes physical ailments. 
    Conclusion: Stupid people make me sick.
    I am sorry....My Fault? I forgot you were an idiot.

    If idiots could fly, this place would be an airport. 
    Never argue with an idiot. 
    Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error. 
    To an idiot, "I believe in free speech but i also believe in mute, block, delete, stop reading, hearing or thinking of the idiot"
    By Kiyon ki main jhut nahi bolta - 1/2/2018 2:13:29 AM



  • Shahin sb,

    The bigotry of many of the Mufasirin and scholars, their lack of discipline and lack of adherence to high standards of scholarship is unmistakable.

    For them, Mushrik, Kafir and idolater are simply synonyms and any distinction that you try to make between the meanings is merely 'technical' and not worth the trouble!  This is simply rank poor standard of scholarship. Almost every translator has freely translated mushrik as idolater. This is because idolatry is invested with greater feelings of disgust. Can you show me one mufasir/translator who has not translated mushrik as idolater even once? And what excuse can they have for doing so?

    How has "shirk" itself come to mean fitna for many scholars except through bigotry?

    How does fight until there is no more fitna of religious persecution become fight until the kafir  disavow kufr and accept Islam?
     
    How does Deen of Allah become worship only for Allah?

    How does Shaheed become martyr?

    How are they deaf, dumb and blind to the contradictions their interpretations gives rise to?

    How many scholars are there who reject the notion of the Quran containing abrogated verses? And why are they unable to understand the Quran without treating some verses as abrogated?

    Why is any part of the Quran ambiguous to them? 

    Is there any scholar who speaks of the "Principles of war" in Islam?

    How many scholars understand Islam as a set of unchanging and eternal principles?

    Why are they unable to proclaim "Let there be no compulsion in religion" is an eternal principle without qualifications? Why do scholars discuss this verse with reference to Shan e Nuzool except to limit its applicability?

    The 'worthies' of the past were bigots, with poor standards of scholarship, without a care for logic and reason or for the contradictions their interpretations gave rise to and must be swept into the dustbin of history.

    Not every fault of theirs can be attributed to lack of the modern tools of research. Compare Islamic scholarship with western scholarship and you will see the difference. The western scholars have shown a love of knowledge and truth for the love of knowledge and truth alone and attained high levels of scholarship. While they too have their bigots and scholars with an agenda, you are more likely to find a few unbiased scholars among them rather than among the Muslims.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/2/2018 1:28:13 AM



  • Naseer Ahmad, you are very polite this time but on the dot:

    “The Islam of the Muslims is quite another matter and….”. One must conclude that the majority of Muslims with their myriads of religions 2-79, 6-159, 30-32 etc. etc. are therefore committing Kufr --- knowingly and conscientiously rejecting Quran’s Deen and naming their non-result oriented religions as the Quranic-Islam.

    Good point Sultan Shahin and good response Naseer Ahmad!

    By Rashid Samnakay - 1/2/2018 12:44:21 AM



  • Shahin sb, you say:

    So, if the mushriks of Mecca were polytheists, they naturally rejected Islam. What would be wrong in considering them kafirin? The only problem arises from looking at kafirin, not as a neutral term for those who reject Islam, but considering them impure and treating them with contempt, as we tend to do. The term kafir has created so much mayhem because it’s not treated as a neutral term for those who are simply non-believers. What is wrong in being a non-believer in any religion or in the idea of religion itself. Why should non-believers be considered impure and treated by Muslims with contempt? That is what is creating the problem. 

    What you say above is your opinion and not how the Quran uses the term kafir with reference to a person’s beliefs. The Quran does not use kafir for the disbelievers even in verse 9:5, which is among the very last verses revealed. The Quran uses kafir for one whose heart/mind has acknowledged the truth but rejects it out of perversity. The kafir is like Satan – neither a disbeliever, nor without knowledge of the truth, but an ingrate rebel. He refuses to submit to God from pride or from envy of the messenger, or is simply not inclined towards truth and justice but inclined towards evil. Kafir in the context of rejection of belief, is a zalim, mujrim, fasiq and mufsid. He is one who has chosen the path of evil and rejected the path of what is good. Also, one who is a zalim, mujrim, fasiq and mufsid is a kafir. The profession of belief/disbelief is not the criteria in the Quran. Theology has reduced the religion of Islam to the simple formula of recitation of the kalima. The Quran clearly rejects such a formula. It is what you do that counts and not what you say:

    (49:14) The desert Arabs say, "We believe." Say, "Ye have no faith; but ye (only)say, ´We have submitted our wills to Allah,´ For not yet has Faith entered your hearts. But if ye obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not belittle aught of your deeds: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."

    The Amanu fight in the cause of Allah (against injustice and oppression). The kafaru fight in the cause of evil. (4:76)

    The following verses are addressed to the believers:

    (4:36) Serve Allah, and join not any partners with Him; and do good- to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbours who are near, neighbours who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (ye meet), and what your right hands possess: For Allah loveth not the arrogant, the vainglorious;-

    (37) (Nor) those who are niggardly or enjoin niggardliness on others, or hide the bounties which Allah hath bestowed on them; for We have prepared, for the kafirina, a punishment that steeps them in contempt;-

    (38) Not those who spend of their substance, to be seen of men, but have no faith (la yuminuna) in Allah  and the Last Day: If any take the Evil One for their intimate, what a dreadful intimate he is!

    (39) And what burden Were it on them if they had faith in Allah and in the Last Day, and they spent out of what Allah hath given them for sustenance? For Allah hath full knowledge of them.

    (40) Allah is never unjust in the least degree: If there is any good (done), He doubleth it, and giveth from His own presence a great reward.

    The connection between doing what is good, right and just and belief in God is strong. Allah says:

    (23) If Allah had found in them any good. He would indeed have made them listen: (As it is), if He had made them listen, they would but have turned back and declined (Faith).

    The connection between a person being a  zalim, fasiq, mujrim, mufsid and rejecting belief in Allah and in the Hereafter is also strong. For one who has professed belief to be called a kafir by the Quran, it is sufficient that he be niggardly and not give charity freely or be one who consumes usury.

     It is not people of other faiths who are kafir, but those who oppose and reject the Islam of the Quran/Prophet. The Islam of the Muslims is quite another matter and people have a good excuse for mistaking the Islam of the Muslims as the Islam of the Quran and rejecting it. It is the Muslims, who therefore cover up, the true Islam of the Quran and prevent its wider acceptance. Acceptance does not necessarily mean change in their religion. Recognition of the good points of another religion, leads to acceptance of those ideas, and influences one’s own ideas about the nature of God and His laws and the moral way of life.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/1/2018 11:37:48 PM



  • shahin sb, if it is so as you say "I don’t know of any religion other than Hinduism which says that all paths lead to God and are hence valid. This kind of acceptance of other faiths are not found anywhere else. "
    then why is there killing of muslims in India is happening under the pretext of cow? why were masajid demolished? 
    why are they trying to make India the Hindutva?
    why sanatan dharma do not accept common Hindus as true followers if all the paths leads to God?
    You are looking or instilling positivity in Hinduism but not in other religions. 
    By Asif - 1/1/2018 11:05:06 PM



  • What matters more to God? What we believe or what we do? God must love a man who loves his neighbor, helps the needy and the elderly, provides well for his children, respects women, respects the beliefs of others, rejects violence,  hates no one and is kind, just,  forgiving, truthful and honest. I do not know for sure but that is my guess.
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 1/1/2018 12:43:47 PM



  • Shahin sb,
    I quoted Asad on verse 2:6, 7 and 74:10 because what he says on the meaning of kafir is interesting. Although I do not disagree with what he says about Allah sealing of the hearts, a discussion on this will be a digression. Briefly, psychology teaches us how we progressively slip into any behaviour which makes it difficult to recover from it. What is human nature but how God made us? An occasional liar, if he does not check himself, becomes a compulsive liar. The pangs of guilt felt initially get completely silenced. There is no longer any shame that is felt and a person becomes a brazen liar. The process by which this happens is in accordance with the laws of human behaviour or follow inexorably the laws of God and how He made us.

    This is clear when Allah says that it is not Allah who wrongs us by sealing up our hearts but we wrong ourselves. We choose a path willfully that leads to our hearts becoming hardened or immune to the voice of truth and reason. 

    Allah has decreed the laws of human behaviour that lead to sealing up of the heart.

    He has also provided guidance and tries to correct us by sending adversity when we do wrong. However, when we reject all the chances given to us for correcting ourselves, we are allowed to go downhill without further checking our slide.
    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/1/2018 8:41:19 AM



  • While the Jews and the Christians do harbor exclusivist ideas, and so do the Muslims, this is not a tenet of their religion. 
    Non-acceptance is not rejection. Rejection of faith as per the Quran, pre-supposes knowledge of what is being rejected as well as the realization that it is the truth. Else, it is merely non-acceptance from lack of knowledge (see verse 9:6). If your own self will not be a witness against your rejection, you are safe.

    What could be clearer than the fact that the Quran does not refer to the Mushrikin as kafirin even in verse 9:5 although these people had not accepted Islam, and fought against the Prophet in violation of their treaty? 

    Moreover, the Quran does not consider a person kafir for his rejection of faith unless he has actually rejected and dies rejecting. A person has time upto his death to accept faith. The exception being "those who will not believe" no matter what, because Allah does not bless with iman persons of the type of the Pharaoh, Abu Jahl, Abu Lahab, Qarun, Haman etc. These are the zalim, fasiq, mufsid, mujrim etc.

    Linguistically, the Muslims are kafir for saying la ilaha and rejecting all gods except The God. Rejection of falsehood is however the right kind of kufr. It is the monotheists who are kafir and not the polytheists.

    Generally speaking, calling a polytheist a kafir is an oxymoron. You can only speak of the kafaru among them for specific acts of kufr unless the kufr is a tenet of their religion.
    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/1/2018 8:16:17 AM



  • Shahin Sb,
    If you are rejecting falsehood, you do so by exposing the falsehood and not by hiding anything. In this kind of rejection it is not hiding, but exposing the falsehood. 
    However, when you reject the truth, you do so by suppressing, obfuscating or hiding the truth and covering it up with falsehood. The debate on the meaning of verses 98:1, 6 should make this clear. 
    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/1/2018 7:45:18 AM



  •  Naseer Saheb: “How could we even think that the Quran would consider all the people of any faith as kafir unless it is a tenet of that faith to deny Islam/monotheism/ God/prophets/ revelations?”

     

    I don’t know of any religion other than Hinduism which says that all paths lead to God and are hence valid. This kind of acceptance of other faiths are not found anywhere else. So, if the mushriks of Mecca were polytheists, they naturally rejected Islam. What would be wrong in considering them kafirin? The only problem arises from looking at kafirin, not as a neutral term for those who reject Islam, but considering them impure and treating them with contempt, as we tend to do. The term kafir has created so much mayhem because it’s not treated as a neutral term for those who are simply non-believers. What is wrong in being a non-believer in any religion or in the idea of religion itself. Why should non-believers be considered impure and treated by Muslims with contempt? That is what is creating the problem. Among Hindus there are nastiks (atheists), who live a perfectly normal life, among other Hindus. No one tells them you are a kafir and so will be beheaded.

    By Sultan Shahin - 1/1/2018 7:17:21 AM



  • Shahin sb, Our Mufasirin and scholars provide enough justification to the people to reject Islam. Through their concoctions and misinterpretations, they have reduced Islam to a parochial cult only for the followers of Prophet Muhammad, and the Book to foolish nonsense full of contradictions. It is they who should bear the burden of disbelief rather than the disbelievers who are misled to believe that Islam is a religion without clear principles, with a belief in a capricious god who abrogates his verses rather than replace with what is better, where peace is only a strategy of war!

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/1/2018 1:08:30 AM

     

    I share the sentiments in this comment. But I would like to add that these mufassirin and muhaddisin and scholars were very sincere people who sacrificed their lives to their honest pursuits, several of them spent years and even died in prison, as they would not go by the dictates of the oppressive Khalifas.

    If today we continue to follow them unthinkingly, it is more our fault than theirs. These people were products of their age.

    Some of those who concocted Ahadith, probably to please the rulers of the day, maybe blamed for their chicanery and dishonesty. If the muhaddisin could not catch them despite their efforts, it was an honest mistake. But it’s for us today to avoid blind taqleed of no matter how revered these theologians maybe, while still valuing and respecting their contribution.

    As we are finding out in our attempt to merely understand one term “kufr,” probably the most widely used term in Quran, along with its derivatives, the task before them was not easy.

    As Naseer Saheb hinted once, we have tools of quick and extensive search available today that were not available to these worthies. We should be able to do a much better job of understanding Quran today than they were able to do. But we can reject their understanding and analysis without showing disrespect to them.

    By Sultan Shahin - 1/1/2018 6:57:50 AM



  • Naseer Saheb, you write: Since it is God who has instituted all laws of nature - which, in their aggregate, are called sunnat Allah ("the way of God") - this "sealing" is attributed to Him: but it is obviously a consequence of man's free choice and not an act of "predestination".

     

    First, this sealing is not “attributed” to him by human beings; it’s God Himself who attributes this sealing to Himself.

    Second, what is the source of this idea: “but it is obviously a consequence of man's free choice and not an act of "predestination. Does it come from somewhere in the holy Quran?

    By Sultan Shahin - 1/1/2018 6:33:26 AM




  • “Quran 2:6  BEHOLD, as for those who are bent on denying the truth6 (alladhina kafaru )- it is all one to them whether thou warnest them or dost not warn them: they will not believe. (2:7) God; has sealed their hearts and their hearing, and over their eyes is a veil;7 and awesome suffering awaits them.”


    Naseer Saheb, Q 2: 7, quoted above has always intrigued me. Why should those whose hearts and hearing have been sealed by God Himself, whose eyes have been shut under a veil, again by God, have awesome sufferings awaiting them.  Did these people do some wrong in a previous incarnation, as is the belief in Hindu philosophy?

    By Sultan Shahin - 1/1/2018 6:21:40 AM



  • “Shahin Sb, Isn’t covering up, wiping off, obliterating necessary for denial or repudiation? How can something be denied/repudiated without wiping off, covering up, obliterating or obfuscating the evidence? To cover up, obliterate, or wipe off, is to deny the existence of what is covered up, wiped off or obliterated. How are the Ayats of Allah denied? By rejecting the evidence or by covering the truth with falsehood.”

     

    Naseer Saheb, As a young man I rejected Fascism and even Marxism, though I had some sympathy with its objectives, but I never went on to do anything to contribute to concealing, covering, wiping off or obliterating these philosophies. So, it’s difficult for me to consider rejection, denial, wiping off, covering up or obliteration as synonyms. As God seems to be calling al-kafirin even those who are likely to reject Islam in Surah Al-Muddaththir, one of the earliest Surahs in which for the first time the Prophet is being asked to arise and proclaim the truth of the religion of Islam publicly, it seems Quran uses the term kafir for all those who simply reject or deny the truth of Islam and even those, in later Surahs, those who are trying to obliterate Islam.  So perhaps both these sets of meaning are correct, the one constant being non-belief, rejection, denial.

    After all, what is the term in Quran for non-believers other than Kafirin, a term that is used most frequently from beginning of the revelation to the end.  La Yuminoon doesn’t seem to fit the bill except as a synonym used occasionally.

    By Sultan Shahin - 1/1/2018 6:12:17 AM



  • Shahin sb,

    Asad’s notes on the meaning are interesting. He also shows that kafir did not and cannot mean disbeliever although he also errs just like Yunus sb on the correct meaning by confining himself to a single use of the term.

    2:6 

    BEHOLD, as for those who are bent on denying the truth6 (alladhina kafaru )- it is all one to them whether thou warnest them or dost not warn them: they will not believe. (2:7) God; has sealed their hearts and their hearing, and over their eyes is a veil;7 and awesome suffering awaits them. 

    Asad’s note on verse 2:6, 7

    6 In contrast with the frequently occurring term al-kafirun ("those who deny the truth"), the use of the past tense in alladhina kafaru indicates conscious intent, and is, therefore, appropriately rendered as "those who are bent on denying the truth". This interpretation is supported by many commentators, especially Zamakhshari (who, in his commentary on this verse, uses the expression, "those who have deliberately resolved upon their kufr"). Elsewhere in the Qur'an such people are spoken of as having "hearts with which they fail to grasp the truth, and eyes with which they fail to see, and ears with they fail to hear" (7:179). - For an explanation of the terms kufr ("denial of the truth"), kafir ("one who denies the truth"), etc., see note 4 on 74:10, where this concept appears for the first time in Qur'anic revelation. 

    7   A reference to the natural law instituted by God, whereby a person who persistently to false beliefs and refuses to listen to the voice of truth gradually loses the ability to perceive the truth, "so that finally, as it were, a seal is set upon his heart" (Raghib). Since it is God who has instituted all laws of nature - which, in  their aggregate, are called sunnat Allah ("the way of God") - this "sealing" is attributed to Him: but it is obviously a consequence of man's free choice and not an act of "predestination". Similarly, the suffering which, in the life to come, is in store for those who during their life in this world have wilfully remained deaf and blind to the truth, is a natural consequence of their free choice - just as happiness in the life to come is the natural consequence of man's endeavour to attain to righteousness and inner illumination. It is in this sense that the Qur'anic references to God's "reward" and "punishment" must be understood.

     74:8 

    And [warn all men that] when the trumpet-call [of resurrection] is sounded, (9) that very Day shall be a day of anguish, (10) not of ease, for all who [now] deny the truth!4

    Notes on verse 74:10

    4 Since this is the earliest Qur'anic occurrence of the expression kafir (the above surah having been preceded by the first five verses of surah 96), its use here - and, by implication, in the whole of the Qur'an - is obviously determined by the meaning which it had in the speech of the Arabs before the advent of the  Prophet Muhammad: in other words, the term kafir cannot be simply equated, as many Muslim theologians of post-classical times and practically all Western translators of the Qur'an have done, with "unbeliever" or infidel" in the specific, restricted sense of one who rejects the system of doctrine and law promulgated in the Qur'an and amplified by the teachings of the Prophet - but must have a wider, more general meaning. This meaning is easily grasped when we bear in mind that the root verb of the participial noun kafir (and of the infinitive noun kufr) is kafara, "he [or "it"] covered [a thing]": thus, in 57:20 the tiller of the  soil is called (without any pejorative implication) kafir, "one who covers", i.e., the sown seed with earth, as the night is spoken of as having "covered" (kafara) the earth with darkness. In their abstract sense, both the verb and the nouns derived from it have a connotation of "concealing" something that exists or denying" something that is true. Hence, in the usage of the Qur'an - with the exception of the one instance      (in 57:20) where this participial noun signifies a "tiller of the soil" - a kafir is "one who denies [or "refuses to acknowledge"] the truth" in the widest, spiritual sense of this latter term: that is,      irrespective of whether it relates to a cognition of the supreme truth - namely, the existence of God - or to a doctrine or ordinance enunciated in the divine writ, or to a self-evident moral proposition, or      to an acknowledgment of, and therefore gratitude for, favours received. (Regarding the expression      alladhina kafaru, implying conscious intent, see surah 2, note 6.)

     Notice that Yunus sb’s definition of kufr is the same as Asad’s. Both err in thinking that kufr has the meaning in the Quran of only the denial of the truth or an acknowledgment of, and therefore gratitude for, favours received.

    Kufr means to deny and does not matter who is denying and what is denied as brought out in my article; Revisiting the Meaning of Kafir. One could be a kafir for denying the false deities or for denying falsehood also. Giving one use, exclusive significance, has caused the denier and what is being denied, to become part of the meaning!

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/1/2018 2:56:58 AM



  • Shahin sb,

    Our Mufasirin and scholars provide enough justification to the people to reject Islam. Through their concoctions and misinterpretations, they have reduced Islam to a parochial cult only for the followers of Prophet Muhammad, and the Book to foolish nonsense full of contradictions. It is they who should bear the burden of disbelief rather than the disbelievers who are misled to believe that Islam is a religion without clear principles, with a belief in a capricious god who abrogates his verses rather than replace with what is better, where peace is only a strategy of war!

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/1/2018 1:08:30 AM



  • Shahin Sb,

    Isn’t covering up, wiping off, obliterating necessary for denial or repudiation? How can something be denied/repudiated without wiping off, covering up, obliterating or obfuscating the evidence? To cover up, obliterate, or wipe off, is to deny the existence of what is covered up, wiped off or obliterated. How are the Ayats of Allah denied? By rejecting the evidence or by covering the truth with falsehood.

    The simple Beduins were not confused. In their language, kafir is indeed a neutral word and continues to be so.

    The night is a kafir for covering the day. The clouds for hiding the stars. The tiller for covering the seeds with soil.

    The debtor for repudiating his debt.

    Covering up and repudiation/denial are the meanings of the word in classical Arabic. These are not meanings that the Quran has given to the word as you seem to think.

    Shahin Sb says : “But Naseer Saheb, if I deny the truth of Islam or the kalima, I don’t become a kafir, I will also have to be “on the side of wrong or evil.” why?”

     You become a kafir if you deny the truth of Islam or the Kalima with knowledge and conviction in its truth. If you do not possess the knowledge or not enough knowledge to be convinced, you are not hiding anything that you are aware of as the truth.

    If, however, you have both the knowledge and the conviction and yet deny, what does that mean? What does the Quran invite you to except all that is good - to be just, truthful and generous in all your dealings? The kind of person who rejects from correct knowledge such a religion must be what kind of a person? Who rejects justice except the zalim? Who is an oppressor except a Mufsid, Mujrim, and Fasiq?

    Being on the wrong side or evil is kufr when judged not by the standards of the Quran, but by the standards of the society to which the person belongs. The religious persecutors were kafir by the laws of their own society. They violated the status of sanctuary of the kaba and persecuted the Muslims for no other reason except their faith.

    Who are the people who have wrongly invested these words with meanings that these words don’t have? It is not the simple folks but our scholars and that too in the post classical period.  The post classical period was a period of systematic corruption of the religion. Ahadith were concocted for the purpose which necessitated tafsir of the Quran in the light of these ahadith. The Quran is a Book that can be understood correctly only when read with a mind uncluttered by the falsehoods concocted in the post classical period. It is best understood without the Shan E Nuzool, without the ahadith and without the commentaries of the bigoted scholars. The Quran itself contains the context necessary to understand any verse. While the Muqallids may not agree with what I say which is understandable because their madhab does not allow them to deviate from what their imams have said, they have not been able to prove me wrong. While I have responded to all their questions and arguments, all my questions and arguments remain unresponded.

    The tafsir of the Quran by the Quran itself is mere lip service paid by these scholars. All that they do is to provide cross refences when they understand the meaning of two verses in an identical manner and ignore when it doesn’t. For example, they ignore 40:8 and 25:74 for understanding 98:1,6 and ignore the fact that there is no verse that supports their interpretation. Neither do they care for the contradictions that their interpretation gives rise to. The Mufassirin Who Render the Quran A Book of Foolish Nonsense

    Yunus sb said that Kafir does not mean disbeliever even in a single verse of the Quranis force fitting. Can he show one verse, where translating kafir as disbeliever isn’t force fitting?  Indeed, any verse in which kafir is translated as disbeliever, renders it false as I have shown. The mistake people make is to confuse every disbeliever with one who has denied/rejected the truth. It isn’t truth to a person unless he has understood.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 1/1/2018 12:46:06 AM



  • Naseer Saheb, you define kufr and kafir in these words: “I have said this before and I repeat it – kafir has only one meaning. A kafir is one who does kufr and kufr has the meaning of “to deny/repudiate/reject or to cover/wipe off/obliterate. Can it be simpler than that?”

    In another comment you say: “Kufr is rejection, repudiating, hiding, covering up. Who is rejecting and what is being rejected is not part of the meaning. Allah is a Kafir for blotting out our sins, Tiller is a Kafir for covering the seeds with soil, a believer is a Kafir for rejecting false gods, a disbeliever is a kafir for rejecting The God, Satan is a kafir for being an ingrate rebel while disobeying Allah, Moses is a kafir for being an ingrate rebel against his foster father the Pharaoh. These are the ways in which the word has been used in the Quran. Every use of the word kafir is consistent with the meaning of the root word kfr.”

    Also: Muminun and Kafirun are antonyms but do not mean what you think they mean. The Muminun are on the side of what is right and just and the Kafirun on the side of wrong or evil. It is not simply those who have recited the kalima and those who have not. 

    If you deny anything you are a kafir/denier for such denial/kufr.”

    Kafir does not mean disbeliever even in a single verse of the Quran.

     

    But Naseer Saheb, if I deny the truth of Islam or the kalima, I don’t become a kafir, I will also have to be “on the side of wrong or evil.” why? Almost from the earliest verses Allah uses the words kafir, kufr, for those who did not accept, or believe, those who rejected the Prophet’s message or his claim to have been appointed a messenger of God. Surah Al-Muddaththir [ Quran: 74] is believed by most Muhaddisin to be the second Surah revealed to the Prophet after the short opening Surah Al-'Alaq [96], though there is some controversy about it. At any rate it is the first Surah in which the Prophet is asked to "Arise, and warn" (74:2), and "magnify the glory of your Lord" (74:3), that is make his prophethood public and not just propagate among friends and close relatives. He is asked to tell people about the day "When the Trumpet shall be sounded" (74:8), "that will surely be a hard day" (74:9), and "not an easy day for the unbelievers" (74:10).

    Even here Quran uses the word kafirin for the unbelievers. So far Islam has not even gone public. There has been no war, no persecution. There is of course a legitimate possibility that some people, or most people, will reject the Prophet’s message and claims, but those who will do so are called kafirin, in the sense of rejecters or deniers. How can these people who would simply want to continue to believe in their original religion and would possibly reject another religion, which is diametrically opposed to theirs be called kafirin in the sense of evil wrongdoers or religious persecutors or zalimun. So, will it not be better if we treat the word kafir as simply meaning rejecter or denier rather than an evil wrongdoer, religious persecutor or zalim? Indeed, throughout the Meccan Surahs the word used for non-believers in the Prophet’s message is kafirin and their act of rejection is kufr, as you very rightly say, kufr has the meaning of “to deny/repudiate/reject or to cover/.

    However, Naseer Saheb you also give as synonyms words like /wipe off/obliterate. This doesn’t make sense to me. How can rejection and obliteration be synonyms. Rejecting something cannot simply mean obliterating it or wiping it off. A rejecter or denier may try to obliterate it too, but that is a separate act. We reject many things but do not necessarily try to wipe it off or obliterate things we reject.

    If Kufr does indeed have so many meanings, then, maybe it is indeed a multi-layered and complex word, although I would think in directly communicating with illiterate Bedouins in a desert town 1400 years ago, God would use simple words that could be understood easily by this kind of audience, especially if he is sending a kitab ul mubeen, a book whose meaning is clear to all.  So maybe kufr and kafir are indeed simple words which simply connote denial or rejection and we are trying to wrongly invest these words with meanings they don’t have. God knows best. I am only getting more and more confused.

     I know you have raised some valid questions and objections, arising from other verses, to calling all mushrikin and ahl-e-kitab as kafirin. I will be happy if your ultimate hypothesis is established and recognised by ulema and common Muslims: Kafir does not mean disbeliever even in a single verse of the Quran.This would save us from a lot of trouble. This word has created a lot of bad blood because Muslims treat kafir and kufr with a lot of contempt, which would not be warranted if it simply means to reject or deny or by implication not to believe.

    By Sultan Shahin - 12/31/2017 11:24:31 AM



  • To Naseer Ahmed.
    Your defination word can be contextual it cannot be applicable, this are lose words anyone can be declared kafir.
    So in my last comment I  said God Kafir, because God is knowingly hiding lots off thing to humankind.
    "to deny/repudiate/reject or cover up/wipe off/obliterate.
    Life is an experience, so person come to different conclusion in regard to god, but when any organised relgion take away that right of person conflict starts, and to impose my own experience on other starts violence.

    What you should really do to creat or take examples of real life stories of persons and his/her not believing in certain thing..

    Examples depending on each word.

    I will give couple of examples for the word, that is my understanding of kafir.

    Example1:On DENY
    If poor person had suffer through out life time because his experience leads to conclusions that there is no superbeing, he Denys the god existence , I would not call kafir, but if some mullas want to kill him, I will consider them kafir, because they do not want to anticipate with this poor man experience of society that can lead to God, remember we live in world of experience not a monotonous experience that will be same for everybody.

    Example2:On Reject
    Let same poor person in above example, even after suffering come to conclusion their is God but still have right to reject the god, do not want to belive in god, just see I this sense the father raped the daughter,why would she will not have right to reject him, same is for God sitting in Satva Ashman and not doing anything for the millions of people, the people may not like the borrow the story that this world is test ground.


    May be you should wright example base book who denies the god and your paigamber but are not kafir.

    Good luck if your really want to bring solution, unless we all are kafir that we do not wont to bring truth out but want to hide behind our forefathers relgion is best type of attitude.

    We Hindus have lots of this type of world like kafir, even more, if make it mainstream everyday world, we Hindus will start to  kill ourselves but also  start to kill others and can declared, Muslims, Christians something that relates to our scriptures.
    By Aayina - 12/28/2017 1:30:19 PM



  • Yunus sahib takes the meaning from the Quran which is obvious. If Naseer saab wants to take a different meaning his problem is with the Quran, not with Yunus sab.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 12/28/2017 12:07:17 PM



  • Shahin Sb:  “The more we have discussed the term Kafir, the more complex and inscrutable a hue it appears to acquire. Why do you think God would use such a complex term, with multi-layered and different meanings in different contexts, when he is directly addressing illiterate, uneducated Bedouins in the middle of a desert in 7th century CE and promising a book of clear, easily comprehensible verses? The result is that not one scholar, not to speak of an ordinary Muslim, for whom Quran is created, has been able to understand it correctly, as per your research.” 

    Shahin sb, the first time I wrote an article in four parts on the subject, in part 1 itself, I had brought out the different deniers (kafirs) and different objects of denial covered in the Quran. These are not different meanings of kafir as you seem to think. If you deny anything you are a kafir/denier for such denial/kufr. I am sure, you do not have a problem with the English words but with the Arabic word because of the distorted meanings this word has acquired. I have said this before and I repeat it – kafir has only one meaning. A kafir is one who does kufr and kufr has the meaning of “to deny/repudiate/reject or to cover/wipe off/obliterate. Can it be simpler than that?

    As for the Arabs, in their language, the night is a kafir for covering the day, the debtor for repudiating his loan, a tiller for sowing seeds and covering them up with soil, a good person for covering the faults of others etc. So, what difficulty does he have in correctly understanding its meaning?

    The corruption starts with judging a people as kafir. For example, consider Yunus sb’s statement “The Qur’an as it was under revelation had all the hallmarks of a miracle for its immediate audience and it made itself clear with all kinds of elaborations and illustrations etc. So those of the mushrikin among its direct audience who went on defying it despite witnessing its miraculous character were called kafir in the Qur’. an – though in course of time most of these kafirin embraced Islam”. He has judged every Mushrik comprising the Prophet’s immediate audience as kafir, not excluding the Muqallid among them but otherwise good people, even though the Quran has not done so! A case of being more loyal than the king or an excess of bigotry?

    Ghaus Sb and others go a step further and judge all non-Muslims as kafir or as the deniers of “self-evident or irrefutable proposition” which they consider the Quran and the message of Islam to be, while they misunderstand much of the same message, and persist in their error despite all evidence to the contrary, because they are Muqallid. Why being a Muqallid polytheist is then not acceptable? The inconsistency and the immoral nature of their argument is clear. They simply apply a different yardstick. For God, two muqallids from two different faiths are alike if both cling on to their false beliefs in the face of clear evidence to the contrary.

    Having judged all non-Muslims as kafir for their disbelief in the Prophet and the Quran, the word Kafir now begins to acquire a completely new significance where the meaning of non-Muslim itself has becomes kafir!

    The Quran has not used kafir for all the people of any faith in any verse and spoke about only the kafaru among them which includes Muslims/believers also.  You have yourself seen how the scholars on this website have gone out of the way to resist accepting the clear meaning of Surah 98 Al-Bayyina, which ironically means the Clear Evidence. They provide clear evidence of deliberate distortion. You have also seen how the contradictions arising from their understanding of Surah Al-Kafirun have remained unresponded.

     How could we even think that the Quran would consider all the people of any faith as kafir unless it is a tenet of that faith to deny Islam/monotheism/God/prophets/revelations? Why do these people treat the Quran as some foolish nonsense? Linguistically, every Muslim is a kafir for saying “la ilaha” or “there is no god” but the Mushrik isn’t until he has denied/rejected Islam.

    The Pharaoh is undeniably a kafir or denier of Allah because of his evil disposition and is a typical example of a category found among people of all faiths or no faith. He is not simply a disbeliever but one who will never believe. It is this kind of disbeliever who is referred as a kafir for his denial of faith. He is also zalim, mufsid, mujrim, fasiq and musrif. It is a travesty to consider every non-Muslim a kafir for his faith unless he is like the Pharaoh or Abu Jahl or Abu Lahab when the Quran clearly never considered the Mushrikin as kafir even in the so-called sword verses.

     Nobody can deny that every major religion is based on scriptures. The Muslims do not deny their scriptures but only say that these have been corrupted. Now imagine Arabic becoming a dead language and the Quran being available only in translation and translated exactly as these people understand it with contradictions galore reducing the Book to foolish nonsense. The Muslims have corrupted their religion as much as any other people or perhaps more despite the Quran being available exactly as revealed simply by taking whatever meanings that suit their bigoted sense of the religion. So what difference remains between a Muslim and a non-Muslim? Every Muslim and non-Muslim is a believer with a few false beliefs and imperfect notions of God and everyone must traverse the path of getting closer to God. The path that the Muslims are showing to the rest of the world is certainly not such a path.  

    By Naseer Ahmed - 12/28/2017 12:16:33 AM



  • Ghaus sb,

    Why do you follow an ummi Prophet who came with a Book for an ummi people? Why don't you follow the doctor's of religion from our own land?
    By Naseer Ahmed - 12/27/2017 1:08:14 AM



  • A word means what it commonly means. For Naseer sab to claim that the Quran uses the word 'kafir' in its "root" meaning is self-serving. Such usage would make any book hopelessly non-mubeen.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 12/26/2017 11:13:12 PM



  • Shahin sb, Is the Quran to blame for the wrong understanding of verses 98:1, 6 or the whole of Surah Al-Bayinnah? Forget the Beduins, what prevents the scholars on this website from accepting the correct meaning when they have no valid argument for taking the wrong meaning? The scholars have invented a grammatical rule whereby ‘min’ may have two different meanings only to take the wrong meaning of the verses 98:1,6 without being able to produce any verse in support of the second usage!

    What is the remedy if an exegete says:

    I agree with you that the Qur'an does not treat all muhsrikin as kafirin. (9:4). But the Qur'an also regarded the mushrikin as najas and disqualified them from maintaining the Sacred House on account of their kufr (9:7). By muhammd yunus - 8/8/2017 9:01:11 PM

     And then goes back on it? Is the Quran to blame for such intransigence after having been shown the light? The Quran says about people who see the truth in flashes of lightning and then are covered by darkness:

    (2:20) The lightning all but snatches away their sight; every time the light (Helps) them, they walk therein, and when the darkness grows on them, they stand still. And if Allah willed, He could take away their faculty of hearing and seeing; for Allah hath power over all things.

     A rejects falsehood

    B rejects the truth

    Both A and B are rejecters or kafir, but they are not the same. A is a good kafir and B an evil kafir.

    The worst form of rejection is rejection of Allah’s benevolent will and purpose for mankind to the point of active opposition to Allah’s just laws. Who can such a person be except one who is arrogant, selfish and attracted to evil and injustice? Such a person is therefore necessarily zalim, mujrim, fasiq, musrif and mufsid.

    The Ulema have reduced Islam to a cult and attach too much importance to the recitation of kalima and treat everyone who has recited the kalima as a Momin and everyone who has not recited the kalima as kafir. This is Islamic theology and not Islam. In Islam, (2:112) Nay,-whoever submits His whole self to Allah and is a doer of good,- He will get his reward with his Lord; on such shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

    As far as the Quran is concerned, you can judge a Momin/kafir by his deeds. The one who stands for the truth and justice even if it goes against him or his people is a Momin and the one who is unjust/oppressor is a kafir. What good is one’s beliefs if in their deeds and actions they are kafir? One is certainly a better believer without having recited the kalima if in his deeds and actions he is just and truthful. Mere recitation of the kalima does not make you a better believer nor does it wash off all your previous sins as our Ulema claim. You need to traverse the steep path:

    (90:11) But he has made no haste on the path that is steep.

    (12) And what will explain to you the path that is steep?-

    (13) (It is:) freeing the bondman;

    (14) Or the giving of food in a day of privation

    (15) To the orphan with claims of relationship,

    (16) Or to the indigent (down) in the dust.

    (17) Then will he be of those who believe, and enjoin patience, (constancy, and self-restraint), and enjoin deeds of kindness and compassion.

     To become one among “those who believe” or to become a Momin, the requirement is clearly enunciated. Contrast this with “those who will not believe” or the kafirin covered in my article: Who Are Those Who Will Believe And Those Who Will Not?

    The Quran’s description of “those who believe” covers people from every faith and the description of “those who will not believe” also covers people of every faith. Belief in Allah and His benevolent purpose may not be confused with following of a particular religion only.

    What about shirk?

    What difficulty people have in accepting based on clear evidence from the Quran that while shirk is an unforgivable sin for the Muslims and the People of the Book, it is only among what is prohibited to the polytheists but not an unforgivable sin?

    What difficulty do they have in accepting that a Mushrik may be forgiven all his sins except those that are unforgivable if he has enough good deeds just as in the case of a Muslim?  

    By Naseer Ahmed - 12/26/2017 11:01:08 PM



  • Without becoming a doctor, if someone treats or operates the patients, he will either kill the patients or harm their health. Simply by reading the book of medicines available on internet and so on, can anybody become a doctor? Should he open a clinic? Will the patients consult that 'doctor'? If that "doctor" opens a clinic, and this case is known to the patients, i think they would rather remain sick than consult that so-called "doctor". If that "doctor" as one claiming to be better than the real doctors, is so much expert, why is that the world does not accept him as a 'doctor'. 
    Freedom of expression is for everyone; religious or athiest. You can find anybody claim anything. Religious or atheist - all are, in one way or the other, showing their superiority nature. 
    By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي - 12/26/2017 9:24:31 PM



  • Shahin sb,

    The fact of the matter is that the Quran never deviated from the meaning of the root word as I have shown in every usage of the word. Is it so difficult to follow the meaning of the root word? Every use of the word conforms to the meaning of the root word. What is so difficult in understanding that kufr means to deny, reject or obliterate? Why do we complicate matters by adding the denier and what is being denied to the meaning when it is not part of the meaning?

    Using the English word deny, we can have infinite possibilities of who the denier is and infinite possibilities of what is being denied and nobody has any problem understanding that. Why is that a problem with the Arabic kfr? The problem is precisely because one particular misusage has gained significance over every other usage and that usage is for the denier/rejecter of Allah’s signs and misused for every non-Muslim. The denier and what is being denied has become part of the meaning of kafir in Asad’s definition as well as Yunus sb’s and possibly for every other scholar! The denier is also wrongly assumed to be every non-Muslim. Is every non-Muslim a denier/rejecter? We have clear evidence from the Quran that in no verse has it treated all the Mushrikin as deniers/rejecters or as kafirin. Is that so difficult to understand? As a matter of fact, if the Quran had treated every non-Muslim as a denier, we should be having a problem because that just cannot be true. When even Muslims have little knowledge of their Book/religion how do we expect the non-Muslims to have that knowledge and then to reject it? The Quran does not complicate anything. We have complicated everything for ourselves.

    Take Yunus sb’s statement “"The Qur’an as it was under revelation had all the hallmarks of a miracle for its immediate audience and it made itself clear with all kinds of elaborations and illustrations etc. So those of the mushrikin among its direct audience who went on defying it despite witnessing its miraculous character were called kafir in the Qur’. an – though in course of time most of these kafirin embraced Islam”

     

    There isn’t even one verse of the Quran that supports what he says and we have proof that even verse 9:5 refers to them as Mushrikin and not as kafirin. If a person reads the Quran with such ideas that have no basis in the Quran, is it any wonder that he misunderstands the Quran? Is the Quran to blame for this or the person for imagining things and not meticulously following the text?

     

    Asad’s note on the meaning of kafir

     

    “The meaning of kafir in the whole of the Qur'an is obviously determined by the meaning which it had in the speech of the Arabs before the advent of the Prophet Muhammad: in other words, the term kafir cannot be simply equated, as many Muslim theologians of      post-classical times and practically all Western translators of the Qur'an have done, with "unbeliever" or "infidel".” 

     

     

    It is the Muslim theologians of post classical times and the Western translators of the Quran who have equated Kafir with disbeliever. The earliest Muslims understood the Quran correctly, but we simply have no idea about how they understood it as all scholarly works that have come down to us are from the 9th century onwards or from the period after the compilation of the ahadith.  Asad is saying that during the classical times, kafir was not equated with disbeliever but only in the post classical period. We all know that Kafir has come to mean disbeliever in Islamic theology. Wikipedia and the dictionaries will reflect that. The question is whether the Quran does so? The clear answer that I have provided with a comprehensive coverage of all relevant verses is that it does not.

     

    The Quran is easy to understand if it is taught correctly. It is the most precise, consistent and logical Book that exists. Unlearning wrong concepts is most difficult and that is what you and others are experiencing. I have absolutely no problem understanding correctly, without ambiguity and without contradictions. Others do not appear to have problems with the ambiguity and contradictions their understanding gives rise to because they have not been taught to look out for and eliminate inconsistencies and contradictions. When I point these out, they never respond. My comment By Naseer Ahmed - 11/13/2017 10:53:10 PM has remained unresponded which means that the people are happy with their faulty understanding even though it raises serious contradictions.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 12/26/2017 11:55:26 AM



  • Thomas Mathai, Christians have also done Genoside on name of Christ and they use new word humanity.

    A liar of one group cannot called to liars.

    Appreciate Muslims for clearly killing on name of Allah not like you Christians hiding under the name of humanity.

    The day Muslims( I hope) became really just their weapons will divert towards hypocrate Christians who always invent different race theory wherever they want, you are either sleeping or just an arrogant.

    Just read and learn what your white Christians did with Rawanda, if you are lazy I can write one by one whole Rawandan genocide.

    The filthy Christians are creating and supporting Mul Manush theory in India and creating Dravidian falult lines saomething which they did in Rwanda.

    Muslim killing Agenda is more honest than your Christian killing agenda hiding under humanity and creating dispute creating race theories.

    You talk of canabalism, White Chistians took all land from this indigenous people and gave them Alcohol, Prostitution and push towards poverty, how many lantina pornstar we have produced from mix race.

    This your so called white Christians was buying Indian women 5 Rupees and wanted to produce mixed race kid so they creat confusion among Indians and weaken the society when first independence movement started around 18th century, this trick was not working, so they creat atrocities literature.

    They genocide mass indigenous population  by creating atrocities litreature or just proucing mix kid so they can creat conflict among the indigenous people .

    If you are Indian Christians than do not think that your white Christian brother will and are loving you Lear from African Christian they have were good saying " when white came we had land they had bible, than they had land we had bible" this they say not because they respect bible, they say because how they were cheated.

    Look at White Christians mentallity in the recent filthy Drama "Indian summer" they were showing how Indian uppercast is bad, White had ruled India they have married all lower caste which they did with some indgenious population in New-Zealand, Australia, America and small little island.

    If your have converted Indian it is not going to help you as it had never helped Muslim, I am not saying you became Hindu, just telling population of Indianand subcontinent is just used as product by everybody in from the west.


    By Aayina - 12/26/2017 9:07:14 AM



  • Unless Lord Jesus Christ comes down from heaven and establishes a Kingdom with EQUALITY, FRATERNITY, JUSTICE AND LOVE the present conditions existing among all nations will go to worst conditions as devil is ruling over the nations. Please go through 19 and 20 Chapters of Revelation in the ENGIL which gives ample clarification.
    2000 year ago Lord Jesus Christ was crucified and dead and buried. On the third day He rose again and went up to heaven and will return TRIUMPHANTLY after defeating all nefarious deeds of evil forces in the world.
    May God bless you all.
    With regards and respect
    Quran was completely amended by Usman (3rd caliphs for which he was assassinated by his own follower as per the Islamic scholars). That is why the Quranic teachings have totally failed to bring SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION, UNITY AND LOVE AMONG MUSLIMS. There is no Islamic country in the world which is ruled by Quranic teachings whereas the the super teachings of Lord Jesus Christ still brings immense change in men which means A MAN EATER BECOMES MAN LOVING AND SERVING PERSON. STILL MILLIONS OF MIRACLES TAKE PLACE IN THE POWERFUL NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. Please pray to ALMIGHTY GOD to open your internal eyes to see the truth. Amen.
    By Dr Thomas Mathai - 12/26/2017 7:36:01 AM



  • Dear Naseer Saheb, The more we have discussed the term Kafir, the more complex and inscrutable a hue it appears to acquire. Why do you think God would use such a complex term, with multi-layered and different meanings in different contexts, when he is directly addressing illiterate, uneducated Bedouins in the middle of a desert in 7th century CE and promising a book of clear, easily comprehensible verses? The result is that not one scholar, not to speak of an ordinary Muslim, for whom Quran is created, has been able to understand it correctly, as per your research. Hundreds of thousands have died and thousands are dying even today because of a misunderstanding of this word. You and I are both kafirs in the eyes of millions of Muslims, in the sense of being infidel. It clearly is a blot on the claims of clarity of Quran, unless, of course, it simply means non-believer, as all scholars and common Muslims understand.
    You have raised some valid objections to this understanding. I also understand that a book claiming to be valid for all people and for all times will have to be of necessity written or revealed in a language that can be understood by different people of different intellectual levels in different times and places, differently. Yet, the fact that even the people to whom it was addressed directly did not understand it rankles. Wonder how you look at this issue.
    By Sultan Shahin - 12/26/2017 5:43:12 AM



  • Wanting to be a world authority on the definition of the word 'kafir' is a very sick aspiration.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 12/25/2017 10:45:03 AM



  • Reproduced from my comment: By Naseer Ahmed - 12/11/2017 11:25:17 PM

    Kufr is rejection, repudiating, hiding, covering up. Who is rejecting and what is being rejected is not part of the meaning. Allah is a Kafir for blotting out our sins, Tiller is a Kafir for covering the seeds with soil, a believer is a Kafir for rejecting false gods, a disbeliever is a kafir for rejecting The God, Satan is a kafir for being an ingrate rebel while disobeying Allah, Moses is a kafir for being an ingrate rebel against his foster father the Pharaoh. These are the ways in which the word has been used in the Quran. Every use of the word kafir is consistent with the meaning of the root word kfr.

    If Allah wanted to mean a disbeliever by using the word kafir, He would not have used the word in other contexts where Kafir is a believer, Kafir is Allah, Kafir is a tiller, Kafir is Moses, Kafir is Satan etc. As discussed earlier, in pre-Islam Arabic, Kafir did not and could not mean disbeliever. It is in the post classical period that the word Kafir acquired the meaning of infidel to the almost exclusion of every other meaning. Notice Yunus sb’s definition which is exclusive to disbelief and leaves out every other meaning?

    There are many ayats of the Quran that Allah wants the reader to believe in. In these ayats, those who believe are the muminin and those who reject are the kafirin. This is consistent with the meaning of kufr which is to reject. These ayats are not about any specific people and cannot be used to judge the disbelievers as kafirin. The disbelievers, in general, are not the deniers and rejecters and to judge them so, is to play god. Even the prophets were not allowed to judge nor had they such knowledge of who was a kafir for his beliefs. It is Allah alone who can judge a person a kafir for his beliefs and no one else. To call the Mushrikin Kafirin is to judge them. The meaning of Mushrik is not Kafir.

    The Quran does not use kafaru for the Mushrikin of the Prophet’s times for their belief or rejection of belief in any verse of the Quran except Surah Al-Bayyinah. The Quran uses kafaru for the Mushrikin of the prophet’s times almost exclusively (with very few exceptions) for their religious persecution and oppression. Yunus sb’s definition again falls flat. Verse 8:36, 9:2,3 and many other verses are explicit about religious persecution being the kufr for which they are referred to as kafir. It took 950 years of preaching by Noah (pbuh) before Allah declared the non-believers as kafir and our Ulema declare all the Mushrikin of Mecca as kafir after a couple of years of preaching in Mecca  while Allah does not do so even in verse 9:5 of Surah Taubah which contains the last command as it concerns the Mushrikin of the Prophet’s times.

    Reproduced from my article: Who Is A Kafir In The Quran? (Part 3): Why Kufr Is A Relative Concept While Shirk, Idol Worship Etc. Have Fixed Meanings

     What was Kufr for the Meccan pagans?

    The Meccan pagans we are told by the Quran, were not a people to whom a messenger was sent before, nor did they have a Book of revelation like the Christians or the Jews. The Quran describes them as an ummi nation and their state as of Jahaliya or ignorance. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse but there was no divine law for them at all. For these people therefore, shirk, idol worship, adultery was not kufr.

    What was kufr for them was solely violating self-evident truths or what was accepted by their own society as a serious crime. The only deeds for which the Quran treats the Meccan pagans as kafir are for:

    1.         Persecuting the Muslims for no other reason other than for their faith

    2.         Fighting the Muslims for their faith and driving them out of their homes. Breaking peace treaties and aiding the enemy.

    The Meccan pagans  are uniformly referred to as the Mushrikin except those standing against the Muslims in battle, those that practiced persecution, or those who broke their treaties with the Muslims. These exceptions, who were the enemies of the new faith of Islam, are referred to as the kafaru among the Mushrikin, clearly implying that not all the Mushrikin are Kafirin.

    The only other exception is Surah Al-Bayyinah which refers to a few among the Mushrikin who had said that only if a Prophet came to them they would believe, but when the Prophet did come, they rejected him. These were the knowledgeable people expected to be the be among the first to believe but were in the forefront of those who opposed.

    Reproduced from my article: Who is a Kafir in the Quran? (Part 4) Defining Kufr

    There are two dimensions to kufr:

    1.         Kufr relating to man, society, the world or the temporal dimension

    2.         Kufr relating to God or the spiritual dimension

    Kufr relating to the temporal dimension

    The Quran recognizes certain human rights:

    1.         Right to belief and pursuit of one’s beliefs without obstruction or persecution

    2.         Sanctity of life and property

    3.         Mutual rights and responsibilities emanating from commonly accepted norms of civil society, agreements, contracts and the laws of the society in which one lives.

    Kufr relating to God or the spiritual dimension

    The Quran also recognizes the “Rights of God”

    The spiritual dimension is covered by the scriptures which inform the believer about his covenants with God and the duties and responsibilities emanating from these.

    The believer invites a nonbeliever to become a believer and accept these covenants and become the recipient of divine blessings and guidance, showing gratitude for the blessings of God and fulfilling his part of the covenant by conducting his affairs in accordance with the guidance provided in the scriptures.

    Besides God’s blessings common to all, God is “shaa’ker” (giver of thanks) which God does through His rewards for the acts of man that are for pleasing God. Man is required to reciprocate with `Shukr’ (giving thanks) through worship and acts that please God such as spending on charity. For the sins of man against God, his reckoning is with God alone, who will punish him in the hereafter.

    With reference to God, a non-believer

    1.         Is guilty of kufr if he rejects the “truth” out of envy, insolence, arrogance rather than for lack of required evidence or conviction.

    2.         He becomes a kafir after the truth becomes manifest to him where his mind and heart acknowledges the “truth” and yet he rejects it.

    And a believer is guilty of kufr if he violates the prohibitions and injunctions in the scriptures.

    Punishment for kufr

    A violation of the rights of man and/or God is kufr.

    The Quran prescribes hadd punishments only for kufr in the temporal dimension. Kufr in the temporal dimension is also kufr in the spiritual dimension but not vice versa.

    Hadd punishments for kufr relating to God or the spiritual dimension are not prescribed in the Quran as that would violate the right of conscience that the Quran clearly grants to man.

    Some forms of Kufr may appear to stride both the dimensions - for example, an apostate who turns hostile and carries on activities harmful to a section of the society or the state. Such a person can be punished for the harm that he has caused or can potentially cause but not for apostasy. Apostasy is merely incidental and irrelevant to the case as apostasy is not kufr in the temporal dimension.

    Usury, if it does not contravene laws of the land, will only be kufr in the spiritual dimension. Through legislation, usury could be made a punishable offence since it is injurious to man as well but it is not hadd. Legislating punishments for kufr related to the spiritual dimension alone, violate the freedoms granted to man by the Quran and is kufr.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 12/24/2017 10:51:30 PM



  • Will these pseudo-scholarly pronouncements on what 'kafir' means ever end? No progressive and thoughtful Muslims use that term any more.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 12/24/2017 11:01:06 AM



  • Muminun and Kafirun are antonyms but do not mean what you think they mean. The Muminun are on the side of what is right and just and the Kafirun on the side of wrong or evil. It is not simply those who have recited the kalima and those who have not. 


    The Ayats of Allah outside of the Quran 

    The Ayats or the Signs of Allah are not only in the Books of Scriptures but also in the natural phenomena that the Quran constantly points out to. It is also in the happenings around us or in the events that take place around us. For example: 

    (2:246) Hast thou not Turned thy vision to the Chiefs of the Children of Israel after (the time of) Moses? they said to a prophet (That was) among them: "Appoint for us a king, that we May fight in the cause of Allah." He said: "Is it not possible, if you were commanded to fight, that that ye will not fight?" They said: "How could we refuse to fight in the cause of Allah, seeing that we were turned out of our homes and our families?"  

    (2:251) By Allah´s will they routed them; and David slew Goliath; and Allah gave him power and wisdom and taught him whatever (else) He willed. And did not Allah Check one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed be full of mischief: But Allah is full of bounty to all the worlds. 

    (252) These are the Signs of Allah: we rehearse them to thee in truth: verily Thou art one of the messengers. 

    The Ayat of Allah here is the defeat of a powerful enemy who were the oppressors and the fact that Allah checks one set of people by means of another. Now let us look at another powerful Ayat and the very important lesson it teaches us.