Books and Documents

Islamic Personalities (14 Jul 2012 NewAgeIslam.Com)


  • Mohd Yunus.
    I have no doubt that you have respect for me and you do not  take me to be stupid or intellectually dwarfed or starved person. Now suppose you place each of my commentary addressed to you in a diary without any date, chronological order and context (you omit your queries) and leave it for the posterity to read and follow. Your super-intelligent rebellious grandson who picks it up will be aghast. What the hell has this fellow Yunus written. He once call my grand dad a snake and then in the next sentence refers to him as a good soul. He calls him incorrigible and likens him with the bull of the Ghani and then calls him super-intelligent. This fellow Yunus must be crazy. Unlike the Qur'an, I cannot enrich my comments with an uncanny subtlety, concealed consistency, and literary grandeur. So your diary (containing my comments) will end up in the trash and probably as domestic fuel. This didn't happen with with the Qur'an. If you understood this illustration fine, you may write back. If not, have a nice day.   

    By muhammad yunus (1) - 8/24/2012 9:19:50 AM

  • Respected Mohammed Yunus Sahib. Sir I did not blame you. I was talking to myself.  I was not saying you are wrong, my impression is Quran is not a clear book. open mindedness is a subjective matter not objective. You think you are open mindded, I think I am already open minded. You find wisdom in Quran I don't.
     I appreciate your effort and sincerity. Our frequency don't match and our minds operate in different domains.
    I think also that we should terminate the discussion here, because we are moving round and round like the bull in oil mill.
    Have a nice day.

    By mohd yunus - 8/24/2012 1:48:12 AM

  • mohd yunus. Who said that you "may not be a good human as per Islamic standard" The last sentence of my previous comment states: 'May God make you a good human being and if you are already good, a better one.' Please read the articles that I piece together with great effort. I just try to capture the essence of the Qur'anic message for intelligent but skeptical young men like you. But you must read closely and with open mind. And if you think I am trying to cover God by putting my views in His name, you must be joking.

    By muhammad yunus (1) - 8/23/2012 11:43:22 PM

  • Respected Mohammed Yunus Sahib, You are correct. My mind is full of doubts.I am not saying it in sarcastic manner. It is a reality.
    Do Muslim scholars who differ in their understanding not have fear of Allah because Allah warns his prophet for severing the ayas of Quran?
    Alas! Allah does not guide doubters. Quran guides only who are mutaaqi.
    Terrorists are not doubters. They are ready to give and take lives. I may not be a good human as per Islamic standard but I am not a terrorist (a firm believer in Quran)
    By mohd yunus - 8/23/2012 9:03:14 PM

  • mohd. yunus, You say: "But according to my understanding these are your compiled views not written in Quran in comprehensive passages."
    You know that the Qur'an is divine speech. At least I and all the Muslims world over believe it to be so. How can then I insert something else for it. The Qur'an had warned the Prophet that if he tampered with the Qur'an in any way, He will severe his aorta and no one will be able to help him. How can I dare to say something quoting the Qur'an if it is not there. All my articles are merely compilation of correlated Qur'anic verses in a reader friendly narrative. I say nothing of my own volition except to draw corollaries and conclusions.

    Your mind is possessed with doubts and I have done my best so far to repel your doubts. May God make you a good human being and if you are already good, a better one. Let us terminate our dialogue at this point, because we seem to be going round and round and round with each side saying the same thing again and again and again, getting nowhere. May God bless you and guide you.

    By muhammad yunus (1) - 8/23/2012 9:04:50 AM

  • Respected muhammad yunus sahib(1). You are making me speechless. My intention is not to put you under stress. Do you not hear that I have a soft corner for your version and effort. I am accused of repeating the same questions. I repeat because I am not convinced. As a human being your concern about who don't understand your viewpoint is understandable. But you believe that prophet was under more pressure. You have chosen a difficult if not impossible path. I wish you become successful in your endeavor. 
    I said that you have done your duty. Your reward is with Allah kareem.
    I read your articles, find it acceptable because these smells good. But according to my understanding these are your compiled views not written in Quran in comprehensive passages.
    Pardon me for repetition.
    The problem is:
    1. I disagree with the claim that Quran is a clear book.
    Scientific laws are well docemented and hence are clearer. Even if I don't believe in Quantum physics because it is not clear or difficult for me I am not bound to hell.
    2. I don't agree Quarn is protected. History tells how Quran was compiled after Prophet. In that age it was a herculean task  and prophet never encouraged Muslims to compile it. There is a high probability that some part is missing or modified.
    For the sake of argument. Bible and other books were the words of Allah. Why Allah did not protect them? If you say Allah did not want to do because he had a plan to send the final as Quran, how Quran make scribes responsible for altering the word of God. Was not it Allah's hand at the backs of scribes to corrupt the books and make a clear runway for Quran's landing.
    3. Good and bad ahadith were collected and compiled by same honored sincere Muslims. Now some Muslims face ridicule due to large number of ahadith, so they are condemning the hadith, sirah and history. They are calling them Ahle-Quran. But task for them also is not easier either.
    Who will start to separate the husk from grain? Are you ready?
    4. It comes under no 1. There is a discussion going on over wife beating. Whether Quran promote it or not is a separate Question. Quran uses Dharaba. Yusuf Ali insert (lightly). Why Quran is not clear. Either meaning "to hit" and "to leave alone" is correct as Aiman Reyaz sahib reply to my comment.
    Why I should choose best meaning? Is God short of words? Or He is testing our Iman as he is testing in clear verses and allegorical verses.
    We here Arabic is very rich language. What do we mean by richness. I don't expect such confusion from all knowing merciful God.
    5. Science In Quran. I do firmly declare there is no science in Quran or holy books. If there is a hint it is just a coincidence. Muslims are stretching their imagination to no limit to prove science in Quran. If some scientific theory is replaced with a better one what Muslims will do?
    There is a lot to say. I wish I were a scholar so that I could put my thoughts in scholarly way. Kisi ko mukammal jahan nahi milta, kahin zameen to kahin Aasman nahi milta.
    Disagreement doesn't bring down my respect for you. I am a common man with many moral and immoral inclination. I avoid boasting. I try to be humble but show my resentment firmly.
    Again if  you believe that your effort is like a drop on smooth surface, blame me not your effort.
    Quran says they are like donkeys carrying books on their back but they are not benefited by books. I am one of them.
    I may be not clear but your genius understands what I am up to?
    BTW how can i return courtesy? by agreeing with you? Please specify clearly. In some comments I endorsed your views perhaps they slipped.
    By mohd yunus - 8/23/2012 2:55:41 AM

  • Mohd Yunus. You say, "Are all others convinced by your articles?" How do I care? Am I on their payroll? How will I know God will not pardon even those who do not believe in Him if their deeds are good? I only look inwards. Is God going to take me in His Grace? I only pray to Him not to put me to any severe test and make me and my family good human beings who may be able to help others and enjoy a happy, healthy and peaceful life and to make things easier for those in hardship. I have no confusion. No matter what I call you for the sake of argument, you may still stand ahead of me before God if your deeds are good and you are morally upright.My problem with you is that you make me write a lot but but do not read my articles. You do not return courtesy with courtesy and say the same thing over and over again. 
    By muhammad yunus (1) - 8/22/2012 11:38:15 PM

  • Respected Muhammad Yunus (1) sahib, I wrote earlier also out of context is one of things Muslims defend themselves.  It is a waste of time in your eye not in mine.
    Why believers in one God will be pardoned only.
    Are all others convinced by your articles?
    Are they converting to your faith?
    If we remain silent at some occasion it doesn't mean we are convinced. Please make it to Sultan sahib and let him take action.
    I am nothing my respected sir in comparison to others busy in understanding the Islam contrary to you.
    Most of the comments were not directed to you after you equated me to a snake. I feel not offended you may use stronger words.  As earlier said, you have done your duty. I rest my case to Allah (If exists) bigger than Sultan Shahin sahib. 
    Kindly reply only if comments are directed to you
    By mohd yunus - 8/22/2012 9:37:29 PM

  • Respected Mohammed Yunus (1), I have no problem what you believe. I don't see any reason why you will lie  in narrating your father's story.
    Munafiq may not be one as described in Quran. Suppose I believe in broader notion of Islam as you researched. Now where I live most of Muslims are tradional (believe in every single Hadith without a seed of doubt). They have political power also. What will happen to me. can you guess? If you don't then I am forced to think where do you live?
    Here comes Munafiqat. I am Munafiq because I cant express what I believe due to shear force I am under.
    Suppose I don't find traditional Islam suitable for me, but I don't have power I am a common man. Do you think I am fit to live among Muslims with impunity?
    What will you do if the sword in hanging on your head and option is limited to two. Either accept or be ready for execution.
    It might have happened to people who turned into Munafiq. I am not condoning Munafiqat, but it may be due to shear pressure.
    You are doing this Jihad on Internet which is safer place. Just go to Afghanistan and say in front of Jihadis. I don't also have that courage either.
    Now come to Mushriq. Shirk is the gravest sin in Islam. Every crime can be pardoned but not shirk at any cost. Why? Beacuse God is jealous of other gods. A mushrik may be honest man.
    Hajaj bin Yousuf, Yazid, sodomisers, liers, dictators may be pardoned but not mushriks.
    Now I may be accused of suspicion or spreading Islaophobia. I will join shortly just I have to leave for time being. Have a nice day
    By mohd yunus - 8/22/2012 8:58:45 PM

  • Mohd Yunus. Thanks for joining the thread of my comment.
    You state: “according to new ageislam site moderators Hadith is not a part of Islam.”
    My late father died in 1977. From what I saw of him since my childhood (I was 32 at his death) he may have descended from early Muslims, as he had a far more universal notion of Islam and placed immensely more values on adab, manners, conduct and behaviour and taqwa than on rituals and symbols. He asked us not to read any of the Hadith books that were there in his meagre collection. In retrospect, while considering your comment it occurred to me that people whose ancestors had been Muslims dating from the early centuries of Islam conflate the Islamic faith with the Qur’an and regard Hadith as supplementary materials that were  used to communicate the Islamic morals through illustrations. They NEVER conflate the Qur’an with the Hadith. Hadith were specific to an era and provided social and moral underpinning for that era. Undoubtedly there are a lot of good things in their narrations. But they also have materials that the learned Swami and those whose ancestors entered faith only in the later centuries of Islam talk about. They do so probably to cast doubts on their faith they probably hate because of its social, moral and ethical demands. Subconsciously they want to convince themselves that their faith is flawed so that they do not feel obliged to meet its callings – to share their wealth with the poor, to forgive their past enemies, to respect their women, to keep from adultery, to respect people of other faith, to be discerning, to treat all regardless of relationship with justice, to eschew lust, greed, trivial talk, arrogance, excessive suspicion, cheating, fraud, and other forms of immorality. Such people should have no hesitation to leave the fold of Islam, for there is no compulsion in religion. They are the present day hypocrites whom the Qur’an warns as follows:
    “The hypocrite men and women are of the same kind. They enjoin the evil, and forbid the good, and hold back their hands (from giving to the needy). They are oblivious of God and God is oblivious of them, and without doubt, they are the deviants (fasiqun) (9:67). God has promised for them as well as the unbelievers (kuffar), the fire of hell and that is enough for them; for them is the curse of God and an enduring punishment” (9:68).
    “Whether you (O Muhammad) seek forgiveness for them (hypocrites) or you do not seek not forgiveness for them (it makes no difference.) Even if you ask seventy times for their forgiveness, God will not forgive them, because they have rejected God and His Messenger, and God does not guide the deviants (fasiqun)” (9:80).
    And never (O Muhammad) pray for any of them (hypocrites) who dies, nor stand at his grave, for they were unfaithful to God and His Messenger, and died as deviants (fasiqun)” (9:84).
    “The nomadic Arabs are the worst in disbelief (kufr) and hypocrisy (nifaq), and more likely to be ignorant of the limits of what God has revealed to His Messenger, for God is All-Knowing, the Wise” (9:97).
     “God will punish the hypocrites - men and women, and the mushrikin - men and women; and God will pardon the believers in One God - men (muminin) and women (muminat), for God is Forgiving, Merciful” (33:73).
     “(God will) punish the hypocrites - men and women and the mushrikin - men and women, who conceived an evil opinion of God; an evil turn of fortune awaits them. God is angry with them and has cursed them and prepared for them hell – a wretched abode (48:6).
    “They (the hypocrites) have made their oaths a cover; they hinder (others) from God’s path, so they shall have a humiliating punishment” (58:16).
    Don’t waste your time finding fault in these verses not knowing their context but you can see that there is a general warning for those who pledge themselves to be a believer in the Qur’anic revelation but them regard the Hadith that evolved in the first two centuries of Islam as its co-equal and then pick at those narrations that the compilers themselves had warned against. Please read my indicated article before shooting of your question. If you do not understand the article in first reading please red again. If you still fail to grasp it try again and again till you are convinced either way - that attempt to capture the truth or they are simply made up to please Sultan Shahin.'

    By muhammad yunus (1) - 8/22/2012 8:35:17 AM

  • @ Swami..  Many other religions also have books which have explicit texts especially Puranas and Sri-Mad-Bhagwat of Hindus. Such useless discussions may be avoided.
    By Ashok Sharma - 8/22/2012 3:16:30 AM

  • Dear Attatapattu Swami. Kindly go through following Link. You can put your comments without offensive words.

    Please restrict yourself  to Quran only when criticizing the Islam, because according to newageislam site moderators Hadith is not a part of Islam.
    Though for Muslim majority Hadith is at second place in Important authentic sources of Islam. Even sometime Hadith takes over the Quran. Moderate Muslims are few countable and hadith believers constitute majority.

    By mohd yunus - 8/21/2012 10:33:47 PM

  • Hadiths are not a part of Islam, the religion. Some of them contribute to our knowledge of Islamic history. Most Hadiths must be condemned and discarded. We should be able to do so without invoking the schisms of Karbala.
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/21/2012 12:58:34 PM

  • Sultan Shahin Saheb. Ref the Swami's charging of Islam with "pornography" as you mentioned, no Muslim scholar who has read the Ahadith back to back should be shocked. The following extract from the Conclusion of one of my recent articles referenced below purports to substantiate his allegations:

    "There can be no denying that the authenticated (Sahih) Hadith compilations e some accounts that sound most bizarre and purport to provoke sexuality, induce terrorism, foment inter-faith hatred, and stand deeply misogynist, scientifically untenable, self contradictory and Qur’an-incompatible [2]"

    The Article explains the background or reason for such lethal accretions by adding the following remarks in the Conclusion:

    "The early compilers confronted hundreds of thousands of accounts in oral circulation and applied the prevalent isnad (integrity of narrators in the transmission chain) based screening methodology to accomplish their works. Human reason was in its primitive form and what appears most bizarre and grotesque today, did not register as such in the minds of the common people of Islam’s early centuries, as they were accustomed to believe in legends and fairy tales. The great Imams, who were among the most learned in their era, were cognizant of the ingress of forged and fabricated Ahadith in their compilations, but they were not in a position to delete the suspect Ahadith as long as they met their criteria of screening. Accordingly they warned the community and posterity about it. This happened a little over two centuries after the Prophet’s death. The canonization of the Hadith as indirect revelation and repository of all worldly knowledge happened after another two centuries or so."

    Next question: Why are they still there in authentic collection?

    The Conclusion of the article answers this: 

    "The problem therefore lies with the orthodoxy for failing to carry out any further scrutiny of the Ahadith over the last millennium. The problem also lies with some of the Ulema as well as secular minded anti-Islamic Muslims and non-Muslims who selectively pick preposterous and anti-Qur’anic Ahadith to launch fatwas and make high sounding statements to demonize Islam, and to bring shame and disgrace to the early compilers of Hadith." Since the Qur'an is often explained in light of Ahadith, some of the lethal material (pornography in today's perception may have entered its pages or margins.

    What is the way out:

    The Conclusion of the Article offers the way out in these words: “there is a long-standing need to treat the Hadith corpus in its historical, regional and cultural perspective as a closed domain and to restructure the curriculum of traditional religious schools by displacing the Hadith and other theological disciplines with a focused study of the Qur’anic message, and the diverse branches of universal knowledge and art forms” [5].

    Ref: http://newageislam.com/islamic-sharia-laws/by-muhammad-yunus,-new-age-islam/defending-the-hadith-and-its-compilers-–-the-great-imams-who-are-sometimes-misunderstood-and-even-reviled/d/8011

    By muhammad yunus (1) - 8/21/2012 10:10:00 AM

  • A New Age Islam reader Mr. Attatapattu Swami has posted some verses from the holy Quran probably paraphrasing from some Hindi translation and some extremely obscene Hadees from Muslim and Bukhaari, expressing his bafflement over such pornography in seemingly sacred books and asked us to explain what does this mean. He thinks that we are an aiyyash, lecherous, depraved community, a lecherous people as even our God allows us and encourages us to engage in aiyyashi, licentiousness, depravity. These quotations are too filthy to be allowed to be published. Or maybe in Hindi/Urdu they sound more indecent than in English translations that I usually read.

    Mr. Swami has given references from too. I don’t need to check these references as I know that following the wholesale massacre of Prophet’s family members, character assassination of the Prophet was the favourite pastime of the Salafi Muslims of the first generations of Islam, as it is today of the followers of Salafi Islam in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and beyond. Whatever evil they wanted to practice they would ascribe that to the Prophet and invent a so-called Hadees, saying of the Prophet, to justify that.

    As I have said before, we should not consider and treat people like Mr. Attatapattu Swami as enemies of Islam. We have discussed this subject several times before. Mr. Swami can search for the same using the site’s internal search engine using keywords like Hadees and Hadith in both the article and comments sections.

    I would also request some writers, commentators, to post some links to articles on the site or elsewhere explaining this phenomenon. And please do not come up with a response, (though I will have to allow that too to be published as we do not censor anything except offensive language and hateful expressions,) saying that such and such sacred books of other religions too contain pornographic material. That is no answer and we do not want us to get embroiled in an unnecessary slanging match that serves no purpose at all.

    By Sultan Shahin - 8/21/2012 8:48:33 AM

  • (Offensive language deleted from several places in this comment, indicated by dots – Editor)


    Musalman jab tak jinda rahate he kukarma aur ayyasi karte he aur allah bhi unko kukarma ke liye protshahit karta he aur musalmano ko jannat me har tarah ke kukarma karne ka wada deta he...jannat me musalman kya karenge ye dekhiye;

    dhyan se padhna kyu ki ye tumhara kuran me hi likha he.. SURA-RAHAMAN,55:56

    Jannat me nigahen bachaye rakhne wali yuwatiyan hogi,jinko na kisi adam jat ya fir koi jinn ne hanth lagaya hoga,unke sath banda log ... .SURA-AT TUR 52:20

    … SURA-AL WAKIYA,56:33

    Waha har bande ke liye ek …  hogi jisaki age hamesha jawan hogi.SURA-AN NABA.78:33

    … .Bukhari Jild-3 Kitab,33Hadish247.

    … .Bukhari-jild7Kitab 62 Hadish16.

    … .Muslim Kitab 8 Hadish3459.5

    Aysha ne kaha ki Rasul …- Kitab1Hadish42. 

    What is this, plz clearfy

    By Attatapattu Swami - 8/21/2012 8:46:11 AM

  • Sudeep, I think the comment posted by Mr. Yunus in the discussion of the article titled, "Muslims need to reflect why so many millions of us are leaving Islam for Christianity or simply calling ourselves ex-Muslim" answers your question.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/14/2012 1:39:43 PM

  • Sudeepji. Rather than answering the tabled questions point by point which are going to be a very taxing even for a consummate mufassir (exegete), and inconclusive exercise as there could be different answer options. Besides, the critic or Qur’an-sceptic could come up with another set of questions, and keep a respondent defending the Qur’an – God’s speech to the best of his capacity and the limit of his knowledge without ever being able to satisfy an inveterate sceptic. I doubt if you can find anyone in the world to undertake such an open ended task. However, the Qur’an offers a carte blanche answer to all your potentially 6,666 question as each verse can stand out as a question to the sceptic.

    The Qur’an commands humanity to probe its verses (38:29, 47:24) with a positive state of mind (56:79) focusing only on clear verses (ayatum muhkamat) – such as those free from any ambiguity or confusion (mutashabihat) (3:7) and seek the best meaning in it (39:18, 39:55). It declares:

    “He is the One who has revealed to you (O Muhammad,) the Book which contains (some) clear verses that (form) the essence of this Book, while others are allegorical. As for those with perversity in their hearts, follow that which is allegorical seeking confusion and seeking an interpretation. No one knows its interpretation, except God.

    The Qur’an also asserts its own perfection and completion (5:3) and claims to be its own best interpretation (25:33).

    Therefore, if you seek to grasp the message of the Qur’an, you have to steer clear of the verses that you find confusing and focus on its clearly stated commandments. I have indeed read the translation of the Qur’an back to back at least 6-7 times over the past 15 years, identified its clearly stated verses that bear its ahkamat (3:7), attempted to interpret them using Qur’an’s internal illustrations and jointly with a fellow researcher of the Qur’an, co-authored a book, Essential Message of Islam (Amana Publications, 2009). The book is approved by al-Azhar al-Sharif  (2002) and endorsed by Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl, Professor of Law, UCLA in these words:

    “Readers who wish to learn the theological and moral dogma of Islam will find this book indispensable.  But this book is not just an informative tool for the fair-minded and interested reader.  This book is an educational tool for both Muslims and non-Muslims—it is an authoritatively reliable text to teach young Muslims, or even Muslims who never had the time to study the Qur’an, or the fundamentals of their religion.”

    If you wish you may get a copy of the book for your enlightenment on the Qur’anic message. 

    The Qur’anic pronouncements often relate to the immediate context of the revelation and its tone and contents varied according to change of the context. Let me illustrate this by a simple example. Say you maintain a diary on your exhortations to your son. When he is 16, you ask him not to drive a car. When he is 18, you ask him to drive very carefully. When he is fit, you encourage him to rise early morning and go out for a walk or a run. When he is sick, you ask him to stay in bed till late in the morning and keep from morning walk or run. Now suppose you maintained the diary for 23 years, but did not enter any date, nor made your entries in any order. Your son understood you all through, but your grandson who never witnessed your interaction with your son is totally at a loss and charges you of mental disorientation. Now you think who suffers mental disorientation – you or your grandson. This is precisely what happens when we people try to understand the Qur’an centuries after the revelation. Events are recorded without any date, chronological order or thematic flow, which is indeed utterly confusing. But the Qur’an has given clues noted above. Take it or leave it, but let not your mental disorientation prompt you to challenge divine speech for that will be a merely wasted exercise, and only create confusion (3:7). 

    PS.As regards the age of Aisha is concerned there is no reference in the Qur'an and its accuracy is debatable. Furthermore the Qur'an does not name practically any of his wives. Their mention appears only in the passing in relation to the the Prophet's conjugal life. Thus, unlike the Virgin Mary, they do not feature in the Qur'anic message. The enemies/ admirers of the Prophet have tried to explain verses with sweeping references to his wives with colorful accounts, pernicious accretions as well as legendary embellishments. These are polemical and detract from the essence of the Qur'anic message.  Since the Qur'anic message was completed and perfected in the Prophet's era (5:3), those interested in historical details compiled more than 150 years after the completion of the revelation (which have details on the Prophet's wives) can explore these issues, but they remain outside the periphery of the Qur'anic message.    

    May I request you to read my following articles, now that I have done this reply for you on a day of fasting:

             The Hindus are not ‘the mushrikin’ mentioned in the Qur’an.#2



    The broader notion of din al-Islam is inclusive of all monotheistic faiths.


    By muhammad yunus (1) - 8/14/2012 12:31:50 PM

  • The many theological experts on the website New Age Islam should at least be able to enlighten us with their views on the changing inter-faith equations in Quran. Are the ex-Muslims indeed right in posing these questions? The first one is most relevant to world peace and even to us in India, as at least some Muslims consider Hindus also ahl-e-kitab.

    1. Why Allah changed his own statements in the Holy Quran?

    The following are examples of the good and kind verses, Allah revealed to our Holy Prophet in Mecca when he had only one wife, Kadhija.

             “Be patient with what they say, and part from them courteously” (Q.73:10)

             “To you be your religion, and to me my religion.” (Q.109:6)

             “Therefore be patient with what they say, and celebrate (constantly) the praises of your Lord” (Q.20:103)

             “...and you will find the nearest in love to the believers (Muslims) those who say: ‘We are Christians”; because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant.” (Q.5:82

             “We well know what the infidels say: but you are not to compel them”. (Q.50:45)

             “Hold to forgiveness; command what is right; but turn away from the ignorant” (Q7:119)

             “Pardon thou, with a gracious pardoning.” (Q.15:85)

             “Tell those who believe, to forgive, to forgive those who do not look forward to the days of Allah.” (Q.45.14)

             “Those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians – any who believe in Allah and the last day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” (Q.2:62)

             “And do not dispute with the followers of the Book, except what is best.” (Q.29:46

    After the death of Kadhija, our holy Prophet married Sawda, and then under-aged 9-year-old Aisha at the age of 53 and by this time he became very powerful in Medina. However, the Jews and Christians had rejected his claim of prophethood and his call to embrace Islam. Now the attitude of the Prophet and tone of Allah’s subsequent verses dramatically changed. Let us now take a look at the new Koranic verses, and also reflect a little on why Allah could not honour his own earlier words.

             “Oh you who believe! Murder those of the disbelievers and let them find harshness in you” (Q.9:123)

             “I will instil terror into the hearts of the unbelievers: smite above their necks and smite all their finger tips off.” (Q.8:12)

             “Whoso desires another religion than Islam, it shall not be accepted of him.” (Q.3:85)

             “Slay the idolaters wherever you find them.” (Q.9.5)

             “slay them wherever ye catch them.”  (Q.2:191)

             “Humiliate them and impose on them a penalty tax if they are Christians or Jews,” (Q.9:29)

             “Allah deceived and Allah is the best of deceivers” (Q 3:54)

             “Muslims do not take Jews and Christians as your friends” (Q 5:51)

             “Fight those who do not believe in Allah and the last day, and fight people of the book.” (Q.9:29)

             “O people of the Book (Jews and Christians), do you find fault with us, except that we believe in Allah? Shall I inform you of him who is worse than this in retribution from Allah? Worse is he whom Allah has cursed and brought His wrath upon, and of whom He made apes and swine and he who served idols. Such are in worse plight and far more astray from the straight path” (Q.5:59-60)

    If Jews and Christians are the breed of monkeys and pigs in the eyes of Allah, then how it is possible that out of 820 or so Nobel Prize winners, 800 belonged to the People of the Book (Christians 620, Jews 180)?

    Have you noticed that all inventions and discoveries that we use today, from safety-pin to aspirin, were made by people who never read our Holy Quran?

    How we, the Muslims, can demand respect from others without any contribution to humanity?

    Source of this and several such questions: http://www.islam-watch.org/authors/63-letters/961-an-ex-muslims-open-letter-to-muslims-of-the-world.html

    By Sudeep - 8/14/2012 7:43:54 AM

  • Why are muslims so much bothered about their religion more than the nation. If some muslims have been killed in BURMA muslims in India start vandalising properties here in India...what a shame!!!
    By winwang - 8/14/2012 4:57:26 AM

  • I don’t agree with the ideas expressed by Mr. Sultan Shahin on following counts:
    1.    Length and breadth (marked by huge references) of an argument does not make a point of Truth.
    2.    The balance of advantage of an action  is important consideration for proceeding to act
    3.    Mischief can lie in making an issue out of a non-issue. A non-issue results from de-prioritising the priority list.
    4.    If an enemy wants to pick up an out of context piece, he can do so from the list of a highly arranged sequence too, by not quoting the preceding and the following article or by only half-quoting an article.
    5.    Even in the most scientifically arranged sequence done by a computer, we can find loopholes.
    6.    Even in the most scientifically arranged sequence done by a computer, need would be felt to jump spaces to explain an issue because we may control the variable (sequencing) of answer-book (the holy Quran), we cannot control the other variable, ‘the nature of a future question’, which shall demand reading ‘together’ of two diverse and distantly placed verses, even from a highly scientifically arranged sequence. Hence the entire exercise would be wasteful.
    7.    In the holy Quran itself there is a direction for a body of person to engage with the reading, interpretation  and dissemination of the meaning of the Quran to those who are engaged elsewhere. They can as well write a book on “A history of the coming of verses”, instead of sequencing, re-sequencing, re-re-sequencing, and so on ( I guess there would be no limit to the number of times, and variety of ways it can be sequenced) . I am sure erudite gentlemen like Mr. Sultan Shahin himself can find an answer to the objections of anti-Islamist  researchers of Quran, if we feel the need to defend the totality of Islam in defense of Truth that we see or we ought to see in Islam. Else there is no compulsion in religion. Because any amount of re-sequencing cannot furnish the missing links (if felt by someone), or the interpolations as alleged by many over the centuries.
    8.    It goes to the credit of Muslims that there is universally accepted and understood stable version of the holy Quran duly protected by the institution of Hifz, which disallows enemies from attempting to distort the holy Quran or from the proclivities of ‘the mixers and grinders’.
    9.    Any attempt at re-sequencing will destroy the institution of Hifz that ensures protection to the body of the holy Quran in this world, and assures sympathisers of the cause of Islam like Mr. Shahin and me, the relevance of Islam in the next any number of millennia (It takes guts to think so), till the doomsday.
    10.  Pivoting the affairs of humankind with something like the holy Quran (pivoting means and includes not shaking the pivot) will allow progress in place of degeneration of man, if we recall my theory of rope whose one end is tied to the pivot. Vigorous shaking of the rope (thinking) is possible only under this arrangement, as the physics of shaking will tell . Loosening both the ends destroys the shaking as well as the shaker.
    11.  The present sequencing of Quran may not have divine sanction, but it has a sanctity for Muslims for having been there for centuries, for not being harmful, for having the blessings of Prophet and his nearest sahabas, for being a platform for the institution of Hifz.
    12.   The idea is puny, and does not deserve to come from the pen of the editor of a successful website. When the mumbo-jumbo of other religions has not been a source of misery for them and others, how come the sequencing of Quran is coming in the way of world peace!
    By Manzoorul Haque - 8/11/2012 1:21:26 AM

  • Dear Sultan Shahin Saheb,

    1.      I never said nor even remotely suggested that "in Qur’an no sequencing is required.” Please re-read my comment closely. Now let my try to lift the curtain from the polemics you dealt with in some details.

     Tautology or repetitive articulation of the same theme and scholastic method – engaging open ended speculative process spawning numerous views and counter-views characterie human mindset of the era marking the early centuries of Islam. Take the example of such themes as lohe mahfuz, jannah, taqdir, ‘will of God’ and the likes. Muslim scholars have debated them with intense passion and great dedication for centuries. To say that this was a futile effort will be ridiculous. These debates contributed to the advanced of human thought in the absence of anything more enlightening at that point of history. The same thing was happening in all religions. The Christian priests have spent over a millennium discussing the theological issues relating to their faith. But we are in the 21st century and we have to home in at the ‘irrefutables’ to avoid slipping into the labyrinthine mindset of the medieval ages. Here is how I look at things.

    1.      If Muhammad or his scribes altered a single verse in his lifetime, the Arabs who had remained deeply suspect of his claims would have been convinced of his being a false prophet. Had this happened, Islam would have died before its birth for they would never go with him to the battlefields to face powerful Quraysh army.  

    2.      The Qur’anic diction – if you have read the Arabic Qur’an very closely does not permit the substitution of words of differing sound patterns. Look at the verse 73:6, you cited. Mark its phonetic association with the preceding verses focussing on the glottal note represented by the syllable ‘qa.’ Beginning with the second verse the syllable appears in a rhythm. Qumil laile illa Qalila (73:1); nisfohu awinQus minhu Qalila (76:3); aozid ‘alihay wa rattilil Qur’ana tartila (73:4); sanulQi alaika Qaulan saQila (73:5); inna nashiatal laila hiya ashaddu wataon wa aQwamo Qalila (73:6).

    A non-Arab with no background knowledge of Arabic grammar, let alone its literary nuances, I can see that replacing aqwamo with aswabo upsets the lyrical harmony of the Qur’an. So, I will not enter into any debate on the issue based on what people of later era – who were given to scholastic methods, speculated or wrote.

    In fact I have done an article on the integrity of the Qur’anic text referenced below, which defends its from later era doubts of having been tampered with.

    The Qur’an was never edited and any effort to edit the Qur’an will be self contradictory


     May I request you to read the article and get fuller clarification on this very fundamental issue. And if that is taxing, take the following endorsement of John Burton a distinguished Arabic scholar and a specialist on the historiography of the early completed manuscript of the Arabic Qur’an:

    “The text which has come down to us in the form in which it was organized and approved by the Prophet ….What we have today in our hands, is the mushaf (manuscript) of Muhammad.” [The Collection of the Qur’an, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1977, p.239’240.]

    Amazon.com describes John Burton’s book in these words:

    “The most surprising feature of the Muslim traditions on the collection of the Qur'ān is their denial of any role in the process to Muhammad himself. The merit of assembling and preserving the record of the momentous divine revelations has been variously ascribed to some half dozen of the Prophet's associates or Companions, and these ascriptions have usually been treated as hopelessly conflicting. Dr Burton argues that they are in perfect agreement. Their sole function was the deliberate exclusion of Mohammed. Dr Burton demonstrates in his analysis of the original Muslim sources a series of subtle distinctions, the most significant being that between the Qur'ān document and source. This 1977 analysis of early Muslim traditions challenges existing scholarly interpretations, and Dr Burton argues his case with a wealth of detail. It is a book which all students of Islam will find required reading.”

    By muhammad yunus (1) - 8/11/2012 12:16:31 AM

  • I fully share the sense of urgency expressed by Sultan sb. in the last two paragraphs of his incisive post.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/10/2012 7:59:01 PM

  • So, are you saying muhammad yunus (1) saheb that in Qur’an no sequencing is required, that article no 3A could also be article no 356 V and it will not make any material difference to the nature and value and usefulness of the book? That was the basic question. Of course, anyone who has read the Qur’an or even those who have not read the Qur’an know that it hints at and teaches things that lead to ideas that can be turned into law on the basis of prevailing norms of the society and the times the society is passing through. We all know that Shariah laws are based on the Qur’an and Hadees. So, of course, Qur’an and its spirit have been and can be used for making laws. But does that make Qur’an a law book which does not require sequencing and context?

    This question is important because many neutral readers of Qur’an, some on this site and in this thread, as well as ill-wishers of Islam and Muslims, be they Jihadis or Western Islamophobes or Hindutvavadis, quote the Qur’an out of context and seek to prove that Islam is a book teaching hatred and violence and imperialism. The argument that Qur’anic surahs and ayahs do not require context is designed to promote that idea which suits both the Jihadis and the Western Islamophobes. Crusades and Wars between Islam and the West suit them both. Islam’s war against Hindu civilization too will suit Jihadis and Hindutvavadis. Hence the insistence that Qur’an is a law-book that does not require sequencing and every ayah can be read without context. (This, of course, is no reflection on either you Yunus sahib or Mnnzoorul Haque Saheb whose original comment we are discussing: I know you both are determined promoters of peace and harmony in the world.)

    That no proper sequencing was done from any point of view at the time of its collection that started in first Caliph Hazrat Abu Bakr’s time itself on the advice of Hazrat Umar who later became second caliph. This advice had scandalized both Hazrat Abu Bakr and Zayd ibn Thabit who had been entrusted this onerous task. The reason was that, of all people, Hazrat Abu Bakr couldn’t think of doing something that the Prophet himself had not done and Allah too had not asked to be done. This collection was going to take away from the Muslims the flexibility they had enjoyed till them to take synonyms for Qur’anic worlds that they could not pronounce well on account of their different origins or different dialects  and habits of different tribes from different places in Arabia.

    An old sahabi (companion) of the Prophet (saw) Anas bin Malik (who died in Hijri year 90 or 709 AD), according to Tabari, replaced the word aqwamu in verse 73: 6 (meaning “to be more correct”, as accepted in the Authorized Version) with aswabu (“to be more just”). By and large such synonyms were not frowned upon as long as they did not change the meaning or lead to misinterpretation. Hazrat Umar is supposed to have asserted: “Everything that is said in the Qur’an is correct (sawab) as long as one does not substitute punishment for pardon.” (The Qur’an as Scripture by Arthur Jeffrey, New York: Books for Libraries, 1980, pp 202, 205).

     God had made the prophet reply to those who wanted Qur’anic verses manipulated: “It is not for me to change it of my own accord. I follow only what has been revealed. (Qur’an 6: 93) But for Salafi Arabs using synonyms did not mean manipulation or change. According to Tabari they were not embarrassed to do so.

    But with an authorized version wanting all other versions to be burnt meant the end of this flexibility, though some people continued to use their version even after Hazrat Usman’s proclamation of an official version of the Qur’an. The reason is not difficult to find. Arabs loved their freedom of variants in the Quran they recited as long as the meaning was not changed. It was common knowledge that the prophet’s scribes had themselves used synonyms in some cases for a variety of reasons. One of them was the Tradition of the Seven Letters (sab' ahruf), or Seven Readings (sab' qirâ'ât). Tradition justifies this theory by means of a hadîth reported by Hazrat Usman, according to which the Prophet saw said: "The Koran descended according to Seven Letters."

    A recent research work on the subject (in Search of the Original Quran by Mondher Sfar) quotes a 16th century Quran researcher and writer on Quran Suyûtî as asserting: “This hadîth has been interpreted in forty ways.” The book goes on: “ Among them, Ibn Qutayba's thesis explains that it must have been a matter of seven "modes of variation" of the Koran's text, as follows: 1) that of declension, without the meaning being affected; 2) that of verb tenses; 3) that of letters with the same graphic form but having different diacritical signs; 4) that of letters similar in their graphics; 5) that of the place of groups of words in the sentence; 6) variation of the text by adding or suppressing words; and finally, 7) variation in words according to their synonyms. Al-Râzî, for his part, adds variations of words of the Koran by the kind, number, and mode of pronunciation. The same Suyûtî relates a thesis, reported by Ibn Hanbal, explaining the "Seven Letters" as the possibility for each word of the Koran to be replaced by seven synonyms. Ubayy, one of the secretaries of Muhammad charged with the redaction of the Koran, was even said to have expressed this as a rule that he applied in his version of the Koran: "I said [in the Koran] Magisterial and Learned, [instead of] Powerful and Wise, [but without going so far as to betray the meaning, as is done when] one substitutes the expression for pardon with one for punishment, or vice versa."

    Let me quote one more small paragraph for further clarification why Salafi Arabs were adamant in not giving up their version of the holy Quran and why they felt not embarrassed but justified in using their variations as the real Qur’an : “Suyûtî reports here variants used by Ubayy in verse 2:20, substituting for "walk" the synonyms "pass" and "go." Suyû(r)î also cites variants by Ibn Mas'ûd, another secretary to Muhammad, replacing in verse 57:13 the verb "to be patient" with "to wait" and "to delay the outcome." And Suyûtî reports this anecdote: "Ibn Mas'ûd asked a reader to read the phrase 'the tree of Zaqqûm shall be the food of the sinner' (44:43-44). But this reader could only pronounce 'the food of the orphan.' Ibn Mas'ûd had him take it again but with no success. So then he asked him: 'Can you pronounce "food of the depraved"?' The man replied 'Yes,' so Ibn Mas'ûd told him: 'Then keep this expression!'"

    There was another issue too. Salafi Arabs did not like Bid'ah (innovation), as their followers don’t even today and the holy Qur’an as it exists today and as it was being compiled after the demise of Prophet Mohammad (saw) was the greatest and most consequential Bid'ah being performed (or some may have thought “being perpetrated”) so soon after the Prophet’s passing away and they naturally didn’t like it and some of them didn’t cooperate with the process.


    Even Hazrat Abu Bakr (r.a) had accepted the idea only under the pressure of circumstances. Many huffaz and qurra were feared dead in the battle of Yamama and there was a fear expressed by Hazrat Umar (r.a.) that the ilm of Quran may get lost if people with memory of Quran kept dying in other battles.


    Let me quote a hadith from Sahih Bukhari to explain this situation (Vol. 6 No. 201, pages 162-164, Translated by Dr. Muhsin Khan): Narrated Zaid bin Thabit Al-Ansari, one of the scribes of the Revelation:


    Abu Bakr sent for me after the casualties among the warriors (of the battle) of Yamama (where a great number of Qurra were killed). 'Umar was present with Abu Bakr who said: "Umar has come to me and said, the People have suffered heavy casualties on the day of (the battle of) Yamama, and I am afraid that there will be some casualties among the Qurra (those who know the Qur'an by heart) at other places, whereby a large part of the Qur'an may be lost, unless you collect it. And I am of the opinion that you should collect the Qur'an.' Abu Bakr added, 'I said to 'Umar, "How can I do something which Allah's Apostle has not done?"

     'Umar said (to me) "By Allah, it is (really) a good thing".


    So 'Umar kept on pressing trying to persuade me to accept his proposal, till Allah opened my bosom for it and I had the same opinion as 'Umar'.


    (Zaid bin Thabit added :) 'Umar was sitting with him (Abu Bakr) and was not speaking. Abu Bakr said (to me), 'You are a wise young man and we do not suspect you (of telling lies or of forgetfulness); and you used to write the Divine Inspiration for Allah's Apostle. Therefore, look for the Qur'an and collect it (in one manuscript)'. By Allah, if he (Abu Bakr) had ordered me to shift one of the mountains (from its place) it would not have been harder for me than what he had ordered me concerning the collection of the Qur'an. I said to both of them, 'How dare you do a thing which the Prophet has not done?' Abu Bakr said, 'By Allah, it is (really) a good thing. So I kept on arguing with him about it till Allah opened my bosom for that which He had opened the bosoms of Abu Bakr and 'Umar. So I started locating the Qur’anic material and collecting it from parchments, scapula, leafstalks of date palms and from the memories of men (who knew it by heart). I found with Khuzaima two verses of Suraat-at-Tauba which I had not found with anybody else (and they were):


         'Verily there has come to you an Apostle (Muhammad) from among yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty. He (Muhammad) is ardently anxious over you (to be rightly guided)' (9:128). 

    The manuscript on which the Qur'an was collected, remained with Abu Bakr till Allah took him unto Him, and then with 'Umar till Allah took him unto Him, and finally it remained with Hafsa, 'Umar's daughter. “

    Clearly Salafi Muslims were very mindful of the fact that since Allah and Mohammad had not ordered collection of scattered verses of the Quran and were willing to allow them to remain scattered and with different people in different forms and words on very fragile “parchments, scapula, leafstalks of date palms and the memories of men (who knew it by heart).”  They were outraged when the idea was first presented and not sure if it was the right thing to do. Many people continued to resist parting with their version of the ayahs (verses) and some did not surrender to the Authorized Version and continued to use their own even after it was official version proclaimed in about 20 years time by Hazrat Usman.

    The reason I am labouring this point so much is that we in the 21st century appear to be so hung up on the vocabulary and phraseology of the holy Qur’an that we are forgetting the meaning of the Qur’an, the spirit of the Qura’n that apparently was more important to God, the prophet and Salafi Muslims. It’s time we got back to the meaning and spirit of the message from God that Qur’an brought.

    Some of this meaning is lost in any case in the collection of the Quran that we use now because it lacks proper sequencing and contextualising from any point of view. Anyone who has read the Quran with meaning or struggled to find its correct meaning and meditated on the possible context, despite having studied the asbab-al-nozool or shaan-e-nozool (that which caused the revelation of a verse), has experienced this in many places. So I won’t to go into too much detail. But to those who want to study further, one can point to some verses where they can see the problems that the arbitrary collection of Qur’anic verses and possible interpolations of verses in an entirely different context create: 2: 102, 70:4, 2: 153-158, 3:92, 5:109, 57: 17, 29: 18-23, 36: 69-70, 55: 7-9,   55: 732: 23, 11: 44, 11: 45—47, 24: 60 (interpolation) and its twin 48: 17 (right context), 5: 69 appears repetition of 2:62, 3:92, 5: 109, 57:17, 29: 18 – 23, 55: 7 – 9, 35:18, 6:25, 32: 23, 11:45 - 47, 35:12 and a similar verse 25: 53, 27: 10 (why should prophets be frightened of any one?), 21: 87 (it begins by authorising sexual relations t the breaking of the fast, then defines the limits of the day of fasting, and then announces an interdiction on having sexual relations inside the sacred mosque.), 26:224 – 26/27-28 (the exception made for righteous poets after a universal condemnation must be an interpolation by someone sympathetic to poets or after Hassan ibn Thabit and some other poet’s conversion, unless it is an afterthought by God),  24-27- 28 and its modified version with exceptions24:29, another after-thought?), similar after thought or interpolation is see in 3:28 where the earlier ruling or warning not to take infidels as friends is amended by “unless you have something to fear from them”, similar afterthought is seen 3:89 after a universal condemnation in 3:87-88 for those who have renounced their faith that is why Pakistani Mullahs out to kill people quote only the first part of universal condemnation, and so on. (Based on research by Régis Blachère and Mondher Sfar) Note: You have to read these verses and the verses around them, before them and after them to see the missing sequence or different context in which they have been placed.

    The entire argument here is a plea for rethinking the classic man-made collection of the Qur’an just as we are rethinking man-made Sharia. None of the two is divine. These were done by fallible, though quite capable, men to fulfill certain needs of their time. We have to do the same to fulfill the needs of our time. We have to keep in view the fast-changing nature of our age which was not the case 1400 years ago. Anyone who has lived through the last 50 years, since the first human spaceflight was launched on April 12, 1961 by Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin and the giant leap mankind made in American Neil Armstrong walking on the moon in 1969, would understand what I mean. The pace of change has become so fast it is difficult to imagine even for trained futurologists what would be the shape of things even in the next hundred years, not to speak of the next millennia or two.

    Our belief in Islam’s universality demands that we at least leave Islamic institutions behind us up-to-date, if not ready for the changes in future. We haven’t done our home work for at least a millennium. Islam was the most modern religion of its time, so modern that even today in some senses it is a modern religion, even though we closed the doors of rethinking and ijtihad and stopped updating ourselves a thousand years ago. Now we have to catch up with the past and prepare for the future. Fresh revelations are not coming to guide us, so we have to think and rethink for ourselves.

    By Sultan Shahin - 8/10/2012 3:19:40 PM

  • Haque saheb, you express good thoughts. Believers come in many hues so it is best not to rush to judgement.
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/10/2012 2:34:58 PM

  • By Manzoorul Haque - 8/9/2012 9:10:17 AM Liked the comment very much  and also the idea of writing a book called “A history of the coming of verses”.
    Before seeing his comment, I was already with the mind that we need to have such a book, and in fact I am sure that there must already be some book written somewhere and it require just some scholar to come up with this piece of information that such a book already exist.
    About the issue whether Quran is a law book or not, I was really wondering why such an issue is there at all when we know that a law book isn't just the one which deals with specifies of day to day action and protocols.
    A Constitution too is a law book and very much a legal document. And if someone sees the constitution as Holy Papers, or search for specifics then it should be his problem if he doesn't find things in detail. Similarly Quran might be famous for its divinity, sanctity, holiness attached to it, but basically it is the source book of all laws that Muslims should formulate. Mind it, I am saying 'should formulate' because there is still scope of writing afresh the entire Shariah based on Quran as per the requirements of our time where definition of many things have seen huge change from what it used to be in 7th century.
    By sadaf - 8/10/2012 12:54:20 PM

  • Janab Mohiyuddin sb., I think the Muslims can. This is what they have been doing here on this website. Our answers cannot possibly satisfy everybody, but our answers are reasonable, logical, and coolly placed. There is no frenzy. I would therefore request you, not to lose heart. Massive changes do not happen overnight or by overturning the table.
    If you see my answers, I have referred to Quran and Hadiths, for less number of times, to pull out my answers, than the number of times a typical detractor of Islam refers to Quran and Hadiths in his normal discourse. With so little knowledge of Quran and Hadiths, I hope my answers have not been seriously violative of the spirit of the scriptures. This was possible because I was rooted in a proper Muslim muashra where love for Islam was taught because Islam was believed and demonstrated to be a humanitarian religion. Deen Duniya Dehli was our Islamic school, and my father the Islamic instructor, who was otherwise in a government service.
     You see Muslims are also very forgiving lot, if we are not provocative or insulting in our demeanor. Even a man like Dr. Zakir Naik, who has been sufficiently demonized (for his own misdemeanor) - while answering, if Sania Mirza’s dress on the court is Islamic, dodged  the question and replied that he has heard that she is a regular ‘namazi’, and that makes her a good Muslima. My point is, we have to introspect what has been our attitude towards Muslims. I have yet to meet a Maulvi or a Maulana, whom I have personally met, and with whose prima facie manners and tehzib,  I have not been impressed - at least 90% of whom must have been from the very lowest of families in economic terms. On the other hand the so-called well-off families and please don’t mind, a number of expats included, I have been meeting, where also 90% of persons I remember, for all the wrong reasons of being bad-tahzib (I am included in the class) . We look for spirituals and buzurgs, but I have met a ‘jannati’. Yes, in this life it is possible to meet him and shake hand with him. I say this with conviction that he shall go to ‘jannat’. He is merely a night watchman whom nobody has noticed. I would not like to tell him what I think of him to disturb his balance, because life is all about balance. In any case, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. We need those eyes to march forward. We have too many opportunities now for doing good. With so many rascals going around, we are hit with emotions of hatred at every nook of our life, the ecstasy of doing good lies in forgiving them all.
    By Manzoorul Haque - 8/10/2012 8:23:46 AM

  • Haque saheb, Can Muslims find answers to questions without referring to the Hadiths or the Quran all the time? Can Muslims think for themselves? God has given us good quality brains. Let us use them. Have we forgotten how to use them?
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/10/2012 2:30:04 AM

  • The more I read the comments of Janab Ghulam Mohiyuddin sb,  the more I get convinced that written words have no value, in this age of 'rationality'. Instead of quoting Quran and Hadiths, I now feel like quoting Salman Khan, “ek baar jo main ne commitment kar li, to phir apni bhi nahin sunta!”
    By Manzoorul Haque - 8/10/2012 12:51:04 AM

  • All laws must be man-made but be based on the fundamental Quranic values of justice, fairness, equality and rationality. Just as the Quran supports science but is not a book of science, so does the Quran support lawfulness and justice but is not a book of either law or jurisprudence.
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/9/2012 4:35:27 PM

  • I agree with Sultan Sb's comments on the Quran, especially the need for proper sequencing and a critical reappraisal of the compilation. Modern research methodology with its art and  science of editing and compilation can be very helpful in differentiating verses of eternal value from verses that were of significance at a particulat time in a particular place.
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/9/2012 4:26:15 PM

  • Dear Mr. Muhammad Yunus (1) Sir, please do us a favour regarding the laws you have mentioned over here by citing the Quranic Ayah Number as you usually do it every time. You know these are very handy tool for all of us.
    Meanwhile I need some more details on the point number 10 which says: " It removed the notion of absolute ownership of income – a notion that even the present generation detests and therefore wants to remain at a safe distance from the Qur’an."
    Nothing particular about this point but in one reading I found this one more interesting than others. May be I'd like to ask you more details on each of the points when I re-read it at leisure.
    By sadaf - 8/9/2012 2:00:18 PM

  • Dear Sultan Sahin Saheb – Ans. to your question: How can Quran be considered a law-book?
    Law is nothing but an interconnected and balanced set of rules that govern all types of human relationship and the relationship of man with the state – that is the law of the land. Law is constantly in flux as human civilization is in flux. Your emotional attachment to your parents, cousins and muhalla’s people is not the same as that of your offspring with people of corresponding relationship. In the subcontinent context, today Hindus and Muslims are vying with each other in hatred. In British India, the feelings were immensely better. I have personally taken a number of my late dad’s clients to various temples and no one Hindu customer of my late dad - there were scores of them - ever frowned at me. Today it is different. This can impact the law. Look at the law for blasphemy and apostasy in Pakistan. These were unthinkable fifty years ago and I do not think these laws then existed. These basic examples sufficiently illustrate the elasticity of law and completely exempt any eternal law book from tabling specifics that will obviously be contingent to the space-time setting of the civilization. Thus an eternal book of law can only set out the principles of law. Now let us look at the Qur’an.
    1.      The Arabic Qur’an in its immensely rich and intertwined vocabulary encapsulates a set of universal juristic notions, notably, logical analysis (fiqha) by engaging reason (aql), cogitation and reflection (fikr); independent intellectual inquiry (ijtihad), analogical deduction (qiyas)  consensus of the scholar/ community (jama‘ah), custom and practice of the community (‘urf ), community good (islah), the jurists’ best judgment (istihsan).
    2.      It regards universal justice as a binding (harrama) instruction and commands uprightness in justice and in witnessing as a fundamental duty of the community (state).
    3.      It abolished the relativism in the application of justice and bought the khalifa at a par with the common man in terms of accountability of their alleged offences.
    4.      It gives an accused the privilege to have a witness.
    5.      It allow for legal hearing and therefore no arbitrary punishment.
    6.      It delivers women folk from the clutches of the Justinian Code that had virtually reduced them to an object of possession by the closest male relation.
    7.      It empowered men and women and even a widow to choose their own believing mate and to live as spouses without the interference of their parents or the community.
    8.      It removed all taboos against menstruation and placed no restriction upon women in terms of having personal source of income, running a business, pursue any lawful profession side by side with men and sharing public space with them.
    9.      Given women’s demanding motherhood role, it made men responsible for the maintenance of their wives and widows – contingent to their financial position.
    10.  It removed the notion of absolute ownership of income – a notion that even the present generation detests and therefore wants to remain at a safe distance from the Qur’an.
    11.  It advocates the principle of proportionality of crime and punishment.
    12.  It prescribes some emergency basis laws to put a stopper on some of the heinous crimes of the era but leaves forgiveness clauses allowing flexibility in the mode of punishment depending upon the circumstances of the crime and the impact on the victim and the record of the criminal.
    13.  It grants the sick, the old and the mendicant a place at the homes of their next of kin and abolished the custom of ostracising these helpless people, who were treated as God’s curse and were driven out of homes to live in colonies.
    14.  It introduced a set of edicts to phase our slavery.  
    15.  It mandates fair payment for goods and services
    16.  It mandates the share of the poor in wealth of the rich, and by implication, that of the state
    17.  Its exemplary punishments are meant to ensure the security of life and protection from crimes.
    18.  It ensures safe asylum to the civilians of the enemy nation at times of war (9:6/Ch. 12.8).
    19.  It grants social security to distressed and orphaned children.
    20.  It allows freedom of religion.
    I hope this answers your question.
    By muhammad yunus (1) - 8/9/2012 11:28:43 AM

  • Dear Sultan Shahin sb, The importance of philosophy and religion lies in how much these can help us shape our lives under the given constraints. I find Islam to be adequate. War, conflict, politics, diplomacy, history, economics, physics etc are there to care of our other concerns which are important, though in the long run we are all dead.
    Therefore, we now move on to the next issue of the true nature of the holy Quran and importance or lack of importance of its sequencing.
    There may be a basic misunderstanding about the word ‘law’. In Indian conditions, we have this hierarchy:-  constitution - act of legislature - delegated legislation – regulation - standing order - notification. All these are treated as law.
    Constitution is treated as the principal law of the country, though most rights and liabilities are decided on the basis of the last item of the chain ‘notification’. The last item ‘notification’ is however umbilically linked with the constitution.
    In an Islamic country the chain is like this: the holy Quran -  constitution - act of legislature - delegated legislation – regulation - standing order - notification. Let us not look for sections and subsections of a statute in the holy Quran, which is not there in the constitution also. But the last item ‘notification’ in any Islamic country is supposed to be linked with the holy Quran in the sense that while issuing it, care has to be taken that it does not violate the spirit of any of the preceding items of the chain and least of all of the holy Quran. Sharia law is not made up of the holy Quran alone, but the whole body of laws laid down in an Islamic state with due regard to the holy Quran. Of course there is a scope for making a set of model Sharia laws on important subjects in the 21st century for adopting by the Muslim countries by reinterpreting the verses of holy Quran and by ignoring relevant Hadith if the said Hadith is colliding with the formulation of the law.
     What is law? It is a normative formula to establish a certain behaviour. The holy Quran in essence is also aiming the same with a large number of generic principles laying down general norms and sometimes more specific norms. The verses relating to our world-view also create a backdrop against which a conduct is to be based. Hence, it is a law-book in essence. Even while apparently, a story has been told to describe an event Muslims have derived principles from the story and made it binding on themselves, wherever possible. So we can say it is very much a book of commandments. However, whatever may be the description of the book, most of the verses do not need to be arranged in a new chronological order now, because they are equally meaningful in the way they are arranged. May be the order in which it was arranged by the prophet (later upheld by the third caliph) was based entirely on unrelated considerations, like the size of the papers or parchments used for compiling or the colour of the ink used etc. The important point is that the arrangement does not alter the meaning or the purpose of Quran, but it has sanctity, and is institutionalised.
     If we  read any of the Codes (a law book) laid down by the British in India by laying down an ordinance, we find the provisos of the Code to have taken shape over centuries in the British society. We can think of Indian Penal Code as one such example. Whether theft was defined first or murder was defined first in the legal history, has never been a question of enquiry, and may even not been relevant. Even the fact of one offence being placed before the other in the pages of the book does not really influence the essence of the law on these issues. The important question is how a law-point is worded and what does it mean really? Yes, to understand the finer meaning of a particular law-formulation, history and circumstances of growth of that formulation are sometimes  referred to, but surely that cannot be the basis of organizing the sequence of the law-book. The idea to write all this is, that we already have a book compiled in a certain sequence from a respectable antiquity under supervision of a respected person, who can be trusted to have not disregarded the choice of the prophet in the matter of  sequencing in his lifetime, fortified by the institution  of huffaz in the past 1400 years,  so we do not visualise any good in the idea of trying to alter the sequence at this stage. On the other hand, it is eminently more advisable to invest energy to investigate into the historical backgrounds of each verse and write in a commentary form along the margins of the book.
    We can forget about Shah Waliullah sb. This is a result of too much of reading. We can concentrate on sequencing.
    From what we have gathered, we cannot say sequencing was not done in the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad. Was there no hafiz during his time? Can anyone memorize a book without a sequence? I think Hazrat Usman ® only did the screening of all the available folders (that must have been the shape of the book) and authorized one version which was confirmed by the huffaz. It is wrong to say that the holy Quran was not serialised in the lifetime of the prophet and what Hazrat Usman ® did was something that we may also have to do, if toady it comes to notice that some volumes of the holy Quran have been misprinted or mis-binded. THE JUDGING OF THIS ACT IN THE HISTORY OF MUSLIMS IS TAKING THE SHAPE OF A SEVER ACCOUNTABILITY TEST OF MUSLIMS FOR SOME KIND OF PERCEIVED BUT ANNOYING ASSERTION OF THEIR BEING ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF TRUTH. I think we can afford to be mild in scrutinizing the warts of history without being unfair.
    As regards punishing by stoning for adultery by Hazrat Umar ® , he was the sovereign and he could punish his subjects by his decree. After all scaffolding is not mentioned in the holy Quran but most Muslim rulers of the later vintage routinely scaffolded the culprits. I do feel Hazrat Umar ® was a little strict in matters of State but it happens from person to person. Let us also see the brighter side of a personality, because I am aware that some people want to belittle his personality by showing his differences with the Prophet’s methods (surprisingly some people use these differences to adulate him).
    Now with reference to your statement that, “It is very very important to know the correct order or sequence in which events took place in the story of Islam, the evolution of its teachings and instructions”, I think instead of disturbing the sequence of verses in Quran, which will also not achieve this objective, we should write,  “A history of the coming of verses”. This will be a voluminous book but worth reading for curious scholars and will be a counter-dote to jihadists and detractors of Islam – provided this is what they are looking for ! My fear is they are just venting their angers over each other and we should tell them to disengage. I can tell you sir, we can do nothing about the detractors of Islam, but as thinking Muslims we should try to hold our boys back by teaching them the correct message of Islam for which more hard work is needed than merely changing the sequence of the holy Quran and making confusion worse confounded.
    By Manzoorul Haque - 8/9/2012 9:10:17 AM

  • Dear Sultan Sahin Saheb – ‘reflections on the intractability of God’
    I am grateful to you for enlightening me and the readers on the political underpinnings of the switch over between Khoda hafiz and Allah hafiz. My example was not appropriate, I agree but the tendency of discussing mundane issues is universal as captured in the Parkinson’s theory I quoted. That being the case, we cannot blame or undermine the commentators who readily take to issues that are really of the fringe.
    Now reverting to the intractability of God, here is a brief exposition of my reflections.
    The early man must have wondered why a beast carried off its child under his nose, with no god around to help. The Inkas and the Red Indians must have wondered in agony, why these white men are killing us with their magic tool the way we kill birds with our arrows, and our gods do nothing. All victims of natural or man-made atrocities throughout the history must have entertained this question without ever getting an answer. In today’s context, all the victims of a tragedy from a simple road accident, petty hate and sex crime, to the agonizing and blood spilling scourges of a random shootout, communal/ sectarian violence, terror attack, genocide or a war; from the birth of a deformed child, detection of cancer at an early age to the tyranny of natural disasters – floods, hurricane, Tsunami and all category of people suddenly falling into the harrowing abyss of misery must be wondering, where is God.” Is He a silent spectator?
    As of this day billions of people across the past five to ten millenniums must have confronted this question, who and what and where is God? Having not found any concrete answer, they succumbed to one or the other theological views – monism, monotheism, polytheism and so forth that only explains the connection between God / gods and His creation. But as to the quest for understanding the true nature of ultimate Reality, the result is the summation of billions of zeros and remains zero.
    As you rightly commented, this debate on the unseen and the impregnable is getting us nowhere, so we it. I had lined up my thoughts on the theme. So I thought to share with you. I will soon revert on the role of the Qur’an as a law book. 
    By muhammad yunus (1) - 8/9/2012 7:03:47 AM

  • I think, Manzoorul Haque Sahab, we must rest this issue here for the time being and let other readers respond if they would like to. I hope both of us have given each other some fresh food for thought, aided also by Muhammad Yunus, Ghulam Mohiyuddin and Naseer Ahmed Saheban.

    Now I must take up the second issue I found very interesting in your very succinct espousal of your belief system in the original comment.

    Regarding the holy Quran, you say: “it is actually a law-book where sequencing is not important).” I just do not understand, Manzoor Saheb, how you get this idea. How can Quran be considered a law-book?  How many laws have we derived from the Quran? The laws we have are all man-made, put together by fuqaha much later. The Quran is basically giving us spiritual training asking us to believe in a spiritual rather than a material concept of the universe we live in. It tells us stories of previous prophets, again using those stories to give us some moral lessons and help us build our character.

    Of course, the Quran also gives us lessons in good conduct and proper behaviour in a society and its spirit in particular can be and indeed is helpful in formulating laws. It does also prescribe or suggest punishment for certain crimes based on prevalent norms in the Bedouin communities of 7th century Arabia. As Shah Waliullah Dehlvi (RA) points out in Hujjatullah Al-Balegha, prophets talk to people according to those peoples’ intellectual level (Part 1 Page 210, Maktaba Thanavi), and Shariat is made keeping in view the customs and habits that have been instilled for generations into the communities they are addressing (Part 1, P. 221-228). Our prophet too did the same as previous prophets (peace be upon all of them).

    Shjah Waliullah brings out one curious example which seems to point to some ideas in the Quran emerging from the prophet’s ijtihad. The Prophet once said that he thought of prohibiting sex with lactating women breastfeeding their children. He had apparently been told that if a horse-rider has had sex with a lactating woman, the horse throws him from his back and refuses to let him ride.  But he studied the experience of women in Persia and Rome and found that it doesn’t harm anyone there. So he did not consider the idea any further. (Part 2, P. 334)

    But it is preposterous to think that the Quran is just a law-book where sequencing is not important. Sequencing in Quran is of utmost importance and in my view should be attempted even today, if we are concerned about the shape of Islam to come in coming centuries and millennia. It is very very important to know the correct order or sequence in which events took place in the story of Islam, the evolution of its teachings and instructions.

    It was not done only because, for some reason, that we should ponder on separately, God and his prophet did not think of compiling an authorised version of the book in prophet’s lifetime, especially in the year when announcement had been made of Islam having become complete and God’s intention of preserving the Quran. The prophet had an inkling that he was not going to survive beyond a few months and yet he did not order or was not instructed by God to order the compilation of an authorised version of Quran in his lifetime. As a result 20 years later some versions of Quran or some surahs and ayahs had to be burnt and destroyed during third Caliph Hazrat Usman’s reign to avoid further confusion. Hazrat Omar, the second caliph had already claimed that there was a Qur’anic verse prescribing death by stoning of adulterous women, though it was for some reason deleted from the Quran during Prophet’s lifetime itself. And yet he is said to have ordered death by stoning on the basis of this claim. Jihadi Salafi Islam accepts this claim and to this day practices this heinous form of punishment on that basis. Different versions of a few ayahs have survived to this day and keep causing confusion and giving fodder to some vested interests.

    Unfortunately even if we try today the wholly correct sequencing of the entire Quran may not be possible, though by and large at least their origins in Mecca or Medina are known and general sequence can be gleaned from the way events are known to have taken place. In fact a chapter in our very own Muhammad Yunus Saheb’s book Essential Message of Islam has pieced together the story of the Prophet basing itself entirely on Quran as a source. [This is a fascinating chapter and a seminal work. I would have liked to bring it to New Age Islam readers but I do not have permission from the publishers yet.]

     However, the important thing to remember is that sequencing of Quran was important and was not done mainly because the compilers were not educated people well-versed in the idea of what a book should be like, not because they may have thought of the holy Quran as a law-book for which sequencing was not required. It is lack of sequencing that is allowing Jihadis and other enemies of Islam, even curious onlookers just trying to make sense of the unfolding drama of Jihadi Islam on the march, to pick up Qur’anic ayahs from here and there without reference to the context – the context isn’t there anyway in many instances in the ‘un-sequenced’ Quran – and proclaim, as on this site and even in this thread, that Islam teaches exclusivity, supremacism, hate and intolerance.

    I hope you will ponder the issue in the light of the above and all that you have seen and engaged with in this thread itself.

    By Sultan Shahin - 8/9/2012 4:31:05 AM

  • Dear Sultan Shahin Saheb,

    Your replies have reassured me of the charting of the paths and in our joint effort to finding answers to some of the knotty problems of life.

    About visiting shrines, my stand is that we visit shrines as we visit Rajghat. If you recall, I had mentioned something about sanctities. We accept all sanctities, but not all divinities. I think we have a convergence here. I don’t mind young boys and young girls visiting shrines, and under the caring shadow of a neem tree getting to know each other for choosing a future life-partner, which opportunity is so much restricted in our muashra, though theoretically we have given these youngsters full powers to choose. How the hell, they are going to choose if they don’t even get an avenue to meet. Surely, meeting under the solemn gaze of a grave is preferable to meeting in dance bars, and we would not like masjids to be used for such mundane activities. I think mazars and even Qabristan can play a great role for our family outings and rendezvous. We should concentrate on designing of our graveyards and shrines in such a manner. The ideology is clear.

    About this important statement of yours “There has to be a reason why all those people who are engaged in subverting Islam and converting it into a religion of war and advocate what they call “offensive Jihad ... are dualists or what you call monotheistic, believing in total separation of God from His creation”, I cannot deny the connection as a fact but I do partially deny the connection as a cause.

    If you see all my postings, I have written very little about ‘terrorism’.I know as a journalist you have access to a lot of information, but still I tend to disagree with this very formulation, which has been made popular by the all-powerful media. All I can concede is that a monotheistic thinker is less likely to succumb to pressures than a monistic thinker. Hence the result, as you find it. This however leads thinkers like us into a bind. We see an adamant child of ours not yielding the ground, when all lessons of tactics and strategy point us in favour of yielding. The solution for us Muslims lies in taming this child because there are already people out there to destroy him.

    We are seeing the adverse side of monotheistic approach because times are such. There can be adverse sides of monistic approach too, which for the time being is dormant because the stage has been occupied fully by the “offensive or defensive jihad”.

    For this reason, I had mentioned that we, as Muslims can restrict our philosophical search to Islamic philosophy by anchoring one end with the holy Quran, and if we do that we have ample scope of accommodating Sufi’s monistic approach of seeing things with love and compassion without destroying the larger belief system of monotheism (which can be highly creative, energetic, socially useful and constructive) by substituting it with a belief system of monism which eventually turns into unbridled polytheism of ‘gods within gods’ and thus destroying the quiddity of God. Somebody can still question how do I consider monotheism as a superior philosophy of life, to which my answer is, I am not here for a quarrel or a fight over the issue, because I give you full rights to feel and think that polytheism is superior. It is a question of faith.

    By Manzoorul Haque - 8/9/2012 1:50:34 AM

  • Janab Muhammad Yunus Sahib (1),  Thanks very much indeed for very generously sharing your world view with us on these issues as you keep doing on so many others with anyone who needs to benefit from your erudition and experience.  I would just like to submit a couple of observations.

    Your following reminder is very appropriate:

    Wohi Ek Husn Hai, Lekin Nazar Ata Hai Har Shay Mein
    Ye Sheerin Bhi Hai Goya, Bestoon Bhi, Kohkan Bhi Hai



    [The Beauty is just one but appears in everything
    It is Shirin, the sky, as well as the mountain digger]

    If I can add one more couplet from the same poem, Tasweer-e-Dard of Allama Iqbal (Bang-e-Dara):

    Na Sehba Hun Na Saqi Hon, Na Masti Hon Na Pemana
    Main Iss Mai Khana-e-Hasti Mein Har Shay Ki Haqiqat Hun



    [Neither wine, nor cupbearer, nor ecstasy, nor goblet I am
    But the truth of everything in the existence’ tavern I

    I think this hardly requires any more comment from an ordinary mortal like me. Iqbal’s meaning is more than clear and this is the general Muslim belief too. Indeed believers of all hues tend to see God as a dynamic presence in us, among us, around us and try to discover the synchronicity of the universe in everything that happens to us and in the world, trying to understand what lesson God is trying to teach us through this happening or that in our personal lives or that of others.


    I would like to join issue with you Yunus Saheb, however, over your peremptory dismissal of the “people jumping in to join the debate over Allah Hafiz versus Khuda Hafiz” as “a polemical issue of no relevance.” I don’t think that is the case. People joined the debate because many people are now beginning to understand why Muslims around the world are being forced to adopt Arabic culture over their own. The switchover from Khuda hafiz to Allah hafiz did not take place by itself in any natural process; people were told for over a decade in Pakistan over roaming loudspeakers that those who use khuda hafiz to say goodbye are kaafirs and deviants and destined for hell and so on.

    This is decidedly a creeping Arab cultural imperialism on the back of Arab petrodollars that is getting exposed gradually. For quite some time people did not realize its import. But as more and more Muslims from around the world experience life with Arabs in the Middle East and see how they treat non-Arab Muslims as their subjects in the manner of former European imperialists, and do not attach the slightest value to their being co-religionists, and that Islamic brotherhood is merely a slogan that is used to enslave others, they are developing a more realistic approach.

    It is now becoming obvious to some at least that after killing the family members of the Prophet in less than half a century of his demise, Arabs have merely utilized the name of Islam to expand their imperialist scheme. As the possibility of conquering new lands has now diminished with their own servility to other imperialist powers now they are out to impose their cultural hegemony over other Muslims. While Arabs would themselves not even use Islamic greetings like Assalam alaikum ( السلام لليكم ) and instead use western greeting like good morning, good evening ( صباح الخير، مساء الخير.), they want other Muslims to adopt Arabic ways in the name of their peculiar version of Islam.

    By Sultan Shahin - 8/9/2012 12:23:29 AM

  • Theoretically monism, compared to monotheism, may be more conducive to peace and harmony but in practical terms Sufis do not just keep away fron the battlefield, they also keep away from the real world of business and competition, and their philosophy will not necessarily be the panacea for the downtrodden Muslims of India.

    In reality monists, monotheists, polytheists and atheists can all be proponents of peace and harmony. All of them can also be killers. Singling out any one as being superior in this regard may not be warranted in practical terms. Let people have their own concepts of the Ultimate, but have a common commitment to peace, co-existence and brotherhood. 

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/9/2012 12:19:47 AM

  • Dear Manzoorul Haque Saheb, I am very grateful indeed for your well thought out response. Of course, we are not in opposition, just trying to clarify our thoughts, consulting each other, brainstorming together. We have at least been able to establish that Muslims need to keep questioning, observing and thinking their thoughts on all the issues, philosophical and social that arise. Your comment about the “tentativeness” of approach takes the cake. We really are too tiny beings in the universe to be anything but tentative in our quest to understand the nature of God and cosmos. The more we know the more we discover how little we know.

    I am really glad you “give credit to the ordinary Muslim who accepts the Abstract nature of God.” This approach takes the wind out of the sails of people who think that Muslims who revere saints are idol-worshippers and hence wajibul qatl (deserving of death) and then proceed to bomb them. It is true that many common Muslims seek intercession in their worldly affairs from the great Sufi saints, thinking that  a sifarsish (recommendation) is perhaps as necessary in reaching God as it is in human affairs, forgetting or not realising that God is closer to us than even our own shah-e-rag. Of course, a lot of people, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, visit these shrines simply to pay their respects to these great souls and their dedication to God and humanity. But no Muslim considers them to be God and engages in idol-worship at shrines. He or she is always conscious of the abstract nature of God.

    You are again right in saying that “dualist-monotheistic approach, which to my mind is the dominant approach of Islam, necessarily leads to offensive-jihad again seems to be overstatement.” However, I am not making that over-statement and don’t believe that to be the case. I am merely saying: “There has to be a reason why all those people who are engaged in subverting Islam and converting it into a religion of war and advocate what they call “offensive Jihad ... are dualists or what you call monotheistic, believing in total separation of God from His creation.”

    I just want us to ponder this connection, if it at all exists. I certainly think there is a connection but I am also tentative in my approach to these vast questions. In my view, this fact remains that Sufis and saints who believe in God permeating the cosmos and thus have a monistic, non-dualistic, mystical view advocate an inclusive society and would never call offensive jihad as being part of Islamic teaching.

    You might recall Mr. Sadaf reminding us in one of his comments that for centuries Hindus and Muslims, Sikhs and Christians have continued to revere these Sufi saints apparently impressed by the inclusivity of their world view. This inclusivity in their approach to human beings, that led to Islam being introduced to vast parts of the world, was a result of their inclusive view of God and cosmos, their belief in wahdaniat, oneness of God, non-dualism. So while people who look upon God and the cosmos as two completely separate entities, the dualists or the monotheists, may not necessarily be advocates of offensive Jihad, but the separation between the two does lead to a sort of dictatorial approach, a desire to compel others to conform, a desire to establish their rule by force in the name of establishing sovereignty of God and a non-democratic approach in general. Many dualists tend to look upon themselves as enforcers of God’s will over the inferior beings called humans. On the other hand a non-dualist, or monist, a believer in wahdat, wahdaniat, wahdatul wujood, wahdatul shahood sees God in everything and everybody and treats God’s creation also with respect and values their opinion.

     It is natural that this view will lead to democracy and all-encompassing equality which has always been the chief distinguishing feature, the USP of Islam. I merely wanted us to ponder over the obvious connection or the connection that is at least obvious to me. I am not saying that dualism and monotheism necessarily leads to dictatorship of the so-called Islamist, Talibanism, Jihadism, snatching away of God-given right to self-determination as happens in all so-called Islamist states.  But the connection is apparently there, at least obvious to me, and must be pondered.

    This was with reference to your original comment averring the irrelevance of philosophical debates about the nature of God and cosmos as philosophers remain stuck in these debates and are not able to get anywhere. Clearly the monistic, dualistic, monotheistic, polytheistic and other world-views also lead to differences in approach to practical questions of life. An attempt to understand them and develop one’s own viewpoint cannot be called irrelevant.

    By Sultan Shahin - 8/8/2012 10:39:22 PM

  • I would like to add my own thoughts (some of which I have already expressed while commenting on other threads) to the fascinating discussion between Janab Sultan Shahin Sb and Janab Manzurul Haque Sb.
    Is the nature of Qur’anic revelations different from Scientific insights? Can scientific insights be called receiving wahi from Allah?
    Consider the following verses of the very first revelation that the Prophet (PBUH) received in the cave.
    96:3. Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful,-
    4. He Who taught (the use of) the pen,-
    5. Taught man that which he knew not.
    Man would say that the pen is man's invention but God claims that He taught man the use of the pen!
    Consider any great scientific or mathematical insight. It comes as a flash of understanding. The logical arguments and experimental confirmations come later. These insights of course do not come to the un-initiated. They come only to those who acquire knowledge and seek further knowledge and ask the right questions.
    Was the Prophet also not a disciplined seeker of knowledge before the revelations started coming to him? Interestingly, the revelations through the agency of Gibrail (AS) are few. Most of it came through inspiration. The first revelation through the angel was necessary to make Mohammed (PBUH) realize and accept that God had chosen him as the Prophet. Even then it to took some convincing and I think three years before the nature of the tremendous mission that he was being entrusted with dawned on him. Once he accepted the mission, and his role as messenger of God, the agency of the Angel was no longer necessary and the revelations came through inspiration alone. Are these inspirations different from the insights that a scientist receives?
    Many of the proofs of Ramanujam's mathematical theorems were provided by other mathematicians and not Ramanujam himself. Even without proving the theorems, the mathematicians intuitively sense when the theorem is true and when it is doubtful. That is the beauty of truth. Clearly Ramanujam's insights were just those insights.
    The conclusions that we arrive, based on purely logical thinking, are for the smaller problems or the corollaries. No great discovery is a result of following a series of logical steps alone. Insight is very much part of every great advancement in Science.
    We have the Quran revealed already. So what more needs to be done is Mr Shahin's question. We need to understand the Quran in a manner that it becomes a personal revelation to us. That requires effort, discipline, thinking, acting.
    When our being responds to even a single verse of the Quran as if it was a revelation to us (meaning that we understand it the way it should be understood), our whole being is shaken up and it resonates with its meaning and we are reduced to uncontrollable weeping. I recall one such moment sitting in a mosque after the morning prayer when a person read out a few verses of the Quran and their meaning. It suddenly dawned on me that everything is a favour from God. The fact that: I am a believer, that I pray 5 times etc etc. and yet God rewards me for my actions. It is reward upon reward upon reward. That changed my life. If I have work and sleep late (sometimes 3 in the morning), I still find it very easy to get up for Fajr and not miss the favour of Allah upon me. I look upon whatever good I do as a favour from Allah that He gave me the capacity as well as the inclination.
    What about an unbeliever? An unbeliever is one who chooses unbelief and no man will be condemned by God. It is man's own self that will be a witness against him.
    Are all Muslims believers? Not everyone who is born into a Muslim family is a Muslim or a believer unless he satisfies the necessary conditions.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/8/2012 8:29:21 PM

  • Sultan Shahin saheb said, "I don’t understand why Muslim thinkers should be free from worries or question or issues to think of and resolve. Are they exempt from questioning and seeking answers because they have the anchor of wahi?"

    The three paragraphs he writes in support of this argument are profound as well as challenging and must be widely read. Muslims seem to have fallen into the trap of believing that they do not have to think either about mundane things or about philosophical issues because all the thinking has already been done for them. This has brought stagnation and stiltedness in our discourses.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/8/2012 3:42:50 PM

  • Please read tentativeness in place of tentatively in the last para in my submission below.
    By Manzoorul Haque - 8/8/2012 1:59:05 PM

  • Dear Sultan Shahin Saheb,
    I feel a bit embarrassed to be called upon to answer such big questions, because as you know, with my background, I should not have delved into Islamic discussions in the first place. Therefore, after writing this reply I went to the site with an intention to request Janab Muhammad Yunus Saheb and Janab Naseer Ahmed sb to guide me with reference to the holy Quran. Then I saw the beautiful posting of Janab Muhammad Yunus Saheb, which filled me with immense strength to encourage me to post what I have written below. As far as my discussion with you is concerned, I do not see ourselves in opposition to each other, but rather in a common pursuit of unravelling things with utmost humility and sincerity. At one stage I was thinking to request you to abandon this discussion because I had a mind to request our eminent scholars to divert our energies to developing model Sharia laws of the 21st century. But after reading Janab Nezami’s sb  comment, I feel duty bound to take this discussion to the logical end. I however do request you and other commentators to bring to my notice specific ayahs of the holy Quran with which my submission seems to be going off tangent, so that I can immediately correct myself.
    For the sake of better understanding of the discourse, I have put your remarks followed by my replies:
    But this has raised further questions. So before I come to the second point from your original comment, I must take these up and at least bring them to your notice before you finalise the article on this subject you are writing and I am looking forward to reading.
    You say: “Luckily Muslim thinkers do not have to worry much because they have an anchor in the form of the holy Quran as ‘wahi’.” I don’t understand why Muslim thinkers should be free from worries or question or issues to think of and resolve. Are they exempt from questioning and seeking answers because they have the anchor of wahi?
    [[I see the act of thinking somewhat like the ‘the act of floating’ of a rope. The rope can float in two ways, one with its one end tied and another loose; and in another way, with both ends loose. Muslims have been encouraged to think - because there is joy in floating, its keeps our body and mind supple and fresh, and society cleansed - but with the advantage of one end tied to the Word of God. If both the ends are free and we are floating we are not lost from God, no doubt, because His power is everywhere, but we can be lost from the Word of God. If a Muslim can hold tight, the rope which is attached with the idea of Allah at one end, he is best suited for the most vigorous act of thinking.]]
     How did they become Muslims in the first place? Was it just because they were born in a Muslim family? How could they be considered a Muslim, if they did not think before accepting Islam?
    [[Without intending to hurt anybody I think to be born in Islam is an advantage (but only temporary and with adverse consequences as we shall see). Because, for him to think and accept Islam poses comparatively little difficulty, and from this point (the point can stretch over years) onward he can be considered a Muslim in the Quranic sense. [Yes, there are persons born in a Muslim family who think and do not accept Islam. Their case will be dealt by Allah]. However, does someone being born a Muslim and someone not, make God unjust? I think I have answered it somewhere that for every ease in the situation of life in which a person is born, there is a proportionately harder test for him for success in the afterlife. There is no reason to believe that on this one parameter of ease (for being born a Muslim) also, this proportionate hardship theory in the matter of being judged by Allah would not apply. The second source of becoming a Muslim is by conversion to Islam by thinking and accepting. Such a person is likely to be judged rather lightly in so far as he faces a difficulty in coming to Islam in proportion to the hardship he faces all along. ]]
    How can they be considered thinkers and philosophers if they do not think and question, or take recourse to anchors of any kind for making themselves exempt from thinking? Why should they believe in the “anchor of wahi” without understanding it? Unthinking thinkers, unquestioning philosophers would be a contradiction in terms. You just can’t be one without the other.
    [[ Muslims are not exempt from the act of thinking as already discussed. But to say, that to accept the feel of Allah’s presence, vigorous (extraordinary) thinking is a necessary condition is not my position. This will exclude most human beings from the purview of association with Allah because majority of human beings are not extraordinary thinkers. God has planted a small rudder in every person’s heart which may be called his conscience which helps him to identify good (to do, even without knowing God), and to identify God when told (through wahi). Of course, the necessary motivation to do that (actuation of the process) is based on his /her free-will, otherwise conscience can lie dormant. So the conclusion is quite opposite. After tying one end with Allah (obviously after knowing Him on a cue, and accepting Him by the help of one’s conscience), it is possible and desirable to go for vigorous thinking.]]
    What about repeated Quranic exhortation to think and observe and question and then understand and believe.
    [[Here Again, I feel the exhortation to think and observe and question and “then understand and believe” is slight exaggeration in so far as simple ‘acceptance’ is concerned, but yes, these actions are needed in the life of a Muslim as a Quranic instruction, as we go along, to keep society cleansed of dogmas, unwanted rituals, superstitions, false accretions to beliefs, etc. etc.]]
    I am sure you are aware that God did not allow Prophet Mohammad (saw) to perform any miracle, violation of natural law, to make people believe in his proximity to God, the creator and capable of making and breaking laws and hence his prophethood. That would have made things easier. The illiterate and ignorant Bedouins given in his charge would have been left speechless, swooning in belief immediately and fallen at his feet with the performance of a miracle they were asking for. No need for exhortations, lectures, hard work, wars even.
    God asked Meccans to observe nature, question, study, think and then believe or not believe, no compulsion. The Prophet had not managed to get more than 100 followers in a whole decade of hard work and was naturally depressed when he was upbraided and asked to keep to his task of teaching and leave the task of who believes or not to God. He has given humans self-determination for a reason: he apparently wants them to grown spiritually and intellectually through the process of doubting, questioning, observing, seeking answers from nature, from within themselves, from debating with the knowledgeable, from listening to prophets and others, from wherever, but not in the easy way of being born “believers” in wahi (revelation).
    Of course, everyone will do that to the best of his ability. No one is exempt but those whom God has blessed with the ability to think and question have a larger duty to do so and even to engage others in doing so.
    [[ As explained by Janab Naseer Ahmed sb, the advent of the last Prophet marks the beginning of the age of reason, which has been amply proved by the evidence on the ground. After all, large number of human beings did convert to Islam without a miracle. Their intuitive understanding was enough to take them away from idol-worship to start believing in an unseen God. Surely not all of them were hard-core thinkers trying to unravel ‘the true philosophical nature of Allah’, but yes honest marvelling at the Creation does lead us into believing in an unseen God. Hence the exhortations. Yet I reiterate and agree that even after becoming a Muslim, one is supposed to be a thinking animal to the best of his capacity. Thinking harder and harder must be a continuous activity for a Muslim and not a precondition for becoming a Muslim.]]
    Our biggest problem today, Manzoor Saheb, is because most of us are merely born Muslims. Some of us manage to fit our thinking into the traditions that we have been indoctrinated into since our childhood. But, I believe, it is the duty of every human being blessed with the ability to think and question to ask others not to accept things without questioning.
    [[ After discussing so much philosophy it is easy to agree, that ‘being born a Muslim’ is not a sufficient condition to steer a community of believers  through a myriad of contingencies of life. All Muslims born/and or converted are under a duty to work for a Muslim muashra based on hard thinking of the ideals that we should achieve through that muashra. Questioning indeed is a part and a process of reconstruction of a muashra.]]
    Another point you make that I would like to take up is: “Before we discuss these issues let this be understood that these thoughts will have no relevance to the actual practice or effect. If one believes in the truthfulness of the holy Quran, and is sincere (only being sincere in himself is the criterion) in following it, whether he/she understands the ‘highly philosophical true nature’ of God or not, is of no consequence because God has laid down no such conditions.”
    [[ I beg to submit that this premise does not lead to the conclusion that follows. Rather, please link up the above statement of mine with the beautiful proposition that I had arrived at in the past in these words, which, if you permit me to say, might be a ground-breaking idea in Islam and so I would like the same  to be examined with highest critical standards: “However, it is possible to live life according to God’s scheme, which exists, whether we are aware of God’s scheme’s (or even God’s existence) or not. Thus, it is possible to use conscience (part of human design) to attain salvation by good deed, even if God’s Word has not reached a person or the person is situationally incapable of receiving it (with communication-barrier reaching all-time high, all communities are absolved, and Muslims are only required to concentrate on themselves, instead of finding fault with others).
    You see Quran is least bothered whether we understand Allah in monistic terms or monotheistic terms, as long as its contents are not disturbed, which certainly separate Creation and Creator in terms of quiddity. A glass with half water can be described as half-full or half-empty, without offending the two describers. But if the content is sought to be drained by a third party, then perhaps both monistic and monotheistic describers would be upset. I believe both monism of Islam and monotheism of Islam are typically Islamic, and Islam is at the centre and these terms are for the thinkers to pass time.]]
    I tend to believe that these questions are of great practical relevance too. There has to be a reason why all those people who are engaged in subverting Islam and converting it into a religion of war and advocate what they call “offensive Jihad – another contradiction in terms, an oxymoron really if all that we know of Jihad is true – are dualists or what you call monotheistic, believing in total separation of God from His creation.
     All these people are literalists who go by the literal words in the Quran and do not try to understand any of the verses metaphorically; in fact they think it is wrong to do so. They believe, for instance, God has hand and feet and actually sits on a throne, probably in one corner of the universe on a remote planet in a remote galaxy, well-connected with an array of phones and computers to listen to our prayers all the time and choose to subvert natural laws and give us our wishes when he accepts those prayers coming from unthinking Muslims with unquestioning faith.
    [[ I do agree with you that a monotheistic approach leads to different results from a monistic approach. Monotheism leads to energy, purpose, clarity etc but a literalist application can be disastrous. However, to my mind, in Islam, there is a wonderful blending of these two strands. But to say that dualist-monotheistic approach, which to my mind is the dominant approach of Islam, necessarily leads to offensive-jihad again seems to be overstatement. Philosophy may be a useless activity but I recommend everybody to be philosophical because it takes you away from literalism. The actual difficulty arises from the fact that people are literalist and not philosophical. On the other hand philosophy  causes another problem to the philosopher himself, if he is not properly anchored because for him sometimes philosophy becomes an end itself and he keeps drifting into an endless pit of creating god within god. Therefore, Islamic method of philosophy is the best. Anchor yourself with Allah, and keep thinking away to glory. If an idiot Muslim does go after looking for the hand or feet of Allah, the nearest maulivi sb can set him right. I truly want to give credit to the ordinary Muslim who accepts the Abstract nature of God as spelled out in ‘qul howallahul ahad..’  As a thinker, I know how impossible it is to conceive this.]]
    Thinking and questioning – what you call philosophy – is, to my mind, not a game that some out of work people want to play for fun, to satisfy their lust for intellectual probing and academic self-indulgence. One may not understand the “highly philosophical true nature of God”, but one must have some idea of what one believes in. We believe in God, now what is that or who is He; how is he closer to us than even our shah-e-rag, if He is so far away? Should we call Him a “He”? How and why is he invisible and abstract when he has hands and legs and sits on a throne? And so on. Anyone who believes must have some conception of what he believes in?
    [[These are difficult ideas really but knowledge does enable us to have a philosophical peep into the Unknown. Of course, God does not have hand and leg. Even while writing the most abstract description of God I am bogged down with tentatively, and to say that He has hands and legs and is sitting on a throne is simply hilarious. I don’t know whether you recall my trying to explain an aspect of God (his all pervasiveness in the created world without being part of it) with the concept of infinity. I had explained that modern mathematics helps us to understand that an ‘unreachable infinity’/ ‘unknown and unknowable’,  is permeating fully this four-dimensional world that we see around us, and so if God is something of whom there is no likeness in this created world, He can afford to be closer to us than even our shah-e-rag]]
    By Manzoorul Haque - 8/8/2012 1:47:31 PM

  • Janab Manzoor/ Sultan Saheb. Manzoor Saheb’s scientifically enriched comment answers the question regarding the nature of the Ultimate Reality in a manner that is fully consistent with the Qur’an: “Spirit belongs to the spiritual world, which is beyond the space-time continuum as conceived by Einstein.” I will not like to give any personal view as the quest to understand the true nature of God has dominated human thoughts since ancient times and kept the philosophers of the medieval era – and era when science was merged with philosophy – speculating and meditating for centuries without reaching any conclusion. One glaring example in Islam is the debate whether the Qur’an is created or uncreated - co-existing with God since eternity. It had the Muslims scholars locked in debate for almost two centuries creating deep schism and antagonism between the rival camps. Quantum physics and wave mechanics have theoretically established the duality of existence in as much as explaining the true nature of matter through both atomic theory and wave mechanics. But it keeps a discrete distance from exploring the Ultimate Reality that triggered the creative process – that , in the Qur’anic perspective caused the ‘split’ of what was jointed together (21:30).

    As I understand, the Qur’an espouses a pure form of monotheism. God has no common boundary whatsoever with the creation. He is samad. So, it does not admit of any speculation about the nature of God. In other word, the notion of God is outside the categories of human mind.  It can never ever grasp it as much as an ant which can see in two dimensions cannot see 3 dimensional objects no matter how hard it tries. It can only see its two dimensional footprint. God’s creation, however, is marked by dualism. God has made everything in pairs. The polarity of sex, real and imaginary numbers in mathematics, negative and positive electrical charges, the opposing nafs (ammara and lawwama), body and soul (ruh) and so on. 

    In a word, rather than spending any energy on resolving what has perplexed the greatest of the scientists and philosophers down the centuries and continues to remain shrouded in mystery, let us take the Qur’anic notion of pure monotheism as far as the nature of the God is concerned and dualism in the creation, for forming any idea of God for humans is a mathematical impossibility. It is as impossible as quantifying infinity, which one can only arbitrarily express as an arithmetical ratio: any number divided by zero. It is like locating a point that has no dimension, or seeing an electron, or electrical charge that as an individual entity has no existence but an empirical reality established by scientific research.

    Thus God who is beyond the grasp of our intellectual faculty can only be experienced in objects – in its manifestation. Even Einstein had to concede: ‘The most beautiful and the most sublime emotion that one can conceive is the sensation of the mystical. To know to what is really impenetrable to us that exists in all forms of radian beauty that our dull faculties can comprehend in its most primitive fors.’ Iqbal said – wohi ak hun hai laykin nazar ata hai har shai me.’ Countless poets have said the same thing in different ways. I see the beauty of God in my very existence – in the way my fingers are moving on the key board, for no other creature on earth could ever accomplish this, no matter how much training it is given. And people who believe God see Him in all beautiful things and art forms.

    The Arabs saw it in the Qur’an. At the height of literary glory they could clearly see that any human could not have composed it as the Qur’an repeatedly claimed. They turned away from it in awe like frightened donkeys fleeing a lion (74:49-51). They posted guards at the far ends of the roads leading to Muhammad’s abode to warn people of his magical recitation. It was the Qur’anic recitation that brought its most bitter and enemy and the most talented of Quraysh youth, Umar to the fold of Islam. It was the Qur’an that overwhelmed the Prophet’s followers and they readily broke all can ties – that was held most sacred in their tribal society, and fought and killed their own next of kin. But how does it matter to the Muslims and the ulama. For them the hadith is enough. I wrote an article on the remoteness of the Muslims from the Qur’an.  It was appreciated  by some of the scholars but failed to generate any debate. You write an article on a polemical issue of no relevance. (Allah Hafiz versus Khuda hafiz), you have people jumping in to join the debate- the famous Parkinson’s theory possessing the typical Muslim. Like a discussion on the proposal to build an Atomic Reactor, they dose off during its presentation. As topic shifts to a cycle shed – they are wide awake and enthusiastically participate.

    The lay Muslims cannot comprehend the beauty, the subtlety and the inter-consistency of the Qur’an and its very extraordinary social, moral and ethical paradigms and intellectual underpinnings – given the era of its introduction when myths and fairy tales dominated human mind, the Justinian Law of possession dictated family law, the Christians and Jews were utterly confused about the fundamentals of their faith so much so that many of them wept on hearing the recitation of the Qur’an that descended deep into their hearts. What more proof one needs to be convinced of the divinity of the Qur’an. But one must have some knowledge. As AIlama Iqbal put it: 'phul ki patti se kat skta hai heere ka jigar - marde nadan par kalame narm o nazuk be asar.'
    By muhammad yunus (1) - 8/8/2012 6:47:00 AM

  • Extremely enlightening, informative and refresheing discussion is in progress between Janab Manzoorul Haque Sb and Janab Sultan Shahin sb upon the significance of " Anchor of Wahi" in the making of a true Muslim that should be based upon the true knowledge and understanding of Quran. Such debates are of great value for the readers of NewAgeIslam who are curious to learn the exactness of Quran and Islam in the life of human beings.
    By Raihan Nezami - 8/8/2012 5:26:34 AM

  • Dear Manzoorul Haque Saheb,

    Thanks very much indeed for a thought-provoking response to my queries emerging out of your previous comment.

    But this has raised further questions. So before I come to the second point from your original comment, I must take these up and at least bring them to your notice before you finalise the article on this subject you are writing and I am looking forward to reading.

    You say: “Luckily Muslim thinkers do not have to worry much because they have an anchor in the form of the holy Quran as ‘wahi’.”

    I don’t understand why Muslim thinkers should be free from worries or question or issues to think of and resolve. Are they exempt from questioning and seeking answers because they have the anchor of wahi? How did they become Muslims in the first place? Was it just because they were born in a Muslim family? How could they be considered a Muslim, if they did not think before accepting Islam? How can they be considered thinkers and philosophers if they do not think and question, or take recourse to anchors of any kind for making themselves exempt from thinking? Why should they believe in the “anchor of wahi” without understanding it? Unthinking thinkers, unquestioning philosophers would be a contradiction in terms. You just can’t be one without the other.

    What about repeated Qur’anic exhortation to think and observe and question and then understand and believe. I am sure you are aware that God did not allow Prophet Mohammad (saw) to perform any miracle, violation of natural law, to make people believe in his proximity to God, the creator and capable of making and breaking laws and hence his prophethood. That would have made things easier. The illiterate and ignorant Bedouins given in his charge would have been left speechless, swooning in belief immediately and fallen at his feet with the performance of a miracle they were asking for. No need for exhortations, lectures, hard work, wars even. God asked Meccans to observe nature, question, study, think and then believe or not believe, no compulsion. The Prophet had not managed to get more than 100 followers in a whole decade of hard work and was naturally depressed when he was upbraided and asked to keep to his task of teaching and leave the task of who believes or not to God. He has given humans self-determination for a reason: he apparently wants them to grown spiritually and intellectually through the process of doubting, questioning, observing, seeking answers from nature, from within themselves, from debating with the knowledgeable, from listening to prophets and others, from wherever, but not in the easy way of being born “believers” in wahi (revelation). Of course, everyone will do that to the best of his ability. No one is exempt but those whom God has blessed with the ability to think and question have a larger duty to do so and even to engage others in doing so.

    Our biggest problem today, Manzoor Saheb, is because most of us are merely born Muslims. Some of us manage to fit our thinking into the traditions that we have been indoctrinated into since our childhood. But, I believe, it is the duty of every human being blessed with the ability to think and question to ask others not to accept things without questioning.

    Another point you make that I would like to take up is: “Before we discuss these issues let this be understood that these thoughts will have no relevance to the actual practice or effect. If one believes in the truthfulness of the holy Quran, and is sincere (only being sincere in himself is the criterion) in following it, whether he/she understands the ‘highly philosophical true nature’ of God or not, is of no consequence because God has laid down no such conditions.”

    I tend to believe that these questions are of great practical relevance too. There has to be a reason why all those people who are engaged in subverting Islam and converting it into a religion of war and advocate what they call “offensive Jihad – another contradiction in terms, an oxymoron really if all that we know of Jihad is true – are dualists or what you call monotheistic, believing in total separation of God from His creation. All these people are literalists who go by the literal words in the Quran and do not try to understand any of the verses metaphorically; in fact they think it is wrong to do so. They believe, for instance, God has hand and feet and actually sits on a throne, probably in one corner of the universe on a remote planet in a remote galaxy, well-connected with an array of phones and computers to listen to our prayers all the time and choose to subvert natural laws and give us our wishes when he accepts those prayers coming from unthinking Muslims with unquestioning faith.

    Thinking and questioning – what you call philosophy – is, to my mind, not a game that some out of work people want to play for fun, to satisfy their lust for intellectual probing and academic self-indulgence.  One may not understand the “highly philosophical true nature of God”, but one must have some idea of what one believes in. We believe in God, now what is that or who is He; how is he closer to us than even our shah-e-rag, if He is so far away? Should we call Him a “He”? How and why is he invisible and abstract when he has hands and legs and sits on a throne? And so on. Anyone who believes must have some conception of what he believes in?

    By Sultan Shahin - 8/8/2012 3:37:06 AM

  • Dear Sultan Shahin Saheb,

    Undoubtedly, we would be touching the greatest subject which has kept occupied the philosophers for centuries leading in the process to the disbandment of philosophy itself, with these words:
    ‘falsafi ko bahs ke andar khuda milta nahin,

    dor ko suljha raha hai aur sira milta nahin’.

    Luckily Muslim thinkers do not have to worry much because they have an anchor in the form of the holy Quran as ‘wahi’. Before we discuss these issues let this be understood that these thoughts will have no relevance to the actual practice or effect. If one believes in the truthfulness of the holy Quran, and is sincere (only being sincere in himself is the criterion) in following it, whether he/she understands the ‘highly philosophical true nature’ of God or not, is of no consequence because God has laid down no such conditions.

    When I try to read classical philosophers on this subject, I am impressed with their endeavour of climbing up without a ladder. It so happened that the ladder was not made then. Now we are in a better situation to understand a little bit of divine scheme because of our better understanding of physical world with the help of physics. In effect not much of verbal philosophizing is necessary.

    Matter and energy are seen, as one by any scientist today as being part of the material world. Therefore, when we say energy we mean matter only. Spirit belongs to the spiritual world, which is beyond the space-time continuum as conceived by Einstein. Does spiritual world exist, is the question which if you pose to a scientist, he is most likely to say, no. Modern philosophers have to find space for spirit and no use referring to any old book, or philosophers who precede the development of quantum mechanics.

    As you might have seen from the comments of Janab Naseer Ahmed sb, even Einstein became irrelevant after he took an antagonistic position vis-à-vis quantum physics. It would be a folly to think that quantum mechanics validates a philosopher’s search for Truth, which I have to write after just seeing the comments of Rizvi sb as I was writing this sentence, but quantum mechanics does shift he boundary of (or the window of opportunity for a philosophical peep into) the Unknown from where we have to drawn sustenance to support the existence of the Known world.

    Coming back to the monotheism debate, I have to submit that I have written a piece, which I would be sending shortly captioned, “Monotheism as the subject-matter of understanding”. Opinions can vary but I have tried to fully accommodate the Sufi practices of Muslims in the broader understanding of Islamic monotheism, and for my authority I have taken a cue from a philosophical statement of Hazrat Ali Razi Allah Anhu, in this regard.

    PS: As and when you bring out printed copy of volume vi, please ensure that the write-ups and comments are fully edited, because silly spelling mistakes/printing mistakes generally crop in on the website submissions. And, thanks a lot from all of us for your colossal efforts.

    By Manzoorul Haque - 8/7/2012 6:24:39 AM

  • Dear Manzoorul Haque Saheb, While editing comments on this page for being included in a publication (Volume VI Of Introducing New Age Islam: copies of some previous volumes are available and interested readers can ask for them and send us their postal address), I was surprised to find that no one has engaged you yet on some of the crucial points of your own understanding of Qur’anic teachings you mentioned in one of your comments in this thread. Your understanding is also the understanding of many other people but you referred to them as if they were universally accepted which they are not. I would like to take up two issues briefly.

    1. You say: “After comparing the concepts of monism, polytheism, and monotheism, my argument is in favour of monotheism as derived from the holy Quran, wherein no part of divinity (uncreated) can attach to any element of creation (created) - because of monotheism’s highly purposeful and socially enriching philosophy.” 

    But this understanding of monotheism sounds more like dualism to me, two completely separate entities. 

    Creator is generally seen to be in everything created, every atom in the universe is supposed to be suffused with the spirit, energy and intelligence of the creator This is also the understanding of all mystics, saints, Sufis who interpreted Quran and previous scriptures of God. Muslims, Christians, Hindus, all religions contain believers who have different understandings of God and are variously described as monistic, monotheistic, henotheistic, pantheistic or polytheistic, etc. So while there is nothing wrong in your monotheistic or dualistic understanding, it should be understood that on the basis of Quran itself others have come to different conceptions of God. This has been the case particularly with our most revered Sufi saints who have been instrumental in bringing Islam to the overwhelming majority of Muslims in the world, to us in South Asia and South East Asia, have had an understanding of God that can be better described as monistic. 

    Scientifically inclined religious people who understand Einstein’s formulation E=MC² have particularly come round to the monistic view. As probably all of us know by now E=MC² translates into the principle that matter and energy are really different forms of the same thing and so matter can be turned into energy, and energy into matter. This has confirmed a spiritual view of things; matter has been confirmed virtually as non-existent. It’s all energy, spirit; mater is merely a form, an expression of spirit. As Allama Iqbal said, interpreting our kalmia: La Ilaha Illalah.




    Nafi-e-Hasti Ek Karishma Hai Dil-e-Agah Ka

    ‘LA’ Ke Darya Mein Nihan Moti Hai ‘ILLALLAH’ Ka

    (The denial of Existence is a miracle of the awakened heart (or a conscious mind).

    In the river of 'La' is concealed the pearl of 'Illallah'.)

    Apparently it is the ‘La’ (The denial of Existence) in La Ilaha Illallah that really engages Iqbal’s mind. Like any number of mystics he is saying that La Ilaha Illallah means there is no existence except that of God. All is Maya (illusion, just a form of energy, and an expression of spirit) except the reality of God, the universe or multiple universes that we live in. However, it is proper that we keep our interpretation of the Qur’anic concept of God to ourselves, even propagate it, but not in a way that would give the impression that it is a universally accepted idea among Muslims.

    I will take up another issue with you Insha Allah tomorrow.

    By Sultan Shahin - 8/6/2012 1:01:57 PM

  • Janab Manzoorul Haque Sb: Sorry for being late as my internet at home is disconnected till Aug. Please don't take my previous comment in bad taste, it was a simple expression as I saw that someone was being given a heavy dose of instructions by our respected commentators for the unworthy fault of being inspired or trying to learn from different sources. Actually, comments upon someone's idiological comment should not be too forceful as it doesn't seem  good. It was a kind of request in a critical tone that we generally do without offending anyone. Of course, we share and possess most of the common ideologies and concepts as I do with other reverent scholars as well.
    By Raihan Nezami - 8/4/2012 1:41:16 AM

  • Contrary to what Unknown says, the word kafir never acquired derogatory overtones. The literal meaning is one who denies truth and in common imagination it means a rebel and that too a lovable one.  Consider the following Ghalib's sher:
    Mohabbat mein farkh nahin hai jeene aur Marne ka
    Usi ko dekh kar jeete hain jis kafir pe dum nikle.
    If you prefer something more recent then the following is Shammi Kapoor singing:
    O haseena zulfon wali jaane jahan
    Dhoondti hai kafir nigahen kiska nishan

    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/3/2012 12:02:07 PM

  • Unknown human sir! I fully appreciate your comment and your complementary recipe of hatred. Like a free intoxicating beverage, it attracts the lay, the ignorant, the educated, the popularity seeking writers and politicians, the nincompoops and the intellectuals on the rival camps (Hindu Muslim for the sub-continent, Shia and Sunni among the Muslims, Christians and Muslims in the West) and except a small minority, the rest drink of it, ventilate their inner tension and frustration through its maliciously exhilarating effect and even get addicted to it. It is fuelled by hate mongers, who find it easy and free commodity to sell in a market that has virtually unlimited demand of their product. The media manipulates it for political gains. The leaders of rival nations (India-Pakistan, Saudi Arabia-Iran) and superpowers tacitly support it to keep their war industrial complex running giving them good dividends. It all goes to demonstrate what the Qur’an says that humans are created in the best of constitution (imbued with taqwa) but they stoop to the lowest of the low. I am absolutely sure that some of the Hindu saints, who have their share of divine inspiration, must have said the same thing in a different or similar tone. What can a few people who are not party to do about it?  
    By muhammad yunus (1) - 8/3/2012 11:08:01 AM

  • Thank you Mr Yunus for taking time out to reply to my comment and introducing me to a beautiful article.
    Regarding my comment about religious clashes which you pointed out, id like to say that currently we have serious religious clashes between hindus and Muslims, that is evident in the mindset of the people of both faiths. Kindly read below perceptions and stereotype thinking of majority of people in both groups towards each other.

    Note : To all people who will read the below id like to say my intention is not to instigate hatred or create a sensational comment or to blatantly accuse , but only to point out what i have heard from people in general through personal interactions, internet blogs, sites, TV, etc which i am sure most people have had heard or come across. I apologize if have hurt anyone by the below and would like to ask that doesn't any one think its high time we let go of the below and identify the common good in both faiths and live in peace.

    Perceptions about Muslims in minds of Hindus:

    - Muslims dont belong in india, they were conquerers who came to india and looted the hindus and settled here.forceibly
    - Muslims dont tolerate people from other faiths and openly look down upon non-muslims
    - Muslims refer to hindus with a very degrading word  being 'kafirs'
    - Muslims refer to idol worship as devil worship and refer to hindu festivals as devilish
    - The Quran is a evil book that teaches muslims to fight and kill people from other faiths and to indulge in polygamy
    - Muslims have a voilent mindest and all the time they think of jihad
    - Wherever muslims go their main objective is to convert the city/country etc to islam
    - Muslims get money from saudi arabia which they are using to convert hindus
    - ,Muslims deliberately have more children and keep more than one wife to increase the muslim population in india
    - All Muslims in india are pakistan supporters

    Perceptions about Hindus in minds of Muslims:

    - Hindus are idol worshippers and dont believe in god at all and are kafirs
    - All hindus holy books are devilish and fake
    - Hindus deliberately blame muslims for all problems in india
    - All hindus are supporters of RSS/VHP and support narendra modi to the fullest either openly or secretly
    - Hindus blame muslims for all india's problems
    - Hindus never consider Muslims as indians and refer to all muslims as pakistanis
    - Hindus refer to all muslims as terrorists and sympathisers of osama bin laden
    - Hindus are working tirelessly to degrade islam and wipe out muslims from India

    By unknown human - 8/3/2012 2:08:39 AM

  • Unknown human sir. I refer to your remark (August 2): “Dont people out there feel in times like these with widespread religious clashes its high time we acknowledge the common good in all religions and live in peace and keep the religion specific”

    May I correct you that there has not been any religious clash. None of the key commentators with Muslim names have said a word against Hinduism, while some of the commentators bearing typical Hindu names have been very unsympathetic to Islam. As far as your pluralistic views are concerned, Islamic faith admits of it, as argued in the following article:

    Ref: The broader notion of din al-Islam is inclusive of all monotheistic faiths.


    The article that concludes as follows:

    “An introspective probe into the Qur’an as advocated by the Qur’an (38:29, 47:24) and tabled in this discourse, shows that in the Qur’anic worldview, a good muslim is a believer in God - regardless of religion, race, cast, creed or affiliation with a spiritual fraternity, who is active in good deeds, is conscious of his social, moral and ethical responsibilities and preserves against all that is gross, immoral and unjust.

    I may also invite you to read the following article that purports to exempt the present day Hindus from the category of mushrikin (pagans who associated others/idols with God) and the kafirin (the inveterate denier of the revelation as it was unfolding):

             The Hindus are not ‘the mushrikin’ mentioned in the Qur’an.



    By muhammad yunus (1) - 8/2/2012 10:05:24 AM

  • Dear Mr. Raihan Nizami, I was quite surprised to see your comments. Your calling me or any one a big gun was in bad taste. Do you sincerely think that any one of us lacks the strength to use similar words for you? Perhaps it may not be uncomfortable for you, but interacting at this level is not welcome to me. Surprisingly on most of issues we have shown similarity of views. This therefore throws for me a Hobson’s choice. How do you work for a group whose members exhibit such reactive bad behavior on a non-issue? But never mind your remarks will not detract me much and hopefully Janab Muhammad Yunus sb will also take it sportingly. I can’t even make out the thrust of your argument because, for Shaista I have written just one line, “Our religious orientation should be to love Islam and not hate others”. I have an image of her of the age group of Aiman Reyaz whose photograph I have seen (by the way Sadaf is also their age and may already be preparing to give you a befitting reply). So, age-wise Shaista must be like a daughter to me, and yet if she feels slighted in any way, I can always apologize to her.  I think they have a friend named Abdul Sufian who attends computer classes. In fact, I had written in my remarks at the tail end something which at the last moment I decided not to include in the post. I reproduce the same now:
    [Anyway, Shaista nice to see you interacting and taking great interest in the ideological discussions. Please keep it up. I am not entirely against watching Dr. Zakir Naik on TV.
    For Abdul Sufian. Where are you dear; in your computer classes? I was enjoying your spirited replies to the ideas of Aiman Reyaz?] 
    Now forget about these youngsters, I have tried to analyze why you went off the hook. It must have something to do with your unhealthy reverence for Dr. Naik.  If you recall there was a recent incident in Pakistan of one Hindu gentleman, paraded by a private TV channel where his conversion to Islam was shown and celebrated. The Channel  was editorially condemned by Dawn and the news was subsequently withdrawn. On this website, I had recommended a punishment for ten years for such acts of exhibition. Dr Naik is doing the exactly same thing.  Long back on this website, I had pleaded on these lines:  Conversion is a painful process for any human being even where he is converting with his full willingness, because of the kind of emotional trauma that he must be undergoing. It has to be made as solemn as possible and certainly not an item of exhibition. Sad that a typical Muslim like you, does not even understand such basics of human behavior. But never mind, I shall carry on with my mission of working for Muslims – even for those who are worse specimens of humanity.
    By Manzoorul Haque - 8/2/2012 7:01:48 AM

  • Dear Rameshji, It was a pleasure interacting with an honest and open person like you. Hope we showed you the same courtesy by being open and frank with our responses and enabling you to gain a better understanding.
    We belong to a culture where the religious festivities in Benares began with the shehnai of Bismillah Khan. The bhajan “Man tarpat Hari darshan ko aaj” Is written by Shakeel, sung by Rafi and the music is composed by Naushad. It is arguably the best bhajan from Hindi Cinema.
    Yunus Sb mentioned about Ghalib and Meer and said that they never insulted Hinduism and they are poets from an era of Muslim rule. Far from it, I quote Ghalib below:
    Once he dared both Hindus and Muslims by writing:
    In the Kaaba I will play the conch-shell
    In the temple I have draped the ahram.
     God is one, that is our faith;
    All ritual we abjure.
    ‘Tis only when the symbols vanishThat belief is pure.
    In his poem "Chiragh-i-Dair" (Temple lamps) which was composed during his trip to Benaras during the spring of 1827, Ghalib mused about the land of Hindustan and how Qiyamah (Doomsday) has failed to arrive, in spite of the numerous conflicts plaguing it.
    “Said I one night to a pristine seer
    (Who knew the secrets of whirling time)
    "Sir, you well perceive
    That goodness and faith,
    Fidelity and love
    Have all departed from this sorry land
    Father and son are at each other's throat;
    Brother fights brother, Unity and federation are undermined
    Despite all these ominous signs,
    Why has not Doomsday come?
    Who holds the reins of the Final Catastrophe?
    The hoary old man of lucent ken
    Pointed towards Kashi and gently smiled
    "The Architect", he said, "is fond of this edifice
    Because of which there is color in life; He
    Would not like it to perish and fall."
    Swami Rama teerth shed tears on the  mausoleum of  Nazir Akbarabadi  and proclaimed here lies a person who has realised God ! Then you have Raskhan, Kabir and many of the modern Urdu poets including Javed Akhter as well.
    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/2/2012 5:36:55 AM

  • @Nezami, you are right. But I too have written, I saw your comment after posting my comment. Pardon me, I realize my mistake. I should not have attacked her so early. But I am sure that my friend Shaista will face the situation head on. 
    By Aiman Reyaz - 8/2/2012 4:25:55 AM

  • To my dear friend Shaista, I am happy to see you continue on this site and I am glad that you are taking part in the debate over here. I am sure you have not heard Zakir Naik as much as I have, I was so dedicated listening to his speeches that most of his speeches were memorised by me. What opened my mind was his tone of speech. I urge you to listen to him but do not just listen, analyse his way of speaking and indirect mocking of other religions. Let me give you a couple of points that will hopefully clarify your doubts:

    He says and I am quoting “Islam, religion 100% but marketing 0%; Christianity, religion 0% but marketing 100%.

    He says “Adultery, pornography, senseless violence have their origin in the Bible”. He said in one of his recent Urdu speeches, ‘main keh bhi nahi sakta kitna wahiyat aur behudi baatein Bible me likhi gayi  hain’ (I can’t even tell you what ridiculous and disgusting things are written in the Bible).

    You may say that indeed Islam is 100% but you have not right to say that Christianity is 0%, as if it is nothing and all over 2 billion people are the biggest fools in the history of mankind. Even if I agree with you that Christianity is 0% then why does he quote the Bible? And to further this logic, he should not believe in those verses which proves the oneness of God and which proves the coming of Muhammad (pbuh). Zakir Naik is pushing his version of Islam down other people’s throats.

    The second quote of his is absolute blasphemy, had he been in a so-called Islamic country, his opposite limbs should have been chopped off or he should have been exiled or he should have been crucified. I can tell you many more points. I am planning to write an article on Zakir Naik, if I do write it then read it thoroughly. Follow the advice Mr Sadaf and Mr Yunus.

    By Aiman Reyaz - 8/2/2012 4:23:18 AM

  • Dear Mr. Raihn Nezami Sir, looks like you live in Saudi Arabia where freedom of thinking is allowed maximum, with  somewhat little restrain on freedom to articulate and absolutely no freedom to practice faith other than Islam. 
    By sadaf - 8/2/2012 3:52:01 AM

  • Hello to everyone again, it seems my remarks have created quite an amount of disagreement among most of the commentators so let me clearly clarify.

    1.) Regarding the degrading of holy books, i would like to say that i have read comments where in people have openly ridiculed quran as well as mahabaratha and my comment was directed to folks making such comments.
    2.) While its good to see people giving out quotes/references/sections from their respective books (commendable that they show such interest in their holy books in these modern times where folks seem to more interested in Facebook than their holy book), to me the discussion belows looks like lawyers from different countries debating over how good the law is in their countries quoting sections etc from their respective law books. The point is while the giving out of quotes, sections etc is a commendable thing it serves no purpose if the target person doesn't even have a hint of what your holy books says and seemingly gives no indication/hint that he/she intends to really understand your respective book. So if any one wants to give quotes/sections etc better start a new thread where in people who are really interested will participate and the purpose is better served rather in debates where the other person to the debate doesn't give a damn about what you want to convey.
    3.) Regarding shaista's comment i would like to clarify to her/him that my quote 'no religion books teaches you to be bad" was used in a generalist sense. What I meant was that no holy book teaches you that lying, backbiting, voilence, adultery, betrayel, robbery etc are good. The differences in holy books arise in specific issues like form of worship, place of worhip, method of worship etc, and sadly we seem to love to focus on these differences and brand people as good or bad folks. For eg : hindus are bad because they do idol worship, muslims are bad because they are allowed to have more than one wife, chrisitians are bad because they consider christ as the true prophet, eat pork, etc.
    Dont people out there feel in times like these with widespread religious clashes its high time we acknowledge the common good in all religions and live in peace and keep the religion specific restricted to the people who follow that particular religion rather than the present trend of identifying certain things which may not be wrong be in other religion but considered not good in your particular religion and using this to brand all the folks who follow the that other religion as bad.

    By unknown human - 8/2/2012 2:48:57 AM

  • Three great guns - Janab Mohammad Younus Sb, Janab Manzoorul Haque Sb and last but not the least Miss Sadaf in addition to Unknown Human have targetted the new-comer Miss Shaista Khan on this site. I feel pity about her and doubt if she can sustain and retain her individual thoughts intact or not. The crime she has committed is that she gets some intellectual solace from Mr. Zakir Naik's speech which accounts to her individual understanding of different Faiths, but it seems to me as if she is going to seize her power of expression as so much coercion is put upon her to come to the terms of the moderaters. Everybody should be listened properly and not discarded outrightly, rather left free to think and form his/her own understanding. I remember a saying, "Too many cooks spoil the broth".
    By Raihan Nezami - 8/2/2012 2:40:31 AM

  • For Dear Sistah, a Raksha Bandhan Special: A Reading about Abdul Sattar Edhi. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/8440920/The-day-I-met-Abdul-Sattar-Edhi-a-living-saint.html
    By sadaf - 8/2/2012 2:37:46 AM

  • Dear Mr Mohammad yunusji, Naseer ahmedji, Shahinji and Ms Sadfji, Iam thankful to you all  for giving best possible explanations to my queries in the last few days.Mr Naseer underlined the importance of historical perspectives ,Mr Yunus provided intellectual reasonings and Ms Sadaf spoke from the heart.This has definitely increased my understanding .Thanks to you all for having patient with my questions which were direct . With this I conclude my discussions on this issue.
    By ramesh - 8/2/2012 1:58:29 AM

  • For Ms Shaista. Our religious orientation should be to love Islam and not hate others. I disagreed with ‘unknown human’ when he attempted to equate the discourses of Hindus and Muslims on this website, because it was factually incorrect. Several Hindu commentators have been commenting very aggressively naming our religion, our prophet and our books. Our responses have never been to bring in their books and religion for a slanging match. On the other hand, they have been met with our arguments and decency.

    Mr. Guest has identified this. I don’t know how he has agreed with the equation drawn by‘unknown human’ (who seems to have vanished after putting his remarks), because indeed it is Quran and Hadith that have been discussed on this forum. Reference to other books or ideas may have come in the passing to argue out a point. However, I hurry to add that we are happy that our books have been discussed which gave us opportunity to clear our stands, sharpen our understanding further, and learn from the comments of others. If some of the questioners have been insulting to our religion and books, that speaks of them not of us.

    About Dr Zakir Naik I have an ambivalent stand. It is surprising how we can claim to have the need to be decent with clear abusers of Islam if we become abusive of someone like Dr. Naik. On this website, I have supported him where he deserves support but I have opposed him where it was needed. I even wrote to IRF my views. I don’t consider him a fool or a moron or even an unqualified doctor. On the other hand, he has mastery of his subject and he can make brilliant analysis too. So far his use of TV is concerned, it is a master-shot. His explaining Islamic concepts to Muslims and even Hindus cannot be faulted. However, I strongly detest his publicly converting a Hindu to Islam before a crowd and on top of that letting crowd to clap. He makes himself such a despicable person by this act of his. However, do we think that he does not know it? He does, but he uses this gimmick to advance his TRP ratings, at the cost of public decency. In essence, he is no different from the ones who encourage nudity to increase TRP. Don’t blame the masses, the masses are always asses.

     I wonder why government is not bringing in legislation to ban any public showing of the act of conversion at the pain of penalty. I have suspicion that the sagacious mandarins of the government have allowed him free hand to create the highest degree of bias in public against Islam so that his dawah dies its natural death. Meanwhile his TRP will increase and he will switch over to real estate business. Another Amitabh Bacchan made (only the routes of rise are different). It is still time that Dr Naik restricted himself to explaining concepts of Islam without making comparisons with other religions except in the passing. Or he could engage in opening of good Islamic schools where ideas distilled out of the laborious debates (such as of New Age Islam) could be put to use by him.

    By Manzoorul Haque - 8/2/2012 12:06:35 AM

  • Shaista Khan Patna. Your comment  to Mr unknown human, [“ Your sentence “no holy book teaches you to be bad” is absolutely ridiculous and most nakedly reveals your ignorance”] only shows how perverted Dr.Zaki Naik must be, if he is the source of your knowledge. Had he taught you what is there in the Qur’an, he must have told you not to insult the faiths of others (6:108) and to seek the best meaning in scriptures (35:18, 35:33). You are doing just the opposite. May I remind you that the Qurr'an asks you to be most polite while arguing with others on religious matters. May I also request you again to read my articles which attempt to bring across different facets of the Qur'anic message.

    Leave the faith of other people to them and mind about your own faith please. If the others read the worst narratives of the ahadith, they will laugh their head off at your claim of spiritual virginity. People who live in glass house do not peep at other’s toilets and that is precisely what you are doing – talking about dirty linens in the others’ scriptures that their believers ignore as extraneous. I really feel pity for you and pray God show you the right path.

    By muhammad yunus (1) - 8/1/2012 5:05:26 PM

  • Dear Madam Shaista Khan Madam, the reason why your friend criticize Dr. Zakir Nayak is because Dr. Babu is making Ghol Mattha of Veda and Bible and Quran which was absolutely unnecessary. Cherry-picking only the good of Veda and Bible might be easy for him but just think, how Hindus and Christian would feel if told that whatever hasn't been picked are absolutely disgusting things. The focus shifts on the fact that something of their Vedas and Bible are declared as disgusting things and then no matter how much similarity you count and how much praise you have for those similarities, it will not repair the damage done to their feelings.

    Haven't you heard that when you push to win an argument, you lose a friend, even potential friend? Then-after Hindus and Christian would ask you for proof/forensic evidence, that their holy books have been changed while Quran has remained intact. Then you will dig you head in finding the 'proof' losing precious time which you could have saved by just saying that 'we believe so'.

    But here also you have a catch. Even Christians and Hindus do have a right to believe whatever, just as you have a right to believe. Isn't it? If not, then what right do you have to believe what you believe in? Do you really believe in what you believe in? Have you ever had difference of belief from your family members where you have been brought up? If not, then isn't it that you are just believing without realising, whatever they have been believing and had they been Hindu or Christian, you might have continued to believe what they believed?

     If yes, then maybe you are a free thinker, but then doesn't free thinking, allow people to think freely and believe whatever? What is the need that Christian and Hindus too believe the same way as you believe? To save themselves from 'woe'? Well, they don't think they will face 'woe'. They may on the other hand think that it is you who will face 'woe'. What proof do you have apart from Quran, which they do not believe and will not accept as proof? I mean it is absolutely foolish of Dr. Zakir Nayak to argue in matters of belief. Remember, when Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) had asked people to believe that there is an army beyond the hills, he just asked them to believe it and not to seek a proof. Those who believed that he was trustworthy, they believed in him. They joined him in what he said.

    The whole story is about believing or not believing. There will always be people who will not believe and they will be within their rights to not believe just as you have a right to believe whatsoever, and you will have no proof to prove your point and then you will have no proof to disprove their point. The only thing that you will do is waste time in arguments and whatever opportunity you had to win friends, to win heart, to melt heart, to plant respect for your beliefs that you would lose. Religious beliefs are not like mathematics, that you have to get to the same figure. You just figure out things what others have been figuring out and slightly here or there, whatever you and others have figured out, you assume it to be the same or different without really knowing what the other has actually figured. It is such a vague thing.

    But what matters most is how much you appeal or charm the other with your beliefs and that helps them align their belief with you. The reason why such debaters fail to win fans while even filmi heroes win fans is simply because of this emotionalism. And this thing is damn important. You know, many people who joined Islam, didn't join it because Prophet (pbuh) proved to be too witty for them, but because they were impressed by his demeanor and practices. I hope some day Dr. Zakir Nayak understand this, but before that happens at least you please try to understand this and take it in right spirit. I feel happy that we have our sisters too participating in here and yours and other sisters participation is very important for all of us here.

     As a friend of Dear Mr. Aiman Reyaz, you are privileged to hear more of his wise words even away from this website. I wish you make good use of his wisdom and understanding. Instead of understanding what Islam is about from Dr. Zakir Nayak, try to figure out what is Islam from Abdul Sattar Edhi. See what he does and then see his fan following. But for sure you will not find him tongue-wrestling. There are many great people who win people, their heart and soul, by their demeanor following footsteps of our beloved Prophet.

    Of course they cannot match him. No one can match him, not even Dr. Zakir Nayak, but some or the other good thing about them brings out the beauty of conviction they have. They acknowledge that it is because of Islam. One such guy is APJ Abdul Kalam. There are many others.

    look beyond Dr. Zakir Nayak to understand what Islam is about. Read more and more, secular as well as Islamic, read opinions of people covering entire spectrum, but above all, do not get embroiled in such arguments like 'see I can show you where your beliefs are wrong'. Remember beliefs are beliefs. Just beliefs. Nothing there can be right or wrong about it and it is all unprovable and each are within their rights to believe whatever, except of course someone shouldn't come up and say that he/she believes in harming you, then of course that is an exception.
    By sadaf - 8/1/2012 1:14:44 PM

  • Mr unknown human, please do not say things that you have no knowledge of. Your sentence “no holy book teaches you to be bad” is absolutely ridiculous and most nakedly reveals your ignorance about “holy” books. I can list you a list of absolute disgusting things from the Bible and the Vedas and other Hindu religious books that you will be amazed by it.

    But I must agree with you on the second point that you have raised about bringing in commonality between religions. That is what Zakir Naik does constantly and I don’t know why people in this site and my friend, who also writes in this site criticise him? Zakir Naik has never criticised any religion unless forced. He bases his talks on the verse of the Quran which reads “come to common terms as between us and you”. Zakir Naik says that if in the Quran 10 points are given, in the Bible 10 are given and in the Vedas 10 are given and we observe 5 common in all the three, then atleast let us agree to follow what is common that is those 5 points. And the remaining 5 different points we will discuss tomorrow or later.

    The holy Lord gave us the books but except the Quran all the other religious books have been changed, only quran is in the original form. Allah says “woe to those to write books with their own hands and say ’this is from Allah’ and traffic with it for a miserable price, woe to those for what they write and woe to those for what they earn”. 

    By Shaista Khan patna - 8/1/2012 10:08:16 AM

  • Mr unknown human, please do not say things that you have no knowledge of. Your sentence “no holy book teaches you to be bad” is absolutely ridiculous and most nakedly reveals your ignorance about “holy” books. I can list you a list of absolute disgusting things from the Bible and the Vedas and other Hindu religious books that you will be amazed by it.

    But I must agree with you on the second point that you have raised about bringing in commonality between religions. That is what Zakir Naik does constantly and I don’t know why people in this site and my friend, who also writes in this site criticise him? Zakir Naik has never criticised any religion unless forced. He bases his talks on the verse of the Quran which reads “come to common terms as between us and you”. Zakir Naik says that if in the Quran 10 points are given, in the Bible 10 are given and in the Vedas 10 are given and we observe 5 common in all the three, then atleast let us agree to follow what is common that is those 5 points. And the remaining 5 different points we will discuss tomorrow or later.

    The holy Lord gave us the books but except the Quran all the other religious books have been changed, only quran is in the original form. Allah says “woe to those to write books with their own hands and say ’this is from Allah’ and traffic with it for a miserable price, woe to those for what they write and woe to those for what they earn”. 

    By Shaista Khan patna - 8/1/2012 10:08:03 AM

  • Reading the below comments it seems mr ramesh seems to be hell bent on proving that there is nothing wrong in idol worshipping. As per my understanding if prayer/worship is a way to communicate with God then idol worship/photo worship is an inappropriate way of worshipping. Its like someone communicating to the photo/statue of a person even though the person is around him/her and communicating with him/her directly. I guess if i ever get to meet mr ramesh i should take a pic or statue of myself as mr ramesh seems to be more comfortable communicating with my pic/statue rather than me directly (pun intended).
    By romana - 8/1/2012 3:56:48 AM

  • mr haque, kindly scroll down to the comments, you will find references from the mahabaratha too.
    I agree with unknown human's point. Even i have seen that in some comments people from both religions outrightly degrading each others religious books.
    Also i see inspite of all the effort of many people including yourself some people like mr ramesh, secular logic, etc dont even bother to understand and acknowledge that their is some good in islam in general and in the quran in particular
    I guess people like him only enter islamic forums not to understand islam but to degrade islam/quran and derive some unknown pleasure out of it.
    So i request all to stop wasting time explaning to people like mr ramesh, secular logic cos not matter what happens they will never have anything good to say about islam.
    If possible i request moderators not to accept posts from such people

    Finally to mr ramesh referring to his comment about his daughter's experience i would like to ask him if some hindu tells a muslim that hinduism is superior to islam should he/she outrightly assume that this is taught in gita or mahabharat and these are evil books?

    By guest - 8/1/2012 3:46:22 AM

  • Both Hindus and Muslims are discussing the holy Quran only (any other statement is a typical perversion of Truth). How they are discussing is for anyone to see.
    By Manzoorul Haque - 7/31/2012 12:02:25 PM

  • While its good to see people from both religions (islam and hinduism) researching their respective religious texts and putting out quotes/explanations/examples/analogies its sad to see that in the end the only people from both communities are doing is trying to show they are good/better people by portraying the other as bad and most have used very insulting words to degrade each others' holy books.What the commentators below are teaching me is that in order to respect the holy book of my religion i need to degrade the holy book of other religion.While agreed that holy books in both religions have many differences it should be noted that no holy book teaches you to be bad. All in their own unique way try to tell us the same thing that is to be good to oneself and others around you and make the world a better place to live.
    Sadly the people from both religious instead of appreciating the common points of goodness their respective books teaches and trying to converge the good in both religions so that each appreciate the other are involved in bashing and degrading of the each others holy books/religions
    I guess the holy lord (by what ever name you call him) must be feeling quite ashamed of us, because he gave us these books so that we be better people but sadly we use them just to show that one religious group is superior to the other and degrading the other groups.

    PS: i have deliberately not given my name nor hinted my religon because the so called intellectual/mature people participitating in the below discussions are so immature that they would form an opinion about my comment and myself on the basis of  my religion and not by what i m trying to understand the point i am trying to convey

    By unknown human - 7/31/2012 9:37:39 AM

  • Dear Mr. Ramesh Sir, let me try to simplify things for you and emphatically say that there is actually no contempt for idol worshippers in Islam.  Whatever you read as contempt for idol worshipper it is not personal. You know what I mean? I am saying that the contempt is for idol worshipping and not idol worshippers as such.

    To understand this it should be taken into account that Prophet  Muhammad (Peace be upon him) did not had contempt for something which ‘some others’ were doing but it was for ‘something’ which his very own family was indulging into and for which he rebelled. He did it without getting violent.  He was not at war with his family members as much as he was with war with those kinds of practices that were in vogue.

    The idea behind contempt for idol worshipping is that he believed and which we as Muslim believe that these idols are lifeless objects and any expectation that these idols will do this or that is a foolish thing to do. People indulged and they still indulge in massive and elaborate exercises to please the idols. Such massive and elaborate exercises in the name of faith helped some people to cheat and deceive other gullible/ simple people with promises of getting them rescued from their sufferings by these idols.

    If today the same kind of activity is done by some people in the name of Islam and identifying themselves as Muslims, then the contempt  comes out naturally, but it is not as such for people who believe in it as much as those who make these people believe into it. But in real the contempt is for this whole business of idol worshipping. Idol worshippers come about later. In fact I do not know how to say it, whether idol worshippers lead to idol worshipping or idol worshipping leads to idol worshippers, it is chicken and egg kind of thing and asking which of the two came first.

    Your opinion and assessment about the boy in your kid’s class is correct except that I would ask you not to blame Quran for that. The Mullahs who mix up idol worshipping with idol worshippers are to blame. I am willing to sacrifice millions of Mullahs for the Quran.  But I hope just as these Mullahs interchange idol worshipping with idol worshippers, you do not do the same mistake of identifying Mullahism with Islam or Quran. Is it not possible that the boy has been taught Quran wrongly by Mullahs not deliberately but because the Mullah himself has misunderstood Quran?

    This brings us to the second point where you and some others have questioned that isn’t Quran so difficult to understand that Mullahs understand it wrongly? Please be reminded that I never said Quran is so difficult that even Mullahs find it difficult to understand. Rather, I said, Mullahs are Mullahs and they do not understand even Physics or Chemistry or Economics properly. In fact we call them Mullahs who fail to understand Quran properly while posing that they understand it well. Quran is quite easy to understand unless, you have a Mullah mind. Islam is not rocket science. It has been the religion of even illiterates. No great philosophy is needed to explain what Islam is. You begin with a premise that a good way to lead life is being taught and what is good and what is bad comes out naturally and that is Islam. If you hurt someone or if you hurt even yourself then it is not Islam. But yes, if you defend yourself from someone hurting you, then too, that is Islam. It is therefore understood among people who profess Islam as a natural response of a person seeking the best way to live and to let others live, in Peace.

    When you read that believers are those who believes in the revelation of Muhammed (Peace be upon him) then you should keep in mind that Muhammed the Prophet is considered epitome of Islamic ways, of living in peace and letting others live in peace and to attain that peace if need be then fight back in self defense. Self defense I said, not aggression. Get justice and do justice.

    To understand the fight back clause that I just mentioned, I hope you will not mind me making few comparisons where Lord Krishna killed Kansa, his uncle for the later’s unjust ways. Did that make Lord Krishna, the killer or evil? I believe, not. Similarly the battle of Mahabharat and the lecture of Lord Krishna for Arjun to fight for justice or Lord Ram’s fight against Rakshas Ravan all these fights did happen either in History or Mythology, whichever way people see it, only for peace to prevail.

    May be someone will suggest that these Al Qaidas, Talibans and Militants are fighting for Peace and Justice against the tyranny and lies and hypocrisy of America and the powerful West then that comparison is inevitable. But we cannot accept that suicide bombing is part of Islam. Suicide itself is haram/prohibited. We cannot accept that wanton bombing and killing is part of Islam. Islam recommends the severest of punishment for killers and believes that killing of one innocent individual is as grave a crime as killing of entire humanity. Islam prohibits even uprooting trees and trampling ants under your feet. Are you getting it? But things do happen and such a perfect Islam is difficult to be practiced. Quest for perfectionism leads to extremism and perhaps here you have that particular flaw that is there in Islam. But then Islam acknowledges such a temptation and says the best is moderation. That however doesn’t mean that now onwards one is free to kill albeit a bit scaled down.  Killing without a proven guilt and fair trial is wrong. It is better to forgive and give amnesty even after that. Prophet himself gave amnesty to a killer who had killed his clansman to put a stop on revenge seeking tradition and tendencies of his people.

    Coming to another point you mentioned asking that ‘are Muslims really non-idolators’? I fear, not. At least not all those who call themselves Muslims are really non-idolators. But if you ask, does Islam asks for idolatry, then you know my answer. It is emphatically ‘NO’. Islam does however concede for a bit of symbolism but such symbols don’t replace the position of God and cannot be seen as replica of the God who is otherwise abstract as per Islam.  And therefore you have that episode of circumambulation of Kaabaa and all kinds of rituals.

    Sir, when you say, ‘if definition of Ms Sadafji enters the pages of Quran, it will resolve the issue’, let me clarify that there are two aspects to it. One is resolving the issue and the other is entering something into the pages of Quran. About the first, I can assure you that the issues are resolvable and for the later, Quran is someone’s else property which I cannot tamper with. I can at best write an explanation of what is written over there, what means what to resolve the issues.  In fact Quran has been translated and explained by so many people that my doing so will be nothing new. Each one of the respectable translators tried their best, so I believe, to explain things, the way they understood. What is more important is about issues that you have in mind- How much of millions of such issues have been resolved and how much of it is still balance and how much new issues have come up with each translation. If my explanation seems to be resolving the issue, then well, it is fine and I would thank Allah for enabling me to reach your heart and communicate His words that I received from my readings of Islam which had originally came through the Messenger.

    Your suggested solutions of restructuring Quran, I feel will tamper the mine of wealth, yet you  or anyone may try and Quran has in the very opening asked, in fact challenged people to produce anything like it but predicted that it will be a failure. See, assuming that someone restructures it even then what is the guarantee that the restructured Quran will be as big hit as the present one is. But you never know. As long as the essence remains same, let someone do it but I personally do not feel the need for it nor can I do it. I can clearly read out things from it and I understand anyone who is non-Mullah or unlike Mullah minded can read things therein clearly enough. 

    About redefining in the pages of Quran, don’t you see that there are many words which are not there in Quran but are added in bracket in translated versions? What is it? It is basically defining a particular idea or word by the words within bracket. Wherever Quran says of disbeliever, for example, the translator who understood what he understood defined it as polytheist/idolators etc while he could have easily put in that bracket space that disbelievers are those who disbelieve in doing good. But anyway, it is not a big deal, and can be done. I suggest you to read Quran, if you wish to, but as I have defined it and then see how meaningful and how soothing it is and how unlike your previous notion of it, assuming that you might be having all those wrong impression about the book that one gets from

    About removing contempt of idolators, I have already explained in the opening of this post, that there is no contempt for idolators as such and as much as the practice of idolatory which to be honest even Muslims continue to do it either by worshipping grave or by giving undue reverence to Kaaba.

    I hope I will be corrected for the wrongs that I have mentioned over here, but I have put all this in my sincerest hope that it is to reach your heart and plant in there the respect that Islam deserves if nothing more else and I am not any heretic to say something on my own or I am not anyone unique without the backing of Muslim community, but I am very much part of them, the world over and stand with them, pray with them, fast with them in solidarity. But instead of the backing of Muslim community, it is the backing of Allah/Bhagwan/God that I count upon.

    By sadaf - 7/31/2012 3:41:21 AM

  • Dear Mr. Ramesh, I am wondering if your despair about the future of Islam and Muslims has lessened a little after engaging with so many scholars on the site. I hope you will agree with me a little more now if told again that “we Muslims have always defeated the ignorant literalists and Jihadis and I am convinced we will do so again.”

    I hope you are also benefiting from discussions on other threads, though your query itself brought forth a number of very reasoned and enlightening responses.

    By Sultan Shahin - 7/31/2012 1:04:34 AM

  • Dear Rameshji, It is very kind of you to raise a question that is most pertinent and disturbing to you in the most polite manner. I am answering your three questions with the best of my integrity, honesty and knowledge one by one. Kindly bear in mind that I am spending time and taxing my mind to prepare this reply and therefore read with patience and without any prejudice, pressure or preconceived notion. You may simply trash it as propagandist. For, me in this fasting month, it is both a pastime and a research:

    I.                   Restructuring the Arabic Quran. Answer Emphatic No. However, the Qur’anic message admits of restructuring its translated text; so, the answer is Yes for the translated text.  

    The Arabic Qur’an.  No restructuring conceivable on the following grounds:

    1.  It is preserved in its original form since its earliest compilation some 20 years after the death of the Prophet (632). The Qur’an ensured its textual integrity during the course of the revelation (610-632) by

    ·         threatening the Prophet himself not to ever consider any alteration of the Qur’anic text under pressure from its pagan audience, in these words:

    “If he (Muhammad) attributed to Us any false speech (69:44), We would seize him by the right hand (45), then We would sever his aorta (46) and none of you could prevent it” (69:47).

    ·         Adopting a literary style par excellence and challenging its Arab audience who blatantly rejected and utterly detested the Qur’an to produce any chapter to match it (2:23/24, 17:88, 52:34).

    ·         Challenging its immediate audience to even forge any of its chapters (10:38, 11:13, 52:33).   

    2.  The literary grandeur of the Qur’an is also acknowledged loud and clear by some of the most distinguished scholars of Arabic from the Christian West, as illustrated by the following quotations:   

    ·          “It is by far the finest work of Arabic prose in existence” - Alan Jones, The Koran, London 1994, opening page.

    ·         “The sublime rhetoric of the Arabic Koran … its richly varied rhymes… constitute the Koran’s undeniable claim to rank among the greatest literary masterpieces of mankind.” - Arthur Arberry, The Koran Interpreted, London 1956, p. x.

    ·         “The inimitable symphony, the very sound of which move men to tears and ecstasy” Marmaduke Picthall (1875-1936), a British convert to Islam, The Meaning of the Glorious Qur’an.   

    ·         (Its language is) “the richest and most harmonious in the world.”  - French translator, Savary. Extracted from: Sliman bin Ibrahim and Etienne Dinet, The life of Muhammad, London 1990, p. 71.

    ·         “.. the recited Qur’an is a distinctively compelling example of verbal expression.” - Michael Sells, Approaching the Qur’an, 2nd edition, Oregon 2007, p.

    ·         “I make no claim to having reproduced anything of the indescribable rhythm and rhetoric of the Qur’an. No one who has truly experienced its majestic beauty could ever be presumptuous enough to make such a claim or even to embark upon such an attempt”  - Leopold Weiss (1900-1992),  (a Jewish Austrian convert to Islam renamed) Muhammad Assad, Message of the Qur’an, Gibraltar, 1980,foreword, concluding paragraph.

    ·         “The Qur’an is a magnificent document that has been known for fourteen centuries because of its matchlessness or inimitability, its essential ijaz” (mesmerizing effect on the listener) -  Thomas B. Irving (1914-2002), (a Canadian convert to Islam renamed) Al-Haj Talim Ali, The Qur’an, Amana Books, Third 1988 edition, Vermont, USA

    3. Even from a purely secular perspective it will be an impossible and purely theoretical proposition to alter, or internally reorganize the text of a book that is regarded as inviolable by a third of global population and that is the ONLY common religious scripture for the countless Muslim sects and subjects and that has remained unaltered for fourteen centuries.

    4. Its chapters are like long pieces of poetry with changing length of verses, swinging rhythm, crescendos and decrescendos, and other musical nuances that combine to make a stunning effect on the listener, known as ijaz or inimitability – anyone who has heard a proper Qur’anic recitation may feel the music of its language. Any reorganization of any chapter will upset the auditory seal of the Qur’an.

    5. The Qur’an is regarded as God’s speech by all Muslims. The insertion of pages from the Qur’an in course of a raging battle between rival Muslim armies to an immediate halt (the battle of Siffin, 657 CE) - Philip K. Hitti, History of the Arabs, 1937, 10th edition; London 1993, p. 180-181.

     6. From a purely epistemological perspective, “Concepts of prophecy, revelation and inspiration must be re-examined in view of the undoubted revelation of God in Muhammad and in the Qur’an” –  Geoffery Parrinder, Jesus in the Qur’an, Oxford 1996 reprint, p. 173.

     Summing up. Any proposal to restructure the Arabic Qur’an, that you purported to make without the background knowledge – say thoughtlessly, is not tenable and thoughtless speech is forgiven by God (2:225, 5:89). So any Muslim commentator who may be offended must appreciate your intent and your obvious ignorance, and you must appreciate their ground of protest.     

    B. Restructuring the translated text of the Arabic Qur’an.

    What you actually mean is restructuring of the text focusing on the Core message and noble values of the Qur’an – distinguishing them from the verses relating to the contemporaneous armed struggle, divine warnings to and condemnation of the pagan Arabs, or otherwise insulting to others - verses that read out of their historical context and uttered in a motivated and malicious way foment hatred of the others, support radicalization and militancy and evoke religious supremacism.

    We must get an answer from the Qur’an which is the final authority on all matters. The Qur’an declares:

    ·         “He is the One who has revealed to you (O Muhammad,) the Book which contains (some) clear verses that (form) the essence of this Book, while others are allegorical. As for those with perversity in their hearts, follow that which is allegorical/unspecific/ doubtful, seeking confusion and seeking an interpretation. No one knows its interpretation, except God. Those, who have knowledge, say: ‘We believe in it; it all comes from our Lord;’ yet none is mindful of this, except the prudent”(3:7).

    ·         “Those who listen to the Speech, and follow the best (meaning) in it, they it is whom God guides, and they are the ones endued with understanding” (39:18).

    ·         “And follow the best of (meaning in) what is revealed to you (O People) from your Lord, before punishment comes on you - of a sudden while you are unaware”(39:55).   

    ·         “None but the pure (of heart) can touch it (the Qur’an)” implying that “only those stand to benefit from it, who approach it with a pure heart,” [p. xxxix, Essential Message of Islam, a duly approved and authenticated publication]

    ·         “Don’t insult those whom they invoke besides God, lest they ignorantly insult God in enmity. Thus We have made their action seem pleasing to every community; then their return is to their Lord, and He will tell them what they had been doing” (6:108).

    These Qur’anic enunciations admit of transforming a translated text of the Qur’an into topic-wise chapters of its commandments that will be exempt of all those verses which are quoted out of context to foment hatred of or insult the others or support radicalization and militancy. A recent focused exegetic work [Essential Message of Islam] undertakes such as exercise.  The full table of its contents can be seen under this link: www.islamicbookstore.com/b10580.html     

     II. Redefine believer/disbeliever.

    Ans. An inclusive definition of a muslim in the generic sense – any believer in God regardless of religion is already posted and you can readily access.  

    III. Remove contempt for idolaters by suitable means. It is taken care of under I.B above. There is also an article drawn on the Qur’an that distinguishes the pagan Arabs (mushrikin) whom the divine speech repeatedly warns and condemns from the Hindus of this day.

             Ref. The Hindus are not ‘the mushrikin’ mentioned in the Qur’an


    Finally as to your worry how to answer little daughter’s question: "Papa, my classmate a Muslim, is telling that Muslim is the best. ?" You may tell her that your Muslim classmate is being misguided by the Muslim priests and TV preachers who say all these things to become popular, create differences, insult others. Different religions are like different colours. Somebody likes red and somebody yellow. The best part of all religions is to do good, seek welfare for all and have excellent moral conduct and behaviour and I am sure you can quote many of your saints to make this point. So anybody who says his religion is the best is only trying to create differences because all religions come from God, and God (Ishwar) cannot make one religion better than the other. But as religious scriptures came at different points in time and to different people, they are different outwardly but essentially the same.   

    The foregoing para, meant for your counselling of your daughter, Rameshji, is not to please you or to veneer Islam with a silky coating. I am an ordinary mortal. It is not for me to embellish the divine speech in any way, however anyone may think of it.. The Qur’an calls upon Muslims to believe in all the prophets and previously revealed scriptures, and to make no distinction between any of the Prophets (4:152, 2:177, 2:285, 57:19), and affirms that all the messengers are not mentioned in the Qur’an (4:164, 40:78).

    ·         “As for those who believe in God and His messengers, and do not make a distinction between any of them – it is they who will be given their rewards, for God is Most Forgiving and Merciful” (4:152).

    ·         “Certainly We have sent messengers before you (O Muhammad!): Some of them We have mentioned to you, while there are others that We have not mentioned to you…” (40:78).

     These enunciations support my foregoing comment.

    I hope I have answered all your questions to your satisfaction. Kindly read closely before making any comment as I have bad experience - people attributing to me something I never said in my response trying to drag me into unproductive and fictitious arguments which only produce ill will and frustrate the very object of exchanging views. May be I am wrong in this assumption - God knows best.       

    By muhammad yunus (1) - 7/30/2012 4:17:27 AM

  • Janab Manzoorul Haque Sb: Greatly enlightened by your remarks and delighted, I must thank you for the comprehensive comment in this thread. I feel the following statements are highly satisfying in terms of understanding Islam and Allah's message, "The Islamic philosophy, derived from holy Quran is the clearest, as a philosophy for the idiots and learned alike, who ask many questions (idiot for keeping on repeating his questions, and the learned for getting greater insights of life)"

    Furthermore, I fully agree to your philosophy in the light of this statement, "The Word of God is clear about the punishment part for the deniers; and even if I hide or obfuscate the Word of God from the denier about his fate, out of my personal friendship, or love for the denier, the Word of God (or the intention of God ) would not change; hence it is better that the Word of God is not hidden or obfuscated, or tampered with, because it would amount to hiding medicine to get rid of an ailment of a beloved." that a doctor must not conceal the fact about the treatment of a disease and its after-effects in case of denial of disease or Truth.
    By Raihan Nezami - 7/29/2012 12:34:22 PM

  • Dear Rameshji,

    I am grateful to Naseer Saheb for requesting you to read my latest article re the broader notion of the din (moral law, putatively religion) of Islam. It pieces together the of Qur;anic verses on the moral underpinning of humanity and divine criteria of judgment and reaches this conclusion:
    An introspective probe into the Qur’an as advocated by the Qur’an (38:29, 47:24) and tabled in this discourse, shows that in the Qur’anic worldview, a good muslim is a believer in God - regardless of religion, race, cast, creed or affiliation with a spiritual fraternity, who is active in good deeds, is conscious of his social, moral and ethical responsibilities and preserves against all that is gross, immoral and unjust. Since God alone can judge human’s faith (iman), deeds (‘aml) and moral uprightness (taqwa), a non-Muslim in the divisive human language can be a better muslim in divine record than a Muslim (follower of Prophet Muhammad). Hence the Muslims have absolutely no basis to call the non-Muslims as kafirs (denier of truth), individually or collectively.

    I also request you to read through my following article posted last year, the caption of which 
    speaks for itself

    The Hindus are not ‘the mushrikin’ mentioned in the Qur’an.


    This article concludes as follows:

    To sum up, it is far more important for the Muslims to meet the social, moral, ethical and universal paradigms of the Qur’an than to tell others that they are not believers (4:94), or to insult those whom they invoke besides God (6:108).

    “You who believe, whenever you campaign in God's way, be discerning and do not say to anyone who offers you peace: ‘You are not a believer’ - seeking worldly gains (by exploiting him), for there are plenty of gains with God. (Remember,) you were like them before - till God favored you. Therefore be discerning. Indeed God is Informed of what you do” (4:94).

    “Don’t insult those whom they invoke besides God, lest they ignorantly insult God in enmity. Thus We have made their action seem pleasing to every community; then their return is to their Lord, and He will tell them what they had been doing” (6:108).

    Anyway, I will revert with point by point to  your three questions may be by tomorrow, and can assure you all is not lost. There used to be a saying in my dad's era -Hindu,Muslim, Sinkh, Issai - Sab apas may bhai bhai. Today hatred sells like hotcakes as it is the easiest thing to manufacture and there is an insatiable market to sell it and make commercial and political gains. I have read Urdu poetry extensively - practically the entire diwan (compilation) of Ghalib and Mir Taqi Mir and others, all written more than hundred years ago by Indian Muslim poets. I did not come across one single verse, showing any contempt or disrespect to Hindus. In my early life I visited my late dad's Hindu clients, stayed with them over night and visited temples with them - that was early/mid 50's. But as you say it is kalyog and it is for the intelligentsia of the subcontinent to resolve this recently contracted cancer...


    By muhammad yunus (1) - 7/29/2012 12:31:10 PM

  • Dear Mr. Raihan Nezami Sir, I hope Quran Kareem doesn't feature in hands of criminals who says Quran Kareem asks for killing Kafirs and the criminals then define who Kafirs are. They can read out those very verses as pointed out by Mr. Rameshji and come to the same conclusion as him. And above everything they might be more puritanical in their own eyes than you and me. 
    By sadaf - 7/29/2012 12:25:09 PM

  • What I am writing within the double bracket is an independent piece which comprises of the abstracts of the core of my ideology and if anyone reads my past presentations and arguments on Islam, or for that matter on life, he will find a symbiotic relationship in all my submissions with what I have stated below. Without much argument, I am presenting my case vis-à-vis, the questions/allegations/vilifications of the questioners/vilifies of Islam with a further statement that I do not find any reason why I should alter my ideology. Nobody throws away his wealth because some paupers are taunting him of being wealthy. Perhaps the under-mentioned piece will help Rameshji and Yunusji(2) to understand why I cannot oblige them despite their desperate efforts:
    [[I have accepted theism over atheism because atheism is socially defunct. Philosophically speaking, there is no possibility of knowing God, but there is possibility of God sending Message. One cannot know God without wahi (Word). Hence prophet, who receives the Word of God.  However, it is possible to live life according to God’s scheme, which exists, whether we are aware of God’s scheme’s (or even God’s existence) or not. Thus, it is possible to use conscience (part of human design) to attain salvation by good deed, even if God’s Word has not reached a person or the person is situationally incapable of receiving it.
    After comparing the concepts of monism, polytheism, and monotheism, my argument is in favor of monotheism as derived from the holy Quran, wherein no part of divinity (uncreated) can attach to any element of creation (created) -  because of monotheism’s highly purposeful and socially enriching philosophy.
    To me, Quran, the last and the latest,  Word of God, (which need not be in a serial mode, like a story book, because it is actually a law book where sequencing is not important),  as received by the Prophet over a period of time and according to situations, duly protected and unabridged- in-contents, (by the well-thought-out scheme and practice of hifz, by the followers of Prophet Muhammad, pbuh), satisfies me with these explanations:-  God’s creation of man and pitting him against un-deterministic world, giving him free-will,  and creation of a satanic force and of a countervailing force of conscience/prophetic counsel with stern warnings to ensure positive activity, lest the man chooses to become inactive by the clever use of his free-will –  leading to accountability, possibilities of reward and punishment, and hence creation of avenues for reward and punishment – all neatly fitting into a rational scheme of human life in its totality , negation of which amounts to barrenness of any thought on human life and perhaps its eventual destruction. The Islamic philosophy, derived from holy Quran is the clearest, as a philosophy for the idiots and learned alike, who ask many questions (idiot for keeping on repeating his questions, and the learned for getting greater insights of life), and the religion of Islam is easiest by accepting of Quran as the book containing the Truth by the one who is inclined to seek Truth by the use of his free-will. Seeking truth is a life-long activity and therefore full engagement with Quran cannot be in the nature of eureka, and there was no need of making it easy like “all you wanted to know, but were afraid to ask”. Yes, the ‘act of acceptance’ of the holy Quran as the book of Truth, can be in the nature of eureka.
    Truth seeking is a shared activity, God has put this tendency in human mind to share Truth, hence dawa (invitation to Truth). It is advisable for anyone (the possibility of salvation increases manifold) whose receives the Message of Islam through dawah, to accept it, because it provides a well-established path to practice the seeking of Truth, which is clearly in man’s interest to safeguard him from the influence of Satan, but if the person concerned, does not listen, the ‘dayee’ need not feel guilty, since such denier of Message exists because of the free-will scheme of God, and as soon as his free-will will allow, the denier can indeed revert to the Message. The Word of God is clear about the punishment part for the deniers; and even if I hide or obfuscate  the Word of God from the denier about his fate, out my of my personal friendship, or love for the denier, the Word of God (or the intention of God ) would not change, hence it is better that the Word of God is not hidden or obfuscated, or tampered with, because it would amount to hiding medicine to get rid of an ailment of a beloved.
    When you are discussing the philosophy of life, you must have the stomach to perceive the dimensions of it. You are getting disturbed at some terrorists killing here and there (God knows who these terrorists are. Are they philosophers seeking Truth of life or they are sly agents and licensed killers of the greedy governments run by greedy power-elites), and then starting to question God and His intentions as if He is your next door neighbor and even holding Him guilty! But, 100 years from now the entire six billon humans of today would have been dead for which none but God is responsible. He will go on repeating it every hundred years. Will you call Him cruel? Obviously, your fundamental is disturbed. A Muslim does not wallow in this disturbed state because He accepts God as the giver and the taker of our lives and as absolute Master of the subject matter.]]
    By Manzoorul Haque - 7/29/2012 10:18:35 AM

  • Mr Ramesh: Your 3-point unworthy suggestion upon Quran is absolutely Anti-Islamic, hence it is not feasible to fullfil your desire. You or any moderate can express his or her recommedations for the restructuring, redefining or removing any verses in an individual publication, but Insha-Allah Quran Kareem will remain intact and unaltered.
    By Raihan Nezami - 7/29/2012 9:41:51 AM

  • Dear Rameshji,

    Mr Muhammad Yunus has written a detailed article on the broader definition of who a Muslim is in his article below. Please go through it.


    The Quran deals with good behaviour in all its forms. I reproduce one verse below:

    49:11. O ye who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others: It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): Nor let some women laugh at others: It may be that the (latter are better than the (former): Nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames: Ill-seeming is a name connoting wickedness, (to be used of one) after he has believed: And those who do not desist are (indeed) doing wrong.

    A Muslim is not allowed to humiliate another person in any manner whatsoever. In my previous post, I had quoted a verse that reminds Muslims about their past and why therefore they should not look down upon any disbeliever or take any advantage of him. The Quran is a living testimony to the past of the ancestors of the present day Arabs. Every verse dealing with non-believers, hypocrites and desert Arabs is about the ancestors of the present day Arabs. The verse on desert Arabs does not even consider them worthy of receiving God’s message! So how can any sane Muslim exult today forgetting his past?

    I understand what you say about your daughter and can empathise. As a child, I faced very active and hostile discrimination in the best Jesuit school in Ahmedabad (St Xaviers) and had to discontinue using the school bus after a vicious attack by a group of older boys for being a “Musla”. I was in class three then. It is our collective duty to ensure that Society does not degenerate into such abysmal behaviour.

    The lunatic fringe has always existed in every religion but could never wield much influence. It has come to centre stage now. You would agree that topics that we discuss today openly were never topics of discussions in the drawing rooms of the educated some 3 decades back. We would have been ashamed even to be discussing these topics which we considered to be beneath our dignity.

    There are half a dozen verses which we have discussed in our exchanges which if any person uses them on appropriate occasions, can stop an offensive  Muslim in his tracks. In fact any non Muslim using them will always get his way with another Muslim even in a purely secular business transaction. Since the Surah and verse numbers are mentioned, you can get on the www the Arabic verse transliterated in English and you could also listen to the audio to get the pronunciation right.

    Regarding your question about idol worship, the intention is important. We do not keep a replica of Kabaa in front us while praying. The Kabaa, apart from representing the first mosque built by Abraham, serves to orient all Muslims in the same direction. The power of synchronized movements in building an universal bond is well recognized by modern social sciences. The blackstone is also fixed on the outside in one corner and serves as a marker for counting the circumambulations. If it was an object of worship, it would have been placed in the center of Kaba.

    There are many similarities between Muslim and Hindu practices. We both follow the Lunar Calendar. The Hindus add a month every third year to make the lunar year coincide with the solar year. This was the practice in Arabia also but was discontinued on revelation of a verse in the Quran which asked the Muslims to limit a year to 12 lunar months and discontinue the practice of a ‘leap month’ every third year. The unstitched garb that we wear for Haj, shaving off of the head after Haj etc remind us of Buddhist monks. I was surprised when our “Night of Power” coincided with Shivratri for two years before addition of a month by the Hindus to their year separated them. I guess therefore, that it should coincide every 32/33 years. The “Night of Power” has been the “Night of Power” ever since life began and so is it surprising that the Hindus also observe it although the form it takes is different? We Muslims have no doubt that the origin of all great religions is divine inspiration from the same God. 

    By Naseer Ahmed - 7/29/2012 5:33:10 AM

  • Dear Mr Naseer Ahmadji and Ms Sadffji .I hav e read your replies to my references.

           Mr Naseer has brought out the reasons for prohibiting idol worships in Quran.Every religion is within its right to prescribe method of worship for its people.But what Iam concerned is the contempt which quran is having for idol worshippers.After reading your reply and that of Ms Sadaf I understand that contempt for idolators still stays. This is exactly  what creates supermacist thinking in the followers of Islam . Mr Shamin in his reply to my first posting expalins how wrong is to have supermacist thinking. It boils down that supermacist thinking is created through the venerated scriputre on teh one hand and we start fighting the same with teh other hand.

        My daughter is eight years old and a few months back she told me the following." Papa,my classmate a muslim, is telling that muslim is the best. ?" .  Iam yet to answer my daughter as i dont know how to protect her without creating similar thoughts in her. Iam astonished that a eight year old boy will have such a feeling which is nothing but perversion. This perversion is pervasive and I can blame nothing but quran.The boy has been taught quaranic verses by mullahs I suppose.

       The second question is, are muslims really non idolators?I believe no. When you go round Kabba seven times circumambulating a stone,is it not idol worship? It is same as hindus circumambulate shiva linga in shiva temples.Hindus believe shiva linga is a symbol of creative energy of ONE supreme being and circumambulating is nothing but worship of that supreme being.. May be muslims have similar explanations . You may enlighten.

         Ms Sadafji has redefined believer/dis believer  as one who does good deeds/bad deeds.Ms Sadfji I suppose is evolved, hence has defined in such a way.What Iam concerned  with is quranic definition. I read releted verses few times and it is clearly mentioned that believer is he who believes in the revelations of mohammad and other wise not.If definition of Ms Sadafji enters the pages of quran it will resolve the issue ,otherwise not. I confirm that quran has plenty of verses that stand for goodness and I dont deny that.As such quran conatins many verses which if followed will produce Naseerjis,Shaminsjis, Sadafjis etc also many verses if followed will produce talibans,militants,al qoida etc. Ms Sadafji also explains how it is difficult for even a mullah to understand quran. I believe that if quran in the  present style is taught  a substantial  will become the case of eight year boy which i narrated earlier.   I expect that a scripture shall be such that a common person of reasonable knowledge can understand and know his path. It shall not need persons of  erudition of Ms Sadafji to know the path.

     As per  Mr Naseemji courses are being conducted to teach quran in proper light. This will have  limited effect as his influence is limited  in time and space . The solution I believe shall be,

    1.restructuring the quran.

    2.redefine believer/disbeliever in the  pages of quran in the light of what Ms Sadafji has explained.

    3.remove contempt for idolators by suitable means.

     I have great appreciation for the site managers. If iam causing any embarasment by  my comuniactions please advise . I will stop my communications.



    By ramesh - 7/29/2012 3:28:13 AM

  • Dear sadaf. As you said I am free to believe or not to believe. Had been the case like stated by you, I would have not said what I said.
    I think we should not waste our time to satisfy each other.
    Majority of Muslims keep poking their nose into people's personal matters because they think it is their duty. Intolerance is on their side. Peaceful also become intolerant.  They make the life of others difficult. Have you read Saudi warn Non-Muslims to respect Muslims sensitivities or to leave the Saudi Arabia. How much they respect others sensitivities. 
    This the mentality that prevail in Muslims. 
    Regarding tablighee what is the contribution of an individual for he is born to Muslim parents. It is not only me who have objection with Tablighees, our Barailvi brothers too have.
    You understand well what I want to say.
    It will become lengthy comment so I am leaving it here. Rest next time.

    By mohd yunus - 7/29/2012 12:38:43 AM

  • Dear Mr. Mohd Yunus (2) Sir. As I said few days ago, you are free to believe or not to believe. And therefore you unnecessarily want others to ‘satisfy’ you.  If the answers do not satisfy you, well what is the problem there? But actually there is a problem. The problem is that you want others also to be unsatisfied with the answers and meanwhile you are also unable to trust your own wisdom that how come you alone have come to the right conclusion (or let me correct it, not alone but how come you and others have come to the correct conclusion) and why some others are not coming to that correct conclusion. This exactly is your problem. 

    On the side which believes, people have an explanation for those who do not believe. It is that their hearts have been sealed. Similarly if you want you can assume that those who believe have their hearts unsealed; unsealed with the ‘thawk’ sound. But perhaps you would like to have some other conclusion which will satisfy you.

    Your words that Quran is neither clear nor easy cannot be taken as Truth because I do not find it that way. If you are unable to understand it, well what can be done about it.  And wherefrom have you concluded that one will be punished for not understanding? Also your premise that one should understand first and then believe seems flawed to me because I find no-correlation between belief and understanding.  For example, I understand that scientists must have really made man go on moon, but somehow I don’t believe it. Show me photographs or whatever, I just don’t believe it. May be someone sends me on moon then perhaps will I believe it but until then I won’t believe. Now tell me who is going to waste his time to prove that man has indeed been on moon and who is going to sponsor my travel to moon. The wisest thing for them to do is to let me remain in disbelief.

    However, if I start demanding that others also disbelieve in moon landing because I find it so unconvincing, then basically I am stepping on their tail. Obviously, I would get sneer and rejection. But then, so what? I am stubborn in my belief. Moon landing is neither clear nor easy and one has to do lot of mental gymnastic to understand it. We are required to believe first that whatever is being taught is correct and then once I start believing then obviously things will start falling in place.

    Coming to the subject of belief in super duper entity to be morally good, is also not there. Where have you read all this? I am sure, if I ask you to cite ayats where it is written, you will think that I am just playing with you. But seriously, if you believed me, I would have asked to cite the ayats which says that one is required to be believer in super-duper entity to be morally good.

    Your nutshell is what I disagree with, most. I think, Islam is for us- us humans to make us live better and we cannot increase or decrease the height of Islam. In fact what you believe is what is there. You say religion should be for mankind and Islam is on records to be a an ideology for mankind. Quran says it is a book for ‘mankind’. I believe this ‘mankind’ includes womankind as well.

    Your concept that Islam doesn’t mean peace but submission to Allah without if and but is correct to an extent but submission to Allah is to make peace with ourselves and others. What else do you think submission to Allah means?

    While you have accidently come to a correct conclusion by saying “There is no guarantee who is True Muslim. Both parties have their arguments from Quran and Sunnah. Moderate present Meccan verses and selective Hadiths to justify them, orthodox present entire Quran, Sunna, Fiqh etc..”, you have missed the wood for trees. Reasons for division in Muslims is not due to complexity of Quran as I don’t find it that complex but because of Mullahs who are basically Mullahs and just as they fail to understand so many things they fail to understand Islam. How many Mullahs have understood Physics or Chemistry or Economics properly? And if you can understand anything more than Mullahs, you should have understood Islam properly.

    Quran itself says you will be guided, if you wanted to be guided, you will be misguided, if you wanted to be misguided. But please do not ask me to find the ayat number unless you find the ayat numbers for those things that you have alleged for Quran. There should be no surprise that various sects are found. All sets assume that they are based on Quran but one should check back in Quran to see, which sect Quran actually asks for.

    About the reason for why we are created if not to worship Allah can you help us discover what better purpose we are created for? To do good deeds, to do bad deeds, to do a mix of both, to enjoy life, to enjoy death, to enjoy pre-birth, to enjoy post birth, to rule over weak, to be ruled by weak? What else we are created for? Purposelessness or purposefulness?

    What is wrong in the Tablighis thankfulness to Allah for creating them as human, and then turning them Muslim? What do you exactly want to say by wondering about those who are born to Non-Muslim parents? Quran says everyone is born Muslim, even those who are born to Non-Muslims. Haven’t you read all this?  If not then how do you assert that you have read sufficiently to come to a right conclusion.  And let me remind you not to ask me ayat number before you show me what you have alleged for Quran.

    Your questions may be important but more important is your attitude. If you wish to learn about Islam, you need to do lot of tapasya. No pain, no gain. Without doing so, coming to conclude things in hurry or stubborn fully, is not the right attitude. If something is beyond your comprehension, it isn’t that nobody else also understands it. In your job, if you do not understand something, you may lose your job within lifetime and some sees that as punishment.

    Islam is not science. It is rigid in its view as what is right and what is wrong. It is based on belief that it is for the good of mankind and you can very well see the merits in it, if you are not anti-Islam. As for your question, was science revealed by Allah? How is it relevant to the subject we are discussing? But yes I do agree with you that science is the result of endurance of mankind to demystify the nature and it is still evolving and correcting itself.

    You are not rude this time and as long as you are a decent man, not hurling false accusations and displaying special animosity with Islam or any other religion, you are welcome here.

    By sadaf - 7/28/2012 6:02:19 PM

  • Shaista khan patna. You are forgetting that the phrase 'that their hearts have been sealed' is part of divine speech addressed to a category of people who were, in the context of the revelation bent on denying the truth. You or any human being will only be acting like God if you hurled the phrase on anyone else.You have to think for yourself - whether you are a good Muslim or not, whether your heart is sealed or not. Others whom you think non-Muslim may in the Angel's record be better Muslim than you. So, try to cultivate exemplary conduct and behavior, excel in all lawful pursuits and try to abide by the noble behavioral norms and laws of the Qur'an. If anyone wants to embrace your faith by looking at your example that's fine, but how can God be bothered about the number of people in the different religions? He is too exalted for this. Think about yourself for the charity begins at home. If you have ten shirts for yourself, give away two or three to someone who has none. If the budget of a feast you plan to throw is one lac rupees, cut it by 20,0000 and give it to a needy. Please try to be a good Muslims and a witness of goodness to humanity (2:143). Please read my posted article re the broader notion of din al Islam.

    By muhammad yunus (1) - 7/28/2012 11:19:24 AM

  • dear sadaf and all. I read all. The answers don't  satisfy me.Finally I think Quran is neither clear nor easy. One has to do mental gymnastic to understand it. We require to believe first to understand which is not proper according to my thinking. Belief should come after reading.
    After reading if one remain in disbelief  because he could not understand must not be punished.
     I am satisfied with my reasoning, belief in any super-duper entity is not required to be morally good.
    In nutshell we are for Islam, Islam is not for us. I believe religion should be for mankind, not mankind for religion.
    Someone suggested that Islam means peace, I don't agree . It stands for submission before Allah without any if and but.
    After reading articles of moderate Muslims, and Orthodox Muslims I reached to a conclusion:  There is no guarantee who is True Muslim. Both parties have their arguments from Quran and Sunnah. Moderate present Meccan verses and selective hadirhs to justify them, orthodox present entire Quran, Sunna, Fiqh etc..
    Reasons for division in Muslims is due to complexity of Quran. Mullahs are Not responsible.
    Any sect, anybody can derive whatever He wants from Quran.
    Quran is like fertile land. You can grow anything, sweet smelling, foul smelling, lehtal, life saving, sweet, bitter or sore.
    All sects are based on Quran. Every justified well.
    We are created to worship Allah. Is it logical? I think not. You believe logical that is fine.
    When Tablighee Jamat fellows visit us, they start as:
    Allah ka shukr hai ki usne hamen insan banya, phir musalman banaya. Hame Muhammad(pbuh) ki ummat men paida kiya.
    We are grateful to Allah because we are born as Muslims.
    What about others who were born to Non-Muslim  parents? Is it easy to leave family religion when it is difficult to understand Islam? Which Islam?
    I am thankful to Mr Mohammad Yunus(1) for his effort and endurance. I wish him success if he is on right path not leaving some portion of Islam.
    I may be surrounded by wrong questions, as per your perspective. For me these all question are important. If these were not important why these terms are in guide-book Quran. To confuse like me?
    Dear sadaf, I am also in the field of "Electronics and Communication. I have sound knowledge of this field. If something is beyond my comprehension, I am not going to be punished in afterlife.
    Science is not rigid, it is  flexible. You need not to believe. You are not punished for not-believing.
    Was Science revealed by Allah? Science is the result of endurance of mankind to demystify the nature.
    I apologize for being rude if some one feel and repetition if any. I will keep reading and commenting. Best wishes to all.
    By mohd yunus - 7/28/2012 7:34:21 AM

  • Liked the response of Mr. Muhammed Yunus (1) Sir to Mr. Mohd. Yunus (2) Sir. Must read for one and all.
    By sadaf - 7/27/2012 11:15:53 PM

  • Mr Sultan Shahin, I think this phrase 'that their hears have been sealed' was used for the unbelievers of that time who Allah knew in His divine wisdom that these people will never accept Islam and that is why Allah tells our prophet that do not feel depressed your duty is only to convey the message giving the gift of Islam is in the hands of Allah. In today world also that phrase can be used, that their hearts have been sealed but since we do not know whose hearts have been sealed so it is our duty to do dawa to all and not think that the other person's hearts has been sealed. 
    good discussion is going on and i am glad i have also become a part of it. 

    By Shaista Khan patna - 7/27/2012 10:55:28 PM

  • @ Shahin, I thank you for the eye opener.

    By Aiman Reyaz - 7/27/2012 9:29:54 PM

  • @ Rajo Gunam, if you read my articles and the random articles in this site you will come to know that we are trying to propagate the concept of plurality in Islam. If we are closed minded then how come this site allows you to criticise Islam freely? Regarding your second point about 72 virgins, in the Quran the exact number is not given. In ch 52, it says: “They will recline on thrones arranged in ranks. And We shall marry them to Huris with wide lovely eyes.”

    Secondly according to many scholars it is a weak Hadith. It has been checked by Imam Muhammad Nasir Ud Deen Al Albani (Rahimahullah) and he declared it Da'eef (weak). Not all the hadith In Sunan Tirmidhi are authentic. This hadith was not chosen by Imam Bukhari or Imam Muslim to be included in their Sahih.

    By Aiman Reyaz - 7/27/2012 9:27:58 PM

  • Respected muhammad yunus Sahib. Thank you very much. No more questions.

    By mohd yunus - 7/27/2012 11:16:15 AM

  • @mohd yunus. Always wrong type of questions seem to bother you. Why waste your time to understand something which is beyond human perception which the Qur'an forbids you from probing like the meaning or explanation of taqdeer, loh-e-mefooz etc. This is how the Qur'an guides you:

    “He is the One who has revealed to you (O Muhammad,) the Book which contains (some) clear verses that (form) the essence of this Book, while others are allegorical. As for those with perversity in their hearts, follow that which is allegorical seeking confusion and seeking an interpretation. No one knows its interpretation, except God. Those, who have knowledge, say: ‘We believe in it; it all comes from our Lord;’ yet none is mindful of this, except the prudent”(3:7).

    Kindly read this rendition at least tow to three times to fully understand it.It is God's speech captured in English tongue. Asking why God put them in the Qur'an will be same as asking why God caused women to suffer birth pain and why God sent humans from paradise to the earth in the first place. These questions have  foxed humanity since the early days of civilization and you will only waste your time trying to find their answer. It is called punching beyond one's weight or trying to explore the fourth dimension or escaping the limitations imposed by the categories of our mind. So calm down and collect your bearings. Hold on to the ground firmly instead of trying to fly as you can never fly and in that attempt fall on your face.   

    By muhammad yunus (1) - 7/27/2012 7:28:45 AM

  • But Mr. Reyaz, if “Allah says their hearts have been sealed”, what is the point of Dawa? After all, all those whose hearts had probably been sealed accepted Islam shortly thereafter. I think, we should not surmise about whose heart has been sealed.

     In any case, hearts are apparently not sealed for ever. So while this verse may help us overcome our depression over our ineffectiveness in persuading some people to our point of view, we should not use it to pass judgements. Not that you, Mr. Reyaz, are doing that. For, after having reminded yourself of that sealing and thus perhaps taking pre-emptive action against a feared depression over your most probable ineffectiveness, you went on with your task of engaging with the question at hand. You have also expressed the hope that Mr. Rajo Gunam’s heart is not sealed. May God bless you with success in the task you have assumed!

    One problem I see very pervasive at New Age Islam or in other places is that nearly all of us are determined to stay where we are, clear in our minds that we know all and there is nothing new to learn. But, if we want to win over others to our points of view, we should also be prepared to be persuaded to others’ point of view. Are all our hearts sealed? Well, whatever the case, I think we should never approach others with the preconceived notion that their hearts are sealed. After all, the world is making progress. Human beings are not the same today as even a hundred years ago.

    By Sultan Shahin - 7/27/2012 5:56:27 AM

  • There is no doubt that a Muslim who has not attended a Madrasa can speak about the Community, his religion and certain issues he is well aware of. But, the boaster of knowing the subject and real phenomena may be not genuine. What is New Age Islam? Was Islam born again.  Pragya (Yes, she is a Non- Muslim) What does it mean?
    By Hamid Siddiqui - 7/27/2012 4:56:25 AM

  • Raihan Nezami, I participate in this site because the administrator is open enough to publish contrary views. Thanks for the correction "child is the teacher of the father"
    Whether i like, you like anybody like certain eternal principle will haunt human, so you sow, so you reap.   So if muslim are reaping hatred probably that is what they have sown. Cannot you see in pakistan, so the called haven of asian muslim . Probably hell will be a better place than pakistan.

    By satwa gunam - 7/27/2012 4:21:47 AM

  • Gunam Clan: I am happy at the popularity of the NewAgeIslam that its spiritual light of introspection and contemplation is reaching far and wide and the whole Gunam family - Satwa Rajo and Thamo is busy in engaging and  awakening the Muslims. I had read the Wordworth's line, "Child is the father of Man", but it is a new addition to me as I didn't see, "child is the teacher of the father" Anyway, thanks to you, keep it up and agree to the answers given by Mr Aiman as that is truth, but you won't agree I know for the reason unknown to you and your clan.
    By Raihan Nezami - 7/27/2012 2:25:53 AM

  • One of our fellow explained many things like, taqdeer, loh-e-mefooz etc. Explanation is good for a believer. Believers already know and believe. These explanation skip the mind of Non-believers.  They will remain Non-believers whether due to Allah's will or their own fault.

    By mohd yunus - 7/27/2012 1:49:43 AM

  • @ Aiman Reyaz, Whose mind is closed is a very subjective matter and when the whole world see that the muslim are closed minded, the whole world is wrong and the muslim is right is your perspective.  Pls keep it up.
    What a petty attribute you are giving to your god, that he is out to test individual to give 72 virgins in heavan.   Why go heaven, visit some of the gcc countries you will get at a good price, if you can afford.
    Read this article if your heart is not closed.
    By rajo gunam - 7/26/2012 11:07:10 PM

  • @  Raihan Nezami, Might be, might not be as Rajo gunam is more active and more abrasive where as satwa gunam is calm and more abrasive at times.
    I think you must not have read that the "" child is the teacher of the father'
    Most of the problem of our life are very basic and simple and generally we donot have the answer for the simple ones.
    By rajo gunam - 7/26/2012 11:01:14 PM

  • Dear Rameshji, The context of the Quran when it refers to either Jews, Christian, polythesists, idolaters etc are the specific people of those times in that region.

    The Prophet (PBUH) was from the family who were the custodians of Kaaba. It is a story of transformation of a society from within and not on account of any external force or influence. Who were the Muslims if not people from the same stock of Pagan Arabs who were idolaters, polytheists etc? So if they are called the worst of the people, it is referring to their own past.

    What was the society like before Islam? Pilgrimage was performed in the nude. If a person wanted to address people and attract a crowd he would strip and stand naked. The sexual mores were loose to an extent where it was difficult to be sure of who the father of a child was. Kaaba was an important centre for pilgrimage and exploitation of the pilgrims was rampant. It was a society steeped in every vice.

    The strict Quranic injunctions regarding modesty, covering oneself, adultery etc can be viewed in this light. Also, although the Quran does not prescribe stoning to death for adultery, the Mosaic law was retained as an antidote to the loose morals of the people before Islam. This, I think was meant to be temporary since, although the anomaly with the Quran was pointed out, the Prophet showed anger when someone suggested that perhaps a verse was missing prescribing the punishment.

    The Quran also refers to the desert Arabs in verse 9:97 in the following terms:

    “The Arabs of the desert are the worst in Unbelief and hypocrisy, and most fitted to be in ignorance of the command which Allah hath sent down to His Messenger. But Allah is All-knowing, All-Wise.”

    The above verse is for Muslims. The Hypocrites were also Muslims and there are numerous verses on their moral depravity and to the effect that they are destined for hell.

    There are verses in praise of the Christians and Jews as well and in fact a verse which extols the Christian virtue of charity.

    The religion of Islam started with one person and for the first 13 years out of 23 years of the Prophets preaching, it was a non-violent movement where the Muslims had to put up with every kind of hardship, persecution and even death.

    The people who were attracted to the new religion were therefore attracted by nothing except the character of the Prophet and his powerful message. If they put up with persecution, material loss, and displacement from their homes without any gain whatsoever, it speaks volumes for their own character and the character of the new religion. Even the slightest hint that any verse in the Quran did not reflect the truth and the reality of those times would have been fatal to the new religion which was found on nothing except high principles.

     The reference to Abraham is also an example of transformation of a society from within. Abraham destroyed the idols in his own father’s house. He did not go and destroy idols in another person’s house.

    If a religion based on renouncing polytheism and idol worship was to be formed, it had to be by transforming an existing society from within. Every other society had slipped into polytheism and idol worship even though it may have been formed on a different set of principles.

    Muhammad (PBUH) was also the last of the prophets. It was therefore important to make sure that this new religion also did not slip into idol worship and polytheism and therefore the strictures against these practices in the Quran are severe. I view the incident of the Satanic verses in the same light. This incident (if it did take place since there are many scholars who deny that it took place) insulated the Muslims from the attack of creeping polytheism. It also makes clear the nature of Satanic influence on religion which is to dilute the concept of oneness of God and the Quran says that every Prophet was attacked by Satan in a similar fashion. If the Prophets were not immune from Satan’s attack, it is not surprising that the people later on became easy target and slipped into such practices.

    Islam has a history of 1400 years and these distinctions were clearly understood. Transformation of society from within is one thing and transforming it from the outside quite another. It would be illegal and anti Islamic to impose anything from outside on another society. The verses which say that there is no compulsion in religion etc become operative in such contexts. Barring a couple of deviant Sultans who were equally rapacious while conquering Muslim lands the rest were well behaved. If we make a further distinction between the early Arab conquerors and later converts to Islam such as the Turks and Mongols again we see a wide difference. The Arab conquerors had a much better record of religious tolerance. The Turks and the Mongols did not have a poor record either except a couple of Sultans.  Mahmud of Ghazni was an exceptionally bad and extreme example but that rascal was equally rapacious while conquering Muslim states.

    Rameshji, you are viewing a few ayats in isolation and getting a distorted view. I have a posted a section on the Ayats covering relationship with non-Muslims. I hope you have read it. There are scores of other Ayats dealing with the virtues of restraint, justice and mercy. For example, consider the following:

    In Sura Al Ma-ida The Holy Qur’an, describes the mission of the Prophet, in these words:

    "We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], but as a mercy unto all the Nations"

    So any Muslim who turns Islam into a religion of oppression is an enemy of Islam and not a Muslim

    On fighting wrongs/aggression

    Repel evil with good

    41:34. Nor can goodness and Evil be equal. Repel (Evil) with what is better: Then will he between whom and thee was hatred become as it were thy friend and intimate!

    Patience and forgiveness recommended

    42:39. And those who, when an oppressive wrong is inflicted on them, (are not cowed but) help and defend themselves.

    42:40. The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree): but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah. for ((Allah)) loveth not those who do wrong.

    42:41. But indeed if any do help and defend themselves after a wrong (done) to them, against such there is no cause of blame.

    42:42. The blame is only against those who oppress men and wrong-doing and insolently transgress beyond bounds through the land, defying right and justice: for such there will be a penalty grievous.

    42:43. But indeed if any show patience and forgive, that would truly be an exercise of courageous will and resolution in the conduct of affairs.

    Exercise restraint and be patient

    16:126. And if ye do catch them out, catch them out no worse than they catch you out: But if ye show patience, that is indeed the best (course) for those who are patient.

    16:127. And do thou be patient, for thy patience is but from Allah. nor grieve over them: and distress not thyself because of their plots.

    16:128. For Allah is with those who restrain themselves, and those who do good.

    Do not cause any harm based on rumours

    49:6. O ye who believe! If a wicked person comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth, lest ye harm people unwittingly and afterwards become full of repentance for what ye have done.

    The Quran permits fighting to protect any place of worship

    22:39. To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged; - and verily, Allah is most powerful for their aid;-

    22:40. (They are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right,- (for no cause) except that they say, "our Lord is Allah.. Did not Allah check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant measure? Allah will certainly aid those who aid his (cause);- for verily Allah is full of Strength, Exalted in Might, (able to enforce His Will).

    You are quite right however, that there are verses in the Quran which are about people that do not exist anymore and are capable of being misused in a generic sense to incite hatred. There are several people who are engaged in designing courses for an understanding of the Quran’s message in the right perspective.  New Age Islam is also engaged in the same task.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 7/26/2012 8:44:06 PM

  • @Rajo Gunam, sir even if I answer your questions I think you may not accept it because Allah says their hearts have been sealed. Anyways I hope yours is not.

    1.       This life is a test for the hereafter. Some are rich and some are poor because a rich man is being tested whether he gives zakat or not, whether he helps monetarily poor or not. A poor man need not pass the test of zakat as he is being tested on a different level. He is tested on other grounds like if he does not have enough food and water to eat and drink, and whether in this pathetic condition he still believes in God or not. Remember the harder the test the bigger the reward.

    2.       Allah says in the Quran that had He willed He could have made everyone believers but He did not. The reason is because, as a said in the first point, test.  Had He created all of us into believers then the test would have been irrelevant. Allah shows us His signs every time, when we see the stars we are reminded of Him, when we see the sun we are reminded of Him. These are Allah’s signs, giving us all the opportunity of becoming believers. Allah also says in the Quran that He has created nations and tribes, not that we shall despise each other but to recognise each other.

    3.       This can have either metaphysical response or biological response. Allah has created us from the ‘alaqa’. I guess this question is about origin, so my origin is from my parents and my parent’s origin is from their parents and so on, it continues till Adam and Eve, I read Romila Thapar and she says that even in Hindu scripture there is a concept of the origin or Manu, Manu means mankind; and the first one in this lineage is the self-born Manu.

    4.       After death we are either burnt to ashes or buried, and then there will be the Judgement Day, where our deeds will be measured on a scale of justice. Those whose side of good is heavier will go to heaven and vice verse

    5.       I guess the answer to this will come under the answers of 1 and 2.

    6.       This is because of wrong teachings or wrong interpretations of the Quran, where the verse of fighting that were relevant for only those period and that time are now being used to legitimise their deeds. It can also be the doctrine of individuality, which again is a wrong concept, it says that only ‘I am right’ or ‘my religion is right’ and there is no scope of plurality.

    Sir, where did you learn this type of language? At least show some respect to others in your comments. Thank you. And I know you must have counter questions.

    By Aiman Reyaz - 7/26/2012 8:26:28 PM

  • Mr Haque's comment made me laugh. I wonder where is Lee Jaw Walker, my all time favourite.
    By Aiman Reyaz - 7/26/2012 8:01:50 PM

  • Dear Rameshji,

    Referring 18:29, the question that comes to my mind is not how savagely disbelievers would be treated; I must have heard million times about it, but always from those who have been either lowly paid people or unenlightened rich, my mind goes on asking who is a ‘disbeliever’? To make it more understandable and somewhat related to those theories which you might be familiar, let me say an equivalent to what I said, that I do not care what bad those ‘rakshas’ do, but I wonder who are ‘rakshas’? I hope, now you can see the answer. Rakshas are those who are evil. Devil is Evil and Singh is King and so on. The logical extension I hope you should be able to do, but if not, then let me say, that ‘disbelievers ‘are those who do not believe in doing good things. And you very well know that on planet earth inhabits so many people who do not believe in doing good. They kill, they rape, they do all kind of things. They are disbelievers. And this explanation finds a solid support from a Hadees that those who even lie are disbelievers. So you know who disbelievers are and who are Momin/Muslim and what awaits them at the end of the days. I am really not interested in what awaits them but surely disbelievers do not deserve to be honored by even a common man/woman like you and me.

    I hope I am clear. I speak and write so many things to communicate an idea, I take use of words that one can relate with even though those words may not be usually seen in that context in more conventional way of arrangement of words to express an idea. Literal meaning just any literate can make out, but what is written between lines is what a person with more learning can only make out.

    Quran too is fortunately/unfortunately in this fashion and therefore we find so many Mullahs taking out literal meaning and doing just the opposite of what Quran had intended to say. Call it fault of Quran or call it fault of those Mullahs, depending upon how much you feel Mullahs are enlightened. My opinion is that they can read and mug up whole of Quran without realizing what Quran means to say. I do not blame Quran because somehow I am able to read meaning quite clearly in it. But then you don’t know how well read I am and then I should be saying it for the reason of modesty. But the fact is until you are skilled enough to know the meaning of that which is being said in seemingly some different meaning sentence, I am afraid, I cannot teach you the trick in any crash course.

    21:58 Expecting Taliban to match my comprehension ability is like comparing a blind man with the one who can see. I shouldn’t be saying this for the fear of appearing proud of my abilities or God gifts, but then I truly feel thankful to my luck or in other words to my luck made by the God, because certainly no one can make you lucky except Him. Personally, I do not believe any stone, any idol, any totka (charm) can bring me luck and demolishing away such stone, idol or totka or even leaving away these undemolished is neither going to bring me luck or unluck. So why not break it and display the non-existing relation between the supposed cause and the effect at hand? And then why not take no notice of it and not even break it? Taliban do not understand this. By demolishing the statue they proved that they thought that statue has some importance.

    21:98 So Lo ye Taliban, the idolaters who think that those idols were of any importance and who they thus honoured as if it were God, will be damned.

    22:19 Yes I am a believer and I am pitted against Taliban-the disbelievers, but again not all of them. The innocent ones are just having a brand name of being Taliban, but just as we have all kind of Indians, they have among them all kind of Taliban.

    22:10, 22:21, 22:22 I do not care even, how they – the Taliban, the disbelievers would be punished. But I know for certain how they are being punished. Watch a movie ‘Kandahar’, it is in Persian but subtitles can help you understand and you will get a nauseating feeling just by the narration of a story based on some real life.

    24:3 would you like or would have liked to marry and adulteress? Or a Taliban? I am sure none of us here in our right senses would prefer them; including adulators and not adulators but fools who believe that stone and stick can make your life. Yes stick and carrot can make you work but no stone and stick can make your life. It is a common usage to say that to have a wise enemy is better than to have fools as friends. Adultery is a very big sin in the eyes of Islam and only those who do not see it that way may take adultery as normal thing. But those who do not take it as normal thing, at least they can appreciate the tough stand of Islam on this. Even for idolaters, like Taliban, it is a big thing not knowing that they are not better than such adulators.

    24:57 Same as the above sentence where I said I do not care of what punishment they deserve, but whatever punishment is, it would be only understatement that that Rakshas, criminals, Taliban, rioters deserve Hell.

    25:36 See what the buggers have chosen for their Afghanistan. The Jihad, one type of it, being war, has been going on and a modern Muslim, General Parvez Musharraf was the top-most ally in the war against terrorism. Same with Northern Alliance who were on Jihad against Taliban and who really were the army on ground who threw away Taliban some 10 years ago. They somehow couldn’t destroy them properly but Jihad is going on against them.

    29:23 Surely, criminals, Rakshasas, Taliban, rioters, can hope to roam free until, Upar wale ke ghar der hai.

    35:26 We know of what happened to people who were criminals. How humiliated they have been, how they were humbled.

    41:6 What do you teach your children? Straight path or the path of criminality? There are few sentences, here which you shouldn’t have mentioned over here as these are some most beautiful sentences. It teaches, what you should teach your children. You should teach them a path that is straight and not that of fools and likes of Taliban or criminals or rioters.

    56:9 The disbelievers in doing good should have Hell for them, and for those who disbelieve in the merit of doing good but pretend as they believe in doing good, they too deserve the same. I personally would have preferred Hell + for pretenders. The Mullahs who appears religious but who if they are not good person deserve Hell+ in my opinion, because they are spoiling the reputation of Islam.

    XCVIII:7 And with this final sentence, you have by mistake or just randomly, hit the right evidence where it is clear that disbelievers in doing good can be among the people of scripture as well as idolaters and they deserve Hell. However since it is not mentioned, one shouldn’t jump the gun to say something, yet let me say that the corollary should be that among people of scripture as well as idolaters, there are some people who do believe in doing good. See the beautiful and gladdening sentence “those who believe (believe in doing good) and do good work are best of created beings. Your conclusion is as foolish as the conclusion of Taliban and of criminals in name of Jihadis, they make about Quran. Your Ramakrishna and Sivananda must be honourable men.

    Let me bring back the attention to the words in bracket in above paragraph which reads about believers as those who believe in doing good. If I were to translate Quran as the one which you must be having in possession, I would have used the meaning of believer as I just said, and for Zalimuns as those who are Zalim, which is a commonly understood word in subcontinent. Instead of inserting polytheist and polymers and polycarbonates as it has been used by some previous translators without realizing that either they have been inserting their bias or they aren’t realizing that what misunderstanding their translation is creating.

    The verses therefore given by you doesn’t define as you said “a non Muslim as a worst sinner, lowest of created beings, lacking intelligence, not upright ,enemies of believers(Muslims), of evil conduct etc” but actually says that ‘a worst sinner’, ‘lowest of created beings’, ‘lacking intelligence’, ‘not upright’ , ‘enemies of believers( not enemies of Muslims but enemies of those who believe in doing good)’, ‘of evil conduct etc’ are not Muslim.

    Please see it with attention that how the two similar looking sentences is framed and how opposite ideas it conveys.

    I would request you to not either insert ‘believers in doing good’ every time you are tempted to insert ‘Muslim’ in bracket for ‘believers’ or do not insert anything for ‘believer’ and certainly not ‘Muslims’. Similarly, wherever you find written ‘Zalimun’, please refrain from putting ‘non-Muslim’ for that and instead read it as normal ‘zalim that we all are familiar with. And then see the fun. Things will start falling back in place.

    That way then you will read your paragraph as Quran ‘urges believers( believers in doing good) to destroy disbelievers (Zalim people) completely, break their idols, smite their necks and fingers, not to have friendship with them, do not obey (dis)believers (Zalim people) , strike against the disbelievers (Zalim people) etc.

    I hope this will close all arguments that you have. But if you feel need in understanding something even after this ‘mantra’, please do not hesitate to ask before concluding anything wrongly and that of like literate but jahil Mullahs and Zalim Taliban. Regards.
    By sadaf - 7/26/2012 4:38:58 PM

  • Rajo Gunam: Do you have any link with honourable Satwa Gunam? Has he made you the comment coordinator? Do you have any connection between your mind and hand? You may be surprised why I am asking these questions to you. Actually your narrative style, quality of the questions and provocative manner are the same as that of Mr Satwa. You have put up very childish questions which are generally asked by 5 years children out of curiosity.
    By Raihan Nezami - 7/26/2012 2:42:22 PM

  • @ Manzoorul Haque, What a moron you are ?  You are commenting on a subject where you have no idea about it.    First learn about the religion in its true sense rather than hear say before you start blabbering.
    Please answer either with your intellect or with your religious knowledge the following :
    Why are some poor and some rich ?
    Why did the lord  created so many without believing in allah ?
    Where do you come from ?
    Where do you after your death ?
    Why is the world full of misery if the lord is full of bliss and mercy ?
    Why does the muslim kill each other if all of them brothers ?
    Some of harsh statement in your way about islam :
    Bundle of herds which go around the stone without asking any question. 
    Bundle of intelligent which accept halala for an accidental mentioning of a word.
    Have a fast between break fast and dinner and makes a big issue like an indian politician.
    I think enough for today

    By rajo gunam - 7/26/2012 9:38:39 AM

  • I have got very compelling answers from learned contributors. These all answers I had already. If  I am a Hindu, Muslim , Christian, it is irrelevant.
    Questions matters. I am aware how all Muslims react whether educated or uneducated. Mullah are not wrong. They are True Muslims. Jihadis are True Muslims.
    You all say I am a hypocrite, may be you are true.
     I may be a Hindu. I am a good person If I agree with you. I am an open minded If I agree with you.

    I am also doing Jihad in my way. Not killing people. Not saying them hypocrites. I wanted to confirm. You say read Quran with open mind. I know what an open mind is in your understanding.

    Allah will not bring the Qayamat if a single Muslim is present in the world. Are these my words, certainly not.
    I can not leave this site. I enjoy it. I am not good in debating. You will say I am not good in anything.

    I am very happy with my ignorance (Jahiliyiat). I am more determined after coming here.
    You think I am leaving. Not at all.
     Janab Naseer Ahmed said I am a very confused person. He is very true in his assessment of mine. I confirm I am confused in Islamic beliefs and.  now I don't want to remove my confusion. I like to be in doubt in place of rigid beliefs.

    Muslims don't understand taqia they use it.
    All good things belong to Muslims. Rest people are hypocrites, Mushriks, kafirs, zindiqs, fasiqs, hell bound etc.
    These comments are not directed to a particular person.
    How can I stand before Allah. Wallahu khairul makireen. Fundu Arabic, may be. but it is conveyed.

    By mohd yunus - 7/26/2012 8:52:54 AM

  • With the running away of Secular Logic and so many others before him, we must preserve rameshji if not for the wellbeing of this website at least for me – I will be completely out of the job. Rameshji  please carry on. And Sadafji please reply to him nicely!
    By Manzoorul Haque - 7/26/2012 6:27:06 AM

  • There have been many comments from our Hindu brethren about, taqdeer, predestination, lauhe-mahfooz etc. I feel responsible to write something because there seems to be serious misunderstandings.
    I shall be short, abstract and sweeping which can always be elaborated later. The verses in Sura 2 that speak of the fate of the deniers are addressed to a prophet or a dayee, who invites people towards Truth. When he suffers disillusion because of callous attitude of the listeners, he is addressed by God, to let him not feel guilty of failure, because these deniers are those who will not listen and the responsibility for their not listening is not on the prophet or the dayee but on God himself. How?  Is it because God has condemned them to go to hell? No (I repeat No). That would amount to prejudgment and not allowing free-will to them. This is a cause of concern to some of the non-Muslim commentators here.  At this point, I would humbly refer to one article of mine on this website captioned “Existence vs. non-Existence”, where I have tried to explain the God’s play/leela allowing operation of free-will to human beings. It is because of God’s scheme of giving men free-will and exposing them to the uncertainties of an un-deterministic life that they are moving in a wrong direction with a determination of their own for which they will eventually be accountable to God. The thrust of the verses is not that God will send them to hell, but that they are likely to be such cases along the pathway of dawah work and the dayee need not become despondent. It is perfectly possible that a man who is ridiculing a prophet today, may on a later occasion on his own revert to his teachings, or may revert to his teachings on another occasion of prophet’s preaching. How can these individuals be condemned before exhausting full chance?  I think simple logic should convey the proper meaning of these verses.
    Yes there are other number of verses elsewhere which clearly tell that men will reap the reward of their own doings which are being recorded somewhere. There is no question of recording of the future actions or consequences of a man who is endowed with free-will. In fact from these verses are derived the free-will theory of the holy Quran –which a prophet or a dayee explains to the laity (one doesn’t have to be a philosopher to accept it). Incidentally these verses led to the building up of a whole industry of Sifli Ilm and Zinda Tilasmat of Baba Bengali, where man’s taqdeer, is predicted by a peep into Lauhe Mahfooz ( a word not found in the holy Quran or even in Hadiths). To  my Hindu friends who are looking for “true Islam”, I am quoting the following – quite a laughing gas for me:
    It is written in one narration that Shaikh Abul Hafs r.a. states: “Our Shaikh Abd al-Qaadir Jilani r.a. used to fly in the air and would say, ‘The sun does not rise before presenting Salaams in my court. By the Wrath and Honour of Allah! All the good and bad persons are before my sight. My eyes are fixed firmly on Lauh-e-Mahfooz. Time and again, I immerse myself in the sea of knowledge and wisdom blessed by Allah and I am the Sign (Nishaan) of Allah to the people, and the specially appointed representative of my forefather, Nabi Muhammad, s.a.w.s., and I am his viceroy on this earth.’”
    Let me please make it clear that the concept of God’s Leela is not there in known  Islamic literature, to my understanding. And the projection of mohd yunus (a pseudonym) of God’s Leela being rigid,  according to which all present Hindus are predestined as playthings to fry in an oven discards understanding of the free-will theory where they have all the options to save themselves from Baba Bengali’s Lauhe Mahfooz. As far as God is concerned, He will judge them on their faith and conduct taking into account the last moments of their life. Nothing is prejudged.
    Unlike in the Hindu philosophy of karma where Ishwar does not intervene or cannot intervene, the Islamic philosophy is explicit that God makes exceptions to His Great Game by hearing the prayers of men and WITHDRAWING THEM FROM THE EXPOSURE TO THE UNCERTAINTIES. As creator of man and as the one who exposed him to the uncertainty of an un-deterministic life, He has the power to withdraw man from the chessboard, which He does in favor of man for a while and from time to time. MEN SHOULD  THEREFORE ALWAYS PRAY TO ALLAH FOR HIS MERCY AND BE GIVING THANKS TO ALLAH. Incidentally, I doubt if Ishwar has the power to help a soul, as per Hindu philosophy.
    The real big question of an intellectual should be – why does God place human beings in different situations? My hunch is that it has something to do with the program that God has created for governing the evolution of animal world. The point is – is he unjust in making one a king and another a pauper; in making one an Olympian and another a sickly weakling? And of course the long list of woes of men and women narrated by Mr mohd yunus (2) with undoubted compassion. This question haunts every one of us. We have to take a strong emotionally turbulent journey to come to a meaning of all this through a rather short discourse. Imagine a model of the Lucky Upper and the Unlucky Lower to describe inter-se physical situations of any two individuals in the world, and let us look for proportionality elsewhere as a compensating factor. According to Islam, life of man is also charged with the requirement of movement from Evil to Good. Now, if in the cognition of God, movement of the Unlucky Lower from Evil to Good demands less effort (more chance of spiritual redemption or moksha), and of Lucky Upper from Evil to Good demands more effort (less chance of spiritual  redemption or moksha) and if that proportion exactly sets off the proportion of ‘good luck vs. bad luck’ in the lives of the two individuals compared,  can we say that God has been just and balanced? There are evidences in Quran and Bible that the better off will be judged more strictly. In my own thesis, a destitute or an unfortunate sufferer, more so a woman destitute, of any caste, creed or corner of humanity, will automatically shift to the redemption side.
    By Manzoorul Haque - 7/26/2012 6:08:00 AM

  • Dear Ms Sadaf ji, This is in continuation of my references for my quotes.
    18.29:say this truth from the lord of you. Then whomsoever will,let him believeand whomsoever will let him disbelieve.Lo! we have prepared for disbeliever fire.Its tent encloseth them .If they ask for showers ,they will get showered with water like the molten lead which burnth the faces.
    21.57:and by allah,I shall circumvent your idols after ye have gone away and turned your backs.
    21.58:Then he reduced them to fragments all save the chief of them,that haply they might have recourse to it.
    note: the above verse teaches that idols be broken. The same was done by taliban  sometime back with a budhha statue in afghanistan.
    21.98: Lo! ye (idolators) and that ye worship beside allah are fuel of hell. Thereunto you wil come.
    22.19:These twains ( believers and disbelievers)are two opponent who contend concerning their land.But as far those who disbelieve,garments of fire will be cut out for them;boiling fluid will be poured down on their heads.
    note: this verse pits believer against the disbelievers.
    22.10: Whereby that which is in their bellies and their skin too will be melted.
    22.21: and for them hooked rods of iron.
    22.22:whenever in anguish ,they would go forth from thence they are driven back therein and(it is said unto them)taste the doom of  burning.
    22.57: while those disbelieved and denied our revelations,for them will a shameful doom.
    24.3:the adulterer shall not marry save an adulteress or idolatorress and the adultress shall not marry save adulterer or and idolator.All that forbidden unto believers.
    note; adultery is considered  biggest sin in  isalm.
    idolator is comapred with a such a sinner.
    24.57: think not that the disbeliever can escape in the land. fire will be on their hand-a hapless journey end.
    25.36:Then we said. go together unto the folk who denied our revelations. Then we destroyed them,a complete destruction.
    In the above verse allah encorages believers to go war with non believers and destroy completely. This is encouragement for jihad.
    29.23; those who disbelieve in the revelations of allah and in their meeting with Him,such have no hope of my mercy.
    35.26:then I seized those who disbelieved and how intense was abhorence.
    41.6Say unto them o mohammad,Iam only mortal like you.it is inspired in me that your god is one god,therefore take the straight path unto him and seek forgiveness of him.  And Woe  unto idolators.
    56.9: O prophet! strike against the disbelievers and the hypocrites and be stern with them. Hell will be their home ,a hapless journey indeed.
    XCVIII. 7:Lo! those who disbelieve,amoung the people of scripture and the idolators will abide in fire and hell. They are the worst of the  created benings. Those who believe and do good work are best of created beings.
    In the  above verse allah declares idolators worst of creared beings.As per this even illumined souls like ramakrishna,sivananda etc are the worst of created beings.
    The above verses given by me in two postings define a non muslim as a worst sinner,loweset of created beings,lacking intelligence,not upright ,enemies of believers(muslims), of evil conduct etc.And urges believers( muslims) to destroy disbelievers completely,break idols,smite their necks and fingers, not to have frienship and not to obey believers,strike against the  disbelievers etc.
     with this I conclude giving references to my quotes.
    I dont understand why a person  if taught such verses cannot become jihadi and go on killing non muslims. Thus  a terrorist/jihadi has koranic sanction to kill non muslims. I find almost all the jehadis are educted in koran and the hadith. I will continue in my next postings. Regards,

    By ramesh - 7/26/2012 2:44:30 AM

  • Secular Logic.Before you wind up your wild goose chase, you may if you care, take one more step forward by reading my just published article re the broader notion of Islam. It is entirely up to you to form any opinion of Islam so long it does not translate into any malice against a common Muslims who like a common man of any religion knows only what he hears from others and just wants to live in peace- and mind you there are some 1.5 billion of them around the world. If Islam was all that terrible don't you honestly believe, the demography of India might have been different and people like Abul Kalam Azad, a leading authority on the Qur'an would not have opted for India. I also invite you to read my following article before your departure.     
    The Hindus are not ‘the mushrikin’ mentioned in the Qur’an. http://www.newageislam.com/NewAgeIslamDialogue_1.aspx?ArticleID=5655

    By muhammad yunus (1) - 7/26/2012 12:42:34 AM

  • Dear Mr Haque and Mr Ahmad, I have read the Quran in parts. I have read the explanations presented in the source whose link was provided by Mr Ahmad. I have read the lenghty explanations that you both have provided. None of these three appeal to my senses.
    So I wish to stop my engagement with this site and Islam in general. I do believe that one would be better off reading the constitution of India in that time instead.
    I also believe that Islam preaches violence towards undefined and defined enemies, the former category changing with time and circumstance. The defined category is unambiguous: those who don't believe in Islam. I have reached this conclusion after making enough attempts to understand the material at hand.
    I also think that people like Mr Shahin and Mr Yunus(1) are trying to reinterpret the Quran to give it a softer, more inclusive character. While I think their efforts are laudable, I have doubts whether enough people will accept their version to rid us of the menace that Mr Yunus calls the literalist interpretation of the Quran.
    Thank you, gentlemen. Every minute I have spent here has added to my spiritual journey, one way or the other. I would like to end this association with the Pasayadaan. But I think few would appreciate the magnanimity of that prayer on this space. 
    By secular logic - 7/25/2012 10:57:51 PM

  •  Dear Rameshji,

    Let me put my understanding of the Quran in a simple and straight forward language.

    There is a Creator and He has created for a purpose.

    He has created man with an intellect and capacity to choose and distinguish between right and wrong. He has also given man desires, pride, greed etc.

    The World is a place to test man and distinguish between the good and the evil.

    The Creator does not keep man in the dark about the purpose of creation and the Creator's plans.

    The Creator sends messengers to convey the message to all nations in all periods and there were some 124000 messengers sent over the period since life began.

    The message of all these Prophets has essentially been the same as it concerns belief in one God without ascribing any partners.

    Some of these messages have been recorded by man but there has been a process of accretions. These human accretions have diluted the original message and most of these scriptures have been affected by creeping polytheism.

    Polytheism has been attractive to the priestly class who have generally been exploiters of society. The priestly class must be credited with having invented the principles of modern marketing. To maximise sales, increase the number of brands and items. Religion became a commercial activity.

    The final messenger Muhammad's (PBUH) mission was to reiterate/confirm the original message of all the Prophets who preceded him.

    People tell me that the Quran's message of Monotheism is only a subset of the Hindu scriptures. That does not surprise me. Religious enlightenment came to India much before it came to Arabia. The superset however, contains every other concept be it Monism, Polytheism, Pantheism etc. You may argue that all are different and valid paths and the destination is the same. So good luck and I have nothing to say on that.

    The Quran's claim is that it is the Word of God. I think that the Creator has an obligation to communicate to the created and it makes sense to me that the Quran is indeed the Word of God.

    The Quran is therefore not a book of philosophy but the Word of God.

    God has no need to be diplomatic or mince words. As a matter of fact, God is under an obligation to make things absolutely clear. If God has created hell then a good description of hell is required and what kind of people who are destined for it. It would be odd if God did not make things clear and put men into hell taking them by surprise.

    The Quran has three clear categories - believers, non-believers and hypocrites. God does not confuse issues by talking about the "grey areas". The question that has bothered Muslims was about Abu Talib who was the uncle of the Prophet, who took care of the Prophet in his childhood when he was an orphan and protected the Prophet from any harm as long as he was alive. It was only after his death that the Prophet migrated to Medina. Abul Talib, apparently did not recite the kalima. He was otherwise an upright and honourable person. So what about him? We do not know. This is a grey area. Maybe Abu Talib is another category which is not mentioned in the Quran but will be admitted to heaven.  Maybe not. God knows best. You can however appreciate that if the Quran had talked about grey areas, how confused the message would become and it would appear as if anything goes. God is under an obligation not to confuse man with his message to ensure that the chances of man going wrong are minimised.

    You ask me about terrorists. In the Prophet's time there were only 10 persons who were given the good news that they would be admitted to heaven. What about the other 50,000 who had participated in wars of survival? Yes, they could hope to be in heaven but no such assurance was given to them in their lifetime. If this is about people who were engaged in genuine Jehad and were direct followers of the Prophet, and if the Prophet had not confirmed their status in the afterlife, how do you expect me to answer for the terrorists who by definition are enemies of humanity?

    God has fulfilled His obligations by giving a clear message which leaves little room for doubt and debate. It is for man now to fulfil his obligation to the creator by following the Book. He however has a free will to choose not to do so and has time upto his death to continue to disbelieve after which the account is closed.

    God promises the good things of this life to all categories whether they are believers or non-believers. More to those who have no portion in the hereafter.
    By Naseer Ahmed - 7/25/2012 8:22:10 PM

  • Dear brother Secular Logic, Thanks for wishing me. I love human beings. But I have no pretension of accepting every crap that all human beings may believe in. I don’t in fact hate the sinner, have no doubt on this. But definitely I hate sin – such as sin of kufr, sin of shirk,  right down  to sin of ‘ghoos’. Behind this fictitious name of yours, there must surely be someone who is a human being like me. Take it from me, that I cannot hate you in person. I am sure you know it and you will claim the same disposition for yourself, which I readily concede
    However, I believe in moral evolution of man. Therefore it is necessary for me to move, irrespective of the conflict my movement my create. You are worried about the conflict part. My engagement is with movement. You can say it can lead to a fight to finish. I don’t rule out that, because in any case it deals with the question of existence.  However, my firm conviction is that for good to advance, evil must yield. We cannot have sympathy with both good and evil. If you can talk within this parameter, then we have something to talk. 
    So let me know on which particular topic you would like to know of the Islamic viewpoint. You are an educated person, you can choose a topic instead of handing me a list. What is the point in scanning a list if we cannot agree on the first item of the list? So, please pick up your first item and let me have your views on the topic first, that is, what do you think should have been more desirable for humanity (since you have approached me for clarification) and then to the best of my capacity, I shall endeavor to tell you how the Islamic viewpoint on the issue is more conducive for the humanity according to my understanding. You will have the opportunity to contradict me later. Best wishes.
    By Manzoorul Haque - 7/25/2012 12:19:06 PM

  • Mr Naseer Ahmad, in my quest for enlightenment I did check out the link you provided. The explanations there are more macabre than anything I could ever imagine. They spell out the horrors to be inflicted on disbelievers in even more detail. I think I should stop looking for answers now, I am feeling truly sick. God help us if that is what people are reading everyday.
    By secular logic - 7/25/2012 10:04:37 AM

  • Dear Mr Naseer ahmadji,

      I refer to your question why the russians were crazy to ban the geeta?. Please know that it is not the russian govt wanted to ban but the russian orthodox church wanted to ban geeta. Recently i was in touch with a russisn working with me and I asked him the reason . His reasoning was that the church did not  want the influence of geeta on the  christians of russia.

       But keeping russian issue aside I request you to go through the geeta and tell me one verse that abuse a non believer in krishna's revelations. You cannot find ,as geeta is for the entire humanity not only for krishna devotees only.It teaches the complete yoga system raja,bhakti,dhyna and karma yogas as every individual is suitable for different yoga. The advantages of different methods of worships(yogas) vis -a -vis  single method of worship for an entire community of people I will come out some other time.

      But quran is replete with abuses  and threats heaped on the non believers (muslims).( both myself and secular logic have given enough references)   If the quranic statements were to be true then illimined sages like ramakrishna,sivanada,aurobindo ramatheertha etc by this time will be getting rosted in the hell but jihadists who killed non believers  will be enjoying in the heaven.

     Mr Aiman reyaz has reasonably explained that these verses have no relevance today. His explanation is in general nature but not specific to verses i have mentioned.I request my muslim brothers and sisters to address the issue raised instead brushing under the carpet and declaring me an enemey of islam.



    By ramesh - 7/25/2012 8:40:16 AM

  • SL,

    The word zalimun means those who do wrong which is explained by the translator in parenthesis as polytheist etc which I think is unwarranted and is his own interpretation. All words in parenthesis are interpretations and I see no justification for some of these since God uses precise terminology to communicate what He needs to communicate.

    Zalimun are people who do wrong and include Muslims also. I think Islam is one religion which makes no blanket promise to the Muslims that they will go to heaven just because they claim to be Muslim.

    The term mushrikin means a polytheist or one who associates other gods with the God and can mean Muslims as well. It is a very broad term. If a Muslim acts out of greed, fear, hatred, or some other emotion and wrongfully and also wilfully then his god is certainly not Allah and he is worshipping other gods viz his own desires, whims and fancies. The word Islam implies both acceptance and submission to the will of God and also acting in a manner that pleases God.

    So a Muslim never knows where he stands and is in constant fear that the 'hidayat' that is given to him which makes him a Muslim can be snatched away anytime. Also a Muslim does not know that a Kafir or  a Mushrik may get hidayat and become a dweller of paradise whereas he may end up in hell.

     There are hadiths to the effect that a person who people may consider bound for hell based upon what they see of him may do some act which may entitle him to heaven and vice versa. Also, this World is considered to be a ground for testing those who do good. There are people who are born predisposed towards good and there are some who are born pre disposed towards evil. So they will not be judged alike. For example, the Prophets had to pay a heavy price for even the smallest mistakes. Man is never in a position to judge another man and if he does that, he is trying to take the place of God and invites the wrath of God.

    A good Muslim who knows his scriptures well, therefore never looks down on any other person and is constantly on guard since Allah can easily make him like the person he despises and make the other person superior in every aspect.

    So those verses which talk about punishment could equally apply to the Muslims and certainly do not affect his relations with non-Muslims.

    Muslims have been described in the Quran as the best of people provided they do good and forbid evil. The Quran and the religion of Islam is meant for all of mankind. If a Muslim behaves in a fashion that makes other people dislike/hate Muslims, then he is not serving the cause of Islam and is an enemy of Islam. How can a good Muslim then adopt anything but the best of behaviours with non-Muslims? A Muslim is also under no obligation to convert anyone. Hidayat is given by Allah only and even the Prophets were charged with the responsibility of conveying the message and had no responsibility for conversion. A Muslim’s good behaviour with non-Muslims is therefore unconditional, sincere and without expectations.

    There were certain specific people of those times that the Quran talks about. They were those who knew of the coming of the Prophet from their own scriptures, were expectant, and when the Prophet came, recognized him as the Prophet and yet opposed him. The curses are about such people and not about conscientious disbelievers. The curse is also on the people from whom God took a covenant and they broke their covenants.

    The disbelievers are also addressed in the Quran and for them is hell. Belief in one God is the most natural and logical belief to have because the very concept of God does not allow for the existence of other gods. Many gods would mean sharing of the powers and possible overlap and conflict and each one pulling in a different direction. This militates against the concept of an all powerful God. Moreover, God takes upon himself the responsibility to make known the truth and every disbeliever is a disbeliever after his heart has acknowledged the truth even though for an instant. There will be many such instants in his life. His own self will therefore be witness against his choice to disbelieve. God is never unjust. 

    By Naseer Ahmed - 7/25/2012 7:27:07 AM

  • Mr Naseer Ahmed, after you pointed out that you have already specified the prescribed behavior for treatment of non muslims by muslims (in situations where no treaty exists), I went through your second comment - I am sorry I had missed that completely. It sounds fair enough. But then, would you explain these verses for me?
    51. Have you not seen those who were given a portion of the Scripture? They believe in Jibt and Taghut and say to the disbelievers that they are better guided as regards the way than the believers (Muslims).
    52. They are those whom Allah has cursed, and he whom Allah curses, you will not find for him (any) helper,
    55. Of them were (some) who believed in him (Muhammad), and of them were (some) who averted their faces from him (Muhammad); and enough is Hell for burning (them).
    56. Surely! Those who disbelieved in Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc) We shall burn them in Fire. As often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for other skins that they may taste the punishment. Truly, Allah is Ever Most Powerful, All-Wise.
    57. But those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah - Islamic Monotheism) and do deeds of righteousness, We shall admit them to Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), abiding therein forever. Therein they shall have Azwajun Mutahharatun [purified mates or wives (having no menses, stools, urine, etc.)] and We shall admit them to shades wide and ever deepening (Paradise).
    Source: http://www.dar-us-salam.com/TheNobleQuran/index.html Chapter: An Nisa
    AND:. Theirs will be a bed of Hell (Fire), and over them coverings (of Hell-fire). Thus do We recompense the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.).
    42. But those who believed (in the Oneness of Allah - Islamic Monotheism), and worked righteousness - We tax not any person beyond his scope, such are the dwellers of Paradise. They will abide therein.
    43. And We shall remove from their breasts any (mutual) hatred or sense of injury (which they had, if at all, in the life of this world); rivers flowing under them, and they will say: "All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has guided us to this, never could we have found guidance, were it not that Allah had guided us! Indeed, the Messengers of our Lord did come with the truth." And it will be cried out to them: "This is the Paradise which you have inherited for what you used to do."
    44. And the dwellers of Paradise will call out to the dwellers of the Fire (saying): "We have indeed found true what our Lord had promised us; have you also found true, what your Lord promised (warnings, etc.)?" They shall say: "Yes." Then a crier will proclaim between them: "The Curse of Allah is on the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.),"
    45. Those who hindered (men) from the Path of Allah, and would seek to make it crooked, and they were disbelievers in the Hereafter.
    46. And between them will be a barrier screen and on Al-A'raf (a wall with elevated places) will be men (whose good and evil deeds would be equal in scale), who would recognise all (of the Paradise and Hell people), by their marks (the dwellers of Paradise by their white faces and the dwellers of Hell by their black faces), they will call out to the dwellers of Paradise, "Salamun 'Alaikum" (peace be on you), and at that time they (men on Al-A'raf) will not yet have entered it (Paradise), but they will hope to enter (it) with certainty.
    47. And when their eyes will be turned towards the dwellers of the Fire, they will say: "Our Lord! Place us not with the people who are Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers)
    Your explanation, taken along with these verses, seems to suggest that the Allah was saying, the non-muslims are the scum of the earth because they do not believe in me, and I will roast them again and again in hell, after they are dead. Muslims, meanwhile, are superior beings who will ascend to paradise - only the men, evidently - and enjoy untold pleasures, just because they believed in Allah and did good deeds. A non-muslim who also did good deeds - say, Mahatma Gandhi for example - would be denied the pleasures of paradise - actually, which is a good thing. Cannot think how that poor old man would react to being surrounded by so much food and so many gorgeous virgins - but lets be serious. So, even though Muslims must believe in their hearts that idolators, polytheists etc are horrid people, it is pragmatic to have civil relations with them. Am I understanding correctly?
    By secular logic - 7/25/2012 3:54:09 AM

  • Respected Smt Sadafji, the quotes I have made are from the book published by Islamic book service,new delhi translated by Mr mohammad marmaduke pickthall.
    .2.135. be jew or christian then they will be rightly guided.Say unto them O mohammad.Nay ,but we follow the religion of abraham,the upright and he was not of the idolator.
    3.95:Say allah speak the truth.So follow religion of abraham the upright.He was not of the idolator.
    My comment: above verses imply that idolators are not upright.
    3.149:O,ye who believe; If you obey those who disbelieve,they will make you turn back on your heels and ye turn back as losers.
    3.151.We shall cast terror in the hearts of those  disbelievers because they abscribe unto allah partner for which no wayout has been .revealed.
    4.58:those who disbelieve our revelation we shall expose them to fire.As after their skin are consumed we shall exchange them for fresh skin that they may taste torment.
    4.101. In truth disbelievers are open enemies to you.
    4.104:Relent not in the pursuit of the enemy.
    4.144:O ye who believe choose not the disbeliever for your friend in place of believer
    5.10: And they who disbelieve your revelations such are rightful owners of hell.
    5.80: Thou seest many of them making friends with those who diebelieve. Surely ill for them is that which they themselves send as themselves that allah will be wroth with them and in the doom they will abide.
    5.81.If they believed in allah and the prophet and that which is revealed unto them,they would not choose them for friends. But many of them are of evil conduct.
    5.82:thou wilt find the most vehement of mankind in hostility to those who believe the jews and the idolators.
    6.162:As for me ,my lord hath guided me into a straight path ,a right religion,the community of abraham the upright,who was no idolator.
     Note; Pl read this verse in conjunction with the first two verses which convey that idolatots are not upright.
    8.12:when the lord inspired the angels(saying).Iam with you ,so make those who believe stand firm.I will throw fear into the hearts of those who disbelieve.Then smite the necks and smite of their each finger.
    8.13:That is because they opposed allah and the messenger(for him) allah is severe in punishment.
    8.65:O prophet ! exhort the believers to fight.If there be 20 of you they will overcome two hundred and if if there be of you 100 they shall overcome 1000 of those who disbelieve because disbelievers are a folk without intelligence.
    Above verses charge the disbelievers as being not upright,lacking intellinece ,enemies of muslims ,exhort the muslims not to have friendship with non muslims,fight them,create terror in their  hearts,smite their neck etc.
    Iam still finding references to my quotes. The delay is due to
    1.Quran is voluminous.
    2.Very frequently disbelievers and idolators are threatened and insulted in the pages thus making it difficult for a hindu like me to continue reading it for a longer time.
    But I promise to give references to all my quotes.
    I find most of the commentators are expressing anger to postings of secular logic instead of answering his points. All the quotes of secular logic are complete with references downloaded from internet.Hence I request  the quotes be answered if possible. Regards,
    By ramesh - 7/25/2012 2:17:25 AM

  • A very good morning to you too SL. The following is a site for tafseer or commentary for the serious researcher who would like to find the meaning, background and explanation for any verse in the Quran. You may do your explorations. Every verse is explained in detail.
    I can understand that you see nothing except good in your books but then do you think the Russians were crazy to ban it?
    By Naseer Ahmed - 7/25/2012 1:57:29 AM

  • Most of the major religious books contain verses of violence but the major problem with people (of the different faiths) is that they take these verses of violence and portray it as though it is for eternity. Most of you may be knowing this but let me reitereate that those verses of fighting were confined to those people and that time only and are not relevant today. They have become obsolete.
    By Aiman Reyaz - 7/24/2012 11:04:51 PM

  • Mr Manzoorul Haque, Good Morning. It is alright if you do not like the Hindu faith system, and don't see anything positive in our scriptures and other mythological literature. There is no compulsion to like anything. When even Hindus are not compelled to follow them, how can non Hindus be forced to show even false respect for them? Why are you disturbing yourself with doing a tantrumy character analysis (assasination?) of Secular Logic? I am sure you have better, more virtuous things to do in the Holy Month of Ramzan.
    Why don't you take up each verse I have posted here from different chapters of the Quran and explain their beauty and context and eternal relevance to me instead?
    I wish you a speedy recovery from all physical and other sorts of disturbances that you are currently plagued by.
    Best regards.
    By secular logic - 7/24/2012 9:54:25 PM

  • Good Morning, Mr Naseer Ahmed. It looks like you have been watching the Mahabharata series on TV very closely. It is a fascinating epic. None of its characters are completely white, or completely black. In most of its core conflicts, one can understand the situation from the perspective of each of its characters and draw one's own conclusions. The "good" people often do the wrong things, and the "bad" people sometimes do right things. I find each character in the Mahabharat worthy of study and scrutiny. Most Hindus use the stories of the Mahabharat to learn lessons like: The love of the son can blind a man to justice(Dhritarashtra); vices like gambling can lead the best of men astray, and ruin the family in the process (Yudhisthir); pre-marital sexual experimentation can ruin the life of the innocent that is born out of the experimentation (Kunti-Karna); etc. I assure you we do not use the Mahabharat as the excuse to kill our extended families over land disputes. Nor does our love for Mahabharat lead to disdain for people of other faiths.

    So, while there is a lot of scope for discussing the Mahabharat and its relevance to Hindu way of life, I think you are dribbling the ball outside the court of this particular discussion we are having: What about the verses in the Quran that promote inter-community hatred. You have only responded to some of the verses I have posted. The rest remain unexplained.

    Best regards.

    By secular logic - 7/24/2012 9:46:02 PM

  • @Manzoorul Haque. May I remind you of the following Qur'anic verses;

    “Don’t insult those whom they invoke besides God, lest they ignorantly insult God in enmity. Thus We have made their action seem pleasing to every community; then their return is to their Lord, and He will tell them what they had been doing” (6:108).

    “Invite (all) to the way of your Lord with wisdom and pleasant counseling, and debate with them in the best manner. Indeed God knows best who is straying from His path, and He knows best the (rightly) guided” (16:125).

    “And do not debate with the People of the Book, but in a way that is better (than theirs), except with those of them who oppress (others); and say ‘We believe in what was revealed to us, and what was revealed to you, for our God and your God is One (and the same), and it is to Him that we (all) submit (muslimun)’” (29:46)
    Kindly note the Moghuls until the time of Aurangzeb, regarded Hindus as People of Book, which they must be as they have their own scriptures.
    By muhammad yunus (1) - 7/24/2012 5:10:15 PM

  • Secular Logic types are frustrated with their own religions too. They regale in insulting their own icons and would love us to join them. Their only desire is that all humanity must join together in funtooshgiri, hooliganism and anarchy and in attacking all religious sanctities together. They are anarchists. Since they find that these Muslims do not give up their solemnity, that they talk of sanctity, that they are able conceptualize divinity an independent Being (which knowledge they have received from Allah), these fellows get upset. However, we Muslims need not to be impressed by them.  We should carry on.

    Just to prove that he is somewhere he seems to cite Geeta now and then, under mistaken belief that Geeta seems to have some ‘upadesh’ too in his viewpoint, without knowing that the very fundamental was faulty. This was an unholy war with unholy methods inspired by a so-called religious character which can never be considered religious by followers of Abrahamic faiths. Till 19th century, Mahabharata was not permitted to be read in Hindu families because of the adverse impact it used to have on family life. Russian courts have been now and then examining the belligerent character of this book to ban it and only the entire might of the Indian government establishment through government channels is able to hold it back.

    Yet as an Indian Muslim, I respect (and do not suffer bouts of morning sickness like nameless secular logic) Geeta, Mahabharata, Ramayana, Vedas, Upanishads, Arthashastra, Kokshastra, everything; not because I am impressed with their contents but only because our fellow citizens, revere these scriptures. I do it as a matter of principle, despite the fact that I know fully that some of these congenital haters will never respond in kind.  

    By Manzoorul Haque - 7/24/2012 10:44:50 AM

  • If SL has gone through each comment with great attention, then he should not have missed a complete section which covers the relations with non-Muslims whether there is a treaty with them or not.

    What was the religion during the period of Mahabharata? How many religions existed then? If such a gory war could be fought with one's kith and kin over the issue of usurpation of throne, and every stratagem including deceit employed, one can imagine what could have been the upadesh for fighting with the enemy the enemy being people of another faith who had driven them out of their homes, killed and persecuted them for no other reason except that they practiced a different faith.

    The Upadesh turned a reluctant Arjuna to take up battle and rain arrows on his Pitamah after he was disarmed through deceit did it not?  If this is such a beautiful message, one wonders what those verses of thunder and lightning may have been or are there which I have failed to mention.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 7/24/2012 8:26:35 AM

  • Mr secular logic. Kindly address me as mohd yunus (2) if you are addressing me.
    There is one more gentleman Mohammed Yunus (1).

    By mohd yunus - 7/24/2012 7:44:06 AM

  • Thank you, gentlemen. I read each of the comments following mine with great attention. 

    What I understand is, given the opposition and persecution to the followers of Islam when it was in its fledgeling state, the verses exhort its followers to have no qualms about killing people of other faiths, unless they enter a treaty with them and do not break it. So what happens if people do NOT enter a treaty with them? Also, the verses may have been sort of military pep talk that was appropriate in that context. Why is it made an eternal rule? In today's day and age, conflicts are more complex than simple territorial agression. It could be that an ideology, or a way of life, or a value system is totally antithetical to what Islam preaches, putting itself in an inimical relationship with Islam without ever having any express intentions of doing so. These people then become "enemies of Islam", and these verses against "hypocrites and idolators" are trotted out to justify violence against them. Is it not time to expunge these verses from the text altogether, or have something in brackets saying, this is History, not an eternal injunction. It may not apply in current times. - Its as simple as that, and yet nobody is doing it.

    2. Mr Ahmed's understanding of the Mahabharat is laudable. However, the Mahabharat is distinct from the Gita. The Gita only talks of "good" and "evil", and the necessity to battle evil. It does not talk about "Hindus" and "non-Hindus",nor does it call for extermination of Non-hindus, for whatever reason. Also, The Bhagwat Geeta is a supremely spritual tretise. It talks about Man's relationship with the Divine, how man must best live his life, what is the path to salvation, the four paths to salvation - Karma, Bhakti, Gnyana, Yoga. It gives man freedom to choose the path he finds best. It is a very peaceful, healing text. I invite you to hear audios of the Gita on Youtube. You will be surprised to find very little hint of violence there. 

    Mr Haque: "without text" works for me. It may not work for everybody. Hinduism gives me the right to choose what works best for me. In any case, I find the Gita a good general guide to many vexing problems. If this site were called "New Age Hinduism" and was trying to solve the problems caused by the Hindu religion to the rest of the world, I would whole heartedly participate in exposing the mumbo-jumbo that is part and parcel of Hinduism. Actually, even after reading that line 3 times, I don' t quite get your point, so lets leave it there?

    Mohd Yunus: :((( Gimme your shoulder to cry on, for you speak the truth. Its a lost cause. :)

    By secular logic - 7/24/2012 6:26:50 AM

  • Mr secular logic
    If you quote certain verses you will be asked to give Verse No, Chapter no etc.
    If you give these references, you will be asked to give context.
    If you give context you will be accused for quoting out of context.
    Then comes,  you have misinterpreted.
    At last you don't agree, than you are an enemy, you are here to defame the Islam.

    This cycle will continue for indefinite time.

    By mohd yunus - 7/24/2012 4:23:32 AM

  • Surah Taubah - Amnesty to enemies for a period of 4 months after conquest of Mecca

    The Prophet was persecuted by the people of Mecca and had to flee to Medina. His companions during those early days were persecuted, tortured and some even killed for their faith. The vulnerable suffered the most and were first to immigrate to a neighboring country Abyssinia on the advice of the Prophet. The Meccans tried unsuccessfully to get them ousted even from Abyssinia. They fought several battles with the Muslims after the migration – Badr, Uhud and the battle of the trenches. Each battle was an attempt to exterminate the Muslims.

    In 6AH, a treaty between the Quraysh and the Muslims was concluded at Hudaibiya. One of the clauses of the treaty was that there will be no war for a period of 10 years and the tribes which wish to join alliance with the Quraysh will be allowed to do so and those who wish to join the Muslims are free to do so. Following this, Bani Khuza’a became allies of the Muslims and Banu Bakr joined the Quraysh.

    After about 18 months of the signing of the treaty of Hudaibiya, Banu Bakr attacked Bani Khuza’a in the darkness of the night. The people of Bani Khuza tried to escape the attack by taking shelter in the Ka’aba but were butchered. The Quraysh joined in this attack hoping that their treachery would not be discovered. The attackers thus violated both the sanctity of the place as well as the treaty. Some 40 of Bani Khuza’a were able to flee and reach the Muslims and inform them of what had transpired and how the enemy butchered their people and did not even spare those who were at the time worshipping in a position of kneeling or prostrating.

    Surah Taubah was revealed around this time.

    Surah 9 verses 1-5

    1.      Here is a disavowal (proclaimed) by Allah and His Messenger against the Mushriks (polytheists) with whom you have a treaty.

    2.      So, move in the land freely for four months, and be aware that you can never frustrate Allah, and that Allah is going to disgrace the disbelievers.

    3.      And here is an announcement, from Allah and His Messenger, to the people on the day of the greater Hajj, that Allah is free from (any commitment to) the Mushriks, and so is His Messenger. Now, if you repent, it is good for you. And if you turn away, then be aware that you can never frustrate Allah. And give those who disbelieve the  good news of a painful punishment.

    4.      Except those of the Mushriks with whom you have a treaty, and they were not deficient (in fulfilling the treaty) with you, and did not back up any one against you. So fulfill the treaty with them up to their term. Surely, Allah loves the God-fearing.

    5.      So, when the sacred months expire, kill the Mushriks wherever you find them, and catch them and besiege them and sit in ambush for them everywhere. Then, if they repent and establish Salah and pay Zakah, leave their way. Surely, Allah is most Forgiving, Very-Merciful.

    Fighting back against the enemies of Islam was made lawful because they violated the treaty and thus initiated war with the Muslims. Verse 4 explicitly mentions that war is not permitted with the Mushriks who did not violate the treaty. This is enough to refute the claims of propagandists that the Qur’an tells Muslims to go on `seek and destroy’ mission against the polytheists.

    Thus it is clear that “kill the Mushriks” mentioned in verse 5 refers to those who violated the treaty and thus initiated war.

    Zamakshari (rh) in his tafsir mentions, “faoqtuloo almushrikeena means those who have violated their agreement and helped (the enemies) against you.”

    In tafsir al-Baydawi it is written regarding the same phrase, “Those who violated the terms of agreement.”

    So, contrary to the propaganda spread by some, this verse does not command Muslims to go out and kill all Mushriks.

    Moreover, those who love to quote this verse also somehow always manage to not read the following verse which is reproduced below:

    And if any one of the Mushriks seeks your protection, give him protection until he listens to the Word of Allah, then let him reach his place of safety. That is because they are a people who do not know. – [Qur’an 9:6]

    This verse is self-explanatory. When studied in its appropriate context, there remains no doubt that this verse has nothing to do with killing every single Mushrik. It was revealed regarding a specific group of people who had violated their treaty with the Muslims and thus by default initiated war.

    The Muslim army of 10,000 walked into Mecca unopposed. After the fall of Mecca, the Prophet would have been within his rights to:

    1.      Bring the persecutors and killers of his companions during the pre migration period to justice

    2.      To execute the leaders of the tribes who had plotted to kill him in his bed while he was asleep.

    3.      To execute the leaders for waging wars.

    4.      To kill every member of the tribe which  broke the treaty and killed 40 Muslims

    The Prophet however chose to declare a general amnesty for all past crimes and not a drop of blood was shed and the Muslim victorious army behaved and showed restraint. Verse 5 was an open warning to the enemy tribes of what they may expect after the lapse of four months.

    It is inconceivable that the hostile tribes which had taunted, persecuted, killed, fought wars and broke their treaty would have changed their behavior and the Muslims would have been hard pressed to restrain themselves. Bloodshed was therefore inevitable. The verse by giving a clear warning to specific tribes allowed them a 4 month period to either swear their allegiance to the Prophet by accepting Islam or make themselves scarce. The revelation of the Surah therefore avoided much bloodshed. If you consider the outcome, then the verse number 5 is responsible for avoiding great bloodshed and can be considered to be one of the most merciful verses revealed.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 7/24/2012 3:18:32 AM

  • Janab sultan Shahin sb has given an outstanding account of things. The middle portion of his reply, which deals with the difficulties of compilation, is an exceptional piece of paramount importance. I am surprised that secular logic has persisted in reiterating his doubts after reading the reply of Janab Shahin sb in case he has read before placing his own posting. [Nowadays a number of postings are bunched and released to the site in one go, for obvious administrative reasons.]
    However we understand the difficulties of compilation and hence of interpretation. But in a way these problems are universal. Religion can be a subject matter of discussion and research and even of organization and management. Organization and management are needed as the carrier of the core values over period of time and space. Yet, as far as the relationship between man and God is concerned, the religion of Islam is the easiest and simplest for an individual to qualify to meet his Maker.
    These are- belief in and obedience to one and absolute Allah,  acceptance of Muhammad (PBUH) as the prophet or the spiritual leader, belief that Truth is hidden in the treasure trove of the holy Quran (and therefore if one has  time and resources, to keep trying to reach the Truth for which one lifetime is also not sufficient, and  thus the person will  eternally remain engaged with pursuit of good), and last but not the least being a good human, according to one’s own conscience. I don’t think it’s a big deal for even the ‘jahilest’.
    Secular logic seems to think ‘without text’ situation ie without religion (obviously he cannot cite the mumbo-jumbo of Hindu religious books vis-à-vis Quran, even in latter’s complex rendition), interpretation of life would have been better and more orderly. I seem to doubt it.
    By Manzoorul Haque - 7/24/2012 2:24:53 AM

  • This is in response to Mr Ramesh's query.

    Quran, Bible and the Hindu scriptures

    “The Bible is one of the most genocidal books in history” Noam Chomsky

     “The Quran says in 2:190

     Fight in the cause of Allah

    Those who fight you,

    But do not transgress limits:

    For, verily, Allah loveth not transgressors

     In contrast, Judaeo-Christian mythology is rooted in the rewards promised by God to the Hebrews for their entirely unprovoked attacks against the Canaanites and the Philistines. Nothing in the Quran can match Yahweh’s bloodthirsty authorization to the Jews in the Book of Deutronomy for the violent occupation of Palestine.” Robert Grieve.

      The Bhagwat Geeta upadesh is also experiential. The message of fighting for dharma, even if the enemy is once own kin, is delivered through many incidents of injustice and transgressions which make the final war and destruction of the Kauravas and their allies inevitable. Didn’t Krishna know all along what the final outcome would be? He did, and yet, he tried everything to avoid the war including a trade off for peace, where Duryodhan was asked to give one village to the Pandavas for peace which was also turned down.

     Look at the similarity in Mecca

    Broadly, the context of those days is very clear. Islam facing total annihilation from enemies who drove them out of Mecca, persecuted them, fought wars with heavy numerical superiority,  prevented them from performing pilgrimage, broke their treaties, plotted and schemed to weaken/destroy Islam. The hypocrites were those who pretended to have become Muslim but their objective was to destroy from within. One of the methods was to become Muslim in the morning and an apostate in the evening to make the ignorant think that the new religion was tried and rejected by "learned people of the scriptures" and therefore not worthy of being accepted. The law of apostasy should be understood in this context and also blasphemy.

     Read the circumstances surrounding each battle, skirmish and war and you will realize how the acts of the Muslims become  justified on account of the excesses and transgressions of the enemy bent on the destruction of Islam. Read the verses in their context and you will understand how justified it was under those circumstances.

     If we judge the war between the Pandavas and Kauravas by today’s standards, it is impossible to see any justification for the same, let alone accept that principles of Dharma can expounded through this incident.  The struggle between warring cousins for dynastic succession where one cousin lost not only his empire but also his wife in a game of chance, will find no sympathizers today. Is it not odd that such a great destructive war was waged to settle a dispute between cousins, when the cousins wronged, had lost their kingdom through their own folly. Krishna’s army was given to the Kaurvas since Arjun chose to have Krishna as his charioteer rather than his sena. What was their fault? Were they subhuman who could not make a moral choice and decide whether they wanted to fight at all and if yes, then on whose side? To justify the war in Mahabharata, we need to apply liberally, the yardstick of historic relativism.

     No such historic relativism is required to understand the Quran but the verses are to be understood in the context of the conditions prevailing just as the Upadesham in the Gita to wage war against own kin, makes sense in the context of the wrongs (determined by applying historic relativism) done by the Kauravas and their intransigence in giving even a village to the Pandavas.

    Relationships with non-Muslims 

    23:96. Repel evil with that which is best: We are well acquainted with the things they say.

     60:7. It may be that Allah will grant love (and friendship) between you and those whom ye (now) hold as enemies. For Allah has power (over all things); And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

    60:8: Allah does not forbid you with regards to those who do not fight you on account of your religion nor drive you out of your homes, to treat with good and to be just to them. Truly Allah loves those who are just.

     (60:9) Allah only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you for (your) Faith, and drive you out of your homes, and support (others) in driving you out, from turning to them (for friendship and protection). It is such as turn to them (in these circumstances), that do wrong.

     004:094 O ye who believe! When ye go forth (to fight) in the way of Allah, be careful to discriminate, and say not unto one who offereth you peace: "Thou art not a believer," seeking the chance profits of this life (so that ye may despoil him). With Allah are plenteous spoils. Even thus (as he now is) were ye before; but Allah hath since then been gracious unto you.

    Therefore take care to discriminate. Allah is ever informed of what ye do.

     The call for justice and fairness in dealing with neither non-Muslims who are neither at war with nor hostile to Muslims is the recommended golden rule. The verse clearly states the normal state for a relationship between Muslims and Non-Muslims should be based on the best morals and justice with those who declare peace and do not fight them.

     The Noble Quran uses the word, “Bir,” which is typically used to describe the highest relationship one could have with parents. The Quran also uses “Bir” to describe the type of relationship we should have with Non-Muslims. “Bir” includes all the good things that a relationship should have, and excludes all the bad aspects of a relationship. For that reason, Muslim scholars said that “Bir” is the foundation of the relationship between Muslims and Non-Muslims.

     This verse was revealed after the story of Asma. and her mother. Imams Bukhari, Muslim and Ahmad reported that Asma. the daughter of Abu Bakr (R.A.) said: “My mother came to me while she was still a non-believer, so I asked Allah.s Messenger (PBUH), “My mother, who is ill-disposed to Islam, has come to visit me. She wants something from me. Shall I maintain relations with her?” He replied, “Yes, maintain relations with your mother.”

     After Imam At-Tabari mentioned various opinions for the explanations of this verse, his final conclusion was that: “The most correct opinion in understanding this verse is that Muslims should be just, fair, and have the best relationship with all Non-Muslims who „do not fight against us on account of our religion and do not drive us out of our homes.. This includes people of all faiths and sects and the support of this correct opinion came from the story of Asma. with her mother.”

     Sayyid Qutb also attempts to explain this verse, saying that:

     “Islam is a Deen of peace and a conviction of love. It is a system that has compassion to all people. It gathers all people (Muslim and Non-Muslim) under the banner of Allah like brethren in accord and love. There is no obstacle that prevents this from happening except an aggression from its enemies against it and its people. If those enemies show peace, Islam does not want animosity or to start it. Even when the enemies still show animosity, Islam always looks for ways to bring the relationship to normalcy through great conduct and justice.”

     He continues: “Islam allows Muslims to seek accord and love with Non-Muslims who did not fight them for their religion and expel them from their lands.”

     He continues: “Islam makes peace as the normal relationship between Muslims and Non-Muslims. This relationship is not distracted except with an aggression that must be dealt with, a breaching of truce, an obstacle in the face of delivering the message of Islam, shackling the freedom of religion. Other than that, the relationship is a relationship of peace, love, justice for all people.” {In the Shade of Al-Qur.an, 6:3544}

     There are many things that Muslims can do to establish tolerance, compassion, and justice in relationships with Non-Muslims. Some of these things in the book Fiqh of Muslim Minorities. By Khalid AbdulQader, from pages 574 to 591}

    ·         Greeting, handshaking, hugging, and exchanging visits with them in their homes and places of worship. Also, welcoming them in

    ·         Muslim homes and mosques.

    ·         Accepting their invitation, offering them a meal.

    ·         Offering congratulations on happy occasions like weddings, having a newborn, and etc…

    ·         Exchanging gifts with them.

    ·         Visiting their sick people, and asking Allah (S.W.T.) for their recovery and their guidance.

    ·         Offering condolences when they are struck by any disaster, tragedy, or death..

    ·         Collaborating with them in all good things.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 7/24/2012 2:23:36 AM

  • 9. Surah At-Taubah (The Repentance)

    1. Freedom from (all) obligations (is declared) from Allah and His Messenger to those of the Mushrikun (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah), with whom you made a treaty.

    2. So travel freely (O Mushrikun - see V.2:105) for four months (as you will) throughout the land, but know that you cannot escape (from the Punishment of) Allah, and Allah will disgrace the disbelievers.

    3. And a declaration from Allah and His Messenger to mankind on the greatest day (the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah - the 12th month of Islamic calendar) that Allah is free from (all) obligations to the Mushrikun (see V.2:105) and so is His Messenger. So if you (Mushrikun) repent, it is better for you, but if you turn away, then know that you cannot escape (from the Punishment of) Allah. And give tidings (O Muhammad of a painful torment to those who disbelieve.

    12. But if they violate their oaths after their covenant, and attack your religion with disapproval and criticism then fight (you) the leaders of disbelief (chiefs of Quraish - pagans of Makkah) - for surely their oaths are nothing to them - so that they may stop (evil actions).

    13. Will you not fight a people who have violated their oaths (pagans of Makkah) and intended to expel the Messenger, while they did attack you first? Do you fear them? Allah has more right that you should fear Him, if you are believers.

    14. Fight against them so that Allah will punish them by your hands and disgrace them and give you victory over them and heal the breasts of a believing people,

    15. And remove the anger of their (believers') hearts. Allah accepts the repentance of whom He wills. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.

    17. It is not for the Mushrikun (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah), to maintain the Mosques of Allah (i.e. to pray and worship Allah therein, to look after their cleanliness and their building, etc.), while they witness against their own selves of disbelief. The works of such are in vain and in Fire shall they abide.

    18. The Mosques of Allah shall be maintained only by those who believe in Allah and the Last Day; perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and give Zakat and fear none but Allah. It is they who are expected to be on true guidance.

    19. Do you consider the providing of drinking water to the pilgrims and the maintenance of Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah) as equal to the worth of those who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah? They are not equal before Allah. And Allah guides not those people who are the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers).

    20. Those who believed (in the Oneness of Allah - Islamic Monotheism) and emigrated and strove hard and fought in Allah's Cause with their wealth and their lives are far higher in degree with Allah. They are the successful.

    28. O you who believe (in Allah's Oneness and in His Messenger (Muhammad! Verily, the Mushrikun (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah, and in the Message of Muhammad are Najasun (impure). So let them not come near Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah) after this year, and if you fear poverty, Allah will enrich you if He will, out of His Bounty. Surely, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.

    29. Fight against those who (1) believe not in Allah, (2) nor in the Last Day, (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger (4) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

    33. It is He Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam), to make it superior over all religions even though the Mushrikun (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) hate (it).

    34. O you who believe! Verily, there are many of the (Jewish) rabbis and the (Christian) monks who devour the wealth of mankind in falsehood, and hinder (them) from the Way of Allah (i.e. Allah's Religion of Islamic Monotheism). And those who hoard up gold and silver [Al-Kanz: the money, the Zakat of which has not been paid], and spend it not in the Way of Allah, -announce unto them a painful torment.

    35. On the Day when that (Al-Kanz: money, gold and silver, etc., the Zakat of which has not been paid) will be heated in the Fire of Hell and with it will be branded their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs, (and it will be said unto them):-"This is the treasure which you hoarded for yourselves. Now taste of what you used to hoard."

    68. Allah has promised the hypocrites; men and women, and the disbelievers, the Fire of Hell, therein shall they abide. It will suffice them. Allah has cursed them and for them is the lasting torment.

    Allah has ordained and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which Allah has forbidden). And give glad tidings to the believers.

    113. It is not (proper) for the Prophet and those who believe to ask Allah's Forgiveness for the Mushrikun (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) even though they be of kin, after it has become clear to them that they are the dwellers of the Fire (because they died in a state of disbelief).

    Please enlighten.

    By secular logic - 7/24/2012 12:21:45 AM

  • 190. And fight in the Way of Allah those who fight you, but transgress not the limits. Truly, Allah likes not the transgressors. [This Verse is the first one that was revealed in connection with Jihad, but it was supplemented by another (V.9:36)].

    191. And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing. And fight not with them at Al-Masjid-al-Haram (the sanctuary at Makkah), unless they (first) fight you there. But if they attack you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.

    192. But if they cease, then Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

    193. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah) and (all and every kind of) worship is for Allah (Alone). But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)

    Source: as above, al Balquarah

    Please explain to me

    By secular logic - 7/24/2012 12:19:34 AM

  • Guidance, please, 51. Have you not seen those who were given a portion of the Scripture? They believe in Jibt and Taghut and say to the disbelievers that they are better guided as regards the way than the believers (Muslims).

    52. They are those whom Allah has cursed, and he whom Allah curses, you will not find for him (any) helper,

    55. Of them were (some) who believed in him (Muhammad), and of them were (some) who averted their faces from him (Muhammad); and enough is Hell for burning (them).

    56. Surely! Those who disbelieved in Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc) We shall burn them in Fire. As often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for other skins that they may taste the punishment. Truly, Allah is Ever Most Powerful, All-Wise.

    57. But those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah - Islamic Monotheism) and do deeds of righteousness, We shall admit them to Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), abiding therein forever. Therein they shall have Azwajun Mutahharatun [purified mates or wives (having no menses, stools, urine, etc.)] and We shall admit them to shades wide and ever deepening (Paradise).

    Source: http://www.dar-us-salam.com/TheNobleQuran/index.html Chapter: An Nisa

    By secular logic - 7/24/2012 12:18:24 AM

  • Purely in the spirit of curiosity, will the learned members here explain the following verses to me?

    New age Islam, please bear with me. I am reading the Quran to understand why the followers of Islam call it the best religion on earth. These things do not sound very large hearted to me.

    1. Theirs will be a bed of Hell (Fire), and over them coverings (of Hell-fire). Thus do We recompense the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.).

    42. But those who believed (in the Oneness of Allah - Islamic Monotheism), and worked righteousness - We tax not any person beyond his scope, such are the dwellers of Paradise. They will abide therein.

    43. And We shall remove from their breasts any (mutual) hatred or sense of injury (which they had, if at all, in the life of this world); rivers flowing under them, and they will say: "All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has guided us to this, never could we have found guidance, were it not that Allah had guided us! Indeed, the Messengers of our Lord did come with the truth." And it will be cried out to them: "This is the Paradise which you have inherited for what you used to do."

    44. And the dwellers of Paradise will call out to the dwellers of the Fire (saying): "We have indeed found true what our Lord had promised us; have you also found true, what your Lord promised (warnings, etc.)?" They shall say: "Yes." Then a crier will proclaim between them: "The Curse of Allah is on the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.),"

    45. Those who hindered (men) from the Path of Allah, and would seek to make it crooked, and they were disbelievers in the Hereafter.

    46. And between them will be a barrier screen and on Al-A'raf (a wall with elevated places) will be men (whose good and evil deeds would be equal in scale), who would recognise all (of the Paradise and Hell people), by their marks (the dwellers of Paradise by their white faces and the dwellers of Hell by their black faces), they will call out to the dwellers of Paradise, "Salamun 'Alaikum" (peace be on you), and at that time they (men on Al-A'raf) will not yet have entered it (Paradise), but they will hope to enter (it) with certainty.

    47. And when their eyes will be turned towards the dwellers of the Fire, they will say: "Our Lord! Place us not with the people who are Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers)

    By secular logic - 7/24/2012 12:15:13 AM

  • Dear New Age Islam: Certain parts of the Holy text of the Muslims are pretty difficult to understand and justify for non-Muslim readers. Mentioning them in the passing has led to requests from learned Muslims to quote specific verses, along with the source. I was loathe to do that because of space constraints, and because I did not want to spam your space with cut-pastes. But aggressiveness on part of some commentators has made me want to overcome my hesitation. I would like to paste this compilation of verses that troubled me when I attempted to read the Quran. I would like someone to explain in what context they are not harmful/inimical towards people who do not believe in Islam. This is in the spirit of curiosity, not in order to provoke or demean,as some commentators here think.

    1. Theirs will be a bed of Hell (Fire), and over them coverings (of Hell-fire). Thus do We recompense the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.).

    42. But those who believed (in the Oneness of Allah - Islamic Monotheism), and worked righteousness - We tax not any person beyond his scope, such are the dwellers of Paradise. They will abide therein.

    43. And We shall remove from their breasts any (mutual) hatred or sense of injury (which they had, if at all, in the life of this world); rivers flowing under them, and they will say: "All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has guided us to this, never could we have found guidance, were it not that Allah had guided us! Indeed, the Messengers of our Lord did come with the truth." And it will be cried out to them: "This is the Paradise which you have inherited for what you used to do."

    44. And the dwellers of Paradise will call out to the dwellers of the Fire (saying): "We have indeed found true what our Lord had promised us; have you also found true, what your Lord promised (warnings, etc.)?" They shall say: "Yes." Then a crier will proclaim between them: "The Curse of Allah is on the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.),"

    45. Those who hindered (men) from the Path of Allah, and would seek to make it crooked, and they were disbelievers in the Hereafter.

    46. And between them will be a barrier screen and on Al-A'raf (a wall with elevated places) will be men (whose good and evil deeds would be equal in scale), who would recognise all (of the Paradise and Hell people), by their marks (the dwellers of Paradise by their white faces and the dwellers of Hell by their black faces), they will call out to the dwellers of Paradise, "Salamun 'Alaikum" (peace be on you), and at that time they (men on Al-A'raf) will not yet have entered it (Paradise), but they will hope to enter (it) with certainty.

    47. And when their eyes will be turned towards the dwellers of the Fire, they will say: "Our Lord! Place us not with the people who are Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers)

    I would really like an explanation from the learned Ms Sadaf or anybody else who considers himself/herself an authority. These are just a few, I would like to continue this exercise with some more verses tomorrow.

    By secular logic - 7/23/2012 11:59:37 PM

  • Ms Sadaf: My questions and doubts are valid. It needs no great research to dig out the deep secrets of  the Quran.

    You only need to type Quran in English in the Google search box. And what I read yesterday made me feel ill all day and all night. However, to those whom it brings peace, love, enlightenment, and guideline for living, all the best. Keep doing reference to context for each verse. From my pov, a text that needs so much research and explanation, and defending probably has something fishy about it. A religious text should, as Mohd Yunus 2 says, be clear and unambiguous, so that misinterpretation does not cause mayhem. If I misinterpret it, it is no problem, because I am not going to practice my misinterpretations anyway.

    The danger to the world comes when Muslims misinterpret their own religious texts, and the text gives opportunity for misinterpretation. A skillful and forward thinking, pluralist minded, editor should be appointed for that work.

    By secular logic - 7/23/2012 10:04:36 PM

  • @Raihan Nizami.
    1. It pains me to see that you say things about a man, Mr. are Ramesh, who may stand ahead of you on God's court. When the Qur'an mentions about the mushrikin, it is God calling mushrikin to the pagan Arabs and not to the contemporary Hindus. Kindly read my article reference below.   
    2. If you are a truthful man, you cannot deny that all or at least most of the statement he listed are culled from the Qur'an. Do you deny this?
    3. He did not challenge Islam. He merely said  "above are some of the verses from koran published by govt of India."
    Kindly apologize to him as a good Muslim I suppose you are at heart for making thoughtless remarks and kindly read my comprehensive response. 

             The Hindus are not ‘the mushrikin’ mentioned in the Qur’an.

    By muhammad yunus (1) - 7/23/2012 8:40:31 PM

  • Dear Mr. Raihan Nezami Sir, please see the opening comments of Dear Mr. Muhammed Yunus Sir and in fact I too am of opinion that Mr Rameshji's queries are important, genuine and as Mr Muhammed said 'without the trace of sarcasm'.

    I asked the reference numbers to let Mr Rameshji too do some responsibility sharing by finding out if there is any truth in that or not and if it is there then what are the surrounding sentences and what the whole thing means. In fact, Communal Logic, started applying his mind that I am denying the existence of such sentences. The fact is I do not deny that such things cannot be there but in what context it is, is more important. An isolated sentence and half a paragraph need not necessarily be able to communicate the idea behind it.

    Let Logic do this exercise, more so when he is now reading 'Quran' and is likely to cite some Arabic, here and there, as if he has dug out some secret but he would be doing so without realizing that Quran is no small time book which is known only to few, but it is a book that has been explored and researched like no other book has been done ever.

    Such a public book, cannot be defended by hiding it, nor does it need us to defend it. It will defend itself as it has defended itself all these time in history from the onslaught of numerous jealous and hostile researchers. Let them do the research and come back point by point. For every point of theirs, let me say, we have 70000 (arbitrary figure just indicative of a huge number) analyses all coming to such conclusion that led those analysts to Islam. So let them do the exercise. Mr Rameshji's seem an enquirer, while you well know what this Communal Logic is. Let the later do some homework.                      

    By sadaf - 7/23/2012 3:17:05 PM

  • Dear Mr. Ramesh, Thanks for your good wishes.

    I am glad that some friends have already tried to engage you on the site and welcomed your comments despite your despondency about the future of Islam and Muslims.

    You seem to feel that Jihadism cannot be defeated because it is based on some militant verses from the holy Quran itself. In the absence of references, one cannot quite vouch for the “verses” that you have quoted. As Mr. Sadaf has pointed out, you have not only quoted them out of any context but also not given any Surah and verse nos. You actually seem to have paraphrased from memory some verses, all of which I have not even seen and am lumping them together in my mind as you referring to militant verses of the holy Quran seemingly advocating an exclusivism for Muslims.

    As you have sent me your best wishes for our success, I can see that you are not a mindless and motivated enemy of Islam as some other, even ones posting comments on this site and quoting the same verses, are. You obviously want a world living in peace harmony, various communities coexisting with each other with grace and understanding. I derive this conclusion from the fact that motivated enemies of Islam consider us, the so-called moderate, liberal Muslims as their biggest, first and foremost enemy. Indeed you will never find them criticising Jihadis; they merely use them for their own purposes. They probably reason, and rightly if this is the case, that it would be much easier to defeat Islam, if it were a universally Jihadi Islam. So you also see some in the internatgional community systematically destroying all secular and progressive, even though dictatorial Muslim countries, one by one, while protecting dictatorial, fascist countries that are the fountainhead of Jihadism.

    There are Islamophobic people and websites who have written long essays trying to refute some of what I have said or written. One website even wrote a 6,000-word essay refuting my arguments for Islam and pluralism in a speech at the UN Human Rights Council. One such person Lee Jay Walker wrote on this website that he is more afraid of Sultan Shahin than Osama bin Laden. And he was right in being more afraid of me, actually us, as I mainly play the role of a coordinator and manager for this website. For, it is moderate, mainstream Muslims like us who have kept the flag of Islam aloft for 14 centuries despite myriad efforts throughout history to snuff this revolutionary religion of equality, peace and justice for all. It will be far easier to fight and kill Osama bin Ladens than the mainstream of Islam.

    However, I take your point that there are verses in the holy Quran which taken out of context can appear to be promoting discord between communities and if the Holy Quran itself is promoting discord how can a Muslim who swears by the book can legitimately claim to have religious sanction for cultural diversity.

    Throughout Muslim history there have always been groups and there are groups even today who have taken a literal view of Quranic surahs that suit their thinking and considered every instruction in the Quran, even those that appear inimical to peace and harmony, taken out of context, as having universal application.

    It is very important for all of us to understand and keep in mind while reading the holy Quran that it was compiled by illiterate Bedouins of a small desert town 1400 years ago, without any reference to either meaning, subjects or the most obvious one, the sequence in which they were revealed. They were just piled together with reference to their length which has no meaning whatsoever in a compilation of a book. There are Surahs (chapters) with headings, but make no sense whatsoever, for the same chapter, every chapter, deals with everything and has verses 10/15 years wide apart, revealed in entirely different contexts, coming one after another in the same breath, indeed even altering the context and confusing the reader who is looking for a meaning.

    This not only makes it difficult to squeeze some sense out of a chapter in the holy Quran, it also confuses and sometimes changes the meaning. For, apart from early Meccan verses, that were pure teachings of a largely universal import, most later verses are divine reactions to particular situations, sometimes based on the prophet’s own calculations and desires and prayers. As these situational verses are mixed up with earlier Meccan verses of universal application, sometimes in almost the same sentence, the context is lost and the meaning suffers, causing confusion and consternation among serious readers who are trying to find a meaning. This also leaves the field open for literalists known variously at various times as khwarij, Taimiites, Wahhabis, Jihadis, Hadeesis and so on, to preach and impose with force a literal interpretation of all verses of the Quran completely unmindful of their context without which they simply cannot be understood.

    There are other factors too that confuse us and impede our understanding of what God actually wanted to tell us about how a Muslim should live and deal with various exigencies of life including multicultural diversities in nearly all societies of today as well as co-existence with other religious communities. But taking them up here will make this comment too long.

    Anyway, it’s not your fault that you are quoting Quran out of context, if Muslims themselves do that and indeed want to impose that on other Muslims on pain of death. And I would ask some readers of New Age Islam to spare you and vent their anger on the literalists within us.

    You are pessimistic but so are many Muslims now. You consider the version of Islam the literalists, Wahhabis and Jihadis present as the real Islam and probably our version of Islam as fake. But so do many Muslims, far more Muslims than at any other time in Muslim history. The reason is not far to see. There has been a concerted effort by the oil superpower of the word, protected by the sole superpower of the world and their powerful friends, to vitiate the atmosphere and present the Jihadi version of Islam as the real Islam. You will recall that hundreds of millions of dollars were spent in creating the ideological underpinnings of Jihadism during the Cold War. This anti-Islam, anti-peace project has had and continues to have massive petrodollar funding. It utilises every possible media in this age of mass media to promote its supremacist version of Islam that is bound to create bad blood between Muslims and non-Muslims of all hues, indeed Muslims of a certain persuasion and other Muslims themselves. No wonder even some moderate, liberal Muslims have begun to consider Jihadi Islam as the real Islam.

    So where does my optimism and faith in our eventual success come from?

    Throughout history mainstream Muslims have made enormous efforts to understand the Qur’anic verses in their context. Hence the proliferation of tafaasir, exegeses, interpretations, explanations, disputes, debates and so on. There have been enormous debates on the issue. A whole new branch of knowledge called Ilmul Kalam was created and all it did was present arguments and counter arguments on all such ideological issues. We mainstream Muslims have managed to focus on the spiritual rather than the mundane. We have focused on the spirit and purpose behind the Qur’anic teachings rather than the words. And we have always defeated the ignorant, literalist Jihadis with whatever name they have lived among us.

    We mainstream Muslims try to understand the teaching of the holy Quran as a whole in which there are hundreds of verses promoting co-existence, pluralism, tolerance, piety, justice and fairness for all. We are asked in the Quran to fight in a holy war so that temples, monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques, indeed all places of worship of God, continue to function and human expressions of gratitude for the myriad gifts of God to us and God’s praise continues to be sung there.  Indeed you cannot be a Muslim if you do not also accept being a Hindu, a Jew, a Zoroastrian, a Christian, etc. at the same time. This, of course, does not mean that you practice the rituals of all faiths; indeed, rituals of our own faith too are not that important for us. Faith in and respect for all prophets of God is a part of our Faith, Eimaan, as defined in the Quran. No one can be a Muslim who does not give the same position and respect in his mind as that of Prophet Mohammad (saw) to all prophets of God, 124, 000 of them, who came all over the world at different times, and who taught in languages of their time and place.

    We Muslims have always defeated the ignorant literalists and Jihadis and I am convinced we will do so again.

    If you like you can refer to an article I wrote on a similar issue some time ago, though I may have repeated some of the arguments here:

    Indian Ulema have no time to lose, must call militant Quranic surahs obsolete



    By Sultan Shahin - 7/23/2012 2:33:22 PM

  • After going through the 31 points  put by Mr Ramesh as if given in a Jaspal Guess paper or MBD Guide, I firmly believe that such a person will not develop a sense of understanding and respect for Islam unless guided by Allah Kareem. The Quran says for them, "Al-Anaam, Chapter #6, Verse #39, “Those who reject Our Ayat (…verses…etc.) are deaf and dumb in the darkness…” A seal has been put upon their hearts, wisdom seized, eyes are shut, ears are mute; how can they understand Quran? It is a great misery and irony for them. They ( the idolators) are here just to abuse Muslims, refute Quran and show ignorance for the universal religion Islam.
    By Raihan Nezami - 7/23/2012 10:17:35 AM

  • Dear Mr. Ramesh. I thank you for posing a very relevant question. Anyone, Muslim or non-Muslim, who reads a translation of the Qur’an or even the Arabic Qur’an with the notion in mind that God is speaking to him directly in each and every of its verses, as many Muslims and most non-Muslims are apt to think will be obviously assailed by the question that you have very objectively listed – thankfully without any trace of sarcasm. This tells me that you seek knowledge and I will do my best to answer. But as you will know, you must be sympathetic to an accused and listen impartially to his defences to come to a fair judgment. But if you are convinced that your accusation is above debate, any amount of solicitation will be of no avail. This is up to you. My only task is to covey to what you wanted to know with clarity on this auspicious day of Ramadan and to me gives a lot of extra time as there is no meal / snack break.

    I will set out my arguments in a logical fashion to defend the Qur’an for general readers for you have simply quoted a statement in scholarly detachment (Part A - you may skip it if you wish) and then answer your one billion dollar question: “If Quran with above verses is taught to Muslims ,we can only create terrorists and jihadists.”  

    Part A.

    1. The govt. of India’s alleged statement: “By reading the above lines how can a Hindu/Christian accept that Islam is a religion of peace?.How the above verses can be from a messenger of god?” is an understatement of the confusion the Koran (in translated form) caused to one of the greatest figures of history, Thomas Carlye, a great and outspoken admirer of the Muhammad (pbuh), and an outspoken critic of the Koran. He described it as ‘a wearisome, confused jumble, crude, incondite, endless irritation, long windedness, entanglement, insupportable stupidity in short.’  [Karen Armstrong, Muhammad – A Western Attempt to Understand Islam, London, 1991. p. 38.]

    2.  The immediate audience of Muhammad the pre-Islamic Arabs found the Qur’anic revelation  strange and unbelievable (38:5, 50:2), a jumble of dreams (21:5) and repeatedly condemned it as the legends of the ancients (6:25, 23:83, 25:5, 27:68, 46:17, 68:15, 83:13).

    3. The Qur’an itself declares: “God does not shy away from making an example of a gnat, or something above it. As for those who believe, they know that it is the Truth from their Lord. But as for those who disbelieve, they say, “What did God intend by this example?” He leads astray many thereby, and He guides many thereby; but He misleads thereby only the dissolute.” (2:26).

    4. When Muhammad was under pressure to accommodate some of the popular deities in the Qur’an or to marginally amend it, the Qur’an warns him upfront in these words: “If he (Muhammad) attributed to Us any false speech (69:44), We would seize him by the right hand (45), then We would sever his aorta (46) and none of you could prevent it (69:47).

    Points 1-3 illustrate that any cursory and unsympathetic reading of the Qur’an can alienate and confound any unsympathetic reader, while 4. is a living testimony on the integrity of its text. If God prescribed a capital punishment to its Prophet if he ever dared to alter the Qur’an, how any Muslim among all his followers down to this century would dare to play with its text. If anybody wants any further substantiation, he may read this article:

    ‘The Qur’an was never edited and any effort to edit the Qur’an will be self contradictory.’



    Your worry, “If Quran with above verses is taught to Muslims, we can only create terrorists and jihadists.”- may be 100% correct if they teach the flat literalist translation as in circulation, which does not offer a time matrix to the verses that the Qur’an’s immediate audience were aware of. The Qur’an which acknowledges that it can misguide the dissolute (2:26, A above) will undoubtedly misguide all those Muslims who want to promote terrorism or spew hatred against the others. Therefore, as a first premise, the translated Qur’an must be studied in historical critical manner and in consonance with its exhortation to probe its verses (38:29, 47:24) focusing on definitive verses that are free from any ambiguity (3:7), approaching it with a pure heart (56:79) and seeking best meaning in them (39:18,39:55).    

    2. The Qur’an declares that it is its own best interpreter (25:33) and therefore its verses relating to the events of the revelation including most of those in the list you appended, must be read in conjunction with the verses that diffuse their belligerent tone and bring across the magnanimity and universalism of the Qur’an.

    3. Those who seek the best meanings in the Qur’an will find hundreds of verses that are for the good of humanity – that indeed constitutes the core of Qur’anic message (3:7), however the critics may refute. Hence, in the backdrop of religious bigotry engulfing practically all communities and the genuine fear you tabled, the Govt of India should appoint a panel of Ulamas and ask them to prepare a foundation course based on what is the best in the Qur’an. A  separate discourse may also be prepared drawn primarily on the Qur’an for a higher level piecing together the sort of ordinances mentioned in the list with their historical context, so that they are not misconstrued  as a part of the Qur’an’s eternal guidance (huda). I happen to be working in this line for a long time and have an exegetic work to my joint credit (Essential Message of Islam) that is developed in the above lines. It is approved by the highest office of Sunni Islam, al-Azhar al-Sharif and endorsed by Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl of UCLA as “an authoritatively reliable text to teach young Muslims, or even Muslims who never had the time to study the Qur’an, or the fundamentals of their religion.”  It is available in India and can be sourced for preparing a discourse on the ‘fundamentals of the Qur’anic message.’

    I hope this puts things in the right perspective.

    By muhammad yunus (1) - 7/23/2012 1:43:24 AM

  • Ms Sadaf, I watched a movie this weekend with my kids. Rodrick Rules (Diary of a wimpy kid). In one scene, the older brother is teaching his younger brother how to deal with a situation that will put them in trouble with their parents, if the parents find out. He says, "Whatever happens, deny, deny, deny". So when his father comes across some pictures of a particularly rowdy party the kids had at home, the boy looks at the photo and says, "thats not me" the father pulls out twenty photos in which this boy is clear and prominent. Each time, the boy says with a straight face "Thats not me... that's not me.." It is hilarious in the movie. It is not so hilarious when you deny what we have read with our eyes. As if you have not read the Quran, that you are asking for validation of Mr. Ramesh's extracts. I've read two chapters today, and found most of those statements in those chapters itself. It would be easier to not deny them, but accept their existence and say that however, we do not believe in them anymore because the social and economic context has changed.
    By secular logic - 7/23/2012 1:17:08 AM

  • Dear Sri Sadafji, I have read koran only once and hence not well versed in it. Reading also becomes more difficult being from right to left and in reverse order. However I will go through it again and come out page nos and verse nos. But it will take some time. please bear with me till then. Regards, Ramesh

    By r ramesh - 7/23/2012 12:27:29 AM

  •  I think Mr. Sultan Shahin must be the most appropriate person to reply to the deepest concerns of his admirer Mr.Ramesh.

    By Manzoorul Haque - 7/22/2012 9:40:40 AM

  • Dear Mr. Rameshji, I appreciate that you have pointed out some sentences as you say is from Quran. I only wish you had pointed it out with specific reference as Quran is arranged in an order and the sentences are numbered. Chapter number for and sentence number will help us locate the exact line that you are talking about and then we will see, if these are really there or not. Be specific for these sentences and just don't say that we can find it for ourselves in the Quran. Please do so to strengthen Islam.
    By sadaf - 7/22/2012 7:21:39 AM

  • Mr Sultan Shahin's efforts to rid Islam of radicalism  and jihadism is praiseworthy.My heart felt congratulations and best wishes to him. But however sincere he may be, I doubt if he will be successful, as Koran  contains many verses that spew hatred/incite violence towards non-muslims/disbelievers. Some of the verses are as below:
    1.Obey not the disbelievers but strike against them with great endeavor.
    2.allah punishes idolator men and women.
    2.Mohammed is the messenger of allah.Those with him are hard against disbelievers and merciful with themselves.
    3.idolators will abide in hell.
    4.say mohammad"Woe into idolators"
    5.So obey not the disbelievers but strike against them with great endeavour.
    6.By allah I will circumvent the idols. Then he reduced them to fragments.
    7.we heve prepared for disbelievers fire.
    8Shun the filth of idols.
    9.Boiling fluid will poured on the bisbelievers..
    10. dont take non believers for a friend.
    11.Abraham the  upright not the idolators.
    12.take not intimate other than you and your folk.
    13.We shall cast a terror in the heart of disbelievers.
    14.a believer should not kill a believer.
    15.Disbelievers are open enemies.
    16.relent not in the pursuit of enemies.
    17.do not choose a disbeliever as a friend.
    18.believers should not take Jews,christians as friends.
    19.throw fear in the heart of disbelievers.
    20.fight till the religion is all for allah.
    21.disbelievers are without intelligence.
    22.slay  the idolators wherever you find them .
    23. Do not take father/brother as a friend if they are disbelievers.
    24.idolators are only unclean.
    25.fight against the disbelievers .Till they are brouht low.
    26.wage war on the idolators.
    27.O prophet" be harsh on the disbelievers"
    28.not to pary for idolators even if kin.
    29.fight bthe disbeliever near you and let them find harshness in you.
    30.destroy their riches and harden their hearts till they behave.
    31.non believers are liers.
    above are some of the verses from koran published by govt of India. By reading the above lines how can a hindu/christian accept that islam is a religion of peace?.How the above verses can be from a messenger of god?

    Hence, 1.either mohammad is not a messenger of god, or  2.present available Koran is not original version as give by prophet.
    If one accepts present available koran is exactly as given by mohammad, then we can safely conclude islam is a religion of violence and hatred.
    If koran with above verses is taught to muslims ,we can only create terrorists and jihadists.
    I need an answer to my question as above.

    By ramesh - 7/22/2012 1:56:35 AM

  • @Maaz Akhtar. It is reassuring that there as some very learned Shaykhs. But as you know in real life the most notorious come to limelight. One alim passes a fatwa in favor of terrorism or on suckling, the whole world knows about it via internet. One thousand ulama oppose it, no one publishes their views. We need balanced and learned people like you on this site. May I request you to read any of my posted articles and comment. You may enter the Islamic Sharia section of the website and access my articles. Thank you.  

    By muhammad yunus (1) - 7/21/2012 9:02:28 PM

  • As Salam Alaikum,
    I studied in a school in Saudi Arabia. Later I decided to study in madrassa because I thought Molanas want us to follow the way they want not the way that Islam wants us to. I also felt that they don't tell us things clearly. 
    When I went to madrassa after convincing my parents I felt that only few Islamic scholars are like that (as we are discussing up there) not all the scholars are like that. Actually we don't keep company with scholars (big Sheikhs/scholars rather) and blame them. We seek bad qualities in other and see good qualities in ourselves. There are million things to be written here. I pray that some 'Alim (good one) comes across this site and help people understand the uncleared things.

    By Maaz Akhtar - 7/21/2012 2:19:04 PM

  • @Ehsan Elahi. The true Muslims chose the right path - however dangerous. God alone knows the who is guided aright. 

    By muhammad yunus (1) - 7/19/2012 7:08:27 PM

  • U r the need of hr. May ur tribe increase in india especialy. May God show light to u as the path u hv chosen is very dangerous one.
    By Ehsan Elahi - 7/19/2012 1:07:01 PM

  • Through such a long tireless journey as of Sultan Shahin, one can get deep insight into how a man's insatiable passion catapults him from being an outsider to an icon of the world around him.  
    By Ghulam Rasool - 7/19/2012 11:47:30 AM

  • Pakistani terrorism against India has its roots in Kashmir issue.  Now, Pakistan is not entirely wrong in its views on Kashmir. If a Muslim Nawab was ruler of J&K State, he would have immediately annexed this Muslim majority state to Pakistan.  The trouble started only because of a Hindu ruler.  Having accepted the two nations theory for partitioning India and creation of a new Sate of Pakistan, the J&K State should also have been divided on the basis of this theory with Muslim majority areas of the State going to Pakistan and Hindu/Buddhist majority areas going to India.  Then there would have been no Pakistani terrorism against India.
    By Satbir Singh Bedi - 7/19/2012 12:37:56 AM

    Danish Raza posted his article under the caption, ‘Can’t a Muslim Who hasn’t Attended a Madrasa Speak for the Community?’ Asks Sultan Shahin. He hardly wrote a word about the caption but went on to praise Mr. Sultan Shahin, bordering on flattery. Mr. Sultan Shahin has launched this web-site with what intention, he alone knows. But to a common reader it appears that his marriage to a non-Muslim is everything to do with his rational thinking of Islam.

     I am also opposed to orthodoxy and regidity in the practice of the religion. One must be free to follow the tenets of a religion which is as simple as Islam but made complicated by half-baked Mullahs.

    It is really sickening to see a caning of a woman iin public and recent shooting of a house-wife by her own husband for alleged act ofaldulty watched and cheered by equally pathetic muslim crowd near the capital Kabul. Karzai was quick to order a probe only after the ghastly death of an innocent woman were an act of insanity.

    All these activities of these Talibans make one sick for a Muslim like me and what impact would it have on the millions of non-muslims watching this ghastly shooting across the globe, is anybody's guess.
    All acts of an individual depend upon his intention. Let Mr. Sultan Shahin come out clean and explain to the Muslim nation that he is very much a believer and his intention is to cleanse the community of the backwardness in thinking and action.
    A.M. Jamsheed Basha, Chennai-based Colunist.

    By Jamsheed Basha - 7/18/2012 7:39:28 PM

  • Dear Prof. P.S. Bhandari. I liked your cliché.'This is an Era of Radicals - The Fundamentalists.' If you do have time, kindly read the following article:

             The Hindus are not ‘the mushrikin’ mentioned in the Qur’an.


    By muhammad yunus (1) - 7/18/2012 7:08:53 PM

  • The article by Danish Raza made very interesting reading. I came across the New Age Islam and Janab Shahin Bhai only a few months ago. But I found a majority of the articles not only worth reading, but in the interest of the overall development of the Muslim community. What I admire much is the Shahin Bhai's commitment to fight radical Islam, Jihad, Wahhabis, Talibans and Deoband Mullahs with all the mite at his command.

    Shahin Bhai, this is only the beginnign and you (WE) have to go a long way to defeat all the anti-Islamic forces which were responsible for all the ills suffered by the community at present. The readers of New Age Islam should introduce this web site to their friends and motivate them to respond to the articles.

    By Syed Muthahar Saqaf - 7/18/2012 1:35:38 PM

  • This issue of The New Age Islam is on my computer screen for the 3rd time.

     It means I must submit to its call. Perhaps after commenting on the Thesis of Miss Juhi Shaheen the Learned Daughter of the Learned Father Shaheen Sahib, my pen realized that some one has emerged to keep the Lamp of Reasonable Accomodation burning lit by The New Age Islam. So it stopped writing.  

    This Era as the Era of the Radicals- 'Fundamentalists'. Fundamentalists  in every Religion. But do they know the Fundamentals of their own Religions? No. Religion approves death threats and insulting others. Islam protects even its opponents. Look how a father protected the killer of his son who took shelter in his home to escape the wrath of the mob which was trying to lynch him. Look at the equality between Mahmud and Ayyaz. Look at the Fair distrbution of wealth. Look at the protection of the girls. Look at the Five Pillars- Fundamentals of Islam. That is what the Islam stands for. Threats! Shaheen Sahib : Yeh to chalti hai tujhey ooncha Uraney kay liye.     

    By Prof. P..S. Bhandari - 7/18/2012 11:19:56 AM

  • Indo-Pak Cricketing ties resumes.
    Its an ice-breaking move. After five years of no cricket, India and Pakistan will play again this December. The cricket boards of the two countries have agreed to play three One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20 Internationals during the Christmas break. India will host the series with the blessings of both the government.
    Skeptics and pessimists in India have their own misgivings about the resumption of cricketing ties with a nation which has no regret or remorse for its participation in the 26/11 carnage in Mumbai. Hurt as it appears, the ace cricketer from Mumbai, Sunil Gavaskar lambasted the BCCI for the haste it shown in organising such a short event particularly when Pakistan has taken no action on the perpetrators of heinous crime on 26/11 and the main actors are still having a field day in Pakistan. He may be wrong or right, but the fact remains that a nation like Pakistan would never change its attitude like the proverbial Leopard cannot change his spots. What should be done now? To support such a move or oppose tooth and nail?
    Up in the arms are the safron brigade led by Shive Sena, who miss no opportunity to spit venom. Obviously,they are not for any kind of ties with Pakistan. However, Rajiv Sukhla, has said that the Pakistan Cricket Board has been urging for resumption of cricketing ties. "We played after 1965 war and the 1971 war and even after Kargil. People also wanted cricket to be played. Our decision was taken after PCB appealed to us. They also spoke to BCCI president N Srinivasan. I spoke with the government as well," he said.
    The Maharashtra Congress has also asked the BCCI to reconsider the decision to restart cricket ties with Pakistan. The Congress in New Delhi, however,said that it has always maintained that cricket and politics should be kept apart.
    It may be recalled that when Srilanka toured the terrorists haven in March 2009, they were greeted with a terror attack that would have easily eliminated the entire Sri-Lankan elite team thanks to the presence of mind of the driver of the van, who saved the day for them. A ghastly scene appeared to have ruined that nation, if that tragedy was not averted. The entire team was airlifted from the very field where they were supposed to play cricket watched by hundreds of nations.
    Now the question arises, where was the necessity to resume cricketings ties in such a haste and what result it would bring to improve the relationship? Pakistan cannot be trusted as long as they harbour India-baiters terrorists led by Dawood Ibrahim. Unless Pak accept the role played by ISI as revealed by Jundal recently and hand over all the terrorists needed for 26/11 carnage, no ties worth its name can be established leave alone cricketing ties.
    A.M. Jamsheed Basha, Chennai-based Columnist
    By Jamsheed Basha - 7/16/2012 7:32:40 PM

  • I must admit, that I always ignored write-ups on Islam or about Islam till I came across New Age Islam. It was a great assurance that there are some Muslims who are in tune with the changing time. All other religions of the world have consciously accepted the change needed with the time, Islam is slow on this score. I hope that the thinkers like Mr Shaheen are able to convince the Ummah that the world is waiting to see a new, happy and radiant face of Islam, which is in harmony with others. Change is the only tradition that has survived the time. I convey my heart-felt appreciation for Mr Shaheens work.

    By Anand Kumar - 7/16/2012 11:52:43 AM

  • It is surprising to read that there is some Petro Dollar supported Wahabi Movement in the country. I have interacted with thousands of activists of all type including those who are staunch Muslims and follow the Hadeeth in their daily life. But I never came across any one claiming that there is foreign fund coming to Muslims in India except the rabid anti Muslims.
    Today only I was discussing with a friend about certain developments in progress in our mosque. We are collecting money from any one who offers. People have given 5000 as well as only 5. That is how we are carrying on the development.
    When the mosque was under construction, people of the area were surprised as there are only few Muslim households in the area. But the mosque was being built at large scale. No doubt the land was of the Waqf Board which gave a grant of two lakhs for the purpose. One day two three village women (obviously non-Muslim) were passing the street in front of the mosque. On looking at the scale of construction, one said: They are getting money from Arab. That is how they are building such big mosque.
    But the mosque was built in the same way. People gave thousands as well as just a rupee.
    Mr. Shahin is talking in the same language which is spoken by those who are worried about activities which is revitalizing Islam in the country. At least he should give some weightage to his 'name'. 
    By Dr.M.A. Haque - 7/16/2012 8:02:53 AM

  • I must say that it is an amazing job Mr. Sultan Shahin is doing at this age when a man thinks about retirement. He is a daring personality that’s why he has started this site. It’s not easy for all to engage in rethinking, interpreting Islam for the modern age. What he does is clearly due to his commitment to social welfare and community development.

    I always used to think about Quran, Islam and its teachings but never tried to express my views in front of others because of social fear but, thanks to this site, now I have started expressing my views. I think there are many women who really want to see Islam in the adapted to the needs of 21st century.

    We have our fathers, brothers, relatives and friends who talk about the need for reform of traditional Islamic practices but I must say sorry to all because I find Sultan Shahin Sahib is the only man I know who is not only talking about Muslim social reform and rethinking Islam but also working for it by running the “New Age Islam site”. He has set a special example of this reform project by allowing us to read views of very reputed people and also express our views freely. No wonder tens of thousands of people all over the world are the part of this site.

    By Sonika Rahman - 7/16/2012 2:45:33 AM

  • My association with New Age Islam has been pretty old I think. If I have stopped writing sometimes, that is because of personal reasons of ‘life being in liquid oxygen’ – both in physical and psychological senses. Minimizing my involvement with New Age does not seem to be possible; the only way to save myself is not to open the website. Such is the power of its fatal attraction!  Worse, the technical structure of New Age website is so well-organized that the last straw to keep you away from the site also seems withdrawn. You just have to open the site and submit your postings to your heart’s fill. Indeed as a communication channel, it is a dream come true!

    How is life in liquid oxygen in the psychological sense?  I am afraid I am going to spread some degree of despondency. I sometimes feel I am fighting  a losing battle and I wonder how some one like Mr. Shahin can tap such a reservoir of faith to be able to launch New Age Islam and run it! His faith in the written word is immense, mine is often wavering – though on one issue we are at par. Both of us fully believe in agreeing to disagree. I would like to assure him that I shall never disagree to agree with him on this count. He is an editor par excellence, and  Mr. Shahin please do not think that your respect lowers in my eyes one bit, even if  have to seriously disagree with you on the question of Monism vs. Monotheism, and on interpretation of the current history of the Muslims.

    I also hope this is the last time we have heard about your wife being a non-Muslim. She is part of the family without a hairline of distinction and I have reasons to believe that she has been a great help , a shakti behind you, which girls generally are who are brought up in Hindu sanskar.

    By Manzoorul Haque - 7/15/2012 10:42:36 PM

  • I am grateful for the support and kind words of encouragement offered by friends on the site. Overwhelmed and short of words, for now, I can only say Thank you. New Age Islam could not have become the success it has, by the grace of God, without your consistent support over several years now.
    To Yunus Saheb, Sir, you give me too much credit. May God bless you for your hard word over decades of studying the Holy Quran and disseminating your ideas and choosing New Age Islam as your vehicle for doing that.
    By Sultan Shahin - 7/15/2012 3:45:25 PM

  • I must admit, a Islamic scholar like Janab Mohammad Younus Sb (1) must be adored for his arduous task of bringing about reformation and liberalism in Islam and encouraged by participating in the crusade against the traditionalists. We must extend a helping hand to him under the guidance of  Mr Sultan Shahin Sb and a prudent mind too to assure the great efforts do not go in vain, and the strenuous hard works generate some kind of revolutionary change and awareness in the Muslim comminity and produce some fruitful results.
    By Raihan Nezami - 7/15/2012 1:20:16 PM

  • All I can tell to those who tell Sultan Shahin that “the website is his short-cut to hell” may themselves end up in hell for speaking on God’s behalf without any authority and for their stark defiance of the Qur’an'ss oft-repeated declaration that God alone knows the rightly guided (6:117, 17:84, 28:56, 28:85 and 68:7). 

    By muhammad yunus (1) - 7/15/2012 8:42:47 AM

  • I am also not surprised that “His lecture in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, was cut short and he drew flak from various quarters.” The orthodox ulamas in the fourth-fifth centuries of Islam virtually swapped the liberating and revolutionary trajectories of the Qur’anic message with the pre-Islamic notions of their ancestors and occupied the centre-stage of Islam. Their counterparts down the centuries to this very day are bent on retaining their pivotal and controlling position. So they are perpetuating a Hadith based model of establishmentarian and frozen Islam, which according to many great scholars of the recent era, is highly reductive and distorted version of true Islam as preserved in the Qur’an, and interpreted in a historical critical manner in recent times.  

    Sultan Shahin’s mission is to restore the Qur’an in its rightful place at the centre of Islam’s religious mosaic. His main problem is that even the moderate Muslims are so deeply influenced by this sclerotic Islam that they hesitate to use reason and challenge the orthodoxy. But I hope with very powerful enemies chasing their militant offshoots and striking them by night with no warning at all, they will be forced to relinquish the ‘throne’ before long. Awareness may also grow internally. How long can a King wearing no clothes fool his subjects? 

    I must also add that my continued engagement with this website owes entirely to its indomitable and indefatigable and inexorably committed architect and leader –Sultan Shahin. From time to time my interest dampened as I found scholarly people indulging in unscholarly debates, trading accusations and opening floodgate of polemics, and ducking (not commenting on) serious articles. But Sultan Shahin would soon send me mail and rekindle my interest.

    By muhammad yunus (1) - 7/15/2012 8:39:06 AM

  • What I feel unique about New Age Islam is that it gives platform to all those who are having altogether different opinion about any issue related to Islam, and it is really strange and great experience for me that those comments gets posted on the site which go ahead of criticism of the site and Editor of the site.

    Another thing I want to share is that it gives those articles also, which is totally against the very thought of the site. In my opinion it is a model for the entire media houses to see practically how to represent divergent opinion on a single issue.

    It is also a great example that an individual can generate positive ripples  for rethinking.

    By Amaan - 7/15/2012 3:23:03 AM

  • Brother Sultan should be congratulated for his significant and important efforts and sacrificies.
    By adis - 7/15/2012 2:08:58 AM

  • Day before yesterday I went to a birthday party, I met new people and enjoyed a lot. I like talking and debating with new people and I try to know about their viewpoints of Islam (and other topics), I tell them that I occasionally write articles on Newageislam and I tell them to visit the website and comment.

    In the party I was talking to a guy, and I told him about my latest article on Burqa and Health Implications, (Ironically his sisters were also in the party and they all were veiled) I told him that wearing burqa can lead to deficiency in VItamin D and the bones will remain weak for ever. After explaining to him for about 5 minutes, I told him to please visit the site and comment, and I informed him that if you like  my article then you can praise it and if you do not like it then you can very well criticise it. In that way we can know each other's viewpoints better and a healthy debate can take place. This excited him and finally he said, " I disagree with you and I have a different opinion". I asked him to please clarify, but he said that he would comment here. I was more than happy, I am waiting for his comment. His name is something like Minraj.

    I also feel that the best thing about New Aage Islam is that anyone can give his viewpoint, and a person with an open mind will see and notice it. I have many times accepted my mistakes on this site, and from these mistakes I have improved, I guess.

    By Aiman Reyaz - 7/15/2012 12:46:03 AM

  • Sultan Shahin is doing a commendable job.  He is really a Dara Shikoh type liberal Muslim.  This article about him is very enlightening.  He presents all sides of an issue. Kudos to him.
    By Satbir Singh Bedi - 7/15/2012 12:03:21 AM

  • Many editors say they are open to all divergent ideas but when Sultan Shahin says it he means it from the bottom of his heart.
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 7/14/2012 2:20:13 PM

  • Intellectuals like Mr. Sultan Shahin Sb are among the rarest of the rare breed of people who are a boon for the society and community. He doesn't only need our appreciation, but our earnest desire to stand by him in his crusade against  fundamentalism and Islamophobia to bring about peace and harmony among different religions as well as within Islam itself.
    By Raihan Nezami - 7/14/2012 11:36:33 AM

  • Thank you very much Mr. Danish Raza. After reading your description of the man, our respect for him has grown manifold.
    By Ashok Sharma - 7/14/2012 10:40:40 AM