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Islam and Pluralism (23 Jun 2012 NewAgeIslam.Com)



Understanding Qur’anic Verse 5: 51: ‘Do Not Take Jews or Christians as Your Friends’

 

By Mike Ghouse

September 26, 2010

A few Muslim scholars from our past have duped us in believe that God is hateful to others... God ain't. God is neither a villain nor a bad guy. God is kind, merciful and just and wants his creation to get along and live in harmony. There are many verses that guide one to be righteous.

We should not accept any translation of Quran that makes God a villain of his own creation. Those translations reduce him to Rabbul Muslimeen from Aalameen. One has to find the truth on his or her own, what is dished out in the market has marketing feature in it, someone is having some gains in spreading falsities. This and at 59 other verses have been marketed to malign Muslims by the right wingers. Indeed, the right wing Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Jews and Buddhist make it their business to make the others look bad.

In the middle ages, European leaders commissioned a hostile Quran translation to foster warfare against Muslim invaders. Later, Muslim leaders produced another translation to inflame Muslims against Christians and Jews. The former was done in 1041 to protect the kings and the latter in 1924 to regain the lost Khilafat. Both groups resorted to mistranslating Quran to produce fear against each other for their own gains; power consolidation.

Normally, I check three verses before and after the given verse to get the full context. Due to time constraints I will do one before and after, and you can check it yourselves. However, I will warn you, there are two mistranslated versions of Quran in the market.

In the middle ages, European leaders commissioned a hostile Quran translation to foster warfare against Muslim invaders. Later, Muslim leaders produced another translation to inflame Muslims against Christians and Jews. The former was done in 1041 to protect the kings and the latter in 1924 to regain the lost Khilafat. Both groups resorted to mistranslating Quran to produce fear against each other.

In Circulation: Believers, take neither the Jews nor the Christians for your friends. (5:51)

5:50 (Asad) Do they, perchance, desire [to be ruled by] the law of pagan ignorance? [71] But for people who have inner certainty, who could be a better law-giver than God?

[71] By "pagan ignorance" (Jahiliiya) is meant here not merely the time before the advent of the Prophet Muhammad but, in general, a state of affairs characterized by a lack of moral perception and a submission of all personal and communal concerns to the criterion of "expediency" alone: that is, exclusively to the consideration as to whether a particular aim or action is useful or damaging (in the short-term, practical sense of these words) to the interests of the person concerned or of the community to which he belongs. Inasmuch as this "law of expediency" is fundamentally opposed to the concepts of morality preached by every higher religion, it is described in the Qur'an as "the law (hukm) of pagan ignorance".(Quran Ref: 5:50 )

Mike's note: The word Pagan is not a derogatory word, although it was used in that sense. Paganism is just another way of appreciating the divine like Judaism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. A few in the religion business from each one of these religious groups will not agree to it, but the public, that makes you and I, have no problems with it.

Qur’an - 5:51

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَى أَوْلِيَاء بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاء بَعْضٍ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُم مِّنكُمْ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْهُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ

Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo la tattakhithoo alyahooda waalnnasara awliyaa baAAduhum awliyao baAAdin waman yatawallahum minkum fainnahu minhum inna Allaha la yahdee alqawma alththalimeena

5:51 (Asad) O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not take the Jews and the Christians for your allies: they are but allies of one another and whoever of you allies himself with them becomes, verily, one of them; behold, God does not guide such evildoers.

[According to most of the commentators (e.g., Tabari), this means that each of these two communities extends genuine friendship only to its own adherents-i.e., the Jews to the Jews, and, the Christians to the Christians-and cannot, therefore, be expected to be really friendly towards the followers of the Qur'an. See also 8:73 and the corresponding note]

[Lit., "the evildoing folk": i.e., those who deliberately sin in this respect. As regards the meaning of the "alliance" referred to here, see 3:28, and more particularly 4:139 and the corresponding note, which explains the reference to a believer's loss of his moral identity if he imitates the way of life of, or-in Qur'anic terminology-"allies himself" with, non-Muslims. However, as has been made abundantly clear in 60:7-9 (and implied in verse 57 of this surah), this prohibition of a "moral alliance" with non-Muslims does not constitute an injunction against normal, friendly relations with such of them as are well-disposed towards Muslims. It should be borne in mind that the term wali has several shades of meaning: "ally", "friend", "helper", "protector", etc. The choice of the particular term - and sometimes a -combination of two terms-is always dependent on the context]

5:52 (Asad) And yet thou canst see how those in whose hearts there is disease vie with one another for their good will, [74] saying [to themselves], "We fear lest fortune turn against us." But God may well bring about good fortune [for the believers] or any [other] event of His own devising, [75] whereupon those [waverers] will be smitten with remorse for the thoughts which they had secretly harboured within themselves-

[74] Lit., "vie with one another concerning them" - the pronoun referring to the hostile Jews and Christians, for whose good-will the hypocrites within the Muslim community vie with one another by trying to imitate their way of life.

[75] Lit., "from Himself". Some of the commentators assume that the word fath (lit., "victory" or "triumph") occurring in this sentence is a prophetic reference to the conquest of Mecca by the Muslims. This assumption, however, cannot be correct since Mecca was already in the hands of the Muslims at the time of the revelation of this Surah. Hence, the term faith has obviously been used here in its primary significance of "opening" - namely, the opening of good fortune. (Cf. the idiomatic expression futiha 'ala fulan, "so-and-so became fortunate" or "possessed of good fortune", mentioned in Zamakhshari's Asas and in the Taj al’ Arus.) The "other event of God's own devising" may conceivably refer to a divine punishment of the hypocrites apart from the good fortune that might be in store for the true believers. (Quran Ref: 5:52)

Mike Ghouse - There has been enormous amount of discussion on this verse. It is not a commandment, but an expression of human nature, that the birds of the same feather flock together. You do not associate with evil doers no matter who they are. Unfortunately, some Muslims have come to believe that "evil doers" are Jews or Christians, reinforced by the injustice meted out to the Palestinians or what happened in Bosnia and Crusades still linger on their minds as Holocaust will continue to linger on our psyche.

They forget that Saddam Hussain was an evil doer killing thousands of Kurds, the Muslims in Sudan are evil doers killing millions, who are Muslims as well. Just as the many a Christians believe that everyone but them will go to hell, a segment of Muslims believe in that, both groups making a villain out of merciful God. God was clear in 43:18 that the best among us is the one who does good, and the purpose of diversity is for us to know each other.

Misinterpretations like the above give value to the idea of Your God, his God and my God.

URL: http://newageislam.com/islam-and-pluralism/mike-ghouse/understanding-quranic-verse-5--51--do-not-take-jews-or-christians-as-your-friends/d/7716

 




TOTAL COMMENTS:-   4


  • Sometimes back, I wrote on this topic as follows:

     A FORGOTTEN COVENANT FOR CHRISTIANS FROM PROPHET OF ISLAM (S) Apr 15, '12 5:01 PM

    For everyone

    An extract from the book 'Muslim History' 570-1950 CE by Dr. A. Zahoor and Dr. Z Haq . From their translation in English.

    This is the message from Muhammad Ibne Abdullah as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity near and far, we are with them. '' No compulsion is to be on them, neither are their Judges to be removed from their jobs, nor their monks from their monasteries'' '' No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslim houses.'' Should anyone to take any of these, he would spoil God's covenant and disobey his Prophet(s). Verily they are all my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate''

    ''No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight. The Muslims are to fight for them’’. ''If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her Church to pray.''

    ''Their Churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants. No one of the nation is to disobey the covenant till the last day that is the day of judgement.''

    Such were the memorable words of Prophet Mohammad (s ) in the year 628 CE,when he granted the historic document , also known as Charter of Privileges to the monks of St. Catherene in the Monastery of Mount Sinai. 

    Now read this Covenant of the Prophet of Islam side by side with the verse of Holy Qur’an. '' La Ikraha fiddeen '' that there is no compulsion in Islam. And it is true that the Prophet of Islam do no utter anything on His own but on the will of Allah.

    In the light of the above saying of the Rasool (s) is it not a matter of shame and a  clear cut apostasy on the part of the Grand Mufti of Aale Saud , who dare not speak but on the consent and approval of the Keepers and Caretakers of the holiest of the holiest places of Islam and who in their wierdest aqeedah which has no sanction in real Islam , destroyed the priceless Heritage of Islam by demolishing the graves and the Mausoleums there of close friends , Sahaba and progeny of Prophet (saw) . Somehow they had some compulsions , they tried, but couldn't succeed in demolishing the green dome of the Masgid e Nabvi which houses  his grave along with the graves of a couple of Sahaba and there are no doubts they may try once again and which may be combined  by implementing the Mufti's fatwa to destroyable churches within the Arabian Peninsula . I don't know what the compulsions are with the west that no one even the mightiest US did not even stirred a bit by the threat of the demolition of their churches. I think any initiation in this Operation Churches will be the last nail in the coffin of illegitimate, illegal and immoral Monarchy of the House of Ibne Saud and the liberation of the Arab Peninsula from series of despotic rulers of the Wahabi cult with the combined forces of Shia Muslims, Sunni Muslims and Christians of Syria and elsewhere. A Muslim is only that believer who believe in Live and Let Live obey Allah

    Zaheer Husain Khan


    By zaheer husain khan - 6/30/2012 4:45:08 AM



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    According to my opinion, Islam does not forbid any Muslimfrom befriending the Christians and Jews and I believe there is no verse ofQuran which forbids befriending Christians and Jews. 

     However, I believefirmly that we should not deny any verses of Quran.  The verse quoted bythe writer; “O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not take the Jews and theChristians for your allies: they are but allies of one another. (Surah: 5:51)does not order not to befriending Christians and Jews, but I think it says notto trust the Jews or Christians that they will help you against other nonMuslims when you are at war with them, or  Christians will not help you(Muslims) when you are at war with Jews and similarly Jews will not help youwhen you are on war with Christians or both will not help you when you are atwar with other non Muslims, non Christians or Non Jews even if they pledgetheir allegiance with you against the others.  In such a situation theyare not trustworthy and In Pakistan’s case Americans have proved twice; duringPak-India Wars of 1965 and 1971, that they are not trust worthy, they willnever help Muslims against other non-Muslims.


    By Ch. Muhammad Yousaf - 6/25/2012 12:47:26 AM



  • Misinterpretations of the Quran is the main reason for terrorism in the name of Allah. Picking out selective verses to suit their needs is the main tactic applied by the fanatics. Here also the Arabic word used is 'Auliya' which, according to my limited knowledge, means protectors or helpers.

    So I think God is telling us that in times of war we must not take help from enemies, which makes perfect sense.

    And I also think that this verse is time-bound, meaning its importance is for those people and that time.

    We also should  try to read about the same topic in other Quranic verses, as the Quran has been revealed in stages.

     Here the Quran says do not take Jews and CHirstians as your protectors or helpers, first of all, it does not mean that they are enemies of ours till eternity, secondly, in ohter places God says 'Jews, Christians, Sabians can also go to heaven if they believe and do good deeds'.


    By Aiman Reyaz - 6/23/2012 7:47:35 PM



  • In order not to misread the Quran it is essential to have a prior clear concept of God as being "al rahman al rahim" (most Gracious, most Compassionate). That's why all chapters of the Qur'an (except one) begin with the words 'Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim'. If any sentence in the Quran seems to fall afoul of this description of God, an attempt must be immediately made to try to understand it in context. A simplified translation that avoids the possibility of such misunderstandings will not necessarily be bidat in my opinion. Words are not holy. The meaning of the words is holy.


    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 6/23/2012 2:51:18 PM



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