Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam
15 April 2019
begin with, religion was completely counter intuitive and went against
instinct, as every religious rule or law requires curbing what gives man
pleasure to avoid what is harmful to self or society, and doing what may be
painful or disagreeable, for the greater good of the society. Over a period,
through practice under compulsion, man learned the great benefits of following
the religion and became a willing follower.
Allah has civilized mankind through progressive revelations and finally
revealed the Quran which contains the complete and perfected religion to
Muhammad (pbuh), the seal of the prophets.
the final revelation completely clear and understandable, or were certain parts
still counter intuitive and required faith to follow? Adaptation is different
from following based on reason. We adapt to our environment over which have no
control, or to a religion under compulsion or to the religion because we have
faith in it although not everything is clearly understood. Faith therefore
plays an important part, when not every rule of religion is clearly understood,
until it is understood. Those with faith who make sincere efforts to
understand, will gain understanding, and those without faith may lose their
for example, the permission to have sex with female slave. To us, it sounds
morally reprehensible and unacceptable, but then this was allowed. What could
be the justification? To find the answer requires:
1. Not being in denial or
rejecting the clear meaning through the many devices of “interpretation” that
the scholars have developed to take whatever meaning is convenient to them. The
first step is to accept, that what sounds morally reprehensible was in fact
2. Complete faith in Allah,
that if this was allowed, then the permission to have sex with female slave was
in some way morally superior to disallowing it, although not obvious.
3. Look for all the evidence
which explains why this was so.
have gone through such an exercise and the result was the following article:
The Morality or the Immorality of the Institution of Slavery and
the Quranic Permission That Allowed Sex with Female Slaves
The Prophet Face Similar Dilemmas?
There is clear
evidence in the Quran that not every revelation was to the Prophet’s liking, or
was immediately understood as what was good. For example:
thou mayest (feel the inclination) to give up a part of what is revealed unto
thee, and thy heart feeleth straitened…….
The Quran does not
make clear what the Prophet was uncomfortable with. It is enough for us to know
that there was a part that made him uncomfortable.
(2:216) Fighting is
prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a
thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But
Allah knoweth, and ye know not.
This verse is
addressed to the Prophet because he disliked fighting, or maybe it is his
followers who are being indirectly addressed through him because many of them
disliked fighting. There is plenty of evidence that fighting was not what any
of the Muslims wanted including perhaps the Prophet, but were forced into it,
by the revelations from Allah. This may have been from a fear of annihilation
because they were numerically inferior and no match for their enemy.
with Polytheistic Beliefs Rejected
The following verses
are referring to the satanic verses that were immediately cancelled by Allah.
However, Satan could succeed even though only for a while, because the Prophet
desired reconciliation to conflict. Any compromise with polytheism in religion
was however firmly rejected by Allah.
(22:52) Never did We send a messenger or a
prophet before thee, but, when he framed a desire, Satan threw some (vanity)
into his desire: but Allah will cancel anything (vain) that Satan throws in,
and Allah will confirm (and establish) His Signs: for Allah is full of
Knowledge and Wisdom:
(53) That He may
make the suggestions thrown in by Satan, but a trial for those in whose hearts
is a disease and who are hardened of heart: verily the wrong-doers are in a
schism far (from the Truth):
(54) And that those
on whom knowledge has been bestowed may learn that the (Qur´an) is the Truth
from thy Lord, and that they may believe therein, and their hearts may be made
humbly (open) to it: for verily Allah is the Guide of those who believe, to the
(55) Those who
reject Faith will not cease to be in doubt concerning (Revelation) until the
Hour (of Judgment) comes suddenly upon them, or there comes to them the Penalty
of a Day of Disaster.
Beating Was Distasteful
4:34 advises beating as an option and as a last resort to correct a wife who is
negligent about guarding her modesty in the husband’s absence. This however was
against what the Prophet had wanted. The following is from Muhammad Asad’s
notes on verse 4:34.
is evident from many authentic Traditions that the Prophet himself intensely
detested the idea of beating one's wife, and said on more than one occasion,
"Could any of you beat his wife as he would beat a slave, and then lie
with her in the evening?" (Bukhari and Muslim)
According to another Tradition, he forbade the
beating of any woman with the words, "Never beat God's handmaidens"
(Abu Da'ud, Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Ibn Hibban and Hakim, on the
authority of Iyas ibn 'Abd Allah; Ibn Hibban, on the authority of 'Abd Allah
ibn 'Abbas; and Bayhaqi, on the authority of Umm Kulthum). When the
Qur'an-verse 4:34 authorizing the beating of a refractory wife was revealed,
the Prophet is reported to have said: "I wanted one thing, but God has
willed another thing - and what God has willed must be best" (see Manar V,
74). With all this, he stipulated in his sermon on the occasion of the Farewell
Pilgrimage, shortly before his death, that beating should be resorted to only
if the wife "has become guilty, in an obvious manner, of immoral
conduct", and that it should be done "in such a way as not to cause
pain (Ghayr Mubarrih)"; authentic Traditions to this effect are
found in Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Da'ud, Nasa'i and Ibn Majah. On the basis of
these Traditions, all the authorities stress that this "beating", if
resorted to at all, should be more or less symbolic - "with a toothbrush,
or some such thing" (Tabari, quoting the
views of scholars of the earliest times), or even "with a folded
handkerchief" (Razi); and some of the greatest Muslim scholars (e.g.,
Ash-Shafi'i) are of the opinion that it is just barely permissible, and should
preferably be avoided: and they justify this opinion by the Prophet's personal
feelings with regard to this problem.”
know from modern studies however, that Common Couple Violence is an effective
tool for conflict resolution among young couples, and verse 4:34 may have
corrected the behaviour of many women and saved many marriages. This wisdom is
however not immediately available even to a Prophet and requires acceptance
based on faith.
Pitfalls to Avoid
are many Muslims who lack faith and lose their way. The lack of faith comes
from arrogance and looking down upon the Quran as an outdated “seventh century”
Book, rather than as the eternally valid revelations from Allah. This is not a
new phenomenon and has been a common failing of all those with a little
learning. In the tenth century, many
“Muslim” philosophers turned against religion studying the works of Greek
philosophers, little realizing that all the philosophers put together did not,
and indeed could not have produced a single moral principle. The fact that
these moral principles could now be understood by them based on reason made
them think foolishly that these could have been produced by men like
themselves. They jumped to the conclusion that the prophets were only
philosophers and there was no god and no revelations! It appears to be a law of
Allah, that arrogant fools will lose their way, unless they pay heed whenever
they are made to see the truth, and make efforts to correct themselves.
Naseer Ahmed is an Engineering
graduate from IIT Kanpur and is an independent IT consultant after having
served in both the Public and Private sector in responsible positions for over
three decades. He is a frequent contributor to NewAgeIslam.com
New Age Islam, Islam
Muslim News, Arab
World News, South
Asia News, Indian
Muslim News, World
Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism
In theory Islam teaches humbleness but what is required is to
implement the humble-theory of Islam through our actions. We should present
Islam in our sincerity, morality, humbleness, trustworthiness.