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Islamic Ideology (07 Aug 2017 NewAgeIslam.Com)


The Meaning of the Quran Resonates With the Aims of Progressive Islam



By Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

 

07 August 2017

 

I have read with great interest, Adis Duderja’s article “Progressive Islam as Islamic Liberation Theology”. The meaning of the Quran covering God’s will, and His purpose for creation of man, and the way of life prescribed for him to fulfill that purpose, resonates fully with the aims of Progressive Islam. This may sound surprising but it is true. What we have are translations that are interpretations. We do not have a single work that can be called the meaning of the Quran. The fight against the orthodoxy cannot be won without the help of the Quran. Any movement that is not anchored in the Quran loses legitimacy.

I have written several articles, covering every subject, based on the logically derived meaning of the Quran, as distinct from mere interpretation. Verses containing key words and key concepts such as Kufr, Momin, fighting in the cause of Allah, Shuhuda, Siddiq, people of virtue etc. have been analyzed to precisely define, using rules of logic, their meaning in the Quran – what they mean and what they do not mean. This exercise has yielded tremendous insight into the meaning of the Quran which showed a wide gulf between what the Quran says and Islamic theology.  

Possible Reasons for the Wide Gulf

This is not unexpected in a religion which spread very rapidly in a short period and was initially very accommodating of the concepts and ideas from people of other religions who outnumbered the Arabs by a factor 6.  Islamic Shariat was influenced by the practical need to continue with the well-established laws in the conquered lands.  The Ahadith were compiled in the 9th century by At-Tirmidhi (Uzbek died 892), Imam Bukhari – (Uzbek died 870), Abu-Dawud (Persian died 889), Ibn Majah (Persian died 887), Al-Nasai (Persian died 915), Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj (Persian died 875), Ibn Hanbal (Arab died 855). The books of the first six compilers form part of the Kutub Al-Sittah or the six books. The fact that all the six major compilers were contemporaries in the era of Islam’s Golden period under the Abbasid dynasty could be because the compilation may have been a political project to bend Islam to the political compulsions of the Caliph. The Ahadith contradict the Quran on every subject and if these alleged sayings of the Prophet (pbuh) are authentic, then it would appear that the Prophet spent all his life preaching against the message of the Quran!

And yet, these Ahadith were not rubbished, but had a major influence on Islamic theology and this couldn’t have been without political support. The madrasas laid great emphasis on the study of the Ahadith and not on the Quran and this trend continues to this day. The Quran is “interpreted” from the point of view of the Ahadith taking the meaning of the Ahadith as correct. If there is a conflict which cannot be resolved by misinterpreting the Quran, then the verse from the Quran is treated as abrogated!

Islamic theology was dominated by the rationalists for a short period but the traditionalists proved their mettle by successfully warding off the challenge from the “heretical” philosophers during Islam’s golden age. Imam Al-Ghazali (died 1111) was the kingpin of this fight back. The traditionalists won and Islam’s golden age lost its steam. Theology lost its earlier dynamism and spirit of free inquiry and accommodation and became rigid, inward looking and bigoted. It has remained very much frozen somewhere in the 12th century. Imam Ghazali was a giant and remains without a challenge to this day, it would appear.

Early Islam

It would appear that either there wasn’t much of early scholarship or not much of what was written by the scholars of early Islam has survived. The need for scholarship may not have been there. The Quran was Kitabum Mubeen and understood by most people. The need for scholarship arose when the Quran had to be interpreted in the light of the Ahadith. Much of Islamic scholarship therefore conceals the meaning of the Quran rather than brings it out.

Complete Subversion of the Muslim Mind

It would appear that the political and the religious powers collaborated very well to lay down a system which promoted blind imitation, rote learning and mastering of the Ahadith with the result that we have great uniformity in what most scholars say. There do not appear to have been any rebels. We have grown up with ideas such as Kafir means a non-Muslim, that the Prophet was fighting battles against “disbelief”, that we have a soul that is immortal, that there is punishment in the grave, that our soul testified before we were born in Alam-e-Arwah, that our soul will be in Alam-e-Barzakh when we die etc all of which is sheer rubbish and contrary to the Quran, However, if the Quran is read with these meanings and ideas in our head, which is what everyone does, it will be largely misunderstood.

My Articles

When I started writing my articles based on the Quran, I found that what I had to say went against the Ijma or collective wisdom of the scholars. The question that was often asked was whether I was the only one who understood the Quran in all of 1400 years. I cannot speak of all of the 1400 years but from the 12th century onwards, nobody has written what I have discovered.

The series of articles cover the prophetic mission of Muhammad (pbuh) through its vicissitudes over the 23 year period, and discovers both seamless continuity in the message and consistency contrary to the opinion among some circles that the Meccan period verses and message is different from the Medinian period. This is patently incorrect. Neither does any verse of the Quran contradict another verse.

The motivation for the study is the same as that of the Progressive Muslims– dissatisfaction with the Islamic theology vis-à-vis the demands of our times. The approach is however different, and based on the faith that if the Quran is the word of God, then it must lead us to the right path in any era and contain guidance for man based on the eternal moral principles and the unchanging nature of man. I am not trying to make the Quran yield to my ideas of what Islam should be which is what most moderates have been trying to do.

The search started with two key concepts in Islamic theology that have played a major role in determining a Muslim’s relationship with the rest of the world. The first is the meaning of Kufr and the second is the meaning of fighting in the cause of Allah.

Secular definition of Kufr in the Quran

The meaning of Kufr in the Quran that applies to all mankind is, oppression is Kufr and an oppressor is a Kafir. A Momin is one who stands up in the cause of the oppressed and fights against oppression and the oppressors. In the temporal dimension, the faith of the oppressor and the oppressed are immaterial. The only cause which is described as fighting in the cause of Allah is to fight oppression. The Prophet’s battles were against religious persecution and not against disbelief.

This is covered in my following articles:

The Story of the Prophetic Mission of Muhammad (Pbuh) In the Qu’ran (Part 4): The Medinian Period

The Story of the Prophetic Mission of Muhammad (pbuh) in the Qu’ran (Concluding Part) Summary

The Much discussed and debated Medinian Verses Relating to Fighting

The secular definition of Kafir in the Quran is found in my article:

Who is a Muslim in the Quran?

Who is a Momin and who is a Kafir is situational. For example, the Indian army liberated Bangladesh by defeating the Pakistan Army which practiced great oppression on the people of Bangladesh. In this role, the Indian army were the Momineen and the Pakistan army were the Kafirin.

(4:141) ….And never will Allah grant to the Kafirin a way (to triumph) over the Mominin.

The Kafirin suffered a humiliating defeat.

The Meaning of Kufr as It Concerns Belief

The meaning of Kufr in the spiritual dimension or as it concerns the relationship between man and God, is relative to what one knows and believes to be the truth. Only God can judge what Kufr is in the spiritual dimension and not man. The Quran therefore prescribes no punishment for apostasy, heresy, blasphemy and disbelief nor does it authorise waging of war against the “disbelievers”.

This is covered in my article:

Who Is A Kafir In The Quran? (Part 3): Why Kufr Is A Relative Concept While Shirk, Idol Worship Etc. Have Fixed Meanings

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

Secular Justice in Islam

The opposite of oppression is justice and denial of justice is oppression. The following articles discuss the importance of secular justice in Islam. There is no Islam in the absence of secular justice.

The Importance of Rendering Justice in Islam

Is the standard of secular justice demanded by the Quran possible without a secular government? This is discussed in:

Is Islam Secular?

Did Jizya Discriminate Based On Religion?

Jizya was implemented in a manner by the Prophet different from what the verse 9:29 says. In its implementation, it was a negotiated settlement between the ruler and his non-Muslim subjects and never had the character of a tax imposed by religion. It made the non-Muslims taxpaying subjects with security guaranteed by the state without the obligation to fight for the state. The non-religious character is further underlined by the fact that only males of military age were required to pay in lieu of serving in the army. Monks, who by their calling do not serve in the army, were exempt from the tax.

This is discussed in my article:

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

Slavery and the Permission to Have Sex with Female Slaves

This is a difficult topic and the acid test of whether the Quran is word of God or not. This topic is discussed in my article:

The Morality or the Immorality of the Institution of Slavery and the Quranic Permission That Allowed Sex with Female Slaves

Search for the True Pillars of Islam

Several articles were written while searching for the true pillars of Islam culminating in finding the three kinds of people on whom is Allah’s grace. The key to it was found in Surah Fatiha which we recite in every Rak’at of our Salat in which we pray to God asking Him to (1:6) Show us the straightway, (7) the way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace (AnʿAmtaʿAlayhim). Who are these people on whom Allah bestows his grace? The answer is found in verse :( 4:69) These are the Siddiq (seekers of the truth and people of true knowledge), the Shuhuda(who are Islam personified) and the Saliheen (those who do good deeds). This is covered in my article:

 

The Role Models in the Quran

 

The surprising discovery was that the Shuhuda are not those slain in the cause of Allah but Muslims who are paragons of Islamic virtues who in all their words and deeds reflect the beauty and grace of the faith of Islam. Islamic theology has corrupted the meaning of Shaheed to mean martyr to glorify fighting. This is covered in my article:

The Politics of Religion and the Changing Concept of Shuhuda over the Years

The article also discusses how suicide missions came to be accepted in Islamic theology as legitimate means of waging war.

Ethical Living

The Quran lays great stress on ethical living more that on ritual, these topics are covered in my articles:

Deen-e-Islam or the Moral Way of Living in Islam

Gender Issues

Woman’s Testimony

Islamic jurisprudence errs when it treats two women’s testimony equal to that of one man’s. The Quran merely allows two women the license to witness and testify jointly a legal document. The testimony is joint where the two women together give a single testimony consulting each other. This is a concession, and recommended but not a legal requirement. Discussed under:

Is A Woman’s Testimony Worth Half That of A Man?

Divorce

Triple Talaq, whether given at a single point in time or on three separate occasions is not the Quranic process for divorce. In the Quran, divorce is a two-stage process with the period of Iddat (three menstrual cycles) intervening. Reconciliation is possible during this period. Else, the divorce becomes irrevocable on their parting at the end of the Iddat period. The number of pronouncements of Talaq is immaterial. The Iddat period must be spent in the husband’s house and this condition must be fulfilled. Reconciliation during this period with mutual consent cannot be prevented.  If the couple had on two previous occasions reconciled and if this is the third time they are going through the divorce process, even then Iddat period is required to be spent in the husband’s house and reconciliation with mutual consent cannot be prevented. Theoretically therefore, there is no limit on how many times the couple may go through the process. Since reconciliation is possible only through mutual consent, the woman may refuse the same in which case she can walk out at the end of the Iddat period. She can also lay conditions for agreeing to reconcile. The Quran maintains the balance of power between the two sexes as closely as possible.

This is discussed in my article:

The Process for Divorce in the Quran

Polygamy, wife beating etc

These issues are discussed in a forthright manner in my article:

Qur’anic Wisdom: Marriage and Treatment of Women

Resonance with the aims of Progressive Islam

It may be noted that the meaning of the Quran supports forming alliances to fight oppression and the faith of the ally and the enemy are immaterial. The Oppressor is Kafir and those who fight the oppressors in the cause of the oppressed, fight in the cause of Allah and are the Momineen.

We pray to God to make us among the people on whom is Allah’s grace and these are the seekers of knowledge and the truth, the paragons of Islamic virtues and those who do virtuous deeds. The stress in Islam is clearly on ethical living

Belief is a matter between man and God and none of anyone else’s business.

Justice in Islam Is Secular.

There is no intent to discriminate against anyone on religious grounds and jiziya in the historical context was not meant to discriminate although the same was misused in later years as an instrument to discriminate and perhaps humiliate. 

Islam stands for balance of power between the sexes and for gender justice

Related Article:

Progressive Islam as Islamic Liberation Theology

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 www.NewAgeIslam.com

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-ideology/naseer-ahmed,-new-age-islam/the-meaning-of-the-quran-resonates-with-the-aims-of-progressive-islam/d/112118

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TOTAL COMMENTS:-   25


  • Naseersaab,
    Thanks for your explanation.


    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/13/2017 12:20:08 PM



  • GM Sb, Are you not mixing up things?  My articles are about the misuse of concepts of kufr and of fighting based on misunderstanding and deliberate distortion of their meaning to prevent Islam becoming a dark and harsh religion.
    Read once again:

    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/13/2017 12:11:35 AM



  • Excessive preoccupation with punishments, kufr, jehad etc depicts Islam as a dark and harsh religion. Islam came to us as a "mercy" to teach us about God who is "ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim". Have we forgotten that?


    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/12/2017 12:25:36 PM



  • Dear Naseer Sahab,
    I think there is some misunderstanding. My following definition of kufr is consistent with yours and i have never confused between the meanings of mushrikin and kafirin in my book published (jointly) some eight years ago:

    kufr: Willful rejection or denial of any self-evident or irrefutable proposition. The Qur’an refers to its recalcitrant audience by the plural noun forms kafirun, kafirin, which, for want of any appropriate English counterpart have been rendered as disbelievers or deniers as appropriate. The Qur’an also connotes kufr with canceling or effacing something (29:7, 47:2), being thankless or ungrateful (17:27, 76:24).

    I do not claim any perfection of my (jt) work as no work of man can be perfect, but I have not spotted any error in my work nor altered my views on any aspect of it.


    By muhammd yunus - 8/12/2017 3:50:58 AM



  • That what is kufr for the non-believer is also kufr for the believer should be self-evident but unfortunately it is not so. I had therefore covered it in my article:

    Who is a Muslim in the Quran?


    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/12/2017 2:34:47 AM



  • I wonder if GM sb thinks that what is kufr for non-Muslims isn't kufr for the Muslims for him to contest my saying so. The Quran holds only those Meccans who practiced religious persecution as kafir. Can Muslims practice religious persecution and not be considered kafir by God? The extremists think so but is GM Sb supporting such a view?

    The meaning of kafir has engaged the theologians more than any other subject . They were not satisfied with declaring all non-Muslims as kafir (although the Quran does not do so) but agonized on who among the Muslims could be called kafir and ex-communicated. The people and the government of Pakistan have declared the Ahmadi sect as non-Muslim. Dr Israr Ahmed is on record in a video where he says that the government did not go far enough and give them the choice to recant or be given the death sentence. As far as theology is concerned, the definition of kufr/kafir is the elephant in the room. And yet some people think that the elephant will go away if we stop talking about it!


    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/12/2017 2:02:44 AM



  • Naseersaab says, "what is kufr for the non-believer is also kufr for the believer."

    Let God decide that. Let us talk about the good deeds that can uplift both believers and nonbelievers.

    He adds, " the words used in the Quran remain."

    Fine, but we don't have to use them if they are widely misused. We can use less controversial descriptive synonyms.

    My last post in this thread.


    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/11/2017 11:59:26 PM



  • GM Sb,
    Do you understand what you read? Do you understand that what is kufr for the non-believer is also kufr for the believer but in addition, there are several commands and injunctions addressed specifically to the believer and a believer's disobedience on these is clearly described as kufr in the Quran which means that the standard by which a believer shall be judged is far more stringent? Isn't something so obvious and fully explained not clear to you?

    And what ails you that you fail to understand repeatedly as you say, that as long as the Quran remains, which means till doomsday, the words used in the Quran remain? Kufr, Kafir, Kafirin are used more than three hundred times. What do you intend doing with that? 

    And what ails you that you are reluctant to accept with proof that Kafir/Kufr applies equally to the Muslims and does not mean non-Muslim and that fighting is permitted only against oppression which removes all the confusion and misuse but want to edit the Quran instead? Why are so bent upon editing the Quran? 
    (39:45) When Allah, the One and Only, is mentioned, the hearts of those who believe not in the Hereafter are filled with disgust and horror; but when (gods) other than He are mentioned, behold, they are filled with joy!
    The same sentiment is found:
    When taking the meaning of the Quran is mentioned, the hearts of those who believe not in the Hereafter are filled with disgust and horror; but when editing, reinterpretation are mentioned, behold, they are filled with joy!

    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/11/2017 10:04:42 PM



  • "The standards by which a believer will be judged are therefore far more stringent than for a disbeliever."

    The only one who can say something like that is God himself. Let us not pretend to be more knowledgeable than  we really are.


    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/11/2017 12:18:07 PM



  • As I have said several times before, words like 'kafir' and 'jehad' must be made obsolete. We do not need them. They have caused us more grief than they are worth.
     

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/11/2017 12:12:07 PM



  • The standards by which a believer will be judged are therefore far more stringent than for a disbeliever. 

    The disbeliever (in good faith) will be not be judged at all on matters such as giving charity, devouring usury etc. while a believer may be judged as a kafir and may go to hell on account of such transgressions. 

    A disbeliever (in good faith) is a disbeliever as he/she lacks the knowledge or lacks conviction and not someone who knows the truth and yet chooses to reject belief.

    Believers or Disbelievers will be punished only for their kufr and what is kufr for the disbelievers is also kufr for the believers but not vice versa. It is the kafirin who will be punished whether believer or disbeliever.

    So the Muslims who are worse than the non-Muslims in their behaviour, conduct and morality will definitely be at the bottom of the heap.


    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/10/2017 11:14:00 PM



  • It is our theology that has distorted the meaning of "kafir" to mean "disbeliever" which has therefore become the "dictionary" meaning and used by every translator. So knowing Arabic and dictionary meanings can still mislead you and every translator is/was a scholar of Arabic before translating the Quran and yet went wrong. The surprising fact is that not even one of these Arabic scholars is an exception and did a correct translation of the Book!

    Theology and dictionary meanings cannot stand up to the meaning logically derived from the Quran. The Quran is most certainly Kitabum Mubeen and well guarded against corruption in its meaning. What is required is that one should seek the meaning as a Muslim bowing to Allah in Islam and not for any other purpose such as trying to meet the aims and objectives of the "Progressive Muslims". The Quran being the word of God is progressive and every good description applies to it.

    Every Muhkamat verse has only one meaning which can be logically derived beyond a shadow of doubt.


    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/10/2017 9:57:13 PM



  • A Disbeliever Is Not Necessarily A Kafir in the Quran

    A Believer Can Be A Kafir

    Logically, Therefore, Kafir Cannot Mean Disbeliever

    The Quran uses the expression “la yuminun” to mean a Disbeliever

                              Every verse in which kafir is translated as disbeliever is a mistranslation

    The Evidence

                              يَا بَنِي آدَمَ لاَ يَفْتِنَنَّكُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ كَمَا أَخْرَجَ أَبَوَيْكُم مِّنَ الْجَنَّةِ يَنزِعُ عَنْهُمَا لِبَاسَهُمَا لِيُرِيَهُمَا سَوْءَاتِهِمَا إِنَّهُ يَرَاكُمْ هُوَ وَقَبِيلُهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لاَ تَرَوْنَهُمْ إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا الشَّيَاطِينَ أَوْلِيَاء لِلَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ

    (7:27) O ye Children of Adam! Let not Satan seduce you, in the same manner as He got your parents out of the Garden, stripping them of their raiment, to expose their shame: for he and his tribe watch you from a position where ye cannot see them: We made the evil ones friends (only) to the disbelivers (la yuminun).

    The believers are able to guard against Satan, the disbelievers are vulnerable. The Quran uses “la yuminun” when it intends “disbeliever”

    َمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَى عَلَى اللّهِ كَذِبًا أَوْ كَذَّبَ بِآيَاتِهِ أُوْلَـئِكَ يَنَالُهُمْ نَصِيبُهُم مِّنَ الْكِتَابِ حَتَّى إِذَا جَاءتْهُمْ رُسُلُنَا يَتَوَفَّوْنَهُمْ قَالُواْ أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ قَالُواْ ضَلُّواْ عَنَّا وَشَهِدُواْ عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ أَنَّهُمْ كَانُواْ كَافِرِينَ

    (7:37) Who is more unjust than one who invents a lie against Allah or rejects His Signs? For such, their portion appointed must reach them from the Book (of decrees): until, when our messengers (of death) arrive to take them in death, they say: "Where are the things that ye used to invoke besides Allah?" They will reply, "They have left us in the lurch," And they will bear witness against themselves, that they were kafirin.

    What made them kafirin?  Being unjust, inventing a lie against Allah, and denying His signs/verses, invoking those besides Allah. These are acts of rebellion and not disbelief. A disbeliever simply disbelieves. Unless a disbeliever is also a kafir, he does not invent lies, is unjust, knowingly denies any truth or, knowingly invokes those besides Allah etc.  

     1.               كَدَأْبِ آلِ فِرْعَوْنَ وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ كَذَّبُواْ بآيَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ فَأَهْلَكْنَاهُم بِذُنُوبِهِمْ وَأَغْرَقْنَا آلَ فِرْعَونَ وَكُلٌّ كَانُواْ ظَالِمِينَ

    إِنَّ شَرَّ الدَّوَابِّ عِندَ اللّهِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ فَهُمْ لاَ يُؤْمِنُون

     (8:54) (Deeds) after the manner of the people of Pharaoh and those before them": They treated as false the Signs of their Lord: so We destroyed them for their crimes, and We drowned the people of Pharaoh: for they were all oppressors and wrong-doers.(55) For the worst of craetures in the sight of Allah are those who  kafaru: They will not believe

    Who are the kafaru in this verse? People who treated as false the Signs of God in the conceited manner of the Pharaoh, the oppressors and the wrong doers, they are the kafaru. Such kafaru will not believe. This is very different from saying ‘those who do not believe are kafaru’.  Those who do not believe are vulnerable to Satan and may become kafaru but a disbeliever is not necessarily a kafir.

    1.               قَاتِلُواْ الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ وَلاَ بِالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وَلاَ يُحَرِّمُونَ مَا حَرَّمَ اللّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَلاَ يَدِينُونَ دِينَ الْحَقِّ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَابَ حَتَّى يُعْطُواْ الْجِزْيَةَ عَن يَدٍ وَهُمْ صَاغِرُونَ

     (9:29) Fight those who believe not (la yuminun) in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

    The subject of this verse is the “disbelievers” and not the kafirin. They are to be made jiziya paying subjects or else fought against until they agree. These include the Mushrikin of Mecca who never fought with the Muslims or broke their treaty. The Kafirin were those who fought, broke their treaty etc for whom the judgment is in 9:5 and their kufr described in 9:12.

     The believers who are kafir

     (2:254) O ye who believe! Spend out of (the bounties) We have provided for you, before the Day comes when no bargaining (Will avail), nor friendship nor intercession. And the kafirun, they are the zalimun.

     Who are the kafirun and the zalimunin in this verse? Those who do not spend out of the bounties provided by Allah. The kafirun and zalimun refers to the believers who show their ingratitude to Allah for the bounties provided to them by not spending. They are ingrate rebels. They are not some other unrelated “disbelievers” in Timbuctoo or wherever.

     (2:264) O ye who believe! cancel not your charity by reminders of your generosity or by injury,- like those who spend their substance to be seen of men, but believe neither in Allah nor in the Last Day. They are in parable like a hard, barren rock, on which is a little soil: on it falls heavy rain, which leaves it (Just) a bare stone. They will be able to do nothing with aught they have earned. And Allah guideth not the kafirin.

     The kafirin in this verse are otherwise believers, but those who spend their substance to be seen of men. Such men will not be guided

     (3:102) O ye who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except as a Muslim.

     Here it is put across positively instead of saying die not as a kafir.

     (3:130) O ye who believe! Devour not usury, doubled and multiplied; but fear Allah; that ye may (really) prosper.(131) Fear the Fire, which is prepared for the kafirin:

    It is the believers who devour usury who are asked to fear the fire and such believers are the kafirin.

     In all of the verses above, Yusuf Ali translates kafirin as “those who reject faith” which is incorrect because the addressee is the believer and he cannot be a both a believer and one who rejects faith! Others translate kafirin as disbeliever which is also incorrect for the same reason. While Allah is speaking of the gravity of devouring Usury etc as constituting kufr or ingratitude and rebellion against God, the translators are deflecting the severity of the kufr of Usury etc by making us believe that here Allah is not talking about the believers but the disbelievers!

     The fact of the matter is that, since the addressee of the verse is the believer, Usury etc is kufr for him but not for the disbeliever. Else the addressee would have been all of mankind or “the Children of Adam”.

    Who Is A Kafir In The Quran? (Part 3): Why Kufr Is A Relative Concept While Shirk, Idol Worship Etc. Have Fixed Meanings

     (9:90) And there were, among the desert Arabs (also), men who made excuses and came to claim exemption; and those who were false to Allah and His Messenger (merely) sat inactive. Soon will a grievous penalty seize the Kafaru among them.

     (The Kafaru referred to here are Muslim)

     Yunus Sb, I follow very strict rules of logic and base what I say on strong evidence. Your sentence “It is perhaps ingrained human nature to defend one's views and more so if it is arrived after long research” does not apply to me. It may apply to your defense of what you have written in your book and reluctance to go beyond it.

    I must acknowledge however, that you have accepted that the Quran does not treat all the Mushrikin of the Prophet’s times as kafir even in Surah Taubah, although, you had earlier held the opposite view.


    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/10/2017 9:12:11 PM



  • Yunus Sb,
    I am glad that you agree that the Quran did not consider all the Mushrikin to be kafir even in Surah Taubah which is among the very last of the Surahs. 

    You have not responded to the following:

    If fighting is permitted only against the oppressor, then which verse can still be misunderstood and which verse does not apply today? Unless of course you believe that fighting was permitted against "disbelief" in which case please cite the relevant verse to prove that. 

    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/9/2017 6:21:28 AM



  • Dear Naseer Sahab,

    I am, since the jt. publication of my book, fully dedicated to communicate to others the essentials of the Qur’nic message as evolved in it in a focused, inclusive, gender neutral, non-political, non-Sectarian manner. This I believe commands far greater priority than my indulging into further research.

    I believe my jt publication as it stands should be taught as a core religious book in all major Islamic institutions – and with the full support of Sultan Shahin Sb and interaction with all other commentators, regardless of their background and agenda, I am trying to create a positive impression among the readers so that if not in my life time, at a later date, my following Umbrella article is included in the curriculum of AMU and other prestigious secular Islamic institutions:

    Breaking The Ice For An All-Round Reform Of Islamic Societies To Avoid The Recurring Call For Reform From Turning Into A Mere Slogan Without Ever Achieving Any Reform At All

    http://www.newageislam.com/ijtihad,-rethinking-islam/muhammad-yunus,-new-age-islam/breaking-the-ice-for-an-all-round-reform-of-islamic-societies-to-avoid-the-recurring-call-for-reform-from-turning-into-a-mere-slogan-without-ever-achieving-any-reform-at-all/d/105118


    I do appreciate your sincere efforts in defending Islam against those who pick the worst bits from the underbelly of its secondary sources and project its offal and refuse for its true message somewhat like Irshad Manji presenting the forged Pact of Umar for the original.


    By muhammd yunus - 8/8/2017 9:34:57 PM



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