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  • What is Islam?
    The first key thing to appreciate is the word "islam" and what it represents. It is an Arabic word and it existed before The Quran was written and was used to describe an attribute, an action, a state of being: self-surrender or to make peace. It comes from the verb "aslama" meaning 'to give over'. A "muslim" is simply one who is in "islam" (i.e. one who surrenders or makes peace). It should be noted that this word had no religious connotation and was not a title of something, even though it has come to be used as a title these days. According to The Quran itself, everything in the universe, willingly or unwillingly has ultimately surrendered to God, thus the basic concept of islam is as old as the universe itself: Do they seek other than the system of God, when all things in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly have surrendered / given over to Him, and to Him they will be returned. [Quran, 3:83] This is an important point to reflect upon, because many people do not realise that "islam" first and foremost is a state of being, not a title of a religion. For example, there is a difference between saying "the pillow is soft" and "the pillow is Soft". The latter could mean anything, due to the capitalised "S" in "Soft", and we would have to find out what "Soft" refers to before we understood the statement, whereas the word "soft" is self-explanatory, it is describing an attribute the pillow has. Similarly, there is a difference between saying "the person is in islam" and "the person is in Islam". The latter refers to the title of a group, whilst the former describes an attribute the person has. This attribute is present in everything around us, in the very fabric of the universe itself... it may even be present within you. Now that we understand islam as an attribute, it becomes clear that an attribute is not exclusive to any group. For example, no product has the monopoly on being soft, many items can be soft. This is where the system described in The Quran differs significantly from religions. Many people do not realise that it is an inclusive system which promotes beliefs and actions that are not exclusive to any group, and repeatedly points this out. It is simply a continuation and completion of the same message that has been given since the dawn of mankind. Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Nazarenes*, and the Sabians, whoever believes in God and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear upon them, nor shall they grieve. [Quran, 2:62] *commonly translated as "Christians" but more likely refers to the followers of Jesus of Nazareth, hence Nazarenes. Say: "We believe in God and what has been revealed to us, and what was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and what was given to Moses and Jesus and to the prophets from their Lord; we do not make any distinction between any of them, and to Him do we submit".[Quran, 3:84] The core theme throughout The Quran is monotheism: belief in the oneness and uniqueness of God, the source from which all of creation originates and the source we will all return to. This concept is closely related to a recognition of unity and oneness amongst all things with regard to purpose and direction, and when we become in harmony with our true state of being, like how every component in the universe serves the whole, i.e. God, we can be said to be in the state of islam: we self-surrender or make peace. The system in The Quran promotes unity, and a system of governance that is just and beneficial for all of society, even if one is of no particular faith. It details an environment that allows humans to live and grow to their full potential. Shortly after The Quran came into existence, it is well documented that the Arabs excelled in all areas of science for example and spread their knowledge and governance to many countries, producing the most advanced and productive societies of the time, e.g. Cordoba of Al-Andalus. So, how can we acheive this? The Quran contains the same truth that was revealed in previous scriptures (e.g. the same message that was given to Abraham, Moses, Jesus and others) and considers itself as the final divine revelation to mankind. It urges people of other monotheistic faiths to return to their original teachings, and discard all the additions added by man-made laws, tradition, culture, various sects and scholars etc. Its objective and its method of explanation is that of educating the minds and changing human attitude towards life. Its aim is to strip away the inessentials, reveal our true form and bring about a revolution inside the man himself, for after all, the external material civilization is the expression of the internal spiritual condition of man himself. Interestingly, it refers to itself many times as a reminder, implying it is teaching us universal truths already present within us and around us. We will show them Our signs in the horizons, and within themselves, until it becomes clear to them that this is the truth. Is it not enough that your Lord is witness over all things? [Quran, 41:53] Quite simply, it is a book all about us, discussing: our creation, purpose, history, spirituality, psyche, life's big questions, justice, governance etc. It is a guide on how to realise our potential, individually and collectively, if one chooses to seek this path. It should be read like any other book: do not read to contradict and refute, nor to believe and take it for granted but simply to weigh and consider. We have sent down to you a book in which is your remembrance/mentioning. Will you not, then, use reason? [Quran, 21:10] References: 1-
  • What is the Quran about?
    Like all previous scriptures, the Quran delivers the one and only message of God to mankind, worship God alone and follow God alone. God describes the Quran as a beacon to guide, warn, and bring good news. It is also a statute book with set laws and systems for mankind. [Quran 16:102] Say, "The Holy Spirit has brought it down from your Lord, truthfully, to assure those who believe, and to provide a beacon and good news for the submitters." [Quran 2:185] Ramadan is the month during which the Quran was revealed, providing guidance for the people, clear teachings, and the statute book. ... [Quran 13:37] We revealed these laws in Arabic, and if you ever acquiesce to their wishes, after this knowledge has come to you, you will have no ally, nor a protector, against God. It’s a book of wisdom, and healing for anything that troubles our hearts. [Quran 10:57] O people, enlightenment has come to you herein from your Lord, and healing for anything that troubles your hearts, and guidance, and mercy for the believers. It sets every kind of example for us to heed the guidance, learn and lead a righteous life. So this means that this book, Quran, is a roadmap for our salvation. [Quran 39:27] We have cited for the people every kind of example in this Quran, that they may take heed. [Quran 6:51] And preach with this (Quran) to those who reverence the summoning before their Lord - they have none beside Him as a Lord and Master, nor an intercessor - that they may attain salvation. Quran clearly explains what it takes to be on the straight path and what would be the consequences of adopting the crooked path, it’s entirely up to us to choose. [Quran 76:3] We showed him the two paths, then he is either appreciative, or unappreciative. [Quran 41:46] Whoever works righteousness does so for his own good, and whoever works evil does so to his own detriment. Your Lord is never unjust towards the people.
  • Is the Quran Fully Detailed?
    The Quran contains clear commands to all Muslims to follow the Quran Alone, and reject all Hadith. The Arabic word Hadith is a word used to mean all human sayings, narrations, talk, stories., etc. This command is found in numerous verses, the following are examples: 45:6 - "These are God's revelations (Quran) that We recite to you truthfully. In which Hadith other than God and His revelations (Quran) do they believe?" 6:114 - "Shall I seek other than God as a source of law, when He has revealed to you this book fully detailed?" 7:1-2 - "This scripture (Quran) has been revealed to you - you shall not harbour doubt about it in your heart - that you may warn with it, and to provide a reminder for the believers. You shall all follow what is revealed to you from your Lord; do not follow any idols besides Him. Rarely do you take heed." 31:6-7 - "Among the people, there are those who uphold baseless Hadith, and thus divert others from the path of God without knowledge and take it in vain. These have incurred a shameful retribution. And when our revelations (Quran) are recited to the one of them, he turns away in arrogance as if he never heard them, as if his ears are deaf. Promise him a painful retribution."
  • Does the Quran promote terrorism, war and fighting?"
    Some think that Islam, Muslims and The Quran promote fighting, killing, war and terrorism, especially for reasons of differing faith or in order to establish Muslim rule. The idea of fighting people only because of a difference in faith does not exist in The Quran. In fact, it warns about accusing other people of being misguided in order to seek worldly gains: O you who believe, if you go forth in the cause of God, you shall investigate carefully. And do not say to those who greet you with peace: “You are not a believer!” You are seeking the vanity of this world; but with God are many riches. That is how you were before, but God favoured you, so investigate carefully. God is expert over what you do. [4:94] O you who acknowledge, let not a people ridicule other people, for they may be better than them. Nor shall any women ridicule other women, for they may be better than them. Nor shall you mock one another, or call each other names. Evil indeed is the reversion to wickedness after attaining acknowledgement. Anyone who does not repent, then these are the transgressors. [49:11] The Quran clearly states fight those who fight you, not non-combatants or civilians: Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God loves not aggressors. [2:190] Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just. [60:8] O believers! Stand out firmly for God, as witnesses for the sake of justice, and let not the hatred of a people cause you to turn away from justice. Do justice, for that is akin to piety... [5:8] All examples of fighting in The Quran are related to self-defence of oneself or in defence of others who are clearly oppressed, never as aggressors, for example Except for those who reach a people between whom you have a covenant, or if they come to you with a reluctance in their chests to fight you or to fight their own people. Had God willed He would have given them strength and they would have fought you. But if they retire from you, and did not fight you, and they offer you peace; then God does not make for you a way against them. [4:90] And why should you not fight in the cause of God and the weak and oppressed among men, women and children who say, "Our Lord rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors. And give us from You, a protector. And give us from You, a helper" [4:75] Retaliate with equivalence: And if you take your turn, then retaliate with the like of that with which you were afflicted; but if you are patient, it will certainly be best for those who are patient. [16:126] The sanctity of life: For this reason did We prescribe to the children of Israel that whoever kills a soul, unless it be for murder or for corruption in the land, it is as though he killed all men; and whoever keeps it alive, it is as though he kept alive all men; and certainly Our messengers came to them with clear arguments... [5:32] If we take the above verse into account with The Quran's very strong condemnation of oppression below, it is surely a poignant message to reflect upon: ...oppression is worse than murder... [2:191, 2:217] Even during open war, believers are ordered to be compassionate and offer protection if requested: And if anyone from the polytheists seeks your protection, then you may protect him so that he may hear the word of The God, then deliver him to his safety/security. This is because they are a people who do not know. [9:6] Emphasis on opting for forgiveness, peace and that which is good/righteous: But if the enemy incline towards peace, then you also incline towards peace, and trust in Allah: for He is One that hears and knows (all things). [8:61] And those who, when gross injustice befalls them, they seek justice. The recompense for a crime shall be its equivalence, but whoever forgives and makes right, then his reward is upon God. He does not like the wrongdoers. And for any who demand action after being wronged, those are not committing any error. The error is upon those who oppress the people, and they aggress in the land without cause. For these will be a painful retribution. And for he who is patient and forgives, then that is an indication of strength. [42:39-43] God guides with it (The Quran) whoever follows His acceptance, to the ways of peace; and He brings them out of the darkness and into the light by His leave; and He guides them to a Straight Path. [5:16] The true servants of the Beneficent are those who walk upon the earth humbly, and when the ignorant ones address them, they say, "Peace!" [25:63] Not equal are the good and the bad response. You shall resort to the one which is better. Thus, the one who used to be your enemy may become your best friend. [41:34] To these We grant twice the reward for that they have been patient. And they counter evil with good, and from Our provisions to them, they give. [28:54] To each is a direction that he will take, so you shall race towards good deeds. Wherever you may be, God will bring you all together. God is capable of all things. [2:148] References:
  • Is democracy compatible with islam?
    It is commonly thought, even amongst Muslims, that the system of democracy or democratic principles are not compatible with The Quran or islam. The Quran has examples of leaders with authority (e.g. Solomon, Joseph), however this would be conducted by group consultation and representation: Those who listen to what is said, then follow the best of it; those are the ones God has guided, and are the men of understanding. [39:18] ...and consult with them upon the conduct of affairs... [3:159] O you who believe! when it is said to you, Make room in (your) assemblies, then make ample room, God will give you ample, and when it is said: Rise up, then rise up. God will exalt those of you who believe, and those who are given knowledge, in high degrees; and God is Aware of what you do. [58:11] And those who have responded to their Lord, and they establish the bond, and their affairs are conducted by mutual consultation among themselves, and from Our provisions to them they give. [42:38] God has taken the covenant of the Children of Israel and raised from them twelve representatives, and God said: "I am with you if you uphold the bond and contribute towards betterment... [5:12] Elected leaders would have to lead by example: Do you order the people to do goodness, but forget yourselves, while you are reciting the book? Do you not reason? [2:44] O you who believe, why do you say what you do not do? [61:2] O mankind, We created you from a male and female, and We made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Surely, the most honorable among you in the sight of God is the most righteous. God is Knowledgeable, Expert. [49:13] Corruption prohibited: Do not devour the wealth and property of one another in a wrongful manner, nor bribe the officials/judges so that you may consume a part of the other people's belongings sinfully while you know! [2:188] Such a system would have to promote the following social order for the benefit of everyone: are the best suited community that has been raised up for the good of mankind. You shall enjoin the Right and discourage the Wrong... [3:110] one another in furthering virtue and God-consciousness, and do not help one another in furthering evil and enmity; and remain conscious of God: for, behold, God's punishment is severe. [5:2] O believers! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses for the sake of God, even (if this may go) against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin... [4:135] O believers! Stand out firmly for God, as witnesses for the sake of justice, and let not the enmity of a people cause you to turn away from justice. Do justice, for that is akin to piety...[5:8] Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. [16:125] Not equal are the good and the bad response. You shall resort to the one which is better. Thus, the one who used to be your enemy may become your best friend. [41:34] To each is a direction that he will take, so you shall race towards good deeds. Wherever you may be, God will bring you all together. God is capable of all things. [2:148] Take to pardoning, and order with what is good, and leave alone the ignorant ones. [7:199] Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in God has grasped the most sure hand-hold, that never breaks. And God is Hearing, Knowing. [2:256] And lastly, people in a community are reminded that they should 'be the change they wish to see in the world': ...God is not to change the condition of a people until they change what is within themselves... [13:11] References:
  • Is there freedom of religion?
    The Quran states, in no uncertain terms, that there is no compulsion in religion: Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in God has grasped the most sure hand-hold, that never breaks. And God is Hearing, Knowing. [2:256] Each to their own way: "Nor will I serve what you serve, Nor will you serve what I serve, To you is your system, and to me is my system." [109:4-6] This is a reminder, so let he who wishes take a path to his Lord. [73:19] The Quran states that God could have made all those on earth believe, thus asks who is man to enforce such a thing if God did not: And if your Lord had pleased, surely all those who are in the earth would have believed, all of them; will you then force men till they become believers? [10:99] Again, reminding us not to compel but simply warn by means of The Quran, with wisdom and kind words: We know best what they say, and you are not one to compel them; therefore remind by means of The Quran who fears My warning. [50:45] You shall invite to the path of your Lord with wisdom and kind words, and debate with them in the best possible manner. Your Lord knows best who has strayed from His path, and He knows best who are the guided ones. [16:125] Interestingly, all examples in The Quran of persecution due to faith are as a threat from non-believers and tyrants against believers [e.g. 11:91, 19:46, 36:18, 26:116, 7:123-124]. Thus it could be argued a trait of an ignorant society is no freedom of religion. And lastly, a proof beyond doubt, is that The Quran itself states anyone compelled or forced to believe or admit to something under duress is invalid with God: Whoever rejects God after having believed; except for one who is forced while his heart is still content with belief; and has opened his chest to rejection, then they will have a wrath from God and they will have a great retribution. [16:106] Thus, no enforcement of faith can take place in a society governed by the laws of The Quran. Please also read chapter 9 in which the believers of the time were living side by side with polytheists (i.e. those who associate partners with God). Also the numerous examples of the presence of Jews and Christians with the muslims of the time. References: 1-
  • Does Islam promote honour killings?
    The simple answer is no. An honour killing is when a family member is murdered by one or more fellow family members, when they believe the victim to have brought dishonour upon the family. The victims are usually female but can also be male. The Quran has a very high regard for a person's life and only accepts the taking of a life in very limited circumstances: It is because of this that We have decreed for the Children of Israel: “Anyone who kills a person who has not committed murder, or who has not committed corruption in the land; then it is as if he has killed all of mankind! And whoever spares a life, then it is as if he has given life to all the people.”... [5:32] ...and do not kill the soul which God has forbidden, except in justice... [6:151] And whoever kills a believer intentionally, then his reward shall be Hell, eternally abiding therein, and God will be angry with him, and curse him, and for him is prepared a great retribution. [4:93] It should be noted that nowhere in The Quran is a person allowed to take the law into their own hands and act as judge, jury and executioner. "Justice" here refers to a court of law. Also, the only acts punishable by death in The Quran are for murder and causing corruption in the land (i.e. done on a large scale), as shown above. Sometimes an honour killing is carried out due to sex out with marriage, but the punishment for this in The Quran is not death [see 24:2]. The recurring theme of equivalence in The Quran must be taken into account when deciding upon the punishment for any crime: And those who, when gross injustice befalls them, they seek justice. The recompense for a crime shall be its equivalence, but whoever forgives and makes right, then his reward is upon God. He does not like the wrongdoers. [42:39-40] Thus, the equivalent punishment for having one's honour or family honour compromised can never be murder. References: 1-
  • Is Allah the God for Muslims?
    Some think that the word "Allah" refers to a special God for use by Muslims only. Arabic like Aramaic and Hebrew, is a Semitic language. The word that described God in Aramaic was pronounced "AaLaH" or "AaLoH", in Hebrew it was "Eloah" or "Elohim", and in Arabic (the largest living member of the Semitic language family) is "Allah", which is considered a conjunction of "Al-ilah", which is Arabic for "The-God" in English. The English word "God" describes the same entity, and The Quran clearly invites all people to unite under one God: Say: “O people of the Scripture, let us come to a common understanding between us and between you; that we do not serve except God/Allah, and do not set up anything at all with Him, and that none of us takes each other as patrons beside God/Allah.” If they turn away, then say: “Bear witness that we have submitted.” [3:64] And do not argue with the people of the Scripture except in the best manner; except for those who are wicked amongst them; and say: “We believe in what was revealed to us and in what was revealed to you, and our god/ilah and your god/ilah is the same; to Him we submit.” [29:46] References: 1-
  • Do Muslims reject Jesus?
    Some think that Muslims do not believe in Jesus or think negatively of Jesus. Jesus is considered a prophet and a messenger of God, like others, e.g. Abraham, Moses, Noah [see 2:136, 4:163, 61:6]. The Quran, however, strongly rejects Jesus being part of a divinity or anything more than a human being [see 4:171, 5:17, 5:72, 5:75, 10:68, 19:30-31]. Jesus' message was simply a continuation of the message of monotheism and doing good, like prophets before him. Jesus is one the most mentioned prophets in The Quran. References: 1-
  • Do you need to be "Muslim" to go to heaven?"
    The Quran repeatedly states the criteria for success as monotheism, recognition of accountability and being righteous: Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Nazarenes*, and the Sabians, whoever believes in God and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear upon them, nor shall they grieve. [2:62] Those who believe, and those who are Jewish, and the Sabiens, and the Nazarenes*; whoever of them believes in God and the Last Day and does good works, then they will have nothing to fear nor will they grieve. [5:69] *commonly translated as "Christians" but more likely refers to the followers of Jesus of Nazareth, hence Nazarenes. The Quran also states that there are some of "the people of the book" (i.e. followers of previous revelations) that are righteous and will be rewarded: And if the followers of the Book had believed and guarded (against evil) We would certainly have covered their sins and We would certainly have made them enter gardens of bliss. And if they had observed the taurat* and the injeel* and that which was revealed to them from their Lord, they would have enjoyed happiness from above and beneath them, there is a party of them keeping to the moderate course, and (as for) most of them, evil is that which they do. [5:65-66] *commonly translated as Torah and Gospels respectively. They are not all alike; of the followers of the Book there is an upright party; they recite God's communications in the night and they adore (Him). They believe in God and the last day, and they enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong and they strive with one another in good deeds. These are of the righteous. And whatever good they do, they shall not be denied it, and God knows those who are forethoughtful. [3:113-115] And from among the people of Moses are a community who guide with the truth and with it they do justice. [7:159] References: 1-
  • Does Islam promote racism?
    The Quran makes it very clear that the most important differentiator when it comes to people, is that who is most righteous: O mankind, We created you from a male and female, and We made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Surely, the most honorable among you in the sight of God is the most righteous. God is Knowledgeable, Expert. [49:13] And from His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and your colors. In that are signs for the knowledgeable beings. [30:22] It should be noted that everywhere in The Quran, the phrase "His (i.e. God's) signs" are always spoken of positively and serve to remind us of God, and are intended for those who think/reflect. And lastly, The Quran portrays Arabs like any other people, some are good and some are bad [9:90, 9:97, 9:98, 9:99, 9:101, 9:120, 33:20, 48:11, 48:16, 49:14]. The primary reason why Arabic is promoted is that the original Quran is in Arabic, thus having knowledge of Arabic is helpful thus often promoted. Please view the follow the video on the subject:
  • Does Islam and The Quran promote slavery?
    When the Quran was revealed, slavery was in wide practice throughout the Arab World, thus, it would have been impractical and detrimental to place an immediate ban on the slave trade, forcing all slaves into unemployment/poverty. The Quran uses a better psychological approach to win people’s hearts in the struggle against slavery and all forms of discrimination by placing a strong emphasis on human dignity and equality and encouraging the freeing of slaves: Did we not show him the two paths? He should choose the difficult path. Which one is the difficult path? The freeing of slaves. Feeding, during the time of hardship... [90:10-14] Righteousness is not turning your faces towards the east or the west. Righteous are those who believe in God, the Last Day, the angels, the scripture, and the prophets; and they give the money, cheerfully, to the relatives, the orphans, the needy, the traveller, the beggars, and to free the slaves... [2:177] The Quran lists the penalty for various misdemeanours as freeing of slaves, see 4:92, 5:89, 58:3. It also implies distribution of community/collective charities would contribute towards freeing of slaves: The charities are to go to the poor, and the needy, and those who work to collect them, and those whose hearts have been united, and to free the slaves, and those in debt, and in the cause of God, and the traveller. A duty from God, and God is Knowledgeable, Wise. [9:60] The only method mentioned in The Quran for gaining captives (more correctly termed 'prisoners of war', not slaves) is during warfare, after which they must be released or ransomed. Keeping them is not an option: Therefore, if you encounter those who deny the truth (in warfare), then bring about the captives until when you have subdued/overcome them, then strengthen the bind. Then after either grace/favour or ransom, until the war lays down its burdens. That, and had God willed, surely He would have gained victory Himself from them, but He tests some of you with others. And those who get killed in the cause of God, He will never let their deeds be put to waste. [47:4] Interestingly, in the above verse, it implies a preference for taking captives rather than killing the enemy in warfare. As can clearly be seen, taking all of the above verses of The Quran into account, it would lead to a gradual reduction in slave numbers and eventually abolish slavery.
  • Was Islam spread by the sword?
    It is a proven fact that according to The Quran there is no compulsion in religion: Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in God has grasped the most sure hand-hold, that never breaks. And God is Hearing, Knowing. [2:256] According to The Quran, this is how to invite others to islam: Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. [16:125] While it is true that in many places where Muslim armies went to liberate people or the land, they did carry the sword as that was the weapon used at that time. However, Islam did not spread by the sword because in many places where there are Muslims now, for example, in Indonesia (the country with the largest Muslims population!), Malaysia, China, and many parts of Africa, there are no records of any Muslim armies going there. The following are some other examples to consider: Most of India was ruled by successive Muslim empires for about 700 years but Muslims always remained in the minority. Muslims ruled Spain (Al-Andalus) for about 800 years. During this period the Christians and Jews enjoyed freedom to practice their respective religions, and this is a documented historical fact. Christian and Jewish minorities have survived in the Muslim lands of the Middle East for centuries. Countries such as Egypt, Morocco, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan all have significant Christian and Jewish populations. In the U.S.A. and Europe, it is said that Islam is the fastest growing religion and this is without the use of a sword. The historian De Lacy O’Leary wrote: “History makes it clear however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated.” References: 1- 2- 3- Books by De Lacy O'Leary
  • Is there freedom of speech in Islam?
    The Quran contains multiple examples of the messengers being ridiculed (13:32, 15:11, 21:41), including prophet Muhammad (16:101, 25:4, 17:47, 25:8, 37:36), of God and The Quran being mocked (21:5, 38:7, 25:5, 7:180) but there is not one instance of allowing violence or a punishment for such an act. Please see some unequivocal examples below: 33:48 And do not obey the rejectors and the hypocrites, and ignore their insults, and put your trust in God; for God suffices as an advocate. 4:140 ...when you hear the revelations of God being rejected and mocked, then do not sit with them until they move on to a different narrative... 73:10 And be patient over whatever they say, and depart from them in a good manner. 3:186 ...and you will hear from those who have been given the Book from before you and from the polytheists much annoyance. And if you are patient and righteous, then that is from a strength of conviction. 28:55 If they (believers) come across vain talk, they disregard it and say, "To us are our deeds, and to you is your deeds. Peace be upon you. We do not seek the ignorant." Those who listen to what is said, then follow the best of it; those are the ones God has guided, and are the men of understanding. [39:18] Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. [16:125] Not equal are the good and the bad response. You shall resort to the one which is better. Thus, the one who used to be your enemy may become your best friend. [41:34] Take to pardoning, and order with what is good, and leave alone the ignorant ones. [7:199] For example, reacting with violence because of cartoons mocking prophet Muhammad is in contradiction to The Quran. References: 1-
  • Is Apostasy a crime and punishable by death?
    Some think that once you are a "muslim" if you decide to change your beliefs you are considered an apostate, an act punishable by death! The Quran clearly states there are those who believe then disbelieve, then believe again, then disbelieve again. This proves death for apostasy simply did not exist, because if it did, it would be impossible to believe again after unbelief, as they would have been put to death after the first unbelief: Surely (as for) those who believe then disbelieve, again believe and again disbelieve, then increase in disbelief, God will not forgive them nor guide them in the (right) path. [4:137] This is further proven by the following verse: How can God guide a people who have rejected after believing, and they witnessed that the messenger is true, and the clarity had come to them? God does not guide the wicked people. [3:86] The Quran states, in no uncertain terms, that there is no compulsion in religion: Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in God has grasped the most sure hand-hold, that never breaks. And God is Hearing, Knowing. [2:256] The Quran states that God could have made all those on earth believe, thus asks who is man to enforce such a thing if God did not: And if your Lord had pleased, surely all those who are in the earth would have believed, all of them; will you then force men till they become believers? [10:99] The Quran states there were those who believed part of the time, then disbelieved part of the time in order to confuse and sow discord amongst the believers of the time. If death for apostasy existed, no sane minded person would attempt to do this as they would be killed the very first time they tried it: A section of the People of the Book say: "Believe in the morning what is revealed to the believers, but reject it at the end of the day; perchance they may (themselves) Turn back. [3:72] Please also see the clear example set out in 4:88-91, in which the believers are told to offer peace with those who became hypocrites/apostates (i.e. were Muslim in name only but did not follow through with action during hostilities/fighting in this case) if they also offer peace. To conclude, it is clear that 'death for apostasy' does not exist in The Quran. People are free to believe and live their lives accordingly or not. If a community or system or any structure deprives its members of this basic freedom, it will produce hypocrites and suppressed people who have no strength of belief or goals to work for and will likely result in a weak system or community. Freedom of belief is the air that healthy and just communities breathe. References: 1-
  • Does Islam and The Quran promote suicide bombing?
    Suicide bombing is when an attack is made upon others in which the weapon is the person themselves with explosives, and results in the death of that person. In The Quran, one is not allowed to kill oneself: O you who believe, do not consume your money between you unjustly, except through a trade which is mutually agreed by you. And do not kill yourselves; God is Merciful towards you. Whoever does so out of animosity and transgression, We will cast him into a fire; and this for God is very easy. If you avoid the major sins that you are forbidden against, then We will cancel your existing sins and admit you to a generous entrance. [4:29-31] Some general points related to such situations: ...and do not lose hope of God's life-giving mercy; verily, none but people who deny the truth can ever lose hope of God's life-giving mercy. [12:87] And spend in God's cause, and let not your own hands throw you into destruction; and persevere in doing good: behold, God loves the doers of good. [2:195] Please also see 15:56, 30:36, 39:53, 41:49. It must be remembered that when there is much emotion, anger, hatred, injustice, hopelessness, traumatic experiences, it is human nature to struggle with doing the right thing and being just, but that does not excuse such behaviour according to The Quran: O believers! Stand out firmly for God, as witnesses for the sake of justice, and let not the hatred of a people cause you to turn away from justice. Do justice, for that is akin to piety... [5:8] The Quran clearly states fight those who fight you, not non-combatants or civilians: Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God loves not aggressors. [2:190] It should also be noted that the first documented cases of "suicide attacks" had no association with people called Muslims. References: 1- 2-
  • Will martyrs receive 72 virgins in heaven/paradise?
    The quick and simple answer is NO. This teaching is nowhere to be found in the Quran. This idea or tradition has stemmed from and has been associated with the reported sayings of prophet Muhammad, as recorded by others. (man-made conjecture) Some Muslims do, however, cite the following surahs and verses, which include: 44:54 52:20 55:72 56:22 The above verses are abused by some as evidence for virgins in paradise for men only, however, if we look closer at these verses, we find that the Arabic word "huri" in these verses can be the plural of both "awhar" (masculine) and "hawra" (feminine), but even if it is taken as female, the word itself would mean "companions pure/fair, most beautiful of eye". There is also 37:48 (companions of modest gaze) and 78:33 (splendid companions, well-matched). References: 1-
  • Can Muslim men have more than one wife?
    Some think that Muslim men can have multiple wives if they desire to and that Islam and The Quran promotes polygamy The Quran is very clear on this subject, that monogamy is the basis for normal relationships, while polygamy is only allowed in cases involving marrying the mothers of orphans and/or orphan woman so that they are taken care of. A maximum of four wives are allowed in such cases. For example, in the aftermath of war, it is likely that many men would have lost their lives, resulting in many widows with fatherless children, thus The Quran allows an exception in these cases so that the needs of the wider community can be met: Give the orphans* their money; do not replace the good with the bad, and do not consume their money to your money, for truly it is a great sin! And if you fear that you cannot be just to the orphans, then you may marry those who are agreeable to you of the women: two, and three, and four. But if you fear you will not be fair, then only one**, or to whom you are committed to by oath. This is best that you do not face financial hardship. [4:3] *the Arabic word for "orphans" is "yatama" and specifically means children who are fatherless. ** note the emphasis on one wife, i.e. monogamy. Again, the subject of polygamy is addressed in the context of orphans: They ask you for divine instruction concerning women. Say, "God instructs you regarding them, as has been recited for you in the book about the women orphans who you want to marry without giving them what has been ordained/written for them, as well as the powerless children, and your duty to treat orphans with equity. Whatever good you do, God has full knowledge of it. [4:127] The above verse has been commonly mistranslated to justify marrying orphan girls rather than marrying orphan women. The Arabic plural pronoun in this verse is the female form, "allatee" (not the male form "allazyna"), and it can only refer to the women just referenced, not to the orphans. This is because in Arabic the word "yatama" (orphans) is grammatically male in gender. The beginning of the verse also tells us the subject of the verse: it is about the women. Further, the Arabic word used here is "nisa" and means "women" not girls. Also see the misconception: Prophet Muhammad married a 9yr old girl. It is important to remember all translations are imperfect, and to seek knowledge and verify information for oneself [17:36]. Again, The Quran shows a preference for monogamy in the following verse: And marry the single from among you as well as the good from among your male and female servants. If they are poor, then God will grant them from His grace. God is Encompassing, Knowledgeable. [24:32] To summarise, The Quran was revealed to a society where polygamy was commonplace and men could have many wives (e.g. more than four for example). By setting an upper limit, citing a moral restriction on polygamy and limiting the situations in which it is allowed would result in reducing polygamy significantly.
  • Are Muslims required to be circumcised?
    Some think that Muslim males and to a lesser extent, even females must be circumcised and this is part of Islam. The Quran does not mention circumcision at all. What it does say however, implies that it is unnecessary: God is the Knower of the unseen and the seen, the Mighty the Merciful, Who made most excellent everything that He has created... [32:6-7] And you see the mountains, you think they are solid, while they are passing by like the clouds. The making of God who made skilfully/perfected everything. He is Expert over what you do. [27:88] We have created mankind in the best form. [95:4] It is also implied in The Quran that in certain situations making change to God's creation is wrong (a superstitious practice of the time is cited as an example): "I will misguide them and make them desire, and I will command them, so that they will mark/cut the ears of the livestock, and I will command them so they will make change to God's creation." Whoever takes the devil as a supporter other than God, then he has indeed lost a great loss. [4:119] Male circumcision is a traditional practice, also practiced by some Jews/Christians. Female circumcision is a pre-Quran cultural practice native to parts of Africa. The Quran strongly condemns blind following of tradition/culture [2:170, 7:28, 17:36 etc]. References: 1-
  • Is forced marriage allowed in Islam?
    The simple answer is no. Some think that consent of the bride and/or groom is not needed in marriage or as long as the parents of the female agree to the proposal then it is allowed . Forced marriages are clearly not acceptable according to The Quran: O you who believe, it is not lawful for you to inherit the women by forcibly/unwillingly... [4:19] Marriage is done by mutual agreement: And if you divorce the women, and they have reached their required interim period, then do not prevent/hinder them that they marry their partners if they mutually agree between themselves in a kind/equitable manner... [2:232] In the following verse, it is also made clear that a couple undergoing divorce can only get back together if they both wish to: And the divorced women shall wait for three menstruation periods; and it is not lawful for them to conceal what God has created in their wombs, if they believe in God and the Last Day. And their husbands would then have just cause to return together, if they both wish to reconcile... [2:228] All examples in The Quran involving decisions between marriage partners are in the reciprocal Arabic word form, e.g. "taraadaa" [2:232-233, 4:24], "tashaawar" [2:233], which means they are mutual. The relationship between a husband and wife is discussed in affectionate terms in The Quran, not of one enforcing decisions on the other: And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your hearts. Verily in that are signs for those who reflect. [30:21] ...They are a garment for you and you are a garment for them.... [2:187] And they say, "Our Lord, let our spouses and children be a source of joy for us, and let us be the foremost among the righteous." [25:74] In The Quran, there is a pre-marriage requirement for a male to give the female a dower, see the following examples in which the female is involved in the decision making process: And give the women their due dowries willingly, and if they remit any of it to you of their own will, then you may take it with good feelings. [4:4] ...And unto those with whom you desire to enjoy marriage, you shall give the dowers due to them; but you will incur no sin if, after [having agreed upon] this lawful due, you freely agree with one another upon anything else... [4:24] Lastly, The Quran reminds us that believers are those who conduct their matters by mutual consultation/counsel [42:38]. References: 1-
  • Is stoning to death allowed?
    Some think that 'stoning to death' is a punishment laid out in The Quran or promoted by Islam for acts such as adultery. The Quran never sanctions stoning to death as a punishment for anyone. In fact, the only times it is mentioned in The Quran is as a threat to believers from non-believers: 11:91, 18:20, 19:46, 36:18, 44:20, 26:116 Also, the misconception of 'stoning to death' as punishment for adultery is disproved by The Quran as the punishment for proven adultery are lashes [24:2]. Furthermore, this punishment is halved for formerly slave woman due to their past circumstance [4:25]. Since half 'stoning to death' is not possible, this indicates 'stoning to death' for adultery is not permitted. Interestingly, in many popular translations of The Quran, for verse 24:3 they state an adulterer can only marry another adulterer, but if stoning to death for adultery was a punishment, this translation would be unecessary and illogical. Stoning to death as a punishment for adultery is from traditional narrations (called "hadith") attributed to the prophet Muhammad, as recorded by later generations. References: 1-
  • Is music and singing forbidden?
    Some think that in Islam music and singing are completely forbidden or only some musical instruments are allowed. The Quran does not clearly forbid music or singing. Many sounds of nature can be considered music, e.g. the sound of waves on the shore or birds chirping. The human voice box is simply another musical instrument of nature. The Quran itself is written in a rhythmic/melodic style, and when it challenges others to bring a chapter like it [e.g. 10:38], this shows that it at least allows imitation of this style to take place. It should be noted however that singing and music should conform to the guiding principles in The Quran regarding communications, e.g. does not promote bad deeds, should be truthful etc [3:104, 14:24-26, 25:72, 33:70, 49:11 etc] According to The Quran it is important not to forbid things unless specifically forbidden by God: Say: “Who has forbidden the nice things that God has brought forth for His servants and the good provisions?” Say: “They are meant for those who believe during this worldly life, and they will be exclusive for them on the Day of Resurrection.” It is such that We explain the revelations for those who know. [7:32] You shall not invent lies about God by attributing lies with your tongues, saying: "This is lawful and that is forbidden." Those who invent lies about God will not succeed. [16:116] References: 1-
  • Does Islam and the Quran promote 'Jihad' or 'Holy War'?
    Some think that the term "jihad" means "holy war" and it is a requirement which all Muslims must engage in. 'jihad' is a common Arabic word meaning to strive/struggle or exert effort, and is used in different ways depending on context in The Quran. We learn from The Quran that believers must be willing to exert effort in the cause of God, using their wealth and themselves. This effort/jihad may or may not include fighting. It does not have an exclusive meaning of 'holy war' or 'fighting', as shown below. An example in The Quran where 'jihad' refers to giving 'effort' as charity as opposed to giving money/objects as charity: It is these (hypocrites) who find fault with such of the believers who give generously in charity, and they find fault with such believers who have nothing to give but their effort, God disdains them, and they will have a painful retribution. [9:79] An example in The Quran where 'jihad' can mean parents 'striving' to change the beliefs of their children. Please note, even in such circumstances believers are still asked to treat them amicably: If they strive to make you set up any partners besides Me, then do not obey them. But continue to treat them amicably in this world. You shall follow only the path of those who have sought Me. Ultimately, you all return to Me, then I will inform you of everything you have done. [31:15] In the following verses of The Quran, striving/jihad in God's cause leading to guidance is contrasted to turning away from the truth and fabricating lies about God: Who is more evil than one who fabricates lies and attributes them to God, or denies the truth when it comes to him? Is there not a place in Hell for those who deny the truth? As for those who strive in Our cause, We will guide them to Our paths. For God is with the pious. [29:68-69] The only time a 'great jihad' is mentioned in The Quran is in the following verse and it refers to striving against those who deny the truth with the message of truth: And if We wish, We could send to every town a warner. So do not obey those who deny the truth, and strive against them with it (The Quran) in a great striving. [25:51-52] References: 1-
  • Are statues and images forbidden in Islam?
    In The Quran there is one example of Prophet Solomon who had workers make as he pleased, including statues/images: They made for Solomon what he desired of enclosures, and statues/images, and pools of deep reservoirs, and heavy pots. "O family of David, work to show thanks." Only a few of My servants are appreciative. [34:13] Thus, The Quran does not prohibit such things completely, it only prohibits being devoted to them or their worship: When Abraham said to his father and his people: What are these images/statues to which you are devoted? They said: We found our fathers worshipping them. He said: Certainly you have been, (both) you and your fathers, in manifest error. [21:52-54] To prevent such misuse, it is likely their use would be limited, but that does not mean forbidden completely. Say: “Who has forbidden the nice things that God has brought forth for His servants and the good provisions?” Say: “They are meant for those who believe during this worldly life, and they will be exclusive for them on the Day of Resurrection.” It is such that We explain the revelations for those who know. [7:32] For example, it is common knowledge that early Muslim rulers minted coins with images on them, please see References: 1-
  • Are dogs allowed to be kept by Muslims?
    In the early part of chapter 18 of The Quran it narrates a story about the people of the cave who were righteous and had a dog, who slept close to them at the cave entrance [18:18]. Furthermore, The Quran clearly states that believers are allowed to use trained hunting dogs and eat what they catch: They ask you what was made lawful to them, say: “All the good things have been made lawful for you, and what the trained dogs and birds catch, you teach them from what God teaches you.” So eat from what they have captured for you and mention God’s name upon it, and be aware of God. God is quick in reckoning. [5:4] However, in traditional narrations, attributed to prophet Muhammad and his companions but recorded by later generations, there is a mix of information about dogs, some positive but most of it negative, however there is no negativity about having a dog in The Quran. This is likely where the misconception results from.
  • What is Sharia law and is it in the Quran?
    Sharia is a term that is associated with Islam. All over the Islamic world, Sharia is defined to be the subject or division of issuing Islamic laws. The establishment of Islamic Sharia in all Islamic countries has been always the work of man. Religious leaders/Imams/Ulamaa/Scholars have always taken the responsibility to compile data to come up with the Sharia Laws. They have assigned themselves to be the guardians of religion and keepers of God's laws. They trained and brain-washed their audience. Although Quran has been always claimed to be their prominent source, the belief that it cannot stand alone as a fully detailed and complete source of divine laws has brought the man-made, Hadith and Sunna books at their disposal as a second source besides the divine word of God for Sharia. Then, over the years, the human thirst for control and power have played a significant part in formulating and editing Sharia. Religious officials have been tempted to inject their very own interpretations and opinions to those laws to serve their own agendas! Thus, the consensus of those religious officials in one region has become an added, third source for all sorts of false issuings in the name of Islam. Sharia laws have become variable sets of laws within the same country depending on who is in charge, and would also sound different from one Islamic country to another! Many laws that affect economy, politics, justice system, marriage, divorce, inheritance, and religious rituals such as charity have been invented and imposed leading to all the chaos and the inhumane practices all over the world by the hands of Muslims or against them. The image of God's authorized religion (3:19, 3:85) has been tarnished and His message has been attacked because of the propaganda of the so-called Islamic sharia that mostly goes against human nature and contradicts the true Islamic laws issued by God in Quran. Moreover, different patterns of contradicting sharia laws of different Islamic regions have been publicized and taught in theology and world religions' classes all over the world only to muddy Islam and add more confusion about the divinity of Quran. Ironically, Quran mentions all three words - Sharia, Hadith , and Sunna - but in a very different context from the one established by the scholars. Additionally, Quran warns us against following any personal opinions instead of God's teachings and sacred laws (28:50, 47:14) . God is fully aware of how subsequent generations after the revelation of Quran will come up with their own sharia and with their own sources for its laws. Therefore, He insisted on teaching us in Quran the true sharia. He indicated to us that religious scholars have done injustice to their souls and to His truth. They have declared that Quran alone is not enough while God testifies it is complete (6:115), perfect (11:1, 2:2) , fully detailed (6:114), has the explanations of everything (16:89), has the details of everything (12:111), and has all that we need for our salvation (6:51). The root for the word sharia is "sha ra aa" and it means : to issue laws and practices. The root along with some of its derivatives are mentioned in Quran three times (42:13, 42:21, and 5:48). In addition to that, the word "sharia", itself, is mentioned once in 45:18. In all four verses, God is stating in black and white He is the ONLY entity to issue laws and practices through His scriptures, and that Quran is the ONLY documented divine sharia Muslims/Submitters must follow: Only One Religion Monotheists vs Idol Worshipers[Quran 42:13] He decreed (sharaa lakum) for you the same religion decreed for Noah, and what we inspired to you, and what we decreed for Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: "You shall uphold this one religion, and do not divide it." The idol worshipers will greatly resent what you invite them to do. God redeems to Himself whomever He wills; He guides to Himself only those who totally submit. The Idols: Innovating New Religious Laws[Quran 42:21] They follow idols who decree for them (sharaau lahum) religious laws never authorized by God. If it were not for the predetermined decision, they would have been judged immediately. Indeed, the transgressors have incurred a painful retribution.* Quran: The Ultimate Reference[Quran 5:48] Then we revealed to you this scripture, truthfully, confirming previous scriptures, and superseding them. You shall rule among them in accordance with God's revelations, and do not follow their wishes if they differ from the truth that came to you. For each of you, we have decreed laws (sheraah) and different rites. Had God willed, He could have made you one congregation. But He thus puts you to the test through the revelations He has given each of you. You shall compete in righteousness. To God is your final destiny - all of you - then He will inform you of everything you had disputed. [Quran 45:17] We have given them herein clear commandments. Ironically, they did not dispute this until the knowledge had come to them. This is due to jealousy on their part. Surely, your Lord will judge them on the Day of Resurrection regarding everything they have disputed. [Quran 45:18] We then appointed you to establish the correct laws (sharia); you shall follow this, and do not follow the wishes of those who do not know. Similarly, the words Hadith and Sunna are used in Quran to warn us against their upcoming, false attribution to Prophet Muhammad or our religion. The word Hadith (narration) occurs to either refer to Quran itself (39:23, 45:6, 68:44, 77:50) or to point out that there should be no other hadith (narration) besides Quran to be followed (7:185, 12:111, 31:6, 52:34). As for the word Sunna (system or way of life), it is interesting to note that it is mentioned 14 times in Quran. Eleven out of the fourteen are referring to God's unchangeable Sunna (15:13, 17:77-twice, 33:38, 33:62 -twice, 35:43 -twice, 40:85, 48:23 -twice). The other three are referring to the sunna or the system of other entities and how we must pay attention to the bad consequences we face when we follow these other Sunnas (8:38, 18:55, and 35:43). This only invalidates any common use or implications of Hadith, or Sunna, specially as a source for sharia laws that rule and control. Quran: Fully Detailed [Quran 6:114] Shall I seek other than God as a source of law, when He has revealed to you this book fully detailed?* Those who received the scripture recognize that it has been revealed from your Lord, truthfully. You shall not harbor any doubt. [Quran 18:27] You shall recite what is revealed to you of your Lord's scripture. Nothing shall abrogate His words, and you shall not find any other source beside it. [Quran 25:27] The day will come when the transgressor will bite his hands (in anguish) and say, "Alas, I wish I had followed the path with the messenger. [Quran 25:28] "Alas, woe to me, I wish I did not take that person as a friend. [Quran 25:29] "He has led me away from the message after it came to me. Indeed, the devil lets down his human victims." [Quran 25:30] The messenger said, "My Lord, my people have deserted this Quran."
  • Do men have to grow beards?
    There is only instance mentioning of a person having a beard in The Quran, that of Aaron in 20:94, but it is not stated as a command or requirement. Muslim men having a beard is a tradition associated with the reported sayings/practices of prophet Muhammad, as recorded by others generations later. Studies have shown that larger surface areas will attract more dust/dirt/germs/etc, thus a person with no beard is likely to have less of this material on him than a person with a beard if all other factors are the same. Whilst this is a trivial point, it is highlighted because it seems to contradict the notion of physical cleanliness/purity that religious clerics often promote.
  • Is Alcohol forbidden in all forms?
    Intoxicants are to be avoided according to The Quran: O you who believe, intoxicants, and gambling, and sacraments, and games of chance are foul tools used by the devil. You shall avoid him so that you may be successful. [5:90] For example, the substance alcohol does have useful properties (e.g. it is used in medicine, food production) and can be used for these purposes: They ask you about intoxicants and gambling. Say: In both of them there is a great harm and some profit/benefits for men, but their harm is greater than their profit/benefits... [2:219] From the fruits of the palm trees and the grapes you make wine as well as a good provision. In that is a sign for a people who reason. [16:67] Thus, the substance alcohol is not banned, but it is intoxication that is to be avoided. Interestingly, the above verse provides a powerful message to reflect on, i.e. we can use something in a positive way or in a negative way, which one will we choose?
  • What does the Quran say about Usury (Riba) and Interest?
    The Quran forbids usury, not interest. Quite a few states in USA have laws against usury. Usury is defined as excessive interest. A Dictionary defines usury as "an excessive or inordinate premium for the use of money borrowed", "extortionate interest", or "the practice of taking exorbitant or excessive interest." The Arabic language also makes distinction between interest (Fa'eda) and usury (Reba). The Quran forbids Reba or usury. Earning interest and paying interest is perfectly acceptable, as the Quran has not prohibited interest. Interest is an essential component of the financial aspect of an individual or an organization. Individuals may need to save money in a bank, may carry a credit card for convenience, or may borrow and pay interest for an automobile or to own a house. Borrowing money and thus paying interest for business loans is an essential component for business and organizations. Thus paying interest, as long as it is not considered excessive by the standard of the day and community, to a credit card company, to a financial institution for a loan of any kind (business, car, house mortgage) is allowed and perfectly legal from a Quranic point of view. Also earning interest from a financial institution like a bank or bonds or mutual fund is also fine. As defined above usury is excessive interest. Unlicensed or illegal moneylenders (mafia as a well known example) charge usury, excessive interest. Such unlicensed or illegal moneylenders are all over the world and can easily be accessed by a few inquiries. For those who live in USA, any individual can find out about these moneylenders by asking about them within their ethnic business community. These illegal moneylenders have entirely separate standards for making loans - they charge excessive interest (usury) and usually rely on someone's life (guarantor) as collateral. The Quran forbids in dealing with usury - borrowing money and paying usury or earning money by charging usury. The Quran specifically states that usury cannot be equated to commerce or taken as a normal business practice. The practice of usury, unfortunately, is prevalent all over the world with individuals and business engaged in this practice. In practical terms as long as we are dealing with any state-licensed institution like a bank, Mortgage Company, Credit Card Company, etc., we are not violating any Quranic commandment as these institutions usually follow the law of the land and do not charge excessive interest. They calculate their interest rate on daily basis considering the status of the economy and the need of the society. However, if we deal with the illegal moneylenders who practice usury, we are in violation of clear Quranic commandments. This is not to say that one may not borrow or lend money to a friend or relative and even charge interest. Such transaction must be in writing as the Quran cleary commands in verse 2:282 and may involve interest, to at least pay for the cost of the loan to the lender if any, and compensate for any change in the value of the currency over the time of the loan, but should not involve usury. [Quran 2:282] O you who believe, when you transact a loan for any period, you shall write it down. An impartial scribe shall do the writing. No scribe shall refuse to perform this service, according to God's teachings. He shall write, while the debtor dictates the terms. He shall observe God his Lord and never cheat. If the debtor is mentally incapable, or helpless, or cannot dictate, his guardian shall dictate equitably. Two men shall serve as witnesses; if not two men, then a man and two women whose testimony is acceptable to all. Thus, if one woman becomes biased, the other will remind her. It is the obligation of the witnesses to testify when called upon to do so. Do not tire of writing the details, no matter how long, including the time of repayment. This is equitable in the sight of God, assures better witnessing, and eliminates any doubts you may have. Business transactions that you execute on the spot need not be recorded, but have them witnessed. No scribe or witness shall be harmed on account of his services. If you harm them, it would be wickedness on your part. You shall observe God, and God will teach you. God is Omniscient. A note should be made that the Quran, which spells out religious laws for our great religion, removes the shackles and burdens imposed on us by the ignorant scholars and religious leaders. Most of the "Muslim" countries have various laws against interest and have sham "interest-free banking" reflecting their ignorance of this simple Quranic truth. Unfortunately, quite a few of those who call themselves Muslims fall victims to the falsehood spread by these religious leaders. [Quran 2:276-280] God condemns usury, and blesses charities. God dislikes every disbeliever, guilty. O you who believe, you shall observe God and refrain from all kinds of usury, if you are believers. If you do not, then expect a war from God and His messenger. But if you repent, you may keep your capitals, without inflicting injustice, or incurring injustice. If the debtor is unable to pay, wait for a better time. If you give up the loan as a charity, it would be better for you, if you only knew. [Quran 3:130] O you who believe, you shall not take usury, compounded over and over. Observe God, that you may succeed. [Quran 4:161] And for practicing usury, which was forbidden, and for consuming the people's money illicitly. We have prepared for the disbelievers among them painful retribution. [Quran 30:39] The usury that is practiced to increase some people's wealth, does not gain anything at God. But if you give to charity, seeking God's pleasure, these are the ones who receive their reward manifold. [Quran 7:157] "(4) follow the messenger, the gentile prophet (Muhammad), whom they find written in their Torah and Gospel. He exhorts them to be righteous, enjoins them from evil, allows for them all good food, and prohibits that which is bad, and unloads the burdens and the shackles imposed upon them. Those who believe in him, respect him, support him, and follow the light that came with him are the successful ones."
  • Do Muslim women have to fully cover up in Islam?
    Some think that Muslim women must cover their whole body, including face when in public. Women's dress code in Islam is one of the most focussed upon subjects not only in the Western media but also in Muslim countries, yet it remains one of the most distorted and misunderstood. Firstly, according to The Quran, the most important rule of the dress code for both men and women is as follows: O children of Adam, we have provided you with garments to cover your bodies, as well as to adorn you. But the best garment is the garment of piety/righteousness. These are some of God's signs, so that they may be mindful. [7:26] The garment of righteousness/piety could either refer to choosing a garment that reflects this quality or enveloping oneself in righteous/pious conduct is best, or both. The following verses tells women to guard their private parts (i.e. genitalia) and cover their chests: Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and guard their private parts, for that is purer for them. God is fully aware of what you do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their private parts, and that they should not reveal their beauty except what is apparent of it, and let them draw with their covers over their chests. And let them not reveal their beauty except to their husbands, or their fathers, or fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or the sons of their brothers, or the sons of their sisters, or their women, or those committed to them by oath, or the male servants who are without need, or the child who has not yet understood the composition of women. And let them not strike with their feet that reveals what they are keeping hidden of their beauty. And repent to God, all of you believers, that you may succeed. [24:30-31] From the above verse it can be deduced that for the purposes of women's dress code two types of beauty are described: 1) What is apparent (this can be revealed in public) 2) What is hidden (this type must be covered in public, but could be revealed by a striking of feet or walk/stride which is revealing) Such a striking of feet or walk could only reveal a limited number of parts of the body, e.g. the private parts, buttocks, thighs, breasts, hips, thus any part not revealed by such an action should not be considered part of hidden beauty and therefore part of apparent beauty. Of course, this means such things as face, hair, hands, feet etc would not clearly fall into the category of beauty that is meant to be hidden. Furthermore, the verse clearly brackets what beauty it is referring to by saying "...the child who has not yet understood the composition of women" implying it is relating to what is specific to a woman (i.e. what is different between man and woman) nothing else. This understanding would also fit with The Quran's instruction on the body parts that are to be cleansed during daily ablution (hands, arms, face, head and feet), see 5:6, 4:43. A headscarf (commonly called "hijab") is often worn by Muslim women, however this word is not used like this in The Quran. In fact, the word "hijab" is not even used to mean an item of clothing and simply means something which intervenes between two things, e.g. barrier, screen, seclusion. All verses where this word occurs are as follows: 7:46, 33:53, 38:32, 41:5, 42:51, 17:45, 19:17, 83:15. It should also be noted that believing men and women are free to eat in each other's company, whether family or friends [24:61], thus a veil covering the face (commonly called "niqab", or the full veil "burqa") would obviously be impractical. Again, such an item of clothing is nowhere to be found in The Quran. Another common mistake regarding dress code is when the following situation-specific verse is applied to all situations: And those who harm the believing men and the believing women, with no just reason, they have brought upon themselves a slander and a gross sin. O prophet, tell your wives, your daughters, and the wives of the believers that they shall lengthen (or draw near) over themselves their outer-garments. That is more likely they be recognized so not harmed. God is Forgiver, Merciful. If the hypocrites and those with disease in their hearts and those who spread lies in the city do not refrain*, then We will let you overpower them, then they will not be able to remain as your neighbours except for a short while. [33:58-60] *proving harm is already occurring, and refers back to 33:58, which is before the modification in dress is mentioned. The mistake is exposed when the practicalities of applying the above verses are considered. The verses deal with open enmity with significant repercussions for the perpetrators if this behaviour does not stop. The open enmity is direct to the person, hence the need for the women to modify their outer-garment in order to be recognised in public and not harmed. For the suggested solution in these verses to succeed four things must be in place: 1) The open enmity or harm must be present in the community first and direct to the women 2) The modification in outer-garment and the consequence for the perpetrator of not abiding by this identification code must either be made known to the community or this would have to be common knowledge amongst the community 3) The modification recommended would be enough to differentiate one group from another 4) The authority is in place to fight/expel those persisting in this behaviour Clearly, this specific criteria has to be fulfilled for these verses to work, thus is not a universal rule. It is situation-specific, e.g. if a section of the community become hostile to believing women or women in general and the believers have some power in the land, then they can utilise this solution, effectively giving an ultimatum with no room for excuse for the perpetrators. These verses are commonly interpreted to mean that Muslim women must lengthen (or draw near) their outer-garment whenever in public even in times of peace. However, this is easily refuted by considering that if this was the case and open enmity then appeared, the modification suggested in these verses would already exist, thus implementing the modification in these verses could not be done, thus rendering the solution described in these verses as void. However, from these verses it can be deduced that wearing of an outer-garment by women when in public was the norm. The following verse shows being clothed is the norm but makes it clear that flexibility is allowed in certain situations, as long as we are mindful of modesty. The context is etiquette within the household: And the women who are past child bearing and who do not seek to get married have no sin upon them if they discard their garments*, provided they do not show off with their beauty. If they abstain, then it is better for them. God is Hearer, Knower. [24:60] *Arabic word is "thiyab" and refers to ordinary clothes/gowns. It should be noted that all examples of dress in The Quran of the righteous or believing men and women involve wearing garments, e.g. 18:31, 22:23, 24:58, 24:60, 35:33, 74:4, 76:21. Also, to provide clothing for others is considered a charitable or righteous act [4:5, 2:233, 5:89]. As can be seen, The Quran gives us a set of simple basic rules with flexible guidance for the rest, which can be applied to different situations/society/function. This flexibility is a mercy but has unfortunately been abused by various schools of thought and religious leaders who have issued their own additional rulings and consequently there is disagreement amongst them on other than the basic rules. Additional notes for Arabic readers: The word "khumur" is used in 24:31 and can be the plural of "khimaar" or "khimirr", and can mean any cover made of cloth or headcover, according to Classical Arabic dictionaries and Traditional Ahadith/Narrations (see Bukhari Volume 6, Book 60, Number 282). Please note the Arabic preposition "bi" meaning "with" in "bikhumurihinna", which means they are to cover their chests with their "khumur/covers/headcovers". The usage of preposition "bi" is different to the preposition "min" as used in 33:59 "min jalabeebihinna" which means to use a part of their "jilbab/outer-garment" in the modification suggested, i.e. not all of it has to be lowered or drawn near, just part of it. In 24:31 if God intended that part of it (e.g. headcover) stays on the head and part of it be used to cover the bosom, it would have been more appropriate to use "min khumurhinna". Furthermore, the word "yadribna" as used in 24:31 has no connotation of lengthening or lowering in any other occurrence, unlike "yudneena" in 33:59 which does, thus would have been more appropriate to use. Even if "khumur" is taken to mean "headcovers" it should be noted that the order is to cover the chest, not the head - of course, one may cover their head if they wish. References: 1-
  • Is wife beating allowed in Islam?
    The simple answer is no, however, this topic is one of the most controversial regarding The Quran. The mainstream teaching is that it allows a husband to hit his wife as a last resort in specific circumstances. Some have argued that this means it sanctions domestic violence against women. Whilst this is the prevalent view, even amongst Muslims, it is mired in many flaws, which will be discussed below. The first and perhaps most important point to mention is that this view is based only upon the use of one word in chapter 4, verse 34 of The Quran shown below: The men are supporters/maintainers of the women with what God preferred/bestowed on some of them over others and with what they spent of their money, so the righteous women are dutiful/obedient; guardians/protectors to the unseen with what God guarded/protected. And as for those women you fear their uprising/disloyalty, then you shall advise them, and (then) abandon them in the bed, and (then) idriboo them. If they obeyed you, then seek not against them a way; Truly, God is High, Great. [4:34] And if you (authority) feared a rift between them two, then appoint a judge from his family and a judge from hers. If they both want to reconcile, then God will bring agreement between them. God is Knowledgeable, Expert. [4:35] The Arabic word idriboo is commonly translated as hit/beat/strike, however the flaws with this understanding are as follows: The derivative idriboo is formed from one of the most multiple meaning and diversely used words (DaRaBa) in the Arabic language, and is used in several ways in The Quran itself. There is not one clear occurrence of this word meaning "beat" anywhere else in The Quran, and in almost all cases, this meaning is problematic or would not make sense. No Classical Arabic (the language The Quran is written in) dictionary gives the meaning of "beat" in a comparable example and none reference 4:34 at all. When The Quran uses this word to mean a literal/physical strike/hit, the preposition "bi" (with/by) is always used, but there is no such use in 4:34. This understanding causes internal contradictions within The Quran, and this is also probably why no commentator, past or present, uses The Quran itself to justify this view. There is no consensus amongst traditional commentators on the origin and interpretation of this verse, except on perhaps the basic points. If "beat/strike" is chosen, it would cause inconsistencies amongst Traditional Hadith (narrations) and Classical Arabic dictionaries, which show a variance in view. It contradicts the alleged reaction of prophet Muhammad to wife beating, in which he is reportedly to have found it unjust and said woman have the right to retaliate. The traditional story goes that he was over ruled by 4:34, apparently. The evidence from The Quran suggests the correct meaning of the word in this case would be "cite" or "indicate" them to the authority, hence authority involvement in 4:35. This also fits in with its usage elsewhere with direct objects. It is strongly recommended to weigh and consider the following study which presents a very detailed and comprehensive analysis of the claim of wife beating and domestic violence in Islam ( It also notes that the vast majority take it to mean hit/strike/beat with varying degrees of application. For example, several of the most famous Traditional commentators (e.g. Shafi) state it means a one-off symbolic strike causing no pain, and does not mean repeated strikes i.e. "beat" (as that would more correctly be the 2nd verb form DaRRaBa). References:
  • Can women fast and pray during their periods?
    Yes, absolutely. Nowhere in the Quran does it say that women cannot fast, pray, or worship in any other way during their menstruation. This is an innovation. We have to know that any rule telling us NOT to worship God under this or the other circumstance must be from Satan, not from God. The verse they base this false idea about women not being able to pray or fast during menstruation is 2:222. They claim that it says that women are unclean during menstruation, and therefore cannot be allowed to pray. Let us read this verse carefully, as God tells us to (4:82), to determine if this is really what it says. [2:222] They ask you about menstruation: say, "It is harmful; you shall avoid sexual intercourse with the women during menstruation; do not approach them until they are rid of it. Once they are rid of it, you may have intercourse with them in the manner designed by GOD. GOD loves the repenters, and He loves those who are clean." As we see this verse is not even addressed to women. It is addressed to men. If it were to prohibit women from praying during menstruation it would have been addressed to women. This verse does not prohibit women from observing the religious duties during menstruation, but only restricts sexual intercourse during such times. The first part of this verse teaches us that it's harmful to have sexual relations during menstruation. If you ask any doctor, Muslim or not, about having intercourse during this period, he or she will tell you that it's harmful for both the man and the woman. Now let's look at the second part of this verse, which deals with the period after "they are rid of it." Then we are told, the men may have intercourse with the women "in the manner designed by God." Would God need to tell us about "the manner designed by God," if there was no other manner by which to have intercourse? No. There is another way, which is not approved by God. This is why the verse ends by saying that God "loves those who are clean." If we haven't gotten the point by now, the next verse is quick to remind us which manner is approved. It starts by saying, "Your women are the bearers of your seed." There is only one way that a woman can bear the man’s seed. The verse continues again to remind the men that they may enjoy this privilege "as long as they maintain righteousness." [2:223] Your women are the bearers of your seed. Thus, you may enjoy this privilege however you like, so long as you maintain righteousness. You shall observe GOD, and know that you will meet Him. Give good news to the believers. The only circumstances that make us unclean in the eyes of God, when it comes to performing the prayers are mentioned in 5:6 and 4:43. In none of these verses does it say that menstruation is one of these circumstances. All we have to do to clean ourselves for Salat, is to perform the Wudu. However there is an incorrect understanding that menstruation nullifies ablution. But this again does not have any support in Quran. Let us study the two verses in Quran that tell us what nullifies ablution - 4:43 and 5:6. What Nullifies Ablution [4:43] O you who believe, do not observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) while intoxicated, so that you know what you are saying. Nor after sexual orgasm without bathing, unless you are on the road, traveling; if you are ill or traveling, or you had urinary or fecal-related excretion (such as gas), or contacted the women (sexually), and you cannot find water, you shall observe Tayammum (dry ablution) by touching clean dry soil, then wiping your faces and hands therewith. GOD is Pardoner, Forgiver. [5:6] O you who believe, when you observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), you shall: (1) wash your faces, (2) wash your arms to the elbows, (3) wipe your heads, and (4) wash your feet to the ankles. If you were unclean due to sexual orgasm, you shall bathe. If you are ill, or traveling, or had any digestive excretion (urinary, fecal, or gas), or had (sexual) contact with the women, and you cannot find water, you shall observe the dry ablution (Tayammum) by touching clean dry soil, then rubbing your faces and hands. GOD does not wish to make the religion difficult for you; He wishes to cleanse you and to perfect His blessing upon you, that you may be appreciative. Please note these verses are applicable to both men and women (it begins with “O you who believe,”), implying that both men and women have to just perform ablution for observing the Contact Prayers. We also learn from the above verses that to nullify ablution the excretion should be both fecal related and digestive. Accordingly, menstruation does not nullify ablution. We must ask ourselves why can't we accept that women could observe her religious duties of praying or fasting, etc during menstruation. Is it God's laws that impose such prohibitions? Or is it a baseless prohibition instituted by religious scholars, erroneous religious laws inherited from our ancestors that has no Quranic back-up, etc. The answer we get will never have God's support. Women's menstruation is by God's design. Why should women be restricted from worshipping God during times which is exactly as designed by Him, for which she has no control? May God guide us in His path.
  • Do women receive less than men in issues of inheritance?
    Some think that women are inferior to men in Islam and a commonly cited example is that women receive less share in inheritance than a male. This is only true in some cases and if there is no recorded will for the deceased. Shares of inheritance should be stated in a will, and can be done in any way a person chooses [2:180, 5:106-108] however in cases where there is no will or a will leaves leftover wealth/property/etc The Quran has a default system that can be used for such cases [4:8, 4:11-12, 4:176]. In this default system, a male could receive more than a female, likely because they have a wider duty of care for maintenance of the family/household [2:228, 2:233, 4:34, 65:6]. Also they have other financial obligations, e.g. payment of a dowry before marriage [4:4, 4:24 and compensation after divorce if applicable [2:241]. If no default backup system such as this existed, this opens the possibility to much argument, hostility, legal action, delays and the outcome would likely favour those with more power/wealth/influence, thus leaving the disadvantaged even more disadvantaged. It should also be noted that in the case of a widow, it is necessary that providing of maintenance for a year be granted (if the house was bequeathed to another for example and not the wife): And for those of you whose lives are terminated and if they leave widows behind; a testimony to them that they may enjoy for one year without being made to vacate. If they leave then there is no sin upon you for what they do to themselves in goodness; and God is Noble, Wise. [2:240] References: 1-
  • Can a man and woman not be alone together?
    The Quran gives an example in which an engaged couple may meet in secret if they have something righteous to discuss: And there is no sin upon you if you openly propose marriage to these women, or you keep it between yourselves. God knows that you will be thinking of them, but do not promise them secretly, except that you say a saying honourable/befitting... [2:235] The Quran also cites an example in which if an unrelated male believer is alone inside the prophet's house and needed to ask his wives for something, they should do so from behind a barrier: ...If you ask his wives for something, ask them from behind a barrier*... [33:53] *Note, the male is requested to ask from behind a "barrier/hijab", not the female. The term "hijab" denotes anything that intervenes between two things or prevents something, e.g. screen, partition, curtain, obstacle. It is later clarified in 33:55 that 33:53 is about unrelated male believers only: There is no sin upon them before their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or the sons of their brothers, or the sons of their sisters, or their women, or those who are committed to them by oath (e.g. servants or dependents in the household). And be aware of God, for God is witness over all things. [33:55] Similarly, Abraham and his wife were in the presence of male guests in their home, freely participating in conversation, laughing [11:69-76]. There is also a clear example in The Quran of Moses speaking to two unmarried women in public, one of whom he married later: And when he came to the water of Madyan, he found on it a group of men watering, and he found besides them two women keeping back (their flocks). He said: What is the matter with you? They said: We cannot water until the shepherds take away (their sheep) from the water, and our father is a very old man. So he watered (their sheep) for them, then went back to the shade and said: My Sustainer! surely I stand in need of whatever good Thou may send down to me. Then one of the two women came to him walking bashfully. She said: My father invites you that he may give you the reward of your having watered for us... [28:23-25] And there is the example of Solomon and the Queen of Saba: She was asked to enter the lofty Palace: but when she saw it, she thought it was a lake of water, and she uncovered her shins. He said: "This is but a palace paved smooth with slabs of glass." She said: "O my Lord! I have indeed wronged my soul: I submit, with Solomon, to the Lord of the Worlds." [27:44] References: 1-
  • Should women be confined to houses?
    The Quran has several examples in which women are able to go freely and be amongst the community. The most clear example are in the references to Mary, some of which are shown below: And relate in the Scripture Mary, when she withdrew herself from her family to a place which was to the east. [19:16] So she was pregnant with him, and she retired to a far place. [19:22] "So eat and drink and be happy. If you see any person, then Say: "I have made a vow of abstention for the Almighty, and I will not talk today to any person." Then she came to her people carrying him. They said: "O Mary, you have come with something totally unexpected!" [19:26-27] The above verses prove beyond doubt that she was alone in a location where it was possible other people may have met her, and then she returned to her people. The example of Mary is very important because The Quran gives her a special status: And when the angels said: O Mary! surely God has chosen you and purified you and selected you above the women of all the beings. [3:42] The Quran also gives an example in which believing women were allowed to be amongst the community even in times of hostility: And those who harm the believing men and the believing women, with no just reason, shall bear the guilt of slander and an evident crime. O prophet, tell your wives, your daughters, and the wives of the believers that they should lengthen upon themselves their outer garments. That is better so that they would be recognized and not harmed. God is Forgiver, Merciful. If the hypocrites, and those with disease in their hearts and those who spread lies in the city do not refrain, then We will let you overpower them, then they will not be able to remain as your neighbours except for a short while. [33:58-60] Women were also free to petition and interact with the prophet directly (who would have been the leader of the community at the time): God has heard the woman who pleads with you regarding her husband, and she complained to God. And God hears the argument between you. God is Hearer, Seer. [58;1] O you prophet, if the believing women come to make allegiance to you that they will not set up anything beside God, nor steal, nor commit adultery, nor kill their children, nor fabricate any falsehood, nor disobey you in any matter which is righteous, then you shall accept their allegiance, and ask God to forgive them. God is Forgiver, Merciful. [60:12] There is also an example in which an engaged couple may meet in secret if they have something righteous to discuss: And there is no sin upon you if you openly propose marriage to these women, or you keep it between yourselves. God knows that you will be thinking of them, but do not meet them secretly, unless you have something righteous to discuss... [2:235] There is also a clear example in The Quran of Moses speaking to two unmarried women in public, one of whom he married later: And when he came to the water of Madyan, he found on it a group of men watering, and he found besides them two women keeping back (their flocks). He said: What is the matter with you? They said: We cannot water until the shepherds take away (their sheep) from the water, and our father is a very old man. So he watered (their sheep) for them, then went back to the shade and said: My Sustainer! surely I stand in need of whatever good Thou may send down to me. Then one of the two women came to him walking bashfully. She said: My father invites you that he may give you the reward of your having watered for us... [28:23-25] See also, 48:25 and 2:187.
  • Are men and women equal?
    The answer is yes. However, every Westerner thinks that Islam is very chauvinistic and oppressive towards women. In Islam of today as practiced by most traditional sectarian Muslims, this is very true. However, in true Islam, as revealed in the Quran, nothing could be farther from the truth. God treats men and women as spiritual equals., Quran 3:195 tells us : [Quran 3:195] Their Lord responded to them: "I never fail to reward any worker among you for any work you do, be you MALE OR FEMALE, YOU ARE EQUAL TO ONE ANOTHER........." Many of the Muslim countries who claim to follow Islam are treating women as a second class citizens, and some of these women accepted this situation thinking that is what Islam (Submission in English) is advocating. As mentioned previously, God, in the Quran made a complete spiritual equality between men and women, See 3:195. Most of the degrading, humiliation and poor treatment in these Muslim Countries for women, came from the desertion of the Quran , and refusal of the word of God in favour of some fabrications written in Hadith books that put women on the same level with animals, monkeys , asses or dogs. The total respect and rights guaranteed by God for the Muslim women can not be taken away by a lie written in another man-made book. While God made men and women spiritually equal as seen in 3:195 the traditional Muslims who prefer Hadith over Quran always remind the women of this alleged Hadith: "Women are naturally, morally and religiously defective". (Bukhary). That is what Bukhary writes not what God says, not what the prophet who represents the message of God could have said, since this statement is totally against the Quran. Because women usually do not have the physical strength of man, hadithists see them as "naturally defective". They forget that women have other natural qualities in which they are superior to men, like their ability to endure pain, the ability to bear children, etc. Hadithists see women as "morally defective", conveniently ignoring the fact that the vast majority of individuals jailed for murder, rape, child abuse, etc. are men. And hadithists claim that women are "religiously defective" but it is they (not God in the Quran) who forbid their daughters from praying and fasting during their menstrual periods and it is they (not God) who discourage the women from going to the mosque, even for Friday prayers. Their problem is that they have taken the words of men instead of the words of God. After making it all but impossible for a woman to practice her religion for about 25% of her life (the amount of time most women have their periods), is it any wonder that hadithists claim that the majority of people in Hell are women????! However what God revealed in the Quran is very different. The spiritual equality between men and women is reiterated in 4:124, as follows: [Quran 4:124] As for those who lead a righteous life, MALE OR FEMALE. while believing, t hey enter Paradise; without the slightest injustice. and again in 16:97: [Quran 16:97] Anyone who works righteousness, MALE OR FEMALE, while believing, we will surely grant them a happy life in this world, and we will surely pay them their full recompense for their righteous works. and yet again in 40:40: [Quran 40:40] Whoever commits a sin is requited for just that, and whoever works righteousness - MALE OR FEMALE - while believing, these will enter Paradise wherein they receive provisions without any limits. It is time to go back to the Quran, and believe God, before this day comes: [Quran 25:30] The messenger said, "My Lord, my people have deserted this Quran."
  • Did Prophet Muhammad marry a 9 year old?
    Some think, including many Muslims, that the prophet Muhammad (the messenger for The Quran) was engaged to a girl by the name of Aisha (sometimes spelt: Ayesha) when she was 6, and married her when she was 9 years old and he was about 50. The marriage story in question is based on the reports by various companions of the prophet Muhammad, as recorded by others from later generations. In these reported sayings, there are discrepancies/contradictions regarding what her age was at the time of marriage, ranging from 9 to 20 years old. There has been much discussion of this topic on the internet, in articles, television programmes and books etc. For those wishing to do further research, opposing articles will be referenced: two highlighting the discrepancies in the traditional sources for this story, and another which was written as a response to this. This is to show both sides, for and against, of the reported story. Please note, they require some background knowledge in order to understand them fully. If you prefer, you can skip these articles for discussion of what The Quran says about this subject below. by Abdul Fauq By Dr. T.O. Shanavas: Vice President of 'Islamic Research Foundation International' (this is a response to the 2nd article above) By Shaykh Gibril F Haddad: member of Sunni Path, The Online Islamic Academy It should be clearly noted that even though these articles disagree on some points, they clearly acknowledge contradictions exist with regard to the age at the time of marriage. Discrepancies are a common occurrence in oral reports from different sources, especially when recorded generations after an event. Furthermore, based on the evidence for the time, what likely compounded the confusion is that celebrating birthdays was not a common practice, thus exact ages were unlikely to be known. It should be noted that this story is nowhere to be found in The Quran. What does The Quran say on the age of marriage? The Quran does not state a specific legal age of marriage, however it does give a guideline and mentions situations and conditions that should be considered before marriage: Determining mutual attraction/compatibility [2:221, 2:235, 30:21, 33:52] Ascertaining whether the potential partner is of similar beliefs/faith [2:221, 60:10] Discussion of and agreeing to the level of dower and other terms (if any) [4:4, 4:24] Understanding and mutual acceptance of marriage as a solemn/strong oath/contract [4:21, 2:232, 2:237, 24:33] If male, capable of providing for the family/household [2:228, 2:233, 4:34, 65:6] To have physically matured / post-puberty [4:6, 24:31, 24:58-59] To have the marriage contract/oaths witnessed [2:235, 2:237, 2:282, 65:2] If the marriage is unsuccessful, one should also be capable of undertaking divorce proceedings, e.g. separation period, arbitration, discussion of settlement etc [2:226-232, 2:241, 4:35, 4:128-130, 33:49, 65:1-6]. We will discuss in more detail the verse which specifically mentions the issue of age. The context is the rights of orphans and their wealth: And do not give the imprudent/weak-minded your money which God has made for you a means of support, and spend on them from it and clothe them, and speak to them in goodness. [4:5] And test the orphans until they have reached the marriageable age*, then if you determine in them sound judgment**, then give them their wealth, and do not deliberately consume it wastefully or quickly before they grow up. And whoever is rich, then let him abstain (from the wealth), and if he is poor then let him utilise by what is recognised as good/appropriate. So when you paid to them their wealth, so call a witness on them, and be aware God is accounting. [4:6] *The Arabic word is "nikah" (marriage) and has an implied meaning of sex, hence some translators interpret it as 'reached sexual maturity' in this verse. **Arabic word is "rushd" and its meanings include: be well guided or directed, true direction, correct rule of action, straight forwardness, maturity of a child/intellect, capacity to manage one's affairs. Thus, the two conditions for giving the wealth to the orphans are: 1- The reaching of the marriageable age / sexual maturity. 2- The proving of sound judgement / capability in managing one's affairs. Interestingly, this implies that one could reach marriageable age / sexual maturity but still not have sound judgement, which is universally true and gives a possible reason why a specific age for marriage is not stated in The Quran. Based on this and other verses regarding marriage, it can be deduced that these two conditions can also be used as a guideline for when to consider marriage. The reason being, if we suppose after having reached marriageable age / sexual maturity an orphan is allowed to get married but their wealth is not given to them, this means they have been determined not to have sound judgement, yet they are being allowed to get married, which is logically inconsistent with the guidance in The Quran. Please note, in 4:6 it also warns those entrusted with the wealth not to consume or waste it before they grow up, further reinforcing the idea that the period being referred to is when grown up. To conclusively prove this however, we can also look at other verses which discuss giving orphans the wealth owed to them [6:152, 17:34]. The Arabic word used in these verses is when they are "shudud", which means physical maturity / the period from adolescence to adulthood. Since the orphans can only receive their wealth once "shudud", and from 4:6 we know they become eligible for it after having reached marriageable age, this can only mean marriageable age begins from adolescence onwards. There is no other possibility. This conclusion can also be verified in the story of Jospeh, who when first found in the well was a boy (Arabic: ghulam, see 12:19), then taken into care, then when he reached "shudud" (i.e. became physically mature) the female of the household tried to seduce him [12:22-23]. In addition, the usage of this word "shudud" in The Quran suggests reasonable physical strength, i.e. at least several years into adolescence [18:82, 28:14] which also agrees with most Classical Arabic dictionaries which average about from the age of 17 for the word "shudud", which also happens to coincide with when a significant number of orphans would meet the two conditions for receiving their wealth. Many countries begin to grant extra rights at the age of 16, and many give full rights at 18, so this seems fairly close to worldwide practice. To conclude, it is proven beyond doubt by The Quran that one must be physically mature and be of sound judgement in order to get married. References: 1-
  • Was Prophet Muhammad the founder of Islam?
    The simple answer is no. Some think that a man named Muhammad from Arabia was the first to introduce Islam or it came into existence with him and The Quran. The word "islam" can be translated as "surrender/submission" (to God). A "muslim" can be translated as "one who surrenders/submits" (to God). According to The Quran, everything in the universe, willingly or unwillingly has ultimately surrendered to God, thus the basic concept of islam/surrender/submission is as old as the universe itself: Do they seek other than the system of God, when all things in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly have surrendered to Him, and to Him they will be returned. [3:83] The Quran clearly states that Muhammad was a messenger and inspired just as the prophets before him: We have inspired you as We have inspired Noah and the prophets after him. And We inspired Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the Patriarchs, and Jesus, and Job, and Jonah, and Aaron, and Solomon; and We have given David the zaboor*. [4:163] *commonly translated as the Psalms Say: "We believe in God and what has been revealed to us, and what was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and what was given to Moses and Jesus and to the prophets from their Lord; we do not make any distinction between any of them, and to Him do we submit. [3:84] And Muhammad is no more than a messenger; the messengers have already passed away before him; if then he dies or is killed will you turn back upon your heels? And whoever turns back upon his heels, he will by no means do harm to God in the least and God will reward the grateful. [3:144] It is not for a mortal that God should give him the book and the wisdom and prophethood, then he should say to men: Be my servants rather than God's; but rather (he would say): Be servants of the Lord because of your teaching the Book and your reading (it yourselves). [3:79] Also, The Quran specifically mentions the term "muslim" for those before prophet Muhammad, including: Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Jacob, and the companions of Jesus. [see 2:128, 2:131, 3:67, 3:52, 5:111, 10:72]. Thus, the prophet Muhammad was not the founder of islam/submission, but simply continued this universal message as one of many messengers of God. References: 1-
  • Was Prophet Muhammad more than just a human?
    The Quran makes it clear that prophets were humans and therefore fallible. We have multiple examples of this: Muhammad prohibiting something in his personal life when it was allowed by God (66:1), turning away from a blind man and giving attention to someone else (Chapter 80), an instance of fearing the people instead of God (33:37); possibly seeking forgiveness for polytheists active in opposition even if they were kin (9:113), possibly taking prisoners of war under incorrect conditions (8:67-69), hastily granting a leave of absence for insincere allies during wartime (9:43), Abraham asking for his father's forgiveness (9:114) and arguing for Lot's people (11:74-76); Moses unintentionally killing a man (28:15-16), Jonah trying to escape from his duties (37:139-144, 68:48-50), Solomon distracted by materialism (38:32-35) etc. It should be noted that when The Quran discusses such errors it refers to the person, not errors in conveying the revelation as a divinely chosen messenger (e.g. 69:43-47). Like others, Prophet Muhammad the person, did not know the future (5:109, 6:50, 7:188, 10:20, 11:31, 27:65). Say, "I am but a human being like you being inspired that your god is One god. So whoever looks forward to meeting his Lord, then let him do good works and not set up any partner in the service of his Lord." [18:110] Say: "I am no different from the other messengers, nor do I know what will happen to me or to you. I only follow what is inspired to me. I am no more than a clear warner" [46:9] Say, "I am no more than a human being like you. I am inspired that your god is One god..." [41:6] Prophet Muhammad delivered the same message as messengers before him, e.g. Then we inspired thee to follow the creed of Abraham, monotheism/uprightness; not was he a polytheist. [16:123] An example of human leadership is promotion of mutual consultation as it inherently involves listening to other people so a decision can be reached [3:159, 39:18, 58:11, 42:38]. Prophet Muhammad did not have control over the well-being or guidance of others [72:21]. The messengers of God are often spoken of very highly in The Quran (e.g. 33:21), but this does not equate to being perfect. There is a big difference. Absolute perfection would only be a trait of God. The fact that prophets are portrayed as human beings is not a weakness, but on the contrary, for those who reflect it could be a testament to the authenticity, integrity and wisdom of The Quran. References: 1-
  • Does Hadith explain the Quran or the Quran explains what Hadith is all about?
    The religion of Islam (Submission) today still continues to be one of the misunderstood religions in the world. One reason for this is the fact that for centuries this beautiful religion has been unduly presented to the world through the so-called Muslim people, scholars, and countries that do not act or function in an Islamic manner, according to teaching of the Quran. The result of centuries-long ignorance is obvious. Not only has the religion of Islam been given a bad name, but also Muslims all around the world today are suffering the consequences of abandoning the teachings of the Quran, in favor of innovations that have nothing to do with the religion of Islam. One of these innovations is the volumes and volumes of Hadith books written some 200 years after the death of Prophet Muhammad. These hadiths are sayings that are attributed to the prophet. There are many hadiths that either contradict the Quran or don’t make any sense at all. While these may be some genuine hadiths that don’t contradict the Quran, there is no way to prove their authenticity even if the collectors of hadiths may claim so. Only God knows what the truth is.
  • Do Hadiths Explain the Quran?
    Some say we need the Hadith to explain the Quran because the Quran is too difficult to understand. Why do people who find it difficult to understand a single volume of God’s revelation feel it necessary to refer to 50 volumes of Hadith books for clarification! Would God reveal a message so difficult to understand, yet expect people to follow it? This does not make sense. Furthermore, God tells us in the Quran many times: “we made the Quran easy to learn, does any of you wish to learn?” (54:17, 22, 32, 40). Doesn’t God know what He is talking about? Doesn’t He know His creatures’ abilities? It is almost impossible for anyone to go through all the books of Hadith without getting confused and totally lost, especially if the person wants to examine what each different sect has to offer. That'’ why the so-called Islamic universities offer academic degrees in studying Hadith to raise “learned men” of the religion. These students literally waste their time to learn all the details of living their lives in accordance with the supposed sayings and deeds of the prophet. The religious rules and regulations based on such innovations contain and cover literally every aspect of life from walking, eating, laughing, sleeping - almost anything one can think of. The rules such as how to us the bathroom and what to do in there! The details are too gross and shocking to mention.
  • Are There Appalling Hadiths?
    There are even grosser sayings and deeds attributed to the prophet regarding his sex life, preferences and sexual desires. Didn’t these so called narrators have anything else to do but peek in the Prophet’s private life? How could such perverse narrators be considered reliable sources of information? These are the type of people who produced such blasphemous and incredible lies against a prophet to God! More incredible is the hypocrisy of the religious “experts” who supposedly follow these lies out of love and respect for the prophet! There are also many silly things in the books of Hadith such as whether one should drink a glass of water standing or sitting? Why should anyone care? Why are these kinds of irrelevant details important to some people? Because these people are completely ignorant about the essence of the religion of submission, and thus they think the religion is a bunch of rules and regulations on the petty details of life. They make the religion difficult for themselves while being proud of having difficulties and misery as part of their devotion to their “religion.” Which religion or god are they devoting themselves to? It cannot be the same One who clearly stated in the Quran that HE made the religion easy for us, that He did not reveal the Quran to make things difficult for us (20:2).
  • Are Hadiths an Insult to Prophet Muhammad?
    Indeed, the Hadith books are full of contradictions, subtle or clear insults and blasphemies to Almighty God as well as the prophet himself. What kind of a messenger would Muhammad be if he did or said some of the things that were attributed to him? Muhammad lived by the Quran and he was an example for us. Anyone who followed the Quran which came through his mouth would not utter such blasphemous or ridiculous sayings. Such sayings, of course, cannot be but plain lies and conjecture. Would Muhammad ever blaspheme against God say that God created the heavens and the earth for his sake, and that God’s throne was made up of his light? Would the prophet ever ask people to praise himself, instead of praising God, the Almighty, when the Quran clearly says that all praises belong to God? Never, ever. This is clearly sated in the following verse: Never would a human being whom GOD blessed with the scripture and prophethood way to the people, “Idolize me beside GOD.” Instead, he would say, “Devote yourselves absolutely to your Lord alone,” according to the scripture you preach and the teachings you learn. (3:79)
  • Does God Run Out of Words?
    If God wanted to be more specific about how we must live our lives, He could have sent down volumes and volumes of revelations on how we should sleep, how we should cook, eat or drink, and which dress we should wear and so on. He surely tells us that if the oceans were ink, and the trees were made into pens, He would not run out of words (31:27). But it is God’s mercy that He wants us to follow only what He specified in His revelations, and use our common sense, knowledge and wisdom for the rest of the details of life. However people insist on making their lives miserable as their so-called religious leaders and “learned” scholars shackle them with satanic teaching and innovations.
  • Are The Hadiths Exposed in the Quran?
    God condemns the Hadith by name in the Quran, and informs us that it is a blasphemous fabrication (45:6-7). He says that the Quran is one consistent source since it’s His Word. There is no contradiction in it. If it were from other than God, as Hadith books are, they would have found in it numerous contradictions (4:82) Hadiths can be useful for historical perspective, but they should not be used for establishing religious practices. Doing so does not mean one dislikes or does not obey the prophet Muhammad. On the contrary, it indicates that he or she respects him and God’s revelations that came thorough his mouth. After all it is God we are all suppose to please. The Quran teaches us that when the judgment day comes and everything is brought forward, the prophet will be disappointed by what has been done to the message that he delivered. He will say, “my people have deserted the Quran” (25:30). Therefore, following or upholding baseless Hadiths is something neither God nor His messengers want us to do: Among the people, there are those who uphold baseless Hadith, and thus divert others from the path of GOD without knowledge, and take it in vain. These have incurred a shameful retribution. (31:6) As a matter of fact, God and His messengers want us to follow the Word of God as the only source of religious guidance, otherwise we will end up disputing and dividing ourselves (3:103). The Quran is God’s word in truth and justice; a blessing and beacon for those who want to submit to the Lord of the Universe, the Almighty. It’s God’s commandment that we should read it from cover to cover (73:4). Are we waiting for somebody to explain God’s message to us while we can read it for ourselves? Therefore, read what your Creator wants to tell you for your own sake! Read it in a language that you can understand. When God says that He made the Quran easy to learn, He means it. He is the One who controls the hearts and minds of the people and guides them accordingly (28:56). He is teacher of the Quran for those who turn to Him (55:2). GOD has revealed herein the best Hadith; a book that is consistent, and points out both ways (to Heaven and Hell). The skins of those who reverence their Lord cringe therefrom, then their skins and their hearts soften up for God’s message. Such is God’s guidance; He bestows it upon whoever wills (to be guided). As for those sent astray by God, Nothing can guide them, (39:23) Why do they not study the Quran carefully? If it were from other than GOD, they would have found in it numerous contradictions. (4:82)
  • Is the Quran Complete and Easy to Understand?
    Ask this question- “Is the Qur’an complete and easy to understand?” - of any Muslim today, and his or her immediate answer will be “Yes!” However, further investigation would reveal that this Muslim is only paying lip service to this position, and that he does not actually believe in the completeness of the Qur’an. If you discuss the question at length, you will soon hear claims like "Yes the Qur’an is complete but it does not have everything, "and" Yes the Qur’an is complete, but we cannot understand it without other books. " We will see that the Qur’an itself refutes these claims: <wa></wa> "And certainly We have repeated for humankind, in this Quran, every kind of example, but the majority of humankind do not consent to aught but denying." (17:89) “We have put forth for humans, in this Qur’an, every kind of example so that they may remember” (Qur’an 39:27). Here, Allah says that He has explained EVERY KIND OF EXAMPLE for our Guidance within the Qur’an. Thus, when Allah Himself testifies that every kind of example is within the Qur’an, does the Muslim need to look elsewhere for examples? Here we must note that since the initial audience of the Qur’an were people living in a desert city 1400 years ago the wordings of the examples are more relevant to their surroundings. However, the message of these examples is applicable to all times. In fact, the word 'example" by definition means that it is referring to a specific case outlining a general principal. Allah further explains this: "And We have revealed the Book to you which has the clear explanation of everything <wa>, and a guidance and mercy and good news for those who submit." (16:89)</wa> There cannot be any words clearer than this. When He says “liKULLI Shai’iw” that means EVERYTHING. If the Qur’an itself is supposed to explain everything, what does it mean to explain the Qur’an by other books? In other words, the above verse is saying that there is NOTHING that is not explained by the Qur’an. The Muslim who says that “not everything is in the Qur’an”, must sit down and contemplate on these Ayaats and reflect on the logical consequences of his statement. Those Muslims who say that the Qur’an is not clear and they need other books to understand the Qur’an should read the following statement of Allah: “A Qur’an in Arabic, without any crookedness in order that they may become more conscious.” (Qur’an 39:28). Allah says that the Qur’an is without any crookedness, meaning that there is nothing obscure in the Qur’an. This is only logical as the Book is meant for everyone and not only those who have a Ph.D. in Fiqh and Hadith. Then Allah confirms this, when He states it four times within the same Surah: “And We have indeed made the Qur’an (The Recital) easy for taking Reminder <walaqad>; then is there any that will receive admonition?” (54: 17, 22, 32, 40)</walaqad> Unless, the Muslim thinks that Allah is “speaking with His tongue in cheek” Nauzobillah, it is very clear what He says - the Qur’an is easy to understand. The Muslim, when confronted with these Ayaat, adopts a more defensive approach and revises his earlier statements by saying “Yes, the Qur’an is complete and has everything and is easy to understand, but it LACKS DETAILS. And to get the details we must resort to the books of Hadith”. The Qur'an again refutes this statement. Here is what Allah says about the detail <tafseel> in His Book:</tafseel> “Shall I then seek a Ruler other than Allah? When He it is Who has revealed to you the Book (which is) distinctly detailed <al-kitaaba>” (6:114)</al-kitaaba> “And certainly We have brought them a Book, which We have detailed with knowledge <fassalnaahu>, a guidance and mercy for a people who believe” (7:52)</fassalnaahu> “A Book of which the verses are distinctly detailed <fussilat>, an Arabic Qur’an for people who know” (41:3)</fussilat> “Indeed We have made the verses detailed for a people who take reminder <qad>” (6:126)</qad> “And this Qur’an is not such as could be forged by those besides Allah, but it is a verification of that which is in his possession and a distinct elucidation of the book <tafsiila-l-kitaabi>, and there is no doubt in it, from the Lord of the Worlds” (10:37)</tafsiila-l-kitaabi> In face of these verses, the Muslim's claim seems once again contradictory to the Qur’anic evidence. Yet, the Muslim insists that the Qur’an is not detailed. In the light of the Qur’an, this only suggests that the Muslim is not using his common sense and the gift of Allah called Aqal (reason). Allah says: “Thus do We make the revelations detailed for a people who reflect <nufassilu-l-’aayaati>” (10:24)</nufassilu-l-’aayaati> “Thus do We make the revelations detailed for a people who use their reason <kadhaalika>” (30:28)</kadhaalika> Thus, those people who refuse to reflect and use their reason, and insist on whatever they were taught by their elders without question, they are the people who will not find the details of everything in the Qur’an, and will go searching for other books. Logically speaking, it would not make any sense that a Book that is supposed to shed light on other things and that is supposed to explain other things, is itself in need of explanation: “By the Evidence of the Book that makes things clear <kitaab>. Surely We have made it an Arabic Qur’an that you use your reason” (43:2-3)</kitaab> “By the evidence of the Book that makes things clear <kitaab>” (44:2)</kitaab> “We have made the revelations clear to you, if you will use your reason <qad>” (3:118)</qad> The discussion should end here for if the Qur’an is COMPLETE, and EASY and has DETAILS of everything that we need for Guidance, then there is no need to look at another book for Guidance. I must add here that people should be encouraged to talk with each other and share ideas - the problem occurs when individual's ideas are taken as sources of Guidance in ADDITION to the Qur’an. This is exactly what Allah tells them: “Is it not enough for them that We have revealed to you the Book, which is recited to them? Most surely there is a mercy in this and a reminder for a people who believe” (29:51) The Muslim, however, refuses this “Mercy” and ties himself up in shackles of Hadith and tradition, and insists that the Book of Allah is not enough for him. With all of the above evidence, he still cannot give up Hadith. In the following chapters we will look at some of the other arguments put forth by the proponents of Hadith.
  • Did the Prophet Muhammad authorise his Sunnah?
    The word 'Sunnah' which is used in the Quran, means the way of doing things or methodology. Millions of Muslims today have been brought up to believe that all Muslims should follow the Quran and the Sunnah of the prophet Muhammad. The root word for the word sunnah, is the following: Siin-Nun-Nun = to clean (the teeth), seize with the teeth, establish the law, follow a path, form. sinnun - tooth. sunnatun/sunanun - line of conduct, mode of life, behaviour, example, dispensation. masnun - formed, made/moulded into shape, polished, shiny and bright (face). We read in the Quran that the Sunna of God is the only Sunna: "Such was the Sunna of God for those who have passed on before. You will find that there is no substitute for the Sunna of God." 33:62 In all the Quran, there is no reference or mention of a Sunna of the Prophet Muhammad. Please check the verses mentioned here to verify: 3:137, 4:26, 8:38, 15:13, 17:77, 17:77, 18:55, 33:38, 33:62, 33:62, 35:43, 35:43, 35:43, 40:85, 48:23, 48:23
  • What does in the Messenger of Allah, we have an “excellent example” mean?"
    Some Muslims site the following Ayah to advocate Hadith: “Certainly you have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent exemplar <uswatun> for him who hopes in Allah and the latter day and remembers Allah much” (Qur'an 33:21).</uswatun> The Muslim says that we need to follow this “best example” by reading what people reported about him in the books of Hadith. Before we start our discussion, we must quote a few more Ayaat for without them the discussion would be incomplete: “Indeed, there is for you an excellent example <uswatun> in Ibrahim and those with him…” (60:4)</uswatun> Now, Allah tells us that the best examples for us to follow are the Prophet Ibrahim and his companions and the Prophet Muhammad. In fact, Allah commanded the Prophet Muhammad and all of us through him that we all MUST follow the Prophet Ibrahim: “Say: ‘Allah speaks the Truth: follow the way of Ibrahim, the sane in faith; he was not of the Pagans.’” (3:95) “Surely Ibrahim was an exemplar, obedient to Allah, upright, and he was not of the polytheists. He showed his gratitude for the favors of Allah, who chose him, and guided him to a Straight Way. And We gave him Good in this world, and he will be, in the Hereafter, in the ranks of the Righteous. So We have taught you the inspiration, ‘Follow the ways of Ibrahim the True in Faith, and he joined not gods with Allah.’” (16:120-123) Thus it is incumbent upon us to follow the Prophet Ibrahim. The question is how do we follow him and his companions (remember they are all “uswatun husna”, or BEST EXAMPLES to be followed). The Qur’an does not point us to any other books that we must seek in order to follow the best example of Prophet Ibrahim. Does this mean that today we cannot follow his best example? Before we address this question, it is important to ask a few other questions: We need to know what aspects of their “best examples” are we to follow. Is it their clothing? their eating habits?, whether they shaved or had beards, etc. Now Prophet Ibrahim probably wore the same clothing that was the norm in his time and probably wore a beard, as did his Kaffir father. Probably, he sat on the floor and ate with his hands, as did his Kaffir father. Is this what we are supposed to follow of the “best example”? Allah does not leave us guessing – He tells us the EXEMPLARY conduct of the Prophet Ibrahim in the Qur’an that we are supposed to follow. The first act, of course is Submission to Allah alone: “Our Lord! And make us both submissive to You…” (2:128) And He bowed his will to the Command of Allah: “When his Lord said to him, Be a Muslim, he said: I submit myself to the Lord of the worlds.” (2:131) He also did not associate anyone or anything with Allah in ANY way: “…And he was not one of those who associate (others with Allah)” (2:135) “He said: What! Do you then serve besides Allah what brings you not any benefit at all, nor does it harm you? Fie on you and on what you serve besides Allah; what! Do you not then understand? ” (21:66-67) He is also the one who is not afraid to tell the truth to his elders and “scholars” of his age: “Lo! Ibrahim said to his father Azar: Take you idols for gods? For I see you and your people in manifest error.” (6:74) “He said, ‘Indeed you have been in manifest error - you and your fathers.’” (21:54) He is also the one who is not afraid to use his Aqal and ask questions. Why is he doing that? Because he has complete trust on Allah and is ONLY seeking Allah’s Guidance. He is not seeking any other book or any other human as a guide – but ONLY Allah as his guide: “So when the night over-shadowed him, he saw a star; said he: Is this my Lord? So when it set, he said: I do not love the setting ones. Then when he saw the moon rising, he said: Is this my Lord? So when it set, he said: If my Lord had not guided me I should certainly be of the erring people. Then when he saw the sun rising, he said: Is this my Lord? Is this the greatest? So when it set, he said: O my people! surely I am clear of what you set up (with Allah). Surely I have turned myself, being upright, wholly to Him Who originated the heavens and the earth, and I am not of those who associate (other things with Allah)” (6:76-79) He is also the one who disputes with his people and tells them that how come they are NOT afraid of all the things they have associated with Allah of which Allah gave them NO authority: “And how should I fear what you have set up (with Him), while you do not fear that you have set up with Allah that for which He has not sent down to you any authority; which then of the two parties is surer of security, if you know?” (6:81) He was tender hearted and prayed to Allah for his father as he had promised: “And Ibrahim asking forgiveness for his father was only owing to a promise which he had made to him; but when it became clear to him that he was an enemy of Allah, he declared himself to be clear of him; most surely Ibrahim was very tender-hearted forbearing.” (9:114) He was a good host: “And certainly Our messengers came to Ibrahim with good news. They said: Peace. Peace, said he, and he made no delay in bringing a roasted calf.” (11:69) Unlike many “religious” people today, he was not bloodthirsty. His first instinct was to forgive and give people more chance to amend their conduct. Even to the homosexuals, he was merciful. When the Angels of Allah told him that they have come for the purpose of destroying Lut’s people, he started to plead with Allah on their behalf: “So when fear had gone away from Ibrahim and good news came to him, he began to plead with Us for Lut's people. Most surely Ibrahim was forbearing, tender-hearted, oft-returning (to Allah)” (11:74-75) Thus by reading the Qur’an we see a man who was intelligent, was serving ONLY Allah and was seeking ONLY Allah’s Guidance. He was not afraid to criticize the dominant philosophies and idea and religions of his time, but at the same time he was soft hearted and merciful, even to the sinners. This is the example, the BEST example, we are to follow and not what he wore and how he sat and how long his beard was, etc. Just like Allah describes the best example of Prophet Ibrahim within the Qur’an, He also describes the best example of the Prophet Muhammad within the same Qur’an. Just like Prophet Ibrahim, Prophet Muhammad was also born into a culture – he wore the clothes that they wore; he had a beard as was the custom in his days so that Abu Jahl also had a beard; he ate as they did, most probably with his hands sitting on a floor. The question is: are we to follow this cultural example, or is Allah going to outline the best example that we are to follow? As we saw in the case of Prophet Ibrahim, Allah defined the best example in His Book for us to be followed till eternity; He did NOT leave this task for some obscure outside sources. In a similar fashion He cannot leave the best example of the Prophet Muhammad that we are to follow till eternity to outside obscure sources. We will see that He has defined the best example of the Prophet Muhammad within the same Qur’an. Prophet Muhammad is also merciful and soft hearted, and ONLY looks to Allah and no one else for support: “Certainly a Messenger has come to you from among yourselves; grievous to him is your falling into distress, excessively solicitous respecting you; to the believers (he is) compassionate. But if they turn back, say: Allah is sufficient for me, there is no god but He; on Him do I rely, and He is the Lord of mighty power.” (9:128-129) Like Prophet Ibrahim, he also does NOT associate anyone with Allah and only asks for Allah’s Guidance: “Say: I only call upon my Lord, and I do not associate (another thing) with Him” (72:20) He does not follow any thing or any book besides the Book of Allah: “But when Our Clear Ayaat are recited to them, those who rest not their hopes in meeting with Us, say ‘Bring us a Qur’an other than this, or change this’. Say: ‘It is not for me, of my own accord, to change it. I follow naught but what is revealed to me; surely I fear, if I disobey my Sustainer, the punishment of a mighty day’.” (10:15) He performs his duty with sincerity as Allah Commands him. His duty is to warn people, and he is warning people with the Book that Allah has given him. Here is the commandment of Allah: “And thus have We revealed to you an Arabic Quran, <auhaina_> that you may warn the mother city and those around it, and that you may give warning of the day of gathering together wherein is no doubt; a party shall be in the garden and (another) party in the burning fire.” (42:7)</auhaina_> And here is the answer of the obedient Messenger: “Allah is witness between you and me; and this Quran has been revealed to me that with it I may warn you and whomsoever it reaches.” (6:19) He is teaching people with what Allah has revealed to him. People mock and abuse him, but he is sincere to his Lord and does NOT react or compel anyone to believe – he teaches what Allah has told him to teach from: “We know best what they say, and you are not one to compel them; therefore remind him by means of the Quran who fears My Promise.” (50:45) And he obeys this command, and says: “I am commanded only that I should serve the Sustainer of this city, Who has made it sacred, and His are all things; and I am commanded that I should be of those who submit; And that I should recite the Quran. Therefore whoever goes aright, he goes aright for his own soul, and whoever goes ' astray, then say: I am only one of the warners.” (27:91-22) The Prophet Muhammad judges among people, but he does NOT judge from laws OUTSIDE of Allah’s Book, as Allah commands him: “Surely We have revealed the Book to you with the truth that you may judge between people by means of that which Allah has shown you; and be not an advocate on behalf of the treacherous.” (4:105) “And We have revealed to you the Book with the truth, verifying what is before it of the Book and a guardian over it, therefore judge between them by what Allah has revealed, and do not follow their low desires (to turn away) from the truth that has come to you;” (5:48) Being a servant of Allah, he obeys this command and does NOT judge by anything OUTSIDE of the laws of Allah as given to him through the Book of Allah. He attests to this fact and is made to say: “Shall I then seek a Ruler other than Allah? When He it is Who has revealed to you the Book (which is) distinctly elucidated;” (6:114) The above Verse also points out a very special character of the Prophet Muhammad’s Sunnah, i.e. he does NOT look for ANY OTHER SOURCE besides the BOOK of Allah for laws and rules. Thus, in the final analysis we see a man who is merciful, intelligent, and an obedient of Allah. He follows the Book of Allah; he teaches the people from the Book of Allah; he judges people from the Book of Allah; he warns people by the Book of Allah; he ONLY looks to the Book of Allah for rules and laws and does not seek any other source. In the Muslim world today, there are many sects and they all claim that they have “authentic” Sunnah of the Messenger with them in the form of books of Hadith. They all look to these books to provide them with guidance in making laws and rules and in their day to day life. They have gone to such an extent that in cases where there are clear rulings within the Qur’an, they prefer to take the rulings from these Hadith books in preference to the Qur’an. They have invented new “knowledge” – they call it “Ilm al-Nasakh wal Mansukh”, meaning “the knowledge of the abrogated and the abrogating”. In this knowledge, their scholars have not only classified that some verses of the Qur’an abrogate other verses, but that also some Hadith abrogate the verses of the Qur’an. They all read the above Ayaat of the Qur’an, and yet insist that they are following the Sunnah of the Prophet. Let us analyze their claims: 1. The Prophet followed NOTHING but the Qur’an. Are these people following anything else besides the Qur’an? If they are, then they are NOT following the Sunnah of the Prophet. 2. The Prophet warned and taught by the Qur’an. Are these people using anything else besides the Qur’an to teach and warn? If they are, then they are NOT following the Sunnah of the Prophet. 3. The Prophet judged by the Qur’an. Are these people using anything else besides the Qur’an to judge? If they are, then they are NOT following the Sunnah of the Prophet. 4. The Prophet looked only at Allah’s Book – the Qur’an, as a source of all rulings and laws. Are these people looking at anything or anyone else besides the Qur’an as a source of law? If they are, then they are NOT following the Sunnah of the Prophet. 5. The Prophet was merciful. The Prophet Ibrahim was so merciful that he even pleaded for homosexuals with Allah even after the angels had descended to kill them. Are these people merciful to the sinners, or are they eager to stone and kill people brutally even though stoning is NOT in the Book of Allah? If they are proposing brutal laws, which are NOT even in the Book of Allah, then these people cannot be following the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad and the Prophet Ibrahim. Allah has predicted this state of the Muslim Ummah within His Book. In this prediction we will yet again see how Allah defines the Sunnah or the way of the Messenger that these people neglected. We will conclude with a reading from the Surah Furqaan (Furqaan is another attribute of the Qur’an – it means something that distinguishes the truth from falsehood, i.e. The CRITERION). The scene is from the day of judgement. We start with the Verse where the Zalimun or unjust people will regret that they did not take the way of the Messenger: “And the day when the unjust one shall bite his hands saying: O! Would that I had taken a way with the Messenger” (25:27) These people then curse the Shaitaan who took them away from the Dhikr (another attribute of the Qur’an, meaning The Reminder): “O woe is me! Would that I had not taken such a one for a friend ! Certainly he led me astray from the reminder<dhikr> after it had come to me; and the Shaitaan fails to aid man.” (25:28-29)</dhikr> The Messenger himself will complain to Allah about how HIS FOLLOWERS did NOT take HIS WAY. Here is how: “And the Messenger will say: O my Lord! Surely my people have neglected this Quran.” (25:30) Then Allah tells us that for every prophet, there is an enemy, and this enemy is the one that takes people away from the Qur’an, which is way of the Messenger: “And thus have We made for every prophet an enemy from among the sinners and sufficient is your Lord as a Guide and a Helper” (25:31) In this last verse Allah tells us that for every Prophet there is his enemies. One might ask, who are these enemies and how do they lead people AWAY from the Qur’an – the way of the Messenger? As we know, Allah does NOT leave anything to guesswork, but explains what He means by Tasreef al-ayaat, i.e “repeating the Verses”: <unzur></unzur> “See how We repeat the verses that they may understand.” (6:65) Thus we look elsewhere in the Qur’an to see what these enemies are. We find their exact description in the following Ayah: “Likewise did We make for every Prophet an enemy,- evil ones among men and Jinns, inspiring each other with flowery discourses by way of deception. If your Lord had so planned, they would not have done it: so leave them and their inventions alone.” (6:112) Here is the exact description of those evil enemies. They will come up with “flowery discourses”, i.e. stories that sound so nice to the listener, and stories that look plausible. It is through this method that the evil ones will derive people away from the way of the Messenger – the Qur’an. It is not hard to see the Muslims today have hundreds of books of Fiqh and Hadith; they insist that we must read them and cannot understand the Qur’an without these “flowery discourses”. Shaitaan has been very successful with the Muslims. He has used their love and respect for the Prophet Muhammad to actually derive them away from his true Sunnah – while all the time the Muslim is thinking that he is following the Sunnah, he is actually following other “flowery discourses” that Allah NEVER authorized. Thus, we see that the “best example” of the Messenger is to follow the Qur’an and not seek any other source besides the Qur’an for Guidance. The proponents of Hadith, however, do not stop here. They now pull out their most “powerful” argument in support of the Hadith. They insist that EVERYTHING the Prophet said in his life was by Wahi (revelation) from Allah.
  • Did the Messenger Receive other Wahi besides the Quran?
    People quote the following verses of the Qur’an without reference to the rest of the Qur’an to imply that everything that the Prophet said was Wahi from Allah: “Nor does he say (aught) of (his own) Desire. It is no less than inspiration sent down to him” (53:3-4) The Qur’an explains it very clearly that the speech of the Prophet that is by Wahi is nothing else but the Qur’an. Allah has made clear distinction between the Prophet’s ordinary human speech and the “Wahi” that he is reciting. We see that Allah admonishes the Prophet in the Qur’an at several places. Here are a few examples: “Allah pardon you! Why did you give them leave until those who spoke the truth had become manifest to you and you had known the liars?” (9:43) In the above Ayah the messenger of God is admonished as to why he had given permission to the Hypocrites until the truthful people were made distinct from the liars. Had everything spoken by him been a revelation from God, then the above Qur’anic revelation would not have opposed the speech of the messenger in which he had given the permission to the Hypocrites for non-participation in Jihad. This is evidence that NOT everything that the Messenger did or said was by Wahi. Then we further see in the Qur’an that Allah says to the Prophet: “O Nabi! Why do you forbid (yourself) that which Allah has made lawful for you; you seek to please your wives; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”(66:1) Here Allah admonishes the Prophet for forbidding something for himself that Allah DID NOT forbid. This verse again establishes that the Prophet often acted on his own initiative as a human being WITHOUT the revelation of Allah. If everything he did or say was by Wahi, he would NOT be admonished by Allah in the Qur’an for saying something that Allah did not want him to say. Now we look at the Qur’anic evidence that the REVELATION (Wahi) that was being sent down (Nazzala) to the Messenger was nothing else but the Qur’an. We read an objection raised by the rejecter that when an Ayah is not revealed to the Prophet why doesn’t he create one by himself: “And when you bring not a verse for them they say: Why have you not chosen it?” (7:203) If EVERYTHING that the Messenger said was REVELATION, this objection would be meaningless as everything he is saying to them is “revelation”. Then Allah Challenges people to produce something similar to the Revelation being sent down on the Messenger. Let us read these challenges: “And if you are in doubt concerning that which We reveal to Our slave (Muhammad), then bring a Surah similar to it, and call your witnesses beside Allah if you are truthful.” (2:23) Here we notice that as a challenge to WHAT ALLAH REVEALS to His slave, the people are told to bring a SURAH. Was the ordinary speech of the Messenger composed of SURAHS (Chapters). Is there any other book in the world besides the Qur’an, which is composed of Surahs? The answer is NO. Even the books of Hadith are not composed of Surahs. Only the Qur’an is composed of Surahs. Thus, Allah’s challenge to <fa'tu_> “then bring a Surah similar to it” against <mimma_> "that which We reveal unto Our slave", establishes that what Allah is revealing to His slave is composed of Surahs, i.e. it is the Qur’an.</mimma_></fa'tu_> Then again Allah challenges: “Or, do they say: He has forged it. Say: Then bring ten forged chapters like it <fa'tu_> and call upon whom you can besides Allah, if you are truthful.” (11:13)</fa'tu_> Then we see that the hypocrites were afraid that a Surah might be revealed to show their hypocrisy. The Prophet’s ordinary speech was always present, but the Qur’an tells us that it was a SURAH that they were afraid would reveal their hypocrisy: “The hypocrites fear lest a Surah (chapter of the Qur’an) should be sent down to them telling them plainly of what is in their hearts. Say: Go on mocking, surely Allah will bring forth what you fear.” (9:64) Not only the hypocrites but the believers also used to wait for SURAHS to see Allah’s commandment. If everything that the Messenger was saying was Wahi, then they did not have to wait for a SURAH: “And those who believe say: Why has not a Surah (chapter of the Qur’an) been revealed? But when a decisive chapter is revealed, and fighting is mentioned therein you see those in whose hearts is a disease look to you with the look of one fainting because of death. Woe to them then!” (47:20) Then Allah forbids people from asking questions after the revelation of the Qur’an is completed: “O you who believe! Do not put questions about things which if declared to you may trouble you, and if you question about them when the Quran is being revealed, they shall be declared to you; Allah pardons this, and Allah is Forgiving, Forbearing.” (5:101) Here people are allowed to ask the questions as long as the Qur’an is being revealed. Allah says that while the Qur’an is being revealed He will declare the answers to them. If there were other “revelations” coming to the Prophet besides the Qur’an, the above restriction would not have been made as Allah could “reveal” the answers to the Prophet via “other revelations” even after the Qur’an was completed. This proves that there were no other revelations besides the Qur’an. Allah confirms what He is revealing to the Messenger: “And We have not taught him poetry, nor is it meet for him; it is nothing but a reminder and a plain Quran, that it may warn him who would have life, and (that) the word may prove true against the unbelievers”. (Qur’an 36:69-70) “And thus have We revealed to you an Arabic Quran, <auhaina_> that you may warn the mother city and those around it, and that you may give warning of the day of gathering together wherein is no doubt; a party shall be in the garden and (another) party in the burning fire.” (42:7)</auhaina_> The Messenger himself is made to confirm that the Wahi he is receiving is the Qur’an: “And this Quran has been revealed to me <u_hiya> that with it I may warn you and whomsoever it reaches” (6:19)</u_hiya> qul innama_ attabi'u ma_ yu_ha_ ilayya mir rabbi, ha_za_ basa_'iru mir rabbikum wa hudaw wa rahmatul liqaumiy yu'minu_n(a).Wa iza_ quri'al qur'a_nu fastami'u_ lahu_ wa ansitu_ la'allakum turhamu_n(a) “Say: I follow only that which is inspired in me from my Sustainer. This (Qur'an) is insight from your Sustainer, and a guidance and a mercy for a people that believe. And when the Qur'an is recited, give ear to it and pay heed, that you may obtain mercy.” (7:203-204) Here the Messenger is made to say that the Wahi he is receiving is the Qur’an. Then Allah reminds the Prophet that he is to warn only by the Qur’an. If his other speech was also by Wahi, then Allah would not have told him to remind by the Qur’an: “We know best what they say, and you are not one to compel them; therefore remind him by means of the Quran who fears My promise.” (Qur’an 50:45 “And to rehearse the Qur’an: and if any accept Guidance, they do it for the good of their own souls; and if any astray, say: ‘I am only a warner’”. (Qur’an 27:92). Then Allah further clarifies that the Dhikr that the Messenger is receiving is LIKE POETRY. He defends His Messenger saying: “And We have not taught him poetry, nor is it meet for him; it is nothing but a reminder and a plain Quran.<dhikrun>”(36:69)</dhikrun> Here Dhikr is something that was RECITED (as it is defended as NOT being poetry). The Prophet’s ordinary speech was NOT in poetry form. Thus in the light of the above evidence it is clear that the ordinary speech of the Prophet was not by Wahi, but it was the Qur’an that was by Wahi and it was the Qur’an that Allah is talking about in the following verse: “By the evidence of the star when it goes down. Your companion does not err, nor does he go astray; Nor does he speak out of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed. <in>” (53:1-4)</in> In addition to the Qur’anic evidence, the books of Hadith also refute this baseless claim that the Messenger was receiving other revelations besides the Qur’an: Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 52, Number 283: Narrated Abu Juhaifa: I asked Ali, “Do you have the knowledge of any Divine Inspiration besides what is in Allah's Book?" 'Ali replied, "No, by Him Who splits the grain of corn and creates the soul. I don't think we have such knowledge, but we have the ability of understanding which Allah may endow a person with, so that he may understand the Qur'an, and we have what is written in this paper as well.” I asked, “What is written in this paper?” He replied, “(The regulations of) blood-money, the freeing of captives, and the judgment that no Muslim should be killed for killing an infidel.” The above evidence contradicts all claims of the people that the Prophet received other revelations besides the Qur’an.
  • How did the Messenger Explain the Quran?
    One point that is often raised by the proponents of Hadith is that the Messenger was not just a postman who delivered the Qur’an and left. Though, this statement is true, and the Messenger certainly did not deliver the Qur’an like a postman, there is no reason to believe that his explanations are to be found outside of the Qur’an. In this section, we will see that the explanations of the Messenger consisted of cross-referencing the Qur’an. Logically speaking it also does not make any sense to follow books written 200 years after the Messenger to seek his explanations, when he himself preserved his teachings and explanations within the Qur’an. The Proponents of Hadith site the following Ayah for their position: “And We did not send before you any but men to whom We sent revelation-- so ask the followers of the Reminder <dhikr> if you do not know-- With clear arguments and scriptures; and We have revealed to you the Reminder <az-dhikr> that you may make clear to men<litubayyina> what has been revealed to them, and that haply they may reflect." (16:43-44)</litubayyina></az-dhikr></dhikr> There are two main claims that the proponents of Hadith make about this Ayah. The first thing they say is that besides the Qur’an, the Mesenger was given another “revelation” known as “al-Dhikr”. The second point is made regarding the word “Bayyina”, which means “clarification”. Thus the proponents of Hadith say that the Messenger was given an EXTRA revelation (al-Dhikr), and he was supposed to use it to make EXTRA clarifications (lituBayyina) of the Qur’anic revelations. We will analyze this Ayah, with special attention to the two words “al_Dhikr”, and “Bayyina”. Let us look at the word al-Dhikr first. The word literally means “The Reminder”. It is important to note that Allah uses different attributes of His revelations to emphasize its different aspects. Indeed, the word “Qur’an” itself is not a name but an attribute of Allah’s Revelations. The word al-Qur’an means “The Recital/The Proclamation”. Allah has used this word to describe His revelations to emphasize the fact that it is to be RECITED and PROCLAIMED openly. We see several different attributes of Allah’s revelation within the Qur’an also. Here is a few of the many attributes: 1. Al-Huda, meaning “The Guidance” because the Qur’an is supposed to give guidance. 2. Al-Furqaan, meaning “The Criterion” because the Qur’an is to be used as the criterion between truth and falsehood. 3. Al-Kitaab, meaning “The Written Record” because the Qur’an was to be recorded in writing.. In a similar fashion, the word “Al-Dhikr” is used because the Qur’an is meant for people to take reminder from. We will see that the Qur’an itself gives plenty of evidence that “al_Dhikr” is not any extra revelations, but just another attribute of the Qur’an itself: “This We recite <natluhu> to you of the communications and the wise reminder. <dhikril>”(3:58)</dhikril></natluhu> Here the Dhikr is identified as something that is recited (Tilawa). The only thing that the people recite is the Qur’an. The speech of the Prophet besides the Qur’an was not recited. Then in the following Verse, the Dhikr is identified with the revealed Book: “A Book revealed to you-- so let there be no stress in your breast on account of it-- that you may warn thereby, and a reminder close to the believers. <dhikra_>” (7:2)</dhikra_> Then in the following Ayah, the Qur’an points to itself as the Dhikr for all the worlds: “And you do not ask them for a reward for this; it is nothing but a reminder for all mankind. <dhikrul>” (12:104)</dhikrul> In the following verse, Allah promises that He will guard the Dhikr that He has revealed. It is only the Qur’an that all Muslims (and even the non-Muslims) agree to have been protected from any sort of corruption. Even the strongest supporters of Hadith admit that the Hadith of the Prophet have not been preserved or guarded from corruption. Thus it is the Qur’an, which fits the definition of Dhikr here. “And they say: O you to whom the Reminder <dhikr> has been revealed! You are most surely insane: Why do you not bring to us the angels if you are of the truthful ones? We do not send the angels but with truth, and then they would not be respited. Surely We have revealed the Reminder <dhikr> and We will most surely be its guardian.” (15:6-9)</dhikr></dhikr> Again in the following Verses, the Qur’an identifies itself as the blessed Dhikr: “And this is a blessed Reminder <dhikrun> which We have revealed; will you then deny it?” (21:50)</dhikrun> “Therefore hold fast to that which has been revealed to you; surely you are on the right path. And most surely it is a reminder for you and your people <dhikru>, and you shall soon be questioned.” (43:43-44)</dhikru> These Ayaat should be enough for anyone to see that Al-Dhikr (The Reminder) is just another attribute of the Qur’an (The Recital). However, a mind clouded by the dust of tradition prevents it from accepting the truth and it comes back and insists with lame arguments. In any case, we will present further evidence that Al-Dhikr is the Qur’an: “And We have not taught him poetry, nor is it meet for him; it is nothing but a reminder and a clear Recital <dhikrun>” (36:69)</dhikrun> Here, the Dhikr is identified with the Qur’an. The other thing to notice here is that Allah is defending His Messenger against people’s allegations of being a poet. The question that needs to be asked is whether the Prophet was used to speak in poetry form? The answer to this is obviously “No”. The only thing that he was reciting was the Qur’an, and since the Dhikr is also mentioned along with the Qur’an as something recited, we conclude that it is just another attribute of the Qur’an. Then in the following Verse, the Dhikr is identified as the “Mighty Book”, i.e. the Qur’an. Further, it is to be protected and falsehood cannot even approach it. Pick any collection of Hadith, and you will find false Hadith in it. Therefore, Dhikr is the Qur’an. “Surely those who disbelieve in the reminder <kaffaru> when it comes to them, and most surely it is a Mighty Book: Falsehood shall not come to it from before it nor from behind it; a revelation from the Wise, the Praised One.” (41:41-42)</kaffaru> The reason why Allah uses the word Dhikr is because one of the purposes of the Qur’an is to REMIND people: “And We have indeed made the Qur’an (The Recital) easy to understand and for Reminder <walaqad>; then is there any that will receive admonition?” (54: 17, 22, 32, 40)</walaqad> This is further emphasized when Allah informs us that “Saad. By the Qur’an, full of Dhikr” (38:1) “Ha Mim. By the Book of Clarity<mubeen>, We have made it a Qur’an in Arabic, that you may use your Aqal. And verily, it is in the Mother or the Book, in our Presence, high and full of Wisdom <hakeem>. Shall we then take away the Dhikr from you and repel, for you are a people transgressing beyond bounds?” (43:1-5)</hakeem></mubeen> These Ayaat leave no doubt that the Dhikr is just another attribute of the Qur’an.. To leave no doubt about the nature of Dhikr Allah informs us: “We have revealed to you a Book, which is a Dhikr (Reminder) for you: will you not then use your Aqal?” (21:10) Then finally Allah makes it very clear that the Dhikr, with which the Messenger is giving explanations, is the Ayaat that the Messenger is Reciting: “…For Allah has indeed sent down to you Dhikr – A Messenger reciting the Ayaat of Allah which contain clarity <mubayyinaatin> that he may lead forth those who believe and do righteous deeds from the depths of darkness into Light….” (65:10-11)</mubayyinaatin> Now, the above Ayaat leave no doubt that the Dhikr with which the Messenger is making things clear is the Qur’an itself. This is consistent with the rest of the Qur’an where Allah tells the Prophet that the Qur’an is being revealed to him in stages so that he may explain and answer people when needed. Just the exposition of the word Dhikr in 16:44 shows that it was not extra explanations that the Messenger was giving but his explanations were given from the Dhikr, which we have established here, is the Qur’an. But sick hearts need more medicine. So we will now look at the second misunderstood word “Bayyina” used in 16:44 and see that the Bayyina or Clarity that the Messenger was to bring was from the Qur’an also. We first observe that another verse similar to 16:44 is revealed by Allah: “And We sent down the BOOK to you for the express purpose that you should make clear to them <litubayyina> those things in which they differ, and that it should be a Guide and a Mercy to those who believe” (16: 64)</litubayyina> Here we notice that Allah has explicitly mentioned that the PURPOSE of the BOOK is to provide the Prophet with revelation so that he may <litubayyina> make clear the things that people differ in. This verse yet again establishes that the Prophetic clarification is to come from THE BOOK.</litubayyina> And Allah further confirms that on the day of judgment the Prophet Muhammad will be a WITNESS AGAINST HIS PEOPLE for ignoring the “Bayyinna” he was giving to them from the BOOK: “One Day We shall raise from all peoples a witness against them, from amongst themselves: and We shall bring you as a witness against these (your people); and We have sent down to you the Book CLARIFYING ALL things <tabayyina>, a Guide, a Mercy, and glad tidings to Muslims” (16:89)</tabayyina> This Ayaah leaves no doubt that the BOOK has clarification <tabayyina> of ALL THINGS<likulli>. Thus further destabilizing the false claim that the Messenger is giving extra explanations from outside of the Qur’an. If the Qur’an itself is clarifying ALL THINGS, then what is the Messenger doing by giving “extra” explanations. If the Messenger is making extra explanations outside of the Qur’an, then logically that would mean that the Qur’an is NOT clarifying ALL THINGS. This, then obviously contradicts the above Qur’anic claim.</likulli></tabayyina> Then in the following Ayah Allah again tells us that the Clarity that Allah reveals is in the Book: “Those who conceal the revealed clarity <bayyinati> and the Guidance <al-huda>, after We have made it Clear <bayyinahu> for the people in The Book – on them shall be Allah’s curse, and the curse of those entitled to curse” (2:159)</bayyinahu></al-huda></bayyinati> Thus it is Allah Who has clarified all things for us in the Qur’an, and the Messenger is bringing that clarification to us (that is what the word “Messenger” means, i.e. one who brings a Message). But the Messenger is not making extra explanations from outside of the Book of Allah. Later we will see an example of how the Messenger clarified a certain Verse by referencing other verses of the Qur’an. For now, we will continue exploring the meaning of the word Bayyina as described within the Qur’an. In the following Verse Allah further explains that the Clarity and The Guidance is in the Qur’an: “Ramadan is the Month in which was sent down the Qur’an, as a Guide <huda> to humankind and as a Clarity <bayyinatin> for The Guidance <al-huda> and The Criterion <al-furqaan>….” (2:185)</al-furqaan></al-huda></bayyinatin></huda> If the Qur’an contains clarity and is supposed to “Clarify ALL THINGS”, then would that be logical to assume that the Book itself needs to be “clarified” by obscure books of Hadith written about 200 years after the Prophet? There are many places in the Qur’an where Allah has explicitly mentioned that the Clarity <bayyina> is the Verses that He reveals to His Messenger. Here are a few examples where Bayyina is directly related to the Qur’an:</bayyina> “Do they not earnestly seek to understand the Qur’an, or are their hearts locked up by them? Those who turn back as apostates after The Guidance <al-huda> is made Clear <tabayyina> - the shaitaan has instigated them and buoyoud them up with false hopes” (47: 24-25)</tabayyina></al-huda> “And We have sent down <anzalna> to you the Clarifying Verses <ayaatim>; and none rejects them but those who are perverse” (2:99)</ayaatim></anzalna> “Or lest you should say: If the Book had only been sent down to us, we should have followed its Guidance better than they. Now has come to you Clarity <bayyinatun> from your Lord - and a Guide and a mercy….” (6:157)</bayyinatun> These Ayaat establish that Clarity comes from Allah in His Book, which is what the Messenger is told to use to Clarify and Proclaim what is being revealed to the people. There is not an iota of truth to the claim that the Messenger is to give extra clarification <bayyina>, which is NOT in the Book. But the proponents of Hadith shout and cry and insist that the Messenger is supposed to give EXTRA clarification, and the strange thing is that after all of the above evidence, they still insist that when Allah says <litubayyina> in 16:44 He means EXTRA Clarifications OUTSIDE of the Book. Let us see how true are they to this claim of theirs. We see that the EXACT same form of the word “Bayyina” is used in another Ayah:</litubayyina></bayyina> “And remember Allah took a Covenant from the People of the Book to make it clear <litubayyinunahu> to humans, and not to hide it <la>; but they threw it away behind their backs, and purchased with it some miserable gain! And vile was the bargain they made” (3:187)</la></litubayyinunahu> Here Allah clearly establishes that the meaning of the word Bayyina is to “proclaim or clarify” and NOT to give “extra explanations” as “litubayyinunahu” is used as an opposite to “tuktumunahu”, which means to hide. If the meaning in 16:44 were to give EXTRA EXPLANATIONS, then in 3:187 it would mean that ALL the people of the Book were told by Allah to give EXTRA EXPLANATIONS. Thus, logically we now have to look for the Hadith of the people of the Book to find those extra explanations. In conclusion, we see that the duty of the Messenger was not just to deliver the Qur’an like a postman, but also to make things clear to the people. The methodology of the Messenger was to explain or give Tafsir of the Qur’anic Ayaat with OTHER Qur’anic Ayaat. We will witness this methodology of the Messenger in the following chapter. I conclude from the Verse that establishes that the Messengers lectures <daras> making clarifications <bayyina> consisted of reading the verses of the Quraan:</bayyina></daras> <wa></wa> "And thus do We repeat the verses and that they may say: You have given the Daras(lecture); and that We may make it clear to a people who know." (6:108)
  • What about the tafsir(explaination) of the Messenger with an example?
    We will look at an example of how the Messenger did Tafsir (or explanation) of the Qur’anic Ayaat. Did he rely on outside explanations or did he use the Qur’an itself to do its Tafsir? We will also look at how the same Verse is “explained” by the most authentic book of Hadith compiled by Bukhari. We will start with the following Ayah: “O you who believe! Do not put questions about things, which if declared to you may trouble you, and if you question about them when the QUR’AN IS BEING REVEALED, they shall be declared to you; Allah pardons this, and Allah is Forgiving, Forbearing” (5:101) We note that the questions are only allowed while the Qur’an is being revealed. This is further evidence that the revelation that the Prophet was receiving was nothing besides the Qur’an; otherwise, Allah could have the Prophet answer these questions through “other” revelations. The Prophet did not die right after the instance of delivering the last verses of the Qur’an. But the above Ayah forbade the questions after the completion of the Qur’an. This is consistent with the Qur’anic message. Allah tells us that one of the reasons why the Qur’an was being revealed to the Prophet in stages was to provide explanations (Tafsir) and answers to the questions of other people: “The rejecters say: ‘Why is not the Qur’an revealed to him all at once? Thus (it is revealed gradually) that We may strengthen your heart thereby and We have rehearsed it to you in slow well-arranged stages gradually. And no example do they bring to you but We bring to you the truth and the best explanation (ahsan al Tafsir)”(25:32-33) Here we see three main reasons why Allah sent the Messenger and why He revealed the Qur’an in stages: 1. To strengthen the Messenger so that he feels that he is in constant contact with Allah. 2. To provide the Messenger with the truth <haq> whenever people bring him other examples. 3. To provide the “best explanations” <ahsan>.</ahsan></haq> Thus it is the Qur’anic verses that provide the “best explanations”. These verses also show us why the Messenger’s role is an important one. First, he is the agency through which Allah communicates with the human beings. Had Allah dumped the whole Qur’an in a cave somewhere, no one would ever know about it. In addition, the person of the Messenger and the gradual revelation of the Quraal also make it more relevant to the people. As Allah says that the Qur’anic verses are revealed to the Messenger to bring him the truth (about a situation) and to provide him with the best explanations. But some people insist that the books of Hadith contain explanations of the Qur’anic Ayaat. Let us look at an example. Through this example we will see that this claim is absurd and contradicts the Qur’an. Allah tells the Prophet: “We relate to you (Mohammed) the most beautiful of stories, in that We reveal to you this Qur’an. Before this, you too were among those who were unaware of it.” (Qur’an 12:3) “There is, in their stories (all the Messenger’s stories mentioned in the Qur’an), instruction for people of understanding. It is not a Hadith invented. But a confirmation of what went before it – a detailed exposition of all things, and a Guide and a Mercy to any such as believe” (12:111) These Ayaat confirm that the Prophet’s knowledge about past events and past Messengers came only through the Qur’an. It is also not logical to assume that the Messenger of Allah would present other stories based on hearsay rather than the “best explanation”. Yet, the books of Hadith attach stories with the name of the Prophet that have no basis in the Qur’an, but they claim to “explain” the Qur’an. Look at the following example. Allah revealed: "O you who believe! Be not like those who annoyed Moses, but Allah cleared him of what they said, and he was worthy of regard with Allah." (33:69) Now if someone asks the question as to “how these people annoyed Moses”, then according to 25:32-33 and 12:3, 111 above, the Messenger would receive revelations to explain this with the “Ahsan al-Tafsir”. But contrary to that, the books of Hadith attach a story, which besides being unreasonable and absurd, also has no basis in the Qur’an: “It has been narrated to me by Ishaq bin Ibraheem, as Ruh bin Ubadah told us, from Auf who was informed by Al Hasan, Muhammad and Khilas, that he narrated from Abu Hurraira who said that, Allah's Apostle said, "(The Prophet) Moses was a shy person and used to cover his body completely because of his extensive shyness. One of the children of Israel hurt him by saying, 'He covers his body in this way only because of some defect in his skin, either leprosy or scrotal hernia, or he has some other defect.' Allah wished to clear Moses of what they said about him, so one day while Moses was in seclusion, he took off his clothes and put them on a stone and started taking a bath. When he had finished the bath, he moved towards his clothes so as to take them, but the stone took his clothes and fled; Moses picked up his stick and ran after the stone saying, 'O stone! Give me my garment!' Till he reached a group of Bani Israel who saw him naked then, and found him the best of what Allah had created, and Allah cleared him of what they had accused him of. The stone stopped there and Moses took and put his garment on and started hitting the stone with his stick. By Allah, the stone still has some traces of the hitting, three, four or five marks. This was what Allah refers to in His Saying: "O you who believe! Be you not like those Who annoyed Moses, But Allah proved his innocence of that which they alleged, And he was honorable In Allah's Sight.” (Sahih Bukhari Volume 4 Hadith 616) This is contrary to what Allah says in 25:32-33 and 12:3, 111. According to these Ayaat, the explanation must have come from the Qur’an. And it indeed did come from the Qur’an; the above story is someone’s fancywork, which he deemed suitable to attach to the name of the Prophet to give it more significance. Here is the “Ahsan al-Tafsir” of 33:69: After Moses delivered the people of Israel from the Pharaoh, they said to him: “They said: 'We have had (nothing but) trouble both before and after you came to us.”(7:129) When Allah gave them heavenly food they said: “O Moses! We cannot endure one kind of food (always)..”(2:61) When passing through a valley, these people saw some people worshiping idols. Knowing fully well that Moses was dedicated to the worship of Allah alone they asked him: “... O Moses! Make for us a god as they have (their) gods He said: Surely you are a people acting ignorantly.” (7:138) Moses had shown them so many signs of Allah, but they said to him: “O Moses! We will not believe in you until we see Allah manifestly...” (2:55) When Moses called them for war, they said: “...go therefore you and your Sustainer, then fight you both surely we will here sit down.” (5:24) Also read the story in (2:67-71) where Allah asked them to sacrifice a cow, but they kept coming back to Moses with irrelevant questions. It was because of this behavior that Moses was annoyed: “And when Moses said to his people: O my people! Why do you annoy me? And you know indeed that I am Allah's messenger to you…”(61:5) This is how the Messenger gave “Clarity” to the Qur’anic Ayaat – by using other Ayaat to give Tafsir. Anyone with a sane mind can see that the explanation or Tafsir given by the Qur’an to 33:69 is CLEAR and consistent with Allah’s Sunnah on how He deals with his beloved Messengers and servant. The story in Bukhari is nothing but a fabrication and an insult to Allah’s dealing with His beloved Messenger Moses. Thus, the argument that Hadith shed light on the Qur’an is a baseless argument. The Qur’an provides ample evidence that it is Allah who sheds light on the Qur’anic Verses by other Qur’anic Verses.
  • What does Obey Allah and Obey the Messenger mean?
    Many people site the Qur’anic Verses that command us to “Obey Allah and Obey the Messenger”, and say that Obeying Allah and obeying the Messenger are two different things – Obeying Allah is to obey the Qur’an and obeying the Messenger is to obey the books of Hadith. They point that if obeying the Messenger was the same thing as obeying Allah’s Qur’an, then Allah would have only said “Obey Allah”. These people say that Allah’s inclusion of “obey the Messenger” implies that the Messenger is saying EXTRA things outside of the Qur’an that we must obey. The thing that many proponents of Hadith forget is that Allah does not leave it to speculation as to what the people are to “obey”. The Ayaat do not end at “Obey Allah and obey the Messenger”, but they continue to include what the duty of the Messenger is: “And obey Allah and obey the messenger and be cautious; but if you turn back, then know that only a clear deliverance of the message is (incumbent) on Our messenger <wa>” (5:92)</wa> “And Allah has made for you of what He has created shelters, and He has given you in the mountains places of retreat, and He has given you garments to preserve you from the heat and coats of mail to preserve you in your fighting; even thus does He complete His favor upon you, that haply you may submit. But if they turn back, then on you devolves only the clear deliverance (of the message) <wa>”. (16:81-82)</wa> “And if you (o people) reject (the truth), nations before you did indeed reject (the truth); and nothing is incumbent on the messenger but a plain delivering (of the message) <wa>”. (29:18)</wa> “And obey Allah and obey the messenger, but if you turn back, then upon Our messenger devolves only the clear delivery (of the message) <wa>”.(64:12)</wa> “Say: Obey Allah and obey the messenger; but if you turn back, then on him rests that which is imposed on him and on you rests that which is imposed on you; and if you obey him, you are on the right way; and nothing rests on the messenger but clear delivering (of the message) <wa>”. (24:54)</wa> Now, if we look at these Ayaat, we notice that Allah has clearly pointed out the duty of the Messenger, i.e. that he must DELIVER the Clarity <balaghul>. We have seen that the Clarity or the Message of the Messenger is the Qur’an. Here we will look at another important term used in the Qur’an. This term is “Balagha”, meaning the “reaching”, or “delivery” of the Messenger.</balaghul> The word “Messenger” is derived from the word “Message”. A Messenger delivers a Message. To “Obey the Messenger” would thus mean to obey the message he is delivering. We have seen in the previous chapters that the Messenger is teaching, preaching, explaining and living by the Qur’an. Here again we will see that his delivery <balagha> is the Qur’an:</balagha> “Here is the <haza> is a delivery <balaghu> for Humans; let them take warning therefrom, and let them know that He is One God; let the People of Understanding take heed” (14:52)</balaghu></haza> This Ayah points to IT <haza>, meaning THIS (pointing to the Qur’an itself) is the delivery of the Messenger. This is further clarified in the following Ayah:</haza> “Before this We wrote in The Zabur, after the Dhikr: ‘My righteous servants shall inherit the earth’. Verily in this is a message <balaghan> for the servants of Allah” (21:105-106)</balaghan> However, some people says that 21:106 is pointing to 21:105 and not to the Qur’an. They still have no answer to 14:52. However, we will not pursue this further as Allah does not leave His Message to speculation, but He Defines what He means. Let us continue to read the Qur’an: “O Messenger! Proclaim <baligh> what is sent down to you <ma> from your Lord. If you do not, you would not have fulfilled and proclaimed His message: and Allah will defend you from people. For Allah Guides not those who Reject” (5:67)</ma></baligh> Here the Balagh is defined as that which is being sent down on the Prophet from Allah <unzila>. We have seen in the previous chapters that nothing else was sent down to the Prophet except the Qur’an. However, some people might still insist that there was “EXTRA something” that was sent down and that “EXTRA something” is in the Hadith books. Thus we continue to read the next Ayah after 5:67, where Allah further explains the nature of what was being sent down:</unzila> “Say: O people of the Book! You have no grounds to stand upon unless you stand fast by The Torah and The Injeel and all the rest that has come down to you from your Lord. It is what is SENT DOWN to you that increases in most of them their obstinate blasphemy. But sorrow you not over people without faith” (5:68) Here what is being sent down on the Prophet is compared with the Torah and the Injeel, i.e. it is the Qur’an. It is further explained that Allah has sent down<anzala> the Book with the Prophets:</anzala> “Mankind was one single nation, and Allah established Prophets giving glad tidings and warnings, and with them He sent down <anzala> The Book in Truth….” (2:213)</anzala> “It is He Who sent down <nazala> to you, in Truth, the Book…” (3:3).</nazala> But people say that not only the Book was sent down but also an EXTRA revelation known as al-Hikma (The Wisdom) was also sent down. They site some Ayaat from the Qur’an to this effect. One of them is related here: “…For Allah has sent down <anzala> to you the Book and the Wisdom and taught you what you knew not…” (4:113)</anzala> We will, inshaAllah deal with “Al-Hikma” later in another chapter. But for now, we will site a couple of Qur’anic Ayaat to show that the Book is INCLUSIVE of the Hikmah, and the Al-Hikma that is being sent down is the Qur’an: “Those who conceal what Allah has sent down<anzala> in the Book , and purchase for them a miserable profit – they swallow into themselves nothing but fire; Allah will not address them on the Day of Resurrection, nor purify them : grievous will be their penalty” (2:174)</anzala> Here we notice that the warning is ONLY given for concealing the Book, and not the Hikmah. Does this mean that those who conceal the “Hikmah” in the books of Hadith will not be punished? No, but the answer is that The-Book is inclusive of the Hikmah and concealing the Book would automatically conceal the Hikmah. “Because Allah sent down<nazala> the Book in Truth, but those who seek causes of dispute in the Book are in a schism far” (2:176)</nazala> If Hikmah is separate from the Book, then it means that it would be ok to seek causes of dispute in the Hikmah as it is ONLY the Book that is mentioned above. Here, I digress. Let me get back to the word “Balagha”. There is no point in dwelling on speculations when one has the “weightiest evidence” “Say: ‘What thing is most weighty in Evidence’? Say: ‘Allah is a Witness between me and you; this QUR’AN has been revealed to me by inspiration that with it <bihi> I may warn you and all whom it reaches <balagha>…” (6:19)</balagha></bihi> Here the Messenger clearly establishes what his BALAGHA is? It is the Qur’an. Thus to insist without proof that the Messenger was supposed to deliver something else besides the Qur’an is to oppose the Quranic verdict itself that he was to deliver the Message of the Qur’an only. But the argument does not end here. People point out that “Obey Allah and Obey the Messenger” should mean that obedience to the Messenger is separate from Obedience to Allah. This is absurd, as the Messenger does not have any authority except for the reason that he is SENT by Allah. Had Muhammad not been a Messenger of Allah would people obey him? The answer is “NO”. Thus “Obedience” to the Prophet is BECAUSE he is the Messenger of Allah. Thus the two are NOT mutually exclusive obedience – one is highly dependent on the other. It is the same as saying “eat an apple and eat its nutrition”. Here is further Evidence from the Qur’an that they are the same: “And an announcement from ALLAH AND HIS MESSENGER to the people on the day of the greater pilgrimage that ALLAH AND HIS MESSENGER are free from liability to the idolaters; therefore, if you repent, it will be better for you, and if you turn back, then know that you will not weaken Allah; and announce painful punishment to those who disbelieve” (9:3) Now, did the people hear Allah giving this announcement of immunity? The answer is “No!”. It was only from the LIPS of His Messenger, Muhammad, that they heard this announcement of immunity. Yet it is supposed to come from both Allah and His Messenger. Or do people think that one announcement came from Allah and ANOTHER came from the Messenger? Allah does not speak to all the people. What He does is that He chooses a human being as His instrument and communicates through that instrument. Who among the companions of the Prophet ever heard any of Allah’s commandments from Allah DIRECTLY? NONE! How can they OBEY Allah then? In that case, according to the above mentioned twisted logic all Allah had to do was say “Obey the Messenger” as it is ONLY through the LIPS of the Messenger that they are hearing the Qur’an. The following Ayah again establishes that Obedience to Allah and His Messenger is ONE and the SAME thing: “O you who believe! Obey Allah and Obey the Messenger and do not turn back from HIM <anhu> while you hear” (8:20)</anhu> Here the believers are identified to be those who were listening to the Messenger who delivers the Qur’anic laws to them, as the singular pronoun “anhu” (from him) indicates. This confirms that Allah and His Messenger are not two separate sources of law to be obeyed, but that the source of Divine law to be obeyed is ONLY Allah and ONLY the people are able to hear these divine laws through the LIPS of His Messenger. Then people’s ignorance of the Qur’an is further exposed when in desperation they site the examples of other Prophets like Nuh, Lut, Hud and Salih in the Qur’an and say that in “Ash Shu’ara” ( Surah 26) people are commanded to obey these Prophets. People say that since these Prophets did not have a book, then to obey them would mean that obedience to Messenger is DIFFERENT from Obedience to Allah. The Qur’an refutes this claim as I have shown above already. But in addition, the Qur’an confirms that at each time in history Allah has given a Book. Either the Prophets themselves were given Books, or there already was a Book by a previous Prophet to which they were calling the people: “And those to whom We have given the Book rejoice in that which has been revealed to you, and of the confederates are some who deny a part of it. Say: I am only commanded that I should serve Allah and not associate anything with Him, to Him do I invite (you) and to Him is my return. And thus have We revealed it, a true judgment(HUKMAN) in Arabic, and if you follow their low desires after what has come to you of knowledge, you shall not have against Allah any guardian or a protector. We did send messengers before You, and appointed for them wives and children: and it was never the part of a messenger to bring an Ayah except as Allah permitted (or commanded). For each PERIOD IS A BOOK (revealed).” (13:36-38) In no uncertain terms has Allah announced here that each Prophet had a Book in his time - the station of a Prophet and Book is always tied together: “It is not (possible) that a man, to whom is given the Book, and Wisdom, and the prophetic office, should say to people: ‘Be you my slaves rather than Allah's’: on the contrary (He would say) ‘Be you slaves of Him Who is truly the Cherisher of all: For you have taught the Book and you have studied it earnestly.’” (3:79) This Ayah ties the station of a Prophet to the Book. Otherwise, if we take the baseless claim that certain Prophets came without any Book then this Ayah would be limited Only to those Prophets who came with the Book, and therefore those Prophets who came without the Book can still tell people to be their slaves rather than Allah’s?? Further the Qur’an explicitly tells us that Allah gave the Book to Nuh and Lut and their Progeny: “We gave him Isaac and Jacob: all (three) guided; and before him, We guided NUH, and among his progeny, David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses, and Aaron. Thus do We reward those who do good; and Zakariya and John, and Jesus and Elias: all in the ranks of the righteous. And Isma'il and Elisha, and Jonas, and LUT; and to all We gave favor above the nations. (To them) and to their fathers, and progeny and brethren: We chose them, and we guided them to a straight way. This is the guidance of Allah: He gives that guidance to whom He pleases, of His worshippers. If they were to join other gods with Him, all that they did would be vain for them. These are they to whom We gave the BOOK and the wisdom and the prophecy; therefore if these disbelieve in it We have already entrusted with it a people who are not disbelievers in it” (6:84-89) “And certainly We sent Nuh and Ibrahim and We gave to their offspring the (gift of) prophecy and the Book; so there are among them those who go aright, and most of them are transgressors” (57:26) The above Ayaat make it clear that ALL Prophets came with Allah’s Message in some form of a Book, and that obedience to the Messenger is obedience to Allah’s Words that the Messengers are delivering. Whether these words are preserved or not is another matter. But as far as the Qur’an is concerned the Book has been recorded and preserved - I have shown before that the revelation delivered by the Prophet Muhammad was nothing but the Qur’an, and therefore, to obey the Messenger we must obey the Qur’an. Besides, the speculation that obedience to Allah and obedience to the Messenger are separate conflicts with the explicit Qur’anic statement that Allah does NOT share anyone in His Law or Hukm: “Surely the Hukm (Law and Judgment) is for none but Allah” (12:40) “He does not make anyone His associate in His Hukm (Law and Judgment)” (18:26) The Messenger himself is made to testify that the Law and the Judgment is only from Allah as revealed through the Messenger in His Book: “Shall I seek a Law-giver other than Allah? When He it is Who has revealed to you the Book distinctly elucidated.” (6:114) Thus, the proponents of Hadith are only relying on conjecture when they say that “obey the Messenger” means to obey EXTRA commandments outside of the Qur’an; they have no evidence from the Qur’an to back up this claim – only conjecture: “Most of them follow nothing but conjecture: truly conjecture can be of no avail against truth. Verily Allah is well aware of all that they do.” (10:36)
  • Is Al-Hikma A Separate Revelation from the Quran?
    The previous chapters present much evidence to conclude that the true Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah was to live by the Qur’an, preach by the Qur’an, judge by the Qur’an, and give explanations by the Qur’an. However, sometimes human beings get stuck on an idea that they have been programmed with and they would look for any and every excuse to somehow validate that idea. The proponents of Hadith are no different. They now come back and site the following Ayah to suggest that Allah revealed at least two different revelations to the Prophet Muhammad, one being the Book <al-kitaab>, and the other being the Wisdom <al-hikma>:</al-hikma></al-kitaab> “…For Allah has sent down <anzala> to you the Book and the Wisdom and taught you what you knew not…” (4:113)</anzala> We will see that just like al-Dhikr (The Reminder), al-Hikma (The Wisdom) is also an attribute of the Qur’an. The Qur’an is not just a Book of laws and regulations. It also contains the Wisdom behind those laws and regulations. Thus when Allah says “Book and Wisdom”, He is emphasizing that it is a “written record” that contains “the wisdom” behind the written statements. We will now look at the Qur’an to establish the meaning of “Al-Hikma”. As we have established before that the delivery or “Balagha” of the Messenger is the Qur’an, we start with the Ayah that relates the Balagha to the Hikma: “There has already come to them recitals wherein there is (enough) to check; delivery of Wisdom <hikmatun> - but the preaching of warners profits them not.” (54:4-5)</hikmatun> Here the delivery <balagha> is that of Hikma. As we have seen above that the delivery is from the Book of Allah. Therefore, this Ayah establishes that Hikma is from the Book and not outside.</balagha> Then in the following Ayah, Allah establishes that The Qur’an is the Hikma: “These are of the Wisdom <al-hikmati>, which your Lord has revealed to you. Take not, with Allah, another object of Worship, lest you should be thrown into hell, blameworthy and rejected” (17:39).</al-hikmati> This Ayah clearly establishes that part of the Hikma revealed to the Messenger is that he “Take not, with Allah, another object of Worship, lest you should be thrown into hell, blameworthy and rejected”, which is part of the Qur’an. Then, “This is what We rehearse <natluhu> to you of the Ayaat and the Reminder of Wisdom <al-dhikr>” (3:58)</al-dhikr></natluhu> Note here that Allah ties Wisdom to the Dhikr, which we have already established to be the Qur’an. It is also important to note that the “Reminder of Wisdom” is to be recited <natluhu>. The only thing that the Muslims recite is the Qur’an. No one ever recites Hadith. Thus the Hikma is just another attribute of the Qur’an.</natluhu> Also interesting to note is that the teaching of the Messenger of the Book and the Wisdom is always tied to him reciting the Ayaat of the Qur’an; see for example: “Allah did confer a great favor on the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from among themselves, reciting <yatlu> to them the Ayaat of Allah, purifying them, and teaching them the Book and the Wisdom, while before that they were in manifest error” (3:164)</yatlu> Allah further says that He ONLY instructs us to RECITE <yutla> His Book and NOTHINGH ELSE:</yutla> “And is it NOT ENOUGH for them that We have sent down <anzalna> to you the Book, which is Recited <yutla> to them? Verily, in it is Mercy and Reminder <dhikr> to those who believe” (29:51)</dhikr></yutla></anzalna> Allah leaves no doubt that it is the Book that He wants us to Recite. Again notice that everything outside of the Book is excluded by this Ayah. Thus if Hikma, or Dhikr were “other revelations” outside of the Book then this Ayah excludes them. Note here again in 29:51 that what is sent down <anzalna> is of the Book only (and that is enough), which further confirms that Hikma is included in the Book.</anzalna> We now look at another evidence that al-Hikma is something that is to be recited. We see that Allah commanded the wives of the Messenger to recite al-Hikmah: Wazakurna ma_ yutla_ fi buyu_tikun na min a_ya_til la_hi wal hikmah inal la_ha ka_na latifan khabira "And bear in mind that which is recited in your houses of the revelations of Allah and wisdom <al-hikma>. Lo! Allah is Subtile, Aware." (33:34)</al-hikma> This verse, along with the above evidence leaves no doubt that Hikmah was to be recited, and that it is just another attribute of the Qur’an. However, some people say that “Yutla” does not necessarily mean “to recite” but could also mean “to read from memory”. They insist that in this Ayah, the Hadith of the Prophet are included and his wives are instructed to read the verses of the Qur’an as well as the Hadith of the Prophet. This claim is not only baseless but quite funny. First of all, the Qur’an uses the words “Tilawa”, “yatlu”, “Tatlu” , etc. explicitly for RECITATION of the VERSES of the QUR’AN. In addition, the reading of the Hadith for the wives would create a very comical situation. It would be interesting for the wives of the Prophet to be reciting that “The Messenger stood up by a wall and urinated”, and that “The Messenger had sex with 9 women in one night”, and that “Messenger poked out the eyes of some people and cut their hands and feet and put them up on the wall to die”, and that “Messenger told us not to write the Hadith but we are writing it anyway” (please see these Hadith in the Appendix). I hope the proponents of Hadith see the ridiculousness of their concocted “explanation”. Allah clearly explains to us that Wisdom is an attribute of the Qur’an: “Alif Laam Ra. These are the Verses of the Book of Wisdom <kitaab>” (10:1)</kitaab> “Alif Lam Mim. These are the Verses of the Book of Wisdom” (31:1-2) “Ta Sin. By the Qur’an full of Wisdom” (36:1-2) “We have made it a Qur’an in Arabic, so that you may use your Aqal. And verily it is in the Mother of The Book, in Our Presence, High, Full of Wisdom” (43:3-4) These above Ayaat make it evident that Wisdom is an attribute of the Qur’an. Thus when the Qur’an is revealed to the Prophet, its Hikma is also revealed to him by default. However, some people still insist WITHOUT PROOF that Hikma is a separate revelation from the Qur’an. Allah disposes off such claims when He tells us: “Ha Mim. And the Book of Clarity <kitaab>. We sent it down during a blessed night: for We wish to warn. In that is made distinct EVERY affair of WISDOM” (44:1-4)</kitaab> Here Allah ties the descending of the Book with all wisdom. There is abundant evident that Hikma is an attribute of the Qur’an, and is to be Recited. Qur’an is not just a “Kitaab” or “Book” of Legal rulings. It also contains the Wisdom behind those rulings and laws. Thus “The Book and the Wisdom” means the laws and the wisdom behind those laws. This is the Miracle of Allah’s Revelations – they contain His laws as well as the Wisdom behind those laws. “But their hearts are in confused ignorance of this, and there are, besides that, deeds of theirs, which they will (continue) to do – until, when We seize in punishment those of them who received the good things of this world, behold they will groan in supplication. It will be said: ‘groan not in supplication this day, for you shall certainly not be helped by Us. My Ayaat used to be Recited <tutla> to you, but you used to turn back on your heels in arrogance talking nonsense about it, like one telling fables by night. Do they not ponder of over the Word, or has anything come to them that did not come to their fathers of old?” (23:63-68)</tutla> “But there are, among humans, who purchase idle Hadith, without knowledge, to mislead from the path of Allah and throw ridicule: for such there will be a humiliating penalty. When Our Ayaat are Recited <tutla> to such a one, he turns away in arrogance, as if he heard them not, as if there were deafness in both his ears: announce to him a grievous penalty” (31:6-7)</tutla>
  • How Do You Perform Salaat Then?
    This is another question asked by people who want to derive their religion from other books besides the Book of Allah. However, many people fail to realize that the Salaat (or ritual prayer) does not come to us from the books of Hadith. Salaat is a practice that we learn as children through imitation of our elders. Before we look at the important aspects of Salaat as described within the Qur’an, we must justify this imitation. We again remind the readers of the many Ayaat in the Qur’an, attesting to the fact that the Book of Allah has EVERYTHING that we need for our Guidance: “We have put forth for humans, in this Qur’an, every kind of example so that they may remember” (Qur’an 39:27). "And We have revealed the Book to you which has the clear explanation of everything <wa>, and a guidance and mercy and good news for those who submit." (16:89)</wa> “And certainly We have brought them a Book, which We have detailed <fassalnahu> with knowledge, a guidance and mercy for a people who believe” (7:52)</fassalnahu> The reader is reminded that EVERYTHING that is needed for our guidance is explained in DETAIL within the Qur’an. Therefore, the logical consequence of this is that if we do not find something within the Qur’an, then that thing is NOT important for our Guidance. Salaat was not something started by the Prophet Muhammad. It was practiced well before his time by all nations. In fact, the Meccan polytheists also used to practice Salaat, as they were the descendents of Prophet Ibrahim. The reason why their Salaat was incorrect was not because they were doing the wrong actions; rather, it was incorrect because they were not making Salaat to the one and only God. We will see later in this chapter the things that make one’s Salaat invalid. For now we turn our attention to the Ayaat that establish that Salaat is to be practiced at is practiced in the Sacred Masjid in Mecca: “Surely, the first house appointed for humankind is that at Mecca, it is full of blessing and GUIDANCE for all the WORLDS” (3:96) “And when We made the house a place of blessing and security for humankind, and TAKE ALL OF YOU FROM THE STANDING POSITION IF IBRAHIM (Muqaame Ibrahim) the SALAAT PERFORMED (MUSAL’A), and We covenanted with Ibrahim and Ismail to purify My House for those who compass around and those who are in retreat and those who bow down and prostrate” (2:125) The word “Musalla” is from the root word “Salah” just like the word “Musaffa” is from the root word “Saffa”. Saffa means “purification”, and Musaafa means “purification performed”. In the same manner, Salah means “prayer”, and Musalla means, “prayer performed”. The above Verses make it clear that the prayer is to be performed as it is performed in the Sacred Mosque, which is a place for Guidance. The Qur’an outlines the purpose of Salaat for us in no uncertain terms: “Nay, seek (Allah's) help with patient perseverance and prayer<asalaat>: It is indeed hard, except to those who bring a lowly spirit” (2:45)</asalaat> “O you who believe! Seek help with patient perseverance and prayer; for Allah is with those who patiently persevere” (2:153) These Ayaat establish that one of the purposes of Salaat is to communicate with Allah and seek His help and make Dua to Him. “It is not righteousness that you turn your faces Towards east or West; but it is righteousness- to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfil the contracts which you have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the Allah-fearing” (2:177) This Ayah establishes that body movements of turning this way or that way is NOT righteousness, but righteousness is to do good deeds and establish Salaat. Thus one of the purposes of Salaat is to make us pure and help us do righteous deeds and ask for repentance if we make a mistake. “Satan's plan is (but) to excite enmity and hatred between you, with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah, and from prayer: will you not then abstain?” (5:91) “Recite what is sent of the Book by inspiration to you, and establish regular Prayer: for Prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds; and remembrance of Allah is the greatest (thing in life) without doubt. And Allah knows the (deeds) that you do.” (29:45) Here Shaitaan’s plan is given in opposition to Salaat and Allah’s remembrance. Thus the purpose of Salaat is to also to keep remembering Allah and to guard against Shaitaan’s evil temptations. “Verily, I am Allah: There is no god but I: So serve you Me (only), and establish regular prayer for celebrating My praise” (20:14) One of the most important purposes of Salaat is to celebrate the praise of Allah and keep reminding ourselves for all the things He has provided for us. Now seeing that the Salaat fulfils so many important tasks, which are essential for our well being in this world and in the hereafter, it would seem unfair if it were ONLY for the Muslims AFTER the Prophet Muhammad. Allah is not unjust and He has given the gift of Salaat to ALL people throughout human history. The following Ayaat establish that people before the Prophet Muhammad were also making Salaat: Moses and his people performed Salaat: “We inspired Moses and his brother with this Message: ‘Provide dwellings for your people in Egypt, make your dwellings into places of worship, and establish regular prayers<asalaat>: and give glad tidings to those who believe!’” (10:87)</asalaat> Shuaib and his followers performed Salaat and were rebuked for that by their enemies: “They said: ‘O Shu'aib! Does your prayer<asalaatuka> command you that we leave off the worship which our fathers practiced, or that we leave off doing what we like with our property? Truly, you are the one that forbears with faults and is right-minded!’” (11:87)</asalaatuka> Jesus made Salaat all his life: “And He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and has enjoined on me Prayer<salaat> and Charity as long as I live” (19:31)</salaat> Ibrahim and his followers were performing Salaat and he also prayed to Allah that among his offspring Allah make a people who continue to establish Salaat. “O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in a valley without cultivation, by Your Sacred House; in order, O our Lord, that they may establish regular Prayer: so fill the hearts of some among men with love towards them, and feed them with fruits: so that they may give thanks” (14:37) “O my Lord! make me one who establishes regular Prayer<salaat>, and also among my offspring O our Lord! and accept You my Prayer” (14:40)</salaat> Allah accepted this prayer of Prophet Ibrahim; his son Ismail and those after him continued to establish Salaat as was Ibrahim’s prayer in 14:40 above. “And mention Ismail in the Book; surely he was truthful in (his) promise, and he was a messenger, a prophet. He used to enjoin on his people Prayer and Charity, and he was most acceptable in the sight of his Lord.” (19:54-55) The prayer of Ibrahim was not only fulfilled in the line of his son Ismail, but also in the line of his other son Ishaq: “And We gave him Ishaq and Yaqoub, a son's son, and We made (them) all good. And We made them leaders, guiding (men) by Our Command, and We sent them inspiration to do good deeds, to establish regular prayers, and to practise regular charity; and they constantly served Us” (21:72-73) “Allah did aforetime take a covenant from the Children of Israel, and we appointed twelve captains among them. And Allah said: ‘I am with you: if you (but) establish regular prayers<salaat>, practise regular charity, believe in my messengers, honor and assist them, and loan to Allah a beautiful loan, verily I will wipe out from you your evils, and admit you to gardens with rivers flowing beneath; but if any of you, after this, resisteth faith, he hath truly wandered from the path or rectitude.’” (5:12)</salaat> One can certainly find other examples within the Qur’an where it is established that ALL people to whom Allah sent His messengers were commanded to establish Salaat. Thus Salaat is not something, which the people of Prophet Muhammad started, but it has been established for ALL humanity. “And those who were given the Book did not become divided except after clear evidence had come to them. And they have been commanded no more than this: To worship Allah, offering Him sincere devotion, being true; to establish regular prayer; and to practice regular charity; and that is the Religion Right and Straight” (98:4-5) In fact, not only all humanity, but ALL beings (whether living or dead) perform Salaat to Allah: “Seest you not that it is Allah Whose praises all beings in the heavens and on earth do celebrate, and the birds (of the air) with wings outspread? Each one knows its own prayer<kullun> and praise. And Allah knows well all that they do.” (24:41)</kullun> Thus Salaat is as universal a concept as perhaps eating and speaking. Perhaps Salaat is even more so as it is also performed by non-living beings in the heavens and on earth. Verse 24:41 also establishes that EVERYONE KNOWS THEIR SALAAT <kullun>. Therefore, according to the Qur’an, Salaat is part of every being’s nature.</kullun> Now, according to the Qur’an the MOST important aspect of the Salaat is that it is performed for NONE but Allah. This is the aspect of Salaat that is emphasized within the Qur’an. As we saw above that the people of Arabia (being the offspring of Ibrahim) were performing Salaat when the Prophet Muhammad came to them. Why was not their Salaat and Dua accepted by Allah? Was it because they were not making the right number of Rakaas? Was it because they were not doing its actions in a particular sequence? The answer to this is NO. The Qur’an, which we have seen above has left NOTHING out of it, tells us why Allah will NOT accept someone’s Salaat: “Say: ‘Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds’”(6:162) This is the key for the acceptance of one’s Salaat, i.e. that it is for Allah alone. If one performs ALL the actions of Salaat with all the right number of Rakaas and sequences, but does not make that for Allah, the Salaat is INVALID. “For Him (alone) is prayer in Truth: any others that they call upon besides Him hear them no more than if they were to stretch forth their hands for water to reach their mouths but it reaches them not: for the prayer of those without Faith is nothing but (futile) wandering (in the mind).” (13:14) “They will say: ‘Did there not come to you your messengers with Clear Ayaat?’ They will say, ‘Yes’. They will reply, ‘Then pray! But the prayer of those without Faith is nothing but in error!” (40:50) Thus any kind of prayer is NOT accepted if it is made to any other being besides Allah. Also if one is a hypocrite and rebellious to Allah, his Salaat and Zakaat are also not accepted by Allah: “Say: Spend willingly or unwillingly, it shall not be accepted from you; surely you are rebellious<fasiqun>. The only reasons why their contributions are not accepted are: that they reject Allah and His Messenger; that they come to prayer without earnestness; and that they offer contributions unwillingly.” (9:53-54)</fasiqun> Here, besides the prayer for Allah ONLY, another important aspect of Salaat is mentioned, i.e. one MUST perform Salaat with earnestness and willingness. Thus we identify the two most important aspects of Salaat: It must be for Allah and must be done with a humble heart and willingness. “The Hypocrites - they think they are over-reaching Allah, but He will over-reach them: When they stand up to prayer, they stand without earnestness, to be seen of men, but little do they hold Allah in remembrance” (4:142) Here Allah identifies a reason why these people’s Salaat is NOT accepted. The reasons given are NOT that they did not do the right number of Rakaas, or did not perform the actions in a particular sequence. But the reason given are TWO: One, they do NOT hold Allah in Remembrance; and two, they do not do it with earnestness and humility. Finally, Allah establishes that going through the actions or Rakaas of the Salaat does NOT do any good unless the person does good deeds, and understand that the Salaat is for Allah, and Allah is the ALL-KNOWING, Watcher of all deeds, hidden or open: “See you one who denies the Judgment? Then such is the person who repulses the orphan, and encourages not the feeding of the indigent. So woe to the performers of Salaat <musaleen> who do not pay heed to their prayers; those who (want but) to be seen (of men), but refuse kind deeds.” (Chapter 107)</musaleen> Here Allah is rebuking the performers of Salaat for what reason? Is it because their number of Rakaas is incorrect? Or is it because their sequence of actions is not correct? No, it is because they do not learn lessons of kindness through the medium (known as Salaat) of communication with Allah. To summarize, we see that the Qur’an does NOT emphasize on the different actions of Salaat, but that Salaat be performed with humility to Allah alone and be accompanied by kind actions towards others. Now, the Qur’an does mention some of the important ACTIONS of Salaat. These actions are “Qiam”, “Rukuh” and “Sujud”. It also tells us to perform Allah’s Tasbih and Recite the Qur’an during Salaat. Please see for example, 39:68; 51:45; 3:191; 4:5; 5:98; 25:68; 5:55; 38:24; 2:43; 3:43; 9:112; 7:11; 7:120, etc. In the Muslim World, there are many schools of Thoughts and they all have differences in their Salaat. However, as long as they are fulfilling the basic requirements as outlined within the Qur’an, and are NOT doing anything that CONTRADICTS the Qur’an, then their Salaat is valid as long as it is performed for Allah’s sake only. Who is performing Salaat according to the Sunnah? The answer is very simple – If a person performs Salaat for the sake of Allah in all humility and performs the actions outlined within the Qur’an, and does not do anything contradictory to the Qur’an, then he is performing the Salaat according to the Sunnah of the Messenger. Some people get very paranoid at this flexible suggestion. They start making unreasonable claims that this way everyone will be performing Salaat in his/her own way. This scenario, Though possible, is utterly unreasonable. We must remember that we are dealing with human beings that are supposed to use their common sense and Aqal as suggested strongly by the Qur’an. The question is why would someone deliberately change the Salaat he has been taught? Let us look at an example to illustrate the situation in a more unbiased manner: When we are growing up we learn that the word “Apple” is spelled with the letter “A”. When we grow up, we learn that the spelling of the apple is not what is important; rather it is the NUTRITION of the apple that is important. After learning this fact, do we all start to spell the word “Apple” with other letters besides “A”? The answer is “NO!” Similarly, when we are growing up we learn the Salaat from our parents. Later when we read the Qur’an we learn that the “NUTRITION” of the Salaat is that it is performed for Allah’s sake only with all humility. We also find that the actions of the Salaat that we were taught as a child do not contradict the Qur’an. Why would we suddenly then want to change the actions of the Salaat? Did we change the spellings of the word “apple” when we found out that an apple’s essence is its nutrition and not its spelling? In conclusion, we must remember that the Qur’an is a COMPLETE and DETAILED Book of Guidance with NOTHING LACKING. The Qur’an has outlined where we should get our Salaat from and it has also identified the “nutritious” aspects of the Salaat in detail. Had every single action of the Salaat been important for our Guidance, Allah would have DETAILED it in His COMPLETE Book.
  • What About What Our Ancestors Did Then?
    When all else fails, the proponents of Hadith repeat the age-old “argument” of “Our parents and our teachers and our scholars cannot be wrong and we will guide ourselves in their footsteps”. This argument is flawed and has been identified within the Qur’an as the biggest hindrance in the path of accepting the truth of Allah’s revelations. Whenever Allah sent a Message to the people, they always resisted. Here are some of the examples of why people would not follow the Guidance delivered by the Messengers of Allah: "And when it is said to them: `Follow what Allah has revealed!’ They say: `Nay! We will follow what we found our ancestors following.' What ! Even Though their Ancestors were void of wisdom and guidance?" (2:170) When Prophet Nuh called them towards Allah’s Guidance, they replied to him: "..Never did we hear such a thing among our Ancestors of old." (23:24) When Prophet Hud told his people to not consider anyone or anything worthy of service besides Allah, they rebuked him and said: "..Have you come to us that we may serve Allah alone and leave that which our Ancestors served..?" (7:70) Similar answers were given to Prophet Salih and Prophet Shuaib: "..Do you forbid us that which our Ancestors served?" (11:62) "O Shuaib, does your Salat order that we leave of that which our Ancestors served." (11:87) When Prophet Ibrahim showed them that they need to use their reason and serve only Allah, they had but one reply for him: "They said:`Nay we but found our Ancestors doing thus what we do!" (26:74) When people hear “new” things from Allah’s revelations, they are amazed at it and refuse to believe in it because they never heard such a thing from their ancestors. This was their response when Prophet Moses gave them the clear revelations of Allah: "..Never did we hear the like among our Ancestors of old!" (28:36) When someone tries to get the people to focus on Allah’s revelations alone, they always accuse him of trying to create innovations and divert them from the path of their “righteous” ancestors. When the Prophet Muhammad came to his people and started delivering the Qur’an, they accused him of innovations in the religion of their ancestors: "..This is just a Man whose intention is to oppose you from that which your Ancestors served.." (34:43) Today the Muslims have fallen in the same trap of Shaitaan. They insist that everything and anything passed down to them by their ancestors is Islam. Volumes have been written to show the piety of their scholars and Imams of the past. Whether these people were pious or not are for Allah to decide, but the Muslims today insist that since these people were pious, they could never have believed in what they believed in. This argument is logically flawed as the piety of an individual does not necessarily reflect that everything he believes is the truth. We must remember that all human beings go through a learning process all their lives and it is finally Allah who will judge who is pious and who is not as it is only Allah who knows the inner most secrets of the heart. The Qur’an has given a very simple answer to such faulty logic: "They were a people that have passed away. For them is what they earned and for you is what you earn. And you will not be questioned as to what they did." (2:141) Thus each sects insistent on proving its set of scholars and its set of Hadith as true is an effort that will avail them nothing as it is only what they follow and what they believe that they will be questioned about. The Muslim “scholarship” today is full of references to Hadith and past scholars and very little is mentioned from the Qur’an. In fact, one finds that in most cases the Qur’an is used in as much as is needed to point people to other sources. For example, many works use only the Qur’anic Ayaat of “Obey Allah and obey the Messenger” to establish a basis of their discussion, which then is entirely developed using Hadith. As one person rightly suggested that every Muslim knows “two Hadith and one Qur’anic Ayah”, pointing to the fact that the Muslim scholarship and law is based more on Hadith than the Book of Allah itself. The Qur’an refutes this type of mentality and in the words of Prophet Yusuf, it says: "If not Him you serve nothing but names which you have invented, you and your Ancestors.." (12:40) Today the Qur’an is hidden under the dust of thousands of books of Tafsir and Hadith, and the people insist that one must go to either Imams or Sheikhs to understand the Book of Allah. When Qur’anic Ayaat are recited to them, they refuse to listen to them unless they confirm to one of their accepted scholar’s interpretation. This kind of blind following only is a direct result of people refusing to use the gift of Aqal that Allah has bestowed on all human beings. Rather than study the Qur’an and do their own Jehad, the Muslims want to follow FORMULAS contained in the books of their scholars and the books of Hadith. Allah never authenticated any other book besides the Qur’an. To rush and follow other books and other people can lead only to destruction in this life and the life beyond: " What! Have We given them a Book before this to which they are holding fast?" (43:21) "Nay! They say:`We found our Ancestors following a certain way and we will guide ourselves by their footsteps." (43:22) "Then their return is to the blazing (fire)." (37:68) "Surely they found their Ancestors on the wrong path." (37:69) "So they (too) rushed down their footsteps." (37:70) And why is their end so destructive? Because when Allah’s Ayaat were recited to them, they would take refuge in the books of their ancestors and their established formulas rather than contemplating on the Ayaat: "The fire will burn their faces and they will grin therein with their lips displaced." (23:104) "Were not my Ayaat (verses) rehearsed to you and you did but treat them as falsehoods?"(23:105) "They will say:`Our Sustainer! Our misfortune overwhelmed us and we became a people astray!" (23:106) Having looked at the problems with following ancestors without using one’s own Aqal, we now turn our attention to the question of Guidance. If we are to study the Qur’an on our own, then who will guide us? Though, it is desirable to study the Qur’an with other seekers of guidance, the final Guidance comes only from Allah. Yes! Allah can Guide us in many ways – He may choose to Guide us through and ant, or a tree or a poisonous snake, and indeed, through a scholar. However, the problem comes when we as human beings DECIDE how we will be guided. One should ONLY seek Guidance from Allah, then it is up to Allah to decide how He will Guide us. Today, the Muslim world is full of scholars and “guides” who have taken the responsibility to guide people to the truth. Most of these people are probably very sincere and it is definitely desirable that one shares his ideas with others if he thinks that these ideas might help others. The problem, however, is not these scholars, but the problem is their followers. It is the followers who blindly follow whatever their scholars say. It is the duty of ever individual to ONLY seek Allah’s Guidance and to study the Qur’an with reason, meaning that the Qur’an should be used as Al-Furqaan (The – Criterion) for judging the truth behind any scholar’s statements. Let us now see how the Qur’an defines Guidance and Who it points to as The Guide: "Alif Lam Mim. This is the Book; in it is GUIDANCE sure, without doubt, to those who are conscious of Allah; Who believe in the Unseen, are steadfast in prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them; And who believe in the Revelation sent to You, and sent before your time, and (in their hearts) have the assurance of the Hereafter."(2:1-4) This Ayah at the beginning of Surah Baqarah states very clearly the purpose and the audience of this Book, the Qur’an. So who is it that the Qur’an points to as the provider of Guidance? The ONLY Being that the Qur’an points to is Allah. “Verily We take upon Ourselves to guide, And verily unto Us (belong) the End and the Beginning.”(92:12-13) "Say:'The Guidance of Allah, that is the only Guidance'.."(2:120) The next logical question is how we seek Allah’s Guidance? “The month of Ramazan is that in which the Quran was revealed, the GUIDANCE to men and clear proofs of the guidance and the criterion(Furqaan)…”(2:185) “And certainly We have brought them a Book which We have made clear with knowledge, a GUIDANCE and a mercy for a people who believe.”(7:52) “Ta Sin! These are the verses of the Quran, the clear Book. The GUIDANCE and good news for those who believe” (27:1-2) “Surely this Quran declares to the children of Israel most of what they differ in. And most surely it is a GUIDANCE and a mercy for those who believe”(27:76-77) “Allah has revealed the best sayings in the form of a Book conformable in its various parts, repeating, whereat do shudder the skins of those who desire their Lord, then their skins and their hearts become pliant to the remembrance of Allah; this is Allah's GUIDANCE, He guides with it whom He pleases; and (as for) him whom Allah leaves to stray, there is no guide for him.”(39:23) “Surely We have revealed to you the Book with the truth for the sake of humans; so whoever follows the GUIDANCE, it is for his own soul and whoever errs, he errs only to its detriment; and you are not a custodian over them.”(39:41) In no uncertain terms, Allah has established that in order to seek His Guidance, we must go to His Book - the Qur’an. There is no other book (except for Allah’s other revealed Books) pointed out by Allah for the purpose of Guidance. In addition, the Qur’an also gives us an example of how the Jinns were Guided just by the Qur’an: “Say: It has been revealed to me that a party of the jinn listened, and they said: Surely we have heard a wonderful Quran, Guiding to the right way, so we believe in it, and we will not set up any one with our Lord”(Qur’an 72:1-2) “'And as for us, since we have listened to the Guidance, we have accepted it: and any that believes in his Lord has no fear, either of a short (account) or of any injustice.”(Qur’an 72:13) We see in these verses it is implied that the Prophet was not even aware of when the Jinns were listening to the Qur’an, until this Ayah came to him and revealed to him the story of these Jinns. These Jinns received Guidance from what? Did they use Hadith? Did they go and “study” the Qur’an “FORMALLY” under a “Shaikh”? The answers to these questions is “NO”. The answer is that they listened to the Qur’an and received Guidance from it with the help of Allah. But there are people who would say, “But what about the books of Hadith, and what about our Ulama?” Well, again the Qur’an has provided answers for that: “Say: Is there any of your associates who guides to the truth? Say: Allah Guides to the truth. Is He then Who guides to the truth more worthy to be followed, or he who himself does not go aright unless he is guided? What then is the matter with you; how do you judge? And most of them do not follow (anything) but conjecture; surely conjecture will not avail aught against the truth; surely Allah is cognizant of what they do. And this Quran is not such as could be forged by those besides Allah, but it is a verification of that which is before it and a clear explanation of the Book, there is no doubt in it, from the Lord of the worlds.”(Qur’an 10:35-37) It is important to highlight the part of the Verses, which say “Is He then Who guides to the truth more worthy to be followed, or he who himself does not go aright unless he is guided? What then is the matter with you; how do you judge?” No matter how pious and righteous any Imam or scholar is, the fact is that he/she could not have been Guided were it not for the Mercy of Allah. So the obvious question is “Who do we SEEK for guidance?” Do we seek humans who themselves need Allah’s Guidance, or do we seek the SOURCE Itself? The answer should be obvious: “Verily those whom you call upon besides Allah are servants like unto you: Call upon them, and let them listen to your prayer, if you are (indeed) truthful!”(Qur’an 7:194) “Say: Shall we call others besides Allah, which does not benefit us nor harm us, and shall we be returned back on our heels after Allah has guided us, like him whom the Shaitaans have made to fall down perplexed in the earth? He has companions who call him to the right way, (saying): Come to us. Say: Surely the guidance of Allah that is The-Guidance, and we are commanded that we should submit to the Lord of the worlds.”(Qur’an 6:71) If Allah has clearly established that it is His Book only that should be sought for Guidance, then there should be no “ifs” and “buts” from at least those who claim to believe that the Qur’an is revealed by Allah. But sadly, the path of Hadith is hard to leave and the Muslim comes back again and again to somehow authenticate other books besides the Qur’an – they do this without considering the consequences of such an effort: “These are they who buy error for the right direction and chastisement for Guidance; how bold they are to encounter fire. This is because Allah has revealed the Book with the truth; and surely those who seek causes of dispute in the Book are in a great schism. It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards the East and the West, but righteousness is this that one should believe in Allah and the last day and the angels and the Book and the prophets, and give away wealth out of love for Him to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and the beggars and for (the emancipation of) the captives, and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate; and the performers of their promise when they make a promise, and the patient in distress and affliction and in time of conflicts-- these are they who are {rue (to themselves) and these are they who guard (against evil).”(Qur’an 2:175-177) Why is the Muslim world so insecure now? Is it because of the West, or is it their own doing? Those who confuse the clarity in the Qur’an with other books are the people who are responsible for the situation of the Muslims today. Had they not confused Allah’s clear Guidance in the Qur’an with other books, they would be in security today as Allah has Promised: "It is those who believe and confuse not their beliefs with wrong - that are (truly) in security, for they are on (right) guidance."(Qur’an 6:82) “And on the day when We will raise up in every people a witness against them from among themselves, and bring you as a witness against these-- and We have revealed the Book to you explaining clearly everything, and a guidance and mercy and good news for those who submit.”(Qur’an 16:89) Why are the Muslims to reluctant to trust in Allah? When Allah has promised that anyone who seeks only His Guidance will be guided, then why do Muslims today run to their respective scholars to get fatwas (religious rulings) for this thing and that? Perhaps some day the Muslim world will change this attitude and put their complete trust in Allah. If Allah has promised Guidance, He will also create the means for Guidance: “And Allah increases in guidance those who seek His Guidance; and ever-abiding good works are with your Lord best in recompense and best in yielding fruit.”(Qur’an 19:76)
  • If we are not to seek our scholars for Guidance then how do we even learn the Arabic language to be able to read the Quran?
    The arguments from the other side have not ended yet. They come back yet again and say that if we are not to seek our scholars for Guidance then how do we even learn the Arabic language to be able to read the Qur’an? In this chapter we will discuss their false argument, which can be summarized as follows: In short, their argument can be summarized as follows: "The Qur’an is a PERFECT Book, but to ACCESS it we need the Arabic language, which is taught by imperfect human beings (i.e an OUTSIDE source). Thus, if we use an outside source (Arabic language) to access the Qur’an, we MUST also use other outside sources like the historical records preserved by human beings, in particular the books of Hadith, to understand the Qur’an". We will see how this kind of an argument is a theological as well as a logical mistake. Before we get into the Arabic language, we need to identify the basic DEPENDANCIES of human existence. These dependencies can be divided into two categories - One "Natural Dependencies", and the other "Forced Dependencies". For example, a human being is NATURALLY dependent upon a tongue to speak. But a "stereo" or a microphone is a FORCED dependency as far as the human ability to speak goes. In other words, a NATURAL dependency is something without which a human being CANNOT perform a particular function. Whereas a FORCED dependency is something without which the basic function can be performed. Now, the Qur’an says that it is Allah Who CREATED us. Yet, none of us came into existence without the AID of our PARENTS. Thus TWO PARENTS is a NATURAL dependency for our existence. This does not mean that Allah did NOT create us and our parents created us - it only means that this is part of our natural existence since we live in a material world. I am sure that most of us have aunts and uncles who love us a great deal and may have aided our parents in rearing us. However, my aunts and uncles are NOT necessary for my existence. I could definitely have come into existence and grown to adulthood WITHOUT my aunts and uncles. If someone says that since I needed my parents to come into existence, I also needed my aunts and uncles to come into existence, that would be logically a false argument. The logical problem here is that the person is using one set, 'A' (my parents in this case) to form the premise, and another set, 'B' (my uncles and aunts) to form a conclusion. In this particular case, the characteristics of set A are DIFFERENT from the characteristics of set B when looked at in the context of my EXISTANCE. The second thing to note in the above example is that even though my parents may be NECESSARY for my existence, they do NOT take the role of the Creator. They are simply there as a mechanism devised by the Creator for perpetuating human existence. Now we turn to the example of Arabic Language. Allah tells us in the Qur’an: "Most Gracious! Taught the Quran. He created humankind, and taught them power of expression" (55:1-4) Thus humans are dependent upon "power of expression" <bayaan> to communicate with other humans 0 and definitely, to communicate verbally, the human species is dependent upon language and speech. Just as a person needs ears to hear, a tongue to speak, a nose to smell, a brain to think and parents to exist, he also needs language to communicate.</bayaan> The Qur’an is ENOUGH for us, but in this finite world of dependencies, to access its words, humans are naturally dependent on at least some of the following: 1. The existence of a human to read it. 2. The human must have a well functioning brain to understand it. 3. The human must have eyes to read to see the words, or ears to listen if the human is blind or illiterate. 4. The human must have hands to carry the Qur’an from one place to another and turn its pages as he reads. 5. The human must have a tongue to recite it. 6. The human must know the language to make sense of the scribbling on the pages. (To read the original Arabic, the human MUST know the Arabic language. To read a translation, the human MUST know the language of translation) If any of the above faculties is missing, one may not be able to read/listen or understand to the Qur’an. Compare this with the PARENTS example, where my existence is dependent upon my parents. Similarly, one's ability to read/listen to the Qur’an is based on the above characteristics. Thus these characteristics are the NATURAL dependencies for reading/listening to the Qur’an. However, Anyone with these faculties can open a Qur’an and start reading the Qur’an. The knowledge of Hadith/history however, does not posses this NATURAL quality. Please compare this with the example of aunts and uncles, who are not required for my existence. Thus, this whole argument of comparing the Arabic language with Hadith is illogical and is a grave fallacy - one must know the Arabic language to understand the Qur'an, but that does not imply that one must also study the Hadith books to understand the Qur'an. Having seen the logical flaw in the argument, let us also see some other consequences of such an argument. The Prophet Muhammad was DEPENDENT upon the Arabic language to receive and teach the Qur’an. From whom did he learn the Arabic language? It was the very same Kuffar (Rejecters) who were his enemies. Since the Prophet Muhammad was DEPENDENT upon the KUFFAR for the Arabic language, should he should he then also have accepted THEIR version of history and Guidance? The answer is NO. Why? Because language is a NATURAL characteristic of human existence, whereas recorded/oral history is not. The same argument can be applied to all his companions and ALL the righteous people before and after him. This argument can also be applied to asHaab ul-kahf (the companions of the cave). They are not identified as prophets in the Qur’an, but as “Righteous Youth”. They left their people because their people were unjust. Were not asHaab ul-kahf dependant upon the language TAUGHT and perpetuated by their people to read/speak and converse with each other about what is right and what is wrong? Thus, according to the logically flawed argument identified above, they should also have accepted the version of law and history written by the very same people who preserved their language. Could Mary have understood what the Angel said to her about Jesus had she not known the Aramaic language of the Jewish people she belonged to? The answer is NO. She was dependant on that language PERPETUATED by the very same people who later tried to kill her son. Let us move into modern times. Was English the mother language of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s ancestors in Africa? The answer is NO. It was the language of the slave masters who brought his ancestors from Africa. However, MLK was DEPENDENT on this English language to STUDY the laws and constitution of the United States. It was this same language (introduced to his ancestors by the SLAVE MASTERS) which he used to express himself so eloquently in his fight for civil rights and for equality among races in the U.S. However, if he was dependant on the slave masters of his ancestors to learn the English language, which he himself learned from his parents, does that mean he should have accepted their version of history and justice also? The answer is clearly NO. We have seen the logical mistake and the consequences of following such an argument above. This argument is nothing but the example of a "drowning man clutching onto a straw". The proponents of Hadith have NO proof for their Hadith from the Qur’an. Thus they are ready to cling to anything and everything that comes their way without considering the logical implications of their arguments. To conclude, I would also like to point out that although knowledge of the Arabic language is required to ACCESS the Original Qur’anic Text; it is NOT what DEFINES the Qur’anic meanings. The Qur’an defines its own meanings. Anyone who studies the Qur’an with care notices that the Qur’an itself defines the Qur’anic meanings of (many) words. Here are a few examples: The word “Kaffir” in classical Arabic means “the one who rejects”. However, the Qur’an uses this word to mean “The one who rejects the Message of Allah”. Historians also tell us that the idolaters of Mecca knew about Allah. But the Qur’an defines Allah as the “One and ONLY God” with His many attributes. In fact, when one reads the Qur’an, one sees that the Qur’an defines its own terminology and is not always dependent upon the general classical Arabic terminology used in its time. In addition, the Qur’an is not meant just for the Arabs, but for anyone who seeks Allah’s Guidance: “Had We sent this is as a Qur’an other than Arabic, they would have said: ‘Why are its verses not explained in detail?’ What! Non-Arab or Arab, say: ‘It is a Guide and a Healing to those who believe; and for those who believe not, there is a deafness in their ears and it is obscure to them. Such are called to from afar” (41:44)
  • What does the Quran say about Hajj?
    Please refer to the following article in relation to Hajj from the Quran. CLick the link below to access the article. Hajj from the Quran
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