Published: Friday, September 10, 2010 at 3:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 11:58 p.m.
his copy of the Quran was saved from the 1853 burning of the UA campus. The book is housed in the William S. Hoole Special Collections Library.
TUSCALOOSA | A copy of the Quran dating from 1853, its spine missing, its pages browning and its front cover almost detached, sits today in a library at the University of Alabama.
While Islam’s holy book now appears safe from a Florida pastor’s plan for a bonfire, the Quran at UA had its own dramatic rescue from the flames. It was the only book saved from burning of the university library at the hands of Union troops in 1865.
“We don’t know who chose it, why they chose it or how it got back to the university. All we know is that for a long, long time, we’ve had this book,” said Clark Center, W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library curator.
The order to burn the University of Alabama had been given long before federal troops arrived in Tuscaloosa on April 3, 1865. They believed that the university, along with a local textile factory and hat factory, provided materials to the Confederate army.
On the morning of April 4, 200 Union soldiers led by Col. Thomas M. Johnston approached the center of campus, the Rotunda, which held the university’s collection of books and natural history.
As the troops marched down the long, gravel street lined with cedar trees, they were met by a group of university faculty that included Andre Deloffre, the university’s librarian, and William Wyman, professor of Latin and Greek.
Deloffre begged Johnston to spare the library, one of the finest of its time. Johnston responded by sending a courier to headquarters, asking if the library could remain unscathed, but he was instructed by his general to burn the Rotunda as planned.
According to Center, what happened next has become part of University of Alabama lore. Legend has it that before Union troops set the building on fire, either Johnston, one of his aides, Deloffre or someone else went into the Rotunda to save one book — a copy of “The Koran: Commonly Called The Alcoran Of Mohammed.”
The book was an English translation of the Quran and had been published in Philadelphia in 1853. Soon after it was removed from the library, the building, along with much of the rest of campus, was engulfed in flames.
“Maybe he took it home and sent it back, maybe he went in, chose something and handed it to the librarian,” Center said. “I think, for a long time, the story was just verbal; it was just accepted that the book was here. The first time I’d seen it in writing was 1931 in the Centennial issue of The Crimson White. ”
Center said that he had no doubt the book was an original from the Rotunda and that it had probably been purchased by the library to help them cover the topic of religion as broadly as possible, since the university’s students had never been exposed to the Quran before.
“The stamps inside of it are consistent to those from other pre-Civil War books. It had definitely been here since before the war,” he said. “Religion was a big part of life back then. Most of the university’s students were Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians and even Catholics, and most had never seen something like that.”
The book now sits in the university’s W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library.
Center said the book helped modern-day historians better understand the university’s past.
“It shows that the university, in the antebellum period, was attempting to give its students a broad education to enable them to learn points of view that were not necessarily their own,” he said.
Fantasy Islam is an imaginative construct of Dr. Steve Kirby, and he is no stranger to me. I was there in the same boat 15 years ago. I don’t claim to be a scholar, nor do I claim to be an authority on Islam, but I do claim that I have investigated Islam thoroughly, invited criticism, discussed with many, and have found answers. I did not have to choose to be a Muslim, there was no need for me to be one, however, I decided to choose a religion for me and Islam suited me the best for two reasons – I knew and had re-learned a lot about it, and it is an inclusive and pluralistic faith. I will be responding to the following article by Dr. Kirby, as I have responded before to many such misunderstandings at the site www.Quraantoday.com.
Fantasy Islam: A game in which an audience of non-Muslims wish with all their hearts that Islam was a “Religion of Peace,” and a Muslim strives to fulfill that wish by presenting a personal version of Islam that has little foundation in Islamic doctrine.
As I pointed out in an earlier article, "Fantasy Islam" is a popular game among many non-Muslims and so-called “moderate” or “reformist” Muslims. Mike Mohamed Ghouse appears to be such a Muslim.
Ghouse was born Mohamed Ghouse in India (He adopted the name "Mike" later). He was raised as a Muslim until he became an atheist in the late 1960s; he returned to Islam in the late 1990s and lives in the United States. Ghouse is a frequent guest commentator on Fox News and syndicated talk radio programs, and he writes for major newspapers. Ghouse also plays Fantasy Islam.
In an article titled "Qur'aan on Apostasy," Ghouse makes the following claim about the punishment for apostasy:
Unfortunately, it is a common belief that 'death' should be the punishment for apostasy. However, the Qur’aan mentions nothing of such punishment, so why should we impose such a cruel and inhumane form of punishment? Are we so insecure about our own religion that if anyone is to leave it we kill them?
But Ghouse is wrong: In 4:89 of the Koran Allah commands Muslims to take hold of those apostates who have left Islam and “kill them wherever you find them.”
And, for the sake of argument, even if it wasn’t in the Koran, death for apostasy is still a part of Islam because that is what Muhammad commanded. Muhammad said that death was the penalty for a Muslim who left Islam (e.g. Sahih Al-Bukhari, Nos. 6878 and 6923; and Sahih Muslim, No. 1676). Muhammad even specified the nature of that death:
If someone changes his religion - then strike off his head!
Al-Muwatta of Imam Malik ibn Anas, 36.18.15, in a section titled “Judgement on Abandonment of Islam.”
So we see that this "cruel and inhumane form of punishment" for apostasy is well-grounded in Islamic doctrine.
As American Muslims we uphold, protect, defend and celebrate the values enshrined in the U.S. constitution.
Islamic doctrine, found in the verses of the Koran and the teachings of Muhammad (the Sunnah), is diametrically opposed to the U.S. Constitution. Consider just these three amendments to our Constitution:
1st Amendment – Freedom of Religion and Speech: The penalty for a Muslim who wants to leave Islam is death (4:89 and Sunnah). Non-Muslims are given the option of fighting to the death, converting to Islam, or paying the jizyah (9:5, 9:29, and Sunnah). Once Allah and Muhammad have decided on a matter, Muslims are not allowed to disagree (33:36, 4:115), and criticism of Muhammad is cursed by Allah and punishable by death (33:57, and Sunnah).
8th Amendment – Cruel and Unusual Punishment Is Prohibited: Islam commands the following punishments: Flogging (24:2), Stoning (Sunnah), Amputation for Theft (5:38 and Sunnah), Beheading (8:12, 47:4, and Sunnah), Crucifixion (5:33), and Cutting-off of Hands and Feet from Opposite Sides for waging war against Islam (5:33).
13th Amendment – Prohibition of Slavery: Slavery, and using captured non-Muslim women as sex slaves ("those whom your right hands possess") is allowed in Islam (e.g. 2:221, 4:3, 4:24, 4:92, 23:6, 24:58, 33:50, and Sunnah).
So just by considering these three amendments, we can see that if Muslim-Americans believe in Islamic doctrine, they cannot "uphold, protect, defend and celebrate the values enshrined" in the Constitution.
The 'Best Way to Understand' the Koran
What is the “best way” to understand the Koran? Ghouse wrote this simple explanation:
The best way to understand Quran [sic] is to remember, "If it is not about justice, mercy and creating harmony", then the translation is wrong.
The immediate response to Ghouse’s statement is to look at the preceding section involving the three Amendments to our Constitution. There is little justice, mercy and harmony there.
But Ghouse also said that Marmaduke Pickthall’s translation of the Koran, The Meaning of the Glorious Koran, was one of three translations he recommends. So let’s look for the justice, mercy and harmony in some of the verses from Pickthall’s translation:
"Warfare is ordained for you, though it is hateful unto you; but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that ye love a thing which is bad for you. Allah knoweth, ye know not." (2:216)
"In truth the disbelievers [non-Muslims] are an open enemy to you." (4:101)
"O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends. They are friends one to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk." (5:51)
"Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful." (9:5)
"O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers [non-Muslims] and the hypocrites! Be harsh with them. Their ultimate abode is hell, a hapless journey’s-end." (9:73)
"Lo! those who disbelieve [in Islam], among the People of the Scripture [Jews and Christians] and the idolaters, will abide in fire [sic] of hell. They are the worst of created beings." (98:6)
There is not a lot of justice, mercy and harmony in these verses from Pickthall’s translation, so according to Ghouse’s standard, he appears to be recommending a translation of the Koran that is “wrong.”
God [Allah] is not the God of Muslims and no where he claims that in Quran [sic]…God loves us all, and no one is deprived of his love…
In reality we find that in the Koran Allah states that the only religion acceptable to him is Islam (e.g. 3:19 and 3:85). And Allah states that Islam is to be made superior over all other religions, even if the non-Muslims don’t like it (e.g. 9:33, 48:28, and 61:9). Allah curses the Jews and Christians (9:30). He states that non-Muslims are among the worst of creatures who “will abide in the fire of Hell” (98:6), while Muslims are the best of creatures (3:110 and 98:7). Non-Muslims are “open enemies” to Muslims (4:101) and Jews are among the worst of those enemies (5:82). And Allah commands Muslims to be harsh toward non-Muslims (e.g., 8:57, 9:73, 9:123, and 48:29) and to kill those non-Muslims (9:5).
In spite of Ghouse’s claim, and as I noted in more detail in a previous article, Allah is only the god of Islam and the Muslims, and Allah has no love for non-Muslims.
The Ubiquitous 2:62
Chapter 2, verse 62 of the Koran is commonly quoted by Muslim-Americans to indicate that Judaism and Christianity are respected in Islam and the adherents of those two faiths will be rewarded by Allah. Ghouse continues with this theme in the article "Quran is not for Muslims":
[I]f you take care of his creation (neighbor), you need not worry; your rewards are with him. Just to make sure we understand this precisely, he says, whether you are a Jew or a Christian and by corollary other, if you take care of your neighbor, I will take care of you (2:62).
Here is Chapter 2, verse 62
Verily, those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians, and Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and does righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
In spite of what Ghouse and other Muslim-Americans claim, this verse only means that Jews and Christians would be rewarded for the good deeds they did before the advent of Islam. After the advent of Islam,righteous good deeds would be accepted by Allah only if they are done by Muslims. And this verse was actually abrogated by 3:85 which stated that Islam is the only acceptable religion to Allah, and non-Muslims will be “losers” in the Hereafter (e.g. Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Tafsir Al-Qurtubi Vol. 1, and Tafsir Ahsanul-Bayan).
As is common in Fantasy Islam, Ghouse’s personal version of Islam has little, if any, support from Islamic doctrine, and actually often runs counter to that doctrine. This appears to be of little concern for many in his non-Muslim audience because such personal versions relieve their concerns about Islam and allow them to continue to consider the jihadists as just a fringe group of “radicals” who have “hijacked” and “perverted” the Religion of Peace. Ignorance, whether willful or not, can be a great anesthesia. But anesthesia is only temporary and will not alter the world going on around you, and to which you will eventually reawaken.
Dr. Stephen M. Kirby is the author of three books about Islam. His latest is "Islam According to Muhammad, Not Your Neighbor."
QuraanToday.com | Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) the forgiver.
God loves those who forgive often and God loves the least who are arrogant. Everything God says in Quran is demonstrated by the prophet.
A few Muslims believe they have to defend the prophet, they are wrong, he is beyond all defending, same goes with God, he protects us and not vice versa. Here is a list compiled by Muhammad Yunus about how forgiving the prophet was.
The Meccans called the Prophet an impostor
(30:58), insane (44:1, 68:51), and an insane poet (37:36), questioned
why he could not show any miracles (6:37, 11:12, 13:7, 17:90-93, 21:5,
25:7/8, 29:50), and why the Qur'an was not revealed to a man of importance
from the two cities (43:31), charged him of being coached morning and
evening (25:5, 44:14). They also charged him with forging lies and
witchcraft (34:43, 38:4), forging lies against God, forgery and making up tales
(11:13, 32:3, 38:7, 46:8), witchcraft (21:3, 43:30, 74:24), obvious
witchcraft that was bewildering (10:2, 37:15, 46:7) and of being
bewitched or possessed by a Jinn (17:47, 23:70, 34:8).
That was when he was in Mecca - the first 12 years of the revelation when
he was not in a position to protest let alone revenge.He bore all these charges
and insulting remarks with patience and without any protest and continued to
love his people (42:23)
Come Medinite period that saw the Prophet rising in power day by day and
becoming the chief arbiter (Civil Head) of Medina who could punish anyone he
wished, he remained no less forgiving: :
forgave those who deserted him on way to a battlefield (Uhud) by saying:
if they knew how
to fight, they would have followed the Prophet (3:167).
forgave those of his followers (3:159) who defied his orders in the battle of
Uhud and ran off for booty at a crucial moment in the battle (3:153) leading to
the defeat of the Muslims:
He forgave all his Meccan enemies upon integration of
He forgave all the hypocrites who had persistently
conspired against him and even planned to kill him
He forgave the defenders at the Trench Siege who took
excuse of him and left the defense line.
He forgave the followers who declined to join him in his
most risky mission to the first pilgrimage that ended in the Hudaiyba Peace
Beware of Mis-translations of Quran | www.QuraanToday.com
How wrong was I to believe that almost all Muslims were aware of the mis-translations of Quran. It came as a big surprise to me to know that there are Muslims who innocently believe that everything they read "about" Quran is divine without ever questioning it. Please be aware that there are two translations of Quran that are not only wrong, but bad. They have attempted to mess with Quran, but failed.
Quran is for the entire humanity, but the Hilali Khan/Mohsin Khan duo's translation has reduced it to the exclusive book of Muslims. If a Jew, Christian or a Hindu were to read it, they have every reason to fear Muslims and the "Muslim God " who teaches hatred towards them. All you had to do to acquire the free copy of this book was to call 1-800 number and they would send a free copy of the Quran, I have no idea how many copies are out there in the hands of innocent people, we can check the boasting emails or news letters proclaiming how many million copies were distributed. A lot of damage was done. The good news is many of the mis-translation are fixed since 2012.
Hilali Khan and Mohsin Khan Duo as great scholars. They mis-translated the Quran around 1924, and as Muslims blessed with the courage to speak, we have to disagree.
Let us not elevate any human’s words to be on par with God – men like Hilali Khan, Mohsin Khan, Tamiya, Kathir, Banna, Qutub, Maududi, Shah Waliullah and other fallible humans have made several mistakes. We should not give their word equivalency to God’s word.
Whatever their intention was, these men have messed up the translations and interpretations of Quran. The brunt of Islamophobia that we are dealing with today was mothered by their work. Indeed, the Spencers, Gellers, Baghdadis, Bin Ladens and Awalakis believe in that version of Islam.
Full article will be out in a few days and a link will be provided.
Mike Ghouse is a Muslim thinker, write and a speaker, and much of his work is published in Huffington Post, Dallas Morning News, Arab News, New Age Islam and several other periodicals and at www.worldMuslimCongress.com
The clarity of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad's tafseer is incredible. Those of you who may not know the Maulana – he was born and raised in Madinah and moved back to India - his ancestral land. He was a nationalist leader for all of Indians, the Hindu Majority and all minorities, and was the first education minister of independent India and laid the foundation for the educational institutions like IIT’s that rival MIT’s. I believe Muhammad Yunus, a member and a Muslim scholar listed in the emails is a member of IIT.
Maulana was a pluralist, and an inclusivist, as is Islam – the phrases like Rabbul Aalameen, Rahmatul Aalameen should lead us to become Mukhlooqul Aalameen. We need to consciously pull us out of the path of political Islam of self-interest and restore it to Islam for common good. It is in the same line of thinking, I believe the purpose of Islam is to build cohesive societies where no human has to live in fear of the other but God (deviation from truth). Islam is about restoring harmonious, peaceful and a well-functioning cohesive world, God had created.
Some of the statements that jumped at me are:
“It states that they rank the highest who have sacrificed everything in the path of truth and endure steadfastly the trials and tribulations that befell them on the way of truth. That is the criterion of goodness.” – and I will add to this from Sura Hujurat “the best ones among you are those who learn about each other – for knowledge leads to understanding and understanding to acceptance of another point of view.
In Hindu scriptures there is a powerful phrase “Satyamev Jayate - Truth alone triumphs” and Mahatma Gandhi popularized it, and now it is the national symbol of India... The Maulana has clearly distinguished the purpose of war was not victory or the conquest but bringing forth sustainable peace for “all”.
He pulled out the essence of the Sura – that is the truth alone triumphs and gives examples, “It therefore behooved the followers of the faith that they should have nothing to do with even their parents and brothers if they belonged to the enemy camp.” And elsewhere in Quran It lays down that you have to tell the truth even it goes against you or your interests. Indeed, there is no 5th in Islam; truth is given the highest value.
I am presenting the following papers at Aligarh Muslim University:
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad – The Tarjuman al-Qur’an – Year: 1968
The criterion of superiority of one over another in the sight of God is indicated in verse 20. It states that they rank the highest who have sacrificed everything in the path of truth and endure steadfastly the trials and tribulations that befell them on the way of truth. That is the criterion of goodness. It is a lesson for the present day Muslims who have developed an outlook on life and follow a way of living so alien to the teachings of Islam. Even like the pagan Arabs of the Prophet’s time, they prefer the traditional way as against the way of life laid down for them by Islam. Whenever a rich man living a thoroughly un-Islamic life provides booths (sabil) of cool drinks during the days of Muharram and arranges the celebration of the Prophet’s Day (mawlud) on a lavish scale or pays for lightning a mosque or a dargah on a particular day, the entire Muslim community exultingly applauds him, and no one cares to know whether what he did was for the sake of God. One should remember that such deeds do not constitute righteousness in the sight of God. Goodness lies only in the purity of belief in God and sincerity in action and steadfast endurance of trials in the way of God. That is the criterion of goodness sponsored by the Qur’an.
It has been pointed out above that this chapter was revealed in the ninth year of Hijra and that the earlier verses of it were publicly announced during the period of Hajj that year. This was the time when Mecca had already been conquered and strength of the enemies put down for ever on the field of Hunain. For the expedition to Tabuk as many as thirty thousand Muslims, had assembled, so much so that there remained no party in the Arabian peninsula to challenge the supremacy of the followers of the Prophet. Still there lurked in the situation a few weaknesses.
Point A: A large number of Meccans who had opposed the Prophet but had been pardoned by him at the time of his victorious entry into Mecca had joined the Muslim fold. Being new converts to Islam, they could not fit into its way of life quickly. So when war was declared on those who were still opposed to the Prophet in the country and were giving no rest to its followers, a number of new Meccan converts began to feel concerned about their relations who were in the enemy camps. In fact, they could not rise above their sense of kinship with them or their tribal prejudices, and so formed but a weak wing of the Muslim camp.
Point B: There were also in the Muslim camp quite a number of hypocrites and timid people. They raised the cry that now that much had been gained for the Muslims, there was no longer any need for them to engage themselves in further warfare.
Point C: The victories which the Muslims had won on the battlefield had developed in them a general sense of indifference to any possible danger lying ahead of them. The majority of them thought that now that the Arab land had nearly yielded to the call of Truth and that there was left no strength among those who had not yet chosen to yield to the call, there was no imperative need to be on the alert. They hardly could realize at the moment the height of power and influence that destiny had marked them to reach. This development in the situation was clearly a source of danger to the security of the Muslims not only at this hour but in the days to follow as well.
The necessity therefore was felt to revive in the Muslims the spirit of sincere attachment to their faith and bring home to them once again the high purpose for which they were to live and work as earnestly as ever before. They were to be told that the period of trials was not yet over and that on the other hand it was just to begin. Of the task lying ahead of them, what was of primary importance at the moment was the liquidating of whatever opposition that there still was to the mission of the Prophet and to establish perfect peace and order in the land.
It is why verse 16 calls upon the Muslims to reflect over the situation and realize, that that was not the hour when they should relax their efforts to reach their goal. It states that the faith which they professed had yet to be tested in full. So in the succeeding verses after drawing attention to the character that should distinguish the Muslims, a significant observation is made in verse 23 that the sense of sincere attachment to one’s faith and the sense of loyalty to those who were opposed to the faith could not subsist together or felt simultaneously in one’s mind. It therefore behooved the followers of the faith that they should have nothing to do with even their parents and brothers if they belonged to the enemy camp.
Verse 24 is emphatic in asserting that in a conflict between faith and denial of faith, he alone will be regarded as a man of faith or faithful whom nothing in the world, and even one’s love for those near and dear to him, should weaken his attachment or devotion to his faith. It is on this basis that the edifice of a civilized society can be raised. It refers to all the essential ties which one has necessarily to respect in life. But the principle of devotion to an ideology such as that which function for the security and welfare of a society as a whole, demands from everyone professing faith in his ideology that he should rise far above every other form of attachment and let nothing detract him from serving whole-heartedly the cause of truth which that ideology upholds.
The Qur’an also draws particular attention to the attachment one feels to one’s worldly comfort in life and so might like one’s country not to involve itself in any war. For instance, one might be gaining wealth by pursuing the avocation of commerce. In a state of war, opportunities for commerce may be lessened. That is a fear which is bound to stare in the face of every one living on commerce. Further, in a state of war one stands the risk of losing one’s possessions. The thought of the risk will naturally disturb one immensely. Before such as these who are moved by considerations of this nature, the Qur’an places an abiding truth of life and asks them seriously to reflect over it. The truth is this. When a people are called upon by the force of circumstances to defend the cause of truth and uphold it for the good of men, it should behoove everyone who sincerely believes in the truth to be prepared to sacrifice everything dear to him, so that truth might prevail and bring happiness to one and all. The Qur’an gives the tiding to such devotees of truth that whatever they might lose in the struggle would be repaid to them manifold when truth shall triumph and bring peace and prosperity to one and all. “Indeed with God lies the great reward,” says the Qur’an.
History has recorded for all times the glorious manner in which the companion of the Prophet stood the test of devotion to their faith in God. It may be asserted without exaggeration that there are few parallels in the annals of man to the devoted support that they offered to the Prophet in his struggle in the cause of truth. They sacrificed all that they had for the love of God, with the result that they reaped in return what the pursuit of goodness always offers for the benefit of man.
But what is our position today? Are we prepared to scrutinize our lives in the light of this verse of the Qur’an.
Verse 26 refers to the battle of Hunain in eight year of the Hijra, when soon after the conquest of Mecca, the tribes of Hawazin and Thaqif in co-operation with the tribes of Bani Nadir and Bani Hilal attacked the Muslims. The Prophet issued forth from Mecca into the valley of Hunain. In this engagement, the Muslims were thrice in number. Naturally, therefore, they felt confident of success. But when the hour of trial arrived, their superiority in numbers could not avail. It was only a handful of staunch adherents of the Prophet, who, inspired by the example of their leader, saved the situation and won the victory for the Muslims.
The Muslim force had to proceed through a narrow pass. The enemy force lay in ambush awaiting the Muslims to enter this pass. They knew that among the Muslims nearly as many as two thousand were new converts from Mecca. A good many of these were allies of the enemy. The moment the Muslims moved into the narrow defile, the enemy force showered arrows over them from their bows. It was a sudden attack. A large section of the Muslim army took to their heels in a state of alarm. The situation seemed clearly to go against the Muslims. It was at this juncture that the Prophet ask, ‘Abbas, his uncle, to cry out to his old comrades of Samra who had sworn allegiance to him at the time of the treaty of Hudaibiya to steady themselves. The cry inspired a new courage in the hearts of the staunch among them who forthwith returned to the Prophet and gave so stiff a fight to the enemy that they had to suffer a defeat at the hands of the Muslims.
This incident was a great eye-opener for the followers of the Faith. It brought home to them that mere numbers do not bring victory. The strength of numbers does contribute to success in warfare. But success does not always depend upon numbers. It is the strength of will and the determination not to yield which ultimately count and help even a small band of determined fighters to rout a force many times strong in numbers. The Qur’an addressing the Muslims points out that there were occasions in the past when though they were few in numbers they had achieved victory over the enemy. But that now at this hour in Hunain when they prided themselves over the largeness of their numbers, mere numbers did not avail. That was a matter for them to reflect over.
In verse 28 the Quran reverts to the order issued in an earlier verse of this chapter prohibiting the polytheists to enter the Ka’ba any further. That House of Prayer had been raised by the Prophet Abraham and his son Ismail for the worship of God, the One, and was meant to serve as a center of spiritual activity for those who believed in the unity of God.
In this verse the reference to the uncleanliness of the polytheists is not to their physical condition but to the uncleanliness of their hearts. Islam does not regard the person or the body of anyone as unclean. Every man as man stands on the same footing as every other human being. It is why it has prohibited untouchability and does not single out any section of humanity as untouchable. In fact, it is clear from the recorded history of the Prophet that the Prophet maintained social relationships with not only the People of the Book, the Jews, but with the polytheists of his time. He used to dine with them and accept their invitations and also offer invitations to them. History has recorded that he at times had allowed them to stay in his own mosque at Madina.
The verse under reference has a limited application. It applies to the seat of Ka’ba along and not to any other Muslim place of worship. In fact, after the issuing of this order, the Prophet had allowed the Christians of Yemen, and the polytheists from Ta’if to stay in his mosque.
Surah: 20 – They who have believed in God and abandoned their homes for the sake of God and striven with their possessions and their persons in the way of God, shall rank high in the estimation of God. These are they who shall attain success (in life).
Surah: 21 – Tidings of mercy doth their Lord send them and of His good pleasure and also of gardens in which lasting joy shall be theirs.
Surah: 22 – Therein shall they abide for ever. Surely (for such people) there is a great reward from their Lord.
Surah: 23 – O Muslims! Do not take your fathers or brothers for friends if they prefer unbelief to belief; and whoso of you shall take them for friends they shall be regarded as those who have been unjust to themselves.
Surah: 24 – Say (to the Muslims, O Prophet!): If your fathers and your sons and your brothers and your wives, and your kith and kin and the wealth that you have acquired and the merchandise which ye fear may not have a proper sale, and the dwellings of which you are very don, be dearer to you than God and His Apostle and striving in the way of God, then, wait until God disclose what He wills to do. And it is not in the manner of God to guide the impious.
Surah: 25 – (O Muslims!) This is a fact that God had helped you on many a previous occasion (when you were few in number) and on the day of Hunain, when despite the strength over which you had exulted availed you not, and the earth with all its vastness had straitened on your and you to turn back in fight.
Surah: 26 – It was then, God infused into the Prophet and those faithful (to him) the spirit of steadiness and self-assurance and succoured them with unseen hosts and defeated the unbelievers, and that is what the unbelievers deserved.
Surah: 27 – Yet after this, God will turn in mercy towards whomsoever He pleaseth; for indeed God is Forgiving, Merciful.
Surah: 28 – O ye Muslims! Surely those who ascribe partners to God are an unclean lot. Let them not after this year approach the Holy Place of Prayer, and if (due to lack of opportunity to profit by trading with them at the time of Hajj) you apprehend poverty, (then, do not lose heart for), God, if He please, will soon give you riches out of His abundance. Verily, God knows (your needs) and He will in His Wisdom compensate you for your loss.
Mike Ghouse, World Muslim Congress, Dallas | Washington (214) 325-1916 SpeakerMikeGhouse@gmail.com ............................................................................................................................... Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism,Islam, India, Israel-Palestine, Politics and other issues of the day. He is a human rights activist, and his book standing up for others will be out soon | He is producing a full feature film ” Sacred” to be released on 9/11 and a documentary “Americans together” for a July 4 release. He is a frequent guest commentator on Fox News and syndicated Talk Radio shows and a writer at major news papers including Dallas Morning News and Huffington Post. All about him is listed in 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com – Mike is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.