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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Removing Idols from kaaba - Wikipedia Blunder

MUSLIMS BEWARE
Kaaba and the Wikipedia Blunder
Mike Ghouse, Dallas, Texas


I cannot believe Wikipedia is taken as a gospel by so many, every word in it is taken as the ultimate truth. You will discover it's danger in the following report. A statement is made "While destroying each idol, Muhammad recited [Qur'an 17:81] which says "Truth has arrived and falsehood has perished for falsehood is by its nature bound to perish."[28][29] . A few of my Hindu friends have assumed that Terrorism has it's origin in the above act, of course the very same statement is a fodder to the Neocons, who rejoice and pass it one to every one with a comment, "I told you so, Islam is an intolerant religion".

Continued: http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/WorldMuslimCongress/Articles/Kaaba-and-the-wikipedia-blunder.asp

Monday, August 4, 2008

Propaganda against Qur'aan Challenged.

http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/2008/08/propaganda-against-quraan-challenged.html

The right wingers challenge to Qur'aan

I have taken up a few challenges with the right wingers in the past, and I know it is a waste of time with the hard core Neocons. They have their judgments in place and facts don't mean a thing to them. They have build their castle on a false foundation.

The last one was with Robert Spencer; it was quite exhaustive at the Front page magazine, which thrives on fear and asking for money. However, they are honest about presenting another point of view. http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2007/04/symposiumone-islam.html

The other one was with Geert Wilders, the Fitna guy, he has read my response an acknowledged it, but still would not stand corrected. http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/2008/03/wilders-fitna-and-muslims_30.html

Now, I am undertaking this with yet another group. If any one of you is interested in part-taking, please let me know. It will be an intense dialogue.

I believe all religions are beautiful and none is graded to be superior or inferior. I am a Muslim by choice and pleased to be one, I may not believe what others believe, as others may not believe what I believe. I will accept them for who they are, as they would accept me for who I am. I will not disrespect any faith, as it amounts to arrogance, and Islam is not about arrogance. Arrogance kills the very spirit of Islam – Justice, peace and equality. As the saying goes beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, I will say faith is in the heart of the believer. Islam is about Live and let live. Learning to accept and respect other’s right to exist and belief is the hallmark of Civil societies.

I wrote to them in response to their letter below:

Ibrahim Hooper of CAIR is focusing on the issues that are important on any give day, i.e, Civil rights, that will benefit Muslims and every American, just as the Hindu American foundation or the Jewish American Jewish Congress are working, and their work will benefit them and every American.

It is time to get over the propaganda been dished out over the years. There is no such verse "that ignites violence against 'Kafirs' in Qur'aan". If you have the list produce me one. Not what is handed down to you, but the one you can point to? Remember, finding the truth is one's own responsibility. You have an open challenge here. Let’s clean the slates and live in peace, one person at a time.

Terrorism is committed by individuals and not religions, these are the dirty games played by individuals donning the mask of Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus or any one. They have everything to gain to upload hatred between people.

Islamophobia began in the 10th century - the only way the kings of Europe could stop the kings of Arabia by getting run over, was by playing the dirty game...did you know they played that in India also? To paint the Arabs as devils and pay, yes pay to the translators to mistranslate the Qur'aan. They played that game well and sowing the seed of hatred. Even they rounded up the Pope to issue a fatwa against the infidel Muslims and Jews. The Muslim kings countered the dirty game by mistranslating the Qur'aan themselves. Both sides have duped the public far too long.

There are some, yes a few individual Muslims, Hindus, Christians, and Jews…. who refuse to see another point of view and they are just a few but vociferous ones.

The discussion between those who are bent on destruction and those who want to bring peace will continue. Krishna, Rama, Moses, Mohammad, Christ and just about every great spiritual teacher has encountered it.

The purpose of religion is to help humans regain their balance, those who get the religion, any religion into their blood stream are a majority and there will always be a few who don’t get it, even though they claim to be Muslims, Hindus or whatever… they are evil individuals, not their religion.

Mike Ghouse
Their letter ::

Dear CAIR: We are going to publish Dr. Brahmachari's version in Hindtoday, while it is a general perspective that Holy Quaran has verses that ignites violence against 'Kafirs', neither the http://www.cair.com/ nor the http://www.exploremuhammad.org/ mention any such verses. Does it mean that CAIR is deliberately shields those verses from public & lists only verses those talk about Communal Harmony.

The right approach should be list them & explain them instead of ignoring them. Terrorists use those verses to defend their action. Another thing which is discussed that, who needs such verses most - Common Public or Terrorists. While CAIR devotes its time and energy to educate common public, terrorists started violence even in China !!To stop violence, we need to drop those verses altogether after a global Islamic summit so that no one will join the terrorists to hurt innocent people. Any rebuttal to Dr. Brahmhachari's article would be great.
# # #

Friday, August 1, 2008

All Articles listed

http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/2008/08/all-articles-listed.html

Bismillah

  1. Rev. Robert Jeffress challenged on Quraan
  2. Qur’aan Burning; an appeal to Muslims
  3. An apology to Jews, Christians and others- 1:7
  4. Sura Kafirun - "Un-believers"
  5. Muslim response to Wilders
  6. Islamophobia and Quraan .
  7. Quraan and Pluralism
  8. World Muslim Mission
  9. Reform or Understand Quraan
  10. Ruthless to infidels 48:29
  11. Slay the idolaters 9:5
  12. Muslim response to Wilders
  13. Jews turned into Apes
  14. Quraan Reading
  15. Qur'aan and Neocons
  16. Wilders, Fitna and Muslims
  17. Qur'aan and inclusiveness
  18. About this Blog
  19. World Muslim Mission
  20. Reform or Understand Quraan
  21. Neocon bait on Quraan
  22. Quraan, Hadith and Women
  23. Respecting the Qur'aan
  24. Tolerance In Islam - Pickthall
  25. Divorce in Qur'aan
  26. Sura Kafirun - "Un-believers".
  27. Propaganda against Qur'aan Challenged.
  28. All Articles listed
  29. Removing Idols from kaaba - Wikipedia Blunder
  30. Dutch MP To Be Charged for making Fitna
  31. Does Qur'aan incite Violence - II
  32. Is Qur'aan Perfect?
  33. Does Qur'aan incite Violence?
  34. Qur'aan is just God's words
  35. Muslim Response to Lies about Qur'aan
  36. Wife beating - Qur'aan 4:34
  37. Qur'aan and the Big Bang Theory
  38. Quraan and Freedom of Faith
  39. Quraan on Apostasy
  40. Quraan and Pluralism
  41. Qur'aan - Ecological interpretation
  42. Quraan : Freedom of Speech
  43. Quraan on Terrorism
  44. Quraan and co-existence
  45. Quraan on understanding self and other
  46. Quraan and Global ethics
  47. Diversity is God's will Quraan 5:48
  48. Qur’anic Universalism
  49. Quraan 2:256 free will v. 9:29 compulsion and Jiz...
  50. Quraan - Taslima Nasreen and Salman Rushdie
  51. Islam is about free will.
  52. National Prayer Day
  53. If anyone leaves Islam, kill him (4:89)
  54. No Sharia in America
  55. Q49:13 - Role of Muslims in a society
  56. Qur’aan, Surah Hijr 15:26-30
  57. Quraan Misunderstood 60:4 and 5:33
  58. Muslims act, rather pro-act against Quraan Burning...
  59. The true history of the Koran in America
  60. Q3:151 Terror into the hearts of the unbelievers
  61. Q8:40 - Until idolatry shall cease
  62. Q5:51 Do not take Jews or Christians as your frien...
  63. Q48:29 Ruthless to unbelievers
  64. Q4:101 Unbelievers are inveterate enemies
  65. Q8:55 Vilest animals are disbelievers
  66. Q98:6 Pagans shall burn in hell
  67. Q3:110 Noblest community
  68. Q3:85 Other than Islam
  69. Q3:19 What is acceptable to God
  70. Muslims for Freedom of Speech
  71. Did Prophet Muhammad marry a 6 year old?
  72. Rev. Robert Jeffress challenged on Quraan
  73. Qur’aan Burning; an appeal to Muslims
  74. Muslims act, rather pro-act against Quraan Burning...

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Sura Kafirun - "Un-believers" a chapter in Quran about civil dialogue and pluralism

QURANIC GUIDANCE ON HOW TO CONDUCT CIVIL DIALOGUE

The following understanding of Sura Kafirun was written on July 5, 2008, almost five years ago and now,
on this day February 09, 2013, it is being dedicated to Pastor Bob Roberts for his bold take on respecting the otherness of others,  URL- The link http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/2008/07/sura-kafirun-un-believers.html



......

Kafirun is a Chapter from Qur’an that addresses the believers (of other faiths) in the most dignified way, putting everyone on par without denigrating any. It is an exceptional example of civil conduct for one to follow. Nowhere in this chapter a claim is made that the faith of Muslims is superior to others, or others' faith to be inferior.

Throughout the chapter, the other is treated respectfully as an equal, “I do not worship what you worship, and you do not worship what I worship” – it does not say your worship is inferior to mine. The element of arrogance was not given a room in this chapter. Because you hold a different belief, your belief is not belittled.  

This chapter is about consciously nurturing civility in societies. It is not about overlooking the differences and focusing on commonalities, it is simply about accepting the otherness of other. You are who you are and I am who I am and let's figure out how we can co-exist with the least tensions. This is the basis of pluralism - i.e., respecting the otherness of others.


I believe all religions are beautiful and none is graded to be superior or inferior.  I may not believe what others believe, as others may not believe what I believe. I will accept them for who they are, as they would accept me for who I am. I will not disrespect any faith, as it amounts to arrogance, and God simply does not like anyone who is arrogant, indeed, arrogance is the root cause of all conflicts. 



Arrogance kills the very spirit of society – Justice, peace and equality. Islam is about live and let live. Learning to accept and respect others' right to exist and figure out the best way to co-exist. A majority of Muslims get this right, and few don't, indeed that is the case with every religion. 


As the saying goes "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder", I would add "faith is in the heart of the believer". As a person of faith, yours and my role is to mitigate the conflicts and nurture goodwill among peoples and nations. That brings peace, and that is the other word for Islam.

In another chapter, God essentially says, I have created ya'll from a single couple, and made you into many tribes, communities and nations. Each one of you is different and unique with your own thumb print, DNA, taste bud and behavior bud. He also said, had I willed, I would have punched you all out from a factory template to exact specifications, all males to be precisely same height, weight, color and same with the females. But I chose to make you unique and gave you complete free will to create harmony and cohesiveness within and with what surrounds you. Then he concludes, the best one among is you is the one who learns about each other. Knowledge leads to understanding and understanding to acceptance and appreciation of the other resulting in harmony and peace.


What does submitting to God's will mean? Just as we love the food we cook, enjoy the results of the work we do, God loves his creation and likes everyone to get along. God's will is that we care for the life and environment and lead a just life that leads to a state of peace and harmony for his creation. That’s the bottom line; that is what Jesus meant when he said “follow me" or Krishna said ““surrender to me".


The following chapter in Qur'an does not say, that others' belief is inferior, in fact it says, as your belief is dear to you, as my belief is dear to me. So much respect is given to the other faith.


At this time, one of the best Qur'an translations available is by Mohammad Asad and I recommend you to use it as a reference, rather than some of the mistranslations on the market. Even this translation has a few flaws in dealing with women, but this translation is better than most other translations.
 


I would recommend you to check out a few columns to understand the wrong doing and deliberate mistranslations of the Qur'aan, both by the early European Kings to paint Islam in the bad light for their own gains and by the Muslims after the fall of Ottoman empire to egg on Muslims to support their cause, you also see a piece on origins of Islamophobia.

There was a movie made by Geert Wilders and he continues to dupe the Neocons (Literalist or sticklers in every faith) by quoting 14 verses from Qur'an as hateful, indeed they are, but they are not in Qur'aan. This blog is dedicated to clarify false statements recycled every day about Qur'aan. Finding the truth is your own responsibility -when you remove the ill-will from your heart, it brings freedom, salvation, nirvana, mukti, moksha, nijaat and true liberation.


Now here are the 6 beautiful verses of Quran... Indeed, I am blessed to use this language in dealing with differences.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

109:1 SAY: "O you who deny the truth!
Topics discussed in this Verse: [Unbelievers]Qul ya ayyuha alkafiroona
قُلْ يَا أَيُّهَا الْكَافِرُونَ (109:1)
Baset - Hussari - Minshawi
My understanding: Addressing those individuals who denied the truth spoken by the Prophet.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

109:2 "I do not worship that which you worship,
Topics discussed in this Verse: [Unbelievers]
La aAAbudu ma taAAbudoonaلَا أَعْبُدُ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ
109:2 Baset - Hussari - Minshawi

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

109:3 and neither do you worship that which I worship!
[1]وَلَا أَنتُمْ عَابِدُونَ مَا أَعْبُدُ (
109:3)
Baset - Hussari - Minshawi

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

109:4 "And I will not worship ~hat which you have [ever] worshipped,
Topics discussed in this Verse: [Unbelievers]
Wala ana AAabidun ma AAabadtum
وَلَا أَنَا عَابِدٌ مَّا عَبَدتُّمْ (109:4)
Baset - Hussari - Minshawi

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

109:5 and neither will you [ever] worship that which I worship. [2]Topics discussed in this Verse:
[Unbelievers]Wala antum AAabidoona ma aAAbuduوَلَا أَنتُمْ عَابِدُونَ مَا أَعْبُدُ (109:5)
Baset - Hussari - Minshawi

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

109:6 Unto you, your moral law, and unto me, mine !"
[3]Topics discussed in this Verse:
[Islam] [Muhammad:faith of] [Unbelievers]
Lakum deenukum waliya deeniلَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِيَ دِينِ (109:6) Baset - Hussari - Minshawi

Islam is about free will and accountability to keep the harmony of creation intact. If someone compels you to believe, pray, eat or wear, then it is not Islam. Quran is clear many many times - no one bears the burden of others. For societal equilibrium we all agree to do certain things and give up certain things as a part of living and culture. 

Please note, this good material for teaching pluralism and civil dialogue.

# # #

Mike Ghouse is a Muslim committed to understand, explore and share the idea of Rabbul Aalameen, the creator, nourisher and sustainer of the Universe, taught to us by the Mercy to mankind who was respectful of others, and whom people trusted for his integrity, honesty, civility and truthfulness. He believes if you follow God's guidance and Prophet's examples, you ought to be Mukhlooqul Aalameen - human being for the goodness of mankind.  More about Mike at www.MikeGhouse.net and www.TheGhouseDiary.com.  


 

Friday, April 25, 2008

Tolerance In Islam - Pickthall

Tolerance In Islam
An Abridged Version of the 1927 Lecture
by MM Pickthall
http://www.cyberistan.org/islamic/toleran1.html
Full Article in the E-Book

Introduction

Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall was an Englishman, an orientalist, and a Muslim who translated the meaning of the Holy Qur'an. His translation was first published in 1930 and he was supported in this effort by His Highness, the Nizam of Hyderabad (the ruler of Deccan, in the South), India. Pickthall traveled extensively to several Muslim countries, including Syria, Palestine, Turkey, Egypt, Arabia and India. He spent several years in India and had interacted with the Muslims of India.

In 1927 Pickthall gave eight lectures on several aspects of Islamic civilization at the invitation of The Committee of "Madras Lectures on Islam" in Madras, India. Parts of Pickthall's lectures were made available in India at various times. All of his lectures were published under the title "The Cultural Side of Islam" in 1961 by Sh. Muhammad Ashraf Publishers, Lahore from a manuscript provided by M.I. Jamal Moinuddin. The book has gone through several reprints since then.

An abridged version of his fifth lecture on the "Tolerance in Islam" is presented below. His long lecture frequently used quotations from the Holy Qur'an to emphasize many points and to support his analysis and conclusions. The major theme of his lecture is retained here. All of Pickthall's eight lectures draw upon his vast knowledge of Islamic history, the Western religious, political and intellectual history through the ages, and their reasons for rise and fall. His lectures are very enlightening, analytically useful, and of great value even today.

# # # # #

An Abridged Version of Pickthall's Lecture

In the eyes of history, religious toleration is the highest evidence of culture in a people. It was not until the Western nations broke away from their religious law that they became more tolerant, and it was only when the Muslims fell away from their religious law that they declined in tolerance and other evidences of the highest culture. Before the coming of Islam, tolerance had never been preached as an essential part of religion.
If Europe had known as much of Islam, as Muslims knew of Christendom, in those days, those mad, adventurous, occasionally chivalrous and heroic, but utterly fanatical outbreak known as the Crusades could not have taken place, for they were based on a complete misapprehension.

Innumerable monasteries, with a wealth of treasure of which the worth has been calculated at not less than a hundred millions sterling, enjoyed the benefit of the Holy Prophet's (Muhammad's) Charter to the monks of Sinai and were religiously respected by the Muslims. The various sects of Christians were represented in the Council of the Empire by their patriarchs, on the provincial and district council by their bishops, in the village council by their priests, whose word was always taken without question on things which were the sole concern of their community.

The tolerance within the body of Islam was, and is, something without parallel in history; class and race and color ceasing altogether to be barriers.

# # # # #

One of the commonest charges brought against Islam historically, and as a religion, by Western writers is that it is intolerant. This is turning the tables with a vengeance when one remembers various facts: One remembers that not a Muslim is left alive in Spain or Sicily or Apulia. One remembers that not a Muslim was left alive and not a mosque left standing in Greece after the great rebellion in l821. One remembers how the Muslims of the Balkan peninsula, once the majority, have been systematically reduced with the approval of the whole of Europe, how the Christian under Muslim rule have in recent times been urged on to rebel and massacre the Muslims, and how reprisals by the latter have been condemned as quite uncalled for.

In Spain under the Umayyads and in Baghdad under the Abbasid Khalifas, Christians and Jews, equally with Muslims, were admitted to the Schools and universities - not only that, but were boarded and lodged in hostels at the cost of the state. When the Moors were driven out of Spain, the Christian conquerors held a terrific persecution of the Jews. Those who were fortunate enough to escape fled, some of them to Morocco and many hundreds to the Turkish empire, where their descendants still live in separate communities, and still speak among themselves an antiquated form of Spanish. The Muslim empire was a refuge for all those who fled from persecution by the Inquisition.

The Western Christians, till the arrival of the Encyclopaedists in the eighteenth century, did not know and did not care to know, what the Muslim believed, nor did the Western Christian seek to know the views of Eastern Christians with regard to them. The Christian Church was already split in two, and in the end, it came to such a pass that the Eastern Christians, as Gibbon shows, preferred Muslim rule, which allowed them to practice their own form of religion and adhere to their peculiar dogmas, to the rule of fellow Christians who would have made them Roman Catholics or wiped them out.

The Western Christians called the Muslims pagans, paynims, even idolaters - there are plenty of books in which they are described as worshiping an idol called Mahomet or Mahound, and in the accounts of the conquest of Granada there are even descriptions of the monstrous idols which they were alleged to worship - whereas the Muslims knew what Christianity was, and in what respects it differed from Islam. If Europe had known as much of Islam, as Muslims knew of Christendom, in those days, those mad, adventurous, occasionally chivalrous and heroic, but utterly fanatical outbreak known as the Crusades could not have taken place, for they were based on a complete misapprehension. I quote a learned French author:

# # # # #
"Every poet in Christendom considered a Mohammedan to be an infidel, and an idolater, and his gods to be three; mentioned in order, they were: Mahomet or Mahound or Mohammad, Opolane and the third Termogond. It was said that when in Spain the Christians overpowered the Mohammadans and drove them as far as the gates of the city of Saragossa, the Mohammadans went back and broke their idols.
"A Christian poet of the period says that Opolane the "god" of the Mohammadans, which was kept there in a den was awfully belabored and abused by the Mohammadans, who, binding it hand and foot, crucified it on a pillar, trampled it under their feet and broke it to pieces by beating it with sticks; that their second god Mahound they threw in a pit and caused to be torn to pieces by pigs and dogs, and that never were gods so ignominiously treated; but that afterwards the Mohammadans repented of their sins, and once more reinstated their gods for the accustomed worship, and that when the Emperor Charles entered the city of Saragossa he had every mosque in the city searched and had "Muhammad" and all their Gods broken with iron hammers."

That was the kind of "history" on which the populace in Western Europe used to be fed. Those were the ideas which inspired the rank and file of the crusader in their attacks on the most civilized peoples of those days. Christendom regarded the outside world as damned eternally, and Islam did not. There were good and tender-hearted men in Christendom who thought it sad that any people should be damned eternally, and wished to save them by the only way they knew - conversion to the Christian faith.

It was not until the Western nations broke away from their religious law that they became more tolerant; and it was only when the Muslims fell away from their religious law that they declined in tolerance and other evidences of the highest culture. Therefore the difference evident in that anecdote is not of manners only but of religion. Of old, tolerance had existed here and there in the world, among enlightened individuals; but those individuals had always been against the prevalent religion. Tolerance was regarded of un-religious, if not irreligious. Before the coming of Islam it had never been preached as an essential part of religion.

For the Muslims, Judaism, Christianity and Islam are but three forms of one religion, which, in its original purity, was the religion of Abraham: Al-Islam, that perfect Self-Surrender to the Will of God, which is the basis of Theocracy. The Jews, in their religion, after Moses, limited God's mercy to their chosen nation and thought of His kingdom as the dominion of their race.

Even Christ himself, as several of his sayings show, declared that he was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel and seemed to regard his mission as to the Hebrews only; and it was only after a special vision vouchsafed to St. Peter that his followers in after days considered themselves authorized to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. The Christians limited God's mercy to those who believed certain dogmas. Every one who failed to hold the dogmas was an outcast or a miscreant, to be persecuted for his or her soul's good. In Islam only is manifest the real nature of the Kingdom of God.

The two verses (2:255-256) of the Qur'an are supplementary. Where there is that realization of the majesty and dominion of Allah (SWT), there is no compulsion in religion. Men choose their path - allegiance or opposition - and it is sufficient punishment for those who oppose that they draw further and further away from the light of truth.

What Muslims do not generally consider is that this law applies to our own community just as much as to the folk outside, the laws of Allah being universal; and that intolerance of Muslims for other men's opinions and beliefs is evidence that they themselves have, at the moment, forgotten the vision of the majesty and mercy of Allah (SWT) which the Qur'an presents to them.

In the Qur'an I find two meanings (of a Kafir), which become one the moment that we try to realize the divine standpoint. The Kafir in the first place, is not the follower of any religion. He is the opponent of Allah's benevolent will and purpose for mankind - therefore the disbeliever in the truth of all religions, the disbeliever in all Scriptures as of divine revelation, the disbeliever to the point of active opposition in all the Prophets (pbut) whom the Muslims are bidden to regard, without distinction, as messengers of Allah.

The Qur'an repeatedly claims to be the confirmation of the truth of all religions. The former Scriptures had become obscure, the former Prophets appeared mythical, so extravagant were the legends which were told concerning them, so that people doubted whether there was any truth in the old Scriptures, whether such people as the Prophets had ever really existed. Here - says the Qur'an - is a Scripture whereof there is no doubt: here is a Prophet actually living among you and preaching to you. If it were not for this book and this Prophet, men might be excused for saying that Allah's guidance to mankind was all a fable. This book and this Prophet, therefore, confirm the truth of all that was revealed before them, and those who disbelieve in them to the point of opposing the existence of a Prophet and a revelation are really opposed to the idea of Allah's guidance - which is the truth of all revealed religions. Our Holy Prophet (pbuh) himself said that the term Kafir was not to be applied to anyone who said "Salam" (peace) to the Muslims. The Kafirs, in the terms of the Qur'an, are the conscious evil-doers of any race of creed or community.

I have made a long digression but it seemed to me necessary, for I find much confusion of ideas even among Muslims on this subject, owing to defective study of the Qur'an and the Prophet's life. Many Muslims seem to forget that our Prophet had allies among the idolaters even after Islam had triumphed in Arabia, and that he "fulfilled his treaty with them perfectly until the term thereof." The righteous conduct of the Muslims, not the sword, must be held responsible for the conversion of those idolaters, since they embraced Islam before the expiration of their treaty.

So much for the idolaters of Arabia, who had no real beliefs to oppose the teaching of Islam, but only superstition. They invoked their local deities for help in war and put their faith only in brute force. In this they were, to begin with, enormously superior to the Muslims. When the Muslims nevertheless won, they were dismayed; and all their arguments based on the superior power of their deities were for ever silenced. Their conversion followed naturally. It was only a question of time with the most obstinate of them.

It was otherwise with the people who had a respectable religion of their own - the People of the Scripture - as the Qur'an calls them - i.e, the people who had received the revelation of some former Prophet: the Jews, the Christians and the Zoroastrians were those with whom the Muslims came at once in contact. To these our Prophet's attitude was all of kindness. The Charter which he granted to the Christian monks of Sinai is extant. If you read it you will see that it breathes not only goodwill but actual love. He gave to the Jews of Medina, so long as they were faithful to him, precisely the same treatment as to the Muslims. He never was aggressive against any man or class of men; he never penalized any man, or made war on any people, on the ground of belief but only on the ground of conduct.

The story of his reception of Christian and Zoroastrian visitors is on record. There is not a trace of religious intolerance in all this. And it should be remembered - Muslims are rather apt to forget it, and it is of great importance to our outlook - that our Prophet did not ask the people of the Scripture to become his followers. He asked them only to accept the Kingdom of Allah, to abolish priesthood and restore their own religions to their original purity. The question which, in effect, he put to everyone was this: "Are you for the Kingdom of God which includes all of us, or are you for your own community against the rest of mankind?" The one is obviously the way of peace and human progress, the other the way of strife, oppression and calamity. But the rulers of the world, to whom he sent his message, most of them treated it as the message of either an insolent upstart or a mad fanatic. His envoys were insulted cruelly, and even slain. One cannot help wondering what reception that same embassy would meet with from the rulers of mankind today, when all the thinking portion of mankind accept the Prophet's premises, have thrown off the trammels of priestcraft, and harbor some idea of human brotherhood.

But though the Christians and Jews and Zoroastrians refused his message, and their rulers heaped most cruel insults on his envoys, our Prophet never lost his benevolent attitudes towards them as religious communities; as witness the Charter to the monks of Sinai already mentioned. And though the Muslims of later days have fallen far short of the Holy Prophet's tolerance, and have sometimes shown arrogance towards men of other faiths, they have always given special treatment to the Jews and Christians. Indeed the Laws for their special treatment form part of the Shari'ah.

In Egypt the Copts were on terms of closest friendship with the Muslims in the first centuries of the Muslim conquest, and they are on terms at closest friendship with the Muslims at the present day. In Syria the various Christian communities lived on terms of closest friendship with the Muslims in the first centuries of the Muslim conquest, and they are on terms of closest friendship with the Muslims at the present day, openly preferring Muslim domination to a foreign yoke....

From the expulsion of the Moriscos dates the degradation and decline of Spain. San Fernando was really wiser and more patriotic in his tolerance to conquered Seville, Murcia and Toledo than was the later king who, under the guise of Holy warfare, captured Grenada and let the Inquisition work its will upon the Muslims and the Jews. And the modern Balkan States and Greece are born under a curse. It may even prove that the degradation and decline of European civilization will be dated from the day when so-called civilized statesmen agreed to the inhuman policy of Czarist Russia and gave their sanction to the crude fanaticism of the Russian Church.

There is no doubt but that, in the eyes of history, religious toleration is the highest evidence of culture in a people. Let no Muslim, when looking on the ruin of the Muslim realm which was compassed through the agency of those very peoples whom the Muslims had tolerated and protected through the centuries when Western Europe thought it a religious duty to exterminate or forcibly convert all peoples of another faith than theirs - let no Muslim, seeing this, imagine that toleration is a weakness in Islam. It is the greatest strength of Islam because it is the attitude of truth.

Allah (SWT) is not the God of the Jews or the Christians or the Muslims only, any more than the sun shines or the rain falls for Jews or Christians or Muslims only.

# # # # #

Allah: Allah is the proper name in Arabic for The One and Only God, The Creator and Sustainer of the universe. It is used by the Arab Christians and Jews for the God (Eloh-im in Hebrew; 'Allaha' in Aramaic, the mother tongue of Jesus, pbuh). The word Allah does not have a plural or gender. Allah does not have any associate or partner, and He does not beget nor was He begotten. SWT is an abbreviation of Arabic words that mean 'Glory Be To Him.'

SAS or pbuh: Peace Be Upon Him. This expression is used for all Prophets of Allah.

ra: Radiallahu Anhu (May Allah be pleased with him).


"The Meaning of the Glorious Koran," An Explanatory Translation by Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall, a Mentor Book Publication. (Also available as: "The Meaning of the Glorious Koran," by Marmaduke Pickthall, Dorset Press, N.Y.; Published by several publishers since 1930).

Pickthall writes in his foreward of 1930: "...The Qur'an cannot be translated....The book is here rendered almost literally and every effort has been made to choose befitting language. But the result is not the Glorious Qur'an, that inimitable symphony, the very sounds of which move men to tears and ecstasy. It is only an attempt to present the meaning of the Qur'an-and peradventure something of the charm in English. It can never take the place of the Qur'an in Arabic, nor is it meant to do so...."

For the serious readers of the meaning of the Qur'an in English, it is recommended that it should be read along with a good commentary to comprehend the essential meaning and scope of verses. Either Yusuf Ali's or Mawdudi's commentaries are a good starting point. The former presents the meaning Ayah (verse) by Ayah with footnotes and includes a detailed index of the topics mentioned in the Qur'an, while the latter presents commentaries for each Surah (chapter) of the Qur'an.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Divorce in Qur'aan

Moderator's note is followed by Dr. Asghar Ali Engineers' article below.
http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2008/04/divorce-in-quraan.html
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Dear God, help us stand up for the rights of the women on whom injustice is heaped through irresponsible statements by the anamolic Aalims. In the following article Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer takes us through the malady that exists in Muslim societies. Could some one translate this into regional languages and get it published for the benefit of the common people.

Not all, but a few political, civic, business and religious leaders make gross mistakes. Maulana Rahmani quoted below falls into that category. He may have self interests in trying to interpret it that way.

The core value of Islam is Justice; even the wahdaniyat (oneness) is a catalyst to get the humanity to edge towards Justice. In a just society, the fear of taking advantage of the week and the meek dissipates, when that is gone, there is lesser wrong doing to happen – no more lying, cheating, robbing and infidelity.

Qur’aan talks about a refined language that occurs in a civil dialogue. The pitiful language used by the interlocutors “Divorce is given only when husband gets angry with his wife due to some act of hers lack civility.” This is a bad language where the woman is treated less than the man. Alhamdu Lillah, Qur’aan has expressly added the language that Women can initiate a divorce for the very same purpose – to believe in the equal rights of men and women. The language of the Ulema should be “Divorce is an outcome of misunderstanding between the spouses” which is a language of the equals, which is an expression of Justice.

These are the dumb acts of individuals that we can find in every group be it religious or otherwise. Unless we stand up and speak out, we are part of it. There was a statement by a wise man “ evil triumphs because good people don’t do anything about it”. The least one can do is spread the word. I admire Dr. Asghar Ali Engineers stand on this issue and I hope that should be the stand of every Muslim – Justice to all humans.

Continued: http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2008/04/divorce-in-quraan.html

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Wilders, Fitna and Muslims

Muslim Response to Dutch legislators
Lies about Qur'aan.

By Mike Ghouse & Imam Zia-ul-Haq Shaikh
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The following piece is organized into three sections;
  1. Introduction
  2. A prelude to Qur'aan translations
  3. Geert Wilders 14 mis-translated verses of Qur'aan with the corrected ones.

This is a Muslim response to Geert Wilders documentary called "Fitna". The documentary can be viewed at: http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/020472.php.

Mr. Wilders has read this piece and is not willing to correct statements made by him, he quoted them as if they are in Qur'aan, they are not. Wikipedia has made similar mistakes and even the prestigious(?) University of Southern California's website has a quote ascribed to Qur'aan with a verse number to give the idea that it is legitimate, but that verse is not in Qur'aan. Of course, only 1/10th of 1% of the extremists blindly believe in such statements without verifying.

The Necons have done it time and again, blatantly lie to the public assuming at least a few will fall prey to it, and fund their evil agenda of promoting hate and chaos. I pray that they spend the time on building bridges and work for peace, they will achieve greater results.

It is time to believe what is verifiable. I urge every one to actually refer the Wilders's quoted verses in the Qur'aan, you have to believe it yourselves. There are 18 translations of Qur'aan on the market now, a few of them are flawed, particularly the ones done by the Europeans in the middle ages, please do check them for the origins of Islamophobia. Then a Muslim by the name of Hilali Khan in the early 20th century translated it and it is equally evil, if you are a Jew or a Christian it will offend you, heck it offends me the Muslim. If you picked up a free copy of Qur'aan, more likely it is Hilali translation. By far the translation that reflects the intent of Qur'aan closely is Mohammad Asad's. The website Islamicity has it, and you can simply punch in the verse numbers, and that is what I have done below.

If you wish to fund this project for creating a better world of Understanding, I can complete the work and put on the webiste for the world to see, it will be authenticated by Muslim, Jewish and Christian sscholars who know Arabic. To be a Muslim is to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill and I am committed to do my share of the work.
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I. INTRODUCTION

“Geert Wilders, Dutch conservative lawmaker, has made a sixteen minute film called "Fitna" (trouble) exposing the horrific passages of the Koran. Wilders refers to theses selected verses as “fascist.’” http://www.theconservativevoice.com/article/29496.html

First of all, as a Muslim, I want to thank Geert Wilders for making this documentary, the verses, as he has quoted certainly sound fascist. These verses have not only been misquoted for millennia, but were mis-translated with the intent of maligning Islam in the middle ages to protect the European kings and their kingdoms. My gratitude to Wilders comes from the fact that he is putting it on the spot light, so we have an opportunity to discuss and clarify them, hopefully for ever.

Prophet Muhammad was pelted with stones by a bunch of miscreants, he was bleeding, and his associates and angel Gabriel were requesting him to give permission to go get the bad boys, the Prophet said no, instead he asked them to pray with him that God gave goodwill and a good sense to the misled miscreants.

Following the model of forgiveness given by the Prophet with a belief that there is good in every human soul, we have to relentlessly stoke the goodness in humans. I ask fellow humans in general and Muslims in particular to pray for Geert Wilders’ safety and well being.

Mr. Wilders, I have personally prayed for your safety and well being and request our Imams to do the same across the world. The report expressed that "You do not fear being slain, claiming 24-hour protection." Again, I admire you for your courage and conviction and request you to consider the truth side of the equation that nearly 1.5 billion Muslims believe.

Note to the Muslim Leadership:

As Muslims leaders, we have a responsibility to prevent mis-haps. To be a Muslim is to be a peace maker; one who constantly seeks to mitigate conflicts and nurtures goodwill for co-existence and world peace - God wants his creation to be in peace and harmony, and that is the chief purpose of religion. Islam is indeed peace.

Geert Wilder's is going to show a 10 minute documentary on the 25th - the hell may freeze over and all of us will be scrambling to defend.... if our Imams can address this in the Friday Sermons, and urge Muslims to follow the model Prophet has created, we can avoid a big mishap and turn this upcoming nightmare into a peace building effort. I request all Imams to call their counterparts around the globe to win this propaganda war with love and kindness and it is an opportunity God has provided to become leaders. If you like, please circulate.

II. A PRELUDE TO QUR'AAN TRANSLATIONS

When the European Kings were threatened by the invading Arab armies in early part of the millennia, to safeguard and protect their Kingdoms, they gave birth to the idea of Islamophobia and their strategy was:

1. To label the Invading Kings as Muslim, as that was one of the ways to get their subjects to fight.

2. To mis-translate the Qur'aan to create a permanent wedge between the two communities

3. To paint the religion negatively and as a Mohammedan cult.

4. To reinforce this strategy they roped in the Pope to issue a fatwa approving crusades.

Their Blueprint worked well for them and the Arab Kings were pushed back and defeated. It is important to note that a majority of the kings were thieves and robbers, whose only purpose in life was to invade and annex the neighboring territories, loot their wealth, destroy their cultures and come back home stronger and erect a statue of themselves as Heroes. Very few of them wanted to spread their faith for the purpose of spreading piety and goodwill. Their goal was to control the resources and the people; in the process they destroyed civilizations, no different than today's Neocons.

The Neocons of middle ages were exceptionally successful in steering public opinion against Islam via the translations. The foundation they laid at that time has become the basis for building baseless theories against Islam. The kings happened to be Muslims that they were against, instead their propaganda turned against all Muslims and Islam.

Dahlia Sabry is researching on the effects of this work and reports that " it was found out that translating the meanings of the holy Qur'aan offered an opportunity to distort and misinterpret its meanings. This played a crucial role in framing a negative and an inaccurate image of Islam. The problem can be ascribed mostly to translations by non-Muslims, however, also partially to translations by Muslims."

Lex Mahumet pseudoprophete (English: "Law of Mahomet the pseudo-prophet") was the first translation of the Qur'aan into Latin by Robert of Ketton in 1142. Peter the Venerable persuaded Robert to join a team he was creating to translate Arabic works into Latin in hopes of aiding the religious conversion of Muslims to Christianity. It was the standard translation for Europeans from its release until the 18th century. This translation is loaded with inaccuracies.

Another Latin translation by Ludovicus Marracci was published in 1698. It was supplemented with quotes from Qur'an commentaries "carefully juxtaposed and sufficiently garbled so as to portray Islam in the worst possible light" (Colin Turner,1997 p. xii). The title of the introductory volume of such translation was A Refutation of the Qur'an.

Such translations formed the foundation for a number of subsequent translations into English, French, Italian, German, etc. The first English translation was that of Alexander Ross published in 1649. In his introduction, Ross says "I thought good to bring it to their colours, that so viewing thine enemies in their full body, thou must the better prepare to encounter … his Alcoran" (p. A3).

Similarly, H. Reckendorf (1857) says in his Hebrew translation of the Qur'an, "I can now stop writing and ask God's pardon for the sin I committed when I profaned our sacred language and transferred to it the talk of lies and falsehood" (as cited in Abdul Aal, January 29, 2006, p. 78).

In 1734, George Sale’s translation came out based on Marracci’s earlier notorious work. In 1861, J. M. Rodwell’s work provided a further example of a writer "gunning for Islam" (Turner, 1997, p. xii).

That was the story of Neocons who shamelessly wore the Christian label, similar inaccurate and brazen translations were made by Muslims as well. The Noble Qur'an, also informally known as the Hilali-Khan translation was published in early 1900's and is despicable. http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/Quraan/Not-like-Jews-and-Christians.asp

Religions emerged to allay individual fears and bring a balance in one's life and peace for the society. It is obvious that the Kings of the past have raped the religion to their own advantage and we must not give them the religious label. Their purpose was simply expansion, exertion and oppression and religion did not figure in the conquests, they were far from it.

It is time for us to strip the wrongs people have ascribed to religion, every religion, and get to know the truth. I am amazed neither the Universities, nor the responsible Governments have under taken research project to dismantle the false castles of hate from the past. It is time now, and we have begun this process.

Further Geert Wilders adds "When taking the Koran seriously as divine revelation, a superficial review of the Koran’s extremist verses is not what meshes with democracies."

All the fourteen verses quoted below have one theme in common "Punishment" for those who do not follow the rules. Mr. Geert may understand this better, if he were to look at it from an universal perspective and not as Islam V. Christianity issue.

One can find ‘punitive’ verses in every holy book. However, the critical element overlooked is the most powerful and dominant aspect of the creator; Qur'aan 1:1 "In the name of God, The Most Gracious, The Dispenser of Grace." This verse is repeated 114 times in Qur’aan, more than any other verse and 113 Chapters begin with it. And as Muslims, the majority of us, perhaps 99% of us recite at the beginning of every activity we undertake during the day including going to sleep. We are constantly aware of God's mercy and pray that God's grace is on all of us every minute of the day.

For societies to function on equilibrium there must be law and order. When there is justice in a society, peace is a natural outcome. The Criminal and Civil laws are designed to bring net-peace to the society. For every violation of a rule, punishment is determined. If there were no punishment, then crimes go un-checked creating chaos in the society.

From a common man’s perspective, the word ‘painful doom’ appears to be cruelty coming from a kind God. Well, then what should hold any one from murdering and butchering the other. If you are a good guy who holds the temptations to steal someone else's hard earned goods, and the bad guys steal with no consequences to it, then every one may resort to stealing. What will happen to a society when every one is stealing, lying or cheating? No one would trust and everyone is frightened of the other.

Imagine the nightmare in America, if we were to remove the punishment aspect from the United States Constitution, civil and criminal laws.

Religions emerged to allay individual fears and bring a balance in one's life and peace for the society. It is time for us to strip the wrongs people have ascribed to religion, indeed every religion, and find the truth for ourselves. I cannot believe that the Universities and responsible Governments have not undertaken the research to dismantle the false castles of hate from the past.

We have undertaken the work to fix 60 misrepresented verses, hopefully to mitigate the conflicts and nurture goodwill for co-existence, as citizens of the world, you and I, every one included, have the responsibility to watch for the trouble makers whose business is manufacturing enemies and cashing in on fears of ordinary people.

III. The 14 Verses mis-translated in the Film Fitna
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Surah 9: Repentance

A full copy of the text from Geert Wilders is pasted at the bottom that includes 14 verse that sounds fascist, indeed they are as quoted. Actual verses from Qur'aan are pulled with each one of the 14 verses.

Mohammad Asad - http://www.islamicity.com/QuranSearch/

1:1 In the name of God, The Most Gracious, The Dispenser of Grace:

According to most of the authorities, this invocation (which occurs at the beginning of every surah with the exception of surah 9) constitutes an integral part of "The Opening" and is, therefore, numbered as verse I. In all other instances, the invocation "in the name of God" precedes the surah as such, and is not counted among its verses. - Both the divine epithets rahman and rahrim are derived from the noun rahmah, which signifies "mercy", "compassion", "loving tenderness" and, more comprehensively, "grace". From the very earliest times, Islamic scholars have endeavoured to define the exact shades of meaning which differentiate the two terms. The best and simplest of these explanations is undoubtedly the one advanced by Ibn al-Qayyim (as quoted in Manar I, 48): the term rahman circumscribes the quality of abounding grace inherent in, and inseparable from, the concept of God's Being, whereas rahrim expresses the manifestation of that grace in, and its effect upon, His creation-in other words, an aspect of His activity.(Quran Ref: 1:1 )

#1. Give tidings (O Muhammad) of a painful doom to those who disbelieve. 3

Mohammad Asad - http://www.islamicity.com/QuranSearch/ At-Tauba (The Repentance)

9:3 And a proclamation from God and His Apostle [is herewith made] unto all mankind on this day of the Greatest Pilgrimage: "God disavows all who ascribe divinity to aught beside Him, and [so does] His Apostle. Hence, if you repent, it shall be for your own good; and if you turn away, then know that you can never elude God!" And unto those who are bent on denying the truth give thou [O Prophet] the tiding of grievous chastisement.

There is no unanimity among the commentators as to what is meant by "the day of the Greatest Pilgrimage". Most of them assume that it refers to the pilgrimage in the year 9H., in which the Prophet himself did not participate, having entrusted Abu Bakr with the office of amir al-hajj. This very fact, however, makes it improbable that the designation "the Greatest Pilgrimage" should have been given in the Qur'an to this particular pilgrimage. On the other hand, there exists a Tradition on the authority of `Abd Allah ibn `Umar to the effect that the Prophet described in these very words the last pilgrimage led by himself in 10 H. and known to history as the Farewell Pilgrimage (Zamakhshari, Razi); one may, therefore, assume that it is this which is alluded to here. If this assumption is correct, it would justify the conclusion that verses 3 and 4 of this surah were revealed during the Farewell Pilgrimage, i.e., shortly before the Prophet's death. This might explain the-otherwise perplexing-statement, reliably attributed to the Prophet's Companion Al-Bara' (Bukhari, Kitab at-Tafsir), that At-Tawbah was the last surah revealed to the Prophet: for, although it is established beyond any doubt that the surah as a whole was revealed in 9 H. and was followed by several other parts of the Qur'an, e.g., Al-Ma'idah, it is possible that what Al-Bard' had in mind were only these two key-verses (3 and 4) of At-Tawbah, which conceivably were revealed during the Farewell Pilgrimage.(Quran Ref: 9:3 )

Imam Zia-ul-Haq Shaikh: This is a classic example of misinterpretation of the Quran. You needn’t look very far in understanding what the verse is talking about. The VERY NEXT VERSE talks about observing peace treaties and NOT attacking those people that weren’t a threat! Here is the verse: (9:4. Except those of the Mushrikin with whom you have a treaty, and who have broken that treaty, nor have supported anyone against you. So fulfill their treaty for them until the end of their term. Surely, Allah loves those who have Taqwa (awareness of God).)

Mike Ghouse: There is just a God, and there is no Muslim, Christian or other God. If Wilders can see one source of Creation called God, he would not have the problem. God is essentially saying if you have some one else besides me, go to him or her, don’t come to me if you don’t believe in me.
#2. Slay the idolaters wherever you find them. 5

Mohammad Asad - At-Tauba (The Repentance)

9:5 And so, when the sacred months are over [6] , slay those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God wherever you may come upon them, [7] and take them captive, and besiege them, and lie in wait for them at every conceivable place [8] ! Yet if they repent, and take to prayer, and render the purifying dues, let them go their way: for, behold, God is much forgiving, a dispenser of grace. [9]9:2 [Announce unto them:] "Go, then, [freely] about the earth for four months [2] -but know that you can never elude God, and that, verily, God shall bring disgrace upon all who refuse to acknowledge the truth!"

9:5 Article: http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/Quraan/Slay-the-idolaters-whereever-you-find-them.asp .

Imam Zia-ul-Haq Shaikh: The four months were given for the hostile people so that they can come and go peacefully amongst the Muslims and see what Islam is about. If it was not for them, they could leave the Holy Lands, and seek refuge elsewhere. If the whole purpose was killing and butchering them, then what is the purpose behind giving them four months??

# 3. Don't let idolaters tend the sanctuaries. Their works are in vain and they will be burned in the Fire. 17

Mohammad Asad - At-Tauba (The Repentance)

9:17 IT IS NOT for those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God to visit or tend [26] God's houses of worship, the while [by their beliefs] they bear witness against themselves that they are denying the truth. It is they whose works shall come to nought, and they who in the fire shall abide [27]

In its transitive form, the verb `amara comprises the meanings of both visiting and maintaining a place; hence my rendering of an ya'muru as "that they should visit or tend".(Quran Ref: 9:17 )

Some of the commentators conclude from this verse that "those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God" are not allowed to enter mosques ("God's houses of worship"). This conclusion, however, is entirely untenable in view of the fact that in 9 H. -that is, after the revelation of this surah -the Prophet himself lodged a deputation of the pagan Banu Thaqif in the mosque at Medina (Razi). Thus, the above verse expresses no more than the moral incongruity of the unbelievers' "visiting or tending God's houses of worship". As regards their exclusion from the central mosque of Islam at Mecca ("the Inviolable House of Worship"), see verse 28 of this surah.(Quran Ref: 9:17 )

9:28 O YOU who have attained to faith! Those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God are nothing but impure: [37] and so they shall not approach the Inviolable House of Worship from this year onwards [38] And should you fear poverty, then [know that] in time God will enrich you out of His bounty, if He so wills: [39] for, verily, God is all-knowing, wise!

Imam Zia-ul-Haq Shaikh: The whole purpose of all religions, including Judaism and Christianity is that God alone should be worshipped. If polytheists were allowed to tend to or attend or build the holiest sanctuaries whose whole foundation was on Tawheed (the sole worship of God), it would be a huge contradiction in the religion. So to avoid this contradiction and conflict, Islam very clearly outlines the rules about who could or couldn’t come to the Haram of Makkah.

Bear in mind that the Prophet himself hosted a delegation of Christian dignitaries and priests from Najran, whom he allowed to STAY and whom he allowed to PRAY in his own mosque in the Holy city of Madina, the second holiest site to all Muslims.

Mike Ghouse:: Those who do not believe in God, simply cannot serve in the sanctuary with sincerity. Obviously one feels the pain of doing things that which is not in his or her nature. Caveat: There is no compulsion in faith, no one can push any one to believe what he or she is not willing to.

#4. Give tiding of a painful doom to Christians and Jews. 34

Mohammad Asad - At-Tauba (The Repentance)

9:34 O you who have attained to faith! Behold, many of the rabbis and monks do indeed wrongfully devour men's possessions and turn [others] away from the path of God. But as for all who lay up treasures of gold and silver and do not spend them for the sake of Gods [51] - give them the tiding of grievous suffering [in the life to come]:

Most probably this is, in the first instance, an allusion to the wealth of the Jewish and Christian communities, and their misuse of this wealth. Some of the commentators, however, are of the opinion that the reference is wider, comprising all people, including Muslims, who hoard their wealth without spending anything thereof on righteous causes.(Quran Ref: 9:34 )

Imam Zia-ul-Haq Shaikh: The purpose of religious leadership is to focus on the Hereafter, and they should lead by example is this respect. If they are seen to be hoarding wealth, and not distributing it to the poor and needy, what kind of example are they setting for their followers? Also bear in mind that the condemnation in this verse is the hoarding of ILLICITLY gained funds and riches.

Mike Ghouse: Another good example of misquoting the Verses. Indeed, those (not all) who embezzle public funds need to be punished, be it Muslim, Jew, Christian or otherwise. Those are the laws of any civilized nation including the Netherlands. In the verse 34, there is word like Christian and Jew.

Pasted below is the transliteration and actual Quranic verse.

Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo inna katheeran mina alahbari waalrruhbani layakuloona amwala alnnasi bialbatili wayasuddoona AAan sabeeli Allahi waallatheena yaknizoona alththahaba waalfiddata wala yunfiqoonaha fee sabeeli Allahi fabashshirhum biAAathabin aleemin

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِّنَ الأَحْبَارِ وَالرُّهْبَانِ لَيَأْكُلُونَ أَمْوَالَ النَّاسِ بِالْبَاطِلِ وَيَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللّهِ وَالَّذِينَ يَكْنِزُونَ الذَّهَبَ وَالْفِضَّةَ وَلاَ يُنفِقُونَهَا فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ فَبَشِّرْهُم بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ (9:34)


#5. If you refuse to fight, Allah will afflict you with a painful doom. 39

Mohammad Asad - At-Tauba (The Repentance)

9:39 If you do not go forth to war [in God's cause], He will chastise you with grievous chastisement, and will place another people in your stead - whereas you shall in no wise harm Him: for, God has the power to will anything.

Imam Zia-ul-Haq Shaikh: The purpose of religious leadership is to focus on the Hereafter, and they should lead by example is this respect. If they are seen to be hoarding wealth, and not distributing it to the poor and needy, what kind of example are they setting for their followers? Also bear in mind that the condemnation in this verse is the hoarding of ILLICITLY gained funds and riches.

Mike Ghouse: In the USA, and perhaps in the Netherlands, these men are referred to as draft dodgers, during the Vietnam war if you dodge going to the war, you faced grievous chastisement by the Government of the United states of America, even though that was the wrong war. Perhaps Netherlands may not be sympathetic towards them either.

#6. Disbelievers go to hell. 49

Mohammad Asad - At-Tauba (The Repentance)

9:49 And among them there was [many a one] who said," [71] Grant me permission [to remain at home], and do not put me to too hard a test!" Oh, verily, [by making such a request] they had [already failed in their test and] succumbed to a temptation to evil: [72] and, behold, hell will indeed encompass all who refuse to acknowledge the truth!

See verses 44 and 45 above. It is to be noted that both the verbal form la taftinni (rendered by me as "do not put me to too hard a test") and the noun fitnah have the same root, comprising a great complex of meanings: e.g., test, trial, affliction. temptation to evil, seduction, persecution, oppression, discord, civil strife, etc. (cf. surah 8, note 25). Since it is impossible in any language but Arabic to reproduce all these many shades of meaning in a single expression, the rendering of the term fitnah must necessarily vary in accordance with the context in which it is used.(Quran Ref: 9:49 )

Imam Zia-ul-Haq Shaikh: Here the analogy of the draft-dodgers is appropriate. Anyone who opposed or even voices dissent in the “war on terror” was labeled unpatriotic. But, here the verse is referring to those hypocrites who showed that they were Muslims in front, but internally held malice against the Muslims. Part of their malice was not supporting the Muslims in anything they did including fighting if the need was there. God chastises these people, as their negative actions raised disorder and disunity and pessimism and negativity amongst even the true Muslims.

Mike Ghouse: Any one who refuses to acknowledge the truth must be punished. I don’t know what kind of tortures Netherlands applies to criminals, but most nations in the world including the United States of American, has used the water boarding techniques to extract the truth.

God could have made us all sinless angels; instead he chose to make us humans, giving guidance on one hand, temptations on the other – then giving room to make mistakes, and room for correction. Islam has not claimed monopoly to heaven; it is assured to those who do good deeds. Good deeds are defined by Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) as how your treat others.

#7. Those who vex the Prophet, for them there is a painful doom. 60

Mohammad Asad - At-Tauba (The Repentance)

9:60 The offerings given for the sake of God [83] are [meant] only for the poor and the needy, and those who are in charge thereof, [84] and those whose hearts are to be won over, and for the freeing of human beings from bondage, and [for] those who are over burdened with debts, and [for every struggle] in God's cause, and [for] the wayfarer: [this is] an ordinance from God - and God is all-knowing, wise. [85]

Note 83/81: Since there is no English equivalent for the term sadaqat (sing. sadagah), I am rendering it here as "offerings given for the sake of God". This comprises everything that a believer freely gives to another person, out of love or compassion, as well as what he is morally or legally obliged to give, without expecting any worldly return: that is, charitable gifts and deeds of every description (which is the primary meaning of sadaqat -e.g., in 2:263 and 264), as well as the obligatory tax called zakah ("the purifying dues", because its payment purifies, as it were, a person's property from the taint of selfishness). In the context of the above verse, this term refers to the funds thus collected and administered by the Muslim community or state. When these funds are disbursed for the purposes stipulated in verse 60, they assume once more - this time in relation to the recipients-the aspect of "charitable gifts".(Quran Ref: 9:58 )

Note 84- I.e., the officials entrusted with the collection and administration of zakah funds.(Quran Ref: 9:60 Note 85: These eight categories circumscribe all the purposes for which zakah funds may be expended. By "those whose hearts are to be won over" are apparently meant such non-Muslims as are close to understanding and, perhaps, accepting Islam, and for whose conversion every effort should be made, either directly or indirectly (i.e., by means of the widest possible propagation of the teachings of Islam). As regards the expression fi 'r-rigab ("for the freeing of human beings from bondage"), which relates both to the ransoming of prisoners of war and to the freeing of slaves, see surah 2, note 146. The term al-gharimun describes people who are overburdened with debts contracted in good faith. which - through no fault of their own - they are subsequently unable to redeem. The expression "in God's cause" embraces every kind of struggle in righteous causes, both in war and in peace, including expenditure for the propagation of Islam and for all charitable purposes. Regarding the meaning of ibn as-sabil ("wayfarer"), see surah 2, note 145.(Quran Ref: 9:60 )

Imam Zia-ul-Haq Shaikh: I don’t see anything that can be held as negative in the verse. It is simply talking about giving in charity, and that includes to non-muslims.

Mike Ghouse: Another falsity.

#8. Those who oppose Allah and His messenger will burn in the fire of hell. 63

Mohammad Asad - At-Tauba (The Repentance)

9:63 Do they not know that for him who sets himself against God and His Apostle there is in store the fire of hell, therein to abide -that most awesome disgrace?

Imam Zia-ul-Haq Shaikh: This verse was specifically for those hypocrites who raised their voices of dissent and fueled disunity amongst the Muslims. It is not a general verse for everyone. The next verse emphasizes this point.

Mike Ghouse: Once you pledge your allegiance, and then betray it to do harm, it is called treason. However, if you chose not to believe, but not hurt any one in the process, you go Scot free. Justness is paramount in Islamic values. This is no different than the civil laws of any nation.

# 9. Allah promises hypocrites and disbelievers the fire of hell. Allah curses them. They will have a lasting torment. 68

Mohammad Asad - At-Tauba (The Repentance)

9:68 God- has promised the hypocrites, both men and women-as well as the [outright] deniers of the _ truth-the fire of hell, therein to abide: this shall be their allotted_ portion. For, God has rejected them, and long-lasting suffering awaits them.

Imam Zia-ul-Haq Shaikh: The reason hypocrisy is so bad is because these were the “wolves in sheep’s clothing”, i.e under the guise of being Muslims they fueled rancor amongst the Muslims. It is better to know your enemy up front, so you can avoid them, rather than an outwardly friendly person who is really your enemy.

Mike Ghouse: Please remember God is merciful and forgiver. Prescription of punishment is a deterrent to crime, at least most average people will not commit crime. Mr. Wilders, Welcome to the United States of America, and particularly Texas, those who deny the truth get the life time imprisonment or the electric chair.

#10. Fight the disbelievers and hypocrites. Be harsh with them. They are all going to hell anyway. 73

Mohammad Asad - At-Tauba (The Repentance)

9:73 O PROPHET! Strive hard against the deniers of the truth and the hypocrites, and be adamant with them. [101] And [if they do not repent,] their goal shall be hell -and how vile a journey's end!

Note 101 - I.e., "do not compromise with them in matters of principle". Regarding the meaning of the verb jahada ("he strove hard", i.e., in a righteous cause), see surah 4, note 122. The imperative jahid is obviously used here in its spiritual connotation, implying efforts at convincing both the outspoken unbelievers and the waverers, including the various types of hypocrites spoken of in the preceding passages. Although the imperative is addressed in the first instance to the Prophet, it is considered to be morally binding on all believers.(Quran Ref: 9:73 )

Imam Zia-ul-Haq Shaikh: Comments It is obvious that the order is for striving to guide them, otherwise the translation be adamant would be rendered useless if one was to simply kill them. If the meaning is punishment, then punishing criminals is not wrong.

Mike Ghouse: Think in terms of civic societies and how the criminals are punished or at least there is a law ranging from a day in Jail to the death penalty. Shall we be lenient to rapists, murderers? Shall we tell them, that we believe in civility and as a bonus for their crimes, there is no punishment fro them.

#11. Allah will afflict disbelievers with a painful doom in this world and the Hereafter. 74

Mohammad Asad - At-Tauba (The Repentance)

9:74 [The hypocrites] swear by God that they have said nothing [wrong]; yet most certainly have they uttered a saying which amounts to a denial of the truth, [102] and have [thus] denied the truth after [having professed] their self-surrender to God: for they were aiming at something which was beyond their reach. [103] And they could find no fault [with the Faith] save that God had enriched them and [caused] His Apostle [to enrich them] out of His bounty! [104] Hence, if they repent, it will be for their own good. but if they turn away, God will cause them to suffer grievous suffering in this world and in the life to come, and they will find no helper on earth, and none to give [them] succour.

Note 102- See the first sentence of verse 61 above, and the corresponding note 86. The allegation that the Prophet deceived himself in the matter of revelation is, naturally, equivalent to disbelief in the outcome of his revelation, i.e., the Qur'an.(Quran Ref: 9:74 )

Note 103 - Lit., "which they were unable to attain to". The classical commentators take this as a reference to an abortive plot, on the part of some of the hypocrites, to kill the Prophet during the expedition to Tabuk. However, without contesting the validity of this historical interpretation, I believe that the above allusion has a far deeper meaning-namely, the existential impossibility of one's ever attaining to inner peace without a positive belief that man's life has meaning and purpose, either of which can be glimpsed only through the revelations bestowed on those exceptionally gifted and receptive personalities, the prophets. (An indirect reference to divine revelation as the only source of this kind of cognition appears in 96:5, that is, in the earliest Qur'anic passage revealed to the Prophet.) Thus, torn between their half-hearted desire to "surrender themselves to God" and their unwillingness to accept the divine guidance offered them by the Prophet, the hypocrites "were aiming at something which was beyond their reach".(Quran Ref: 9:74 )

Note 104- I.e., by means of the spiritual guidance contained in the Qur'an and the material welfare resulting from an adherence to its moral and social principles. The above phrase implies that the reluctance of the hypocrites to pay heed to the Prophet was not due to their finding fault with the Faith as such but, rather, to their lack of gratitude for the spiritual and material benefits which they had derived from it. (Because of its historical associations, most of this verse is expressed in the past tense, although its moral import is obviously timeless.)(Quran Ref: 9:74 )

Imam Zia-ul-Haq Shaikh: Comments

#12. For disbelievers there will be a painful doom. 90

Mohammad Asad - At-Tauba (The Repentance)

9:90 AND THERE came [unto the Apostle] such of the bedouin as had some excuse to offer, [with the request] that they be granted exemption, [122] whereas those who were bent on giving the lie to God and His Apostle [simply] remained at home. [123] [And] grievous suffering is bound to befall such of them as are bent on denying the truth!

Note 122 - I.e., from participating in the expedition to Tabuk. The term al-mu'adhdhirun connotes both "those having a valid excuse (`udhr)" and "those offering false excuses"; it is, therefore, best rendered as "such as had some excuse to offer". The specific mention of the a'rab ("bedouin") in this and the following passages probably arises from the fact that their attitude - positive or negative-towards Islam was of the greatest importance within the context of early Muslim history, inasmuch as the message of Muhammad could not obtain a real, lasting foothold in Arabia without first securing the allegiance of those warlike nomads and half-nomads, who constituted the great majority of the Peninsula's population. At the time when the Prophet was preparing to set out towards Tabuk, many of the already-converted tribesmen were willing to go to war under his leadership (and, in fact, did so), while others were afraid lest in their absence their encampments, denuded of man-power, be raided by hostile, as yet unconverted tribes (Razi); others, again, were simply averse to exposing themselves to the hardships of a campaign in distant lands, which did not seem to them to have any bearing on their own, immediate interests.(Quran Ref: 9:90 )

Note 123 - I.e., without even caring to come to Medina and to excuse themselves.(Quran Ref: 9:90 )

Imam Zia-ul-Haq Shaikh: All religions carry the same criteria, that if you don’t believe in the fundamentals of that particular religion, you will be punished. Why is Islam being singled out?

Again the verses in question are about the hypocrites of the time.

Mike Ghouse: The key phrase is bent on telling the lies, which is denying the truth.

#13. Don't pray for idolaters (not even for your family) after it is clear they are people of hell-fire. 113

Mohammad Asad - At-Tauba (The Repentance)

9:113 IT DOES NOT behove the Prophet and those who have attained to faith to pray that they who ascribed divinity to aught beside God be forgiven [by Him] even though they happened to be [their] near of kin [148] -after it has been made clear unto them that those [dead sinners] are destined for the blazing fire.

Note: As is obvious from the sequence, this prohibition relates to the dead among such sinners-i.e., those who have died without repentance (Zamakhshari, Razi)-and not to those who are still living: for "a prayer for forgiveness in respect of a living [sinner] ... amounts to asking God that He grace him with His guidance ... and this is permissible" (Manar XI, 60).(Quran Ref: 9:113 )

Imam Zia-ul-Haq Shaikh: There is no point in praying for one who has died as a polytheist, as this is an unforgivable sin. This verse was specifically revealed about the Uncle of the Prophet SAW, whom the Prophet loved very much. If the Prophet was not allowed to pray for him then how can any regular person from his followers?

Mike Ghouse: Those who do not believe in God, don't really have to worry about any punishment after death as there is no God for them to believe in the first place, prayers for them don't mean a thing. However, God's most endearing quality, that comes as a creator is kindness and grace that he or she reserves to itself. (deliberate use of words). Then he advises in the most pluralistic terms, giving respect to one's belief. Mind you, disagreement is handled in the most civil terms, putting the other person on equal footing.

109:1 SAY: "O you who deny the truth!

109:2 "I do not worship that which you worship,

109:3 and neither do you worship that which I worship!

109:4 "And I will not worship ~hat which you have [ever] worshipped,

109:6 Unto you, your moral law, and unto me, mine !


#14. Fight disbelievers who are near you, and let them see the harshness in you. 123

Mohammad Asad - At-Tauba (The Repentance)

9:123 O you who have attained to faith! Fight against those deniers of the truth who are near you, and let them find you adamant ; [163] and know that .God is with those who are conscious of Him.

Note 163- I.e., uncompromising with regard to ethical principles. For the general circumstances in which war is permitted, see 2:190-194, 22:39, 60:8-9, and the corresponding notes, as well as notes 7 and 9 on verse 5 of this surah. The reference to "those deniers of the truth who are near you" may arise from the fact that only "those who are near" can be dangerous in a physical sense or, alternatively, that - having come from afar- they have already approached the Muslim country with an aggressive intent.(Quran Ref: 9:123 )

Imam Zia-ul-Haq Shaikh: Uncompromising rigidity in the matters of right and wrong, black and white is not something to be ashamed of. If I am not harsh in for example somebody robbing my house at night by calling the police and prosecuting those involved, what message does it give?

Mike Ghouse: How does one translate Adamant to harshness? Shows lack of freedom on the part of Neocons to question what is dished out to them. They are taking that false translation as gospel. The least they can do is see if there is another translation. Isn’t that what democracy is all about?

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Zia-ul-Haq Shaikh

ICI is fortunate to have Shaikh Zia as Imam of our center. Imam Zia ul Haque Sheikh was born in Azad Kashmir, and at the age of four he migrated to England with his parents. He attended regular schools until the age of thirteen, when he enrolled in a full time Islamic school.

He memorized the Quran, and at the age of sixteen, he started an Islamic Theology course, which consisted of Arabic Syntax, Etymology and Grammar, Logic, Quranic Exegesis, Hadith Exegesis, Comparative Religions, Islamic Jurisprudence of the four main schools of thought, Foundations of Jurisprudence, Quran and Hadith, and other subjects. After extensive studying for approximately twelve years, he graduated in 1994 with a Masters in Islamic Theology. He is still engaged in various courses to further his education.

He is a founding member and Board Member of the North Texas Islamic Council, an umbrella organization representing Islamic Organizations in the North Texas Area. He is also one of the Board Members of Irving Faiths together, a group of various religious organizations, dedicated to Peace and Harmony between faiths.

He is one of the instructors at Suffa Academy in the Islamic Association of North Texas, teaching subjects such as Seerah, Aqidah, and Hadith studies.

He also conducts regular study circles at the Islamic Center of Irving, and is often invited to speak at colleges, universities, conferences and seminars.

He is actively involved in Interfaith and Dawah work.
He has served as an Imam in the USA since 1996.
Education & Other Skills:
Masters in Arabic and Islamic Theology
Memorized the complete Qur'an
Languages: Arabic, Urdu, English, Punjabi, Gujarati fluently

Has his own website : www.isaina.org
Has written a complete explanation of Imam Bukhari's Book of Iman
Hobbies & Interests:
Soccer, Weight Training, Keeping Fit, Dawah Work

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Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker and a Writer. He is president of the Foundation for Pluralism and is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing interfaith, political and civic issues. He is the founding president of World Muslim Congress with a simple theme: Good for Muslims and good for the world. His comments, news analysis and columns can be found on the Websites and Blogs listed at his personal website www.MikeGhouse.net. Mike is a Dallasite for nearly three decades and Carrollton is his home town. He can be reached at MikeGhouse@gmail.com
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By Grant Swank
Koran's Verses via Dutch Film
December 04, 2007 12:00 PM EST

http://www.theconservativevoice.com/article/29496.html


Geert Wilders, Dutch conservative lawmaker, has made a ten-minute film exposing the horrific passages of the Koran.

Per AP Wilders refers to the selected verses as “’fascist.’”

He does not fear being slain, claiming 24-hour protection.

Theo van Gogh, film director, made “Submission” available for public viewing. It was a “fictional study of abused Muslim women with scenes of near-naked women with Quaranic texts engraved on their flesh.”

Theo van Gogh was murdered—shot with throat slit by a Muslim extremist. His body was discovered on an Amsterdam street in 2004.

“Prominent Muslim critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who wrote the (van Gogh) screenplay, was threatened in a note left on Van Gogh's body. She now lives under round-the-clock protection in the United States.

“Wilders plans to depict parts of the Quran he says are used as inspiration ‘by bad people to do bad things.’

“Less than 10 minutes long, the film is expected to air in late January.

"It will show ‘the intolerant and fascist character of the Quran,’ said Wilders, whose anti-Islam campaign helped his Freedom Party win nine seats in parliament in last year's election.

“In the past, Wilders has said that half the Quran should be torn up and compared it with Adolf Hitler's book ‘Mein Kampf.’ He has claimed the Netherlands is being swamped by a ‘tsunami’ of Islamic immigrants.”

In other countries, there are those sympathetic with Wilders’ point of view. There is grave concern on the part of persons enjoying democracies that infiltration of extremist Islamic lifestyle, especially that built upon the sharia so-called justice system, is a real-life real-time deadly threat to civility.

Numerous persons who have researched the Koran verse-by-verse have concluded that the general public in the main is ignorant of the Allah-dictates that threaten civility. This ignorance is evident when uninformed individuals still refer to Islam as a “peace religion.”

When taking the Koran seriously as divine revelation, a superficial review of the Koran’s extremist verses is not what meshes with democracies.

A sample of extremist Koran verses includes the following:

Surah 9: Repentance

1. Give tidings (O Muhammad) of a painful doom to those who disbelieve. 3
2. Slay the idolaters wherever you find them. 5
3. Don't let idolaters tend the sanctuaries. Their works are in vain and they will be burned in the Fire. 17

4. Give tiding of a painful doom to Christians and Jews. 34

5. If you refuse to fight, Allah will afflict you with a painful doom. 39

6. Disbelievers go to hell. 49

7. Those who vex the Prophet, for them there is a painful doom. 60

8. Those who oppose Allah and His messenger will burn in the fire of hell. 63

9. Allah promises hypocrites and disbelievers the fire of hell. Allah curses them. They will have a lasting torment. 68

10. Fight the disbelievers and hypocrites. Be harsh with them. They are all going to hell anyway. 73

11. Allah will afflict disbelievers with a painful doom in this world and the Hereafter. 74

12. For disbelievers there will be a painful doom. 90

13. Don't pray for idolaters (not even for your family) after it is clear they are people of hell-fire. 113

14. Fight disbelievers who are near you, and let them see the harshness in you. 123

Concerning the Dutch situation, AP reports: “Immigrants from Muslim countries number about 1 million of the country's 16 million people.

Wilders informs the media: "’I will make the film and see what reaction it creates.’" Read "Dutch lawmaker planning film criticizing the Quran" at
www.iht.com/bin/printfriendly.php?id=8512622

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