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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Quraan and co-existence

Quraan and co-existence

If Prophet Muhammad were alive today, he would preach with the Quran.

[10:99] Had your Lord willed, all the people on earth would have believed. Do you want to force the people to become believers?

[2:148] Each of you chooses the direction to follow; you shall race towards righteousness. Wherever you may be, GOD will summon you all. GOD is Omnipotent.

[73:19] This is a reminder; whoever wills, let him choose the path to his Lord.

[49:13] O people, we created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes, that you may recognize one another. The best among you in the sight of GOD is the most righteous. GOD is Omniscient, Cognizant.

[7:26] O children of Adam, we have provided you with garments to cover your bodies, as well as for luxury. But the best garment is the garment of righteousness. These are some of GOD's signs, that they may take heed.

[2:62] Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the converts; anyone who (1) believes in GOD, and (2) believes in the Last Day, and (3) leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.

[22:40] They were evicted from their homes unjustly, for no reason other than saying, "Our Lord is GOD." If it were not for GOD's supporting of some people against others, monasteries, churches, synagogues, and masjids - where the name of GOD is commemorated frequently - would have been destroyed. Absolutely, GOD supports those who support Him. GOD is Powerful, Almighty.

[7:27] O children of Adam, do not let the devil dupe you as he did when he caused the eviction of your parents from Paradise, and the removal of their garments to expose their bodies. He and his tribe see you, while you do not see them. We appoint the devils as companions of those who do not believe.

[7:35] O children of Adam, when messengers come to you from among you, and recite My revelations to you, those who take heed and lead a righteous life, will have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.

[17:70] We have honored the children of Adam, and provided them with rides on land and in the sea. We provided for them good provisions, and we gave them greater advantages than many of our creatures.

[36:60] Did I not covenant with you, O Children of Adam, that you shall not worship the devil? That he is your most ardent enemy?
[5:69] Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the converts, and the Christians; any of them who (1) believe in GOD and (2) believe in the Last Day, and (3) lead a righteous life, have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
Compiled by Mohammad Irtaza

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Quraan on Terrorism

In the name of GOD, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

The following was compiled by Henry Najaf Pir, right after 9/11 - and since it quotes verses from Quraan extensively, it is placed on this Blog.

Terrorism cannot be justified

Like all the other religions of God, Islam, Submission in English, promotes peace, love and harmony among the people. In fact the word “Islam” in addition to meaning Submission to God alone, is also derived from the Arabic word, Salaam, peace.

Submitters or Muslims in the Arab language, greet each other by saying “Salaam Alaikum”, Peace be upon you. This is similar to Shalom in Hebrew.

The laws of the scriptures that apply to the Christians and the Jews are repeated and emphasized for the Muslims in the Quran. Muslims are commanded to follow such laws as:

[Quran Chp 5 vs. 32] “...we decreed for the Children of Israel that anyone who murders any person who had not committed murder or horrendous crimes, it shall be as if he murdered all the people. And anyone who spares a life, it shall be as if he spared the lives of all the people. ...”

The true religion of Islam forbids the killing of innocent people, irrespective of the cause, whether religious, political or social beliefs.

[Quran Chp 6 vs. 151] “...You shall not kill-- GOD has made life sacred except in the course of justice. These are His commandments to you, that you may understand.”

[Quran Chp 7 vs. 28] “They commit a gross sin, then say, “We found our parents doing this, and GOD has commanded us to do it.” Say, “GOD never advocates sin. Are you saying about GOD what you do not know?”

From the following verses, the religion of Submission, which is Islam in the Arabic language, it advocates freedom, peace, trust, mutual respect and condemns aggression.

[Quran Chp 5 vs. 87] “...and do not aggress; GOD dislikes the aggressors.”
[Quran Chp 7 vs. 199] “...You shall resort to pardon, advocate tolerance, and disregard the ignorant. “

The theme in the Quran is peace, unless there is oppression or injustice that cannot be resolved by all the peaceful means available.

It is true and clear from the Holy Quran that the believers must be strong and defends themselves but never aggress.

However, this call is to use the strength to secure peace, provide freedom for the society and the country but never to aggress unless aggressed upon.

Freedom of Religion

The religion of Islam condemns the killing or even the persecution of people merely because they embrace a different religion.

The Quran mandates the absolute freedom of religion in a society.
It does not allow Muslims to fight, except for self-defense and to enforce peace.
It does not allow restrictions on those who disagree on religious matters.
It urges the Muslims to treat such people kindly and equitably:

[Quran Chp 2 vs. 256] “There shall be no compulsion in religion...”
[Quran Chp 60 vs. 8] “GOD does not enjoin you from befriending those who do not fight you because of religion, and do not evict you from your homes. You may befriend them and be equitable towards them. GOD loves the equitable.”
[Quran Chp 4 vs. 90] “...Therefore, if they leave you alone, refrain from fighting you, and offer you peace, then GOD gives you no excuse to fight them.”

Regrettably, many terrorists groups have used the name Islam to promote their causes, and this gave many non-Muslims an opportunity to attack Islam vigorously and label the Muslims as terrorists. Deliberately, ignored on the other hand, are terrorists who profess to belong to other religions, or non-religious groups.

With all the great laws established on earth by God, the evil among the human beings find a way to abuse, distort or misinterpret them.

This does not make God’s laws evil, but rather proves the evil nature of these criminals.
Terrorism does not recognize any boundaries, such as we encountered with the:

- CEO’s of the Enron Corporation, who stole the retirement funds of their trusting employees and subsequently, they sent a wave of terror in the hearts of millions of employees in our nation, or,

- Timothy McVey, who was brought up in a Christian environment and who carried out a Bombing attack on the Federal Building in Oklahoma, killing men, women and even the children of these employees, or,

- David Koresh and his Christian followers who caused Federal Task Forces to
massacre them in Waco Texas, or,

- The Japan subway nerve gas attack by Aum guru, Shoko Asahara in 1995, or,
- The ministry of reverend Jim Jones who called himself the re-incarnation of Father divine in the west coast, and subsequent mass killing of more than 900 of his followers in 1978, or,
- The genocide and mass graves of thousands of Muslims by so called Christians in Bosnia, or,
- How about Jewish or Palestinian who have being living under fear of terrorist attacks for the last 60 years and using their religious beliefs to claim legitimacy for the violence and terrorism they commit.
- And the other terrorist groups in England, Ireland, Germany, Spain… and
on and on.
Thousands of men, women, children, young and old have been terrorized or killed in attempts to achieve or hold on to special interests whether political, financial, social or religious.
None of these terrorists represent the true teaching of Jesus son of Marry or the true laws of the Torah, any more than Islamic extremist represent the holy Quran.

Those who do not comprehend the True Islam, and those who have an interest in distorting the truth, about the religion of Islam, have been trying to make the words terrorists and terrorism synonymous with the religion.
Unfortunately, this is a common mistake portrayed frequently by our news media.

Attacks on the civilians and the innocent people around the world by these groups is something that cannot be justified by any religion or under any cause, and is strongly condemned in all religions, including Islam as clarified by the Quran, the Final Testament.

The blame lies with the terrorists and not the religion they claim to adhere to.
Not everyone who calls himself a Muslim is a follower of the Quran, just as not every one who thinks of himself as a Jew or a Christian is a follower of the true scriptures.
They actually are terrorists, by the definition of the Torah (the Old Testament), the Gospel (the New Testament) and the Quran (the final Testament).
The religion of God should not be confused with what these so-called “Muslims”, “Christians”, or “Jews” have done.
The God of the Muslims is the same God of the Jews, and the Christians and all the other divine religions. Our Creator is one and the same.

GOD, the ONE who does not permit killing of innocent people, commands: “Thou shall not kill”. We all have suffered and continue to suffer the consequences of not following God’s Laws.

As we stand united against all kinds of terrorism, only through unity we will be able to eradicate them.

We should not let our emotions overcome our logic and understanding.

Let the true message of Submission, be spread; which are Peace, Freedom and Justice for all, under God.

I would like to recite our prayer:

- In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
- Praise be to God, Lord of the universe.
- The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.
- Master of the Day of Judgement.
- You alone we worship, You alone we ask for help.
- Guide us in the right path;
- The path of those whom You blessed; not of those who have deserved wrath, nor of the strayers.

Henry
~~~~

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Quraan : Freedom of Speech

Freedom should be valued and guarded.
Truth and goodness triumphs.

A majority of Muslims see the value of freedom, and we hope, we can get the 1/10th of 1% of Muslims to see this as well. If those boys can follow the examples of prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and not react to teasing, like the cartoons and other non-sense, then there is no excitement for the teasors to tease anymore.

During the cartoon controversy I had advocated that Muslims should say a prayer for the well being of those who intentionally offend that 1/10th of 1% of Muslims, and many a Imam have done that.

In the long haul one has to stand up for freedom of speech, efforts by the Organization of Islamic Countries to bar the defamation of religions, must be appreciated, but we have to look at the long term effects of restricting the speech; the knowledge does not exapand.

Caution: Please note that the word Hell is a metaphor to denote pain, anguish, guilt, anxiety, pangs of conscience or whatever form of punishment you can relate with. The verses were pulled together by my friend Mohammad Irtaza, to which I have added my notes, and have made a point to state it as my notes, it is important to preserve the text as is, and let it be known that it is my understanding, to differentiate that some one may have a different understanding, that is the freedom we have to cherish and not to perpetuate that my version is the right one or the truthful one.

The religion of Islam goes by free will, not by compulsion.

[2:256] There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces the devil and believes in GOD has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. GOD is Hearer, Omniscient. (devil broadly means evilness, God broadly means Goodness, balance and Harmony)

[18:29] Proclaim: "This is the truth from your Lord," then whoever wills let him believe, and whoever wills let him disbelieve.. (its about choices)

[6:104] Enlightenments have come to you from your Lord. As for those who can see, they do so for their own good, and those who turn blind, do so to their own detriment. I am not your guardian. (emphasis on taking responsbility for one's own happiness or state of freedom from guilt or anxiety)

[10:108] Proclaim: "O people, the truth has come to you herein from your Lord. Whoever is guided is guided for his own good. And whoever goes astray, goes astray to his own detriment. I am not a guardian over you." (Responsibility again)

[2:148] Each of you chooses the direction to follow; you shall race towards righteousness. Wherever you may be, GOD will summon you all. GOD is Omnipotent.

[10:99] Had your Lord willed, all the people on earth would have believed. Do you want to force the people to become believers?

No one has the right to take away ones God gifted freedom of choice!

[33:72] We have offered the responsibility (freedom of choice) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they refused to bear it, and were afraid of it. But the human being accepted it; he was transgressing, ignorant

We need to understand very clearly that God Almighty never even gave any guardianship power to the Prophet over religious issue. It is a powerful statment to reflect that you are responsbile for your own deeds, your own karma and you reap what you sow.

[33:40] Muhammad was not the father of any man among you. He was a messenger of GOD and the final prophet. GOD is fully aware of all things.

[4:80] Whoever obeys the messenger is obeying GOD. As for those who turn away, we did not send you as their guardian.

[6:66] Your people have rejected this, even though it is the truth. Say, "I am not a guardian over you."

[6:104] Enlightenments have come to you from your Lord. As for those who can see, they do so for their own good, and those who turn blind, do so to their own detriment. I am not your guardian.

[6:107] Had GOD willed, they would not have worshiped idols. We did not appoint you as their guardian, nor are you their advocate.

[10:108] Proclaim: "O people, the truth has come to you herein from your Lord. Whoever is guided is guided for his own good. And whoever goes astray, goes astray to his own detriment. I am not a guardian over you."

[11:86] "Whatever GOD provides for you, no matter how small, is far better for you, if you are really believers. I am not a guardian over you."

[42:48] If they turn away, we did not send you as their guardian. Your sole mission is delivering the message. When we shower the human beings with mercy, they become proud, and when adversity afflicts them, as a consequence of their own deeds, the human beings turn into disbelievers

[7:3] You shall all follow what is revealed to you from your Lord; do not follow any idols besides Him. Rarely do you take heed. (My notes: Idols are broadly meant to be your own personal God or your altar ego that gives the idea of my God versus your God, that conflicts with others versus an abstract creator sans-ego that takes away that conflict and paves the way to harmony, peace and good living)

Quraan has innumerable verses that support freedom:

These are the guidelines from Quraan to deal with some one whol ridicules one's faith, any faith;

[4:140] He has instructed you in the scripture that: if you hear GOD's revelations being mocked and ridiculed, you shall not sit with them, unless they delve into another subject. Otherwise, you will be as guilty as they are. GOD will gather the hypocrites and the disbelievers together in Hell.(The idea is to avoid get into a ridiculing match - it's an unproductive dialogue, save your time)

[5:57] O you who believe, do not befriend those among the recipients of previous scripture who mock and ridicule your religion, nor shall you befriend the disbelievers. You shall reverence GOD, if you are really believers.

[6:68] If you see those who mock our revelations, you shall avoid them until they delve into another subject. If the devil causes you to forget, then, as soon as you remember, do not sit with such evil people. (The role of a Muslim is to mitigate conflicts and not aggravate)

[18:106] Their just requital is Hell, in return for their disbelief, and for mocking My revelations and My messengers. ( if some one is ridiculing you, your reaction to them will conflate the ridiculing, avoidance of unwanted ridiculing on your part, may possibly make the ridiculer to regret or get frustrated - that is another version of Hell)

[39:48] The sinful works they had earned will be shown to them, and the very things they used to mock will come back to haunt them.

[45:33] The evils of their works will become evident to them, and the very things they mocked will come back and haunt them.

To all the Neocons, please read the caution again before your become judgmental.
NEOCONS defined: http://hatesermons.blogspot.com/2008/03/neocons.html
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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Questions

Please write in your questions below
and we will find answers from you
directly from the Qur'aan itself.

#

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Quraan on Apostasy

Quraan on Apostasy

Three items below.

1. Dr. Abdullahi Al Naim is considered one of the committed Muslims to remove layers of non-Islamic values that have piled up on Islam.

2. Dr. Mohammad Farooq has created a website http://apostasyandislam.blogspot.com/ bringing together historical incidents and endorsements from 100 Islamic Scholars, he and I were going further to get endorsements from 100 Imams around the globe. Insha Allah, we need volunteers to do the work. I have my own piece included in it

3. A few verses from Qur’aan on the subject.

Islam is about freedom; freedom from clergy and freedom from fatwa noose hanging around our necks every time some one sneezes. The Neocon Muslim are too insecure to accept and absorb the freedom Islam offers, instead they eagerly throw the noose and frighten you every time with Sharia rules; Islam is not about frightening, it is about creating a world of co-existence with justice resulting in peace. It is time we the moderate majority speak up.

Mike Ghouse

To be a Muslim is to be a peacemaker, one who seeks to mitigate conflicts and nurtures goodwill for peaceful co-existence. God wants us to live in peace and harmony with his creation; that is indeed the purpose of religion, any religion. Mission statement

www.QuraanToday.com 

A bold Muslim voice

From harsh terrain
Aug 6th 2009
From The Economist print edition

We should love heretics, not kill them, says an unconventional scholar

ON THE face of things, Sudan is stony ground for Islamic reformers. It is a country where allegations of apostasy departing from Islam, or merely straying slightly from the received interpretation of the faith have often been deployed as a lethal weapon in political power struggles. In 1985 a leading opponent of the regime was hanged after a court declared him to be an apostate. In recent years Sudan’s best-known Islamist, Hassan al-Turabi, has been decried as an apostate by certain greybeards, simply because he dared to suggest that men and women were equal.

But that is not the whole story of Sudan and Islam. That country has also produced a passionate advocate of the view that you can be a faithful Muslim while also supporting the right of more than one reading of the faith to exist.

Abdullahi an-Naâim is now a law professor at Emory University in Georgia” and when he returns to his native Sudan, it is as an American passport-holder. That is just as well, given what he practises and preaches.

For theocrats, the professor says, heresy charges have always been an easy way out, a way to explain difficult problems. And, one might add, to eliminate difficult people. Last year, he co-organised a conference (in Atlanta, a city that calls itself too busy to hate) that was provocatively devoted to the Celebration of Heresy.

Dissident views are healthy for the religion, he insists. To keep the religion honest, it is very important that somebody should take the risk of being denounced as heretical.

And if anybody (in America, at least) applies the H-word to him, he does not mind: Only God can judge that so let me take my chances with God. In any case, he insists that his liberal reading of Islam is closer to the roots of the faith than the theocrats™ interpretations are.

In its core theology, he maintains, Islam is radically democratic; for example, it is an important principle that no earthly or religious authority can come between the believer and God. The problem is simply that sociologically, the world of Islam is conservative. He is trying to break that mould.

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Qur’aan on 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?

17:33 (Asad) And do not take any human being's life -[the life] which God has willed to be, sacred-otherwise than in [the pursuit of] justice. [38] Hence, if anyone has been slain wrongfully, We have empowered the defender of his rights [to exact a just retribution] ; [39] but even so, let him not exceed the bounds of equity in [retributive] killing. [40] [And as for him who has been slain wrongfully -] behold, he is indeed succoured [by God] ! [41]

وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللّهُ إِلاَّ بِالحَقِّ وَمَن قُتِلَ مَظْلُومًا فَقَدْ جَعَلْنَا لِوَلِيِّهِ سُلْطَانًا فَلاَ يُسْرِف فِّي الْقَتْلِ إِنَّهُ كَانَ مَنْصُور 17:33

Note 38 Le., in the execution of a legal sentence or in a just war (see 2:190 and the corresponding note 167), or in individual; legitimate self-defence.(Quran Ref: 17:33

Note 39 This refers to the legal punishment for homicide, termed qisas ("just retribution") and explained in 2:178 and the corresponding notes. In the present context, the term wall ("protector" or "defender of [one's] rights") is usually taken to mean the heir or next of kin of the victim; Zamakhshari, however, observes that it may also apply to the government (as-sultan): an interpretation which is obviously based on the concept of the government as the "protector" or "defender of the rights" of all its citizens. As regards the expression qutila mazluman ("slain wrongfully"), it is obvious that it refers only to cases of wilful homicide, since the concept of zulm applies in the Qur'an exclusively to intentional and never to accidental wrongdoing.(Quran Ref: 17:33 )

Note 40 Thus, the defender of the victim's rights (in this case, a court of justice) is not only not entitled to impose a capital sentence on any but the actual murderer or murderers, but may also, if the case warrants it, concede mitigating circumstances and refrain from capital punishment altogether.(Quran Ref: 17:33 )

Note 41 I.e., he is avenged in this world by the retribution exacted from his murderer, and in the life to come, blessed by the special grace which God bestows on all who have been slain without any legal or moral justification (Razi). Some of the commentators, however, relate the pronoun "he" to the defender of the victim's rights, respectively, to the latter's heir or next of kin, and explain the above phrase as meaning "he is sufficiently helped by the law of just retribution (qisas) and should not, therefore, demand any punishment in excess of what is equitable".(Quran Ref: 17:33 )

Killing someone because they left their religion (apostasy) is a cruel punishment that has no basis in Islam. Such a punishment is man-made;You shall not kill any person - for GOD has made life sacred - except in the course of justice. If one is killed unjustly, then we give his heir authority to enforce justice. Thus, he shall not exceed the limits in avenging the murder, he will be helped. ·


6:115 (Asad) for, truly and justly has thy Sustainer's promise been fulfilled. There is no power that could alter [the fulfillment of] His promises: and He alone is all-hearing, all-knowing.

وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ صِدْقًا وَعَدْلاً لاَّ مُبَدِّلِ لِكَلِمَاتِهِ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ (6:115)

· 109:6 (Asad) Unto you, your moral law, and unto me, mine !"
Simple translation: As your religion is dear to you, mine is to me.

لَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِيَ دِينِ 109:6

Nowhere in the Qur’aan does God say to 'kill' those who leave their own religion. On the contrary, God emphasizes that all Muslims must practice the total freedom of religion
· 6:104 (Asad) Means of insight have now come unto you from your Sustainer [through this divine writ]. Whoever, therefore, chooses to see, does so for his own good; and whoever chooses to remain blind, does so to his own hurt. And [say unto the blind of heart]: "I am not your keeper."

قَدْ جَاءكُم بَصَآئِرُ مِن رَّبِّكُمْ فَمَنْ أَبْصَرَ فَلِنَفْسِهِ وَمَنْ عَمِيَ فَعَلَيْهَا وَمَا أَنَاْ عَلَيْكُم بِحَفِيظٍ 6:104

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Quraan and Pluralism

Quraan and Pluralism

Prophet Muhammad was a Pluralist, as were Moses, Jesus and other prophets in every religious or non-religious* tradition. As a head of the state, when Prophet initiated the Madinah pact, a document of co-existence in governance, the Jews, Christians and others objected to his signature, which affixed Muhammad as the prophet of God, he listened to them and understood their point of view, in essence he respected the otherness of others and honoring their request, he removed the phrase and signed the document along with them.

There is a whole story here that the world has missed hitherto. First, the Government in Madinah was not an Islamic government, and most importantly, he respected the otherness of other and acknowledged that the others did not believe him to be the prophet. Such was the humility of the man!

Apply the litmus test when you read Qur'aan or any holy book: Does the translation build hatred and ill-will in you, then it is the wrong translation or you did not get it right. To put in Karen Armstrong's words, even if you see them with ill-will take a challenge to see the light, because God is about goodness and inclusiveness. On the other hand if it causes you to think in terms of harmony and co-existence, you got the right one. To illustrate the point, look at the Nuclear power it produces electricity for peaceful purposes, in the wrong hands, it is savagely destructive. The problem is not the nuclear power, it is the user, rather the abuser.

The following verses are compiled by my friend Mohammad Irtaza;

[49:13] O people, we created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes, that you may recognize one another. The best among you in the sight of GOD is the most righteous. GOD is Omniscient, Cognizant.

According to the Quran, all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights:

[17:70] We have honored the children of Adam, and provided them with rides on land and in the sea. We provided for them good provisions, and we gave them greater advantages than many of our creatures.

The Quran gives everyone the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion:

[2:256] There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces the devil and believes in GOD has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. GOD is Hearer, Omniscient.

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person:

[2:178] O you who believe, equivalence is the law decreed for you when dealing with murder - the free for the free, the slave for the slave, the female for the female. If one is pardoned by the victim's kin, an appreciative response is in order, and an equitable compensation shall be paid. This is an alleviation from your Lord and mercy. Anyone who transgresses beyond this incurs a painful retribution.

[2:191] You may kill those who wage war against you, and you may evict them whence they evicted you. Oppression is worse than murder. ...

[16:126] And if you punish, you shall inflict an equivalent punishment. But if you resort to patience (instead of revenge), it would be better for the patient ones.

[17:33] You shall not kill any person - for GOD has made life sacred - except in the course of justice. If one is killed unjustly, then we give his heir authority to enforce justice. Thus, he shall not exceed the limits in avenging the murder, he will be helped.

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms without distinction of any kind:

[2:136] Say, "We believe in GOD, and in what was sent down to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Patriarchs; and in what was given to Moses and Jesus, and all the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction among any of them. To Him alone we are submitters."

[49:13] O people, we created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes that you may recognize one another. The best among you in the sight of GOD is the most righteous. GOD is Omniscient, Cognizant.

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing:

[2:143] We thus made you an impartial community, that you may serve as witnesses among the people, and the messenger serves as a witness among you. ....

The Quran gives everyone the right to own property alone as well as in association with others:

[2:05] As soon as he leaves, he roams the earth corruptingly, destroying properties and lives. GOD does not love corruption.

[4:29] O you who believe, do not consume each others' properties illicitly - only mutually acceptable transactions are permitted. You shall not kill yourselves. GOD is Merciful towards you.

[59:8] (You shall give) to the needy who immigrated. They were evicted from their homes and deprived of their properties, because they sought GOD's grace and pleasure, and because they supported GOD and His messenger. They are the truthful.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks:

[33:53] O you who believe, do not enter the prophet's homes unless you are given permission to eat, nor shall you force such an invitation in any manner. If you are invited, you may enter. When you finish eating, you shall leave; do not engage him in lengthy conversations. This used to hurt the prophet, and he was too shy to tell you. But GOD does not shy away from the truth. If you have to ask his wives for something, ask them from behind a barrier. This is purer for your hearts and their hearts. You are not to hurt the messenger of GOD. You shall not marry his wives after him, for this would be a gross offense in the sight of GOD.

[24:58] O you who believe, permission must be requested by your servants and the children who have not attained puberty (before entering your rooms). This is to be done in three instances - before the Dawn Prayer, at noon when you change your clothes to rest, and after the Night Prayer. These are three private times for you. At other times, it is not wrong for you or them to mingle with one another. GOD thus clarifies the revelations for you. GOD is Omniscient, Most Wise.

The Quran teaches us not to distinct among any of God's messengers.

2:136] Say, "We believe in GOD, and in what was sent down to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Patriarchs; and in what was given to Moses and Jesus, and all the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction among any of them. To Him alone we are submitters."

[2:285] The messenger has believed in what was sent down to him from his Lord, and so did the believers. They believe in GOD, His angels, His scripture, and His messengers: "We make no distinction among any of His messengers." They say, "We hear, and we obey.* Forgive us, our Lord. To You is the ultimate destiny."

[3:84] Say, "We believe in GOD, and in what was sent down to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Patriarchs, and in what was given to Moses, Jesus, and the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction among any of them. To Him alone we are submitters."

[4:150] Those who disbelieve in GOD and His messengers, and seek to make distinction among GOD and His messengers, and say, "We believe in some and reject some," and wish to follow a path in between;

[4:152] As for those who believe in GOD and His messengers, and make no distinction among them, He will grant them their recompense. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.

The Quran teaches us not to distinct among believers.

[2:62] Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the converts; anyone who (1) believes in GOD, and (2) believes in the Last Day, and (3) leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.

[5:69] Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the converts, and the Christians; any of them who (1) believe in GOD and (2) believe in the Last Day, and (3) lead a righteous life, have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.

[22:17] Those who believe, those who are Jewish, the converts, the Christians, the Zoroastrians, and the idol worshipers, GOD is the One who will judge among them on the Day of Resurrection. GOD witnesses all things.

[22:40] They were evicted from their homes unjustly, for no reason other than saying, "Our Lord is GOD." If it were not for GOD's supporting of some people against others, monasteries, churches, synagogues, and masjids - where the name of GOD is commemorated frequently - would have been destroyed. Absolutely, GOD supports those who support Him. GOD is Powerful, Almighty.

The Quran teaches us not to divide the religion into sects.

[6:159] Those who divide themselves into sects do not belong with you. Their judgment rests with GOD, then He will inform them of everything they had done.

[30:32] (Do not fall in idol worship,) like those who divide their religion into sects; each party rejoicing with what they have.

[42:14] Ironically, they broke up into sects only after the knowledge had come to them, due to jealousy and resentment among themselves. If it were not for a predetermined decision from your Lord to respite them for a definite interim, they would have been judged immediately. Indeed, the later generations who inherited the scripture are full of doubts.

May God guides to respect and honor every one of his creation.
~~~~

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Qur'aan - Ecological interpretation

THE OPENING CHAPTER OF QUR’AN- ITS ECOLOGICAL INTERPRETATION

Asghar Ali Engineer

(Islam and Modern Age, August 2009)

Divine scriptures are capable of variety of interpretation and specially those verses, which are not specific commandments of dos and don’ts. The first chapter of Qur’an has seven verses and is in the form of prayer by human beings to Allah. Allah Himself has revealed this prayer to His Prophet (PBUH) so that Muslims could pray to Him. This opening chapter is of utmost significance in Qur’an and Muslims repeat it in every raka’ (unit of prayer). This prayer is rich in symbolic language and has been interpreted in various ways by different commentators.

Here I am attempting it yet in a different way to save the world from ecological disaster, which our world is heading to, if no attempts are made to check rising temperature on earth – what has been called global warming. It is beauty of the revealed scripture that even if interpreted to tackle contemporary challenges, it does not in any manner, loose its original meaning and significance.

Maulana Azad in early twenties of the last century interpreted this chapter in his multi-volume commentary of Qur’an to prove unity of whole humanity by emphasizing importance of the words rabb al-‘alamin (i.e. nourisher of the whole universe) Maulana’s contribution is indeed very important and will remain of great significance for long time to come. Maulana’s learned interpretation is very different from any earlier interpretations. It thus also shows that succeeding generations has every right to understand Qur’an in different ways to seek Divine guidance to solve their problems. This chapter being in the form of prayer, provides greater inspiration.

To seek inspiration from this opening chapter is very very important as world’s ecological balance, on which depends survival of humanity, is at stake. According to The Hindu of 28th May 2009, which quotes from Guardian Newspaper, “Senior doctors in the U.K. recently published a report warning that climate change is the biggest threat to global health of the 21st century Rising global temperatures would have a catastrophic effect on human health, the doctors said, and patterns of infection would change, with insect-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever spreading more easily.”

This is just on health side. Other effects like shortage of water, an essential commodity for life, would be equally disastrous. There is complete unanimity among scientists that glaciers, even on North Pole are melting and melting of glaciers will have disastrous effects in more than one ways. It would result even in rise of sea levels submerging many coastal cities causing great disaster. Sea levels along some coastal towns have already risen causing worries to its people.

Faced with such disaster to human survival we have to seek inspiration and succor from Allah’s own words, the creator of this universe. The opening chapter of the Qur’an begins with invocation which Muslims use before beginning of any work i.e. “In the name of Allah Who is the Beneficent, the Merciful.” Beneficent and Merciful are translations of Al-Rahman and Al-Rahim. Both are very significant words. Rahm in Arabic signifies tenderness requiring the exercise of beneficence (see Imam Raghib’s al-Mufridat). Thus rahm comprises ideas of love and mercy, Al-Rahman, also a noun, is intensive form and thus indicates greatest preponderance of the quality of mercy.

Thus Allah is greatest benefactor and merciful. The Prophet is reported to have said: Al-Rehman is the Beneficent God Whose love and mercy are manifested in the creation of this world, and Al-Rahim is the Merciful God Whose love and mercy are manifested in the state that comes after. (Bahr al-Muhit Commentary by Imam Athir al-Din al-Undalusi)

Now the first chapter right in the beginning says, “Praise be to Allah the Lords of the worlds i.e. Rabb al-‘Alamin. Here both the words Rabb and ‘Alamin have to be emphasized. Rabb in Arabic means, according to Arabic-English Lexicon by Edward William Lane, not only fostering, completing and accomplishing. Thus rabb conveys the idea of evolution of things from the crudest state to that of highest perfection.

And if we praise to that Lord of all the worlds who is Rabbi i.e. Who evolves things from crudest state to its highest perfection, the praiser’s duty is to be of assistance in achieving this stage of perfection. What are we praising the Lord of the worlds for? For his function as Rabb and hence we cannot act contrary to that. Our acts should also reflect the function of evolution towards perfection, not its destruction.

He is not only Rabb al-‘Alamin but also Al-Rahman and Al-Rahim i.e. one Who is Beneficent and Merciful, shows tenderness of love and mercy towards His creation in addition to taking it from various stages of perfection to ultimate perfection. And this not only for our world wherein we humans exist (but also all biological forms of existence, mountains, water streams, oceans, all forms of primitive life, animals and trees. All of us who praise Allah, have to dedicate themselves as agents of beneficence, mercy and perfection.

And, Allah, as this opening chapter says, is Rabb, not only of our world, our earth but of everything in this universe, of planets, stars, moons, black holes and whatever exists in this universe, visible or not visible to us or even of various planets to be discovered and which have not yet been so far discovered.

Adam’s story in Qur’an is also very significant in this respect. According to the Qur’an Adam lived in paradise along with Eve and was provided with every thing but was prohibited from eating fruit of a tree. Adam would not have lost paradise, if he had not defied his Lord and ate the forbidden fruit. However, Adam was tempted to eat the fruit and was expelled from paradise.

What was that paradise? A perfect balance of needs and supplies and by eating the fruit Adam (representing human race) destroyed that balance through his greed to defy the Lord and violate the ban and that ban was also for human benefit only. It is very close to what human beings are doing with the earth they live on. They are trying to eat that forbidden fruit i.e. violating the balance of nature.

Allah is highly Beneficent and takes care of all the needs of human beings He has created. Humans were living in the paradise. Paradise, here, is not a fixed place there in heavens but right here on earth. Maulana Muhammad Ali a translator of the Qur’an, says, “…paradise, according to the Holy Qur’an, is not a place for simple enjoyment or rest; it is essentially a place of advancement to higher and higher stages: But those who keep their duty to their Lord, shall have high places, above them higher places, built(for them)” (39:20)

“This shows”, Maulana says, “that not only does paradise admit the righteous to high places, but it is, in fact, the starting point for a new advancement, there being higher and higher places still, and it is in accordance with this that they are spoken of as having an increasing desire for attaining to higher and higher excellences, their prayer in paradise being: ‘Our Lord, make perfect for us our light’ (66:8)”

Thus if we have this understanding of paradise (quite in keeping with the verses of the Qur’an), on earth too, we can create paradise by being obedient to the laws of our Lord, the laws He has made for us. Had we observed these laws and there is no change in these laws of the Lord. “(Such has been) the course of Allah that has run before, and thou will not find a change in Allah’s course.”

Thus Allah has fixed course of His creation. Anyone who defies this course pays for it. Today we are disobeying our Lord and His fixed course and destroying the ecology of our earth, meant to be our paradise, if we faithfully obey the laws of nature, of our Lord. We have eaten the forbidden fruit (over using resources of earth, polluting it and destroying its ecological balance.)

It is by these actions that we have been expelled from the paradise and converting it into hell. In the fourth and fifth verses of opening chapter we say “Thee do we serve and Thee we do beseech for help.” This we say every day in our five times prayers but are we indeed observing it in practice or saying so merely ritually? Obviously we say so only ritually. While we say this in our prayer we continue to violate course fixed by Him, we violate laws of nature on every step.

If we serve Him and saying so again and again, should we pollute His earth, should we overdraw from its resources? Can we still beseech Him for help? Can we deserve that? Certainly not? Are we not sinning against Him and still seeking His help? If we are serving Him we must obey all His laws, the course fixed by Him and then only we can beseech Him for His help.

Allah, in this opening chapter Sura-i-Fatihah is described as Master of the Day of Requital.” i.e. yawm al-Din. Din, according to Imam Raghib means recompense, requital. And yawm (day) in the Qur’anic terminology is any period of time from a moment (55:29) to fifty thousand years (70:4) i.e. from indefinitely small to an indefinitely large. So if we violate Lord’s laws for a small amount of time to a large amount of time, we will be recompensed accordingly on that Day of Judgment.

We have been violating these laws to fulfill our greed and disturbing the ecological balance. It is true Allah is Ghafur al-Rahim (Forgiver and Merciful) but we can be forgiven only when we repent sincerely and never repeat our mistakes. The earth even today produces in abundance for our survival but if give up our greed and check our consumption and reduce pollution of earth to minimum, rising temperature will come down and our earth will become paradise again.

As we pray to Allah as taught to us through this sura-i-Fatihah we say to Allah “Guide us on the right path. The path of those upon whom Thou has bestowed favours, Not those upon whom wrath has brought down, not those who go astray.” Allah is our Lord, our Sustainer and if we seek our sustenance from Him we have to follow the right path shown by Him and pray to him to show us the right path. What is this right path (sirat al-mustaquim)?

It is the path devoid of greed and over consumption and Allah by forbidding Adam to eat the fruit of a tree in the paradise showed us this right path and as long as we follow this path our paradise will remain intact and Allah’s bounties will continue to be enjoyed by humankind but we should not do anything to earn His wrath and follow the path of greed and over-consumption that will lead us astray.

This path of Allah’s bounties had been available to whole of humankind as long as we followed sirat al-mustaquim (right path) of modest consumption of earth resources and keeping earth pure tayyib and did not over pollute it. Can we now say we are following the same path – sirat al-mustaquim? We have to reflect on this serious question. We have violated this law and gone astray in number of ways.

The poor of the earth whom Allah calls mustad’ufin (weaker sections) and favors them have been deprived of their just consumption by those whom Allah calls mustakbirun (the powerful, the rich) who have been unjust and monopolized over-consumption and have over-polluted the earth. As we know the developed and rich nations are consuming more than 70 per cent of earth’s resources and polluting it in that proportion.

How correct is Qur’an’s pronouncement when it says, “And when We wish to destroy a town, We send commandments to its people who lead easy lives, but they transgress therein; thus the word proves true against it, so We destroy it with utter destruction.” (17:16). What Allah says in this verse that those habituated to easy life (i.e. the rich) do not hear the words of wisdom and continue to violate it in sheer arrogance (what the Qur’an calls istikbar) and then Allah destroys them.

The rich of the earth forgetful of final consequences of their life style continue to ignore all the warnings and ultimately face the doom. Are the rich nations of the west, particularly USA, not ignoring all the warning of rising temperature of earth and pushing us all closer to the disaster? They insist the poorer nations and developing countries reduce their consumption and not they. The G-8 nations which are all developed nations in their recent conference in Italy once again did not agree to reduction of their consumption of earth resources.

Qur’an repeats this warning when it says, “Nay their hearts are in ignorance about it, and they have besides this other deeds which they do. Until, when We seize those who lead easy lives among them with chastisement, lo! They cry for succour.” (23:63-64) Do we not find precisely same behaviour on the part of rich nations of the west? Are they not refusing to mend their ways and reduce their consumption of earth resources? Will they not push our earth to the brink of disaster by ignoring the warning?

Technological progress is most welcome but it can be boon or curse depending how this progress is used by the rich and powerful. The weaker sections and poor nations are, after all, totally helpless and their voice is never heard. But warning has to be repeated as Qur’an says to the Prophet to warn as he has been sent as warner (nazir). If people listen to him they will be rescued, if not, they will face doom.

The technological progress has enabled human beings to consume more and more and also to pollute the earth too more and more. But this ability has to be used with wisdom. It is reason which enables us to discover new horizons and know more about our universe and again it is reason which enables us to discover more and more natural resources below and above ground and use them.

But reason is, let us be clear, a double-edged sword, a mere tool, which could be used or misused. It is because of reason that we have progressed tremendously from primitive to advanced human beings, from caves to skyscrapers but then it is this reason which has given us tools to destroy our planet through over-consumption and over-pollution which is leading us to disaster.

What is needed is what Qur’an calls hikmah (wisdom) and what is wisdom? Wisdom is reason plus values and experience. Without combining with values reason can play very dangerous role also as it did in Europe through weapons of destruction finally resulting in making all destructive nuclear weapons and in Hiroshima and Nagasaki it killed more than two hundred thousand people.

But if reason is used with values like justice, benevolence and compassion, it can prove to be a great boon and that is what Qur’an advocates. According to Qur’an there are five key values: haq ‘adl, ihsan, rahmah and hikmah i.e. truth, justice, benevolence, compassion and wisdom. These are Allah’s names also. Allah’s names are Haq, ‘Adil, Muhsin, Rahman and Hakim i.e. Allah is Truth, Just, Benevolent, Compassionate and Wise. These values are extremely important for balanced progress of human beings.

Qur’an gives great deal of importance to hikmah (wisdom) and hikmah is most fundamental value in human progress. Qur’an goes on to say that “And whoever is granted wisdom, he indeed is given a great good.” (2:269). Unfortunately human beings use reason for selfish ends and push us to the brink of destruction. But those who use wisdom behave according to the values of justice, benevolence and compassion and became savior of humanity.

Thus the path of wisdom is indeed path of bounties and of divine blessings. When we pray to Allah to guide us to that path on which He has showered His bounties, it is the path of wisdom. So if our prayer has to have any meaning we have to follow this path of wisdom and save our earth, created by Rabb al-‘Alamin and He has perfected it gradually until all forms of life appeared on it.

It took millions of years for perfect conditions for human life to appear but now because of our irresponsible behavior we are destroying it and if do not restrain our overdrive for consumption human life may become extinct due to destruction of ecological balance. And this is not exaggerated statement in any way. This is already being predicted by scientists. But mutrifun (those addicted to easy life) refuse to take heed.

As we say we go to hell because of our sins. What is hell? It is not something located out there on high heaven. It is around us, consequence of our own sins of over-consumption and destruction of our earth’s ecological balance. Qur’an describes Muslims as ummatan wasantan (community of middle path) and as believers in divine revelation contained in the Qur’an it is their duty to lead the world in reducing consumption of oil which results in emission of carbon resulting in climate warming.

The oil wealth is also hidden below deserts in Muslim countries of West Asia and they can certainly ration oil production in such a manner as to reduce carbon consumption. It is they who pray five times every day to Allah to guide them to the right path and thus it is for them to act in a responsible manner so as to compel the western nations to reduce their carbon consumption.

This will surely save our earth from impending disaster. It is true it is extremely difficult and complex problem. There is every danger that western countries led by USA may invade the countries with oil resources as they did in Iraq. But then they can convene conference of all developing countries and seek their cooperation. Of course it is easier said than done but one has to find solution to what all of us know is sure disaster.

Surely, those who possess rich oil resources can play some responsible as well as creative role in the matter. We posses Qur’an and Qur’an shows us path of wisdom. Are Muslims going to use this wisdom specially as they also possess the oil wealth? So far indications are not very encouraging. The Muslim nations hardly have courage to confront USA as they depend so much on it for technology and for weapons of destruction.

If we keep on praying five times every day and this prayer does not reflect in any meaningful way in our conduct, our social responsibilities, what is the use of such mechanical prayers? The quality of our faith (iman) depends in our action which promotes good of whole of humanity. After all believers have been charged with the responsibility of what Qur’an says amr b’il ma’ruf i.e. enforcing what is good and nahi ‘an’il munkar i.e. fighting against evil. Is climate warming an evil or not and if it is evil should we not struggle against it?
---------------------------------------------
Institute of Islamic Studies
Mumbai.
E-mail: csss@mtnl.net.in

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Quraan and Freedom of Faith

Thank God, we have an opportunity for Muslims and Non-Muslims alike to see the beauty and wisdom of Qur’aan; the European Kings paid the greedy men to mis-translate the Qur’aan (info on the panel) to create hate towards Muslims among their dumb subjects in the 10th century; while Hilali Khan has made the same ugly effort to mistranslate the Qur'aan - you can check his work at his translation of Qur'aan and one such example is at - http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/2008/01/unlike-jews-or-christians-17.html on this site.

Both the works were to distort the Qur’aan for their gains or unethical influence. In the process, not only Muslims, but the Christians and Jews were duped too and of course these evil translations have muddied the minds of "shallow scholars" from across the globe. Finding the truth is your own responsibility and it will bring salvation from ill-will and misgivings.

If you are not a Muslim, all you have to do is to sit with an Arabic speaking Jew or a Christian and get their attestations to the veracity of mis-translations of Qur'aan done by the Europeans and the Hilali Man. God has shared his wisdom through a range of holy books or oral traditions in every community and every nation and God cannot be exclusive or do favors to one and not the others. The very first verse in Qur’aan is - Praise the Lord, he is God of the "universe".

Thank God there are 18 translations of Qur'aan out there now, hope it will help people understand the evil intent of the Original European translations and the one and only Muslim translation. I would recommend Mohammad Asad, Yusuf Ali and Pickthall and there are more on the horizon where you'd feel the connection no matter what faith you are from.

Mike Ghouse

Compiled by Muhammed Irtaza
Quraan and Freedom of Faith

[10:99] Had your Lord willed, all the people on earth would have believed. Do you want to force the people to become believers?

The Quran guarantees freedom of choice to all the people on earth:

[2:256] There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces the devil and believes in GOD has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. GOD is Hearer, Omniscient.

[18:29] Proclaim: "This is the truth from your Lord," then whoever wills let him believe, and whoever wills let him disbelieve....

[6:104] Enlightenments have come to you from your Lord. As for those who can see, they do so for their own good, and those who turn blind, do so to their own detriment. I am not your guardian.

[10:99] Had your Lord willed, all the people on earth would have believed. Do you want to force the people to become believers?

[2:148] Each of you chooses the direction to follow; you shall race towards righteousness. Wherever you may be, GOD will summon you all. GOD is Omnipotent.[73:19] This is a reminder; whoever wills, let him choose the path to his Lord.

God Almighty never permitted the Prophet to enforce the religion that he preached.

[5:92] You shall obey GOD, and you shall obey the messenger, and beware. If you turn away, then know that the sole duty of our messenger is to deliver the message efficiently.

[6:48] We do not send the messengers except as deliverers of good news, as well as warners. Those who believe and reform have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.

[24:54] Say, "Obey GOD, and obey the messenger." If they refuse, then he is responsible for his obligations, and you are responsible for your obligations. If you obey him, you will be guided. The sole duty of the messenger is to deliver (the message).

[64:12] You shall obey GOD and you shall obey the messenger. If you turn away, then the sole mission of our messenger is to deliver the message.

Muhammad never assumed his role as a guardian over religious matters. He was simply a preacher of the God's message.

[33:40] Muhammad was not the father of any man among you. He was a messenger of GOD and the final prophet. GOD is fully aware of all things.

[4:80] Whoever obeys the messenger is obeying GOD. As for those who turn away, we did not send you as their guardian.

[6:66] Your people have rejected this, even though it is the truth. Say, "I am not a guardian over you."

[6:104] Enlightenments have come to you from your Lord. As for those who can see, they do so for their own good, and those who turn blind, do so to their own detriment. I am not your guardian.

[6:107] Had GOD willed, they would not have worshiped idols. We did not appoint you as their guardian, nor are you their advocate.

[10:108] Proclaim: "O people, the truth has come to you herein from your Lord. Whoever is guided is guided for his own good. And whoever goes astray, goes astray to his own detriment. I am not a guardian over you."

[11:86] "Whatever GOD provides for you, no matter how small, is far better for you, if you are really believers. I am not a guardian over you."

[42:48] If they turn away, we did not send you as their guardian. Your sole mission is delivering the message. When we shower the human beings with mercy, they become proud, and when adversity afflicts them, as a consequence of their own deeds, the human beings turn into disbelievers.

Thank you and may God guide us.

http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/2009/07/quraan-and-freedom-of-faith.html

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Wife beating - Qur'aan 4:34

This thing keeps popping up every few months and I am happy to reveiw and share another point of view. Finding the truth is your own responsibility.

Cultures determine one's behavior rather than the religion, indeed, religions are the product of environment; God says in Bhagvad Gita, "whenever unrighteousness takes over the society, I will emerge among you and reset the society to righteousness" and the Qur'aan, " to every nation, and to every tribe, there will be a messenger to put them back on the path of righteousness" and that's precisely what Jesus and Moses did; bring a sense of morality to the deviousness that preceeded them.

Religion is about justice, inclusiveness and common goodness.

Basam writes in his research paper, “A common criticism exists that Islam is an androcentric religion that authorizes the oppression of women both in public and private spheres. Wife beating is often cited to support this claim.”

Thanks to the variations in translations, it shows us the limitations of human understanding, and challenges us to strive to grasp the whole truth. What was hitherto cut and dry is no more. May be it is Allah's hint to us to get closer to understanding the truth. The monopolies would be gone and focus would be on the essence rather than literal meaning. Presently the 14 translations are available and Insha Allah it will be at http://www.worldmuslimcongress.com/ soon.
.
Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar offers another meaning to the translation of the Arabic word "Idrib," traditionally translated as "beat," which has been mis-understood and abused over the centuries by men who would be abusive any way, whether they are Muslim or not. "Why choose to interpret the word as 'to beat' when it can also mean 'to go away' - either one from the other, may be it meant separation as a process of re-evaluation.

The passage is generally translated: "And as for those women whose ill will you have reason to fear, admonish them; then leave them alone in bed; then beat them; and if thereupon they pay you heed, do not seek to harm them. Behold, God is indeed most high, great!"
Instead, Bakhtiar suggests "Husbands at that point should submit to God, let God handle it -- go away from them and let God work His Will instead of a human being inflicting pain and suffering on another human being in the Name of God."

Insha Allah, I am working on presenting a paper on the myth of "wife beating" to our scholars and Imams to review, and if it is consistent with the essence of Qur'aan and if they concur, it will be a relief to the Muslim women around the world consistent with God being a just God.
I am optimistic with this particular development and welcome this new translation, even if it has a few flaws, it would wash off by the 15 other translations, but will take us closer to the essence of Qur'aan; Justice to one and all.

Continue: http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2007/03/woman-re-interprets-quraan.html


Jazak Allah Khair
Mike Ghouse

Introduction (Bassam and Syed)

A common criticism exists that Islam is an androcentric religion that authorizes the oppression of women both in public and private spheres. Wife beating is often cited to support this claim. The perception that Islam permits a husband to beat his wife resides with some non-Muslims and Muslims alike. Acknowledging this perception, we explore in this paper the Islamic legal perspective on wife beating specifically and wife discipline in general.The primary source of legislation on wife discipline in Islamic law is verse 34 of the fourth chapter of the Qur’an entitled “the Women.” The verse presents the disciplinary scheme in the latter sentence of the verse—hereafter referred to as the “Discipline Passage.” The verse in whole reads: (Husbands) are the protectors and maintainers of their (wives) because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to the women on whose part you fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them first, (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) spank them (lightly), but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means of (annoyance): for Allah is Most High, Great (above you all).

Continue: http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2008/01/wife-beating-434.html

===============

Abed and Ahmad, law students at Michigan State University, dispute the suggestion that wife beating is an accepted doctrine of Islam, although they posit a notion of permissible, rightly motivated, non-abusive physical discipline as a means of restoring proper marriage relations. It is a very difficult concept for us Westerners to accept.

Continue: http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2008/01/wife-beating-morale-434.html

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Qur'aan and the Big Bang Theory

We have got to remember that God is neither a body nor a being. Giving a shape or a descripion would amount to limiting the unlimited and defining the undefinable. God is what one perceives guided by different religious beliefs. God is the name to that which causes, creates and sustains what we know - Mike Ghouse

The following research is the work of Mohammad Irtaza.

[17:44] Glorifying Him are the seven universes, the earth, and everyone in them. There is nothing that does not glorify Him, but you do not understand their glorification. He is Clement, Forgiver.

[13:2] GOD is the One who raised the heavens without pillars that you can see, then assumed all authority. He committed the sun and the moon, each running (in its orbit) for a predetermined period. He controls all things, and explains the revelations, that you may attain certainty about meeting your Lord.

[13:3] He is the One who constructed the earth and placed on it mountains and rivers. And from the different kinds of fruits, He made them into pairs - males and females. The night overtakes the day. These are solid proofs for people who think.

[40:57] The creation of the heavens and the earth is even more awesome than the creation of the human being, but most people do not know.

The whole world that is known to us and everything in it is our universe. Many astronomers think that everything in our universe was once packed together in one lump. Then, about 15 billion years ago, there was a gigantic cosmic explosion which they call the Big Bang. According to them, our universe was created from that explosion!

[21:30] Do the unbelievers not realize that the heaven and the earth used to be one solid mass that we exploded into existence? And from water we made all living things. Would they believe?

[49:18] GOD knows all the secrets in the heavens and the earth; GOD is Seer of everything you do.

According to the cosmology, The Big Bang explosion sent the young universe flying out in all directions. Over vast ages of time, bits came together to make galaxies. The galaxies are huge groups of stars in space. The galaxies are still speeding apart today, and our universe is getting bigger!

[41:11] Then He turned to the sky, when it was still gas, and said to it, and to the earth, "Come into existence, willingly or unwillingly." They said, "We come willingly."

[25:61] Most blessed is the One who placed constellations in the sky, and placed in it a lamp, and a shining moon.

[51:47] We constructed the sky with our hands, and we will continue to expand it.

No one knows where all the material to make the universe came from in the first place!

[6:73] He is the One who created the heavens and the earth, truthfully. Whenever He says, "Be," it is. His word is the absolute truth. All sovereignty belongs to Him the day the horn is blown. Know-er of all secrets and declarations, He is the Most Wise, the Cognizant.

The Milky Way is the galaxy we live in. It is made up of all the stars we can see in the sky at night, and lots and lots more we cannot see. The Milky Way looks a bit like whirlpool. Astronomers usually give galaxies numbers instead of names. Only a few have names that tell us what they look like-the Whirlpool, the Sombrero, and the Black Eye, for example. There are about 1,000 billion stars in the Milky Way. Astronomers have worked out how big our universe is and how many stars it has. There are about 100 million trillion stars, in around 100 billion galaxies!

[22:18] Do you not realize that to GOD prostrates everyone in the heavens and the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and the animals, and many people? Many others among the people are committed to doom. Whomever GOD shames, none will honor him. Everything is in accordance with God's will.

[6:96] At the crack of dawn, He causes the morning to emerge. He made the night still, and He rendered the sun and the moon to serve as calculation devices. Such is the design of the Almighty, the Omniscient.

Stars are made of gases. The two main gases in stars are called hydrogen and helium. They are the stars' fuel. Stars make heat and light from them. Sometimes huge flame-like sheets of glowing gas shoot out from a star. These are called prominences.

[34:9] Have they not seen all the things in front of them and behind them, in the heaven and the earth? If we willed, we could have caused the earth to swallow them, or caused masses to fall on them from the sky. This should be a sufficient proof for every obedient servant.

All stars are born, live for a very long time, and then die. Stars are being born all the time. All stars are born in huge spinning clouds of gas and dust. Our Sun is a star. It was born 4.6 billion years ago. Most stars are like our Sun and shine steadily for nearly all their lives. Toward the end of their lives, stars like our Sun swell up and became as much as 100 times bigger. They turn into red giants. When it has used up all its gas fuel, a red giant shrinks down into a white dwarf. It is then about 10,000 times smaller, but still very hot!

[6:97] And He is the One who made the stars to guide you during the darkness, on land and on sea. We thus clarify the revelations for people who know.

[10:5] He is the One who rendered the sun radiant, and the moon a light, and He designed its phases that you may learn to count the years and to calculate. GOD did not create all this, except for a specific purpose. He explains the revelations for people who know.

A black hole can happen when a massive star dies. The star falls in on itself, squashing all its material and becoming smaller and smaller. In the end all that is left is a place light cannot escape from a black hole.

[17:99] Could they not see that the GOD who created the heavens and the earth is able to create the same creations? (That) He has predetermined for them an irrevocable life span? Yet, the disbelievers insist upon disbelieving.

The planets are not big or as hot as stars, and they cannot make light of their own. They were made from the leftovers of the same gas and dust cloud that gave birth to our star, the Sun. Our planet Earth is the only one in the solar system with water and living things on it. That makes it very special. It is the 3rd planet from the Sun, and it get just right amount of heat and light to keep us alive! Any closer, and it would be too hot. Any farther away, and it would be too cold!

[54:49] Everything we created is precisely measured

[36:36] Glory be to the One who created all kinds of plants from the earth, as well as themselves, and other creations that they do not even know.

[71:16] He designed the moon therein to be a light, and placed the sun to be a lamp.

[36:38] The sun sets into a specific location, according to the design of the Almighty, the Omniscient.
[36:39] The moon we designed to appear in stages, until it becomes like an old curved sheath.
[36:40] The sun is never to catch up with the moon - the night and the day never deviate - each of them is floating in its own orbit.

Everything in space has a pulling force called gravity - galaxies, star, planets like the earth, and even moons. Gravity holds things together and stops them floating off into space.

[35:41] GOD is the One who holds the heavens and the earth, lest they vanish. If anyone else is to hold them, they will most certainly vanish. He is Clement, Forgiving.

[25:45] Have you not seen how your Lord designed the shadow? If He willed, He could have made it fixed, then we would have designed the sun accordingly.
[25:46] But we designed it to move slowly.
[25:47] He is the One who designed the night to be a cover, and for you to sleep and rest. And He made the day a resurrection.

Like all stars, our Sun is a huge ball of super-hot gas. The outside temperature of the Sun is 10,000 deg. F. The Sun is the only star that is close enough to the Earth for us to feel heat. The next nearest star to Earth is called Proxima Centauri. Our Sun's light takes 8.3 minutes to reach us, but Proxima Centauri's takes 4.3 years!

[14:33] He has committed the sun and the moon in your service, continuously. He has committed the night and the day to serve you

[31:29] Do you not realize that GOD merges the night into the day and merges the day into the night, and that He has committed the sun and the moon in your service, each running in its orbit for a specific life span, and that GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do?

One day the Sun will use up all its gas fuel and die. Our planet, the Earth, has eight neighbors. Together they make a family of nine planets which travel around the Sun. We call the Sun, and all the space bodies that whirl around it, the solar system. Beside the Sun and the planets, the solar system includes moons, mini planets called asteroids, and comets.

[14:33] He has committed the sun and the moon in your service, continuously. He has committed the night and the day to serve you

Moons are rocky bodies that orbit planets. Jupiter has sixteen moons. Mercury and Venus are the only planets that do not have moons. All the other planets have at least one. Our Earth has one moon. The Earth's moon is dry, dusty and lifeless. There is no air to breath or water to drink. On July 20, 1969, two American astronauts became the first living trying ever to set foot on the moon. Astronauts left the moon in the lunar module containing 21 kg. of rocks that had belongs to the moon!

[54:1] The Hour has come closer, and the moon has split.

[67:3] He created seven universes in layers. You do not see any imperfection in the creation by the Most Gracious. Keep looking; do you see any flaw?

[65:12] GOD created seven universes and the same number of earths. The commands flow among them. This is to let you know that GOD is Omnipotent, and that GOD is fully aware of all things.

The size of our solar system is extremely insignificant in compare to our vast universe where it belongs. Our universe is the smallest and the innermost of all seven universes. Our universe is estimated to span distances in excess of twenty billion light years! The second universe surrounds our universe and is very large. The third universe surrounds the second universe and is even larger. The outermost universe is the seventh universe. No number exists to describe the size of this outermost universe! The incomprehensible vastness of these seven universes is within the fist of God's hand!

[39:67] They can never fathom the greatness of GOD. The whole earth is within His fist on the Day of Resurrection. In fact, the universes are folded within His right hand. Be He glorified; He is much too high above needing any partners

[41:12] Thus, He completed the seven universes in two days, and set up the laws for every universe. And we adorned the lowest universe with lamps, and placed guards around it. Such is the design of the Almighty, the Omniscient

[81:1] When the sun is rolled.
[81:2] The stars are crashed into each other.
[81:3] The mountains are wiped out.

[77:8] Thus, when the stars are put out.
[77:9] The sky is opened up.
[77:10] The mountains are blown up.
[77:11] The messengers are summoned.
[77:12] That is the appointed day.
[77:13] The Day of Decision.

Some astronomers think that the galaxies may one day start falling back toward each other until they crash together in a Big Crunch! In cosmology, the Big Crunch is a hypothesized collapse of the universe upon itself after its eventual stoppage of expansion! Is it not true that the Big Crunch is not a hypothesis, not a theory but an informidable law of God Almighty that will surely take place on the appointed day, the Day of Decision!

[7:187] They ask you about the end of the world (the Hour), and when it will come to pass. Say, "The knowledge thereof is with my Lord. Only He reveals its time. Heavy it is, in the heavens and the earth. It will not come to you except suddenly." They ask you as if you are in control thereof. Say, "The knowledge thereof is with GOD," but most people do not know

[75:9] And the sun and the moon crash into one another.
[75:10] The human being will say on that day, "Where is the escape?"
[75:11] Absolutely, there is no escape.
[75:12] To your Lord, on that day, is the final destiny.

[10:5] He is the One who rendered the sun radiant, and the moon a light, and He designed its phases that you may learn to count the years and to calculate. GOD did not create all this, except for a specific purpose. He explains the revelations for people who know.
[10:6] Surely, in the alternation of night and day, and what GOD created in the heavens and the earth, there are proofs for people who are righteous.

[10:18] They worship beside GOD idols that possess no power to harm them or benefit them, and they say, "These are our intercessors at GOD!" Say, "Are you informing GOD of something He does not know in the heavens or the earth?" Be He glorified. He is the Most High; far above needing partners.

[12:103] Most people, no matter what you do, will not believe.
[12:104] You are not asking them for any money; you simply deliver this reminder for all the people.
[12:105] So many proofs in the heavens and the earth are given to them, but they pass by them, heedlessly!
[12:106] The majority of those who believe in GOD do not do so without committing idol worship.

Thank you and God bless you,

M. Irtaza

Ref: 1. http://liftoff.msfc.nasa.gov//
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/
3. http://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/
4. Quran - translated by Dr. Rashad Khalifa



Sunday, March 8, 2009

Muslim Response to Lies about Qur'aan

Muslim response to Dutch Legislator's lies about Qur'aan

The link following this note is a Muslim response to Geert Wilders documentary called "Fitna", presenting Islam as a dangerous to his society. The article is authored by Mike Ghouse* and Imam Zia Shaikh, Imam of the largest Mosque in Texas.

Mr. Wilders, a Dutch parliamentarian is in Washington DC to dupe a few of our congressmen and Senators. I do hope they will have their staff verify the statements he has quoted in the documentary (the link is provided below) and then check it in the Qur'aan and tell the man to come up with truths.

Evil persists because, we the good people do not stop the hate mongering and some of us even fund such documentaries. I have seen a series of such documentaries this year where a group is deliberately misrepresented with the sole purpose of frightening the insecure and cashing it in. It is all about money, they are fooling you and several of us. There was the “obsession documentary” fraught with misquotes and lies, some 2 million copies were shipped to frighten the Americans to vote the other way prior to November 4th elections. There are a few more documentaries that were shown with blatant lies, one of them was downright stupid but to the producer it had its effect, drill fear and gain favors, in that, a Non-Muslim French Professor on Islam was saying the dumbest thing I have ever heard. I challenged the producer to pick up the phone and call any Muslim any where in the world to find it if Muslim don’t believe in the coming of Messiah.

We have a choice to know the truth, and I urge those who truly want peace and co-existence to invite a few members of the community or set up a panel of liberals, conservative and a whole bunch of moderates to answer the audience. Private showings to exclusive groups has an intent of evilness, if it is the truth, let it be in the open, let it be subject to questions and another point of view.

Ultimately it is not the Imam, Rabbi, Pastor, Pundit, politician, savior, policy maker or the clergy who is responsible for our pain, pangs of conscience, our actions and bad intent; it is us who have to deal with in our lonely moments. We need to have true freedom to find the truth on our own.

Should we fund fear mongering or peace making? The choice is ours. I hope to wake you up and have you fund those who are working on mitigating conflicts and nurturing goodwill.

Mr. Wilders has read my piece linked below and is un-willing to retract the false statements he has made; he quoted them as if they are in Qur'aan, and they are not. His intent is not education but chaos. Wikipedia has made similar mistakes and even the prestigious University of Southern California's website has a quote ascribed to Qur'aan, even with a verse number to give the idea that it is legitimate, but that verse is not in Qur'aan either. Of course, only 1/10th of 1% of the extremists blindly believes in such statements without verifying.

Full article at: http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/2008/03/wilders-fitna-and-muslims_30.html

Mike Ghouse is a Dallas based writer, blogger, speaker and a thinker. A frequent guest on talk radio and local television networks offering pluralistic perspectives on issues of the day. His comments, news analysis and columns can be found on the Websites and Blogs listed at his personal website http://www.mikeghouse.net/

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Is Qur'aan Perfect?

Is Qur'aan Perfect?

It is the true and final word of God for the Muslims who believe in it, it is not for the Christians, Hindus, Jews or others who are not familiar with it. However, if one sincerely understands the Qur'aan, he or she will find the essence of Justice, fairness; truth and peace resonate in Qur'aan as they may find it in their own scriptures.

Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker and a Writer on Pluralism, interfaith, terrorism, peace, Islam, Multiculturism and India. He is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television networks discussing these and the civic issues. His comments, news analysis and columns can be found on the Websites and Blogs listed at his personal website http://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

Continued: http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/WorldMuslimCongress/Articles/Is-Quraan-Perfect.asp
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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Does Qur'aan incite Violence - II

Response to Mr. MA Khan’s article:
Does the Qur’aan Incite Violence? A Debate with Mike Ghouse, Part 2
Mike Ghouse
The question is not whose side you’re on, and there is no need to take any side. The question is rather, what you present as the verse from Qur’aan is verifiable or not? So far it has not been.
The verses presented so far have been misquotes from Qur'aan, they are not there as presented. The problem is not the words in the holy books, the problem is mangling it and presenting it as a quote from the book. I have dealt with such challenges in Part 1, link to which is listed at the bottom of this essay.

Mr. Khan mis-interprets me, “Thereafter, Muslim rulers (as pious as the Saudis, who are main sponsors of translations of the Quran) also embarked on the same mission to mistranslate the Quran, obviously to harm Islam and Muslims, as Ghouse would have it. "The Kings on the Arabian lands had to fool their people too to get their support", as he puts it.

I have decided to stick to the subject, “Does Qur’aan incite violence? Mr. Khan’s stand is it does, and I do not see that way – Religion, yes, and every religion allays fears of the unknown, mitigates the apprehensions, gives hopes and brings a balance to an individual and what surrounds him; people and the environment.

It is my choice not to respond to the first eight paragraphs as they are about me, rather than the subject matter.

Here we go again, with a few more verses that are mis-quoted: I have quoted the entire paragraphs from Mr. Khan’s articles and they are sandwiched between the dotted lines.

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

I must point out another great argument of this sagacious Islamic scholar, Mike Ghouse. The University of Southern California says:

There were about 360 idols around the Ka`abah. He pulled them down with his sword while reciting: "And say: 'Truth has arrived and falsehood has perished for falsehood is by its nature bound to perish.'" (Al-Qur'an, 17:81) Also "Say: 'Truth has arrived and falsehood neither creates anything new nor restores anything.'" (Al-Qur'an, 34: 49) The idols tumbled on their faces.

On the basis of such info, Wikipedia notes that:

In 630, Muhammad and his followers returned to Mecca as conqueror, and he destroyed the 360 idols in and around the Kaaba.<28]<29] href="http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/WorldMuslimCongress/Articles/Kaaba-and-the-wikipedia-blunder.asp">http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/WorldMuslimCongress/Articles/Kaaba-and-the-wikipedia-blunder.asp

It is time for the Neocons to stop chasing their own tails aka going on a circular logic. Please push the refresh button; this is the game they are playing since 10th century, with intent of maligning another people or faith. Of course, there is money in it for authors such as the one on Front page magazine and others. I wish Mr. Khan spends his energy in trying to go to original source; the Qur’aan, rather than quote the recycled quotes from over ten centuries.

Mr. Khan writes "Therefore, the claim of the original author that "In the eye of Allah, these kafirs [Hindus] are no better than animals" is roughly right, although he would been accurate had he said "kafirs [Hindus] are worse than animals (cattle)". That's what Asad affirms and Ghouse agrees."

The above statement is intended to frighten the Hindus, and normally it is an item to gain support from the extreme element and cash in on selling hate – the word “Hindu” is inserted in the quote above with mal-intent, it is neither in the Qur’aan nor in the translation by Asad, nor have I affirmed it. It is wrong to misquote me right here in these discussions.

I see the viciousness intensified in this statement of Mr. Khan, “This horrible cycle of punishment—that a Hindu, Christian or Jew deserves—would continue for eternity; so vile a people are they. No doubt, Allah’s psychopathic punishment would surpass the barbarity of Hitler by infinite folds.”

The following sentence lacks knowledge of any understanding of Qur’aan “We (Allah, there are few Allahs it seems) shall, in time, cause to endure fire:”. Mr. Khan knows that the word “we” is “I” used when the sentence is framed as God speaking.

I am debating at this point, should I continue this debate or not? I don’t run from things; let me face a few more paragraphs.

The following statement has no relevance for me “But this death in Jihad battles, called martyrdom, is no loss for Muslims; instead, it the greatest, the most desirable, thing ever can happen to a Muslim; because, this martyrdom gives him a ticket for straight landing in Allah’s paradise. Getting a ticket to paradise, believe Muslims, is the central aim of their every action in this world.”

What you fight for and die for may make sense or may not. Dying for the country, dying defending our democracy, dying to safeguard our freedom, dying for motherland… and dying for justice… are all glorified in India as well as America or any country.

Dying in Vietnam and dying in WWII or dying in Iraq… and Muslims dying to defend their freedom, fighting against oppression are all glorified. However, Islam does not allow any Muslim to kill others; you can fight only against a war on you. Many a presidents in behalf of their nation (without authorization of the people) have butchered other people and destroyed other nations. Many a Muslim Kings have done the same. In neither case it is the religion, it is the greed of the people in play. If they follow their religion and their scriptures, they won’t kill any one.

The language in the above quote (two paragraphs above) is geared to pitch the world against Muslims, and when you do that, you are guaranteed to have the Neocons (extremists in every faith) touting it and funding it. I believe, the moderate majority, the bulk of the population does not buy it.

I am surprised the editor of Desi Critic over looked this statement of Mr. Khan, “Let me emphasize to the reader that engaging with ignorant or deceivers like Ghouse takes us to no meaningful enlightenment on the subject. Therefore, I may wish to conclude this debate here, unless Ghouse comes forward with some solid, well-researched, arguments that deserve a response.”

Mr. Khan, no more rhetoric, or re-cycled quotes, please give me the originals from Qur’aan that is verifiable from the Qur’aan and debate with me without the first eight paragraphs. And please don’t run. I am here to defend the goodness of religion, every religion from the Neocon attacks. Every religion is beautiful, and it is our understanding that is short fused not God’s word.

Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker and a Writer. He is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing Pluralism, interfaith, Islam, India, Multiculturism, Terrorism, Peace, Politics and Civic issues. He co-chairs the center for interfaith inquiry of the Memnosyne Foundation, and presides the Foundation for Pluralism a He is the president of World Muslim Congress a think tank with a simple theme: Good for Muslims and good for the world and vice-Versa. His comments, news analysis and columns can be found on the Websites and Blogs listed at his personal website http://www.mikeghouse.net/ Mike is a Dallasite for nearly three decades and Carrollton is his home town. Mike's Profile, he is a Neighborhood Commissioner at the City of Carrollton, and a Board Member of Dallas Peace Center and has initiated the annual events like Thanksgiving, Unity Day USA, Holocaust and other events. He was Past President of Indian Creek HOA and North Texas Cricket Association and has been a member of several Boards.

# # #

Quran Incite Violence? A Debate with Mike Ghouse, Part 2
February 18, 2009
MA KHAN

I am responding below to Mike Ghouse’s reply to Part1 in this debate. I regret that I wasn’t able to respond with immediacy.

Let me start by addressing Ghouse’s favorite argument regarding the Quran, which I encountered in his emails and postings in Websites quite a few times. He frequently says that, in the colonial era or before, the Westerners intentionally mistranslated the Quran to harm Islam. “The Quran was mistranslated three times (by Europeans)”, he asserts. Thereafter, Muslim rulers (as pious as the Saudis, who are main sponsors of translations of the Quran) also embarked on the same mission to mistranslate the Quran, obviously to harm Islam and Muslims, as Ghouse would have it. “The Kings on the Arabian lands had to fool their people too to get their support”, as he puts it.

To him, these translators distorted the Quran so badly that, by reading it, Muslims are becoming terrorists all over the world in the name of Islam—the religion of pristine peace and tranquility. Let me first ask Ghouse a few questions:

1. First, what is his scholarship, expertise in Arabic, to judge translations of the Quran of most famous scholars like Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Dr. Muhshin Khan et al.? May I ask, if Ghouse, probably an India-born student of business/commercial studies, is fluent in Arabic or understand Arabic at all?

2. Secondly, would Ghouse sit in Saudi Arabia and dare distorting the Quran intentionally. I can assure Ghouse that the kind of “gross distortion” he accuses other famous translators with, if he does the same level of distortion of whatever kind sitting in Saudi Arabia, he would not last a day. Well, Ghouse may even give a try of the same at Islamabad, Khartoum, Cairo or Kabul. His is unlikely to last much longer, if at all. Let me inform readers that Muhshin Khan and his co-translator, Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali, taught at the Islamic University of Medina, the city of Muhammad, where Islam was born. Abdullah Yusuf Ali, another brilliant translator, was sponsored by the Saudis.

3. Thirdly, Ghouse has found a good translator in Muhammad Asad (d. 1990), an Austro-Hungarian Jew, who converted to Islam and later ended up in India, where, in the company of fanatic Allama Iqbal, became a scholar of Islam. “Go to Mohammad Asad’s translation of Quran, it is one of the most accepted translations”, he asserts. In fact, Asad’s translation is not correct enough for Ghouse, as he says: “If I live longer, Insha Allah, God willing, I will do the translation to reflect the intent of the Quran”.

Although Asad’s credentials in Arabic were undoubtedly good, he had no real training in Arabic at its crown centres of Baghdad, Cairo, Saudi Arabia, which scholars like Muhshin Khan and Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali had. Moreover, born in a Jewish Rabbi family and well-acquainted with developments of the 20th-century Europe, I leave it to readers to reflect on how his background could have influenced his English rendering of the Quran and on Ghouse’s wisdom of picking Asad as a more reliable translator.

4. Fourthly, does Ghouse want to tell us that all the Imams, Muslim clerics—from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world—who keep spewing hatred on Quranic justification, read the Quran in English translations? Do Arabs like Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, late al-Zarqawi and all those Islamic terrorists read the Quran in Arabic? Ghouse would obviously have us believe so.

I must point out another great argument of this sagacious Islamic scholar, Mike Ghouse. The University of Southern California says:

There were about 360 idols around the Ka`abah. He pulled them down with his sword while reciting: “And say: ‘Truth has arrived and falsehood has perished for falsehood is by its nature bound to perish.’” (Al-Qur’an, 17:81) Also “Say: ‘Truth has arrived and falsehood neither creates anything new nor restores anything.’” (Al-Qur’an, 34: 49) The idols tumbled on their faces.
On the basis of such info, Wikipedia notes that:

In 630, Muhammad and his followers returned to Mecca as conqueror, and he destroyed the 360 idols in and around the Kaaba.<28]<29]>

But to Ghouse, this information is all false. That means leading Islamic organizations in American, like CAIR and MSA, are out to harm Islam and Muslims, too. It is false even when most of the greatest classical scholars of Islam say so. Ibn Ishaq

But to Ghouse, those greatest scholars were ignorant or were out to harm Islam and Muslims. So, where lies truth? Who knows the truth? It is Michel Wolfe, a non-Muslim filmmaker of our time and the producer of the film “The Message”. When Ghouse asked Wolfe, the latter replied, as Ghouse puts it: “From his (Wolfe’s) understanding the idols were ‘removed’”, not destroyed, the latter remark being “blatantly misleading”.

Allah or Muhammad probably paid a visit to Wolfe lately to furnish him with the correct information. He has no other way to discover this truth. I wonder how Ghouse’s wisdom failed to ask Wolfe as to how he discovered the truth.

Nonetheless, the moral of the story is: You can take over a temple and remove there idols therein, not destroy them. Idolaters of the world can this message of Ghouse home.

Now let me turn to the Quranic verses Ghouse has addressed. I will not respond to his comments on other religious scriptures, because my expertise doesn’t lie there. I have spent the last 5-6 years researching Islam extensively, on which I am confident of commenting. If other scriptures have violent content, they incite violence too.

In explanation of verse 7:179, despite whatever unnecessary things he has written, Asad’s translation still says that the Kafirs, such as Hindus, “are like cattle -nay, they are even less conscious of the right way”. That means a non-Muslim, heedless to Allah’s messages, is worse, more evil, than animals like cattle, which the original author put as: they are “like brute beast.” I need someone explain what’s the difference between the two. "Therefore, the claim of the original author that "In the eye of Allah, these kafirs [Hindus] are no better than animals" is roughly right, although he would been accurate had he said "kafirs [Hindus] are worse than animals (cattle)". That's what Asad affirms and Ghouse agrees."

Why not Ghouse give a fitting treatment to his non-Muslim neighbor deserving of animals like cattle, nay, worse than cattle as Asad puts it. I grew up in the countryside, we raised cattle. Worse than cattle around us were foxes that grabbed our chickens or spoiled sugarcane plantations. We used to kill them at the first opportunity. Tigers, hyenas, wolves are worse than cattle, too. What treatment would Muslims render, if they happen to come across animals like these in their neighborhood? Heads of the kafirs should roll.

Concerning my quoted verse 4:56, Asad’s translation basically say the same thing: For those rejecting Islam, “We (Allah, there are few Allahs it seems) shall, in time, cause to endure fire:

This horrible cycle of punishment—that a Hindu, Christian or Jew deserves—would continue for eternity; so vile a people are they. No doubt, Allah’s psychopathic punishment would surpass the barbarity of Hitler by infinite folds. Again, the original author is accurate in emphasizing that Allah has intense hatred of non-Muslims.

I will now touch upon three verses that Ghouse did not address. First verse 3:56:
The question of how Allah will punish the kafirs in this world? Not by Himself but through the hands of his followers, aka Muslims. Muslims must engage the vile unbelievers in Jihadi wars and inflict grievous punishment on them; and those, who perish in the process, will receive Allah’s succor in paradise (loaded with eternal virgins of immaculate beauty) as says the Quran
Next verse 8:13:

The message is crystal-clear here. This means, Muslims must endeavor to take hold of those vile unbelievers, who oppose Allah and Muhammad mission (i.e., reject Islam) and “cut off their heads, and strike off all the ends of the fingers.” Allah’s clear words are enough; nothing more is needed to be said on this.

Let me move on the last verse 9:111:
This can be accurately dubbed as the verse of 9/11 attacks. Life of Muslims has been purchased by Allah for fighting in Allah’s cause (i.e., Jihad), in which they must slay and be slain. That is, they must wage Jihad and try their best to slay the kafirs. Obviously some Jihadis would be killed in such holy wars. But this death in Jihad battles, called martyrdom, is no loss for Muslims; instead, it the greatest, the most desirable, thing ever can happen to a Muslim; because, this martyrdom gives him a ticket for straight landing in Allah’s paradise. Getting a ticket to paradise, believe Muslims, is the central aim of their every action in this world.

Some master deceivers of Islam would tell us that Jihad means struggling with the self, which will help them gain paradise. I hope, some of them will come forward and explain to us as to how struggling with the self would result in slaying the kafirs and getting killed in the process. Probably Ghouse can enlighten us on that.

Let me emphasize that Ghouse has done little research on the Quran. Moreover, he is either a good-hearted person with little knowledge of Islam or he is on a mission of deceiving the gullible kafirs. The fact that he said,

Has Ghouse torn away those pages of his Quran that contain these manufactured verses of brutality?

Let me emphasize to the reader that engaging with ignorants or deceivers like Ghouse takes us to no meaningful enlightenment on the subject. Therefore, I may wish to conclude this debate here, unless Ghouse comes forward with some solid, well-researched, arguments that deserve a response.

However, if readers are keen to get a full picture of the incitement of violence (i.e., Jihad) in Islam, I urge them to get a copy of my just-released book, “Islam Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism and Slavery.”
I am getting some very encouraging assessments on the book from experts, including from top professors (see in the link). I believe this book will have a strong humanizing impact on Muslims (the radical ones), while help everyone understand why the world today is mired in the horror of terrorism.

MA Khan is a liberal humanist and the author of Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism, and Slavery. He also edits the Islam-watch.org website. Email this • Digg This! • Submit to Reddit • Save to del.icio.us • Submit to Propeller • Stumble It!