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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Q49:13 - Role of Muslims in a society

http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/2010/08/q4913-role-of-muslims-in-society.html

What does it take to build orderly societies?
What does it take for you, me and others to feel safe and live in peace?

Individuals and nations cannot have peace exclusively, if others around them are in peace, then your peace is automatic. It is in the interests of individuals and nations to work for mutual peace. You cannot be safe if you threaten others as you live in constant fear of getting run over in your vulnerable moments.

The answer lies in a detailed study of Sura Hujurat in Quraan. It is all about getting to know each other, so we can remove myths and misunderstandings and live in peace. Please remember that Quraan is not for any particular group, it is for the whole humanity.

Indeed, the World Muslim Congress is driven by Sura 49:13 with the mission to work for a world of co-existence through inclusiveness and participation. As a member of diverse family of faiths, our efforts will be directed towards justice and equity to attain peace for the humankind with a firm grounding in commonly held values. We cannot have advantages at the cost of others. Such benefits are temporary and deleterious to lasting peace. We believe what is good for Muslims has got to be good for the world, and vice versa, to sustain it. Here is our mission: http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/WorldMuslimCongress/Articles/Mission-Statement.asp

What do Muslims have to do? We have to learn to be a part of the society we live in, here is an American relevance applicable in every nation. http://wisdomofreligion.blogspot.com/2009/04/are-muslims-part-of-american-story.html

I believe, when we subscribe to the idea of Islam, that is submission to the will of God, which is to create peace and harmony for humanity, then our role as Muslims is to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill.

More posting will be added on 49:13 as we move forward.

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَى وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ (49:13)
Ya ayyuha alnnasu inna khalaqnakum min thakarin waontha wajaAAalnakum shuAAooban waqabaila litaAAarafoo inna akramakum AAinda Allahi atqakum inna Allaha AAaleemun khabeerunSahih International

O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.

Asad's interpretation:49:13 (Asad) O men! Behold, We have created you all out of a male and a female, [15] and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another. [16] Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him. Behold, God is all-knowing, all-aware.

[15] "We have created every one of you out of a father and a mother" (Zamakhshari , Razi, Baydawi) - implying that this equality of biological origin is reflected in the equality of the human dignity common to all.(Quran Ref: 49:13 )

[16] I.e., know that all belong to one human family, without any inherent superiority of one over another (Zamakhshari ). This connects with the exhortation, in the preceding two verses, to respect and safeguard each other’s dignity. In other words, men’s evolution into "nations and tribes" is meant to foster rather than to diminish their mutual desire to understand and appreciate the essential human oneness underlying their outward differentiations; and, correspondingly, all racial, national or tribal prejudice (asabiyyah) is condemned - implicitly in the Qur’an, and most explicitly by the Prophet (see second half of note 15 on 28:15). In addition, speaking of people’s boasting of their national or tribal past, the Prophet said: "Behold, God has removed from you the arrogance of pagan ignorance (jahiliyyah) with its boast of ancestral glories. Man is but a God-conscious believer or an unfortunate sinner. All people are children of Adam, and Adam was created out of dust." (Fragment of a hadith quoted by Tirmidhi and Abu Da'ud, on the authority of Abu Hurayrah.)(Quran Ref: 49:13 )

Tafsir al-JalalaynO mankind! We have indeed created you from a male and a female, [from] Adam and Eve, and made you nations (shu‘ūb is the plural of sha‘b, which is the broadest category of lineage) and tribes (qabā’il, which are smaller than nations, and are followed by ‘amā’ir, ‘tribal districts’, then butūn, ‘tribal sub-districts’, then afkhādh, ‘sub-tribes’, and finally fasā’il, ‘clans’; for example Khuzayma is the sha‘b, while Kināna is the qabīla, Quraysh is the ‘imāra, Qusayy is the batn, Hāshim is the fakhdh, and ‘Abbās is the fasīla) that you may come to know one another (ta‘ārafū: one of the two tā’ letters [of tata‘ārafū] has been omitted), that you may acquire knowledge of [the customs of] one another and not to boast to one another of [whose is the more] noble lineage, for pride lies only in [the extent to which you have] fear of God. Truly the noblest of you in the sight of God is the most God-fearing among you. Truly God is Knower, of you, Aware, of your inner thoughts.

Mike Ghouse is a speaker on Islam and Pluralism and offers pluralistic solutions to the issues of the day, a frequent guest at the media. His works is encapsulated in 22 blogs and 3 websites listed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Qur’aan, Surah Hijr 15:26-30

Apparently the verses from 15:24-30 were mistranslated to suit one group over the other as the note below indicates. I will add a note after hearing from Mr. Dhaliwal.

thank God, no one had dared to make a change in the Arabic version of Qur’an since its inception, however there have been three mistranslations, two of which I am familiar with, one was paid to mistranslate in 1142 AD by the European Kings around the crusades times to have the Christians hate Muslims; the other one was by Hilali Khan in 1922 after the fall of Ottoman Empire to rally up Muslim support by creating enemies out of Jews and Christians. I am not familiar with the third one, apparently during King Aurangzeb’s time. Aurangzeb was an honest man, but was an intolerant fanatic towards Hindus and apparently Sikhs.

Qur’an, like all other holy books is a book of guidance for humanity to co-exist in harmony and peace, the religious scriptures are God’s love for his creation. Just as the Nuclear power in the hands of good men and women can be beneficent to humanity and destructive in the wrong hands, the holy books are the same. Neither Qur’an, nor Nuclear powers are bad, it is whose hands in it is that determine the outcome. Fortunately, the intolerants ones are less than 1/10th of 1% of the population.

The best way to understand a verse is to read five verses before and after, and read at least three translations to get the right meaning. Finding the truth is one’s own responsibility.
To prevent mis-posting of this essay, I have posted the original at:

Mike Ghouse
http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/
http://www.worldmuslimcongress.com/
http://www.worldmuslimcongress.org/
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15:24 (Asad) and well do We know [the hearts and deeds of all human beings - both] those who lived before you and those who will come after you; (Or: "those of you who hasten forward [towards Us], and those who lag behind". Both these interpretations are considered equally legitimate by the early commentators)
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15:25 (Asad) and, behold, it is thy Sustainer who will gather them all together [on Judgment Day]: verily, He is wise, all-knowing! -
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15:26 (Asad) AND, INDEED, We have created man out of sounding clay, out of dark-slime transmuted -

There are many references in the Qur'an to man's having been "created out of clay (tin)" or "out of dust (turab)", both these terms signifying man's lowly biological origins as well as the fact that his body is composed of various organic and inorganic substances existing-in other combinations or in their elementary forms-on or in the earth. The term salsal, occurring in three verses of this surah as well as in 55:14, adds a further dimension to this concept. According to most of the philological authorities, it denotes "dried clay that emits a sound" (i.e., when it is struck); and since it is used in the Qur'an exclusively with reference to the creation of man, it seems to contain an allusion to the power of articulate speech which distinguishes man from all other animal species, as well as to the brittleness of his existence (cf. the expression "like pottery" in 55:14). As the construction of the sentence shows, this salsal is stated to have evolved (Razi) out of hama' - which, according to some authorities, is the plural of ham'ah, signifying "dark, fetid mud" or "dark slime"-while the participial adjective masnun which qualifies this noun denotes, as Razi points out, both "altered" (i.e., in its composition) and "brought into shape": hence my rendering of this expression as "transmuted", which to some extent combines both of the above meanings. To my mind, we have here a description of the primeval biological environment out of which the "sounding clay" - the matrix, as it were - of man's physical body has evolved in accordance with God's plan of creation.(Quran Ref: 15:26 )
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15:27 (Asad) whereas the invisible beings We had created, [long] before that, out of the fire of scorching winds

"out of the confusing flame of fire (marij min nar)": i.e., of non-corporeal elements. The noun al-jann, rendered by me as "the invisible beings", is in reality a singular, denoting here the kind of these particular beings or forces, similar to the use of the singular noun "man" (al-insan) which describes the collective entity "mankind".

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15:28 (Asad) And lo! Thy Sustainer said unto the angels: "Behold, I am about to create mortal man out of sounding clay, out of dark slime transmuted; -
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15:29 (Asad) and when I have formed him fully and breathed into him of My spirit, fall down before him in prostration!

The allegorical character of all the passages bearing on the creation of man and on God's command to the angels to prostrate themselves before him is brought out clearly in God's saying, "I am about to create mortal man ... ; and when I have formed him fully. ..", etc.: for it is obvious that, in reality, no lapse of time is required for God's completing His creation - since, "when He wills a thing to be, He but says unto it, 'Be'-and it is" (cf. 2:117, 3:47 and 59, 6:73, 16:40, 19:35, 36:82 and 40:68). God's "breathing of His spirit" into man is obviously a metaphor for His endowing him with life and consciousness: that is, with a soul.(Quran Ref: 15:29 )
Mike Ghouse comments: there are several references where God tells the angels to bow to the man he has just created. In essence, God is asking to look up to man who is not an automatic machine to be in peace and free from conflicts, but has the free will and will strive to achieve peace, a state of conflict free, guilt free life.
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15:30 (Asad) Thereupon the angels prostrated themselves, all of them together, -
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15:31 (Asad) save Iblis: he refused to be among those who prostrated themselves. [27] -
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15:32 (Asad) Said He: "O Iblis! What is thy reason for not being among those who have prostrated themselves?" -
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15:33 (Asad) [Iblis] replied: "It is not for me to prostrate myself before mortal man whom Thou hast created out of sounding clay, out of dark slime transmuted!"

Mike’s comments: This signifies lack of trust in God by Iblis (Shaitaan) and arrogance to bow in front of a thinking and independent creature.
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15:34 (Asad) Said He: "Go forth, then, from this [angelic state]: for, behold, thou art [henceforth] accursed.

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Avtar Dhaliwal to me July 27, 2010

Dear Mike,
Greetings. I hope by now you are well recovered from the exhausting Parliament meeting in Melbourne, Australia.

I am working on my article on Sacred Scriptures and its Intended use—misinterpretations.
Apparently, during my presentation, I did not apply the qualified translation which resulted in misunderstanding By our friend from Bombay. I apologize for not gathering my information correctly. I had applied the translation that was posted on the Internet by ‘Quran Explorer.com’. I have no intension of denigrating any sacred books.

You had mentioned that correct translation is available for Surah 15:26-30.

However, a Sabd by Guru Nanak Ji had been misinterpreted by the Clerks in the court of Aurangzeb, and the same interpretation has been copied in Sikh literature for the last 350 years.
I am trying to get the correct explication of the misinterpreted Sabd in Sikhism. In reference to that I need Correct translation of Surah 15:26-30.

Will you please, send the correct translation in the English language as well as in the Urdu language.
Thanks for time.
Wishing the best.
Avtar S. Dhaliwal
Tennessee, USA

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Quraan Misunderstood 60:4 and 5:33

Every day, someone or the other jumps up claiming Quraan has hateful verses. I realize "hate" and "lies" sell and bring serious monies to some of these men and women. Of course, most of them are genuinely mistaken quoting the quote without having the urge to search for the veracity of such quotes dished out to them.

At one time, I beleived in those misquotes and had turned myself away from religion for nearly 30 years, until I realize that even if my Imam, Pastor, Rabbi or Pundit tells me one thing, truth is my own salvation. Now, I have developed an unflinchable confidence that God, no matter what book it is; Torah, Bible, Gita, Quraan Avesta or others... communicates about justice and balance in the society.

Geert Wilders wrote a piece why he hates Islam, as he has done twice before with the movie Fitna and quoting verses that were not there in Quraan, but shamelessly many a American dumb gullible Senators believed him, without even trying to find the truth. I responded to him in detail, he did not care - like Mr. Bush with WMD's, he know it was a lie, but he still went out on destructive rampage.

My response to Geert Wilders Message to Muslims Mike Ghouse 20 Jul 2010 was picked by Faith freedom group, another group bent on falsifying or genuinely don't care about the truth.

Here is their claim and my response.

The Faithfreedom http://forum09.faithfreedom.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&p=118556 writes the following verses from Qur’an in my responses to Geert Wilders at http://www.muslimsdebate.com/faces/sn.php?nid=644

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Faithfreedom quotes and writes;

Koran 60:4
There is for you an excellent example (to follow) in Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people: "We are clear of you and of whatever ye worship besides God: we have rejected you, and there has arisen, between us and you, enmity and hatred for ever, - unless ye believe in God and Him alone": But not when Abraham said to his father: "I will pray for forgiveness for thee, though I have no power (to get) aught on thy behalf from God." (They prayed): "Our Lord! In Thee do we trust, and to Thee do we turn in repentance: to Thee is (our) Final Goal.

Koran 60:4 sets out the Islamic position of hatred and enmity towards those who do not accept Allah and Muhammad.

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Mike Ghouse quotes the verse from Qur’aan

Qur’aan, 60:4 (Asad) Indeed, you have had a good example in Abraham and those who followed him, when they said unto their [idolatrous] people: "Verily, we are quit of you and of all that you worship instead of God: we deny the truth of whatever you believe; and between us and you there has arisen enmity and hatred, to last until such a time as you come to believe in the One God!" The only exception was Abraham's saying to his father "I shall indeed pray for [God's] forgiveness for thee, although I have it not in my power to obtain anything from God in thy behalf." [And Abraham and his followers prayed:] "O our Sustainer! In Thee have we placed our trust, and unto Thee do we turn: for unto Thee is all journeys' end.

This narration is about Abraham‘s experience, and not about Allah or Muhammad. However, we have to continue to understand the wisdom of the holy books of all religions. Religion was about peace making and not otherwise.

One God is referred to as oneness of creation, oneness of the universe and one family with diverse members in it. The idea is not the opposition of idolatry, but the opposition of enmity that is bred by individual Gods who are an extension of one’s ego and a sources of conflict. It was the idea of an abstract God that mitigated the conflicts among the warring tribes during Abraham and continued till this day. Even if there were a million Gods, from a humanistic point of view, one of them ends up ruling the others to have harmony among them.

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The Faith freedom writes;

Koran 5:33
The recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and do mischief in the land is only that they shall be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off on the opposite sides, or be exiled from the land.

`Wage war' mentioned here means, oppose and contradict, and it includes disbelief, blocking roads and spreading fear in the fairways. Mischief in the land refers to various types of evil.

Does Mike Ghouse support the "recompense" of those who oppose the theology of Islam?

Would he like to explain just these two verses out of the many that he would need to either support or reject?

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Mike Ghouse

The recompense referred to here is “against those who wage war”. Every nation follows that policy, indeed, when Osama Bin Laden waged war against us, we attempted to recompense that evil man for waging the war, and we still trying to do that. Although we are destroying others thoughtlessly instead of getting the evil man and hang him, if he were caught in Texas, we will electrocute him.

Indeed, the Qur’an adds, if the aggressors stop the aggression, do not go after them. Is there any nation on this earth, or an individual who would not stop the aggressor?