Friday, July 8, 2011

Don’t make Allies with Jews and Christians 5:51

Qur'an , Sura Al-Ma'idah (The Table Spread) Verse: 5: 51

My Ghouse

This myth suits the right winger Muslims, Christians and Jews alike, whereas the moderate majority goes on living and befriending every one they connect with without regard to religion, race, ethnicity or culture.
Qur’an is a book of wisdom that guides humanity to find ways to co-exist in harmony, in spiritual terms that is Islam. God is not your property or mine, God belongs to all, we are all his, her or its’ creation and he loves his creation and offers that wisdom to every tribe, community and a nation. No one is above the other to him, only those who score 100 get extra recognition, all others pass and a few fails.

I know a few basics in Arabic; read and write and understand some. But there are enough translations out there to keep you up with its essence. I have resisted the temptation to learn Arabic – for I do not want to lose my ability to understand it as a non-Muslims would understand and bridge the gap as much as I can.

Here is the actual translation by Muhammad Asad;

Quran 5:51, (Asad) "O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not take the Jews and the Christians for your allies: they are but allies of one another [72] and whoever of you allies himself with them becomes, verily, one of them; behold, God does not guide such evildoers. [73]"

[72] According to most of the commentators (e.g., Tabari), this means that each of these two communities extends genuine friendship only to its own adherents-i.e., the Jews to the Jews, and the Christians to the Christians-and cannot, therefore, be expected to be really friendly towards the followers of the Qur'an. See also 8:73, and the corresponding note

 Lit., "the evildoing folk": i.e., those who deliberately sin in this respect. As regards the meaning of the "alliance" referred to here, see 3:28, and more particularly 4:139 and the corresponding note, which explains the reference to a believer's loss of his moral identity if he imitates the way of life of, or-in Qur'anic terminology-"allies himself" with, non-Muslims. 

However, as has been made abundantly clear in 60:7-9 (and implied in verse 57 of this surah), this prohibition of a "moral alliance" with non-Muslims does not constitute an injunction against normal, friendly relations with such of them as are well-disposed towards Muslims. It should be borne in mind that the term wali has several shades of meaning: "ally", "friend", "helper", "protector", etc. The choice of the particular term - and sometimes a -combination of two terms-is always dependent on the context.(Quran Ref: 5:51 )."

Quran 60:7-9

Quran 60:7 (Asad),  [But] it may well be that God will bring about [mutual] affection between you [O believers] and some of those whom you [now] face as enemies: for, God is all-powerful - and God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.  
Quran 60:8 (Asad), As for such [of the unbelievers] as do not fight against you on account of [your] faith, and neither drive you forth from your homelands, God does not forbid you to show them kindness and to behave towards them with full equity: for, verily, God loves those who act equitably.

Quran 60:9 (Asad), God only forbids you to turn in friendship towards such as fight against you because of [your] faith, and drive you forth from your homelands, or aid [others] in driving you forth: and as for those [from among you] who turn towards them in friendship; it is they, they who are truly wrongdoers!

When there is a conflict with one, you make allies with the other to find solutions, it is human nature. But If there is already an alliance between the other two, as it is explicit in the verse, then you proceed with caution, a common human trait, as the purpose of finding solutions gets stinted. You are on your own to figure out the best solution.

When Ferdinand expelled Jews and Muslims, they were allies against Christian ire at that time, they were allies in Spain, and they were allies in Jerusalem during the crusades.

The Palestinian Christians and Muslims are allies against Israel's occupation, and you find different combinations to find security and balance among those who are oppressed.

The reference to evil doers applies to those who are evil doers and resist finding a peaceful solution. Evildoers are those who are a hindrance to a peaceful existence, and it could be Muslims, Jews, Christians or anyone.

Despite how the verse is interpreted by the right, the Muslims and Jews were allies in Spain and elsewhere, indeed the Jewish history calls it their Golden period. The Israel Palestinian conflict has really goofed up a lot of equations, giving it different colors and nuances.

Indeed the right wingers among Muslims believe the verse to mean not to make friends with Jews and Christians. That is not the case with most moderate Muslims as they see them fellow beings in a belief in the oneness of God.

Now if the Circumcision ban, Kosher/ Halal ban gains grounds Jews and Muslims will be allies against a common threat to their existence, again it is a natural thing, as Quraan calls it Fitra. I was one of the first Muslims to stand up with Jews on many occasions including the impending-but-going-to-failed ban on circumcision.

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The nature of right wingers no matter what religion they wear translates into pre-emptive attacks as a measure of security. They are insecure and constantly live in imagined threats, and pump themselves to explode on to others, some bomb other nations, some attack on public media. The real clash occurs between the right-wingers of religions and politicians and not the majority of good people.

I am friends with humanity regardless of their religion. I have chosen to be a Muslim and I will remain one with no bias towards one single human being. I am writing a piece called Mukhlooqul Aalameen – an extension of Rabbul Aalameen to Rahmatul Aalameen to Mukhlooqul Aalameen, that is the ultimate in Islamic spirituality, you become Brahma where no distinctions between you and another being fade.

Mike Ghouse is committed to building cohesive Societies and nurturing the pluralistic values embedded in Islam for the good of humanity. What is good for Muslims has got to be good for the world and Vice-Versa to sustain peace and harmony on the planet.

Thank you, Mike, for your response. As a follow-up question to your response, may I ask you if you know the Arabic of the Quran and if you are familiar with the terms and the words that the people of the Tribe of Quraish used in the time of the Prophet Muhammad?

You say that Yusuf Ali was influenced by the Mufassirs in his translation of the Quran. Perhaps, you are correct in your understanding, but would you please explain who those Mufassirs were and where they got their knowledge from?

For your information, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is the cradle of Islam and whose only official language is Arabic, has approved only one English translation of the Quran and it is by Yusuf Ali. His translation was scrutinized by a committee of Arabic speaking scholars of Quran, Hadiths, and Tafsir and they also looked into each word Yusuf Ali has used in his translation.

Only after a thorough examination of his translation and commentary, was Ali's translation approved for being very close to the Arabic words of the Quran - a privilege and honor that no other translator of the Quran has been able to earn from the very nation of which Muhammad was a son and a Prophet!

Now coming to Mohammad Asad, he has translated verse 5:51 almost in the same words that Yusuf Ali and Pickthall have used in their respective translations. Asad's translation reads:

"O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors of each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily God guideth, not a people unjust."

Since Asad appears to you to be more credible in the translation of the Quran than other translators, can you please tell me if you agree with the above translation of his and if you follow what Allah has clearly told the Muslims in regard to their relationship with the Jews and Christians?

As a Muslim, do you take the Jews and the Christians to be your friends and if you do, can you please tell me if you have not become a Jew (if you have taken a Jew as your friend) or a Christian (if you have taken a Christian as your friend)?

Or, do you think that the passages of the Quran, like the above, need to be changed, or "interpreted" differently, keeping our present time and circumstances in mind?

You're considered and educative discourse will be very helpful to me. Thanks.


From: ""
Sent: Fri, July 8, 2011 10:01:15 AM

Subject: Re: Logans Challenge to Frequent Sean Hannity Guest Mike Ghouse


Muhammad Asad is by far the best, not absolutely, but relatively.
While Yusuf Ali, Pickthall were the early ones, they were going in circles and were influenced by the Mufassirs of the yore. Need fresh thinking.
The bad ones are done by the Europeans and Hilali Khan
In a message dated 7/8/2011 11:08:18 A.M. Central Daylight Time, writes:
You have written:

"Robert Spencer, Geert Wilders, Brigitte Gabriel, Nonie Darwish, Wafa Sultan, Alan Dershowitz, Ali Sina and a host of others are guided by those translations and it suits them to sell hate and frightened nincompoops write those checks. "
Could you please let me know which translation of the Quran into English you believe is correct and it is done by whom? In other words, whose translation of the Quran you have read or are reading to make the above claim? Thanks.
Mohammad Asghar
From: ""
Sent: Thu, July 7, 2011 10:10:05 PM
Subject: Logans Challenge to Frequent Sean Hannity Guest Mike Ghouse

Facts don't matter to some. They did not matter to Bush
I am pleased to respond to Logan’s challenge on the net hoping he and his friends will be open to seeing another point of view. I pray that he and his friends read this with an open mind and an open heart. (of the 3200 words nearly 2400 are quotes from Quraan)
Each one of us bears responsibility to do his or her share of work in creating cohesive societies where everyone feels safe and secure, and trust one another to make life easier for one and the others. You and I are responsible for our own actions and we have to do our share of good in creating such societies. We have a choice not do a thing and not hear from any.
Just around the crusades, the European kings commissioned a hostile Quran translation to foster warfare against Muslim invaders to get their subject to go fight for them. Then after the fall of Ottoman Empire, a Muslim turns around and produced a hostile translation of Quran to inflame Muslims against Christians and Jews.
Religions were introduced to bring sanity to people, most people get it and few don’t. There are a few Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Jews and others who don’t get their religion and resort to oppression and hate mongering without realizing it. If they spend their energy on building peace we will have a much better society to live.
Robert Spencer, Geert Wilders, Brigitte Gabriel, Nonie Darwish, Wafa Sultan, Alan Dershowitz, Ali Sina and a host of others are guided by those translations and it suits them to sell hate and frightened nincompoops write those checks.
I am willing to discuss this further, if there is intellectual discussion without judgments, if not, don’t expect me to correspond any further. I have referenced some material below where a few men have run off instead of dealing with the issues they raised.

Here is my respose to Logann's challenge:
Your comments at the site are appreciated.

Mike Ghouse

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