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Archive for the ‘Qur’anic misconceptions’ Category

“So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” (9:5)

At the infancy of Islam, Muslims encountered physical resistance from Pagans in Saudi Arabia and surrounding areas. The new religion posed a threat to the predictability and established lifestyles and ideologies found in pre-Islamic Arabia, and thus some Pagans found the need to try to wage war against Muslims in order to rid the area of their influence. Al-Tawba deals with the peace treaty signed between Muhammed and the leaders of the Pagan army. It was a period of ceased hostilities between Muslims and Pagans in order for those pagans who wished to abandon fighting Muslims to leave the area and for Pagans who wanted to switch sides in war to do so. Upon understanding the historical reference of this verse, I will now post the verses surrounding it, in order to show the context of it:

“This is a declaration of immunity by Allah and His Messenger towards those of the idolaters with whom you made an agreement.” 9:1

“Go ye, then, for four months, backwards and forwards, (as ye will), throughout the land, but know ye that ye cannot frustrate Allah (by your falsehood) but that Allah will cover with shame those who reject Him.” 9:2

“And an announcement from Allah and His Messenger to the people on the day of the greater pilgrimage that Allah and His Messenger are free from liability to the idolaters; therefore if you repent, it will be better for you, and if you turn back, then know that you will not weaken Allah; and announce painful punishment to those who disbelieve..” 9:3

Except those of the idolaters with whom you made an agreement, then they have not failed you in anything and have not backed up any one against you, so fulfill their agreement to the end of their term; surely Allah loves those who are careful (of their duty).” 9:4

“But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.” 9:5

If one amongst the Pagans ask thee for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of Allah; and then escort him to where he can be secure. That is because they are men without knowledge.” 9:6

“How can there be a league, before Allah and His Messenger, with the Pagans, except those with whom ye made a treaty near the sacred Mosque? As long as these stand true to you, stand ye true to them: for Allah doth love the righteous.” 9:7

In a nutshell, Pagans were given four months to decide to abandon the war or to become Muslim. If they decided to merely abandon the war, they signed a contract with Muslims, and from then on, if the Pagans stuck to their word, hostility between those Pagans and Muslims ceased. Now, when the four months were up, the Pagans who did not sign a peace treaty then were attacked by Muslims because they made no effort to sign a peace treaty, and that’s what 9:5 is talking about, since they were at war! However, even after the four months are up, Pagans who did continue the battle Muslims, if they had asked Muslims for shelter from the war, Muslims would grant it to them, and then they’d draw up a peace treaty and they’d be on peaceful terms with Muslims so long as the Pagans stuck to their word.

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“Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, 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 those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all).” (4:34)

This verse is quoted to support that men have the right to beat their wives.  That’s all very well if you’re reading this translation and many others, however, let us look at the Arabic word used here that supposedly means TO BEAT- idribuhunna, which derives from the word daraba.  In this context, the word beat does not imply ‘hit’ but rather ‘leave’.  If you were to look at the same word that’s used elsewhere in the Qur’an, you would see that the implication of beat if not to “hit” but ‘to leave.’

 “O ye who believe! When ye go abroad (darabtum) In the cause of Allah, Investigate carefully, And say not to anyone Who offers you a salutation: ‘Thou art none of a Believer!’ Coveting the perishable good Of this life: with Allah Are profits and spoils abundant.  Even thus were ye yourselves Before, till Allah conferred On you His favours: therefore Carefully investigate.  For Allah is well aware Of all that ye do.” (4:94)

In this context, the word daraba means to leave.   Note also that the word daraba is used twice in Chapter Four, establishing a prototype.  Thus the word daraba implies leaving, not hitting.

 Still not convinced?

The Qur’an states plenty of times that husbands have ZERO right to harm their wives in anyway imaginable:

1.        “…Do not retain your wives to harm them…( 2:231)”

2.       If a wife fears cruelty or desertion on her husband’s part, there is no blame on them if they arrange an amicable settlement between themselves; and such settlement is best; even though men’s souls are swayed by greed. But if ye do good and practise self-restraint, God is well-acquainted with all that ye do.  (4:128)”

3.      “O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may take away part of the dower [money given by the husband to the wife for the marriage contract] ye have given them, except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and God brings about through it a great deal of good.  (4:19)“ 

The last resort is not to beat an unfaithful wife, but to leave her.  Note that I use the word “unfaithful” because that is the main focus of chapter four.

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This articles briefly presents a reply to the commonly held belief in many faiths that it is God (Allah) who has pre-determined the fate of people, and what ever good or bad happens to them in life is not a result of their own actions but was pre-written for them in their fate. If people are astray, then it is God to blame for that as well, according to this widely held notion in various Religions.

 With the name of Allah, the Almighty, the Most Merciful

Some time ago we received the following question by e-mail, and it indicates that some people can arrive at this conclusion superficially reading some Quranic passages.

The questioner asked:

“It is stated in Surah 14:4: And we did not send any apostle but with the language of his people, so that he might explain to them clearly; then Allah makes whom he pleases err and he guides whom he pleases, and he is the mighty, wise.

He might be mighty, but what kind of God is it who leads us astray? He says he makes whom he pleases err. Is he making me err? Does that mean I will be held accountable for my err, or is the blame on Allah? Why would Allah make me err, and would I go to hell for being made to err? I don’t understand?”

The following is a response to the above.

Do we have a free will to choose our line of action?

Many people observe the common used expression in the Quran, ie

14.4 ….Then ALLAH leaves to go astray whom He wills and guides whom He wills. And He is the Mighty, the Wise.

And by just taking this portion they come to the conclusion that people do not have any free will of their own and rather, everything that they are doing is not a result of their own intention and choice but has been divinely ordained for them in their ‘fate’ or ‘destiny’, and no matter what they do, they can not change their ‘destiny’, and are helpless. However this is a result of a narrow minded approach towards the Quran and is a conclusion formed by just looking at a portion of the verse and not observing the other verses regarding this subject at other suras. First of all let us see what does the Quran say whether we have the free will to chose our line of action or is everything we do pre planned for us ?

The following verses inform us clearly about this matter;

18:29 Say: The truth is from your Lord : Let him who will believe and let him who will reject (it)

Above verse clearly states that, to accept or reject the truth rests on a persons free will.

76:4 We have shown him the way, whether he be grateful or ungrateful.

73:19-Verily this is an Admonition: therefore whoso will let him take a (straight) path to his Lord!

25:57 Say: No reward do I ask of you for it but this: that each one who will may take a (straight) Path to his Lord.

The above verses clearly establish that human beings do have the free will to choose either way, or any path of action according to his own discretion. Allah further informs;

29:69 And those who strive in Our (cause) – We will certainly guide them to our Paths: For verily God is with those who do right.

Had our fate already been decided or sealed, Allah would have never mentioned that man is to strive in His cause, as it would have been meaningless to strive and struggle for something which has already been decided. Hence by informing that to strive in His cause we would be guided to His ways it is confirmed that it is our struggle and action that will lead us to the path and pleasure of Allah and not what has been pre destined for us in our ‘fate’. We are further reminded:

39:7 If ye reject (Allah) Truly Allah hath no need of you; but he liketh not ingratitude from his servants: if ye are grateful He is pleased with you. No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another. In the end to your Lord is your Return when He will tell you the truth of all that ye did (in this life). for He knoweth well all that is in (men’s) hearts.

If our fate was already decided, Allah would have never said; “…but he liketh not ingratitude from his servants..” As it would not be fitting to say that a certain action is not liked by Allah when it is Allah himself who has written that action for man in that persons fate !

Again we are reminded that to take guidance of Allah rests upon a persons free will and choice, and he is not under any compulsion, but it is entirely up to him whether he chooses Allah’s guidance or not. Allah informs us through His messenger:

80:11 By no means (should it be so)! For it is indeed a Message of instruction:

80:12 Therefore let whoso will keep it in remembrance.

Finally Allah in clear terms informs us that you have the freedom to act according to your choice, but your actions are under the supervision of Allah’s laws of requital.

40:41 …….Do what ye will: verily He seeth (clearly) all that ye do.

Allah gives you the freedom to work as you will. The above verses are proof that you have the freedom of choice when it comes to selecting the path of Allah and you are not under any pre ordained compulsion or any state of helplessness that what ever you are doing is not because of your will but was already decided in your ‘fate’. You very much have the freedom to chose the path you wish and use your free will in chalking out a line of action for yourself.

You have the free will and freedom of choice to work as you like, but every action you do produces a result.

Every action you do produces a result. An action consistent with the laws of Allah produces a good result and working against those laws produces a negative result.

You have been given the free will to chose as you wish, but it is not in your hands to change the results of the actions you did , i.e. you have the freedom to eat very dangerous toxic substance or poison, and as a result you can die. You did that act of your own free will, but it is not in the scope of your will to change the result of that action, i.e. it is not possible that you consume poison and as a result get very good health, instead of dying or harming your physical condition. Whatever law Allah has framed for that poisonous substance, you will get the results of that law. The type of act you do, that type of result you will get;

53.31 And Allah’s is what is in the heavens and what is in the earth, that He may reward those who do evil according to what they do, and (that) He may reward those who do good with goodness.

Every action and deed you do will be rewarded according to its nature;

45.22 And Allah created the heavens and the earth with truth and that every soul may be rewarded for what it has earned and they shall not be wronged.

If you do an act consistent or in consistent with the laws of Allah, you will get its result on your self. You cannot transfer the results of your wrong doings to anyone else. You have to pay for what you did. You have to carry your own weight Some other person can not be held accountable for what you did.

45.15 Whoever does good, it is for his own soul, and whoever does evil, it is against himself; then you shall be brought back to your– Lord.

The type of results you get is not because Allah had already decided your fate and you had no say in it and were helpless. The results you get depend on the actions and deeds you do.

27:90 And if any do evil their faces will be thrown headlong into the Fire: “Do ye receive a reward other than that which ye have earned by your deeds?

37.38 Most surely you will taste the painful punishment.

37.39 And you shall not be rewarded except (for) what you did.

If your actions and deeds where not consistent to the laws and commandments of Allah, you will get the results for those deeds as Allah has ordained:

52:13 That Day shall they be thrust down to the Fire of Hell irresistibly.

52:14 This: it will be said: Is the Fire – which ye were wont to deny!

52:15 Is this then a fake or is it ye that do not see?

52:16 Burn ye therein: the same is it to you whether ye bear it with patience or not: Ye but receive the recompense of your (own) deeds.

If your actions were consistent and in accordance with Allah’s laws you will get their results likewise;

52:17 As to the Righteous they will be in Gardens and in Happiness

52:18 Enjoying the (Bliss) which their Lord hath bestowed on them and their Lord shall deliver them from the Penalty of the Fire.

52:19 (To them will be said:) “Eat and drink ye with profit and health because of your deeds

Each and every action will be recompensed and rewarded. Whether it is done by a man or a woman:

3:196 So their Lord answered their prayers, saying, `I will suffer not the work of any worker from among you, whether male or female, to be lost. You are from one another….

You will most certainly be held accountable for the type of actions you chose to do, and the blame is definitely not on Allah.

7:147 I shall soon turn away from My Signs those who behave proudly in the land in an unjust manner; and even if they see all the Signs, they will not believe therein; and if they see the way of righteousness, they will not adapt it as their way; but if they see the way of error, they will adopt it as their way. That is because they treated our signs as lies and were heedless of them.

7:148 And those who reject Our Signs and the meeting of the Hereafter – their works are vain. can they expect to be rewarded for anything except for what they do ?

If you chose to behave in the manner described in the above verse, then you will be turned away from the signs of Allah according to the law of Allah which is expressed as His will. You are to blame yourself for this as you chose to behave in this manner by your free will. It is you yourself who is responsible for the negative results you get for your actions and Allah is not to be blamed. He reminds in clear terms;

10:45 Certainly, Allah wrongs not men at all; it is they who wrong their own souls.

The following verses are more specific in informing that in case you do an act inconsistent with Allah’s law because of that you will be held accountable, and it is not Allah who is to blame:

16:33 Do they wait until the angels come to them or there comes the Command of thy Lord ? So did those who went before them. But Allah wronged them not :nay they wronged their own souls.

16:34 But the evil results of their deeds overtook them and that very (Wrath) at which they had scoffed hemmed them in.

You are yourself responsible for your actions, and in case you do wrong then the blame is on you, not on Allah, as the verse reminds;

41.46 Whoever does good, it is for his own soul, and whoever does evil, it is against it; and your Lord is not in the least unjust to his servants.

The will of Allah expressed as His laws:

Allah has expressed His will as His laws. His laws are ordained and in action in the physical universe, i.e. in the phenomena of nature as well as in the form of His guidance for Mankind contained in Al-Quran, which governs human affairs, and which also is unchangeable and permanent. Now the will of Allah is expressed in the Quran, but Allah has given us the free will to either accept those laws and derive the benefit from them in this world as well as the next life. Or go against those laws and suffer the consequences again in this world as well as the next. On one hand the Quran gives us the description and results of following the commandments of Allah, while on the other it also describes what would be the consequences of going against them. Both ways, if we select the path of Allah, or reject it, the results have been defined. Remember, the will of Allah is manifested by His permanent laws in the physical universe as well as human affairs.

It is the law of Allah which is permanent and fixed, not the fate of mankind. If man follows the commands of Allah he will get the results as ordained in law, if he goes against them he will again get the results as in Allah’s law. Man has been given the free will to select either way. Follow the commandments or go against them. In both ways the results will be produced accordingly, and those results cannot be changed. Now I’ll give examples of this from general science as well as Quranic verses

Allah has ordained the law for fire that if we put our hand in it, our hand will get burned. The burning properties of fire are ordained as a law by Allah. It isn’t possible that we put our hand in fire and get the result as if we had placed it in a cool place. Our burned hand will not get healed unless we treat it with medicine, and apply another law of Allah in the form of healing properties of the medicine. Putting our hand in the fire was an act which we committed by ourselves. It was our job to know and be aware that fire can burn, and in case we didn’t, then it is our own fault, and not the consequences of our fate.

Coming to the portion of the verse which is causing confusion:

14.4 ….Then ALLAH leaves to go astray whom He wills and guides whom He wills. And He is the Mighty, the Wise.

Now who are the people who are astray and what are their characteristics, this is abundantly clarified in the Quran at many places. Some verses that define those who are astray according to the law (will) of Allah are given below. Do note, if you have the qualities as mentioned in those verses then you are also astray according to Allah’s laws.

Who are the people who are led astray according to the law of Allah? 

1- Those who are transgressors (fasiqoon):

2.26 Surely Allah is not ashamed to set forth any parable– (that of) a gnat or any thing above that; then as for those who believe, they know that it is the truth from their Lord, and as for those who disbelieve, they say: What is it that Allah means by this parable: He causes many to err by it and many He leads aright by it! but He does not cause to err by it (any) except the transgressors”

2-Those who are take shayateen (satans) as friends and protectors:

7:30 Some He hath guided: Others have (by their choice) deserved the loss of their way; in that they took the devils in preference to God for their friends and protectors and think that they receive guidance.

22:4 About the (Evil One) it is decreed that whoever turns to him for friendship him will he lead astray and he will guide him to the Penalty of the Fire.

3- Those who disobey Allah and His messenger:

33:36 …. and whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he surely STRAYS off a manifest straying.

4- Those who are oppressors and are unjust (zalimun):

14.27 Allah confirms those who believe with the sure word in this world’s life and in the hereafter, and Allah causes the unjust to go astray, and Allah does what He pleases.

5- Those who do not use their faculties of reasoning and listening to analyze the message of Allah:

25.44 Or do you think that most of them do hear or use their reasoning? They are nothing but as cattle; nay, they are straying farther off from the path.

6- Those who follow the opinions of their chiefs and great men instead of the message of Allah

33.67 And they shall say: O our Lord! surely we obeyed our leaders and our great men, so they led us astray from the path;

7- Those who are blind and heedless to the message of Allah:

17:72 But those who were blind in this world will be blind in the hereafter and most astray from the Path.

8- Those who follow the opinions of the people who are in a majority:

6.116 And if you obey most of those in the earth, they will lead you astray from Allah’s way; they follow but conjecture and they only lie.

9- Those who follow their desires:

6.56 Say: I am forbidden to serve those whom you call upon besides Allah. Say: I do not follow your desires. for then indeed I should have gone astray and I should not be of those who go aright.

The above verses describe who are those people who are led astray. Anyone who has above mentioned qualities manifested in him (or her) is astray according to the law of Allah. Compare above with what Quran says about who are the people who will get Allah’s guidance? See these verses 39:18 , 13:27 , 6:125 etc.

Above verses are clear in establishing that man has the freedom of choice to select right or wrong in his life. He will be rewarded according to the type of actions he does. Allah is not to be blamed for his wrong doings but he is to blame himself. People are led astray not because Allah wants them to go astray but by choosing those qualities for themselves which Allah has termed to be of those who are astray from his path. Their free selection of those qualities e.g. transgression, disobedience, following desires, not using reasoning and intellect in ascertaining the truth etc is what is making them astray and not Allah.

Conclusion:

It will be apparent from engaging into a deep study of the Quran and by cross referencing its verses that it does not require belief in fatalism nor in predestination, but only in pre-measurement; that is to say the fixity of the laws and the intelligence to follow them. Human beings have the free will to follow whatever course of action that have decided to choose for themselves, however the results of their actions will be in accordance with the laws that have been measured for such actions. If they suffer, then it is because of their own choices, and they should not put the blame for their misgivings on Allah.

Source.

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“O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends/awliya: They are but friends to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust.” (5:51)The Arabic word used here is awliya which is mistakenly translated to mean friends. The singular form of awliya is wali and the concept is walaah. As we see in the following verses, the word “wali” is used plenty of times in various verses, all that demonstrate that the word “wali” does not mean friendship, but protector/guardian.

“Allah is the Protector/Wali of those who believe. He takes them out from the depths of darkness to light…” (2: 257)

“And whosoever is killed unjustly, We have granted his next kin “wali” the authority to seek judgment or punishment in this case…” (17:33)

Therefore, a more accurate translation of 5:51 would be the following:

“O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your protectors: They are but protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust.”

In fact, the whole idea of Muslims being instructed to not befriend Christians and Judaists is incongruous with the various verses of the Qur’an that instruct Muslims to not discriminate against people on any basis, to be kind to them all, and just:

“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah as witnesses to fair dealings and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just, that is next to piety. Fear Allah, indeed Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do.” (5:8)

AND

“Allah forbids you not with regard to those who fight you not for your faith, nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them. For Allah loves those who are just. Allah only forbids you with regard to those who fight you for your faith, and drive you out of your homes and support others in driving you out, from turning to them for protection (or taking them as wali). Those who seek their protection they are indeed wrong- doers.” (60:8-9)

AND

“O mankind! We created you from a single pair of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other not that ye may despise each other. Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is he who is the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted with all things.” (49:13)

Additionally, 5:51 does not make a reference to ALL Christians and Jews, just those who were at war with Muslims, such as the Roman Christians and some of the Jews of Medina, which is supported here:

“O ye who believe! Take not my enemies and yours as protectors/awliya,- offering them your love, even though they have rejected the Truth that has come to you, and have on the contrary driven out the Prophet and yourselves from your homes, simply because ye believe in Allah your Lord! If ye have come out to strive in My Way and to seek My Good Pleasure, take them not as friends/almaratha, holding secret converse of love and friendship/almaratha with them: for I know full well all that ye conceal and all that ye reveal. And any of you that does this has strayed from the Straight Path.” (60:1)

So this chapter forbids taking those as protectors who have driven the Prophet or Muslims out of their homes and who betray and attack Muslims as soon as opportunity presents itself.

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“They ask you about menstruation: Say, it is a discomfort; you shall avoid sexual intercourse with the women during menstruation; do not approach them until they are rid of it. Once they are rid of it, you may have intercourse with them in the manner designed by God. God loves those who are clean. Your women are the bearers of your seed. Thus, you may enjoy this privilege however you like, so long as you maintain righteousness. You shall observe God, and know that you will meet Him. Give good news to the believers.” (2:222-223)

This verse is continuously quoted by “Islamic scholars” in order to lead Muslims down the road of believing menstruating women are contaminated, and thus they are not to perform prayer or fast, given their state of impurity.  They ignore context, content, and audience, intentionally or not, I’m not here to argue that matter.

1)  The audience for this verse are males, as demonstrated by the following phrase:  “Your women are the bearers of your seed.”  This clearly cannot be directed at women (lesbians/bisexuals) but possessors of penises.

-Going by the audience, we are to understand that this verse deals with addressing men about having sex with their wives.  They are to stay away from their wives during menses to maintain good hygiene. 

2)  These verses make no point towards women not being allowed to fulfill their religious obligations given the fact that they are directed at males and sexual activity, and only males and sexual activity.  God would have made the statement directed at an audience of women had it dealt with their impure state to pray or fast, given menstruation is a feminine issue.

Additionally, God troubles Himself to explain what conditions make a person impure for prayer in the following verses:

“O you who believe, do not observe the Contact Prayers while intoxicated, so that you know what you are saying. Nor after sexual contact without bathing, unless you are on the road, traveling; if you are ill or traveling, or you had urinary or fecal-related excretion, or contacted the women sexually, and you cannot find water, you shall observe Tayammum (dry ablution) by touching clean dry soil, then wiping your faces and hands therewith. GOD is Pardoner, Forgiver.”  (4:43)

And

“O you who believe, when you observe the Contact Prayers, you shall: (1) wash your faces, (2) wash your arms to the elbows, (3) wipe your heads, and (4) wash your feet to the ankles. If you were unclean due to sexual activity, you shall bathe. If you are ill, or traveling, or had any digestive excretion , or had sexual contact with the women, and you cannot find water, you shall observe the dry  ablution by touching clean dry soil, then rubbing your faces and hands. GOD does not wish to make the religion difficult for you; He wishes to cleanse you and to perfect His blessing upon you, that you may be appreciative.”  (5:6)

Verse 4:43 makes it evident that a person may not pray if he’s intoxicated.

Both 4:43 and 5:6 list the conditions that would nullify abolution, which is required for Muslims before performing prayer.  The conditions that nullify abolution are sexual activity and fecal related/digestive excretion.  Given the fact that menstruation does not fall under these conditions, it is exempt.

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The Qur’an never states that music is haram.  You will find that prohibition only in hadiths, namely Sahih Bukhari.

There is one verse in the Qur’an that “Muslims” try to distort to make it look like God prohibits music, you will see the distortion with the words inserted within parenthesis:

“And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks (i.e. music, singing, etc.) to mislead men from the Path of Allah without knowledge, and takes it (the Path of Allah, the Verses of the Quran) by way of mockery. For such there will be a humiliating torment (in the Hell-Fire)”. (31:6)

The word used for idle talks in Arabic is لَهْوَ   / lahwa.  This word means distraction/diversion.  In context, God warns Muslims against any form of distraction that may cause him to deviate from the way of God.  Notice how the word is general!  Had God intended to state musical instruments, He would have done so.  God does not run out of words:

“Say: Even if the sea became ink for the Words of my Lord, the sea would be used up before the words of my Lord were exhausted, even if we added another ocean like it, for its aid.“ (18:109)

Moreover, it is essential to note that the Qur’an is one book, created to suit the conditions and uniqueness found in every single human being for all times on earth.  Had God proclaimed music as haram under the pretense that all of man who listens to music would be led astray from God, would be treating humans as all sharing equal quantities of self-control, faith, and will power.  An honest man knows that this is false.  Humans’ religious devotion varies from one man to the next, there’s no such thing as equality in this context.  To work off of this, God uses a general statement: distraction.  He allows individuals to determine what distracts them from worshipping their God and not only that but what causes them to deviate away from their Lord from a long exposure to this distraction. 

I gave up music for an entire year because I undermined the Qur’an, I thought that hadiths somehow completed the Qur’an, so I followed the instruction of the hadith that forbad musical instruments.  You know what?  There was no change in religious devotion.  If anything I drifted away from God, because I realized that it was never music that distracted me from God, but school work, studying, that mess.  I’m back to listening to music, and ever since, I’ve grown gradually closer to God. 

Music is a beautiful expression of human emotions and ideas.  It is art, it is creativity.  It’s a beautiful tool for unity and for cognitive transformation.  To erase that from the lives of humans would be highly unjust; given music is not a tool of diversion for every man, just a handful.

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The prophet Abraham who, although not a Jew or a Christian, was such an excellent example that God commanded his Messenger Muhammad to follow him. And Mohammed responded by saying:

” I have submitted my wholeself to God and so have those who follow me…”

Why then have millions of people been entrapped into following the teachings of Abu Hurairah a mysterious person from the shadows of Hadith literature? Could it be that they have rejected the teaching of Quran while believing they have not done so? God says:

” Have you noted those who only know part of the scripture, and when invited to adopt God’s law, they turn away in aversion?…. That is because they are deceived in their faith by their own inventions.” (Quran: 3:23-24)

The Shahadah

To profess their faith in Islam the Sunnis make this declaration: “I bear witness that there is no god except God and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of God. ” (Arabic transliteration: “Ash hadu anlaa ilaaha illallaahu wa ash hadu anna muhammadar-rasulallah”). This testimony is called the Shahadah and according to Sunni belief it must be recited by every Muslim as an attestation of their allegiance to Islam. Consequently any person who does not ‘bear witness’ is not accepted as a Muslim by them.

However this testimony is not sanctioned by the true teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, which are found in the Quran, the veritable word of God.

Many people may feel astounded at this statement especially as the Shahadah is considered to be the foundation of Sunni faith. This is why it is important to take a careful and critical look before reaching any impulsive conclusions.

For the Sunni, the purpose of the Shahadah is many folds. For example without reciting the Shahadah, the Sunnis consider their salat prayer to be nullified. Also before a newcomer is accepted into the Sunni religion, a public declaration by reciting the Shahadah in front of witnesses must be made. In some countries converts are given a “certificate” after reciting the Shahadah to confirm they have been “admitted” into the Islamic fold. However, it is not known if such “certificates” are also a complimentary pass into heaven!

To associate anything or anyone with God is known as ‘shirk’, the highest degree of blasphemy, which God does not forgive. This is made clear in chapter 4 verse 48. The Quran also stipulates that Muslims must profess faith in the One God and not call on anyone else. The Shahadah, therefore, cannot be the correct way to affirm faith as the name of the prophet Muhammad, besides God, is included in this attestation and also used in the salat prayers.

People blindly following their religion are the root of wrong beliefs. This acceptance of the Shahadah is no different. If only people read and understand the Quran then they would realize that God revealed the following verse to the Messenger which is just as applicable to us today as it was to him:

“Do not accept anything that you yourself cannot verify. Surely your hearing, your eyesight and your mind will be questioned” Sura 17:36.

God wants us to substantiate our beliefs and we should follow His advice.

Abu Hurairah

The Shahadah testimony that is recited by the Sunnis originates from Abu Hurairah and is recorded in the ‘hadith’ – the oral traditions attributed to the prophet Muhammad. The hadith given below is from “Mishkat-ul-Masabih”, translation by Maulana Fazlul Karim, Volume 1, Chapter 1, no.27. (Published by the Book House, Lahore, Pakistan). As there are a many versions of this hadith, the collections of Tirmidzi should also be read.

The hadith regarding the Shahadah says:

One day Abu Hurairah went to the people and told them that the Messenger had authorised him to go and tell them to recite the Shahadah “ash hadu anlaa ilaha illallhu wa ash hadu anna muhammadar-rasulullah”. Another version reads ” muhammadan abduhu wa rasuluhu”. The first person Abu Hurairah came across to give the Shahadah was Saidina Omar (later the second caliph). When Omar heard it he promptly punched Abu Hurairah in the chest and knocked him to the ground. Then Omar put his foot on Abu Hurairah’s neck and asked him how dare he utter such a blasphemy.

Abu Hurairah (who is recorded in the hadith as having received quite u few beatings from Saidina Omar during his lifetime) then cried out and named the Messenger as his authority. When again challenged by Saidina Omar, Abu Hurairah pulled out a pair of leather slippers and showed them to Omar. The slippers, he said, were given to him by the Prophet, as proof for what he was saying. Recognising the prophet’s slippers, Omar simmered down. Everyone then happily started reciting the shahadah. This most incredible story is the background to the Shahadah of Abu Hurairah, which has been adopted by millions of Sunnis.

In the Quran God says,

“The believers are kind to each other and firm with the disbelievers…” Sura 5:54.

Hence the ‘hadith’ books are full of stories of how great friends the companions of the prophet (known as ‘Sahaba’) were and the love and kindness they showed towards each other.

Fourteen centuries down the road today the Tabligh people (sunni missionaries) always greet each other with hugs and kisses, supposedly to emulate the brotherly Sahaba. But in this particular ‘hadith’, we have one Sahaba knocking another down to the ground for bringing along something as important as the Shahadah!

In another account of this same episode, Omar is reported as challenging the Messenger if he did indeed send Abu Hurairah with his slippers to recite the Shahadah. When the Messenger said yes, Omar disagreed with him and said the Shahadah will make people “lazy”! Whatever the logic of this hadith can be left for the hadith advocates to explain. Yet again the narrator of this fabrication is Abu Hurairah.

About the believers and the companions of the prophet, and Omar was one of them, the Quran says;

” The only thing the believers utter when invited to heed God and His messenger and uphold His law is ‘we hear and we obey”. These are the winners”. Sura 24:51

Abu Hurairah’s ridiculous fable not only contradicts the above verse but also contradicts Sura 6:51 where God tells the Messenger (and by implication the companions and whomever the Quran reaches):

“You shall preach WITH THE Quran to those who reverence the gathering before their Lord…”

Instead Abu Hurairah said that the Prophet handed over his pair of slippers to him and told him to preach with the slippers in hand as proof of authenticity. By his confession Abu Hurairah was beaten by Omar, who argued with the Prophet and said that the Shahadah was unwise. Does the basis of a Muslim’s faith rest on such an absurd tale? Surely this cannot be part of Islam, which is based on reason and logic?

No one seems to know the correct identity of this Abu Hurairah even today scholars cannot agree on his real name. Despite there being a hadith (also attributed to Abu Hurairah) that we should not call people by nicknames, Abu Hurairah is itself a nickname which means “the Father of Cats”. So the originator of the Sunni Shahadah was an unknown man who was attacked unceremoniously by another companion of the Messenger! It is now apparent that there is significant evidence to show that the Shahadah testimony of the Sunni people has a very dubious background based on ludicrous hadith falsely attributed to the prophet Muhammad whom they claim to love!

How then does Abu Hurairah’s Shahadah contradict the Prophet’s true teachings? The Quran was revealed by God to the prophet Muhammad who then passed on this message, first to the companions and then to the rest of the people. Besides being God’s own revelation, the Quran represents what was actually said by the prophet Muhammad. Anyone who rejects this simple fact cannot at all claim to be a Muslim.

So what did God commanded the Messenger to tell us? “The mosques belong to God, do not call on anyone else besides God” Sura 72:18.

However, in the Shahadah of Abu Hurairah, the Sunnis call on the Messenger as well as God. The Sunni scholars will argue that the mention of the Messenger’s name is only out of respect. But then in the same breath, they will insist that the salat prayer to God Almighty is nullified if the prophet Muhammad’s name is not mentioned in the Shahadah during the salat prayer. This is tantamount to idolatry as associating another person with God is committing ‘shirk’ the unforgivable offence.

God Alone

The human has a major weakness. He finds it difficult to believe in an unseen God. Even the Prophet Moses had this problem.

“When Moses came to our audience, and His Lord spoke to him, he said, “My Lord let me look and see you”. He said, “You cannot see Me…” Sura, 7:143.

The human looks for something tangible, hence the Christians first elevated Jesus to a Son of God and then to the status of God Himself. The Hindus worship humans like Rama and Krishna who they say are gods. The Sunnis have similarly idolized the Prophet Muhammad and have given him a divine status by adding his name to the Shahadah testament and appropriately the Sunnis can be called “Mohammedan”.

To remind them of this folly will only raise their anger. Perhaps they do not know that it is the Prophet Muhammad himself who taught the following:

“When God alone is advocated, the hearts of those who do not believe in the hereafter shrink with aversion. But when OTHERS are mentioned besides Him, they rejoice” Sura 39:45.

Note how angry the Mohammedan become when you mention God alone. Their anger subsides only when you agree to add “Muhammad” as the second half of Abu Hurairah’s Shahadah which reads “. And I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God” (Arabic transliteration: wa ash hadu anna muhammadar rasulullah).

God revealed to the Messenger that this is actually the Shahadah of the hypocrites (Arabic: Munafiq).

“Among the Arabs around you there are hypocrites, and among the city dwellers as well. They persist in hypocrisy and while you (Muhammad) may not know them, me know them. We will double the punishment for them, then they will be returned for a terrible retribution” Sura 9:101.

Here God is telling the Messenger that hypocrites surround him and that he does not know who they are. Only God knows the hypocrites. But God promises

“… He will most certainly expose the hypocrites” Sura 29:11.

And the hypocrites are worried about this too:

“The hypocrites are afraid lest a verse may expose what they hide in their hearts. Say, “Keep on scoffing. God will surely expose what you fear” Sura 9:64.

Hypocrites Exposed

God also says that the hypocrites can be recognized by way they engage in vain talk.

“If we will we can expose them for you, so that you can recognize them just by looking at them. However you can recognize them from what they say. God is fully aware of all your works”. Sura, 47:30.

Hence God promises to expose the hypocrites. One such method is recorded in the Quran in Sura 63:1.

“When the hypocrites come to you and say: “WE BEAR WITNESS THAT YOU ARE THE MESSENGER OF GOD. God indeed knows that you are His Messenger. God bears witness that the hypocrites are liars”.

The important thing to note in this verse is that the emphasized words form the second part of Abu Hurairah’s Shahadah, which is now recited by all Mohammedan. This as we see from the verse 63.1 is actually the Shahadah of the hypocrites! What the hypocrites say is vain talk because God indeed knows that Muhammad is His Messenger (63:1). God does not need any one to affirm back to Him what He already knows about His own Messenger.

The Quran says;

“We have sent you as a Messenger and GOD SUFFICES AS A WITNESS…” Sura 4:79

and this is exactly what the Messenger told his companions. There is no need to bear witness on him because God has already done so and that is enough.

“God bears witness concerning what He has revealed to you. He has revealed it with His knowledge. And the angels bear witness as well, BUT GOD IS ENOUGH AS A WITNESS” Sura 4:166.

Again this is what the Messenger told the companions. God is enough as a witness. God also discourages attempts at witnessing other Messengers:

“You were not on the slope of the western Mount when we gave Moses the commandments. YOU WERE NOT A WITNESS” Sura 28:44.

So people cannot “witness” the messengership of the Messengers.

To reiterate, God says He will certainly expose the hypocrites (sura 29:11). God says the Messenger can recognize them from what they say (sura 47:30). So when the hypocrites come and insist that they want to bear witness on the Messenger, they expose themselves as hypocrites. And Abu Hurairah (if he really existed) has fooled millions of Muslims into reciting the same thing everyday of their lives.

The first part of Abu Hurairah’s Shahadah is “I bear witness that there is no god except God”. (Arabic transliteration: “ash hadu anlaa ilaaha illallah).

The Quran says:

“God bears witness that there is no god except He, and so do the angels and those endowed with knowledge, in truth and justice. There is no god except He, the mighty, the wise” Sura 3:18.

God is enough as a Witness

Again God says that His own witness is enough:

“Say, Whose testimony is the greatest” Say, “God’s (testimony is the greatest). HE IS THE WITNESS BETWEEN ME AND YOU that this Quran has been inspired to me, to preach it to you and whomever it reaches..” Sura, 6:19.

Because

“… God suffices as a witness…” Sura 4:79 and 4:166.,

the Shahadah as proclaimed by Abu Hurairah is therefore a lie – a fabrication by whoever wrote the ‘hadith’. If we do not even have his true identity, how do we know if Abu Hurairah existed at all?

Despite the evidence of the Quran, which no Muslim will deny is the truest teaching of the Messenger, the hypocrites insist on bearing witness to Muhammad’s Messengership. They insist on bearing witness when God says He needs no other witness apart from Himself.

Most importantly, the Shahadah of Abu Hurairah, by its purpose, goes against Sura 72:18 and Sura 39:45 in that it associates the Messenger’s name with God. Without bearing witness on the Messenger, the Sunnis say that the salat prayer and faith are void. Even though by evidence from the Quran this is shown to be “shirk” of the highest order. Each time people say the Sunni Shahadah they are committing “shirk”, the unpardonable blasphemy for which they may burn in hell.

The True Declaration

What then is the real attestation, which Muslims can recite to affirm their faith? Perhaps when the companions asked the Messenger this question, he would have replied:

“The word of your Lord is complete, in truth and justice. Nothing shall abrogate His words. He is the hearer, the knower”. Sura 6:114

Therefore the answer is definitely in the Quran and to show the correct attestation of faith, the Prophet Abraham is an excellent example.

“Whose religion is better than one who SUBMITS himself to God, works righteousness and follows the faith Of Abraham the monotheist? God has chosen Abraham as a beloved friend”. Sura, 4:125.

Remember that this verse was revealed to the Messenger and this is what the Messenger then imparted to his companions and all the people through the Quran. Therefore we too must follow the faith Of Abraham.

“Thus who would then forsake the faith of Abraham, except those who fool themselves? We have chosen him in this life, and in the hereafter he will be with the righteous” Sura 2:130.

Only fools will forsake the faith Of Abraham. Therefore unless people want to be considered as fools, it would be better to do what Abraham did. And what did Abraham do?

The next verse tells us:

“When his Lord said to him “SUBMIT” he said, “I SUBMIT TO THE LORD OF THE WORLDS” (Arabic: Aslamtu Li Rabbil Aalameen) Sura 2:131.

So here we have it. When God showed Abraham the perfect religion, He commanded Abraham to Submit (“Aslimu”) and Abraham said “Aslamtu li rabbil aalameen”. This is how MUSLIMS should attest their faith.

Now it is clear that Muslims cannot attest their faith by witnessing a Messenger or God, especially as they cannot be seen. Witnessing on Muhammad’s messengership is just the idolization of one prophet. Giving distinction to one messenger above another is strictly forbidden in the Quran as mentioned in verses 2.285 and 4.150-152.

The story of Abraham continues in the next verse:

“The same did Abraham enjoin upon his sons and also Jacob, “O My sons, God has chosen for you the true faith, therefore DIE NOT SAVE AS MEN WHO HAVE SUBMITTED”. Sura 2:132

Abraham enjoined his sons to believe in the same things he did. He also successfully enjoined his people to say the same thing “Aslamtu li rabbil aalameen” which means “I submit myself to the Lord of the Worlds”. This is revealed in the next verse:

“Or were you present when death came to Jacob, when he said unto his sons, ‘What will you worship after me?” They said, ‘We shall worship thy God, the God of thy fathers Abraham, Ishmael, and Isaac, One God, and UNTO HIM WE HAVE SUBMITTED” Sura 2:133.

This is the truth about how Abraham submitted himself to God, as it was revealed to the Messenger through the Quran. And the Messenger is commanded to follow Abraham:

“And they say, “Be Jews or Christians, then you will be rightly guided. “Say; “No, We follow the faith of Abraham, the upright, and he was not of the idolaters”. Sura 2:135

“Say, ‘We believe in God and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham…” Sura, 2:136.

And the message that was revealed to Abraham is disclosed once more to us in the Quran and preserved carefully for posterity. As for those who reject these truths, God says,

“Or do you say that Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and the tribes were Jews or Christians? Say “Do you know best or does God? And who is more unjust than he who conceals a testimony he has received from God. God is not unaware of what you do” Sura 2:140.

So why do people hide this testimony? Abraham declared “Aslamtu li rabbil aalameen” (I submit myself to the Lord of the worlds) and he enjoined this upon his sons and upon Jacob.

The Prophet Muhammad and the companions have been given the same testimony. So why do they hide this testimony and replace it with a Shahadah of the hypocrites?

There is no doubt that the prophet Muhammad followed the faith of Abraham.

“And we inspired you (Muhammad) to FOLLOW THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM, he who was naturally upright, he was never an idolater” Sura 16:123.

The Prophet did exactly as God commanded him. If anyone wants to become a Muslim should they then not follow the prophet Muhammad’s example that affirmed his faith in the same way as Abraham?

“Those among mankind who have the best claim to Abraham are those who followed him, and this prophet, and those who believe, and God is the protecting friend of the believers”. Sura, 3:68.

Say, (Muhammad) “I am forbidden to worship those whom you call besides God, since there has come to me clear proofs from God, and I AM COMMANDED TO SUBMIT TO THE LORD OF THE WORLDS (wa umirtu un aslima li rabbil aalameen) Sura 40:66.

But what if the people like the hypocrites come and insist that they want to bear witness on the Messenger and bear witness on God? What do you tell them?

The answer, as always, is in the Quran:

“And if they argue with you (Muhammad) say: “I HAVE SUBMITTED MY WHOLE SELF TO GOD (aslamtu waj hiyu lillah) and so have those who follow me…” Sura 3:20.

The Messenger and his companions simply submitted themselves to God:

“Say “Shall we call those things besides God, which can neither harm us nor benefit us, and shall we turn back after God has guided us – like one possessed by the devils, who has companions (sahaba!) Who invite him, saying “Come to us?” Say, ‘The guidance of God is indeed true guidance and WE ARE COMMANDED TO SUBMIT TO THE LORD OF THE WORLDS (wa umirna li nuslimn li rabbil aalameen)” Sura 6:71

The Messenger and his companions simply submitted to the Lord of the worlds. If Abu Hurairah, or any other person, comes and asks a Muslim to join him in bearing witness over God and His Messenger, the answer must be to say “No!” We are commanded To SUBMIT To the Lord of the Worlds (aslamtu li rabbil aalameen).

The Quran also gives an incident of the prophet Solomon and the Queen of Sheba as another example of submission to God. It records the moment when the Queen reverts to Islam. She was an idolater and Solomon had invited her to Islam. To prove the greatness of God, Solomom used powers given to him to move the Queen of Sheba’s magnificent palace intact, from one place to another in the blink of an eye.

Seeing this, she realized God’s power, immediately repented and said,

“Rabbi inn salamtu nafsin, wa aslamtu ma’a Sulaimaana, lillaahi rabbiul aalameen” which means, “… Oh my Lord, indeed I have wronged my soul. I SUBMIT MYSELF ALONG WITH SOLOMON, TO GOD THE LORD OF THE WORLDS” Sura, 27:44.

Therefore it is now apparent that the mysterious Abu Hurairah has indeed made many people wrong their souls. Each time you try to bear witness on the Messenger and God, not only do you wrong your souls but also you make fools of yourselves because you forsake the faith of Abraham (Sura 2:130).

To affirm their faith Muslims should use the examples given in the Quran. What they should say is “I SUBMIT MYSELF TO THE LORD OF THE WORLDS”. (Arabic: Aslamtu li rabbil aalameen). Others who have affirmed their faith in this way are the Prophets Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob, Solomon and of course the Prophet Muhammad (Sura 40:66). Also the Queen of Sheba and the companions of the Prophet did the same. If you adopt their way, you will be in good company.

As for those who insist on following the deceitful Abu Hurairah into the hellfire, God says,

‘who does more wrong than one whom invents a lie against God? They will be returned to the presence of their Lord, and the witnesses will say, “THESE ARE THE ONES WHO LIED AGAINST THEIR LORD, Behold, the curse of God is on those who do wrong. THOSE WHO HINDER MEN FROM THE PATH OF GOD AND WOULD SEEK IN IT SOMETHING CROOKED, these were they who denied the hereafter”. Sura 11:18-19.

“We have sent you as a Messenger And God suffices as a witness…” (Quran Sura 4:79.) ” When his Lord said to him “Submit” he said ” I submit to the Lord of the Worlds” (Quran Sura 2:131)

Source.

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