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Posts Tagged ‘mohammed’

“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 Upon understanding the historical reference of this verse, I will now post the verses surrounding it, in order to show the context of it: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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“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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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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Quran was Revealed to individuals, we will be responsible to answer to our Lord individually (Quran 5:105), it would be my neck on the line hence it is logical that it should be my interpretations. You see there is no provision for “I was following orders” in front of God. One can seek advise all they want but at the end, the buck stops with the individual. God in His infinite mercy may take into consideration things like lack of education and/or other handicaps but for the majority the only logical way forward is individual interpretations.

The focus of all Revelations was and is the message, the messengers with all due respect were incidental, (Quran 5:99) there is a lot to be appreciated in their acting out the message but at the end of the day, the reference to the Prophet being the best example (Quran 33:21) demonstrate that the ultimate focus is God and to be mindful of the Day of Judgment as clearly spelled out in the same verse, not to be confused with his physical appearance or what he eat for dinner. God declared in the latest Reveled message, the Quran, this declaration of completion and perfection is fixed in time with the words”this day” in (Quran 5:03) and guaranteed its preservation for all times to come. Quran 15:9

God in His mercy even went one step further, after declaring the simplicity of the message in no uncertain terms, He, in a final twist, announced Himself as the teacher of this final chapter of Revelations ( Quran 55:02). If God is the teacher then there is no need for another, those who try and twist the meaning of Quran 16:44 to mean the prophet was given the responsibility of explaining the already explained message with another message are clearly trying to deflect the real meaning of the verse which focuses on the importance of the Quran as the truth and the reflection aspect is interestingly left to the reader in the same verse.

After this foolproof arrangement it is impossible to make a plausible case for a new messenger or a new message who/it at best will be left with reading out the perfect Quran. Similarly, it is not logical to bump up a body of literature, short on comprehensiveness and long on ambiguity, not to mention contradictory to the Quranic injunction. The unfortunate case of Rajm among others. The promotion of these secondary sources is done to such an extent that it is declared a prerequisite to understanding something for which God Himself is the teacher. If you insist on needing even more explanation to explain the Quranic message then you obviously are from the” most arguing/disputing thing”. Quran (18:54). The perfection of a message is not only in its content but also in its easy communication and understandability. (Quran 54:17)The same premise renders the end of Prophet Hood, an open and shut case. The proof of this easy understanding is that 99.99% Muslims have no issue with the oneness of God, the belief in the last day, his messengers, his books and his angles; in addition there is no issue as to praying to God, fasting during Ramadan, giving zakat and performing hajj if possible. Nobody disputes moderation and patience. So then where do you think we can go wrong to such an extent as to not qualify as Muslims?

Prophet Mohammad Pbuh was deputed to deliver the message to humanity in stages. Till such time that the final words were not in place, the messenger had a role to play. But a message cannot be perfect and complete by definition if it still require outside assistance once the perfection and completion is announced. This announcement is I repeat clearly identified with THIS DAY in Quran 5:03. Neither will minor variation in interpretation render one a Kafir or disbeliever. The Quran lays it out beautifully in the following verse and at the same time shoot down the claim that the add-ons make you more righteous;

It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces towards East or West; but it is righteousness – to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfill the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the Allah-fearing. Quran 2:177

And for those who insist on improving the perfect message where God Himself is the teacher. These are the same people who jump at every opportunity to challenge those who has understood the deliberate room for flexability of some injunctions like the exact manner of salat for instance in line with God’s promise of no undue burden. Ironically they are totally oblivious to the contradiction of their poor logic. for example when even the detail of something like Wudu is spelled out in the Quran then why still insist on improving God’s perfection. The following verse expose their argument of “explaining” and even correcting Quran.

Literal And if (it was) said to them: “Do not corrupt in the earth/Planet Earth.” They said: “But we are correcting/repairing .” Quran 2:11

If you are speculating as to who these correcting, repairing busy bodies are, the following verse emphasis it by the word “most”, something to think about.

Literal And if you obey (follow) most of who (is) in the earth, they misguide you from God’s way/path , that they follow except the assumption/suspicion , and that they (are) except lying/speculating. Quran 6:116

Source.

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