New area: Miracles, Myths, Mistakes and Matters — See Title Page and List of Contents
— latest, 21 July 2014: Standards Adhered to in Interpretation of Quran from within Quran
Refuting the gross distortion and misrepresentation of the Quran, the Prophet Muhammad and Islam, made by the critics of Islam
Issue 21 [@18:04]: Robert Spencer – In surah 2, verse 106 of Quran, it says, or Allahs says, I should say, that if we abrogate it, We being Allah, abrogate a verse, then we will give you one that’s better.
[@ l8:20]: Slide show with voice – The Noble Quran, 2:106, Whatever a verse (revelation) do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring a better one or similar to it. Know you not that Allah is able to do all things?
[@ 18:31]: Robert Spencer – “This is the basis, the foundation of the Quranic doctrine of Nasikh, which is abrogation and it is the idea that when there are verses that are contradictory or appear to be contradictory in the Quran, the one that is revealed later chronologically is better as Allah has promised and cancels the earlier one.
Rebuttal 21: Robert Spencer misconstrues the interpretation of verse 2:106, completely ignoring its context in the preceding verse 2:105. What Quran abrogates is the earlier message contained in the original Torah and Evangel, which was tampered over the centuries, and not itself. Quran does not and cannot by any logical means, abrogate itself. Spencer’s interpretation absurdly implies that during the revelation God was shooting from the hip and changed His mind several times within the course of twenty-three years, which is the time that took for the complete revelation of Quran. In fact Quran is a pre-existing body of knowledge, revealed piecemeal during 23 years of Muhammad’s ministry:
85:21. This is also the truth that it is a glorious Qur’ân,
85:22. (Inscribed) in a Tablet well-guarded (against corruption, distortion and destruction). Note: this is not the last verse revealed, but Quran is referring to itself as a whole preexisting Book
This discussion necessitates a comparative case study of Torah and Quran. The alleged abrogation of Quranic verses have been refuted before in Rebuttals 5 and 9c, but mostly within the context of Quran. Besides, Muhammad Ali fully addresses it in his book “Religion of Islam” [pg 28-35]. Now it is time to let the horse out of the barn and into the Old Testament. Below is a case study of abrogation of Torah.
Jewish have always prided themselves for their Book, Torah. Even they will admit that Message of Torah was for them only to the exclusion of everybody else, and with the passage of time its authenticity too is questionable. Additionally, even if it is assumed that they have the authentic Torah of Moses, they cannot follow its doctrines as its Laws make no sense and run contrary to human nature and intelligence. Take for example the Law of Blasphemy in Leviticus 24:
10. And the son of an Israelitish woman, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the children of Israel: and this son of the Israelitish woman and a man of Israel strove together in the camp;
11. And the Israelitish woman’s son blasphemed the name of the Lord, and cursed. And they brought him unto Moses: (and his mother’s name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan:)
12. And they put him in ward, that the mind of the LORD might be shewed them.
13. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
14. Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp; and let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him.
15. And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin.
16. And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death.
17. And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death.
18. And he that killeth a beast shall make it good; beast for beast.
19. And if a man cause a blemish in his neighbour; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him;
20. Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again.
21. And he that killeth a beast, he shall restore it: and he that killeth a man, he shall be put to death.
22. Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God.
23. And Moses spake to the children of Israel, that they should bring forth him that had cursed out of the camp, and stone him with stones. And the children of Israel did as the LORD commanded Moses.
These are the words of God, which as a matter of practicality have not been put into practice at least in recent memory. Further, at least since 1948, now that Jews have Israel, they cannot blame failure to implement his commandment on lack of a Jewish government. Factually, if the above law and its example of Torah is to be followed as written, it will be immediately taken up by the International Criminal Court in Hague and Red Warrants through Interpol will be issued against such perpetrators. Human intelligence and sense of fairness will categorically reject this doctrine, much less Divine intervention. Divine Intelligence by its very definition cannot be that unintelligent to issue such a Law. Obviously, there is human tampering of the original Torah which needs correction.
Still, there are some remnants of reason in the above quoted scripture e.g. Leviticus 24:17, 21 & 22:
17. And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death.
21. … and he that killeth a man, he shall be put to death.
22. Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God.
Even though the above commandments contain a sliver of equity but they emphasize revenge and form the basis of a punitive system. These commandments, if taken literally, leave no room for due process, rehabilitation, mercy, forgiveness, leaving permanent scars on the society at large. They form the basis of blood feuds (Badal) that are rampant in the lost Jewish Tribes, the Pushtoons, in Afghanistan. NATO and ISAF are bearing the brunt of these commandments in form of lives and resources lost. Ask the “boots on the ground” in Afghanistan and the US Federal Reserve Bank, they will tell you to abrogate this law. General Stanley McChrystal has this to say about war in Afghanistan – “If you encounter 10 Taliban members and kill two, you don’t have eight remaining enemies. You have more like 20: the friends and relatives of the two you killed.” This is what their ancestors taught them – eye for an eye without a second thought. Though EU has transformed itself, the Mosaic law of capital punishment persists in United States where “good” presidents, governors or boards of clemency fail the purpose of justice, as recently as September 21, 2011.
Contrary to Torah where there is only law enforcement in absolute terms i.e. “eye for an eye” and “life for a life,” in Quran the primary emphasis is on presence of and act of a “Judge” because a Judge by its very designation is fair and equitable and instead of “eye for an eye” will change it into “dollar for an eye” and/or “prison for an eye” but definitely will not make the perpetrator blind. If “eye for an eye” is implemented concretely then in the words of Gandhi the whole world will become blind. On the reverse, “Turning the other cheek” is factually also against human nature and good society. After outlining the need for a judge and law enforcement, Quran takes it even further. It asks the victim to forgive if possible and if so, takes it upon Himself the ultimate compensation for the victim. Compare the Quranic verses below to Leviticus cited above:
5:44. Verily, it is We Who revealed Torah wherein there was guidance and light. According to it the Prophets, who submitted themselves (to Us), did judge for those who judaised and (so also did) the teachers of Divine knowledge, and those learned (in the Law); (they did it) because they were required to preserve some of the Scripture of Allâh and (because) they stood guardians over it. Hence hold not people in awe but stand in awe of Me and do not barter away My Messages for a trifling gain. And he who does not judge according to that (law) which Allâh has revealed, it is these who are the real disbelievers.
5:45. And therein We laid down (the following law) for them (- the Jews); life for life and eye for eye, and nose for nose, and ear for ear, and tooth for tooth and for (other) injuries an equitable retaliation. But he who chooses to forgo (the right) thereto for the sake of Allâh, it shall be an expiation of sins for him. And whoever does not judge according to (the law) which Allâh has revealed, these it is who are the very unjust.
5:46. And We sent Jesus, son of Mary, in the footsteps of these (Prophets), fulfilling that which was (revealed) before him, of the Torah, and We gave him the Evangel which contained guidance and light, fulfilling that which was (revealed) before it, of the Torah, and was a (means of) guidance and an exhortation for those who guard against evil.
5:47. And let the followers of the Evangel judge according to what Allâh has revealed therein. And indeed those who do not judge according to what Allâh has revealed it is these who are the real disobedient.
5:48. And We have revealed to you this perfect Book comprising the truth and wisdom, fulfilling (the prophecies of) the Scripture which was present before it and stands as a guardian over it, then judge between them according to that which Allâh has revealed (of the Qur’ân), and do not deviate from the truth that has come to you in order to follow their low desires. For each one of you did We prescribe a spiritual law and a well-defined way (- a code in secular matters). And if Allâh had so willed He might have made you all one community (by force), but He wishes to show your perfection (the capacities and capabilities) that He has endowed you with. Therefore vie one with another in (doing) good deeds. To Allâh is the return of you all, then He will inform you as to that wherein you were at variance.
5:49. And (We have revealed this perfect Book to you) that you judge between them according to that (law) which Allâh has revealed and do not follow their low desires, rather be on your guard against them lest they should (tempt you and) cause you fall into trouble due to some part of (the commandments) that Allâh has revealed to you. If they turn back (showing disregard to Our revelations), know that Allâh intends to punish them for some of their sins. Indeed, a large number of human beings are certainly disobedient.
5:50. Do they seek to enforce the law of (the days of) ignorance? And who is better than Allâh in giving judgment for a people who are convinced (of their faith)?
As for some of the others commandments, we leave it to the discretion of animal rights activists and personal injury lawyers who can haggle over dollar amount as compensation for personal injury or property damage as an eye for an eye will just not cut in a court of law.
18. And he that killeth a beast shall make it good; beast for beast.
19. And if a man cause a blemish in his neighbour; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him;
20. Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again.
This case study provides clear justification for the dire need to “update” the previous Scriptures. This “update” in Quran abrogated the previous laws of Torah. The teachings of Torah itself predict a law bearing prophet after Moses. The Jews and Christians are in wait for such a prophet. Mohammad was that prophet, but they rejected him because he was a non-Israeli and they rejected his message, the Quran, which had come to replace the old message of the Torah, in other words to abrogate the Torah. Ponder this:
26:5. There never comes to them a fresh Reminder (in a new form and with new details) from the Most Gracious (God) but they turn away from it.
Judeo-Christians are repeating their own history when people of Pharaoh rejected Moses in the manner they are rejecting Muhammad and his Message:
27:13. But when Our eye-opening signs [-the commandments] were shown to them (- Pharaoh and his people) they said, `This is plain witchcraft (to cause disruption among the people).’
27:14. And they strongly rejected them (- the signs) out of spite and arrogance, although their minds were convinced of (the truth in) them. Look, then how (evil) was the end of those who acted corruptly.
Robert Spencer apparently seems to have read Quran, but his rejection of it is no different from that of the Egyptians as they strongly rejected them (- the signs) out of spite and arrogance, although their minds were convinced of (the truth in) them. Additionally, the verse immediately before the one he quoted (2:106) is:
2:105. Neither those from among the people of the Scripture who disbelieved, nor the polytheists like that any good should be sent down to you [-Muhammad] from your Lord. But Allâh singles outfor His mercy whomsoever [-even a non-Israelite] He wishes (to receive His mercy), and Allâh is of abounding bounty.
The above verse is only and only about people of the Scripture i.e. Jews and Christians and the subsequent verse 2:106 is only and only about their Books the Torah and Evangel. Any mention of Quran in context of verses 2:105 and 2:106 is sign of sheer illiteracy or plain malicious distortion.
Thus, Muhammad delivered the Message of Quran, which abrogated the Message of Torah and Evangel:
2:106. Whatever Message We abrogate or abandon it, We bring a better (Message) than that or (at least) the like of it. Do you not know that Allâh is indeed Possessor of power to do all He will.
Comparing Torah, a portion of which was quoted above, it is no rocket science to conclude that Quran is a better (Message) than that or (at least) the like of Torah. Haven’t the Jews and Christians themselves abandoned Leviticus 24 by not enforcing it in Israel at least?
Lets also consider the translation of the same verse used by Spencer: 2:106 Whatever a verse (revelation) do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring a better one or similar to it. Know you not that Allah is able to do all things? – This translation used by Spencer, in fact, further bolsters the case for abrogation of Torah instead of the self-abrogation theory concocted by Spencer. Both Torah and Evengel are revelations from God. Factually, the original Torah and Evangel are forgotten and tampered with as evidenced by these Books themselves. Quran right from its inception was reduced to writing and memorized all along by Muhammad and his followers alike – 87:6. We will soon teach (you and) make you recite (the Qur’ân) so that you shall not forget (any part of it). No one can make the claim that Muslims have forgotten even one verse of the Quran. Even Spencer, apparently an expert in Islam, cannot claim that Muslims have “forgotten” the allegedly abrogated verses. It is common knowledge that Muslims, when reading the Quran, recite the whole Quran, including the verses alleged by Spencer to have been abrogated. The verse 2:106 cited by Spencer clearly favors abrogation of Torah, a message undisputedly forgotten by its people.
It does not end with this. There is further, overwhelming support for the abrogation of Torah in other verses of the Quran. They are asking for rebuttal from Quran. So, why stop at verse 2:106. Lets look at other verses in series below:
16:101. And Allâh knows very well the need of what He reveals, yet when We replace a revelation with another revelation they [-Jews] say (to you [-Muhammad]), `You are only a fabricator (of lies).’ The truth is, however, that most of them know nothing.
The above verse clearly refers to the revelation of Quran as a replacement of previous revelations. This describes the Jewish reaction which clearly shows that it was their book that was being abrogated. Had it been the Quran that was being abrogated, why would they bother to object. Conversely, the complainants could not have been Muslims protesting the Nasikh if Muhammad himself was promulgating it. It is the Jews who raised hue and cry when they saw Quran as an update of Torah and accused Muhammad – `You are only a fabricator (of lies).’ Muslims never call the prophets fabricator (of lies) be it Muhammad, Jesus, John, Elias, Ezekiel, Solomon, David, Moses, Aaron, Jacob, Issac, Abraham, Noah…etc.
To their allegations, they are replied as follows:
16:102. Say, `The Spirit of Holiness has brought this (Qur’ân) down from your Lord to suit the requirement of truth and wisdom, (Allâh has revealed it) so that He may strengthen those who believe in their faith and so that (this may serve as) a guidance and good tidings for Muslims.
16:103. And We know fully well what they say (by way of objection) that this (Qur’ân) is (not revealed by God but it is) only what a human being [-a Christian slave] instructs to him (- to Muhammad [-from old Scriptures]). But (strange it is) that the tongue of him to whom they (unjustly) allude (of making this insinuation) is foreign [-accent when speaking Arabic] and wanting in clearness [- of syntax and grammar], whereas the language of this (Qur’ân) is chaste Arabic, plain and clear.
Q.E.D. Therefore, Mr Spencer, with your drawing of our attention to the abrogation principle of Nasikh in verses 2:106 and 16:101, Leviticus 24 stands abrogated in light of verses 5:44-50. If you are interested many more chapters of Torah and Evangel en-mass could be compared and abrogated in light of Quran because Quran definitely is a better (Message) than that or (at least) the like of Torah and Evangel. And, it is the Old Scriptures that are forgotten and abandoned, not Quran.
Bonus Upgrade: Like any good deal Quran has a free bonus feature. It upgrades even the Ten Commandments of Moses:
17:101. And most certainly, We gave Moses nine clear signs [-Messages]. So ask the Children of Israel (about it). When he (- Moses) came to them, Pharaoh said to him, `Moses! I think you to be under a spell and a victim of deception.’
17:102. He said, `You know fully well that none other but the Lord of the heavens and the earth has revealed these signs as (means of) enlightenment. Surely, I believe you, O Pharaoh! to be doomed to perish.’
As to what those nine clear signs were, the Quran tells us to ask the Children of Israel [-Jews] (about it) in the street and we will be told that Moses was given the ten commandments. But, according to Quran there were nine not ten commandments given to Moses:
6:151. Say, `Come, I [-Moses, even Muhammad] will rehearse to you what your Lord has made binding on you; it is that [i] you shall associate not any thing as partner with Him, and that [ii] you shall be good to parents, and that [iii] you waste not your children because of poverty. It is We Who make provisions for you as well for them too. (Allâh has also enjoined upon you that you) [iv] approach not indecencies, whether open or hidden, and that [v] you kill no soul which Allâh has made sacred, except in the cause of justice.’ This has He enjoined you with, so that you may (learn to) abstain (from evil).
6:152. And (He has enjoined you) that [vi] you do not approach the property of an orphan except in the fairest manner; until he attains his maturity, and [vii] give full measure and weight with equity. We charge no soul except to its capacity, and that [viii] when you speak (giving your verdict), observe justice even though the person concerned be a relative (of yours), and [ix] fulfill the covenant (you made) with Allâh. That is what He enjoins upon you so that you may take heed,
6:153. And (the Lord says,) `This is My exact right path, so follow it, and follow not (diverse) ways, lest they should deviate you away from His (straight) way.’ That is what He enjoins you with, that you may guard against evil.
Reducing from ten to nine commandments is definitely one of the purpose of Muhammad for the people of the Book who relieves them of their heavy burden and shackles that weigh them down:
7:157. `Those who follow this perfect Messenger, the Arab Prophet whom they find described in the Torah and the Evangel which are with them, who enjoins upon them that which is right and forbids them that which is wrong, and who makes lawful for them all the pure and good things, and makes unlawful all the impure and bad things, and who relieves them of their heavy burden and shackles that weigh them down. Indeed those who believe in him and honour him and serve him and follow the light that has been sent down with him, it is these who will attain their goal.’
Thank you Muhammad for unburdening humanity, and may God bless you.
For the Readers Pleasure: Enjoy the following verses in context of the mindset of the likes of the “experts” in the documentary. After reading these verses a more appropriate title of the documentary might be – “Islam Haters: What the World needs to know”
2:87. Indeed, We gave Moses the Scripture and sent Messengers after him in successive series. We also gave Jesus, son of Mary, clear arguments and strengthened him with the blessed word of God. (Is it not then unjust on your part that) whenever a Messenger came to you (O Jews!) with that (teaching) which did not suit your fancies, you behaved arrogantly? You belied some (Messengers) while others you seek to kill (even now).
2:88. They said, `Our hearts are storehouse of knowledge (so that we stand in no need of further teaching.)’ Rather Allâh has deprived them of His mercy for their disbelief, with the result that little they believe.
2:89. And (now) when there has come to them the glorious Book from Allâh, fulfilling that (Prophecy) which is already with them, and previous to that they had been praying for victory over those who disbelieved, yet when that (long awaited Prophet and the Qur’ân) came to them which they recognised (also to be the truth), they disbelieved in it. (And because of this rejection) the disapproval of Allâh is the due for the disbelievers.
2:90. Evil is that thing they have sold themselves for that they should reject that (source of guidance) which Allâh has revealed, grudging that Allâh should send down His grace on such of His servants as He pleases. Thus they have incurred (His) displeasure after displeasure. There awaits these disbelievers a humiliating punishment.
2:91. When it is said to them, `Believe in that (- the Qur’ân) which Allâh has sent down.’ They say, `We believe only in that (- the Torah) which has been sent down to us.’ And they deny every thing other than that (and which has since been revealed); though it (- the Qur’ân) is the lasting truth and corroborates that which is already with them (in their own Scriptures). Say, `Why, then, did you seek to kill the Prophets of Allâh in former times if you were (real) believers (in the former Scriptures)?’
2:92. Moses did come to you with clear arguments yet you took to the (worship of) the calf in his absence and you were not justified in doing so.
2:93. And (recall) when We took a covenant from you, (while you had encamped at the foot of Sinai) with (the summits of) the Mount towering above you, (and We had said,) `Hold fast to that which we have given you and obey.’ (But) those (of you who were given this commandment) said, `We hear and we disobey.’ Their hearts were, in fact, permeated with (the love of) the calf (worship) due to their disbelief. Say, `Evil is the way to which your faith leads you, if you are believers at all.’
2:94. Say, `If the last Abode with Allâh is especially reserved for you excluding all other people, then invoke death (upon yourself standing against the Prophet of Islam) if you are on the right.’
2:95. But never shall they invoke it, on account of that which their own hands have sent before. Allâh knows these wrong doers very well.
2:96. And you shall of course find them the greediest of all people for (this base) life and even more (greedy) than those who set up equals (to God). Each one of them would love to be granted a life of a thousand years, yet his being spared for a long life shall, by no means keep him away from the punishment. And Allâh is Watchful of all their doings.
Religion of Islam [p.28-35] – Muhammad Ali
Pashtunwali – Wikipedia
Jesus in Heaven on Earth – Khwaja Nazir Ahmad
Stanley McChrystal – The Daily Beast
Troy Davis – Wikipedia
Eye for an Eye – Wikipedia
Turning the other cheek – Wikipedia
Leviticus 24 – Biblegateway.com
Holy Quran – Nooruddin
Please see this link for an interesting discovery.
It has also been confirmed to me on behalf of a grand-daughter of Maulana Muhammad Ali who lived in Karachi that Habib (i.e. M.H. Shakir) had great respect for Maulana Muhammad Ali.
If we count M.H. Shakir as a “translator” of the Holy Quran (which is what millions think anyway!), then the following translators of the Quran into English had high regard for Maulana Muhammad Ali:
Abdullah Yusuf Ali
Issue 20 [@ 17:43]: Serge Trifkovic – “Well it all changes with the establishment of Muhammad’s theocratic statelet in the city of Medina. He becomes a warlord. He becomes the head of the totalitarian state. He becomes very rich. Very powerful and very intolerant. And then many of these early verses in fact get abrogated.”
Rebuttal 20: Serge Trifkovic ridicules Muhammad when he was “powerless” (Issue 18) and when he was “powerful” (Current Issue). Trifkovic will criticize Muhammad regardless. This is not logic, but simply reeking of his hate towards Muhammad no matter what. He wishes Muhammad never was. With this kind of hate, he loses any standing what so ever to be even rebutted, but we will still give him room. He only exposes himself with his bigotry.
Serge Trifkovic tries to set new moralities and standards of interpreting history. Never has it been possible in history, for one to be a warlord, totalitarian, very rich, powerful, intolerant yet declared by secular history to be the most successful man ever on the basis of him being – Active as a social reformer, diplomat, merchant, philosopher, orator, legislator, military leader, humanitarian, philanthropist – which is how Muhammad is ranked #1 in The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History. There are many good reasons why Michael H. Hart describes Muhammad as – “supremely successful” in both the religious and secular realms, which Trifkovic apparently fails to perceive.
Serge Trifkovic, sorry you came to the anti-Muhammad game too late. About fifteen hundred years ago, after the incessant persecution proved futile, the Makkans had already made the offer to Muhammad of great riches, totalitarian and theocratic powers, women, heaps of gold and silver which he rejected when he was “powerless” (Trifkovic’s own word – Issue 18). All this was offered to him by the delegation of Makkans sometime before his immigration to Medina in the following words:
“If your ambition is to possess wealth, we will amass for you as much of it as you wish; if you aspire to win honour and power, we are prepared to swear allegiance to you as our overlord and king; if you have a fancy for beauty, you shall have the hand of the finest maiden of your own choice.” [Muhammad the Prophet, p. 60]
To all these temptations Muhammad replied:
“I want neither pelf nor power. I have been commissioned by Allah as Warner to mankind. I deliver His message to you. Should you accept it, you shall have felicity in this life as well as in the life to come; should you reject the word of Allah, surely Allah will decide between you and me.” [Muhammad the Prophet, p. 60]
It is to this that the Holy Quran refers in the following verse:
17:74. And if We had not made thee firm, thou mightest have indeed inclined to them a little.”
[Muhammad the Prophet, p. 60]
It totally makes no sense for Muhammad to endure decades of incessant persecution for himself, his family, his friends, his peers, and his followers just to get to Medina to become in words of Serge Trifkovic – “a warlord, totalitarian, very rich, powerful, intolerant” which was offered to him on a platter in Makkah in the first place. Next time Serge Trifkovic please check your facts.
The epithets that Serge Trifkovic uses for Muhammad, in fact, befit himself perfectly rather than Muhammad, since Serge Trifkovic was undeniably an adviser to genocidal, “warlord, totalitarian, very rich, powerful, intolerant,” Hague convicts – his fellow Serbians. Serge Trifkovic should consult his own resume first before trying to sling mud on others.
Lets see each of adjectives used by Trifkovic in light of Quran. Maybe he can learn a lesson in morality. In his scorn for government of Medina he uses the words – Muhammad’s theocratic statelet – totalitarian state. Has he ever wondered what made that statelet spread to all corners of the then known world in a very short period of time? How come the same statelet replaced the then mighty and tyrannical Persian and Roman empires? Who moved the Roman and Greek sciences out of Europe? Who invented Algebra and Algorithms? Who introduced decimal positioning system and “zero” to the modern world? Who made advances in chemistry and physical sciences that formed the basis of current modernity? Ever wondered why the major stars systems have Arabic names. It owes it all to the same very statelet that Serge Trifkovic terms as Theocratic. At least that theocracy did not punish it scientists with life imprisonment nor made them recant their heresy that earth is the center of universe.
Some of the moral principles underlying the success of that “theocratic statelet” are outlined in Quran as follows:
Merit yes, Cronyism no, Equal Justice for all:
4:58. Surely, Allâh commands you to make over the trusts (such as the affairs of the state) to those who are competent to it, and that when you judge between the people you should judge with justice. That which Allâh exhorts you to do is best indeed. Allâh is All-Hearing, All-Seeing.
Allegiance to the Flag:
4:59. O you who believe! obey Allâh and obey (His) Messenger and those who are in authority among you (to decide your affairs). And should you differ among yourselves in anything, refer it to Allâh and His Messenger (and judge according to their teachings), if indeed you believe in Allâh and the Last Day. That is (in your) best (interests) and most commendable in the long run.
State for moral uplift of individuals and the society:
42:36. (People!) whatever you have been given is only the passing enjoyment of the present life. But much better and more lasting is that (reward) which Allâh has for those who believe and put there trust in their Lord;
Virtuous and Tolerant society:
42:37. Those who avoid the more grievous sins and acts of indecency and who forgive when their anger is aroused,
Democratic and Benevolent society:
42:38. And those who respond to their Lord and observe Prayer and whose affairs are (decided by) mutual consultation, and who go on spending (in Our cause) out of what We have provided for them,
Strong but Non-Aggressive society:
42:39. And those who, when they meet wrongful aggression, defend themselves.
42:40. And (they keep in mind that) the recompense of an evil done is a punishment equal to it (for an evil merits an equal evil). But he who pardons (an offender) and (thereby) improves the matter (and effects thereby a reform in the offender) shall have his reward from Allâh. Behold! He does not love the wrong doers.
42:41. No blame shall lie on those who defend themselves after a wrong is done to them.
42:42. The blame only lies on those who wrong people and commit aggression in the land without justification. It is they for whom there awaits a grievous punishment.
42:43. But the one who bears (the wrong done to him) and forgives, (let it be remembered that) surely to do so is a matter of great fortitude and high resolve.
After using adjectives for Government in Medina, Trifkovic then moves on to use derogatory adjectives for Muhammad i.e. warlord – very intolerant – very rich – very powerful. For the record all his allegations against Muhammad are unfounded and lack support in history. Trifkovic cannot even invent a hypothetical event to back up his malicious claims. His allegations are hollow words, completely devoid of any facts.
Still, inadvertently, he draws our attention to the subject of tolerance from life of Muhammad which reflects Quran. Before quoting from Quran, lets compare the concept of tolerance pervasive in faith of the most of the participants of this movie in the following excerpt:
From orphan to king, Muhammad passed through many different stages of life. Events of diverse nature arose in the course of his career which demanded the manifestation of various
characters. At every step he was weighed, but was never found wanting. We need a perfect model suitable to our needs in our several walks of life, and the life of the sacred Prophet in itself eloquently promises such a model. A king, a statesman, a warrior, a general, a lawgiver, a judge, a conqueror, a persecuted fugitive, a tradesman, a friend, a son, a father, a husband, a neighbour all these characters are mirrored in most beautiful colours in his life. It is not through his sermons and teachings that we have to make our estimate of his character or teaching, but through his actions and deeds. In this respect Muhammad is the only solitary noble example in history. How can any other personality be taken as an ideal and a universal model for the human race if his own life has not been of a universal character? Jesus is no example to others in various walks of life, leave apart his being ideal and he is not decidedly so in its higher avenues.
For example, forgiveness requires given conditions for its exhibition, in the absence of which no one can fairly claim to have fulfilled it. In the first place let us suppose that a person is persecuted ruthlessly by his enemies and in the second, that his enemies fall and the change of circumstances places them at his mercy; and in third that he possesses the power to give them the punishment they rightly deserve. Mercy, like forgiveness, can be shown only by him who finds others at his mercy. The mere preaching of mercy is no proof, or even any indication, that the person so preaching really possesses that quality, unless he is in a position to show mercy. Moreover, a persecutor and a tormentor would regard forgiveness as an insult to himself if it came from his helpless victim. Jesus on the cross prayed for forgiveness for his tormentors. It shows the beauty of his heart. He, however, was situated in circumstances which were very far from constituting the necessary condition for the display of the quality of mercy. He could neither vanquish his enemy nor were they at his feet craving mercy.
In sacred history there is only one noble example which has the three conditions precedent for the manifestation of forgiveness, and that example was Muhammad. Consider his triumphal entry into Mecca. Arabia lay prostrate at his feet, and Mecca, the stronghold of opposition, was at his mercy. He could have cut off the heads of everyone there, those implacable enemies of his who gave him no quarter, who forced him to leave his native land and seek shelter among strangers; who held him up to senseless ridicule and cruel scorn. Muhammad would have been quite justified if he had punished them. Many of the Hebrew prophets did punish their enemies, and severely. Ramchandra and Krishna, the prophets and gods of Hindus, were relentless to their conquered foes. But the moral attribute of Forgiveness, which had never, till then received its full revelation in the history of religion, would have remained in abeyance, perhaps for ever, but for Muhammad.
The personal element never entered into his actions at all. He rejected every token of personal homage, and declined all regal authority; and when, at last, his haughty enemies appeared, humbled, before him, he asked what treatment they could expect at his hand. The Quraish, though cruel and callous themselves, knew full well the compassionate nature of the Prophet. They cried out:
“Thou art a noble brother and a noble cousin.”
Whereto the Prophet responded:
“There shall be no reproach against you this day: Go! Ye are free.” [Bukhari]
[Read on about Muhammad's forgiveness of his arch enemies when he conquered Makkah – Hinda, the daughter of the Arab Chief Utba who chewed the liver of Muhammad's uncle when he fell in Battle of Uhad; Hinda's husband, Abu Saffyan who took leading part in all battles against Muhammad; Habbar-bin-Al Aswad, killer of Muhammad's daughter, Zainab; Ikrma, son of Abu Jahl, the most implacable and inveterate enemy of Muhammad etc. – “The Ideal Prophet” p. 174-7]
Some of the Quranic principles underlying Muhammad’s example of tolerance are:
3:159. So (O Prophet!) it is owing to the great Mercy of Allâh that you are gentle towards them. Had you been harsh, hard-hearted, they would have certainly dispersed from around you; hence pardon them and ask protection for them, and consult them in matters (of administration), and when you are determined (after due consultation), put your trust in Allâh. Verily, Allâh loves those who put their trust in Him.
41:34. And good and evil are not alike. Repel (evil) with that (benign and graceful way) which is best, and lo, the person between whom and you there is enmity will behave as if he were your warm-hearted friend.
41: 35. Yet it is only the steadfast and patiently persevering who are allowed this (grace) and it is only those who possess a large share of good who are allowed this (moral standard).
Trifkovic describes Mohammad as being “very rich”as if he himself managed Muhammad’s secret Swiss bank accounts. It is a well recorded fact of history that the alleged “warlord” left his family with meager provisions upon his death. By public announcement he had paid off all his debts before his death which amounted to no more than a few dirhams (dollars). He was buried in his own home and not on some public land that would incur favor from taxpayer. His home was small and made of mortar and was bare of any furnishings as he used to sleep on palm leaves mat laid on the floor. Some warlord!
Reader might be interested to know about Muhammad’s morals which are summarized by Muhammad Ali in his book “Muhammad the Prophet” [p. 167]
The Prophet’s Sublime Morals
The Prophet an exemplar
No work was too low for him
No attraction for comforts
Love for friends
Generous to enemies
Equal justice for all Humility
Sympathy for poor and distressed
Respect for others
Similarly, Khwaja Kamaluddin in his book “The Ideal Prophet” outlines the qualities of Muhammad in the following chapters:
The Ideal Exemplar
Keeping of Promise
Fairness in Dealing
Disregard of Distinction
The Prophet Discouraged undue Reverence
Modesty, Leniency, Shyness and Humility
Sublimity of Manner
The Assemblage of Virtues
Humility of Mind
The Prophet would do the work of others
Exchange of Presents
His Aversion for Beggary
Trifkovic repeats “And then many of these early verses in fact get abrogated.” – We will hold off discussion of any verses until the he actually quotes a verse.
The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History – Wikipedia
Michael H. Hart – Wikipedia
Serge Trifkovic – Wikipedia
Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī – Wikipedia
Muslim Scientists & Their Contribution – Civil Services of Pakistan
List of Arabic star names – Wikipedia
List of Muslim Scientists – Wikipedia
Galileo Galilei – Wikipedia
Father forgave them – Wikipedia
Muhammad The Prophet – Muhammad Ali
The Ideal Prophet – Khwaja Kamaluddin
Holy Quran – Nooruddin
Issue 19 [@17:28]: Abdullah Al-Araby – Director Pen vs. Sword publications – “Only a few relatives and friends accepted the religions at that time. And he had many foes so the revelations of that time were very peaceful.”
Rebuttal 19 – Essentially, Abdullah Al-Araby (see Issue 4) is trying to build upon Serge Trifkovic (see Issue 18) and is mocking a few details while glossing over the rest. Maybe he is referring to first three years of Muhammad’s ministry, out of the thirteen in Makkah, when he preached only to a limited circle and by then the converts had increased to forty. [Muhammad the Prophet – p. 44]
Al-Araby, what must one expect in three years, but “only a few relatives and friends accepted religion at that time.” Please don’t tell us that all of the Makkah, or whole of Arabia or for that matter whole of Arab world belonged to Muhammad’s inner circle. Of course not. Despite the ever increasing physical torture and persecution, Islam had forty converts by the third year that grew to about fifty in the fifth year, but they were definitely more that twelve. Some of them were actually bodily dismembered by pulling of camels in opposite directions, others molested and killed in front of family members. Not one of them recanted. Not one of them sold Muhammad for thirty pieces of silver. Not one of them spat on Muhammad’s face. These might be your standards for fellowship of a Divine but not for Islam or in Quran or for Muhammad.
Essentially, Al-Araby implicitly is in footsteps of persecutors of Muslims in Makkah and like them he is essentially resorting to dignified sneering and jeering [Muhammad the Prophet – p. 50]. Quran addresses this kind of behavior:
83:29. Those who had severed their ties (with God) used to laugh at those who believed,
83:30. And when they passed by them (- the believers) they winked at one another (by way of ridiculously finding fault with them),
83:31. And when they returned to their companions they returned exulting with pride,
83:32. And when they saw these (Muslims) they said, `These are surely the straying ones!’
By the fifth year of the call, the number of Muslims had grown to fifty, who in the face of persecution were forced to migrate to Ethiopia:
16:41. We will certainly provide a goodly abode in this world for those who emigrated (from their homes) in the cause of Allâh after they were dealt with unjustly. And truly the reward (that they shall have) in the Hereafter is greater still. If the disbelievers but knew (it would have been much better for them).
16:42. These are those (emigrants) who patiently persevered and put their trust in their Lord (alone).
The following is a speech delivered by Jafar in the Court of King of Negus (Ethiopia). He was one of the above immigrants who were on the verge of being extradited back on the instigation of the emissary from Makkah:
“O King! we were an ignorant people, given to idolatry. We used to eat corpses even of dead animals, and to do all kinds of disgraceful things. We did not make good our obligations to our relations, and ill-treated our neighbours. The strong among us would thrive at the expense of the weak, till, at last, God sent a prophet for our reformation. His descent, his righteousness, his integrity and his piety are well-known to us. He called us to the worship of God, and exhorted us to give up idolatry and stone worship. He enjoined us to speak truth, to make good our trusts, to respect ties of kinship, and to do good to our neighbours. He taught us to shun everything foul and to avoid bloodshed. He forbade all manner of indecent things telling lies, misappropriating orphans’ belongings, and bringing false accusations against the chastity of women. So we believed in him, followed him, and acted upon his teachings. Thereupon our people began to wrong us, to subject us to tortures, thinking that we might thus abjure our faith and revert to idolatry. When, however, their cruelties exceeded all bounds. we came out to seek an asylum in your country, where we hope we shall come to no harm.” [Muhammad the Prophet – p. 53]
Consequently, the King of Negus, a Christian, did provide asylum to the Muslims. Now, the burden is on you, Mr. Al-Araby. Where is Muhammad wrong in secular history? The above extempore speech is from a commoner of Makkah who was being persecuted for issues that might make you migrate yourself. If what was happening in Makkah then was happening now, will not Humans Right Watch take up the matter? Will not ICC at Hague take up their case? Interestingly, Jafar is not even quoting Quran that you and your documentary tries to malign into peaceful and non-peaceful verses. Whose side are you on? The persecuted or the persecutors? Are you denying history, trying to distort history or trying to create one? Mr. Al-Araby, the above speech answers the earlier question as to why Muslims tolerated torture and killings and did not sell Muhammad for pieces of silver. They had seen the truth. They could not shut their hearts and minds from it, no matter what the price they had to pay (and not receive).
What Al-Araby might not be aware of is the moral law that pervades God’s world. Read the following verses carefully in context of the above emigrants and in the light of history that Al-Araby and the documentary under discussion is trying to reverse:
83:34. Now, on this day (of Judgment [and history]) it is the believers who will wonder at the disbelievers,
83:35. (Seated) on raised couches of (dignity [in history]). They (- the believers) will be looking (at the miserable state of the disbelievers in Gehenna [and History]).
83:36. (Then it shall be said,) `The disbelievers have been duly requitted for (the misdeeds) that they used to do.’ [and the history bears witness to all this]
Every single word of Quran came out true. Take Uthman ibn Affan as an example. He was one of the helpless migrant who later rose to be the third Caliph of Muslims. Just click the link and glance at his “empire” and tell us if the above verses were false. On the reverse you may have read of Amr ibn Hishām. He too was considered wise like the participants of this documentary and was called Abu-l-Hakam – father of wisdom. He was the leader of the vociferous opponents and torturer of Muslims. History now calls him the famous Abu-Jahl – the father of ignorance for the mere fact that he was arrogant and ignorant of moral history unfolding in front of him. One can be wiser than him, especially when the hindsight is 20/20.
Readers: By now the documentary that was heading towards making a fabricated case of peaceful vs. violent verses is trying to gel together. But we will hold off discussion of verses until the insinuators actually quote a verse.
Note: Use of [Brackets] are editorial comments by the writer of this Rebuttal and are not part of the original cited sources.
Submitted by Rashid Jahangiri.
Professor Irshad Manji is a journalist, author and controversial personality in the Muslim world. Currently she holds directorship of ‘Moral Courage Project’ at New York University.
I sent her following email.
Dear Professor Irshad Manji:
First a disclosure: I am member of Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement (it is different from Qadiani-Ahmadiyya). Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement holds belief that Holy Prophet Muhammad SAWS was The Last Messenger and that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sahib of Qadian was only a REFORMER (Mujaddid) of 14th Islamic Century, and that ALL reciters of Kalima-Shahada are Muslims, and belief in Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sahib is NOT a requirement for a Muslim.
After reading your book ‘The Trouble with Islam Today’ I developed an opinion about you. And actually I was planning to come to your talk on your book, in spring of 2004 in Jesuits University ‘University of San Francisco’ to have discussion with you. But after listening to your talk on your book ‘Allah Liberty and Love’, recorded on September 13, 2011 and aired on C-Span on September 17, 2011, I have formed a different opinion about you.
In your talk you made a comment that “Non-Muslims are forcing Muslims to reform”. This reminds me of reformer Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sahib, who faced opposition of a much bigger magnitude in 19th century India than you’re facing today in North America and Western Europe. MGA sahib was in great distress to see that his efforts to reform Muslims were not bearing fruit; he had a revelation “A Warner came to the world, but world did not heed him, but Allah will establish his truthfulness by heavy powerful attacks”. And this is what we are seeing today.
Prof. Manji, I think in last four hundred years 9/11 is the best thing that happened for Islam (please pay attention: I am using word Islam and NOT Muslims). Again 9/11 is the best thing that happened for Islam. My reason: In last four hundred years Islam has been the victim and perpetrators are both Muslims and Non-Muslims. Muslim perpetrators interpret Islam wrong and non-Muslim perpetrators slam Islam with wrong interpretation of Muslim perpetrators. In post 9/11 environment both perpetrators are getting weak. Muslim perpetrators are getting militarily weak and non-Muslim perpetrators are getting economically, morally and ethically weak. Now when both these perpetrators get weak, reformers voices and efforts will gain strength. And as peace takes hold, Islam will flourish. As by its nature Islam only flourishes in peace time. In war times, Islam only struggles to survive.
In reference to Holy Prophet Muhammad SAWS cartoons published by Danish newspapers and then in USA newspaper etc. City of Philadelphia held a discussion in February 2006. I attended and spoke in it and wrote a piece in Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement newspaper ‘The Light – London Edition’ June 2006. Please take a look. I am sure you will find something new and interesting:
A member of Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement is writing an online book that answers bashing of Holy Quran, Holy Prophet Muhammad SAWS, and Islam in general by people at ‘Jihad Watch’. Please take a look and see if you could contribute your thoughts and suggestions:
Project Rebuttal – “Islam: What The West Needs To Know”:
Prof. Manji, I would like to meet you and have little discussion on your book ‘The Trouble with Islam Today’.
Issue 18 [@ 17:01]: Serge Trifkovic: “There are indeed some verses in the Quran that could be called peaceful and tolerant. Notably, the injunction against the compulsion in a religion. Those verses almost invariably date back to beginnings of Muhammad’s prophetic career in his native city of Makkah where he was powerless, where he was only beginning to attract followers.”
Rebuttal 18: At least Serge Trifkovic partially admits that “There are indeed some verses in the Quran that could be called peaceful and tolerant. Notably, the injunction against the compulsion in a religion.”
Serge Trifkovic is especially adept at using adjectives against Islam, Muhammad and Quran without providing any reference or basis for his using such words. He essentially resorts to dignified cursing. Here he uses the word “powerless” for Muhammad. His choice of words throughout the documentary is filtered by his prejudices against Muslims in his own life where he is on record for being unable to comprehend the Genocide of Bosnians at the hands of his fellow Serbs that he advised, and is in denial, or maybe even complicit. Despite being “powerless” both Muhammad then and Bosnians now, had the moral prowess to prevail in the long run. The evil machination of Serge Trifkovic are no different than similar slurs that were hurled at Muhammad in his life time. Quran rebuts such Islam, Muhammad and Quran haters:
5:63. Why do not the teachers of divine knowledge and those learned in the Law prohibit them from their blasphemic talk and deeds and their being too much given to eating things forbidden? Evil indeed is their machination.
5:64. And the Jews said, `Allâh’s hand is fettered (from assisting the helpless Muslims).’ Fettered are their own hands (from assisting the enemies of Islam), and they are deprived of blessings of Allâh for what they said. Nay, (the truth of the matter is that) both His hands are wide open (and free). He spends as He pleases. And that which has been revealed to you from your Lord will most surely increase many of them in inordinate rebellion and in disbelief. And We have kindled enmity and hatred among them till the Day of Resurrection. Every time they kindle a fire for war, Allâh puts it out, but they strive to create disorder in the land, whereas Allâh does not like the creators of disorder.
Every word of this verse came out true fourteen centuries ago and in the present where – Fettered are their own hands [of Bosian War Criminals and the insinuators of this movie] (from assisting the enemies of Islam), and they are deprived of blessings of Allâh for what they said. Nay, (the truth of the matter is that) both His hands are wide open (and free) and Serge Trifkovic himself having eating things forbidden i.e. being compensated for being an adviser of the Genocide perpetrators. Irrespective of how many rebuttals are written and facts of history may be to the contrary, the fact of the matter is that for the makers of this documentary – We have kindled enmity and hatred among them till the Day of Resurrection. All this attitude of theirs is merely for – that which has been revealed [- Quran] to you [- Muhammad] from your Lord will most surely increase many of them in inordinate rebellion and in disbelief.
Serge Trifkovic himself is witness to his moral short comings by being adviser of the Balkan War criminals who perpetrated genocide in Bosnia. Quran addresses him directly and those he advised, when it states – Every time they kindle a fire for war, Allâh puts it out, but they strive to create disorder in the land, whereas Allâh does not like the creators of disorder.
Serge Trifkovic oozes with hate when he states – “…beginnings of Muhammad’s prophetic career in his native city of Makkah where he was powerless, where he was only beginning to attract followers.”
Yes, Muhammad was seemingly “powerless” but not not alone or despaired:
8:26. And (recall the time) when you were only a few and were looked upon as weak in the land, you were afraid lest the people should take you by storm, but He provided you refuge (in Madînah) and strengthened you with His help and provided you with good and pure things so that you might give thanks.
History was on the side of Muhammad, just as it was for the Israelites under Pharoah:
28:3. We recount to you (a portion) of the true account of Moses and Pharaoh with all accuracy for the benefit of the people who would believe.
28:5. And We chose to confer favour upon those who had been rendered weak in the land and to make them leaders and to bestow a kingdom upon them, thus make them inheritors (of Our blessings).
This Divine plan for Muhammad did not stop at providing refuge to who were only a few and were looked upon as weak in the land and “powerless”, but it went on to provide a complete victory to the same “powerless”:
110:1. The help of Allâh and the victory (over the Makkans) has indeed come (in fulfillment of the prophecies),
110:2. And you see people thronging in to the fold of the Faith of Allâh.
Sorry, Serge Trifkovic, you cannot undo the morality of the past nor of present or future. So far in the documentary you have only uttered falsehood without backing up your slurs without any facts from Quran or secular history. You try to mock Muhammad for “peaceful verses” in his early prophetic career only, but you give no verse number to make your point. Your scholarship is pathetic.
Lesson Learned – The verse above outlines a moral law about hate that Muslims will face. If the hate is because of some Muslim behavior, then it can be rectified by dialogue, clarifications, apology or redress on part of Muslims. But if the hate is because of their being a Muslim and their Quran, then there can be no remedy – 5:64…And that which has been revealed to you from your Lord will most surely increase many of them in inordinate rebellion and in disbelief. And We have kindled enmity and hatred among them till the Day of Resurrection…
Editorial Comment: Many so called “peaceful and tolerant” verses from the Makkan period could be quoted besides many many more from Medinian period, but the burden remains on Serge Trifkovic to identify the peaceful verses as he in his infinite wisdom seems to have found the non-peaceful ones as well in Quran.
Holy Quran – Nooruddin
Issue 17[@16:19]: Walid Shoebat: “The Quran is broken down into two sections. One is called Makiyyah, which means what was inspired to Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, in Makkah. One is called Madaniyyah – what was inspired to Prophet of Islam in Medina or Yathrib. In Makkah you find much of the peaceful verses. Muhammad used to live with the Jewish community and Christian community in peace and harmony. So there were many verses in the Quran, that the [style of speech], even the Muslims used to worship in direction of prayer towards Jerusalem. They saw many elements of the unity between Jewish and Christians and Muslim faith.
Rebuttal 17: Walid Shoebat touches upon various issues that needs a breakdown.
Issue 17a: Walid Shoebat – “The Quran is broken down into two sections. One is called Makiyyah, which means what was inspired to Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, in Makkah. One is called Madaniyyah – what was inspired to Prophet of Islam in Medina or Yathrib….”
Rebuttal 17a: Quran was revealed over twenty-three long years of which the first thirteen were in Makkah where the nascent Muslim community was under all kinds of relentless persecution and the rest was revealed when they were forced into exile and relocation to Medina. Quite logically, Quran had to be revealed over a period of time before it could be completed. Whether a verse was revealed in Makkah or Medina has more of historical value and has no bearing on the fundamental truths of the message and there are no contradictions therein.
Reader beware – There are no fault lines of Makkiyyah or Madaniyyah verses in Quran. A chapter [-surah] may be termed by some historically curious as Makkiyyah if its opening verse [-ayah] was revealed in Makkah. But, there is no hard and fast rule that some or all of the verses of the same chapter too were revealed in Makkah. Even if the rest of the verses of the chapter were revealed in Makkah, they might had been revealed years apart. Same holds true for Madaniyya. This movie tries to force a re-structure of Quran into chronological order which it is not. Quran is a preexisting full body of knowledge from the first cause, generally called as God, and specifically in Islam – Allah, though it was revealed piece by piece. The preexistence of this whole body of logic is metaphorically referred to as:
85:21. This is also the truth that it is a glorious Qur’ân,
85:22. (Inscribed) in a Tablet well-guarded (against corruption, distortion and destruction).[Note: this is not the last verse revealed, but Quran is referring to itself as a whole preexisting Book]
Muhammad never differentiated the verses and the message of Quran along Makkiyyah or Madaniyyah lines.
Muhammad Ali in his book, “Religion of Islam” [p. 38-39] deals in a gist with the issue at hand:
On referring to the subject-matter of the Makkah and Madinah revelations, we find the following three broad features, distinguishing the two groups of chapters.
Firstly, the Makkah revelation deals chiefly with faith in God and is particularly devoted to grounding the Muslims in that faith, while the Madinah revelation is mainly intended to translate that faith into action. It is true that exhortations to good and noble deeds are met with in the Makkah revelation, and in the Madinah revelation, faith is still shown to be the foundation on which the structure of deeds should be built, but in the main, stress is laid in the former on faith in an Omnipotent and Omnipresent God Who requites every good and every evil deed, and the latter deals, chiefly with what is good and what is evil, in other words, with the details of the law.
The second feature distinguishing the two revelations is that while that of Makkah is generally prophetical, that of Madinah deals with the fulfilment of prophecy.
Thirdly, while the former shows how true happiness of mind may be sought in communion with God, the latter points out how man’s dealing with man may also be a source of bliss and comfort to him.
Hence a scientific arrangement of the Quran must of necessity rest on the intermingling of the two revelations, blending of faith with deeds, of prophecy with fulfilment of prophecy, of Divine communion with man’s relation to and treatment of man.
It may be added here that the idea that the proper arrangement of the Qur’an should be in chronological order is a mistaken one. Most of the chapters were revealed piecemeal, and hence a chronological order of revelation would destroy the chapter arrangement altogether. Take, for example, the very first chapter chronologically, the 96th in the present order. While its first five verses are undoubtedly the first revelation that came to the Prophet, the rest of the chapter was not revealed before the fourth year of his ministry. Similarly with the second chapter in the present arrangement; while the major portion of it was revealed in the first and the second years of the Hijrah, some verses were revealed as late as the closing days of the Prophet’s life. Chronological order is, therefore, an impossibility.
By emphasizing and trying to create false fracture in Quran along chronological lines, these Islam haters forget that Quran has already answered their argument beforehand:
25:32. And those who disbelieve say, `Why has not (the whole of) the Qur’ân been revealed to him all at once? (But We have revealed it) in this manner (- piece by piece out of necessity). And (in spite of the fact that it has not been revealed all at once,) We have arranged it in an excellent (form and order of) arrangement (and free of all contradictions) so that We may thereby lend strength to your heart.
25:33. They bring you no parable (by way of an objection) but We have provided you with the true fact and perfect interpretation (of it, in answer to the objection beforehand).
Issue 17b: Walid Shoebat continues – “…In Makkah you find much of the peaceful verses….”
Rebuttal 17b: What Walid Shoebat is not telling the audience is that in Medina too, essentially through out Quran there are peaceful verses and no violent message, not only in letter but in spirit as well, because it is the very definition of Islam i.e. peace and free of anxieties. This topic will progress further in the movie and any specific allegations shall be dealt with thence.
Issue 17c: Walid Shoebat – “…Muhammad used to live with the Jewish community and Christian community in peace and harmony….”
Rebuttal 17c: Even thought these comments by Walid Shoebat are sly, he probably is referring to the early period of Muhammad’s exile in Medina. Still, factually it is the opposite, i.e. Jewish and Christian community used to live with Muhammad and Muslims in peace and harmony as they were bound by their peace treaty that they signed with Muslim government, which was established soon after Muhammad’s arrival in Medina – The majority of the Jews signed this agreement, that included the tribes of Bani Awf, Bani al-Najjar, Bani al-Harith, Bani Sa’idah, Bani Jash’am, Bani Tha’labah and the Jews of al-Aws. The tribes of Bani Quraidah, Bani al-Nadir, and Bani Qainuqa’ opposed the agreement only to sign similar agreements drawn up by the Prophet (s.a.w.) later on and accept their provisions. [Muhammad the Messenger of Allah, chapter: Key forces in the Madinah Community]
Issue 17d: Walid Shoebat – “…So there were many verses in the Quran, that the [-style of speech], even the Muslims used to worship in direction of prayer towards Jerusalem. They saw many elements of the unity between Jewish and Christians and Muslim faith.”
Rebuttal 17d: As implied by the documentary in reference, Walid Shoebat is trying to position this historical peaceful stance of Muhammad towards Jews and Christians as a mere strategic positioning by the former. What he is hiding from the audience is that it is an article of faith for Muslims to believe in the same God, the Prophets and the revealed original Books of the Jews and Christians and just not offer a politically correct conciliatory lip service. Many verses can be quoted to validate this statement, but following sample should suffice:
42:13. He has ordained for you the same course of faith as He enjoined on Noah (to adopt), and which We have revealed to you, and it is that (same faith) which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, Jesus, so keep the faith and do not differ in it.
29:46. (Believers!) observe all the propriety when you argue with the people of the Scripture; but those who are bent upon behaving unjustly among them do not agree to these principles (so deal with them accordingly). And say (to them), `We believe in all that is revealed to us and in that which has been revealed to you, and our God and your God is One, and to Him we stand resigned.
Quran addresses the Muslims that their faith is the same that He enjoined on Noah (to adopt), and which We have revealed to you [i.e. Muslims], and it is that (same faith) which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, Jesus, so keep the faith and do not differ in it – then it was quite logical that unless Muslims were Divinely instructed to do so otherwise, they had no qualms in saying their prayers five times daily facing toward Jerusalem, the land of Abraham and Moses and city of Jesus.
Since Walid Shoebat also implicitly insinuates that Muslims later for some tacit reason changed the Qibla i.e. direction of their prayer away from Jerusalem, this change of Qibla needs further elaboration in light of Quran.
As stated in Rebuttal 17a above, Message and practices of Islam were revealed piecemeal to the Muslims. One of the incremental adjustment was that of Qiblah i.e. the direction of prayers, which was redirected from Jerusalem toward Masjid al-Haram (-the Mosque of Peace i.e. The Holy Kaaba in Makkah). This change was necessary for the mere fact that even though the Original Message given to Jews and Christians was the creed of Abraham, but factually Judaism and Christianity were later man made inventions and that they falsely claim the creed of the Patriarchs i.e. Abraham, Issac and Jacob. Due to this distortion the Jews and Christians make the following case:
2:120. And the Jews will never be pleased with you nor the Christians unless you follow their creed. Say, `Allâh’s guidance is the only perfect and true guidance.’ If you were to follow their low desires after there has come to you this perfect knowledge, you shall have from Allâh neither a protecting friend, nor any helper.
2:135. And they (the Jews and the Christians respectively) said, `Be Jews or be Christians, then you shall be on the right course.’ Say, `Nay, but (ours is) the faith of Abraham, the upright, and he was not of the polytheist.’
Whereas, Quran challenges them in their claims that Judaism and Christianity is not the creed of Patriarchs and Ismail:
2:140. Do you (O Jews and the Christians!) say that Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob and his children were Jews or Christians? Say, `Have you then greater knowledge or (is it) Allâh (Who knows better)?
To that effect Quran states again that Judaism and Christianity is not the creed of Abraham:
2:130. And who will show aversion to Abraham’s creed except he who has befooled himself. We did make him Our chosen one in this world, and surely he, in the Hereafter will surely be (counted) among the righteous.
2:131. When his Lord said to him [-Abraham], `Submit,’ he said, `I have already submitted to the Lord of the worlds.’
2:132. The same (faith) did Abraham enjoin upon his sons and (so did) Jacob (saying), `My sons! surely, Allâh has chosen for you this faith. See that when you die you are in a state of complete submission (according to His will).’
2:133. Were you present when death visited Jacob, and when he said to his sons, `What (God) will you worship after me?’ They replied, `We will worship your God, the God of your fathers – Abraham, Ismâîl and Isaac, the only One God, and to Him do we submit ourselves.’
Quran then makes the claim for itself as the true Message of creed of Abraham and all the Prophets:
2:136. Say, `We believe in Allâh and in that (the Qur’ân) which has been revealed to us, and what was revealed to Abraham, Ismâîl, Isaac, Jacob and his children, and what was given to Moses and Jesus and (we believe) in what was given to (all other) Prophets from their Lord. We (while believing in them) make no discrimination between anyone of them, and to Him do we submit ourselves entirely.’
Quran not only identifies the true basis of Abraham’s creed, it also draws attention to the actual symbol of that creed which was (re-)built by Abraham with help of his son Ismail:
2:127. And when Abraham raised the foundations of the House and Ismâîl (with him, and they were praying), `Our Lord! accept (this service) from us, You, indeed, You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.
2:128. `Our Lord! make us both submissive servants to You (alone), and (raise) from our progeny a community (preaching virtue and) submissive to You, and show us our ways of worship and turn to us with mercy, for only You are the Oft-Returning (with compassion), the Ever Merciful.
2:129. `Our Lord! do raise among them a great Messenger from among themselves, who may recite to them Your Messages and teach them the Book and Wisdom, and may purify them. You, indeed, You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.’
After identifying the true creed of Abraham and the symbol of his creed, Quran then redirects the Muslims to pray away from Jerusalem:
2:142. The weak-minded among the people will say, `What has made these (Muslims) turn from their (first) Qiblah (- the direction they were facing in their Prayer, the holy place of worship at Jerusalem) to which they conformed (so far)?’ Say, `To Allâh belongs the east and the west, He guides him who wishes (to be guided) to the right path.’
The redirection away from Jerusalem additionally brings to light the separation of those who believe in the actual creed of Abraham (– Islam), from those who erroneously think that they are following the same creed in their faith:
2:143. And thus have We made you a nation exalted and justly balanced so that you may be a guiding example for all mankind (by carrying to them what you have learnt about Islam), and this perfect Messenger (of God) may be a guiding example for you. And We did not make that which you would have to be the Qiblah but that We might distinguish him who follows the Messenger from him who turns upon his heels. And this (change of Qiblah) is indeed a hard (test) except for those whom Allâh has guided aright. It was not Allâh’s purpose that your faith and your worship should go in vain. Surely, Allâh is Compassionate and Ever Merciful to the people.
Then, Quran redirects Muslims to pray toward Makkah, which is the fruition of prayers of Abraham, Ismail (2:129 above) and Muhammad:
2:144. Verily, We have seen the turning of your attention (O Prophet!) repeatedly towards heaven, We will certainly give you possession of the Qiblah of your liking. So turn your attention in the direction of Masjid al-Harâm (- the Holy Mosque at Makkah) and wherever you (O Muslims!) be, turn your attentions in the direction of it. And surely those (scholars) who have been given the Scripture know for certain that this (change of Qiblah) is a true commandment proceeding from their Lord. And (as for the disbelievers,) Allâh is not at all unmindful as to what they do.
Quran then addresses Muslims while referring to the likes of Walid Shoebat & Co.
2:145. And even if you should bring to those (who went astray and) who have been given the Scripture (before you) all kinds of signs together, they would not follow your Qiblah, nor would you be the follower of their Qiblah, nor would some of them be the follower of one another’s Qiblah [i.e. Jews and Christians, even thought both claim creed of Abraham, but reject each other, while denying it to Islam]. And if you (O reader!) should follow their low desires after (all) this knowledge [of Islam, the creed of Abraham] that has come to you, then indeed, you would be of the unjust.
Essentially, praying while facing toward Kaaba is not only a unifying gesture for Muslims in their faith, Islam, but even more importantly it also reminds them of their belonging to creed of Abraham. Else, devoid of this concept, facing towards Kaaba does not carry much value which is summarized in Quran:
2:177. It is not righteousness that you [outwardly] turn your faces towards the East and the West [for prayer], but righteous is the one who believes in Allah, and the Last Day, and the angels [i.e. follow the attraction of good] and the Book and the prophets [- all of them because they followed the creed of Abraham - 2:136], and gives away wealth out of love for Him to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask and to set slaves free and keeps up prayer and pays the poor-rate; and the performers of their promise when they make a promise, and the patient in distress and affliction and in the time of conflict. These are they who are truthful; and these are they who keep their duty [- in summary the followers of creed of Abraham]. – Muhammad Ali, Zahid Aziz.
Note: Use of [Brackets] are editorial comments by the writer of this Rebuttal and are not part of the original cited sources.
Creed – 1: a brief authoritative formula of religious belief. 2: a set of fundamental beliefs; also a guiding principle – Merriam Webster
Charter of Medina – Islamic-World.net
Religion of Islam – Muhammad Ali
Holy Quran – Muhammad Ali, edited by Zahid Aziz
Holy Quran – Nooruddin (all, unless noted otherwise above)
Issue 16[@ 15:52]: Slide show – The Noble Koran – 9:29 – Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger and fight against those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah [voice - the Poll Tax] with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.
Rebuttal 16: The critics of Islam have gripes against history. Firstly, as to why Muhammad did not offer himself for crucifixion? Secondly, why did he along with his followers successfully escape from his persecutors in Makkah? Thirdly, why did he take up arms in self-defense? Fourth, why did he succeed against well equipped armies despite being outnumbered? Fifth, why did he overcome the Makkans? Sixth, why was he able to establish a transparent and successful government with full accountability? The answer to the last gripe is in the verse that is shown in the slide in the movie and is addressed in this rebuttal below:
9:29. Fight against such of the people who despite having been given the Scripture [and were not following its standards of civility – as recorded in secular history,] do not (really) believe in Allâh and the Last Day, [and had no sense of accountability – which can be independently verified in history] and who do not hold unlawful what Allâh and His Messenger have declared to be unlawful [and forbidden], and do not subscribe to the true faith, [i.e. law of the land, thus requiring Police action and a fight on the mob for enforcement of Law and Order and the values that a state stands for]…
The keyword in above verse is unlawful [and forbidden]. These clauses are only valid and enforceable in context of a sitting government and its set of written laws including taxation. No government can be functional without law enforcement and tax collection.
The law enforcement was warranted then as is now in “civilized” societies of the world. Some of the unlawful and forbidden activities requiring full force of the law are sampled from Quran as follows:
2:275. Those who practice usury and interest, (their condition is such as) they will not be able to stand except like the standing of one who has lost his reason under the influence of satan. That is so because they say, `Trade is just like usury and interest.’ Whereas Allah has made trade lawful and made interest unlawful. Then whosoever has received (this) admonition from his Lord and keeps away (from usury and interest) he may keep whatever (interest) he has taken in the past. His matter rests with Allah. As for those who revert (to the practice of usury and interest) it is these who are the fellows of the Fire, therein shall they live for long. “
2:276. Allâh annuls usury and interest and promotes charity. Allâh does not love any persistent and confirmed disbeliever and an arch-sinner.
2:277. Verily, those who believe and do deeds of righteousness and regularly observe the Prayer and go on presenting the Zakât shall have their reward from their Lord; they shall have no cause of fear, nor shall they ever grieve.
2:278. O you who believe! take Allâh as a shield and forgo all outstanding gains from usury and interest if you are indeed believers.
2:279. But if you do (it) not, then beware of war from Allâh and His Messenger. But if you turn away (from such an unlawful transaction) then you shall have your principal (without interest) back. (Thus) you shall neither deal unjustly nor be dealt with unjustly.
4:161. And (also on account of) their taking interest and usury though they were forbidden it, and because of their misappropriating people’s belongings. And We have prepared a woeful punishment for those among them who disbelieve.
2:280. If any (debtor) be in straitened circumstances there shall be respite (for him) till (his circumstances) ease. But that if you remit (the debt) by way of charity (for the sake of God), it is better for you, if you only knew.
Usurpation of Property and the Wild West mentality, where there is no sense of accountability
17:33. And do not kill anyone, the sanctity of which Allâh has upheld (and has forbidden you to slay) except for a just cause. And We have given, of course, to the heir of the person who is killed unjustly the right (to demand retribution or to forgive). But let him not exceed the (prescribed) limits in killing (the murderer) because he is indeed helped (and protected by law).
4:29. O you who believe! do not consume your (- one another’s) property amongst yourselves by unlawful means, rather it be a trade based on free mutual consent. And do not kill your people. Surely, Allâh has been Ever Merciful to you.
4:30. But whoever does any such thing aggressively and unjustly, We shall certainly cast him into Fire. And this is ever easy for Allâh.
Health and Safety Code
16:115. He has made unlawful for you only carrion (that which dies of itself), blood (flowed out), the flesh of swine and that which has been sacrificed in some other name than Allâh’s. But he who is constrained (to do this) not desiring it and having no intention either to disobey or to exceed the limits (of necessity), will find that Allâh surely is Great Protector, Ever Merciful.
2:173. He has forbidden you only (to eat carrion) that which dies of itself, the blood, the flesh of swine and that over (the sacrifice of) which the name of someone other than Allâh has been invoked. Yet he who is constrained (to use them) without desiring (them) nor going beyond the limits (of bare necessity), incurs no sin. Surely, Allâh is Great Protector, Ever Merciful.
4:23. Forbidden to you (for marriage) are your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, your paternal aunts, and your maternal aunts, and the daughters of a brother, and the daughters of a sisters, and your (foster) mothers who have given suck to you, and your foster sisters, and the mothers of your wives, and your step-daughters who are being brought up under your care and have been born of your wives (by their former husbands,) unto whom you have gone in, but if you have not gone in unto them (- their mothers), then there is no blame on you (in marrying their daughters), and the wives of your sons who are from your own loins; and (it is forbidden to you) to keep in wedlock two sisters (at one and the same time), except what has already passed, (you have to divorce one of them). Surely, Allâh is Most Protector (against faults), Ever Merciful.
4:24. And (you are also forbidden to marry) already married women who are in a wed-lock. Yet those (captives in war) whom your right hands possess (are permitted to you for marriage even if not formally divorced by their former husbands, since their captivity is equivalent to divorce). This is the law prescribed to you by Allâh. All (women) beyond those (mentioned above) are lawful to you, provided you seek (their hands) by means of your wealth (- by granting dowers), marrying them properly and not (committing fornication) to pursue your lust. You shall, for the benefits you draw from them (by regular marriage), pay them (- your wives) such of their dowers as have been fixed. There is, however, no blame on you (in increasing or decreasing the amount of dower) which you (- husband and wife) mutually agree upon, after it has been (once) fixed. Surely, Allâh is All-Knowing, All-Wise.
Human trafficking – Sex Trade
7:33. Say, `Verily, My Lord has forbidden all (acts of) indecency, open and hidden, and every (kind of) sin and aggression, which is never justifiable; and (He forbids you also) to associate with Allâh that for which He has sent down no authority, and to say concerning Allâh that which you do not know (that it is in fact said by Him).’
24:3. The fornicator and adulterer cannot have sexual relations (without lawful marriage) except with a fornicatress and adulteress or polytheistic woman (of low morality), and the fornicatress and adulteress, none can have sexual relations with her except a fornicator and adulterer or a polytheistic man (of low morality). And this (adultery and fornication) is forbidden to the believers.
25:68. And who invoke none as god along with Allâh and who do not kill anyone whom Allâh has forbidden (to be killed), except for a just and lawful cause, and who do not commit fornication and adultery; and he who does (these things) shall meet the punishment of (his) sin.
Human Dignity and Defamation
49:11. O you who believe! let no people look down upon another people for the (latter) people may be better than they, nor let women (look down) upon other women, who (- the women who are treated lightly) may be better than the other ones. And find not fault in one another (in order to defame your own people), nor call one another by nick-names. Bad is the reputation of wickedness after the (profession of) belief. Highly unjust are the people who would not abstain from what they are forbidden.
Anti-State conspiracy and Sleeper Cells
58:8. Have you not seen those who were forbidden (to hold) secret counsels and yet repeatedly returned to what they were forbidden to do, and they conferred together secretly (encouraging) sin, transgression and disobedience to the Messenger? When they come to you they greet you (with words) with which Allâh has not greeted you, but they say one to another, `Why does Allâh not cause us to suffer for what we say (hypocritically).’ Sufficient for them is Gehenna (to reckon with them satisfactorily). They shall enter it. What an evil resort!
58:9. O you who believe! when you hold secret counsels do not confer to promote sin, transgression and disobedience to the Messenger. Rather confer (to promote) piety, and righteousness and restrain from evil. And take Allâh as a shield, (Allâh) before whom you shall be gathered together.
58:10. Holding secret counsels (with evil intentions) is (the work) of satan (who does it) to cause unrest and distress to those who believe. Yet he can do them no harm at all except by the leave of Allâh. Therefore let the believers repose their trust in Allâh.
9:29….until they pay the Jizyah (- the commutation tax), provided they can afford it, and they are content with their state of subjection (having become incorporated in the Islamic government)[as payment of tax is the first step towards citizenship and the rights that it confers. Conforming to tax laws is in letter and spirit “Oath of Allegiance” to the state, else Internal Revenue Service has no option but to act against such a person, legally and if needed by police action].
The Jizyah is a sliding tax rate, up to a maximum of 12 dirhams annually (see Rebuttal 15d, under Muhammad’s Charter to Christians) and that too provided they can afford it, while it also exempted them from compulsory military service. On the other hand, the Muslims had a fixed 2.5% property tax aka Zakat, annually and still mandated them to serve in the military. By pure numbers and responsibilities, factually it was Muslims who were discriminated against as compared to non-Muslims citizens that Robert Spencer disparagingly calls Dhimmis while ignoring the undertaking of Dhimma by the Muslims [-see Rebuttal 15d].
Apparently, United States of America borrowed fundamentals of its constitution from the verse in reference:
“Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” – Benjamin Franklin
By enforcing Laws as outlined in the verse in this issue, one can conclude that Shariah is more in effect in Western countries than in Muslim countries themselves. Sounds scary?
Issue 15[@15:26]: Robert Spencer, Director DhimmiWatch.org: “What is in those books is very clear instructions from the Prophet Muhammad that it is the responsibility of the Muslims to meet the unbelievers on the battlefield and to invite them either to accept Islam or second-class Dhimmi status in the Islamic state and if they refuse both of those then to wage war against them.”
Rebuttal 15: Robert Spencer implies Hadith books (see Issues 11, 12, 13) when he makes his above statement that again needs a progressive breakdown below:
Issue 15a: Robert Spencer – “What is in those [Hadith] books is very clear instructions from the Prophet Muhammad…”
Rebuttal 15a: So, Mr. Spencer are you telling us that ALL Hadith collections are ACTUAL sayings of Prophet Muhammad? All Hadiths must be accepted as “clear instructions” of Prophet Muhammad?
Answer is plain and simple NO! Firstly, all Hadith collections starting from the time when Prophet Muhammad was alive till fifth century Hijrah are HUMAN EFFORTS of retention, transmission, collection and recording. They are some what similar to your Gospels where humans scrambled to collect and write and publish the latter as the word of God. If the bar of authentication in religious matters is low in your faith, it does not mean that Islam has to stoop equally low. Secondly, the bar for Islam is QURAN without any ifs ands or buts. Any claim of any Hadith has to meet the standards and principles of Message of the Quran. If there is any incongruity, then that Hadith has to be rejected without looking back. Reader, please refer to Rebuttal 12 in an earlier posting dealing with why Quran stands on its own without extraneous sources and the role of Hadith for Quran.
It is a separate matter that Robert Spencer and his folks will preach malice no matter how much the facts may be to the contrary.
Issue 15b: Robert Spencer – “What is in those [Hadith] books is very clear instructions from the Prophet Muhammad that it is the responsibility of the Muslims to [when they] meet the unbelievers on the battlefield…”
Rebuttal 15b: Once again there is a huge gloss over. Firstly, he does not quote any Hadith for his full statement above. Secondly, Robert Spencer never tells the audience that in Islam and Quran, Muslims can meet their enemies in a battlefield under a few conditions only – self-defense, prevention of tyranny and lawlessness or for sake of religious freedom for all. In doing so there could be a strategic preemptive maneuver if a prevailing state of war exists. Please read Rebuttals 1, 8 and 13 above which outline excerpts from Quran to validate these claims.
Issue 15c: Robert Spencer – “What is in those [Hadith] books is very clear instructions from the Prophet Muhammad that it is the responsibility of the Muslims to meet the unbelievers on the battlefield and to invite them either to accept Islam…”
Rebuttal 15c: From Rebuttal 15b, it is quite clear as to what conditions when met brings Muslims to a battlefield. Robert Spencer, please tell the audience if any “civilized” country of his choosing will shy away from causes where such a battle is thrust on it?
Essentially, the picture that Robert Spencer is trying to paint is battlefields of the old when two armies would come face to face on a battlefield and there was a possibility of a shouting dialogue or messenger exchange. Even though Robert Spencer quotes no Hadith or facts from history for his statement but lets give him room. Despite a defensive battle, according to Robert Spencer, Muslims at least had the courtesy to invite the enemy to Islam for its values of equality and dignity of mankind and gave one last chance to the enemy to avoid an unnecessary battle. Now what is wrong with that? In all this lets not forget the wars thrust on Muslims were merely for the fact that they were Muslims and carried an ideology of equality of mankind, that was an existential threat to the tyrants of the time from within their own populace whether they were Makkans, Byzantines or Persians.
What he is also correctly telling us is that Muslim armies met their enemies in the battlefield, unlike the European history of decimating cities and its populace starting from Biblical times, through Crusades to present day.
Issue 15d: Robert Spencer – “What is in those books is very clear instructions from the Prophet Muhammad that it is the responsibility of the Muslims to meet the unbelievers on the battlefield and to invite them either to accept Islam or second-class Dhimmi status in the Islamic state…”
Rebuttal 15d: FYI Robert Spencer there is no second-class citizenship in Islam and Quran. There is no Dhimmi word in Quran. There is no historical discriminatory decree against a Dhimmi by any head of the state. While you have not provided any historical reference, then it begets you to at least inform your audience that “Dhimmi” is derived from “Dhimma” which means “extra responsibility.” Apart from usual state of affairs a “Dhimmi” is to be given extra protection and handling while making sure his rights and dignity is not violated, because they are under “Dhimma” of the Islamic State.
Robert Spencer needs to be educated about Dhimmi that he calls as second class citizen. The facts are to the contrary.
Lets look at the decrees or “Dhimma” of Muslim Rulers for their responsibility towards minority faiths:
CHARTER TO CHRISTIANS by Muhammad.
(excerpted pages 143-146 from: Jihad in Islam, by M.Y.K., The Muslim Revival, Vol V, No. 2, June 1936, Lahore, India)
According to Futuh-ul-Buldan Balazari the charter of freedom of faith granted to the Christians of Najran and later on extended to the Christian subjects of Islam all over the world runs as follows:
“This is the document which Muhammad son of Abdullah, God’s Prophet, Warner and Bearer of glad tidings, has caused to be written, so that there should remain no excuse for those coming after. I have caused this document to be written for the Christians of the East and the West, for those who live near, and for those of the distant lands, for the Christians living at present and for those who will come after, for those Christians who are known to us and for those as well whom we do not know. Any Muslim violating and abusing what is therein ordered would be regarded as a violator of God’s testament and would be the breaker of his promise and would make himself deserving of God’s curse, be he a king or a subject.”
“I promise that any monk or way-farer, etc., who will seek my help on the mountains, in forests, deserts or habitations, in places of worship, I will repel his enemies with all my friends and helpers, with all my relatives and with all those who profess to follow me and will defend him, because they are on my covenant. And I will defend the covenanted against the persecution, inequity and embarrassment by their enemies in lieu of the poll-tax (Jizya) they have promised to pay.
“If they will prefer themselves to defend their properties and persons, they will be allowed to do so and will not be put to any inconvenience on that account. No bishop will be expelled from his bishopric, no monk from his monastery, and no priest from his place of worship and no pilgrim will be detained in his pilgrimage. None of their churches and other places of worship will be desolated or destroyed or demolished. No material of their churches will be used for building mosques or houses for the Muslims. Any Muslim so doing should be regarded as recalcitrant to God and His Prophet. Monks and bishops will be subjected to no tax (jizya) or indemnity, whether they live in forests or in the rivers, are in the East or West,. North or South. I give them my word of honour. They are on my promise and covenant and will enjoy perfect immunity from all sorts of inconveniences. Those who retire to the mountains and dedicated places, the produce of their cultivated lands will not be subjected to tax or tithe and in times of scarcity of food they will not be compelled to contribute anything in the form of grain. No military service will be taken from them, nor will they be required to pay jizya. Not more than 12 dirhams per annum will be taken from their merchants, landholders and from the wealthy among them. None should be harassed and tryannised for the payment of taxes. In religious controversies and disputations, they should be tathed to with civility and lenience. Let mercy overwhelm them wherever they may be and they should be protected from all troubles and injuries. He who broke God’s covenant and adopted a defiant attitude, will be regarded as His enemy and the violator of His testament. Every help shall be given them in the repair of their churches. They shall be absolved from wearing arms. They shall be protected by the Muslims. Let this document be not disobeyed till the Judgment Day.”
The following is the excerpt of “STATE LETTERS OF CALIPH UMAR” [Islamic Review, October 1956, pg 10] where he instructs his general, Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas, with following written orders:
(9) Encamp at a distance from the villages of those who have concluded pacts with you or have become Dhimmis (those under Islamic protection) on payment of the Jizyah [property tax]. No Muslim should be, allowed to go to their villages except one thoroughly upright in his conduct and trusted by you.
(10) No soldier or officers of your army is to divest a villager of his belongings as you have assumed responsibility for the security of their life, property and. honour, You are under a heavenly trial to fulfil your obligations to them as they are to fulfil theirs. As long as they fulfil their obligations, treat them well.
(11) Do not seek to defeat your enemy by maltreating those who have entered into agreements with you;
Mr. Robert Spencer, the above is a letter from a student of Muhammad. Does any King or a Pope in any lineage or sect of your Christianity or European history even comes close. What to mention the behavior of Crusaders who did it all in the name of their religion that needs no elaboration. In our times, “Civilized” countries like U.S. and NATO (-essentially whole of Europe, US, Canada, Australia) commanders are struggling during their current occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan with issues such as Abu Ghariab and other indiscriminate killing and rape by their soldiers. Indiscriminate killing, destruction and collective punishment is hallmark of IDFs. Ask Palestinians, they will tell you.
Another example of a Muslim Mogul Ruler, Aurangzeb of India – Islamic Review, Vol XIII, Nos. 4 & 5, pg 124-125, April-May, 1925:
Be it known unto all men that we, because of our natural mercy and favour for the welfare of our people, do hereby declare and decree that all our beloved subjects – be they high or low- shall live in peace and harmony one with another; and in accordance with the Islamic Sheria’t (Law) we hereby command that the Temples and the places of idol-worship of the Hindus be maintained and protected. And whereas it hath recently been brought to our notice that certain people intend to entreat despitefully and cruelly our Hindu subjects at Benares and debar the Brahmans from the ancient lawful rites of their worship; and whereas it hath also been brought to our notice that these rumours have caused much pain and consternation to them; now, therefore, we decree and let it be known throughout out our Empire, that from the date of the issue of this decree, no Brahman be molested in his prayers nor Hindu Temples be meddled with. Let our Hindu subjects dwell in peace and pray for our prosperity.
MUHAMMAD AURANGZEB THE EMPOROR, GAZI [The Signature]
MUHAMMAD AURANGZEB s/o SAHIBQIRAN SANNI [The Seal]
Dhimmi is a term which is commonly used for minorities. Ask any African American slaves then and the emancipates later in United States who would had preferred to be a “Dhimmi” of Umar and Aurangzeb. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson were also not blind to the depravity of African Americans for which they essentially instituted “The Dhimmi Remedy” which in United States was called “Affirmative Action.” Lets quote the latter president in regards to Affirmative Action in his Commencement Address at Howard University:
“Nothing is more freighted with meaning for our own destiny than the revolution of the Negro American…In far too many ways American Negroes have been another nation: deprived of freedom, crippled by hatred, the doors of opportunity closed to hope…But freedom is not enough. You do not wipe away the scars of centuries by saying: Now you are free to go where you want, and do as you desire, and choose the leaders you please. You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, ‘you are free to compete with all the others,’ and still justly believe that you have been completely fair…This is the next and the more profound stage of the battle for civil rights. We seek not just freedom but opportunity. We seek not just legal equity but human ability, not just equality as a right and a theory but equality as a fact and equality as a result…To this end equal opportunity is essential, but not enough, not enough.”
Mr. Robert Spencer, you will go into annals of history for your humanitarian efforts if you might care to start a similar letter writing campaign to Israel to give equal, if not superior status to its Arab citizens, in summary a “Dhimmmi Status.”
However, Robert Spencer might not be aware of, but in Islam there is no room for racial, gender or religious discrimination. Some quotations from Quran are in order:
4:1. O you people! take as a shield your Lord Who created you from a single being. The same stock from which He created the man He created his spouse, and through them both He caused to spread a large number of men and women. O people! regard Allâh with reverence in Whose name you appeal to one another, and (be regardful to) the ties of relationship (particularly from the female side). Verily, Allâh ever keeps watch over you.
10:19. And mankind were but a single nation, then they fell into variance…
25:54. And it is He Who created human being from water and has given him relations by descent and (kindred) by marriage (and thus sought to establish a civilization and social life based on oneness of humanity under oneness of God). And your Lord is All-Powerful.
30:22. The creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your tongues and colours are (also some) of His signs. Behold there are sure signs for the learned people in this (unity of mankind and Oneness of the Creator).
49:13. O mankind! We have created you out of a male and a female, and We have made you tribes and sub-tribes that you may recognise (and do good to) one another. Surely the most honourable of you in the sight of Allâh is he who guards against evil the most. Verily, Allâh is All- knowing, All-Aware.
21:92. (Mankind!) surely, this your religion is the one single religion (of all the Prophets), and I am your Lord, so worship Me.
Issue 15e: Robert Spencer – “What is in those books is very clear instructions from the Prophet Muhammad that it is the responsibility of the Muslims to meet the unbelievers on the battlefield and to invite them either to accept Islam or second-class Dhimmi status in the Islamic state and if they refuse both of those then to wage war against them.”
Rebuttal 15e: Robert Spencer, you could be more intelligent than what you just stated. Where was your screen writer. Fire him. You painted a scenario where two armies are facing each other and using your distortions of peace efforts by Muslims, which when fail, what is going to happen next? Any child will tell you “and if they refuse both of those then to wage war against them.” Whats your point? What is your moral lesson? Were the armies gathered to have a picnic? Don’t armies fight in a battle field? Did you expect Muslims to flee away? Please educate us all. This full statement of yours only shows your malice even against history.
Jihad in Islam – Charter To Christians by Muhammad – The Muslim Revival
State Letters of Caliph Umar – Islamic Review
Commencement Address at Howard University – Lyndon B. Johnson
Holy Quran – Nooruddin