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See: Project Rebuttal: What the West needs to know about Islam

Refuting the gross distortion and misrepresentation of the Quran, the Prophet Muhammad and Islam, made by the critics of Islam

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List of all Issues | Summary 1 | Summary 2 | Summary 3‎ — completed, 28th June 2013


September 28th, 2011

Issue 21

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.

References:

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

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