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Archive for November, 2011

Issue 31

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Issue 31 [@ 28:01]: Abdullah Al-Araby, Directory, The Pen vs. Sword Publications – “There is no assurance of what is known in Christianity as salvation and insurance of being saved and guaranteeing going to heaven. However, there are certain things that can help. So, if a Muslim, for instance, died while he was practicing Jihad, he is supposed to go to paradise.”

Rebuttal 31: In Islam there are no false hopes of unearned and undeserved salvation myths of Christianity, yet there are assurances of salvation from within one’s deeds. The ground rules of reward in Islam are based upon the secular principles outlined in the verses below that run congruent to reason. These rules are independent of one’s religion or creed and are solely incumbent on individual responsibility. In Islam there is no salvation on the shoulders of others:

53:38. — that no bearer of burden bears another’s burden,
53:39. and that man can have nothing but what he strives for,
53:40. and that his striving will soon be seen,
53:41. then he will be rewarded for it with the fullest reward, [Muhammad Ali – Ed. Zahid Aziz]

Salvation in Islam is sampled by the deserving in this world before they move on to hereafter:

2:25. And give good tidings to those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, that there await them gardens from beneath which the streams flow. Every time they are given any kind of fruit from them (– the gardens) to eat, they will say, `This is the same we were given before.’ They will be given it (– the fruit) in perfect semblance (to their deeds). They shall have therein companions purified (spiritually and physically), and will abide therein for ever. [Nooruddin]

Similarly, those not on a salvation path can sample the impending disappointment in this very world by their spiritual and moral blindness:

17:72. And whoever is blind in this (world) he will be blind in the Hereafter, and further away from the path. [Muhammad Ali – Ed. Zahid Aziz]

Mr Al-Araby inadvertently takes this documentary into a discussion of comparative salvation between Christianity and Islam, which necessitates a break down of the issue. First the Islamic view of salvation is expounded which is then compared against erroneous doctrine of Christian salvation. Lastly we deal with whether Muslims have monopoly on salvation irrespective of Jihad.

The issue raised by Mr. Al-Araby brings to light the fundamental flaw of Christianity i.e. “assurance of salvation” by an act of someone who died two millenniums ago. Salvation if seen through the lens of Christianity is no more than a mythology that banks on myth of atonement, a concept beyond human reason and sensibilities. The rebuttal of the current Issue is factually the rebuttal of Atonement. This subject was quite succinctly dealt by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in his book – “The Four Questions Answered” [pub. 1897]. Below are excerpted paragraphs of the section titled “Salvation” that was one of the answers to a set of questions by Sirajuddin, a Christian. The salvation question that was asked – According to the Christian belief, Christ came to the world for the love of mankind and to offer himself as sacrifice for its sake. Can the mission of the Founder of Islam be described in similar terms? Or can his mission be described in words even better than ‘love’ and ‘sacrifice’?


Rebuttal 31a: Firstly, basis of salvation in Islam –

The real purpose of the question is to ask whether the Quran presents an example of an accursed sacrifice for the salvation of sinners similar to the one allegedly made by Jesus Christ. According to the Christian belief, Jesus Christ appeared on this earth for the love of sinners. He took on the curse of their sins and was then crucified for these sins. The questioner then asks that if the Quran does not give a similar example, does it present any better method for the salvation of mankind?

The Quranic route to salvation is not through an accursed sacrifice:

Let it be known, Mr. Sirajuddin, that the Quran does not give any example of an accursed sacrifice. It is against the Quranic principle for the sins, or curse, of one person to be transferred to another, and the question of the transference of the sins of millions of people onto one person just does not arise. The Holy Quran states explicitly: “That no bearer of a burden bears another’s burden” (53:38). According to the teachings of the Ouran. deeds are the basis of reward and punishment.

Before I explain the Quranic teachings about salvation, I consider it essential to expose the errors in the Christian doctrine. This would facilitate comparison for those desirous of doing a comparative study between the Christian and Muslim teachings on the subject of salvation.

Ascribing an accursed death to Jesus is perverse:

The Christian doctrine is that God so loved humanity that He transferred the sins of transgressors, unbelievers and evildoers to His beloved Son, Jesus, as part of a plan for the salvation of mankind. Jesus was, thus, cursed with the sins of humanity and crucified on the accursed cross to rid the earth of the curse of sin. This doctrine is perverse and shameful in every way. From the standpoint of justice, such an action is flagrantly cruel. Human conscience revolts against the idea of an innocent person being punished for the wickedness of criminals. From the standpoint of spiritual philosophy and the reality of sin, too, this doctrine is fallacious. Sin is, in actuality, a poison that is created when a person cuts himself from submission to God, His love and His remembrance. Just as an uprooted tree, cut off from its nutrients, withers slowly and loses its green foliage, so also does a man, cut off from the love of Allah, withers as sin overpowers him. God has provided three remedies to stop the spiritual withering of man.

Three safeguards from sin:

The three safeguards from sin are:

1. Love of God.

2. Istighfar, which literally means the desire to suppress cover sin. In the analogy of the tree given above, if the tree is firmly rooted, there is always the hope of a new foliage. (For a person who seeks forgiveness of Allah, there is hope of a new spiritual life.)

3. Taubah or repentence, which implies vigorously searching for elixir of life by turning to Allah, exerting to get near to Him, and extricating oneself from the web of sin by performing acts of virtue. Real repentance is not just a verbal confession of sin but a change to righteous behavior in which all acts of virtue are done to enhance the efficacy of repentance. Thus, the essence of repentance is the desire to get close to God. Prayer is also repentance because with it, too, we seek nearness to God. Consequently, when God gave life to man, He named his spirit Ruh, which implies that it’s real pleasure and comfort is derived from accepting, loving and submitting to God, and He named his soul nafs [The dictionary meaning of nafs is "the very thing itself"] because of its conformity with God. Man’s real happiness lies in the love of God. A person who loves God is like a firmly rooted tree in a garden. Just like the free sucks in water from the soil and uses it to rid itself of toxic vapors, so also does the man, who has a close association with God, sucks in the water of God’s love and with it develops the ability to rid himself of the poison of sin. He receives pure spiritual sustenance from God, thrives, blossoms and brings forth good fruits. Those who are not rooted in God are unable to obtain this life sustaining water. They progressively wither, ultimately the leaves fall off and there remains only the dried up, ugly branches. Since this aridity of sin is a result of severance from God, the simple antidote, to which the laws of nature bear testimony, is the establishment of a firm connection with Him. It is to this that God refers when He states in the Quran:

“O soul that art at rest,
Return to thy Lord, well pleased, well-pleasing,
So enter among My servants,
And enter My Garden!” (89:27-30)

The sole antidote of sin is love of God:

In short, the only way to divest sin is through the love of God. Accordingly, all acts of virtue that spring from His love douse the flames of sin because they affix a seal of authenticity on man’s love for God. The first stage of this love is to accept God in a way that puts His pleasure before everything else, including one’s own life. This first stage is similar to the state of a newly planted tree. The second stage is that of istighfar, which means seeking God’s protection from being rend asunder from Him – for a person divorced from God is an easy prey to human frailties. This stage is similar to the stage of the tree when it vigorously penetrates the soil and establishes its roots firmly in the ground. The third stage is that of taubah or repentance, which is akin to the stage of the tree when it extends its roots close to the water and begins to suck it. Philosophically, the genesis of sin lies in being distant from God, and hence the extrication of sin depends upon reestablishing a relationship with God. It is indeed naive to consider that someone’s suicide can be a salvation from sin.


Rebuttal 31b: Secondly, refutation of salvation doctrine of Christianity –

A Rebuttal of the Belief of Atonement:

It is, indeed, ridiculous for a person to injure his own head in sympathy for another’s headache or to commit suicide to save another. I do not think that any wise person, anywhere in the world, can classify such conduct as an act of human sympathy. Undoubtedly, human sympathy is meritorious, and enduring an ordeal to save another is an act of great bravery. But is the conduct ascribed to Jesus the proper way to bear such ordeals? If Jesus had not committed suicide but had borne suffering, like any rational man, to bring comfort to those in need of it, then the world would have benefited from his person. As an analogy, consider a homeless destitute who cannot afford to construct a house. If some mason takes pity and works vigorously for a few days, free of charge, to make the poor man a house, then, indeed, such a builder is deserving of praise for having helped the homeless person. Instead, if the mason was to wound his own head out of sympathy for the destitute, then this accomplishes nothing for the homeless person. Unfortunately, there are very few people in this world who adopt reasonable means to achieve the end of doing good to others and taking mercy on them. If it is true that Jesus committed suicide out of a belief that his death would save the people, then his condition is pitiable, and his conduct, far from being publicized, deserves to be concealed.

The Christian belief in atonement is regrettable because of the disrespect that it shows to Jesus. In fact, by establishing this principle, the Christian nation is guilty of showing greater disrespect to its prophet than has ever been shown by any other nation to its prophet or messenger. According to the Christian philosophy, the creed that Jesus came to this world for the love of humanity and sacrificed his life for it has meaning only if one believes that Jesus was cursed by the sins of mankind and was crucified on the accursed cross. Thus, it is an integral part of the Christian belief that Jesus was cursed, even if only for three days, and if Jesus is not considered cursed, then the belief in his sacrifice and the consequent salvation collapses. The whole superstructure of this doctrine rests on the accursed Jesus. Consequently, we have previously referred to the sacrifice of Jesus as an accursed sacrifice. Sin caused the curse, and the curse led to the crucifixion. What needs to be ascertained though is whether a righteous person can be considered accursed in any sense?

The Christians consider Jesus as cursed, even if for three or lesser days, but this is a grave error because the term cursed connotes the inner condition of the accursed person. A person is called accursed when he turns away and becomes an enemy of God. Accordingly, the Arabic word la ‘in (accursed) is the name of Satan and the term la ‘nah (cursed) means to be cast off from a relationship of favor. The word ‘accursed’ is used for a person whose heart has strayed far from submission and love of God, and, in reality, such a person has become an enemy of God. All lexicographers accept this as the meaning of the word la ‘nah (accursed).

Implications of Jesus being accursed:

According to this established meaning, to say that Jesus was accursed connotes that he abandoned the state of submission, love, and knowledge of God and became a target of His wrath.

It signifies that in the accursed period, Jesus apostatized, turned rebellious and became akin to the devil, resulting in mutual enmity and anger between him and God. Such a belief in respect of Jesus is akin to making him a companion of Satan. No one, save a very wicked person, can hold such a belief about a righteous Prophet.

Since the belief that Jesus was accursed is thus shown to be erroneous, it follows that a belief in the accursed sacrifice is false too, and merely a concoction of some ignorant persons. If salvation is only achievable by first making Jesus into an angry, satanical rebel, then a curse be on such salvation. It was better for the Christians to accept hell rather than to make a beloved of God into a devil. What a pity that these people have relied upon such absurd and unholy reasoning. On the one hand, they claim he is the son of God, His offshoot and a part of Him and on the other, they brand him as a devil because of being accursed, a characteristic peculiar to the devil. La ‘in, meaning accursed, is the name of the devil and accursed is one who is an offshoot of the devil, part of the devil and himself a devil. Thus according to the Christian belief, there were two facets of Jesus, one divine, and the other satanical. In the satanical phase, he imbibed the devilish qualities of rebellion, anger, and enmity with God, and thereby merged his personality with the devil. I ask you, Mr. Sirajuddin, to state honestly whether this alleged mission of Jesus is even remotely spiritual or rational. Can there be a worse belief than alleging, merely for the sake of achieving righteous person of God was disobedient to Him, His enemy, and a devil? Why would God, Who is All Powerful and Merciful, need such an accursed sacrifice?

Can belief in the accursed sacrifice deliver one from sin?

The absurdity of the accursed sacrifice doctrine is apparent. It runs counter to the ancient teachings of the Torah, as passed down through successive generations. It espouses the transferability of sin. It alleges that a righteous person was accursed, forsaken and cut off from God, and became like minded with the devil. Notwithstanding these apparent shortcomings, the doctrine must still be examined to see if any benefits accrued to its adherents from believing in it. Did they eschew sin or were their sins forgiven?

Facts belie any claim that a belief in this doctrine restrains a person from sin and advances moral purification. According to Christian belief, David believed in the Redemption of Jesus. However, they also allege that subsequent to this belief (we seek refuge in Allah from saying so), David killed an innocent man [II Samuel, 12:9], committed adultery with the murdered man’s wife [II Samuel, 11:4], misappropriated State funds for personal needs, married one hundred wives, and sinned most audaciously every thy, repeating those sins till his last days. If the accursed sacrifice of Jesus can make people desist from sin, then David should not have been so steeped in sin as they allege against him. Similarly, according to the Christian tradition, three ladies from the maternal ancestry of Jesus committed adultery [Matthew's genealogical table of Jesus, and the Old Testament with reference to Tamar, Rahab, and Bathsheba which, however, we strongly repudiate.]. It is obvious that if a belief in the accursed sacrifice causes internal purification, these ladies from Jesus’ own ancestry would not have committed these shameful sins. The disciples of Jesus too, even after their belief, committed shameful acts of sin. Judas Iscariot sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, and Peter cursed him on his face three times, while the rest of the disciples took to their heels. It is obvious that cursing a prophet is a great sin. There is hardly any need to mention the widespread prevalence of fornication and drinking in the Western civilization. In one of my previous articles, I have referred to news reports from European papers about the adulterous affairs of many reputed Christian priests. It is apparent from all these events that belief in the accursed sacrifice is incapable of delivering man from sin.

Doctrine of accursed sacrifice opens the floodgate of sin:

A second aspect of this doctrine is that a belief in the doctrine results in forgiveness of all sins even if freedom from sin is not achieved. Such a belief gives total freedom to wicked persons to proceed against the property, life, and honor of peaceful citizens by any means they desire, such as killing, theft, false testimony and embezzlement. A simple belief in the accursed sacrifice can then wash off these heinous sins against these innocent persons and enable the perpetrators to enjoy their ill gotten gains. Similarly, adulterers can keep on living in the impure state of adultery and by a mere admission of belief in the accursed sacrifice save themselves from accountability before God. It is obvious that this cannot be so. To commit these heinous crimes and then to seek refuge behind the accursed sacrifice is nothing but the way of the wicked.

It appears that even Paul began to suspect that this was not an appropriate belief Hence he remarked:

“Knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.

For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all.; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.” [Romans 6:9,10]

The statement above suggests that the sacrifice of Jesus is for the first sin and Jesus cannot be crucified a second time. This statement, however, puts Paul in great difficulty. If it is true that the sacrifice of Jesus is only for the first sin, then it follows, for example, that Prophet David will be eternally damned. According to the Christians, he committed adultery with Uriah’s wife and kept her in his house, without God’s permission, to the end of his life. This lady is from the holy maternal lineage of Mary and a grandmother several generations removed of Jesus. In addition, David had about a hundred wives which, according to the Christians, is not allowable. These sins were not committed just once but were repeated daily. Since the accursed sacrifice is no immunity against committing sin, it follows that among the Christians too there are many repeat sinners, i.e., persons who sin after their first sin. According to the principle laid down by Paul, sins repeated after the first time are not forgivable and their punishment is eternal damnation.

There is no need to go far in search of an example, Mr. Sirajuddin, just consider your own situation. Mr. Sirajuddin, originally a Muslim, first accepted the son of Mary as the son of God and was baptized into the belief of the accursed sacrifice. Then he came to Qadian and converted back to Islam after affirming that he had been hasty in getting baptized. He began to say the Muslim prayers and acknowledged many times before me that he now understood the absurdity of the doctrine of atonement and considered it false. After his return from Qadian, he was again ensnared into the Christian missionaries’ trap and converted yet again to Christianity. This calls for reflection by faith. This, according to the Christian belief, is a cardinal sin and in line with the saying of Paul, this sin, having been committed for a second time, is unforgivable because it requires a second crucifixion.

It could be argued that Paul was either mistaken or lied outright in curtailing the doctrine of atonement, and that, in fact, a belief in accursed sacrifice nullifies all sins. If this argument is accepted, then such a faith, which has no accountability for any kind of sin, including theft, adultery, lies, murder, and embezzlement, will nurture sinfulness. It will be quite appropriate for the law enforcement agencies to require a guarantee of good behavior from the followers of a faith that has this belief.

Since this open invitation to sinfulness must, of necessity, be rejected, the only resort is to backtrack to the first argument that a believer in the accursed sacrifice achieves moral purity and deliverance from sin. However, this argument has already been shown to be fallacious and was rebuffed with the help of examples from the Christian scriptures about the alleged sins of Prophet David, the grandmothers of Jesus, and the disciples of Jesus. We have also mentioned news reports about the sinful ways of some Christian priests. In addition, all knowledgeable persons are fully aware of the depraved moral condition of the Western civilization.

Despite the above reasoning, if someone, to make an argument, cites the holy life of a Christian, what is the guarantee that the person is actually sinless? Many scoundrels, embezzlers, adulterers, shameless drunkards and atheists superficially lead lives of apparent purity, but, from within, these men are like sepulchers enclosing nothing but offensive carcasses and bones.

Effect of religion on human faculties:

The Gospels do not delve into the issue of how religion affects human faculties because the Gospels lack a scientific approach to problems. The Quran, however, comments on this issue repeatedly and in great detail. It states that the objective of religion is not to change the natural faculties of man and to show that a wolf can be turned into a sheep. It is outside the power of religion to do this but it can and does provide guidance for the right use of faculties according to the requirements of the situation. It is also within the competence of religion to advise the use of all faculties, rather than to emphasize reliance only on a particular sub set like mercy and forgiveness because none of the human faculties are inherently evil. It is only the excessive or deficient use of faculties, or their misuse, which is bad. A person is culpable, not for the natural faculties he is endowed with, but for their misuse. Thus, God, the Supreme Dispenser, has endowed to all nations an equal measure of natural faculties. Just as physical features like nose, eyes, mouth, hands and feet, are given to persons of all nations, so too is the dispensation of the internal faculties. Accordingly, in every nation there are good and evil persons depending upon whether they have used their faculties moderately or have been excessive or deficient in their use.

The credit for the level of goodness and civilness in a society cannot automatically be ascribed to the prevalent religion of the community because much of it may be the result of a natural dispensation. The level of civic goodness of a community is, therefore, not a reliable test for the efficacy and truthfulness of a religion. A necessary and sufficient test for this purpose is that there exist in some perfect followers of that religion spiritual excellence unparalleled in followers of other religions. I state with great emphasis that Islam alone meets this test. Islam has propelled thousands of its adherents to that elevated spiritual life where it can be claimed that the spirit of God dwells in them. They accept the light of God and become a manifestation of His splendor. Such people have been found among the Muslims in all centuries and their pure life is not without proof, or merely their own claim, but God gives testimony to it.



Rebuttal 31c: Thirdly, no religion holds monopoly on salvation –

All nations have good and bad natured persons:

It would be incorrect to assume that all individuals are naturally inclined to goodness in some nations and to evil in others. God ordained laws of nature ensure dispensation of both kinds of persons in all nations. Each nation has its share of ill natured, immoral, malicious and wicked persons, just like it has its share of noble natured, moral, good character, and pious persons. There is no nation that is not subjected to this law of nature, be they Hindus, Parsis, Jews, Sikhs, Buddhists or even those who belong to the so called low castes of India. As nations progress in civilization and culture, the moral system begins to emphasize honor, knowledge and dignity. This creates the environment in which persons with basic goodness of nature are recognized in the community for their piety and noble character and become role models for others. No nation is devoid of such persons. Unless a natural inclination to goodness already exists in a person, a mere conversion to another religion will not create it because the instinctive nature of man created by God does not change. It will have to be admitted by all genuine seekers of truth that nature doles out a basic disposition and religion only provides a framework for the appropriate control and use of this disposition. Thus, some persons have a greater portion of meekness and affection in their disposition and others more of harshness and anger. The role of religion is to divert the fruits of basic goodness, such as love, obedience, sincerity and faithfulness, which idolaters feel for their idols or worshippers of men feel for their incarnate deities, to God and to make such persons show the same obedience to Him as had formerly been shown by them to their deities.

Quran does not let any one religion have monopoly on salvation. Instead, Islam cuts through to the core of salvation, which is solely based upon individual righteousness:

2:110. And keep up prayer and give the due charity. And whatever good you send on ahead for yourselves, you will find it with Allah. Surely Allah is Seer of what you do.
2:111. And they say: None shall enter the Garden except he who is a Jew, or the Christians. These are their vain desires. Say: Bring your proof if you are truthful.

Footnote – What is said here may be expanded thus: The Jews say that none shall enter the Garden except a Jew and the Christians say that none shall enter the Garden except the Christians. Both degraded religion to a belief in a set of doctrines, and leading a life of righteousness was not considered as of the essence of religion.

2:112. No, whoever submits himself entirely to Allah and he is the doer of good (to others), he has his reward from his Lord, and there is no fear for such nor shall they grieve.

Footnote – Their assertions that only the Jews and the Christians will be saved are groundless. It is entire submission to God and the doing of good to His creatures that is the true source of salvation, and that is what ‘Islam’ means according to the Holy Quran. The name Islam is derived from aslama, meaning ‘submission’ or ‘entering into peace’.

2:62. Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and does good, they have their reward with their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.

5:69. Surely those who believe and those who are Jews and the Sabians and the Christians — whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and does good — they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve. [Muhammad Ali – Ed. Zahid Aziz]

Mr. Al-Araby myopically states – “So, if a Muslim, for instance, died while he was practicing Jihad, he is supposed to go to paradise.” Meanings and significance of Jihad have been fully dealt with in Issue 27 before. The above verses set the standards of salvation which includes does good and doer of good (to others) by action, which is the true spirit of Jihad. Thus a Jihad for a Muslim could be fighting cancer in the research laboratory or poverty on the street. As far as the attacks and counter attacks in Middle East or Afghanistan between occupiers and occupied are concerned, suffice is to say that it is a state of war. We will let Human Rights Watch decide who is right or wrong and history will be the final judge for each party. In a similar situation before, the definition of “Good Guys” changed with time between inception, continuance and cessation of war in Vietnam. Villains of yesteryear are heroes of today and vice versa. Only time will tell. But, no matter what, the meaning and significance of Jihad of doer of good (to others) by action will remain unchanged till eternity.

References:

The Four Questions Answered – Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
The Holy Quran – Noourddin
Holy Quran – Muhammad Ali, edited by Dr. Zahid Aziz

New, revised and enlarged edition of “A Mighty Striving”

Monday, November 28th, 2011

I have pleasure in presenting to you the new, second edition of “A Mighty Striving”, the biography of Maulana Muhammad Ali, translated from the Urdu book Mujahid-i Kabir, with extra material added.

Here is the link.

Zahid Aziz

Insecurity of Pakistani Muslims

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

Submitted by Rashid Jahangiri.


In an article, on Lakshmi Building in Lakshmi Chowk, Lahore, in Dawn newspaper online edition the author points out to addition of phrase ‘Allah-hu-Akbar’ has replaced statue of Lakshmi goddess.

Author writes: “In the recent intervention on the façade carcass, all the details have been painted a rather sharp tone of blue, while the remaining has been painted a slightly brown shade of white. The words ‘Allah-hu-Akbar’ have replaced the statue of the Lakshmi Goddess, almost as if to mock its original historical and cultural background. The Lakshmi façade makes strong visual references to Hindu mythology by way of its overall detailing. That being said, the presence of the takbeer on an evident Hindu image raises the question as to how distressed and insecure Muslims might have become as a community that they feel the need to impose their belief onto something that belongs to a completely different set of beliefs.”

All I can say, Pakistani Muslims have no idea of rational and intellectual strengths of Islam.

Lakshmi chowk’s volte face
http://www.dawn.com/2011/11/25/2115149.html/comment-page-1#comment-353206

Ikhtalayfaat-e-Silsilaa-e-Ahmadiyya kay Usbaab: by Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

Submitted by Rashid Jahangiri.


Opponent of Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement has translated this Khwaja sahib book into English. I neither read original book in Urdu or its English translation ‘Causes of the internal dissensions in the Ahmadiyya Movement’. Someone who has read original book may also read its translation. If translation turns out to accurate then, with permission of translator, it can be posted on LAM official website: www.aaiil.org

Link to Original Book in Urdu:
http://aaiil.org/urdu/books/others/khwajakamaldin/ikhtaylaafsilsilaa/ikhtaylaafsilsilaa.shtml

Link English translation:
http://www.qern.org/wiki/display/qarchives/Causes+of+the+internal+dissensions+in+the+Ahmadiyya+Movement

Issue 30

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Issue 30 [@24:55]: Walid Shoebat – Author, Why I Left Jihad – “But, the problem is that the peaceful Muslims don’t understand the edits that comes out of jurisprudence of Islam. If you look at interpretation of these verses in Al-Azhar University, in Islamic Shariah Schools in Jerusalem, in Jordan, in Syria, in Damascus, all throughout the Middle East, the jurisprudence of Islam clearly states emphatically that verse of the sword is made null and void all the peaceful verses. And, what does the verse of the sword say, [slide projected with voice – THE NOBLE KORAN, 9:5, Then when the Sacred Months (the 1st, 7th, 11th, and 12th months of the Islamic calendar) have passed, then kill the Mushrikun (- “the unbelievers” - note this is not projected in the slide but the voice adds to the slide) wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them, and prepare for them each and every ambush. But if they repent and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) (-”the Islamic prayers” - note this is not projected but the voice adds to the slide), and give Zakat (- “alms” - added by the voice), then leave their way free. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful] – kill them when you see them, wherever you find them. This is not an allegoric kill, it’s a literal kill. Its the the killing of Zaraqawi right in front of the camera. Its the lynching you see in Ramallah. Its the killing of over a million Sudanese. In Sudan cutting the hands and feet from opposite sides. Here is the dilemma. The peaceful verse, even if the peaceful verse when it is quoted even by Bush, the verse goes as follows – who ever kills a life without just cause for doing mischief in the land then as he killed the entire earth – then you find the same verse in Judea-Biblical tradition. But most westerns never skip after that verse which makes very clear – those who do mischief in the land then cut their hands and the feet from the opposite sides and crucify them literally – and that’s what you see happened in Afghanistan, that’s what you see happened in Sudan. Huge amounts of crucifixions and beheading, and amputations and public assassinations. They really want to revive Islam as it used to be. This is why they call it Islamic Fundamentalism.”

[@27:24] [slide projected with voice – THE NOBLE KORAN, 5:33 - “The recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and do mischief in the land is only that they shall be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off on the opposite sides, or be exiled from the land. That is their disgrace in this world, and a great torment is theirs in the Hereafter.]

[@ 27:47] [slide projected with voice – SAHIH AL-BUKHARI, vol 8, Bk 82, Hadith 795 – The Prophet cut off the hands and feet of the men belonging to the tribe of Uraina and did not cauterise (their bleeding limbs) till they died.]

Rebuttal 30: Shoebat continues from where Spencer left in Issue 29. He asserts again that verse 9:5 voids the other injunctions of Quran and that limbs of war mongers be cut off for which he quotes verse 5:33 and a Hadith from Bukhari. His allegations need a breakdown as follows:
———–
Issue 30a: Shoebat asserts – “But, the problem is that the peaceful Muslims don’t understand the edits that comes out of jurisprudence of Islam. If you look at interpretation of these verses in Al-Azhar University, in Islamic Shariah Schools in Jerusalem, in Jordan, in Syria, in Damascus, all throughout the Middle East, the jurisprudence of Islam clearly states emphatically that verse of the sword is made null and void all the peaceful verses. And, what does the verse of the sword say, [slide projected with voice – THE NOBLE KORAN, 9:5, Then when the Sacred Months (the 1st, 7th, 11th, and 12th months of the Islamic calendar) have passed, then kill the Mushrikun (- “the unbelievers” - note this is not projected in the slide but the voice adds to the slide) wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them, and prepare for them each and every ambush. But if they repent and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) (-”the Islamic prayers” - note this is not projected but the voice adds to the slide), and give Zakat (- “alms” - added by the voice), then leave their way free. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful]…”

Rebuttal 30a: There are NO violent verses in Quran. No verse in Quran incites violence. No verse of Quran has ever been or will be abrogated. The only verses that Quran abrogates are the previous Scriptures, including Old and New Testaments, the words of Allah which had decayed at human hands. That verse 9:5 or for that matter any verse makes other verses null and void in Quran is heresy and sacrilegious. The baseless allegations of abrogation of Quranic verses has been fully addressed and refuted in Rebuttals 9c and 21 before.

Shoebat admits that there are peaceful Muslims. What he attempts to sweep under the rug is the fact that the peaceful Muslims constitute the mega-majority of the billion Muslims. The true fact is that it is only the miniscule-minority of Muslims that grab the sensational headlines. A billion Muslims going about their normal daily lives does not call for very interesting news story. Shoebat appears to be anguished by the fact that these majority of peaceful Muslims do not understand the “Islamic Jurisprudence” that according to him, springs from the various Islamic centers in the Middle East. He further alleges that these centers support the abrogation of the “peaceful verses” in light of the verse 9:5, for which he concocts the label “verse of the sword.”

Islam does not come out of any center in Middle East, Near East, Far East, Down Under or Far Flung. Neither Hither, neither Thither. In Islam there are no Vaticans or Popes. There is no central authority. Quran is for the people not institutions. Quran is to be read and understood by an individual and not ritualistically sung by a choir. Islam has a bottom-up approach of reform for each individual. This reformation then naturally flows into a better society and enlightened institutions. This is direct opposite of other religions that needed a conversion at the top. Then from the kings’ courts the religions were enforced on the masses, without inculcating lasting reformation. Christianity needed Constantine, Buddhism needed Ashoka and Zoroastrianism needed Cyrus. Else, these religions had no chance of getting a foothold for the mere fact that these religions are based upon Gospels [-accounts] and have no utilitarian doctrine for wholesome uplift of humanity. Muslims are as diverse as an Inuit in Alaska to a Hispanic Chile. The only thread that binds them is the Quran and not any center.

Shoebat alleges that Al-Azhar endorses the abrogation of verses in Quran. This assertion is unsubstantiated. On the other hand, Al-Azhar has certified the book “Religion of Islam” by Muhammad Ali, the bulwark behind the rebuttals in the current Project. It is this book which blows the abrogation theory out of the water in its Chapter – “The Holy Quran – Theory of Abrogation” [pg 28-35]. See Al-Azhar’s endorsement of this and other books as well referenced in this Project by the same author including “Muhammad the Prophet” and “The New World Order” at this link. Can Shoebat produce a similar certificate for his abrogation theorem.

For this movie to hinge its arguments on a few contextomized verses of Quran exposes its own weakness. It is surprising that this documentary found only a couple of verses in support of its argument, and those too totally out of context, from a total of more than 6000 verses in the Quran. How pathetic. The glaring non-contextual use of verse 9:5 by this documentary is fully exposed in Rebuttals 4, 23, and non-contextual use of Quranic verses in general under 10, 28 and elsewhere.
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Issue 30b: Shoebat continues – “…kill them when you see them, wherever you find them. This is not an allegoric kill, it’s a literal kill. Its the the killing of Zaraqawi right in front of the camera. Its the lynching you see in Ramallah. Its the killing of over a million Sudanese. In Sudan cutting the hands and feet from opposite sides…”

Rebuttal 30b: Extra judicial killings or punishments by anyone, an individual or a government, be they in Iraq, Sudan or elsewhere, they are all abominable acts that must be condemned.

With repeat non-contextual use of verse 9:5 the documentary has literally turned out to be a comedy. If we use Shoebat’s usage of the said verse in our times, then the main actors of this comedy are none but occupation forces in Afghanistan. The main actors are United States, Canada, U.K. Germany, Holland, Italy, Spain, France, Australia and all the NATO. Comedy show begins when these actors meet the local insurgency which is in many ways the equivalent of “French Resistance”. The example of this comedy show is reflected in the non-contextual use of the verse 9:5 itself. Enjoy the show:

THE NOBLE KORAN, 9:5, Then when the Sacred Months have passed, then kill the Mushrikun (- “the unbelievers” – [in this case the non-submitting Resistance who do not believe in occupation]) wherever you find them [-by air and land operations and night raids] and capture them [-and imprison them in Bagram jail] and besiege them [-in Operation Anaconda, Operation Oqab etc.], and prepare for them each and every ambush [-by establishing outposts and listening posts in Eastern and Southern Afghanistan]. But if they repent [-and surrender] and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat [-in this case signing of peace treaty by Resistance as wished by U.S. State Department] , and give Zakat (- “alms” [-Resistance as “good citizens” pay taxes to Kabul government]), then leave their way free [-to live as they want or if they want to be part of Government in Kabul]. Verily, Allah [-NATO and ISAF] is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful [-because in this case U.S. and NATO are playing God]
[Note – the square brackets in this verse are only for emphasis and not part of the original source]

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Issue 30c: Walid Shoebat – “… In Sudan cutting the hands and feet from opposite sides. Here is the dilemma. The peaceful verse, even if the peaceful verse when it is quoted even by Bush, the verse goes as follows – who ever kills a life without just cause for doing mischief in the land then as he killed the entire earth – then you find the same verse in Judea-Biblical tradition. But most westerns never skip after that verse which makes very clear – those who do mischief in the land then cut their hands and the feet from the opposite sides and crucify them literally – and that’s what you see happened in Afghanistan, that’s what you see happened in Sudan. Huge amounts of crucifixions and beheading, and amputations and public assassinations. They really want to revive Islam as it used to be. This is why they call it Islamic Fundamentalism.”

[@27:24] [slide projected with voice – THE NOBLE KORAN, 5:33 - “The recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and do mischief in the land is only that they shall be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off on the opposite sides, or be exiled from the land. That is their disgrace in this world, and a great torment is theirs in the Hereafter.]

[@ 27:47] [slide projected with voice – SAHIH AL-BUKHARI, vol 8, Bk 82, Hadith 795 – The Prophet cut off the hands and feet of the men belonging to the tribe of Uraina and did not cauterise (their bleeding limbs) till they died.]

Rebuttal 30c: Shoebat, glosses over the so-called “peaceful” verse that he attributes to President Bush. For the sake of the readers, said verse is fully cited as follows from the translation by Muhammad Asad with its footnotes:

5:32. Because of this did We ordain unto the children of Israel that if anyone slays a human being unless it be [in punishment] for murder or for spreading corruption on earth – it shall be as though he had slain all mankind; whereas, if anyone saves a life, it shall be as though he had saved the lives of all mankind [40]. And, indeed, there came unto them [41] Our apostles with all evidence of the truth: yet, behold,notwithstanding all this, many of them go on committing all manner of excesses on earth [42].

40. This moral truth is among those to which the first sentence of verse 15 of this surah alludes, and its succinct formulation fully explains the reason why the story of Cain and Abel is mentioned in this context. The expression “We have ordained unto the children of Israel” does not, of course, detract from the universal validity of this moral: it refers merely to its earliest enunciation.

41. i.e., to the followers of the Bible, both the Jews and the Christians.

42. The present participle la-musrifun indicates their “continuously committing excesses” (i.e., crimes), and is best rendered as “they go on committing” them. In view of the preceding passages, these “excesses” obviously refer to crimes of violence and, in particular, to the ruthless killing of human beings.

These are the moral standards for sanctity of life in Quran. Any “violence” that Shoebat or any of the documentary “experts” dig out of Quran has to be read in light of the above verse. The double standards displayed by the makers of this documentary become even more glaringly exposed here. They decry contextomization of the “peaceful” verse 5:32 only because it suits their purpose. Readers would remember that when 9:5, the so called “verse of the sword” was under discussion, the movie makers had very conveniently skipped the adjoining verses which plainly explain the context of defensive wars (see Rebuttal 23). However, in the case of verse 5:32, the “peaceful verse” Shoebat is all too eager to tell the audience that “.. most westerns never skip after that verse which makes very clear…”

The reader must read verse 5:33 again as quoted by the documentary above. The verse does not condone any reprisal against peaceful and non-aggressive “unbelievers.” Further, it should be clear to the reader that in Quran when “Allah and His Messenger” are mentioned, it means the governmental system of Islam. In case for verse 5:33, “those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger [i.e. government of Medina]” refers to the anti-government insurgents or criminals who undermine the Divine system of governance that Muhammad established. It would be absurd to even imagine that anyone can wage war against God. Further, the mention of “mischief in the land” clearly implies the criminal elements in “land” under the jurisdiction of Muslim government of Medina. Note – repeat mention of Medina does not imply that this verse is time locked for early Islam, instead its implications are forever.

Since the main crux of quoting this verse by Shoebat is to bring up the issue of – killing, crucifixions and cutting off of limbs, it necessitates to take a diversion into Bible:

Matthew 5:27-30 “27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to desire her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away! It is better to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into hell. 30 If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away! It is better to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into hell ”

We clearly see that “cutting off of hand” is already an established fact in Bible, the Book that Shoebat is bound to follow after his recent “reformation”. If the gouging of eye and cutting of right hand is to be taken literally, then what must one do if “right hand” is already missing due to previous crime or accident? There is no mention of “left hand”. Will such offender have free hand thereafter to commit sins? Should the “left hand” or second eye be cut or gouged instead? What about the next offense after all hands and eyes are already gone? How many intelligent Christians have actually cut-off their own hands or gouged their eyes? Answer is None! Essentially, the above passages of Bible are metaphorical in nature and no more.

Now, coming back to Quran. It is frequently mentioned in Quran itself that it is the finalization of Message of the previous Books:

5:48. To you (O Messenger) We have sent the Book in Sure Truth confirming the Divine Origin of whatever Scripture [besides Torah, Zabur and Bible, Zend Avesta, Vedas, Tipitaka, Tao Te Ching etc.] was before it. The Qur’an is the Watcher over the old Scriptures and guards the Truth in them [-Nooruddin]

Since, Quran is the final link in the chain of Books, it too employs the existing metaphors, idioms and narratives of previous Books that were ingrained in the linguistics, psyche and culture of the nations. Lets read the verse 5:33 used by Shoebat in light of its detailed commentary by Muhammad Asad:

5:33. It is but a just recompense for those who make war on God and His apostle, [43] and endeavour to spread corruption on earth, that they are being slain in great numbers, or crucified in great numbers, or have, in result of their perverseness, their hands and feet cut off in great numbers, [44] or are being [entirely] banished from [the face of] the earth: such is their ignominy in this world [45]. But in the life to come [yet more] awesome suffering awaits them –

43. The term “apostle” is evidently generic in this context. By “making war on God and His apostle” is meant a hostile opposition to, and willful disregard of, the ethical precepts ordained by God and explained by all His apostles, combined with the conscious endeavour to destroy or undermine other people’s belief in God as well.

44. In classical Arabic idiom, the “cutting off of one’s hands and feet” is often synonymous with “destroying one’s power”, and it is possibly in this sense that the expression has been used here. Alternatively, it might denote “being mutilated”, both physically and metaphorically – similar to the (metonymical) use of the expression “being crucified” in the sense of “being tortured”. The phrase min khilaf – usually rendered as “from opposite sides”- is derived from the verb khalafahu, “he disagreed with him”, or “opposed him”, or “acted contrarily to him”: consequently, the primary meaning of min khilaf is “in result of contrariness” or “of perverseness”.

45. Most of the classical commentators regard this passage as a legal injunction, and interpret it, therefore, as follows: “The recompense of those who make war on God and His apostle and spread corruption on earth shall but be that they shall be slain, or crucified, or that their hands and feet be cut off on opposite sides, or that they shall be banished from the earth: such shall be their ignominy in this world.” This interpretation is, however, in no way warranted by the text, and this for the following reasons:

(a) The four passive verbs occurring in this sentence – “slain”, “crucified”, “cut off” and “banished” – are in the present tense and do not, by themselves, indicate the future or, alternatively, the imperative mood.

(b) The form yuqattalu does not signify simply “they are being slain” or (as the commentators would have it) “they shall be slain”, but denotes – in accordance with a fundamental rule of Arabic grammar – “they are being slain in great numbers”; and the same holds true of the verbal forms yusallabu (“they are being crucified in great numbers”) and tuqatta’a (“cut off in great numbers”). Now if we are to believe that these are “ordained punishments”, it would imply that great numbers – but not necessarily all – of “those who make war on God and His apostle” should be punished in this way: obviously an inadmissible assumption of arbitrariness on the part of the Divine Law-Giver. Moreover, if the party “waging war on God and His apostle” should happen to consist of one person only, or of a few, how could a command referring to “great numbers” be applied to them or to him?

(c) Furthermore, what would be the meaning of the phrase, “they shall be banished from the earth”, if the above verse is to be taken as a legal injunction? This point has, indeed, perplexed the commentators considerably. Some of them assume that the transgressors should be “banished from the land [of Islam]“: but there is no instance in the Qur’an of such a restricted use of the term “earth” (ard). Others, again, are of the opinion that the guilty ones should be imprisoned in a subterranean dungeon, which would constitute their “banishment from [the face of] the earth”!

(d) Finally – and this is the weightiest objection to an interpretation of the above verse as a “legal injunction” – the Qur’an places exactly the same expressions referring to mass-crucifixion and mass-mutilation (but this time with a definite intent relating to the future) in the mouth of Pharaoh, as a threat to believers (see 7:124, 20:71 and 26:49). Since Pharaoh is invariably described in the Qur’an as the epitome of evil and godlessness, it is inconceivable that the same Qur’an would promulgate a divine law in precisely the terms which it attributes elsewhere to a figure characterized as an”enemy of God”.

In short, the attempt of the commentators to interpret the above verse as a “legal injunction”must be categorically rejected, however great the names of the persons responsible for it. On the other hand, a really convincing interpretation suggests itself to us at once as soon as we read the verse – as it ought to be read – in the present tense: for, read in this way, the verse reveals itself immediately as a statement of fact – a declaration of the in escapability of the retribution which “those who make war on God” bring upon themselves. Their hostility to ethical imperatives causes them to lose sight of all moral values; and their consequent mutual discord and “perverseness” gives rise to unending strife among themselves for the sake of worldly gain and power: they kill one another in great numbers, and torture and mutilate one another in great numbers, with the result that whole communities are wiped out or, as the Qur’an puts it, “banished from [the face of] the earth”. It is this interpretation alone that takes full account of all the expressions occurring in this verse – the reference to “great numbers” in connection with deeds of extreme violence, the”banishment from the earth”, and, lastly, the fact that these horrors are expressed in the terms used by Pharaoh, the “enemy of God”.

5:34. save for such [of them] as repent ere you [O believers] become more powerful than they:[46] for you must know that God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace

46. i.e. before belief in God and in the ethical principles decreed by Him becomes prevalent: for, in that event, repentance on the part of “those who make war on God and His apostle”would be no more than an act of conforming to the dominant trend and, therefore, of no moral value whatever. It is to be noted that the exemption from suffering relates to the hereafter.

The documentary finds every opportunity to make its case against Islam or Muhammad by quoting fragments of Hadith. They forget that Hadiths are based upon human efforts of transmission, collection and compilations. The collection task of e.g. Bukhari was not to qualify the Hadith content. The Hadith collectors of Sahih Satta had scrupulous quality control for collection, but they left it to the reader to accept or reject the content. Hadiths do not enjoy the standards of authenticity of Quran. Hadiths have a role as long they they explain and do not contradict Quran. If a Hadith contradicts Quran, then that Hadith has to be rejected, because the main show in the town is Quran itself and possibility exists of falsification of such a Hadith. Hadith matters are discussed in greater detail in Rebuttal 12.

Without going further into Quran for many many references, the very verse 5:32 above, that Shoebat glossed over, even by itself rejects the Hadith that this documentary quotes.

References:

Matthew 5:27-30 Bible.org
Al-Azhar endorses books by Maulana Muhammad Ali – Muslim.org
Message of Quran – Muhammad Asad
The Holy Quran – Nooruddin

In-camera proceedings on Qadiani issue: Speaker releases report

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Submitted by Rashid Jahangiri.


BUSINESS RECORDER (Pakistan’s Financial Daily) November 15, 2011

In-camera proceedings on Qadiani issue: Speaker releases report
November 15, 2011

The Federal Government Monday unveiled 37-year-old secret proceedings of joint sitting of the Parliament of 1974 that put Qadianis outside the pale of Islam.

The Speaker of the National Assembly released a 21-volume official report on the proceedings of the Special Committee of the whole House held in-camera to consider the Qadiani issue.

The first in-camera joint sitting was convened in 1974 by the then Prime Minister, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, to discuss the situation after anti-Qadiani riots.

Business Recorder already has published an exclusive story on August 19, 2011, informing its readers that the Federal Government may unveil 37-year-old secret proceedings of the Parliament.

Two volumes of this report are available with Business Recorder.
Well-placed sources in the National Assembly told Business Recorder that the House is likely to debate on the report.

The Sources said that only the Speaker of the National Assembly has the authority to declassify secret proceedings of the Parliament.

The outcome of the discussions of joint sitting of the Parliament in 1974 was the passage of the constitutional amendment Article 260(3)(b).” A look on these documents shows arguments of various members including Chairman of the Special Committee of the Whole House, Sahibzada Farooq Ali.

A delegation of Mirza Ghulam Ahmed took part in the proceedings to answer queries.

Speaking on behalf of Mirza Ghulam Ahmed, Mirza Nasir Ahmed gave answers to many questions from the members in the first sitting of the session.

See: http://www.brecorder.com/general-news/single/599/172/1251267/

Hell, stones and men

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Sometimes one reads words uttered by someone, not in any Islamic context, which are reminiscent of a passage in the Holy Quran. A German soldier describes the ferocious battle of Stalingard between Germany and the Soviet Union in 1942 as follows:

“We have fought during fifteen days for a single house. The front is a corridor between burnt-out rooms; it is the thin ceiling between two floors … The street is no longer measured by meters but by corpses … Stalingrad is no longer a town. By day it is an enormous cloud of burning, blinding smoke; it is a vast furnace lit by the reflection of the flames. And when night arrives, one of those scorching howling bleeding nights, the dogs plunge into the Volga and swim desperately to gain the other bank. The nights of Stalingrad are a terror for them. Animals flee this hell; the hardest stones cannot bear it for long; only men endure.”

See: www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_stalingrad.html and many other references.

Compare this with the following words in the Quran:

“…be on your guard against the fire whose fuel is men and stones; it is prepared for the disbelievers” (2:24).

Issue 29

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Issue 29 [@ 23:05]: Robert Spencer – Author, Islam Unveiled – “Islam and Islamic civilization are unique in their stand towards non-believers and that Islam is the only religion in the world that has a developed doctrine, theology and the law that mandates violence against the unbelievers. That, there are peaceful Muslims, there are Muslims around the world that are moderate, who live in harmony with their non-Muslim neighbors, and have no intention in waging war against them in any way. But, the fact is that they have very slim justification for their own peacefulness within their Islamic source themselves and they are only at peace with their neighbors in so far as they are either of what Islam teaches about how Muslims should behave towards unbelievers or they have explicitly rejected or consciously rejected those elements of Islam. There are in short, peaceful and moderate Muslims, but no peaceful and moderate Islam. The idea that Islam is a religion of peace however, is paradoxically held even by most violent and radical of Muslims – Sayyid Qutb [slide of his photo wearing a suit and a tie, 1906 - 1966], the Egyptian Muslim theorist, whose writings are revered by radical Muslims today, by terrorists today. He wrote and insisted that Islam is a religion of peace. When you study his writing, he meant [slide projected of a book cover “ISLAM and UNIVERSAL PEACE”] that Islam is dedicated in establishing the hegemony of Islamic Law over the world. When that hegemony is established, peace will rein in the world. Therefore, Islam is religion of peace.”

Rebuttal 29: Spencer’s long venom laced rhetoric attempts to inculcate a jaded view of Islam in his audience. Even though he does not cite any Quranic sources for the distortions for Islam, the Quran will rebut his allegations. His accusations beget a breakdown as follows.
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Issue 29a: “Islam and Islamic civilization are unique in their stand towards non-believers and that Islam is the only religion in the world that has a developed doctrine, theology and the law that mandates violence against the unbelievers…”

Rebuttal 29a: For a brief moment if we replace Islam with Christianity in the above statement of Spencer, then the history will be speaking for itself – “Christianity and Christian civilization are unique in their stand towards non-believers and that Christianity is the only religion in the world that has a developed doctrine, theology and the law that mandates violence against the unbelievers.” See Rebuttal 28.

Spencer is not able to quote any significant examples to support his malicious statement. On the other hand, history can testify to what Christianity meant to the world over the centuries. In its aftermath it has left millions of victims and exploitations of Crusades, Inquisition, more than eighty thousand “witches” of Europe, scientists of Renaissance, Incas, Mayas, Aztecs, Native Americans, Aborigines of Pacific and Australia, Slaves from Africa, apartheid in South Africa and Palestine, and so on.

Spencer flippantly asserts in conclusory language and without an iota of support from Quran, the fountain head of Islam, that Islam’s “doctrine, theology and the law that mandates violence against the unbelievers.” Nothing can be farther from the truth. The fact is clear to any person who has read the entire Quran in context- Quran prohibits violence and aggression. Various Rebuttals 23, 25, 26, 27 earlier refute false, peripheral allegations against Quran.
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Issue 29b: Spencer continues – “…That, there are peaceful Muslims, there are Muslims around the world that are moderate, who live in harmony with their non-Muslim neighbors, and have no intention in waging war against them in any way. But, the fact is that they have very slim justification for their own peacefulness within their Islamic source themselves and they are only at peace with their neighbors in so far as they are either of what Islam teaches about how Muslims should behave towards unbelievers or they have explicitly rejected or consciously rejected those elements of Islam. There are in short, peaceful and moderate Muslims, but no peaceful and moderate Islam…”

Rebuttal 29b: This generalized, vague statement is negligently stated and is simply inaccurate. First of all, Muslim is not a race. Muslims are natives of all continents, including Europe and North America. They belong to all races, including Caucasians. They belong to every socioeconomic strata. Some are born into Muslim families and others converted to Islam. Spencer has absurdly stereotyped all Muslims by painting them as one picture with one broad stroke of the brush. In other words, the movie fails to differentiate between a Ph.D professor at Harvard, an engineer in Silicon Valley, an investor in Wall Street and a Congressman of the United States. Each Muslim on this Earth has his or her own reason to be a Muslim. The one common factor however for all these peaceful Muslims is the Quran and its influence.

The movie survives off cheap punchlines and sensational sound bites, with no substance, like – “There are in short, peaceful and moderate Muslims, but no peaceful and moderate Islam.” This is an effort to score points in a childish way by an ignorant, bent upon smearing, even though the facts are to the contrary. The most logical explanation for Spencer’s peaceful Muslim neighbors is that they are so because of the Book they follow and not because of its rejection. Muslims are mandated to live and let live in peace by Islamic doctrine of “God Consciousness”. The doctrine of peacefulness is part of their faith, which is imbibed in them by Quran and Muhammad, who teaches them not only by words but also by his deeds and actions, commonly known as Sunnah.

For example, this is what Muhammad had to say to the administrators that he dispatched from Medina to Yemen – “Your administration should have a benevolent complexion which should please them [Jews and Christians]. On no account should it alienate their minds. The ruler’s job in not to rob the subjects and swallow their possessions…Do not deal with the non-Muslims cruelly, because the victim’s cry of anguish caused by the ruler will go straight to the heavens, as there is no barrier between it and God” [The Holy Prophet on International Peace and Justice, Sadr-ud-din, p.11]. On an another occasion, Muhammad heard the case and passed judgment against a fellow Muslim, Taumah Ansari, and the actual accused, a Jewish suspect, was let go absolved in concordance with Quranic injunction – “Let not the enmity of a people incite you to act otherwise than with justice. Be always just, that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah. Surely. Allah is aware of what you do” (5 : 9).[The Holy Prophet on International Peace and Justice, Sadr-ud-din, p 7-8].

Muhammad is on record for having faced relentless persecution for thirteen straight years, then an imposed state of war for the next ten. He signed and respected every peace treaty that came his way, no matter how humiliating, be it with his persecutors from Makkah or his deceivers in Medina. All treaty breaches were by his opponents and when the time came, he did not back down either when he had to defend himself and his followers from any aggression. An aggression whose only purpose was annihilation of a doctrine that was solely based upon human rights, equality and dignity of man. The values which were actually put to practice in individual and collective living fourteen hundred years ago, which even the modern societies have yet to match. Those values were just not a lip service of a sermon from the mount with no practical example from its preacher or the preached.

“God Consciousness” is mandated for a Muslim at any given time. There is no right of superiority in a Muslim over any other race for the mere fact that – “And (all) people are but a single nation…” (10:19). No Muslim can ridicule anyone, be it a non-Muslim because – “O you who believe, do not let a people laugh at (another) people, perhaps they may be better than they…(49:11). Quran even goes further, it forbids aggression based upon hate – “And do not let hatred of a people … incite you to transgress. And help one another in righteousness and piety, and do not help one another in sin and aggression, and keep your duty to Allah. Surely Allah is Severe in retribution.” (5:2).

Difference in faiths is not a basis for aggression because for a Muslim the same Allah is source spring of all religions, books and prophets – “The Messenger believes in what has been revealed to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. They all believe in Allah and His angels and His Books and His messengers. We make no distinction between any of His messengers…”(2:285). No wonder, there are no caricatures of Moses and Jesus nor Torah or Bible burnings in Muslims communities.

Even idols are to be respected – “And do not abuse those whom they call upon besides Allah, in case, exceeding the limits, they abuse Allah through ignorance.”(6:108) To cap it all, a Muslim does not monopolize the concept of God for his own faith because for him Allah is – “…the Lord of mankind, the King of mankind, the God of mankind” (114:1-3).

Quran thus brings the whole humanity under one God and leaves no room for anyone to be children of a lesser God. Quran thus identifies the sources of hate, which are race, religion, Books, prophets, deities and obliterates the instigating tendencies, one by one, and eliminates them altogether by inculcating God Consciousness in Muslims – “Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him.” (49:13 – Asad)

Muhammad said – “Help and not fight, assimilation and not destruction, harmony and peace and not dissension.” In his final Hajj sermon he left for the world the magna charta of world peace “”Remember you are all brothers. All men are equal in the eye of God, and your honours, your lives and your properties are all sacred and in no case should you attack each other’s life and property. Today I trample under my feet all distinctions of caste, colour and nationality. All men are sons of Adam and Adam was of dust.” [Islam's Contribution to Peace of the World, by S.A. Haq, p.52, p.20]

A Muslim becomes a better citizen by following the Quran and Mohammad and not otherwise as ignorantly asserted by Spencer.
————–
Issue 29c: Robert Spencer – “…The idea that Islam is a religion of peace however, is paradoxically held even by most violent and radical of Muslims – Sayyid Qutb [slide of his photo wearing a suit and a tie, 1906 - 1966], the Egyptian Muslim theorist, whose writings are revered by radical Muslims today, by terrorists today. He wrote and insisted that Islam is a religion of peace. When you study his writing, he meant [slide projected of a book cover “ISLAM and UNIVERSAL PEACE”] that Islam is dedicated in establishing the hegemony of Islamic Law over the world. When that hegemony is established, peace will rein in the world. Therefore, Islam is religion of peace.”

Rebuttal 29c: What Sayyid Qutub theorized is for him or his followers to rebut. Spencer paints Sayyid Qutab in his own image. He himself is revered by extremists on his website, JihadWatch.org, where the posts by his blind followers reek of venomous hate. A hate that they have not learned, but from Spencer himself, including the Norwegian killer. Essentially, Spencer is giving a pulpit where bigots congregate and get reenforced to spew ignorant rants against Quran, Islam and Muhammad. In summary, Robert Spencer traffics nothing but hate.

References:

The Holy Prophet on International Peace and Justice – Sadr-ud-din.
Islam’s Contribution to Peace of the World – S.A. Haq
Holy Quran – Muhammad Ali, edited by Dr. Zahid Aziz, all verses quoted above except where indicated.

Issue 28

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Issue 28 [@21:08]: Walid Shoebat – What does the verse of the sword say? It is very clear. When the forbidden months are over, kill the people of the book wherever you find them. Lay siege for them. Lay wait for them. Lay ambush for them. Kill them wherever you find them. In fact I converted to Christianity. Muhammad clearly stated that in ends of days, there will be many who will defect from faith. Kill them when you see them whenever you find them. So this is the question that the West needs to understand – What part of kill don’t you understand?”

Rebuttal 28: Mr. Shoebat is a public figure who has made a personal fortune by duping the West. First, by claiming that he was a terrorist for Al-Fatah in Palestine where he bombed a Bank, which has not been proven. Second, he tries to impress the audience that as a remorse and as an atonement, he converted to supposedly peaceful Christianity. What he does not tell everyone is that his mother was American and he used her lineage to come to United States. Then as an Arabic speaking and a “former terrorist” who is now “reformed” has taken it upon himself to teach the West and its security forces the insider scoop on Islam, his former religion and the Middle East, his former abode. And apparently in his “good cause” he has publications and consultation fees with income into hundreds of thousands of dollars from American taxpayer. He has positioned himself as an expert. [The investigative reporting of CNN about Walid Shoebat might be of value to anyone interested – 'Ex Terrorist Rakes' in homeland security bucks Part – 1, Part – 2]

Factually, he is an expert on falsehood and Contextomy, the art of quoting out of context to spread disinformation and its subsequent hate.

Contextomy refers to the selective excerpting of words from their original linguistic context in a way that distorts the source’s intended meaning, a practice commonly referred to as “quoting out of context”. The problem here is not the removal of a quote from its original context (as all quotes are) per se, but to the quoter’s decision to exclude from the excerpt certain nearby phrases or sentences (which become “context” by virtue of the exclusion) that serve to clarify the intentions behind the selected words. Comparing this practice to surgical excision, journalist Milton Mayer coined the term “contextomy” to describe its use by Julius Streicher, editor of the infamous Nazi broadsheet Der Stürmer in Weimar-era Germany. To arouse anti-semitic sentiments among the weekly’s working class Christian readership, Streicher regularly published truncated quotations from Talmudic texts that, in their shortened form, appear to advocate greed, slavery, and ritualistic murder. Although rarely employed to this malicious extreme, contextomy is a common method of misrepresentation in contemporary mass media, and studies have demonstrated that the effects of this misrepresentation can linger even after the audience is exposed to the original, in context, quote. [Wikipedia]

With the above in mind, lets take up Shoebat’s allegations about Quran. He insinuates the audience by careful use of certain key phrases. He uses the words “sword,” “lay siege,” “ambush,” “kill” etc. These are the very words that are money generator in his consulting business with the security agencies [see the above CNN videos]

Opponents of Islam have invented the title “verse of the sword” for verse 9:5. They contextomize this verse to win cheap shots at Quran. This verse and its full context has been dealt with Rebuttal 23. Reader, please pay close attention, the same verse has been repeatedly referred to by different “experts” of this documentary, all in the effort to make their confabulations stick in the psyche of the audience.

This propagation of falsehood begets the question that from where is this nonsense of sword creeping in. Obviously, the Christian view is skewed by its historical background where to achieve any “higher purpose” it had to wage a war. Be it crusades, world wars, cold war, war to spread democracy in the Middle East, even to the extent war on poverty by President Johnson in United States. War is more than a word, it is a concept that they cannot dissociate from Christian psyche and in the same spirit is pinned upon Muslims and their history by the West.

It turns out that the above crusader mentality originates from Bible itself where THERE IS ACTUALLY A VERSE OF SWORD IN MATTHEW 10:34 –

10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
10:33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
10:35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
10:36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

Besides, using the sword, the above message clearly outlines its other purposes including dissent and hate amongst the family members. It clearly shows that the purpose of “Cross” is to place one on crossroads of life where one has to bow to the egocentricity of the Lord Jesus.

It would be utterly wrong to think in terms of “verse of the sword” in Quran, see Rebuttal 26. Its actual source is Bible itself. Shoebat, Trifkovic and Spencer inadvertently drew attention to the “verse of the sword” in Bible which should have been and in fact has been abrogated by Quran as promised by Quran – see Rebuttal 21.

The old adage that falsehood cannot remain covered is proven true by Shoebat’s own words – “In fact I converted to Christianity. Muhammad clearly stated that in ends of days, there will be many who will defect from faith. Kill them when you see them whenever you find them.” [Note – factually this is confabulated Hadith by Shoebat. On the reverse, Muhammad had predicted that in end of times Sun (of Islam) will rise from the West - Bukhari]

Mr. Shoebat, you just admitted that you relied on Muhammad’s prediction, false as it may be, that you consider yourself as fulfillment of his prophecy. Now that is laughable. He converts from Islam because to him Islam is a false religion and Muhammad is a false prophet. But interestingly he uses the alleged quote from none other than Muhammad to prove his point. He clearly believes in Muhammad, otherwise why would he use Muhammad’s alleged phrase “ in ends of days, there will be many who will defect from faith” to justify his conversion. It is almost like he is saying : “See wasn’t Muhammad right?” This person in an effort to kiss-up to the West has lost his own reason and he contradicts himself. Anyone can smell “money” in his words and see “dollar signs” in his eyes. West may after all not need him. Firstly, Al-Fatah paid him, now its the Western Taxpayer.

Lastly, the documentary tries to capture Shoebat’s self-conceited kiss up style and catchy phraseology – “So this is the question that the West needs to understand – What part of kill don’t you understand?”

Wow! The above is the quote of the century – What part of kill don’t you (- the West) understand?

What Shoebat sidesteps is that it is the very “killing” that West knows the best. Using Clintonian phraseology essentially what Shoebat should be saying is that “By the magnitude of killings under their belt, its war machinery, its war budgets, the West and Christianity are the actual inventors of what Killing means, Stupid!” He is trying to scare the actual user of Nuclear bombs on civilian with a firecracker. How silly. Take for example the numbers killed and wounded, both civilians and military, at the hands of the West, in last one hundred years alone:

WW-I – 38,880,500
WW-II – 73,000,000
Korean War – 4,823,875
Vietnam – 7,579,892
Iraq War (2003 – present) – 134,667 plus estimated excess deaths = 392,979-942,636
Soviet-Afghan War – Killed = Soviet 14,453; Afghan govt 18,000; Resistance 200,000 to 1,000,000; Civilians 600,000 to 2,000,000; Wounded = 3,000,000 mostly civilians; Refuges = externally 5,000,000; internally 2,000,000.
Afghanistan – NATO War (2001-present) – 111, 209, excluding civilians casualties.

When Shoebat thinks in terms of Killings, the few killings by ignorant Jihadists is a child play. West believes in killings in millions and has a track record to prove it.

One has to wonder as to what makes Christianity the source of such global massacres? Not for a moment does it take a breather before it launches another killing adventure? Factually, the West cannot help to stay away from killings. Its core ideology actually preaches genocides and subjugation –

“the Bible also contains the horrific account of what can only be described as a “biblical holocaust”. For, in order to keep the chosen people apart from and unaffected by the alien beliefs and practices of indigenous or neighbouring peoples, when God commanded his chosen people to conquer the Promised Land, he placed city after city ‘under the ban” – which meant that every man, woman and child was to be slaughtered at the point of the sword.” [Ian Guthridge (1999). The Rise and Decline of the Christian Empire. Medici School Publications,Australia. ISBN 0958864543, p. 319-320 - as quoted in Wikipedia]

Next time when the documentary makers and its experts try to come up with smear tactics and distortions of history against Muhammad who was forced into defensive battles, they need to look in their own backyard first e.g.

The Catholic Church in the US were in support of both World War I and World War II. In April 1917, two weeks after President Woodrow Wilson declared war on Germany, Cardinal James Gibbons of Baltimore, the de facto head of the U.S. Catholic church, issued a letter that all Catholics were to support the war. As an example of the position US Catholic bishops took to the war against Germany, here is a quote from William Manning [Bishop of New York]:

“Our Lord Jesus Christ does not stand for peace at any price…Every true American would rather see this land face war than see her flag lowered in dishonor…I wish to say that, not only from the standpoint of a citizen, but from the standpoint of a minister of religion…I believe there is nothing that would be of such great practical benefit to us as universal military training for the men of our land.

If by Pacifism is meant the teaching that the use of force is never justifiable, then, however well meant, it is mistaken, and it is hurtful to the life of our country. And the Pacifism which takes the position that because war is evil, therefore all who engage in war, whether for offense or defense, are equally blameworthy, and to be condemned, is not only unreasonable, it is inexcusably unjust.” [Wikipedia]

In summary, Trifkovic, Spencer and Shoebat expect every other nation to act like the mythical Jesus, but themselves.

In the light of blatant distortions presented by this documentary which will leave hate and fear with the audience on either side of the aisle, it is necessary to clarify the causes of failure of a faith preached by a docile Jesus. Essentially, Christianity as an ideology has utterly failed. Science succeeded in spite of Christianity. Christianity abetted colonization and slavery. Christianity failed against Fascism, Nazism, Communism, Atheism and now Capitalism that is teetering on failure. Muhammad Ali captures the essence of this failure in his book The New World Order, published in 1942. Of the many reasons he states …

“The other reason for the failure of Christianity was that it was only a creed that concerned itself with salvation in the next life. It was not a system or an order dealing with this life; all the interest that it took was in ultra-mundane questions.” [The New World Order, p 5].

Muhammad Ali further tries to reconcile the misgivings of Christianity towards the Islamic world…

“Islam can thus supply to Europe the two great moral forces a living faith in God and an order based on the oneness of humanity – which can restore peace to it. Unless European society is willing to receive these two heavenly gifts from Islam, its disasters will not end. Let Europe diagnose its disease with a cool mind and apply the remedy with a brave heart. Let it not repeat the mistake of earlier days and look upon its real friend as its foe. Europe sought to destroy Islam with sword in the Crusades, but it failed. The opposition after this has taken a subtler turn. Not only did the European soldier go back to his home filled with false conviction that Islam was Europe’s enemy, and a frightful one, because he met him only on the battlefield, and that conviction was left as an inheritance from sire to son, but the Europe’s leaders in political and religious thought – past masters in the art of propaganda – augmented this hatred by drawing a picture of Islam which was the very opposite of reality. Islam was, in the turest sense of the word, a message of peace for the whole world, but it was misrepresented as the most tyrannical and intolerant faith. Islam not only recognised in the clearest words the Divine origin of all the great religious systems of the world, laying it down that there was not a single nation on the face of this earth to which a warner or a guide had not been sent to draw it closer to God [“And there is not a people but a warner has gone among them” (35:24); “And for every nation there is a messenger” (10:47); “And every people had a guide” (13:7)]; it went further and required everyone who entered the fold of Islam to believe in the prophets of all other nations, just as he believed in the Prophet of Islam [“And who believe in that which has been revealed to thee and that which was revealed before thee” (2:4)]. But the political leaders and the religious leaders of Europe actually drew a picture of the Prophet Muhammad as going about with the sword in one hand and the Quran in the other. And not withstanding the clear light that has been thrown on these topics recently, European writers still represent Islam to be the religion of the sword [“The spread of Islam by arms is a religious duty upon Muslims in general” (D.B. MacDonald, Encyclopaedia of Islam, Art. “Djihad”)].” [The New World Order, p 18-19]

References:

‘Ex Terrorist Rakes’ in homeland security bucks Part – 1, Part – 2 – Anderson Cooper 360 – CNN
Matthew – BibleGateway.com
Fallacy of quoting out of context – Wikipedia
WW-I – Wikipedia
WW-II – Wikipedia
Korean War – Wikipedia
Vietnam War – Wikipedia
Iraq War – Wikipedia
Soviet-Afghan War – Wikipedia
Afghanistan – NATO War – Wikipedia
Christianity and Violence – Wikipedia
Just War – Wikipedia
The New World Order – Muhammad Ali