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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

Read: Background to the Project

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

May 31st, 2012

Issue 56

Issue 56 [@1:01:36]: Robert Spencer – When one is under pressure, one may lie in order to protect the religion. This is taught in the Quran, Chapter 3:28, Chapter 16:106.

Rebuttal 56:Nowhere Quran teaches one to lie. Unlike Christianity (see Issues 53, 55), Islam does not need crutches of lies to be protected. Once again, the documentary shied away from quoting the text of the enumerated verses. Why? Because, the said verses do not support how Spencer wants to insinuate the audience, rather the same very verses are opposite of his lies. No verse in Quran teaches one to lie. Period! This rebuttal will not shy away from quoting the said verses which are quoted below:

Alleged permission to take non-Muslims as friends only to guard themselves (3:28):

3:28. The believers should not take the disbelievers as allies rather than believers.

[Footnote] The Muslims, being in a state of war with the disbelievers, were forbidden to look to their enemies to guard their interests or for help of any kind. The clear statement made in 60:8–9 settles the point beyond all doubt:Allah does not forbid you, with regard to those who do not fight you for religion, nor drive you forth from your homes, that you show them kindness and deal with them justly. … Allah forbids you only with regard to those who fight you for religion, and drive you forth from your homes and help (others) in your expulsion, that you make friends of them”.

And whoever does this [by his careless manner*] has no connection with Allah — except that you guard yourselves against them [from their evil*],

[Footnote] The meaning is: Do not look to them for guarding your interests, rather guard yourselves against them.

guarding carefully…

Alleged circumstances that compel a Muslim to lie (16:106):

16:106. Whoever disbelieves in Allah after his belief — not he who is compelled while his heart is content with faith, but he who opens (his) breast for disbelief — they incur Allah’s displeasure, and for them is a grievous punishment.

[Footnote] Only very rare instances are met with in the early history of Islam in which converts even under compulsion ever recanted.

Fundamentally, this movie could not differentiate between lying of Mr. Shoebat (Issue 39b) who has done so to kiss unto and dupe his new coreligionists of this documentary while raking in money for himself (see Part – 1, Part – 2 of Anderson Cooper 360 – CNN, a report about Shoebat – “Ex Terrorist Rakes’ in homeland security bucks” ) and the Spanish citizens, who were victims of Inquisition at the hands of Church when some of the Jews and Muslims recanted their faiths under threat of torture and losing their lives. Essentially, Spanish Inquisition is one of the many examples of forced conversions into Christianity.

No Muslim, living in the present day West can make the claim that s/he is compelled to recant his/her faith. Issue that Spencer alludes to in verse 16:106 is moot, unless Spencer wants to invoke Spanish Inquisition in United States that might then revive circumstances of 16:106 for a possible discussion when some Muslims in the West might have to recant under threat of force.

Spencer is someone whose falsehood is supported by his own Scripture “…for we have made a lie our refuge and falsehood our hiding place.” (Isaiah 28:15 – New International Version)

If one does a search on the internet, there are rampant half-truth quotes by the likes of Spencer who refer to other verses as well alleging deceit. Not surprisingly, when those verses are also quoted in their full context the subject matter comes to light which only proves beyond doubt that there is no sanctioning of lie or deceit in Quran:

In Quran we find a reference where a believer, prophet Aaron, under threat of persecution suppressed his opposition to disbelief of his peers, but NOWHERE WE FIND QURAN SACTIONING A LIE OR A DECEIT IN THE CAUSE OF ISLAM, be it that of Moses or Muhammad:

7:148. And Moses’ people made of their ornaments a calf after him — a (lifeless) body, having a lowing sound. Could they not see that it did not speak to them, nor guided them in the way? They took it (for worship) and they were unjust.

7:149. And when they repented and saw that they had gone astray, they said: If our Lord have not mercy on us and forgive us, we shall certainly be losers.

[Footnote] The Israelites’ repentance, though mentioned first, was subsequent to Moses’ return (2:54). The order here connects the repentance with the sin.

7:150. And when Moses returned to his people, angry, grieved, he said: Evil is what you have done after me! Did you hasten on the judgment of your Lord? And he threw down the tablets and seized his brother by the head, dragging him towards him. (Aaron) said: Son of my mother, the people reckoned me weak and had almost killed me. So do not make the enemies to rejoice over me and do not count me among the unjust people.

7:151. (Moses) said: My Lord, forgive me and my brother, and admit us to Your mercy, and You are the most Merciful of those who show mercy.

[Footnote] Aaron’s excuse and Moses’ acceptance of it show clearly that Aaron was quite innocent, having had a share neither in making the calf nor in worshipping it. The Bible account, which makes a righteous prophet of God guilty of the most heinous crime, must be rejected as untrue. That forgiveness was not sought for any fault in connection with calf-worship is clear from the fact that Moses joins himself with Aaron in the prayer given in this verse. Forgiveness here, as frequently elsewhere in the Quran, is equivalent to the Divine protection which everyone should seek against the shortcomings of human nature.

7:152. Those who took the calf (for a god) — wrath from their Lord, and disgrace in this world’s life, will surely come upon them. And thus do We recompense those who invent lies.

7:153. And those who do evil deeds, then repent after that and believe — your Lord

after that is surely Forgiving, Merciful.

7:154/ And when Moses’ anger calmed down, he took up the tablets; and in the writing thereof was guidance and mercy for those who fear their Lord.

In another instance, a Muslim and follower of Moses openly professes and advocates the core of his belief to Pharaoh, but apparently not disclosing his label of being a Muslim. AGAIN, THIS IS NOT SACTIONING OF A LIE IN QURAN:

40:21. Have they never travelled in the land that they could see how (evil) was the end of their predecessors? They were mightier than these in power and in respect of leaving stronger marks (- monuments etc.) in the land. But Allâh took them to task (and destroyed them) for their sins and they had no saviour from (the punishment of) Allâh.

40:22. That was because their Messengers (of God) came to them with evident proofs but they refused to believe (in them). So Allâh seized them (with destruction). Powerful is He and Stern His retribution.

40:23. And indeed We had already sent Moses with Our Messages and a clear authority,

40:24. Towards Pharaoh, Hâmân and Korah, yet they said, `(This man is) a sorcerer, a great liar.’

40:25. So when he brought them the truth from Us they said, `Go on slaying the sons of those who have believed and joined with him, and go on sparing their womenfolk to make them immodest.‘ But futile are the schemes of the disbelievers (and ever bound to fail).

40:26. And Pharaoh said, `Leave me alone; I will kill Moses. Let him call on his Lord. I fear lest he should change your faith or cause disorder to spread in the land.’

40:27. (On the other hand) Moses said, (to his people,) `I seek refuge in (Him Who is) my Lord and your Lord from every arrogant (person) who does not believe in the Day of Reckoning.’

40:28. And a man who was a believer and belonged to the people of Pharaoh (and) kept his faith hidden said, `Are you bent upon killing a man simply because he says, “Allâh alone is my Lord,” while he has already brought you clear proofs from your Lord? If he is a liar he will suffer (the sad consequences of) his lie, and if he is truthful then some of the things he threatens you with are sure to befall you. Indeed, Allâh does not guide (to success) the person who exceeds the bounds and is a great liar.

40:29. `O my people! yours is the sovereignty today and you dominate over the country. But who will help us and save us from the punishment of Allâh if it visits us?’ Pharaoh said, `I only point out to you that which I see and understand myself, and I guide you only to the path of rectitude.’

40:30. And he who had infact believed (in the faith brought by Moses) said, `O my people! I fear lest you should encounter the like of the day (of disaster) which befell (other) parties of people (of the past);

40:31. `(And I fear lest you should meet) the like of fate which followed the ways of the people of Noah and `âd and (the people of) Thamûd and those who came after them. And Allâh does not want His servants to go wrong.

40:32. `My people! I fear lest you should have to suffer on the day of calling one another (for help in frightful distress);

40:33. `A day when you will retreat turning your backs. No defender shall you have against (the punishment of) Allâh. Yet none can guide him (to success) whom Allâh forsakes and adjudges to be astray.

40:34. `And Joseph did come to you before (this) with clear proofs but you continued to be in doubt about that which he brought to you, till when he died, you said, “Allâh will never raise a Messenger after him”. That is how Allâh forsakes and adjudges him as having gone astray who is a transgressor and doubter.

35. `Those who dispute concerning the Messages of Allâh without any proof and authority having come to them (from Allâh to support them). This (attitude of theirs) is extremely abhorring to Allâh and to those who believe. That is how it is! Allâh sets a seal upon the heart of every arrogant (and) haughty person.’

40:36. And Pharaoh said, `O Hâmân! build for me a lofty tower that I may find access to the means –

40:37. `The means (of access) to the heavens, so that I may have a look at the God of Moses. Indeed, I consider him to be a liar.’ And in this way his own evil conduct was made fair- seeming to Pharaoh and so he was prevented from following the (right) path. Yet all the schemes of Pharaoh resulted only in ruin.

40:38. And he who had believed (in Moses from the people of Pharaoh) said, `O my people! follow me and I will guide you in the way of rectitude.

40:39. `O my people! the life of this world is but a provision (of a passing nature), and the Hereafter alone is the permanent home.

40:40. `Those who do evil will be recompensed in proportion thereto (- to their evil deeds). But the men and women who believe and (at the same time) do righteous deeds, it is they who will enter Paradise where they will be provided for without measure.

40:41. `O my people! how (strange) it is with me that I call you to salvation whereas you call me to the Fire.

40:42. `You call me to renounce Allâh and to associate with Him that of which I have no knowledge (of being His associate at all), while I call you to the All-Mighty, the Great Protector.

40:43. `No doubt that what you call me to, has no title to be called upon in this world nor in the Hereafter. There is no doubt that we shall all return to Allâh and that the transgressors will be the inmates of the Fire.

40:44. `So you will soon remember what I say to you (by way of advice). I entrust my cause to Allâh. Indeed, Allâh keeps a keen watch over His servants.’

40:45. Thereupon Allâh saved him (- the believer) from the evil of their plans (against him) and the severest of punishment befell the people of Pharaoh.

46. (Their abode is) the Fire. They are presented to it morning and evening. And on the day when the (appointed) Hour comes to pass, (the angels will be commanded,) `Put Pharaoh’s people into the severest torment.’

40:47. And (think of the time) when these (disbelievers) will argue one with another in the Fire and the humble will say to those who sought to be great, `Verily, we were your followers, will you not then relieve us of a portion (of the punishment) of the Fire.’

48. Those who sought to be great will say, `Now we are all (adjudged to suffer) in it. Verily, Allâh has already passed (His) true judgment between (His) servants.’

40:49. And those in the Fire will say to the Keepers of Gehenna, `Call to your Lord that He may relieve us of our agony for a while.’

40:50. These (Keepers) will say, `Did not your Messengers (of God) come to you with clear signs?’ They will answer, `Yes indeed!’ They (the Keepers of Gehenna) will say, `Then call (yourselves and your false deities).’ But the call of the disbelievers will be of no avail. [Nooruddin]

The above instances of one not openly professing one’s belief label is no more than instinctual effort for one’s survivability. It is not lying per se nor sanctioning of a lie in Quran, as misquoted and mislabeled by this documentary.

Alleged sanctioning of deceit in marriage (2:225):

3:224. And do not make Allah by your oaths a hindrance to your doing good and keeping your duty and making peace between people.

[Footnote] This verse refers to the pre-Islamic Arab custom of ila’, a way of temporarily putting off the wife which was effected by an oath in Allah’s name not to have sexual relations with her. The result of this was that the husband considered himself free from all marital obligations. The first step to bring about a reform in the relations of husband and wife was that this practice was abolished. It is in reference to this that the taking of oaths against the doing of good to others is prohibited. The fulfilment of marital obligations is thus referred to as the doing of good and observance of duty and making peace between people. But the subject is generalized and the taking of all oaths to forbid oneself the doing of good or fulfilment of obligations is prohibited. See also 66:2 footnote.

And Allah is Hearing, Knowing.

3:225. Allah will not call you to account for what is vain in your oaths, but He will call you to account for what your hearts have earned.

[Footnote] By vain oaths are meant unintentional or thoughtless oaths in ordinary conversation, and by what the hearts have earned is meant an oath intentionally taken.

And Allah is Forgiving, Forbearing.

3:226. Those who swear that they will not have sexual relations with their wives should wait four months;

[Footnote] Ila’ signifies an oath by a man that he shall not approach his wife. In pre-Islamic times the Arabs used to take such oaths frequently, and as the period of suspension was not limited, the wife was compelled sometimes to pass her whole life having neither the position of a wife nor that of a divorced woman free to marry elsewhere. The Quran declares that if the husband does not reassert conjugal relations within four months, the wife shall be divorced. Cases in which husbands desert wives, having neither conjugal relations with them nor divorcing them, must be dealt with practically as amounting to Ila’, so that after four months the wife should be free if she wants a divorce.

then if they go back, Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

3:227. And if they resolve on a divorce,

[Footnote] The Islamic law of divorce is elastic and does not strictly limit the causes of divorce. Divorce is allowed if sufficient reason exists, but the right is to be exercised under exceptional circumstances. A wife can claim a divorce according to the Islamic law, which was not a right conferred on her by Jewish and Christian laws on divorce as formulated in Deuteronomy and Matthew.

Allah is surely Hearing, Knowing.

3:228. Divorced women should keep themselves in waiting for three courses.

[Footnote] The period of waiting, or ‘iddat, forms the first condition in the Islamic law of divorce. But for cases in which marriage is not consummated, no period of waiting is necessary; see 33:49.

And it is not lawful for them to conceal what Allah has created in their wombs, if they believe in Allah and the Last Day.

Alleged dissolution of one’s oaths for selfish gains(9:3, 66:2):

9:1. A declaration of immunity from Allah and His Messenger to those of the idolaters with whom you made an agreement.

[Footnote] This is a declaration of immunity from obligations with such of the idolatrous tribes of Arabia as had repeatedly broken their agreements with the Muslims. They broke their agreements again and again (8:56), yet the Muslims were enjoined to accept peace if the disbelievers consented to it, even after repeated violations (8:61). But this state of things could not continue long, for it was soon found that it was impossible to trust such neighbours. This repudiation of agreements took place on a large scale when the Muslims were absent on the Tabuk expedition.

9:2. So go about in the land for four months and know that you cannot escape Allah and that Allah will disgrace the disbelievers.

9:3. And an announcement from Allah and His Messenger to the people on the day of the greater pilgrimage that Allah is free from liability to the idolaters, and so is His Messenger.

[Footnote] The first thirteen verses of this chapter were publicly proclaimed by Ali on the occasion of the pilgrimage in 9 A.H.

So if you repent, it will be better for you; and if you turn away, then know that you will not escape Allah. And announce painful punishment to those who disbelieve —

9:4. except those of the idolaters with whom you made an agreement, then they have not failed you in anything and have not backed up anyone against you; so fulfil their agreement to the end of their term. Surely Allah loves those who keep their duty.

[Footnote] The exception given here makes it clear that the Muslims were not fighting with the idolaters on account of their religion, but on account of their having been untrue to their agreements.

66:1. O Prophet, why do you forbid (yourself) what Allah has made lawful for you? Do you seek to please your wives? And Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

[Footnote] The reference here is to the well-known temporary separation from his wives which the Prophet resorted to, on account of his wives demanding more of worldly comforts (see 33:28), regarding which the Holy Prophet made a vow.

66:2. Allah indeed has sanctioned for you the expiation of your oaths; and Allah is your Patron, and He is the Knowing, the Wise.

[Footnote] The expiation of oaths is sanctioned in 5:89. The custom of Ila’, or making a vow not to have conjugal relations with one’s wife, is mentioned as an introduction to the subject of divorce in 2:226, but it is actually prohibited here.

66:3. And when the Prophet confided an information to one of his wives — but when she disclosed it (to others), and Allah informed him of it, he made known part of it and passed over (another) part. So when he told her of it, she said: Who informed you of this? He said: The Knowing, the One Aware, informed me.

[Footnote] There is no trustworthy report showing what particular incident is referred to here. But as these verses speak of the temporary separation of the Holy Prophet from his wives, it is likely that this incident was also in connection with that separation. From what is related in connection with this incident, it appears that originally Aishah and Hafsah led this demand and later on the other wives joined. And when the Prophet on receiving Divine revelation gave an option to his wives either to remain in his house without more worldly comforts or to part company with him and have the desired comforts, he told Aishah not to take a decision without consulting her parents (Bukhari, 46:25). Maybe it was this matter which Aishah disclosed to the others, and hence their united decision to remain in the Prophet’s house with all the worldly privations.

66:4. If both of you (wives) turn to Allah, then indeed your hearts are inclined (to this already); and if you back up one another against him, then surely Allah is his Patron, and Gabriel and the righteous believers,and the angels after that are the aiders. 5Maybe, his Lord, if he divorce you, will give him in your place wives better than you: submitting (to Allah), believing, obedient (to Allah), penitent, serving (Allah), fasting, widows, and virgins.

[Footnote] This shows that all those qualifications which are mentioned here were met with in the Holy Prophet’s wives. He had been given a choice to divorce any of his wives whom he did not desire but, when the wives decided not to leave him despite the extreme austerity of his home life, he did not divorce any of them; see 33:51–52.

Allegedly, Allah is a schemer and by implication Muslims too are schemers (3:54):

3:52. But when Jesus perceived disbelief on their part, he said: Who will be my helpers in Allah’s way? The disciples said: We are Allah’s helpers, we believe in Allah, and (ask you to) bear witness that we are submitting ones.

3:53. Our Lord, we believe in what You have revealed and we follow the messenger, so write us down with those who bear witness.

3:54. And (the Jews) planned and Allah (also) planned. And Allah is the Best of planners.

[Footnote] The word makr used here is the equivalent of the word plan, the good or evil nature of the plan being dependent on the doer’s intention. The Jews planned to put Jesus to death by crucifixion, and Allah made a plan to frustrate their plans; and Allah’s plan was successful, i.e. he was saved from death on the cross, for which see 3:55 and 4:157.

3:55 When Allah said: O Jesus, I will cause you to die

[Footnote] Ibn Abbas says that the words used here, mutawaffi-ka, mean mumitu-ka, i.e. I will cause you to die (see Bukhari, 65.5:12). These words are used to show that the Jewish plans to cause Jesus’ death on the cross would be frustrated and that he would afterwards die a natural death; see 4:157.

and exalt you in My presence

[Footnote] The word raf‘ signifies raising or elevating, and also exalting or making honourable. When the raf‘ of a human being to Allah is spoken of in the religious literature of Islam, it is always in the sense of exaltation. The exaltation of Jesus is mentioned here as a reply to the Jews, whose object was to make him die an accursed and ignominious death on the cross.

and clear you of those who disbelieve

[Footnote] This signifies clearing Jesus of the false charges relating to the alleged illegitimacy of his birth, and so on, charges of which Jesus was cleared by the Quran.

and make those who follow you above those who disbelieve to the day of Resurrection.

This is the fourth promise made to Jesus in this verse, that those who follow Jesus shall be made dominant over his rejectors till the day of Judgment. Its truth is witnessed to this day in the dominance of the Christians over the Jews.

Then to Me is your return, so I shall decide between you in that in which you differ.

[Footnote] Differences of belief are dealt with in the life after death, while the worst of transgressions in deeds are punished even in this life.

4:157. and for their saying: We have killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of Allah, and they did not kill him, nor did they cause his death on the cross,

[Footnote] The words used here do not negative that Jesus was nailed to the cross; they negative his having expired on the cross as a result of being nailed to it. That Jesus died a natural death is plainly stated in 5:117. The Gospels contain clear testimony showing that Jesus Christ escaped death on the cross. For example, Jesus remained on the cross for a few hours only (Mark 15:25, John 19:14) but death by crucifixion was always slow. When the side of Jesus was pierced, blood rushed out and this was a certain sign of life (John 19:34). Jesus was not buried but was given into the charge of a wealthy disciple of his, who lavished care on him and put him in a spacious tomb hewn in the side of a rock (Mark 15:46). When the tomb was seen on the third day, the stone was found to have been removed from its mouth (Mark 16:4), which would not have been the case if there had been a supernatural rising. Jesus Christ prayed the whole night before his arrest to be saved from the accursed death on the cross, and he also asked his disciples to pray for him. He seems to have even received a promise from God to be saved, and it was to this promise that he referred when he cried out on the cross: “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” The statements made in the Quran corroborate the testimony found in the Gospels. Jesus did not die on the cross, nor was he killed as were the two thieves who were crucified with him, but to people he appeared as if he were dead.

but he was made to appear to them as such.

[Footnote] These words may bear two interpretations: he was made to be like it to them or the matter was made dubious to them. The story that someone else was made to resemble Jesus is not borne out by the words of the Quran, which could only mean, if an object were mentioned, that Jesus was made to resemble someone, not that someone was made to resemble Jesus.

And certainly those who differ concerning it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge about it, but only follow a conjecture, and they did not kill him for certain;

4:158. rather, Allah exalted him in His presence.

[Footnote] For “exaltation” see 3:55 footnote 2. Being exalted in the Divine presence was opposed to being killed on the cross. Deuteronomy 21:23 explains this, for there we have, he who is hanged is accursed of God. If Jesus had died on the cross he would have been accursed; hence the statement made here — he was not killed on the cross and accursed but he was exalted in the Divine presence.

And Allah is ever Mighty, Wise.

4:159. And there is none of the People of the Book but will believe in this before his death; and on the day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them.

[Footnote] Both Jews and Christians necessarily believe in the death of Jesus on the cross, while according to the Quran they have really no sure knowledge of it. The belief of the Jews is that since Jesus died on the cross he was accursed of God, and hence he cannot be a prophet. Following quite a different line of argument, Christians believe that Jesus died on the cross and was accursed, but that unless Jesus were accursed he could not take away the sins of those that believe in him. Hence the belief of both Jews and Christians is that Jesus died on the cross, and the meaning of the verse is clear, i.e., every Jew and Christian, despite having no sure knowledge at all, must believe before his death that Jesus died on the cross.


* [Brackets used in verse 3:28 are not part of original text]. See also translation by Nooruddin – link.

Unless indicated otherwise, all verses and corresponding footnotes above are from the translation and commentary of Holy Quran – Muhammad Ali, edited by Dr. Zahid Aziz.

Bible – New International Version –

Holy Quran – Nooruddin

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