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Archive for August, 2012

Issue 68

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Issue 68 [@1:13:03]: Walid Shoebat – former member, PLO Fatah Brigade – “When Westerners think of religion, whether its Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and all the isms in the world. Westerners think that it is a personal issue. A Buddhist will go to the temple and peacefully worship, whatever he does, meditates, contemplates; a Jew goes to the synagogue and does his Mitzvahs, his good deeds; a Muslim goes to the mosque, pays zakat – alms, or goes to the pilgrimage on Hajj in Makkah; or a Christian goes to the church on Sunday; they [Westerners] think it is a personal issue, religion is a personal issue. So when they look at Islam, they compare Islam with the way they understand religions and that’s the first mistake. Islam is not a religion for personal use. Islam is Shariah law. Islam is a form of government to world first then to personal application. It is not just how you pray towards Makkah, it is how you dress, you dress in Arab culture. You speak Arabic. You cannot go to heaven unless you pray in Arabic. You can’t read the Quran in English and expect to get good deeds to go to heaven. You read the Quran in Arabic. It becomes an imperialistic system that everybody now must speak Arabic, think Arabic, practice the religion in Arabic. It is a form of law not just in how you eat, but how you get married, how you deal with your government, how you deal with your military, how you deal with the youth, how you deal with the women, every aspect of your life becomes Islam. Everything is Islam.”

Rebuttal 68: Once again Shoebat is on a deception roll. His misleading statements are broken down as follows:

Issue 68a: “When Westerners think of religion, whether its Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and all the isms in the world. Westerners think that it is a personal issue.”

Rebuttal 68a: This is a clear admission by Shoebat of failure of the Westerners, rather the whole world, of the understanding of the concept of religion based upon their experience of Christianity. Christianity as a religion has no implications beyond a “personal use,” especially in the West. According to him the virtue that one extracts from following a spiritual path has no role in the materialistic Western life. If we accept Shoebat’s line of argument, then a religious person in the West is essentially a double faced personality, with one set of rules for self and another set of rules of conduct when interacting with the rest. The Christianity and Judaism are focused primarily on placating an angry God whose ego is less than humans, a god that is specific to a religion or race only and to everyone else His blessings are quite un-Godly. The experience of the West with its religion(s) has been no more than ceremonial piety of poverty, helplessness, turning the cheek, loving the enemies, gouging one’s own adulterating eyes, equating re-marriage of a divorced woman with adultery (Sermon on the Mount). It is no wonder that such a “personal religion” cannot not be shared in the community that on the contrary naturally seeks the benedictions over poverty, righteous power over helplessness, justified retribution over turning the cheek, resisting the tyrants rather than loving the enemies, taking marriage as a moral institution rather than adultery.

Issue 68b: Shoebat states – “A Buddhist will go to the temple and peacefully worship, whatever he does, meditates, contemplates; a Jew goes to the synagogue and does his Mitzvahs, his good deeds; a Muslim goes to the mosque, pays zakat – alms, or goes to the pilgrimage on Hajj in Makkah; or a Christian goes to the church on Sunday; they [Westerners] think it is a personal issue, religion is a personal issue. So when they look at Islam, they compare Islam with the way they understand religions and that’s the first mistake.”

Rebuttal 68b: Shoebat by his own words above is cut for paganism where a temple is the beginning and end of a religion for him (see Issue 64). His going to a temple is akin to going to a bar and getting drunk to dissociate from one’s life and challenges of life. Once, the intoxication is over on leaving the tavern, one is even more sick and fragile than before when the life has to be faced again with its old realities still in place. Yes, it is a mistake for anyone to equate religion with life of a hermit and the transient rousing of emotions from the pulpit of impractical virtues and brainless sacraments to please deities that have no practicality on the street. In a temple oriented religion, the first sacrifice is that of the soul of the religion on the altar of rituals and sermons. That temple is not worth the name of being called house of God where human intelligence found, both in the sermons or of the summoned, is more than that of its scriptures. Shoebat might be surprised to note that his former religion, Islam unlike his adopted Christianity factually shuns, abhors and mocks soulless ritualism in the name of a religion:

2:177. It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards the East and the West,

[Footnote] A warning is given to the Muslims that they should not fall into the error into which the previous people fell, who sacrificed the spirit of religion for the outward ceremonial. The essence of religion is faith in God and benevolence towards people. The turning of the face to the East and the West refers to the outward act of facing a certain direction when saying prayers. This, though necessary, should not be taken as the real object of prayer, which is in fact meant to enable one to hold communion with the Divine Being and to imbue oneself with Divine morals as explained further on.

but righteous is the one who believes in Allah, and the Last Day, and the angels

[Footnote] A belief in angels is one of the basic principles of Islam. This belief is accepted generally in all monotheistic religions. As in the case of all other principles of faith, Islam has pointed out a certain significance underlying the belief in angels. There are two attractions placed in humans — the attraction to good or to rise up to higher spheres of virtue, and the attraction to evil or to stoop down to a kind of low, bestial life. If we respond to the attraction for good we are following the angel or the Holy Spirit, and if we respond to the attraction for evil we are following the devil. Our belief in angels carries, therefore, the significance that whenever we feel a tendency to do good we should at once obey that call. It does not simply mean that we should admit that there are angels. This is clear from the fact that not only are we not required to believe in devils, whose existence is as certain as that of the angels, but we are plainly told that we should disbelieve in the devils (2:256). As a disbelief in the devil means that we should repel the attraction for evil, so a belief in angels means that we should follow the inviter to good.

and the Book and the prophets,

[Footnote] The Book stands for Divine Revelation in general or the scriptures of all the prophets.

and gives away wealth out of love for Him

[Footnote] The love of Allah is here, as in many other places in the Quran, stated to be the true incentive to all deeds of righteousness.

to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the traveller and to those who ask and to set slaves free

[Footnote] The basis was thus laid down for the abolition of slavery.

and keeps up prayer and gives the due charity; and the performers of their promise when they make a promise,

[Footnote] The performance of promise on the part of individuals as well as of nations is one of the first essentials of the welfare of humanity, and hence the stress laid upon it by the Quran. Faithlessness to treaties and pledges on the part of nations has wrought the greatest havoc on humanity. Just as no society can prosper until its individual members are true to their mutual agreements and promises to each other, so humanity at large can never have peace unless the nations are true to their agreements.

and the patient in distress and affliction and in the time of conflict. These are they who are truthful; and these are they who keep their duty.

22:37. Not their flesh, nor their blood [of sacrificial animals], reaches Allah, but to Him is acceptable the observance of duty on your part.

It is not the outward act of sacrifice which is acceptable, but the deep meaning of sacrifice which underlies it. The idea of atonement is quite foreign to Islamic sacrifice. It is the righteous whom Islam requires to sacrifice, as hinted at in the words: to Him is acceptable the observance of duty on your part.

9:19. Do you hold the giving of drink to the pilgrims and the maintenance of the Sacred Mosque equal to (the service of) one who believes in Allah and the Last Day and strives hard in Allah’s way? They are not equal in the sight of Allah. And Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people.

Issue 68c: Shoebat, a former Muslim, is either too ignorant or a plain liar when when he states – “Islam is not a religion for personal use. Islam is Shariah law. Islam is a form of government to world first then to personal application.”

Rebuttal 68c: Islam is the only successful religion out there which at its very inception succeeded by any secular standards which emphasized personal reformation of each individual first and from which then naturally came about the societal reforms. Islam distinctly stands apart from other religions which needed the conversion on the top first, before the blind fellowship by rest of the populace e.g. Christianity needed Constantine, Buddhism needed Asoka and Zoroastrianism needed Cyrus. Of note is that conversion of kings happened many generations after the death of the respective prophets of these religions. Alas, by then those religions, originally Islam of Jesus, Gautama and Zoroaster, had been polluted by the pagan rituals and beliefs before they were deemed fit to the likes of the pagan kings. And once a king converted, then that religion was a state religion for everyone to follow, irrespective of how merit-less it was to begin with.

The law of individual and personal reformation first and temporal power later is affirmed by the following verse of Quran, which prima facie rebuts Shoebat’s statement – “Islam is a form of government to world first then to personal application.”

24:55. Allah has promised to those of you who believe and do good [– first and foremost] that He will surely make them rulers in the earth [– thereafter] as He made those before them [– the Israelites] rulers, and that He will surely establish for them their religion, which He has chosen for them, and that He will surely give them security in exchange after their fear. They will serve Me, not setting up any partner with Me. And whoever is ungrateful after this, they are the transgressors.

Shariah is no more than quoting Quran itself. Shoebat is confusing Shariah with Fiqh, as the latter is human formulation of the Laws in Quran. Reader is encouraged to read Issue 65, where a comparison is drawn between United States Constitution and Quran. Reader can then judge for oneself as to where does Quran stand in its wisdom and principles.

Issue 68d: Shoebat continues in his diatribes when he states – “It is not just how you pray towards Makkah, it is how you dress, you dress in Arab culture. You speak Arabic. You cannot go to heaven unless you pray in Arabic. You can’t read the Quran in English and expect to get good deeds to go to heaven. You read the Quran in Arabic. It becomes an imperialistic system that everybody now must speak Arabic, think Arabic, practice the religion in Arabic.”

Rebuttal 68d: Shoebat is plain wrong in his above ignorant rant. His above statement reminds one of case histories of cognitively dysfunctional people in the book “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat”. Due to his fundamental intellectual distortions, he mistook Islam for just another pagan dogma like Christianity. In Quran there is no Arabization of Islam which Shoebat shamelessly tries to make one. Rather, Islam is the only religion, and Quran is the only constitution which recognizes the needed diversity of genders, cultures, races and languages for humanity to prosper. The following sampler verses make this assertion:

4:1. O people, keep your duty to your Lord, Who created you from a single being and created its mate of the same (kind),

[Footnote] How the first man was created is not stated either in the Quran or in the Hadith, nor is the Bible statement accepted that Eve was created from a rib of Adam. Muslims do not accept that man was created six thousand years ago. There are traditions stating that there were many Adams, even hundreds of thousands of Adams, before our Adam. Nor do Muslims accept that our world is the only world in this universe; one Imam is reported as saying that in God’s universe there are twelve thousand systems each bigger than our solar system. The words “Who created you from a single being and created its mate of the same” only declare the unity of the human race and the equality of the male and the female. Elsewhere we are told that for all of you wives are created from yourselves: “And Allah has made wives for you from among yourselves” (16:72).

and spread from these two many men and women.

[Footnote] “Many men and women” spring from married pairs. The verse does not necessarily refer to any parent pair of the whole of mankind. It reminds people of the strength of the ties of relationship, an idea mentioned in what follows.

And keep your duty to Allah, by Whom you demand one of another (your rights), and (to) the ties of relationship. Surely Allah is ever a Watcher over you.

30:22. And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your tongues and colours. Surely there are signs in this for the learned.

49:13. O mankind, surely We have created you from a male and a female, and made you tribes and families that you may know each other. Surely the noblest of you with Allah is the most dutiful of you. Surely Allah is Knowing, Aware.

[Footnote] The principle of the brotherhood of mankind laid down here is on the broadest basis. The address here is not to believers, as in the two previous verses, but to mankind in general, who are told that they are all, as it were, members of one family, and their divisions into nations, tribes and families should not lead to estrangement from, but to a better knowledge of, each other. Superiority of one over another in this vast brotherhood does not depend on nationality, wealth, or rank, but on the careful observance of duty, or moral greatness.

Fact is that Quran mocks those who use Arabic to gain any mileage for a facade of pseudo-piety:

3:78. There are some among them who twist their tongues while reciting their Scripture that you may think that (what they recite) is a part of the Scripture, whilst it is no part of the Scripture and they say, `This is from Allâh,’ whereas it is not from Allâh. They tell a lie in the name of Allâh deliberately. [Nooruddin]

Quran, like any scripture before it needed a language to be written in and it is preserved in Arabic. Unlike other other scriptures whose languages have either disappeared due to non-use or have become fossilized that they cannot be used for message delivery into our present times. Arabic of Hedjaz distinctly stands apart from all other languages of the world for its richness, logical structure and on going use while preserving its letter, syntax, grammar, idiom, expression and phonetics:

41:44. Had We made it a Qur’ân in indistinct and inexpressive language, these (faultfinders) would have surely said, `Why has not (the subject matter of) its verses been made clear in exposition?’ What! can indistinct and inexpressive language and an eloquently clear language (be one and the same thing). Say, `It is a wonderful guidance and healing to those who believe.’ But (as to those) who do not believe there is deafness in their ears and this (Qur’ân) is obscure to them (with regard to its factual truth). And they are (as if to say) being called to from a place afar. [Nooruddin]

FYI – Mr. Shoebat, if English had been chosen as the language for revelation, then your name would had been written as “ſhoebat”. Will you accept such a spelling?

Issue 68e: “It is a form of law not just in how you eat, but how you get married, how you deal with your government, how you deal with your military, how you deal with the youth, how you deal with the women, every aspect of your life becomes Islam. Everything is Islam.”

Rebuttal 68e: Shoebat is once again condescending without paying attention to what he is uttering that factually bites him more than Islam. The West that he is trying to please is very much in need of Laws and follows them almost out of Quran (see Issue 65), yet Shoebat demeans the same very Laws. It begets the fundamental question if he understand what does the term “Law” means to begin with. Lets take his statements to him below:

how you eat – Can anyone, but Shoebat, see if FDA, USDA or even a Rabbi have any problem with the following verses? Each of these institutions try to regulate types of food, their hygiene and freshness for the consumption by the general public. Factually, the following verses about food in Quran are FDA, USDA and a Rabbi, all combined into one:

5:3. Forbidden to you is what dies of itself, and blood, and flesh of swine, and that on which any other name than that of Allah has been invoked [i.e. altar sacrifices], and the strangled (animal), and that beaten to death, and that killed by a fall, and that killed by goring with the horn, and what wild beasts have eaten — except what you slaughter [while the animal is alive]…

5:4. They ask you as to what is allowed them. Say: The good things [which naturally have to be hygienic] are allowed to you, and what you have taught the beasts and birds of prey, training them to hunt — you teach them of what Allah has taught you; so eat of what they catch for you and mention the name of Allah over it; and keep your duty to Allah…

5:90. O you who believe, intoxicants … are only an uncleanness, the devil’s work; so shun it that you may succeed.

16:14. And He it is Who has made the sea subservient that you may eat fresh flesh from it…

5:96. Lawful to you is the game of the sea and its food [found without being caught on the condition of above verses i.e. it has be fresh and good i.e. hygienic]…

40:79. Allah is He Who made the cattle for you that you may ride on some of them, and some of them you eat.

5:5. This day (all) good things are made lawful for you. And the food of those who have been given the Book [i.e. all religions which that can trace their source to a revealed Book] is lawful for you [barring the exceptions itemized in above verses] and your food is lawful for them [thus invite them to share your food, a needed step for brotherhood of mankind].

6:145. Say: I do not find in what is revealed to me anything forbidden for an eater to eat of, except if it is what dies of itself, or blood poured forth, or flesh of swine — for that surely is unclean — or what is a transgression, other than the name of Allah having been invoked on it [i.e. altar sacrifices].

how you get married – Once again, will Shoebat have any problems with the following verse of Quran for members of his family who undergo marriage?

5:5. …And so are the chaste from among the believing women and the chaste from among those who have been given the Book before you, when you give them their dowries, taking (them) in marriage, not fornicating nor taking them for lovers in secret.

how you deal with your government – Will any democracy in the world disagree with the following verses, but Shoebat?

42:38. and those who respond to their Lord and keep up prayer, and whose affairs are (decided) by counsel among themselves, and who spend (on good works) out of what We have given them;

[Footnote] Muslims are here enjoined as usual to observe prayer and to spend out of what Allah has given them, yet between these two injunctions, which always go together in the Quran, is placed a third: whose affairs are decided by counsel among themselves. At the early period when this verse was revealed, the Muslims had no important matters to decide for which they might have stood in need of counsel. The injunction is clearly meant to prepare them for transacting the momentous affairs of State and all matters connected with national weal or woe. All affairs of the Islamic state must be transacted by counsel. In this Islam has laid the basis of Government by parliaments, and the idea found a clear practical expression in the early days

22:41. Those who, if We establish them in the land [i.e. with a government], will … enjoin good and forbid evil…

58:9. O you who believe, when you confer together in private, do not give to each other counsel of sin and revolt and disobedience to the Messenger [i.e. the government], but give to each other counsel of goodness and observance of duty.

[Footnote] Secret counsels and secret societies are condemned, but private counsels to promote the cause of goodness and service of humanity are quite different from the subversive activities of secret societies.

58:11. O you who believe, when it is said to you, Make room in assemblies, make room. Allah will give you ample (room). And when it is said, Rise up, rise up [and thus follow the decorum of the forum]. Allah will exalt those of you who believe, and those who are given knowledge, to high ranks…

61:2. O you who believe, why do you [– including the formulators of the law, the office holders] say things which you do not do?
61:3. It is most hateful in the sight of Allah that you say things which you do not do.
61:4. Surely Allah loves those [in elected office] who fight in His way [for the rights of mankind] in ranks, as if they were a solid wall.

7:56. And do not make mischief in the earth after its reformation…[This verse is squarely aimed at both the government and governed]

7:85. …Clear proof indeed has come to you from your Lord, so give full measure and weight and do not diminish to people their things,

[Footnote] The injunction do not diminish to people their things stands for not depriving or defrauding people of their rights.

nor make mischief in the land after its reform.

how you deal with your military – No democratically elected government with peaceful policies will disagree with what Quran has to say about military, but we are not sure as to where does Shoebat stand in the following verses:

4:200. O you who believe, be steadfast and try to excel in steadfastness and guard (the frontiers).

4:71. O you who believe, take your precautions, then go forth in detachments or go forth in a body.

4:94. O you who believe, when you go forth (to fight) in Allah’s way, make investigation, and do not say to anyone who offers you salutation, You are not a believer, … so make investigation…

8:38. Say to those who disbelieve, if they cease (fighting), what is past will be forgiven them; and if they return (to it), then the example of those of old has already gone.
8:39. And fight with them until there is no more persecution [– the very purpose of taking up arms],…

8:60. And make ready for them [– the aggressive enemy] whatever force you can and horses tied at the frontier, to frighten thereby … your enemy and others besides them, whom you do not know [– thus preventing a war rather than engaging in a preventive war]
8:61. And if they incline to peace, you (must) incline to it also…
8:62. And if they intend to deceive you, then surely Allah is sufficient for you [i.e. peace to be preferred despite risk of deceit by enemy].

2:190. And fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you [– i.e. enemy has to start the fight first] but do not be aggressive. Surely Allah does not love the aggressors.
2:191. And kill them wherever you find them [– the aggressors in actual war], and drive them out from where they drove you out, and persecution is worse than slaughter. And do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque [– i.e. any place of worship] until they fight with you in it; so if they fight you (in it), kill them…
2:192. But if they cease, then [– so should Muslims, because] surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
2:193. And fight them until there is no persecution…But if they cease, then there should be no hostility except against the oppressors.
2:194. …Whoever then acts aggressively against you, inflict injury on him according to the injury he has inflicted on you…

how you deal with the youth – Quran gives the example of Joseph as a youth with whom the youth of today can relate and learn from as a peer in age:

12:21. And the Egyptian [– Potiphar] who bought him [– Joseph, a slave] said to his wife: Make his stay honourable. Maybe he will be useful to us, or we may adopt him as a son. And thus We established Joseph in the land, and that We might teach him the interpretation of sayings. And Allah has full control over His affair, but most people do not know.
12:22. And when he attained his maturity, We gave him wisdom and knowledge. And thus do We reward the doers of good.

The above verse is aimed squarely at youth. One of the keys to success for youth to understand is that like Joseph, they too can benefit from the very Law of Quran i.e. when he attained his maturity, We gave him wisdom and knowledge. And thus do We reward the doers of good. In the narrative of Joseph, youth can find a workable example that they can follow and be assured of being bestowed with wisdom and knowledge through which they can develop insight into interpretation of sayings of all the sciences, arts and philosophy, both discovered and yet to be discovered. The education for the youth must be blended with spiritual and moral values. Such an amalgam of temporal knowledge and morality in turn creates means for an assured reward for the doers of good. To achieve the benedictions that were bestowed upon Joseph, the foremost requisite is that of preserving one’s chastity while resisting temptations. Such chaste endeavors can be an uphill task for an age when passions can run amok. This is brought to light in the following verses which clearly state that youth must constantly pray and seek guidance to avoid distractions of life and the impulsivity that accompanies a youthful mind. In Joseph, they have an example to be followed:

12:23. And she [– Potiphar's wife] in whose house he was, sought to seduce him, and bolted the doors and said: Come. He said: Allah forbid! Surely my Lord made good my abode. The wrongdoers never prosper.
12:24. And certainly she desired him, and he would have desired her if he had not seen the clear evidence of his Lord. Thus (it was) that We might turn away from him evil and indecency. Surely he was one of Our chosen servants.

This does not show that Joseph had any desire for her, but that the temptation was so strong that, if he had not been strengthened by great faith in God, he would have fallen a prey to mortal weakness.

12:25. And they raced with one another to the door, and she tore his shirt from behind, and they met her husband at the door. She said: What is the penalty for one who intends evil to your wife, except imprisonment or a painful punishment?
12:26. He said: She sought to seduce me. And a witness of her own family bore witness: If his shirt is torn in front, she speaks the truth and he is a liar.
12:27. And if his shirt is torn from behind, she tells a lie and he is truthful.
12:28. So when he saw his shirt torn from behind, he said: Surely it is an intrigue of you women. Your intrigue is indeed great!
12:29. Joseph, turn aside from this. And (my wife), ask forgiveness for your sin. Surely you are one of the sinful.
12:30. And women in the city said: The chief’s wife seeks to seduce her slave. He has indeed affected her deeply with (his) love. Truly we see her in clear error.
12:31. So when she heard of their scheming, she sent for them and prepared for them a feast, and gave each of them a knife, and said (to Joseph): Come out to them. So when they saw him, they thought him great, and cut their hands (in amazement), and said: Holy Allah! This is not a mortal! This is but a noble angel.
12:32. She said: This is he about whom you blamed me. And certainly I sought to seduce him, but he was firm in self restraint. And if he does not do what I order him, he shall certainly be imprisoned, and he shall certainly be degraded.
12:33. He said: My Lord, the prison is dearer to me than that to which they invite me. And if You do not turn away their intrigue from me, I shall yearn towards them and be one of the ignorant.
12:34. So his Lord accepted his prayer and turned away their intrigue from him. Surely He is the Hearer, the Knower.
12:35. Then it occurred to them after they had seen the signs [of Joseph’s innocence*] that they should imprison him for a while.

The standards that Joseph sets for preservation of his chastity are worth their weight in gold – He said: My Lord, the prison is dearer to me than that to which they invite me. And if You do not turn away their intrigue from me, I shall yearn towards them and be one of the ignorant.

Lo and behold, Joseph prayed for his moral safety by preferring a prison over his freedom and he was placed therein, which to an unsuspecting is apparently a setback, while it is not:

12:36. And two youths entered the prison with him [i.e. Joseph].

It is with this gold standard of Joseph we witness that acquired wisdom and knowledge coupled with one’s chastity of youth in itself is a test that needs faith, patience and steadfastness. The test when passed has Divine awards awaiting, that we see in story of Joseph, when a slave rose to the highest office of chief treasurer in the land:

12:54. And the king said: Bring him [– Joseph] to me [from the prison], I will choose him for myself. So when he talked with him, he said: Surely you are in our presence today dignified, trusted.
12:55. He said: Place me (in authority) over the treasures of the land; surely I am a good keeper, knowing well [because of – We gave him wisdom and knowledge 12:22].
12:56. And thus did We give to Joseph power in the land — he had mastery in it wherever he liked. We bestow Our mercy on whom We please, and We do not waste the reward of the doers of good.
12:57. And certainly the reward of the Hereafter is better for those who believe and guard against evil.

Thus, when the youth acquire wisdom and knowledge while maintaining their chastity, are doer of good and constantly praying like Joseph for guidance, then by the Law in Quran the status of Joseph can be reached where – he had mastery in it wherever he liked. We bestow Our mercy on whom We please, and We do not waste the reward of the doers of good.

The narrative of Joseph is about the trials and tribulations of a youth at an individual level. Quran goes beyond and encourages the society for the marriages of youth who transition into adulthood to preserve their chastity:

24:32. And marry off those among you who are single (to spouses)…

4:6. And test the orphans until they reach the age of marriage.

[Footnote] These words show further that the guardian is not only responsible for the education of the wards but he is also required to examine them and see what progress they have made. According to Abu Hanifah, majority is attained at eighteen years, but if maturity of intellect is not attained at eighteen, the limit may be extended. These words, moreover, show that marriage should be performed at an age after a person has attained majority, not before it, for the age of marriage is spoken of as being the age of attaining majority.

Then if you find in them maturity of intellect, make over to them their property…

Marriage is the foremost institution for preservation and maintenance of one’s chastity that we see in the example of marriage of Mary:

3:42. And when the angels said: O Mary, surely Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the world.
3:43. O Mary, be obedient to your Lord and humble yourself and bow down with those who bow.
3:44. This is among the tidings of things unseen which We reveal to you. And you were not with them when they cast their pens (to decide) which of them should have Mary in his charge [to arrange for her marriage], and you were not with them when they contended with one another.
3:45. When the angels said: O Mary, surely Allah gives you good news with a word from Him (of one) whose name is the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, worthy of regard in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those who are drawn near (to Allah),
3:46. and he will speak to the people [with wisdom] when in the cradle [i.e. in his youth] and when of old age, and (he will be) one of the good ones.
3:47. She said: My Lord, how can I have a son and man has not yet touched me [yet in marriage]?

The above verse 3:47 confirms the chaste thinking of Mary which makes her question the prophecy of birth of Jesus due to her unmarried state at that time. Her marriage arrangement is mentioned in verse 3:44 before.

how you deal with the women – Since Shoebat is commenting from male centric view of the society, it needs to be seen if he has any problems with the following sampler verses of Quran:

4:34. Men are the maintainers of women [and head of household]
2:228. …and men are a degree above them [i.e. they are head of household]

2:228. …And women have rights similar to those against them in a just manner [both in marriage and divorce]

2:187. …They [– wives] are an apparel [– means of protection, comfort and even embellishment*] for you [– husbands] and you are an apparel for them.

30:21. And of His signs is this,that He created mates for you from yourselves that you might find quiet of mind in them, and He put between you love and compassion. Surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect.

4:4. And give women their dowries as a free gift [i.e. unasked]

4:7. …and for women a share of what the parents and the near relatives leave, whether it is little or much — an appointed share.

2:240. And those of you who die and leave wives behind, should make a bequest in favour of their wives [in addition to the share of the deceased husband’s property which she inherits under 4:11*] of maintenance for a year without turning (them) out…

4:15. And as for those of your women who are guilty of an indecency, call to witness against them four (witnesses) from among you…
24:4. And those who accuse free women and do not bring four witnesses, flog them (with) eighty strokes and never accept their evidence, and these are the transgressors…

4:19. O you who believe, it is not lawful for you to take women as heritage against (their) will. Nor should you cause them hardship by taking part of what you have given them, unless they are guilty of manifest indecency. And treat them kindly. Then if you hate them, it may be that you dislike a thing while Allah has placed abundant good in it.
4:20. And if you wish to have (one) wife in the place of another [after divorce] and you have given one of them [– the former wife] a heap of gold, take nothing from it. Would you take it by slandering (her) and (doing her) manifest wrong?
4:21. And how can you take it when you have been intimate with each other and they have taken from you a strong covenant?

24:30. Say to the believing men that they lower their gaze [i.e. no gawking allowed] and restrain their sexual passions…

7:32. Say: Who has forbidden the adornment [i.e. jewellery, makeup, dress] of Allah, which He has brought forth for His servants, and the good provisions?

every aspect of your life becomes Islam. Everything is Islam – At least the areas that Shoebat drew attention to in the above, and in the light of the corresponding verses that were outlined, how unfair it would be for the society if every aspect of “your life does not becomes Islam, and if Everything is not Islam!”


References:

Note: [text enclosed in square brackets above is not part of the original quoted sources]
[*] indicates insertion of excerpt of the footnote directly into the verse
Unless stated, all verses and corresponding footnotes above are from the translation and commentary of Holy Quran – Muhammad Ali, edited by Dr. Zahid Aziz.
Holy Quran – Nooruddin
Sermon on the Mount – New International Version, Bible Gateway
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat – Wikipedia
Long S – Wikipedia
Food and Drug Administration
United States Department of Agriculture

Issue 67

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Issue 67 [@1:12:34]: Serge Trifkovic – Author, The Sword of the Prophet – “In Islam the separation between temporal, secular and religious power is not only impossible, it is heretical. Only in the complete blending of all aspects of human activity and all aspects of political and legal functions of the state can we have the Khalafat, the properly organized state that is pleasing to Allah.

Rebuttal 67: The issue of Khalafat raised by Trifkovic or for that matter any Muslim needs a clear understanding of its meanings and philosophy. According to Dictionary of the Holy Quran by Abdul Mannan Omar (p. 162-3) we find the following meanings of the roots of the said term – Khalafat:

KhalafaTo succeed, take the place of, be the agent, substitute of.
Khalîfah: Supreme chief; Successor; Religious head. Ibn Masûd and Ibn ‘Abbas explain this word as one who judges among or rules the creatures of God by his command. The word Khalîfah in 2:30 refers also to the children of Adam, i.e., the whole of mankind, the correctness of their view is corroborated by the Holy Qur’ân itself (6:165).

Khalafa(prf. 3rd p.m. Sing.): He succeeded, acted as a successor.
Khalîfatun (act. pic. n.): Vicegerent; Successor.
Khalâif (plu. of Khalîfatun): Successors.
Khulafâ’(plu. of Khalifatun): Successors.

With the above meanings of Khalafat in mind, lets turn our attention to Quran for the philosophy of Khalafat. Even though Quran draws some of its arguments from history, one must not dwell on Quran as a book of history, rather emphasis of Quran is on the philosophical and moral underpinnings which govern history. These underpinnings are to be understood for their implications in current events and expectations for the future. We start with narrative of Adam:

2:30. And (recall) when your Lord said to the angels, `I am (according to My usual practice) going to appoint a supreme religious head [– Arabic: Khalîfah] in the land (to convey My Message to human beings and to execute My will in the universe).’ They said, `Will You create (also) therein such (people) as will cause disorder in it and shed blood while we already glorify You with Your true praise and extol Your holiness.’ He (- God) answered, `I know that which you do not know.’

Thus, it becomes obvious from the above verse that man was the instrument of Khalafat of God and was to rule the earth despite his shortcomings e.g. – such (people) as will cause disorder in it and shed blood. Quran then answers in the following verse the natural question as to what was that bigger plan in `I know that which you do not know’ of God that made Him make the decision for the mankind as his vicegerent:

6:165. And He it is Who has made you successors (of others and rulers) of the land, and He has exalted some of you over the others in degrees (of rank) so that He may try you by that which He has given you. Surely, your Lord is Quick at retribution; and He is all the same, Great Protector, Ever Merciful.

The above verse lays in the open that the office of Khalafat or the ruler is none but an inherent trial by which He has given you. The same verse also forewarns the office holder that – your Lord is Quick at retribution, for any failure on the part of the successors. This trial may span one government like Hitler, a series of governments of Khulafâ-e-Rashideen, a dynasty like Ottomans, generations like House of Tudors, or a global colonial rule of European powers etc. etc.

While this interplay of the ruler and the ruled goes on in the earth, unless the rule is righteous in both temporal and moral planes, such a rule or Khalafat does not last. In order to fully contextualize the concept of Khalafat for the ‘experts’ of this documentary, it necessitates to explain with the examples of none but their own. One of such example is that of Pharaoh and Israelites that we will build upon till the present times and the expected moral outcomes into the future:

2:49. And (recall) when We delivered you [– the Israelites] from the people of Pharaoh who subjected you to the worst torment. They went on slaying your sons and sparing your women to make them immodest, and indeed that was a great ordeal from your Lord.

2:50. And when We parted the sea for you, and rescued you and drowned the people of Pharaoh, while you were beholding.

17:103. So he [– Pharaoh and his government] resolved to weaken them [– the Israelites] by humiliating them in and thus scare them out of the country [– Egypt]; but We drowned him [– Ramses II] and those with him [– Pharaoh's army], one and all.

Thus, after centuries of servitude of Israelites and despite all their doubts about emancipation at the hands of Moses, they were settled in freedom for a chance to evolve as a nation abiding by Islam. Of note is that Israelities were factually the Muslim followers of Prophet Moses:

7:129. They (- the persons of superficial thinking of the Children of Israel) said, `We were persecuted before you came to us and (are being persecuted) even after you have come to us.’ (Moses) said, `It is well nigh that your Lord will destroy your enemy and make you rulers in the (promised) land and then He will see how you act.’

7:137. And We made the people who were deemed weak (and were oppressed) inherit the eastern and western parts of the (promised) land which We had blessed. Thus was fulfilled the most gracious word of your Lord in favour of the Children of Israel, for they had patiently persevered; and We annihilated all that Pharaoh and his people had wrought and what they had erected.

In the moral framework after the tyranny is removed, the subjugated former subjects get their chance to prove their worth to rule next:

2:47. O Children of Israel! remember My blessings which I bestowed upon you and that I exalted you above (your) contemporaries.

Quran further outlines the principle that the rule of the next successors or Khulafâ is held to the same same moral standards of reward and retribution by which their previous rulers were held to. This is brought to light in Abraham’s prayer for his progeny, that includes both future Israelites and Muslims:

2:124. (Recall) when his Lord put Abraham to test with certain commandments, so he carried them out. (God) said, `Verily, I will make you an Imâm (- a religious leader) for the good of the people.’ (Abraham) said (inquiringly), `And from among my progeny (too, do You promise to raise leaders)?’ (God) said, `(Yes, but) My (this) covenant does not embrace the wrongdoers.’

Abraham’s prayers bore fruit in the case of Israelites, the benedictions on whom started with Moses and continued till Solomon. Both Moses and Solomon and all the intervening Israelite prophets were Muslim prophets. The blessings of Khalafat ended with the Khulafâ of Solomon:

38:34. Behold! We tried Solomon (too) and We placed on his throne (of kingdom) a (mere) body [of his inept sons – Rehoboam and Jeroboam] (without any spirit or faith). Then he turned (to God seeking His mercy).

38:35. He [– Solomon] said (praying), `My Lord! grant me protection and bestow on me a kingdom that belongs to none (by inheritance) after me. You indeed are the Great Bestower.’

Prayers of Solomon only reflect the morality as outlined in God’s reply to Abraham in the verse 2:124 above. His prayers too prevailed when the kingdom of Israel went into disarray due to lack of moral fabric in the Khulafâ or the successors after him:

By the mere body that was put on his throne is meant either his son Rehoboam, who lost the allegiance of all except a single tribe of Israel (1 Kings 12:17), or Jeroboam, who led the revolt against the house of David, and, on becoming king of ten tribes, set up image-worship in Dan and Beth-el, the two calves being supposed to be images of Jehovah (1 Kings 12:28), and also began the worship of molten images (1 Kings 14:9). Thus both Rehoboam and Jeroboam answer the description of a body (without real life) thrown on Solomon’s throne. [excerpt from
the footnote to verse 38:35 – Translation and Commentary of Holy Quran by Muhammad Ali, ed. Zahid Aziz]

Now coming back to Khalafat, be it of Israelites who were originally Muslims under the Israeli Prophets, or Muslim followers of Prophet Muhammad, the prime determinant for successor-ship is their deeds of righteousness, the example of which in history is the rule of Abu-Bakr, Umar, Usman, Ali and the Muslims whom they ruled. This principle is outlined in the following verses:

24:55. Allâh has promised those of you who believe and do deeds of righteousness that surely, He will make them successors (vouchsafed with both spiritual and temporal leadership) on the earth as He made successors (from among) their predecessors [i.e. Israelites], and that He will surely establish for them their Faith which He has approved for them, and that He will surely replace their state of fear with a state of security and peace. They will worship Me (alone) and they will not associate anything with Me. And those who show ingratitude for all the favours done to them after that (His promise is fulfilled), it is they who will be reckoned as the worst disobedient.

24:56. And (believers!) observe the Prayer, keep on presenting the Zakât (purifying dues) and obey the Messenger that you may be shown mercy.

In the above verses it becomes plainly clear that a society has to believe and do deeds of righteousness FIRST, before He will make them successors (vouchsafed with both spiritual and temporal leadership) on the earth. Thus, according to Quran, the office of Khalafat is a logical outcome of a righteous living, both individually and collectively. As stated before, this principle we see in the natural attainment of governorship by Khulafâ-e-Rashideen, who started their humble path to steadfast righteousness while being persecuted in Makkah for no fault of theirs, then fleeing for their lives to Medina, and ended up ruling the Persian and Roman Empires, all within single lifetime. This is unlike Constantine and Christianity who tried to rule first and then hoped all along that they will be able to do deeds of righteousness, which they could not. Same situation we see in modern day Israel. They distorted Torah and promised themselves a land and the rule first and thereafter are now trying to be righteous by their own self-fulfilling standards within the same distortions of Torah and that too selfishly at the cost of others. In the moral laws of Quran, one cannot place the cart before the horse:

24:57. Think not (O reader!) that those who disbelieve [in the principles outlined in the preceding verses] can ever be able to frustrate (Our plan on the earth) and escape Us. Their abode is Fire; what an evil resort!

With the above meaning and philosophy of Khalafat in mind, lets re-read Trifkovic’s statement – “In Islam the separation between temporal, secular and religious power is not only impossible, it is heretical. Only in the complete blending of all aspects of human activity and all aspects of political and legal functions of the state can we have the Khalafat, the properly organized state that is pleasing to Allah.” Fact is that when the term of Khulafâ-e-Rashideen ended, there was a separation of temporal power and spiritual tracts in Islamic governments thereafter. Temporal power got concentrated in the apparent Khalifas, whereas, the spiritual power got its frequent revival from Mujaddids in Sunni tradition and Imams in Shia school of thought. As long as the revivalists of spiritual domain were able to influence the temporal aspect of the government, the governments remained strong and progressive. When the gulf widened between these two required aspects of Khalafat, then history bears witness to the decline of the temporal Khalafat, that finally ended with Ottomans. This all happened so because, irrespective of whether the claimants of Khalafat were Muslims, none can ever be able to frustrate (Our plan on the earth) and escape Us, the Law stated in the verse above.

Trifkovic cannot look farther than his own experience of the West who followed pagan religions for thousand of years (see Issue 64); whose invented God(s) have turned out to be less intelligent than man, hence their consequent rejection by the same West. Therefore, he cannot reconcile the possible blending of temporal, legal and spiritual structure of the society (see Issue 65) that we see in Quran. His knowledge about Quran and Islam is not based upon any critical and objective read, but his reading of Quran is based upon an entrenched blinding hate.

Now, with both Quran and Trifkovic in perspective and turning to our current times, we see that Israelites have been given another chance in modern day Israel by gathering them from various lands:

17:104. And We said after (it was all over with Pharaoh), to the Children of Israel, `Settle down occupying the (promised) land (of Palestine). When the time of fulfillment of the second Prophecy comes, We shall bring you back gathering you (from various lands) [after the fulfillment of the second Prophecy, see below 17:2-10].’

But, the standards of Quran remain the same for all the peoples and all times. The precondition for any rule to establish itself is stated in the next verse:

21:105. We have already stated in the Zabûr (Psalms – the Book of David) after (stating it in) the Reminder (-Torah) that My servants with right capacity (to rule) shall inherit the land.

We leave it to the experts of the documentary as to whether Israelites of our times have demonstrated the right capacity (to rule) and to inherit the land with fairness and justice or the world is already witnessing another making of the rule of Rehoboam and Jeroboam with added twist of pages borrowed from Nazism. Quran in its messages reminds us that be it the British Empire of the yore, or the sole super-power of the present or the super-power by proxy i.e. state of Israel, any rule is none but a trial by which He has given you. As a reminder to Israel from secular and moral history, Quran states:

17:4. And in the Scripture We have conveyed to the Children of Israel with certainty (saying), `Twice you shall create disorder in the land and shall surely become exceedingly overbearing and arrogant.’

17:5. So when (in 588 B.C. the time for) the first of the two warnings came, We roused against you, (O Children of Israel! some of) Our servants possessed of great valour and might in warfare, and they penetrated into the innermost recesses of your country and habitations. Indeed, it was a warning (about the punishment) of Allâh bound to be carried out.

17:6. Then We gave you back the power to prevail over these (enemies of yours through Cyrus and Zerubbabel), and We helped you with (various) possessions and sons and We increased your man-power (militarily).

17:7. (We said,) `If you did good, you did it for your ownselves, and if you did evil it was only to the same end.’ So when (the time for carrying out) the latter warning came (We raised certain other people – Romans under Titus in 70 A.D., against you to destroy your glory), so that they might do evil to (you and) your leading men and invade and enter the Mosque (at Jerusalem) [i.e. Solomon's temple] in the same way as others (of your enemies) had invaded and entered it the first time, and so that they might destroy utterly all that they had conquered.

17:8. Still it is well-nigh that your Lord will again have mercy on you, (through Islam) but if you return (to mischief, We warn,) We too will return (to Our punishment), We have made Gehenna a prison-house for the ungrateful.

17:9. This Qur’ân, assuredly, guides to that which is most upright and gives to the believers, who do righteous deeds, the glad tidings that there awaits them a great reward,

17:10. And (also warns) that We have grievous punishment in store for those who do not believe in the Hereafter [and as a consequence, commit remorseless atrocities and usurp human dignity and fundamental rights of others].

Sadly, by any temporal, secular and moral standards, Israel was and is becoming more and more of exceedingly overbearing and arrogant towards Palestinians and its neighbors. Only time will validate the truthfulness of either the man written Torah or God revealed Quran in this living example of Israeli ‘Khalafat’ amongst our midst. Since they see no immediate retribution, it only makes them more arrogant:

6:158. Do they await only that the angels should come to them (with wars), or that (complete destruction from) your Lord should come (upon them), or that some of the signs of your Lord should visit them (with earthly calamities). The day when some of the signs of your Lord shall come, no soul, that did not believe earlier or accomplished some good deeds through (his) belief, will ever benefit by his faith. Say, `Wait, we too are waiting.’

If we have to predict the future of Israel through the lens of Quran based on former’s systematic and incessant immoral policies of hegemony, apartheid and ethnic cleansing, all we have to do is to re-quote one of the above verses:

17:103. So he [– Pharaoh before and Israel now] resolved to weaken them [– the Israelites before and Palestinians now] by humiliating them in and thus scare them out of the country [–Egypt before and Palestine now]; but [watch out] We drowned him [– Ramses II before] and those with him [– Pharaoh's army], one and all.

There was no material way possible under heavens for Israelites to break away from the generations of humiliations and scare at the hands of the Pharaohs, but it happened. Even Pharaoh’s body testifies to these facts. Pharaoh did repent at the last moment, but it was too late as momentum had built up for the retribution for his tyranny:

10:83. None, however, but a few youths from among his people accepted Moses (while others held back), for fear of Pharaoh and their chiefs lest he should persecute them. And surely Pharaoh was ever a tyrant in the land and truthfully he was of those who committed excesses (and high-handedness).

10:84. And Moses said, `O my people! put your trust in Allâh, if you have (really) believed in Him (and) if you have (truly) submitted (to His will).’

10:85. Thereupon they said, `In Allâh alone do we put our trust. Our Lord! do not make us a target of persecution of the wrongdoing people.

10:86. `And deliver us by your mercy from (the evil designs of) the disbelieving people.’

10:87. And We spoke to Moses and his brother (Aaron saying), `You both should prepare lodging for your people (bringing them together from different parts of the country) in the central town (of Egypt) and make your houses so as to face one another [i.e. live in close proximity and develop a Muslim community] and perform worship.’ And (We also revealed to them to) proclaim good tidings (of success) to the believers.

10:88. And Moses said (praying and Aaron joined him in prayer), `Our Lord! You have given Pharaoh and his chiefs pomp and wealth in the present life with the result, Our Lord! that they lead people astray from Your path. Our Lord! destroy their wealth and attack their hearts, so that they believe not until they see the grievous punishment.’

10:89. (The Lord) said, `The prayer of you both has been accepted, so remain you two steadfast and follow not the way of those who do not know.’

10:90. And We brought the Children of Israel across the sea, and Pharaoh and his legion pursued them in wanton aggression and for no justified cause till when he (Pharaoh) was about to be drowned, he cried, `I (confess and) believe that there is no One worthy of worship but He in Whom the Children of Israel have believed in, and I am of those who submit (to Him).’

10:91. (The Lord) said, `What! (do you remember) now (while dying), whereas you had (always) disobeyed before (this), and you had been of the miscreants!

10:92. `So, on this day We will preserve you in your body (only) that you may be a sign (to learn a lesson from) for the coming generations, though most of the people are quite heedless of Our signs.’

In light of above set of verses, the natural question arises at to how different is the attitude of Israel towards Palestinians than the manner Pharaoh treated the Israelites? Israelis are doing what Pharaoh was doing to his helpless subjects. So, Mr. Trifkovic take heed with regards to the natural outcome of the prevailing Pharaoh like power and behavior of Israel in the Middle East. If Pharaoh could be annihilated then, so could any rule now. To Trifkovic we have this to say – `Wait, we too are waiting.’ (6:158)

References:

Note: [text enclosed in square brackets above is not part of the original quoted sources]
Dictionary of the Holy Quran – Abdul Mannan Omar
The Holy Quran – Nooruddin [all the above quoted verses]
Holy Quran – Muhammad Ali, edited by Dr. Zahid Aziz [excerpt from the footnote to verse 38:35]
Early Caliphate (pdf)[Khulafâ-e-Rashideen] – Muhammad Ali
Khilafat in Islam (pdf) – Maulvi Muhammed Ali, M.A., LL.B. p. 147, – Islamic Review and Muslim India, April 1920
The Khalifa Question and the Sultan of Turkey – 1 – Dr. G. W. Leitner – The Asiatic Quarterly Review, Jan-Apr 1896
The Destiny of Israel: Review of “Jerusalem in the Qur’an” – Imran N. Hosein, a review

Issue 66

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Issue 66 [@1:11:52]: Robert Spencer – Director, JihadWatch.org – “Islam from its beginnings was both a religion and a system of government. For example, the Islamic calendar doesn’t base year one from the time that Muhammad was born or the time when Muhammad received his first revelation from God which I think are both what Westerners might expect. But from the time that Muhammad became the leader of an army and head of state in Medina. This is the beginning of the Islamic calendar because in Islamic understanding Islam is a political and social system as well as an individual faith.

Rebuttal 66: It is a totally meritless comment by Robert Spencer when he tries to create unfounded doubts in the audience by questioning the start of Hijri Calendar. If we take his line of argument, then will it be equally fair to state that – “ the Christian calendar doesn’t base year one from the time that Jesus was crucified or the time when Jesus was raised from the ‘dead’ which I think are both what non-Westerners might expect,” but instead starts from birth of Jesus i.e. Anno Domini (A.D.)?

Spencer side stepped the main crux of Islamic history. He falsely equates Islamic calendar to – “the time that Muhammad became the leader of an army and head of state in Medina.” What the readers need to know based upon facts of history is that Islamic calendar is more correctly called Hijra or Hijri Calendar. Hijra means migration which according to online Dictionary.com is defined as:

“the flight of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina to escape persecution a.d. 622: regarded as the beginning of the Muslim Era.”

Hijri calendar was adopted seven years after the death of Prophet Muhammad during the fourth year of reign of Caliph Umar, details of which could be read on Wikipedia.

Spencer is maliciously wrong when he states Islamic calendar started – “from the time that Muhammad became the leader of an army and head of state in Medina.” The facts are exactly opposite of what Spencer is misquoting. The year of Hijra was the lowest point of Islam, when it had no temporal power. The preceding thirteen years of incessant persecution of professors of one God reached to such a low ebb that the last of the Muslims in Makkah, namely Muhammad, Abu Bakr and Ali had to escape to Medina, if nothing else, to survive. Two previous emigrations of other Muslims to Ethiopia had proven insufficient for a nascent Muslim community to exist in their home town. The first two escaped in the night. Muhammad slipped out of his home in the darkness while his house was surrounded by a band of killers drawn from all the tribes of Makkah who were under oath to kill him simultaneously. Both, Muhammad and Abu-Bakr, to thwart the hunt by their pursuers initially escaped southward while Medina was towards north of Makkah. They hid in a cave for three nights, before they traveled north by a circuitous route to Medina. For what fault of theirs, were they to be killed? Can any figure in world history match Muhammad’s honesty and integrity, while he himself close to be murdered, instructed Ali to return people’s property that was in his safe keeping, before the latter too emigrates to Medina the next day? Can this documentary answer these simple questions?

The persecution did not end with emigration of Muslims to Medina. Thereafter, within a span of five years they were attacked three times by armed to the teeth Makkan armies with full support of neighboring tribes of Medina and the complicity of Jewish tribes within Medina. First time in 2nd year of emigration they had to defend themselves at Badr in which there were 1000 Makkans against 313 Medinites at a distance of 60 miles from Medina and 120 mile from Makkah. Second time in the 3rd year of migration, 3 miles from Medina, 700 Medinites faced 3000 Makkans. For the third time in the 5th year, while within Medina, 2000 Medinites faced more than 10,000 Makkans and their allies. Never were Makkans able to prevail over Medina.

Spencer is again wrong when he states “Muhammad became the leader of an army.” Never did Medina have a standing army during the life of Prophet Muhammad when the city was constantly under threat from Makkans. Medina defenses were only managed by the scramble of a rag-tag voluntary but self-sacrificing Muslims under Prophet Muhammad, a group whose sole basis of self-defense was their Quranic injunction:

4:75. And what reason have you not to fight in the way of Allah, and of the weak among the men and the women and the children,who say: Our Lord, take us out of this town, whose people are oppressors, and grant us from Yourself a friend, and grant us from Yourself a helper!

Never will Robert Spencer and his coattail followers ask the fundamental question as to what was that thing that made the Muslims bear inhuman torture at the hands of the Makkans for thirteen straight years after proclamation of prophethood by Muhammad, while they lived amongst their midst and then for another 8 years after their fleeing to Medina? What was that infallible truth for which the Muslims were willing to forgo their own lives, families, property and chose indignation and deprivation instead? Did Muhammad promise them any power or riches? Did any Muslim hurt any non-Muslim with a word of mouth or even a scratch of a skin while they themselves unflinchingly bore inhuman sufferings in Makkah? Why did they not spit on face of the Prophet or sell him for a few silver coins to get themselves out of their torments at the hands of their persecutors, while they had the example of the companions of Jesus before them?

The answer to above questions can be found within the words of Spencer himself – “because in Islamic understanding Islam is a political and social system as well as an individual faith.” Right from its inception, without any political, military or economic force behind him, Prophet Muhammad was able to invoke dignity and equality of man amongst his followers, who contrary to the prevailing norms were able to give freedom to women, rights to orphans, emancipation to slaves and charity to poor, while their own personal lives were filled with piety and humility and their examples are till this day a model of virtue for the humanity and shall remain so for centuries to come.

Even though the project at hand is a rebuttal to the misleading attacks and false allegation against Quran, Islam, Muhammad and history, the current opening given by Spencer provides and an opportunity to lay open as to what Islam stands for. Following is the online booklet by Muhammad Ali – “Islam – The Religion of Humanity” – (pub. 1928, rev. 1980, 1985, with Foreword by Lord Headley):

Contents
Publisher’s Note
Foreword to the Original Edition
1. Introduction
Significance of name.
New meaning introduced into religion.
2. Some Distinctive Features of Islam
Belief in all prophets.
Perfection of religion.
Unity of mankind.
An historical religion.
3. The Fundamental Principles of Islam
4. The Divine Being
Conception of God in Islam.
Existence of God.
Example of Holy Quran.
Unity of God.
5. Divine Revelation
Belief in prophets.
Perfection of revelation.
Continuance of lower forms.
6. Life after Death
is continuation of present life.
image of spiritual state in this life.
Infinite progress.
7. Significance of Belief
Belief in angels.
Belief as basis for action.
8. Principles of Action
9. Man’s Duties towards God
Prayer.
Fasting.
Pilgrimage.
Meaningful acts of worship.
10. Man’s Duties to Man
Brotherhood of Islam.
Rights of women.
The State.
Illustrations of Islamic rule.
Jihad.
Zakat and Charity.
11. Scope of Moral Teachings

References:
Holy Quran – Muhammad Ali, edited by Dr. Zahid Aziz.
Anno Domini – Wikipedi
Hijra – Dictionary.co
Hijri Year – Wikipedia
Islam – The Religion of Humanity – Muhammad Ali

Ramadan Daily Quran Study, July-August 2012

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

During this Ramadan, we will consider verses of the Quran which tell us about the mission and qualities of the Holy Prophet.

Fast 1 — an excellent exemplar with most sublime morals
Fast 2 — His mission
Fast 3 — brings people from darkness into light
Fast 4 — does not ask for any personal reward, return or gain
Fast 5 — is a mortal like other humans
Fast 6 — raised as a warner and giver of good news
Fast 7 — must deliver the message, and that is all he must do

Fast 8 — His great concern for humanity
Fast 9 — Steadfastness and patience in difficulties
Fast 10 — Seeking comfort in, and strength through, prayer
Fast 11 — Obedience to the Holy Prophet
Fast 12 — Holy Prophet attained the highest position of sinlessness and knowledge of God, and closeness to God and to humanity
Fast 13 — Orphan raised to greatness
Fast 14 — Breast expanded with Divine light and knowledge

Fast 15 — Prophet granted abundance of good of all kinds
Fast 16 — Prophet’s message is for all nations and entire humanity
Fast 17 — Prophet follows only his revelation and does so faithfully
Fast 18 — Holy Prophet’s extraordinary gentleness towards his followers-1
Fast 19 — Holy Prophet’s extraordinary gentleness towards his followers-2
Fast 20 — Simplicity of his personal and domestic life
Fast 21 — Holy Prophet’s concern for the most ordinary of people

Fast 22 — Courage in the face of the gravest danger – 1
Fast 23 — Courage in the face of the gravest danger – 2
Fast 24 — Holy Prophet’s generous treatment of the enemy
Brief comments about the moon’s phase as on 12 August with photo
Fast 25 — Holy Prophet does justice to his enemies
Fast 26 — Manners to be observed towards the Holy Prophet
Fast 27 — Final triumph of the Holy Prophet

Extra: An article about Lailat-ul-Qadr

Fast 28 — Mortality of the Holy Prophet
Fast 29 — Darood or Salat-un-Nabi
Fast 30 — The Last and Final Prophet

Preservation and Arrangement of the Holy Quran

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

Submitted by Rashid Jahangiri.


Intro: In June 2012 annual conference of Imams of Organization of Imam Waris (Warith) Deen Muhammad was held in North Carolina, USA. Professor Hibbi Omar, Ph.D. (Grandson of Allama Noor ud Din) made presentation on ‘Preservation and Arrangement of the Holy Quran’. On request of one of the attendee Imam he repeated presentation in One Day Educational Conference in Brooklyn, NY in July 2012. A home video was recorded. Because of time constraint he was only able to prove from Holy Quran, its preservation and arrangement. He could not go over the part of presentation on historical evidence of preservation of Holy Quran. Hopefully, next time Professor Omar will control his frequent ‘epiphanies’ and ‘digressions’, and we get to listen his entire presentation. J

Recording is in three parts:
Preservation & Arrangement of the Holy Quran Part 1/3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q60Na8u5DTM
Preservation & Arrangement of the Holy Quran Part 2/3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUAe4pRliWE&feature=relmfu
Preservation & Arrangement of the Holy Quran Part 3/3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWbHcf9c8Sg&feature=relmfu

Issue 65

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Issue 65 [@1:11:34]: Serge Trifkovic – Author, The Sword of the Prophet – “It would be incorrect to describe Islam as primarily as let alone a religion. Since its early beginning in Muhammad’s lifetime it is also a geopolitical project, and a system of government, a political ideology if you will.”

Rebuttal 65: To a certain extent, Trifkovic is right, but obviously he came to government-ship a bit too late, a classical case of “too late the hero.” His expression of qualifying a religion to be a religion alone is an outcome of a clearly failed experiment of the West with Christianity, because Christianity was not a religion to begin with. It was paganism pure and simple, but force fed under the garb of a faith (Issue 64). It had to fail and it did fail. It was not able to uplift humanity which is the very purpose of a religion. Experience in the West of its growth is based on this very awareness of deception in the name of a religion, whence it had to shed Christianity to unleash its potential. This is exactly opposite with Muslim civilization that decayed after they shed Islam in its letter and spirit.

For Trifkovic, the standards of government are obviously as they are found in the West. Lets take his arguments and his smirks and apply them to his standards. If we regress Trifkovic’s statement – “geopolitical project, and a system of government, a political ideology,” its lowest common denominator is the law of the land, else without it a government does not take long to descend into anarchy.

The West after centuries of trials and errors was able to standardize its laws by written constitutions which act as the fountain head of all the laws of the land and provide framework for the government to govern and citizens to conduct themselves. Take for example, United States. Its Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787.

Any law that is written or supposed has its day in the court of public opinion (trial and conviction of Anne Hutchinson) or in a court of law (United States Supreme Court – Dred Scott v. Sandford; Supreme Court of North Carolina – North Carolina v. Mann), each of which might not be factually a court of justice. But, for Islam the the ultimate court is that of God Himself. Man-made constitution is based upon laws that serve as principles. Whereas, in Quran it are the broad principles that make the basis of a law. In man-made constitutions, there is a top down approach where the law trickles from federation to states, from states to counties, cities and finally imposed upon the citizens. This process flow creates rulers and the ruled. On the other hand, in Islam, law and morality are tied at their hips and when followed, there is a ground swell of boon that bubbles up from individuals to neighborhoods, to towns, to counties, to states and finally the federation. In this approach, the higher the level of government, more the obligations, humility and accountability of the administrator. In man-made constitution the enforcement of law is by deterrence. On the contrary, due to God consciousness embedded in Quranic system the law abiding is from moral incentives. In the former case, a citizen needs a police whereas in the latter each citizen polices and audits oneself. In the former case, it needs lawyers to understand and law enforcement agencies to remind the law, while citizens could be totally ignorant of the law. Whereas, in the latter case each citizen is expected to read the law at least five time a day and be fully aware of the constitution – Quran. This mass awareness of law naturally flows into practice of law by king and subject alike. Again, in the latter case it is not too surprising that a common citizen might know the law more than the chief judge of the land. No wonder Quran states and Muslims believe:

5:50. …And who is better than Allah to judge for a people who are sure?

The purpose of the government according to Quran is that citizens of that system should live a life which at the minimum guarantees the very basics of life:

20:118. Surely it is granted to you that you are not hungry therein, nor naked,
20:119. and that you are not thirsty therein, nor exposed to the sun’s heat [i.e. assured of food, clothing and shelter while living a dignified life free of anxieties].

Below are some of the parallel “rights” between U.S. Constitution and Quran. Even though the Quranic verses below are stripped of their larger message to address the secular West, they still carry an over-encompassing spirit and guidelines that do not need amendments and trump any man-made constitution ever made for by their logic, fairness, wisdom, foresight and adaptability without compromising justice. It would had been more appropriate if we would had placed “Quranic Constitution” as the standard and then compared against it any man-made Constitution of the world, individually or collectively. This would had lay bare human weakness in a matter of a few articles or sections, but in order to accommodate this documentary we compromised and are using Unites States Constitution as a standard while comparing Quran against it:

Article – I: Sections 1-7 in general give the organizational frame work for formation and purpose of Congress. Sections 8-9 in general layout the functions of congress in concrete terms including its law making duties and funds management. A sub-clause under Section 8 gives the gist of the purpose of Congress – “To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”

42:38. and those who respond to their Lord and keep up prayer, and whose affairs are (decided) by counsel among themselves, and who spend (on good works) out of what We have given them;

[Footnote] Muslims are here enjoined as usual to observe prayer and to spend out of what Allah has given them, yet between these two injunctions, which always go together in the Quran, is placed a third: whose affairs are decided by counsel among themselves. At the early period when this verse was revealed, the Muslims had no important matters to decide for which they might have stood in need of counsel. The injunction is clearly meant to prepare them for transacting the momentous affairs of State and all matters connected with national weal or woe. All affairs of the Islamic state must be transacted by counsel. In this Islam has laid the basis of Government by parliaments, and the idea found a clear practical expression in the early days

22:41. Those who, if We establish them in the land [i.e. with a government], will … enjoin good and forbid evil…

58:9. O you who believe, when you confer together in private, do not give to each other counsel of sin and revolt and disobedience to the Messenger [i.e. the government], but give to each other counsel of goodness and observance of duty.

[Footnote] Secret counsels and secret societies are condemned, but private counsels to promote the cause of goodness and service of humanity are quite different from the subversive activities of secret societies.

58:11. O you who believe, when it is said to you, Make room in assemblies, make room. Allah will give you ample (room). And when it is said, Rise up, rise up [and thus follow the decorum of the forum]. Allah will exalt those of you who believe, and those who are given knowledge, to high ranks…

61:2. O you who believe, why do you [– including the formulators of the law, the office holders] say things which you do not do?
61:3. It is most hateful in the sight of Allah that you say things which you do not do.
61:4. Surely Allah loves those [in elected office] who fight in His way [for the rights of mankind] in ranks, as if they were a solid wall.

Soon after the United States Constitution was adopted, it had to be urgently upgraded and amended. On December 15, 1791 the Constitution incorporated rights of its citizens that were overlooked at its inception. The first ten amendments I through X are also known as “Bill of Rights”, which are none but a reaction of the masses for the prevention of atrocities of British colonial rule. Whereas, Quran has Bills of Rights build into its fabric from its first revelation to the last. No wonder, within less than one generation, Islam abolished slavery, bestowed human rights, women rights, property rights, rights of inheritance, marital rights, racial equality, ethics of conflict, rules of business, justice system, taxation, social security system etc. etc.

Amendment I – Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

2:256. There is no compulsion in religion…

[Footnote]To all the allegations that the Holy Prophet preached Islam by the sword, this verse is a sufficient answer. Being assured of success, Muslims are told that when they hold power in their hands their guiding principle should be that there should be no compulsion in the matter of religion. The claim that this passage was directed only to the early converts and that it was abrogated later on is utterly baseless.

10:99. And if your Lord had pleased, all those who are in the earth would have believed, all of them. Will you then force people till they are believers?

[Footnote] Compare 2:256: “There is no compulsion in religion”. The reference is to the great zeal of the Holy Prophet and his over-exerting himself in preaching the Truth: “Then perhaps you will kill yourself with grief, sorrowing after them, if they do not believe in this announcement” (18:6). (Editor’s Note: The Quran tells us here that it is in the natural order of things that while some people believe, others do not, and no human being can or should apply compulsion to others in this regard.)

11:29. …Can we compel you to (accept) it [– Islam] while you dislike it?…

22:39. Permission (to fight) is given to those on whom war is made, because they are oppressed. And surely Allah is Able to assist them —
22:40. Those who are driven from their homes without a just cause except that they say: Our Lord is Allah. And if Allah did not repel some people by others [so that people can profess and practice their faith in freedom], surely cloisters and churches and synagogues, and mosques in which Allah’s name is much remembered, would have been pulled down.

4:148. Allah does not love the public utterance of hurtful speech,except by one who has been wronged…

[Footnote] The use of defamatory speech of every kind regarding others is strictly forbidden, but justification for it may exist in case a person has in some way been wronged.

22:30. …shun false words [–speech].

33:58. And those who malign believing men and believing women undeservedly, they bear the guilt of slander and manifest sin.

49:11. O you who believe, do not let a people laugh at (another) people, perhaps they may be better than they; nor let women (laugh) at women, perhaps they may be better than they. Neither find fault with one another, nor call one another by (offensive) nick-names. Evil is a bad name after faith; and whoever does not repent, these it is that are the wrongdoers.

[Footnote] This verse and those that follow deal with some of the evils which are most rampant in civilized society, and which corrupt a society to its core.

49:12. O you who believe, avoid most of suspicion, for surely suspicion in some cases is sin; and do not spy nor let some of you backbite others. Does one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You abhor it! …

Amendment II – A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

4:200. O you who believe, be steadfast and try to excel in steadfastness and guard (the frontiers).

4:71. O you who believe, take your precautions, then go forth in detachments or go forth in a body.

4:94. O you who believe, when you go forth (to fight) in Allah’s way, make investigation, and do not say to anyone who offers you salutation, You are not a believer, … so make investigation…

8:38. Say to those who disbelieve, if they cease (fighting), what is past will be forgiven them; and if they return (to it), then the example of those of old has already gone.
8:39. And fight with them until there is no more persecution [– the very purpose of taking up arms],…

2:193. And fight them until there is no persecution…But if they cease, then there should be no hostility except against the oppressors.
2:194. …Whoever then acts aggressively against you, inflict injury on him according to the injury he has inflicted on you…

Amendment III – No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

2:189. …And it is not righteousness that you enter houses by their backs, but he is righteous who keeps his duty. And go into houses by their doors;…

24:27. O you who believe, do not enter houses other than your own houses, until you have asked permission and greeted their inhabitants. This is better for you that you may be mindful.

[Footnote] The law revealed in this verse lays down the basis of domestic peace and security needed for an advanced society. It is also a preventive measure against slander. (Editor’s Note: This verse also supports the principle of having laws to safeguard the privacy of the individual within the home vis-à-vis the powers of the state authorities.)

24:28. But if you [– the individual or the government] find no one therein, do not enter them, until permission is given to you; and if it is said to you, Go back, then go back; this is purer for you.

Amendment IV – The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

7:56. And do not make mischief in the earth after its reformation…[This verse is squarely aimed at both the government and governed]

7:85. …Clear proof indeed has come to you from your Lord, so give full measure and weight and do not diminish to people their things,

[Footnote] The injunction do not diminish to people their things stands for not depriving or defrauding people of their rights.

nor make mischief in the land after its reform.

Amendment V – No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

49:6. O you who believe [i.e. a citizen or the government, prosecutor or the judge], if an unrighteous person brings you news, look carefully into it, in case you harm a people in ignorance [by your decisions and actions], then be sorry for what you did.

5:32. …whoever [– a person or a government] kills a person, unless it is for manslaughter or for mischief in the land, it is as though he had killed all mankind. And whoever saves a life, it is as though he had saved the lives of all mankind [thus saving innocent lives is mandatory for the sitting government]….

17:33. And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden except for a just cause. And whoever is killed unjustly, We have indeed given to his heir authority — but let him not exceed the limit in killing. Surely he will be helped.

[Footnote] The words he will be helped indicate that as the state is bound to help him by bringing the murderer within reach of the law, the heir should not take the law into his own hands. This is called exceeding the limits.

Amendment VI – In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

2:42. And do not mix up truth with falsehood, nor hide the truth while you know [be it the investigator, prosecutor, judge or the accused].

4:58. Surely Allah commands you to make over trusts to those worthy of them, and that when you judge between people, you judge with justice.

[Footnote] Muslims, having been granted worldly rule, are here told to entrust the affairs of State to people who are worthy of this responsibility, while the authorities and judges so entrusted are required to judge with justice.

2:188. And do not swallow up your property among yourselves by false means, nor seek to gain access thereby to the judges, so that you may swallow up a part of the property of (other) people wrongfully while you know.

4:112. And whoever commits a fault or a sin,then accuses of it one innocent, he indeed takes upon himself the burden of a slander and a manifest sin.

4:135. O you who believe, be maintainers of justice, bearers of witness for Allah, even if it is against your own selves or (your) parents or near relatives — whether he is rich or poor, Allah has a better right over them both. So do not follow (your) low desires, that you deviate…

5:8. O you who believe, be upright for Allah, bearers of witness with justice; and do not let hatred [and prejudices] of a people incite you not to act equitably. Be just; that is nearer to observance of duty.

6:152. And do not approach the property of the orphan except in the best manner, until he attains his maturity. And give full measure and weight with equity — We do not impose on any soul a duty beyond its ability. And when you speak, be just, even (against) a relative.

[Footnote] Islam requires a person to be so upright as not to be led away by the ties of relationship. Truth is not to be sacrificed to any interest but every interest must be sacrificed to truth.

24:4. And those who accuse free women and do not bring four witnesses, flog them (with) eighty strokes and never accept their evidence, and these are the transgressors —
24:5. except those who afterwards repent and act aright;…

38:21. Have you heard the news of the adversaries (of David) who scaled the rampart of the fortress (to take David unawares in his chamber)?
38:22. When they intruded upon David and (found that) he had become alert (on account of) them, they said, (by way of an excuse,) `Have no fear. We are two parties litigants. One of us has transgressed against the other, therefore judge between us as justice demands, and delay not (by giving the date of decision,) and guide us (in our litigation) to the fair way.
38:23. `(The case of the litigation is that,) this is my brother. He has ninety nine ewes while I have one ewe; still he says, “Make it over to me,” and he has been prevailing by his arguments upon me.’
38:24. (David) said, `He has certainly been unjust to you in demanding your ewe (to be added) to his own ewes. And surely many partners transgress against one another except those who believe (in God) and do deeds of righteousness. Yet how few are these!’ (While saying this) David realised that We had tried him, therefore he sought protection of his Lord and fell down bowing in worship and turned (to his Lord) in repentance.[Nooruddin]

38:26. (We said,) `O David! verily We have made you the ruler in this land. So rule among the people according to (the tenants of) justice, and do not follow their vain desires, (for if you do) it will lead you astray from the path leading to Allâh. Behold! a severe punishment awaits those who go astray from Allâh’s way, because they have forgotten the Day of Reckoning. [Nooruddin]

42:41. And whoever defends himself after his being oppressed, these it is against whom there is no way (of blame) [of acting in self defense].
42:42. The way (of blame) is only against those who oppress people and revolt in the earth unjustly. For such there is a painful punishment.
42:43. And whoever is patient and forgives — that surely is an affair of great resolution.

Amendment VII – In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

4:59. O you who believe, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority from among you; then if you quarrel about anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger [i.e. Department of Justice], if you believe in Allah and the Last Day.

[Footnote] This verse lays down three important rules in matters relating to the welfare of the Muslim community and to affairs of State. These are obedience to God and His Messenger in the first place; secondly, obedience to those in authority from among the Muslims; and thirdly, referring matters to God and His Messenger in cases of dispute with those in authority. God and His Messenger are thus the final authority. It is especially in matters religious that differences would arise, in which case it would be necessary to refer the matter to God and His Messenger; in other words to the Quran and Hadith. In case of Muslims living under non-Muslim authority, Islam requires them to abide by the laws of the land.

This is best and more suitable to (achieve) the end.

Amendment VIII – Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

2:178. O you who believe, retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the slain: the free for the free, and the slave for the slave, and the female for the female.

[Footnote] The Jewish law of retaliation is greatly modified in Islam, being limited only to cases of murder, while among the Jews it extended to all cases of grievous hurt. The words retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the slain mean that the murderer should be put to death. The pre-Islamic Arabs used in certain cases to insist, when the person killed was of noble descent, upon the execution of others besides the murderer. The Quran abolished this custom.

But if remission is made to one by his (aggrieved) brother, prosecution (for blood-money) should be according to usage, and payment to him in a good manner.

[Footnote] There may be circumstances which alleviate the guilt. In such cases the murderer may be made to pay a fine to the relatives of the murdered person. Such money is called diyat or blood-money. A comparison with 4:92 makes it clear that when homicide is not intentional, blood-money may be paid.

This is an alleviation from your Lord and a mercy.

2:194. …Whoever then acts aggressively against you, inflict injury on him according to the injury he has inflicted on you and keep your duty to Allah, and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty.

6:160. … whoever brings an evil deed, will be recompensed only with the like of it, and they shall not be wronged. [This is the standard of justified recompense. Punishment must not be “cruel and unusual”]

5:2. …And do not let hatred of a people — because they hindered you from the Sacred Mosque — incite you to transgress.

[Footnote] The principle laid down here requires from Muslims equal treatment for all nations, for those whom we hate as well as for those whom we love. Only this principle of Islam can serve as the basis for an international code for the modern world and an international law.

And help one another in righteousness and piety, and do not help one another in sin and aggression, and keep your duty to Allah.

[Footnote] Editor’s Note: Muslims ought only to cooperate with one another in matters of goodness, and are forbidden to help each other in wrongdoing against others. This injunction prohibits the evils of blind patriotism and unconditional support for one’s own people even when they commit injustices against others.

Amendment IX – The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

In spirit of the Amendment IX, countless verses touching upon various aspects of rights and obligations of individuals, society, singles, married, widowed, divorced, young, old, men, women, parent, child, racial and gender equality, creeds, ruler, ruled, orphans, incapacitated, rich, poor, victor, captive, judge, judged, contracting parties, witnesses, aggressor, aggrieved, war, peace, environment etc. etc. can be quoted in secular terms, but following is just a sampler of rights not enumerated in the United States Constitution nor of its individual States, which must be protected by any secular standards:

2:228. …And women have rights similar to those against them in a just manner [in the matter of divorce]…

2:240. And those of you who die and leave wives behind, should make a bequest in favour of their wives of maintenance for a year without turning (them) out.

[Footnote] What the widow obtains under this verse is in addition to the share of the deceased husband’s property which she inherits under 4:11. It is plainly stated in 4:12 that anything to be paid under a will shall have precedence of the division of the property into shares under that verse.

2:241. And for divorced women, provision (must be made) in kindness. This is incumbent on those who have regard for duty.

[Footnote] This provision is in addition to the dowry which must be paid to them. Just as in the previous verse the widow is given an additional benefit, here a provision in addition to her dowry is recommended for divorced woman. This shows how liberal are the injunctions of the Quran regarding women.

2:282: …O you who believe, when you contract a debt for a fixed time, write it down. And let a scribe write it down between you with fairness; nor should the scribe refuse to write as Allah has taught him, so let him write. And let him who owes the debt dictate, and he should observe his duty to Allah, his Lord, and not diminish anything from it. But if he who owes the debt is unsound in understanding or weak, or (if) he is not able to dictate himself, let his guardian dictate with fairness…

4:1. O people, keep your duty to your Lord, Who created you from a single being and created its mate of the same (kind),

[Footnote] …The words “Who created you from a single being and created its mate of the same” only declare the unity of the human race and the equality of the male and the female. Elsewhere we are told that for all of you wives are created from yourselves: “And Allah has made wives for you from among yourselves” (16:72).

and spread from these two many men and women.

[Footnote] “Many men and women” spring from married pairs. The verse does not necessarily refer to any parent pair of the whole of mankind. It reminds people of the strength of the ties of relationship, an idea mentioned in what follows.

4:2 And give to orphans their property, and do not substitute worthless (things) for (their) good (ones), nor devour their property (adding) to your own property. This is surely a great sin.

[Footnote] The care of the orphan was one of the earliest injunctions that Islam gave, and the Prophet had always shown a deep anxiety for the welfare of the poor and the orphans; see 2:220 and 90:15–16. The subject is here introduced in detail because of the number of orphans having been greatly increased by the war.

4:4. And give women their dowries as a free gift. But if they of themselves are pleased to give you a portion from it, consume it with enjoyment and pleasure.

[Footnote] It is obligatory in Islam that a “dowry” or nuptial gift should be given by the husband to the wife at the time of marriage, whether she is a free woman, an orphan girl, or a prisoner of war. So every woman begins her married life as the owner of some property, and thus marriage is the means of raising her status. The practice has, however, become more or less general to recognize dowry as a debt which the husband owes to the wife and which she can claim when she likes.

4:5. And do not make over your property, which Allah has made a (means of) support for you,

[Footnote] By your property is meant the property of the orphans which is under your control as guardians. This verse requires guardianship in the case of all who are weak of understanding, whether minors or not. While on the one hand the Quran lays stress on the transitoriness of this life, on the other it teaches that wealth is not a thing to be despised or wasted, because it is the means of support.

to the weak of understanding, and maintain them out of it, and clothe them and give them a good education.

[Footnote] The words “give them a good education” are generally rendered as meaning “speak to them good words”, but the word qaul (speak) is used to express all kinds of deeds. After referring to the maintenance and clothing of the orphans in a befitting manner, the Quran now calls attention to another great need of theirs which is education. From the first revelation, Islam laid stress on knowledge, read and write (96:1–5) being its very first message, and the Prophet spoke of the acquisition of knowledge as being as great a need of humanity as the acquisition of wealth. It is the education of orphans that the Quran refers to here, and the next verse which enjoins guardians to “test” their wards makes it clear.

4:6. And test the orphans until they reach the age of marriage.

[Footnote] These words show further that the guardian is not only responsible for the education of the wards but he is also required to examine them and see what progress they have made. According to Abu Hanifah, majority is attained at eighteen years, but if maturity of intellect is not attained at eighteen, the limit may be extended. These words, moreover, show that marriage should be performed at an age after a person has attained majority, not before it, for the age of marriage is spoken of as being the age of attaining majority.

Then if you find in them maturity of intellect, make over to them their property, and do not consume it extravagantly and hastily against their growing up. And whoever is rich, let him abstain, and whoever is poor let him consume reasonably.d

[Footnote] These words allow payment of reasonable wages to the manager of a ward’s estate out of the ward’s property if the manager is not a rich man.

And when you make over to them their property, call witnesses in their presence.

4:29. O you who believe, do not swallow up your property among yourselves by false means except that it be trading by your mutual consent.

[Footnote] All illegal methods of acquiring property are forbidden. Only the seeking of gain from one another by trading by mutual consent is allowed. The passage is particularly directed to guard women’s right to property, because it was women’s and orphans’ property that was generally swallowed up unjustly.

And do not kill your people.

[Footnote] This forbids the killing of anfusa-kum, which means your people or yourselves. In the first case, the significance is that life must also be protected; in the second case, it is an injunction against suicide which according to the law of Islam is a grave sin. (Editor’s Note: This injunction also forbids sending “your people” on suicide missions to their certain death.)

4:32. And do not hanker after what Allah has given some of you above others. For men is the benefit of what they earn. And for women is the benefit of what they earn.

4:34. Men are the maintainers of women, with what Allah has given some of them above others and with what they spend out of their wealth.

4:35. And if you fear a breach between the two, appoint an arbiter from his people and an arbiter from her people. If they both desire agreement [and want to avoid a divorce], Allah will effect harmony between them…

4:36. …be good to the parents and to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the neighbour of (your) kin and the alien neighbour,and the companion in a journey and the traveller and those whom your right hands possess [i.e. under your trust].

4:75. And what reason have you [the individual and the government] not to fight in the way of Allah, and of the weak among the men and the women and the children,who say: Our Lord, take us out of this town, whose people are oppressors, and grant us from Yourself a friend, and grant us from Yourself a helper!

5:06. O you who believe, call to witness between you, when death draws near to one of you, at the time of making the will, two just persons from among you, or two others from among others than you [i.e. non-Muslims as well], if you are travelling in the land and the calamity of death befalls you.

6:152. And do not approach the property of the orphan except in the best manner,

[Footnote] That is, unless you do it with the object of improving it or making it profitable. Wages of the guardian may be paid from it, for which see 4:6.

until he attains his maturity. And give full measure and weight with equity — We do not impose on any soul a duty beyond its ability. And when you speak, be just, even (against) a relative…

[Footnote] Islam requires a person to be so upright as not to be led away by the ties of relationship. Truth is not to be sacrificed to any interest but every interest must be sacrificed to truth.

11:85. …give full measure and weight justly, and do not defraud people of their things, nor act corruptly in the land, making mischief.

16:90. Surely Allah commands (the doing of ) justice and the doing of good (to others) and the giving to the near of kin, and He forbids indecency and evil and rebellion. He instructs you that you may be mindful.

[Footnote] This verse deals with the different degrees of goodness and evil. The lowest form of goodness is justice or returning good for good, and includes not only justice proper but also the fulfilment of all duties and obligations. A higher degree of goodness is, however, that which is called ihsan, or goodness proper, the doing of good without having received any benefit. The last stage of goodness is that in which a person’s nature is so inclined to good that he does good to all people as an ordinary man does good to his own near of kin. In fact, he looks upon the whole of humanity as his kindred. Similarly, this verse deals with the three degrees of evil: the merest indecency which may not affect the rights of others, evil actions which affect the rights of other individuals, and oppression or rebellion affecting the rights of large numbers, nations or states.

16:92. …You make your oaths to be means of deceit between you because (one) nation is more numerous than (another) nation.

[Footnote] Faithfulness to covenants is here stressed and, from the covenant with God, the subject is diverted to covenants between people. Attention is drawn in the words, you make your oaths to be means of deceit between you, to the conditions generally prevailing in the world, to the breach of covenants between nations, which is ruining the stability of human society.

16:94. And do not make your oaths a means of deceit between you, so that a foot should slip after its stability, and you should taste evil because you hinder (people)…

17:23. And your Lord has decreed that you … do good to parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, say no word to them showing annoyance, nor rebuke them, and speak to them a generous word.
17:24. And make yourself gentle to them with humility out of mercy, and say: My Lord, have mercy on them, as they brought me up (when I was) little.

25:68. …nor slay the soul which Allah has forbidden, except in the cause of justice,…

41:10. And He made in it mountains above its surface, and He placed blessings in it and ordained in it its foods, in four periods; alike for (all) seekers.

[Footnote] The meaning is that the foods which are made in the earth are equally accessible to all seekers (human beings as well as animals of all kinds).

42:37. and those who shun the great sins and indecencies, and whenever they are angry they forgive;
42:38. and those who respond to their Lord and keep up prayer, and whose affairs are (decided) by counsel among themselves, and who spend (on good works) out of what We have given them;
42:39. and those who, when great wrong afflicts them, defend themselves.
42:40. And the recompense of evil is punishment like it; but whoever forgives and brings about reform, his reward is with Allah. Surely He does not love the wrongdoers.

[Footnote] Punishment must be proportionate to the evil committed, a very just and necessary restriction. Forgiveness here is not neglected, nor preached in such a manner as to make it impracticable. There is in Islam neither the one extreme of an eye for an eye nor the opposite one of turning the other cheek. It teaches the golden and beautiful mean that forgiveness may be exercised, if forgiveness will mend the matter and do good to the wrongdoer himself. The object to be kept in view is to bring about reform, whether it is attained by giving proportionate punishment or by exercising forgiveness.

Amendment X – The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Subsequently, Amendments 11-27 were ratified between February 7, 1795 – May 7, 1992. Any keen reader will at once notice that it was not before Amendment XIII was ratified in 1865 that slavery was banned. Similarly, Amendment XV in 1869 granted rights to vote irrespective of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. Still, it took 5 more decades for Amendment XIX in 1920 that allowed women to vote. One may ask as to why it took almost a century for the Super-Power-to-be to realize slavery among its midst and right of all races to vote and about century and a half for women to vote. Were these issues not a requirement of “Bills of Rights” or were they just merely an afterthought or the lame excuses of “Oops! I forgot?” and “The dog ate my homework?”

With the above comparisons, it is obvious that any rational mind will naturally seek Quran for individual and societal growth, whether they read and follow it directly or stumble on some parallel but limited logic and call it a Constitution or Bill of Rights. In either case, it is Quran which is triumphant when it states:

30:30. So set yourself for religion, being upright, the nature made by Allah in which He has created mankind. There is no altering Allah’s creation. That is the right religion — but most people do not know.

[Footnote] Islam according to this verse is the natural religion of mankind, or a religion to the truth of which human nature bears testimony. Its fundamental principles, the Unity and all-comprehensive providence of Allah, the universality of Divine revelation, and the accountability for all actions in a life after death, are recognized by all religions and all nations, and their universal acceptance is a clear evidence that it is the very nature of man that bears testimony to their truth. Islam removes all limitations upon these three fundamental doctrines of the religion of humanity, and gives them as wide a significance as humanity itself. The other fundamental principle of the natural religion of man is mentioned in v. 38.

30:38. So give to the near of kin his due, and to the needy and the traveller. This is best for those who desire Allah’s pleasure, and these it is who are successful.

[Footnote] Charity to fellow man is the practical outcome of the doctrine of the brotherhood of humanity, which is one of the two principles of the natural religion of mankind.

30:39. And whatever you lay out at usury, so that it may increase through the property of (other) people, it does not increase with Allah; and whatever you give in charity, desiring Allah’s pleasure — these will get manifold.

[Footnote] This verse lays stress upon the doctrine of charity to one’s fellowman. It says that some people seek to increase their wealth by means of getting interest on money, i.e., they seek an increase of their wealth at the expense of other people’s property; but that a Muslim should seek an increase of his wealth by giving it, for the sake of Allah, to help his fellow-man.

While rebutting this documentary, one has to be mindful of the following verses for oneself:

2:40. O Children of Israel, call to mind My favour which I bestowed on you and be faithful to (your) covenant with Me, I shall fulfil (My) covenant with you; and Me, Me alone, should you fear.
2:41. And believe in what I have revealed, verifying what is (already) with you, and do not be the first to deny it; nor take a small price for My messages; and keep your duty to Me, Me alone.
2:42. And do not mix up truth with falsehood, nor hide the truth while you know.
2:43. And keep up prayer and give the due charity and bow down with those who bow down.
2:44. Do you tell people to be good and neglect your own souls while you read the Book? Have you then no sense?
2:45. And seek assistance through patience and prayer, and this is hard except for the humble ones,
2:46. who know that they will meet their Lord and that to Him they will return.

Will the makers of the documentary self-reflect in light of above verses?

References:

Note: [text enclosed in square brackets above is not part of the original quoted sources]
Unless stated, all verses and corresponding footnotes above are from the translation and commentary of Holy Quran – Muhammad Ali, edited by Dr. Zahid Aziz.
Holy Quran – Nooruddin

U.S. Constitution – Charters of Freedom
Bill of Rights – Charters of Freedom
Anne Hutchinson – Wikipedia
United States Supreme Court – Dred Scott v. Sandford – Wikipedia
Supreme Court of North Carolina – North Carolina v. Mann – Wikipedia

The Condemned: A documentary on Ahmadi persecution

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Submitted by Rashid Jahangiri.


Above named documentary is reported in Pakistani Newspaper ‘The Express Tribune’.

This documentary is made on Qadianis in Pakistan. Without a doubt situation of Qadianis in Pakistan is very unfortunate. At the same time I would say that those who are familiar, by listening to oral testimonies or reading the written account and statements, of victims of wrath of Qadiani Khalifa 2 Mirza Mahmud Ahmad simply because they disagreed with his beliefs, claims, lifestyle, and policies, will see history is repeating itself. What followers of QK2 did to victims of his wrath is now being done to followers of QK2 Mirza Mahmud Ahmad. What goes around comes around. Allah SWT punishes the evil first in this world.

Link to documentary:
http://tribune.com.pk/story/419718/the-condemned-a-documentary-on-ahmadi-persecution/

“Great British Islam”

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Submitted by Rashid Jahangiri.


BBC has produced documentary on early 20th century British Muslim Converts. Documentary sheds light on lives of three prominent converts: William Abdullah Quilliam, Lord Headley, and Marmaduke Pickthall. Film also shows scenes of Shah Jehan Mosque/ Woking Muslim Mission. At 14:19 it looks like Maulana Sadar ud Din is delivering lecture.

One think thing that disappointed me is comments by Humayun Ansari, Professor of the History of Islam, Royal Holloway, University of London. Professor Ansari has distorted history just to hide the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement connection with three Muslim converts in documentary.

I would suggest this documentary is stored in Woking Muslim Mission website maintained by LAM, UK.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79w-6CCyzvg

Imam Kamal Hydal in documentary ‘Islam Vs Islamists’

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Submitted by Rashid Jahangiri.


Members of Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement know Imam Kamal Hydal. He is from Trinidad. He did Mubaligh a course at our headquarters in Lahore. I came across a documentary ‘Islam Vs Islamists’. In this clip Imam Hydal is interviewed by a Muslim activist of Pakistani origin in Canada Mr. Tarek Fatah. Please watch video at 17:17. I could not find the complete interview on internet. If someone finds it, please post the link. Thanks.

http://www.radicalislam.org/videos/watch-pbss-banned-documentary-islam-vs-islamists