The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement Blog


New area: Miracles, Myths, Mistakes and MattersSee Title Page and List of Contents

latest, 2nd April 2017: 'Apes and Swine' – Metamorphosis of Jewish or Metaphorical change of Islam into Judaism?


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

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

Read: Background to the Project

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


Archive for September, 2012

Issue 72

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Issue 72 [@1:15:41]: Robert Spencer – Director, DhimmiWatch.org – “[continued from Issue 71] … Traditional Islam forbids conversion from Islam, forbids anyone to leave Islam. There is no way out. And, it forbids Muslims and non-Muslims to live as equals in the society. It mandates a second-class status of non-Muslims. Forbidding them to hold authority over Muslims, forbidding them to hold certain jobs as a result, it even mandated in history that house of worship of Jews and Christians were neither to be built or repaired, making communities relegated to a perpetual state of decline.”

Rebuttal 72: Robert Spencer again opines, rather smears Islam. He is wrong for each of his above assertions, none of which find validation in Quran or even history. It is rather Bible and Christian history that validates all his assertions. His allegations will be rebutted one by one below.

Spencer’s allegations against Islam teeter on delusional beliefs. Such arguments when wide spread takes the garb of a religion like Christianity. Such a religion is farthest from logic and reason that are necessary components for any religion, whether from God or manmade. There is no “Traditional Islam” in Quran and in turn Islam is nothing but message of the Quran. It is this approach of Quran which separates Islam from Spencer’s way of religion where manmade dogmas hold sway over words of God. Such dogmas then naturally segment the duped believers into sects and consequently the sects simmer in a mutual hate. Once a religion departs from the words of God due to injection of manmade trappings into its core, it loses its purpose. In such formulations, soul of religion gets sacrificed to preserve its shell of soulless rituals in the name of virtue while swimming in vice. By such pollution of beliefs a self-propagating process is set into motion that with every passing generation opens itself up for newer interjections that continue to divide and sub-divide the followers into sects and sub-sects. This domino crash of faith continues till eternity and each sect gets far removed from what the religion was supposed to be in the first place. In the same manner, new religions arose from ashes of Islam of Abraham, Moses and Jesus in the likes of Judaism and Christianity. A religion which should have been the source of unification of mankind, now become cause for its dissention and disintegration.

Issue 72a: Spencer alleges – “…Traditional Islam forbids conversion from Islam, forbids anyone to leave Islam. There is no way out…”

Rebuttal 72a: The above statement by Spencer is farthest from the truth. Islam does not forbid conversion from Islam, does not forbid anyone to leave Islam. It is a free choice for an individual to move in and out of Islam. These are not empty statements, but the Law as laid out in Quran:

2:256. There is no compulsion in religion — the right way is indeed clearly distinct from error [– thus conclusively in Islam EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF THOUGHT, CONSCIENCE AND RELIGION; THIS RIGHT INCLUDES FREEDOM TO CHANGE HIS RELIGION OR BELIEF, AND FREEDOM, EITHER ALONE OR IN COMMUNITY WITH OTHERS AND IN PUBLIC OR PRIVATE, TO MANIFEST HIS RELIGION OR BELIEF IN TEACHING, PRACTICE, WORSHIP AND OBSERVANCE – excerpt from The Universal Declaration of Human Right, Article 18 of United Nations ]…

18:29. And say: The Truth is from your Lord; so whoever wishes, let him believe, and whoever wishes, let him disbelieve…

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?

10:108-109. Say: O people, the Truth has indeed come to you from your Lord; so whoever goes aright, goes aright only for the good of his own soul; and whoever goes astray, goes astray only to its detriment. And I am not a custodian over you. And follow what is revealed to you and be patient till Allah give judgment, and He is the Best of the judges.

39:41. Surely We have revealed to you the Book with truth for (the good of ) people. So whoever goes aright, it is for his own soul, and whoever goes astray, goes astray only to its detriment. And you are not in charge of them.

39:18-24. And no bearer of a burden can bear another’s burden. And if one weighed down by a burden calls another to carry his load, nothing of it will be carried, even though he be near of kin. You can only warn those who fear their Lord in secret and keep up prayer. And whoever purifies himself, purifies himself only for his own good. And to Allah is the eventual coming. And the blind and the seeing are not alike, nor the darkness and the light, nor the shade and the heat. Neither are the living and the dead alike. Surely Allah makes whom He pleases hear, and you cannot make those hear who are in the graves. You are only a warner. Surely We have sent you with the Truth as a bearer of good news and a warner. And there is not a people but a warner has gone among them.

53:29-30. So shun him who turns his back upon Our Reminder, and desires nothing but this world’s life. That is their goal of knowledge. Surely your Lord knows best him who strays from His path and He knows best him who goes aright.

2:217. …And they will not cease fighting you until they turn you back from your religion, if they can. And whoever of you turns back from his religion, then he dies while an unbeliever — these it is whose deeds are fruitless in this world and the Hereafter [as there is no temporal penalty for apostasy, only a spiritual loss]

5:54. O you who believe, if anyone of you should turn back from his religion, then Allah will bring a people whom He loves and who love Him, humble towards the believers, mighty against the disbelievers, striving hard in Allah’s way and not fearing the censure of any censurer. This is Allah’s grace — He gives it to whom He pleases. And Allah is Ample-giving, Knowing.

4:137. Those who believe then disbelieve, again believe and again disbelieve, then increase in disbelief, Allah will never forgive them nor guide them in the (right) way [thus suffering a spiritual damage].

3:90. Those who disbelieve after their believing, then increase in disbelief, their repentance is not accepted, and these are they that go astray.

3:72. And a group of the People of the Book say: Affirm belief in what has been revealed to those who believe, in the first part of the day, and disbelieve in the latter part of it, perhaps they may turn back [and they do so knowing fully well that there is FREEDOM TO CHANGE ONE’S RELIGION OR BELIEF in Islam and there is no temporal penalty associated for apostasy]…

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

22:39-40. Permission (to fight) is given to those on whom war is made, because they are oppressed. And surely Allah is Able to assist them — 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.

With the above freedom of choice for Islam as a religion, Quran specifically forewarns certain deceitful converts out of Islam, who like Shoebat intend to injure Islam maliciously. But, will they?

3:176-178. And do not let those grieve you who run into disbelief hastily; surely they can do no harm to Allah. Allah does not intend to assign them any portion in the Hereafter; and for them is a grievous punishment. Those who buy disbelief at the price of faith can do no harm to Allah, and for them is a painful punishment. And those who disbelieve should not think that our granting them respite is good for themselves. We grant them respite only that they may add to their sins; and for them is a humiliating punishment ––– both in the here and hereafter – 32:21. And certainly We will make them taste the nearer [– earthly] punishment before the greater punishment [of the hereafter], that perhaps they may turn.

In the very next verse, Quran actually points to the Divine plan inherent in conversion of such hypocrites out of Islam, who would had been more damaging if they remained hidden in the ranks of Muslims:

3:179. Allah will not leave the believers in the condition in which you are until He separates the evil from the good.

Spencer seems to be incognizant that what he is alleging Islam with is actually of his own religion. This is outlined in Old Testament that needs no explanation but a plain read:

Deuteronomy 13:1-18 (NIV). If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. That prophet or dreamer must be put to death for inciting rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. That prophet or dreamer tried to turn you from the way the Lord your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you.

If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again.

If you hear it said about one of the towns the Lord your God is giving you to live in that troublemakers have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods you have not known), then you must inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done among you, you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. You must destroy it completely, both its people and its livestock. You are to gather all the plunder of the town into the middle of the public square and completely burn the town and all its plunder as a whole burnt offering to the Lord your God. That town is to remain a ruin forever, never to be rebuilt, and none of the condemned things are to be found in your hands. Then the Lord will turn from his fierce anger, will show you mercy, and will have compassion on you. He will increase your numbers, as he promised on oath to your ancestors— because you obey the Lord your God by keeping all his commands that I am giving you today and doing what is right in his eyes. [Emphasis added]

Mr. Spencer might not be aware that Jesus himself declared that he will uphold the Law of Torah. The above mayhem as punishment for apostasy is only a case in point:

Matthew 15:17-19 (NIV). “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. [Emphasis added]

Spencer must not have read his own Scriptures; else his allegations are indicative of a plain denial, a suffrage of frank delusion for what he alleges in the current issue about Islam. By any plain comparative read of Quran and Bible above, one naturally concludes that it is not Islam, but “Christianity and Judaism that forbid conversion from their respective religions, forbid anyone to leave Christianity and Judaism. There is no way out.” Case closed!

Issue 72b: “…And, it [i.e. Islam] forbids Muslims and non-Muslims to live as equals in the society…”

Rebuttal 72b: Spencer is plain wrong in his allegation. Contrary to what Spencer alleges Islam enforces equality of mankind irrespective of gender, race, culture, language or religion, social or economic status. Quran fully endorses all of the The Universal Declaration of Human Rights including its Preamble and all its Articles 1 – 30 (see Issue 71). It does so as a Law in Quran of which only a handful of verses are quoted below:

4:1. O people [i.e. Jews, Christian, Muslims etc.], keep your duty to your Lord, Who created you from a single being [i.e. ALL HUMAN BEINGS ARE BORN FREE AND EQUAL IN DIGNITY AND RIGHTS. THEY ARE ENDOWED WITH REASON AND CONSCIENCE – excerpt from The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1 of United Nations] and created its mate of the same (kind), and spread from these two [i.e. married pairs] many men and women. 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 [and not by mere association with certain RACE, COLOUR, SEX, LANGUAGE, RELIGION, POLITICAL OR OTHER OPINION, NATIONAL OR SOCIAL ORIGIN, PROPERTY, BIRTH OR OTHER STATUS – excerpt from The Universal Declaration of Human Right, Article 2 of United Nations]. Surely Allah is Knowing, Aware.

3:103. And hold fast by the covenant of Allah [i.e. Quran] all together and do not be disunited. And remember Allah’s favour to you when you were enemies, then He united your hearts so by His favour you became brethren [WITHOUT DISTINCTION OF ANY KIND, SUCH AS RACE, COLOUR, SEX, LANGUAGE, RELIGION, POLITICAL OR OTHER OPINION, NATIONAL OR SOCIAL ORIGIN, PROPERTY, BIRTH OR OTHER STATUS – excerpt from The Universal Declaration of Human Right, Article 2 of United Nations ]. And you were on the brink of a pit of fire [of mutual hate, enmity and wars], then He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes clear to you His messages that you may be guided.

49:11-12. O you who believe, do not let a people laugh at (another) people [i.e. mock, ridicule or DISCRIMINATE on basis of RACE, COLOUR, SEX, LANGUAGE, RELIGION, POLITICAL OR OTHER OPINION, NATIONAL OR SOCIAL ORIGIN, PROPERTY, BIRTH OR OTHER STATUS – excerpt from The Universal Declaration of Human Right, Article 2 of United Nations], 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. 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! And keep your duty to Allah, surely Allah is returning (to mercy) again and again, Merciful.

Compare the above Quranic verses dealing with equality of mankind with the racial hate in Bible below. In the latter a non-Jew is no better than a dog and not worth the blessings of the Lord whose own uttered words are quoted below:

Matthew 15:22-28 (NIV). A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.” Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment. [Similarly, in Mark 7:25-30, the woman is identified as a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia]

Many discriminatory passages from Bible based upon inequality of gender and other issues could be quoted, but we leave them out for now.

Issue 72c: “…It [i.e. Islam] mandates a second-class status of non-Muslims. Forbidding them to hold authority over Muslims, forbidding them to hold certain jobs as a result …”

Rebuttal 72c: Spencer is a plain liar in his above statement. Either we believe Spencer or the official records of Ottoman Empire. Even when it was breathing its last, less than a century ago, Ottomans had the following portfolios for Christians in its cabinet and upper administration of government:

Appendix 5: Christian Officials in the Turkish Administration [India in Balance – British Rule and the Caliphate by Khwaja Kamal-ud-din]

The following few names have been taken from the Ottoman Civil List, and do not include different officers belonging to various Christian nationalities who served as Judges, Administrators, Governors, Sub-Governors, Chiefs of Sections in various State Departments, Secretaries, Senior Officers in the Army, etc.

* Musurus Pasha (Greek), Vezir, Ambassador in London.
* Alexandre Caratheodory Pasha, Vezir, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
* Agop Pasha (Armenia. Vezir, Minister of Finances.
* Franco Pasha (Catholic), Vezir, Governor.
* Aleco Pasha (Bulgarian), Vezir, Ambassador and Governor-General.
* Gavril Pasha (Bulgarian), Vezir, Governor-General.
* Photiades Pasha (Greek), Vezir, Ambassador.
* Rustem Pasha (Catholic), Vezir, Ambassador.
* Savas Pasha (Greek), Vezir, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
* Ohannes Pasha Sakiz (Armenian), Vezir, Minister of the Civil List of His Imperial Majesty the Sultan.
* Artin Pasha Dadian (Armenian), Vezir, Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
* Naoum Pasha (Catholic), Vezir, Governor-General and Ambassador.
* Mouzaffer Pasha (Catholic), Vezir, Governor-General.
* Portocal Michael Pasha (Armenian), Vezir, Minister of the Civil List of His Imperial Majesty the Sultan.
* Youssouf Pasha Franco (Catholic), Vezir, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
* Vassa Pasha (Catholic), Vezir, Governor-General.
* Costaki Anthopoulos Pasha (Greek), Vezir, Ambassador.
* Musurus * Pasha (son of Musurus Pasha at the head of this list), (Greek), Vezir, Ambassador in London.
* Mavroyeni Pasha (Greek), Vezir, High Official of His Imperial Majesty’s Palace.
* Couyoumdjian Ohannes Pasha (Armenian), Vezir, Governor-General.
* Couyoumdjian Bedros Effendi (Armenian), Minister of Mines and Forests.
* Mavroyeni Bey (Greek), Senator and Ambassador.
* Aristidi Pasha (Greek), Vezir, Minister of Commerce and Agriculture.
* Gabriel Effendi Noradounghian (Armenian), Minister of Foreign Affairs, at present Leader of the Armenian Committee.
* Tchamidj Ohannes Effendi (Armenian), President at the Ministry of Finances.
* Abro Effendi (Armenian), Councillor of State.
* Constantin Caratheodory Effendi (Greek), Councillor of State.
* Aram Effendi (Armenian), Senator.
* Azarian Effendi (Armenian), Minister Plenipotentiary, Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Senator.
* Herand Bey Abro (Armenian), Legal Adviser of the Sublime Porte.
* Ohan Effendi (Armenian), Under-Secretary of State for the Ministry of Justice.
* Fethi Bey Franco (Catholic) Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

[Editor’s Note: Vezir = Minister in the Court or Cabinet]

Now, let’s ask Mr. Spencer, how many Muslims, now or ever, held any significant positions in the governments of Europe, America, Israel, Canada, Australia or New Zealand? Can he count them on fingers of one hand? He better refrain from clichés that there are not enough Muslim in these continents (see Map of Muslim Population in Europe). Norway made the right choice by appointing the first Scandinavian Muslim minister against the back drop of the mass murder whose manifesto of hate was based upon the writings of Spencer and other experts of this documentary. In his manifesto, the Norwegian terrorist mentioned Robert Spencer 64 times [New York Times], Bet Ye’or dozen times [Foreign Policy], Serge Trifkovic, Abdullah Al Araby and Walid Shoebat as recommended authors [Alternet.org]. It is the likes of Spencer who are attacking the current American president, a Christian, for his race and middle name, both of which the “poor” African-American Hussain has no control of.

Issue 72d: “…it [i.e. Islam] even mandated in history that house of worship of Jews and Christians were neither to be built nor repaired, making communities relegated to a perpetual state of decline.”

Rebuttal 72d: Once again Spencer is fabricating lies. It is Islam which by its Law in Quran mandates protection of churches and synagogues when it states:

22:39-41. Permission (to fight) is given to those on whom war is made, because they are oppressed. And surely Allah is Able to assist theme — 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 faiths in freedom], surely cloisters and churches and synagogues, and mosques in which Allah’s name is much remembered, would have been pulled down [by act of man or neglect and disrepair]. And surely Allah will help him who helps Him. Surely Allah is Strong, Mighty. Those who, if We establish them in the land, will keep up prayer and give the due charity and enjoin good and forbid evil. And Allah’s is the end of (all) affairs.

We will encourage Spencer to re-read the above verses where he might be surprised to find that Quran equates cloisters, churches and synagogues with houses of worship in which Allah’s name is much remembered. Anyone saving and protecting these houses of worship from destruction is equated with someone who helps Him i.e. God Himself. Further, one of the attributes for a government to enjoin good and forbid evil is to protect all houses of worship of all the faiths.

Besides Quran, we re-quote from Rebuttal 15c the protection of Christians and their religious institutions as assured by Prophet Muhammad:

CHARTER TO CHRISTIANS by Muhammad.
(excerpted pages 143-146 from: Jihad in Islam, by M.Y.K., The Muslim Revival, Vol V, No. 2, June 1936, Lahore, India)

According to Futuh-ul-Buldan Balazari the charter of freedom of faith granted to the Christians of Najran and later on extended to the Christian subjects of Islam all over the world runs as follows:

“This is the document which Muhammad son of Abdullah, God’s Prophet, Warner and Bearer of glad tidings, has caused to be written, so that there should remain no excuse for those coming after. I have caused this document to be written for the Christians of the East and the West, for those who live near, and for those of the distant lands, for the Christians living at present and for those who will come after, for those Christians who are known to us and for those as well whom we do not know. Any Muslim violating and abusing what is therein ordered would be regarded as a violator of God’s testament and would be the breaker of his promise and would make himself deserving of God’s curse, be he a king or a subject.”

“I promise that any monk or way-farer, etc., who will seek my help on the mountains, in forests, deserts or habitations, in places of worship, I will repel his enemies with all my friends and helpers, with all my relatives and with all those who profess to follow me and will defend him, because they are on my covenant. And I will defend the covenanted against the persecution, inequity and embarrassment by their enemies in lieu of the poll-tax (Jizya) they have promised to pay.

“If they will prefer themselves to defend their properties and persons, they will be allowed to do so and will not be put to any inconvenience on that account. No bishop will be expelled from his bishopric, no monk from his monastery, and no priest from his place of worship and no pilgrim will be detained in his pilgrimage. None of their churches and other places of worship will be desolated or destroyed or demolished. No material of their churches will be used for building mosques or houses for the Muslims. Any Muslim so doing should be regarded as recalcitrant to God and His Prophet. Monks and bishops will be subjected to no tax (jizya) or indemnity, whether they live in forests or in the rivers, are in the East or West, North or South. I give them my word of honour. They are on my promise and covenant and will enjoy perfect immunity from all sorts of inconveniences. Those who retire to the mountains and dedicated places, the produce of their cultivated lands will not be subjected to tax or tithe and in times of scarcity of food they will not be compelled to contribute anything in the form of grain. No military service will be taken from them, nor will they be required to pay jizya. Not more than 12 dirhams per annum will be taken from their merchants, landholders and from the wealthy among them. None should be harassed and tryannised for the payment of taxes. In religious controversies and disputations, they should be tathed to with civility and lenience. Let mercy overwhelm them wherever they may be and they should be protected from all troubles and injuries. He who broke God’s covenant and adopted a defiant attitude, will be regarded as His enemy and the violator of His testament. Every help shall be given them in the repair of their churches. They shall be absolved from wearing arms. They shall be protected by the Muslims. Let this document be not disobeyed till the Judgment Day.”

Another example of a Muslim Mogul Ruler, Aurangzeb of India – Islamic Review, Vol XIII, Nos. 4 & 5, pg 124-125, April-May, 1925:

Be it known unto all men that we, because of our natural mercy and favour for the welfare of our people, do hereby declare and decree that all our beloved subjects – be they high or low- shall live in peace and harmony one with another; and in accordance with the Islamic Sheria’t (Law) we hereby command that the Temples and the places of idol-worship of the Hindus be maintained and protected. And whereas it hath recently been brought to our notice that certain people intend to entreat despitefully and cruelly our Hindu subjects at Benares and debar the Brahmans from the ancient lawful rites of their worship; and whereas it hath also been brought to our notice that these rumours have caused much pain and consternation to them; now, therefore, we decree and let it be known throughout out our Empire, that from the date of the issue of this decree, no Brahman be molested in his prayers nor Hindu Temples be meddled with. Let our Hindu subjects dwell in peace and pray for our prosperity.
MUHAMMAD AURANGZEB THE EMPOROR, GAZI [The Signature]
MUHAMMAD AURANGZEB s/o SAHIBQIRAN SANNI [The Seal]

Spencer tries to draw from history when he alleges “making [non-Muslim] communities relegated to a perpetual state of decline.” One has to go no further than Jewish sources which rebut him and lay Spencer’s allegations on door steps of his own religion and Europe, the Christians, Christian Church and Christian kings –“ Sephardim” by Rebecca Weiner (Jewish Virtual Library)

The Golden Age

The situation improved in 711 when Spain fell under the rule of the Muslim Moors. Both Muslims and Jews built a civilization, based in Cordoba, known as Al-Andalus, which was more advanced than any civilization in Europe at that time. Jews were able to coexist peacefully with their neighbors; however, they were still treated as dhimmis, “People of the Book” (Jews and Christians) who are protected under Islamic law. Jews did not have complete autonomy and had to pay a special tax, the jizha , but were able to freely practice their religion.

The era of Muslim rule in Spain (8th-11th century) was considered the “Golden Age” for Spanish Jewry. Jewish intellectual and spiritual life flourished and many Jews served in Spanish courts. Jewish economic expansion was unparalleled. In Toledo, Jews were involved in translating Arabic texts to the romance languages, as well as translating Greek and Hebrew texts into Arabic. Jews also contributed to botany, geography, medicine, mathematics, poetry and philosophy.

A number of well-known Jewish physicians practiced during this period, including Hasdai Ibn Shaprut (915-970), who was the doctor for the Caliph (leader of Spain). Many famous Jewish figures lived during the Golden Age and contributed to making this a flourishing period for Jewish thought. These included Samuel Ha-Nagid, Moses ibn Ezra, Solomon ibn Gabirol Judah Halevi and Moses Maimonides.

Jews lived separately in aljamas (Jewish quarters). They were given administrative control over their communities and managed their own communal affairs. Jews had their own court system, known as the Bet Din. Rabbis served as judges and rendered both religious and civil legal opinions. [Emphasis added]

Islamic culture also influenced the Jews. Muslim and Jewish customs and practices became intertwined. For example, Arabic was used for prayers rather than Hebrew or Spanish. Before entering the synagogue, Jews washed their hands and feet, which is a practice done before entering a mosque. Arab melodies were used for Jewish songs. Jews wore the clothing style of their Moorish neighbors, although they were not allowed to wear silk or furs.

Jews lived peacefully in Al-Andulus for 400 years. The Golden Age for Jewry in Muslim Spain declined after the Almovarids gained power in 1055 and continued to deteriorate after the Almohads came to power in 1147. Jews continued to work as moneylenders, jewelers, cobblers, tailors and tanners, however, they had to wear distinguishing clothing, such as a yellow turban.

[Editors Note: “Generally, the Jewish people [under Muslim rule] were allowed to practice their religion and live according to the laws and scriptures of their community. Furthermore, the restrictions to which they were subject were social and symbolic rather than tangible and practical in character. That is to say, these regulations served to define the relationship between the two communities, and not to oppress the Jewish population” – Lewis, Bernard W (1984). The Jews of Islam].

Christian Rule, the Inquisition and the Expulsion of 1492

The Christians conquered Toledo in 1098 and the Jews in Christian Spain prospered, while those in Muslim Spain suffered under the Almohad dynasty. Both Jews and Muslims were involved in the cultural, economic, intellectual, financial and political life of Christian Spain. By the mid-13th century, the Christians controlled most of Spain and increasingly forced Jews to convert to Christianity. Those who converted became known as Marranos or New Christians. Marranos are also known as crypto-Jews because they taught their children and practiced Judaism in secret. During this period, Jews were forced to participate in “religious” disputes with Christians counterparts. [Emphasis added]

Anti-Jewish riots broke out in 1391 in several Spanish cities and the situation worsened for the Jewish community. New Christians were tortured or killed in the Spanish Inquisition during the 15th century. Father Tomas de Torquemada felt that if the Jews remained in Spain, then they would influence the new converts to Christianity. After the capture of Granada from Muslim forces, Father Torquemada convinced King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella that the Jewish community was expendable. In 1492, Isabella and Ferdinand commanded that all Jews who refused to convert to Christianity be expelled from Spain. The Jews were given four months to leave Spain and were forced to sell their houses and businesses at low prices. It is estimated that 100,000 Jews left Spain at this time. The expulsion from Spain is commemorated every year by all Jews on the holiday of Tisha B’Av. [Emphasis added]

Many Spanish Jews settled in Portugal, which allowed the practice of Judaism. In 1497, however, Portugal also expelled its Jews. King Manuel of Portugal agreed to marry the daughter of Spain’s monarchs. One of the conditions for the marriage was the expulsion of Portugal’s Jewish community. In actuality only eight Jews were exiled from Portugal and the rest converted, under duress, to Christianity.

In the first Sephardi Diaspora, a large number of Jews settled in North Africa and in the Ottoman Empire, especially, Turkey and Greece. Spanish exiles brought with them a unique culture, language (Ladino) and traditions. Many of these immigrants continued to speak Ladino until the 20th century.

A Marrano Diaspora took place a century later. Some Marranos had settled in Portugal and eventually moved to Holland, where they were allowed to outwardly practice Judaism. Many settled in Western Europe and moved to the Americas. Marranos who settled in Latin America continued practicing crypto-Judaism for many years because Spain began an inquisition in its New World colonies. Fear of persecution led Crypto-Jews to settle in remote villages. Today, descendants of crypto-Jews can be found in Colorado and New Mexico.

Exiled Sephardic Communities

Europe

Large Sephardic communities were founded in Venice, Leghorn, London, Bordeaux, Bayonne and Hamburg. These immigrants spoke Portugese and Spanish and many adapted mainstream Western European culture. Successful business enterprises were started by the Sephardim and their trade networks became famous worldwide.

Throughout the medieval period in Europe, the Sephardic Jews were treated as elites among Jews. Many times they had a secular education and often had great wealth. In the 18th century, the Sephardic Jews who lived in Amsterdam and in London, tended to discriminate against non-Sephardic Jews who wanted to pray at their synagogues by forcing them to sit separately from the rest of the congregation.

North Africa and the Arab World

For hundreds of years, Sephardic Jews lived, as dhimmis, in relative peace with Muslim neighbors and rulers in North Africa and in the Ottoman Empire. They were considered second-class citizens, but were free to practice their own religion and participate in commerce. Similar to Spain and Portugal during the Golden Era, the Sephardic upper class in the Ottoman empire were employed as translators.

The Sephardic communities in the Arab world were more receptive to modernity than their Ashkenazi counterparts in Europe. The Zionist movement became popular among Sephardic Jews in North Africa. Many Sephardic rabbis in the Ottoman Empire supported Zionism and the Zionist movement spread to many Muslim countries in North Africa, such as in Egypt and Tunisia.

Of the many moral inventions by Europe, seven stand out quite prominently – the Crusades, Inquisition, Witch Trials (35,184–63,850 executions), Colonialism, Atlantic Slave Trade (12,521,336 slaves), Apartheid and the Holocaust. Each one of these institutions was inspired, abetted, initiated, sponsored and maintained by state and the church. These atrocities were part of public policy. Of note is that the only non-signatories of the Crime of Apartheid (1973) are mostly European white nations spread across the globe, including Israel, besides a few kingdoms.

Spencer seems to have clearly forgotten the all too familiar term “Holocaust” whose inventor is none but Modern European History and whose victims were none but Jews that are now his fellow experts in this documentary. Should we say that both Christians and Jews have short memories?

Let’s not forget that contrary to allegations of Spencer, factually it were the Mosques and Muslims which got destroyed and eliminated in Europe during the same time period for which he can only falsely allege that “house of worship of Jews and Christians were neither to be built or repaired”:

The colony [Lucera – “Lugêrah”, as she was known in Arabic] thrived for 75 years until it was sacked in 1300 by Christian forces under the command of Charles II of Naples. The city’s Muslim inhabitants were exiled or sold into slavery, with many finding asylum in Albania across the Adriatic Sea. Their abandoned mosques were demolished, and churches were usually built in their place, including the cathedral S. Maria della Vittoria [Wikipedia].


 
References:
Note: [text enclosed in square brackets above is not part of the original quoted sources. Some of the comments are excerpted quotes from the footnotes of “English Translation of the Holy Quran with Explanatory Notes” – Muhammad Ali, ed. Zahid Aziz]

The Universal Declaration of Human Right – United Nations
New International Version – Bible Gateway
India in Balance – British Rule and the Caliphate by Khwaja Kamal-ud-din
Map of Muslim Population in Europe – European Heritage Library
CHARTER TO CHRISTIANS by Muhammad, Jihad In Islam by Muhammad Yaqub Khan, The Muslim Revival, Vol V, No. 2, June 1936
The Decree of Aurangzeb – Islamic Review, April-May 1925
Sephardim by Rebecca Weiner (Jewish Virtual Library)
Crusades – Wikipedia
Inquisition – Wikipedia
Witch Trials – Wikipedia
Colonialism – Wikipedia
Atlantic Slave Trade – Wikipedia
Estimates of Slaves – Voyages – Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Estimates
Apartheid – Wikipedia
Holocaust – Wikipedia
Crime of Apartheid – Wikipedia
Holy Quran – Muhammad Ali, edited by Zahid Aziz

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography recognises Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din

Friday, September 28th, 2012

By coincidence, in this very month of September when it is the centenary of the first arrival of Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din in England, an entry about him has been added in the September 2012 update to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography describes itself as “the national record of men and women who have shaped British history and culture, worldwide, from the Romans to the 21st century. The Dictionary offers concise, up-to-date biographies written by named, specialist authors. It is overseen by academic editors at Oxford University, UK, and published by Oxford University Press.”

It was first published as the Dictionary of National Biography in 1885.

The September 2012 updates are summarised at this link on their website:

www.oup.com/oxforddnb/info/freeodnb/shelves/sept2012/

On this page, in the third set of photographs, you will find a photo of Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din. When you click on it, you will reach the following link where his entry is given in full:

www.oxforddnb.com/public/dnb/94519.html

Please note that this entry, written by a University professor, contains a couple of inaccuracies. The publishers of the Dictionary had contacted me before publication and showed me the draft. I had made some corrections and suggstions, which the author incorporated, but one or two of the corrections I made have been missed. They have
promised to correct them in the next update.

100th anniversary of the arrival of Khwaja Kamal-ud-D​in in England

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

24th September 1912 was the day when Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din arrived in England for the first time. During this first visit, which lasted till August 1914, he established “The Islamic Review” monthly journal and the Woking Muslim Mission in 1913.

As the website creator and maintainer of the website www.wokingmuslim.org I felt it my duty to mark the 100th anniversary of Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din’s arrival. I have compiled an 8-page commemorative leaflet, with a 4-page insert of photographs that can go inside the leaflet, for this occasion. I hope it is interesting and informative.

Zahid Aziz
23rd September 2012

Qazi Abdul Ahad of Darus Salaam, Lahore, returns to his Maker!

Monday, September 17th, 2012

It is a matter of great sadness and loss for our Movement, as well as very painful and distressing to me personally, that Qazi Abdul Ahad, Librarian of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Lahore Library, has passed away in Lahore on Monday 17th September 2012. The news of his death and some details of his life can be read at this link.

The title “Librarian” does not do justice to his work and contribution. He was much more a walking library of accurate and detailed knowledge than a librarian. More than that, he had great mastery over the Arabic language and grammar. He was a hafiz of the Holy Quran and had extensive knowledge of Hadith, classical Islamic literature, and Ahmadiyya writings, whether books or periodicals. At the same time, he was the most modest and humblest of people, and ever willing to help others with the benefit of his knowledge, especially of the contents of the Library.

I remember how happy and proud he used to be if any of his students showed interest in pursuing knowledge of the Arabic language at an advanced level.

Upon hearing the news of his death, I sent the following note to our Lahore Centre:

The late Qazi sahib was of enormous help to me in locating material in the Darus Salaam Library for more than thirty years. During the 1980s, in the days before electronic scanning of documents, he undertook at my request, which was channeled through the late Dr Saeed Ahmad Khan sahib, to photocopy all the articles of Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi from Paigham Sulah and Ruh-i Islam. I have all that massive material in my possession, and have recently started publishing it on a website.

It is simply staggering to think of all those references and quotations from the Quran, Hadith collections, Islamic classical literature, and Ahmadiyya writings, which flowed from Qazi sahib’s lips. Then, before the days of the Internet, the large number of indispensable books that were long out of print, which he photocopied by hand, and bound, and made accessible to people, was a tremendous service rendered by him.

Our only consolation is:

“Everyone on it passes away — And there endures forever the person of thy Lord, the Lord of glory and honour.” (55:26-27)

Inna li-lllahi wa inna ilai-hi rajioon.

May Allah admit Qazi sahib to His great mercy, shower upon him His blessings profusely, raise him to high ranks, and join him with our departed elders — Ameen and Ameen again.

Zahid Aziz.

Issue 70

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Issue 70 [@1:15:16]: Slide projected with voice – Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol 7, Bk 62, Hadith 88 – The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death).

Rebuttal 70: This hadith is plain false. Aisha (also written as Ayesha) was twenty years of age at her marriage. The Prophet was illiterate and could not read or write. This hadith was rejected by Malik ibn Anas, the student of Hisham ibn `urwah who is sourced on authority of his father and as reported by people of Iraq.

The documentary in its grand design tried to “move in for the kill” by alleging the Prophet to be a pedophile. The documentary makers and its ‘expert’ panel just cannot help it. It is in the tradition of Christianity and Judaism to allege, prove and then believe in sexually promiscuous prophets. The worse they can allege the Prophet with is a flimsy and baseless single sourced hadith, while their own prophets in their own Holy Scriptures are identified as such. So, the burden of this rebuttal is not only to refute the above hadith with evidence, but also to sanctify the founders of the religions that the documentary experts themselves believe in. This hadith as a case in point can be a litmus test for the reader to witness the truthfulness of Quran vs. the fabrications of the Torah. We claim further, that for a Christian and a Jew to better their own religion and faith, they need Quran, if nothing else to cleanse their own religious figures of the base allegations. Before the current rebuttal is over, it will become obvious that neither Prophet Muhammad nor any other prophet before him were either a pedophile nor incestuous. Pedophilic and incestuous are the minds who allege such smear on others while it is false.

In pre-Islamic Arabia the lunar monthly calendar consisted of 12 months for local customs, religious occasions and trade purposes, but there was no yearly calendar. Muharram was the first month of the New Year. Years were remembered for their events, e.g. ‘Year of the Elephant’ when Abrahah, the governor of Yemen attacked Makkah with elephants in his army. The same year Prophet was born in Makkah. Hijri calendar was adopted 7 years after death of the Prophet during the reign of Umar on advice of Ali. Hijri calendar was retroactive to month of Muharram, in the year when prophet migrated to Medina from Makkah. The events occurring after adoption of Hijri calendar were more accurately recorded on a timeline. The events before the said calendar are extrapolated to Georgian calendar. The years of birth for the people born before Hijri calendar can be deduced retroactively from their known years of death.

Before we go into discussion about of actual age of Aisha, it begets the fundamental question – Did Aisha pass the threshold of marriageable age, before she married the Prophet?

Aisha was already engaged to Jabir bin Mutam when Khawlah bint Hakim, wife of Prophet’s companion Uttman bin Mazun, approached and suggested to the Prophet to re-marry after death of his first wife Khadija, who had died in 10th year of the Call. She recommended him various choices. Soon thereafter, Aisha’s engagement was called off by her father-in-law fearing persecution by proxy of Abu-Bakr’s earlier conversion to Islam. Factually, Aisha’s father Abu Bakr wanted to marry her off when he undertook his own migration to Abysinnia (Ethiopia) in the year 615 CE. This fact clearly concludes that Aisha was of customarily marriageable age, and that Prophet was not the first person who was considered for her marriage. Her parents had already committed her to another person for marriage even before the Prophet comes into the picture.

Now, let’s pay to attention the facts and figures below which by themselves conclude the above assertion that Aisha was of marriageable age. The references to various years (CE=Current Era; AH=After Hijrah) and the subsequent calculations might be off by one year, up or down, due to rounding errors of reporting.

Facts about Prophet Muhammad:

570 CE: Birth of the Prophet.
595 CE: At age 25, Prophet’s 1st marriage, with Khadija.
605 CE: Holy Kaaba rebuilt. Hijr Aswaad issue resolved by the Prophet. Birth of his first child, Fatima.
610 CE: Year of the Call when Prophet is 40 years of age.
615 CE: Verses of Chapter 54 – Qamar (moon) were revealed.
616 CE: Umar accepts Islam.
620 CE: Khadija died in 10th year of the Call.
620 CE – 622 CE: Time window for betrothal (Nikah) of Aisha with the Prophet.
623 CE = 00 AH: Migration to Medina. Makkan period of 13 years ended.
625 CE = 02 AH: Prophet consummated (Rukhasti) marriage with Aisha. Battle of Badr.
633 CE = 10 AH: Prophet lived in Medina for last 10 years of his life, before his death at age 63.

Facts about Lady Aisha:

Abu-Bakr had four children from his two marriages before the Call:
– Abdullah (son) and Asma (daughter) from Fatilah ibn Abdul Uzza
– Abdur Rahman (son) and Aisha (daughter) from Umm Ruman
[Tarikh al-Umami wal muluk, Vol. 4, p. 50 – Ibn Jarir Tabari]

620 CE – 623 CE: Time window of betrothal of Aisha with the Prophet, after death of Khadija
625 CE = 02 AH: Aisha’s consummation of marriage with the Prophet
625 CE – 633 CE: Eight years of Aisha’s marriage = the remainder of prophets life in Medina
673 CE: Aisha died (calculated)

Elder sister, Asma was 10 year older than Aisha
[Al-Dhahabi, Siyar A`la’ma’l-nubala’, Vol. 2, p. 289, Arabic, Mu’assasatu’l-risalah, Beirut, 1992]
[Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidayah wa’l-nihayah, Vol. 8, p. 371, Dar al-fikr al-`arabi, Al-jizah, 1933]

695 CE = 73 AH: Asma died at an age of 100.
[Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidayah wa’l-nihayah, Vol. 8, p. 346, 372, Dar al-fikr al-`arabi, Al-jizah, 1933]
[Ibn Hajar Asqalani, Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, p. 654, Arabic, Bab fi’l-nisa’, al-harfu’l-alif, Lucknow]
[Mishkat al-Masabih, published in Lahore, 1986, volume 3, pages 300–301]

Various calculations of Aisha’s Age (in light of above facts):

* By deduction, Asma was born in 595 CE, which makes 605 CE as year of birth for Aisha.
Earliest possible year of betrothal of Aisha is 620 CE, which makes her age then of 15 years.
Consummation of Aisha’s marriage in 625 CE, which makes her age then of 20 years.

* Aisha’s died at an age of 67 after 40 years of widowhood^. Thus her age at death of prophet is 27. Given her consummated marriage of 8 years, her age at consummation of her marriage with prophet is 19 years. [^Syed Sulaiman Nadvi, Sirat Aisha, p. 132, April 2005] By some estimates her consummated marriage was of 9 years, which makes her age then of 20 years.

* Even if Aisha was born only a year before the Call, if not earlier, then she must be at least 16, if not more when her marriage was consummated with the Prophet in 2nd year after Migration, which is same as 15th year of the Call.

* Aisha, by self-report remembered the verses of Chapter 54, Surah Qamar (Moon) right from the time when they were revealed in 5th year of the call i.e. 615 CE. Also, biologically we form memories after 5 years of age. No wonder we remember the nursery rhymes or national anthems only after age 5 (read: Childhood Amnesia). Hence Aisha must be at least 5 years old if not older in the year 615 CE. Eight years later Migration happened, which makes her then 13 if not older. Her marriage is consummated with the prophet 2 years after the Migration, which makes her 15 years old, if not older.

* Ibn Hisham, one of the favorite historians of this documentary writes that Aisha accepted Islam a year earlier than Caliph Umar. Umar accepted Islam in the 6th year of the call i.e. year 616 CE. For her to accept Islam, she had to be beyond a certain age when she could undertake an oath. This almost matches her recalling verses of Surah Qamar (Moon), when she could not have been younger than 5 years, if not older. It took another 10 years before she consummates her marriage with the Prophet in the year 625 CE. Thus she must be at least 15 years old, if not older at the time of consummation of her marriage.

* It is a well-known fact that in the battles of Badr and Uhad, no one under 15 was allowed. Aisha participated in both, which makes her at least 15 years old, if not older during Badr, which is the same year of consummation of her marriage.

* Fatima, Prophet’s daughter by some traditions was 5 years older than Aisha. Former was born in the year of rebuilding of Kaaba, which is 5 years before the Call i.e. 605 CE. Thus, Aisha was born in the year of the Call i.e. 610 CE. This makes her 15 years old at the time of consummation of her marriage with the Prophet.

* Aisha had to be of an age where she could have assumed the duties of the household after death of Khadija, where there were already two young girls, Prophet’s daughters – Fatima and Umm Kulthum. There is no point for a busy person like prophet facing all the challenges of present and future for him to essentially take care of a third girl in his household. His wife had to be of an age where she could shoulder responsibilities and be a partner in the challenges of his office.

Thus it becomes plainly clear that Aisha was of marriageable age and Prophet Muhammad was no pedophile. The following (ref: link) research clarifies the weakness of the above and similar hadiths about age of Aisha:

Most of these narratives are reported only by Hisham ibn `urwah reporting on the authority of his father. An event as well known as the one being reported, should logically have been reported by more people than just one, two or three.

It is quite strange that no one from Medinah, where Hisham ibn `urwah lived the first seventy one years of his life has narrated the event, even though in Medinah his pupils included people as well known as Malik ibn Anas. All the narratives of this event have been reported by narrators from Iraq, where Hisham is reported to have had shifted after living in Medinah for seventy one years.

Tehzibu’l-tehzib, one of the most well known books on the life and reliability of the narrators of the traditions of the Prophet (pbuh) reports that according to Yaqub ibn Shaibah: “narratives reported by Hisham are reliable except those that are reported through the people of Iraq”. It further states that Malik ibn Anas objected on those narratives of Hisham which were reported through people of Iraq. (vol 11, pg 48 – 51)

Mizanu’l-ai`tidal, another book on the narrators of the traditions of the Prophet (pbuh) reports that when he was old, Hisham’s memory suffered quite badly. (vol 4, pg 301 – 302)

The summations so far are significantly based upon the following two main sources and reader is encourage to review them for a more in depth information:

Age of Aisha (ra) at time of marriage” by Zahid Aziz, Ph.D.
Ayesha’s Age” by M. Amir Ali, Ph.D.

By the above corroborated evidence and calculations, we are left with no choice but to reject the hadith quoted by the documentary as unauthentic. At least, so far we have conclusively proven that Aisha was of customarily marriageable age when she consummated her marriage with the Prophet. She was at least 15 years of old and most likely 19 or 20 years old at the time of her marriage.

Let’s turn the page to Christianity and Judaism from where this hadith has become an issue. Can the makers and ‘experts’ of the documentary by their own accounts in their own Scriptures absolve their founders of drunkenness, nakedness, incest, soliciting prostitutes and contracting underage marriages? Can they prove a model of piousness in any of their substantive prophets? Can they say to their children to follow in the footsteps of Noah, Abraham, Lot, Moses, David, Mary?

No one should forget that from Christian sources, Mary, mother of Jesus married when she was only 12 years old and gave birth to Jesus the following year. Joseph at that time was already old and had children of his own (– see para 9 of Infancy Gospel of James). Whether, Mary was impregnated by Joseph or God, the argument cannot be denied that in Christianity, pedophilia was the very basis of its origination as a religion. God of Bible broke His own law by making Mary pregnant before her reaching majority. According to Bible, majority is reached at 20 years of age when one is able to make decisions:

Numbers 14:28-30 (NIV) So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say: In this wilderness your bodies will fall—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me. Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.

Unlike Gospels (narrations, gossips) of the previous scriptures, a hadith can never displace or pollute Quran. Similar to above hadith, Gospels were themselves hadiths of the prophet(s). They were human recollections, but found their way into the Torah and Evangel as word of God. The Jews and Christians alike are in a bind. They have to declare themselves apologetically “reformed” to bring some sense into their spiritual lives. In their reformation, the first requirement is to disassociate themselves from the nonsense in their Scripture. Still, they fail to be fully reformed, unless they replace their Scriptures with Quran. The outrageous stories in their Scriptures carry moral values which are at time less than what one finds in Aesop’s Fables. Some may argue that those stories are even worse and “rated R”. Not to be shared with underage children and to be read only in presence of an adult. Note – according to Western standards, a material is rated R because:

An R-rated motion picture, in the view of the Rating Board, contains some adult material. An R-rated motion picture may include adult themes, adult activity, hard language, intense or persistent violence, sexually-oriented nudity, drug abuse or other elements, so that parents are counseled to take this rating very seriously. Children under 17 are not allowed to attend R-rated motion pictures unaccompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Parents are strongly urged to find out more about R-rated motion pictures in determining their suitability for their children. Generally, it is not appropriate for parents to bring their young children with them to R-rated motion pictures.

As to how different is the case of Torah for its MPAA ratings, we will leave it to the reader themselves and instead will only highlight some of the passages from it below.

The following is the account of Noah in Torah, which is none but licentious:

Genesis 9:20-25: (NIV) Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded[a] to plant a vineyard. When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked. When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son had done to him, he said, “Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers.”

Compare the immorality of Noah in Torah with the standards of Noah in Quran that brings to forth the message of a prophet, who was neither drunk nor molested by his own son:

26:105. The people of Noah cried lies to the Messengers.
26:106. (Recall the time) when their kinsman Noah said to them, `Will you not guard against evil?
26:107. `Surely, I am to you a Messenger, faithful to (my) trust.
26:108. `So take Allâh as a shield and obey me.
26:109. `And I ask no reward from you for it (- the delivery of the Message of God). My reward lies with the Lord of the worlds alone.
26:110. `So take Allâh as a shield and obey me.’
26:111. They (- the disbelievers) said, `Shall we believe in you whereas (we see that) only the people of a very low status follow you?’
26:112. He said, `I have no knowledge what (good) deeds they did (in the past that now they have the honour to accept the truth).
26:113. `It is only up to my Lord to call them to account; if you could but perceive.
26:114. `I cannot drive away the believers (thinking them to be of low status).
26:115. `I am but a plain Warner.’
26:116. `Noah!’ they said, `If you do not desist, you shall be excommunicated or done away with.’
26:117. (Noah) said (praying), `My Lord! my people have treated me as a liar,
26:118. `So judge between me and them, a decisive judgment, and deliver me and the believers who are with me.’

Another incidence of incest by a drunken prophet and the debauchery of his daughters in Torah:

Genesis 19:30-35 (NIV) Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man around here to give us children—as is the custom all over the earth. Let’s get our father to drink wine and then sleep with him and preserve our family line through our father.”

That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and slept with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.

The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Last night I slept with my father. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went in and slept with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.

Compare the incestuous Lot in Torah with the righteous Lot in Quran and his teachings:

26:160. And the people of Lot cried lies to the Messengers.
26:161. (Recall the time) when their kinsman Lot said to them, `Will you not guard against evil?
26:162. `Verily, I am to you a Messenger, faithful to (my) trust.
26:163. `So take Allâh as a shield and obey me.
26:164. `And I ask no reward from you for this (service I render). My reward lies with the Lord of the worlds alone.
26:165. `(Is it not true that) of all people you alone approach males (for sexual satisfaction),
26:166. `And leave that (abode of love) which your Lord has created for you in your wives. `Nay, (the real fact is) you are a people who know no limits.’
26:167. They said, `If you desist not (of admonishing us for sodomy) O Lot! you shall indeed be of the banished ones.’
26:168. He said, `I surely abhor your practice (of going to males),
26:169. `My Lord! save me and my followers from (the evil consequences) of their deeds.’
26:170. So We saved him and his followers, all of them,

Old Testament sanctifies a prophet impregnating a married woman and lying with a young virgin, without marrying them:

2 Samuel 11:2-5 (NIV) One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness.) Then she went back home. The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.”

1 Kings 11-4 (NIV) When King David was very old, he could not keep warm even when they put covers over him. So his attendants said to him, “Let us look for a young virgin to serve the king and take care of him. She can lie beside him so that our lord the king may keep warm.” Then they searched throughout Israel for a beautiful young woman and found Abishag, a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. The woman was very beautiful; she took care of the king and waited on him, but the king had no sexual relations with her.

Whereas, Quran highlights the attributes of David which befit a prophet and a righteous king:

38:17. Bear with patience what they say. And remember (the event of the life of) Our servant David, the possessor of might. Verily, he was ever turning (to God).

38:20. And We strengthened his [– David] kingdom, and We granted him wisdom and decisive judgment.

38:24. …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.

38:25. So We gave him that protection (sought for by him from that danger he felt). And verily he enjoyed Our close proximity and an excellent status.

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.

In the above we see that the same prophets who are an example of aversion in Torah, become model of virtue in Quran for coming generations and can be rightfully followed by both young and old.

We leave it to Jews as to how they judge their ‘chosen’ status for being named after Judah. Someone, who first tried to kill his brother, Joseph a future prophet, but instead ended up selling him. That does not end his treachery, he later in life not only bought services of a prostitute who was none other than his own daughter-in-law in disguise, but also impregnated her:

Genesis 38:13-19 (NIV) When Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law is on his way to Timnah to shear his sheep,” she took off her widow’s clothes, covered herself with a veil to disguise herself, and then sat down at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. For she saw that, though Shelah had now grown up, she had not been given to him as his wife.

When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. Not realizing that she was his daughter-in-law, he went over to her by the roadside and said, “Come now, let me sleep with you.”

“And what will you give me to sleep with you?” she asked.

“I’ll send you a young goat from my flock,” he said.

“Will you give me something as a pledge until you send it?” she asked.

He said, “What pledge should I give you?”

“Your seal and its cord, and the staff in your hand,” she answered. So he gave them to her and slept with her, and she became pregnant by him. 19 After she left, she took off her veil and put on her widow’s clothes again.

If the makers of the documentary can believe with impunity about the debauchery attributed to their own prophets of God, then it is no surprise that they will pounce upon any false report about Prophet Muhammad whom they call an imposter to begin with. No wonder, the drunkenness and sexual promiscuity has always been part of social fabric of the followers of Scriptures. Their Scriptures continue to narrate examples of such lewd behaviors by their divinely ordained prophets as factual, no matter how much Quran rebuts and cleanses those prophets of such false attributions. Not only they falsely debase their prophets, their ancestors are also known to be the prophet killers.

Matthew 23:34-36 (NIV) Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation.

Matthew 23:37 (NIV) “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. [Note: Jesus laments prophesied his own attempted killing on the cross]

Jeremiah 26:20-23 (NIV) (Now Uriah son of Shemaiah from Kiriath Jearim was another man who prophesied in the name of the Lord; he prophesied the same things against this city and this land as Jeremiah did. When King Jehoiakim and all his officers and officials heard his words, the king was determined to put him to death. But Uriah heard of it and fled in fear to Egypt. King Jehoiakim, however, sent Elnathan son of Akbor to Egypt, along with some other men. They brought Uriah out of Egypt and took him to King Jehoiakim, who had him struck down with a sword and his body thrown into the burial place of the common people.)

Some apologists deny that Jews killed their ‘true’ prophets and only admit to killing ‘false’ prophets. Essentially, they then are denying their own scriptures which mention otherwise above. However, Quran testifies to their killing of their prophets and the reasons for such behaviors:

2:87. Indeed, We gave Moses the Scripture and sent Messengers after him in successive series. We also gave Jesus, son of Mary, clear arguments and strengthened him with the blessed word of God. (Is it not then unjust on your part that) whenever a Messenger came to you (O Jews!) with that (teaching) which did not suit your fancies, you behaved arrogantly? You belied some (Messengers) while others you seek to kill (even now).

2:88. They said, `Our hearts are storehouse of knowledge (so that we stand in no need of further teaching.)’ Rather Allâh has deprived them of His mercy for their disbelief, with the result that little they believe.

2:89. And (now) when there has come to them the glorious Book from Allâh, fulfilling that (Prophecy) which is already with them, and previous to that they had been praying for victory over those who disbelieved, yet when that (long awaited Prophet and the Qur’ân) came to them which they recognised (also to be the truth), they disbelieved in it. (And because of this rejection) the disapproval of Allâh is the due for the disbelievers.

2:90. Evil is that thing they have sold themselves for that they should reject that (source of guidance) which Allâh has revealed, grudging that Allâh should send down His grace on such of His servants as He pleases. Thus they have incurred (His) displeasure after displeasure. There awaits these disbelievers a humiliating punishment.

2:91. When it is said to them, `Believe in that (- the Qur’ân) which Allâh has sent down.’ They say, `We believe only in that (- the Torah) which has been sent down to us.’ And they deny everything other than that (and which has since been revealed); though it (- the Qur’ân) is the lasting truth and corroborates that which is already with them (in their own Scriptures). Say, `Why, then, did you seek to kill the Prophets of Allâh in former times if you were (real) believers (in the former Scriptures)?’

Even if the followers of old scriptures do not learn from Quran, at least they cannot deny their former and current behaviors as outlined in verses above. Such a self-awakening itself can be a source of learning and virtue for them. But will they? Will they still continue to claim – `Our hearts are storehouse of knowledge (so that we stand in no need of further teaching.)’?

The ‘experts’ of the documentary following in their ancestral footsteps eagerly want to kill the legacy and the everlasting message and teachings of the greatest man ever by smearing him with whatever means possible including the false hadith they quoted in this issue, but they will never be able to do so, because:

48:2. …Allâh will protect you [– Muhammad] from (the ill consequences of) the fault attributed to you in the past and those to follow, and that He will make His favour perfect upon you and will lead you to the goal of the exact right path;

 


 
References:

Age of Aisha (ra) at time of marriage – Zahid Aziz, Ph.D.
Ayesha’s Age – M. Amir Ali, Ph.D.
Mishkat al-Masabih – Entry about Asma’s age, first written 700 years ago
Sirat Aisha – Syed Sulaiman Nadvi
Hazrat Aishah Siddiqah’s Age at Her Marriage – Ghulam Nabi Muslim, M.A.
Lady ‘A’ishah’s Age at the Time of the Consummation of Her Marriage to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sas) – Ghulam Nabi Muslim, M.A.
Hijri calendar – Wikipedia
Georgian calendar – Wikipedia
Current Era – Wikipedia
Migrations to Abyssinia – Abu Bakr – Wikipedia
References to Asma bint Abu Bakr – Wikipedia
Childhood Amnesia – Wikipedia
Specific incestuous relationships in the Bible – Wikipedia
Mary (mother of Jesus) – Wikipedia
Matthew: A Shorter Commentary, p. 12 – W. D. Davies, Dale C. Allison, Jr.
The Protoevangelium of James, Infancy Gospel of James – Early Christian Writings
R-Rated – Motion Picture Association of America
Curse of Ham – Wikipedia
Bathsheba – Biblical Narrative – Wikipedia
Children of Jacob sell their brother Joseph by Konstantin Flavitsky – Wikipedia
Tamar and Judah – Wikipedia
Judah and Tamar by Horace Vernet – Wikipedia
Judah – Wikipedia
Hart’s Top 100 – Wikipedia
New International Version – Bible Gateway
Holy Quran – Nooruddin

Issue 69

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Issue 69 [@1:15:00]: Slide projected with voice – Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol 2, Bk 23, Hadith 413 – The Jews brought to the Prophet a man and a woman from amongst them who had committed (adultery) illegal sexual intercourse. He ordered both of them be stoned (to death) near the place of offering the funeral prayers besides the mosque.

Rebuttal 69: Once again the documentary selectively cherry picks certain hadiths while hiding others to provide an out of context half-truths. The other relevant hadiths to this issue will be stated below. The malicious circus continues in the movie whose sole basis for smearing Prophet Muhammad is “damn if you do, damn if you don’t,” even if supposedly the Prophet or for that matter anyone else gave a legal opinion on the subject matter above. This issue is all about an opinion from the Jewish law to the Jews.

To any intelligent reader the first question will be as to why – “The Jews brought to the Prophet a man and a woman from amongst them who had committed (adultery) illegal sexual intercourse?” Did they respect or believed for what Prophet Muhammad stood for?” Nay! They only wanted an alternative to their own law of Torah.

Secondly, what was the basis of Prophet Muhammad when – “He ordered both of them be stoned (to death) near the place of offering the funeral prayers besides the mosque?” The sole basis for the Prophet’s opinion was none but Torah itself.

Thirdly, it was Jews themselves who had investigated the matter fully and had already established the guilt for the accused. All they wanted was the final step of the law i.e. the decision about the punishment to fit the crime, while trying to avoid their own written law in Torah. They hoped against hope that a prophet, no matter how ‘false’ to them, would ignore a revealed Book that was from none but YHWH to its ‘chosen people.’ Ironic indeed it is that it was for the same chosen people who chose to shirk away from their own Torah, but for a good reason. If the Jews sought forgiveness for the accused, then why did they not forgive themselves? Why they had to ask someone else to do it for them? Were they then and even now true believers in their own Torah?

4:43. And how should they appoint you their judge whilst they have with them the Torah which contains the law (and judgment) of Allâh. Yet they turn their backs even after that (you judge between them). And such people are not true believers (neither in the Qur’ân nor in the Torah).[Nooruddin]

They could not help because they were stuck with their dogmas then and as now for the mere fact that there is no concept of forgiveness, neither in their psyche nor in their scripture. This we see in the legal system of the West, where most of the legislators are followers of the old scriptures and the laws that they formulate are punitive with no room for an incentive nor forgiveness to expiate a wrong. A classical case of a shell of a religion where outward ritual and behavior is more important than the soul of the religion. An angry god has to be placated, rather tricked by ordinary humans. A faith that even Jesus could not reform, though he was from the same region, race and religion. It is a twisted logic by this documentary when they blame everyone else, but their own brethren in history on whose doorstep lies the faulty laws of their own God.

Fourth, can the documentary makers point to anyone but the Jews themselves who carried out the judgment when they killed the accused by stoning? By any standards, they were not a helpless minority in Medina. Jewish tribes and groups numbered about 36,000 to 42,000 in Medina at the time of arrival of Muhammad (Issue 7). Compare that with Muslim fighting strength of rag-tag, young and old of only 313 in 2nd year and 700 in 3rd year of arrival of the Prophet in Medina (Issue 1). Why did the Jews kill their own and that too based upon the supposed opinion of a prophet that to them was a ‘false one’ to begin with, and why did they not ignore his opinion? The blame is squarely on the Jews, their Torah, their Judaism, their dogmas and their bigotry for seeking opinion of a ‘false’ prophet that they abhorred from the very start. This example proves beyond doubt that how much superfluous Judaism is. To escape their own law the Jews needed a ‘pagan’ help, and ironically of an ‘illiterate’ who factually could not even read or write. Quran was still in its infancy then and did not cover the stipulated issue at hand in its verses yet. Prophet Muhammad did what any judge would do, he deferred the Jews to their their own Jewish law. The prophet though a law giver was only supposed to convey the law that was revealed to him, not make one of his own choosing or according to the fancies of the Jews:

24:54. …the duty of the Messenger [– Muhammad] is only to deliver the message clearly.

10:15. …[The non-Muslims say to the Prophet] Bring a Quran other than this or change it. Say: It is not for me to change it of my own accord. I follow only what is revealed to me. Indeed I fear, if I disobey my Lord, the punishment of a terrible day.

Fifth, in a personal space it is one’s choice to forgive or not, but in a communal space, people and their acts are governed by the laws of the community. If someone is punished under a law, and that too by a so called Divine Law, then is the documentary going to blame the judge or blame the Law itself and the people who made that Law? Judges are not supposed to make the law, but follow the existing law. Are they going to smear the judge for a verdict that is not of their own liking? Quran addressed such bigotry and mentality of the followers, inventors and tamperers of the previous scriptures and their delegating the role of a judge to Prophet Muhammad in the following verses:

4:41. O Messenger! let not those who vie with one another in (- spreading) disbelief,- those of them who say with their mouths, `we believe’, but their hearts believe not, and those of them who judaised, grieve you. They are the acceptors of falsehood and are those who listen for conveying to other people who have not yet come to you. They tear the words (of God) from their proper places (and pervert the meanings thereof and) say, `If you are given this (sort of commandment) accept it and if you are not given this, then be careful.’ And he (on) whom Allâh desires (to inflict) His punishment, you can do nothing to save him from (the punishment of) Allâh. It is these whose hearts Allâh has not been pleased to purify. Ignominy is their lot in this world, and there awaits them in the Hereafter a great punishment.

4:42. (They are) habitual listeners to falsehood, too much given to eat things [i.e. consuming] forbidden [e.g. Usury]. If they come to you (seeking your judgment) judge between them or turn aside from them. If you turn aside from them, they shall do you no harm at all. But if you judge, then judge between them with justice, for surely Allâh loves the just.

4:43. And how should they appoint you their judge whilst they have with them the Torah which contains the law (and judgment) of Allâh. Yet they turn their backs even after that (you judge between them). And such people are not true believers (neither in the Qur’ân nor in the Torah).

4:44. Verily, it is We Who revealed Torah wherein there was guidance and light. According to it the Prophets, who submitted themselves (to Us), did judge for those who judaised and (so also did) the teachers of Divine knowledge, and those learned (in the Law); (they did it) because they were required to preserve some of the Scripture of Allâh and (because) they stood guardians over it. Hence hold not people in awe but stand in awe of Me and do not barter away My Messages for a trifling gain. And he who does not judge according to that (law) which Allâh has revealed, it is these who are the real disbelievers.

4:45. And therein We laid down (the following law) for them (- the Jews); life for life and eye for eye, and nose for nose, and ear for ear, and tooth for tooth and for (other) injuries an equitable retaliation. But he who chooses to forgo (the right) thereto for the sake of Allâh, it shall be an expiation of sins for him. And whoever does not judge according to (the law) which Allâh has revealed, these it is who are the very unjust.

4:46. And We sent Jesus, son of Mary, in the footsteps of these (Prophets), fulfilling that which was (revealed) before him, of the Torah, and We gave him the Evangel which contained guidance and light, fulfilling that which was (revealed) before it, of the Torah, and was a (means of) guidance and an exhortation for those who guard against evil.

4:47. And let the followers of the Evangel judge according to what Allâh has revealed therein. And indeed those who do not judge according to what Allâh has revealed it is these who are the real disobedient. [Nooruddin]

Sixth, if the documentary makers do not like as to what Torah is about, then they have a choice to ‘burn it‘. A Muslim will never do such a favor to them, because for a Muslim it is an article of faith to not only respect but to believe in the original message of all previously revealed Books, that includes Torah and the Evangel, which the Jews in this issue did not:

4:136. O you who believe! maintain faith in Allâh and in His Messenger and in this perfect Book which He has revealed to His perfect Messenger and in the Scripture He revealed before. And whoso denies Allâh and His angels and His Books and His Messengers and the Last Day, he has indeed strayed far away (from the truth). [Nooruddin]

All the above is stated on the assumption that the hadith is authentic and actually states as to what happened. The corroborated aspects of the hadith will become clear in the discussion to follow. If the above hadith is correct, then its full burden is on Torah, not on Quran, nor on Prophet Muhammad. Muhammad Ali in his landmark book “The Religion of Islam” fully clarifies the incidence and all the ancillary aspects of the issue at hand. Pages 556-560 of the said book are reproduced below:

Punishment for adultery

Adultery, and false accusation of adultery, are both punishable according to the Qur’an:

The adulteress and the adulterer, flog each of them (with) a hundred stripes, and let not pity for them detain you from obedience to Allah if you believe in Allah and the last day, and let a party of believers witness their chastisement” (24:2).

In the case of slave-girls, who are guilty of adultery , the punishment is half of this:

Then if they (the slave girls) are guilty of adultery when they are taken in marriage, they shall suffer half the punishment for free married women” (4:25).

These are the only verses speaking of punishment for adultery , and they clearly show that flogging, and not death or stoning to death, is the punishment for adultery. In fact 4:25 precludes all possibility of death having ever been looked upon by the Qur’an as a punishment for adultery. It speaks clearly of the punishment of adultery in the case of married slave-girls, and says further that punishment for them is half the punishment of adultery in the case of free married women. It is generally thought that while the Qur’an prescribes flogging as a punishment for fornication, i.e., when the guilty person is not married, stoning to death is the punishment for adultery, and that this is allegedly based on the Prophet’s practice. But the Qur’an plainly speaks of the punishment for adultery in the case of married slave-girls as being half the punishment of adultery in the case of free married women (muhsanat), and therefore death or stoning to death cannot be conceived of as possible punishment in case of adultery as it cannot be halved, while imprisonment or flogging may be. Thus the Qur’an not only speaks of flogging and not death, as punishment for adultery, but it positively excludes death or stoning to death.

Flogging

A few words may be added as to the method of flogging. The Arabic word for flogging is jald which means skin, and jalada signifies he hit or hurt his skin (LL). Jald (flogging) was therefore a punishment which should be felt by the skin, and it aimed more at disgracing the culprit than torturing him. In the time of the Prophet, and even for some time after him, there was no whip, and flogging was carried out by beating with a stick or with the hand or with shoes {RM. VI, p. 4}. It is further stated by the same authority that the culprit was not stripped naked for the infliction of the punishment of flogging; he was only required to take off thick clothes such as would ward off the stroke altogether. According to a report of Ibn Mas’ud, baring the back for flogging is forbidden among the Muslims, and according to Shafi’i and Ahmad, a shirt or two must be left over the body {RM. VI, p. 5}. It is further related that it is preferable to give the strokes on different parts of the body so that no harm should result to any one part, but the face and the private parts must be avoided {RM. VI, p. 5}.

Stoning to death in Jewish law

As already shown, stoning to death, as a punishment for adultery, is nowhere spoken of in the Qur’an; on the other hand, the injunction to halve the punishment in certain eases is a clear indication that stoning to death was never contemplated as the punishment of adultery in the Holy Book. In Tradition, however, cases are met with in which adultery was punished with stoning to death. One of these cases is expressly mentioned as that of a Jew couple:

“The Jews came to the Prophet with a man and a woman from among them who had committed adultery; and by his order they were stoned to death near the place where funeral services were held” (Bu. 23:61).

Further explanation of this incident is given in another report where it is stated that when the Jews referred the case to him, he enquired of them what punishment the Torah prescribed in case of adultery. The Jews tried at first to conceal the fact that it was stoning to death, but on `Abd Allah ibn Salam giving the reference,

{Note: That the present Torah does not give stoning as the punishment for adultery is clear proof that the text has been altered. The Gospels show that such was the punishment up to the time of Jesus. “And the scribes and the Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, they say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? (Jn. 8:3-5)}

they admitted it, and the guilty persons were dealt with as prescribed in Torah (Bu. 61:26). According to a third version, which is the most detailed, the Jews who desired to avoid the severer punishment of stoning for adultery said one to another:

“Let us go to this Prophet, for he has been raised with milder teaching; so if he gives his decision for a milder punishment than stoning, we will accept it.”

It is then related that the Prophet went with them to their midras (the house in which the Torah was read), and asked them what punishment was prescribed in their sacred book. They tried to conceal it at first but the truth had to be admitted at last, and the Prophet gave his decision saying: “I give my judgment according to what is in the Torah” (AD. 37:26).

Jewish practice followed by the Prophet at first

These reports leave not the shadow of a doubt that stoning was the punishment of adultery in the Jewish law, and that it was in the case of Jewish offenders that this punishment was first resorted to by the Prophet when he came to Madinah. There are other reports which show that the same punishment was given in certain cases when the offenders were Muslims, but apparently this was before the revelation of the verse (24:2) which speaks of flogging as the punishment for both the adulterer and the adulteress, it being the practice of the Prophet to follow the earlier revealed law until he received a definite revelation on a point. A suggestion to that effect is contained in a tradition:

“Shaibani says, I asked `Abd Allah ibn Abi Aufa , Did the Holy Prophet stone to death? He said, Yes. I said, Was it before the chapter entitled the Light (the 24th chapter) was revealed or after it? The reply was, I do not know” (Bu. 87:6).

The chapter referred to is that which speaks of flogging as a punishment for adultery, and the question shows clearly that the practice of stoning for adultery was recognized as being against the plain injunction contained in that chapter. It is likely that some misunderstanding arose from the incidents which happened before the Quranic revelation on the point, and that that practice was taken as the Sunnah of the Prophet. The Khwarij, the earliest Muslim sect, entirely rejected stoning to death (rajm) as a punishment in Islam {RM. VI, p. 6}.

The question seems to have arisen early as to how an adulterer could be stoned, when the Qur’an prescribed flogging as the only punishment for adultery. `Umar is reported to have said that “there are people who say, What about stoning, for the punishment prescribed in the Book of Allah is flogging” {Ah. I, p. 50}. To such objectors `Umar’s reply was:

“In what Allah revealed, there was the verse of rajm (stoning); we read it and we understood it and we guarded it; the Prophet did stone (adulterers to death) and we also stoned after him, but I fear that when more time passes away, a sayer would say, We do not find the verse of rajm in the Book of Allah” {Bu. 87:16}.

According to another version he is reported to have added:

“Were it not that people would say that `Umar has added in the Book of Allah that which is not in it, I would have written it” {AD. 37:24}.

The argument attributed to `Umar is very unsound. He admitted that the Qur’an did not contain any verse prescribing the punishment of stoning for adulterers, and at the same time he is reported as stating that there was such a verse in what Allah revealed. In all probability what `Umar meant, if he ever spoke those words, was that the verse of stoning was to be found in the Jewish sacred book, the Torah, which was undoubtedly a Divine revelation, and that the Prophet stoned adulterers to death. The use of words “Book of God” (Kitab Allah) for the Torah is common in the Qur’an itself, the Torah being again and again spoken of as Kitab Allah or the Book of God, or al-Kitab, i.e., the Book {2:213, etc.}. In all likelihood `Umar only spoke of rajm as the punishment of adultery in the Mosaic law and he was misunderstood. At any rate he could not have spoken the words attributed to him. Had there been such a verse of the Qur’an, he would have brought it to the notice of other Companions of the Prophet, when a complete written copy was first prepared in the time of Abu Bakr at his own suggestion. The words, as attributed to him in some of these reports, are simply meaningless. How could he say that there was a verse of the Qur’an which he would have written down in the Qur’an, but he feared that people would say that he had made an addition to the Qur’an, that is to say, added to it what was not a part of it? A verse could not be said to be a part of the Qur’an and not a part of the Qur’an at one and the same time.

There is further evidence in tradition itself that `Umar himself, at least in one reported case (and it is a reliable report), punished adultery with flogging as laid down in the Qur’an in 24:2, and not with stoning to death. According to Bukhari, one of `Umar’s collectors, Hamzah by name, found that a married man who had committed adultery with his wife’s slave girl had been punished by `Umar with a hundred stripes, and he referred the case to `Umar, and `Umar upheld his first decision {Bu. 39:1}. His own action therefore negatives the report which attributes to him the statement that stoning to death as a punishment for adultery was an ordinance contained in a Quranic verse. An explanation is sometimes offered, that such a verse had been revealed but that it was abrogated afterwards, though the ordinance contained in it remained effective. There is no sense at all in this explanation. If the words of the verse were abrogated, the ordinance contained in those words went along with them. No ordinance can be given except in words, and if the words are abrogated, the ordinance is also abrogated. If therefore such a verse was ever revealed (for which there is no testimony worth the name), the admission that it was abrogated leaves the matter where it was before its revelation {see also pp. 37-46 of “The Religion of Islam”}.

Accusation of adultery

A false accusation of adultery is punished almost as severely as adultery itself:

And those who accuse free women and bring not four witnesses, flog them (with) eighty stripes and never accept their evidence, and these are the transgressors – Except those who afterwards repent and act aright; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful (24: 4,5).

It may be added here that while in ordinary matters two witnesses are required {verse 2:286}, in the case of an accusation of adultery four witnesses must be produced. Thus a case of adultery can be established only on the strongest possible evidence. That circumstantial evidence is accepted is shown by the Qur’an itself in Joseph’s case who, when accused of an assault on the chief’s wife, was declared free of the charge on circumstantial evidence {verses 12:26-28}. There are also a number of traditions showing that circumstantial evidence was accepted when it led to the establishment of a certain fact.

In the current issue that the documentary tries to malign Prophet Muhammad with is actually an egg on the face of the makers of the movie themselves who still cling to their Torah. Anyone who reads Quran, will not find the nonsense of stoning in it, for which one has to refer to Torah itself. This case in point is directly addressed by Quran:

3:23. Have you not seen those who are given a portion of the Book?

[Footnote] The Jews are spoken of as being given only a portion of the Book, because much of it had already been lost. Moreover, the Torah was not a complete law.

They are invited to the Book of Allah [– Quran] that it may decide between them, then some of them turn back and they withdraw.

[Footnote] The reference here is to the broad principles of religion regarding which the Jews and the Christians differed. The Book of Allah is the Holy Quran which gave a decision in the differences between them.

The take away message from the above discussion is that Jews needed Quran then and now. Factually, the documentary must be thanked for raising an issue that vehemently makes an urgent case for abrogation of Torah. If nothing else, at least for its human tampered law that must be abandoned and the hadith under discussion proves that irrespective of whether stoning was written in Torah, the Jews factually wanted to abandon it themselves. It was this avoidance of law in Torah that was the sole reason for their coming to the Prophet in the hope for an alternate Law. An alternate law that did come, thought a little late as outlined in verses 24:2 and 4:25 above. It is to these necessities of the law that Quran states:

2:106. Whatever Message We abrogate or abandon it, We bring a better (Message) than that or (at least) the like of it [that which is with them, though mostly tampered]. Do you not know that Allâh is indeed Possessor of power to do all He will. [Nooruddin]

16:101. And Allâh knows very well the need of what He reveals [in light of tampering of the older Scriptures], yet when We replace a revelation [because of its tampering] with another revelation [afresh] they say (to you), `You are only a fabricator (of lies).’ The truth is, however, that most of them know nothing [of how much their Scriptures have been tampered with overtime]. [Nooruddin]

Unbeknownst to the documentary, it has only proven beyond doubt in the current issue that:

3:4. … And He has revealed (the Qur’ân as) the Criterion of judgement (between truth and falsehood)…[Nooruddin]


References:

Note: {text enclosed in the curly brackets above contains the footnotes of the printed edition of the book – Religion of Islam}
Note: [text enclosed in square brackets above is not part of the original quoted sources]
Unless stated otherwise, 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
The Religion of Islam – Muhammad Ali
Yahweh – Wikipedia
Chosen People – Wikipedia
Damned if you do, Damned if you don’t – The Phrase Finder
Dove World Outreach Center Quran-burning controversy – Wikipedia