PART II – THERE IS NO GOD BUT ALLAH AND MUHAMMAD IS HIS MESSENGER
5. “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah”
This is the core declaration by a Muslim which unburdens one from all the external and internal Gods, both material and non-material, while only bowing to THE GOD, Allah. Prophet is no more than a Messenger, though a perfect exemplar. This declaration prevents the attribution of a super human status to the Prophet, which unfortunately was ascribed to those before him, to the extent that some were and to this day accepted as Gods, rather than mere human Messengers that they were.
6. In Islamic theology the prophet Muhammad is considered Al-Insan-al-Kamil which is the perfect man.
7: 157. `Those who follow this perfect Messenger, the Arab Prophet whom they find described in the Torah and the Evangel which are with them, who enjoins upon them that which is right and forbids them that which is wrong, and who makes lawful for them all the pure and good things, and makes unlawful all the impure and bad things, and who relieves them of their heavy burden and shackles that weigh them down. Indeed those who believe in him and honour him and serve him and follow the light that has been sent down with him, it is these who will attain their goal.'
“had it not been for Muhammad we would not have been able to appreciate the Divine institution of Prophethood.” – The Ideal Prophet – Khwaja Kamaluddin.
7. Muhammad wiped out Jewish tribes of Medina, Banu-Nadir, Banu-Qainqah, Banu-Quraiza.
Only these three tribes for their treachery were exiled out of Medina by the local government. They were allowed to leave with all their moveable property while the immoveable property they were allowed to sell. Besides these three, there were other peaceful Jewish groups in Medina that are identified in ‘Sahifa’ i.e. compact of Medina namely – Jews of Bani Al-Najjar, Bani Al Harith, Bani Saeeda, Bani Jusham, Bani Al Aws, Thaalba, and the Jaffna, (a clan of the Bani Thaalba) and the Bani Al Shutayba [Constitution of Medina]; in total about 36,000 to 42,000.
Up to 900 Quraizites were beheaded.
While the siege of in Medina by Makkans was thwarted by dug trenches (~627 CE), concurrently Banu-Quraiza of Medina, broke the treaty with Muslims and supported the besieging Makkans. After the siege of Medina ended in failure, no more than 16 mutinous Quraizaites were killed on the orders of a judge of their own choosing who belonged to their friendly clan, and not on the orders of Muhammad. The “odd tales” of 900 Banu Quraizah beheadings is transposition of history from that of Jewish Masada at the hands of Romans. Isn’t it strange that Jewish chronicles which cover every infliction in history do not mention the so called 900 killed during early Islam? Answer is simple, it never happened.
8. Imaginative parallels of beheadings during Iraq War-II as with Banu Quraizah based upon Sirat, a book by Ibn-Ishaq.
Sirat is not a book of history but of tales especially based upon Jewish legends of Banu Quraizah.
9. Unlike other Books, Quran is unalterable word of God, thus contains the Divine Wisdom, the Umal-Kitab, the mother of the book.
16:102. Say, `The Spirit of Holiness [– Angel Gabriel] has brought this (Qur'ân) down from your Lord to suit the requirement of truth and wisdom, (Allâh has revealed it) so that He may strengthen those who believe in their faith and so that (this may serve as) a guidance and good tidings for Muslims.”
43:4. And it (- the Qur’ân) lies (safe) with Us in the Mother of the Book (which is the source of all knowledge), and (it is) indeed eminently sublime and full of wisdom.
Qur’ân expounds its message with proofs based upon logic, reason, history, physical phenomenon, science and sociology, when it discusses monotheism, human nature, equality and fraternity of man, the sinless soul, and the physical and moral states of man. On the same principles it describes the purpose of the man and the universe he lives in. It declares nature as being subservient to man. It outlines virtues and sins, paths of salvation, emphasis on action rather than homilies, the state of life after death, and the concept of hell and heaven. Qur’ân launders the previous prophet from all of the historical smears and offers this as a doable example of Qur’ân. It brings morality, spirituality, physicality and science into a mutually complementary logic. Qur’ân declares the divine guarding of its own everlasting purity, free from adulteration and contradiction and with an open challenge to any to bring even a chapter matching that of Qur’ân. It identifies the divine origin of all monotheistic faiths and the completion of religion with Islam. “The Light of the Quran & Tabloid on Criterion for Religions” by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, “The Divine Origin of the Holy Quran” by Muhammad Ali and “Introduction to the Study of Holy Quran” by Khwaja Kamaluddin.
Some verses of Quran abrogate [Nasikh] others. There is conflict of literal and figurative aspects of Quran.
There is no abrogation in Quran, while it abrogates previous Laws. “And Allâh knows very well the need of what He reveals, yet when We replace a revelation with another revelation they say (to you), `You are only a fabricator (of lies).' The truth is, however, that most of them know nothing – 16:101”. This verse clearly points to the objections and anxieties of the Jews of Medina that the Prophet is allegedly ‘fabricating’ something that is abrogating and ‘replacing’ their older Scriptures. Of note is that the polytheist Arabs had no book that could have been abrogated by the Quran.
Quran settles the debate of literal and figurative aspects which form the basis of its lasting Message – 3:7. He it is Who has revealed the Book to you; some of its verses are decisive — they are the basis of the Book — and others are allegorical. Then those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part of it which is allegorical, seeking to mislead, and seeking to give it (their own) interpretation…
10. 98:6. Verily, those who disbelieve (in the religion of Islam, the Quran and Prophet Muhammad) from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and Al-Mushrikoon will abide in the Fire of Hell. They are the worst of creatures. – The Noble Quran, Translated with parenthetical note by Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali and Dr. Muhammad Mushin Khan
Above is one of the oft repeated out of context quotations of verses which tears away the Message and purpose of Quran. The full context of the said verse is brought to light in adjoining verses:
98:1-8. Those who disbelieve from among the people of the Scripture and (from among) those who associate gods with God, would not be rid of their bigotry and rejection of Faith until there should come to them the manifest proof – A great Messenger (- Muhammad) from Allâh reciting (to them) written leaves of the Book, free from all impurities, Consisting of eternal laws and commandments. Those to whom the Scripture was given became divided only after the manifest proof had come to them. (They have done it) though (in Islam) they were enjoined nothing more than to serve Allâh, bearing true faith in Him, (and) being upright, and to observe Prayer and to keep on presenting the Zakât. That is the true and firm conduct of faith. Verily, those who disbelieve from among the people of the Scripture and (from among) those who associate gods with God shall be consigned to the Fire of Gehenna. Therein they shall abide. It is they who are the worst of all creatures. Verily, those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, it is they who are the noblest of all creatures Their reward is with their Lord – Gardens of Eternity served with running streams (to keep them green and flourishing), they shall abide therein, for ever and ever. Allâh is well-pleased with them and they are well-pleased with Him (in their state of highest bliss). Such is (the reward) for a person who stands in awe of his Lord.
The above verses in full context bring out the purpose of Islam – to believe in monotheism, righteous actions, prayers and alms giving.
11. Quran is simply set of direct commandments or else narratives, descriptions, something much distorted descriptions of Judaism and Christianity.
Quran itself answers the above doubts and allegations, which none of the previous scriptures in their current form can match:
12:2. Surely We have revealed it — an Arabic Quran — that you may understand.
41:44. Had We made it a Qur'ân in indistinct and inexpressive language, these (faultfinders) would have surely said, `Why has not (the subject matter of) its verses been made clear in exposition?' What! can indistinct and inexpressive language and an eloquently clear language (be one and the same thing). Say, `It is a wonderful guidance and healing to those who believe.'
17:89. And certainly We have made clear for people in this Quran every kind of description…
41:3. (It is) a Book, the verses of which are detailed and clear in exposition. It is beautifully inter linked, (and it is in a language that) makes the meanings eloquently clear. It is very useful for a people who have knowledge.
10:37. And this Quran is not such as could be forged by those besides Allah, but it is a verification of what is before it and a clear explanation of the Book, there is no doubt in it, from the Lord of the worlds.
2:2. This Book, in which there is no doubt…
4:82. Will they not then meditate on the Quran? And if it were from any other than Allah, they would have found in it many a discrepancy.
12. Hadiths are absolutely necessary to make any sense of the Quran because Allah addresses Muhammad in the Quran and they talk of incidence in Muhammad’s life but they don’t fill in the narrative details. So, you have to go to the Hadith; the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad in order to understand what is being said in the Quran and why.
Hadiths are human efforts to preserve the life, actions and sayings attributed to Prophet. All for a good reason:
33:21. Certainly you have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent exemplar for him who hopes in Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.
Maulana Muhammad Ali explains in his commentary the rationale for above verse in its footnote:
“This verse states that the Holy Prophet Muhammad is the best exemplar and the highest model of virtue for the faithful under all circumstances. He was a general, soldier, lawmaker, judge, husband and father. He punished tyrants for wrongs they had inflicted on innocent persons, forgave his persecuting enemies after overcoming them, and overlooked the faults of his followers. Hence he was an excellent exemplar and a perfect model in all walks of life, and he not only gave practical rules of guidance, but gave by his life a practical illustration of all those rules.”
Hadiths do have a role to explain Quran, provided they are not in conflict with the message of Quran. In the latter case, one can make a simple argument that either a given hadith is not the saying of the Prophet Muhammad or its collection is not fully contextualized to when and why it was uttered. This general rule applies not only to Hadith, but to any commentary of Quran by anyone whether in history or even in our own times. This standard to reject a Hadith is simply based upon the guidelines of Quran, according to which the actual sayings and actions of Muhammad are in congruence with the Message of the Quran:
6:50. I do not say to you, I have with me the treasures of Allah, nor do I know the unseen, nor do I say to you that I am an angel; I follow only what is revealed to me. Say: Are the blind and the seeing alike? Do you not then reflect?
7:203. And when you do not bring them a sign, they say: Why do you not demand it? Say: I follow only what is revealed to me from my Lord. These are clear proofs from your Lord and a guidance and a mercy for a people who believe.
46:9. Say: I am not the first of the messengers, and I do not know what will be done with me or with you. I follow only what is revealed to me, and I am but a plain warner.
The topic of Hadith is fully dealt by Muhammad Ali in his book “Religion of Islam” [p. 44-71]
13. Sahih Al-Bukhari – Vol. 4, Bk. 52, Hadith 53 – The Prophet said, “Nobody who dies and finds good from Allah (in Hereafter) would wish to come back to this world even if he were given the whole world and whatever is in it…except the martyr, who on seeing on the superiority of martyrdom, would like to come back to the world and get killed again (in Allah’s cause).”
As a rule, each Hadith has to be read in the light of Quran. If its content and message supports Quran, then it could be a commentary on the latter, else it has to be rejected. The message of the above Hadith can be teased out as follows:
i) “Nobody who dies and finds good from Allah (in Hereafter) would wish to come back to this world even if he were given the whole world and whatever is in it”
The keywords in this excerpt are anyone who “dies and finds good from Allah (in Hereafter)”. Essentially, only those dear departed are addressed who acted in this world in congruence to Allah’s guidance whether out of their inborn virtue or finding the right path through the Quran. Then, under Law of Recompense that is mentioned throughout the Quran, such blessed people in the Hereafter will be rewarded to such a great magnitude for their good deeds that hypothetically if given a choice “Nobody … would wish to come back to this world even if he were give the whole world and whatever is in it.” The world should have a problem only if the expectations of hereafter are less than the whole world and whatever is in it.
ii) “…except the martyr, who on seeing on the superiority of martyrdom, would like to come back to the world and get killed again (in Allah’s cause).”
The fundamental question is – What is Allah’s cause that for sure does not include empty homilies, empty gesticulations, and empty sacraments? In Quran the martyrs in Allah’s cause are those who gave up their lives in service of humanity to rid it of the crutches of dogmas, racism, slavery and apartheid. Many verses could be quoted from Quran that define martyrdom, but suffice to state for these martyrs:
2:154. And do not count as dead those who are killed in the cause of Allâh. Rather (they are) living, only you perceive not (their life).
Quran further elaborates on some of the moral causes that might result in martyrdom, for example:
4:75. What (excuse) have you (to offer) that you would not fight in the cause of Allâh [The Lord of Mankind 114:1] and for (the rescue of) the weak and the down-trodden men and women and the children who all say, `Our Lord! take us out of this town of which the people are tyrants, and grant us a defender who comes from You and a helper by Your Own grace.’
The Prophet said , “A single endeavor (of fighting) in Allah’s Cause in the afternoon or in the forenoon is better than all the world and whatever is in it.”
In Islam, fighting is allowed only in self-defense or against persecution of any religion or lawlessness:
2:190. And fight in the cause of Allâh those who fight and persecute you, but commit no aggression. Surely, Allâh does not love the aggressors.
2:191. And slay them (the aggressors against whom fighting is made incumbent) when and where you get the better of them, in disciplinary way, and turn them out whence they have turned you out. (Killing is bad but) lawlessness is even worse than carnage. But do not fight them in the precincts of Masjid al-Harâm (the Holy Mosque at Makkah) unless they fight you therein. Should they attack you (there) then slay them. This indeed is the recompense of such disbelievers.
2:192. But if they desist (from aggression) then, behold, Allâh is indeed Great Protector, Ever Merciful.
2:193. And fight them until persecution is no more and religion is (freely professed) for Allâh [ – the God of Mankind – 114:1]. But if they desist (from hostilities) then (remember) there is no punishment except against the unjust (who still persist in persecution).
History has always recognized its heroes who died while protecting the weak and standing up to tyrants. It is this kind of “endeavor (of fighting) in Allah’s Cause in the afternoon or in the forenoon” that “is better than all the world and whatever is in it.”
14. Since there is no sense of natural morality in Islam, you have to go into either the Quran or Hadith to find out what is allowed and what is not allowed.
The natural morality in Islam is the innate nature of the faith, which can be stated simply by one verse alone:
30:30. So pay your whole-hearted attention to (the cause of) faith as one devoted (to pure faith), turning away from all that is false. (And follow) the Faith of Allâh (-Islam) to suit the requirements of which He has made the nature of mankind. There can be no change in the nature (of creation) which Allâh has made. That is the right and most perfect Faith, yet most people do not know (it).
For example, Quran quite succinctly draws attention to current state of world that has blurred the boundaries of morality vs. wealth, freedom of speech vs. slander and defamation:
104:1. Woe to every slanderer, defamer,
104:2. who amasses wealth and counts it
104:3. he thinks that his wealth will make him abide forever.
104:4. No indeed! He will certainly be hurled into the crushing disaster;
104:5. and what will make you realize what the crushing disaster is?
104:6. It is the Fire kindled by Allah [–a consequence of greed],
104:7. which rises over the hearts.
104:8. Surely it is closed in on them,
104:9. in extended columns.
15. There are very clear instructions from the Prophet Muhammad that it is the responsibility of the Muslims to meet the unbelievers on the battlefield and to invite them either to accept Islam or second-class Dhimmi status in the Islamic state and if they refuse both of those then to wage war against them.
Muslims can meet their enemies in a battlefield under a few conditions only – self-defense, prevention of tyranny and lawlessness or for the sake of religious freedom for all. In doing so, there could be a strategic preemptive maneuver if a prevailing state of war exists – refer to Issues 1, 8 and 13 which outline excerpts from Quran to validate these claims.
In Islam there is no room for racial, gender or religious discrimination and none of these factors can contribute to any war:
4:1. O you people! take as a shield your Lord Who created you from a single being. The same stock from which He created the man He created his spouse, and through them both He caused to spread a large number of men and women. O people! regard Allâh with reverence in Whose name you appeal to one another, and (be regardful to) the ties of relationship (particularly from the female side). Verily, Allâh ever keeps watch over you.
10:19. And mankind were but a single nation, then they fell into variance…
25:54. And it is He Who created human being from water and has given him relations by descent and (kindred) by marriage (and thus sought to establish a civilization and social life based on oneness of humanity under oneness of God). And your Lord is All-Powerful.
30:22. The creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your tongues and colours are (also some) of His signs. Behold there are sure signs for the learned people in this (unity of mankind and Oneness of the Creator).
49:13. O mankind! We have created you out of a male and a female, and We have made you tribes and sub-tribes that you may recognise (and do good to) one another. Surely the most honourable of you in the sight of Allâh is he who guards against evil the most. Verily, Allâh is All- knowing, All-Aware.
21:92. (Mankind!) surely, this your religion is the one single religion (of all the Prophets), and I am your Lord, so worship Me.
The actions of Prophet Muhammad and the heads of state in Islamic history enforcing equality of all, especially the extra accommodation of non-Muslims under Muslim rule are evidenced in secular history by the contractual obligation he undertook – CHARTER TO CHRISTIANS by Muhammad ( Jihad in Islam, by M.Y.K., The Muslim Revival, p. 143-146, June 1936), by his companions – STATE LETTERS OF CALIPH UMAR (Islamic Review, p. 10, October 1956) and the Muslim Kings – THE DECREE OF AURANGZEB of India (Islamic Review, p. 124-125, April-May, 1925).
16. 9:29 – Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger and fight against those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah [- the Poll Tax] with willing submission and feel themselves subdued. – The Noble Koran
Reading of the said verse out of context is equivalent of reading penal code of a country without its constitution, the actual source of the laws.
9:29. Fight against such of the people who despite having been given the Scripture [and the Law and the morality that emanates from it – as recorded in secular history,] do not (really) believe in Allâh and the Last Day, [and had no sense of accountability – which can be independently verified in history] and who do not hold unlawful what Allâh and His Messenger have declared to be unlawful, and do not subscribe to the true faith, [and trample the very moral basis of the law]…
The keyword in above verse is unlawful. These clauses are only valid and enforceable in context of a sitting government and its set of written laws including taxation. No government can be functional without law enforcement and tax collection. The law enforcement was warranted then as is now in “civilized” societies of the world. Some of the unlawful and forbidden activities requiring full force of the law are sampled from Quran elsewhere e.g. Money Matters and Loan Sharking 2:275-79, 4:161; Bankruptcy Protection 2:280. Mob Justice 17:33, 4:29-30; Health and Safety Code 16:115, 2:173; Incest 4:23-24.Human trafficking – Sex Trade 7:33, 24:3, 25:68; Human Dignity and Defamation 49:11; Anti-State conspiracy and Sleeper Cells 58:8-10 etc.
9:29….until they pay the Jizyah (- the commutation tax), provided they can afford it, and they are content with their state of subjection (having become incorporated in the Islamic government) [as payment of tax is the first step towards citizenship and the rights that it confers. Conforming to tax laws is in letter and spirit an “Oath of Allegiance” to the state, else Internal Revenue Service has no option but to act against such a person, legally and if needed by police action].
The Jizyah was a sliding tax rate; up to a maximum of 12 dirhams annually for non-Muslims (see Issue 15 – Muhammad’s Charter to Christians) and that too provided they can afford it, while it also exempted them from compulsory military service. On the other hand, the Muslims had a fixed 2.5% wealth tax aka Zakat, annually and was also mandatory for them to serve in the military. By pure numbers and responsibilities, factually it was the Muslims who were ‘discriminated’ against as compared to non-Muslims citizens that are called Dhimmis. This is the minimum undertaking of Dhimma by the Muslims, the extra responsibility, accommodation, care and protection of non-Muslims under their rule – see Issue 15.
17. The Quran is broken down into two sections. One is called Makiyyah, which means what was inspired to the Prophet of Islam, in Makkah. One is called Madaniyyah – what was inspired to Prophet of Islam in Medina or Yathrib…
There are no fault lines of Makkiyyah or Madaniyyah verses in Quran. A chapter (-surah) may be termed by some historically curious as Makkiyyah if it’s opening verse (-ayah) was revealed in Makkah. There is no hard and fast rule that some or all of the verses of the same chapter too were revealed in Makkah. Even if the rest of the verses of the chapter were revealed in Makkah, they might have been revealed years apart. Same holds true for Madaniyya. This documentary tries to force a re-structure of Quran into chronological order which it is not. Quran is a preexisting full body of knowledge from the first cause, generally called as God, and specifically in Islam – Allah, though it was revealed in portions and arranged by the Prophet in the Book, the Quran under Divine guidance. The preexistence of this whole body of logic is metaphorically referred to as:
85:21. This is also the truth that it is a glorious Qur’ân,
85:22. (Inscribed) in a Tablet well-guarded (against corruption, distortion and destruction).[Note: this is not the last verse revealed, but Quran is referring to itself as a whole preexisting Book]
Prophet Muhammad never differentiated the verses and the message of Quran along Makkiyyah or Madaniyyah lines. In general, purely on historical basis, Makkiayah verses are more centered on the fundamentals of faith, prophecies and relationship of man with God; whereas the Madaniyyah verses deal with putting faith into action, fulfillment of prophecies and social dealings of an individual in a governed society – see also “Religion of Islam” [p. 38-39] by Muhammad Ali.
Whether a verse was revealed in Makkah or Medina has more of historical value and has no bearing on the fundamental truths of the message and there are no contradictions therein. Quran has already answered any such doubts beforehand:
25:32. And those who disbelieve say, `Why has not (the whole of) the Qur’ân been revealed to him all at once? (But We have revealed it) in this manner (- piece by piece out of necessity). And (in spite of the fact that it has not been revealed all at once,) We have arranged it in an excellent (form and order of) arrangement (and free of all contradictions) so that We may thereby lend strength to your heart.
25:33. They bring you no parable (by way of an objection) but We have provided you with the true fact and perfect interpretation (of it, in answer to the objection beforehand).
..In Makkah you find much of the peaceful verses…
In Medina too, essentially throughout Quran there are peaceful verses and no violent message, not only in letter but in spirit as well, because it is the very definition of Islam i.e. peace and free of anxieties. This topic will progress further in the documentary and any specific allegations shall be dealt with thence.
…Even the Muslims used to worship in direction of prayer towards Jerusalem. They saw many elements of the unity between Jewish and Christians and Muslim faith.
It is an article of faith for Muslims to believe in the same God, the Prophets and the revealed original Books of the Jews and Christians and just not offer a politically correct conciliatory lip service. Many verses can be quoted to validate this statement, but following sample should suffice:
42:13. He has ordained for you the same course of faith as He enjoined on Noah (to adopt), and which We have revealed to you, and it is that (same faith) which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, Jesus, so keep the faith and do not differ in it.
29:46. (Believers!) observe all the propriety when you argue with the people of the Scripture; but those who are bent upon behaving unjustly among them do not agree to these principles (so deal with them accordingly). And say (to them), `We believe in all that is revealed to us and in that which has been revealed to you, and our God and your God is One, and to Him we stand resigned.
In the beginning Muslims, on their own volition used to pray in the direction of Jerusalem, the home of Abrahamic chain of Prophets, till the time they were redirected in the direction of the House built by Prophet Abraham and his son Ishmael (-Ismail), which incidentally too was a wish and prayer of the Prophet Muhammad:
2:142. The weak-minded among the people will say, `What has made these (Muslims) turn from their (first) Qiblah (- the direction they were facing in their Prayer, the holy place of worship at Jerusalem) to which they conformed (so far)?’ Say, `To Allâh belongs the east and the west, He guides him who wishes (to be guided) to the right path.’
2:144. Verily, We have seen the turning of your attention (O Prophet!) repeatedly towards heaven, We will certainly give you possession of the Qiblah of your liking. So turn your attention in the direction of Masjid al-Harâm (- the Holy Mosque at Makkah) and wherever you (O Muslims!) be, turn your attentions in the direction of it. And surely those (scholars) who have been given the Scripture know for certain that this (change of Qiblah) is a true commandment proceeding from their Lord. And (as for the disbelievers,) Allâh is not at all unmindful as to what they do.
18. The peaceful verses in Quran almost invariably date back to beginnings of Muhammad’s prophetic career in his native city of Makkah where he was powerless, where he was only beginning to attract followers.
Yes, Muhammad was seemingly “powerless” but not alone or despaired:
8:26. And (recall the time) when you were only a few and were looked upon as weak in the land, you were afraid lest the people should take you by storm, but He provided you refuge (in Madînah) and strengthened you with His help and provided you with good and pure things so that you might give thanks.
History was on the side of Muhammad, just as it was for the Israelites under Pharoah:
28:3. We recount to you (a portion) of the true account of Moses and Pharaoh with all accuracy for the benefit of the people who would believe.
28:5. And We chose to confer favour upon those who had been rendered weak in the land and to make them leaders and to bestow a kingdom upon them, thus make them inheritors (of Our blessings).
When the persecution reaches its extreme, Prophets and their followers are provided refuge away from their home base that we see in example of Moses and Jesus before:
23: 50. And We made the son of Mary and his mother a sign, (and a model of virtue), and We gave them both refuge upon a worth-living lofty plateau abounding in (green and fruitful) valleys and springs of running water.
For Moses the refuge was in Palestine, for Jesus it was Kashmir and for Muhammad it was Medina.
The same Divine plan for Muhammad did not stop at providing refuge to him and his followers who were only a few and were looked upon as weak in the land and powerless, but it went on to provide a complete moral and material victory to the same powerless:
110:1. The help of Allâh and the victory (over the Makkans) has indeed come (in fulfillment of the prophecies),
110:2. And you see people thronging in to the fold of the Faith of Allâh.
For Prophets Moses and Jesus there was no returning, whereas Muhammad returned peacefully to his home town with complete victory over minds and hearts of his tormentors by his Message and his personal example.
19: Only a few relatives and friends accepted the religions when Prophet was in Makkah. He had many foes so the revelations of that time were very peaceful.
In the first three years of Islam, but for “only a few relatives and friends accepted religion at that time”, rest either ignored or opposed him. Despite the ever increasing physical torture and persecution, Islam had forty converts by the third year that grew to about fifty in the fifth year, but they were definitely more that twelve apostles. Some of them were actually bodily dismembered by pulling of camels in opposite directions; others molested and killed in front of family members. Not one of them recanted. Not one of them sold Muhammad for thirty pieces of silver. Not one of them spat on Muhammad’s face. There was something in his Message that made his followers endure it all.
By the fifth year of the call, the number of Muslims had grown to fifty, who in the face of incessant persecution were forced to migrate to Ethiopia:
16:41. We will certainly provide a goodly abode in this world for those who emigrated (from their homes) in the cause of Allâh after they were dealt with unjustly. And truly the reward (that they shall have) in the Hereafter is greater still. If the disbelievers but knew (it would have been much better for them).
16:42. These are those (emigrants) who patiently persevered and put their trust in their Lord (alone).
The following is the speech delivered by Jafar, an early companion of the Prophet, in the court of King of Negus (Ethiopia). He was one of the above immigrants who were on the verge of being extradited back on the instigation of the emissary from Makkah:
“O King! we were an ignorant people, given to idolatry. We used to eat corpses even of dead animals, and to do all kinds of disgraceful things. We did not make good our obligations to our relations, and ill-treated our neighbours. The strong among us would thrive at the expense of the weak, till, at last, God sent a prophet for our reformation. His descent, his righteousness, his integrity and his piety are well-known to us. He called us to the worship of God, and exhorted us to give up idolatry and stone worship. He enjoined us to speak truth, to make good our trusts, to respect ties of kinship, and to do good to our neighbours. He taught us to shun everything foul and to avoid bloodshed. He forbade all manner of indecent things telling lies, misappropriating orphans’ belongings, and bringing false accusations against the chastity of women. So we believed in him, followed him, and acted upon his teachings. Thereupon our people began to wrong us, to subject us to tortures, thinking that we might thus abjure our faith and revert to idolatry. When, however, their cruelties exceeded all bounds. we came out to seek an asylum in your country, where we hope we shall come to no harm.” [Muhammad The Prophet, by Maulana Muhammad Ali – p. 53]
20: Well it all changes with the establishment of Muhammad’s theocratic statelet in the city of Medina. He becomes a warlord. He becomes the head of the totalitarian state. He becomes very rich. Very powerful and very intolerant. And then many of these early verses in fact get abrogated.
Never has it been possible in history, for one to be a warlord, totalitarian, very rich, powerful, intolerant yet declared by secular history to be the most successful man ever on the basis of him being – Active as a social reformer, diplomat, merchant, philosopher, orator, legislator, military leader, humanitarian, philanthropist – which is how Muhammad is ranked #1 in The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History. There are many good reasons why Michael H. Hart describes Muhammad as – “supremely successful” in both the religious and secular realms, which this documentary apparently fails to perceive.
After the years of incessant persecution proved futile, the Makkans had made the offer to Muhammad of great riches, totalitarian and theocratic powers, women, heaps of gold and silver which he rejected when he was “powerless” (Trifkovic’s own word – Issue 18). All this was offered to him by the delegation of Makkans sometime before his immigration to Medina in the following words:
IIf your ambition is to possess wealth, we will amass for you as much of it as you wish; if you aspire to win honour and power, we are prepared to swear allegiance to you as our overlord and king; if you have a fancy for beauty, you shall have the hand of the finest maiden of your own choice.” [Muhammad the Prophet, p. 60]
To all these temptations Muhammad replied:
“I want neither pelf nor power. I have been commissioned by Allah as Warner to mankind. I deliver His message to you. Should you accept it, you shall have felicity in this life as well as in the life to come; should you reject the word of Allah, surely Allah will decide between you and me.” [Muhammad the Prophet, p. 60]
It is to this that the Holy Quran refers in the following verse:
17:74. And if We had not made thee firm, thou mightest have indeed inclined to them a little.” [Muhammad the Prophet, p. 60]
It totally makes no sense for Muhammad to endure decades of incessant persecution for himself, his family, his friends, his peers, and his followers just to get to Medina to become in words of Serge Trifkovic – “a warlord, totalitarian, very rich, powerful, intolerant” which was offered to him on a platter in Makkah in the first place.
It is a well recorded fact of history that the alleged “warlord” left his family with meager provisions upon his death. By public announcement he had paid off all his debts before his death which amounted to no more than a few dirhams (dollars). He was buried in his own home and not on some public land that would incur favor from taxpayer. His home was small and made of mortar and was bare of any furnishings as he used to sleep on palm leaves mat laid on the floor. Some warlord!
21: In surah 2, verse 106 of Quran, it says, or Allahs says, I should say, that if we abrogate it, We being Allah, abrogate a verse, then we will give you one that’s better.
The Noble Quran, 2:106, Whatever a verse (revelation) do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring a better one or similar to it. Know you not that Allah is able to do all things?
This is the basis, the foundation of the Quranic doctrine of Nasikh, which is abrogation and it is the idea that when there are verses that are contradictory or appear to be contradictory in the Quran, the one that is revealed later chronologically is better as Allah has promised and cancels the earlier one.
The above quoted verse is put forth as another wrongful argument to validate abrogation in Quran:
2:106. Whatever Message We abrogate or abandon it, We bring a better (Message) than that or (at least) the like of it. Do you not know that Allâh is indeed Possessor of power to do all He will.
The above verse continues the subject matter of its preceding verse 2:105, which is only and only about people of the Scripture i.e. Jews and Christians and the subsequent verse 2:106 is only and only about their Books, the Torah and Evangel. Any mention of Quran in context of verses 2:105 and 2:106 is sign of sheer illiteracy or plain malicious distortion.
Even though the verse 2:106 cannot be quoted singularly, still it expounds the philosophy of when a previous Divine Message is abrogated then in its stead – We bring a better (Message) than that or (at least) the like of it. So, the natural question then arises as to which is that – Whatever Message We abrogate or abandon it? That answer is crystal clear in the preceding verse:
2:105. Neither those from among the people of the Scripture who disbelieved, nor the polytheists like that any good should be sent down to you from your Lord. But Allâh singles out for His mercy whomsoever He wishes [be it a non-Jewish Prophet] (to receive His mercy), and Allâh is of abounding bounty.
Obviously in the above verse none of the people who disbelieved were willing to accept that any good should be sent down to you [–Muhammad and/or Muslims] from your Lord. Next question is that what was that sent down to you from your Lord? Of course, it was none but Quran. Clearly there was a turf war between Jews and Muslims. By accepting Quran as a revealed book, the Jews naturally had to give up Torah as abrogated. This tussle between Jews rejecting Muhammad and Quran instead of Torah is further brought to light by next verses:
2:108. Rather you (Jews!) like to question your Messenger (unduly) as Moses was questioned before? And he who adopts disbelief instead of belief, had undoubtedly strayed from the straight direction of the path.
2:109. Many of the people of the Scripture would love to turn you back after your having believed, into disbelievers, out of selfish envy, and after the truth (of this Qur'ân) has become apparent to them. But pardon (them) and overlook, until Allâh shall make manifest His will, indeed Allâh is Possessor of every power to do all He will.
Purely, as an example of abrogation of older scriptures, reader might like to read Leviticus 24:10-12. Not too surprisingly it is not only that Quran abrogates it (assuming the Leviticus is still in its original form), even Christians and Jews themselves abrogate it despite having full control of laws in Christian countries and Israel.
22: Now the violence started. Now you have to weigh between peaceful verses and non-peaceful verses. So the edict was that these were made null and void.
Yes, the incessant violence was started against the Prophet Muhammad and his followers from the beginnings of Islam by the Makkans, who latter were joined in by their allies of Arabia which also included the people of the Scripture.
23: It is indeed a very curious concept for a non-Muslim to accept the notion that God may change his mind about a topic and issue one injunction in AD 614 [Slide projected– The Noble Koran – 2:256 There is no compulsion (i.e. coercion) in religion.] And then a very different one in AD 627. [Slide projected – The Noble Koran – 9:5 Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them…But if they repent and accept Islam…then leave their way free.] But this is indeed what happened in Islam.
Verse 2:256 is cornerstone of Islam. Verse 9:5 as construed above is a totally out of context and a malicious distortion of the message of Quran. There is no contradiction between the two verses as they speak of totally different subjects. Rather, the subject matter of the context of 9:5 happens to protect what verse 2:256 stands for, both for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Reader is simply advised to read the said verse in its full context, as reproduced below:
9:1. (This is) a declaration of complete absolution on the part of Allâh and His Messenger (from all obligations) to those of the polytheists with whom you had entered into a treaty (but they broke it repeatedly).
9:2. So you may go about (freely O you breakers of the treaties!) in the land for four months (since the date of this declaration), and know that you cannot frustrate (the will of) Allâh, and (know) that Allâh will humiliate the disbelievers.
9:3. And this is a proclamation from Allâh and His Messenger to the people on the occasion of the Greater Pilgrimage (on the day of Sacrifice) that Allâh and His Messenger owe no obligation to these polytheists. If you (O polytheists!) turn to Him in repentance it is better for you. But if you turn away then know that you cannot frustrate (the will of) Allâh. And proclaim (O Prophet!) the news of a grievous punishment to these disbelievers;
9:4. Excepting those of the polytheists with whom you have entered into a treaty (and) who subsequently did not fail you in any manner, nor did they back up anyone against you. So abide by the treaty you had entered with them to the end of the term you have fixed with them. Allâh, surely loves those who keep their duty.
9:5. But when the prohibited (four) months (when no attack on the breakers of the treaties was permissible) have expired, slay such polytheists (who broke their treaties) wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every place from which it is possible to perceive the enemy and watch their movements. But if they turn in repentance and keep up Prayer and go on presenting the Zakât, leave their path free. Indeed, Allâh is Great Protector, Ever Merciful.
9:6. And if any of the polytheists seeks your protection, grant him protection so that he may hear the word of Allâh, then conduct him to a place where he feels himself safe and secure. That (treatment) is (to be meted out to them) because they are a people who have no knowledge (of Islam).
9:7. There can be no treaty (on the part) of these Polytheists (after their repeated violations of the same) in the sight of Allâh and His Messenger. This, however, does not apply to those with whom you entered into a treaty near the Holy Mosque (at Makkah). So long as they keep true to (the treaty for) you, you should also keep true (in maintaining the treaty) for them. Allâh, surely, loves those who become secure (against the breach of trusts).
9:8. How (can there be a treaty with deliberate violators of agreements) while, if they get the better of you they would respect no bond, nor words of honour in dealing with you. They would try to please you with (mere words of) their mouths whereas their hearts dissent (from what they say), and most of them are perfidious.
9:9. They have preferred paltry gains (- this world) to the revelations of Allâh and thus have turned (people) away from His path. Surely, evil is what they do!
9:10. They observe no bond nor any word of honour while dealing with one who trusts (them). It is these who are the transgressors.
9:11. But if (even) such (sworn antagonists) turn in repentance and keep up Prayer and go on presenting the Zakât, they are your brethren in faith. And We explain the commandments in detail for a people who know.
9:12. If they break their oaths after (they have ratified) their pledge and revile and commit aggression against your Faith, then fight such leaders of disbelief that they may desist. Indeed, solemn (binding) oaths have no value with them.
9:13. Will you not fight a people who have broken their solemn oaths and proposed to turn out the Messenger and were the first to commence (the fight) against you. Are you afraid of them? Nay, Allâh is more worthy that you should stand in awe of Him if you be (true) believers.
9:14. Fight them, Allâh will punish them at your hands and humiliate them and will grant you victory over them, and He will heal (the agonies of) the minds of a believing people.
9:15. And He may take away the suppressed rage of their (- the disbeliever's) hearts. And Allâh turns (with mercy) to him who wishes (Him to turn to him with grace). Verily, Allâh is All-Knowing, All-Wise.
24: It is very important to understand the Quran is not arranged chronologically but arranged on simply on the basis of longest chapter to the shortest.
Earlier, in Issue 17 an effort was made in the documentary to dismember Quran into geographical location of its revelation i.e. Makiyyah and Madinyyah Surahs. Now another tack is tried by citing length of Surahs. In next Issue 25, another angle to discredit Quran is made to divide Quran along peaceful and non-peaceful verses. Fact of the matter is that Quran fully stands intact despite these amateurish distortions. Each of its verses is complementary to any other, whether revealed across geography or time.
Following is a listing of number of verses in each of the Surah (chapter) in Quran. The table below represents the verse count horizontally from top-left to bottom-right e.g. Surah #1 has 7 verses, Surah #2 has 286 verses….the last Surah #114 has 6 verses:
7 286 200 176 120 165 206 75 129 109 123 111 43 52 99 128 111 110 98 135 112 78 118 64 77 227 93 88 69 60 34 30 73 54 45 83 182 88 75 85 54 53 89 59 37 35 38 29 18 45 60 49 62 55 78 96 29 22 24 13 14 11 11 18 12 12 30 52 52 44 28 28 20 56 40 31 50 40 46 42 29 19 36 25 22 17 19 26 30 20 15 21 11 8 8 19 5 8 8 11 11 8 3 9 5 4 7 3 6 3 5 4 5 6
The main body of Quran in terms of number of verses per Surah is skewed towards right in distribution, but so what? If that is the Divine Design, then so be it. Message of Quran is across the board pristine, relevant and for uplift of humanity.
25: “So you will find in the book itself some of these more tolerant verses at a later point in the book…”
[Quran projected with studio voice– 4.And I shall not worship That which you are Worshiping. 5.Nor will you worship That which I worship. 6.To you be your religion, And to me my religion (Islamic Monotheism).]
“…then the very intolerant ones advocating violence and subjugation of the infidels. But that does not mean that it came into being later on. Quite to the contrary, if there is ever a contradiction between two injunctions, the ones that came…”
[Quran projected with studio voice – 39. And fight them Until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism: i.e. worshiping others besides Allah) And the religion (worship) Will all be for Allah Alone (in the whole world). But if they cease (worshiping others besides Allah), then certainly, Allah Is All-Seer of what they do]
“…later on in Medina are the ones that retain their validity and the early ones from Makkah have been abrogated.”
Even though there are no violent verses in Quran, still for the sake of argument at least the documentary agrees that there are “peaceful” verses in Quran, some of which are reproduced below:
“There is no compulsion in religion.” — 2:256
“The Truth is from your Lord; so whoever wishes, let him believe, and whoever wishes, let him disbelieve.” — 18:29
“Clear proofs have indeed come to you from your Lord; so whoever sees, it is for the good of his own soul; and whoever is blind, it is to its harm. And I am not a keeper over you.” — 6:104
The so called “intolerant” verses identified by the documentary are reproduced below:
8:38. [After Makkans returned discomfited from their defeat at Badr – which is 120 miles from Makkah and 60 miles from Medina, 1000 strong against 313 Muslim, to them –] Say to those who disbelieve, if they cease (fighting), what is past will be forgiven them; and if they return (to it), then the example of those of old has already gone.
8:39. And fight with them until there is no more persecution, and all religions [note the plural – religions, i.e. Islam and all other religions] are for Allah [– the God]. But if they cease, then surely Allah is Seer of what they do.
8:40. And if they turn back, then know that Allah is your Patron. Most excellent the Patron and most excellent the Helper!
Reader is compelled to ask – are not the so called “intolerant” verses above factually protecting the tolerance in the “tolerant” verses? Fact of the matter is that instead of abrogating, the alleged “intolerant” verses are enforcing the “tolerant” verses.
26: The peaceful verses became Mansukah, means made – null and void, with verses like ‘verse of the sword’.
So-called “Verse of the Sword” – Notwithstanding that ch.9 [of Quran], as shown above [in the original book and rebuttal 23], does not go beyond what is contained in the earliest revelations on the subject of war, the fifth verse of that chapter is called by some people “the verse of the sword”, as if it inculcated the indiscriminate massacre of all idolaters or unbelievers. The misconception is due to the fact that the words are taken out of their context, and a significance is forced on them which the context cannot bear. The following words occur in the 5th verse: “So when the sacred months have passed away, slay the idolaters wherever you find them” (9:5). But similar words occur also in the earliest revelation on the subject: “And kill them wherever you find them” (2:191). In both places it is the context which makes it clear as to the identity of the persons regarding whom the order is given. In both cases those against whom the order is given are the people who have taken up the sword and attacked the Muslims first. It has already been shown that the injunction to fight against the idolaters, as contained in the opening verses of the 9th chapter, relates only to such idolatrous tribes as had made agreements with the Muslims and then broken them and had attacked the Muslims, and not to all idolatrous people, wherever they may be found in the world. If only we read the verse that precedes the fifth verse, not the shadow of a doubt will remain that all idolaters are not spoken of here. For the fourth verse, as quoted already, states that those idolaters were not within the purview of the order who had remained faithful to their agreements. The order was therefore directed against specified idolatrous tribes, the tribes that had made agreements with the Muslims and broken them repeatedly, as expressly stated in (8:56). It is a mistake to regard the order as including all idolatrous people living anywhere in the world or even in Arabia. And if the verse preceding the so-called “verse of the sword” makes a clear exception in case of all friendly idolatrous tribes, that following it immediately makes a clear exception in favour of such members of idolatrous hostile tribes as ask the protection of the Muslims (see v. 6, quoted in the preceding paragraph). And then continuing the subject, it is further laid down that the order relates only to people “who broke their oaths and aimed at the expulsion of the prophet and they attacked you first” (9:13). With such a clear explanation of the fifth verse contained in the preceding and following verses, no sane person would interpret it as meaning the killing of all idolaters or the carrying on of unprovoked war against all idolatrous tribes. [“Religion of Islam” under the chapter “Jihad”, by Maulana Muhammad Ali]
27: Traditional Islamic theology has it that the 9th Chapter of the Quran, Surah 9 is the last revealed in the career of the Prophet. And it is the only one that does not begin with Bismillah Ar Rahman Ar Raheem – in the name of Allah the Compassionate the Merciful. Some have said that is because there is no compassion or mercy in this particular chapter and that it is the Quran’s last word on Jihad and in particular on how Muslims should behave toward unbelievers. In it is the celebrated verse of sword.
The documentary equates Jihad with war and that too of an offensive nature. This is farthest from meaning and purpose of Jihad in Quran and as found in the life of the Prophet and his companions.
“Jihad, inf. n. of jahada, properly signifies the using or exerting of one’s utmost power, efforts, endeavours or ability, in contending with an object of disapprobation; and this is of three kinds, namely a visible enemy, the devil, and one’s self; all of which are included in the term as used in the Kur. xxii. 77” (Lane’s Arabic-English Lexicon.) Jihad is therefore far from being synonymous with war, while the meaning of “war undertaken for the propagation of Islam”, which is supposed by European writers to be the significance of jihad, is unknown equally to the Arabic language and the teachings of the Holy Qur’an. [“Religion of Islam” under the chapter “Jihad”, by Maulana Muhammad Ali]
“The error with regard to the common view regarding Islam arises from misapprehension of the meaning of the word ‘Jihad’, a word which in the hands of the C.I.D. [- U.K. equivalent of FBI in U.S.A.] reporters has caused much groundless fear to the British in India. In English ‘Jihad’ is commonly translated ‘holy war’, with a meaning like crusade. It properly denotes the whole effort, individual and collective, of the true believer against evil, beginning with the conquest of a man’s own passions and ending possibly, but not necessarily, in persecution and exile or upon the battlefield. Every prophet made Jihad in his own way. That of Moses took the form of emigration to escape from evil. That of Jesus was of a non-violent and passive kind. That of Muhammad shows three stages: first a non-violent endurance of hostility and persecution while fulfilling his own mission, like that of Jesus; second, when the persecution threatened to exterminate his people, emigration, the Jihad of Moses; and third, when he and his followers formed an independent State, however small and weak, and when the persecutors still persisted in attacking them, then and not till then he was enjoined to fight. The term ‘Jihad’ applies to all those stages, but in the minds of Europeans it is restricted to the third. That is the reason for the whole mistake. The sort of Jihad prescribed for peoples in a subject state differs from that prescribed for the same people in a state of independence. And the Jihad for subject peoples who are persecuted is the Jihad of Jesus, which was followed by Muhammad during thirteen years at Mecca.” — Loyal Enemy by Anne Fremantle, published by Hutchinson & Co. Ltd., London 1938, pages 323, 324.
Bismillah Ar Rahman Ar Raheem is inserted before each new chapter in the Quran. Chapter 9 is factually a continuation of the subject matter of its preceding Chapter 8 – Al-Anfal or Voluntary Gifts, which naturally precludes the optional use of the phrase Bismillah Ar Rahman Ar Raheem.
28: What does the verse of the sword say? It is very clear. When the forbidden months are over, kill the people of the book wherever you find them. Lay siege for them. Lay wait for them. Lay ambush for them. Kill them wherever you find them. In fact I [–Walid Shoebat] converted to Christianity. Muhammad clearly stated that in ends of days, there will be many who will defect from faith. Kill them when you see them whenever you find them. So this is the question that the West needs to understand – What part of kill don’t you understand?
Is it not interesting to note that Walid Shoebat’s conversion in itself proves the truth of the prophecy Prophet Muhammad, if it is true, at least in the words of Shoebat himself – ‘in ends of days, there will be many who will defect from faith’? Clearly, Shoebat has distanced himself from the ‘truth’ by his ‘defection’ from Islam.
Even if by a long stretch of imagination and gross falsification verse 9:5 is mislabeled as the ‘verse of the sword’, nowhere does it mention ‘people of the book’ as alleged by the documentary.
It is a fact that there is no ‘verse of the sword’ in Quran [see 26]. However, the frequent use of this phrase begets to search the actual ‘verse of the sword’, which not too unsurprisingly is found nowhere but in Bible, the book of Shoebat:
MATTHEW 10:34 – Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
Further, it is an act of comedy for Walid Shoebat to teach the West what it knows very well i.e. – What part of kill don’t you understand. Why go far back in the historical accounts. All one has to do is to open the daily newspapers of the last century alone and ask which faith, region and race really knows how best to occupy, kill and maim in millions, both by its materials and policy?