The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement Blog


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

latest, 23rd January 2017: Solomon speaking to Ants? – Not too Antsy though!


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 March, 2015

Jesus – Rock-a-Bye-Baby & Peek-a-Boo – Where are you?

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Jesus – Rock-a-Bye-Baby & Peek-a-Boo – Where are you?

One is constrained to make light of fantasy that has built around a great prophet, Jesus Christ, the Messiah. Christians call him Son of God, claim to be born of a Virgin, that he ascended in body to heavens, currently sitting on right hand of the God and to descend in person at the advent of Latter Days. Muslims, equally not be left behind, but from within the confines of monotheism, ascribe to him same attributes, though, just short of calling him a god as well.

This chapter demystifies the myths imputed to Jesus; he as a baby talking from a cradle; he addressing the Jews from the lap of his mother and after crucifixion being lifted to heavens. Here, effort is made to rock the mythical cradle and find the real Jesus under the following sub-headings:

Messiah! Who?

3:45. (Recall the time) when the angels said, `O Mary! Allâh gives you good tidings through a (prophetic) word from Him (about the birth of a son) whose name is the Messiah [–Arabic: Masih], Jesus, son of Mary, (he shall be) worthy of regard in this world and in the Hereafter and one of the nearest ones (to Him),[1]

In the said verse a prophecy is revealed to Mary about a son whose attribute will be that of Messiah. The significance of the title Messiah, which is used for Jesus, son of Mary, is embedded in the name itself. ‘Masih’ in Arabic means mubarak – blessed; siddiq – truthful. Its meanings also extend as massah – to touch i.e. one who touches others spiritually. These attributers are not any different from the attributes possessed by other prophets and do not confer distinction on Jesus. What separates Jesus from the rest of the prophets are the root meanings of Masih i.e. massaat – journey or travel[2]. For sure, unlike any other prophet, Jesus was distinctly a traveler in history. Secular research points to travels of Jesus to India and even Egypt to acquire education:

3:48. (The angels continued [prophesizing Mary about her future son, Jesus]), `And He will teach him the art of writing (and reading) and the Wisdom and the Torah and the Evangel. [3]

On his return to Palestine, while fully educated in arts of healing, both physical and spiritual, and with the knowledge of Torah, he was ordained as a prophet, the Messiah, at the age of thirty years:

3:49. `And (He will appoint him) a Messenger to the Children of Israel (with the Message), "I have come to you with a sign from your Lord. (I have come so that) I determine for your benefit from clay (a person) after the manner of a bird, then I shall breathe into him (a new spirit) so that he becomes a flier (- a spiritual person) by the authority of Allâh, and I absolve the blind and the leprous, and I quicken the (spiritually) dead by the authority of Allâh, and I inform you as to what you should eat and what you should store in your houses. Behold! these facts will surely serve you as a definite sign if you are believers.

3:50. "And (I come) confirming that which is before me, namely the Torah, and that I declare lawful for you some of the things that had been forbidden to you. I come to you with a sign from your Lord, so take Allâh as a shield and obey me.

3:51. "Surely, Allâh is my Lord as well as your Lord, therefore worship Him; this is the right path".[4]

Jesus, like any other prophet, was also persecuted, but saved to live another life:

3:54. And they (- the persecutors of Jesus) planned (to crucify him) and Allâh planned (to save him) and Allâh is the best of the planners.[5]

Jesus not only travelled from Palestine to South Asia in his early age before his return at age thirty, but also after his crucifixion attempt at age thirty-three in Palestine journeyed back to India, never to return.

Side note: It is on the same basis of travel far and wide that Dajjal – Anti-Christ, the falsehood, is also called Dajjal Masih – the extensively spread falsehood, a subject that will be discussed in a separate chapter.

Look! Who’s talking – It is generally believed that Jesus spoke as an infant from the cradle for which the next verse is usually quoted in which Mary is foretold about birth of Jesus and his mission:

3:46. `And he will speak to the people when in the cradle (- as a child) and when of old age, and shall be of the righteous.'[6]

The readers mistakenly focus on the literal meaning instead of the metaphor in said verse and that too when they only read the first half of it. Of course, in the first half of the verse, a child speaking from the cradle might be quite 'miraculous' and fascinating. What the readers miss is the second half of the verse where an old man is also mentioned of speaking, which is not miraculous at all. Don't we know that old men speak? Then, why is the obviousness of an old man talking mentioned? Essentially, this verse is metaphorically telling us about one of the prophesized attributes of Jesus, that is, he will grow into a healthy and intellectually sound adult with his faculty of speech and hearing intact and will live into an old age[7]. He will be wise and his speech worth listening to from an early age. He will continue to do so into his old age, much beyond the commonly perceived age limit of thirty-three when he was crucified. Contrary to Christian misconception of him dying on the cross at a young age, his ministry lasted a for long time thereafter (more on this later).

A child bestowed with wisdom is not unique for Jesus because it is quite usual for other prophets to be wise from their early age as well:

19:12. (We said to John,) `Yahyâ! hold fast the (divine) Book.' And while he was yet a child We gave him wisdom,[8]

Quran itself removes any doubts around the use of the word cradle under discussion in the following verses with corresponding footnote from English Translation of the Holy Quran with Explanatory Notes by Maulana Muhammad Ali, Edited by Dr. Zahid Aziz:

19:27. Then she came to her people with him, carrying [–Arabic: taḥmilu] him.* They [i.e. the Rabbis who were skeptical of Jesus’s claim of a Messiah] said: Mary, you have indeed brought a strange thing! **[9][–for what he says]

*The conversation in v. 27–33 is alone sufficient to make it clear that this incident relates to a time when Jesus had grown up sufficiently to have been appointed a prophet and to have received Divine revelation. The Quran does not relate stories in all their details, and often omits a number of incidents which are not needed for its purpose. For instance, v. 9:11 relates only Zacharias’ receiving the joyful news of a son, while v. 9:12 asks that son to take hold of the Book with strength. Jesus could only say that he was made a prophet when he was actually entrusted with the mission of a prophet, and not before. Moreover, it is unreasonable to suppose that, as soon as Mary gave birth to the child, she took it to her people to make a show of it. The word carrying does not show that she was carrying him in her arms; it means that he was being carried on an animal. Compare 9:92, where some of the companions are spoken of as coming to the Prophet that he might carry them, and he is related as replying that he did not have that on which to carry them[10], i.e. animals. Compare Matthew 21:1–7 where the story is related of Jesus entering Jerusalem riding an ass, or an ass and a colt[11].

**The reference in Mary’s bringing a strange thing may be to her having given birth to a son who claimed greater authority than the elders of Israel, with a deeper hint to the calumny against her, for which see 4:156[12]. In his reply Jesus does not make a single reference to the circumstances of his birth. Hence the inference is quite reasonable that the question was directed against the mission of Jesus and not against the circumstances of his birth.

Apparently, Jesus now a prophet, after his long absence from Palestine, and on his return journey from Egypt or India where he spent his early years, is a stranger to the people of Mary. Hence she leads his ride, with Jesus still on his mount, to her people to introduce him to them.

The use of the word [Arabic–]taḥmilu in the verse also signifies the long return journey of Jesus who rode into Jerusalem. In the same manner the word, [Arabic–] taḥmila, is used in reference to Companions of the Prophet Muhammad who volunteered for Tabuk expedition and wanted from the Prophet a ride, a mount, for their long journey of about seven hundred kilometers, one way, from Medina (verse 9:92[13]), not that they wanted to be carried in Prophet’s lap in the manner the above verse is misinterpreted to mean that Mary was carrying her son.

If Jesus is perceived to be a child in the above verse, then rest assured no child is a strange thing. Rather, what a prophet says can sound as a strange thing to the established priests, the mullahs of the time, and its contrasting effect against their dogmas.

Note, Mary had a lineage from Aaron, a priestly class (v. 3:35-37[14]), for which she is addressed as such in the next verse. She was raised in a monastery[15]  and her people were the Jewish priests, probably of the same monastery as hers, which too is obvious from the dialogue in the verse below:

19:28. Sister of Aaron [–Mary],* your father [–Amran[16]] was not a wicked man, nor was your mother[17] an unchaste woman[unlike your son who claims to be the ‘false’ Messiah, the prophet]![18]

*The fact that Mary was devoted to the Temple from the age of three to twelve years shows that she belonged to the priestly class, being of the Levitical race. Hence she is called sister of Aaron. The word ukht, meaning sister, is by no means limited to the close blood-relationship.

The skepticism of priests is obvious from their condescendingly ignoring Jesus, the prophet, and their turning to Mary with a smirk:

19:29. But she pointed to him[–Jesus for an answer]. They [disdainfully] said: How should we speak to one who is a child in the cradle?*[19]

*Old and learned Jews would no doubt speak of a young man who was born and brought up before their eyes as a child in the cradle, as if disdaining to address one so young.

As to what Jesus spoke and that what is wrongly attributed to him of his talking from the cradle is plainly clear in the subsequent verses where he is replying to skepticism of those addressing him contemptuously and to whom he was a child till recently. He is in fact replying to them as a prophet, of an adult age, who already had been given the Evangel:

19:30. He said: I am indeed a servant of Allah. He has given me the Book and made me a prophet,

19:31. and He has made me blessed wherever I may be, and He has enjoined on me prayer and the due charity so long as I live,*[20]

*It is clear that this conversation did not take place when Jesus was an infant in the cradle, but when he had actually been made a prophet. It is absurd to suppose that prayers and charity were enjoined on Jesus while he was only a day old and that he really observed these injunctions at that age. Jesus’ answer clearly shows that he was addressing his people after he had been entrusted with the mission of prophethood.

19:32. and to be kind to my mother; and He has not made me insolent, unblessed.*[21]

*Here only the mother is spoken of, whereas in a similar case in v. 19:14 John is spoken of as being kind to both parents. This may be due to the fact that Joseph may not have been living at the time when Jesus spoke these words. Joseph was already an old man when he married Mary, and by the time that the ministry of Jesus begins we find no mention of him even in the Gospels, the mother and brothers being the only relations mentioned. Or, the mother alone is mentioned because the Gospels relate an incident showing that Jesus was rude to his mother (Matthew, 12:48; John 4:2[22]), and this verse disproves the statement, it being one of the objects of the Quran to clear Jesus of all false charges.

19:33. And peace on me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I am raised to life [like everyone else].

19:34. Such is Jesus son of Mary — a statement of truth about which they dispute.[23]

Further, if in the above verses Jesus is speaking from the actual cradle i.e. he is an infant, then (God forbid) he is lying because in infancy no baby has earning capacity to give due charity nor is he expected to be kind to his mother by performing self-care. Whereas, if said verses are read in their literal sense then is would be expected of Jesus to do such activities throughout his life i.e. – so long as I live, including while him being in the cradle.

The advocates of Jesus being raised alive to heavens need to take a pause with the verse 19:33 – the day I die, and the day I am raised to life, again. Clearly, Jesus is talking of his death like any ordinary person and the life after death that Quran repeatedly mentions and Muslims believe in. This is in direct contrast to the belief of Christians and most Muslims of a mythical Jesus who is supposedly still alive and will return in person towards the end of times. In this myth they forget to mention death of Jesus even after his physical return, because in the prevailing myth, Jesus will live through the Day of Resurrection, while others who have passed away are raised to life at that time. There is no point in Jesus dying on the Day of Resurrection as the moment of him raised to life has already passed. It will be quite odd on that Day, when everyone else is being raised to life and Jesus is dying to be raised to life again.

Disappearing into thin air – Contrary to Biblical view, in Quran, Jesus the prophet could not and did not die of an accursed death on the cross when he was about thirty-three years of age:

4:157. And because of their (falsely) claiming,‘We did kill the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the (false) Messenger of Allâh,’ whereas they killed him not, nor did they cause his death by crucifixion, but he was made to them to resemble (one crucified to death) [when brought down from the cross]. Verily, those who differ therein are certainly in (a state of) confusion about it. They have no definite knowledge of the matter but are only following a conjecture. They did not kill him, this much is certain (and thus could not prove the Christ as accursed).[24]

Then, quite logically it’s a natural question to ask as to what happened to such an important man in the world history after his attempted crucifixion and the fate of his mother? The Biblical narratives give fantastic description of him ascending to heavens, which at least no one saw it actually happen, rather Jesus hid from authorities after his recovery from crucifixion, ate meals and travelled on foot like an ordinary person. Quran is quite clear about the human status of both mother and son. Spiritually, he was exalted:

4:158. Rather Allâh exalted [–Arabic: rafa] him [– Jesus] with all honour to His presence. And Allâh is All-Mighty, All-Wise.[25]

Please take note of Jesus being exalted … with all honour to His presence. It would be quite fantastic of someone to consider His presence or location to be away from this world because by His very attribute, He is Omnipresent and is more near and nearby than most of us might imagine:

50:16. We created a human being and We know what (dark) suggestions his mind makes to him. We are nearer to him than even (his) jugular vein.[26]

2:186. And when My servants ask you concerning Me (tell them), I am nearby indeed, I answer the prayer of the supplicant when he prays to Me, so they should respond to My call, and believe in Me (that I possess all these attributes) so that they may proceed in the right way.[27]

Essentially, Jesus was and is exalted in his spiritual life as well as in human history. For that, just count the number of his followers in history and present.

Besides, Jesus was not the first one exalted, Enoch was exalted before him:

19:56. And give an account of Idrîs (- Enoch) in this Book. He was a very truthful man, a Prophet.

19:57. And We raised him to an exalted position.[28]

Physically, after surviving the attempted crucifixion and recovering from the wounds Jesus disappears from Palestine and he migrated with his mother to a different land where he took refuge, as described in Quran:

23:50. And We made the son of Mary [– Jesus] 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.[29] [Note the key word “refuge” i.e. the final destination of an escape]

Now the question is where is that Shangrila – worth-living lofty plateau abounding in (green and fruitful) valleys and springs of running water? This Shangrila by its very description could be anywhere but Middle East. By current secular research, that Shangrila is most likely the vale of Kashmir, in and around Srinagar. It is in this refuge that he marries and has children:

13:38. And most surely, We sent before you [– Muhammad] many Messengers and We gave them [– including Jesus] wives and children…[30]

As to the age attained by Jesus, Quran explicitly states in the verse quoted at the beginning of this chapter and repeated below:

3:46. `And he [– Jesus] will speak to the people when in the cradle (- as a child) and when of old age, and shall be of the righteous.'[31][Emphasis added]

"Aishah (God be pleased with her) said that, in his illness in which he died, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: `Every year Gabriel used to repeat the Quran with me once, but this year he has done it twice. He has informed me that there is no prophet but he lives half as long as the one who preceded him. And he has told me that Jesus lived a hundred and twenty years, and I see that I am about to leave this world at sixty' " (Hajaj at-Kiramah, p. 428; Kanz al-Ummal, vol. 6, p. 160, from Hazrat Fatima; and Mawahib al-Ladinya, vol. 1, p. 42). [Emphasis added]

Tabrani says concerning this hadith: "Its narrations are reliable, and it is reported in a number of different versions". The hadith here leaves no room to doubt at all. It not only announces Jesus' death but gives his age as 120 years. And it is reported through at least three routes: from Aishah, Ibn Umar, and Fatima. This hadith is, therefore, sound and a very clear proof of Jesus' death.[32]

Essentially, he died preaching till of an old age. His death is also foretold to him:

3:55. (RECALL the time) when Allâh said, ‘O Jesus! I will cause you to die a natural death, and will exalt you to Myself and I will clear you of the unchaste accusations of those who disbelieve…[33]

Of course, Quran also tells us of him dying in a different verse 5:116 quoted later.

Quran even goes further; it refers to Jesus himself foretelling his own death like any other human:

19:33. `And peace was upon me the day I was born, and (peace will be upon me) the day I die, and the day I shall be raised up to life (again).'[34]

If someone misconstrues the above verse in the sense that Jesus will only die at the end of the times, then this is exactly opposite of what to expect on the Last Day, when everyone else will be in the process of being raised up to life (again), while Jesus might be dying.

The final nail in the coffin of the myth of Jesus being alive today is the following verses. In a parable, Jesus is interrogated in a witness box on the Day of Resurrection and he pleads his innocence:

5:116. And when Allâh said, `O Jesus, son of Mary! did you say to the people, "Take me and my mother for two gods beside Allâh?"' He (-Jesus) replied, `Glory to You! it was not possible and proper for me to say thing to which I had no right. If I had said, You would indeed have known it, (for) You know all that is in my mind but I do not know what is in Yours. It is You alone Who truly know all things unseen.

5:117. `I said nothing to them except that what You had commanded me, "Worship Allâh, my Lord as well as your Lord". I was a witness over them (only) so long as I remained among them but ever since You caused me to die [Arabic: ‘tawaffa’], You Yourself have been the Watcher over them and You are the Witness to everything.[35]

Now the Muslims have to decide for themselves, did Jesus (PBUH) make the claim – Take me and my mother for two gods beside Allâh? Answer is obviously no. This God-ship of Jesus was attributed to him by his followers only after Jesus left them i.e. – ever since You caused me to die. Thus from the words of Quran “it was necessary for the Messiah to die before the Christians had gone astray.[36]” Essentially, Quran is clearly stating that the wrong beliefs in the originally Muslims under Jesus Christ did not take hold while Jesus and his message were alive amongst his followers – so long as I remained among them. The said decay in faith had fully established by the time of advent of Prophet Muhammad and it was to him these verses were revealed. If Jesus is still alive 'somewhere' then Quran can be challenged about its authenticity because it can be assumed that followers of Jesus, the believers of Trinity, are still on the right path even while they do not discourage polytheism, alcohol, usury, extra-marital sexual relations and children outside the wedlock, denial of Islam, denial of Quran and Prophet Muhammad, while they are preaching Bible, Trinity and Atonement. If these verses speak of a living Jesus and the verse is still talking of some later point in the future, then advocates of Jesus being alive are factually authenticators of Christianity, not of Islam. Whereas, the verses above clearly signify that Christians are on the wrong path as the teachings of Jesus have left them forever.[37]

Quran further augments the death of Jesus when it challenges the Christians:

5:17. They have only disbelieved who say, `Verily, Allâh – He is the Messiah, son of Mary.' Say, `Who then had any power to stand in the way of Allâh when He intended to put an end to the Messiah, son of Mary, and his mother, and all those that were in the earth?'…[38]

As to the skeptics who might ask – why did he die? He could not have died! Quran answers that Prophets like rest of the mankind are mortals themselves. They too die:

5:75. The Messiah, son of Mary, was only a Messenger, all the Messengers have (like him) passed away before him, his mother was a highly truthful woman. They both used to eat food. See how We explain the arguments for their good, yet see, how they are turned away (from the truth). [Note – both Jesus and Mary were mortals – They both used to eat food and are no longer eating food now because both have passed away] [39]

3:144. And Muhammad is but a Messenger. Surely, all Messengers [all – without exception] have passed away before him. Would you recant if he [too] dies or be killed. And he who recants shall do no harm at all to Allâh, and Allâh will certainly reward the grateful.[40]

Reader pay attention to admonishment against man worship in above verse and especially to those for whom Prophets are ends unto themselves, rather than means to a faith – Would you recant if he dies or be killed – be it Jesus or anyone else?

What to argue about permanent life, Quran puts to rest even the non-sense of unusually long-life, be it of Jesus, at least in biological sense:

21:34. And We have not assigned to any human being before you [– Muhammad] an unusually prolonged life…[41]

In conclusion, Jesus completed his otherwise incomplete ministry in Palestine, when he migrated to Kashmir, got married and had children:

13:38. And most surely, We sent before you many Messengers [including Jesus]…and We gave them wives and children.[42]

He then died of old age among his people in Kashmir, the “lost sheep of Israel,”[43] who thereafter were no longer “lost” as they had been physically found and spirituality enlightened by a prophet of their own lineage and creed, that they waited for. Essentially, at that point he disappeared into thin mountain air of Kashmir and left billions to Gossip and Gospel about him in Palestine, for no fault of Jesus or Quran.

'Lost Sheep' in Shangri-La:

For its historical discourses and various case studies, the lens of Quran is contextually focused on Old and New Testaments. Hence, one finds infrequent mention of events or details beyond the Middle East. The Quran does not relate stories in all their details, and often omits a number of incidents which are not needed for its purpose.[43a] Kashmir is only mentioned in the passing for its geographical features:

23:50. And We made the son of Mary [– Jesus] 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. [44]

For readers’ pleasure the explanation of the verse can be fully understood from description of Kashmir, in and around its modern day capital Srinagar, by the French doctor and traveler, Francois Bernier in his travelogue ‘Travels in the Mogul Empire, A.D. 1656-1668’[45] that he wrote in French, with its first edition printed in 1670. His narration is based upon him being in the entourage of Emperor Aurangzeb who visited Kashmir in 1665. The explanatory footnotes were likely inserted by English editions of 1891 and 1916. Relevant sections with their page numbers are excerpted below.

p. 395-397:

Kachemire…a beautiful country, diversified with a great many low hills: about thirty leagues in length, and from ten to twelve in breadth. It is situated at the extremity of Hindoustan, to the north of Lahor; enclosed by the mountains at the foot of Caucasus,* those of the Kings of Great Tibet and Little Tibet,** and of the Raja Gamon, who are its most immediate neighbours.

* The name used by many of the ancient geographers for a supposed continuous range from West to East, through the whole of Asia, embracing the Taurus Mountains of Asia Minor, the Persian Elburz, the Hindu Kush, and the Himalayas.

** Great Tibet was the name then generally applied to what is now known as Ladakh, Little Tibet a term still applied to Baltistan.

The first mountains which surround it, I mean those nearest to the plains, are of moderate height, of the freshest verdure, decked with trees and covered with pasture land, on which cows, sheeps, goats, horses, and every kind of cattle is seen to graze. Game of various species is in great plenty, partridges, hares, antelopes, and those animals which yield musk. Bees are also in vast abundance; and what may be considered very extraordinary in the Indies, there are, with few or no exceptions, neither serpents, tigers, bears, nor lions. These mountains may indeed be characterised not only as innocuous, but as flowing in rich exuberance with milk and honey.

Beyond the mountains just described arise others of very considerable altitude, whose summits, at all times covered with snow, soar above the clouds and ordinary mist, and, like Mount Olympus, are constantly bright and serene.

From the sides of all these mountains gush forth innumerable springs and streams of water, which are conducted by means of embanked earthen channels even to the top of the numerous hillocks in the valley; thereby enabling the inhabitants to irrigate their fields of rice. These waters, after separating into a thousand rivulets and producing a thousand cascades through this charming country, at length collect and form a beautiful river, navigable for vessels as large as are borne on our Seine [–the river in France]. It winds gently around the kingdom, and passing through the capital, bends its peaceful course toward Baramoule, where it finds an outlet between two steep rocks, being then joined by several smaller rivers from the mountains, and dashing over precipices it flows in the direction of Atek,* and joins the Indus.

* Attack. Bernier was probably misled. The Jhelum, which leaves the valley of Kashmir at Baramula, falls into the Chinab near Jhang, about 100 miles above Mooltan; the general direction is quite correct. [Note: Modern day name of ‘Attack’ is Attock which is the junction of rivers – Kabul & Indus]

The numberless streams which issue from the mountains maintain the valley and the hillocks in the most delightful verdure. The whole kingdom wears the appearance of a fertile and highly cultivated garden. Villages and hamlets are frequently seen through the luxuriant foliage. Meadows and vineyards, fields of rice, wheat, hemp, saffron, and many sorts of vegetables, among which are intermingled trenches filled with water, rivulets, canals, and several small lakes, vary the enchanting scene. The whole ground is enamelled with our European flowers and plants, and covered with our apple, pear, plum, apricot, and walnuttrees, all bearing fruit in great abundance. The private gardens are full of melons, pateques or watermelons, waterparsnips, redbeet, radishes, most of our potherbs, and others with which we are unacquainted. 

…fresh-water lake,* whose circumference is from four to five leagues. This lake is formed of live springs and of streams descending from the mountains, and communicates with the river, which runs through the town, by means of a canal sufficiently large to admit boats.

*The Dal Lake

The lake is full of islands, which are so many pleasure grounds. They look beautiful and green in the midst of the water, being covered with fruit trees, and laid out with regular trellised walks. In general they are surrounded by the large-leafed aspen, planted at intervals of two feet. The largest of these trees may be clasped in a man's arms, but they are as high as the mast of a ship, and have only a tuft of branches at the top, like the palm trees.

The declivities of the mountains beyond the lake are crowded with houses and flower-gardens. The air is healthful, and the situation considered most desirable: they abound with springs and streams of water, and command a delightful view of the lake, the islands, and the town. 

p. 400-401:

You have no doubt discovered before this time that I am charmed with Kachemire. In truth, the kingdom surpasses in beauty all that my warm imagination had anticipated. It is probably unequalled by any country of the same extent, and should be, as in former ages, the seat of sovereign authority, extending its dominion over all the circumjacent mountains, even as far as Tartary and over the whole of Hindoustan, to the island of Ceylon.* It is not indeed without reason that the Mogols call Kachemire the terrestrial paradise of the Indies, or that Ekbar was so unremitting in his efforts to wrest the sceptre from the hand of its native Princes. His son Jehan-Guyre became so enamoured of this little kingdom as to make it the place of his favourite abode, and he often declared that he would rather be deprived of every other province of his mighty empire than lose Kachemire.**

*Surely this may be considered as a very early argument in favour of locating the Supreme Government of India in the Hills.

**Jahangir died on the 28th October 1627, at Changas Sarai (Chingiz Hatli), the Tinguesq hatelij of Blaeu's map of The Empire of the Great Mogul, 1655, between Rajaori and Naushahra, three marches from Bhimbhar, when returning to Lahore.

We gave them both refuge (23:50) among the lost sheep of Israel in Kashmir.

p. 429-431:

Answer to the first Inquiry, concerning the Jews.

I would be as much pleased as MonsieurThevenot himself if Jews were found in these mountainous regions; I mean such Jews as he would no doubt desire to find, Jews descended from the tribes transported by Shalmaneser: but you may assure that gentleman that although there seems ground for believing that some of them were formerly settled in these countries, yet the whole population is at present either Gentile or Mahometan… There are, however, many signs of Judaism to be found in this country. On entering the kingdom after crossing the Pire-penjale mountains, the inhabitants in the frontier villages struck me as resembling Jews. Their countenance and manner, and that indescribable peculiarity which enables a traveller to distinguish the inhabitants of different nations, all seemed to belong to that ancient people. You are not to ascribe what I say to mere fancy, the Jewish appearance of these villagers having been remarked by our Jesuit Father [Johann Adam Schall], and by several other Europeans, long before I visited Kachemire.

A second sign is the prevalence of the name of Mousa, which means Moses, among the inhabitants of this city, notwithstanding they are all Mahometans.

A third is the common tradition that Solomon visited this country, and that it was he who opened a passage for the waters by cutting the mountain of Baramoule.

A fourth, the belief that Moses died in the city of Kachemire, and that his tomb is within a league of it.

And a fifth may be found in the generally received opinion that the small and extremely ancient edifice seen on one of the high hills was built by Solomon; and it is therefore called the Throne of Solomon to this day.*

*The Takht-i Suliman hill, on the top of which is a Buddhist temple, built by Jaloka, the son of Asoka, who reigned about 220 B.C. Part of it was turned into a mosque at the time of the first invasion of Kashmir by the Muhammadans, about 1015 A.D.

You will see then, that I am not disposed to deny that Jews may have taken up their residence in Kachemire.*

*In recent times visitors to Kashmir seeing the names Rahimju, Lusju, Julju, etc., etc., common ones among the tradespeople who cater for foreign visitors in Srinagar, written up as RAHIM JEW, Lus JEW, JUL JEW, have imagined that the bearers of these names were Jews by nationality!! The Jewish cast of features of many of the inhabitants of Kashmir is noticed by many modern travellers.

The purity of their law, after a lapse of ages, may have been corrupted, until, having long degenerated into idolatry, they were induced, like many other pagans, to adopt the creed of Mahomet.*

*The Moslem historian known as Alberuni , who was born in A. D. 973, says in his description of Kashmir, talking of the inhabitants : 'They are particularly anxious about the natural strength of their country, and therefore take always much care to keep a strong hold upon the entrances and roads leading into it. In consequence it is very difficult to have any commerce with them. In former times they used to allow one or two foreigners to enter their country, particularly Jews, but at present they do not allow any Hindu whom they do not know personally to enter, much less other people.' P. 206, vol. i., English Ed. by Dr. Edward C. Sachau. London : Trubner, 1888.

It is certain that many Jews are settled in Persia, at Lar and Hyspan; and in Hindoustan, towards Goa and Cochin.*

*It is said that Jews settled in Cochin in the first year of the Christian era, and from copperplates still extant it is put beyond doubt that the Jewish church was firmly established there by the eighth century. There is a regular Jews' quarter in the town of Cochin.

Travels of Jesus and his death in Kashmir can be read in the following works:

'Maseeh Hindustan Mein' (in Urdu) i.e. ‘Jesus Christ in India’ by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian (link). English version can be read at Qadiani website (link)

'Jesus in Heaven on Earth' by Khwaja Nazir Ahmad – Journey of Jesus to Kashmir, his preaching to the Lost Tribes of Israel and death and burial in Srinagar (link)

'Christ in Kashmir' by Aziz Kashmiri (link


[1] al`Imran – Family of Amran: Nooruddin
[2] Asl-e-Musaffa (Vol. 1) by Mirza Khuda Baksh, p. 188-190, published 1913. Note: this reference as quoted in current chapter is a summarized rendering into English from Urdu. Link: http://www.aaiil.org/urdu/books/others/mirzakhudabukhsh/aslemusuffa1/aslemusuffa1.shtml


[3] al`Imran – Family of Amran: Nooruddin
[4] ibid
[5]
ibid
[6] ibid
[7] Explanation of the said verse by Nooruddin in his lectures published as “Haqaiqul Furqan”. Link: http://www.alislam.org/quran/tafseer/?page=473&region=H1&CR=
[8] Maryam – Mary: Nooruddin
[9] Maryam – Mary: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[10] 9:92. nor on those to whom, when they came to you that you should carry [–Arabic taḥmila] them, you said: I cannot find anything on which to carry you.* Al-Baraat – The Immunity: Muhammad Ali, Zahid Aziz
*What they wanted in order to join the expedition, and what the Holy Prophet could not find for them, were beasts on which they should be carried, along with their provisions and necessaries. See also 19:27 footnote 1.
[11] Matthew 21:1-7. Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: “Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.’” So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them – New King James Version. Link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+21%3A1%E2%80%937+&version=NKJV


[12] 4:156. and for their disbelief and for their uttering against Mary a grievous slander;* Al-Nisa – Women: Muhammad Ali, Zahid Aziz
* The slander referred to was that Mary was guilty of fornication.
[13] 9:92. … when they [–the Companions] came to you that you should carry [–Arabic: taḥmila] them, you said: I cannot find anything on which to carry [–Arabic: ahmilu] you. Al-Baraat – Immunity: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[14] 3:35-37. (Allâh listened) when a woman of (the family of) Amran said, `My Lord! I do hereby vow to You what is in my womb to be dedicated (to Your service); so do accept (it) of me. You alone are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.'. But when she gave birth to it she said, `My Lord! I have given birth to a female.' Allâh knew best what she had given birth to, and the male (she was thinking of) was not like this female (she had brought forth). `I have named her Mary and I do commend her to Your protection and (also) her offspring (to be saved) from satan, the accursed.' So her Lord accepted her (- Mary) with a gracious acceptance and made her grow into an excellent form and assigned her to the care of Zachariah. Every time Zachariah visited her in the chamber he found with her provisions. He said, `From where do you get all this, O Mary?' She replied (with all conscientiousness), `It is from Allâh.' Verily, Allâh provides whomsoever He will without measure. Al`Imran – Family of Amran: Nooruddin
[15] 3:37. So her Lord accepted her (- Mary) with a gracious acceptance and made her grow into an excellent form and assigned her to the care of Zachariah. Every time Zachariah visited her in the chamber [of the temple] he found with her provisions. He said, `From where do you get all this, O Mary?' She replied (with all conscientiousness), `It is from Allâh.' Verily, Allâh provides whomsoever He will without measure. Al`Imran – Family of Amran: Nooruddin
19:16. And give an account of Mary in this Book when she withdrew from her people to an eastern spacious place (of the temple). Mary – Maryam: Nooruddin
[16] see verse 3:35 quoted in a footnote before
[17] ibid
[18] Maryam – Mary: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[19]
ibid
[20] ibid
[21] ibid
[22] John 2: 1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: 2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. 3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. 4 Jesus saith unto her [, his mother], Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. 5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. King James Version. Link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+2%3A1-5&version=KJV


[23] Maryam – Mary: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[24] Al-Nisa – The Women: Nooruddin
[25]
ibid
[26] Qaf – Allah is Almighty: Nooruddin
[27] Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
[28] Maryam – Mary: Nooruddin
[29] Al-Muminun – The Believers: Nooruddin
[30] Al-Rad – The Thunder: Nooruddin
[31] al`Imran – Family of Amran: Nooruddin
[32] Death of Jesus — [with Evidence from the Holy Quran, Hadith and Sayings of Prominent Muslim Figures], Taken from: Paigham-e-Haqq (Organ of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at-i-Islam, Fiji), pp. 31-37, July/Dec., 1980. Link: http://aaiil.org/text/articles/others/deathofjesusquranhadith.shtml#hadith


[33] al`Imran – Family of Amran: Nooruddin
[34] Maryam – Mary: Nooruddin
[35] Al-Maidah – The Table Spread with Food: Nooruddin
[36] Need of Imam of the Age – English Translation of the Urdu booklet ‘Zarurat-ul-Imam’ by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad,Translated by Kalamazad Mohammad, Trinidad, Revised by Zahid Aziz, p. 27, Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at Islam Lahore Inc. Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A.
[37] See also The Ahmadiyya Movement (Vol. 2) — The Doctrine: by Maulana Muhammad Ali, p. 27. Link: http://www.aaiil.org/text/books/mali/ahmadiyyamovement2doctrine/ahmadiyyamovement2doctrine.shtml


[38] Al-Maidah – The Table Spread with Food: Nooruddin
[39]
ibid
[40] al`Imran – Family of Amran: Nooruddin
[41] Al-Ambiya – The Prophets: Nooruddin
[42] Al-Rad – The Thunder: Nooruddin
[43] Matthew 15:24. But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” New King James Version. Link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+15%3A24&version=NKJV

[43a] Excerpt from a footnote. 19:27 – b (27-1): Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz


[44] Al-Muminun – The Believers: Nooruddin
[45] Link: https://archive.org/stream/travelsinmogulem00bernuoft#page/ii/mode/2up

Has respect for me been “destroyed” by my responses in this discussion?

Saturday, March 28th, 2015

I reproduce below verbatim a series of e-mail exchanges between an enquirer, who contacted our website e-mail address, and myself which took place from 19th March to 27th March. In place of his name I am only showing his initials.

DA:

Dear Dr. Zahid Aziz

Please tell me about the official Status of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, in your belief system.

Kind Regards.


Zahid Aziz:

Thank you for writing to us. Please see the following link for the answer to your question:

http://www.ahmadiyya.org/cont-hmga.htm

Regards.


DA:

The link does not specify the STATUS. I already know that your Jamaat do not believe that he was a Prophet. What do you call him? "Promised Messiah"?

Regards.


Zahid Aziz:

Kindly go to the links within that link. For example:

http://www.ahmadiyya.org/hmga.htm

http://www.ahmadiyya.org/claims/intro.htm

His status, as believed by us, is clearly stated on these two very short pages.

Regards


Zahid Aziz:

I should also have added that these two short pages contain further links where the topic about his claims and status is dealt with in detail.

Regards


DA:

Thank you very much Dr. Zahid Aziz. From the links it is also clear that the title " Promised Messiah" is shared by both branches of Ahmadiyyat. If possible please tell me who is the Promiser ?

Regards.


Zahid Aziz:

"Promised Messiah" means the Messiah whose coming was promised to the Muslims. The promise was made implicitly in the Quran (24:55) and explicitly by the Holy Prophet Muhammad. They are the promisers.

Regards.


DA:

Many thanks. Regards.


DA:

Please direct me to the link or place where I can find the relevant Hadees.


Zahid Aziz:

I am attaching here the scanned image of a chapter from the book 'The Ahmadiyya Movement', which quotes and explains those hadith reports.

Regards.

[See attachment at this link]


DA:

There is no "Promised Messiah" in the Holy Quran.


Zahid Aziz:

But you asked: "Please direct me to the link or place where I can find the relevant Hadees." So I answered the question which you asked. I could not answer a question which you did not ask. Maybe you possess that magical power, to answer questions that you haven't been asked!

The question of Promised Messiah in the Quran has been discussed by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in a book which is available at the following link:

http://www.ahmadiyya.org/books/testi-hq/ch2b.htm

But where does the Quran mention the coming back of Jesus (Isa), which is believed in by most Muslims?

Regards.


DA:

My original question was very simple and straight forward. I wanted to know the status of  ……  The links do not answer the question.  In my belief system, the writer of these links has no credibility.

The question was not asked by most Muslims. There no coming back of any prophet in the Holy Quran as far as I know.


Zahid Aziz:

Your original question was: "Please tell me about the official Status of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, in your belief system."

I answered it five days ago as follows:

[quote]
Kindly go to the links within that link. For example:

http://www.ahmadiyya.org/hmga.htm
http://www.ahmadiyya.org/claims/intro.htm

His status, as believed by us, is clearly stated on these two very short pages.
[unquote]

So the issue of discussion now is: Do the above links mention what we believe or do they not?

You say: "In my belief system, the writer of these links has no credibility."

I could say the same about you! Exactly what credibility does your belief system have? Presumably your belief system was taught to you directly by Allah, and therefore it is the standard of truth by which everyone else's beliefs should be judged!

At least my belief system has not made me arrogant.

Regards.


DA:

Dear Dr. Zahid Aziz,
The reason I asked the question was that I was not very clear about the difference between the two branches of Ahmadiyyat.
There was no issue involved.

I have not used any offensive word in my message. If you feel that I have offended you, I apologise most sincerely.
If calling me arrogant makes you happy, be my guest.
I have no reason to get involved in any discussion about yours or mine beliefs. There is no Prophet/ Promised Messiah after Prophet Muhammad SAW , in Islam that I know.

Regards.


Zahid Aziz:

That's fine. Thank you, and sorry for any offence caused by me.

It seems that you also agree with us in one important respect where we disagree with most Muslims. They believe that Jesus will return to this world, something we don't accept at all. So at least in this one respect you consider us as right and most Muslims as wrong.

Regards.


DA:

Dear Dr. Zahid Aziz,
There are more than one issues on which I do not agree with Muslims but I do not call them WRONG. I do not have the credentials or evidence to pronounce judgement on any issue. I can easily discussed the Return of Jesus issue with you. Go ahead .
Regards.


Zahid Aziz:

You said: "There is no Prophet/ Promised Messiah after Prophet Muhammad SAW , in Islam that I know."

I conclude from this that you believe that Jesus cannot return.

On the general issue of whether we can call other Muslims (note: I have said "other Muslims" here, not "Muslims") as wrong, if they are bringing Islam into disrepute by their interpretation of, for example, jihad, then unless we call them wrong on those issues the general world will continue to think that their interpretation has some foundation.

Muslims who believe that Islam teaches that a Muslim who leaves Islam must be executed are wrong and are defaming Islam.

Muslims who believe that Islam teaches them to kill anyone who mocks the Prophet Muhammad are again wrong.

Muslims who believe that girls should not be given education are wrong and acting against Islam.

Anyone can be *wrong* on some issue. I can be wrong, you can be wrong, and likewise most Muslims can be wrong.

Please don't hesitate to call me wrong when you consider me to be wrong. It will do me good!

Regards.


DA:

[1] There is no second coming of any prophet  named in the Holy Quran. That is my belief.

[2] Only a small minority of Muslims harbour the beliefs you have stated above. The majority of Muslims does not advocate killing any one.
Regards.


Zahid Aziz:

[1] That is also our belief. But a very large number of Muslims believe that Jesus will return to this world, so much so that they claim that it is almost unanimous. This means that anyone who doesn't hold this belief needs to show arguments and evidence from Islamic teachings that this belief is not correct. As Muslims, we can't just differ from a widely prevailing belief of Muslims without giving reasons.

[2] Really? The law of Pakistan, passed by its elected government, prescribes the death penalty, and only the death penalty, for "insulting the Holy Prophet". And in actual cases where people have been charged with this crime, "insulting the Holy Prophet" is given such a wide definition that almost any statement can be alleged to be an insult.

People in Pakistan, including Muslims, have been actually killed by lynch mobs for this alleged crime. The police and government could not protect them because of the very strong feeling in the public that such people should be killed.

Have you heard of the Mumtaz Qadri case, and how he is hailed as a hero in Pakistan for killing governor Salman Taseer?

It is a very widely held belief among Muslims that any Muslim who leaves the religion of Islam (apostasy) must be executed. The laws of some Muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia, prescribe the death penalty for this.

Regards.


DA:

It will be helpful if we deal with one issue at a time. Also  this dialogue is between two individuals. Please do not drag "muslims" into it. There are not present here and cannot be included.

Shall we start with the return of Jesus as the first issue? I can assure you that I have the ability and knowledge to deal with all the issues that you have raised after we have finished with Jesus.

Regards.


Zahid Aziz:

Your original questions to me were:

"Please tell me about the official Status of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, in your belief system."
"I already know that your Jamaat do not believe that he was a Prophet. What do you call him?"

So you can "drag" our Jamaat into it, but I can't drag your fellow Muslims into it!

Let us then discuss the return of Jesus. You have already said:

"There is no second coming of any prophet named in the Holy Quran. That is my belief."

So what is your opinion about the reports in Hadith that Jesus will return?

You say: "I can assure you that I have the ability and knowledge to deal with all the issues that you have raised after we have finished with Jesus."

Well, I am not that confident of my own ability and knowledge vis-a-vis yours, since I don't know who you are, whether you are a novice or the greatest Islamic scholar on earth.

Can you provide some evidence of your ability and knowledge? The evidence of my limited ability and knowledge (on those other issues) is here: www.ahmadiyya.org/islam/islam-pt.htm 

Regards.


DA:

Dear Dr.Zahid Aziz,
I know what was my original question and your response and I can say with 100% honesty that  my objective was to know the views of your Jamaat.  I addressed you by name. I did not address your Jamaat at all. Other Muslims are not involved in this dialogue . Why mention them?

Read my previous message again. I stated clearly that I will deal with these issues one at a time, lumping them leads to confusion and sadly you have already created it. I will ignore your comments about my knowledge etc. because they have no value and only expose petty mindedness.  I have no time to waste on any links.

Here is my response to "so what is your opinion [about the reports in Hadith]…………":

Which Hadith?  


Zahid Aziz:

The beliefs of other Muslims are certainly relevant because the very reason for your enquiry is that we differ from other Muslims in accepting Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. The underlying theme from you towards me is: Why are your beliefs different from other Muslims?

I asked about "the reports in Hadith that Jesus will return". But you respond: Which Hadith?

Are you unaware of the existence of such reports in Hadith books (e.g. Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)? If you have never heard of, or read about, or know of such hadith, then what does that say about your level of knowledge?

Regards.


DA:

Dear Dr. Zahid Aziz,
Had great respect for you but the last three messages have completely destroyed it. In that kind of environment we cannot achieve anything. I will not bother you again.
No hard feelings. May Allah bless you with peace.
Regards

D.


To readers of this blog:

People have the right to judge if my replies above should lead to respect for me being "completely destroyed".

Zahid Aziz 

Issue 3: Quran degrades women as ‘tilth’ for sexual exploitation

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Issue 3: Quran degrades women as ‘tilth’ for sexual exploitation

– for which verse 2:223 is oft quoted. Little do they know that it is all about women’s rights. See below.

In Quran, the first bar on any possible exploitation of women is that it allows intimal relationships only within the bounds of marriage – And do not go near to fornication: surely it is an obscenity. And evil is the way (17:32)[1], And those who cannot find a match [–marriage] must keep chaste, until Allah makes them free from want out of His grace (24:33)[2]. Once a household is established through marriage, then the significant burden of responsibility for providing care, both material and emotional, rests on the husband – Men are the maintainers of women (4:34)[3]. Intimate relationships are only a subset of the superset of responsibility to be borne by the husband. This responsibility in itself prevents any inkling of selfish exploitation of wives by their husbands.

Before we take on the subject matter of this chapter it becomes pertinent to be aware of the stress laid on kind treatment towards wife in Islam as outlined by Maulana Muhammad Ali in his book ‘Religion of Islam’:

The Qur'an lays the greatest possible stress on kindly and good treatment towards the wife. "Keep them in good fellowship" and "treat them kindly" is the oft-recurring advice of the Qur'an (2:229, 231; 4:19, etc.). So much so that kindness is recommended even when a man dislikes his wife, for "it may be that you dislike a thing while Allah has placed abundant good in it" (4:19). The Prophet laid equally great stress upon good treatment of a wife. "The most excellent of you," he is reported to have said," is he who is best in his treatment: of his wife" (Mishkat al-Masabih, 13:II-ii). "Accept my advice in the matter of doing good to women," is another tradition (Bukhari, 67:81). In his famous address at the Farewell Pilgrimage, he again laid particular stress on the good treatment of women: "O my people! you have certain rights over your wives and so have your wives over you …They are the trust of Allah in your hands. So you must treat them with all kindness" (Muslim, 16:17). [3a]

Islamic ideal of marriage which serves the purpose not only of the increase of the human race but also that of the spiritual advancement of both the man and the woman by referring to the quietness of mind which they find in each other,[4] which is outlined in verse below:

30:21. And of His signs are this, that He created mates for you from yourselves that you might find quiet of mind in them, and He put between you love and compassion. Surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect.[5]

Quran recognizes the natural outcomes of marriage which are conjugal relations, mutual comfort and wish of the parents to have a healthy progeny:

7:189. It is He Who has created you from one living entity, and from the same stock (that He created a human being) He brought into being his mate that he might find comfort in her. When he covers her (in conjugal relationship) she conceives a light burden and carries it about, then when she grows heavy (with the child), they both pray to Allâh, their Lord, (saying) `If You give us a good one (- a child with a sound mind in a sound body), we shall surely be of the grateful (to You).'[6]

Beauty of Quran is that it addresses different aspects of life in varying hues[7] and from many angles[8], and in a repeating[9] and interlinked logic[10], free of inconsistencies[10a], with excellent and useful proofs[10b] to expound its message and drive home the point. Similarly, in Quran the ordinary conjugal relationships become extraordinary. They are not merely physical, but have deeper implications in them. The children from the wedlock are not mere offspring needing nurturance but serve a higher purpose for moral refinement for everyone in the household. Rearing of children gives the opportunity for inherent godly qualities in parents to bloom e.g. the Divine attributes of Sustenance, Mercifulness, Beneficence, Forgiveness, Recompense, Hearing, Seeing, Judgment etc.:

64:15. Verily, your possessions and your children are a means to reveal your hidden attributes. As for Allâh there awaits an immense reward with Him.[11]

The dynamics of intimate relationships between husband and wife are governed by a series of verses in Quran, one of which under question and ignorantly maligned is as follows:

2:223. Your wives are a tilth [Arabic: Harthun] for you, so go to your tilth when you like, and send (good deeds) beforehand [i.e. before intimacy] for yourselves;[12] and have regard for your duty to Allah [that includes rights of a wife] and know that you will meet Him. And give good news to the believers [for a happy outcome of their marriage].[13] [Emphasis added]

The keyword in the verse is tilth that at times is misread for exploitation of women. In Arabic, the said term means a field that is prepared, ploughed and sowed for a crop:

Haratha – To till and sow, cultivate, cut a thing, acquire (goods); plough, study a thing thoroughly. Harth: Land prepared for sowing; Tillage; Produce of field; Crop; Garden; Gain; Wife. Tahruthûna (imp. 2nd p. m. plu.): You sow. Harthun (n.): Tilth. (L; T; R; LL) The root with its above two forms has been used in the Holy Qur’ân about 14 times.[14]

Metaphor of farming – Your wives are a tilth for you, is an appropriate allegory for husbands in Quran that Allah also uses for Himself for His attribute of being a Creator e.g.

80:26-31. …We cleave the earth, a proper cleaving, So that We cause grain to grow therein, As well as grapes, vegetables, The olive, the date-palm, Orchards with dense trees, Fruits and herbage; [14a]

Similarly, the use of the word tilth in the manner of a fertile land under care of a farmer, for a married woman, naturally implies more restrictions than allowance for the husband, the tiller. ‘Farming’ expects a disciplined role from husband in his abstaining from an overbearing intimacy that wife cannot bear; protection of her pregnancy and giving rest/gap between pregnancies as it is done to the land between crop cycles to rejuvenate it.[15] This metaphorical reference to tilth for its said meanings naturally puts a bar on the misuse of women under the excuse of Mata’a in temporary marriages, where a woman like a prostitute could be passed from man to man or wife for a courtship with other males as in Niyoga, because no self-respecting farmer will permit seed from anyone else to pollute his land. The relationship between farmer and his land is that of ownership, protection and care while obligatory prevention of abuse of the latter. This relationship is based upon the attributes of the land which is like that of a mother that not only produces but provides nurturance, without asking much in return, except its care and respect. The critics of the verse perceive this verse as a one-sided intimate right of a husband towards his wife, but they fail to read a few verses later about her equal rights in all matters of marriage – And women have rights similar to those against them in a just manner (2:228)[16].

The phrase – send (good deeds) beforehand for yourselves in the stated verse in terms of intimate relations with wife implies that such physical relations are to be nurtured under a spiritual bond between the couple. It is out of the same tilth which when tilled with spiritual seeds grows a spiritual shade and its accompanying coolness, both here and in the hereafter:

25:74-77. And they who say, Our Lord, grant us in our wives and our offspring the joy [Arabic – Qurratun : Coolness; Refreshment; Source of joy and comfort[17]] of our eyes, and make us leaders for those who guard against evil. These are rewarded with high places because they are patient, and are met there with greetings and salutation, abiding there — a goodly abode and resting place![18]

Tilth in Quran is metaphorically used in both spiritual and materialistic sense. Tilth if infused with spiritual blessings of respect, honesty, loyalty, love and affection can be a source for uplift of humanity as is clear from verse 2:223. On the other hand, tilth without spirituality is nothing but materialism as noted in the verses below:

3:14. It has been made fair seeming to the people the love of the desired things comprising women, sons, stored up heaps of gold and silver, well-bred horses, cattle and tilth [Arabic: Harth]. That is the provision of the present life. Whereas with Allah is the fairest goal (of life).[19] [Emphasis added]

3:116-117. Verily, as to those who disbelieve, neither their possessions nor their children shall avail them aught against (the punishment of) Allâh. And it is they who are the fellows of the Fire, therein shall they live long. That which they spend for the present life bears likeness with the wind wherein is freezing cold which smites the tilth [Arabic: Haratha] of the people who have done injustice to themselves, so it destroys it. Allâh does no injustice to them but they wrong themselves.[20] [Emphasis added]

Fire is a blessing and life sustaining. But, if misused, it can bring death and devastation. Similarly, a married life can be a blessing because it can provide joy and comfort in life. But, if this relationship is devoid of respect, honesty, loyalty, love and affection it can become a source of exploitation and misery that Quran admonishes against.

Compare the said use of the word tilth in verse 2:223 with that of the Bible for its explicitness and a focus on sensuality:

Proverbs 5:17-19.Let them be only your own, And not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; And always be enraptured with her love.[21] [Note: we cannot grace these pages with more filth from the Bible for which reader is referred to the link in footnote[22]]

It would be a fallacy to read the said verse 2:223 in isolation from the other verses in its vicinity which bring out the context of the message that is none but preservation of women rights, rather than the exploitation in a non-contextual read.

The verse 2:222 is in continuation of a topic from earlier verses 2:216-218 that highlight the state of war and from which emerge orphans (and widows) that are addressed in verse 220 (not quoted here). In current instance, with regards to women, the verse preceding 2:223 states:

2:222. And they ask you about menstruation. Say: It is harmful; so keep aloof [i.e. sexually only] from women during menstrual discharge and do not approach them (for intercourse) until they are clean. But when they have cleansed themselves, go to them as Allah has commanded you. Surely Allah loves those who turn much (to Him), and He loves those who purify themselves.[23]

It is obvious that this verse is squarely addressed to the husbands and is a temporary injunction for a limited time only during each menstrual cycle of the wife. Of course, the non-accommodation of the temporary ‘unwell’ state of the wife by her husband during her menstruation is harmful for the wife and the marriage during which she might be in pangs of pain, undergoing roller coaster of emotions due to hormonal changes, not desiring intimacy and occupied with the burden of even a cultural guilt or shame because of the menstrual discharge. Essentially, she has to be given an emotional space of her own during a biological cycle that is beyond her control. In terms of embryology, her bodily functions are being prepared for next ovulation after the menstrual discharge is completed. It is at that time the verse 2:223 in question comes into play, i.e. her body is then ready for conception through intercourse and she acts as the garden from which the future generations can spring forth and the prime objective of marital relationship is achieved whence it becomes good news to the believers(2:223), i.e. the parents who follow the stated injunctions (2:222-223). There is no point, in a metaphorical sense, to till a land and sow it out of season.

Menstruation is a biological stage in a monthly hormonal cycle for a woman of childbearing age, which could be delayed or absent in adults due to certain factors. The humanistic accommodation that Quran mandates from husbands for this condition not only assures protection to the woman during marriage as mentioned in verse 2:222 above; it also protects her rights during divorce process as well:

65:1. Prophet! (tell the believers that) when you decide to divorce (your) women divorce them at a time when their `Iddat (- period of three monthly courses, for which they must wait before they can remarry) can be calculated; (the divorce should be given when she has cleansed herself after the menstrual discharge) and after divorce calculate the period (of `Iddat exactly). And keep your duty to Allâh, your Lord. You shall not turn them out (during this period of `Iddat) from their homes except they commit flagrant sin, nor shall they themselves go out (of them). These are the limits imposed by Allâh and he that violates the limits imposed by Allâh, indeed does injustice to himself. You never know (Allâh's will), for it may be that after this (divorce) Allâh will bring about a new situation (of reconciliation between you).

65:4. If you are in doubt (how to calculate the period) of such of your women as have despaired of monthly courses, then (know that) period for which they must wait is three months and (the same holds good) for such women as have not menstruated (for some other reasons [e.g. oligomenorrhea[23a], ammenhorea[23b], menopause[23c] etc.]). And (as to) pregnant women, their term (will end) when they are delivered of their burden (after giving birth to a child). And (bear in mind) for the one who keeps his duty to Allâh, He will provide facility in his affair for him.

65:6. Lodge (the divorced) women (during the prescribed period in some part of the house) where you are lodging, according to (the best of) your means. Do not harass them so as to make (their stay) hard for them. If they be pregnant, bear their expanses until they are delivered of the child…[24]

When the above quoted verses 2:222, 65:1, 4 and 6 are read in unison, it becomes crystal clear that during menstruation period of wife the husband is under obligation to treat her tenderly. Thus, it naturally begets to ask the critics of verse 2:223 as to how they justify their interpretation of the said verse for exploitation of women in a Book that contrary to their hateful views gives so much respect to a woman even in her apparently ‘unclean’ condition. Only a ruffian and a coward will mistreat and exploit her when she is ‘clean,’ not a follower of Quran.

These injunctions to respect a woman during her menstruation in Quran are diametrically opposite to Bible. While the issues surrounding menstruation in Quran are addressed to married women only, in Bible, all married and unmarried women are lumped together.  In Bible, every menstruating women is not only ostracized for her ‘uncleanliness’ but her uncleanliness is determined to be ‘infectious’ to everyone else as well, hence she is to be socially abandoned. During her menstruation she is considered to be in an ‘untouchable’ state of sin for no fault of hers. To make the matters worse, she even has to atone for her ‘sin’ as well when she becomes ‘clean’ seven days after the menstruation ends: 

Leviticus 15:19-24. ‘If a woman has a discharge, and the discharge from her body is blood, she shall be set apart seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening. Everything that she lies on during her impurity shall be unclean; also everything that she sits on shall be unclean. Whoever touches her bed shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. And whoever touches anything that she sat on shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. If anything is on her bed or on anything on which she sits, when he touches it, he shall be unclean until evening. And if any man lies with her at all, so that her impurity is on him, he shall be unclean seven days; and every bed on which he lies shall be unclean.

Leviticus 15:25-27. [repeats the theme of Leviticus 15:19-24 above]

Leviticus 15:28-30. ‘But if she is cleansed of her discharge, then she shall count for herself seven days, and after that she shall be clean. And on the eighth day she shall take for herself two turtledoves or two young pigeons, and bring them to the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting. Then the priest shall offer the one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering, and the priest shall make atonement for her before the Lord for the discharge of her uncleanness.[25] [Emphasis added]

Note: The above is only a sampler from Old Testament. Those interested to read more on the subject may refer to the link in the footnote[26].

In the verses adjoining 2:222-223, Quran not only outlines the dignity and rights of a woman in her marriage and her right to divorce, it also tries to preserve the marriage if there is possibility of a thoughtless divorce:

2:224-228. And do not make Allah by your oaths a hindrance to your doing good and keeping your duty and making peace between people [inclusive of estranged couple].

–This verse refers to the pre-Islamic Arab custom of ila’, a way of temporarily putting off the wife which was effected by an oath in Allah’s name not to have sexual relations with her. The result of this was that the husband considered himself free from all marital obligations. The first step to bring about a reform in the relations of husband and wife was that this practice was abolished. It is in reference to this that the taking of oaths against the doing of good to others is prohibited. The fulfilment of marital obligations is thus referred to as the doing of good and observance of duty and making peace between people. But the subject is generalized and the taking of all oaths to forbid oneself the doing of good or fulfilment of obligations is prohibited. See also 66:2 footnote.[27]

And Allah is Hearing, Knowing. Allah will not call you to account for what is vain in your oaths, but He will call you to account for what your hearts have earned.

– By vain oaths are meant unintentional or thoughtless oaths in ordinary conversation, and by what the hearts have earned is meant an oath intentionally taken.[28]

And Allah is Forgiving, Forbearing. Those who swear that they will not have sexual relations with their wives should wait four months,

Ila’ signifies an oath by a man that he shall not approach his wife. In pre-Islamic times the Arabs used to take such oaths frequently, and as the period of suspension was not limited, the wife was compelled sometimes to pass her whole life having neither the position of a wife nor that of a divorced woman free to marry elsewhere. The Quran declares that if the husband does not reassert conjugal relations within four months, the wife shall be divorced. Cases in which husbands desert wives, having neither conjugal relations with them nor divorcing them, must be dealt with practically as amounting to Ila’, so that after four months the wife should be free if she wants a divorce. [29]

then if they go back, Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. And if they resolve on a divorce,

–The Islamic law of divorce is elastic and does not strictly limit the causes of divorce. Divorce is allowed if sufficient reason exists, but the right is to be exercised under exceptional circumstances. A wife can claim a divorce according to the Islamic law, which was not a right conferred on her by Jewish and Christian laws on divorce as formulated in Deuteronomy and Matthew.[30]

Allah is surely Hearing, Knowing. Divorced women should keep themselves in waiting for three courses.

–The period of waiting, or ‘iddat, forms the first condition in the Islamic law of divorce. But for cases in which marriage is not consummated, no period of waiting is necessary; see 33:49.[31]

And it is not lawful for them to conceal what Allah has created in their wombs, if they believe in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands have a better right to take them back in the meanwhile if they wish for reconciliation.

–These words give a clear right to the parties to effect a reconciliation and re-establish conjugal relations within the period of waiting. No special procedure is necessary for this but both the divorce and the reconciliation must take place in the presence of witnesses. If, however, the ‘iddat is over and no reconciliation has been effected, the relation of husband and wife can be reestablished by remarriage, which right is given to the parties by v. 232.[32]

And women have rights similar to those against them in a just manner,

–The rights of women against their husbands are here stated to be similar to those which the husbands have against their wives. The change in this respect was really a revolutionizing one, for the Arabs hitherto regarded women as mere property. Women were now declared to have rights similar to those which were exercised against them. The equality of the rights of women with those of men was never previously recognized by any nation or any reformer.[33]

and men are a degree above them.

–The statement that “men are a degree above them” does not nullify the rights asserted in the previous passage. The words are added simply to show that the husband is the head of the household.[34]

And Allah is Mighty, Wise.[35]

In summary, it is figment of an ignorant imagination that Quran allows sexual exploitation of women. The whole case in Quran is exactly the opposite and it assures their equal dignity and rights.


 

[1] Bani Israel – The Israelites: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[2] Al-Nur – The Light: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[3] Al-Nisa – Women: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[3a] Religion of Islam by Maulana Muhammad Ali, Chapter: Marriage, Section: ‘Stress laid on kind treatment towards wife”, p. 481. Link: http://www.aaiil.org/text/books/mali/religionislam/religionislammuhammadali.shtml
[4] Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz: Footnote – 30:21 c (21)
[5] Al-Rum – The Romans: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[6] Al-Araf – The Elevated Places: Nooruddin
[7] 16:69.varying hues which is a cure for the people. Al-Nahl – The Bee: Nooruddin
[8] 6:65. …Behold! how We explain Our Messages in different ways so that they may give thought. Al-Anam – The Cattle: Nooruddin
[9] 39:23. Allâh has revealed the best Message (the fairest discourse), this wonderfully coherent Book (the verses of which are mutually supplementing and) repeated, (narrating both sides of the case in various ways to drive home the divine injunctions to human minds). Al-Zumar – The Multitudes: Nooruddin
[10] 41:2-3. The compilation and orderly arrangement (of this Qur'ân) proceeds from the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful (God). (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. Fussilat – Detailed and Clear in Exposition: Nooruddin

[10a] 4:82. Why do they not ponder over the Qur'ân? Had it been from anyone other than Allâh, they would surely have found a good deal of inconsistency therein. Al-Nisa – The Women: Nooruddin
[10b] 39:27. And We have set forth for the people all sorts of excellent and useful proofs in this Qur'ân that they may take heed. Al-Zumar – The Multitudes: Nooruddin

[11] Al-Taghâbun – Manifestation of Loss: Nooruddin
[12]
Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz: Footnote 2:223 c (223) – This verse shows that the real object of marital relations is not simply the satisfaction of sexual desires. (Editor’s Note: The comparison of women to the land that is tilled is to show that it is through them that the crop of the next generation of human beings grows and develops, both physically and in character. Men are also told here to do some act of moral goodness before approaching their wives sexually, and to have regard for duty to God which stands for having regard for one’s duties towards others as required by God. Thus the husband is required to be mindful also of moral duty and responsibility in the matter of sexual relations with his wife, so that it should not be merely an occasion for him to gratify his lust selfishly with no regard for moral goodness or the rights of his wife.)
[13] Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[14] Dictionary of The Holy Quran, (c) 2010, Abdul Mannan Omar, p. 117
[14a] Abasa – He Frowned: Nooruddin

[15] Explanation of the word tilth by Nooruddin in his lectures published as “Haqaiqul Furqan”. Link: http://www.alislam.org/quran/tafseer/?page=361&region=H1&CR=

[16] Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[17] Dictionary of The Holy Quran, (c) 2010, Abdul Mannan Omar, p. 450
[18] Al-Furqan – The Criteron: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[19] Al `Imran – The House of Amran: Nooruddin
[20]
ibid 
[21] New King James Version. Link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+5%3A17-19&version=NKJV

[22] Sex and the bible: The verses you didn't learn in Sunday school – Link: http://www.examiner.com/article/sex-and-the-bible-the-verses-you-didn-t-learn-sunday-school

[23] Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[23a] Wikipedia – Oligomenorrhea: Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oligomenorrhea

[23b] Wikipedia – Amenorrhoea: Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amenorrhoea

[23c] Wikipedia – Menopause: Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menopause
[24] Al-Talaq – The Divorce: Nooruddin
[25] New King James Version. Link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Leviticus+15%3A19-30&version=NKJV

[26] Women were considered Ritually Unclean. Link: http://www.womenpriests.org/traditio/unclean.asp

[27] Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz: Footnote 2:224 – a (224)
[28] ibid  2:225 – b (225)
[29] 
ibid  2:226 – c (226)
[30] 
ibid  2:227 – d (227)
[31] 
ibid  2:228 – a (228-1)
[32] 
ibid  2:228 – b (228-2)
[33] 
ibid  2:228 – c (228-3)
[34] 
ibid  2:228 – d (228-4)
[35] Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz

Holy Prophet Muhammad as a “mercy to the worlds”

Saturday, March 7th, 2015

I presented a talk at our Lahore Ahmadiyya London Centre last Sunday, 1st March 2015, under the above title, with the sub-title: "and the stories of the cat, dog, camel, bird, hen and ant".

Over the years, when I consulted books of Hadith (physical, printed ones) for some reference, I kept on coming across other reports of great interest, often not generally known, which shed light on the wonderful character of the Holy Prophet. I noted these down on the fly leaf of the book. For my recent talk, I compiled some of them together. Please see the article at this link.

Basis of alleged abrogation in Quran, Anything but

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Basis of Alleged Abrogation in Qur’ân[1], Anything But

The alleged theory of abrogation – that one verse abrogates another one in Qur’ân, would apply only if there are two or more verses addressing a common subject. The proponents of the theory allege that certain later revealed verses supersede the previous one on the same subject; hence the earlier verse stands abrogated. Fact of the matter is that just because the theorists could not reconcile different aspects of a matter in Qur’ân, they find refuge in their dogmas. On the contrary, any repetition of a subject matter in a different shade in different verses is intentional. Qur’ân is clear about why it repeatedly mentions a given subject from different angles and how various verses on a given subject are interlinked:

6:65. …Behold! how We explain Our Messages in different ways so that they may give thought.[2]

39:23. Allâh has revealed the best Message (the fairest discourse), this wonderfully coherent Book (the verses of which are mutually supplementing and) repeated, (narrating both sides of the case in various ways to drive home the divine injunctions to human minds).[3] [Emphasis added]

41:2-3. The compilation and orderly arrangement (of this Qur'ân) proceeds from the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful (God). (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.[4] [Emphasis added]

The term abrogation that we find in Qur’ân is not about abrogation within Qur’ân; rather it is abrogation of links in the chain of Laws that were revealed in earlier scriptures. The term Shariah should not be confused with Fiqh. Sharia is the Law in Qur’ân,whereas Fiqh is the human formulation of the Law in Qur’ân.

Abrogation in Qur’ân refers to the gradual evolution of Shariah that started with Adam, was refined by Noah, defined by Moses, adjusted by subsequent prophets until it was finalized by Muhammad (peace be upon them). Such a needed change in Law corresponded to the social evolution of the humanity:

95:1. I call to witness (four periods of human evolution including) the Fig[5] (symbolic of the era of Adam when the foundations of the human civilization were laid), and the Olive[6] (that of Noah, the founder of sharî`at),

95:2. And Mount Sinai[7] (that of Moses when the details of the Sharî`at were revealed),

95:3. And this Town of security[8] (of Makkah where with the advent of the Prophet Muhammad, the divine law was perfected and finalized),[9]

Social laws evolved over time. Whereas, the fundamental faith has essentially remained the same across all the prophets:

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. (He ordains you) to establish obedience (to Allah) and not to be divided (in sects) therein…[10]

While the Law did evolve over time with subsequent prophets, the core principles of the faith were not abrogated in any Book. Qur’ân stands as a guardian over these core principles :

5:48. And We have revealed to you the Book [–Qur’ân] with the truth, verifying what is (already) before it [–the prophecies in Scriptures] of the Book [–Qur’ân] and a guardian over it [–i.e. over the light and guidance in the previous Scriptures]…[11]

Being a guardian over all previous revelation shows that whatever was of permanent value in the previous scriptures has been preserved in the Qur’ân. The previous books contained a light and guidance for the people for whom they were meant, and they were commanded to judge by those books, but the Qur’ân is now the Book which judges all truth, wherever it may have been.[12]

On the other hand, the details and context of the Law transitioned from one prophet to another. During that transition some aspects of the previous Law thus stood amended or abrogated. This principle of a prophet abrogating a previous Law while preserving the guidance of Scriptures can be seen for Jesus in Qur’ân, in which he changes the Law of Moses where needed while verifying the core principles of Torah:

3:49-50. …and I [–Jesus] inform you of what you should eat and what you should store in your houses. Surely there is a sign in this for you, if you are believers. And (I have come) verifying what is (already) before me of the Torah, and I allow you part of what was forbidden to you…[13]

Such improvements, modifications and abrogation of the Law continued across the prophetic chains till the time the prophethood itself ended with Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) when the abrogation of previous Scriptures was finalized and the final Law was revealed in Qur’ân:

2:106. Whatever Message We abrogate or abandon it, We bring a better (Message) than that [– Arabic: Khair am minha] or (at least) the like of it [–Arabic: Mislaha]. Do you not know that Allâh is indeed Possessor of power to do all He will.[14]

Maulana Muhammad Ali in his book “Prophethood in Islam” explains the verse 2:106 as follows:

The Qur'ãn does not mention the abrogation of Shari'ahs, because actually the whole Shari'ah (Law) is never abrogated in toto. After all, the first prophet who was raised by God was also given the command that God was one and He alone deserved to be worshipped and that there was no associate with Him. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) who was sent last of all was also given the same message. Therefore, the Shari'ah of even the first prophet can never he abrogated in its entirety. As all the prophets had been basically given the same teaching it is not correct to think that a prophet could abrogate all the teachings of another prophet. It is for this reason that the Qur'an has thus not mentioned about the abrogation of Shari'ah, but has rather stated:

"Whatever message (or verse) We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring one better than it or one like it" (Qur’ân – al-Baqarah 2:106).

This signifies that the words of God which are revealed to the prophets have sometimes to be abrogated and sometimes people forget them. In both these cases, God sends down other commands. That is His general practice. This does not specially refer to the Qur'an but it has been stated that God has been doing so from the beginning. Thus, after the words which follow the above verse, "knowest thou not that God is Possessor of power over all things? (Qur’ân – al-Baqarah 2:106)" it has been stated, "knowest thou not that God's is the Kingdom of the heavens and the earth? (Qur’ân – al-Baqarah 2:107)" As a king finds it necessary to introduce changes from time to time for the betterment of his subjects, similar is the case with the Possessor of the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, as has been mentioned here that God reveals another command after abrogating the previous one or He sends the new command because the old one has been forgotten.[15]

To understand the term abrogation and its context in Qur’ân one has to read across previous Scriptures. Take for example the Mosaic Law of Retribution in Old Testament in which there is no forgiveness:

Leviticus 24:17-22. ‘Whoever kills any man shall surely be put to death. Whoever kills an animal shall make it good, animal for animal. ‘If a man causes disfigurement of his neighbor, as he has done, so shall it be done to him — fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; as he has caused disfigurement of a man, so shall it be done to him. And whoever kills an animal shall restore it; but whoever kills a man shall be put to death. You shall have the same law for the stranger and for one from your own country; for I am the Lord your God.’[16] [Emphasis added]

In light of Qur’ânic verse 2:106, Jesus abrogated the same Mosaic Law and replaced it with a Law in which there is no retribution:

Matthew: 5:38-40. “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.[17] [Emphasis added]

Qur’ân in turn abrogated the said Law of both Old and New Testaments and finalized it with a well-balanced law in which the right for a just retribution exists side by side with option of forgiveness because vengeance in every case is not necessary:

5:45. 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.[18] [Emphasis added]

Again, Maulana Muhammad Ali in his book “Prophethood in Islam” explains the above quoted references from the Scriptures as follows:

It is, however, as clear as daylight that the Torah was not a complete and perfect book. Some of its commandments have been retained by the Qur'ân. For instance: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shall not steal, and honour thy father and mother (Exodus 20:3, 14, 15, 12)." But some of the commands which were given according to the needs of the time. e. g., the severe law of retaliation, which was only a temporary measure, as the other aspect of the problem (i.e., forgiveness) was ignored in it, in such commands of course the need of change must have always been felt, (by various prophets) as happened in the case of Jesus Christ. If the Torah did not stand in need of such prophets who would make changes in the Law under God's instruction, from time to time, and in accordance with the needs of their age, then the Law of retaliation would not have been left incomplete for the Gospel to fulfil this deficiency. It was quite possible that God would have revealed to Moses the following perfect teaching: "And the recompense of evil is punishment like it; but whoever forgives and amends, his reward is with Allah? (Qur’ân – al-Shura 42:40)" Now retaliation is here not made compulsory but the words mithluha (like it) show that evil must be requited by punishment proportionate to the evil. On this golden rule are based today all the laws of justice of the civilized nations. And as in the Torah, vengeance in every case is not necessary. And then this teaching has removed the two defects of the teachings of the Gospel as well. Firstly, the exercise of forgiveness is not recommended in every case as has been done in the Gospel that "whoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek turn to him the other also." This is quite impracticable and even a staunch follower of Christianity cannot make it a rule of his life. Secondly, the exercise of forgiveness has been made conditional, that is, one should only resort to forgiveness when it will mend the matter and be of some good to the wrong-doer. Now this perfect conception of justice is neither found in the Torah nor in the Gospel. The Torah contained a part of it which was imperfect because punishment was made compulsory, and the Gospel contained another part which was also defective because there forgiveness was made essential and no scope was left for punishment. The reason was that the Israelites were not yet so capable that Moses or Jesus Christ or the prophets who passed in between could give them complete and perfect teaching. And if it was, however, given to them it could not have helped them in any way. It was, however, expedient that they should be given at one time the Mosaic law of retaliation but when they went to the other extreme in the application of this law another aspect of the teaching was needed. This point finds support from Jesus Christ's own words:

"I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of Truth '(i.e., Ahmad or the Paraclete) is come he will guide you unto all truth (St. John, 16:12-13)."

In short, this one instance is enough to prove that in the Shari'ah of Moses some matters needed alteration or modification even before the Shari'ah of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah he upon him) came into operation.[19]

In summary, Law of Moses for Retaliation in Leviticus 24:17-22 was abrogated by Jesus who then replaced it with absolute forgiveness in Matthew 5:38. As a case in point in light of Qur’ânic verse 2:106, it is obvious that both Jews and Christians have either forgotten or abandoned both of the quoted references in not only their daily living but also in the laws that they implemented in their lands. Similarly, same Mosaic Law of Retribution is referred to and abrogated in Qur’ânic verse 5:45 with the option of forgiveness under the principle of abrogation – Whatever Message We abrogate or abandon it, We bring a better (Message) than that or (at least) the like of it (2:106). The Qur’ânic verse 5:45 has both the attributes of being better or the like of it of that in Leviticus 24:17-22 and Matthew 5:38.

It is to this abrogation or abandoning of a previous Law by subsequent prophets that Qur’ân states:

13:38. And most surely, We sent before you many Messengers and We gave them wives and children [i.e. Prophets were not monks and were part of social fabric of their societies]. Yet it was not possible for a Messenger to bring a sign [Arabic: biāyatin] but by Allâh's command. For everything [including the previous Law,] that has an appointed term, there is a (divine) law (to regulate it).[20]

Of course, Law brought by a prophet before Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had a limited shelf-life till the time some aspects of it were amended or updated, in part or in whole, by a subsequent prophet. As to why these changes were allowed in the evolution of Shari’ah is explained in the next verse i.e. the ultimate Law giver is none but Allah Himself and the prerogative for such changes rests with Him:

13:39. Allâh repeals (the law relating to punishment) what He will and He establishes and confirms (what He pleases) and with Him is the source and origin of all laws and commandments [Arabic: ummu l-kitābi = Mother/Basis of the Book].[21]

Those who advocate abrogation of verses in Qur’ân just because they could not reconcile the different aspects of the message in different verses, fall back on verses 16:101, 2:106, 87:6-7 and 22:52 to form the basis of their alleged doctrine. Under this doctrine, certain verses which have been supposedly overridden by subsequently revealed ones, are nullified. They are mistaken in the first case for being unable to fully understand the different aspects of 'apparently' conflicting verses and secondly they are reading the verses wrongly to justify their conclusions that Qur’ân accepts its own abrogation. Let’s review these verses one by one to see if Qur’ân abrogates itself by its own words:

* 16:101. 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.[22]

* 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.[23]

* 87:6-7. We will soon teach (you and) make you recite (the Qur'ân) so that you shall not forget (any part of it). Except whatever (other things which) Allâh will (and which things you are apt to forget as a human being). Indeed He knows all that is manifest and all that is hidden.[24]

* 22:52. And We have sent no Messenger, nor a Prophet before you but when he longed (to attain what he sought), satan (interfered and) put hindrances in the way of what he sought after. But Allâh removes (the hindrances) that are placed by satan, then Allâh firmly establishes His Messages. And Allâh is All-Knowing, All-Wise.[25]

Firstly, the following verse is oft quoted to support validation of alleged sanctioning of abrogation in Qur’ân:

16:101. And Allâh knows very well the need of what He reveals, yet when We replace a revelation [–in a previous scripture e.g. Torah] with another revelation [–in a subsequent scripture e.g. Qur’ân] they say (to you), `You are only a fabricator (of lies).' The truth is, however, that most of them know nothing.[26] [Emphasis added]

It is an established fact that the above verse is from Makkah period. It is also known that abrogation theories are essentially about the Laws in Qur’ân. The details of Laws in Qur’ân were revealed only after migration of the Prophet to Medina. Is it not strange then to assume that Qur’ân is advocating abrogation of its own Laws while none had yet been revealed? The abrogation that Qur’ân speaks of while the Prophet is still in Makkah is the abrogation of the previous Scriptures.

This said verse clearly gives the principles of updating of the Law across the subsequent prophets. Those who take a narrow view of the said verse from within the Qur’ân fail to read the phrase – they say. Who is referred to by – they say? Because, once it is recognized as to who are they, it fully explains the meaning of the above verse and what is being substituted in – replace a revelation with another revelation. Essentially, Mosaic Law needed an upgrade because the Final Law, i.e. Qur’ân was to be universal whereas the Torah was nation and time specific only. The above verse also needs to be read in full context as to why Prophet Muhammad is being accused of being a fabricator. It is obvious in the stated verse that there was 'something' which Muhammad (PBUH) was bringing that was replace-ing an existing revelation i.e. Torah. Of note is that in the above verse the smear against Prophet Muhammad of being a fabricator itself identifies the allegers, who cannot be Muslims. It were the Jews who were so much perturbed by the extent of an existing revelation, Torah being replaced with another newer revelation, Qur’ân. It would be totally absurd to imagine even for a moment that Prophet Muhammad is being called by Jews of Arabia a fabricator of a select few verses of Qur’ân, in the manner of proponents of abrogation within Qur’ân, while rest of Qur’ân is 'genuine' and a non-fabrication to them. The criticism here is that he is an alleged fabricator of the whole Book – The Qur’ân. It is thus the whole of Qur’ân in its entirety, allegedly 'fabricated', which is replacing the whole of Torah and Evangel.

Qur’ân further rebukes this alleged forging of Qur’ân by the Prophet as follows:

17:73. And they had spared nothing in causing you [–Muhammad] (the severest) affliction with the purpose to turn you away from the revelations given to you, that you might forge in Our name something different from that which We have revealed to you. In that case they would surely have taken you for a special friend.[27]

It would be ridiculous to imagine that Jews were anxious and angry that Prophet is fabricating and replacing verses of Qur’ân. Rather, they would have been quite happy for the Prophet to make contradictions by his own hands and for him to fail because of such fabrications. Factually, it is the replacement of Mosaic Law which was provoking their objections.

The reply to above objections of Jews is further explained and contextualized in subsequent verses:

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.[28]

The Spirit of Holiness is the term used in Torah in equivalence to Angel Gabriel in Qur’ân:

The Hebrew language phrase ruach ha-kodesh (Hebrew: רוח הקודש, "holy spirit" also transliterated ruaḥ ha-qodesh) is a term used in the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) and Jewish writings to refer to the spirit of YHWH (רוח יהוה). It literally means "the spirit of holiness" or "the spirit of the holy place". The Hebrew terms ruaḥ qodshəka, "thy holy spirit" (רוּחַ קָדְשְׁךָ), and ruaḥ qodshō, "his holy spirit" (רוּחַ קָדְשׁ֑וֹ) also occur (when a possessive suffix is added the definite article is dropped). The "Holy Spirit" in Judaism generally refers to the divine aspect of prophecy and wisdom. It also refers to the divine force, quality, and influence of the Most High God, over the universe or over his creatures, in given contexts.[29]

Said objections were raised by none other than the Jews of Medina as no other religion in Arabia had anything to do with The Spirit of Holiness or its context in above verse. It was Jews who are told that their Torah is being abrogated by Qur’ân by revelations through Gabriel, not that a certain passage of Qur’ân is being replaced by a revelation with another revelation. In the latter case Jews would have no objection where Qur’ân abrogates itself. No wonder the Jews were unwilling to accept abrogation of Torah and Mosaic Law by Qur’ân. The Makkan idolaters taking cues from Christians alleged further that Qur’ân is a fabricated reformulation of Bible as taught by one of the Christian slaves. Qur’ân refutes those charges as well:

16:103. And We know fully well what they say (by way of objection) that this (Qur'ân) is (not revealed by God but it is) only what a human being instructs to him (- to Muhammad). But (strange it is) that the tongue of him to whom they (unjustly) allude (of making this insinuation) is foreign and wanting in clearness, whereas the language of this (Qur'ân) is chaste Arabic, plain and clear. [30]

To re-emphasize, the following verse outlines the paradox of the opponents, primarily the Jews of the time, then and even now, as to why they reject Qur’ân. On one hand they were awaiting the advent of the prophet and the Qur’ân, yet when one came:

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.[31]

The rejection of the Jews was not on the basis of the merits of Qur’ân, but their grudge towards a non-Israeli prophet, the bearer of Qur’ân:

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.[32]

According to Qur’ân the opposition of prophets was not a new behavior of Jews. They not only rejected Qur’ân and Prophet Muhammad, they also rejected Evengel and Jesus before as well. Not only that, they even tried to kill Jesus:

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 every thing 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)?'[33]

Qur’ân is cognizant of its recurring rejection by certain peoples:

2:92. Moses did come to you with clear arguments yet you took to the (worship of) the calf in his absence and you were not justified in doing so.

2:93. And (recall) when We took a covenant from you, (while you had encamped at the foot of Sinai) with (the summits of) the Mount towering above you, (and We had said,) `Hold fast to that which we have given you and obey.' (But) those (of you who were given this commandment) said, `We hear and we disobey.' Their hearts were, in fact, permeated with (the love of) the calf (worship) due to their disbelief. Say, `Evil is the way to which your faith leads you, if you are believers at all.'[34]

Qur’ân further denies that certain peoples are the chosen ones:

2:94. Say, `If the last Abode with Allâh is especially reserved for you excluding all other people, then invoke death (upon yourself standing against the Prophet of Islam) if you are on the right.'

2:95. But never shall they invoke it, on account of that which their own hands have sent before. Allâh knows these wrong doers very well.[35]

Secondly, verse 2:106 is also put forth to support abrogation in Qur’ân. Not so, especially when this verse is read together, in context, with the preceding verse as follows:

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 – Muhammad] (to receive His mercy), and Allâh is of abounding bounty.

2:106. Whatever Message We abrogate or abandon it, We bring a better (Message) than that [–Arabic: Khair am minha] or (at least) the like of it [–Arabic: Mislaha]. Do you not know that Allâh is indeed Possessor of power to do all He will. [36]

Verse 2:106 continues to highlight the basis for Jewish opposition to the Qur’ân, as stated in the preceding verses 2:89-93, also quoted above. In addition, the immediately preceding verse, 2:105, is also about the people of Book i.e. Jews and Christians. Verse 2:106 is only and only about the previous Scriptures. Verse 2:106, even if read on it its own, still means that when a previous Divine Message is abrogated, God brings a better Message than that or the like of it. So, the natural question is what is the previous message that God has abrogated or abandoned? That answer is crystal clear in verse 2:105 where it mentions people of the Scripture, and by implication their Scriptures. Any allusion to Qur’ân abrogating any of its own verses in context of verses 2:105 and 2:106 is sign of sheer illiteracy or plain malicious distortion.

Maulana Muhammad Ali explains the verse 2:106 in light of verse 2:105 for its prophesized roots in Old Testament:

These words refer to Khair am minha (better one – Holy Qur’ân 2:106 – i.e., the abrogation of a message by a better one). The word Mislaha (like it – Holy Qur’ân 2:106 – i.e., message like one forgotten for its message, Torah) also refer to the prophecy of the Prophet Moses in Deuteronomy 18:18, that is the teaching of the Holy Prophet would be like that of Moses.[37]

Deuteronomy 18:18. I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.[38]

Similarly, Muhammad Asad comments on the same verse as follows:

The principle laid down in this passage – relating to the supersession of the Biblical dispensation by that of the Qur'an – has given rise to an erroneous interpretation by many Muslim theologians. The word ayah ("message") occurring in this, context is also used to denote a "verse;" of the Qur'an (because every one of these verses contains a message). Taking this restricted meaning of the term ayah, some scholars conclude from the above passage that certain verses of the Qur'an have been "abrogated" by God's command before the revelation of the Qur'an was completed. Apart from the fancifulness of this assertion – which calls to mind the image of a human author correcting, on second thought, the proofs of his manuscript – deleting one passage and replacing it with another – there does not exist a single reliable Tradition to the effect that the Prophet ever, declared a verse of the Qur'an to have been "abrogated". At the root of the so-called "doctrine of abrogation" may lie the inability of some of the early commentators to reconcile one Qur'anic passage with another: a difficulty which was overcome by declaring that one of the verses in question had been "abrogated". This arbitrary procedure explains also why there is no unanimity whatsoever among the upholders of the "doctrine of abrogation" as to which, and how many, Qur'an verses have been affected by it; and, furthermore, as to whether this alleged abrogation implies a total elimination of the verse in question from the context of the Qur'an, or only a cancellation of the specific ordinance or statement contained in it. In short, the "doctrine of abrogation" has no basis whatever in historical fact, and must be rejected. On the other hand, the apparent difficulty in interpreting the above Qur'anic passage disappears immediately if the term ayah is understood, correctly, as "message", and if we read this verse in conjunction with the preceding one, which states that the Jews and the Christians refuse to accept any revelation which might supersede that of the Bible: for, if read in this way, the abrogation relates to the earlier divine messages and not to any part of the Qur'an itself.[39]

Next question is that what was that sent down to you from your Lord (2:105)? Of course, it was none but Qur’ân. Clearly there is a turf war between Jews and Muslims. By accepting Qur’ân as a revealed book, they naturally had to give up Torah as abrogated. This tussle between Jews rejecting Muhammad (PBUH) and Qur’ân 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.[40]

Thirdly, verses 87:6-7 are misinterpreted to mean that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was made to forget certain revelations so that the newer revelations could replace the ones forgotten by him, essentially abrogating the forgotten one.

Before we discuss the verses in question, it must be made clear in the reader’s mind that Divine revelation is not like ordinary knowledge attained through human efforts. In the former case, that knowledge is direct from God to Man via medium of angel and gets indelibly imprinted on heart of the recipient – And verily this (Qur'ân) is a revelation from the Lord of the worlds. The Spirit, Faithful to the Trust (- Gabriel) has descended with it. (Revealing it) to your heart with the result that you became of the Warners (- a Prophet of God) (26:192-194) [41]. Whereas, the human knowledge that is limited by lapses in memory is attained by experience, reason and formal learning, symbolized by pen – Who taught knowledge by means of the pen, He taught human being what he did not know (96:4-5)[42].

Allamah Nooruddin in his translation contextualizes these same verses in question – 87:6-7 that bring out the context of possible human forgetfulness of prophet, which are only the non-revelation aspects of his life:

87:6. We will soon teach (you and) make you recite (the Qur'ân) so that you shall not forget (any part of it). [see verses 26:192-194 above]

87:7. Except whatever (other things which) Allâh will (and which things you are apt to forget as a human being) [see verses 96:4-5 above]. Indeed He knows all that is manifest and all that is hidden.

87:8. And We shall provide you (every) facility and make things easy for you.

87:9. Therefore keep on reminding (the people), surely reminding does good. [43]

Man is apt to forget, and the Prophet was a human being and he too was apt to forget. But he never forgot a word of the Divine revelation which came to him. He sometimes received long chapters on a single occasion, but the whole was so deeply impressed on his mind that once it was read out to him by the Holy Spirit, he repeated it without forgetting a word of it. Still more difficult was his task when chapters were received piecemeal. The reference in what Allah please is not to Divine revelation which the Prophet never forgot, but to other things which he forgot as a human being.[44]

The permanence of revelation of every verse of Qur’ân ever revealed is further affirmed and any contrary view, including the later developed abrogation theories, expunged in the following verses:

17:85. AND they question you about the revelation, and the human soul. Say, ‘The revelation and the soul is by the command of my Lord, (because) little is the knowledge there of that you have been given.’

17:86. Had We so willed We could surely take away [–alienation from the hearts and the memory of men, as well as its disappearance in written form[45]] that which We have revealed to you. If We did so you could find none to plead your cause (to restore it to you) against Our will.

17:87. But (it is) the special mercy from your Lord (that He will not do so [i.e. for the Prophet to forget any revelation]); His grace and favour upon you is very great infact.[46]

It sounds ridiculous for one to entertain even for a moment that a Prophet can forget a teaching whose teacher is none but Allah himself, as outlined by above-mentioned verses. Even if it is accepted that Prophet was made to forget some verses, then what about hundreds of Huffaz, those who had memorized Qur’ân during Prophet’s own life time and recited it in the same order one and all? Did they too forget along with the Prophet, yet we have no record of such forgetfulness, neither by the prophet nor by anyone else of significance?

The level of perfection attained by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) can be inferred in the following set of verses, if nothing else, at least in delivering of the Message:

53:1. I call to witness every part of the Qur'ân when it is revealed,
53:2. That your comrade (Muhammad) has neither deviated (from true guidance in his practices) nor has he erred (in his beliefs).
53:3. He does not say anything out of (his own) fanciful desire.
53:4. This (Qur'ân) is nothing but (pure) revelation, revealed (to him by God).
53:5. The Lord of Mighty Powers has taught him (this discourse).
53:6. (The Lord) Whose powers become manifest in manifold and frequent ways, with the result that he (- this Messenger of God) attained perfection and fullest vigour (both intellectually and physically).
53:7. And he attained to the zenith of heights (in his spiritual ascension).
53:8. Then he drew near to Him and afterwards he descended (to mankind, for their guidance).
53:9. So that he became (as it were) one chord to two bows or closer still.
53:10. Then He revealed that excellent and mighty (Qur'ânic) revelation which He had to send to His servant (Muhammad),
53:11. Whose mind made no mistake in (the interpretation of) that which he saw (during the ascension).
53:12. Will you doubt and dispute with him concerning that (sight) which he saw with his own eyes (it being no figment of imagination)?
53:13. And, of course, he saw Him (in His another manifestation to him) yet another time.
53:14. It was near the Sidrah which stands at the farthest end (of knowledge),
53:15. Near where also is the Garden which is the real eternal abode.
53:16. (This was) when the sublime thing (- the Divine Manifestation) which was to cover Sidrah had covered it.
53:17. (When he saw the Divine Manifestation) his eye deviated not (from the certainty of the Truth) nor did it wander away (from the invincible faith on which he stood).
53:18. (It was the moment when) he saw the greatly important signs of his Lord.[47][Emphasis added]

With the above discourse, doubting the capacity of a Prophet failing to remember revelations is tantamount to doubting God Himself, which is not possible.

Fourthly, similar to verses 87:6-7 above, it is alleged in certain translations that the verse 22:52 gives an opening to the idea that since Satan can interpose into the desire of a Prophet, thus God necessarily abrogates those revelations that got interposed by Satan. However, even the remote possibility of evil, no matter how much imagined, interposing between the Prophet and Allah is purged by Qur’ân:

26:210. It was not the evil ones who have brought this (Qur'ân) down.

26:211. It does neither suit them nor have they the power (to reveal it).

26:212. Infact, they (- the evil ones) are precluded from listening (to the Divine revelation).[48]

Still for the sake of argument even if the abrogation theorists are given some room in their assertion, then we draw their attention to the following parable in which there is a dialogue between God and Iblis, the Satan:

15:39. He [– Iblis] said, `My Lord! since You have condemned me as astray (and erring), I will surely make (evil of straying from the straight path) fair-seeming to them (as long as they stay) on the earth; I shall seduce them all,

15:40. `Except your (sincere) servants from among them; (Your) chosen and purified ones, (whom I shall not be able to seduce).'

15:41. (Lord) said, `The path (that My sincere servants follow) leads straight to Me.

15:42. `As for My servants, you have no authority over them. Different, however, is the case of such of the deviators who (choose to) follow you.[48a]

It is thus obvious that Iblis would attempt to lead astray all humanity, `Except your (sincere) servants from among them; (Your) chosen and purified ones, (whom I shall not be able to seduce).' The abrogation theorists now will have to decide for themselves if the Prophet was one of the chosen and purified ones or not, before we could even consider the role of Satan interfering in the desires of the Prophet to interject the satanic verses?

Allamah Nooruddin once again explains and contextualizes the hindering role of Satan in the alleged verse – 22:52 and its adjoining verses and removes any doubts that might creep up about abrogation. In the preamble to verse 22:52, the role of the Prophet, the reward for believers and the abasement of disbelievers is outlined:

22:49. Say, `O mankind! I am but a plain Warner to you all (against the evil consequences of refusal and misdeeds).'

22:50. There awaits protection and a generous and honourable provision for those who believe and do deeds of righteousness.

22:51. But those who strive hard against Our Messages seeking to frustrate (Us in Our aims and ends), it is they who will be the inmates of the flaming Fire. [49]

Of note is that verse 22:51above defines the term Satan i.e. those who strive hard against Our Messages seeking to frustrate. This definition of Satan is then used by Qur’ân in subsequent verses. Satan in following verses is just another term for oppositional forces and efforts that unleashed against the Prophet and not the actual ‘devil’ that the abrogation theorists allege. Rather, it is the attribute of the opposition to the Prophet who put hindrances in the way of Islam:

22:52. And We have sent no Messenger, nor a Prophet before you but when he longed (to attain what he sought), satan [–the opposition] (interfered and) put hindrances in the way of what he sought after. But Allâh removes (the hindrances) that are placed by satan [–the opposition], then Allâh firmly establishes His Messages. And Allâh is All-Knowing, All-Wise.

22:53. (Allâh permits the interference of satan) so that He may make (the hindrance which satan [–the opposition] puts in the way of the Messengers) serve as a trial for those whose hearts carry disease (of hypocrisy) and for those whose hearts are hardened (because of disbelief). Infact the wrongdoers have gone far (in their antagonism).

22:54. And (He permits this) so that those who have been given knowledge may know that this (Qur'ân) is the truth from your Lord and may believe in it and humble themselves before Him from their very hearts. And Allâh will indeed be the Guide of those who believe, to the straight and right path.

22:55. And those who have disbelieved will continue to have doubt about this (Qur'ân) until the Hour overtakes them suddenly, or the scourge of a destructive day befalls them. [50]

Any insinuation that Satan intercepted God’s message as misinterpreted in the verse 22:52 is removed by Qur’ân:

42:24. Rather they say, ‘He has forged a lie against Allâh (by presenting this Qur’ân).’ If Allâh so willed He would set a seal (against them) upon your heart. But Allâh eradicates falsehood (through you [– Muhammad]) and establishes the truth by (dint of) His words (-prophecies and revelation). He is indeed, One knowing full well (even) the innermost thoughts of the hearts.[51][Emphasis added]

The above verse makes plainly clear that Allâh eradicates falsehood and establishes the truth. Will the proponents of abrogation theory dare state that any verse of Qur’ân ever revealed to the Prophet is false or that it needed eradication? If so, which ones?

The proponents of abrogation theories might not be aware that their allegation of Satan interfering with Message given to any prophet is actually against the basic principle of Qur’ân. In contrast Qur’ân asserts that all Messages to mankind via Messengers are protected from any evil whatsoever by Allah Himself:

72:26. …so He makes His secrets known to none, except a messenger whom He chooses. For surely He makes a guard to go before him and behind him, that He may know that they have truly delivered the messages of their Lord; and He encompasses whatever is with them, and He keeps account of all things.[52]

Finally, for the record, unlike previous Scriptures, Qur’ân being the Final Law, it preemptively rejects any and every possibility, from many angles, of future development of abrogation theories about itself:

3:7. …and those firmly rooted in knowledge. They say: We believe in it, it is all [–without an iota of abrogation] from our Lord.[53][Emphasis added]

4: 82. Why do they not ponder over the Qur'ân? Had it been from anyone other than Allâh, they would surely have found a good deal of inconsistency therein [–in the manner of alleged abrogation theories that contradict each other].[54]

18:27. And recite (to these people) what is revealed to you of the commandment of your Lord. There is none who can change His words [–including the abrogation theorists], and you will find no refuge apart from Him.[55]

48:15. The believers are only those who (truly) believe in Allâh and His Messenger, and then doubt not [in the Message in the manner of Abrogationists who seed doubts about it]…[56]

If nothing else, the abrogation theorists have to justify their own recitation of even the alleged abrogated verses and still finding guidance in them:

27:92. `And to recite (to the people), and follow the Qur'ân; so one who (on listening to it) follows guidance, does it for his own good…[57]

In summary, the idea that Qur’ân speaks or hints about its own abrogation is purely extra-Qur’ânic. How this kind of thinking crept up may be best answered by its proponents, not Qur’ân.

The principle on which the theory of abrogation is based is unacceptable, being contrary to the clear teaching of the Qur’ân. A verse is considered to be abrogated by another when the two cannot be reconciled with each other; in other words, when they appear to contradict each other. But the Qur’ân destroys this foundation when it declares that no part of it is at variance with another: "Will they not then meditate on the Qur’ân? And if it were from any other than Allah, they would have found in it many a discrepancy" (4:82). It was due to lack of meditation that one verse was thought to be at variance with another; and hence it is that in almost all cases where abrogation has been upheld by one person, there has been another who, being able to reconcile the two, has repudiated the alleged abrogation.[58]


[1] Reader is encouraged to review “Theory of Abrogation” in “Religion of Islam” by Maulana Muhammad Ali. Link: http://aaiil.org/text/books/mali/rlgnislm/holyquran.shtml
[2] Al-Anam – The Cattle: Nooruddin
[3] Al-Zumar – The Multitudes: Nooruddin
[4] Fussilat – Detailed and Clear in Exposition: Nooruddin
[5] Genesis 3:6-7. So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. New King James Version. BibleGateway. Link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+3%3A+6-7&version=NKJV

7:20-22. Then satan made an evil suggestion to them both, with the result that their shortcomings which were hidden from them, became manifest to them, and he said, `Your Lord forbade you from this tree only lest you should become angels or become of the immortals.' And he ardently swore to them both (saying), `Most certainly, I am one of your sincere advisers.' Thus he led them on the way of guile and deceit. And when they tasted of the tree (and committed the things forbidden to them), their shortcomings became manifest to them. They (in order to cover themselves) began to stick the leaves of the garden over themselves and their Lord called out to them both (saying,) `Did I not forbid you from (approaching) that tree, and tell you that satan is to you an enemy disuniting (from Me)?' Al-Araf – The Elevated Places: Nooruddin.
[6] Genesis 8:6-11: So it came to pass, at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made. Then he sent out a raven, which kept going to and fro until the waters had dried up from the earth. He also sent out from himself a dove, to see if the waters had receded from the face of the ground. But the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, and she returned into the ark to him, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took her, and drew her into the ark to himself. And he waited yet another seven days, and again he sent the dove out from the ark. Then the dove came to him in the evening, and behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth; and Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth. New King James Version. BibleGateway. Link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+8%3A6-11&version=NKJV
[7] Exodus 19:20. Then the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. New King James Version. BibleGateway. Link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+19%3A20&version=NKJV
[8] 2: 125. And when We made the House (- the Ka`bah at Makkah) a frequent resort for mankind and (a place of) peace and security, and (We commanded), `Take to yourselves the place of Abraham (- the Ka`bah) for a centre (and face towards it) during Prayer.' And We enjoined Abraham and Ismail, `Purify and clean My House for those who perform the circuit (around it) and those who cleave to it for devotion and for those who bow down (before Allah) and prostrate (to Him in Prayer).' Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
16:112. And Allah sets-forth an excellent description of a township (-Makkah). It enjoyed a state of security and peaceAl-Nahl – The Bee: Nooruddin
[9] Al-Tin – The Fig: Nooruddin
[10] Al-Shura – The Multitudes: Nooruddin
[11] Al-Maidah – Food: Nooruddin
[12] Al-Maidah – The Food: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz, footnote: a(48-1)
[13] Al`Imran – Family of Imran: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[14] Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
[15] Prophethood in Islam by Maulana Muhammad Ali, An-Nubuwwat fil Islam translated and edited by S. Muhammad Tufail, p. 133. Link: http://www.aaiil.org/text/books/mali/prophethoodislam/prophethoodislam.shtml
[16] New King James Version. BibleGateway. Link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Leviticus+24%3A17-22&version=NKJV
[17] New King James Version. BibleGateway. Link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%205:38-40
[18] Al-Maidah – The Table Spread with Food: Nooruddin
[19] Prophethood in Islam by Maulana Muhammad Ali, An-Nubuwwat fil Islam translated and edited by S. Muhammad Tufail, p. 131-132. Link: http://www.aaiil.org/text/books/mali/prophethoodislam/prophethoodislam.shtml
[20] Al-Rad – The Thunder: Nooruddin
[21] ibid
[22] Al-Nahl – The Bee: Nooruddin
[23] Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
[24] Al-Ala – The Most High: Nooruddin
[25] Al-Hajj – The Pilgrimage: Nooruddin
[26] Al-Nahl – The Bee: Nooruddin
[27] Isra – The Night-Journey: Nooruddin
[28] Al-Nahl – The Bee: Nooruddin
[29] Holy Spirit. Wikipedia. Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Spirit#Judaism
[30] Al-Nahl – The Bee: Nooruddin
[31] Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
[32] 
ibid
[33] ibid
[34] ibid
[35] ibid
[36] ibid
[37]God’s Word and the Turning Away of the Jews: Friday Sermon of Hazrat Ameer (Head) Maulana Muhammad Ali Sahib – December 20, 1914 – http://aaiil.org/text/hq/sermons/mali/godwordjews.shtml

[38] New King James Version. BibleGateway. Link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+18%3A18+&version=NKJV
[39] Footnote. Verse 2:106. The Message of The Quran. Translated and Explained by Muhammad Asad.
[40] Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
[41] Al-Shuara – The Poets: Nooruddin
[42] Al-Alaq – The Clot: Nooruddin
[43] Al-Ala – The Most High: Nooruddin
[44] Al-Ala – The Most High: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz, footnote: a(7)
[45] Footnote. Verse 17:86. The Message of The Quran. Translated and Explained by Muhammad Asad.
[46] Isra – The Night-Journey: Nooruddin
[47] Al-Najm – Parts of the Quran: Nooruddin
[48] Al-Shuara – The Poets: Nooruddin

[48a] Al-Hijr – The Rock: Nooruddin
[49] Al-Hajj – The Pilgrimage: Nooruddin
[50]
ibid
[51] Al-Shura – The Counsel: Nooruddin
[52] Al-Jinn – The Jinn: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[53] Al`Imran – The Family of Imran: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[54] Al-Nisa – The Women: Nooruddin
[55] Al-Kahf – The Place of Refuge: Nooruddin
[56] Al-Hujarat – The Chambers: Nooruddin
[57] Al-Naml – The Tribe of Naml: Nooruddin
[58] “Religion of Islam” by Maulana Muhammad Ali, section: “Basis of Abrogation”. Link: http://aaiil.org/text/books/mali/rlgnislm/holyquran.shtml