New area: Miracles, Myths, Mistakes and Matters — See Title Page and List of Contents
— latest, 25th April 2016: Allah Who? An Evolutionary Perspective
Refuting the gross distortion and misrepresentation of the Quran, the Prophet Muhammad and Islam, made by the critics of Islam
Submitted by Rashid Jahangiri.
Lesley Hazleton, a British-American author in her Ted Talk tells audience that there is no mention of 72 sexually attractive female virgins in Holy Quran. This Ted Talk was given in 2010. I came to know about it today. I am happy to find that intellectual non-Muslims have started to see beyond the popular Muslim, and non-Muslim misconceived rhetoric about paradise mentioned in Holy Quran.
Lesley Hazleton: A "tourist" reads the Koran
Wikipedia entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lesley_Hazleton
Submitted by Rashid Jahangiri.
A few weeks ago, a much awaited English Tafseer of Holy Quran by Allamah Nooruddin is published by Noor Foundation. It has two parts.
Part I: Reflections-Selected Pearls.
This part has 259 pages essays on different topics. Topics include:
Who is Allah? The Divine Essence. Self-Disclosure of the veiled reality. “We-ness”, “He-ness” and “I-ness” of Allah. Monotheism in its absolute purity. Four divine graces of mercy. Attributive names of Allah. “Light upon light”. Glorification of the All-sustained Lord. All praise reverts to Allah. What is worship and servitude? Supplications and its blessings. Ritual prayers of Muslims. Invocation and “Remembrance” of God. What is trust in God? Sainthood in Islam. Source of morality and the origin of evil. The Qur’anic concept of paradise. Divine punishment and concept of “Hell”. Notions of the Doctrine of “Atonement”. Dogmas of trinity and divinity. Dogmas of the “sonship” of God. Jesus of the Holy Qur’an. An invitation to the purification of souls.
Part II: Commentary-Selected Verses.
This part has 818 pages of commentary on selected verses of the Holy Qur’an. When a Qur’anic verse is quoted, only the relevant part of the verse is presented with its English translation. For complete verse and its translation into English, the reader is recommended to refer to the English Translation of the Holy Qur’an by Ms. Amatul Rahman Omar and Abdul Mannan Omar.
Many of you will have seen the following news item: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University.
When I read in this news item that: "The manuscript is part of the Mingana Collection of more than 3,000 Middle Eastern documents gathered in the 1920s by Alphonse Mingana, a Chaldean priest born near Mosul in modern-day Iraq", my mind turned to the section entitled "Dr Mingana's Leaves" in the Introduction of the English translation of the Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali. I have extracted it and placed it at this link.
Please also read in this connection articles in the May 1915 issue of The Islamic Review, starting at p. 219 (link).
If these newly-discovered manuscripts are the same as those mentioned in these references, then what we have is that a hundred years ago these were used by a Christian clergyman, Rev. Mingana, to prove that the Quran before Hazrat Uthman had some differences with the Quran that he standardized which has been in use since then!
Dr Mingana co-wrote a book entitled Leaves from three ancient Qurans, possibly Pre-Othmanic, with a list of their Variants, published by the Cambridge University Press in 1914 (which is dangerous and poisonous from an Islamic point of view). Today I downloaded it and have for your convenience placed it at this link (14 MB).
"Consisting of two parchment leaves, the Qur’an manuscript contains parts of Suras (chapters) 18 to 20, written with ink in an early form of Arabic script known as Hijazi. For many years, the manuscript had been misbound with leaves of a similar Qur’an manuscript, which is datable to the late seventh century."
I have looked at the 1914 book Leaves from three ancient Qurans, and find that the manuscripts mentioned in it are from several other chapters of the Quran, but not chapters 18 to 20. So this would appear to be a different manuscript in the same collection of Dr Mingana.
Welcome to the Ramadan Daily Quran Studies for 2015
(Note: Other new posts are below this post.)
This year we will again, as in 2014, be covering the fundamental teachings of Islam, based on the treatment in the renowned book The Religion of Islam by Maulana Muhammad Ali. Last year, we covered topics relating to the sources and principles of Islam (Parts 1 and 2 of The Religion of Islam). This year we will be covering some sections from Part 3, relating to the practices of Islam.
I will be presenting edited and abridged extracts from this book under various topics, along with additions by myself. The book itself is firmly based on the Holy Quran, from which it quotes extensively.
Ramadan Message by Head of Lahore Ahmadiyya, Hazrat Ameer Dr A.K. Saeed.
Eid-ul-Fitr Message by Head of Lahore Ahmadiyya, Hazrat Ameer Dr A.K. Saeed, 16 July 2015.
Submitted by Yahya.
I thank Zahid Aziz for reminding us of the Quranic verses which are critical of people requiring explicit and unconditional proofs or verses. I am reminded of an alim arguing that if Christ had died the Quran should have mentioned it explicitly and provided details of his grave.
The heart of the question is what is a reasonable basis of interpreting the Quran? I do hope and trust that Zahid Aziz will expand on this topic for the benefit of all of us.
Frequently we receive an e-mail forwarded by some friend, who was forwarded it by some friend, who in turn was forwarded it by someone else, and so on and on, warning about some latest danger or plan against Islam and Muslims, and we are asked to forward it further to all our contacts and take this or that action. But the Quran says:
"But if any news of security or fear comes to them, they spread it about. And if they had referred it to the Messenger and to those in authority among them, those of them who can search out knowledge of it would have known it. And if it were not for the grace of Allah upon you and His mercy, you would certainly have followed the devil except a few." (4:83)
So the Quran gave us teachings about such situations 1400 years ago: Don't forward it because your friend or the e-mail says so. If you want to do anything, investigate its authenticity.
The Quran says Muslims should "believe and do good". One may say, as a joke, that "belief" to today's Muslims means believing in any e-mail forwarded by a friend. And what is a good deed (amal salih)? It is of course to forward the e-mail to all your contacts!
Please consider the following consecutive verses of the Holy Quran (obviously the bolding is mine):
4:4 And give women their dowries as a free gift. But if they of themselves are pleased to give you a portion from it, consume it with enjoyment and pleasure.
4:5 And do not make over your property, which Allah has made a (means of) support for you, to the weak of understanding, and maintain them out of it, and clothe them and give them a good education.
4:6 And test the orphans until they reach the age of marriage. Then if you find in them maturity of intellect, make over to them their property…
4:7 For men is a share of what the parents and the near relatives leave, and for women a share of what the parents and the near relatives leave, whether it is little or much — an appointed share.
According to 4:4, a woman has the discretion to give a part of the mahr back to the husband at her pleasure. (In the Arabic original, "of themselves" is nafs-an, and "are pleased" is tibna.)
According to 4:5, the "weak of understanding" must not be given control of their property. It is in fact "your property" in the sense that you, the guardians, have control of it, for their benefit.
According to 4:7, when "maturity of intellect" (rushd) is found in someone then they must be given control of their property.
It follows, therefore, that women are not "weak of understanding", and have "maturity of intellect", otherwise they would not have been allowed to spend, out of their own pleasure and decision, the property possessed by them.
In 4:7 it is ruled that men and women shall both get a share from inheritance. Therefore a woman has the same ownership over it, as a man does over his share.
If it is true, as we understand, that in the law of Saudi Arabia a woman must always have a male as a guardian, in the same way that a child always requires a guardian, then that is against what is staed in the verse above.
Post submitted by Omar Raja
So, I was reading some reviews online on amazon.com regarding Maulana Muhammad Ali's english commentary to Holy Quran.
Of interest is the following one, and though adhering and defending the Qadiani jamaat, still manages to acknowledge the greatness of Maulana Muhammad Ali's work.
The Legacy of Islam-Ahmadiyya, June 11, 2014
This review is from: The Holy Qur'an with English Translation and Commentary (English and Arabic Edition) (Hardcover)
Firstly, it is important to disclose that I'm a member of The Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam (the mainstream movement, not the Lahore group who are the publishers of this English translation and commentary of The Holy Quran). I am writing this review to offer some perspective on the history of this great translation and on also some context on The Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam for those who may be unfamiliar with it.
The Islam-Ahmadiyya is a 19th century Messianic movement that believes that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (peace be on him) was the latter-days heavenly personage according to end-times prophecies of the major world religions. Mohammad Ali, who no doubt was considered a great scholar of Islam and highly educated, was a disciple of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (pbuh). This translation was reportedly commissioned to Mohammad Ali by Ghulam Ahmad (pbuh) himself. After Ghulam Ahmad’s demise in 1908 he was succeeded by Hakim Nooruddin, the first Khalifatul Masih (Successor of The Messiah) and a highly revered scholar of Islam in India. However, when Hakim Nooruddin passed away in 1914, Mohammad Ali refused to accept the Caliphate of the newly elected Mirza Bashiruddin Mehmud Ahmad who was just 25 years old at the time. In the main body of the Ahmadiyya movement a pledge of obedience to the Caliph is very profound. Mohammad Ali and his supporters proposed that the movement change its structural hierarchy so have a committee manage over the affairs of the movement rather than a Caliph. This was rejected and thus he and his followers separated and formed The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement. Lahore, which back then was a part of India, was a thriving center of civilization (sadly today it is being ripped up by terrorists like much of Pakistan).
The other major distinction is that although the Lahore movement attributes the office of The Mahdi and Messiah to Ghulam Ahmad (pbuh) and regard him as someone who enjoyed a great communion with God, their thinking does not constitute him to be a prophet in the true sense. The main Ahmadiyya movement constitute him to a be a follower-prophet of Muhammad (pbu) but still very much a prophet in the real sense.
In the “Preface to The Revised Edition” of this book Mohammad Ali writes, “the greatest religious leader of this time, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, has inspired me with all that is best in this work. I have drunk deep at the fountain of knowledge this great Reformer and founder of The Ahmadiyya Movement has made to flow”. Mohammad Ali also rightly acknowledges Hakim Norruddin, a great scholar of The Holy Quran who had committed it entirely to memory, for his contributions to this work.
Some may find it interesting that it was this translation that led the renowned contemporary Islamic scholar Sheikh Hamza Yusuf to highly praise Mohammad Ali and his contributions throwing himself headlong into controversy to the ire of bigots. Sheikh Hamza Yusuf had said that it is obvious that two of the most widely distributed Quran-translations of the day, that of Marmudke Pickthall and Yusuf Ali, had “heavily borrowed” from Mohammad Ali’s work. He emphasized that the so-called Muslims should be fair and acknowledge this contribution according to the teachings of religion. But that kind of thinking is alien to bigotry. God know what kinds of threats he may have come over to have to recant his statement.
It is heart-warming to see this work which is the founding work that has brought the religion of Islam to millions in the English-speaking world keeping its rightful place a hundred years on.They can shut up Hamza Yusuf, but they can't re-do history. [bold emphasis mine]
Link to the reviews on Amazon:
Mozaki must be unaware of the despicable things said about this commentary (God forbid) by his own second Khalifa, Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad!
Welcome to the Ramadan Daily Quran Studies for 2014
This year we will be studying the fundamental teachings of Islam, based on the treatment in the renowned book The Religion of Islam by Maulana Muhammad Ali. I will be presenting edited and abridged extracts from this book under various topics, along with additions by myself. The book itself is firmly based on the Holy Quran, from which it quotes extensively.
Ramadan Message by Head of Lahore Ahmadiyya, Hazrat Ameer, Dr A.K. Saeed
I wish all of you a very happy and blessed Eid-ul-Fitr.
Submitted by Ikram.
If one casts a glance on the recently transpired Valentine’s Day, a few things come to light. It is a day usually associated with love that is primarily focused, besides others, on the bonds between couples, married or otherwise. Based upon this ‘love’ the ever present commercialism comes into full gear with its special candy, flowers, attire, jewelry, gift wraps, songs, movies and numerous other trappings. The undertones of sin, sensuality and sexuality on that day are almost synonymous with the very term Valentine, the name and title of various early Christian Martyrs and Saints. The love on a Valentine Day somewhat reflects the God of Christianity which is summed up by Khwaja Kamaluddin:
“we read of God as the Possessor of love. But love has got its wicked side too, if we yield to the dictates of lust.”
(GOD AND HIS ATTRIBUTES by Khawaja Kamal-ud-din, The Woking Muslim Mission and Literary Trust, The Shah Jehan Mosque, Woking, England, 1936.)
If Christmas is a Christened Pagan festival of birth of a Sun God at winter solstice, so is the Valentine Day, a reliving of Hellenistic festival of Lupercalia, a drunken revel of fertility and love, though with a religious twist after the slaying of two separate men with similar name, three years apart by the same emperor, at least one of whom was later made into a Saint (see link).
While keeping the dynamics of Valentine Day in mind it becomes difficult to understand Christianity as to where does it’s doctored love in the name of the Son ends and when does its unbridled lust takes off and is there even a separation between the two? It thus behooves to read Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s (HMGA) reply to a Padre who raised objections against Islam. In his discourse HMGA shines with his mastery of the Scriptures – Quran and Bible, the life and works of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the Christian myths ascribed to Jesus of Bible, Islam as a religion and Christianity as a formulated doctrine. He compares and contrasts these from angles that, unbeknownst to him, intersect with the above enumerated themes of a Valentine Day for their inherent insinuations that seem naturally embedded in the general Christian doctrine. In HMGA’s analysis, Christianity, which if from God, instead of acting as a bulwark against paganism, itself becomes the root cause of a dogma that is not too holy.